Volume 1, chapter 19
Published: 19 November 2017
Word count: 5,725
A/N: Well, it's been over a year in the making, but I'm proud to finally present chapter 19. I'll be working hard to get the last two chapters of volume 1 out within the next 2 months or so.
Ernie Hauser sat at a window table in the mess hall. An expressionless stare rested upon his face as he gazed out into the vastness of space.
"Ernie?" a soft voice, belonging to Hannah Freeman, asked. "Are you alright?"
Ernie sighed. "Hey, sit down."
She sat across from him. "What's on your mind?"
"Mr. Dylyp's been helping me take charge over my emotions, but…" he paused. "…it's just so hard to let go of everything that's happened. My father had so much more time to live; he was two years away from his fiftieth birthday. Every time I replay what happened in my mind I just… I…" he faltered.
"Ernie, you can't do this—"
"We're out here risking our lives every day," he continued, ignoring her. "It would be expected for me to die in the line of duty, but all he was trying to do is earn an honest living on a little ball of rock in the heart of the Federation. He never hurt anyone… he didn't deserve to die." Ernie punched the table.
"At least you had a father who cared about you!" Hannah blurt out, sobbing. "Sometimes I wish my father was dead…"
Ernie's expression changed. "What? Why would you say something like that?"
She stayed silent for a moment. "I'm sorry… I-I said too much. You've got your own burdens to carry; you don't need mine too."
"Come to think of it, you always were quick to change the subject when I asked about your parents. Hannah are you sure—"
"Just… forget I said anything, okay?" she rested her hand on his. "I love you. I know that losing your father has been terrible for you, but don't ever think you have to sulk in a corner. I'm here for you, Ernie."
He nodded. "And I'm here for you if you ever wanna talk about…" he stopped.
She offered a weak smile. "Thanks."
ACT I: REACQUAINTED
Jason Fredricks was in his ready room conversing with Admiral Jorel Quinn over subspace.
"So you're saying Singh was definitely being employed by B'vat?" Jason asked. "That's very troubling."
"There's no mistaking it, Jason. Singh had already hinted at it, but our analysis of his laboratory leaves no doubt. His database records indicate he was receiving regular payments from B'vat himself. After you destroyed his weapons cache in the Briar Patch, he must have turned to Singh to create those super soldiers," Quinn responded.
"And then when we thwarted him again, he decided to make use of a planet killer…" Jason sighed. "My mother once warned me not to let my sense of duty turn me into a cantankerous old man. I don't know what B'vat's been through, but I hope I never become like him."
Quinn chuckled. "Your mother is a wise woman." He paused. "B'vat is one of the few Klingons who still remembers the days when the Federation and Klingons were bitter enemies – current conflict excluded; he is of a dying breed. He also seems to think J'mpok and the High Council are being too complacent, which is why he's stooped to such inane tactics."
Jason nodded. "Well, we're on our way to meet up with the Kirk like you suggested. Hopefully they have some information."
"Be careful, Jason. It's been nearly a month since the incident with the planet killer. My sources in the Empire have been unable to find any information on B'vat's whereabouts."
"I have a gut feeling he's in the area the Kirk has been stationed. We'll find him, sir."
The internal comm came on suddenly. "Captain to the bridge; the USS Kirk has just put out a distress call!" Lenerea Mendel said.
Jason stood up. "I'll contact you as soon as I can, admiral."
Quinn nodded. "Stay safe out there."
Jason entered the bridge. "Report?"
"The Kirk has sustained heavy damage. Her shields are down and numerous Klingons appear to have boarded," Tala Jones replied. "Orders, sir?"
"How many of their ships are in the system?"
"One… the IKS Baj. They're at a distance of 10,000 kilometers."
Jason sighed. "We've gotta send an away team down to the Kirk. Ernie, plot a course. Tala, keep a sharp eye on that Klingon ship."
"Aye, sir," they both replied.
