The Communicator
Original Airdate: Nov 13, 2002

[Launch bay]

(a shuttlepod has just returned from a planet. It's crew are not in uniform and they have foreheads with distinctive lines across them and no eyebrows)
HOSHI: I need to spend more time in the gym.
ARCHER: If I knew there were going to be so many hills I would have picked a different city to explore.
REED: It was worth every step, sir. The architecture alone.
HOSHI: I could have spent all day in that temple.

[Decon chamber]

REED: (as everyone peels off their fake foreheads) With your permission, Captain, I'd like to write the report to Starfleet. It was my first visit to a pre-warp culture. Seems only fitting.
HOSHI: I don't suppose it has anything to do with the tactical situation down there.
REED: Am I that obvious?
ARCHER: I can't think of a better man for the job.
PHLOX: (through observation window) Welcome home.
ARCHER: Any unexpected guests?
PHLOX: Not a single parasite, spore or virus. I take it your expedition was productive?
ARCHER: Very.
PHLOX: You're done here.

[Locker room]

ARCHER: You know, as interesting as that was, it's always good to get home.
REED: The speaker at the political rally, what was his name? Chancellor Kultrey?
HOSHI: Kultarey.
REED: You could write a book about him alone. His speech reminded me of Winston Churchill before the Second World War. (starts hunting through pockets)
ARCHER: Something wrong? Malcolm?
REED: My communicator.
ARCHER: What about it?
REED: It's gone.

[Launch bay]

(Hoshi is checking down the back of the pods seats as Archer looks underneath outside)
REED: It's not in decon. Any luck?
ARCHER: None yet.
REED: What about the launch bay crew? Could they have found it while they were securing the pod?
ARCHER: I've already spoken to them.
HOSHI: I did everything but tear up the floor plating.
ARCHER: When was the last time you remember having it?
REED: I contacted T'Pol to let her know we'd entered the city.
ARCHER: After that. Did you have any reason to take it out of your pocket?
REED: No.
ARCHER: Are you sure?
REED: I'd remember. Either I dropped it or someone picked my pocket.
ARCHER: We covered a lot of ground. It could be anywhere.
HOSHI: I think I can narrow down the search, Captain. An inverse carrier wave should amplify its power signature. With any luck, I'll be able to isolate it.

[Bridge]

HOSHI: I'm getting something. I've got it down to two square kilometres.
ARCHER: Can you do a little better?
HOSHI: I'll try.
TUCKER: Didn't you say something about a war brewing down there?
ARCHER: We saw a lot of propaganda, but from what we could tell nobody started fighting yet.
T'POL: It's crucial we retrieve the technology. We can't risk contaminating a pre-warp culture.
HOSHI: I've isolated the signal to within three city blocks. That's the best I can do, sir.
REED: This L-shaped structure. isn't that the fountain? The one with the statues. The tavern was directly across the street, here. The communicator could have slipped out of my pocket when we sat down.
ARCHER: It's a good place to start. (to T'Pol) You've got the Bridge. Tell Doctor Phlox we're going to need his cosmetic services again.
TUCKER: You could use another set of eyes down there, Captain.
ARCHER: I appreciate the offer, Trip, but the fewer set of eyes, the better.
TUCKER: I'm a regular bloodhound.
ARCHER: Next time.

[Shuttlepod]

ARCHER: (piloting) We'll be in range of their surveillance towers in less than two minutes.
REED: The hull plating's already been polarised.
ARCHER: Your feet ready for another hike?
REED: It's not a problem, sir. Captain. my carelessness was inexcusable. I'm prepared for whatever reprimand you feel is appropriate.
ARCHER: How about thirty years in the brig, or maybe a good flogging?
REED: Sir,
ARCHER: It was an accident, Malcolm. It could have happened to any of us.
REED: Three military aircraft, seventy two kilometres off starboard. I suggest you increase our descent vector. That should keep us well below their visual threshold.
(the pod lands in woods just outside the city, at night)

[Tavern]

