An anthology series that offers every fan a stopping point on the wonderful 50-year Star Trek journey. Reflect on stories of what’s come before and look ahead to the next half-century of Trek. Short stories that run the gamut of Star Trek’s history, set during the Original Series, The Next Generation, Voyager, Deep Space Nine, Enterprise, and more, featuring all your favorite characters. - $17.99
La la la, time to avail myself of the presumably safe, legal and regulated sex workers on Risa
Geordi is enjoying some sort of frosty beverage, which I guess means the shuttle has a replicator? How does THAT work? Where does it store the uh…stuff? Well, we don’t have time to worry about that because THIS happens:
Ever the gentleman, Picard gestured for Crusher to step onto the bridge first. Picard felt a thrill of recognition as he entered – the sights, sounds, and even the smells were the same as he remembered but there was a definite change in the atmosphere. This wasn’t Picard’s Enterprise; rather, it was Riker’s.
Data was the first to recognize them. Turning toward them, he announced, “Captain on the bridge” and stood at attention. Picard had to admit that command red and three rank pips on the collar suited the android, although the color made the paleness of his bioplast skin even more pronounced. The other officers on the bridge followed suit and stood at attention with the exception of the helm officer, who was making final approach to Deep Space Nine. Deanna Troi’s face brightened at the sight of her former captain. Lt. Commander Geordi LaForge grinned and said hello, then turned back to monitor the bridge’s engineering station.
The last to stand was Captain Riker. In the bright lighting of the bridge, Picard could see his former first officer’s hair and beard tinged with gray – a sign of the burdens of command. Picard remembered seeing his own first gray hairs during his first years on the Stargazer. Riker smiled warmly. “Captain Picard, it’s good to see you, sir.”
“Thank you, Captain.” He glanced around the bridge. So familiar, yet alien now. “A fine ship you have here.” Picard kept mostly to himself on the trip to Bajor, although there had been one or two social occasions where his presence had been required. Picard hadn’t wanted to get in Riker’s way, but he also knew himself well enough to know that he couldn’t stand on the bridge as a passenger. Not on the Enterprise. And Picard had to admit he didn’t want to stroll too far down memory lane because of the bittersweet pain of recollection.
Riker grinned. “The previous captain took good care of her. I’m just continuing the tradition.” Picard chuckled, but couldn’t quite muster his enthusiasm. He glanced around the bridge again, and his eyes locked on the Tactical station where a Starfleet lieutenant was monitoring communications frequencies. Riker saw where Picard was looking and said, “We haven’t heard from Worf recently.”
Data chimed in. “Recent reports from the Klingon Empire suggest forces of the restored House of Mogh are fighting a combined Romulan/Klingon force from the House of Duras in Batras system. It is likely that Worf is with that force, operating under a communications blackout.”
Picard nodded. “Thank you, Mister Data. We can only hope for the best for Mr. Worf’s safety.”
“Forgive me, sir, but I believe Mr. Worf would want us to hope for a good death in battle,” Data said. The officers on the bridge smiled at the android’s bon mot. The smiles gave way to chuckles at the android’s perplexed attitude. “Have I said something amusing?”
“All the time, Data,” said Riker.
“Captain Riker, we’ve just received clearance for docking at upper pylon three,” said the lieutenant at Tactical.
“Understood. Ensign Raeger, you heard the lieutenant. Upper pylon three.”
Picard watched on the viewscreen as the Enterprise approached space station Deep Space Nine, the latest port to receive a “Deep Space” designation. The most noticeable features were the three docking pylons, which were the primary docking stations for larger starships. There was a certain stark beauty to their graceful curves. As the Enterprise changed orientation, the lower pylons of the Cardssian station appeared to dig into the blue orb of Bajor like talons. In a way, that was true – the station had been the primary means of extracting and processing the Bajor’s mineral wealth during the Cardassian Occupation, and the conduit through which Bajorans were carted off to work camps and assignments in far-flung Cardassian outposts.
Picard could see only a few running lights and corridor lights active on the station, which suggested that it was functioning at less than full power. It was curious that the station was even intact, since standard procedure for Cardassian forces was to destroy anything they couldn’t cart away. The exterior sensors shifted focus as the starship glided over the top of the station, giving the bridge crew a view of the three long corridors that connected the outer docking areas to the station’s central core. Picard knew from his mission briefing that central operations was located at the top of the central core, where the Cardassian Legate could look down and survey his dominion.
Troi shook her head. “Cardassian aesthetics are certainly…unique.”
“Unique for us, Counselor,” said Data, “but standard for Cardassians. This is a Nor-class station, one of the larger classes of Cardassian outposts. It supports approximately 7,000 inhabitants and boasts a –“
“Thank you, Mister Data,” said Picard and Riker at the same time. Picard continued, “I believe we’ve all seen the mission briefing.”
“Yes, Captain,” said the android.
The screen switched to a view from one of the starboard sensors. Slowly, the starship made contact with the docking hatch. There was a faint shudder and all movement ceased. “Docking complete,” said Ensign Raeger.
Picard drew in a breath and tugged on his uniform tunic. “I believe it’s time to see what I’m dealing with.”