"I'll lead the away team. Tala, you'll be in command—"
"Sir…" Dylyp Azeli began. "Need I remind you…"
Jason frowned. "Fine. Dylyp, you lead the team. Be careful over there."
Dylyp nodded. "Indeed."
Lucas Wells chuckled. "You look sad, Jason."
"With you lot around, I never get to leave the ship for fear that I might not make it back," Jason responded. "I guess it's for the best."
"Sir, the Klingons are moving toward us," Tala reported.
"As soon as the away team makes it over to the Kirk, raise shields. We'll need to draw their fire."
Dylyp and the away team materialized in a corridor on the Kirk. Debris lay everywhere, and smoke was billowing out from several locations.
"Be on your guard," Vance L'eher said.
"Damn these blasted Klingons, always causing trouble," Kevin Briggs added. "This war can't end soon enough for my taste."
The group moved down the corridor.
"We all wish for a swift end to this war. Unfortunately, men like B'vat wish for it to continue," Dylyp responded.
"Sir, I'm reading lifesigns in the room up ahead," Vance said, scanning with his tricorder.
"Klingon, Andorian, Human, possibly a Tellarite…"
"Weapons at the ready."
Dylyp led the way into the room. The doorway was shrouded with smoke.
"Perfect cover," Kevin whispered. "The bastards won't even see us coming."
"Where is she?!" a male Klingon demanded.
"I don't know who you're talking about!" Thelin, the Andorian captain of the Kirk, shot back.
The Klingon struck him. "PetaQ! Tell me where you have hidden the Kuvah'magh!"
"I'm right here," a female part-Human, part-Klingon officer said, stepping out of the debris in the room.
"Miral, no!" Thelin cried. "Get out of here!"
"Ah, the Kuvah'magh shows herself at last," the Klingon said, grinning.
Dylyp nodded to Vance and his security team. They jumped out of the smoke, weapons blazing.
"Captain Targan, we've been ambushed!" a Klingon shouted.
Targan dived toward Miral Paris, grabbing her. "Jol yIchu'," he said, and he transported out with Miral in tow.
"Damn it! Miral!" Thelin shouted.
The rest of the conscious Klingons transported back to their ship as well.
"Sir… we were too late…" Vance said solemnly. "They took Lt. Paris."
Dylyp frowned. "Captain Thelin, are you injured?"
Thelin shook his head.
"What in the hell do those Klingons want with her?" Kevin asked.
"Some Klingons view her as the Kuvah'magh – 'the savior of our people.' She's almost seen as a messiah – the next Kahless or T'Kuvma," Thelin responded, sighing. "This isn't the first time radical sects have tried to get their hands on her. We were foolish to think we could protect her from them forever."
"What should we do, sir?" Vance asked.
"Captain, we will not allow the Klingons to use Ms. Paris to achieve their purpose, whatever it may be. We will retrieve her," Dylyp said.
"It's gotta be that bastard B'vat who's behind this," Thelin said. "He's got the resources to find out what ship she was stationed on and the manpower to pull this off. He has many loyal followers in the Empire."
"He also has many foes in the Empire," a voice from out in the corridor bellowed.
Vance and Kevin raised their weapons.
"Who is there?" Dylyp asked.
"Relax, Mr. Azeli. I am a friend." A Klingon stepped out of the smoke, revealing his face.
Dylyp raised an eyebrow. "Kardok."
"Damn, you again," Kevin muttered.
Kardok grinned. "Ensign Briggs, was it? I seem to recall working alongside you on the Drozana mission. You still distrust me?"
"I trust you as far as I could throw you."
"Unfortunate, but beside the point. Captain Thelin, we have a common enemy. B'vat has powerful allies within the Empire, but many on the High Council have grown uncomfortable standing behind his questionable battle tactics. He is seen as a radical. Even now, there are those who would rather sue for peace than go down the dangerous path B'vat is leading us on."
"So you're saying you're gonna help us?" Thelin asked. "Forgive me if I sound skeptical."
"We have worked with Kardok in the past," Dylyp said.
