fleetcaptain: I've seen mention of a Lexington
fan series or two, but I think they're both TNG based, while this one is TOS.
Here's the next part, I hope everyone enjoys it!
MEET THE LADY Part: 3
“Shields!” The commodore called out, and then addressing his communications officer, he ordered, “Cilla…open hailing frequencies. Let’s see if we can get him to talk…” Before he could finish his sentence, twin green disruptor bolts lanced out from the wing struts of the Klingon cruiser, impacting harmlessly on the Lexington’s
The bridge shaking mildly under the impact of the energy beams as the ship’s shields firmed up, Cilla quipped in a dry voice, “The Klingons have just answered our hail, Sir.”
“I see they have.” Wesley riposted in an equally deadpan tone. “Let’s return the favor.” His voice now crisp and clear, the commodore ordered, “Phasers—fire.”
“Firing phasers!” Ensign Bathory acknowledged with just the slightest hint of excitement as she pressed the firing button on her console. Twin orange beams sliced out from the tiny bubble at the bottom of the saucer, hitting the rear section of the Klingon vessel as it passed under the Lexington.
“Come about to 300 degrees…negative Z-axis…10 minutes of arc.” Wesley commanded. Aliz’s hands flying over the keyboard, the graceful starship pivoted about, its saucer section dipping as the Lexington
turned on its attacker. “Prepare to fire phasers on my order…” the commodore instructed as the Klingon ship began its pivot. “Fire!”
Once again, the Lady Lex’s
beams launched out, only this time to strike just a glancing blow at the D-7’s forward shields as the Klingon battlecruiser completing its pivot, launched another attack run.
“He’s feinting…” Alexei remarked coolly as the Klingon appeared to repeat his earlier attack.
“Setting us up for a right hook…” Robert agreed with a sly grin as he watched the enemy warship draw closer. “Ms. Bathory…” the commodore remarked as he leaned forward in his chair, “Now we get to see if your reflexes are as good as your record says they are. Be ready…you’ll only have a few seconds…”
“Aye, sir.” The Hungarian ensign replied confidently as the Klingon vessel drawing nearer, suddenly dropped its nose, yawing to the left.
Her fingers pressing down on the controls, Aliz felt as if she were actually pushing the giant starship down as she attempted to counter the Klingon maneuver. The Klingon vessel now beneath the Lexington
, the youthful ensign barely heard the commodore’s order to fire. “Firing.” She automatically replied as her finger once again hit the fire button, phaser beams striking the D-7’s top shields as it passed beneath.
“The Klingon’s shields are down twenty percent, sir.” Talana called out from her science station.
The Klingon commander, however, had a few tricks up his sleeve as well, as Wesley soon found out. Turning quickly on his opponent, green disruptor beams once again came from the D-7’s
wings, their impact shaking the Lexington
violently, knocking crew off their feet and seats and on to the deck.
“What the hell!” Dr. Vincent called out from sickbay as he grasped on to the edge of an examination slab. Seeing a crewman wearing the red of security bringing in a young science branch junior lieutenant, the Lexington’s
chief medical officer patted the top of the examination table that had just so recently rescued him. “Put her here.” He directed as he took out his medical tricorder. Running a quick scan of his patient, he flashed an assuring smile as he injected her with a hypospray, “Don’t worry, Ms. You’ve got a mild concussion. This should take care of it, but I still want you to stay here for now.” Turning his attention back to his staff, the doctor growled, “What are you people doing standing around with your thumbs up your asses? Get to your posts—if this keeps up we’re going to have a lot more people coming here soon
“Damage report?” Wesley called out.
“Shields down ten percent.” Cilla replied, “Minor injuries: a couple of concussions, but mostly bumps and bruises reported.”
“That’s good.” Wesley sighed in relief and then remarked to himself, “We’re not getting anywhere going around in circles like this.” Spying the nebula’s tendrils in the main viewer, a sly grin crossed the commodore’s face as he addressed his English navigator, “Mr. Lawford, plot us a course for that nebula.”
“Done, Sir.” Terrence replied as he pressed a button on his console.
“Ms. Bathory…” Robert now instructed, “Take us there...maximum warp”
“Aye, Sir.” The Hungarian officer acknowledged turning the starship towards the gaseous body.
“The Klingon’s pursuing…” Talana reported as the main viewer, now showing a rear aspect under the commodore’s orders, showed the Klingon battlecruiser in pursuit.
“Just as I thought he would...” Wesley replied, the grin still on his face. Addressing his science officer, the commodore inquired, “What readings are you getting from the nebula now?”
