Avenge Thyself

By ginamr

Rating: PG-13

Genres: adventure au drama general romance virtual season

Keywords:

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Star Trek: The Continuing Voyages of the Enterprise A Virtual Season 6 Series
By Ginamr

Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: Only new characters and plots are mine. The original characters belong to Paramount. I receive no monetary reward for my work; my only reward is the joy of creating.

Author's Note:

I know I keep changing which canon details I'm including. I've decided for certain to throw out the fact from TATV that Trip and T'Pol ended their romantic relationship after Terra Prime as well as the fact that Trip dies in TATV. So this is your warning: what you're about to read might throw some canon you've been shown by B & B out the window. Also, this particular story is a lot from Hoshi's point of view, but its still T'n'T Friendly. Also, an interesting note: Uhlan is equivalent to the Starfleet rank of crewman.

 


Last Time on Star Trek: Enterprise...Deceit

6.02-Avenge Thyself

Enterprise is sent to investigate when Starfleet loses contact with Sahara Colony only to find themselves victim to old enemies seeking vengeance. Archer and Trip work to stop the ship from being invaded while T'Pol, Travis, and Hoshi struggle to survive after the Shuttlepod crashes.

 


Romulan Ship, Praetal-CO's Quarters
5th day of D'Ruh, Year of the Set'leth-1332 hours

Commander Dhivael frowned as he read through his new orders. He was to bring the Earth ship back to Romulus intact, but he would need to find his own way of doing so as no other ships could be spared for the time being. Sub-Commander Lai's voice sounded over the COM at that precise moment, interrupting the Commander's thoughts.

Bridge to Commander Dhivael.

Dhivael pressed the button on the COM panel. What is it, Sub-Commander? Dhivael asked, the frustration apparent in his voice.

Sir, long-range sensors are picking up two ships only a half-parsec from the Dakar Perimeter, Lai reported.

Dhivael froze. Activate the cloak and raise our alert status to level 2. Prepare to attack.

He then cut the com and exited his quarters, headed for the bridge.

 


Romulan Ship, Praetal-Bridge
5th day of D'Ruh, Year of the Set'leth-1347 hours

Commander Dhivael turned toward Sub-Lieutenant N'alae, his expression unreadable. "Damage report?"

N'alae scanned the readings on the console, her gray eyes flickering between the different reports coming in. "The first vessel has been heavily damaged, Commander. Their life support functions are nearly gone and they have no visible means of defense or escape. The other vessel has taken damage as well, though not nearly as substantial as that of the first vessel."

Dhivael nodded. "And our systems?"

"The cloak is still functional," she offered. "There is minor damage to the port airlocks."

"Lucky shots," Lai muttered.

At the Communications Station, Centurion Jaeih's brow furrowed as she noted the incoming message. "They're attempting to contact us, sir," she reported.

Dhivael paused before nodding. "Put them through, Centurion."

"But, sir-" Sub Commander Lai protested.

Dhivael turned, fixing the young man a stern look before turning toward the young woman. "Put them through, Jaeih," he repeated.

Jaeih followed the order without hesitation. "Audio only, sir," she notified him.

Dhivael nodded. "Yes, yes. Just put it through."

Moments later, a male voice crackled through the speakers and out of the corner of his eye, he could see Jaeih attempting to remove some of the static.

Th...Cap...Es...Ikk...ip...Arinthe...repeat, this is Captain Esilia of the Ikaaran ship, Arinthe. Why are you attacking this Illyrian vessel?

Dhivael paused. Ikaaran and Illyrian vessels, this is the Rihannsu vessel, Kesik. You have violated our space. Prepare to be boarded. Do not attempt to block your airlocks or we will destroy your ship.

There were several moments of silence before a reply crackled through. Understood.

"Disengage the cloak and our weapons," Dhivael ordered. He then turned to the helmsman. "Dock us with the Illyrian ship, Uhlan Vaebn."

Vaebn nodded, his fingers gliding over the controls on the console as he followed the order. Out of the corner of his eye, Dhivael saw Lai stiffen and sensed the man's protests coming.

"Sir, this is ludicrous!" Lai exclaimed. "To spare these ships would be cowardly! I-"

Dhivael stood abruptly and strode angrily toward the young officer until they were mere inches apart. Dhivael towered over the younger man by nearly a foot, but Lai's resolution didn't waver.

"Do you want to spend the rest of this mission and the journey home in the Brig, Centurion?" Dhivael sneered. "Because I can assure you that there is plenty of room for you." At this, Lai backed down, though he didn't appear pleased at all with Dhivael's decision to spare the ships. "Centurion Jaeih, Sub-Commander Lai...you're with me. N'alae, prepare a boarding party."

N'alae nodded and promptly entered the lift, followed by the others.

