Once through the energy field, another tractor beam on the inside of the shuttle bay took over.

Just as she had expected, Chris was in the immense shuttle bay, patiently waiting for his wife to come home…

“No, I don’t think so,” Perkins said, stating that what she thought was correct. “If we take power from the tertiary deflector dish and put it into our shields, we can increase shield power and efficiency by three percent!”

“But if we did that, then a back up system that might be what saves our lives would be that much weaker,” Ada said from the command chair. The night shift was just beginning, and Perkins was ready to go to the holodeck simulation in a few minutes…as soon as she finished this argument with Ada.

She shook her head and said, “Do you really think the primary AND secondary deflector dishes would go off line so easily? And if they did, would one more back up system really matter that much?”

“Of course!” Ada said. “Trust me, you haven’t been out in the field as long as I have.”

Perkins frowned, then shrugged. “Look, we’re both anxious to get to the sim, so lets talk about this later and get the hell out of here,” Perkins said.

Perkins smiled and replied, “See you there.”

She stood from her post just in time for R’Sharn to get on to the bridge. Perkins frowned, for her shift had all ready taken place today. She seemed to be mad, something that seemed usual for her, and with out saying a word, stalked into the briefing room.

Perkins looked at Ada, who looked equally puzzled. “I’ll see what’s going on, you go on ahead,” Ada said. Perkins just nodded.

She entered the turbolift and stated, “Deck 5.” The lift traveled the short distance, and opened onto the deck. She left the turbolift and headed right for the holodeck, anxious to see the program her and Chris had created again.

As she rounded the curve to the holodeck, she could see the senior staff still waiting for Chris to let them in.

Chris spotted her and immediately asked, “Where’s Ada?”

“R’Sharn stormed onto the bridge and she’s seeing what’s wrong,” Perkins said, coming to a stop by Kalia.

“She ALWAYS is storming around the place in a bad attitude,” Kalia commented with annoyance. Perkins smiled despite her usual neutral position in matters such as this one.

“I think it’s about time I had a session with her,” Terry, the ships counselor, stated, a look of seriousness on his face.

“Let’s not talk about this now,” Chris said. He looked at Perkins and said, “I hope Ada doesn’t mind if we begin with out her.”

With those words, all conversation ceased, the crew eager to see what Perkins and Chris had come up with.

“Computer,” Chris began. “Begin Perkins/Harriman simulation 1, then let us in.”

For a moment, nothing happened. Then, the doors opened. Perkins, eager to see the holodeck program again, followed right behind Chris and Sarah.

It opened on to her home…Paris. They were all entering in front of some street, people walking around and talking noisily, most of it in French.

The entire senior staff looked longingly around at the city, the Eiffel Tower a beautiful mark of the Federation’s capitol city on Earth. It had some how lasted the years with very few structural integrity fields added to hold her up and few ‘refits’ to keep her structure beautiful.

After a while, Chris said, “All right every one, we have a reservation here.” He pointed towards the building they were standing in front of, which was a well-established restaurant that Perkins had eaten at regularly when she had been stationed on Earth.

They all entered the restaurant and was greeted by a man in a tuxedo. “Greetings, and welcome to Chez Michelle. How may I help you?”

“Reservation for Dragon crew,” Chris asked.

The man checked a data padd, then said, “Ah yes.” He gestured into the main room of the restaurant. “If you’ll follow me.”

Every one followed, grateful to see new faces. And the Restaurant was beautiful. Well decorated, with a fountain in the middle.

The crew was taken to an outside long table. As every one sat down, Perkins staying close to Kara, whom she was becoming friends with, the waiter asked for every one’s drink order.

After a while, and after every one had ordered their meals, the conversations began to strike up.

“How about that EMH and LMH program,” Perkins asked Kara. “I’ve heard they are very annoying.”

Kara sighed in annoyance. “Alone, they are OK, but when online together, all they do is bicker!”

Perkins snickered and asked, “Why don’t you just activate one at a time at all times then?”

“Because we never received a full medical staff, and we need the extra help,” she replied. She nodded to Perkins. “So how’s it feel being part of the senior staff?”

Perkins shook her head. “Well, despite the privileges, it’s some what annoying.”

Kara frowned. “How so?”

“Well, having to read department reports is getting annoying,” she said. “Before I was promoted, all reports went to the first officer. So I didn’t get many reports. Now…” She sighed.

