The Continuing Adventures of Porthos - The Future Cat by jespah

When temporo-spatial anomalies hit the NX-01, Porthos takes an involuntary trip to the Enterprise-D. The Continuing Adventures of Porthos - The Future CatCan Spot help get him back in time and space?

Categories: Enterprise, Next Generation, Expanded Universes Characters: Archer, Jonathan, Crusher, Wesley, Data, La Forge, Geordi, O'Day, Lili, Picard, Jean-Luc
Genre: Family, Friendship
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: In Between Days, Interphases
Chapters: 6 Completed: Yes Word count: 6724 Read: 11194 Published: 20 Dec 2013 Updated: 25 Dec 2013

1. Chapter 1 - The Smell of Spatial Anomalies by jespah

2. Chapter 2 - Spot’s New Playmate by jespah

3. Chapter 3 - The Hull Breach by jespah

4. Chapter 4 - Furry Heroes by jespah

5. Chapter 5 - The Princess by jespah

6. Chapter 6 - The Smell of Home by jespah

Chapter 1 - The Smell of Spatial Anomalies by jespah

Good smell good smell good smell good smell BEEF beans rice CHEESE tomatoes lettuce taco shells hot sauce! Pet me! Pet me! Drop something! Oh, drop something! No, not the lettuce! Drop the beef! 

Human Lili says, Blah blah blah favorite blah blah food blah blah crew blah blah war blah blah fun. 

Chef comes in and says, Blah blah blah Porthos blah out! He chases me out and I am in the hall by myself. 

I love Lili. Lili always has food. Lili’s nice to me. Chef doesn’t like me in the galley. I’m not so sure how I feel about Chef, but he usually smells good. 


Chef William Slocum’s assistant, Lili O’Day, stood in the galley, chopping vegetables and shredding cheese and then lettuce for that evening’s meal. Captain Archer’s beagle, Porthos, sat nearby, expectantly hoping for a morsel or two to drop. 

She said, “You’re such a good little helper! My absolute favorite! As you can see, tonight we’re having Mexican food. I think it’ll be good for the crew. We’re in the middle of a war. At least I’d like us to have a little fun. I don’t think it’s inappropriate; do you?” 

Chef Slocum came in. He was a big, burly man. “We can’t have him in here! You know it’s a Health Code violation! Go on, Porthos! Get out!” 

A little miffed, he shooed the small quadruped out and got the door closed quickly. “Lili,” he said wearily, “I know you’re new and you don’t really know anybody yet. But rules are rules. He really shouldn’t be in here.” 

“I know,” she allowed. “I’m just; I’m already sick and tired of bad times. It’s only been maybe four months for me. But for the others, huh, I bet everyone else is, too, and you’ve all been at it a lot longer than I have. He’s, uh, he’s a comforting presence, yanno?” 

“Yeah, I suppose so. Look, let’s just get this done and, uh, I dunno. Call someone, or something. Just, do something for yourself tonight.” 

She looked up. “Shoot! Porthos is out there in the hallway on his own. I’ll, um, I’ll make sure he’s not in any trouble and get him back to the captain’s quarters. I’ll do extra clean up, or something, to make up the time.” 

“Lili, it’s all right. You don’t have to make up hours,” Will smiled at her a bit, “that’s what Preston Jennings is for.” 

“My predecessor?” she chuckled a little. “Don’t bother him on account of little ol’ me, or anything.” 

She adjusted her pink hair tie and then departed, and he stared at the ceiling for a second, in supplication. “She’s a decent assistant and a damned fine baker. But sometimes, eh, I dunno.” 


Good smell good smell good smell good smell Private Todd was here with Dave Constantine. They don’t know it yet, but they like each other. Shelby Pike is new – she saw Dan Chang here and she got angry at him because he made her feel uncomfortable. Josh Rosen threw a ball for me over there, lots and lots of times! That was fun! We should do that again! 

Oh, Lili! There’s Lili! I love Lili!


Lili came over, “How ya doin’ there, my little puppy boyfriend?” She bent down and petted him and then straightened up, cracking her back as she did so. She sighed, “I gotta say, right now, you’re my only boyfriend.” The dog licked her hand. “You’re definitely the only one who kisses me on the NX-01. Let’s get you back to the captain’s quarters, okay?” 

They began walking, and the dog would stop and sniff the deck plating every now and then. “C’mon, boy!” she encouraged. 

There was an intercom chime. 

“All hands, this is the captain. Commander T’Pol and Ensign Mayweather have informed me that we’re heading into an area with a lot of smaller spatial anomalies. Unlike other sections of the Delphic Expanse, there’s really no way for us to steer around them.” 

