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Old June 7 2012, 08:43 PM   #1
MasterArminas
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Star Trek: Republic (Book II: Ties of Blood)

Star Trek: Republic
Book II: Blood Ties

A work of fan-fiction based upon the Star Trek universe created by Gene Roddenberry
Authored by Stephen T Bynum

All rights reserved

Chapter One

Matt snapped upright in his bed, his body soaked with sweat as he panted and felt his veins throb at the run-away pace of his heart. Slowly, he relaxed, and he leaned forward to rest his elbows on his knees and he laid his face down in his palms. It was just a dream, he thought, just a bad dream. “Lights,” he said as he peeled away the damp sheets and stood, while the computer obediently raised the illumination levels in his cabin. Matt grimaced as he saw the time display: 0244 hours.

Still, he was awake and he knew that he would not be going back to sleep any time soon. The Captain of USS Republic made his way into the small adjourning bath-room, relieved himself, and he left his shorts on the deck as he stepped into the shower, where the hot water helped him come fully awake.

He shut down the water flow and toweled off before stepping in front of his mirror, wiping away the steam and then mixing up a mug full of shaving cream. He quickly lathered up and then deftly cut away the emerging tips of his nightly whiskers. Washing off the last of the lather and cut hair, he dropped the towel and then his shorts in the soiled clothing receptacle and heard the hum as they were broken down into their constituent elements, and then replicated clean and fresh into the dispenser. Matt picked them up and he stored the towel, then walked back into his cabin and began to pull on his uniform. Once fully dressed, he paused long enough to open a drawer and extract a Type I Phaser—a cricket—which he carefully checked to ensure it was indeed charged and locked on stun before he slid it into the pocket of his uniform; then he headed for the door and exited into the corridors of his ship, the lights behind him automatically dimming in his absence.

Republic was in night-mode, with her lights cut by a third from the normal day-shift illumination; but the powerful cruiser never truly slept. A full quarter of her crew were going about their nightly duties, manning stations and performing all of the various task required for the ship to continue functioning. Still, the corridors were mostly empty at this time of the night and Matt encountered no one as he walked to the turbolift. The doors slid aside at his approach and he stepped within. “Bridge,” he commanded, and the turbolift obeyed.

Within seconds the transport car had reached the bridge and the doors once again slid open; Matt walked out onto his command deck and he saw the steady stars out of the corner of his eye on the main viewer. We’ve reached the Camulus system, he thought. Why Star Fleet wanted us to survey this system en route to Cygnus, I’ll never know.

Lt. Commander Amanda Tsien stood from his chair, a puzzled look on her face, and Matt grinned. “Miss Tsien, don’t you ever sleep?”

She smiled back. “I prefer the night shift, Captain,” she answered quietly. “It gives me a chance to get command time under my belt—for when I get my own ship.”

Matt chuckled, and he motioned the Science Officer back into the seat. “I have some work I need to finish this morning, Amanda,” he whispered softly so that no one else could hear him. “No surprise Red Alert drills today. Patch me through to the Vulcan Embassy on Earth, please.”

“Aye, aye, Sir,” she answered as she sat. “Mister Galloway, place a ship-to-shore call to the Vulcan Embassy on Earth,” she ordered.

Matt nodded in appreciation and began to walk towards his ready room, when a puzzled voice stopped him dead in his tracks.

“No response from sub-space comm relays, Ma’am,” the junior Operations Officer of the Watch called out. “I’m not even receiving a carrier signal.”

Matt frowned and he turned, as did Amanda as she swiveled the chair. “Reroute through the secondary network, Mister Galloway.”

“No response again, Ma’am.”

Amanda stood and walked over to an unmanned Science Station, where the Captain joined her. “Are our communications down?” he asked.

“No, sir. Diagnostics are clean—Galloway is correct, we aren’t receiving the carrier signal from the sub-space radio net, either primary or secondary. It is almost li-. . . ,” she suddenly stopped and inhaled sharply. “Captain, I think our communications are being deliberately jammed.”

Matt licked his lips. “Miss Tsien, I have the conn. Sound Red Alert and set General Quarters throughout the ship—do not raise shields or arm weapons, put them on standby.”

“Aye, aye, Sir. Sounding Red Alert and setting General Quarters throughout the ship,” she said as the klaxons began to blare.

Matt sat down in his command chair and buckled the safety straps about his chest and waist.

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

“You mindless toh-pah!” Commander Galok shouted from his command chair aboard the Klingon bird-of-prey. “If you have alerted them, I will cut out your heart and feed it to my targ!”

“They were trying to summon aid, my Lord! I thought it best . . .”

P’tahk!” Galok shouted as he stood. “You did not think at all! You warned them! They are now determining if their own communications are defective, and when they find that they are not, what conclusion do you suppose they will draw?”

