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Old June 14 2011, 11:39 PM   #61
The Badger
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Re: Starship Enterprise: Strange New World.

Thanks for your support!
I am still working on this, but once again real life rears it's ugly head. Two of my co-workers are off on maternity leave, so my usual rota is completely fecked (technical term). I find I need a couple of nights free to relax and get into the right mind set. As it is I'm not getting that time I need.

BUT, all being well I should have several days off next week. I should be able to get some done then.
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Old June 15 2011, 09:11 PM   #62
jerriecan
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Re: Starship Enterprise: Strange New World.

First, just let me say that this is one of the best fanfic stories I've read in ages. I read through all you've written last night, and plan on reading the previous story as soon as possible. I like your takes on the characters - far more personality than the Enterprise TV versions. And your world seems far more realistic than the TV Enterprise as well. I'll definitely be keeping up with any new additions to this tale, and whatever else you may write in the future.

Second, as a writer myself, I completely understand about real life getting in the way of creativity, whether it be health or work or some other circumstance. I hope you can find the time you need to write more of this wonderful tale!

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Old June 18 2011, 04:09 PM   #63
The Badger
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Re: Starship Enterprise: Strange New World.

Thanks for your kind words jerriecan! At times it looks like only two or three people are reading this, so it's comforting to learn others are giving it a look.

The first story, I should warn you, is somewhat long and rambling. Although if you do start reading it now you'll probably be finished before I get the next part out!
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Old June 18 2011, 05:00 PM   #64
jerriecan
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Re: Starship Enterprise: Strange New World.

The Badger wrote: View Post
Thanks for your kind words jerriecan! At times it looks like only two or three people are reading this, so it's comforting to learn others are giving it a look.

The first story, I should warn you, is somewhat long and rambling. Although if you do start reading it now you'll probably be finished before I get the next part out!
I know how it feels to have a small audience. My own Doctor Who stories are the same way. And I also understand long and rambling - some of my stories just seemed to go on and on before I cut them off, and sometimes that wasn't a good thing.

I'll be reading the previous story soon. Really looking forward to it!

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Old June 18 2011, 09:08 PM   #65
fullfathomfive
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Re: Starship Enterprise: Strange New World.

I am a professional lurker on these forums, but just popping my head up to let you know Badger that I have been enjoying your fanfic, both this and your version of Broken Bow. You definitely have an audience and we are patiently awaiting each instalment.



The Badger wrote: View Post
Thanks for your kind words jerriecan! At times it looks like only two or three people are reading this, so it's comforting to learn others are giving it a look.

The first story, I should warn you, is somewhat long and rambling. Although if you do start reading it now you'll probably be finished before I get the next part out!
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Old June 20 2011, 06:47 AM   #66
Timewalker
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Re: Starship Enterprise: Strange New World.

The Badger wrote: View Post
Thanks for your kind words jerriecan! At times it looks like only two or three people are reading this, so it's comforting to learn others are giving it a look.
I just decided on a whim to read this, as of all the versions of Star Trek, Enterprise is my least favorite (actually, I don't really consider it to be real Star Trek, since it made so much hash of Roddenberry-established canon). But your story is surprisingly agreeable - I'm enjoying the absence of T'Pol and Phlox, and the cute little bits about Porthos.

BTW, thread views can give a better indicator of your true audience size than the number of people who post comments.

jerriecan wrote: View Post
I know how it feels to have a small audience. My own Doctor Who stories are the same way.
Are your Doctor Who stories posted here?
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Old June 20 2011, 07:05 AM   #67
jerriecan
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Re: Starship Enterprise: Strange New World.

Timewalker wrote: View Post

jerriecan wrote: View Post
I know how it feels to have a small audience. My own Doctor Who stories are the same way.
Are your Doctor Who stories posted here?
Not as yet - I didn't know if non-Trek stories were allowed. But since they seem to be, I'll be sharing some of my Doctor Who stories soon.
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Old June 26 2011, 03:13 PM   #68
The Badger
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Re: Starship Enterprise: Strange New World.

