Summary: A crossover between Star Trek: TNG and the original story idea I have for a video game I'd like to create someday (with a few references to other video games just for fun).
The Enterprise-D has been asked to transport 15 year old Katina Star, the granddaughter of Noznian Military General John Klopford, to the home base on the planet Noz, where her grandfather wishes to inform her that she will succeed him as General of the Noznian Military due to her uncle's mysterious disappearance. While on the Enterprise, she forms friendships with many of the crew, in particular a certain android.
Set sometime between All Good Things and Generations.
Categories: Next Generation Characters: Data
Genre: Action/Adventure, Fantasy, Friendship, General
Chapters: 9 Completed: No
Word count: 16311 Read: 22523
Published: 06 Mar 2009 Updated: 16 Apr 2009
I have undergone yet another massive name change in this fic. I've changed the planet names to something much more... grown-up. (Grown-up in the sense that they don't sound like something an 8 year old came up with.)
1. The Departure by ProudNerd
2. The Future General by ProudNerd
3. Android Flu, part 1 by ProudNerd
4. Android Flu, part 2 by ProudNerd
5. A Strong Feeling by ProudNerd
6. The Spirit Charge by ProudNerd
7. Meanwhile... by ProudNerd
8. The Attack by ProudNerd
9. Ambush! by ProudNerd
The Departure by ProudNerd
I HATE coming up with stardates! All stardates you see here will be 48xxx.x because I don't want to bother coming up with a specific one. The Starbase number was chosen randomly as well.
Also, to any of my friends who have read this on The Omega Sector or Fanfiction.net, I've made some MAJOR revsions. Consider this to be the TRUE version, ok?
Captain's log, Stardate 48xxx.x. We have been given a special mission to escort a young lady to a distant planet. Her grandfather is General of that planet's military and he says that he has something very important to discuss with her in person. We are under orders not to mention anything more than that to her. We are currently en route to Starbase 128 to get her.
Geordi walked to Data's quarters, since Data had not responded when Geordi tried to communicate with him using the combadge. He entered the room easily, since Data had given Geordi clearance to enter whenever he wished, and had to do his best to keep from laughing at what he saw.
Data was asleep (like Geordi had thought), and snoring lightly (which Geordi had never heard him do). His hair was a mess from tossing and turning in his sleep and he was apparently oblivious to the fact that he had gotten tangled in his sheets and fallen out of bed. He hadn't overslept or anything, since he had plenty of time before his shift began.
Geordi approached Data and shook him slightly. "Data! Wake up!" he shouted.
Data's snoring halted abruptly. His eyes opened and he looked around for the source of the noise. He turned over to see Geordi standing above him, and then took in his current surroundings. "Oh…" he said, "it would appear I have fallen out of bed again."
"Again?" Geordi asked, doing his best to hold back a laugh. "I wasn't aware you moved at all when you slept, or snored for that matter!"
"It is something I decided to implement into my sleep routine," Data explained as he untangled himself from his sheets and got up. "I noticed while we were camping on the holodeck a few weeks ago that you and Commander Riker both toss and turn in your sleep, as well as snore. I decided to implement those behaviors so it would appear that I am asleep instead of deactivated."
"Looks like it needs some work," Geordi chuckled. "You got bed head, by the way," he added, pointing out Data's messy hair.
Data ran his fingers through his hair in an attempt to flatten it, but then decided combing would be more efficient. He walked over to his mirror, grabbed a comb, and then proceeded to comb his hair into its usual neat style.
"So… I snore?" Geordi asked, remembering what Data had said about that earlier.
"Yes," Data stated, continuing to comb his hair, "though not nearly as loud as Commander Riker does."
Geordi laughed. Data just couldn't help being completely honest with anyone about anything.
Data finished combing his hair and straightened his uniform with a move that reminded Geordi a lot of Captain Picard. He checked himself in the mirror one more time before turning to face Geordi. "Is there something you needed to see me about?" he asked. "Surely we are not at the Starbase yet?"
"Ah yeah, there's been a change in plans I needed to talk to you about," Geordi remembered. "Apparently we're taking a shuttlecraft to the Starbase instead of beaming over. The captain doesn't want to waste time docking and undocking since we visited a Starbase for repairs and resupply earlier, and apparently our guest doesn't like transporters. We depart in thirty minutes. And it's your turn to pilot."
"Very well," Data nodded. "I will meet you and Commander Riker in the shuttlebay then."
"Alright," Geordi said. "See you in thirty minutes." He left Data's quarters and headed for engineering to make sure things were all good before he left.
Twenty-five minutes later (precisely), Data arrived in the shuttlebay. He'd made a habit of being very punctual, if not early. The lieutenant who was currently in charge of the shuttlebay told Data which shuttle they'd be taking. Riker and Geordi arrived a few minutes later.
"Will she be waiting for us at the docking bay?" Geordi asked Riker.
"She should be," he replied. "If not, she should at least be nearby."
"And do we know how to identify her?" Geordi asked to anyone who could answer.
"I have examined her profile," Data replied. "I will be able to identify her."
"Good. Shotgun!" Geordi called out, and sat in the front passenger seat of the shuttlecraft while Data took the pilot's seat. Riker sat behind them. Data began standard procedures for leaving the shuttlebay and they were on their way.
A few uneventful moments later and they were docking at the Starbase. Data followed standard procedure the whole time, not skipping one detail. They disembarked and went to go find their guest.
"So what does she look like?" Geordi asked.
"She is 15 years old, approximately 5 feet, 2 inches tall, and has short light brown hair and blue eyes," Data recited, recalling her profile.
"Shouldn't be too hard to find," Geordi remarked sarcastically.
They searched the area for a moment when Riker (being the tallest and able to see over most of the crowd) spotted her. "Is that her?" he asked Data, pointing at a young girl who fit the description.
"I believe so," Data replied. The three of them approached her.
"Are you Katina Star?" Riker asked.
"Yes I am," she said, turning around to face the officers. "Who are you?"
"I'm Commander William Riker, first officer of the Enterprise," Riker replied. "This is my second officer, Lt. Commander Data and Chief Engineer Geordi LaForge," he added, pointing to each officer respectively.
"Hi," she greeted them. "I have to say," she continued, looking up at Data, "your name's pretty strange. You certainly LOOK strange enough…"
"I am an android," Data explained.
"Ah, I guess your name fits perfectly then!" Katina exclaimed. "Your creator must've been very clever to come up with that!" She turned to face Riker. "So, why are you guys here?"
"Your grandfather, General Klopford, sent us to get you," Riker explained. "He says he needs to talk to you about something."
"Ah, so you're the guys my grandpa sent! And Starfleet approved this?" Katina asked, "Noz is REALLY far from here. It'd take a month or so at average warp speeds to get there."
"It was Starfleet who gave us the order," Riker said. "Your grandfather asked them to send a ship to get you and we were the closest."
"If he wanted to talk to me that bad he could've sent a subspace message or something…" Katina sighed.
"He seemed rather insistent that he speak to you in person," Riker said.
Katina sighed. "Fine then, just let me go get my things. I'm already packed. Gotta let dad know I'm leaving now."
She walked towards the guest quarters of the Starbase and entered a room, and came out a few minutes later with a small backpack and a duffel bag. Her dad followed her out with a sad expression on his face. He would clearly miss his daughter.
"Dad!" Katina exclaimed, trying to remove herself from her dad's crushing hug. "I'm just going to visit Grandpa Klopford, it's not like you'll never see me again!"
"I know, sweetie," he replied. "Just promise you'll send me messages from the ship, ok? And let me know when you get there."
"Alright, alright," Katina sighed.
"You guys will take care of her, right?" he asked Riker, who had just gotten there with Data and Geordi. "Make sure she doesn't get into any trouble?"
"She'll be fine with us," Riker said. "Starfleet's not sending us on any excessively dangerous missions while she's in our custody."
"Good," Katina's dad replied. "And you BEHAVE YOURSELF, alright?"
"Don't I always?" Katina smirked.
Katina's dad gave her another huge hug and was very reluctant to let go, but he had to. They all said goodbye and Katina followed the three officers to where the shuttlecraft was docked.
"Geez, it's almost like he wasn't going to see me again or something," Katina remarked. "He's been very protective of me since mom died."
"Your mom's dead?" Geordi asked.
"Yeah, she died while giving birth to me," Katina explained, "so I never knew her, even though everyone says I look and act almost exactly like her."
"So your dad's always been protective, right?" Geordi asked.
"Yeah pretty much," Katina said. They all got in the shuttlecraft. Katina sat behind Geordi while Riker sat behind Data. Once everything was settled, Data began procedures for leaving the docking bay, again not missing a single detail.
One uneventful trip later, they docked with the Enterprise. Captain Picard was waiting for them in the shuttlebay. They all got out and approached him.
"You must be Katina Star," he said, noticing Katina. "I am Captain Picard. Welcome to the Enterprise."
"Thank you sir," she said, shaking his hand.
"Very well," Picard acknowledged, "Mr. Data, please show Katina to her quarters."
"Yes sir," Data nodded. He turned to face Katina. "If you would follow me," he said, then they both left the shuttlebay.
Whee! Here we go again, posting a revised version of this fic for a whole new audience to read! I hope y'all like it! *gets busy posting the other chapters*
The Future General by ProudNerd
Anything you recognize from Custom Robo or Starfox is (c) Nintendo. Don't sue, I just thought it would be AWESOME to reference them.
Also, the holocube... Y'all remember that cube-looking thing they stored Moriarty's program on in "Ship in a Bottle?" That's basically what the cube is supposed to be... just a storage device for large programs.
Data pointed out many of the ship's facilities on the way to the guest quarters. Katina tried to make mental notes of where everything was as she hurried to keep up with Data. Eventually they arrived at the guest quarters. Katina stepped inside as Data stood to the side.
"Whoa!" she exclaimed, "This room is huge! I wasn't expecting something as nice as this!" She set her bags down on the bed and looked around as Data entered.
