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Old June 21 2010, 02:33 AM   #331
The Badger
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

OK, apologies for not updating recently. I've had a busy time at work, plus a virus got on my computer. And I've got a very busy week coming up. So it'll be a while till the next part.

On the plus side, I have had an idea for a sequel. Something rather shorter though!
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Old June 21 2010, 06:01 PM   #332
Duncan MacLeod
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Not to worry, Badger. Your loyal readers will wait.

We may not like waiting, but we all understand how real life can intrude on things.

Sorry to hear of your virus. Hope you're able to clear it out of your system.
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Old June 23 2010, 01:53 PM   #333
USS Avenger
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

I hate waiting...

But, as Duncan says real life trumps anything that goes on online. Glad to hear that you are planning a sequel. Get your computer some chicken soup and get rid of that virus!
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Old June 28 2010, 09:31 PM   #334
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Just caught up on the story and wanted to say I'm enjoying it immensely. If the "real" Enterprise had been this good, I may actually have watched it!

Looking forward to more.
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Old June 30 2010, 11:39 AM   #335
The Badger
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

OK, the virus is pretty much sorted, and I've got a couple of days free so I'll be able to make a start on the next part. No promises as to when it'll be finished though!

We're onto the final stretch now, just wrapping up the loose ends and giving a (hopefully) satisfactory conclusion, whilst still leaving things open for a continuation.

BooThePun, glad to have you on board, especially at this late stage.
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Old July 2 2010, 05:52 AM   #336
Scotchyn
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

been following since the beginning...its been a great read!!!
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Old July 5 2010, 04:21 PM   #337
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Thanks, Scotchyn, good to have you with us!

***********************

Rexus Station.
28th May 2151.

"It sounds like you've had quite the adventure, Captain Archer." President Chandraskar said, taking a sip of iced tea.

Archer smiled ruefully. "It was a bit more excitement than we anticipated, Mr President."

Captain Tavik of the Vulcan Defence Fleet said "Assuming, of course, that Archer's account is correct." There was no overt malice in his tone, but Archer had been around Vulcans long enough to recognise the near contempt in his expression, and found himself gritting his teeth.

He looked round. The conference chamber was set deep within the Rexus station, and hadn't been damaged in the attack. Vulcan repair crews had done sterling work, and over half the station was now habitable again, though some sections were still far too hazardous to enter.

The chamber was large, and simply but elegantly appointed. An oval conference table occupied the centre of the room. The President, flanked by advisers, took pride of place on one side. Opposite, in the place normally held by the Premier, sat a very small, very old woman called T'pen. She had been introduced as one of the Vulcan Honoured Elders, which, Archer knew, meant she was very important to their politics. Although they had no official power, the words of an Honoured Elder carried much weight. Apparently, this little old lady with the look of a beloved grandmother had been Premier herself, before First Contact with Earth.

To T'pen's left sat Tavik, acting as military liaison. Ambassador Soval sat to her right. Others stood behind, ready to carry out any orders she might give.

Archer and his people were sat at one end of the table, the focus of attention.

T'pol, next to Soval, said "Although I was not present for every incident in Captain Archer's narrative, I can confirm it is, in general, factually correct. In particular, the account of the rescue of the Premier is entirely accurate."

It might have been Archer's imagination, but it looked like a flicker of irritation danced across Tavik's features. And something he didn't imagine, Soval smiled. It was very subtle. No one would have noticed if they hadn't been looking at the right instant. That was deliberate! He wanted me to see that, timed it so I was looking right at him. But why...Of course! T'pol is Soval's protoge. But the indifference towards humans she showed at the start of the mission would not have been in any ones best interests. Now, she has begun to accept and understand us.

"Yet there are aspects of this story that do not stand up to scrutiny." Tavik insisted. "For example, the concept that two human females could prevail against an Orion Animal Man in melee combat stretches credulity."

Archer leant forward. "So you have ascertained that the being in the cargo bay was one of these Orion slaves?"

Soval nodded. "It seems likely. The biological data from the finger you provided, plus the visual imagery, do match with what little we already know about that species. I agree," he added, turning to Tavik, "it is unlikely that they could win. But unlikely does not equate to impossible. Naturally we will study the visual records in great detail, to determine the true nature of events,as they happened."