 


Illyrian Ship, K'Tal-Command Center
5th day of D'Ruh, Year of the Set'leth-1347 hours

The moment the Illyrian captain had mentioned Archer and Enterprise, Dhivael had recalled with clarity the damage that had been inflicted on the Empire's pride of fleet, the Kesik. Radaik's foolish pursuit of the vessel and captain in the name of vengeance had ensured that the Kesik was sent to the scrap yard, damaged beyond repair.

Dhivael remained silent for a moment before replying, "You are in need of warp coils, are you not? If you assist us, we can provide you with everything that you will need to board Archer's ship in addition to your warp coils."

Captain Roshan paused, the ends of his brown hair tickling his neck. He was unsure if it was wise to be negotiating with their enemies. The incident with the Humans had made him wary of strangers promising gifts of supplies. "What do you seek in return for the warp coils and supplies?" Roshan asked, watching the Captain's reaction closely.

Dhivael maintained eye contact and forced a patient expression onto his face. "The only thing that we ask is for you to help us subdue our enemy so that we might learn more about them. The lives of my people depend on it. We will be cloaked nearby should you require additional assistance."

Roshan stiffened, as Dhivael knew that he would. "My only concern is with you keeping your word and escort us out of your space without attacking us." Roshan asked.

Dhivael's brow furrowed. "You have my word as an honor-bound soldier and leader, Captain Roshan. I guarantee you that I am a man of my word."

Roshan grimaced. "Archer guaranteed that he was a man of his word and look where trusting him got me," he said, gesturing at his ship which was visible out the far porthole.

"We have a common enemy," Dhivael explained. "We would have a greater chance of avenging ourselves upon him if we were to work together."

Roshan hesitated. "I will trust you to keep your word, then...if for no other reason than to ensure our defeat of Archer and a possible future alliance to protect ourselves against the Human threat."

Dhivael smiled and inclined his head. "Very good. I will send several of my engineers to deliver the warp coils and to help with any of the necessary modifications."

Roshan nodded. "I thank you, Captain, for your understanding as well as your assistance," he said before exiting the room.

After the doors had closed, Dhivael leaned back in the chair with a smile upon his face. That, he thought, was almost too easy.

 


Captain's Starlog
February 10th, 2156-0912 hours

About three weeks ago, Starfleet lost contact with our Sahara Colony on Pyrix VI. Their last transmission was garbled and wasn't very informative. We should be arriving at the planet within the hour to investigate.

 


Enterprise-Bridge
February 10th, 2156-1411 hours

Archer stepped from his ready room onto the bridge with his hands tucked behind his back. On the viewer was a planet, which appeared to be very similar to Earth. Unfortunately the majority of the planet was blocked from view. "Report?"

"There's a debris field blocking our sensors, sir," Reed said with a frown.

T'Pol glanced down at her console entering several commands. "The debris is composed of a barium alloy that is creating false sensor readings."

Archer's brow furrowed. "Like light rebounding off of a mirror."

She arched her eyebrows. "An accurate description." Pausing for a moment, she continued. "The debris field is too dense for a ship of Enterprise's size. However, a shuttlepod may be able to maneuver through the field and procure more accurate scans of the planet."

He stared at the screen for several moments, appearing to be deep in thought. "Is there any way that we could adjust the sensors to compensate?"

Inclining her head, she replied, "Yes, but it would take several hours and even then, I can not guarantee that our attempts will be successful. Sending a shuttle is the more logical course of action."

Archer paused. "Would you need to make any modifications to the shuttlepod's sensors?" he asked.

Again, T'Pol looked down at her console, making the calculations. "The shuttlepod's sensors would require only minimal adjustment."

Archer nodded. "Good. You're going to need Travis at the helm. Hoshi can go with you to set up a link to the ship's computer in order to store their most recent logs. Maybe those can give us some clue as to what exactly happened here."

T'Pol inclined her head then glanced at Mayweather and Sato in turn. "Ensigns."

Mayweather stood and followed T'Pol. Hoshi entered the lift right behind them.

"I want a report every hour on the hour," Archer added.

"Yes, Captain," T'Pol replied.

 


Shuttlepod One-Debris Field
February 10th, 2156-1502 hours

Hoshi sat back in her chair and stared at the debris field as she pondered the Sahara Colony's last mysterious transmission. She'd worked with Reed and T'Pol over the last few days to remove the interference, but with no success.

However, she had been able to discover the sound of weapons fire in the background of the message, leading her and the others to believe that someone had attacked the colony. But it was only speculation as the fire could have been part of a colonial mutiny.

Suddenly, the steady beep of the proximity alarm rang through the cabin. The noise was gone within moments and she found herself watching the debris they were attempting to slink through with a sharper eye.

"We're approaching the far edge of the debris field," Mayweather reported.

