After re-watching TAtV recently and realizing how bad it actually is, I decided rather then direct my nerd rage into complaining about it, I'd take that energy and refocus it into making something better. for you concideration, I present....
"These Were The Voyages" Part 1
4th March, 2181
Jonathan Archer hated speeches. No, not true. He enjoyed listening to them, message and the emotion. No, what he hated was writing them. He would spend hours just glaring at the screen, his mind barren of things to say. Other times, he'd have too much and loose himself in the myriad of issues. He hated constantly juggling grammer, the ineptitude to capture and convey certain emotions. Pinching the bridge of his nose, cursing himself for agreeing to give the graduation speech at Starfleet academy for the 4th year running.
He missed Starfleet. He missed the small army of yeomen and speech writers he had at his disposall. He missed the hum of warp engines and deck plating. Most of all, he missed Enterprise. It had been It had been more then 20 years since his ship had been de-commissioned, mothballed and donated to a museum, the peoples of the galaxy coming to study it rather then the other way around.
Archer train of thought was cut short by the repeating chime of his desktop moniter. Taking his seat once more, he tapped the screen, his half finished speech replaced by familiar face.
"Phlox! It's been a long time...it's good to see you"
A wide smile spread across the Denobulan face, one far wider then any human could manage. "It's good to see you too, Captain....or Admiral...or Councilman. It's hard to remember these days"
Archer chuckled at the doctor's genial jibe. For the last 6 years, he'd served as the Earth representative on the Federation Council, and Starfleet's Chief of staff for the 10 years prior. Thinking back on all those years made him feel older then the constant discovery of a new grey hair in his beard ever would.
"Let's just settle for Jonathan for now. So what brings you here, doctor? It's unlike you for nostalgia's sake"
The smile that had adorned Phlox's face just moments before collapsed, the once lively, good humoured Denobulan now quite and solemn.
"I have some bad news, sir.....Mr. Tucker died this morning"
The news struck Archer like a falling shuttle. They had all known this day was coming, ever since the accident on Mars and his delta radiation exposure. Not enough to maim or kill him outright, the damage was much more insidiousness and painful, condemning him to daily agony as his DNA slowly unwound. Yet despite this, Trip had always put up a brave font, acting uneffected, trying his best to calm his compatriots, to not worry them. But the dark truth still hung overhead.
Coughing to break the uncomfortable silence that had formed, the doctor pressed one, "As per Mr. Tucker's request, his funeral will be in three days and be buried on Mars, in Valles Marineris. He asked for the Enterprise crew to come."
"I'll try", he croaked out, still in shock from the lost of his friend. Sensing he needed to be alone, Phlox terminated the connection, leaving Archer once more alone in his office.
As the sun set over the bay, Archer let his head slowly sink into his hands as he considered the lost of one more colleague, of one more friend.