"The replicator is over here," he said, pointing it out. "Since you will be with us for a while we will issue you a combadge. Until you receive one you will need to use the communications panel above the replicator if you wish to contact anyone on the ship from here."
"I see," she said. She walked over and checked to see if she could reach the panel. She could.
"The holodecks, gymnasium, and Ten Forward are available to you whenever you wish to visit them. Do you have any questions?" Data asked.
"Not right now. I'll call you on the com panel if I need anything. I'm probably just going to go explore a bit myself and then head to the holodeck. Thanks, though," she said.
"Very well, I will leave you for now," Data nodded, making for the door, "I have a meeting I must attend."
"Bye," Katina waved as Data left.
All the senior staff gathered in the Observation Lounge for a meeting regarding their current mission. Not many were privy to the details of Katina's visit, and this briefing was to let them know what was going on.
Data was the last to arrive, but he was still on time. "Is Katina settling in all right?" Picard asked as Data sat down.
"She seems to be adjusting well," Data replied.
"Good," Picard nodded, "Well, I believe we are all here to find out why we are on this mission. As most of you know, Katina's grandfather is General John Klopford of the planet Noz in the Belfast system. That particular planet has continuously declined to join the Federation, preferring instead to remain allies in time of war.
"The position of General is a hereditary position. Long ago, when the planet was discovered by James Klopford, the current General's great grandfather, he helped the native Noznians in a military crisis. He was then bestowed with a gift, giving him and his descendants unparalleled tactical ability and weapons skills, in addition to the unique ability to fire beams of energy out of a sword. The abilities would continue to be passed down as long as a descendant of the Noznian royal bloodline remained in power. Since then, each member of the Klopford family has served as the General of the planet's military.
"John Klopford had two children who could possibly succeed him. One was Katina's mother, who died while giving birth. The other is Peter Klopford, Katina's uncle. Reports have recently indicated that he may have gone missing along with two of his flight students during a training mission in the Lylat system. If this is truly the case, Katina is the only one left who can succeed her grandfather as the next General. She is not to be told this until she arrives on Noz."
Beverly immediately began to object. "But she's so young!" she exclaimed, "There's no way a 15 year old girl can be asked to take on this sort of responsibility!"
"The age of majority on Noz is 10 Earth years, which is the equivalent of 30 Noznian years," Data pointed out. "Many children, even human children, voluntarily join the planet's armed forces at that age, based on an ancient prophecy that the planet will one day be saved by children. This is not unusual for them."
"Klingons learn the ways of the warrior at a very young age as well," Worf commented, "It is most efficient to begin their training while they are still young and impressionable."
"But why not at least tell her what's going on?" Beverly asked.
"I have sensed no anxiety from her so far," Deanna said, "In fact she seems rather calm, even happy. Perhaps her grandfather thinks it is better this way?"
"Noz is currently at war with their neighboring planet in the system, Wardon. If General Klopford were to die in battle, they would need a new General right away," Picard continued, "They have no ships of their own available at the moment to get her themselves so they've asked Starfleet to help. As part of the agreement, Starfleet may continue to send us on a few routine missions along the way since little is known about the region, but nothing dangerous. They currently anticipate no problems for now, so they are allowing us to take as much time as necessary. It is anticipated we will reach Noz in approximately a month and a half. Does anyone have any questions?"
Beverly was about to state her objection again, but kept quiet this time. The rest of the room was quiet too.
"Very well," Picard said, getting up, "Remember: we are all under orders to not tell Katina ANY of this, not even the fact that her uncle has gone missing. Her grandfather will brief her when she arrives. In the meantime, we are to make sure she is safe and comfortable here. Dismissed."
Everyone got up and left the room to go to their respective places.
The next day, Data walked by the holodeck and saw Katina standing outside the door with a holocube in her hand, looking at the panels as though confused. "Is there something you need help with?" Data asked.
"Yeah, I can't figure out where I'm supposed to put this holocube," Katina said, "It has one of my favorite programs on it and I figured it would be compatible with the holodecks here, too."
"There are a multitude of programs available in the system already," Data pointed out, "May I ask what program you have on there?"
"Oh, it's a program my friend sent me," Katina explained, "Have you heard of 'Project Arcade?'"
"I am not familiar with that project," Data replied.
"One of my dad's friends is part of it," Katina said, "They're trying to remake classic 20th century video games for use on holodecks. He sends me copies of all the new ones and asks for feedback, so I guess that makes me a beta tester. I promise none of these have viruses or glitches, they do extensive testing before allowing the games to be used outside."
"The auxiliary data storage port is located behind that panel," Data said, pointing to a removable panel in the wall.
Katina removed the panel and located where the holocube went. "Thanks!" she exclaimed, "Care to join me? Or are you on duty right now?"
"I would be glad to join you," Data replied, "The project you mentioned sounds most intriguing."
"Well it's certainly a lot of fun," Katina said, "The game I've got on here is called 'Custom Robo.' Ever heard of it?"
Data paused for a moment, searching his databanks for any information. "I do not believe I have," he replied, following Katina inside the holodeck.
"Well, you control these fighting robots called Custom Robos, and they have a lot of different parts you can use to customize them," Katina explained, "That's part of the strategy behind the game, picking the best parts. Then you fight your opponent. I think the way this version is set up is you ARE the robo and you gain all the abilities and firepower and stuff, like having a high tech suit of armor or something." She looked towards the middle of the holodeck. "Computer," she ordered, "Run program 'Custom Robo' from the holocube in port 1. Setup for two players."
As soon as she gave the order, the holodeck walls changed, but not much. They were now a blue grid on a light blue surface. Two panels were floating in midair opposite each other with a list of options for customizing the robos. Katina walked to one of the panels and Data walked to the other. "Here's where you pick your parts," Katina explained.
Data looked at the options and selected one of the standard Shining Fighter models for his robo. The stats were pretty even. When he made the selection, the robo appeared in front of him. As he picked weapons (a Dragon gun, Tomahawk bomb, and Spider pod) and legs (ones that boosted speed) for the robo, the selected parts appeared on the robo's body. "How do I command my robo in battle?" Data asked.
"That's just a preview," Katina explained, picking parts for her own robo. Hers almost resembled a fighter jet that had sprouted legs and arms and a head. "What's gonna happen is when the battle starts, the robo and gear appear ON you, so basically you're inside it. Then you simply jump or fire or whatever. It's pretty self-explanatory, though I might need to teach you a few techniques when we get in there. Are you ready?"
"Yes," Data nodded.
"Ok!" Katina exclaimed, making one final selection before hitting a red button on her panel.
The walls vanished, and they were on a gridded floor in an area fenced by energy beams. There were various obstacles scattered around, like walls or boxes. Data could not see his robo or Katina, then he realized he was seeing things through the eyes of his robo. He held out an arm and saw his robo's arm, with a gun at the end. He squeezed his hand and the gun fired a round that looked like a flaming dragon head which roared as it flew. He jumped, and realized he could jump much higher than was possible following the normal laws of physics. He landed on top of a wall and looked around for Katina's robo. He spotted it flying in a circle around the arena. The robo landed beside him and spoke, but it was Katina's voice that came out.
"Cool, huh?" she asked.
"It is quite fascinating," Data replied, "You are inside your robo as well?"
"Yep!" Katina nodded. Well, the robo nodded.
"What is the object of the game?" Data asked.
"We fight till one of us loses all our Hit Points," Katina explained, "Also, if you get hit too much too quickly your robo will overload and you'll be knocked down for a moment and unable to move. When you get back up again you can continue fighting."
"And how were you flying around earlier?" Data asked.
"That's how my robo does an air dash. Your robo can air dash too, but it can't fly like that or shoot while doing so. Mine can. Just jump again while in midair," Katina explained.
Data jumped high, and then jumped again to the side, making his robo do a quick air dash. He landed behind another wall.
"Good!" Katina exclaimed. She flew her robo to the opposite corner. "I'll count to three, and then we can start fighting, all right? One… two… three!"
Data came out from behind the wall and Katina immediately took to the air. Data fired his gun at Katina and it homed in on her, but the round flew too slowly and she dodged it while continuing to fly around the arena. Meanwhile, she fired eight quick rounds from her gun straight at Data before landing, since he hadn't moved while firing his own gun at Katina. Data could see from the indicator on the HUD of his robo that the shots had taken a considerable amount of Hit Points, and he felt briefly immobilized as each round hit him. Katina quickly fired the eight shots again, and all of them hit, overloading Data's robo. He collapsed to the ground while Katina continued firing. After a brief downtime in which he sustained even more damage, Data got back up and noticed the shots bounced right off since he was temporarily invincible. He fired a homing round at Katina just as she took to the air again and this one hit, knocking her down. When she got back up she started flying in circles again. Data disrupted this with another shot. He fired again as quickly as the gun would allow, but Katina landed behind a wall. She jumped on top of the wall and fired her gun at Data again, almost overloading his robo. He quickly took cover behind a box, firing at Katina before he was hidden. The dragon shot made contact and Katina fell off the wall. She got back up and flew in circles again, dodging another shot from Data and sending in two Dolphin pods. The pods exploded near Data, knocking his robo into the air. Katina fired her gun again and the eight rounds overloaded Data's robo once more. With her next shot, she finished off the rest of Data's Hit Points.
The arena and robos disappeared, and they were back in the setup room. A computer voice proclaimed "Player one is victorious." Data was still lying on the ground but got back up quickly and straightened his uniform.
"You are quite skilled at this game," Data said.
"Thanks," Katina replied, "You're pretty good for a beginner. You should definitely try using your bombs or pods more often, and air dash a lot more often too. Wanna play another round?"
Before Data could answer, his combadge interrupted. "Crusher to Data," said Beverly's voice.
"Data here," he replied, tapping his combadge.
"Is Katina with you?" Beverly asked.
"Yes, she is here," Data confirmed.
"Since she's going to be here for a while, she needs to come in for a physical," Beverly said, "Could you send her to sickbay?"
"I heard ya, doctor," Katina yelled so she could be overheard, "I'll be over there soon."
"Alright, Crusher out." The comlink closed.