“They are spineless Federation humans, my Lord, without the heart of bat . . .”

The Klingon officer drew his disruptor pistol and shot the communications officer, who dissolved into nothing. “Pitiful fool; these humans destroyed Krull and Val’qis.”

Galok sat again and gazed upon the screen. “Have they responded to the jamming?”

“No, Commander,” answered another Klingon.

“They will before long—we cannot afford to wait for the remaining ships anymore. Inform the others that we attack in two minutes! Communications,” Galok hissed. “Prepare to transmit the command codes—on my orders only! Is that understood?”

“Yes, Commander,” the sweating comm-tech answered.

“Good. Tactical, make your target their warp core—let us end this battle with the first stroke of the sword.”

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

Chan came running up to his console and quickly scanned it as the rating responsible for third watch stood aside. “All compartments are manned and standing by at General Quarters, Sir,” the Andorian reported. “Shields are energized, but not yet raised; weapons are manned and in stand-by mode. Is this a drill, Captain Dahlgren?”

“Let’s hope so, Mister Shrak,” Matt answered. “Someone is jamming our communications; and since there is nothing on sensors . . .”

“That means a cloaked ship is out there,” the XO finished. “Permission to load quantum torpedoes into the ready magazines for the forward tubes, Sir?”

Matt swiveled his chair and looked at Chan for several seconds, and then he nodded. “Granted, Mister Shrak, but do not arm; not yet, at least.”

The Captain looked down at the repeater display on the arm of his chair. “Any contact, Miss Tsien?”

“No, sir,” she answered from her Science Station. “I could fire a tachyon pulse burst—that would at least confirm the presence of a cloaked ship.”

“No, Miss Tsien, if they are jamming us then they probably mean to attack. I think we will let them come in close—we got lucky this time in that they jumped the gun on the jamming of our communications; if they withdraw and come at us again, we might not be so lucky the next time.”

“CONTACT!” barked Pavel Roshenko from Tactical. “Three Klingon birds-of-prey dead astern, K’Vort-class; they are raising shields!”

“Raise shields and arm all weapons; hail them, Mister Shrak.”

“No response, Sir.”

“SIR!” Grace Biddle yelled from the Operations station. “They are transmitting our command codes and lowering our shields!”

Matt jerked. “OVERRIDE! All hands brace for impact!”

Republic lurched as disruptor bolts tore into her back and the three birds-of-prey tore past her. “Direct hit over the warp core—the armor held, Sir.” Chan reported. “Command codes are now . . . overridden and reset.”

“Mister Roshenko, arm quantum torpedoes and engage the enemy,” Matt ordered. “Mister Shrak—would you be so kind as to raise my shields?”

“Aye, aye, Sir,” both men answered as the Klingon ships completed their turn and bore back down towards Republic.

“Fire,” Matt snarled.

Four blue-white orbs erupted from the forward tubes and streaked out toward the birds-of-prey; only two of the Klingon ships were their target and each of those K’Vorts suffered two direct hits. The first had her starboard wing torn off completely, and she spun away out of control. The second simply exploded, and Matt bared his teeth. “Don’t let that third ship get away, Mister Roshenko,” he ordered.

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

Galok felt his stomach lurch as two of his ships were removed from the fight—and then he saw that Republics shields were at full strength! “Idiot! Lower their shields!”

“I did, my Lord! They have overridden the system!”

“Engage cloaking device and break off, immediately!” the Klingon bellowed as her shields absorbed one, then two, and three hits from Republics phasers. “Now, before they can fire again!”

The lighting subtly changed and Galok began to breath again as the next volley of phasers cleanly missed. “Take us into Warp on course to renedevous with Lord Mak’vegh.”

“We are running, my Lord?” one of his officers asked.

Galok snarled and he pounded his fist against the arm of his chair. “Dekar cost us the chance at victory with his clumsy jamming of their communications! We must warn the Chancellor that these codes are not longer effective! Do your duty!”

The Warrior bowed and turned back to his station as the surviving bird-of-prey jumped forward into Warp.

The Klingon ship commander sat and he rested his chin in one hand. And Lord Mak’vegh needs to know that the Federation lied about which ships carry their quantum torpedoes; perhaps he can use such information to draw away some of Martok’s more . . . reluctant supporters.

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

“Sorry, sir,” Pavel said. “She cloaked before I burn through her shields.”

“Understood, Mister Roshenko,” the Captain answered as the mortally wounded bird-of-prey on screen erupted in an eye-tearing explosion. Matt turned to face Amanda, who shrugged.

“They activated their self-destruct, Sir.”

“Very well; are we still being jammed?”

“No, sir.”

