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.
    An alternative version of 'Enterprise'. It's based on a variety of ideas I've had, plus some suggested by other users of this BBS, on how the prequel series could have been done differently.
    C&C gratefully received!

    Place de la Concorde, Paris, France.
    14th April, 2151.

    Captain Jonathan Archer, of the United Earth Space Probe Agency, stepped out of the shuttlepod and into a maelstrom of shouted questions and camera flashes. It appeared that half the reporters in western Europe were gathered around the landing pad. It was impossible to make out what any of them were saying.
    'This isn't the reception I'd expected' he thought to himself. He had no idea why UESPA Director Forrest had summoned him so abruptly. During the shuttle trip he'd speculated that some politician or other had raised an objection to the Enterprise's mission, and that he'd been called in to give a rousing speech about the need for deep space exploration. That had happened before. But there had never been this much press interest.
    Something else unusual. He noticed for the first time just how many other shuttlepods and transports were parked nearby. A couple more UESPA ones, several expensive looking civilian vehicles, and at least half a dozen police flyers. Most ominously, squatting like a malevolent toad, a Beowulf class landing craft, camo coloured, with the markings of the United Earth Military Authority. Archer shuddered as he saw it. Against his wishes, two of those craft had been assigned to Enterprise, and he found the brutal lethality of the design disturbing.
    A group of security personnel pushed their way through the shouting crowd towards him. In the normal state of affairs, Archer recalled, they were quiet, unobtrusive, and polite. Right now they were bulldozering through the reporters, brandishing their night sticks aggressively.
    "Captain Archer?" their sergeant asked as she reached him. She had to bellow to make herself heard. He nodded.
    Rather than shout further, she indicated that he follow her. The group forced their way back through the crowd and into the building.

    After the hullabaloo outside, Archer thought himself momentarily deaf. He shook his head to get rid of the ringing in his ears, and looked round. The lobby was large and well appointed. It was also unoccupied, apart from at least three times the normal level of security personnel, all of whom, he noticed, were regarding him suspiciously.
    "What's going on?" he asked the sergeant.
    "Couldn't say sir. May I see your identification please?"
    Bemused, he handed his ID card over. She took it without a word and studied it intently. It was then handed over to another guard, occupying the seat where a receptionist would normally sit. It was slid into a computer port for detailed analysis.
    At the same time three guards came forward and proceeded to scan Archer with various pieces of equipment. Apparently satisfied they nodded to their sergeant, who, Archer noticed, had been keeping one hand on the handle of her holstered sidearm. At the same time the ID card was returned.
    "Sorry for the inconvenience." she said, sounding not sorry at all "I'm going to have to ask you to leave your communicator, computer pad, and any electronic device here at reception. You can collect them on the way out."
    "But I might need them. If I've been asked to..."
    She cut him off. "Sorry sir. No one is too proceed past this point without full compliance with these regulations."
    He took a deep breath, let it out slowly. Clearly whatever was going on was big, much bigger than a politician getting cold feet about the Enterprise's first mission. And he wouldn't find out standing here in the lobby.

    Five minutes later, sans everything that had been in his pockets except his ID card, he was shown into a secure briefing room. It was packed. Mostly civilians, chattering nervously amongst themselves. The bulk of the rest were Military Authority, sitting quietly. Archer noticed with great interest that that their holsters were empty, and none of them looked happy.
    Glancing around he spotted a small group from his service, UESPA, including Director Forrest. The Director beckoned to him, gesturing to the single unoccupied chair near the back of the group. As Archer sat he asked his neighbours if they knew what was going on. They didn't.
    He was just leaning forward to ask Forrest when the lights dimmed. In the hush that followed the public address system came to life.
    "Ladies and Gentlemen, the President of The United Earth."
    Everyone sprang to their feet as President Chandraskar stepped onto the podium. Even before he had turned to face the audience the PA spoke again.
    "Ladies and Gentlemen, the Prime Minister of The United Earth".
    As PM Glover took her place, Archer's mind whirled. For the head of state and the head of government to be present, this must be of great importance. 'And to think that an hour ago all I was concerned about was whether we'd have enough cheese for a six month voyage!'

