Star Trek: The Path To Glory

Episode 2: "Rites of Ascension"

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The IKS Ty'Gokor returns to Qo'noS after a successful shakedown mission and the crew is entitled to shore leave as the ship is repaired, rearmed and refitted.  Lieutenants Davoust and Leger are picked up on the way from the USS Miranda to enjoy their time off from Starfleet in the company of Korleth and Junkar in the Tapar Providence.
The humans onboard the Ty'Gokor however, find themselves adapting to the martial society, until society decides to accept them as its own.  The human members of the crew are soon expected to partake in the Klingon ritual known as the Rite Of Ascension in order to prove their worth to their overseers... or die in the process!



Captain Korleth, Son Of Mi'Goth

Commanding Officer, IKS Ty'Gokor


Qo'noS System - Klingon Empire

Korleth ordered for the ship to be put back down in its assigned berth on the ground right next to the KDF Headquarters right on the inside of the First City. After all the space travelling, it was always good to come back to the Homeworld. Especally if one is doing it right after a glorious battle! After the Ty'Gokor setteled down on its landing struts, the ship was powered down and the technician crews on the ground began their campaign to get the ship readied for battle once again.

The Captain paid no mind to the technicians. It was their job to ready his ship, it was his job to fight. Everyone knew their place. Korleth was anxious to get back to his House Estate and visit his brother who was coming in from the Federation, but duty took first priorty. He had work to do. Awards, promotions, new crew coming on at the end of their leave, briefing of the techs, and of course the reports of their actions along the Romulan Border.

Their mission was a glorious success and the new cloak worked wonders in the final batte they had against the honorless Romulans. The Ty'Gokor itself was responsible for the destruction of a full fledged Starbase, and that itself was high honor indeed! The crew sung many warrior songs on the way home with that mere victory itself. Korleth was pleased. The crew morale was high from their victory and few of his warriors went on to serve in the Black Fleet. It was a good day to die for those lucky warriors, the foremost being Lieutenant Marrek.

Korleth hated to lose a good security officer as Marrek, but that happened. He put in the request for a new officer at High Command and moved on to finish his work. It was going to be a long day of paperwork before he'd be allowed to take his leave.


"The Hunting Party"

Captain Korleth, Son of Mi'Goth, Commanding Officer IKS Ty'Gokor

Lt. Junkar, Son of Ka'pok, Tactical/Second Officer IKS Ty'Gokor

Lt. Sebastian Davoust, Flight Control/HT USS Miranda

Lt. Jeremiah Leger, Marine Battalion XO USS Miranda

Consul Philip Davoust, Federation Embassy Qo'noS

Keleth, Lady of Tapar

Heather Owens-Leger, USS Miranda Civilian

Claire Davoust, USS Miranda Civilian


***Outside Tapar, Kurlush Province, Qo'noS***

Sebastian bowed low, spear in his left hand, reigns tied around his right. The tarq increased its speed as the human and the sark attempted to close in behind. "Come on Klalek, faster" He yelled in Klingon at the sark. The large Klingon version of Earth's horse returned a growl at him and sped up.

"Davoust has found one" Junkar, Son of Ka'pok shouted to the party on the hill with him, which included his Captain, retinues and Leger. "Let us beat him to it!" He added, kicking his sark and heading down the hill in the direction which Sebastian was heading.

Leger, always eager for the hunt and chase, kicked his sark into high gear and kept up with Junkar easily. "Yes, let's beat him." he said with glee.

Korleth had brought his sark to a halt atop a hill and let out a laugh. ~Kids~ he thought as he watched the comical spectical of two humans and a klingon charge into the underbrush in order to try and rout a single targ. It was almost pathetic and he was beginning to think that the targ would win out by simply running out of the woods while its three pursuers were fumbling about in the brush.

"Think they'll find it?" Consul Philip Davoust asked the Klingon Captain, also watching the three hunt the Targ, down beneath them.

"If a targ could laugh, they'd find it then." Korleth said, chuckling as he watched Leger get tossed out of the brush from his sark. "They could then simply pick it up, the targ would be laughing at them so hard.

"Argh where is it?" Sebastian asked turning with the sark back and forth, trying to make out which way the tracks went.

Junkar stood atop of his sark and smelt the air, while listening for movement other then his two human companions. "Quiet"

Leger got up and brushed himself off and then listened as well. He then pointed when he heard the rustling. "Over there." he said pointing.

"You're right" Junkar replied softly as he dismounted, spear clenched with his two hands. Although Targ's were often kept as pets and could become fairly docile over time, they could also be extremely dangerous with their tasks able to gore a full grown Klingon to threads.

Sebastian followed suite and jumped off his sark, taking a position behind Junkar, deciding to leave this to a Klingon. He knelt down, spear facing the direction Junkar was heading, ready to skewer it if Junkar failed.

Leger felt the brush of something against his leg and saw a brown streak dart by. He launched his spear and managed in only grazing the targ. "Aaaah! Missed!" he complained.

