“How’d it go?” Archer asked as Trip and Malcolm came back onto the bridge. He noticed Trip had the journal in his hands and was flipping through it.
"It was surprisingly easy to secure the weapons,” Malcolm said as he strode to his post, motioning the security officer who had taken over for him out of the seat. “The Phoenix was much more technologically advanced than was normal for that time period. The missiles all have AI technology.”
“And she’s down six of them,” Trip said, reading something with such intensity he nearly ran into the railing circling the lower level of the bridge. “I think they were on a mission when whatever it was happened.”
“What are you reading?” Archer wanted to know.
“I checked the ship’s log. Its pass worded, but did give me the date. I’m looking for it in the journal.”
“Why?” T’Pol wanted to know as she swung around in her seat.
“We know they got back to Earth because none of them were married while the team was active and none of them had children until after the war. I want to find out what mission they were on. It might help us figure out how to get them back.”
“You could simply ask them when they regain consciousness.” T’Pol suggested.
Trip shook his head. “I’m betting they’re going to cite security and not tell us squat.” He stopped reading and a grin appeared on his lips. “Got it.”
“What does it say?” Hoshi asked.
Trip cocked his head at her. “I thought you didn’t want to hear anything about the journal.”
“Trip, just read it,” Archer ordered, shifting in his Captain’s seat to give Trip an exasperated look.
“All right.” Trip cleared his throat. “We damn near got killed yesterday,” he read. “We thought Zoltar finally had gotten the upper hand on us. He shot some kind of mega missiles at New York City. We hit them with everything we had and destroyed all but one. Jason hit it with not one but six of the TBXs with no affect. We dubbed it the Mega Missile.”
“From what I know of the weapons used during their time period,” Malcolm commented, “that mega missile was something we’d have trouble with.”
“Jason then suggested we try Fiery Phoenix,” Trip continued. “We didn’t know what would happen once we hit it.”
The others looked at him in horror.
“They purposefully went kamikaze on a mega missile?” Travis gawked. “We’re they crazy?”
“To answer your question, no,” Trip said and went back to the journal. “Five lives for millions. It was the only choice we could make.”
“They were going to sacrificed themselves.” Hoshi hugged herself and looked at the floor.
“We were willing to sacrifice ourselves to stop the Zindi,” Archer reminded her.
“That was how G-Force operated.” Trip reached over to squeeze her arm. “This wasn’t the first time they risked everything to save lives.”
“What is this ‘Fiery Phoenix’? T’Pol asked.
“That’s one of the mysteries I was hoping they could explain,” Trip admitted, keeping his finger on the page so he wouldn’t lose his place. “From what I’ve read and the pictures I’ve seen, Fiery Phoenix was one of their weapons. The entire ship would be engulfed in flames so hot it could destroy whatever mech it came into contact with but the ship somehow kept its integrity. Witnesses said the ship would take on the form of a giant fire bird and a lot of people swore the wings flapped like it really was flying and it screeched just like a bird. Once they accomplished whatever it was they were using it for, the ship converted back to its original form. It was incredibly stressful on them, so they only used the weapon if they had no other choice.”
“That is not possible,” T’Pol stated in her matter-of-fact manner.
“I’ve got pictures in my collection of it. They’re not that great and they’re old, but I can show them to you,” he countered.
“Trip, what else does it say?” Archer asked. Trip returned to the book.
“We plotted an intercept course and initiated Fiery Phoenix. We hit the missile and all hell broke loose. We took severe damage and the blast sent us tumbling. We all lost consciousness and next thing I knew, I woke up with a foot of water at my station.”
“She has not mentioned Enterprise,” T’Pol pointed out. Trip pursed his lips and waved a hand at her.
“And what do you think would have happened if they’d told their superiors they went through a wormhole and ended up in the future?” he wanted to know. “I’ll tell you what. They would have been put in a padded room and treated for battle fatigue and post-traumatic stress disorder. Then we would have lost the war.”
“What else?” Archer wanted to know.
