written by Travis Cannon

The shuttle craft floated within the boundaries of a greenish dust cloud. The dust cloud was in the middle of an empty part of space. Inside the shuttle craft was Commander Connor Burt and Commander Braxis. Burt was piloting the shuttle craft as Braxis was sitting at the small science station on the shuttle.

“So, Braxis, I bet you're pretty excited about discovering a new nebula,” Burt said.

Braxis turned and looked at Burt.

“Exciting is hardly the word I would choose,” Braxis said. “You humans use so much emotion in your speech, it is amazing that you have achieved so much.”

“Logic not the only thing in the universe that has help cultures achieve things,” Burt defended. “Hey, even the Captain has emotion. Does that make him a bad, uh, person?”

“The Captain is not the one we are discussing,” Braxis said.

“Oh, sorry, I must have misunderstood,” Burt said. “I thought you said, 'You humans' that includes the Captain you realize. I mean he know that he's human.”

“Yes I did say 'You humans,' but I am not in the place to say anything about the Captain,” Braxis said. “And neither do you.”

“Oh please,” Burt said.

“Commander Burt,” Braxis said. “We should continue with our scans.”

“Very well,” Burt said.

Burt steered the shuttle craft towards the nebula. Braxis turned on the communicator.

Pioneer we are about to enter the nebula,” Braxis reported.

“Good luck,” Captain Kelsoe said over the intercom.

“Thank you, sir,” Braxis said in monotone.

“Entering the nebula,” Burt said.

As they entered the shuttle sudden buckled.

“Was that normal?” Burt inquired.

“Taking readings,” Braxis said.

The shuttle continued to rock.

“Excuse me you green blooded bastard,” Burt said. “But is all this a rocking part of this?”

“When we were in the Venka Nebula we were in a large vessel,” Braxis explained. “A shuttle craft is hardly the same as the Pioneer.”

Burt tried to stead the rocking. He looked out the window. He saw bolts of yellow light streak across the green nebula. He looked back at Braxis with a puzzled look.

“You see that?” Burt inquired.

“Curious,” Braxis said raising an eyebrow. “Nebulas usually do not emit bolts like that.”

Another bolt struck, this time closer to the shuttle craft. Braxis had turned back to his station to observe this. He pressed a bunch of buttons.

“I'm analyzing the bolt,” Braxis said. “Intriguing.”

“What?” Burt inquired.

“The bolts seem to be emitting a kind of quantum force unrecorded,” Braxis said.

“Interesting, yes,” Burt said. “But you think its safe to stay here much longer?”

“You probably are right, Commander,” Braxis said. “Staying here much longer might be damaging to the shuttle craft.”

“Yeap,” Burt said as he turned the shuttle around, “not mentioning ourselves.”

Suddenly one of the bolts struck right on top of the shuttle craft. The bolt of yellow light hit Burt. He shock made his body fly off the chair. He hit the floor with a hard thud. Braxis turned around in his chair and saw Burt on the floor. Braxis stood up to help Burt and suddenly another bolt of yellow light struck. This time the bolt struck Braxis, who then collapsed on the floor of the shuttle craft.

Captain Benjamin Kelsoe sat in his ready room looking, staring at the picture of his wife on his desk. He leaned back in his chair talking out loud.

“I miss you Ann,” Kelsoe said. “A lot. I promise you that some way, some how I'll find a way to avenge you. The Borg made it personal.”

The door chimes sounded. Kelsoe quickly sat up.

“Come in,” Kelsoe said.

Commander Tuff walked in.

“Captain,” Tuff said.

“Yes, Commander Tuff,” Kelsoe said.

“We haven't receive word from Commander Burt and Braxis in a long time. I've been having Ensign Carson trying to reach them, but there has been no reply. Kelsoe rubbed his chin and then stood up. Kelsoe and Tuff walked out into the bridge. Tuff took the first officer's chair. Kelsoe walked over to Lt. Craig's station.

