A Deadly Alliance

By ginamr

Rating: PG-13

Genres: adventure au general romance virtual season

Keywords:

This story has been read by 760 people.
This story has been read 1065 times.


Star Trek: The Continuing Voyages of the Enterprise

A Virtual Season 6 Series


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.

Story Notes:

Sorry for such an extended absence. Many of you were no doubt wondering if I'd given up.

No, not at all. With other more advantageous pursuits to occupy me, I haven't had much time nor inspiration for work on this series.

Now that I do, I present to you the fourth story of season six and the 18th story of this series.

With any luck, writer's block shan't stall me any further.

Oh, and to explain the Andorian time heading:

·        There are 32 hours in an Andorian day.

·        According to the heading Cycle 2156, the Earth year is 2156.

·        2122.32 Earth hours have passed in the current cycle. Therefore 66 Andorian days and .32 Andorian hours have passed.

·        The Earth date and time therefore equals March 29th, 2156-0232 hours.

 

Also, some definitions of Andorian terms:

·        Zhi--sibling (Zhen)

·        Th'se-Bondmate (Thaan)

·        Ch'te-bondmate (Chan)

·        Pramhar-animal; lowest form of Andorian currency; rough equivalent is one US dollar

 


 

Last Time on Star Trek: Enterprise... Do Unto Others

6.04-A Deadly Alliance
Story One of Three

Romulan forces attack the Andorian colony on Gamma Virginis IV and hundreds are killed. Meanwhile, civilians on Earth find out about Starfleet's deception and civil war breaks out among the nations of Earth.

 



Gamma Virginis IV-Underground Caves-Residence of Shran, Jhamel, Shenar & Vishri

Cycle 2156, Day 66, 0.32 Hours

 

The halls were silent minus the occasional pained cries slipping through the cracks of the closed bedroom door. Thy'lek Shran th'Zoarhi paced to and fro on the tiled floor outside of the room, his brow furrowed in worry.

 

"You must stop pacing, Thy'lek, or there will be nothing left on which to pace," his zhi, Shera, teased.

 

Shran gave her a sharp look. "She's been in there for hours," he snapped. He turned back toward the door when another cry pierced the air. "It shouldn't take this long!"

 

Shenar laid a hand on Shran's shoulder in an attempt to calm him. "Patience, th'se. This is her first child. Patience."

 

Shran gripped his ch'te's shoulder, squeezing tightly. His gaze locked with Shenar's, his expression worried.

 

"She'll be fine, Thy'lek," Shenar soothed. "She'll be fine."

 

At that precise moment, a high-pitched wail pierced the air and Shran's heart skipped a beat. He watched as the door creaked open and Vishri poked her head out, a broad smile spreading over her lips.

 

"The child is borne!" she whispered excitedly.

 

Shran laughed triumphantly and embraced Shenar tightly. The two then pulled apart and slipped into the room to see the child.

 

Jhamel lay on the bed in the far corner, cooing to a bundle of blankets in her arms. He reached the bed a few moments later and looked down at the bundle to see a babe with pale blue skin and wide eyes looking back at him. A small smile spread over his lips and tears gathered in his eyes as he stared at the wondrous infant in his bondmate's arms. He stroked the baby's soft cheek gently with the backs of his fingers and then looked up at Jhamel.

 

"So beautiful," he whispered.

 

Shenar and Vishri smiled. "Pale blue skin. That must be your genetic material peeking through, Thy'lek," Vishri teased.

 

The corners of Shran's lips lifted and Jhamel slipped a hand into the water bowl beside her and held her hand over the infant's forehead. Several droplets of water dripped onto infant's forehead and she began to cry.

 

"Shh. All will be right, child," Jhamel soothed.

 

A slight rattling noise caught Shran's attention and he stilled. "Quiet!" he hissed.

 

Gradually, the rattling grew louder until the entire room shook violently causing vases and glass ornaments to fall from their places.

 

That booming echo. He recognized that. A warhead.

 

"Get d-"

 

Before Shran could finish the warning, the walls crumbled and the ceiling collapsed over them with a loud crash. Several moments later, the rattling ceased. Shran sat up slowly. He stumbled to his feet, his head throbbing unmercifully.  

 

"Jhamel!" he shouted.

 

"I'm here," she responded weakly. She coughed delicately.

