Chapter 2 - Disaster

Karyn looked out the window of her ready room at the stars whipping by. The ride was amazingly smooth, considering that they had been tooling along at warp 9.912 for the past twenty-four hours.

That really was not what was on the young lady’s mind though. She wasn’t thinking about the Cardassian ships that she was soon going to have to confront. In fact, what she was thinking of was a long way away and getting farther away by the moment.

Karyn did not hear her door chime as it rang once, then again, a second time. In fact, it took a knocking at the fiberglass doors to bring her back to reality.

“Come in,” she called, wiping some of the moisture out of her eyes.

The doors slid open and Akane walked into the room. Akane smiled gently at her new friend.

“How are you doing?” she asked.

Karyn grinned and motioned for Akane to have a seat.

“I’m okay. Just thinking.”

Akane nodded and sat down on Karyn’s couch. 

“Is it anything that you would like to talk about?”

Karyn pondered this for a moment. 

“No. But at the same time, I realize that I cannot keep bottling things up. If I remain as distracted as I am right now, people could die.”

Akane nodded as Karyn moved over to the couch and sat down next to Akane.

“I don’t think I belong here.”

Akane tilted her head. “On the Sisko?”

Karyn shook her head. “No. In space. In Starfleet.” She paused for a moment. “You know, I never really cared about things like this before – boyfriends, husbands, and the like – I just worried about my career and developing myself.

“But after what happened this week, I wonder if I would be able to find someone for me as long as I continue to prioritize this over finding someone to share my life with me.”

Akane shook her head. “Why wouldn’t you? Ranma and I have a good marriage and we’re both focused on our careers. You don’t have to choose one or the other.”

“You guys are different,” Karyn countered. “You met before you came on board. I can’t do that. I can’t meet someone on board while I am in command.”

Akane sighed. She really did not think the captain dating and eventually marrying someone under his or her command was such a big deal, but Karyn had the military aspect of Starfleet deeply ingrained in her. It was that aspect of her that Akane both hated and respected.

“So, what do you want to do?” Akane asked. “While I can understand your desire and need for a relationship, it would be a shame to give up everything that you have worked so hard for. After all, you are not defined by others, but by your own self.”

Karyn nodded.

“I mean, look at you. You have got to be one of the youngest captains in Starfleet. That’s not an easy task,” Akane told her.

Karyn nodded again. “I’ve never hurt so badly before in my life,” The redhead turned and looked to some of the plaques and things on her wall.

“It would be rough, yeah. But I don’t see how leaving this could possibly feel worse. I used to have a wall up, you know, to keep my work and my emotions separate. Sure, sometimes it made me come off as a bitch,” Karyn chuckled a bit, “but it worked.”

She turned to Akane and continued. “It’s not just about Derek leaving me. How I treated Shampoo when she came back to duty, how I reveled in getting this command despite the circumstances, all of it. It broke the wall, and I don’t think there is any fixing it at this point.”

Karyn shook her head and sighed. Akane placed her hand on Karyn’s shoulder and gripped it softly. Karyn turned and smiled at her.

“I really wish I had made a point to get to know you guys sooner,” Karyn lamented. “All of you.”

“Even if you do leave, that doesn’t make it goodbye. Nothing is goodbye, it’s just ‘ja ni’,” Akane grinned.

“Ja ni?”

“’See ya later.’”

Karyn nodded and walked over to her window as Akane walked out the door and onto the bridge.

Karyn sighed, watched the stars for a little bit, and then went to begin removing the memorabilia hanging on the wall of her office.


J.C. stood, watching the blue lights quickly pulse up and down the warp core. Occasionally his eyes would drift over to a display panel, which showed many different sets of numbers; none changing more than a couple of points and all staying nice and green.

He groaned.

Usagi walked up behind him and began to watch the warp core pulsate as well. After seeing J.C. eye the lights, check the numbers, eye the lights again, and again check the numbers, she spoke.

“What’s wrong?”

“NOTHING!” J.C. exclaimed, sending Usagi backward about two feet in fright.

“The damned thing is running perfectly.”

Usagi slowly crept back to J.C. “That’s bad?”

“Engines NEVER run perfectly,” J.C. flailed. “Even brand-new ones, right out of the box! Warp physics isn’t an exact science. That’s why we have so many, powerful computers! To make millions of adjustments per second to keep the field stable!”

J.C. glared at the numbers again.

“They aren’t spiking, they aren’t dropping – hell, the largest change I’ve seen was to the secondary cooling system. It shut off because the primary system was keeping the core cool enough on its own!”

“Isn’t that what it’s supposed to do?” Usagi asked cautiously, ready to leap out of J.C.'s way if the need arose.

“Yes, but I have been on six ships and that has NEVER happened! The secondary system has always had to help! Do you realize how much electricity is running through this thing?”

Usagi shrugged. “Lots?”

“Damn right lots! The current heats the circuitry to almost 800 degrees! But somehow they have gotten the primary cooling system configured to keep the system below 200 degrees!”

Usagi looked to the panel. “That’s still pretty hot.”

J.C. grumbled once again. He really could not figure out what was more frustrating. Not knowing what was inside these engines, making them so damned perfect, or not knowing what was inside his chief engineer’s head. He was fairly sure it wasn’t a brain.