“Can you get their position on sensors?” Kelsoe inquired.

“Yes, Captain,” Craig said. “Their only five yard inside the nebula.”

“Life signs?” Kelsoe inquired.

“They're both alive, if that's what you mean, Captain,” Craig said.

“This is odd,” Kelsoe said. He backed away from Craig's station and turned towards the viewer. “Put it on screen.”

“Aye, sir,” Craig said and typed on his console.

The screen lit up to show the shuttle craft floating in the middle of the green dust nebula. Kelsoe scratched his head as he walked over to his chair. He looked down at Tuff.

“What do you think, Rob?” Kelsoe asked.

Tuff shook his head. “It beats the hell out of me,” Tuff said.

Kelsoe turned to Tracy.

“Tracy, try hailing them again,” Kelsoe ordered.

“Aye, Captain,” Tracy said.

She pressed a few buttons and shook her head slowly.

“Still getting no response,” Tracy said.

Kelsoe walked up to the view screen and looked at the shuttle has it slowly spun towards them. Kelsoe then turned to face Craig.

“You think that maybe the nebula's creating some sort of interference?” Kelsoe inquired. Kelsoe looked around the bridge and blank faces. He then looked at Tuff. Tuff stood up with wide eyes.

“Captain...,” Tuff said, “look.”

Kelsoe turned around and looked at the view screen. The shuttle craft was facing them so that they could see through the window. Burt and Braxis were laying on the floor of the shuttle unconscious. Kelsoe turned towards Zimmer and leaned against the helm.

“Take us to the nebula's edge, Mr. Zimmer,” Kelsoe said.

“Yes, sir,” Zimmer said and plot in the course.

Kelsoe walked up around the helm and sat down in his chair. He turned and looked at Tuff, who had sat down as well.

“What could have happened?” Kelsoe pondered out loud.

Tuff shrugged.

“The Gamma Sector is a very strange part of the universe,” Tuff said. “That's why Star Fleet has never really ventured the idea of exploring it until now.”

“Coming up to their location,” Zimmer said.

“Can you get a lock on the shuttle, Craig?” Kelsoe inquired.

“Barely,” Craig said. “Their lucky that they're only five yards within the nebula.”

“Engage the tractor beam,” Kelsoe said.

They watched as the shuttle craft was pulled out of the nebula by their tractor beam.

Kelsoe stepped through the sickbay doors. Dr. Walter McRoye stood over Commander Connor Burt's body, scanning it. Kelsoe walked over to Dr. McRoye.

“How's everything, Doc?” Kelsoe inquired.

“Remarkably fine,” McRoye said. “I would have expected more radiation though.”

“What happened?” Kelsoe asked.

“I'm a physician, Ben, not a god damn physicist,” McRoye said. “You can ask Braxis yourself. He's ready to go on duty now.”

Kelsoe walked over to Braxis. Braxis sat up in his bed.

“The doctor says that I could resume my duties,” Braxis said.

“Yeah,” Kelsoe said, “but first, tell me what happened.”

“Once we entered the nebula I started picking up strange signs on the sensors,” Braxis said. “There were these yellow bolts of light within the nebula. When I scanned them, I found that they were made up of a strange quantum power that is completely unknown to us.”

“No record of it in the Star Fleet database?” Kelsoe inquired.

“None,” Braxis reported.

“So,” Kelsoe continued. “What happen?”

“A bolt of the strange light hit Commander Burt,” Braxis explained. “So I got up to assist the commander when another bolt struck me.”

“How do you feel?” Kelsoe asked.

“Feel?” Braxis pondered. “I do not understand the question?”

“How are you?” Kelsoe rephrased the question.

“Fine, Captain,” Braxis said. “Apparently there was no wound at all, according to the good doctor.”

Braxis paused.

“May I start my rounds now?” Braxis inquired.

“Yes,” Kelsoe said.

