The Scavenger Hunt
Author: Musedepandora Summary : With the crew coming down with cabin fever, Captain Archer sets his senior officers off on a scavenger hunt. The game turns serious and interesting situations emerge. Attempt at challenge:
Challenge 1 Endeavors Challenge Minimum of 3 pages Porthos referred to as "Cosmic Canine Extraordinaire" or the phrase "What do you mean Porthos is a girl?" Archer and Trip discussing the finer points of kissing women (interpret any way you want) Must contain the following words (not necessarily together or in order) deranged, rabbit and snirk (for those of you who don't know the meaning of that particular word, a snirk is a cross between a snicker and a smirk) T'Pol must say: "Whatever you want, however you like it, and lead the way." (in no particular order and not necessarily together) Trip saying "Keep your shirt on" and "darlin' " in the same sentence (no particular order)
Disclaimer: The Scavenger Hunt is a piece of fan fiction, written with the authoress' respect and appreciation of the works of Gene Roddenberry. The characters, settings, and history of Enterprise are borrowed. No profit is being made by the writing of this piece of fan fiction.
Archiving: Please just tell me where to find it.
Thump! Thump! Thump!
Archer mindlessly bounced the soft leather ball against the opposing wall while lounging in his quarters. His closest friend, as well as chief engineer, sat on a chair to his right, leaning back with a large grin gracing his face.
"So?" Trip asked, barely hiding the amusement in his voice.
"I'm not going to dignify that with an answer," Archer muttered and focused his attention on the thumping and return of the leather ball. Tucker rolled his eyes and straightened in his seat.
"I'm right, aren't I?" The captain caught the ball and held it tightly before swinging his legs over the side of the bed. "It all matters on the first kiss. It's an art really. Some guys got it and some don't."
"Why are we talking about this again?" Jon asked, squinting his eyes at his friend, who shrugged in return. The captain tossed the ball to the other before reaching over and scratching his dog behind the ears.
"Nuttin' betta ta do."
Sometimes, Commander Tucker's accent was so thick that even the captain had to deduce what he said. That could cause problems if they needed to communicate quickly but for the most part, Jon had become accustom to his slurred excuse for English.
"Actually, I've been hearing that a lot lately." Archer rose from the bed and grabbed Porthos' water bowl.
"Well, we haven't exactly met any 'venture recently," Trip spoke to the empty room as his friend disappeared into the lavatory. "Kinda been . . .driftin'."
"I've been feeling a bit of cabin fever myself." Jon placed the bowl on the floor and sat uncomfortably on the edge of his bed. "I don't think I'm the only one. There's been a noticeable rise in tension within the crew."
"No kiddin'," Trip concurred in exaggerative exasperation and tossed the ball to his thoughtful superior. It hit with a hollow thud against the captain's chest. "Whatcha gonna do 'bout it?"
Archer furrowed his brow as he dropped the forgotten ball to the ground. "Something to take the crew's mind off the monotony of things."
"A game, Captain?" Sub-Commander T'Pol asked, eyebrows raised emphasizing her perplexed state. The Chief Engineer looked on with a self satisfied smile, denoting his amusement.
"Yes," Archer answered proudly with his arms folded over his chest. "Things have been a little slow lately and I think we need a bit of a distraction."
"Sir, this is a starship . . ." T'Pol began before being interrupted by her superior.
"I am well aware of that, Sub-Commander," Captain Archer interjected a little more strongly than he meant to. If the Vulcan was hurt by the captain's tone, she let no one else know; if anything, she became more rigid and less readable.
"Sir," Reed interrupted cautiously, "I don't mean to be disrespectful but what you're suggesting, takes all of us away from our posts . . . at the same time." The Englishman uttered the last statement as if it were completely unthinkable. Hoshi swallowed a snirk at the security chief's face, the difficulty of not giving in evident on her features. Malcolm threw her a reproachfully glare in return. She diverted her eyes to the captain, with mock rapt attention.
"I know," Archer continued in a soft, though slightly annoyed tone, "but I think we can afford a slight breach in protocol."
There was a moment of silence where the senior officers shared fleeting looks, even T'Pol sent Reed a skeptical glance. Strange how she's already figured out which colleague to turn to for each situation. She sure does adapt, I'll give her that, Jonathon thought to himself with a grin.