"It would appear we will have to postpone our rematch," Data said.
"Alright," Katina sighed, "Computer, end program."
The holodeck walls went blank. Katina walked to the arch and removed her cube, replacing the panel she had removed earlier. She turned around and looked at Data. "Uh, where's sickbay?" she asked.
"I will escort you," Data said, and the two of them walked together towards sickbay.
Android Flu, part 1 by ProudNerd
The idea to have a computer virus came from watching "Contagion," which is an AWESOME episode!
The door chime rang in Katina's quarters. "Come in," she called out. Data entered, and she greeted him.
"I have been asked to deliver your combadge," Data explained, holding out a combadge for Katina. She took it and attached it to her vest. "To use it, simply tap the combadge and say who you wish to communicate with. For instance…" he tapped his combadge "Data to Katina."
Katina could hear Data on her combadge as he spoke. "That's cool!" she exclaimed, as Data ended communications. "So, are you still up for that Custom Robo rematch later?"
Before Data could reply, he got a message on his combadge. "Riker to Data, you're needed on the bridge."
"Acknowledged," Data said, tapping his combadge. "It appears our rematch will have to wait," he told Katina.
"Ok, just let me know when you're off duty," Katina said, "See ya."
"Goodbye," Data replied, and left for the bridge.
Captain's log, stardate 48xxx.x: We are answering a distress call from the colony on Talyl 4. There has been an outbreak of an unusual computer virus in their climate control center, causing the computers to run inefficiently. It is no major cause for alarm at the moment, but if something is not done, the whole system could eventually fail.
"What have we heard about this virus?" Picard asked his senior officers.
"It's pretty strange," Geordi replied, "Reports say that the computer system… well one could almost say it's gotten sick."
"Yeah, like physically ill," Geordi explained, "They're running hot, weakened, and the voice interface sounds like it has a cold."
"That's very strange," Picard acknowledged, "Number One gather your team."
"Ok. LaForge, Data, you're with me," Riker said.
"Wait a second, Number One," Picard interrupted, "With a computer virus spreading down there, are you sure you want Data? He could be affected."
"I assure you, Captain," Data said, "I have sufficient anti-virus protection."
"Yeah, but you got infected with the virus from Iconia, remember?" Geordi pointed out.
"That is true," Data agreed, "But I have worked to improve my protection since then."
"Besides," Riker added, "We need his expertise down there. And we may need him to interface with these computers physically. No human can do that. It's a risk we'll have to take."
"And if ANYTHING goes wrong," Geordi assured Picard, "We'll get him out of there."
"Very well," Picard said, "Go."
Riker, Data, and Geordi beamed down to the climate control center. All the computers seemed to be giving off more heat than usual, so it was quite warm inside, and they heard an odd sneeze from the voice interface. Riker tried working with one of the consoles, but it was slow to the point of being nearly unresponsive. So Geordi helped Data link with the main computer.
"Establishing link," Data said. A brief moment passed before he announced that he had successfully linked with the main computer. Meanwhile, Geordi and Riker monitored his progress and the computer's status on the screen.
After a while, there were no signs of the virus. "Hey! I think you did it, Data! The virus isn't there anymore!" Geordi exclaimed.
"I do not think so…" Data replied, "It has gotten much colder in this room. Perhaps it has progressed to the actual climate control functions."
"Colder? What do you mean, Data? It's just fine here…" Geordi said, but stopped when he noticed his friend was shivering. "Data?" He asked, "Why are you shaking like that?"
"I am not sure," Data replied, his voice rasping slightly. Geordi immediately rushed over to Data and started to disconnect him from the computer.
"I think you might have gotten the virus," Geordi said, "You're much warmer than usual."
"ACHOO!" Data sneezed suddenly. (And it was a real sneeze, too. Not the fake one he had been practicing.)
"I didn't know you could sneeze," Riker said.
"I did not know I could either," Data replied weakly when Geordi had disconnected him from the computer.
"I'd say you definitely have this virus now," Geordi noted, "And since you are more like a human than this system, it's gonna show itself as more like a human illness in you."
"We need to get him back to the Enterprise," Riker said, "Should we send him to sickbay?"
"Well he's not really 'sick,'" Geordi pointed out, "But this is probably as close as he'll ever be. Maybe Dr. Crusher can do something about it."
"It's worth a try," Riker shrugged. He tapped his combadge. "Riker to Enterprise, three to beam to sickbay."
The away team beamed up, and moments later reappeared in sickbay, much to Dr. Crusher's surprise.
"What's wrong?" she asked, "You two look fine."
"Oh, we're not sick," Riker explained, "but Data is."
"It's that virus from the climate control center," Geordi explained, "It made the computers there almost show signs of real physical illness, which would definitely show better in an android than a console."
"ACHOO!" Data sneezed again.
"Oh my God!" Beverly exclaimed. "Data, are you alright?"
"I do not think so…" he replied, shivering.
"Can you run a diagnostic?" she asked while scanning him with a medical tricorder.
Data sat silently for a moment as he ran a quick self diagnostic. "I have contracted the virus from the climate control center computer," he confirmed, "I should be able to destroy it on my own within my internal systems, but it will take time and much of my energy to do so. In the meantime, I am weakened and show signs of physical illness."
"I guess you could say you've got an 'android cold,'" Geordi joked.
"More like 'android flu', since it's a virus," Beverly corrected Geordi.
"Well now what?" Riker asked.
"If it's going to present itself like a human illness," Beverly said, "Then I suggest we treat it like one. Since there's nothing I can give him, I recommend lots of rest if Data's going to fight off this virus himself."
"But I do not require rest," Data stated.
"You do now," Beverly smirked, "Doctor's orders. You need to take it easy for a few days while you fight this off. And you also need to focus on bringing down your internal temperature. You're running much hotter than usual and it could burn or melt some part of you."
"What about my duties?" Data asked, "And I promised Katina I would join her in the holodeck later."
"You're relieved of duty until this virus is gone," Beverly said, "And the holodeck will have to wait. I'm sure Katina will understand."
"And while you're still infected, I don't want you to link with the ship's computer," Riker ordered, "We can't risk this spreading through our computer systems."
"I understand completely, sir," Data acknowledged before sneezing again.
"Good," Riker grinned, "I'll let the Captain know what's going on. Geordi, escort Data to his quarters."
"Aye, sir," Geordi replied. Data stood up and walked out of sickbay with Geordi.
They arrived at Data's quarters a few minutes later (Data sneezed a few more times in the corridors, which resulted in strange looks from passersby.)
"Are you going to be alright?" Geordi asked when they entered.
"I have already initialized the program which will remove the virus from my system," Data explained, "It will take approximately two days to run its course, and I will be required to activate my sleep routine for brief moments during that time, to minimize the strain on my processors."
"Looks like you'll be getting some sleep after all," Geordi chuckled, "But, two days? That's a long time."
"This virus is an unusual one," Data said, "I have never encountered it before, and have no immunity to it. I will only need to sleep for thirty minutes at a time, and only a few times. Most of the program requires me to be awake."
"Well when's your first nap?" Geordi asked.
"In five minutes," Data replied.
"Well you better get to bed, then," Geordi said, "I'll come and check on you later, ok? Who knows? Maybe you'll have some interesting dreams. See you later."
"Good bye, Geordi," Data replied, before sneezing so loud that it sent Spot running for cover.
This chapter was originally MUCH longer, so I split it into two parts.
Android Flu, part 2 by ProudNerd
Katina walked down the corridor to Data's quarters and pressed the door chime. A few seconds passed before she heard a weak voice reply "Come in." She complied.
"Data?" she asked, seeing the android sitting up in bed with Spot sleeping on his lap, "How come you're in bed?"
"I am not well," he replied.
"You're sick? I thought androids couldn't get sick," Katina said. "You're not contagious, are you?"
"Only to other computers," Data explained, "It is a computer virus that affects me like a biological virus would affect a human. Fighting it off takes a great deal of my energy. I am currently weakened to the point that I cannot even get out of bed."
"Wow, that sucks," Katina said. She walked over to Data and sat down in a chair by his bed, reaching over to pet Spot. "So I guess you're not going to be able to come to the holodeck?"
"Not for a while," Data replied, "The program I am using to remove the virus takes two days to run its course. I will be unable to do much during that time."
"Two days?!" Katina exclaimed, "I thought it only took a matter of minutes to remove a virus from a computer!"
"This is quite a bit more complicated than one of those viruses," Data explained.
"Yeah, but you're no ordinary machine," Katina pointed out.
"And this is no ordinary virus," Data replied, "This was affecting an entire climate control center's computer system, many computers all at once. I am just one android."
"I see," Katina said, scratching Spot behind her ears. Data sneezed, which sent Spot running for cover again. Katina laughed at Spot's reaction, then looked up at Data again. "So," she began, "You sleep in your uniform?"
"I do not own any sleepwear, as I do not usually need it," Data said, "I am perfectly comfortable in my uniform."
"Ah well, suit yourself," Katina replied, "Do you need anything? Another pillow or blanket or a glass of water or something?"
"Now that you mention it," Data said, "I was wondering if you could go to the replicator and get 'chemical nutrient compound' for me."
"What's that?" Katina asked.
"It is a semi-organic nutrient compound in a silicon based liquid medium," Data explained, "I occasionally ingest this to help lubricate my biofunctions and keep my systems running at peak efficiency."
"In other words, fuel, right?" Katina said.
"Not exactly, as it is not a source of energy," Data replied.
"Ok then," Katina nodded. She got up and walked over to the replicator to give the order, and returned with a glass of a clear gray liquid. "You drink this stuff?" she asked, disgusted.
"Yes," Data said, taking the glass from Katina and thanking her.
"It must taste horrible," Katina grimaced as Data took a drink.
"I cannot 'taste' anything," Data admitted.
"Guess that could be a good thing sometimes," Katina joked.
Data finished consuming the compound and set the glass on a table next to the bed. Spot came out of hiding and jumped in Katina's lap this time, and nearly clawed her to death when Data sneezed again.
"Ow!" Katina exclaimed, grabbing where Spot had clawed her arm.
