Starship Enterprise "Broken Bow" (Alternate version)

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

  1. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm looking forward to your take on the Tellarites. And a very good solution to the cargo containers, too!
     
  2. SiddFinch1

    SiddFinch1 Captain Captain

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    I suspect the Tellerites as well. So far so good. Very enjoyable!:techman:
     
  3. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    UES Enterprise. En route to Tellarite Trading Post D4. Warp 3.77
    6th May 2151.

    A polite, slightly embarrassed, clearing of the throat. "Professor? Professor Partridge? Do you mind...that is to say..."

    Polly looked up. "Hello, yes? Crewman Daniels, isn't it? How can I help?"

    Daniels cleared his throat nervously again. "I'm very sorry, but, er, would you mind not doing that here. It's the fumes. They are bothering some of the er, people, and, er, well, er..."

    She looked around. "Oh! Oh, of course. I'm most terribly sorry. I really wasn't thinking. Sorry."

    She waved away some of the fumes. Despite advances in technology there were some tasks that still needed a good old fashioned soldering iron, and working on her new pet project was one of them. There was no denying the fact that it smelled a bit, so perhaps she really shouldn't have been working in the mess hall. She said "Sorry!" a few more times, louder, and directed towards the inhabitants of the nearby tables.

    After a few moments she could no longer smell the solder, which was not a good thing as it meant she could now smell the food. Spaghetti bolognese. Supposedly. She'd tried a bit. Having never consumed warm wallpaper paste she could not honestly say that was an accurate comparison, but it was what came to mind. She found herself remembering the novel Treasure Island. It'd been many years since she'd read it but she could sympathise entirely with the castaway, Ben Gunn, dreaming of toasted cheese.

    She became aware that Lieutenant Reed and a couple of his lads were standing nearby, holding trays and looking for somewhere to sit. She beckoned them over, and started packing away the tools that covered her table.

    "Thanks, Professor." Reed said, sitting next to her. Dumont, one of the medics, sat opposite. Next to him was a short, wiry, smiling Marine she'd not met before. He looked to be Indian or perhaps Nepalese, and his name tag read 'Tharpa'.

    "No problem." she said, putting her pet project away.

    Curious, Reed looked at the object as she put it in her case. It was a metal rectangle, perhaps thirty centimetres long, twenty five wide and a little over fifteen thick. Both ends were open. A glass plate covered one, whilst a tangle of wires protruded from the other. There was a circular hole about two thirds of the way down one side.

    "I see you're busy with, er, science stuff." he said. Inwardly he cringed. 'Science stuff'? I must sound like an absolute prat!

    She finished fastening her case. "Yes. Science stuff is the sort of stuff I do best." she said with the merest hint of a smile. Gradually she became aware of a familiar--and appealing--scent, but couldn't quite place until Reed lifted his tray's cover to reveal an enormous plate of baked beans on toast. It smelt far too good to be any of the resequenced food they'd been having recently. It must have been part of Lieutenant Reed's personal supply.Fortunately the hustle and bustle of the mess hall drowned out the rumbling of her tummy.

    "So, Professor," Dumont asked, "will you be joining us?"

    Still mesmerised by Reed's plate she was only vaguely aware of the question. "Hmmm?"

    Dumont glanced at the others. "For the landing party tomorrow? Meeting the Tellarites?"

    "Oh, well. I haven't really decided yet. So, you are going?"

    Reed nodded. "The Captain thought it wise to have some security around. Low key, but nearby just in case. He and Lieutenant Sato are going to handle the investigation, myself and these two reprobates will keep an eye on them. We'll be going by shuttlepod, so with Mayweather piloting there's one spare seat."

    Polly thought about this. "Why you three?"

    "A mixture of skills and abilities. Dumont's a medic, always useful. Tharpa's a close combat specialist, which is the sort of environment we'll be operating in, according to the Vulcan database. Apparently the Tellarites built most of their base underground, in an old cave system. And I'm in charge, so I get to go on the cool missions. Plus, we all speak reasonable Vulcan. Heck, Tharpa's Vulcan is better than his English."

    "And better than yours!" the smiling marine told his officer.

    Speaking Vulcan was pretty much a requirement in this part of space. As they were the most powerful local group, their language had been adopted by all the nearby warp capable civilizations for most trading and diplomatic purposes. Having worked with Vulcans on many occasions Polly spoke the language quite well.

    "Our first strange new world." she mused. "I really should go along, I really should. Only...according to the data the Vulcans gave us, at this time of year there are a lot of storms around that area. I don't want to fly through one of those."

    Dumont said "I shouldn't worry Professor, those shuttlepods are very sturdy, and Ensign Mayweather is an excellent pilot. You'd be in no danger."

