"Who's To Blame?"
Author: Kathy Rose
Summary: Malcolm and Trip get in an argument, but decide it's not their
Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters; somebody with a lot
more clout does. And there's no way I'm making any money.
Author's Note: This is my first Trip-Malcolm story, although I've done other
Enterprise fan fic. Thought I'd take it easy on them for my first effort. I
guess the 13 in the PG-13 comes from the way you can take the last few sentences
in the story. Sort of innuendo-ish.
Malcolm could hear Trip cussing all the way across engineering.
"I don't care how long it takes, we've got to get the ratio right before the
damned thing will work. Concentrate on the injectors first."
Malcolm sighed. He had come to engineering to bring the latest revisions for
fixing the torpedo launchers to Trip. He wasn't going to be able to get it done
without the chief engineer's help. Considering the situation, he doubted he was
going to get a warm reception.
"Hey, Malcolm!" Trip cried when he spotted the armory officer. "Surprised you
could spare time to come down here. You must be just as busy as we are. What's
As Trip wiped his hands on a rag, Malcolm held out a padd. "I'd like you take
a look at this and see if it's feasible."
Trip took the padd and looked at the screen. "Torpedo launchers? Yeah, looks
OK, but you're gonna need some help, since that system routes through
Trip stared at him. "I can't spare anybody right now. After that attack, half
the propulsion subsystems are down and the other half aren't far behind."
"Is that all ya can say? 'I know?'"
"Trip, I understand your situation, but if those bandits come back, we've got
to be able to defend ourselves."
Exhaling loudly, Trip turned and stalked angrily across engineering, Malcolm
trailing closely behind. When Trip climbed the ladder to the warp controls,
Malcolm stopped at the bottom for a moment looking after him, then scrambled up
Trip began to check some of the settings on the control panel. Without
looking at Malcolm, he said in a huff, "If we'd defended ourselves in the first
place, we wouldn't be in this fix!"
Malcolm felt his temper start to rise. "So you're saying this is my
"Well, if ya'd done a better job the first time, we wouldn't be worryin'
about a second, would we?"
"If you'd have given me the power I requested when I needed it, it wouldn't
have happened at all!"
The two men were now standing toe to toe on the platform, the sparks from
their growing squabble almost as hot as some of the explosions that had ripped
through engineering earlier that day. Crewmen in the area kept their distance
from the two officers as the argument escalated.
"I couldn't give you any power because there wasn't any to give! The captain
ordered me to hold some in reserve."
"And the captain wouldn't let me fire when I first wanted to, so it wasn't my
fault they hit us with their entire battery at one time! If he had let me attack
when I wanted to, I could have taken out half their armament!"
They continued to glare at each other, but both had run out of accusations.
Trip was the first to back down. He leaned against the railing and said, "Ya
know, seems to me we both hit on a point that we've been overlookin'."
"It's not my fault that we're in this mess, and it's not your fault,
"Well, then, whose fault is it?" Malcolm asked, curious as to what Trip was
"The captain's?" Malcolm repeated dubiously. "How could it be the captain's
Trip shifted and crossed his arms. Looking at Malcolm slyly, he said, "Well,
if he'd just follow our suggestions, instead of feelin' like he has to give
orders all the time..."
Malcolm felt a laugh welling up. Must be relief after all the tension of the
battle and then the frustration of trying to repair everything, he realized. All
it took was seeing the sloppy grin that was now on Trip's face, and the laugh
As each of them thought of all the times the captain had disregarded their
suggestions and the resulting disasters that had occurred, they soon were
laughing hard enough that Trip was clutching his sides and Malcolm had to wipe
"God, I needed that," Trip said when he could finally catch his breath.
"I think I did, too," Malcolm agreed. "But that still doesn't get me an
engineer in the armory."
"I don't know 'bout that, Malcolm. Maybe we can work somethin' out," Trip
said, and Malcolm saw a speculative gleam in his eyes.
An Engineer in the Armory, the sequel to
Who's to Blame?.
material is posted here with the author's express permission. Please do not
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Two of you have made comments
How True!!! In fact, Archer needs remedial desert survival and serious
counciling on his idea of the medical basics of an IV.
Lovely!!!! I could really see them glaring and yelling at each other! :D