But Junkar did not; the large Klingon raised the spear high above his shoulders and threw it, skewering the Targ and pinning it to the ground. The Tarq shrieked in pain for several seconds before Junkar gestured at Leger to place it out of its misery.

Leger had retrieved his spear and walked over to where the targ was pinned and, with a clean stroke, drove the spear right into the creature's brain, killing it instantly. He nodded to Junkar in recognition of his accuracy then looked at the rest of the party. "So, who's hungry?"

***Tapar, later that night***

The feast that night was plentiful, with various plates and bowls of food all down the long tables' length. The warrior's hall was filled with laughter and conversations as the guests ate and drunk away.

Junkar sat at the head of the table, being the Lord of Tapar, with Captain Korleth seated to his right in the place of honour as it was known, a tradition which even humans had once followed. To his left sat his Consul Philip Davoust, with Sebastian next and the Legers by Korleth. There were other guests down the table length, with Keleth mate of Junkar at the other tables end.

"Did Jeremiah really kill it?" Claire asked her father looking at the large beast at the centre of the table.

"Technically…" Sebastian began wondering how to explain the concept of Junkar having brought it down yet allowing Leger the honour of ending its life so they could all eat that night. "Yes… yes he did" He informed her.

"I might've applied the killing blow anyways..." Leger said, while glancing over at his wife, Heather. She had really taken to Klingon Cusine on this and their last trip to Qo'noS.

Heather had been chowing down. "Whoever killed it, this is delicious." she said. "My compliments to the cook."

Junkar grinned with pride at the comment, which referred to his wife and her staff. Keleth had once been a fine warrior the IKS Bat'leth and daughter to a great house, as he saw it; it was only natural that she excelled in anything she attempted.

"Tell me Captain Korleth is it true you were attacked by a Romulan paq'tagh on you're side of the border?" Consul Philip Davoust, younger brother of Sebastian asked.

Kian and Jo'meg grinned thinking of the victory against the over gunned Romulan scout ship. Across from them sat Captain Korleth's bekk bodyguard, Tran and the man of the hour, Boreth who were more relaxed then usual, with no fear of the Captain being killed. As if anything were to happen, every warrior in the village would lay their lives down first to protect the honored guest.

Korleth nodded. "Yes. The honorless bastard seemed to be waiting for us. But thanks to the quick thinking of Marrek, it was a glorious battle that we won and Marrek is now serving with Honor in the Black Fleet." he said. "We then went on to destroy many ships on the Romulan Side of the border including a full fleged starbase.

Leger winced. ~This could be bad...~ he thought. "So the Empire is now picking a fight with the Romulans?"

Korleth gave his House-mate a cold stare. "They had already picked the fight brother, that much should be obvious the last time they jumped us when we brought you two here to the Homeworld last time." he said. He then waved off a response from Leger and then smiled. "No matter. We do have another item we have to attend to while you and Heather are here. Your Wedding."

Jeremiah choked on his bloodwine and Heather nearly gagged on the gagh she had been trying to eat. "Excuse me?" they asked in unison.

The Klingon captain nodded. "Of course, just because you two are married in a human ritual doesn't mean that it carries over into the House. You need to be wed properly." he said.

Junkar grinned in had always found the concept of adding humans to ones household interesting, not that he was in a position to do so anyway, being the third son he had the last pick of house candidates.

After eating a handful of gagh, Sebastian cleared his throat with a mug of warnog, deciding not to get drunk on bloodwine in front of Claire and Junkar's infant son Fortan. Claire for the most part played with her food, occasionally eating a gagh worm yet mainly focusing on staple foods. Sebastian smiled it reminded him of a young Arel Smith. "Yes a Klingon wedding!" He shouted and banged his fist against the table. "Come on Jerry, it'll be fun! Bloodwine! Sacrifice! Painful Rituals!"

"I'm familiar with the process... its just... well..." Leger spouted off.

"What?" Korleth asked leaning forward a bit, wanting to hear this.

Leger quickly regained his nerve. "So what if YOUR wife doesn't accept mine, eh?" he challenged. "She made it abundently clear the last time we were here that I needed a proper Klingon Wife and that Heather was, what was the term she used? Ah yes. WEAK!?"

Korleth rose to his feet at Leger's baiting. He always loved fighting with Leger. "You saying my wife doesn't have good taste?"

"Well she picked you, that should answer your question." Leger said with a grin, and then promptly rolled with the punch that Korleth just nailed him with. Leger promptly went skidding across the floor. "How dare you!?" Korleth thundered.

"Yeah, I know, I shoulda blocked that..." Leger mumbled from the corner where he had hit the wall.

"ENOUGH!" Heather said, standing up, and throwing down her napkin in disgust. "If the only way I'm going to prove myself to anyone nowadays is to go through with this silly ritual, then so be it."

Korleth smiled at the outburst. "She's got fire, this one."

