TITLE: The Kamea Chronicles, part 4: Secrets and Lies
AUTHOR: Sugah Sugah
SUMMARY: A routine reconnaissance mission goes horribly wrong when Malcolm and Kamea are captured by a rogue sect of Andorians.
SPOILERS: Through "Home" (season 4, episode 3)
RATING: T – language and violence. Parental discretion is advised.
DISCLAIMER: Dude, I'm telling you, I don't own "Enterprise". I wish I did, because then I would fire B&B and that ridiculous excuse for a finale never would have made it out of the writers' room.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is the fourth in my alternate universe series, following "The One and Only", "Adjusting", and "'Ohana" (in that order). I'd suggest reading those before attempting to read this, but that's just me. Some people like to be confused. I am not one of those people.
As you will see at the beginning of this chapter, this story takes place about 6 weeks after the end of "'Ohana."
Mad props go out to the Vulcan Language Dictionary, without whom I would not be able to write anything in Vulcan.
Krei – female cousin
Rom-mu-yor – good night
Sorry it took so long for me to get this up! Several factors have contributed to the long wait, such as my new job and the loss of my grandfather, but I hope that this story is worth the wait! I have most of it written now, so the updates will be much more regular than they were for "'Ohana". I'm hoping to update at least every 3 days.
Reviews are greatly appreciated.
The Kamea Chronicles
Part Four: Secrets and Lies
Chapter One: Concerning Concern
Stardate: July 14, 2154
I feel the need to report that we've gone almost six weeks without an accident. The engines are still functioning normally, and no one on my engineering staff has needed to report to sickbay at all over the past month. All in all, it would seem as though Commander Tucker's decision to take these upgrades slowly has proven to be a good one.
On a semi-related note, I must say that I'm confused with Starfleet's decision to classify my report on our incident with the Ferengi. I feel that all of Earth's ships should be put on the alert for this species, or at least know how to handle themselves should they ever encounter them. But Admiral Forrest has informed me that the incident was so humiliating that they refuse to release it for fear that it will only serve to confirm what Vulcans have suspected all along – that we aren't ready for space travel.
Well, the Vulcans can suspect all they want, but I think we've managed to take care of ourselves out here, and I don't know what Starfleet hopes to gain by keeping this incident under wraps. Maybe they're hoping that it will all be forgotten, that no one will encounter these Ferengi ever again.
That said, I've decided to steer Enterprise toward an uncharted system about six light-years from our present location. I've heard rumors of a rare O-class planet hiding out there, and I'd love to check it out.
T'Pol prided herself on her patience. Dealing with humans, especially emotionally volatile humans like Trip and Captain Archer, required a great deal of patience. She generally did not get frustrated easily, but she was rapidly losing what little remained of her seemingly infinite patience the longer she attempted to instruct her cousin in the proper meditation techniques.
Kamea had not been exaggerating when she stated that she had never been good at meditation. She was abysmal. It was no wonder she was trudging around the ship looking as though she could barely keep her eyes open. Vulcan meditation, when properly performed, could energize a person in much the same fashion that a few hours of sleep could. It wasn't quite the same, nor would the person be as well rested, but it served its function. Of course, substituting meditation for sleep for prolonged periods of time was not recommended. Kamea, apparently, had been attempting to do so for nearly eight years.
She had come to T'Pol almost two weeks ago, asking not for the neuro-pressure T'Pol had offered, but for advice on how to meditate. She refused to say why she would not accept one or two neuro-pressure sessions, but the longer T'Pol spent with her the more she began to believe that one or two sessions would do Kamea no good. She needed at least a month and half of sleep if she was ever going to recharge in the way her body so desperately needed to.
However, T'Pol had offered her assistance, so she agreed to tutor Kamea. It was a decision she had started to regret from the minute Kamea had entered her quarters.