(Archer and Reed sit at a table by the wall, on pew-like benches with very high backs for privacy - and when I can remember the name of the pub where I've sat in exactly those type of seat, I'll let you know)
ARCHER: (after Reed has a look on the floor) This was the table?
REED: Positive.
ARCHER: Try your scanner.
BARKEEP: Welcome back. What would you like?
ARCHER: Can you give us a few minutes?
BARKEEP: Of course. Where's your friend? The young woman.
ARCHER: You have a good memory.
BARKEEP: She was difficult to forget.
ARCHER: I'll pass along the compliment.
BARKEEP: Do you live here?
ARCHER: No, just visiting.
BARKEEP: We received a shipment of Allakas malt this afternoon.
ARCHER: Sounds good.
(Barkeep goes over to another table and gives the men there a special look)
REED: (using scanner) I've got it.
ARCHER: Where?
REED: It's in a room, off that corridor.
ARCHER: Were you in there?
REED: No.
(the pair walk slowly across and through the bead curtain, watched by the Barkeep and the other men)
REED: There are two people inside.
ARCHER: Better wait till they come out.
(they go back into the main room, and three men stand up. A fight starts, but Reed is knocked down and Archer has a gun jammed in his back. They're hauled off into that back room)
PELL: (holding up the missing communicator) Does this belong to you? What is it?
ARCHER: I don't know.
(Reed and Archer are pushed against the wall and searched)
PELL: (holding the phase pistol) What kind of weapon is this? (silence) Where's General Gosis?
SOLDIER: On the Eastern perimeter.
PELL: Send a level four communiqué and tell him I think we've found a pair of enemy spies. Take them to the Complex and put your men on alert. You won't be seeing your friends in the Alliance for a long time.

[Bridge]

TUCKER: I'm telling you, something's gone wrong. We should hail them.
HOSHI: If they're in a public place, the communicator would draw attention.
T'POL: We'll have to take that risk. T'Pol to Captain Archer.
HOSHI: The comm. line's open.
T'POL: Captain, please respond. Close the channel.
TUCKER: Did you get a fix on the signal?
HOSHI: Somewhere in this district.
TUCKER: That's more than thirty kilometres from the tavern. Where's the shuttlepod?
HOSHI: It hasn't moved.
TUCKER: They couldn't have travelled that far on foot. Not that fast.
HOSHI: Maybe they took a train or a car.
TUCKER: If there was a change of plan, they would've told us.
T'POL: Try to isolate their biosigns. I want to know exactly where they are.
HOSHI: There are nearly a hundred thousand people in that part of the city.
TUCKER: We'd have more luck if we moved into a lower orbit.
T'POL: Any closer and we'd be detected. Do your best.

[Detention centre - cell]

(Archer watches a guard on patrol while Reed checks his blisters)
ARCHER: Still bothering you?
REED: I didn't have time to visit the doctor. I wonder if the guard would bring us some Epsom salts, if I asked politely.
ARCHER: I wouldn't count on it.
REED: We came down to retrieve my communicator. Now we've lost two of them. Not to mention my phase-pistol and a pair of scanners.
ARCHER: I just hope they don't find the shuttlepod.
REED: If they really think we are spying for this Alliance, perhaps we should consider telling them the truth.
ARCHER: I'm not sure anyone would believe us.
REED: It couldn't hurt to try.
ARCHER: Visitors from another world? There's no way to know how they'd react. The less we say the better.
REED: Understood.
(Pell arrives and the door is unlocked)
PELL: Follow me.

[Interrogation room]

(their equipment is laid out on the table, but the phase pistol is being lovingly fondled)
GOSIS: Which of you is the Captain? Something unexpected happened when I was examining this transmitter. It began to make a sound, so I opened it. Someone calling herself T'Pol seemed very concerned about her Captain's well-being. Which one of you was she trying to contact?
ARCHER: I'm the Captain.
GOSIS: The Alliance must be growing desperate if they're recruiting military officers as spies.
ARCHER: We're not part of the military.
GOSIS: I suppose you're the Captain of a pleasure boat. This transceiver, what's its frequency, its range?
ARCHER: I don't know.
GOSIS: (picks up scanner) This appears to be a computing instrument. Tell me, how does it work?
(Pell hits Archer)
GOSIS: My superiors expect answers. As an officer, I'm sure you can appreciate that. I have no desire to harm you, but I need you to co-operate.
ARCHER: I'm sorry. I can't help you.
GOSIS: I trust you enjoyed the rally this morning. That's why you're here, isn't it? It's curious, the two of you visiting the city the same day as Chancellor Kultarey. Did you come here to observe his security arrangement? Or perhaps assassinate him? We're aware of your ancestral claims against our city. It must make a tempting target.
ARCHER: We're visitors, not spies.
GOSIS: This T'Pol who tried to contact you, where is she?
(Pell hits Archer again, and he falls to the floor. Reed leaps up and is clubbed by a soldier with a rifle. When they are hauled back onto the chairs, Gosis spots that Archer's prosthetic forehead has come away at the edge and he peels it off. Pell does the same to Reed)
GOSIS: You've been surgically altered.
PELL: General. His blood. It's red.
GOSIS: Take them to Temec. Have him perform a full examination.

