“Sir, two of the ships just went into high warp, the other two have activated a self destruct,” Sarah reported.

“Our ‘friends’ are hailing,” Ada said.

“On screen,” Chris ordered. Suddenly a very familiar looking person appeared on the main view screen.

“Captain Harriman, it’s nice to meet you again,” Commander Carl Dutralium began. The purplish hued Hintaru alien smiled. “We stole a Vorkalai ship that had some prototype weaponry and propulsion systems, and we now can reach a speed of warp 17.”

“I see,” Chris said. “Good to meet you too. I also see you put our weaponry to good use.”

Carl laughed and replied, “Yes, it’s what saved us. Only our ships are what remains of our ‘outpost.’ Unfortunately, we just lost three other ships and most of our ships are in dire need of repairs.”

“As do we,” Chris replied. “Our first priority is to get propulsion back online before more Vorkalai ships arrive. Concentrate repairs on your ships on that as well as life support if needed.”

“Very well, Dintaqua out,” Carl replied.

As the view screen returned to the tactical display, Chris ordered, “Status report.”

“Six confirmed deaths,” Sarah reported. “Over forty people injured, warp nacelles and power distribution network both are heavily damaged. Most of the phaser banks are off line and the shield generator just fried itself. Engineering reports that it’ll take two days before we can go to warp with out danger of damaging the warp engines and a day to repair the shield generator. A few Vorkalai escaped during the battle, but they have been taken care of.”

Chris sighed as he said, “The first confirmed deaths on this ship,” Chris said. He looked around the battered bridge for a moment, and then said, “I want it to be the last. Find some way to modify the shields so that we can withstand their weaponry. Correlate your efforts with the Hintaru ships.”

Chris then opened a ship wide channel. “To all changelings aboard this vessel. I here by order you to cease your actions and to surrender. If you do so now, we will not be forced to harm any of you. We can either find some way to coexist, or we can find some other way of settling this with out violence.” Chris paused for a moment as he prepared to continue on. “Think about it…the Jem Hadar are doomed in our home galaxy. They must either surrender or allow them selves to be destroyed by the Borg. How ever, think about this. We are trillions of light years away from home! We won’t get back any time soon, and so your efforts will be useless. If the Federation wins the war, what good is a single ship against the Federation? If the Jem Hadar have won the war, then what good is a single remaining Federation starship? Right now all I care about is the safety of my crew. I could care less about the Milky Way Galaxy right now as I try to keep us all alive.

“I know I made a mistake. I did kill one of your followers because I thought there was no other way of solving this. I didn’t think diplomatically, and I hope you can see past this. I don’t want another death on my hands…not from this crew or from one of your followers. We are stuck out here alone, and we can either get home, or die here in the Kalium galaxy…its your choice.”

After a moment Chris was about to say something else when Sarah suddenly de-activated the intercom system. She stood and moved to the front of the bridge. Suddenly she changed into what looked to be the natural humanoid state of a changeling.

“I am the leader of the changeling group aboard this vessel,” the changeling stated. “I am Odan, and I adhere to your terms.”

Sarah finally was about to get a channel open to the bridge. She had been tampering with a damaged console in the dimly lit room. Suddenly the door slid open and light pierced into the room.

Sarah quickly looked towards the door to see what appeared to be Chris. He had a huge grin on his face as he saw her, and she knew immediately what had happened.

“Chris!!!” she yelled as she ran to him. She almost ran him down as she embraced him forcefully.

She felt joy over come her as she was finally rescued. She had been the third prisoner to be taken, right after Terry and Kalia. She looked back to see them both come towards the door. She smiled at them and then hugged Chris even harder.

Captain’s log: supplemental.

I can’t believe myself. I had actually killed some one when I could have used diplomacy. I went against all of my training at the Academy, and only now did I realize my error. I am glad that I was able to save Sarah, yet it surprised me that the entire time it had been Sarah who was the leader of the changelings. Since Kalia’s capture, she had been a changeling. She said they had even tortured them at times.

Unfortunately three changelings had been killed in the battle. The remaining fifteen changelings have agreed to something that suites us all.

“And so Captain, we request that you find an uninhabited M class planet to deposit us on so that we may make our own way and pay for what we have done,” the lead changeling stated. “So that you may find a way back to the Milky Way with out interference and that one day you might come back and pick us up before you leave.”

After a moment, Chris said, “Of course, if none of my officers disagree.” After no one said any thing, he said, “Very well, after we are fully repaired, we shall do so.”

“Agreed,” the changeling said.

Star Trek Dragon graphics and written material copyright Jon Wasik. Star Trek is a registered trademark
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