Gul Putok could hear the screams of the Jem'Hadar over his communicator. The sound of the troops rattled the Cardassian Ambassador's nerves. The Jem'Hadar ships were under attack and from the sounds of things, the Jem'Hadar troops were not performing like they should. Putok prided himself on being able to get a good sense of a race. Most races he had encountered were weak, especially the Humans. However, the Jem'Hadar were different from other races. They were practically immune to weakness. That was one reason the Cardassians allied themselves with the Jem'Hadar. It seemed like the most obvious thing to do. If the stronger races allied together, they could wipe the galaxy clean of the weaker species. However, the cries coming from the communicator made Putok doubt his faith in the Jem'Hadar. Their signs of weakness made the Jem'Hadar no greater than the Humans. Putok snapped out of his trance and began to shout orders to the Jem'Hadar on the bridge.

"Our ships are under attack! We need to find a way to get off the Enterprise. Let's get to a shuttle bay and steal a shuttle. We may be able to fly out of here undetected. Our ships should be a distraction to the Federation. That should give us the time we need to get out of here." shouted Putok.

=====/////=====

The U.S.S Washington fired it's phasers at the fleeing Jem'Hadar ship. The Jem'Hadar shields absorbed most of the impact but the deadly red beams pierced the Jem'Hadar's hull, causing the ship to shudder. The crew of the Jem'Hadar ship desperately tried to stay at their posts but the impact caused many of them to fall to the deck. Terror began to consume the crew of the Jem'Hadar ship. They tried to counter attack but they had been caught off guard. Their ships had sustained extensive damage from the sneak attack. The Jem'Hadar ship's shields had been lowered while they transported prisoners. This left the Jem'Hadar completely vulnerable to an attack, which the three Federation ships had quickly taken advantage of.

"Alright, it's apparent that our ships are under a massive attack, so we won't be able to beam back aboard. I'm afraid it's everyman for himself. If you can escape, I recommend you doing so. That is what I'll be doing." informed Putok as he headed for the bridge elevator.

"What about the bridge crew?" asked one of the Jem'Hadar officers.

"To hell with them! We have to get out of here now!"

The Jem'Hadar troops nodded and began to follow Putok as he entered the bridge elevator. The bridge crew was no longer being guarded and that included Commander Data. This gave Data the chance he needed. He pulled his arms apart, forcing the binders on his wrist to shatter. Data made the restraints look like flimsy plastic. With lightning speed, Data sprang to his feet and rushed the unsuspecting Jem'Hadar troops. The Jem'Hadar were caught completely by surprise. Commander Data plowed into one of the Jem'Hadar troops like a linebacker. The troop launched from his feet and rocketed into a wall panel. Sparks fizzled from where the troop had hit. Electricity quickly pulsed through the Jem'Hadar's veins. He convulsed violently as the surge of power traveled through his body. Suddenly, the Jem'Hadar troop crumbled to the floor. His eyes were still open but no life shown in them. Data did not stop for a second. He grabbed another Jem'Hadar from behind and with the same lightning speed, snapped the intruders' neck. The troop fell lifelessly to the floor. The four remaining troops turned around quickly and lifted their weapons. Suddenly, Data's arm struck out and connected to the chest of one of the Jem'Hadar troops. The impact lifted the soldier off his feet forcing him to crash into the elevator door. Putok barely managed to evade the Jem'Hadar projectile. The bridge elevator door hissed shut at the exact moment of impact. The body made a deafening thud against the door. Putok managed to catch a glimpse of Data taking care of the rest of the Jem'Hadar. He let out a sigh of relief. That was a close one, he thought.

Meanwhile, Commander William Riker and his men were having a terrible time forcing the Jem'Hadar troops to give ground. Riker had managed to clear deck eight but he and his men had not been so lucky with deck nine. Phaser beams streaked through the deck like berserker fireflies. Dozens of Starfleet and Jem'Hadar officers laid scattered about the deck. All of them had a phaser wound of some sort. Riker had to step over bodies as he traveled down the main hall. His phaser rifle was drawn and he scanned the area with keen eyes. Riker could hear the cries of wounded men. His heart went out to them but his mind was focused on ridding the Enterprise of it's intruders.