Kelsoe walked away from Braxis' bed and back over to Burt's. McRoye looked back over at Braxis.

“That damn green blooded vulcan,” McRoye said, “He acts like nothing happened at all!”

“How is he, Doc?” Kelsoe inquired nodding towards Burt.

“Amazingly fine,” McRoye said. “I don't know what it was the hit them, but it didn't do anything to him, at least anything that we can detect.”

“Is it safe for them to go back on duty?” Kelsoe inquired.

“I can't say why not, Ben,” McRoye said.

Burt slowly opened his eyes.

“Ben?” Burt said softly. “Wha... what happened?”

Kelsoe turned and knelt closer to Burt.

“According to Braxis, you were hit by one of those bolts of light in the nebula,” Kelsoe said.

“And that son of...,” Burt started.

“You're right there,” McRoye agreed.

“Walt!” Kelsoe turned back to Burt. “Commander Braxis was hit by a bolt, too,” Kelsoe said.

“Oh,” Burt muttered.

Kelsoe looked back up at McRoye.

“How come Burt's not recovering as fast as Braxis?” Kelsoe inquired.

McRoye shrugged.

“The whole damn thing's bizarre, Ben,” McRoye said.

Kelsoe turned back to Burt.

“How do you feel?” Kelsoe asked.

Burt sat up slowly, and grunted in a little bit of pain.

“Not bad, Captain,” Burt said.

“Do you think you can go back to duty?” Kelsoe asked.

“Isn't that the Doc's job?” Burt said.

“Listen to me, Commander,” McRoye said. “There's nothing wrong with you. You can go back on duty.”

Burt sat up and placed his feet on the floor. He slowly stood up and smiled. Kelsoe reached out and grabbed his arm.

“I'm alright, Ben,” Burt said.

Burt walked out towards the door. Kelsoe stepped over to McRoye.

“Are you sure that he's...?” Kelsoe said.

“Ah,” McRoye said. “You were about to make a medical comment, Ben.”

Kelsoe shook his head and headed towards the door. He turned around and looked at McRoye.

“You know, being in sickbay makes me nervous,” Kelsoe said.

“Just wait until you get sick,” McRoye said. “Then you'll be nervous.”

Kelsoe smiled and shook his head. He turned around and walked out of sickbay.

Lt. Craig was at his station, looking down at his counsel when suddenly his eyes opened wide. Craig quickly looked up towards Commander Tuff.

“Commander!” Craig said.

Tuff stood up.

“What it is, Lt. Craig?” Tuff said.

“I'm reading a strange energy serge from the nebula,” Craig said.

Tuff turned towards the view screen.

“On screen,” Tuff commanded.

The screen hummed to life. The green dust in the nebula was moving in the wave of something. Tuff starred at it and then turned back to Craig.

“What is it?” Tuff inquired.

“I don't know, sir,” Craig said punching his counsel. “Ah! Sensor's are not responding. Something draining our systems.”

Tuff pressed in communicator.

“Captain to the bridge,” Tuff said.

Tuff then turned to Ensign Tracy Carson.

“Go to red alert,” he ordered.

“Aye, Commander,” Tracy said and pressed the alarm button.

The turbolift doors opened and Kelsoe, along with Braxis, stepped onto the bridge.

“What's the matter, Commander?” Kelsoe said, walking down into the center of the bridge.

“We're reading a strange energy serge from the nebula,” Tuff said.

Kelsoe turned towards Braxis, who was already at his station.

“What do you make of it, Braxis?” Kelsoe inquired.

“It appears to be the same type of energy that Commander Burt and I experienced while in the shuttle craft,” Braxis said.

Kelsoe looked back at the view screen.

“Back away from the nebula, Mr. Zimmer,” Kelsoe said.

“Aye, sir,” Zimmer said.

Zimmer pressed a few buttons and the ship started to move forward into the nebula.

“Mr. Zimmer!” Kelsoe said.

Zimmer turned around in his chair.