[Situation room]

HOSHI: They're here, inside this compound.
TRAVIS: Guard towers, gun emplacements, it's not a hotel.
TUCKER: We could take Shuttlepod two, set it down here. They're being held less than thirty metres away. We'd be back in orbit before anyone knew they were gone.
T'POL: If you were captured, you'd be giving the inhabitants more technology. It would undoubtedly affect the evolution of their society.
TUCKER: What if they didn't see us coming? We've still got that Suliban cell-ship, the one we used to rescue Klaang from the Helix. I've been working on it in my free time. I'm pretty close to figuring out how it works. If I can bring the cloak on line, we can get past their defences, grab our people, and no one will see a thing.
T'POL: Work quickly.
TUCKER: I could use a hand.
TRAVIS: Aye, sir. (they leave)
T'POL: I suggest we monitor the communiqués coming from the compound. They may tell us what's happening to the Captain and Mister Reed.
HOSHI: Right away.

[Launch bay - Cell ship]

(the little sphere is wide open)
TUCKER: I don't get it. The power converter's engaged. Juice is definitely flowing through these relays. So why can we still see the ship?
TRAVIS: Maybe this panel isn't the cloaking device.
TUCKER: I've identified every other component. It's got to be it. Run the power-up sequence again.
TRAVIS: This would be a lot easier if there was a button marked cloak.
TUCKER: Hold on a minute, Travis. (presses a device to the centre of a display - there's a shock and he's thrown back out of the ship)
TRAVIS: Are you all right?
TUCKER: Just got the wind knocked out of me a bit.
(part of his tool box disappears, then Travis spots something else)
TRAVIS: Maybe a little more than that. (Trip lifts his right arm to see most of it has disappeared)

[Sickbay]

PHLOX: (scanning the missing limb) Is there any pain?
TUCKER: It tingles a little.
PHLOX: Can you move your fingers?
TUCKER: How's that?
PHLOX: You tell me.
TUCKER: They feel all right. What's your scanner say?
PHLOX: Very little, I'm afraid. Quantum physics is hardly my specialty, but I'd guess that you received an intense dose of whatever particle radiation that ship uses to conceal itself.
TUCKER: Are you saying I'm permanently cloaked?
PHLOX: It's difficult to determine, but I suspect your appendage will eventually re-materialise on its own.
TUCKER: Eventually?
PHLOX: Come back in an hour. I'll check on your progress.
TUCKER: What am I supposed to do in the meantime? I can't work like this.
PHLOX: (handing him a rubber glove) I'd also recommend a fresh uniform.
TUCKER: Thanks.

[Detention centre - courtyard]

(Gosis has the phase pistol)
GOSIS: Shall we try this? (fires it at a crate of containers)
PELL: It's some kind of coherent energy pulse. I thought this technology was only theoretical.
GOSIS: Our Alliance friends seem to have turned theory into reality.
PELL@ May I? (Gosis gives him the pistol) There appears to be another setting. (he fires at the crate, and it disintegrates in a big shower of sparks)
GOSIS: If the Alliance has equipped its troops with these weapons. Make sure the devices are kept under guard at all times. Use men you can trust.
(Pell and guards go indoors, Temec comes out with his examination results)
GOSIS: What did you find?
TEMEC@ See for yourself.
GOSIS: (looking at x-rays) How is this possible?
TEMEC: There's only one explanation. Our prisoners belong to another species.

