Chris tapped his comm badge and said, "Harriman to Dragon, medical emergency. Beam Commander Trieal and Commander Tarkent directly to sick bay."
Tom walked over to the creature Chris had shot and began scanning it himself. Crab-like exoskeleton small venom sacks in its mouth capable of withstanding only small amounts of pressure. Definitely a shallow-water creature.
Thats when he noticed for the first time that Kara and Kalia were still with them. "Away team to Dragon, respond please!" Chris said, a worried tone taking over his mouth.
"Look!" Vendar suddenly shouted, pointing off to the horizon.
Tom spun around and looked off to where she was pointing. For the briefest moment, he surely thought his life prematurely flashed before his eyes
"Report!" Lieutenant Commander RSharn stated as she stood up from the command chair.
"Subspace interference is too strong to get a signal through," Lieutenant Tieran stated.
"How the hell can a storm produce sub-space interference?!" she thought loud.
"Uhh a storm as big as this one," Lieutenant-Commander Charley McKariant stated from the science station suddenly said.
With that, the view screen activated, and RSharn felt her blue mouth suddenly hang open.
"Jesus!" she heard someone whisper from behind her. Engulfing a forth of the planet, a giant, hurricane-like storm showed its mean, ugly eye at the Dragon. And to RSharns horror it was moving towards the planets continent
Vendars jaw seemed to stretch all the way to the sand as she stared in awe and in fear at the great storm brewing on the horizon. The ominous clouds seemed to stretch endlessly up into the blue sky, creating a dark splotch in the sky a splotch that was moving towards them at an alarm speed.
She immediately took out her tricorder and started scanning the area. "I dont know the source, but somethings majorly disrupting subspace. We wont be getting a transmission off of this planet any time soon let alone be beaming off."
"Gee, thanks for the bad news," Chris commented wryly. He sighed and added, "Well people, lets find shelter. Im sure we can find something in the forest."
As Vendar put her tricorder away, she started to back away, keeping her eyes on the storm a moment longer. She started to turn, but then something caught her eye.
"We dont have much time," she stated, pointing at the receding waters. "Looks like an immense tidal wave is coming in."
Chris spun around to look, cussed, and started off at a run, Sarah right beside him, followed closely by the senior staff.
Vendar looked behind her just as she entered the forest. Her heart skipped a beat as the storm seemed closer than ever now. Just barely visible below the dark clouds was an immense tidal wave building up and closing in fast
"Damn!" she heard herself say. Oops! She added in her thoughts. "Move it, now!"
With that, the senior staff took off at a run. Not wanting to leave anybody behind, Vendar stayed behind, helping anyone who tripped or got caught in the dense foliage.
She glanced back, and for a moment felt the most intense fear shed ever felt! Already breaking, the giant wave came ever closer, threatening to take her with it once it subsided back into the ocean!
She looked forward and noticed that shed fallen behind a bit, so picked up the pace. The extra energy in her body allowed her to run at very fast paces, but it wasnt enough.
At the last second, when she calculated that she was almost out of range of the giant tidal wave, she suddenly felt a force crash into her body, sending her tumbling across the dense forest floor! Her body hit trees left and right, but for the moment, she could feel no pain. Adrenaline further pumped into her blood, threatening to exhaust her before she even had a chance to try to save herself!
In an instant, the water was no longer pushing her further inward, and was instead pulling her back out of the forest, pulling her out to sea! Thanks to the tidal wave, however, there were far fewer trees for her already injured body to hit. She tried to keep above the water, and tried to get her bearings. When that failed, she decided to simply swim against the current, to try to stay on land before the wave took her out into the ocean!
Her energy-enhanced muscles pounding and throbbing against all odds, she was disappointed when she noticed that she now wasnt moving at all! Instead, despite all her efforts, she seemed to be standing in the same place!
Vendar quickly looked around and, to her relief, she saw a tree nearby, one with a dense enough trunk to not be pulled out, but also a slender enough one for her to grasp. She quickly turned in the water and pumped with all of her strength! Finally, after what seemed like millennia, she reached the tree and grabbed on, clasping her fingers together to prevent herself from being pulled away. The pain of her fingers popping in restraint to the constant tugging was excruciating, but somehow the pain eventually subsided.
I dont know how much longer I can hold on
Sarah heard a sudden, blood-curdling scream from behind them. Knowing what was happening, she only allowed herself a quick moment to look back. To her horror, behind her, she saw the end of the tidal wave engulf Vendar and immediately pulled her deeper into the subsiding current.
Noticing that the wave was no longer approaching them, she grabbed Chris arm and came to a stop. The entire senior staff followed and looked helplessly at Vendar as she was pulled away from them. With in moments, she was concealed by the trees that seemed to barely hold.