    "Be seated." the President said. "I realise you are all very busy, so I'll get to the point. This morning, at approximately 0600 hours, the chief engineer on United Earth One decided to run an unscheduled test, a static warp field test I think it's called, on the ships engines. Forty five minutes into the test, a series of explosions occurred throughout..."
    He was interrupted by sudden exclamations from about half the crowd. Archer recognized Lindel, head of the company that constructed United Earth One, leaping to his feet in shock. Questions and enquiries came so fast and loud that Archer was momentarily transported back to the landing pad and the crush of reporters.
    The President waited for silence, gesturing for those standing to sit. When order resumed he continued.
    "There can be no doubt that this was deliberate sabotage. Forensic investigators have discovered chemical residue from..." he consulted his notes "...from Composition Nine plastic explosive, at the damaged areas. C-9, that's military grade, isn't it?"
    The last remark was directed at General Kaplasky, the highest ranking member of the UE Military Authority present. She looked uncomfortable at the question. " Mister President, C-9 is used by the military, yes. But UEMA is not the only user." she was quick to add. "There are numerous uses in construction, mining, industry..."
    "Calm yourself General, I asked for informational purposes only. Mr Lindel, would you be so kind as to give me your professional opinion?"
    The President pointed a remote control to the large display screen at the front of the room. A schematic of United Earth One appeared, surrounded by the swirling lines used to visually represent subspace contours. Archer recognised the field dynamics of a static test: he'd ran six of them on the Enterprise in the last month.
    Lindel, a short, slightly chubby, balding man, stood. He looked uncomfortable to be the centre of attention. When asked by the President, he confirmed that this was, indeed, the standard field pattern for a static test.
    "And what would the effect be," The President asked gently, "if these six areas became damaged?"
    The display changed, flashing red lights at critical points.
    "Oh, the warp field would collapse, sir, but nothing too critical. I'd say we can have those systems repaired, or replaced, inside...well, a month at the most. Maybe two weeks, sir." He looked pleased with himself.
    The President nodded "Thank you Mr Lindel, you've been most informative. Oh, one last thing. I have been informed on this matter by my own people, but I would like your opinion. Could you tell us of the probable effect, if these explosions had occurred whilst United Earth One had been travelling faster than light?"
    Lindel thought about this for a moment. As the answer came he went very pale, eyes protruding, jaw sagging. "It would..." he stammered, "...the ship...ripped to shreds..."
    "Thank you Mr. Lindel, that will be all. So I think we can say, then, that this was not merely sabotage, but attempted assassination. As I'm sure you all know, in two days time I am due to travel to the Rexus system, to meet with the Vulcan Premier and finalise the details of our trade agreement. Had the explosions occurred in transit, as they were clearly planned to do, well..." He left it at that. No more needed to be said.
    Archer repressed a shudder at the implications. There were many opposed to the trade agreements, and of course anti alien groups like Terra Prime were always using violence to try and get their way, but the idea that explosives could be smuggled aboard the Presidential vessel was most disturbing. pretty sophisticated bombs too. They must have been fitted with sensors capable of detecting the warp field, and detonating after a pre-set period. It was only good fortune that they had been activated by the static test.

    He was considering the matter further when he realized that Director Forrest was speaking.
    "...identifying the culprits is a matter for the security services, whom I'm sure are most capable. I may, however, be able to offer a solution to your transportation problems. The Enterprise has completed all it's trials and been certified space worthy. It could be used.."
    "Now just a minute!" bawled General Kaplasky. "The Enterprise is a UEMA ship, not a..."
    "General!" The President interrupted. "Kindly allow Director Forrest to finish. Director, please continue."
    "Thank you sir. Now, as the General pointed out, Enterprise was developed by the UEMA. However, they have most generously placed that ship at UESPA's disposal, for purposes of deep space exploration and research." He looked pointedly at Kaplasky, who squirmed in her chair.
    "We recognise the value of exploration to the United Earth, and are happy to assist our colleagues in UESPA." The last few words were forced out between clenched teeth.
    Archer suppressed a smirk. Generosity and assistance had nothing to do with it. UEMA had designed the Declaration class as a pure warship. But the project went massively over budget. So UEMA had come cap in hand to UESPA for the finances and resources needed. As a result of the deal, UESPA had gotten the Enterprise, last of the production run.
    Enterprise was less well armed than her sister ships, although still carried far more firepower than Archer liked. He was an explorer, not a soldier. Still, many of the weapons ports had been replaced by sensor arrays. Weapons magazines had been refitted as state of the art laboratories. He was satisfied that the ship could do her job.
    Director Forrest gestured to him. "Allow me to introduce Captain Jonathan Archer, commanding officer of the Enterprise."
    Feeling slightly nervous, Archer stood. "Mr President. Madam Prime Minister."
    For the first time this meeting, Prime Minister Glover spoke. "Jonathan Archer? Made first contact with the Denobulans?"
    "Yes Ma'am."
    "Ah, I read the transcripts of your initial meeting. Seems the diplomat training paid off there. Good work, good work."
    "Thank you Ma'am".
    The President regarded him carefully. "So Captain, obviously there is a lot too arrange, but can you, in principle at least, transport me to the rendezvous?"
    Archer nodded slowly. "Mr President, if you need to get to Rexus, the Enterprise can get you there. There are some matters that need to be sorted out first, but we'll be ready for your departure in two days."
    "Excellent, excellent. Unless there are any objections, or alternatives...? No? Then we shall make the arrangements. Might I enquire though as to the nature of the matters that need to be resolved?"
    "Personnel matters, sir. As part of our scientific research mission, we are taking a group of civilian scientist with us. Most have already arrived, but our chief scientist, Professor Partridge, will be joining us tomorrow."
    PM Glover raised a surprised eyebrow. "The Professor Partridge? I can never make up my mind as to whether she's a good role model for young women or not. Still, she knows her stuff."
    Archer smiled "Yes Ma'am. We're lucky to have her on board."
    "I expect most of the male crew feel the same way."
    Archer said "Apart from Partridge, we have just a couple of UESPA people left to join us. However, under the terms of our agreement with the UEMA, we have to have some of their people in certain jobs. We've got gunnery crews, and Marines, ", his tone indicated disapproval, "but we still need a first officer and a chief helmsman. Admiral Kelley told me he'd found a suitable candidate for the first job, but the helmsman he'd lined up was badly injured in a car accident last week. So we're looking for a replacement..."
    "Oh, don't worry, Captain Archer." General Kaplasky smiled like a crocodile. "I've got just the fellow for you."
  2. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 5, 2007
    Between the candle and the flame
    Different yet plausible-and very well written.
  3. BrotherBenny

