the delphic expanse

Sneak Peeks

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Sneak Peeks

Postby EntAllat » Sat Nov 07, 2015 4:54 pm

As promised, here's a few snippets or sneak peeks at handful of Enterprise fics (and a bonus Sherlock one) I've been working on for *cough* years now. Keep in mind these are all still drafts (everywhere you see a […] or [need more venting] or [***] is a note to myself to work that section out. All are pre-beta (with the exception of the ADHESION excerpt, pasted right here) and all still need some work.

ADHESION

Trip stopped just short of the hatch to Engineering and smacked the side of a fist against the bulkhead in frustration. He’d meant to grab another cup of coffee after returning from the inspection pod, but he’d been so preoccupied figuring out how to fix the breech on E deck that he’d completely forgotten about it.

With one hand still on the wall, he dipped his head and took a deep breath, trying to shake off the foggy haze of sleep deprivation. He was here now; he didn’t have time to backtrack to the mess hall. Finally he pushed through the hatch, dodged a crewman hurrying by with a plasma torch and carefully picked his way past exposed cables stretched out across the deck plating, towards his small desk.

No, despite how bone-weary tired he felt, he didn’t have time to stop and rest. Not now, not when the ship was in pieces all around them. As if to underscore his thoughts, a piece of the ceiling came loose, crashing into the top of the warp core and sending a scatter of debris raining down the sides while nearby crewmen scattered for cover. A tangle of wires shivered and shook through the dust and sparks from the new hole in the ceiling.

“Everybody okay?” Trip’s throat was beginning to feel raw after so many hours of trying to be heard above the sound of alarms, the squeals of high-pressure gases escaping from ruptured conduits and the din of repair crews with drills. A shaken technician nodded an affirmative before rushing off to put out another fire.

He knew how the young man felt. Seeing the damage to the ship’s hull via an inspection pod had shaken him to his core; this was far and away the worst beating they’d ever taken. Though the damage to the exhaust manifolds was repairable, power to key systems was still offline and all they had was the aft torpedo launcher to protect them if the Xindi returned.

Not to mention, Captain Archer was still missing, presumed dead.

The weary engineer stumbled rather than sat into the chair at his workstation. The terminal in front of him indicated a casualty report from sickbay but he glanced away to deliberately avoid reading it. He didn’t want to know who it was, not just yet. Besides, he knew his crew well enough to know who was missing and he didn’t want to make it real by reading the name.

Whether his vision was suddenly blurred by the thought of another dead crewman or from toxic fumes seeping through shattered bulkheads, sheer exhaustion or the thought that he might never see his friend and mentor again… it didn’t matter. He couldn’t see straight.

He turned the screen away abruptly, blinking back tears at the thought. This was as bad as his nightmares about Elizabeth, only now he was awake. Another thought rose to the surface of his mind but he shoved it away; he figured this was beyond even the help of neuropressure. He should have gotten that cup of coffee.

He put his face in his hands and closed his eyes. He couldn’t sleep if he tried - he knew that - but he needed a minute, just a minute, to pull himself together before tackling the impulse engines.

Oddly, it was the damaged room itself that began to ease the tension that knotted his muscles, as the faint scent of copper wafted through the warm air.
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Re: Sneak Peeks

Postby EntAllat » Sat Nov 07, 2015 5:09 pm

SINS OF THE FATHERS

“Qu'vatlh!”

The curse came out as more of a gasp than a spoken word as he struggled for air. Only after several panicked seconds did he finally manage to slip the EV suit’s helmet back into place and secure the locking mechanisms with his trembling and glove-clad fingers. The stale smell of the suit’s interior as it inflated once again with O2 was sweet relief as he slowly slid down the bulkhead, his breathing finally slowing to a more reasonable rate.

His heart, on the other hand, was still beating madly against his ribcage. Grey eyes stared straight ahead at the airlock he’d just emerged from as he gathered the courage to look once again to either side of him, down the short stretch of corridor.

Bodies.

Everywhere.

