Title: "Enemy of the State" 1 Author: Quills Contact: the_quill_pen@yahoo.com Series: ENT Rating: PG-13 Disclaimer: Paramount owns Star trek and I derive no financial gain from this story. Codes: A, T/Tu, Ma, S, R, P angst, drama, romance, humor, action/adventure Summary: The starship Enterprise is on a desperate mission to save Earth from the mysterious Xindi. While searching for the weapon the Xindi intend to use against Earth, Captain Archer and his crew are reunited with their friend from the future, Captain Soma , who brings news of an even more sinister plot by a Xindi faction involving the Vulcans, which threatens not only Earth, but the entire galaxy. Now it is up to Archer and his crew, with the help of Soma, to unravel the Xindi plot and prevent Earth and the galaxy from falling at the feet of their greatest threat.Vulcan . ***Special note: This story takes place after the season three episode, "Carpenter Street", but before the episode "Harbinger".

Melisha sat in the soft sandy field, drawing lazy circles in the white powdery ground. It was her favorite thing to do during 'conlum'; the rest period she and her fellow students were given at mid-day. Melisha and the other Suliban children at the colony attended classes from early morning until mid-day, when they broke for conlum. They all looked forward to the rest period, especially Melisha or Meli as her friends called the little girl, who was roughly ten years old in human years.

She didn't like having to study so hard, not that she hated school. She just preferred the simpler existence. Traveling to the Betal Sea or hiking into the As'ardi canyons, those were the things she preferred to do.with her father. Unfortunately, Melisha saw very little of him, particularly of late. She knew he had a very important job that kept him away.or so he constantly reminded her whenever she asked him why he couldn't come. Even the other children whose parents could not always come spoke to their children over sub-space. Calls from her father were all too rare.

Melisha let out a sigh as she continued to draw circles in the sand. She was so preoccupied with her thoughts that she hadn't heard the footsteps approaching.

"Meli?" a voice called out from behind her.

The girl turned suddenly, startled by the voice. But seeing who it was, her look of surprise turned to a smile when she realized who had called to her.

"Oh, I'm sorry Meli," said the tall Suliban woman. "I didn't mean to startle you."

"That's alright Zeli ka," replied Meli. Zeli was one of Melisha's 'kas', an instructor who oversaw the education of the children at the Suliban settlement here on Erendi IV. The children had been entrusted to the kas by their parents, as was the custom among the Suliban. A ka was considered the most honorable duty a Suliban could undertake. Not being allowed to have children of their own, the kas were the surrogate parents for their Suliban wards and were instrumental in the education and in many ways the nurturing of the children of their race.

"I was just thinking," Meli said as an afterthought.

"You were thinking about your father again," Zeli ka said as she tilted her head to see the little girl's expression. "Weren't you?"

Meli gave Zeli ka a slight frown as she nodded. "Why doesn't he come to see me more?"

Zeli ka knelt down, placing her arm around Meli. "Oh little one," she said running her hand over the little girls green jeweled skin. "You know your father is very busy. He comes whenever his work allows it."

The little girl looked to be on the verge of tears as she sniffled. "Sometimes... Sometimes I think he is ashamed of me," she said sadly. "That's why he doesn't come."

"No," said Zeli ka. "No, that isn't true at all. Your father loves you very much, Meli. That's why he sent you here. So we might keep you safe and care for you until he can come and be with you. He wants to be here with you. He told me that himself."

The little girl looked up at Zeli ka, her large brown eyes looking at her hesitantly, but with hope. "H-He did?"

"Yes, he did," replied Zeli ka. "And one day he will come and he will never leave. You must have faith little one."

At this, the little girl smiled and threw her arms around Zeli ka giving the woman a hug. The woman held Meli, returning the hug to the child as if she were her very own. Meli hugged Zeli ka tightly for a few moments more before Zeli moved Meli in front of her wiping a tear away from the little girls cheek.

"Now, no more bad thoughts," said Zeli ka. "I have a surprise."

Meli looked up at Zeli ka as the woman picked her up off the sandy ground. "Menik ka has granted our group permission to travel to the Betal Sea on the third period," said Zeli ka as she brushed the sand off Meli's garment. "Isn't that wonderful?"

Meli beamed a great smile at the woman. She was about to tell Zeli ka how happy the news was, when a strange sensation overcame her. It wasn't anything she could articulate, but she felt it nonetheless. Looking at Zeli ka, she could see the woman had felt it as well, but neither of them seemed able to convey what it was they had just experienced. Looking around the open field, everything seemed normal and yet, for a brief moment, Meli thought that her whole world had been vastly different than how it appeared, almost as if someone had turned a page in one of her storybooks only to find themselves reading another story.

Meli was on the verge of speaking, when a noise drew her attention from the ka. Looking past the woman, she could see something in the distance high above in the clouds. Zeli ka turned and followed where Meli was looking. Straining to see what the little girl was looking at, Zeli ka continued to look toward the gray billowy clouds until she saw a small object in the distance. Then she saw another and still another. Three tiny objects had emerged from the clouds and appeared to be moving towards the settlement.

