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Old February 5 2012, 09:21 PM   #1
Gwen
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Enterprise fic

*** The two starships whose images were currently portrayed on the main viewscreen were bulky, squat vessels, with murky brown hull plating that made them appear rusted and old. Captain Jonathan Archer sat in his command chair on the bridge of the USS Enterprise, stroking his chin thoughtfully as he regarded the viewer, narrowing his gaze at the small spacecraft hanging in space ahead of his vessel. "Sensors confirm that both ships are crewed," Subcommander T'Pol announced from her science station, peering into the viewer that protruded from the console, "Although I am unable to identify a species at this time." Archer studied the two ships for a long moment, noticing blackened marks along their hulls that appeared at a glance have been the result of weapons fire. Such damage could account for their completely motionless orientation, but even a vessel at relative rest in the interstellar void between the stars generally had some momentum, however little. "I've been hailing them on all frequencies," Ensign Hoshi Sato reported, her fingers moving expertly over her communications board as she endeavoured to establish a link with the other ships. Archer glanced over his shoulder, his blue eyes seeking out the exotic visage of his alien first-officer. "How close is the nearest inhabited system?" T'Pol's instant response was a testament to the intellect and memory of the Vulcan brain. "Approximately twenty-five light-years," she told him briskly, "The home system of the Tralok, a primitive race that has reached the iron-age of its evolution." "So we can discount the possibility that these ships have come from there," Malcolm Reid pointed out needlessly from his weapons station. "There are no worlds in the immediate vicinity that employ interstellar spaceflight," the Vulcan scientist continued, "And I detect no ships within sensor-range to account for the weapons damage we are observing." Archer absently scratched the back of his hand as he began to decide on the best course of action. The ships appeared to have been attacked at some stage in the last few hours, but their crews apparently had no wish to respond to the Starfleet vessel's overtures toward any sort of dialogue. He wasn't particularly taken with the prospect of boarding the alien spacecraft, reluctant to send any members of his crew into a situation where they may be assaulted by the people who the sensors confirmed were over there. "Maybe their engines have stalled," Ensign Travis Mayweather suggested, turning in his seat at the helm to put forward an opinion. "Both of them?" Reid replied dubiously, "In the same place?" "Do you recognise the weapons-signatures?" Archer asked his second-in-command, aware that the Vulcan woman had more experience and hours-logged in space than anyone aboard the his ship. "No," T'Pol answered after only a moment's hesitation, "But whatever energy-weapons inflicted the damage, they were considerably more powerful than anything in Starfleet's arsenal." The science-officer's words inspired a familiar chill to move through Archer, as he was once again faced with the frightening realisation that his starship, the crowning achievement of human science and technology, may be severely outmatched in any forthcoming engagement. "If I can determine the communication frequencies that this species use," Sato interjected, "We might be able to broadcast a distress-signal to their homeworld." "We don't know if their homeworld is anywhere near here to recieve a signal," Reid pointed out from across the bridge, "Or even if they're actually in distress." Archer rose slowly from his command chair, keeping his eyes on the viewscreen and the motionless spacecraft. "Something's not right," he decided, "And if my ship was stopped dead in space like that, I hope someone would try to find out why." "We're going to board them?" Mayweather asked, obviously as a precursor to his requesting permission to join any away-team. The captain nodded slowly. "Just one of them," he confirmed, turning to his communications officer, "Contact engineering and inform Commander Tucker that he's going to take a shuttle over to the nearest ship to get us some answers." "Aye, sir," Sato acknowledged. "Are the docking facilities on those ships compatible with ours?" Archer asked. "I believe so," T'Pol replied, "Although I am unable to determine what sort of atmosphere is being generated aboard the vessels, so I would recommend the use of environmental-suits." "Agreed," the captain said as he descended to the solitary helm station ahead of his chair, surveying the complex array of controls and sensor readings, "Travis, the shuttle will probably need our best pilot at the controls to make a successful docking, I'd like you to accompany Commander Tucker." Mayweather smiled broadly. "Aye, sir," he responded crisply, obvious eager at the chance to disembark the confines of the starship for an hour, even if his destination was another spacecraft. As the helmsman vacated his post and left the bridge for the shuttlebay, Archer slid smoothly into the seat and tapped at the console, swiftly entering a course away from the alien vessels at maximum warp. If anything went wrong and the other ships became hostile, he would take the Enterprise out of danger even if it meant leaving Tucker and Mayweather behind. The safety of the majority had to take precedence. "I'd like to get some sort of closure to this situation," Archer announced, the statement directed toward no crewmember in particular, "Besides its the most interesting thing to happen in days." "I have observed that humans have a tendency to equate interest with danger," T'Pol put in, manipulating the sensor controls in an attempt to obtain a better scan. The captain shrugged, giving her a wry smile. "We're on a mission of exploration here, T'Pol," he told her, "Danger is part of the job." "Didn't say that on my job description," Reid muttered