I'm sorry its taken me so long to update my story, but I've got so many to do its hard to keep up, and I've got the real world to deal with. If I could live in fandom I would, but I have to make a living.
Hyperspace Part 2.
The 37s, Jump into the atmosphere.
So far Jonathan Archer's mission to explore the Delta Quadrant was proceeding as planned, they'd made some friends and enemies, and the Vidiians had formally contacted Earth to commend the Enterprise crew for their help. Negotiations to use Vidiian space to launch further exploration teams into the Delta Quadrant were proceeding well from what Archer had heard. Personally he hoped it went well, with the Vidiians backing them up and allowing them to study their culture, Earth would soon rise to a level of knowledge even the Vulcans had never before attained.
In the meantime Archer had plenty of space to explore. When they encountered another Earth ship, they would exchange information before moving on to another sector.
Subcommander T'Pol hated to admit it, even under her Vulcan pride and calm, but her logic had to admit she was impressed by how the humans were taking the logical approach into exploring the galaxy. In just under twenty years Starfleet had charted, catalogued and analysed 60 times more cultural and astrometic data than her people had in the last 3 centuries.
It was enough to make the usually stoic Vulcan jealous, but she wasn't. The humans were just naturally a very thorough race. They were honest researchers, they never treated anything as trivial or irrelevant. They tried it all. At the moment, however, she was confused. The confusion was shared by her captain.
" Rust, in the vacuum of space?" Archer asked, moving around the bridge to her station. Leaning over her, Archer was able to see it for himself. The move was typical of Archer, and T'Pol had once resented it, but humans had the problem of believing something with their own eyes. It wasn't their fault.
Archer frowned at the readings. " High levels of ferric oxide. Corroded iron particles. " He shook his head before looking around the bridge, he asked rhetorically. " Could someone tell me how iron could rust without oxygen?" Not expecting an answer, the captain's eyes turned to Mr Mayweather.
" Travis, alter our course to follow that trail of rust."
" Aye sir."
It didn't take them long to get there, when T'Pol, who was watching the science monitors added another surprise, one that made as little sense as the discovery of rust had. " Captain, I'm picking up traces of hydrocarbons in the rust. They are complex. Benzene, ethylene, acetylene..."
Tucker, who'd just appeared from the turbolift, overheard this when the turbolift door closed. " Sounds like gasoline to me," he remarked.
Archer frowned. " A fuel from the 20th-21st centuries, rust in space...is there anything else out there that's a surprise for today?"
" More to the point, sir, how did it get out here?" Reed asked, then his station picked something up. " I think we're about to find out. Sensors are picking up the source of the rust and hydrocarbons."
" On screen."
The starfield on the screen changed slightly, but the source was so small they couldn't see it. " Magnify." The screen changed again, this time showing a red truck of the like they hadn't seen outside of museums.
Transporting the truck to the cargo bay wasn't the difficult part, it was easy. A team was going over the truck by the time Archer arrived, Tucker following close behind. One of the team hurried over to them, holding out a padd. " I've been trying to track the trucks registration through the uplink with the historical computers back home, sir. The only problem is some vehicles weren't registered with licence holders, and some of the records were lost in the wars of the 21st century."
Archer nodded, pleased by this crewman's attention to detail. " Well at least its a start. Tell us about it." Walking over to the truck with Trip, the crewman followed, explaining about it.
" Its a 1936 Ford, a ground vehicle used in the 20th century. The engine is apparently new, none of the parts were badly worn on our first scans, and there's still fuel in its tank. I'd say it had been used about a year before it ended up, well, here." The crewman was still talking as his captain went around the antique. " We've done a complete scan of it. There's an almost untraceable E / M signature in the chassis and the rest of it, which suggests it was transported either to a ship or a planet."
" That would explain how it got out here," Tucker said more to himself.
The crewman nodded. " Smell it, we didn't know what it was, but there were traces of ammonium, methane, and potassium nitrate," he said.
Archer smelt it, and nodded. " Horse manure."
" There's also dirt around the wheels," the crewman agreed. " Looks like this truck belonged to a farmer or someone who lived in a rural area. That would explain the manure, unless of course the owner liked carrying horse manure around. The wheels are caked in it."