"As a gesture of good faith, I brought along a support vessel. They will help you get your ship up and running. Leave the rest to us," Kardok responded.
Thelin nodded. "You know, I've spent a good part of my life hating Klingons, but maybe I was wrong to judge all of you."
Kardok smiled slightly. "It is easy to hate blindly, captain. Trust is built, not bought. Respect is earned, not freely given. You are not unwise to withhold confidence in your enemy."
"Logical," Dylyp noted.
"Now, come, my friends; join me on the SuvwI'," Kardok said. "The Leviathan is currently engaged with the IKS Baj. We must not allow them to escape from our grasp."
"Sir?" Vance asked.
"We will accompany you, Kardok," Dylyp said decidedly.
"Good." Kardok tapped a combadge on his forearm. "Initiate transport."
Kardok and the away team dematerialized.
"Good luck," Thelin said.
The Leviathan shook from impacts of the Klingons' weapons fire.
"Damage report!" Jason shouted.
"Shields are at 47%! We've got a minor hull breach on Deck 9; emergency force fields are in place," Tala replied.
"Damn… we can't afford to be beaten here," Jason mumbled. "Helm, get ready to make a series of evasive maneuvers. Let's see if we can buy ourselves some more time."
"Understood, sir," Ernie responded.
"Jason, there's another ship out there; it's headed this way," Tala spoke up. "It's a B'rel-class raider, sir!"
"We're screwed," Lucas mused.
"Ernie, initiate evasive pattern delta," Jason said, unwavering.
"Sir, there's a message coming from the second Klingon vessel… they say they're here to assist us!" Lenerea exclaimed.
The SuvwI' opened fire on the Baj.
"What the hell? Who are these guys?" Lucas wondered.
"I don't know, but their help is welcome," Jason said. "Tala, return fire on the Baj!"
Both ships attacked the Baj with all the firepower they could muster. The Baj entered warp before it could be disabled.
"Damn it! They're gone, sir," Tala said.
"We're being hailed by the IKS SuvwI', captain," Lenerea added.
"On screen," Jason replied.
"Hello, Fredricks," Kardok said, grinning. "It is good to see you."
"Hello, Kardok. I have to say, I didn't expect to run into you here."
"It appears we are both chasing after the same man… B'vat."
"Indeed. We'd better get going; the Baj is our only lead to him right now."
"Then let us make haste."
"First we have to retrieve our people from the Kirk—"
"It's alright, captain, we are here with Kardok," Dylyp said, stepping forward.
"They will be returned to you shortly, but first I have something I wish to discuss with Mr. Azeli. I hope you don't mind, Fredricks," Kardok said.
Jason nodded. "Very well. Let's get going then."
The channel closed.
"What the hell you think he wants to tell Dylyp?" Lucas asked.
"It seems kind of suspicious if you ask me," Ernie added.
Jason cleared his throat. "Let's refrain from speculation, gentlemen. We've worked with Kardok before; if he wished any harm to the away team, he wouldn't have let us speak to Dylyp at all."
"Sorry, sir," Ernie replied.
"Sure," Lucas said.
"Lay in a pursuit course, Mr. Hauser," Jason ordered.
The two ships entered warp.
ACT II: GATEWAY
"Welcome to the SuvwI'," Kardok said to the Leviathan officers. "Make yourselves at home until you return to the Leviathan."
"Thank you, Kardok," Dylyp responded. "Now, what did you want to speak to me about?"
"Ah, yes. If you would follow me to my ready room," Kardok said, gesturing. "Your subordinates may visit the crew deck while we talk."
"Sir, I don't feel comfortable leaving you alone with him," Vance said.
"It's alright, ensign. Take the others; I'll be fine," Dylyp replied.
"I—" Vance trailed off. "Aye, sir."
"S'lade, show them to the mess hall," Kardok said to one of his officers.
"Sir," S'lade replied. "This way, Starfleet."
The group entered a turbolift.
"Aren't you a Reman?" Kevin asked. "The hell are you doing on a Klingon ship?"