“Mister Shrak; keep the ship at Red Alert for the next half-hour—and change our command codes. I need to speak with Star Fleet Command, I think.”

“Aye, aye, Sir. I have the conn,” the Andorian answered as Matt walked to his ready room.

Last edited by MasterArminas; June 8 2012 at 08:23 PM.
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Old June 8 2012, 07:44 PM   #2
CeJay
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Re: Star Trek: Republic (Book II: Ties of Blood)

Talk about starting things off with a bang. Klingon sneak attack in the morning is a good way to ruin a perfectly fine day.

Good to see Republic and Dahlgren back in action.
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Old June 8 2012, 09:23 PM   #3
MasterArminas
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Re: Star Trek: Republic (Book II: Ties of Blood)

Chapter One (cont.)

“Let me see if I understand this, Captain; you were jumped by three K’Vort-class birds-of-prey in the Camulus system, which proceeded to fire into your vessel without warning, after transmitting your prefix codes to drop Republics shields—and you survived?” Admiral Josiah Parker slowly enunciated.

Matt grinned slyly. “They were aiming for my warp core, Admiral—I believe that Captain Salok and Terrance informed you that I was adding ablative armor plating to the exterior of Republic, yes?”

“They did.”

“We put four full layers on the dorsal and flanks surrounding the core, Admiral, and then reinforced the internal bulkheads, decks, and overheads of the main core shaft with an additional layer. If we had not reinforced the core, their disruptors would have cut the core in two—and we wouldn’t be speaking, Sir.”

Josiah shook his head and he chuckled. “That leaves the rest of your ship quite thin, Captain.”

“True. But we still managed to add enough plating to absorb some damage—more than the bare hull could at least. In that respect, we have better protection than an unmodified Korolev, and anyone taking an easy shot at our achilles’ heel is going to discover—like these Klingons—we don’t have that particular weakness anymore.”

Josiah nodded, but Matt turned serious. “What I want to know, Admiral, is how exactly these Klingons managed to get my prefix codes in the first place. And how they knew exactly where to aim for what otherwise would have been catastrophic damage.”

“Agreed. I will put Intelligence on it immediately, Matt. How many days will you need for repairs?”

“Forty-eight hours. The armor dissipated the disruptor bolts, but it fractured just like it was designed to do. I need to replace the those plates,” Matt smiled. “Good thing I kept Lt. Vasa and his replicator.”

Josiah frowned. “I told you I wanted those back, Captain.”

“Sir, you said you wanted the SCE engineers back—you never mentioned the industrial replicator.”

“You knew what I meant, Matt.”

“Yes, sir, I suppose that I did. Still, since I still have them, I might as well make use of them. Commander Malik did note that the core suffered some stress during the assault—despite the armor; so I want him to survey the core while it is off-line for the repairs. Other than that, Admiral, we got very lucky.”

“You did, Matt,” Josiah said quietly. “And I will be asking Chancellor Martok just why Klingon vessels were attacking you.”

Matt shook his head. “I don’t think it was Martok. We got a good look at one of the K’Vorts, the IKS Treleak. She’s listed as part of the Fleet of House Mak’vegh.”

Josiah nodded his understanding. “And Lord Mak’vegh, exiled though he is, isn’t one to suffer someone he sees as having compromised his honor. In that case, Captain, I will put Intelligence on finding those lea-. . .”

“Admiral. There is one more thing. I gave Sam Carmichael a message to hand deliver to you when she arrives back on Earth. This isn’t information we can discuss even over encrypted channels, Admiral. You remember our old Academy code?”

Josiah looked pained. “Matt . . . we picked up a distress call from Balao seven hours ago. Commander Carmichael reported she was under attack when the transmission ceased—USS Eagle found only debris when she arrived on scene.”

Matt winced. “It wasn’t even her fight, Josiah,” he whispered. “She volunteered to carry the dispatch back to you since Balao had been recalled for reassignment to the Andoria Perimeter Fleet.”

“Two attacks, on two Star Fleet vessels, on the same day, with one of those vessels carrying hand-delivered messages from the other? Matt, I don’t like where this is leading my imagination.”

“Josiah, do you remember the book I gave you at graduation?”

“That was a long time ago, Matt,” the Chief of Star Fleet Operations said as he slowly nodded his head.

Matt stood and he turned to his book shelf and took down a volume. He quickly turned from page to page, jotting down a series of number combinations. Finally, he finished and he closed the volume. “I am sending it now. You will have to decrypt it yourself, Josiah—trust no one.”

“I will delete it off the system immediately, Matt. In the meantime, you need to do what Chief Arbuthnot always yelled at you to do. Right now, Matt. Star Fleet Command, out.”

