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Becky Rock Becky Rock is a Female
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I'm not sure this posted completely, so I'll check it tomorrow.

I know this isn't where fics are supposed to go but I can't get the fic part here to work either.

So here it is, as promised. The completed Faith of the Heart. I apologize for the line problems but it looks correct in my Word.


Jason typed into the keyboard of his tracking station. The trajectory of the final missile appeared on the radar screen.
“Ah, crap,” Tiny muttered as he looked over his shoulder at the screen.
“New York City.” Princess wrapped her arms around herself under her wings and shivered.
“How…how are we going to stop it?” Keyop asked, staring at the radar as it showed the missile’s progress.
“Standard Bird Missiles are no good,” Tiny reminded them as he tapped his finger on his console. “The TBX missiles didn’t work, either.”
“Fiery Phoenix.”
Mark tore his eyes from the radar to look at Jason. “What?”
“The Fiery Phoenix might produce enough heat to destroy it,” Jason responded.
“Or blow it up, us with it,” Tiny pointed out.
Jason stared back at him intensely. “Five people or millions. Take your pick.”
Princess moved up behind Jason’s seat. “What if it doesn’t work?” she asked, a slight tremor in her voice. “What if the missile still gets through?” She turned to look at Mark, who was staring hard at Jason.
An understanding seemed to pass between the three of them.
“Then we died trying. It’s better than not trying at all.” Mark took a deep breath and blew it out. “I can’t force any of you to possibly give up your lives.” He looked at each of them in turn. “But the Fiery Phoenix needs all of us to operate. I vote yes.”
Jason was already nodding his assent. Princess closed her eyes and nodded.
Tiny clenched his teeth. “Yeah.”
Keyop looked at each of his teammates, his family. He moved back beside Princess and reached for her hand. She took it and squeezed hard. “Let’s do it.”
“Prin, get the Chief,” Mark requested and turned back to Jason as she went to her station. He grasped the headrest of Jason’s seat and leaned over his shoulder. “Plot an intercept course, as high in the atmosphere as possible,” he instructed.
“On it.”
“Mark, I’ve got the Chief.”
Mark turned towards the main view screen mounted above Tiny’s head. Security Chief Anderson stared down at them.
“The city is being evacuated, but there’s no way we can get everyone out in time,” he told them, even though he knew they had already surmised the situation.
“We think we might be able to take it out with the Fiery Phoenix,” Mark said. The Chief drew back. He knew the implications of such an action.
“Are you all agreed on this?” he asked quietly. Mark nodded. The Chief closed his eyes and sighed heavily. In the nearly three years that they had been fighting Spectra, there had been missions when there had been doubts they would survive, but G-Force had never faced a suicide mission before. This could very well be it.
Anderson opened his eyes and looked at each of his children, wondering if he would ever see any of them again.
“Then God Speed and good luck.” He forced a weak smile and tried to keep his voice steady. “I’m very proud of all of you.”
Mark swallowed the lump that had formed in his throat. “Thank you, sir.”
“Intercept course plotted,” Jason announced, pressing a key on his radar to transfer the coordinates to Tiny’s navigation computer. “Time to intercept, four minutes.”
“Got it,” Tiny acknowledged.
“Everyone to station for Fiery Phoenix. Three minutes to activation,” Mark ordered. He took his command seat beside Tiny. Keyop and Princess took their seats at the central console. Everyone strapped in.
“Two minutes to Fiery Phoenix,” Tiny announced, maneuvering the warship along the trajectory Jason had identified. Mark turned just enough so he could face everyone.
“If we don’t make it—“
“Jeez. You’re going to nag us to the very end, aren’t you?” Jason asked, but there was a warm smile on his face.
“No. It’s been an honor to live and work with all of you.”
Princess felt her eyes filling with sad yet determined tears. Keyop still had her hand and squeezed it.
“One minute to Fiery Phoenix,” Tiny said.
She turned to look at each member of her family. As if sensing her attention, Mark turned and smiled at her.
“It’ll work,” he assured.
Tiny began the ten second countdown. He grasped the throttle for the thrusters as Mark took hold of the controls for the Fiery Phoenix affect. When Tiny hit zero, they both pushed the throttles forward.
A high-pitched squeal erupted and quickly became a deafening roar as the ship transmuted into its fiery form. It began to shake violently as the interior pressure built, quickly becoming painful.
“Fifty seconds to impact!” Jason yelled over the roar. He gritted his teeth as he watched their progress on the tracker.
He glanced at Princess. Her face was stark white, her chest rising and falling as she struggled to breath against the pressure. “Prin, it’s okay!” She forced her head to turn so she could look at him, fear in her green eyes.
“Jason, time!” Mark yelled.
Jason tore his eyes back to the tracker. “Thirty-five!”
Princess stared at Mark’s white back, her heart constricting, a sob catching in her throat. Keyop squeezed her hand harder. So hard, in fact, she thought he might break it.
“Mark!” she said. Even over the roar he heard her and turned again, his blue eyes both sad and understanding.
“I know.” He only whispered it, but she also heard it. She smiled at him as her tears overflowed to run down her cheeks.
“Twenty!”
Tiny took over the countdown at ten, now having to scream over the screeching power of the Fiery Phoenix. He thought of his family around him and held the throttle even tighter, as though the action would ensure they all survived.
When he reached zero, the warship shuddered violently, the missile explosion rocking it. The Phoenix listed to the left as control panels exploded and the lights went out.
Princess screamed as Keyop’s hand was torn from hers. She continued to scream as the ship threw them all about like rag dolls. The sound of metal tearing was overwhelming as the ship was engulfed in a blinding light that was even brighter than Fiery Phoenix.
888

“Captain’s star log, November 9, 2154, supplemental. The wormhole we have found is not only unnamed, but also unknown. Since Lt. Mayweather was the first to spot it, he will get to name it. In the meantime, my First Officer, T’Pol, has been studying it. In the last hour, it has been giving off some unusual energy readings. T’Pol believes something may be passing through it. In case she’s right, I’ve ordered the Enterprise back another hundred kilometers.”

Captain Jonathan Archer tried not to laugh at his friend and Chief Engineer, Charles ‘Trip’ Tucker III, as he explained his research for the book he was writing on the history of G-Force, the team of young people who had successfully fought and beaten invaders from the planet Spectra some one hundred twenty years earlier.
They frequently had dinner together in Captain’s private mess and this time, Tucker had brought with him a large old-fashioned poster board that he tacked up on the wall.
“Trip, you’re becoming obsessed,” Archer told him good naturedly as he joined him to look at the chart. It was a family tree that started with the names of the five members of G-Force and ended with five other familiar names.
Tucker shook his light brown head. “It’s not obsession. It’s history.”
Archer’s dark eyebrows rose. “It’s obsession.”
Tucker huffed as he looked at the family tree proudly. “Yur just jealous yah don’t look as much like the Eagle as ah look like the Condor.”
“Trip, you have a slight resemblance. It’s not worthy of jealousy.”
Archer shook his head as he moved back to the table. He sat down to wait for Enterprise’s Communications Officer, Hoshi Sato, who was going to join them to discuss what Tucker had found out about their mutual ancestors. Unfortunately, Security Officer Malcolm Reed and Navigator Travis Mayweather were on duty. Tucker had promised to share the poster with them as soon as their duty ended.
The door chimed and Archer offered entrance. Hoshi rushed in and took her seat.
“I’m sorry I’m late,” the young Asian woman said. “I had to show Carter how to cancel out the interference we’re getting from the worm hole so it won’t affect communications.” Archer smiled at her and nodded.
At that moment, the cook entered with two plates of steaming food. He placed one in front of the Captain and the second in front of Hoshi. Her dark brown eyes lit up.
“Mongolian Barbeque?”
“Didn’t we have this last week?” Tucker asked as the cook returned with a third plate and put it in front of him.
“Is it a problem?” Archer asked as he lifted his fork and his eyebrows rose again. Hoshi covered her mouth to keep from laughing. She wondered if he had any idea he was imitating First Officer T’Pol’s questioning look.
“No. Not at all. I like Mongolian Barbeque.”
“Then let’s eat.”
They ate in silence for a few minutes before Tucker waved his fork in Hoshi’s direction. “That journal yah gave me has been very interestin’. To actually get into the head of one of the G-Forcers...it’s amazin’.”
“What journal?” Archer asked.
Hoshi finished her bite before answering. “Do you remember my telling you my grandmother had passed away right before we left Earth this last time?” she asked. He nodded. “She had her mother’s journal and said it should be given to me before we left again. That’s when I found out my great-grandmother was Princess Anderson, the Swan of G-Force.”
“That’s right. I’d forgotten.” Archer chuckled at the wounded look Tucker gave him. “That’s when we began to figure out we’re actually distant cousins.” He shook his head ruefully. “I had thought my grandfather was teasing me when he said we were descendents of the Eagle and the Swan.”
“What do yah think the odds were, after one hundred twenty years, that descendents of G-Force would work together again?” Tucker’s eyes were bright with wonder.

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This post has been edited 3 time(s), it was last edited by Becky Rock on 15-03-2020 at 17:02.
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“Did yah read the journal?” he asked Hoshi. She shook her head.
“I read the first page and couldn’t go any further,” she answered, looking uncomfortable.
“Why not?” Trip was surprised.
Hoshi shrugged her slender shoulders. “That journal was Princess’ private thoughts. It’s like an invasion of privacy.”
“How? Yur grandmother gave it to yah. Would she have done that if she didn’t want yah to read it? Besides, Princess Anderson’s been dead for forty-seven years.”
“I know, but I still feel it’s an invasion of her privacy.”
“It’s history, straight from the horse’s mouth!” Trip protested.
“How much have you read it, Trip?” Archer had to admit he was curious. She was, after all, his great-grandmother as well.
“Some of it. Its hard readin’.”
“Why?”
Trip smirked at Hoshi. “For the reason yah just cited. It’s her private thoughts and sometimes, they hit too close to home, but ahm still readin’ it.”
“How so?” Archer wanted to know.
Trip sighed dramatically. “Wishes, aspirations, fears…”
Hoshi started to wave her hands at him. “Don’t tell me anymore.”
Trip frowned and gave her a quizzical look at her. “Okay.”
The intercom on the wall chimed. Archer wiped his mouth with his napkin and rose to attend to it.
“Archer.”
“Captain.” T’Pol, the Enterprise’s Vulcan Science Officer and second-in-command’s, voice sounded over the intercom. “The wormhole is discharging a great deal of energy. I suggest you come to the bridge.”
“Any idea of what’s causing it?” Archer asked, exchanging looks with Trip and Hoshi.
“I believe a ship is about to exit it.”
“We’re on our way.”
“Have yah noticed we never get to finish dinner anymore?” Trip asked as he rose.
“No rest for the wicked,” Hoshi said.
Trip shot her a look. “Speak for yurself.”
By the time they arrived on the bridge, the opening of the wormhole was swirling, growing brighter by the moment.
“Travis, pull us back,” Archer ordered his helmsman as he took his seat in the center of the bridge. “Malcolm, be ready, just in case.” Both the navigator and security officer nodded.
“Aye sir. Pulling back.”
“Yes, sir.”
“Any idea of the size of the ship that might be coming through?” Archer asked in the direction of his second-in-command.
T’Pol looked through the visor of her sensor array. “No. Our data of such wormhole effects are very limited.”
“Look at that,” Trip commented in wonder as he joined Malcolm at his post. The opening of the wormhole was widening. The energy it was producing became so bright it was becoming hard to look at.
The light illuminated the bridge and reached a final crescendo before blinking out. In the aftermath, the bridge crew blinked and rubbed their eyes, seeing spots. T’Pol was the first to notice one of the spots she was seeing wasn’t a spot.
“Captain.”
Archer rubbed his eyes again and squinted at the view screen.
A ship had indeed emerged from the wormhole. Its surface was covered with black scarring, with only patches of blue or red showing through. Each side of the ship ended with a fuel pod. One was hanging, severely damaged. The front cone of the ship was torn, revealing…
Trip leaped off the upper level and moved to Travis’ left. He stared intently at the screen.
“That…looks like an old ground car,” Malcolm said, incredulous. T’Pol turned to frown at him.
“A car?”
“Oh, mah God, it’s the Phoenix,” Trip announced, moving forward until he was almost against the view screen.
“Trip, I told you you were becoming obsessed with this G-Force thing,” Archer admonished as Trip turned to face him.
“Yuv seen pictures of the Phoenix, Captain. The configuration is the same! That car is the G-2, the Condor Machine. I know. I’ve sat in it. It’s a family heirloom!” He was practically jumping up and down with excitement.
Archer took a deep breath and looked at the screen again. He had to admit the ship certainly looked like the Phoenix. But how on Earth…?
“Captain, that ship is armed to the teeth,” Malcolm reported. “Including old TBX missiles. I strongly recommend we go to red alert.”
“Hold it, Malcolm,” Archer ordered. He turned towards T’Pol. “What are you getting on the sensors?” She turned back and pressed her eyes to the sensor visor.
“The ship is heavily damaged,” the Vulcan reported, even though they could see that. “Power systems are failing. I’m reading five life forms, human.”
“It’s too big for the bays,” Archer said, thinking out loud. “The Phoenix was one third of our length, if I remember right. Malcolm, is the grappler strong enough to pull it in close enough to an airlock?”
“I don’t think so, sir.”
“Can we get a shuttle over to it?”
“I do not believe there is enough time,” T’Pol announced. “Life support is failing as well.”
Archer rose from his seat to face Malcolm. “Can we use the transporter this close to the wormhole?” The dark-haired man thought for a moment.
“I don’t see why not.”
“Then you better get moving.”
Malcolm moved quickly towards the turbo lift and Archer followed him. “Hoshi, please ask Dr. Phlox to meet us at the transporter. Tell him there are five injured.”
“Yes, sir.”
Archer stopped just outside the lift doors. He turned towards the bridge. “Trip, are you coming?”
Trip tore himself away from the screen and hustled to join them.
888

They stepped into the lift and rode it to Deck Seven.
Malcolm led the way into the room housing the transporter at a jog and brought the machine online.
“T’Pol,” Archer said into the intercom. “We’re ready. Feed us the coordinates.”
“Sending,” T’Pol answered.
“Got them,” Malcolm announced.
Dr. Phlox and several corpsmen entered the room, carrying stretchers. “I understand we have casualties?” the Denobulan asked. Archer nodded, staring at the transporter expectantly.
“Captain, I have a lock on two of them,” Malcolm reported.
“Then get them over here.”
“Aye, sir.” Malcolm manipulated the controls. The air above the raised dais of the transporter began to shimmer. Two forms took shape and solidified.
“Mah God. It really is them,” Trip whispered.
Archer couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Who he was seeing?
Lying on the floor of the dais were a young woman in a pink body suit/miniskirt and white cape with a white helmet and a teenager, a little smaller than the woman, in a golden body suit, with a blue cape and multi-colored helmet.
Dr. Phlox and his corpsmen moved forward. Phlox scanned the two people. “He’s just unconscious. She, however, has a broken wrist. Please move her with care.”
The corpsmen moved them off the dais.
“T’Pol has sent me a fix on two more,” Malcolm announced.
“Get them,” Archer ordered. Malcolm complied.
Two more forms materialized on the dais. Two men. One was quite large, in a brown body suit, with a green cape and large helmet. The other man was shorter and lean, but with wide shoulders. His body suit was white, his cape white and his helmet white.
“The Eagle,” Trip whispered in awe. He pointed at the inert form. “That’s the Eagle.”
“They might require medical attention,” Phlox inserted, helping to move them carefully off the dais. “Please take these four to the Med Bay and check them for injuries,” he told his head corpsman.
“Yes, sir,” the young man said.
“Captain, the ship’s life support has just failed.” T’Pol announced.
“I’ve got a fix on the last one,” Malcolm said just as T’Pol finished speaking.
The final form to that appeared was in brown with a dusk blue cape and black helmet. Phlox took quick readings.
Tucker could only stare at the young man. A man he had only heard about through stories told, and no doubt expanded upon, by his father and grandfather. A man he had been reading about in both history books and in the journal. A man he resembled with his cleft chin, blue eyes, and sandy brown hair. Jason Anderson. G-2, the Condor. His great-grandfather.
“He is unconscious, but has no serious injuries,” Phlox told them and motioned to the last two corpsmen to move him. Once they had him on the stretcher, he led the way out of the Transporter Room, Tucker on his heels.
“Captain, shall I send a security detail to the Med Bay?” Reed asked as he shut down the transporter. “From what Trip has told me, they could be quite dangerous.”
“Didn’t you get stories about them from your family?” Archer asked, his eyes following the departing stretcher.
“My family wasn’t as enamored of their ancestor as yours and Trip’s was,” Malcolm admitted. “The divorce was apparently a very bitter one and Keyop’s name was never to be uttered without bitterness.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.”
“Now that I know more, I find that I don’t agree with it. I think time blew the facts out of proportion.”
Archer smiled and clapped his hand on his security officer’s shoulder in understanding. “Just in case they don’t wake up in the best of moods, post two MACOs outside medical. Get back to the bridge and let T’Pol know we have all of them. I’ll let you know as soon as we know more.”
“Aye, sir.”
Archer rushed after the group heading to the Med Bay.
“How were these people injured?” Phlox asked, taking more readings as they entered a turbo lift.
“We’re not sure,” Archer admitted. “They came through the wormhole.”
“Commander Tucker, I’m getting the impression you know this man.” The doctor looked at Trip with open curiosity.
“Not personally.” Trip looked to Archer for help and the Captain sighed.
“Phlox, we know who these people are because they’re from our past. At least one hundred twenty or so years in the past.”
“Really. As T’Pol would say, that’s fascinating.” Phlox grinned.
As they entered the Med Bay, one of the corpsmen, Frederick Thompson, immediately came towards them.

