Star Trek: Defiant

"Queued" - Part Four

Written by Laine Rael

The group quickly moved to the edge of the wooded area. In the distance, a small village could be seen. Suddenly, the people started running. Screams echoed in the area as a huge silver dragon walked through a crowd of people, its broad wings extended. It appeared to be trying to take off, but failing miserably. It turned its shining eyes on the village and inhaled deeply. A quick exhale sent a concentrated jet of flame from the creature’s mouth onto a small shack. The force blew the rickety building apart as if it had been a house of cards. The dragon paused to assess the damage with apparent curiosity.

As the group watched, none of them noticed Emeras whispering the beginnings of another spell. After she finished, she strode to the front of the group, stretched her arms out wide, and shouted, "Stop!"

The spell not only amplified the sound of her voice, but changed the word to something that sounded like a cross between an eagle's cry and breaking glass. The dragon halted immediately, and headed straight for the group.

The image of the huge beast bearing down on them was almost too much for them. Rael nearly swooned, but caught herself .... that dragon seemed ... familiar. The group readied themselves for attack with their new weapons.

The wyrm had reached them, and lowered its great head to peer at the travelers with silvery orbs. It spoke. "Captain," he said.

Now Rael thought she would really faint. "Scott?" she said incredulously.

"It seems you are not yourselves," Scott said, drawing uneasy laughs from everyone else -- although Dan’s came out as an elongated 'Ooooo' sound. He looked at his own body, and stretched his leathery, shimmering wings out experimentally. His long tail switched to the side. The beautiful, flexible silver scales covered his entire body, moving with every mighty breath. "It seems that I am not myself," he concluded.

Mak stared. "You could say that," he said. He turned to look around, and noticed another form had approached unnoticed, wearing a forest green hooded cloak. "Heads up!" he said, rearing back with his mighty hammer to throw it.

Moving impossibly fast, the newest danger drew twin scimitars and forced Mak to his knees before he knew what had hit him. The blades glowed -- one purple, one blue. "What the --" Mak started, then took a good look at his adversary. "Maerret?" he said incredulously.

"So it would seem," he said, looking confused as to why he attacked. He looked at the captain, and the dragon, who was examining his toes in apparent amazement. "Sir?" he asked.

"This is Q’s doing, Maerret," Jeffrey said. "How were you able to approach us so silently?"

"Sir, I appeared approximately half a kilometer from here. My tricorder told me of your location. As for moving silently, it appears to be an innate characteristic of the form I have taken. We are not as we appear."

"So we've gathered," the captain said. He sighed. "Well, I think we should move on. Q's likely got something planned for us, so we might as well find it sooner rather than later. But be careful. This isn't a holodeck program, and there are no failsafes."

Maerett said, "There appears to be a semi-organized band of humanoids a kilometer to the west. I suggest we head in that direction."

The captain looked at the rest of his crew. All nodded assent, excited at the prospect of battle. "Let's find somethin' to frag!" Mak said, a gleam in his eye.

They headed off through the woods, Mak singing a song of praise to Tempus, the barbarian god of war. No one questioned how he knew it.

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