    BrotherBenny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 3, 2005
    An interesting beginning.

    I for one would like to see more. I do only have one issue. You should separate each line for who is speaking and not just do it in blocks, it makes it easier for people to read. Have a look at how others have done it.

    Other than that, let's see some more.
  4. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 11, 2008
    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    Thanks for the comments, let's see if I can take them on board!

    United Earth Military Authority Head Quarters, Texas, America.
    14th April 2151. Approximately the same time that Captain Archer arrived in Paris.

    Admiral Kelley stood at the window of his office, watching the latest batch of cadets struggling to march in step in the neighbouring academy. As if on cue the drill instructor bellowed, her voice clearly audible even at this distance, that they were the worst excuses for human beings ever to disgrace the uniform. Kelley chuckled. That particular insult had been used by instructors probably for as long as there had been instructors, but it still worked. It'd put the fear of God into him when he was a cadet.
    Flowers. He simply must remember to buy his wife flowers before going home tonight. Mustn't take her for granted. Too many military marriages going down the pan these days, with the person in the service neglecting their partner.
    What had got him thinking about flowers?
    Ah yes, his old drill sergeant. Seeing the cadets had reminded him. Had it really been a year since the funeral? Lovely wreaths. For a guy whose job had been to terrify, shout and insult, old Jellico had been well loved.
    "You knew Sergeant Jellico didn't you?" he asked, without turning round.

    "Ah, yes sir. He was my drill instructor the year before he retired."

    "What did you think of him?"

    A slight hesitation. "To be honest sir, at the time I hated his guts. Came this close to taking a section eleven and walking out the main gate. Looking back, though, I see what he was trying to do, so I'm glad I met him."

    Kelley nodded. Hindsight was a wonderful thing. He'd been tempted to take a section eleven discharge himself.
    He turned, and regarded the officer seated in front of his desk.
    Lieutenant Commander Maria Hernandez was his idea of an excellent officer. Career military, hard-working, decorated several times. A little young for her rank, maybe, perhaps lacking experience, but that would come to her in time.
    The boys in the PR department loved her. She looked like a recruitment poster in her smart black uniform. An attractive woman with sultry Latino features. A good figure too. Not voluptuous, but compact and athletic, muscular without being muscle bound.

    Kelley moved back to the desk and sat. "So have you considered the offer? I must stress that this is volunteer only."

    Hernandez nodded. "I must say sir that I'm not exactly wild about the idea. I'm military sir, I don't know about space exploration. And off the record, Admiral, the UESPA people, well, they don't exactly seem professional."

    Kelley nodded sadly. It was a common perception amongst the ranks of the UEMA that UESPA was a bunch of wide eyed dreamers with no grasp on reality. His own personal experience, which included six years as liason, was quite the opposite. But, when you get two organisations competing for government funding, these things occur.

