Sequel to Road Map to the Stars and Phoenix. Probably a good idea to read Phoenix.
By Jim Guyjimguy46@hotmail.com
Thanks Dee for some technical assistance.
Disclaimer. Enterprise characters belong to the creators of the show. Only the OCís and the story are mine. Any similarity to another show is the fault of the muses. No income is made by me. Everyone knows they donít have money on Starships
Background: The 1/7th Rangers were never called Rangers in The Expanse. They came into being in my story "Into the Valley of Death". So far my OCís are: Sergeant Major Benjamin Snowden, Sergeant Joe Layne, Sergeant Tina Alvarado, and Sergeant Manda Alvarado.
Dana Heard and Joanna Wheelwright belong to Dee. Joannaís guest appearance is visiting with permission. Thanks Dee.
Archer looked around the room at the people he had requested for a briefing. TíPol, Malcolm, Trip, Travis, Hoshi, Joe Layne, Ben Snowden and Major Hayes. He was surprised to see Sergeant Heard as he had little contact with the petite brunette. She had recently become Sergeant Major Snowdenís aide. He furled his brow. "Before I start may I ask why Sergeant Heard is present when I had not requested her?"
Ben stood up. "I asked her to be here because of a premonition Ė a nightmare if you will. I would like her to tell us about her recollections She has no knowledge of why we are here and I want to reassure her that premonitions or dreams are nothing to fear. I need all of the Rangers at there best. I think you will understand." He looked at Archer who nodded. "Dana if you will."
Dana cleared her throat and retold her nightmare. The room was still until she finished. Archer looked at Dana. "Dana, I donít dismiss your dream. Hell in the Expanse I am not discounting anything. It is a strange and dangerous place. I think in light of what you just told us, we will all find this very interesting. "TíPol, you may start the briefing."
TíPol looked at Dana and arched an eyebrow. She turned and flipped the screens on button to show the planet they were orbiting. "The planet has no life signs and only one large structure has been discovered." She brought a close up of the structure into view. She looked at Sergeant Heard who gasped. "It is a pyramid and a close up does show some writing and pictographs, they are illegible from this distance. I presume they have been effected by the weather over the years."
Archer looked at TíPol. "Have you scanned the moons?"
"Yes. Ironically, we had only discovered one moon until just before this meeting. Neither moon shows any sign of life, however the second moon does have a weak power source. Both moons have a large cavern." She glanced at Dana when the Sergeant sighed. "Captain I recommend we send an away team to investigate."
Archer turned to the group. "I agree." He looked at Dana. "We will send an Enterprise shuttle as well as Ranger One. Six people per shuttle, two teams per shuttle. We donít want Danaís dream to come true." He smiled at Dana. "Lieutenant Reed. You will be Mission Commander. You will take the Enterprise shuttle and split into two groups. I want you to secure the perimeter and scan everything. Sergeant Layne will go with you as the excolinguist. Joe, pick the rest of the team. Sergeant Major Snowden, TíPol and Sergeant Heard will be on one team. Take Sergeant Kemper who will lead the other team. No one will enter the pyramid until it is deemed safe. At the first sign of trouble, you all get out. Major Hayes, I want you on the bridge with me." He started to walk to the door. "Trip, I want you on the bridge also. Malcolm, pick your best replacement. I want the hull polarized and all weapons charged and ready to fire in case of trouble. Hoshi I want you to keep a channel open to all members of the away team. I know the Rangers also use their own comm so tie those in also. Travis, keep the ship steady."
Travis frowned. "Sir, you have two shuttles going down, who will pilot them?"
Archer looked at Travis and then Snowden.
Snowden walked over to Travis. "You are the only person on Enterprise who can pilot this ship. Anyone who can do a loop d loop in a starship is the man I would want. Saying that, however, I must say that as shuttle pilots go, the Alvarado sisters can fly the pants off of you. The shuttles will be hot and ready for an immediate takeoff. Bingo in the target area will be in four hours. Rangers, full combat gear. Starfleet personnel will be armed as well."
Archer nodded at Snowden. "Be careful down there." He watched them start to leave. "TíPol may I see you a moment?"
TíPol stepped aside and let the others pass. She turned as the door closed. "Captain?"
Archer moved towards his First Officer and took her left hand in his. He raised them until they were palm to palm. "You be careful down there. Donít take any chances. I need you back." He gently kissed her lips."
He broke the kiss. "What do you think of Danaís dream?"
"The High Command has determined . . ."
"Stop. You arenít going to give me the old there is no time travel spiel are you?"
"You know I donít believe in time travel."
Archer grinned. "The hell you donít. I am not into premonitions but it is strange that she knew about the planet and the pyramid before we did."
