TITLE: Missing Scene for Rogue Planet

AUTHOR: Loonywoif

Author's email: loonywoif@juno.com

Author's URL: http://www.writingonthewall.slashcity.net/sunsinger/

DATE: 09/19/02

PAIRINGS: Trip/Phlox Archer/Reed

TYPE: Slash



DISCLAIMER: we know it doesn't belong for me


BETA: Kim—Thanks

(Setting: Inside the Captain's Quarters, Archer is staring at Reed, who is still asleep. Porthos is sleeping on Reed's legs.)

A: (Sits on the bed and tugs on the cover.) Up. Time to get up, Malcolm.

R: (Mumbles.) No, want to sleep. Have ten more minutes.

A: Come on, Mal. Up. Up.

R: (opens one eye) Jon. I have a bazooka and I know how to use it.

A: Yes…and only two bullets. I know…I gave it to you.

R: I can make more. (Closing his eye and smiling).

A: Probably yes…but you'd miss me.

R: Says who?

(Archer laughs, sits at his computer and reads his mail.)

(Setting: Tucker and Phlox are in the mess hall, eating.)

P: I'm surprised Kee, didn't the captain ask you to go down to the surface with him?

T: Yeah. I told him I'd go next time. P: It should be interesting. Not often we come across rogue planets. They often have very exciting flora and fauna when they are inhabitable.

T: Then T'Pol should be happy. New things for her to investigate and dissect.

P: (Shakes his head slightly) True. So what will you do while they investigate the planet.

T: Well, my engines always need taking care of. They might think I'm neglecting them if I don't run a check on them soon.

P: I'm always amazed at the anthromorphism humans invest in inanimate objects.

T: They ain't inanimate. My engines are just…different.

P: Sorry. Have you named them yet?

T: Yep. (Looks at his watch) I gotta go. I'll come by Sickbay for dinner. Love you.

P: Love you too.

(Setting: At the Campsite. Archer is examining the campsite.)

Hoshi: I'm surprised Commander Tucker didn't want to come, sir. Perhaps no one wanted to tempt fate by having all three of you together.

A: Tempt fate?

H: Well, sir, recently, the crew has noticed that you, Lieutenant Reed, and Commander Tucker tend to…get shot up, kidnapped, or hurt.

A: We're not that bad.

H: (gives Archer a flat look) Of course not, sir.

(Archer looks at Hoshi before turning back to examine more of the campsite.)

(Setting: On board Enterprise. Trip is working on the engine when his chrono vibrates on his wrist. Laying down his tools, he gets up and walks to Sickbay to take Phlox to dinner. The door opens. He sees Engisn Cutler talking to Phlox.)

EC: Can you tell me about how it works?

P: Well, soon after we reach the age of 10 we are set up in triads. We are matched in our talents and temperament to complement each other. from that time on, we attend classes, formal functions, everything as a group of three. When it is time to mate, our Department of Marriage matches us up with another Triad and we marry them, and that's all.

EC: Very interesting. Umm, may I ask a personal question?

P: Of course.

EC: Everyone knows that you make our Chief Engineer very happy, but how does he fit in with your marriage?

P: Well, he is rather special. Soon after our marriage laws were instituted in our history, they realized that…it would do a great disservice to those who are truly in love, yet the laws were needed before we destroyed each other. So they allowed one-on-one marriage. Only after Triads are joined, and only after a child is produced. After that one can date, and once sure that they will not fall out of love, they can marry their J'san'kee. After that we have no other relations with other people.

EC: And once it's decided, you can't change it.

P: Well, until I introduce Charles to my wives and register our relationship with the Department of Marriage, it's not legally official. But unfortunately, we don't have a choice; I signed up for this voyage. Afterwards, I'll have time to take him to my planet. If say, one's beloved were to die, then they would not have to register it. If one's beloved were to leave them, before registering, then yes, in that case too, it would not be registered. However, once registered, it can not be changed, which is why it's so important to make sure that it is a true love match.

(Tucker clears his throat. Ensign Cutler gives him a venomous look.)

T: It's dinnertime. Gotta make sure you eat, 'Lox.

(Phlox stands up. Tucker places his hand around Phlox's waist.)

P: Well, just make sure everything is full. I'll see you after dinner.

T: Later, Crewman.

(They walk out.)

(Setting: Inside their tent. Archer and Reed are talking quietly. Archer has his arms around Reed.)

A: "The proof's in the pudding"? I can't believe you said that, Malcolm. Especially since I know what you like to do with pudding.

R: (Trying not to laugh) Sorry but the look on your face was classic.

A: You are evil.

R: (Pulls back) It's not my fault that I have more badges than you do. I'm just that good. (Kisses Archer) Tomorrow I have an early morning.

A: Go to sleep. Stop rubbing in your 27 badges. (Archer pulls Reed closer and closes his eyes.)

R: 28.

(Setting: On the planet, next to the Shuttle. Reed has pulled Archer aside)

R: Captain…I don't trust them.

A: I know and I can't even say it's your natural mistrust of everything. There's something about them, something that doesn't ring true.

R: I think they really split up so that Shiraht and Burzaan could Follow what they really came here to hunt. And I think it might have something to do with your…mysterious woman.

A: Hmm maybe. Probably. You two hurry up and get Burzaan to Phlox. I Want *you* back here soon as possible.

R: (Reed looks at Archer and smiles) Yes, Captain.

(Reed gets aboard the shuttle quickly.)

(Setting: On the shuttle, heading to Enterprise. After dropping Burzaan at the Eska camp.)

T: Well sir, 'Lox says the cells he pulled from Burzaan's wounds were in a state of flux. That they were trying to mutate. And now this meeting with the lady. I'm starting to think something I don't want to think.

R: The Most Dangerous Game?

T: Yeah.

T'P: The Most Dangerous Game?

A: It's an old Earth story. A man is sailing to Brazil to hunt and he falls overboard. He washes up on the shore of a small island. He meets an exiled Russian General called Zarkoff, who is also a hunter. Zarkoff had grown bored with hunting so he decides to hunt a new species, a more dangerous one, and a reasoning one. Zarkoff hunts the most dangerous game. Humans. He tells the man that if he can elude Zarkoff for three days, Zarkoff with let him live and send him on to Brazil with money enough to do whatever he wants, but he should be warned that Zarkoff has never lost a hunt.

T'P: Gruesome.

R: Yes, but still a classic and a warning. You think they are bored hunters who want the most dangerous game?

A: Yes, but they don't dare do it on their own people.

T'P: Yes, and since these lifeforms aren't considered people, it's accepted.

(Setting: In their Quarters, Reed and Archer are lying in bed.)

R: It's sort of reassuring in a way that we met the Eska.

A: Reassuring? How? They were killers who loved killing. They were committing genocide.

R: Yes, but remember the story we told T'Pol?

A: Yeah.

R: Those things have happened before on our world. The Eska are all that you said, but it's reassuring because it means that even though they are aliens, they aren't very much different from us or how we were. If we can overcome it, there is hope for them. Besides, it means we can communicate with them and understand them, which leads to predicting them, which also means we probably won't be ambushed by them.

A: I see…Sleep well, Malcolm. (Archer wraps his arms around Reed and watches the stars flow past.)

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