This, Archer realised, was a polite way of saying 'we are going to check for fakery'. That was understandable, but it still rankled.

"It must also be born in mind that both Lieutenant Sato and Corporal James are formidable combatants, for humans." T'pol added.

Soval's eyebrow lifted. "Indeed?"

"I have had the opportunity to observe their training sessions on many occasions. Furthermore, Corporal James and I have sparred. I suspect that she wanted to see what I am capable of, without revealing the entirety of her own skills. She fought well, and I believe she deliberately lost to prevent me learning all of her techniques. A simple, yet effective stratagem."

I'm not half the gambler Hoshi is, heck, I'm not a tenth the gambler she is, but I'd bet real money T'pol was doing the same thing, Archer thought. She couldn't lose on purpose, that would look suspicious given the strength of Vulcans, but she didn't fight at her best. I'm certain of it.

"So you believe those two women could defeat an Orion Animal Man?" Tavik asked.

T'pol considered this. "I am satisfied that such an event is possible."

The elderly T'pen leant forward. In a heavily accented voice like the rustle of dried leaves she asked "And whom, Captain Archer of Earth, whom do you believe responsible for these criminal acts?"

Archer took a sip of tea, using the moment to gather his thoughts. "A difficult question. We have our suspicions."

"Forgive the interruption, Honoured Elder," Tavik said, ignoring Archer, "but we know who is ultimately responsible."

"We do?" Archer asked.

Tavik shot him a contemptuous glance. "Now that the Premier is being attended by Vulcan physicians, he has regained consciousness and given his own account. He was held, and tortured, by Andorians."

"Andorians." T'pen mused. "This is evil news. The cease fire has held for many years, but the peace treaty is not yet signed. This could lead us back to war."

Tavik sat back. "It is a war we can win." he stated confidently.

"The Andorians." Archer said. "We know little of them, save that there have been hostilities between your two people for decades. Is this an Andorian?"

He pushed a pad across the table to Tavik. The display showed a head and shoulders shot of a male alien with blue skin, white hair, and two antennae sprouting from his forehead. The Vulcan captain gave it a cursory glance. "It is."

"Are you certain?" Archer asked.

"Entirely."

Archer took another sip of tea, and gestured to the pad. "Press play."

Tavik hesitated, then hit the control. On the display the 'Andorian' reached up with two pink hands, peeling the blue 'skin' and white wig up and off to reveal the features of Charles Tucker the third, who smiled.

So did Archer. "Our own physician is rather good. The Premier woke more than a week ago. He told us his story. His kidnapping from this very station was carried out by people in full environmental suits. He could not identify their species. During most of his ordeal he was kept sedated. When he was awake, he was tortured by two -apparent- Andorians. But as that little demonstration shows, with a bit of make up it's easy to mislead people. We were able to fake that mask using material commonly available on our own ship. With some proper cosmetics it could be even more convincing."

Tavik shook his head. "You seek to divert us from the truth."

"For what purpose?" Archer barked. "When we first met you were convinced it could only be humans responsible for this. Now a better target has come along, you're happy to switch your sights."

"You do not believe the Andorians are involved." said T'pen, a statement not a question.

Archer spread his hands wide. "I honestly cannot say that I know one way or the other. I do know this however. So far, there is no independently verifiable evidence of Andorian involvement. Only the Premier's account points to that. The station we discovered had environmental conditions set to the human standard. The technology that made it seemed to be a mix of human and Vulcan, with a few others. Not Andorian though."

"How can you be sure? By your own account you know next to nothing of Andorians." Tavik crowed.

"I do." T'pol said simply. "I served in the last war. I saw no trace of any Andorian presence."

Soval considered this. "Then why the Andorian disguises? An attempt to reignite the conflict between our two species?"

Archer nodded. "Possibly. T'pol tells me that there is still a lot of bad feeling on both sides. An incident such as this could easily lead to war."

