Riker, Worf and Data took their places in one of the twelve transporter rooms of the Enterprise. Data had timed the transport process to the second based on speed, distance and initial scans of the Death Star. Lt. Donna Robinson was off her duty at the helm, and now on duty in Transporter Room Eight. Lt. Commander LaForge guided her hand at the controls. "We're approaching range now, sir." The granddaughter of William Robinson from the Jupiter-2 responded.
"Affirmative…" Geordi acknowledged and looked up to Riker. "Counting down… Energize!" The ship slipped out of warp briefly as the three transporter signals left the Enterprise in its absence and rematerialized elsewhere. The Enterprise had moved close to the Death Star and yet within transporter range, dropping off three Enterprise crewmen as if they were a miscreant boy egging the space station at high speed. Ryker looked aboard the station as he came out of the transport process. Reacting quickly himself, Worf held his phaser at the ready. They seemed to have appeared just a few meters from materializing in a wall. Riker perused the unmanned circular control room once. It was cold and empty of feeling. There was no trace that this place was run by anything with human feelings. Moving from his side, Data started scanning the station at a computer terminal.
"I am reading five hundred and thirty-eight life signs in our general proximity alone." His tricorder linked with the Death Star's computer system. "They are at a level of alert at the moment."
"Could they have been alerted to out our presence?" Worf asked.
"Negative…." Data responded. "According to this, they have just captured a ship which escaped their custody from a planet on the outer rim."
"Members of the Rebellion we contacted from Bespin?" Riker asked. Data mulled over that theory.
"I believe that is too far a conclusion to reach at this time." Data announced. "My tricorder is now linked to the internal sensors of the Death Star. The station has a series of containment cells for prisoners of varied species. The Death Star appears mainly manned by several races that are distinctively humanoid as well as several that appear to be clones. I have one alien signature that is not human participating in a conflagration near Cell Block AA-23. I have no information that they are necessarily part of the resistance other than their current tensions occurring at the moment. I do have a reading for the Counselor. She is being held in a battle simulation room fifty meters from us."
"A simulation room?" Worf wondered about that. "Why would they not hold her in a cell?"
"We don't have time for that." Riker perused the local schematics of the station between them and Deanna's location from the local terminal. "Here, it looks as if they have some sort of a Jeffries tube from this station running the length over the hangar to the other side of this void. We can take it and avoid their internal sensors."
"We have fifty-point-nine minutes before the Enterprise returns." Data announced as Worf detached the cover to the Death Star's Jeffries tube. He much preferred a frontal attack than sneaking through the base, but when time was of the essence, the quickest way was to avoid any as much conflict as possible. A few levels below and beyond, stormtroopers were firing upon unauthorized men in stormtrooper uniforms in the prison detention area. They had them pinned inside, shooting forward back and forward between them, but then the firing stopped and they rushed the area to find the detention area deserted. There was no trace of the rebels in the area, but then a lieutenant discovered the smashed grating into the station's trash disposal system. Their known targets had escaped into the garbage system; their unknown Federation targets crawling through their station unseen. A command came to activate the disposal process of crushing the debris and anything living in the system. During the activity, Vader departed his new protégé to respond to duty. He reported what he knew to Commander Tarkin.
"He is here."
"Obi Wan Kenobi? What makes you think so?" Tarkin was incredulous.
"A tremor in the Force…" Vader explained. "The last time I felt it was in the presence of my old master."
"Surely he must be dead by now."
"Don't underestimate the power of the Force."
"The Jedi are extinct…" Tarkin scoffed as he rose to his feet. "Their fire has gone out of the galaxy. You, my friend, are all that's left of their ancient religion."
"Obi-Wan is here." Vader stood before him. "The Force is with him."
"If you are right, he must not be allowed to escape."
"Escape is not his plan…" Vader desired to meet his former friend with malice. "I must meet him… alone."
Five decks above and thirty meters abroad, a ceiling grate popped loose and Riker dropped down first. Worf dropped to meet him next and Data covered the rear. With the station at alert and all the troops at their stations, there was barely anyone to meet them except for a small mouse droid fleeing from their abrupt appearance. Data scanned the area for life signs that might alert others to their presence. They hoped the Empire stayed distracted with their other intruders.