"What are they?" asked Meli in that way that curious children do.

"I don't know," answered Zeli ka. The woman looked nervously at the tiny objects which grew in size as they came closer. She thought.hoped.they might be kyzars flying to their migratory roosts in the mountains, but they couldn't be. It wasn't the right season and no one saw kyzars except when they migrated.

As the objects approached, she could see them more clearly. They weren't kyzars. They were ships! Grabbing Meli's hand, Zeli ka stood up. "Quickly Meli, we must go."

"But." started Meli.

"Meli, please," said Zeli ka. "We must go."

Pulling Meli up, Zeli ka started into a run, with Meli trying to keep up as the woman pulled her along. Running back towards the settlement, Zeli ka started shouting frantically to the others kas. "The children! Get them inside!"

The other kas were already running frantically, trying to get the children together to seek the safety of the main shelter. The small settlement was a ring of five small shelters Surrounding a lager central shelter used for classes and other functions. As several Suliban ran towards the main shelter entrance, one of the ships passed low overhead, buzzing the compound while the other two ships kept their distance. Looking up, Meli could see the alien markings along the sleek black hull of the alien ship. It's menacing 'wings' made it look like a 'bird of prey'.

The black ship circled the camp like a stalking predator. The terrible blasts from its engines scared Meli and the other children and some of them began to cry. Almost instantly the ship came about and headed away from the camp, rejoining the other two ships just beyond the outskirts of the nearby tree-line.

Zeli Ka looked at the three ships in the distance as they started to move towards the settlement. She turned and looked at the children running for the main shelter and both of her Suliban hearts turned to water. They weren't going to make it.none of them were.

The speed of the three ships accelerated as they raced towards the settlements, approaching in a delta formation. The three black ships descended to an altitude of less than forty meters as they entered the outer perimeter of the Suliban settlement. As the settlement buildings came into view, the three alien ships suddenly broke formation, splitting off in three directions.

The two outer ships circled the perimeter of the settlement as the center ship passed overhead. The two flanking ships came to equal distances opposite each other along the perimeter and then changed course suddenly making a run on the open field in front of the main encampment building. As the ships approached the building, two large projectiles slid from the each of their hulls.

The two long cylinders gleamed as a blue aura formed around their dark tips. The glow grew until they looked like two tiny beacons at which point both cylinders released twin lances of electric blue energy.

The energy bolt flashed through the air striking the open field below as the ships passed over-head, in a 'strafing run'. The ground below reacted to the energy bolts as it violently exploded, sending dirt and rock flying dozens of feet into the air. Both ships continued to rain down fire on the field as dozens of Suliban ran from the explosions.

Zeli Ka stared in shock as she saw the ships crisscross the open field firing their energy weapons on her fellow Suliban...her friends. But looking closer, Zeli Ka noticed something even more frightening, very few people were actually being struck by the energy fire from the ships. It seemed more like the ships were directing the people on the ground. It was as if.then Zeli Ka shuddered. Looking up in the sky, she saw the third alien ship as it hovered just beyond the hills on the far side of the settlement.

"No!" she screamed at the sudden realization of what the ships were doing. Little Melisha clung to Zeli Ka as the woman frantically yelled at her fellow Suliban not to run from ships' fire. She realized what the ships were doing. They weren't trying to kill the Suliban, they were trying to herd them. Firing bursts of energy to scare the people into Running in the direction the attackers wanted!

While two of the ships continued to fire around and the open field, the 'lead' ship moved towards the settlement from its vantage point at the perimeter just past the hills. The ship headed towards the main settlement building where several Suliban had managed to take refuge and several more were heading for. As the ship approached, its own twin cylinders emerged from its hull and glowed a cold blue. The sleek alien craft closed in on the building coming in low. When it was no more than fifty meters from the entranceway its twin cylinders released a barrage of energy bolts striking the building repeatedly as it ripped the structure apart.

As the ship closed in for the final twenty meters, a small port opened on its underside. The ship continued its course, adjusting its altitude until it was now fifty feet off the ground. The alien ship came right up to the entranceway to the main building, banking sharply as it barely missed colliding with the structure. As it veered off, a small cylindrical object ejected from the open port on its underside. The object flew down towards the building and through a gapping hole caused by several energy blasts, where it landed in one of the inner corridors. For less than a second, the smooth black cylinder sat in the corridor before a bright light emanated from it expanding out several meters before it exploded with enough force that It completely annihilated the standing structure that was the main settlement building. Debris from the explosion flew in every direction and the alien ship that had dropped the explosive was struck by flying chunks of the structure as it made a safe retreat.

The Suliban settlers who had been herded into the field looked on in horror as they saw what remained of dozens of their fellow Suliban amid the debris and flames.

