Kyle Aurain looked around curiously as he entered the forward-most crew lounge on the Dragon. It was odd to him…the Ten Forward on the ship didn’t have an unobstructed view like this one did, yet it was far more elaborate and was always crowded. This crew lounge, however…was empty.

Except for one person. Lieutenant Commander Vendar Perkins hadn’t noticed him enter and was sitting alone, facing the streaking starfield. He could easily sense the anger and fear in her, something he’d sensed in her a lot ever since they first met two months ago. Now, however…she seemed to be emitting the feelings to the point where he couldn’t shut them out.

He cautiously walked over to her, trying not to alert her to his presence. The Dragon had been busy in the last two months ever since it left the past. It had spent about a month trying to locate the damaged Borg vessel, but failed…only to encounter a very hostile alien race.

Now, all hope of locating the Borg lost, they were back on what had been the Dragon’s original course…and now would be the best time to help Vendar with her problems. Furthermore, perhaps now she would be willing to train in the Jedi arts…

Kyle didn’t use the Force to mask the sound of his approach, allowing Vendar to hear him before he could reach her. She twisted her neck around to look at him, then smiled. "Hi, Kyle," she said quietly, expertly hiding her emotions.

He nodded to her as he stopped just behind her and to her side. "Do you mind if I join you?" he asked.

She simply nodded to the chair next to hers and then went back to staring at the stars. He pulled out the chair and sat down in it…then he simply stared at the stars with her. He sensed another emotion appear in her while he sat there, a new type of fear…fear of him. He didn’t quite understand why she would fear him. Was it because he was the only Jedi she personally knew?

Ordinarily, he would have asked her now, but right now…she didn’t need to be asked that question. He didn’t need the Force to figure that out, his experience with people was enough to tell him that.

Because of that conclusion, he finally decided to confront her. He looked at her, but before he could say a word, he noticed her suddenly blush. Hopefully that’s a good sign…maybe she actually is attracted to me…

When she looked at him, he finally managed to ask, "Is something wrong?"

When he asked that, a pang of sadness hit her yet again. She stared at the tabletop for a minute or so, obviously considering whether or not she would tell him. He realized for the first time that he had just asked her to implicitly trust him, someone she didn’t have the chance to get to know yet.

He felt guilty for doing this, and was about to retract his question…but to his surprise, she finally replied.

"I know you’ve been reading about the events that have taken place on the Dragon," she started. "Have you gotten to our first encounter with the Devil’s Virus?"

He immediately recognized the name, but he hadn’t actually gotten to that file yet. In fact, it was the next one on his list. He shook his head in a negative gesture.

"Oh. Well…it’s an artificial virus created by the Vorkalai. Somehow, they had gotten a single cell of it aboard the Dragon…and, for reasons still unknown to us today, it decided to infect me first." She stared into his eyes as she seemed to recall very painful memories. "After the virus fully infected my body, I had become a monster with a craving for vast amounts of energy. I found that energy in one of the warp cores."

Kyle’s eyes went wide when he heard her last statement. The first thing he had done when he came aboard was familiarize himself with the technology aboard the Dragon. The warp core, needless to say…produced a vast amount of energy.

"When the crew finally rescued me," she continued, "and changed me back into a human…that energy I had collected remained in my body, unused, wanting an outlet."

He began to immediately understand as she continued to explain. "Before, I was the most patient person you could ever find. I was calm, quiet, reserved…until the Devil’s Virus. After that, I’ve become impatient. And for some damned reason, this extra energy is coming out of me as anger!"

He looked down at the table when she raised her voice, using that as a signal to let her know that she was becoming loud. When he did that, however, she closed her eyes and shook her head. "I’m…sorry."

He also shook his head, then he became bold and took her hand in his. "Listen…this isn’t your fault."

He began feeding Force energy into her, trying to calm her nerves even a little. That, however, was something he still wasn’t very good at doing. To his relief, however…it worked, if only a little bit.

"Maybe," she replied quietly, a tear rolling down her cheek. "But that’s the problem. It isn’t my fault…which means I’m losing control…"

With that statement, he finally fully understood what she was saying. He sighed as he smiled and nodded his head. "I see…and losing control of yourself is your biggest fear."

"…Yes," she confided. "Losing control of myself is something…I’ve never had to face. Even when I was a teen, I always could control my feelings, or at least the ones I was letting everyone around me see. Now, however…my angry spells come out full force, often hurting those around me…and it’s even gotten me in trouble once or twice. Not even our ship’s counselor can help me…"

He nodded to her and said, "That’s understandable. Perhaps, however, you can be helped."

That quickly got her attention as hope flooded into her thoughts. "I can?"

He nodded, realizing what he was about to tell her, and ask her, would be a question she couldn’t answer right away. "Yes. You see…you are very strong with the Force," he began. "You seem to be getting more powerful the more you and I are together. Surely you’ve noticed a sudden overbearing instinct."

She nodded, curious. "Yes…I’ve noticed that."