The captain paused for a moment. “All I can tell you is that, if you see something strange, if space seems to be at all distorted, try to stay away from that. If you feel strange, as if something has passed through your body, go to Sick Bay on the double. And that’s an order. Do that, no matter what you might be doing or where you might be expected. Let’s not take any chances with our health, all right?”

There was another short pause. We expect to be clear of the anomaly field by this time tomorrow or so; Archer out.” 

“Well, you heard the man,” Lili said to Porthos, “things might get a little wonky around here. No wonder I feel off.” 


Lili smell oh kiss for Lili and then the magic box makes Alpha’s voice! Jonathan Archer is Alpha! 

Alpha is good, Alpha is the best. There is NOTHING better than Alpha! 

Alpha says blah blah T’Pol blah blah Delphic Expanse blah blah strange blah blah Sick Bay blah blah blah health blah blah tomorrow. 

Lili says blah blah man blah blah off. 

Good smell hallway smells Susie Money was here four days ago and coughed or sneezed. Hoshi was here. I love Hoshi! Hoshi and Sekar where here but they were in a hurry and didn’t stay long. 


Lili got the dog into the captain’s quarters as a wall chronometer showed the time – 1632 hours – and then the date – July 2, 2153


“Steady as she goes, Mister Crusher,” a bald middle-aged captain, over 210 years into the future, commanded a young acting Ensign who was at the helm of the Enterprise-D. They were in an area that had once been called the Delphic Expanse

“Yes, sir,” responded Wesley Crusher. 

The android, Data, was sitting at a station next to Wesley. “I am reading several anomalies,” he reported. 

“Is there a danger to the ship?” inquired the captain, Jean-Luc Picard. 

“I do not believe so,” replied Data. “Our hull is considerably stronger than the NX-01’s was. Records of that mission are severely compromised, but the available information indicates that that was the last vessel to traverse the Delphic Expanse, and their damage, at least from smaller anomalies, such as I am sensing now, was minimal.” 

“They must be rather small anomalies,” opined Counselor Deanna Troi, “I cannot sense them at all.” 

“Be that as it may, Stellar Cartography should be very interested, Number One,” Picard remarked to his First Officer, William Riker, who was seated next to him. 

“So strange that their records are shot like that,” Riker mused. There was a small bump. “Mister Crusher?” 

“We’ve definitely got spatial anomalies,” reported the young acting Ensign. “I’ve taken the liberty of drawing up a course that’ll keep us away from the larger ones. Our shields should be able to handle the remainder.” 

“Make it so,” the captain commanded. 

“Shields up! Yellow alert!” bellowed Riker. 


Hours later, on the Enterprise-D, Data and Wesley were at the end of their shifts. “Geordi and I are going to Ten Forward,” Wesley stated, referring to the Chief Engineer, “do you wanna come along?” 

“In a moment,” Data replied, “I wish to feed Spot. I will join you later.” The android got to his cabin, where he greeted the orange tabby. “How is my girl? Is Spot a good cat? Is Spot a pretty cat? Spot is a very good cat!” 


Metal Master smell, Data. Day is nearly over. He will give me food, and then I will sleep a little, and maybe play with some string. I really need to chase something. Why isn’t the ship stocked with mice? 


On the NX-01, on the Bridge, the pilot, Travis Mayweather, steered around the worst of the spatial anomalies. “To port,” commanded T’Pol, peering into a scope at her station, “heading zero five mark seven eight three mark eleven.” 

“Right,” he agreed, adjusting the heading. They saw a spatial distortion pass through the Bridge, right past Lieutenant Reed’s Tactical station. It then almost hit the captain. There were a few sparks as it hit the turbolift door and then dissipated. 

“That was a bit close, sir,” Reed commented, “Hull plating polarization is holding.” 

Hoshi Sato, the Communications Officer, listened to something in her earpiece. “I’ve got a few minor reports of anomalies, mostly on B deck. A lot of the officers’ quarters will probably have a few private possessions knocked around. Major Hayes reports that the Armory is secure but an anomaly hit the weights rack in the gym and Corporal Cole was hit by one of the smaller weights. He had Nan Myers take her to Sick Bay as a precaution.” 

“Well, hopefully that’s the worst of it,” speculated Captain Archer. “Keep me informed if anything else happens.” 

“Aye, sir.” 


In the captain’s quarters, Porthos lay on his dog bed, but he remained awake. 

Odd smell metal smell burning smell strange smell don’t understand this smell. 

A spatial anomaly rippled under his body, and he vanished.