    "It's not that I'm frightened. Well, I am, but that's not the problem. I tend to get a bit...icky...when travelling. I don't want to ruin our first contact with another species by being copiously sick in the corner."

    "Could be seen as a diplomatic faux pas." Reed said.

    Still, Polly thought to herself, if I do throw up at least I'll be able to taste something.

    "These Tellarites," Reed went on, munching a piece of toast, "they're pig like, aren't they?"

    Dumont handed his pad over. "Yes sir. This is all the data that the Vulcans have given us." The picture on the display was of a humanoid creature with a distinctive snout, prodigious facial hair, and eyes that could only be described as 'piggy'."

    Polly put her glasses on and examined the picture. Fascinating. Clearly an evolution from porcine stock, probably a high gravity world judging from the stature, likely quite strong....damn, I fancy a bacon sandwich right now, two rashers, soft white bread, salted butter, a big dollop of brown sauce....DAMN IT! Get a hold on yourself woman! You're becoming obsessed!

    Her stomach rumbled again.

    "Says here they're an argumental people." Reed said. "Tend to get into shouting matches just for the fun of it, even insulting complete strangers to get things started."

    "Vulcans must love that." Tharpa said.

    Reed grinned. "Oh, yeah, they're best pals. Let's see. Strongly emotional, stubborn pride...ah, the Vulcans do consider them trustworthy. All the same, let's keep it cool tomorrow. Dumont, nip by sick bay when you've eaten. Ask Doctor Locke if there's anything we should know about. Cross species diseases, that sort of thing. I think he'd probably say if----"

    He broke off as Polly snatched a piece of toast, dripping with beans, from his plate. She took an enormous bite, eyes closed and a blissful expression on her face.

    "Sorry." she shrugged. "I really should have asked. But you might have, you know, said no."

    The marines looked somewhat surprised. "Let me guess, you're on the resequenced stuff?" Dumont asked, pointing to her plate.

    She nodded, too busy chewing to give a spoken answer. They looked sympathetic.

    "It's not usually this bad." Reed explained. "What with all the extra people carried in the first part of the mission, the President and his party, it put a bit of an extra strain on the protein resequences. Also, the chef Captain Archer lined up for us couldn't make the new launch date. Pity. He's supposed to be good."

    Still smiling, Tharpa asked "Why we not pick up fresh supplies from Vulcan station? They had food."

    Polly stared at him, realized it was a good idea, and that they'd missed it. She swore, quietly, but emphatically. Dumont, sitting opposite, found himself witness to an intriguing phenomena. Any swear word, when said by a woman with a cut glass English accent, sounds much much filthier. He was shocked and turned on in equal measure.

    "Perhaps Tellarites have food to trade." Tharpa went on.

    Polly pointed to him. "Promote this man Mister Reed, that's officer level thinking!"

    Absently she wiped the sauce from around her mouth with her fingers, which she then licked clean. Dumont forced himself to remember all the Presidents of United Earth in reverse order, a technique he often used when he needed to clear the mind of distractions. He tried to ignore the prickling of sweat along his brow.

    Reed said "If you are desperate for proper food, I'm sure some people will donate some of their own supplies. Usually before long haul flights people pack too much of one particular type, their favourite, and end up as sick of that as the resequenced stuff. So I've got a couple of cans of beans I can spare..."

    "Oh thank you Mister Reed, that's very generous. I think though I'll save them for another time. I'm wearing a skin tight, air tight catsuit with built in gloves and boots. If I guff off in this thing, it's got no where to go except out of the neck hole. That won't be pleasant." She stood. "If you'll excuse me gentlemen, I've got more science stuff to do."

    Dumont watched her leave, enraptured by the view. He became aware his superior was watching him. "Er, I was just thinking, er, it's a little unusual to hear a noted scientist use the term 'guff off'. Sir."

    "Ah, and it was this discongruence that so captured your attention. Nothing at all to do with her appearance?"

    "No Sir!"

    Reed nodded, a faint smile barely visible. "Nothing to with the sparkling blue eyes, the dazzling smile, the porcelain skin, the golden hair?"

    Dumont was squirming now. "No Sir!"

    "And of course it has nothing to do with those long, shapely legs of hers, that start at the ground and go all the way to heaven? Those wide hips beneath that tiny waist? That has nothing to do with it? Or what about..."

    "Sir! Sir! Stop it, please!" Dumont hissed frantically. Next to him Tharpa was shaking his head and gesturing for him to stop. But Reed was enjoying himself. Well, if you can't embarrass your subordinates now and again, what is the point of being an officer?

    "Nothing to do with that chest of hers, like two artillery shells under a tarpaulin? Or the arse, which let's face it, is so perfectly shaped that......she's behind me, isn't she?" Finally he'd caught on to the way that his men had been looking past him, not at him. They nodded silently.