"Yet that occurrence would only come to pass if we of Vulcan believe the Andorians are at fault." T'pen said. "For that, we must hear the Premier's words. How could this be done, if he is held by conspirators?"

"A good question. Here we can only speculate, although what we have learned from our prisoners gives us some clues. I suspect that the conspirators would have found some way to return the Premier to you. Perhaps ransoming him back to you, or placing him at a location from which you could rescue him. The most likely scenario, a Yridian would sell you information that somehow helps you to retrieve him. However it happens, you get the Premier back, along with false information about his abductors."

One of T'pen's aides leant forward. "Such an approach is inefficient. It would be simpler to kill the Premier here at this station, and leave forensic evidence of Andorian involvement."

Hernandez, sat next to Archer, said "Only if you have something you can use as evidence. Andorian weaponry or equipment."

"Furthermore, that assumes the conspirators want the Premier dead," Archer added, "or at least are unconcerned as to his fate."

Soval was clearly intrigued. "You suspect they wanted the Premier returned alive. For what purpose?"

"I'll get to that in a moment. First, I'd like to answer Honoured Elder T'pen's earlier question. Who is responsible? The honest answer, we don't know. This is the sort of thing it will take a major criminal investigation to unravel. Still, we have our suspicions. Whoever it is has some influence in Earth's Military. The young man we captured claimed to be a member of UEMA. On questioning him, we learned that he'd served less than six months before being discharged."

"It seems that he had links to the terrorist group, Terra Prime. An illegal organisation. A dishonourable discharge is the minimum he could expect." Hernandez added. "Yet he claims that just two months later, he was recalled to duty, joining a joint human/Vulcan operations group."

Tavik's brow creased. "I know of no such group."

"Me neither." Hernandez said. "From the look of things, some one with a lot of resources has been recruiting ex-UEMA personnel, building up a substantial crew for that station."

"Not just UEMA. We also captured a worker manufacturing assault rifles." Archer said. "He's told us little, but Reed's men have got some information out of him. Again, links with Terra Prime, and a mysterious job offer, supposedly for the military, but there's no proof of that. He was smuggled off Earth, he's not sure of the details himself, and has been working on that station ever since."

President Chandrasakar nodded slowly. "There have been reports of mysterious disappearances. Many people, with either military background, or skills useful to a military infrastructure. General Kaplasky even suggested someone was building a private army, but there was no evidence of that. But then, we were looking on Earth."

"A private army, believing they work for United Earth." Archer said.

"Does the organisation Terra Prime have the resources to carry out these acts?" Soval asked.

"More importantly, would such a prejudiced organisation work with Vulcans,Yridians, or Orions, as you claim they have?" Tavik added.

"To answer your question first, Captain Tavik, yes. Yes they would, if it suited their purpose. They wouldn't like it, but they'd do it. And no, ambassador, Terra Prime is not believed to have anywhere near the resources necessary. To be honest, I don't think they are involved. Whoever is behind this seems to have recruited people with the skills and mindset they need. Two of these people are linked to the terrorist organisation, but that doesn't mean the conspiracy is, apart from using them as a recruitment pool."

For a Vulcan, Tavik showed his annoyance easily. "Then who is responsible?"

Archer glanced to Reed, sat to his right. The marine spoke. "There's an old Earth adage, useful in criminal investigations. 'Follow the money'. Let's look at who might benefit from this. As I understand it, the main reason for these trade talks was to establish joint mining operations. Now I'm no business analyst, but it looks like the proposed operations involved government owned mining companies, both from Earth and Vulcan. Privately owned corporations simply were not in the running."

"This is correct." Soval said.

"Well, given the riches within the system, that's a lot of motivation for some sort of underhand activity. Sabotage the trade talks, ensure the government plan doesn't go ahead. With the station destroyed the Vulcan government would have no effective presence in this system. No way to control or administer it."

Tavik thought this over. "We are not so far from an outpost that we cannot patrol this system."

Hernandez leant forward. "But would that be enough? As I understand it, under interplanetary law Vulcan would need to maintain a permanent presence in order to lay claim to the Rexus system. The occasional patrol just wouldn't hack it."

Glancing round nervously Reed added "There are no habitable planets in this system. With this station destroyed, the Vulcans would have to surrender ownership."