“The Chief told us we successfully destroyed the missile and the blast had thrown us out beyond Manhattan Island. We’d crashed into the Atlantic while still fiery. We ended up having to use Keyop’s buggy to get out two at a time before the bridge totally flooded. Lots of cuts and bruises and Jason had a dislocated shoulder, but we survived and so did New York City.”
“So we know they got back,” Travis mused.
“Has anyone considered how we’re going to convince them they are in the future and we’re their descendants?” Malcolm asked.
“The Enterprise won’t be enough proof this is the future?” Hoshi wondered.
“Probably not.” Trip closed the journal and waved it in the air. “That was a tactic of Zoltar’s: capturing them and trying to trick them after they woke up that they were in the future and Spectra had won the war because they disappeared.”
“Then how do we approach it?” Malcolm looked expectantly at Trip.
“There are DNA tests that would prove it,” T’Pol pointed out but Archer shook his head.
“They only had rudimentary DNA test capabilities back then. I don’t think they’d believe it,” He said.
“We have the journal.” Trip waved it again. “Princess will be able to tell it’s really hers.”
“What about the others? We have to convince all of them,” Archer said. Trip shook his head.
“I don’t think so. I think if we convince Princess and Jason, they’ll be able to convince the others.”
“How are we going to convince Jason? You’ve told me several times he was incredibly stubborn and suspicious.” Archer waited expectantly.
“I know a story about him that was kept pretty hush-hush in the family. I’ll remind him of it.”
“Care to share with us?” Malcolm grinned broadly and Trip grinned back.
“No. I said hush-hush.”
“Captain.” T’Pol clasped her hands behind her back, which usually meant she had something to say she felt he might not like.
“I do not believe telling your ancestors you are their descendants is a good idea.”
“Why not?” Trip asked. “It lends some credibility to their being in the future.”
“The mere fact they are here could be a danger to the timeline,” T’Pol responded, staring at him as if he should already have deduced the fact. “For one thing, you stated at this point in their lives they have not produced children. Knowing they would become parents could influence their lives in ways that might be dangerous to them and us. You cannot tell them who they have children with. You cannot tell them of their children’s lives.”
Trip stared at her as if she’d grown horns before making an unhappy face as he thought over her words.
“We’ve got to tell them something.” He turned towards Archer expectantly. The Captain returned his look with one of deep thought.
“So we tell them as little as possible?” Malcolm asked. “We could tell them it’s for that very reason, to preserve the timeline.”
“Then the question is what do we tell them.” Travis shrugged his shoulders.
“All right.” Archer looked at each of them. “We’ll start with showing Princess her journal –"
“I advise against that as well,” T’Pol interjected.
“Why?” Trip’s blue eyes narrowed as if he was becoming cross with her.
She brushed off his annoyance. “Human curiosity is a strong compulsion. She may be tempted to look at entries beyond the date you have identified as their current date.”
Trip rolled his eyes. “Then we’ll just have to mark that date and ask her really nice not to go past that date.”
“I agree with Trip, T’Pol,” Archer told her. “That journal is the most important item we can show them. Now, what about your hush-hush story?” Archer asked Trip. The engineer sighed and looked away.
“It reveals a little, but I don’t know of any other way to convince him and if he doesn’t believe us, no one else will.”
“I would think Princess could convince them,” Hoshi argued.
“What about T’Pol?” Travis tuned to the Vulcan. “We introduce her.” She cocked her head towards him.
“How would that prove their in the future?” Malcolm wanted to know.
“She’d an alien to Earth,” Travis pointed out.
“So were the Spectrans,” T’Pol pointed out.
“All right.” Archer set his shoulders. “Let’s try Princess first and then if there’s still doubts, Trip can pull Jason aside and talk to him,” Archer decided, looking for any dissension. One by one, they nodded.
The intercom in the briefing room pinged and Archer walked over to activate it. “Archer here.”
“Captain, our guests are awake and suspicious. Could you please come to talk to them?” Phlox asked. Archer frowned at the tone of the doctor’s voice. He didn’t sound happy.“On our way.” Archer deactivated the intercom and faced his command team. “I don’t want to overwhelm them, so just Hoshi and Trip for now. Bring the book,” he ordered.