(Just to get in the Christmas spirit of this story...to the tune of 'Jingle Bells') Copyrights! Copyrights! Viacom holds them all. Unless I say that Star Trek's theirs, They'll nail me to the wall.

Author: Alan Decker
Copyright: 1995

Star Traks

Alone on Christmas

by Alan Decker


“Captain’s log. Stardate 51432.3. After several months straight of assignments, the Secondprize has finally been granted some downtime by the generous souls at Starfleet Command. Actually, I can’t complain. Starfleet has given us a 10 day layover at Waystation. This will give us a chance to catch up with some old friends, and, best of all, we’ll be spending Christmas there.

Meanwhile, we’re proceeding to our rendezvous with Commander Dillon’s runabout. Dillon has been away for the last week at a meeting of the Starfleet Regulations Advisory Board. He took several hundred recommendations for new regulations with him. I’m just hoping the other board members ignored his suggestions. That regulation he came up with about first officers being able to evaluate their captain’s performance was particularly obnoxious.

Anyway, once Dillon’s back on board, we’ll head to Waystation for a bit of Christmas cheer.”


“Bridge to Captain Rydell,” Lieutenant Hawkins’ voice said, interrupting Rydell’s nap. He sat up in his chair and tried to force himself awake.

“Rydell. What’s up, Lieutenant?”

“We’re receiving a distress call from a small transport ship. Their warp core is going critical.”

“Tell them we’re on our way,” Rydell said, snapping alert. He quickly walked out of his ready room out onto the bridge.

“Get us to that ship, Sullivan,” Rydell said to his conn officer. “Maximum warp.”

“Aye, sir,” Lieutenant Emily Sullivan replied as she altered the Secondprize’s course.

“Hawkins, contact the Atchafalaya and tell Dillon where we’re headed.”


Commander Travis Dillon was pissed. He sat in complete silence stewing in his own juices as he piloted the Atchafalaya back to the Secondprize. Out of his 327 suggested regulations, the advisory board had only adopted one. And, frankly, he didn’t find a regulation prohibiting the eating of sticky pastries near computer consoles to be that great a victory.

When he was appointed to the regulations board, Dillon had hoped to make some real changes. Obviously, that wasn’t going to happen until he was chairman. Maybe next year.

A flashing light on the control console drew Dillon out of his pouting. He was receiving a message from the Secondprize.

“Computer, play message,” Dillon said. He listened to Lieutenant Hawkins informing him of the distress call and that they’d be late to the rendezvous point. Great, that meant he’d be on the runabout alone for another hour, at least. Hawkins’s voice made him lonely. He missed her, something that he never dreamed he’d be able to say about any woman. And they were about to spend their first Christmas together as a couple.


Dillon altered the runabout’s course to head toward the damaged freighter. He was not about to spend any more time away from Hawkins than he had to. With any luck, he’d arrive at the freighter just after the Secondprize did.


“Jaroch, report,” Rydell said, turning toward his science officer.

“Their warp core is fluctuating wildly, sir,” Lieutenant Commander Jaroch replied. “I cannot ascertain why.”

Rydell looked out at the freighter hovering on the viewscreen.

“Rydell to engineering.”

“Baird here.”

“I need you over on that ship, Commander. I’m sending Jaroch over with you.”

“Fun fun fun, Captain,” Baird replied unenthusiastically. “I’m on my way.”

“You guys get out of there if you can’t stop it,” Rydell said to Jaroch as Jaroch headed for the turbolift.

“Believe me, sir, getting blown to atoms is not on my Christmas list.”

“What is?”

“Nothing you can give me, I am afraid,” Jaroch said, just as the turbolift doors closed. Rydell could have sworn there was a hint of sadness in Jaroch’s voice. Someone was definitely wrong with that Yynsian. Rydell forced himself to push Jaroch’s problems out of his mind and focus on the situation at hand.

“Rydell to Vaughn. How’s the evacuation going?”

“Pretty well, Captain,” Transporter Chief Monica Vaughn replied. “We’ve gotten most of the crew aboard. A few of the freighter’s engineers were injured, so I sent them directly to sickbay.”

“Fine. Keep me informed.”

“Oh Captain?”

“Yes?”

“When do I get my Christmas present?”

“What present?”

