Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by The Badger, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 11, 2008
    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    UES Enterprise. Rexus System.
    29th April 2151

    "Mind if I join you, Professor?" Hoshi Sato asked as they left the briefing room. "I'd like to see how my sparring partner is getting on."

    "Certainly. And please, call me Polly. If I wanted everyone calling me Professor all the time I'd have stayed in the University with my students."

    "Sure. And call me Hoshi."

    Hernandez caught up with them. "I'll tag along too. If there's a problem with the weapons I ought to know about it."

    Polly nodded. "Certainly Maria. I may call you Maria, may'nst I?"

    Hernandez hesitated. "Ah, no offence Professor, but I'm not sure that's appropriate, given my position."

    Polly shrugged. "Suit yourself. Actually, now we've got a moment, there was something I wanted to ask you."

    They reached one of the main bulkheads. Hoshi pulled the hatch open and held it for the other two.

    "What is it Professor?" Hernandez asked.

    Polly waited for Hoshi to catch up. "We've recovered a lot of debris, both from the station and from the T'dara Len. Using a similar technique to the one we used to identify the small arms fire, we should be able to do the same with the ship mounted weaponry. It'd be impractical to do it for real, but computer modelling should give us ballpark results. So I'll need full details on all the Enterprise's weaponry, plus that of all other Earth ships. I asked Captain Archer, but he said that this is your territory."

    Hernandez was shaking her head. "Out of the question. That information is classified."

    Polly regarded her silently for a moment. "Commander, I need that information."

    "I'm sorry, but the answer is no."

    For several long seconds the blonde scientist stood perfectly still, deep in thought. Then, a decision apparently made, she turned and walked to the nearest communicator point. Taking the handset she tapped in a number.

    "Hello, security? Hi, can you send someone to, ah, corridor A-4, please. No, no, just one. Oh, OK. No, nothing serious."

    She put the handset down. "It seems they don't go anywhere alone, so they're sending two of them."

    Hernandez glanced at an equally perplexed looking Sato, and asked "Professor, why do you think you need a security team?"

    "I don't. You do." said the Professor, smiling slightly. She put the sample case down, leant against the nearest wall, and stretched one long leg out. With a sudden snick! a metallic spike suddenly appeared under her foot. She put her foot down, testing that the high heel would support her weight, before repeating the process with the other leg. Hoshi was watching this time. It was almost too fast to see, but it seemed as if the length of the heel had been folded flat against the underside of her boot.

    It wasn't just a few centimetres of height. All right, a lot of centimetres of height. Polly seemed to have gained some confidence, some....Hoshi searched for the word. Backbone. Yeah, that was it. Backbone.

    Hernandez was shaking her head slightly, not quite knowing what to make of it all.

    "Perhaps I didn't make myself clear, Commander. I need the data on the ships weapons. I intend to get it. Now I hope that you will see reason and authorize...ah, here are the security people."

    "What's the problem, Ma'am?" one asked, addressing Hernandez.

    It was Polly who answered. "The first officer here would like you to place me under arrest." she said, cheerfully. All trace of the lethargy that had afflicted her earlier seemed to have fled.

    What the Hell are you doing? Hernandez thought to herself. Out loud she said "No, no I don't want her arrested. This is all some misunderstanding."

    Polly turned to the male security officer. "Now, concentrate, because this is something you'll want to remember. Especially when talking to your friends, and when you're in bed tonight. Put the handcuffs on me. Go on, put them on.". She held her hands out in front of her, wrists together. "Put the cuffs on me."

    Looking rather flushed, the officer glanced round at the others for guidance.

    "Don't do it." Hernandez said. "I don't know what her game is, but, just...just go. Go back to your duties."

    "Yes Ma'am." the female security officer said, grabbing her colleague by the elbow to guide him away.

    "Spoilsport." said Polly.

    Hernandez folded her arms. "OK, I'll bite. What was that all about?"

    "Commander Hernandez. As a matter of professional courtesy I have asked your permission to access the data I need. You have denied my that data. I'm telling you now that I intend to get it from the main computer. And if that means attempting to gain access to the secure files without your authorization, then I will make such an attempt."

