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Old July 6 2010, 12:39 PM   #346
USS Avenger
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

The Badger wrote: View Post
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!

Yay there is more coming!

Thanks for sharing this Enterprise with all of us, its been a great ride so far!
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Old July 7 2010, 02:28 AM   #347
Duncan MacLeod
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Warped9 wrote: View Post
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.

Thought you'd enjoy it.
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Old July 7 2010, 09:07 PM   #348
The Badger
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Glad to have you with us Warped9. I'd be interested to hear your views on it, including the quibbles you mentioned. This is my first significant attempt at any form of creative writing, apart from that I was forced to do at school. So I'd like to know what I'm doing wrong, so I can get it (hopefully!) right in future.
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Old July 8 2010, 11:30 PM   #349
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

The Badger wrote: View Post
Glad to have you with us Warped9. I'd be interested to hear your views on it, including the quibbles you mentioned. This is my first significant attempt at any form of creative writing, apart from that I was forced to do at school. So I'd like to know what I'm doing wrong, so I can get it (hopefully!) right in future.
Please note that by quibbles I did not mean to imply you were doing something wrong. I merely meant that I would have made different creative choices perhaps.

I like the separation of UESPA and a military organization which I might have called the UEF (United Earth Forces) or USF (United Space Forces) or something like that. My thought being that these are the guys who will eventually be the main Earth forces in the forthcoming Earth/Romulan war.

I think I also would have set the story maybe about twenty years earlier, closer to the time the ringship E was supposedly built in the Prime universe. Or the ringship E could have some history as a military vessel and then seriously upgraded and transfered to UESPA service for space exploration and that's when Archer and company come in.

But as I said these are quibbles and this is your story which I'm enjoying as is. What I really like with what you're doing is getting away from the familiar such as an Earth based Starfleet. If I might suggest something if you set any more stories in your continuity: don't have the Federation established early. Leave it to the late 22nd or even early 23rd century. Seems more TOS like that way and, yeah, I'm showing my bias. :-)

To give you an idea of what I'm thinking: if you've never read it then I suggest you read James Blish's adaptation of TOS' "Balance Of Terror."

Otherwise never mind what I've said and keep going. Reads good.
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Old July 14 2010, 01:55 AM   #350
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

^You raise some interesting points there, Warped9. It's interesting to note that Enterprise has raised a lot of discussion, usually on the grounds of what should have been done differently!

Almost finished, just this chapter, and one more to go. Oh, and if there are any plot threads I've forgotten about, do let me know!

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

United Earth Military Authority Head Quarters, Texas, America
20th July 2151.

It's like I've never been away, Hernandez thought, looking round Admiral Kelley's office. On some level she'd expected everything to have changed in the time since she'd first accepted her position on Enterprise. Yet it all seemed the same. Even the same drill sergeant bellowing the same insults on the parade grounds outside. Guess the only thing that has changed, is me.

Actually there was one difference. For this meeting they'd been joined by General Kaplasky, who grumbled under her breath as she re-read Hernandez's report. Eventually she straightened up and fixed Hernandez with a piercing glare. "Tell me, Commander, how would you rate this mission."

"The mission? Complete failure ma'am."

Kelley sat back in his chair and folded his arms. "Failure? Why do you say that?"

"The Enterprise was assigned to escort the President to the trade talks at the Rexus station, and provide security for the duration. As the talks did not take place, we failed in our task."

The merest hint of a smile flickered at Kaplasky's jowls. "It could be argued that external forces were responsible for the apparent failure."

Hernandez noted with interest the use of the word 'apparent'.

"At any rate, I have to prepare a report on the effectiveness of the Enterprise in this...incident." Kaplasky went on. "Your opinion, Commander?"

"Exceptionally high, ma'am." she said without hesitation.

"Indeed? And how do you draw that conclusion?"

