Enterprise
The Andorian Incident

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Scent of a Vulcan
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Major props to Mr. Man for his Southern hospitality and SEC FYI. Also, big props to my long-suffering forumites, because we're all in this together. The pain. The suffering. The boredom. The hollow mockery of it all.

An Eastern-looking tranquil temple is nestled atop a misty mountain high. Inside, Vulcans in plush bathrobes mill about, pondering tranquil thoughts while lighting tranquility candles. The sound of silence is shattered when a posse of sky-blue aliens with bad Feria jobs and two-per-customer antennae force their way into the temple and look at them. Not tranquilly.

You Gotta Have Faith Of The Snark.

Quantum's quarters. "Well, maybe it's just me, but it seems like these Vulcan star charts take all the fun out of it," Trip comments to Captain Quantum. "We're s'posed to be explorers, aren't we?" "That's the general idea," Quantum tells him. "Where's the exploration in going places people've already been?" Trip whines. Oh, I don't know -- maybe because YOU'VE never been there, Hick Boy? Prague, Paris, Peru? No, I don't want to go there; people have already been there. Sheesh. Quantum echoes my sentiments, if perhaps a little less irately, and tells Trip, "Well, for one thing, we've never been to these places. For another, remember that proto-star we ran across last week?" Trip remembers. Quantum tells him it doesn't seem to be marked in the Vulcan star charts. "Are you saying those Vulcan star charts aren't all that accurate?" Trip asks, getting happy. "Well, if that's true, good luck getting them to admit it!" Trip and Quantum titter triumphantly. First of all, has anyone seen those pins around? You know, the pins that are being stuck under their nails, forcing them to use the star charts? I mean, seriously, they're always complaining about how the Vulcans hold back information, but now they're belittling that same information. Spoiled Rotten, party of two? Yeah, your private banquet room with hand-glazed finger bowls is ready.

T'Pol arrives at the Captain's cabin, and Quantum asks her about a planet a few light years up the road. "I'm familiar with it," T'Pol tells him. Quantum says their data indicates that there's an isolated outpost on the planet. "P'Jem," T'Pol says. Gesundheit. "I take it it's under Vulcan jurisdiction?" Quantum asks. T'Pol explains that P'Jem is an ancient Vulcan spiritual retreat where they go to purge their emotions, a practice otherwise known as Kolinahr. "Now, that sounds interesting," Quantum says. And messy. "How do you think they'd feel about a visit?" Quantum asks. Probably the same way the Pope would feel about an Ozzy Osbourne concert in the Vatican. T'Pol tries to communicate this sentiment to the two rampaging tourists by saying, "P'Jem is a place of peaceful contemplation, Captain. I don't think our presence would be welcome." "It's because Vulcans think we smell bad, innit?" Trip drawls. What exactly is Trip's obsession with the olfactory world? He complained about Klaang's B.O. when he rescued him from the Apple Core helix, and he also had snidery for spending three hours with Klingons in the Xyrillian decompression chamber. T'Pol raises her eyebrows ever so slightly at Trip. Speaking of which, there's something happening with her eyebrows in this scene. Either they need to have a bit of chit-chat with some wax and a strip of linen, or it's her bangs that are longer and curled under. I don't know, but something's not quite right. "It's not every day that we get to see an ancient Vulcan monastery," Quantum starts to say. Come to think of it, it's not every day Quantum gets to see T'Pol naked; maybe he should use that as an excuse for plain nosiness and downright arrogance. And don't try telling me they're two different things, because the sentiment of personal or collective privacy is exactly the same. Hey, is that beer cold yet? "I'd say a stop-over is too good to pass up. Unless you disagree." T'Pol tells him she'll research the proper protocols so they can be sure to ignore them and offend everyone within a twelve-light-year radius. Quantum coms the bridge to prepare for a course change and says that T'Pol will give them the coordinates. T'Pol gives Quantum A Look over her shoulder, which Quantum returns with a big, goofy grin. T'Pol exits. Once again having succeeded in bending the female Vulcan to their meet their ignorant demands, Trip and Quantum look smugly at one another. I will be pleased as Artillery Punch the day T'Pol takes over the ship and tells them, "Well, it's not every day you get to experience a Vulcan mutiny, is it?" after bouncing their benighted butts into the brig.

In the mess, Phlox dishes out his usual news brief on Enterprise edibles. T'Pol noshes on a heavy meal of celery sticks, cucumbers, red cabbage, kale, carrots, beans, and yellow squash with a knife and fork. This is where I should go into a tirade about T'Pol not liking human food, but I am just two swigs of Post Road short of not ever caring again. By the way, everything on that plate, except the celery, looks like it's made out of Play-Doh. Carry on, McDuff. Phlox comments that T'Pol must be looking forward to visiting her race's taboo temple with great glee. "It was the Captain's idea," T'Pol tells him, with a distinct absence of glee. Phlox insists that it's a part of her cultural history, and by default she must be interested. T'Pol is not. Phlox tries again, telling her that she'll be able to introduce her racemates to her crewmates. T'Pol runs and hides in a Jeffries tube for the rest of the episode. Sly as a Phlox suddenly understands her reticence and comments, "Oh, I believe I see the source of your misgivings -- being seen with your human crew." T'Pol tells him, "It could create a certain awkwardness." Much like your acting. Phlox reaches over and poaches a celery stick off her plate. Hey, I didn't know my dad was on this show! "May I?" Phlox asks, the celery piece nearly in his mouth. Of course, my dad usually said, "Are you going to eat that?" if any of us paused between bites to catch our breath. T'Pol gives the barest of head twitches, so Phlox crunches down and proceeds to tell her that he also feels out of place on the ship. "But what is that Vulcan motto?" Phlox asks between wet munches, "Infinite diversity --" "In infinite combinations," T'Pol finishes for him. "Hmm!" Phlox chortles, scooping up what looks like peanut-buttered contrivance on his celery stalk. "And what is diversity but a celebration of differences?" You know, replace the food with drinks and the Mess with Ten-Forward and you've got Guinan. Phlox chews the mic some more and says unslyly, "I wonder if you might remind me of our mission on this vessel. Please, indulge me." Like a child reciting a lesson, because that's exactly how Phlox is treating her, T'Pol says, "Our mission is to make contact with those who humans consider new life and new civilizations." Phlox points out the connection to the Vulcan diversity motto. "I suppose so," T'Pol says. "Well then, it seems to me a cultural exchange between your Vulcan brethren and your human crew is simply a furtherance of that mission," Phlox says. T'Pol just looks at him with corpulent lips.

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