    She pointed in the direction the security team had gone. "You shouldn't have sent them away, Commander. The only way you can stop me making an attempt is to put me under arrest."

    Hernandez squared up to Partridge. "It would be a bad idea to try anything Professor. Quite apart from being illegal, it'd also be futile. The computer security is state of the art. You may be smart, but I seriously doubt even you can bypass it."

    For long seconds the two women stood face to face.

    Hoshi scarcely dared breathe, unwilling to affect the outcome. Who will blink first?

    Polly took a step backwards, and cocked her head to one side. "Oh well, worth a try."

    Hernandez smiled slightly, and gestured along the corridor to sick bay. "Shall we continue?"

    They'd taken no more than a dozen steps before Polly said "You place a lot of faith in the security system, don't you?"

    "Shouldn't I?" Hernandez asked, holding open the next hatch.

    "I was just--thank you--I was just wondering, how effective do you think that security system would be against someone who helped programme it?"

    Hoshi was halfway through the hatch at the time, with Hernandez right in front of her but facing away. From her vantage point she could see the hairs rise on the back of the XO's neck.

    "What do you mean?"

    Polly's expression gave nothing away. "I was wondering, if one of the original programmers attempted to bypass the system, do you think they'd be able to do so?"

    Again, Hoshi found herself a bystander to a contest of willpower. She watched both women carefully, looking for the faintest twitch or change of expression.

    Hernandez took a deep breath. "Are you saying that you were one of the programmers?"

    Polly spread her hands wide. "I'm not saying that. I'm not saying anything. I'm not suggesting or implying or hinting at anything. I am not making a definitive statement of any sort. I am merely...asking. I have a great curiosity about the universe in general and am interested in your opinion. On this matter, at least."

    For a moment Hoshi was convinced that the XO would call back security and have the Professor arrested. Instead Hernandez inclined her head, as if in acknowledgement of a game well played.

    "All right, Professor. I'll authorize the release of the information you require, if you agree to certain security protocols regarding the viewing and dissemination of such--"

    "Protocol Sixteen Alpha? I've got the forms right here." Polly said, pulling a pad from her case.

    "Remind me never to challenge you to a game of chess." Hoshi smiled. "You think too far ahead for my tastes."

    "Oh, no applause yet. Wait till I explain why the gun blew up. Then you can bask in my brilliance!"

    She was still giggling when they reached the sick bay.
  2. milo bloom

    milo bloom Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 14, 2008
    The varied and beautiful Chicagoland suburbs.
    Wow, Polly Partridge or
    Gina Inviere?
  3. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 5, 2007
    Between the candle and the flame
    That was an interesting battle of wills!
  4. Count Zero

    Count Zero Says who? Moderator

    Mar 19, 2005
    European Union
    I want to bask in Polly's brilliance! So why did the gun blow up? ;)
  5. adm_gold

    adm_gold Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Nov 6, 2007
    Just another note to say I'm enjoying this story. Interested to see where you take it.
  6. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 11, 2008
    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    Thanks for the kind words. I wasn't sure how a 'some people talk whilst walking down a corridor' scene would play out, but I think it went quite well.

    Oh dear, now I'm worried that the explanation won't live up to expectations!
  7. Count Zero

    Count Zero Says who? Moderator

    Mar 19, 2005
    European Union
    Ah, don't worry. Being a huge ENT fan, I'm easily satisfied, obviously. I'm sure it'll be fine.
  8. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 11, 2008
    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.

    Incidentally Count Zero, your avatar reminded me of something. If you imagine someone with the looks and body of Jeri Ryan, but with the intensity and sheer enjoyment of life that David Tennant brings to the tenth Doctor, then you've got a fair idea of what Polly is like.
  9. Count Zero

    Count Zero Says who? Moderator

    Mar 19, 2005
    European Union
    Well, that certainly is an interesting combination, to say the least. :)
  10. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 11, 2008
    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    UES Enterprise. Rexus System.
    29th April 2151.

    Loud voices and ribald laughter could be heard in the corridor outside sick bay. Corporal James already had visitors. Hoshi Sato spun the hatch open and they entered. There were half a dozen marines clustered around one of the beds. One of them, a red haired woman Hoshi didn't recognize, spotted Hernandez and called for them to go to attention.