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This post has been edited 1 time(s), it was last edited by Becky Rock on 15-03-2020 at 01:19.
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“Doctor, we’re unable to get their clothing or helmets off in order to treat them,” he told them. Archer noted the other members of G-Force had been moved to diagnostic beds, still unconscious.
“Uh, ah think ah know how to do it,” Trip said, looking towards Archer. The Captain nodded his consent. “Ah read that their Birdstyles were initiated by their speakin’ a code word into their bracelets.” He pointed at the bracelet on Jason’s left wrist. “To deactivate them, they spoke another code word.”
“Do you know the codes?” Archer asked.
Trip shook his head. “No, but I was told there was another way.”
Trip turned Jason’s wrist and worked on the clasp of the bracelet. After a moment, it popped open and fell into Trip’s hand.
Jason’s body was enveloped in a blinding light that forced them to turn away, shielding their eyes. As soon as the light disappeared, they turned back.
“Ah’ll be damned. It worked,” Trip muttered and then laughed. “Ah thought granddaddy was kidding when he said they wore numbered T-shirts identifyin’ their place in the team,” he said of the number 2 T-shirt Jason was wearing.
“Thank you, Commander,” Phlox said and motioned to his two corpsmen. “Please follow Commander Tucker’s example to remove the uniforms.” The two men nodded and proceeded to remove the other four’s bracelets.
Once they were all out of their uniforms, Trip told them to put the bracelets back on their wrists. At the Captain’s questioning look, he explained. “Ah think they’d be more comfortable if they woke up wearin’ them.”
The com in the Med Bay chimed and Archer walked over to activate it, smiling at the absurdity of wearing numbered t-shirts.
“Archer here.”
“Captain, we’re maneuvering to dock with the damaged ship,” T’Pol reported. “I suggest we get a crew over there to secure it.”
“It’s the Phoenix, T’Pol,” he told her.
“The Phoenix. It is named after a mythical bird that died in flame and rose from its own ashes young and renewed. An interesting choice.” Archer was surprised. If he didn’t know any better, he’d swear T’Pol was amused. “The damage to the Phoenix is extensive,” T’Pol continued. “There are traces of nuclear matter on the hull.”
“Nuclear?” Archer and Trip exchanged looks.
“I better get over there and check it out,” Trip said, and Archer nodded.
“Choose a few assistants and take Malcolm with you to secure the weapons,” the captain advised.
“Yes, sir.” Trip turned to leave and Archer gave his attention back to the doctor.
“Keep me appraised. I want to know as soon as they’re awake,” he requested and the doctor nodded.
“Most certainly, Captain.” Phlox nodded and went to work as the captain followed Trip out the door.
888


Tiny groaned as he woke. He could tell he was lying down and that there was light: he could see it through his closed eyelids. He was covered with something, a blanket or sheet. He didn’t have his helmet on and didn’t feel the tightness of his Birdstyle.
He took stock of himself. He was aching all over and a dull headache was pounding behind his eyes, but nothing felt broken.
He slowly opened his eyes. It took a moment to focus.
He was in a medical center. He turned his head to find Princess lying on the bed to his right, in her civilian clothes. Jason was on the bed next to her. Tiny slowly turned his head to the left to see Mark and Keyop.
They were all either asleep or unconscious.
Tiny lifted his head a little when he heard an odd chirping noise. He concentrated and heard it again. He looked around to see numerous cages and glass cases lining one wall. Something in one of the cases moved. Tiny heard the chirping sound again.
“Coming, coming,” a male voice said pleasantly from behind a curtained area. “You’re being most impatient, Tull,” the voice added.
The curtain moved back and Tiny gasped.
Although the shape of the being he was looking at was humanoid, the face definitely wasn’t. It seemed male to him and smiled at him.
“Ah, you’re starting to wake up. Excellent. How do you feel?”
“What?” Tiny asked, scooting up into a sitting position.
“You suffered a concussion. Are you experiencing any double vision or nausea?”
“Who are you?” Tiny asked instead of answering the question. He really wanted to ask ‘what are you’ but thought starting with a name would help.
“I’m Dr. Phlox and you’re on the starship Enterprise.” The man stopped beside Tiny’s bed. “Can I get you something to drink?”
Tiny could only stare at him as he slowly shook his head.
“Captain Archer asked me to notify him once you awakened.” Tiny watched Phlox continued over to the wall with the cages and glass containers. As he neared, the chirping noise grew louder. “Coming, coming.” He opened the top of one the containers and dropped something into it. Tiny saw something move in the container and thought it had to be some kind of small animal.
Then it hit him. Phlox had said starship Enterprise. “Where did you say we are?” he asked, warning bells going off in his head.
“This is the Enterprise,” Phlox said, smiling at him.
“The Enterprise?” Tiny repeated. Phlox nodded.
Tiny looked around cautiously. He knew, for a fact, the Galactic Federation currently had no ships named Enterprise. The last time the name had been used was on a United States aircraft carrier that was decommissioned in the early twenty first century.
His teammates were all still unconscious, vulnerable. It felt to him like a ploy, something Zoltar would try to throw them off. He’d tried it before.
Phlox was walking towards a clear glass doorway. The glass was etched with a set of medical symbols. “Let me contact Captain Archer- “
“I don’t think so.” Tiny jumped off the bed and intercepted Phlox before he got too close to the door.
“I don’t think-” Phlox stuck his hand into the pocket of the jacket he was wearing. Tiny wasn’t going to take the chance he was going for a weapon. He grabbed the man and pinned him to the wall beside the doors.
“This isn’t necessary,” Phlox said as Tiny pressed his forearm across the doctor’s throat.
“I don’t know what the hell you are, and the Galactic Federation doesn’t have a starship named Enterprise,” Tiny told him through clenched teeth.
“As I stated, I am the doctor on this ship.”
“Why are we here?” Tiny demanded, not loosening his pressure on Phlox’s throat.
“Your ship was damaged when it came through the wormhole,” Phlox squeezed out, his eyes wide as he struggled to get air. “Your life support failed so we had to transport you here.”
“Where’s here?” Tiny pressed.
“I told you, the starship Enterprise!”
“And I told you we don’t have a ship named Enterprise. Did Zoltar think he’d be able to fool us that easily?”
“Tiny, let him breathe.”
Princess was starting to sit up in bed, her hands on her head. She took a deep breath and blew it out slowly, releasing her head so she could look towards him.
“You all right?” Tiny asked over his shoulder, slowly pulling his arm down but keeping his eye on Phlox, who sucked in a breath and reached up to rub his neck.
Princess blinked a few times. “I have the headache from hell, but everything seems to be working.” She rotated her right wrist and winced.
“I can give you something for the headache,” Phlox offered from behind Tiny.
“I don’t think so.” Princess pulled her legs over to the side of the bed and slid down to her feet. She held onto the bed until she got her balance.
Phlox moved past Tiny to her side and reached for her, but Princess moved out of his reach, her hand going to her pocket where her yo-yo was hidden. Her eyes widened after she got a good look at him.
“Take a seat,” Tiny ordered, startling Phlox because he was suddenly right next to him. Rather than argue, Phlox moved over to the nearest seat and took it.
Keyop was stirring and slowly sat up, blinking his eyes rapidly. “I’m alive,” he said in a scratchy voice. He looked around and fixed his eyes on Tiny. “We made it?” he whispered as he saw Princess standing nearby and then Mark and Jason lying still on beds. He started to grin and Tiny allowed his lips to rise into a smile even as he watched Phlox.
“Looks like it.”
Keyop grinned wildly and jumped off the bed onto his feet, then promptly fell down onto his butt.
“Wow. That first step is a doozey,” he said from the floor, shaking his head for a moment since he had jarred himself. Princess walked over and extended a hand to help him back to standing.
“Take it easy, squirt,” Tiny advised as Princess rubbed Keyop’s back with her hand. “Situation is still in question.”
Mark was making waking sounds, starting to stir.
“I was instructed to contact the Captain when you all began to wake. May I?” Phlox asked guardedly.
“You can contact Security Chief Anderson for us,” Princess said. Phlox smiled at her unsurely.
“I’m sorry. I don’t know who that is.”
Tiny’s lips thinned as Keyop tried to hide his surprise.
“Did anyone get the number of that truck that hit us?” Tiny and Keyop turned to see Jason starting to sit up, his eyes still closed. His slowly opened them and looked Tiny.
“Please tell me there aren’t two of you,” he asked and closed his eyes again with a groan.
“All of you are suffering from concussions and should take it easy,” Phlox said. Mark was now also sitting up, looking disoriented. “The dizziness and double vision should subside in a few minutes.”
Jason opened his eyes again and fixed them on the doctor. His eyebrows rose and then he squinted. “What the hell are you?” he asked and rubbed his eyes as if he couldn’t believe what he was seeing.
Princess moved to Mark’s side and helped him get to his feet. He leaned down to rub his lower right leg, grimacing.
“I am a Denobulan,” Phlox responded and although he was known for his infinite patience, it was beginning to wear thin. “I am contacting Captain Archer.” He walked past Tiny to the wall communicator near the entrance to the Sick Bay. Tiny turned to watch him, to keep him in his sights.
“Where are we?” Mark asked, pulling himself up to stand straight.

__________________
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This post has been edited 1 time(s), it was last edited by Becky Rock on 15-03-2020 at 01:22.
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Tiny crossed his arms over his chest. “On the starship Enterprise.” Everyone looked at him with a frown.
“We don’t have a ship named Enterprise.” Tiny watched wariness immediately bloom in Mark’s blue eyes.
“Captain Archer will be able to explain everything,” Phlox said as he turned to face them again. Jason had managed to get to his feet without any problem and walked over to Tiny’s side. Tiny could tell Jason was skeptical as well.
“Captain Archer, huh?” He stared at Phlox with open hostility. “Is he like you?” The doctor was watching them with interest but didn’t appear to be the least bit concerned by their disbelief.
“If you mean is he a Denobulan, no. He’s human.”
“Convenient.” Jason crossed his arms over his chest.
“Where’s our ship?” Mark asked, his hand in his pocket on his boomerang.
“As far as I know, it’s docked with us so that the damage can be cataloged for repair purposes.”
“He said we came out of a wormhole,” Tiny said for everyone’s benefit. “That our life support was failing so they brought us here.”
“Wormhole?” Jason laughed but it wasn’t a pleasant sound. “And I’m Jiminy Cricket.” Jason took a few steps towards the glass door that appeared to be the only visible exit, noting the two men standing outside it armed with weapons. “That’s a new color for the Happiness Boys,” he noted of the gray camouflage the men were in. Dr. Phlox frowned at him.
“Take us to our ship,” Mark said in a tone that wasn’t asking.
“Captain Archer is on his way-”
“We aren’t asking.” Jason interrupted the doctor and pointed at the door. “Call them in.” He stepped a few feet from the doorway.
Phlox looked at each of them and recognized the look some of the MACOS had right before they went on a mission. He remembered Lt. Reed stating these five could be dangerous. “I don’t want anyone to be hurt, including any of you.”
Jason looked towards Mark, who nodded.
“Call them in,” Mark said. “We won’t kill them.”
Phlox reluctantly walked towards the door, which opened with a swish. The two MACOS turned to look at him. “Gentlmen, I could use your assistance,” Phlox said and before they knew what hit them, Jason had both disarmed and down on the floor in unconscious heaps.
“Now, take us to our ship,” Mark ordered again.



888

“How’d it go?” Archer asked as Trip and Malcolm came back onto the bridge. He noticed Trip had the journal in his hands and was flipping through it.
“It was surprisingly easy to secure the weapons,” Malcolm said as he strode to his post, motioning the security officer who had taken over for him out of the seat. “The Phoenix was much more technologically advanced than was normal for that time period. The missiles all have AI technology.”
“And she’s down six of them,” Trip said, reading something with such intensity he nearly ran into the railing circling the lower level of the bridge. “Normal compliment was twelve. I think they were on a mission when whatever it was happened.”
“What are you reading?” Archer wanted to know.
“I checked the ship’s log. It has a password, but it did give me the date. I’m lookin’ for it in the journal.”
“Why?” T’Pol wanted to know as she swung around in her seat.
“We know they got back to Earth because none of them were married while the team was active and none of them had children until after the war. I want to find out what mission they were on. It might help us figure out how to get them back.”
“You could simply ask them when they regain consciousness.” T’Pol suggested.
Trip shook his head. “Ahm bettin’ they’re goin’ to cite security and not tell us squat.” He stopped reading and a grin appeared on his lips. “Got it.”
“What does it say?” Hoshi asked.
Trip cocked his head at her. “I thought yah didn’t want to hear anythin’ about the journal.”
“Trip, just read it,” Archer ordered, shifting in his Captain’s seat to give Trip an exasperated look.
“All right.” Trip cleared his throat. “We were nearly killed yesterday,” he read. “We thought Zoltar had finally gotten the upper hand. He shot several missiles at New York City. We hit them with everythin’ we had and destroyed all but one. Jason hit it with not one but six of the TBXs with no affect. We dubbed it the Mega Missile.”
“From what I know of the weapons used during their time period,” Malcolm commented, “that mega missile was something we’d have trouble with.”
“Jason then suggested we try Fiery Phoenix,” Trip continued. “We didn’t know what would happen once we hit it.”
The others looked at him in horror.
“They purposefully went kamikaze on a mega missile?” Travis gawked. “We’re they crazy?”
“To answer yur question, no,” Trip said and went back to the journal. “Five lives for millions. It was the only choice we could make.”
“They were going to sacrificed themselves.” Hoshi hugged herself and looked at the floor.
“We were willing to sacrifice ourselves to stop the Zindi,” Archer reminded her.
“That was how G-Force operated.” Trip reached over to squeeze her arm. “This wasn’t the first time they risked everything to save lives.”
“What is this ‘Fiery Phoenix’? T’Pol asked.
“That’s one of the mysteries I was hoping they could explain,” Trip admitted, keeping his finger on the page so he wouldn’t lose his place. “From what I’ve read and the pictures I’ve seen, Fiery Phoenix was one of their weapons. The entire ship would be engulfed in flames so hot it could destroy whatever mech it encountered, but the ship somehow kept its integrity. Witnesses said the ship would take on the form of a giant fire bird and a lot of people swore the wings flapped like it really was flying and it screeched just like a bird. Once they accomplished whatever it was, they were using it for, the ship converted back to its original form. It was incredibly stressful on them, so they only used the weapon if they had no other choice.”
“That is not possible,” T’Pol stated in her matter-of-fact manner.
“I’ve got pictures in my collection of the Phoenix in its fiery form. They’re not that great and they’re old, but I can show them to yah,” he countered.
“Trip, what else does it say?” Archer asked. Trip returned to the book.
“We plotted an intercept course and initiated Fiery Phoenix. We hit the missile and all hell broke loose. We took severe damage and the blast sent us tumbling. We all lost consciousness and next thing I knew, I woke up with a foot of water at my station.”
“She has not mentioned Enterprise,” T’Pol pointed out. Trip pursed his lips and waved a hand at her.
“And what do yah think would have happened if they’d told their superiors they went through a wormhole and ended up in the future?” he wanted to know. “I’ll tell yah what. They would have been put in a padded room and treated for battle fatigue and post-traumatic stress disorder. Then we would have lost the war.”
“What else?” Archer wanted to know.
“The Chief told us we successfully destroyed the missile and the blast had thrown us out beyond Manhattan Island. We’d crashed into the Atlantic while still fiery. We ended up having to use Keyop’s buggy to get out two at a time before the bridge totally flooded. Lots of cuts and bruises and Jason has a broken collar bone and a dislocated shoulder, but we survived and so did New York City.”
“So, we know they got back,” Travis mused.
“Has anyone considered how we’re going to convince them they are in the future and we’re their descendants?” Malcolm asked.
“The Enterprise won’t be enough proof this is the future?” Hoshi wondered.
“Probably not.” Trip closed the journal and waved it in the air. “That was a tactic of Zoltar’s: capturing them and trying to trick them after they woke up that they were in the future and Spectra had won the war because they disappeared.”
“Then how do we approach it?” Malcolm looked expectantly at Trip.
“There are DNA tests that would prove it,” T’Pol pointed out but Archer shook his head.
“They only had rudimentary DNA test capabilities back then compared to ours. I don’t think they’d believe it,” he said.
“We have the journal.” Trip waved it again. “Princess will be able to tell it’s really hers.”
“What about the others? We have to convince all of them,” Archer said. Trip shook his head.
“I don’t think so. I think if we convince Princess and Jason, they’ll be able to convince the others.”
“How are we going to convince Jason? You’ve told me several times he was incredibly stubborn and suspicious.” Archer waited expectantly.
“I know a story about him that was kept pretty hush-hush in the family. I’ll remind him of it.”
“Care to share with us?” Malcolm grinned broadly and Trip grinned back.
“No. I said hush-hush.”
“Captain.” T’Pol clasped her hands behind her back, which usually meant she had something to say she felt he might not like.
“Yes, T’Pol?”
“I do not believe telling your ancestors you are their descendants is a good idea.”
“Why not?” Trip asked. “It lends some credibility to their being in the future.”
“The mere fact they are here could be a danger to the timeline,” T’Pol responded, staring at him as if he should already have deduced the fact. “For one thing, you stated at this point in their lives they have not produced children. Knowing they would become parents could influence their lives in ways that might be dangerous to them and us. You cannot tell them who they have children with. You cannot tell them anything about any of their children’s lives.”
Trip stared at her as if she’d grown horns before making an unhappy face as he thought over her words.
“We’ve got to tell them something.” He turned towards Archer expectantly. The Captain returned his look with one of deep thought.
“So we tell them as little as possible?” Malcolm asked. “We could tell them it’s for that very reason, to preserve the timeline.”
“Then the question is what do we tell them?” Travis shrugged his shoulders.
“All right.” Archer looked at each of them. “We’ll start with showing Princess her journal – “
“I advise against that as well,” T’Pol interjected.

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“Why?” Trip’s blue eyes narrowed as if he was becoming cross with her.
She brushed off his annoyance. “Human curiosity is a strong compulsion. She may be tempted to look at entries beyond the date you have identified as their current date.”
Trip rolled his eyes. “Then we’ll just have to mark that date and ask her really nice not to go past it.”
“I agree with Trip, T’Pol,” Archer told her. “That journal is the most important item we can show them. Now, what about your hush-hush story?” Archer asked Trip. The engineer sighed and looked away.
“It reveals a little, but I don’t know of any other way to convince him and if he doesn’t believe us, no one else will.”
“I would think Princess could convince them,” Hoshi argued.
“What about T’Pol?” Travis tuned to the Vulcan. “We introduce her.” She cocked her head towards him.
“How would that prove they’re in the future?” Malcolm wanted to know.
“She’s an alien to Earth,” Travis pointed out.
“So were the Spectrans,” T’Pol pointed out.
“All right.” Archer set his shoulders. “Let’s try Princess first and then if there’s still doubts, Trip can pull Jason aside and talk to him,” Archer decided, looking for any dissension. One by one, they nodded.
The intercom in the briefing room pinged and Archer walked over to activate it. “Archer here.”
“Captain, our guests are awake and suspicious. Could you please come to talk to them?” Phlox asked. Archer frowned at the tone of the doctor’s voice. He didn’t sound happy.
“On our way.” Archer deactivated the intercom and faced his command team. “I don’t want to overwhelm them, so just Hoshi and Trip for now. Bring the book,” he ordered.