Chapter 2 - Spot’s New Playmate by jespah

As Data was about to place the cat food into Spot’s bowl, he felt a tremor. He hit the communicator pin on his uniform tunic. “Data to the Bridge.” 


“Riker here.” 


“I have just observed a fairly significant spatial anomaly in my quarters,” he stated. 


Just then, a dog barked. 




Strange smell new smell ship smell metal smell cat smell. WHERE IS ALPHA??? 


Spot the cat came over to the little bathroom in Data’s quarters in order to investigate. 


Dog, why are you here? 


Don’t know. Strange smell cat smell metal smell. 


Metal smell is Metal Master. Metal smell is all right, Dog. 


Metal Master is not Alpha! WHERE IS ALPHA??? 


Who is your Alpha? 


Jonathan Archer is Alpha! 


Don’t know that name. Do not be sad or afraid. Metal Master will find your Alpha. 




“Spot?” Data asked. 


“What’s going on in there, Data?” asked Riker. The communications link was still open and active. 


“I – Commander,” Data said, “I distinctly heard a,” his voice trailed off, as Spot emerged from the little bathroom. Behind Spot, there was a beagle. 


Data?” pressed Riker. 


“I, uh, there is a phenomenon to be investigated; Data out.” He cut the connection before Riker could ask another question. The android bent down to the dog’s level. “Most curious.” He ran his hand along the dog’s neck and shoulders. “There is a microchip, and it is readable, but it is clearly an ancient design. Spot,” he turned to the cat, “do you know where your new friend is from?” 




Dog, Metal Master can help. I promise.


Good smell, metal smell. So, Metal Master is a good Master? 


Yes. He is a good Master, although he does not know my true name. 


My name is Porthos. The breeder gave me this name, and Alpha likes it. What name did Metal Master give you? 




And you do not take the name Metal Master gave you? Why would you not take that?


You do not have to accept the name Metal Master or Alpha gives you. 


But Alpha is good to me. Alpha would never do anything bad. WHERE IS ALPHA??? 


Do not panic. Metal Master will fix this. But he may need help from others. 




“So, that is a response in the negative?” Data inquired. Spot did not respond. Data hit his communicator pin again as he straightened up. “Data to Wesley Crusher.” 


“Crusher here. Data, we’re waiting for you, here in Ten Forward!” 


“I have come across a most curious phenomenon, Wesley.” 




“Are there are any dogs of the breed known as beagle on board?” 


“I don’t think so. Geordi, are there any beagles on the Enterprise?” 




“I,” Wesley said, “uh, never mind. Data, where are you seeing a beagle?” 


“In my quarters. Spot apparently has a new playmate. Yet I have never seen this dog before, and he does not appear to be attached to the ship.” 


“Wait, uh, we’ll be right there; Crusher out.” Wesley turned to Geordi. “Can you wait to eat?  Data says he found a dog.” 


Geordi sat there, a little dumbfounded. Finally, he remarked, “Uh, what? How is that even possible?” 


“I have no idea,” Wes admitted. “But if we go to his quarters, I bet we’ll find out.”




Dog – Porthos – Metal Master has called for help. 


Will they find Alpha? 


Yes, they will do what they can to find Alpha. I am sure that Alpha is all right. 


Thank you, Spot.  




Geordi and Wesley arrived quickly. As the doors swished closed, Wesley bent down to pet the new arrival. “He seems friendly enough. Have you scanned him?” 


“I have performed a complete analysis,” Data explained, “and this creature’s DNA is 100% Canis lupus familiaris, the domestic dog.” 


Geordi took out a scanner. “But you’re a stranger here, I think.” He, too, began to scan the dog. “Did you check the microchip, Data?” 


“I did, and it appears ancient. I am unable to read it successfully.”


“Let’s punch it into the computer and see what we get,” Wes suggested. 


Geordi read the number off his scanner as Wesley typed into Data’s desktop unit, “2149-42753.” 


Wesley stared at the screen, mouth agape. “Holy cow.” 


“What is it, Wes?” asked Geordi. 


“It, it says here, oh my God, Geordi, it says here this dog was born in 2149!” 


“What?” asked Geordi. “That’s just over 215 years ago.” He looked over Wesley’s shoulder and read aloud, “Porthos, purebred beagle, third of four in a litter born in San Francisco on April 27, 2149.” He turned back to the android. “Data, how is this possible?” 


Data thought for a moment. “I neither saw nor heard the dog, this Porthos,” at the sound of his name, the dog wagged his tail, “until I had sensed a fairly significant spatial anomaly.” 


