Disclaimer: I don't own the rights to Star Wars and Star Trek (duh!) Star Trek was invented by Gene Roddenberry. Star Wars was created by George Lucas. All of the characters in THIS story, however, are mine.

"You will not sue me" *waves hand in an attempt to use a Jedi Mind trick on the surrounding crowd of attorneys* "It would be 'illogical' to sue me. Besides, I'm related to two lawyers. Qapla!"

CHAPTER 1: THE BLACK HOLE

"Wonderful," the Klingon said sarcastically. "Another anomaly. Why must you Starfleeters investigate every little nebula or star you come in contact with?"

"This is a mission of exploration," a Human cadet replied, trying to sound professional. "It is our task to map this sector, and map this sector we will."

A Romulan sighed loudly. "My brother got assigned to a top-of-the line Warbird-class starship. My cousin was assigned to Imperial Intelligence. And here I am playing nursemaid to a bunch of Humans."

"Your assessment is incorrect," a Vulcan interrupted. "Only one of us is Human."

The Romulan glared at the Vulcan girl who had spoken. "Mission of exploration," he sneered. "I'd rather be blasting Dominion warships."

"So would I," the Klingon agreed. "But I am not whining about it. If you have any honor whatsoever, you will shut up now and do us all a favor."

"Can we stop arguing and get to work?" a Bajoran asked. "Please?"

Sae Najen sighed and looked around at her fellow cadets. Najen was the Bajoran one. She was a cadet in Starfleet, and proud of it. But it was at times like this when she wished she had stayed on Bajor and joined the Bajoran Space Force. The BSF certainly wasn't as well-equipped or as famous as the Federation's Starfleet, but at least they didn't go jaunting around in tiny little shuttlecrafts filled with aliens that hated each other.

They were supposed to be on a mapping mission, to "determine areas of strategic interest in the Detari Sector". Hah! The Dominion had shown absolutely no interest in the Detari Sector at all-and neither had anyone else, for that matter. This mission was useless, but it wasn't as if anyone listened to the strategic ideas of cadets.

Najen's companions were another part of the problem. First there was the Human boy, James Peter Kirk. James was the most arrogant person Najen had ever met, and it certainly didn't help his ego to know that he was the authentic great-great-grandnephew of the Captain Kirk, Great Explorer and Hero of the Federation.

Next was T'Lor. She was a Vulcan, and that was all that needed to be said. She was like any Vulcan-cold, precise, and utterly unemotional from her pointed ears and slanted eyebrows to her boot-shod feet.

The last two people weren't in Starfleet, or even Federation citizens at that.

K'Bhena was a Klingon, and also a member of the Klingon military. Klingon were a race obsessed with the pursuit of honor. One way to gain honor was to fight and win as many battles as possible (without resorting to dishonorable methods, of course). That made the Klingon military one of the most feared and respected of its kind throughout the entire Alpha Quadrant of the galaxy. The Klingons were a race of warriors-and no one cared to dispute that fact.

And lastly, there was Levek, a Romulan. In appearance, he was very similar to T'Lor. He had the same pointed ears and green blood, and his ancestors had even lived on Vulcan. But Levek's ancestors had rebelled against the peaceful philosophy of modern Vulcans and left their planet millennia ago to form the warlike Romulan Star Empire. Romulans did not believe in typical Vulcan ideas like purging their emotions or being pacifists-in fact, they had been the Federation's ruthless enemy for over 200 years. However, the Romulans had recently put aside their hostilities with the Federation to fight against a common enemy-the Dominion. The Klingons had done the same.

Both K'Bhena and Levek had been added to this training mission as a gesture of trust by the Federation. It was a gesture that sounded good on paper-but in practice it was open warfare waiting to happen.

Then T'Lor's voice broke into Najen's reverie:

"There is a strange anomaly opening off our port side," T'Lor reported calmly, with no trace of fear in her composed posture. "It seems to be some sort of gravity well."

"You mean it's pulling us in?" James asked, sounding panicked.

"Yes," T'Lor replied. "I am attempting to break free of it." Her fingers flew over the console. Najen looked down at her own console, and was chagrined by what she saw. They were still getting sucked in-and faster too!

The shuttle rocked from side to side. "I suggest that we brace ourselves," T'Lor added.

"Impossible!" James cried. "Anomalies don't just pop up in the middle of nowhere!"

"Apparently this one does," Levek said dryly.

"But this shouldn't be happening!"

"Please control yourself, Cadet Kirk," T'Lor interjected. "Emotional outbursts will not help our situation."

"I hate to say it, but I agree with the Vulcan," Levek added.

"Shut up, Romulan!" James retorted. "Just shut up!"

And K'Bhena didn't help anyone by adding:

"It is a good day to die! I go to Sto-Vo-Kor [Klingon heaven] to join my honored ancestors! Qapla!"