The screen blanked and Matt nodded. Chief Arbuthnot had been the third-base coach for the Academy baseball team; and he always told the cadets to run home. Even when it was safer for them to remain on second or third base.

Matt thumbed the intercom stud. “Mister Shrak, join me in my ready room.”

Aye, aye, sir,” came the XOs voice.

Matt pulled up the star maps of the surrounding sectors of space and he was examining them in detail as the door to his ready room chimed.

“Come.”

The doors slid open and Chan Shrak walked in. “You wanted to see me, Sir.”

“Change of plans, Mister Shrak. Once the repairs have been completed, we are going to reverse course for Earth—maximum warp,” Matt’s face fell and he shook his head. “Sam and Balao were attacked, Chan; there were no survivors.”

The Andorian shook his head, and his antennae drooped slightly. “Mar,” he hissed.

“Probably. Likely, in fact, Mister Shrak,” Matt answered as he tapped his stylus against the top of the desk. “We are twenty-six days out of Earth orbit, by the book Mister Shrak. But, we could be back there in just fifteen if we took a short-cut,” and a dotted line appeared on the 3-d stellar map on Matt’s monitor.

“You cannot be serious, Captain Dahlgren!” the Andorian barked.

“Very serious, Mister Shrak. Hail Commander Borahn aboard the Warbird Nei’rrhael. I’m certain he isn’t too far away, given how close we remain to the border—and his interest in Republic’s activities.”
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Old June 9 2012, 02:31 PM   #4
CeJay
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Re: Star Trek: Republic (Book II: Ties of Blood)

Klingons sure can hold a grudge, huh? Looks like this one will go to whatever lengths to get his revenge. Bad news for Dahlgren and the crew of Republic.

Also, I thought I just point out that Eagle is a mighty fine ship.
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Old June 9 2012, 11:46 PM   #5
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Re: Star Trek: Republic (Book II: Ties of Blood)

The Klingons got a rude surprise during their ambush, and Captain Dahlgren again proves he is not one to be underestimated. Now those same Klingons have drawn Starfleet blood, and I have a sneaking suspicion that Republic is going to make them pay dearly for it.

And just what trick does Dahlgren have up his sleeve involving the Romulans that would cut nearly a month off their journey back to Earth?
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Old June 10 2012, 11:14 PM   #6
MasterArminas
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Re: Star Trek: Republic (Book II: Ties of Blood)

Chapter One (cont.)

“Sir, the Warbird Nei’rrhael has decloaked and is hailing us,” Chan reported from his station.

“On screen, Mister Shrak,” Matt replied.

The main viewer blanked and then presented the image of the stern looking Romulan commander, the Eagle of the Empire perched behind him on the bulkhead.

“Captain Dahlgren, your invitation to enter Federation territory was most . . . unexpected. And I given to understand that perhaps you having problems with your Klingon allies?” He smiled slightly. “Three K’Vort-class ships ambushed you—and yet here you are and in one piece no less. Impressive.”

Matt stood and forced a smile upon his face. “Commander Borahn,” the Captain of Republic said with a slight bow. “I owe you an apology and an explanation for my tall tales in the Corridor. So that your government does not take it as an insult to our erstwhile allies in the Dominion War, I have decided to host a dinner for you and your senior officers, here aboard my vessel.”

Borahn cocked one eyebrow. “A dinner invitation, Captain Dahlgren? You asked us here to Camulus, in Federation space, to extend to us a dinner invitation?”

“And an apology, Commander Borahn; one mustn’t forget that. Other than a handful of Romulan liaison officers attached to Star Fleet vessels during the Dominion War, virtually none of your own officer corps has had the privilege of receiving a tour of a Star Fleet vessel—I thought that this might, in some small way, make amends for my earlier bluff.”

“Your lies, you mean.”

Matt simply shrugged, as the Romulan gazed down upon him and then finally nodded slowly. “It will be . . . interesting to see the interior of such an antique that performs so capably, Captain. I accept your invitation.”

“Two hours then?”

“Two hours, Captain Dahlgren,” the Romulan answered and the screen blanked.

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

The doors to Matt’s ready room slid open and Matt walked into his office, trailed by the Romulan commander. “I thought perhaps you and I could speak in private, Commander; while Mister Shrak conducts the tour for your officers,” Matt said as he crossed over to a cupboard set on the wall and took out a bottle and two glasses. “Romulan Ale?”

“I thought that was illegal in the Federation, Captain Dahlgren?”

Matt shrugged. “It is an old law that needs to be changed, Commander Borahn; one dating back to when our peoples were enemies and not allies. I try to keep a bottle on hand for . . . special occasions. It is the genuine article, not replicated.”

“Perhaps just one glass, Captain Dahlgren—to whet one’s appetite for dinner.”