    "Excuse me, I forgot this." Polly said, picking up her case. She shot Reed a look that he had no idea what to make of. Was it amusement? He hoped so. It could just as easily have been contempt though. He stammered out an apology that she waved away. But even that was ambiguous. Did she think that there was no need to apologise, or that she wouldn't accept it?

    Only when she had left, and he was sure she'd left, did he let himself relax. "Hell, that was scarier than fighting the Axanar. Better stay out of her way for a few days."

    Tharpa nodded sagely. "Hope for storms sir. Hope she stays on Enterprise. Otherwise....not many place to hide in small shuttle pod."
     
  4. Duncan MacLeod

    Duncan MacLeod Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Oh, I loved this one. Poor Reed. Never seen a worse case of Foot-in-Mouth before. The fact that every word of it was true just made it worse. :lol::lol::lol:
     
  5. USS Avenger

    USS Avenger Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
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    Polly wanting a bacon sandwich after looking at a picture of the Tellarites was priceless. mmmmm bacon :drool: Makes you wonder though. Perhaps the Gorn desire a good leg of chimp (or the Gorn equivilant of a chimp) after seeing a human, it would certainly make interstellar relations more interesting. :eek:
     
  6. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That was funny! Right out of a caption contest- "She's behind me, isn't she?":guffaw::guffaw:
     
  7. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Thanks for the comments guys. I was worried that the set up for the joke might have come across as sexist, but it seems to have worked as planned.

    Apologies for not updating faster, touch of the writers block. I know what I need to do next, but I'm having difficulty getting it out of my head and onto the screen.
     
  8. Duncan MacLeod

    Duncan MacLeod Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    New England
    Well, we are getting a bit impatient. :brickwall:

    But, as a writer myself, I certainly understand and sympathize with what you're dealing with. :(
     
  9. adm_gold

    adm_gold Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Very well done :techman: Looking forward to the meeting with the Tellerites.
     
  10. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    Tellarite Trading Post D4.
    Captain's Log. 7th May 2151. We've arrived at our destination and have been given permission to send down a landing party. Technically speaking this won't be a first contact situation, as our ambassadors on Vulcan been introduced to the Tellarites at various diplomatic functions. Despite this I am still somewhat nervous. This will be the first significant meeting between our species without the watchful eye of the Vulcans acting as chaperone.
    In addition there are several ships in orbit, three of which are from species we've not yet had contact with and only know through the Vulcan database. Quite apart from it's impact on our current mission, our actions here could have long term ramifications for humanities relationship with other space faring powers.


    A chill wind blew into the shuttlepod as soon as the hatch opened, carrying with it a sulphurous scent. Archer crinkled his nose in distaste. He glanced around the cabin. Mayweather was shutting down the primary systems. Archer gave him a nod of respect. Landing in this weather would have been tricky, but the young helmsman had pulled it off well. The ride down had been a little bumpy, but nothing too serious.

    Hoshi Sato was pulling on a thick parka and grabbing her gear. Her eyes twinkled with excitement, and she grinned at Archer. Despite his nerves he grinned back. This was, after all, what the UESPA was all about. New life and new civilizations.

    Reed and his marines were checking their side-arms. Pistols only. Going in waving assault rifles was not the best way to make friends. The marines weren't too happy about that but Archer had insisted. Still, unlike regular military forces Reed's people had a lot of training with 'shorts', as they called their pistols. As an elite Pathfinder unit, they had skills that most soldiers only dream of.

    When Polly Partridge had declined the chance to join the party, having taken one look at the meteorological data, Reed had brought in another one of his people to fill the vacant seat. Grant, the red haired woman Hoshi had met when visiting Corporal James in sickbay, usually acted as a sniper. That set of skills wasn't needed under these circumstances, but she spoke Vulcan well so had been a good choice to come along. Inevitably, given both her hair colour and Reed's love of James Bond, she was known as 'Red' Grant.

    Archer had noticed some sort of private joke amongst the marines. At one point Dumont had asked Reed if he had plans to appear in a pantomime at Christmas. Reed, obviously puzzled, had said "No. Why do you ask?"

    Dumont had then said that if he had been doing a pantomime, then they would help him learn his lines. The three marines then chorused "She's behind you!", and fell about laughing. This was the first, but by no means last, comment they'd made about someone being behind Reed. They found it hilarious. He found it embarrassing. Archer found it mystifying, and resolved to ask Reed about it later.

    There was a distant rumble of thunder, and a thin spattering of rain began to pepper the windscreen.

    Archer said "OK. Travis, stay here and keep in contact. Everyone else, with me."