T'Pol nodded in confirmation. "Sensor readings are becoming more precise, but perhaps the readings would be clearer if we were inside the stratosphere. The debris is still affecting our long range sensors." Her hands raced over the controls. "Move us toward the planetoid, Mr. Mayweather, and place us in standard orbit."

Long moments later, Mayweather looked up from the console. "We should be in range now, ma'am."

Hoshi's gaze returned to the console in front of her and she nodded in confirmation. "Yes, but our sensors still can't provide accurate enough readings to determine the colony's status." Pausing, she glanced over the readings, looking for a weakness in the outer atmospheric field.

Suddenly, the shuttle tilted violently and creaked ominously. T'Pol was thrown to one side, her elbow colliding with the edge of the console. Hoshi nearly banged her head into the console in front of her, but she gripped the edge of the console just in time to prevent it.

"What was that?" Hoshi asked, frowning.

The shuttle pitched forward and T'Pol's gaze slid immediately to the console in front of her, her brows furrowing slightly. "There is an unidentified vessel off our starboard bow. It would appear they are attacking us." She turned to Mayweather. "Bring us about, Ensign. Set an intercept course for Enterprise."

Mayweather nodded and his fingers danced over the controls. "Coming about, ma'am."

Hoshi's eyes narrowed thoughtfully. "Did we enter claimed space?" she asked.

T'Pol shook her head. "Not that I am aware of. I am not familiar with the vessel and have not come across any record of its configuration in the database."

Another tremor ran through the little craft and Hoshi's stomach knotted in fear. She felt as though she was freefalling from a high cliff, speeding toward the endless emptiness beneath her. Regaining her composure, she focused on the readouts before her.

"One more hit and we'll lose the engines," she reported.

Hoshi turned and noted the contemplative expression on T'Pol's face. Hoshi had sent a mayday to Enterprise, but wasn't even sure if it had gotten through.

"Take us down to the planet's surface," T'Pol instructed. "We will land until the vessel has left orbit."

The shuttle trembled violently, pitching sharply to the left. Hoshi coughed from the thick smoke that she drew in with each breath, and her eyes widened as she scanned the readouts. Her pulse and breathing increased as she saw the flashing red on the diagram that indicated that their engines were down. Her mouth went dry and one thought ran through her mind: We're going to die.

"The engines are offline," Hoshi reported in a raspy voice. "We still have the stabilizers, but I doubt they'll be very helpful without the thrusters."

There was a tense pause as alarms beeped loudly in the background. A loud rushing sound filled her ears as she gazed at the monitors in horror, watching the ground speeding toward them.

 


Enterprise-Bridge
February 10th, 2156-1510 hours

Ensign José Rodriguez frowned, his fingers flying over the controls of the Comm station. "Sir, the shuttlepod just sent a distress signal. They're under heavy fire."

"Bring us about, Ensign MacNally," he said without pause.

Alexis nodded. "Aye, sir," the auburn-haired Scot replied, sliding her fingers over the controls.

Archer turned to Reed. "Lieutenant?"

Reed frowned. "I don't recognize the ...Captain, the shuttlepod is going down!" he reported.

Archer's gaze swung back to the viewer, which showed the alien vessel still weaving after the shuttlepod like a predator.

"Lock phase cannons," Archer ordered. "Let's see if we can't get their attention."

 


Shuttlepod One
February 10th, 2156-1512 hours

"The vessel has broken off pursuit," T'Pol reported, her voice sounding far-off. "But I am unable to bring the engines back online."

Hoshi felt the fear coursing through her veins, consuming her like a bad dream. She'd never even considered that she could die in a shuttlepod. It had always seemed so much safer than the transporter. If she survived this - though that seemed doubtful now - she didn't plan on riding in a shuttlepod again for a very long time.

"Brace for impact!" came T'Pol's shout.

Hoshi closed her eyes tightly, pleading with any divine power that existed to spare her. The crash came so suddenly and so violently that it hardly gave her the opportunity to think about the pain before the blackness consumed her.

 


Enterprise-Bridge
February 10th, 2156-1605 hours

Ikaaran Captain, Esilia stepped over the bodies of the lifeless crew, making her way toward the front of the bridge. The Romulan hand weapons and incapacitating agents had worked more effectively than she'd expected. She hesitated, her conscience nagging at her for a moment, telling her that something wasn't quite right. She shook off the thought and looked around at the faces of the unconscious crewmembers.

"Here!" Roshan shouted, a sneer in his voice. "I'd recognize the thief anywhere!"

Esilia turned and gazed at the man that Roshan was pointing to. Archer wasn't quite what she'd been expecting. The story that Roshan had shared with her had conjured a horned Tiasg like those in the stories she had been told as a girl. But Archer looked nothing like the fearsome half-Ikaaran, half-fish creatures. He looked very much like her race, in fact, with the only differences being his darker skin and the lack of ridges on his forehead and nose.

