"The energy signature ends directly ahead," Lieutenant Commander Vendar Perkins reported.

Captain Chris Harriman looked up from his console next to his chair and stared for a moment at the streaking stars on the view screen. "Bring us out of warp five hundred thousand kilometers from the location," he ordered.

Lieutenant James Trikal nodded his head from the helm and began keying in commands. "Three…two…one…"

Immediately, the stars stopped streaking by as the Dragon dropped from Transwarp velocity to sub-light. Directly ahead was nothing but a debris field.

"Scanning the field now," Vendar said immediately. "I’m detecting no weapons signatures, not even Borg…in fact, I see nothing there that deals with the Borg, not even an ion trail." She sighed and turned around to look at Chris. "I'm sorry, but it looks like we've run into another dead end."

Chris nodded his head, not letting his frustration show for once. In a sense, he had expected it to be another dead end…and now that it was…

"Very well…stand down from red alert," he said. "Helm, bring us on our original course towards the center of the galaxy, warp fifteen…

"If we would have discovered the Borg today, they would have been fully regenerated, and there's not a chance in hell we can take them on now. Let's just hope that anyone who encounters this single cube will be able to defend themselves…"

"Bringing us about seven-one mark one," James said.

However, before Chris could give the final order, a sensor alarm sounded on Vendar's console. "Captain, I'm reading a warp signature approaching us fast! It appears to be masked…but the mask is weakening. It's dropping out of warp right next to us!"

Chris didn't call for red alert yet simply because they didn't know what was coming at them. A bright light flashed in the distance and a moment later a very small vessel appeared. By all accounts, it appeared to be a shuttle.

"We're being hailed," Vendar added.

"On screen," Chris ordered as he and his first officer, Lieutenant Commander Tom Halkrat, stood up from their positions.

Instead of seeing a pristine image of a new alien, mostly static met his eyes. He could barely make out words…

"Help us…you have to help my people…PLEASE!"

With that, the image cut out, showing the vessel yet again.

"Scan for life signs," Chris ordered, confused.

"I'm reading one life sign," Vendar replied. "Very faint, and fading."

Chris immediately tapped his comm badge. "Bridge to sickbay, prepare to receive a patient in critical condition. Vendar, beam the life sign directly to sickbay and tractor his shuttle into our shuttle bay."

She didn't respond and simply nodded as she moved to work, keying in commands. "Transport complete. Engaging tractor beam…"

Chris immediately moved towards the turbo lift. "I'll be in sickbay. You have the bridge, Tom."



As Chris entered sickbay, he saw an injured humanoid with gray skin lying on a bio bed. Commander Kara Trieal and her nurse were both hard at work.

"We can't give him tricordrazine," she commented bitterly to her nurse. "His body will reject it. Give me the sub-dermal regenerator."

The nurse handed her the device, which she immediately began to wave over the alien's chest.

She smiled and nodded approvingly. "Well, at least something works on this guy. Internal bleeding has stopped…"

She set the device down, then looked at Chris and nodded. "He's all yours for now, Captain."

He opened his eyes, which were a glowing purple underneath, and sat up in his bio bed.

Chris stood next to him and said, "I'm Captain Chris Harriman of the Federation starship Dragon."

"R'Hojan," the gray skinned man said in an…odd sounding voice. Almost computer like… He seemed hopeful, like he expected to see something or someone by that name. Then realization crossed his face. "Please, you have to help my people. For centuries they've been a slave race, mining our own resources…please, help us!"

Suddenly an alarm sounded on Kara's console. The alien appeared to be choking, then fell back hard in the bio bed.

Kara immediately placed a cortical stimulator on his neck and started feeding charges into it. Finally, the tone stopped, signifying that he survived.

She shook her head as she moved to his side and took the stimulator off. She looked at Chris and shook her head. "I don't recommend reviving him again for another twenty four hours…I’m sorry."

Chris simply nodded his head. "Very well…maybe we'll get some answers from his shuttle. Keep me informed, Kara," he finished as he moved towards the turbolift.



Commander Kalia Tarkent cussed as she hit her head on the low ceiling again. "Damn this thing, couldn't they have made it any taller?!"

"I agree," the familiar voice of Chris stated, startling her. She spun around and looked at him.

"Umm…sorry, sir."

Chris shook his head in confusion. "I don't get it…the alien in sick bay is taller than we are…yet this thing is too small for us. I wonder if it's not his…he did say something about being under the rule of someone."

