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Old December 28 2009, 09:22 PM   #211
Duncan MacLeod
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

The good guys win, UEMA and UESPA personnel develop respect for one another, Maria gets a command of her own, Archer is awarded a dual UEMA commission as a measure of respect and dies heroically during the Earth-Romulan War, Trip and Diva pair up, and Malcolm and Polly get married and live kinkily ever after.






oh, I wasn't supposed to say that, was I? Sorry.
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Old December 29 2009, 09:53 PM   #212
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Very good scene between Polly and Maria. This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
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Old January 5 2010, 09:45 PM   #213
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Duncan MacLeod wrote: View Post
The good guys win, UEMA and UESPA personnel develop respect for one another, Maria gets a command of her own, Archer is awarded a dual UEMA commission as a measure of respect and dies heroically during the Earth-Romulan War, Trip and Diva pair up, and Malcolm and Polly get married and live kinkily ever after.

oh, I wasn't supposed to say that, was I? Sorry.
Have you been reading my notes?

Another short piece. I'm finding it difficult to get the time to write at the moment, so I'll try to do quicker pieces to keep the momentum going rather than wait 'till I've time for my usual monolithic chapters.


UES Enterprise. En route to the Theta Iota system. Warp 3.62
17th May 2151.
Marine Commander's Office.

Malcolm Reed had the look on his face of someone who has bad tidings to deliver, and wasn't sure how they would be received. He cleared his throat several times as if ready to speak, but never followed through.

Feeling sympathetic, Captain Archer said "Please speak freely, Lieutenant."

Reed took a deep breath, like a diver preparing to plunge into icy waters. "Sir, I...sir. Oh Lord, sir, this is a bad idea sir. Really bad. Dreadful. Sir."

Archer leant forward over Reed's desk. "Don't mince words Malcolm, tell me what you really think." he said with a smile.

Rubbing the bridge of his nose wearily, Reed said "We are planning a possible rescue operation. An infiltration by stealth onto a hostile vessel, to recover the Vulcan Premier from an enemy we know practically nothing about. Not their numbers, not their aims, not their weaponry, not even their race. And--"

"We know there are humans and some Vulcans amongst them." Archer interrupted.

"But is that all, or are their others? They've used these Yridian fellows as go betweens. For all we know there could be a dozen other races involved. And now you tell me that you want to accompany us on the op., along with Lieutenant Sato and the Vulcan aide, T'Pol."

"And you think that's a bad idea." said Archer, a statement not a question.

"Do I still have permission to speak freely?" At Archer's nod Reed went on. "You're damn right I do. If anything goes wrong, it could turn into a combat situation. With respect, you're really not trained for that."

"And if everything goes right, then it could turn into a diplomatic situation. And you and your people aren't really trained for that, are you?"

Reed's shoulders slumped. "No sir."

Archer said "Make no mistake about it, I intend to get the Premier back by any means necessary. But that doesn't mean we go in all guns blazing. If negotiation has a chance, that's what we'll try. If it fails, then your methods are still an option."

"So, you're our best chance for a diplomatic solution. OK, I'll grant you that. What about the other two?"

"You said it yourself, there may be multiple races involved. Hoshi is our best communicator. And T'Pol, as a Vulcan national, may be useful dealing with the Premier when we find him. She volunteered by the way. Used to be in their military."

Reed sighed. "D'you know what the most infuriating thing about this is?"

"Go on."

"If this was a military ship I'd have the authority, under regulations, to prohibit you from doing this. If we get through this alive that's one little rule I'd recommend be adopted for all combined service missions. Right, if we're doing this you'd better get Sato and T'Pol down here."


Archer grinned. "They're here already, in the outer office."

***

In fact, only T'Pol was waiting in the outer office. Burke, Reed's administrative assistant, explained that Sato had announced that she was going 'for a look around', before disappearing through the door into Marine territory.

Following the sound of laughter and loud voices, Archer, Reed and T'Pol soon tracked the Lieutenant to one of the barracks. Here, a nervous looking Dumont stood side on to a wall, an unlit cigarette in his mouth. At the other end of the barracks stood Hoshi, riffle shuffling a deck of cards one handed.

"You! Name a card, any card!" she said.