The lines of his face were rounded and smooth in comparison to the harsh features of most Ikaaran men. The softness of his features conjured images in her mind of a sensitive and generous lover who sought to please his partner, always giving her more than he took. The strong desire to experience this man's loving for herself gnawed away at her conscience.

She turned away to gather her scattered wits and paused. "Put everyone here with the others from their Engineering." When Roshan opened his mouth to protest, she gazed at him sternly. "Commander Dhivael wanted the Captain alive and unharmed, Roshan. I don't think the Commander will take too kindly to you abusing him."

Roshan nodded, his dark eyes angry as motioned for the guards to remove all of the crewmembers from the bridge.

 


Enterprise-Cargo Bay
February 10th, 2156-1622 hours

Hoshi opened her eyes only to be blinded by the harsh light and she shut them again immediately. Panic set in as she felt the cold metal beneath her hand. Her temples throbbed sharply as she tried to remember where she was. Slowly, it came back to her. The shuttlepod. She'd been in the shuttlepod when it crashed. Someone had attacked them.

"If this is how being dead feels, I'll take life any day," she grumbled, attempting to sit up.

Hoshi opened her eyes again and found that the light wasn't as bright this time. Looking around the confined space, she saw supplies scattered all over the deck and noticed that the overhead doors were hanging open. Continuing her assessment of her surroundings, she found T'Pol sprawled on the deck toward the front of the shuttlepod and Travis propped against the back wall, grunting with effort as he tried to stand.

"Are you all right, Travis?" Hoshi asked, wincing as she struggled shakily toward Commander T'Pol to see if she was all right. Upon moving closer she heard T'Pol's soft, steady breathing and sighed in relief.

Mayweather nodded. "I think so," he managed.

Suddenly, he cried out in pain, clutching his shin and Hoshi rushed to his side immediately. She dug in the piles of supplies for a med kit and then returned her attention to the wound in his leg. She pressed her fingers gently into his tender injury. He bit his lip to stop himself from crying out again when she reached an especially tender spot.

"It feels broken," she diagnosed. "But I can't be sure. We'd better splint it just in case."

Hoshi searched the cabin for something thick and solid that would stabilize his leg, at last finding it in the form of two old-fashioned print paperbacks. It was a set of two language manuals she'd brought to keep herself occupied while Commander T'Pol performed her scans. She then dug in the med kit for bandage wrap, placed the manuals on either side of his lower leg, and wrapped the bandage tightly around the supports.

"It looks like you've found a use for those print-edition language manuals of yours after all," he teased.

Hoshi glared at him. "Shut it, Travis, or you can wrap this yourself." Once she'd finished, she sat back to admire her improvised splint with a satisfied smirk. "Now you stay still. I'm going to check on the Commander."

He nodded. Hoshi moved toward T'Pol and saw that the Vulcan woman's eyes were now open. Hoshi frowned when she noted the tightening of T'Pol's features as she tried to stand.

"Are you all right, Commander?" she asked, kneeling by her side.

T'Pol paused. "I do not know," she managed.

Hoshi looked down, seeing T'Pol clutching at her ribs. "Are your ribs bothering you?"

At T'Pol's affirmative nod, Hoshi pressed her fingers carefully to the spot where the Vulcan's hand had laid. T'Pol's eyes closed and her lips tightened against the pain.

Hoshi turned toward Mayweather. "Are there more bandages, Travis? I need to bind her ribs."

Mayweather reached into the first aid kit at his side, dug around for the bandages, and then tossed them to her. Hoshi caught them and returned her attention to T'Pol.

"You're going to need to slid the top of your uniform down so I can wrap your ribs," Hoshi informed her.

The Vulcan woman hesitated a moment before nodding and allowing Hoshi to unzip and slid down the upper portion of the catsuit. As she removed the upper portion of the garment, Hoshi made sure to keep herself directly in the way of Mayweather's view. As Hoshi bound T'Pol's ribs, she silently thanked her Academy survival instructor for teaching her basic first aid. It was then that she noticed the bruise on the Vulcan's forehead. Hoshi touched a finger to it, but T'Pol was able to stifle her reaction.

"How do you feel?" Hoshi asked.

T'Pol closed her eyes and released a deep breath. "I am experiencing dizziness, nausea, and slight fatigue," she said softly.

Hoshi paused. "It sounds like you might have a concussion, too. Try to stay awake."

T'Pol inclined her head and began reciting what Hoshi recognized as Surak's core philosophies. Perhaps it would keep T'Pol awake long enough for Enterprise to rescue them. Hoshi was sure that they would have picked up their distress call by now.

