Author's Note: I've had this story swimming around in my head for quite some time now, and lately it's gotten so persistent that "Boiling Point" is being swamped. So I decided to finally get this out of my head. "Boiling Point" is stalled, and I have no idea when I'll get to write the next chapter. Blame the plot bunnies.

Disclaimer: I do not own the Transformers or Star Trek: Next Generation. I'm only borrowing them. The characters of Ultra Rodimus and Falcon are my own creations. The character of Shadow belongs to a fellow author, shadow goddess04, and is used with her permission.

Chase the Stars

Prologue

Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the starship Enterprise was bored, though he'd never admit it. For several weeks space had been quiet. The Klingons were handling their own business, the Orions and Ferengi were laying low, and there wasn't so much as a peep out of the Romulans. The Enterprise and her crew were merely drifting about on a ramdom course. Boredom was running rampant. The holodecks were working overtime. Boredom had spawned several fights, giving the medical staff, especially Dr. Beverly Crusher, some work to do. Other crewmembers were beginning to ask if they would be getting planet-side shore leave any time soon.

Looking at the heap of pads on his desk, most of them requests for shore leave, Picard heaved a sigh and privately wished something would happen.

Big mistake.

When people make such requests, Fate has a way of granting them. Not always in the manner expected by whoever made the wish, though. And when people wish for excitement, Fate has a way of delivering in bulk.

A console began to beep. Amber eyes regarded a blinking diode for a moment. Then the owner of those eyes accessed the console, looking for the cause of the alert.

"Data to Picard."

The captain looked up from his work. "Picard here."

"The internal sensors are reading a spike in what appears to be temporal energy."

The pad fell to the desk. Picard was out the door and onto the bridge before it landed.

He strode over to Data's console, joining his first officer, Will Riker. "Appears to be temporal energy?"

"Correct, Captain." Pale fingers flew across the console. "The readings are inconsistent with any form of temporal energies we have previously encountered."

"And this anomaly is forming inside the ship?" Riker demanded.

"Affirmative."

"Where?"

Data scanned the readings. "Shuttlebay Three."

Picard and Riker looked at each other. Then Picard ordered a security team and Chief Engineer Geordi Laforge at the shuttlebay. Riker and Data followed as he headed for the turbolift.

At first glance, the shuttle bay appeared quiet. There was no sign of anything between the rows of shuttles occupying the bay. But all of those present knew very well that looks could be deceiving.

The anomaly was located near the center of the bay, several meters above the deck. There was no visible sign of it. After a few moments of squinting at the spot, trying to catch a glimpse of anything, Picard opened his mouth to order a containment field placed around the anomaly.

That was when all hell broke loose.

A piecing shriek came out of nowhere, stabbing through everyone like a phaser blast. There was an explosion of light overhead, accompanied by a powerful wind that threatened to send them flying across the bay. Covering his ears in an attempt to block out that nerve-rattling shriek, Picard looked up.

The anomaly was now visible, a writhing hole hanging in mid-air, glowing madly. Bursts of color shot through its edge, the patterns holding for less than a second before shifting. Eyes watering, Picard stared into it. Then something came hurtling out of it, landing with a thud on the deck. The hole flared even brighter, finally forcing Picard to look away. There were more thuds, how many he couldn't tell, barely audible over the terrible screaming.

And then, as suddenly as it had begun, it was over.

Slowly, Picard lowered his hands, blinking flash spots from his eyes. He looked up to where the anomaly had been and found it gone. Then, as he was turning back toward Data and Geordi, he noticed the body.

A few feet away, a humanoid form lay sprawled out on the deck, face down and unmoving. Picard cautiously approached, turning the figure onto its back.

The stranger was male, a quite handsome male. He was dressed in green and silver garments resembing the uniform of a 20th century helicopter pilot. Green-gold hair fanned out across the deck. He was unconscious.

"Captin?"

Picard looked up.

Not far away, Riker was examining another sprawled shape. A third was visible around the edge of a shuttle's engine pod.

"How many are there?"

Twelve in all were located. All were unconscious. They ranged in height from just over five feet to over seven feet. Hair color varied from black, red, and blond to blue. Picard wondered who they were.

"Picard to Crusher."

"Crusher here."

"I think you should get Sickbay ready. We've got guests. Twelve of them."

"Acknowledged. We'll be ready."

Picard signed off, then looked back at the still forms being readied for transport to Sickbay. "The sooner they wake up, the sooner we find out exactly who they are."

"Captain! We found something else!"

"What is it?"

Geordi walked over to him, holding onto the collar of a large animal, a dog. It stood almost as high as his waist, coal-black with four white feet, a white tailtip, and a white underbelly. Its bushy tail was down, its ears were down, and it was limping slightly on one leg.

"One of them had a pet."

"I'll have the ship's vet take a look at this critter." Geordi led the animal out.

Picard turned toward Data. "Get to work on the data the sesors gathered. See what you can find out about that anomaly."

"Yes, sir."

Tbc...

Ok, that didn't work out quite how I planned, but it'll do. Send me reviews and tell me what you think. Just remember, one review does not an update make. Flames will be used to roast critics, so keep them to yourselves. Now review!