Commander Chris Harriman sighed as he stepped off of the transporter pad. He still was devastated not only by the loss of his commanding officer, but also by what had transpired in the last couple of weeks.

He let the loss pass for now, for it was time to receive his new assignment. He all ready knew what was going to happen, for the forced 'deal' he had made with Section 31 assured it.

"Commander Harriman?" an ensign asked. Chris merely nodded his reply to the ensign. "If you'll please follow me, sir," the ensign stated, walking out of the transporter room.

Chris followed, trying to keep his mind off of the past few weeks. He swore he would get even at Section 31. They had caused the Federation much pain…they had caused Chris much pain. He had no doubt they would continually cause them both pain.

The walk through the capitol buildings was short, for Chris had beamed into the executive transporter room. They arrived at Admiral Collins' office in short order and walked in without hesitation.

At sight of Chris, the Admiral said jovially, "Ah, Commander Harriman, please do come in."

Chris complied and sat down in a chair in front of the head of Starfleet command's desk. The room was well decorated with the personal belongings of the Admiral. A painting of his wife, children, and grandchildren was neatly hanging on the wall behind his desk.

Admiral Collins sat down and clasped his hands together. "I have some good news for you, Commander," he said. Chris did his best to act curious.

"Have you heard of the Sentinel project?" Admiral Collins asked.

Chris thought about the question for a moment, recalling the recent press releases on the project. "Yes," Chris finally stated calmly. "It was supposed to have created an exploration starship, though heavily armed, and designed to break all speed records. Furthermore, it was only finished and tested three weeks ago."

Admiral Collins nodded, a large smile playing across his face. He opened a drawer on his desk and pulled something out. Concealing the object in his closed hand, the Admiral stood and walked around his desk to Chris. Chris, knowing what was going on, stood up.

The Admiral began placing something on Chris' collar next to the three pips. "Christopher Harriman, I hear-by promote you to the rank of Captain, and give you command of the prototype starship USS Dragon!"

Normally, Chris would have been exhilarated and surprised. However, in this case, Chris was only surprised. He frowned, curious as to the mention of his past ship's name.

As Admiral Collins pulled away and straightened his uniform, he smiled deeper to Chris' reply. "The Sentinel project has been renamed the Dragon project, ever since the original Dragon's victory at Wolf 359."

Chris smiled at the name, despite what the name 'Dragon' had meant to him. Still, he would soon be commanding the proud prototype of Starfleet. That would have to suffice for Section 31's crimes…for now.

"You and your new senior staff will have shore leave until all tests and modifications of the Dragon is complete," Admiral Collins stated.

Chris only nodded in reply, knowing all ready where he was going and who with.

"Isn't it amazing?" Commander Sarah Caft asked. "Captain?"

Chris smiled in reply to how she said the word 'Captain.' It would take her a while to get used to calling him 'sir' on the bridge. Chris smiled as he thought, chances are, she won't.

"Indeed it is," Chris replied, smiling even deeper. He hid how he had exactly received command of the Dragon. He would tell everyone only when the time was right. "I'd say this location here is the safest and best place to ski, for the time being," Sarah pointed, changing the subject. "Doesn't appear to be in any kind of danger of avalanche."

Chris looked at her and said, "Then let's do it." They nodded to each other, then went to the back of the Runabout they were in. Chris tapped in a command, causing the skis and other equipment to be beamed down to the surface.

He then stepped onto the cramped transporter pad, followed by Sarah. Sarah tapped in a few commands, then looked at Chris. He nodded again, confirming that he was ready. She tapped in the command, and within seconds, the two were engulfed in a bright white light.

Moments later, they were on the freezing surface of Karandis 7. Chris shivered simply at the sight surrounding them. As far as the eye could see, there were snow-covered mountains…and he knew that below that snow was just ice.

Sarah walked in front of him, bringing him back to the present situation. He followed her over to their equipment. The two strapped on their backpacks and then put on their skis. Chris wrapped the straps of his poles around his wrist and looked down at their path.

In an instant, Sarah was moving down the hill at a neck-breaking speed. Chris sighed at her drive for a thrill, knowing all too well he was usually like that. However, this time, he had a bad feeling…

In an instant, he was off after her. He pushed off the ridge he had been on and went straight after her. There wasn't a change in the angle of the mountain for a while, so it was safe to go to such speeds.

Sarah either let him catch up, or Chris had skis that allowed him to go faster than her, but he caught up rather quickly. His initial suspicion was the correct one, for when he came along side her, she suddenly was going the same speed he was.