[Detention centre - interrogation room]

GOSIS: Doctor Temec tells me your deformities are not the work of a surgeon. He found no obvious incisions or scar tissue. You're even more abnormal on the inside. A redundant renal organ and you're missing four thoracic vertebrae. Temec can't even begin to explain this mass. As for your red blood, the doctor tells me your haemoglobin is based on iron, a toxic element. He conducted the test four times to be certain. He has a theory about where you came from. I found it difficult to believe until I saw this. One of our surveillance aircraft took this image early this morning. The pilot said the object was traveling at very high speed. Can you explain?
(shows a photograph with the silhouette of a shuttlepod on it)
TEMEC: None of the other planets in our system are capable of supporting life. Where do you come from?
GOSIS: Our scientists tell me it's unlikely that a craft of this size could have travelled from another star system. They suspect a larger ship must be somewhere nearby. Perhaps orbiting our planet. (grabs Archer and hauls him to his feet) Tell me your orders! Have you made contact with the Alliance? (punches him in the stomach) Answer me.
ARCHER: Our intelligence reports underestimate you, General. Alien creatures, You're even more delusional than we thought. This isn't a spaceship. It's suborbital. A highly experimental aircraft. We've been observing your territory for months.
GOSIS: How did you evade our surveillance towers?
ARCHER: It's made from a composite alloy. Invisible to any of your tracking systems.
GOSIS: And your biological anomalies?
REED: We've been genetically enhanced.
GOSIS: What kind of enhancements?
REED: Our immune systems are resistant to chemical and biological weapons, and our internal organs have been modified to increase cellular regeneration by thirty percent. That way, our wounds can heal more quickly.
PELL: Create the perfect soldier.
GOSIS: How many of you are there?
ARCHER: We're prototypes, the only ones.
GOSIS: And your devices, are they prototypes as well?
ARCHER: All of them.
GOSIS: (to guards) Take them back.
(Reed and Archer walk out at gunpoint)
GOSIS: Do you believe them?
TEMEC: It's a plausible explanation.
PELL: The alliance could have thousands of soldiers with these mutations.
GOSIS: We need to verify what they've told us.
TEMEC: I ran every imaginable test. If I were to extract the organs, I could study them in more detail.
GOSIS: (to Pell) You'll be in charge of the execution. I'll inform the prisoners.

[Bridge]

HOSHI: Sub-Commander, another communiqué. It's from a General Gosis to the Chancellor. He said they've captured two enemy spies. They're going to hang them.

[Launch bay - cell ship]

TUCKER: Reconnect the diffraction relays and we'll give it another shot. (sneaks another look under his rubber glove)
TRAVIS: Any change?
TUCKER: Still missing in action.
TRAVIS: Having a cloaked hand could have its advantages. Be useful in a poker match.
TUCKER: I could probably become a world-class magician.
TRAVIS: It might be helpful on movie night, if you bring a date. In case you want to steal some popcorn.
TUCKER: Let's try it again. (gets out of ship while Travis settles into main seat) Go ahead.
(the outside of the front hatch fluctuates)
TRAVIS: Is it working?
TUCKER: Not exactly. Shut her down. The cloaking generator's running at a hundred and ten percent, and it's still not enough. Let's route more power from the warp relays. Maybe that will do the trick.
T'POL: How soon can you launch?
TUCKER: We're still reconfiguring the power matrix but I'm pretty confident
T'POL: You don't have time. They're going to be executed in less than two hours.
TUCKER: We'll get it working on our way down if we have to. Look, invisible or not, this cell ship can take more of beating than our shuttlepod.
T'POL: You're about to find out. Prepare it for launch.

[Detention centre - cell]

ARCHER: An upset stomach? Do you really think he'd fall for that?
REED: Well, it may be an old trick where we come from, but maybe they haven't heard of it here.
ARCHER: Even if we got out of the compound, we'd never make it to the shuttle. Not looking like this. Genetic enhancements. Very creative, Malcolm.
REED: Thanks. Improvisation isn't my strong suit.
ARCHER: You made us sound like the Suliban.
REED: What do you suppose Enterprise will do, after we're.
ARCHER: If I know T'Pol, she won't want to leave any contamination behind. It may take some time, but she'll find a way to get everything back. Including our remains.
REED: It's ironic. Giving our lives to protect people who want to kill us.
ARCHER: It's a big planet, Malcolm. I'm sure they're not all like that.
REED: I'm not afraid, sir.
ARCHER: What if we did tell them the truth?
REED: You said it yourself, Captain. They'd never believe us.
ARCHER: If we show them to the shuttlepod, bring the General up to Enterprise, give him the grand tour, top it off with dinner in the Captain's mess. We'd probably all have a good laugh over how he almost sent us to the gallows. I've gotten plenty of lectures on cultural contamination, but T'Pol never mentioned anything about sacrificing crewmen to prevent it.
REED: If we did tell them who we are, maybe it would do them a world of good. Look what the Vulcans did for Earth.
ARCHER: That was different. These people haven't even split the atom yet. The Vulcans waited until we were ready. Until we had the ability to travel to other stars. We're doing the right thing, Malcolm. I'm sorry you won't get a chance to write that report.
REED: It could still happen, sir. I'm expecting a rescue party to come barging through that door any moment.

