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.
“Commander Kaln,” Archer began in a measured tone. “May I remind you that such an action on your part would be considered an act of war, one your High Command might not be so eager to initiate. Not to mention the fact that you will lose at least one ship and many lives in an exchange of fire with my ship.”
“It is a good day to die, Earther,” Kaln displayed a fanged smile. “As for the High Command, they will believe it was your ship’s attack on our science vessel that was the act of war.”
“You know we had nothing to do with that.”
“A pity you won’t be around to tell anyone your side of the story, isn’t it?” Kaln turned slightly to give the order to attack. Archer followed suit but before either could issue any orders Reed suddenly shouted out.
“Captain! Multiple ships dropping out of warp. Six, seven, ten…twelve ships of unknown configuration! They have us and the Klingons englobed. I’m getting energy readings consistent with weapons being armed on all ships.”
Archer looked back to the main screen and found the Klingon Commander had lost all of his bluster. If anything, he looked something most un-Klingon. He looked very afraid.
“Captain,” Hoshi called out. “We are being hailed by the lead ship. In Standard.”
“Put them on,” Archer failed to keep the surprise off his face and from his tone.
The screen switched to the bridge of one of the unknown ships, revealing a very human-looking man of nearly thirty years of age sitting at ease in a central command chair. A gold collar above a wine tunic, with no clear indication of rank anywhere to be found, and black trousers and boots served as the Etalyian uniform. He was a handsome man, with dark hair and piercing blue-steel eyes. He carried an aura of absolute authority that belied a man of his younger age.
“Greetings, Enterprise,” he said in a casual tone that seemed somewhat out of place under the circumstances. “I am Capitano Bari Forelni of the Etalyian cruiser, Sicilia. I welcome you to Etalyian space.”
“I’m Captain Jonathan Archer. I thank you for your welcome but it seems not everyone is happy to see us here…”
“Oh, yes, of course,” Forelni cracked a bemused smile. “Our good friend Kaln. One moment, Captain.”
The transmission from the Etalyian ship switched to a split-screen of Forelni and Kaln.
“Commander, you are quite some distance beyond the Klingon border. I would be somewhat willing to chalk it up to yet another error of incompetent Klingon navigation,” Kaln face twisted in rage, but the Klingon held his tongue. “Provided of course your three ships turn around and head back to Klingon space immediately.”
“We will collect our science vessel…”
“You will do no such thing,” Forelni interrupted, his tone no longer casual or friendly. “You towed that derelict into our space three days ago to set a trap for the next ship to wander by. We’ve been waiting to see what you would do when that happened. So that you will not be tempted to try this little trick again…”
Forelni snapped his fingers. The image of Kaln was replaced with an exterior view of one of the Etalyian ships turning about and opening fire on the deserted Klingon ship until nothing remained but dust. Once done, the ship turned back and joined ten of the other ships in closing ranks on the three Klingon vessels, leaving the Sicilia and the Enterprise outside the firing zone.
“Now then,” Forelni returned to that same maddeningly calm tone. “There is nothing keeping you in our space, Kaln. The High Command has been informed of this incident. As you are a privateer and not official Klingon Navy, nothing further will come of it. But if I were you, Kaln, I would set a course for the Outmarches along the Romulan border and find some Kuve to defeat in battle before I showed my face near Qo’Nos ever again.”
The Klingon looked as if he would explode. Suddenly, he spat out something in Klingonese and his half of the screen went dark, replaced by the view of the three outnumbered ships. The Klingon fleet turned and headed back toward Klingon space with nine Etalyian vessels following close behind.
“He didn’t even say goodbye,” Forelni quipped. “How rude.”
“I suspect he is saying plenty about both of us right now,” Archer remarked. “Thank you, Captain, your arrival seems to have prevented a fight.”
“We simply cannot have visitors attacked by interstellar highwaymen, Captain,” Forelni replied. “Our Minister of Tourism and Trade simply won’t stand for it. I assume you are from Earth? We’ve been wondering if you’d ever get out this way.”
“Yes, we are from Earth,” Archer acknowledged. “But, how exactly would you know that? We were told this was an area of space that no one had explored yet.”
Archer turned to look over at T’Pol as it had been the Vulcans who had made the claim originally. Forelni followed Archer’s glance and caught sight of the First Officer at the edge of the visual pickup.
“A Vulcanian! It has been a long time since we’ve had contact with one. Live long and prosper, T…” Forelni offered a well-executed Vulcan greeting with his right hand but paused as he did not yet know the name of who he was addressing.
“T’Pol, Captaino,” she informed him as she returned the gesture. “Peace and long life.”
“I am surprised, Captain. You have a Vulcanian on board and yet you say you thought this space was….,” Forelni stopped as understanding dawned. “Ah, I see. My apologies, Captain. It seems when S’urnaq visited our world some decades back, he took our desire not to leave our world somewhat literally. He must have decided not to report our presence here at all.”
“That does seem to be the most logical explanation, Captains,” T’Pol affirmed.
“As for how we know of Earth, Captain,” Forelni continued. “That is a very long and complicated story. May I invite you and your ship to accompany us to Etalya? Your crew would be welcome to take shore leave.”
“Meeting new people is why we’re out here, Capitano,” Archer agreed.
“I see you have warp drive,” Forelni remarked. “What is your top speed?”
“We can do Warp 5 if needed.”
“Etalya is only ten hours away at Warp 4. My navigator will send you the coordinates,” Forelni paused. “Hmmm, only Warp 5 you say? It seems Cochrane didn’t completely resolve all of his issues with his warp engines after all.”
“You’ve heard of Zefram Cochrane?”
“Oh yes, he aided my great-grandfather in building the ship that brought our forefathers to Etalya four hundred years ago.”
Archer hesitated. Cochrane hadn’t even been born four centuries ago. But before he could formulate a question, Forelni took pity on him.
“The math isn’t adding up, is it? Yet, Cochrane was part of a team that built a colony ship that left Earth in the mid-21st Century. That same ship made planetfall on Etalya four centuries ago.”
“Capitano,” Archer said carefully. “That’s doesn’t seem possible.”
“And yet, I assure you that it is. Come to Etalya, Captain. I will show you its many wonders and I will explain its greatest mystery.”