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Old May 14 2009, 09:41 PM   #31
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

I have some patience. I am following a number of Fanfics and the authors, like you, have othier priorities and problems so chapters are fairly slow in coming.

Besides, being able to think things out in your mind and editing them in your mind can be a good thing. gives you the leisure you need to write a fine story.
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Old May 17 2009, 11:02 PM   #32
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

UES Enterprise. Earth Orbit.
16th April 2161


Partridge didn't get sick in the elevator. She did, however, get rather nervous as they got in. Hernandez thought that was understandable.

Because the secondary hull had a different orientation to the primary one, finding a quick, efficient means of transport between the two had presented the designers with quite a problem. Both Hernandez and Partridge were quartered near to Fin One, the vertical strut. As such they had started out upside down with respect to the primary hull. The elevator shaft was zero gee, but gravity generators were built into the base of each elevator.

The elevator would travel to a point midway along the shaft, stop in a specially modified wider section, and then rotate along it's horizontal access so that the bottom was now towards the primary hull. It would then carry on it's way. For those travelling on-board, the sensations were quite peculiar.

One would enter the lift as normal. It would proceed upwards at a fair rate, before slowing to a stop. There then followed an odd swirling sensation, as the elevator spun round. This was made all the more disconcerting by the fact that, whilst your inner ear told you that you were moving, your awareness of gravities effect on your body told you that you were stationary.

That was the point when most people grabbed tightly onto the hand rail.

The elevator would now carry on it's way, except that to those on board it seemed as if it were now heading down. Consequently, when it stopped, there was the half expectation that you'd returned to your starting point.

That's going to take some getting used to, Hernandez thought. She wondered about the two lower fins, where the gravitational orientation was more side on than upside down, and how one got from one hull to another there. Something to investigate later.

Unlike the lobby on the secondary hull, this area wasn't considered living space. It was smaller and, apart from a computer terminal and a couple of rows of bench seating, empty. A couple of marines were present, checking the room as part of the security sweeps. They saluted Hernandez.

She saluted back "All clear?"

"Yes Ma'am. Nothing out of the ordinary yet." He sounded disappointed.

Hernandez sympathised. She'd not met Lt. Reed yet, but she understood that he and his unit were highly regarded and, considering that Earth hadn't fought a major space conflict, quite experienced. Anti pirate activity, xenomorph eradication, the border wars with the Axanar, quelling the insurrection on the Alpha colony. They'd been there and done that, and the only reason they hadn't bought the t-shirt was because one of their enemies was using it as a surrender flag.

Which begs the question, what are they doing on Enterprise? Marines were supposed to be on ships of this type, but there seemed little sense in placing combat veterans on an exploration mission. She knew commanding officers on warships who'd give their first born to have Reed and his unit on board. So why here?

Yet another little mystery. They're starting to add up.



Sickbay was located near the shuttlebays. That made sense. It was next to the quarantine bay, and also allowed anyone injured on a landing party to get medical aid as quickly as possible.

Hernandez levered the door open and stepped into the office, Partridge close behind her.

Doctor Philip Locke was a small man with pale watery blue eyes. He was seated behind his desk as they entered, perusing the computer screen with great intensity. As he became aware of their presence he looked up sharply.

"What do you want?" he barked.

Hernandez was taken aback. "You requested I come in for a medical examination." she said simply.

Locke grunted an acknowledgement. "What about you?" he asked Partridge.

"Oh, I put in a request for a spare pair of glasses. I was told they're ready."

He waved her towards one of the internal doors. "Go ask Millington, he'll have them." he grumbled. "Not that you need them, damn affectation. "

"They help for reading"

"Hmph. I could fix your sight in ten minutes."

Partridge shrugged. "I'd rather wear glasses."

"Whatever. Just go. Go. And put some sensible shoes on! You'll break your ankles! Or your neck! Or both!"