The marine she pointed at, Tipping, thought for a moment. "Errrr....seven of hearts?" he hazarded.

Without looking she held the deck out towards him, vertically. Slowly one card rose, apparantly of it's own volition. It's back was towards the watching marines. Lightning fast, she snatched the card from the deck and sent it spinning down the barracks towards Dumont. He flinched as it whirled past his nose, neatly bisecting the cigarette. There was a brief spattering of applause.

"Ladies and gentlemen, is that your card?"

Dumont picked it up, showed it to the others. "Errrrr, no. Two of diamonds. Sorry."

"What, really? Oh well, can't win 'em all."

"Good throw, though." Dumont added. "In fact----"

He was interrupted by 'Red' Grant, who'd spotted the visitors. "Officer on deck!"

"Well I'm glad to see you're all so busy." Reed said, following the pounding of marine boots as they leapt to attention. "What with a major op. being imminent, it'd be terrible if you started slacking off at this difficult time. Good job that you're all so dedicated to the job, that that would never happen."

There was a muttered chorus of "Sorry sir." from the assembled marines.

"Right. Carry on."

Giving Sato a stern look, Reed led them along a narrow corridor to a store room. From a locker he produced what looked like a child's romper suit, though clearly adult sized. It was charcoal grey, with a vaguely metallic sheen. He held it up for their inspection.

"Right, you'll all have to wear one of these under your uniforms."

Archer took it from him and held it up to Sato. "You've a good eye, Malcolm. This is almost exactly Hoshi's size."

Now it was Reed's turn to grin. "Actually sir, that one's for you."

Archer looked startled. "I'm not quite sure I could get into there."

"We've been running a few simulations." Reed said. "Using the information on record, plus the recollection of those crew members who have served on Neptune class frigates, we've created a virtual copy of the enemy ship. My men have been exploring it with the VR equipment. Making sure they know there way round. We've all been on Neptune's anyway, as part of military exercises, but the VR system lets us do a bit more training.
"There's one factor that keeps coming up time and again. Apart from the main access corridors, it's very cramped, congested. If we go in there in full environmental suits it'll slow us right down. Too many choke points. And it doesn't matter how good your armour is, staying put and letting the enemy dictate the battle is a bad idea. So we wear these."

He took hold of the sleeve in both hands and stretched it. It sprang straight back when released. "If we can't have a full pressure suit on then this is the next best thing. Worn next to the skin it applies a constant elastic pressure that'll keep your organs in place should you suddenly find yourself in a vacuum. That, normal uniform, and standard body armour should see us through."

"I assume there's a way for us to breathe?" Hoshi asked, examining the material.

"You'll be fitted for a full face helmet. It's got an integral twenty minute air supply. Your back pack will keep you breathing for twelve hours, so you should have no trouble on that score. Oh, you'll be needing this as well." Reed said, putting a small packet on the table.

Archer picked it up, brows furrowed as he read the label. "Modelling clay? My nephew plays with this stuff. What do we need it for?"

Reed tried, unsuccessfully, to hide his smirk. "If you do enter a vacuum, any concave areas on you body would swell up till they filled the gap under the suit's fabric. Very uncomfortable. You can use this stuff to fill the gaps before hand. The top brass spent millions trying to develop something suitable, only to find this commercially available stuff does the job. Typical. Anyway, you'll need to fill out your armpits, small of your back, and, ah, lower down. And both of you ladies will need some..." He trailed off, and gestured vaguely to his chest.

"Her more than me." Hoshi said ruefully.

T'Pol's eyebrow raised slightly, but she kept her silence.

"Any questions?" Reed asked. There were none. "In that case I'll get Burke to scrounge up the necessary equipment. Whilst he's doing that, we better get down to the range. I know what you said, Captain, but none of you are coming until I'm satisfied you know what part of a firearm should be pointing at the enemy."


***

It is a small matter, almost too trivial to relate, but while Archer and the others were being given a crash course in weapons operation, a small group of Marines went for their latest familiarisation training. As they placed their VR helmets upon their heads one of their number, Tipping, removed it in surprise.

"What the hell?"

Tucked neatly into the helmet, directly in front of the display, was a playing card.