S'lade didn't answer at first.
"Jeez, just trying to start a conversation."
"You have an interesting way of going about it," S'lade replied starkly. "My people allied with your Federation as well as the Klingon Empire. We're allowed to serve on their vessels if we wish."
"Fascinating," the female Vulcan officer of the away team said. "I didn't realize the Romulan Republic and Klingon Empire were on such close terms yet."
"If you ask me, Romulans, Remans, and Klingons all being allies is just asking for trouble," the female Bajoran officer spoke up. "No offense, Mr… um… what was your name again?"
S'lade scoffed. "S'lade Zdanas."
"Briggs, Jessik, stop antagonizing," Vance said.
"Yes, it would not be wise to aggravate our captors," the Vulcan officer said.
"Captors? Do you think so little of us?" S'lade asked.
"Yeah, T'mar, we're their honored guests, remember?" Jessik laughed.
"Alright, Cameo, chill out. I wasn't trying to start anything," Kevin said.
"If you plan to survive out on the frontiers of space, you will need to learn how to work with others, some of them your foes. This ship is home to many enemy races working toward a common goal," S'lade said.
"Which is?" T'mar asked.
"The future – the true final frontier."
Kardok stood behind the desk in his ready room. "I'd offer you a chair, but we are not afforded such luxuries here."
"Standing is fine," Dylyp replied. "Now… as to your wanting to speak to me?"
"Ah, yes." Kardok stroked a tribble carcass lying on his desk. "I was recently visited by an individual claiming to be a temporal agent. He told me that he was once a member of your crew."
Dylyp looked puzzled. "What? That is…"
"Peculiar, isn't it?"
"Who was this individual?"
"He did not disclose his name, but he wished for me to convey to you that he is alive and well."
"And do you believe him?"
Kardok paused. "I believe there are a great many things in play that are far beyond our simple understanding. We are but pawns in the grand scheme of things."
"You speak as if from experience…"
"I was once manipulated by a powerful being intent on changing the course of history on a galactic scale. Luckily I realized my mistake before it was too late."
"Why are you telling me all of this, Kardok?"
"In this day when no one can be trusted, I must be careful who I put my faith in. You are wise beyond your years, and your heart is sincere. I cannot say the same for everyone in your crew, or mine, for that matter."
"What do you think is going on?"
"Take a closer look at everything that has been happening over the past few decades, Mr. Azeli. Allies have turned to enemies; friends and comrades to foes and adversaries. Our true enemy is someone far worse than B'vat or even the foul shapeshifters from fluidic space. Something far more sinister is working behind the scenes – watching, waiting."
"Waiting for what?"
"For checkmate. The endgame is near."
Dylyp's bewilderment grew exponentially.
Kardok chuckled. "You probably think of me as a fool, searching for demons lurking in the dark."
"No, I do not. If what you say is true, we must be vigilant to uncover this hidden enemy."
"Yes. However, in the meantime, we should focus our efforts in retrieving Ms. Paris and defeating B'vat."
The comm system activated.
"Captain to the bridge!" a voice said.
"On my way," Kardok replied. "Let us go, my friend."
The duo left the ready room. Moments later, they entered the bridge.
"Report, M'Rel," Kardok said.
"Captain Kardok, we have entered a star system. It would appear that the Federation has a quarantine on it," M'Rel, the Klingon ops officer, spoke up. "How should we proceed?"
"Hail the Leviathan."
Jason appeared on the viewscreen. "What is it, Kardok?" he asked.
"This system of yours… it's been quarantined by your superiors."
"Yes. I've received authorization from Admiral Quinn to enter the system. I also informed him of your presence and your assistance with the Kirk."
"Very well. We should hurry; B'vat's forces are still on the move."
"There's something you should know about the planet in this system. It's home to an ancient entity known as—"
"I have been briefed, Mr. Fredricks. Our intelligence agencies are not lax in their duties. I suggest we send a small team with members from both vessels down to the surface, in the interest of cooperation."
