Apologies for any Britisms or technical faux pas – whilst I'm a fan of the show unfortunately I'm not that up on the technical aspects.

Many thanks to all those who reviewed the first chapter of this story – there's a good way to go yet, so any feedback (good or bad) would be greatly appreciated, especially as I'm a newbie to Star Trek fanfic.

A Man of Duty – Chapter 2

One week earlier

It seemed he'd barely drifted off to sleep when Uhura's hail roused him from his slumber.

"Kirk … ," he mumbled, hand still resting on the com button.

"Sorry to wake you Captain," the Communications Officer murmured. "But I have Admiral Crighton on a secure channel ... he needs to speak with you urgently."

"Just give me a minute ... and then patch him through."

Quickly pulling on his shirt Kirk made his way over to the viewing screen.

Moments later he was speaking with his old Commanding Officer.

"Bob ... how are you?" he grinned.

"I'm well, Jim ... I'm well."

"Glad to hear it ... to what do I owe the pleasure?"

"I'm sorry to disturb you," Crighton murmured sincerely, taking on board Kirk's weary features. "Something's come up that we need your help with?"

"What do you need from me?"

"You Jim ... we need you."

"To do what Admiral?" Kirk asked, intrigued.

"Ever heard of Muldavia?"

"Class M planet on the outskirts of the neutral zone ... medieval society ... growing population ... first contact prohibited."

"You're right ... we've been careful not to interfere in the development of Moldavia. Unfortunately the Klingons haven't been so considerate. Our sources report a large invasion force landed on the planet several months ago, over throwing the King and enslaving the population."

"And they expect to get away with that?" Kirk questioned incredulously.

"They're smart Jim. They're quoting an old treaty which gives them mining rights to the planet.

"Who's the treaty with, Admiral?"

"The Federation." Crighton murmured. "I know ... I know," he continued quickly. "I can't believe it either, but until we can get the diplomats around the negotiation table there's not a lot we can do about it."

"Apart from ...?" Kirk smiled. He'd known Bob Crighton far too long not to expect some kind of plan.

"Apart from... we've learned that the Muldavians are revolting ... they're fighting back. But you and I know they don't stand a chance against the Klingons. Their weapons are far too primitive for one thing ... and there's dissention in their ranks ... the ex-ruling classes are finding it difficult to work alongside the peasantry. The leader of the rebellion has asked for our help, but we can't give it to him ... openly."

"But ... send in a small, covert force ... their mission ... to arm the Muldavians ... teach them how to fight the Klingons. It's workable."

"I'm glad you think so, Captain," Crighton grinned.

"But why Enterprise, Bob?" Kirk questioned. "And why me?"

"For one thing you've got the closest ship. But more importantly you're experienced in dealing with primitive societies ... of introducing new technologies to uneducated people. And you know what makes the Klingons tick ... what makes a particular Klingon Commander tick."

"Who are we talking about?

"It's Kor, Jim."

The Enterprise's Captain sat back in his chair and stared at the view screen. Kor. He'd hoped never to cross paths with that particular Klingon bastard again. Not just because their last meeting had been somewhat embarrassing (thanks to the Archanians) but because Kirk suspected that he wouldn't get so lucky at their next meeting.

"Look ... I'm sorry," the Admiral murmured. "I know you're long overdue for shore leave ... Lord knows you and that crew of yours deserve it. But we need your help ... I need your help."

"I can put shore leave plans on hold, Bob ... besides the Grand Canyon will still be there once this is all over," Kirk grinned.

"That it will," Crighton beamed. "I wanna thank you Jim ... but before you commit I think it's only fair to tell you that if anything goes wrong, Star Fleet will deny all knowledge of your mission … you and your team will be declared rogue ... is that understood?"

"Perfectly ... I'm ready for that briefing, Admiral."


A few hours later Kirk's Senior Officers sat in the briefing room in stunned silence.

McCoy was the first to speak. "Dammit Jim," he cursed. "Why Enterprise? ... Why you?"

"Because there's a job to do ... and we're best placed to do it," Kirk replied tersely. He was in no mood for arguing, least of all with his Ship's physician.

"Well I think it's a bad idea ... we've been in space for over two months ... the crew's exhausted ... you're exhausted."

"Yes ... thank you Doctor ... I'm well aware of my ship's physical status," Kirk murmured. Because he was aware; knew just how tired his crew was; because he was tired too – exhausted in fact. "But," he continued. "This mission is of vital importance ... the Muldavian people need our help."

"I fully appreciate the urgency of the situation, Captain," Spock's statement was as ever to the point; matter of fact.

"Thank you," Kirk grinned.

"Of course he'd say that," McCoy muttered. "He planned to spend his entire shore leave carrying out diagnostic checks."

"And it would have been a very relaxing two weeks, Doctor," the Vulcan replied, perplexed; eye brow raised.

"Gentlemen," Kirk interjected, keen to steer the conversation back to the point. "Are there any other questions?"

"Aye, Cap'n," Scott answered. "I understand that the away team needs to be small ... but d'ya not think it would be better to take more men?"

"I agree with Mr Scott," Spock said. "This will be the Federation's first contact with the Muldavians ... it will be a unique experience ... as Chief Science Officer I submit that it would be logical for me to join you on this mission."

"Agreed Mr Spock," Kirk answered. He valued his First Officer's "logical" opinions.

"And I submit that as Chief Medical Officer of the Enterprise I should beam down too ... Gibbons is not experienced enough, Jim ... he's no combat medic," McCoy's tone of voice was calmer now – resigned to the fact that their Captain was going, no matter what he said. And therefore he was going too.

Jim Kirk nodded his agreement. He was too tired to argue and if truth be known he was also relieved that Bones would be on the team. Because for some reason he had a bad feeling about the Muldavia mission - and a bad feeling about Kor.