"Maybe she heard about it before she went to bed."
"No. The only ones who knew were you, me, Trip, Travis, Hoshi and Malcolm and none of us left the bridge. All I am saying is to keep an open mind and stay safe."
She kissed him. "I will Jon."
Ben and Dana left the Ready Room and walked to Benís quarters. Ben keyed in the access code and let Dana enter first. "Dana, pack two ropes this time and Velcro straps. I have a strange feeling we will need them."
Dana frowned. "You believe my dream?"
"I thought it was just a dream, but when I heard they found the planet and the pyramid, I quite frankly donít know what to think. Maybe the Expanse is affecting us in strange ways."
Dana picked up her pack. "Someday someone will make a pack that weighs less than fifty pounds."
Ben laughed. "They already do, they call it an empty one. I would rather carry too much than too little."
"When did you ever carry too little?"
Ben grew somber. "Seven years ago when I lost my leg. That was before we met. We were booking through the bush after some bad guys. I missed a trip wire and the next thing I knew I was twenty feet from where I started and my leg was ten feet in the other direction. If I had carried more in the pack, I would have moved slower and might have seen the wire. Now I carry more than I need."
Dana drew Ben close to her. "Enough of that. I want you now, before we go down. Make love to me as if it will be the last time."
Trip walked into the crowded mess hall and saw Manda Alvarado alone at a table. He got a glass of milk and walked over to her. "Hey Manda, you be careful down there and if you see any of those bastards, zap em for me."
"Commander Tucker. First of all, I am going to fly a shuttle to an uninhabited planet. I am a Ranger and I know my job. Do you?"
"Whatís that supposed to mean. I am the Chief Engineer, of course I know my job."
"Then why arenít you doing it?"
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"Commander Tucker, since I first met you I have seen you everywhere but Engineering. Yes I know your duties include being on the bridge, but you are always in the mess hall or the gym or watching Polo with the Captain. In other words you are a goldbrick and I donít date goldbricks. Good bye Commander." She got up and left him staring at her tray. She turned around to him. "Do something useful will you? Clear the table." She waltzed out of the now silent mess hall.
Tina Alvarado guided the Enterprise shuttle to the landing zone as her sister landed Ranger One a kilometer away. As the team disembarked, Tina touched Reedís hand and smiled. "You stay safe Malcolm or I will personally kick your ass from here to the Enterprise."
Malcolm looked to see if anyone had heard then quickly kissed her. "No worries, love." He hurried out of the shuttle.
Dismounting from Ranger One, the Rangers took a defensive position as Snowden, TíPol and Dana stepped out. With drawings they had made of the pyramid, Ben cautiously moved forward. He clicked his comm unit and heard eleven respond. "Dana, how does all this compare to your dream?"
"It is more dilapidated. See that section of wall? It looks like it has caved in and maybe will provide a second entrance."
Ben nodded and spoke into his mike. "Joe take your team and check out the front door. Make sure it is structurally safe before you enter. You are the linguist so take plenty of scans. TíPol, Dana, we will enter through the hole in the wall and be careful. Kemper, secure the entrance."
Their flashlights cast an eerie glow over the rubble as they went in. TíPol used her scanner. "Sergeant Major, there appears to be some vegetation approximately 200 yards ahead."
TíPol glanced at him.
"My name is Ben. Sergeant Major is a mouthful. Please?"
"All Right, Ben."
Benís mike clicked. "Sergeant Major, this is Layne. Doorway is clear, we are going in. There are many pictographs but in poor condition. We will scan and be out in 15 minutes."
"10-4 Joe, just donít walk onto any balconies." He turned and grinned at a scowling Dana.
The threesome ventured deeper into the structure until they found a statue surrounded by several trees. Most were dead, but one tree was alive and stood forty feet high with a circumference of eight feet. Snowden walked towards the statue. The floor started to shake and a deep rumble came from below. Debris from the ceiling fell as the floor gave way and Snowden disappeared. TíPol slipped over the edge as Dana was knocked to the floor. Dana reached out and caught TíPol by the collar of her uniform. As the petite Ranger backed away from the edge, TíPol reached around, grabbed Danaís wrist and scrambled to safety. The two women stood and starred into the darkness below. They flashed their lights into the depths but could not see anything. TíPol crept closer. "Sergeant Major, can you hear me?"
Dana grabbed her mike. "Ben, Ben respond. Heard to all units. Ranger down."
TíPol reached for her scanner. She located it on the floor, under a rock that had smashed the device. Dana unslung her pack and started rummaging around. She glanced up as TíPol looked into the large cavity. "TíPol to Enterprise."
"Archer here. What is your status?"
