Chapter 1 - Vanish

*Executive Officer's Log, Stardate 60783.1. With only a couple of days left before we have to return to Earth for ANOTHER refit, I've managed to talk Captain Walker into allowing some of us to stop by Bajor on the way back to inspect some of the Bajoran temples.*

Ranma looked up from his desk and out the window at the approaching blue and brown colored planet off in the distance. He was no archeologist but seeing how his – well Captain Walker's - ship's namesake was so important to the Bajorans, he felt that it might do him some good to look around on the planet, seeing as they had some extra time.

They always could come back on their shore leave while the Sisko was being refit, however not all the crew was able to get the same amount of time off, because of their duties. As well, Ranma was unsure whether he wanted to spend any of his free time this close to the border.

He did not even like spending his work time here.

*Akane, apparently an amateur explorer – who knew – has asked to come with. Minako, the science geek has also asked to come. For some reason, Ryouga has as well, which scares me a little bit. I may have to jury rig some kind of leash to make sure he doesn't get lost.*

Ranma blinked, turned, and looked around nervously. Once he made sure that SHE was not in the room, he continued.

*Shampoo has also invited herself. That scares me far more than Ryouga getting jealous and using the breaking point on some billion-year-old priceless Bajoran artifacts. She and Lt. Jansen seem to be... In a relationship...*

Ranma pauses, unsure whether he should have put that in an official log. He shrugs and continues, thinking it will not matter if Akane murders him.

*...but I am unsure if she is over me.*

Ranma's keen hearing causes his ears to twitch. He looks up and sees the shadow of a woman walking in the other room.

“Akane?” he asks.

“Yeah?” his wife calls back.

“Off work early?”

Akane walked into the room and smiled as she began to unzip her uniform jacket. “Yeah. I wanted to make sure I didn't hold us up.”

Ranma smiled and nodded. “Okay just finishing up my log.”

Akane nodded and continued to change. Ranma turned his attention back to his terminal. *Lt. Fuchs has also asked to tag along. While I almost think that six is a pretty big crowd, at the same time, it's nice to have plenty of people to discuss whatever we find with.*

“End,” Ranma instructed. The computer chirped in compliance and Ranma stood. He looked to Akane who was getting dressed in Starfleet's desert uniform.

“I am glad you read the briefing,” Ranma noted.

Akane scowled. “Do you think I'm an idiot?”

Ranma smiled coyly as he taunted her. “You were bored and had nothing else to do,” he stated rather than asked.

Akane turned away. “I would have read it, regardless.”

Ranma, also dressed in the white, except for the customary red trim, desert uniform walked up behind Akane and embraced her. “I know.”

Akane smiled as she let Ranma hug her. Finally, she spoke.

“I see Shampoo is coming.”

“Firearms are not allowed in the sites,” Fuchs explained to Makoto.

Makoto, who was eying Jeff with a bit of scorn conceded and took the phasers she had issued Minako and Ryouga back.

“Besides, who is going to attack us?” Fuchs asked.

“The Pah-wraiths?” Minako suggested.

Ryouga blinked. “Would a phaser actually help?”

Minako shrugged. Makoto sighed and turned to Ryouga. “I'm making you personally responsible for the command staff's safety.”

“ME?!” Ryouga squeaked. “Why me?”

“Because you're the closest thing to a security guard going down there,” Makoto replied.

Ryouga sighed.

The transporter room doors slid open, and Shampoo and Lt. Jansen walked in. Ryouga eyed the pair before turning to Makoto. “With all due respect, Commander, Commander Shampoo could kill me with her toothbrush. Make her responsible.”

Shampoo turned to Makoto. “Huh?”

Makoto facepalmed. “I can't make someone who outranks me responsible, you dolt.”

“You're the same rank!” Ryouga protested.

“Stop arguing with me!” Makoto snapped.

The doors slid open again and Ranma and Akane walked in. Ranma looked slightly agitated. “I can hear you people from the turbolift. What the hell are you arguing about?”

