Phlox, understanding what they were thinking, said, “Surely, Captain, this will not interfere…”
Archer interrupted him and said, “Don’t worry Doctor, we know what is at stake and plan to proceed with the full procedure as soon as possible.”
Then, after thinking a moment, he asked, “Phlox, did you say it would be three or four hours before you would be ready for the full treatment?”
“That is correct, Captain.”
“Then we,” Archer went on, glancing at T’Pol who nodded, “are going down to the surface.”
“But Captain,” Phlox started, but Archer interrupted, “Relax, Phlox, as soon as you are ready, contact me and we’ll return at once.”
“Very well, Captain,” Phlox answered resignedly.
T’Pol and Archer headed for the Shuttle Bay. As they walked, T’Pol said she would contact the Shuttle personnel on the ground to bring Myra and T’Les to meet them when they landed. As they boarded the Shuttle and rode to the surface, each was lost in his or her own thoughts. Both knew what had to be done and both were grateful and excited they would be given a new chance for their mission to succeed, but a small voice in each of them told them they were about to kill the child they loved.
As they exited the Shuttle, they saw Myra and T’Les waiting outside the gate. Just then T’Les spotted them and began to wave excitedly. They returned her wave and walked up to them.
“Daddy, Mommy, are you all done?”
“No, Honey,” Archer answered and as she frowned, quickly added, “But we have a break and will spend it with you, go back to work for a short time, and we’ll be back home soon.”
T’Pol was telling Myra that they would have T’Les for about three hours and would then bring her back to Myra’s if that would be okay. Myra assured them that would be fine, told T’Les goodbye, and headed back toward her home.
“Mommy, can we go to the Park now?”
“If that is what you want, then we shall.”
“Here, Daddy, hold Porthos.”
Then taking each of her parents by the hand, she headed for the Park. The Park consisted of the swings Archer had seen in the photo plus a large sandbox and benches around the edge. There were perhaps twelve children playing on the swings and in the sandbox; with eight adults sitting on the benches.
T’Les spoke up, “Daddy, will you push me on the swing?”
Handing Porthos to T’Pol, he followed T’Les as she climbed onto the nearest swing. As he pushed his daughter back and forth, he saw T’Pol had taken a seat on a bench set back from the others. After a short time, T’Les said she was going to play with her friend Sam. Archer told her okay and said he would be sitting with Mommy.
As T’Les started digging in the sandbox as probably millions of children have been doing for millions of years, Archer sat down next to T’Pol and she reached out and took his hand. As time passed and T’Les and her friends played several games that seemed to have no discernible rules, T’Pol laid her head against his shoulder and continued to hold his hand. As he sat there watching his child play and his wife’s body against him, Archer felt conflicting emotions of contentment and sadness. He wished that he could have this for a while without the loss of memory and still save Earth. Then he realized how selfish he was being and what a great second chance mankind was about to get. On an impulse, he reached over, lifted T’Pol’s chin and gave her a soft kiss on the lips. She returned the kiss, smiled that half smile and returned back to watching T’Les.
Suddenly, the communicator in Archer’s pocket began to beep. As T’Pol sat back up, he pulled it out, opened it, and intoned, “Archer.”
“Captain, it’s Phlox. I’m ready for you.”
“Understood, Phlox, we’re on our way.”
T’Pol had already gotten to her feet and was walking toward T’Les calling out that it was time to go.
“Aw, Mommy, can’t I stay a little longer, the game’s almost over.”
“No, T’Les, we have to go.”
Scowling at her Mother, she told the boy nearest her, “Sorry, Sam I have to go.”
“OK T’Les, see you later.”
T’Les took Porthos back from her Mother and said to her Dad, “Daddy, could you carry me, I am awfully tired.”
Archer smiled and said, “OK,” as he swept her up into his arms. Carrying her and Porthos, he held his hand out for T’Pol and they walked off.
“When you get back, can we go back to the Park?”
“I am not sure, T’Les, we shall see what time it is and how everybody feels, okay?” said T’Pol.
Suddenly she realized she could just have well as said yes and felt a deep moment of sadness. Archer felt it also and squeezed her hand gently.
As they came to the intersection by the Shuttles, they saw Myra waiting for them.
“I decided to just stay at my friend Cheryl’s and watch for you to go by. “
“Okay, Honey, give me and Mommy a hug and you can go with Myra.”
“No,” said T’Les, “I don’t want you to go, I’m afraid.”
“Afraid, what could you possibly be afraid of?” said Archer, fighting to control his emotions.
“I’m afraid you won’t come back.”
Seeing that T’Pol was struggling as he was, Archer quickly said, “Have Mommy or Daddy ever lied to you?”
“No,” T’Les said quietly.
“Well, there you are. So, when we tell you we’ll be back before you have time to miss us, you can sure it will be okay.”
Very quietly, “Okay Daddy.”
“Now give me and Mommy a hug and we’ll be back home before you know it.”
Grabbing him tightly around the neck as he gave her a hug, she said, “I love you so much, Daddy.”
With his voice starting to break, Archer answered, “I love you too, T’Les.”
“Now give your Mommy a hug,” he said, as he gently took her arms from his neck and handed her to T’Pol.
Holding T’Les tightly to her, T’Pol said, “Be a good girl and we will see you soon – I love you.”
“I love you too, Mommy,” T’Les replied as she held T’Pol as tight as she could.
As T’Pol gently disengaged herself and put T’Les back on the ground, she kissed her softly on the forehead.
Archer handed Porthos to T’Les and told Myra they would be back soon. Then, waving goodbye, they headed toward the waiting Shuttle. The last look they had, T’Les was standing next to Myra clutching Porthos with both arms.
As the Shuttle left the ground, Archer turned to T’Pol and said, “While we were in the Park, it occurred to me that all those other children will never exist either and that so many events that happened will be wiped away.” He went on, “But probably some of the parents were already married or knew each other before and maybe some actions will be repeated in the new timeline and those children will be born again.”
T’Pol asked quietly, “Do you think T’Les will be born again?”
Archer replied, “I hope so.” Then he smiled and said, “Back in the other timeline, I would have said it is more likely the Klingons would become our allies, but after what happened in this one; who is to say what is possible.”
“After all,” he added, reaching out to caress her cheek, “Who would have thought when you came aboard Enterprise that a Vulcan would be someone I would so greatly admire, count on so much, and consider my friend.”
T’Pol reached up and put her hand on his, “Or I would a Human.”
After docking, they walked quickly toward Engineering, now anxious to get it done.
As they entered the door, Phlox looked up and said, “Glad to see you Captain, T’Pol.”
“Alright, Doctor, let’s get this over with.”
“Everything’s set. You just need to lie down and it will take just a moment to get you ready.”
Archer nodded, then turned back toward T’Pol and embraced her. As she returned his embrace, he whispered to her, “I love you, T’Pol.”
Looking up at him, she answered, “I love you too, Jonathon, I do.”
They then took a last long kiss.
Archer released her and settled onto the table. Phlox attached the wires, wished him good luck, and turned to the control panel. Archer had determined he would concentrate on one item as long as he could. He had chosen the picture of T’Les when she was a baby in T’Pol’s arms.
Soon though, the image began to fade and then he couldn’t remember what he had wanted to remember, then that too faded away.