Chris looked at Kalia, who had a frown on her face. She stepped away from the engineering console, and said, “I never called for him.”

Chris was confused once again, but then realized something. “Sarah, would you please join me in my ready room?”

As they entered his ready room, they waited for the door to close behind them. “Sarah, when we go out to the bridge again, I need you to do something,” Chris began. “Do a sweep of the bridge if you can, and if there are two evil-feeling presence’s, tap my hand once.”

Sarah nodded, and they entered the Bridge again. As they sat down, Chris got the conformation from Sarah that there were now two changelings on the bridge.

Chris decided not to act for another hour before he decided to make his move. “Sarah, Ada, Kalia, if you will please accompany me to my ready room,” Chris suddenly asked. They all followed him in.

“Just a moment, before we begin, I’d like to get myself something to drink,” Chris said. The others sat down on the couch in the ready room as Chris tapped a few parameters into the replicator. Suddenly a type two phaser appeared. Chris turned and aimed it at Kalia, and fired. Suddenly Kalia turned into a puddle of silver liquid.

Both Ada and Sarah moved away as the puddle reformed into the shape of Kalia once again. Ada drew her phaser and also pointed it at Kalia.

“How did you know,” the changeling asked, eyeing both Chris and Ada.

“It’s nice having even a half Betazoid as your first officer,” Chris remarked. “All I had to do is put two and two together.” Chris tapped his combadge, and ordered, “Counselor, please come to my ready room.”

Chris pointed his phaser at the entrance just as Terry walked in, and Chris fired. Just as with the other changeling, Terry turned into a puddle of silver liquid. Every one on the bridge looked surprised, and then Chris realized he had better make sure word doesn’t get out.

“Computer, seal off Deck 1, authorization Harriman 224 Omega.”

“Deck One has been sealed off,” the computer replied. “No one may enter or leave deck one.”

Terry turned into the form of the first missing crewmember. He sat down next to the other changeling.

“Now, I want some answers, and I want them now,” Chris said in a commanding tone. “First of all, how many are there?” Neither of the two responded. “You know, I can keep reverting you back to your liquid state until you either die or respond.”

After a moment of silence, Chris fired at Kalia again, who went through the process again. “Well,” he asked.

“Including us, twenty,” Kalia finally responded.

“Who,” Chris asked. After no response, he fired again, this time at the other changeling. Since he would get no answer from either of them, he continued to do this. He really hated doing this, but he had a responsibility to the ship and her crew.

Finally, the second changeling screamed as Chris hit it again, and it turned into the silver puddle, this time permanently. Chris pointed his phaser at Kalia, who put her hands up, and said, “All right! I’ll tell you what I know!”

Unfortunately, the changeling didn’t know who was who, as they always met in their natural humanoid forms. They had only recently been ordered to begin getting up in the command chain. Also unfortunate, she/he didn’t know where the real Kalia and Terry were being held.

Chris then did an intraship beaming to a security cell, and then to be safe, asked if the could shoot the security officer on duty to make sure he wasn’t a changeling. He agreed, and Chris shot him, confirming that he wasn’t a changeling. “You are to not allow any one in here…as a matter of fact, you will be confined to your quarters. Go now.”

They put the changeling in a holding cell, and then left. Chris sealed off the brig, and then went back to the bridge again to talk to the crew who witnessed every thing. He had to make sure that word of it didn’t get out.

“As I told the bridge crew, you can not let this leave the bridge,” Chris explained to his remaining senior officers. “We must be discrete about our operation. Find out who the remaining eight-teen changelings are and find out where our crewmembers are. Also, be cautious…the others were caught off guard, don’t let the same happen to you.”

The briefing lounge was quiet for a moment. Every one present was thinking about Kalia and Terry…whether or not they were alive, and if they were, hoping that they were unharmed.

“I know this is difficult for you all, but we must also not forget about the Vorkalai,” Chris continued. “We must continue through space to find Hintaru space. Unless we find another area of space occupied by a vast fleet of ships, that is our only hope of stopping the Vorkalai. Of course, we will spread our Quantum torpedo technology to each species we encounter. How ever, this goes against the Prime Directive. I would like to hear any objections any of you have.”

“Well,” Sarah began, “In this situation, I say screw the Prime Directive. And as that cold Vulcan saying goes, the needs of the many out weighs the needs of the few…and we need to protect this galaxy from a foe that is just short of being as deadly as the Borg.”

“I agree,” Ada put in. “If we don’t give our technology to other species, we are still going against every thing the Federation is for.” Ada looked at the remaining officers as she spoke, almost like she was giving a speech. “I mean, we are supposed to protect innocent lives. Any one who threatens are mission should be considered a target of the Federation.”

“Well,” Began Tom, “I don’t see it in Ada’s point of view, but I do agree that we should spread the technology. We would be sentencing millions upon billions of lives to either death or imprisonment! Who here want’s to do that?” Tom also was looking from officer to officer.

Now Kara said her piece of mind. “Frankly, I don’t care about the Prime Directive right now. We are trillions of light years from home! Though we must keep the standards of the Federation intact, we are in a completely different situation than the Federation may ever encounter in the next couple of centuries!” She was looking from officer to officer, mostly focusing on Chris. “I mean, if we are going to survive, we need to start setting our own rules! Of course, not straying too far from the ideals of the Federation and Starfleet.”

“Agreed,” Chris responded. “Though we won’t be able to set these rules in the here and now, we will set them as we go along.”

“Which brings me to another situation,” Sarah began. “I was talking with a crew member from the USS Argus before I came aboard the Dragon, who was transported here from the future…from Voyager. She mentioned a new type of shuttle called the Delta Flyer. Tom Paris had said something about ‘Standard shuttles just won’t cut it in the Delta Quadrant’. I think this pertains to our situation as well. Chris, we could use your star fighter design as the basis of a new type of shuttle! We could enlarge it so that it can accommodate more than one person, and maybe even with a cloak, if we can find one, as well as the most advanced weaponry and shielding on it that we can fit on it. Of course, in the process, we’d have to make it very maneuverable.”

“Not a bad idea,” Chris said as he thought a moment. “We could build a couple of those, as well as maybe a few of the standard types for certain battle situations. Any objections?”

No body said any thing. “All right, how ever, we won’t even mention this project until the last of the changelings is either captured or killed. Dismissed.”

Captain’s log: supplemental

As we continue on into the depths of the Kalium Galaxy, I can only wonder what lies ahead of us. How ever, with the 18 changelings left, I must forget about the galaxy for the time being. We must resolve this situation as soon as possible or the changelings may get the upper hand before long.

As for the new shuttle and fighter craft, we will begin to work on them once the situation with the changelings is resolved. As for my two missing officers, I wonder how they are fairing. I hope they are doing their duty in either trying to escape or trying to find some way to contact us. This ship won’t be the same with out them, which is why it is imperative that we find them immediately. I am telling only select crewmembers about this, specifically, mostly security officers. I’ve also tested each one with the phaser fire, which I adjusted so that it wouldn’t harm humans, but it would revert the changelings into their natural state.

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.