Not to all who wanted to read an end to this fiction. I have never abandoned one to oblivion yet and I do not intend to start now. I apologize for the delay I have no excuse except that this is an extremely complicated format and requires a clear direction to finish and I have not had that until recently. This and one more chapter will complete this fiction.
Oh and btw for all the helpful people who are going to insist on reminding me that Admiral Archer's dog is named Porthos...this is nearly eighty years after that dog became dust, this dog is the great (add a few more grands) grand dog of Porthos and his name is Toby.
Thank you for hanging in there!
Did Someone Lose a Dog?
Spock turned to Sulu. "Mister Sulu lay in a course to the G'Nai space station, warp factor two, if this is a trap, I do not want to spring it.
Spock turned to a grumbling Bones. "You may want to get the Captain's usual bio bed prepped Doctor."
Bones nodded. "I always keep it empty."
He left as Spock settled into the Captain's chair.
Uhura came over, she resisted touching him, because she knew he liked to maintain discipline. He turned to her, his face neutral. "Klingons and Andorians cooperating, this is not good."
She flashed him a quick smile. "Understatement, baby."
Two Hours from now…
McCoy growled, "We can't stay in this nebula Jim, the inoculations only work so long before the entire crew becomes crispy critters."
Jim turned to Spock. "How long until the radiation breaks through our shields?"
"Twenty-three minutes and thirty-three seconds, Captain, of course that is an estimate."
Jim rolled his eyes at the precision his pointy-eared first officer used routinely, "Estimate, my ass." He turned back to the view screen as if he could see through it to the cloaked Klingon Vessels. "Well at least they are not mining the nebula."
An explosion off their port bow suddenly rocked the ship. McCoy grumbled. "You were saying?"
Jim sighed. "Damn those Andorians."
Two Hours Before…
Kirk and Scotty had been received at the Space Station eagerly and were met as soon as their shuttle docked. There had been a short tour of the state of the art facility, and then they were escorted to a feast in their honor, resting on cushions in a dining room more in keeping with a palace than a space station, the elaborate motif inspired by Orion slave-owner customs.
Draped with opulent fabrics in rare and expensive colors; the room had tables were low inviting the partakers to lounge on mattresses. Green skinned beauties wandered in and out with plates of food to add to the already bountiful collection. There were two of the females dancing suggestively on raised platforms within their line of sight. Two more of the ravishing creatures seemed to think it was their sole purpose to feed Scotty and Kirk.
It was all very distracting, a fact which made Kirk's skin crawl. Scotty seemed oblivious to anything amiss, but Kirk noticed that he had taken little of the food and wine that was proffered. Considering the engineer's legendary appetite, not eating was an indication the man was aware of something wrong. Kirk still did not know Scotty well enough to be one-hundred percent sure he was reading the man correctly, but he was sure if they were to get out of this, he would have to trust his readiness soon enough.
Dahras was sophisticated and aristocratic for an Andorian, with bright blue skin and carefully styled white hair, wearing clothes more in keeping with Orion traditions than those from his home moon, and he was very eager and friendly. He and Scotty bantered back in forth sharing stories from life on the rim of Federation space.
"…And then that crazy pink-skin turns to me and said…You know...I don think they like off-worlders kissing their daughters. And I said…"
"What gave it away, the beating, or the fact they dangled us upside down over a Karlac pit?" Scotty finished with a chuckle.
Kirk laughed dutifully, he noticed that tall muscular Orion males, who made no effort to hide their weapons, manning all the exits.
Dahras was cheerfully offering to refill their glasses but Scotty begged off. Dahras glanced around. "I know you are here seeking information concerning Admiral Archer's dog, I've sent for someone who might know, but she's not here yet."
"Here I am love," said a purring alto voice from the direction of the door. The statuesque green lady swept in dramatically, and in her arms was a small black and tan animal with a jeweled collar.
"Toby!" Scotty called out, any caution he might have had lost in the excitement of the moment. The little dog had looked listless and resigned in the woman's arms but upon hearing Scotty's voice, he began to squirming and whining. The Orion female ignored his efforts, kissed him on his head as she walked over to Dahras settling in beside him at the table. He smiled at her as if she was the star he was orbiting.
"As you can see, my dearest Ligilia is overly fond of the little animal, I'm afraid I cannot ask her to part from it.
Scotty's face turned red with anger. Dahras laughed. "Ah yes, I see the pink comes out yet again."
Kirk felt the mood in the room shift. Trying not to be obvious, he reached to his belt and touched a communicator that Scotty had rigged. The distress beacon in the shuttle activated.
Suddenly there was a beep and Dahras checked what looked like a modified tri-corder. "Finally, the charade is over! At last, if I had to smile anymore my antenna was going to fall off!"