 

Shran followed the sound of her cough to her bedside to find that the thin canopy that usually hung above the bed was missing. Desperately, he shoved the pieces of rubble away until only the thin sheet was between him and Jhamel. He tugged it back quickly and the infant in Jhamel's arms let out an agonized wail. Relief flooded him.

 

He immediately scanned her body for injuries. There was a minor scrape on her forehead, but she appeared otherwise unharmed. "Are you all right?" he asked Jhamel. She nodded. "No pain?"

 

"Only a slight headache," she replied.

 

Shran grimaced in sympathy, his head still throbbing slightly as well. Then, he froze, realizing that something wasn't right. He felt-empty, as though someone had stolen a piece of him. Shenar. Vishri. He dropped to his knees and shoved aside the rubble that was piled where the two had stood before the quaking had overtaken the room. He dug frantically, his antennae twitching in agitation. A pale, white arm was revealed. He picked up his pace, soon uncovering the hopelessly smashed face of Vishri.

 

"No!" he shouted. Tears formed in his eyes as he continued digging and a moment later discovered the lifeless body of Shenar. "No!" Grief overtook him. The infamously cold-hearted Commander Thy'lek Shran of the Andorian Imperial Guard wept openly for the loss of his beloved bondmates.

 


 

Enterprise-Ready Room

March 30th, 2156-1302 hours

 

Captain Jonathan Archer sat in his ready room reviewing the latest battle reports from Starfleet Headquarters. He grimaced at the number of ships lost in the last skirmish. Earth was, as Trip put it, "getting its scrawny ass kicked." Earth's forces were just no match for the Romulan fleet.

 

At that moment, the comm beeped.

 

"Sato to Archer."

 

 Archer pressed his thumb to the button. "Archer."

 

"You've got an incoming message, sir. It's marked urgent," Hoshi reported.

 

"Put it through," he replied.

 

He frowned when he noted the communiqué's origin: Gamma Virginis IV.

 

He paused for only a moment before entering a series of commands designed to display the communiqué. A moment later, the communiqué appeared on the screen. To his surprise, he sat face to face with none other than Commander Shran.

 

"Shran," Archer greeted with a grin. "It's been a long time."

 

"Pinkskin," Shran replied, inclining his head in greeting. Shran's antennae were laid back flat against his skull as he spoke which, Archer had learned in the time he'd spent with the man, was never a good sign. And sure enough, Shran continued, his news grave indeed. "I'm not sure if you are aware, but my home on Gamma Virginis IV was recently attacked." The calm response was nowhere near what he expected from the obviously irritated Andorian.

 

Archer stared, his expression shocked. "By whom?"

 

At this point, Shran hesitated. "We cannot be sure as of yet."

 

Something in Shran's tone suggested he thought otherwise. "But you have an idea, don't you?" Archer queried.

 

The Andorian's features tightened and his antennae shrunk back until they were pressed against his skull. "Rihansu."

 

Archer paused. "But you don't know for certain?"

 

"No," Shran replied deadpan.

 

Archer nodded. "I'll report the incident to Starfleet Headquarters and we'll come check it out. That's all we can do for now."

 

Shran narrowed his eyes in anger. "Earth and Andoria sign an agreement to mutually support one another in the Romulan war effort and all you can do is check into it?"

 

Archer sighed. "I'll do all that it's within my power to do. I'm your friend, Shran, and I consider it my personal responsibility to look into anything that you feel is a threat to your people," he replied. "I'm on your side, Shran. We all are."

 

Shran's shoulder's slumped and he nodded. "I know, pinkskin."

 

Archer nodded. "We're about a day and a half away from your position. As soon as I've sent the report to Starfleet, I'll have Trip warm up the engines and get us on our way."

 

Shran nodded. "I will see you in 2 days. Until then, be well."

 

A moment later, the screen went black. Archer stared at the blank screen for several moments before beginning a very weighty letter to Starfleet.

 


Romulan Homeworld-Council Chambers
30th Day of K'riBrax, Year of the Set'leth~0837 hours

The Praetor glanced up from his reading when Commander Dhivael entered the enclosed room. Dhivael stood ramrod straight, his arm crossed over his chest with his hand laid flat over his heart. The Praetor crossed his arm over his chest as well, then allowing his arm to drop to his side. Dhivael's hand dropped as well.

 

"Praetor, I bring you joyous news," Dhivael began. "The attack on the Andorian colony was a success. A few more such attacks and the area should be ready for colonization within the next several months."

