Chris started to object, but the Rukarians had already unfolded its wings and was starting to fly away.

He didn’t like this, not at all. People were going to die simply because of who he was…and he couldn’t allow that!

He had to think, and he had to think hard. What would make these people stop fighting him?

Wait a minute he thought. Think about it. Those first five fights were in the first three days! I haven’t been in one since! Maybe…just maybe, I’ve earned enough respect that no one’s going to try their luck on me…

He hoped so, any way. He activated his torch again and started to work at the piece of ore he had been working on before.



"…If there’s anyone who can help us with this, it’s him." Allion stated over the comm channel.

Leaning back in the chair in the Captain’s Ready Room, Sarah nodded. "Very well, but we’ll need his bio signature if we’re to get him out."

Allion thought about that for a moment, then nodded. "I think we have one on record, but it’s been about ten years since he was taken. It might be a little out of date, especially when he lives in a place like that."

Sarah nodded in response. "We should be able to compensate for that."

"After you get those two, immediately take down the moon’s shields." She said. "Otherwise, our assault will just completely fail."

"Don’t worry," Sarah said quietly. "We’ll take them down. You should know that your technology is far superior to our own. We’d be destroyed in a matter of minutes if we tried to stay in the battle."

"We all understand that," Allion replied. "But you’ll still be an integral part and always be remembered for taking down the moon’s shields. You’re sure the planet didn’t have shields?"

"Pretty sure," Sarah said. "Our sensor records showed no shield net or anything. If there was one, there isn’t now. I think they’ve become so comfortable inside their little mine field that they think they won’t ever be attacked."

"Let’s hope you’re right, Captain," she said. "We’ll finish up preparations now. We’ll be ready the moment your support craft comes back with the telemetry."

"Very well, Dragon out." The Federation emblem immediately replaced Allion’s face, finally allowing Sarah to really relax. This was her first time really commanding during any negotiations. Every time they had encountered new species, she had let Chris handle negotiations and had just watched from the sidelines.

She was definitely not used to this…she preferred just being First Officer…

"Bridge to Captain Caft," Vendar’s voice stated over the comm system.

Sarah tapped her comm badge and said, "Go ahead, Vendar."

"We’re receiving a signal from the Yacht, and they just decloaked," she said. "They’ve got the path plotted."

That didn’t take long, Sarah thought. Only about eighteen hours! "I’m on my way."

She stood up, walked around the desk, and entered the Bridge. Tom and James’s faces were already on the view screen. "Commander," She said as she headed for the command chair. "What have you to report."

"It’s a rather straight path through the barrier," Tom stated as James worked the helm. "Plus, most of the ships are scattered throughout their space, looking for anyone else who might be able to make it through, like we did."

"What about the shields on the moon?" Sarah asked.

"They’re not active, as we had hoped."

"Excellent," she said quietly sitting down. "Then our primary plan will work. Tom, get back aboard." Excitement coursed through her body. It was finally time… "It’s time to get our Captain back…"

"Aye, Captain. Yacht out." As the space ahead of them, along with the Yacht, replaced his face, Sarah smiled.

"Hail the fleet," she said. "Tell them we’re going in, and that we await their action."

"Receiving telemetry," the woman at the helm stated.

"Plot a course and prepare to engage," Sarah ordered. "Engage the cloaking device the moment the Yacht is secure."

She leaned back in her chair, her excitement continuing to rise! "All hands, this is the Captain. We’re about to go in… All hands to battle stations, red alert!"

The alert klaxon sounded, and immediately the bridge became a flurry of motion. The working, well oiled machine known as the Dragon began to work, and it worked at an efficiency that it never had before!

Now was the time to get their Captain back…to get their friend back. Now was the time that the reign of the Rukarians would end!

"Receiving a reply from the fleet," Vendar said. "They say we’ve got an hour and a half before they’ll enter Rukarian space."

"That should be enough time for us to find them," Sarah said.

"Yacht secured," Vendar added.

"Engaging cloaking device," Ada stated.

