Disclaimer: Do not own anything dealing with Enterprise or Star Trek, I am not making a penny
Notes: My attempt to fix many of the things I disliked about TATV. (1 Trip is injured but lives (2 T'Pol and Trip are still a couple (3 The other officers receive promotions along the way (4 I included Archers speech. I am not claiming the speech is up there with the works of Lincoln or Churchill, but I think most will agree it is better than "Computer, end program".
Welcome any constructive criticism, please be gentle this is my first attempt at a FANFIC
Admiral Select Jonathan Archer was nervously pacing around the room waiting for the time.
He hated doing speeches, and he knew it was not his strong suit. He had turned into a fair diplomat when dealing one on one or in small groups but got weak kneed in front of large crowds or when forced to deliver a prepared speech.
He still got crap over that stupid gazelle speech from the first year of their mission.
He checked the time, twenty-five minutes until he got the chance to make a fool of himself.
He thought "I also hate this damn dress uniform!", while pulling at his collar. He then wiped his sweaty palms across his legs as he began pacing again.
His mind began to wonder and think about how he got here.
This would be his last official act as a Captain; he would soon be joining the flag ranks as an Admiral. Something he at one time thought he would never be and to be honest was not sure he had wanted. But the fact is he was getting a bit up there in years to be flying around the galaxy and he could not see himself commanding any ship besides Enterprise.
He felt a flash of sadness that the old girl was being decommissioned; it felt like she was being put to pasture way too soon. But with the advancements Star Fleet had made due to the exchange of technology between the Coalition and the forced advancement in research projects due to the Romulan war, had made Enterprise became obsolete before anyone thought she would.
At least they were going to make her into an orbital museum, which felt better than if they had mothballed or scraped her. Although making what he thought as his home a museum made him feel even older.
The ship had carried them through two wars, numerous battles and dangerous space. It had become their home and made them like a family. It was impossible for any of them not to leave a part of their hearts with her when she was decommissioned, even T'Pol, although she would never admit it.
Archer looked around the room and saw T'Pol and Phlox quietly talking with each other. The rest of the command staff had left to find their seats already. Phlox had that crazy grin of his at something T'Pol had said, she of course was stoic.
As Jon looked at them, he was relieved that they both seemed more relaxed, the past week had been tough on all of them. He could see T'Pol still showed concern in her dark brown eyes, but it was a much lesser extent then only a couple days ago.
He felt a bit of humor that he had over the years finally started to be able to read her emotions. When he first met her he thought Vulcans had their emotions so far suppressed that they might as well not have any. But over the years he had come to recognize her body language and the emotions she showed in her eyes. It was thanks to T'Pol that he had eventually released much of his anger towards Vulcans.
Some of the anger still remained from the fact his father never saw his engine fly and the road blocks the Vulcan Government had placed in getting the NX project off the ground. But he now understood those decisions had been made by the High Command and not the people themselves. Since the Vulcan High Command was replaced by a government that was more open to equal interaction between Vulcan and Earth his anger had dissipated. There were still misunderstandings and problems, likely always would be, but the two planets had slowly become true partners and allies and he thought that boded well for the future.
Jon smirked to himself; the understanding was also helped when he had the ghost of the most important Vulcan in history stuck in his head for a couple days.
Thinking about partners he looked back at T'Pol, he knew she was thinking about Trip and desired to be at the hospital with him. Trip had been adamant she attend the ceremony, although he could not attend due to his injuries, they had rigged a live feed into his room so he could watch the ceremony. Trip had done as much as any of them in getting to this point.
He looked at the time again, twenty two minutes.
As Archer continued to pace, he felt anger and guilt about Trip being injured. They had been almost home and Enterprise had been jumped by a Klingon Bird of Prey. The Captain of the Bird of Prey was one of Duras's relatives who felt killing Archer would bring back Duras's honor. Even though most Klingon's thought Duras was insane when Archer was forced to kill him.
Archer was in engineering talking with Trip about the decommissioning when the attack took place. Trip had felt, heard or just knew instinctively the EPS conduit Archer was standing next to was going to blow. Trip had jumped forward and shoved Archer away from the conduit just before it exploded. Archer came away with only a slightly singed uniform, but Trip had taken the full blast and been peppered with metal from the conduit.