Hernandez paused to gather her thoughts. "Ma'am, while it is true that the Enterprise failed in her assigned mission, look at what has been achieved. Two successful combat engagements, the only two carried out by a Declaration class. Right now our records are being analysed by our top strategic and tactical experts, finding the strengths and weaknesses of the design.
"The successful rescue of the head of government for a foreign power, earning us a vast amount of political good will. At the same time, we discovered a great deal about the conspiracy behind it. Not enough to conclusively identify the culprits, but it's given our intelligence services a few good leads.
"We've had our first significant contact with an alien race, the Tellarites. Unless you count a few non conclusive ambassadorial meetings on Vulcan to be significant. And then there's first contact with the Ithenites. According to the diplomatic courier from Vulcan that arrived a couple of days ago, the Ithenite embassy there wishes to open relations with us. Sure, there'll be consequences from the attack on their ship, but they could be a valuable trading partner to us."

Admiral Kelley smiled. "Diplomacy? Trading partners? My word Commander, you have been spending a lot of time with the UESPA people haven't you?"

She grinned back. "Their approach does seem to rub off on you, sir."

Kaplasky grunted. "I'm more concerned about these equipment failures. The marine corporal's environmental suit, the point defence system...Could it be sabotage?"

"The thought has crossed my mind ma'am, especially as some of the components were built by the Alpha Conglomerate. On the other hand, we've got a lot of new, untested equipment being rushed into service. It could just be that we got a faulty batch."

"Well, you may rest assured Commander there will be a full enquiry, and I will get to the bottom of it." Kaplasky said. "We'll have to check all the other Declaration's too."

Hernandez fished a data chip out of her breast pocket and handed it over. "You may find this useful ma'am. Commander Tucker and Professor Partridge have looked at the point defence system and have highlighted possible problems. They've put forward a few solutions too. We're already implementing them on the Enterprise. Some of them involve the enhanced sensors and computer systems unique to the Enterprise, so won't be applicable to other ships, but a few will work. I've highlighted those, and taken the liberty of adding a few suggestions of my own."

Kelley popped the chip into the reader and studied his display intently. After a few moments he nodded slowly. "This is good...this is very good. I'll pass this on a soon as we're finished here, get these changes implemented ASAP. What are these other files?"

Hernandez leant forward and tapped the screen. "This is the report on the particle beam weapon that was fired at us."

Kaplasky leant closer to the screen. "Really?" she asked eagerly.

"Yes ma'am. Analysis of the beam composition, records of it in operation, suggestions as to possible defences...Professor Partridge has done a very thorough job." Hernandez said.

"Though not, I note, a complete one. There seems to be nothing here about how to replicate or reproduce it." Kaplasky fixed her with a steely gaze.

"No ma'am. The Professor refuses to assist in the development of weapons. Disappointing, but I respect her reasons."

Kaplasky sat back. "Well, this is better than nothing. It's a good starting point for our own weapons designers."

"Yes ma'am." Hernandez said. She gave Kelley a questioning glance, got a subtle nod in return. "That, and the recovered weapon ma'am."

Kaplasky blinked. "Recovered weapon?"

Hernandez nodded. "From the wreckage of the ship designated Hotel 6. After the battle I sent a couple of drones to cut it off and bring it to the Enterprise. No sense of letting it falling into the wrong hands. Of course, it would have been a lot simpler to destroy it, but the plasma weapons were low on power and I didn't want to waste any torpedoes. We'd already used a few."

Kelley was smiling openly. After a few minutes consideration Kaplasky joined him. "Good thinking." the General said. "Just out of interest, who knows about this?"

"Let's see. All the bridge crew at the time. Apart from the navigator, Moshiri, they are all UEMA personnel. And the recovery team who brought the wreckage on board. I picked them myself. By an odd coincidence, they were all military too. Apart from them, only Captain Archer knows. I informed him shortly after the procedure was complete. He wasn't happy about it, but accepted my reasoning."

"He is the legal commander of the ship." Admiral Kelley pointed out, in response to Kaplasky's disapproving frown. There was a vague grunt of acknowledgement.

"Does anyone else know? Professor Partridge, for example?"

Hernandez shook her head. "No ma'am. Lieutenant Reed may suspect something, I had his people guard the storeroom it was in, but apart from those I mentioned I don't think anyone knows anything. And those who do know will keep quiet. And I decided I didn't want to...burden the Professor with the knowledge.
"The weapon is badly damaged." she went on. "But I dare say the experts can make something of it."

Kaplasky nodded, mollified. "What of these other files?"

