The Vahklas was a Vulcan Vahklas-type civilian transport commanded by Tavin, the leader of its crew of V'tosh ka'tur. The vessel used a Vulcan frequency to hail other ships and was capable of visual communication. The Vahklas left Vulcan in approximately 2143.
Although the crew of the Vahklas disagreed with the common interpretation of Surak's teachings, an ornament resembling the Vulcan philosopher was displayed in a room aboard the transport ship.
Encounter with Enterprise
In 2151, the Vahklas encountered the Earth starship Enterprise NX-01, charting the nearby Arachnid Nebula, far from Vulcan. Captain Jonathan Archer, commanding officer of Enterprise, commented that he had never seen a Vulcan ship like the Vahklas before. Sub-Commander T'Pol revealed that the Vulcans had not used the class of ship the Vahklas for a long time.
Though the Vahklas was equipped with an impulse drive, the ship's propulsion and life support systems required several days of repair work when the vessel encountered Enterprise. When Captain Archer agreed to provide assistance to the Vulcan crew, the Vahklas docked with the Starfleet vessel.
In Enterprise's main engineering department, Commander Charles Tucker claimed that he had never seen an engine as badly damaged as the one aboard the Vahklas. He reported that every plasma relay in the damaged vessel's reactor would have to be changed.
The Vulcan crew asked for medical supplies and 1,000 liters of plasma coolant from Enterprise, a request which Captain Archer was happy to meet.
Studying the Arachnid Nebula
While still docked with Enterprise, the Vahklas accompanied the starship to the Arachnid Nebula. Upon arrival, Tavin informed Captain Archer that the Vahklas was equipped with translinear sensors. The Vulcan suggested using the advanced sensors to help Enterprise quickly complete a survey of the nebula. Archer, who was grateful for the assistance, ordered T'Pol to visit the Vahklas and monitor the data collected there.
Enterprise and the Vahklas entered the Arachnid nebula, while Tolaris, a member of the Vulcan crew, watched the spatial anomaly on a viewscreen aboard the transport ship. T'Pol frequently visited the Vahklas, where she worked in the same room as Tolaris.
During her first day aboard the Vahklas, T'Pol noticed the statue of Surak and took readings of the Arachnid Nebula which she later brought aboard Enterprise.
When she returned to the Vahklas on the following day, T'Pol reported that she hadn't been able to scan the Arachnid Nebula's disodium layer, since the transport ship's lateral sensors had been out of alignment. Later, she mentioned that the transport ship's sensors were detecting more than twenty million cubic meters of disodium and traces of ethylchlorate.
Repair work continues
Aboard Enterprise, Kov, an engineer from the Vahklas, commented that the repairs to the Vulcan transport ship were going well. At night, Kov test-fired the Vahklas' port thruster. The following day, Kov remarked that the thruster was still off by twelve percent, which Commander Tucker expected was due to a faulty plasma injector. The Human engineer believed the problem would be relatively easy to correct.
As Kov was leaving Enterprise, Tucker told him not to let the intermix pressure aboard the transport ship drift above five thousand and to constantly be aware of the vessel's injector ports.
- See: Vahklas personnel
In the script of "Fusion" (both the first draft and final draft), the Vahklas was described as "a small, weathered transport ship." The fact that the teleplay characterized the vessel as an old civilian spacecraft which was in need of some repair influenced the vessel's design; the CGI modelers at Eden FX added a rippled or melted effect to the ship's exterior surface texture to imply that the craft had been in space for a long time. (Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection, issue 88, pp. 10 & 11)
In a documentary included in the ENT Season 1 DVD, Geoffrey Mandel recalled some notable features of the room where T'Pol and Tolaris work; "We basically saw, for the first time, Vulcan control panels, Vulcan backlits, kind of a Vulcan architecture. 'Cause we'd always heard about these things, maybe glimpsed a little bit of it on The Original Series but this, I think, was the first time we ever really saw it and... personally, I think it looked great. I mean, we had all sorts of cool things going on. There were domes that we had silk-screened and backlit so they were domes within domes that were sort of astrogator-type things where you see stars projected on the inside."
He also revealed that one of his favorite things that he designed for Star Trek: Enterprise was a Vulcan starmap seen in the room where the Vulcans study. On the subject of Vulcan starmaps, he noted, "I decided that, because Vulcans grew up in a planet with a different sun, they see colors differently, so their starmaps, instead of having a black background, would have reddish backgrounds...."
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