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 Notes: Finally! It's here! The big dramatic fight scene chapter! :P
Chapter End Notes: Chapter 10's being written as we speak, though I'm also distracted by the Round Robin we've got going on...