Right, I've finally got a few days off, so I can get on with the next bit. Again I apologise for the delays.

Timewalker, fullfathomfive, thanks for your input. It's good to have you along.

Jerriecan, please do post your Who fic. I'll be giving it a look. I've thought of doing some myself, but have difficulty deciding on a good in-universe explanation as to why the Doctor's companion has suddenly started wearing a catsuit.
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Old June 26 2011, 05:14 PM   #69
jerriecan
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Re: Starship Enterprise: Strange New World.

The Badger wrote: View Post
Right, I've finally got a few days off, so I can get on with the next bit. Again I apologise for the delays.

Timewalker, fullfathomfive, thanks for your input. It's good to have you along.

Jerriecan, please do post your Who fic. I'll be giving it a look. I've thought of doing some myself, but have difficulty deciding on a good in-universe explanation as to why the Doctor's companion has suddenly started wearing a catsuit.
First off, I'm really looking forward to more of this story! I've been reading through your 'broken Bow' re-imagining, and I'm thoroughly engrossed so far. I'll post in that thread when I get a chance.

And as for the catsuit... well, I came up with what i think is a good explanation for why my alternate-universe 7th Doctor's companion wore one. (Not Ace, but an alternate companion of my own making. I'll have to get posting so you can see... )

Jerriecan
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Old June 26 2011, 09:15 PM   #70
The Badger
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Re: Starship Enterprise: Strange New World.

In the New Adventures novels, Ace left the Doctor to become a mercenary in the Dalek wars for a while. When she returned she had a combat suit. Sophie Aldred donned a rubber catsuit for a photoshoot about that time in her book 'Ace: the inside story of the end of an era'.

At any rate, if there's catsuit wearing girls in your story, that's another reason to read them!
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Old June 26 2011, 09:34 PM   #71
jerriecan
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Re: Starship Enterprise: Strange New World.

Not in the first story... but stick around. Off to find the stories on my HD and get them ready to post.

EDIT: The first Doctor Who story is posted!

Last edited by jerriecan; June 26 2011 at 10:23 PM.
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Old June 26 2011, 11:03 PM   #72
Timewalker
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Re: Starship Enterprise: Strange New World.

The Badger wrote: View Post
Duncan MacLeod wrote: View Post
I've said it before and I'll say it again - I like this version of Jonathan Archer. Just wish he was played by somebody else. Maybe the fine fellow in my avatar.
This any good?

Woot! I'd watch Adrian Paul read the phone book!

(btw, the funniest line in the entire Highlander TV series? The episode when MacLeod is working as an actor in a traveling Shakespeare troupe and playing one of the female leads; he gets in a fight with somebody and pouts: "You tore muh dress!" )
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Old June 28 2011, 10:06 PM   #73
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Re: Starship Enterprise: Strange New World.

The surface of Galador III. October 27th, 2151.

It was noticeably cooler in the foothills of the mountains, quite refreshing after the lazy heat of the plains. The increased altitude had little to do with it. They'd made good progress, and climbed a fair way, but not far enough to make any significant difference to the temperature. But now they'd moved into the shade of the towering peaks, offering respite from the blazing sun. The proximity of the fast running River Autumn, carrying snow-melt from the mountains, also served to cool the air. They were careful not to get too close though. Tests had conclusively proved that the river was the source of the mysterious compound that had poisoned Corporal James, and everyone was wary.

"Alright everyone, we'll stop here for a bit. Get our breath back. Scott, get some coffee brewing." Archer said. He shrugged the heavy backpack off with some relief, and looked out over the plains. Their current elevation made for a fantastic view. He could see the main camp-site in the distance. The Beowulf looked like a toy, and straining his eyes he could just make out some of the people still there.