Archer was forced to call Phlox and leave Trip in the care of his engineering crew while Archer moved as quickly as he could to bridge. He still felt guilty as hell leaving his best friend like that, but his duty was at his post.
Unfortunately T'Pol had been her quarters when the attack happened; fortunately Malcolm was the Officer of the Bridge, between him manning the weapons and Travis's skill as a pilot they were able to hold off the Klingon's until help arrived.
The help came in the form of Shran's ship, on its way to the ceremony. Between the two ships they drove the Bird of Prey off before any more major damage was done to Enterprise.
Shran later informed Archer that was another one Archer owed him.
By the time Archer arrived at sickbay, Phlox was already working on Trip with T'Pol anxiously watching. Archer still remembered the helplessness he felt when Phlox reported Trip's condition. Both his lungs where collapsed and he had massive internal bleeding. Phlox was not hopeful due to amount of damage. Archer thought about how seeing Trip lying on the biobed, gasping for air, burned and bleeding made Archer feel like someone had kicked him in the gut.
Archer then remembered the ensuing conversation vividly.
Archer asked Phlox "How is he doing doctor?"
"His condition is critical Captain, I can repair the damage but I have to stabilize him first, and I do not know if I can keep him alive long enough to do that" Phlox stated sadly, all the time desperately working on Trip.
T'Pol stated "Doctor, I can possibly help stabilize Commander Tucker!"
Phlox looked at her with widen eyes, and then frowned "T'Pol that could work, but it is extremely dangerous."
Archer jumped in "What are you two talking about?"
"Our bond Captain, bond mates have in the past been able to augment their mates healing powers and provide them strength"
Archer had eventually found out about the bond after the Orion incident years earlier, although they had not told him right away about it. They finally informed him months after the tragedy of their daughter's death. He was a bit hurt they had not told him earlier, but he knew Vulcan's were extremely private people and he knew Trip while an extrovert in many things, never felt comfortable talking about things involving romance. They both apologized about keeping it secret and eventually felt he had a right to know both as their Captain and their friend.
He understood the bond in its most basic elements from when he carried Surak's katra. But his mind still had difficulty grasping what it entailed. Trip had described it as like having someone with you in a dark room; it was easy at times to forget they were there, but you never were actually alone and the other person was there to provide support. Trip explained it was like feeling a warm presence, including flashes of strong emotions. To be honest the description confused Jon even more on the subject.
Archer looked at Phlox and asked "Why is it dangerous?"
"Because Captain if he dies while she is connected to him, she could die also."
Archer's face twisted in conflicted feelings, he wanted to save Trip, but he did not want any harm to come to T'Pol.
T'Pol moved to Trip's side and looked at them with an emotionless face, her voice monotone, but her eyes showed with heated determination. "Captain, I will not allow my mate to die when I have the possibility to help him!"
Phlox looked at Archer, Archer took a deep breath and said "Do it".
Phlox asked T'Pol "What do you need to do?"
"I need to maintain physical contact with Commander Tucker while he is in danger."
Phlox directed Archer "Captain please get a chair for Commander T'Pol, this will take some time."
Archer quickly grabbed a chair for T'Pol and moved it beside the biobed. T'Pol sat down and took Trip's hand in her own, while putting her fingertips on his face and closed her eyes.
Her face softened and her she looked almost serene, after a few minutes she frowned slightly and Archer heard her mummer "Trip, quit being stubborn I am here to help you"
That was one of the few times he ever heard T'Pol use Trip's nickname, in fact he could count the number of times and still have fingers left. She usually called him Commander, or Mr. Tucker or when she was upset with him Charles, which Jon knew annoyed the hell out of Trip. Archer guessed the use of his nickname was for only when they were in private.
Archer figured Trip had understood how dangerous this was to T'Pol and was trying to talk her out of it. Fortunately the only person as stubborn as Trip was T'Pol.
Trip's vital signs slowly stabilized enough for Phlox to begin repairing the damage to his lungs and organs. He then treated the burns and lacerations. The surgery took over three hours; it was highly unlikely without either Phlox or T'Pol Trip would have survived.
Even so he did not wake up for another 22 hours, during which time T'Pol never left his side.
Archer ensured she had no other duties to take her away during this time. Archer spent as much time as he could in sickbay, but he had to report the engagement with the Klingons to Star Fleet, man the bridge and work on the cursed speech.