Her antennae twitching, reflecting both her excitement and her curiosity, the Andorian science officer replied, “Tachyon emissions have picked up markedly since the battle started.”
“Interesting…” Wesley drawled as Aliz reported that the Lexington was about to enter the nebula. “Reduce speed to one quarter impulse.” The commodore ordered as his eyes tried vainly to make out features within the pink and blue gaseous cloud that now obscured the viewscreen. “What are you getting now, Ms. Zha’Thara?”
“Tachyon emissions have just increased by one hundred and fifty percent.” The Andorian replied, her voice betraying her astonishment at the rapidly increasing readings.
“Ten thousand kilometers.” Lieutenant Lawford interjected, “The Klingon has also entered the nebula.
“Pivot…Now!” Wesley ordered his helmsman, the tiny woman piloting the ship once again willing the giant vessel to turn as she operated the controls on her console. As the Lexington
spun around, Robert’s sharp eyes picked out his target, its silhouette barely visible in the clouds. “Fire!”
As Aliz’s finger pressed the firing button, the Lexington’s bridge lighting suddenly dimmed once…twice…and then went out completely.
“Emergency power…” The commodore ordered. The ship’s lighting flickering back to life, Talana’s voice rang out, this time, this time, her voice one of alarm. “Tachyon emissions two hundred…strike…three hundred…” The bridge now bathed in brilliant, blinding white light, officers and crew slumped down into unconsciousness as both the Lexington
and the Klingon vessel facing it were both englobed within that dazzling light for just a fraction of a second. And then, as suddenly as it appeared, the light vanished.
The steady beeping from Talana’s scanner providing the only noise on the bridge, Commander Kuznetsov struggled to consciousness. Staggering out of his chair, he helped up the yeoman, who had fallen to the deck. Nodding his head at her muttered thanks, the first officer, taking visual stock of his personnel on the bridge, noticed immediately that two people were missing. Activating the ship’s intercom, Kuznetsov called out, “Commodore Wesley…Ensign Bathory…respond immediately.” After several moments of no response, the commander repeated his request, once again receiving no answer. Addressing Cilla Oudekirk, Alexei ordered, “I want an immediate count of ship’s personnel. I want to know how many people are missing and who.”
“Aye, Sir.” The blonde communications officer responded as the bridge lights flickered back on again.
“Mr. Lawford…” The commander called out, “What’s our current position?”
“Still within the nebula, Sir.” The English navigator replied, “But we’re drifting…”
“Correct for drift.” The Bear ordered as he stared into the main viewer. “What’s our Klingon friend doing?”
“Drifting as we are, Sir.” The English lieutenant answered back as an ensign rushed to the empty helmsman’s chair. “Our weapons and shields are still offline though,” He added ruefully.
“But so are the Klingons.” Talana added with a note of relief.
“I don’t think we’re going to get anywhere fighting our way out of this anyway.” Alexei mused as his thoughts were disrupted by Lieutenant Oudekirk’s voice.
“Sir…we have a count on those missing.” She reported, “We have a total number of five missing: The commodore and Ensign Bathory, Ensign Whatley, Crewman Reynolds, and Crewman Malik.
“Thank you, Lieutenant.” The first officer acknowledged as he cupped his chin. Turning towards his science officer, Alexei asked, “Ms. Zha’Thara? What do you make of what just happened to us? What was that light? And what do you have any ideas as to what might have happened to our people?”
“I’m not sure, Sir.” The Andorian replied apologetically, “But if I were to hazard a guess, I’d say it’d have to do with that massive tachyon buildup my scanners picked up before the lights went out.”
“Make that your top priority…” The Bear growled, “I want answers.” Turning toward Cilla, the burly Russian ordered, “Try the Klingons again—maybe this time they’ll be willing to talk.”
“Aye, Sir.” The Dutch communications officer replied as she replaced her earpiece which had slipped from her ear. “Hailing frequencies open…they’re responding.”
“Good.” Kuznetsov acknowledged. “Main viewer.”
The image of the cloudy nebula faded away to be replaced by an image, fuzzy at first, that gradually resolved itself into the form of a Klingon male, his swarthy skin, jet black hair, neatly trimmed goatee and smooth forehead marking him as one of those Klingons with human augment DNA.
This is both good and bad…
Kuznetsov thought as he gazed intently at his opposite number, The good news is that augments aren’t physically as strong and react a bit more like humans than ridgies. The bad news, however, is that augments do act more like humans—on the whole they’re much more cunning and patient.
