"Hard headed b…"

"Incoming transmission from the planet," R'Sharn stated.

"Let's see it," Ada stated.

The view screen changed from the relaxing view of the planet to the view of Admiral Piarn.

"I need to talk to Captain Harriman immediately," Piarn immediatly said.

Ada nodded before tapping her comm badge. "Captain Harriman to the bridge."

The lift stopped and permitted Chris, Tom, and Sarah to enter the bridge. He immediately saw Admiral Piarn's image on the view screen.

To confirm what he saw, Ada stated, "Admiral Piarn on subspace communication."

Chris stood directly in front of the command chair. "What can I do for you, Admiral?" he asked.

Admiral Piarn had a sad face. "We received word from Outpost 327 that they were being attacked by the Destroyer. Fifty ships were in that vicinity, and we haven't heard from the station or those ships since initial contact."

For the hundredth time since this war began, Chris felt his spirits diminish. "We've dispatched a scout ship to investigate. We'll receive word with in a few minutes."

Chris nodded as he was forced to sit down in the command chair. It felt as if a large weight had been placed upon him.

Then he remembered: "Admiral, we believe we've found a way to destroy the Destroyer."

Admiral Piarn's spirits obviously lifted at that. "Really?" he asked, hopeful.

Chris nodded and replied, "We'll send a Runabout with the information to your location."

Piarn nodded and stated, "I'm at Outpost 300."

"Copy," Chris said out of habit from his recent dogfight on the holodeck. He seemed to have two modes. One was normal, the other was fighter pilot. Sarah found the transition between the two modes amusing.

And standing with tradition to her amusement, she barely stopped her self from giggling, as Chris noticed she covered her smile with her hand. He could barely keep himself from laughing in response.

"Dragon out," Chris stated.

The screen changed to show the Alliance emblem before showing the Dragon's orbit again. Chris stood and stated, "Tom, prepare a detailed report and transfer it to the Meridian. Inform me when you finish, Sarah and I will be taking the Meridian to Outpost 300 ourselves."

He walked to his ready room and stated, "Sarah, you have the bridge." He entered and immediately headed for the replicator.

"Tea, Earl Gray, hot," he stated. In response, a cup with the Federation emblem appeared, the steaming Earl Gray in it.

Chris took the cup from the replicator and proceeded to his usual location staring out of the aft window. With in moments, he was lost in his thoughts…

"Dropping out of warp," P'San stated in her soft voice.

Kalam nodded in reply. P'San was average height, and was unusually beautiful by Hintaru standards, or so she had been told many times.

Kalam, on the other hand, was a tall, gruff looking Britar. He had rather pronounced ridges, which in the males of the Britar, was a sign of great bravery and courage.

"Beginning the scan," P'San stated. Immediately, she found exactly what they had found before: no debris, just a severe temporal disturbance that could not be approached.

"Nothing…" she simply stated.

"Any signs that the Destroyer is still in the vicinity?" Kalam's gruff voice asked in reply.

"No, but there is a minor distortion trail leading back towards Vorkalai space," she stated. "Consistent with the trail that the Dragon first detected."

Kalam looked at her, a devious look on his face. "Should we follow?"

P'San looked at him and raised an eyebrow in surprise. "It's against our orders," she replied. She then nodded, and began to dispatch a subspace message to Outpost 300.

"Outpost 300, we've arrived at Outpost 327 and have found a large temporal distortion consistent to that of the location of all other attacks," she began. "There is no sign of the Destroyer, and actually, we see a sign that it has already left for Vorkalai space. We are staying in the area to investigate the distortion. Parlain out."

"Setting course," Kalam said the moment she closed the channel.

"Engaging at maximum warp," P'San stated.

"We received the report you see now just a few moments ago," Piarn stated to Chris. Chris had expected this, so he simply nodded.

"We'll have the information to you soon," Chris stated. "We'll be dispatching the Runabout to you shortly with the information."

Piarn nodded and stated, "Piarn out."

"Halkrat to Harriman, information has been downloaded to the Meridian," Tom suddenly stated over the comm system.

