Enterprise. Trip strategizes a bit with Reed. They haven't located any Vulcan bio-signs yet, but Reed's pretty certain he's found the shuttle pod, and points it out. Reed tells him he's got a rescue party ready and waiting in the launch bay. "Now hold on, Malcolm, we don't even know if this is our pod," Trip says. "I don't want to go down and find it's some alien tractor." Reed says he's certain the pod is theirs; he's only suggesting they go down and nose around a bit. Hoshi tells Trip that they're getting an audio message from parts unknown. Dodger's voice comes through and tells them they want forty phaser weapons in exchange for T'Pol and Quantum. Maywither looks at Trip in indignation. That's about all they seem to have him doing these days: looking. Dodger tells him they'll contact them same Bat time, same Bat channel the following day. Trip asks to speak to the captain. "I'm sure you wouldn't want any harm to come to her. We'll rely on your full compliance," Dodger says, and hangs up.
Everyone's confused. Hoshi can't trace the call because some technobabble got in the way, and Reed's wondering why he called the captain "her." "Are we sure they've got the right hostages?" he asks. "At least it sounds like they're still alive," May-whither-did-you-go says. "For how long?" Reed asks. "We don't have forty phase pistols, we've got fifteen, and even if we give them to these people, there's no guarantee they'll keep their word. We know where the shuttle is, we have to send a team down now while we still have the element of surprise." As Acting Captain, Trip has said precious little about all this. And he's not going to have the chance, as something beeps and Hoshi reports that they're getting another transmission. "Probably thought of something else they want," Trip says, but Hoshi tells him it's not coming from the planet, it's coming from a Vulcan ship. "The Ni'Var," she confirms. Trip wearily tells her to "put it up." A fattish Vulcan, dressed in a brown polyester leisure suit, asks where Quantum is. "He's not here right now, can I help you?" Trip shouts. The captain of Ni'Var tells Trip to "inform" Quantum that they'll be arriving within the hour. "You guys made great time, we weren't expecting you until tomorrow," Trip says conversationally. "You obviously made an error in your calculations. Please have Sub-Commander T'Pol ready to depart when we arrive," the fattish Vulcan captain orders them. Trip tells him they've got "a bit of a problem," since T'Pol's not there either. He explains the hostage situation, which at first the fattish Vulcan captain doesn't believe, until Trip tells him about the ransom demand. "They threatened to kill 'em both if we didn't give 'em what they want," Trip finishes. "It would be irrational to kill the hostages," the fattish Vulcan captain says, "They would lose their negotiating position." Trip rolls his eyes and points out the obvious, "Maybe we're not dealing with the most rational peepol down there, didja think of that?" The fattish Vulcan captain says they'll take over the operation from here on out. "It would be best if you refrained from any foolish endeavors," he says. "What the hell's that suppos --" Trip starts to say, but the fattish Vulcan captain coms off. "I'm gittin' reel sick of being cut off," Trip snarls.