"This one, I worked on with Commander Tucker. A way to use the energy stored in the main guns capacitors to power the turret actuators. During our fight at Theta Iota we had weapons that were charged, so we could fire them, but no way to aim them. This system will let us re-route the power. Of course, it would reduce the number of shots you can fire, but that's better than not having a chance to hit your target at all."

"Another one for the rest of the Declaration fleet." Kelley observed. "That would be of great benefit."

"I thought so sir." Hernandez said. "Now this file, this is interesting. During the journey Moshiri observed how the use of the navigational deflectors caused a slight increase in speed. It was a trivial amount, a matter of seconds, but she and Partridge have been working on it. Between them, and Commander Tucker, they've found a way to put out a constant low level deflector beam that would help disperse interstellar gas, without significantly impairing the ships velocity or using vast amounts of power."

Kaplasky was a ground forces officer, and wasn't too familiar with space craft. "Is that good?"

"In practice, it would improve efficiency by one, maybe two percent." said Hernandez.

"That doesn't sound like much."

Kelley rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "How much would it cost to implement the changes, per ship?"

Hernandez leant her elbows on the desk. "Less than ten thousand. It's a modification to the systems already in place, some software upgrades, that's all. If Earth's entire fleet, military and civilian, were to get this change, you'd recoup the initial costs within three years, just on the savings on fuel bills. Also, ships could go longer between overhauls, as there's less stress on the engines. Slightly faster top speeds, not a huge amount but it might make a difference.
"Of course, it might not be worth modifying the entire fleet. It wouldn't be worth it for older ships due to retire. But the principle still stands. And, as far as we know, no one else has discovered this system. Not even the Vulcans. If it does work, we could sell it to them. Or, and here's that UESPA influence again, give it to them."

"Give it to them?" a shocked Kaplasky echoed.

Kelley nodded. "They don't like to feel in debt, the Vulcans. If we give it to them, they'll give us something back of equal worth. Maybe even greater worth, just so they can feel superior to us. Or whatever comes close to 'feeling' superior for a Vulcan."

"Right." Hernandez said. "If we don't give, or sell, this technology to the Vulcans, they'll probably stumble upon it themselves one day, develop their own version. So we might as well find a way to profit from it."

"If ever you leave the military, Commander, I suggest big business. You seem to have an eye for opportunity." Kaplasky said. "Yes, big business, or organised crime."

"Is there a difference?" Hernandez asked innocently.

Kelley grinned at that. "Well, let's see what's in this last file."

Hernandez held up a hand. "Ah, that's not actually relevant. When Partridge sent me her reports she included that. It must have been by mistake. It's...it's..." She shrugged, unable to think of an accurate description. "And I can't delete it for some reason."

Kelley and Kaplasky exchanged glances. Curious, the Admiral opened the file, an audio visual recording. Hernandez sat back in her chair. She'd seen it before, several times, re-watching in case there was some deep significance that bypassed her on the initial viewing. If there was, it still eluded her.

Drums, trumpets, violins, in a fast beat, and slightly synthetic. And then the voice, strangely deep for a white man.

"We're no strangers to love
You know the rules and so do I
A full commitment's what I'm thinking of
You wouldn't get this from any other guy..
."

To her horror Hernandez found herself swaying slightly in time to the music. For the remainder of the song she forced herself to sit still. It was annoyingly catchy.

As the file reached it's end Kelley blinked a few times, and looked at the others with a 'what-the-hell-was-that?' look on his face. "Yes. I think the professor included this by mistake." he eventually concluded.

"Yes." Kaplasky agreed.

Either a mistake, or a joke, Hernandez thought. Difficult to tell where Polly's concerned.

"At any rate," Kelley said, "I have good news for you. Your old CO, Captain Hardy, has been promoted to the Admiralty."

"That is good news." Hernandez said. "Please pass on my congratulations."

Kaplasky said "We will, but that's not the good news."

Kelley put a small box on the table, and opened it. The rank pins of a captain gleamed within. "We want you to take his place. Commanding officer of the Sun Tzu."

Stunned, Hernandez lifted the box, staring at the contents. She had no idea how long she sat there. It was probably just seconds but felt like a lifetime. Then she sighed softly, closed the box and put it down on the table.

"Admiral, General, I'm sorry but I must decline."

