Starship Enterprise: Strange New World.

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by The Badger, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. Duncan MacLeod

    Duncan MacLeod Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Feb 24, 2002
    New England
    Don't go to any trouble on my account, Badger. I never really got into Doctor Who. Not sure why.

    On the other hand I'll gladly accept any new Enterprise material you'd care to create.
  2. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 11, 2008
    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    OK folks, apologies as usual for the delay in updating. I'm also very sorry for the brief nature of this post. I'm very close to wrapping this up, indeed, I know what has to be done. I've just got no idea on how to get it done. :(

    Any way, rather than leave things longer I'm posting what little I have managed to do. On one level this is the conclusion of the main story, but there's just a few loose ends to tidy up. Hopefully inspiration will strike sooner rather than later.


    The surface of Galador III. November 4th, 2151.

    Maria Hernandez stooped to pick up a fallen leaf from the forrest floor. She turned it over in her hands, examining it carefully. It was shaped somewhat like a maple leaf, though slightly narrower, and with a curious series of small holes running it's full length. Where they made by insects? Did they fulfill some evolutionary role? A random mutation? I'm beginning to understand why these UESPA people are so keen on exploration.

    "Good speech, Maria." came Archer's voice.

    She turned. "It's what I'd want, when my time comes."

    "Not for a while, I hope." Clearing his throat, he held out a pad. "Trip just transmitted this down. He's been going over things, looking for a way to properly store...anyone we lose out here. Seems there's a section near the main telescope array that can be cooled sufficiently well to preserve..." He trailed off, unwilling under the circumstances to use the word 'bodies'.

    She took the pad, looked at it critically. "Room for, what, ten, twelve? That should do, if the worst comes to the worst. If we lose any more than that, we're in a lot of trouble."

    "Trouble enough losing just one." Archer said. "The thing is, we could now transport the crewmen from the D-11 back to Earth, if you wish."

    She paused, thinking it through. "No..." she said eventually. "We're heading the other way. True, we'll go back home in a few months, but who knows what will happen in that time. We may need that storage space...for ourselves. Besides which," she added hurriedly, trying not to dwell on the morbid thought "I don't know about anyone else, but I'm coming round to the Professor's idea. It has given me a sense of ...'closure', as she puts it."

    Hernandez looked across the forest clearing. Several Enterprise crewmen were assembled outside Stucchi's cave. Stucchi himself was almost unrecognisable, clean shaven and in uniform. To the side of the cave, the five gravestones of the Axanar.

    And next to them, three new graves. The recovered crew of the D-11.

    Somehow, Hernandez mused, it felt right that humans and Axanar should be buried side by side. That was a strange thought, one that not too long ago would have offended her. Humans and aliens, her younger self would have proclaimed, didn't belong together in this way. But in the end, they weren't humans and aliens. They were soldiers. That was what mattered.

    "I'll admit it." she said. "It was a good idea of Polly's. She's got quite a spiritual side to her."

    Archer mock winced. "Given her views on that sort of thing, she'd probably be offended if you told her that."

    "Excellent, I'll mention it next time I see her."

    They headed back to the group. With the burial ceremony concluded, most of those present were talking quietly amongst themselves, in groups of three or four. Stucchi himself stood to off to one side, conversing with Sato. After his long isolation, he was still uncomfortable around others. Sato's fluency with the Axanar language seemed to reassure him somewhat.

    "Good speech, Ma'am." Moshiri said as they approached.

    "That's what I said." Archer put in.

    Moshiri continued. "We've had a communication from the Enterprise. Mr. Tucker is pre-heating the warp system, he expects it all to be ready by the time we've recovered the planetary probes. Though he recommends we leave the system at impulse, only engaging warp once we're free of significant gravitational interference."

    The captain nodded. "A sensible precaution under the circumstances. Anything else?"

    "Yes sir. Doctor Locke has cleared both Corporal James and Professor Partridge as medically fit."

    "Good news." Hernandez said.

    Moshiri hesitated slightly. "Ah...there is a slight risk that the compound James swallowed could have long term health risks. It's a carcinogenic. So he's recommended regular check ups. Fortunately now he knows what it is he knows what to look for, and so it should be caught early. So, fingers crossed."

    "Well, the Pathfinders have a good medical service." Archer said. "I think she'll do just fine."

    "Fine? Fine?" barked Reed. He'd been close enough to hear the conversation. Pointing to his pad, he asked "Do you know what she's bloody done now? Only gone and put in an official request that her injuries be treated as a result of enemy action! A chemical weapons attack, mind you!"

    "What? Seriously?" asked Hernandez, taking his pad to read the message for herself.