“You…me…a tropical beach…clothing optional, make that prohibited.”

Rydell smiled. Some people just never gave up. Stevens had gotten most of the men on the Secondprize at one time or another. She hadn’t hit the command crew, yet, but Rydell seemed to be at the top of her list.

“Wouldn’t you prefer a nice hat or something?” Rydell said. He closed the channel. Witty banter with Vaughn would have to wait until later.


“What do you think, Jaroch?” Commander Scott Baird asked as he and Jaroch scanned the freighter’s warp core.

“I am not sure,” Jaroch said, checking his tricorder readings.

“That makes two of us,” Baird said as he sat down at one of the engine room consoles. “But we’ve got about one minute until this thing goes critical.”

“Commander, I am detecting some type of temporal activity in the core.”

“What? That’s impossible. There’s no way…”

“Could we hold this argument when we are not in imminent danger?”

“Yeah.” Baird checked the console’s readings. “That’s temporal energy alright, and it’s intensifying.”

“We should leave…now.”


“Hell, yes,” Baird said, slapping his commbadge. “Baird to Secondprize. Get us out of here!”


Dillon brought the runabout out of warp and glided into a position between the Secondprize and the damaged freighter.

“Atchafalaya to Secondprize. I’m here to assist.”

“Get out of the way!” Rydell’s voice shouted.

“Of what?” Dillon asked.


Jaroch rushed out of the turbolift onto the bridge and headed straight for the science station.

“Temporal energy in the warp core has intensified by a factor of ten,” Jaroch reported.

“Back us off,” Rydell ordered. Dillon still hadn’t understood what was going on. That fool was going to get himself blown up. “Rydell to Dillon, move away. That freighter’s about to…”

Rydell stopped in mid-sentence as he saw the freighter’s hull start to warp and bend strangely. All of it seemed to be centered around the freighter’s engineering section.

“What the hell?” Hawkins said.

The freighter’s hull began swirling like a whirlpool and collapsing in on itself.

“Full reverse!” Rydell said. “Dillon, get going.”

“I’m going!” Dillon’s voice replied. The runabout started to move. But it was still within a thousand kilometers of the freighter while the Secondprize had backed off considerably. Suddenly, the freighter completely collapsed, releasing a flash of energy that blinded the command crew and plunged the bridge into darkness.


“Report!” Rydell said. Lights and consoles around the bridge flickered back to life as the crew attempted to get their vision to return to normal.

“Massive power fluctuations on all decks, but no damage,” Hawkins said. She fell silent for a moment while she checked her console. “Oh no.”

“What is it, Lieutenant?” Rydell asked. Hawkins pointed at the viewscreen. The freighter and the runabout were gone.

“What happened, Jaroch?” Rydell demanded. Jaroch checked the sensors, then looked back at Rydell.

“Uh…”

“Rydell to Baird. What happened to that freighter?”

“Uh…”

“Damn it! Does anybody know what just happened?”

“I think I may be able to answer that,” an unfamiliar voice said from behind Rydell. Rydell whirled around and saw a tall, pale alien standing beside a lanky, young human. The human looked down at the floor guiltily.

“Who the hell are you?” Hawkins said, going for her phaser.

“I am known as The Traveler,” the alien replied. “This is my pupil, Wesley Crusher.”

“Hi,” Wesley said meekly.

“I am tutoring Wesley in the art of manipulating space and time. Unfortunately, that freighter passed too close to one of our lessons.”

“Hence the temporal energy in the warp core,” Jaroch said.


“Precisely. That’s why it was regrettably destroyed.”

“What about our runabout?” Hawkins demanded.

“Uh…”

“You don’t know?” Rydell said.

“Not really,” The Traveler said.

“Sorry about that,” Wesley said.

“Sorry!” Hawkins shouted. “You just obliterated my…our first officer.”

“And we really fell awful about it. Don’t we Wesley?” The Traveler said.

“Yes. Horrible.”

“Well, we’ve got to go. His Christmas vacation is coming up, and we’ve still got a lot to cover. Bye.”

“Wait!” Hawkins shouted. It was too late. The Traveler and Wesley waved and vanished.

“What do you think, Jaroch?” Rydell asked.

“They were quite rude,” Jaroch replied.

“I meant about Dillon.”

“He is gone, sir.”