"Commander…" Data caught a reading to the counselor ahead of them. "Ahead twenty meters…" They turned over toward an empty corridor than traveled toward the mechanized impasse beyond them. Coming up behind them unseen, Obi-Wan Kenobi came out of hiding, looked down toward them and wished them hope. He sensed them to be men of honor from a noble universe otherwise surrounded by a space station otherwise dominated by madmen and terrorists. He continued on to return to the Millennium Falcon waiting for him in the landing bay. Behind him and away from his location, Riker, Data and Worf traveled from one side corridor over a suspension bridge reaching over and through a ventilation chamber and down toward another corridor. Data was reading life signs all around them, but the only life sign they wanted back was the one with Deanna's specific genetic code. The route they took avoiding the storm troopers lead them over a pathway suspended hundreds if not thousands of meters through the ventilation tunnel toward another corridor beyond them. Upon reaching the battle simulation room, Riker looked round once before unlocking the hatch in their way toward Deanna. As it rolled to the side, they found a room bathed in darkness, littered with debris and ruined physical targets and scarred by laser blasts. In the center of the room was a pleasing female shape concealed by shadow and shaped by a black body-stocking, a woman of petite size standing over a shattered battle droid sparking and trying to restart its systems. She was gradually becoming aware of their presence. Her identity was concealed by her long dark hair pouring off her shoulders. Her body, her shape, her posture… It could only be one person.
"Deanna?" Riker called to her.
The counselor turned round slowly. Her face was pale, her eyes filled with tears as she turned to him. She seemed to be under a trance, her will broken. She did not recognize him. From her hand, a light saber with a green plasma blade shone to life. She reared it methodically to her bosom.
"Deanna?" Riker looked her over. She spun round once and swung for her former lover, Riker's life spared only by Data pushing him away from her. Her face coldly determined, her movements calculated, thepossessed counselor swung next toward Worf who reacted with his Starfleet defensive skills and then firing upon her with his phaser. She used the plasma-generated blade to deflect his shots, spun it once around and nearly decapitated Data.
Suddenly, Riker noticed footsteps coming toward them. He turned around to see soldiers from another magical world. The soldiers raised their blasters at Riker, Data, and Worf. Riker knew that they were all in trouble.
In the Magical Realm, Zaira, Alice, Gideon, Danny, Minnie, Wendy, Peter Pan, Baboo, Squatt, and the others walked back to the cottage. Baboo was covering her eyes.
"Guys, why can't you just tell me what this is all about?" Zaira curiously asked.
"You'll see! It's a surprise!" Baboo said with a small laugh. When they were all the way in the cottage, Gideon closed the door. Baboo uncovered her eyes and pointed ahead. Zaira gasped in surprise. Standing in the middle of the cottage was the statue of Michael.
"Oh! You guys are the best!" Zaira exclaimed happily as she gave them all a hug. She then went to the statue and walked over it.
"It looks just like him! It even has his eyes!" Zaira said dreamily. She then giggled and said "Why, Michael, run away with you? This is all so sudden!" Zaira then laughed and spun around in joy. She stopped and gasped when she saw a shadowed Khan in the entrance with an intent look on his face.
"Master!" Zaira exclaimed in shock.
The others hid quickly. Riker, Data, and Worf were right in front of Khan. They went over to Zaira and stood their ground. Dijon and Merlock were right behind Khan. The two had their heads down in guilt.
"I consider myself a very reasonable king! I have kept my patience till up to now, Zaira!" Khan said angrily. "I set certain rules and I expect those rules to be obeyed!"
Zaira bit her lip and began to explain "But, Master Khan, I--"
"Now I am going to ask you once, and I want the truth! Did you or did you not rescue a mortal human boy from drowning?" Khan demanded.
"Look, Master, I had to!" Zaira argued.
Riker, Data, and Worf glared at Khan.
"Contact between the mortal world and the Magical Realm is strictly forbidden! Zaira, you know that! Everyone knows that!" Khan shouted.
"But if I didn't do anything, he would have drowned and died!" Zaira exclaimed.
"Do you think I care? One less human to worry about!" Khan growled.
"You're more arrogant than Plankton! You can't treat me like a child!" Zaira said heatedly.
"Zaira, think about what happened to your parents!" Khan shouted. He began to sing:
Khan: This is where you belong!
"You don't understand!" Zaira protested.
Khan: For once, just listen, will you?
