"There seems to be a large conduit thats almost at the center of the cube," Vendar reported. "If we target it and reach it it should destroy the cube."
"James, prepare to target those coordinates," Chris stated. "Find the area of the cube that has the most damage to its weapons systems and prepare to hit it from that side."
"Aye, sir," he replied, quickly moving the Dragon into position.
"Ada, are the cutting phasers charged?" Tom asked.
"Fully charged and ready to cut!"
"Entering position now "
Chris hesitated as the Dragon rotated into position. A single torpedo from the cube fired and hit the Dragon, but three Quantum torpedoes of return fire ended its reign of terror.
With that, two very thin crimson blasts fired and impacted on the cube, causing two very bright points of light until the energy cut further into the cube, beyond their vision.
"Well reach the location in ten seconds," Ada stated. It was working
Until a green energy signature began riding the phaser blasts up towards the Dragon. "Theyre sending some sort of feed back pulse through the beams. All systems are being compromised, helm is off-line and we cant take weapons off-line!"
"Then disengage all power to the cutting phasers, even if you have to do it manually!" Chris ordered. If those feedback pulses reached the Dragon game over
"Attempting to shut down " Ada stated. She kept getting error tones but then finally, one tone of confirmation blessed Chriss hearing.
With that, the cutting phaser ceased its fire and the feedback pulse traveled with the end of the blast into the cube. A moment later, explosions began to rock across the surface of the cube. Pieces of debris and blurred sparks flew out in all directions, some impacting on the Dragons shields harmlessly
But they werent all harmless. In one final display of energy, the entire cube exploded in a cloud of debris, dust-like matter, and energy. Much of that energy impacted on the Dragon, which didnt even have a chance to escape.
Chris found himself on the deck of the bridge for probably the hundredth time since he first boarded the Dragon. However, he didnt hurt himself this time, much like he had many other times.
He slowly stood up, his muscles aching, and then moved back to his chair. His chair rocked and made the squeaking noise
Uh oh that never is a good sign
"The first cube has been destroyed," Ada stated the obvious. "The second one took some damage but is still on a course for Earth. Estimated time to arrival fifteen minutes, present speed."
"Get us back into the action," Chris ordered. "Status report."
"Shields are down to fifteen percent," Ada stated. "Theres not a chance of getting our cutting phasers back online three phaser banks are off-line the phaser cannon itself is off-line and theres some buckling along the hull on decks thirty through thirty two."
Always in the thirties Chris thought to himself.
The tactical cube was still firing left right and center. It was brimming with weaponry and disabling its weapons would be all but impossible before it reached Earth and began beaming down drones.
Suddenly, five torpedoes streaked away from the cube and all of them hit the Dragon hard. Consoles, lights, and power conduits exploded from power feedbacks while much of the ambient lighting on the bridge dimmed.
"Shields are failing!" Ada shouted above the ruptured conduit.
"Activate all transport inhibitors," Chris ordered above the noise. "Keep them on rotating modulations, we cant let them beam over!"
Suddenly, the ship rocked again but it was from an explosion on the cube, a very large explosion.
"A fighter just careened into the cube!" Vendar reported. "One of ours!"
Chris knew what that meant a warp core breach on the fighter. The cube didnt even last long, it simply, instantly exploded. The armor remained intact and impacted on many Federation starships, but thankfully missed the Dragon.
The rest of the explosion and debris, however, did not. Once again, Chris found himself on the deck
Kalia stood up, grasping her command console for support. She looked at the warp core, which was making a weird thrumming noise, unlike it usually did. She then looked to her console and gawked in horror.
"Oh my god " Three reports were coming in, from each core and each had its own problem major problems at that. Her core was losing containment, as was the Alpha core and the Beta core had a coolant leak that couldnt be sealed.
She paused for a moment, then blinked. "Engineering to bridge weve, umm got a serious problem. I estimate " She checked her readings. "About seven minutes until all three warp cores breach! Thats going to be one helluva bang!"
Chris felt his face go white as he sat down slowly in the command chair. Indeed, it would be a bang the starbase in orbit of Earth would feel it, and then some.
Finally, he realized what needed to be done. Vendars vision was right the Dragon was about to explode. "All hands, this is Captain Harriman. Proceed to emergency escape pods and abandon ship. I repeat, abandon ship."
It was something he had never considered losing the Dragon once and for all. And there was nothing that could be done
"Senior officers report to the Captains Yacht. Vendar, stay here and help me set up a computer link to the Yacht." He stood up and walked over to her console. "We need to transfer all of our logs and information regarding the technology weve acquired, and we need to do it as fast as possible."