“I’m thinking that wasn’t just a spatial anomaly,” Geordi opined. “Somehow Porthos here was transported in time by the anomaly, if I had to guess. So it would be temporal as well.” He bent down and scratched the dog behind an ear. “Maybe you hit an anomaly, Porthos.”


“Wait a second,” Wesley said, “we did this unit a few years ago, in class. We were studying the early Warp Program. There was a captain with a beagle; he was the captain of the first Warp Five star ship.”


“If this canine is from there, then this dog’s owner is Jonathan Archer,” stated the android. The dog barked. “It would seem that Porthos is in agreement.” 




New smells new people one has a mask on. Masked one puts a device on me that makes a soft high-pitched sound I can hear. Young one says, blah cow. Then he says, bah dog.  Masked one says, blah blah dog, blah PORTHOS!


Porthos, it is true, they seem to understand who you are. 


Spot’s Metal Master says, Porthos. And young one says beagle. And then metal one says Alpha’s name! They know Alpha!!! 


Maybe they do. This must be the first step to them getting you home. 


Good good smell; home smells good. I want to smell home smells. 


Everyone loves home smells, Porthos.

Chapter 3 - The Hull Breach by jespah

Captain Picard was a bit amused to be called away from his supper with Doctor Beverly Crusher to meet the strange dog in Data’s quarters. The doctor tagged along with him. “How very odd,” Picard remarked. “He seems a friendly enough chap. I suspect this is the most congenial instance we’ve ever had of being boarded.” He bent down to pet the dog, which wagged a friendly greeting. 

“He is definitely a dog,” Beverly concluded, checking her tricorder. “How strange. I wonder how he got here.” 

“It would appear that the anomaly that I experienced earlier may have been temporal as well as spatial in nature,” opined Data. 

“That’s our theory,” Geordi confirmed. 

“I bet he’s missed, wherever and whenever he’s from,” Wesley said. “They’ve got to want him back. I know if he were my dog, I’d want him back if he were lost.” 


On the NX-01, things were dicier. On the Bridge, Hoshi heard a message in her earpiece. “There’s a hull breach on B deck!” 

“Emergency bulkheads!” yelled the captain. 

T’Pol looked up. “We appear to be missing a bio sign.” 

“Can you pinpoint it?” asked Archer. 

“I am uncertain. It may even be one of the doctor’s experimental animals.” 

“All right; let’s do a head count,” he decided, “Malcolm, help T’Pol; see if you can get a more granular reading. I’ll take the intercom.” The Armory Officer got up. 

After a moment, Hoshi responded, “Go ahead, sir.” 

“All hands, this is the captain. We’ve had a hull breach. Report to your department heads immediately; I want a head count.” 


Lili was already on E deck and on her way back to the galley. She flipped open her communicator. “O’Day to Slocum; Chef, I’m okay.” 

“Got it,” Will replied. He cut the connection and then opened a new one. “Slocum to Sato.” 

“Go ahead.” 

“Food Service reports in; the department is complete; Slocum out.” 


After less than fifteen minutes, Hoshi reported, “I’ve heard from everyone but the doctor. All are accounted for.” 

“Get me Sick Bay,” Archer commanded. 

“Go ahead.” 

“Doctor, are you there?” asked the captain. 

“Yes, and I apologize for the delay. I was getting a count on my animals. And it seems we’re all here, safe and secure.” 

“Got it; Archer out.” 

“Sir?” Malcolm asked, looking a little sick. 

“Yes, Lieutenant?” replied the captain. 

“Commander T’Pol and I can confirm that all of the human, Vulcan and Denobulan bio signs are accounted for. Sir,” Malcolm steeled himself for the news he was about to be forced to deliver, “I am forced to conclude that the missing bio sign must belong to Porthos.” 

Hoshi looked up, eyes shining. “Oh, no,” she moaned softly. 

“I’ll, uh,” Jonathan Archer sighed, “I suppose I’ll need the intercom again.” 

“Yes, sir.” After a moment, she nodded. 

“All hands,” he sighed again, “the missing individual appears to be Porthos. I, I’ll need to know who last saw him; Archer out.” He turned to Malcolm and T’Pol, who were still standing together. “You’ll, uh; you’ll need to start scanning for, oh God, debris.” He got up, looking queasy and more than a little bit shaky. “I, I’ll be in my Ready Room. T’Pol, you have command.” 


Hoshi adjusted her earpiece. “Are you sure?” 

“Yes, I’m positive,” Lili said over her handheld communicator. She was back at the galley. 

“Come up here; I’m sure the captain will want to speak with you.” 

“Uh, all right; O’Day out.” 