When Trip finally woke up, the person he looked for was T'Pol, they simply stared at each other's eyes for two minutes, which kind of made Jon a bit uncomfortable, feeling he was intruding. Eventually Trip noticed Archer and they talked for a couple minutes before Trip drifted off to sleep again.
By the time they got back to Earth, Trip was out of danger, but he would have a long time recovering and still was in pain. Both Archer and T'Pol had made a pact they would if necessary tie Trip to his bed and sit on him to ensure he fully recovered before he started moving around again.
Archer looked at the time again, 17 minutes until his doom.
Jon continued pacing around the room, getting a mildly annoyed look from T'Pol occasionally and an amused one from Phlox.
Archer's mind drifted to the bond between Trip and T'Pol.
It embarrassed the hell out of him when Archer thought about the time he had some romantic feelings towards T'Pol himself. He was physically attracted to her exotic beauty and grace, and he had found her fascinating. Mind you, pretty much every male on the ship was attracted to T'Pol, Jon had seen that unasked question in both Malcolm's and Travis's eyes "I wonder what it would be like" when looking at T'Pol.
He still was mortified how he acted like a complete idiot during the time Porthos was sick, he had not acted like that since he was a teenager. He blamed lack of sleep and Phlox putting the idea in his head. Fortunately T'Pol had gently let him know there was no way in hell it would happen.
Archer was honest enough with himself to now realize it was the best thing that could have happened in the situation. He still found T'Pol beautiful, he wasn't dead, and he had grown to love her as a friend, but he was not IN LOVE with her.
What did develop between them was an extremely strong friendship and trust. Archer and T'Pol still disagreed and they looked at things differently. But Jon valued her logic, her friendship and her loyalty and always would. Archer knew the success assigned by others to him as a Star Ship Captain, an explorer, a soldier and diplomat was due to a group of people who supported him through it all and T'Pol was near or at the top of the list.
15 minutes, Jon wiped his hands on his pants again.
All thoughts he might have had about romance fled with the Xindi attack. Jon had become focused on a single goal, stopping the threat to Earth. Archer had withdrawn from the crew partially because of the mission and also because he realized some of his crew would die due to the orders he would be forced to give.
Trip who was usually the one who would act as Jon's sounding board and would help him through difficult times was unable too because of the death of his sister. Jon had met Elizabeth once while visiting Trip at his parents. She was an intelligent and beautiful young woman who had the future ahead of her. Trip was devastated by the loss, and unfortunately Jon was not there for him at his time of need because of the overwhelming pressure Archer felt in stopping the threat. Something Archer still felt guilt and sadness over and wished he could do different.
But fortunately T'Pol was there for Trip during the Expanse.
Jon had noticed before the Xindi attack the two had became friends, their arguments had developed into a form of bantering. Once Jon stepped back he then realized Trip was attracted to T'Pol. At first Archer thought T'Pol had no interest then he saw the only person T'Pol really argued with was Trip. Archer had heard more than one person call it verbal foreplay, and there were times sparks flew between them like they were standing in a bonfire.
The Expanse changed them all, Trip and T'Pol became closer and even Archer in isolation began to wonder if there was not something more than friendship between them. Meeting their son from a different time line kind of confirmed his suspicions.
Star Fleet officially discouraged romantic involvement, but it was usually left up to the Captain on if and when to intervene. Most of Star Fleet's leadership realized expecting no romantic involvement between crew members was unrealistic in missions that could last years. Jon handled the no-frat rules as method of ensuring romance did not effect on duty times. Jon very seldom had to step in and most of the people who became romantically involved remained professional.
Considering both Trip and T'Pol had been key in ensuring the Expanse mission was successful, Jon felt his don't ask policy was correct, at least at the time.
After the Expanse Trip and T'Pol looked like their relationship was going to grow even more, by this time Jon could see Trip was smitten with the Vulcan. But the universe kept putting hurdles between the two of them, T'Pol's forced marriage to Kos, the finding of the Kir'Shara, T'Pol's annulment from Kos, and the death of T'Pol's mother T'Les caused T'Pol to draw more and more into herself. Trip had tried to be supportive but she would not let him in.
