Title: Dyslexic Agnostics

Author: kyrdwyn

Rating: PG (language)

Spoilers: None

Summary:  Malcolm's sent on a rescue mission that wasn't quite what he expected.

Disclaimer:  Paramount's toys, my ideas.  Trust me, if these guys were mine, Porthos would be napping at my feet right now.

Author's Note: Yes, the title is odd.  The reason for it is at the end.  I was in an odd mood when I wrote this.  Thanks to Lady StarBlade, my beta, for the grammar and spell check.


"This is all your fault," the shuttle's pilot growled to the passenger sitting at one of the consoles behind him.  "If you hadn't decided to open your mouth, we would have been out of there and gone before the Narinian's even knew I was there."

The passenger growled something unintelligible back.

"But no, now we're out here, with three Narinian cruisers chasing us and another hour until Enterprise will be in com range."  He tossed a glare over his shoulder at the passenger.  "If I hadn't been all but ordered not to return to Enterprise without you, I'd be tempted to space you out the airlock and tell the captain that I couldn't find you."

Another comment from the passenger was cut off as the ship rocked in the wake of a torpedo fired by a Narinian cruiser.  "Shit!"  Lt. Malcolm Reed swore.  Fingers dancing across the control panel, he let loose with a barrage of his own, knocking out the engines of one of the pursuing ships.  An unholy grin of delight lit up his face at the sight of the ship falling behind its just as deadly sisters.  The shuttlepod might not be as heavily armed as he would like, but the trip back to Narinia had given him time to re-tune and align the targeting mechanism.

"One down, two to go," he murmured as he set up a second shot.  "You could be useful and send out a message to Enterprise or something," he tossed over his shoulder.  A flash on a screen had Reed rolling the pod to one side to avoid another torpedo.  "Bloody hell; that one almost got us."  He sent another torpedo back at his pursuers.  It missed this time, but sparked an attempt at communication from them.

"Teya gigrisk nyo-va!  Tovare helretha da-vineek!"

Malcolm snorted, knowing that Hoshi hadn't had time to update the shuttle's UT with the Narinian language database.  However, he could take a good guess at what they were saying.  And he wasn't about to surrender or return his passenger to the Narinians.  The captain was expecting the two of them back on Enterprise, and Malcolm Reed was not about to fail at this mission.

However, he was going to have to make his next shots count.  He wanted to return to Enterprise with some weapons still on the shuttle, rather than expending all of them on the Narinians.

Calculating one trajectory in his head and another on the targeting computer, he figured he could take out both ships without destroying them - he had a feeling that the captain wouldn't approve - and still have enough torpedoes that when he got back to Enterprise he could pass off the missing ones as target practice. 

Well, it would be the truth, he thought with a half-smile.

Two more shots and Malcolm was in the clear, both of the Narinian vessels joining their already crippled sister in limping back to their planet.  He turned back to his passenger.  "What the hell did you do to convince them that you were a god?" he asked.

All he got in response was a smile.

*          *          *          *          *          *

The captain was in the launch bay as soon as the shuttle pod and its occupants had cleared decontamination to Dr. Phlox's satisfaction.  Reed popped the hatch and glared at his superior officer.  From what Hoshi had just told him, Enterprise had seen the little firefight, but hadn't gone to high warp fast enough to join in.

"Have a good time, Malcolm?" Jonathan Archer asked cheerfully.

Malcolm mentally reminded himself of the penalties for decking a superior officer.  "Marvelous.  Sir.  So sorry you weren't there to enjoy it."

Behind Archer, Trip Tucker chuckled. "Aw, c'mon, Malcolm.  Ya can't tell me ya didn't enjoy gettin' ta blow things up at will."

"Yes, well, it would have been more enjoyable if I hadn't had to worry about creating an interstellar incident by completely destroying three Narinian vessels after I'd already kidnapped the personification of their deity from a secure compound."  Malcolm was inwardly pleased to see the shock on Jonathan Archer's face at that bit of news.  Trip's expression was even better, mouth hanging open and blue eyes wide.

"Personification of their deity?  Ya don't mean…"

Malcolm allowed himself a small smile as he helped his passenger out of the shuttlepod.  "Indeed.  Porthos was elevated to godhood."

The beagle wriggled out of Malcolm's arms and into Archer's, happy to be home at last.  He licked Archer's face frantically, tail thumping hard on both of his master's arms. 

Trip laughed.  "Wonder what the penalty for god-napping is?"

"Trip, don't give Porthos any ideas about his status on Enterprise, okay?"

"Aw, Cap'n, not like Porthos doesn't think this is his ship already."

"You mean it's not?"  Malcolm asked with perfect outward sincerity.  Archer glared at him while Trip smiled. 

The engineer and the armory officer watched as their captain reassured his pet that leaving Porthos behind on Narinia hadn't been deliberate.  The two men exchanged glances, trying to hide smirks at the sight of Jonathan Archer, Captain of Starfleet's flagship, practically cooing at his pet to ensure the puppy was alright.

"Well," Tucker drawled, "I wonder if the Narinians will be up nights now, wondering if there really is a dog."

At that, all three men laughed while Porthos barked in agreement.