The T/Ters are back full force, and I am thoroughly ticked off by Shuttlepod One. Observe the result.
The '//'s are meant to show thoughts, since doesn't seem to like my choice of italic tags.
Disclaimer: Not mine... dammit.



"Not AGAIN!" the engineer exploded at the turbolift. "I don't believe this!"

Trip dropped to his knees on the floor of the lift and pried open an access panel, grumbling. "Why
the hell won't these things just work?"

T'Pol stood above him, watching him work. "Perhaps you should think about a permanent solution,
Commander, not just your temporary "quick-fixes"."

Trip rolled his eyes and reached around a hot component to pull out a wire and attach it somewhere
else. "Yeah, yeah, I know," he muttered. "These damn things always seem to break down whenever I
need it least. Gimme a hand?"

T'Pol dropped to one knee beside the commander and pulled the cover off another panel, handing Trip
spare parts when he needed them. They worked in silence for a minute or so until T'Pol suddenly
spoke. "Do you plan to attend the movie tonight?"

Trip looked up, bemused. "What? The movie?" //Is she makin' small talk?// he wondered.

T'Pol spoke without looking at him. "Mr. Mayweather described it as being very interesting. I
thought it might be an appropriate recreational diversion, since you seem to be rather tense."

Trip stood abruptly. "And where'd ya get that impression? Yer little Vulcan mood-o-meter?" he shot
at T'Pol, suddenly irritated. //Damn,// he thought. //Every time it seems like we'll start gettin'
along, she hasta turn into the big Vulcan pain in the ass she was when she came aboard.//

Trip ran a hand through his hair and sighed. "Maybe I am a little tense." He bent down, made
the final adjustments to the circuitry and jammed the panel back on. He straightened up and raised
his hands in the air.

"I guess so. What's playin'?" he asked her, as the lift bumped into motion.

T'Pol raised an eyebrow. "Attack of the Mutant Killer Zombies," she intoned. Trip stifled a laugh.
"Sounds good," he told her, smiling. "See ya at 0800 hours, then?"

The Vulcan nodded and turned to face the doors as they opened onto the bridge.

" a colony or establishment of some sort," Captain Archer was saying. He looked up as he heard
the turbolift open. T'Pol strode to her seat and slipped into her chair, long legs folding
underneath the display monitor.

Trip stood for a second, taking in the bridge, then went to his own
station. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see T'Pol watching him. He thought about the rather
odd conversation in the turbolift. //Maybe she ain't so bad,// Trip decided. //Hell, Malcolm, ya
mighta been right.// Trip still avoided that particular topic around the armory officer - the
Shuttlepod One incident was still fresh in both their minds. Trip had to scold himself every time
he realized he was watching the Sub-Commander and recalling Malcolm's little confession. //Too bad
she's a Vulcan,// he thought wistfully. //She'd make a hell of a woman.//

Trip shook his head and took his seat. His gaze traveled over the image on the screen. "What's goin'
on?" he asked, puzzled. The orb, laid out on the viewscreen, was plunged into obscurity, which
wouldn't have been so odd had it not been facing the system's twin suns. It looked altogether
gloomy, unappealing, and frankly rather strange. The engineer's sharp eyes picked out large cloud
formations on the surface. Hurricanes, or snowstorms, perhaps. He was briefly reminded of the ninth
icy circle of Dante's Inferno. Not that the metaphor made him any more eager to be on the away team
for that mission - the planet already gave him the creeps.

Captain Archer's voice cut through his musings. "Trip, T'Pol, Malcolm - you're with me. Hold 'er
steady, Travis." Trip sighed inwardly, but didn't want to curb the captain's obvious enthusiasm for
this strange phenomenon.

Trip was tempted to look over at T'Pol, to get her reaction to the dismal sight gracing the bridge
viewscreen. //What the hell ya talkin' about, she's probably seen more'n her share of planets jest
like this,// he rebuked himself. //'Sides, she wouldn't show anythin' anyways, even if it was new to

He couldn't quell the thought, even as he left the bridge for the dark planet below them. //Too


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