quietly. "You're an armory officer," Sato pointed out, "That's basically a gunner isn't it?" Reid's eyebrows rose in a combination of surprise and irritation at her query. "I think you'll find my job is a little more complicated than that." Archer chuckled quietly to himself, but looked up as the communications console chirped softly for attention. "Commander Tucker and Ensign Mayweather are aboard the shuttle," Sato reported, "They're ready to go." "Clear them for launch," the captain instructed his first-officer, "And keep a sensor-lock on the shuttle." T'Pol tapped the appropriate controls on her console. "Sensor-lock established," she said, "Shuttle is away." * Commander Charlie Tucker strapped himself into his acceleration seat in the cockpit of the shuttlecraft, surveying the complex operations control panel set out before him. "This is gonna be great!" Travis Mayweather raved, fastening his own straps and swiftly inputting commands to the helm, bringing the little ship's systems online, "This is the first exciting thing to happen around here in ages." Trip grinned to himself, amused by the younger man's enthusiasm. "Couldn't agree more," he replied, "All we seem to be doing is blowing past star systems at warp five." "Requesting launch clearance," Mayweather reported. Trip braced himself for takeoff. "Here we go." * Archer watched the viewscreen intently, his eyes tracking the small, streamlined vessel as it accelerated sharply away from the Enterprise and banked toward the looming alien ships. "Any change in those ships' status?" the captain asked. "None," T'Pol responded. On the screen, the shuttle described a leisurely arc in space, piloted by the experienced hand of Travis Mayweather. Suddenly, the little vessel froze in place. Archer held his breath, hearing shocked gasps of air from all around him as his bridge crew observed the same spectacle. There had been no deceleration, as all the established laws of spaceflight demanded there must, the shuttle had simply gone from impulse speed to a dead stop when it closed to within two hundred metres of its target. "What happened?" the captain demanded. "Checking," T'Pol called, frantically manipulating her science console to discover what had just occurred. "No response from the shuttle!" Sato reported. "I'm moving us in!" Archer announced, easing power to the Enterprise's impulse engines to drive his starship closer, "Malcolm, get ready to grab them." "No!" T'Pol snapped, "Hold position!" Acting more in instinct than logic, Archer heeded the warning of his first-officer, bringing the ship to an abrupt stop. "What's wrong?" he asked her, frustrated that he'd had to abandon his hasty rescue mission. "I believe I have discovered what is occurring here," the Vulcan woman told him, "The shuttle is frozen in time." "What?" Archer spat. "What we have encountered is a temporal-rift," T'Pol explained calmly, "A phenomenon within which passage of time is slowed to relatively nothing. If the Enterprise continued on its previous course, we would have become snared within the rift ourselves, along with the alien ships and our own shuttle." "A temporal-rift," Archer marvelled, "Flying into it would be like entering the event-horizon of a black hole, we'd effectively be removed from the rest of the galaxy forever." "Essentially correct," T'Pol responded. "If that's true," Reid said slowly, "Then Commander Tucker and Ensign Mayweather are trapped. If we fire a grappling-hook at the shuttle it'll never reach them." Archer rose from his seat at the helm, his mind still coming to terms with the situation that they now found themselves in. "Well I'm not willing to leave two of my crew frozen in time," he said defiantly, looking across the bridge at T'Pol, "Have the Vulcans had much experience with this sort of phenomenon?" The first-officer shook her head. "Very little," she admitted, "In the past my people have lost ships in suspicious circumstances that many believe to have been related to temporal anomalies." Archer sighed, his mind racing with questions to which T'Pol could offer no answers. "Do we have any idea how long those aliens ships have been trapped?" he asked her. "The rift prevents any sort of decay," she explained, "They could have been trapped for days or centuries, I have no means by which to determine when they entered." "How many people are onboard?" Archer prodded. "Thirty-four between both ships," T'Pol answered, "Fifteen on the vessel closest to us, nineteen on the other." "Thirty-six lives at stake," the captain muttered, slowly pacing back and forth before his command chair, his tactician's brain working to formulate a plan of action, "And every one of those people are effectively dead unless we can get them out of the rift." "That will be difficult," T'Pol said somehow reluctantly, "We cannot manuver the Enterprise any closer to perform a rescue operation, or we risk becoming trapped ourselves." "I'm not going to leave without trying," Archer shot back. "What about the transporter?" Reid suggested, "Could it be used to pull Tucker and Mayweather out of the shuttle?" Archer turned to T'Pol. "How about it?" he asked. The Vulcan inclined her head as she considered the option. "It is a possibility," she said, "However, I am not aware of a transporter ever being used in such a manner." "Then we'll be the first," Archer decided, crossing to the communications console, "Contact the transporter bay, Hoshi, send them the instructions." The young woman quickly carried out the captain's orders, her fingers punching in the necessary commands. "I am channelling auxiliary-power to the transporter," T'Pol reported, "If I am correct, we will be placing an immense strain on the system." "She'll hold," Archer said. "Transporter bay reports ready," Sato announced, "They've locked onto our people." "Energise!" Archer commanded. Several decks below, the magnificent device that was the transporter roared with power, twin columns of sparking subatomic particles flaring into existence within the chamber. Archer felt the starship begin to tremble beneath his