Usagi could not comprehend the look that J.C. was giving her, so she decided now would be a good time to take her lunch break.

“Uh, we’ve only got a couple of hours before we arrive, so I am going to go get some food,” Usagi told J.C.

“Okay,” J.C. said, not really caring. Usagi walked towards the turbolift, tapping her communicator as J.C. walked to the hatch that would lead him into the main engine Jefferies tube.

He stopped suddenly as another engineer walked over to him.

“It’s the same on the port side as well,” the second engineer stated before walking away.

J.C. glared at the large, silver sticker with bold, red lettering on it.



“For the last time, I am not going to tell you that and if you ask again, I am going to have you stuffed into a torpedo and shot into the nearest star,” Minako grumbled quietly at Kaii.

The young Bajoran operations officer grinned. 

“I just need to know if I need to get you a wedding present!”

Minako spun around and walked towards Kaii. Considering they were in the operations station, it was a very short walk. Kaii soon found himself grinning nervously, pinned against the rear bulkhead with Minako nose to nose, her blue eyes glaring into his.

If looks could kill, Kaii would have found himself being covered by a white sheet right now.

“We are NOT getting married, and I would very much like it if you would mind your own damn business, Lieutenant.”

Kaii bumped his head as he tried to back up further. Minako pulled away from him and turned back to her station.

“Ever?” Kaii asked after her.

“I didn’t say that,” Minako blushed.

“That’s good. Your kids would be so cute.”

Minako turned around again and began to move towards the soon-to-be-clobbered Bajoran.

<Nifty Communicator Chirping Sound>

Minako paused her advance and tapped her communicator.


“Minako!” Usagi’s voice called. “Come eat lunch with me.”

Minako looked towards Ranma.

“Commander, do you mind if I go to lunch?”

Ranma, half-asleep shook his head. Minako smiled, poked Kaii in the chest, and walked towards the turbolift.

“I’ll be there in a minute,” she told Usagi.

Shampoo turned to Ranma. “Can I go to?”

Ranma nodded.

Shampoo grinned and stood. She walked up to tactical. Amanda smiled and turned to Makoto.

“Go, go,” Makoto smiled. “Have fun.”

Amanda and Shampoo both gave Makoto wide-eyed gasps.

Makoto began to stutter.

“I- I didn’t mean like that! I meant, enjoy your lunch break. That’s all.”

Amanda stepped out and into the turbolift, with Shampoo trailing behind her.

“Smoooooooooth,” Ryouga called out.

Makoto groaned. She heard snickering and turned towards Ops where she saw Kaii giggling as he took over the station.

Makoto pulled up her instant messaging terminal.


mkino-gosnell (tac1): What the hell are you laughing at? Wait till you see the size of that bruise on your chest.

jkaii (ops2): They’re trying to keep their relationship quiet!

mkino-gosnell (tac1): And Minako and Ryouga are trying to keep theirs personal.

jkaii (ops2): Then they should make a point of not – expressing themselves – in cargo bay four.


Makoto gasped. “CARGO BAY FOUR?” she yelped out loud.

Ryouga and Ranma both turned around as Makoto slapped her hand over her mouth. Ryouga was as red as could be. In fact, his shade of red would be worthy of Webster’s.

Kaii quickly turned around and moved to the back of ops to conceal his laughing.

“What’s going on in cargo bay four?” Ranma asked.

“NOTHING!” Both Ryouga and Makoto called out.

Makoto quickly began to run diagnostics on the weapons systems and Ryouga went back to keeping an eye on his station. Ranma looked to both before sighing and slumping back down in his seat.

He really needed to get more sleep at night.


“He’s just been so frisky lately,” Akane explained.

Gosnell raised an eyebrow. “Really?” he asked, stroking his goatee. He had never pictured Ranma as the kind who would be ‘frisky.’ In fact, he was having a difficult time deciding if the phrase 'Ranma is frisky' intrigued him or disturbed him.

“It happened ever since we came back from Las Vegas. I mean the trip from Earth to the nebula was only about eight hours, but he was still all over me.”

“Interesting,” Gosnell stated. Gosnell was beginning to lean towards intrigued as he liked the direction of this conversation.

“He was telling me how bossy you’ve been lately,” Gosnell mentioned.

“WHAT?” Akane bellowed.

“Wait, wait,” Gosnell pleaded as Akane’s battle aura began to glow. “I think he likes it.”

Akane raised one eyebrow, and then the other as her aura disappeared. She thought back to the past two months that they had been off the ship. She did have to acknowledge that she had been being a bit more aggressive in getting what she wanted.

She was not ready to say that she’s been ‘bossy’, though.

“That’s kind of weird. He’s got such a dominant personality. I find it hard to believe that he would like to be ordered around,” Akane pondered.

“Yeah, but maybe, since he gives so many orders, he’s developed a desire to be ordered himself. I’ve heard that Captain Walker doesn’t spend much time on the bridge during mundane missions, so he’s really been in charge, even though he’s just the XO.”

Gosnell pondered this for a moment. The doors to the lounge slid open.

“And here’s the perfect guy to ask,” he grinned.

The man who walked in stopped and looked to Gosnell.

“Yes Jeff, I’m thinking of you coming over here,” Gosnell grinned.

Lieutenant Jeff Fuchs, the ship's counselor, walked up to the bar. He looked to Gosnell.