Archer gave Reed a sideways glance, wondering if he was alright. A few days ago Professor Partridge had insisted that the marines watch a couple of movies, the source of the 'Check it out, me and my squad of ultimate bad asses' quote she'd made in the shuttle bay. There was little enthusiasm amongst them, none were interested in old movies, but Reed had reluctantly agreed. Since then all the marines had seemed jumpy and on edge, sticking together in groups and keeping an eye on shadowy corners. Apparently, Trip Tucker had received a number of requests to cobble together flame-throwers...

Tavik pointed out "A new station could be built. It would take time and resources, but it could be done."

Archer smiled, without humour. "And what if Vulcan could not spare such resources? What if---"

He was interrupted by T'pen. "Conflict with the Andorians. Simply the threat of conflict. That would take our attention, our ships, our people. We could not spare what is needed to rebuild this station."

Archer was slightly irritated that she'd worked it out for herself. He'd got his big reveal speech planned out, and had been looking forward to it. Still, she is an Honoured Elder. You don't get that title unless you've got some smarts. "Precisely. And consider this. Any war, or threat of war, requires resources. You wouldn't be able to keep hold of Rexus. At the same time you'd need the metals and minerals present in the system. So what would you do?"

Soval thought for a moment. He rested his elbows on the table, steepling his fingers in front of his face. "Under those circumstances, the most logical course of action would be to ensure we get the resources by other means. Simply abandoning the system would allow any third party to take it. This can not be allowed. We could turn to a trusted ally for help. The Tellarites would be acceptable, but I do not believe they have the resources to carry out the required task. The same goes for the other local species. Earth might be suitable..."

President Chandrasakar spread his hands wide. "Sadly, we would be unable to help. We have sufficient resources at present to assist Vulcan in the exploitation of this system---that is, after all, what these talks were intended to discuss---but we can not at present do the task ourselves. Apart from anything else we have no local base of operations."

For the first time this meeting Tavik seemed to be taking the ideas seriously. "We would have to turn to a private company, and allow commercial exploitation of the system. We would naturally ensure that any contracts are favourable to the Vulcan government, but the potential profits to whomever gains the mining rights would still be exceptionally high."
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Old July 5 2010, 04:22 PM   #338
The Badger
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

(Continued. I exceeded the character limit!)

***********************

Archer placed his hands on the table. "So. The Rexus station is destroyed, the Premier is missing. Some time later he is recovered, claiming the Andorians did it. Tension, along the border. Ship construction is increased in anticipation of war. Material is needed. And then...and then the Vulcan government is contacted by a privately owned company, who just happen to have the resources needed to do the job."

T'pen looked thoughtful for a moment. With a tiny gesture, she summoned one of her aides, who leant in close to her. They talked for a few moments in hushed tones. Then the aide straightened up and went back to his place.

"We know of a company. Recently it has established an outpost, in a system seven light years away. This is strange to us. There is no sign of worthwhile business prospects there. If the situation as you describe arose, Captain Archer, they are in prime position to take control of the Rexus system." T'pen said.

"Let me guess," said Archer, who wasn't guessing, "Tagron Industries."

"How do you know that? Espionage?" Tavik demanded.

Archer smiled thinly. "Not at all. Simple logic."

Hernandez had to force herself not to laugh at the sight of so many right eyebrows raising simultaneously. It almost looked choreographed.

"Kindly explain, Captain." Soval said.

"Well, obviously it would have to be a company that is experienced in mining, has the equipment and expertise. That leaves a number of suspects. But, as we have seen, it would also have to have the resources to secretly build a ship construction site in the Theta Iota system, as well as crew it with humans thinking they are working for United Earth."

"That is a problem, Captain, Tagron has no links with the Earth government or military. Neither could any Earth company have such links to Vulcan. The legalities of our treaty forbid it." said Soval.

"But there's nothing to stop independent privately owned companies having such links An Earth company has links to both the Earth military and a Vulcan company. Said Vulcan company has links to the Vulcan government. Malcolm?"

"OK, quick history lesson." Reed began. He hesitated, marshalling his thoughts.