"Sounds fair. I'd like to get my people back, though."
"Captain, I would like to lead our side of the away team. We have already faced the Klingon captain who took Ms. Paris; my team is ready and able to retrieve her," Dylyp said.
"Very well," Jason nodded. "Proceed."
The channel closed.
The away team materialized on the planet's surface. Ruins were scattered about the landscape.
"The Gateway planet. Not my first choice to visit," Kardok said.
"Nor mine," Dylyp replied. "This planet has been kept a careful secret by Starfleet for decades. I only hope it will remain a mystery to those not present today."
The group began walking.
"You have nothing to worry about from my men. I made them swear to forget everything they see here today. This Guardian is a dangerous relic that should remain lost to time."
"Mr. L'eher, what is your tricorder picking up?" Dylyp asked.
"I'm reading a high energy source up ahead fifty meters," Vance replied, scanning the area.
"Perhapsss no one came here after all," Kardok's Gorn security officer said.
"If the Guardian is capable of what I've heard, they've most definitely come, Tlaszh," S'lade responded.
A few moments later, they reached the Guardian of Forever.
"So… how does this thing work?" Kevin asked.
"A question," the Guardian said in a booming voice. "Approach; state your inquiry."
"Did someone come here before us?" Dylyp asked.
"Yes. They used my portal to traverse time. Your existence as you know it has been altered in the past."
"Well that doesn't sound good," Cameo said concernedly.
"Is there anything we can do to reverse the damage to the timeline?" Kardok inquired.
"Travel to the past. Stop the one who seeks to control the future," the Guardian responded.
"So we've gotta go through this thing? Or what?" Kevin asked.
Dylyp stepped closer to the portal. "Guardian, we will need our ships if we are to stop B'vat in the past. Is it possible for us to take them with us?"
"As you have requested, so shall it be," the Guardian replied.
"Sir, I am reading an energy build up from the portal," T'mar said, holding out her tricorder.
"What's happening?" Vance asked.
Everything went blank.
Dylyp regained consciousness. He was sitting at the ops station on the bridge of the Leviathan.
"D-Dylyp?" Tala asked, clutching onto the tactical station. "When did you get back?"
"I… do not know," he replied. "The last thing I recall is being on the Gateway planet."
Jason rubbed his head. "Report?"
"All stations are reporting in, sir," Ernie replied. "No casualties."
"So where are we?"
"Not where – when. Jason, the ship's chronometer is reading that it's 2270," Lucas said.
"How is that possible?" Tala asked.
Lenerea's console beeped. "We're receiving a distress call, captain. Shall I put it on audio?"
"To any friendly ship in range, this is Commander Spock of the starship Enterprise. We have come under attack by Klingons and require assistance. Repeat, we are under attack and require assistance."
Everyone on the bridge froze.
"Th-the Enterprise?" Lenerea gulped.
"What should we do, sir?" Tala asked.
"Captain, Starfleet protocol is clear on this matter. We are not to interfere—" Dylyp began.
"Dylyp, that only applies under normal circumstances," Jason responded. "B'vat beat us here, which means he's already begun tampering with the timeline. Things could end up far worse if we were to allow something to happen to the Enterprise."
Dylyp nodded. "I do believe you are correct, sir. We must proceed with caution, however."
"The Enterprise is taking a beating, sir. We should help them right away," Tala said.
"Helm, get us in range. Let's draw their fire," Jason said.
Ernie complied. "Aye, sir."
The Leviathan got between the Enterprise and the attacking Klingon vessels, opening fire on them. One was destroyed after two phaser bursts, while the other two swung around for another pass.
"Here they come," Jason said. "Fire on my mark."
"Torpedoes ready, sir," Tala announced.
The two Birds-of-Prey began to move into a flanking position.
Both vessels sustained direct hits and exploded seconds later.
"Damn. Leviathan may be getting up there in years, but she's more than a match for these old Klink raiders," Lucas chuckled.
"Indeed," Dylyp agreed.
