Star Trek Raza, episode 11; The House of Sung

Star Trek Raza

Season 1, Episode 11

The House of Sung

 

Captain’s log stardate 63920.03

 

Due to the recent Klingon invasion of the Gorn colony on Gila IV, the Raza has been ordered to the border of the Gorn Hegemony. It seems Starfleet is bracing for a full-scale war between the Klingons and the Gorn. I have to wonder if the Federation will ever know peace.

 

Commander Mitchell’s quarters

 

Now that Mitchell and A’Ryn are back together, the Commander is pulling out all the stops to show A’Ryn exactly how he feels about her and tonight is no exception. After a quick shower, he dug deep into his memory banks and fired up the replicator making all off A’Ryn’s favorite dishes. Well, at least all he can remember that is. As he plates the final dish, a chime is heard at his door. He smiles knowing who that is. “Computer, dim lights to thirty percent.” and the lighting in the room drops significantly. The chime rings again. Come in.” and the door slides open and A’Ryn walks in dressed in a white flowery pattern one-piece sun dress with thin straps over her shoulders. Her eyes a radiant blue and she has on a light shade of red lipstick. He can smell the flowery perfume she has on as she approaches him. He grabs her by the waist and kisses her on the mouth. She lets her tongue roll around in his mouth and he starts to get aroused. Knowing dinner is ready he digs deep and finds the strength to control his sexual desire. How he wants to throw her on the bed taking her, but he pushes her away smiling. “Dinner first… desert later.”

 

She sees the huge spread on the table and smiles. “Looks like someone’s been busy.”

 

Mitchell walks over to the table smiling proudly. “I have prepared all your favorites.” He points at a bowl of worms. “Gagh.” He points at another plate. “Heart of Targ.” and then another. “Rokeg Blood Pie.” and then picks up a mug handing it to her. “And to wash it down, Kolothian Whipcrack.”

 

She smiles like a young schoolgirl, or what would be the equivalent of a Klingon schoolgirl and takes the mug in hand sipping the Whipcrack. “Thank you so much.”

 

Mitchell pulls out a chair for her and she sits down smiling at the feast in front of her. He walks to his chair and sits down never taking his eyes off of her. “What shall we start with?”

 

Just as she’s about to ask for the Heart of Targ, Phos’s voice can be heard. “Senior staff to the bridge.”

 

Mitchell looks irritated as he taps his comm badge. “Mitchell to Phos, can this wait? I’m in the middle of something.”

 

“I am afraid not sir.”

 

Mitchell tosses down his napkin in disgust. “We’ll be right there.”

 

The bridge of the Raza

 

Mitchell and A’Ryn walk out of the turbolift and onto the bridge still dressed in their dinner clothes. Phos is still sitting in the captain’s chair as the commander makes his way down to her. A’Ryn takes her station at the Engineering console. Faye is already at the Helm and Cho is manning Comms. There is no sign of Rheyna or the captain yet.

 

“Report.” barks a pissed off Commander.

 

Phos gets up turning over the chair to him. “Klingon Bird of Prey decloaked dead ahead sir.”

 

Mitchell looks at the view screen and sees the ship just sitting there. The captain walks out of his Ready Room and up to his second in command. His jacket undone like he just tossed it on. “What do we have Number One?”

 

“Klingon’s sir. They’re just sitting there.”

 

The turbolift door whooshes open and Rheyna walks briskly onto the bridge adjusting her jacket into place. She quickly takes her seat at the Science station brushing her hair from her face.

 

“Phos?” asks the captain as he turns to his Security and Tactical officer.

 

“It’s a Vor’cha Class attack cruiser. Her designation identifies her as the Tarn. Our latest reports show that a Captain Sung is in command.” and upon hearing that statement A’Ryn’s eyes nearly explode out of her head. She jumps up out of her chair whipping her head around gawking at the view screen. “Her shields are down and their weapons are not active.”

 

The captain turns to his Comms officer. “Mr. Cho?”

 

Jeremy looks at his screen. “No hails yet sir. They are running silent.”

 

The captain looks at his first officer. “Shall we see what they want?”

 

“I don’t see what it’ll hurt.”

 

The captain turns to his Comms officer. “Mr. Cho, please…” but he stops as he notices A’Ryn walking toward the view screen not being able to take her eyes off the ship. Mitchell walks up behind her putting his hands on her bare shoulders.

 

“Are you alright sweetie?”

 

She turns to him and he can see the panic in her eyes. “I… I know who they are.”

 

“They?” he chuckles. “We know who they are too honey, they’re Klingon’s. It’s they why and the what that we want to know.”

 

She turns to the captain who’s a few feet away listening to her. “It’s the House of Sung sir. It’s my parents and they are here for me.” as a look of horror comes across her face. The entire bridge crew are stunned at this news. Lieutenant Cho notices a light flash across his Comm panel.

 

“Sir, we are being hailed.”

 

“On screen.” commands the captain and everyone turns their attention to the viewscreen as it lights up showing the bridge of the Tarn. Sitting back in the captain’s chair rests an overweight older Klingon. His graying braided goatee hangs down onto his stomach. To his right stands a Human woman wearing traditional robes of a woman of her house’s stature. Her brown hair pulled back and a simple headpiece rests on her head. The Klingon captain squints as he looks at his viewscreen. A tell-tale sign that he’s either going blind or suffers from some sort of other disease. Captain Decker sits back in his chair adjusting his jacket and with a smile greets his Klingon counterpart.

 

“Good evening Captain Sung. How can we help you?”

 

“Captain Decker, I am here for my daughter.” states the Klingon captain very bluntly and to the point.

 

Obviously, he has no idea that A’Ryn is standing right in plain site of the view screen as he continues to squint waiting for an answer. A’Ryn’s mother on the other hand has perfect eyesight and can clearly see her daughter. She smiles widely at the sight of her. Captain Decker can tell that A’Ryn’s father has some issues so he takes the high road. “Captain, why don’t you and your wife join me aboard the Raza and you can meet with your daughter? I think you will be very pleased with the work she has accomplished.”

 

A’Ryn’s mother leans over to her father and whispers something in her husband’s ear. He nods approvingly and then looks back at the screen. “Prepare to receive us Decker. Sung out.” and the viewscreen goes back to showing the black of space and the stars around them. A’Ryn immediately goes into panic mode as she rubs her head feeling her head ridges. Mitchell sees the stress she’s in.