    "Perhaps, Lieutenant Commander, these will sway your thoughts."
    He placed a small wooden box on the desk, and opened it. Hernandez's eyes widened as she saw the rank pins of full Commander. He let her cosider them for a few seconds.

    He said "I've spoken to UESPA Director Forrest, and here's the deal. You will be assigned to the Enterprise for one tour of duty, currently planned as two deep space missions, of five months duration each, plus two months back home repair and ressuply. That might change, however, in which case the matter will be up for review.
    "During that time, you will be considered part of the Enterprise crew, within the chain of command. Yes," he held up a hand to forestall any objection, "that does mean you will have to accept all legal UESPA orders."
    He leaned forward. "But here's the good part. In addition to your duties as chief gunnery officer, you will be acting as the ships Executive Officer."

    That got a reaction. Hernandez looked stunned. She sat back in her chair, silent for a moment.
    "That's.....very generous sir."

    "Generosity has nothing to do with it. Practicality does. At the end of your tour of duty you can request a transfer. I've spoken to the Joint Chiefs. Nobody is happy about the Enterprise situation, there have been few volunteers. But we need to keep a significant presence on that ship.
    "If you are willing to take the bullet on this one, spend a year on board, you'll get a lot of good will from the people upstairs. I can guarantee you right now that, if you still want it, your next post will be as XO on another Declaration class, one of ours. A pure combat vessell. That is what you wanted, isn't it?"

    Hernandez nodded eagerly. "Yes sir, it's been an ambition of mine since the Declaration was launched."

    Kelley stroked his chin thoughtfully. "One other thing. If, God forbid, United Earth were to find itself in armed conflict with another space faring power, then under the terms of our agreement with UESPA the Enterprise would revert to us, for the duration. If so, it would have a purely UEMA crew.
    "Under these circumstances, we would need to carefully consider who should best serve as Captain. Obviously there are many factors to take into account. Training, experience, seniority and so on.
    "But given that Enterprise differs so significantly from the rest of it's class, familiarity with those modifications would be a great boon to any potential candidate. In other words, if you know that ship, you've got a chance."

    He sat back, letting Hernandez digest his words. It was a big decision, he'd said his piece. Now it was up to her.

    Slowly, reverently, Hernandez reached across the desk for the insignia. She lifted the box and regarded it's contents silently for perhaps half a minute. Then, with a single nod, she put the box down and stood.

    "Admiral, I accept the posting." she said simply, before giving a crisp salute.

    Kelley stood and returned the salute before reaching across to shake her hand.
    "Excellent. I shall inform Director Forrest and Captain Archer shortly. Apparently they're in some sort of meeting right now. The Place de la Concorde. Must be good to have friends in high places.
    "Anyway, congratulations, Commander."

    "Thank you sir. " she said, before giving a slight smile. "I only hope I don't come to regret it!"

    Kelley smiled, and lit a cigar. "Travelling round star systems mapping planets and cataloguing wildlife. I think the only thing you'll regret is not taking enough books to stave off boredom!"

    Hernandez nodded "True enough sir. Honestly, what could possibly happen on a voyage like this?"
  5. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 5, 2007
    Between the candle and the flame
    What, indeed? *snicker*
  6. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 11, 2008
    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    Place de la Concorde, Paris, France.
    14th April, 2151.

    "Good speech, sir." said Lt. Moshiri as Captain Archer boarded the shuttle.

    Archer paused, then carefully sealed the hatch. "You saw it?"

    "Yes sir." Moshiri replied. There was a tightness around her jaw that suggested she was trying to keep a straight face. With a gesture to the communications display she added "It's been all over the news."

    Sinking into his seat, Archer suppressed a groan. He saw the need for public statements, but didn't much care to give them. "I suppose you recorded it?"

    "Oh, yes sir. And I took the liberty of contacting Enterprise, so everyone on-board could hear the good news." By this point she was barely able to keep from openly grinning.

    He twisted in his seat to look at her. Haleh Moshiri, an attractive, slightly plump young woman of Iranian descent, had been chief navigator on his last deep space mission. He'd pushed hard to ensure she was assigned to the Enterprise. Recently she'd completed her small craft proficiency training, and had volunteered to fly Archer about to get more experience.
    She also knew of Archer's aversion to the public spotlight, and found it very amusing.

    Whilst she completed the pre-flight, Archer took a deep breath and played the recording.

    Fortunately, no one in the press had heard of the assassination attempt. It seemed the reporters had simply gathered after noting the unusual volume of traffic at the governmental building. As such, they all appeared convinced by President Chandrasaker's announcement that his use of the Enterprise at such short notice was simply due to his desire to see the new ship in action.