As Partridge skipped away, he muttered, just loud enough for Hernandez to hear "....supposed to be the smartest person in the world. Damned flighty idiot, if you ask me."

After the near worship of Partridge seen elsewhere, this amused Hernandez. She must have let her feelings show as Locke suddenly skewered her with a stare.

"What's so damn funny?"

"Er, nothing, nothing Doctor. Er, is this a bad time for you? I could come back later..."

"Why do you say that?" he snapped.

Unfortunately, Locke was one of the civilians attached to the crew. If he'd been a member of UEMA or UESPA, Hernandez had the power and authority to deal with his attitude. As it was, he had to be handled with kid gloves.

She'd been on deep space missions where the only medical help on board came from a Corpsman. They did the job well enough, but were no substitute for a fully trained doctor.

In addition to twenty years general practice, Locke was an experienced surgeon, and had recently completed the cross species training program. He was the ideal choice for the mission, and Hernandez didn't want to upset him.

"Actually, Doctor, you really don't need to see me at all." she smiled.

Locke leant back in his chair. "Is that so?" he asked softly.

She pulled a data chip from her pocket. "I had a complete medical check up just a few weeks ago. I have the results right here."

Locke sounded impressed. "A full check up? Just weeks ago?"

"Yes Doctor."

He drummed his fingers on the desktop, apparantly deep in thought."I don't remember that." he said, sounding puzzled.

Now Hernandez was confused. "Remember what?"

"I don't remember giving you a check up. In fact, I don't recall ever meeting you at all, before last night.

"Oh, perhaps I gave the wrong impression. It wasn't you, it was Doctor Hartley at UEMA HQ."

He nodded, and took the data chip. "Ah, I see, I see. Some one else examined you."

"That's it"

He gave her a withering look. "Why are you telling me this? Why are you wasting my time, my valuable time, with this? Hmm?"

He tossed the chip contemptuously aside. "I called you here so that I could examine you, not read someone else's opinions!"

He stood, and handed her an empty vial. "I hope you've had something to drink this morning. I'm going to need a sample. Afterwards, go to ward one for the blood test.". Without waiting for a reply he darted out of the office.

"Yes Doctor." she told his retreating back. She looked down at the vial. Somehow, it seemed to encapsulate her feelings about the mission so far.
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Old May 18 2009, 08:26 PM   #33
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Nice doctor! That's the kind of doctor I want on my ship-not. What a curmudgeon.
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Old May 21 2009, 01:20 PM   #34
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

UES Enterprise. Earth Orbit.
Captain's Log. April 16, 2151. The pre-launch countdown is underway. All systems show readiness for our upcoming voyage. Despite the problems caused by the accelerated time table, my crew have excelled and we are now running slightly ahead of our predicted schedule.
My only concern is that the two crews, UESPA and UEMA, still don't seem to be intergrating. Whilst there is no apparent sign of outright hostility, relations often seemed strained. If this is not dealt with somehow it may put the long term success of this project at risk.


Captain Archer looked around the shuttle bay. It seemed a little too empty, a little too quiet. If it had been up to him he'd have allowed as many off duty crew members as possible to be present. After all, the arrival of the President of Earth was not something that happens everyday, there was sure to be interest.

Sadly, it wasn't up to him. Given the attempt on the President's life, the Secret Service had insisted that Archer clear the deck of all unnecessary personnel. He had, reluctantly, agreed.

Still, he'd managed to get a bit of leeway into what counted as necessary. The docking bay crew was slightly larger than usual, with several crewmen who would normally be off duty at this time acting as 'assistants' to those scheduled to be here. All the marines who could be spared were present, looking resplendent in their dress uniforms.

On the subject of which....Archer tugged at his collar irritably. It was a little too tight, and some thing about it made his neck itchy. He hated full dress uniform.

He'd designated himself, Hernandez and Trip the official welcoming party, thus guaranteeing their presence for the arrival. Hernandez hadn't arrived yet. She'd sent a message saying that her medical exam had taken longer than anticipated, and she'd only just left sickbay. She'd be with them as soon as she'd changed uniform.