Data looked at the damage Spot had done. Nothing major, but still… "You should tend to those scrapes," Data said.
"Nah, it's no big deal," Katina replied, "My grandpa owns a cat. I've been scratched many times."
"Hmm," Data nodded. He shifted in his bed so he could lie down properly. "I have to shut down for a while now," he said, "Normally the program requires me to sleep for only 30 minutes, but this one may take longer than before."
"How much longer?" Katina asked.
"I am uncertain," Data replied, "The program is at a critical stage now. My estimation would be approximately two hours, but it could possibly be a little longer."
"Well if it goes on too long I'll have to get Geordi," Katina said, "I'm concerned about you, Data, and I want you to get well as soon as possible."
"Your concern is… appreciated," Data said, "Thank you."
"You're welcome," Katina grinned, "So, I'll come check on you in another two hours or so. See ya."
"Good bye, Katina," Data said. He closed his eyes and went to sleep.
Two hours later, Katina returned as promised, but Data was still asleep. Not wanting to disturb him, she just sat down next to his bed and played with Spot.
Another hour passed, and Katina was starting to worry. Maybe it was a miscalculation, she thought. But then again, how could Data miscalculate anything? Well, he did say it could be longer.
Yet another hour passed, and Katina was very tempted to try to wake Data up, but what would happen if she did? What if his program was at a really important stage that would make things worse if Data woke up at that moment? Would he even wake up if she tried to wake him? She decided now would be a good time to go get Geordi. He would know if it was safe to wake Data… right?
She tapped her combadge. "Katina to Commander LaForge," she said.
"Geordi here, what's up?" a voice replied.
"Data went to sleep again. It's been four hours, and he hasn't woken up yet," she explained.
"Four hours?!" Geordi exclaimed, "He told me each time he slept would only need to be 30 minutes long!"
"Well he told me this one would take longer since his program's at a critical stage. He estimated about two hours but it's been much longer. Is it safe to wake him?" she asked.
"It's not like Data to make such a major miscalculation," Geordi replied, "And if it were absolutely crucial that he remain asleep during the process he would've warned us not to wake him up. Go ahead and try."
"Ok," Katina said. She grabbed Data's shoulder and shook him slightly while calling out to him, "Data! Data! Wake up!" But he didn't even stir.
"Nothing's happening," Katina reported to Geordi.
"Is he moving or snoring at all?" Geordi asked, remembering what Data had said about the extra functions he had added to his sleep routine.
"I didn't know he could snore or move in his sleep," Katina said, "But he's not doing either of those things right now."
"So either he deactivated those functions in order to make the virus program more efficient," Geordi speculated, "Or something's seriously wrong in there. I'll be right up, Katina; we need to figure out what's going on."
"Understood, I'll be waiting for you here. Katina out," she said before closing the link. She glanced over at Data with an expression of deepest concern on her face. "Man I hope you're alright, Data," she said, just in case he could still hear her.
Minutes later, Geordi rushed in. "Any improvement?" he asked. Katina shook her head. "We should get him to sickbay then, most of his diagnostic equipment is there. How much can you lift?"
"Not a lot," Katina replied, wondering what that was supposed to be about.
"I suppose carrying him's out of the question then," Geordi said. He tapped his combadge. "LaForge to Sickbay," he called out.
"Crusher here," Beverly responded.
"I need to get Data to sickbay, it looks like his virus has taken a turn for the worse. Have the transporter chief beam him over there and I'll be up as soon as possible," Geordi explained.
"I'll come too," Katina added.
"It might be best for you just to stay here or go back to your quarters," Geordi began, but Katina interrupted him.
"I know a little about technology, and it just wouldn't feel right for me to sit here and do nothing when one of my friends is in danger," she explained, "I promise I won't get in the way."
"Alright," Geordi sighed, "Dr. Crusher, I'm bringing Katina with me too. She insists on coming."
"Ok, standby to have Data transported," Beverly said. A few seconds later, Data was beamed out of his own bed and rematerialized on a biobed in sickbay. When that was done, Geordi and Katina left Data's quarters to go to sickbay.
They arrived to find Data lying on a biobed, hooked up to his diagnostic equipment. "It doesn't look good, Geordi," Beverly said.
Geordi looked at a readout on the diagnostic computer. "It looks like the virus is affecting many of his systems," he said. He punched in some commands. "And I don't see his anti-virus program in here. The virus must've taken it out."
"Now what do we do?" Beverly wondered.
"We could try what happened with the Iconian virus," Geordi suggested, "His systems were completely shut down and memory was wiped from the moment of infection."
"Is there a command for that in there?" Beverly asked.
Geordi looked through a list of the many programs Data had. "Doesn't look like it, and I'd rather not mess with his self-repair program. I'd hate to have to recode it if something went wrong."
"How did he even pick up this virus?" Katina asked.
"The virus left the control center's computer network and entered him through the physical link he established with the main computer," Geordi explained.
"Then why not hook him up to a different computer and see if the virus will leave him alone and affect the other computer?" Katina suggested.
"All the computers on the ship are a part of the ship's network, except these diagnostic machines," Geordi said.
"Can't you just take a computer off the ship's network?" Katina asked, "If you did, you could hook Data up to it without any risk to the ship, and if my idea works then the virus will go in there and leave Data alone."
"I can, but it takes a few minutes," Geordi replied, "Run down to engineering and ask Lt. Barclay for a computer we can use. I've left him in charge for now."
"Yes sir," Katina acknowledged, leaving sickbay as quickly as she could. She got inside a turbolift and ordered it to take her to engineering. Once there, she approached a rather nervous looking lieutenant whom she assumed was Barclay.
"Lt. Barclay?" she asked.
"Yes? How can I help you?" Barclay replied, "Wait, you shouldn't be down here, you're just a kid."
"Commander LaForge sent me," Katina explained, "I need to bring him a computer that he can disconnect from the network and link with Data physically."
"Oh yes, I heard about Data," Barclay said, "Is he alright?"
"Not really," Katina replied.
"Right, I should get you that computer then," Barclay said. He went off somewhere and came back with a small computer that had an access port that Data could connect to. "This should work," he said, "I hope everything works out alright."
"I hope so too," Katina said, taking the computer. It was kinda heavy. "Thanks," she added, heading back to the turbolift and ordering it to take her to sickbay.
Once she got back to sickbay, she saw that Data had taken a turn for the worse. Though he remained asleep, he'd started coughing violently.
"The virus is causing his internal systems to start attacking each other," Beverly stated as Katina handed the computer to Geordi. "Better hurry up with that."
Geordi got the necessary cords ready but didn't connect to the computer yet. He turned it on and spent a few minutes trying to disconnect it from the ship's network. By the time he'd finished, Data had started convulsing, much like he did when Lore had rapidly pressed his off switch. Beverly and Katina held Data as still as they could while Geordi connected the cable. Once the link had been successfully established, the coughing and seizures subsided. Geordi checked the status both on the diagnostic equipment and the computer.
"I think it's working! The virus is leaving Data's systems and entering this computer!" Geordi commented.
Once the diagnostic equipment showed that the virus no longer resided in Data, Geordi disconnected him from the computer. Data had calmed down completely. He was no longer coughing or sneezing, but had returned to the regular snoring and movements he had added to his sleep routine.
"Should we wake him, or let him sleep this off?" Katina asked.
"We need to know if everything's alright," Beverly said. She gently tapped Data on the shoulder while calling to him. Data's eyes slowly opened.
"What am I doing in sickbay?" he asked, looking around and still sounding a little weak. He tried to sit up, but Beverly stopped him.
"Stay put, I need to run some more scans to see if everything's normal again," she said. She ran a few scans and reported the news. "There's a bit of internal damage but it's minimal," she explained, "You should be able to correct everything yourself with a bit of rest."
"But I do not require…"
"I said REST, Data," Beverly stressed, "Take it easy for a bit. Besides, it'll probably be a while before your internal temperature returns to a safe operating level. Considering how high your temperature got I'm surprised your skin hadn't started melting. It is declining steadily, though, which is a very good sign."
"It's good to see you're ok, Data," Katina said, giving the android a hug, "We were really worried when you wouldn't wake up."
Data was a tad bewildered by this display of affection and concern, but awkwardly returned the hug anyway, patting Katina on the back in a reassuring manner.
"How did you find a way to remove the virus?" Data asked Geordi.
"Actually, Katina came up with that idea," Geordi explained, "We hooked you up to a computer that we had disconnected from the ship's network and the virus left you and infected it. Just like how you took it from the climate control center."
"And what will we do with that computer now that it is infected?" Data asked.
"I think we should let Katina decide that," Geordi grinned.
"Well I can think of two possibilities," she said, "One: Keep the virus on that computer and use the computer to work on a way to destroy it for good, so we know what to do next time. Or two: Beam the computer out into space and leave it particleized so that the virus will never bother anyone again. In my personal opinion, I kinda like the second option," she added with a smirk.
"It would be incredibly beneficial to find out how to destroy this virus the proper way," Geordi said, "just in case there are others out there like it. But if this computer's infected, it'll become inoperable like the consoles at the climate control center, so we would have no way of working on a solution." A grin spread across his face as he considered the second option. "Care to do the honors, Katina?"
"I don't know how to work a transporter!" Katina replied.
"I can show you what to do," Geordi said, picking up the computer. "Wow, this thing's getting warm already!"
"Wanna come watch, Data?" Katina asked.
"He's not going anywhere till I say it's ok," Beverly stated before Data could speak up, "I want to make sure everything's just fine before he leaves here."
"Doctor, the virus is gone," Data explained, already sounding stronger, "My condition will not deteriorate any further. My internal temperature is quickly returning to normal. And I assure you that I will rest and perform the necessary repairs once I return to my quarters."
"Fine," Beverly sighed, "Go watch Katina beam that thing off the ship, but right after that return to your quarters, repair everything, and let yourself cool down. Promise?"
"You have my word, Doctor," Data assured her. He sat up, got off the biobed, and followed Katina and Geordi to the transporter room.