Trip then retreated to the Colombia and T'Pol became even more withdrawn. Once Trip was back on board Enterprise, Jon decided he was going to get his friend and Engineer back, no matter what the situation between Trip and T'Pol was. Fortunately T'Pol seemed to be as determined to get him back as much as Archer, at least the reported lip lock in the corridor seemed to indicate that.
Then came Terra Prime, Jon felt heated anger thinking of Paxton and his group. What Paxton did to his friends was one of the cruelest things Jon could imagine. That did not even count the other crimes Paxton was guilty of, including killing over 60 aliens and humans when he separated his command center and flew it to Mars. A dark part of Jon wanted to kill Paxton slowly after he learned of the extent his crimes, fortunately for Jon, he was able to control his anger and hand Paxton over to the authorities, but a part still thought Paxton had gotten off to easy with life in prison.
Politically Paxton's actions backfired, after it became public knowledge Paxton had made a beautiful child and ensured she would die to make a point on the concept of so-called racial purity, only the most hard core Terra Prime members remained loyal to the group. The fringe members and the people who had simply distrusted aliens had reacted with disgust and horror and pulled away from the group. The surviving members where eventually rounded up or met with unexplained "accidents". Jon suspected Malcolm's former associates had something to do with that. Jon felt split on the issue, part of him was extremely uncomfortable a branch of intelligence would do that, another part felt it was a necessary action to remove a danger to Earth.
On the personnel side, Paxton's actions almost destroyed Jon's two most senior officers and friends. After the memorial service for Baby Elizabeth, Trip and T'Pol initially separated from each other, finding the shared grief and guilt overwhelming. For over two months Jon and the crew watched helplessly while the two spiraled downward. Jon and Phlox both attempted to talk to the two of them but were initially rebuffed. T'Pol only left her quarters while on duty, attempting to mediate her grief away. Trip would work himself to exhaustion, sleep and go back to work.
Jon was seriously thinking of removing both of them from duty because he feared they would destroy themselves and maybe unintentionally endanger the ship.
After a while though Jon noticed the two started drifting back together. It was not like they jumped right back into a romance, they were at first seen quietly talking with each other, then Trip told Jon they were attempting to meditate together, Archer found it strange the idea that Trip would mediate, but it seemed to help both of them. Eventually the ships grapevine indicated the two of them were back to being romantically involved. Jon was not sure what brought them back together, if it was the bond they shared, the human concept of love, or simply a need to share the overwhelming grief and heal, he suspected it was a combination of all three.
In their own ways they also started accepting the help of their friends and crewmates. Jon was extremely proud of how the entire crew, especially the Expanse veterans all provided support to Trip and T'Pol in any way they could. Later, even T'Pol had admitted to Jon that the support the crew provided to them had helped in facing their grief.
Jon checked the time, 12 minutes; damn the clock was moving like a glacier.
Jon thought how the Expanse had affected him. The Expanse almost destroyed him, he was forced to make decisions and carry out actions which still gave him nightmares and filled him with guilt. Archer still examined his decisions from the Expanse and the worst thing was he could not think of how he could have changed those decisions and still saved Earth. Jon likely would not have gotten through the time after the Expanse without Erica.
That thought brought a pang of deep sadness and loss. Jon and Erica had returned to their previous relationship when they could find time together. Archer then realized she was the person he wanted to grow old with. They actually had started making plans of life together once they both moved on from being Captains. But during the Romulan war the Colombia had disappeared with all hands, no trace was found of it or its crew. Trip and T'Pol both helped Jon get through that time of loss.
The Expanse had almost destroyed his friendship with Trip. It took them a while but eventually their friendship was repaired, it had changed and matured, but eventually they started sharing a drink after duty and watching water polo or football and just talking. It was something Jon was thankful for. Those talks over beer and water polo helped him accept the loss of Erica.
When the Romulan war started, Jon had almost made the same mistake he did in the Expanse. He pulled back from the crew and started to isolate himself in attempt to protect himself from the upcoming grief of lost crew. Fortunately, the command staff and the crew had made an unspoken agreement that they would not let Archer isolate himself. Both Trip and T'Pol made it a point to spend time with Archer when off duty. Hoshi religiously downloaded water polo matches so Trip would have an excuse to spend time with Jon. Travis had scheduled social events during the limited downtimes and everyone ensured Archer took part in those events. Malcolm actually would share meals with Archer occasionally and not talk about duty related issues, though Archer knew Malcolm was still a bit uncomfortable in those situations. Even many of the junior officers, NCOs and enlisted made it a point to speak to Archer whenever he was walking the corridors, something as simple as a "Good Morning Captain" helped.