She slid into the chair at the helm, covering her face when the panel emitted a shower of sparks. Once the sparks had cleared, she moved her hands and began examining the damage to the systems. "It looks like life support is the only thing that's functioning, but it's hanging on by a thread. Communications are down and the engines are in really bad shape."

"Can you fix the communications junction?" Mayweather asked.

Hoshi grinned wryly. "I'm no engineer, but I'll give it a shot." She paused. "With any luck, Enterprise at least picked up our distress call and possibly even saw the shuttle go down. They'll probably be here in a half-hour to an hour."

Travis nodded. "Until then, we'll just have to sit tight, I guess."

 


Enterprise-Cargo Bay
February 10th, 2156-1822 hours

Trip's eyes opened, and he frowned when he was met with darkness. He fought to make out the features of the others in the room, wincing at the painful throbbing in his temples. His head felt as though a warp core had been dropped on it. Listening carefully, he determined that he was in one of the cargo holds. His brow furrowed. He couldn't remember how he'd gotten here.

He closed his eyes, trying to recall the last moments before he'd been knocked unconscious. The last thing he remembered before the blackness was his struggle to breath. He recalled smelling smoke. It must have been a knockout gas of sorts. Enterprise had been under attack by another ship that, it seemed, hadn't wanted to negotiate.

He felt nothing but emptiness from the bond he shared with T'Pol. In a moment of blind panic, he briefly entertained the notion that the crash had killed the shuttlepod's occupants instantly. Images of the scenario raced through his mind, and he shuddered at how vivid the images were. Almost immediately, he shoved the thoughts aside and shook his head. His instincts told him that she was still alive, and he wouldn't think otherwise until he saw her lifeless body for himself.

Squinting, he was able to make out the outlines of dozens of other crewmembers crammed into the confining room.

One of the figures beside him grunted and sat up slowly. "What in the hell?" the man muttered.

Trip sighed in relief when he recognized Archer's voice. "Are you all right, Cap'n?" he asked.

Archer turned toward Trip and paused before nodding. "Yeah, I think so. But I feel like a warp core was dropped on my head."

Trip couldn't help the grin that spread across his features. "Same here." He paused. "What the hell happened? The last thing I remember is bein' in Engineerin' tryin' ta stop a junction from blowin' out and then nothing."

Archer grimaced. "They must have boarded the ship and gassed us. The last thing I remember is sending security teams to block all of the airlocks."

Trip frowned. "Maybe they didn't need the airlocks." His brow furrowed. "Do you think that they have transporter technology?"

"I suppose it's possible. But they come from a region of the quadrant that has barely developed warp drive. Their weapons..." Archer trailed off.

"Who are they?" Trip asked.

Archer grimaced and sighed. "Do you remember that ship we boarded while we were in the Expanse? The one we took the warp coils from?" Trip nodded. "They were the ones firing at the shuttlepod. The other ship..." Archer frowned, trying to recall the name of the race. "Hoshi managed to get ahold of a message that they were sending to the Illyrians. They call themselves the Ikaarans."

Trip's brow furrowed. "Now where have I heard that name before?"

Suddenly, Trip heard footsteps and returned to the position he'd been earlier and closed his eyes. A moment later, Archer did the same just as the doors opened. Trip could almost see the light flooding the darkened room as the footsteps drew closer.

Trip kept still, fighting not to protest when a heavy, booted foot applied pressure to his hip. His heart raced in his chest as the pain flared almost unbearably.

"Leave him! You came for one only!" a female voice hissed.

Trip heard a growl before the male replied, "Which one is he?" Suddenly, the pressure on his hip was gone, and he heard the harsh slap of skin against skin. "Do not play games with me! Show me which one he is!"

"Not until I see my payment!"

It took all of Trip's self-control to prevent himself from leaping to the woman's defense as another harsh slap reverberated off of the walls, causing the woman to cry out in pain.

"You will show him to me! Now!" the man demanded.

Another male voice chimed in, somewhat softer but no less brutal. "So help me if you hit her again..."

There were sounds of a struggle, and then there was the chilling sound of bones breaking. A cry of pain and the sound of a body hitting the floor reached Trip's ears.

"Do not fight the battles that you cannot win, sseikea!" a male voice spat. "You are to hold the captain here! If I return to find him gone, your life will be forfeit!"

Heavy footsteps moved quickly away from Trip and he heard the door close hard.

"You should not have done that," the female voice said softly.

"We are in this together. Besides, I could not tolerate him treating you with such disrespect. If not for you, my crew and I would have been destroyed by the dark space hole."

Silence blanketed the air before the woman spoke again. "The prisoners are safe here. We should arrange for Archer's transport."

Two sets of footsteps moved away and the door opened moments later, squeaking loudly as it was closed. Trip sat up the moment they were gone, turning toward Archer. He couldn't see his friend's expression, but Trip was sure that Archer felt the same confusion that he did. What did the Ikaarans want with Archer?