feet, vibrations moving through the Enterprise's rigid superstructure. "We're experiencing transporter feedback," T'Pol informed everyone, working her controls, "I am attempting to compensate." "The transporter is drawing much more power than usual," Reid threw in, "I've assigned it the emergency supplies." Archer steadied himself against one of the bridge's perimeter consoles as the trembling increased, sending any unfastened objects clattering onto the deck. "Do we have them?" he asked. "Not yet," T'Pol said, "We are having difficulty isolating their patterns for matter-reconstitution." "Come on, T'Pol," Archer urged, aware that the two men could only be held within the pattern-buffer for a short time before their signals began to degrade. "I am instituting emergency-procedures," the Vulcan told him, "Attempting to rematerialise them." In the transporter bay, the twin tornadoes of energy roiled furiously, as the powerful technology of the Enterprise forced the molecules to conform to a predetermined pattern. After what seemed like an eternity, the quantum mist solidified into the familiar forms of the ship's chief engineer and helmsman. "Transport complete!" T'Pol reported triumphantly, "They appear to have suffered no ill-effects." Archer let out a long sigh of relief, thankful that his two people had been rescued and were safely back onboard. "Which leaves us with thirty-four aliens stranded over on those two ships," he concluded finally. "We cannot employ the transporter to rescue that many individuals," T'Pol informed him, "Our systems cannot withstand the pressure we place upon them when conducting this sort of beamout." "Hoshi," Archer called, "After Trip and Travis get themselves checked out by Doctor Phlox, have them report to the bridge. Hopefully by then we'll have some options." * Doctor Phlox, the Enterprise's exotic medical officer and the individual charged with overseeing the physical wellbeing of the starship's crew, moved around the sickbay with practised ease. Jonathan Archer hovered near the doors, arms folded across his chest as he awaited the alien's completion of his examination. "I'm pleased to report that both men appear to be in perfect heath," Phlox announced finally, speaking in his customarily jovial tone, "They appear unaffected by their encounter with the temporal-rift." "Glad to hear it!" Trip Tucker commented, swinging his legs off the central biobed. "I can't remember anything about it," Travis Mayweather admitted, "One second I was making the final approach toward that ship, the next I was standing in the transporter." "From your perspective," Archer explained, "Time stopped for the few minutes you were inside the rift. Those two alien ships could've been stranded here much longer." "You mean they might have been stuck in there for years?" Trip asked, his expressive face betraying the shock he felt at the concept. Archer shrugged. "Or centuries," he answered solemnly, "T'Pol said there's no way of telling." "Can we beam them out?" Mayweather asked, "Like you did with us?" The captain shook his head. "We can't risk straining our systems," he said, "To beam that many people over here would fry every circuit on the ship, and the transporter is hardly a tried and tested device." "Half of them would probably end up turned inside-out or something," Trip muttered, perhaps more aware than anyone on the Enterprise how dangerous a piece of machinery the transporter actually was. After a moment of noiseless contemplation, Archer broke the silence. "We're holding position for the moment," he told them, "I've got T'Pol investigating how we might free those ships with the resources we've got available to us, but even the Vulcans don't have much experience with temporal phenomenon." "We should ask our Suliban friends," Trip joked. Archer forced a smile. "I doubt they'd be especially helpful," he replied, "But Hoshi is broadcasting a signal asking for assistance, I'm hoping that someone will answer." "You sure about that?" the chief engineer asked, "Our track record with aliens isn't exactly great." "No offence," Mayweather belatedly called in Doctor Phlox's direction. "We're not gonna make friends out here by not talking to anyone," Archer said, "And I'm not willing to believe that the majority of the species in this galaxy are hostile." As if to punctuate the captain's words, the starship suddenly lurched violently to starboard, two of the computer stations in sickbay erupting into flames as the internal lighting failed and plunged the room into darkness. Archer was thrown from his feet, hitting the deck hard as the dim emergency lighting flickered to life around him. "ALL HANDS TO BATTLESTATIONS!" the voice of the ship's first-officer ordered over the communications grid. The captain staggered to his feet, hurling himself in the direction of the door as his vessel was struck again by what could only be alien weapons fire. *
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Old February 7 2012, 04:56 AM   #2
ambessalion
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Re: Enterprise fic

this is a bit hard to read....you should separate it into blocks of paragraphs....and the conversations as well....
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Old February 7 2012, 06:40 PM   #3
Sandoval
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Re: Enterprise fic

Or you could just read the other, properly formatted one further down the page since this is clearly a new poster who has made a mistake pasting their story into the text box.
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Old February 7 2012, 09:03 PM   #4
ambessalion
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Re: Enterprise fic

okay.....i didnt know they're the same story
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Old February 8 2012, 02:17 AM   #5
Count Zero
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Re: Enterprise fic

I'm closing this because it's been reposted in a format that's a lot more reader friendly here.
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