The seven of hearts.
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Old January 5 2010, 11:04 PM   #214
Duncan MacLeod
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

The Badger wrote: View Post
Duncan MacLeod wrote: View Post
The good guys win, UEMA and UESPA personnel develop respect for one another, Maria gets a command of her own, Archer is awarded a dual UEMA commission as a measure of respect and dies heroically during the Earth-Romulan War, Trip and Diva pair up, and Malcolm and Polly get married and live kinkily ever after.

oh, I wasn't supposed to say that, was I? Sorry.
Have you been reading my notes?

Another short piece. I'm finding it difficult to get the time to write at the moment, so I'll try to do quicker pieces to keep the momentum going rather than wait 'till I've time for my usual monolithic chapters.
Now how on Earth would I get a hold of them? You're on the other side of the pond!

I just know how your deviously kinky mind works is all. And it's not all that different from my own.

Wonderful chapter too. Pity Malcolm will never get that in there until Picard's time.
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Old January 5 2010, 11:17 PM   #215
Duncan MacLeod
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

One question though. This has bugged for a while. Malcolm's rank. Lieutenant is pretty low for a marine officer, don't you think Captain or Major would be more appropriate? I know his unit isn't very big, but it's supposed to be elite.
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Old January 6 2010, 02:01 PM   #216
The Badger
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Elite, yes, but it's still only a platoon. Two squads of eight troopers each, including an NCO. Reed is platoon commander, Woo platoon sergeant. A couple of crew for each Beowulf, plus Burke for administration. As such Lieutenant is the appropriate rank.

Reed has in fact been considered for promotion many times, but there are certain factors working against him. One of which may be mentioned in an upcoming chapter,
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Old January 6 2010, 09:47 PM   #217
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

The Badger wrote: View Post
Elite, yes, but it's still only a platoon. Two squads of eight troopers each, including an NCO. Reed is platoon commander, Woo platoon sergeant. A couple of crew for each Beowulf, plus Burke for administration. As such Lieutenant is the appropriate rank.

Reed has in fact been considered for promotion many times, but there are certain factors working against him. One of which may be mentioned in an upcoming chapter,
He picks his nose, doesn't he?

Good bit there-like the touch about the card. Made it real.
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Old January 6 2010, 10:11 PM   #218
Duncan MacLeod
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

No, he makes sexist remarks regarding really hot civilian scientists that are into corsets and wear them all the time.

It's a terrible character flaw.
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Old January 10 2010, 03:45 PM   #219
The Badger
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

A terrible character flaw indeed, but one that is very common when Polly is around!

I just want to apologise (yet again) for the delay in updating. Yet another RL problem rears it's head. I'm glad I don't write professionally, I'd starve!
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Old January 10 2010, 11:58 PM   #220
Duncan MacLeod
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Not a problem. I'm having minor withdrawal cravings, but nothing I can't handle.

Back to Malcolm, the size of the unit is only half of the equation. Equally important is the ship they're assigned to.

You know in the Age of Sail a First Rate ship of the line only had about 100 marines aboard but they were commanded by a Major. A Second Rate had 80 also commanded by a Major, while a Captain commanded the marines aboard a Third or Fourth Rate with 30 to 60 marines. To get to a Lieutenant commanding the marines detachment you had to go down Fifth and Sixth Rate frigates, which carried about 30.

And that concludes our history lesson for today. Tomorrow we will explore 18th century fashions by putting Polly in a gown of the period, complete with whalebone corset, stays that act as a shelf for her magnificient bosom and a plunging neckline to display the same.
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Old January 11 2010, 10:38 PM   #221
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Duncan MacLeod wrote: View Post
Not a problem. I'm having minor withdrawal cravings, but nothing I can't handle.

Back to Malcolm, the size of the unit is only half of the equation. Equally important is the ship they're assigned to.

You know in the Age of Sail a First Rate ship of the line only had about 100 marines aboard but they were commanded by a Major. A Second Rate had 80 also commanded by a Major, while a Captain commanded the marines aboard a Third or Fourth Rate with 30 to 60 marines. To get to a Lieutenant commanding the marines detachment you had to go down Fifth and Sixth Rate frigates, which carried about 30.