T'Pol watched as Kamea tried again. She had managed to obtain the correct posture after several failed attempts, but now her breathing was incorrect. T'Pol shook her head. "You are not breathing properly," she said. "Allow me to demonstrate." She took a slow, deep breath through her nose and exhaled it just as slowly through her mouth. Then she gestured that Kamea should repeat the exercise.
Kamea's blue eyes were glassy with fatigue and frustration. "I know how to breathe."
Normally, such a response would have elicited a raised eyebrow. But Kamea's nerves had been shot for quite some time, and T'Pol knew that the uncharacteristic bite in her voice was a result of her lack of sleep. "Then do it correctly."
Kamea groaned and allowed her body to slide out of the meditation posture. "God, I can recalibrate a plasma cannon and I can't breathe right. This is not normal."
T'Pol bit her lip to prevent herself from stating the obvious, that Kamea herself was not normal. As the only Vulcan/human hybrid in the galaxy, much about the girl was abnormal. She chose, however, not to comment. "It simply takes patience, a trait which you obviously do not possess."
Kamea narrowed her eyes, but only slightly. She did not seem to have the energy to glare properly. She sighed and shook her head. "Look, I know you're doing everything you can, and I really appreciate you taking the time to help me, but I don't think this is working." She paused, bringing her hand to her forehead as though she were in pain. "Maybe I should just talk to Phlox about sedatives."
T'Pol pursed her lips. "If I may offer a suggestion…"
Kamea shook her head firmly. "No. No neuro-pressure."
She never mentioned why, and it was not in T'Pol's nature to pry, but she knew that it was the best option. "It worked for Commander Tucker…"
The girl snorted. "Trip wasn't having the kind of problems sleeping that I am."
T'Pol crossed her arms. Vulcans rarely made assumptions – they made logical deductions, based on given information – but humans had a knack for jumping to conclusions, and Kamea was no exception. "Forgive me, Kamea, but you were not on Enterprise while the commander was having trouble sleeping. How can you be so certain that your insomnia differs from his?"
Kamea lolled her head to the side, staring at a spot just to the left of T'Pol. "These aren't just dreams, T'Pol," Kamea said. "It's like I relive it. I can taste the sea air. I can smell the rain. I can feel my father's…" She trailed off with a choked sob and hugged her knees to her chest, rocking slowly back and forth.
T'Pol sat in stunned silence. Kamea so rarely opened up about her insomnia that T'Pol felt privileged to be the one to whom she was confiding. "Perhaps it would help if you were to…talk about it."
Kamea cocked an eyebrow. "With you?"
T'Pol stiffened. That hadn't been what she had in mind. Vulcans by nature were a very private people. T'Pol had learned to be slightly more open in the presence of the other crewmembers, who considered her lack of sharing to be slightly snobbish, but she was still not the type of person to break down and reveal all of her innermost secrets. She was not even prepared to do so with Trip, and he was the one person to whom she felt closest out of all the other beings in the galaxy. But Kamea had sounded so hopeful that she felt she ought to try. It couldn't hurt to at least listen to the girl.
"If you feel comfortable talking to me, I would be willing to listen," T'Pol said.
For several moments, T'Pol believed that Kamea was on the verge of opening up, but then the girl retreated back into the solitude of her own mind and shook her head slowly. "That's all right, krei," she said. "I wouldn't want to burden you with my problems. It's something I should learn to deal with myself, anyway."
Taken aback by Kamea's use of the familial address, T'Pol folded her hands in her lap. "It has been nearly eight years, Kamea, and you are still unable to sleep. It seems to me as though you are incapable of 'dealing with it' on your own." She straightened. "If you do not feel comfortable speaking with me, perhaps you would consider Doctor Phlox? He is an excellent listener."
But Kamea was already getting to her feet. "Nah, it's cool. He's busy. I don't want to bother him."
T'Pol also stood. "I'm sure he would be most interested to hear – "
Kamea turned sharply, and there was a hardness in her eyes to which T'Pol was not accustomed to seeing on her. "I said I'm fine."