 

“Baby what’s wrong?”

 

She looks up at him and a tear rolls down her cheek. “It’s over James. My career… all this… you and I… it’s over.”

 

Transporter Room One

 

Captain Decker, Commander Mitchell and Lieutenant Commander Sung walk into Transporter Room One where the Andorian Transporter Chief Lieutenant T’Vell is manning his station. They all take their places and the captain nods to the Transporter Chief. “Chief if you would?” The Transporter Chief activates the transporter and the air around the transporter pads crackles with energy. Seconds later, two figures materialize on the pads. Captain Decker puts on his best game face with a half-hearted smile. Commander Mitchell can’t get over the rotund nature of A’Ryn’s father. It seems he likes to eat he thinks as he can’t take his eyes off the man’s grossly overweight stomach. A’Ryn shy’s away from her father’s gaze and her eyes meet her mothers. Both women start to cry as she walks up onto the transporter pad giving her mother a hug. Her father, respectively known as Captain Uvong Sung; taps his walking stick on the floor snapping his wife back in line. He runs a pretty tight ship when in council of foreign dignitaries. And Captain Decker and his staff are just that in his opinion. The two women break apart, neither wanting to cause a scene with the older Klingon, and head of the house. Captain Decker approaches Uvong and extends his hand. Sung never sees Decker’s hand come up. His wife takes her husbands hand and raises it for him in the general direction of Decker’s hand. Sung gets the point and reaches out embracing Decker’s hand.

 

“Captain Sung, welcome aboard the Raza.” and Sung shakes Decker’s hand. Decker motions toward his First Officer. “And this is my First Officer Commander Mitchell.” and the Commander steps forward also extending his hand, but the Klingon captain just glares in Mitchell’s general direction, only seeing a blur; giving him a look of disdain and disgust.

 

“I know of your Commander Mitchell, captain. My wife has read to me all the correspondences from my daughter about him and their… relationship.”

 

Decker has no idea how to answer that as he looks back at the First Officer a little embarrassed for him. “Yes well, I hope that while you are here we will get to know each other little better.” He turns to Mitchell. “Commander, please escort Captain Sung and his wife to their quarters. We will reconvene in the morning after a good night’s rest.”

 

Mitchell motions for Captain Sung and his wife to follow him. “Captain Sung… Mrs. Sung… right this way please.” and the door whooshes open allowing the three to exit the room. A’Ryn and Captain Decker stay behind as the door slides shut. The captain looks at A’Ryn and he can see that she is very upset.

 

“How are you holding up?”

 

“It’s been twelve years since I’ve seen my father. He was dead set against me joining Starfleet. He wanted me to follow in his footsteps and join the Klingon Defense Force. I just couldn’t do it. The whole Klingon warrior code thing just drives me nuts.”

 

“What about your mother. She seems to have missed you.”

 

“My mother and I have exchanged letters my whole career. She’s been very supportive of me the whole time. I’ve missed her very much.”

 

“Do you have any idea why they are here? Why they’ve come so far to find you after twelve years of being apart?”

 

A very serious look comes across her face. “They are here to bring me back to the Empire sir.”

 

Ensign Nirren’s quarters

 

Now that things have seemed to settle down with the Klingon Captain aboard the Raza, Jeremy Cho can now enjoy his down time. And for the past month his down time has consisted of spending all his free time with Nirren, the Vulcan Away Team Medic. As he walks the halls of the Raza he passes a number of other officers and he waves trying to play coy not drawing too much attention to himself. He makes the final turn to Nirren’s room and his heart starts to race. He can’t wait to see her. Kiss her. Make love to her. This has been the highlight of his tour of duty the past month or so. He stops at her door and takes a deep breath trying to collect himself. He doesn’t want her opening the door and seeing how desperate he is. He reaches out and chimes the door. The single word “Come.” can be heard from the other side of the door. He steps forward and the door slides open. He steps into the barely lit room and it takes a second for his eyes to adjust to the dark. “Over here.” calls out Nirren again from the bedroom. A wide smile spreads across Cho’s face as he makes his way toward her bedroom. He stops in the doorway and looks in. The small room is lit only by candles that surround the bed. Kneeling on the bed, naked; is Nirren. She smiles and raises her arms out to him. “Come make love to me.” and he can see the longing in her eyes. He can’t get his clothes off fast enough. He struggles to get his boots off, stumbling and nearly falling to the floor at the foot of the bed. Nirren giggles as he jumps in bed and makes love to her again.

 

The Stargazer Lounge, nearly midnight

 

The crowd in the Stargazer has died down and there are only a few patrons left before closing. Chief LaMay is cleaning the bar top for the last time tonight while Sorek is in back re-stocking the shelves for the next day. Cadet Braun walks in tired from her long day. She had to pull a double today, the price paid for giving one of her shifts away to make holodeck time with Sorek. Now that he’s working it takes more of an effort and some planning to have the same time off together. LaMay looks up from the bar and sees Daisy walk in. “Hey Lassie, here to pick up your boy?”

 

Daisy takes a seat at the bar and with a smile. “I am. I’m hoping to spend some time with him before he falls asleep. You’re working him to death.”

 

“The lad’s a worker I’ll give him that. Say, what are his plans after you leave for the academy?”

 

She looks confused. “I don’t know. I never thought about that. I have just assumed that he’s going to stay here and wait for me.”

 

He finishes wiping the bar and tosses the rag in the disposal unit. “You’ll be gone for four years and that’s just at the academy. Then the odds of you being assigned to the Raza after school are pretty slim.” He sees the panic in her eyes. “You’ve never talked about this with him? About what happens after you leave?”

 

She has no idea what to say. “No, it never crossed my mind. We were just enjoying the moment.”

 

“Well little one, before things go too far; I suggest you and the lad sit down and talk this out. Otherwise, someone is going to get hurt.”

 

Daisy tries to digest the Chief’s words ”too far” and can’t help but think he’s talking about her having sex with Sorek. Too late she thinks. Check that box off on that one. Sorek walks out from the back room spotting Daisy. He leans over the bar with a smile and kisses her on the cheek.

 

“Are we through?” asks a very polite Sorek looking in LaMay’s direction.

 

The Chief winks at Sorek. “Aye lad, we’re done. Have a good night.” and the two young lovers race off hand in hand.