The entire staff short of breath, Chris tapped his comm badge. "Harriman to Perkins!" he said above the roar of the storm. Rain began to finally pelt down on the staff, quickly turning into a torrential down poor.
Sarah buried her head in her hands, not wanting to accept what had just happened. Chris put his hand on her shoulder and began rubbing it, trying to make her feel better. "There was nothing any of us could do," he said as quietly as he could in the deafening storm. "The best thing we can do now is hope that the extra energy in her body will allow her to survive, and that well be able to find her."
"If anyone can survive the swim back to shore," Kalia commented quietly. "Its Vendar "
Chris gave one last, sympathetic squeeze to Sarahs shoulder, then began to slowly walk away, keeping his eyes on the subsiding water. "Come on, people," he said. "Lets try to find shelter before this storm gets even more out of hand."
Taking one last look at the water herself, Sarah slowly followed everyone deeper into the forest. As she looked forward again, she noticed that they had a steep climb ahead of them. This wet storm wasnt going to make things easier
"I need options and I need them now!" RSharn stated flatly, moving form console to console. Her antenna moved in one direction, her eyes another, trying to find anything that might help the situation.
"If we had an Intrepid class starship, we could just take the whole damn ship in to rescue them," James stated, keeping an eye on the view screen.
"Even if we could take the ship in," Terry McKariant replied, "subspace interference might interfere too much with our systems for the ship to properly operate."
"Is the interference that bad?" RSharn asked, moving to the science station.
"For a ship, yes," Terry said quietly. "But we might be able to get an over-powered support craft in there."
Looking at the readouts, RSharn said, "But the only, as you say, overpowered support craft we have are the Bladerunners, and theres no way we could get the entire senior staff out of there without risking too many lives in the process."
She stared at the readouts, trying to find some answer in the storms properties itself. "I hate not being able to do a damn thing about this," she conceded quietly to Terry.
"I got it!" James suddenly shouted excitedly, shooting up from the helm. "What about the one support craft we havent even given a field test yet!"
RSharn felt her eyes pop open as she also realized the blatant fact. "The Captains Yacht! It was designed to be able to withstand high-end subspace interference, among other things!"
"But can we gain access to it?" Tieran asked.
"Of course, he gave Terry, James and I access to it, among other things, when the war ended," RSharn stated. She moved down towards the command chair, regretting what she was about to order. "Unfortunately, Im in command right now which means I wont be going anywhere. James, Terry, Tieran, take the yacht down and find our senior staff."
"Yes, maam," they all replied, heading towards one of the aft turbolifts.
"Take as few risks as you can, but get our people back!"
Vendar slowly opened her eyes, trying to protect them from the stinging rain, but also trying to see where she was. She found herself still clinging to the tree, her knuckles nearly dislocated but not quite yet. The water had subsided long ago, and the mud had slowly collected on her tattered and torn uniform.
Her muscles protesting the whole way, she used the tree to slowly stand up. Once or twice she slipped in the mud and fell back down, but after a few minutes of trying, she finally got to a full stance.
Immediately, she could tell that a few of her ribs were fractured, and she had sprained at least one joint, in her right wrist. For now, though, thats all she could identify.
She looked around, trying to get her bearings. To her sudden relief, she suddenly noticed that she had grabbed on to a tree at just the right moment. Just twenty or so meters more, and she would have left the tree line! After that, she would have been lost at sea!
Instinctively, she tapped her comm badge. "Perkins to away team, is any one in range?" She waited a desperate few moments, already knowing that there would be no reply. The best thing for her to do now was to simply make her way in the direction they had been moving before.
Slowly, painfully, she began to make her way up towards the center of the island
"Come on, everyone!" Chris shouted above the raging storm as he attempted to work his way up the slick hill. "Help each other out, work together! We can make it to the top of this!"
He momentarily stopped his ascent and moved to Kalias side and put her right arm around his shoulder, trying to help her with her injured foot. Kara came around to her other side and also helped.
Slipping and sliding as they went, the started up again, trying with all their strength to the top of this hill. Why am I pushing this crew up to the top of this hill? he thought to himself. Immediately the answer came to his mind. A feeling, one that can only be coming from your instinct. Well, Chris, your instinct has never failed you before, and has saved many a lives, including Sarahs. Dont stop now.
Ahead, Tom slipped, but was immediately caught by Ada, who helped him back to his feet then gave him a boost as they traveled up. Good at least they arent letting their personal problems interfere with helping one another.
Chris felt his feet slide out from under him, but then felt the ever-helpful hand of Sarah grab on and help him keep his grip in the muddy hill. They continued to push, helping each other, making there way slowly but surely up the mountains.
Instinct dont fail me now
Finally, he noticed Ada and Tom make it up to the top of the hill. Both just crouched down and looked down the hill, waiting to help others up the rest of the way.
Star Trek Dragon graphics and written
material copyright Jon Wasik. Star Trek is a registered