“I don't have helm control, sir,” Zimmer said.

Kelsoe turned to Braxis.

“Braxis,” Kelsoe demanded walking up to Braxis' station. “Analysis?!”

“It appears that some force unknown to us as grabbed control of the ship,” Braxis said. “Possibly a different type of life form. Possibly one made up of a quantum molecule.”

“It doesn't make any sense, though,” Tuff said. “Nothing can survive in a quantum energy that high!”

“It is only a theory,” Braxis said raising his eyebrow.

Kelsoe tapped his communicator.

“Burt to bridge, on the double,” Kelsoe said.

Kelsoe turned to Craig.

“Try and get the control back, Mr. Zimmer,” Kelsoe said. “We can't just sit here.”

The turbolift doors opened and Burt walked in.

“What the hell's happening?!” Burt inquired.

“Something has control of the ship,” Tuff explained.

“Any idea what it is?” Burt said taking his position on the bridge.

Tuff fell back to his station, relieving the crewman there. Tuff worked at his counsel.

“Sensors are working at my station, Captain!” Tuff exclaimed.

Kelsoe turned around and darted up to Tuff station.

“Report,” Kelsoe ordered.

Tuff punched at the counsel.

“I'm reading a life form inside the nebula, it's nothing like I've ever seen before,” Tuff said.

“Braxis!” Kelsoe said. “Take a look at it.”

“Yes, Captain,” Braxis said.

“Transferring data to Mr. Braxis' station,” Tuff said typing.

“Receiving data,” Braxis informed.

“Captain,” Zimmer said. “We're entering the nebula.”

Kelsoe dashed back to the center of the bridge.

“Keep us steady!” Kelsoe ordered.

“Captain?” Withrome's voice came over the intercom. “What's going on?”

“Something's out control of the helm,” Kelsoe said. “How are things in engineering?”

“Something is making the warp core go into a temporal flux,” Withrome said.

“Can this be caused by a unknown quantity of quantum energy?” Kelsoe asked.

“Possibly, why?” Withrome responded.

“The nebula is discharging high quantities of an unknown quantum energy,” Kelsoe said. “Can you keep the warp core stabilized?”

“I believe so,” Withrome said.

“Good,” Kelsoe said.

Kelsoe turned off the communicator and looked over at Burt. Burt placed his hand on his forehead. Kelsoe became worried.

“You alright, Burt?” Kelsoe inquired.

“Yeah,” Burt said. “I've just got a small headache.”

Kelsoe turned to Tracy.

“Ensign Carson,” Kelsoe said. “Send out a distress call to all Federation ships in range.”

“Aye, Captain,” Tracy said, and turned around to make it so.

Kelsoe turned back and looked at the view screen. They were now complete submerged within the dust nebula.

“Picking up a quantum bolt off the port side,” Tuff reported.

On the view screen they watched as a light bolted across the green nebula. Kelsoe turned to Braxis.

“It is the same type of bolt, Captain,” Braxis reported.

“Tactical back online, Captain!” Craig announced.

“Helm control is back!” Zimmer declared just after Craig.

“Pull back immediately!” Kelsoe ordered.

“A bolt is coming towards us, Captain!” Craig reported.

“Brace yourselves!” Kelsoe ordered.

The bolt hit. The ship spun clockwise about twenty eight degrees. The bolt vanished.

“Here comes another one!” Craig yelled.

The second bolt hit propelling the ship out of the nebula, as the exited the nebula they realized that the bolt was still attached.

“Report!” Kelsoe ordered.

“The energy beam has lashed itself onto the ship,” Tuff reported. “It is slowly pulling back into the nebula.”

“Mr. Zimmer can you see were it is pulling us?” Kelsoe asked.

“Yes, sir,” Zimmer said and start calculating.

“According the computer,” Zimmer said, “the beam is pulling us into the center of the nebula.”

“Captain,” Braxis said turned towards Kelsoe. “I believe discharging one of our quantum torpedoes may disrupt the beam.”