That savage brute would kill you in the world out there!
"He's not a barbarian!" Zaira shouted.
Khan: Don't try that same old song!
I'll have you grounded till next year!
Am I clear?! Don't go near that world out there!
"How can you be so heartless and cold-blooded? You don't even know him!" Zaira shouted.
"Know him?! I don't have to know him!" Khan roared. "They're all the same! Heartless monsters who are only compelled by greed and will kill and destroy anything that's not like them!"
That did it for Zaira, who couldn't hold it in anymore. "MASTER, I LOVE HIM!!!" she shouted with tears in her eyes. Upon realizing what she had said, Zaira gasped and covered her mouth. Dijon, Merlock, and the others gasped as well. Riker, Data, and Worf glared at Khan angrily. Khan looked stunned.
"No!" Khan gasped. His shock turned to anger. He charged up his scepter and turned to Dijon and Merlock. The two screamed in terror and flattened themselves against a wall, trying not to get killed. "I leave her in the care of you two and this is what happens?!" Khan shouted.
"Please, Master Khan! Have mercy!" Merlock sobbed hysterically as he and Dijon got on their knees and hugged Khan's knees. Khan kicked the two of them away. Dijon and Merlock whimpered and held each other, shaking terribly.
"It isn't their fault!" Zaira shouted. Khan powered down his scepter and turned back to Zaira.
"Have you lost your senses completely, Zaira? He's a human! You're an immortal!" Khan shouted.
"It doesn't matter! I don't care!" Zaira shouted.
"So help me, Zaira, I will get through to you, no matter what!" Khan threatened. Zaira's friends couldn't take any more of this. They ran from their hiding places.
"Why you pompous, arrogant, cold-hearted wind bag!" Gideon shouted.
"WHAT WAS THAT?" Khan shouted angrily. Dijon and Merlock yelped.
"You heard him, you black hearted jerk!" Alice snapped.
"You are not a very nice king if you act like that!" Wendy said, sourly.
"Yeah! And you only care about yourself, you heartless tyrant!" Peter Pan shouted.
"You stinky head!" Ed agreed.
"You're ten times worse than Sarah!" Edd added.
"You're more of a backstabbing jerk than my brother, you no good thief!" Eddy yelled.
"You're nothing but a cold-blooded murderer!" Baboo said.
"Baboo's right! You're more vicious than Rita Repulsa!" Squatt said.
"You have no heart at all, Khan!" Danny shouted.
"This is no way to treat your own student, either!" Minnie said, nodding her head angrily at him. Dijon and Merlock looked nervous and Khan was furious.
"THAT'S IT! You're in big trouble now! You Zaira, and your friends are BANISHED from my kingdom until the end of your days!" Khan shouted. Zaira and the others gasped at this, while Riker, Data, and Worf glared at Khan angrily.
"No, we're not!" Alice protested.
"We don't want to go!" Minnie added.
"But, Master, this isn't what Mom and Dad would want! And they didn't want this either!" Zaira shouted, tears coming down from her eyes.
"And that goes for you, Dijon and Merlock!" Khan shouted.
"Exile?!" Dijon whimpered. "No! NO! NOOOOOO!!! IT CAN'T BE TRUE!!!" Dijon and Merlock sobbed hysterically.
"And, Dijon and Merlock, if you two are not gone by sunset, you will be sent to the electric chair!" Khan shouted. Dijon and Merlock whimpered and hid behind the others.
"No! We're not going anywhere and you know it!" Wendy yelled.
"That's not fair!" Zaira shouted. Khan resumed singing:
Khan: I'm still the King here!
My word is law!
This filth you bring here is the final straw!
And push, my student, has come to shove!
I'll make you obey till you do what I say!
I don't care, come what may, but I'll keep you away from that cruel, harsh, cold, vile world OUT THERE!!
Khan's scepter glowed. Dijon, Merlock, and the others gasped and ran for cover. Despite Zaira's pleas, Khan destroyed every artifact with his scepter. He then set his sights on the statue of Michael. He pointed his scepter at it. "MASTER KHAN, NO!!!" Zaira screamed. But it was too late. The statue was destroyed, blasted into a pile of rubble.
Zaira started to cry, saying "How could you?" She began to cry and ran away from home, never to return home again. Gideon, Alice, and the others went after her and ran away as well.