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Old June 6 2010, 03:21 AM   #316
USS Avenger
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Polly's safe! I knew you couldn't kill of your claim to trope fame! Well I suspected anyway... Ok ok I thought maybe you would do it just to throw us all for a loop, but I am glad you didn't. LMAO at Polly's heater failure, she should get that working, its a safety hazard, someone could put an eye out.
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Old June 7 2010, 08:26 PM   #317
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Tense and funny all in one segment. And you just had to drag Polly's fate out, didn't you?
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Old June 7 2010, 08:53 PM   #318
Duncan MacLeod
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

I found the scene on the bridge to be rather like the scene in TWOK in the nebula before the Reliant exploded. Maria's reaction when point defense came back on line was exactly the same as Kirk's when the Mains were back. As was her reaction to the news that Shaft Delta was showing a total vacuum, and Kirk's reaction to Spock's empty Science Station as it sinks in who got the Mains up and the price he paid for it.

A very nice homage, I thought.

With a happier ending of course.

BTW, Polly deserves a medal for that.
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Old June 8 2010, 08:38 PM   #319
The Badger
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Duncan MacLeod wrote: View Post
I found the scene on the bridge to be rather like the scene in TWOK in the nebula before the Reliant exploded.
Glad you spotted that! That was what I was going for, of course, but it's nice to know it came across well.

Duncan MacLeod wrote: View Post
BTW, Polly deserves a medal for that.
But with her dress sense, where could she pin it?

Working on the next part now.
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Old June 8 2010, 09:02 PM   #320
Duncan MacLeod
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

She could wear it around her neck on a ribbon. Blue Max style.

Very well done on the homage. TWOK is my favorite Trek movie. I lifted a bit of it for The Frigate Captain myself.
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Old June 9 2010, 08:38 PM   #321
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Duncan MacLeod wrote: View Post
She could wear it around her neck on a ribbon. Blue Max style.

Very well done on the homage. TWOK is my favorite Trek movie. I lifted a bit of it for The Frigate Captain myself.
Or she could hang it from one of -nevermind.
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Old June 9 2010, 09:01 PM   #322
Duncan MacLeod
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

But she'd need two.

Otherwise she'd be lopsided.
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Old June 13 2010, 08:54 PM   #323
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

OK, one thing Star Trek does that so far I've missed out. It's time for the long rambling ethics discussion!


UES Enterprise. Departing Theta Iota 6 at maximum impulse.
Captain's Log, 17th May 2151.
Commander Tucker has successfully replaced the damaged dilithium crystal with one recovered from the hidden station. It's not an exact fit for our systems, but he reckons we should be able to get between eighty and ninety percent of full power from it. Pre-heating of the warp coils is under-way, and I am informed we should be able to go to FTL shortly.
The chief engineer also assures me that the damage to the Enterprise will have no significant effect on our ability to travel at warp. All the same, as a precaution I have ordered we travel away from all gravity wells at best possible speed. That will minimise the possibility of subspace distortion.
The enemy vessel designated Hotel five continues to avoid us. It's lurking just over the horizon, using Theta Iota 6's ionosphere to bend sensor beams so it can track us. We're using the same technique to keep an eye on them. With the Vulcan Premier on board, I am unwilling to risk a further confrontation. Commander Hernandez is confident that, now we are nearly at full power, we will prevail, but we both agree it would be an unnecessary risk.


Captain Archer turned off the recorder and looked around his quarters. Overall he'd gotten off lightly. Having served on ships with either no gravity at all, or limited gravity based on rotating sections, he'd long gotten into the habit of packing things neatly away. A few books had tumbled from their case, and his bed clothes had ended up on the floor, but that was all.

Other crew members weren't so lucky, and later on there'd have to be some thought put into re-housing those who'd bunked in the damaged areas. It'd be a tight squeeze, but they'd manage it.

He looked into the mirror. Given the events of the day he'd expected to look haunted, haggard. He certainly looked tired, but that was all. Guess I'm running on adrenaline still. His hair was a bit spiky after his-much needed-shower, so he gave it a quick comb. This was no mere vanity, he always found that personal grooming helped relax the mind and put his thoughts in order.

He picked up the discarded elastic pressure suit. It felt good to be back in a regular uniform. He wasn't sure what to do with the suit, whether it should be taken back to the marines or put straight in the laundry. The marine quarters were close to sick bay, and he was heading there any way. Might as well pop in and find out while he was in that area.

Burke, Reed's administrative assistant, was the only one present in marine country. He took the garment, holding it at arms length with an expression of distaste like he'd just been given a month dead fish to handle. Archer was told that Reed was currently visiting James in sickbay.