"There has been a cave in. Sergeant Major Snowden has been lost. My scanner has been damaged. Can you locate him?"
Hoshi checked her console. "He is fifty feet below you. His life scans are weak. He may be unconscious."
"Understood. Captain, I recommend that you recall all teams."
Archer frowned. "Understood. Can you reach him?"
"No Captain. We will have to leave him for now." TíPol turned around to see Dana aiming a rifle at her.
"TíPol, Rangers donít leave a man behind."
"Sergeant Heard, we have no way to reach him. I order you to leave."
"Like hell I will. Now either move out of the way or die."
TíPol looked at the coldness in Danaís eyes and stepped to the right as Dana fired. A pylon attached to a rope shot out and anchored into the tree on the other side of the void. Dana pulled on the rope.
"Sergeant you could have told me of your intentions."
"Sorry TíPol we didnít have time to debate. I am going down." She tied another rope around her waist. "When I find him, I will tie a rope around him then return. We can pull him up together."
"What if he is dead?"
"I am bringing him back, one way or another."
"Do you always carry a rope?"
"Standard combat pack, TíPol. We never know when we might need one." She stepped off the edge and swung to the opposite side as she slipped into the darkness. Only her light showed TíPol where the Ranger was.
Danaís feet struck the side of the pit as she repelled down the side, her light illuminating her descent. She struck the wall three times before she hit the bottom. Unhooking herself, she cast her light around until she found Ben. She checked his vitals. She keyed her mike. "TíPol, I found him. He is unconscious but has a broken leg. I am looking for something to make a splint."
"Understood. Be careful Serg . . . Dana."
"I will. Thanks TíPol." Dana walked towards an open area and gasped. "TíPol I found something. I donít think my comm will reach Enterprise. Have then run a scan of my vicinity, better yet have them transport a scanner to my coordinates."
Hoshiís voice came over the comm. "We heard you Dana. A scanner is being transported. What did you find?"
"Later Hoshi, right now I have to get Ben out of here." She glanced around and found a piece of wood with a curved top. It was larger than she needed but decided to forego cutting it. She went back to Ben and fashioned a splint. She took out some Velcro straps and attached the splint as Ben moved.
"Tie that any tighter and I will . . ." Ben was silenced by Danaís lips crushing his. She backed off. "Damn you Ben you scared the shit out of me."
He laughed. "Try making a drop in pitch black without a chute. Guess I had better find me a mechanic. I doubt if Phlox will be able to repair my leg." He pushed himself up and looked upwards. "Any ideas how you are going to get me out of here?"
"Well I had considered using the transporter."
"And scramble my molecules all over space?"
"Hey and you call yourself an adventurer. I am going to pull your sorry ass out of here." The telltale energy stream announced the arrival of the scanner. "You hang on a minute. I have something to do first. She picked up the scanner and walked away. Two minutes later she returned. "Ready? I will climb up first then weíll start pulling."
"Yes we. TíPol is up there waiting for us." She attached the rope to his web gear and then climbed the rope. As she reached the edge a hand reached out and caught her wrist. "Welcome back, Dana."
Dana nodded and the two women started pulling on the rope. Benís dead weight was a strain. When he was half way up, TíPol and Dana felt the strain lessen. They looked back to find Reed and Layne hauling on the rope. TíPol turned back to the task at hand. Lieutenant, I ordered a recall, why are you here?"
"I am in charge of this mission. The other shuttle was full and we were waiting on you. Besides, Joe and Mr. Colt persuaded me." Snowdenís head appeared from the pit. They pulled him to safety.
"He threatened you?"
Reed looked at Joe. "No. TíPol, he reminded me that Rangers leave no one behind."
"TíPol to Enterprise."
"Enterprise here. The first shuttle is back. What is your status?"
"We have Sergeant Major Snowden and are leaving now. Please have some strong arms meet us in the shuttle bay. TíPol out."
Phlox turned around as he heard the sick bay door open. Three Rangers carried Sergeant Major Snowden in and put him on a biobed. Dana stood next to Ben. Phlox took his scanner and walked to his patient. "Just lie back Sergeant Major, I am just going to scan you first then set your leg."
"Better call Commander Tucker, Doctor."
Phlox looked at Snowden. "I will have you know that I am a better Doctor than the Chief Engineer." He scanned Snowdenís head. "There is a minor concussion, but nothing to worry about." He worked his way down. "Some bruising along the ribs but no breaks." He scanned the right leg and looked at Ben in surprise. He walked to the comm. "Commander Tucker please report to sick bay."
"Tucker here. On the way."
Phlox ran the scan again. "When were you going to tell me about the prosthetic leg? There is nothing in your medical records."