Chris stood and took his cup of Earl Gray to the replicator. One touch of a button, and it disappeared.

"Have Commander Caft meet me in shuttle bay one in five minutes. You have the bridge," Chris stated as he headed for the exit.

"Showing signs of increased temporal distortion," P'San stated, her excitement and adrenaline at a high level.

"It looks to be dispersing into the surrounding space," Kalam stated. "It could be the wake of the ship."

"Matching speed," P'San stated.

She looked out the forward window, though she couldn't see the ship. "We finally get to find out where you go after your strikes…"

Serene, peaceful, quiet. Exactly how it was in the Meridian.

"Don't you just enjoy being alone together in deep space?" Chris asked from the pilot's seat in the Runabout. "Just…" He took in a big breath. "A chance to get away from everyone."

"So that's why you dragged me out with you, eh?" Sarah asked, amused.

Chris smiled in reply. "Of course." He looked at her, and she in return. "Remember we used to do this during my last year at the academy?" he asked.

She smiled and replied, "Yes, I do." She looked back out the window. "It's too bad we never exposed our emotions for one another then…"

Chris nodded and also looked back out. "But I wanted to each and every time…"

Sarah looked at him again and said, "I'm just glad we're together now…"

A sensor alarm sounded, interrupting their thoughts. Chris looked at the readings to confirm what he'd rather not have been able to confirm for a while longer. "Approaching Outpost 300," Chris stated. Sarah stared at him a moment longer, then looked at her own console.

"Dropping out of warp," Chris stated. The streaking stars stopped to form the pinpoint dots, as the rather large military outpost loomed ahead.

Chris opened a channel and stated, "Meridian to Outpost 300, request permission to land in landing bay 1."

"Granted," a voice replied instantly. "Sending proper telemetry."

Chris nodded in confirmation as the data streamed onto the Meridian's navigational console, even though who ever had sent it could not see him. He allowed autopilot to take over, and sat back to enjoy the ride.

The outpost was a very heavily armed one. Designed by the Britar, it could easily hold it's own against a small Vorkalai fleet. Quantum Torpedo launchers were facing every direction, as were phaser banks.

The large bay doors opened on the outpost into a bay that was surprisingly empty. No doubt all of the self-sufficient craft that were usually stationed in the bay were out on patrol.

The Meridian swiftly entered the bay, the doors closing behind it. It landed gently on the ground. Chris stood up and headed for the access hatch, Sarah following. He grabbed a data disk on the way out, and was greeted by Admiral Piarn.

"Captain Harriman, I didn't expect you to be the one to deliver the information," Piarn stated, shaking Chris's hand.

Chris smiled and replied, "Sarah and I needed to get off ship." He gave out a small laugh and said, "Even on a ship as large as the Dragon, it can get claustrophobic."

"So what have you found?" Piarn asked, getting down to business.

Chris handed him the disk and stated, "All information on how to destroy that piece of junk is on that data disk."

Piarn took the disk, examined it, and smiled. "Good. Hopefully we won't lose any more ships or outposts like Outpost 327."

Chris shook his head in dismay. "That thing isn't going to do much of that any more…"

"I'm reading a large concentration of temporal disruption ahead," P'San stated. She looked at Kalam and stated, "I think its stopping."

P'San looked back at her console and began to slow the ship down. "Long range sensors indicate a planet ahead, dropping out of warp."

The stars then stopped streaking by. She did so just in time to read a very large ship on sensors.

"The Destroyer's base," Kalam stated quietly.

"Dispatch a coded message to Admiral Piarn informing him of the planet's location," P'San stated, not taking her eyes off of the console.

"What have you got?" Piarn asked. Sarah and Chris followed him onto the outpost's command bridge.

"We just received word from the scout ship Parlain," some one stated from ops. "They say they've found the Destroyer's base of operations!"

Sarah's heart leapt up to her throat as she realized what this meant.

The whole Command Bridge went silent momentarily. Piarn looked at Sarah and Chris and smiled. He said to no one in particular, "Inform all ships to converge on Outpost 300…"

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