"Launch sequence has been initiated," James stated. Terry watched with interest as he watched on a feed from the stardrive section the bay doors opening. At first, the bay doors just seemed to ‘pop’ off of the ship. However, guided and held in place with forcefields and tractor beams, the doors parted and slid across the bottom of the saucer section.

"Bay doors are clear," Tieran stated from an aft Ops console.

"Engaging thrusters," James said. Out the forward windows, Terry saw that they had indeed launched. The bay was no longer visible, and he could now see the bottom of the Dragon, the stars, and part of the storm-strewn surface of the planet.

Immediately, that changed. The planet came into full view, and started getting closer.

"Take us in easy," Terry ordered.



R’Sharn watched anxiously as the yacht left the bay. The bay was created with windows so that people could see the yacht launch through them. It was rather interesting to see…

She gave them her best wishes as they engaged impulse engines and left her view. Soon, the bay doors obscured her view. All she could see was the lit interior of the yacht bay.

"Good luck…"



Vendar jumped a meter high as a lighting bolt struck not more than ten meters away. The smell of burned plants and ozone filled her nostrils.

She continued to climb up the steep hill, noticing, with great hope, that other people had left marks from climbing. All she needed to do was follow their trail until she either caught up to them or found whatever shelter they had found.

For the past twenty minutes, she had wondered if she was going to die or not. Many times, she had thought she was going to die. The tidal wave taking her, lighting bolts striking up to five meters from her, trees falling down almost on top of her. It was almost like some force kept anything from harming her…but barely.

Exhausted, she sighed in relief as she finally made it to the top of the hill. Five times she had slipped and fallen back to the bottom of the hill. She grabbed onto some planet for support, but it immediately gave way. She slipped onto her face and began to slide down, but before she could fall too much, she got a hold of a better-rooted planet.

Her muscles protesting with pain and weakness, she barely managed to pull herself back up to the top. For probably several minutes, she remained there, the left side of her face slowly sinking into the mud.



Suddenly, the Captain’s Yacht lurched to the side. The lights and panels flickered for a moment, indicating power fluctuation. Not a moment later, the same thing happened.

"Report!" Terry ordered.

"For some reason, lighting seems to be attracted to us!" Tieran replied. "And this is some powerful stuff! Shields are down to eighty seven percent!"

The yacht lurched again, only this time it caused a panel at the back of the cockpit to explode in a shower of sparks. "Correction, seventy two percent!"

"Why’s the lighting attracted to us?!" James asked, trying to keep the ship under control while they traveled down through the swilling clouds.

Being a science officer, Terry began to think about that question himself. He didn’t hear Tieran’s response of "I don’t know!" as he began to mentally analyze the properties of the storm.

"Wait a minute!" he said, bracing himself as another bolt struck. "The storm appears to be somehow effecting subspace, right?"

"Yeah, so?" Tieran replied.

"So don’t our scanners and communications system interface with subspace?"

For a moment, Tieran didn’t reply. Finally, he said, "You’re right, our sensor sweeps are probably attracting the lightning to us! Plus our comm system is active!"

"Shut them down, now!" Terry ordered. Lighting once again struck the ship, nearly throwing him out of his seat next to James.

"Communications system is no longer powered," Tieran confirmed. "Deactivating subspace scanners."

"I’m flying blind now!" James shouted in alarm.

"Keep our rate of descent slow and use visual scanners once we’re clear of the clouds!" Terry ordered.

Terry waited anxiously, waiting for another lightning bolt to strike. After about a minute, they finally cleared the clouds. All they could see was water and a hazy horizon.

"Where’s the continent?" Terry asked, panic edging into his voice.

"We were knocked off course by the storm," James stated. "Hold on, I found it."

The yacht banked to starboard and, to Terry’s relief, the small continent filled their view of the water.

"There she is…" Tieran said in relief.

"James, take us in," Terry ordered. "Let’s look for any type of possible shelter, caves or what ever. Tieran, activate our communications again, but keep them on very low bandwidth. Try to keep the range short, no more than three-fourths of a kilometer."

"Aye, sir," Tieran replied.

Terry kept an eye on the island, noticing lighting bolts strike here and there. The side of the island they were approaching had obviously taken heavy flood damage. "A tidal wave must have hit…I hope our people got away in time."

"We’ll find out soon enough," James replied.



After about five minutes of resting, Vendar finally decided to open her eyes. For a moment, time seemed to stand still. To her elation, directly ahead, was some sort of structure!

They must be in there! she thought to herself.

Her muscles complaining the whole way, she pushed herself up to her feet. Slowly, stumbling as she went, she began to make her way towards the structure. It seemed kilometers away, each and every step shooting pain up her spine.

Several times, she took a short rest against a tree, her muscles wanting to just quit working. She could tell that, despite the drenching rain that made her uniform heavy, she was severely dehydrated.

Finally, after nearly fifteen minutes, she made it. Almost too exhausted to think, she tried to push and pull the door. To her surprise, a male computer voice stated, "Please place a finger in scanner slot for identification."

She decided to take a closer look at the door, and this time she noticed a small slot in the door. Her hands almost shaking too much for her to do so, she placed her left index finger into the hole.

Some text displayed across the screen, but before she could even see what language it was in, her vision severely blurred. Am I going to die?



The sound of the lock on the door startled everyone. Kara moved to Kalia’s side, phaser drawn. She looked ready to protect Kalia no matter what it took. Everyone else simply turned towards the door and moved into an attack stance, phasers drawn.

For a moment, nothing seemed to happen. The door did not move, no sound was ever made. For a moment, Sarah wondered if the door had malfunctioned.