Kara gave Perkins a reassuring smile. “You’ll get used to it.”

“Harriman to Marquet,” Chris suddenly said loud enough for every one to hear.

After a moment, she replied, “Go ahead.”

“Are you coming down here any time soon,” Chris asked.

“Sorry, the tactical console blew out and I’m helping an engineer repair it,” she replied.

Chris frowned. Kalia tapped her comm badge. “Do you need assistance,” she asked.

“No, we have it under control,” she replied.

“Very well, get down here as soon as you can,” Chris said. “Harriman out.”

“Do you play chess,” Kara asked, diverting Perkins attention back to their conversation.

“Which type,” Perkins asked.

Kara frowned. “I only know of one type.”

Perkins was surprised at first, then remembered that most have never even heard of the old type. “You’ve never heard of 2D chess?”

Kara shook her head, causing Perkins to smile. “Trust me, it’s a great…” Suddenly, every thing seemed to shake, and the alert klaxon could be heard whaling from seemingly no where.

“An ion storm is approaching!” Ada suddenly yelled over the comm system.

Chris and the others immediately stood, Perkins following them as they headed towards the exit.

“Computer, exit,” Chris ordered. In front of him, the holodeck doors appeared and opened to let the crew out. Half of the senior staff headed for one turbolift while the other half, Perkins included, headed for another one.

“Report,” Chris said as he entered the bridge along with a few other senior officers. The rest came from the turbolift on the other side of the bridge.

“ETA to impact one minute,” Ada stated from ops. She stood up to allow Perkins to sit down. Chris sat down at the command chair, the rest of the officers in their respective place except for Ada.

“And tactical is still down,” Ada finished.

“Can’t we out run it,” Chris asked, frowning.

Perkins shook her head. “No, sir, it’s too large.”

“How fast is it moving?!?!?” Chris asked, alarmed and confused.

“Almost faster than we can detect!” Perkins replied, very alarmed herself.

“We can’t be detected!” Chris shouted, a loud noise seeming to come from every where and no where was becoming audible.

“We could ride the wave!” James suggested. “It’s a long shot, but our only chance!”

Chris thought about it for a moment, then ordered, “Do it!”

The view screen changed to show the back of the ship, and in the distance, what appeared to be a bright star was some what evident. He didn’t know if it was the storm or just another star.

“All stop,” Chris ordered. “When it’s with in twenty seconds of hitting us, jump to maximum warp.”

“Aye sir,” James stated.

“Impact in one minute,” Perkins stated after the ship came to a full stop. Chris clenched his arm chair, hoping the Dragon could survive this intact and with it’s cloaking device online.

“All hands brace for impact,” Sarah said over a ship-wide comm system. “And I mean BRACE!”

“Engaging!” James stated, alarmed. The storm suddenly became all too visible on the view screen. The Dragon leapt into warp, the powerful energy storm literally hot on their tail. The ship bucked under every one’s feet, nearly throwing Chris from his chair, succeeding in throwing Ada from her post half way across the bridge.

She landed with a horrid crack and pop noise. He body then lay limp on the deck, being thrown around slightly while the ship continued to sway and buck. Every thing was shuddering under the immense energy storm’s power.

Then he felt it…something touched his mind. It was very faint, and only lasted a minute, if that. Every thing seemed to cease as Chris attempted to figure out what it was.

He had felt the touch a few times before, but couldn’t remember where from. A few times…once recently…

Chris then realized what it was. Despite the movement of the ship, Chris stood and walked to the spot in between the helm and the conn…a place he remembered Captain Picard had stood when talking to some one on the view screen or looking at something peculiar on the view screen.

“Q!” Chris yelled out. “Show yourself!”

Perkins and James looked at him, confusion and surprise showing at the same time on their faces.

For a moment, nothing happened. Chris wondered if he had been wrong. Perhaps the thing that touched his mind was something else.

How ever, that thought evaporated as a bright flash came from just behind Chris. He spun around furiously and glared at the recently appeared omnipotent creature.

“Stop this at once!” Chris shouted above all the noise.

Q merely shrugged, then snapped his fingers. Then every thing ceased. Chris looked at the view screen to see only streaking stars.

“All stop,” Chris ordered. “Medical emergency on the bridge.”

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