It’s a Bug Eat Bug World

By Hoshissis

Rating: PG-13

Genres: adventure drama episode rewrites

Keywords: planetary exploration

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Chapter 1

Rating: PG13
Disclaimer: Paramount owns Enterprise
Summary: The crew discover their first Minshara-Class planet but life isn’t as tranquil on the surface as appearances would first seem.

A/N This is a take on the forth episode in Season One, Strange New World. It corporates some of the dialogue from the episode in the first few chapters, but the storyline is entirely different from what aired. I’ve based it around another favourite episode of mine from the X-Files, “Darkness Falls”. I thought the relationship between Trip and T’Pol was very like Mulder and Scully, which is why I thought that episode would tie in perfectly.



Ethan looked up from tucking into his morning breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon. “Jeez, Cutler, how can you eat that crap?”

“It’s healthier than that,” Liz replied, pulling a face at his, and the majority of the crew’s preferred choice of morning meal.

“At least this tastes like something,” answered Ethan, as he watched her place another spoonful of bland looking broth into her mouth.

“I guess it takes a more discriminating palate to appreciate Vulcan cuisine.”

Before Ethan could come back with another retort, a soft yellow glow began to pan in through the windows of the mess hall. Enterprise had just pulled into the orbit of a lush, new, blue-green planet. Heads popped up from the crew as they turned to view this beautiful new vision and a sense of excitement began to fill the air.

“I thought we were heading for that nebula…” puzzled Ethan, as he stood up and walked over to the window.

“Looked like something more interesting piqued his interest,” smiled Liz Cutler, as she joined him to study the new world below. “I wonder if someone lives down there… It doesn’t look like there are any cities, industries, satellites …”

“There’s a lot of plant life … might be an oxygen atmosphere … looks like you might soon get a chance of some shore leave. I mean bugs are your speciality aren’t they?”

“Entomology,” corrected Liz, too interested in the planet below to react to Ethan’s teasing remark.

“Well, where there’s plant life, there’s bound to be bugs,” he smiled, all-be-it a slightly envious smile. Whilst he also served within the scientific division of Enterprise, he didn’t have the technical expertise that Liz had in a specialised subject, so his presence on any future away missions wouldn’t be as secure or guaranteed as Liz’s would.

“Behave yourself, and I’ll throw in a good word for you,” she replied playfully. Ethan threw her a look and rolled his eyes, before they both turned back once more to the beautiful spectacle orbiting below. The mess hall suddenly grew quiet as the minds of crewmembers pondered the possibilities of what new discoveries were waiting to be unearthed.

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Chapter One

Just like the Mess hall and probably the rest of the ship, all of the command crew were gathered together on the bridge at their various stations, while the view screen showed off the lush green planet below. Today was a momentous occasion as this new world was the first one that they had encountered so far on their mission, which resembled anything like home.

Captain Jonathan Archer sat perched on the edge of his chair. Today had been a long time coming and he was just as eager as the rest of them to set foot on this brand new world and begin exploring. This was what their mission was all about. It had been his dream from the first time he saw the toy model of his dad’s Warp Five engine fly, and he’d promised himself, on his father’s sudden demise, that he would make it a reality. “This one’s for you, Dad,” he thought as he anxiously waited for the reports from his crew.

Sub Commander T’Pol, the ship’s beautiful Vulcan Science Officer, peered into her scanner and began detailing her report in a dry monotone, without any hint of emotion and unruffled by all the excitement, as her culture dictated. “…seventeen percent oxygen, eighty-one percent nitrogen.”

“Sounds like home,” interrupted Commander Charles Tucker III, Trip for short, the ships Chief Engineer. He shared a look of excitement with his best friend, Captain Archer. Trip had never stepped foot on a new planet before and was just as anxious as the rest of them to begin exploring. Normally, on missions like this one, his job would require him to remain in engineering making sure their Warp Five engine remained in tip top shape whilst the scientists carried out the exploration and discovery side, but Trip knew his best friend wouldn’t leave him on board missing out whilst they had all the fun.

“Any people?” asked Archer.

“The planet supports a diverse ecology,” answered T’Pol. “My readings show signs of various ruins that suggest there may once have been a civilisation, but I can’t substantiate how long ago that may have been. At present, my scanner shows no signs of humanoid life.”

Despite his eagerness to begin exploring, Archer tried to instil a bit of caution in his approach. After all, he did have a crew to protect and it wouldn’t look good to get them killed on their very first mission. Turning to Lieutenant Malcolm Reed, their English Armoury Officer, he asked. “Scan for marker buoys, beacons, man-made satellites …”

“None within range, Sir”, he answered, smiling. “Looks like it’s been a while since anyone’s planted a flag there.”

With an encouraging look, Archer turned to Trip. “Prep a shuttlepod, Mister Tucker”, he said with a smile.

Pleased that his friend hadn’t let him down, Trip turned and walked off towards the nearest turbo lift, whilst Archer turned back round to Ensign Mayweather, their handsome young helmsman. “I like the look of the Northern continent … see if you can find a good place to set down.”

“Yes, sir”, replied a jubilant, upbeat Travis Mayweather, jumping up to join Commander Tucker at the lift.

“Captain,” said T’Pol, in a calm, direct tone of voice. “There are a number of protocols you may want to consider.”

Archer rolled his eyes and settled back for the next chapter in ‘1001 Steps on How Not Blow up the Galaxy”. “Dare I ask?” he thought, knowing just what to expect from this stoic species of logic, who had a long history with humans of throwing the proverbial dampener on the fire. “Protocols?”