    At that point the President had asked Archer to step forward. Feeling a little like Daniel entering the lion's den, he'd stepped up to the podium. By this point the assembled journalists had been treated to refreshments, and given a hastily prepared, but very convincing, press release. Their behaviour was notably more civilized than at the landing pad, and Archer had been able to deal with their questions to his own satisfaction.
    There were a few more questions, mostly about the oncoming trade agreement, which the President deftly handled. Afterwards Archer was ordered to return to his ship and ensure it was prepared for it's voyage. More details about the journey would follow.

    "Captain, the Enterprise." Moshiri said softly.

    Archer looked up, and smiled. He knew the job would be demanding when he took it, but the rewards were....glorious.

    Enterprise was beautiful. Her main body resembled a javelin, ready to be thrust to the stars. At first glance it seemed deceptively slender, but there was strength hidden within. There was something aesthetically pleasing over the domes and hemispheres (properly called 'blisters', although Archer thought that word implied disfigurement) decorating the outer surface. They added a softer, almost feminine aspect.
    Almost the last third of the hull was surrounded by the wide annular ring that made up the secondary hull. It was connected to the primary hull by three fins, one vertical, the others swept down and to the sides.
    Attached to the two lower fins lay the warp nacelles that would take the ship to speeds that seemed incomprehensible to most minds. Quiescent now, they still had an air of raw untold power amongst them.

    Whilst Moshiri contacted Enterprise for final landing clearance, her hands fluttered lightly over the controls. Some of the more expienced hot shot pilots liked to fly through the gap between the primary and secondary hulls. She was not yet comfortable enough to try that, but she did fly past what she knew was one of Archer's favourite sights.

    On all other Declaration class ships, an array of missile launchers lay along the dorsal surface. This weapons system was not designed for ship to ship combat. It had no place in defending the vessel.
    The military euphemistically described it's purpose as 'pacification of ground based threats'. Or, as Archer understood it, bombardment. Bombardment with a variety of warhead options, including nuclear.
    Whilst Enterprise was heavily armed, including nuclear tipped anti ship torpedoes, such a weapons system had no place on an exploration mission. And so it had been replaced.

    Large sensor arrays took up most of the space, but some clever designer had realised the value to the crew of a large, relatively open area. The observation dome was essentially a lozenge shaped structure of transparent aluminum, big enough for a couple of dozen people, more if they didn't mind squeezing in. An old fashioned, but still effective, optical telescope allowed stargazing. There was even room for a small bar near the back.
    In Archer's mind this said much about the mission. Quite apart from a place to relax, the obs. dome would make an excellent location for formal events. He fondly imagined it as the place where diplomatic relations with newly discovered species would begin, where trade agreements would be signed.

    Right now there was no one in the dome, except for a lone crewman cleaning the floor. He saw the shuttle and waved. Archer waved back.

    Clearance received, Moshiri brought the shuttle in for a soft landing on the pad. As soon as the locks were in place the pad retracted into the hull, and the double doors slid into place above them. Then came the soft hiss as air was pumped into the chamber.
    When the atmospheric pressure was high enough a second pair of double doors, located behind the shuttle, opened. The entire landing pad slid backwards on it's tracks, delivering the shuttle to it's designated debarkation area.

    Archer unfastened his safety belt, marvelling at the simple fact that he didn't start floating. Artificial gravity was a new development, his last command had rotating sections to simulate gravity, but not throughout the ship.

    "Thank you for the sight seeing tour, Lieutenant."

    "My pleasure sir."

    As he stepped from the shuttle a couple of crewmen rushed forward, saluting. One asked "Is it true, sir? About the President coming on-board?"

    There was a distinct lack of proper protocol in their behaviour, but Archer had never much cared for that sort of thing and let it slide. He nodded affirmation, adding "Guess he must have heard that this is the best ship in space!"

    Leaving the crewmen chattering excitedly he strode over to the nearest information terminal, and asked for the location of his chief engineer. It had been the President's express instruction that the fewer who knew about the assassination attempt the better, but as far as Archer was concerned his senior staff had a need to know.

    Having found his chief engineer to be, perhaps unsurprisingly, in main engineering, Archer set off to inform Commander Tucker of the news.
  7. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 5, 2007
    Between the candle and the flame
    Good transition sequence.
  8. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 11, 2008
    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    United Earth Military Authority Head Quarters, Texas, America.
    14th April 2151. Three hours after Hernandez accepted her posting.