    They dashed across the landing pad, down the short flight of stairs, and towards the only building in sight, a low, wide concrete bunker. By the time they reached it the rain was falling quite heavily, whipped up by the gusting wind.

    Their approach must have been observed, as the hatch swung open as they got near. A short stocky figure waved them in. As their eyes adjusted to the darkness they could make out it's little piggy features.

    Archer cleared his throat. In Vulcan he said "Greetings. I am---"

    "An idiot." the Tellarite interrupted in the same language. "Only an idiot would try to land with the solstice storms approaching."

    For a moment Archer was nonplussed, before remembering the Tellarite's argumentative nature. "Well, perhaps if I weren't dealing with a race so foolish as to place a valued trading post in the path of a weather system that can be predicted by any one with half a brain, the situation might not have arisen."

    The Tellarite snorted. "Yes, the Vulcan's told us of your race's arrogance."

    "I wouldn't take everything they tell you as true. They neglected to tell us just how spectacularly hideous you are." Archer said. He waited until the other had opened his mouth to reply before adding "On my ship there is a scientist who is convinced that there is no God. I'll introduce you to her someday, I think you'll change her mind. There's no way evolution alone could have lead to something so repulsive."

    There were a few moments of silence. Then the Tellarite emitted a strange hacking sound, which Archer eventually recognized to be laughter. "Walk this way." he said, leading to a flight of stairs.

    "If I could walk that way I'd see a doctor." Reed put in, earning a dirty look from the Tellarite.

    They descended the stairs. The Tellarite led them into a network of caves, adapted into quite cosy rooms. Some sort of polymer had been applied to the ground to provide a flat stable floor. Doors had been added to some of the cave entrances, forming rooms. At one point they passed what was obviously a bar of some sort, with numerous patrons. There were several games of chance and skill being played, and the stacked credit chips suggested that wagers were being made.

    "Oh, sir, perhaps we should stop here for a moment? Get a feel for the place?" Hoshi said.

    "We've got a job to do, Lieutenant." Archer reminded her. "Stick with me." he added. It'd be just like Hoshi to wander off in search of a chance to make a few bets.

    After a couple more minutes they arrived at what looked like an administration area. Their guide told them to wait, and went through a large door. Through another door, half open, Archer could see some sort of space traffic control centre.

    "Reed, you and your people head back to that bar. Have a look round, see what you can pick up."

    "Yes sir."

    Hoshi glared at the marine's backs as they left. "That was my idea! I wanted to go!"

    Archer said "I need people out there looking for information, not wagering half our deuterium supply on a coin toss."

    Hoshi held up a finger. "One time. I did that one time. You'll never let me forget that will you?"

    The door opened and their guide leaned out. "Where are the others? They better not be causing trouble."

    "They had to leave," Archer explained. "They couldn't stand the smell."

    They were lead into a large, gloomy office with a big desk. Next to a large viewscreen stood another Tellarite, even shorter and rounder than the guide. His nose was more upturned, and his eyes so deep set they resembled small holes in his face. He wore a metallic uniform, mostly silver with large gun metal coloured squares.

    "I am Gran, administrator of this facility." He touched a control on the viewscreen. An image of the Enterprise came up, shot, Archer guessed, from one of the satellites they'd detected in orbit. Gran examined it for a moment, then turned to face Hoshi. "Small, ugly, and unfit for any purpose."

    Having played chess most of his life Archer recognized a trap being prepared. If Hoshi defended the ship Gran would make it clear his comments applied to her. If she took his description personally then the Tellarite would claim he meant the ship, and follow up with a comment about humans being paranoid or lacking perception. Fortunately Hoshi spotted the trap herself.

    "Small, ugly, and unfit for any purpose?" she echoed. "Small, ugly, and unfit for any purpose. Hmm. Please excuse my surprise. I wasn't aware it was Tellarite custom to describe their genitalia at first meeting."

    Archer suppressed a smile. Behind him the guide gave a hacking laugh.

    Gran grunted, and gestured to the guide. "You can go, Lak. So, what brings your pitiful species crawling all the way from that chunk of te'rath you call home."

    Archer sobered as he remembered the mission. "Perhaps we should sit, administrator, this may take some time...."


    ***
    Back in the bar Reed ordered four glasses of Altair water. It wasn't his usual poison, but it wouldn't do to get drunk. Vulcan credit chips were an acceptable currency here, and the marines had been issued a reasonable stipend for purchases. Reed gave the Tellarite behind the bar a little extra, enough for a drink for himself, and asked a few general questions.