T'Pol staggered from the edge in her cousin's voice. She found herself feeling hurt by the bitterness in her tone. She fought to keep her voice flat when she said, "You asked for my assistance. I was only trying to help."
Kamea's eyes softened somewhat. "I know. And I do appreciate it. But this is just…" She trailed off, her eyes gazing upwards. After a minute, during which she seemingly had to compose herself, she said, "It's my problem, T'Pol. I'll deal with it." She had reached the door and opened it. "Thank you for your time. Rom-mu-yor, krei."
The door slid shut with a hiss.
T'Pol sat back down. She had already designated this block of time for meditation, and it would be a shame to waste it. Her session with Kamea had triggered an unusual emotional response, and she would need to get those emotions under control before she attempted to do anything about her cousin's current predicament. Even as she closed her eyes and began her breathing, T'Pol was already formulating a plan.
Kamea and Lieutenant Reed seem to get along quite well, she thought, while picturing a tranquil flame burning brightly in her mind. Perhaps he could be persuaded to speak with her.
For yet another night, sleep would elude Kamea. She was less than surprised. Her meditation session with T'Pol had not gone as she had hoped. Indeed, meditation on the whole was not progressing as she'd anticipated, but was instead having unforeseen and unpleasant consequences. Rather than suppressing the memories of her parents' deaths, meditation brought them to the surface. Now it seemed as though every time Kamea closed her eyes she was being forced to relive that awful day, until she was loath to even blink.
She knew better than to attempt to go to sleep. She wouldn't be able to, so it would be a waste of time to try. She was not permitted in engineering when Commander Tucker wasn't there – that damn rule of the captain's – and she had already read her way through the ship's library twice. So she went to the launch bay to work on her own ship, which she had been neglecting the past few weeks.
Under normal circumstances, Kamea would have had her ship space worthy in a matter of days. And considering she had some of the finest engineers in the galaxy at her disposal, it wouldn't have even taken that long. But these were not normal circumstances. For the first time in eight years, Kamea was back among humans. She didn't have to watch what she said in case it meant something not nice in a different language. She didn't have to wonder what her food consisted of. She wasn't constantly looking over her shoulder, expecting to be attacked. It was nice. Kamea hadn't realized how much she'd missed her own kind until she was back among them. And part of the reason she'd been neglecting her ship was because she didn't want to leave Enterprise. Captain Archer had extended her an invitation to stay until her ship was finished, but if she never worked on it, she couldn't finish it, and therefore couldn't leave. She would have to stay.
Normal circumstances also did not include her insomnia, which unfortunately was growing worse and beginning to take its toll. Her concentration was slipping, and there had been several occasions on which she had injured herself assisting with Trip's upgrades and had to report to sickbay. She had asked Phlox not to mention her very minor injuries to either Trip or the captain, because Trip had commented more than once that she should get some sleep before she hurt herself, and the captain simply didn't like her poking around the engines. He tried to hide it, but he was a lousy liar.
Suddenly glad for the distraction, Kamea threw herself into rebuilding her ship. It was almost finished anyway; all that was required was to tighten the screws securing the hull plating, to recalibrate the communications array, and to update the ship's log. She eventually lost track of time and didn't realize she had worked through the night until she sensed someone behind her.
It was Malcolm. She was hardly shocked to see him. T'Pol was becoming more and more meddlesome the more time they spent together, and Kamea should have assumed that – unable to get anything out of Kamea – she would have sicced Malcolm on her.
"Did you not sleep again last night?" Malcolm asked, by way of a greeting. It was becoming a ritual that he would greet her in this manner.
Kamea kept her back turned, forcing herself to concentrate on tightening the screws securing the pilot's seat to the floor – which she had actually done quite some time ago, but one could never be too careful. "T'Pol ask you to check on me?"
He was so tense that she could feel it. She didn't need to be looking at him to know that that vein on his forehead was throbbing, which it generally did when he was stressed. "She's concerned about you, is all," he said. "So am I."
