A/N: Life threw a couple curve balls at me, so this story took a spot on the back-burner. But I am back! And I. WILL. FINISH!

Chapter 8

"Captain!" Shouted Merlin, "There is an escape pod making its way from the Texas to the planet's surface. There are no other life signs on the Texas."

"Alright people, the ship is a lost cause. We need to get to those survivors on the planet's surface. Gwain, you have the Comm. Emrys, You and Percival will accompany me on shore. With any luck, the Romulans won't notice a small landing party."

After gathering in the lift, the three men made their way to the transporter room, where Lance was waiting for them, with the coordinates of the escape pod programed into the transporters. Climbing onto the platforms, Arthur turned to his two men. "This is going to be a straightforward rescue operation. We get down there, locate the remaining crew, send our position back to Lace, who will then beam us back on board. We get in, get out, and then high tail it back to Federation Space where we can report this breach in our treaty with the Romulans."

Simultaneous "aye, Captains" confirmed that his orders were clear.

"Alright, Lance, send us down."

As the golden haze lifted from Merlin's vision, he saw the abandoned escape pod from the Texas and no sign of the crew that once inhabited it. "It looks like they have sought out a more defensible position, Captain." He called. Spying some caves two miles away in the cliff side surrounding the valley they had landed in, he then added, "Those caves look like the most likely choice, Sir."

"Good work Emrys. Let's go men. Percy, keep an eye on our six."

"Aye, Captain."

Making their way across the stretch of light blue grass that made up the valley, all three men were on high alert for the Romulan landing party that was no doubt going to land. Therefore, when the sound of booted feet met Merlin's heightened sense of hearing, none of the men were all too surprised.

Breaking into a desperate run, Merlin already sensed that they were not going to make it to the safety of the caves before the Romulans caught up to them. Merlin turned his head to catch a glimpse of five armed Romulans pounding toward them at a pace no human could hope to match. As Merlin watched, the lead Romulan raised his phaser and took aim, straight for the captain.

Without time to even think, Merlin did the only thing left for him to do: he jumped and shoved Arthur at the exact moment he heard the phaser go off.

End Note: My first update in forever and I do this to you. Sorry, not sorry. It was short, and has served the purpose of getting me back in the mood. But do you know what gets me even more excited? Reviews!