Title: Ice
Contact: kelhapam@metrocast.net
Series: ENT
Rating: G
Code: R/H
Part: 1/2 NEW
Date: February 03, 2002

Summary: Hoshi is more intent upon finding out more about
Malcolm, and someone on board is determined to make things
difficult for Malcolm and Hoshi. Sequel to "Rain."

Disclaimer: Paramount owns all the characters, etc., I am just
using the characters for a little fun and relaxation.

Note of Appreciation. Special thanks to my beta readers: P.J.
Sutherland, Tracy S., and Ronda Sexton.

Posting: Please notify me before you do.

Ice

02/03/02


Hoshi fixed a cup of tea, curled up on her sofa and took out her
dataPADD.



With a sigh, Hoshi turned the dataPADD off. If she did call
Madeline Reed, she'd try and use the communications console next
to the maintenance port as it was the most remote, and thus the
most confidential. Tomorrow after her shift would be a good
time, Madeline should be home from work by then.

* * * * * *

Sitting at her post the next morning, Hoshi stole a glance
towards Malcolm's station. As usual he was intent on his task,
never sparing a glance across the bridge unless he had to
interact with a member of the crew to get his job done. Hoshi
had never seen anyone so dedicated to his job. Even the Captain
took time to crack a joke and chat casually with the crew. It
wasn't right, Hoshi decided suddenly. Malcolm should be so
serious all of the time. If what her initial conversation with
his sister had revealed was true, he did have a sense of humor.
If only she could find it.

Hoshi looked back over toward Malcolm again and was surprised to
find him looking back at her. She smiled. Quickly he averted
his gaze and she could see his cheeks begin to blush. Who would
expect an armory officer to be shy around women? Certainly not
herself.

"Captain, the sensors have picked up some type of spacecraft off
our port bow."

Archer nodded. "T'Pol?"

The Vulcan scanned her computer screen before replying. "Sensors
are not detecting any atmosphere inside the craft." T'Pol turned
to analyze her bioscanner.

"Malcolm?"

"I show no signs of any energy source," at least nothing still
active."

"And I find no evidence of any life on board, Captain." T'Pol
added pivoting away from her console to face the Captain once
again.

"Is it safe to bring the ship on board for examination?" Archer
asked.

T'Pol examined her readouts again before replying. "Yes. We can
wear EV suits to conduct the examination until the doctor is able
to determine it is safe."

Archer nodded. "Very good, once the ship is safely aboard, Lt.
Reed and Subcommander T'Pol you'll investigate. Oh your way down
to the shuttlebay, swing by Engineering and have Commander Tucker
join you."

* * * * * * * *

Tentatively, with Reed in the lead, the trio clad in their EV
suits, opened the ship's hatch and ventured inside. Their
flashlights cast an eerie glow around the interior of the tiny
vessel.

"Doesn't seem to be anyone in here," Trip noted. "Doubt if the
ship's seen any life in here for a while." He ran a gloved
finger along one of the seats creating a furrow in the powdery
substance. "Will ya look at the dust in here! My Aunt Louise
would turn over in her grave to see all this mess!"

"Fortunately, Commander, your Aunt Louise is not on Enterprise,"
T'Pol replied dourly.

Reed ignored the pair and continued his inspection of the ship.
He noted that it looked a lot like one of their shuttlepods.
There was room for four occupants, though from the size of the
seats located at each station, the occupants must have been no
more than a meter tall. It reminded the Brit of the scale of the
desks back in his comprehensive school days. On the console of
the ship, he noted what appeared to be handwritten scratchings.
They were written on a cloth-like scroll which was attached just
below the surface of the console. Two toggle-type switches
appeared to control the movement of the surface of the cloth.

"Lieutenant," T'Pol called out from the rear of the ship, "there
is something here you should see."

Malcolm lifted his head and, noting her location, moved to join
her. Trip followed.

"If I am not mistaken..."