“How do we get him back?” Hawkins said.

“I have no idea,” Jaroch said. “On the bright side, I may just get my Christmas wish after all.”


Dillon’s runabout appeared over an unfamiliar planet…about 10 feet over it, to be exact, and closing rapidly. Dillon had just enough time to put his head between his legs and scream for his mother before the Atchafalaya slammed into the ground.


“There is still no sign of anything, sir,” Jaroch said. Rydell sighed and slumped down in his command chair. After four hours of searching the nearby solar systems, not one trace of the runabout had been found. “The next closest system is five days away.”

“Set course for Waystation, Lieutenant Sullivan,” Rydell said.

“Captain,” Hawkins began.

“Patricia, you heard The Traveler. They were experimenting with time and space. Dillon could be anywhere or anywhen. I’ve got several hundred crewmen who need a break. We’re going to Waystation.”

“So, we’re just giving up on him.”

“Yes, looks like it,” Jaroch said, a bit too happily.

“Not now, Jaroch,” Rydell said.

“My apologies,” Jaroch turned back to his station and started humming “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” He managed to get through the first verse before Hawkins phasered him into unconsciousness.


“Personal log. Stardate unknown. I have examined the wreckage of the Atchafalaya and determined that the engines are a complete loss. The power cells were drained somehow by the freighter explosion, but I am in the process of recharging them with the emergency solar cells. I would like to know who the genius was who decided to put the emergency items in a compartment that requires power to get into. I had to phaser the thing open. The power’s out and the stuff you need to get it back on is in a place that won’t open unless you have power. Brilliant. There should be a regulation.

“Regulation Suggestion One: Emergency supplies on runabout’s must be stored in a compartment that it easy to access and open.

“There. That should do it.

“The planet I have landed on is fairly nice. I have crashed about 10 meters from a stream near the edge of a forest. Conditions are cool, but pleasant. I should be comfortable until I’m rescued. The runabout will provide an excellent home.”


“Secondprize, you are cleared to dock,” Lieutenant Walter Morales’ voice said.

“Thank you, Morales,” Rydell said. “Take is in, Sullivan.”

“We’ll be waiting,” Morales, Waystation’s first officer, replied.

Rydell was one of the last people off of the Secondprize. Commander Lisa Beck, Waystation’s commanding officer was waiting for him when he stepped out of the airlock.

“Hello, Captain,” Beck said warmly. “Merry Christmas.”

“And to you,” Rydell said, trying to sound happy.

“Let me show you around. Things have changed a bit since you were last here.”

“Yes. I’ve heard this has become quite an active place.”

“We have pretty steady traffic from colonization ships and such. It’s not really that exciting unless the Multeks start acting up.”

Beck led Rydell out into Starfleet Square Mall, the large business area that was the center of activity on Waystation. Decorated Christmas trees lined the hallway of the mall as Christmas carols played through the speakers.

“Can I buy you lunch?” Beck asked. “We’ve got a great Andorian place.”

“Maybe later.”

“You’re taking this Dillon thing kind of hard. I thought you’d be relieved to get rid of him. Actually, I’m surprised you didn’t do this long ago.”

“Do what?”

“Lose him. You’ve done it before. I mean, there was that Baxter guy you sent to…”

“That was an accident!”

“Sorry.”

“I don’t like losing anybody. I don’t want them dead, missing…or transferred,” Rydell said, looking at Beck. “I like to keep my people together.”

“I’ve missed you too, sir.”


Commander Dillon gathered up some more kindling and put it into the makeshift backpack he’d constructed. While the runabout had power, Dillon decided he’d be better off trying to gather and cook his own food so as to conserve the runabout’s resources to keep the emergency beacon going.

Dillon almost didn’t notice the bear-like creature wandering on the path ahead of him. The bear saw him, though, and bellowed a menacing growl. Dillon instinctively went for his phaser, then thought better of it.


“I know how this works. I panic, shoot you, then find out you’re from a race of super-intelligent bears. Then I get to feel guilty for my human prejudices and look like an idiot. No way. I learned something at the academy.”

Dillon holstered the phaser and approached the bear with his arms raised in a gesture of friendship.

“Greetings. I am Commander Travis Michael Dillon of the Federation Starship Secondprize. We are a peaceful group dedicated to…”

The bear reared up on its hind legs, roared, and smacked Dillon across the side of the head with its massive paw.