“Did I miss something, or were you asking me to come over after work?”

“WHAT?!” Gosnell screamed. “NO!”

Jeff tsked. “Too bad.”

Akane stifled a laugh as Gosnell turned beet red.

“We have a question for you,” Gosnell finally said, upon regaining his composure.

“Okay,” Jeff waited.

“Is it normal for someone with a very – dominant – personality to enjoy being dominated?”

Jeff looked to Akane.

“You’re looking to be dominated?”

Akane slammed Jeff to the floor.


Jeff hopped up, shaking off Akane’s fury.

“Ah. Well, sometimes. I can see how someone with the responsibility that Commander Saotome has would enjoy having that taken away from him for a while. Having someone else make his decisions for him.”

“Do you think someone ordering him around would turn him on?” Gosnell asked, causing Akane to blush.

“He’s sexually attracted to Captain Walker?”

Once again Jeff and the floor were introduced thanks to Akane’s magical mallet. 

“NO! BY ME!”

Jeff stood back up, albeit a bit more slowly this time, and turned to Akane.

“Well, as I said, it’s not abnormal.” 

Jeff thought about the situation for a moment before going into psychiatrist mode.

“He’s been under a lot of pressure lately, with all the events that have been happening. I could see him taking pleasure and enjoyment in having some of that pressure lifted, be it by simply being an XO – which has been made easier with Shampoo coming back to duty – or be it being ordered around by his wife.”

Gosnell pulled out his camera, ready for Akane to slam Jeff into the floor again. She didn’t though and looked to her hands. Disappointment slowly slid across Gosnell’s face.

“So, if he was required to take command again, he might not like it?”

Both Jeff and Gosnell looked to Akane slightly befuddled.

Akane noticed this and smiled.

“Never mind,” she stood and patted Jeff on the shoulder. “Thanks, doc. Take care. See you, Gosnell.”

Jeff nodded and Gosnell waved as Akane walked across the lounge and out the door. Simultaneously, Minako, Usagi, Shampoo, and Amanda walked in and headed to their usual table.

“What do you think that was all about?” Gosnell asked Jeff.

Jeff just shrugged. 

Gosnell sighed as he walked over to the table where the four girls had seated themselves.

“Good afternoon!” he beamed. “What can I get for you all?”

Usagi simply glanced at her menu. “I’ll take the lunch special.”

Minako, Amanda, and Shampoo all nodded in agreement.

“Me too,” they stated in unison.

“See this is why I love you all,” Gosnell grinned. Nothing made a waiter happier than having customers who knew exactly what they wanted.

Gosnell trotted off to prepare the four officers' orders as they began to chat about their vacations.

Usagi, a bit grumpy that hers wasn’t as long as everyone else’s, began to describe J.C.’s tantrum. 

“He’s upset that the engines are working fine?” Amanda asked.

Usagi nodded.

“I can’t really blame him though,” Usagi said, softly. “There was just something about the new head of the shipyard that really bothered me.”

The others looked to her.

“You ever meet someone, and it just slaps you in the face that this guy is up to no good?”

They nodded in understanding.

“Can’t you get inside engine to see how it works?” Shampoo asked.

Usagi shook her head. “They’ve sealed all the access points.”

“That’s strange,” Minako acknowledged.

The other two agreed.

“I guess though,” Usagi resigned. “That as long as they are working, we shouldn’t concern ourselves with it too much.”

The others nodded in cautious agreement as Gosnell brought over their food.

“Four chicken fried chickens,” he stated.

“Thank you!” The four called out before digging in. Gosnell grinned.

Gosnell noticed the stars outside slowly stop streaking. Soon they were floating in space, motionless. A small, green planet sat off in the distance slowly rotating.

Everyone else in the lounge turned to look. They paused and looked towards the alert lights that were situated above the doors and along the ceiling.

They didn’t light up.

No alarms sounded.

Everyone grinned and resumed eating.


Karyn walked out onto the bridge.

“We’ve arrived?”

Ranma nodded.

“ETA on the Cardassian fleet?”

Ranma looked to his panel.

“Seven hours.”

Karyn sighed. “Maybe we should have stopped somewhere first?”

Ranma chuckled and nodded. 

Karyn looked at the clock. 11:09. “Senior staff is dismissed. Report back to duty at 16:30.”

Karyn smiled at a junior officer who was manning the engineering station. “You have the bridge.”

The junior officer grinned as he hopped up and took the Captain’s seat as the senior officers left the bridge, being replaced by the second shift officers.


First Sergeant Anthony Schaefer looked at Chief Warrant Officer Kio Yuki as she sat, her head in her arms, snoozing away in the NSO briefing room. 

She was the most adorable thing that he had ever seen, especially when she was sleeping. 

Kio snored loudly. Anthony stepped back.

Well, she was usually adorable.

Sergeant Major Mike Simpson looked to Anthony, who was studying Kio intently.

“What are you doing?” Mike whispered, a mix of confusion and concern in his question.

“Just watching,” Anthony whispered back.

“That’s stalking, man.” 

Anthony rolled his eyes. “I’m not stalking her. I feel bad for her. She’s been working non-stop to finish her OCS courses. She didn’t even leave the ship on leave. She stayed here to try and get ahead on things.”

Anthony walked over to where Mike was standing. “She was up most of the night studying for her Military Tradition final.”

