UT: The Four Years War: Year Zero: Keep Your Enemies Close

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by DarKush, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    KEEP YOUR ENEMIES CLOSE



    Great Hall

    First City, Qo’noS

    2220



    The chamber was more riotous than usual. The Chancellor shifted in his seat, plastering a bored mien over his excitement. It didn’t pay for any of the councilors-feuding or otherwise-to see what truly interested him. And what was being discussed on the floor was very interesting indeed.

    “Now is the time for strength!” Councilor Warg, from the House of Dagh, held forth. He man held his arms wide, as if to embrace the entire council, if not the empire itself.

    He had adopted the leathered armor and cape worn traditionally by far older houses, the High Houses of Qo’noS. Warg’s house, much like the Chancellor’s own, had only ascended to the top of the empire in the last several decades. It was yet another commonality they shared, which made the Chancellor despise the man all the more.

    The powerfully built Warg glided easily over the large black trefoil emblem painted on the floor. His arguments were often as smooth as his gait, owning to his profession as an advocate, which was another reason to dislike him. Whenever Warg was around him, the Chancellor recalled one his favorite Shex’pir verses about the slaughtering of the advocates. “We can’t continue to allow this encroachment into our territory!” Warg declared.

    “You act like the Federation has their armada at our gates,” the incredulous Councilor Ake strode forward. The Son of Aros was a frequent foil of Warg. “They’ve just began to enter the Archanis sector, a patch of space of scant interest.”

    “They’ve already claimed Archanis IV!” Councilor Hruga bellowed. “We are already being encircled!”

    “It’s far from that Hruga,” Ake chided the man. “That’s a foolish exaggeration!”

    Kral rose from his chair. Ake stared at the man, daring him to lunge. Hruga had also shed blood with Ake and the Chancellor. The House of Aros and the House of Hruga were usually allies in council matters, though Hruga did lean toward being heavy-handed when it came to the Federation. His father had died in combat against one of their now old Intrepid-class vessels in the Borderland many moons ago.

    “If you were any other man, I would kill you where you stand!” Hruga declared, drawing a kut’luch from his coat with his one remaining hand. Hruga held on to the assassin’s blade as a point of pride. He had killed the four men who had been hired, likely by Warg, to eliminate him with the weapon that had been intended to murder him, the victory only costing one arm. Hruga took any opportunity to brandish it, and show he was still formidable. “I can demonstrate what I did to those dishonorable glob flies in the Old Quarter!”

    Ake laughed. “If you are going to regale us with another recounting of how you slain the men who had tried to kill you, I will commit Hegh’bat on this very floor!” The chamber rumbled with laughter. Even the Chancellor joined in. Warg was the only one not enjoying the banter.

    Instead, Warg rounded on Ake, and for a moment, the Chancellor pondered if the lawyer would finally pull the dk’tahg at his belt and prove his mettle? The graybeard Ake growled low in his throat, obviously hoping for the same thing.

    Warg was younger, but the Chancellor would bet his lands on Ake. The leader of the House of Aros had bled many years in service to the empire. The Chancellor and Ake had once served and bled together against the Xarantine and Balduk. He smiled, relishing the red-drenched memories. Those were the best days…

    “Surely you can imagine that the Romulans once had this same debate, in their Hall of State,” Warg countered, “And look at them now, caged like targs behind their Neutral Zone.”

    “We should be allying with the Romulans,” Ake rejoined. “They’ve fought the humans and nearly defeated them.”

    Nearly?” Warg spat. “Nearly,” he repeated with glee. “You would join forces with a race of green bloods that had been thoroughly humiliated and defeated by the humans already?”

    “The Empire would rue the day when it found common cause with the Romulans,” crowed Councilor Melkor, from the House of G’logh.

    “It is best that we leave that accursed expanse to the humans,” Councilor Molk entered the fray, to several pronounced groans. The Chancellor even rolled his eyes.

    The representative of House Murkan ignored them all, as he was wont to do. “It was there that my ancestor Mukul, the slayer of K’Trelan, was lost, along with the Fang of Fek’lhr.” He said, looking slowly around the chamber, silencing the naysayers. “He performed the greatest duty to the empire taking that object of darkness and casting it to the winds somewhere in the Archanis sector. If it is the fate of the humans to uncover it, let them, and let them suffer the consequences of it.”

    “Enough with the old GhojmoK’s tales,” Warg confronted Molk. “This is not the time to recount ancient legends. The Federation threat is real and they are at our gates. If we don’t respond to them, in force, their empire will only continue to expand, like weeds; vines entwining and entangling themselves in our affairs, until we have become fully ensnared!”

    Molk held his ground, looking at the fuming Warg evenly, even sympathetically. “The humans’ insatiable curiosity might be their undoing.” He solemnly offered.

    Warg moved as if he might strike Molk. Molk didn’t move. The Chancellor did, leaning forward, eager to see blood spilled on the chamber’s floors. It had been too long since there had been a bloodletting in a council meeting.

    “You sound like one of those Fek’lhri cultists!” Warg spat. “There have been long suspicions that your house funds their pathetic faith!” The outlawed cult had named themselves after Fek’lhr, the monstrous guardian of Gre’thor, the final resting place for the dishonored.

    Kahless had slain ancient followers of Fek’lhr, with the great Sword of Kahless no less, who also called themselves Fek’lhri, but the cultists were of a different breed, they worshipped the lost object known as the Fang of Fek’lhr. They believed the old stories that the Fang had given the usurper K’Trelan great powers and the ability to divine the future.

