TripHammered
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Shuttlepod One

Trip and Reed are out testing a shuttlepod (which species of vehicle is apparently better at avoiding total destruction than shuttlecraft; someone should have told Janeway) and head back to where Enterprise should be hanging out mapping asteroids. They fly over one particular chunk strewn with metal fragments. A familiar registry number winks at them in the glow of the spotlight probe. They assume the worst -- T'Pol finally lost it and set the ship to self-destruct rather than face listening to "Faith of the Heart" once a week for the next six years. (Anyone else notice Reed's mouth is awfully pink in these scenes? Maybe they were trying on lipstick and painting each other's toenails out there too. After all, they had a few days before they were due back. How long can it really take to test targeting sensors?)

They figure they've got around ten days of air, and since the shuttlepod isn't warp-capable, that will get them about a quarter of the way to nowhere. Trip tells Malcolm to guess where the Starfleet beacon Echo 3 is and fly thataway, so at least eventually their corpsicles will be found. Malcolm finds their predicament awfully depressing, but he's a Brit; their native weather predisposes them to suffer. So he starts recording his final statements. All forty-seven of them. Aloud. Which pisses off Glass-Half-Full All-American Trip, since he knows their names are in the opening credits and is hoping they're getting out of this. When Mal gets to the Wasted My Chance To Reconcile With You letter to his parents, Trip finally snaps, screaming that if Malcolm doesn't shut up and let him get some sleep, he's going to be real cranky in the morning, and nobody wants to deal with a cranky Trip. (My husband understands this phenomenon intimately, and stays at least fifty feet from me until I've had my first-thing coffee.)

The next day, they're busy fixing whatever random bits of machinery are broken when the pod gets walloped again (by micro-singularities, but they don't know that). Little itty bitty holes get poked in the walls, and Trip has to sacrifice the leftover mashed potatoes from last night's dinner as a temporary seal. They should have used them on the holes in the plot as well, but I digress. Their air supply has also been punctured, leaving them about a day and a half of oxygen rather than the ten they'd previously had. Trip finds that rerouting power from the heaters to the oxygen recyclers will buy them another half-day of air.

Mal returns to dictating goodbye letters to all the girls he's loved before. He must have dated the Dionne Quints, because each letter is nearly identical to the last. This colossally irritates Trip, who yells at poor Mal again. The armory officer makes a pitiful speech about finally finding some kind of personal comfort zone on Enterprise, which is now slag, and manages to make Trip feel even worse.

Now that both of them are completely bummed, our boys wrap themselves in the Blankets Of The Blues, don their spiffy NX-01 baseball caps, and proceed to get drunk on the cap'n's bourbon. (Mal must be wearing Revlon, since it's not coming off on the bottle.)

Several pickled hours later, Trip's legs are so frozen he can't even feel his fists pounding on the flesh. He looks like he wishes his ears were frozen when Malcolm starts to go on about T'Pol's bum (hey Reed, she's a former fashion model; it's ILLEGAL for her to have any kind of bum). Mercifully, he's interrupted by a shredded message from Hoshi, and they realize that Enterprise isn't chunky salsa after all. Unfortunately, their elation is short-lived, as the new rendezvous is in two days and they don't have enough air to get there.

Malcolm gets the bright idea of plagiarizing "The Galileo Seven" -- look, if you're going to steal, steal from the best -- and they jettison and FOOM their engine to act as a kind of last-ditch emergency beacon for Enterprise. In despair, Trip finally realizes that Berman and Braga have no intention of respecting the franchise's continuity and tries to seal himself in the airlock. Okay, he tries to seal himself in the airlock so Mal will have 20 hours of air instead of each of them having 10 hours and both of them winding up dead. Malcolm threatens to stun his sorry arse and orders him back down into the pod. They huddle together until they lose consciousness. The camera finds them again in Sickbay, where Phlox is treating them for hypothermia and lipstick-induced hallucinations.

Photos: Joanna Brandt via Trekpulse, StarTrek.com