Trip was carefully examining his computer pad, his brow furrowed.

"Problem?" Archer asked.

Trip shook his head slowly. "Prob'ly not. Number three impulse engine is running a bit hot."

"How bad?"

"Oh, it's still well within tolerances. It's just...unusual. Doesn't seem to be any cause for it."

"Seriously Trip, I need to know, right now, is this going to affect our mission?"

To his credit Trip thought about this carefully. "I honestly can't see how cap'n. They're pretty sturdy, those engines. Even if it was running twenty, maybe thirty per cent over maximum recommended temperature, it'll still do it's job. Of course, it'd need replacing ASAP, but it'd get us there and home again."

He examined the pad carefully. "Think I'll increase coolant flow to compensate, just be on the safe side. Relax, cap'n, worst comes to the worst, we just shut it down. Heck, there's half a dozen automatic systems that'll do that if there's any risk to the ship. And we still got two spare impulse engines."

The main hatch levered open and Hernandez entered, still adjusting her dress uniform.

"My apologies gentlemen. Doctor Locke's examination went..."

Archer held up a hand. "It's all right, Commander. We understand."

Trip looked up from his pad. "So how d'you find Locke?"

She thought for a moment. "Thorough." she said simply, rubbing her arm.

Trip grinned. Even in the short time the doctor had been on board, Locke's predilection for taking blood had become legendary.

"Hey cap'n. Any truth in the rumours that Doc' Locke has forbidden chef from givin' him anythin' with garlic in it?"

Any reply Archer may have given was interrupted by the tannoy. "All shuttlebay staff on standby. Presidential shuttle has made secure contact on pad three, descending into airlock."

A loud warning siren followed, accompanied by flashing lights at pad three. Even over the noise the rumble of the lowering pad could be made out. There was a clang, more felt than heard, as the space doors closed.

The siren ceased, though the lights continued to flash. The tannoy spoke again. "Shuttle secure. Beginning re pressurisation."

Now the hiss of air could be heard.

Archer licked his lips nervously. He glanced at the others, and prodded Trip's arm to get his attention. The engineer was still holding his pad. The Secret Service would be very wary to see anyone holding anything.

Trip looked nervous. He went to stash the pad, but the dress uniform pockets were too narrow. Glancing around, he tossed it to one of the nearby crewmen, who almost dropped it.

"I'll want that later. Put it somewhere safe, outta sight."

A different siren sounded, and the tannoy said "Pad three pressurised. Stand clear of pad three, stand clear of pad three. Main hatch opening."

There was a slight inward rush of air as the double doors swung open. After another warning on the tannoy, the shuttle pad began trundling back on it's tracks. Unlike pads one and two, which were designed for the smaller types of shuttle, pad three was intended for much larger ones. As such it was considerably slower. Archer found himself muttering "Come on, come on." under his breath.

Finally the pad reached disembarkation point. The sirens and warning lights ceased. For several seconds nothing seemed to happen. Archer knew that all sorts of procedures had to be carried out. Engine shut downs. Security protocols. But he wasn't in that loop at the moment.

A thin sheen of mist drifted from the shuttles surface, moisture in the air reacting to the still cold surface.

The President was Head of State for the entire United Earth, not just a particular region. Still, some national traditions had been adopted for planetary use. And so it was, as the shuttles boarding ramp swung open, that the old standard 'Hail To The Chief' played over the speaker system.

The President had arrived.
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Old May 22 2009, 08:31 PM   #35
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Excellent imagery!
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Old May 23 2009, 04:19 AM   #36
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Agreed, I could really see all of this as I was reading.
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Old May 28 2009, 09:29 PM   #37
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

UES Enterprise. Earth Orbit.
16th April 2161

Flanked by Secret Service agents, the President stepped carefully down the boarding ramp. He'd timed his descent to coincide with the last few bars of the music, allowing him to begin to converse the moment he stepped onto the deck.