Reed doubted if she was ever mistaken, at least not that she'd
admit it to herself.

"...this is their armory."

Malcolm looked around. "Hhhmph! Doesn't look like much of one,"
he said. "Then again, nothing in here looks very impressive."

"Not every culture uses size as a criteria for judging an item's
value," T'Pol noted.

"True. Some of us judge it by how well it goes boom," Reed
remarked.

Trip looked at T'Pol quite seriously. "And sometimes size
matters a great deal. Trust me."

T'Pol sighed and turned away to scan the ship's walls. She'd
never understand humans.

The two men looked at each other and grinned knowingly. It did
their heart good to take a jab at the Vulcan and leave her
perplexed.

"I think I'm going to bring back some portable lights so we can
see better," Trip remarked ignoring T'Pol. "Shouldn't take more
than a minute or so."

"Okay, Commander." Stepping closer, Reed noted what appeared to
be torpedo bays. On the wall hung some of the torpedoes
themselves. Scanning them, Malcolm noted he couldn't obtain any
reading beneath their surface. Visually examining their surface
he noted what appeared to be writing. It looked similar to what
he had seen on the scrolls in the main cabin.

"Subcommander," Reed called out. "I think we should get Ensign
Sato down here to look at this."

"What did you find, Lieutenant?" T'Pol asked. She returned to
the armory to join him.

"I'm unable to scan through to the interior of these torpedoes.
But there is some type of writing on their surface. If she can
decipher their meaning, it might help me to examine them."

"I fail to see how examining them would benefit this ship or its
crew. We can simply jettison these munitions, and explode them a
safe distance from Enterprise using our phasers."

Reed paused and drew a deep calming breath. He knew from past
experience, the best way to approach the Vulcan was with his
emotions controlled. "I feel the best way to be prepared for
what we might find out here, is to examine everything. Perhaps
this is some type of weapon we've never seen before. Or perhaps
the writings will reveal other information which will benefit the
safety of Enterprise."

T'Pol considered his words and nodded. "Very well."



Hesitantly, Hoshi entered the small ship. Before her arrival
Phlox had determined the ship was now safe to enter without an
environmental suit. Hoshi was grateful for that, as the suits
were cumbersome.

Not finding anyone in the main cabin, she proceeded to the rear
of the ship. There she found Malcolm laying on his back intently
examining the underside of one of the torpedoes. One of the
members of the armory crew knelt beside him. She stood quietly
waiting for them to finish their work.

"Did you see how I did this, Crewman Wyse?" Reed asked.

"That's just how *I* did it, Sir," Edward Wyse remarked.

"You have to carefully and securely attach the straps to each of
the torpedoes. The last thing we need is for one of them to be
dislodged. There's no telling what damage might be caused. Next
time, double check your work and make sure all the straps are
snug in place."

"Yes, Sir."

Malcolm nodded. "Now you can go back to the Armory and finish
your assignment there."

"Yes, Sir." The words were spoken with an edge to them. Wyse
exited the armory and moving past Hoshi flashed her a smile. He
was very easy to look at she determined. He was tall and had
dark wavy hair. She smiled back at him in turn.

Turning back toward the Lieutenant, she waited for him to notice
her presence. After several minutes past, she spoke up.

"You said you needed my help, Lt. Reed?"

No response.

Hoshi cleared her throat.

Malcolm's attention was diverted from his task. "Oh, Ensign, I-I
didn't see y-you." Rising up to his elbow, Malcolm's skull made
hard contact with the torpedo casing. "Bloody hell!" he
exclaimed rubbing his head.

"Are you okay?" Hoshi knelt down beside him and instinctively
brought her hand up to rest on his shoulder.

He quickly scrambled to his feet, brushing off her assistance.
"I-I'm fine." Reed looked at her blankly for a long moment, his
tongue tied.

"You said you wanted me to come down. That you had something to
show me?" Hoshi prodded.