    "She's only after another bloody medal, that's what it is. That and the pay hike. Bloody compensation culture."

    Hernandez handed the pad back. "If you'll excuse me, there's something I need to do."

    She made her way over to Stucchi and Sato. "Lieutenant, might I have a moment with the Crewman alone."

    "Certainly Ma'am. Good speech, by the way."

    "Thank you." She turned to Stucchi, and hesitated. "Crewman are you?"

    His reply was hesitant, halting. He had to think carefully, to plan the words he would use. "I am...well. Thank you. I"

    She nodded. Locke had administered a course of iprovaline, that would counter the fungal hallucinogens. There was no quick fix for the long term psychological effects of his ordeal, but it was a start. "Do you understand what we mean to do?"

    He nodded.

    "And you have no objections? You'll be left here, on this planet, alone. There'll be a marker buoy in orbit, in case any one comes along, but it'll be months, years maybe, before Earth sends a follow up expedition."

    "I understand."

    "Don't you want to go home?

    Odd, but she knew the answer even before he spoke. "This is home. Home to me. Has been home...for as long as I remember. I have all I need here. Food, water, air....duty.

    Hernandez's brow furrowed. "Duty?"

    "I watch over them." He gestured to the graves. "My old friends. And now, my own kind. Please, Commander. Someday I may be ready to go to Earth. But not today."

    She exhaled heavily through her nose, letting some of the tension flow away. It seemed, despite his experiences, Alphonse Stucchi had at least found a little peace.
  3. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 5, 2007
    Between the candle and the flame
    Good segment. I hope you stay with Enterprise-I like your take and look forward to reading each new entry.
  4. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 11, 2008
    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    Captain's Log, November 6th, 2151.
    Pre-heating of the warp system is nearly complete, and we will be ready to leave the system shortly. We just have time for one more task, the recovery of the planetary probes. Our initial plan was to send one shuttle to recover all three, however I amended that to allow more of our crew to spend some time, brief as it is, on the surface of this world. Beowulf's One and Two will each recover one probe. The third will just fit into a cargo shuttlepod, accompanied by a standard pod to bring sufficient personnel to transfer the probe from the surface into the shuttle. It is an inefficient use of fuel, but I believe the experience would be good for the morale of all involved.
    As a treat for Commander Tucker, who has done sterling work on the engines, I have insisted he go along. I've also arranged for some 'in-flight entertainment'.

    The surface of Galador III.

    Beowulf Two had not changed externally for it's second visit to the planet, but it had internally. There was space at the rear for the probe they were sent to collect, along with the compact forklift that would carry it onboard. All other free space was taken up with seating. No lavatory, no port side airlock, the bare minimum of stores that could be taken on a mission of this nature. Only two of the passengers had been on the earlier trip, Crewman Scott, the load-master, and Porthos, the in-flight entertainment. The game of 'catch the flying beagle' was enjoyed by all, and Tucker still had tears of laughter in his eyes as they landed.

    "Oh, man, funniest thing ah saw inna long, long time!"

    Next to him Major Reed unfastened his safety harness. "You're not wrong there sir. Are we taking him with us?"

    Tucker nodded. "Yeah, I got his leash here, let's take him for a walk."

    They'd seen images of the surface, but that wasn't the same as being there. "Oh, wow. Just look at this place. Like the plains of Africa." Reed said, as they descended the starboard ramp.

    "Yeah, not 'zactly the same, but very sim'lar. Oh, word of advice. Don't go mentioning Africa around the cap'n. Not 'less you want your ear chewed off with his 'gazelle' speech. Man, look at those mountains though. That's where Stucchi lived all these years."

    Reed looked at them carefully. "He's back up there now, in that cave of his. Wonder if he's watching us?" He turned to one of his Marines. "Cross, the captain left a communicator with Crewman Stucchi. See if you can contact him, make sure he's OK."

    Whilst Reed talked Tucker lead Porthos to the aft of the Beowulf, where the rear ramp was just lowering. As soon as it was deployed Scott strode down, followed by the fork lift. Like the quad bike it could be remotely operated, and would follow whoever had it's control box at a safe distance. Tucker took the control box from Scott and thanked her.

    He'd been tempted to land at the exact same place Archer and the rest had, to see the site where they had first set foot upon this planet. On Earth's colonies the site of First Landing always held special significance, a strange mix of tourist trap and spiritual pilgrimage. No doubt the camp site would be the same, should humanity colonise this world too. Practicality had got in the way of his intentions. First Landing was a little too far from probe three, so they'd landed a lot nearer. Not too near though. No one wanted to upset the ferrekats. Despite their initial shock at the arrival of the probe, they seem to have gotten used to both it, and humans. Several of the scientists had gone out to observe the pack, and after some initial caution, had been accepted.