    Commander Hernandez had not yet set foot on the Enterprise, but she was already beginning to regret volunteering for the post. There was no single cause for this, but rather a number of things.
    First, and the one she had predicted, was the nature of the changes made to the ship. Having taken the job she'd been given full details of the modifications that had turned a warship into an exploration vessel. As a gunnery officer of some distinction she was appalled by the removal of any of the weaponry. On an intellectual level she could see that the changes were not as bad as she had feared, but it still didn't sit right with her. Enterprise seemed....she struggled to think of the right word...emasculated.

    She had been going through the schematics carefully, checking for possible weapon blind spots, when she had been summoned by Admiral Kelley to a hastily convened meeting back at HQ. Here General Kaplasky had informed several high ranking officers, plus a few lower ranks with a specific need to know, of the sabotage and assassination attempt. Feeling sick to her stomach, Hernandez realized that her posting had just got a whole lot trickier.
    Well, there's no point complaining, she thought to herself, just a few hours ago you I was worried that boredom would be a big problem on the mission. Looks like that may no longer be a problem.

    After the briefing, General Kaplasky had approached her. She was interested in why a promising young officer would volunteer for such a posting. Several times she asked Hernandez if she wanted to reconsider. Hernandez got the impression that the General regarded anything to do with UESPA as a poison chalice, and wanted to protect her. After thanking the General for her concern, she explained that she had made a commitment, and was unwilling to back down.

    The General had digested this silently for a moment, then muttered simply "So be it."

    There was silence for a while, Kaplasky apparently lost in thought, and Hernandez unwilling to interrupt a superior officer. It was becoming slightly awkward when Kaplasky suddenly seemed to come back to life.

    "Well, I suppose I'd better introduce you to the young man I've selected to be the chief helm officer. Although, I think you may have worked together before."

    Kaplasky was right. Hernadez had served with Travis Mayweather on-board the Sun Tzu, a Neptune class Frigate. A lean, good looking young man of African American descent, Mayweather hailed from the Martian Colony. He was, Hernandez recalled, an excellent pilot with a superb grasp of spacial dynamics. He was also cocky to the point of arrogance.

    The last time she'd seen him, he'd just made full lieutenant. So it was surprising to see him with the insignia of an ensign. After Kaplasky had moved on, and they'd made some small talk of the 'hi, good to see you again, what have you been doing?' variety, she asked him about this.

    "Got into a fight." he said unrepentantly. "Ran into a bunch of squids whilst on shore leave last week". 'Squids' was the military's unflattering nickname for UESPA personnel. "I told 'em what I thought of them, there was a fight, I ended up in the slammer."

    Hernandez was confused. "Had they insulted you, or UEMA, or..."


    "So you just saw a group of UESPA's, insulted them because....?"

    "Because I don't like 'em much."

    "Because you don't like them much, right." She began to have doubts about his suitability for this mission. "And then they started the fight, and you..."

    He interrupted. "No, Ma'am. After I started tellin' them what I thought of them, they tried to leave. But I stopped 'em."

    Hernandez glanced after Kaplasky, who was now deep in conversation with the head of Internal Security. "How many were there? she asked wearily.

    "About five, six."

    "So let's get this straight. You picked a fight with at least five UESPA's, simply because you don't like them much?"

    "Yes Ma'am."

    "You realize that that is a court martial offence?" she said.

    "Yes ma'am. But the General," he jerked his head towards Kaplasky, "said she would drop all charges if I accept a demotion and posting aboard the Enterprise. Seems like the best offer I'm going to get. So here I am."

    Hernandez's shoulders slumped. Things were not getting easier. "You do realize, Ensign, that the Enterprise is under the command of UESPA? That the majority of her crew are from that service, and that you will be in their company for months at a time? You do know that, don't you?"

    Mayweather cracked his knuckles, and grinned broadly. There was a worryingly enthusiastic look in his eyes. "Oh yeah. I know."
  9. Graywand2

    Graywand2 Commander Red Shirt

    Dec 28, 2007
    This is good, but I prefer the Enterprise that Rick and Bran came up with.
  10. BrotherBenny

    BrotherBenny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 3, 2005
    I have to say I'm beginning to agree. It started off well but is now beginning to strain credibility a little, but I'm interested to see where it goes.
  11. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 5, 2007
    Between the candle and the flame
    Don't know Rick and Bran-and i like this just fine. Interested in seeing how it develops.
  12. Graywand2

    Graywand2 Commander Red Shirt

    Dec 28, 2007
    Rick Berman and Brannon Braga. T
  13. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 5, 2007
    Between the candle and the flame
    *slaps head*:alienblush:
  14. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 11, 2008
    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    Thanks for your comments so far, it's nice to know that some one's taking an interest!