He wasn't the only one. As Archer approached sickbay a gaggle of marines were just leaving. They saluted him. There was something a bit different to these salutes. They were not quite like the ones they typically gave. They...for want of a better word, they had more feeling to them. This wasn't just the salute given to a superior officer because protocol demanded it. The slight nods and smiles suggested that their opinions of him had changed. Up until know he'd been the captain, the guy in the comfy chair on the bridge rapping out the orders. Now that he'd joined them on a mission, placed his life on the line with them, things were different.

He saluted back, an action that normally felt uncomfortable to him but now felt so right, and thanked them for their work. As he was talking Reed exited sickbay.

"Lieutenant. Do you mind waiting a moment? There's something I need to ask after I speak to Doctor Locke."

"Certainly. I'll wait here sir."

Locke was nowhere in sight when Archer entered, but the 'No Entry' light above the hatch to the isolation ward suggested he was busy in there. Archer went into the general ward instead.

"Captain! Good to---ow! Note to self, don't try to salute with the injured arm."

"Hoshi, how are you?" he smiled.

Sato put her arm back on the cradle that had been set up by her bed. She'd removed her uniform jacket, and Dumont the marine medic was applying a purple gel to her injured wrist and shoulder. She winced as it went on, and Archer could sympathise. That stuff stung like hell.

"I've been worse, sir. According to the doctor I should be fit for duty this time tomorrow. And captain," she beckoned him closer and lowered her voice, "please don't be too harsh on Corporal James. It's really not her fault I got hurt. And she's promised to teach me some of the marine's fighting techniques."

"Hmm. No promises." Archer said with mock severity. "Seriously though, good work back on the station. You did well."

"Thanks captain."

"Ah, captain." Locke came through the hatch, peeling off a pair of surgical gloves. "The Premier's condition, whilst severe, is stable. I have little doubt he'll pull through."

Archer let out a sigh of relief. "That's good news. Have you had a look at the second thromium source?"

"I've only had time for a quick glance, but it's interesting, very interesting. If it is what I suspect it is, then the Premier may need surgery. He's in no condition for that now, but the sooner the better."

That worried Archer. "Could it wait until we got him back to his own people? I don't mean any disrespect, and I'm sure you can handle it, but if anything happens to him now..."

"The diplomatic consequences would be severe. I know, John. But the procedure is straightforward. I've done it on humans often enough, and I know my way around Vulcans."

Archer nodded. "I remember. It seems crazy though. Why would they even have something like that?"

Locke stroked his chin thoughtfully. "We still don't know exactly who 'they' are. I suspect we'd have a few more answers once we establish, for certain, what that gizmo is. I've asked T'pol and Partridge to come down here and have a look. Hopefully between us we can figure it out."

"Well, if your collective brains aren't up to the task, I don't know who is. Or should that be whose are? Whatever. At any rate we can---"

He broke off as the main hatch opened. T'pol, now back in her customary robes, entered, followed a moment later by Professor Partridge. "You wished to see us, Doctor?" the Vulcan asked.

"Indeed. I require your technical assistance. Is there anything else, John?" Locke asked.

"Nothing that can't wait. Keep me informed please. Oh, Professor, can I have a word please."

Locke gestured T'pol towards the med lab. "Don't keep her too long, we've got work to do." he grumbled.

Archer grinned at his retreating back, then turned to Partridge. "Commander Hernandez tells me I have you to thank for saving the ship."

She waved his comments away. "Oh, stuff and nonsense. The Enterprise is heavily armoured. A couple of nukes might have messed up the paint work, but wouldn't have destroyed her or anything like that."

"Depends where they hit. A direct strike to the reactor pod might have finished the ship off instantly, or left it crippled long enough for another attack to get through. A hit to the primary hull could have caused many casualties. Things could have gone very badly indeed. But you prevented that, and for that I thank you."

She looked uncomfortable. Maybe I shouldn't push this too hard, he thought, she's nervous enough about space travel as it is. Highlighting the risks might undermine her confidence. Still, she did do well, and she deserves to know that.

"I better see what Doctor Locke wants." she said softly. She took two steps to the med lab then turned back. "Oh! I nearly forgot. Are you going to the bridge John?"

He nodded. "Yes, I am."

She handed him a small grey object. "Could you give this to Maria please? It's the life support cylinder from my survival hood. The green line on the side shows how much longer it can work for."

He rolled the cylinder between his fingers, looking at it closely. "Errr, I can't see a green line. I mean, there's a red one, but it....oh." At the end of the red line the tiniest hint of green still showed.

"Yes." Polly said, her voice slightly higher and tighter than usual. "That's why I'm glad she came along when she did. Another few seconds and I'd have run down the curtains, joined the choir invisible and become an ex-Partridge."

