Chapter Three (cont.)
Martok smiled at Worf as the Chancellor entered his private office. Outside, the agonizing screams of Laramm suddenly ended in the whine of a high-powered disruptor—and the Federation officer and Ambassador winced.
The older Klingon laughed. “Worf, you are the consummate Klingon in many things—but in others you are as squeamish as a new-born babe,” he said as he sat down a PADD on his desk and poured a chalice of blood-wine. He sat down and took a deep drink of the liquid, and then he smacked in lips in appreciation. “I believe that your Federation will that information to be of . . . interest.”
“They will not approve of the means through which this information was collected, Chancellor,” growled Worf as he picked up the PADD and began to scroll through the data—but then his facial expression changed. “He has sent THAT many ships of his personal Fleet into Federation space? In pursuit of Republic
? What has he left to protect his holdings?”
The Chancellor laughed again. “Very little—less than even the most minor of Noble Houses can field. A fact which I made certain my very ambitious and greedy House Lords were made aware of,” and the old man bared his fangs. “I have declared the House of Mak’vegh as traitors to the Empire—and proclaimed that any House which can seize one of his eleven system may add that system to their own domain.”
Worf nodded. “Whereas, if you used to the Defense Force to crush him, you would be seen as a tyrant; now you have made the enemies and former allies of his House alike eager to carve him up in your stead. And they say you do not appreciate politics, Chancellor.”
“I want them to say I do not appreciate politics—for it is a war by a different name, Worf. And as with all wars, I fight to win.”
Worf inclined his head slightly and then he turned back to the PADD and shook his head.
“She cannot survive against so many ships of House Mak’vegh,” he said sadly, but then looked up in surprise as Martok began to laugh again.
is full of surprises, Worf. Not only did she destroy two K’vort
s at Camulus, she has turned back and is running for Earth,” Martok smiled broadly. “Mak’vegh had set his ambush ahead of Dahlgren’s ship—and now he is having to pursue while remaining cloaked to avoid detection in Federation space. A stern chase is a long chase, my friend. He has ordered all of his ships positioned between Republic and Earth to engage—a vain effort to make her slow down due to damage,” the Chancellor stood and he raised his chalice in salute. “She has already destroyed another K’vort
, two K’tinga
-class cruisers, and no fewer than five B’rel
-class scouts! Eleven
ships belonging to the House of Mak’vegh destroyed in detail—magnificent
,” he said as he downed another swallow of blood-wine. And then he sighed. “But her journey is drawing to end—for the main body led by Lord Mak’vegh himself draws nigh unto your starship, Worf. And no Korolev
-class cruiser, even one as well-handled as this one, can survive against the firepower that will be unleashed.”
Martok grinned at his adopted son. “Unless, Republic
is given assistance that is . . . do you agree?”
“I do,” said Worf. “Admiral Hansen has already left his station and is rendezvousing with Republic
—and there are other ships that have been diverted as well.”
“Yes, but I am thinking that since Mak’vegh is a rogue Klingon that it would be for the best if a loyal Klingon
ship were there to assist as well. You are scheduled to return to Earth this week, yes?”
will be completing her repairs soon, and I must return to my duties aboard her,” Worf answered proudly.
And Martok smiled. “Then I release you from your service early, Worf, son of Mogh. Go, return to your Federation space—have you a Federation ship available?”
“There is a runabout on stand-by, Chancellor.”
“A runabout? For the Ambassador of the Federation? While Mak’vegh disrupts the internal affairs of the Klingon Empire and interferes with the Federation? I shall not hear of it! No, I will assign to you the K’mpec
. To fufill my obligations under the treaty and ensure that you reach Earth safely, Mister Ambassador.”
Worf smiled. “And if I should happen to encounter Mak’vegh along the way?”
“Kill him. I have already informed the vessel’s commander that YOU are in command of this voyage, Worf. Qapla’