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.
“They came out of nowhere, we had no warning at all,” Capitano Valarte of the Crociera la Vista reported, a bloody bandage wrapped around the top of his head. What could be seen of his bridge on the viewscreen looked to be in the same condition as its’ Capitano. “They damaged our main engine and boarded us without a word. Not that we have anything capable of scratching their ships. Once they discovered the Royal Family they beamed them off the ship.”
An audible gasp from all of the Etalyians in the room circled the briefing table. Archer, who’d been invited to join the King, the two Princes, the entire membership of the Consiglio and a handful of military advisers on the call.
“Bastardis,” growled one of the advisers. The King held up a hand, staving off any further commentary on the crime.
“Go on, Capitano.”
“The Klingon commander, his name was Kaln,” the Capitano paused. AT the mention of the name Bari Forelni exchanged a look with Archer.
“I suppose I should have shot him out of the sky when I had the chance, declaration of war be damned,” the Prince muttered. Archer nodded in sympathy. “I’ll want to know why my ships didn’t patrol the border after the Klingons crossed back into their territory. I’ll have someone’s head for this.”
“He walked around my ship,” the Captain of the Crociera la Vista continued. “He threatened to kill my crew and my passengers. Then told me to ‘crawl back home and tell your leaders what I have done here.’ He said he would wait near the border for someone to bring him a ‘rich ransom’ for the Queen and the Princess.”
Another round of muttering circled around the table. Paying a ransom was clearly an unacceptable option.
“What is the condition of your ship, Antonio?” Bari Forelni asked.
“We can make it back as long as we don’t push the engine and no one else takes any shots at us, Sire. We don’t have any critical injuries among the crew or the passengers aside from some frayed nerves.”
“We’ll dispatch a ship to escort you in,” Bari Forelni replied, motioning to an aide, who stepped forward and whispered something in the Prince’s ear. “The Valoroso will be there in a few hours.”
“We’ll be looking for her and thank you, Sire. If there is nothing else, I need to tend to my ship.”
“Do so, Capitano,” the King replied. “You did well to keep your ship intact against the Klingons.”
“Thank you, Sire, but I lost two of my passengers. I am not feeling like much of a Capitano right now.”
“You were outgunned and outmatched, Antonio, and I am certain both my mother and sister preferred to go with the Klingons if it kept your ship and all aboard her alive.”
Valarte nodded in acknowledgment, an understanding between ship commanders, and then signed off.
“Why not send the Littorio instead,” Francesco asked. “She is already on the way.”
“Because I have another task for the Littorio, brother. I’m sending her to get close to the Klingon fleet without alerting them she is there. I plan on taking the Sicilia, Vittoria and Sciopero out to rendezvous with Littorio. Once there, we will discover which of the ships the Queen and Princess are being held on and recover them. After we have done so, we will destroy the invading Klingon ships.”
“And the Difesa?” Francesco, who commanded the ship, asked. “Why is she not part of the assault fleet?”
“Because her job,” the elder Prince snapped, “and by extension, yours, is to defend Etalya itself. If this is merely a feint to draw our entire fleet away and leave our world open for attack it will fall to you and your ships to prevent it. I pray you’ll do better at that than you did at protecting our mother and sister.”
Francesco’s face reddened as he bolted out of his chair. For a moment it seemed like the Princes were about to come to blows.
“Then as my presence is no longer needed here,” Francesco turned on his heel and stormed out of the room. The King favored his eldest son with a disapproving look.
“I will report back as soon as possible,” the Prince said, turning to leave.
“Capitano,” Archer said as he too rose from his seat. “I’d like to come along, perhaps I can be of some assistance?”
“Captain, I cannot ask you to risk your ship in this conflict, nor do I think your superiors would want you to either.”
“I wasn’t talking about bringing the Enterprise. I meant I personally would like to tag along. Maybe a third party can find a way to resolve this without bloodshed?”
“Perhaps a cooler head would be of some use to you, my son,” the King agreed, slipping in a slight rebuke. Bari Forelni drew in a long breath and slowly let it out.
“Very well, Captain. I will see you up at Spaceport. We leave in one hour, with or without you.”
The Prince strode out of the room, towing a small gaggle of aides in his wake as he snapped out orders.
“I am glad you are going along, Captain,” the King watched his son’s departure. “My son will make a fine King when his time comes. He is usually slow to anger. But when his blood is up like this his anger doesn’t allow him to temper his responses as a King sometimes should.”
“I’ll do what I can to keep this from becoming a shooting war if possible,” Archer promised.
“Oh, I fear that might be a task not even God himself would tackle, Captain. Those Klingon ships are already forfeit. What remains to be seen is what will happen if he is unable to rescue my wife and daughter.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, Captain,” the King said deadly serious. “If they are dead, or if they are killed in the rescue attempt, my eldest son may not stop shooting until not one single Klingon heart beats anywhere within this universe.”