1. Welcome to the new boards! Details here!

Story [Star Trek: Discovery, Archer] Couple's Counselling

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by Sith-I-5, Jul 7, 2018.

  1. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    Star Trek Discovery / Archer: Couple's Counselling

    Intention: One-Shot. But, who knows...?
    Sources: Star Trek: Discovery (season one); Archer.
    Admiral Katrina Cornwell - Human female
    Lieutenant Commander Michael Burnham Human female. Adopted by Vulcans at a very young age, after her colony was destroyed.
    Lieutenant Ash Tyler - Human male
    Lieutenant Sterling Archer - Human male
    Lieutenant Lana Kane - Human female.

    Five Starfleet officers sat on chairs in some spare room aboard the science vessel, USS Discovery.

    Admiral Katrina Cornwell, the stressed-looking brunette on the chair facing the quartet, was a psychiatrist by trade, pushed into the higher strata of Command by the deaths of dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of more capable peers and superiors at the hands of a resurgent Klingon Empire; and she....she....just needed some ******* downtime to recharge, perhaps engage in what she was trained for, and actually enjoyed, and that was why she had a semi-circle of uncomfortable-looking beings in front of her.

    "Alright," she opened with a flat tone, bringing up a smile that she did not yet feel, but doing it for the benefits of her patients. "in turn, give your name, rank, position, and command."

    A slim, swarthy-complexioned male human with bleak eyes, spoke up first, his voice breaking with emotion. "Lieutenant Ash Tyler. No current position, though I was formerly Chief of Security aboard the USS Discovery." He slid his palms along the blue trouser fabric on his lap.

    The female next to him, spoke up when he stopped. "Lieutenant-Commander Michael-"

    "Michael?" Echoed the male on her other side, staring side-on at her. "Oh I'm sorry, I thought you were a girl."

    "She is." The final female countered, punching the speaker gently in the upper arm. "Archer, shut up."

    "-Michael Burnham." The first woman continued. "Science Officer, USS Discovery."

    Cornwell felt a stirring of animation at this initial exchange between them. She lifted a hand from her lap and indicated Archer. "Okay, now you."

    "Thank you." This dark-haired male was in a long-sleeved scarlet top, and black trousers, tucked into polished black calf boots. This was a much brighter attire than the dark blue, with gold or silver side panelling, zippered jackets and trousers, that she and the Discovery crew sported. "Lieutenant Sterling Archer. Chief of Security. USS Archer Vice." He turned to his own partner. "Lana?"

    "Lieutenant Lana Kane. Away Team leader, and the Security Chief's baby-sitter. USS Archer Vice." Like Archer, she was in red too. Though for her, it was a scarlet, short-sleeved minidress with a slightly flared skirt, and dark semi-opaque tights that went down into dark boots.

    "Well, you're A.J.'s mother, so you don't really count as her baby-sitter." Archer referenced their baby, Abba-Jean, that she had had with his frozen, um, material.

    "Not A.J.'s baby-sitter, idiot. Yours."

    "Hey!" Archer protested.

    "Hey, yourself." Lana countered. "You don't believe me, check with your mother."

    A tiny smile graced Cornwell's lips, which Burnham was pleased to note. Of the four 'patients', she felt she was the most in control of the situation, though her Vulcan upbringing, with Ambassador Sarek no less, probably helped.

    She wondered if the admiral had yet worked out that she was also a patient here. Making five.

    This session had been Burnham's idea, cooked up with her Kelpian counterpart, Commander Saru, to give Cornwell a chance to unwind.

    "Okay, settle down." Cornwell instructed with a raised voice. "So why do you need my help? Are your partnerships unstable in some way?"

    "Well, I have feelings for Commander Burnham." Tyler admitted. "But she-"

    "-she cannot get past you trying to choke the life out of her." Michael finished. "Out of me."

    "But that wasn't me, that was Voq!"

    "Trouble telling twins apart?" Archer guessed.

    Burnham glanced towards the red-clad security officer. "The Klingons grafted the personality of one of their own, Voq, onto Ash's psyche after he got captured at the Battle of the Binary Stars."

    "That's a thing?!" Archer shrilled, drawing back from her, staring past her at Tyler.

    "Well, at least you are still able to call him by his first name, Ash." Cornwell noted gently. "That is a good sign."

