- Breaking the Ice (Enterprise)
name =Breaking the Ice
November 7, 2001
Maria Jacquemetton Andre Jacquemetton
prev =The Andorian Incident
"Breaking the Ice" is the seventh episode (production #108) of the
The "Enterprise" encounters a
comet; Malcolm and Travis stop to mine some Eisilium.To their surprise, the Vulcan ship Ti'Murstops by to also investigate the cometndash except they are actually there to observe the "Enterprise".Meanwhile, T'Polhas to make a decision: stay aboard "Enterprise" or return to Vulcan and her impending marriage.
Trip and Phlox are in the Mess Hall, looking at children's drawings of the "Enterprise"'s mission. They have been sent to Trip by his nephew's fourth-grade class back on Earth. T'Pol comes over to look and Trip offers her a drawing of a green-skinned Vulcan with large ears. At that moment, Archer hails the crew from the Bridge; the ship is dropping out of warp to investigate a comet that hasn't been plotted on the Vulcan star charts. Archer summons the senior staff to the Bridge.
On the Bridge, T'Pol reports that the comet's diameter is 82.6 kilometres. T'Pol sees little worth in studying the comet. Archer wants to follow this one as it is bigger than any other that humans have ever seen. Archer orders Mayweather to maintain course and speed. Later, T'Pol retires to her quarters to read a message on her terminal in Vulcan. In the Mess Hall, Trip gets a slice of pecan pie and a glass of cold milk. T'Pol enters with a PADD. Trip tells her to stay away from the Zariphean blend as it contains lots of caffeine. T'Pol says that caffeine has little effect of Vulcan physiology. Trip offers to share his pecan pie, saying that it is good for the soul, if not for the body. T'Pol sees little value in eating it as the pie is nearly all sugar. She studies her PADD, then gets up and abruptly leaves.
Later, in the Situation Room, T'Pol reports that the comet contains Eisilium, a rare mineral. Vulcan chemists have not previously had enough to study in detail. The Eisilium is located twenty metres beneath the crust, too deep for a transporter lock. Reed suggests using the portable drilling rig; Mayweather says that the comet is big enough to take a shuttlepod. T'Pol advises setting down near one of the poles to remain out of direct sunlight. Reed says that the mission will take four hours at most. Reed and Mayweather set off to prepare for the mission.
Hoshi detects a vessel closing on the "Enterprise"'s position. It is the Vulcan starship "Ti'Mur". Captain Vanik (
William Utay) answers Archer's hail. Vanik says that he is investigating the human's interest in the comet. Vanik declines an offer to assist, requesting merely to observe. Archer takes T'Pol in to the Ready Room and asks what the "Ti'Mur" is really up to. The Vulcan starship that they encountered three weeks previously ignored their hails and went to warp as the "Enterprise" approached. T'Pol doesn't think that the Vulcans are watching too closely.
Reed and Mayweather head towards the comet in a shuttlepod. Mayweather has only seen snow twice in his life, so Reed plans a surprise when they arrive. They land in a dark crater and get out, the first humans to walk on the surface of a comet.
Trip summons Hoshi to Engineering. He has found a power surge in the relays; Hoshi identifies is as an encrypted transmission from the Vulcan ship, intended for T'Pol. Trip brings it to Archer, who doesn't know anything about it. Archer says that T'Pol had agreed with him to not speak to the Vulcans without first informing him. Archer asks that Hoshi decrypt the message, top priority.
On the Bridge, Archer begins recording a message to Ms Malvin's fourth-grade class at the Worley Elementary School in
Kenmare, County Kerry, Ireland. Archer has selected a few of their questions to answer to give them an idea of life on board the "Enterprise". The first question asks what the crew eats; Archer responds by saying that Chef can prepare anything and that the ship has a hydroponic greenhouse for fruit & vegetables; the protein sequencers can also serve certain foods. Geoff Miles asks if dating is allowed on board; Archer says that it isn't discouraged but that there isn't a lot of privacy aboard as most crew share quarters. Chloe O'Shannon asks how they talk to aliens; Hoshi explains about the Universal Translator and her own language speciality. Molly McCook asks where the toilet waste goes; Trip is less than happy to field the answer but goes on to explain about recycling. Gabrielle Witty asks if germs can live in space; Phlox answers the question at length. Archer finishes by including photos of the comet that they are studying.
On the comet, Reed scans the ice and turns to find that Mayweather has built a snowman. Reed melts a face on to its head. Archer hails to remind them of the Vulcan observers. On the ship, Hoshi meets Trip in Engineering, handing him the decoded message. It is in Vulcan, so Trip will have to translate it himself; Hoshi didn't feel that it would be right to decode it. Trip translates it and takes it to Archer. He feels bad about having read it, as it is a personal message to T'Pol. If the Vulcans had observed regular protocol, no one would have been any the wiser as there would have been no reason for anyone other than T'Pol to read it. Trip doesn't tell Archer the nature of the message but goes off to tell T'Pol that he has read it, as he feels guilty for having done so.