She shrugged, also not knowing. "All I know is…their technology is something else. It seems like this…ship's weapons were completely destroyed, as were its defensive systems. It's power core is completely off line…and it looks like our power isn't compatible what so ever with this shuttle's."

"What can you tell me about the propulsion systems?" Chris asked in return.

Kalia smiled and moved out of the shuttle and around to the field propulsion emitters of the vessel. "One of a kind," she stated. "All I can tell you is that it somehow taps into hyperspace to give it some sort of a boost…I wouldn't even really call them field emitters, more like hyperspace…engines of some sort. Their sub-light engines use some sort of fusion or fission reaction, I'm not sure because they appear to be all but destroyed."

Chris simply nodded. "Anything we can use?"

Kalia shook her head. "No…at least, nothing that will help us. I don't think this thing can get over warp three."

"Something that uses hyperspace…but can't get over warp three," Chris commented with a grin on his face. "Pretty pathetic."

Kalia shook her head with a smile. "I know. But I'd say this thing can get almost up to warp speed alone with its sub-light engines, if they are as powerful as they look."

"Too bad we couldn't get a better look at it," Chris commented, bending down to inspect one of the sub-light engine housings. "What's the ship made out of?"

"That's a mystery," Kalia said, shaking her head. "Some material I'm not familiar with, that's for sure."

Chris stood up and gave a distant stare. "We may have to engage in combat with larger ships with the same technology as this ship," he said, looking at her morbidly. "Conduct some tests on this shuttle with weapons, see what you can come up with. I want to know what kind of damage we can do when shields drop."

She looked at him, curious as to why they would have to engage one of these in combat… So she simply nodded and replied, "Aye, sir."

He looked at the vessel one last time then headed for the exit. She frowned after him, then shrugged and moved to one of her aids. They had work to do…



He seemed shy at first after the door opened. He simply stood there and peered in at the senior staff gathered in the briefing lounge next to the bridge. Finally, after a little prodding from the security escort, he entered the room.

The alien was very tall, over two meters tall. A standard deck on the Dragon was two and a half meters tall…Chris was willing to bet this alien's head nearly touched the ceiling in a corridor. He had mottled gray skin with eyes that just seemed to glow with energy… Other than that, he appeared mostly humanoid.

Being as friendly as he could, Chris motioned to a chair next to his. "Please, come in."

The alien looked at him, looked at every senior officer…then slowly complied. He moved to the chair and slowly sat down.

"Now, let's start with the basics," Chris started. "Who are you?"

He looked around nervously for a moment, then looked at Chris. In that odd computer-like voice, he said, "I am Rendal of the Venshai."

Chris smiled, pleased that they finally got something out of him. "I'm Captain Chris Harriman."

"Then you are the leader of this vessel?" Rendal asked, hopeful.

Chris frowned and nodded. "Yes, I am."

Rendal immediately looked relieved. "Thank goodness. Please, you have to help my people!" He was hysterical now, his eyes wide with hope. "We need help, we can't go on living like this any more!"

"Hey, hey, easy now, easy!" Chris stated in a sympathetic tone of voice. He put his hand on the alien's shoulder, which seemed to calm him down immediately. "Look, friend, we can't help you unless you tell us what you need help with! Start at the beginning, now, would you?"

The alien started nodding his head incessantly. "Right, right…I'm sorry. Please accept my apology."

Chris frowned again, then realized that he must be very used to living under an oppressive species…where if you didn't apologize constantly for the slightest mistake, they would hurt you…

"That's all right…just, tell us what's wrong."

He sighed and took in a big breath… "You see…centuries ago, no one is even sure just how long ago, a species called the Vendoth came to our world. We had just barely attained technology to travel faster than the speed of light when they came to our system. They announced their name and said that they would be gracious enough to teach us their ways of life, which they said was perfect and pure."

Realization already dawned on Chris. He already knew what the rest of the story was going to be like…but he listened any way.

"Back then, we were in awe of space travel, and we thought, 'here is this species willing to teach us how to survive and explore space…how to interact with other aliens.' So we accepted…

"But we did not like the ways of the Vendoth. They wanted us to always revere and serve them. We refused…and they became angry. They said we insulted their greatness. They claimed they were being nice by teaching us their ways, and then we turn around and insult them. So they conquered us in one very short battle.

"From that day on, we have been their slaves, mining our own resources and handing them over to the Vendoth…"

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.