"Captain Archer, permission to come aboard?"

"Permission granted, Mister President. It's a great honour to have you here." This was one of those situations where Archer thought a salute was entirely in order.

The President smiled. "The honour is mine Captain, I have read about the Enterprise with much interest. I do hope I will have the opportunity to look around."

Archer nodded. "A tour can be arranged. May I present my first officer, Commander Hernandez."

"Pleased to meet you, Commander."

Hernandez's salute was textbook. "Mr President." she said simply, her voice tight with nerves.

Archer gestured to Trip. "And Commander Tucker, my second officer and Chief Engineer."

"Ah, so you are the fellow who keeps everything working. Is all as it should be?"

A simple enough question. but with a world of meaning behind it. Trip glanced sidelong at the captain before answering.

"Yes, Mr President. As far as I can see there's no problems."

"Good, good."

Trip was uncomfortably aware of the intense scrutiny the nearest Secret Service agent was giving him.

Several more people disembarked from the shuttle. Assistants in suits, carrying briefcases. The President's press secretary.

And two Vulcans.

The President beckoned the last pair over. "Captain, I believe you know Ambassador Soval?"

"Indeed I do Mr. President. Ambassador, it is good to see you again." Archer gave the Vulcan salute. Odd, but he felt more comfortable with that than with Earth's salute.

Soval responded in kind. "Captain. I trust your father is well?"

Archer nodded. "Recovering nicely, thank you." Henry Archer had recently suffered a stroke. For a while things had looked grim, to the point where Jonathan had considered requesting a transfer from the Enterprise so he could be near his family. Fortunately his father's condition had improved significantly.

"That is good news. Our discussions have always been productive." That was about as close as a Vulcan, even one who had lived for decades on Earth, could get to saying that he had enjoyed another's company.

Soval gestured to his assistant. "T'Pol, my aide."

T'Pol appeared to be in her early thirties, by human standards, but Archer knew that it was difficult to tell with Vulcans. Apart from her rather unfortunate pudding bowl hair cut, she was very attractive, face wise at least. The flowing robes she wore made her figure impossible to determine.

She greeted Archer with a barely perceptible nod of the head. "Captain."

Not having been given any mode of address other that her name, Archer replied "Pleased to meet you."

She gave no response.

That, Archer knew, was common behaviour amongst some Vulcans. He tried not to let it bother him. Instead he introduced his two officers.

Soval observed the pleasantries. He'd been around humans long enough to at least try to put them at their ease. T'Pol made no such effort. A nod to acknowledge their presence, nothing more.

Trip seemed a little put out by her attitude. And whilst Hernandez's face gave nothing away, Archer noticed his new first officer was clenching her fists.

Archer gestured to the door. "Would you like to see your quarters? I'm afraid they are somewhat spartan, but I hope they will suffice."

The President nodded graciously. "Thank you Captain. I'm sure they will be suitable."

Trip said "We've done what we can with the environmental settings in the Vulcan delegates rooms. Turned up the heat, lowered the humidity, that sorta thing. Won't be the same as bein' on Vulcan, but should be a mite more comfortable."

T'Pol barely glanced at him. "Unnecessary."

"A thoughtful gesture, none the less." said Soval. "It is appreciated."

Archer lead them to the door. Pausing at the threshold, he turned and nodded to the officer in charge of the Marines.



Lt. Malcolm Reed maintained his Parade Rest until the diplomatic party had left. He'd spotted the Captain's signal, but thought it wise to stay at attention until he was sure he was no longer observed. The Secret Service agents were notorious for not taking chances, and the current situation would only have made things worse. He'd noticed several agents watching him and his men like hawks, and didn't want to take a step out of place.

Only when the Presidential party had left did he allow himself to relax. "All right Sergeant. Fall the men out." he said in his soft Yorkshire burr.