Keleth now stood up. "We'll then Heather come with me, there is much work to do before you're trials with Kassa, Daughter of Isarra." She said firmly with a commanding voice. "Claire you better come to, you might as well learn this now"

Sebastian looked across at Leger piled up in the corner and then at Keleth, followed by a glace at Junkar and a final good-bye nod to Claire as she stood up and walked to Keleth's side.

Junkar then stood up, having finished off the heart of Targ while everyone was speaking. Placing his hands on Korleth and Philip shoulders, who were standing now on his flanks. "Bah! What are we waiting for! There is a wedding to prepare!"


"Enter: T'Aiko"

Lt. Junkar, Son of Ka'pok, Tactical/2nd Officer.

Lieutenant T'Aiko, Security/Intel Officer

Haleah, T'Aiko's mother

==House Of Hov'Vaj, Qo'nos==

"I can't believe this is happening mother!" T'Aiko complained. It wasn't exactly a the warriors way to bitch and whine about assignments, but the auburn haired officer was worried about her favorite uncle.

"You know as well as I do why you're being re-assigned," her mother explained in a tone that forbade anymore complaint. "Drex has lost favor within the house. He needs to regain his honor before the fittest warriors will serve with him. He needs to recover from the loss of your cousin, his daughter."

"That's such a human trait," T'Aiko spit, "I can't believe Uncle is mourning so. Ael was killed in battle, what ending could have been better? Uncle should be proud!"

"Nonetheless it has happened," Haleah answered sternly, "When Drex finds his moQs again I'm sure he'll need a fine officer such as yourself on his ship. Until then you will serve with distinction on the Ty'Gokor. That ship will be your path to glory for the time being."

"You and father need to promise me one thing then."

"What is it?"

"When I go to Sto'vo'Kor you will not act like Uncle Drex."

Haleah gave her daughter a knowing grin, "Of this, you can be sure."


***IKS Ty'Gokor***

With the ship back on Qu'noS, Junkar had been able to see to the ships refitting during the day, while being able to visit his village in the evenings. He was actually packing up for his return home when someone arrived one the bridge.

Junkar grinned at the site of the pretty young new warrior. He had a mate, but he was still allowed to find other warriors appealing. "Junkar, Son of Ka'pok" He stated, tapping Kian on the shoulder to turn around and have a look.

The newcomer looked around the bridge unimpressed. She had a large black duffle bag slung over one shoulder and a bat'leth in the other hand. She stood a bit over two meters tall and was perhaps a little thinner than most Klingon women her height. Her long auburn colored hair was braided tightly and lay neatly down her back.

Glaring at the one who dare speak before her she bellowed, "I am T'Aiko from House Hov'Vaj. I've been assigned to this vessel. Where is the commanding officer?"

"He has affairs with high command" Junkar replied with a gesture of his hand at the door that led to his quarters/office. "House of Hov'Vaj... I should have remembered the badge, I have fought with many brave warriors of the House of Hov'Vaj over the years." He informed her.

A good thing for him to say, she thought. Nodding, "I have heard good things about your house as well. What can you tell me about this ship's record of battle? I'm eager to learn about the company I'll be keeping."

"Lone kills, one Romulan scout ship, joint kills Romulan Starbase, three Valdore class bird of preys and a Warbird." He replied, making sure to include 'joint kills' in that sentence, as General Nedved's wing had also been involved.

Junkar passed for a second. "So have you come to see the mighty Ty'Gokor on a tour and gotten yourself lost, or are you here to serve on her?" He asked in jest, although meaning little offense by it.

"You are funny but looks aren't everything," T'Aiko smiled a toothy grin, "But in case you haven't guessed, I'm here to serve the Empire."

"Good answer" He replied. "You know where your station is... so there is little point in I showing you it. Lets find you quarters then" He said, slamming his fist on Klash's left shoulder.

T'Aiko took one last look around the bridge at the others present then followed Junkar into the corridor. "Tell me what our Captain is like," she asked, "I wish to know he performs in battle and what strategies he prefers."

"Not traditional" Junkar replied, refering to the perfectly fine Klingon technique of decloaking, attacking and cloaking again. "Due to our special abilities, we tend to do something called 'The Picard Manuver' alot"

T'Aiko's eyes narrowed as she recognized the name. "But that only works when the enemies sensors can't detect faster than light travel. Not all the Empire's foes are so primitive."

"Indeed. But it also works with our fire through cloak" He replied. "Not exactly the same way it did for Picard of the Federation, but it works. You'll be briefed on it soon enough" He informed her.

T'Aiko had heard only rumors of such things before. Had the Empire finally achieved a fire-through cloak?

Finding the corridor block by Jo'meg and a pair of young female sciecne warriors, Junkar let out his boot and kicked him. "Come on, get to work, you lazy targ," He shouted at the warrior who got moving soon after. "And you two stop standing around like Orion slave girls and find something to do"

T'Aiko surpressed a smile in admiration. There surely shouldn't be any goofing off when the captain is away. The only thing she would have done different is giving the females something specific to do. Perhaps Junkar was new at his post? she thought.

