The three regard the anteroom, filled with untouchable Vulcan treasures, including a bathrobed Vulcan standing in front of a screen. They wait. Trip thinks about asking to use the bathroom. Finally, T'Pol sucks in her cheeks and struts up to the Vulcan on parade. The two speak in undertones, which we can just barely make out to be T'Pol telling him how honored they are to visit this great place of contemplation, and the Vulcan telling her he regrets that he cannot invite them to stay because of Kolinahr. Isn't it remarkable how easily we all picked up the Vulcan language? Trip and Quantum do some more gaping at their surroundings. There's a big face carved into the wall, on which the camera pauses a shade too long for me not to think it's going to be significant later on. T'Pol reports back that the monks have entered the final stage of Kolinahr and must not be disturbed. "Oh, that's too bad," is Quantum's comment, "Well, at least we got to see the place." "The place"? Would you say that about visiting the Hanging Gardens of Babylon or the Colossus of Rhodes? "So, this is the place, huh? Why dontcha snap a picture, Eunice, these pyramids aren't going to be around forever." Hoark, spit, burp. T'Pol turns back to the Vulcan elder, pays him a few respects, and asks to see the J'Kah Stone, "for my distinguished guests." The Vulcan tells them to wait half a tick and he'll be back. T'Pol looks around the atrium, noting broken pottery on the floor, and a lighted relic tipped awkwardly against the wall. Quantum asks her if there's something wrong. "This is the main atrium, there should be more than one member of the Order present. And the icon in that shrine is perched at an odd angle," T'Pol tells him. "Oddly perched, huh?" Trip says, giving Quantum a nudge-nudge-wink-wink look. "We'd better call Starfleet Command." Shut your trap, Trip. As if Starfleet would even have the tiniest grain of a clue what to do. And since Vulcans aren't really given to alarmist notions -- unlike you and your wimpishness on the Xyrillian ship -- I'd think you might want to listen to T'Pol instead of taunting her. Oh, and another thing: shut up, more. Logically, T'Pol ignores him and says, "That's not all, Captain. The Vulcan Elder seems...agitated." "You call that agitated?" Trip asks mock-inquisitively. I'm really begging you to stick a sock in it, Trip, or I'll agitate you.
The Agitated Elder reappears with a box, which Quantum ignores. "You know," Quantum says, walking around the atrium and getting all loud and larry, "I think the oldest monastery I ever visited was in Ngari, Tibet, but it wasn't nearly as big as this place." Well, you know the Tibetans and their lack of wealth. T'Pol plays along as Quantum non-surreptitiously looks in cracks and crannies for the usual suspects and says, "I've heard it can take days to explore this site." Trip fidgets with the broken pottery on the ground, saying, "It would take at least that long to clean the place up." Because of one broken mug? The Vulcan Elder turns to Trip in agitation: "Forgive the disarray -- Kolinahr encourages members of our Order to face their vestigial emotions. The repercussions can sometimes be violent." Now that you mention it, I was wondering why, if this is the supposed place of emotional purging, we haven't heard any Vulcans caterwauling, pounding their chests, weeping in corners, or jumping out of windows while laughing like hyenas. "Please!" Elder Vulcan says, trying to recapture Quantum's ADD by flipping open the lid of the box to show a triangular (natch) stone. "This is the Stone of J'Kah, which represents the foundations of all we believe, a life of order and control through logic." Elder Vulcan raises the box to Quantum, who places his hand on the stone. Elder Vulcan mutters in Vulcan. Trip self-consciously lowers his head as though he's praying. Vulcan Elder and Quantum bow to each other. "What does all that mean, anyway?" Quantum asks, getting all uncouth and touristy again. Elder Vulcan tells him it's some traditional litany passed down from generations. Of course it is. "Does it mean I get good luck or something?" Quantum asks, edging toward an artifact placed in front of a boudoir screen. Trip corrects him, "Oh, you're thinking of the Blarney Stone, Cap'n, or when you pat the Buddha's belly." Quantum sees a blue face reflected in the sheen of a bowl. Good thing they thought to use a high-gloss glaze on that thing. "I guess you're right," Quantum says, poking at his chest to indicate where Trip should look. Trip sees movement behind the boudoir screen. "Too bad we didn't bring a camera, huh Commander?" Trip nods in understanding. "Please, you must leave now," Elder Vulcan says as Trip moves next to Quantum in front of the screen. "You ever been to the San Francisco Zoo?" he asks Elder Vulcan. "Now there's something you should see." Quantum and Trip meet eyes and bust through the screen. You break it, you bought it. The two of them grab the Andorian and throw him to the ground, his phaser pistol spinning out of his reach. T'Pol runs to grab the pistol, only to have it stepped on by combat boots. She looks up at the sound of weapons charging and sees a sea of blue. "Friends of yers?" Quantum asks, seemingly to no one in particular, as the first Andorian struggles to his feet and pulls out another weapon, "Somehow I didn't think so," he finishes as one Andorian points a gun at the Elder Vulcan.