    "You got off lightly." Archer told Michael. "Lana shot me in the foot."

    "You were arguing with Ray, whilst he was instructing us on how to defuse a bomb."

    "You also shot me in the leg. And fired a gun next to my ear. Twice."

    "You did that to me as well!" Lana countered, hotly.

    "I apologised for that."

    Cornwell could not let that exchange pass without professional inquiry. "Lana. Why do you shoot Sterling so often?"

    "You've known him for ten minutes by now, Admiral. Are you saying that you don't want to shoot him?"

    Michael cupped her hand over her mouth, whispering along the line, "No. Don't encourage her into casual gunplay."

    It was only mere weeks since Cornwell; Michael's adopted father, Sarek; and Discovery's senior officers had chaired a briefing on the state of the war whilst Discovery had been trapped in a parallel dimension, thanks to the subversive actions of her captain, Gabriel Lorca.

    She had stared, wide-eyed, as Cornwell had bitten out about being manipulated by Captain Lorca, then discharged a red-lit hand phaser into a bowl of corn chips, vapourising chips and bowl!

    A quick glance along the table had indicated that even Sarek, despite his typical Vulcan stoicness, had been just one sehlat hair away from ******** himself.
    The only one of them with the composure to attempt to diffuse her clearly building rage, he had pointed out- "-that Lorca was an imposter from an alternate universe, was not the most obvious conclusion."

    Yeah, no ****.

    "The Voq personality has been completely purged." Tyler interjected, bringing the conversation back to himself. "It is just me now."

    Michael glanced at him, her eyes sad. "I knowww. But obviously you still look like the man who had murder in his eyes, the last time we were almost intimate. I want to forget that...but I can't."

    "Well, you know," Archer started, "you ought to talk to our Doctor Krieger. He can make you pretty much forget anything."

    The admiral looked on, recalling that this Krieger was a scientist whom she had personally assigned to help on researching the Klingon cloak that had given their ships a massive tactical advantage in the recent Klingon-Federation War.

    "Or," Lana opined with a speculative tone. "I could smack you across the head with a frying pan."

    Cornwell raised a finger. "Ah, as a trained psychiatrist, I have to point out that frying pan-induced mental cures are a myth. They do not work in real life."

    "Err," Lana raised her own finger. "as someone who has gotten pinned down by a KGB hit squad, whilst Archer thought he was a fry cook named Bob; a frying pan, can sometimes work."

    "In Lana's defense, she didn't hit me with that in mind."

    Burnham tried to lean forwards, then realised she would have to uncross her legs to do it to the degree that she wanted, her gaze taking in both the Archer Vice officers. "How are you two still together?"

    "Mutual affection," Cornwell surmised, "and I suspect, an unhealthy dose of co-dependency."

    Admiral. Commander Saru's voice cut across the room, amplified by the ship's public address system. We have arrived at Starbase One.

    Cornwell looked up with a grim smile, to help direct her voice to the hidden microphones. "Good work, Mister Saru. Have you scanned for life signs?"

    Yes, Admiral. 272 Klingon signatures, so almost no change since we were last here.

    That last time, Cornwell had arrived at the sprawling space station, hoping to find a bastion of Federation might, over 80,000 Federation citizens, and a sizable cadre of the leadership; and she had been almost broken by what the sensors had found: only 274 life signs, all Klingon.

    The War was over, the two sides withdrawing to lick their wounds, but this Klingon tribe, House Da'Gorr, according to Burnham, clearly considered the starbase to be war booty or something, despite it being deep within Federation space.

    Do you still wish to beam aboard?

    "Stand by, Mister Saru." Cornwell swept her gaze across the quartet. "As you can imagine, I have had it up to here-" She straightened fingers on one hand, and raised it in front of her nose. "-with Klingons. Thank you for agreeing to joining me for a guerilla attack on those that continue to occupy-"

    Admiral, we are being scanned!

    Cornwell sighed. "Evasive pattern-"

    "Serpentine!" Archer called, interrupting her.

    "Not a real thing, ass-" Lane muttered.

    Detmer, evasive pattern serpentine. That was the helmsperson being addressed.

    Yes, Captain. I'll try.