"Oh-oh, yes." He turned back towards the torpedoes. "I was
hoping you'd be able to figure out what these markings meant."
He pointed to an engraved area on the weapon.

Hoshi moved closer and ran her slender fingers over the area.
She examined each of the torpedoes before she finally stepped
back. "I'm afraid there isn't much here to go on, Mal--
Lieutenant. Unless there is something on the ship with more
writing on it..."

"Oh, there is," he exclaimed. "In the main cabin." Leading her
to one of the consoles, he pointed out the scroll and the text
contained upon it. "Does this help?"

Hoshi smiled. She loved a puzzle and this one certainly seemed
to have the makings for it.

She nodded. "I think it might, Lieutenant. Is there anyway to
remove the scroll so I can examine it in my quarters?"

"I think so, I'll see to it myself. I'll have it brought to your
quarters later."

Hoshi placed a hand on his upper arm. "You do know I don't bite,
don't you, Malcolm?

Reed swallowed hard. "Of-of course, Ensign."

With a soft smile, Hoshi left the ship. Figuring it would take
Malcolm a while to remove the scroll, she decided to take the
opportunity to contact his sister.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hoshi sat down in front of the monitor. It was 1730 hours and
most of the crew were in the Mess Hall for their evening meal.
She queued up Madeline Reed's access number and placed the call.
She'd almost given up, when finally the connection was complete.

:::"Ah, Ensign Sato, I didn't expect to be speaking with you
again so soon.":::

Just like the last time she spoke with Malcolm's sister, Hoshi
felt at ease with the woman. It was hard to believe she was
Malcolm's sister, for Madeline appeared to be very open and
friendly. There was no hint of the emotional distance her
brother favored.

"I'm so sorry to bother you," Hoshi began. She noted the woman's
disheveled appearance and what appeared to be soil upon the front
of her shirt.

:::"Believe me it is a welcome respite. I apologize for my
appearance, but if I don't get the tomato plants in the ground,
we'll never have fresh tomatoes before the end of summer.":::

"You still grow your own vegetables?" Hoshi asked.

:::"Well I at least like to put in a few tomato plants, if I do
nothing else. There's nothing like the taste of a garden grown
tomato. But I don't think that's why you called me, is it? Is
it Malcolm? Is my brother all right?":::

Hoshi smiled. "No, that isn't why I called. And yes, Malcolm is
fine."

:::"But?":::

"Well, I guess to be blunt, Malcolm has me puzzled."

:::"You wouldn't be the first. Like I told you last time, my
brother is a difficult person to get to know.":::

"I'm finding that out even more since our past conversation.
Since we last spoke, I've been trying to get to know him better.
I've tried talking to him, but he always seems to abruptly
terminate the conversation."

Madeline nodded. :::"It sure sounds like Malcolm. Have you ever
heard the saying 'still waters run deep'?":::

Hoshi nodded.

:::"I think whomever came up with that saying must have had
Malcolm in mind."::: Madeline twisted the gardening gloves she
had clutched in her hands. She appeared to be in deep thought
considering what she would say next. After several moments of
silence, she looked up at the communications officer. "There is
one thing I can tell you, Hoshi, if you can ever establish a
dialog with my brother, you won't regret it. When he makes
friends, it's for life. There is only one problem. After you
cross that threshold--going from acquaintance to friend, or to
even something more binding--if that link is ever severed, he
falls hard. I've seen it happen once before a few years ago and
I pray I never see it happen again.":::

This was information Hoshi had hoped to uncover. An insight on
what made Malcolm tick. "Did that happen while he was in
Starfleet?" she queried.

:::"Yes. I don't know the particulars. To be honest, even if I
did, I wouldn't feel it was appropriate to share the information
with you without his permission.":::

"I can certainly understand, Ms. Reed."

:::"Please, Hoshi, call me Madeline."::: Her smile was warm and
genuine.