888

Jason had the point, Mark the rear. Princess and Tiny kept their eyes on the doctor as Keyop just looked around.
“I do not understand why you feel it necessary to take this action,” the doctor said as Tiny nudged him along.
“That’s the idea,” Jason snapped over his shoulder.
“Don’t worry about it,” Mark added. “You cooperate and we might let you live.”
Phlox’s eyes widened. “Threats are not necessary. I can see now why the Captain was concerned.”
“Concerned about what?” Jason asked.
“That you might be in a bad mood when you awakened.”
Jason laughed. “Bad mood? You haven’t seen anything yet.”
“Jason,” Mark warned. Jason ignored him and signed they were coming to an intersection of corridor. They slowed and Mark moved up to the doctor’s side. “Which way?”
“There’s a lounge on the right that has a viewing port that should give you a view of your ship.”
Jason slipped around the corner and motioned for the others to follow. A little further and they did come to an empty seating area with a large window. They moved to the window and looked out.
To the far right, they could see the Phoenix, floating next to the ship they appeared to be on, an umbilical between them. The background was dark, with stars glowing off in the distance. They really were in space. Deep space.
“Damn.” Mark’s eyes widened at the damage they saw on the Phoenix. The front of the ship had practically been torn off. The only thing still there was the tilting G-2 and the bent locking mechanism barely holding it in place. Tears were visible in the hull; scorch marks marred its surface. The port pod was hanging, the wing severely damaged. If they had been in atmosphere, the ship would have broken up.
“That’s real,” Tiny said, his face pressed against the window as he looked sadly at his baby. “There’s no way they can fake that.”
“So, this is a ship,” Jason said, also close to the window, looking around as best he could. “And we’re in space.”
“Yes. I told you you’re on the— “
“Enterprise,” Mark said for the doctor. “We’re in orbit around Earth?” he asked. Phlox shook his head.
“No. We were on our way back to Earth when we found the wormhole.”
“And we came through the wormhole in the Phoenix,” Jason stated. Phlox nodded again. Jason rolled his eyes. “Wormholes don’t exist.”
“I can assure you they do,” Phlox insisted.
“Tiny, from what you can see, is the ship space worthy?” Mark asked his pilot, motioning for Jason to drop it. Tiny shook his head.
“I doubt it.”
“So we’re…stuck?” Keyop asked, his face still pressed to the window. “Can’t we…contact the…Chief?”
“Good question,” Jason said and raised his left wrist to his mouth. “G-2 to Chief Anderson, come in,” he said into his bracelet and waited. There was no response. He tried a second time and then Princess tried, just in case there was something wrong with Jason’s bracelet. She received no answer as well.
“Are we being jammed?” Mark asked.
Princess shook her head, frowning. “Not that I can tell.”
Mark stared at their ship, his arms crossed over his chest, his lips thin.
“It appears we’re stuck here for the moment. Unless there’s some other means off this ship.” He turned to stare at Phlox as Jason moved in closer to the doctor.
“What’s the complement of this ship?” he asked, his eyes still showing his displeasure of the situation.
“We have a crew of eighty-three at the moment.’”
“So you enter a planet’s atmosphere and land?” he asked. Phlox shook his head.
“We’re too large for that and it’s quite unnecessary.”
“Oh?” Jason smirked. “So you have to have a method for getting on and off this ship?”
“Of course. The transporters and the shuttles, but we are several light years from any inhabited planets.” Phlox looked at each of them in turn. “This would be so much simpler if you just allowed me to contact the Captain.”
“Does this ship have an armory?” Jason asked. “Weapons?”
Phlox took a deep, exasperated breath. “And why would you want to know that?”
Before Jason could make a snarky retort, Mark held up his hand.
“I’m not convinced you’re telling us the truth,” Mark said to the doctor. “But we’re apparently between a rock and hard place. Contact your Captain.” Jason opened his mouth, but Mark’s look silenced his protest before it left his lips. “Let’s see if he has a better story.”

888

The moment they walked into Medical, Archer knew there was a problem. There was no sign of Phlox or their guests and the MACO guards were unconscious on the floor.
Hoshi crouched down beside one to check his pulse as Trip checked the other.
“Dammit. This wasn’t supposed to happen,” Archer muttered as he activated the intercom.
“They’re both alive, Captain,” Trip announced, looking up unhappily.
“Archer to bridge.”
“Yes, Captain?” The watch officer said.
“Is Lt. Reed back?”
“Right here, Captain,” Reed announced.
“Our guests have taken out the MACOs and have disappeared with Dr. Phlox. I want Security put on alert. If they find them, no action is to be taken,” Archer ordered as Trip and Hoshi helped the MACOs sit up. Both were rubbing their necks with grimaces. “Tell them to report back with the G-Force team’s position.”
“Yes, Captain.”
“Captain Archer, this is Dr. Phlox.” The doctor’s voice broke into their conversation. He sounded a bit tense to Archer.
“Doctor, are you all right?” the Captain asked, watching Trip help his MACO to the nearest bed.
“I’m more worried about the MACOs.”
Archer had to smile. Phlox had never shirked from his duty, regardless of the danger to himself. “They’re both conscious but woozy. Are our guests with you?”
“They would like to speak with you.”
“Where are you?” Archer motioned Trip back to his side.
“The forward lounge.”
“Commander Tucker and Lt. Sato will be with me.”
“Understood,” the doctor said, and Archer turned his attention back to Malcolm.
“Malcolm, did you catch that?” he asked, fixing his eyes on Trip, who shrugged, an apologetic look on his face.
“Yes, sir. Shall I have a team in waiting?” the security officer wanted to know. Trip’s eyes widened as he shook his head.
“Yes, but keep them at a distance. I don’t want to know what G-Force is capable of when cornered firsthand.”
“Aye, sir,” Malcolm acknowledged.
“Captain, I think we should go with you,” One of the MACOs said, trying to get to his feet as Archer deactivated the intercom. Hoshi moved to help him as he swayed dangerously. “They’re dangerous.”
“They could have killed yah and they didn’t,” Trip pointed out. The MACO turned hard eyes on him.
“And we won’t make the same mistake twice.”
“Stand down,” Archer ordered, looking at both men pointedly until they unhappily nodded. “They just want to talk.”
“I hope you’re right, sir,” the other MACO said, still rubbing his neck.
“So do I,” Archer admitted.
Archer led Trip and Hoshi to the turbo lift and took it two levels up. Once the door opened, he cautiously stepped out. Seeing no one, he walked towards the lounge, making no attempt to be quiet.
As they neared the corner that would put them into direct view of the lounge, a voice behind them stopped them in their tracks.
“Just keep going,” the voice said, a medium male voice. “You try anything and you’ll regret it.”
Archer looked over his shoulder to see Jason, his numbered T-shirt identifying him, standing behind them, pointing a gun at Trip’s back.
“We don’t want any trouble,” Archer tried to assure him, but the smile he gave Archer chilled the Captain’s blood.
“Then I suggest you get moving.” He motioned with the gun for them to start walking. Archer nodded and started moving again, Hoshi and Trip right on his heels.
They rounded the corner to see Dr. Phlox sitting in one of the lounge chairs and then found themselves being surrounded by the other four members of the G-Force team. The dark-haired young man wearing the number one on his shirt stopped in front of Archer, who found himself staring into the deep blue eyes of his great-grandfather.

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888

Jason stopped them ten feet from the rest of the team. Archer was relieved to see Dr. Phlox appeared to be unharmed.
“I’m Captain Jonathan Archer of the Enterprise,” he told them with a smile that he hoped didn’t look forced. He motioned at Trip. “This is my Chief Engineer, Commander Charles Tucker III and my Chief Communications Officer, Lt. Hoshi Sato.” He nodded towards her. “I see that Dr. Phlox has shown you your ship.” Archer pointed at the large window that showed the Phoenix tethered to the Enterprise.
“You can tell us how we got here and we might not kill you,” Mark told him without preamble.
“Now just wait one cotton-pickin’ minute,” Trip began, only to have the gun pressed to his temple.
“Shut up,” Jason told him, his voice cold as ice.
“Commander, look at your ship,” Archer demanded, his heart pounding hard as he pointed at the Phoenix. “Your life support failed. We saved your lives. The least you could do is hear us out!”
Mark stared at him, and then waved his hand. Jason backed away from Tucker, but kept his gun trained on them. Archer sighed with relief but gave Tucker a pointed look. The last thing they needed was a projectile weapon going off when they were close to the outer hull. He didn’t fancy dealing with the section possibly decompressing and leaking air out into the void.
“Talk,” Mark said, crossing his arms over his chest. “Tell us about this Enterprise of yours.”
“Captain, they do not believe this ship is called the Enterprise,” Dr. Phlox said, as calm as ever. “They have stated repeatedly the Federation has no ship of that name.”
That made perfect sense to Archer. He took a deep breath, ready to find out just how persuasive he could be.
“That’s true,” he directed at Mark, “at your time.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Jason asked, his pale eyes narrowing as he turned his attention to Archer.
“You were somehow sucked into a wormhole.” Archer pointed at the window. “If you look past your ship to the right, you’ll see it.”
Princess took three steps to the right to get closer to the window to get a better look. Her green eyes bugged.
“We came through that?” The shock in her voice got their attention. Mark and Tiny moved to her side to look. Archer was impressed Jason and Keyop kept their attention on them instead of what their teammates were seeing.
“Holy crap. I’ve never seen one before,” Tiny said, leaning against the window to try to get a better look.
“We came across this wormhole three days ago.” Archer glanced at Tucker. His engineer still had his lips pressed tight in annoyance but seemed content to allow him to do all of the talking. “It was previously unknown. You caught us completely off guard when your ship came through it.”
“Just where are we?” Jason asked.
Archer turned to him. “We’re between the Andorian and Chelle systems.”
Jason snorted. “That tells me a lot.”
“This ship, your Enterprise, is a ship in the Federation?” Mark asked, returning his attention to them.
“Yes.” Archer felt the hair on the back of his neck stand up at the Commander’s penetrating look.
“But not during our time, you said.” One dark eyebrow rose inquisitively. So, the Commander had picked up on that.
“Yes.”
“So ‘when’ is this?” Mark asked with a serpentine smile.
“Uh, Captain?” Tucker queried. “Could I talk to yah for a moment?” he asked.
“Not now, Trip,” Archer said out of the side of his mouth.
“What year is this, Captain?” Mark pressed.
“2154,” Archer said. Trip groaned. Archer caste him a sidelong look.
Jason snorted, shaking his head. “Really? Can’t Zoltar come up with something a little more original?”
“It’s the truth, Commander.” Archer put his own steel into his voice. “We have no reason to lie to you.”
“None other than wanting us dead,” Jason snapped.
“What proof do you have this is 2154?” Mark asked, ignoring Jason’s comment.
“Only our records.”
“Can be faked,” Keyop said, mirroring Mark’s arms-crossed stance.
Hoshi turned to look at Archer, Princess’ diary clutched tightly in her hand.
“Go ahead, Hoshi,” he told her. Hoshi took a deep breath and stepped forward.
“My great-grandmother kept a diary,” she told them, bringing it up to press it against her stomach. “It’s been passed down the family from daughter to daughter. It was given to me a few years ago by my mother when my grandmother died.” She fixed her dark brown eyes on Princess. “My great-grandmother’s name was Princess Anderson.”
There was utter silence. Princess’ green eyes locked on the diary in Hoshi’s hands.
“Commander?” she asked. Mark nodded, his brows drawn in with suspicion. Princess walked over to Hoshi. “May I?” She motioned at the diary.
“I only ask that you not look at anything written after today,” Hoshi said as she handed it to her. “That page is marked with the yellow paper.”
“Why shouldn’t she look at the whole thing?” Jason wanted to know.
“Because we’re going to do everything we can do to get you back through that wormhole to 2034,” Archer said. “We have to maintain the timeline.”
“So, you don’t want us to know anything that happened between our today and your today,” Tiny surmised. Archer nodded, glad one of them understood.
Jason made a loud, annoying buzzing sound, getting all their attention. “Wrong answer,” he told Archer. “You already blew that when she said she was Princess’ great-granddaughter,” he pointed at Hoshi.
Archer tried not to get frustrated. Trip had been right that Jason was the other member of the team they needed to convince they were telling the truth.
“Short of taking you to Earth to show you this really in 2154, I thought the best way to convince you would be to tell you a little,” he told them. “Our concern is if we tell you too much, we could inadvertently change the timeline.”
“So, it was just a coincidence Princess’ great-granddaughter happens to be on this ship?” Jason’s skepticism was evident.
“Yes, it was,” Archer answered.
“Guys, this is my diary,” Princess said, flipping through pages with wide eyes.
“You’re sure?” Mark asked, moving to her side.
“Yes. Down to my doodles,” She closed the book as if she didn’t want Mark to see what was in it. Archer could imagine why.
“When was the last time you saw it?” Jason asked. “It could have been stolen.”
“I made an entry this morning and it’s there.” She waved the diary.
“Okay.” Jason looked at Archer expectantly. “What other surprises do you have for us?” He had been slowly backing up towards a wall that protected his back but gave him a full view of the area around them. He leaned back against it, crossing his legs at the ankles. “Besides the armed unit you have hiding down the hall.”
Archer was shocked he had noticed, but the rest of the team didn’t flinch at his declaration, so they had to have noticed as well. So much for MACO stealth.
“Malcolm?” Archer called. “Pull your team back.”
“Are you certain, Captain?” Reed called back.
“Yes. We’re fine.” Archer couldn’t tell if they moved, but apparently Jason could because he relaxed further, putting his gun into the hidden pocket in his pants’ leg as if he didn’t consider Archer, Trip or Hoshi a threat.
“What other proof do you have, Captain?” Mark asked, still standing beside Princess. Both were showing nothing but professionalism. Archer wasn’t sure when their relationship had blossomed but found it interesting Mark was staying at her side.
“Trip,” Archer said, motioning for his Chief Engineer to step up.
Tucker turned all of his attention on Jason, but before he could say anything, Jason was giving him a quizzical look.
“Where are you from?” he asked. Trip frowned.
“Born and raised in Panama City, Florida,” Tucker told him with a touch of pride.
“I have yet to meet a Spectran who can pull off a southern accent,” Jason told him.
Tucker bristled, his mouth dropping open with indignation. “Are yah callin’ me a liar?” he asked, taking a step towards Jason, but Jason didn’t even bat an eye.
“No.” Jason smirked. Archer realized he was baiting Trip for some reason. He just hoped his Engineer would realize it as well and keep his cool. “What’s with the nickname Trip?”
“Apparently yah weren’t listenin’ when the Captain said mah name is Charles Tucker the third.” Tucker emphasized third as he crossed his arms over his chest, pursing his lips expectantly. He didn’t rise to Jason’s bait, much to Archer’s relief.
“So Trip is for the third,” Jason nodded, chuckling. “Sucks to be you.”
Now Tucker’s lips rose into a smirk of his own. For a moment, Archer saw the resemblance between the two men. “No, actually, it sucks to be yah because yur daughter married Charles Tucker the first, my granddaddy, so I’m yur great-grandson.”
Jason nearly slid down the wall. Not in shock, but laughter. He doubled over he was laughing so hard. “Now I know you’re full of crap,” he managed to get out, but Tucker was still smirking.
“Give me one minute of yur time and ah’ll change yur mind,” Tucker challenged. Jason wiped at his eyes, straightening up as he turned to Mark.
“Skipper, I gotta hear this,” he said around continued chuckling. Mark nodded his assent.
Jason led the way until he and Tucker were far enough from the rest of them that no one could hear them. Archer noted Jason kept his back to the wall to keep anyone from coming up behind him. The position also continued to give him a view in the other three directions. He and Tucker faced each other so no one could easily read their lips.
Tucker started talking. Thirty seconds later, Jason’s eyes widened as the color drained from his face. He glanced back at them for a moment before turning back to Tucker, who was still talking.

