A/N: This is an Alternate Universe, which is set sometime in Season Three after Enterprise has returned to Earth and has presumably started their new mission.
The bridge was very quiet tonight, more so than other nights. The delta shift was restless with their new assignment, as they had all been beta shift before they came back to Earth. Everyone was still adjusting: Ensign Mr'imba looked like she was going to fall asleep at communications; James Willis was reconfiguring all the navigational arrays by hand in an effort to keep himself occupied, and Katie Ians was humming to herself at Tactical.
Elise Carson sighed to herself at Sciences. There was nothing more than debris from comet trails, a couple of small meteorites and space dust on her long range sensors, which she was currently watching. Her eyes were feeling heavy, and it was a struggle to keep them open. "Your shift's almost over, Carson." she mumbled softly to herself, "Just two more hours."
A sudden beep from her console jerked her out of her semi-conscious state, and she jumped out of her seat a bit, startling Katie.
"Are you okay?" the tactical ensign asked her.
"Huh? Oh, yeah, I'm fine." Elise answered sheepishly, sending Katie a small, embarrassed smile. She turned her attention back down to her console, and the small red light that was blinking before her. She checked the long range sensors, and found to her surprise a small dot, that could only be a minimal range escape pod floating in close to Enterprise. She calculated its point of origin, and found that it had come from the direction of a powerful ion storm that Enterprise had changed course to avoid.
"Hey James," she called out, "I've got an unidentified craft coming in from the port side, from that ion storm we changed course for earlier."
"Life signs?" James asked, as he was the ranking officer on deck.
Elise ran the scan. "Two, both extremely faint."
"Notify the captain." James commanded to Talisa Mr'imba. She nodded back, and summoned alpha shift to the bridge.
"Report." asked Captain Jonathon Archer as he entered the bridge. Commander Tucker and Sub-Commander T'Pol trailed him, the former looking very groggy. They took their seats at their respective stations, and relieved their delta shift counterparts.
"There is a small escape pod approaching from our port side, about 400 000 km out. Two life signs, very faint. I do not recognize the markings on the ship, Captain." responded T'Pol.
The captain was quiet a moment, and then gave the order to retrieve the ship. "Have Dr. Phlox and a medical team meet me in the launch bay. T'Pol, Malcolm, you're with me. Trip, you've got the bridge."
As the three left the bridge, Trip dropped into his seat with a sigh and wished he was back in bed.
When they reached the launch bay, Enterprise had already pulled the smaller craft into its hold. Malcolm and two other security officers cautiously approached the ship, which was so small that it seemed to only have room for barely one person. The door to the pod opened slowly, and only half-way. The inside of the tiny capsule was almost black with smoke, and Archer could barely see a single figure tumble out and fall to the floor.
Phlox rushed forwards, and Malcolm kept his phaser trained on the now apparent female, who lay inert on the ground. Her face was black with smoke, and her long hair was singed at the edges. Her arms gripped a small bundle tightly, and Phlox struggled to get to her.
She coughed a few times, and Archer remarked with sadness that she was dying. He still couldn't see her very clearly, and knelt down to be next to her. With surprise, he noticed the point edges of her ears and realized that she was a Vulcan.
Suddenly, she grabbed onto his arm with her free hand, and pulled him down near to her face. he was hit with a wave of recognition, something that told him that he knew her, somehow.
"Take her." she whispered once, as she shoved the bundle towards him. She stared straight into his eyes one last time, then dropped back down to the floor with the finality of death.
Phlox sighed painfully beside him, and closed the young Vulcan's eyes. Archer gazed down into the bundle he held in his arms, and stared right into the bright blue eyes of a baby girl.
This is the teaser chapter for my new story. I will hopefully have the next chapter up tomorrow, if all goes well. If you've read anything by me before, I have a real problem with being consistent with updating, but I hope that this time it will be better.