    Cornwell felt herself being pulled to the left, her chair tilting slightly as well, as the ship started manouvering. She quickly carried on with what she wanted to ask. "Now that we are here, and we know the odds. Almost 250 of them, 5 of us. Do you still wish to do this?"

    "Anything to prove my loyalty, Ma'am." Tyler shakily nodded.

    Burnham gave a curt nod, regarding Cornwell with a serious expression.

    The Admiral looked at Archer and Lana next. "What about you two? You heard the numbers; it'll be dangerous."

    A clear glint in his eyes, the Archer Vice' Security Chief asked, "Would you say that we would be venturing into a zone of danger?"

    Cornwell narrowed her eyes, not understanding the exasperated huff from Lieutenant Kane, or Lieutenant Archer's motivation here. It was a clear 'yes' or 'no' response.

    "Yes, obviously." She hedged. The ship was in imminent danger of being fired upon by a STARBASE of all things, and this man was dancing around the subject.

    She could see that Kane had crossed her arms under that ample chest of hers, and was glaring sideways at him.

    "No, but, I mean, how would you phrase that?"

    "I....the zone would be one of danger?"

    "No, I mean. Not if you say the...forget it. Never mind." Archer swivelled into Lana's accusatory glare, and pointed a finger up into her face. "And you never mind, and also shut up."

    Lana looked past him to Cornwell. "As long as you are still fine with us bringing our own gear, old Earth TEC-9s for me, Walther PPKs for Archer-"

    "I'd actually be okay with a Compression Phaser Rifle."

    "-we're in for the ride, Admiral."

    Cornwell nodded and relaxed. "Mister Saru, the mission is still on. We will call you from Transporter Room Two."

    Very good, Admiral.

    The End?

    Archer's favourite catchphrase is "Danger Zone", which is what he is trying to get Admiral Cornwell to say. Exact wording taken from the vid in the post below.

    Archer once advised an ocelot to evade being shot, by telling it to do "Serpentine!"
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
  2. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    Archer. Is he related to the Archer in 'Enterprise'? I like this story
    pronker likes this.
  3. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    STD (ST: Discovery) is set 100 years after Star Trek: Enterprise, so the Captain Archer that you know, is not this one. No, no relation.

    To assist, this scene from Archer, with Archer and Lana on the left, is the source of my last bit:

    Thank you for reading.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
    pronker likes this.
  4. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    This was certainly as entertaining as the premise promised to be! I haven't watched either of the shows featured in this story, but you did a great job managing several different voices and making a cohesive - and riotously entertaining story. :p =D=

    That was just my favourite. [face_laugh][face_laugh]

    Well done! :D
  5. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 31, 2004
    @Sith-I-5 -- you set up the interplay amongst the characters so snarkily and their indomitable courage! Like the team in Rogue One, and that is a compliment!!!!!! A disparate team of ones who have been through too much but will go down to the bitter end for the mission and for one another. @};-

    And ahem, pardon this brief aside! Sarek, in any incarnation! [face_love] :)
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2018
    pronker likes this.
  6. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    @Mira_Jade - Thank you for reading, and reviewing. Considering I could only piece together what clips were uploaded to Youtube, rather than being able to watch the Star Trek series in full, I am fairly surprised that I still had enough to cobble together a fic.

    I am glad that you found the rendition entertaining, and thank you for pointing out the bit you liked.


    USS Discovery finds the captured Starbase One

    Hi, @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha - Good to see you.

    Wow. Unexpected to see this quartet compared to the team in Rogue One, and interesting that you detected gelling or bonding of that level between my two pairs. Thank you very much for reading and commenting.

    Just for you, Sarek, and the Mirror Universe' Empress, discussing their respective daughters (Prime Universe' Michael, and the MU counterpart). I quite enjoyed the supportive parent dynamic, even if Sarek referred to Michael as his 'ward' for most of the season:

    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  7. pronker

    pronker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 28, 2007
    Good sense of the background here with minimal exposition, yay. The therapy session as therapy for the therapist is a neat twist!=D=

    [face_rofl] If ever there is a relationship without co-dependency, it'd make for a poorer storytelling!

    Voq must have indeed shaken up Tyler; was Tyler submerged and unaware of the doings of Voq, or was he aware during the possession but helpless? The latter sounds worse.[face_nail_biting]

    Luvvit! Commanding a wild animal!:)
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  8. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    @pronker - Thank you for reading and commenting.