He was about to say something to her when the ground began to rumble. Had it not been for his Starfleet training, he would have panicked. The ground suddenly left their feet, in turn causing Chris and Sarah to plunder downward with the snow.

The last thing Chris remembered was hitting a hard, cold surface…

He heard voices talking to one another. He wasn't sure who or what it was, but they were in a heated conversation.

Chris kept his eyes closed, wondering where he was. The last thing he remembered was skiing. Then the ground collapsed under them for apparently no reason. Sensors had not detected any instability in the area, or even a cave under their skiing course.

"Whoever they are, they obviously have advanced technology," Chris heard a soft female voice state. "If they have the technology to explore the galaxy, I think they would be a peaceful civilization."

"Do you not remember why we came here in the first place?" a soft male voice asked in response. "How do we know it is not the same species that has come to hunt us?"

"Because the species that hunted us wasn't any thing like this," the female voice replied. "We shouldn't be that quick to judge."

Chris risked opening his eyes to find that he was in a frozen chamber. All around him there was nothing but ice. He noticed that the 'bed' he was on was also ice. He looked to his left to see two light blue-skinned humanoids. Their skins were like the light-blue ice surrounding them.

The humanoids' mouths weren't moving properly, so he guessed his communicator was still on him, and that the universal translator was still working. However, for the translator to have deciphered their language would mean that he had been here for quite some time.

One of the humanoids, the one that spoke with a female voice, looked over to see Chris staring at them. She hushed her friend and pointed to Chris. The 'man' looked to Chris. When he saw Chris' eyes were open, his eyes went wide.

Before the man could say a word, the female came over and knelt next to Chris' bed. "I'm Valtra," she stated in her soft voice. "Who are you?"

Chris hesitated for a moment, then replied, "I'm Com…" He stopped himself in his error. "I'm Captain Chris Harriman of the United Federation of Planets," he amended.

"Captain, do you mind if I probe your mind?" Valtra asked. Chris frowned in response to this. "Our species is telepathic. Do you mind if we probe your mind so that we may determine if you are a threat to us or not?"

After hearing the two people talking, Chris knew that if she probed his mind, it would most likely prove his innocence as a peaceful person. "Yes, of course," Chris finally said.

Valtra closed her eyes momentarily, and in an instant, Chris felt something brushing against his mind. He could some how feel that his thoughts and memories were being accessed.

"My, your mind is a maze," Valtra stated. "Many sealed off sections, and…"

Suddenly, Chris felt something hard hit his mind. He winced and closed his eyes, trying to force out the feeling.

"Barsh!" Valtra yelled, pulling out of Chris' mind. Chris immediately felt the harshness of the probe leave. "We are not supposed to probe their minds with out their permission!" Valtra finished.

"He gave permission!" the man Chris guessed was called Barsh replied.

"He gave me permission!" Valtra stated back.

"But my force fullness revealed some dark secrets," Barsh pressed. "I don't see them to be worthy of survival. Even if we allowed them to leave, I doubt he would keep our civilizations a secret."

"Who the hell are you to determine what we are worthy of?" Chris asked in an outburst of anger. He'd dealt with the Q continuum before, and he hated the fact that they were constantly putting humanity on trial. No one should be able to govern another species. Yet, this very species, though very unlike the Q continuum, was doing just what the continuum did: judge entire species, comparing them to their own.

Barsh smiled evilly and finished, "I rest my case. They are a barbaric species."

Valtra looked to Chris with sad eyes. "I usually don't agree with him on these sort of matters, but he does have a point. I've seen much blood shed in your mind."

Chris calmed his nerves, knowing that these people were most likely similar to the Q. Angering them would not help the situation.

"If you wish to remain hidden, we'd be glad to keep your existence a secret," Chris said calmly. He noted that when he had said "we'd," Valtra had a pained looked.

Valtra motioned to Chris' right side, and Chris in turn looked. Beside himself was Sarah, lying unconscious. However, the look he saw on her face was not pleasant. A series of frightened and angry emotions was playing across her unconscious face. Chris glared at Valtra and asked, "What did you do to her?"

"We did not know that she was partially telepathic," Valtra replied. "Our telepathic presence seems to have caused great damage to her."

"What sort of damage?" Chris asked in a loud voice.

For a moment, Valtra just stared solemnly at Chris. Finally, she said, "What is your worst nightmare?"

Chris thought about it for a moment, not sure what the question had to do with the situation. Convinced that these people were wise, he played along. "I would have to say that my worst nightmare would be Sarah dying."