“Vulcan ships would begin by sending down automated probes to collect more detailed scans,” stated T’Pol. “If the planet proved to be Minshara-Class, we’d then conduct a geophysical survey from orbit.”

“Minshara-Class?” asked Mayweather, not quite understanding the term.

“Suitable for humanoid life,” explained Hoshi, the ship’s young communications officer who could speak languages by the dozen.

“How long would all that take?” asked Captain Archer.

“Six or seven days,” replied T’Pol.

“You expect us to sit up here for a week while probes have all the fun?” exclaimed Trip, impatiently. Along with Captain Archer, he had first hand experience with Vulcans dragging things out, which he put down to them seeing humans as babies taking their first steps into the unknown. So they were reluctant to let go of their leash.

“This planet has been here for a long time …” replied T’Pol dryly, as she looked back at him, in what he regarded to be an arrogant and condescending manner. “It will still be here in seven days.”

“Sir?” pleaded Trip, looking at Archer for support.

Archer acknowledged this with a slight nod of his head. “Don’t worry my friend. I’m not going to let them do this to us again.” Looking back at T’Pol, “I understand you’ve got a more … cautious approach … but we didn’t come out here to tiptoe around. Trip … get the pod ready.”

Trip smiled, gave back a mock salute, and then closed the turbo lift down.

“Sub-Commander, I’d like you to put together the survey team …” asked Captain Archer, with a slight smirk. “I assume that’s not a violation of protocol.”

T’Pol acknowledged this order with a wary look. In her opinion he was very naïve and typically human in refusing to listen to her advice. She was assigned to this crew by the Vulcan High Command to watch over her human counterparts and guide them whilst they undertook their first steps into the unknown. His constant dismissal of her counsel and his desire to undertake foolish endeavours without following official modus operandi was making her task extremely difficult indeed.

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Comments:

Distracted
Sounds good to me!
Hoshissis
Don't worry. I was planning on doing an 'additional scene', so to speak, on how they are both coping afterwards and make that a story in itself.
blackn'blue
You can't leave it like this. You have got to tell us about the after shocks. How did they both deal with this? What was the effect on their relationship? C'mon. Give it up.
Distracted
OOO! Scary! Like one of those stories you tell at camp by the fire. I can't wait to see how you get them out of this.
Blackn'blue
Shades of Hitchcock! Beautiful :)
Dinah
You have a very interesting situation set up here. I hope you'll be posting the next chapter soon. I'm enjoying your story very much.
Rigil, I can see a problem, but that's not the way to resolve it. One can set a sitemap.txt and/or robots.txt file - Google will find it, index ONLY links inside it and never come back until sitemap.txt changes (you can also tell it how often it does change). Or one can serve stubs of pages to googlebot instead of full pages (smaller - less bandwidth usage). There are other ways too, but I guess comment field is probably not a good place to hold such conversations :p Sorry about that. ammarmar@wp.pl - if you want to contact me (that goes to TriSilk people, too - I'll be glad to help if I can) :)
Rigil Kent
There was a problem with Google eating up [i]massive[/i] amounts of bandwidth (culminating in the site exceeding its bandwidth allocation for the month much, much earlier than normal) that led the TriSilk people inserting that bit of code...
marc
As another small tech note, this line in HTML: meta name="googlebot" content="noindex" ...is stupid. It means that no one will ever be able to find this story (and other) using Google. Don't we want other people find (and share) our joy? :)
marc
Rigil is saying about a general problem with this site - a lack of encoding indicator in HTML code (should be ISO-8859-1) which makes all apostrophes sometimes display as question marks (or boxes in my case) in a web browser. Basic stuff - should be resolved by techs. BTW - I really enjoy the story - I strongly believe that Season 1 makes the best stories - about two people learning to understand each other.
Rigil Kent
At least there weren't snakes. *shudders*
blackn'blue
I hatre spiders. I hate em, I hate em, I hate em.
Distracted
And the plot thickens... It's been so long since I saw this episode that I can't tell when you're quoting the episode and when the dialogue's original, but it's blending well. A few typos "bugged" me, though. You should bug your beta about that. ;)
hylndlas
I get what RK is talking about....I see it too. Every time there is suppose to be an quotation mark or an apostrophe there is this weird question mark symbol it's bold and the border is black while the ? is white. This isn't the first fic I have seen this on. It's something I've been meaning to ask about because I find it makes the fic very hard to read.
blackn'blue
Now I am getting antsy (no pun intended). Hurry up with the next one please.
Distracted
All the introductions seemed odd, but this would be a good fic for an Enterprise-naive audience. I liked Archer's justification for going off half-cocked, even though I still think the idea of setting foot on a completely unknown planet without EV suits to be the ultimate in irresponsibility. That's Trek for ya, though. ;)
Hoshissis
Not sure what you mean, Rigil? There are quotation marks and apostraphes... I\'ve only inserted question marks when the speaker was asking a question. Sorry if I\'m being dense but its late...:s
Rigil Kent
What's up with the question marks instead of quotation marks or apostrophes? Looking forward to more...
Linda
I like revisiting the fresh, exciting, exploration attitude of early in the series. The yellow glow when approaching the planet was a nice background touch. These touches flesh out the story and add interest. More please! And I liked the conflict between Human eagerness and Vulcan caution you bring back from that first year, in the dialog between Archer and T'Pol. I am looking forward to your development of this story.
alba
[b][/b]Enjoyed it very much.

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