The doors slide open and in slinks T'Pol, clad in Vulcan's choicest catsuit of the season -- sleek and sexy with curve-hugging lines (not that this twig has any curves to hug, save the two on her chest), sure to whip your weaker human crewmates into a quivering emotional mess of salivation and…well, let's just leave it at "salivation," okay? T'Pol surveys the cabin and hands over an electronic pad: "This confirms that I was transferred to your command at 0800 hours. Reporting for duty." Cpt. Quantum nods and looks over the orders. T'Pol sniffs, wrinkling up her pert little nose, and catches sight of Porthos. She swings her gaze back to Cpt. Quantum, who asks, "Is there a problem?" "No, Sir," T'Pol tells him in a tone so full of attitude you could feed it to an amoeba and turn it into a catwalk-sashaying supermodel. Cpt. Quantum looks over at Porthos and says, "Oh, I forgot, Vulcan females have a heightened sense of smell," for the benefit of both Trip and all the Star Trek fans who managed to be Star Trek acolytes for thirty-plus years, yet avoid ever absorbing this piece of Vulcan lore. "I hope Porthos isn't too offensive to you," Cpt. Quantum says, sitting back down at his desk. T'Pol pointedly tells him she's been trained to deal with offensive situations. "I took a shower this afternoon," Trip drawls. "How 'bout you, Cap'n?" Cpt. Quantum takes this opportunity to introduce his Chief Engineer. Trip stands up and sticks out his hand: "Trip, I'm called 'Trip.'" T'Pol just looks at him and says, "I'll try to remember that," while keeping her hands firmly clasped behind her back (guess she skipped diplomacy class at the Vulcan Academy in favor of learning how best to stick out her dinners). T'Pol turns back to Cpt. Quantum, who gives her a little lecture against spying on him and the crew. "I don't want every word I say being picked apart the next day by the Vulcan High Command." Paranoid much? T'Pol tells him she's not there to spy, but to "assist" them. "Your superiors don't think we can flush a toilet without one of you to assist us," Cpt. Quantum says, once again raising the question of how Starfleet officers go to the bathroom in outer space. Vacuum attachments, still? Maybe Glark's transporter idea? Or perhaps they just hang their tushes out a spacelock and let go. Talk about polluting outer space -- they'd have to fly through all that. And now we're getting into a weird area. Back to the Vulcan, who's not even Vulcan enough to keep emotion out of her voice as she bites out to Cpt. Quantum that she didn't ask to be assigned to this mission: "And you can be certain, Captain, that when this mission's over I'll be as pleased to leave this ship as you will be to have me go." Gee, I wonder how quickly that sentiment will change. T'Pol gasps in surprise as Porthos paws at her leg and whines. And Gene Roddenberry pauses just long enough in his grave-spinning to wind up and start again at the idea of a Vulcan gasping. "If there's nothing else?" T'Pol says, obviously making great efforts not to smile at the cute widdle puppy-wuppy. Cpt. Quantum tells her that's all. T'Pol nods, slumps her bony shoulders, and allows her jutting-out chin to pull her out of the Captain's cabin. Cpt. Quantum and Trip exchange looks.
On a loading dock of a space station with a clear view of Enterprise parked in its hairclip, Admiral Forrest gives a pretty little speech about Zefram Cochrane meeting the Vulcans ninety years ago when he made his first warp flight (hungover, with Geordi LaForge at his side, he might as well add), and how now they're really ready to explore space. The humans clap while the Vulcans suck on a few lemons and look at them. Cpt. Quantum goes on to pay homage to Henry Archer (Cpt. Quantum's father), who developed the warp five engine. "And it's only fitting that Henry's son, Jonathan Archer, will command the first starship powered by that engine," Admiral Forrest says, looking up at Cpt. Quantum, who is frowning with intense concentration so as not to cry. More applause. Admiral Forrest nods at Cpt. Quantum, who nods back and leaves with his crew. Admiral Forrest continues his speech, saying, "Rather than quoting Dr. Cochrane, I think we should listen to his own words from the dedication ceremony for the warp five complex thirty-two years ago." A video screen opens on the observation window behind the Admiral, and Zefram Cochrane delivers his famous, and now grammatically correct, speech: "On this site a powerful engine will be built; an engine that will someday help us to travel a hundred times faster than we can today. Imagine it: thousands of inhabited planets at our fingertips and we'll be able to explore those strange new worlds and seek out new life and new civilizations. This engine will let us go boldly where no man has gone before." The speech is interspersed with shots of the Enterprise crew taking their positions on the bridge, Cpt. Quantum standing authoritatively with his feet planted shoulder-width apart (like the captains of the first wooden sailing ships of yore), and the Sepia Tones of Cpt. Quantum's Childhood as Child Archer stares transfixed at a mini-warp engine, remotely controlled by Pop Archer and buzzing around before him. Then, in A Moment Of Supreme Meaning, Pop Archer plucks the warp core from the air and hands it over to his son, who inserts it into his now-dry model ship piloted by Luke Skywalker X-Wing Fighters. Cpt. Archer smiles and says, "Take her out, Mr. Mayweather. Straight and steady." With a few picturesque sparks, Enterprise cuts loose from her cable moorings and majestically slides out of her hairclip slip as spacesuited astronauts posted on the slip look on. No matter how they construct these ships, they all manage to remind me of sea creatures. Voyager looked like a manta ray with the glowing deflector dish for a mouth; Enterprise NX-01 reminds me slightly of a horseshoe crab. Cpt. Quantum asks Trip, "How're we doing, Trip?" "Ready when you are," is his answer. "Prepare for warp," Cpt. Quantum tells Mayweather. "Course laid in, sir," Mayweather answers with an excited smile. "Request permission to get underway." The rest of their crew reaches for their Dramamine as T'Pol tells Cpt. Quantum, "The coordinates are off by point two degrees." "Thank you," Cpt. Quantum says, in a tone that seems to suggest he's really not appreciative of that information. "Let's go," he smiles. Just like in the previews! We get a nice look at the razor-thin ship before it jumps to warp and zings out of sight, with the telltale burst of light in the distance when full warp is reached.
In a galaxy far, far away, a topiary-like construction made up of many tiny orb-cubes floats in a greenish atmosphere. Inside this topiary thing, there's a chamber with a cylindrical source of light beaming down into the center (oddly capturing what I always imagined sonic showers looked like). Within the light source stands a shadowed figure, as one of those mottled bald, green, aliens that blew up in the Oklahoma silo walks into the room. Now, here's where it gets trippy. As the mottled green alien walks up the steps to the shadow in the shower, a slo-mo light trail is left behind with every movement the alien makes. Sometimes it would seem that the slo-mo light trail actually anticipated the alien's movements and starts in that direction before the more solid, corporal form of the alien does; then again, it could have been the drugs I was taking. The shadow in the shower asks in echoing tones, "Where's Klaang?" -- in this chamber, sound seems to do what light and motion do. Leave a trail. "The humans have him," the mottled alien answers. "Did you lose anyone else?" Shower Shadow asks. "Two of my soldiers were killed. One of them was my friend -- can you prevent it?" Mottled Alien asks. "Our agreement doesn't provide for correcting mistakes. Recover the evidence," Shower Shadow says. If you look really hard through the rain of light, the Shower Shadow looks to have a humanoid neck. I'm betting it's a Romulan, just like in TNG when they kept Tasha Yar hidden in the shadow