"Of course, Madeline." A chime sounded indicating she had only a
short time left to complete the call. "I only have a few more
minutes left. I want to thank you for helping me."

:::"Anytime, dear. It is good to know someone on the ship cares
about Malcolm. Are you the morale officer as well as the
communications officer?" Madeline asked.

Hoshi blushed. "Well, not officially."

:::"Well I have a feeling you'd be very good at that job.":::

The younger woman grinned shyly. "Thank you. Um...Madeline?"

"Yes?"

"I think you should plant some pineapples."

"Pineapples?"

"Trust me."

* * * * * *

Malcolm Reed stood outside of Ensign Sato's cabin for several
minutes before he finally pressed a button to announce his
presence. When he heard Hoshi beckon for him to enter, he almost
jumped out of his skin. he admonished himself.

"Lt. Reed, is that you?" she called out.

Pushing a button to open her door, Malcolm bravely entered her
cabin. What he saw stopped the armory officer in his tracks.
Hoshi stood in the center of her quarters. She was wearing
something very soft and feminine and she had unpinned her hair.
The raven tresses fell silkily down past her shoulders
complimenting the red color of her blouse.

"I h-have your scrolls," he remarked. He held out his hands
holding the four scrolls toward her.

Hoshi's eyes widened. "Scrolls?" she questioned emphasizing the
plural. "You didn't tell me you had four of them!" Giddily she
approached the Lieutenant.

Clumsily Malcolm passed them to her, but not before one landed on
the deck. Embarrassed, he bent over to retrieve the dropped
scroll. Hoshi knelt at the same time, which caused their heads
to bump together.

Rising to her feet, she massaging her head. "I'm so sorry,
Malcolm."

Malcolm rubbed his own head for the second time that day. "It's
all right, Hoshi. It's my fault. If I hadn't dropped them..."

"No, no, you see if I hadn't been so eager to see them," she
countered.

"You-you aren't upset there are four? Isn't that more work for
you?" He passed the fourth scroll to her.

"One is great, but four is better--much better. I like solving
puzzles. The more the better."

Reed smile slightly, nodded, and turned to exit the cabin.

"You don't have to leave right away."

"I have some work to do back in the armory," he explained, not
looking back at her.

"It's almost 2100 hours, Malcolm. Even the captain rests."

Looking over his shoulder he replied, "And I'll rest too after I
have secured the Armory for the evening. Thank you for your
concern, Ensign. Please let me know if you're able to find out
anything."

"I will. Good night, Lieutenant."

* * * * * *

Hoshi eased in the seat beside Ensign Jack Shafer. She'd stayed
up most the night perusing the scrolls and in the end only came
up with a headache, but she was determined not to give up. Right
now though, her body cried out for companionship and nourishment.

A few weeks ago she had asked Jack about Lt. Reed's favorite
food. Even though Ensign Shafer had worked with Malcolm at his
last assignment, he didn't have any clue as to what Malcolm liked
to eat. That didn't mean, however, Jack didn't know about other
things regarding the enigmatic lieutenant, and this provided a
good opportunity to question him.

Jack, his mouth full of Chef's latest creation, smiled at the
communications officer.

"Do you mind if I sit here? Or were you saving it for someone?"

Ensign Shafer swallowed. "Of course not. Have a seat, Hoshi."

"Thanks." Hoshi removed the items from her tray and put them on
the table. Unfolding her napkin she placed it on her lap.

"I'm sorry I couldn't be more help to you a few weeks ago," Jack
said. Picking up his cup, he sipped carefully at his steaming
cup of coffee.

Forking some broccoli into her mouth, Hoshi, chewed and
swallowed. "That's okay, I did find out the answer to my
question. I'm sorry I haven't had the time until now to thank
you for helping me."

"Like I said, I really didn't do anything. I didn't know a thing
about what Lt. Reed likes to eat."

