Location: Boston, the Gateway to the Galaxy
"It's like looking in a funhouse mirror,” said the Tripp holding Lili's hand. "I'm tempted to ask you how you got that facial scar, but we don't exactly have time for pleasantries."
The scarred Tripp scanned the room. "It's like the Red Queen and the White Queen in here, if you like chess. Crossman, what the devil is going on?"
"I – it's a way to really, really screw the Empress." she explained.
"What's in it for them?" the scarred Tripp asked, indicating the two Treves and the two Chawevs.
"They get to do the right thing,” Lili said.
"And there's gonna be an attack,” Doug said, “Tomorrow. What we were planning would've delayed it anyway, but doing more will make it pretty much impossible. The Defiant will limp out of Calafan space and you and Beth won't be bothered. They'll be lucky if they escape with only a few casualties."
"Where do I sign on?" asked the scarred Tripp.
"Oh Geez!" Beth said, “Not you, too, Charles!" she put a hand on his arm and the fogged rolled in as the room changed.
"They get to do the right thing,” Lili murmured in her sleep.
"Do you have a theory as to why this kind of a transference takes so much power?" Phlox asked T'Pol.
"It is unprecedented." T'Pol said. I have virtually nothing to compare it to."
"So you'll do it?" Lili asked.
"Sure." Beth said, “I want the Empress and her son to really take a hit – and if Charles and I can get away while doing so, that's all for the best. But we gotta hurry. There's just so long we'll have free access where we need to go."
"One thing you should be told," the ruddy Treve said, "there is a reason for the transference being so difficult. Beyond what you would expect."
"Yes,” said the pale Chawev. "This barrier is not just a natural one. It was fortified by our ancestors. The night people are, as you can see, they are a distorted reflection of ourselves. And so a fence was erected to keep them on their side, and us on ours."
"What are going to be the consequences of breaching the fence, even temporarily?" Doug asked.
"The same as breaking any barrier." the ruddy Treve said, “Anyone can go in or out. Fortunately, it will only be a few minutes – the second piece of the experience. Then it will be done."
"Are you endangering yourselves?" Lili asked. "No matter how much I want this, I don't want you to be hurt by it."
"Both of our societies are in need of fresh blood and this, well, it may be a way to do that." the pale Treve said, “Perhaps we can redeem ourselves for our wrongs."
"We better go,” said the scarred Tripp. "Beth, you and I got work to do. Old Man, break the connection soon as you can and head back."
"Understood,” Doug said.
"You don't need me, I'm a Fifth Wheel." the unscarred Tripp said, dropping Lili's hand.
"Treve," Lili said, "I'll, um, if it's all right, I'll contact you later. The conventional way."
"By all means,” he said, and left with his father.
"It's good to see you happy, Jenn,” Doug said.
"Thanks." she smiled and left with her Treve and his father.
"Just you and me,” Doug said after kissing Lili.
"Yes. And tomorrow, that kiss will be real."
"Y'know, um, we've only been doing kissing lately. I, uh, I miss the rest of it." he pushed in nearer.
"Me, too,” she said, “Tomorrow."
They kissed again and awoke.
The mouse was out of its cage and Jun toddled after it.
"Sick Bay is not the place for this!" Dr. Morgan scolded. "Where the hell is Cutler?"
Torres staggered in. "Doc, I don't feel so good."
Taking advantage of the opened door, the mouse ran out and Jun awkwardly skipped after it.
Tripp got up. "That was ... strange. I got a lotta work to do." he clicked open a communicator. "Crossman, you're gonna be busy for a while. Tucker out."
Lili rubbed her eyes. "I, it's dinner time. I should go cook. And, do you think he'll be here for lunch tomorrow?"
"The timing indicates that that may be correct." T'Pol said.
"Oh! Then I have menu planning to do, if Chef will be okay with it,” Lili said.
"Aiiiiiiiiidan!" Deb Haddon stretched his name out like a rubber band.
"Yeah?" MacKenzie was okay with her, but she wasn't as hot as Crossman and didn't have anywhere near the skills of the Orion girls he'd met in his travels.
"I wanna do something different."
She said, “Let's do it somewhere else on the ship.”
"Oh, for a different place, hmmm. You ever done it on a transporter pad?"