Kelsoe looked at Burt, who shrugged.

“Let's give it shot,” Kelsoe said.

Kelsoe turned towards Craig.

“Lt. Craig,” Kelsoe said. “Prepare to fire a quantum torpedo.”

“Aye, Captain,” Craig said. “Locked.”

Kelsoe paused and stared at the beam of light.

“Fire,” he ordered.

A red light appeared on the view screen and with in second it hit the beam. This generated a shock that made the Pioneer lunge forward. White light filled the view screen. Burt screen, clutching his head in his hands and fell out of his chair. Kelsoe turned and kneeled down next to Burt. Kelsoe pushed his communicator.

“Dr. McRoye,” Kelsoe said. “To the bridge.”

The white light diminished.

“The beam has released us, Captain,” Braxis said.

“Get us out of here, Mr. Zimmer,” Kelsoe said. “Warp One.”

Zimmer pressed the helm controls and the Pioneer went into warp.

The Pioneer hovered in the middle of nowhere. Lt. Commander Joanna Withrome and the engineering team were working in engineering. Withrome turned to a crewman.

“Check the quantum vents on the warp core,” Withrome said.

“Yes, Lt. Commander,” the crewman said and punched the counsel in front of him.

Joanna looked up at the warp core. The blue swirls of light dimmed and then came back.

“What happened?” Joanna inquired.

“The warp core took a beating from that quantum bolts,” the crewman said.

“Gregg?!” Joanna called.

“What now, Lt. Commander,” Lt. Harrison Gregg complained from one of the upper decks of engineering. Gregg was a man in his late twenties, with dark black hair and piercing blue eyes. He felt that he should be Chief of Engineering. Gregg hoped down the ladder and strode over to Joanna.

“What is it, Joanna?” Gregg mocked. “Need help with doing your job?”

“You were suppose to inform me about any change in the warp core,” Joanna said.

“Sorry,” Gregg said. “I thought I'd take care of it myself.”

“That is not your decision to make,” Joanna said.

“I don't care,” Gregg said.

Captain Benjamin Kelsoe stood on the bridge watching the replay of the quantum bolts on the view screen. Kelsoe was troubled by how intense the bolts were. Commander Tuff walked up behind Kelsoe.

“I've got the damage reports,” Tuff said.

“Report,” Kelsoe ordered.

“Decks nine through fourteen took the most damage,” Tuff said.

Kelsoe shook his head.

“Send down repair teams,” Kelsoe said.

He turned to Tracy.

“Ensign Carson,” Kelsoe said. “Inform Star Fleet of our current status.”

“Aye, sir,” Tracy said.

Braxis sat at his station, with his eyebrow raised. Braxis was listening to the electronic hum produced by the quantum bolts.

“Curious,” Braxis said.

Kelsoe walk up to Braxis' station.

“What do you make of it, Braxis?” Kelsoe inquired.

Braxis turned to Kelsoe.

“The ship has taken major damage around the warp core,” Braxis said. “I believe that those quantum bolts are drawn towards the quantum power signature that our warp core produces.”

“What about those hums?” Kelsoe inquired.

“I find it curious, Captain,” Braxis explained. “I'm sensing a pattern in them. What it's meaning is, I'm not quiet sure.”

“Keep working on it,” Kelsoe said patting Braxis on the shoulder.

Kelsoe walked back to the center of the bridge. He stood next to Tuff.

“What's the word on Connor, Rob?” Kelsoe inquired.

“Commander Burt is recovering,” Tuff said. “Dr. McRoye says that he'll be back on his feet in a hour or two.”

Kelsoe communicator went off. Kelsoe tapped it.

“Kelsoe, here.”

“Sir,” Joanna said. “I think you'd better come down here.”

“I'll be right there,” Kelsoe said. “Rob, you have the com.”

Kelsoe came into Engineering. He walked up to the brunette with the yellowish green uniform edge. Joanna stared at Kelsoe.