"I know, but I still appreciated your help."

Jack nodded. "Malcolm is not a very easy person to get to know,
and I even worked with him for three years."

"You must have learned something about him during the three
years," Hoshi probed.

Jack blew across the surface of the coffee and contemplated the
question. "Well, he's a hard task master -- but fair. When he's
tired sometimes his temper will snap, but he cools downs quickly.
Malcolm works as hard or harder than anyone else on his team, but
I don't have to tell you that." He smiled and shook his head.
"Always has his head in his dataPADD calculating something which
will go boom. He's all business." Pausing, Jack smiled sadly
and stabbed a piece of chicken. "Of course there was Diane."

Hoshi tried to appear nonchalant. "Diane?"

"Crewman Diane Lawton to be precise. Blonde, petite, and a
figure that..." Jack curbed his tongue and blushed. "Sorry,
Hoshi."

She grinned at his faux pax. "So I take it she was easy on the
eyes?"

He nodded. "That's one way to put it, as long as you didn't look
too deep."

"What do you mean?"

Jack placed his cup back down on the table and looked right at
Hoshi. He was very serious. "Malcolm should have looked beneath
the surface, but Diane had him blinded. Everyone else could see
it except him."

"I take it she hurt him?"

Jack's good mood from before had completely vanished. "He wasn't
the same after."

"What do you mean?"

"To be perfectly blunt, the bitch was using him. Thought dating
a lieutenant would help advance her career. When she was passed
over for a promotion, she dumped him. And when the brass found
out he was seeing someone in his department of a lower rank, they
froze his advancement. He's still working to get the next
promotion."

The object of their discussion chose that moment to enter the
mess hall. Picking up a tray of food, he sat himself at a lone
table, his back to Hoshi and Jack. Malcolm proceeded to eat his
meal while he studied a dataPADD. The communications officer
recalled a similar meal a few weeks ago with the enigmatic
lieutenant.

"Still waters run deep," Hoshi whispered recalling Madeline's
words.

Jack nodded. "In Malcolm's case I think the water's all but
froze. Oh, he never was as outgoing as say, Commander Tucker,
but he wasn't as reserved as he is today."

"That's a shame," Hoshi concluded, focused on the armory officer.

"A crying shame." Jack concurred. "Wish I could stay and talk,
but I'm due on the bridge in five minutes."

"No problem, Jack. Thanks for the conversation."

With a nod, Jack Shafer left the mess hall.

Across the dining hall, another pair watched Hoshi.

"I'm gonna do it. I'm going to ask her out."

"Well, I wish you luck, Eddie, but I thought you didn't like the
Captain's pet. If I remember right, that's what you called her
when she came on board."

"My friend, that's not the point now it is?"

"And what is the point?" Crewman Ron Jeffords asked, puzzled at
his friend's question.

"The point is, is that he wants her," he motioned with his fork
towards Lt. Reed. "I've seen the way he looks at her when she
thinks he isn't looking. I've heard the way he stutters when
he's around her--it's so pathetic. And I'm determined not to let
that British bastard have her."

"Even though you don't like her?"

"Right."

"Wait a minute. Does this have something to do with the
other..."

"It has everything to do with it," Eddie snapped. His eyes
previously a lit with devious joy, quickly had hardened. They
looked as cold as ice. "No one makes an ass out of Eddie Wyse
and gets away with it."

"Just be careful."

"*You* be careful, Ron, and keep your mouth shut, or I'll let
Archer know you snuck booze on board the ship."

Leaving behind his friend, Eddie moved to sit beside Hoshi. His
plan was about to begin.

* * * * * *

With sweat still glistening on his pectorals, Malcolm Reed,
draped a towel around his neck, picked up his dataPADD and began
recording.

ter herself, and
Wyse won't hurt her. Because damn it, if he does, he'll be
answering to me--me and a torpedo with his name on it.

End log.


The End? Naw...

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