    "As you were." Hernandez said, gesturing for them to relax. "This is a social visit. How are you doing, Corporal?"

    James looked a little unfocussed, probably the result of the painkillers, but sat up a little straighter. "Been hurt worse Ma'am." she said.

    "Tougher than she looks, this one." said Dent, one of the marine medics.

    James gave a friendly smile and a "Hi!" to Hoshi. Her face lit up when she saw Polly, though she blushed slightly when the medical instruments showed an increase in her heart rate.

    "Hi, Autumn. Is there anything I can do for you?" Polly asked.

    Tipping tapped James's shoulder. "Hey, how long you been dreaming about her asking you that?" he guffawed. He sobered up when Hernandez cleared her throat meaningfully.

    "Sorry, Ma'am. I didn't mean no disrespect. Sorry Professor."

    Partridge waved the matter away. "Ah, it's nothing. I get it all the time."

    I'll bet, Hernandez thought.

    James settled back in the bed. "Thanks Professor, but I'm fine. Unless you happen to have a nurses uniform?" she added, with a wink to her friends.

    "No!" Polly said, a little sharply. She went on, in a more composed tone "No, sorry. I, ah, I'm not really a uniform sort of person."

    There was something in her tone, in her expression, that reminded Hernandez of...of...

    ...of something. It lurked at the back of her mind, unwilling to come forward. Damn. That's going to be bothering me all day.

    "What's that?" Hoshi asked, pointing to a jar on the bedside cabinet. It was about a third full of small chunks of metal and ceramic.

    James grinned. "Souvenirs. Chunks of armour plate that the Doc dug out of my guts."

    Hoshi winced. "Looks like the armour didn't do it's job very well."

    "I don't know what that Vulcan shot me with, but M'boto reckons it would have cut me in half without my suit. As it is, I'm going to be ready for duty within a couple of weeks. I got off lucky." James replied.

    She held up the jar, tilting it so the chunks rattled softly against one another. "Of course, if my gun hadn't blown up in my hands, I'd have got my shot off first, and I wouldn't be in this mess."

    "Well, I may be able to explain that. Shift up." said Polly. She put her case on the bedside cabinet and opened it, before sitting on the bed itself. From the case she fetched her spectacles and a piece of metal. Hoshi recognised it as one of the pieces of debris she'd showed them in the briefing room.

    James put the jar back on the cabinet, by the case. As the marine brought her arm back and laid it on the bed Hoshi couldn't help notice that, by accident or design, the side of her hand was now pressed lightly against the Professor's thigh. If Polly was aware of this she gave no indication.

    The hatch opened and Reed entered, followed by M'boto. The technical specialist was carrying a rifle.

    "As you were." Reed sad automatically, before the marines could go to attention. "How are you feeling Corporal?"

    "Constant agony sir. The Doctor says I will never walk again and may need my elbows amputated. I'm going to sue UEMA for at least ten billion credits."

    "I don't know if we can afford ten billion, but let me make a counter offer. Drop your law suit and I'll give you this KitKat."


    Reed tossed her the chocolate bar. "So, Professor, perhaps you can explain why the gun exploded? It's the sort of thing we really should know about, so we can stop it happening again."

    The red haired woman nodded. "Plus, we've got money on it."

    Polly grinned. "Really? What are the popular ideas?"

    "Personally, I reckon that the intense gravimetric shear in this system, coupled with the subspace distortion propogated by the destruction of the Vulcan ship's warp drive resulted in a polarity inversion within the rifles EMF accelerator coils."

    "That's very impressive Mr. M'boto, very impressive indeed. Completely wrong I'm afraid, subspace distortion on that scale would last for months and be easily spotted. But a grand idea none the less. So, any other ideas?"

    "Faulty components?"

    "An advanced anti weapons system?"

    "Some sort of curse?"

    Polly shook her head. "All interesting ideas but all wide of the...did you say curse?"

    Tipping nodded, straight-faced. "Well, given her unnatural and abhorrent deviancies she's going to get cursed, right?". He ducked the pillow James threw.