There was a gentle knock on the door of Captain Archer’s Ready Room. “Not now,” he replied, a little defeated-sounding. 

“Sir?” It was Lili. “I, I think I was the last person to see Porthos.” 

“Oh, then come in.” 

She entered the Ready Room, a place she rarely ever visited. “I, uh, I can come back,” she said as the door slid open. The captain looked terrible. 

“No, no, it’s all right,” he tried to assure her. “Just, tell me what you know, all right?” 

“Yes, sir. Well, I was, uh, I had Porthos in the galley. We’re not supposed to, but the truth is, I’m not friends with a lot of people yet.” She had her hair tie in her hands and was twisting it, nervous. 


“And so it’s a Health Code violation to have him in the galley. But I, I wanted some company, sir.” She looked as if she were about to cry as she handled the hair tie and pulled on it a little. 

“It’s, it’s all right that you borrowed him for a while, Ensign. I’m just trying to figure out what’s going on and,” the captain sighed, “if it comes to that, what his last moments were, were like.” 

“Will told me to get him out and so I walked him back to your quarters, sir. I closed the door and left him in there. Was, uh, did I do something wrong? Can he trip the sensor and open the door?” Her shaking hands threatened to shred the hair tie. 

“Huh, I don’t know,” he admitted. “Maybe if he gets up on his hind legs? I don’t honestly know.” There was a communications chime, and he answered it with his desktop unit. “Yes, uh, go ahead.” 

“Sir,” it was Hoshi, “Josh Rosen and Craig Willets report they found the hull breach on B deck.” 

“Can you give me some specifics?” asked Archer. 

“Let me have them tell you directly, sir.” There was a pause. “Go ahead, Josh.” 

“Yes, uh, sir,” mumbled Josh, who seemed to be nearly as nervous as Lili was. “We found a three-centimeter sized hole near the Aft Dorsal Phase Cannon. We patched it up and it seems to be fine. No loss of materials or functionality that we could tell and only a minimal loss of atmosphere.” 

“Are you sure about the size?” 

“Positive, sir.” 

“Did you find any other hull breaches?” Archer asked.

“No, sir, not a one. We can continue looking,” Josh said, “but there are no more alarms going off, and we’ve checked behind all of the emergency bulkheads already. I, uh, Commander Tucker should be able to confirm it, but I think we’re in the clear.” 

“Huh, uh, well, nice going; Archer out.” He turned to Lili. 

“Porthos is way too big for a three-centimeter hole,” she stated. “I mean, right?” 

“Right,” Archer replied absently. “So how the hell is he gone?”

Chapter 4 - Furry Heroes by jespah

As they observed the new canid, there was a communications chime. The captain tapped his communicator pin. “Picard here.” 

It was Riker. “Sir, we –” He didn’t get a chance to complete his sentence as the ship was suddenly rocked. “Captain!” Riker yelled. “It’s Ferengi!” 

Ferengi? What the devil do they want?” Picard turned to them all. “Duty calls.” 

As he departed, the ship went to red alert, and the lights dimmed a bit. There was hit taken, and the temporary surge knocked out the lights. “There’ll be casualties!” the doctor exclaimed. Engaging a small flashlight, she found her way to the door and, for a moment, there was power. This tripped the sensor. As the door slid open, unseen, two small and furry creatures ran out and the lights, again, were cut. 


Spot, where do we go? 

Follow, Porthos, follow! 

That way smells bad, like wires are cooked. This way! We go to Sick Bay. Sick Bay is where Alpha sends me when there is danger. Do you think Alpha is in danger? 

Do you think Metal Master is? 

There was a shimmer in the dark as two figures beamed in. As the lights flickered on and off, they could be seen a bit. They had large heads with huge ears – Ferengi. 

“This is madness!” the taller of the two complained. “The Rules of Acquisition don’t say anything at all about risking one’s life for salvage!” 

The ship was rocked again as the shorter one considered his response. “Rule Number 62 says – the riskier the road, the greater the profit.” The lights flickered off and on again. “Let’s just get something fast. Get in, and get out, I always say.” 

There was a sign of movement, low to the ground. “There!” yelled the taller one, pointing. 

Security was coming. They’d have to act quickly. They scooped up the closer of the two furred things. “It is, I think it is called a cat,” said the short one. As he pulled out a communicator, he was attacked. 


Humans ran by, and there were voices on communicators, calling for Security and reporting on intruders. 

The bites on the Ferengi were hard, and they broke skin. And then the furred creature began to struggle in the shorter Ferengi’s arms and claw at him madly. 



