THE CALLING: Part 2, Chapter 6
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.
Forelni woke to the sound of someone softly snoring in his ear. Memories of the night before flooded into his awareness. He’d initially objected to the idea of someone being forced into copulation. But Bryna had surprised him by stating that it wasn’t the case. She’d volunteered to replace the slave originally selected because she wanted to meet with the Starfleet men. The love-making, she’d informed him, was a pleasurable bonus.
His battle wounds from the day before were aching. He winced slightly as his ribcage reminded him they were still out of sorts and the action woke his companion.
“Good morning, my lord,” Bryna greeted, snuggling closer.
“I thought we had discussed that earlier.”
“We did, but I don’t mind.”
“Well I do, so stop doing it,” he chided gently.
“As you wish.”
Forelni fought down a sigh as he realized she was teasing him.
“We need to talk before they haul me out to the arena,” he changed the subject, knowing when a prudent retreat was in order. “How many of your people are being held as slaves? How long has this practice been going on?”
“I don’t know the exact number,” she said after a moment. “It’s probably in the thousands. As for how long it has been around since before I was born.”
“There’s no way the Federation would have allowed Kallita to become a member if we’d know about this,” Forelni did the math in his head. “But it appears they hid this from us when their application was being considered. Has there been any attempt to end the practice on your world?”
“None that I know of. Any slave who dares speak of being freed is severely punished.”
“No one should be forced to do anything, even if they don’t mind doing so.”
“I did not mind being here with you.”
“But, what if you had minded? What if you did not want to be here and had been forced to anyway? That is very wrong, Bryna.”
“This angers you?”
“Greatly,” he replied.
* * * * *
His anger hadn’t cooled as he stepped out into the arena for the final battle. In the time they’d had before the guards had arrived to escort her away, she’d told him all about her people and how Kallitan society had judged them inferior and classified them as slaves. He was no longer just fighting for the lives of the diplomats and the Starfleet personnel. He’d become the champion for the oppressed people of Kallita and for a young woman he…
…cared deeply for? Loved, possibly?
He paused at the thought, glancing over where Bryna was standing with the other slaves in attendance. Was there more than just a physical attraction at play here, he wondered, and then shook away the thought. He could not be distracted right now. He had two battles to fight. One against the brute that was just not entering the arena to a cheering crowd, the other for the hearts and minds of that crowd and all who were no doubt watching planetwide.
His opponent was massive. His frame no doubt chemically enhanced as Forelni doubted any humanoid could naturally achieve that bulk of muscle. The brute’s eye were wild, he seemed overly-agitated. No doubt more chemical inducement to achieve maximum adrenaline production. He carried a long spear with a shiny, and no doubt sharp, metal tip at the end. In the other hand a formidable-looking club that Forelni doubted even he could lift.
Unlike his two comrades, this champion wasted no time with the niceties. He charged full speed across the arena, spear fully extended, club drawn back to strike. Forelni waited calmly, stepping aside from the spear thrust, dodging the swipe of the club and used a judo throw to hurl the brute into the concrete wall. The arena shook with the impact. The brute barely registered it.
A backhanded swipe of the club caught Forelni in his damaged ribs, sending him sprawling into the dust. Forelni barely rolled out of the way to avoid a downward smash of the club aimed at his head and the spear thrust aimed at his chest. He launched a flying kick at an exposed leg and it felt like he’d kicked a mountain of solid granite. Favoring the ribs and a now-sore right foot, Forelni backed out of the range of the brute’s weapons. The brute pressed the attack and Forelni found himself on a purely defensive front, unable to land any serious blows against his opponent. The man wasn’t even sweating and Forelni knew he couldn’t maintain this pace much longer. A killing blow would eventually find its mark.
The edge of the spear sliced a small, stinging cut into Forelni’s left forearm. He grabbed onto the shaft of the spear and snapped the wooden shaft in half with his right fist. A quick kick to the inside of the brute’s left knee put the brute off balance. It was now or never, Forelni thought grimly.
A strong slash with the spear tip severed the tendons of the brute’s left forearm and the club tumbled from his now useless hand. A slash across the right forearm rendered it useless too. Two more slashes to each calf and the brute crashed to the ground and lay there, completely helpless.
“Kill, kill, kill,” the crowd began shouting and Forelni switched the spear to his left hand before picking up the club. It was lighter than it looked. He stood over the fallen man, then looked up at the booth where the First Counsel sat, then at his Captain, seated nearby. One blow with the club and the First Counsel would have to release the hostages and let them all go free. As the Crown Prince he could deliver that blow without regret.
He lifted the club above his head and drove it, the butt end first, into the ground…one foot from the brute’s head. He was not just a Crown Princethis day. He was a Starfleet Officer. A silence fell over the arena.
“I will not kill a helpless man,” he did not shout, yet the words clearly carried to every ear as if he had. “There is no honor in that. This fight is over. I have won and the First Counsel will honor the terms of this contest.
“People of Kallita,” he continued, slowly turning to took all around the arena. “You are better than this. You deserve better than this. Your leaders allow bloodsports to determine who lives and who dies. You hold people as slaves for no other crime than an accident of birth. They deserve better. They deserve to be free like…”
He felt the impact in his back even as he heard the gunshot. It drove him into the ground. Even as he rose and turned he knew where it had come from and who had fired it. He hurled the spear at his target and it flew true, driving the First Counsel hand, and the gun it was holding, into the back wall of the booth, pinning the screaming First Counsel to the wall.
“They deserve to be free like you,” he continued, the pain clear in his voice as he struggled to his feet. “You cannot be the people you can be until you free them, until you free yourselves from the bonds of tyranny that you have allowed yourself to be chained with.”
With that Forelni pitched forward and lay unmoving on the arena floor.
* * * * *
Kirk had taken advantage of the confusion and relived the still screaming First Counsel of his weapon.
“My officer has fulfilled the requirements of your contest, First Counsel,” Kirk said, not quite pointing the weapon in the man’s direction. “You will drop the shield, return our communicators and the Doctor’s equipment, and release all hostages.”
The First Counsel nodded his head vigorously and his men quickly produced the confiscated equipment. Kirk looked down at the arena floor. The Kallitan woman had somehow slied past the guards and had run out to Forelni’s side.
“Bones,” he tipped his head down to Forelni.
“On my way, Jim,” McCoy grabbed his equipment and headed down. Kirk flipped open a communicator.
“Kirk to Enterprise.”
“Spock here, Captain. The shield is down and we have already beamed the diplomatic team aboard. Standing by to beam the rest of you back now.”
“Stand by, Spock,” Kirk replied. “McCoy will let you know when to beam him and Mr. Forelni aboard. Have a medical team standing by. There is a Kallitan woman next to Mr. Forelni, Spock, beam her up too.”
“Understood, Captain. The Doctor has just called for beam up.”
Kirk watched as the three figures below dissolved in the transporter effect.
“First Counsel,” he turned back to the injured leader. “I will return to my ship now along with Ambassador Kleine. We will be in touch soon to schedule a new round of negotiations, on board my ship this time. Spock, two to beam up.”
Kirk tossed aside the gun as the Enterprise reclaimed the last of her children.