And then the shuttle went straight into the anomaly, which had opened its gaping jaws like a black hole. And then all they knew was darkness.

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Cale Forton fired the blaster cannon at the approaching Imperial walkers. Alongside him, a dozen other Rebels fired with him. They were the few, the proud.the infantryman. Also known as grunts, landsies, and "those poor devils".

"STOP FIRING!" their leader, Avram Lorens yelled. "We've done all we can do. Let's go get a transport before we're marooned on this floating iceball!"

Cale jumped up and ran for the Rebel compound. The Imperial walkers continued to fire, causing the ground to shake periodically. Cale had to find a transport. He could think of no worse fate than being left behind on the frozen world of Hoth.

Inside the compound, Cale ran into Kobawcca, his Wookie friend. "Come on, Koby!" Cale cried, grabbing the Wookie's fur and pulling. "Let's get outta here!"

Koby growled his agreement and started pulling Cale in the opposite direction. He spoke in a series of grumbles, roars, and growling that only Cale could interpret.

"What do you mean the transports are gone?" Cale shouted back, feeling dread start to sink in.

Koby roared back.

"What?" Cale cried. "Talk slower, you're going too fast! I can't understand you!"

Cale ran after Koby. His friend might be hard to understand, but Cale would trust him with his life. If Koby had a plan, then Cale would follow.

As they ran together, Koby spoke once more.

"You found a ship to take us out?" Cale asked. Koby bobbed his head up and down vehemently to show his assent.

"Well then, let's go!"

They found the ship after only a minute of running. A violet-haired human girl wearing a strange robed outfit was waving to them. Cale didn't know her, but apparently Koby did.

"Come on, you two!" she cried. Cale and Koby rushed inside.

The vessel had only a tiny cockpit. But it was a cargo ship, and Cale knew that there was plenty of room in the backs of those.

"My name's Talela," the girl with the violet hair said hastily. She strapped herself into the pilot's seat and began tapping in coordinates. Cale moved into the seat beside her.

They were about to lift off when they heard a banging on the side of the ship.

"Ohhh, please let me in!" A feminine and slightly metallic voice was shouting. "Don't maroon me to be scrapped and melted down by Imperials!"

It was a droid.

"We don't have time!" Cale cried. "Leave it behind!"

But the robed girl had other ideas. She gently pressed a button on her console and opened the hatch. The droid scampered inside, its metal feet loudly clanging against the hard floor.

Then the ship lifted off and blasted into space.

Akiran deftly spun the TIE fighter around, joining the rest of his squadron.

"About time you got here, Delta 5," the instructor's sarcastic voice sounded from the intercom. "Are you ready to practice now?"

Akiran solemnly flipped on his intercom. "Yes, sir."

The instructor didn't bother to reply. "All fighters," he ordered. "Prepare to demonstrate the Alletor Maneuver on my command."

Akiran sighed and joined his fellow trainees in performing yet another boring maneuver.

Akiran had grown up on the isolated colony world of Sparatos, with the terrifying prospect of becoming a farmer when he grew up. So it was no surprise to anyone that he left to join the Imperial Fleet when he got the chance. Being a TIE pilot had sounded exciting, but Akiran was now beginning to see that it was just a lot of work.

Akiran wanted to see action, adventure, and the chance to blast some Rebels out of the sky. In fact, there was rumored to be a skirmish going on in the Hoth system, a mere three systems away. Oh how Akiran wished he could join it.

He would soon get his chance.

Suddenly the instructor's voice came on through the intercom. "Delta Squadron, there is a small Rebel ship entering our system. Repeat: there is a small Rebel ship entering our system. It is virtually unarmed and should pose no threat. Capture it and the crew, alive if possible. Lieutenant Perreus out."

Akiran couldn't believe it. Finally, some action! He swung his ship around to confront the Rebel ship.

The ship was a small cargo ship, the kind that normally had a crew complement of one to two people, but it could be carrying more.

Akiran activated his weapons systems and charged towards the ship. The ship was almost certainly running its navicomputer and preparing to make the jump to hyperspace. Akiran had to take out its engines before it did.

The ship moved away, heading towards a strange dark cloud. Weird, Akiran thought. He had not seen that cloud before when he was training. It was as if it had just appeared out of nowhere.

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Talela rapidly punched in controls. "It's not working!" she cried. "I can't get free!"

---------------------------- The ship was being pulled toward the black hole. Cale tried some maneuvers of his own, but he was no pilot, and his success was no better.

Koby ran toward the ship's engines, in a vain attempt to give them the boost of power needed to get out.

It didn't work.

Akiran watched, horrified, as the black cloud swallowed the Rebel ship, knowing that the same fate awaited him. His TIE fighter was caught in the gravity well-and there was no way out.