Tavik misinterpreted the delay. "You may speak freely. This chamber is shielded. You cannot be overheard."

Reed shot Archer a knowing glance and ironic smile, before continuing. "About thirty years ago deep space probes discovered a world, barely habitable, but with all sorts of minerals we needed. For various reasons it was decided to let private enterprise take control. A number of businesses joined together, forming the Alpha Conglomerate. As there was no workforce in the system, they had to establish Earth's first privately funded colony."

"The Alpha colony." Tavik observed.

"Precisely. Now establishing a colony, populating it, well, that's one heck of a task. So Alpha hired a very large number of ships and crews to ferry colonists and equipment. Hired them from Tagron. The two companies have been very closely linked ever since."

Archer added "During the Axanar war Alpha manufactured Neptune class ships, amongst other designs, for UEMA. They have links in the government and military still."

Soval said "So they provide the support to allow Tagron to claim the Rexus system. Tagron profits. What benefit for Alpha?"

"My guess is that after Tagron establish control, they simply subcontract a lot of the work to Alpha. Considering the resources in this system, both companies can make a tidy profit while still fulfilling the contractual obligations to the Vulcan government."

"Logical." T'pen observed."It is to be hoped that no Vulcan business would behave so unethically. Hope does not equate truth, alas. Would Alpha behave in such a manner?"

"Oh yes." Reed said bitterly. "During the Axanar war, when demand for resources was at a high, the colonists were practically slaves. Forced to work twenty hour shifts, minimum rations, no health care. Maximum productivity at minimum cost. When they organised a revolt, the Conglomerate used their military connections. Troops were sent in, to put down the 'terrorist uprising'. We didn't learn the truth until later."

"When we found out, after the war, there was an enquiry." Hernandez said. "But by that time the people responsible had managed to cover their tracks. Oh, there were a few middle management types who faced charges, and the stock value took a major hit, but the company was too deeply entrenched, had too many connections."

Archer pinched the bridge of his nose, suddenly very weary. "A lot of this is speculation. There's no evidence to link either Tagron or Alpha to this, nothing substantial."

"It is...intriguing, never the less. It warrants further investigation." Tavik said. "There is one matter that eludes me."

"Only one?" Archer asked wryly. "Go ahead."

"You stated that you found a second thromium source within the station. What was it?"

The three Enterprise officers exchanged amused glances. Archer reached down and put a case on the table. He opened it, turning it to display it's contents to the Vulcans. "Recognise this?"

"A pacemaker." said Soval.

"Of Vulcan manufacture." Tavik added.

One of T'pen's aides stepped forward, running a small scanner over the device. "The serial number is that of the Premier's implant."

"Right." Archer said. "This one was actually in the Premier's chest when we rescued him. We'd found a second one, apparently identical, nearby. We couldn't be sure which was which, so I had Doctor Locke remove this one surgically. Given his condition, the Premier was on life support anyway, so it's removal would not harm him. So. Two pacemakers, identical down to the serial number. We just could not work out which was the real one. By the way, Locke suggested that the main reason for the torture was to hide any signs of the operation to swap the devices.
"Eventually our Professor Partridge worked it out. It was an idea so out there, so bizarre, that---"

"---That only Professor Partridge could think of it." Hernandez quipped.

"Yeah. In fact she'd probably like to tell you about it herself. "

Tavik raised his hands to the small control panel in the table in front of him. "I shall deactivate the security screens, so you may contact your ship."

Before he could do so, a light flashed. "Curious. Enterprise is hailing us." He lowered the energy fields that prevented communications. "Enterprise, this is Rexus station."

"Why hello there! Right, yes, Captain Archer is right, I would like to tell you about the pacemaker."

"One moment. Are you able to hear our conversation? This room is shielded against all means of espionage." Tavik said.

"All known means of espionage." the professor corrected.

Soval's eyebrows raised. "The pacemaker?"