Trip, being the engineer he was, had already taken a long and admiring look at the engine, and had determined it was still workable. He got inside the drivers seat. Antique vehicles had been a hobby of his for as long as he could remember, and it didn't take him long to remember how to actually start the engine. After coughing back into life, the engine let out a terrible smell from the exhaust, making one or two crewmen choke. " We should vent this room, to let in some air."
Archer came over. " Trip, next time, please warn us."
Trip smirked sheepishly. " Sorry."
He found the radio, and with an impish impulse, he turned it on. " Wow, that's not what I expected." A beeping pulse had just come from the set.
" Sounds like a message," Archer remarked. Trip frowned, and tweaked the controls. A series of beeps came from the set. " Not random interference," Trip remarked. " Sounds like one of them morse code movies, ya know in those world war 2 movies?"
" Yeah, Trip. I got that."
Grabbing a scanner, Trip ran the noise through the ships computer. He looked up from the results. " Its an ancient Earth distress call known as an SOS."
Hoshi Sato had no trouble tracking the SOS signal. Her communications station was designed to pick up something as crude as smoke signals, so this was easy. It was unexpected as well.
" I've found the source of the SOS. Its coming from a planet in a star system bearing 310, mark 215."
" Mr Mayweather, lay in a course." To Hoshi, the captain asked pointedly. " Why didn't we pick this signal up earlier?"
Hoshi shrugged apologetically. " We don't normally monitor this frequency. Besides, we monitor faster than light signals, this one travels merely at the speed of light. We don't actively pick up radio signals, not unless we deliberately look for them."
That made sense for Archer. In the early days Earth had transmitted radio signals into space because they had no other way of attracting attention, and even to this day none of those messages, of peace, of wanting someone to drop in and prove to humans aliens existed, it just didn't happen because people were looking for faster than light communications. It took Zefram Cochrane's hyperdrive engine to send up the flare.
" Course laid in," Travis reported.
Archer sat down in his chair before giving the order. " Maximum hyperdrive. Engage."
When Enterprise came out of hyperdrive, Archer turned his heads to his science officer. " Full scan, T'Pol."
T'Pol ran the sensor scans, then looked up. " The signal is coming from the third planet in the system, Captain. Its a class L world, oxygen-argo atmosphere. There's a great deal of atmospheric interference in the upper atmosphere levels. I can't get any clear readings."
Archer nodded, thinking about how they were going to investigate the mystery if they couldn't get there. An idea came to mind, but he wanted to be sure before he attempted it. " Can you track the source of the call?"
" Yes," T'Pol replied a moment later. " It's coming from a continent in the Northern hemisphere."
Trip looked over at Archer. " No way we can transport through the interference, even with our level of transporters. We try, and it would be like sending a lump of cheese through a grater. Shuttles are also out, the atmosphere is charged with trinimbic turbulence. Our shuttles wouldn't navigate the currents."
Archer looked down thoughtfully, then looked at Trip. " Trip, do you remember that seminar back at Starfleet about jumping from space into an atmosphere?"
At once Trip saw where his friend was going with this. " Jon, that's theory. Jumping into a planet like Earth or Vulcan, that's one thing, but how about this atmosphere? The interference could cause damage to our hyperdrive engines. And anyway, what then? We can't land the ship."
" We won't have to," Archer smiled. " We can hover above the ground, and we can transport down to the surface in safety."
Seeing he wasn't going to get anywhere by arguing, Trip left the bridge. " I'll be in engineering."
When he'd left, Archer turned to Reed. " Blue alert, Mr Reed."
The bridge lighting darkened into a blue light.
They were in condition blue.
Trips worries about the jump were wrong, Enterprise managed to jump through the interference, like a whale diving to avoid a surface fire. If they'd tried landing the ship through the atmosphere, the turbulence would've rocked the ship, but for the advanced hyperdrive engine, the jump meant they missed it.
Hovering above the surface of the planet, Enterpise was no more than 2 kilometres from the distress call source.
" Lovely day." Archer remarked. Indeed it was. After that landing, no one would ever believe that they'd arrived in this planet's equalent of Cape horn.
