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Gateway: Book I in the Captain Soma/Enterprise Adventures
Author - Quills | G | Genre - Action/Adventure | Main Story | Rating - PG
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2002 ASC Awards/ Enterprise/ Unfinished: First Place
Gateway: Book I in the Captain Soma/Enterprise Adventures
Summary: Captain Archer is relieved of command for a secret mission into the 24th Century . To find and stop the Suliban renegade Silik.While he is gone, a Vulcan Starfleet Captain from the future is given temporary command of the Enterprise NX-01 with his own orders to to investigate the 'Temporal Cold War'.
PART ONE (Chapters 1-3)
Captain Archer sat in the command chair thumbing through Lt. Reed's latest requests for increased security measures. He looked up for a moment and eyed the armory officer thoughtfully. Reed was a good man he thought. A bit high strung and overly cautious, but his heart was in the right place. He was only concerned with Enterprise's safety. Something he and the Captain both agreed on. The Captain had already implemented Reed's suggestion of instituting an alert status for the ship...ranging from green too yellow and finally red. It was a good idea as was Reed's suggestion that a security team accompany landing parties into unexplored and potentially dangerous environments. Archer decided that having a regular armed security guard on the bridge was a bit more than he wanted and rejected that idea. He scanned further down the PADD.
The bridge was quiet. As it always was on the night shift. Although the same duties were performed on the night shift as the day, there was a more subdued sense. Perhaps it was the simplest of explainations. At the start of the night shift, the lighting levels were lowered. This was to give the crew a sense of day and night...even if only artificially.
"Captain" the ship's communication officer called out.
Archer looked up from his PADD "Yes Hoshi?"
"I'm receiving an incoming message from Admiral Forrester, sir," she told him. "Priority one, sir...It's encoded and for your eyes only."
The bridge crew each stopped what they were doing and looked up. Enterprise received messages from Starfleet all the time but none had ever used the new Priority One code. It signaled the highest importance with the suggestion of immanent danger.
Archer stood up from the command chair. "I'll take it in the ready room Ensign. T'pol, the bridge is yours."
Archer sat down at his desk and opened the encoded link. A computerized voice program initiated "Priority One communication, please state command authorization."
The Captain replied "Voice command authorization, Archer...Jonathan...Captain...Enterprise....
The screen flashed and the decoded transmission appeared on the monitor.
"John, it's good to see you." said Admiral Forrester with a smile.
Archer could see that his old friend was trying very hard to hide a pained look on his face. "Problem admiral?"
Forrester took a deep breath "John, I'm sorry to be the one to do this."
"Admiral, what's going on? Why the Priority One?" asked Archer
"John, I want you to know I don't like having to do this," said Forrester "but I don't have a choice. I've been given an emergency mandate."
Archer made no attempt to hide his exasperation "Admiral, what exactly is going on?"
"Effective immediately Captain..." Forrester paused "I'm relieving you of command of the Enterprise."
The bridge hung in an erie silence. The Captain had been in the readyroom for nearly forty minutes. The senior officers were now all present. Commander Tucker was not scheduled for the night shift, but had decided to visit the bridge, during off duty time, to check on a ystem
"My guess is the Klingons." replied Reed
"Klingons?" said Hoshi, giving Reed a quizzical look.
"Have you read the latest reports?" asked Reed "Two Starfleet vessels...the Cheyenne and the Capitaine ran into Klingon ships last month. They didn't exactly part amicably."
"Maybe it's the Suliban?" chimed in Trip "We haven't heard a peep out of em since the Cap'n captured Silik."
"Maybe it's the Romulans?" added Travis
Now the bridge was alive with speculation, rumor and suggestions. All the officers had their own idea of what meaning the message held. All save one who believed that...."Idle circumspection will avail you nothing." said T'Pol. "We do not know what the nature of the Admiral's transmission is. If and when the Captain wishes to inform us of it's nature...he will do so. Trying to discern it is a futile effort."
Trip Tucker leaned over the engineering console. "Aren't you the least bit curious, T'pol?"
The Vulcan raised a brow. "My curiosity will not be satisfied by attempting to discern the transmission by idle speculation."
Tucker sighed and rolled his eyes. "Figures, I shoulda never asked a Vulcan."
"Indeed" she replied
Just then the doors to the readyroom opened and Captain Archer stepped out with two data PADDs in hand. T'Pol rose to relinquish the command chair, but Archer motioned her to remain seated and walked past her to the front of the bridge. He stopped, turning to face his senior officer for a moment.