"We're not expecting to come across anyone or anything of significance for that matter. So I don't see the harm . . ." Archer resumed explaining. "And I'm your captain."
"Sir, if I may?" Mayweather interrupted.
"What game are we playing?"
"That's the spirit!" Captain Archer pointedly looked at his other officers. "It's going to be a scavenger hunt!"
"Good idea," Tucker murmured to himself.
"I thought so," Jon added. "If you wish, Sub-Commander, you can think of this as an opportunity to sharpen your team work skills.
"Each of you'll report to the Mess Hall at 08:00 hours tomorrow morning. You'll get assigned to your partners and receive your lists. Dismissed." Archer kept a watchful eye on his senior officers as each returned to their stations, a few muttering, but for the most part all taking their leave silently. The captain could have sworn that he had caught his science officer giving him an evil glare from the corner of his eye but when he turned to check, her back was to him and she was sitting erect at her station. With a shrug, Archer set off to iron out all the details in his genius plan, even if he did say so himself.
The Mess Hall was almost eerily quite with the breakfast rush hour having come to its end not long before. Reed and Commander Tucker sat at a table; the lieutenant was wringing his hands and complaining to the amused superior across from him.
"Bloody inconvenience, that's what this is," Malcolm grumbled unhappily.
Doctor Phlox, along with Ensigns Hoshi and Mayweather, stood not far away. Unlike Lieutenant Reed, the trio appeared light-hearted and enthusiastic about their situation.
"I do admit that it came as a surprise to me when I received the captain's visit yesterday. But I look forward to this "Scavenge Hunt.'" Phlox smiled as he made small talk. "Though I am slightly unsure what this game entails."
"Well each of us is going to be put into little teams. Each team will get a list of items that we have to find around the ship and the group to get the most amount wins," Hoshi explained, while rocking back and forth slightly from one foot to another. "As soon as the captain gets here we can start."
The door whisked open with a slight hiss and the mentioned Captain Archer stepped in. He held a basket in front of him filled with items.
"Good morning!" The group came forward to meet their superior, some reluctantly and others expectantly. T'Pol wandered over from her corner where she had been standing so quietly that her colleagues had forgotten her presence.
"Sorry I'm late." The captain sat the basket down heavily on a table. "But I was putting together everything you are going to need."
"Each of you are going to be in a team of two. Each gets a list. You have two hours to collect as many of the items as you can find. At the end of that time, everyone will report back here. Got it?" Everyone shook their heads, urging their captain to continue. "Doc, Lieutenant, you're a team. Trip and T'Pol and then," He motioned toward Ensign Mayweather, "you and Hoshi are a team."
"There's a backpack for each of you." Archer handed out the three packs. T'Pol accepted hers as if it were infectious while Dr. Phlox took Reed's and his own enthusiastically, unzipping it and examining the contents.
"You'll need the camera and vial for finishing the list," the captain explained at their perplexed looks. "And here's your lists."
Ensign Mayweather burst out in laughter while looking over the list. Hoshi Sato elbowed her partner, causing him to lower the PADD to her eye level.
"Sir!" Lieutenant Reed exclaimed.
"I made sure each item is attainable on the Enterprise, Lieutenant." Malcolm looked back at his superior as if he were some deranged mad man.
"Now, I want each of you to participate in this. I don't want any spoil sports." He looked specifically over at the Sub-Commander's direction. She raised an eyebrow, almost daring him to make the day any more of a waste. "I'll be the referee and I could turn up any time to check on your progress. If I catch any of you sitting on the job, I'm sure there're some lavatories that could use a good brush down. There'll be a nice reward waiting for the winner at the end. Any questions? No? Good.
"You've got two hours. Good luck."
"Lemme see that list," Tucker asked, hand outstretched. T'Pol handed over the PADD without a flinch. "Thanks."
Commander Tucker looked over the list as they walked down the hallway. At first glance, there seemed to be a great deal on the screen but as he began to read, he couldn't keep a smile from his face.
"3 candles, red lipstick, a Crewman's left boot (can't be a player), something Purple (wear once found 'til end of game), a hair barrette, a leash, a spiked collar, a chef's hat, vial of saliva, alien fruit, a piece of dark brown hair, something organic from each of the two partners' home planets (even if they are the same), confetti, cook book, a child's toy, a wedding ring, drawing of a rabbit, a flute, lavender body lotion, and an image of a crewmember's tattoo," the commander read aloud. "Oh, that all?"
