Three seconds later, Tom found himself on the Battle Bridge.

"I’m Lieutenant Commander Thomas Halkrat," he stated, trying to hide the fear from his voice. The description of a mean looking insect-like creature…was an understatement!

"I say again, we do not take kindly to outsiders invading our space!" a high-pitched, scratchy voice stated harshly. "Especially humans!"

Why am I not surprised that they hate humans? Tom thought to himself.

"I apologize if we’ve caused an inconvenience on you," Tom stated, trying to be diplomatic. "Right now, we are currently experiencing problems on one of the sections of our ships, and we can’t move."

"Irrelevant!" the creature shouted. "Leave now before the Kiklar find you and kill us all!"

Understanding the creature’s fear, Tom sympathized with them, but also had to face facts. "We can’t do that! We won’t abandon our people here!"

The creature paused for a moment, seeming to consider what Tom just said. Finally, it gave its final reply. "Then you will die…"

With that, the screen cleared and showed the Dragon’s saucer section against the starfield.

Tom gave out an exasperated sigh. "Wonderful," he mumbled. He moved to the command chair, relieving Suran, and sat down.

He paused a moment, knowing what he had to do. "Battle stations." The lights on the bridge slightly darkened as bulkheads took on a red color, but the bridge remained a well-lit area. It was still like the old bridge design, and did not have that dark color. Frankly, Tom hated the red carpeting…

Dammit, Tom, don’t worry about the carpet, concentrate!

He shook his head as everyone around him began to move with a spring in their step. "An alien vessel is approaching at warp nine!" Lieutenant R’Sharn stated from Ops.

"Helm, put us between the alien ship and the saucer section," Tom simply commanded. He then opened a channel to the saucer section. "Halkrat to Marquet…Ada, I know you’re busy, but I need an experienced tactical officer on the battle bridge."

After a slight pause, an angered voice replied, "Aye, sir…but you should know this could compromise our operations here."

Angered at her protest, but realizing they had merit, he said, "If we don’t succeed in defeating the approaching vessel…your operation there won’t matter."

After another pause, a less angered voice said, "Understood…and sorry. I’m on my way."

"Estimated time to intercept is thirty seconds," R’Sharn reported.

Tom felt, in a way, lost. Tactical wasn’t his forte…and it was something he never enjoyed. He had majored in science because he had hoped that he would never have to deal with tactical situations. He would much rather have had someone else be first officer…but on a ship where over half of the crew had honorary ranks…there wasn’t much of a choice in the matter. They had to maintain a stable chain of command…

"Ready full spreads of Photon torpedoes as well as a blanket of phaser fire," Tom ordered. "Firing pattern at your discretion."

"Torpedoes armed and ready," Ada replied, making Tom spin around to find her at tactical. He hadn’t heard her beam over… "Phaser pattern ready," she concluded.

Tom smiled, then turned back to the view screen. As he looked, an elongated shape began to appear, and in a moment, it was a dark, metallic ship, very sleek in design…and very deadly looking.


With that order, sixteen photon torpedoes streaked away from the Dragon, all impacting on the shields of the enemy vessel. Immediately following those were two crimson phaser blasts.

When those ceased, a purple energy ball that looked similar to a Romulan plasma torpedo emerged from the enemy ship.

"What the hell?" he heard Ada state. "Sir, I don’t know what they fired, but…"

Tom spun his chair around to look back at her. "But what, Ada?"

She looked at him, confusion very present on her face. "It is nothing but energy…no firing mechanism, and no static or magnetic shell keeping the energy together. Plus, it seems to be some sort of phased energy."

Tom’s eyes immediately went wide. "That mean’s our shields…"

Before he could finish, the ship suddenly rocked backwards. Inertia immediately ‘threw’ everyone forward on the ship as panels and bulkheads exploded. Sparks rained down on Tom as he tried to keep himself in his chair.

A moment later, he was on his feet as the inertial dampers finally took over. "Full impulse, evasive maneuvers!" he shouted above the explosions and energy discharges. "Continue weapons fire, full spread!"

With that, the ship went into action, quickly moving away from the saucer section and firing lower phasers as it went. As it passed over the ship, phaser fire from five different banks lanced out and impacted on the shields of the enemy vessel. Purple beam weapons, in turn, lanced out and impacted on the already-weakened Dragon shields.

"Their conventional weapons are not penetrating our shields!" Ada shouted. "But they are still doing a fair amount of damage!"

"Aft torpedoes, full spreads!" Tom replied.

With that command, eight Quantum torpedoes, followed by sixteen photon torpedoes, streaked away, impacting on the enemy vessel’s shields.

"Minor damage has been inflicted on their shields," Ada reported. "We’re going to have to do a helluva lot better to win this battle!"

Tom shook his head. "You’re the tactical officer, think of something!"

