Enterprise sips some Orange Crush through a straw.
Sickbay. Trip lies in equal opportunity nakedness with a sheet pulled up to his bare chest. He's got gauze wrapped around his head, an oxygen nose tube, and two small metallic plates on his forehead. I'm guessing those are neural stimulators, regulators, generators or what have you. Phlox tells Quantum that Trip's condition is unchanged. He then takes him to a tank and pulls out a wad of mozzarella cheese, explaining that it's a Lyssarian Desert Larvae, which he uses mainly to make a salve for cuts and scrapes. A more controversial use of the Mozzarella Ball is to implant DNA in it to make a clone. A more palatable use is to deep-fry it. However, the clone grows at an accelerated rate and only lives for fifteen days. "The Lyssarians call them 'Mimetic Simbiots,'" Phlox says. "I call them 'bullshit,'" the Evil Dr. Mathra says. Phlox says that particular use of the Mozzarella Ball is a closely guarded secret. Quantum surmises that Phlox wants to turn the Mozzarella Ball into a clone of Trip. "To harvest its neural tissue for a transplant," Phlox finishes. Quantum wears The Furrow of I Don't Like That Idea AT ALL But I Will Eventually Come Around To It. Phlox continues that there's no guarantee that human DNA will even work with the Mozzarella Ball, but it's probably Trip's only chance for ultimate survival. "To ensure the tissue's compatibility, I'll have to wait until the simbiot reaches Commander Tucker's present physical age, then I can excise the tissue from a non-critical region of the simbiot's cerebrum. It would experience no discernable side effects and should be able to live out its normal life span." "Its fifteen-day life span," Quantum corrects him. Somewhat irritably, Phlox says that he's not making the suggestion lightly, but it is his responsibility to present the captain with all the possible options. Quantum huffs a sigh and looks down at Trip.
Quantum's Quarters. T'Pol walks in to show Quantum a piece of party barf (tm Sis of Ace) they found accumulating on the outer hull of the ship. It's mostly composed of iron ions and stuff they can't identify, and it took multiple phase cannon blasts to dislodge it. Maybe Enterprise needs a Waterpik? Quantum slaps the party barf on his table, and a coffee cup smashes into it. As an afterthought, T'Pol points out that it's highly magnetic. The danger is negligible at this time, which, of course, can only mean that it will become life-threatening in a matter of days. Quantum notes that the longer they stay put with no engines, the more party barf will accumulate. Not if they give the hull a daily swish of Listerine, it won't. But for effectiveness, the hull would have to hold it for thirty seconds. And that's a bitch. Although, if they put out for that new orange flavor, it's not supposed to be that intense. Personally? I think it looks like that Orange Glo stuff that the OxyClean guy's always shouting at you to clean your entire house with. T'Pol wonders if Quantum has made up his mind about turning the Mozzarella Ball into Trip. "I approved it," Quantum barks. T'Pol questions whether he realizes that the Mozzarella Ball Prime Conclave has banned the procedure as very, very bad. Quantum doesn't answer to the Mozzarella Ball Prime Conclave. T'Pol reminds him that they'll be growing a sentient being on the ship, only to harvest its stem cell anvils. Quantum's aware of all that, but they have a major mission going on and they need Trip to complete that major mission. If they weren't in the Expanse, things might be different. Well, yeah. Trip wouldn't have been knocked off the drive by an explosion brought about by issues in the Expanse. Quantum adds, "Earth needs Enterprise. Enterprise needs Trip." Trip needs Mozzarella Ball. Mozzarella Ball needs fresh basil, tomatoes, and olive oil. Do you get where we're going with this, T'Pol? Good.