 

The Raza’s Briefing Room, 0800 hours

 

After a short night of sleep, Captain Decker, Commander Mitchell, Lieutenant Commander Sung are in the Raza’s Briefing Room along with A’Ryn’s father Captain Sung and her mother Bethany Sung. All members of the group are seated at the table as Captain Decker leans forward resting his elbows on the table. “I hope your night aboard the Raza was comfortable?”

 

In his usual grumpy tone “It sufficed Captain.” grumbles Captain Sung. His wife Bethany places her hand on his trying to calm him down. With a very pleasant smile she looks at Decker.

 

“The quarters you assigned to us were amazing captain. It more than satisfied all our needs. Thank you very much.”

 

“It’s our pleasure madame. Now, please tell us what brought you all this way?”

 

Again, with a deep raspy voice. “I am here to collect my daughter captain.”

 

“Father!” yells out A’Ryn.

 

Uvong points a fat finger at A’Ryn. “Close your mouth little one. You have been gone far too long and you have forgotten your place in this house.”

 

A’Ryn swings at her father’s hand and slaps away his stumpy finger. “I’m not going anywhere with you.”

 

“Please everyone, try and calm down.” asks Decker as he turns his attention to Uvong. “Captain, your daughter is a Starfleet officer. If she were to leave with you today she will need to resign her commission and her career will be over. Are you sure you want that for her?”

 

The older, fat Klingon reclines in his seat with a smug look. “It is what needs to be done for both houses.”

 

Captain Decker looks confused. “I’m sorry, what do you mean both houses?”

 

Uvong looks away growling under his breadth not wanting to talk about it. His wife on the other hand does. “Captain Decker, the House of Sung has fallen on very difficult times in recent years. We have financed the building of numerous Battlestations across the Klingon Empire, but we are afraid that our resources are at their limits. To continue as a functioning house, we will need to merge with another house and combine our resources making us one.”

 

“I still don’t understand why you need A’Ryn.”

 

A’Ryn blurts it out. “They want me to marry into another house. Klingon tradition has the oldest male of one house marrying the daughter of the other house bringing the two houses together as one.”

 

“I see.” as Decker frowns considering the issue.

 

“There’s no God damn way I’m going to let that happen.” snaps Commander Mitchell as he pounds his fist on the table. A’Ryn places a consoling hand on his shoulder trying to calm him down.

 

Bethany looks across the table at the First Officer. “James, I understand how much my daughter means to you, but the very survival of our house and everything the Sung family has worked for hangs in the balance.”

 

“So, her career, her future, her relationships mean nothing to you?! You’re going to drag her back to Klingon space and sell your own daughter off like some piece of meat?! Well I won’t let you!!” yells Mitchell as he stands up hovering over A’Ryn’s parents. Uvong has had enough of this Human and he swings his walking stick crashing it down atop the glass table smashing the glass top. Everyone in the room is shocked at his actions.

 

“Enough of this. Captain Decker I have passed along the coordinates of the Bakara. There we will transfer A’Ryn over to her captain where she will be married to him unifying our two houses. That is the Klingon way.”

 

“Father, no!”

 

“My decision is final young one.” and Uvong gets up out of chair and using his walking stick makes his way out of the Briefing Room where security guards escort him back to his quarters. Bethany watches as Mitchell consoles A’Ryn. Decker is at a loss for words as Bethany gets up to follow her husband.

 

“My husband is doing what’s best for the House of Sung. It may not appear that way to you now A’Ryn, but he does love you.”

 

“He’s never loved me!” as she lets her Klingon heritage show snapping at her mother. “It’s always been about this damn house and his God damn Battlestations. That’s all he’s ever cared about. You and I, we never really mattered to him.” screams A’Ryn.

 

Bethany looks away as she too leaves the Briefing Room. Mitchell hugs A’Ryn whispering in her ear. “I’ll find a way out of this.”

 

Lieutenant Jin’s Personal Report

 

To say that things have been pretty quiet since Cory Bates escaped the Raza has been an understatement. It seems that all Alpha Flight does these days is escort routine cargo runs in the middle of nowhere. I long for combat duty again.

 

Lieutenant Jin’s Office

 

Another day goes by where Alpha Flight isn’t needed. Lieutenant Else Jin really had hoped that being assigned to the Raza would bring new adventures into her life, but other than a minor dust-up with the Romulan’s nine months ago it’s been all but adventurous. They barely get out of the hanger nowadays. The chime can be heard at her office door. “Come in.” she barks from behind her ever-growing stacks of data pads on her desk. Lieutenant Ryder walks in and can already see the irritation on her face. He knows that paperwork is not her thing. She would much rather be behind the stick of a fighter in the middle of a dog fight. He walks in and stops in-front of her desk.

 

“You wanted to see me?” he asks, already knowing what this is about. She searches her desk, finally pulling out the correct data pad.

 

“Ron, what the hell is this?” she asks as she drops the device in-front of him.

 

“I thought it was obvious sir. It’s my transfer papers.”

 

“You want off the Raza Ron? May I ask why?”

 

“Sir, when I was assigned to the Raza I thought Alpha Flight was going to do more than escort frigates back and forth from one colony to another. Honestly ma’am, I’m a fighter pilot; not a baby sitter.”

 

She knows how he feels. Deep down inside she feels the same exact way. The longing for a combat mission. “You don’t rotate out for three more months. Maybe something will happen to change…”

 

Ron cuts her off. “I don’t think so sir. I respectfully request that you approve my transfer and let me get back to doing what I do best.

 

She looks into his eyes and she can see he’s serious. He wants out. He wants to get back into the fight and so doesn’t she. She was born to be a fighter pilot. How can she say no to him when she feels the same damn way? What are we doing here, she thinks to herself? What a waste of time. She grabs the data pad, turning it on and opening the file regarding his transfer. After a few taps on the screen she looks back at him. “You’re all set Ron. When your tour is over you’ll be reassigned. I hope you find what you’re looking for.”

 

Ryder tries to hold back a smile. “Thank you, sir.”

 

“Dismissed.” orders Jin and Ryder walks out of the room a very happy man. It’s too bad Jin can’t do the same. It feels like she’s in a prison, trapped in this office like a rat trapped in a maze. How she envies him.