"You are replacing a capable warrior." Junkar began, stopping to peer into the ship's galley. "Ah smell that fresh non-replicated food, a true warriors meal" He said glad to be on Qu'noS were the food was alive and uncooked.

"The real thing 'is' best," T'Aiko commented.

Junkar came across the hatch to Marrek's old room and forced it open with a good elbow push. "Here you are!" He said refering to the tiny little cabin with just enough room for a bunk and a desk.

T'Aiko looked around the small cabing critically. "It's more luxurious than I suspected. I may have trouble sleeping on such a soft bed."

"Sleep on the floor then" Junkar said merrily. He gave T'Aiko a good clap on the back. Enjoy youre new cabin. "I shall see you on the bridge"

"I just might," T'Aiko chuckled. Junkar was seemed like a real warrior ... even though his forehead ridges were a tad shallow.


Lt. Junkar, son of Ka'pok, IKS Ty'Gokor

Lt T'Aiko, Security Officer, IKS Ty'Gokor

Lt. Sebastian Davoust, USS Miranda

"Klingon-Human Relations, Part 1" or "Friendly Relations, Part 1"

***Ty'Gokor's landing padd, Qu'noS***

The landing padd of the Klingon bird of prey, IKS Ty'Gokor was full of commotion, as the game was coming to an end. The Imperial Stormtroopers had been winning most of the game, up until the crew of the Ty'Gokor and their one human visitors began to come back in the last quarter. Sebastian looked to his left then his right, before feeding the scrum the oval shape ball flew in between the Ty'Gokor crew and the stormtrooper players. The players on both sides shoved forward and wheeled back and forth.

Then Klash got himself a footing on the ball and kicked it back out behind the Ty'Gokor scrum. Sebastian picked up the ball as the players from the Imperial Stormtroopers broke the scrum and headed for him.

Sebastian crossed the ball out to Junkar who in turn kicked in forward behind the stormtrooper line. A mighty rush by both teams to get to the ball first now took place. Pushing, and pulling Klingons out of the way Sebastian dived for the ball gabbing it, only to be fallen upon by three huge warriors who pounded him into the ground.

Eventually somehow, Sebastian got back up onto his feet to see that the play had moved on and the Ty'Gokor crew were still fighting their way towards the try line, but the stormtroopers had a fine line and their fullbacks slammed into the attacking forwards, it was a damn good thing Sebastian wasn't a forward or he'd been in a lot more pain then he was now.

"Come on me boys, up we go!" Sebastian called out, his accent more noticeable the usual as he yelled in Klingon. He ran forward now to join up with his men. Then the combination of a good pass by Klash, a Stormtroopers knocked out by the fist of Junkar and a leap over two fallen players, and Sebastian was across the line.


Sebastian washed away the dirt from his face using a wet towel, handed to him by Kian, good boy and from the same region as his friend Junkar, the second officer of the Ty'Gokor. Looking several feet away he noticed a pair of Klingon boots, then looked up. "Evening" He said, a wide grin on his pink human face as an Andorian might say.

T'Aiko looked at the human warily. Terrans didn't usually talk to her for no reason. Now she was suspicious. "Evening," she replied with slightly narrowed eyes in Klingon-accented Standard. Her auburn hair was not in it's usual braid but free to flow about her head in it's frizzy, Klingon fashion.

"House of Hov'Vaj, cool" He said, looking at the badge on her shoulder. "I went to 'school' with a guy named To'pek from that house, know him?" Sebastian asked casually.

"I know To'pek," T'Aiko answered non-committally with a curious tilt of her head. "He was a trouble-maker as I remember." A slight smirk showed on her face.

"Lieutenant Sebastian Davoust by the way," He replied, extending his hand out at her. He knew the Klingon methods of greeting just as well, but he figured he'd show a little of his own culture with this one.

T'Aiko grasped his hand firmly and shook in the Terran fashion. "Sabastian Davoust? That is name I have heard before."

"Maybe To'pek mentioned it," He replied, picking up the ball and standing up. Most if not all Klingon women tended to be taller then him, as was this one. "You see the game?" He asked, wondering if she was with the Ty'Gokor's crew or the Stormtroopers.

"I saw some," she really had no interest in sports unless they involved large bladed weapons. "I think I've heard you name elsewhere as well."

Junkar yelled something at Sebastian from across the landing padd, but

he couldn't make it out and just looked at him with a confused face before turning back to T'Aiko.

T'Aiko heard Junkar say, "she'll break you," in Klingon. How funny it didn't seem Sabastian hadn't understood her shipmate. This was probably the one Junkar had warned her about. How funny. "So," she allowed her curiosity to continue, "On which ship do you serve?"

"USS Miranda" He replied,. "You with the Ty'Gokor or the Stormtroopers?" He asked in return, feeling the humid Qu'noS air around him.

She didn't answer his question. Better to let him guess. "The Miranda. I know of that ship's record of battle. Impressive." Her head tilted one way, "Do you know Jaal Jaxom?"