T'Pol threw him what he could only describe as an exasperated look.
"I don't suppose you have three candles?" Trip asked with the most charm he could muster.
"We are en route to my quarters as we speak."
"What about lipstick?" Commander Tucker winked as he got his desired response. The Sub-Commander sped up her pace and Trip followed close behind, walking in a more casual and satisfied tempo. This was going to be fun.
Light gleamed off of the small tube as Ensign Mayweather dropped it securely into his team's pack. Hoshi walked out of her bathroom, hands raised shoulder height.
"Lavender body lotion and a hair barrette," she announced dropping the items in the bag. "At this rate, we're going to win this thing."
"Was there any doubt?" Mayweather joked before zipping up the bag. "Though it is a little unfair."
"What is?" Hoshi raised an eyebrow, walking over to her door.
"Well, T'Pol is the only person on board who has candles that I can think of, waste of oxygen and all. The captain knows that. It seems a bit unfair."
The door opened with a swish. The ensign passed halfway out the door. "Well I doubt she has anything we have so . . .seems fair to me."
"Good point." Mayweather stepped out after her. "Where are we going to get drool?"
"I think this will do." Doctor Phlox held a small vial filled with a yellowish green liquid between his thumb and forefinger. "I've been meaning to milk this Tylanian Farm Rat for some time."
"Please!" Lieutenant Reed moaned from across sickbay. "Please, don't say milk. I'm all ready going to be up all night trying to forget what I just saw."
"No need to over-react, Lieutenant," Phlox chastised in his always-cheerful tone. "The milking is a natural bodily function of this mammal. Its saliva is actually a sought after spice on half a dozen worlds."
"Someone actually puts that in their food?" Malcolm's eyes spread with dismay. "That's just wrong."
"Well, in any manner, this sample will fulfill our needs. You can check saliva off our list. What's next?"
"A chef's hat?"
Phlox nodded, placing the vial securely in their backpack.
"Seems safe enough," Malcolm added to himself.
Commander Tucker tripped out of the galley with a slight push from a crewman. T'Pol helped steady him, supporting his elbow. He quickly recovered and straightened his uniform.
"Way to treat a superior officer," Trip murmured indignantly.
"Were you successful?" T'Pol asked dispassionately.
"'Course." The commander held a white ornamental hat over his head. The Vulcan abstained further words and instead opened the bag so he could slip the item inside.
"Good morning, Commanders," Phlox's voice announced his presence.
"Good morning." and "G'mornin'" they replied in unison. Both looked to each other surprised at their own echo, while Malcolm and the doctor looked on amused.
"I wouldn't go in there if I 'ere you," Trip warned as the lieutenant headed towards the galley's door. "They got knives and ain't afraid to use 'em. Barely made it out of their with all my bits n' pieces."
"I don't know 'bout your bits and pieces, Commander, but I know that there is a chief's hat on this list and the sooner we finish this bloody thing, the sooner I get to return to my quarters and forget about this whole bloody mess."
"Hey, guys!" Hoshi greeted, turning the corner with Mayweather in tow.
"How are you coming along with your lists?" Ensign Mayweather inquired curiously. "We only have nine left."
Sato elbowed him immediately and whispered, "Don't tell them that!"
"You just . . . don't," the ensign explained.
"I think you're taking this a little seriously, Ensign," Sub-Commander T'Pol berated from Trip's side. Her partner nodded his head in agreement.
"You only have nine left?" Malcolm exclaimed from the galley door.
"Yeah," Hoshi affirmed, folding her arms over her chest. "What about you guys?"
"Fine. Just fine." Lieutenant Reed swallowed and moved his eyes around the room, never resting on something for too long. "Haven't had a problem yet."
"Well, that's not entirely truthful, Lieutenant," Doctor Phlox chimed in from the man's side. "We are having some difficulty finding a few items."
"Doctor!" Malcolm chided under his breath. Phlox turned to him questioningly.
"And you?" Travis focused his attention on T'Pol and Trip. The sub-commander was first to respond.
"We are proceeding efficiently." Tucker looked to her slightly surprised but swiftly recovered.
