"We've just been given the all clear by Starfleet, Captain," Nyota Uhura said, as she lingered at her station.

James T. Kirk, newly promoted Captain of the Enterprise, smiled, "Engage whenever you want to," he said, as he strode across the bridge and sat in the Captain's chair. "We're in no hurry."

Uhura nodded and pressed a few buttons on her console. Within moments, the ship had set off into space.

From the First Officer's seat, Spock glanced at Kirk stoically, "Captain, I anticipate that we'll be somewhat late for our mission if we don't go to warp," he stated, raising an eyebrow at his captain.

"Spock, my ever-so-logical friend," Kirk said with an air of casualness in his voice. "It's only a diplomatic appearance to the Porthos colony. Even if we're a bit late for cocktails and random mingling, we'll still be there in plenty of time to found the city like Admiral Archer asked us to. I'm sure that while he's wishing he could come, there are more attractive matters on his plate of life right now."

Spock sighed, "You should not make light of the Admiral's ascension to President of the United Federation of Planets," he stated in an almost scolding tone. "It is a prestigious honor for one such as Archer."

"Yeah, I'm sure everyone thinks so," Kirk snapped, a bit jealous that they couldn't be there to witness the ceremonies for themselves. "I wish Archer luck in his terms as Federation President. He'll need it."

"You sound jealous, Captain," Spock observed, taking note of Kirk's disposition. "I would also consider it a great honor to be given this mission. Admiral Archer must hold us in high regard to entrust us with it."

Kirk scoffed, "The only reason that Archer gave this assignment to Enterprise was because he wanted Scotty to do some pennance for making his do disappear since he came out of exile," he stated, glaring at his first officer. "He wanted to make sure Scotty wasn't around to ruin the inauguration ceremony."

Before Spock could reply, there was a beep, "This is Captain Kirk," Kirk said, as he tapped his combadge. "Who is this and what seems to be the problem?"

Cap'n, Scotty here," a thick Scottish accent said over the link. "I need ye to come down tae the Transporter Room," he said in a rather urgent tone. "There's an urgent mattah that we need to discuss."

Clicking the combadge off, Kirk sighed and got to his feet, "Spock, you have the bridge until I return," he ordered, as he quickly walked off the bridge.

As he made his way through the ship, Kirk was annoyed. He knew that ever since they had gotten back to Earth with Pike, Scotty had been trying to fine tune his transporter experiments. Archer had wanted nothing to do with it and had kept his distance from Scotty and instead had focused on more important professional and personal matters that consumed his life, yet made him seem more personable.

"Scotty, this had better be important," Kirk said, as he entered the Transporter Room and saw Scotty lingering near the transport pad, looking rather anxious.

"Cap'n, there is no easy way tae say this," Scotty began, nervousness in his voice.

Before Scotty could continue, however, a young beagle came running out from behind Scotty and without warning, jumped eagerly into Kirk's arms.

Kirk looked at the beagle and then at Scotty, "I'm assuming this is Archer's beagle, Porthos," he said, shocked. "How did Porthos get here with us?"

Scotty shrugged, "I came in here to start me shift and he was sitting on the platform howlin awae," he replied. "Should we call the Admiral and tell him?"

At the mention of contacting Archer, Kirk immediately shook his head, "No, there's no reason to contact Archer about this right now," he said, as he fought to keep from getting licked by the enthusiastic Porthos. "Let's proceed with our mission and I'll look after Porthos until we return to Earth. Return to your duty."

Scotty nodded and hurried out of the room. Kirk stared at the beagle, which wagged his tail eagerly.

Kirk sighed, he would be fine with Porthos for the time being. No sense in contacting Archer, as he would immediately recall them to Earth and ruin their mission. It was better to wait until afterwards, as there was too much going on with the Archer family and the Federation's Presidential inauguration coming up.

"Well, Porthos," Kirk said, as he carried the beagle from the room. "Let's go feed you, shall we?"