 

The Praetor smirked. "Well done, Commander."

 

Dhivael bowed in respect. "Thank you, Praetor."

 

"I will have the committee begin drawing up plans for the colony's restructuring," the Praetor added.

 

Dhivael straightened, his eyes gleaming with pride. "Very good, sir. I will keep you updated on our progress."

 

Dhivael then exited the room, leaving the Praetor alone with his thoughts. He grinned. Success. This very likely meant a reward.

 


 

Enterprise-Bridge

April 2nd, 2156-1322 hours

  

Archer stepped onto the bridge with his hands clasped tightly behind his back and strode across the bridge, then taking his place at its center. T'Pol then returned to her station.

 

He turned toward Reed, his eyebrows raised expectantly. "Report?"

 

Reed scanned the information on the console in front of him for several moments before replying, "No signs of enemy vessels on sensors, sir."

 

Archer nodded and glanced toward Hoshi at Communications. "Let Shran know we've arrived."

 

Hoshi inclined her head and relayed the message. Several moments later, a beep from the Communications console indicated they were being hailed.

 

"Put it up on the main viewer," Archer said.

 

 Hoshi entered a series of commands into her console. Shran's face filled the viewer.

 

"So far, we haven't picked up any enemy ships in the vicinity," Archer reported.

 

Shran grimaced. "They'll be back."

 

A tense silence filled the air for several long moments before Shran again spoke. "Is Earth sending any additional ships to investigate?"

 

Archer nodded. "The SS Vulture is enroute and will be here in several days."

 

Shran frowned. "One ship?"

 

"She's all Starfleet could spare," Archer replied. "We've got to keep defenses up on the home front as well. We've heard rumors about Romulan fleets sighted in neighboring systems."

 

Shran inclined his head sharply. "And until the Vulture arrives?"

 

Archer paused. "Perhaps we could bring you aboard so that we might discuss our strategy."

 

"Agreed," Shran replied. "We will rendezvous at the coordinates that I have sent in an hour. I need time to speak with my people."

 

Archer nodded. "See you in an hour."

 

The screen then went black. Archer turned to Hoshi, who nodded.  "I've got the coordinates, sir," she said.

 

He glanced at T'Pol, then Reed. "Lieutenant, Commander...briefing in an hour."

 

Both nodded. Archer then exited the bridge and entered his ready room.

 


 

Earth-Starfleet Headquarters-Office of Admiral Gardner

April 3rd 2156-1340 hours

 

Admiral Gardner massaged his temples as he watched the latest news reports, which had been released a half hour ago. It appeared that Headquarters had an intelligence leak, as the story of what had happened around Christmas was finally reaching the press.

 

He grimaced as he listened to the reporters brutally slam Starfleet's "lack of control over their own personnel" and the United Earth Council's "failure to stop such espionage from occurring in the first place". He wondered what those critical "do anything for a scoop" idiots thought Starfleet and the Council did all day. Starfleet ran background checks on nearly every civilian and suspicious person who entered the building. Once inside, civilians were allowed only in areas where they would pose no threat to global security. The Council was also constantly screening visitors to ensure they didn't have a criminal record.

 

There was truly nothing Starfleet could have done to prevent someone from replacing Greene, as that had been done within blocks of his home. At the time, there had been no sign that Greene was in any danger or that he was being followed.

 

After the switch had occurred, there was nothing unusual in the replacement's behavior that had even warranted investigation. Obviously, the Romulan agents had studied Greene for a very long time and had perfected his routines so that no one would notice the difference.

 

He snorted in disgust. "That's the media. They always criticize the government for their lack of action in a situation; but were the tables turned, they would have done the same."

 

For now, all that could be done was damage control. The United Earth President would make his speech tonight and would perhaps be able to cool the nerves of the anarchists and prevent an overturn of the global government.

 

The President's assurances would satisfy them temporarily at best. The potential break up of United Earth loomed on the horizon, fostered by paranoia and fear. The continued Terra Prime protests did nothing to soothe the public's lack of trust in government. There was no doubt in Gardner's mind that there would be a death toll; but how high it went remained to be seen.

 

He entered a series of commands, directing the network to find the satellite that would be broadcasting the President's speech to billions of eager Terrans.

 

The screen flashed the message 'program found...loading...please wait' before opening the requested file. Gardner leaned back in his chair as the President strode across the stage to the dais, which stood at its center.

