He felt the familiar press of a hypospray on his neck, and immediately felt relief from his killer headache. He slowly opened his eyes, letting them adjust to the lighting. Finally, after several minutes, he managed to sit up.

He looked to his left to see Sarah standing next to him, her hand on his arm. Next to her was Commander Kara Trieal, who was setting a hypospray down on a tray.

"What happened?" he asked quietly, loud voices still making his head hurt.

Sarah sighed and shook her head. "When we were pulled into the anomaly, you and twenty other crew members lost consciousness. When we emerged from the anomaly, we found the nebula to have a significantly small density compared to what it was supposed to have. We put the Excelsior in a tractor beam and towed it out." She sighed yet again and shrugged. "All we know now is that we are somewhere in the past. Sensors were damaged from the nebula, so for the time being, there’s no way of knowing when we are."

Chris rubbed his right temple, trying to rub away the last elements of the headache. "How long have I been out?" he asked curiously.

"A day, sir," Kara replied instantly, scanning him over with a tricorder. "You’re the first of everyone who lost consciousness to regain it."

He looked at Kara in surprise, then slowly looked at Sarah. "What’s the status of the Excelsior?" he asked, curious about this ‘ghost ship.’

Sarah closed her eyes morbidly, unable to hide the sadness in her voice. "She’s lost forty percent of her crew…and she’s sustained a lot of damage."

He quickly slid off of the bio bed. At first, he was a little dizzy, but he recovered quickly. He managed to finally stand up without showing much of his disorientation…he hoped…

"What about the anomaly?" he asked, trying to concentrate on her face so that he wouldn’t become sick from the ‘spinning’ room.

Sarah shook her head, the morbid look intensifying. "It collapsed two hours after we emerged from it…"

He tried to prevent despair from entering his facial expression, but he couldn’t stop the despair from overtaking his emotions. He knew that it was more than likely that they’d be stuck here for a while…

"I’ll be in my ready room," he stated as he swiftly moved out of the sick bay, his disorientation seemingly all but gone. Before Kara could finish her protests, he was in the turbolift and moving to the Bridge.

He tried to think of a way out of the situation, his mind racing. He hadn’t asked all of these people to join his crew just so they could be stranded…and he owed it to them to get the ship back.

Then he realized that he wouldn’t be able to come up with a solution until he knew more about the situation.

The turbolift stopped and opened up onto the back of the well-lit bridge. He stepped out, quickly heading for his ready room.

"Captain on the bridge!" Tom said in a loud voice, standing up at attention from the command chair.

Chris paused at his now-open ready room doors and smiled at him. "Two things, Tom. One, we’re friends, so don’t call me Captain. Two…this isn’t a military ship, so drop the formalities all together."

Tom looked at him confused, hesitancy obviously showing on his face, then he nodded. "I’ll try."

Chris’s smile deepened, then he ordered, "Open a secure channel to the Excelsior, and put it through to my ready room."

Tom nodded, then began carrying out his orders as he entered the ready room. He immediately moved to the replicator in his spacious ready room and ordered a cup of Earl Gray tea.

As he sat down behind his desk, an alert sounded on his desk computer, letting him know the transmission had been put through. He rotated the screen to face him, activated it, and stated, "Authorization Harriman two-two-beta-seven."

Immediately, the all-too familiar, and famous, face of Captain Hikaru Sulu appeared.

"Captain Sulu!" Chris said in a voice he hoped sounded very honoring. "I’m Captain Chris Harriman."

Sulu nodded and replied curtly, "Nice to see you finally awake, Captain. Your first officer has informed me of the situation, but your ship is apparently in no better condition than our own."

Chris nodded, agreeing with the famous captain. "Until we can get our sensors online, there’s nothing we can really do," he said quietly. "We’re basically sitting ducks, when this could be any time period in history."

Sulu sighed, clearly worn out from the entire ordeal. "We have an even bigger problem," he said morbidly. "Life support is failing, and we can’t repair it."

Chris smiled, proud that he finally could help this famous person out. "I’m sure my people will be able to repair it. Further more, I’d be honored if you’d host us for dinner aboard your ship."

Sulu didn’t smile as Chris had expected, he simply nodded. "Very well…but my entire senior staff has been killed…so the table might be a little empty."

Trying to comfort him, Chris added jokingly, "Don’t worry, my staff is loud enough to make up for that."

Sulu managed a weak smile, but it immediately vanished. "We’ll be ready to receive you in an hour. Excelsior out."

With that, the all-too-familiar Federation emblem replaced Captain Sulu’s face. Chris leaned back in his chair, thankful that the Dragon hadn’t lost any one…let alone his own senior staff. He definitely felt sorry for the Captain, and wished he could somehow help…



Chris paused mid-motion as he continued to listen to Captain Sulu’s description of how they had found themselves almost a century ahead of their time. His fork full of food was halfway between the plate and his mouth as he listened with curiosity.

"At first, we weren’t sure it was a temporal anomaly," Sulu stated plainly. "Theoretically, tachyon emissions were a result of temporal anomalies, but that hasn’t been proven yet."