"I am an experiment, Doctor. Few people know." He laughed. "I guess the catís out of the bag now."
Tucker walked in. "Whatís up Doc?"
"My patient needs your help more than mine." He unstrapped the Velcro and pulled the makeshift splint away and pulled up the pants leg.
Tucker gasped as he saw the lower part of the leg was separated from the knee. Wires and thin girders could be readily seen. Tucker looked at Ben.
Ben grinned. "I need some electronic wire." He looked at the damage. "I will also need 30 grade oil. Dana get my special bag out of my quarters."
Dana & Tucker left and returned a few minutes later. Dana carried in the bag while Tucker brought a roll of wire and some metal. Tucker carefully opened the leg and shook his head. " I have never seen anything like this before."
Ben nodded. He opened the bag and handed Trip some papers. "Here are the schematics on my leg. Commander, this is all Top Secret."
Trip nodded. "Dana can you hand me the needle nose pliers? Looks like we have some work to do here."
The next day Archer called TíPol, Reed, Joe, Dana and Snowden and Major Hayes to the ready room. Archer paced in front of them. I want to know what happened down there. Specifically I want to know why my First Officer and Security Chief did not return when the recall was ordered?"
Malcolm stood at attention. "Sir, the shuttle only holds six people plus the pilot. Since I was in charge, I sent the first shuttle back as we still had three people in the structure."
TíPol stood with her hands behind her back. "Captain, when I recommended leaving Ben, it was because I concluded there was no way to retrieve him at the time. I was in error as Sergeant Heard had repelling gear with her."
Archer nodded. "All right, now we shall discuss the threats against my officers. TíPol?"
"I do not understand the question. I was not threatened."
Archer frowned. "How about Move or Die?"
"I was standing in front of Sergeant Heard as she was attempting to fire a pylon into a tree."
"I see and what about Lieutenant Reed?"
"He told me that Joe and a Mister Colt had persuaded him to remain. I do not know a Mister Colt."
Snowden snickered as did Joe and Reed.
"Well I do know him. Samuel Colt was the man who founded the Colt Arms company, the manufacturer of the mode 1911 Colt automatic that Sergeant Layne carries into combat."
Archer looked at Snowden from head to foot. "I thought you had a broken leg. Phlox fixed you up pretty good?"
"No Sir, Trip did." He sat down.
"Since when did my Chief Engineer become a Doctor?"
"I needed an Engineer not a Doctor. I left my right leg on a hillside in some God-forsaken country about seven years ago. The Doctors at Bethesda built me a new one and classified it Top Secret. The connection to the stump looks only like a scar."
Dana looked at Ben. "Those Doctors are good, it feels normal when. . ." She stopped talking when she realized everyone was looking at her with grins on their faces. TíPol arched an eyebrow.
Trip turned to Archer. "Captain, I understand there was a ship down there."
"Yes Trip there was a fighter style ship. Dana managed to make some scans. TíPol, show the fighter."
The Vid screen showed the fighter. Trip whistled. "Man, when can we get her up here?"
Archer looked at Ben and then Trip. "We arenít"
"What? You have a fighter than may help us and you arenít going to bring it here? Why not?"
Snowden stood up. "The fighter has an occupant. A fighter pilot died in the ship and we Rangers will not disturb it out of respect for a fellow warrior."
Phlox walked into the Ready Room and sat down.
Trip turned on Snowden. "Those bastards down thereÖ"
Phlox coughed. "Those people are not Xindi and have been dead for many years before Earth was attacked."
Trip scowled. "If they arenít Xindi, what are they?"
"The closest I can come is that they are human."
Everyone looked at the Doctor. He stood up. "You are all familiar with DNA testing. Well, the samples I tested are human with one less indicator than you all have. I am not saying they are your ancestors, but somewhere along the road to evolution, your ancestors and theirs were connected."
Archer looked at Major Hayes. "Are your people ready?"
Hayes turned to Ben. Ben nodded. "Good to go Captain. How soon before we are in orbit?"
"We will orbit in two hours, but we will be running more scans. Kickoff will be at 0800 tomorrow. Now, you are all dismissed."
Archer stood on the bridge. "Status TíPol?"
"Two shuttles ready to depart. Long range sensors are clear."
"Sergeant Major, you have the green light."
Over the intercom Archer heard the Rangers.
"Lo there do I see my father.
Lo there do I see my mother and my sisters and my brothers.
Lo there do I see the line of my people, back to the beginning.
Lo they do call to me, they bid me take my place among them,
In the halls of Valhalla where the brave may live forever!"
The two shuttles landed less than 100 yards from the cavern mouth. Rangers in EV suits disembarked and set up a perimeter as Snowden and Reed conferred.