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Archer noted the rest of G-Force had tensed up when Jason went pale, but made no move regarding it. Archer surmised that was based on the fact Jason was still listening to Trip.
When the two men came back, Trip was no longer smirking but seemed happy. Jason, on the other hand, headed straight for Mark, still pale, his lips a thin line as he told his Commander, “They’re telling the truth.” He fell into the nearest chair, elbows on the arms, his right hand cupping his chin as he stared at the floor.
“What’d he say?” Tiny asked in concern.
Jason closed his eyes. “Don’t worry about it,” he said.
“Jase?” Mark asked pointedly. Jason sighed and rubbed his face.
“Not right now, okay?” he requested and stood, shaking off whatever Trip had said to him. Archer’s interest was even more piqued now, based on Jason’s reaction. Just what was this family secret Trip had mentioned? “They’re telling the truth,” Jason repeated.
Mark looked as if he didn’t want to let it go. They stared at each other for a moment before Mark turned back to Archer.
“Are there any other surprises you want to drop on us?” he asked. Archer fought the smile trying to pull at his lips. Seeing it, Mark closed his eyes, sighed deeply and shook his head. “Who’s descendent are you?” he asked as he opened his eyes back up.
“I followed in your footsteps,” Archer told him. Mark sighed deeply again.
“Why am I not surprised?” he muttered.
“What about…me?” Keyop asked.
Archer turned towards the direction Jason had seen the MACOs. “Malcolm, send the MACOs off and join us,” he requested. After a moment. Malcolm Reed walked towards them, stopping beside Hoshi. “Malcolm is your descendent,” he told Keyop.
Keyop’s brown eyes widened as Malcolm slowly approached him, smiling.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you,” Malcolm said, extending his hand. Keyop slowly took it and they shook.
“Malcolm is my Chief of Security,” Archer supplied as he turned to Tucker. “Get Travis down here,” he requested. Tucker turned to the communications console on the wall and touched it. Archer had a feeling this one was going to be a surprise, due to Travis Mayweather’s mixed heritage.
“Tucker to bridge. Travis, join us down at the observation deck,” he said.
“On my way,” Travis responded.
“Who’s Travis?” Mark asked.
“Lt. Travis Mayweather is one of our helmsmen.”
“Which makes him Tiny’s descendent,” Princess said. “The apple didn’t fall far from the tree.” She smiled at their large pilot.
“So, they manned this ship with our descendants?” Jason asked. The color was starting to come back to his skin.
“Not on purpose,” Tucker leaned back against the wall. “It wasn’t until ah started doin’ research for my book that we figured it out.”
“Book?” Mark shared a look with Jason. Jason rolled his eyes and shrugged.
“Ahv always known ah was yur descendent,” Tucker said towards Jason. “Everything about G-Force fascinated me, so ah decided to write a book about all of yah. When ah started sharing what ah was learning, it rang some bells with the Captain, Hoshi, Malcolm and Travis.”
“It’s too much of a coincidence,” Jason said, reaching up to rub fingers against the center of his forehead.
“I suspect you’re right,” Archer admitted. He motioned to the seats that lined the observation window, “Shall we sit down while we continue to discuss this?”
“Captain, I’d like to get back to medical.” Archer turned to Dr. Phlox. He’d forgotten the Denubian was still there. The doctor was sitting with his legs crossed, an amused gleam in his eyes. “I understand now why you were so evasive about them. Your relationships are safe with me.”
“Doctor.” Mark walked over to the Denubian. “I want to apologize for our treatment of you and your men,” he said over his shoulder to Archer. The Commander of G-Force was genuinely chagrined. “Spectra has pulled this kind of scenario on us before. It’s not beyond them to try the same theme a second time.”
“Hey.” Jason suddenly brightened, his eyes shining as his lips rose into a big grin. “This must mean we beat the Blue Chicken!”
“That’s right!” Keyop joined in. “They wouldn’t be here if we’d lost!”
“Blue Chicken?” Hoshi asked, her dark brows drawn together as she turned to Tucker.
He shrugged at her. He had no idea what Jason meant either, but it didn’t matter. “Uh…Captain?” he warned as he pushed away from the wall just as Travis rounded the corner and came into view.
“We did win, didn’t we?” Princess pressed when she saw the concerned look on Tucker’s face.
“We can’t tell yah, one way or the other,” he answered, looking to Archer for back-up as the team all took note of Travis’ approach.
“I’m sorry. We really can’t discuss anything like this with you, “Archer confirmed.” As a matter of fact, I’m going to need to restrict your access to certain parts of the ship.” Archer said the last to Mark. Mark nodded.
“I understand. We can’t know more than you’ve already told us about our future without risking screwing this up.” Mark waved his hands to encompass the room even though his eyes were fixed on Travis.
“Captain, you called for me?” Travis asked as he joined Archer. He was looking at the G-Force team curiously. Tucker motioned at Tiny, waving him over. Although the rest of the team was starting to show surprise at Travis’ mahogany skin color, Tiny didn’t look the least bit surprised. In fact, a slow smile lit his face.
“Travis, I want you to meet Tiny Harper.” Tucker introduced the G-Force pilot. “Tiny, this is Travis Mayweather, your great-grandson.”
Travis’ smile threatened to split his face in two. “Sir, you have no idea how thrilled I am to meet you. My mother told me so many stories about you. You’re the reason I joined Starfleet instead of staying a boomer pilot.”
“Boomer pilot?” Tiny asked as they shook hands.
“Cargo ships,” Travis said, but before he could say more, Archer shook his head. “Oh, yeah.” Travis smiled sheepishly, rubbing his neck. “Sorry. I can’t say more.”
“I know this is fascinating,” Mark said, getting their attention. “But we’ve got a big problem. Captain, we need to secure our ship.”
“We already did that,” Reed said, glancing through the window at the Phoenix. “We were concerned about your weapons since we were tethering your ship to us. Our sensors were detecting a high radiation reading.”
“Probably from the Spectran nuke we intercepted,” Jason offered, rising to his feet. “I’d like to double-check everything is secure,” he said to Mark.
“Of course, but you’re going to need environmental suits,” Archer told them, also getting to his feet. “The hull was compromised, and your life support failed. We didn’t want to start any repairs until we could consult with you.”
“How did you get us out?” Princess asked. Archer thought for a moment, and then ruefully shook his head.
“Guess we’ll just have to use our imagination.” Jason walked over to where Reed was standing. “Where are these environmental suits?’ he asked. “The faster I do this, the faster we can determine what we need.”
“Captain?” Reed asked.
Archer nodded, pointing at Tucker. “Go with him. Make notes of what he thinks is needed.”
“I got a good look around the bridge when we checked the weapons. Ah already started one but getting confirmation what ah have down is accurate would help.”
“Then lead the way. You can tell me all about the crazy woman who was insane enough to marry me so I don’t tell her to take a hike when I meet her.” Jason motioned for Tucker to precede him. As they walked down the hall away from the observation room, they could hear Tucker declare he couldn’t talk about it.
“He’s going to drive him nuts until he tells him,” Tiny declared with a grin.
“He’s too stubborn,” Archer told him. They could still hear the two men bantering.
“Then he’s definitely Jason’s descendent.” Mark sighed heavily. “Is there someplace we could rest?”
“And I could use some food. That battle took everything out of me,” Tiny added, rubbing his stomach. As if on cue, it growled loudly.
Keyop laughed. ”Even a …wormhole can’t…kill your…appetite.”
Everyone laughed at that.
“Then your first stop will be the cafeteria. Malcolm?” Archer asked.
“I’ll make sure the cafeteria is clear and alert Chef,” the Security Chief assured him. “Give me ten minutes.” He headed in the same direction Tucker and Jason had taken.
“Travis, Hoshi, please escort them. Once they’ve gotten something to eat, they can use the guest quarters on level six. I need to get back to the bridge.”
“Yes, Captain,” Hoshi acknowledged.
“Captain Archer,” Mark said just as Archer turned away. The Captain of the Enterprise looked over his shoulder. “Thank you for rescuing my team.”
“All in a day’s work, Commander.” Archer saluted before going on his way.


888

Jason crawled under his station, cursing the environmental suit he had to wear until they could find out if the depressurization protocol would kick in. If not, they’d have to seal all of the leaks in the bridge and then re-pressurize it manually. It was bulky and the fingers too large to do any delicate work. He had to route all of the other station’s functions to Princess’ station, as hers was the only one apparently still operational. He had completed rerouting the pilot and control functions and diagnostics to show both the rear and lift jets were undamaged. He was now working on his own, to make sure all of the weapons were as secure as Trip seemed to think they were based on his and Reed’s earlier examination when they had first arrived.
“So, who did I marry?” he asked conversationally. Trip was seated in his own suit at Princess’ station, still checking each transfer as Jason completed it.
Trip had to turn in order to look at him due to the helmet’s limited view. “Who’d yah what?” he asked in feigned confusion.
“My future wife. Your great-grandmother,” Jason responded with exasperation. “I need to know who she is.”

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“I can’t tell yah.” Trip repeated for the sixth time. Jason was going to drive him insane asking again and again, hoping he would either slip up or tell him just to shut him up. “We can’t take the chance telling yah changes history.”
“We can’t take the chance that I kill her,” Jason argued, throwing that in for the first time. “Women have this nasty habit of trying to kill me, so I have to kill them first. I’d really hate to kill your great-grandmother.”
“What?” Trip turned completely to give him a horrified look.
“Didn’t you come across that in your research about me?” Jason asked, following a set of charred wires with his eyes.
“That yah kill the women yah date?” Trip’s voice rose into a squeak. Jason exhaled a long-suffering breath.
“For some reason, I’m attracted to Spectran women,” he told his descendent. “The first time, the woman figured out I was in Galaxy Security, so she tried to kill me. I was only protecting myself.” He shrugged. “Then it happened a few more times. We figured out I’m attracted to Spectran women for some reason and Spectra knows it now, so they send in their Galaxy Girls to get my attention, hoping one of them will be able to get close enough to me to succeed in killing me.”
“That’s horrible.” Trip thought out loud. Jason nodded.
“Yeah, it is. The problem now is I go into every relationship with the fatalistic view I’ll have to kill her at some point. So tell me who she is so I don’t kill her for sneezing while my back is turned.”
“But yah obviously didn’t kill her because I’m here,” Trip pointed out logically. “Yah might have known her for years or just met her. If I tell yah who she is, yah might just jump into the relationship sooner than yah were supposed to and screw everything up.”
“How?” Having determined what the damaged wires did, Jason clumsily typed in the appropriate orders to reroute them.
“You might start your family sooner than you did.”
“Maybe have an extra kid or two?” Jason asked. Trip started to answer, but then clamped his mouth shut with a look of exasperation.
“Do you do this to Spectran prisoners?” he asked. Jason turned so he could see him.
“Do what?”
“Pester them to death or trick them into answerin’ questions?”
“No. That’s Mark job,” Jason told him. “He loves to pontificate.” He examined the wires one more time, counting them. “I think that’s it.” He scooted out from under the station, got up, and then motioning for Trip to move out of Princess’ seat. Once Trip stood and moved away, Jason sat down in the seat to check over the systems.
“Yup, that’s it,” he declared, raising his arms over his head, bending left and then right to stretch cramped muscles. “By the way, I’m starving. Mind if we get something to eat?”

888

Ensign Karl Mason, who was sitting in at the security station, noted a red light suddenly blinking on the board in front of him. He read the message that appeared on the monitor.
“Captain, I’m getting a live weapons’ reading from the ship that’s docked with us,” he reported, typing into the station to determine what type of weapon it was.
Archer turned around in his seat. “A live weapons’ reading?” he repeated with a frown.
“Yes, sir. It appears to be coming from the port side pod,” Mason told him. Archer turned further to address Hoshi’s stand in, Ensign Vera Grant.
“Ensign, get me Commander Tucker,” he requested.

888

“Sure,” Trip answered. “They were takin’ the rest of your team to the Mess. We’ll just join ‘em.”
“Commander Tucker,” a female voice said into the helmets. Jason startled, not having realized the helmets had built-in communications.
“We’re about done here,” Trip responded, but he was interrupted by the Captain.
“Trip, we’re getting a live weapon’s reading from the port pod on the Phoenix,” Archer said. “What are you doing?” Trip frowned as he met Jason’s eyes.
“We just finished reroutin’ the command functions to the only workin’ station. Jason’s confirmed all of the weapons are secure.”
“Then what’s live in the pod?” Archer demanded just as Jason’s eyes widened.
“Oh crap.” He gave Trip an alarmed look. “Princess’ Galacticycle has rockets, but they’re not tied into the ship’s systems.”
“Then how are they live?” Archer demanded, having heard him.
“Something must have tripped the controls on the Galacticycle. Maybe it’s a delayed reaction to the wing damage,” Jason speculated.
“Are they on a countdown?” Archer’s voice was rising in alarm.
“Not normally.” Jason motioned for Trip to follow him. “They have to be shot via controls on the cycle, but if there’s a short that has activated them, then they could go off as well.” Jason led the way to the rear of the bridge. He knew the lift wasn’t working, but there was a narrow tube with a ladder next to it for just an occasion. In the environmental suits, they’d just fit.
“What’s their payload?” Trip asked, following him down into the lower level of the Phoenix.
“They’re small but powerful enough to punch a hole in the hull of a mech. What’s your hull made of?” Jason asked as he jogged as fast as he could across the cargo area to the entrance to the port wing.
In answer, Archer rose from his seat. “Kayle, pull up the shields,” he ordered the helmsman.
“I can’t,” the young man reported, working his station. “Part of that ship is in the shield’s field.”
“Cap’n,” Trip said as Jason skidded to a halt. They had both forgot the wing had been heavily damaged by the missile. It was hanging at an angle, torn partially away so that the hallway Princess normally used to get to her cycle was now opened to space. “We’re gonna to have to do a spacewalk to get to it.”
Archer sucked in air. “Red alert,” he said, his mind racing as the lights turned red on the bridge and the claxon sounded. “Evacuate the areas closest to that pod and lock down the bulkheads once they’re clear. All senior officers report to the bridge and tell them to bring our guests, pronto,” he ordered.

888

Everyone had been quiet on the way to the Mess, not quite knowing what to say to each other. Both sides had questions. Mark doubted many of the team’s questions would be answered. He agreed with Archer’s – his great-grandson’s – assessment they couldn’t be told much of anything about their histories. It was obvious in his mind G-Force had to have returned to their time, just from his observance of the Enterprise officers’ reactions to them. They hadn’t confirmed they’d been successful defeating Spectra, but the fact none of them were speaking Spectran was proof enough for Mark.
And what the hell had - what was his name? Tucker? – said to Jason that had his second blanching and swearing their tale of being from the future was legit? Jason had pushed them off when they asked, but Mark was going to demand an explanation the next time he and Jason were alone.
“You from…England?” Keyop finally broke the ice by asking Malcolm Reed. Reed was shorter than the rest of them, except for Keyop. Mark knew the doctors didn’t expect Keyop to get taller than five foot five. It stood to reason any of his descendants would also be shorter.
Then Mark looked towards the tall Travis Mayweather, thinking he could be completely wrong. Tiny was only five foot six, yet his descendent was over six foot. Who knew what genetics did?
“Uh, yes,” Reed answered Keyop’s query, looking uneasily at Hoshi and Mayweather.
“I liked…England,” Keyop went on, starting to bounce on the balls of his feet. He was beginning to enjoy what was happening. “They have…great fish and…chips.” He licked his lips.
Now Reed grinned and Mark saw the resemblance to Keyop. “That we do. As a matter of fact, I bet Chef has some he could whip together if you’d like?” Keyop nodded vigorously with a big grin of his own.
“Yeah!”
“He seems to be a ball of energy,” Hoshi commented, smiling in Keyop’s direction.
Princess couldn’t help but smile herself. “Yes, he can be. Just watching him sometimes can make you exhausted.”
“I used to teach before I joined Enterprise,” Hoshi admitted, making a turn to the right, pushing open a glass door. It was clear from the numerous tables and chairs in the large room it had to be the Mess.
“Children?” Princess asked. Mark listened, thinking it wasn’t a question that would cause too many problems to answer.
“Yes. Fifth and sixth grade,” Hoshi admitted, apparently feeling the same way. “I miss them sometimes,” she said wistfully. “They tend not to have ulterior motives for their actions.”
“It’s simple for them. All they need is food, sleep and video games,” Princess said. Both women laughed.
The far wall was made up of a line of windows. Mark could see the rear engines of the Phoenix off to the left. They looked as if they’d been through a shredder.
“Just how large is this ship?” he asked. He had no idea what the Enterprise looked like and he doubted either Reed or Mayweather would tell him the ship’s complement. All he could tell was it appeared to be quite a bit larger than the Phoenix.
“I guess it wouldn’t hurt to tell you,” Reed said, motioning towards one of the larger tables. “We’re three times longer from end to end, but probably twenty times larger in volume, from the schematics Trip showed me.”
“Tucker has schematics of the Phoenix?” Mark was shocked. That information was beyond top secret.
“It’s been over a hundred years. The schematics aren’t available to just anyone, but being family and the Chief Engineer of Star Fleet’s premier ship, Trip was able to get them without too much of a fuss.”
“Is it general knowledge in your time who we are?” Princess asked, sharing Mark’s alarm. They struggled to keep their identities secret. If Spectra ever found out who they were, anyone they knew would be in danger. Reed seemed to understand their concern.