"Sir, Enterprise is hailing again," Lenerea said.
Jason sighed. "Put it through; audio only."
"Unidentified vessel, this is Commander Spock of the USS Enterprise. I am speaking on behalf of Lieutenant Uhura, who was incapacitated during the attack. We thank you for your assistance."
"We're happy to help, commander. It would be nice to stay and chat, but we must be on our way," Jason replied.
"I understand. It is most curious, though."
"Your vessel is most certainly of Starfleet design, and yet I can find no record of it in our database."
Jason chuckled. "Well, I can assure you, we have no hostile intent. We're on a top secret mission; that's all I can tell you."
"It is also curious that you would show up in this system of all places." Spock paused. "I do not know from when you come, captain, but I can reason with a good measure of certainty that you are from our future. The Temporal Prime Directive prevents you from sharing anything that could directly affect the timeline, so I will bid you farewell."
"Goodbye, Mr. Spock. I only wish we could have met in a more appropriate time. Live long and prosper."
"Peace and long life, captain."
The channel closed.
"Damn. That makes three officers from the Enterprise that we've met now," Lucas commented.
"It was a privilege, but we've got to be going. B'vat can't be far; we've got to find him."
Lenerea's console beeped. "Looks like the SuvwI' made it here too, sir. They say they've detected a residual warp trail from the Worvig," she reported.
Jason nodded. "Ernie, lay in a pursuit course, Warp 2."
The Leviathan went to warp.
ACT III: A DESTINY FULFILLED
"Captain's log, stardate 83738.2. We have journeyed to the past – circa 2270 – and are in hot pursuit of B'vat with the assistance of the IKS SuvwI'. We must stop him at all costs before he permanently damages the timeline."
"Sir, the Worvig has dropped out of warp," Tala reported.
"We are receiving a text-only message from the Worvig, captain. They are requesting a small team transport to their A Deck," Lenerea said. "Should I respond?"
Jason stroked his chin.
"I smell a trap," Lucas said.
"Send Kardok the coordinates. I'm sure he'll want to bring his own team along," Jason said.
"Yes, sir," Lenerea replied.
"Alright; you got to have all the fun last time, Dylyp. I'm going to the Worvig with Mr. L'eher. Tala, the bridge is yours."
"Captain…" Dylyp protested.
"Relax, Dylyp. I'm sure Kardok's people are formidable warriors."
"B'vat is one of the most renowned warriors in the Empire, captain. Even in his old age, he will not be easily defeated."
Jason smiled. "I'll be alright. Besides, B'vat seems to have an odd fondness for me. I'm hoping I can use that to my advantage. Maybe I can reason with him."
"Be careful, sir," Tala said worriedly.
Jason entered the turbolift and turned to face them. "You're all wonderful officers. I'm grateful to have you."
The two small away teams materialized just outside the bridge on the Worvig.
"Fredricks, an unexpected pleasure," Kardok said. "I know you Starfleet captains rarely venture into dangerous environments personally."
Jason chuckled. "My officers protested, but I assured them I had the best security officer in the fleet with me, not to mention you and your men."
Kardok smiled. "Let us proceed, then."
The door to the bridge opened, and a Klingon officer wearing a 23rd century uniform stepped out into the corridor.
"You are from the other vessels, I presume?" he asked.
"Yes," Jason answered. "Who are you?"
"I am B'vat."
Jason and Kardok's eyes widened.
"You look surprised. I imagine it is because of my lack of ridges. You are from the 25th century, are you not?"
"Well… yes…" Jason began.
"So what my future self told me is true. He said others would come to put a stop to his plan."
"And what is his plan?" Kardok asked.
"To use the Kuvah'magh to heal our people of this affliction we've carried for so long. He believes her DNA is the key," B'vat responded.
Jason stroked his chin. "Kardok, how did your people finally counter the augment virus' after effects? Could B'vat's incursion have been predetermined to happen?"