Trip meets T'Pol in the Situation Room. Trip tries to apologise but T'Pol brushes him off. Archer summons T'Pol to the Ready Room. She asks Trip not to mention it to anyone else when he says that only he has read it. Archer wants to invite Vanik to visit the "Enterprise". He asks for T'Pol's help in making Vanik leave them alone.
In Sickbay, T'Pol says that she hasn't slept in two days. Phlox asks what is troubling her. He encourages T'Pol to talk to someone as a stress-relief mechanism. On the comet, Reed has added Vulcan ears to the snowman. They have finished setting the charges in the comet's crust. Archer tells them to go ahead and the snowman explodes in a plume of snow.
Later, in the Captain's Mess, Archer, Trip and T'Pol dine with Vanik. Vanik says that that the "Ti'Mur" is a Surak-class ship, capable of warp 6.5. Archer goes on by saying that he was a guest of Captain Tok's on board the "Yarahla", a Maymora-class ship when they explored a dark matter nebula. Vanik is condescending towards Archer, who struggles to hide his frustration. Trip asks to know something about Vanik. T'Pol explains that it is customary for humans to exchange personal information with recent contacts. Vanik says that he has served in the Vulcan space programme for 76 years and commanded the "Ti'Mur" for 15 of those years. Vanik says that he has no questions as he is not interested in humans. Archer asks loudly how long the Vulcans are planning to spy on his mission. Vanik responds by saying that human arrogance and inexperience are their enemies, not the Vulcans. As he leaves, Vanik speaks to T'Pol in Vulcan. She leaves the Captain's Mess immediately.
Archer enters the Bridge to see that the comet is rotating due to the explosion and that the shuttlepod's landing spot will be facing a star in two hours, raising the temperature. Reed says that he will be finished with time to spare.
T'Pol is in her quarters meditating and lets Trip in, who asks what Vanik said to her. T'Pol asks if she can talk to Trip, as he has read her letter. T'Pol says that she must leave the "Enterprise" immediately in order to avoid jeopardising her wedding plans with Koss. She hasn't spoken to him in years. Vulcan marriages are arranged in childhood; T'Pol has only met Koss four times. The assumption is that the pair will eventually develop an affection for each other. Trip asks what the problem is. T'Pol says that as the arrangers of the marriage, Koss's parents were insulted when she asked for a postponement in order to serve on the "Enterprise". If T'Pol goes to Vulcan, she would have to remain for one Vulcan year after the marriage. Koss cannot live on board as he is an architect and it would be an illogical choice. Trip asks T'Pol what she wants to do and promotes personal choice over obligation. T'Pol says that her obligation to Vulcan tradition takes precedence over her own wishes. Trip thinks that T'Pol has already made up her mind. Trip wonders if T'Pol subconsciously wants the marriage to fail.
On the comet, Mayweather slips and falls, hurting his knee. Reed helps Mayweather back; they pause when they see the sunrise. Below them, the ice starts to crack.
The pair reach the shuttlepod and start the engines. The heat from the exhaust melts the ice beneath, trapping the shuttlepod in a chasm. Archer signals that they have fallen 18 metres and orders the grappler brought online. Captain Vanik hails to ask if Archer requires assistance. Trip locks on with the grappler and starts to reel the shuttlepod in. It wedges in to an outcrop of rock and the Eisilium disrupts the maglock. Archer orders Trip to ease the shuttlepod back but it falls another nine metres.
T'Pol warns that the chasm is rotating out of the sunlight - the surface ice will recrystalise in one hour. T'Pol recommends letting Vanik help but Archer wants to succeed on his own. Trip agrees with T'Pol, the tractor beam on the "Ti'Mur" would be a better idea. T'Pol states that Vanik expects Archer to refuse because he is proud, that he would rather risk the lives of his crew than admit to human failings. T'Pol suggests proving him wrong.
On the shuttlepod, Reed and Mayweather feel themselves being pulled from the chasm. Reed answers a hail to hear Vanik asking them to stand by to ignite their engines and prepare to return to the "Enterprise". The shuttlepod ascends in the Vulcan tractor beam.
Later, Archer offers Vanik a copy of the "Enterprise"'s sensor readings about the comet. Vanik says that they have little interest in comets. He refuses Trip's request for details on the tractor beam, saying that it is classified information. Vanik says that he will leave within the hour. T'Pol asks for permission to transmit a message to the "Ti'Mur" to send to Vulcan. Archer agrees; when T'Pol leaves, he asks Trip what it was about. "It's personal", Trip replies. In her quarters, T'Pol stares at a slice of pecan pie, personal choice having won out over tradition.
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