    From the clips I saw of Discovery, as well as what I read, for most of the season, Ash was unaware of Voq's presence.

    He had memories of being bedded by a female Klingon, whilst he was captured; however, this Voq had had an actual relationship with the same woman, so it wasn't clear to viewers whether he was remembering a human (himself), being assaulted or a male Klingon (Voq) having a good time.

    I noticed a couple times on missions aboard Klingon vessels, that he hung back and let others do any fighting, but I don't know what was going on there.

    Late in the season, this Voq personality unexpectedly rose into prominence whilst Ash and Michael were alone, and said things that Ash would not have known; and thereafter there seemed to be a psychotic collapse until the Voq element got purged.

    The Real Life meta element was really interesting to follow.
    Fans got suspicious that they hadn't seen the Voq (an apparent expert infiltrator) character in a while, and especially after they were introduced to Ash; the IMDB page for one of the actors, was very sparse; and I think that in the run-up to the series, when casting news is given, one actor was said to be cast as Voq, then that got cancelled, and he was being recast as Ash.

    The writers, etc., went to some lengths to...hide existence of a trumpet.

    As for the ocelot; he's a pet named "Babou", after the one owned by Salvador Dali.

    The "serpentine" scene only shows the tip of a tail, but trust me, there is an ocelot down there:

    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
    pronker likes this.
  9. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    Chapter Two: Mission to Starbase One

    USS Belgia

    "Our Doctor Kreiger updated the synthesizer, and Archer fed in all the uniforms, fabric, weight, and colours. Tell it your measurements, gender, and colour. Ask for gold, and flared." Lana finished, leading the admiral over to the rectangular void in the bulkhead, that looked like someone had removed the door from an archaic cooking device called a microwave oven.

    The group had beamed aboard the USS Belgia, a mostly burned out Federation starship docked with Starbase One.

    From here, they were going to have to find a way aboard the massive space station that dwarfed their temporary foothold.

    Katrina did as she was told, verbalising her details to the synthesizer, then adding. "Gold. And flared."

    The space within the alcove was bathed in white light, like a slow motion flash, that when it faded, left behind a neatly folded pile of bright yellow fabric. The top layer showed an asymmetrical black 'V' of a neckline.

    "Interesting." Cornwell noted, bending down peer in at the materialised creation, as layer of grey vapour, rolled out of the alcove, disappearing into the air.

    Admiral Katrina Cornwell

    Lana hesitated, then seeing that her superior was not about to, reached past her and pulled the pile out, handing it over, the still warm clothing folding over her hand and wrist. "Go get changed." She looked past Cornwell to Burnham, the third woman gingerly pushing her blue-and-silver Discovery ship-suit down past her hips. "Okay, your turn. Measurements, gender, then say, blue, followed by flared."

    Michael bent over to negotiate her uniform down past her knees and started to lift one leg out. "Why am I blue?"

    "Have you listened to yourself?" Katrina quipped, quick as a phaser blast.

    "Niiice." Lana appraised with an encouraging smile.


    The Archer Vice' security officer turned serious, "With the new uniform line, blue is for science and medical."

    Katrina held up her bundle. "I'm a psychiatrist by trade. Shouldn't I be blue?"

    "You could," Lana conceded, "but Command is gold, Ma'am."

    "Oh. Okay." As she padded off to get changed, there was a muffled voice from outside the sealed door, Ash Tyler protesting, "No, wait-"

    There was a muffled thud on the other side of the door, followed by Archer's aggrieved tones: ""Door seems to be stuck."

    "That's because it's locked, you ass!" Kane called through it. "It means that we are not decent yet. " She shook her head slowly at the others.

    "Will he have heard us through the door?" Michael enquired, now down to her navy blue t-shirt and panties, setting her usual uniform aside and padding cautiously in her socks past Lana to the replicator. Her short-sleeved top had DISCO in white letters across her chest, denoting her ship, Discovery.

    "If we hear projectile gunfire, then Archer asking if the door is made of a combination of adamantium and mythril, then probably not." Lana pantomimed cupping an ear, pausing for a silent count of five. "I guess he heard us."

    "My goodness. This is very-" The Admiral was holding her new minidress by the shoulders, and had allowed it to fall open.