 

Lieutenant Commander Sung’s quarters

 

Since the meeting with her parents in the Briefing Room, A’Ryn has been packing up all her belonging’s getting ready to depart the Raza. She can’t believe her life has come to this. She’s made it all the way to Lieutenant Commander in twelve years. She’s served aboard a top of the line starship and has fallen in love with the man of her dreams. It’s been a hell of a run, but now it’s all coming crashing down around her. She’s being torn from her ship, her career and the man she loves only to be married away to a man she has never met. The door to her quarters slides open and Commander Mitchell storms in not even chiming in. A’Ryn looks up from her suitcase and she can tell that he’s mad as hell. Probably angrier than she’s ever seen him.

 

“What are you doing?” he asks as he sees her piling her clothes in the few cases she has strewn about the room.

 

“What’s it look like? I’m packing.” she answers, never stopping her back and forth trips to her closet.

 

Mitchell swings his arms in the air. “What, you’re just going to give up? You’re going to let your father win? You’re going to marry some man that you don’t even love?” A’Ryn never stops to talk nor even looks into his face to see the pain in his eyes. “Stop!” he yells at her as he grabs her by the arms forcing her to look at him. “I love you damn-it. Talk to me!”

 

A’Ryn buries her face in his chest and begins to cry. “What are we going to do James? What are we going to do?”

 

He brushes her dark brown hair back comforting her the best he can. “We’ll figure this out. I promise you I’ll think of something.” and he kisses her on top of her head as his mind starts to race.

 

The Stargazer Lounge, mid-morning

 

Daisy’s mind has been racing since the conversation she had the night before with Chief LaMay. She can’t help but think, what are Sorek’s plans? She knows that she’s still going to go to Starfleet Academy. It’s been her life long dream to serve in Starfleet. But in all the time she’s been seeing Sorek, never once did it occur to her to ask him what his dreams where. What he’s going to do once she leaves. What’s he going to do with his life.

 

She walks into the lounge and all seems pretty calm. Chief LaMay is on duty, so he’s left Nia and T’Lana in his place to run things. It must be pretty tough to be the Chief of the Boat and run a bar, she thinks to herself. She stops a few feet in and scans the by. She sees Sorek up on the observation deck wiping down a table. He seems so happy just doing menial work. How his father would hate this. She walks up to him and places a hand on his back. “Hi.” and he jumps never expecting someone to approach him from behind. He turns and smiles at her.

 

“Daisy?! You frightened me. Aren’t you supposed to be on duty?” he asks grinning pointed ear to pointed ear. She smiles back at him and grabs his hand.

 

“I’m on break right now. I thought I’d come and see you.”

 

“How very nice of you.” He pulls out a chair for her and she sits down. He circles around the table and takes a seat across from her. He can see her face get serious. “What’s wrong?” he asks confused.

 

She struggles to find the courage to ask the question. “Can I ask you something?”

 

“Yes, of course. Anything.”

 

“I’m leaving in a few months to go to Stafleet Academy. What… what are you going to do while I am gone?”

 

He sits back, forehead crunching in thought as his eyebrows get closer together. “I have not given that much thought. I assumed that I would stay here and wait for you to return. At that point we can resume our relationship.”

 

She forces back laughter. “Sorek, sweetie; the academy lasts four years. You’re going to wait four years for me? You’re going to put your life on hold for that long?”

 

“Yes. Isn’t that what you would do for me?” he asks thinking that’s exactly what she would do for him.

 

She blushes and smiles. He’s been in isolation for so long he has no clue about the real world. How people really work in the universe. “Sorek, after my time at the academy, I could be assigned to another starship. A starship that doesn’t allow us to be together. What then? Will you wait until that tour is up? And the next tour, and then the next?”

 

Now Sorek’s mind is starting to race. Is she trying to end things with him? Is she trying to find a way to break things off before she leaves? “Daisy, are you terminating our relationship?” he blurts out getting right to the point.

 

She reaches out and grabs him by the hands with a reassuring smile. “No!” she tries to calm him down. “Not at all. I love being with you. I just… I just can’t ask you to wait for me your whole life. Starfleet WILL pull us in different directions. I can’t ask you to put your entire life on hold for me.”

 

“But I love you.”

 

She blushes again, her face getting a darker shade of red. “And I love you too. But now that you are free from your controlling father, you can be anything or do whatever you want. Go wherever you want.” She gets up out of her chair and kisses the man she loves. “Think about it. We will talk more later. I love you.”

 

He watches her leave the lounge and he mutters under his breath. “And I love you.” But deep down he can’t get the thought out of his head that she is breaking up with him.

 

Captain Uvong and Bethany Sung’s quarters

 

Bethany Sung is getting ready for the upcoming nuptials of her daughter and a man she has never met. Even though this does not sit well with her and deep down inside it turns her stomach to think that she is selling her daughter off like cattle she knows what is right for the House of Sung. A chime is heard at the door. “Come in.” she answers and the door slides open letting Commander Mitchell walk in. He’s got a very serious look on his face as he walks right up to her. “Can we talk?” he asks.

 

“Commander, I fail to see what talking is going to do to change anything.”

 

“You can’t tell me that you agree with what Uvong is doing to A’Ryn. Marrying her off to a complete stranger. She’s not even in love with him.”

 

“Love?” she asks curiously. “Love will come in time Commander.”

 

“Is that your Human side talking, or your heartless Klingon side.”

 

“Commander, I love my daughter. I want what’s best for her. But the House of Sung is dying. If we don’t merge houses soon, the House of Sung will die off. You’ve seen the condition my husband is in. His own people see it too. They question his leadership. There are already grumblings within his inner circle that there are men that are willing to challenge him. He’s in no condition to defend himself in battle.”

 

“Listen, I don’t mean to act like I don’t give a shit about the House of Sung and all its problems… but I really don’t give two shits about your house. I need to stop this. I can’t let her go.”

 

“You have no choice, James. What’s done is done I’m afraid.”

 

He waves his arms in the air at her. “I don’t believe that. I’ve dome some research on Klingon tradition. What about…” and she cuts him off knowing where this is going.

 

“There is nothing you can do. Interference will only cost you more pain and suffering.”

 

“What about the Right of Challenge?” he blurts out. “I’ve read that… “

 

“Don’t be a fool. He would kill you most assuredly.”

 

“What? You don’t think I can beat him?”

 

She laughs at him. “You are going to challenge Rul Oktok to combat? To the death? You are more a fool that I had thought.”