And that concludes our history lesson for today. Tomorrow we will explore 18th century fashions by putting Polly in a gown of the period, complete with whalebone corset, stays that act as a shelf for her magnificient bosom and a plunging neckline to display the same.
And those of us with no shame and few morals shall require a kerchief for the wiping of drool.
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Old January 11 2010, 10:53 PM   #222
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

With comments like these this seems to be turning into the 'Polly Partridge Appreciation Thread'. Have you noticed it's only the three of us posting any more? I think we've scared the others off!
**********************************

UES Enterprise. En route to the Theta Iota system. Warp 3.58 and decelerating.
17th May 2151.

Archer and Sato were returning to the bridge when the Captain saw a familiar figure ahead of them. "Hey! Trip! Wait up a minute!"

The chief engineer looked over his shoulder as his name was called, and waved.

"You're heading in the wrong direction, aren't you?" Archer asked as they caught up with him. "Engineering's back that way."

Tucker said "The sorta manoeuvre we got planned, ah reckon ah can coordinate it jus' as well from the bridges as from engineerin'. Maybe better. Ah won't have ta wait for instructions to filter down, ah'll be there in the loop. Plus, o'course, the bridge is where the fun is."

"Do you anticipate any problems?"

"Not really. The Cochrane deceleration manoeuvre is a pretty standard technique. O'course, far as we know, no one's ever tried it with anything as big as Enterprise before. But it all works out fine in simulation. Trust me, there's nothin' to worry about." Trip added, seeing the nervous glances Archer and Sato exchanged.

They reached the bridge. Hernandez, standing beside the Professor at the computer station, looked up as they entered. "Ah, Captain, I was just about to page you."

Archer nodded, then turned to Sato "Hoshi, double check all stations, ensure they are ready for for the drop to sublight and possible combat." He made his way to the station. "Commander."

There was a hint of triumph in Hernandez's tone. "Captain. I'm sure you will be pleased to know, we are heading in the right direction after all."

Archer gave a sigh of relief. Although all the evidence they had pointed towards the Theta Iota system, they hadn't had a lot of evidence in the first place. All this time there had been the nagging fear that there had been something they'd missed, some vital clue, and they were on a wild goose chase.

"Alright, what have we got?" he asked.

"Lieutenant Moshiri noticed it first. A slightly thicker than usual hydrogen cloud. Not serious enough to affect the ships course. It barely registered on the navigational display. But the Lieutenant spotted something odd about it. Moshiri?"

The navigator turned in her chair. "The Doppler echo was weird sir, very weird. Turns out it was travelling fast. Just a gnat's proverbial under the speed of light."

"Now that is weird." Archer said. "Surely the sort of forces needed to get that sort of speed would disperse such a cloud, under normal conditions?"

"Yes sir. And it is dispersing. Another couple of hours, at most, and it'd be too thin to register. We got here just in time." Moshiri said. "But that's not the best thing."

"I'm all ears."

Moshiri grinned. "It's heading towards the Theta Iota system. Directly at it. In fact, if we draw a line between the Kraltos system, where we fought Hotel-2, and Theta Iota, it's travelling that line almost precisely."

Tucker had been preparing the engineering station, but had heard enough of the conversation. "Now ah'd say the odds against that are pretty high." he said, coming over.

"Not even I'd bet against that." Hoshi chimed in from communications.

"The slight discrepancy can be accounted for." Moshiri said. "Hotel-2 attempted to cover it's tracks by leaving the Kraltos system on one vector, then changing course towards Theta Iota once it had left our sensor range."

Hernandez said "When the Lieutenant told me this, I had Professor Partridge run a full scan on the cloud."

The scientist looked up from her viewer. "It's hydrogen alright, but not just any, common or garden variety hydrogen. No! It's that lovable isotope, deuterium. Same great taste as regular hydrogen, but with that added neutron that makes it perfect for all your atomic fusion needs."

Archer rubbed the back of his neck. "So Hotel-2 is leaking fuel?"

"Looks that way, John. I picked up a burst of Cherenkov radiation about an hour ago. Based on Haleh's readings, I'd say one of the fuel tanks ruptured about that time. The gas, well, it would have been super cooled slush then, sprayed free. As it passed through the warp bubble it dropped back to sub light speed, but maintained it's original course." Partridge said.