Kelley held his hand up. "Please, Commander, think this over, take your time. Command of a starship, even an older one like the Sun Tzu, would be a great boost to your career. And don't worry about getting stuck there. She's due to be retired in three years. You'll have another posting then, something newer. Perhaps even a Declaration class, there's talk in government about expanding the fleet. We need good COs."

Hernandez was shaking her head. "No. I'm sorry, but no. Not yet, anyway."

"Why not?" Kaplasky asked, brow furrowed.

"Two reasons. First, I'm not ready."

"Your command of the Enterprise in battle seems to disprove that."

"That's not what I meant ma'am. I made an error, a major error at the start of the mission. Ensign Mayweather was out of control, and I should have reigned him in. Now in hindsight it was obvious that he was acting as your agent, but---"

"How do you know that?" Kaplasky demanded.

"There were a number of indications. I knew him on the Sun Tzu. Cocky, brash, arrogant. But not overly violent. Getting into a fight with a group of UESPAs just because he didn't like them was out of character. I'm guessing Captain Archer knew, and that together they arranged the incidents on Enterprise."

Kaplasky nodded. "Archer was not informed until you were under way. The President gave him a data chip describing Mayweather's mission."

Hernandez said "So Mayweather was a stalking horse, hoping to find evidence of anti UESPA feeling amongst the military personnel. And I guess he wasn't your first choice. He overplayed the role too much, must have had too little training. So the original helmsman was probably working for you, but after his motor crash you needed a replacement, both as helmsman and agent."

"Mayweather was in the right place at the right time. He'd had some minor disciplinary problems, so it was hoped he could be convincing in his anti-squid convictions." Kaplasky conceded.

"At any rate, he did find what he was looking for, and a number of officers and crew have 'voluntarily' transferred off the Enterprise as a result."

"And we shall be having a little talk with them." Admiral Kelley promised.

Hernandez sat back. "As I say, it's obvious in hindsight. But that's no excuse. I let his excesses go. Bad mistake."

Kaplasky rubbed her chin thoughtfully. "Why do you think that was, Commander?"

"I think it's like Doctor Locke said. At that time I saw things differently. It was an 'us and them' situation. We weren't a unified crew, we were two factions competing for the Enterprise. And for all his faults, I saw Travis Mayweather as being on 'my' side, and let his faults slide. Highly unprofessional. Like I say, I'm not ready for command. Not yet."

Kelley nodded slowly, accepting her explanation. "You said you had two reasons. What's the other?"

Hernandez hesitated. "This is going to sound weird sir. The fact is...I believe in the Enterprise. I believe in her mission."

Kaplasky snorted with amusement. "I think you've gone space-happy Commander. Do you want a transfer to UESPA?" Despite her words there was enough levity in her tone to make it clear she wasn't being serious.

"No ma'am." Hernandez smiled back. She held her hands out, as if giving her ideas to the others. "It's like this. The Declaration class was designed to protect Earth and it's interests from extra terrestrial threats, yes? Now of course we mean known threats. New hostilities with the Axanar, interstellar piracy, that sort of thing.
"But, as our mission showed, there are other threats out there, other dangers. And if we are to prevail, we need to find out about them before they turn up on our door step. Now, obviously we want to keep as much of our military fleet near to Earth and our colony worlds and outposts. So it will be UESPA that first encounters any potential danger.
"Now a good diplomat can turn a neutral party into a friend, and an enemy into a neutral. But there will be some who don't respond to diplomacy. So if the explorers and diplomats and scientists are to get back to Earth with their findings, they're going to need protection. And that means the military.
"Enterprise is assigned to a mission of peaceful exploration. But I can't see her completing that mission. Not without guardians, protectors. And that's my job."

"Very well." Kelley said, after a moments hesitation. He picked up the box and put it back in his desk. "Somehow I suspected you'd make that decision. I hope it's the right one."

"So do I, sir."

"There's another reason, of course." Kaplasky said. "Although we still don't know for certain who was behind this...incident, we do know they have extensive resources, friends in high places, and a long reach. Take care of the ship, Commander. You, and it, have made powerful enemies."

****

Later, as Hernandez was leaving the building, she saw a blonde woman in the uniform of a Ground Forces colonel. She looked very familiar, though Hernandez knew they had never met before. Scurrying along next to the colonel was a little civilian with a moustache, hat and visitors badge. She jogged over to the pair.