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“I guess it won’t hurt anything to tell you that, either. We all knew. The families, that is. We kept it to ourselves because you all stressed the continued need for secrecy. That’s one of the reasons none of us knew about each other, although Command obviously knew when they placed us all onto the Enterprise.” Reed waved a hand at Hoshi and Travis. “The United Earth government decided on the one hundredth anniversary of the end of the war to release your names, but that was all. They released nothing else personal. Not your birth locations, ages, nationality, nothing about your families. They still made it hard for anyone to figure out who you had really been.”
“That’s good,” Tiny commented, looking around, his right hand rubbing his large stomach. There was a galley to their left. “Is that the kitchen? If you show me the food and how all this future stuff works, I’ll whip up those fish and chips,” he offered.
They spent the next hour being regaled by Tiny’s fishing stories as he did in fact whip them up fish and chips. As they ate, he told a tale of taking Jason fishing.
“It’s common to use multiple poles when you’re fishing on a river,” he said as he dipped his fish into the tartar sauce Keyop had created from mayonnaise and relish. “I had extra, so I gave Jason two. The pier was about fifty feet from the dam where we were going to fish. They only had the two central spillways open, so the water was calm on the shorelines. I’d heard some huge carp and catfish liked to hang out there.
“So we threw the lines in and sat down to wait. Didn’t take long. One of my poles took a hit and so did one of Jason’s. We grabbed them to set the hooks and started reeling them in. I still don’t know what happened, but suddenly Jason’s just got tore out of his hands into the water. I’d never seen anything like it before.”
“He said…it was a…monster fish,” Keyop said as he chewed. Princess reached over to smack his arm.
“Do not talk when chewing,” she chastised. “Or if you must, at least cover your mouth with your hand.” He glared at her as he closed his mouth and chewed exaggeratedly.
Mark was listening with amusement, having finished his meal. He rested his elbow on the table, placing his chin in his hand. He’d heard the story many times, but it was still funny. “It was probably a minnow,” he commented, which elicited several laughs.
“There wasn’t anything we could do about it. Since Jason still had one pole, we just kept fishing,” Tiny said, having swallowed his food before speaking to avoid a tongue lashing of his own. “Jason swore he was going to catch the fish that dared to take his fishing pole.”
“Are you sure he didn’t just drop it in?” Malcolm asked. Tiny chuckled.
“Don’t dare suggest that around him,” he warned. “Nah, the pole really did get pulled right out of his hands into the water.
“Over the next two hours, we caught a few good-sized carp, but no catfish. Then Jason got another bite. He started reeling. The way his pole was bending, we knew he had a big one. When he started to pull the fish up, it was this huge catfish.” Tiny spread his hands to three feet apart. “But trailing behind it was another line. Once we got the cat on the pier, we pulled up the other line and damn if it wasn’t the pole that had gone in.”
Travis’ eye went wide. “You mean the first pole had been pulled in by the same catfish?”
“Yep.” Tiny laughed. “Can you imagine? Jason gave that catfish a piece of his mind, but the catfish still had the last laugh.”
“Oh no.” Now Hoshi was grinning. “What happened?”
“Catfish whiskers, fins, and gill openings are sharp as hell. They can cut the crap out of you if you’re not careful. Jason got one of the hooks out of it okay, but the cat started flopping around when Jason tried to pull out the second. He ended up cutting his hand between his thumb and forefinger. While he cussed up a storm, that old catfish’s flopping had moved it to the edge of the pier and the next we knew, it was falling back into the water, with that original pole still attached.”
Everyone was laughing at Jason’s expense.
“He ended up with a bad infection from that cut, too,” Mark remembered, shaking his head.
Princess rose, still smiling, her plate and cup in her hands. “Where do we take these?” she asked, reaching to collect Keyop’s.
A red light suddenly started flashing on the walls and an alarm sounded. Malcolm, Travis and Hoshi jumped to their feet.
“What is that?” Mark asked, rising as well.
“Red alert,” Malcolm answered as a voice emerged from the imbedded speakers throughout the ship.
“Evacuate decks five and six in starboard sections D and F,” a female voice said. “This is not a drill. Evacuate decks five and six in starboard sections D and F,” she repeated. “All senior officers report to the bridge with visitors.”
“Please come with us,” Malcolm requested in a tight voice, suddenly all business.
“What’s going on?” Mark asked, flipping into command mode. Malcolm ushered them towards the exit.
“We’ll know as soon as we get to the bridge,” he promised as Travis took the lead with his longer legs. The alarm continued to sound, echoing in the small space. They went to a quick jog as they raced towards the end of the hall on their left. Once they reached the end, a door slid open to reveal what looked like an elevator. Once they were all in, Travis said, “Bridge”. The door slid closed and the elevator started moving.
It didn’t take long to stop. As the doors slid open, the blinking alert lights bathed them in red as a cacophony of voices hit them, the loudest being Commander Tucker’s as he yelled in fear, “What the hell are you doin’!?”.
“Do you have a better idea?” they heard Jason yell back.
The large screen in front of the bridge was showing the port side of the Phoenix, where the pod holding Princess’ Galacticycle was stored. They had a better view of where the wing was damaged from this vantage. Mark had to do a double take because he could swear he could see a body floating from the damage towards the pod itself.
“Captain, his trajectory will place him close enough to the pod to grasp it,” a female voice declared from their left. Mark glanced over to see a woman seated at a station in a bright sky blue skintight body suit. Her ears were pointed, her eyebrows having an unusual upswing towards her temples and her skin had a hue that he could swear had a greenish tinge to it.
“Yeah, I had a better idea!” Tucker, Jason’s descendent, yelled back. “It’s called a safety tether!”
“Captain, what’s going on?” Mark asked, trying to pull his attention from the woman who was clearly not human back to the screen. Archer turned towards them as Travis, Hoshi and Malcolm rushed to their posts.
“Apparently the missiles on Princess’ motorcycle have gone live,” he told them, his lips thin. “Jason’s trying to reach them to deactivate them. If they go off, Jason believes they’ll severely damage us.”
“That’s Jason?” Tiny was pointed at the form that had just reached the pod, his voice edged in alarm.
“G-2, report!” Mark demanded, taking over as he had been trained to do.
“I’m a little busy here,” Jason responded with some exasperation.
“What did you do to my motorcycle?” Princess demanded, her arm raised so her bracelet was close to her mouth.
“I didn’t do anything,” Jason snapped indignantly. “I suspect the Galacticycle was damaged, too, and it’s just taken a while for it to show.”
“Why didn’t you just disarm it from the bridge?” Archer asked. They could barely see Jason disappearing into the pod.
“The Galacticycle’s weapons are an independent system,” Princess informed him.
“All of our G-machine weapons systems are independent,” Mark added. They were interrupted by Jason cursing vigorously. “Jason?” Mark asked in concern.
“There’s a lot of loose equipment in here. I almost got coldcocked by a floating tire,” he complained. “Hold on.” They could hear a whining noise that was growing in intensity by the moment. “The missiles are cycling up.”
“Jason, the controls--”
“I know,” Jason cut Princess off. Then he cursed anew. “They won’t shut down.”
“What do you mean, they won’t shut down?” Mark asked, giving Archer a more alarmed look.
“What do you think I mean?” Jason had to raise his voice over the increasing whine.
“Trip?” Archer asked in equal alarm.
“I’m almost there, but I don’t know what I can do to help,” the engineer admitted. “Lookin’ at the schematics and actually knowin’ how they work are two different things. Their technology was nothin’ like what we have today. Actually, there were only a few people who did know besides them.” His voice was rising in pitch in apology.
“Captain, I suggest we prepare to transport the weapons away from us,” the woman said, her attention on them. Archer twisted the other direction to face the rear of the bridge.
“Malcolm?” he asked.
“It’s possible, but it could be difficult to distinguish between the missiles, the cycle and Jason,” Reed answered, manipulating the console of his station. “If Jason moves in the wrong direction while we energize--”
“He could be killed,” Archer finished grimly. Mark looked at him in alarm. “Only as a last resort,” he ordered, “but we have to protect the ship.
“Wait a minute,” Jason muttered, getting their attention. “The missiles can only be activated if you’re stationary,” he said.
Princess nodded, even though they couldn’t see each other. “That’s right.”
“So if the cycle thinks it’s moving…”
“The missiles should deactivate,” she finished for him, starting to smile.
“Hold on,” Jason said.
“What’s he doing?” Archer demanded.
“Captain, the missiles will reach critical in one minute,” the woman with the pointed ears reported. Unlike the rest of them, Mark noted she didn’t seem to be the least bit concerned.
“Jason!” Mark pressed when he started to hear more cursing, and then there was silence. “Jason!” Mark repeated.
“Captain, the missiles are cycling down!” Malcolm reported excitedly.
“I’ll be damned,” they heard Tucker say. “I never woulda thought of that.”



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“Like I said before, we improvise,” Jason answered between grunts. “Tell me when they’re cold,” he requested.
“Jason, what did you do?” Mark asked, sharing a relieved look with the rest of his team.
“There’s no gravity, so I could disengage the clamps.” Jason sounded breathless.
“We’re manually rollin’ the tires,” Tucker finished for him, equally breathless. “The cycle thinks it’s movin’.”
“The missiles have been deactivated,” the woman declared, rising from her seat to join them as they stood staring at the screen. “We’re out of danger.”
Mark could see Archer relax, a small smile lifting his lips. “Trip, you and Jason get back in here as soon as you can,” Archer ordered. “I want to know exactly what happened.”
“Yes, sir,” Tucker responded. Archer turned to them.
“We’ll meet them in the Ready Room. I want all senior officers present.”
“Aye, sir,” Hoshi said, calling the second shift back in to take over for them. Once everyone had been relieved, they followed Archer off the bridge.


888

By the time Jason and Trip got to what Trip called their ‘Ready Room’, his body was remembering he hadn’t eaten in a long time. Thankfully, his teammates had remembered. Sitting on the table was a cup filled with steaming coffee and a plate of fish and chips.
Jason practically fell into the chair in front of it, reaching for the coffee as he found himself being scrutinized by the doctor, Phlox. After taking a drink to relieve his suddenly parched mouth, Jason gave the doctor a look as he took a small bite of the fish. “What?” he asked around the mouthful.
“I just find your endurance fascinating,” Phlox said with a bright smile. Jason continued to chew. He still wasn’t sure if he liked the doctor or not.
While he ate, Captain Archer introduced his first officer, T’Pol, who was also their Science Officer. Jason did a double take. She was tall, athletic and chesty. Her sky-blue body suit fit her like a glove. Her dark brown hair was closely cut to her head, revealing her pointed ears. Her upturned eyebrows made her very exotic in his eyes. For the sake of the time continuum, Archer would only tell them she was obviously alien to Earth.
“What about my cycle?” Princess wanted to know as she sat down beside him, pulling his mind away from the woman. Jason motioned at Trip because his mouth was now completely full. The fish was wonderful.
“We used some loose cables to tie the cycle up, so it won’t come into contact with anythin’ to stop the motion of the wheels, since its in vacuum,” Trip supplied. “We’ll have to figure out how to deactivate the missiles, so they don’t go active again the next time they’re in gravity.”
“We’re going to have to note all these things,” Tiny said as Jason ate. “Just in case we ever find ourselves in a space related incident again.”
“Good point,” Mark agreed as he sat down on Jason’s other side. “Where are we at when it comes to the repairs?”
Jason swallowed and gulped coffee to wash it down.
“She’s a mess,” he told his commander. “The only station operational is Princess’, so we wired everything to it. The entire ship is in vacuum. Once we patch things up enough to reestablish the gravity on the bridge and get an atmosphere there, we should be good until we get within planetary gravity. The wing will probably fall off and I wouldn’t be surprised to find shrapnel in places we really don’t want it to be.”
“Then the first thing we’ve got to do is just what you said. Seal up the bridge, re-establish the gravity, and repair all of our stations so we can tell what else needs to be done,” Mark said. “Obviously the wing…”
Jason dug back into his dinner, tuning out Mark as he already knew what needed to be done. Even though he really wasn’t listening, he was. As Mark, Tiny and Trip began to discuss the repairs to the wing, it hit him.
“Wait,” he interrupted around another mouthful as he swung the fork to get their attention. “Wait a minute. We can’t make any more repairs on the ship.” Everyone abruptly stopped talking to turn back to him.
“What?” Captain Archer asked in surprise.
“We can’t make the repairs,” Jason repeated after swallowing. When Mark started to protest, Jason waved him quiet. “Think about it. There’s no way they can match our metallurgy. No offense,” he said towards Trip, but the engineer didn’t react as he was listening intently to Jason’s explanation. “We’re going to have to use Fiery Phoenix on the way back. Even the minutest difference in the metallurgy could destabilize Fiery Phoenix or even worse, blow us to Kingdom Come. Not to mention the fact the Chief might be able to detect what’s now on the Phoenix isn’t what he put on it.”
“T’Pol?” Archer asked the woman with the pointed ears.
“He could be right,” she admitted. “I’ve read Commander Tucker’s preliminary damage report. In order to help, he gave me access to his book research as well, so I have seen this ‘Fiery Phoenix’ phenomenon in the video archives. I’ve never seen nor heard of anything like it. I also looked at his metallurgical analysis. The Phoenix’s hull make-up is also unlike anything I’ve ever seen.” She looked pointedly at Mark, raising one eyebrow in a manner Jason found innerving. How’d she do that? “It is clear the technology Earth had in your time was far superior to the technology my people found when they made First Contact some time later. I agree it would be very difficult for us to match it.” She tilted her head as she regarded Mark. “I’d like to know where that technology came from.”
Mark was working his jaw. Jason knew that meant he had no idea how to answer her. Jason wanted to roll his eyes. The answer was simply and wouldn’t give any secrets away.
“We fly her,” he said as he swallowed his last mouthful of chips. He’d noted her mentioning of her people coming to Earth at some time after the war with Spectra. It caught his interest, but for another time. “We were trained how to make things work. We aren’t privy to how it all really works.” He chuckled, scooting his chair back from the table as he gave the alien woman his full attention. “It wouldn’t do for any of us to be captured and tortured into telling the Purple Freak how we flip in and out of our Birdstyles, how the Phoenix was built or how the Fiery maneuver works. We’re the hammer, not the nail.” He glanced at Mark to see if he was irked he had answered her or happy he had. Mark looked satisfied with his answer.
“I get what you’re saying,” Tiny said slowly in Jason’s direction, rubbing his chin. “But I’ve got serious doubts we can sustain Fiery with that damage. If we can, I don’t know if we could make it back through that wormhole in one piece. And you’re right. Once we get back into Earth’s atmosphere, the port wing and pod are going to break off the moment gravity gets ahold of it. Not to mention your car’s going to burn up,” and Jason grimaced when he realized Tiny was right. “I’m not even sure we can make re-entry without the heat shield. At the best, we can glide down and land somewhere. At the worst, we crash due to having only one wing and maybe take some of New York City’s office towers with us.”
“Tell you what,” Trip said, interrupting them. “Let me run some tests and scenarios. Then we can talk more about it.”
“If we make it through the wormhole,” Princess said, turning so she had a better view of everyone. “Will we be returning at the exact moment the wormhole pulled us in?” she asked.
“Now that’s a good question,” Tucker admitted as he pulled out a chair of his own to sit near them. Jason rested his elbows on the table, joining his fingers as he looked towards the alien woman. What had Archer said her name was? T’Pol?
Jason suddenly felt exhausted as a strange chill ran down his spine. He rolled his shoulders, thinking of the hours he had spent on the Phoenix in zero g’s ultimate cold of space. It had tired him out more than he’d realized. He closed his eyes and startled, having nearly fallen instantly asleep. He’d missed whatever T’Pol’s answer had been. Whatever it was, his team didn’t look happy about it.
“What’d I miss?” he asked, noticing Dr. Phlox’s narrow gaze on him.
“Are you all right?” the doctor asked. His question caught everyone’s attention as they all turned to look at him. His right hand was tingling now, so he rubbed it over his thigh.
“Between the explosion and that spacewalk, I’m beat,” he admitted. “Any chance of getting some sleep before we tackle this?”
“Of course.” Captain Archer rose from the seat he’d taken and turned to Malcolm. “Are the guest quarters ready?”
“I’ll find out.” The shorter man walked over to the nearest intercom, talked into it for a moment, listened to the answer and returned. “Yes, they are,” he reported before motioning towards the doorway. “If you’ll follow me?”
“We’ll talk again in eight hours,” Archer promised as Jason pushed up from the chair. His eyelids were feeling as heavy as rocks as he fell in step with his teammates to follow Malcolm out of the Ready Room.
“Our guest quarters hold two each,” Malcolm told them as he led the way down the hall. He turned to Princess with a smile even as his cheeks reddened. “We have separate quarters for you, of course.”
“Thanks,” she told him with a smile of her own. “I get tired of living in a flop house at times.”
“Flop house?” Mark said with some indignation. She nodded with a serene look in her eyes. “We don’t live in a flop house.”
“Yes, it is a flop house. I nearly slipped on an empty potato chip bag that was on the floor next to the garbage can last week. Whichever of you left it couldn’t even bring yourself to lean down to pick it up and put it where it belonged.”

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“Don’t look at me,” Jason said, waving a hand in denial. “I have my own place.” She cocked her head towards him.
“Which is any better?” she challenged.
Malcolm cleared his throat as he stopped in front of a doorway. After sharing glares all the way around, they chose rooms and went in. Once the doors were closed, Malcolm turned to Archer.
“Do you want me to post guards?” he asked. Archer shook his head.
“No. I think we’re good.” He slapped Malcolm on the shoulder as they walked away. “They seem to be more likely to attack each other right now.” Malcolm nodded as he chuckled.

888

When Jason awakened, he felt like he’d been hit by a truck. He ached from head to toe and had a horrible headache. It wasn’t a migraine, as he didn’t have the visual aura he normally experienced, but it hurt just as bad.
He rolled over, burying his head under the pillow. He must have groaned because he heard Mark stir.
“You okay?” Mark asked, sitting up.
“No,” Jason mumbled, pulling the comforter over his head so he didn’t see Mark get up and walk over to the wall communications unit.
It took Mark a few moments to figure out how to work it. The communications’ officer connected him to the Medical section and Dr. Phlox. Only a few minutes later, there was a ping at the door.
Jason heard it and groaned again. “Mark…”
“You had a concussion,” Mark said as he opened the door to the doctor. “The doctor’s going to check you over again.”
Mark watched as Dr. Phlox sat down beside Jason’s bed and forced him to roll over onto his back and answer several questions. Then he made him sit up, which he did with a curse. After Phlox’s examination, Jason gave Mark a scowl.
“How is he?” Mark asked, his arms crossed over his chest. Dr. Phlox smiled at him, which only made Jason’s scowl deepen.
“His reactions and visual responses are good. His vital signs are normal as well. It could be a delayed reaction to the concussion and/or the space walk.” Phlox’s smile widened even as Jason’s scowl deepened. “Have you ever done a spacewalk before?”
“No,” Jason answered warily.
“Then I would say that’s what is bothering you. Many humans experience a headache and body aches after their first null gravity experience. It takes three or four spacewalks for a human’s body to accept the changes to their center of gravity.”
“You mean I’ve got space sickness?”
Phlox’s smile grew wider. “That’s one way to put it.” He opened the small medical container he had brought with him and went through its contents until he found what he was looking for. He pulled out something that looked like a thick pen and a small cylinder, which he pressed into one end of the pen. “This should take care of your headache and body aches.”
Before Jason could protest, the doctor pressed it against his neck and Jason felt a sharp sting. He cursed as the doctor pulled the pen away and reached up to rub the spot that was still stinging.
“Warn a guy next time,” he spat and turned his glare to Mark. “Thanks a lot,” he spit out, but Mark wasn’t going to let him draw them into an argument in front of the doctor.
“Is he fit for duty?” Mark asked bluntly, ignoring Jason’s scowl.
“I would say yes but would also advise against any other spacewalks for a day.”
“All right. Thank you.”
As soon as the doctor left, Jason laid back down, turning away from Mark as he pulled the cover over his head again.
“Don’t get comfortable,” Mark said as he walked past him and smacked his leg, Jason snapped up, growling. “We’ve got time to shower and get something to eat before we tackle the damage problem again. You might feel even better getting something in your stomach.”
Jason plopped back down. Mark snorted as he headed for the in-suite bathroom. He could have ten more minutes, but that was it.

