Aboard The Enterprise

This is a story based on the original Star Trek series, about eighty-four years after the characters were born. This takes place in the future, so it may take time to get used to the technology. Please comment if you have questions or suggestions.

Chapter 21

Command

"Dismissed Lieutenant." Captain Archer told Andy, furious.
She clicked her heels and briskly walked to the turbolift where she departed without another word.
I silently stood for a minute and headed for the turbolift. Andy was right; she said something we all knew. We weren’t getting anywhere.
I worried for Andy’s sake. Surely the captain wouldn’t relieve Andy, but he was humiliated in front of Rusik and the rest of the bridge crew.
Archer intercepted my path.
“Wait, wait. Come here.” He led me in front of one of the helm controls.
“Do you know how to maneuver this ship?”

“I believe so, sir.”

“Believing won’t be good enough. Helmsman Thepler, stand up.”
A middle-aged Ferengi got up from his chair and stood off to the side. Archer pushed me down into the chair and pressed a button under the panel.
“Set coordinates, 327-mark-215.”
I changed the current heading and entered in the new one.

“Good. Take us out of orbit at warp two.”

“Sir?” I looked up at him.

“It won’t really move. Do it.”

I flicked on the warp drive and set it to the second power level. I reached over to the end of the panel and slowly pushed the throttle forward.

“Okay, you seem like you know this stuff. Let’s say you were on an alien planet still in it’s early stages of development. You detect a shower of meteorites heading straight for the area which will most likely cause destruction and death of the planet and people on it. When do you warn them and where do you take them?”

I realized Captain Archer was testing my capabilities. But… why?

“I don’t warn them at all. In fact, we never reveal ourselves or the ship to them. That would be a direct violation of the Prime Directive, sub-order four and seventeen. If possible, change the course of the meteoroids.”

Archer nodded admiringly.
“I don’t think you had public training. Did you have a personal instructor?”

“Admiral Data, sir.”

“Data?” He seemed to ponder this. “Dvel, do you think you’d be ready to captain a starship?”

“What? Excuse me?” His question completely took me by surprise.

“Ensign Andy is right. We need to stay in one spot. In about a week, I’m beaming down with a landing party for an extensive stay.”

“The same planet? Captain, the natives-”

“No, no. Not the same one. This one’s Helitun IV. It’s not that far, and the conditions are mostly the same. Sick people, crumbling buildings, you know. Anyway, I need someone to sit in the chair for me while we’re gone.”

“That is the job of the first officer.” I was still registering the fact that he was appointing me temporary captain.

“Rusik? He’s going with me. He’s got good people skills,” Archer looked towards the turbolift. “And the rest of my top officers. Like I said, an extended stay. I’m not sure how long, but it’ll be more than two weeks, most likely. I’ve looked through your Academy and school files, Dvel. You look like you’d be able to give orders for much more than fourteen days. What about it?”

“I- I, erm, I’m not sure.” I hesitated.

“Well, consider it an order. Most of my navigators are fresh out of the academy like you, but they weren’t trained by Admiral Data himself.”

That was the decision. I guess I would be a two-week captain.

“I’ll tell you more later this week, but I’m sure you know I expect daily logs and updates. Any problem, you reach me. Though, I trust you Dvel. You’ll do a good job.”




The next six days passed in anticipation and fear. I had never commanded anyone before, let alone an entire ship. Archer only wanted me to keep the ship in orbit around Helitun IV and sometimes beam down supplies. What if something went wrong? But at the same time, I felt a twang of excitement every time I looked at the captain’s chair. I busily mixed earth samples in the lab with my fellow officers, none of us ever talking to each other. We had a job to do.
A few times I had passed Andy in the hall, but we both were too occupied to chat so we simply nodded heads. Andy still displayed signs of fatigue, but it was obvious her wounds were healing. Sometimes I thought of visiting her quarters, but I decided against it. I didn’t want to interrupt her.


It was an early Monday morning. My intercom whistled and I sighed. I pulled my blanket off and shuffled groggily near the door to the intercom.
“Ensign Dvel here.”

“You’re no longer an ensign.” Archer’s voice came through. “You’re a lieutenant commander. Get ready and meet me on the bridge.”