    The UEMA Marine forces are all well trained to begin with, and there are a number of special units within their ranks. Though not specifically tasked with espionage, Marine Pathfinders often have to act in support of intelligence missions, and all it's members have basic training in spy craft. To Reed's constant disappointment he'd never been called upon to infiltrate an enemy base whilst wearing a tuxedo, but he did know how to talk to people, and more importantly get them to talk to him, without raising undue suspicion.

    He could also tell when he was being watched.

    Of course, as newcomers to this region of space, they were bound to get a certain amount of interest. Curious glances followed their every move. But there was one who seemed unduly interested. Perhaps such intense scrutiny was merely his species' way, but Reed doubted it. The alien had been deep in conversation with two others, of a different species, when the humans had entered. They'd clearly all been enjoying themselves, knocking back their drinks and laughing uproariously, but that particular alien had gone very quiet on seeing Reed and his men. His drinking companions had given them a curious glance, then gone back to their chatter. Even from this distance--they were at the far end of the bar--it was clear they were surprised by the other's sudden reticence. Several times they asked him what was wrong. He made a shushing gesture.

    He doesn't want them drawing attention to him, Reed realized. He glanced at his people, seeing in their eyes that they'd picked up on it too.

    Whilst still talking to the bartender, he used the reflection of the bar mirror to observe the alien. Humanoid. Short. Bald head, pale wrinkled skin. Small eyes and nose, large rodent like ears. An indented ridge running from the tip of the nose to the back of the head. No apparent thumb, four fingered hands. Dressed in a dirty brown leather like substance that had clearly seen better days.

    Without finishing his drink the rodent like alien got to his feet and made for the exit. His two companions exchanged glances and shrugs. Reed drained his glass and followed, his men close behind him.

    Out in the corridor the alien began moving faster, not running but certainly in a hurry. He glanced over his shoulder, saw the Enterprise men and quickened his pace.

    "Hey! Excuse me, I want a word with you!" Reed called. The alien slowed, but it was not to exchange words. From under his coat he pulled a large, and familiar looking, side arm.

    Reed dropped out of the line of fire, bellowing at his men to do the same, and drew his own gun. The alien fired, the pulse of orange-red plasma passing over Reed, close enough to feel the heat. There was a loud crack as the bolt impacted the wall. Reed raised his gun to return fire, but the alien grabbed a Tellarite passing by, forcing him into the line of fire.

    Alarms began wailing, and there were shouts and screams from the bar. The alien ran. Reed followed, barging past the startled Tellarite and tried to line up a shot. The corridor was too crowded, he didn't dare risk it.


    ***

    It's often difficult to tell what aliens are thinking. Body language can be very different. But there are many similarities, and Archer could tell that Administrator Gran was deeply shocked to hear of the attack on the Rexus station. He seemed more concerned that the attackers might target his facility next than he was for the Vulcan Premier, but that was understandable. Archer didn't think that likely, but did nothing to disabuse him of that fear. Whilst he'd never have deliberately misled the Tellarite, he couldn't say for certain that the fears were wrong, and it did seem to be encouraging a more cooperative attitude.

    Gran was promising that he'd have his people look into it when the alarms began sounding. The fat little Tellarite leapt from his seat and waddled to the exit, telling Archer and Hoshi to stay there.

    Archer's communicator chirruped. "Archer here."

    It was Reed. He quickly filled the Captain in on events. "And sir, the weapon he fired at us, it was a Widowmaker."

    "Are you sure?"

    "I've had them fired at me often enough."

    Archer thought about this. Widowmaker's were cheap and nasty guns that had been used during the Alpha colony rebellion. They were designed to be made from commonly available parts. An unpleasant suspicion hit him. Could the design have been passed on to others? It was bad enough when just the rebels knew how to make them, but with a proper manufacturing base this sector could be flooded with guns.

    Reed continued. "Sir, the local security forces have arrived, I think we'd better cooperate."

    Despite the fact Reed couldn't see him, Archer nodded. "Stand down Mister Reed. Which way did your attacker go?"

    "Towards the landing pads."

    "Understood. Hold on in there, we'll get this sorted. Archer out." He changed channel. "Travis. Anything happening?"

    After a few seconds Mayweather responded. "No sir, all quiet."

    The door opened, and the guide from earlier beckoned them out. He lead them to the traffic control centre he'd spotted. Gran looked displeased.

    "In our base for less than an hour, and already you cause trouble."

    "That's not how..." Archer started, but Gran waved him down.

    "We have recordings of public areas, we will see what really happened."

    One of the consoles started bleeping. As the Tellarites gathered around it Archer's communicator signalled.

    "Mayweather here. Someone just blasted off, in a real hurry. From the energy discharge it looks like they're running their engines without pre-heating. That can't be good."

    "Perhaps they're trying to get away before the storm hits." Hoshi suggested.

