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Old July 3 2007, 11:36 PM   #23
DavidFalkayn
Commodore
 
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Lexington: Meet The Lady Part 4

Sitting on the ground, Robert leaned back against a thick conifer as he looked up at the clear, starlit night sky. As he relaxed, images of Virginia and Katie appeared in his mind. Virginia, as she looked the day they said goodbye, her face radiant as always, but something was different. Her smile was the same; she held her head up in the same manner she had always done. But, something was wrong. It was her eyes. When the couple was first married, they shined like tiny stars, illuminating the way home for him. But, as he stood at the transporter pad that would beam him up to the Lexington, her eyes bore a more somber…distant…cast. As if they were drawing their light away from him. And Katie…little Katie wasn’t little anymore. After the initial rush of welcoming that came with her first recognizing that her father was home had subsided, father and daughter quickly discovered that they had nothing to talk about. She was now a teenager—interested in boys and hanging out with friends and all the other things thirteen year old girls wanted to do. After three years apart, her father had become little more than a stranger to her. Three days…Robert mused mournfully as he gazed upwards, “…cannot make up for three years. Wesley continued in his melancholic reverie until the Magyar accent of his youthful helmsman broke his concentration.

“It’s beautiful…”

Turning his head towards the young ensign, Commodore Wesley replied, dispelling his earlier dark mood through sheer force of will, “It might be beautiful, but it also tells me something else…”

“That we’re not anywhere near the nebula.” Aliz finished as she handed the commodore a hollowed out gourd containing water. “It’s ok—it’s from that stream to the north…we boiled it so any germs should have been killed.”

“Not like we have much choice in the matter,” Robert quipped, patting the ground near where he sat. “Have a seat, Ensign.”

“Thank you, Sir.” The petite Hungarian smiled as she sat down opposite the commodore, his light from the nearby fire giving the pugilist’s craggy features a warm quality that gave him a certain rugged handsomeness the youthful ensign thought. Taking a deep breath as she tried to dispel that particular thought regarding her superior officer from her mind, Aliz asked, stammering slightly, “So…what do we do if we don’t find a way back?”

“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, Ensign.” Wesley replied in a confident tone as he smiled warmly at the younger woman, “It’s a little early to give up hope now, Aliz—we’ve just got started.”

“Thank you, Sir.” Aliz responded; flashing a smile of her own as, taking the gourd from the commodore’s hands, she took a sip of the cool water. Looking up at the stars, the auburn haired helmsman asked, “I wonder where we are…I can’t place any of the constellations…”

“I don’t think we’re too far off from where we started.” Bob replied as he pointed at a faint smudge near the zenith. “See that?” As Aliz nodded her head, Robert continued, “Five’ll get you ten that’s our nebula.”

Shaking her head, the Hungarian ensign asked, “How can you be so sure, Sir?”

Laughing gently, the commodore responded, “I can’t. But it’s just as likely to be our nebula than not and I’d rather be working towards a goal rather than just slogging along.” His face now taking on a serious look, the former Academy boxing champ counseled, “Never underestimate the power of hope, Ensign. It can keep you—and your people—going when you’ve got nothing else.”

“Yes, Sir. I’ll remember that.” The young officer replied in a soft voice as she stood up. “Ummm…Sir…” The young ensign stammered, “Don’t you think you should get some sleep now?”

“Yeah.” The older officer smiled as he leaned back against the tree, “I’ll just go ahead and sleep here—it’s a pretty nice spot.

“Good night, Sir.” Aliz said softly as she turned away, her eyes involuntarily drifting to the figure of the commodore in repose before she forced herself to walk away. Easy, Aliz. The Hungarian woman thought as she made her way back to the fire. Not only is he your superior officer, he’s a good twenty years older than you are and he’s married with a child. Reaching the fire, she took a quick drink of water. Closing her eyes, the petite ensign fingered her medallion before drifting off to sleep, the last image in her mind that of the commodore resting peacefully underneath the tree.

************************************************** ****

“All right, everyone! Up and at ‘em!” Commodore Wesley called out as he roused his fellow castaways. “Here you go.” He grinned, handing Ensign Watley a gourd filled with water. “Have a drink, Jennifer…then go get some breakfast. We’ve got plenty of berries and the snares we set out nabbed us some small game.” Laughing, the commodore, after he was sure that the youthful ensign had fully awakened, went from crew member to crew member, repeating his performance.

“You’re certainly in a good mood this morning.” Aliz grumbled as she cleared the sleep from her eyes.