"Mr. Mayweather, set course for the following coordinates." said Archer handing Mayweather one of the PADDs "Maximum Warp."
The Helmsman took the PADD and studied the coordinates. After a moment he looked up. "Captain, these coordinates are outside explored territory. They're not even on the Vulcan star charts."
Archer shook his head. "I'm aware of that. Set the course Ensign."
"Aye sir." replied Mayweather.
Trip Tucker rounded the engineering station and started down towards Archer. "Cap'n, what's goin on?"
Archer held up his hand "At ease Commander." Archer looked around the bridge" All of you, I know you have questions." he said " I'm sorry, but I don't have any answers to give you. We are to proceed to the coordinates I've given Mr. Mayweather. Once there I will inform the entire crew of the nature of our orders. Is that understood?"
A general round of acknowledgements came from the senior officers as they each gave their assent to the extremely unorthadox orders.
"Good, then set course Travis." ordered Archer
"Course is laid in sir." replied the helmsman
"Engage warp engines at warp five and hold her at that speed until further notice." instructed Archer
"Aye sir" replied Travis
Trip walked down the steps from the engineering station. "Cap'n, how long will we be travelin at warp 5?"
Archer turned to T'Pol who had taken her seat at the science station "T'Pol, estimated time of arrival at our current speed?"
T'Pol reviewed the course information transferred from the navigation station "At present speed
"That's how long we need to sustain Warp 5." said Archer, turning back to the engineer
"Cap'n, the engines weren't designed to operate at maximum warp for an extended period of time." said Tucker
"Do what you can Trip." said Archer as he headed up the steps towards the turbo lift. "We need to reach those coordinates in the next 40 hours. Sub Commander, you have the bridge again. I'll be in my quarters."
"Yes Captain." responded the Vulcan as she rose from her chair.
Archer stepped into the lift and the doors closed behind him as he left the bridge crew with more questions than answers
37 hours later.........
T'pol sat in the command chair as the Enterprise approached her mysterious destination.
"Sub Commander, we are approaching the coordinates." said the Ensign
T'Pol tapped the comm button on the command chair. "Bridge to Captain Archer."
"Archer here." the voice replied
"Captain, we are approaching the coordinates you supplied." reported the Vulcan
"On my way." said the Captain
T'pol stood up and walked to the science station. Running a scan, she was surprised to find one
The turbo lift doors opened and Captain Archer entered the bridge. "Report"
"I've run a scan." said T'Pol "Sensors show a planetoid at the center of the coordinates. It is a..."
"Any ships either in orbit or in the vicinity?." asked Archer cutting her off
"No sir." the Vulcan replied
"Life signs?" he asked
"None." she replied once more
Archer turned to the helm. "Travis, slow to impulse and take us into a standard orbit when we arrive."
"Aye, sir." replied the helmsman "ETA is 3 minutes."
Archer walked to the front of the bridge. All eyes were on him awaiting answers. He looked around, but remained silent as Mayweather brought the ship into orbit over the unknown and seemingly barren world.
"Captain, we are entering standard orbit sir." Mayweather informed him
"Good" replied Archer. "Open ship's intercom Hoshi."
"Aye sir." replied the comm officer as she moved her hand over her console.
"Attention all hands." said Archer " You are all undoubtedly curious about the Priority One message Enterprise received some 37 hours ago and the reason we have traveled at a dangerously sustained warp 5 to reach an unexplored sector of space. I can now tell you both the nature of the transmission and our reason for being here."
Archer looked around the bridge for a moment. "As of 37 hours ago I have been relieved of command of the Enterprise."
Arcer's looked at his bridge crew, pausing for a moment to allow the information to sink in "I have been instructed by Starfleet Command to have Enterprise rendezvous at these coordinates."
"Rendezvous with who?' said Trip still in shock over his friend's revelation.
"We will rendezvous with Enterprise's new captain at which time I will leave the ship and Enterprise will break orbit to continue it's mission." answered Archer " Enterprise's crew will be briefed by senior staff about the change in command. That's all for now." Archer nodded to Ensign Sato to close the channel.
"Senior staff, assemble for a meeting in 10 minutes." said Archer "Mr. Reed, have a security team report to the shuttle bay deck and have a shuttle pod ready for travel to the planet's surface following that meeting."
"Aye Captain." replied the armory officer.
"I'll see you all in ten minutes." said Archer as he headed for the ready room.
Continue to Part 2 (Chapters 4-6)
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