    It was a walk of five minutes or so, ever so slightly up bank. As they crested the rise they saw the probe sat in the middle of a wide open space. A noise drifted across the plain. "Chup-chiree-chiree! Chup-chiree-chiree!" Others took up the cry, and Tucker became aware of grey-brown shapes flittering through the undergrowth, disappearing into burrows.

    "So much for the warm welcome we were promised." he observed wryly.

    As they continued onwards, however, he became aware they were being watched. Little furry heads emerged like periscopes from the depths as they passed. By the time he'd reached the probe, one bold ferrekat was perched atop it, raised on his back legs and regarding him steadily.

    "Guess you must be the one tha' keeps an eye on things." Tucker said. He'd skimmed through the reports on the creatures. "Well, I sure am sorry 'bout this, little buddy, but we gonna have take this here probe back with us. I'm sure it's a good spyin' spot, an' all, but it is ours an' we need it back."

    The ferrekat tipped it's head to one side, and gave him an expression that he had absolutely no idea of what to make of. Other ferrekats approached from the burrows, not getting too close, cautiously watching. Tucker reached into a pocket. He'd come prepared, with a bag of peanuts, which the creatures apparently loved. Certainly this one watched transfixed as he opened the packet.

    "Here ya go." He handed one over. The ferrekat took it with it's front paws, turning it over and over to lick the salt off, before bolting the nut down.

    "Is it safe to feed them?" Reed asked.

    Tucker nodded. "Should be, in small 'mounts at least. Too many won't be good for them."

    Reed raised an eyebrow. "I meant, is it safe for us? They don't carry diseases or anything do they?"

    "Not 'cording to the reports. One of them bit Polly. Didn't do no harm. Mind you, it didn't get through those gloves o' hers. Prob'ly best if---What the hell?!"

    There was a blur of sudden movement, and a high pitched yelp from Porthos. The leash yanked on his hand as the dog tried to run. One of the surrounding ferrekats had gone for the beagle's throat.

    Instantly the ferrekat on the probe leapt into the fray. At first Tucker thought that it too was attacking Porthos, but as he pulled the dog free it became clear that it was going after the attacker. The two animals dissolved into a rolling, spitting, snarling ball of violence.

    As abruptly as it had started, it was over. One ferrekat lay dead, the back of the neck torn and bloodied. There was blood too at the mouth of the battered but triumphant victor. As Tucker cradled the whimpering dog, the survivor picked up the body of the other, carried it over, and dropped it at his feet. It then climbed up atop the probe.

    "Millington! Get over here!" Tucker shouted. As the medic approached he added "I don't know how good you are treatin' dogs, but if Porthos ain't back to his old self by time we get back to Enterprise, the cap'n's gonna make sure we all need medical 'tention."

    Reed asked "What the hell was that all about?"

    "Ah don't rightly know. 'Cording to the reports, li'l Porthos has met up with these guys before, and there ain't never been no trouble."

    "That's a double negative." Reed commented absently. His brow furrowed. "Looks like there may be trouble now."

    Half a dozen ferrekats were advancing in a low, menacing line, hissing slightly. For one worrying moment Tucker thought he was the object of their attention, before he realised they were staring at the ferrekat atop the probe. That one raised itself up, baring it's teeth and flicking it's tail, and emitted a deep growl. The on-comers hesitated for a second before glancing at each other, clearly seeking the reassurance of numbers, then continued their approach.

    "Right, the report's did say these fellas seemed to be org'nized into factions." Tucker observed. He pointed to the one on the probe. "Guess this one must ha' just killed a member of a rival group, an this lot are spoilin' fo' revenge."

    Reed clucked his tongue. "The hell with this." He drew his pistol and fired a couple of low power blasts into the dusty ground, just ahead of the advancing line. The bright light and noise, the sudden bursts of earthy shrapnel, sent them scurrying into the nearest burrow with a high pitched squeal.

    "So much for not interferin' wi' local affairs." Tucker said wryly.

    Reed shrugged. "No one said anything to me. No, it's OK Cross," he added as the marine ran up, rifle at the ready, "just a bit of trouble with the locals. Not a problem."

    "I see sir. Bad enough to require gunshots, but not so bad that you follow standard operating procedures and inform your people that you are going to shoot."

    "Er, yes. There's a good reason why I ignored SOP, a very good reason indeed. But it's classified."

    "Yes sir, classified. I believe you sir. Honest."