"Yeah, no problem." The commander backed up his partner. There were a few moments of silence as everyone nodded their heads or stood waiting for someone to break the uneasy air.
"Well, you know, it's no big deal if you don't win," Hoshi spoke up.
"Are you saying we're not going to win?" Malcolm's defenses immediately went on full alert.
"That's not what she was sayin'," Mayweather defended.
"That's what it sounded like ta me!" Trip placed his hands on his hips.
"If anyone's going to win this thing, it's going to be us. I am the armory officer after all!"
"Please!" Hoshi interjected in the lieutenant's statement.
"Your status upon the Enterprise has little to no bearing on this activity. If anything, an orderly and logically mind is the one that will finish this assignment in the best time," T'Pol broke in. Malcolm laughed out loud at her statement.
"Strange Sub-Commander, I never took you for an ambitious Vulcan," Lieutenant Reed stated in a mocking manner.
"I am not," T'Pol explained, knowing his remark for what it was. "I am merely stating the truth of the situation."
"'Course." Mayweather laughed to himself.
"If anyone's going to win this, it's going to be us," Hoshi informed her unconvinced crewmates. "You'll see."
"If you're all gonna make this pers'nal," Trip began, "then I guess, T'Pol and I are just gonna have to put ya'll back in your places."
"Oh really, Commander?" Ensign Sato walked up to the taller superior, to the point their chests almost touched.
"Yeah," the commander fired back.
"If that's what you want, then it's war!" Malcolm exclaimed, coming up to the two.
"Everything's war with you!" Hoshi rebuffed, before storming off with her partner struggling to keep up.
"That's why I'm going to win!" Lieutenant Reed called after her. "Come on, Doc."
"This is getting interesting," Dr. Phlox commented as he followed his partner down the hall.
"Hello, Crewman Gomez!" Lieutenant Reed greeted with his most charming smile.
"Uh, good morning, lieutenant . . . Doctor. Is there something I can do for you?" the petite brunette woman greeted, squinting at the brightness of the corridor.
"Actually there is. May we come in? I hope we didn't wake you." Malcolm and the doctor took a step inside, as the crewman moved back to let them pass and turned on the lights.
"Uh, sure. Come in. I was just . . .sleeping," she murmured to herself dreamily.
"Sorry 'bout that," the lieutenant apologized while Doctor Phlox looked around her quarters.
"I've never been in your quarters, Crewman," the doctor commented.
"Spartan," he stated with a large smile.
"Kinda got 'em that way," she explained, confused.
"Well, we are here for a reason." Lieutenant Reed pulled out their list. "We're going to need lipstick, lavender lotion, a hair barrette . . . you wouldn't happen to have a spiked collar, would you?"
Crewman Gomez stood there in her night clothes speechlessly. "Uh . . ."
Hoshi swiftly entered the Enterprise's gym, which was filled with off duty officers. Her partner ran up behind her, out of breath.
"This'll do." She sighed before putting two fingers between her lips.
The room fell quiet with the ensign's whistle.
"This is official Enterprise business!" she announced to the room. Hoshi reached into the backpack that was thrown over Mayweather's shoulder and after quite a bit of digging came out with an object in both hands.
"Can any brunettes donate some hair? It's for a good cause." She held up a pair of scissors, then the camera. "Anyone have a tattoo they don't mind sharin'?"
She waited a moment before throwing her hands in the air. "Ah, come on!"
Trip dropped the book heavily on T'Pol's lap as she sat delicately on the edge of his bunk. She lifted the item as he threw socks and uniforms around his quarters looking for anything that could fit the list.
"The Barbecue Bible?" T'Pol read the title aloud. He nodded his head and fell to his knees searching the littered floor.
"Yeah, essential cookbook . . . Barbecue Ribs, Shish kabob, Shrimp 'n the Barbie, Sirloin. Mmm . . ." Trip crawled across the floor towards her. "You pro'lly wouldn't like it much. Meat 'n all."
The Vulcan wrinkled her nose as she dropped the heavy book into their half- filled satchel. She was slightly startled as she felt a hand touch her ankle. T'Pol looked down to see the commander peering through her legs to the area underneath his bunk. She crossed her legs out of the commander's way, simultaneously ridding herself of his grip.
"Uh, thanks." Trip slightly blushed as the sub-commander raised a delicate eyebrow down at him. "There it is!"
