Only three of the intruders remained in the mess hall, the oldest and largest of the six having ordered his three more capable warband members to seize the engine space of this vessel. Kor’loth had remained here with two of his most trusted warriors to repel whatever weak attempt at a counter this motley crew could throw at him.
He and his men and women had no honour left to them, only a burning desire to make sure their entry to Gre’thor was sung about, feared and known that when they arrived, they’d continue carving a path of suffering until they got the respect due them.
They’d been aboard the Va’thu, prepping the ship for its inclusion in Gaveq’s little fleet after having procured it when these cowardly attackers had struck the depot. They hadn’t even issued a challenge, or a warning. No taunts, no accusations, no appeals to honour. Just three torpedoes that had killed everyone in the depot, then three more to make sure.
He had respect for the efficiency, their sheer and utter brutality and putting down a crippled starship, of killing a commander who couldn’t even kill a weak Federation starship, or die trying to rid the House of D’Ghor of weakness and stupidity.
The romulan woman whose neck was held firm in his hands barely struggled. She gripped his arm to support herself, but made no pleas or bargains. No fire or light in her eyes though, which confused him.
The chef though, that man had been what he expected – a warrior. He’d launched himself from the galley, a pan wielded like a sword in one hand, a cleaver in another. They hadn’t been weapons of desperation from the way he fought, but weapons he had trained with. Dor would carry the shame of being knocked out by a frying pan for the rest of his days, especially as Keth would remind him she’d had to gut the chef herself.
“A romulan woman and a klingon chef,” Kor’loth said, stepping over Kevak’s form and into a rapidly growing pool of blood, lifting the woman up in the with some effort. It wouldn’t be much longer before one of his own decided to save him the disgrace of growing old. “Where is your leader little one?”
For her worth, the romulan didn’t say a thing, just fought to bring breath. A couple of kicks to his armour had dissuaded her from fighting when he hadn’t even so much as grunted.
“Footsteps!” Dor cried out from the starboard door, back pressed to the wall and mek’leth in hand, ready to strike at the first foe to walk in the door.
Kor’loth gave the romulan’s throat a tight, firm squeeze then cast her aside, hearing her slam into the table and roll off to the floor. She wasn’t a threat; she was a weak romulan woman. But whoever was coming, now they could be a fight!
Keth took a spot next to Kor’leth’s flank with a disrupter in hand, he himself armed with his bat’leth, ready to spill more blood on the floor. His attention momentarily went to the port side door as he heard the sounds of disrupters, then a high-pitched whine. He’d heard that noise in his youth, when he still wore the uniform of the KDF with pride. Romulan disruptors.
So, the crew were romulans with a klingon chef? It didn’t matter. Soon they’d all be dead and he’d have a new ship. Gaveq could have the Va’thu, he’d have this ship as soon as his mean took engineering.
Just as he turned back to where the crew of this ship were coming from, the first one stepped in. A true brute of an orion, taller than he himself was, which was an achievement. His family must produce magnificent warriors! Dor’s mek’leth came down and bit into the man’s shoulder deeply, dark blood spilling from the wound. The orion bellowed in pain but seized Dor’s wrist with his good hand as he drove into the room, preventing Dor from removing the weapon. Then an orion woman stepped in. What was he facing here?
This new woman raised her weapon in a single fluid action and squeeze the firing stud on the older klingon disruptor. A single green bolt slammed in to Keth, screaming as it crossed the distance and collected her in the chest, its rampant energies ripping her apart, screaming as she was reduced to dust.
But the disruptor was useless, if he knew his weapons well. A single shot like that would have drained it. The male orion and Dor were struggling to the side and nothing stood between him and this woman. Bat’leth rose, he stalked forward, then a weight jumped on his back. A cold sharp pain stung at his neck, then again and again. He felt the warmth of his own blood seeping into his clothing as he toppled forward, trying to swing at the woman before him, collecting her shoulder and arm as he fell to the floor.
Then that cold sharp sting struck him twice more in the back of his neck and he lost all feeling. He could only look to his left, watching his blood spill across the deck, unable to even draw breath.
“Never,” a voice whispered in his ear as he saw the orion woman collapse to the floor, holding a hand tight over her wound, “will you hurt my hathos again.”
So, this is how Kor’loth, warrior of House D’Ghor ended? Not in glorious battle, but ambushed from behind by some romulan welp he had literally thrown aside?
How dishonourable…how fitting…
“T’Ael! T’Ael!” R’tin shouted into engineering, trying to find his sister. Orelia and Diedrick had been nearby when the Klingons had barged into Engineering and answered the whine of his own disruptor pretty quickly. But he hadn’t seen his sister. Fear was starting to get him as he desperately sought her out in a room that was starting to fill with smoke, curtesy of the missed shots of the attackers.
“Found her!” Diedrick shouted out, his deep voice carrying across Engineering with ease. “Alive but hurt.”