 

“Well I was hoping not to the death, but yeah.”

 

“Then you most surely will die.”

 

“Talk about positive reinforcements.”

 

“You have no idea who you will face out there. Rul is a proud Klingon warrior. He has killed so many men they have stopped counting. His house carries a lot of power within the Klingon Empire. He will not be beaten by some of your witty jokes Commander. Rul is a killing machine.”

 

“Nice to know. So, any advice on how I can beat this guy? Stake to the heart? Garlic? Holy water?”

 

She turns her back to him. “You will not beat him.”

 

“Can we just cut past the part where you’re being brutally honest with me and try to be a little bit helpful here. I can’t give up on her.”

 

She turns back to him. “You want me to be helpful Commander, then do not do this. Let her go. Let her fulfil her destiny.”

 

Mitchell points are her defiantly. “Her destiny is to be with me, not some Klingon killing machine. If you’re not going to help me, then I’ll do it myself.” and on that note Mitchell storms out of Bethany’s quarters. She watches him go and a smile comes across her face knowing she sparked something inside him.

 

Sick Bay

 

While the Raza is in-route to intercept the Bakara, Bethany Sung has politely asked that the Raza’s Chief Medical Officer Doctor Dorn take a look at her husband’s quickly fading vision. After hours of trying to persuade him, her husband backed down from his stance and has agreed to go down to sick bay and meet with the doctor. Not being allowed to walk the halls of the Raza freely, Lieutenant Phos has been asked to escort the Klingon Captain to sick bay. They walk into the medical facility and Uvong is in awe of the technology. “All this to help your people heal?”

 

“Do you not have medical facilities aboard your ship sir?” asks Phos as she tilts her head.

 

“Yes, we do. But nothing like this. Certainly nothing as lavish. Starfleet loves to show off.”

 

“But would you not consider it showing off by building such lavish battlestations like you have?”

 

“The two are nothing alike. This…” as he waves his arms around the room. “…is to heal people so that others can feel pity for them. Battlestations are built for war! Power! For the Glory of the Klingon Empire. Sometimes I feel like our people have lost their ways and they are getting to be too much like… this.” and again he waves his hand in the air around the room. Doctor Dorn can hear the two men talking and walks out of his back office with a smile on his face.

 

“Captain Sung. It’s so good to meet you.”

 

Uvong squints trying to stare at the traditional Trill marks. “So you’re a Trill?”

 

“The doctor crosses his arms and smiles at him. “Yes. That’s correct.”

 

“I’ve never met a Trill before.”

 

“Well there’s always the first time for everything.”

 

Uvong points at Dorn’s stomach area. “And you have a worm growing in your belly?”

 

“That’s not completely right. I carry the Dorn symbiote inside of me. We are joined as one, mind, body and soul. Technically, he’s not growing inside me as much as we are sharing bodies. Now enough about me. I hear you are here because of your eye site. Your wife tells me that it’s getting worse. Have you had your physicians look at your condition recently?”

 

“Bah…” he grumbles. “My wife worries too damn much. I’m fine.”

 

“Ok then. Let’s try something basic.” and the doctor walks about five feet away. He raises his hand showing three fingers. “Tell me how many fingers I have raised.”

 

Uvong squints to the point that his eyes are nearly shut. “I see five… no four fingers.” The doctor walks toward Uvong until the man can see clearly that it was only three fingers that were held up. Uvong gets irritated.

 

“That was the best Starfleet Medical can do? Give me some damn children’s test?”

 

“Sir, it is the most basic eye exam known to man. I will also give you a much more complete physical exam and let you know my findings. But for starters, you have very poor vision. I will also find out why and let you know what your options are.”

 

Uvong grumbles under his breath. “Bah, damn Starfleet.”

 

The bridge of the Raza

 

The past two days aboard the Raza have been pretty tense. Not much small talk on the bridge as all the crew members are busy focusing at their tasks at hand. Captain Decker is sitting in his command chair when Cho blurts out.

 

“Sir we are being hailed. It’s the Bakara.”

 

“Where is she?”

 

The forward view screen shows the area of space where she should be, but they see nothing.

 

“She must be still cloaked.” states Commander Mitchell as he looks at his captain.

 

“It seems that way Number One. Mr. Cho, answer them and politely ask them to decloak.”

 

“Aye sir.” and seconds later a Klingon warship decloaks right off their port bow.

 

“Shit, any closer they could have been in our back pockets.” remarks the first officer.

 

“They are asking for a visual sir.” blurts out Cho.

 

“On screen.” orders the captain and the front viewer switches to the bridge of the Bakara. A much more modern and hi-tech warship than Uvong’s warship.

 

“Captain Oktok, it’s a pleasure to…” and Decker is cut off.

 

“Human, save your small talk for weaker species. I am here to get this over with and collect the bitch, A’Ryn Sung. Do you have her ready for transport?”

 

Trying to slow things down to a crawl instead of a sprint. “I am afraid she is not ready to beam over yet. There are still a few tasks in hand that need to be completed before she can depart the Raza.”

 

The Klingon Captain is pissed. “Damn-it Decker you have had two Earth days to finalize this transaction!! Where is Uvong?!”

 

“I am afraid sir that Uvong and his wife are also indisposed. I have been asked to tell you that when they are ready to…” and Decker is cut off by Commander Mitchell.

 

“Hey shell-head…” making jokes about the Klingon forehead ridges on Captain Oktok, but the joke goes right over the Klingon captain’s head. “…I issue the Right of Challenge. I beat you… I get A’Ryn. You beat me… well I guess I’ll be dead then.”

 

The entire Klingon bridge bursts out in laughter and back on the Raza’s bridge Decker snaps his head back to his First Officer.

 

“Is this some kind of Human joke Decker? This puny Human is going to challenge ME?!” and Oktok can’t hold back his deep belly laugh.

 

“Cho, screen off.” and with that command Cho cuts off communications with the Bakara. “Number One, in my Ready Room NOW!!” The captain leads the way as he storms into his ready room followed by his second in command. He doesn’t even wait for the door to finish sliding shut when he blasts into his Commander. “James, just what the hell are you doing out there?”

 

“Sir…”

 

“Have you lost your damn mind?”

 

“I wanted…”

 

“If you fight him he’s going to kill you!”