“Those damn bolts have messed with our warp core!” she said.

“What?” Kelsoe inquired.

“The bolts have changed the configuration of the quantum plasma going into the warp core,” Joanna said. “There in decreasing the amount of power that the warp core can produce.”

“No warp power?” Kelsoe said.

“Yeah,” Joanna said, putting her hands on her hips. “Got any ideas.”

Kelsoe tapped in communicator.

“Ensign Carson,” Kelsoe ordered. “Informed Star Fleet that our warp core is not functioning.”

“Aye, Captain,” Tracy said.

Kelsoe looked at the warp core and then back at Joanna.

“Let's get working on it,” Kelsoe said.

Kelsoe and Joanna walked over to the main counsel.

Commander Connor Burt was walking through the hallways, passing the crewmen. Burt placed his right hand to his temple. The pain was still there, but Dr. McRoye said it would pass. Burt looked up and saw a child dash around the corner of the hall. Burt stopped and starred at the turn. He looked at the other crewmen in the hall.

“Did you see that?” Burt inquired.

“What, sir?” one crewman inquired.

“Uh, nothing, nothing,” Burt said waving his hand.

The crewman continued on. Burt shook his head and looked back at the turn in the hall. The child appeared again, and waved at him. He slowly waved back. The child smiled. Burt weakly smiled. Then the child gestured for Burt to follow her. Burt looked around and walked up to the turn. He turned into the other hallway. He notice that there was a bluish white glow around the girl. She pranced along the floor of the hallway, smiling at him.

“Play,” the child commanded. “Play.”

Burt knelt to her level.

“Where are your parents?” Burt inquired.

“Parents?” the child said. “No parents. All fun time now. Play.”

Burt stood up, and looked down both sides of the hall. No one was there. He looked down towards the child. It was gone. He felt a strange coolness in the air and slowly stepped backwards into the other hall. Burt shook the feeling off him and went to his quarters.

Once inside his quarters, Burt dimmed the lights. The dim light from the far off star provided a faint yellowish light in the quarters. Burt slide into his couch and closed his eyes, rubbing his temples. He leaned back on the couch, and took his feet off the floor. He laid down on his couch.

“Computer,” Burt said. “Ice water.”

The food processor generated a glass of water with three ice cubes in it. Burt sat up and leaned over to the food processor and grabbed the glass. He brought the cool water to his lips and sipped. The water refreshed his throat. He placed the glass down on the table and leaned back down on his couch.

Help...,” a voice cried softly. “Help, please.”

Burt sat up.


No one was there. He shook his head and reached for his glass of water. He grabbed air. He looked up, and on the other side of the table the little child he had seen earlier was siting there, with his glass. He sat up slowly.

“Who are you?” Burt inquired.

“It,” she said. “I wanna go home. Why have you taken me from home?”

Burt shook his head.

“What do you mean?”

“Home!” the child screamed. “Take me home! I wanna go home!”

Suddenly the door chimes sounded.

“Come in,” Burt said looking over at the door. Burt looked back at the girl. “Stay.”

Just as the light from the hallway touched the girl, she dissolved away. Burt's eyes widen.

“Something the matter?” came Kelsoe's voice.

Burt looked up towards Kelsoe.

“I think I'm seeing things,” Burt said.

Kelsoe walked in and sat down across from Burt.

“Like what?” Kelsoe inquired.

“A child,” Burt said. “Girl. She was just here saying 'take me home'.”

Kelsoe leaned forward intrigued.

“I don't know,” Burt said. “It's probably just my imagination. But every time she appears, my headache disappears. And then, when she gone, my headache returns. It always gets harder once she's about to appear.”

“So she was in here?” Kelsoe inquired.

“Just before you came in,” Burt said. “Right when the door opened, she vanished.”

Kelsoe lean back, cracking a smile.

“I know what you think,” Burt said. “I've gone insane.”