Riker had lost Lieutenant Knight several halls back. His squad had been bombarded by Jem'Hadar blaster fire, causing the men to scatter. Now Riker was alone but he was not afraid. Adrenaline was coursing through his veins. His senses were heightened to their maximum capacity. Riker was ready for anything that lurked behind the corner or in a dark room. Riker slowly crept down the hall. The ship's first officer carefully listened for any sound whatsoever. Riker stepped over a dead Jem'Hadar body and continued his scan of the area. Suddenly, the dead Jem'Hadar's eyes flicked open. The troop had been faking his death so to catch Riker off guard. The Jem'Hadar's head quietly turned toward Riker as he continued down the hall. The Jem'Hadar's left shoulder had been wounded but gave no notice to the pain. The troop was now fueled my anger and hate. He quietly rose from the floor and managed not to make sound. Riker was oblivious to the fact he was being followed. The Jem'Hadar quickly but silently closed in on Commander Riker. Suddenly, the troop charged Riker and tackled him from behind. Riker phaser slipped from his hands as both he and the troop fell to the floor. Both men's arms and legs intertwined as they fought for the combative advantage. The Jem'Hadar was bigger and managed to come up on top. He proceeded to through blows to Riker's chest and stomach. Riker convulsed from the powerful blows. He let out grunts of pain but quickly retaliated by lifting his elbow and connecting with the Jem'Hadar, right under the nose. The troop stumbled backwards which allowed Riker to get up. Riker searched frantically for his phaser but was stopped by an extremely powerful punch that landed in between his shoulder blades. Riker covered his back by reflex, than crashed to the hard floor. Riker's world was spinning. He tried to clear his mind but the pain was too great. The Jem'Hadar loomed over Riker. Blood spilled from the troop's nose. He was extremely angry and decided to take it out on Commander Riker. The Jem'Hadar lifted his right foot and planed to bring it down on Riker's skull. Suddenly, the buzz of phaser fire hummed through hallway. The beam struck the Jem'Hadar troop in the back. The troop's eyes widened in shock then wearily closed. The large troop wavered forward and landed on the wounded Riker. After pushing the Jem'Hadar body off of himself, Riker looked up to see Lieutenant Jerald Knight's smiling face. Riker could not help but smile himself.

"Perfect timing Mister Knight; You just saved that Jem'Hadar from my wrath. I was just about to let him have it."

Lt. Knight only smiled and lifted Riker to his feet. Pain squeezed through every inch of Riker's body. He let out a light moan as he gently began to massage his back. Knight continued to smile.

"Permission to speak freely, Commander?"

"Granted." stated Riker as he continued to nurse his back.

"It appears to me that old age to starting to catch up with you."

"Well Lieutenant, I believe you're absolutely right but I also believe you'll be put in the brig for disrespecting a superior officer." replied Riker with a smirk.

=====/////=====

The U.S.S Topeka shot over a dozen photon torpedoes at the wounded Jem'Hadar ships. They hurled through the vacuum of space and smashed into one of the previously damaged ship. Explosions quaked throughout the ship. There were four Jem'Hadar enemy ships but the Federation had them on the run. The Washington, Topeka, and Stallion had caught the enemy by surprise. The Jem'Hadar were no match for the battle ready Federation ships. The sector was filled with Quantum Interference, which caused the Jem'Hadar ship's sensors to malfunction. They had no idea they were about to be attacked. The Interference was the reason the Jem'Hadar had managed to get the drop on the Enterprise. The crew of the Enterprise had no reason to believe they were being followed because no ships were being picked up by sensor arrays. The U.S.S Stallion fired it's phasers on the nearest Jem'Hadar ship. The beams penetrated the shields and blasted into the hull. Captain Edward Culling of the U.S.S Washington spoke over the intercom.

