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Twilight in the Garden of Good and Better

Engineering. Quantum lies in an open SCAT tube with a "Spock's Brain"-like contraption on his head. Thanks to akg, I recently saw the uncut version in all it's awfulness. T'Pol and Phlox take readings. Phlox increases the power on Quantum's Brain and watches some scans as dark areas disappear. Quantum winces and twitches a bit. Oops! You didn't need that frontal lobe, did you? Phlox and T'Pol remove the headpiece and help Quantum up.

Bridge. They approach a ship that doesn't appear to be Xindi and has one bio-sign aboard. Trip asks the ship what it wants. There's no answer, but the ship moves away. They follow and fire on a nacelle as it tries to escape. The nacelle of the other ship flickers off, and Trip orders it dragged to the launch bay.

Sickbay. Phlox is pleased with the results of Quantum's treatment and intimates that P'Tail might be joining him on his voyage home. P'Tail tells Phlox that she plans to stay at the settlement for the present, as Quantum may need her help during recovery. Phlox grins, and I get a load of his long, stringy, greasy curls -- YUCK! Phlox, what were you thinking? Hockey hair can-NOT be all the rage on Denobula! "Have you told the Captain how you feel about him?" Phlox asks. P'Tail stares at Phlox, who gleefully points out that she's obviously become attached and it's nothing to be ashamed of: "Vulcans experience the same emotions as other species. They're just better at hiding them." P'Tail protests that she's not hiding anything: "He risked his life to save me, I'm merely repaying a debt." "I can only imagine what that must have been like. Spending all those years in that house, learning so much about him, yet he remembers nothing about you beyond the day that he became ill. If we're successful, perhaps things will be different," Phlox grins. They've added age spots to his face, and he looks really ghoulish with that hair. Plus, there's something yellow going on with his teeth. As is her usual defense, P'Tail turns back to her scans. She notes a discrepancy. "What is it?" Phlox asks, stepping closer, grin completely gone.

Brig. Trip and Reed's goatee question a Yridian, who insists that he was waiting for a buyer for his Rigellian flamegems. Trip and Reed don't believe him, since they've learned that his species is known for trading in information, and demand to know who hired him. When the Yridian isn't forthcoming, Trip orders Reed to literally tear apart his ship until they find anything or nothing. The Yridian doesn't want his ship destroyed, so he admits that he was hired to follow Phlox. Phlox? Why? To stop him from curing Quantum? To lead the Xindi right to Quantum since they've wanted him dead since we first saw them? Or maybe it's the Suliban..."HIRED BY WHO!?" Trip yells. "By whom." The Yridian doesn't know, and starts to say, "I was paid to follow the Denobulan if he ever left his homeworld..." but Trip lifts him up by his shirt and bangs him against the wall. "What did you tell them?" he demands, going red in the face. "Answer me!"

Sickbay. Trip storms in and asks what the problem is. Phlox complains that the engineers won't let them continue with Quantum's treatment. P'Tail and Phlox explain that curing Quantum will literally solve all their problems and save humanity and Earth. "Earth's gone," Trip points out flatly. Great delivery. Just a restatement of the fact, with no emotion left to care what the words really mean. Phlox explains that when he got rid of the parasites -- which look like a bunch of little jacks that you play Jacks with -- in Quantum's hippocampus today, their presence also disappeared from scans he had taken over the twelve years of Quantum's affliction. Duuuuuude. That's an awesome way out of this timeline! "By destroying the organisms in the present, we appeared to have neutralized them in the past," T'Pol explains. Phlox says the parasites exist outside of time, and that it's possible that destroying all of them will mean that Quantum's disease will never have happened in the first place. "History may be altered. Captain Archer will have remained in command of Enterprise and our mission in the Expanse could have an entirely different outcome," P'Tail says. And now my brain's gone cross-eyed. They plead for a diversion of power, but Trip won't okay it, as they need all the power for the weapons. P'Tail says that if the Xindi are on the way, there's little they can do to stop them. Trip acknowledges this, but refuses to go down without a fight. Hoshi calls him to the Bridge. Trip promises that they'll talk about all good things later.

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