    "Short?" Lana guessed, with a wry smile at her superior.

    "-liberating. Was there even any point giving it my leg measurements?"

    "Yeah, I don't know what that was about."

    Kane looked over in curiosity as she heard Michael at the replicator: "Away Team Mesh Vest." She gave measurements, then followed with, "Female. Blue."

    "What the hell is an Away Team Mesh Vest?" Lana enquired as she followed the Discovery' science officer. As an Away Team Leader, that sounded like something that she ought to know.

    "You'll find out in a sec'."

    With the steam cleared, Michael reached in and pulled out a stiffer item of clothing than the blue uniform frock that she already had over her shoulder, turning and showing it to Lana, explaining: "Away Team Mesh Vest. Sleeveless, torso-protecting wear that zips up at the front, and has forward-facing glow lights on each shoulder. On Discovery, we use them all the time when beaming into unsecured territory. And if we are facing bat'leths-"

    "Actually, that is a very good point." Cornwell put in from the wall. She wanted something to lean against, if bringing one leg to climb into the unzipped dress, caused her to lose balance. She had a couple of scars from the traditional Klingon hand weapons. "I vote that everybody wears them."

    "Aw-right." Lana conceded reluctantly. "But Away Team Mesh Vest is a bit of a mouthful."

    "Phrasing!" Archer's muffled tones warned through the door.

    "Archer, stop listening!" Lana turned back to the Admiral. "If we are wearing these, we are shortening that name. How about A-T-M-Vees. Or even better, Atmevs."

    Michael nodded. "I like Atmevs."

    "Atmevs it is." Katrina concurred.



    Starbase One

    Five mini whirlwinds of metre-high horizontally spinning golden lights, slowly materialised on a deserted boulevard, coalescing into the kneeling forms of the five Starfleet officers: Ash Tyler and Archer in the long-sleeved red tops, and black trousers of Security, and the girls in black kneeboots and cap-sleeved mini-dresses, gold, navy blue, and black, for Katrina, Michael, and Lana, respectively.

    All had pre-drawn hand phasers which they quickly aimed around to cover angles of threat; all carried Type-3 phaser rifles on their backs, Lana had her TEC-9 semi-automatic pistols tucked under each armpit in black shoulder holsters, crowding uneasily with her Atmev, which all of them wore, colour-coordinated with their tops.

    Any incumbent observers would be Klingon, and the Federation intruders wanted to be as undetectable as possible until they got to wherever the vast space station's command centre was.

    There was a double-wide, two-way road, flanked by dark pavements, with a long line of various shops, stores, and other multi-storey structures.

    The Admiral looked down as she clipped her phaser to her hip belt, momentarily captivated by the cool breeze washing down the highway, caressing the backs of her legs, and rippling the skirt that, down like this, barely covered her thighs and rear. She smiled.

    "We need to get out of the open." Michael stated from her right, rising and clipping her phaser, and taking a step as she unslung the tricorder swinging from her left shoulder. She paused to look back. "Admiral?"

    Kat' recognised the tone of someone waiting for orders, her orders, and looked up, gesturing past the brown, brush-haired female. "Lead the way, Commander."

    She headed after Burnham as the other woman cautiously pushed open the glass-paned front door open, and played the light beam mounted on her phaser rifle,over the shop's dark interior.

    Seconds later, lights in the ceiling began to flicker on as sensors detected the presence of the Starfleet quintet, then brightened, illuminating this part of the store, where racks of dusty clothing created an artificial forest, with rubbish-strewn pathways going through in about four directions.

    "Alright, it is several weeks since the war ended," Katrina opined as she followed Burnham deeper into the store, no real idea of where she was going, "so the invaders shouldn't be expecting, or actively monitoring for intruders."

    She noted that her black kneeboots made a soft squelch on the hard white flooring, compared to the soft plimsolls that went with her former uniform, then forgot all about that as before her, Burnham stopped in her tracks, turned on the spot, and looked past her with a worryingly concerned expression.

    Katrina followed the commander's gaze, turning to look up at an equally stunned look on Tyler's face.

    "What?" She enquired, glancing from Ash to Michael, and back again. "What is it?"