“Remember what I said last night, Aliz…” Robert grinned as he handed the young Hungarian helmsman a piece of meat skewered on a stick, “Never underestimate the power of hope.”

“Yes, Sir.” Ensign Bathory replied as she fingered the medallion hanging around her neck. Her mouth watering at the taste of the meat, Aliz asked, “What is it?”

“What does it matter?” Wesley quipped with a shrug, “It’s edible and it’ll keep us alive—and that’s what’s most important.” Grinning, he handed the young officer a water gourd, “Now drink up and get ready…we’ve got a good day’s march ahead of us.”

Swigging the water from the gourd, Aliz smiled back, “Aye, Sir.” Walking over to where her roommate sat picking at red and black berries, Aliz asked, her voice edged with concern as she noticed the dry blood on her friend’s sky blue mini-dress, “How’re you holding up, Jennifer?”

“Better.” The dark haired exobiologist replied, managing a shaky grin. “It all happened so…”

“I know.” Aliz responded sympathetically as she took one of the black berries, popping it into her mouth. ‘Not bad.” She remarked as she took another.

“You should try the red ones.” Jennifer said as she took a bite of the meat. “They’re just a little tart—but not too bad.

“Hmmm…” Aliz vocalized as she tried one of the red berries, making a face as she bit into the berry. “A little too tart for me. I think I’ll stick to the black ones.”

“Sirs?” Crewman Malik interjected, coughing discreetly. Seeing that he had the two junior officers’ attention, the security rating handed each of them two sticks with points and another stick, this one crudely notched. “Spears…and an atlatl.” He said, explaining, “After sharpening the points, I put them in the fire for a while—that hardens them. These…” He instructed, holing out his atlatl, “Will give you a bit more range and power. You put the end of the spear here…” He coached, “…and throw it like this…” The Moroccan demonstrated, launching his spear smoothly towards its target, a nearby tree. “Now…” he smiled, “You give it a try.”

Both women, imitating the security specialist’s actions, after several fumbling attempts, finally succeeded in launching their spears, Ensign Watley’s attempt falling far short of the mark; while her roommate, Ensign Bathory, using her gymnastics training, enjoyed a bit more success, almost reaching the tree.

“Not bad, ladies!” Commodore Wesley praised, clapping his hands. “Take some more time to practice while I break camp. I expect both of you to be able to hit that tree by the time I’m done.” His voice taking on a more serious tone, the commodore explained, “I don’t expect either one of you to become experts, but you do need to know how to use these. Your life…or the lives of those around you…might very well depend on you striking your mark on the first attempt.”

“Aye, Sir!” Both officers promptly acknowledged as they each reloaded their atlatls with fresh spears, repeating the exercise again and again until finally, several attempts later, both officers struck the tree trunk, Aliz’s spear actually penetrating the bark.

“Good job, Sirs!” Crewman Malik praised as the commodore approached.

“Better…” Wesley chimed in, nodding his head approvingly. “We should be ready now. Go and pick up your spears…” He ordered as he handed each of his people two empty gourds. “First stop is the stream to fill these up. And then we make our way for that structure—whatever it is—and see if we can get some answers.”

************************************************** ******

Far behind the rest of his companions cutting their way through the thick underbrush, K’Temoc, in his position of rear guard moved slowly, carefully following the path blazed by his compatriots. Hearing the sound of a twig snapping ahead of him, the young Klingon warrior, his black beard freshly grown, paused for a moment. Engaging all his senses, he sniffed the air while his eyes scanned the forest, missing nothing as his ears picked up on the slightest sound. Hearing the faint snapping of another twig, the youthful hunter smirked as he picked up a scent. Hefting his d’k tahq in his hand, K’Temoc hunted.

Further up the trail, K’Tan, the captain of the battlecruiser, K’Mar, heard the snapping of a twig as well. Flashing a feral grin, the Klingon warrior motioned with his hand, his men fanning out on either side of him as K’Tan turned about, dodging just in time the swipe from sharp claws. His eyes seeing a bipedal creature approximately the size of a fully grown Klingon with a long, narrow neck, feathered crest and blue-green scales, its open mouth revealing rows of sharp teeth and fangs, the Klingon warrior smiled, his own feral grin nearly matching that of the creature.