"Yeah I know him" Sebastian replied. "we served side by side at helm and ops during many a battle" This of course was before Jaal's promotion. "Let me guess, IKV Gee'nok?" He asked, not sure if he had pronouced the ship which Jaal had done his exchange on right.

"Gree'Tok," she corrected him, "He served as an exchange officer on my uncle's ship a few years ago. Does he still pull all those practical jokes? I understand he was quite famous for them."

"No not really, he's married now." Sebastian said grimly as if he had died. Had Taalis heard the way he said it, she would probably slap him upside the head for it.

"Married? Really?" Her eyebrows raised in surprise. T'Aiko's last memory of the Trill was nearly being killed by some of the senior officers who he'd just played a prank on. Klingons just didn't understand that kind of sense of humor. "Surely he hasn't matured 'that' much?"

"Indeed he has... no more more womanizing... he just drinks tea alot and runs the beta shift." Sebastian smirked, starting to walk across the landing padd, passing under the Ty'Gokor.

"Tea?" T'Aiko asked incredulously, "Surely you jest! Surely he drinks something much more substantial like ... like prune juice! I've witnessed that Trill fighting hand to hand before. He once helped retake my uncle's ship after some mutinous dogs tried to take it from us. You've never heard the tale? He's nearly as good as any Klingon warrior. I 'know' he doesn't drink ... tea!" She made a deeply disgusted face while uttering the last word like it was poison.

"Prune juice," Sebastian chuckled. "Klingon's and their prunce juice"

"And WHAT is wrong with prune juice?" T'Aiko's brow furrowed with a little anger.

"No that was not an insult" Sebastian said with a sigh, looking over at the nearest warrior for a Mek'leth. "But I take it, you have to fight and kill me now right?"

"Is that what you want? I'm not afraid of a fight!" she declared.

"Of course you're not sweetheat," Sebastian said with another sigh. It was too late now, either he backed down or they fought, as she would never back down, and being a Davoust there was no way he could back down.

"I ... am NOT ... *your* ... sweetheart!" T'Aiko sputtered out with anger. She was more bent out of shape about being called sweetheart than the previous insult. Now all she wanted to do was slit this weener open from his neck to his nuts.

Sebastian caught the Mek'leth that was thrown to him and took a deep breathe. "Ah shit" He said, as if it was part of his combat move as he swung the Mek'leth.

T'Aiko drew her bat'leth from it's sheath on her back. It came out neatly with a vicious sounding 'shhing!' Now she was in the classic mok'bara ready position. Then showing no hesitation lunged at the Davoust.

He was so going to lose this, he thought as he did a forward roll, escaping the Bat'leth. Before jumping back up and blocking another thrust with the Mek'leth.

Junkar laughed as he made bets with the other Klingon's near by as to who would win. "Sebastian I'll get the infirmary ready!" He shouted. "Did she mention shes exceptional with a Bat'leth!"

"Not helping!" Sebastian shouted back, ducking. He was using every part of his Starfleet martial arts training and earlier Klingon teachings to avoid loosing his head...literally!

T'Aiko kept on swinging not getting involved with the witty banter. This human was remarkably good at avoiding the arcing swings of her blade. She was encouraged though, that she was getting closer and closer to cutting him. Either he was wearing out or she was anticipating his moves quicker.

At some point in the combat, Sebastian felt something strange, unfamiliar. He looked down at his chest to see blood rushing out. He'd been stabbed with the Bat'leth point. "Argh" He wimpered. Taking a stance for the finishing blow, he though of Claire now, fatherless, oh well he never was much of a parent anyway. "Well kill me!"

T'Aiko held her bat'leth at the ready. Her eyes narrowed as she visualized the mess her next strike would make.

"That's what you're here for isn't it?" Sebastian replied, coughing out a little blood as his left lung filled with blood. " and you're goddam prune juice."

"It has nothing to do with prune juice little man." T'Aiko pulled her blade back, "I NOT ... your *sweetheart*!" She lowered her bat'leth. "There would be no honor in killing someone like you...and stop your whining! it's only a flesh wound!"

"No honour aye" Sebastian said, now he was pissed off. Tearing the sleeve off his shirt he stuffed it into the wounded, sighing heavily in pain as he did so. "Come on, I'll teach you how to twirl a bat'leth" He continued defiantly.

T'Aiko brought her guard back up instantly.

"I didn't fight in your civil war so a little princess could give me shit about my honour," He said wiping the blood from his mouth with one hand and wielding the Mek'leth with the other.

T'Aiko tensed up. Now perhaps he would fight for real. These humans weren't as weak and spineless as she'd been led to believe.

Junkar stepped in between them, head held high looking at neither of them. "T'Aiko in his culture sweetheart is a term of affection, Sebastian do not call a Klingon woman sweetheart unless you intent to mate with her..."

T'Aiko grimaced, "I would sooner mate with a three legged targ!" She hadn't lowered her guard yet. Humans were inferior but sly and tricky. Davoust could easily be feigning.