“Then again, maybe you’re a bear,” Dillon said, scrambling for his phaser.


“Regulation Suggestion 26: Upon seeing a bear or bear-like creature, the policy is to stun first and ask questions later.”


Counselor Claire Webber saw Lieutenant Hawkins sitting alone at a table in the food court of Starfleet Square Mall. Hawkins looked like she wanted to ram a plastic fork through someone. Ignoring her own safety, Webber decided she’d better go talk to her.

“Hi, Patricia. How are you holding up?” Webber said.

“Peachy,” Hawkins said. “Now get lost, Claire.”

“I can’t do that, Patricia.” Without warning, Webber dove at Hawkins and grabbed her in a giant bear hug. “You’ll find somebody better,” Webber said. That shouldn’t be too hard. They didn’t come much worse than Commander Dillon.

“I don’t want to,” Hawkins gasped. Webber let go and sat down across from Patricia.

“If Travis’ alive, I’m sure someone will find him,” Webber said. This was obviously the kind of reassurance Patricia wanted.

“Do you realize we’ve lost Kris Larkin and Dillon now? That’s two good friends in one year.”

One good friend and one obnoxious twit, Webber thought.

“Space is a dangerous place,” Webber said. “Dillon and Larkin knew that when they joined.”

“Yeah, but that doesn’t make things any easier.”


“Personal log. Supplemental. If my calculations are correct, tomorrow should be Christmas Eve. I’ve chopped down a small pine tree and placed it in the living area of the runabout. The debris from the warp nacelles is making surprisingly good ornaments.

“This is the first Christmas I’ve ever had to spend alone. No one should spend Christmas alone.

“Regulation Suggestion 215: No Starfleet officer is allowed to be alone on Christmas.”


Commander Beck stood outside of her office waiting for some news. Rydell had borrowed the office to talk to Starfleet Command about the Dillon situation. The Secondprize was going to need a new first officer. The question was would they promote someone on the ship or get someone from outside. Jaroch was the obvious front-runner, but a lot of higher-ups thought he was too unstable. In some ways, Beck had to agree.

She looked across ops at Jaroch, who was standing at the science console with Lieutenant Craig Porter, Waystation’s science and operations officer. They had been analyzing the disappearance of the runabout from the time the Secondprize docked.


“How’s it going, guys?” Beck asked, walking over to them.

“Not well,” Jaroch said.

“Yeah, these readings make about as much sense as Binar on speed,” Porter said.

“If you don’t mind me asking, why are you so concerned about this, Jaroch? Patricia was pretty sure you were thrilled that Dillon’s gone.”

“My life has been empty without him to insult,” Jaroch said.

“No other reason.”

“Should there be?”

“I just thought maybe you’d developed a soft spot for Dillon.”

“Not for Dillon, I can assure you,” Jaroch said, turning back to his work. Beck was pretty sure there was more to that statement than Jaroch was letting on, but she didn’t feel like pursuing it.


“Admiral, I still think Jaroch is the best choice for the job. He’s been with this crew since the beginning,” Rydell said.

“I’m aware of that, Alex,” Admiral Thomas Wagner replied. “But his record…”

”..is exemplary,” Rydell said.

“No, it’s scary,” Wagner said. “That man has killed more people than any officer in the fleet.”

“If I may, sir, those deaths were caused by J’Ter, not Jaroch.”

“Yeah, but J’Ter is part of Jaroch. I’m sorry Alex. We just can’t approve that.”

“Then who?”

“There was this David Conway guy who would have been perfect, but we made him first officer of the Aerostar.”

“Which disappeared,” Rydell said.

“Yes,” Wagner said.

“Admiral, there is also the possibility that Dillon’s still alive.”

“We haven’t had any reports of a distress beacon or anything, but we’ll keep looking,” Wagner said. “Until then, we’ll keep working on a list of possible replacements for Commander Dillon. Wagner out. Oh, by the way, Merry Christmas.”

“Right,” Rydell muttered.


The storm was coming in fast. Dillon could feel the wind pushing on him as he raced back toward the runabout. He’d been several kilometers away picking fruit from some trees he’d discovered when the clouds started to roll in. Now, he wasn’t sure if he was going to make it back before the storm hit full force.