Sergeant Woo nodded. "Yes sir! Fall....wait for it Sandstrom! Fall out!"

The Marines relaxed.

"Wow, I can't believe it. The President!" said Dent, the team medic.

Another Marine, Tipping, drawled. "Yeah, you can tell the grand kids someday. 'I was ignored by the President of Earth'."

There were a few requests for him to shut up, but there was no malice to them. Tipping's grumpiness was a running joke amongst the unit.

Sandstrom approached Reed. A tall man, so muscular he had difficulty holding his arms straight at his sides, and with a neck so thick that it seemed his head flowed straight into his shoulders, he was the teams heavy weapons expert.

He saluted. "Sir. What do you think the chances are? Any action on this mission?"

Reed shrugged. Given the Enterprises mission profile, there shouldn't be any call for their skills. But that was before the President came on board. That was before the assassination attempt.

"I don't know Sandstrom. I really don't know."
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Old May 28 2009, 10:23 PM   #38
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Nice! I liked "unfortunate pudding bowl haircut" and that you've made Soval more pleasant.
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Old May 29 2009, 08:26 PM   #39
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Praetor wrote: View Post
Nice! I liked "unfortunate pudding bowl haircut" and that you've made Soval more pleasant.
Me too. Good job!
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Old May 30 2009, 05:40 PM   #40
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Now that I'm up to speed, I offer my gut reactions. it's interesting, but:

-Hernandez is already not doing her job as First Officer. Travis Mayweather is a Rank Insubordination problem waiting to happen (Put there by the Service Chief no less. More on that later). She knows he hates UESPArs, she knows he's already gone out of his way to pick a fight with a group of them, and she's seen for herself that he tries to intimidate them when he's not picking fights, and the closest she's come to doing something about it was saying, "uhh, you know we'll be in a ship full of them, right?" and not joining UESPArs for poker.

Wrong. At some point between the time she first read his service record and the time they boarded - preferably during the instance of their first face to face - she should have looked him directly in the eye and said "I don't care who appointed you to this assignment. Try any of that crap on my ship and I'll bust you so far down in rate that your grandchildren will be washing dishes in the galley." And then if he doesn't listen, she should carry out her threat.

This is the thing. The whole Mayweather situation smacks of the type of writing I hate to see but seems to be epidemic in Trek writing. It's a situation contrived solely to create interpersonal conflict, one that no organization full of people with any kind of common sense would allow to exist. Look at it in real world terms: This is tantamount to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force assigning a violent, prejudiced a-hole to be the pilot of Air Force One, just because he and the a-hole don't like the Shuttle crew accompanying the president. That's insubordination at best, sabotage and treason at worst, and it's done just to make the reader go "Oooh, aahh, what will happen? Oooh, aahhh..."

But it's done, and since it's done, that leaves only two people capable of handling it before it becomes a problem: Archer and Hernandez, and all either of them has done so far is sit there and wonder about it. This situation needs to change, and it's Hernandez's responsibility to change it before Archer has to.

-From what I've read of the description of the ship, the refit didn't go far enough. It started out as a rotational grav ship. You can't just add artificial gravity to it and not reorient the whole interior properly. It's inefficient. Leaving a lift system that has to swing back and forth between levels and leaving piping all over the floors will actually cause more problems than just installing a proper up-and-down decking and lift system.

-On a lighter note, some ideas for Polly's portayer:

Tricia Helfer
Brandy Ledford
Jeri Ryan (why not)
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Old May 30 2009, 07:24 PM   #41
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Thanks for the input, Admiral2. You've raised some good points.

In retrospect, the Travis Mayweather situation was somewhat over done. In the TV series young Travis practically disappeared. I wanted to give him more to do.
Looking back on it though it is unrealistic, and were I too re-write it I'd certainly tone it down somewhat. As it is there will have to be a confrontation along the lines you suggest sooner rather than later.

Personally, I find what I've written so far to be satisfactory....for a first draft. Lots of room for improvement I know.


