A Work Of Star Trek Fan Fiction By Richard Paolinelli
© 2020 RICHARD PAOLINELLI . ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO COPYING OR ANY OTHER REPRODUCTION OF THIS STORY IS PERMITTED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION. This is a work of fan fiction based in the universe of Star Trek, created by Gene Roddenberry. It is not intended to be sold, to be used to aid in any sale and is not to be copied or used in any other way by any other party.
Aboard the Enterprise (NX-01) Near the Federation-Klingon border, 2156 A.D.
“Entering unaffiliated space, Commander,” Ensign Travis Mayweather reported.
“Very well, Ensign,” Commander T’Pol replied. “Go to yellow alert. Ensign Sato, call the Captain to the bridge.”
“Don’t bother,” Captain Jonathan Archer said as he stepped onto the bridge. T’Pol gracefully slipped out of the command chair with a nod to Archer as she reclaimed her post at the science station. “Let’s find out why the Vulcan High Command suggested we shouldn’t bother exploring this area of space, shall we?”
“It is curious that the Klingons never attempted to claim this region,” T’Pol remarked as she began running scans. “Vulcan would have little need to claim it, but the Klingons rarely pass up an opportunity to expand their empire’s holdings.”
“Maybe the Klingon equivalent of the boogeyman lives somewhere out there,” quipped Lieutenant Malcom Reed from his tactical station.
“Well,” Archer interjected. “If there’s something out here that scares Klingons I’m not so sure we should be in any hurry to meet it. Let’s proceed at Warp factor 2 and run continuous scans at maximum range.”
The Enterprise left behind charted space and gracefully slipped into the unknown. The crew as a whole was eager to explore space, hopefully in peace, given its recent experiences in the Expanse. An hour after leaving charted space behind they still hadn’t encountered so much as a speck of dust. As was often the case in space exploration, that changed in a hurry.
“Captain,” T’Pol called out. “Sensors are detecting four objects ahead. Three appear to be nickel-iron based asteroids of some size. The fourth is… a ship. Klingon. Korlaz-class.”
“Polarize the hull,” Archer commanded. “Travis, bring us within ten kilometers of the Klingon vessel. Hoshi, see if you can raise her.”
“I’m not detecting any activity from the ship,” T’Pol reported. “It may be a derelict.”
“We’ll proceed with an abundance of caution until we know for certain,” Archer replied. “Hoshi, any response?”
“Nothing, Captain,” Ensign Soto replied from Communications. “They’re not sending out anything at all.”
“I’m not detecting any weapons lock or even any attempt to charge weapons. Korlaz-class ships aren’t heavily armed but if they were warming up what they do have, we should be able to detect it by now.”
Archer studied the forward screen. The Klingon ship and the asteroids were still too far away to show up.
“Let’s close on in and keep scanning for anything out of the ordinary.”
Enterprise dropped out of warp several minutes later and took up station-keeping just outside the known weapons range of a Korlaz-class ship. The ship, about two-thirds the size of the Enterprise, was in a slow tumble holding within a kilometer of the nearest asteroid. None of its running lights shone. It was a derelict.
“Sensors show no activity at all, Captain. No signs of life at all. It appears not only is the ship without power it is also without life support.”
“What is a crew capacity for a Korlaz-class ship?”
“Standard crew is fifty-six. There signs of recent battle damage, but no debris nearby to indicate this was the scene of any kind of incident.”
“Boarding party, Sir?” Reed asked.
“I’m not sure,” Archer replied, studying the disabled ship. “Something about this seems wrong. Commander, let’s take a closer look at those asteroids. I want a full scan of each one. Travis, bring us around the Klingon ship where we have a clear view of those asteroids but let’s keep our distance from all four. Malcolm, keep a close eye on that ship, just in case we’re dealing with the Klingon version of possum.”
The Enterprise swung about, keeping her bow toward the asteroids. On the surface the tumbling objects looked like ordinary asteroids.
“Is it just me,” Archer said as he watched the three spheroids. “Or are they all tumbling at the same rate and direction as our Klingon ship?”
“It is not just you,” T’Pol replied. “And all three asteroids have the exact same composition of nickel, iron and other minerals. They are also precisely the same mass and size.”
“And what are the odds of three perfect duplicate asteroids randomly tumbling about in open space together like this?”
“I would say as close to absolutely impossible as one can get.”
“Yellow alert, arm torpedoes and the phase cannons.”
“Cannons and torpedoes ready,” Reed called out. “Still no sign of activity from the Klingon ship.”
“Travis, back us away until we figure out what’s really going on here.”
Before the Ensign could input the commands, the three asteroids suddenly broke apart like eggshells revealing what had been hidden inside – three Klingon Birds-of-Prey.
“There are times when I really hate being right,” Archer muttered.
“With all due respect, Sir,” Reed chimed in. “I second that. Their weapons systems are live.”
“All stop, Travis. Hail them, Hoshi, let’s see if we can talk our way out of this trap.”
“We’re being hailed by a Commander Kaln of the Qo’vat.”
“Attention Earth vessel,” the Klingon commander announced without preamble. “You are outgunned. You will surrender your vessel or we will blow you out of space.”
“So much for the pleasantries,” Archer returned. “Commander, might I point out that we are not in Klingon space nor have we undertaken any action that would justify an act of war on your part.”
“Neither of which concerns me in the least, Earther,” Kaln shot back. “You will surrender your vessel now or you will die under the guns of my fleet.”
NEXT WEEK: Chapter Two: A New Ally