"Ma'am? Ma'am?" She gave a crisp salute.

"Ah. Commander Hernandez, isn't it? Of the Enterprise?" the woman replied with a cut glass accent, returning the salute.

"Yes ma'am. I just wanted you to know, when it mattered, when it came down to it, she did her duty."

The colonel rocked back on her heels slightly, blue eyes misting slightly. "Thank you, Commander. Thank you. I always knew she had it in her. Always. Yes, thank you."

Next to her the little man also looked pleased, though there was a hint of....what was it? Sadness? Disappointment? Hernandez thought about it.

"Mind you," she added, "I do have to add that she is also the most aggravating, irritating, annoying person I have ever met!"

And the little man beamed, proclaiming in a strong cockney accent "That's my girl!"
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Old July 14 2010, 07:59 AM   #351
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

I've read a couple of chapters of this and really enjoyed it...now I'm going to have to go re-read everything to understand what was going on lol. Great stuff. It kind of reminds me of Ptrope's attempt at a reimagined Enterprise called "Endeavor" a few years ago.
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Old July 14 2010, 01:45 PM   #352
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Loved "meeting" Polly's parents, that was great. The meeting with Hernandez and the brass was well done too, she has been my favorite character throughout (though Reed is a close second). I didn't like how she used the Riker manuver and declined a command, but her second excuse, that basically Archer (and other UESPA captains) would need a strong military presence backing them up is a believable one, its the one I would have used in her place. I also liked the rationale behind Mayweathers actions. I didn't see that coming, but Hernandez is right, in hindsight, it is pretty obvious. Well done, I am bummed that there is only one chapter left, its been a great ride so far!
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Old July 14 2010, 03:22 PM   #353
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

You fooled me. I thought you would be leaving the Mayweather thread for another time.

Excellent chapter all the same.
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Old July 18 2010, 11:04 PM   #354
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

UES Enterprise. Departing Earth Orbit.
Captain's Log. 2nd September 2151.
Repairs are complete, and the Enterprise has received her certificate of space-worthiness. We've finally been given orders to begin a mission of deep space exploration and are currently en route to our departure zone.
An enquiry has begun into the events of our last journey. Our records are being scrutinised most carefully, and I have no doubt that on our next return to Earth we will have to answer yet more questions. I hope that that will be the extent of the consequences, but something tells me that things won't be that simple. Whoever the conspirators are, they clearly have a great deal of resources. Our rescue of the Premier may have hindered their plans, but I don't think we've heard the last of them. According to a recent communique, a Vulcan squadron sent to reconnoitre the Theta Iota system found no evidence of the hidden station. The most probable explanation is that, once they knew it was compromised, it's crew abandoned it, deactivating the lift engines and letting it fall to be crushed deep in the planets atmosphere.
On Enterprise, there have been a few changes amongst the crew. Although some elements of our rescue mission are still classified, enough news did get out to cause a change of feeling amongst the military. The idea that Enterprise may see action after all has lead to a significant increase in the number of volunteers. As such we no longer have any crew members feeling that they were forced to be here, with the resultant effect on morale. Those personnel uncovered as part of General Kaplasky's sting operation have been reassigned. It wouldn't surprise me to find out that they will be trained in intelligence techniques, then 'dishonourably discharged', in the hope that whoever is recruiting the private army will scout them out.
Best of all, we've finally managed to get a professional chef on-board!


"Listen to them babies purr, Cap'n." Trip Tucker said, holding his arms wide. The steady thrumm of the fusion reactors, powering the ships impulse drive, filled main engineering. It wasn't so loud as to require hearing protection, but did need the raising of voices to be heard.

Archer shot his old friend an amused glance. "I don't think babies purr, Trip. It's usually cats."

"Whatever." Trip waved the objection away. "Anyway, all systems operatin' at or above required levels. Everythin' looks fine. Even number three impulse is behavin' isself."

"Yeah, I think we know why that is." Archer said. He glanced over to Lieutenant Dodson, the new assistant chief engineer. Tricia Adams had been one of those 'reassigned' after the last mission. A bad business that. She considered herself a patriot. Perhaps she was, but she'd let her patriotism blind her.