    "When..." Tyler hesitated, as around them, Sterling and Lana stopped too, although one of them kept an eye out around them, so that they were not caught unawares. "...when we found you aboard the Ship of the Dead-"

    Cornwell nodded for him to continue, remembering Starfleet's name for a Klingon warship where she had been imprisoned, and whose hull had been coated with multiple containers holding organic matter at differing stages of decay, coffins. She had an idea that the vessel was actually called the Sarcophagus, but that wasn't important right now.

    Ash gulped and continued. "-we wore 'pattern simulators' to mask our human life-signs. So that if we were detected by their systems, they would read us as Klingon."

    "Why aren't we wearing them now?" Lana put in.

    "We forgot?" Burnham looked a bit embarrassed now.

    "Lana." Archer prompted.

    Lieutenant Kane shook her head, recognising the tone, it's intent, and not wanting to indulge her crewmate, even though he never stopped till she did. "Let's keep moving." She stalked deeper into the store, between more racks of clothing, dusty cellophane wafting as she passed.

    "Lana!" Archer repeated, slightly louder, as the group followed.

    Still silence from the person in front.

    "LANA!!" He bellowed.

    Lana spun back at him."Jesus, what?"

    Cornwell stared at both of them with wild eyes, but more so at Archer as he had been by far, the loudest, "
    I know this starbase is huge, but could you please keep your voices down?"

    Danger Zone." Sterling sing-songed the whisper.

    "I see what you say about wanting to shoot him."

    Lana appreciated the Admiral's wry-toned admission, but said nothing, sending a smile of thanks at the brunette, and proceeding to lead the way.

    Following up the rear, Tyler asked, "Are we able to beam back to the Belgia to get some of those pattern simulators."

    "No point now. Besides, this is a one-way mission. We are not turning back for anything."

    "We don't even know if the USS Belgia carried any of them." Michael pointed out as she stepped after Lana, watching the other's hips. She hadn't noticed before, but the Archer Vice' lieutenant's style of uniform had been slightly different from her own, and remembered that both she and the admiral had been instructed to add the description "flared" when talking to the clothing replicator.

    The lower parts of hers and Cornwell's dresses, flared out from their hips like cheerleader-type circle skirts, while the stealthy black uniform worn by Lieutenant Kane hugged her hips.

    Tyler likewise observed the brush-haired Michael from behind as she walked ahead, deciding that he liked this abbreviated uniform for her, better than the all-covering shipsuit. The blue fabric swayed about her hips as she moved, and the heeled boots seemed to put tension on the muscles on the back of her knees, and what little he could see of her calves. "Looking good, Burn'."

    His aggrieved former girlfriend turned and flashed him a smile of thanks, then faced the way she was going, and continued chatting to the group, "Discovery is a science vessel, so carries a lot of equipment that may not have spread to the rest of the fleet." Michael quickened her step enough to bring herself alongside the taller Kane. She whispered her thanks in Vulcan: "Chaya t'not."

    Lana glanced down at her, then looked ahead to ensure their path was still clear. "You're welcome. For what exactly?"

    "For drawing the attention from Ash and myself, after our error in not packing pattern simulators."

    "You should really be thanking Archer, although that 'danger zone' thing is almost like a habitual tic with him. Relates to a musician that he is a big fan of. I doubt that it was intended to help you and Tyler."

    Burnham nodded, remembering him attempting to goad the admiral into saying something about zones of danger.

    "Why did you thank me in Vulcan?" Lana asked, the space ahead of them brightening as a square of light that seemed more natural than the overhead light panels, appeared on their path. She held up her left fist, expecting the group behind to halt, which everyone did, even Archer. "Hello, what's that about."

    She stepped forward, squinting against the light, and probing with her fingers around the left then right edges of the bright square that was two feet taller than her, and found a control panel set into the wall on the right, which she immediately pressed, two doors of thick opaque glass separating and sliding apart in front her, revealing a long, walkway with see-through glass or plastic floor and sides. The long walkway rose slightly before them, so they could not see what was at the far end, by looking along it.

    Glancing out the transparent sides, and down through the floor, were totally different stories, though.

    Far below, perhaps as if she was looking down from the fifth floor of a building, she could see both the sparkling surface of a river, and fields of swaying cereal, with the fields directly beneath the walkway. The bridge either went to the river, or crossed over it.