The two ships, which had been herding the settlers, now maneuvered themselves so they Were in flanking positions around the frightened Suliban. A thunderous blast came from both ships as three large landers came from the underside of each ship and within moments the ships began to vertically land in clearings on the field. As the two ships touched down, the third 'lead' ship, responsible for the destruction of the settlement building began a similar descent until all three vessels had landed.

When the vessels had settled on their tripod landers, a bay door opened in unison aboard Each ship as a walkway extended out past the hip and settled on the ground.

The Suliban watched in fear and confusion, as the dark entranceways to the alien ships remained quiet and motionless. Then, several figures in black filed out of the three ships In single file, taking up positions around the huddled Suliban settlers.

The figures in black were wearing what looked like heavy body armor with curved helmets and opaque faceplates that obscured their features. As the Suliban settlers watched the black armored aliens as they wondered in fear what they had planned for them.

Two men emerged from the central ship. Both wore black, but neither were armored. Their garb suggested they were leaders or at the very least, the leaders of these black armored soldiers. One of the aliens was reptilian. His scale plated face made it obvious That he was a Xindi. The reptilian Xindi wore a bright silver banner across his chest and looked out among the sea of terrified Suliban with a malicious smile. However, his smile faded when the second figure stepped forward. The Xindi immediately took up a more submissive position to the second figure whose face and head were obscured by a long flowing black cloak, but his coppery skin and jet-black hair could be seen under the hood.

The figure said something to the Xindi but none of the Suliban could hear him. When it appeared he was done speaking, the Xindi stepped forward and addressed the crowd of Suilban captives.

"This planet.this system are now annexed by the Alliance," said the reptile as if he were making the same speech for the hundredth time. "All of you are now the loyal subjects of the Alliance and will be taken from this place to one where you can.better serve your new benefactors." The Xindi paused, allowing the words to sink in for a moment before he resumed his speech.

"These officers will separate you into suitable groupings based on your physical capabilities," explained the Xindi, his smile returned. "If any of you have any questions, please feel free to direct them to one of them." He said waving his hand past the armored soldiers. Turning, the Xindi looked to his compatriot with a smile, but the smile once again faded when the figure simply stood there. After a moment, the cloak figure addressed the Xindi.

"Have them processed and ready for boarding," the cloak figure said in a cold and lifeless tone. "I wish to leave this planet no later than fifteen cycles from now. Is that understood.Tabor?"

The Xindi swallowed hard hearing the cloaked figure address him by name. "Of course Commander, it shall be done as you command. The soldiers stand ready."

"Yes, Tabor," agreed the cloaked figure. "My people always stand ready. That is why we rule and you serve. Is it not?"

The Xindi nodded apologetically. "Of course, Commander. I did not mean offense."

"Just see that the task is completed."

The Xindi nodded and then turned to face the armored soldiers. Signaling to them, they filed out began systematically moving Suliban into small groups based on gender and physical ability. As the soldiers made their way through the crowd, Meli held onto Zeli ka's hand tightly. The little girl squeezed the ka's hand and Zeli Ka looked down at her.

As a soldier approached a group of Suliban Zeli ka and Meli were among, Zeli tightened her hand on Meli. A soldier approached them as he pushed Sulibans into separate groups. Seeing Meli, he grabbed her by the arm and pulled her away from Zeli ka.

Zeli ka lashed out at the soldier, striking his helmet with her bare hands. The force of the blow sent the soldier to the ground and the helmet went tumbling off his head. Several other black clad soldiers came running over, but the fallen soldier stood up waving them off. He would deal with the matter himself.

Zeli Ka looked at the soldier who now had a small trickle of blood running down the side of Face. No doubt from the impact of his helmet as it was wrenched off his head by Zeli ka's blow.

The soldier looked at Zeli Ka. She had spirit. He would give her that, but the alliance didn't need its subjects to have spirit. Spirit created unrest and unrest was not tolerated. The soldier knew what was required of him by the Alliance. Adjusting a dial on his rifle, he brought the weapon up and trained it on Zeli Ka. Before the woman could say anything, let alone move, he pulled the trigger and a stream of hot plasma erupted from the end. Within a second the woman was engulfed in the plasma, which consumed her in what seemed to take an inhumanely long and painful ten seconds. When the plasma was finished, there was little left of Zeli Ka except a smoldering circle on the ground.

Meli looked up, tears streaming down her cheeks. She could see the black armored figure pointing his fire gun at the now smoldering remains of Zeli ka. No other Suliban Moved or spoke as the soldier approached Meli, stopping only a few feet from where she was kneeling.

She looked up at the face of Zeli ka's murder as well as the murder of untold millions on countless other planets. The black armored soldier looked down at Meli for a moment, a passive, emotionless masque on his face; the blood still trickling down the side of his face where Zeli ka had struck him.

Then suddenly, a grin formed on his lips as they curved up in a malicious rictous contortion. She recognized the face as one belonging to a race that all who had been crushed beneath the boot of the 'Alliance' recognized. It was the cruel face of the galaxies scourge. The most hated and loathed species to ever take on the mantle of conqueror...it was the devil browed face of a Vulcan.

TBC...