Sebastian spat out a little more blood. "Miss-communication" He said.

"INdeed little man!" She still hadn't lowered her sword but her stance relaxed slightly.

"Great" Sebastian said before dropping to the ground.



Holden, Son of Rosh, Engineering Officer

Engineer's Office, Engineering, Ty'Gokor docked at the Homeworld's Shipyard.

Holden's work on the cloak continued. Much progress had already been made, but Holden wanted to push it as far as perfect. He had heard of the Reman incident, and the thought that the Remans he had heard much of had actually built such a vessel as the Scimitar right under the noses of a paranoid people like the Romulans, continued to astound Holden, and the thought of what could happen within any government bothered him profoundly, but also brought on a sense of vigilance.

Their mission over, and returning in glory to the Homeworld helped a little. But alot still bothered him. Politics were not a forte of this engineer.

But they were a forte of his father Rosh. Truth be told, Holden didn't have much choice in the matter of his assignment. It's only saving grace was the glory to be had from it. And so far there had been much. As a result, he had been awarded the Warrior's Torch. A great honor indeed. He had also heard that the Magellan was docked at the fleetyards after a scuffle with a long forgotten house. The Korgath. Honorless pirates. They won the scuffle, oblitarating the blood red Vor'cha and her escorts, one being a K'Vort. Apparently, however. His family had lost three vessels to the Korgath earlier that week. Surprised and killed without honor.

Thinking back on that story, he spoke to Jorik. "A glorious battle that must have been, eh brother?"

He felt as if being watched from the shadows. He was the only warrior in engineering that night, working on some data and a report for the fleetyards regarding ships to follow in the Ty'Gokor's footsteps. Important work. Work that Holden enjoyed. If it meant his fellow klingons could fight, he would gladly stay back for a time and help them continue.

But that didn't matter now. His report was done, and Holden wanted to see his blood brothers.


Lt. Junkar, IKS Ty'Gokor

Lt. Taiko, IKS Ty'Gokor

Lt. Sebastian Davoust, USS Miranda

Other ppcs and npcs

"Human-Klingon Relations, Part 2"

***Jor'mocks Infirmary, First City***

Sebastian winced as the Klingon doctor poured a little bloodwine over his wound before giving it to him to take a swig off. He could have had real antiseptic and painkillers, but not he wanted to go to a genuine Klingon infirmary instead of the Federation Embassy facilities.

Junkar laughed before taking the bloodwine from Sebastian and drinking a little. "T'Aiko" He said offering her what was left of the bottle.

She took a swig and wiped her mouth on her sleeve. "I don't understand. It was only a flesh wound at most. Why did we have to bring him here?" she asked only loud enough for Junkar to hear.

"His rib-cage is not as dense and sturdy as ours, youre blade point went right into his lung" Junkar said, clapping her on the shoulder amused. He cared for Sebastian, but at the same time he knew that anything that didnt kill the little man would make him wiser in the long run. "Should remembered that if we board a human ship one day."

T'Aiko gave a curt nod filing the information for future use.

"Oh come on, boarding human ships now?" Sebastian said.

"Quiet or I'll do the operation myself!" Junkar belowed back. "And besides its not as if you havent boarded a Klingon ship before!"

Sebastian shrugged his shoulders. "True."

T'Aiko looked at Junkar then to Sabastian, then back to Junkar, "You 'know' him? You two are friends?"

Sebastian jumped off the bench as the doctor finished ceiling the wound with the thermal generator. "I've known him high school… I mean war college"

Junkar laughed, "Tonight I shall tell you many humorous stories of this one and his quest for a human girl who thought she was Klingon"

***Tapar, later that night***

The warriors hall was filled with laughter that night as Junkar retold the glorious and comedic story of Sebastian's teenage quest to bed Arel. "So little one here" Junkar began, he loved T'Aiko's nickname for the human and it was beginning to stick. "He jumps up on a bench and yells 'Arel is my mate come and claim her!'" Junkar laughed again drinking more of his bloodwine.

"What happened?" Keleth, Junkar's mate asked.

"It was like watching a Targ devourer a Macktus plant." Junkar replied placing his arm around Keleth. "You could not even tell her was human, he looked like a Cardassian his face was so messed up!"

"And this is why Junkar loves my big brother so, T'Aiko daughter of Haleah," Philip Davoust replied, tapping Sebastian's head. "There's not much inside here, but damn the bastards got heart."

For the first time, T'Aiko actually smiled in Davoust's direction.

Sebastian raised an eyebrow in annoyance before taking a sip of his warnog.

Philip as a Consul for the Federation Diplomatic Corps knew this society well, like his older brother he'd been raised in it and now worked in it, but he knew he would never truly be one. So instead of warriors armour he wore his own style with a Davoustian crest engraved into the front plate. "Now T'Aiko enlighten Junkar, Son of Ka'pok of the House of Gonkor, Lord of Tapar and his beautiful mate, not to mention the rest of our honoured guests, minus my brother, as to how you earned that Warriors Torch on you're shoulder there."