Officially, according to the UESPA manual, the correct term for what Archer was now leading was an 'Expeditionary Party'. He had always found something vaguely embarrassing about that phrase for some reason, and had attempted to avoid it when asking for volunteers to find the source of the contaminant. During the following discussion, however, Crewman Scott used the phrase, with the result that Professor Partridge had immediately announced that she would be going on the 'expotition'. She'd then started singing, loudly and tunelessly, 'The wonderful thing about Pollys, is that Pollys are wonderful things!', whilst bouncing around the camp-site. This behaviour had continued until Corporal James, who was well enough to attend the meeting, had threatened to break out the stun grenades and tazers. Trip Tucker, apparently, had informed the Marines quite some time back that non lethal force was justified in the event of singing.

And so the expeditionary party had set off early that morning, over the plains towards the foothills. Using topographic data provided by the marine aerial drones they had been able to plot the easiest route along the course of the river. Drone four had also been re-tasked to keep an eye on them for as far as possible. Unfortunately that would not be for much further. A forest grew part way up the slopes, the river flowed through it. The drones optical sensors could not see though the thick canopy. The thermal sensors were a little better, but this area was full of geothermal hot spots. There were simply too many heat sources to make any sense of.

Apart from Archer himself, UESPA was represented by Crewmen Scott and Miller. Travis Mayweather was the sole member of the UEMA Fleet division present. Security trained, he carried an EM-400 rifle, and wore his ship issue baseball cap with the visor low over his eyes. Two of the Marines,'Red' Grant and Dumont, had come along in case of problems. As a medic Dumont's value was obvious. James had wanted to join them, but Doctor Locke had insisted she remain in camp until he was sure she was fully recovered, and Tipping was stand by pilot for the Beowulf, so he had to remain. Grant then had joined the party by default. Apart from the Professor two scientists, Trevor Collins and Jeff Murry, had come along. All carried backpacks, and the quad bike pulled a trailer of camping equipment. No one knew exactly how long this would take, so they had prepared for a couple of nights.

He looked around. "This might be a good place to set up camp." The area around them was flat and grassy, with a few boulders scattered around. The forest began further upstream.

"Isn't it a bit early?" Jeff asked. "We've still got a few hours of sunlight left."

"True. But we don't know what's up ahead. We could walk for hours and not find a good spot, and I don't fancy trying to put up a tent in the middle of an unknown forest in the dark." He grinned wryly. "On the other hand, we could stroll ten meters into that same forest and find what we are looking for. Well, let's get something to eat and think it over."

Professor Partridge wandered over to them. "Right. If we are stopping I'll run another check on the water. Never hurts to get extra data." From her backpack she produced a pair of goggles, which she donned. "De goggles do nothing!" she said in a cod Germanic accent. She'd said the same thing the three previous times she'd gotten samples, and no one knew why. After tying her hair back she covered her nose and mouth with a surgical mask. There was some concern that the compound would be even more harmful up here. Lab tests showed that it's toxicity was significantly greater at low temperatures.

"I'll get a water bottle ready." Archer said. If Polly did get splashed the best course of action would be to wash the compound off as quickly as possible. "Are you sure you want to do it? Taking risks isn't really your style."

Her grin was obvious even behind the mask. "I know what you mean. But I kind of feel I owe it to Autumn, you know?" Archer nodded. He did know. "Besides, I'm the only one present whose clothes are one hundred percent waterproof. As long as my head stays dry, I'll be fine. Otherwise..." She gestured to Archer's water bottle.

Murry rubbed his chin. "You are assuming, of course, that the material of your outfit won't be dissolved by the compound."

She giggled. "Very unlikely. I designed this to protect me from all manner of hazardous substances. And, of course, to look fabulous."

Polly's current catsuit was a black and orange tiger striped affair. Given her Tigger references the previous night, either she'd brought it along with the rest of her stuff and just happened to find the perfect opportunity to wear it, or the clothing itself could be made to change colour and pattens. Or, Archer thought, she manipulated the conversation the previous night to give her an excuse to wear it. That seemed both likely and unlikely to him. Likely, because Partridge was certainly smart enough to set things up like that. She was an absolute demon at chess. During the Enterprise's first mission she and Vulcan Ambassador Soval had spent many hours in the obs. lounge, usually resulting in a stalemate. Eventually they'd decreed chess to be to limited, too simple, and they'd started developing a multi level variant.