 


Enterprise-Captain's Ready Room
February 10th, 2156-1935 hours

Esilia ran a hand anxiously through her long, chestnut-colored hair, her green eyes unable to focus on the monitor in front of her. Sighing, she massaged the slight ridge that rose between her eyes. The headache that had been developing over the last several hours did nothing to help her focus.

When she looked about the room yet again, a small model ship on the upper shelf caught her eye and she lifted it from its place and fingered it delicately. Her brow furrowed as she examined the immaculate details of the craft's design. The details were finer than any on a large-scale Ikaaran ship. NX-01 Enterprise the hull lettering read. The paint of this lettering wasn't nearly as faded as the other painted details, suggesting that this detail had been added recently.

She could see reverence for the words in each careful stroke. Each line was the same thickness and each letter was lined up neatly on the surface. Instinct told her that the captain of this ship-the very man that the Romulans wanted-had designed this craft. She wondered if, had he been given a choice, he would have chosen for himself the same path that she had chosen for him. Would he have offered himself in place of his crew?

Suddenly, the doors parted and the tall, dark-haired Illyrian captain entered, his facial ridges and pale skin highlighted by the dim light of the ready room. His nose, which Commander Dhivael had broken, since had been bandaged. He stared at her, his gaze contemplative. "Are you all right?" he asked.

Esilia nodded. "Yes, Roshan. I am fine. I just wanted a few moments alone."

"You're reconsidering," Roshan accused without pause. Her gaze dropped to her hands and she nodded. "You heard Commander Dhivael. He'll destroy us if we set Archer free!"

She sighed, seeing the anger in Roshan's eyes. It was because of this Captain Archer that the Illyrian vessel had been stranded so far from its home, and it was because of Archer that the Illyrian's hadn't been able to escape the Romulans when they had attacked the nearly defenseless vessel. "I know you're right, Roshan. Yet I can't help pitying Archer."

He strode forward, gripping her hand tightly in his. "We must do what we must do, Esilia. Archer trapped my crew, and he would just as soon do the same to yours."

She turned to stare at the model ship with her brow furrowed. How could a man who put such time and effort into creating be so absurdly pleased with taking? "I am not so sure, Roshan."

 


Illyrian Ship, K'Tal-Captain's Quarters
February 10th, 2156-2002 hours

Roshan paced to and fro, his brows drawn together in anger. How could she doubt Archer's intent? The man obviously had no conscience, considering what he'd done. Why else would he be repeating his actions with the Romulan ships? Roshan shook his head. Archer would pay. If it took his last breath, he would see to that.

 


Shuttlepod One-Pyxis VI
February 10th, 2156-2012 hours

The heat of the night that floated in through the opened door was nearly unbearable, though it was admittedly cooler than it had been earlier. Annoyed by her repeated failure to connect the sensor junction to the communications junction, Hoshi tossed aside the tool she was holding. "I don't think there's enough juice left in the communications circuits to create energy flow through the junction. The wires in the communications junction are probably so fried that we'd need to replace a half-dozen or so in order to reinstitute enough power output for the section to even draw power from the sensors."

Hoshi sighed, knowing that there had to be some way to fix the communications junction. She struggled to remember the basics she'd been taught at the Academy. The communications junction works with the central power array in order to decode the wavelength and amplitude frequencies, which are translated by the magnetic discs, serving as mini-satellites, into sounds and syllables that are then heard by the Human ear and interpreted by the Human mind.

Suddenly, she heard footsteps outside of the shuttlepod. She froze and listened carefully, her brow furrowing as she realized that the footsteps couldn't possibly be humanoid. Hoshi noted that T'Pol was now sitting utterly still, the Vulcan's eyes narrowed as she listened.

Travis opened his eyes and frowned. "What?"

Hoshi held up a hand to hush him as the footsteps grew closer and then stopped. The three sat in silence for several long moments before Hoshi caught sight of a very large shadow moving in the darkness toward them. When the creature picked up its pace, she darted toward the door and slammed it shut.

Moments after the door had been closed, the shuttlepod tilted, sending Hoshi sliding into the wall. Luckily, T'Pol was sitting in the corner and managed to stop any movement that would have jarred her damaged ribs. Each time the shuttlepod dropped back to the ground hard, the vibrations jarred Mayweather's injured leg, causing him to grimace in pain.

"Whatever it is, it's big and it's hungry," Mayweather said with a hiss.

The three heard a high-pitched screech before a desperate pounding on the back wall began. Startled, Mayweather moved away to where T'Pol sat, gritting his teeth against the extreme pain in his leg.