 

“Yeah, I’ve heard that before.” Mitchell puts his hands in the air trying to calm Captain Decker down. “I can explain.” Then the door to the ready room slides open and Lieutenant Commander Sung storms in with a worrisome but also pissed off face. She marches right up to Mitchell.

 

“What the hell did you do?” she snaps at him.

 

“I…”

 

“You just couldn’t let it go, could you? You had to stick your nose in and get involved.”

 

Again, Mitchell tries to calm the situation by putting both his hands in the air. “Look, I just couldn’t sit back and let them take you. Not without trying to do something to stop them.”

 

“So, you decided to challenge the man she’s supposed to marry… to a fight to the death?” asks the captain.

 

“You’re an idiot.” screams A’Ryn.

 

Mitchell looks at the captain with pleading eyes. “I know this wasn’t one of my most shining moments.” and he looks at A’Ryn. “And you have been trying to get me to show my feelings for you, so here it is.” He looks down at the floor. “Yeah, I just challenged the Terminator to a fight to the death.”

 

Again, the door to the ready room whooshes open and in marches Captain Sung and his wife Bethany at his side. “Captain, I just heard what happened. I demand to know what you are going to do about this?!” screams Uvong.

 

The captain pauses as he tries to sort out this mess. He then takes a deep breath and looks at Uvong. “Sir, I believe in the love that Commander Mitchell and your daughter share. I also believe that Commander Mitchell has every right to challenge Captain Oktok no matter how stupid it sounds.” Mitchell raises an eyebrow trying to determine if that was an insult or a compliment. “Now if you will excuse me…” and Captain Decker marches back onto the bridge followed by everyone that was in his ready room. “Mr. Cho, get them back on screen.”

 

“Yes sir.” and the main viewer comes back on showing Captain Oktok again.

 

“Captain Decker, tell me I misunderstood your Commanders challenge and that he wasn’t serious.”

 

“Captain Oktok, Commander Mitchell has indeed challenged you for the hand of A’Ryn Sung. Do you accept this challenge?”

 

Oktok smiles as he leans close to the viewscreen. “I accept your challenge Commander. Today is a good day for you to die.” and with a wicked smile the viewscreen shuts off.

 

Decker looks around the bridge and nobody has the guts to say a word. He looks at Phos. “Lieutenant, please prepare to receive the captain when he’s ready to beam over.”

 

“Aye sir.”

 

Decker looks at A’Ryn. “I know this is going to be difficult, but please prepare the holodeck for a tradition arena suitable for this challenge.”

 

“But sir…”

 

“A’Ryn… that’s an order.”

 

She tries to swallow her pride and follow orders. “Yes sir.”

 

Decker then turns to Commander Mitchell. “I suggest you study up on Oktok’s fighting techniques. His strengths and his weakness’s.”

 

A’Ryn chimes in. “He doesn’t have any.” and she storms away toward the turbolift with her parents.

 

Mitchell rolls his eyes. “That’s so reassuring honey. Thanks for the help sweetie. Don’t forget, I’m doing this for you.” Mitchell looks at his captain who’s just staring at him in confusion. “What?”

 

Transporter Room One

 

Transporter Chief Lieutenant T’Vell is manning his station when Lieutenant Phos walks into the transporter room. “Captain Oktok and two others are ready to beam over sir.” announces the Andorian Transporter Chief. Phos nods her head in approval.

 

“Begin transport.” and she looks back at the transporter pads as they crackle with energy. Moments later, three Klingon’s materialize aboard the Raza. One much larger than the other two, Phos guesses; is Captain Oktok. She walks up to the man. “Captain Oktok. My name is Lieutenant Phos. I am to escort you to your quarters where you will await the battle.”

 

Oktok grins at Phos. “Lead the way robot.” and for the entire walk to his quarters, Phos takes the time to correct Oktok that she is not a robot, but a fully function android.

 

Sick Bay

 

Captain Sung along with two M.A.C.O. guards escort him into sick bay. Doctor Dorn sees the overweight Klingon waddle into the room with the aid of his walking stick and smiles trying to put on a brave face. The doctor looks at the two M.A.C.O. guards. “That will be all.”

 

“We have been ordered to stay with him at all times.” answers the larger of the two security guards.

 

“It’s fine. I’ll take full responsibility for him.”

 

“Yes sir.” answers the M.A.C.O. and they leave sick bay.

 

Uvong chuckles at the two M.A.C.O.’s. “Back in my youth doctor I could have taken ten of them.”

 

“I bet you could have. Please have a seat.” and he motions for Uvong to sit down on the examining table. The big Klingon struggles to climb up onto the table and probably would not have made it if Dorn did not help him.

 

“Let’s get this over with doctor. I have a challenge to attend.”

 

A serious look comes over Doctor Dorn’s face. “Uvong, I’m afraid that my test results came back and I have some very distressing news. You have Ba’ltamasor Syndrome. I am afraid that at your age and declining health you have less than six months to live.”

 

Uvong gets pissed as he tries to get off the table. “Bah. All you damn doctors are the same. Take a shot for this… take a pill for that.” He pounds his chest with his fist. “I am a Klingon warrior! I will die with honor!”

 

The doctor looks confused. “Wait, you knew about this… and you’ve done nothing to slow the disease down?”

 

“My ancestors never…” but the doctor cuts him off.

 

“They were damn fools. They lacked the knowledge that we have today and they were too wrapped up in the bloody Klingon pride. Uvong, you are dying!”

 

Uvong’s face gets serious. “Yes I am. And I am ready. I just have a few loose ends to tie up.”

 

“That’s why you are arranging this marriage of your daughter to a higher house. You’re trying to take care of them before you die. I see what you are doing now.”

 

“You see nothing Human. I am a dying man. My wife needs to be taken care of once I am gone. With this union of the two houses they will be obligated to care for her after I leave this life.”

 

“And what about your daughter? What about A’Ryn’s needs? Don’t you think she deserves to know why her father is doing this? Doesn’t she need to know the truth?”

 

Uvong closes his eyes as a tear rolls down his check.

 

Commander Mitchell’s quarters

 

For the past few hours Commander Mitchell has been locked away in his quarters studying the proper combat techniques of using the Bat’leth. He would watch a quick how-to clip and then grab his replicated Bat’leth and try and copy the moves. Most of the time with utter failure. Right in the middle of a maneuver he hears a rap at his door. Placing the Bat’leth on a table he makes his way to the door and opens it. As it slides open he sees Uvong ready to wrap on it again with his heavy walking stick. Mitchell looks at the man confused. “Can I help you?” he asks.