    This is my first real attempt at fan fic, so any constructive criticism is greatly received.
    I'd certainly appreciate it, Xeris, if you could point out what parts strain credulity. Whilst I've got a general idea of the plot I'm also winging a lot of it, so I should imagine that a lot of stuff that makes sense in my head might need a bit more explanation when written down.
    The same goes for any oddities or oversights.

    Thanks again.
  15. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 11, 2008
    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    UES Enterprise. Earth Orbit.
    15th April 2151.

    "How's it going, Trip?" Archer called out as he entered main Engineering. All around crewmen and technical specialists hustled and bustled to ensure all was ready for tomorrow's mission.

    "Keep your britches on, cap'n." The speaker had a strong accent, redolent of America's Deep South, and pronounced it as 'Key-up yoor brie-chees on, cap-en."

    Charles Tucker the third, known to friends as Trip, hailed from Texas. His accent reflected his home, with hints of Florida, where his family had relocated when he was eight. With his easy going manner and unhurried ways, many who talked to him were left with the impression that he was a simple man, not stupid, but one whose thoughts rarely strayed from the here and now.

    Such an impression was misleading. As a child Trip had excelled at math and science. For his tenth birthday his mother had bought him a biography of Zephram Cochrane. From that moment on he wanted nothing more than to work with engines, to make ships go faster and further than ever before.

    With his good grades at school he won a scholarship to Cambridge University, studying high energy physics and warp field mechanics. One of his lecturers suggested he contact UESPA. Trip had originally been thinking of joining one of the warp engine manufacturers upon graduation, but the idea of actually serving on board a working space ship was exciting. He agreed to a six year term with UESPA in return for funding of his post grad studies.

    When Trip finally joined UESPA, it was with a Doctorate in physics to his name, plus co-authorship of a highly regarded paper on subspace flow dynamics.

    After several years in research and development, he transferred to the exploration division, and had never looked back. On his first mission he'd made friends with the first officer, Jonathan Archer, who was impressed by Trip's expertise.

    Trip climbed lithely down from the upper walkway, and handed Archer a pad. "The latest static field test. Two and a half hours, this one."

    Archer looked it over for appearances sake, but both men knew that was only a formality. The tests were not being run to ensure the suitability of the engines, they were being run to see if there were any bombs on board, like those on United Earth One.

    Trip leaned closer. "Seriously John, if we keep runnin' static, we're just goin' to burn out the engines."

    Archer nodded. "All right, I think we've got to assume then that there are no bombs on board. I've talked to Lt. Reed, his marines will provide security at all critical points, to stop any sabotage attempts. I'll have to station a couple in here though.". He gestured around, encompassing the Engineering section.

    "Can't say I'm happy about that, cap'n. Apart from anything else, there's going to be questions from the crew. We wouldn't normally have such tight security round here. People'll notice."

    "We've got the President coming aboard, Trip, plus his retinue. And, I've just been informed, a group of Vulcan diplomats from their embassy. I'd say a bit more security wouldn't seem that out of place, would it?"

    "Suppose not cap'n. I still don't like it."

    "I'm not too keen myself."

    Trip sighed. "Any word on when the last of the crew get here?"

    Archer glanced at his watch "They should be setting off soon."

    UESPA Aerospace Terminal Four. Szechuan Province. China.
    15th April, 2151.

    Hernandez shuffled in the hard plastic seat, trying to find a comfortable position. Beside her Mayweather sat silently, glaring at the UESPA people at the other end of the departure lounge. When she and Mayweather had arrived, they had been greeted politely by a pretty Japanese woman called Hoshi Sato, a Lt. in charge of the ships communications systems.

    There was a lingering awkwardness in the air, that Mayweather's bluntness didn't improve. He never said anything or did anything overtly unpleasant, but after a few moments the UESPAs were clearly uncomfortable, and most were instinctively moving back.

    "Would you care to join us in a game of poker?" Hoshi had asked. Clearly she was working hard to break the ice. "I'm not very good, but the guys are teaching me how to play."

    Hernandez had a sudden image of Mayweather getting into a brawl over a poker game. "We can't play."she said quickly, stressing the 'we'. "Regulations forbid it whilst on duty."

    Hoshi recoiled as if slapped. Then she said, very deliberately, "As do ours, Ma'am. We, however, are not on duty, and will not be until after our return to the Enterprise. Now, if you will excuse me..."

    Damn it! Hernandez thought. I spoke too harshly. Now everyone here thinks I'm some rule bound martinet. And that's the impression that's going to carry around Enterprise within half an hour of our arrival.