He quickly turned away, this time murmuring a prayer for the dead as he furiously blinked, then squeezed his eyes shut. His former tutor L’vagh would have his head if she knew he’d invoked Kahless with tears in his eyes. Get it together, Steven! He opened his eyes, fists pressing the floor as he bit back panic mixed with grief. Somebody out there might still be alive and they’ll need your help. With a shuddering breath he stood up and straightened his shoulders despite the knot in the middle of his chest.

Right. He checked the gauges on his EV suit then headed for the nearest turbolift. Whatever had happened here, he had to find out. He owed his friends that much.

He carefully made his way past the bodies of his classmates to a Jeffries tube access panel. There was only one weapons locker and that was one deck below him. If they’d been boarded ... He yanked the panel open, rage replacing his confusion and panic.

They were just a training vessel, damnit! He climbed inside and carefully made his way down the narrow tube to the next deck level, his mind racing. Who would do something like this? How had they managed to turn off environmental controls? How had they done it so quickly?

He hadn’t even seen the other ship.

He’d been outside, EVAcing a problem with one of the subspace transmitters, not entirely sure whether it was a real problem or yet another Real World Test by his instructors, when Commander Williams had ordered him back inside; they’d spotted the derelict on sensors and needed to increase speed to sublight to investigate.

Decompression was slow in these older training ships but he must have waited only, what, twenty minutes? thirty? in the airlock before stumbling into an airless corridor. He frowned. The airlock’s safety systems should have alerted him to the life support failure on the other side. He sighed, his rage subsiding slowly as his brain took over, analyzing the situation. The airlock was just one more in a series of events gone. What was more perplexing was the fact that there’d barely been enough time to have caught up with the other ship let alone find themselves engaged with an enemy.

Enemy. Nausiccans? Orions? Romulans? He bit his lip. Klingons? God, he hoped not.

He stepped out of the Jeffries tube onto the deck plating, his heart and mind still racing. Was the subspace transmitter really out of commission? He wished he’d gotten a better look at it. A familiar voice echoed in his head as he straightened up, “Always be aware of your surroundings, son.”

The irony of that thought was not lost on him as he felt the phase blast hit him square in the back and the deck plating seemed to rise to meet him.

---

He blinked. The first thing that struck him was that he wasn’t dead. The second was that his helmet was off again and this time there was breathable air. However, the effects of the stun setting had left his chest feeling constricted and he coughed involuntarily. His eyes snapped open as the movements made him realize his hands were cuffed behind his back.

Through his blurred vision he could just make out a humanoid figure, one that spun around to face him at the sound of the cough. To his surprise he heard English, “He’s come around.” English, English. As in an accent just like ... he blinked again and the room came into focus.

At least six young men and two women stood at the various Bridge stations. Human?! The rage that had subsided while he’d climbed the Jefferies tube came back with full force as he saw the bodies of his friends still lying on the deck plating. He struggled to his knees.

One of them approached him and asked with preamble, “What’s the command code?” but the man’s question barely registered with him as he took in the strange sight with a mixture of frustration, anger and confusion. They were Human, yes. But … something was odd. Their clothes were odd. Old … like out of a history book.

“I said, what’s the command code?” the man repeated. In response he simply clenched his teeth and remained silent.

Almost immediately he found himself face down on the deck plating again, this time with the taste of blood in his mouth and stars in his vision as a result of the blow. Now he was even more confused. Even Reghar couldn’t hit him that hard and Reghar was a Nausicaan!

He risked a glance up at the view screen. The other ship was a derelict. Enormous, but clearly a derelict. Fifty, maybe a hundred years old? Then why did it look so familiar? He squinted, trying to see the registry on the side of the ship but only managed the letters “S.S.” before he was yanked upright again. He tensed in anticipation of another blow.

“We don’t need him Caleb. I’ve accessed the ship’s database and systems. We’ve got control of the ship.”

The one called Caleb nodded and waved a hand at someone outside the periphery of his vision. He took in a sharp breath as he heard the whine of a disruptor powering up. So this was it? He closed his eyes again. He wished he had a chance to say good-bye. Leave a note, a letter. Something.

“Stop.”