Chris was about to comment how, in his time, tachyon emissions had been directly associated with time, but realized that he would seriously be breaching the temporal prime directive if he did that. I don’t want to lose my command after my first mission, let alone my entire rank, he thought, stuffing the food into his mouth to keep himself quiet.

"We signaled Starfleet Command that we were going to move into the nebula to get a closer look, then slowly edged in," Sulu continued as he also took a bite of his dinner. "That was when some sort of gravimetric force hit our ship and began pulling us into the anomaly. Moments later, we emerged on the other side with a few of my crew unconscious."

"The same thing just happened to us," Chris stated in a matter-of-fact tone of voice.

Sulu nodded in reply, then continued on. "When we emerged, we had to launch a probe to relay our distress signal. We thought no one had probably heard it as the probe was destroyed long before it emerged from the nebula. Gravimetric sheer was beginning to tear our ship apart. If it hadn’t been for the anomaly pulling us back in to give us temporary relief…" Sulu hesitated for a moment, a look of sadness crossing his face. "…We would have lost even more people…"

Chris set his fork down on his plate and looked at Sulu with an equally sad face. He wanted to somehow console the man, but how does one try to make someone like Captain Hikaru Sulu feel better? The man was bigger than life!

Before he could say anything, however, his communicator beeped. He sighed in slight annoyance before he tapped his badge. "Harriman here, go ahead."

"Captain, we have sensors back online," Suran, now the junior science officer, stated.

Chris looked to Sulu, who looked equally hopeful and curious. "Begin scanning chronometric particles," Chris ordered, trying to maintain a command tone of voice. "Let’s see if we can find out when we are."

"Already scanning, sir," Suran replied.

Chris waited impatiently, knowing the scans took time but also not wanting to have to wait. He wanted to know what the entire situation was, and he wanted to know now!

Finally, after several minutes of tense silence around the table, Suran finally hesitantly said, "It is…difficult to tell what time period we are in, sir."

Chris frowned, slightly confused by Suran’s curious response. "Explain," he ordered.

"These chronometric readings are unlike any that Starfleet has seen or projected," Suran stated bluntly, his unemotional Vulcan voice almost becoming monotone. "However, they are similar to Starfleet’s projections on how the particles would be like in the late twentieth century."

Chris’s frown deepened, curiosity, with a hint of fear, edging into his voice. "Well then why don’t they match Starfleet’s projections if that’s the time period we’re in?"

"Unknown, sir," Suran replied, a hint of exasperation breaking through his stone-cold voice.

Tom suddenly looked up from his plate, realization on his face…which effectively made the entire room look at him. He looked around for a moment, almost blushing at having everyone’s attention on him.

"You have something?" Chris asked, curious.

Hesitant at first, Tom replied, "Uhhh…yes…sir. It’s probable that we didn’t go through just a temporal anomaly."

Before Chris could make the suggestion that he just now realized, Suran cut in, "It’s possible, sirs, that it was a dimensional rift of some sort."

"Precisely!" Tom stated, enthused that he wasn’t the only one who was thinking along his lines.

Fear suddenly swept over Chris as he realized what the situation could very well be. "Suran…run a comparison of these readings to those taken by the Enterprise-D when she was in the mirror universe."

Silence engulfed the room as everyone realized, and hoped, that the Dragon and Excelsior weren’t stranded in that dimension. Even Captain Sulu knew what the mirror universe was, for Captain Kirk and a few of his officers had once been stranded there.

In the twenty third century, while the original Enterprise was attempting to negotiate to set up a dilithium mine, a transporter accident had stranded Kirk, McCoy, and two other officers in what became known as the mirror universe. In a basic sense, the four people had switched places with their counterparts, who were then detained on the ‘real’ Enterprise.

The mirror universe was, to say the least, barbaric. Though history had developed along similar lines as in the real Enterprise’s dimension, a noted diversion occurred during the Eugenics War… Due to that one change, history was forever altered in that universe. The Federation had become a violent, dominant, war-like culture that did not explore…but conquered. Captain Kirk and his crew barely managed to make it back.

Almost a century later, the Federation in that mirror universe decided to try to invade the ‘real’ universe using its Enterprise-D. Their weapons far more powerful than anything the Federation had ever created or encountered, the crew of the Enterprise was forced to infiltrate the mirror ship, and barely succeeded in thwarting the invasion.

Chris’s heart leapt into his throat as Suran finally, and quite suddenly, replied. "Analysis complete, sir. I regret to inform you that the readings are almost identical." Despair over came the fear Chris was feeling as he realized things would get a lot more difficult from here on out. "With a basis to go by for comparison," Suran added, "I can now determine that we are in the Earth year 1996…approximately two months after the start of the Eugenics war."

With that, hope suddenly shot up in Chris. There were almost no space-faring species at this time in history, and the changes in the time line had not yet occurred. For now, the Dragon and the Excelsior were safe.

Star Trek Dragon graphics and written material copyright Jon Wasik. Star Trek is a registered trademark
of Paramount Pictures, a Viacom company. No copyright infringement intended.