I clicked off the intercom and shuffled to the bathroom where I turned on the shower and stepped inside. I fully awoke and let the self-cleaning soapwater pour over me.
I stepped out and changed into a crisp blue uniform. It felt good to be clean.

Entering the bridge, I took a swift look around. Captain Archer was standing behind the chair, discussing something with Andy and Rusik. Others sat around the helm controls or side communication table. The most fascinating thing was the design. Everything was so white and blue that it nearly made me look away. Lights flashed this way and that from different panels.
Archer noticed me standing at the entrance and beckoned for me to join him.
"Good, Dvel, you're here. We'll be leaving shortly. Remember, don't do anything stupid. Just keep the ship in orbit and don't get blown up. I'll call every day to check in."

"Yes sir."

"Escort me to the transporter room." Archer strolled off to the turbolift and I hurried to keep pace with him.
Andy and Rusik followed behind. I couldn't tell how they were feeling.
"Hey." I said to Andy.

"Hi."

"Are you feeling alright?"

"Yeah, I'm okay. I'm just going to take a while to recover."

I assumed she wasn't referring to her physical wounds.
"Well... I wish you the best of luck."

"Thank you. You too. Keep the ship safe."
She apparently knew of my temporary upgrade to captain.

We walked the rest of the way to the transporter room sullenly, where we were met by at least a dozen more people.

"Have you got all the supplies? Food? Equipment?" Archer asked.

"Yep, yep, and yep." Two crewmen said, holding a rather large bag.
Everyone went down in groups of five until only Andy and Rusik remained.
I bid Rusik farewell and gave Andy a quick hug. They stood on the platforms and soon were whisked away to Helitun IV.

I walked back onto the bridge, with a new sense of authority.
I swiveled onto the chair and faced the main viewer as I turned on the shipwide intercom.
"This is Dvel, acting captain of the starship Enterprise. Captain Archer and an away team has beamed down to Helitun IV as many of you know, for an extended research mission. We will remain in orbit for the next two weeks until they return. Carry on."
I turned it off, and the two navigators turned around to look at me with newfound respect.
This was going to be exciting.

I leaned in the chair in the most awkward position possible. Less than five hours had passed since their departure and I was bored out of my mind.

"Captain, unregistered ship coming 24-mark-214."

"Ignore it, helmsman Thepler." I said for the third time.

The first time I thought it was serious, and it had only turned out to be a small commercial vessel. It was the same the second time and third time and so on.
I simply sat in the chair and slowly watched as the Enterprise circled Helitun IV.

A young girl came up to the chair and looked me in the eyes.
"Are you hungry, captain?"

"No, I'm fine, thank you." I waved her off.
What time was it? I looked at the Federation time displayed on the viewer. It was noon.
I searched for the button on the side of the captain's chair and found the one that read, "report." I pressed it, sighing.
"Acting captain Dvel. Stardate, um," I looked at the main viewer again. "25101.13. The captain, along with a landing party has left five hours ago in hopes of finding a cure and researching inhabitants of planet Helitun IV of the Kilite quadrant. They plan a stay of fourteen days, and the Enterprise is to remain in orbit until then."
I shut off the report and sighed.
Captaining was not as rewarding as it looked to be.

I stumbled into my room at eleven oclock. I had put off sleeping as long as long as possible until someone noticed me dozing off in the captain's chair. The chief surgeon demanded I retire to sleep. How someone like Archer could spend days without sleep was mystifying.
I threw my clothes on my desk and dropped into bed where I immediately fell asleep.

The intercom whistled and I awoke groggily. It was two in the morning. What was it now? Another merchant ship passing by?
I threw on the same clothes from the night before and answered the intercom. "Acting captain Dvel."

I heard Noya's voice. "Captain, we're finding something... odd. I request your presence on the bridge."

"I'm coming up." I thumbed it off and headed out the door.
I entered the bridge to see everyone frantically working at their stations.
"What's wrong?" I walked to Noya. Her ponytail swished as she turned around to face me.
"We're detecting something a few thousand kilometers behind us."

"What is it?"

"That's the thing, captain, we're not sure. The only we can find out is that it's... there. No other information."

