Chris sat down at the end of a long table in the observation lounge. More so, he actually ‘plopped’ down in the chair. He had gotten little sleep last night, his mind all ready trying to come up with a solution.

None had presented themselves.

“Well, we’ve got a long day ahead of us,” Chris began. The entire senior staff was in the now-deserted lounge. A glass of water was in front of every one, but some how, Chris had a feeling they would be filled time and time again today. “Initial suggestions?”

It remained ominously quiet in the lounge. No one said a thing. It was clear they had also gotten little sleep last night.

“I think our main problem is that we have little information on Vorkalai space,” Ada piped in finally. “If we know how they operated with in their own space, we’d know how to steal information from them.”

Chris nodded. “Good point,” Chris said.

“Question is,” Kara said, “How do we find that out.”

Chris’s mind was blank. It was hard operating in the dark.

“Well, then,” Chris said. “Let’s get to work.”

The officers then spent the next 6 hours thinking up solutions, then finding they were all severely flawed. It was turning out to seem much longer than any had expected.

After 6 hours, the group suddenly stopped all talking and just sat down or leaned against something, thinking. It was ominously quiet…yet again.

Chris was leaning against the frame of one of the observation windows, thinking about a course of action they had earlier proposed.

Suddenly, Perkins broke the silence. “Well, it all boils down to that, no matter what, we must infiltrate Vorkalai space with out being detected.”

That’s when an idea spawned in his head. He stood fully upright abruptly, getting every one’s attention. “Well, then, extreme times calls for extreme measures,” he said.

Every one was confused. So, Chris continued. “Even though it actually wasn’t supposed to be allowed, every starship was given information on how to properly construct a cloaking device, based on Romulan technology.”

“We could equip a Bladerunner with a cloaking device!” Ada said, excited. Chris shook his head. “No, that wouldn’t do,” he said.

“Why not,” Sarah asked.

“Because, for one, we don’t know what exactly to look for,” Chris said.

“And the second reason?” Kalia asked.

“Because even if we did, we are gathering information on both how the Vorkalai operate, AND information on the Destroyer,” he said.

“So what DO we do with a cloaking device,” Kalia asked.

Chris smiled. He didn’t realize that they could’ve done this earlier until now, and now is as good a time as any. “Well, a predator is a better predator unseen than seen,” Chris said. He moved towards a panel on the far wall. “We equip both the Dragon and every support craft with a cloaking device.”

He heard slight commotion from the officers as he approached the panel. Most of it was from Ada and Kalia talking over how this would help things.

“Computer,” Chris said. When he heard a small tone, he finished, “Unlock all files pertaining to Cloaking devices, including on how to construct and configure one.”

“Situational command code required to unlock files,” the computer stated.

Each CO of a ship was given the ability open these files, but only if under extreme circumstances. So, each Captain was not to use them unless it was absolutely necessary. Chris’s command code was some what long for this particular ability.

“Authorization Harriman echo gamma 7 4 7 delta bravo 8 Zulu 5 3 7 Zeta 9 2 7 5 5 fox trot.”

After a moment, the computer replied, “Requested information unlocked.”

“Send to each command console and allow only senior officers to unlock requested information, unless other wise directed by that senior officer,” Chris ordered.

“Information sent.”

Chris smiled as he thought, “Now we can actually plan something out.”

“So, now all we have to do is decide where to start looking,” Sarah commented, breaking up the commotion.

“Yes, but it’d be better if we knew the locations of places,” Chris said. “What I recommend is that we leave the area, heading for Hintaru 3. Then, when we are far enough out of range, we cloak. Then, we enter Vorkalai space and start scouting out places.”

“Sounds good to me,” Ada stated.

“Any objections,” Chris asked. No one said a thing. “All right, then, let’s get to work on getting all vessels a cloaking device. Only fit 3 Bladerunners with one for now. Dismissed.”

Every one filed out of the observation lounge. Chris went to one of the large forward-facing windows and stared out at the stars for a few moments. Perhaps, with a cloaking device, this war could be won after all.

“All right, feed plasma through the conduit,” Kalia ordered Dison. “But do it slowly,” she cautioned.

She watched the screen intently, monitoring every system of the Romulan-designed cloaking device. To her satisfaction, every thing went as planned. She smiled as she tapped her comm badge.

