"Aye, sir," she replied, keying in the command. "From the look of it, they headed away from the galactic core."

"Engineering to bridge," Kalia suddenly interrupted. "You should have hyperspace communications now."

Chris quickly stood up, anxious to talk to these people. "Open a channel."

Vendar seemed to have to bring up a new panel on her console, then she looked at Chris and nodded.

He cleared his throat before he began with, "This is Captain Chris Harriman of the Federation starship Dragon. Please do not be alarmed by our presence, we mean you no harm."

He waited a moment, anxious to hear a reply…but wondering if it would be in basic or not. After all, who knows what time period they were in. Basic could have died out a long time ago, or hasn’t been invented yet…

To his surprise, a crisp, but friendly female voice finally replied, "I am Admiral Laurie Neylar of the New Republic ship Hope. We too mean you no harm. I must inform you, however, that you are directly in the path of a major hyperspace shipping lane. If that anomaly behind you hadn’t showed up and pulled us out of hyperspace…we might have collided with your ship."

Curious as to her reference to hyperspace, Chris said, "We actually wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for that anomaly…but I am curious…you said it pulled you out of hyperspace. Does that mean that you actually enter hyperspace to travel?"

"Of course that’s what it means!" Laurie exclaimed in a bewildered voice. "I never thought that anyone in our galaxy used any other method of faster than light travel!"

Chris hesitated at first, knowing that they did not know what time period they were in. He decided, however, that if the Borg were to be stopped…they would need all the help they could get…

"Admiral…perhaps we should meet in person to discuss the situation…" he said hesitantly. "We have a lot to talk about…"

After a short pause, which Chris meant that she was talking to someone else, she replied, "Very well. I hope you don’t mind that we ask you to come to our ship."

"We don’t mind at all," Chris said, smiling that they would at least have a chance to meet face to face. "We’ll transport over immediately."

"Our docking bay stands ready," Laurie said in a pleased tone of voice, contrary to what Chris had just said. "Hope out."

Chris sat in the command chair for a moment, a frown on his face. He shrugged and stood. "Then I guess we’ll use a ship to transport over…"

He looked around, his mind still not used to command after so long… After he decided who would join him, he began moving towards the turbolift as he listed the names. "Terry, Ada, Vendar, you’re with me," he stated. When the turbolift opened and everyone boarded it, he finished, "Tom…you have command."



"The New Republic fighters are coming up along side of us," Vendar stated from the station next to Chris. He took a moment away from the helm to take a close look at one of the fighters, which was coming up just to the starboard side and settling into position.

To Chris, the fighter was a somewhat strange design. There was, of course, the main body of the fighter, which seemed to be just a rectangle almost. The cockpit was where the body angled down into a wedge shape, a nub at the tip of the fighter ending the wedge. On each side were two cylindrical engines, one above the other. They started behind the cockpit and ended about a meter or two behind the main body. Furthermore, the engines seemed to be connected to the two wings on either side of the fighter. Coming from the top and bottom end of each wing were two other cylinders, which Chris guessed were the primitive laser-type weapons.

The fighter pilot waved to Chris, then made a motion that he would take the lead. Chris nodded as the fighter pulled ahead, then began following. As he expected, they were heading for the larger ship, which was a rather large and bulky-looking craft. Mostly oval shaped with ‘bumps’ extruding from it at seemingly random locations, it was a very odd design to Chris.

As they approached the bulky ship, Chris noted an opening in the side of it, surrounded by a blue-white glow. He quickly guessed that it was the shuttle bay of the ship and that it was surrounded by some sort of force field to keep the atmosphere in the bay. However, like everything else on the ship, it was unusual…in that it was on the side of the ship, and not facing its aft or fore. Though some of the carrier vessels in the Federation used this design, it was not very common…anywhere, for that matter, not even here in the Kalium Galaxy.

As they approached the ship, Chris began to wonder just how large it was. He finally decided to take a look at sensor readings, and found the vessel to be very large. The shuttle bay they were heading for, for example, was large enough to hold several support craft as large as the Captains Yacht…in fact, probably fifteen or twenty of them! Plus, there was plenty of overhead room to spare!

As the many fighters, some like the ones escorting the Meridian, others completely different, came into view, he began to wonder if boarding the New Republic ship was a good idea or not. Then again, with the type of warhead weapons the vessel had…they could have simply destroyed the Dragon entirely.

Chris noticed a rather distinctly shaped vessel off to one side in the shuttle bay, one much larger than any of the fighters or small transports around it. For the most part, it was cylinder-shaped with two prongs coming out of one end as well as another smaller one…one that Chris guessed was the cockpit.

At that moment, the fighters, quickly followed by the Meridian, passed through the field, which the sensors immediately recognized as being magnetic-based. Good thing it didn’t effect our computer systems…must be set a certain way so as not to effect computers.

A humanoid woman was using two orange glowing sticks of some sort to motion Chris in the proper direction. She brought the Meridian to a section of the bay that had no other fighters or craft around it…which, despite the size of the bay, was a rather small area.

He easily set the Meridian down on the deck and then readjusted the inertial dampers to match the New Republic ship’s…only to find that the gravity and pressure was almost precisely that of what he was used to! Amazing! he thought to himself.