"Put on the rear viewer." I turned to face the viewer and Noya switched it on. "Magnify four hundred percent."
I peered at the screen. There was nothing there... or was there?
"It appears to be like a ripple in space." Noya stood up to gaze at the screen.
She was right. The stars in the center of the screen didn't completely line up with the stars on the outer edge.
"Have you tried scanning it?" I asked Noya without turning back.

"Yes. Nothing registers."

Thoughts processed in my head.
"It's not a field of energy. That would appear on the scanners. It's possible that it may be an alien, but nothing unusual has happened in this quadrant. Could it be a ship?"

"It might be, captain. If it were, then it would have very advanced stealth capabilities, technology that outdoes the Federation."

I sat down in the chair, my hand on my chin.
Assuming it was a hidden ship, it would have to have some core from which the cloaking device is produced. Cloaking device. Cloaking device. It rung in my head.
Where have I heard those words before? I learned about it a long time ago, but I reached at the memory for more. What about them? Who possesses them? I thought, but nothing came to me. I looked at the screen again. The unmatched stars reached across the screen horizontally, resembling wings. There were no Federation ships that were modeled after birds.

It clicked in my head.
"Noya! Get Archer online right now! Don't use the Federation's main frequency. The emergency one."

"Yes sir."

Archer's voice almost immediately appeared.
"Dvel? Is everything okay? You contacted me on an emergency channel."

"I know that. I am almost sure we have a Klingon ship behind us."

"What!? Are you sure? We're nowhere near the Neutral Zone!"

"I calculate a 76 percent chance. They have their cloaking device on."

I could hear Archer shuffling with his communicator.
"Damn it. You're probably right. I have no idea what they're doing here or why, but they're breaking the agreement. Listen, Dvel. I want you to take the Enterprise as far away from here as possible. We can't risk it."

"Take it where, sir?"

"Anywhere. Actually, no. Don't take it near any starbases. There might be more of them. Lead them to the Delta quadrant. It's Federation territory, but inhabited by only a few races. Contact Starfleet as soon as you possibly can. This is an act of war on their part."

"Then we won't be anywhere near you, sir. What if something happens down there?"

"There's only twenty of us down here. We can make it. Contact Starfleet and travel to the Delta quadrant. Return when you can, and DON'T do anything stupid."

"Yes captain." I signaled for Noya to turn it off.
I turned on the red alert and the shipwide intercom.
"Acting captain Dvel. We have a suspected Klingon ship on our tail. We are to travel to the Delta quadrant where we can try to contact them without disturbance. Meanwhile, get to battlestations."

The alarm blared in my ears. "Shut that damn thing up!" I yelled.
"Take us out of orbit to the Delta quadrant, warp five."

The helmsman pushed the throttle forward and the Enterprise soon traveled into the space-time tunnel of warp.

"Is it still on us?" I shouted.

"Yes! Gaining speed."

"Try to establish communications."

"No response, sir."

"Helmsman, increase speed to warp seven." I ordered.

The ship flew through space at an incredible speed, with the Klingon ship hot on her tail.
"Captain, incoming transmission from the Klingon vessel." Another crewman said.

"Put it on the main screen." I said.
A bulky Klingon came up on the viewer. He had a dwarfing beard and small eyes. His forehead ridges stuck out proudly, as if trying to call attention to itself.
"Duj mev."

"Excuse me?"

"Duj mev pagh SoH jatlh 'Iv jIH."

Noya ran to my side.
"He's saying he'll blow you up if you don't stop the ship."

"Slow the ship down to a stop," I commanded. "You speak Klingon?"

"Loosely. I'm better in Vulcan and a few other languages."

"Lang legh SoH pu'HIchmey wIghaj," the bulky Klingon interrupted. "MaHvaD ghom vI'ogh chenpu' Delta vega 'ej ghu' qaStaHvIS ja'chuq maH."

I looked at Noya expectantly.

"He says he has phasers pointed at us, and he wants us to meet him down on the planet of Delta Vega to discuss the situation."

"What situation? Tell him he's breaking the agreement between the Federation and the Klingon Empire and is committing an act of war."

"yav DIvI' tlhIngan wo' je jojDaq rojHom ghor SoH 'ej LUT veS luqoplu' SoH." Noya yelled at the screen.