    Hernandez, realising that this was taking much longer than she'd anticipated, pulled up a chair. "OK, Professor. What really happened?"

    "Well, this is all supposition, I'll admit, but it fits the facts. What I think happened....actually, I'm sure that after all this build up you'll just feel let down. I'll just go now, maybe write up some notes...."

    "Professor!!" Hernandez growled.

    With an expression of mock innocence Partridge asked "Do I annoy you, Commander?"

    Knowing full well that Partridge was deliberaty winding her up, Hernandez kept hold of her temper. "Get on with it. Please!"

    Polly asked "May I have that rifle, Mr M'boto? Thank you. Now, I'm just going to charge the main coils...don't worry, I'll leave the safety on..."

    It was more than that, Hernandez realised. Partridge held the rifle comfortably, maintaining good trigger discipline at all times. She clearly wasn't familiar with the EM-414, having to search for the charging lever, but certainly knew the do's and dont's of gun safety.

    "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I'd like to show you a magic trick."

    She held the piece of debris next to the barrel and let it go. The debris leapt across the gap and clicked against it.

    "It's magnetic." Hoshi observed.

    M'boto nodded. "The accelerator coils use magnetic fields to increase the plasma's speed, temperature and cohesion." He rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "I'm sorry Professor, but I can't see how that would make any difference. It the debris were physically inside the barrel, then it might cause a rupture, but there are safety systems to prevent that."

    "Besides which, I didn't use the plasma weapon." James pointed out. "We were in zero-gee, so I used the 119a."

    "The laser?" Polly asked. She held the rifle upright and pulled off the piece of debris, before repositioning it.

    "Damn." Reed said softly.

    The small lump of debris was now on the underside of the rifle barrel, directly in front of the emitter nozzle for the EM-119a.

    "As I say, this is all supposition." Polly said softly. "But if a piece of metal happened to adhere in this approximate location, and if the laser were fired..."

    "There was a lot of that stuff floating about." Sandstrom noted.

    M'boto nodded slowly. He was convinced. "Yeah. The laser could have vaporised a chunk of metal right in front of it. Would have been like a bomb going off. If it cracked the main casing, the accelerator coils would have blown, doing even more damage, and sending out an EM pulse strong enough to knock out the suit's systems. Yeah, I'll buy that."

    "And that left me helpless whilst Johnny Vulcan got off a shot at me. Maybe I should sue the manufactures." James said.

    Polly dropped the debris back in her case and handed the rifle back. "Now I do hope everyone was paying attention, I may set a test later. What are you doing Hoshi?"

    Lieutenant Sato was holding her hands up and her head forward, with her eyes closed. "Basking in your brilliance!"

    "Very good. I warn you now I intend to be even more brilliant later, you may wish to invest in dark glasses and sun cream. Now If you'll all excuse me, I need to go get some kip."

    She stood and put her glasses in the case. On a sudden impulse she twirled round. And kissed Corporal Autumn James.

    It wasn't much of a kiss. A light brushing of the lips and a whispered "Get well soon.". But it sent the medical monitors bleeping faster.

    "Oh what did you have to that for?" said an exasperated Reed. "Now half my men will be trying to get themselves injured, if they think you'll be doing that."

    "I won't. Bye!" said Polly, darting out of the main hatch just as the medical assistant, Millington, came through the other to see what had caused the momentary spike in the life signs.


    Making their excuses, Sato and Hernandez left sick bay a few minutes later. There would be time for a quick coffee before they were due back on duty. Stepping into the corridor they heard some one calling to them. It was Trip Tucker, still in an environmental suit, minus the helmet, coming from the direction of the shuttlebay.

    Shuttles, Hernandez thought, wondering why that suddenly seemed significant. And then she realized. The expression on Partridge's face earlier, when she said she wasn't a 'uniform sort of person', was exactly the same as when she first saw Hernandez and Mayweather at the shuttle port back on Earth. What it all meant Hernandez wasn't sure, but at least she felt she was on the track of something.

    "Commander. Hoshi. How y'all doing?"

    "We're surviving Commander. How's progress?" Hernandez asked.