"Now what I’m proposing," he said, emphasizing the word ‘proposing’ to let her know that it was her choice, "is that you could train to become a Jedi. You say you always had control of your emotions until now. Part of your training would be learning to control your emotions.

"There is, however, a great responsibility when becoming a Jedi. Becoming one is not easy…and living the life of one once you have become one is just as difficult. I don’t think you’d have to sacrifice your duties aboard the Dragon…but you’d have no free time. At least, not until you completed your training with me."

He suddenly realized that he had said too much to quickly. She seemed taken back by his suggestion and what he had said after it. She was, however, considering it.

Wanting to recover from his mistake, he said, "Now this is a very important decision, one only you can make. Take your time on making this decision…"

He squeezed her hand, then let go and stood up. "Even if you decide not to train, I shall still attempt to find a way to use the Force to help you."

She looked up at him and gave him a warm smile. "Thank you, Kyle."

He smiled back and nodded, then he slowly walked away, heading for the exit. He wanted to leave her to herself so that she may think about what he had just suggested. It was a big responsibility he had just suggested…but he sensed that it was a suggestion he was supposed to make. Her abilities were immediately apparent to him. Now…now she needed the Force more than ever, unlike before.

He felt very sorry for her, having to go through what she was dealing with. He truly hoped he could help her…



"Report," Chris ordered as he entered the bridge from his Ready Room.

As he approached the Command Chair, Lieutenant Commander Tom Halkrat stood up and began with, "We’ve detected an unidentified starship to our starboard side." As Chris sat down, he concluded with, "We can’t scan past its shields, but its moving at sub-light speeds."

"Begin analyzing the energy signatures of its shields," he ordered, brining up a sensor readout of the ship himself. He immediately noted that…somehow, the…feeling of the vessel was familiar to him. "Begin running a comparison of the ship through our databases. Let’s see if we can’t at least find something that looks like it."

"Aye, sir," Lieutenant Commander R’Sharn replied from Ops.

"Bring us to sub-Transwarp velocity, James," he added. "Warp three."

"Slowing to warp three," Lieutenant James Trikal confirmed.

As the streaking starfield drastically slowed, Chris suddenly felt uneasy about the vessel. It was familiar…in a bad sort of way…

Suddenly, a sensor alarm sounded on R’Sharn’s console. "I think I’ve found a match," she said hesitantly. "According to the computer…the vessel appears…to conform to the design method…of the Kiklar."

Chris felt his eyes grow wide with surprise and fear, realization dawning on him. "Red alert!" he shouted, realizing he hadn’t needed to give that order for probably a month. "All hands report to battle stations!"

The ambient lighting on the bridge darkened a bit as bulkheads turned a blood red. The ever-familiar alert klaxon sounded as the bridge became a flurry of activity.

"Confirmed," Lieutenant Ada Marquet suddenly added. "The energy signature of the vessel’s shields conforms with the Kiklar ship we encountered."

Almost ready to panic, Chris quickly brought up a star chart of the region. There was no chance they could take on a vessel as powerful as this one was through a simple exchange of weapons fire. They needed a place to hide…

Immediately, his attention fell on a star system they had passed eight hours ago. A binary star system with a fairly large asteroid field. He looked up at the view screen, knowing that, despite the danger, it would be their only chance.

"Helm, set course one-seven-six mark one," he ordered quickly. "Maximum warp!"

"Setting course," James said hesitantly, dropping the ship out of warp to turn around.

"Sir, the Kiklar vessel has altered course to pursue us and is increasing to warp velocity!" R’Sharn stated in an alarmed voice.

"Go now!!"

Finally, James hit one last confirmation button, kicking the ship up to warp nineteen point nine. "We’re gone!" James exclaimed.

"They’ve increased to Transwarp velocity!" Ada stated. "Won’t be long before they match speed!"

"Time until we reach our destination," Chris asked quickly, fear edging into his voice.

"About ten minutes!" James stated.

"Assuming they can achieve Slipstream velocity…how long, with current rate of acceleration, will it take for them to reach us?"

After a few moments of calculating, R’Sharn immediately replied, "We’ll have a thirty second window!"

As soon as she said that, Vendar entered the bridge and took R’Sharn’s place at the Ops station. "Vendar, keep a close eye on that Kiklar ship." When he said the name Kiklar, she immediately looked back at him, wide-eyed. However, she then realized that because of who they were up against…she had to concentrate on her work.

She looked back to her console as Chris finished with, "If its rate of acceleration increases, tell me immediately."

"Aye, sir."

"As some of you probably noticed," he added, "we’re heading for an asteroid field, a rather dense one, at that. When I was first officer aboard the original Dragon, we did the same thing to evade a fleet of about forty Jem Hadar ships. We used phasers and tractor beams to make sure any stray asteroids didn’t hit us…and even used tractor beams to throw asteroids at the Jem Hadar. Ada, Vendar…think you two can help with that?"

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