Regarding the inefficiency of the ship, that's deliberate (on my part, not the ships designers). Obviously I didn't explain it well enough in the narrative, but Earth's current vessels are too small, too short ranged, too lightly armed and simply too old to do their job. The Declaration class was supposed to solve that problem, but everything ran over budget and behind schedule. It was a choice between an imperfect solution now, and a perfect one far too late.

As to why Earth feels the need to have new warships now, you'll have to wait and see...

As to your casting suggestions...
Tricia Helfer, well, I first thought she was 'just' eye candy on BSG, but she surprised me at times with just how good an actress she was.

Brandy Ledford I must admit I'm not familiar with, but a quick GIS revealed her to be hot with a side order of 'daaaamn'.

And as for Jeri Ryan, well I must admit I had considered eventually marrying Polly off to some one with the surname 'Hansen' .

Thanks for the input, keep it coming, it's the only way I'll get better!
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Old June 7 2009, 10:12 AM   #42
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

I'm eagerly awaiting your next update!

(And I'd be happy with either Tricia Helfer or Jeri Ryan for Polly.)
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Old June 7 2009, 02:19 PM   #43
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Yeah, sorry about the delay with this. Real world stuff getting in the way at the moment, but I'm working on it in my head!

Thanks for the encouragement Praetor, it is appreciated.

Slightly off topic, but I was amused to see in a news report recently that there is a real life female scientist called Professor Partridge! She's a Linda though not a Polly, a geneticist and expert on ageing who last year won the prestigious Darwin-Wallace medal.
Probably doesn't wear a catsuit though!
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Old June 10 2009, 07:43 PM   #44
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

UES Enterprise. Earth Orbit.
Captain's Log. April 16, 2151. With the Presidential party safely on board we can begin final preparations. Enterprise is about to leave orbit for our planned departure zone. Whilst Cmmdr. Tucker assures me that the engines are sufficiently calibrated to go to warp straight from orbit, I am unwilling to take any risk, however small, with the President on board. Asides from which, Lt. Moshiri has modified the flight plan at my personal request.

I'm hoping that all goes well on this mission and without a hitch. I can't help feeling that things may get needlessly complicated. While I was showing the President to the obs. dome he handed me a data chip, with instructions not to look at until we had left the solar system. I'm sure he'd waited until my officers were otherwise engaged. But if this is to do with them, it could easily have been sent through official channels at a higher security rating than they have.


Mulling the matter over, Archer was not aware of Hoshi at his side until she cleared her throat.

"Sorry Hoshi, I've a lot on my mind."

"Not a problem sir. Just these reports for you to sign. Oh, and Director Forrest has authorised the diversion."

"That's good news. "said Archer. "I'd promised a flyby."

He was interrupted by the whistle of the ships internal communicator, the distinctive tone of a message for the officer in charge. He lifted the handset. The display screen showed it came from the chief engineer.

"Trip, what can I do for you?"

"Cap'n, all impulse engines running within parameters, and the warp reactor's warmin' up nicely. She'll be ready for the go when we get to the departure zone."

"That's good. How's number three impulse holding up?"

"Still a little hot, nothing we can't handle."

"Very good. We're about to make a little course correction. I'll try not to shake things up too much."

Archer could almost hear Trip grinning as he said with mock indignation "You'd better not!"

"All right Trip, carry on. Archer out."

He deactivated the hand set and replaced it.

"Haleh, we've got permission to use the revised plan. Lay it in."

"Very good sir. Revised flight plan laid in and ready to initiate."

Archer sat back in his chair, and gestured to Hoshi to return to her station. She indicated the pads with the reports on still unsigned.

"In a moment." he told her.

As she sat he turned to the helm console. "Mr Mayweather, you have the new course at your station?"

"Aye sir."

"Then engage at your discretion."

"Aye sir. Lt. Sato, please inform Earth Central that we are diverting from our current course. New course is filed in their records as...". He paused, and read from his display screen. "...filed as Archer Flyby one."