"We don't want to destroy the Jem'Hadar ships. We need to disable them. Remember, they probably have Starfleet Officers aboard their ships. We can not all the Jem'Hadar get away."

Gul Putok sprinted down the docking bay toward the nearest shuttle. His blaster was in his hand as he ran. He had alluded many of the Starfleet officers and had managed to get to a docking bay without being detected. He was practically home free. He came to a stop and found the nearest shuttle. Putok laughed to himself then opened the shuttle's main door. As the door lifted, Putok holstered his weapon. His eyes were not focused on the Starfleet officers that resided within the shuttle. Suddenly, William Riker stepped out of the shuttle and with all his might, punched Putok right in the mouth. Putok stumbled backwards and fell on his buttocks . Blood began to drip from the Cardassian's lip. He was momentarily stunned but quickly went for his weapon. Several Starfleet Officers stepped out of the shuttle with their phasers already drawn. One of the men happened to be Lt. Knight. Anger blazed in all of the officer's eyes but burned the brightest in Lt. Knight's. It was as if Knight wanted Gul Putok to take up his blaster, just so he could shoot him down.

"Don't even try it Putok. If you even think about touching that blaster, I promise you, I will have my men shoot you where you sit." warned Riker.

Putok slowly moved his hand from his holster and wiped away the blood that dribbled down his chin. He was extremely out numbered. Putok went for his blaster out of instinct, not common sense. He quickly realized that doing so was a huge mistake. He could feel the icy stares looming over him. The Cardassian could tell the Starfleet Officers wanted him dead. However, Putok remained calm and composed himself quickly. He turned to the officer in charge. Putok examined the man thoroughly. The man was well built and had a firm jaw. However, he looked rather worn down as if he had been in a fight with a grizzly bear. This did not seem to bother the man very much. Putok could tell this man was an equal advisory.

"It would appear that I am at a disadvantage. You know my name but I am afraid I do not know yours." informed Putok.

"Where are my manors? I am Commander William T. Riker and I must say Ambassador Putok, I am very displeased to meet you."

"So you are Commander Riker? Well, I wish I had known about you sooner Commander. I would have had you killed immediately."

Riker smirked from Putok's remarks. The ship's first officers was surprised to see the Cardassian was still acting bravely despite the fact he had at least eight phasers pointed at his head. Riker brushed the thought from his mind then continued to speak.

"I'd like to inform you that all your Jem'Hadar attack ships have surrendered. They didn't put up much of a fight against our Federation ships. I'm so sorry your plans didn't work out, Putok." stated Riker in a sarcastic tone.

"So am I." replied Putok with the same tone.

Riker smiled then turned to Lieutenant Knight, who was still focused on Ambassador Putok. Knight's eyes were fueled with fury. It was apparent to Riker that the young lieutenant was having trouble resisting the urge to shoot down the Cardassian.

"Mister Knight, please help Ambassador Putok to his feet. Be sure to take possession of his weapon first." ordered Riker.

Lt. Knight nodded to the Commander and did what he was told. However, Knight was anything but gentle with Putok. This angered Putok but he managed not to complain. He figured it was in his best interest not to complain too much. However, a question puzzled the Cardassian and he had to know the answer.

"So, how did you know I was heading for the docking bay?"

"Well Putok, it appears that you have a big mouth. You broadcasted your entire plan on the bridge. After Lt. Commander Data disposed of your Jem'Hadar troops that resided on the bridge, he contacted the rest of the crew, informing us where you were going. My men and I just happened to be the closest in the area. We managed to get here before you did."

Putok sneered. How had he been so foolish? He wished he had killed the bridge crew when he had the chance. However, this day had not been one of Putok's luckiest. He would surly be paying for his mistakes. He would be going to prison for a very long time. The Federation might even try to make an example out of him, informing their other enemies that they will not tolerate being attacked. For the first time in a long time, Putok was genuinely afraid.

