World Without Tomorrow, Chapter One

First Officers Log, Stardate 50239.1

What was supposed to be a routine mission to Bebok VI, on the other side of the DS9 wormhole in the Gamma Quadrant, to pick up intelligence reports about the Dominion has gone horribly awry. The Jem'hadar attacked my shuttle and now I'm due to crash land on an unknown planet. Sensors indicate there are life forms on this Class M planet. If I'm not able to survive, this will be the final entry of Commander William T. Riker.

End Log

The runabout cockpit was on fire and the panels and lights flashed. Dead crewmen littered seats and the floor. Smoke poured out of the vents as the automatic extinguisher units attempted to control the blaze. Riker frantically pressed buttons on the control panel, but they weren't responsive when they were even appearing.

"Warning: Secondary hull breach eminent," the computer warned.

"Computer, is the transporter operable?!"" Riker yelled.

"Transporter power at 37%."

It wasn't hopeful, but the view of the planet was nearly filling the window. It was this or nothing. Riker stepped onto the transporter pad.

"Energize!"

Nothing happened. Riker looked up. There was still time before the ship hit the ground, but not much. He ripped a panel off beside the transporter and swapped a few of the isolinear chips. The conduits lit up and Riker stepped back onto the transporter pad. The flames were approaching.

"ENERGIZE!"

The transporter executed the command. Riker slowly and not so steadily phased off of the ship as the cockpit became completely engulfed in flame.

On the ground of the planet, Riker materialized just in time to look up and see the runabout explode before crashing down to the ground in a big ball of flame. He raised his eyebrow with relief. It had been close, but never that close before.

Riker began walking east. He had managed to get a glimpse of where some life signs were located. He needed to scout out the situation to see if he was able to approach them without breaking the prime directive.

The terrain was wooded and quite thick. The temperature was cool and drizzly. "If only I had grabbed a tricorder or phaser before beaming out," he thought to himself. But then he likely wouldn't have survived.

After traveling for several hours, he decided to rest in a small clearing in the woods. There was no way to start a fire in the wet weather and the best coverage he was going to get was out of a hollowed out stump. It was going to have to do. Riker fell asleep despite the conditions. The day had worn him out.

"Friend...are you alright?"

Riker awoke to those words. He opened his eyes to the silhouette of a man.

"There, you're opening your eyes. I knew you were alright," said the man.

"Yes, I was just sleeping. I'm fine." Riker stood up and extended his hand. "Commander William T. Riker of the United Federation of Planets."

"I'm called Valgard," the stranger answered. Now that his eyes had adjusted, Riker could see his skin was very orange in hue and his brow was quite pronounced. Valgard was just a few inches shorter than him, stockier and quite young in appearance.

"I'm glad I found you. We saw something fall from the sky and we came looking for whatever it was. I never dreamed it would be a man."

"It wasn't a man. It was my ship," Riker said with a smile on his face.

Valgard laughed and then said, "You must come to our settlement and stay with us there."

Valgard led the way as the two walked towards a small camp. There they met up with a few others and headed out of the forest and into a civilized area. Riker notices that while there are lots of people present, there is not anybody older than Valgard.

End of Chapter One