A/N: I don't own Star Trek.

This is set in the timeline created in Yesterday's Enterprise, before the Enterprise C arrives.

Captain Picard sits in the command chair of the U.S.S. Enterprise D. His posture is rigid and formal, yet his expression betrays the weariness that threatens to overwhelm him.

It is not often that he and his crew experience a reprieve from the fighting, but he can not truly enjoy the break. In the back of his mind stalk the phantoms of Klingon birds of prey, ready to attack. Peace does not come easy.

Seeking to distract himself, he allows his eyes to wander around the bridge. They land on Ensign Wesley Crusher, a young genius who had been rushed through the Academy and then assigned to the fleet's flagship. The Enterprise. His ship.

In another world, he would never have let someone so young onto his ship. However, this isn't another world. This is the world he lives in, and it is a world torn apart by war, death, and destruction. Every capable officer is needed to fight. Despite his youth, Wesley Crusher has proven himself to be a great deal more than capable. Picard certainly hopes that the Ensign's name won't find itself on the list of the dead, like so many others who have lost their lives in this bloody war. Far too many others.

It seems as if all of those deaths were in vain, merely postponing the inevitable. The war isn't going well. In fact, Starfleet may soon be forced to surrender.

Picard hardens his gaze and his resolve. He is a captain, and he will do his very best to save his crew.

"Analysis, Mister Data."

"Sensors are reading gravimetric fluctuations, Captain. Most unusual ones."