Posted in 1K Serials

1K Weekly Series: The Calling, Chapter 7

THE CALLING 

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.

 

CHAPTER 7

 

“Why didn’t you pursue Kaln’s ship?” Francesco thundered at his older brother. “You just let him carry off our sister without a fight!”

“Yes, chase him deep into Klingon space with just four ships,” Bari countered. “And when we caught up with him I am quite certain there would have been an entire armada waiting to welcome us.

“We were fortunate to recover the Queen and only lose one man in the battle,” he continued. “Had we done as you suggest, all would have been lost and the Klingons could claim to the rest of the universe that we were the aggressors.”

“You fear starting a war that the Klingons have already started?”

“No, brother, I fear losing a war by fighting it on the Klingons’ terms. And I fear winning that war in a way that turns all of the other species in this quadrant against us. Once this matter is settled, we are going to have to live with all of the species out there. I prefer not to be known as blood-thirsty warmongers like the Klingons.”

“Your brother is correct,” the King stood, placing a hand on his sons’ shoulders to quell the argument. “We have recovered the Queen. We will recover the Princess and extract a price for this madness from our enemies. But we will do so from the position of the wronged, with full justification for the actions we take.”

Francesco turned and stormed away.

“I am surprised at you, my son,” the King remarked as he watched his younger son’s departure. “I would have suspected you to chase down Kaln while you were closer to your quarry. Why do you think it was a trap?”

“Because its what I would have done if I were him.”

The King chuckled and threw a look at Archer, who was standing quietly to one side.

“Be careful of my eldest son, Captain,” the King said, a ghost of a smile tugging at his worried features. “He is a ruthless tactician. A fact I discovered too late the first time I played chess with him.”

“I’ll keep that in mind, your majesty,” Archer replied with a slight smile of his own. “I have reported to Earth what has happened here. We are working with our allies to try and help secure your daughter’s safe return.”

“I thank you for that, Captain. Please relay my planet’s gratitude for their efforts on our behalf.”

“It’s the least we can do for ‘family’, sir.”

“How is mother doing?” Bari asked, changing the subject.

“The doctors have examined her and find no change in her considering she has been transported twice,” the King reported.

“Which I have been saying all along…”

“Yes,” the King held up a hand to forestall a renewal of an old argument. “Your mother accepts the logic of why she was transported. Accepting the fact that she was, and she being the biggest proponent of the prohibition against transporting sentient beings, is going to take some time.”

“Meaning she’s still mad at me.”

“Indeed,” the King sighed. “We’ll have to move you to the far end of the table for dinner for a few days. But your mother will come around. Your focus now is your sister.”

“What are you going to do, if you don’t mind my asking?” Archer stepped forward and spoke softly.

“We wait,” Bari replied. “Until the Klingons reply we can’t do anything.”

“Why not?”

“Because we do not know where she is being held and we won’t know that until the Klingons contact us so we can demand proof of life. Once they allow Gianna to speak to us, we’ll know exactly where she is and can move accordingly.”

“I doubt they’ll show much of her surroundings,” Archer remarked. “And they aren’t likely to come out and give you her coordinates.”

“They won’t have to, Captain,” Bari said, casting a look at his father.

“Go ahead, they were your idea to begin with and it seems you were prescient about the need for them.”

“The Royal Family would always be a target for kidnapping and ransom,” Bari explained. “Especially with the Klingons roaming around. So we each carry on our person a crystal. Deep within the crystal lies a device. Once the Klingons put her on screen for the proof of life, that device will activate and piggyback onto the transmission, sending us a signal with her exact location. Once it does that, we’ll know where to find her.”

“And then?” Archer asked.

“Then we recover the Princess and give the Klingons a reminder of why they should never again enter our space.”

“Can you get in and out of there that easy?”

“Oh yes, Captain, we can. The hard part will be when we get close. To pinpoint her location we’ll have to send another man out in a pod.. The odds are he will fare no better than Lombardi. Another debt the Klingons will pay dearly for.”

“Father,” Bari turned suddenly, remembering something. “At Lombardi’s funeral yesterday, I noticed his grandson…”

“I was informed, son,” the King interrupted. “The matter is being tended to. None of Lombardi’s family will ever want for anything ever again.”

The trio fell silent as Archer thought back to the memorial service the day before for the crewman who’d sacrificed his life to rescue his Queen. It was the Etalyian tradition that the Capitano escorted the body of a fallen crewman under his command. There had been no body to bring back. Only a flag and platitudes that seemed as empty as Lombardi’s grave.

“Your majesties,” someone called out, breaking Archer’s reverie. “A signal. From Qo’nos itself. It is the Klingon Chancellor.”

“On screen,” the King commanded.

The screen flared to life showing the chamber of the Klingon High Council. Commanding most of the view was the graying Klingon Chancellor. But enough of the chamber was visible to reveal the Princess Gianna standing with a Klingon blade to her throat. A blade held by a smiling Kaln.

“I guess they are going to give us the coordinates after all,” Bari whispered to Archer, who nodded in surprise.

“Greetings, Chancellor,” the King began, keeping his voice calm but firm. “I suppose you are calling to discuss the terms of returning that which you have stolen?”

“No, I am not. You destroyed three of my ships…”

“Ships that were in our space illegally,” the King countered. “Ships that attacked an unarmed civilian ship and kidnapped two of its passengers.”

“War criminals, not passengers,” the Klingon thundered.

“Until your ships carried out this attack, there was no state of war between our peoples. We are willing to overlook the matter, provided you return the Princess to us unharmed.”

“Again, you misunderstand,” the Chancellor growled. “We tire of your interference in our plans to conquer all that we are destined to rule. You are in our way. Today, we start to remove that impediment.”

The Chancellor turned his head and nodded.

“This is not a negotiation of terms you were invited to, Etalyian. It is an execution.”

Before any word of protest could be uttered, Kaln quickly whipped the blade behind the Princess and thrust it through her back, the bloody tip protruding from her chest. Her mouth and eyes flared wide open. Kaln savagely withdrew the blade and let go of the body, letting it slump to the floor as the viewscreen went black.

A shocked silence filled the room. Bari looked at his father, who stared at the darkened screen in shock and horror. He had no doubt that he wore the same expression.

“Father,” he said softly, placing a hand on the older man’s arm. The King shook himself visibly and turned to look at his son.

“You know what to do, my son,” the King replied. “I will tell your mother what has…”

His voice trailed off as he turned away and slowly walked out.

“I do not wish to seem unkind, Captain,” Bari said quietly as he watched his father. “But it is time for you to return to your ship and for your ship to return home. When this is over, you will be welcomed back but you do not need involve your government in what will come.

“Tell them,” Bari continued, “when you get back, all that happened here. Tell them that today, there were Klingons and there were Etalyians.”

“And tomorrow?” Archer asked.

“Tomorrow?” Bari answered. “Tell them that tomorrow, there will only be Etalyians.”

 

Previous Episodes:

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

 

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