888


The food hadn’t helped, although whatever Phlox had given him had at least dealt with the headache. He listened to everyone, his elbow on the table, his chin in his hand, as they discussed what they could do, which unfortunately seemed to be nothing.
“Don’t forget the Galacticycle,” he said at one point, getting their attention. “Doesn’t matter if the pod falls off in atmosphere or not. As soon as there’s gravity, the missiles are going to go active again. It’ll either blow us up or something else we don’t want blown up.”
“Prin-” Mark started.
“Not a problem,” she answered. “If Commander Tucker would be kind enough to help me with the space walk, I’ll disarm all of them.”
“How long do you think it’ll take you? I want you prepared in case you have the same delayed reaction Jason did,” Mark said.
“Maybe an hour plus the spacewalk out and back. I won’t have to be out there nearly as long as he was,” she assured him.
“What about the low-level nukes?” Malcolm directed at Jason. Jason sighed and sat up to give him his attention.
“They arm differently. That was the first thing I made sure was properly wired to Princess’ station. I got a green reading on all of them, so none of them were damaged in any way and are dormant. The launching system is also redundant. We can’t fire them off without a signal from home base opening the firing controls so I can direct them.”
“Ah crap,” Tiny said, getting all their attention with his tone. “The rewiring. The Chief will notice.”
“I already thought about that,” Mark said, surprising them. “We’re going to have to share some of the truth.”
“What part?” Archer asked with a frown. Everyone was exchanging concerned looks.
“When we destroyed the missile aimed at New York City, we somehow got sucked into a wormhole. We were heavily damaged by the time we came out. The bridge automatically went into emergency protocol.”
“Skipper,” Jason warned but Mark waved his hand at him.
“Trip, have you come across anything about our emergency bridge protocol in your research?” Mark asked.
Trip rubbed his chin. “No,” he answered with a mix of surprise and caution.
“Mark.” Jason’s warned strongly. Mark gave him a scowl of his own.
“Of all of the top secret things we shouldn’t share, this is one we can get away with because its like Fiery Phoenix. Don’t ask us how it works because we don’t know, but it works,” he countered in his command tone. He turned back to Archer.
“Your sensors indicated something was coming through the wormhole.” Archer nodded, folding his arms over his chest. “You identified it was a manned ship very quickly.” Archer nodded again. “You then got us off the ship fast because your sensors indicated our life support was failing.”
“That’s right.”
“Had you not done so, the emergency protocol would have kicked in. It would have sealed off the bridge and re-pressurized. That would have allowed us time to rewire what we could and repair what we needed to try to get home. We can then say it took us however many days we end up being here to figure out where the hell we were and whether we could try to go back through the wormhole. That will explain the ship’s internal clock possibly being different from whatever the date and time is when we come out on Earth’s end. We won’t have to explain anything else.”
“The Chief will still know we’re lying,” Keyop said as he chewed on tortilla chip.
“Hey. I’m the only one allowed to be a pessimist around here,” Jason quipped.
“Why didn’t that protocol initiate after we got you off the ship?” Archer wanted to know as Trip leaned in closer, clearly interested in this new piece of information.
“It would only go active if the internal sensors registered our presence.”
“So, it just comes down to Princess deactivating her missiles and us choosing a time to give it a try,” Tiny mused, grabbing some of Keyop’s chips. Keyop slapped his hand.
“Get your own,” the teen snapped.
“Why didn’t it kick in when Jason and I were on the bridge?” Trip asked.
Mark shrugged and turned to Princess.
“I would assume it didn’t recognize your bio signs,” she answered. “I would think it’ll only do it for us.”
“If it had just been Jason, it would have?” Trip asked.
“Maybe? Or it might need certain criteria to be met. As Mark said, we don’t know how it works.”
“Its never been activated before?” Archer asked, frowning.
“We’ve never had enough damage to the bridge to possibly activate it,” Mark said.
“So you don’t know if the protocol will activate when all of you return to the ship to head home?” Trip was frowning, too.
“We just believe it will because everything else that we don’t understand works.” Jason lowered his hands so they were under the table he was sitting at and activated a non-verbal transmute. The Enterprise crew covered their faces or jumped in surprise at the flash of rainbow light that enveloped him for a split second, to find Jason suddenly in his Birdstyle. “If you have any idea how our transmutation might work, please feel free to enlighten us.”
“Fascinating,” T’Pol said. She stepped over to his side. “May I?” she asked, extending her hand towards his shoulder.
“Knock yourself out.” She raised her eyebrow again. “You don’t use that slang anymore?” Jason inquired.
“No,” Archer said with a smile.
“Yeah, you can touch it,” Jason amended. T’Pol first touched his cape on his right shoulder, fingering the fabric. She then lowered her hand to his right forearm.
“This is unlike any fabric or compound I have ever seen or felt,” she stated. “It’s very flexible, even though it gives the appearance of being skintight. May I take a sample?”
“I’m sorry, but no,” Mark answered. “Doing that might have an adverse effect on the process that allows us to transmute in and out of our Birdstyle or even damage the Birdstyle.”
“I know of no physics to explain how you can do that.” She returned to the earlier spot where she had been standing.

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Jason warned them so they could cover their eyes this time and de-transmuted. “I guess that means you can’t tell us how our clothes reappear fresh and clean either?” he asked. T’Pol shook her head as the others shared an amazed look that led to Archer laughing and shaking his head.
“Now that’s one process you all should commercialize. You’d make a fortune,” he suggested. Although Keyop’s eyes lit up at the idea, Tiny shook his head at him.
“Believe us, you don’t want to have to wear this fabric all the time.” Tiny ran his hand down his chest and belly. “Neither the Birdstyles nor our civvies are always the most comfortable.”
“I would think not, as tight as your uniforms are,” Hoshi said, making a face. “They don’t leave much to the imagination.”
“Don’t even get us started on that.” Jason sighed, returning his elbow to the table and his chin to his palm as if all of his energy was waning again. “Someday we’re all going to start singing soprano.”
“Speak for yourself,” Princess countered. “The troopers only leer at me since they’re men and I’m the one flashing them like a paid strip show.”
“Okay, okay,” Mark interrupted as he waved his hands, not wanting them to go to the next level of the frequent conversation, which was Princess ranting about why she couldn’t have a full bodysuit. “Old subject with no solution.” Both Jason and Princess sighed dramatically as Mark turned towards Trip. “Are you available now to assist Princess with the spacewalk?” he asked.
“Sure,” Trip said, even though he was looking at Jason with interest. Jason was back to staring off into nowhere, so he didn’t notice.
“I think the sooner we get this show on the road, the better for the timeline.” Mark looked at each of his teammates for acknowledgement, getting a barely perceptible nod from Jason.
“Lead the way,” Princess said to Trip, waving her arm towards the door.
“We’ll be back soon,” he promised and walked towards the door, Princess at his side.
“Commander, would you or all of you like to join us on the bridge while they’re out there?” Archer asked. Mark thanked him as the whole group set off with him, T’Pol and Hoshi.

888

Princess’ and Trip’s spacewalk went much better than his and Jason’s. In addition to deactivating the Galacticycle missiles, Princess also performed a double check on the rewiring he and Jason had completed.
“I’d hate for there to be a short circuit while we’re in Fiery Phoenix,” she told Trip, who whole-heartedly agreed.
While they were gone, Mark and Tiny worked with T’Pol and Travis mapping out the best entrance vector for them to take into the wormhole to attempt their return while Hoshi took Jason and Keyop down to Medical. Having learned Keyop loved animals, she had contacted Dr. Phlox to see if he was available to show Keyop his collection. Jason tagged along, wanting to get another shot as his headache and body aches had returned with a vengeance.
When they entered Medical, Dr. Phlox was standing in front of a wall of aquarium-like cases that all seemed to have something in them moving about. He took one look at Jason and frowned.
“How are you feeling?” he asked, intercepting him as Keyop made a beeline for the cases, Hoshi on his heels.
“Actually, the headache and body aches are back. That shot you gave me this morning helped for a few hours. Any chance I can get another?” Jason asked, keeping his eye on Keyop, as he didn’t think Hoshi would be fast enough to stop the teen if he decided to reach into one of the cases. “Keyop, don’t even think about it,” he said instead. “Wait for the Doc.”
Phlox turned and smiled at Keyop. “Actually, he is correct. Some of my collection are poisonous.” Keyop pouted as Phlox turned back to Jason.
“To answer your question, I’d like to get some readings before giving you another shot, if that’s all right.”
That hadn’t been what Jason wanted to hear, but if that was the only way to get the shot… “Okay.”
“Please sit right there.” Phlox pointed at the nearest bed. Jason walked over and sat, watching the doctor go to a drawer and pull out the same small apparatus he had used to check him that morning.
“You used that this morning. What is it?”
“A bio scanner,” Phlox replied and slowly waved it from the top of his head down to his toes. He then looked at something that resembled a cell phone for a moment. “Everything looks good. Let me look at your eyes.” Before Jason could agree, the doctor was already flashing a bright light into them, making Jason scowl.
“Didn’t I tell you this morning to give me a warning?” he snapped but Phlox just smiled.
“I did tell you what I was going to do.”
“But you didn’t give me a chance to prepare. Are you always this happy?” Jason asked as he continued to scowl.
Phlox smiled even more. “Yes.”
“That just isn’t right,” Jason complained and then drew back when Phlox approached with the thick pen that he had used to give him a shot in the morning.
“Your eye reaction is fine, so I believe you’re still dealing with the null gravity problem. This is the same medication I gave you his morning. May I?”
“Yeah.” Jason winced as he felt the sting of the shot. He reached up and rubbed the spot.
“Jason, look at this!” Keyop walked over to him with something lying against his chest as he held it with his hands. It looked to be about two feet long. It resembled a psychedelic pillow with four short white legs, a long snouted red fuzzy head, bright green eyes and a small mouth shaped like that of a fish. “Feel how soft she is.”
Jason hesitated. When it came to animals, Keyop had no fear and had miraculously not been bitten or stung to date. But this animal was in a medical center. Hoshi had evidently gotten it out of its habitat and he doubted she’d give Keyop anything dangerous.
He raised his hand and petted the creature. Its fur was the softest thing he thought he’d ever touched and he smiled despite himself. To his surprise, the creature turned and immediately hopped onto his arm and leaned in to snuggle up against his chest, just as it had to Keyop. Jason jumped in surprise.
“Don’t drop her!” Keyop reached for the creature but Jason recovered himself and held it against his chest just as Keyop had. It was warm and rested its head in the crook of his neck. He could feel its warm, moist breath there.
“I got this,” he assured the teen and ran his free hand over its fur again, noticing at the same time that his headache and body aches were abating.
“How are you feeling?” Phlox asked as he headed for the tanks. He opened the lid on one and reached in, bringing out something that looked like a ferret with wings.
Jason turned his attention to the doctor, continuing to pet the animal he was holding. “It’s working. What is this species?”
“We call it a cookaboo. It’s native to my planet, Denobula. Her name is Mimi,” he said as he motioned for Keyop to stretch out his arms. He tossed the animal in his hands into the air. Jason ducked as it flew at his head, Mimi making a croaking sound in protest as he shielded her from the other animal.
It made one round of the large room and dropped into Keyop’s out-stretched arms. Keyop was beaming with happiness as it pulled in its white wings, shimmied, and settled on his right forearm.
“Easy,” Jason said to Mimi as she continued to croak as he straightened back up. “You’re okay.” He rubbed her back and the croaking slowly stopped.
“You’re very good with her,” Phlox observed. “You like animals?”
“Actually, not much.”
“You liar.” Keyop was scratching under the flying ferret’s chin. It was shivering with pleasure. “He loves dogs. He almost got killed saving a puppy from a mecha once.”
“I read about that in Princess’ diary,” Hoshi said as she sat down across from them. “You were lucky.”
“Sometimes, that’s all you’ve got,” Jason answered.
Over the next hour, Phlox introduced Keyop to ten other animals, two of which he begged Jason to let him bring back with them. Jason shook his head, disturbing Mimi, whom he was still holding and petting.
“Don’t make me search you before we head out,” Jason warned sternly as his wristcom suddenly chirped. As he was holding Mimi with his left arm, so he had to shift her over to his right in order to acknowledge the summons. He raised the wristcom to his lips. “Ears on.”
“How’s it going down there?” Mark asked. Jason could hear several voices but couldn’t make out what they were saying.
“Fine. I got the shot and it worked. Keyop wants to bring two new animal species to Earth. I already told him no. How are things on your end?”
“Good. We think we’ve got the vectors we’ll need to go back into the wormhole at the exact point we had come out through. Unfortunately, there’s no way to test it.”
“That’s better than nothing,” Jason commented, motioning at Hoshi to take Mimi. The cookaboo croaked a protest, as she had been sleeping.
“And I hate to do this to you, but we’re all going to have to space walk out to the bridge to see if the bridge protocol will kick in.”
Jason wanted to groan but knew they had to do it. He rubbed his hands over his face. “When?”
“The sooner the better.”
“Where?”
“The same airlock you and Trip used,” Mark answered.
“Okay. We’ll meet you there.”
“I can take you,” Hoshi offered as she returned Mimi to her case. Phlox was helping Keyop with a miniature rabbit that had horns.
“Thanks, but I got it.”
“He’s got a photographic memory,” Keyop told her as he joined them. “He never gets lost.”
“That’s a handy ability to have,” Phlox commented, watching them with his hands joined behind his back.
“We’re just lucky Spectra tends to use the same interior model on every one of their mechs.” Jason nodded at Phlox. “Thanks for the shot.”
“Any time.” Phlox smiled back.
“Come on, squirt. I want to get this over with.”
It only took a few minutes to get to the air lock. Mark, Princess and Tiny were already there, along with Archer and Trip.

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“The outer lock has the environmental suits,” Trip said for Mark, Tiny and Keyop’s benefit. “You’ll be going out on your own. We don’t think this protocol of yours will activate if anyone is there who doesn’t have a bracelet like yours. We,” and Trip motioned at Princess, “left a guide rope this time so there would be no need for a floating free-fall like we had to do that first time.”
“Phlox thinks that should also keep you from having a relapse on your space sickness,” Archer told Jason. He sighed and nodded.
“What if it doesn’t work?” Keyop asked.
“We’ll cross that bridge if we get to it,” Mark answered as he opened the inner airlock hatch.
They entered the outer airlock, closed the inner hatch and put on the environmental suits. They took a few moments to double check each other’s suits before Mark activated the lock’s systems to slowly remove the air before opening the outer hatch.
One by one, they took hold of the lead rope and pulled their way hand over hand to the bubble atop the Phoenix, trying to ignore Keyop’s gleeful litany about how cool he thought the spacewalk was.
Once they reached the ship, they activated the bottom of their suit’s feet’s magnetic locks to walk up the hull. After several minutes, they stood together on the bubble lift and Mark tapped the foot pedal. The two halves of the clear dome slowly rose on each side of them and sealed above them with a grind that made them wince.
“At least it worked,” Tiny commented.
Mark tapped the pedal again to get the floor to lower down into the bridge. At first nothing happened, but then it jerked, almost knocking them over when it suddenly dropped several feet and stopped just as suddenly.
“I did not need that,” Jason grumbled, his hand on the clear dome to steady himself. Mark ignored his comment and tapped the pedal again. To their relief, the floor slowly descended. Once it reached a presubscribed distance, the hull sealed itself above them. It came into contact with the floor and stopped.
“How’s it going?” Archer asked over the suits radio.
“We made it in without the hull trying to cut us in two,” Mark answered, looking up at the mentioned panels above their heads.
“Thanks for that visual,” Jason complained. “I’ve never thought about that before. Now I’m going to be worried every time we use it.”
“That makes two of us,” Princess muttered as she, too, looked up at the bubble hull.
“Okay. Let’s take our stations and see what happens,” Mark ordered. They all sat down and waited, but nothing happened.
“How long should we wait?” Tiny asked.
“We don’t know what it is about us that triggers the protocol,” Mark said, running his hand over his currently dark console. The console came to life, bathing him in multi-colored illumination. Seeing that, Princess did the same, her console also coming to life
“I’m betting we all need to activate our stations,” she said. Tiny, Jason and Keyop did the same.
“Wait a minute,” Jason said, staring at his now illuminated radar. “Trip and I had to rewire everything to Princess’ station. Only she should have been able to activate our stations. Mark’s station came up before yours,” Jason said as he turned around to face Princess. “How?”
“You said you have some redundant systems,” they heard Trip say through their suits.
“Yeah, but that’s for the weapons,” Jason reminded him. “We wouldn’t have had to do all of that rewiring if our stations had redundant systems.”
“Then perhaps there are more ways that your ship operates that have not been fully explained to you,” the alien woman, T’Pol, told them. “Similar to your Fiery Phoenix.”
Suddenly, the overheard lighting started to come on while their enhanced hearing picked up on an underlying humming noise emanating from all around them. Then here was a hissing sound.
“Mark, I’m registering an increase in hull and air pressure,” Princess announced, reading information running over the screen of her station. “Internal bridge pressure is moving towards norm. I’m not reading any vacuum left on the bridge.”
“I’ve got…oxygen levels rising,” Keyop added from his station. “We’ve got air.”
“Are either of you reading any leaks?” Mark asked, his voice filled with amazement. Both Princess and Keyop said no. “Captain Archer,” Mark said, “can your sensors verify our bridge is secure and our life support is operational?”
“T’Pol?” Archer asked.
“I’m reading the hull about the bridge has sealed and life support is operating at full efficiency. They should have gravity,” she announced.
“Let’s see.” Mark stood and walked to the center of the bridge. He disengaged the mag locks on his boots, ready to float upward, but nothing happened. He took a few steps and turned around to face everyone. “We’ve got gravity,” he confirmed.
“You said life support is back to normal?” Jason asked. T’Pol confirmed. “Good, because I’m sick of these suits.” Before anyone could stop him, Jason disengaged his helmet from the rest of the environmental suit and removed it. He took a deep breath and started coughing. When Princess jumped from her seat to grab his helmet to get it back onto him, he waved his hand.
“Air’s okay, just cold as hell,” he told her and coughed again, his breath visible. He looked around and couldn’t stop the smile that he rarely ever showed. “I can’t believe it. The protocol worked,” he told them.
“Thank God,” Tiny said and they all laughed, releasing some tension. A sudden loud popping sound caught their attention until they realized it was life support system pumping warm air into the bridge.
“It’s like the ship heard you say it was too cold,” Princess said with a smile towards Jason.
“I guess now the question is when do we try returning home?” Mark asked, facing all of them.
“Let’s talk about it back on the Enterprise,” Jason said, pulling his helmet back on. “It’s going to take a little while for it to get warm enough for us to be in here without the environmental suits.” Princess rose from her station to double-check his helmet’s seal.
“I agree. Let’s leave everything running,” Mark said, which is what they would have done during a mission if they all had to leave the ship. “Tiny, patch the controls to your bracelet.” Tiny nodded, already having done it as it was also normal procedure if he was going to be off the ship with the rest of the team. “Captain, we’re on our way back,” Mark announced. Archer acknowledged and Jason led the way back to the Enterprise.