    And as rival powers grew around the empire and there were less and less enemies that the Imperial Fleet fought and could defeat, the belief in a mythical solution to restore Klingon greatness had taken hold among the populace, and the Fek’lhri faith had grown.

    The Chancellor had ordered the So’Taj, Black Staff, Imperial Security, and the General Bureau to scour the fleet and the empire entire to expose and root out any Fek’lhri believers or sympathizers. The Chancellor also wondered if one of their numerous enemies were supporting the shadowy group.

    The Chancellor shared Warg’s suspicions about House Murkan’s ties to the cultists, though he was loath to admit he agreed with the ambitious Warg publicly. He wanted to isolate the man and his very powerful, venerable house.

    “My family has been as loyal to the empire as yours,” Molk said quietly, though the words were filled with murderous intent. “And for far, far longer,” he added, the point reverberating throughout the hall. The Chancellor also didn’t wish to anger House Murkan. The blood patriarch of Murkan was the High Cleric on Boreth, the most revered religious scholar in the empire. The Chancellor had enlisted High Cleric Multan in his quest to eliminate the renegade cult and the man, to his credit, had been extremely zealous in persecuting the false believers.

    “Ha!” Warg scoffed. “You’re only sitting on this council because half your kin finally chose the path of honor and cut ties with the traitor K’Trelan!”

    Molk roared, drawing the sword that had been at his hip. “Defend yourself!” He challenged.

    “We have no time for this!” Councilor Ake snorted. “We have more pressing concerns!” The man declared, his hands grasping spasmodically as he stood off to the side as the other two men clashed. The Chancellor suspected that Ake didn’t want Molk to deprive him the honor of beheading Warg.

    “The Son of Aros is right,” groused Councilor Kral from the shadows. “We should be raising an army! The rebels on Ganalda IV need to be taught obedience immediately!” Other councilors shouted down the wizened and nearly toothless grishnar. Kral cursed them all, and then folded his arms. The old warrior sat back and watched the battle unfold.

    The two men danced across the floor, their blades glinting in the candlelight. Molk swung his long sword like he was possessed by a jat’yln. His ferociousness forced Warg back. The chamber roared with approval, the hall splitting as various councilors supported each battling man.

    All Warg could do was block the other man’s frenzied swings with his shorter mek’leth. Molk was intent on cleaving the man in two. The Son of Multan was far less skilled than Warg, but the Chancellor’s hopes had taken flight due the fury that was gripping him.

    Warg twisted around Molk, exposing his back. Molk went for the kill. He lifted the sword and brought it down for the killing blow. The Chancellor held his breath. This could be it. He could finally be rid of the dangerous Warg.

    A shock exhalation gusted through the hall, falling over the chamber, silencing the councilors as they all shared in the experience of death. Molk’s arms were still above his head, the sword gripped in his hands.

    Warg slowly pulled his mek’leth from the man’s chest, the exit making a wet sound. Molk’s sword fell from his hands. The man, his face contorted in a shock expression for eternity staggered back. He felt to the ground.

    Warg stood over the dying man, holding his blood-drenched blade at his side. Once the last breath had left his body, the victorious councilor knelt down and looked directly into the dead man’s eyes. Warg threw his head back and roared.

    The Chancellor stood and then joined in sending Molk on to Sto’Vo’Kor, as did the rest of the High Council. The councilors roared with such force that it shook the walls of the Great Hall.

    Once the men had settled down, the Chancellor ordered the body of Molk to be taken away, and to send word to his house to inform them that the man had died with honor.

    The Chancellor sat back down in his chair, though it felt increasingly unfamiliar as Warg stood in the center of the room. His chest was puffed out; he was reveling in the rush of his recent kill, and basking in the respect of his compatriots.

    The Chancellor smiled to honor the honorable combat and death, but inside he seethed. Councilor Warg was going to be an impediment, and if Molk couldn’t dispatch of him, he would have to do so himself.


    THE END

    ********************************************************************
     
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  2. admiralelm11

    admiralelm11 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Klingon politics... wow...
     
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  3. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Thanks Admiralelm 11 for reading and your reply. One of things I've enjoyed most about the FYW stories is exploring the Klingon side of things. Trying to come up with the rationale for why the Klingons went to war. So with Year Zero I want to plant the seeds. But also tie it back to my Dark Territory series as well.
     
  4. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Location:
    Here and now.
    You certainly know how to write Klingon intrigue! Your "Year Zero" stories are certainly doing a great job of laying the groundwork for the 4YW.
     
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  5. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Thanks TLR. I'm glad that you liked it. Before, I had been writing the FYW stories and then it sort of petered out. But after "Conspirata" and the stalled follow-up, I decided to return to the FYW and attempt to finish my stories, or at least add more to my contributions to the FYW effort.
     
  6. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    I like the ongoing thread of the mysterious artifact in this series of stories. Could this be related to the Pandora's Boxes?

    There is nothing like a good Klingon council session ending in blood and death. Or, you know, a Tuesday on Qo'noS. Nicely done.
     
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  7. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    US Pacific Northwest
    Say what you want about Klingon politics, they're willing to put their steel (or baakonite) where their mouths are. Wheels turning within wheels, and the influence of that shard can still be felt.

    I'm guessing the Klingon version of C-SPAN must be far more entertaining than here on Earth. :devil:
     
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  8. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    CeJay and Gibraltar,

    Thanks for reading. To your question CeJay the artifact is tied to the Pandora Boxes I introduced in "Conspirata". I'm still working out the details but hopefully saying that much isn't giving too much away.

    I am glad you both enjoyed that bit of Klingon politics. It's not much different than the real world today it seems.