He merely felt the cold look she gave him, he didn’t actually see it as he concentrated on a tactical display of the battle. That’s when he realized that the phased energy weapon was charging again…but doing so very slowly. Math he was good at, so he did the calculations and discovered that they had eight minutes before the vessel could fire again.

"You’ve got eight minutes before they fire another phased weapon," Tom stated to Ada. "Make them count!"

"Then I recommend that we launch all fighters!" Ada stated in reply. "They’re the only things that’ll help us."

"Can we launch with shields up?" Tom asked, never having actually read up on that aspect.

"Yes," Ada said in a bewildered voice. "Starfleet vessels have been able to launch support craft like that for four years!"

Tom simply shrugged her comment off. "Then scramble all fighters."



"We don’t have much time," Meylar told the security officers he was leading through the corridors. "If that thing has Kalia’s command codes in its mind, it’ll be able to activate the warp core any minute."

"You sure this will work?" he heard someone ask.

He looked back at the person and smiled. "Of course it’ll work. Kara confirmed it herself."

The man shook his head slowly. "I hope you’re right…"

He then looked back to make sure nothing had happened to the device. They planned on stopping just outside of engineering, where they would hook the device up to one of the fusion reactors and shoot it at the creature.

It was true that the creature was looking for energy…but what type of energy? Meylar had known that Kara would be able to find out…and she had. A precise frequency was already programmed into the device. All they had to do was point and shoot, and hope the creature would disintegrate.

Meylar had to admit, programming the device to give off the type of energy they needed was difficult. It was a very low frequency, almost to the point of nonexistence. Hopefully…it’ll have been worth it.

The ship suddenly lurched to one side, throwing him against the wall, and the device crashing to the ground. Not taking the time to figure out what happened, Meylar quickly ran to the device and did an immediately system’s check. To his relief, nothing appeared damaged.

He sighed and shook his head at the other engineers. "Let’s keep going," he said, knowing it wasn’t their fault.

He brandished his pulse rifle as he continued to lead the way. They were close…



Tom gripped the armrest of his chair as the ship lurched again. "Hull breach on deck forty three!" R’Sharn reported. "Forcefields are responding!"

"Continue a cover pattern for the fighters," Tom ordered. "Full phasers and torpedoes. Don’t hold back on them, Ada."

"Photon Torpedoes locked…" A moment later, sixteen torpedoes streaked away from the Dragon and impacted on the enemy ship.

"The last fighter just launched!" R’Sharn reported quickly.

"Full impulse, evasive maneuvers!" Tom shouted. While the fighters were launching, they couldn’t perform evasive maneuvers, or the fighters could have been destroyed by the Dragon itself the moment they left the shuttle bay’s inertial damping field. As a result, heavy damage had been done to the Dragon…but hopefully it was worth it.

As the ship shook again, a light fixture exploded, sending sparks halfway across the Battle Bridge. An ensign was unfortunate enough to be in the way…but luckily, by the time he had been hit by the sparks, they merely singed his clothes and made green marks on his purple skin.

"Show them our tail and fire aft torpedoes when you can," Tom responded. "Tell the fighters to commence their firing runs.

Following his order exactly, the Dragon flew over the enemy vessel, firing all phasers as it went. The moment it cleared the vessel, eight quantum torpedoes, along with sixteen more photon torpedoes, fired at point blank range and immediately impacted on shields. The Dragon shook from its own weapons fire, but Tom hoped it had been worth it.

A moment later, hundreds of energy streaks from seemingly nowhere began hitting the enemy vessel’s shields, causing them to constantly flare to life. Tom had to strain his eyes to see the thirty or so Bladerunner fighters as they added miniature Quantum Torpedoes to their lethal weapons fire.

"It’s working!" Ada shouted in glee. "Their shields are on the verge of collapse!"

"Time’s up, sir!" R’Sharn suddenly stated in an alarmed voice.

Before time had a chance to react to Ada, his mind jumped at R’Sharn’s statement. On screen, the enemy vessel fired its purple sphere of phased energy…which moved quickly through space.

"Impact in ten seconds!" Ada shouted. "It’s going to hit our warp nacelles!"

We won’t be able to survive that, Tom thought. And that thing’s targeting ability is…remarkable, to say the least. He slowly stood up as he saw the purple energy sphere quickly approaching. It wouldn’t be long now…

Before he could finish that thought, a Bladerunner fighter streaked by the view screen, so close that he swore it had almost hit the Dragon’s shields. That wasn’t what surprised him. What surprised him was the fact that the fighter was on a direct course for the energy sphere.

Tom quickly stood up from his seat and was about to order someone to beam the pilot aboard. Before he had to, however, the cockpit's ejection system activated, sending the entire cockpit out of the fighter and quickly away from the imminent explosion.

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