    Tucker chuckled, then turned to Millington. "How's the dog?"

    "He'll survive sir. It looks like his attacker went for the throat, which could have been very nasty. As it was his collar got mangled badly. There's a few cuts and scratches, nothing serious. A bit of antiseptic will do the trick, I reckon. Though I'd recommend we keep him under observation for a little while.

    "Thanks Millington." He took the dog back. "Oh, Porthos. If'n anythin' happened to you John would go ballistic."

    The dog wagged his tail faintly.

    Still holding Porthos Tucker turned back to the others. "OK, people, daylight's burnin'! Let's get this probe on the forklift an' back to the shuttle!"

    He looked around, making sure everyone was present. As he did so his attention was caught by a bright spot in the darkening sky. Glistening like a jewel on blue velvet, the Enterprise.
  5. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 5, 2007
    Between the candle and the flame
    That ferrekat seemed almost intelligent in the description of it bringing the dead one to them....interesting.
  6. jerriecan

    jerriecan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jun 7, 2011
    Another intriguing installment - perhaps there is more to the ferrekats than it seemed at first glance. Nicely done, Badger! :)
  7. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 11, 2008
    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    UES Enterprise. Orbiting Galador III. November 6th, 2151.
    The Observation Dome.

    "I do hope it's not going to be a regular occurrence." Professor Partridge said, buttering a slice of toast. "Nearly getting killed is not the sort of thing I feel that I could get used to."

    Sitting opposite her at the table, Travis Mayweather shook his head. "I have to say I'm surprised to hear that, professor. Given your love of old traditions, and dramatic ideas and so on, I'd have thought you'd fit the role of....what's it called, the damsel in danger?" He looked round the rest of the group. Half a dozen members of the initial landing party had come together for a quick meal before the Enterprise broke orbit.

    "Damsel in distress." corrected Dumont. "He is right professor. You are far and away the most qualified person on this ship to occupy that position, and I think it very remiss of you to turn it down."

    Partridge munched a bit of toast thoughtfully, then shook her head. "No. I'm not cut out for the job. OK, I got my self captured and hog-tied on a supposedly uninhabited planet, which is an achievement, certainly. I'll grant you that. But I also picked up a near terminal concussion, severe facial bruising, and some pretty unpleasant nasal haemorrhaging. A proper 'damsel in distress' may get knocked out and tied up, but she wouldn't smudge her make up. Having a face plastered in blood and snot would be right out. What d'you reckon, Hoshi?"

    "I reckon you're all a load of perverts." Hoshi said. Privately she was relieved. This was the first time she'd heard Polly speak about her ordeal with something other than fear and trepidation. She seemed to be recovering mentally as well as physically. She resolved to let the captain know about this as soon as she saw him. He worried about those under his command.

    "Don't include me in that!" an aggravated 'Red' Grant said.

    Hoshi sipped her coffee, leant back and looked up through the transparent panels. The day lit crescent of Galador III filled half the sky. "Just a simple survey..." she muttered to herself.

    "Hey everyone!" Tucker called out as he entered the dome. "So, Polly, any sign o' intelligence?"

    "Amongst this lot?" she replied, gesturing round the table. "Not a trace. I've met moss with a higher IQ."

    "I meant 'mongst the ferrekats." He dropped into a spare chair, and waved to the crewman at the bar. "Can I get a coffee, here?"

    "Halt!" Polly commanded, pointing at the crewman. She turned to Trip. "And what do we say?"

    He let out an irritated breath. "May I have a coffee, please?" he said, with exaggerated precision.

    She nodded indulgently, and turned to the crewman. "Proceed."

    Tucker shook his head ruefully. "Y'know, that wouldn't be half as irritating if'n you didn't use slang an' bad grammar yourself."

    "Me? Employ slang or bad grammar? I ain't never done that or nothing." She grinned, and held up a data pad. "I got your report, and have been going over the footage of the attack on Porthos. Happened right in front of the probe so we saw everything. Are you sure Porthos is alright by the way? John's been going mental."

    "Yeah, tell me about it. I ran into him in sickbay. Between him worryin' 'bout his dog, an' Locke bitchin' that he's a doctor, not a vet, I was sure glad to get out of there. So. Intelligence 'mongst the ferrekats?"

    Polly tapped a finger on her chin thoughtfully. "To be honest....I'm not sure. And that's not something I say very often. Look. We've been observing this group quite closely. They've got a highly developed pack mentality. There's a lot of gifting behaviour. A young male will give food to a female, or to those of superior social standing in the pack. All perfectly normal, what you'd expect from a societal species such as this. But you are not part of the group. So why give you a gift? Especially the body of one of their own kind?"