    Looking down, Lana dropped to one knee and bent forwards, trying to focus on movement in the fields. There was definitely something, or multiple somethings, carving an arrow-shaped swathe through the tall grasses.

    "Anybody bring binoculars?" She asked without looking back at the others.

    "I think the store sells them." Archer's voice advised. "Tyler, can you look after the girls for a few moments?"

    "Yeah, sure thing."

    "Girls?" Cornwell could be heard echoing.

    "Archer, be careful." Lana instructed, as she usually did.

    "I won't." As he always did.

    Admiral Cornwell dropped into a squat to Lana's left, her snowy white kneecaps peeking brightly through the dark curtains of her limp chestnut hair. "What are you looking at, Lieutenant?"

    Lana pointed down through the floor. "I want to see what that is before we start across the glass-bottomed bridge."

    To be continued...


    Note: Vulcan wording from the Star Trek Memory Alpha wiki.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2020
  10. Emperor Ferus

    Emperor Ferus Chosen One star 7

    Jul 29, 2016
    Chapter One:

    Your dialogue gives me a great sense of each character’s relationship with one another. While I’m not too familiar with this era of Star Trek, your interactions between Cornwall and Michael are nicely reminiscent of those of Kirk and Spock, even though Michael is a Vulcan by adoption rather than birth.

    “Don’t encourage casual gunplay” classic

    Cornwall and Lana’s relationship also stood out to me as something I’d become invested in, as good character dynamics will.
    Iron_lord , pronker and Sith-I-5 like this.
  11. Emperor Ferus

    Emperor Ferus Chosen One star 7

    Jul 29, 2016
    Chapter 2:

    You’re good at describing places and characters as well as giving insight to their backstories without detracting from plot advancement.

    It looks like danger is coming, with a nice, slow build-up throughout the chapter. I also like how you change the font relative to Sterling and Archer’s tones of voice.

    Also love the wry humor shown throughout the story.
    Iron_lord and pronker like this.
  12. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002

    Archer wandered through the mall, having identified via wall signs, where he had needed to go; and at the top of a still running escalator between floors, found a lingerie section directly in front of him.

    Although he had not been asked to, he breezed among limply hanging chemises and half slips, stopping before a rack of tights (stockings) packs, checking their details for sizes and deniers that he considered suitable for Lana and the two girls on the ground floor, deftly selecting two each (one near-transparent low denier, a dark opaque high denier), and then as an afterthought, three different high-denier patterns for a count of nine; and tromped off to the Sporting Goods department, where he hoped to find a pair of binoculars.

    His senses were hyper-tuned to his surroundings, so he wasn't bothered by the dark, spooky surrounding, in and off themselves.

    Archer was a vocal supporter of being prepared on operations, although strangely, that never extended to reading briefing notes.

    His motivation for getting the tights, was that unless the Admiral changed her mind, they were looking for the control centre the slow way, no site-to-site transport, no public monorail. They could be bivouacking across several nights, so the ladies could be glad of some extra layers.

    Sterling checked behind the counter where customers went to pay, and picked up a plastic bag bearing the logo that had adorned the exterior doors where they had come in from the road, and popped the tights inside.

    He paused, unsure what to get next, so reluctantly fished out the communicator, and flipped it open, calling his baby mother. "Lana."

    "Tricorders, Archer, that's what you are after."

    "I know!" This was his normal rebuttal.

    "So why did you call?"

    Archer scowled at the communicator's speaker grille. It was against his core values to admit that he needed Lana's assistance, the moment that he did not, so he looked around for a way to extract himself from the conversational corner that he had backed himself into. Scanning a far wall, he found a list of departments, and what levels they were on.

    "Ah, in case you got worried about how long I was taking, I thought I'd let you know that after I find this tricorder, I'm going to check out the basement level, two levels below you." He further explained that there was a camping section down there.

    "Why, what's down there?"

    "Tents and stuff, I guess." He shrugged to no-one, his distorted reflection shifting in the horizontal metal bar of a clothing rack, packed with dusty-shouldered fashion ware. "Not been down there yet."

    "That is actually a good idea." Lana's tone sounded encouraging. "I'll meet you down there."

    Now, the Archer Vice' security chief rolled his eyes. This was not working out like he had hoped. "Look, there is no need-"

    "I WILL meet you down there, Archer."

