The white tube-shaped shuttle pod lingered along the lines of the metallic grey hull of the NX-01 Enterprise, as it hung in space dock in Jupiter Station. The occupants of the pod stared at the majestic saucer section and the two long nacelles which were attached to it. It was the first of its kind: the warp 5 capable Starfleet Starship.
"It's a beauty, Cap'n," said Commander Charles 'Trip' Tucker, the Chief Engineer and First Officer of the NX Enterprise, in his exaggerated Southern drawl.
The Earth now depended upon Warp 3 capable cargo ships and Starfleet vessels, which limited Earth's ability to colonize. The Daedalus Class starships with their round Bridge section, long main body with nacelles attached to it and crew compliment of 230 were warp 3 capable and armed with only phase cannons. They were the backbone if Starfleet. So far the Earth had New Berlin Colony on the moon, Utopia Planitia on Mars, Proxima Colony, Vega Colony, Alpha Centuri, and lost deep space Terra Nova Colonies. Further attempts at colonies in deep space had to wait for faster engines, such as the warp 5.
Both men wore their purple blue flight suit uniforms with their silver pop rank insignias, color assignment piping along shoulders, and assignment patches on left arm. Captain Jonathan Archer smiled. His father was the man who designed the engine they would be using, which was a bittersweet truth for him. Henry Archer designed the engine but he never got to see it fly because of the Vulcans. They advised caution and patience and the years passed. Finally, his father passed. Jonathan just couldn't trust Vulcans.
"When will it be ready?" asked Archer.
"Give me three more days and she'll be ready to leave dock for warp testing," said Trip.
"Good job, Trip," said Archer. "Drop me off at the docking bay of Jupiter Station. I'm getting a shuttle back to Earth."
"Appointment back on Earth, sir?" asked Trip.
"Something about a Klingon," said Archer. "I'm supposed to meet with Admiral Forest, Admiral Leonard, and Commander Williams along with some Vulcans."
"Ya want me to take ya to Earth?" asked Trip.
"No, I want you to get my ship ready and I want it in two days not three," said Archer.
"Yes, sir," smiled Tucker.
"I want my ship ready, Trip."
The pod made a shift away from the NX Starship then it headed towards the main section of Jupiter Section. Archer watched as the Enterprise disappeared over his shoulder. It wasn't going to be too much longer and his father's engine would finally get a chance to show it could do.
Trip walked down the corridor towards the Sickbay. He had just received a comm from Captain Archer telling him to get the Sickbay ready for a patient, as well as the engines ready for a mission. As he approached one of the pneumatic doors opened and one side didn't. He chuckled to himself. If a person wasn't paying attention they'd walk right into one half of the door.
"I guess that'll need fixin'," he said.
Entering the Sickbay, he walked over to a comm unit on the wall and pressed the button for Engineering.
"Hess, here," he heard the familiar voice of one of his crew.
"Hess, get someone up to Sickbay to fix the doors. Also, find Lieutenant Commander Snell and tell him I need a work crew in Sickbay to get it fully operational," Trip said.
"Yes, sir," said Hess.
Trip smiled. His engineering crew was kicking the ship's ass getting it ready to go to warp. He fully expected the Enterprise to attain warp 4.5 right out of dock.
The medical shuttle carried the Denobulan Dr. Phlox, his patient the Klingon Klaang, and SubComander T'Pol, who was being assigned to the Enterprise as an observer for their run to the Klingon homeworld Qo'noS. T'Pol sat in her seat reading a PADD with information supplied by Vulcan High Command. She had changed from Vulcan diplomatic robes to a blue catsuit with thermal lining, which had been her uniform when she served on the Seleya. It was perceived by the experts at the Embassy that the two biggest problems for her would be Captain Archer and Commander Tucker. She read the synopsis on Archer.
Captain Jonathan Henry Archer, age 38. BA Engineering, UCLA, MA Engineering, California Polytech. Joined Starfleet at age 25 as test pilot. He worked his way up to captain and was the surprise choice to command NX-01 Enterprise. Father Henry Jacob Archer was engineer behind the Starfleet warp 5 engine, as well as the warp three engine. Jonathan Archer held deep resentment towards Vulcan for preaching caution and patience holding up the launch of father's engine design until after his death. He believes that Vulcans are holding Earth back. Short temper, even for a human, yet has shown diplomatic skills on occasion. Respects Authority, but will fight decisions he disagrees.
T'Pol raised her left eyebrow. She fully expected difficulty dealing with the humans, but Archer was going to make this taxing, as he appeared to come with preconceived notions about Vulcans. Scrolling down, she read about Commander Charles Anthony Tucker, III.
Commander Charles Anthony Tucker, III, age 30. He is the youngest commander in Starfleet history. Tucker graduated from college at the age of sixteen and received his MA in Advanced Warp Theory and Mechanical Engineering from MIT. He entered Starfleet Academy at age 18 and upon graduation joined Captain Jefferies Warp 3 Project, where he met Jonathan Archer. Considered highly emotional, he is also highly intelligent by human standards, though he tends to underplay his own intelligence by taking an exaggerated Southern accent. He has no problem ignoring authority if he believes he is correct. Archer values his opinion.
T'Pol shut off the PADD. She felt the beginning of tension starting to weigh on her emotion suppression. It was time to meditate until they arrived at the Enterprise. Although it shouldn't be a long mission to Qo'noS and back, it was definitely going to be a taxing time for her.
Trip sat in the corner of Captain Archer's office. He was hidden away, which suited him. SubCommander T'Pol entered and the first thing he noticed was how tightly her Vulcan uniform fit her. He had never found a Vulcan woman appealing before, but she looked damned good.
"Sorry about the smell," Archer said looked at his beagle Porthos.
"Hey, I resemble that remark. I took a shower today," said Trip, as he stood up and made his presence know.
As female Vulcans has sensitive olfactory, T'Pol was offended by the smell of Porthos. Now she caught the scent of Commander Tucker and she was even more disturbed. His pheromones appealed to her; they roused her. She neither expected this nor wanted it.
"I'm Commander Tucker," he said, as she turned and looked at him.
He was struck by her attractiveness. Her russet hair was cut in the Vulcan style and her brown eyes were softer and lighter than any Vulcan he had met. On top of that she had full lips and cheekbones Earth women would die for making her a truly desirable female. But, she was a Vulcan. Remember, Trip, Vulcan women are frigid. No need to get burned.
"My friends call me Trip," he said and offered his right hand to shake.
T'Pol turned her back on Trip, which surprised him. He heard that Vulcan could be rude, but he didn't expect it.
"I shall remember that," she said.
"Well, SubCommander, welcome aboard the Enterprise," Archer said.