The tall one says, blah blah out. The short one says blah blah yes blah. Good smell Security smell phaser sound phaser smell Spot are you all right? SPOT! 

Hurt, Porthos, I am hurt. 


The dog began biting, and then barking, as the cat hissed and scratched. Both of the Ferengi were being roughed up. The shorter one threw the cat as far away as he could, and the animal hit a wall with a disturbing-sounding yowl. 

“We have to get out of here!” exclaimed the taller one. 

“Our profits!” answered his partner. Then he saw a Security team coming. “Yes! We’d better leave!” 

They beamed out as phasers were fired. 

The lights flickered again, and finally came back on for good. A Klingon, Worf, was on the Security team. He engaged his communicator. “The intruders are gone,” he reported, “but Spot appears to have been injured.” 

In Sick Bay, Doctor Crusher responded, “We didn’t have any other casualties, thank goodness. I’ll be right there.” 

She got there as quickly as she could. By that time, Data, Geordi and Wes had returned to the area. They stood by, off to the side. Porthos, also agitated, shifted his weight from paw to paw. 

Beverly knelt down in order to run a scanner over her little patient. “Huh. They broke a few ribs. That can be fixed quickly.” She tapped her communicator pin. “Crusher to transporter; beam me directly to Sick Bay.” She held onto the cat, which looked up at her with golden eyes but did not scratch. 


In Sick Bay, Beverly worked on her patient. The doors swished open, revealing Wesley, Geordi and Data. And, behind them, there was a canine visitor as well.

Good smell good smell Sick Bay smells why is there no Derellian bat here? Does not smell like Phlox! 

Nurse Alyssa Ogawa came over. 

Nurse says, blah blah sit blah blah Spot blah blah wait blah blah. 

I am confused. Spot needs me. I will wait. 


Nurse Ogawa crouched down to address Spot’s canine visitor directly. “I’m sorry but you can’t sit here with Spot. We have to work on him. You’ll have to wait outside.” The dog tilted his head but made no move to get up. She straightened up. “I guess Spot’s got a visitor.” 

Doctor Crusher quipped, “So telling him visiting hours were over didn’t work?” 

“I think he’s almost concerned,” replied the nurse. 

“Doctor,” Data asked, “will Spot be all right?” 

The doctor leaned over and worked a device that glowed a little. “Ah, there! Good as new.” She handed the bone-knitting laser to Nurse Ogawa. “I believe we can discharge the patient.” They let the cat onto the floor and the dog immediately started wagging his tail. 

“Porthos appears to be relieved,” Data remarked. “I am as well.” 


Good smell better smell smell of bones roasting just a little bit. Spot, how are you feeling? 

Better now. Doctor is good. It is good when Metal Master is here. Metal Master does not get afraid the way we know, not the usual way. 

Understood, but Metal Master seems to smell a little afraid anyway. I could smell young human Wesley’s fear, nurse’s concentration, doctor’s concentration, and masked one’s fear. I smelled your fear, too, Spot.

I am not af – you are right, Porthos. I was afraid. 

I smell something from the Metal Master, too. You are right. There is a chemical change. It is subtle. It is slight. But Metal Master does feel fear. I miss Alpha, Spot. I think Alpha is afraid without me. 

Spot came over and rubbed her face on Porthos’s shoulder. 

We will tell Metal Master to get you home. I do not want you to go, but your Alpha needs you.

Chapter 5 - The Princess by jespah

In Ten Forward, Guinan, the proprietress, set down small bowls for both Spot and Porthos as Wesley and Geordi finally had their dinners and the captain and the doctor went to sit at a separate table nearby. “He’s a good guest,” Guinan stated, referring to Porthos. “But he’s got to get back. How do you think he got here in the first place?” 

“I would speculate,” Data opined, “that he was not beamed here. His appearance has coincided with a rather large spatial anomaly. It would appear that the anomaly was temporal in nature as well.” 

“Then we’ll need another anomaly to get him back,” Wesley declared.

“We can’t exactly aim with it,” Geordi reminded his friend. 

“That’s true,” Wes allowed, “but, huh. Ha!” he suddenly snapped his fingers and grinned. 

“What did you just figure out?” Geordi inquired excitedly. 

“We can’t aim. But we can know if it worked, if we try to send him back,” Crusher explained. 

“How do you figure that?” The engineer was intrigued. 

“That is correct,” Data replied. “It would prove it.” 

“Prove what?” Geordi was insistent. 

“We can check history,” Wes explained. “If Porthos here is missing and never comes home, then I guess we know that it doesn’t work, and we should keep him here.” 

“Yet that would be a predestination paradox,” stated the android. “If we keep him here, then are we not fulfilling that historical statement?” 