Lunging as he dodged, K’Tan’s knife struck into flesh, the resulting howl of pain bringing a triumphant, “Maj!” from the captain as he withdrew his knife. Their captain having drawn first blood, as was his right, M’Kal and D’Kell leaped from their flanking positions, their knives punching through the creature’s sharp hide as its claws swiped again, this time raking D’Kell’s chest, cutting through the armored mesh of his shirt into flesh.

Hearing the sounds of battle as he drew closer, the youthful warrior, resisting the calling of his blood to leap into the fight, spotted a movement in the woods, circling around the struggle. Smirking triumphantly, K’Temoc stalked the stalker as it crept around the three Klingons battling its mate.

Howling his rage, D’Kell forced the pain out of his mind as his knife struck again, slashing into the scales of the monster under one of its armpits, twisting his knife, the burly Klingon barely dodged the sharp teeth of the creature as his companions struck again and again with their knives until finally, after making one last swipe of its claws at its tormentors, the creature died.

Yaj!” K’Tarn called out, soon to be joined by M’Kal and the injured D’Kell, “Yaj!”

Creeping up, K’Temoc hearing his captain’s jubilant victory cry as well as the death howl the creature he had slain, watched as the predator he had been stalking, having witnessed its mate being killed, tensed its muscles to lunge at the back of the Klingon captain who was at that moment celebrating his triumph. K’Temoc, striking before the dead creature’s mate could pounce, struck, his knife piercing the back of the animal’s neck. Leaving his d’k tahq embedded within the creature, the young Klingon grappled its neck just below the head with both his hands. Planting his feet firmly on the ground, K’Temoc jerked on the reptile’s neck, sending it flying back towards a large tree.

Roaring its anger as it impacted on the tree, the reptilian creature staggered to its feet as K’Temoc, taking advantage of the animal’s stunned condition, leaped on it, forcing it to the ground. Taking his knife out of his prey’s neck, the young Klingon struck again, this time burying his knife through the lower jaw of the creature, piercing all the way through into the mouth. As the animal tried to close its mouth, it howled in pain as its upper jaw closed on the blade protruding from its lower jaw.

Hearing the sound of the battle behind them, K’Tan and the other warriors turned to watch as K’Temoc, withdrawing his knife, struck again, this time driving the blade into the creature’s braincase, killing it as its body twitched one last time.

MajQa’!” K’Tan cried out, a broad grin on his face as he approached the young warrior. Taking a badge from his honor sash, the Klingon captain stood before the youth. “You are no longer a mere soldier…” The captain proclaimed as the young man before him smiled triumphantly. Pinning the badge on to the young warrior’s chest, K’Tan announced, “You are now ‘utlh…an officer. Wear this on your honor sash when we return to the K’Mar!” Taking a step back, the captain grasped the younger Klingon’s shoulders with his hands, “Qapla!”


************************************************** *************

“Do you have news, Ms. Zha’Thara?” Commander Alexei Kuznetsov asked, swiveling his seat around as the Lexington’s Andorian science officer strode on to the bridge.

Her antennae bending towards the burly Russian, Talana smirked, “Am I good or what?”

“I take it you have something for me then, Lieutenant Commander?” Alexei somewhat impatiently responded, “Do please…” He added, a faint note of sarcasm in his voice, “…enlighten us?”

“You’re no fun, Alexei…” The Andorian woman riposted with a half grin. Her smile fading as she took her station, Talana, activating the main viewer, made her report. “I was right about our answer lying in that massive tachyon surge that took place before the commodore and the others disappeared. Essentially, what happened was that the Lexington and the Klingons were enveloped in a spatial displacement field…” She said, the viewscreen displaying a schematic of the two ships being first surrounded by the field and then disappearing into the opaque field.

“I don’t understand…” Alexei replied, his voice reflecting his confusion, “…the field is gone, but we’re still here.”

“We’re here…now!” Talana corrected, “But…for a brief period of time…mere microseconds in fact, we weren’t. We were…for lack of a better way of putting it…out of phase.”

“Out of phase?” The Bear repeated, “What do you mean, Lieutenant Commander?”

“I’m not sure yet, Sir.” Talana replied truthfully, her voice filled with awe at the technology of whoever possessed the capability to accomplish this task, “I just don’t have enough to go on.”

“I thought you had good news, Ms. Zha’Thara…” Alexei remarked sourly.

“I do, Sir.” The Andorian smiled back. “While I can’t tell you exactly where we went or how it was done, I can tell you that whoever did this left us a trail to follow.”

“The tachyon emissions?” Kuznetsov ventured, his lips now turning up into a smile.

