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Disclaimer: Don't own 'em, don't make money off 'em.

This story is set in Season 3, between "Harbinger" and "Hatchery." The given date for "Harbinger" is 12/27/2153, for "Doctor's Orders" is "unknown" and the next episode, "Hatchery" is given as 1/8/2154. Dates are listed on Memory Alpha's website. So "Reed's Raiders" happens sometime between those two dates.

Why during this period of time? I wanted the MACOs on the ship, and I needed Hayes and Hawkins alive. Also, although Hayes and Malcolm have had that big bust-up in "Harbinger", the two guys still aren't seeing eye to eye.

Also, you'll see a veritable who's who of characters, including some of Hayes's MACOs, Mike Rostov and David Kelby.

R/S implied (and maybe a bit of Hayes/Sato). TnT

"Begging the Major's pardon, but can you give it a rest?"

Hayes gave the shuttle pilot a droll look. "Distracting you from your flying, Ensign?"

Ensign Travis Mayweather sighed and rolled his eyes. Then he replied, "No, sir. It's just that you've been going over those simulation results for nearly four hours now. I suppose MACOs aren't supposed to get tired?"

A dry smile appeared on his lips and he asked with a touch of sarcasm, "And Fleeters get the required eight hours of sleep every night?"

To Hayes's surprise, Mayweather chuckled as he made another course correction. "Okay, that's a myth if I ever heard one. I don't think anyone's gotten eight hours of sleep since we entered the Expanse." There was a hint of earnest seriousness under the humor. "Especially the captain."

Hayes grunted. The rumors aboard the ship said that Captain Archer's single-minded pursuit of the Xindi had crossed the line between duty and obsession. It didn't help that he had Commander Tucker on board, either. Granted, Tucker had lost his sister in the Xindi attack, but he wasn't the only one. Corporal Amanda Cole's hometown in Florida had also been destroyed, and others had lost people as well.

Of course, it was unprofessional for him to criticize his superior officers, even if he disagreed with their behavior. He was a soldier, and soldiers obeyed their orders; it wasn't his place to question them. At least, he and his MACOs got along with some of the Fleeters. Travis Mayweather and Hoshi Sato, for instance.

And his thoughts went to the other man in the shuttlepod following them. He and Lieutenant Malcolm Reed had come to...an agreement of sorts. Hayes wouldn't call it a truce; there were still times when Reed could be a real pain in the ass. He couldn't understand how a man with such strict military upbringing could whine so much. Then again, Hayes couldn't argue with the fact that Reed knew more than he did at engineering, and Reed was a decent tactician.

Maybe there's some redeeming qualities to the Brit after all. Hayes's mouth threatened to twitch into a smile. He does have a dry sense of humor that can be...well, wicked.

"Shuttlepod One to Shuttlepod Two."

Speak of the devil, Hayes thought. He turned back to his PADD as Mayweather answered Reed's hail. "Go ahead, Lieutenant."

"We're coming to the rendezvous coordinates," Malcolm said. "Inform Major Hayes that the exercise will commence in one hour."

Hayes raised his voice. "Acknowledged, Lieutenant. Good luck to your team, and may the best man win."

He could hear the wolf baring his teeth. "Likewise, Major. Shuttlepod One out."

Mayweather sighed and hit the comm button with his elbow. "I thought you guys made up after you basically beat the crap out of each other."

"We did...in a way, Ensign," Hayes replied. "It doesn't mean that I'm going to let up on the lieutenant on our training exercises."

Again, Mayweather's chuckle startled him. "Didn't think you would, sir."

Hayes laughed and closed his PADD. He was surprised and grateful that Mayweather didn't hold any grudges after his MACO had basically beat him to a pulp in the gym. Now that he'd gotten to know the ensign better, Hayes appreciated the younger man's talent in jujitsu, especially after Hayes had been taken down several times in other matches.

He glanced at his team, which comprised of a curious mix of his MACOs and the Fleeters. Corporal Sascha Money, Corporal Fiona MacKenzie and Sergeant Ray Laney. Rounding out his assault team was Ensign Lori D'Angelo, Crewman William Bailey and Ensign Marisal Villabuena from the Armory; Lieutenant Kelby and Crewman Rostov from Engineering, and Crewman Cutler from Medical.

"All right," he said aloud. "Let's go over our assignments again..."

