That's how Trip and Lela had found her. Trip had used every trick he knew to convince the attractive alien woman to guide him to Reed. Now that he was there he almost wished he hadn't. For a moment he felt himself grow soft towards the girl and saw her as he did before. Before he knew who she really was. Clearing his throat he caught her suprised attention.
" Commander," she said leaping up, " You shouldn't be here!"
" I'm here to see Malcom, " he replied cooly with a slight pain of guilt.
Vicena paused. Sighing she replied, " Since your already here," softly she motioned him to another chair.
Painfully he limped over. He wasn't about to abandon Malcolm to a bunch of aliens he knew nothing about. Not for all the discomfort in the world. As he came closer he suddenly saw why the girl had been crying. The sight that he met would have broken down anyone.
" What did you do to him?" he demanded angrily turning on Vicena.
Softly she replied, " It is a result of the radiation. Somehow there was a leak on your shuttle and..."
" So it's the ship's fault Malcolm's like this, " interrupted Trip.
" No," said Vicena, " Technically your ship was in a condition to meet the quantum wave. It is made of similar compounds as our vessels and therefore should have been able to take it. Probably there was a miscalculated ration of molecules which allowed for the radiation to enter at a certain point.
" But what your saying is that its the ship's fault," said Trip heatedly.
" No, it is my fault. I miscalculated the factors of the new energy configurations to the enviroment in which it was in. But I've looked over my calculations and I believe that the new balance of power throughout Enterprise may have interacted wiht a subspace pocket, causing a chain reaction that produced the quantum wave."
" So instead of it being the shuttle's fault it was Enterprise's," said Trip mockingly.
" NO," said Vicena losing her cool, " It is my fault. I accept it. But that is not the important issue right now. The important issue is trying to find Enterprise."
That caught Trip off-guard. Cautiously he replied, " Why do you wan to contact Enterprise?"
" Because only they will have the resources to figure out a cure for the Liutenant's comatose state," replied Vicena.
" Now your worried about him," argued Trip defiantly.
" Of course," said Vicena, " Despite how much you don't like it I still want to help you. You two were the kindest humans I've known and I never meant to harm you."
" Then why were you spying on us?" demanded Trip.
" The same reason you 'spy' on pre-warp cultures," shot Vicena bitterly. This really caught Trip by suprise.
Taking control of the pause Vicena continued, " It's different when the shoes on the other foot. Isn't it, Commander," she said, " I never meant any harm. My race discovered yours a few years ago. They decided to send someone in who would work well with humans. I was elected, much through the help of Dax," she added indicating to her friend who had stood in the back watching cautiously, " That is the only reason why I was on Earth. I wasn't there to infiltrate, merely to learn. Though I admit to breaking code by drawing the attention of your world's scientist. The opportunity was just to tempting."
" Why didn't you say anything before?" said Trip.
Shrugging Vicena replied, " I didn't know how you would respond. The contacts we have made with other cultures haven't ended well. Hence why we are a very closed in society."
Trip looked at her. He tried to tell if she was lying or not but couldn't. Instict told him not to trust her, but something else tugged at him. She was rather young to be an army infiltrator. Maybe she was telling him the truth. He couldn't tell. He decided to play the safe approach, considering the circumstances he and Malcolm were in.
" How are we suppose to contact Enterprise?" he questioned changing the topic.
Vicena looked him boldly in the eye. With a much louder voice she replied, " It may be possible to send a beacon out and bring Enterprise to us."
" A beacon?" said Trip.
" Yes," replied Vicena, " I feel its the only option we have."
"And just how long will it take for this beacon to reach Enterprise?" he voiced.
" I don't know."
Trip looked down at Reed. The other man's face stared at the ceiling, empty of any sort of recognition.
" What happens to him if Enterprise doesn't recieve the signal?" he asked afraid of the answer.
" I don't know," replied Vicena, " But we will do all we can for him until they do come."
Trip looked back at the girl's face. He could see no deception in her eyes. Sighing he knew the only thing he could do was trust her. No matter how much he didn't like it.
Finally he said, " It's a plan."