“The tachyon emissions.” Talana reiterated, her initial smile fading, “But we don’t have much time to act before the tachyons dissipate and the trail disappears.”

“What do we need to do?” Alexei quickly asked as he leaned forward in the chair.

“We can’t do this alone…” The science officer replied, “For this to work…we’re going to need the Klingons' help.”

Sighing deeply, The Russian first officer answered back in a dubious tone, “Are you sure there’s no choice?

“For this to work…” Talana explained, “…we need two ships. The power requirements are just too great for one ship alone to pull it off. The Klingons will have to reconfigure their disruptor arrays to emit steady neutrino streams that will ‘paint’ the tachyons while we will have to reconfigure our scanners to read them.”

“I see.” The Bear replied, cupping his chin, “How extensive will the sensor reconfigurations have to be?”

“Very.” The Andorian science officer answered back, her antennae drooping slightly, “It’ll leave us completely blinded to everything but the tachyon emissions.”

“Leaving us in the same situation as a horse with blinders on.” The Bear concluded grimly. “Meaning we won’t be able to pick up on any possible moves the Klingons might make.”

Nodding her head, the science officer answered back, “Right. But at the same time…” She smirked, “It’ll leave the Klingons without their disruptors.” Frowning, Talana cautioned, “Alexei…if we’re going to follow the trail, we have to move quickly and both ships will need to put all their resources into it.”

“Mmmmm…” Alexei murmured as he considered the situation, “There might be a way for us to follow the trail and ensure that the Klingons can’t blindside us.” Activating the intercom, the first officer spoke, “Lieutenant Commander G’arv and Lieutenant Mtolo report to the bridge at once.”

Her lips turning up into a sly grin as her antennae once again bent towards the burly Russian, Talana quipped, “You look like you’ve got something up your sleeve, Alexei?”

“Da, Ms. Zha’Thara, I do” The Bear replied, “It’s an old Russian saying…”

“So…” Talana teased, “Which one is it this time?”

Smirking, Alexei quoted, “Trust in God but lock your doors.”

************************************************** ************

Taking point, Commodore Wesley cut carefully through the brush, the rest of his group following close behind, the calls of the different animals creating a symphony that kept the Starfleet party constantly on its toes. One call, however, soon came to dominate the others. A high pitched call, it sounded for several seconds before ceasing, only to pick up again several seconds later at a slightly different pitch. Several seconds later, the call sounded yet again. Ensign Jennifer Watley raised her hand as she spoke out in a carefully modulated tone. “Stop. Wait a moment.”

“What is it, Ensign?” The commodore asked as he came to an immediate halt, crouching low.

“I’m not sure, Sir.” The olive skinned xenobiologist replied, “But those might be calls from a hunting pack.”

“Would they be stalking us?” Aliz asked with a worried expression.

“Not necessarily.” Watley replied. “They could be going after other prey, or it could be mating calls, or…”

“So, we’re not really sure of what we’re dealing with.” Robert finished, “Still…we don’t want to take chances.” Hefting his makeshift spear in hand, the commodore cautioned, “Stay alert.”

************************************************** *********

“Are we actually going to go along with this dogh scheme?” D’Kor asked as he gazed into the eyes of his acting commanding officer, the first officer of the K’Mar.

“Is that a challenge, D’Kor?” Kalas growled menacingly as his hand went to the d’k tahq at his waist.

“No, Sir.” The second officer quickly replied, shaking his head vigorously. “I was merely curious.”

Relaxing visibly now that his dominance had been acknowledged, a broad smile appeared on the first officer’s face, “Don’t worry, D’Kor. I know why you are concerned—that the Federation starship will attack us once our disruptors have been taken off line.” Seeing his subordinate nodding his head, Kalas’ broad smile became an evil grin as he explained his plan, “Remember, old friend, that they must recalibrate all of their sensors in order to pick up the emissions given off when the tachyons are bombarded by the neutrinos fired by our retuned disruptors. That means they will be totally blind…” Gazing intently into the eyes of his subordinate, the Klingon acting captain inquired, “Have you gathered the twenty warriors I told you to?”

With a single nod of his head, D’Kor promptly responded, “Yes, Sir. All well versed in zero gravity combat.”

“Excellent.” Kalas grinned. “When I give the order, those men, with you as their leader, will take a shuttle. Using just maneuvering thrusters you will draw close enough to the saucer section of the Lexington to where you can exit the shuttle, walk on the Federation starship itself, and cut your way directly into their bridge.”