Taking a deep breath, Alexei spoke, “This is Commander Alexei Kuznetsov, temporarily in command of the Federation Starship Lexington
“I am Commander Kalas, first officer of the IKS K’Mar
.” The Klingon declared, baring his teeth in anger as he cut the Russian first officer off in mid-sentence. “You have committed acts of war against the Klingon Empire. You have attacked our shipping and have kidnapped our captain and several members of our crew! I demand that you release them immediately.”
“For a Klingon…” Alexei responded, laughing as he simultaneously matched his Klingon counterpart glare for glare, “…you have an almost Russian sense of humor!” His laughter vanishing, Kuznetsov went on the offensive, “It is you that have committed acts of war against the Federation. You have attacked our scoutship, attacked this vessel without provocation, and have kidnapped our captain and crew.”
“I know nothing about your captain!” The Klingon retorted, “And it is you who are the aggressors, while we have acted in self defense! You destroyed one of our patrol vessels in our space—we retaliated.”
Alexei thought as he digested that little piece of news from the Klingon first officer. Taking a conciliatory posture, Kuznetsov replied, “Commander…perhaps neither one of us is at fault here…” Disregarding the derisive snort from his counterpart, the Bear continued to make his case. “Think about it…both of us losing ships in this same region…don’t you think it’s possible that there might be something else going on here? This is neutral space…” Alexei began only to be cut off once again by the angry Klingon.
“This space clearly belongs to the Klingon Empire!” Kalas declared with a smug grin.
“And you are a lying sardelka!” Kuznetsov swore in an act of calculated bluster as Cilla barely repressed a snicker at the insult that had just been delivered to the Klingon. “You and I both know that this is unclaimed space.” Then, just as suddenly as he exploded, the Bear resumed his earlier peace-making pose, “But…why don’t we let the diplomats figure that out. Right now, we’re both missing our captains and crewmembers and there’s a high probability that whoever did it is still out there. Wouldn’t it make sense for us to work together to get our people back?”
Pausing for a moment, the Klingon appeared deep in thought, “I do not trust you, Earther…but…at the same time…what you say is plausible.” Kuznetsov then saw the Klingon officer turn his head to speak to one of his subordinates. After several moments of conversation, the swarthy Klingon faced the screen once again, speaking in a guarded tone, “So, what do you propose?”
“For now…” The Bear proffered, “A truce…” Seeing the skeptical look on the Klingon’s face, the Russian quickly added, “A temporary truce. Only until we find out what’s going on and our captains and crews have been recovered. After that…it will depend on what they wish to do.”
“Agreed.” The Klingon replied, “We have a truce…for now. But be warned, I will be on guard for Starfleet treachery.”
“And I’ll have my eye on you, Commander,” Kuznetsov answered back as he gestured to Cilla to cut off communications.
As the screen went blank, the Dutch communications officer asked, “Do you think he’ll try something, Commander?”
“Da…” Alexei replied in a grim voice, “I’m sure of it.” Turning towards Talana, the Russian first officer ordered, “Get to work on those tachyon emissions. I don’t want our temporary friends out there to get the jump on us.” Nodding his head at Talana’s prompt acknowledgment of his orders, Alexei watched as she exited the bridge. Turning once again to Cilla, the first officer commanded, “Take us to Yellow Alert, Ms. Oudekirk.”
“Aye, Sir.” The tall blonde responded as the internal lighting changed from red to normal; the alert light shifting now from the brightly flashing red indicating General Quarters to a flashing amber color. “Yellow Alert, Sir.”
Nodding his head in satisfaction, Alexei pressed the intercom button on the arm of the center chair in which he sat. “Lieutenant Mtolo?”
“Aye, Sir?” The obsidian-skinned security chief responded from his post in Security.
“We have a temporary truce with the Klingons…” Alexei advised, “…but I want you and your people to stay on guard. I don’t trust those xuebratija Klinks as far as I can throw them.”
“Right, Commander.” The Zulu lieutenant promptly responded flashing a toothy grin. “If they try anything, we’ll be ready.”
Terminating the connection, Alexei cupped his chin thoughtfully, What did happen to the Commodore?
The burly Russian pondered as he stared at the main viewer, And how do I get him and the others back?
“Where are we?” Ensign Whatley asked as her eyes scanned the clearing that she, Commodore Wesley, her roommate, Ensign Bathory, and two other Lexington
crewmen, both wearing the red shirts of the Support branch had suddenly found themselves in. “I was at my duty station when all of a sudden…”
“I was on the bridge…” Aliz began, only to be interrupted by the commodore.
“I remember Lieutenant Commander Zha'Thara reporting a massive buildup of tachyon emissions coming from the center of the nebula…”
“And then everything went blank…” Aliz finished.
“So…how did we get here?” One of the security crewmen, an attractive younger human with sandy blond hair asked.
