Star Trek: Enterprise
"The Devil's my friend"
Summary: Q visits the first Enterprise and abducts Hoshi in an effort to keep the human race safe in the future
Ensign Hoshi Sato laughed so hard her eyes were watering. "You did not."
Chief Engineer Charles 'Trip' Tucker III grinned as he sat across from the younger woman at a small table set up in her quaters. "Honest, put the strongest chilli powder I could find in the Admiral's wine glass. It was their own fault really for having the gala dinner outside on the Acadamey grounds."
Hoshi shook her head as she reached for the water glass in front of her. "I'm surprised you and the Captain weren't expelled."
Trip picked up his fork and took a bite of baked chicken. "They never found out who did it."
Hoshi raised an eyebrow. "Wouldn't your fingerprints have been all over the glass?"
Trip nodded. "Yeah but I doubt the investigation went that far. All the harm that was done was the Admiral ended up with a bad case of......"
In a flash of white light Trip Tucker was gone. In his place was a human male Hoshi had never seen before. Her hand froze on the glass she had been reaching for.
Lieutenant Malcolm Reed blinked in surprise as Trip suddenly materialized on the bridge. Three feet from the armory officer's station in fact.
"Commander?"Malcolm asked as he looked at his friend who was in a sitting position a fork raised half way to his mouth.
"What the hell?"Tucker asked as he stood and looked around the bridge.
"Commander, are you alright?"T'Pol asked as she walked around her science consol and stepped toward him.
In that instant Trip realized that something or someone had transported him to the bridge. Which meant Hoshi was alone and vulnerable.
Trip looked over at Malcolm, "Lieutenant, get a security team down to Ensign Sato's quarter's now!"
Malcolm nodded his expression instantly turning grim. "Yes, Sir."
"Commander, do you remember what happened?"T'Pol asked just as Archer stepped out of his ready room.
"What's going on?"Archer inquired as he saw the anxious look on Trip's face. "Trip, I thought you were off duty?"
"I am."Trip replied as he walked toward the bridge door. "I was havin' dinner with Hoshi when I suddenly ended up here. Come on Malcolm, let's go."
"I'm coming with."Archer interjected as he quickly walked toward the bridge door. He looked over at T'Pol, "T'Pol, you have the bridge. Do a sensor sweep of the ship."
The Vulcan nodded and walked back to her station.
Recovering from the shock Hoshi quickly stood and backed away from the table her hand fumbling for the nearest comm unit.
"Who.....what are you?"Hoshi asked her gaze never leaving the intruder as her hand connected with the right button.
"A friend."The brown haired man replied as he raised his right hand and snapped his fingers.
Hoshi could only watch in amazement as her quarters vanished in a white light.
Flanked by a security team Archer, Tucker and Reed arrived at Hoshi's quarters just as the comm unit beeped.
Archer reached for the unit on the corridor wall and hit the button. "Archer."
"Captain, sensor sweep is completed. Neither Ensign Sato or any alien presence can be found on Enterprise."T'Pol reported.
Trip exchanged an alarmed glance with Malcolm. Reed reached over and punched in the over ride code and opened the door to Hoshi's quarters.
As soon as the doors opened Trip and Malcolm spilled into the room what they saw confirmed T'Pol's findings. The quarters were empty.
There was also no sign of a struggle.
"She's gone."Trip stated a hint of amazement and fear in his voice. "How could somebody just snatch her, Capt'n? We're lightyears from any system. There are no ships in the area."
"Probably the same way you appeared on the bridge, Commander."Malcolm replied quietly as he walked around the room scanner in hand.
Archer nodded. "Malcolm's right, Trip. We're dealing with a technoligically advanced race. More advanced than we've ever seen."
Trip looked at the food left on the table remembering what a good time he and Hoshi had been having just a few minutes before. How could things change that fast?
"Why would they take Hoshi?"Tucker wondered his voice quiet and fearful. "They could've taken me just as easily. Why her?"
Archer reached over and placed a supportive hand on his old friend's shoulder. "We'll bring her home, Trip. I promise."
Hoshi Sato stumbled as her feet suddenly hit solid ground. She blinked and looked at her new surroundings wondering how she had gotten off of Enterprise.
The room she found herself in was what could literally be called a blank slate. The four walls, ceiling and floor were solid white. Nothing at all to break the color up. No doors, no windows no paintings, nothing. Just white everywhere she turned.
The mysterious being who had captured Hoshi was nowhere to be seen either.
The fear she had struggled to over come during her first year on Enterprise was fighting it's way back. Hoshi backed up against the nearest wall and tried to remember the meditating techniques T'Pol had taught her.
After several minutes Hoshi was calm again and she studied her surroundings and tried to figure out how she had gotten to this place.
The most logical assumption was that she had been transported to a nearby ship. But her voyage to this new place seemed to have happened way too fast. Perhaps she had been drugged but Hoshi didn't feel like she had any after affects of drugs having been in her system.
"Why have you taken me?"Hoshi shouted her gaze traveling to the ceiling. "I'm of no value to you."
Q materialized in the room standing a few feet from the young Ensign. "That my dear is where you are wrong."
Trip stood just outside the doorway to Hoshi's quarter's as Malcolm's security team combed the room.
"Check for energy readings."Reed ordered as he stood in the center of the room a scanner in one hand. "If Ensign Sato's captor abducted her by using a transporter device we might pick up some trace of it."
"Was there any sign of a cloaked ship?"Tucker asked quietly his troubled blue gaze fixed on the place he had last seen Hoshi.
Malcolm turned to face his friend and shook his head. "No, but they might have an advanced cloaking device that we aren't able to detect."
"I hate standing here, Malcolm."Trip confided. "I need to be doin' something."
Reed nodded in understanding and grabbed a Data Padd from a nearby shelf. He touched the screen lightly a few times until the information he wanted appeared.
"Here."Reed stated as he walked to the door and handed Tucker the Padd. "Give me a hand and go through the Vulcan database. See if there's anything in there that matches what you experienced when you were transported to the bridge."
Trip took the Padd gratefully. "Thanks. I'll take this to the Mess Hall so I'm out of your hair."
Malcolm watched his friend leave worry crossing Reed's face. He had seen the growing closeness between Hoshi and Trip over the last two months but didn't know exactly what the definition of their relationship was. Malcolm figured that Trip and Hoshi probably didn't know either. Not yet.
Reed could only hope that his two closest friends would have the chance to figure it out.
"What are you?"Hoshi demanded as she flattened herself against the wall. Unnerved by the being's sudden presence.
Q smiled. "My species is known as the Q. We have no true form but over the years I have become quite fond of the human form."
"Why are you holding me here?"Hoshi asked noting that the being was now wearing a starfleet uniform.
"My species is not held to the concept of time like your species so I've been to your future. Well not your future specifically but the human race's future."Q explained. "I've seen some things I want to change."
"Why would taking me affect the future of the human race?"Hoshi asked puzzled.
Q shook his head. "I'm afraid I can't tell you that. Just know that I'm doing this to protect your race."