“No,” Kelsoe said. “Of course not. Let's just have the doctor take a look at you.”

“I've just come back from sickbay,” Burt complained. “Doc said I was fine!”

“Let's just do one more check,” Kelsoe said, standing up and gesturing towards the door.”

Lt. Commander Joanna Withrome stood at the control station of Engineering. Lt. Gregg stood next to her. She punched at the control counsel. The computer hummed and beeped.

“It doesn't work,” Gregg said.

Shhhh!” Withrome said, holding her finger to her lips. “I've got it.”

Withrome punched a few buttons and looked up at the warp core. Gregg glanced at what Withrome had down and raised his eyes to the core. The core started to hum and glow. Within the next half hour the warp core was completely back to normal.

“What's you do?” Gregg inquired.

“I just even out the amount of quantum being supplied by each tube,” Withrome said. “Easy stuff.”

“Easy!” Gregg said.

He laughed.

“I never would have thought of that,” he admitted.

“You would have,” Joanna said. “It would have come to you.”

“Sorry I ever doubted you, Lt. Commander,” Gregg said.

Joanna shrugged.

“I understand.”

Dr. McRoye held a scanner above Burt head. He moved it across, from ear to ear. In his other hand he held the tricorder. McRoye looked up at Kelsoe and shook his head.

“I'm not getting anything,” McRoye said.

Burt looked up at Kelsoe.

“I told you nothing was wrong with me,” Burt said.

Burt suddenly screamed and pressed his back down. He went into a seizure like state.

“Hold him down!” McRoye yelled.

Kelsoe and two of the medical staff held Burt down as McRoye quickly grabbed a hypospray, and set it. McRoye placed the hypospray's head against the side of Burt's neck and pressed the button. A sound like a soft puff of air was heard and Burt's body went limp. McRoye put the hypospray down. Kelsoe looked up at McRoye.

“I thought you said nothing was wrong with him?” Kelsoe said.

“I didn't pick anything up on the tricorder,” McRoye said.

McRoye dashed over to one of his counsels, and scanned Burt's body.

“Scans pick up two life signs,” McRoye said, confused.

“Two life signs?” Kelsoe inquired, looking down at the counsel. “How can that be?”

“One life sign is Commander Burt,” Kelsoe said. “The other is, I don't know. Whatever it is, it's awake.”

Suddenly Burt flung up on the bed. His eyes still closed. His mouth opened and a sound came out. Kelsoe and McRoye jumped back when they heard the sound. It sounded electronic, almost like what Braxis was listening to. Kelsoe pressed his communicator.

“Braxis!” Kelsoe said. “We're in sickbay, get here fast!”

“Yes, sir,” Braxis said over the communicator.

Kelsoe turned quickly to the counsel and started recording the noise. The medical staff stood behind McRoye in utter confusion. McRoye slowly back away. Burt's body let out a final electronic scream then fell. McRoye ran over and placed Burt slowly back in a laying position. McRoye took another hypospray and injected Burt. McRoye walked over to Kelsoe, still holding the hypospray.

“I have no idea what the hell that was, Ben,” McRoye said. “I've never seen anything like it.”

“Doctor?” one of the medical staffer said, waving the doctor over to his station.

McRoye walked towards the staffer's station. The doors opened and Braxis entered sickbay.

“Welcome to sickbay, Mr. Braxis,” McRoye said as he walked pass the vulcan.

“Doctor,” Braxis acknowledged.

Kelsoe's communicator beeped. Kelsoe tapped it.

“Kelsoe, here,” he said.

“Captain,” Joanna said. “We've fixed the warp core.”

“Can it stand going to warp?” Kelsoe asked.

“Any speed, sir,” Joanna said.

“Good work, Kelsoe out.”

Braxis stepped up to Kelsoe, who was standing at the station in front of the bed Burt was laying on.

“What is it, Captain?” Braxis inquired.

“Listen to this,” Kelsoe said.