Archer watched all this with great interest. This was all textbook stuff. Mayweather even went on to read out the file name in phonetics, something few helmsman bothered with.

More curiously, there was absolutely none of the underlying antagonism that had characterized his earlier behaviour.

Hoshi reported back. "Earth Central acknowledges the change of flight plan, we are given clearance."

Mayweather half turned in his seat "Helm is standing by for course change Captain."

Momentarily befuddled by Mayweather's behaviour, Archer simply replied "You have the Conn, Mr Mayweather."

"Aye sir. Lt. Sato. The manoeuvre warning, if you please."

Three melodic chimes rang sounded throughout the ship, an audible warning that a change in course was imminent.

Archer was pleased to see Mayweather waited a few seconds, allowing the crew time to sit or grab hold of something for support, before he reached for the controls.

"I've been told I have a gentle touch." the helmsman said, lifting a suggestive eyebrow towards Haleh Moshiri. "Now let's see just how....Whooa!"

The ship had twisted in it's course. Archer instinctively grabbed at his chairs arm rests to steady himself. He could see Hoshi hurl herself at the support strut by her console, wrapping herself around it for safety. With a clatter the pile of pads fell to the deck.

Within a second it was over, but everyone looked startled.

Once she was sure it was over Hernandez leapt from her seat. "Ensign, what the hell just happened?" she demanded.

"Never mind that for the moment." Archer said. "Is anyone hurt?"

Once satisfied that there were no injuries he turned to Hoshi. "Lt., casualty and damage reports please."

"Aye sir."

The communications handset squealed for his attention. He checked the display and accepted the call from Crewman Daniels on the obs. deck.

"Mr Daniels, how is the President?"

"Ah, he seems fine sir, ah, a bit shaken but he's joking about it. Ah, it's the Secret Service people. They want to know what's, ah, what's going on. Are we under attack sir?"

"Just a moment Mr Daniels." He looked at Mayweather. "Travis?"

The Ensign looked decidedly sheepish. "Sorry sir. I've trained on both the Declaration and the Invincible. Neither of them responded anything like Enterprise."

Archer nodded slowly. "Well, now you know what to expect, can you complete the manoeuvre safely?"

"Yes sir."

"Carry on then." Archer lifted the handset. "Mr Daniels, please pass on my apologies to the President, and assure him it won't happen again. You can also let the Service agents know that we are not being attacked. Is there anything else?"

A slight hesitation. "Ah, it's Professor Partridge sir. She fell from her chair and says she's hurt her, ah, uh, well, hurt her bottom, sir. She's threatening to sue UESPA for loss of earnings if there's any permanent damage. Ah, can she do that, sir? I know that she does modelling work, er, but I thought that was, you know, a side job, just for charity. I mean, she is a proper scientist isn't she? She can still do that? What if..."

"Calm yourself Crewman." Archer interrupted. "I'm fairly sure she's joking. Tell her if she's concerned she can head along to sick bay, where Dr Locke can treat her ills with a series of blood lettings. Or, if she's really serious, we can send her home right now. Sadly we can only spare a small, cramped shuttlepod, not very fast so she'd be in it for a few hours. Quite a bumpy ride too."

From the corner of his eye he could see Hernandez grinning. He gave her a conspiratorial wink.

Archer signed off from the obs dome link, and asked Hoshi to put him on ship wide.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, I apologise for the bumpy ride. It seems our Engineering staff had done such sterling work that our helmsman was simply unprepared for how responsive Enterprise is. He learns quickly though, if you don't have an external view you may well be unaware that we are currently making a major course correction. Going very smoothly too. Archer out."

Hoshi had finished collecting the casualty and damage reports. No damage, Crewman Patel had a bruised elbow from an unsecured hatch swinging open and hitting him. Nothing else, though both Trip Tucker and Dr Locke wanted to have words with Mayweather in the near future.