    "We've got the tachyon transmitter almost fully charged, should be ready in another hour. More important, we recovered the flight recorder from the Vulcan Premier's shuttle. Looks pretty beat up, but it still seems to be functional."

    Hernandez said "Now that is good news. Should shed some light on the matter."

    "Let's hope so." Hoshi added.

    Trip rubbed his chin. There was a noticeable growth of stubble there. "I'll have to get the computer experts to look at it, but I reckon we can get some useful data from it."

    "Will you be getting Professor Partridge to help?" Hernandez asked, with what seemed to Hoshi as a little too much casualness.

    "Polly? I don't think so. She knows computers of course, but she's not a professional programmer."

    "Oh really? I'd heard she was involved in setting up some of the systems for the main computer."

    "On Enterprise?" Trip shook his head. "She helped with some of the science department stuff, but nothing on the main computer."

    Hernandez shot Hoshi a sideways glance. "I must have misheard.".

    "So what will you do?" Hoshi asked. "Withdraw her authorization?"

    "No." said Hernandez after a moments thought. "She played the game well. She'll get the data. Now If you'll excuse me, I need my caffeine fix."

    Trip looked baffled. "Who played what game well?" he asked Hoshi as Hernandez left.

    "I'll explain later. Hey, you knew Polly at University right? Did she ever play poker?"

    "Sometimes, yeah. Why? Are you thinkin' of invitin' her to a game?"

    Hoshi nodded. "I might do that." she said, remembering the look on the scientists face when she'd argued with Hernandez. "I think I know how to spot when she's bluffing."
  11. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 5, 2007
    Between the candle and the flame
    Slick, layered and had me grinning. I look forward to the poker game!
  12. adm_gold

    adm_gold Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Nov 6, 2007
    More Please!
  13. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 11, 2008
    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    Working on the next part now, and again I apologise for the time it's taking. Whilst I regularly plan out and refine the next part in my head, getting it actually typed out always takes longer than I anticipate. Real life sometimes get's in the way, too.

    Having to go back and remove my worst excesses of descriptive prose, especially regarding Polly Partridge and what she's wearing, slows me down too. Seriously. You know those two paragraphs describing her at her first appearance? I could have done another three, easily.:lol:
  14. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 11, 2008
    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    UES Enterprise. Rexus System.
    Captain's Log. 1st May 2151. Our investigation into the attack on the station is proceeding, although more slowly than I would like. At the same time, I find myself dreading each new revelation, as so far all the evidence gathered supports the idea that humans attacked the Vulcan facility. I've called a meeting of my senior officers to discuss this matter. The President will also be attending.
    So far we have received no response to our distress signal on the tachyon transmitter. As Commander Tucker pointed out, it is pretty badly damaged. He is fairly sure our signal got out, but there's no way of telling if it is working well enough to detect a return signal.
    Best case scenario: we transmitted successfully, and right now a fleet of Vulcan ships is on its way. Worst case scenario: the transmission failed, and no one knows we need help.
    We may truly be alone here.

    "You know, we get so much use from this briefing room, it'd be a good idea to put in a revolving door." Hoshi Sato observed, looking round the room. Everyone who had been at the last meeting was there, plus the President, a couple of his advisers, two bodyguards, and the Vulcan ambassador, Soval.

    "Some cushions for these chairs would be nice too." Polly added.

    Hoshi smirked. "Really? Ask half the men on this ship, they reckon you're nicely padded down there already."

    "Only half?" Polly asked with an expression of mock horror. "I'm going to have to--"

    What she would have to do remained unsaid, as Captain Archer, who had been talking to the President, strode to the front of the room and called for order.

    "Let's get this under way, ladies and gentlemen. Professor Partridge, you've been looking at the evidence. What can you tell us?"

    Polly stood and put her glasses on. "Mister President, ladies, gentlemen. We in the science department have been examining the wreckage of the T'dara Len, and the station itself. Now, we've not been able to gain any significant data from the T'dara Len. It appears that it was attacked, but the matter/anti-matter explosion that destroyed it was so powerful, there's little trace of what weapons may have been used."