    To compound matters, he overheard the Admiral in the background, volunteering to come with her, as she found the two, fun to watch.

    "Fun." He echoed quietly, shaking his head, and stepping closer to the wall map, to get a better look at it. He was helped by lights in the ceiling, detecting his approach, and illuminating that wall, pushing back the shadows. "Alright, see you soon. Archer out." He closed his hand, snapping the communicator shut, and morosely clipping the thing to his belt.

    Following the directions on the wall map, he trudged through the place, till he found himself at the foot of a frozen escalator, that disappeared up into the unlit next level up. He brought up his closed hand up to just in front of his chin, and pretended to flip it open like the communicator that he had just used, accompanied by the melody that they played when doing so. "Site-to-site transporters, this is escalators. You win!"

    Rather than close the pretend communicator, he used it as a hand again, placing it on the hand rail that would normally be moving, and stepping onto the first step.

    He almost stepped back off it when it suddenly started moving, and upstairs, the lights started to flicker on.

    Getting over his initial surprise, Archer realised that the thing must be like the lights elsewhere in the store, able to sense and react to customers walking through the place. Probably their body heat, or their physical presence.

    Level Five

    "Err, we already have a tricorder, Lieutenant." Katrina advised as she caught up with Lana near the stairs, lights flickering on to illuminate the steps as they approached.

    Lana stopped and turned. "We do?"

    Cornwell looked pensive and furrowed her eyebrows as she regarded her compatriot. "Science Officer Burnham had it when we beamed in. I just stopped to verify. I think Archer should be looking for binoculars, not tricorders."

    Obviously not keen to admit her mistake, Lana's communicator made the classic sound as she flexed her wrist to flip it open. "Look, Archer-"

    Both ladies flinched back, startled and wide-eyed, at the unexpected volume and sounds of automatic weapon fire!

    "I need backup assistance now!" Archer's voice was urgently exclaiming, prompting Cornwell to pull her phaser pistol, and slide the power control to red. "Now, goddammit, now!"

    "We're on the way!" The yellow-clad Admiral shrilled into Lana's communicator. "Are you above us or below us?"

    Opposite her, Lana seemed to sigh. "This is your first time in the field, right?"

    Katrina thought back to her ill-fated diplomatic mission where she had stepped in for Ambassador Sarek, only to have her guards ambushed by Klingons hoping to capture a high-level Vulcan. "Pretty much. Why?"

    "We're in the same building, and it is so silent that you could hear a pin drop" Kane waggled a finger at her comm-unit's speaker. "All that noise, don't you think we would be hearing it in stereo?"

    "Boom. Elaborate voicemail prank. Leave a message, Idiot."

    Katrina felt odd and noted her vision blurring as a red haze of pure fury overtook her. "That. Was. A. Joke?" Her gun hand was shaking, as she de-powered her phaser, and slid it back into its' holster.

    Lana looked down at her, sympathetically. "Easy there, Tiger." After a moment's hesitation, she pulled her into a one-handed embrace, which Cornwell allowed, and gently massaged her back, as much as she could through the Atmev's harder layer.

    Lana brought her open communicator up behind Katrina's right shoulder, so that she could still talk into it. "Archer? My mistake. We're fine for tricorders, apparently; please can you look for binoculars instead?"

    "Oh. Okay then. Thanks, Lana. Archer out."

    Lana was surprised that her partner hadn't taken the opportunity to rib her over her mistake. Unusual.

    She instructed Kat' to take some deep breaths and to count to ten.

    "What, aloud?" She felt the admiral murmur into her chest.

    "Yes, aloud." Lana glared down at the top of Cornwell's head. "I'm not Betazoid; I'm not going to be able to hear the numbers if you just think them, am I?"

    "Aw-right, fine. One, two-"

    To be continued...
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2020
  13. pronker

    pronker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 28, 2007
    I'm getting to know the characters better as the fic progresses ... :)

    Tee hee!

    Oh my, Jeopardy this week had these two in its "Fictional Materials" category!

    Yes, I can see why ...

    He's a bull in the china shop section of the department store.[face_mischief]

    Sith-I-5 likes this.
  14. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    I am not familiar with the show but I like the story you are weaving
    pronker and Sith-I-5 like this.