T'Aiko took a long sip of bloodwine before answering. "Some scoundrels found their way onto the crew of my uncle's ship. They were intent on turning the rest of the crew against him. At the time, the Gree'tok was outfitted with some experimental weaponry. The 'would be' mutineers, and I say 'would be' because none of them made it out alive..." an evil grin came across her face now, "...they were from a dishonored house and wanted to steal the ship and use it's secrets for their own. I helped the cunning exchange officer we had onboard thwart the enemy. His ways were very unorthodox and at first I didn't think his plan would work. Alas, he proved me wrong. In the end, we celebrated a glorious victory and stuck the lead mutineer's head on the end of the comm antenna."

"Who was this exchange officer?" Doctor Jor'mock asked.

Sebastian already knew the exchange officer, but didn't reply.

She laughed a hearty laugh. "It was none other than 'little one's' shipmate," T'Aiko raised her stein to Sabastian, "Jaal Jaxom. He had me, my cousin Ael, and my uncle sneak around through all the maintenance ways and set booby traps. After we were finished all the offenders were either tied down in the cargo bay or jettisoned into space within two hours .... of course I'd prefer to meet any enemy head on in combat, seeing the eyes sucked out of their heads on the other side of a viewport was strangely ... satisfying also."

"Indeed it must have been" Philip Davoust replied. "But none the less a glorious tale." Philip ever the politician raised his glass. 'A drink! To the brave and the resourceful in this case!!"

Junkar banged his fist on the table, before lifting his mug into the air. "To the brave! and the resourceful" He shouted with the others. While Sebastian sat there chewing on his gagh.


Captain Korleth, Son of Mi'Goth

Commanding Officer, IKS Ty'Gokor

Lt. Junkar, Son of Ka'pok,

Tactical Officer, IKS Ty'Gokor

Warrior 3rd Class Kian, House of Gonkor

General Warrior, IKS Ty'Gokor

"Talks of Warriors"


***Tapar, Kurlush Province, Qu'noS***

Seated by his desk on a steel chair, Junkar looked over the tactical reports for the IKS Ty'Gokor. He was tired; he hadn't slept much since they'd return to Qu'noS. The rain outside was pouring down, yet it was hot and humid inside.

"Lord, Captain Korelth is here to see you" Kian reported, Bat'leth in hand always at the ready. A Klingon warrior's service to his Lord was never over, even on Qu'noS he was Junkar's steady right arm.

Junkar looked at the small model of a K'vort class Bird-of-Prey on his desk and grinned, before he turned to face Kian. "We'll what are you waiting for, he is our Captain, invite him in."

"Yes, M'Lord" Kian replied sharply with a bow of his Bat'leth before stepping out to retrieve the Captain.

Korleth pushed his way past Kian and entered Junkar's Office that he warranted as someone of his station. "Keeping yourself guarded now Junkar?" Korleth asked with a hint of amusement.

"The guards come with the village" He replied, gesturing at a stool nearby "Should I have a barrel of bloodwine opened?"

"By all means." Korleth said. "I am quite intrested to partake of your House's label." he said.

Junkar got out of his chair and walked over to a window facing the courtyard. "Jo'meg, bloodwine" He shouted at the warrior below, before returning to his chair. "How are the preparations for your brothers wedding taking place?"

"Good." Korelth said as he waited for the wine. "Jeremiah is about to go out for the weekend ritual and Heather is growing more of a spine each day she's with my wife." he said. "It will be a fine day. You are, of course, invited to the ritual this weekend and subsequent ceremony. I personally am looking forward to pummling him with the sticks after the ceremony is complete." he said with a grin.

"Argh, that of course is the most enjoyable part of the Oath of Union." He stated. "That and the bloodwine, I remember my ceremony, I could barely stand I drank an entire barrel... much to Keleth's disamusement!"

Korleth threw back his head in laughter. "The targ is always good after the Union!" he said "And I remember that my brothers nearly beat me senseless after I had taken the vows. Makes me wonder how Jeremiah will fare."

Jo'meg arrived with the barrel of bloodwine and two mugs placing ithem on the table, before walking out in the direction of the maids quarters.

Junkar filled the two mugs with bloodwine. "When will your sons graduate and join us on the Ty'Gokor?" Junkar asked.

"In about four years when they complete their training in the KDF." Korleth said, taking a mug of Bloodwine from Junkar and taking a big gulp. The wine burned on the way down and churned his stomach. Clearly a good year of bloodwine. He'd have to order more from Junkar's House Vinyard later on. "They just recently took their Second Rite of Ascension along with Jeremiah around the beginning of the year." he explained. "How about yours?"

"Fortan has four more years to go before he lights the candle" He replied with a wide grin. "Then the real training begins"

Korleth nodded. "Tell me Junkar. Have you heard of a race called the T'Kith'Kin?"

"Yes I have." Junkar replied, wondering if a raid into T'Kith'Kin space was coming up. He wouldn't mind a raid, have a few new captured weapos to hang up on his walls.