"BaQa' mab umqu' ghot Qo' nob jlH. QaSta HvIS vagh tup pagh Duj ghaH qawlu' jIHvaD ghom."

"He doesn't give a damn about the treaty and insists in your meeting him there or the Enterprise will be no longer."

"I see. That's not gonna happen. Get Starfleet."

"Communications are down."

"What!?" I rose out of my seat.

"The Klingon ship is blocking off all communication channels except this one."

I cursed in Vulcan. "Tell him we'll be there soon, and if he tries anything funny we're not afraid to take offensive action."

I hailed Yosh over the intercom.
"Yosh? Where are you?"

"In the botany lab, Dvel. I mean captain."

"You're in charge of the ship while I'm gone. If I'm not back in an hour, then get the hell out of here and try to reach Starfleet."

"Yes sir." He disconnected and I motioned for Noya to follow me.

"I'm coming with you?" She asked.

"We're going to need a translator. I don't know why the ship's automatic translators weren't working. Hopefully we'll see what this guy wants then get out of here with nobody hurt." I jogged down the hallway to the transporter room but stopped a few doors before.
We entered.

"I need two of the warmest, snow-protective suits we have." I told the man in the clothing department.
He departed and returned with two heavy fur jackets.
I handed one to Noya and put the other one on myself. We entered the transporter room and collected two phasers. With luck, they wouldn't need to be used.
I stepped onto the transporter platform with Noya next to me.
The man operating the transporters energized it and we disappeared to the icy planet of Delta Vega.
We materialized in the snow in the middle of a freak blizzard.
"What are we doing here?" Yelled Noya over the shriek of the wind.

"I don't know! However, there is a Federation outpost not far to the east." My eyes gazed over my tricorder.

"Which way is east?" Noya pulled her hood over her head and jumped up and down in the snow to keep warm.

I pointed according to my tricorder.
Our path didn't have any noticeable landmarks that helped us trace our path; maybe a boulder once in a while. Ice and wind blew furiously in our faces. We had to look down to avoid being sprayed by hail.
Looking up wouldn't have done much good anyway. I could barely see five feet in front of me.

We finally reached the outpost which was nearly buried in the snow.
Noya threw off her jacket noisily.
"Where are they? They weren't at the spot to which we beamed down. We didn't meet them on our thirty minute hike through the snow, either! If you don't mind, captain, I request to return to the ship. I'm freezing."

"They might be here. We're just going to find out what the hell these guys want and we'll be on our way back to the Kilite quadrant."

She grumbled as we walked down a long, dimly lit hallway. We reached the end and we turned into a large room. Tables were here and there, and machines were strewn everywhere like a workhouse.
I scanned the room for anybody. It was empty.

"They're not even here! The nerve of those idiots!"
Noya angrily kicked a rusty engine off a chair and sat down.

Something felt oddly amiss. The Klingons weren't here, but then where would they be? This was the only operational outpost on the planet. Nobody lived on the planet, so there would be no residential buildings.
Noya toyed with a broken wrist-watch.
I noticed the darkness. The hallway outside had been lit up, but this room's lights were off. Only a shimmer of white came from a small window.
"Noya... Come here."

She looked at me strangely, then realized what I was thinking.
It was too late. An arm looped around her neck and a Klingon disruptor pointed at her head. Behind her stood the captain of the Klingon warbird.

"Let her go!" I yelled, and soon had my own phaser pointed at the Klingon.
Two other Klingons sprang up from either side of him and pointed their weapons towards my head.
"Let her go... now." I repeated. I tried to sound confident, like Captain Archer, but my voice was shaky and unstable.

"Vor wa'DIch." The head Klingon slithered.

Noya was being strangled, so she obviously couldn't translate for me. He found the confusion on my face.

"Oh...No speaking Klingon, yes? Well. I know bit of English." He smiled at me and tightened his grip on Noya, who was desperately trying to claw herself out of his grip. "You give me cure. Then we let girl go."

"This is an act of war against the Federation." I gritted my teeth.

The Klingon jammed his disruptor into Noya's head and she yelped.
"I need cure. Now, if you please."