The voice behind him was deep, calm, but powerful and had an immediate effect on the others who, despite their bohemian appearance, all straightened to military attention. The disruptor whine faded away. He frowned as he looked around the bridge. Caleb’s face radiated … devotion? Before he could wonder any more than that he was startled out of his observation by strong hands that helped him up to a sitting position. He twisted slightly but couldn’t get a good look behind him to see his benefactor.

“Report.”

The young man who had accessed the database spoke first, “Sir, we have full access to the ship and its databases. It is from Earth.”

“Interesting.”

A young woman nodded to the unseen man from the helm station. “It’s considerably faster than any ship I’ve ever seen, Sir.”

His eyebrows rose at that statement. The training vessel’s top speed was warp three, hardly commonplace anymore. But that was nothing compared to the young woman’s next statement: “They finally did it sir. They achieved warp.”

“And woke us from our slumber as they caught up with us. Again, interesting.”

His heart started pounding again as understanding suddenly dawned on him. He glanced around again. At the centuries old clothing. The oddly beautiful and handsome group. The clear devotion in the faces of the gathered. The strength that had been in that blow to his head. He dared a quick glance at the view screen to confirm his suspicions.

He didn’t have to. The sound of fabric indicated the movement of the man behind him, who circled around to crouch before him and take his chin firmly in hand.

His own eyes widened as he stared into the eyes of a legend of Earth's past.

“I see you recognize me.” It was a statement, not a question, but he couldn’t help but nod a wordless affirmative. The visage before him was straight out of a textbook. Straight out of his own history. Responsible, in a roundabout way, for his very existence. He didn’t know whether he wanted to laugh or cry, the irony was so sharp.

The man simply nodded, “I knew they would not be able to forget me.” The dark eyes examined him and he felt increasingly uncomfortable under the gaze - as if the man could read his deepest secrets just by looking at him. “What is your name, son?”

That was too much. He clenched his fists behind his back and spat back through clenched teeth, “I’m not your son!”

The be robed man rose to his full height with the grace of royalty and merely regarded his outburst quietly, unperturbed, for several moments before turning to the young man at the comm. “Issac?”

Issac nodded, fingers flying over the board. “I’ve found him in the ship’s roster sir.” He could hear the turbolift doors behind him open and another person enter. There was a moment’s pause and he could hear the sound of a medical scanner behind him. No! He struggled to evade the scan but it was too late.

His heart sank as a female voice behind him announced, “Sir. You should see this.” He watched as the scanner passed hands over his shoulder and the tall, dark man glanced over it. If he was surprised or confused by the readings his calm visage betrayed nothing.

He could barely hear the words of the woman over the panicked rush of blood in his head, “Part of his genome is unfamiliar to me …”

The man interrupted, “And that’s why there’s no mother listed.” Again, it was a statement, not a question. He could read his mind!

“It doesn’t matter. I’ve seen enough,” said the man as he walked away to stand in the middle of the tiny bridge. “With this ship we can be back to Earth in days.” He turn, pointed at Issac’s terminal. “However, this says our young captive’s father is a Commander on a starship capable of warp seven.” The devotees around the bridge all straightened up in surprise. “We could traverse the same distance we did over the last 150 years … in minutes.” Another exchange of glances among the devotees.

“Contact this Commander…” The man stopped and gave a questioning look at the youth standing at the terminal.

“Reed, sir.” Issac read from the terminal. “Commander Malcolm Reed, First Officer aboard the Statfleet vessel the U.S.S. Pensacola.”

[…]
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Re: Sneak Peeks

Postby EntAllat » Sat Nov 07, 2015 5:19 pm

This one is for Aquarius's word prompt challenge: "Cave"

CENOTE

They walked in silence for a while, each lost to their own thoughts. Now that he knew what to look for, Trip could feel her humming in the back of his mind like a tune that you couldn’t forget. The analogy brought a tug of a smile to the corner of his mouth. Yeah, he thought, that fit her – a tune he couldn’t forget. He sneaked another peek at her, walking beside him.

A flash of color over her shoulder caught his eye and he stopped walking, peering over the edge of the railing. T'Pol stopped with him, eyebrow raised, so he nodded, indicating the enclosed geologic feature beyond.