Mike watched his unit leader for a moment; she stirred slightly which sent both Mike and Anthony to another area of the briefing room. They both exhaled in relief when they saw she hadn’t woken up.

“And then, for whatever reason, they have us on hot stand-by today,” Anthony continued. “We’ve been sitting in the same spot for three hours, no heightened alert level, nothing.”

Anthony groaned. While he loved what he did, he hated when they had him geared up for a long day of doing nothing.

“There is a Cardassian assault force en route. We have to be ready to assist in repelling a boarding party,” Mike explained.

Anthony rolled his eyes. “What are the three of us going to do that the 150 marines couldn’t do?”

Mike shrugged. “I didn’t say it was a perfect idea, but that is it.”

“Your job is not to repel a boarding party, but to use your skills to regain control of the ship,” Yuki replied, her head still in her arms.

Both Mike and Anthony looked at her.

“We didn’t mean to wake you up, Chief,” Mike stated.

Kio raised her head up. She had the outline of her PADD imprinted on her forehead. Anthony laughed. Kio glared at him.

“It’s okay, Mike,” Kio yawned. “There is just so much crap to memorize.”

Mike nodded. “That’s why I am perfectly content remaining enlisted. If I was smart enough to become an officer, I would have been smart enough to become a doctor like my folks wanted me to.”

Anthony patted his friend on the shoulder.

“You wanted to be a doctor?” Kio asked.

“No,” Mike stated bluntly. “But my parents wanted me to become one. I have to admit though; most doctors don’t almost get killed as often.”

Kio grinned. “That’s part of the thrill.”

Anthony snorted. “Speak for yourself.”

Kio laughed as did Mike.

“You were just complaining about having nothing to do,” Mike pointed out.

“Yeah, well it’s better than doing nothing,” Anthony replied.

“I think you’re bipolar,” Kio laughed.

Anthony groaned and sat down across from Kio, snagging her PADD.

“Let’s see how ready you are for this final,” Anthony grinned.

Kio sat up and nodded. Mike took a seat next to Kio and watched. While he’d always seen the attraction between the pair, it was becoming more and more overt the more time they spent together on the Sisko. He knew that they had known each other for a long time. They had been in the same unit, the LDF’s Third Ranger Infantry Unit, for at least six years.

He also knew that Kio used to be married until her husband was killed in an ambush in their last mission with the 3RIU.

Mike also knew that Anthony used to be married as well, but his ended in divorce. From the way Anthony talks about it, it was a mutually agreed upon and mutually welcome divorce.

Mike continued to watch the pair laugh and quiz each other about ancient military units and the history of warfare. They were acting more like two high school kids studying for an exam than they were like the two highly trained infantry officers that they were.

An alarm sounded and the trio looked to the front of the room at the alert lights. The light was flashing red.

“Looks like they are here,” Kio acknowledged as she placed the PADD into a bag.

Mike looked at his weapon that lay on the deck next to him. He picked it up, activated the charger, and set the level to kill.


Karyn stepped onto the bridge, a little embarrassed that she didn’t follow her own order and get back to the Sisko’s command center by 16:30.

The clock above the bridge read 17:17 as she began to move towards the CONN, still zipping up her jacket.

Makoto noticed her and inhaled. Karyn held up her arm, keeping her chief tactical officer quiet, then continued down the ramp and into her seat.

“Status?” Karyn asked.

Ranma turned to Karyn.

“We have nine Hideki class ships and one Keldon class inbound. They were heading towards the planet, but upon seeing us they switched to an intercept course.” Ranma checked his terminal. “In weapons range in ten minutes.”

Karyn nodded. This was not going to be easy. She looked to Ranma and then to Shampoo.

“What do you think?” she asked.

Shampoo pondered this for a moment.

“We should get rid of Hideki class first. Keldon class has stronger weapons, but Hideki faster and can fire more often.”

Ranma nodded. “I agree.”

Karyn also agreed. “Commander Kino, prepare to engage the Hideki class ships. Everything you’ve got.”

“Aye,” Makoto grinned. Amanda frowned at some interesting readings on her console.

“The aft launchers are not getting much power. I’m going to go down there and see if it’s something I can fix,” she told Makoto.

Makoto nodded and Jansen ran off.

“Problem?” Karyn asked.

“For some reason, it appears that the aft launchers are not getting a proper power flow from the warp core,” Makoto explained.

“Will we still be able to fire?” Ranma asked.

“Yeah, just not as often.”

Ranma nodded. Usagi, who was seated at the engineering station was concerned by this newly discovered information and relayed it down to J.C. who was in engineering.

A few minutes passed and the ten Cardassian warships slowed to a crawl in front of the Sisko.

Karyn stood. “Hail them,” she ordered.

Minako complied. “No response.”

Karyn grumbled. “Open a channel.”

Minako did as she was told.

“This is Captain Karyn Walker of the U.S.S. Benjamin Sisko. You are in Federation space and you are ordered to return to-” Karyn is cut off by the Hideki fighters breaking formation and opening fire.

Karyn sat down. “Fire.” She dryly and angrily stated.

Ranma watched his terminal for a moment. “Ryouga, defensive pattern Omega.”

Ryouga complied and the ship executed her preprogrammed maneuver perfectly. Makoto fired phasers and torpedoes; slowly and methodically taking out the Hideki class ships one at a time until there were only three left.