Kirk suddenly felt cold. "What charade?"
Ligilia laughed. "I like him Dahras, are you sure I can't keep him?" Dahras rolled his eyes. "If the Klingons leave anything worth having, he's all yours," he said with a tolerant sigh.
"You betrayed us." Scotty remarked his voice matter of fact but his hand clenched so tightly around the goblet he was holding that his knuckles were white.
Kirk began to go for his Phaser, but he felt an Orion disruptor placed at the base of his skull, a patient hand extended over his shoulder. He and Scotty handed their weapons over, placed into Orion slave restraints.
"Canna least know why?" Scotty demanded.
Dahras shrugged, "Vulcan is gone, the one species that kept Andoria from taking her rightful place in the galaxy, the Federation is crippled, now is the time for new alliances. Orion funds, Andorian tatics, allied with Klingon weaponry, this is just the first strike. "
"You planned this all along?" Kirk blurted out.
Dahras sipped his wine. "What I planned, and what fortuitously fell into my lap are irrelevant at this point. I knew who the dog was from the ident chip, and I knew why Scotty had been exiled. I kept the dog here expecting him to eventually figure it out and come for it, but suddenly he is the chief engineer of the newest flagship vessel in the fleet. That raised the stakes significantly. I have done all I could to prepare since he sent me a com two days ago asking about Orion shipping lines."
Scotty tensed up. "You knew I like to rig a remote beacon when I go into situation I'm na sure of, that's why you were acting so nice, which for you is suspicious, to get us to activate it."
Kirk let out a breath he was not aware he was holding. "A general distress beacon, and they couldn't be sure what Federation ship shows up, but a shuttle distress beacon has one direction. We're not the target, the Enterprise is."
Scotty's voice rang out in a tone that made Kirk flinch. "You miscalculated, Dahras, you took a good friend and turned him inta a very bad enemy, I'll nah forget this."
Dahras did not answer he just smiled and took another sip of wine.
"Ligilia, be a love, make sure they are docile, and then please take them to the holding cell." She made her way around the table, the subtle pheromones that the Orion females had been giving off increased, Scotty got a glassy-eyed look on his face, she caressed his cheek and arched a finger for him to follow; Kirk did his best acting job and stood as well. The only advantage he and Scotty still had was that Dahras did not know that Bones had inoculated them before they left Enterprise. That was some time ago though, Kirk hoped it did not wear off.
He bumped into Scotty as they made the corridor. "I'll take the two guards, distract her, shove me," he murmured hoping he read his shipmate correctly.
"Get off!" Scotty bellowed as he put a shoulder into Kirk propelling him into the closest Orion guard. He turned and blocked Kirk's actions. "I wanna know right now, who yer gonna be with, him or me?"
Ligilia looked as if she was used to men fighting over her, she barely blinked as she leaned close and said, "You of course."
Scotty smiled. "Sorry, I canna stand a two-timing lass," after he said that, with an accuracy born of years of Glasgow pub brawls, he head butted her square in the forehead, catching the little beagle as she collapsed.
Almost immediately, he saw stars and had to lean on the wall for support, Toby happily licked his cheeks. "There's a lad, I missed ya too," he murmured trying to stay upright through the bright spots and threatening blackness.
Kirk caught his arm. "Why did you do that for, an Orion female has a thicker skull than a human."
Scotty shook his head to clear the cobwebs. "That'd been good ta know a minute ago."
He saw that Kirk was free of the restraints and armed with an Orion stun blaster, his two guards insentient on the corridor floor. "How did ya manage tha, now?"
Kirk grinned. "I know how to get out of handcuffs from seven different worlds, don't ask, can you rig a Com signal to warn the Enterprise?"
Scotty fended off Toby's exuberant tongue blinking a little too rapidly. "Just get me to the shuttle; I can use tha external antennae array."
Kirk took a disruptor off one of the guards and took Scotty's arm over his shoulder as they made their way up the corridor. He was hoping to get back to the shuttle bay before someone sounded the alarm. They got down the next corridor before the first claxon rang out.
"I don know why they gotta be so loud," Scotty complained.
Kirk sighed, "Let's go get tha wee doggy, he said, jes a trip there and back…"
Aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise…
"Any sign of a cloaked Bird of Prey?" Spock inquired as he spun in the chair. Chekov was using his science station to scan.
"No Tetryon radiation trailz yet, but ze ztation just vent to red alert," he replied looking through the view finder.
Spock folded his fingers under his chin as he considered the scans that Chekov had placed on the main viewer. "Mister Chekov, keep an eye on that nebula near the second planet from the sun, if I were a cloaked Bird of Prey that is where I would hide, as they emerge there should be a streamer that follows in their wake, we can determine their path from that."
