Time Zone Interludes: Dead Stop

Another unique-time-zone interlude, this time to Dead Stop. As always, there are spoilers, so if you don't live in the area
where Enterprise is aired a day early (as I do), you have been warned!

Disclaimer: Come on, you know the drill. Not mine. Worship Paramount for igniting the T/T dynamic.


"Well?" Captain Archer asked, not without a measure of concern in his voice. The remarkable backdrop of Enterprise being
repared by this station was reflected in his troubled brown eyes.

Trip chewed slowly, being a little apprehensive himself about the trustworthiness of this "magic" station. His tastebuds
didn't take long to identify the familiar taste of pan-fried catfish, lightly grilled, with lemon juice and tartar sauce on
the side. "Not bad," he announced, cutting off another forkful. He glanced over at T'Pol. She seemed impassable as ever.

"I doubt there's a catfish within 120 lightyears," Jon persisted, wanting more of an affirmation than an answer.

T'Pol caught his tone and humored him. "Its genome is stored in Enterprise's computer. The station undoubtedly scanned our
database as well."

Jon adopted a brooding attitude - his third today, Trip mused, feeling slightly guilty at his private joke. "It would have
been nice to have been asked... I can only imagine what else it knows about us," Jon muttered.

He paced off towards the doors. "You should try some, Cap'n," Trip called over his shoulder, intent on his culinary treat. He
was a little worried about his friend's behaviour, but was more preoccupied with admiring the tasty meal the "matter/energy
converter", as T'Pol dubbed it, had produced.

Jon stopped, and turned back towards the engineer. "Thanks, but I'll just have whatever Chef's serving. I'll be on the bridge."

Trip shrugged. Damn, this is good, he marveled. He heard the doors hiss open and shut as Jon left. I wonder what else this
thing can make, he mused. He grinned up at T'Pol through a mouthful of catfish. She just raised her eyebrows.

"Whaddya think, Sub-commander?" he enthused. "Wanna try this out?"

T'Pol's face settled into her usual "you humans are so below me" look. "No thank you."

"C'mon, T'Pol, y'know it's not gonna kill ya," he wheedled. "Just a bit, just t'say that ya've tried it."

T'Pol remained adamant. "Vulcans do not consume the flesh of animals."

Trip sighed. "Right, I forgot." He flopped down in one of the stark white chairs that graced the table/protein-resequencer-
times-a-jillion. "Well, what do Vulcans consume, then?" He nodded towards the faintly glowing blue circle. "Go on, try it."

T'Pol seemed to sigh imperceptibly. "Very well." She perched herself on the edge of the chair opposite Trip and took a deep
breath. "Pecan pie," she said after a moment.

Trip beamed. "That's m'girl!"

The glowing hardware came to life. A bright ball of light shimmered into view above the circle, then faded, to be replaced by
a small plate bearing a toffee-colored piece of pie. Trip picked it up and grinned. "It's warm," he told T'Pol. "Just right."

T'Pol took the plate as he handed it to her. She sniffed it, paused, and then set it on the table, picking up her fork. "I
must admit I have developed an appreciation for desserts of this kind since you introduced it to me." She took a small bite.
"I believe you refer to such fondnesses as a 'sweet tooth'." She looked up, presumably for confirmation, and Trip nodded
quickly. "Yep."

The Vulcan returned to her dessert. "Interesting."

Trip smiled. "Is this another observation of humanity, or a development of yer sweet tooth?"

T'Pol considered for a second. "Both."

The engineer laughed. "Good choice." He watched as she finished the small piece of pie. "So what's next?" he asked as she set
down her fork. T'Pol tilted her head. "Pardon?"

"What else d'ya wanna try?" he asked, gesturing at the matter/energy converter, humming happily.

T'Pol inched back in her chair, spine remaining ramrod-straight. "You may choose a dessert now."

"Oh... kay," Trip pondered, gazing at the blue apparatus. "How 'bout... New York cheesecake?"

A plate hummed to life, containing a hearty slice of the sticky cake.

Trip glanced up at T'Pol. "Your turn."

"Are you not going to have your dessert, Commander?" T'Pol asked, faintly puzzled.

Trip waved in the general direction of the cheesecake. "Nah. If this thing can make stuff, why can't it recycle it?"

T'Pol considered that. "I see." She studied his face. "Your logic is surprisingly rational."

"Uh... I'll take that as the backwards compliment it was," Trip said hesitantly.

T'Pol just gave him a look. Sheepish, Trip leaned back in his chair, watching as T'Pol thought it over. "Chocolate ice cream,"
she said after a while.

Trip immediately sat up. "No, no, cancel that," he said loudly. The glow that had started to appear slowly faded away. T'Pol
frowned slightly at him. "Chocolate ice cream's fine, but what ya really wanna try is Rocky Road," he explained. "S'great for
the soul, see?"

"I do not see," T'Pol replied. She seemed a little miffed at having been cut off.

"Watch." Trip ordered a dish of Rocky Road ice cream, hoping he would end up with the real thing and not a bowl of goop.
Fortunately, Chef had said ice cream in his electronic repertoire, so the computer recognized his order. He scooped up a small
bit of ice cream and motioned towards T'Pol. "Open up."

She was taken aback for a moment, but hesitatingly opened her mouth. Trip slipped the bite of ice cream between her lips and
watched as she tasted it. Her face betrayed nothing, but her eyes showed the faintest hint of - amusement? Pleasure? Surprise?
She liked the taste, Trip could tell. He grinned. "Now d'ya see?"

T'Pol raised an eyebrow at him. "Very... tasty," she said.

Trip laughed. "Told ya! What about cherry sno-cones? You got sno-cones on Vulcan?"

T'Pol shook her head. "No."

Trip rubbed his hands together enthusiastically. This was going to be one hell of a meal.


Mmmm, interesting. Okay, so you've read it, and I know it was kinda a lousy interlude, but it's fun to write. I might write
another chapter to this, it amused me so much. Tell me what you think! Remember, flames will be used to grill catfish for my