    Mayweather must have heard her. "I guess it's nice and cosy down where you are. The storm's here. Damn heavy too. I could get through it safely, but there's not many else got a hope."

    Given Mayweather's customary cockiness it was difficult for Archer to tell if that was an accurate assessment. He signalled Enterprise. "Hernandez, we've got a ship trying to fly through this storm. Keep an eye on it."

    "Aye sir, we're tracking it already. Professor Partridge picked up a signal some moments ago."

    Archer thought about this. The shuttles he'd seen parked outside looked to be short range only, so the alien must be heading towards one of the ships in orbit. He was probably telling them to get ready for his docking.

    The door opened. Reed and his men were escorted in by uniformed and armed Tellarites, obviously security. Quickly they filled one another in on events.

    "According to Vel, the head of security here," Reed said, "the alien was from a race called the Yridians. They're known as smugglers, and information brokers. If there's anything going down in this sector---"

    "They know about it?" Hoshi asked.

    "Or they're part of it. Not a major part, but getting info or items from A to B."

    The beeping console suddenly wailed. Around it the Tellarites started jabbering. Archer pulled his communicator.

    "Hernandez, anything happening?"

    "God, yes. There's been a ---what? Are you sure?" A short pause. "Damn. It looks like that shuttles lost control. It's losing altitude fast, could be lightening strike, but....hold on.....It's signalling again...long signal this time, we can't make it out but it's being recorded, we can try translating when Sato's back....it's gone sir. Looks like it hit the ground some hundred and twelve kilometres north east of you. Exploded on impact."

    There were sounds in the background. Polly Partridge, her voice recognisable but her words indistinct, saying something.

    "Did you get that sir?" asked Hernandez.

    Archer replied in the negative.

    "One of the other ships up here has begun charging it's warp engines, and is pulling out of orbit. I could try to cripple it sir, the plasma cannons are---"

    Archer caught the look on Gran's face. "Absolutely not! We are not going to open fire unless absolutely necessary. Especially when guests in another species' territory! Do I make myself clear?"

    When the answer finally came it was clearly through clenched teeth. "Yes. Sir."

    "Try to track them for as long as possible. Get a vector when they go to warp. Archer out." He snapped the communicator shut before Hernandez could respond.

    Gran approached. "Captain Archer. Go wait in my office. I must organise a search and rescue attempt for the shuttle pilot. Futile, I know, but we must make the effort. Then, we have much to discuss. I may have a possible lead for you..."
     
  11. USS Avenger

    USS Avenger Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Another good installment, well worth the wait. I liked the interaction with the Tellarites and the ribbing of Reed. Also your description of Yridians was right on too. When I read that I thought to myself, sounds like the Yridians are involved, and sure enough thats what the aliens were. :bolian:
     
  12. Admiral2

    Admiral2 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Langley
    They have no thumbs, which pretty much makes everything in this chapter utter bullshit. Am I the only one who sees this?
     
  13. USS Avenger

    USS Avenger Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    I am assuming you are refering to the Yridian firing the Widowmaker without having an opposible digit. Seems to me that a Yridian could figure out a way to fire such a weapon even without a thumb. Also the very fact that these Widowmakers are basically homemade (or made from basic and availible parts) they are easily modified and one could be constructed specifically for and by Yridians.
     
  14. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
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    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    From Memory Alpha: "Most Yridians had no thumbs, and possessed only four fingers on each hand. "
    http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Yridian

    Yes, I agree it makes no sense. But that's how it was in Trek. So that's what we have to deal with.

    Admiral2, in the past you have given valid, constructive criticism, for which I thank you. This is my first ever attempt at fan fiction, and I realise I need feedback if I am to succeed. Your comments regarding Mayweather's attitude and bridge procedures were most gratefully received, and I hope you approve of the changes I made as a result.

    However, I am unable to find anything either valid or constructive in this comment. Even if the error were entirely mine, surely this minor detail is not enough to make "...everything in this chapter utter bullshit"?

    If there are any other elements in this chapter, or elsewhere, you find to be at fault, please highlight them so I can respond appropriately.


    USS Avenger, thanks for your comments and support. I'm glad you liked the bits with the Tellarites and Reed.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2009
  15. Duncan MacLeod

    Duncan MacLeod Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2002
    Location:
    New England

    Apparently, yes. Quite nasty about it too. Every writer welcomes a valid critique. But in the future please try to make it constructive, rather than simply venting your spleen.
     
  16. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Between the candle and the flame
    I enjoyed this part of the story so much I actually went back over it looking for the "utter bullshit" referred to. Great portrayals of Tellarites? Check. Reed once again portrayed believably? Check. Excitement? Action? Logical plot development? All check. Utter BS? Still looking....
     
