I'M STILL ALIVE...I think. ~(6_9)~

Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek, Star Wars or any other canon property. With exception to my OCs, all rights belong to their respective owners.


Chapter 24:

*Weeks Later*

"This is Diane Simmons reporting from the location of the Intergalactic Wormhole. For those who are still unaware, just over three weeks ago Starfleet command had discovered the existence of a wormhole that connects two different galaxies. Due to the infamous Rhode Island incident three weeks ago involving a Federation fugitive and the unfortunate destruction of an extragalactic ship, the people on the other side of the wormhole had since refused any attempt at communication diplomatic or otherwise. So far, any vessel that had attempted to cross the threshold was severely damaged if not destroyed by a minefield apparently placed at the other end…"

Ratula looked up at the news broadcast and shook his head, flipping his coin several times before pocketing it. After the battle several weeks ago, he returned back to the other side in one of the few remaining hyper drive capable shuttles. No one welcomed him when he arrived, somehow believing him and Eri as galactic traitors and treating him with hostility. His non-imperial contacts were more precautious now, discreetly transmitting him info when they could though what they sent he already knew or was deemed irrelevant.

To his right, Haumea was pouring over the schematics and star charts he provided to them from his own computer library, conversing with several excited Starfleet engineers and cartographers. His contacts had noted that the growing sentiment was to declare war soon and he beyond a doubt knew that Kalaghata was behind everything. The only option was to help the Federation prepare for the worst.

"The engineers in the other galaxy are amazing!" One engineer claimed as she looked over the blueprints on an astromech droid. "Sure they are backwards in many ways, but in others they are impressively advanced. Just look at the AI unit in this thing! It may not be as complex as a Soong android but they are still leaps ahead of conventional robotics!"

"Too bad they don't really have a conventional name for their galaxy. Would make it much easier to distinguish between us."

Ratula shook his head but inwardly agreed. After spending weeks under Federation care, he now felt that simply calling the galaxy as The Galaxy seemed pretty egotistical and self-centered. Did they really think that they would have been the only galaxy supporting life? He was starting to see why entities like the Yuuzhan Vong would be so surprising and devastating…

'…Yuuzhan Vong?' Ratula thought, suddenly noticing the strange direction his mind took him. He couldn't recall ever reading or hearing about anything remotely called that and was now unsure as to what the thought even meant. Before he could mull over his thoughts, a tap on the shoulder caught his attention.

"They are about to test the Arcana's slipstream drive. Since you did help us with the computer upgrades, would you like to come and observe?" Aka'ula asked.

Ratula nodded, his previous thoughts immediately forgotten.

-AO-

"We are about to test a potentially dangerous piece of equipment and I find you drinking again?! Do I really need to babysit you every other hour?!"

"He probably needs a permanent nanny. You might as well take the job since you already act like one."

Eri responded to the quip by slapping Horace in the face before returning to the passed out first officer, who was drooling over the table with an empty bottle in his hand. After promising to behave and with the situation brewing in the other galaxy, she had stayed with the Kagami family in the spare guest room for the past few weeks, learning the hard way that Doran was not the collected individual that he was when on duty.

"Well you do constantly remind him about his drinking habits." Horace commented. "You also tend to clean up the messes he makes and he does now refer to you as his sister now."

Eri scowled at the man, not needing the reminder of the commander's new habit of calling her 'Eri nee-chan' whenever they had free time. Of course Horace took it in stride considering that Doran's attention was now not solely on him anymore.

"Doctor, just hypo him so we can get to work!"

The young woman pointed at his utility pack, showing off her studies of Starfleet's databanks. The sheer amount of available data was amazing to her and from what she could tell apparently required several dedicated planets for storage. Even without the Galactic data-compression standards she was used to, Eri had a feeling that not even the vast Jedi Archives could contain the same amount of data. Did these people even need to record every single thing that comes across their curiosity?! Unfortunately written Federation Standard still eluded her despite her new knowledge.

For her troubles, Admiral Janeway personally gave her the honorary title as a Starfleet specialist complete with a uniform and combadge.

The doctor rolled his eyes but instead of grabbing a hypospray, he shoved Doran off the chair. The teen flopped unceremoniously to the floor, flailing a bit before picking himself up.

"Huh? What's…." He started before noticing the annoyed duo before him.

"Is it time already?" Doran asked, suddenly sober as if the blond was never drinking in the first place.

"Yes! Now we need to get to the bridge. Doctor, why don't you head back to sickbay?"

Eri dragged Doran toward the door.

"See ya later Hora-sama!"

The doctor shuddered, the Jedi girl smirking slightly as they left.

-AO-

"Commander, open a ship-wide broadcast."

"Yes captain."

Red nodded before addressing his crew.

"Attention all hands. In a few minutes we will begin the first field test of the Quantum Slipstream drive. Thanks to the generous contribution by Captain Ratula of the other galaxy, we have increased our computational power well beyond what we expected. We are now expected to be able to maintain a stable slipstream for at least 30 minutes. However, today we shall confirm that. I expect every single member of this crew to preform to their utmost best. Kagami out."

Red turned to Janeway, who sat in the second officer's chair sipping a mug of coffee.

"Admiral, you still wish to observe here and not on the Thunder Child? If so, sit in the captain's chair. I don't mind at all."

Janeway shook her head.

"It would be nostalgic to sit in the chair, but this ship is yours captain. You have more right than I do to sit there. Now, shall we begin?"

Aka'ula turned to Doran, who now stood at the science station.

"Signal the dock master that we are ready to depart."


Author's Notes: Okay, it has been a really long time since the last update to the point even I thought this thing was abandoned. This chapter is kind of dull and jerky in areas but I needed to throw out something for the story. Hopefully the next chapter is better. Please REVIEW. Just one comment? A little one? Anything to help make things better.