"Star Date 47212.4, for the last week, the Enterprise has been working with the Griffin and the Orion in the Danu star-system monitoring Robinson's Planet and deflecting asteroids from entering the planet's atmosphere." Picard recorded. "The crew is ready for some shore leave as we part for a course toward Risa for some very needed R and R." Captain Jean-Luc Picard recorded his statements in the log before joining the bridge. Captain Charlotte Tilton of the Griffin was the daughter of an old classmate of his from Starfleet and the navigator of the Orion was an old friend of his First Officer William Riker. Captain Daniel Summers of the Orion congratulated Picard on his command in deflecting and destroying the larger asteroids from entering the planet and damaging any of the colonies started there. It had been years since the planet was first settled by the Robinson family, and the planet was still a rich source of supply for dilithium and deutronium as well as for archaeologists exploring its many ruins. Picard gave the command to take the ship out of orbit.
"Set course for Risa, Mister Data." Picard gave the order.
"Set course and plotted, captain…" The yellow-skinned android Data set the navigation course and tapped it in. "Captain, the helm doesn't seem to be responding."
"Could it be kryptonite dust from the asteroids?" Riker asked.
"Negative." Data was trying to affect the course from the helm. "Our sensors showed that our screens deflected all the debris from the asteroids. Whatever seems to locking us from affecting our course seems to be coming from on board the ship." Picard looked to Deanna Troi, the ship's counselor, looking confused to him. Worf, their Klingon security officer, began scanning their systems for foreign programs.
"Geordi," Riker spoke through the ship's intercom system. "Can you access the helm?"
"Not from down here, sir," Geordi surveyed the ship's readings from his diagnostic panel in the Enterprise's engine bay deep in the bowels of the ship. "What ever seems to be affecting our helm is not registering in our scans."
"Lt. Robinson… What is our current course?" Picard turned to the brunette beauty that should be at his helm, but the figure that was sitting there was not a young lady nor attractive. He was trouble every time he appeared.
"A course for adventure, a course of delights and a mission of excitement, mon capitaine," The cosmic trickster Q jumped from the seat as having revealed himself. "Don't tell me you forgot me already!"
"Q!" Picard was stunned to see him back. He was like the annoying relative who constantly returned to destroy the house and annoy the people living within it before deserting it. Their Norse Loki to Kirk's Olympian Apollo... Riker stood at attention to see him back, and Worf raised his phaser to him despite knowing it was little good against the omnipotent prankster. Data and Troi just looked upon him tired and annoyed.
"What are you doing here this time?" Picard was never that afraid of him. Just irked at him...
"Jean Luc, you treat me as if I was one of your little Earthly plagues." He pouted a bit hurt. "What have I done to ever register this sort of dissent?"
"You held humanity in contempt for sins of the past." Riker announced.
"Introduced us to the Borg." Worf mentioned.
"And sent me through two alternate timelines and the future to nearly destroy the Earth in the past." Picard recalled the last one.
"Trivialities and misfortunes…" Q tried to bond with his mortal playmates. "You never seem to understand. I am your friend. Your guide to the universe and all it has to offer, and yet, all I seem to get is your distrust and horrible accusations. I am hurt, Jean Luc…" He paused for effect. "Why can't I ever seem to get, "Q, my old friend, how are you doing today?"
Picard and Riker shared looks of disbelief.
"Q," Picard sighed and changed his tone. "I apologize. How are you? How is your day?"
"It's too late, I am hurt, Picard." Q wandered over the wall, overly-dramatizingly bracing on it and sighing heavily distraught like a character in one of Dr. Crusher's plays. He turned back around having snapped from that facade of a depression. "I hear you all desire rest and relaxation, but what more relaxation can you get by discovering a whole new galaxy so far unlike anything you've ever experienced. Different antagonists, new challenges, new cultures and foreign new races unlike anything you've ever seen or experienced from a galaxy a long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away. I have searched all the known galaxies, and have found…"
"We're not interested." Riker spoke.