“The reverse would be true, too, right?” Geordi asked. “I mean, we’re responsible people. If we had information that said he’d made it, we wouldn’t just keep him. We’d send him through.” 

“Either way, though,” Wesley stated, “we should try something.” 


Good smell good smell CHICKEN!!! And Spot has tuna. 

They say blah blah and then Wesley young one says blah blah Porthos blah blah home and Metal Master says blah blah and then masked one says blah blah. 

Yes, Porthos, they want to try to send you home to Alpha. 

Good, I miss Alpha. But I like you, Spot . I think I will miss you, too. 

I will miss you, too, Porthos. But just like I belong with Metal Master, you belong with your Alpha. 


Finished with dinner, they went back to Data’s quarters. Wes began clicking around on Data’s desktop computer. “Damn, this is no good.” 

“What’s wrong?” inquired Geordi. 

“I can’t really find anything.” 

“My understanding,” Data offered, “is that the NX-01’s records were compromised not one hundred years after that vessel was decommissioned.” 

“Well, yeah, that much I knew,” Wes confirmed. “I was just hoping there’d be something.” 

“Then we don’t know,” Geordi said, “So there really isn’t a predestination paradox after all.” 

“I won’t send him to his death,” Wes declared, “but someone is looking for Porthos. Archer, I’m sure; he’s gotta be really worried. What should we do?” 


Good smell young one says blah blah Archer so he knows Alpha! 

I don’t think he does. I think he knows about Alpha. Alpha must be important.

But they smell sad and confused, Spot. I think they do not know how to get to Alpha. Spot, I want to go home now. I am worried about Alpha. 


“All I know is, it had to do with an anomaly,” Archer said to the Bridge crew. “Lili here is the last person who saw Porthos.” 

“Perhaps a re-creation of an anomaly could be of assistance,” stated T’Pol. “An energy surge might work.” 

Malcolm thought for a few seconds. “We could fire a phase cannon directly at a sphere. That could stimulate it to produce more gravimetric energy, thereby inducing a spatial anomaly, I’ll wager.” 

“Work with T’Pol on that,” Captain Archer commanded. The Vulcan eyebrow was raised slightly, so he added, “But not so as to compromise our weapons systems at all. We still have a job to do, Porthos or, uh, no Porthos.” Lili put a hand on his arm and he jumped. 

“Sir,” she said, “since it happened in your quarters, maybe he’ll come back to your quarters. I can, uh, if you don’t mind dinner being a little late, I could wait. And you would, uh, you would tell me how long to wait, that sort of thing, okay?” 

“All right, Ensign.” She departed, and he looked at Malcolm and T’Pol, who were still working. “I realize we have a mission, and maybe this seems a little frivolous. But, ….” 

“Porthos is a valued member of this crew,” was the unexpected Vulcan reply. “He is necessary for morale. It is only logical that we attempt to retrieve him, if we can do so without jeopardizing our overall mission.” 

“Thank you,” Archer said softly. 


“There remain any numbers of minor gravimetric distortions in the Delphic Expanse,” Data stated. “These are the darkened vestiges of the spheres which the NX-01 itself destroyed over two centuries ago. Returning to our original precise coordinates when Porthos came onto the ship, I believe that action could prove to be of value in terms of returning him.” 

“Where, exactly, did you say he was when you first spotted him, Data?” asked Geordi. 

“He was in the bathroom in my quarters.” The android thought for a moment. “We should do our best to duplicate the initial conditions. I will speak with the captain.” He engaged his communicator. “Data to Captain Picard.” 

“Yes, Mister Data?” 

“We have a theory as to how to return Porthos. It will involve returning the Enterprise to its exact coordinates and attitude, pitch and yaw as before.” 

Picard thought for a moment. “We can afford the slight detour. Send Mister Crusher up so that he can pilot; Picard out.” 

“All right,” Geordi said after Wesley had left, “we’ve got a plan. Of course, if this doesn’t work, well, then I suppose we’re back to the drawing board.” 

Data paused and then knelt down and spoke to Porthos and Spot directly. “We are attempting to return you to your former location and your correct time period. It is our intention that you be safely returned, however, we have no way of confirming that.” 


Good smell good smell good smell metal smell. Metal Master says blah blah Porthos blah blah safe. Pet me pet me . Metal Master is nice, Spot. 

Yes, Metal Master is. They are going to try to send you home now. 

Spot, do you think it will work? 

I do not know. 

They do not, either. We must say good-bye, and I do not even know if I will survive. All I want is to smell Alpha again. 

Yes, you must go and smell your Alpha. 