They still had losses and Archer still felt guilt from losing people, but the support helped him get through the grief and guilt.
Archer felt damn proud of what his crew had accomplished in their ten years. History would likely remember him, for the good and the bad, but Archer had no delusions all they had accomplished over the years was due to all the people, both living and dead, that had served under him.
8 minutes to go, combat was easier to face then this.
Archer began his rotation around the room; he then heard a soft sigh of exasperation from T'Pol.
"Captain would you please stop!"
Jon turned to her and gave an apologetic half smile.
"Sorry just nervous"
T'Pol walked over and tried to adjust his collar that he had pulled open a bit earlier.
"Please stand still, if you hadn't waited until the last minute, you would have had time to memorize your speech"
Archer snorted "You sound like my ninth grade teacher"
Phlox spoke up "There are dignitaries from eighteen different worlds. It is a good sign. I wouldn't be surprised if this alliance begins to expand before we know it. You should be very proud of yourself, Captain"
Archer tried to joke "I'll be proud of myself if I get this speech out in one piece"
"That is not what I meant"
Archer smiled fondly at the Denobulan "I know what you meant, Phlox, and I appreciate it, but this is not about me"
T'Pol chimed in "Why do so many humans refuse to take credit where credit is due? There are times when modesty and humility are quite illogical"
An Ensign walked up and stated "Five minutes sir"
Archer nodded and the Ensign walked back up the stairs.
Phlox bid his goodbye "Well, I've got three wives waiting. I'd better go and join them. I'd wish you good luck, Captain, but you've always had an ample supply."
"Thank you, Doctor"
Phlox flashed his huge grin and walked off to join his family.
Archer jokingly told T'Pol "You better get out there. You don't want to miss me screwing this up."
"I'm going to remain down here, if you don't mind."
Archer smiled "You never did like crowds, did you?"
T'Pol gave him the arched eyebrow.
Archer turned serious "T'Pol you don't have to stay here to listen to this, I know you would rather be back at the hospital."
"It would be illogical, I am already here, plus Commander Tucker wanted me to be here to represent both of us"
"Did Trip's parents make it?"
"Yes, they visited him at the hospital, but he insisted they attend the signing"
Archer was glad Trip's parents had accepted T'Pol. They were about as emotional as you could get, but from everything he had seen and from what Trip had stated they had accepted the stoic Vulcan with open arms.
Archer smiled and stated "Well as soon as I can get out of here, let us say we meet back at the hospital and visit Trip, give him a chance to tell me everything I did wrong on this speech"
"Agreed, plus Commander Tucker wishes to ask you a favor."
Archer responded "Anything within my power, you have any idea what he wants?"
T'Pol's eyes showed a flash of humor "I believe he wants you to eventually perform the ceremony to make me "an honest woman""
Archer chuckled "I would be honored"
Archer saw the Ensign looking at him expectantly and said "Well here goes nothing"
As Archer walked up the stairs he heard T'Pol say "You look very heroic"
Archer felt a flash of emotion and strode quickly back down the stairs and gave the surprised Vulcan a big hug. She stiffened at first, but then tentatively returned the hug.
Archer stepped back with his hands on her shoulders, with his eyes shining with affection and said "I will see you soon at the hospital"
She simply nodded as her brown eyes returned the affection.
Archer strode up the stairs and stood beside the Ensign and awaited his queue. As he looked over the stadium and the huge crowd he felt his knees get weak.
Jon saw the queue flash and took the long walk towards the podium praying "Oh Lord, please don't let me screw this up".
Crowd applauded as he arrived at the dais, damn there was a lot of people.
He looked around the dais and the front rows and saw two of the people who had made this possible; he gave a nod to Soval sitting on the dais and saw Shran sitting in the front rows. Soval gave a regal nod back and Shran flashed a grin at Archer.
Jon took a deep breath as he began to speak.