Over the next few hours, the team made their final plans for their departure with their descendants. While some members of the Enterprise crew were becoming nervous, the team saw it as just another mission.
Archer had the Chef put together a special dinner, keeping the fare Earth cuisine, not wanting to accidentally make any of them ill eating something totally foreign to their systems. In addition to their descendants, T’Pol was also present. Her comments about the Earth cuisine had been amusing.
As they finished a desert of apple pie, Archer brought out a bottle of cognac and walked around filling glasses, including Keyop’s, although with a smaller amount. The teen beamed when neither Princess nor Mark took it away. Once everyone had their glasses in hand, Archer returned to his seat and picked up his own glass.
“I’d like to propose a toast to the G-Force team, whose fight has led us to the peace and prosperity we have today,” he said with a large smile.
“Guess that means we won,” Jason quipped to laughs as they all drank to the toast. Keyop immediately started to turn red and cough, which received even more laughs.
“I bet you’re anxious to get back,” Trip said from his seat beside Jason as he sipped his cognac.
“But who am I going back to?” Jason asked. Trip opened his mouth and then clamped it shut to more laughs. “I almost had you,” Jason told him and joined in the laughter as Trip shook his head, a smile pushing at his lips.
“Wait a minute.” Jason smirked and turned towards Hoshi. “Where’s Princess’ diary?” he asked.
“Whhhyyyy?” Princess drew out with a smirk of her own as she reached into her pocket and produced her yo-yo.
Jason’s eyes narrowed at her. “I’m sure you wrote something in it about my future marriage.”
Princess started to roll her yo-yo down at the floor, her eyes locked onto him. “What makes you think we’ll allow you to look at it?” She rolled the yo-yo back up to her hand.
“You wouldn’t dare,” he challenged, his hand slipping into his pocket.
The Enterprise crew was watching the exchange with interest while Keyop leaned back with a smirk of his own and Tiny’s eyes darted back and forth between Jason and Princess. Mark sighed and leaned back, his hand slipping into his pocket. Noticing the subtle looks passing between the team, Trip pushed his seat back and got up. T’Pol was sitting beside him. He took hold of her arm and pulled her up out of her seat, moving them both away from the table and between Jason and Princess. T’Pol frowned at him.
“Trust me,” he said, starting to motion that the others should get away from the table.
Mark sighed heavily and motioned for everyone to stay put, giving Jason and Princess a long-suffering look. “I don’t think our descendants need to see how you two like to argue,” he drawled, “and I really don’t want to have to use my boomerang on either of you.”
After a moment, Jason pulled his hand out of his pocket and rolled his eyes as Princess shoved her yo-yo back into her pocket.
“You’re no fun,” Jason groused at his commander.
“Darn,” Keyop sputtered and crossed his arms over his chest, apparently disappointed.
Trip let go of T’Pol’s arm and came back to his seat. With a lift of one eyebrow, T’Pol returned to hers.
“Do you frequently address disagreements with violence?” she asked. The team shared looks and Mark pursed his lips.

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“We might bite each other’s heads off, but if you mess with one of us-”
“You mess with all of us,” the others chimed in and chuckled.
“We do disagree at times,” Princess admitted, still smiling. “We live violent lives and tend to use our arguments as training sessions. It’s become so ingrained, we don’t even think about it until we notice people around us are reacting.”
“My granddaddy used to say y’all could get into some nasty fights,” Trip said. “He said everyone learned to get out of the way, but he also said y’all never held it against each other once it was over. That’s why I got up and moved away.”
“Wise man,” Jason responded. “We’ve been known to break things.”
They continued to talk for another hour before Mark decided it was time to call it a night. He wanted his team rested before they attempted to go through the wormhole.
They said good night to their descendants and made their way back to their quarters, unusually quiet. They usually bantered for hours before a mission, but this was different. They would be leaving relatives they had never known they would have and they’d never see again. Unlike in the past, it wasn’t because they had died. They were very much alive and would continue to be so after the team left. And here, there was no war.
“Wish we could stay,” Keyop mumbled as they reached their doors.
“If we stay, the timeline changes and our relatives here would probably never have existed,” Mark pointed out.
“And Spectra may be in charge of everything,” Jason said, leaning back against the wall beside the door, crossing his arms over his chest.
“How are you feeling?” Mark asked, watching Princess go into her room.
“Better,” Jason answered, watching Tiny and Keyop disappear into their room. Mark opened their door and he followed him in. “Guess the Doc was right about the effect wearing off.”
“That’s good.”
They undressed in silence and climbed into bed, both knowing they needed as much rest as they could get before trying to the Phoenix back through the wormhole.

888

Try as he might, Jason couldn’t sleep and gave up after tossing and turning for an hour, fighting his conscience. He rose and quietly dressed, not wanting to wake Mark. He sneaked out of the room and went in search of a computer. If Mark knew what he was doing, he’d kill him.
An hour later, he had found what he’d been looking for and couldn’t believe his instincts had been correct.
As he started to return to the room he and Mark were sharing, he started to hear voices. He immediately recognizing Archer’s and Trip’s. He didn’t recognize the third voice, but that wasn’t a surprise since he’d only met a few of the Enterprise’s crew.
Archer’s voice was raised, but not in anger. He sounded wary, if not frightened. The third voice was raised, but was speaking a language Jason had never heard before. Even so, he could tell that voice’s tone was threatening.
“There’s no need for that,” he heard Archer say. “We’ll take you to the armory.”
Armory? Jason pressed himself back against the wall, sensing something was wrong.
“Don’t shoot! I said we’ll take you!” Archer’s voice was definitely alarmed. What was this? A robbery?
Jason shook his head, thinking fast. He slinked up to the intersection of the two halls, glancing around the corner.
Archer and Trip were facing a large alien that looked vaguely like a bipedal lion. It was well over a foot taller than the two men and outweighed them by over a hundred pounds. Jason assumed it was male based on the timber of the voice.
He didn’t know for sure what was going on, but his instincts were screaming robbery or hijacking. Either way, it wasn’t happening as long as he could stop it.
He knew there was a back hall to his right that curved around to meet with the main hall behind the alien. He’d memorized everyplace he’d been, and he and Trip had passed this hall coming back from the airlock on his first spacewalk to go to the meeting room. He made his way quietly down that hall.
Once he arrived at the juncture with the main hall, he peered around the corner. The alien had forced Archer and Trip several feet further down the hall to where he had originally seen them. Both Archer and Trip were upset but neither appeared injured.
Both men would see him the moment he moved out from cover. He hoped they were trained not to react and give him away.
The moment he broke cover, the alien turned, as if he’d heard him, firing his weapon. Jason dived to the right to dodge the blast, using the wall as a catapult. The blast hit the wall only feet from him, taking out a sizeable chunk of it.
Trip jumped on the alien’s back, trying to get his arm around the thick neck, but the alien threw him off as if he weighed nothing. Trip hit the wall with a crack, sliding down it to the floor, stunned. Archer was only a second behind him, but he wasn’t fast enough.
Jason used the wall for additional momentum to kick the weapon out of the alien’s hands. In the same motion, he reversed the kick to nail the alien in the jaw.
While the maneuver usually killed Spectran troops by snapping their necks, it only gave the alien a bloody mouth.
“Ah crap,” Jason muttered as the alien growled and punched at him. He darted out of the way as the punch went into the wall, leaving a massive fist-sized hole exposing wiring. He could hear Archer calling for security as he assisted Trip back to his feet.
It was obvious the alien was much stronger than Jason was. He needed the assistance of his Birdstyle.
Jason transmuted, ignoring Archer and Trip as he went after the alien again.
Even in Birdstyle, he wasn’t making much headway. What the hell was this alien made of? Even Tiny would have trouble subduing him.
The alien was bleeding and slobbering like a dog all over the metal flooring. Jason slipped just as the alien swept down with both beefy arms to smash him. He tried to get out of the way but couldn’t.
The alien hit his left shoulder, driving him down to his knees. His collar bone and shoulder joint snapped but he had to keep moving because the next blow would kill him.
Gritting his teeth against the pain, he rolled to the left, kicking out as hard as he could without being able to use his left arm for counterbalance, to take out the alien’s knee. He succeeded in getting another angry roar as the knee buckled.
Jason reached for his gun just as two security officers rounded the far corner. They immediately raised what looked like streamlined guns to fire on the alien. Instead of bullets, Jason saw energy rays flash to hit the alien in the chest. It slowed him down but didn’t stop him.
Before the alien could shoot back, the security officers fired again. The additional hits were enough. The alien crumbled, almost landing on Jason where he crouched. He avoided the body, breathing heavy from the additional pain the movement caused.
“Jason, are you all right?” Trip asked, suddenly at his side as the security officers moved in to cover the fallen alien should he only be playing opossum. Trip crouched down beside him.
“Are you? He threw you pretty hard.” Jason asked in return as he sank all the way to the floor on his butt. He couldn’t feel nor move his left arm, but he could feel the throbbing pain in his shoulder, upper chest and neck. Although they had been trained to operate injured, it didn’t mean it wasn’t hard to do. His vision was swimming a bit.
“He just knocked the wind outta me,” Trip admitted sheepishly. “He hit you even harder.” Trip glanced over him. “I think your collarbone is broken.”
“Feels that way, too. What happened?” Jason asked, hoping to keep his mind off the pain. The security officers had declared the alien still alive and called for back-up. “What the hell is that?” Jason asked.”
“Beats me. I’ve never seen this race before.”
“I’ve alerted Phlox,” Archer said as he joined them. The look he gave Jason was filled with both admiration and exasperation. “Do you always jump into a situation without evaluating it first?” he wanted to know.
“I did evaluate it,” Jason countered with some anger. Archer had no right to question his judgement. “It had a weapon on you and wanted the armory. I was armed and he or it or whatever sure as hell wasn’t getting its hands on more weapons if I could help it. Watch your eyes.” Jason reached over to tap the faceplate of his bracelet in a rhythm. Bright light enveloped him as his Birdstyle disappeared. The loss of the uniform’s support made his eyes water as pain laced all through his chest and back. More than his collarbone was broken. He tried to control his breathing because he had more questions.
“How’d he get here?” He reached over to cradle his left arm to his chest, feeling lightheaded as he did so.
Archer and Trip exchanged looks as T’Pol’s voice interrupted them from the nearby intercom.
“Captain, sensors have located a ship of unknown origins off our starboard. It’s trying to hide behind the distortion being created by the worm hole, but apparently the distortion isn’t strong enough to have interfered with their transporter.”
“Are they making any aggressive moves?” Archer asked as Jason contemplated the term ‘transporter’.
“No, but I’ve had Mr. Reed power up weapons just in case,” T’Pol answered.
“As soon as I did, they high-tailed it away,” Malcom added.
“Good. Keep an eye on them and let me know if they swing back, since we have one of their friends, who will be warming a cot in the brig. I’ll be in Medical. Jason was injured trying to stop our visitor from reaching the Armory.”

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“Shall I alert Mark?” Malcolm asked.
“No,” Jason called from the floor, loud enough for Malcolm to hear through the intercom. The last thing he needed was for Mark to hear he’d been wondering around from someone else. “I’ll tell him on our way.” He fixed his eyes on Trip, who had a bruise forming on the right side of his jaw, where the alien had hit him. “Help me up?” he asked in a lower voice.
“Sure.” Jason let Trip get an arm around his waist as he pushed up with his right arm, gritting his teeth. His head swam for a moment, but then his vision cleared.
“You good?” Trip asked, Jason nodded, and Archer joined them they started for the nearest lift to get to medical, just as four more members of Security arrived to help get the alien to the brig.
Once in Medical, Trip was easing him down to sit on a bed as the captain filled Dr. Phlox in on what had happened. Just as he finished, Mark appeared in the doorway, his lips thin.
“What the hell were you doing?” Mark demanded as he joined him beside the bed. Jason held onto his arm to keep it from moving and gave Mark a sour look.
“I told you, I couldn’t sleep so I took a walk.”
“And it’s a good thing he did,” Trip added, reaching up to rub the back of his neck. “He kept an intruder who wanted to divest us of our Armory busy until Security could arrive.”
“Hey Doc,” Jason called to Phlox as the doctor prepared the instruments he thought he was going to need, ignoring Mark. “Check Trip, too. That crazy looking walking lion threw him into a wall pretty hard.”
“Ahm fine.” Trip sounded embarrassed, but the bruise on his face was getting larger and starting to turn a dark shade of purple.
“He’s right, Trip,” Archer said and then gave Mark his attention. “Jason may have saved our lives.” The intercom in Medical chirped. Archer went over and activated it. “Archer.”
“Captain, we have our visitor in the brig,” Malcom reported. “T’Pol has identified the species as a Histonian. They’re known as black market weapons and slave traders.” Archer’s look turned grim at that news, as they had prior experience with slave traders.
For a moment, Jason could see a strong resemblance between him and Mark.
“And she said our visitor is a female of the species,” Malcolm added.
“Female? Damn. I don’t want to see any of their males,” Jason muttered in amazement and felt a sting in his neck. He snapped his head at the source and nearly passed out from the pain the motion caused. “What the hell?!” he cursed at Phlox, having to grab the bed with his right hand to keep from falling off it. The Doctor seemed to want to inflict pain on him. Mark crossed his arms over his chest. “You could have warned me,” Jason snapped at him. Mark only stared, still clearly angry with him.
“You need it for the pain,” Phlox told him, non-fluxed. “Now I need to get a scan to see how much damage there is. Since Commander Tucker is standing on his own and his coloring is good, he can wait a few more minutes to be examined.” The doctor took hold of him to carefully help him lie down on his back on the bed in order to take the scan of his chest and shoulder. Jason hissed and closed his eyes as he settled.
“Jase?” Mark asked in concern. Jason opened his eyes to scowl at him.
“So now you’re concerned,” he muttered as Phlox waved something over him. When he was done, he looked up at a monitor above Jason’s prone form,
“You have a broken left collar bone, clavicle, and damaged rotator cup. Luckily, neither break has punctured your lung, but your lung is bruised. Once I’ve set the bones, you’ll need a day or so to rest-”
Jason shook his head and grit his teeth as sharp pain ran up his shoulder and neck. “No can do. We’re leaving in a few hours.” He turned his head to look at Mark. “He can’t fix it. The Chief will know.”
Mark took a deep breath, cupping his chin and pulling his thumb and forefinger together across his jaw to pinch his lower lip for a moment. He looked at Phlox and then Archer. “He’s right. If you do anything to heal those breaks, the Chief will notice. It’s the same situation as the damage to the ship. No one else can ever know we were here.”
Jason set his eyes on Phlox. “Just give me a sling or something to immobilize it. That’s what Princess would have done after we got here while we were trying to repair the ship enough to get back. I don’t think the Chief will be able to tell how old the breaks are.” Then his eyes darted to Mark. “Would he?”
“I don’t want to chance it.” Mark raised his arm to talk into his bracelet. “Prin, need you in Medical. Jason decided to go for a walk and got into a fight with an alien intruder. I’ll explain more when you get here.”
“Big Ten,” she responded after a few seconds.
“Princess is our field medical officer,” he told them.
“I don’t remember reading that anywhere,” Trip said as Phlox walked over and waved the same thing over Trip’s face that he’d run over Jason.
“It wasn’t generally known,” Mark answered.
“No breaks or hairline fractures,” Phlox declared after consulting the monitor. “But that is a brilliant bruise.”
“Thanks Doc,” Trip said and reached up to gently rub his jaw, then winced.
Princess came into Medical a few minutes later, glanced about and headed directly to the bed Jason was lying on. She looked down at him, her hands fisted on her hips.
“You just can’t stay out of trouble, can you?” she asked and shook her head.
“He saved our lives,” Trip piped in in Jason’s defense, pointing at himself and then Archer, who was just watching them with curiosity. She looked over at them, her eyes widening upon seeing Trip’s bruised face.
“Did the alien do that?”
“Yeah.”
“Dr. Phlox’s examination confirmed the alien broke Jason’s left collar bone and clavicle and his rotator cup is damaged in some way,” Mark told her. She immediately turned her attention to the doctor.
“Any lung damage?” she asked. Phlox shook his head.
“No, thank goodness.”
“What did he hit you with?” she asked Jason. “An anvil?”
“She hit me with her fists,” he responded. “Apparently they’re a great substitute for hammers.”
“Dr. Phlox wants to treat him but-”
Princess cut Mark off. “But the Chief will be able to tell,” she finished for him. She crossed her arms over her chest.
“How dangerous is it going to be for him if the doctor only immobilizes his arm?” Mark asked. When Phlox opened his mouth, Mark shook his head. “I’m not at liberty to tell you how we’re going back into that wormhole, but it puts a lot of pressure on our bodies. It’s not pleasant when we’re one hundred percent, let alone having multiple broken bones.”
“I can handle it,” Jason said, rolling onto his right side with a grimace. He attempted to sit up without help to prove it and saw stars. Princess grabbed at him to help him up the rest of the way.
“Sure you can,” she quipped and he glared at her.
“I’ve been worse,” he retorted.
“And I’d like to not repeat those incidents,” Mark responded.
“Is this one of those times when we should get out of the way?” Archer whispered at Trip. Trip shrugged.
“They don’t have any weapons out yet,” Trip pointed out.
Princess pressed her forefinger to her lips for a moment. “We could wrap him up really well to immobilize his arm. I was going to suggest we also use one of the crash harnesses to hold him in place in his seat, but we might have to abandon once we’re in the atmosphere. If he had both hands available, that wouldn’t be a problem, but he won’t.”
“We know I survived so just wrapping me up really well should work,” Jason told them, agreeing with Princess. “Just give me enough pain killer to take the edge off. I need to be alert in case we do have to abandon.”
“So this is another one of those cases when y’all improvise?” Trip asked, remembering what Jason had told him when they had to deal with Princess’ motorcycle’s missiles going live the previous day.
The three G-Force members looked at each other and nodded, which elicited a hiss from Jason.
“That was bright,” Princess noted with a smile. He scowled at her as Dr. Phlox gave him another shot. He didn’t complain this time.
“I can give you more just before you board your ship to leave,” Phlox told him.
“Thanks Doc. Sorry about earlier.” Mark and Princess looked at him in shock. “What?”
“Are you really a changeling or our Jason?” Princess asked with a twinkle in her eye.
“You just wait until we get home,” Jason threatened.
“We’ve still got a few hours to rest until we get ready,” Mark stated, ignoring the normal bantering between Jason and Princess. To him, it meant Jason was going to be okay. “Doctor, can he go back to our quarters to rest?” he asked of Phlox.
Phlox smiled and nodded. “I would suggest he do so sitting up. Even with the pain killer I gave him, lying down would probably be more painful.”
“Got it,” Jason said as he slowly stood. “Captain,” he addressed towards Archer, who’d hardly said a word since they got to Medical. “What are you going to do with that overgrown lioness?”
“We’ll keep her in the brig until we return to Earth in a few days. The diplomats can worry about it.”
“Will her ship come back and attack?” Jason wanted to know. Archer shrugged.
“T’Pol will brief me on the species as soon as I get back to the bridge. Malcom has our weapons ready just in case.”
“I hope not. That could cause problems for us trying to leave,” Mark noted.
“If they do show, we’ll keep them away from you,” Archer assured.
Mark nodded. “Okay. Let’s get a little more rest before we head home.” He motioned for Jason and Princess to precede him out of Medical.
Archer and Trip watched them go.
“That was close, Cap,” Trip said, gently pressing fingers against the bruised area of his face, wincing. “We may have been up a creek if Jason hadn’t happened upon us.”
“I know. I hate that he’s leaving injured, but they’re right about their medical staff being able to tell he had newly healed breaks he hadn’t had the day before the attack,” Archer noted. He sighed. “I’m heading for the bridge. You coming?”