"Sergeant Major, I know I am Senior Officer in rank, but this is your specialty. What would you suggest?"
Ben nodded. "We split into two groups. I will lead my group, Bravo, to the right you take the left. I will go in first while you cover us. We will cover you when you enter. We will leap frog until we no longer can cover each other. We go in with in infrared goggles, no lights. Hoshi has aligned our comm units so they will not be picked up by anyone. We will be in contact with Enterprise the entire time. When possible we will use hand signals."
Reed nodded. "Who will you take with you?" He looked at the mixture of Rangers and Starfleet Security.
"I will take TíPol, Dana, Kemper, Joe and Romero. You take the others, since they are Starfleet and Corporal Chang. Listen to him as he has the most experience with urban combat. Everyone check your comm units." He clicked his mike once. It was followed by eleven clicks. "Boots and saddles, people. No shooting unless fired upon and look for booby traps." He motioned to each of the away team sending them to their appointed attack positions. When he had his team gathered he pointed to each person and raised a finger. Joe- 1 finger, TíPol Ė2 fingers, Dana- 3 fingers, Kemper Ė 4 fingers and Romero Ė five fingers.
He spoke into his mike. "Lock and load." He approached the entrance and followed a small walkway. Nodding to his team, he walked slowly, looking for traps, decaying walkway, anything that would be a danger. Ten meters inside the cavern, the walkway curved to the right. Taking up positions, Snowden took out a penlight and flashed it towards Reed.
A few minutes later, Alpha team was in the exact same position as Bravo team. Snowden keyed his mike. "This is where you are on your own, Lieutenant. Be careful."
The British accent came over the headset loud and clear. "Tally Ė Ho, Sergeant Major."
Each team proceeded along the pathways for almost a kilometer. Chang held up his hand and crouched down. Reed crept up behind him and looked to where Chang was pointing. He moved back. "Bravo 1 this is Alpha 1, I think we found a control room."
"Understood Alpha 1. Go carefully. There appears to be a hanger door about 1000 feet ahead of us." Snowden turned to Joe and Dana and motioned them forward. With his hands he directed Joe to the far side of the door. Ben and TíPol moved forward. As Ben nodded his head, Joe and Dana pulled on the hanger doors and Snowden and TíPol sprinted in, one to each side. They stopped and stared at the sight in front of them. Ben clicked his Mike. Bravo 1 to Alpha 1. "We have found eighteen fighter craft like we found on the planet. They are pointed towards what appears to be a launch ramp heading towards the surface."
"Bravo 1 this is Alpha 2."
"What is it Corporal?"
"Sir, there is a glowing figure 100 yards ahead of your position. It does not register on our sensors."
Ben and TíPol slipped out of the hanger and headed in the direction indicated, behind Joe and Dana. They saw the figure and moved forward.
Joe knelt down, rifle ready. Dana stood above him. "Joanna. Ben itís Joanna."
Ben and TíPol went forward until they could see the figure. TíPol pulled her scanner. "According to our scanners, there is no one there."
"She looks real enough to me, TíPol."
TíPol nodded. "To me as well. This is not logical."
Dana moved forward. "Joanna, why are you here?" The wraith like figure of Joanna turned and walked away, motioning them to follow. 100 yards down the pathway she stopped and pointed towards another door. The team moved forward as the apparition disappeared.
Dana turned to Ben. "Where did she go? Why was she here?"
TíPol walked up to Dana. "I think she was looking out for you, one more time." She showed Dana her scanner. There is a power source emanating from inside this room and I am detecting life signs."
Ben looked over TíPolís shoulder. "Life signs? How many?"
"I would estimate over three hundred."
"Bravo 1, the is Alpha 1 I think I found a light switch. Stand by." Reed pulled a lever imbedded in the wall of the control room. In the cavern, lights turned on in sections until the entire cavern was lit up. Two large ships, larger than the Enterprise sat on landing pads, hatches open.
TíPol looked down at the ships. "Lieutenant Reed, send three personnel to check out the ships. We have life signs we need to check out."
Bravo team walked into the room and looked at rows upon rows of stasis containers. TíPol scanned the containers. "TíPol to Enterprise."
"Enterprise here, whatís your status?"
"Captain, we have found two large ships, twenty five fighters and three hundred individuals in stasis."
"Three hundred? What species, TíPol?"
"From what I can determine, I would say human. Doctor Phlox may be able to make a better determination."
"Are they alive?"
"Yes Sir. They are." TíPol looked at her scanner. "The atmosphere is breathable. We can remove our helmets." She unsnapped her helmet and set it down.