It was unlikely, in Archer's view, because Polly Partridge had never required an excuse to dress up. As her sole concession to the rough terrain she had swapped her normal footwear for a pair of sturdy, yet stylish, hiking boots. Not even she would attempt a mountain climb in stilettos.

She took two steps towards the river, then turned back. "Mind you, if I'm wrong, and my clothes do dissolve, I'd suddenly be naked. Is that such a disaster?"

"Oh, I think we could cope." Jeff said with a smile.

She regarded him silently for a moment, then arched an eyebrow. "You're a married man Jeff, I'll tell your wife you said that!" With another giggle she spun away and positively skipped towards the river.

Archer chuckled, and was about to speak when he caught sight of 'Red' Grant on her hands and knees, apparently sniffing the ground. No, not sniffing, he realized, but examining it minutely. She got up, moved to another spot, and repeated the procedure. He approached her. "Something up?"

Squatting on her haunches she thought for a moment. "Lot of trails here, Captain." she said in her soft, French Canadian accent. "Lots of animals come here. Some quite big. Probably to drink. Might not be a good place to stay too long, I think."

He looked to the tree line. "You think we're in danger?"

"Maybe, maybe not. I'm not seeing anything that looks like claws, so it don't look like there's anything predatory. But some animals, they get territorial, y'know? If they find us here, they might see us as intruders, try to get rid of us."

Something was bothering Archer, something he couldn't quite place. "Okay, you and Dumont stay alert, just in case. We'll take some quick refreshment, then be on our way."

"Yes sir." Grant said, hoisting her rifle. Unlike the ones carried by the other marines, it wasn't a plasma weapon. Grant had been a scout/sniper before transferring to the Pathfinders, and preferred the EM-660. Whilst guns firing metal bullets might be old fashioned, the fact that the projectiles couldn't be seen was considered an advantage for a soldier operating from concealment. For close up work she had an under-slung EM-303 grenade launcher, loaded with cannister rounds, essentially shotgun shells with six 'triple-ought' pellets. A hit with one of those was like catching a burst from a submachine gun.

Scott came over with his coffee. He thanked her and took a sip. It was good, strong, the way he liked it. He turned from the river and looked out over the plains once more, mulling over the next course of action. If Grant was right then they couldn't stop here. They'd have to move on, find somewhere they were less likely to be disturbed by the local wildlife. As soon as they'd finished their drinks he would----

Drinks.

Drinks.

And that was what had been bothering him. He paused, mug halfway to his lips, thinking furiously. "Grant? Are you sure that animals would come here to drink?"

She gave a half nod. "I'm not too familiar with the wildlife on this planet, Captain, but I've been to three Earth like worlds. Four if you count Earth itself. This place has all the signs I see in watering holes. So yes, I think so."

A frown fell on Archer's face. "But why would animals come drink at a river, when that river is poisoned?"

"Poisoned..." Grant said. "I do not know. Maybe they are immune. Perhaps they evolve here so it don't hurt them?"

Jeff Murry was listening in. "It's possible. That poison is corrosive, it'd take some pretty major adaptation to cope with that. If any animal can survive drinking it with no ill effects, well that's something worth studying. Though we'd probably have to dissect it to see what makes it tick."

"If you want something dead, Doctor Murry," Grant said, patting her rifle barrel, "you just tell me."
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Old June 28 2011, 10:06 PM   #74
The Badger
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Re: Starship Enterprise: Strange New World.

From near the river Partridge called out. "Hey, guys? Come have a butcher's at this!"

They tramped over towards her, taking care not to get too close to the water.

'Red' grunted. "So much for the immunity theory." She prodded at the body with a combat boot. "This thing is very dead."

The 'thing' was a quadruped creature, rather like a large pig or boar, with course black fur and prominent tusks. It was laying in a small depression, partly covered by a small bush, which was why it had not been spotted before. A thin trickle of grey green slime lead from it's mouth to a small puddle.

