Ha. Ha. Ha. Yeah. Uh, sorry for the incredibly long wait, guys! :D I've been very distracted and enmeshed in other fandoms for a while. Updating will not be regular, as you know. But do not fear! This and my other ST stories will be completed eventually. Please forgive me my lack of fight-scene-writing ability!
Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek!
The sky was filled with ships when the Enterprise dropped out of warp. The small, bullet-shaped S.S. Poseidon hung in the air between three Klingon warbirds. As the crew of the Enterprise watched, she pivoted and spun, trying to elude her pursuers, but to no avail. The nearest warbird moved in, circling closer and closer to the transport ship.
"Fire main phasers," barked Kirk, sitting forward in his chair.
"Aye sir," responded Sulu, targeting the enemy vessel. "Firing main phasers." He let loose a volley of energy that knocked the warbird out of its chase and into a lazy cartwheel, fire breaking out along her hull.
"Ze other ships hawe ceased firing, Keptin. Ve are maintaining our course to ze Poseidon."
"Thank you, Mr. Chekov." Kirk ran a hand over his face, studying the two remaining bogeys. They seemed to have stopped moving, although they had not dropped out of attack formation. "Lt. Uhura, contact the Klingons' captain. Failing that, get me through to Captain Davidson."
"Aye sir." Uhura turned to her console and busily worked the controls. After a moment, she glanced up. "I'm putting the Klingons on the main screen, Captain."
Kirk barely had time to thank her before the glaring face of a large male Klingon filled the front of the bridge. His face was craggy and lined, though his hair was still dark, brushed back into a threatening warrior's cut. His eyes rolled and he gnashed his teeth.
"Who are you?" he roared, and the sound boomed around the now-silent bridge.
"I am Captain James T. Kirk. Who are you?" Kirk was vaguely disconcerted by the unhinged-looking Klingon. This wasn't what he had been expecting. Then again, nothing about this situation was normal.
"Federation swine," mused the Klingon. He laughed and the sound grated painfully. "Now you will know of my pain. I am Krel, once a warlord and now reduced to slaving this way for a-" he choked back the rest of the sentence in a gurgle. After coughing, he fixed his eyes once again on Kirk. "Enough! We are enemies, and that is enough."
Kirk traded glances with Uhura. She shook her head, obviously as bemused as he.
"Captain Krel, do you realize that by attacking the Poseidon, you are violating the terms of the truce between the Klingons and the Federation? What you are doing will be treated as an act of war and you and your men taken as prisoners in accordance."
"Do your worst," hissed Krel, grimacing. "We are already under the constant threat of death." He cut the transmission and vanished from the viewscreen.
"Anyvun else think zat vas odd?" asked Chekov, staring at the view of space that had replaced him. "Oh, Keptin! Zey hawe begun to vheel around again. And… Zey've fallen out of formation?"
"Captain, they're firing on the Poseidon again," said Sulu. "Poseidon's shields are at fifteen percent."
"Target them both, and fire photon torpedoes," commanded Kirk. He expected at least one of the remaining Klingon ships to turn and target the Enterprise. At this point, the Poseidon couldn't put up much of a fight, and his starship was posing the bigger threat. "Red Alert, shields up."
"Aye sir. Klingon shields are sewenty percent… fifty percent…."
Any minute now, one of those ships would spin and fire.
"Captain, vun of ze ships is turning."
"What the hell's goin' on out there?" growled Bones, studying the red light blinking on the wall. "Did we reach the Poseidon? Do they need medical assistance?" He busied himself with making up a few more anesthetic hypos. "Anyone want to bother keeping me informed on this ship?"
The door to his office hissed open. "Doctor, Ensign Richards has been cleared for duty. The pain in his leg has disappeared completely." Nurse Chapel checked the padd she was holding and frowned. "There also seem to be an increasing number of flu cases. I shall prepare a vaccine for the crew."
"Thank you, Christine." Bones ran a hand through his hair. "Can you make sure we have at least thirty beds free? I have a bad feeling about this alert."
"Yes, Doctor." She strode out of his office and out into the medical ward.
Bones watched her go, glad to have someone so competent on his staff. She was relatively new to the Enterprise, but he could already tell that she would be good for the ward. He didn't have to worry if she was in charge on the floor. Perhaps he'd go up to the bridge and find out what the matter was.
"Doctor…" Chapel had reappeared by the door and looked troubled. "Mr. Spock is awake. He's asking for you."
"So soon?" Bones followed his nurse out into the ward and stopped at the foot of Spock's bed. The Vulcan had folded his hands together on the coverlet and was sitting up. He looked no different from the overtired Spock that Bones had put to bed not an hour earlier, but something about the set of his mouth showed that he was… concerned, if not upset.
"Doctor," greeted Spock.
"Are you all right?" Bones examined the Vulcan's vital signs, but both he and the baby were improving normally.
"Yes, Doctor. My physical status is actually within acceptable bounds for my condition, now. Thank you."
"Well, if you want to get up, I'm going to have to burst your bubble. No way you're back on duty for at least a few days." Bones crossed his arms belligerently.
"No, that is not my intention. In this matter, at least, I shall defer to your judgment." Spock's lips twitched up in the very briefest smile at the expression on Bones's face. "I only wished to inform you that I have detected an unknown telepathic force. It is quite loud."
"You mean another life form? Here?" Bones blinked in surprise. "I think you ought to tell Jim. What can you hear?"
"Static," declared the Vulcan. "Its thoughts, if that is what they are, are not decipherable. However, it is a powerful presence if it is becoming known to me. This… has never happened before." He examined his hand as if musing on his touch-telepathy.
