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Protocols

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Protocols is a short story by the pseudonymous jespah.

The story concerns off-duty activity on the Enterprise (NX-01), during the Xindi conflict.

On October 9, 2153, Lili O'Day prepares a birthday cake for Jonathan Archer, writing Happy Birthday, Jonathan! on it in icing. Chef William Slocum reminds her that it is considered disrespectful to use such familiarity with the captain, and he is still in a foul mood, and has been since suffering the Loque'que virus (ENT: "Extinction"). Will further questions her choice of a strawberry shortcake, as he has always made the captain chocolate cakes with no complaints.

When Lili serves the cake, the captain is finishing dinner with Commander T'Pol, Major Jay Hayes and Malcolm Reed. Hayes and Reed are bickering over training schedules, and the fact that the ship's gymnasium isn't big enough for both groups to train at the same time. T'Pol offers a solution which is partly successful, and Lili offers an added solution, even though it is not her place and she is talking out of turn.

She apologizes for using such a familiar designation for the captain, but he instead thanks her for remembering that he is a person, and sometimes it's all too much, going after the Xindi ultimate weapon, 24/7. She vows to make him another strawberry shortcake the following year, even though he's unsure whether he will make it to another birthday.

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