"Got it in one, ambassador. You see, active thromium emits waves that can be detected far away. The exact distance depends on local conditions, but in a standard atmosphere, with specialist equipment about the size of a large suitcase, it could be detected a couple of hundred kilometres away. Now, whoever built this device, and it's a work of genius by the way, has managed to include passive audio sensors capable of detecting sounds around the pacemaker, and transmitting it as modulations of the thromium wave. Obviously, with it being embedded in someone's chest there'd be a lot of interference, but this can be filtered out. The audio sensors are built with nanotechnology. You might find them if you were looking for them, but they wouldn't show on a normal scan. And the waves can pass through all known matter and energy fields. Including your spy screens."

Archer said "Imagine how useful it would be to hear all the Premier hears. Use the information, sell it to others...even if he were to step down, well..."

T'pen nodded. "As an Honoured Elder he would still be privy to much of value."

"We don't think it was the whole point of the incident." Hernandez said. "But as their plan involved kidnapping the Premier anyway, they probably thought this would be a useful side benefit."

Very slowly, with the aid of two walking sticks, T'pen stood. "There is no evidence to prosecute Tagron. Nor, I suspect, Alpha. But suspicions are raised. Our eye shall be upon them.
"Captain Archer. On behalf of the Vulcan government, and people, I thank you for your efforts on our behalf, and the safe return of our Premier."

Archer stood, and bowed. "It is our honour to serve."

"And now I must rest, and consider what has been said. Do not leave for Earth yet, Captain Archer. I would see your ship."

"I think a tour can be arranged, at your convenience."

T'pen, escorted by the other Vulcans, left. At the door T'pol turned and raised her hand in the traditional salute. "Captain, Commander, Lieutenant. I do not know if my duties will allow me to see you again before you depart, so I shall take my leave of you now. Live long, and prosper."

Archer saluted back. "Peace, and long life. Farewell, T'pol."

After she had left he turned to the others. "You know, she fitted into the crew quite well in the end. I think I will suggest some sort of officer exchange scheme. See if we can get her back sometime."

"We'd have to do something about those robes she wears though." Hernandez pointed out. "Every time I tried to pass her I'd trip over them."

Reed suggested flippantly "Well there's always the elastic pressure suit..."

He was startled by Partridge's voice, having forgotten she was still on the communicator. "Are you kidding? Some leggy, busty babe, squeezed into a ludicrously tight outfit? What would we need one of those for?"

Archer grinned.
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Old July 5 2010, 07:24 PM   #339
Duncan MacLeod
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

I could offer Polly some suggestions. Another time perhaps.

Damn, but that was good.

And here I had figured Kaplasky for the bad guy ... er, girl.

Last edited by Duncan MacLeod; July 6 2010 at 03:19 AM.
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Old July 5 2010, 08:32 PM   #340
BooThePun
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Another excellent addition. Thanks!
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Old July 5 2010, 08:46 PM   #341
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

oohhhh a two parter!

Very good conclusion to this story. I always figured it was the Romulans behind everything somehow, but that wouldn't have been as original as this. Well done, can't wait for any further adventures of your starship Enterprise. I wish this would have been the show, it wouldn't have been canceled.

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Old July 6 2010, 01:33 AM   #342
The Badger
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

This isn't quite the conclusion. The story itself is effectively over, but there's a couple of wrap up scenes I want to add. But I'm glad what I have done meets with your approval!
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Old July 6 2010, 03:20 AM   #343
Duncan MacLeod
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Oh goody. I love epilogues.

By the by, I noticed that several plot threads are left dangling.

I approve, it sets things up for the next story.
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Old July 6 2010, 05:00 AM   #344
Warped9
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Badger, I've just taken a peek at this and I'm very curious. It looks interesting. I'm pasting your posts into a file so I can read it more comfortable all together.

I'm looking forward to it.
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Old July 6 2010, 11:46 AM   #345
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Location: Brockville, Ontario, Canada
Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Okay, last night I read about the first twenty-one pages (to the point where Hernandez is just starting to settle in) and I have to say I'm interested in seeing where this goes. Right off it reads differently and I find it far more credible than the ENT we actually got.

I'll set aside any quibbles and simply say you've taken many of ENT's familiar elements and reworked them into something more credible and more interesting.

Well done and I'm looking forward to getting through the rest of it.
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