"Today we are here to join all our worlds in historic alliance, an alliance which will hopefully grow and strengthen in the future. This alliance is built on the concept of peaceful interaction between our peoples, but it also will be a basis for mutual defense, trade, exchanging of ideas and the understanding of each of our cultures.
"We will encounter new races in the future in our exploration of space, some will wish to be our friends, some will wish to be left alone and some will be hostile. The first we will welcome, the second we should respect their wishes and the third we will guard against and if necessary protect ourselves from. But despite the dangers we must continue to explore and find out what is over the next hill. It is through exploration we will continue to grow and mature."
"I apologize to our Vulcan allies, but here is where I will get a bit emotional, but I am only human".
The crowd responded with a bit of chuckle at that, well except for the Vulcans of course.
"When I started my own personnel journey of exploration ten years ago, I thought I was ready to see what was out there. Well I was not, I had to readjust my conceptions of the universe and realize I would have to learn to look at the people I met not as simply as a member of different race but as unique individuals. I am proud now to say I consider among my closest friends unique individuals from Vulcan, Andoria, Denobula and numerous other races."
"I had to readjust from simply being an explorer, to become a diplomat and sometimes a soldier. For I found that there was danger in the universe, but I also found the wonders in exploring space. I have been privileged to see the natural beauty the universe has and the excitement of meeting new races."
The crowd responded with applause, which made Jon slightly less nervous.
"None of our races are perfect, but each of our races has strengths that will enhance this alliance. It is my hope we will face the future with the logic and reason of Vulcan, Humanities spirit and sense of adventure, the wisdom and compassion of Denobulans, the courage of an Andorian and the determination of a Tellirit. Each new race which decides to join our alliance will bring qualities that will strengthen the whole"
The crowd responded with strong applause to this, maybe Jon could get out of this alive.
"Some have labeled me as the driving force in this alliance. I do not consider myself that, but history will judge our place on its own. I do know what small part I have played in forming this alliance is due to the support of numerous individuals, some of who unfortunately are no longer with us. I would like to mention them all, but there is not enough time, but I feel compelled to mention some of them to honor how they have contributed to what we are building. Because greatness will not be achieved by our respective races, but by individuals from those respective races, even if history does not record these individuals, that does not lessen their contribution."
"The first is my father, Henry Archer, on Earth he is known for being the father of the warp five engine, but to me he was my inspiration, my hero and the man who first pointed me towards the stars. Whatever I have accomplished in my travels, the foundation was set by my father. I only wish he was here to see what he set in motion"
"Next is a man who was my commanding officer, friend, and mentor. Admiral Forrest was the driving force in Earth exploring the galaxy. He had the leadership, intellect and wisdom to guide us in this endeavor. He gave his life selflessly to save the life of another individual to protect the dream of this alliance and I miss his counsel every day."
The crowd responded favorably the mention of both Jon's father and his mentor.
"At the time, I questioned the sacrifice Admiral Forrest had made. To say I did not get along with the individual Admiral Forrest saved would be an understatement. I had always felt Ambassador Soval represented the reason we on Earth had not advanced farther in space travel. To be honest I called him a few unkind names over the years"
Jon could not help but smirk in Soval's direction, Soval responded with an eyebrow.
"But after Admiral Forrest death I realized Soval was one of the strongest allies Earth had. None has worked harder in the behind the scene negations between our respective worlds building this alliance then Ambassador Soval. I began to respect his courage and honor, then value his wisdom, and then, hopefully the Ambassador will forgive this emotional label, I eventually considered him my friend."
As the crowd applauded Soval, Jon saw Soval give a nod in Jon's direction.
"The next individual I would like to mention is someone I started out in conflict with. To be honest he knocked me around quite a bit on our first encounter. But he felt he owed me something and I have found that Fleet Captain Shran always repays his debts. He is a soldier and member of the Andorian Imperial Guard, sworn to protect Andoria which he has always done with determination and courage. But Shran also showed the wisdom for setting the foundation for the first lasting peace between Vulcan and Andoria in centuries. I found Shran tough and courageous, a person you do not want as an enemy, but who is a steadfast friend. Over the years a balance of debt has swung between Shran and me and we have argued who owes who. Well my friend I hope we continue those arguments for the rest or our lives.
Shran's antennas went straight up at the applause he received.