Kardok shook his head. "I do not know the exact methods that were used… it was said that a great healer developed a cure that would restore the ridges of those whose bloodline had been affected, but beyond that I do not know."
Jason turned to B'vat. "Where are your future counterpart and Mir— the Kuvah'magh?"
"They are on the medical deck. Captain, I must ask you something. Are our peoples at peace in your time?"
Jason hesitated. "We've had our ups and downs, but generally we've been at relative peace with one another."
Kardok raised an eyebrow.
"I see. My future self told me that he would give me this ship, as well as troops to command, if I would attack the Federation directly and wage war on them."
"And what did you tell him?" Kardok asked.
"I do not know what kind of man I will become, but for now I am dedicated to protecting the interests of the Empire, not using weapons from the future to wipe out my enemies. It would be… dishonorable."
"Indeed it would."
"I ask that you allow us to keep the cure for the restoration of our people, but you must take him and this ship back with you. Destroy it all if you must. And if he – if I – will not leave willingly, give me a good death – one worthy of a warrior."
Jason looked to Kardok, who nodded. "Very well, we will do as you say. Just make sure of one thing: don't reveal anything that could alter the timeline."
B'vat nodded. "I swear it on my house's honor."
The away teams entered a turbolift and went to the medical deck.
"This is incredible… you mean my blood contains the key to removing the augment virus?" Miral asked.
"Indeed. Why do you think I would go through so much trouble to bring you here, Ms. Paris?" B'vat asked.
"Why didn't you just ask me? I would have gone with you willingly."
"Oh, would you have? I was under the impression that Starfleet officers were afraid of the consequences of meddling with time."
"Well, it isn't something that one should play around with, but it almost feels as if I was predestined to assist your people."
"They are your people as well," B'vat corrected. "Or do you forget your mother's lineage?"
"I haven't forgotten… it's just that I'm closer to my father's side of the family."
B'vat seemed to ignore her last statement. "How is the processing coming along?"
"It is nearly ready, sir," an officer told B'vat.
"Will it be possible to replicate the genetic material in order to distribute it across the Empire?"
"Yes, but we will need one more sample."
B'vat turned to Miral.
"I will gladly do whatever is necessary to help our people," she said.
The door to the medical lab opened. In stepped Jason, Kardok, and the rest of their men.
"B'vat!" Kardok called. "Step away from the lieutenant."
B'vat scowled. "Damn that fool! He was supposed to detain you until my work was finished."
"If you're referring to your younger self, he was quite helpful to us," Jason said.
"Did he tell you of my mission and why it is so imperative that I complete it, Fredricks?"
"He did. We've agreed to allow Miral's DNA to be used as a cure for the missing ridges, but that's all. Once everything's completed, you will return with us to 2409, B'vat."
B'vat shook his head. "I thought you knew me better than that, Fredricks. Once my mind is set on something, I will not back down from it. If you want me to return with you, you will have to kill me."
Kardok stepped forward. "Allow me, Fredricks. I made a vow to put an end to this man's insanity, and I intend to follow through with it."
"You, Kardok? The son of a dishonorable petaQ is challenging me? If you recall, I advised the High Council to reject your house being reinstated and your crimes forgotten. I will not fight someone of such worthlessness."
"As if you have room to talk of worth!" Kardok retorted. "You who makes use of biological weapons, genetic manipulation, planet killers, and even time itself to annihilate your enemies. There is not a Klingon who has lived since the time of the great tyrant, Molor, who has held greater dishonor than you, B'vat."
B'vat suddenly drew a bat'leth and approached Kardok. "I will listen to no more of your detestable words. If you wish to fight me, so be it." He looked up at Jason. "Do not interfere, Fredricks, for your own sake."
Tlaszh handed Kardok a bat'leth. "This fight should not last long. If I fail, it is up to you, S'lade."
"You will not fail, captain," S'lade replied.
"Yesss, your victory is assured," Tlaszh chimed in.
"Your crew is as deluded as you, I see," B'vat scoffed. "Let us finish this. Gre'thor awaits you!"