Minako spoke up. “Aft shields at 44 percent.”

“Defensive pattern Gamma,” Ranma ordered.

Ryouga initiated the maneuver. 

Once there was only one Hideki ship left, it and the Keldon class ship made an about-face and headed back towards Cardassian space at maximum warp.

“Pursuit?” Ryouga asked.

“No,” Karyn replied. She looked to Minako. “Any others?”

Minako shook her head. “Asides from some freighters I don’t see another ship for five light-years.”

Karyn sighed. “Stand down from red alert.”

Ranma looked to Usagi. “Damage report?”

Usagi looked confused. “None?”

“Doesn’t seem like they were really trying,” Shampoo mused.

Ranma and Karyn looked at each other. It didn’t at all seem like they were really trying, and that was very strange. Karyn stood. 

“Commander, come with me,” Ranma nodded as Karyn turned to Minako. “Please send the visual recording of the battle to the conference room.”

Minako nodded as Ranma and Karyn walked into the room on the port side of the bridge.


Karyn and Ranma stood in the observation lounge watching the replay of the Cardassian assault very carefully for the third time.

“Do you notice how they are only shooting towards our nacelles?” Ranma asked.

Karyn nodded. She did notice it, but that made things even more confusing.

The ship's nacelles were one of the most shielded areas of the ship, with only the bridge having more shielding. The raiders and their low-level phase cannons didn’t even dent the shields, and the pilots would have known that would have been the result.

What would have made sense would have been for them to attack the shield generators first. They wouldn’t have succeeded, but it would have made more sense from a tactical standpoint.

“Something else I am noticing; they are staying behind us. Like they knew we were having issues with our aft launchers.” Ranma stated.

“They couldn’t tell that by scanning us?” Karyn asked.

“No. They would only see that we had power to the section, not that it wasn’t enough.”

Karyn did not like this. Nothing at all seemed right about this.

“And of course, the strangest thing, the Keldon didn’t fire a single shot.”

Karyn was about to scold Ranma for making things even more confusing when a loud shudder suddenly shook through the ship, knocking both Ranma and Karyn to the deck. The ship began to shake violently. Karyn went to stand and hit her comm badge when Shampoo’s voice echoed over the intercom.

“CAPTAIN, XO TO THE BRIDGE!” she screamed.

Ranma and Karyn were on their feet and ran out of the conference room onto the bridge. They turned to see Shampoo standing over Usagi at the engineering station.

“REPORT!” Karyn ordered.

“I no understand,” Shampoo whimpered. “Plasma injectors fused open!”

Ranma ran over and looked.

“Shut down the engines,” he ordered.

“I can’t!” Usagi bawled.

“OH CRAP!” Ryouga yelled.

All eyes turned to him.


Ranma turned back to Shampoo and Usagi. “Get those engines offline!”

Usagi and Shampoo went to work as Ryouga began to bug out.


Ranma and Karyn could do nothing but watch the starfield warp by.


Minako’s panel began to chirp.

“The warp field is fluctuating,” she stated, a tone that was somewhere between confusion, fascination, and terror entering her voice. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”


“Problem with the new engines?” Karyn asked.


Minako shook her head as the ship began to shake harder and harder.

“No. The engines show they are functioning perfectly, but the warp field...” she paused. “It’s not right.”


“STATUS!” Ranma yelled at Shampoo and Usagi.


“We’ve tried cutting the plasma flow! We’ve tried killing power! We’ve tried stopping the anti-matter flow! Nothing is working!” Usagi exclaimed.


“Oh my God,” Minako gasped.

Everyone looked at her. Ryouga grabbed his hair and started to completely lose it now.


Karyn looked to Ryouga in disbelief, but only for a moment as the starfield grabbed her attention.

“Ra-Ranma,” she mumbled as she pointed to the starfield. The ship slowly stopped shaking.

Ranma turned and looked. The sight on the screen caused his jaw to drop. Instead of stars streaking and passing by, there were only single streaks of a few stars. And they weren’t moving.

“I THINK WE’RE IN TRANS-WARP!” Minako yelled, finally figuring out where she had seen this warp field before.

“Jettison the core!” Ranma ordered.

“We could be torn apart!” Karyn countered.

“Captain, if we’re in trans-warp we could be in a different galaxy within minutes.”

Karyn didn’t like the thought of that any more than she liked the thought of being ripped to pieces at around a billion kilometers per second.

“Do it,” she confirmed to Usagi.

Usagi whimpered, performed the necessary computer operations, and closed her eyes. Another thunk was heard.

She opened one. “Core jettisoned.” She stated.

“FIELD COLLAPSING!” Minako yelled.

“ALL HANDS BRACE!” Karyn yelled just before the ship slammed out of warp, the inertial dampeners doing everything they could to keep the occupants from being hurled into the front of the ship at Warp 10.

It mostly worked. Ranma and Karyn were flung to the thinly carpeted deck. Makoto and Minako were both thrown over their consoles and to the deck. Ryouga was slammed into his console, the wind knocked out of him. Shampoo was tossed into the nearest bulkhead where she slammed into it, headfirst, and hit the ground, unconscious. 