She rolled her eyes. Good answer. "There's no need to worry. I'm fine."
"You're not fine, Kamea. I wish you'd stop saying that."
Was there some ship's rule about not minding your own business? Kamea was beginning to think so. Because now Trip, Malcolm, Phlox, and T'Pol were "concerned" for her welfare, and it was beginning to drive her crazy. She wished that they would all just leave her alone. She didn't want to talk about it. Ever.
"Then stop asking me," she said. She stood up and backed out of the door, taking care not to trip on the step to the deck.
Malcolm moved so quickly that she didn't have time to react, and suddenly he was in front of her, bracing his hands on either side of the door to her ship. He was a good foot taller than her, so the gesture was highly intimidating. "I'm serious."
She narrowed her eyes, fighting to keep calm. If she got angry and lost control now, she could hurt something. "So am I."
Kamea moved to the other side of her ship, searching for some menial task that she could do and not concentrate too hard on, because at the moment she wanted to be pissed off. But Malcolm followed her as she circled her pod. "This isn't healthy, Kamea. Your body needs sleep. I've been talking to Phlox and – "
She stopped abruptly, causing him to run into her, and whirled around. Her hair got stuck in her mouth, and she angrily tucked it behind her ear. "Look, Malcolm, when I want your opinion…" She trailed off, hoping that the pause was dramatic enough to make her point. "I will never want your opinion."
Malcolm glared at her, his arms crossed. "Well, excuse me for not wanting you to drop dead of exhaustion!"
Had they really degenerated this far? The last time she'd had an argument of this level of maturity had been in the third grade – and a few in college, but only while intoxicated. She snorted and became engrossed with her data transmitter. "You're excused."
He threw his arms up in what she presumed to be a gesture of defeat, and for a minute she thought he was going to leave. But then he was beside her, and his unique and incredibly intoxicating scent was filling her nostrils, and damn if it didn't take all of the little strength she had left to remained focused on her transmitter. He leaned over, until his lips almost brushed her ear. "Why won't you talk to me?" he asked, his voice soft. "Why won't you let me help you?"
She couldn't turn to look at him, because if she did, she knew that her lips would touch his and she could not let that happen. "I don't need any help," she said.
"Bollocks," he said, and he was probably the only person in the universe who could make that word sound sexy. "I'd ask if all Vulcans are this stubborn or just you, but I've known T'Pol long enough to know the answer to that question."
Kamea chose not to comment. Because at the moment, the transmitter was the most fascinating thing in the world. Even though she had already recalibrated it, and there was absolutely nothing else that she could do to it, she kept her eyes glued to it. The alternative was not an option at this point in time. She was too exhausted, too weak to resist.
Malcolm heaved an overdramatic – or at least she thought so – sigh. "Very well, if you don't want to talk, I can't force you."
She rolled her eyes and bit her tongue. And yet, it doesn't stop you from trying, does it? "I appreciate your concern," she said, stifling the urge to clench her teeth, "but I'm fine."
He mercifully took the hint and left her alone. She waited until she was certain that he was gone before she broke down. The effort of directing her focus away from Malcolm had weakened her resistance to the memories, and the moment he left they'd come back full force. Anger – vengeful, wrathful anger. Hatred – vile, unabashed hatred. Pain – extreme pain. Sorrow – overwhelming, all-consuming sorrow. Then blackness. Then nothing. She almost choked on the blackness that followed, fighting against the upsurge in her emotions that those memories triggered. Clearly, her meditation sessions with T'Pol would have to cease. She'd have to find a new way to re-energize herself every morning.
Kamea dropped the tool she'd been holding and collapsed against the hull of her ship. She took several deep, calming breaths, and when those failed she took several more. She just wanted to be able to close her eyes. Was that really too much to ask for?
After a while, she got to her feet and headed for the training room. She had the sudden urge to punch something.