"Very well, let's make sure we do this right, ladies and gentlemen," announced Lieutenant Malcolm Reed. He regarded his assault team, which gave him his undivided attention. At the helm of Shuttlepod One was Crewman Philippe Trieste, who was Travis Mayweather's Gamma shift helmsman. The other members consisted of Corporals Hawkins and Chang, Gunny Sergeant McGruver, Corporal Cole, Lieutenant Anna Hess and Crewman Sean McIntyre from Engineering; Ensigns Bernhard Mueller and Danna Welsh from the Armoryand Doctor Phlox.

Malcolm had designed a search and destroy mission on a nearby asteroid. Somewhere on that piece of rock was a false transmitter sending a random signal. The teams' goal was to locate it, get to it and destroy it, then return to Enterprise. Of course, Malcolm had confidence that his team would complete their objective before Hayes's.

"Reed's Raiders. Got a kinda ring to it."

"What?" Malcolm asked, his concentration broken.

Lieutenant Hess cleared her throat and turned red. "A name for our group, sir. Ensign Sato needed call signs for the groups and Commander Tucker suggested a few to her."

"It does have a nice ring to it," Ensign Welsh admitted.

Malcolm bit back a smile. "Reed's Raiders. Then how did Commander Tucker designate the major's team?" To his surprise, Corporal Hawkins actually answered; Hawkins was usually so quiet it made Malcolmseem chatty.

"Major Hayes and Commander Tucker had a few discussions, sir, but they settled on 'Hayes' Hellraisers'."

"That's catchy," remarked Corporal Chang.

"I suppose it sounds more dignified than "Hayes' Hooligans'," Malcolm mused under his breath. He didn't miss Gunny Sergeant McGruyver's snort of derision. "I was just pointing out the less palatable alternatives, Gunny. No offense."

"Right," McGruyver muttered. Malcolm allowed himself a grin at the gunny's disbelief. Despite the Gunny's suspicion of Fleeters, and his personal dislike of Malcolm after the bust-up in the gym, Gunny was a good man to have at your side. The enlisted man knew more about defense tactics than he and Hayes combined.

Laughter rang through the Shuttlepod and as it faded, a sense of focus and purpose returned. Malcolm was proud at how his team was able to get back to the job at hand. Sure enough, a sharp beep echoed from the comm.

"Ah, there it is," came the deep Germanic voice of Ensign Bernhard Mueller. "Found the transmitter signal, Lieutenant. Heading one one three mark four."

"Good work, Ensign," Malcolm said. "Crewman Trieste?"

"Course laid and locked in, sir," Trieste replied smartly, and the shuttlepod began to descend. Then the shuttlepod rocked hard. A second time. A third time.

"Crewman?" Malcolm barked. "What's going on?"

"Incoming!" Mueller yelled as Trieste yanked the stick hard to port. Malcolm gestured for the assault team to secure themselves as he pulled the tactical console toward him. Hess slid into the engineering station, while Doctor Phlox retrieved the emergency medkit from its niche in the wall.

Malcolm stared at the multiple signals on the screen. "Oh bloody hell."

"Multiple sensor signals coming in on an intercept course," reported Subcommander T'Pol. She gazed intently at her viewfinder.

"Can you identify them?" Captain Archer asked from his command chair. He didn't expect either of the training teams back so soon. "Xindi?"

"No, sir, not Xindi." T'Pol's voice held the barest glimmer of distaste. "Nausicaan pirates. I'm reading at least five ships and three smaller vessels."

"Polarize the hull. Crewman Visati, evasive action. Tactical alert."

Visati nodded and followed the captain's orders as the alert rang throughout the ship. Again, Archer wished Malcolm were here on the bridge. He glanced at Hoshi Sato, who shook her head. The Nausicaans were not likely to negotiate; of course, they would attack when his Armory Officer and the MACO commander were off-ship.

"Captain, I'm reading torpedo launches," reported Crewman DeLorean from Tactical. "Four, eight—"

"What?" Archer burst out.

"Confirmed, Captain," T'Pol chimed in. "Eight separate signals."

"Fire countermeasures, Mister DeLorean. Mister Visati, evade however you can." Although Visati was a good helmsman, he wasn't as skilled as Travis Mayweather or Philippe Trieste.

Then Enterprise rocked under a torpedo that impacted against its hull plating.



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