***

Lieutenant Reed snapped to attention as Archer left sickbay. Deep in thought, the captain didn't say anything, but beckoned him to join him as he set a steady pace to the bridge. Eventually, after passing through one of the heavy bulkhead hatches into the main access corridor, Archer spoke.

"Too many questions. We've got too many questions, and not enough answers. After all we've done, all we've been through, it's still a mystery. Well I've had enough of mysteries, Malcolm. I want answers and I want them fast. Those prisoners may have the answers we need. I understand you and your people have some training in interrogation techniques." It was a statement, not a question.

Reed nodded. "Yes sir. And some of us have practical experience. We'll make them talk."

Archer paused. "Yes...Look, Malcolm, I don't know how to say this, but...there are limits. There have to be limits, to what you can do. I don't want to make any accusations here, or imply anything, but..."

"Everything has to be above board, transparent." Reed said. "I understand."

Archer relaxed slightly. "Good, good. So any interrogation session will have to be recorded, all footage open for review---"

"---By the relevant authorities only." Reed put in.

Archer tilted his head in acknowledgement. "Fair enough. There should be medical personnel present, and at least one UESPA officer. That should counter any possible claims of the military running riot."

"T'pol should be present when we question the Vulcan woman, as well." Reed said. "Assuming we do question her. It would be wise to work on all three prisoners, but I'm not sure how that'd play out, diplomatically."

Rubbing the back of his neck wearily, Archer sighed. "Yeah. She may well have vital information, but questioning a foreign national opens up a whole can of worms. Tough decision."

"That's why they pay you the big money, boss."

Archer snorted in amusement. "I'll have to ask T'pol her opinion. Y'know, overall she's been very helpful. I might suggest some sort of exchange program when we get home. Anyway, we're getting off topic. I'll draw up a list of questions I need answered. I'm sure Commander Hernandez will have some of her own."

"I can think of a few myself." The marine said. He thought for a moment. "It's tempting, though."

Archer raised an eyebrow.

Reed continued. "When you look at what they've done. Kidnapping and torturing the Premier. Murdering everyone on the Rexus station. Destroying the T'dara Len and it's crew. Trying to kill the Ithenites. Sometimes I ask myself, if they ain't going to play by the rules, why should we?"

"Are we the good guys, or the bad guys, Malcolm?" Archer asked softly.

"Definitely the good guys, sir."

"But how can you be so sure?"

"Well, I do own a white hat." he said flippantly. In a more serious tone he added "I think we can agree though that those who attacked Rexus station were pretty evil."

"And that automatically makes us good? The Soviet Union under Stalin was hardly a beacon of light and decency, but they were attacked by Hitler's Germany." Archer shook his head. "No. You can't just say 'they are evil, they attacked us, therefore we must be good'. That leads you into the trap."

"What trap?" Reed asked, opening the next bulkhead hatch and holding it open.

"Thanks. The trap of perceiving everything you do as being acceptable, because you're the one doing it. 'Is torturing a prisoner acceptable? Well, I'm doing it, I know right is on my side, so therefore it must be'. Some of the greatest evils in history were caused by people assuming they had moral authority, instead of actually making sure."

The hatch now secure behind them, they continued on their way. "Back when I was in the ranks, one of my officers argued that torture could be justified to save lives, or really important stuff like that." Reed said.

"So in other words, he was for torture. Think about it. No one ever suggests torture should be used for unimportant things, asking someone if they'd like sugar in their coffee, or what their favourite colour is. Saying 'I will never use torture, except when it is appropriate' is like saying 'I would never steal, unless I had the opportunity and thought I could get away with it'. A meaningless distinction."

"Alright, alright, I'm convinced." Reed held up his hands in mock surrender. "Besides which, one thing I did learn in advanced training, as an interrogation tool torture is bloody inefficient. Great if you want some poor fool signing a confession or something, next to useless for intelligence gathering."

"So what did you let me ramble on for?"

"Just wanted to hear your views. And..." he trailed off.

They'd reached the hatch to the bridge. Archer paused with his hand on the locking wheel. "What is it Malcolm?"

"During my career, I've done some things. Some things I'm not proud of."

For a moment it looked as if he'd say more. Then he snapped off a salute, turned sharply, and was gone.

***

"Captain on the bridge." Hernandez announced.

"As you were. Status please."

Quickly she filled him in on the details. The Enterprise was now clear of the planet's gravity well. Main power was running at a little over eighty four percent, the warp drive was heated and on standby. The hostile vessel was maintaining it's position. No sign of any other craft. They'd managed to collect some debris from Hotel 6.

He thanked her, and gave her Partridge's life support cylinder, explaining the significance of the red/green line, before taking his seat.