The two paced the room, facing each other. B'vat twirled his bat'leth and took a swing at Kardok. He then took another that wildly missed its mark.
"Are you getting feeble in your old age, B'vat?" Kardok teased.
B'vat took another swing, this time locking blades with Kardok. The two bat'leths made a loud clashing sound. Kardok forced B'vat away, causing him to stumble.
"Is the cure ready?" Jason asked Miral.
"Yes, I believe so, sir," she replied.
"Vance, get the samples to the younger B'vat. We're gonna blow this tin can, so transport back to the Leviathan once you've delivered them."
"Yes, sir," Vance replied.
"I'll go too," Miral said.
They left the room.
"No! You will not destroy this ship!" B'vat yelled. He lunged at Jason.
Jason jumped out of the way, grabbing a falchion that S'lade had strapped to his back.
"Hey, bastard! Get your own damn sword!" S'lade said angrily.
B'vat pinned Jason down, with the falchion as the only thing protecting him.
Kardok held his bat'leth to B'vat's neck. "I thought this fight was between the two of us."
"You think I can't kill both of you?! Fools!" B'vat spun back around at Kardok, who countered him.
Jason clipped the back of B'vat's leg with the falchion. B'vat ignored it and pressed the attack on Kardok. He hit him with a powerful strike, and another. He backed Kardok into a table. With a great thrust, he pierced Kardok's abdomen with his blade.
"Kardok!" Jason called. He leaped up and charged at B'vat.
B'vat manged to turn and counter Jason's sword, bashing him in the face with the back side of the bat'leth.
"Son of a—!" Jason stumbled backwards.
A grin slowly formed on B'vat's face. "Now, die, Jason Fredricks." He quickly spun his blade to an angle that would be perfect to stab Jason through the chest. Jason's heart beat rapidly as he braced for the strike. B'vat suddenly stopped, and his hands began to quiver. "What… is… this?"
Kardok stood behind him, blade forced into B'vat's back, just between his spine and shoulder blade. "Gre'thor welcomes you."
"Damn… you…" B'vat collapsed to the floor.
Jason nodded at Kardok. "Thanks."
S'lade stretched out his hand for the falchion Jason borrowed.
"Oh, right. Sorry."
"We should leave immediately. All traces of this ship must be destroyed," Kardok said, clutching his wound.
"Yeah. You gonna be alright?" Jason asked.
"We have a surgeon aboard the SuvwI'; he will attend to me. Thank you for your assistance, Fredricks."
Jason tapped his combadge. "Fredricks to Leviathan. Beam us up."
"This is Kardok. Ready for transport."
The away teams returned to their respective ships.
Jason entered the bridge. "Status report?"
"We received a message from a nearby Klingon ship. They say they've retrieved Captain B'vat and the augment virus treatment," Tala reported.
"Good. Charge all phasers and load torpedoes."
"Aye, sir," she replied.
"Target the Worvig and fire."
The Leviathan and the SuvwI' both opened fire on the Worvig. In a matter of seconds, the once proud flagship of B'vat was reduced to space dust.
"Another job well done," Lucas remarked.
Miral entered the bridge. "Thank you, captain. Even though B'vat's ultimate intentions were dubious, I'm glad I had the chance to help my people. Thank you for assisting me in that task."
Jason smiled. "You're quite welcome. I don't know if any of you believe in predestination paradoxes, but this sure feels like one."
"It was quite the adventure," Dylyp noted.
"You know, I almost feel a little empty inside now that B'vat's gone. He may have been deluded, but he was an interesting man to have as a rival."
"There's always that red-headed punk from back home," Lucas said, chuckling.
Jason shook his head. "Helm, set course for the Gateway system. The sooner we return to our time, the better."
"Aye, captain," Ernie replied. "Course for home laid in."
A/N: If you enjoyed this chapter, please leave a review! Find out more about the story at federationlegacy. wikia. com.
NEXT CHAPTER: "The Lost City of Paradise"