“Very well,” Chris said, his voice still that of awe. “Take us into a standard orbit and perform standard scans.”

“Aye, sir,” James replied.

“Sir, some one on the planet is hailing us,” a lieutenant at the ops station stated. Chris recognized her as Perkins, the one who had woken him up this morning.

Chris immediately went to the command chair and stood in front of it looking at the screen. “On screen,” he ordered. “I’m Captain Chris Harriman of the Federation starship Dragon.”

A human looking person with ridges on his nose appeared. That person reminded Chris of a Bajoran. He was even wearing an earring similar to that of the Bajoran earrings. “I am Kailar Nerissay. We are happy to receive you and your ship, Captain,” the man said in a peaceful voice. “We would be honored if you could join us later for some refreshments. We’ll deal with the diplomacy then.”

“Agreed,” Chris said. “How ever, I have something I need to deal with on my ship first. I’ll have to contact you as soon as we are free.”

Kailar nodded and replied, “Very well, Captain. We look forward to meeting you in person. Nerissay out.”

The screen returned to show the starfield with the planet to the port of the Dragon. Chris tapped his comm badge and ordered, “Senior officers report to the conference room immediately.”

Finally, the ship’s chief security officer, Lieutenant Ada Marquet, looked up from the console in front of her in the briefing room. She looked Chris in directly in the eye with a look of confusion and fear at the same time.

“Apparently,” Chris began, “The Paris had failed to stop the forty Jem Hadar warships from coming.”

“It was reported that hull fragments were found on the Dominion home world after the war ended,” Ada commented. “They were from a Federation starship.”

“So, we must succeed where the Paris failed,” Chris said. He already knew the question that would arise.

To confirm his suspicions, Tom asked, “How? We’re stuck here in the Kalium Galaxy with no way back to our galaxy.”

Chris nodded to the ship’s chief engineer, Commander Kalia Tarkent. She didn’t know what he had meant at first, but then realized what it was.

“Oh,” Kalia started. “Well, the Captain and I have been working on a way to get home,” Kalia began. “I remember overhearing an admiral at Starfleet headquarters mention about a possible way to create some sort of a temporal infusion device. Supposedly, it could send a ship across vast expanses of space. Once it starts the process, time ‘stops’ while the ship travels, making it seem to the crew and everyone else as if the transfer was instantaneous. They found the technology on a heavily damaged Borg Sphere about a year after the Wolf 359 incident.”

Chris felt another pang of guilt and dread as he remembered that terrifying battle. So many ships lost in the second battle ever against a Borg ship. The first being when the Enterprise was thrown to system J25 by Q.

“Apparently, from what I can gather, the information on that thing was put on all ships in case of emergency, but under lock out Omega,” Kalia finished.

“The Omega security level is the highest,” Ada stated. “Only top brass can access it.”

Chris had a thought, and said, “Well, the computer let me access files with the Orion security level. Maybe… Computer, was there ever a recovered Borg device that would allow instantaneous travel between vast expanses?”

After a moment, the familiar computer voice responded, “That information is classified under security lock out Omega.”

“Unlock file. Authorization: Harriman 22 Beta Gamma.”

“Negative,” the computer stated. “Under no circumstances are these files to be unlocked except under a Fleet Admiral’s authorization, or higher.”

“Damn,” Chris said, banging his hand on the table. “Any one in here a hacker,” Chris asked, referring to an old Earth term used for people on the Internet who could access any file any where using either legal, or usually illegal, tools.

Suddenly, a form appeared in the briefing room. It startled every one, especially when Chris realized who it was.

“Kailar,” Chris said, stunned. “How’d you get here!”

“Actually, I’ve been here, Captain,” Kailar stated. “Right now you see me as an isomorphic projection.”

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.