Smiling broadly at the chance for glory that he had just been given, D’Kor exclaimed in a loud, enthusiastic voice, “It will be a glorious battle.”

************************************************** ************

As the high pitched calls grew louder and more insistent, nerves began to fray amongst the tiny party. “Where the hell are they?” Malik grumbled; his spear at the ready. “I wish they’d do something!”

“Easy, Crewman…” Wesley counseled as he motioned for the group to halt. Pointing, he whispered, “Clearing ahead. Ensign Watley?” Gesturing with his hand for the young xenobiologist to come forward, the commodore, once again taking on the role of instructor, inquired as the calls picked up even louder in volume. “Assuming you’re one of the pack that’s stalking us, what would you do here?”

“That clearing would be where I’d make the ambush.” Jennifer promptly responded. “The pack will try to cut one of us out. While some of the pack would drive the rest of us apart from their target, the others would try to bring their victim down.”

“Very good, Ensign.” Wesley praised, smiling approvingly as he continued to test his new officer. “Now…we have to cross that clearing to get to where we have to go. How would you recommend we do that?”

“We don’t have much time, Sir…” Watley pondered, carefully considering her answer, “From the sound of those calls, I’d say they’re getting ready to…” Before she could finish her sentence, a shout of alarm followed very quickly by a yelp of pain came from behind her as Crewman Malik threw his makeshift spear at one of the predators, a wolf sized cross between a bird and reptile with a dark blue crest on its head and sharp fangs lining the jaw of its beak. Screaming in pain as the first creature’s mate tore a gash into Malik’s leg with its fangs, the Moroccan struck down with his second spear, its point breaking off inside the body of the animal.

“Break for the clearing!” Wesley ordered, “And whatever you do…stay together! Don’t let those things separate us!” Stepping out into the clearing first, the commodore shepherded his people out into the open, Aliz supporting the injured Malik as the friends of the creatures that had attacked them earlier struck from both sides.

“They’re going for Malik!” Jennifer yelled as she launched her spear at one of the pack members, missing it.

“Stay together!” Robert cried out as the group ran, stumbling for the other side. Watching with alarm as Malik began to fall behind, the commodore and Aliz launched their spears, both striking one of the animals which, at that moment, was lunging towards the security trooper. Bringing the snarling animal down with his spear, Wesley gestured wildly with his free hand, calling out to the women, “Go! Make for the tree line! I’ll get Malik.”

“Hurry, Sir!” Jennifer called out as she and Aliz threw fresh spears at the howling pack which was trying to separate out the humans into two groups, “We’ll try to draw them off!”

Grabbing the injured Malik by one arm, Wesley and the security trooper staggered towards the others, lunging at the growling pack while at the same time trying to avoid their slashing teeth. Wincing in pain as one of the creatures slashed at his leg, scratching the skin as it tore through cloth, Robert lunged down yet again with his spear; piercing flesh as the pair finally reached the tree line. Driving the remaining members of the pack back with the last of their spears, the commodore sighed in relief. “Good work, everyone.” He praised as he made his way to Crewman Malik. Examining the security trooper’s wounds, Robert took one of the gourds containing fresh water. Pouring water over the wound, the commodore cleaned it as Jennifer ripped the collar off her minidress.

“Here, Sir.” The ensign said as she handed the dark material to Wesley who then used it as a makeshift bandage for the injured crewman. Hearing yet again the sound of material being torn, Robert turned his head to see that Aliz had just ripped part of her dress off at the hemline.

“Sit down, Sir.” The ensign requested in her thick Hungarian accent.

“I’m fine.” The commodore replied, fighting down the desire to wince in pain.

“I’m sure you are, Sir.” Ensign Bathory retorted as she reiterated her earlier appeal, adding, before the commodore could overrule her, “I just want to make sure you stay that way.” Cracking a sly grin, the youthful ensign quipped in a low voice that only the two of them could hear, “Remember what you said about hope, Sir? Well…we need you to stay strong to lead us. If your wounds should get infected…”

Sighing in resignation, the former pugilist cracked a wry grin as he sat down, extending his leg. “All right…all right, Ensign…you win.”

Smiling as she cleaned and bandaged the commodore’s wounds, Aliz chuckled, “I almost always do, Sir.”

************************************************** ****************

“Are we ready?” Commander Kuznetsov asked the Lexington’s Andorian science officer, inching forward in his chair as he addressed her.

“The sensors are recalibrated.” Talana promptly replied from her science station.

