-1Disclaimer: Star Trek in all its forms belongs to Gene Roddenberry and the Corporations. There is no infringement intended, as this is just a humble fan fiction intended to amuse and entertain. No money will be made nor is any expected. Just a few reviews to make the author smile and feel it is worth writing more.

A/N: Ok everyone this is AU big time. I decided that I did not like the way Elizabeth Tucker died . After all Trip is not the only one with the Tucker charm. It took me a while to come up with a workable solution to save her and I hope it works. As always the ratings will be from G to NC-17.

A/N: Thoughts and Telepathy in Italics

Challenging Fate

Part one A new Design for the future

Lucian watched the events unfold and cursed-

I can not allow this. The pain of losing his sister will destroy him. Elizabeth is a shining light of what humanity can be. I can not allow that light to be extinguished. Then there is Koss. He has much to learn but he had potential. It is just unfortunate that he was bonded with T'Pol. He will not survive what is to come if he does not have a mate. His demise would haunt T'Pol. I should not care so much but these are my children. Sighing. I am a above this and my fellows will not approve but I will not allow this to happen. I am their guardian it is my right. There will be some pain that I can not prevent but the ending I can and will change. Elizabeth Tucker is strong enough to endure. She will be a bridge even as her brother will be. Yes I will do this. Now how to save her from the Xindi. Ah yes the Orions. My worst mistake may well serve a purpose now.

He shimmered away and whispered into the Xindi's ear. Degra use the Orions to plant the homing device for your bomb. Jankal will do the job well he is a master spy.

Degrapaced he had to have a way to set the device. His design was still imperfect. Then it his him so simple. Yes it was. He picked up the com and called for one of their spies. He would plant a device the Xindi machine would home in on this and they would easily take out their target.

Part 2 Setting the Stage

The Orion agent moved with care. He did not like this world. It was to clean and to crowded. So many humans rushing about. Then there was the fact that the females were clearly not controlled. Did these human males have no dignity. He could not believe how bold and arrogant the females were. He watched as one such ran to catch a bus. She cut him off as he went to get his morning coffee. Coffee the one beverage he liked that the humans made. It had potential. That female however angered him. He was almost wishing he could take her with him. He would love to break her. He grabbed a cab and headed to the building site. It would be perfect. There was so much chaos that the humans would never notice the device. He got out of the cab and headed toward the building. It was a shame really it was an interesting design. The human who had come up with this was very skilled.

"Can I help you sir." A soft calm voice.

Jarkal turned and was surprised to see the female who had cut him off earlier. "Yes of course. Miss I was looking for the designer of this building. I was hoping to commission him."

There was a light laugh. "Well I am afraid that won't be possible for several months."

"Should that not be his choice?" Jarkal asked.

Elizabeth Tucker sighed. It was not often that you ran into such men. Men who thought women like her were just there to be a part of the scenery. She took a calming breath and said "Well sir I can answer that as I am the architect of this building. I am afraid I am booked for the next year and a half."

Jarkal was stunned. He straightened up and said "My apologies Ms. Tucker. I had assumed that the architect was male. The name on the design credits was E. A. Tucker."

"Well yes, I did that to distinguish myself from my family. I suppose it is easy enough to make that mistake. Would you like a tour of the building? It is almost finished except for the landscaping."

Jarkal nodded. "That would be most pleasing. Lead the way. Perhaps I could change your mind. I truly do need a person of vision for my home. I am living at Altair 7 and have a home on the ocean. I find your designs would fit there most nicely."

Elizabeth was shocked. An off world commission. Now that was tempting. She longed to see the stars. However she did not have the adventurous spirit of her elder brother Charles S. Tucker III. An off world commission might be a way to see some new world without the risks of Starfleet. "Perhaps you could tell me about this commission."

The two walked toward the building and Jarkal decided then and there he was not allowing this human to die. The more he saw of her work the more he wanted to keep her. He like most Orion men considered women to be property. Useful toys. However this female could be so much more. He had women for bed sport this one had a brain. He would even admit that her defiance was intriguing. They walked along and the human explained the design.

Just then a young boy came running in. He almost ran them over.

Elizabeth caught him. "Mestral slow down. What is your hurry?"

Jarkal was surprised to see the child was Vulcan. What was a Vulcan doing here?

"I am sorry Ms. Lizzy but father wanted me to go with him to the gardens. I am late."

Jarkal noted her amusement.

"Well go on then but have a care. It would not do for your sire to see you running."

The young boy smiled. Something else that shocked Jarkal. "Yes Miss Lizzy. I will be back to help you latter."

"Off you go then. Remember walk slowly."

The youngster took off.

Lizzy was clearly amused. "That was Mestral he is the son of my landscape architect. Tvol. He has been interested in learning about design so I convinced his father to let him work with me."

"That is surprising to think a Vulcan would trust you so."

"They are good people. I was glad to help. Now let's go to my office. Maybe we can work something out." Lizzy said.