This caused Barsh to frown, uncertain about what that meant. Valtra, however, seemed to understand what this meant. She continued on with her explanation first, however. "Imagine you would have to relive that nightmare over and over again," she stated. "That is exactly what is happening in your friend's mind."

It took a moment for that fact to fully impact Chris. When it did, however, he felt hate for this person building up inside himself. It was a natural reaction, one which he tried to control.

After he collected his thoughts and suppressed his anger, he asked, "How can I help her?"

A smile played across Valtra's light blue face. She had equally blue teeth, as well as sharp green eyes. Chris noticed her eyes for the first time, and found it to be a striking feature. "We can send you into her mind to help her combat the nightmare," she said. "Only when the nightmare is conquered will it subside. Otherwise she, and you, will be stuck in the nightmare forever."

Chris nodded his reply and looked up at the ceiling. He could see light playing through the crystalline ice like children. He smiled and said, "Send me in."

Once again, Chris felt the familiar soft brush on his mind from Valtra. Once again, he lost consciousness.

In an instant, Chris was on a battlefield at night. He found himself shooting at the enemy, though he couldn't quite depict what the enemy was. All he could see was red lasers moving around in the dark. Green energy blasts were streaming overhead toward the army Chris was leading. In turn, red energy blasts were flying in the opposite direction and exploding against an unknown object floating above the approaching enemy.

The size of the object the Starfleet weapons fire was impacting on was huge. Explosions were playing all across it, but there wasn't enough light to illuminate it. Chris concentrated on one part that lit up, and immediately saw what it was. All he had seen was a tangle of metal, yet the tangle somehow formed a flat surface.

Now, for some reason, it loomed ominously like a shadow. The huge cube was slowly advancing on the force Chris was commanding.

He looked down the hill again to see that it was Borg drones marching up the mountainside. The smell was appalling, and Chris wondered if it were the approaching drones or dead bodies. If just one of the drones broke through the defense, it would mean the end of this battle.

Chris fired again, but his blast was absorbed by one of the drone's energy shields. Chris typed in a few commands on his pulse rifle and fired again at the same Borg. This time, it went down. Chris rested his left arm on the ground and felt the cold moisture that was on the grass. The sound of the approaching cube was deafening.

"Dragon to Harriman!" Sarah's familiar voice said over a comm link, though Chris could barely hear her above the droning of the cube.

"Go ahead," Chris shouted. There was something familiar about her voice…something sparked in his mind…

"We're reading five more Borg cubes on an intercept course!" she said in an alarmed voice.

"Right, prepare to beam us up," Chris ordered.

Suddenly, he felt a sharp pain on his left hand. He accidentally bit his tong as he brought his hand back and covered two bite marks. "Blasted spiders," he stated as the taste of blood filled his mouth. He looked at what he knew was supposed to be a huge spider.

Not only was the spider huge, but it also had devices on it. A minute to late, Chris realized what it was.

He instantly began to feel his consciousness slipping away. His free will, his thoughts, everything was being absorbed. He began to hear voices…tempting voices. The voices called out to him, commanding that he join them.

Chris had no choice but to reply. He stood up, but then found himself on the bridge of an unknown starship.

He turned to the command chair to see Commander Caft sitting in the chair. "Commander Sarah Caft, you will be assimilated," he said unwillingly. "Resistance is futile."

Horror was playing across Sarah's face as she saw Chris. She stood up, tears forming in her eyes. Suddenly, a green column appeared behind her.

He screamed as the column took shape of another Borg drone. His mind screamed, but nothing more. He could not utter a word, for he was Borg.

Sarah screamed in agony and pain as the drone injected two assimilation tubules into Sarah's neck. She fell to the ground, clenching her neck. Her skin began to turn a sickening green hue.

Suddenly, she stood up and looked at Chris. "We are Borg," she stated. "Resistance is futile…"

The red laser beams teased at Chris, playing across his face. A Quantum torpedo struck the oncoming Borg cube, causing a huge explosion. However, it did little to hinder the cube or the drones' advance.

Chris re-calibrated his pulse rifle and took out another Borg drone. Then it all came back to him. The loss of self control, the devastation done… It all hit him like a warp core breach.

He tapped his comm badge and shouted, "Harriman to Dragon, prepare to beam us all up!"

He realized what happened last time about now, and moved his left hand. He had moved it only just in time, and the Borg spider's fangs implanted themselves in the grass.

Chris stood up and ordered, "Now, now! Beam us up now!"

The spider launched at him, but passed right through as Chris began to dematerialize. Once again, he found himself on an unfamiliar bridge. He swung around and looked at Sarah, half expecting himself to say "Resistance is futile." No such words came from him.

