Rear Admiral Jonathan Archer ran around the track at Starfleet Academy in order to test his new prosthetic left leg and left arm. He wore Starfleet issued gym gear and had two Starfleet security lieutenants as his permanent guards. He was a hero and a man important to the new coalition. He was also hated by Terra Prime, so T'Les and T'Mir were under constant guard. Finishing his sixth lap, he stopped to accept a towel from one of his body guards. Wiping the sweat off, he noticed Admiral Duval and his entourage headed his way.
"Jonathan, you are looking better," he said.
"Feeling better, too," he said.
"Good because I have Tellerite, Andorian, and Coridan ambassadors waiting to see you," said Duval.
Archer looked down at the track. He was now Starfleet's de facto ambassador building this coalition. Instead of fighting this war, he was expected to cobble together a treaty everyone could live under.
"Sir, I want a ship," said Archer.
"First, you give me a rock solid coalition and then you can have a ship and the 1st Fleet to command," said Duval.
"What about the Vulcans?" asked Archer.
"T'Pau won't come to earth, so Soval is headed to Vulcan to discuss Vulcans chances of joining the coalition," said Duval.
"We need them," said Archer.
"Leave that to Tucker and T'Pol, Rear Admiral Archer," smiled Duval.
Hearing Trip's and T'Pol's names made Archer smile. If ever he trusted that Trip would come through for him, it was now. They needed the Vulcans for the coalition. Vulcan being a member of the coalition will also bring Rigel and a few other worlds with them. The more worlds that joined them the better the chances of defeating the Romulans.
"You should get in your casual dress uniform. You are officially back on duty and have appointments to keep," said Duval.
"Yes, sir," said Archer.
Duval turned to leave, but Archer stopped him.
"Sir," he said.
Duval turned and looked at him.
"My old crew. What is happening with them?" asked Archer.
"Captain Malcolm Reed will be taking out the new Enterprise when it is ready in three months with your old crew," Duval grinned. "We need an Enterprise in the fight, Rear Admiral Archer."
Archer's face cracked open in a smile.
"Thank you, sir."
"Get dress," growled Duval, who turned and left.
Admiral Valdore sat in his ready room on the Warbird Vengeance. The earthers surprised him. They adapted quicker than he thought they would. They had managed to stay ahead of Romulan in terms of warp speed and were catching up in terms of firepower. Now that they were building a coalition he was putting his faith in cloaking technology. They more cloaked ships that Romulus possessed the better their chance of striking important target unseen. He touched his comm button.
"Captain Varis," he spoke, "get me to our new shipyards. I want to talk to our scientists and engineers."
"Yes, sir," came Varis' voice.
He sat back in his chair and sighed. If he could capture some of Starfleet's better engineers and scientists, he could use them to help with his problem. Somehow he thought that Humans could help him with his problems. So far, they had proven to be one of the more clever races that the Romulan Star Empire had encountered. He was starting to admire them. Too bad they needed to die.
Trip looked at his dinner guests. Commander Flynn and Commander T'Pol sat to his right and Soval and his top aide Speck sat to his left. The first course of the meal was vegetable soup. Trip ran his spoon through the broth and wished he had asked for some hot sauce. The next course was vegetarian lasagna. He was starting to wish they were hauling Andorian ambassadors instead of Vulcan.
Adun, behave. The Vulcans are our guest.
Trip found himself smiling. This deeper connection to T'Pol was more than he hoped for. He tried the soup.
"So, Ambassador Soval, do you think T'Pau will join the coalition?" Trip asked.
"I hope to convince her and I hope to have your assistance in doing so," he said. "You see T'Pau is hesitant in joining an overtly military coalition."
"It's only overtly military because of the Rommies," said Trip. "Once we have defeated them, this coalition has the possibility of being a coalition for peace and expedition."
"Do you really believe that, Captain?" asked Speck.
"I have to believe that because I really don't want to be at war for the rest of my life. I joined Starfleet to explore and meet new cultures not kill," said Trip.
Soval nodded his approval.
"I believe you will be able to assist me in making T'Pau see the benefit of joining this coalition of planets," said Soval.
"I'm not Jonathan Archer, but I'll try, Soval," said Trip.
"I think you will prove effective, Captain Tucker," said Soval then he looked at T'Pol. "I also expect you will help. T'Pol."
"How can I help?" she asked him.
"You are a shining example of the IDIC. Captain Tucker and you are a true coming together freely and openly of cultures," he said. "I can feel the strength of your bond."
T'Pol didn't say anything, but Trip spoke up.
"You can feel our bond?" he asked.
"Anyone who is highly sensitive can," said Soval. "I am impressed by its strength. Can you communicate without words?"
"Yes," answered T'Pol.
Soval nodded his approval.
"You think the strength of our bond will help prove to T'Pau that the coalition is a worthy venture," stated Trip.
"Yes, I do," said Soval. "You prove that there is hope beyond the military needs."
Trip looked at T'Pol and smiled then said, "Well, darling, bonding is a good thing."
T'Pol lifted her left eyebrow and replied, "A very good thing indeed."