Sato checked her scanner. It wasn't everyday they explored a new world, and this signal had fascinated her, so she'd come along. She also wanted to stretch her legs. " I've locked onto the source of the distress signal. Its 1.5 km, bearing of 246."
T'Pol was also checking her own Vulcan scanner. " There's a high concentration of Trianium particles. Bearing 225, a little over a kilometre away. Its energy levels read it as a power source of some kind."
" Two teams," Archer ordered. " TPol, you lead your team to the power source and investigate. I'll take my team and check out the distress signal. Hoshi, Trip, you're with me."
It was like Earth, the planet. It was incredibly peaceful. And quiet. There was no evidence anyone had come here. No signs of civilisation, except for that power source and the mysterious distress signal. Walking down a steep hill overlooking a valley, Archer stopped. He couldn't believe it. " Oh, my god."
In the valley was a plane, an old fashioned plane from Earth, the 1930s. Its silver hull reflecting the light of the sun, but Archer's eyes took in its streamlined shape. This was the precursor to ships like Enterprise.
Trip whistled appreciately. " Aluminium alloy hull. Beautiful."
Hoshi had another appreciation. " The distress signal is coming from inside."
Opening up the plane was like entering a museum, or that time portal, the Guardian of Forever. Archer ran his eyes over the old fashioned controls and dials, imagining how it must have felt in the point in time when planes like this were considered marvels of the age.
" I've found it," Hoshi's voice broke through his thoughts. " The AM transmitters broadcasting the SOS."
Something occurred to Archer. " What about the power source? Somehow I doubt the battery has run for the last hundred years or so."
Galvanised by the realisation her captain was right, Hoshi set to work to find out what it was. It didn't take her long. Two leads led away from the controls, to the leg room for the pilot on the left, to a small red cube that pulsated. " Captain, there's a fusion based generator. Its alien, and its linked to the AM transmitter."
Archers communicator chirped. Flipping it open, T'Pol's voice came from it. " T'Pol to Archer. We've discovered the source of the Trianium. Its some sort of mine shaft. I'd like to bring down another security detachment before we go inside."
Archer nodded approvingly though the Vulcan couldn't see it. " Good idea. I'll join you. Archer out." Closing the communicator, he turned to Trip.
" Stay here, and analyse the alien generator. Then see what you can find out about the SOS. Someone left it on, they may still be here."
As Archer left, he didn't notice the gray dressed figure watching from above.
By the time Archer joined her, T'Pol had the security detachment waiting, each one carrying torches. " There's a fusion based generator up ahead." T'Pol reported after two minutes of walking through the dark cave.
Archer nodded, " The generator powering the AM transmitter was also fusion based. We'll compare the two when we get back to Enterprise." He decided.
Their scanners led them down another passageway, to a small set of steps leading inside a bronze coloured metal chamber. It was well lighted, and the Starfleet officers had no trouble turning their torch beams off. Archer couldn't believe it when he saw the lines of cubicles covered by misted glass or plastic.
" This appears to resemble a cryostasis chamber." T'Pol reported.
" How many bodies are there here?"
T'Pol checked. " Eight. The equipment is still functioning, and there are definite signs this chamber is well maintained, components checked and removed every now and then."
Reed was ever the pragmatist. " That means there are people on this planet."
Archer went over to one of the chambers, the shadow of someone around his height inside, imposing. With his sleeve, Archer wiped it, and found himself looking at an Oriental man wearing an old fashioned military uniform. " Human, from the clothes he'd from the same era as the vehicle and the aircraft we've found."
T'Pol held up her scanner. " Lifesigns are minimal, but he's still alive."
Stunned a human from the 1930s was alive, on an alien world, Archer checked the other cubicles. Reed reported, " According to our readings, there are five other stasis chambers nearby. No lifesigns in any of them."
Archer picked the chamber on the Oriental man's left, but on Archer's right. " A woman," he commented, gazing at the cropped hair of an attractive woman inside. " She's wearing a leather jacket, with a badge with a pair of gold wings. There's a name tag on it. A. Earhart." Gaping, Archer swung round. " Amelia Earhart."