I really didn't have to do much modification on this one, actually...
A Strong Feeling by ProudNerd
It took about a day for Data to return to peak operating efficiency. It was almost as though he had never had the virus. He returned to his duties as soon as possible, but still took some time to hang out with Katina.
About a week later, the Enterprise reached the outer boundaries of Noznian and Lylatian space. They were still a few weeks from Noz, but they would be passing a few neighboring star systems, including the Lylat system, since that was the last known location of Katina's uncle.
"Captain, we are being hailed," Worf announced, "It is from General Klopford."
"Where is it coming from?" Picard asked, "There are no ships around here."
"It is coming from the Noznian military headquarters on their home planet," Worf replied.
"Quite an impressive long range communication system they have…" Riker commented.
"On screen," Picard ordered.
An older, yet very athletic looking man with short, spiky gray hair appeared on the screen. The sash on his uniform was highly decorated with various medals and ribbons and he had five stars above his nametag.
"General Klopford, what a pleasant surprise speaking with you so soon," Picard said.
"Hello, Captain," General Klopford replied, "I trust Katina is well?"
"She is doing quite well here, and even making friends with a few of my staff," Picard said, "Is there something we can assist you with?"
"Yes, there is, actually," the General replied, "I have a mission for Katina. A test of her abilities. If she is to take command anytime soon we need to be sure she is capable."
"And how are we supposed to help test her abilities without revealing that she is to become your successor?" Picard asked.
"Quite simple, really, and she'll be eager to jump at the chance," the General explained, "I want you to send her with one of your crewmembers to survey a nearby planet. I'm sending you the coordinates now. Tell her it's a good learning experience. This planet in particular once hosted a conflict between the Noznians and the Wardons. As a matter of fact, this battle was the one my father died in. If she does indeed have the abilities we're looking for, she will find something very special there without even knowing beforehand that there was once a battle. All you need to tell her is that this planet could possibly have once been a Noznian colony."
"And which member of my staff should I send?" Picard asked.
"Anyone you feel she would be comfortable with," the General said.
"Very well," Picard replied. "Mr. Data, would you accompany Katina on this mission?"
"Gladly, sir," Data nodded.
"The android, eh?" Klopford commented. "Hmm, my granddaughter always made interesting choices in friends. Oh, and Starfleet wanted me to pass along this message: They want you to survey other M-class planets in this area in the meantime. Might like to set up a few colonies along the Noznian border someday after all this business with the Wardons is over. We'd be happy to accept them here, and I'm sure our Lylatian neighbors would appreciate some new friends."
"Do you think it wise for us to leave your granddaughter behind on some alien planet?" Picard asked.
"THAT is why I wanted you to send a crewmember with her, to supervise and protect her. And since you're sending her in a shuttlecraft they can return once they're done down there without having to wait for you guys to get within transporter range. Recent scans have shown no indications of intelligent life down there for the last decade anyway, and atmospheric conditions have always been fairly calm," Klopford explained.
"Very well," Picard said, "we will send her with Commander Data when we arrive at the planet. Picard out." The communication was closed.
Picard faced Data. "Mr. Data, please go inform Katina about her mission. Tell her that we wanted to send someone down to investigate what could be an ancient Noznian colony and that we thought she might like to assist. You will be departing from shuttlebay two at 1500 hours."
"Aye sir," Data acknowledged, getting up from his station and heading toward the turbolift.
(a few minutes later)
"C'mon in," Katina called out when she heard her door chime go off. Data entered the room. "Oh, hey Data," Katina greeted him, "I was about to get a snack. Care to join me?"
"No, thank you," Data replied.
"Well, have a seat or something at least," Katina said as she walked over to the replicator. "Beef jerky," she ordered, and a plate full of pieces of dried meat appeared. She took them over to the table and sat down. Data sat down with her.
As Data was about to speak, Katina stood up again. "Dang, forgot to get a drink," she said. She walked back order to the replicator and ordered "a glass of blockberry juice."
"There is no pattern on file for that item," the computer replied, "Please provide a molecular sample."
"Gah! Fine then, peppermint hot chocolate," Katina turned around and glanced back at Data, leaning against the wall. "Y'all don't have blockberry juice?"
"I have never heard of a blockberry before," Data replied.
Katina grabbed her drink and sat back down. "Really? Geez I keep forgetting how little you know about our planet. A blockberry is a big, blue, rectangular berry. It kinda tastes like a raspberry from Earth, only it's sweeter. The exterior is kinda tough and thick and really fun to chew, and inside is a pocket of the best tasting juice you could ever get from a fruit. You don't even have to add preservatives, sweeteners, or even food coloring to it. It's extremely good right from the berry. I'll have to get some for y'all when we get to Noz." She picked up a piece of jerky. "So, uh, what did you want to see me about?"
"We have found a planet that may have possibly once been home to a colony of Noznians," Data explained. He had been working on how to best "lie" about the mission while walking to the room. "Starfleet wants us to check other planets in the area as well, so Captain Picard has ordered me to go to this planet and survey it. He has also asked if you might want to come along."
"Heck yes I'd want to come along!" Katina exclaimed, "An old Noznian colony? Cool! And if there's no one down there now… I bet there was a battle!"
Data could see what the General meant now. He was surprised at how quickly Katina's thoughts turned to the possibility of battle.
"We're taking a shuttle, right? I hate transporters…" Katina asked.
"Yes," Data said, "We will be departing from shuttlebay two at 1500 hours."
"Can I help fly the shuttle?" Katina asked eagerly.
Data thought for a moment. "No," he replied, "You do not have the proper clearance to operate one of our shuttles."
"Aww, you're no fun!" Katina said.
Data thought about it a little more. "I could explain the functions and controls of the shuttle to you on the way if you wish."
"Eh, better than nothing," Katina replied.
Data's combadge chirped. "Commander Data, please report to the bridge."
"Acknowledged," Data replied. He stood up. "I must return to my duties now."
"Ok," Katina said, "See you later then!"
At the pre-arranged time, Katina met with Data in shuttlebay two, and they both boarded the shuttle. Data initiated the launch sequence, once again a perfect model of proper protocols and procedures. Once they cleared the shuttle and were on their way to the bluish gray planet below, Data began to explain the controls to Katina. She did her best to follow his highly technical explanations, and was even able to guess a few things herself.
"You seem to have a great deal of knowledge for someone so young," Data said, impressed at one of Katina's guesses as to what a certain display meant.
"I have my own plane at my grandpa's house," she explained, "I was a licensed pilot at the age of 8. Not unusual for most children on Noz to start pursuing more… 'grown-up' pastimes. I assume you know about our military?"
"Yes, I do," Data said, "A rather fascinating idea."
"I was going to join," Katina said, "But then dad got called to the starbase since they needed his engineering expertise on something, and he took me with him since he didn't want us to become separated for so long." She glanced out the windows and continued. "Most kids my age would have already completed the basic military training in their schools and been assigned to a division by now."
"Do all children on Noz have to participate in this training?" Data asked.
"It's mandatory for Noznian children, but optional for humans," Katina explained, "If a parent doesn't want their kid to do it, all they have to do is tell the school no and the child will go through a normal human education. Most kids want to participate, since they think becoming young soldiers like their Noznian counterparts is really cool, but the parents always have the final say. Surprisingly to most outsiders, a lot of parents will actually approve of their kid joining the military so young, since most kids these days are the children of parents who served as kids themselves, and are STILL SERVING as adults. My mom was in the military, of course. She was supposed to take Grandpa's place as General, since she was his oldest child. Dad didn't want to be in the military, and wasn't too keen on the idea of me joining either. Sometimes I think that's one of the reasons why he brought me with him to the starbase…"
Something beeped on Data's console, indicating that they were on the final approach to the planet's surface and that autopilot would soon be disabled. Data took the controls once again and began their descent, advising Katina to buckle up "just to be safe."
As they flew down, Data also performed a scan, which basically told them everything the General had said before: No signs of sentient life, though there was some vegetation. What intrigued Data about the scan was that it indicated an odd energy source, which Katina suggested was simply something the Noznians or the Wardons may have left behind.
They landed very smoothly in a clearing amidst some rocks and trees. Once Data had confirmed that the air was indeed breathable, both he and Katina left the shuttlecraft.
An odd, yet powerful feeling overcame Katina as she set foot on the grayish soil. She stood very still and silent for a moment. "There's something… something around here. It's very important that I find it."
"What is it?" Data asked.
"I'm not sure," Katina replied, "It's a strong, almost urgent feeling. Nothing dangerous, but it's like something is calling to me, drawing me near."
She began to walk towards the forest of trees. Data quickly followed her. "It is not wise to go off on your own," he said.
"I assumed you'd follow me anyway," she said, continuing to walk forward. "And if this feeling I have is right, you're in for a really awesome experience…"
"What is this feeling you have?"
"There was most definitely a battle here… in this very forest," Katina replied, "And we won it. I never thought I'd get to see this for myself…"
"See what?" Data asked. He was really confused by this point.
Katina turned and looked at him with a grin on her face. "The Spirit Charge," she said.
ZOMGWTFCLIFFHANGER!!! Hehe, not really. The next chapter will probably be posted before this one even gets validated.
The Spirit Charge by ProudNerd
Hokay, this is where that "fantasy" genre tag really comes in. This may start to drift a little far from the realm of sci-fi but hey, you've been warned. And I assure you this is probably as weird as it gets. At least it's entertaining, right?
Also, there's an illustration that goes with this chapter, but I haven't finished redrawing it on the computer yet.
"Please explain," Data said.
"The Spirit Charge can only be observed on battlegrounds that the Noznians have won," Katina explained, "The spirits of the fallen soldiers from our side, both Noznian and human, stand on a hill… all the battlegrounds we've fought on have hills… in the formation that they stood in at the very beginning of the battle. They then perform what is known as the Spirit Charge, where they do the Phoenix Dash, the standard opening move of our warfare, and charge at where the enemy stood. The spirits then go on to reenact their final moments on the battlefield, and fall where they had fallen in battle, echoing their last words as they vanish once again." Katina smiled as she remembered something her grandpa had told her. "Sometimes, a solider will know in his final dying moments that the battle will be won, and that his ghost will remain on the field forever, so he'll say something special that he will want to have echoed for all eternity. My grandpa says that those messages are the most important."
