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.
“It would appear that you arrived just in time for the celebrations, Captain,” Admiral Gibson remarked.
“So it would seem, Admiral,” Archer agreed. “We’d just entered orbit when the message from the Etalyian flagship arrived.”
“Have you been given any additional information from the Etalyian government regarding the withdrawal? Not that I am complaining that hostilities have ended mind you, but it strikes me as odd that they would let the Klingons off the hook for no reason.”
“You know as much as we do, sir,” Archer replied. “And until Prince Bari returns to make his full report, we won’t know the reason why he chose to spare Qo’noS.”
“I’m not sure I would have if I were in his place,” Gibson admitted. “But I’m damned glad he did. If Qo’noS had fallen the Klingons would have fought to the last man and the Romulans would have leapt in to take full advantage. Can you confirm how many Etalyian ships are returning from Klingon space?”
“We’re just now picking them up on long-range sensors and we’ve confirmed the initial reports from the Etalyians. The entire invasion fleet, save one ship that was destroyed in a Kamikaze run that destroyed the Klingon Shipyards near Q’an’taGh, is returning.”
“An incredible feat of military planning and execution,” Gibson remarked. “What I wouldn’t give to have someone like this Prince at Starfleet. We’ll be studying his tactics during this engagement for years at the Academy, Captain, mark my words.”
“Of that I have no doubt,” Archer agreed. “Admiral, we’ve received very little information regarding the final battle at Qo’noS. How bad was it for the Klingons?”
“Archer, your Prince could have reduced the entire planet to its component atoms and there was nothing the Klingons could have done to stop him. I eagerly await your report detailing what stayed his hand. We can confirm he told the Chancellor not to send so much as a probe across the border again or he’d come back and finish what he’d started.
“The Klingons,” the Admiral continued, “appear to be taking him at his word on that account. What remains of their fleet has been ordered to steer well clear of their shared border. Any Commander who allowed his ship to get within ten kilometers of that line in space would be executed. I get the impression the Klingons want nothing more to do with the Etalyians and High Command is more worried about the Romulans right now anyway. There is a small faction that is screaming for revenge, but their numbers are too small to be of concern. The Vulcans are sending a diplomatic mission to Qo’noS to finalize a ‘peace treaty’ between the Etalyians and the Klingons.”
“I suppose ‘stay out of our space or else’ doesn’t leave the Klingons much in the way of negotiating room?” Archer asked.
“No, it doesn’t,” Gibson agreed. “And if the Klingons know what’s good for them, they won’t try to bargain for anything else than ‘you leave us be, we’ll leave you be’ for now. What is your impression of the Etalyian reaction? Will they honor Prince Bari’s decision?”
“The Prince is very popular here, Admiral. This campaign has done nothing but increase that popularity. The King seems pleased with his son’s decision. He’d ordered the Prince to make the Klingons pay for their crime and I think everyone can agree that he accomplished that in spades.”
“And then some,” Gibson agreed.
“But, like with the Klingons, there is a small faction that thinks the Prince should have finished off Qo’noS and kept going,” Archer added.
“How prominent is this faction?”
“Small, sir, but it is led by the younger Prince, Francesco. It could be the younger Prince actually feels they stopped too early or…”
“We have a bad case of sibling rivalry rearing its head and threatening to ignite this conflict all over again,” Gibson finished. “That’s the last thing we need right now, some young hothead with a chip on his shoulder kicking off a galactic shooting gallery.”
Archer nodded his head in agreement.
“Captain, we’re putting together a diplomatic mission to Etalya but it’ll be a few weeks before they can get there. We want to set up a diplomatic relationship with these people. You’re going to have to serve as an ‘Ambassador-at-large’ until the diplomats can get out there and formalize things.
“Throw every ounce of weight you have behind the King and the elder Prince,” Gibson continued. “Without ridiculing the younger Prince, make it clear that Earth’s government and Starfleet itself fully support the decisions made by Prince Bari during the Klingon campaign. Let’s keep the lid firmly on this powder keg. The longer we do, the less likely it will be that it’ll blow up in our faces. Good luck, Captain.”
“Thank you, sir,” Archer replied as the Admiral’s image faded from the Enterprise’s main view screen.
“Captain,” T’Pol reported after the call with the Admiral ended. “The lead Etalyian ships are expected to arrive in orbit within two hours. Prince Bari’s flagship is among them.”
“Very well, Commander,” Archer replied. “I’ll want the entire command staff ready to beam down to the surface in ninety minutes and in dress uniforms. We’ll be presenting ourselves as diplomats people, so everyone on their very best behavior planetside.”
Archer heard his crew acknowledge the order but kept his attention the forward screen showing the space near Etalya. He peered into the stars beyond as if he could see the returning fleet.
The Prince that led that fleet would be hailed as a conquering hero; this much Archer was certain of. But would he become known as more of a Julius Caesar or Genghis Kahn or would history place him in the role of a MacArthur or a Churchill?