As the creature continued to screech and pound at the heavy wall, Hoshi was reminded of the stories that her brother had teased her with as a child about the Hibagon, which was said to stand five feet tall, to have large feet, and to resemble a gorilla. Her brother had warned her not to look under her bed at night or else the Hibagon would pull her into its dark underworld and eat her alive. After that, she hadn't slept in her own bed for nearly two weeks.

She'd come across an older man once who claimed he'd been mauled by a Hibagon and had described everything with chilling detail right down to the creature's cries. The old man's words whirled through her mind as whatever creature was on the other side of the door pounded on it for several more frightening moments before seeming to lose interest. She sighed in relief as she heard the footsteps fade into the distance.

Hoshi lifted herself from the floor and, sliding into the pilot's seat, began to examine the console's readouts. "We have about three days' worth of oxygen, but I think we only have enough rations to last us for two days." Her brow furrowed. "The atmosphere is breathable. So if necessary, we could seek other shelter and food."

"The logical course of action is to remain with the shuttlepod for the time being," T'Pol offered. "It will increase the probability of the others locating us."

Mayweather nodded. "But if we run out of rations, we'll need to go looking for other food."

"And if they're not here within 72 hours, we'll need to find other shelter," Hoshi added. "But let's take this a step at a time. Right now, we need to worry about our more immediate needs."

Hoshi moved to the rear of the shuttlepod and searched the compartment that contained the ration packs. "Fish or pork?"

Mayweather glanced at T'Pol before replying, "Pork."

Hoshi slid the pack into the little oven and activated it before turning to look at T'Pol, waiting for her response. The Vulcan woman wrinkled her nose at the smell of the cooking pork. "I am not hungry," she replied.

"You need to eat something," Hoshi insisted. "To keep up your strength."

T'Pol arched an eyebrow. "Vulcans can go for many days without sustenance."

"You're injured and taking in a little bit of protein will accelerate the healing process," Hoshi urged.

T'Pol gazed at her tolerantly. "I will be fine."

Sighing, Hoshi nodded and finished preparing rations for Travis and herself.

 


Enterprise-Cargo Bay
February 10th, 2156-2103 hours

Trip grimaced as the metal of the crawl space walls dug into his sides. He grasped the edges of the opening and used his arms to pull himself loose. He at last managed to free himself and, wiggling out of the constricting space, slid onto the Cargo Bay floor. Panting for breath, he pushed himself up off the deck, gasping at the sharp pain that shot through his legs and hips. He stood slowly and made his way back to where Archer waited. Those crawl spaces are small, he thought, admiring Hoshi even more for moving through them when the Suliban had put the entire ship under lockdown.

Archer raised himself to a sitting position when he saw Trip moving toward him.

"Remind me ta never underestimate the size of those crawl spaces again," Trip joked quietly. "They don't have many people here. There's a guard outside of the Cargo Bay, three outside of the Launch Bay, and a couple on the Bridge."

Archer nodded. "They probably don't have that many people to put on guard duty in the first place. From what Malcolm was able to ascertain before the ship was boarded, neither vessel was built for passengers."

Trip ran a hand through his hair. "As far as where we are... Well, we're not in orbit around any planets, that's for sure."

"They must be taking Enterprise back to their homeworld," Archer said, grimacing.

Trip's brow furrowed. "I wonder why they attacked the shuttlepod if it was Enterprise that they really wanted."

Archer grunted. "The attack on the shuttlepod could have been meant as a distraction," he offered.

"Well, it was a helluva distraction," Trip muttered. "I take it none of the guards noticed that I was missin'?"

"The man and woman haven't been back yet," Archer confirmed. "Though I imagine they will be soon."

Trip's brow furrowed. "This doesn't feel right, Cap'n. It seems ta me that somebody's puttin' on a show ta keep us from seein' the bigger picture."

Archer frowned. There was obviously something that someone didn't want them to find. Had Enterprise been about to stumble across something that would give them an advantage in the coming war?

 


Shuttlepod One-Pyxis VI
February 11th, 2156-0356 hours

Hoshi shifted restlessly, her back protesting against the hard sleeping surface. She'd been able to reroute power to life support thanks to Commander T'Pol's assistance, but it had only added a few hours onto their deadline. After the first day, they'd realized that they would need to decrease how much they ate in order to make the rations last. Even though they were now consuming meager portions, the packs wouldn't last much longer than the shuttlepod's life support. By tomorrow morning, they'd need to consider an alternative food source and alternative shelter or they wouldn't survive the heat of the day. Even the enclosed environment of the shuttlepod wouldn't protect them.

The thought of venturing over unknown terrain in the harsh, dry heat with Grumpy, their very large furless stalker, close behind made her shudder. They wouldn't last the night out in the open.

She missed Malcolm already, recalling the time that he'd raised his phase pistol to fire at that Xindi-Reptilian aboard the Xindi weapon. When she saw him again - and she would see him again -- she'd make him a special dinner, tell him non-stop that she loved him, and then spend the night showing him exactly how much.