He reached under the bed and came out with a piece of crumpled paper. The man jumped off the ground with enthusiasm, startling the Vulcan woman, though she would never allow others the satisfaction in that knowledge nor her dishonor. Commander Tucker crossed the room, tripping on a stray shoe along the way. With a slight curse under his breath, he sat at his desk and opened a drawer.
"What are you doing?" the sub-commander interrogated as she stepped over and between the obstacles on the floor to stand at her partner's side. He scavenged around the drawer a moment longer before coming out with a pen and a small glass container.
"Uh . . .we need a drawin' of a bunny, right?"
"Rabbit, yes," T'Pol corrected, placing her hands behind her back and peering over the commander's shoulder. He placed the glass container on the desk next to the sub-commander.
"Yeah, that's what I said." Trip placed the ball of the pen to the paper and began to draw a line. "Put that on."
"What is it?" the Vulcan asked, slowly opening the container. She took a short sniff of the contents, swiftly regretting it.
"Nail polish. It's purple. Perfect huh?" Commander Tucker muttered as he quickly finished his drawing.
"I do not know how to . . ." T'Pol began before being interrupted by Trip, who swiped the polish from her hands.
"I'll do it. How ya want it?" The commander opened the container and wiped the excess polish off before looking up to T'Pol questioningly.
"Commander," she began, "however you like it."
Trip's eyebrows shot up to his hairline at her words.
"You humans that is," T'Pol clarified, sending a chastising glare to the commander from narrowed eyes.
"Body lotion - lavender."
"I have a candle," Crewman Gomez informed the doctor and the pacing lieutenant.
"Only one?" Reed asked, disappointed.
"You want it?" The petite woman held the candle nonchalantly while placing her other hand on her hip.
"Better than none." Doctor Phlox opened the bag so that she was able to toss the blue tinted candle inside.
"Don't you have red lipstick? Every woman should have lipstick." The lieutenant strode over to her bathroom door, intent upon searching himself. The young crewman threw an arm out in front of him with a look daring him to take a step further.
"I have lip gloss, but you said 'No.'" The woman paused as his words sunk in. "'Every woman should have lipstick?'"
Lieutenant Reed took a step back as the woman placed both her hands on her hips and burrowed her dark brow, somehow making the man feel as if he were being looked down upon by the small woman. "Lieutenant, I got off duty not an hour ago after pulling a double shift. I'm so tired I skipped breakfast and threw myself into bed. But do I get to sleep? No, sir!"
Doctor Phlox zipped up their bag as quietly as he could and began to make his way over to the door. He'd learned from years of marriage that the best course of action when faced with an angry and tired woman was retreat. He was certain that this was a universal truth and by the look of annoyance and anger on the human woman's face he was right.
"You come into my quarters, asking for my personal belongings. Say they aren't good enough and then you say something as sexist as "Every woman should have lipstick?'" By this time, Crewman Gomez had corralled the lieutenant to the wall beside the exit. "You're lucky you caught me too tired to tell you off for your chauvinistic statement!"
"Sir!" She added somehow with more disgust than respect. "Now if that is all I can do for you, Lieutenant Reed, could I please retire to my bed? Unless you'd like to insult my womanhood again?"
"No, ma'am," Reed stammered as he moved towards the door. She reached over the doctor's shoulder and pressed the white button. The door opened with a swish and Phlox was out without any further adieu. The lieutenant was quick to follow but turned around as soon as he stepped outside the door.
"Would you mind giving us a lock of your hair?" Malcolm asked. The crewman raised an eyebrow as she reached over and pressed another button.
"Good bye, sir."
"All that testosterone and not one tattoo!" Hoshi grumbled as she followed Mayweather out of the ship's gym.
"How long do we have left?" Travis asked, concern evident in his voice.
"About forty minutes or so," Ensign Sato informed him. "And we still need: A leash, a tattoo picture, a wedding ring, a flute, a vial of saliva, a chef's hat, and . . . some alien fruit."
"Well there's gotta be some people at the mess hall and we have to go there anyways. So how 'bout it?"
Hoshi turned to Mayweather and smiled. "Good idea."
Thank you for reading. I would dearly appreciate it if you'd take a moment to make my day and leave me a note telling me what you thought of my story.
Please continue on to Part Two . . .