“I'm trying to put Lt. Hibiki in charge of security of the group, sir,” Makoto explained. “However, he does not want that responsibility.”

Ranma turned to Ryouga. Ryouga looked to Ranma. “She said 'command staff.' I didn't think you would require a babysitter.”

“Lieutenant!” Makoto barked.

Ranma shook his head and waved Makoto off. “Where we're going is policed and patrolled by Bajoran military. If there is any trouble they cannot handle, we will simply return to the ship.”

Ranma looked at Ryouga, who was half scowling, half pouting. “If you want to take up the other issue, Commander, please do so upon our return. Ryouga is a dunderhead, but I would hate for him to miss the opportunity for him to actually learn something.”

Ryouga looked up at Ranma. He smirked. His old nemesis was rather good at insulting him with just the right flair to get him riled up, but not quite enough to make him angry.

Practice makes perfect, it would appear.

Ranma returned the smirk and turned back to the group. “The Captain wanted to see us off, so as soon as she gets down here, we can depart.”

The group nodded. Ranma turned to Makoto, leaned into her, and smiled as he spoke softly. “I appreciate your concern. If anything does happen, I am sure instinct will kick in, and Ryouga will snap into action regardless.”

Makoto nodded, still frustrated. Ranma leaned back, smiling as the group continued to wait a few minutes till Captain Walker arrived.

“Sorry to make you wait,” she smiled.

Ranma nodded. “Not at all. Thank you for allowing us to make this unscheduled stop.”

“Well, it sounds interesting enough, and I agree there is time to spare, and we are close enough to where we need to be in case anything happens, so no harm, no foul as I see it.”

Ranma smiled as he and the other five stepped onto the transporter pad.

“I have coordinates from the Bajorans, Commander,” the transporter chief called to Ranma.

Ranma looked to the group who all nodded.

“Energize,” Ranma ordered.

The transporter chief complied, and the group vanished off the pad.

Karyn, Makoto, and Jansen nodded to the transporter chief and headed back to their stations on the bridge.


Karyn only had about fifteen minutes of reading in her ready room before she was disturbed. Seemed a little unfair, considering the others got to go enjoy themselves and all she wanted to do was read a book.

But, she thought to herself, this was the life she chose.

“Walker,” she stated, tapping her communicator.

“Captain, please come to the bridge,” Kaii's voice called.

Karyn quickly stood. The distress in his voice was not lost on her. Something was wrong. Very, very wrong. The young redhead quickly zipped onto the bridge and made her way to Kaii's station. “What is it, Lieutenant?”

“The Bajorans just contacted us asking when the away team was going to beam down, stating they can't wait with transportation much longer.”

Karyn inhaled deeply. “Have you...”

“Yes,” Kaii said, finishing her thought. “The transporter log indicates a successful transport. They materialized somewhere.”

Karyn finally exhaled. “Scan the planet for their communicators.”

“I already have, ma'am,” Kaii replied, dejected. “They are not on Bajor.”

Karyn began to rub her temples. “What about-”

“According to the log, they materialized on solid ground,” Kaii again completed Karyn's thoughts.

The rear turbolift opened and Lt. JC Devall walked in carrying a PADD, with Usagi right behind him. Kaii looked to Karyn. “I already got those guys working on it, if that's okay.”

Karyn patted Kaii on the shoulder and smiled. “You did great. The sooner we find them, the better.”

“Captain,” JC started. “I went through the transport log from start to finish. Everything looks normal. It wasn't a transporter malfunction.”

“So, they are alive?” Karyn asked.

JC bit his lip. “Well...” he paused, noticing that Usagi and Makoto were both looking at him, concern for their friends on their faces. “I can say with certainty that the transporter did not kill them.”

“So where are they?” Makoto finally asked.

JC sighed. “That's going to take some more time to figure out.”

Karyn turned to Kaii, then to JC and Usagi. “Nothing else matters. Find our lost shipmates.”

“Aye,” all three of them replied.