Trip hollered over to Dodson, letting him know he'd be running things from up on the bridge, and getting a thumbs up in return. They left main engineering, and immediately a small beagle leapt up at Archer, tail wagging, as if he'd not seen the Captain for days, as opposed to the five minutes he'd been away.

"Down Porthos! Down! I had to pull a lot of strings to get you on board, so you gotta be on your best behaviour!" Archer smiled at the holder of the dogs leash, striving valiantly to keep the beagle under control. "Thanks Malcolm."

"A pleasure, sir." Reed replied in tones that suggested it was anything but. He handed the leash to Archer, and nodded to Trip. "Good to see you, Commander."

The two men hadn't met for some time, their respective duties keeping them both busy. "Likewise, Malky. Hey, you seem to have a bit of a shiner there."

"Ah yes." Reed gingerly touched his black eye. "Shore leave." he said succinctly.

Archer straightened up from playing with his dog. "You better watch yourself Malcolm, or you'll find yourself busted back to Lieutenant!"

Tucker's brow furrowed. "That's what's been confusin' me. Ah heard you got bumped up to Captain, but ain't you wearin' the insignia of a Major?"

"There's only one Captain on board a ship, Mr Tucker. I've been promoted to captain, but to avoid confusion and as a show of respect to the CO I'll be referred to as a major. Now, if only I got the pay..."

Archer grinned. "We'll be at the departure point soon. Best get to the bridge. Care to join us Malcolm?"

"Why not?"

On the way they passed sickbay. Archer paused. "Locke asked me to pop in when I had the chance. While we're here..."

"Oh heck. This aint gonna be another round o' blood tests is it?" Trip asked.

Locke was smoking one of his ubiquitous cigarettes, but the air was cleaner than usual and the ashtrays empty. The doctor was studying some papers on his desk, but these weren't the usual medical journals. Large pieces of thick paper, sturdy enough to partially support their own weight, decorated with daubs of colour.

To Reed's surprise Locke looked up at them with something approaching good humour. "Ah, John, I thought you'd be interested in these." He pushed the papers towards them. "They only got here on the last supply shuttle. Deborah thought you'd want to see them. It seems the children have been quite taken by our little adventure."

"Deborah?" Reed asked, perplexed.

"Yes, she's a teacher." Locke said, as if that explained everything. "Did you know that the publicity people at UEMA had licensed out the rights to make toys of the Declaration class? Marked with the appropriate insignia for each of the six ships. They nearly gave up making the Enterprise, it was selling so badly. After our last mission our little ship has outsold all the others combined."

"Let's hope UESPA gets a cut of the profits." Archer said. He examined one of the pictures. The Enterprise floating above a red and blue world. The painter's enthusiasm had far outstripped his talents, but it had it's own charms.

Behind him a still confused Reed caught Trip's eye and mouthed Deborah?

Trip touched the ring finger on his own left hand and mouthed Locke's wife, to Reed's obvious surprise.

Locke handed a picture to Tucker. "I believe this is you in the engine room, Commander."

"Ah think you're right. The proportions are a lil' off, but this here's clearly a deuterium tank, an' tha' looks like the main systems display. An this smilin' happy fella is certainly me. Handsome devil."

"And they've certainly captured you're essence here Malcolm." Archer said, lifting another painting. Blobs of green and brown, with something pink and pear shaped at the top. Sure enough, it had been captioned 'loontunt macrom rred'.

"Well, that's a good likeness of standard temperate zone camouflage." Reed said eventually.

The tannoy system whistled. "All stations, we are approaching Departure Zone. All stations secure for warp."

Archer glanced at his watch. "Better get going. Phil, do you mind if we stick some of these pictures up somewhere? They'd look good in the observation dome."

Locke gestured with his cigarette. "Certainly, certainly. A few in the corridors will be good too, give a bit of variety from all that grey."

***

The bridge was pretty much as Reed remembered it, though the small computer station had been expanded into a dedicated science console. The 'polyspectral image analyser and enhancement unit' was now built into the system as opposed to being tacked on. At the moment the station was unoccupied.

"Captain on the bridge." Hernandez said, rising from the centre seat. She paused at the sight of Porthos trotting along next to Archer, then continued. "Sir, we have clearance from Earth Central for departure once we reach the zone. All stations report ready."