[Cell ship]

(the little cell ship launches and cloaks successfully. It's a bit crowded inside.)
T'POL: We'll be in range of those surveillance towers in less than two minutes.
TUCKER: They'll never see us coming.

[Detention centre - cell]

SOLDIER: On your feet.
(Reed and Archer have their hands tied behind their backs, and they are marched out at gunpoint)

[Cell ship]

(there's a beep and a shudder)
TRAVIS: (flying the thing) What was that?
TUCKER: There's a power drain in the cloaking generator.
(the cell ship becomes visible as it reaches the cloud layer)
TUCKER: Are the warp relays offline?
TRAVIS: Primary and backups.
TUCKER: The weapon nodes are active. I thought we diverted power from the secondary systems.
TRAVIS: We did.
TUCKER: They may have been programmed to reactivate when we launched.
T'POL: Three military aircraft off our port side. They're on an intercept course.

[Detention centre - courtyard]

(the trapdoors on the gallows have been tested when Archer and Reed come in to see their nooses waiting)

[Cell ship]

(three bi-winged planes are shooting at the cell ship)
TUCKER: Travis, can't you hold this thing steady?
TRAVIS: It'd be a lot easier if they stop firing at us.
T'POL: Commander.
TUCKER: Stand by.
(the cloak gets switched back on)

[Detention centre - courtyard]

ARCHER: He's my tactical officer. He can tell you everything you want to know about the Alliance's troop deployments, their weapons.
REED: Captain.
ARCHER: You don't need to kill him.
(Gosis gestures with his head, and the pair are bundled up the steps to the gallows. Their necks are placed in the nooses with the knots by their left ears when a cloud of dust is suddenly kicked up, and a disembodied arm appears in midair, pointing a phase pistol. The man by the trapdoor lever gets shot first, then the other one on the gallows. The rest dive for cover. Tucker leaps out and heads to free Reed and Archer while T'Pol provides covering fire. They take cover.
TUCKER: Your ride's here.
REED: Sir, the phase pistol, our equipment.
ARCHER: Don't leave without me. (he provides the covering fire for the others to get into the cell ship and then dashes for the interrogation room. There's just one guard who is easily taken out. He grabs the x-rays, files and the equipment, and stuffs them into various handy waistcoat pockets, then heads back out and makes it into the cell ship)

[Cell ship]

ARCHER: Let's go.
(Gosis stares dumbfounded at the hatch closing into nothingness and the dust as the cell ship flies off, unseen)
TRAVIS: The shuttlepod's right where you left it, sir. We'll be there in two minutes.
(Archer starts frantically searching his pockets)
TUCKER: Captain?
REED: Sir, looking for this? (picks up scanner from the floor)

[Ready room]

ARCHER: Come in.
T'POL: I scanned the region ahead. There's a blue giant cluster three light years from our current position.
ARCHER: Any planets?
T'POL: None that are inhabited.
ARCHER: Sounds like a nice change of pace. Have Travis set a course.
T'POL: Yes, sir. Was there something else?
ARCHER: You took a risk coming down in that cell ship. Its cloaking device could have failed.
T'POL: A calculated risk.
ARCHER: I'm glad you did it. What's important is that we got everything back, the communicator, the phase pistol, the shuttlepod. We could have done a lot of damage to those people if we'd left any of it behind.
T'POL: We did do damage to those people.
ARCHER: We've changed their perception of the Alliance.
T'POL: They now believe their enemy is capable of creating genetically-enhanced soldiers, not to mention particle weapons.
ARCHER: And thanks to that Suliban ship, they also think the Alliance has developed invisible aircraft.
T'POL: You don't have to leave technology behind to contaminate a culture. (turns to leave) You were willing to sacrifice your life to protect them. I would not have expected that.

[Sickbay]

PHLOX: (checking out Tucker's now-visible right hand) You are making excellent progress.
TUCKER: Yeah? What about this?
PHLOX: That's nothing.
TUCKER: Maybe nothing to you.
PHLOX: Give it time. Give it time.
TUCKER: Thanks, Doc. (as he presses the button to open the doors, we see there is still a small patch on his hand that is cloaked)

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