Haleh Moshiri checked her console. "Captain, we are now on plotted course. At current trajectory and speed east coast North America will emerge over the horizon in....seventeen seconds. Sensor section reports our immediate vicinity is clear."

"Earth Central has advised all space traffic of our plans. We have clearance." Hoshi announced

"Thank you. I have the Conn." said Archer. He took a deep breath, released it slowly. "Commander Hernandez, please activate all running lights, and put the departure angle on main viewer.

"Aye Captain."

The image on the view screen changed. It now showed Earth behind them. Apart from the easternmost strip, where dawn was breaking, night covered the hemisphere. Not total darkness, the firefly glow of cities could still be made out. Archer waited until he was sure upstate New York was showing. He blinked back a sudden tear, unsure as to the nature of the emotion that provoked it.

"Forward angle on viewer." He would have liked to have seen what came next, but it would have been too bright, the glare too much for the visual sensors.

He lifted the handset, signalled Engineering.

"Mr Tucker. you may proceed when ready.". His voice was tight.

"Aye Cap'n. We'll put on a show for them. Ten seconds."

Hoshi called over. "Sir, a number of news channels are covering the launch. I can record them for later."

He nodded, unwilling to speak.

"Commencin' stage one." said Trip over the comm system. There was a slight shudder as Enterprise jettisoned a carefully selected amount of fuel. "That's it. You got about twenty seconds before it's too diffuse. Tucker out."

Must remember to thank the President again for letting me do this, Archer thought. Without his express orders, there's no way this would be allowed.

"Commander Hernandez, let's give them a show."

"Aye Captain.". She reached for the controls. Normally, as chief gunnery officer, it was her job to tell the gunners themselves what to do. This was something she wanted to do herself. Apart from anything else, it gave her an opportunity to practice with the bridge controls.

A single plasma bolt should do it. She selected the upper aft cannon, which she'd pre-heated, and triggered final charging. Releasing the safety she carefully selected her target.

"Firing for effect."

She squeezed the trigger.



Upstate New York. Earth.
16 April 2151.

The bonfire was dieing down, and was giving off a lot of smoke. Fortunately the night was quite warm, letting people wander further out into the field to get a good view of the stars. There was a party atmosphere. Those kids who'd been allowed to stay up late ran about, chasing each other, screaming and yelling. Someone had brought along a portable barbecue, most people present had eaten at least one hotdog or burger. A few had ingested rather more than that, and a lot of belts had been loosened. Despite the bins that had been thoughtfully provided the ground was strewn with drinks cans, both soft and alcoholic.

A shout went up. "There! Is that it?"

Several people checked their personal pads.

"Could be."

"It's in the right place."

"Yeah, I think so."

The small crowd gathered together, heads bent back to watch the bright spot transiting the heavens.

"It's just been on the news." said the owner of the barbecue, "they're going ahead with it."

An expectant hush befell the crowd. For long seconds nothing happened. And then...

It seemed as if a rose of green blue fire had blossomed in the sky. It was not large, no bigger than a thumb nail at arms length, but was bright enough to illuminate the awe struck faces of the observers below. There were gasps of astonishment and delight, followed by wild cheering and applause.

Slowly the glow spread and faded. Only when it had totally gone did the crowd return to their food and drinks. Most though took the time to seek out and congratulate an old man, seated in a wheelchair, a blanket wrapped tightly around him, his silver haired wife by his side.

The man accepted the handshakes and kind words with good grace, but his eyes never strayed from that spot in the skys.

"Godspeed, Jonathan." said Henry Archer, a tear in his eye. "May the wind be at your back."

Last edited by The Badger; June 11 2009 at 12:18 PM. Reason: Changed on Admiral2's advice.
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Old June 10 2009, 08:32 PM   #45
Mistral
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Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Very well done. I like the apology on the intercom-it sounded very "Archer" and that last bit about his dad got me. Caught me totally by surprise. It was a very nice touch.
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