    She picked up a remote and brought a schematic of the station onto the main screen. "The station though is a very different matter. Two different weapon systems have been used against it. I'll just highlight one of them....there we are."

    A series of bright spots now flashed on the image, all clustered in one area. At the same time the lower left corner of the screen displayed a close up of one of the impact sites. Hernandez leant forward for a closer look.

    "That looks like plasma damage." she said after a moment.

    "Top of the class. Estimated power, approximately three hundred and fifty gigajoules." Polly said, looking significantly at the XO.

    Hernandez exhaled heavily. "Main cannons on most UEMA capital ships." She paused, racking her brains. "The Axanar use three-twenty gig cannon, if they ran them with the safeties off they could go up to three fifty....maybe for five, six shots. How many impacts have you detected?"

    "Nineteen." Polly said solemnly.

    Hernandez shrugged. "There might have been more than one attacker...OK, I'll admit it, I'm reaching here. That looks like strong evidence that humans did it, and I'm having a hard time believing that."

    "Plus the Axanar are on the other side of Earth territory." Hoshi pointed out. "I don't think they've go the technology to travel this far."

    Archer had been studying the schematic intensely. "This is puzzling. I cant make rhyme or reason of the shot placement. It doesn't look like they were targeting anything in particular. Certainly there's some damage in important areas, but nothing too bad. Or am I missing something?"

    "Credit where it's due Captain, it was Trip who figured it out." said Polly, gesturing to the chief engineer.

    Trip looked a little uncomfortable with the attention. "Well, as far as we can make out, whoever the attackers were, they were tryin' to carve that station up like a Thanksgivin' turkey. Pass me the remote Polly. Thanks."

    A new series of spots appeared, covering the whole station. "Now assumin' the attackers followed the same patten all over, this would be the final result."

    On the screen the station slowly broke apart. "What with all the gravitational shear in this system, if you can knock down the structural integrity enough, it'll break to pieces. It'd take a few hours to finish the job though."

    "So why do it like that?" Hoshi asked. "We know from our initial readings that at least six atomic weapons were used, I'm guessing to destroy the T'dara Len. And Polly said there were two weapon systems used against the station. Now I'm no expert but that--" she pointed to a huge gash on the stations hull "--looks like a low yield nuke to me. So why try to carve it up slowly?"

    One of the Presidents advisers piped up. "Maybe they started out with atomics, ran out, then followed up the plasma cannon?

    "Possible," Polly conceded, "but unlikely. The evidence suggests plasma first, then atomics."

    Muldhoon, the Presidential bodyguard, sneered "And how can you be so sure?".

    Polly looked him in the eye. "Plasma impacts of this magnitude typically induce a magnetic field in all nearby ferrous materials."

    Hernandez nodded. "Right. In gunnery school there's a chunk of metal, big as this table, that came from one of the targets for the three-fifty gig cannon's first test. It's in the exhibit hall. There's a long standing joke where you ask one of the newbies to help you carry a load of files, and you 'just happen' to go past it. Of course, you make sure you've got nothing metal on you, and that they are carrying those file folders with the metal binders. Ahh, you should see the looks on their faces when the files leap from their arms and stick to this big chunk of metal."

    Hoshi smiled. "That sounds fun. I'll have to go there and watch someday."

    "Sorry, but there are rules against it now. Apparently one eager young student was wearing some very non regulation jewellery under his uniform. Metallic jewellery. Through a piercing."

    Simultaneously, every man in the room winced.

    "At any rate, " Polly went on, breaking the uncomfortable silence, "there was no evidence of such magnetism here. The most likely explanation is that the EMP from an atomic explosion caused sufficient molecular realignment to negate the induced field."

    "Plus of course, it's poor military practice to use up expensive one use weapons when you can do the job with something cheap and replenishable." Hernandez added.

    Archer asked "You are certain that these larger sites are atomic weapon damage?"

    "No doubt about it." Polly replied. "There are three distinct impact sites. Damage in each area is consistent with the Mark Four spatial torpedo."

    "An older design," Hernandez said, "but still in service."

    Reed leant forward. "So they must have changed their minds for some reason. Started off doing it cheaply, then went for the nukes. And leaving before the job was done. That may be important."