"Have you always had that beard? It looks as if it's consuming over your entire face." Q turned from Riker to Picard. "Jean Luc, you can't tell me you're not interested. Aren't you just the least bit intrigued?"
"Q…" Picard was growing annoyed by the minute as were his other crew present. "We will experience this race in all due time, but for once, could you please…"
"But you'll never experience this universe without me!" Q was eager to show it. "You must let me show you… Time's up! We're on our way!!!!" He flailed his hand and the entire starship jerked from its course. Riker and Picard were thrown to the floor, and Deanna clung to her seat to resist being tossed by it. The ship's engines started screeching, lights started flickering and the warp coil pulsated faster and faster. Lt. Donna Robinson, the grandughter of William Robinson of Robinson's Planet, was back at the her station at the helm near Data trying to correct the course. Systems crackled and flashed on and off. Geordi and his staff in the engine room were watching the readings as the core was pushed to its limits.
"Captain…" The visor-equipped prodigy clicked his com-badge despite the vibrating and shaking of the ship. "We're exceeding Warp 14…" He pulled himself up to his console. "Diverting power to the shields, trying to get the core back on-line… We're being dragged through some sort of rip in the space time continuum!" The rattling seemed to be abating enough that Picard could reach his seat. Lt. Worf started checking the ship as it slowly reached its destination. The crackling of power stopped, lights went off and emergency lights went on over the ship. The Enterprise finally came to a halt near an asteroid belt in a foreign star system. Ever diligent, Worf started getting read-outs from the diagnostics console. Unwilling to hear the screams, Q had vanished to let them experience this brand new universe.
"Minimal damage..." Worf began reading his controls. "Some minor systems are off-line, some stress to the integrity of the hull, weapons systems off-line, warp core at sixty percent power, shields at eighty-one percent…"
"Yellow alert!" Riker gave the command for the crew to stand by for battle stations.
"Q, what have you done to us this time?" Picard mumbled under breath and wiped his forehead afraid of what they were about to meet out of their known boundaries. "Sensors, Data…"
"Sensors on-line…" Data started scanning beyond the Enterprise. "Captain, we seem to be at the outer rim of a large asteroid field starting to be pulled into orbit around a Class-M star. High readings of radiation present… it seems to be the fragments of a planet that has been recently destroyed."
"Recently destroyed?" Riker didn't like that. "Is that possible?"
"Any signs of the cause of its destruction?" Picard nervously responded.
"If I am reading this correctly…" Data scanned the asteroid fragments beyond them and their energy readings. "The fragments seem to have been charged with ions and then pierced with a powerful blast of plasma-charged molecules contained within a beam of light… a laser of sorts… The concept is theoretical."
"What could generate a laser of that size?" Riker wondered out loud.
"Captain, I'm detecting a craft in the vicinity." Worf soon had their answer. "120 kilometers in size in synchronous orbit at bearing zero point nine."
"On screen." Riker called for it to be revealed to them. It looked like a small moon nearly directly ahead of them on the other side of the asteroid field. If the field was the shattered remains of a planet spread twenty times times out in size, the object could be its moon, but there was something odd about it. Its mountains were too linear; it's craters too perfect and lines too precise.
"Could it be a ship?"
"Readings show 2, 998, 567 life forms on board it." Worf continued scanning. "It appears to be a space station powered by an energy source I cannot identify." What he did not read was that they were being discovered as well.
"My lord…" An officer aboard the moon-sized station was reading the Enterprise. "A strange ship suddenly appeared in synchronous orbit with us beyond Alderaan's former orbit." He placed it on screen. Grand Moff Tarkin reared his head toward the foreign ship on the Death Star's scanners. By his side, the black skull-like helmet of Darth Vader turned toward the strange ship before him. What was this ship before them? What was it doing here? Now? Could their security leak of their station's battle plans have lead to a ship filled with Alderaanian refugees escaping their destroyed planet?
"I'm not familiar with this sort of design." Tarkin reacted with confused alarm and spoke with totalitarian decision. "Scan them for weapon defenses." His men started scanning the ship.
