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Old August 19 2012, 08:14 PM   #30
Re: Star Trek: Republic (Book II: Ties of Blood)

Chapter Three

Martok, Chancellor of the Klingon Empire, sat upon his throne in the dimly lit Chamber of the High Council on the Klingon Homeworld. His left eye was scarred and sealed shut—a legacy of his injuries at the hands of the Dominion. But his right eye was wary and watchful, and he showed his teeth as one of the many Lords of the Houses gathered before him stepped forward.

“I see you, Laramm, son of Mak’vegh. Do you wish to address this Council today, in the absence of your father, the head of your House?”

“I do,” growled the stout Klingon Warrior. “The Federation has lied to us! They have deceived us! All, in an effort to keep the power of their quantum warheads for themselves, ignoring our Alliance and the treaties between our peoples! They told us all that such weapons were designed to fight the Borg . . . and then they were used against the Dominion! They told us that such weapons required a specialized launcher and were not compatible with our Klingon torpedoes! That such launchers were only available on the newest and most powerful Federation battleships!”

Laramm glared at the Chancellor, who returned his two eyes with one. “Lord Mak’vegh has proof of their perfidy!”

“Ah, Mak’vegh, who has been exiled to his estates on Sho-do-rii, has this proof you say?” the Chancellor mused. “Then let us summon him forth to this Council to present it!” Martok said as he stood.

The younger Klingon shook his head. “Lord Mak’vegh was exiled from the Homeworld, from this Council, from your presence, but you never ordered him to remain on Sho-do-rii, Martok!”

“Ah,” Martok said again as he sat. “And what part of ‘get thee hence, p’tahk, to your estates on Sho-do-rii and remain in exile until you are summoned’ did he fail to understand?”

Laramm did not answer, and Martok chuckled. “But that is for another day, son of Mak’vegh. Summon forth the Federation Ambassador to answer these charges!” he commanded.

The Klingon Lords whispered among themselves, but then the blast doors slid open with sharp hiss and a dull thud, and a line of Klingon Warriors of the House of Martok escorted the Federation Ambassador into the chamber.

“Laramm, son of Mak’vegh charges that the Federation has lied to the Klingon Empire, Ambassador. He has accused you of false statements regarding your quantum torpedoes—and he claims proof of his accusations? What does the Federation say in response to these . . . claims?”

The Ambassador lowered his hood, and Worf, son of Mogh, glared at Laramm. “The Federation has told no lies to the High Council! I dispute this claim as a falsehood!”

Laramm stepped forward and he stared at Worf. “Yet, I have proof of your misdeeds! Proof that the starship Republic, equipped with torpedo launchers equal to Klingon weapons, fired upon two Klingon cruisers with quantum torpedoes! How is it that the Federation can claim such weapons cannot be fired from lesser launchers when we have the evidence before us?”

Worf laughed, and whispers rose from the assembled Lords of the Houses. “You cite this as evidence, baktag? When did Republic fire quantum torpedoes into Klingon cruisers? Where did this take place? And if true, why did she fire in the first place? And does this mean that the House of Mak’vegh has now lost three cruisers to this one Federation Starship?”

“Yes,” hissed Martok. “These questions should be answered, Laramm, son of Mak’vegh. Do so.”

Laramm looked down at the floor, and then he spat. “I have the sensor logs from a third ship, one that escaped, that confirm your starship attacking our vessels.”

“Complete sensor logs?” asked Worf. “That I doubt, knowing of the ill-association of the House of Mak’vegh with the truth!” And the whispers rose in volume, as Worf smiled. “But I have the unedited logs of Republic in this matter and will make them available to any Warrior who wishes to see them.”

“You do not deny that Republic destroyed our cruisers?”

Worf bared his teeth in a ferocious grin. “Pakleds could destroy a ship of the House of Mak’vegh!”

The younger Klingon growled and he jumped forward, but four of Martok’s guards held him back.

“Warriors!” Worf said, as he turned to address the Council. The commander of Republic stole a number of quantum warheads, he took them without authorization; he then . . . modified his torpedoes and launchers in order to fire them, losing range and some damage potential in the process. No lies have been told by the Federation; there has been no deceit practiced upon you. He has been officially reprimanded for his actions by Starfleet.”

More whispers and few raised voices emerged, but then silence hung over the Council Chamber as every Klingon turned to the sound of Martok laughing upon his throne. “And what Warrior among you would do no less? Truth, Klingons! Given a weapon such as this, if the Defense Force told you that you could not have it, would you not have done the same? Ah, this Dahlgren has the soul of a Klingon . . . and do not forget he has taken blood-oath with the House of Koram. Besides, Warriors,” Martok said as he turned serious once more, “the Federation has shared with me the secrets of the quantum warhead and soon enough our foundries will be producing a torpedo capable of being used in our launchers. The launchers will require a refit, as it takes significantly more power to arm the weapon than our photons—but it will be available to the Fleets of the Lords of the Houses, as well as the Defense Force.”

Growls of approval rose from the floor and Martok leaned forward in his throne and he rested his elbows upon his knees. “And now, Laramm, we shall discuss exactly what your p’tahk of a father is doing in leading an attack upon our Federation allies. We will discuss this now in . . . detail.”
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