“Ms. Oudekirk…” Kuznetsov then ordered, addressing the blonde haired communications officer, “Inform the K’Mar that they can fire when ready.”

“Aye, Sir.” The Dutch comm specialist acknowledged.

Toggling the intercom switch on the chair arm, the Lexington’s first officer spoke, “Misters G’arv and Mtolo…are you prepared.”

“Yes, Sir.” The Tellarite engineer responded. “Just give the word.”

“If the Klingons try anything…” the Zulu security chief promised, “…we’ll be ready for them.”

“Very good. Mr. G’arv…” Alexei smirked, “…you may release our watchdogs.”

“Watchdogs away.” G’arv exclaimed as he pushed a button on his console, releasing two of the small buoys that normally contained the ships’ logs and were usually ejected in the event of the possible destruction of the ship. The chief engineer had, however, modified these buoys. Instead of containing log entries, these markers were loaded with passive sensors and one other modification: once they had drifted far enough away from the Lexington, each of them shot out a line with a magnetic attachment that affixed itself to the ship’s hull.

“A trick from old Earth naval warfare.” Alexei had explained earlier to both G’arv and Lieutenant Mtolo when he had outlined his plan. “Naval vessels would tow sonar and other sensors behind them. By doing so they both extended their detection radius and prevented having their own ships detected by the opposition’s detection devices.” Lieutenant Mtolo and his people provided the second part of the Bear’s scheme, “Mr. Mtolo…” The burly Russian boxer explained, “The buoys are my guard…you and your people will be my left jab and right cross. If Kalas tries something—I’m counting on you to deliver the knockout punch.”

************************************************** ****

As the sun began to set, Wesley smiled as the object of his party’s trek grew larger, now taking on the shape of an obelisk. Leaning on the large stave that now served as a walking stick, the commodore grinned, “Take a look, people! We’re almost there.”

“What do you think it is?” Aliz asked; squinting her eyes as she tried to make out details in the distance.

“I’m not sure.” Robert replied with a chuckle as he placed a hand on the young ensign’s shoulder, “But we’ll all find out together, tomorrow.” Scanning the terrain, the sharp-eyed commodore spotted a clearing located on a slight rise, “We’ll camp out tonight over there…” he pointed, “It’s the highest ground in the immediate area, making it a good defensible position.”

“It’s probably pretty close to water too, Sir.” Jennifer noted as she helped Crewman Malik to the ground. “I’ll bet there’s a pond or a stream or something similar over in that direction…” She remarked, pointing towards the west. “I spotted what looked like the local equivalent of water fowl setting down for the night.” The xenobiologist then cautioned, “But we better be careful—we don’t want to run into this planet’s version of crocodiles either.”

“Good point.” Wesley agreed. “All right, then. We’ll take five and rest up and then hike on over to that hillock and make our camp for the night. Get plenty of rest…” he admonished as he pointed at the obelisk, “…I have a feeling tomorrow’s going to be an even bigger day than today.”

************************************************** *********

“Our goal is within reach!” K’Tan called out triumphantly as he spied the obelisk. Taking note of the rushing water and rocky terrain, the Klingon captain smiled. “This is a good place to rest for the night. We build our fire here…” he commanded, pointing at a clearing. As he and K’Temoc set down the butchered meat from their earlier kills, the Klingon warrior grinned, “Tonight we feast!”

************************************************** **************

“Fire!” Kalas ordered as pale green beams lanced out from the Klingon battlecruiser’s wing struts.

“It’s working!” Talana cried out as she peered into her sensor viewer.

“Transfer to main screen.” Alexei commanded. The viewscreen shimmered for a moment to reveal a pale blue path through the starry field. “There’s our tachyon trail.” The Russian first officer declared, slapping the arm of the center chair he currently occupied. “Inform the Klingons and set course to follow that trail at maximum impulse.” Kuznetsov ordered, smiling in satisfaction. “And monitor the watchdogs…I don’t want any surprises now.”

“Look!” K’Mar’s weapons officer called out, pointing at the main viewscreen.

“I see…” Kalas grinned as the tachyon trail appeared on the viewer. “Maintain firing rate and match the Federation ship’s course and speed.” Nodding his head as both the weapons and helm officers acknowledged his commands, the Klingon acting captain toggled his intercom, “D’Kor…stand ready, but do not move until I give the order.” Flashing an evil grin, the ambitious first officer concluded, “I want to see where this trail leads us first.”

************************************************** **********
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