Romero walked up behind TíPol. "Houston, we have a problem."
TíPol turned and furled her brows as she looked at the Ranger. "What is it?"
"Some of the stasis chambers have begun to open. They must have been triggered when the lights came on."
"Where is the Sergeant Major?"
"He and Dana are trying to figure out how and why Joanna appeared."
"Corporal, do you believe in spirits? I believe you call them ghosts."
"I didnít until today. Do you?"
"The High Command has determined that Ghosts are illogical." She turned away. "However, today, I have seen a ghost. Do you believe it was Lieutenant Wheelwright?"
"Oh it was her all right. I should know. I have known her longer than anyone. Weíre cousins."
"Our fathers were brothers. Wheelwright is her married name. Her maiden name was Romero. I just wonder why she is here."
"Corporal, if she is your cousin, then you and the Sergeant Major are related?"
"No. Joannaís mother was the Sergeant Majorís sister."
"I understand. I think that maybe your cousin still is connected to you. I understand that humans believe that when a person dies a violent death, they may appear until their spirit is at rest. In this case, your cousin died violently in the Expanse. Maybe she is here to find her rest and helping you and us, she will finally be at peace."
"Thank you Sub-Commander. That is a very logical explanation."
"You are welcome, but I am no longer a Sub-Commander."
"The Rangers did not know you as Sub-Commander, but seeing you in action, we consider you an Officer."
TíPol nodded. "How many of these stasis chambers have opened?"
"Ten at last count. They appear to be warming up."
"Find the Sergeant Major and Sergeant Layne, I believe they will be needed."
Romero left. Several minutes later, Ben, Joe, Dana and Romero returned.
"I hear we woke some people up. Shall we go see them?"
Snowden and Joe walked up to one of the chambers as the occupant sat up. The first words were unintelligible. Joe made a gesture with his hand to indicate that the man should continue speaking. At last the UT kicked in.
"Who are you? I am Commander Manethô. Where are you from?"
Ben stepped forward. "I am Sergeant Major Snowden of the Earth Starship Enterprise. This is our excolinguist Sergeant Joe Layne and." He turned to TíPol who came up behind them. "This is Sub Commander TíPol our First Officer."
"Greetings. You are our first visitors in." he looked at the stasis chamber. "1500 Yarns. Tell me Sergeant Major, did anyone on your ship receive a warning dream?"
TíPol came forward. "You know about that?"
Romero came in with Dana.
The Commander smiled. "When we went into stasis, we deliberately set up a piece of equipment that would send a signal to visitors, usually only one person, with a warning dream. My stasis chamber indicates that there have been three sets of visitors in the last 1200 yarns. Interesting that you are the only ones who have found us."
Joe laughed. "We are an inquisitive bunch."
Dana pushed forward. "You are responsible for my dream? Thank God, I thought I was losing my mind. Why would you do that?"
"My dear lady, we have many enemies and it was necessary to protect ourselves. We are the last of our people who live in this system. If you went down to the planet, you will have found our temple."
TíPol nodded. "Yes we did and we have been able to translate some of the hieroglyphs. Curious, there are two star systems depicted. Can you tell us about them?"
"One is where we are from, before our world was destroyed. The other is where our people traveled to, over fifteen thousand years ago."
Joeís mouth dropped. "You have had space travel for fifteen thousand years?"
"Oh yes, but not in ships such we have now." He looked closely at TíPol." You are not the same species as the others, are you?"
"I am Vulcan. My companions are Human."
"Come with me, The other members of my staff should be awake now." Manethô led them to the stasis chamber where nine people were climbing out of the chambers looking nervous. The Ranger team members had their rifles slung over their backs and were assisting the emerging aliens. A woman came towards them.
Manethô held out his hand to the woman. "This is my wife and First Officer Isis." Snowden looked at Isis and then at TíPol. Their ears were the same shape. The Commander laughed. "I see you are surprised to see that my wife and your Sub-Commander look alike in their appearance. Our people actually come from several species. Some of our citizens are blue and have antennae on their heads, some are like Isis, some like me and some are the children of intermarriages."
Dana looked around. "There are over three hundred people here. If you wake them all up, how will you feed them? Enterprise does not have the facilities to feed that many."
Isis smiled. "I find that refreshing that a young person, a stranger would be concerned with our welfare. What is your name?"
Dana stood at attention. "Sergeant Dana Heard, Maíam."
"Please Dana, be at ease. To answer your question, we prepared dehydrated food to last for several months. Have you visited the other moon? Well there is an automated hydroponics facility deep underground. The power system is shielded. We will wake our botanists first and transport them to the gardens. The rest will be awakened as we need their specialties."