 

“You can start by letting me in… James Mitchell.”

 

Mitchell motions for the man to come into his quarters and the overweight Klingon hobbles in taking a seat at the table. He squints and makes out the faint image of a Bat’leth. Grabbing it he feels the weapon and can tell it’s unbalanced. “This is a child’s toy.”

 

“It’s a replicated copy.”

 

“I hope you don’t plan on using it against Rul?”

 

Embarrassed, Mitchell takes it from the older man. “No, A’Ryn has one for me that I planned on using. I believe it was one of yours when you were… younger.” he states, taking a jab at the older man.

 

Uvong smiles at the thought of his young girl owning a keepsake of his. “You must know that you do not stand a chance against him?”

 

Mitchell rubs his head. “Yeah… the thought crossed my mind… like a million times.”

 

“Your death will have honor though. A very honorable death Commander.”

 

“Listen, can we skip the death part? Is there a reason why you’re here? Cause I really need to prepare for my death… remember?”

 

Uvong looks at Mitchell and tries to read the man. “Do you love her?”

 

“What? Of course, I do.” and Mitchell smiles away the question.

 

Uvong swings his walking stick and hits Mitchell across the arm. “Owe! What the fuck!” as Mitchell grabs his bruised arm rubbing it.

 

“I asked you a question James Mitchell and I expect you to answer it seriously. Do you love my daughter with your entire heart and soul? Would you lay down your life for her?”

 

Mitchell never hesitates. “Yes. With everything I have.”

 

Uvong smiles. “Then we have work to do.”

 

Holodeck One

 

The time has finally come. Commander Mitchell has sent out the challenge and Rul Oktok has accepted. The prize for the winner… A’Ryn Sung. For the loser… death. The holodeck has been programed in a perfect replication of a gladiatorial arena. Both men will enter the pit through gates at ground level while the crowd and honored guests will be watching from the stands above. Much like gladiators of the old Roman days. Captain Decker, Captain Sung, his wife Bethany and their daughter A’Ryn are in the stands watching from a V.I.P. booth. Captain Decker has not allowed any other members of the Raza crew to attend. If things turn ugly, and he assumes they will; he doesn’t want them to see it. It will be hard enough for him to talk about it after it’s over. Instead, the stands are filled with holographic Klingon’s all ready for blood.

 

The war drums begin to pound and horns blare as the first gate opens and Commander Mitchell walks out into the arena. Dressed in Klingon battle armor and wielding a Bat’leth he makes his way to the center of the arena. Looking up into the stands he sees his captain and A’Ryn. The Klingon crowd boos and starts cursing in his direction. Surely, he is not the fan favorite of this crowd.

 

The crowd quiets down as they anticipate whose coming out next. Seconds later the war drums beat again and horns blare as the gate lifts and out storms Rul Oktok armed with two Klingon Mek’leth’s, one in each hand. As the crowd goes nuts he wraps the two swords together and the crowd can hear the clanging of metal on metal. Rul turns toward Mitchell and he can see the bloodlust in his crazed eyes. Rul screams as loud as he can over the noise of the crowd and Mitchell knows he’s screwed. Just before Rul charges at him, Mitchell drops his Bat’leth to the ground. Rul wonders what the hell he’s doing.

 

Mitchell smirks at Rul as he kicks the Bat’leth away. “I’m not going to fight you.”

 

“Pick your weapon up Human. There is no honor in killing a defenseless man.”

 

“Yeah, well I’d hate to break up the party here killer but nobody is dying here today.” and he turns to face A’Ryn. Dropping to one knee and putting his arms out wide he shouts. “Jih Dok”, the first part of the Klingon marriage oath which translates as “My blood”.

 

A’Ryn can’t believe what she just heard James say. Her father touches her shoulder and she looks at him seeing him crying. The man she always thought she could never make happy was crying. She looks at her mother, the strong Human woman; and she sees she too is crying. Her head spins back to Mitchell who’s still on one knee waiting for her response. She herself begins to cry as she yells out. “Maj Dok.”, the second part of the Klingon oath that translates as “Our blood.”

 

A’Ryn rushes down from the stands trying to get to Mitchell. Rul looks up in the stands and points one of his swords right at Uvong. “You have betrayed my trust Uvong. There will be no place for you or your family within the Sovereignty of Kahless!! Your house will die right along with you.” and Rul storms out of the holodeck upset that he was deprived of a wife and a kill this day.

 

Bethany wonders what he’s talking about as she looks at her husband with concern in her eyes. He waves her off watching as his daughter A’Ryn rushes across the arena grounds and jumps into Mitchell’s arms. Decker lets out a deep sigh thanking God that he didn’t have to explain to Starfleet how he lost his first officer today.

 

Captain’s log, supplemental

 

Captain Oktok and the Bakara have departed as quickly as they arrived. I, for one; am pretty happy that he’s gone. Klingon’s in themselves are a pretty intense race. But this man takes it to a whole new level. I hope we do not, or should I say never; cross paths again.

 

As far as Captain Uvong and his wife Bethany are concerned, it’s been a pretty rough ride for the Sung family. On one hand they are now a unified family, but it was with a heavy heart that Uvong had to tell both his wife and daughter that he is dying. With whatever time he has left in this universe, Uvong has sworn to make the best of it, and that starts with the wedding of his daughter to Commander Mitchell. I have asked Chief LaMay to oversee all the wedding plans and turn the Stargazer into a traditional Klingon wedding hall decorated to satisfy all of Uvong’s wishes. I have even agreed to take on as many of Uvong’s crew from the Tarn to join the Raza crew in the celebration.

 

The Stargazer Lounge, two days later

 

Captain Decker and his senior staff are all decked out in their dress uniforms. Captain Decker leads the Raza procession followed by Doctor Dorn, Rheyna Karn and Faye Monroe. Daisy enters minutes later along with her boyfriend Sorek, choosing to sit in the back of the hall. Daisy has no idea how the room full of Klingon’s would react to a Romulan watching their wedding ritual. Captain Decker looks around the room and can’t help but notice that Lieutenant Cho and Ensign Nirren are missing along with his Security Chief Lieutenant Phos. He leans over to his Chief Medical Officer. “Nirren and Jeremy are missing. I thought I ordered all Senior Staff to attend?” Dorn looks around the room spotting the two lovers and taps the captain’s arm.