Ranma slowly rose to his knees. He looked to Karyn who was also slowly staggering to her feet. Ranma quickly moved to help her up. The pair stood and turned to the operations station where Minako was crawling back to the correct side of her terminal. Ranma moved over to check on Shampoo.

“Medical emergency on the bridge…” he mumbled into his communicator.

“Status,” Karyn asked quietly.

Minako was still shaking off the smack to her head she took when she was planted face-first into the deck plating.

“Uh-” she mumbled.

Ryouga coughed a couple of times as he started to regain his composure. He looked up at the viewscreen.

“CAPTAIN!” he yelled.

Ranma spun around from tending to Shampoo, Karyn a little more slowly. On the viewscreen was nothing but blue, white, and brown.

The surface of a planet.

“FULL REVERSE!” Ranma screamed, running over to the helm, as Karyn’s eyes went wide.

Ryouga started to hit some buttons, ignoring the blinding pain in his midsection. The flight control station just buzzed at him, refusing to acknowledge his commands. He slammed his fists on the terminal, which made it buzz at him even louder.

“IMPULSE ENGINES ARE NOT RESPONDING!” he screamed in horror as the ship began to accelerate into the upper atmosphere of the planet.

“SHIELDS!” Karyn finally managed to yell.

Makoto, who had made her way back to her station even more slowly than Minako, attempted to activate the shields. Her panel also buzzed at her.

“We have massive EPS damage,” Minako finally managed to say. “Impulse engines, shields, weapons, inertial dampener, all offline.” The master situation display was going nuts flashing red, confirming Minako’s report.

“THRUSTERS!” Ranma yelled at Ryouga.

Ryouga began to fire the thrusters on the bow of the ship. The CO2 blew out of the thruster ports but did nothing to slow the ship.

“We’re too far into the planet's gravity well,” Minako stated, beginning to roll on all her cylinders again.

Ryouga frantically and futilely kept trying to pull the ship out of its dive, his panel mainly squawking at him in noncompliance.

Ranma and Karyn both watched the viewer as the ship began to roll slightly.

“Oh shit,” Ranma mumbled.

“Lieutenant! Keep us ventral down!” Karyn ordered.

“I’m trying!” Ryouga whimpered as the ship continued to roll until it was inverted.

“We’re dead if we crash like this,” Makoto bluntly stated as the ship began to rumble again.

Ranma looked to the floor. They were inside the planet’s gravitational field, so the only thing keeping them from falling to the ceiling was the ship's grav plating. 

He hoped to God that it would not fail; otherwise, they’d have no chance.

Ryouga, pissed off at the flat screen controls in front of him, slides down to the left end of the flight control station. He hits a button, and a joystick rises out of the console. 

“Once we get out of the upper atmosphere, I should be able to roll the ship manually,” he stated.

Ranma looked to Karyn.

“Nothing to do now but hang on,” he stated.

Karyn agreed and the pair sat down in their chairs.

On the floor next to the engineering station, Shampoo finally begins to come to. She slowly stands, wipes some blood off her face with her sleeve, and staggers over to her seat to the left of Karyn. She whimpered when she saw the red glow on the main viewer.

“What...” she mumbled.

“We’re making an unexpected landing,” Karyn said, never taking her eyes off Ryouga and the viewer.

Shampoo sat down quickly, and her hands gripped the armrests on her chair. She looked over to Ranma who was intently eyeing the viewer, waiting for the ship to come out of the upper atmosphere.

The outside of the ship burned red as the ship ripped through the atmosphere of the planet. Paint peeled off and burnt up. The nacelles shook; the drag trying its best to rip them from their moorings.

After what seemed like an eternity, the red glow dissipated, and the crew got their first close view of the planet. From where they were it looked completely blue.

“Oh no, we’re going to crash into an ocean,” Karyn stated quietly.

Ranma switched his gaze from Ryouga to the viewer and back. Ryouga was slowly, but effectively, rolling the ship counterclockwise putting her right side up.

“Two minutes to impact,” Minako stated. They had no sensors, but the surface of the planet was close enough to be picked up by the lower technology proximity sensors.

“Pitch us up, Ryouga,” Ranma stated.

Ryouga complied and slowly began to bring the nose of the ship up.

“There’s a landmass,” Karyn stated pointing towards some brown and green off in the distance.

Ranma nodded. He did not know if they would make it that far, but the Sisko was moving VERY fast.

“Ranma! Angle?” Ryouga asked.

Ranma tried to do the calculations in his head. It has been years since his single class in emergency landing operations.

“Fifteen degree,” Shampoo stated.

Ryouga nodded. He pitched the bow of the ship up about fifteen degrees. He watched the viewer intently. The land wasn’t that far, but he didn’t think they would make it.

“ALL HANDS, EMERGENCY LANDING PROCEDURES!” Ranma called out over the intercom. Minako, Usagi, and Makoto all tucked themselves under their panels, up against the forward wall, and placed their heads between their legs.

Shampoo gripped the armrests even harder. Both Ranma and Karyn did the same. All three of them knew that on impact they would all be thrown. 

“Why the hell haven’t they installed seat belts yet?” Ranma growled.

Karyn, despite the fact she was scared out of her mind, chuckled at Ranma’s joke. She then sighed. “You two, get behind the conn.”

Ranma blinked.

“What about you?”

“Just go,” Karyn replied.


“DO WHAT I SAY, COMMANDER!” Karyn screamed.