Joe glanced over at the containers. "Maíam since we disturbed you, what will you do now?"
Isis took her husbandís hand. "We will follow our ancestors. Where did you say you were from?"
"Maybe we will visit your world." Isis smiled. "Dear, we must do something for our friends."
Manethô nodded. "I agree. I wonder what we can do for you Sub-Commander?"
TíPolís mike beeped. "Archer to TíPol."
"TíPol here Captain."
"What is your status?"
"We are speaking to the Commander of this facility and his wife."
"Great. TíPol. Why donít you invite them aboard Enterprise for dinner? They must be hungry after living in stasis."
Manethô spoke up. "Captain, we would be honored. Does that invitation include all of us? Oh there are only ten awake, not three hundred."
"We would be honored. If you would advise TíPol of any dietary restrictions, she will contact our Chef."
"That is most kind Captain. We eat almost anything Captain, but since we have not eaten in fifteen hundred years, perhaps a vegetarian meal would be simpler on our digestive systems, if that is acceptable."
"We will be happy to comply, Commander. TíPol is a vegetarian as well. Maybe she can suggest a meal for you. We will see you when you are ready."
Two hours later, the ten aliens came aboard Enterprise and were escorted to the Mess Hall. Manethô turned to Archer. "You have a beautiful ship, Captain. Once our people are awake, I would invite you to tour our ships. Tell me, Captain what is you hull made of and what kind of insulation do you use?"
"The hull is a tessellated alloy plating which is polarized. We need to be replace it periodically.
Why do you ask?"
"We use Trelium D for insulation. This stops the distortions of anomalies that are prevalent in this part of space. It is standard in all of our ships and we have enough to outfit your ship, if you can use it."
"That is very generous of you Commander, I accept. It will give my Chief Engineer something to do. My thanks. You have never said, but what is the name of your people?"
"We are Thebian. Our home planet was Thebes and our empire was called Osiris, the name of our sun."
Ensign Sato came over. "Pardon me Captain, Commander, but I could not help overhearing you. Those names you mentioned, including your name and your wifeís are all name that are familiar to our planet. They are the names from Ancient Egypt about six thousand years ago. In fact some of the names are the names of the Ancient gods."
"Hmm, maybe my ancestors did arrive on your planet and were heralded as gods."
"Yes Commander, that is possible. People from an advanced society such as yours, might have been considered gods by the people of Earth at that time."
"Ensign Sato, I would love to discuss this possibility at length, perhaps after our meal, if the Captain has no objections."
Archer smiled. "Hoshi is our excolinguist and an expert of Ancient Earth languages."
"Oh you have two? I thought Sergeant Layne was one also."
"Ensign Sato is a Starfleet Officer. Sergeant Layne is a member of the Rangers who are complementing our crew. We are lucky to have both of them. Ahh, the Cook just signaled that our meal is ready, Commander, after you."
It had been two weeks since the Thebian had been located and their people completely awake. The Thebians set about getting their food supplies settled, their ships ready for space and becoming friends with the Humans. Hoshi and Joe spent many hours learning the languages of the different species and integrating them into the Universal Translator. Commander Tucker and his crew had installed the last of Trelium D insulation. Archer called a meeting of the Senior Staff, including Snowden and Hayes.
Archer walked around the seated members as he spoke. "We have learned a lot from the Thebians and gained valuable information. T'Pol what information have you been able to gather?"
"The Thebians have provided star charts of the Expanse. They are old but through extrapolation we have been able to map the Expanse, much better than if we had done it ourselves."
Archer nodded. "Hoshi?"
"Sir, Joe, I mean Sergeant Layne and I have learned and uploaded over thirteen languages of the Thebians. Many of these languages appear to be the base languages of Vulcan, Romulan, Klingon, Andorian and some others including Ancient Egyptian, Myan and even traces of Greek. It is amazing and probably illogical to assume that the Thebians were the ancestors of many of our known species."
TíPol looked at Hoshi. "From what we have learned Ensign, I would not consider it illogical at all. You and Sergeant Layne are to be commended for all your hard work."
Archer turned to Reed. "Malcolm, what do you have for us?"
"Many of their weapons are as powerful as our and some are not. Some of their hand weapons are based on a different technology."
"Trip what about their ships?"
"Their ships are called destroyers measuring 1,074 meters"
"That is a hell of a lot bigger than Enterprise."
"More than that Captain. It weighs 16,000,000 metric tons, but can only do warp 1."
Reed looked at Trip. "How big is the crew?"
"The standard crew is 264 consisting of 18 officers, 62 warriors of which 12 are fighter pilots and 184 crew. It can also carry 200 troops. It can carry 1,800 metric tons of cargo."