  17. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    Thanks for the kind words people!

    This chapter's a bit short, I know, but I've had an idea for the next instalment. It'll be a bit experimental, a departure from my usual writing style. I'll let you decide if that's a good or bad thing!:)

    Should be up, if all goes well, Monday or Tuesday next week.
     
  18. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    UES Enterprise. En route to Kraltos System . Warp 4.01
    10th May 2151.

    As a safety precaution, the matter/anti-matter reactor that powered the ship's warp drive was located in a heavily armoured lozenge shaped pod that nestled between the two lower fins. It was an unfortunate position, given it's rather phallic appearance, but it meant that the reactor core was well protected from enemy fire should the ship enter combat. It would have been even better protected located within the main hull, but so far no adequate means of ejecting the core in case of emergency had been developed. If a catastrophic reactor overload were to occur, a series of explosive bolts would sever the struts holding the pod in place. Chemical rockets would fire, thrusting it backwards, hopefully far enough and fast enough to prevent Enterprise being caught in the explosion. That was the plan, and it worked in simulation. No one wanted to test it for real.

    There was another advantage to placing the it outside the main hull. Jonathan Archer had been on ships with on board warp cores. They were noisy. Not so bad for routine operations, but deafening when ramped up to full power.

    Main engineering was large compared to other compartments on the Enterprise, but so packed full of equipment it seemed even more cramped. As he entered Archer grabbed a set of ear protectors from the nearest locker. The noise coming through the reactor pod's access point was uncomfortably loud, and that was with the hatch sealed. Conditions inside the pod itself must be hellish.

    He caught the eye of a passing engineer, one of the UEMA people, and gestured to the chief engineers office. She shook her head, and pointed to the pod's access point at the rear of the compartment.

    So. Trip was still in there. Archer had hoped he would be finished by now. But given the unanticipated demands placed on the engines this mission, it was hardly surprising that they'd need more maintenance than expected.

    Nodding his thanks to the engineer he set off that way. Even from here he could see the indicator lights for the decontamination chamber. Someone was coming out. Rather than try to navigate his way through the labyrinthine network of computer consoles, wires, and pipes, not to mention the swirling mass of people, he scrambled up the nearest ladder to the main catwalk. There was an even higher level too, as he was reminded when a couple of engineers rappelled past him down to the main deck.

    He reached the far end, by the deuterium storage tanks that gave the place the look of a brewery, and descended the ladder. The decon chamber hatch was just swinging open, allowing a swirl of mist to escape. With the thick hatch open the noise got even worse. Archer clamped his hands to the ear protectors, pressing them hard against his skull. He felt the vibration in his lungs, his bowels, even in his eyes.

    Three figures, clad in thick anti radiation armour and heavy helmets, came through the hatch. Steam coiled from them. Decontamination was in essence a shower, to wash off any matter that might have adhered to the armour. Recently a liquid polymer had been developed that, when added to the water, increased efficiency of the process. But it had to be applied at high pressure and very high temperature. Supposedly after application a second wash with pure cold water would wash the polymer away and cool things down. Clearly that hadn't happened here, and the three engineers were forced to wait until the armour was cool enough to remove. At least things were quieter with the hatch shut.

    Archer knew there was no reason to stand around waiting, but he had no pressing business elsewhere and it would be rude to just walk away. Eventually Trip gave the signal and a couple of crewmen rushed forward and helped him out of the armour. One of them gave him a set of ear protectors, the more advanced sort with the built in com set. He started rapping out orders. With the basic protectors Archer couldn't hear what was said but if his lip reading skills were any good there was something about the decon chamber's second stage.

    Out of his armour Trip was clad standard issue fatigues. One of the crewmen handed him a jacket before turning to help the other engineers still in the armour. After checking his dosimeter, the small device that would detect exposure to radiation, Trip started to talk to Archer. Realizing that he couldn't hear, he pointed to the exit instead. Archer nodded.

    It was a lot easier getting out than in. Trip knew the most efficient route through the maze of equipment. Furthermore, whilst Archer was captain of the ship, engineering was Trip's domain. The crew parted for him automatically. If Archer was on his own he'd have to wait till the crew recognized him before they stepped aside. For Trip, it was like the parting of the Red Sea. Archer bobbed along in his wake.

    Out in the corridor, with the main hatch shut, the noise was down to an acceptable level. Trip twisted his head from side to side, trying to work out a crick in his neck.

    "Glad that's done." he said. His voice was slightly too loud, his hearing not yet returned to normal.

    "Tough job?" Archer asked, sympathetically.

    "One of the crossbeams had gone out of skew on the treddle." said the engineer.

    Archer blinked. "I have no idea what that means."