He turned around in the seat and looked at everyone present. He nodded and said, "All right everyone…let’s do this nice and easy."



Vendar nodded back to Chris, then followed Ada as she opened the side hatch. The hatch slowly lowered down to the deck, allowing all to easily depart the Meridian. Ada was the first out, followed by Chris, then Terry, and finally Vendar.

Vendar knew her place…she was the youngest, and so was meant to be on the farthest flank of the Captain. Ada and Terry were both at Chris’s side, but she was forced to the right of Chris and Terry.

Three armed guards, two officers, and a man in a black hooded robe all approached the small group…but showed no hostility what so ever. About three meters from Chris, the group stopped…and for the first time, Vendar noticed just who the officers and the man in the cape were!

"You…you’re human!" Chris exclaimed in great surprise.

Curious, all of them looked at Chris oddly. The female officer stepped forward a step and nodded. "Of course we are," she said, surprised that Chris would think otherwise. "I’m Admiral Laurie Neylar."

Chris hesitated for a moment, a frown very prominent on his face. However, he decided it would be best to be friendly. As such, he stepped forward the rest of the distance between the group and shook Admiral Neylar’s hand. It was also a big surprise that Admiral Neylar shook hands, a custom Vendar had only seen in the Federation!

"I’m Captain Chris Harriman," Chris replied. "A pleasure to meet you in person…and you’ll have to excuse me for being surprised at discovering the fact that you are human. We, uh…never expected to encounter humans."

Admiral Neylar frowned again as she clasped her hands behind her back. "And why, precisely, would you be surprised? Humans have always been the most prominent species in the galaxy."

At first, Chris stumbled. Vendar realized that he had just violated the Temporal Prime Directive…and he needed to recover, fast! "Well, uh…you see, we come from another galaxy and time. In our galaxy…humans come from a planet called Earth, and are the dominant species in what we call the United Federation of Planets."

Almost sighing in relief, Vendar was thankful he had recovered…then her mind became occupied with the man in the black cape. He had just been staring at her for some reason…not to mention there was something…odd about him. She couldn’t place it at all…

And that’s when she thought she saw something out of the corner of her eye. She looked to her right, only to find another man in a black robe hiding behind the landing strut of another ship. She frowned at the man, but saw that he was simply observing and wasn’t making any aggressive moves. She shrugged, then brought her attention back to the meeting.

She noticed with a start that Terry had just moved up, and Chris was just starting to motion to her. She quickly moved up as he said, "And this is our chief of operations, Lieutenant Commander Vendar Perkins."

Admiral Neylar nodded to Vendar, then motioned to the other officer present. "This is my second in command, Captain Peter McCleod." The Captain nodded his hello to the crew, not even bothering to unclasp his hands from behind his back.

She then motioned to the man in the black cape, whom Vendar noticed had been staring at her again. Before she could introduce him, however, he stepped forward and removed the cape, clearing showing his human face.

He nodded to everyone present, but centered his attention on Vendar. "I’m Luke Skywalker," he said in a quiet, knowledgeable voice. "Jedi Master."

Vendar frowned, and knew Chris, Ada, and Terry also did so. "Excuse me…but what is a Jedi Master?" Vendar asked, realizing that she shouldn’t have a moment too late.

Surprise over took Admiral Neylar and Captain McCleod’s faces…but it didn’t appear on this Skywalker’s face. "My, you people really are from another galaxy!" Admiral Neylar exclaimed. "Yet…I thought the Force reached to all parts of the universe."

"It does," Skywalker acknowledged in his quiet, cool voice. "For some reason, it appears to be suppressed in these people…but it doesn’t seem to be as bad for Lieutenant Commander Perkins here."

Surprise hit Vendar as she…somehow realized that this meant a lot about her. It meant there was something special about her in some way…

Curious as to how she was special, she asked, "Well…what exactly is this…Force?"

Skywalker began to open his mouth, but Admiral Neylar interrupted him. "Perhaps it’d be best if we find a more comfortable place to discuss this…"

"Agreed," Chris immediately said. "A shuttle bay is no place to talk about this sort of thing."

"Then if you’ll follow us please," she said, moving towards one end of the bay. Vendar noted that the other man, whom she guessed was also a Jedi of some sort, moved from his hiding place and came up along side them.

Immediately, she seemed to…know something else about the other man. She didn’t know what the feeling was, she simply knew that, in some way other than even this Luke Skywalker, this man was special.

Why am I suddenly getting all of these…senses from everything I hear and see? She asked herself. Is it this Force that Luke Skywalker has mentioned? She shrugged the question off, knowing that in time it would be answered.

As they left the huge shuttle bay, she began to wonder what all of this meant. The sudden opening of senses she didn’t even know she had…did it mean she was special in some way as well? From what she could tell, and from what Luke Skywalker said…she was…but how?

As they passed another corridor, a gold-plated…something came scuttling after them. She guessed it was some sort of primitive android, one that didn’t hold a candle to Data.

"Excuse me, master Luke!" the android said in a prissy, almost uptight voice. "But I was asked to inquire as to whether or not it was safe to join you yet."

Luke Skywalker smiled at the android, then nodded. "I’ve just told her that its safe, and she’ll be joining us in the lounge."

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