They were about twenty meters above a solid rock plain, surrounded by a forrest of tall formations the color of sunset. The plain stepped down here and there like a petrified version of farming fields on an asian mountain back on Earth. The entire vista of rock was broken only by what appeared to be an infinity edge pool of water, about as large as a shuttle pod, glinting red and purple in the haze and surrounded by an ornate railing.

“It’s an ip'masu-tauk,” Said T’Po.

“It's beautiful.”

“And precious. For considerable time after the ancient wars that created this landscape, such features were the only access to water."

Trip frowned. “Vulcans did this?”

“Not directly and not intentionally. The topography is karst – various soluble carbonate rocks – and it was covered with narrow water channels in our earliest recorded history. Water has always been a scarce resource on Vulcan, but here it flowed briefly along the surface, a rarity. As such, it was of significant strategic importance."

“Control the water supply …”

“Precisely. The control of water was the center of the majority of ancient conflicts. Over time, and as our military technology evolved, the subsequent destruction of the upper rock strata left this layer exposed and further centuries of acidic rain created the landscape as it is now.”

“Wow.”

"We now access our underground aquifers in other ways. Water accessible at the surface like this is now protected via ...planetary… parks... in Earth terms."

Trip leaned over the railing to get a better look. “It looks like a blue hole.”

T’Pol arched an eyebrow. “Blue hole.”

“A geologic feature on Earth. Literally a hole – a vertical cave or sinkhole - underwater.” He waved a hand, “Blue, instead of red like that. There are some similar features called cenotes and they’re popular with experienced divers.”

“You’re an experienced diver. An instructor, correct?”

Trip nodded. “Yeah. I was Capt’n Archer’s instructor.” He smiled a bit. “In fact, I took Jon on a dive into Devil’s Hole."

“Devil’s Hole.”

“That one’s in Bermuda.” Trip smiled slightly. “Not to be confused Devil’s Hole in Gainesville, where my family used to go most weekends during the summer. People have been rope-swinging there for nearly three hundred years.” At her confused look, he actually chuckled despite the weight of everything that had transpired in the past several weeks. “A rope swing. It’s a …" he paused, then smiled up at her. "You know, we ought to visit Earth sometime so I can just show you.”

[… still working on this transition section …]

When they emerged from around the rack wall onto the plain they could see a much larger group of Vulcans now huddled around the ip'masu-tauk.

“They appear to be agitated," T'pol said with quiet concern.

Trip gave her an incredulous look but didn’t argue.

Though their features remained calm, faces blank and stoic as he’d always come to associate with Vulcans, one look into their eyes and he could see that T’Pol was right. If he'd learned anything in his time with T'Pol or Soval, it was that Vulcans might be able to conceal emotions via body language but their eyes still revealed all. One Vulcan woman in particular glanced at him as they approached and Trip instantly recognized the same depth of anguish that had held him prisoner him for the last week.

He gripped T’Pol’s arm, as the suddenly realization of ‘what’s wrong with this picture’ came to him in a flash. With his other hand he pointed at the broken railing. All he could see was a still, glassy surface surrounded by and ornate barrier, once section of which had collapsed.

“Where’s the child?”

[…]

As soon as he was submerged, Trip realized just how bad an idea this had been. The water was clouded with fine silt particles that had been stirred up by the child’s fall and struggle. It was the kind of white-out condition that made cave diving so deadly and ordinarily he would stop, float, and wait for it to settle while keeping an eye on his tank levels. But he had neither oxygen tanks nor time.

He fought back a sense of panic. There wasn’t time to get geared up with a breathing mask and regulators. If the child wasn’t in the first ten feet or so anyway …

[…]

Trip nodded. “It’ll do.” He indicated the rope. “Send that on down. As far as you can.” He grimaced as he set the devices settings. “We’ll need that to get the kid back up here.” He didn’t voice his concern that he might not have the strength to bring the child back to the surface. Just the dive down there had nearly wiped him out in this gravity and thin air. Without another word, he took a gulp of air and dove back in, this time careful to stay far away from the rock protrusions on the sides of the shaft.