Trip nodded. "Yeah, nothin' structured could ha' survived transition, but ah reckon deuterium fuel could ha'. An' it would give off Cherenkov radiation, that's for sure. And the XO's shootin' did damage the fuel storage area."

"Any idea how far are they ahead of us?" Archer asked.

Moshiri said "Based on this data, four hours at most. Probably only two."

Archer whistled softly. "And they set off, what? Five days before us? My complements to the engineering staff, Trip."

"Ah'll pass that on, Cap'n."

"One other thing I need to know." Archer mused. "That particle weapon. Should we be worried about it being used again?"

"Unlikely." Partridge said. "My scans suggest it was a one shot weapon, so powerful it burnt out many of it's own components when fired. These would need to be replaced completely before it could be used again."

Mayweather lifted his hand. "Professor? Something confuses me. Why was it placed at the aft of Hotel-2? Surely a forward position would be more useful?"

"Radiation. There was a burst of gamma rays when it fired. Not the sort of thing you want in your face if you can help it."

"Ah, and on a Neptune class there's a lot of radiation shielding at the aft of the ship between the crew and the impulse drive. Yeah, that makes sense, Professor. Thanks." Mayweather said.

"So not really an offensive weapon." Archer said.

"But useful for a Parthian shot." Hernandez added.

"Parthian what?" asked Trip.

Partridge blinked. "A military tactic originally employed by the Parthian Empire, 247 BC to 224 AD, though others have used it since. It played a vital role in their victory over the Romans at Carrhae, 53BC. Parthian light horse archers were so skilled they could turn in the saddle and hit a target behind them, and they would feign retreat to lead their enemies into more vulnerable positions."

"That's my ancestors she's talking about." said Moshiri to Mayweather, with a touch of pride.

Hernandez rubbed her forehead. "Good grief Professor. Do you know everything?"

Partridge's smile had just a hint of smugness. "Of course not. I merely know everything that is known."

Hernandez snorted.

"Hey, it's true." Tucker said. "Back in Cambridge, she was banned from every pub trivia quiz going. Seriously. If it was quiz night, they wouldn't even let her through the door, even if she weren't playin'. They didn't let her in on karaoke night either, but that's for different reasons."

Partridge said nothing, but glared daggers at Trip, who grinned back. Hernandez and Sato exchanged amused glances, both deciding to ask the engineer about it later.

A chime from Moshiri's console caught their attention. "We're coming up on the Theta Iota system sir."

"Understood." Archer fastened himself into his chair. "I have the conn. Hoshi, status report?"

"All departments report ready for deceleration sir."

"Good. Trip?"

"Engineering is ready. Power reserves are at maximum, all systems optimal."

"Thanks Trip. Weapons?"

Hernandez looked up from her board. "All weapon systems are on stand by, torpedo tubes loaded and hot, plasma cannons cold."

That was a gamble. If there was anything in weapons range when they arrived, the torpedoes alone might not be sufficient for defence. But fully charged plasma cannons had an EM reading that could be spotted easily.

Enterprise was set for a stealthy approach.

Hopefully.

Archer sat back. "OK. Haleh, have you picked a suitable target yet?"

"Yes sir. There are three gas giants in the Theta Iota system. But the only one that matches the dust found on the debris is Theta Iota-6. It has nineteen moons, one of which, 6-F, has a sufficiently strong magnetic field for our needs. According to the Vulcan data base, at any rate."

"Let's hope the Vulcan's know what they are talking about." Mayweather muttered.

Archer said "They usually do. Alright. If everything is ready...initiate manoeuvre."

Last edited by The Badger; January 11 2010 at 10:54 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old January 12 2010, 12:07 AM   #223
Duncan MacLeod
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Another good one. Nice lead up to the battle, good break point, friendly banter. Top marks all around, Badger.

And no, I don't think we've scared everyone off. I hope not anyway. They'd be missing a fine story!
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Old January 12 2010, 12:30 AM   #224
Mistral
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

A brief interlude....

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Old January 12 2010, 02:26 AM   #225
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

I liked the interaction between Polly and Trip. Their background almost seems like what we saw between Riker and Troi before we got the scoop on their past. I also liked the details on the battle prep, something we rarely (if ever) saw on Star Trek.
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