"I next have to mention the crew of Enterprise, whatever has been accomplished under my command was due to their courage, loyalty, and sacrifice. I cannot mention every member of the crew, even though they all deserve the recognition. I will however mention some the key individuals on Enterprise who have been instrumental in this alliance forming. I also have to say I owe my life and survival of my planet to all of them, from the command staff to lowest ranking crewmember, I also consider them like my family."
"The first is Lt. Commander Hoshi Sato, our ship's communications officer. When Hoshi first joined my crew as a young ensign she did not feel comfortable in space and would jump whenever the warp engines kicked off. But she was a brilliant linguist and was my voice in establishing relations with other races, some of who are now becoming members of this alliance. She also showed me the meaning of true courage by facing her fears in the most trying circumstances and excelling in performing her duties. Hoshi you always amazed me with intellect, grace under fire and determination, we would not have gotten here without your accomplishments."
"Lt. Commander Travis Mayweather is our chief helmsmen. Travis has spent his entire life in space, but to be honest he seemed to be a bit inexperienced when he first joined Enterprise. Part of this is because nothing and I mean nothing gets Travis down; he has maintained an upbeat attitude through some of our darkest times. Although it pains me to admit it as a fellow pilot, Travis is also the finest helmsmen I have ever had the privileged to see. He always maintained his composer while flying Enterprise through asteroid fields, enemy fire, space anomalies and whatever else the universe threw at us. Travis there is no one I would rather have at my helm when flying into danger then you."
"Then there is our ship's Doctor, Doctor Phlox from Denobula. Doctor Phlox is a brilliant and compassionate individual whose patience at times I know I tried. I have to admit it was a bit of challenge accepting some of Phlox's more unconventional treatments. But he healed our injuries and more importantly always would listen to our problems and concerns. Phlox you made me understand embracing new ideas and worlds and I will always value your friendship and wise council."
"Commander Malcolm Reed, Enterprise's Armory Officer, is not an easy man to know, he is extremely private. At times I thought he was paranoid to be honest, but I also have to admit he was usually right. He protected my ship and its crew over the years, many times at the risk of his own life. He has added his name to his family's long history of duty and honor. He was dedicated, courageous and defined the concept of duty. Malcolm I would trust no one more to guard my back then you."
"The next two people define what this alliance can accomplish. They are my two closest friends and my First and Second officers. When Commander T'Pol of Vulcan and Commander Charles Tucker III or Trip to his friends, first met they did not get along to say the least. They are both brilliant in their respective fields and both are strong willed individuals. In many ways the two of them are completely different, but in many ways they are extremely similar. T'Pol is scientist and Trip is an engineer, T'Pol is stoic and Trip is outgoing, T'Pol uses logic to guide her life and Trip uses emotions. But both define loyalty, courage, compassion and despite their differences make a hell of team. I watched their relationship go from antagonistic, to grudging respect, to friendship and finally to something more. They both have been instrumental in forming this alliance. Unfortunately Trip is recovering in the hospital after being injured saving my life. I request you keep him in your thoughts while he recovers. The two of them exemplify what individuals from two different races and cultures can do when they combine their abilities."
"These people and the rest of the crew have supported me, and without them I would not have accomplished any of what I have been given credit for."
Archer was pleased that the crew received strong applause from the crowd; they deserved whatever recognition they received.
"Finally we have to remember the individuals who gave the ultimate sacrifice, people from all our races who gave their lives so we could be standing here today. People like Captain Erica Hernadez and the crew of the Colombia, Major Matt Hayes of Earth's Military Assault Command, T'Les of Vulcan, Lt. Tales of Andoria and countless others. History may not remember their names, but we need to remember and honor these individuals and their family's sacrifices."
"In conclusion I want to use an expression of the Father or Vulcan logic Surak, "We have differences. May we, together, become greater than the sum of both of us." Let us all form a future that will be greater then what we can accomplish alone."
The applause rang though the stadium as Archer sat down next to Soval. He hoped he could get out here soon; he looked forward to visiting Trip.
Soval leaned towards Archer and said "An effective speech Captain"
Archer responded "Thanks Soval, does this mean you will quit mentioning my gazelle speech?"
A bit of humor flashed in Soval's eyes "Highly unlikely Captain"
Archer could not help but laugh out loud.