Matt handed one glass of the green liquid across and set a second down on his desk before he sat. He lifted the crystal tumbler and the Romulan did as well offering a nod as a salute and both men took a sip, the Romulan smacking his lips appreciatively.

“Now why do you really want to speak with me in private, Captain?”

“Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodies, Commander.”

The Romulan jerked as he heard the phrase, and then he slowly nodded. “But who will guard the guardians? I do hope that you are not planning on blowing my cover, Captain Dahlgren—it took Star Fleet Intelligence years to get me into position and much work on my part to reach my current rank and posting in the Star Empire!”

Matt smiled. “I hope not; you have sacrificed much for your service to the Federation, Commander Davis—reconstructive surgery, implantation of the real Borahn’s memory ingrams . . . the isolation amongst a race that is not your own. But I have a problem, and I need your help.”

“My help?”

“I need to get back to Earth as quickly as possible—and the shortest distance between here and Earth will take me through Romulan territory.”

Borahn/Davis winced and he took another sip before setting down the glass. “My cover won’t be blown, Captain, I will be shot!”

Matt smiled. “Perhaps not, Commander Borahn; I have a plan you see.”

“Oh, good. He has a plan.”

“It’s not perfect and I need your help, but I only have to buy one hundred hours to cross Romulan space to the Klingon Empire—from there I can make my way to Earth in friendly territory.”

“And how do you propose we do this, without either revealing me as a Federation spy or being shot for being incompetent and allowing a Federation ship to cruise through out territory?”

Matt smiled and he took another sip of the bitter strong Ale. “Now, Commander; that would be telling.”
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Old June 11 2012, 02:17 AM   #7
Gibraltar
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Re: Star Trek: Republic (Book II: Ties of Blood)

Curiouser and curiouser...
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Old June 12 2012, 09:07 PM   #8
MasterArminas
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Re: Star Trek: Republic (Book II: Ties of Blood)

It was a strange table arrangement, with Matt at one end and Commander Borahn at the other, with Star Fleet and Romulan officers interspaced between them. As the desert plates were taken away, the Romulan Commander leaned back and lifted his wine-glass, taking a sip and sighing.

“Earth drinks are so . . . diluted . . . I find, Captain Dahlgren. Still, there is a subtle flavor to this that is . . . pleasing.”

“Oftentimes the best flavors in life are those which are subtle, Commander,” Matt answered. “Have you given any thought to my request?”

Several Romulans glanced at their Commander in surprise, and Borahn sighed again, setting down his glass. “As I informed you earlier, Captain Dahlgren, it would be impossible for me to allow you to cross Romulan space into the territory of the Klingon Empire. Regulations forbid it, you understand.”

Borahn smiled at the shocked expressions of his junior officers and he raised the wine-glass again, taking another sip of the desert sherry.

“This Federation vessel is experiencing a medical emergency for one of their crew—a Vulcan who is . . . well, let us say he must return home to Vulcan urgently. Captain Dahlgren requested that Nei’rrhael escort him through Romulan space for four days so that he might deliver this crewman to his home world before death. It is, of course, out of the question.”

Sub-commander Talarin frowned and she leaned forward. “What sort of medical emergency requires transport to one’s homeworld? Federation vessels devote an inordinate amount of space to their medical facilities?”

Quincy scowled, “That is a confidential mat-. . .” he snarled and broke off at Matt’s frown. “It is a private matter, Sir! Lieutenant Turovik expects that his condition be given kept a matter between him and his physician!”

“He’s dying, Quincy,” the Captain said in low rumbling voice. “And it means embarrassing one of my crewman to prevent his death, than that is what I will do? Is that understood, Doctor Talbot?”

“Clearly, Sir,” the physician spat out.

Matt turned his attention to the Romulan officers at the table. “Lieutenant Turovik was infected by an alien virus on a recent away mission; the virus subtly altered his metabolic rates. It was . . . easily corrected. But between the viral infection and the treatment, it has triggered his . . .” Matt paused. “I am not certain how familiar you are with Vulcan physiology,” at which point every Romulan at the table except Borahn burst into laughter. Even the stoic Romulan Commander smiled slightly.

“We are familiar, you may rest assured, Captain Dahlgren,” he said.

Matt raised his wine glass in salute. “The viral infection and the subsequent treatment triggered his pon farr prematurely.”

The laughter died away and the Romulans looked uncomfortable. “Ah, do the Romulans suffer from this as well?” Matt asked.

Borahn frowned. “We are . . . subject to a lesser form of the condition, Captain Dahlgren. It helps that we do not suppress our emotions as the Vulcans do. It is not a condition which is discussed in polite society or at the dinner table.”

“My apologies, ladies and gentlemen, but you did ask,” Matt said.

Talarin frowned. “Cutting through the Star Empire and then travelling through the Klingon Empire will reduce your journey by . . . ten days, Captain Dahlgren?”

“Eleven, Sub-commander,” answered Chan.

“Eleven days. Yet you are wasting time here having dinner with us.”

Matt shook his head. “Doctor Talbot tells me he will not live for more than sixteen or seventeen days, even with medical treatment—unless he is brought back to Vulcan. This idea was the only hope of his survival. But since we cannot save him, it makes no sense to speed back to Vulcan, only to bury him. No, if we cannot cross Romulan territory, than our Lieutenant will die and we will continue on to the Cygnus Sector.”

“A pity that the regulations are so set in stone, Captain Dahlgren,” Borahn said as he gently swirled the wine in his glass. “It would a propaganda coup for the Star Empire to help save this gallant young Vulcan’s life. But it is forbidden.”

“Impossible,” said Matt glumly.

“Out of the question,” replied Borahn.

Talarin frowned and she shook her head. “Commander, if we contact the Senate and ask for permission—for humanitarian purposes—then perhaps . . .”

“The Senate will debate and they will give us an answer too late, Sub-commander. You know this; your own father is Proconsul of this Sector. Alas, I fear that despite the best of intentions, and how the news of the Star Empire freely and willingly assisting the Federation in their time of need would improve how others view us, that I cannot comply with your request.”

Talarin licked her lips. “We can contact my father by sub-space radio—as Proconsul, he speaks for the Senate. If he orders us to escort Republic through our space, neither the Fleet nor the Senate can protest this action, Commander.”

Borahn shook his head. “I am but a ship commander, Talarin. One of many in your father’s service—he would need far greater persuasion than I can give.”

The younger officer, slowly nodded. “I will request that Father grant us permission—if you would permit, Commander?”

Borahn sat back. “Well, at worst he will say no. You may send the communication, Sub-commander,” he turned back to Matt. “Perhaps we can save your Vulcan after all, Captain Dahlgren.”

Matt smiled and he raised his own glass in salute to Sub-command Talarin. “I will be grateful for whatever you can do, Sub-commander; Commander.”
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Old June 12 2012, 09:39 PM   #9
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Re: Star Trek: Republic (Book II: Ties of Blood)

Okay, Dalhgren’s ruse is clever, I’ll grant that, but manipulating as fragile an ally as the Romulans with a concocted story about an ailing Vulcan just to cut a few days off a journey back to Earth is just… weak tea.

Despite Borahn being deep cover SF Intelligence, if anyone discovers the deception, it's going to make Borahn look like a Federation dupe and undermine his position. I hope whatever gains Matt makes through this maneuver make up for the potential loss of standing Commander Borahn may face and the subsequent compromise of that invaluable intelligence asset.
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Old June 13 2012, 07:17 PM   #10
CeJay
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Re: Star Trek: Republic (Book II: Ties of Blood)

That was pretty clever ruse but I have to agree with Gibraltar, it's seems to have been wasted on a seemingly minor necessity.
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Old June 15 2012, 09:04 PM   #11
MasterArminas
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Re: Star Trek: Republic (Book II: Ties of Blood)

Chapter One (cont.)

“Captain Dahlgren, we are receiving a transmission,” Chan reported with a quiver of his antennae.

“From Commander Borahn?”

“No, sir. From Proconsul Saloen.”

“One screen,” answered Matt.

The main viewer blanked and the image of a regal Romulan appeared. “Captain Dahlgren, I am Saloen, Proconsul of the Mahayadien Province of the Star Empire.”

“Proconsul,” Matt replied after he stood and bowed.

“I regret to inform you that I cannot allow your ship to cross Romulan space. However, I have a solution to your problem.”

Matt’s stomach lurched, but he forced the smile to remain on his face. “And that is?”

“You have a small vessel, what you refer to as a ‘gig’ assigned to Republic, do you not?”

“I do.”

“I will allow you to transfer your patient and his physician, a pilot, an engineer, and two other personnel to ensure your own safety—after all a Vulcan in pon farr is very dangerous, Captain—aboard your gig and our Warbird will tow you to the Klingon border. I have already contacted Chancellor Martok and he is expecting your request for a ship to convey you and your crewman to Vulcan.”

“I see,” answered Matt. “Proconsul, I assure you that Republics sensors—except for navigational sensors—will remain off-line if you allow us to trans-. . .”

“No, Captain Dahlgren. I have stated what I will allow. It is up to you if your crewman lives or dies. The Star Empire has done all that it can do on your behalf. Commander Borahn is standing by to take your gig in tow or return to his duty assignment, depending on your choice.”

The transmission died.

“So much for cutting a few days travel time off, Captain Dahlgren,” whispered Chan. “Shall I have Miss Biddle plot a course back to Earth?”

Matt frowned. “Yes, Mister Shrak. And have the gig prepped for launch. Dr. Talbot, Lieutenant Turovik, and three crewmen are to meet me onboard. You will command Republic back to Earth.”

“Sir . . .” Chan began to growl, but Matt waved him off. He walked up close to the Andorian. “This can work to our advantage. If Mar thinks I am still aboard Republic, that gives me a chance to get to Earth and my family before she acts. Make the preparations, Commander, and open a channel to the Klingon homeworld. I need to ask Martok a favor.”
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Old June 16 2012, 10:24 PM   #12
Gibraltar
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Re: Star Trek: Republic (Book II: Ties of Blood)

Despite the Romulans calling his bluff (after a fashion), Dahlgren is sticking with the plan. Under the circumstances with the dire threat to his family, getting home faster is better. Besides, if he’d suddenly refused the Romulans’ offer of allowing the captain’s gig through, it would have been obvious he’d perpetrated a charade.
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Old June 17 2012, 12:51 PM   #13
CeJay
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Re: Star Trek: Republic (Book II: Ties of Blood)

So we're going to separate Dahlgren from Republic while an entire Klingon house and god knows who else are after his head. No, nothing is going to go wrong with that idea. Especially as he's going to be stuck in a little, defenseless tug and at the mercy of the Romulans.

I foresee trouble ... and story-telling gold.
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Old June 20 2012, 08:33 PM   #14
MasterArminas
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Re: Star Trek: Republic (Book II: Ties of Blood)

Chapter One (cont.)

“Captains Log, USS Republic, Stardate 53758.2. I have left Commander Shrak in command of Republic with orders to return to at his best speed to Earth. In the meantime, I, Doctor Talbot, Lieutenants Turovik and Roberts, and Marine Corporal Thiesman are aboard the gig Banner in tow by the Romulan Warbird Nei’rrhael. Commander Borahn is well aware that time is of the essence—and he has provided us with hard data that Starfleet’s latest estimates on the performance of the Valdore-class are sub-optimal. For the past three days, the Warbird, with us in tow, has maintained a speed of Warp 9.7; although I cannot tell without active sensors how long her engines can maintain this velocity. Regardless, it is a higher speed than we expected. High enough, in fact, that we shall enter Klingon space within the next hour.”

“There should be a Klingon fast cruiser waiting for us; Chancellor Martok believes that he owes me a debt due to my actions in the Cauldron—and I find that I am not above calling in that favor to hasten the return to my family. The Chancellor is well aware that Lord Mak’vegh is responsible for the attack on Republic, and he has warned Command Shrak to expect more. Although technically in exile, Lord Mak’vegh commands a powerful House in the Empire, with scores of ships answering only to him—and he desires the power of the Chancellorship.”

“It could be coincidence, this attack on my ship and crew by Mak’vegh at the same time that Balao was destroyed by forces loyal to Mar. It could be . . . but I fear that it is not. If Mar and Mak’vegh are working in collusion, one with the goal of becoming Federation President, and the second seeking the Klingon Chancellorship, my problem with Delena Mar has escalated from a personal one to one that threatens the entire structure of the Federation. If she is willing to use the Klingons to eliminate loyal Starfleet officers—and she has already shown a willingness to threaten civilians—she must be stopped. I intend to get to the bottom of this matter—no matter what the consequences.”

“Computer, save log,” Matt said quietly as Banner continued to coast in tow through space.

Log saved.”

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

“The Romulans have disengaged their tractor, Captain,” Lieutenant Roberts reported from the operations station. “They have turned back and are reentering Romulan space.”

“Thank you, Mister Roberts. Bring sensors on-line and power-up the nacelles. Lieutenant Turovik, hail the Klingons.”

The Vulcan frowned. “There are no Klingon vessels on sensor, Captain Dahlgren.”

“They are out there, Mister Turovik, hail them.”

Matt watched his instruments as the warp drives finished spinning up, and he eased the throttle forward, quickly crossing the Neutral Zone that marked the Klingon/Romulan border and entered into Klingon space. As he did so, he keyed a new sequence into the controls and the deflector shield grid activated.

Ahead of the gig, the stars shimmered momentarily and then a ship began to appear as it dropped out of cloak. Smaller than a Vor’cha, smaller even than a Bat’leth, the ship was still long, lean, and her horned command pod promised lethality.

“Klingon ship decloaking dead ahead, Captain!” Chris called out. “K’mag-class scout cruiser!”

“I see her, Mister Roberts,” Matt answered. “Hail her again, Mister Turovik.”

“She’s asking for you by name, Captain Dahlgren,” the Vulcan replied.

“On monitor, Mister Turovik.”

The small monitor screen to Matt’s right sprang to life, revealing a Klingon Captain seated upon his throne-like command chair. “We are prepared to receive you—stand by for tractor beam!”

And the screen cut off.

“Not all that friendly,” Chris whispered.

Matt chuckled. “Just wait until they serve us lunch, Mister Roberts.”
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Old June 21 2012, 03:20 AM   #15
MasterArminas
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Re: Star Trek: Republic (Book II: Ties of Blood)

Chapter One (cont.)

Banner settled down on the plates of the deck within the ample hanger bay beneath the bulk of the Klingon ship. Built to hold a dozen Klingon shuttlecraft, only three were present. “Sir, where are their shuttles?” asked Chris.

“Their captain probably dumped them in order to accommodate us, Mister Roberts. Banner is a just a bit larger than your average Klingon shuttlecraft.”

Dumped them?” the young Lieutenant asked incredulously. “Why not just store them in the cargo bay?”

“The Captain is correct, Lieutenant,” Turovik said. “The Klingons regard their shuttles as expendable assets—many ship commanders used them to provide close air-support in the Dominion War. If they are carrying cargo the Klingon consider important, they will just jettison the shuttles and replace them upon returning to base.”

“Aren’t they concerned someone like the Ferengi or the Pakleds or the Orions will find them and use them?”

“Lieutenant Roberts, the Klingons routinely equip any such discarded shuttles with lethal explosive devices tied into the systems.”

“Booby-traps, Mister Robert,” the Captain translated for the young officer. “Investigating an abandoned Klingon vessel—regardless of size—is fraught with danger. Remember that.” And with that Matt shut down the main reactor. “Shuttlebay is pressurized, gentlemen, so why don’t we meet our hosts?”

The armored hatch at the far end of the bay slid open and several Klingons marched into the shuttlebay. “Speak of the devil. Get a move on, Misters.”

Quincy Talbot and Alvin Thiesman were already waiting at the upper end of the ramp leading down to the interior of the Klingon ship. “I can smell it from here,” growled Quincy. “We’re spending eleven days on this rust-bucket?”

“Careful, Quincy,” Matt chuckled. “Those Klingons probably feel about this ship the way we do about Republic—and I’m not going to order Corporal Thiesman there to save you if they take offense.”

“Probably have to eat their live food as well,” the doctor mumbled as he followed Matt down the ramp to the shuttlebay below.

The two lines of Klingon warriors snapped to attention, and a shrill noise echoed from the bulkheads. Their version of a bosun’s whistle, Matt thought with a smile. He walked up until he stood face to face with the ship’s commander, and Matt bared his teeth into a fierce grin.

“YOU!” he thundered. “The last time I saw you, you were fighting a dozen Jem’Hadar soldiers with an empty disruptor pistol and a bat’leth—it is a pity for the universe that you survived, you miserable old pirate!”

“Dahlgren,” the Klingon noble growled. “Starfleet must be in a sorry condition to recall someone like you who does not understand how to obey orders from his lawful superior!”

Matt snorted. “When my lawful superior—of the same rank—gives a stupid order such as leave me behind to die, damn straight I’m not going to obey it!”

“And a good thing that was too!” the Klingon said with a deep-throated laugh. “While I could have taken those Jem’Hadar, it would have been a long fight—without a goblet of blood-wine to slack my thirst! It is good to see you again, Matthew Dahlgren!”

“And you, Lord Koram.”

“You know each other?” Quincy asked sotte voce.

“HAH!” barked Koram. “We do indeed—were you aware that your Captain is a member of my House! He even endured the pain-sticks to prove his worth to my warriors! Qapla’, tlhlngan! This one has the heart of a warrior born! But he handles a blade like a female!” Koram added with laugh.

“Come, Matthew Dahlgren, we shall feast and drink and I will hear your tales of honor and glory. Amar has already reentered warp and is speeding along to Vulcan as fast our engines will allow—faster even, we could well all wake in sto-vo-kor if my engineer falls asleep at his post!”

“An officer asleep at his post on your ship, Koram? You must be growing mellow with age,” Matt answered as he followed the Klingon from the bay, his officers trailing behind.

Koram stopped and he laughed, as did the dozen Klingon warriors of the honor guard. “It is good to see you again, indeed! And since I know that our food is not palatable for your species, I ordered the chef to cook the targ until it was burnt! Come, we have blood-wine to drink, and songs to sing, and tales of valor to honor our dead!” Koram stepped through the hatch and into the narrow corridors of the dimly-lit ship.

And Matt followed.

Last edited by MasterArminas; June 21 2012 at 03:36 AM.
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