Enterprise
Desert Crossing

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Keckler: B | Grade It Now!
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Like sands through my beer glass

Hole in floorboards of Chez Osama Bin Dribblin'. Quantum tries unsuccessfully to contact Enterprise as Trip gives him a cup of water from a barrel in the corner. Trip stretches and complains about the drubbing he received at the Geskana match. More explosions; sand showers down on them. Trip asks, "So does the 'great warrior' have any ideas about how we're gettin' outta here?" Quantum doesn't say anything, and Trip asks him incredulously if he's really thinking of staying to help Osama Bin Dribblin'. Quantum tells him he was thinking of the Suliban he liberated and how, if he hadn't been so liberating, they wouldn't be in this mess. Trip comments, "T'Pol's ears must be burning." Does that count as an ear joke? More explosions and sand showers. Trip recommends that they "walk away" from this one. "They lured us down here under false pretenses and now they're asking us to help 'em fight a war? That's a lot different than breaking a few innocent people outta prison," Trip says. Quantum mentions that Osama Bin Dribblin' doesn't seem to be one who takes no for an answer. Right then, another explosion causes a good part of the ceiling to fall in on them. Trip and Quantum decide to leave. It's suddenly night, and Chez Osama Bin Dribblin' lies in ruins around them. Trip says he'd rather take his chances out in the desert than in the besieged Sandcastle Village. Quantum says, "I thought you hated the desert!" "Not tonight," Trip replies. They go to the sh'pod to retrieve supplies and set off across the night-swept dunes. How can anyone with two-tenths of a brain cell think that setting off across the desert, at night, to destinations unknown, with no real plan as to why you're setting off across the desert to destinations unknown, is a good idea? It seems like they would stand a better chance at survival by taking the sh'pod and attempting to get Enterprise to notice them and then provide cover fire. Quantum and Trip take one last look at the Sandcastles Under Fire and take off.

Enterprise. T'Pol tells Chancellor Trellit that he didn't tell her they'd be attacking the Sandcastle Village, and Trellit responds by saying that she assured him her people would be leaving the village. T'Pol explains that Quantum wanted to talk to Osama Bin Dribblin' before returning to the ship. "Interesting," Trellit comments, and asks where they are now. T'Pol tells him they have no clue, but if he would stop attacking the Sandcastle Village for a minute, they could launch a search party. Trellit tells her that's not going to happen, because he believes they are sending people down to aid the terrorists. T'Pol says they aren't, and will leave as soon as they find Quantum and Trip, but Trellit doesn't believe her and tells her that if she attempts to send another sh'pod, they'll consider it an act of war. Trellit hangs up. Reed reports a loss of sensor contact with the surface.

Sunrise on the dunes. R2-D2 and C-3PO walk on the highest, and therefore most sun-drenched, part of the dunes. Trip-PO pants that Enterprise should have spotted them by now. "We're down here!" he calls up to the sky. Quantum snarks that he's going to have to raise his voice a bit. Trip asks if they're going the right way. For what? "It was east of the camp and we're heading east," Quantum tells him. Trip asks how far. "About thirty kilometers," Quantum tells him. Trip asks what they do if they find more of Osama Bin Dribblin''s men inside, but Quantum assures him that "it looked abandoned." Trip wheezes that he didn't see anything but sand. "That's because you forgot your survival training," Quantum chides him. "Take a good look, on your way in, at your surroundings." Trip asks, "Didn't they also say something about only walking at night? Can't we wait until it cools down a little?" Quantum tells him it won't cool down for eight or nine hours, and they need to find shelter. Trip begs for rest, clearly on the edge of heat exhaustion. He falls to his knees, and Quantum joins him. They have a water break, and Trip comments, "To cherry-flavored snow cones. What I wouldn't give for one right about now." Trip looks around and thinks he hears something, like a ship. "I think the heat's getting to you," Quantum comments. Trip denies that and tells Quantum to listen. He points in the direction he thinks the sound is coming from, and Quantum suddenly looks concerned. He pulls Trip to his feet as Trip asks if it's a sh'pod. "No," Quantum says ominously, "something much bigger." We get shot of clear blue sky and an alien vessel whizzing overhead. Down on the dunes, we don't see the two droids anymore. Oh, but wait, the sand moves suddenly as Trip and Quantum dig themselves out of their clever hiding place.

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