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.
“Your new friend wasn’t kidding, Captain,” Admiral Gibson’s face, dominating the main screen on the bridge of the Enterprise, looked grim.
“How so, sir?” Archer asked, remembering the last words Forelni had spoken to him back on Etalya.
“They’ve shot the hell out of the Klingon fleet,” Gibson explained. “Those they haven’t damaged or destroyed, are running all over Klingon space trying to track down the Etalyian ships without effect. Our intelligence reports indicate the Klingons have taken major damage to several military installations as well.”
“How long can they keep that up?”
“For as long as they want to as far as we can tell,” Gibson shook his head as he scanned the reports in front of him. “Despite what the Klingons are telling their people, we cannot confirm a single Etalyian ship destroyed or even damaged enough to be captured. The Klingons may have started with an advantage in ships, but the Etalyians are cutting that down by the hour.”
Gibson set aside the reports and looked directly at the camera on his end of the conversation.
“Which is why I’m calling you, Captain. For now, the Klingons are fighting this war without drawing their ships away from their border with the Romulans. Eventually, they are going to have to do so.
“However, the instant they do so they leave themselves wide open for a Romulan incursion into their territory,” Gibson continued. “I’m sure you’ll agree the Romulans wouldn’t pass up a chance to make the Klingons fight a two-front war. Even if the Klingons leave their border fleet in place, eventually the Etalyians will pick off enough ships to leave the Klingons too weak to fight off the Romulans anyway.”
“This doesn’t sound good for the Empire, sir.”
“No, it doesn’t,” Gibson agreed. “Nor is it so good for the quadrant. If the Romulans do invade then in all likelihood we’re looking at a war that could drag everyone else into the fray. The Vulcans are trying to negotiate a truce before things go too far, if they haven’t already.
“They’ve asked us to have a word with our ‘cousins’ about calling off the dogs,” Gibson continued. “You’re right there on the border and you’ve already been introduced. I want you to return to Etalya and begin negotiating a stand down and withdrawal of their forces in Klingon space.”
Archer glanced around his bridge. By the look on his bridge crews’ faces he gathered they shared his skepticism.
“Admiral,” Archer began carefully. “The impression I got when I left Etalya has me doubting they are going to amenable to outside interference.”
“I’ve read your reports, Captain,” the Admiral replied kindly. “And I got the same impression. But if we can’t put a stop to this a lot of people are going to die. We have to try.”
“Aye, sir, we’ll do our best. What am I authorized to offer in exchange for the stand down?”
“Given the circumstances, Captain, I’m inclined to tell you to offer whatever it takes to get them to withdraw. If the Vulcans can get the Klingons to do the same, we may keep this from getting any worse. Good luck, Captain.”
“Thank you, sir,” Archer replied as the screen faded to black and reverted back to an outside view of the space his ship occupied. A hush fell over the bridge as the seriousness of their mission settled in.
“Travis,” Archer broke the silence. “Set a course back to Etalya, maximum speed. Hoshi, send a message to the planet and let them know we’re coming on a diplomatic mission. Repeat the message every half hour until we get a response and clearance to approach. Malcolm, make sure we’re ready in case we get an unfriendly welcome.”
The three officers acknowledged their orders and got busy carrying them out. Archer drifted over to the science station and addressed his first officer.
“Assuming we can talk the Etalyians into doing so,” he began. “How likely is it that your people can talk sense into the Klingons. Granted they started this mess by assassinating the Princess, but I’m having a hard time believing they are just going to forget what the Etalyians have done to them.”
“The Klingons are most stubborn,” T’Pol agreed. “Their warrior mentality will be an impediment to a successful détente. However, even the Klingons must accept reality. If Admiral Gibson’s information is accurate, they will not be in a position to escalate the conflict in the foreseeable if they wish to survive as an Empire.”
“I have a feeling, Commander, that Klingon pride will trump Klingon logic. I hope Vulcan logic fares better.”
“Hope is illogical, Captain,” T’Pol said cooly. “However, given what is at stake, perhaps a little ‘hope’ is exactly what is needed.”
“If a Vulcan can hope, Commander, then perhaps we have a chance after all.”
“Captain,” Hoshi called out from her communications station. “Our signal to Etalya has been received and acknowledged. We are granted clearance to return to Etalya and enter orbit.”
“Acknowledge them and send my thanks,” Archer replied with a slight smile. “I’ll take that as a good omen.”
The Enterprise streaked across the border that marked Etalyian space even as a Vulcan envoy flew to meet with the Klingon Ambassador. Both ships sailing on missions to stop a galactic war from starting.
Deep within the space claimed by the Empire, Klingon ships clashed with Etalyian vessels and the bloodshed continued unabated. As the ships battled, the rest of the quadrant teetered on the brink of a war that no one could lay claim to as its winner.