Without warning, the door slid into the wall, and there, drenched and wearing a torn uniform, stood Vendar!

"Vendar!" Chris suddenly exclaimed.

Before anyone could do or say anything else, however, Vendar suddenly fell to her knees. A moment later, she was flat on the floor. Alarmed, everyone stowed away their phasers and ran to her aid.

Chris and Ada dragged Vendar into the door, but no one remembered to close the door itself. Kara began scanning her over with her tricorder quickly, afraid that Vendar might already be dead.

"What’s wrong with her, Doctor?" Chris asked.

"Sever exhaustion and dehydration," Kara replied, closing her tricorder. "She must have used a lot of energy in order to survive that tidal wave. I’m surprised even she survived it. Plus, she’s running a high fever."

For a moment, everyone just stared at Vendar’s limp body. They knew that if they didn’t make it back to the Dragon soon, Vendar, along with Kalia, would die. Sarah knew that everyone else would eventually follow. This shelter couldn’t provide them with clean water, and this storm would make it somewhat difficult to make water with. Their uniforms were poor filters. In fact, water barely penetrated them, and when they did, it only meant that they became soaked!

Plus, food was probably scarce right now with this storm raging on. And it’s not like anyone could go outside to actually look for food, either!

A low whining sound began to fill the air, and for a moment, Sarah thought she was hallucinating. Does that mean I’ve also become dehydrated?

"What’s that sound?" Ada asked, looking out the open doorway.

Relieved that she wasn’t hallucinating, Sarah now became curious. She stood up and started to move towards the door.

"** **yone ther*" they all suddenly heard over their comm badges. "I ***eat, I* **yone there? Cap***ns Yach* ** *way team, can *ou hea* me?"

Chris immediately tapped his comm badge. "This is Captain Harriman. Terry, is that you?!"

"Hey, Cappy!!" the now-familiar voice of Terry replied. "I knew you had to have at least survived!"

"Get down here, now!" Chris ordered. "We have injured and we need to get them back to the ship as soon as possible!"

"Aye, Cappy," Terry replied. "There’s a clearing behind the building you’re in. We’re about to land there, meet us there. Captain’s Yacht out."

Sarah raised here eyebrows in surprise. "So, looks like you weren’t the one to take her out on her first voyage, eh ‘Cappy?’"

Chris smirked at her, then ordered, "Come on, everyone…let’s get these two out there."

Tom, Kara and Ada all moved to Kalia while Chris and Sarah both took one of Vendar’s arms. They put her arms around the shoulders, then looked at each other. Sarah stared into Chris’s eyes, seeing the all-too-familiar love he felt for her flashing across them. Once again, they had survived together…

It took some working, and they all became soaked once again, but they made it to the back of the building. There, Sarah saw one of the most beautiful sights she had seen in hours.

"To hell with this planet," Chris said slowly, admiring the Captain’s Yacht. "Let’s go home…"



Captain’s Log,

It’s been about a day since we were on the planet the crew had named Neo Risa while we were gone. Of course, they had given it that name before the storm had formed. Kalia and Vendar are both recovering in sickbay and are expected to return to duty within the next couple of days.

From the looks of it, this unexplainable storm will probably last up to three weeks, if not a full month. As it dissipates off the East Coast of the continent, it continues to form just off of the west cost, basically ‘hovering’ just above the continent.

We now look at humanity in a different perspective. How could humans have been a dominant species in this galaxy at one time?

At least one question has finally be answer, however. That is, why the Kiklar attacked us. They have been hunting humans down in this galaxy for a long time. Suddenly, humans pop up again, and they supposedly live in another galaxy. I wonder…does this mean the Kiklar will attempt to invade our galaxy one-day? If so…then the Borg will be the least of our problems…



Chris eased himself into the command chair, aches and pains from their ‘away mission’ still piercing his muscles. To his relief, the chair seemed to absorb his body, and almost massaged his muscles the further he sunk in.

"Our previous course has been laid in," James reported from the helm.

He stared at the viewscreen…at the planet. This Neo Risa had left them with many questions, questions that boggled the mind more than anything.

"Today," he stated quietly. "We leave this paradise with many questions on our minds. Where did we really come from? Who are the humans that once lived in this galaxy? How did they get here?

"Those questions are part of our mission. We are, after all, explorers." He raised his eyebrows and sighed slowly. "Sometimes, though…we might not want to even know the answers to those questions. Our beliefs that we have held true throughout all of our history…could now be proven completely inaccurate."

He continued to stare at the planet, his mind struggling for an answer to these questions.

"Space is a dangerous place," Sarah added quietly. "In more ways than just one, with treasures to savor those who’s hunger is both curious and savage. But this is part of our mission."

"Indeed," Chris replied, looking down at the deck. "And I have no doubt that the answer to our questions…" He looked up again and pointed to the stars. "…lies out there…somewhere."

"This has been one hell of a ride," Ada said. "But it’s just the beginning, Chris…you know that as well as I do."

Chris smiled and nodded. Indeed, this sleigh ride was not about to finish…was not about to get even easier. Things could only become more difficult the further they went.

"Well, then…shall we boldly go where no one has gone before?" Sarah asked with a slight smirk on her face.

Chris returned the expression, then gave in. How many times must I try to sound philosophical…and fail? I hope my crew doesn’t think I’m too stupid…

"Helm, break orbit," Chris ordered, sitting further back into his chair. "Resume course. As soon as we’re clear, engage at warp seventeen."

His stare lingered at the planet just long enough before the Dragon banked away. For a moment, the eye of the storm seemed to wink at Chris. He mentally laughed at himself, and wondered not what the answers to their questions would be…but how they would find the answers…

Space truly was vast…

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