The red lighting seemed to dim itself, plunging the bridge into further darkness, only to be replaced by the familiar green lighting resulting from the cloaking mode. The starfield on the view screen wavered for a moment, then stabilized.

"Cloaking device is working perfectly," Kalia Tarkent stated over the comm system. "We’re ready to go, Captain."

Sarah leaned forward in her chair, willing herself to give the order. It was now or never, there was no turning back now. They were committed, and they would not fail…they couldn’t fail!

Finally, after just a moment of hesitation, she ordered, "Helm…take us in."



Captain’s Log, Supplemental

We’ve almost reached the edge of the barrier. I know this is going to be one hell of a battle. I want no one to mistake my actions here. I’m doing this for Chris and for Chris alone. Helping all of the people who have suffered because of the Rukarians is simply a by-product.

I would like to state for the record before we eject our log buoy that this crew has served well under the most extreme circumstances. None of them deserves to be lost forever.



"Approaching the edge," James reported.

"Prepare to go to warp eight," Sarah stated as she walked down from the aft of the bridge to the command area. "That should be enough to get us there fast and not give our position away."

"Laying in a new course," James confirmed.

As excitement and tension built on the bridge, Sarah felt more forced into her chair than anything. The air was thick with it. Somehow, this one mission seemed far more important than any thing any of them had done in the Vorkalai war…

"Captain!" Vendar stated with surprise. "You aren’t going to believe this, but I’m picking up Captain Harriman’s communicator! And it’s active!"

Sarah felt her jaw drop at this turn of luck. Now they only needed to find one person, and hopefully that wouldn’t take long. "Time until the fleet arrives?" she asked.

"Twenty five minutes," Vendar reported.

On the view screen, the stars suddenly turned into multi-colored streaks as the ship leapt into warp.

"Begin scans for the bio signature I gave you," she ordered Vendar. "As soon as we find him, let me know."

"Aye, Captain," Vendar replied.

A moment later, the ship came out of warp to find the moon filling their view with the orange clouds of the main planet behind it.

"Take us in above Chris’s position," Sarah added to her orders. "Stay in geo-synchronous orbit."



Chris wiped his brow with his already dirty tunic sleeve. Today seemed to be unusually warm, even in these cold atmospheric conditions. Then again, he was surrounded by several aliens that were generating a lot of body heat.

Up until that Rukarian had stated that he was to be protected, Chris wouldn’t work near anyone for fear of his life. Now, he found that in the concentrated areas of people was where one found the most ore. He had noted today that he had increased his ore output by one hundred thirty five percent!

True, he was helping the enemy by doing so, but then he had to do this, if only for the guaranteed safety of the Dragon. If you’re going to do something, do it right!

He decided he was going to take off his jacket since he was getting so warm. He walked over to one corner that seemed empty, noticed it to be a lot colder than where he was working, and took off his coat.

Completely forgetting about his communicator, he simply threw it into the corner and hoped no one would get coy and decide to take it.

He moved back to where he had been working and activated his torch yet again…



"Captain, Captain Harriman’s bio signature just separated from his communicator!" Vendar stated with alarm.

"Keep a lock on his bio signature," Sarah said calmly.

"I can’t!" Vender replied with more alarm. "He’s surrounded by too many life forms, I can’t get a lock!"

Sarah looked up from her console in alarm. "Boost the confinement beam if you have to, but reestablish that lock!"

"I’ll try…" she said slowly. In revived surprise, she added, "I’ve located the bio signature! He’s moving into that same area!"

Sarah shook her head. Looks like luck had run out on them.

"Great," she stated. "We might as well not try with bio signature lock." She stood up and looked behind her at Ada. "Ada, take a security detail down there to retrieve the two. The other person’s name is Rularn."

Ada nodded and replied, "Aye." A security officer replacing her, she began walking towards the turbolift. Sarah turned back around and sat back down.

"Try to locate a shield emitter or something that we can hit," Sarah ordered, "and take down the entire shield grid with."



Chris suddenly stopped his work, his breath catching in his throat. Something tingled at the edge of his mind, a hint. He couldn’t identify what it was, but what ever it was, it was urgent!

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