They walked further through the forest, Katina leading the way, until they came to a clearing behind a few bushes. There was a giant hill leading down into the forest. "This is it, this has to be," Katina said. She looked down at the bushes in front of them and noticed a number of large, blue, rectangular berries, some slightly bigger than her own hand. "Hey look!" she exclaimed, "Blockberries!" She sat down and picked a couple berries, offering one to Data. He took it and examined it, sitting down on the ground next to Katina, who was trying to come up with a good way to puncture the thick skin of the berry.
"The phenomenon you have just described, although quite intriguing, seems theoretically impossible," Data said.
"How so?" Katina asked, looking up from her berry.
"Ghosts and spirits do not exist," Data explained, "If one sees a ghost, it is usually a trick of the mind. My positronic brain only perceives my surroundings exactly as they are, with no influence from imagination. Even if you ended up seeing this 'Spirit Charge,' I would most likely be incapable of witnessing it."
"But it does happen!" Katina argued, "My grandpa has seen it himself twice! He saw the one where the first General, his great-grandfather, died! And the feeling I have right now is so strong… I know it will happen here!"
"I am still highly skeptical," Data said, "But I will wait here with you."
"Thank you," Katina said, smiling, "Now, let's eat some berries!"
Before Katina attempted to bite a hole in the skin of the blockberry, Data stopped her. "It is not a good idea to eat any random berry you find," he explained, "It could be poisonous."
"Trust me, Data, I know a blockberry bush when I see one. There are tons of them growing in the field around my grandpa's house," Katina explained, "Test it yourself first if it'll make you feel any better. I assume it won't affect you if it is bad, right?"
"No, it will not," Data said. He put half the berry into his mouth (since it was too big to eat whole) and bit down on it, and was instantly squirted with deep blue juice in his face and on his uniform. Katina couldn't help rolling on the ground with laughter. After a momentary pause where he adjusted his hold on the berry so it wouldn't spill anymore, Data finished biting off a piece and proceeded to chew it, which took a while, as the skin had the consistency of saltwater taffy. He then swallowed and processed the information he had gathered. "It is safe," he concluded, wiping the blue juice from his face with his hand, then wiping that on his pant leg. It didn't show on the black parts of his uniform, but there wasn't much he could do about the juice that had gotten on the yellow part. "You were correct."
"See? Told ya!" Katina laughed. "But you went about eating it the wrong way! Do it like that and you'll get squirted every time! See, what you're supposed to do is bite a small hole in it first, like this," she explained, demonstrating by biting off a corner of the berry, "And then you drink the juice, and when that's done, you eat the skin." She then proceeded to drink the juice from the berry. Data followed suit, drinking what was left in his berry. When they were finished, Katina picked a few more and put them in the pockets of her vest, saying she wanted Captain Picard and Commander Riker to try it too, but she couldn't hold very many since they were so big. As she picked a third berry, one for Geordi, a dense mist started rolling in, resting on the ground around them.
"Quite unusual," Data commented, "I do not recall there being any bodies of water nearby that could produce such a mist."
"It's starting!" Katina exclaimed, "The Spirit Charge!" She turned around to face the hill. "THERE! See them?"
Data turned his head to look in the direction Katina was looking, and much to his surprise, he DID see ghosts on the hill. Many were humans, and almost as many were smaller figures who appeared to be hooded, with long, tentacle-like arms and no legs, but they had feet that resembled flippers. Data assumed (correctly) that these shorter warriors were Noznians, though he'd never seen one before. Most of them stood, with weapons and shields in hand, while some were mounted on horses, and others mounted on large reptiles that resembled raptors. And… he could hardly believe what he was seeing… one was even mounted on what appeared to be a dragon.
Katina noticed it too. "Ooh… they lost a dragon in this one? Must've been one hell of a fight!" she commented.
The ghostly figures on the hill were joined by one more: A man on a horse who appeared at the very top of the hill and raised his sword. Even from this distance, Katina could tell who it was.
"No…" she gasped, "It can't be! That's… That's my grandpa's dad!"
Data, using his superior vision, examined the ghost that Katina was referring to. Sure enough, at least from this distance, he bore a striking resemblance to General Klopford. But of course, this could not be the General Klopford that they knew, since Data knew full well that he was safe at home on Noz.
The man with his sword in the air pointed it forward, as if giving an order to charge. On this signal, the soldiers spread their arms wide open, holding them slightly behind, and charged forward at full speed; the humans running as fast as they could towards the enemy, while the Noznians waddled, hopped, or even rolled down the hill. They did a surprisingly good job of keeping up with the rest of the army.
As they approached where the enemy had once stood, they brought their shields and weapons forward, ready to strike. And strike they did, with amazing ferocity, speed, and force. It was quite a sight to behold, even if it did look rather odd that these ghosts appeared to be fighting nothing but air.
The calvary then rode in, and the dragon took flight, swooping down to claw and bite the enemies. A good deal of the ghostly soldiers had already fallen, crying out for their mothers, or families, or a comrade with their final words. Some, knowing that their words would echo forever after, shouted words of advice or even humorous remarks as they fell once again.
The army had clearly broken through the enemy line, and was charging into the forest, some leaping over the bush that Katina and Data were sitting behind. They instinctively ducked, though the ghosts would've passed right through them if they had made contact. They heard a loud roar in the air as the dragon fell from the sky, vanishing when he crashed into the ground. The remaining soldiers continued to charge into the forest.
"Should we follow them?" Data asked Katina over the cries of more fallen soldiers.
"Yes," Katina said, "My great-grandpa is in there. I want to see what happened to him." They both stood up and walked deeper into the forest, being run through by a charging soldier that they didn't see coming.
Katina seemed to be following an instinct as they continued through the forest, surrounded by echoes of the battle that had taken place long ago. Data followed her, since somehow she appeared to know exactly where she was going. They eventually arrived at a small clearing, with one small boulder in the middle. Here, they saw the General of this army, without his horse (which they concluded had already been killed), facing off against an unseen adversary. He fought well, dodging and blocking invisible blows, and then delivered one mighty thrust with his sword, and held it there for a while. Clearly a finishing blow against a major adversary.
"This must be where he killed their leader," Katina said, watching in awe.
Sure enough, whatever he had just killed had fallen, and he retrieved his sword. He stood there, with his sword and shield down, looking triumphant.
But then, he lurched forward as though he had just been stabbed in the back with great force. And with one final, half whispered cry of "As long as a Klopford leads this army... we... shall always be... victorious. My descendants... will lead us to glory!" he fell forward, through the boulder on the ground.
The cries of the soldiers eventually died down and ceased altogether as the mist vanished. And in the spot where the spirit of the General had fallen, there was a sword that had been stabbed into the ground. The name "Klopford" had been engraved on the hilt, and the pommel was decorated with red and blue stones that glinted faintly in the moonlight. In front of the sword rested a red heater shield that bore the Klopford family's insignia: A large, eight pointed gold star inside a solid blue circle with a gold outline, and four smaller eight pointed stars surrounding it.
"No way!" Katina exclaimed, "His sword and shield? Here? My grandpa would definitely want these brought back!"
"Are they not meant as a monument?" Data asked as Katina walked towards the sword and shield.
"No, that's what the boulder's for," Katina explained, "Notice he fell right through it. That means it wasn't there when he died." She examined the boulder closer. "See? They even wrote on it."
As Data approached, Katina began to read the inscription out loud:
"Here lies General Martin Klopford,
The third leader of the Noznian Army,
On the exact spot that he fell in battle.
May he rest in peace.
The sword and shield that we leave here
Once belonged to him.
They may only be removed by a
Descendant of the Klopford family."
"Sounds an awful lot like that King Arthur story, huh? With the sword and the stone and all that…" Katina commented.
"If the inscription is correct," Data remarked, "Then you are the only one here who can remove the sword, though I question the validity of the inscription… how would a sword know who was pulling it?"
"Magic, I guess," Katina chuckled. "Yeah I fit the description but I never believed something like that was ever possible except in fairy tales. Besides, no one thinks I inherited any of the special abilities my mother or my uncle or my grandpa have." She thought for a moment. "I want to test this out… You try pulling it first. If anyone else could do it, it would be you since you're so strong. Just don't break the sword or anything."
Data stepped forward, and grabbed the sword by the hilt with one hand, and pulled upward…
The sword did not budge.
Intrigued, he grabbed the hilt with two hands and pulled with all his might…
Again, nothing happened. No matter how hard Data tugged at the sword, it was going nowhere. The sword didn't even feel like it was going to break, either. He tried to pick up the shield, and even THAT didn't move.
"You're kidding…" Katina said. "You're just messing around with me, right Data?"
"I am not 'messing around,'" Data replied. "I cannot remove that sword."
"No way…! You mean…?"
She walked forward, and grabbed the hilt of the sword. The instant she made contact with it the stones seemed to shine brighter than before. She pulled upward, and the sword came out easily.
"WHOA!" she exclaimed, as the blade briefly glowed a bright shade of aquamarine before returning to normal. She reached down to grab the shield, and picked it up with ease. Even Data was surprised by what had just happened. He had struggled with all his might to lift that sword and shield, and neither would budge, no matter how much force he applied. Yet this fifteen-year-old girl had just picked them up with no trouble at all!
Katina stood there, proudly grinning as she faced Data. "And you thought there was no such thing as ghosts or magic!"
Meanwhile... by ProudNerd
I guess you could kinda call this Chapter 6.5... and HERE is where the Starfox references make their main appearance!
Meanwhile, back on the Enterprise…
"Sir, sensors have picked up a small craft at the edge of the Lylat system," said the Ensign who had taken over Ops while Data was with Katina.
"On screen," Picard ordered.
The viewscreen switched to show a small starfighter adrift in space, its engines dead.
