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Battle of Azati Prime

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"Enterprise is a tough ship. She took more than anyone could ask her to and then some. And so have all of you."

The Battle of Azati Prime was an indecisive military conflict fought during the Xindi incident in 2154. Four Xindi warships under the command of Dolim launched an unauthorized attack on Enterprise while in the Azati Prime system. Dolim was ordered by Degra, with the backing of the Xindi Council, to call off the attack before Enterprise was destroyed.

PreludeEdit

Prior to the battle, Enterprise Captain Archer formulated a plan to destroy the Xindi weapon in a suicide attack. However, upon entering the oceanic expanses of the planet Azati Prime, Archer was captured and delivered to the Xindi-Reptilians, who proceeded to torture Archer for information. Upon learning of the destruction of a Xindi monitoring station, the Reptilians ascertained the location of Enterprise, now under the command of Sub-Commander T'Pol, who wanted to find "a diplomatic solution" to retrieve Archer. The Reptilians, however, unilaterally decided to launch an attack, with the intention of destroying the Earth vessel. Under the command of Dolim, a squadron consisting of two Reptilian warships and two Insectoid starships approached Enterprise with orders to strike the craft.

BattleEdit

Facing four Xindi ships, Enterprise was severely outgunned and outnumbered. With the Xindi's superior technology, the first few shots easily penetrated Enterprise's hull plating, leaving the hull exposed to Xindi weapons fire. Despite being outgunned, Enterprise's weapons fire managed to destroy one of the attacking Reptilian ships, before it began to sustain heavy damage. Enterprise's limited defensive capabilities led to its systems becoming exposed, as the Xindi targeted crucial systems, including weapons, communications, and propulsion. (ENT: "Azati Prime") Defenseless, Enterprise came perilously close to destruction. (ENT: "Azati Prime", "Damage")

The final draft script of "Azati Prime" even went as far as to call the Battle of Azati Prime "by far the worst beating Enterprise has taken in the history of the series."
The writing staff of Star Trek: Enterprise designed the Battle of Azati Prime while bearing in mind the fact that "Azati Prime", which depicted the conflict at the conclusion of the episode, was scheduled to be the last installment before the series took a six-week break for reruns. Thus, Brannon Braga commented about the battle, "We purposely designed it to be something of a cliffhanger, as the ship is going down in flames." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 151,  p. 33)

Eventually, the attack abruptly halted. Degra, with the backing of the Council, had ordered Dolim to withdraw.

AftermathEdit

Enterprise severely damaged, 2154

Enterprise after the battle

The battle ended in a tactical stalemate; the Xindi had lost one vessel, and Enterprise was suffering extensive damage. Following the disengagement, Dolim remained resentful toward the other members of the Council for having to suspend an attack on an enemy vessel in Xindi space, which served to further divide the Council and the eventual launch of the weapon under control of only two of the Xindi sub-species, the Reptilians and Insectoids.

The damage to Enterprise had been heavy. In addition to the extensive hull damage that could only be repaired upon its return to Earth months later, the primary warp coil was destroyed in the attack, rendering the ship unable to travel at warp speed. In addition, the starboard warp nacelle took heavy damage. The weapons systems were also severely damaged; following the battle, only the aft torpedo launcher was working, although the phase cannons and forward launchers were eventually repaired. Most of the primary systems were rendered inoperative, although they were eventually repaired over the course of the mission. C, D and E decks suffered hull breaches (three people were blown into space when C Deck decompressed). In addition, Enterprise crew suffered eighteen killed and approximately twenty-four wounded. (ENT: "Damage")

In a scene that was written into the final draft script of "Damage" but is not in the final version of that episode, T'Pol admitted that "recent events seem to have negated" the option of "trying the diplomatic approach" and Trip Tucker remarked, "Never thought I'd see us take a beating like this." Assessing the damage, their dialogue then established that not only had Enterprise's starboard nacelle "lost a helluva lot of plating", in Tucker's words, but one of the ship's exhaust manifolds had been damaged too, as T'Pol pointed out. On the other hand, Tucker commented the damage "doesn't look too bad" and represented merely a "couple days' work."

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