    "You're right. Something altered their plans." Hoshi said.

    Archer looked at Partridge, noting the twinkle in her eye. She's worked it out, he realized, and she wants to see which one of us will figure it out first. He turned back to the display, convinced that the answer was there.

    Then it struck him. It seemed so obvious that at first he rejected it. Surely someone else would have thought of it already...

    "Professor..." he asked carefully, "is it possible to tell when the atomics were used?"

    She positively beamed at him. "You're not just a pretty face, John. That's the key question here. Tactical atomic weapons are designed to give off as little radiation as possible, so we can't run a half-life trace. However, our initial scans recorded the temperature of the damaged areas, and we've been monitoring the rate at which they cool down. We know how hot Mark Four's can get, so with that data we can extrapolate the approximate time of detonation."

    She paused, and whipped her glasses off dramatically. "It was after we arrived at the edge of the system, and began active scans to find a safe way in."

    Hoshi thought about this. "So they start carving the station, realize we're on our way, try to finish the job with nukes and then run for it?"

    "Looks that way."

    Hoshi shook her head. "The thing is, I can't get my head round why they don't stay long enough to make sure. I mean, yes, I get it that they'd want to hurry up, but you'd think they'd stop around to check before leaving."

    For the first time Ambassador Soval spoke up. "Perhaps their reasoning was based not on military doctrine, but on an emotional response."

    Reed nodded. "Could happen. There's a lot of times well laid plans have gone down the pan because something unexpected turned up, and the guy in charge panicked or over reacted."

    "So they think they've got plenty of time to destroy the station," Archer mused, "but then we turn up unexpectedly."

    "We did get here ahead of schedule, thanks to Commander Tucker." Hernandez pointed out.

    The President cleared his throat. "If there is any connection between this attack and the sabotage attempt on United Earth One, then they may not have expected anyone to arrive at all. Of course, we do not know yet if there is such a connection, but we should bear it in mind."

    Archer rubbed the back of his neck, deep in thought. They were getting answers, but more questions came with them. "Ambassador. Have you learnt anything useful from the Vulcan, Stran?"

    "He is not one of the stations crew, as previously suspected, but rather a junior diplomat attached to the Premier's staff. This is his first assignment as such. He has suffered injuries, and his recollection of events is sketchy, but some things are clear. The T'dara Len arrived safely in the system, and recievied the correct recognition codes. It was then instructed to remain at a fixed point, relative to the station itself, located as to minimize the risk of collision when Earth Force One was to arrive."

    Soval took a sip of water. "The Premier's party then took the shuttle to the station itself. After docking, they were taken by the station staff to their quarters. He is unclear as to what happened next, but he does recall one of the Premier's bodyguards saying 'They're Humans.', followed by weapons fire.

    "He distinctly remembers seeing one of the station crew attacking a bodyguard with a knife. Though the attacker won, he was injured in the fight. His blood was red."

    There was silence as everyone digested this. Then Reed said "So what are we saying here? That there were humans disguised as Vulcans already on the station?"

    "A logical conclusion. Stran then recalls a sudden pain across the back of his head. His next memory is of stumbling down a poorly lit service corridor, bleeding from a head wound and carrying a Vulcan service pistol, though he does not know where he got it from. The decompression warning was sounding. As a precaution, pressure suits are located through out the station so he put one on. The next thing he remembers is his encounter with your boarding party."

    Locke added "He did have a head injury. Partial amnesia is ceratinly possible under these circumstances."

    Archer rubbed his eyes wearily. He didn't like where all this was going. "OK, Trip, what did you pull from the shuttles flight recorder?"

    "Well, a lot of the data is corrupted, probably by the EMP. Did pull a few things though, a lot's routine but some of it's of interest. I'll give you the highlights."

    Soval spoke. "Commander, we should have all the data available."

    Trip hesitated, and glanced at Archer, who said "Ambassador, this meeting is to familiarise ourselves with developments, not study them in depth. I can assure you that Trip and his people have been over this most carefully, and if you wish it we can make all the data available to you later. But for now, let's keep this as brief as possible."

    After a moment Soval inclined his head.