I understood him. He and his people were being affected by the plague too. He, like many of the Federation's ships, were supposed to find a cure. They assumed we carried it.
"I don't have the cure. I'm trying to find it too."

"You lie." He snarled.
I advanced towards him and one of the Klingons fired, barely missing my head.

"I don't have it! We have people looking for this cure too!"

He didn't believe me. I saw I had no hope in convincing him, so I did the only thing I could do.
I fired upon the Klingon who had just shot at me. I hit him square in the chest and he sprawled backwards. A shout arose and the remaining Klingon shot twice at me. I successfully ducked the first one but the second rammed into my side.
I flew backwards and hit the leg of a table. I felt myself losing consciousness quickly, and I fought to remain awake. I tasted blood. My body slumped over.
No, no, no. I failed Noya. I failed the Enterprise. I've failed Starfleet.
I heard distant shouts in Klingon. My eyes shut.
A blackness enveloped me.



My eyes opened and I struggled to sit up. A ferocious pain pounded at my hip where I had been shot. My shirt was tattered and there was grime all over my hands and face. My eyes slowly focused and I took in my surroundings.
I was in a small, metal cell. There were no windows, and there was no bed. A thin doorway stood with a Klingon guard right outside.
I was taken prisoner by the Klingons. I was about to move out of the jail cell, but I hesitated. A hum of electricity resonated near the doorway. It was electrified.
I noticed Noya, who lay in the corner. I crawled over to her. Her eyes were closed, and her skin was cold. I stuck two fingers under her neck and felt her pulse. She was barely holding on.
I let her sleep and propped her up against the wall. Nothing I could do would make her better. I was stripped of my communicator and tricorder, and just remained with my clothing.
"Excuse me." I weakly called out then coughed.
The guard either ignored me or didn't hear me.
"Excuse me," I tried again. "My friend... she's badly injured. Without proper treatment, she could die."
The guard remained silent.
"She-she might know about the cure."

At this, the guard turned around and eyed me. He lifted his wrist to his mouth and spoke into a little band.
Not long after, the Klingon captain descended. He caught a glimpse of me and smiled.
"Ah... Our young warrior has woken."

"You fight without honor." I spat out. "Ambushes are not fair."

"It is not matter of fairness. Do I look like man who plays by the rules?"

I didn't answer and he laughed.
"So... your friend. She has cure to plague?"

"Yes. But she'll die. She needs medical treatment."
I was lying, something I had almost never done before. Noya knew just about as much of the plague as I did.
He grimaced.
"You tell truth?"

"Vulcans never lie." I lied again.
Vulcans were fully capable of lying, only they never did except in dire consequences. Such as this one.

"You will suffer most painful death if this some joke."
The Klingon captain stood and talked into his wrist band.

A middle-aged Klingon woman came into the jail cell and set to work on Noya immediately. The captain kept his disruptor pointed at me if I tried to attack her, but I simply sat and watched.
After a while, the Klingon doctor rose and left the cell. She spoke in English.
"She will live. Giver her time; she is in a state of shock and has dropped into a small coma. She will wake, but not immediately."
She left and the captain frowned.
"I'll be back." He left too.

The next few days passed in pain and worry. The wound on my hip gradually healed, but it still hurt to crawl around. Noya slept and slept. If she was showing signs of recovery, I didn't see it. The Klingon doctor and captain never came back down again and the guard never responded, even when tempted with lures.
One day I crawled to Noya's side. Her head was down and her arms at her sides.
My hand trembled as I put it to her face. A wave of energy traveled through my fingertips, and my vision was clouded.
I saw through Noya's eyes. We were back at the outpost. Noya's head turned to see me get flung back by the gun.
"No!"
She yelled. She tried to break free of the captain's grasp, but he held her tight. Noya bit his hand hard, and the captain shrieked and pushed her away. Noya stumbled over to my body and picked up my head.
"Dvel, wake up, please! I need you!"
The two Klingons were glancing at their captain, awaiting orders.
"Dvel, please!"
She held her head close to mine and she ran a hand over my cheek.
The Klingon captain shook off the pain and pointed at Noya.
"Shoot her."
I yanked my hand off Noya's face. I didn't want to see more.

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