 


 

Paris, France, Earth-Palais De La Concorde

April 3rd 2156-1356 hours

 

Gannett Brooks shifted slightly in her seat, adjusting the headphones that contained a recording device that would translate the spoken words directly into text and be shown on her PADD. She was glad she'd arrived an hour prior to the speech in order to get the best seat possible. The compact room was an absolute zoo with members of the press and important political leaders trying to find seats before President Nadir Piente's big speech.

 

It took another four minutes before everyone had found his or her place. The President stepped onto the stage and strode toward the dais at its center and the crowd fell silent. The President halted and his gaze slid around the room, making subtle eye contact with nearly everyone gathered there.

 

Gannett entered a series of commands on her PADD. Her headset emitted a soft beep and the red light in the corner of her eyepiece flashed briefly before becoming a solid light.

 

The President began to speak. "Citizens of Earth, it has come to my attention that confidential government information has been leaked to the press and has been presented in such a way as to give the idea that this mishap was due to lax security. I am here tonight to tell you that is not the case.

 

"Instead, I will tell you the truth of what happened as that is the only way to answer all questions and halt the media's rumor-mongering." Piente paused for a few moments, allowing this to sink in before continuing. "Approximately five months ago, three dedicated Starfleet officers risked their lives in an undercover operation designed to infiltrate Starfleet itself to end the espionage activities of a Romulan spy posing as Starfleet Admiral James Greene."

 

The crowd broke out into cries of outrage and Gannett stared at Piente as though he'd lost his mind.

 

"Quiet!" he shouted. The amount of volume coming from the older man stunned the audience into silence. "This much I'm sure the media has already reported. However, there is also something that they have not shared with you. There was no change in Admiral Greene's behavior. It was for this reason that no one realized an enemy spy had replaced him. No one, not even Greene's wife, reported any unusual behavior on his part."

 

Gannett stood immediately, her hand raised. She waited patiently until the President pointed to her.

 

"Gannet Brooks, Global Courier. If Admiral Greene's behavior didn't point to this realization, what did?" Gannett asked.

 

The President smiled. "This is where our three brave officers come in, Ms. Brooks. Lieutenant Reed received a tip-off from an anonymous source-who shall remain anonymous-that the Admiral's record wasn't as spotless as it seemed. That source was referring, of course, to charges of embezzlement of Space Probe Agency funds. These charges were later dismissed. However, Reed found the charges in themselves linked to a government spacecraft construction yard, whose ship had been spotted by satellites leaving the planet's orbit the day of the Junior Vulcan Ambassador's murder in September of last year. Through much investigation, Lieutenant Reed, with the help of Commanders Tucker and T'Pol, was able to uncover encrypted files on Greene's personal desktop proving his espionage activities and his true identity."

 

Satisfied, Gannett nodded and slid back into her seat. That should remove any last doubts, she thought.

 

Piente called on another reporter Gannett recognized as Tony Arkle. She groaned internally. Tony would do anything for a spin, true or not, and she had a feeling his question would cause an uproar.

 

"Tony Arkle, Foxton News. Mr. President, it's one thing to have enemy spies invading our biggest political power centers, but quite another for the government to keep the public in the dark as to such events and for citizens to be forced to hear about it from a renegade source. Why didn't the government release this information sooner?" Arkle asked.

 

The President smiled. "The simple answer, Mr. Arkle, is that we didn't release it sooner in hopes of preventing a public panic. The problem had been resolved so the Council and I saw no reason to report an incident that would have only fueled the xenophobia that seems to have reached Earth's darkest corners due to the Terra Prime movement. Other species are not all threats to our way of life. It is now more important than ever that we forge alliances with our neighbors if we are to have any hope of stopping this conquest. Vulcan, Andor, Tellar, Alpha Centauri, Denobula-we must all unite against our common enemy. Many men stand a better chance of victory against a fleet than does one man, Mr. Arkle."

 

Gannett smirked approvingly as she saw Arkle struggle for a rebuttal question or comment. "The fact remains, Mr. President, that the people have the right to know what's going on in their area, especially if it poses potential danger to them."

 

"I remind you, Mr. Arkle, that no civilians were harmed in the wrap-up of this matter," Piente added. "Had the incident escalated and at any time posed danger to civilians housed near the complex, they would have been informed immediately."

 

Deflated, Arkle slumped back into his chair, defeat plain in the slackness of his features.

 

No less than you deserve you finagling son of a bitch, Gannett thought.

 

However, Arkle's defeat didn't last long. She noticed a smirk slide across his lips as he began rapidly keying into the PADD in his hands. Gannett smiled mockingly and shook her head. If the man released the scoop she thought he was going to release, his career would be over. She heard a joyous giggle and looked over to see Arkle practically squirming in his seat.

 

There was no way he could get away with discrediting the President. That was one thing Earth would unite against-someone blaming the President for recent events. The citizens had no problems blaming Starfleet, however, for waving the white flag that had attracted so many alien species.

 

The president took only two more questions, both of which he answered to the satisfaction of those asking them. It seemed that, for now, the only reporter determined to twist the tale was Arkle.

 


  

Enterprise-Command Center

April 3rd, 2156-1430 hours

  

Archer's frown deepened. Shran had been oddly silent while Reed explained his plans for the colony's security. The Andorian's features were marred with defeat, something that Archer found disconcerting. Something had broken the man and Archer wasn't sure he wanted to know what could break him.

 

"Your men will be equipped with the latest version of the phase pistol. It's small, but powerful," Reed said.

 

Reed slid the weapon across the table so that Shran could examine it more closely. The Andorian turned the weapon over in his hands and nodded his approval.

 

"I see this weapon has three settings," Shran observed. "Is that a new feature?"

 

Reed nodded. "The vaporize setting allows the user to disintegrate anything in his path-mostly rocks."

 

 "Has the setting been tested? Are the weapons safe?" Shran asked.

 

"They've done thousands of trials," Reed replied. "Not one of the weapons overloaded or caused harm to the user."

 

Shran nodded, though it seemed as though he wasn't really completely aware of his surroundings. "I will have our most skilled warriors ready so that you might train them in the use of the weapon."

 

Shran stood, indicating that he wished to leave. Archer stood as well, which was a signal to Reed that the meeting was over. Shran left without another word.

 

Reed's brow furrowed. "That was a bit...awkward."

 

Archer nodded. "I get the feeling there's more to this than Shran's telling."

 

Reed grinned wryly. "Yes, sir. But I doubt he'll want to talk about it."

 

Archer sighed. "It's best not to force the issue, I suppose. Andorians aren't exactly known for talking about their feelings."

  


  

Enterprise-Mayweather's Quarters

April 4th, 2156-1201 hours

  

Travis Mayweather was lying on his bed stripped down to his blues and almost asleep when he heard a loud, abrupt beep. He started and his eyes snapped open. He then turned to see his desktop lit up flashing the words 'new message'. His brow furrowed, wondering who would be contacting at this time of night. He slid from the bed and strode toward the monitor, then entering a series of commands to display the message.

 

It was from Gannett Brooks, his ex...whatever she'd been. He was tempted to delete it; however, something about her contacting him out of the blue seemed odd and a part of him knew she wouldn't contact him just for a friendly 'hello'. Against his better judgment, he opened the message. He wasn't disappointed. The message read:

 

Travis,

 

There's a news story I thought you might like to see. I finally managed to hack into the s.o.b.'s computer. Unfortunately, the security codes on his computer prevented me from deleting it. I've sent it in an encoded file. Your linguist, Hoshi, can help you sort it out. Before you delete this message, read what Arkle has to say. You might want to share this with Reed, Tucker, and T'Pol as well.

 

Gannett

 

P.S.-Despite what you think, I'm not a Terra Prime agent nor was I ever one. I'm just a reporter looking for the truth.

 

Travis stared at the last sentence, recalling a time when he'd believed her. Things had ended rather abruptly between the two. He'd loved her and thought of asking her to marry him. But something had stopped him. Shortly after that, he found out she was just after the truth behind the Horizon's business plans. She'd been sent undercover to dig deeper into rumors about the Horizon transporting slaves.

 

He'd never forgiven her for that. "Anything for a scoop." That's who she was, no matter what she said to the contrary. The one thing that he hadn't ever been able to deny about her, however, was that she always reported the truth, boring or not. She didn't spin like most in her profession. She'd always taken pride in that.

 

He sighed, closing the message. He'd take it to Hoshi some time tomorrow. For now, he needed sleep. He flopped onto his bed and slung an arm across his face to cover his eyes, eventually falling into a restless sleep.

 


 

Enterprise-Archer's Ready Room

April 5th, 2156-0623 hours

 

Archer heard his door chime ring and he closed out of Shran's description of the attack. "Enter," he called.

 

The doors opened and he was surprised to see Mayweather enter with a PADD in his hands, the young ensign's expression one of disbelief.

 

"What can I do for you, Travis?" Archer asked, his brows furrowed in concern.

 

Mayweather strode toward Archer and offered him the PADD. Archer raised an eyebrow and took it, then skimming the contents. Archer frowned. "What is it?"

 

Mayweather shook his head. "It's not what it is, sir, but what it represents. This article could ignite a civil war."

 

Archer's features tightened, the frustration evident in them. "Then why wasn't this brought to my attention sooner?" he demanded.

 

Mayweather grimaced. "I didn't know what it was until Hoshi decrypted it this morning," he replied.

 

"Decrypted?" Archer paused. "Where did you get this?"

 

"Sir, that's not important," Mayweather began.

 

"Where did you get this, Travis?" Archer repeated.

 

Mayweather sighed. "Gannett, sir."

 

Archer's lips thinned. Mayweather had expected Archer's protest, given her track record for lying about her purpose. He recalled her desperation that day in the brig two years ago to warn him that someone might try to sabotage the rescue. He'd refused to believe her then because she had a history of lying to get what she wanted. It was difficult to believe anything she told him. There was always something in it for her.

 

"She's..." Archer began.

 

"No, sir," Travis interrupted. "She was right about the Terra Prime operative aboard Enterprise, she was right that the operative would attempt to sabotage the mission, and she was right about where Paxton was holding Commanders Tucker and T'Pol when they were abducted." Mayweather stood ramrod straight. "I believe her, sir."

 

Archer stared hard at Mayweather for a moment. Mayweather's stance didn't waver. Archer nodded. "I'll inform Starfleet. Maybe they can find a way to stop the article from running or find some way to counter it."

 

Mayweather nodded and turned to leave.

 

"Travis," Archer called.

 

Mayweather turned back toward him.

 

"Good work," Archer said with a smile.

 

Mayweather grinned. "Thank you, sir." He turned again toward the doors and exited.

 


Romulan Homeworld-Council Chambers
5th Day of
re'T'Khutai, Year of the Set'leth-0837 hours

Valdore's brows furrowed as he paced to and fro outside of the doors. He mentally rehearsed his report as he waited for the Council to call him in. The barrage on the Gamma Virginis had been a complete success; however, someone from the colony had alerted Starfleet. The Humans' flagship had been spotted in orbit several hours ago, which meant that Archer had no doubt puzzled out their plan.

The Praetor would be furious, of course. Valdore knew the Council would blame him for this most unfortunate turn of events. They couldn't continue with the plan until the Starfleet ship was out of the way. As such, Valdore had ordered a fleet to destroy the ship. The ship's destruction would probably drive Starfleet into a quest for vengeance, but there was no choice. If they didn't overtake the Gamma Virginis colony, they couldn't advance their troops toward the Devron system.

The doors opened and Valdore was pulled from his thoughts. The guard gestured him inside and Valdore sighed heavily before entering the chamber. This would be difficult; but if he were careful, he might be able to escape the situation with only a few cuts and bruises.


Captain's Starlog-April 5th, 2156

With no signs of the Romulan fleet that attacked the colony, the inhabitants have begun their search for a new place to call home. Commanders T'Pol and Tucker have agreed to assist the inhabitants in their search.


Gamma Virginis IV-Underground Caves-Residence of Shran & Jhamel

Cycle 2156, Day 70, 5 Hours

 

Jhamel gathered the few of her belongings that hadn't been destroyed by the cave-ins into her arms, her eyes glistening with tears. Her gaze slid around the room that had been her only home for so long and it took all she had not to fall to her knees.

 

I must be strong-for Thylek and for our child.

 

She saw the glint of metal out of the corner of her eye and turned to find a shattered holophoto frame on the ground. Upon leaning down and grasping the frame, she saw the faces of her dead bondmates staring up at her.

 

Her chest tightened at the memory of them, both so vibrant and adventurous, never taking life for granted. The tears flowed freely down her cheeks. It wasn't fair that they'd been taken. Why hadn't she died?

 


 

Shran entered their sleeping quarters to find Jhamel standing amidst the rubble holding what appeared to be a holophoto. Tears streamed down her cheeks and Shran's chest tightened. Despite his own anguish, he moved forward and wrapped his arms around Jhamel from behind. He nuzzled her neck and caressed her antennae with his antennae.

 

"I miss them so much, Thylek," Jhamel whispered.

 

Shran nodded. "I know. So do I. But all will be well. I promise."

 


 

Enterprise-Captain's Mess

April 5th, 2156-1231 hours

 

Archer glanced at Shran beside him as the Andorian examined the untouched glass of Andorian ale in his hand. Shran was hurting, Archer knew; though to see the hurt so clearly written on the man's face was making Archer uncomfortable. He wasn't sure how to offer his sympathy to the man without offending his dignity.

 

Shran looked up from the glass and managed a half-smile. "Don't be so anxious, pinkskin. It's making me nervous."

 

Archer smiled wanly. "Sorry."

 

Shran's gaze dropped back to his glass. "Conveying your sincerest regrets won't offend me, if that's what you're debating in your silence. Commander Tucker expressed his own sorrow for my loss earlier today and, even though the words won't bring back my mates, they brought some comfort. I suppose it is the knowledge that Jhamel and I aren't the only ones to suffer such grief that comforts me." He chuckled. "Listen to me. I've become the epitome of human sentiment. My friendship with you has changed me a great deal, pinkskin. I have become as soft at heart as you."

 

Archer dared a smile. "A soft heart isn't always a weak heart."

 

Shran grinned and nodded. "So I've learned."

 

It was at that moment that the doors to the room parted to reveal Trip standing in the doorway.

 

Trip glanced at Shran and then at Archer, hesitant. "I'm sorry if I'm interrupting. I can leave."

 

To Archer's surprise, Shran grinned and urged Trip to enter. "Of course not. The more the merrier." Shran glanced at Archer. "If it's all right with you pinkskin."

 

Archer smiled and nodded. "Of course. Come in, Trip."

 

Archer poured Trip a glass of Andorian ale as the engineer took a seat beside Shran. He watched Trip fidget nervously.

 

"Is something the matter, Commander?" Archer asked.

 

Trip glanced reluctantly at Shran. He sighed and turned to Archer. "No, sir."

 

Archer nodded, urging him to continue.

 

"We've found a location for the new settlement," Trip said. "It's not very far away from the old settlement, so there shouldn't be any drastic temperature changes to become accustomed to."

 

The smile slipped from Shran's features, the forlorn look from earlier replacing it. Trip grimaced.

 

Archer glanced at Shran and nodded. "Get a team ready. We'll need a closer look to be sure the ice is sturdy."

 

Trip inclined his head. "Aye, sir."

 

He then stood and exited the room.

 


 

Andor-Council Chambers

Cycle 52.79, Period 3.32, Hour 12.31

 

Whispering broke out among the parliament representatives as they awaited the Chancellor's imminent arrival. Rumors had flown about throughout the week that the Chancellor was at last going to announce Andor's breaking of ties with the troublesome Terrans.

 

"Earth is too dangerous to ally with. An enemy hunts them and will surely hunt us if we join the Terran alliance," Councilmember Keval th'Zarath commented.

 

Councilmember Thalev shook his head. "I disagree, Keval. Their enemy seeks not just their destruction, but ours as well."

 

Keval snorted. "What would you know of this enemy?"

 

"Under Shran's command, I have fought alongside the Humans," Thalev retorted bitterly.

 

"Shran?" Keval queried. "He is a fool and a traitor."

 

Thalev opened his mouth to retort, but was silenced by the opening of a door, which signaled the Chancellor's arrival. All present stood, their arms crossing their chests in a sign of respect.

 

The Chancellor stood beside his place at the head table and the others in the room took their seats.

 

"I come today with grave news," the Chancellor began. "The senior members have debated continuing relations with Earth and all council members have voted. The majority of votes showed favor in halting all alliance negotiations and contact with Earth. So you have voted and so it shall be."

 

The Chancellor raised the gavel about to strike it on the wood before him to dismiss the hearing.

 

Thalev stood. "I move that alliance negotiations continue and that contact with Earth be restored."

 

"I second," added a man in the far corner.

 

Whispers broke out among the others present.

 

The Chancellor glanced at the young male warily. "You've had your chance to speak, Thalev. The decision has been made."