    Trip continued. "OK, here's the first part. The shuttle's on final approach, bein' given dockin' instructions. First voice is the shuttle pilot, second's on the station."

    The recording lasted almost a minute. At times crystal clear, then obscured by static. Two voices, one male, the second female, speaking in Vulcan.

    "Puzzling." Soval said. "The data supports the idea of a human presence on the station before the Premier arrived, yet the docking coordinator's accent was flawless."

    "I'd put good money on her being from Raal, possibly G'tor. Certainly one of the provinces on the Voroth sea." Hoshi said.

    Soval frowned, and checked his pad. "We have information on the crew of the station. There was only one from that region...a male engineer from G'tor. The chief docking coordinator was female, but from ShiKahr. Could you be mistaken, Lieutenant?"

    Polly grinned. "Given Hoshi's record, such a conclusion would be....illogical."

    Soval's eyebrow lifted, but he said nothing.

    "Second thing of note." Trip went on. "We've actually got sensor data of the atomic attack."

    Hoshi had difficultly following what came next, as she wasn't familiar with sensor displays. One small blob sending four tiny blobs against one massive blob. The others seemed impressed though.

    "I'd have to go over it to make certain, but that sure looks like the flight patten of a Mark Four." Hernandez said.

    "Hang on a minute." Hoshi said. "Weren't there four missiles there? Didn't Polly say there were only three impact sites?"

    "She's right you know. One missile unaccounted for." Polly said.

    "That station's not armoured. If there was a dud it might be buried half way into it right now." Hernandez pointed out.

    Archer snatched up the handset and called the bridge. "Haleh, get everyone off that station right now. All the engineering and search teams. And double the distance between us and the station."

    "Yes Sir"

    "Right, carry on Trip." said Archer as the manoeuvre warning sounded.

    "One stroke of real luck. The attacker moved into the visual scope of the shuttle as they prepared to go to warp. We've been able to pull one half way decent image." Tucker said, raising his voice slightly over the hum of the impulse engines powering up.

    "Let's see it."

    The image was slightly blurred, but the delta shape could clearly be made out. Hernandez had a sinking feeling in her stomach. "That's a Neptune class." she said weakly.

    ""We can't be sure, the image is slightly corrupted, but yes, computer scans show an eighty eight per cent correlation." said Trip sympathetically.

    "This is not good news." the President said. "Ambassador. I can assure you now that I have not authorized the use of any action, military or other, that may be to the detriment of Vulcan interests. Nor am I aware of any such action."

    "So noted Mister President."

    "So what are we sayin' here? An Earth ship's gone rogue?" Trip asked.

    "It appears that way." the President replied. "I believe the military have one of their usual bizarre code phrases to describe such a situation."

    "Yes Mister President." Hernandez replied. "The phrase is 'Broken Bow'.".
  15. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 5, 2007
    Between the candle and the flame
    Ah, that's how you worked it in. Excellent! So is this ship manned by the "Vulcans go home!" types? Or Augments?
  16. adm_gold

    adm_gold Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Nov 6, 2007
    Well done. I liked how Archer cleared the station and moved on. An important command but not intrusive to the story. I'm guessing that the missing bomb will be important later.
  17. Nightfall to-Ennien

    Nightfall to-Ennien Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 3, 2003
    The Everfree Forest
    So we have a Broken Bow and a Broken Arrow. I look forward to the continuation.
  18. USS Avenger

    USS Avenger Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Mar 23, 2009
    I like the way you fit in the phrase "Broken Bow". Looking forward to more!
  19. Crazystars

    Crazystars Cadet Newbie

    Sep 23, 2009
    Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" Alternate version

    Next episode goes up on Friday. its uhh... Rather Large : 20k words so you might want to grab a drink when you sit down to read

    ive got the next 2 episodes done writing-wise and now im just proofing, editing, padding The story is getting deeper and deeper and in the next 3-4 episodes each character will have their starring moments
  20. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 5, 2007
    Between the candle and the flame
    Re: Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" Alternate version

    And you started a new account why? To confuse me? Yeah, I bet that's it. You just wanted to screw with my head.:shifty: What do you mean, everything isn't always about me? Of course it is!:lol: