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.