"Thank you Commander. Hoshi, signal Earth Central, thank them for clearance and let them know we will depart on schedule."

"Aye Captain."

"Trip, how are the engines holding up?"

Tucker secured himself at the engineering console. "Everythin's in the green. We are go for warp."

Archer nodded. "Haleh, how's it looking?"

"Course laid in and on the board, ready to implement at your command."

"Thanks Haleh. Travis?"

"All flight systems stand ready. And Captain?" Mayweather turned in his seat to address Archer directly. "I just wanted to say...thanks. There's a lot of people would have been happy to see the back of me."

Archer waved it away. "You're a damn good helmsman and you know the ship. Plus, you and Haleh make a good team. And this is the Enterprise. We look after our own."

Mayweather looked at him a moment longer, to emotional to speak. Archer knew it couldn't have been easy for the young man, spying on his fellow UEMA's. It seemed as if others in his service were not too pleased with his actions. Mayweather wasn't welcome any more in a lot of places.

Mayweather took a deep breath and then made a deliberate effort to change the subject. "Oh, yeah, thanks for this as well!" He pointed to the Lieutenant's insignia he now wore.

"You earned that yourself Travis. I'd have to---"

Archer broke off as Professor Partridge burst through the hatch. "Only me! I hope you don't mind if----WHOAH!"

In her dash across the bridge, she'd managed to trip over Porthos's leash, and ended up flat on the floor next to the captain's chair. Archer helped her to her feet, asking if she was hurt or needed the doctor.

"No no no, I'm fine. What is that and why is it on the bridge?" Her finger flashed out.

"That's Porthos, my dog." Archer explained.

"Hmf. I'm more of a cat woman myself."

Reed nodded, fondly remembering. "Yes, I've seen your calender."

"Right. December...Right. What? I was going to....Yes! Where's my case? I had a case when I came in."

Hernandez picked it up from where it had skidded. "Here it is."

"It's not more food is it?" Trip asked. "We got a proper chef on now, it ain't gonna be so bad. You already brought enough to feed half the crew for a week."

"Oh, stuff and nonsense Trip, you never did have a sense of proportion, I merely brought a few essentials, that's all."

"Yeah right, 'essentials'. You got so much bacon you could rebuild a pig. An' just how much brown sauce can one woman eat?"

Partridge shrugged. "I really don't know, but this is a mission of scientific enquiry, so I intend to get some empirical evidence. That however is a matter for another time. I have something for all of you. These came at on the last supply shuttle."

Hernandez frowned. "That was hours ago. Couldn't you have done this sooner? We're just minutes from the departure zone."

"Ah, well, I also came on that shuttle, and have spent the last few hours lying in my darkened quarters with a damp towel on my forehead."

Archer sat back in his chair, Porthos on his lap. "So what have you got Professor?"

She opened the case, and began rummaging around. "As you know, for administrative purposes Enterprise now operates under the control of a new department, Combined Services. Well, the powers that be have decided that Combined Services needs some sort of distinctive symbol, or insignia. Any how, as I happen to know a fashion designer, I suggested her for the job, and...Ta Daaa!"

She held something up, a circle of plain black cloth.

"That would have been more impressive if I'd held it the right way round." she admitted.

The other side of the cloth carried a symbol. A golden, asymmetrical shape rather like a capital letter A.





Hernandez leaned closer. "Oh, I get it, it's an arrowhead. That looks good."

Polly rolled her eyes. "How very military of you. It is not an arrowhead, it is a candle flame. We bring light into darkness, see?"

She started handing them out. "They'll be incorporated into the uniform eventually, but for now we get these armbands."

Hoshi looked delighted. "And I finally get a Diva Matrix original! Thanks Polly." She put it on.

Moshiri's console bleeped. "We're at the departure zone Captain."

"Engines are ready." Tucker added.

Archer nodded. "Strap yourselves in people. Hoshi, sound the warp alert, then begin the countdown."

Five melodic chimes rang out, thirty seconds came up on the clock. Twenty nine. Twenty eight. Twenty seven.

The distant hum of the engines began to build in intensity. Porthos stirred, unsure about the unfamiliar noise, and whined slightly. Archer stroked the dog's head.