He dropped his pulse rifle on the deck and embraced Sarah in a hardy hug.

"I'm reading five more cubes on an intercept course!" a person Chris some how knew was named Ada Marquet reported. He remembered that she was going to be the Dragon's chief of security, but she was still on shore leave…

Chris let go of Sarah and sat down in the command chair. He checked the small console next to the chair and ordered, "Helm, heading 121 mark 50, full impulse!"

He had to end this nightmare here and now. They weren't out of the thick of it yet…

"Breaking orbit," James Trikal, the helmsman, stated.

"Chris, I don't know why, but some how I expected you to beam up a Borg drone!" Sarah said, exasperated.

"That's because I was," Chris stated. "I'll explain later."

The ship lurched, nearly throwing Chris out of his chair. He held on to the armrests for dear life, then ordered, "Report!"

"The cube on the surface is coming after us!" Vendar Perkins stated from ops. She was the one he had recruited as the Dragon's junior ops officer… "They're attempting to lock on a tractor beam!"

"Evasive maneuvers," Chris ordered, concentrating on the tactical display now showing on his console. "Fire all aft weapons."

Volleys of Quantum and Photon torpedoes fired from the Dragon's aft launcher and impacted on the incoming Borg cube. All punched through the shields, but only did minimal surface damage. Phaser fire soon followed, giving equally little damage.

"Shields at forty percent!" Ada stated as the ship lurched again.

"Sir, we're receiving coordinates from the Enterprise!" Perkins stated. "They're attack coordinates!"

Chris looked at the coordinates on his console and smiled. The once-assimilated captain of the Enterprise was coming through for the Federation again…

"Come about!" Chris said, happiness permeating his voice. "Target those coordinates and fire at will!"

He now looked at the main view screen to see the planet and the Borg cube coming in to view. Eight Quantum torpedoes, followed by sixteen Photon torpedoes, sped away from the Dragon and impacted on one point of the cube. They were soon followed by Quantum torpedoes from the Enterprise and the Paris, and then were joined by phaser fire.

Thanks to the Dragon and Paris' superior firepower, as they were both prototypes, the Borg cube already began to detonate. The Dragon broke off its assault and was now heading in the direction it had been going before.

A yell of enthusiasm rang through the bridge of the Dragon. That was one less cube the Federation would have to deal with…

Chris looked to Sarah, who was sitting in her chair next to him. They smiled at each other, then embraced in another hug.

Chris suddenly felt a chill down his back, and pulled away. He saw that they were once again in the ice cavern. He looked at Valtra and smiled, then embraced Sarah in another hug.

"I love you," Chris told her.

"And I love you," Sarah replied. "Thank you for getting me out of that nightmare…"

"I think this proves it," Valtra said quietly to Barsh.

A grunt came from Barsh, then Chris heard him leave the chamber. Chris stood up from his ice 'bed,' followed by Sarah. He looked at Valtra and smiled.

"You've proven yourselves in every way," Valtra stated triumphantly. "I can see that you are a man of your word, and so I know you will never tell anyone of our existence."

"I can also see that you are a peaceful, loving civilization," Valtra finished. "Therefore, you may leave."

Chris nodded, then tapped his comm badge. "Harriman to Meridian, two to beam up." He stared at Valtra for a moment longer, then looked to Sarah. He smiled even deeper, then finished, "Energize."

Captain's personal log, Stardate 52155.2

Some times, people can act inhuman, no matter how advanced they have become. Others always show selflessness. I guess humanity was lucky that it was Sarah and I that had encountered this civilization, instead of one of those power-greedy people from Section 31. We showed them that humanity can be as great as the next civilization. Little do they know how far humanity has to go before we are all selfless… How ever, this encounter only shows that peace and love is the path to a great life. Thinking about other people instead of yourself is the only way to actually live…

Chris Harriman looked to the chair next to the command chair. As it was in the dream, Sarah was there, next to him. He now identified that the bridge they had been on in the dream had been the Dragon's bridge. He could only guess that she had all ready seen images or actually been on the bridge before Chris had.

She looked at him, and smiled. Chris smiled back before looking at the main view screen again.

"We are clear of dry dock and free to navigate," James stated.

"Set course for Deep Space nine," Chris ordered. "Warp eight."

"Yes, sir," James replied.

Chris paused, not knowing what lay ahead of them. The galaxy, in all its splendors, was a dangerous place. However, sometimes, the galaxy would bring two people closer together than they ever thought possible.

Finally, convinced that there was much to see and do, Chris ordered, "Engage."

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.