    With no one to talk to, save the uncommunicative Mayweather, she kept her mind busy by keeping track of the poker game. Two things became apparent.

    One, most obviously, Hoshi Sato was losing. Losing badly.

    Two, and much more difficult to notice, she seemed to be losing deliberately.


    All her losses were big ones, major ones, ones that would stick in the memory. Her wins, when they came, were small, unobtrusive. She always had enough in front of her to ensure she would stay in the game, but she never won big.
    From her vantage point Hernandez could see at least two occasions when Hoshi folded despite having an excellent hand.
    That was curious behaviour, and Hernandez resolved to ask the comms officer about it later.

    Intent on the game, she was unaware of the arrival of a newcomer until she saw the UESPAs looking to the door excitedly. Several started rooting through their bags, pulling out books.

    Looking round, Hernandez saw the reason for the fuss, at the same time that Mayweather gave a low appreciative whistle.

    Some one in the media had once said that if you were trying to prove false the idea that scientists were all boring old men, then Professor Polly Partridge was that proof given form. Hernandez thought that she had the sort of figure men like, all legs and curves and unnecessarily large bumps. With her blonde hair, blue eyes and wide smile, she didn't at all fit the stereotype of what her fellow Brits refer to as a 'boffin'.

    Instead of the lab coat that Hernandez imagined all scientists to wear constantly (she knew that was a silly idea, but the image persisted) Partridge was attired in a...garment. Hernandez couldn't think of any other term. It was in one piece, covering everything below the neck, but was so snug it left precious little to the imagination. It was black, supple, synthetic, and it glistened wetly as the light caught it. Hernandez found herself glancing out of the window to see if it was raining.

    Within seconds Partridge was surrounded by the UESPA people, holding out books to be autographed, and treating her like some sort of movie star. She seemed absolutely delighted with the attention, asking for names so she could personalise the dedications, laughing and joking, generally getting on with people.

    "Professor Partridge? I'm Hoshi Sato, we spoke on the comms earlier? It's a pleasure to finally meet you."

    "Pleased to meet you."

    "I have to ask, that outfit, that's not a Diva Matrix original is it?"

    "Oh yes, I knew Diva back in uni. She still had her real name, and original accent then!" Partridge giggled. Then her gaze fell upon Hernandez and Mayweather. Instantly her demeanour changed, becoming quieter, more subdued.

    Hoshi gestured to the two military personnel. "Our first officer, Commander Hernandez, and Ensign Mayweather, our helm officer."

    "Commander, Ensign." The Professor's tone was polite, but guarded.

    "Professor." Hernandez stood to greet her. "It' honour to meet you."

    "Yes, it is." There was a hint of a smile as Partridge replied.

    This woman does not care for the military, Hernandez realised, but is too polite to openly show it.
    Another matter for later enquiry.

    "Shuttle for Enterprise now boarding at gate two." the tannoy boomed, "Now boarding at gate two."

    Hernandez clapped her hands for attention. "We better get going. All right people, grab your gear, let's move!"

    So, she thought, I've alienated the UESPA people, most of the UEMA's don't want to be here, and the top civilian scientist only tolerates my presence because of the social niceties. At least there's no one else on-board I can offend, upset or....
    She closed her eyes, and groaned. The politicians. Yeah, I still got plenty of time to get in their bad books. This mission just gets better and better.
    Last edited: May 6, 2009
  16. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 5, 2007
    Between the candle and the flame
    Interesting dynamic you are building between the "factions". I expect it should lead to no end of trouble.
  17. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Apr 18, 2004
    The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
    Badger, I really like the way you have this set up. Everything about this feels right - like a natural mid-step between our present and the 'Trek' future. It seems right that different factions would be at odds the way they are here. I also like the way you have the catsuited bombshell, yet have acknowledged and effectively diffused in within your story. Also, your style is also improving with each post. :)
  18. Alpha Romeo

    Alpha Romeo Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 11, 2003
    Whats this "whilst" crap?

    Other than that, good stuff!
  19. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 29, 2008
    Go ahead, caller. I'm listening...
    Hey! I say that on occasion!

    It's a part of formal speech, and not wholly out of character for a well-educated and extremely straight-laced military officer. I'll admit it did catch my attention, but I immediately thought, "oh, so she's like that," and went on reading.

    I like what you've got going here, The Badger. Keep it up. :bolian:
  20. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 11, 2008
    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    Sorry, that's just how I speak!
    It's a good point though. As a Brit I tend to write using British styles and idioms. If something does seem unnatural or out of place, be sure to let me know. It's the only way I will improve!