He pressed a button and the electronic hums come up on the speakers.

“The quantum bolt,” Braxis said.

“No,” Kelsoe said. “That came out of Commander Burt.”

Braxis raised his eyebrow.

“Interesting,” Braxis said.

McRoye dashed back.

“Ben, whatever the creature is,” McRoye said, “it's eating away at Commander Burt's life energy.”

“We've found a life form inside of Burt,” Kelsoe explained.

“Interesting,” Braxis said.

“Interesting!” McRoye exclaimed. “By God man, he's being killed by that infectious creature. Show some humanity.”

Braxis stared at McRoye.

“Excuse me, Doctor,” Braxis said, stepping in front of the counsel. Braxis rapidly started typing on the counsel, scanning the life form. He raised his eyebrow.

“What is it?!” Kelsoe inquired.

“Just as I thought,” Braxis explained. “The creature that the good Doctor refers to is a quantum based life form. Very similar to those in the nebula.”

“Have you decoded the pattern,” Kelsoe inquired.

“Yes,” Braxis informed Kelsoe. “It is the quantum beings' language.”

“What do they say?” Kelsoe inquired.

“'Bring her back', it been repeating that one phrase over and over again,” Braxis stated.

“Really,” Kelsoe said, and then turned to McRoye. “Doc, wake Burt up.”

“I don't think that's a wise decision, Ben,” McRoye said.

“Do it,” Kelsoe ordered.

McRoye shook his head in disagreement, however did as he was ordered. He picked up the hypospray and injected Burt. Burt's eyes slowly opened. He quickly moved up, but McRoye and Kelsoe held him down.

“Where am I! What's....!” Burt cried.

“Connor, Connor,” Kelsoe said. “Calm down. You're in sickbay. There's something inside you. Tell us what was the apparition you saw.”

“I told you, Captain,” Burt said. “I little girl.”

“Ben?!” McRoye urged.

Kelsoe nodded and McRoye put Burt under again. Kelsoe turned around and looked at Braxis.

“She,” Braxis said.

“The parent want the kid back,” Kelsoe said looking at Braxis and McRoye. “Let's not disappoint them.”

The turbolift doors opened, Kelsoe and Braxis walked out onto the bridge. Kelsoe walked down to the center. Commander Tuff stood up and went back to his station. Kelsoe turned to Zimmer.

“Get us back to the nebula,” Kelsoe said. “Maximum warp.”

“Aye, sir,” Zimmer said, spinning around and punching the appropriate buttons.

Kelsoe sat down in his chair and looked over at the empty chair, next to him.

Kelsoe drove the shuttle craft into the nebula. The gravity forces altered in the nebula and the shuttle shook. Kelsoe steady the craft and put it into neutral. The shuttle craft hummed silently still. Kelsoe turned around in his chair and looked down at Burt, laying on the floor. He pressed his communicator.

“Braxis, activate the signal,” Kelsoe said.

“Aye, Captain,” Braxis said.

A moment later Kelsoe heard a electronic hum buzz across the speakers. He looked out the window to view the reaction of the quantum bolts. He saw two strike close to the shuttle. Suddenly the light dimmed in the shuttle craft and the broadcast of the Pioneer's signal faded. Kelsoe looked over at Burt and his jaw dropped opened. He watched as a brilliant bright light came out of Burt's mouth and into the shuttle. It let out a hum. The two bolts outside the shuttle hummed back. Then one bolt from outside stroke through the windows at the light within the cabin. There was a loud high pitch hum and then the light was gone. The lights in the shuttle came back on. The two big bolts let out a short hum and disappeared back into the nebula dust.

“The translation was, 'thank you,'” Braxis said over the communicator.

“Tell them, 'no problem, just keep a closer eye on your child',” Kelsoe said.

“Yes, Captain,” Braxis said.

Kelsoe turned the communicator off. He turned the shuttle craft around and flew out of the nebula.