“That’s a good question…” The commodore replied, taking immediate and decisive control over the situation, “…and one that we’re going to have to address, but for right now, we need to know what we’re dealing with here.” Turning towards the olive skinned science officer standing next to his helmsman, Robert inquired, “Ensign…”
“Whatley.” Jennifer promptly responded, coming to attention, “Ensign Jennifer Whatley, Sir.”
“Stand at ease, Ensign.” Robert replied, giving his subordinate an avuncular grin. “This isn’t a parade ground.” Coming over to the recent Academy graduate, the commodore asked, “What’s your specialty, Ensign Whatley?”
“Life Sciences, Sir.” Jennifer answered back, “Xeno-biology.”
“Excellent!” Wesley exclaimed encouragingly, “Just the person we need in a spot like this. So Ensign…” Robert inquired, “What do you make of this environment.”
“Well, Sir…” Jennifer began hesitatingly, “I don’t have my tricorder…”
“You don’t need any scanning instruments to give me a general layout…” Robert interjected, now taking on the role of an instructor, “What does your knowledge and your senses tell you?”
“Well, Sir…” The science specialist began, “I’d say from the vegetation that we’re dealing with what would be the Earth equivalent of a late Cretaceous-early Paleocene environment. A lot of the trees I’m seeing here…” She remarked, pointing at a nearby tree, “…are angiosperms. If we were dealing with an earlier epoch, we’d be seeing a lot more ferns and cycads.”
“What about animal life?” Aliz asked as the security guards automatically assumed a defensive posture, their eyes continually scanning the perimeter, as well as the sky for any possible signs of movement.
“Depends…” Jennifer replied, “If you’re asking whether there are any dinosaurs or not…I don’t think so. For one thing…” She chuckled, “…if there were, we probably would have either seen one by now or seen some evidence of one. The larger ones aren’t exactly inconspicuous, you know.”
“Point taken.” Robert laughed, joining in the momentary good humor. “So…what might we see?”
“Well…I’m not sure…” The youthful ensign responded, “Just because it looks like a late Cretaceous-early Paleocene environment here, doesn’t mean that life will evolve in a similar manner as it did on Earth.” Pausing for a moment to take a breath, Jennifer continued, “For instance, this planet probably didn’t have to deal with the K-T extinction event that marked the end of the Cretaceous on Earth…” However, before she could continue, she was interrupted by Commodore Wesley’s urgent orders as a large shadow of a winged creature appeared on the ground.
“Cover! Now!” The commodore yelled as he waved his crew to nearby tree line. Running alongside her roommate, Jennifer heard a high pitched whine growing louder and louder and then the beating of wings and a scream as a gust of wind knocked her off her feet. Looking up, she saw the blond security guard snatched up into the air by the talons of a large creature that looked, to the frightened young woman’s eyes, to be a cross between a bird and a reptile. Clutching tightly to its prey, the blue scaled predator let out a loud call as it winged its way skyward, its opened mouth revealing row after row of sharp white teeth. Feeling something moist falling on her hair, Jennifer touched it. As she brought her fingers to her face, the young ensign immediately recognized the crimson fluid that was now beginning to spot her formerly immaculate blue dress. Waves of nausea growing within her, Jennifer, bending over, gagged as she disgorged the contents of her last meal on the ground as Aliz knelt beside her, her eyes watching the skies as she stayed with her friend.
Turning about as soon as he heard the scream from his crewman, Robert, grabbing the tiny phaser one from his belt, pushed the firing button, but to no avail as nothing happened. Cursing, the commodore saw Jennifer, crying, bent over heaving, Ensign Bathory by her side. Keeping a constant watch on the sky, Wesley made his way to the distraught officer and her companion, kneeling on the opposite side of the heaving woman. “I know you’re scared Ensign…” The commodore said sympathetically, “But we need to get moving. That thing—or one of its friends—might come back.” Seeing that the dark haired ensign had finished her heaving, Robert helped her to her feet. “Let’s go, Jennifer…” He encouraged, deliberately using Whatley’s first name as he, along with Aliz, urged the terrified young woman to safety, staying by her side every step of the way until they had reached the safety of the forest.
Turning Jennifer over to her roommate, Wesley spoke to Aliz in a low voice, “See to Ensign Whatley. I have a feeling we’re going to need her knowledge and expertise if we’re going to get back home ok.” Hearing the Hungarian helmsman’s whispered acknowledgment, Robert turned his attention to the sole remaining security officer, standing watch at the tree line. “Crewman…”
“Malik.” The swarthy skinned enlisted rating answered promptly, “Crewman Nassir Malik, Sir.”