"Ambassador Putok, I hope you have been enjoying your stay on the Enterprise because you will be staying here for a lot longer. You are now a Prisoner of War, informed Riker with a smile etched across his face, Take him to the Brigg."

Putok cursed at Riker as Lt. Knight and a few other officers escorted him to his cell. Riker just waved at the furious Cardassian. Suddenly, Riker's com badge chirped. He quickly tapped it and spoke.

"Riker here."

"Commander, this is Geordi. Sir, we've taken back engineering. All decks are on lock down. We have the Enterprise back, sir."

"That's excellent news, Mister LaForge. I need you to see if you can do anything with the engines. We don't want any Federation ships transporting us with a tractor beam. We'd be slowing them down. This sector is too dangerous to be hanging around for too long."

"Aye, sir. LaForge out."

Captain's Log 4724.9051

After sustaining extensive damage from a surprise attack by the Jem'Hadar, the Enterprise was safely escorted to Star Base 71, where it is undergoing repairs. The crew of the Enterprise is on sure leave until further notice. The captured Jem'Hadar troops that were involved in the attack will be transported to the nearest Rehabilitation Camp, where they will serve their prison sentence. However, Cardassian Ambassador Gul Putok is being held in the Star Base 71 Brig, as he awaits trial for the crimes he has committed against the crew of the Enterprise. I will be one of the key witnesses in the trial. Another key witness in the trial is Lt. Commander Data, who recorded Putok's actions with his internal recording device. I believe that Putok will be serving the maximum punishment Federation courts will allow.

Commander Riker pressed the ready room door pager and waited for a response. After a moment, Captain Picard's voice sounded through the door.

"Enter."

The ready room doors opened and Riker stepped through. The doors hissed shut behind him. Picard smiled at Will as he approached. Riker noticed that the Captain seemed well despite the fact he had a cloth bandage attached to the side of his forehead. Riker held several PADDs in his hands. He slapped them against his palm and gently laid them on Picard's desk.

"These are the last of the reports and I'm all finished here. Are you ready to go?" asked Riker.

"Yes number one. I've just finished my log and I was about to head out the door. I feel rather guilty that I'm about to enjoy sure leave while other captains are out in space waging war."

"Well Captain, I for one am glad that we're getting a break. I need a vacation and from the looks of things, I'd say you need one too."

Picard smirked and tapped the bandage on his head. Riker could tell Picard used extreme gentleness touching the wound.

"Just a safety precaution. Beverly is over precautious when it comes to head wounds. She can heal the tissue but they some times redevelope. Funny thing about the head, number one. You'd think it would be stronger since if encases the brain. I'd say humans are at a disadvantage. We need skulls like Klingons."

Riker's face formed a disgusted look. Picard thought for a moment and retracted his statement.

"On second thought, I think I like my skull just the way it is."

Riker nodded in agreement then motioned to the door.

"Shall we?"

Picard nodded to his first officer and rose from his seat. He quickly came around his desk and both men headed toward the transporter room. Picard glanced at Riker as they left the bridge. Suddenly, jealousy overwhelmed the captain.

"Tell me Will. What was it like punching that slime ball Putok?"

"I have to say, sir, it was one of the greatest feelings in the world"

Picard thought about Riker's statement for a moment. He remembered how much he wanted to hurt the Cardassian. Fury had practically over taken him. Picard had almost attacked Putok and if he had done so, he would have been killed. However, not acting on his impulse had left Picard feeling unfulfilled

"Greatest feeling in the world, huh? You know, I'm really glad I have some free time on my hands because I think I just came up with a great idea for a Holodeck program. Do you have any idea how I can reach Lt. Barkley?"

Riker could not help but laugh. Captain Picard had said some funny things during the time Riker had known him but his last statement had certainly taken the cake.

The End