"Are you out of your Vulcan mind, the radiation in that nebula would fry any ship in there," McCoy grumbled from his left.
Spock spun around to give the tall man a tolerant eyebrow. "Andoran tatics, Doctor, Klingons have a simple philosophy of battle, cloak to approach, uncloak at the penultimate moment of attack, Andorans use deception and subterfuge, they never approach from the front if they can track from the back, that nebula's radiation is at tolerable levels at the corona where they are undoubtedly hiding…"
"Mizter Zpock, I have one ztreamer forming," Chekov called his voice high pitched and excited.
Spock allowed himself a small smile as he instructed Chekov, "Plot their path, Mister Chekov, give me a heading."
McCoy glowered at him. "Smug, arrogant…" he grumbled before trailing off crossing his arms in disgust.
"Estimate the closing time, Mister Chekov, it has to be accurate to the second," Spock called as he rubbed his chin in thought.
"Of course it needz to be accurate…otherwise whaz the point…" Chekov grumbled as he used the stylus rapidly going through spacial coordinates. Sulu was the only near enough to hear and he cracked a wry smile.
"Less mumbling and more calculating would be a better tact, Mister Chekov," Spock informed as he launched out of the captain's chair and strolled to the science station.
Sulu and Chekov exchanged a look.
"Eighteen minutes…twelve seconds…thirty-eight micronz, Mizter Spock!" Chekov called.
Spock cracked an eyebrow at the accuracy then bent back to his task. "Acting Chief Engineer Marco," he said after tapping his com badge.
"Marco here," was the reply.
"I need you to vent plasma behind the ship, twenty-eight milliliters per vent should be sufficient; then I am going to need a triggering mechanism available within the next fifteen minutes, you have been insisting to me that you are the better engineer than Mister Scott and should have been made Chief, this is your opportunity to prove it," Spock instructed with a rapid tap of two different key pads with either hand.
"Fifteen minutes might not be sufficient, sir, can you extend that to thirty," Marco replied with a tone of exasperation.
"Considering we are just under twenty minutes from annihilation, I will have to decline the change in interval, I suggest you forgo any further protests," Spock stated as he brought up two different screens.
McCoy leaned in. "McCoy here, what my pointy-eared associate is trying to say, Bonner, is shut up and get your ass in gear and get it done in fifteen or we're all space dust, understand?"
"Y-yes sir," Marko stammered then shut off the connect ion barking orders.
"Thank you," Spock stated with a cocked eyebrow.
McCoy sighed. "Don't mention it…ever…I insist."
Spock sent a command from his console, and suddenly the main view screen was showing simulations of two Klingon Birds of Prey on approach. "Mister Chekov, for future reference, look for any overlapping trails next time, another Bird of Prey was hidden in the wake of the first."
"Yez zir," Chekov replied his voice picking up a small quaver as he saw the intimidating sight.
"Mister Spock, I am picking up increased communication between the space station and the cloaked Birds of Prey, I picked out the Andorian word for escaped, and air lock, I think Kirk and Scotty must have made it back to the shuttle craft, that may be the place to retrieve them," Uhura called out her hands moving easily over the communication station, her monitor filled with displays of ambient signals.
"Triangulate the beacon," Spock called.
"If I were them, I'd use the beacon as bait," McCoy mumbled.
Spock quirked an eyebrow at the astute observation.
McCoy shrugged. "I was married, Mister Spock, that's a first rate education in underhanded tatics. Andorian's are amateurs compared to my ex-wife."
"Marriage as a tactical training resource…fascinating," Spock replied his face thoughtful.
"Mister Sulu, run the scanners over the bays, looking for one that gives off no return," Spock called out, crossing to the Nav station.
"I found one sir, I am willing to bet it has a jammer operating, and there will be no way to beam in or out unless they punch a signal through," Sulu informed his hands sending up the coordinates to a smaller screen on the Nav.
"Mister Chekov, in case they do get a signal out…" Spock began before he realized that the excitable young man was already across the bridge.
"On it, zir!" he called as he entered the lift.
"That boy needs a tranquilizer…but not today," McCoy said to himself in the way of a personal note.
"All we can do is hope that the Captain, and Chief Engineer Scott can punch through the interference in the next eight minutes, when we recover them, we will be vulnerable while they are beamed aboard I believe that will be when they attack, however the flash and heat caused by the ignited plasma should protect us from direct attack from behind, but it will damage the starboard nacelles, we need a place nearby we can reach quickly at impulse to initiate repairs. Mister Sulu plot in a course for that nebula, Doctor McCoy, you have some inoculations to distribute," Spock mused.