"Any lifeforms on board?" Picard asked.
"Yes sir, one, but I can't tell what species," replied the Ensign.
"That must be the pilot. Hail them," Picard said.
"As a matter of fact, they are hailing US. I'm putting them on the viewscreen now."
The picture on the viewscreen changed again to reveal the face of a humanoid bird with purple feathers and a yellow beak.
"Whoever's out there, I'm glad you're here," said the birdman, "I am Colonel Peter Klopford of the Noznian Armed Forces."
Picard stared at him in disbelief. "General Klopford's son?!"
"Yes," replied the birdman, "I understand if you're skeptical, and I would be happy to explain what happened, but first I would appreciate it if you could bring my ship into your shuttlebay. My engines are dead and there are Venomian fighters trying to hunt me down."
"I sense no deception from him, Captain," Troi commented, "He is who he says he is."
"Very well. Ensign, lock on with a tractor beam and bring the ship into the shuttlebay. I will meet him there," Picard stood up and straightened his shirt. "Number One you have the bridge. Counselor Troi, you're with me."
Picard and Troi headed for the turbolift and Riker took Picard's seat. The Ensign at Ops proceeded with his orders and locked on to the small craft.
When Picard and Troi arrived in the shuttlebay, the starfighter had just been brought in. The cockpit opened and Peter jumped out. His arms resembled wings more than arms, but he had what appeared to be normal shaped hands, except they were covered by the same kind of purple feathers that covered the rest of his body. His legs were covered with feathers down to where his knees should be, and the rest of his legs were a typical scaly yellow bird's leg. He even had a set of tail feathers.
"Thanks," he said to Picard, offering a handshake. "Life support can only last me so long."
Picard shook the birdman's hand briefly. "I would greatly appreciate an explanation as to what has happened here."
"Certainly," Peter replied, "I was out here training two new pilots in these starfighters, Falco Lombardi and Katt Monroe. We ended up passing a little too close to Venom, the giant green planet at the edge of the system. An evil scientist named Andross is currently exiled there. He captured us and turned us into… animals, I guess. Falco became a bird like myself, only his feathers were blue, and Katt was turned into… well… a pink cat."
"And where are your students now?" Picard asked.
"We all managed to escape Venom and sought refuge on Corneria. There we found a large population of other humanoid animals like ourselves, only they had always been that way. Falco and Katt decided to stay there and eventually help Corneria fight against Andross. I left because I have a duty to my homeworld. You are familiar with the prophecy about my family, right?"
"Yes, General Klopford briefed us on that before we went to go pick up Katina," Picard acknowledged.
"You have Katina here?" Peter asked.
"She is not on board at the moment," Picard explained, "Your father contacted us recently with a mission for her. She is currently on a planet nearby that used to have a Noznian colony. My second officer, Lt. Commander Data, is accompanying her."
"Good, good…" Peter sighed, "I'm sure there was a good reason for my father to send her on a mission so soon when she hasn't yet joined our military. As a matter of fact, I am concerned as to whether or not I still possess the powers I once had as a human. Without those abilities, I wouldn't be a very successful General. But if Katina had them, she could take my father's place instead."
"You seem so quick to doubt yourself, Colonel," Troi pointed out.
"It's obvious that I'm already lacking tactical prowess," Peter said, pointing to the damage on his ship, "I've NEVER had that much trouble against a small squad of fighters before!"
"Your father thought you may have been killed, which is why we are taking Katina with us to Noz," Picard explained, "He wanted to inform her that she would most likely be his successor. We've been instructed to not tell her about this, but if she were to see you and discover you are lacking your special powers, she would probably figure it out."
"Well dad never told ME not to say anything," Peter replied with a smirk. "She will need to know anyway. Now's not the time for secrets or surprises or childish games. If Katina's going to be the new General then she needs to know soon and she'll have to do a lot of growing up rather quickly. I'll need to speak to her the moment she gets back."
"Which should be soon, in fact," Picard remembered. "We are supposed to be rendezvousing with their shuttle soon. In the meantime, you will stay with us. I suggest you go to sickbay so Dr. Crusher can examine you and determine what kind of damage may have been done by your transformation, and then you will be shown to your quarters. Counselor Troi will escort you."
"Awesome, thanks," Peter replied in a manner that suggested he was smiling, though it was hard to tell with his beak.
"If you'll follow me, Colonel," Troi said, indicating the door.
"Please, call me Peter," he said as he approached Troi. He offered his feathery arm, and the two of them left for sickbay, followed by Picard who headed back to the bridge.
Aaaaaand... we have now reached the point where I left off! I have alot of the next chapter written, but it's in desperate need of some work.
This took a LOOONG time to get right.
Also, there's a line in the script for Insurrection that wasn't included in the movie, which says that Data is capable of exceeding speeds of 47 meters per second. THAT'S where I got the statistic from. And, for those of y'all who need a conversion... That's equal to about 105 miles per hour. Damn, that android's FAST!
Katina and Data left the forest and headed back to the shuttlecraft, satisfied that they had seen enough on the planet to make for a rather interesting report to the Captain. The shield was beginning to feel a little too heavy for Katina, so Data had offered to carry it. Now that it had been removed from its resting place by the right person, anyone could hold it. The same held true for the sword, though the jewels on the pommel did not shine as brightly when Data had asked to examine it. He had offered to carry the sword back to the shuttle as well, but Katina had grown rather fond of it and insisted on carrying it back. She was absentmindedly dragging the blade along the ground, leaving a little trail in the dirt as they walked.
"You will dull the blade if you continue dragging the sword like that," Data commented as they walked. Katina heeded his warning and sheathed the sword by tucking it in her belt. The sword was clearly sized for an adult, as it nearly touched the ground when sheathed, owing to Katina's small stature.
"I'm sure I know what kind of sword this is…" Katina joked, "a longsword! Get it?" She looked at Data with a very hopeful expression. There was no way anyone could NOT get this joke. "Long sword… longsword?"
Data didn't seem to get the joke. "That is why they call it a longsword, is it not?"
The hopeful look on Katina's face vanished. "Never mind," she sighed.
There was a moment of awkward silence, which Data decided to break. "Do you realize that we still have not determined the source of that odd energy pattern?" he asked.
"Maybe it was the spirits, or the powers that held the sword and shield?" Katina suggested.
"Perhaps," Data acknowledged, "We should run another scan once we get back to the shuttle."
"Will you let me fly this time?" Katina asked, hopeful once again.
Data paused a moment before replying. "Once we have reached orbit, yes," he said with a slight smile on his face, knowing this news would make Katina very happy. And he was right, because when he glanced over at Katina, she was positively beaming.
They arrived at the shuttle and deposited the shield behind the seats. Katina kept the sword in her belt. Data began scanning for the energy source using the shuttle's sensors.
"I am picking up something," he said, "But it is difficult to pinpoint from this location. We would get a much more accurate reading from orbit."
With that, they secured the doors and Data began the launch sequence, punching in commands that made the shuttle lift off from the surface.
Before they broke cloud cover though… there was a loud BANG and the shuttle rocked violently. "What the hell was that?!" Katina exclaimed, worried.
Again, another loud bang, and this time they could both see what was happening. There was a phaser cannon on the surface that they hadn't seen before, but they could certainly see it now because it was firing a bright pink beam at them.
"We are rapidly losing power," Data announced as the third shot rocked the shuttle. "Failures on multiple systems. We will not be able to control the shuttle for much longer. Brace for impact."
"Well at least we know where that energy reading was coming from now!" Katina shouted as she fumbled for the seatbelt, but couldn't get to it in time since the shuttle was now in a freefall.
The shuttle fell right out of the sky and Data did his best to make the crash as smooth as possible, but there's not much you can do when the controls are dead.
A panel blew up in Data's face, windows broke, things went flying, and Katina flew backwards out of her chair, landing facedown near where they had placed the shield. A fire started, and a piece of heavy debris landed right on Katina's leg.
"OW!" Katina screamed.
Data immediately turned around to render aid. Using his android strength, he lifted the piece of metal off of Katina and pulled her out of harm's way. There was a gash in her lower right leg, and blood was beginning to stain her pants. He took out his tricorder to see if there were any other hazards, and found that there was a radiation leak from one of the nacelles.
"There is a radiation hazard here," he explained, "You must get as far from here as possible."
"Data, I can't stand on this leg!" Katina exclaimed as she tried to get up. Data could tell from the sound of her voice that she was in a lot of pain and very scared.
"Then I will carry you," Data said. He holstered his tricorder and grabbed some medical kits with one arm, and wrapped his other arm around Katina. "Hold on to me," he ordered, and she wrapped her arms around his neck for extra support, resting her head on his shoulder. As he left the shuttle, Katina realized they were forgetting something.
"What about the shield?" she asked.
"We do not have time, and I can only carry so much with two hands," Data explained. "You have the sword, correct?"
"Yes," Katina replied, looking down at where the sword dangled from her belt. Data acknowledged Katina's reply and carried her and the medical kits away from the shuttle as fast as he could.
Once they had gotten about a kilometer away from the crash site, Data asked Katina to hold the medical kits for a moment while he got out his tricorder. He scanned the horizon to see if there were any caves or shelter nearby, and located one three miles away. Holstering the tricorder, he took the medical kits back from Katina and told her to hold on tightly, then took off for the cave at a fast but safe speed of 40 miles per hour.
"I had no clue you could run this fast!" Katina exclaimed.
"I am capable of exceeding speeds of 47 meters per second," Data explained. "I did not want to risk you losing your grip or becoming injured any further."
"You mean you can run FASTER than this? What's the rush anyway?" Katina asked.
"I have located a cave three miles in this direction," Data said, "It would be best to seek shelter there as soon as possible. The shuttle is no longer safe due to the radiation leak."
"It's getting cold out here," Katina noticed, starting to shiver a little, "and I'm starting to feel weak."
Data recognized these symptoms, since he had taken classes in emergency first aid. She was starting to lose too much blood. "Katina," he said in a stern, concerned voice, "It is imperative that you remain conscious until I am able to tend to your leg. We are almost at the cave."
