A nanosecond later, the fighter impacted. The phased energy sphere reacted accordingly, and released its stored energy into normal space. The hull of the Bladerunner also reacted, as the energy completely tore it apart…as well as the miniature warp core that was in the fighter. A moment later, an explosion of energy ripped across not only normal space, but also subspace, as the antimatter reacted to normal matter. When the two annihilated each other…anything close by would feel it.

That was precisely what the Dragon felt as Tom was thrown back into the command chair. Though it wasn’t as bad as any weapons impact because of the distance, it was enough to fry Tom’s already frayed nerves.

A moment later, the energy cleared, and he could see the enemy vessel again.

"They’re retreating!" Ada shouted in glee.

"Tell the fighters to let them go," Tom said, readjusting his posture anxiously. A moment later, the vessel vanished into warp.

"They’re hailing us," R’Sharn reported.

Tom nodded as he stood up, wondering what they had to say. "On screen."

The empty starfield was quickly replaced with a dark screen…a screen with interference in it…from damage. Tom felt good about this, knowing they had provided more damage to the enemy vessel than they had let on.

"You may have defeated us," a strained voice stated defiantly. "But more will come…and we know you can not defeat more than one of our ships."

With that, the starfield returned. R’Sharn looked back at him and shook her head solemnly. "I hate to be the bearer of bad news," she said, "but eight more ships, much larger than the one we fought, are on their way to us now."

Tom closed his eyes in frustration, realizing that they couldn’t get a single break today. "Time to intercept?" he asked.

"One hour."

He nodded as he moved back to the command chair. "Then let’s get that warp power repaired…and let’s hope we can resolve this Devil’s Virus problem…"



Tentacles made Engineering look like a tropical rain forest as an odd slime of some sort dripped from bulkheads and railing. In the exact center, the source of it all…a large mass of a creature.

Meylar noted with some amusement that the creature somehow looked like it was bending over a command console as several tentacles were hovering over it. Meylar guessed that it was trying to remember how to work computer consoles.

That was all the time he took for speculation. In a whisper, he said, "Lieutenant, hook up the power line."

Lieutenant Vicki Allison nodded as she helped set the device down. She then grabbed the power feed and moved to one side of the corridor. As she removed a panel, Meylar once again checked his pulse rifle to make sure it was also set to the proper frequency. Pulse Rifle’s weren’t capable of firing precisely low enough to kill the creature…but it would hurt the creature. At least, long enough to keep them all safe.

Suddenly, a high scream pierced through the air. Meylar quickly looked into engineering…to see the creature looking at them. It didn’t take him long to realize that a lot of the tentacles were detaching themselves from around engineering…and were heading right for the group of engineers and security personnel.

Before he even had a chance to say anything, the security personnel moved in front of him and began firing at the tentacles, trying to keep them away from the group. Meylar kneeled next to the device and began to prepare it to fire. A moment later, Vicki kneeled next to him.

"All set, sir," she said quickly. "Power transfer from the fusion reactor appears nominal."

He nodded his reply as he made the final preparations. He powered the reserve cells on the device, then brought the firing mechanism online.

He looked up at the security guards, who were having a very difficult time keeping all of the tentacles at bay.

"Look out!" he shouted as loud as he could. Knowing what he was about to do, none of the officers spared a moment. Firing ceased, and they moved out of the way.

It took Meylar no more than five seconds to take aim at the center of the body of the creature. As he did so, however, tentacles had begun to creep into the corridor, ready to grab the closest person.

A moment later, a wide crimson beam shot out and pierced the creature square in its body. It reared back, emitting screams of pain. The tentacles retracted immediately as the creature immediately turned pale.

Kara, who had also been with the group, moved ahead of everyone, making sure to stay clear of the beam. She opened her medical tricorder and began scanning the creature. It was obvious that she was having trouble getting a clear scan of the creature from this distance, but a moment later, she smiled and nodded her head triumphantly.

She shouted something back at Meylar, but he didn’t hear her due to the energy device as well as the creatures screeching. After he signaled to her that he hadn’t heard her, she closed her tricorder and moved next to him.

"I said it’s definitely working!" she shouted. "The creature’s cells are being destroyed. It’s contracting, trying to keep a wound of any kind from forming, replacing dead cells with already living ones."

Meylar sighed slowly, realizing that it was almost definitely over. The creature would shrink no doubt shrink to a certain point, which would be when they would have to go in with miniature power devices and finish it off. Soon enough, the ship would be theirs again.

He tapped his comm badge and said, "Palzen to bridge…signify the stardrive section that the creature will soon be destroyed…and that they may begin docking procedures. Bring all fusion reactors online."

"Acknowledged," Vendar replied. "Congratulations, Meylar."

He didn’t reply…all he did was heave a sigh of relief. It was finally over…



First Officer’s log, Supplemental

The Devil’s Virus mutation has been completely wiped out thanks to the brave efforts of our engineering and security teams. The ship has unified again, and we’ve left our new enemy’s territory. We’ve begun a search of the surrounding systems to try to find a map of this new specie’s territory…so that we may circumnavigate it.

Though we still can’t get above warp eight due to damage, repairs are coming along well… I’m also happy to report that, thanks to Kara’s medical wonders, all nerve damage to Kalia has been repaired, and she’ll soon be ready to return to duty.



Kalia smiled as Meylar approached her bio bed. She sat up, still finding it difficult, and nodded to him. "Good to see your face again, Meylar," she commented.

Meylar equally smiled and nodded. "Good to hear that you remember me."

She laughed at the comment and shrugged it off. "I’m just glad it wasn’t a side effect of Theta radiation…I’ve had enough problems with it in my life."

He put his hand on her shoulder and pushed her back down onto the bio bed. "Look, you need to rest," he told her, almost like she was still having memory loss. Though Kalia couldn’t remember anything during her memory loss, she had learned that many people had talked to her as if she were a child. It was something she was very glad that she couldn’t remember.

"I will, don’t worry," she stated, looking up at the ceiling. She looked back at him and frowned. "Just make sure my ship is in one piece when I come back."

He nodded in compliance and said, "Don’t worry…the ship’ll be completely repaired by the time you’re back on your feet. I’ll see to it."

Instead of replying, Kalia simply looked back up at the ceiling, and closed her eyes. This was at least the second time he had helped get the crew out of a real fix…and so she knew he was very capable of doing exactly what he promised.

More than anything, she was relieved. Before, she had been frightened that a horror from her past had come back to haunt her. She didn’t know what she preferred, however…memory loss from Theta Radiation, or a Devil’s Virus infection…

As they say…between a rock and a hard place… She mentally laughed at the saying, wondering how it had come about. After a few moments of speculation, she simply decided to forget it.

It didn’t take long for the dream world to find her…

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