Rain began pelting the ground around him, growing in intensity as he ran. The wind grew louder and stronger.

“Regulation Suggestion 365: Always take severe weather gear with you when traveling away from your ship.”

By the time, Dillon got within sight of the runabout, the storm was on him full force. The winds obliterated his campfire pit and threatened to rip the emergency solar cells off of the runabout. Hail smacked against the runabout’s roof and Dillon’s body. The winds were raging stronger than anything he had ever seen. He was almost inside, though.


A sudden powerful gust of wind lifted Dillon off the ground and threw him against the runabout like a piece of wet spaghetti. Dillon slid down to the ground unconscious, fruit spilling everywhere.


Commander Beck stepped up to the podium that had been erected in front of the largest Christmas tree in Starfleet Square Mall and looked out at the gathered group made up of the Waystation crew, the Federation marines, various civilians, and the crew of the Secondprize. Beck felt that Captain Rydell should be doing this, since he was the ranking officer, but he’d insisted that it was her station and, therefore, her duty.

“This is our second Christmas here at Waystation, and I’d just like to say how wonderful it is to have the Secondprize crew here with us. Our histories have been linked since the beginning, so it’s only appropriate for us to be spending this festive time together.

“That said, I’d like to welcome everyone to our second annual Christmas Eve Celebration. Hit it, guys!”

The Vulcan jazz band started into their rendition of “Jingle Bells” as the gathered revelers descended upon the food spread out on buffets near the food court.


Dillon felt a cool wetness on his forehead that gradually pulled him out of his delirium. He immediately wished he’d stayed unconscious. Every part of his body ached worse than it ever had before. Several bones had to be broken.

Slowly, he opened his eyes. The sun was blinding. A figure moved above him, blocking out the brightness.

As Dillon’s eyes focused, he couldn’t believe what he was seeing. In front of him was a fat man in a red outfit. The man’s stomach shook like a bowl full of jelly every time he moved.

“S…Santa?” Dillon whispered hoarsely.

“I’m not Santa Claus, you blasted fool,” a voice with a thick Scottish accent replied.

Dillon’s vision cleared the rest of the way. He still couldn’t believe his eyes.

“Captain Montgomery Scott, at your service,” the man said smiling. “Just call me Scotty.”

“How?”

“I detected your distress signal and came down here to investigate. I found you there looking pretty beat up, laddie. Who are you?”

“Commander Travis Michael Dillon,” Dillon croaked, every syllable agony. “U.S.S. Secondprize.”

“The Enterprise?”

“No. Secondprize.”

“I see. Well, let’s get you out of here.” Scotty injected him with a hypospray that immediately had Dillon feeling a bit better. He picked Dillon up as gently as possible and carried Dillon back to his shuttle.

“My crew will be at Waystation,” Dillon said.

“Aye. I’ll have you there in a couple of days.”

“Days. I’m going to miss Christmas,” Dillon said glumly.

“Christmas? That’s three days away. You’ll be there before that.”

“Three days? The runabout must have been sent across time as well as space.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Never mind. It’s not important.”


Lieutenant Patricia Hawkins watched the festivities with a growing sense of sadness. This was not the time for her to be alone, but she just didn’t feel like dealing with people.


“Mind if I join you?” Lieutenant Commander Jaroch said from beside her.

“I’m not great company,” Hawkins said. Jaroch sat down across from her. Neither spoke for a few moments.

“Patricia, I am sorry about Commander Dillon,” Jaroch said finally. Hawkins stared at him.

“Thank you, Jaroch. I know that took a lot of effort, even if you didn’t really mean it.”

“I did mean it. Commander Dillon is important to you and…”

“Ops to Starfleet Square,” the comm system boomed suddenly, interrupting Jaroch and the Christmas party.

“Go ahead,” Beck said.

“A shuttle had just asked permission to dock. The pilot says he has Commander Dillon with him and he needs medical assistance.”

“Travis!” Hawkins shouted, jumping up from the table.

“Send them to Docking Bay Two. Have Doctor Nelson meet us there,” Beck said. She and Captain Rydell rushed after Lieutenant Hawkins.


“Is it Christmas yet?” Dillon asked weakly. The injuries he suffered from the storm had worsened over the last couple of days, and Scotty did not have the equipment to patch Dillon up properly.