Everyone except Vendar and himself were piling off of the bridge as everyone moved to their escape pods. Vendar tapped in a few commands to set up the transfer, then looked up at him. "Most of the gel packs were damaged, sir its going to take a while to transfer the information."
Chris looked to James, who was just now leaving his console. "James, when you get to the yacht, prepare it for launch. Find out how much time you think youll need to launch and clear the debris field, then let me know."
He nodded and said, "Aye, sir." He then moved to the emergency turbolift and didnt wait for anyone else.
"Transfer of all logs is in progress," Vendar stated. "As I thought, its taking a while."
Chris stood erect as he looked at the damaged view screen. "And if we launched a log buoy it would never escape the blast of the warp cores "
He shook his head, then looked back at her. "In the mean time, tell all ships to evacuate the area immediately."
He moved back to his seat, sat down, and brought up a status report of the escape pods. Only a third had been launched, and the others were being filled still. They would hopefully be able to make it out of the blast radius
And they only had six minutes left.
Vendar was working quickly, trying to speed up the transfer by any means possible.
It seemed like forever, her working on the transfers, watching the pods launch, and preparing the yacht for launch.
Finally time was up.
He stood up, as did Vendar. "Computer, beam Commander Perkins and myself to the Captains Yacht!"
A moment later, they were aboard. Light entered the covered bay as the doors fully opened. The yacht was thrown out of the bay with emergency forcefields, making Chris feel weightless as James immediately engaged the impulse engines.
The debris field was already at their feet, and he worked furiously to maintain full impulse and avoid all debris. A few bounced harmlessly off of the fully powered shields of the yacht
And within moments, they were out.
"Warp speed!" Chris shouted in alarm as the countdown ended.
James entered in the command and suddenly Chris found himself flying against the bulkhead headfirst, knocking him to the ground and giving him a concussion. A headache immediately set on but what got him was the fact that every console, panel, and light exploded in either sparks or energy discharges as the extremely powerful energy hit the yacht just as it engaged its warp engines.
The sound of bending Duranium/Tritanium screamed at Chris has he was forced all around the deck by odd gravimetric forces. His head was spinning as he became severely disoriented.
It seemed like an eternity before things settled down and his head cleared. He looked around at the blackened yacht. Flashlights from a few of the senior staff came on and began shining around. He stood up and went to a computer access panel all he got was an error sign
And thats when his heart sank. That meant that the computer had been purged by the energy surge all of it, their logs, their technology the past three years it was gone
But then a bright light spilled into the yacht, blinding Chris for a moment. How long had he been lying on the ground in the dark?
He and several of the senior staff moved to the front window and saw it.
Crystal clear, up close, personal. It was a beautiful gem of ocean and land with a gray satellite hanging next to it.
His heart welled up in him as time seemed to stand still for a moment. He could almost see the swirl of the clouds but then realized the weather patterns were probably disrupted from the shock wave of the Dragon
And then his heart sank. The Dragon was gone. His home for the past three years was gone
The only consolation was that he had been able to keep one thing. He took off his communicator and looked at the back and right where he had left it was an isolinear chip, containing the entire holo recording of his marriage to Sarah. He clenched to the badge to his chest and looked back at Earth.
We made it, Sarah we made it back to our real home
He smiled as he saw a modified Intrepid class starship approaching. His communicator beeped, so he took it away from his chest and tapped it. "This is Captain Harriman," he said quietly, staring at the beauty of a planet and the ship coming towards them.
A somewhat familiar voice came back in reply. "This is Captain Katherine Janeway of the USS Voyager welcome back, Captain. It seems we only missed you by a week."
Curious, Chris asked, "How long were we gone?"
"According to what Ive read, only a month."
That shocked Chris only a month!
He smiled, and shook his head. "Well its been a lot longer than that for us."
"I look forward to hearing your story," Janeway
said with a bit of amusement and curiosity in her voice. "Prepare
to transport aboard, well tow your vessel back to
"Understood," Chris replied. "And thank you."
With that, the channel was cut and for the moment, he stared at Earth knowing that, within the next few hours he and his crew would once again set foot upon it
They were home!
Is this it? This seems like the end, doesn't it? The crew has made it home... but that's not all. Of course I won't leave every reader hanging like this! Further more, Star Trek Dragon has a plan for one last episode to take place during season 3 involving the land mark crossover known as Star Trek Unity. But you can read details on that later.
Here, you can read the lyrics to the song That Lonesome Road to which the title of this episode was based. Furthermore, there's a commentary in the specials section that you can read here. Enjoy, and as always...comments and critiques are always welcome!
Star Trek Dragon graphics and written
material copyright Jon Wasik. Star Trek is a registered