"Alright, check in with all departments, make sure they're ready for warp. Haleh, plot a course for the Rexus system, we've got a Premier to deliver and a President to pick up."

"Already on the board sir." the navigator said.

"Good work. In fact, everyone's done sterling work today, I'm going to..." he broke off to stifle a yawn, "excuse me, I'm going to recommend commendations for your actions."

"Tired, Captain?" Hernandez asked.

"Busy day. I'll be alright. Maybe need some coffee, that's all."

The comms officer looked up. "All stations report ready. The chief engineer has given us clearance for warp."

Archer held back another yawn. "Thank you. Begin the thirty second countdown...now."

"Aye Captain." Mayweather said. The digital countdown above the viewscreen flickered on, and a distant hum rose in pitch and volume. "Engines are powering up, all lights show green."

Five chimes rang out automatically, as a final reminder.

"Departure corridor is clear." Moshiri reported.

Mayweather continued. "Warp speed in three...two...one...now!"

Enterprise shuddered as she leapt to warp. It seemed more noticeable than usual, more pronounced, to Hernandez. Perhaps the damage to the secondary hull had unbalanced the ship slightly. Once the ship had passed the speed of light the shuddering faded.

"All stations report secure captain." said the comms officer. "Captain?"

Hernandez looked over, and chuckled. Archer was fast asleep.
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Old June 13 2010, 09:42 PM   #324
Duncan MacLeod
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Very nice, Badger. I agree with Archer's evaluation on evil/torture. It's very easy to fall into that trap. Looking forward to the wrap up in the coming weeks. Are you planning to continue writing or will this be a stand-alone story? Either way well done.
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Old June 13 2010, 09:53 PM   #325
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Good chapter. You handled the ratcheting down from the high paced action to a more normal (though certainly not routine) pace very well and without it getting at all boring. I can't wait to see what happens next.

Your "rambling" ethics discussion was also well done. Torture very rarely if ever gives accurate results. Granted there are times when circumstances can bring frontline soildiers close to and even over the edge on this. Again well done.

Actually, this reminds me of a joke I heard long ago. It may not be PC, but than again neither am I.

American, Israeli, British and Syrian Inteligence agents are arguing over which nation's intel service is the best. They decide to each release a donkey into the desert and whoever finds their's the fastest is the winner. The Americans go first and immediatly launch AWACS and JSTARS aircraft, mobilize an entire MEF and retask two satellites. Within 2 hours they have found their donkey.

The British go next, they send in a single SAS team and within two hours they have located and detained their donkey. Likewise the Israeli Mossad takes only two hours of intense clandestine effort to find their donkey. The Syrians are the last to go and are quite confident that they will win. Their donkey is released into the desert. One hour goes by, than two, than three. The hours stretch into days. A week later the other three agents approach their Syrian counterparts wondering how long this will take them. As they approach they hear bleating and screaming. They enter a small room wondering what the hell is going on. Inside they find the Syrians are beating a camel, trying to make it confess it is a donkey.

Ok ok maybe its not that funny, but it did make me chuckle.
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Old June 13 2010, 10:20 PM   #326
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

As you say, Avenger, that's not very PC. But it did make me laugh.

Duncan, although it's rather hard work I do enjoy writing, and I certainly intend to do more. What I was thinking of, though, was opening it up to anyone who is interested. If anyone fancies writing in my version of Trek, I'd be interested in seeing what they come up with.
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Old June 14 2010, 12:43 PM   #327
USS Avenger
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

The Badger wrote: View Post

Duncan, although it's rather hard work I do enjoy writing, and I certainly intend to do more. What I was thinking of, though, was opening it up to anyone who is interested. If anyone fancies writing in my version of Trek, I'd be interested in seeing what they come up with.
You MUST continue this series! Your freetime is irrelevent, other writers are irrelevent, you must comply

Seriously, while I am not going to tell someone they should continue their hard work for the benefit of others with no compensation, I do hope you continue this story past "Broken Bow". Watching this story evolve has been a alot of fun, and I really want to see whats next. Not to slight other fanfic writers, but I doubt many could display the attention to detail that you have with regards to this series. Besides who else could write Polly the way you do?

Well maybe Ducan could, but those stories are not fit for this forum...
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Old June 14 2010, 08:38 PM   #328
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

I like your style-please don't quit. There are days when yours is the only decent thing I have to read.
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Old June 14 2010, 09:48 PM   #329
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

I agree. Please continue!
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Old June 14 2010, 11:49 PM   #330
Duncan MacLeod
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

I don't think even I could do Polly justice. Although I'll be happy to return the favor and beta-read for you.

And I don't write those kinds of stories, Avenger. At least not often.
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