 

"Chancellor, please," he pleaded. "Allow me one last opportunity to persuade the council away from this disastrous action."

 

Keval grasped Thalev's robes and attempted to pull him back down to his seat. Thalev brushed the man's hands away.

 

The Chancellor paused. "Very well. But I doubt you'll change many minds."

 

Thalev bowed respectfully and then turned to address his peers. "You may not be able to see what this action would mean, but I can. The Terrans are the only ones keeping our peace with the Vulcans. Without the Terrans, there will be nothing to stop this enemy from taking everything we hold dear. I received news this morning from our colony on Gamma Virginis. The same enemy that has plagued the Humans has now started plaguing us. I urge you to reconsider. An alliance with the Humans is the only way to keep our world and our way of life intact."

 

Keval stood next. "May I speak, Chancellor?"

 

The Chancellor nodded.

 

Keval turned to face the others. "I, too, have received news. A colleague on Earth tells me that the Terrans may soon be embroiled in a civil war because of the secrets their government has kept from them. I ask you...do we really want to ally with a government that would lie to its own people?"

 

"We've heard enough," the Chancellor added. "We will now vote on the matter."

 

Thalev glanced at those around him, his gaze pleading.

 

"All in favor of reinstating negotiations and contact with Earth?" the Chancellor queried.

 

A lump formed in Thalev's throat when only two of the thirty present raised their hands.

 

"It is decided, then," the Chancellor said, banging the gavel.

 

"You don't know what you've done," Thalev said hoarsely.

 


 

Earth-Starfleet Headquarters-San Francisco

April 5th, 2156-1231 hours

 

Despite Captain Archer's warning about Arkle's article, there hadn't been enough time for Starfleet to stop it from going through. There were guards at every entrance securing doors to be sure none of the violent protestors entered the building.

 

Admiral Blackwell frowned as he watched the scene. This was disastrous to the nth degree. Surely civil war would break out around the globe. There was nothing to stop it now that Arkle had released his scoop. He hadn't gone after the president, as Blackwell had suspected upon first hearing about the article. No, Arkle had attacked the government where it was still the sorest...Starfleet.

 

He'd gone on for two columns about the mistakes that Starfleet had made in dealing with aliens over the last decade. He'd blamed Starfleet for the Romulans' desire to destroy the government from within, saying that Starfleet had barged into their territory without warning.

 

Of course, Starfleet had sent a counter story to datastreams all over the world in hopes of quelling the anger and violence that was sure to follow. However, it was too late. The rising sympathy for Terra Prime as well as the liberalist article had resulted in global panic.

 

He saw the guards struggling to keep the doors closed. Time slowed as he watched the crowds at last break through and saw them rushing toward him, their expressions angry and accusing. He didn't move, preparing himself for the onslaught of accusations. What he wasn't prepared for, however, was being knocked to the ground and being brutally beaten by the incensed crowd. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the guards attempting to pull the crowd away one by one. But there were too many. The last thing Blackwell saw before the darkness was the angry face of an elderly woman, tears glinting in her eyes.

 


 

Enterprise-Bridge

April 6th, 2156-0903 hours

 

As Archer stepped onto the bridge from the lift, he heard a loud alarm blaring from Reed's station.

 

Reed looked up, his features like stone. "Four Romulan ships are closing in on our position, sir."

 

Archer turned to Hoshi and she nodded. "Shipwide, sir."

 

Archer to all personnel. Battle stations. Repeat. Battle stations.

  

Hoshi closed the comm. line and her gaze locked with Reed's. His features softened slightly and he nodded.

 

Archer slid into the captain's chair. "Lieutenant?"

 

Reed studied the console before him. "They'll be in weapons' range in three minutes, sir."

 

Archer nodded. "On screen."

 

The viewer changed to show four Romulan ships in formation. The formation gave off a foreboding power that had Archer's heart racing.

 

"Activate the hull plating and bring the phase cannons online," Archer ordered.

 

Reed entered a series of commands into his console and then looked up. Tension filled the bridge as the crew prepared for the difficult battle ahead.


Comments:

Asso

I think this is much more than interesting.

This is a real TV show.

!

WarpGirl

This was very interesting. Where did you find all of the Andorian information? Is your Gannet a member of Starfleet intelegence? Because she was in the show. All in all glad you're back.  

You need to be logged in to the forum to leave a review!