Ranma nodded and both he and Shampoo scurried behind the command console and braced themselves against the back of it.

Ryouga closed his eyes.

“We’re going to hit the water.”

Ranma closed his eyes. 

Karyn inhaled.

The Sisko hit the water and hit it hard. However, the pitch of the ship remained stable, the ship bounced like a rock skipping over a lake and became airborne again.

Onboard things did not go so well. Ryouga was once again slammed into his console. The force knocked him out. Ranma and Shampoo, despite bracing themselves as much as possible were slammed into the back of the conn, knocking them out.

Karyn, sitting in the center of the newly configured command center was thrown directly into Ryouga’s console, only the fact that Ryouga was on the far end of the console keeping her from flying into him. Karyn screamed until she hit the top of the console, her momentum throwing her over it, into the front of the bridge to where the now inactive viewscreen was, and onto the floor.

The Sisko once again began her descent from her temporarily resumed flight. She passed over a beach, no more than 50 meters above the ground, moving at well over 500 kilometers per hour. After a moment she slammed into the ground, once again throwing the unconscious bridge crew forward.

The Sisko did not bounce this time but slid past the beach and into a dense forest. The giant ship snapped enormous, hundreds of years old redwood trees like matchsticks as her momentum pushed her forward. 

Metallic screeching of the hull was all that could be heard over the intense rumbling.

The second impact knocked all power out on the ship. The bridge was completely dark. The emergency lights did not activate. All that could be seen was a dim, glow-in-the-dark path that would lead the crew to the emergency access.

The shaking of the ship was worse than anything any of the Sisko's crew had ever been through. Every direction at once, the ship moved, all while hurtling, uncontrolled, forward.

Underneath her console, Usagi quietly cried. It was dark and she had no idea what was going on. On the first impact, all she heard was a blood-curdling woman’s scream, rumbling, and now this terrible metallic ripping. 

Makoto kept her eyes closed tightly and gripped her legs tightly with her arms. She wanted to know what was going on, but after the inhuman scream after the first impact, she did not dare stand up till the ship came to a rest.

Minako shook even more than the ship did. She can never remember really being scared before. But this scared the hell out of her.

The resistance that the Sisko faced from the forest and continued to get denser gradually slowed the once-mighty warship. Her forward force was finally no match for the giant trees, and she slammed to a stop. 

Once again Karyn was tossed against the forward bulkhead, though not as violently this time. Ranma and Shampoo’s unconscious bodies were also thrown forward, as the shaking of the ship rolled them into the open area of the bridge.

Once she was sure that the ship wasn’t going to go anywhere, Makoto slowly felt her way out of her hiding place. She pulled herself to her feet and looked around.

She could not see anything. The dim path lighting giving off almost no ambient light. 

“Is everyone okay?” She asked.

“Yeah,” Usagi sniffled.

“I – I think so,” Minako called as she also tried to feel her way out of her crash position.

“Captain?” Makoto asked.

There was no answer.

“Commander Saotome? Commander Shampoo?”

Again, silence.

“Ryouga?” Minako whimpered.


“Where are the lights?” Makoto asked as she felt around her station, trying to locate her emergency kit.

“Even with no power the emergency lights should have activated,” Minako said.

“Ah fuck!” Makoto exclaimed, followed by a thunk.

“Oh God, Makoto, are you okay?” Minako asked.

“Yeah. I can’t find my emergency kit. Can you find yours?”

“I couldn’t even find my hands right now,” she complained.

“Well, we can’t just sit here in the dark. They probably need medical attention.”

Minako slapped her communicator.

“Aino to sickbay.”


“Aino to Security.”


“Aino to anyone!”


Makoto grumbled. 


“What was that?” Usagi whimpered.

“Sounds like some banging.”

“ANYONE ALIVE IN THERE?” a voice called out.

“YES!” Minako yelled.

There was some more banging on the aft turbolift door till eventually, a hand squeezed between the two doors. A marine managed to pull the one door open and both he and two other marines came out of the turbolift. The turbolift car seemed to be locked into place and the emergency exit on the top of the car was opened.

Flashlights begin to shine into the bridge as the three came out.

“Is everyone okay here?” one of the marines asked.

“No. The command staff are all seriously injured, as well as the helmsman,” Minako replied.

The group of three marines walked over to the tactical station. They shined their flashlights on Makoto.

“Good to see you guys,” she stated.

The marine holding the flashlight smiled.

“Hold your flashlight over here. I have flares we can use to light up the bridge.”

The marine complied and allowed Makoto to dig out her emergency kit.

“Do you know what’s going on with the rest of the ship?” Makoto asked.

“No, Commander. We were on deck two and determined it should be our priority to check on you guys,” the marine explained. 

Makoto nodded and opened the emergency kit. Inside she pulled out four clear spheres. She hit a button on the top of two of them and tossed them; one towards the front of the bridge and to the left, the other to the right.

After a couple of seconds, a bright light blazed out of both, lighting the bridge up well.

Minako came down the bridge with Makoto and the marines. They first saw Shampoo and walked to her.

Makoto pulled a tricorder out of her kit.

“Massive concussion, broken arm, and dislocated shoulder,” she stated. She motioned for one of the marines to join her.

“You know how to use this?” she asked, pointing towards a sub-dermal regenerator.