"Right," said Bones. "I'm going to call the captain."
"Ze enemy wessel is turning, Keptin, but she iz not targeting us!" declared Chekov, his pale eyebrows flying up. "She iz preparing to suicide-bomb ze Poseidon. Vhat should ve do?"
Kirk stood from his chair and paced the bridge in agitation. "Scotty," he barked, slapping the comm unit on his chair, "I need you to prepare the transporters. How long do you need to get the Poseidon's crew and passengers aboard?"
"Ach, at least ten minutes, Cap'n," said the chief engineer.
"I'll get that for you." Kirk turned to the viewscreen. "Sulu, get me closer to that warbird. Chekov, activate the tractor beam. We're going to pull it away from the Poseidon. In the mean time, Uhura, I want you to send a cease and desist order to the Klingon ships. Clear?"
"Aye, sir," responded the bridge, putting the plan into action. It didn't take long for the warbird to be captured, and, once it was far enough away from the Poseidon, the Enterprise decimated her shields and rendered her inoperable.
"Cap'n, transporters are functional and ready," buzzed Scotty from the comm.
"Excellent. Uhura, please notify Captain Davidson of our plans. And call Bones, too." He glanced back at the one remaining warbird on the screen. It wasn't making any move to attack. "Scotty, start beaming them aboard. I'll try to make contact with-"
And the two warbirds self-destructed in jets of flame.
"Shields holding, Keptin," said Chekov, uncertainly. He was staring, amazed, at the quickly dispersing explosions. "Vhy did zey not try to run? Or negotiate?"
"I… don't know," admitted Kirk. He blinked. "Perhaps Captain Davidson will know more?" Just then the comm buzzed again. "Kirk."
"Jim, there's something you should know," said Bones. "Spock's detected a- Spock, are you all right?" His voice faded, like he had turned.
"What's wrong with Spock?" asked Kirk, his shoulders tensing involuntarily.
"He heard some kind of alien," declared Bones. "Static, in his head, I guess. He's fine. He says it's gone now, but that… that it screamed? I don't know, Jim. I'm a doctor, not a xenobiologist; I don't really know what to make of it."
"…Right," said Kirk. Why was this mission becoming more and more complicated? "I'll be down in half an hour or so. Did you get Uhura's message?"
"Yes. I've got enough beds prepared for the whole crew if they're needed. Are they here, yet?"
"Scotty'll send them to you now. Kirk out."
It took a few more minutes, but soon enough Captain Hester Davidson had arrived on the bridge. She was a stocky woman in her mid-forties with a rust-colored helmet of hair and a rather deep voice for a woman. Kirk welcomed her, but wasn't really interested in exchanging pleasantries.
"Captain Davidson, I understand that this is the first time you've encountered Klingons on your route."
"Yes, sir." She shook her head. "Beats the hell outta me why they'd be in here so far."
"Are you aware that there have been previous Klingon attacks in this sector?"
She looked startled. "Really? No, sir, I hadn't heard that. Rest assured that I would never have shipped passengers into such a dangerous- I always have my clients' safety as my top priority, sir."
Kirk smiled. "No one's questioning that, Captain." He paused for a moment, his mind working frantically, though his face was as composed as always. "Please make use of our medical facilities if you need them. Rooms and meals have been specially prepared for your crew and clients. If you need anything, feel free to contact me or one of my security officers."
"I will do that, sir. Thank you." She gave a short nod and left the bridge, understanding her dismissal. As soon as the lift doors closed behind her, Kirk let out a sigh and ran his hands back though his hair.
"Wow. Okay. She didn't know about those attacks… Starfleet didn't know. How the hell did this get past the galaxy's best and brightest? Anyone?" He frowned. "I'm heading down to the sickbay. Sulu, you have the conn."
"It was as if many voices were speaking at once, so loud and so many that no single word could be made out. It registered as static," explained Spock, his hand clasped in Kirk's. Bones had gone to see to the injured of the Poseidon. So far it seemed as if no one had been badly hurt.
"That's really weird," sighed Kirk. "Do you know where it was coming from?"
"No. However, the sound stopped when the Klingon vessels exploded, if I am figuring the time correctly."
"…They were carrying unknown life-forms on their ships? This is growing serious." They sat in silence for a moment. "What do we know? Klingons have been attacking frequently in this sector, and for some reason Starfleet forgot to make a report on that." This statement was laced with sarcasm.
"And the Klingons are apparently not following usual rules of engagement or their own strategy," said Spock.
"These attacks coincide with trips made by the Poseidon, though Captain Davidson was also unaware of them and none have been successful."
"The Klingons also seem to have been carrying some unknown telepathic species on their ships."
Both thought for a minute.
"I'm not getting anything yet," said Kirk. "Is it possible that these telepathic beings could control the Klingons? They were acting odd… As we've noted."
"Speculation will get us nowhere," declared Spock.
"Arrg! I know. I just wish someone would give me some answers!"
The comm whistled. "Captain," said Uhura, once Kirk had answered it, "We are receiving a transmission."
"An Orion vessel, sir. It's coming from the direction of Ariadne Majora." She sounded stressed. "There's only one message: 'I have the information you need.'"
Kirk traded a glance with his first officer. "I'll be right up."
So, if you liked it, or if you hated it, please review! I don't personally think this chapter is as good as some of the others, but it was written over the course of months... Hopefully I'll get the next chapter out more quickly, but I can't promise anything.
Uh, live long and prosper!