The silt was already starting to settle and this time he could see the walls of the narrow shaft through the murky reddish-brown water lit from the sunlight streaming in from above. For the first time in his life, he was aware that he was diving down, past the surface of a planet, and into it’s heart. It was an unsettling thought that set his heart pounding, and one that had never occurred to him while cave diving on Earth.

[…]

As a new cloud of fine particles enveloped him he realized his mistake and quickly grabbed for the rope … but it wasn’t there. Suddenly daytime was night, he was weightless in a watery environment and completely disoriented. He couldn’t hold his breath much longer and for a brief moment, panic set in. Which way was up?

Reaching out for the limestone walls just stirred up more particles and he couldn’t be certain he hadn’t turned completely around. If he moved now he might dive deeper instead of surfacing and drown before he realized his mistake.
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Re: Sneak Peeks

Postby EntAllat » Sat Nov 07, 2015 5:20 pm

UNTITLED SHERLOCK

John placed his hands on the boot of the car and took a calming breath, letting his chin drop to his chest as he exhaled.

“I said I was sorry.” But the tall black-clad figure behind him who spoke the words didn’t sound very sorry to John’s ears.

So John said so, in as even a tone as he could muster under the circumstances. “You don’t sound sorry.”

“And you are angry.”

"Nice deduction," came the even reply. John looked up, took another deep, calming breath... and then vented anyway. “You’re the one who drives! How could you forget the petrol?! You do realize we’re at least 200 kilometers outside of anywhere!”

“263.”

“Right. Yes. Ta for that.” John smacked the boot of the car once and stepped to the side. “263."

“John...”

“One simple thing." The doctor paced alongside the road. "[more venting here…]"

“John…”

“...because it's actually practical information that ordinary people would use. Like when the groceries need buying or the tank needs filling!"

“John!” Sherlock grabbed the other man’s arm, yanking him in backwards into an awkward and temporary embrace as something whizzed by, right over the spot where John had stood.

John blinked, caught of guard. “Thanks,” he mumbled, as a tiny Fiat screeched to a stop a few meters away.
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Re: Sneak Peeks

Postby Dinah » Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:06 pm

The excerpt from "Adhesion" is very well done. You really feel Trip's fatigue and the seeming hopelessness of his situation. Everything, the ship and the safety of the remaining crew member, rests on his shoulders. The last sentence is just about perfect. There's nothing like a little copper to help a man to relax. ;)

I must admit that I was rather confused at first by the excerpt from “Qu'vatlh!”, but you slowly provided me with some of the pieces to the puzzle, enough to increase my interest and keep me wanting more. You do an excellent job with details, ably setting the scenes for your story. I think poor Steven is in a whole lot of trouble. His daddy better come and rescue him -- soon. :clap

As for "Cenote" -- you can't end it there!!! It was just a little sightseeing. Very quiet and serene and then trouble. Each section continues to build the tension and suspense. You better finish this one first. I need to know how Trip gets out of this mess. :shock: Very well done.

:cheering Thank you for the sneak peek! :cheering :cheering :cheering :cheering I'm really looking forward to reading the final stories! :cheering
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Re: Sneak Peeks

Postby EntAllat » Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:57 pm

Thank you so much Dinah! I needed a little encouragement to keep going - it seems like Enterprise fandom has been so quiet. There's a part of me that wonders if anyone will read what I so desperately want to finish.

They are:

Adhesion (5 chapters)
Cenote (1 chapter)
Healing Hands (5 chapters)
Untitled Finale Fix (1 chapter)
Happy Birthday Captain (1 chapter)
The Neighbor (5 chapters)
Sins of the Fathers (possibly 10 chapters)
A Tale of Two Crews (History Challenge #1) (7 chapters)
Untitled History Challenge #2 (a sequel!) (7 chapters)

and a ENT/Stargate Atlantis crossover fic
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Re: Sneak Peeks

Postby Dinah » Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:30 pm

I may be only one person, but I'm still here. If you keep writing, I'll keep reading and reviewing. Maybe if we get motivated, others will jump back on the bandwagon.

Thanks for being here and for all you do to keep things going. If you need some help at some future time, let me know. I don't have a clue what to do to make stories available here, but I'm willing to learn.

Have a great week!

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