“It will be shortly, laddie. Just hold on,” Scotty said as he piloted the shuttle into Waystation’s massive docking bay.

As soon as the shuttle touched down and the hatch opened, Doctor Amedon Nelson, Waystation’s chief medical officer ran inside. Hawkins waited impatiently with Rydell and Beck to find out Dillon’s status.

“Bring the stretcher,” Nelson ordered, ducking her head out a few seconds later. Two of Nelson’s nurses pushed past Hawkins to get to the shuttle. Soon, they brought out Dillon, looking like he’d just lost a prize fight to a mugatu.

“I’ll be home for Christmas,” Dillon sang softly. Hawkins ran over to him.

“Travis, are you all right?”

“I am now,” he said smiling.

“You can talk to him later,” Nelson said, pushing Hawkins aside. Nelson and the nurses took Dillon away.

“I think we should thank the pilot,” Rydell said, putting his arm around Hawkins. About that time, Captain Scott stepped out of the shuttlecraft.

“Permission to come aboard, sir,” Scotty said to Rydell.

“I’m not the one you need to ask,” Rydell replied, pointing at Beck. Scotty turned to her, a broad smile spreading across his face.

“Is that so? Well, Commander…”

“Beck. Lisa Beck.”

“May I come aboard?”

“Of course. It’s an honor to have you here, Captain Scott. We’re having a Christmas party, if you’d like to join us.”

“Sounds wonderful. Have you got any Scotch?”

“I’m sure we can finding something.”

“Nonsense.” Scotty went back into the shuttle and reemerged a few moments later with a bottle. “Only the best for the holidays. Now, where’s this party?”


“Right this way,” Beck said, extending her arm to Scotty.

“Thank you, lassie,” Scotty said, taking her arm. The two of them walked off together.

“I’m not sure which one of them to warn,” Rydell said.

“What do you mean?” Hawkins asked.

“Well, Captain Scott has an eye for the ladies, and Commander Beck’s liable to poke it out.”

“I think she likes him,” Hawkins said smiling.

“It’s nice to see you happy again.”

“What can I say? I got my Christmas present.”


“Captain’s log. Stardate 51437.6. Better known as Christmas morning. Commander Dillon’s condition was serious, but Doctor Nelson and our own Doctor Aldridge were more than able to handle it. Dillon should be ready for duty when the Secondprize leaves Waystation a few days from now. I’ve told Starfleet to call off the search for a new first officer. Dillon may not be the most amiable person on the planet, but if he was gone, who would I have to take care of my paperwork for me? Besides, if I transferred him, I think Lieutenant Hawkins would do me great bodily harm.”


Dillon was sitting up in bed when Hawkins entered sickbay.

“How are you feeling?” Hawkins asked.

“Pretty good considering,” Dillon replied.

“Tell me if this hurts.”

“What hurts?”

“This.” Hawkins leaned across the bed and kissed Dillon passionately.

“Nope. Didn’t hurt a bit.”

“Glad to hear it.”

“Hey! That’s enough of that,” Captain Rydell’s voice said from the doorway. Hawkins pulled away from Dillon and straightened her uniform. “You two have to wait until you’re someplace private. But now…” Rydell produced a couple of bottles of champagne from behind his back.

“What about glasses?” Dillon asked.

“Got it covered,” Rydell said. “Guys.”

Rydell walked in followed by the command crews of both the Secondprize and Waystation. Everyone was carrying either glasses, plates, or food.

“We knew you couldn’t make it to Christmas dinner, so we decided to bring it to you,” Beck said.

“Thanks, guys,” Hawkins said.

“Not a problem,” Rydell said.

“I am relieved that you are back, Commander,” Jaroch said to Dillon.

“Really? Thanks, Jaroch.”

“Lieutenant Hawkins was making us miserable.”

“All right, that’s enough bickering,” Rydell said. “I propose a toast.” Everyone raised their glasses. “To the crews of the Secondprize and Waystation. May we have long happy lives and always stay friends.”

“Hear, hear,” Beck said.


“Cheers.”

“Hey, did anybody recover that list of new regulations I was compiling?” Dillon asked. Hawkins playfully slapped him on the side of the head.

“Shut up and drink your champagne.”



Tags: Original