"Hush now, hush. Nothing to worry about."

Just seconds left. He glanced round at the others, his people, his crew. He had no idea what was out there. But he couldn't think of anyone he'd rather have with him than these.

The countdown reached zero. "Engage." he said.

And the Enterprise leapt to warp.


Space.
The final frontier.
These are the voyages of the star ship Enterprise.
Her primary mission, to explore strange new worlds,
to seek out new life, and new civilizations,
to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Last edited by The Badger; July 19 2010 at 12:20 AM.
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Old July 19 2010, 12:35 AM   #355
The Badger
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Admiral_Young wrote: View Post
I've read a couple of chapters of this and really enjoyed it...now I'm going to have to go re-read everything to understand what was going on lol. Great stuff. It kind of reminds me of Ptrope's attempt at a reimagined Enterprise called "Endeavor" a few years ago.
I'm glad you enjoyed what you've read so far, and hope the rest lives up to expectations!

USS Avenger wrote: View Post
The meeting with Hernandez and the brass was well done too, she has been my favorite character throughout (though Reed is a close second).
Interesting to hear this. I've no military background myself, but I tried to write these characters honestly. The fact that someone with such a background approves is very flattering.

USS Avenger wrote: View Post
I also liked the rationale behind Mayweathers actions. I didn't see that coming, but Hernandez is right, in hindsight, it is pretty obvious.
Ah, well. To be honest it wasn't supposed to go that way at all! I'd originally written Mayweather as being overly angry and aggressive. Admiral2 pointed out, quite correctly, that I'd overdone it and the situation was unrealistic. Fortunately this was still early enough in the story to be ret-conned!

Duncan MacLeod wrote: View Post
You fooled me. I thought you would be leaving the Mayweather thread for another time.
I'd always thought of this 'Broken Bow' as being the equivalent of a double length pilot episode, setting the situation up for a follow on series of much shorter episodes. Under those circumstances I probably would have left the Mayweather thread for later. But as I can't match the output of a TV studio (this one story has been over a year in the making!) I thought it unfair to leave too many plot lines dangling!
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Old July 19 2010, 01:11 AM   #356
Duncan MacLeod
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Well done, Badger!

A fine story from start to finish. Don't worry about how long it took to complete. My cousin is a professional with nearly a score of published novels to her credit, including New York Times bestsellers, and several RITAs, but she only writes one a year as well.

It's the quality that matters most, not the pace.
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Old July 19 2010, 12:29 PM   #357
USS Avenger
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Standing ovation! Thank you for bringing us this story, it has been a great ride and I have enjoyed reading it from the start. When I saw that (Starfleet) Combined Services arrowhead I got the biggest grin on my face. Never saw it as a candle flame, always an arrowhead or a spear point, how militaristic of me. Then of course, you end with those iconic words, loved it! I have said it before and I will say it again. This is the way "Enterprise" should have been done!
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Old July 19 2010, 07:21 PM   #358
adm_gold
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Like the rest have said, GREAT JOB!
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Old July 19 2010, 09:05 PM   #359
Mistral
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Most of my comments have been brief-this time let me say:

From the beginning your re-invention had life and style and was interesting. As it continued I expected the "flavor" to change as you settled into your style. You had, after all, said this was your first non-school writing effort. Instead, and much to my delight, I found your original voice was your style. And a good one it is, too. You carried the tale well, dealing with a myriad of situations from covert ops, to interpersonal relations to interstellar battles and it was always clear and entertaining. Your characters were believable, your conflicts realistic and your explanations sensible. I wasn't kidding when I said this was sometimes the only decent thing I had to read around here. While other authors have written good stuff, many times I was caught up and would come here to find you had posted again-and it made my day. I took to checking your story first before moving on to anything else. With only the tiniest refinements this could be a published book. I can think of no higher praise to give than that. Thank you for a great read!
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Old July 21 2010, 10:22 PM   #360
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Excellent and well done. I thoroughly enjoyed that from start to finish. You have a great style that I truly enjoy reading.

Your charaters were all well thought out and believeable--even "Mary Sue" Polly ended up being (mostly) believeable by the end.

I look forward to anything else you choose to write, no matter how long that may take.
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