That was when the klaxon decided to fire off. It was louder, more raucous than the battlestations alarm. It was meant to grab your attention, even in a dire situation, in order to inform you that your bad day had decided to get worse.
“Containment failure in progress,” the male computer voice announced with no emotion. “Warp core failure eminent. Containment failure in progress. Warp core failure eminent.”
“Fuck! FUCK!” R’tin shouted as he made for the door, a dark shape in the smoke heading towards another that was waving its arm. Hopefully Diedrick carrying his sister towards Orelia? A hope born out as he emerged into the corridor.
“What do we do?” Orelia asked of R’tin. “You’re the engineer.”
“I need T’Ael’s help! We’ve been keeping this ship together, but it’s a two-man op. We’re fucked! Fucked!” he shouted again.
“R’tin! T’Ael! Anyone alive down there?” a voice that sounded like Trid’s came down the corridor, over the din of the klaxon and the voice announcing their impending doom.
“Yah! But not for long!”
“Captain’s evacuating the ship! Transporter if you don’t want to get left behind!”
What she wouldn’t do for a Federation hospital right about now? Or even a Starfleet sickbay? These thoughts went through the mind of one Melissa Ward, better known to the galaxy at large as Bones. But then again so many practical doctors on the frontier tended to be known as Bones, right?
But when it came to emergency surgery, she’d rather the barbaric state of klingon military medicine then just the contents of her medical bag, which as she understood was now an expanding cloud of plasma.
“You’ll live,” she announced to Sidda, who was sitting on a biobed, still holding bandages to the deep gash she’d received during the fighting aboard ship. “And can wait too, but no leaving my sickbay.” She turned to Revin, a constant shadow in times like this. “Tie her down if you have too. Doctor’s orders.”
She could have done without the wicked grin that followed, but understood young love was…excitable.
“What about everyone else?” Sidda asked, her colour off and therefore not even fighting with her. Where was the fun in ordering a superior officer around who didn’t fight with you?
“T’Ael’s head injury is bad. I’ve induced a coma for now, but we’ll want to get to a decent hospital soon. Telin’s right arm is useless. Nerve damage from the scans. I can make good the damage, given a couple of days of work. Again, let’s find that hospital.”
“You’re klingon chef will live another day,” Bones replied, with a faint smile. “Klingons take a bit more to kill then that. He’s not cooking for a couple of weeks if I have my say of things. I’m keeping him sedated for a day or two to let some healing happen before he starts moving.”
“So, we’re all accounted for?”
“Yes Captain, we’re all here. Now, let me go check on T’Ael again, have some words with Telin and then I’ll be back.”
“Injectors?” R’tin asked out loud while looking over his own console, monitoring readouts before him.
“Primed and ready,” responded Orelia who he’d conscripted along with Diedrick and Trid as his makeshift engineering crew.
They had a monumental task before them, trying to restart the warp core of the Va’thu with only the ship’s limited power supplies. From what he could tell the ship had been brought here and stored, awaiting a crew of D’Ghor followers to come here and crew it. But that would have been a full crew, with engineers aplenty, or certainly more then one engineer, two security guards and a helmswoman who was giving him the side eyes after his pretty bad and in hindsight stupid attempt at flirting the other day.
“Right…Trid, bring the containment fields online. Good…Diedrick, open the injector values to five percent.”
There was a slow hum, then a thrum, another thrum, more of them now. The pulsing of the core was quiet but steady. Nuclear scale explosions were taking place in the heart of the ship’s engine as matter and antimatter collided, annihilating each other and releasing all the pent-up energy of creation. “Right, keep opening the values, nice and slow to ten percent and hold it steady.”
The door to Engineering opened and footfalls came from the door to his position in quick succession. “Power?” Gaeda asked of him.
“Give me an hour and you’ll have drive plasma for warp drive. Give me two hours and I’ll give you warp eight point five.”
“Eight five? Thought these old ships weren’t that fast.”
“Turns out Va’thu here isn’t that old. She…what is the phrase humans use…fell of the back of a transporter? She’s less than ten years old, but she’s not quiet KDF quality. House militia perhaps?”
“So, either pinched from a house who can put new ships into storage instead of working them, or D’Ghor have some sympathisers?” Gaeda asked, looking around the engine room that Klingons preferred to call the Engine Pit.
R’tin just shrugged. He wasn’t in the mood to speculate, just live, get this ship moving and get T’Ael the aid that Bones said she needed. He’d push this ship as fast as he could if he had to. Get out and push even.
“Right, keep me appraised R’tin. As soon as we can move, we’ll get underway. I want cloak, but we’re not going to be slow buddy. We’re going to run like we stole something and get your sister to a proper hospital.”
“First Feddies we see XO. They’re suckers for a sob story. And we have stolen something.”
“I’ll try and not take that personally R’tin. Get us moving and we’ll see who we get to first.”