"I was just coming back from checking the river---major, major contaminant levels, by the way---when I spotted this little fellow looking right at me. It was the scariest moment of my life. Well, one of the scariest moments. Top ten, anyway." Partridge said. She folded her arms and pouted. "If it had been alive I'd have had it. And I thought you marines were supposed to be looking after us."

Grant shrugged. "Not me professor, I only came along to do target practice." she said, deadpan. "Hey, do you reckon there's good eating on one of these?"

"Maybe on one that hasn't been poisoned." Polly said, leaning close to examine it. "Wouldn't that be marvellous though? Our first planet, and we discover a new source of bacon. Brilliant!"

Archer said "But it still leaves us with a mystery. Wouldn't a creature avoid a water source if it was poisonous?"

"Perhaps it didn't know." Jeff suggested. "It might have migrated here from another area. It might not have immunity that native creatures do."

"Doctor, I look at the hooves, and I look at the tracks. They look the same to me. I can't for sure say this one is from round here," Grant prodded the boar again, "but others of the same type sure are. Besides..." she trailed off, pointing. On the other side of the river there was a large, flat bolder. A brown mass lay slumped on top.

"What is that?" Archer asked.

Wordlessly Grant lifted her rifle and peered though the telescopic sight. She made a few adjustments, then handed the weapon to him. Reed has once told Archer that the scope would let you read a book at two kilometres, though why you'd want to do that, and how you'd turn the pages, were questions left unanswered. It certainly had no trouble picking out details of an object thirty metres away.

It was a monkey, or this planet's closest equivalent. The science team had been tracking groups of them in the forests bordering the plains for several days now. The presence of this one indicated that they lived in the mountain forests too, although in this particular case 'lived' was very much in the past tense. There was no hint of movement, or breathing.

He lowered the gun and handed it back. Rubbing the back of his neck in contemplation, he looked down at the boar. "Is there any way to find out how long this has been dead for?"

"Oh, not long." Grant said. "There's little sign of decay. Also, look at the trail, where it dragged itself into shelter. See how the edges are just beginning to crumble?" Archer couldn't, but gave a vaguely affirmative grunt. "That means these tracks are recent Captain. Three, four days at the most. Probably just one."

Archer nodded. "Which rather suggests that the reason these animals didn't avoid the water, is that until fairly recently that water was safe."

"Interesting hypothesis Johnny." Polly said. "But what could cause such a...oh, I know! We're approaching an area of geological activity. Perhaps the compound was released into the water recently. We did speculate that it may be volcanic in origin, though of course we'd need to find the source to confirm that."

"I don't know. It strikes me as a bit of a coincidence." Archer said. "This happening now, just as we are here."

Polly shrugged. "For all we know it's a regular occurrence. Chemical reactions in an underground chamber, pressure builds up, some of the compound escapes, pressure drops until next time. Rinse, lather, repeat. Always repeat. There may be a way to find out. Those trees at the forest edge. I'll use an ultrasonic scanner, count the number of rings, and see how evenly spaced they are. I'll use those ones over there, away from the river as a control group, and compare them with those ones on it's bank. If the hypothesis is correct we should find that the ones at the bank have regular periods of reduced growth."

"Because those are the times they've been poisoned?" Archer asked.

"Right. Obviously the compound can't be released too often, as animals would be wiped out without a safe water supply. There has to be sufficient time for the population to re-establish itself and become used to drinking here again. And of course the trees themselves wouldn't survive too great an exposure." She started rummaging through her back pack for the scanner.

Archer drained his coffee. "Well, don't be too long. We better get moving soon. If you want a coffee, now's the time."

He went back to where Scott had set up the percolator, followed closely by Murry and Grant. After getting himself a refill he looked round and saw Mayweather sat on a rock, facing away from the plains and towards the mountains. He sat next to him. "You okay Travis?"

"Ah, a lot better sir. Now we've actually got some scenery around us I'm feeling a lot more comfortable. Down there---" he jerked his head back towards the plains, "---I keep getting the notion that I'm going to fall off the world."

"Just remember to keep a lot of heavy weights in your pockets, you'll be alright." Archer said wryly.

Mayweather smiled, then his brow creased. "Hey. What is that?"

