1889: A US ranger, John Dawson, is injured in an encounter with some outlaws and takes refuge in a cage, ending up on an alien planet. He leaves some of his belongings behind before leaving the cave and heading back to Earth.
Five hundred years later, Picard, Data and Crusher attend an archaeological dig on the planet Equinox in the Federation/Cardassian Neutral Zone. They discover Dawson's old bag and evidence that Equinox was inhabited by the Hopi Indians, who used the cave to migrate to Earth. The group then come under attack from an old Cardassian adversary of Picard's, Dusac, who plans to take revenge for his past disgrace and has arranged so they are on the planet without permission. Picard is able to hold the Cardassians off with Dawson's old revolver until the group use the cave to travel to Earth. There, Picard arranges to deliver Dawson's bag to his descendant, a Starfleet captain.
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|Strange New Worlds V||Next story:|
Chapter 12, Sections 2-5
|The above chronology placements are based on the primary placement in 2371.|
The Pocket Books Timeline places events from this story in one other timeframe:
500 Years Ago
Sections 1 and 3