About a minute or so later, they arrived, and it was all Katina could do to keep from passing out. Data entered the cave, and gently laid Katina against a boulder just inside the cave entrance.
"Can I go to sleep now?" Katina asked weakly.
"No," Data said. "I must fix your leg first. Forgive me," he apologized, as he made a tear from the cuff of Katina's pant leg up to the knee so he would be able to clean and bandage it properly. He opened one of the kits and found a medical tricorder inside. He used that to determine where and how severe the break was. He located it midway between the knee and the ankle. A clean, but complete break.
"I will need to set the bone before I can wrap up your leg," he explained, "This will be painful."
"Is it ok if I yell when it hurts?" Katina said, fighting against the pain she was already feeling.
"Why would it not be?" Data asked, utterly confused.
"Dad used to get mad at me if I made too much of a fuss when a doctor did something painful to me," Katina explained. "Besides, I wouldn't want to give away our position to whoever shot at us."
"We are sufficiently far from them," Data said. "You may yell."
"Ok, but warn me before you do it," Katina requested, "on the count of three or something."
"If you wish," Data said. He held on to Katina's leg and she made fists with both her hands, trying to brace herself for the pain. "Are you prepared?" he asked. Katina looked him in the eye and nodded, bracing herself as well as she could. "One, two, three…" He set the bone.
"OWWW!!!" Katina cried out so loud that it echoed through the cave. "You're done, right?"
"I am done," Data said, grabbing some gauze, bandages, and a dermal regenerator from the kit. He proceeded to clean the wound (which hurt, but Katina did her best not to yell like she did when the bone was set) and heal where the skin had broken. The kit also contained some pieces of stiff plastic for use in making a splint. Data took the plastic and placed it on either side of the leg before wrapping the whole thing up tightly with a bandage. He then grabbed a smaller rock that looked like it had broken off of the boulder they were next to, and placed Katina's leg on there to elevate it.
"There," he said once he had finished. "You should avoid moving that leg if at all possible."
"Thank you," Katina said, wiping the tears of pain from her eyes. "How did you know what to do?"
"All Starfleet officers are required to complete training in emergency first aid," Data explained, packing up the medical kits. "I have also studied the matter extensively, in the event of a situation where it would be required of me to use this knowledge. This will only suffice for a few days at most. It is imperative that we get you to sickbay as soon as possible, so your leg can be treated properly."
"How long do you think it's gonna be before the Enterprise gets back?" Katina asked.
"I do not know," Data replied as he closed the kit. "They were not supposed to return to this planet. We were supposed to meet them once we had finished here. When they realize we have not returned, they will come and look for us. I would expect the Enterprise to return within a day." He got up and moved around, storing the kits near the side of the larger boulder, and sat down next to Katina, leaning against the boulder.
Katina noticed something as she watched Data. He had several dark burn marks on his face and hands and a small tear in his synthetic skin on his forehead from when the console exploded and a fragment had hit him. "You're injured," Katina pointed out, "Are you ok?"
Data examined the burn marks and put his hand to the tear on his forehead. "It is only minor exterior damage," he replied, pressing the torn skin together so that it would seal itself. There wasn't much he could do about the burn marks at the time. "I am functioning within established parameters." He noticed that Katina still looked very concerned. "You do not need to worry about me," he added, "I am fine. You, however, need to rest."
Katina shifted herself around a little, in an attempt to make herself more comfortable while still keeping her broken leg on the smaller rock. But she was unwilling to rest. The events that had just occurred had really frightened her. What if those guys found them?
"Data, I'm scared," she said, scooting closer to him.
Though he didn't know much about emotion, Data had some experience dealing with scared children. He remembered Sarjenka, and Timothy, and how he had managed to comfort them when they were scared. He wrapped an arm around Katina and held her close. "It will be… ok," he said in as comforting a manner as he could. "I will protect you."
I feel like I'm on a roll now, so I will get to work on the next part as soon as possible!
Finally! It's here! The big dramatic fight scene chapter! :P
Captain's Log, stardate 48xxx.x: We have returned to the rendezvous point where we are supposed to meet with Commander Data's shuttle, but it hasn't arrived yet. It is most unusual for Data to be this far behind schedule, and by this point we are ready to assume the worst.
"Ensign, begin a long range scan. See if they have even left the planet yet," Picard ordered.
"Aye sir," said the random Ensign at Ops as he pushed some buttons on his console.
A few minutes later, something came up.
"Sir, I am detecting an automated distress signal coming from the planet," Worf announced from the tactical station. "It belongs to the shuttlecraft."
"Confirmed," the Ensign added. "I am also detecting multiple lifeforms on the planet."
"Good... wait, MULTIPLE lifeforms?" Riker asked, "Data never registers as an organic lifeform, so we should just be detecting Katina."
"That is true, Number One... So then who else could possibly be down there?" Picard wondered.
---Meanwhile, back down on the planet---
"Katina," Data said, gently moving the young girl that had fallen asleep with her head on his shoulder, "I heard movement outside."
"Mmm?" Katina grunted as she woke up. "Someone's out there? Think it could be a rescue party from the Enterprise?"
"I am not certain," Data replied, "but to be safe, I should move you further inside the cave."
"Ok," Katina nodded, sitting up fully as Data stood up.
"STOP RIGHT THERE!" a nasally voice cried out when Data had knelt down to help Katina up. Both heads quickly snapped around to see who had spoken.
The voice had come from a furry blue alien with feathers on his head and a nose like an elephant's. He wore a red armored jumpsuit and carried a strange looking gun that had a very wide barrel... like a bazooka that had been made shorter.
"Data!" Katina warned. "That's a Wardon!"
"You..." the Wardon growled, looking at Katina, "That's Klopford's sword. You must be his descendant!" He then faced Data and pointed his gun at him. "Hand over the girl and I will spare your life, pale one!"
Data stood fully upright between Katina and the Wardon. "I will not let you harm her," he said.
"Such bravery," the Wardon commented. "Shame I'll have to annihilate you if you get in my way."
"I wouldn't even try if I were you, Wardon!" Katina yelled at the intruder. "Data could kick your ass from here back to your home planet! You'd need a small army to take him down!"
"What a coincidence!" laughed the Wardon. "I just so happen to have one right here!" He made a loud trumpeting noise with his nose, and several Wardons appeared from various hiding places within the cave.
"Katina," Data said, "I appreciate your confidence in my abilities, but I believe this situation may present more of a challenge than we anticipated."
"Uhh… yeah…" Katina replied. "I had no idea they'd planned an ambush."
One of the Wardons who appeared from behind a boulder made a dash at Katina, and Data quickly moved to intercept. But as he did so, the lead Wardon fired his gun, which shot out a large pink bubble that splattered on Data's back. Another Wardon ahead of Data fired a different kind of bubble from his gun, which glowed an angry red. The bubble made contact with the ground between Data and Katina and caused a massive explosion, knocking both a few feet away from either side of the explosion. Data landed on his back, and the sticky substance left by the pink bubble had him pretty well pinned to the ground.
"Data!" Katina yelled.
Data struggled with all his might to get back up, but the sticky trap was too strong. The small army of Wardons positioned themselves around Data and began firing explosive bubbles at him. If the substance hadn't had him glued to the floor of the cave, he would've been blown every which way. There were flashes of fire and loud bangs as the Wardons launched one attack after the other at the now helpless android.
I can't just sit here and do nothing, Katina thought, watching Data suffer the bombardment. I have to help him…
"LEAVE HIM ALONE!!!" she screamed, raising her sword and pointing it at the Wardons.
The blade glowed bright cyan like it had when she initially removed it from its resting place in the middle of the forest, but it didn't stop there. The light grew brighter and brighter, until a beam of energy shot out from the tip of the blade. The beam made contact with the lead Wardon that Katina had been aiming at and hit him square in the chest, burning a hole through his armor.
The Wardon collapsed to the ground, unmistakably dead. His troops turned and faced Katina, now frightened, but determined to avenge their leader's death. They moved away from Data and focused their weapons on her.
"Katina!" Data exclaimed. He struggled even harder and realized that the continuous blasts he'd endured had also weakened the sticky trap. With one mighty effort, he broke free of the trap and charged at the Wardon in the center, taking him down in a powerful tackle. The rest of the group joined in the fray, and Data managed to disarm them all with his speed and strength, crushing each weapon that he got a hold of in his hands.
Knowing better than to attempt to physically overpower an android without their weapons, the group of Wardons ran from the cave and didn't bother looking back. With the threat averted, Data immediately went over to Katina.
"Are you alright?" he asked.
"Yeah…" Katina replied. "Just a little tired now." She looked down at the sword in her hand. "I had no freakin clue that I actually had the same powers as the rest of my family, but I somehow knew what to do." She smiled and looked up at Data, then the smile was quickly lost. "Data! If anyone needs to be asked if they're alright it's you! You look horrible!"
And sure enough, Data did look pretty beat up. His skin was mostly still intact, though burned in some places and covered in dirt and dust, but his uniform was torn and burned in multiple places and his hair was a mess. On top of that, he still had some of the sticky bubble on his back.
"I am functioning within established parameters," Data assured Katina. He ran a quick self-diagnostic to be sure. "None of my systems have been affected. The damage you see is merely external."
"Hello?" called a friendly voice from outside the cave. "Anyone in there?"
"We are here, Commander Riker!" Data shouted in response.
Riker and Worf appeared at the cave entrance and saw Data and Katina inside. "We detected weapons fire earlier," Worf announced. "Are you both ok?"
"Katina needs medical attention," Data explained. "Her leg was broken when the shuttle crashed."
"You don't look too good yourself, Mr. Data," Riker commented.
"I am fine, sir," Data replied.
"Good, but we should have Geordi look you over anyway," Riker said. He tapped his combadge. "Riker to Enterprise. Four to beam directly to sickbay. Have Commander La Forge meet us there."
The four of them vanished from the cave in the shimmering light of the transporter beam.
Chapter 10's being written as we speak, though I'm also distracted by the Round Robin we've got going on...
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.