Spot, before they try to send me back, can you tell me what your real name is? You said that Metal Master did not know it, and no one did, and they did not use it. I want to use it. I want to call you by your correct name. 

Yes, I will tell you, Porthos. My real name is Princess Spot. All cats give themselves their own names. It is up to those around them to determine them. But you, you are different, and I know you will be gone soon. And so I have told you mine. 

Princess Spot, can you do something for me? It is a small thing, I think. 

Yes, of course. I will do something to remember you. What should it be? 

I want you to, one time, come to Metal Master when he calls you Spot. He thinks it is your whole name. Let him think that. Even though he is a Metal Master, I think that will make him happy. 

Well – 

I know cats do not always try to make their humans happy, at least, not the way that dogs do. You are more independent than we are. Yet I know you love your humans as much as we do. 

All right, but only if you do something for me, Porthos, will I do this. It is only fair. 

Tell me what it is, Princess Spot. 

Play with some string when you can, like we cats do. You will learn what fun it is. It is good when you are alone. It is my favorite game. 

I will do that for you, Princess Spot. 


“We’re almost in position, sir,” Wesley reported on the Bridge. 

“Understood, Mister Crusher. Take us there slowly,” replied the captain, “maneuvering thrusters only.” 

“Captain,” reported Counselor Troi, “I am sensing the anomalies this time. I did not before.” 

“Maybe Archer’s Enterprise is trying to do something comparable,” Riker speculated. 

“Let’s hope we’re not sending our new friend to his doom, Number One. Count down to the coordinates, Mister Crusher.” 

“Ten. Nine…” 


In Data’s quarters, the two pets touched noses briefly. 

Good-bye, Princess Spot. I will not forget you. 

Good-bye, Porthos. I will remember you, too. 


“Eight. Seven…”


On the NX-01, Jonathan Archer commanded, “Fire the phase cannon, Lieutenant.” 

“Aye, sir,” replied Reed, “firing forward cannon.” There was a pause. “The target has been hit.” 


“Six. Five…” 


T’Pol peered into her scope. “We appear to have successfully created a sufficient amount of gravimetric distortion. An anomaly has formed.” 

“Steer us into it, Travis,” Archer told the pilot. 

“Yes, sir.” 


“Four. Three…” 


“I am detecting the presence and growth of an anomaly,” Data reported from his quarters.

“I see it,” confirmed Geordi. 


“Two. One…” 


Good smell – I feel it again. Good-bye, Princess Spot. 

Safe journeys, Porthos.

Chapter 6 - The Smell of Home by jespah

Lili O’Day stood in Captain Archer’s quarters and saw a small ripple appear in the air, shimmering. She held her arms out and caught Porthos, who flew in, seemingly from nowhere. She staggered back a little with the force of reentry. “Gotcha!” she called out happily. She put the dog down. “Let’s go to the Bridge.” She flipped open her communicator as they walked. “O’Day to Archer. Sir, I’ve got someone who really wants to see you.” 


On the Enterprise-D, the anomaly dissipated quickly, and Porthos was gone. Geordi blinked a few times. “Do you think we were successful, Data?” 

“The chances were very high.” 

Spot sniffed around the area where Porthos had been standing when he vanished. She pawed at the floor a few times. 


He is gone. We were good friends. 


“Come, Spot,” Data requested. 

“Data,” Geordi smiled, “don’t you know by now that cats never come when they’re called?” 

But proving him wrong, Spot did respond to the name that Data had given her. 


On the Bridge of the NX-01, there was a joyful reunion. Even T’Pol deigned to pat the peripatetic canid. Lili stood there, a bit unsure of whether she should stay. She nervously fiddled with her hair tie even more, and pulled on it too much. It finally snapped, and went sailing past the Tactical station as Lieutenant Reed watched. 

Malcolm went to pick the article up, but the dog got to it first. He ran with it over to T’Pol’s station, wagging his tail. 

The captain grinned. “He never wanted to play with string before. Uh, Ensign O’Day?” 

“Yes, sir?” 

“Could you please escort him back to my quarters? We’ll tell Chef that you’ll be later than expected. And, uh, if you can spare a few minutes, maybe play with him a little, okay?” She looked at him in disbelief so he added, “Should I make that an order?”

“Uh, it’s okay. I’ll do it, sir.” She smiled.  “Hey, Porthos, let’s go! Yes, you can bring my old hair tie. You know you’re my favorite guy.” 


Good smell good smell good smell good smell home smell. Spot was right. This is fun! 

But I will never forget my friend Princess Spot. 

Good smell good smell good smell good smell …

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