Just as she was beginning to drift off to sleep, she heard a loud 'BANG!' on the rear wall that brought her wide-awake. Grumpy was back and by the multitude of screeches being released into the night, she assumed that he'd brought friends this time. Shaking her head, she wondered why he was so persistent when there, no doubt, was easier prey for him to catch.

Hoshi froze when she heard the sound of cracking glass and turned instantly toward the front of the shuttlepod. She gasped as she saw spindly cracks forming in the supposedly indestructible material. Without a second thought, she pulled the Vulcan woman toward the safety of the rear wall.

"Travis, get away from there!" Hoshi shouted to a stunned Mayweather.

Before he could move, the glass of the window gave way and large claws reached for him. He ducked in time to avoid the grasping hand, but he was now trapped in the front corner.

Hoshi searched the deck frantically, at last finding the phase pistol that Malcolm had shoved into her hands before she'd left, insisting that she have it in case anything should happen. She made sure that the weapon was set to stun before taking aim at the frantic hand and firing. The creature outside let out an eardrum-shattering screech and Mayweather and the others covered their ears. The paw withdrew only to be replaced by several others. Hoshi kept firing, taking care not to hit Mayweather.

She sat absolutely still with the weapon still trained on the now-shattered windshield in case she needed to fire on any more of the creatures. Moments later, a chorus of screeches echoed in the otherwise-quiet night air and the thunderous footsteps of the creatures faded slowly until all was silent again.

Hoshi allowed the weapon to fall to her side as she moved forward to check Mayweather's injuries. Several remnants of the shattered glass had cut the arm that he'd used to cover his head. She tore his sleeve open to examine the cuts.

"They're shallow," Hoshi said. "You should be fine unless they get infected."

Hoshi reached for the med kit, removed the antiseptic, a cloth, and bandages, and then proceeded to bandage his wounds.

Hoshi noted the tension in T'Pol's features and grimaced in sympathy, realizing that she might have made the woman's injury worse.

"I'm sorry," Hoshi said softly. "I didn't think."

T'Pol met Hoshi's gaze, her eyebrows arched. "No apology is necessary, Ensign. You spared me a far worse injury."

Hoshi nodded and glanced at the front of the shuttlepod where the glass had once been. "We're going to need to find other shelter. With the glass gone, there won't be anything to protect us from the heat of the day or from our furless stalkers," she added wryly.

T'Pol inclined her head in agreement. "We should take with us all that we can carry and leave well before daylight in order to avoid the harsh climate for as long as possible."

Hoshi nodded, then gathering the ration packs, blankets, and other supplies, including the phase pistol, before depositing them into one of the backpacks lying on the deck. She glanced at Mayweather, pausing for a moment before sliding her arms through the straps and moving toward him to help him stand.

"Wrap your arm around my shoulders," she insisted while wrapping one of her own around his waist to support him. T'Pol stood slowly, careful not to jar her damaged ribs and Hoshi paused. "Are you going to be able to walk?" Hoshi asked.

T'Pol nodded. "If I am cautious, I will be able to travel." They then exited the shuttlepod with Hoshi helping Mayweather.

Once they stood outside, Hoshi turned to look at their surroundings. The light of the planet's two moons lit up the night, allowing Hoshi to see farther than she'd anticipated. To the north, a short peak towered majestically over the flat plains.

T'Pol caught Hoshi's eye and inclined in acknowledgement. "We'll head north," T'Pol said, jerking her head toward the hill.

Hoshi nodded. "Maybe I can jury-rig a communicator. It'll work better from high ground."

"Even at a slow pace, the journey should not take more than four hours. If we do not encounter further obstacles, we should be able to find shelter among the hills before first light. We should begin moving," T'Pol added.

Hoshi followed T'Pol and supported Mayweather as he walked slowly forward.

 


Comments:

Middleman

I’ve never seen this story before and I downloaded the whole thing and read it over the last two weeks; what a fantastic story you have put together Ginmar. I can see that this series has been around for a while; I don’t know how I ever missed it! Excellent writing, action, mystery, suspense and romance. I really enjoyed ever installment in these virtual seasons. My question is, will this story continue?

Reanok

Exciting story I hope you'll update this soon and can't wait to see how Enterprise's crew escapes from the Illyrian/Romulan trap and how Hoshi,Travis and an Injured T'Pol surive and unravel the mystery of the missing colony.

evcake

Oh wow. I hope an update is coming soon. Our crew is in sad shape. Compelling action, good dialog, keep it comin':D

panyasan
I was surprised that nobody has given any comments. Really liked the story, nice exchanges and pov. Well done.
Asso
Come on! Go ahead!:D

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