    "Me neither. It's something Polly told me once. One of her 20th century references. It's either that or 'reverse the polarity of the neutron flow'. Anyway, one of the mounting brackets for the anti-matter injection system was working loose. Coulda' been mighty bad news if we hadn't caught it in time."

    Imagining the possible consequences, Archer paled. "Bad news indeed. How are things holding up, generally?"

    Trip rubbed his chin. "Not too bad, considering. Maintenance operations like that are the sorta' thing we'll be doin' regular on deep space missions. I didn't think we'd be doing it on this one, but I guess it's a good a time to practice as any. So what d'ya wanna see me for?"

    "Just checking you're OK. What with one thing or another, you've been working hard these last few days. There have been....concerns raised, you might be working too hard."

    Trip snorted. "Let me guess. Doc Locke wants me sedated and out cold for forty eight hours, right?"

    "Well he did give me these." said Archer, pulling a pill bottle from his pocket and handing it over. "Seriously though, you're no good to me if you collapse on the job. We've got another day till we reach the Kraltos system. Unless you can think of anything that desperately needs to be done, you should get some rest.

    "Nah, we got all the major jobs done. I think I will get my head down. Have something to eat first, though. Errr...." Trip looked slightly embarrassed. "There is one thing....as you say, I been kinda busy. Not really payin' attention to anythin' else...so, er, where you say we headin'?"

    "The Kraltos system. An uninhabited system with few natural resources or points of interest. According to the Tellarites....you do know about the Tellarites, right?" Archer teased.

    "Tellarites? Sure I've heard about them. Logical humanoids with pointy ears, Tellarites."

    "Those are the ones." Archer grinned. "According to them, that's the best location to meet the Ithenites."

    Trip thought about this. "OK, now I am confused. Ithenites?"

    "They are a race of traders. Their home is far from here, very far, but one of their merchant ships operates in this area. Flies round buying and selling, delivering cargo. Pretty random flightpath, but it is one of the few ships that had regular contact with the Rexus station."

    "That could be significant."

    "Plus, the Tellarites themselves tried to charter their ship for a special delivery. Turns out the Ithenites couldn't help, they'd already been hired. We have no idea by who, they tend to honour their clients confidentiality. But while they were at the trading post they did buy large amounts of vegetarian food. The sort of thing that'd sell well to the Vulcans."

    Trip said "So they are hired to deliver the cargo crates with the attackers in, and try to make a bit of extra profit on the side. It's possible...bit of a reach though, John."

    Archer shrugged. "Only lead we've got at the moment. Anyway, it seems that the Ithenite ship routinely travels to the Kraltos system. It meets up with another of it's kind, and they transfer goods, crew and profits. The first ship then goes back to trading, and the second returns home. I'm not sure why they do it that way rather than have the new ship take over, probably a cultural thing. But for a few days we've got a chance to catch up with them and find out what they know. If we miss them here we have no idea where they're heading next."

    "So that's why you got us runnin' at warp four plus. Don't wanna miss the connection."

    Archer paused as a couple of crewmen passed. He kept his voice low. "It's more than that Trip. When we were at the trading post an alien, a Yridian, spotted us and ran. He was killed in a shuttle crash but not before getting a signal out to his ship."

    "Yeah, I got that bit."

    "The thing is," Archer went on, "that Yridian was warning someone that we were investigating. Hoshi's studied his signal and she's quite clear about that. So if we followed the conspirators to the trading station...."

    "...then they might decide these Ithenite fellows know too much." Trip realized. "They could try and kill 'em before they tell us what they know."

    "Right. Assuming they haven't tracked them down already, the Kraltos system's the best bet for an ambush. So we better get there fast before they have a chance to spring it."

    Trip let out a long breath. "Hell John, we could be heading into a warzone. Better get the XO to double check the weapons."

    "She was triple checking them when I came to see you. Anyway, now you know why I need you rested."

    Trip looked at the bottle of pills in his hand. "Man, I hate these. Still, better than lettin' Locke near me with a needle. Is it just me or has he been even crankier than usual recently?"

    "Make allowances, Trip." said Archer softly. "It's the tenth. The tenth of May."

    Trip sobered instantly, checking the date on his watch. "Is it? Damn. Didn't realize."
     
  19. USS Avenger

    USS Avenger Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    I really liked the way you described the engine room, the noise and primitive nature of it (compared to TNg or DS9). The earplugs were a good addition too, very practical. I am not sure if it was mentioned before but does the bridge have seat belts? The Tenth of May? Hmmmm wonder what that is about, perhaps their version of 9/11? Looking forward to the next chapter keep it up!
     
  20. Nightfall to-Ennien

    Nightfall to-Ennien Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Location:
    The Everfree Forest
    I loved the brewery reference.