“Tarkent to bridge,” Kalia said over the comm system.

Chris opened a channel and said, “Bridge here, go ahead.”

“Sir, the cloaking device should be ready now,” she said.

“Very well, bridge out,” Chris replied. He then opened a ship wide channel. “Senior officers to the bridge.”

Then, he looked at James. “Helm, set a course for Hintaru 3, maximum warp.”

James looked at him with a confused look on his face. “Captain?”

“We have to make sure they don’t know we can cloak,” Chris said. “Take us out of sensor range of their long range probes.”

Realization came to James' face and he replied, “Aye, Captain.”

“Well, couldn’t they have cloaked and gotten by the defense perimeter,” Perkins asked from ops.

“No,” Chris replied, that obvious question played through his head all ready. “We know their cloaking ‘frequency,’ and so can detect them cloaked now…well, at least, the perimeter can. Just yesterday, the perimeter had caught three Vorkalai ships trying to get by, but succeeded in destroying them.”

“Ingenious idea,” Perkins said. “Now if only they’d install them on the ships.”

Chris smiled at that remark, but then thought that they might not need it, if they had their own cloaking device. The Vorkalai probably don’t go too far back into their space to cloak before an attempted assault…he hoped.

How ever, the Dragon was one of the few ships that did have the cloaking frequency. It was, after all, one of the lead ships in this war effort.

Captain’s Log: Supplemental

We’ve reached an appropriate distance, and are ready to try the cloaking device. If this works, it will only make our assignment that much easier. If it fails, we’re back to square one.

“Confirmed at full stop,” James stated.

“Bridge to engineering, status report,” Chris ordered. He waited for a reply impatiently.

Finally, “Cloaking device is ready,” came Kalia’s reply.

“Engage,” Chris ordered.

Half of the lights turned a dark green color, which was no doubt a side effect from the Romulan design of the cloaking device. The stars around the view screen flickered for a moment, then returned to normal.

“Cloak is active and is working correctly,” Kalia said.

“Launch probe,” Chris ordered.

A launch warning sounded before a probe was seen through the view screen. “Getting telemetry,” Perkins stated. Chris was impatient, hoping this would work. It might be the only way for them to get into Vorkalai space.

“It’s working,” Perkins said with a sigh.

Chris didn’t take time to sigh. “Helm, set a course for Vorkalai space, maximum warp!”

Captain’s personal log

We’ve begun scanning over a planet controlled by the Vorkalai. Even with the planet’s vast sensor array meant to get deep into Hintaru space, they haven’t detected the Dragon. We’ve begun scanning over the planet, and are preparing a runabout to go to the surface and have a closer look.

Some how, I have the feeling our mission is going to take us a while. We’re looking for a single bit of information that’ll lead us to a grand fort of information on a super weapon, but that first single bit of information is stored with in Vorkalai space…a space so large that it might even rival the size of the Federation, Gorn, Romulan, and other alpha and beta quadrant species combined! Hopefully, we’ll be able to find it quickly.

Also, I’m not sure why I did it, but I assigned Sarah to the away mission. I’m not sure why I did, but I did…and put my wife at risk. Perhaps it comes with the job. I’m a Captain before I’m a husband…something I’m not rather happy to accept, but I must. My duty is to this crew as a whole… She’s my first officer…and I can’t treat her only as a wife, but as a competent officer…

“Caft to bridge,” Sarah said over the comm system. “We are leaving the shuttle bay now.”

The gray of the shuttle bay vanished to black space as the Runabout left the bay. She was tense…she hoped that this mission would be the immediate success. It most likely would not be, but oh well. If there was information on the Destroyer here, they would find it.

As they approached the planet and surrounding sensor grid, she decided to cut communications. “I’m ending communications now,” she stated. “Meridian out.”

And with that, she cut communications to the Dragon…to Chris.

“Passing by the sensor grid,” Ada reported from the seat beside Sarah’s pilot chair.

“Approaching the planet’s atmospheric layers,” Perkins stated from an aft ops station.

Sarah checked the cloaking device. “Boost power to the cloaking device, we don’t want it to lose power while we try going in silent.”

“Aye,” Perkins replied.

“Bring us in slow,” Ada commented quietly.

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