“Yes ma’am,” he stated. The marine took it and began to attempt a repair on Shampoo’s arm.

Makoto and the first marine walked over to where Karyn was. There was a huge gash on her forehead and a large pool of blood on the deck. Makoto ran her tricorder over her Captain.

She bowed her head.

“She’s dead,” Makoto stated softly.

Minako, who had gone to check on Usagi, looked up.


Makoto looked at her.

“The captain.”

Makoto and Usagi bowed their heads in respect for the woman who at first, they hated, but eventually grew to admire and respect.

The first marine ordered the one free marine over to help him move the Captain’s body out of the pool of blood and to a better area. Makoto moved over a bit more to where Ryouga had landed. The final hit had knocked him over the console and onto the floor.

She scanned him.

“Five broken ribs, possible internal bleeding,” she looked to the marines as they walked back to her. “We need to get him to sickbay.”

“We can’t take him down a turbolift shaft.” one marine stated. “I’ll go see if I can find another way.”

That marine scurried towards the deck two emergency access while Makoto and the other marine moved over to where Ranma was. Minako, now sure that Usagi was okay, ran to Ryouga.

“Don’t move him,” Makoto ordered.

“I-I won’t,” she stammered as she took the eternal lost boy’s hand.

Ranma was lying face down in a heap. Makoto grimaced as she rolled him onto his back. He also had a huge gash on his head, but he did not seem to have lost as much blood as Karyn did.

Makoto scanned him.

“Concussion, tons of micro-fractures of his bones, but otherwise okay,” she sighed in relief.

The marine who went off to find a way to sickbay returned.

“We can use the emergency access to get to deck two, but from there we will have to come down the shafts or Jefferies tubes to get to sickbay.”

Makoto groaned.

“Well, we can’t let them die up here. Let’s go,” she ordered.

The marines moved into position to begin to move the three injured crewmembers to sickbay.

A bright blue glow stopped them.

Makoto turned around and drew her phaser. The marines also readied their weapons.

When the six figures materialized Makoto and the others found themselves looking at the business ends of six hybrid phase/projectile weapons.

“Oh my God. Am I glad to see you guys,” Makoto exclaimed, lowering her phaser.

Rei grinned at the dark-haired security chief and lowered her weapon as well. The five NSO members, CWO Kio, Sgt. Simpson, Sgt. Schaffer, Lt. Commander Shelton, and Lt. Parker followed suit.

“What’s your status?” Rei asked.

“The captain is dead,” Makoto stated bluntly. “Commander Saotome, Commander Shampoo, and Lieutenant Hibiki have serious injuries.”

Rei nodded and walked to the injured officers. She placed a transport enhancer on each of them. Rei then walked over to Captain Walker’s lifeless body and put one on her. She hit her communicator.

“Hino to Ensign Xiao. Four to beam directly to trauma. Advise them one is deceased.”

“Aye,” the ensign’s voice replied. Within a moment Ranma, Shampoo, and Ryouga disappeared.

“We have our triage unit set up in the NSO control center,” Rei explained. 

“You have power?” Minako asked.

“Yes. We generate our own power, life support, and etcetera,” Shelton explained.

“Have you been to any of the other decks?” Makoto asked.

“No,” Rei replied. “Most of us were knocked out or otherwise discombobulated when we crashed, so it took us a bit to mobilize. We’re going to go deck by deck, find survivors, and survey damage.”

Makoto nodded. “Sergeants, Corporal, go with them. As you find marines begin moving everyone to deck four. We will try and get power restored to sick bay since there will probably be more injuries than the NSO trauma center can handle.

“We should also work on getting power restored to deck five. If you find any more security officers or marines, have them begin to set up a make-shift S & R center in the lounge.”

The marines nodded. Rei handed Makoto three transport enhancers and three more communicators. 

“The hull plating on this ship makes transport hard the way we’re doing it, so you will need these. Also, since the ship's main power is out, we had to use our communication system, which is different than yours.”

Makoto nods.

Rei gives the three marines enhancers as well. “Hino to Corporal Stevens. Nine to transport to deck two.”

The nine people quickly vanish.

Makoto looked to Minako and Usagi.

“Well?” She asked.

Minako looked to Makoto.

“Well, what?”

“You’re in command. What do we do to get power back to the bridge, deck four and five?”

Minako scratched her head, noticing some dried blood on the back. She ignored it and looked to Usagi.

“Well, we first need to find out what the problem is, and for that, we need to go to engineering.”

“Okay,” Makoto stated. “Usagi and I will go.”

“No offense Makoto,” Minako countered, “but you don’t know anything about engineering.”

Makoto nodded.

“You’re right, but I do know that right now you are the captain and the captain’s place is on the bridge.”

Minako sighed and agreed.

“Besides, there will be engineers down there to help. And once we get power back, we’ll need you to start doing all your nifty operations stuff to get the ship working again,” Makoto smiled at her friend.

“Be careful,” Minako ordered, smiling back.

Makoto tapped her new communicator.

“Kino to NSO, two to transport to engineering.”

The pair slowly dissolved into blue light, then into nothing, leaving Minako alone on the bridge. She shook off the slight dizzy feeling she was having and sat down in the operations station.

Unknown to anyone inside the ship, two attack helicopters hovered above the damaged starship, watching, and waiting, for anyone to come out.