Archer followed his gaze, then looked round for Grant. "Red, get over here!"

Something was moving in the tree line on the other side of the river. It looked like....yes, yes it was...a boar like creature, similar to the one they'd found earlier. It stopped as it saw them, standing it's ground, before emitting an oddly warbling snort. For several long seconds it regarded them.

"Just say the word, captain." Grant murmured, rifle at the ready.

He raised his hand. "Not yet. I think it's just being cautious. If it attacks you'll have to do something about it, but until it does, let's leave it be."

"Look at those tusks." Travis said. He was aiming his own rifle. "I'm glad it's on the other side of the river."

There was a chirp from Archer's communicator. Slowly, so as not to startle the beast, he unzipped the pocket and got the device out. It was one of the new sort, with the flip top lids. He wasn't used to them yet and fumbled it open. "Archer here."

"Sato sir, we're watching via the drone. Do you require assistance?"

"Not as yet, but keep an eye on...hold on." Across the river the creature turned and walked back into the forest. "Okay, did you see that? It's gone. We'll be on our way in a minute."

"Understood. Don't forget we'll lose coverage once you are in the forest, so be careful!"

"Yes mother." he grinned. "Archer out."

Mayweather made his rifle safe. "Guess we must have scared that thing off."

The captain said "Probably. But we may well have saved it's life as well."

"Oh? How so?"

"If it was coming here to drink, it would have been poisoned." Archer said. "At any rate, now we know there are others in this area, we better be careful. Everyone stay alert and....where's Polly? No, let me guess, she's already gone to scan the trees. Grant, get after her will you? And stick with her."

"Yes sir."

Backpacks wear donned, straps and buckles adjusted. The quad bike hummed into life. A flock of birds swooped over head, in a vee shaped pattern, like geese. And then----

"Down, every one down!" Dumont hissed urgently.

There was some confusion amongst the group. Archer, not knowing what was going on but trusting the marine's judgement, dropped to his belly and repeated Dumont's command.

As everyone complied Dumont slithered over to him. "Look sir."

Over by the tree line Grant had also dropped down, and was waving her left hand in what Archer guessed was some sort of sign language. After a moment she beckoned them over. Dumont went in a high speed zig zagging crouch with no discernible patten. Archer did his best to emulate him.

"The professor, she is not here." Grant said as they reached her. "Signs of a struggle."

Archer swore. "What was it, one of those creatures?" The boars certainly looked strong enough to drag someone away."

There was a hint of morbid humour in Grant's tone. "Not unless they use clubs." She pointed to a branch lying on the ground. At first glance it was no different to any of the others scattered around, until he saw the spots of blood and wisps of blonde hair.

"What the hell?" Dumont said. "Weren't we supposed to be the only ones on this planet?"

Damnit! Archer thought. He took a deep breath, and tried to steady himself. There's no body, so she was taken off somewhere. So she's still alive.

Probably.

For now.


"Can you follow the trail?" he asked.

She lead him into the forest. It was notably darker, with a thick, acrid stench, as sulphurous gasses from deep underground got trapped beneath the canopy. Grant and Dumont, Archer noted, were fully alert, automatically operating as a two man fire team. Presumably that was just being cautious. If they'd expected any real trouble then, he hoped, they wouldn't have brought him with them.

On the ground, it's display shattered, lay the professor's ultrasonic scanner. It must have been on when it was damaged, as it now emitted a sad gurgling whine. He stepped forward to pick it up.

"Wait sir! You'll disturb the sign." Grant said. She pointed. "Here, and here. Do you see?"

Archer didn't, but now it had been pointed out to him Dumont did. "Oh hell. That complicates things."

"So what is it?" Archer asked.

"It's these tracks sir, we've seen them before. They're combat boots..." Grant glanced at Dumont. "They're Axanar."
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Old June 29 2011, 04:45 PM   #75
Duncan MacLeod
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Re: Starship Enterprise: Strange New World.

If I didn't know that you'd never kill off Polly I'd be very worried, Badger.

Top marks for a fine chapter all around.
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