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Trip nodded. “Might as well. Ahm not goin’ to be able to sleep until they’re safely on their way.”
“Thanks for your help, Phlox,” Archer said as he passed the doctor, who was putting his instruments away. Phlox smiled.
“You’re not the only one hating to send that young man out still injured. But from what they said, I, too, would have to agree with their decision.”
“Good night,” Archer said as he left.

888

“Enterprise, do you read us?” They heard Mark’s voice over the com.
“Yes, we’re here,” Archer said, watching as the Phoenix ever so slowly turned towards the wormhole.
“We appreciate everything you did for us. We know, even more now, what we have to fight for.”
“Trip, last chance,” Jason called, his voice still laced with pain from his broken collarbone and clavicle. “Who is she?”
Trip grinned and shared looks with his distant cousins. “Yah already know,” he answered.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” they heard Jason complain and then all of his teammates laughed at his expense.
“Mark, one minute to the event horizon,” Tiny interrupted the laughter.
“All right. Fiery Phoenix in two minutes,” Mark said. “Captain Archer, good luck to you and your crew.”
“Commander, smooth sailing,” Archer responded.
“They’re moving,” Travis reported, watching the Phoenix’s progress on his scanners.
“I hope she stays together,” Trip said wistfully. Seeing the Phoenix through the view screen as she started to pass them showed just how badly the ship had been damaged by the explosion.
They listened to Tiny’s countdown, their nervousness for their ancestors filling the bridge. When he hit one minute, T’Pol confirmed they’d come to the wormhole’s event horizon.
“The wormhole’s energy readings are rising,” T’Pol said, looking through her visual scanner. “It appears when a ship gets that close, the wormhole anticipates the ship’s entrance and for lack of a better way to put it, it ‘power’s up’.”
They heard Mark’s, ‘twenty seconds to Fiery Phoenix’ and Archer found himself holding his breath. At the end of the twenty seconds, there was a flash and the Phoenix was engulfed in flames that resembled a bird, down to its head and wings.
“How beautiful,” Hoshi said.
“Stay together,” Trip said, his features showing his worry.
“The energy readings are rising expotentionally,” T’Pol announced.
“They’re accelerating expotentally, too,” Travis said.
“It’s sucking them in, just as it did above Earth,” Malcolm said in an amazed voiced.
Before any of them could say anything else, it appeared the Phoenix was entering the wormhole, which flashed with a light so bright they gasped, shielding their eyes with their arms even as the view screen darkened to try to compensate.
“The power level of the wormhole has returned to what we’ve seen as its static level,” T’Pol reported from her station. Everyone was blinking away the blinding light to see the Phoenix was gone.
“Well, I’m assumin’ they made it back okay,” Trip ventured, turning to look at everyone else. “I’d think if they hadn’t, we wouldn’t be here.”
“But would we even know?” Malcolm asked. “Would we even know anything had changed because our normal would have also changed long before this?”
Archer rubbed the back of his neck. “Considering the experiences we’ve had with time travel, this almost seemed too easy.”
“Or it could take years for something to happen that was a result of the time travel,” T’Pol added as she left her station to join them. “And, as Lt. Reed said, you might not even be aware of it.”

888

Ten hours later, Trip’s door chimed, pulling him from his perusal of the Phoenix’s schematics. He couldn’t include them in his book, which was a condition of his having been given them, but he could look at them for as long as he wanted.
“Comin’,” he called as he got up and walked over to the door. He opened it to find a crying Hoshi.
“What is it?” He took hold of her arms and guided her in, sitting her on his small couch. She had Princess’ diary in her hand and she extended it towards him.
“Its changed,” she told him, reaching up to wipe her eyes,
“What do you mean?” Trip asked, opening it. The first thing he noticed was empty pages in the middle when before it had only had a few empty pages at the end.
Trip flipped pages backwards until he came to writing. He took a deep breath and started reading.

888

“What’s wrong?” Archer asked as he entered the conference room, T’Pol on his heels. Trip, Hoshi, Travis and Malcolm were already there. Hoshi’s eyes were pink and pinched from crying and Trip looked devastated.
“It changed,” Trip said, his voice uneven. “History changed.”
“How?” Archer asked in shock.
“If history did change,” T’Pol said, “none of us should know as we wouldn’t have experienced the first history.”
“We all know that, but it did change,” Trip told her. He handed her a digital picture frame that they all knew Trip kept in his quarters. He had many pictures of his deceased sister, Elizabeth, in it. He had recently added pictures of his and T’Pol’s baby daughter, also named Elizabeth, who had been illegally created from their stolen DNA by a terrorist organization who was against humans interacting with other alien races. Their process had been flawed and Elizabeth had died when she was eight months old of genetic problems. He and T’Pol had only had a short two weeks with her.
“I’ve shown y’all the picture I have of Jason holding my Daddy when he was a baby. Jason was seventy-five at the time.” Trip pointed at the frame; he had locked it on that picture. T’Pol turned it so everyone could see it. “Ah still have my notes for the book and they correspond with the history that used to be.”
Trip then opened the diary and started to read.
“September nineteenth, two thousand thirty-eight,” he began. He cleared his throat and continued. “Ah now understand why yah wouldn’t tell us anythin’ about our future lives. Had we’d known, we woulda done anythin’ possible to stop it from happenin’ and possibly damage the timeline so that some of yah might never have existed, or even worse, we’d lost the war.
“Jason had found the love of his life, and as Trip had eluded to, he’d already met her by the time we found ourselves in the future. He quickly realized it and we got to share in his joy of marryin’ her. They quickly started on a family, but then fate had to step in, a cruel fate that nearly tore us all apart.”
Trip stopped, his voice starting to shake. Hoshi was biting the inside of her lips, her eyes bright with moisture. Malcolm had moved closer to her and slipped an arm over her shoulders. Travis was gritting his teeth and Archer was thin lipped. They all seemed to know where the diary entry was going. Trip got control of himself and continued reading.
“Emily was seven months pregnant when we learned of Spectra’s plan to destroy Earth’s mantle, which would effectively destroy the Earth as well. What we didn’t know was somehow Spectra had learned who the Condor was and attacked and managed to abduct Jason from the nearby race track he used to practice on, to use him against the rest of us to keep us in line. Their plan blew up in their faces instead because we all had taken oaths to protect the Earth and other member planets with our lives. We fought with everythin’ we had to stop them, and it cost Jason his life, but not before he managed to get word to us where we needed to attack.” Trip’s voice cracked and he sucked in air. After a moment, he went on.
“We’ve been fractured by Jason’s loss. We’ve been holdin’ things together with a string, helping Emily in any way that we can. The stress caused her to go into labor early and little Katherine came into the universe four weeks early. She’s beautiful and at three months, we can already see Jason in the tilt of her gray eyes and the smirk she sometimes wears.
“Yesterday I helped Emily box up some of Jason’s clothes to donate to charity. It was hard and we broke into tears several times. We found a notebook in a drawer and were surprised to learn Jason, too, had been keepin’ a kind of diary. He’d probably deny that’s what it was and call it a journal instead. We flipped through it, not really readin’ much, until we came to one of his last entries.”
Trip sniffled and rubbed at his eyes for a moment.
“It caught our eyes because it appeared to be a poem. Neither of us had any idea Jason might be into poetry, so we read it and I’ve copied it here as it means a lot to those of us he left behind.

It's been a long road
Getting from there to here
It's been a long time
But my time is finally near

I will see my dream come alive at last
I will touch the sky
And they're not gonna hold me down no more
No they're not gonna change my mind

‘Cause I've got faith of the heart
I'm going where my heart will take me
I've got faith to believe
I can do anything
I've got strength of the soul
And no one's gonna bend or break me
I can reach any star
I've got faith
Faith of the heart *


This is my last entry. I just don’t have it in me to continue making entries. I wish all of you love and the best.”
The room was silent but for the slight hum of the air circulators and Hoshi’s sniffles. Trip closed the diary and laid it on the table beside him, then rubbed his hands up and down his face before speaking again.
“That isn’t what happened, and we all know it. How can we remember what really happened if it changed?” His voice was still higher pitched than normal, still emotional. T’Pol stepped over to place the picture frame next to the diary, the picture of a seventy-five-year-old Jason holding an infant Charles Tucker Jr still illuminated at them.
“It does seem to be an impossibility,” she said, crossing her arms over her chest. “As of now, Jason did not live long enough to meet your father. Therefore, there should be no picture of the event.”
“Then how did it happen we have that picture and our family memories to prove the words now in the diary to be wrong?” Malcom asked, now rubbing Hoshi’s back for comfort.

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“They had three children,” Trip said, his hands starting to move of their own accord as he spoke. “Katherine, my great-granny, and two sons. Ah’ve got twelve cousins on that side of the family that Ah spent a lot of time with while Ah was growin’ up. Ah checked Earth records before Ah called us all together. There’s no record of them anymore. And guess what?” he laughed, but then sobered, raking his finger through his short hair. “Right before Ah called y’all here, Ah also received an invitation from Starfleet to my brother Jason’s graduation. Ah don’t have a younger brother, let alone one named Jason!” He spread his hands, which were shaking from his emotions.
“Alternate realities,” Archer muttered, turning to look at T’Pol. “Did we somehow create a new timeline?”
“I do not know,” she answered, tilted her head, as she often did when thinking deeply. “Two years ago, I stated emphatically time travel is impossible, but I came to know, through our experiences with Daniels and the Temporal Cold War, that I had been wrong. That can lead us to the belief there are also different timelines or alternate realities.”
“Then the question is, was that version of G-Force from our timeline or reality, or a different one?” Travis wanted to know.
“I would believe the fact you all have different memories than what currently appears to exist, it might be that, somehow, we are the ones who have been moved between time lines,” T’Pol said, her matter of fact tone indicating the idea didn’t appear to bother her.
“Doesn’t that idea make yah want to freak out?” Trip asked her. She cocked an eyebrow at him.
“And what good would that accomplish?” she asked in return.
Archer waved his hands to get their attention.
“I agree with Trip, but I also agree we need to keep control of this. As far as we know at this time, the only difference has affected Trip’s part of the family. It may have repercussions in other ways, but we may never know what those are. For the sake of the rest of the crew, we’re not going to talk about this. If someone comes to one of us with a similar experience, we’ll address it with them then. Agreed?” he asked, looking at each of his distant cousins, one at a time, getting a nod from each of them.
“I also think we need to keep this incident to ourselves.” At their surprised looks, he went on. “I didn’t get the impression any other members of the crew made the connection between the damaged ship that we assisted and G-Force and the Phoenix. They just think we helped a stranded ship and her crew.”
“I agree with the Captain,” T’Pol said. “It would be difficult, with the changed timeline, to convince Starfleet command that this happened, let alone that it is now wrong.”
“But how are we supposed to hide it?” Trip asked, slipping into a chair. He raked his fingers through his hair. “Ah’ve now got a little brother who’s graduatin’ from Starfleet. How am Ah gonna look at him and pretend Ah know anythin’ about him? Ah don’t even know what he looks like! He’s goin’ to have stories of things we’ve done together. How am Ah going to address that? Ah thought about claimin’ Ah had to stay on Enterprise for an immediate engine overhaul, but Ah can’t hide here forever.”
Archer sighed heavily. “I wish I knew what to tell you, Trip.” After a moment, he glanced over all of them. “I strongly urge we all look at our own histories as soon as possible in case there have been other changes, so we can try to prepare for them as much as possible for when we get back to Earth.






888

Six days later on Earth

I listened to Jonathan Archer’s speech and froze when he mentioned a familiar name.
“Earth’s first encounter with an aggressive spacefaring race wasn’t a positive experience,” he said, his eyes roaming over the auditorium. “Spectra attacked without provocation, destroying cities, killing millions of people during the three year conflict.
“Galaxy Security, the forerunner of Starfleet, had created a fighting force of five exceptional people with the use of an incredible ship called the Phoenix. They saved the Earth.
“For those of you who don’t know, the senior officers of my crew on the Enterprise and I are all descendants of those five defenders.
“One of those defenders was named Jason Anderson. He died in the final offensive against Spectra, but his final acts ensured Galaxy Security’s success.
“Just before the final battle in which he died, Jason wrote something that I think is very appropriate for this gathering and I would like to read some of it to you.

It's been a long road, getting from there to here. It's been a long time, but my time is finally near. I will see my dream come alive at last, I will touch the sky, and they're not gonna hold me down no more, no they're not gonna change my mind.

Cause I've got faith of the heart, I'm going where my heart will take me. I've got faith to believe I can do anything. I've got strength of the soul, and no one's gonna bend or break me. I can reach any star. I've got faith, faith of the heart.”

Jonathan paused for a moment as everyone thought over the words.
“I, too, have faith in this coalition we are creating today. Deep in my heart. I know that together, we are stronger than we are apart. We can do anything we set our minds to.”
Jonathan completed his speech to a standing ovation. His senior officers gathered around him to congratulate him.
I can see now just how much like Mark he is. A born leader. I can see Princess in Hoshi, in her determination to work through her fears. Tiny’s wanderlust is evident in Travis, as are his piloting skills. Malcolm sometimes shows the understated strength Keyop had in abundance. And Trip…he has the same love for his warp engines that I had for my car engines.
Smith came up to my side. When he saw where my attention was, he cleared his throat. “Commander, it’s time,” he said. I nodded and turned. It was time to make sure this fledgling coalition would survive the threats developing against it. That my extended family on the Enterprise wouldn’t have to sacrifice more than they already had.
I took one last look at Trip’s smiling face. He stood between Jonathan and T’Pol. She looked about as happy as a Vulcan can. I hope they work out the bumps in their relationship and Phlox can find a solution to their genetic limitations to having a family of their own.
I hadn’t had space sickness while I was on the Enterprise. I was having symptoms of time displacement, since there were two of me in the same galaxy at the same time. The leaders of Section 31, a secret covert agency operating under the nose of Starfleet, whom I currently work for, knew about the Phoenix’s wormhole induced time travel and tricked me. I hadn’t known the exact star date of our short trip, but somehow, they did. They drugged me out of my cerebonic and cybernetic mind for two weeks so I couldn’t warn my younger self not to go to Cross Karakorum alone. But at the time, it probably wouldn’t have made a difference. I had a wife and an unborn daughter to protect, in addition to the rest of the world. I still would have gone, knowing I was going to die there.
Trip’s new younger brother now joined the Enterprise group, resplendent in his Starfleet uniform. I couldn’t help but notice how everyone suddenly grew nervous and tongue-tied. So he was new to them, too. They also knew the timeline had changed. I don’t know how they and I are the only ones who know, but we are.
I had followed all of the families over the years from a distance, not trusting what Rafael had done to me to return to them, although I suspect at times Em sensed my presence, but Jason Tuckers’ appearance was the only real change that I knew of.
Jason seemed to know all of them. Since I had been keeping tabs on him from birth, I knew he had just graduated from Starfleet Academy at the top of his class, following in Trip’s footsteps to become an engineer.
The even scarier part was Jason looked more like me than Trip did.
My family. Or precisely, my family secret.
What had Trip told me on the Enterprise to convince me he was really my descendent? Mark had cornered me when we got back, wanting to know what Trip had shared with me. After a few days I decided to tell him about it, just in case my future wife needed his assistance.
For some reason, I used to be attracted to the wrong kind of women, particularly Spectran women hell bent on killing me. I hadn’t been kidding Trip when I’d asked him to tell me who I’d marry so I didn’t kill her beforehand.
I became paranoid that the Spectrans wanted me to father a child for them that they could use against me, the team, or Galaxy Security. I made sure that would never happen.
I made several deposits at a sperm bank under a fictitious name and then had a vasectomy. I’d done it during a rare vacation, using that time for my implant to heal me and make the scar almost invisible.
Those deposits were in case I found the love of my life. My plan was to tell her about the deposits, so if we decided to have children, we could make a withdrawal. Never knowing what could happen, I’d left instructions in my will that if I died before finding her, my lawyer was to have the deposits destroyed without telling anyone about them. If I married, my wife could do as she wished. She could use artificial insemination or in vitro to have our children or destroy the deposits.

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Although I made my lawyer aware of what I’d done, the only other person I’d ever told was my wife Emily. Trip’s grandmother Katherine was conceived in secret so no one would know she hadn’t been conceived the natural way, but I never saw her born as I was ‘killed’ seven months later.
I kept my eye on them from a distance, not trusting myself enough to be with them. Em never had any other children, so I could only assume she chose to keep the secret. Many years later I learned she had the rest of the deposits destroyed.
That’s why I hadn’t believed Trip at first. I had already met Emily but hadn’t been attracted to her yet, so I’d had no prospects for children at that time.
How did he convince me? Every claim of paternity after the Condor’s death had been easily disproven with a DNA test, but it happened so often for years Em probably grew weary of it. On Katherine’s twentieth birthday, she told her what I had done. To make sure there were no future surprises, Katherine told her son, Charles II, who told his children, including Trip, when each of them was in their early twenties.
So Trip had told me the story while we were near the observation deck on the Enterprise. He’d kept the secret, even after he’d started the research for his book about the team and shared that information with the others.
To date, I have nineteen direct descendants and nearly seventy other relatives when I include my teammates’ descendants. This mission I am about to embark on will make sure none of them have to go through the hell I have.
To that I pray.




*Star Trek Enterprise Theme, Faith of the Heart, by Russell Watson

For those who watched Star Trek Enterprise series, you know in the last episode, Trip was killed when an alien boarded the ship and tried to force him and Captain Archer to take him to the armory. Writers for the series had said if there had been another season, Trip would have survived and he and T’Pol would have worked out their differences.
A lot of people didn’t like that ending that implied Trip had died, including me. Several books have been published continuing the series, called The Rise of the Federation. In it, Trip still lives. His death had been faked by Section 31 so he could go undercover to Romulus to stop them from developing a Warp 5 or faster engine, which the Federation feared would entice the Romulans to attack them.
In this story, I changed the ending for Enterprise so Trip would live and instead, Jason would be the one Section 31 would use for the Romulus Warp drive mission.

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Becky this is great!!!
Well done!

I haven’t watched Star Trek Enterprise (unbelievable, I know), but now I want to!

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Glad you liked it DT! The original Star Trek is my favorite, with Star Trek Enterprise second. My third is the reboot movies with Chris Pine playing Kirk. I haven't seen any of the new series, Discovery, but I watched the first episode of Picard as it was on YouTube for free. It was ok, but I was 50/50 on The Next Generation series/

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