“Proving Ground”
Page 1 of 7
Story by: Chris Black
Teleplay by: Chris Black
Directed by: David Livingston

Synopsis followed by review: 
After a quick summary via flashbacks of the Xindi storyline, the scene shifts to an Andorian ship where we see Commander Shran pouring himself a drink. He is called to the bridge. His Lieutenant tells him they’ve “lost the warp trail.” She questions their mission as it’s been weeks since they’ve been looking for the Enterprise and that they have probably not survived. Shran tells her to continue searching. She suggests they should return to Andoria while they can as the Expanse is a dangerous place. Shran chides her for being afraid of the Expanse much like the Vulcans would be and tells her not to “underestimate these pinkskins.” They continue scanning.

In the Xindi Council chamber, Degra is angry that not all of the members are there as he had said it was urgent. The Xindi-Reptilian is angry also when he finds out that the weapon isn’t ready yet. Degra tells them that they will be testing the prototype in three days and that they will be able to “view the test remotely from this chamber.” If it is successful, the weapon will be ready in a month or maybe sooner.

Meanwhile in the Command Centre on the Enterprise, Hoshi informs Archer that she has been able to track the signal of the kemocite that was planted on the Xindi ship in the episode “The Shipment”. Both she and T’Pol have been able to reconstruct 30% of the database using the reduntant memory core. T’Pol tells Archer that the signal is located within a dense and large anomaly field and that it will take 17 days to get through it at warp five.

They arrive at the field and T’Pol tells Archer that she has mapped the largest anomalies but that the field is very dense and they “may not be able to avoid all of them.” They skim past one of them. An anomaly begins to form and is enlarging. They can’t avoid it and it passes through the ship. They are trapped within it. Travis picks up a signal from a ship. The ship uses a tractor beam to pull the Enterprise out of the anomaly. Archer hails the ship to thank them. It is an Andorian ship, the Kumari. Archer is surprised to see that it is commanded by Shran.

Later on board the Enterprise, Shran tells Archer he is brave to “try to traverse an anomaly field in a ship this fragile” T’Pol asks how they managed to find the Enterprise. Shran tells her they used the warp signature they acquired during their last meeting. He tells them that he knows about what happened to Earth and T’Pol remarks that they must have been “monitoring communications between Starfleet and the Vulcan High Command.” Shran turns his attention to her. He notices she is not in uniform. She tells him she has resigned her commission. Shran tells Archer that they are there to help unlike the Vulcans who “couldn’t even spare one officer”; that T’Pol had to “abandon her career to remain on the ship.” He tells Archer they will help if he wants it.

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