"Captain, we are being scanned." Back on the Enterprise, Worf detected the Imperial signal breaching their computer core. "Our data banks, our weapons systems…"
"Weapons on line!" Picard gave the command. "Go to warp!"
"Captain," Geordi was rushing to get the warp core on line. "Getting dragged through Warp 12 knocked our telemetry off-line. It's going to take a minute." He was racing around hitting his control and directing his ensigns to pull off a hundred chores within seconds. "I do have weapons back up… everything you want…"
"Photon torpedoes… phaser systems…" Tarkin's eyes read what the Death Star was reading from the scan of the Enterprise.
"Transporter technology!" Vader's deep timber roared with interest. "Take us into tractor range! Kill everyone on board and capture that ship! It want it intact and stripped for its technology!"
"Reaching tractor range now, sir…" An Imperial lieutenant locked on to the Enterprise.
"Captain, they're locking tractor beams on us." Worf started focusing on the multiple Death star system's locking on them. "Engaging photon torpedoes to break us free." He fired on the beams holding them. For each one knocked off, another one locked on. Deanna's psychic senses started reaching beyond her mind. She felt a presence… a powerful will she had never felt before possessed of incredible anger and fury. It was the darkest soul she had felt in her life. Vader sensed her too. His breath rushed through personal his life support system as he felt her. She was not a Jedi, but she had the promise of one. Her will could be made compliant to him.
"Interesting…" Vader mumbled under breath as he read her mind. "Someone with inherent powers close to my own…"
"The craft is pulling us in!" Worf continued firing torpedoes to fire them off. "Distance at 33.7 kilometers and decreasing!"
"We have to get out of here!" Deanna realized Vader wanted the transporter systems and herself.
"Circular phaser bombardment in conjunction with our own tractor beams in reverse!" Riker rose and started assisting Worf. "If we can't break ourselves free, we'll blast ourselves free!"
"Make it so!" Picard ordered. The Enterprise's forward array charged and burned a circle behind them into the Death Star, knocking out several tractor beams out as they lurched once then pushed forward. In a moment of decreased attraction, the Enterprise broke free and started pushing ahead of the Imperial threat. Geordi had the warp core going as the lost Federation starship vaulted ahead into full warp. The Death Star was coming toward them.
"The station seems to be following us." Worf was reading it. "It seems to be matching our speed."
"Something that big couldn't possibly follow us into warp." Riker wondered aloud.
"At this time, I'm not making any guesses." Picard had nothing to base that assumption on. One of the ship's sensors detected activity. The Klingon lieutenant checked his proximity fields and discovered the crafts coming toward them in attack patterns.
"Fifty small one man crafts gaining on us…" Worf detected the TIE Fighters over taking them and blasting at their hull and engines. "Ion-powered, laser-defenses, not much a match for us… Shields now at full."
"Take us to warp." Picard watched as the small fighters buzzed and blasted over the Enterprise like bees over a running horse. If they were the horse, the Death Star was a giant angry white whale with a bad temper controlled by a totalitarian army. The Enterprise shot down a few, but the hits they took rattled their hull and proved to be a little annoying to their engines. The Death Star started pulling closer.
"We will be in tractor range again, milord." The lieutenant addressed Grand Moff Tarkin at command.
"Knock out their systems this time." Tarkin stood watching from a platform over his subordinates. "I wonder… could they have been contacted by the Princess as allies?" Vader's breath pulsated through his helmet.
"Imagine what we could do with transporter technology." Vader's mind reflected on the possibility. "We could send troops across the universe at a minute's stroke. The Resistance would never have a chance."
"Locking on tractor beams once again…" Another officer reported just as the Enterprise's engines flared up. Just as the Death Star locked on, the Enterprise was no longer in their grasp. It suddenly jumped to warp and vanished from their sensors.
"Ship has jumped to hyperspace." Another officer used the references familiar to their universe. "We can start tracking it on your order, sir."
"Start tracking immediately," Tarkin turned from the edge of his command station. "I want that ship!" He turned away as Vader followed him unerringly. "First off, let's see what the Princess might know about them…" He motioned to the turbo lift to head to their detainment cells down below them.