    "Well I'm guessing it was 'cause that one attacked Porthos. His body was a sort o' peace offering." Trip said.

    "Probably so. And that is suggestive in itself. It shows an awareness that the rules which govern their own behaviour might also apply to others. A very crude, simplistic, theory of mind. So....I don't think this is intelligence. But it might be...the beginning of intelligence." She sighed. "I wish I could come back in a couple of hundred thousand years or so. It'd be interesting to see how they develop."

    "Tricky proposition." Mayweather mused. "Though with time dilation at near light speeds, it should be possible."

    Hoshi asked "What I want to know is, why did Porthos get attacked in the first place? There was no trouble any other time."

    "Pure speculation on my part, but it could be something to do with the rivalry between Mr Watchy and Mr Bitey." Polly said. She looked round at their faces. "It's what I've been calling them. Mr Watchy is the one who stood on the probe and watched for danger, and Mr Bitey is the nasty little bugger who bit me. And Porthos. Anyway, they seem to have been rivals for dominance in the group. Lots of aggressive posturing between them. Typical males. I'd guess that when you fed Mr Watchy that peanut Trip, Mr Bitey must have thought you were on his enemies side."

    "What, and attacked Porthos 'cause he was with me?"

    Partridge shrugged. "He might just have been trying to demonstrate courage to his followers. Difficult to say. Given the complexities of the pack behaviour we've seen just in our short time here, we'd need a lot more data to figure out exactly what's going on. Still, we've made a good start. I do hope Earth invests in a follow up survey, we could learn a lot. I'd have to recomend---"

    She broke off as the ship-wide intercom whistled for attention. Hernandez's voice followed. "Now hear this. Final countdown to break orbit is under way. All personnel to their assigned posts, all departments report ready status. That is all."

    The dome became a hive of activity as everyone quickly finished their meals and drinks, before heading to the exit hatches. The distant hum of quiescent engines began to rise in both pitch and volume, as the Enterprise was readied for full power.


    The Bridge.

    "All stations report ready to break orbit. We will have full warp power when we reach the departure zone." Hernandez said, brandishing a pad for Archer's approval. He looked it over and signed it at the bottom.

    "Thank you, Commander. Hoshi, any word from crewman Stucchi?"

    She nodded. "Yes sir. A text message. Guess he's still a little uncomfortable with the spoken word. He thanks us again for the offer to take him with us, politely declines, and wishes us Godspeed."

    Archer said. "Very well. Send back an acknowledgement, and let him know our prayers are with him. Haleh, lay in a course to the departure zone. Once that's done, Travis, sound the manoeuvre alert and get us on our way."

    The chimes rang out, and on the view screen the planet dipped away.

    "So," Hernandez asked, "is that typical for a planetary survey?"

    Archer rubbed the back of his neck as he thought this over. "Not really. Most are much more interesting."


    The surface of Galador III.

    In the night sky, Enterprise was just a dot. A rather bright dot, being positioned to still catch the sun light, but otherwise little different to the stars and planets scattered amongst the dark. Until it began to move. The ideal departure zone was 'above' the orbital plane as perceived from the planets surface, so the bright dot appeared to race upwards, fading from view as it did so.

    Eyes watched it leave.

    In the forests of the mountains a man who once thought himself Axanar peered through high power binoculars. He felt no regret over their leaving, though he did over some of his own actions. Lowering the binoculars, he turned back to his cave. It looked different now. The supplies of food and medicine now took up a substantial amount of space, and the camp bed looked luxurious compared to what he was used to. With a final glance into the sky he entered the cave and returned to his life.

    And down on the plains the sentinel stood once more upon the boulder. Normally he wouldn't be out this late, the rest of the pack were safely within the burrows, but a lot of unusual things had been happening recently. Eventually though he scampered down, heading for the nearest burrow entrance. A few of the younger, more aggressive males were clustered there, but they cowered back as he approached. This was... satisfying.

    There was a female there as well, body language indicating that she had accepted him as a potential mate.

    Satisfying, indeed.
  8. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 11, 2008
    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    And that, unless I've forgotten something, is that.

    Apologies again with the slow progress with this. I'm not going to start another one unless I have a much better idea of how it is to proceed. Far too much of this one was spent trying to think of what happens next, as opposed to actually writing it down.

    Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it!
  9. Duncan MacLeod

    Duncan MacLeod Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Feb 24, 2002
    New England
    I, for one, enjoyed it very much Badger. Thank you for the wonderful gift. It is truly appreciated.
  10. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 5, 2007
    Between the candle and the flame
    It was great. Hope you have more coming!