Reed nodded. "What about defensive capabilities?"
"The hull is 2.8 to 4 meters thick and has EM shields. For weapons they are armed with:
2 Mega-Pulsar Cannons, 4 Turbo-Laser Cannons, 18 Heavy Blaster batteries, 50 Light Flack batteries, 12 20 megaton solonite missiles, 2 400 megaton solonite bombs which can be used against planets. Each ship carries 8 fighters, 4 surface transports and 4 space shuttles."
Archer looked solemn. "In other words it could take out the Enterprise."
Trip nodded. "Yes, but we could out run them. Glad they are on our side."
Hoshi shook her head. "Captain, they have 300 people and room for over 900. How are they going to operate two of those ships?"
Archer walked around the table. "I donít know but these people are resourceful. We will be leaving orbit in five hours, so letís get everything ready to go."
Joe stood up. "Permission to go down to the moon Sir. Commander Manethô requested it. I can use the transporter."
Archer, reed and Trip looked at the Sergeant. "You are willing to use the transporter?"
"Yes Sir. One of these days I will probably have to anyway, so might as well be now."
Archer laughed. "If it is all right with your superiors, it is all right by me."
Snowden and Hayes looked at each other and nodded. Fifteen minutes later, Joe stepped onto the transporter pad and was beamed to the Thebian base. "Sergeant Layne to Enterprise."
Archer looked up from his command seat. "Enterprise here. Everything all right Sergeant?"
"Yes sir, The Thebians have a gift for us. There are several crates ready for transport."
"Do you know whatís in them?"
"All right, Archer to Trip. We have some spare parts ready to be transported. Please take care of it."
An hour later TíPol walked onto the bridge as a beep was heard at her station. She walked over and pulled up the long-range sensor. "Captain, there are two ships approaching and they are charging weapons."
"Polarize the hull, and bring the weapons on line. Tactical alert. Hoshi, advise Sergeant Layne to stay put. I am afraid we will have to keep the bad guys away from our friends."
Archer sat down. "Travis, move us away from the moon. Give us some fighting room."
Travis moved the ship away at impulse power as the first shot from the approaching ships struck the Enterprise. Sparks shot out of overloaded circuits.
"Archer looked at Reed. "Return fire."
Phase canon fire sprouted from Enterprise. "Direct hit on the first ships starboard engine, Captain,"
Another laser shot glanced off the Enterpriseís polarized hull. TíPol checked his scanner. "Captain there are two large ships and fifteen smaller ships heading our way. Correction, Captain, they are headed towards the attackers."
The attacking ships stopped firing at Enterprise and concentrated on the approaching ships. The smaller fighters dodged the laser fire and time after time struck the two ships.
Reed looked at Archer. "Captain, the first ship has been crippled. Their weapons and engines are off line, fires are breaking out." A huge explosion lit up the screen as the attacker vaporized. The second ship turned to flee but was blocked by the two Thebian ships. The attacking ship tried to maneuver between the two Thebians and was racked by several flak batteries on the destroyers. The ship exploded sending fragments throughout the system.
Hoshi turned to Archer. "Captain we are being hailed. Itís Joe."
"Sergeant Layne to Enterprise."
"Go ahead Sergeant, Have you joined the Thebian space force?"
"No Sir, just getting some practical experience in flying a fighter. They have presented us with a fighter and those spare parts are for a second one. They didnít have room for all of the fighters and didnít want to leave them behind."
"Understood Sergeant, you may dock at your leisure."
Hoshi looked up with a grin on her face. "Captain, Commander Manetho is hailing us."
"Captain Archer, I hope the Enterprise is all right."
"Yes Commander, thank you for your assistance. I do have a question for you. You have 300 people on two ships that will accommodate over 900."
"We did not have all of our people in one installation. There are two other hidden locations with 300 hundred people also. We will be picking them up and then leaving."
"I wish you would come with us, but I understand. You have your mission, we have ours. Fair winds and safe anchorages, Commander."
"You also Captain. When you finish your mission and are returning home, maybe you will catch up to us. Until then may the Gods watch over you."
The Thebian ships waited until all of the fighters were docked and then moved away from Enterprise.
Archer looked at TíPol. "They arenít headed towards the hyperbaric clouds. Where are they going?"
TíPol turned to her scanner and then looked back at Archer. "I presume they are going to retrieve their 600 crewmen. I am detecting another planet with two moons, similar to Ptolmey base."
Archer nodded and turned to the helmsman. "Travis, take us further into the Expanse, Warp 4. I hope the new installation works. I prefer my coffee in the cup, not floating around in my room."
Travis pushed some buttons on his console. Enterprise went to Warp.