 

“Yes.” as he questions the doctor.

 

Dorn points across the room where the captain sees Cho and Nirren sitting alone. Nirren is smiling and has never looked more in peace with herself. Deep down inside he is very happy for the two of them but has to wonder how Mr. Cho is going to handle Nirren’s Vulcan side long term. Vulcan logic can drive the most logical Human mad at times. His train of thought is broken as Klingon war drums begin to beat out ancient rhythms.

 

The Mistress of the Great House Bethany Sung enters the hall, which is decorated with ceremonial banners hanging from the ceiling to the floor in various areas of the room. Ritualistic greeting candles called varHama’ weQmey light the hall. Bethany makes her way down the center aisle, walks up the steps turns at the top and then stands before those gathered, raising her right hand, and speaks, reciting the story of the forging of the Klingon heart. Her voice booming across the hall.

 

“With fire and steel did the Gods forge the Klingon heart. So fiercely did it beat. So loud was the sound that the Gods cried out ‘On this day we have brought forth the strongest heart in all the Heavens. None can stand before it, without trembling at its strength.’ But then, the Klingon heart weakened. Its steady rhythm faltered, and the Gods said ‘Why have you weakened so? We have made you the strongest in all of creation.’ And the heart said…”

 

And she pauses as the crowd turns to see Commander Mitchell emerge from the back of the room and he makes his way to the stage dressed in ancient Klingon robes. He stands before the Mistress of the Great House and speaks.  “I am alone.” letting his voice ring out.

 

The Mistress of the Great House Bethany Sung continues. “And the gods knew that they erred. So, they went back to their forge and brought forth another heart.”

 

The crowd again turns to see A’Ryn Sung emerge through the crowd dressed in a very traditional Klingon wedding gown. Her hair pulled back by a headpiece decorated with priceless gems. Mitchell can’t take his eyes off of her as she makes her way down to him. Stopping next to him she turns to face him.

 

Bethany nods to Captain Decker and he gets up out of his chair and walks over to a table where two Bat’leth are resting. Acting as the ta’wl’yan or the equivalent of a best man at a Klingon wedding, he picks them both up and hands one each to Mitchell and A’Ryn. The commander smiles at the captain as he takes his weapon. The captain can also see that A’Ryn has been crying as he hands her hers. After handing off the weapons, Decker returns to his seat and sits down.

 

Then Mistress of the Great House Bethany Sung continues. “For the second heart beat stronger than the first. The first was jealous of its power.”

 

Commander Mitchell, acting out the actions of the ‘first heart’, initiates combat with A’Ryn, who represents the ‘second heart’. His moves are parried, and A’Ryn’s Bat’leth is brought to the neck of Commander Mitchell.

 

Bethany Sung continues. “Fortunately, the second heart was tempered by wisdom.”

 

The bride, A’Ryn Sung; speaks. “If we join together, no force can stop us.” The bride then removes her Bat’leth from Mitchell’s neck. Captain Decker again gets out of his chair and approaches the bride and groom. The Bat’leth’s are then given back to Captain Decker who then places them back on the table and retakes his seat. Bethany raises her arms over the bride and groom’s heads and as if on cue the couple embrace each other. Commander Mitchell places his hands on the A’Ryn’s hips, and A’Ryn places her hands on Mitchell’s arms.

 

Bethany Sung continues. “And when the two hearts began to beat together, they filled the Heavens with a terrible sound. For the first time, the Gods knew fear. They tried to flee but it was too late. The Klingon hearts destroyed the Gods who created them, and turned the heavens to ashes. To this very day, no one can oppose the beating of two Klingon hearts.”

 

Bethany then turns to Commander Mitchell. “James Mitchell, Commander of the starship Raza; does your heart beat only for this woman?”

 

Mitchell replies. “Yes. Now and forever.”

 

“And will you swear to join with her and stand with her against all who oppose you and your house?”

 

Mitchell answers. “I swear I will to my dying day.”

 

Bethany then turns to her daughter A’Ryn and repeats the vows. A’Ryn Sung, daughter of Uvong Sung of the House of Sung. Lieutenant Commander and Chief Engineer of the starship Raza. Does your heart beat only for this man?”

 

A’Ryn replies as a tear rolls down her cheek. “Yes. For him and only him.”

 

In the back of the room Nirren reaches out and joins hands with Jeremy Cho. Jeremy smiles thinking he hasn’t been any happier since coming aboard the Raza. He raises her hand and kisses it tenderly. He’s falling in love with her.

 

Bethany continues. “And will you swear to join with him and stand with him against all who oppose you and your house?”

 

With a wide smile A’Ryn replies: “I swear with all my heart and soul.”

 

Bethany continues again raising her arms in the air above the bride and groom. “Then let all present here today know that this man and this woman are married.”

 

Mitchell leans in and kisses A’Ryn. Together, Mitchell and A’Ryn embrace Bethany and she welcomes Mitchell into the House of Sung. A’Ryn and Mitchell turns to the crowd gathered and they clap and whistle in celebration. In the back of the room Phos, or the evil incarnation of Phos; watches on.

 

Aboard the Romulan Warbird Osiris

 

High Commander Sharn has been watching everything happening on the Raza through the eyes of his doppelganger. Standing beside him, is Sub-Commander Ra’Nar. Sharn cannot take his eyes off the viewscreen as the celebration aboard the Raza continues to play out. All those people, clueless as to what is about to happen to them. The shit-storm that is coming their way.

 

“How much longer must we wait in the shadows?” asks Ra’Nar. “It has been nearly a year since our first failed attempt.”

 

Never taking his eyes off the viewscreen. “My contacts within Starfleet have informed me that the Raza is due back on Earth for a refit in less than three months. We will begin Phase Two of our plans immediately. Prepare Mr. Bates for departure.”

 

“Yes sir.” Excitedly, the Sub-Commander rushes out of Sharn’s office putting the well laid plans into motion. Sharn watches the viewscreen seeing Decker smiling and enjoying his party with his crew. He pauses the video showing Decker’s face frozen on the screen beaming with a smile.

 

“The first volley was awarded to you… Captain Decker…” and he stresses the captain’s name with just a bit of hate and disdain in his voice. “…but the end game will be mine!”

 

****

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