McCoy let out a sigh of exasperation as he crossed to the lift. "Oh really, Spock, do you think?" he called back as it closed.
Spock walked over to Uhura. "A soon as you get a signal, send it down to Mister Chekov," he said in a lower tone.
"On it, baby, "she replied clearing up the background noise. "They have them penned down, from what I am hearing."
She turned and gave him a reassuring smile. "They'll get the signal out, you know Jim Kirk, he always manages to screw up the best laid plans and be a pain in the ass."
Spock almost cracked a smile. "Indeed, that's what we are counting on."
Trapped in an airlock on the G'Nai Space Station…
Kirk stuck his head over the Duranium crate only to get it nearly blown off again by an Orion disruptor blast.
He glanced over to Scotty. His Chief Engineer was nodding off again…considering the man probably had a severe concussion…that was not a good sign.
"Scotty!" Kirk hissed, "Stay with me! Work on that Com signal, we need to signal Enterprise before those Klingons get here!"
The little brown and tan dog, resting safe in Scotty's arms, tried to help by giving Scotty a lick on the side of his neck. Scotty's eyes popped back open. "Sorry lads…how long was I out?"
"Just get that Com signal going Mr. Scott, we've got to warn them," Kirk replied.
He tried to glance over the crate, once again, and get the lay of the hanger bay, and nearly got his hair parted.
Pinned down good; all they could do now was wait until the USS Enterprise sprang the trap, and hope its crew figured it out.
Kirk sighed, "I hate being bait."
Scotty reached around the little pup his fingers working rapidly to rewire the signal array, even less than his best; he was still working at a pace beyond what Kirk thought was possible. Kirk was so fascinated that he nearly missed an Orion trying to flank their position.
He blew the tall green alien off the crate he was bracing against.
"Mister Scott, they are going to rush us pretty soon…if you could speed up…" he informed his tottering companion.
Scotty pulled off his own com badge, with a pop against the side of the shuttle he broke open the casing and used the bare leads from the shuttle and bent down over Toby, he pulling some gum out of his cheek that Kirk did not even see him chewing to fix it into place.
"Here we go…" he informed as he touched the trigger on the front of the badge, there was a squealching noise from inside of the shuttle.
"Damn," Scotty grumbled.
Kirk heard running footsteps and he glanced over the crate nearly taking a bolt in the forehead but enough to see that there was a tide of green and some heavily armed Klingons charging across the distance.
"Scotty…this is not going to be good…" he said reaching out to steady his engineer just before they were overwhelmed.
Scotty reached out and twisted a wire loose from the shuttle and plugged it into another outlet on the other side causing an odd hum. "We're not going out alone, you bet yer arse," he stated in a cold flat tone.
Kirk closed his eyes and waited for the stun bolt to hit.
Suddenly the floor of the bay felt different.
"Keptain Kirk!" he heard a familiar voice say.
He opened his eyes seeing the transporter bay. He grinned and slapped Scotty on the back causing the man to nearly tip over.
"Sorry," he murmured remembering his companion's state.
Chekov was literally dancing in place in excitement but Kirk waved for him to calm down.
The medical personnel helped him up but Scotty shook off their hands. "I'm fine, get off."
"Mister Scott, we're safe now, you need to go to sick bay," Kirk said in a quiet voice. The Scotsman's eyes found his, showing a glassy disorientation. "I'll go, but they're letting me keep the doggy."
"Agreed," Kirk replied.
He nodded to the medics and they helped his Chief Engineer up, one of the medics was a pretty brunette that Kirk knew as Ensign Barry, she cooed and petted Toby on the head which seemed to sooth Scotty, he let them lead him out talking to her about the little Beagle.
Suddenly Kirk heard what sounded like a distant explosion and the ship lurched but then he felt the distinctive sensation of the impulse engines engaging.
He tapped his com badge. "Status?"
"Welcome back aboard Captain, we have evaded the two Birds of Prey following us but at the cost of needed engine repairs before we can go to warp, at present we are entering a nearby nebula to hide. You will need a radiation inoculation," said Spock over the com in his normal uninflected voice.
"I suggest you get to the bridge as soon as possible."
"Very well, Kirk out," he replied slapping the com badge. "Good job on the transport, Chekov."
"Thank you Keptain," the boy replied beaming.
"If we survive the next hour or so, I'll see that it gets into the log," Kirk informed the boy with a wry smile as they exited into the corridor.
Chekov's look of disappointment at the prospect of that actually occurring showed just how dire their present circumstances were.
Authors Note: The conclusion will be posted later this next week. It is being written during Memorial Day, that one should be the conclusion so bear with me one more week.