“All right, Crewman Malik,” Wesley directed as his eyes took in the tree branches and scattered small rocks lying on the ground. “Since our phasers don’t seem to work here, we’re going to have to improvise.” Picking up a sturdy wooden stick approximately his height and a sharp edged stone, Robert grinned, “We should be able to make ourselves some makeshift spears out of these.”
“Aye, Sir.” The Moroccan crewman quickly acknowledged with a toothy grin. His smile vanishing, the security specialist pointed towards the setting sun. “Sir? We should also probably see about building a fire—in case we’ve got nocturnal predators too.”
“Good idea.” The commodore affirmed. Turning his attention to his helmsman who had just wiped the spattered blood off her roommate’s face, Wesley asked, “How’s your friend doing?”
“I’ll be ok, Sir.” Jennifer responded in a low voice, answering in the place of Aliz. “I was just…”
“It’s all right, Ensign.” Bob replied in a fatherly tone as he put his hand on the science officer’s shoulder. Kneeling down in front of the olive skinned biologist, Wesley advised, “I know this isn’t probably how you pictured your first away mission to be like, Jennifer, but we’re all going to have to rely on each other if we’re going to survive. It’s ok to feel fear—I’d worry about you if you didn’t.” He said, eliciting a shaky grin from the young woman, “But you don’t want to let that fear take you over.” His voice now taking on a more soothing tone, Robert concluded, “You’ll get through this just fine if you remember your training and stay on your toes—right?”
“Right, Sir.” Jennifer replied, managing a shaky grin. “Thank you.”
“Don’t mention it!” The commodore exclaimed as he stood back up, a glint of sunlight reflected off of something in the distance suddenly catching his attention.
“Sir? What is it?” Fighting down the fear growing within the pit of her stomach, Aliz repeated her question, “What did you see?”
Barely making out the form of a metallic spire rising towards the cerulean sky, a grin slowly appeared on the commodore’s face. “Well, Ensign…” He said as he pointed towards the spire, “If we’re lucky, we might be able to get some answers to our questions over there.” Quickly deciding on a course of action, Wesley issued his orders, “First thing we do—we build a fire. Then…we see to weapons and finding something to eat. Lastly, we set up a watch schedule and get some sleep—we’re going to have a long day tomorrow.”
“Gitan was overconfident.” A tall, lithe augment-descended Klingon warrior wearing an honor sash declared as he speared a piece of cooked meat on the point of his d’k tahq
. “And he was too slow.” The Klingon added as he admonished the three warriors gathered around the fire. “So…” He said as he chewed the piece of meat taken from the slain avian creature roasting above the fire, “…instead of bringing back prey, he became prey.” Flashing a toothy grin, the captain concluded his lecture, “Let that be a lesson to you all. Never underestimate your opponent.”
“Hunh…” One of the Klingons grunted, “Gitan’s ambition always did exceed his wisdom.”
“True…” Another Klingon agreed, nodding his head as he speared a piece of meat, “But he died in battle, right Captain K’Tan?”
“Correct, M’Kal.” The Klingon captain replied, “He died as a Klingon.”
Looking up from his meal, the third Klingon warrior, this one younger than the others, inquired of his commanding officer, “Captain K’Tan? How was the Federation starship able to transport us to this place?”
“I don’t know, K’Temoc,” The captain answered truthfully, “But I intend to find out.”
“So…” The first Klingon asked after letting out a satisfying belch, “How do we start?”
Spying the metallic spire lit up by the setting sun, now a deep red as it sank on the horizon, the captain replied smiling as he pointed with his knife at the spire, “See that, D’Kell? I will start there.” Turning towards his men, K’Tan commanded, “Eat your fill. M’Kal, you have the first watch…then K’Temoc followed by D'Kell. I will stand the last watch. Sleep well tonight—you will need your strength for tomorrow.”
“What are your intentions Commander?” The Klingon third officer asked from his station at the weapons console. “Do you truly intend to cooperate with that Federation Pet’aQ
“Of course not, D’Kor!” Kalas replied laughing. “It was merely a ruse intended to put him off guard. I have a plan…” The K’Mar’s
first officer grinned, “But…” he cautioned, “…it will require patience. Pick twenty of our best warriors…men trained in combat in zero gravity.”
Nodding his head once in acknowledgment, D’Kor immediately responded, “I will see to it at once.”
As his third officer departed the bridge, Kalas gazed into the viewscreen trying to make out the faint outlines of the Federation starship amongst the whirls and vortices of the nebula, “Soon…my arrogant friend…” Kalas muttered softly, “...soon we will meet. And when we do…I will look forward to personally introducing you to our mind-scanner.”