"Jeremiah told me about them when he was last here, although the way he shut up about it immidately thereafter makes me think that there is something out there that Starfleet doesn't wish to share. I was curious to know if you had heard anything from Davoust." Korleth explained. If there indeed was a new threat out there, Korleth wanted to be ready for it.

Junkar shook his head. "No not from him. But the IKS Jo'mar was pursueing a Breen frigate a while ago. She was attacked by two ships of their discription, and was forced to break off and cloak"

"Intresting... And yet nothing has been mentioned by High Command..." Korleth said, lost in thought.

"If it was important the High Council would be debating a invasion as we speak" Junkar said before drinking from his mug.

Korleth shrugged. "Could be nothing" he said. "Or it could be that this is a race that both the Federation and the Empire fears." he said.

"Theres always a war somewhere so be prepared" Junkar said quoting an old Klingon maxim.


Lt. Junkar, Tactical Officer, IKS Ty'Gokor


"How Junkar became a Lieutenant"

***Romulan Border, 2378***

Standing in the centre of his bridge, General Ka'pok watched as the orange Ferengi Marauder of the D'Kora class of ship made its way at warp eight to the Romulan border. They'd been following the ship for two days now, as it made its way through Federation space, sneaked into Klingon space were it met with a smuggler ship and now headed for the Romulan border.

The Junkar grinned and looked up at his father. "The engineers at the Imperial Shipyards will love tearing her apart for spare parts"

"Bah! Scrap metal is the only thing a Ferengi ship is good for" Ka'pok replied.

The IKV Bat'leth, a Vor'cha cruiser would have complete superiority over this opponent in manoeuvrability, firepower, only the crew sizes were roughly equal, but a Klingon was twice the match of a Ferengi, perhaps three times.

On Ka'pok's signal, the ship decloaked and opened fire on the Ferengi controlled vessel. "Prepare boarding parties" He said as the disruptors chewed through the Marauder's shielding.

Junkar patiently waited for the single. Then fired a spread of three torpedoes into the Ferengi ship. The three torpedoes had easily breeched the poorly Ferengi maintained shields. The first two caused light damage on the port wing. But the third breeched the hull knocking the ship out of warp. "Argh!" The young security officer shouted excitedly.

"Boarding time" Ka'pok shouted to his First Officer, and then gave a nod to his youngest son to join the party.

The operations officer quickly began beaming crew onto the ship. The beaming was random to say the least, and Junkar found himself alone in the ships galley. Disruptor pistol in one hand and Mek'legh in the other he slowly made his way towards the exit.

But then he heard a shout to his rear and turned immediately. It was the ship's chef. Who was charging down on Junkar with a clever, and making some thought of strange whining sound as he did so. The tall Klingon deflected the blow with his Mek'legh and shot him in the head with the disruptor. It was almost a shame to kill the brave fool.

The battle raged on the bridge, and Junkar could hear it below and above the deck he was on. Cautiously he made his way towards the bridge, using the maps on the ships walls to navigate.

As he made his way he teamed up with several other warriors from different parties. Apparently the First Officer had been killed, as had the second officer and the newly graduated Klingon Defence Force Academy Ensigns, leaving the 3rd Class warrior in command.

"Come on, keep moving!" Junkar shouted edging the warriors forward with the butt of his disruptor pistol. He had to teach these younger warriors to always keep moving, if there was one thing he had learnt under his father, that was to never stop, especially during a boarding operation.

Arriving outside the bridge he looked at one of the warriors and nodded. The Klingon immediately stuck an explosive charge to the doors locking mechanism, one of the wonders of the Federation-Klingon alliance. A small explosion sent the door sliding open, revealing a very armed and very angry group of Ferengi bridge crew.

"Grenades" Junkar shouted, ducking for cover as they fired into the hallway. Bringing down several of the Klingons.

Junkar and Jo'meg removed the egg shaped photon grenades from their belts and threw them in. Several panicked catlike shouts were heard from the Ferengi before two explosions rocked the bridge

Junkar signalled Jo'meg and some others to cover the entrance, while he and the most experienced entered the bridge. They around at the fried out equipment and charred bodies. A photon grenade was an extremely dangerous and powerful weapon. The setting had been low, any higher and there wouldn't even be a bridge.

Before he could say anything, a Klingon face appeared on the viewscreen, it was Sho'meg his older brother. "Junkar, I'm in the cargo hold...they were smuggling Tholian crystals into Romulan space!"

A mighty roar came up from the Klingons on the bridge and in the cargohold. They were all rich men. The Imperial Klingon government would get its rightful share, but the rest would go to the warriors who captured the ship.

"Whats that beeping sound?" Junkar asked trying to make out two dots on the half wrecked console

Jo'meg walked over to a working console, before looking back up at Junkar. "I think were in trouble"

Several seconds later, a Junker's communicator sounded. "Junkar, two Romulan Bird of Preys have just decloaked" Said General Ka'pok.

"That's what I was going to say" Jo'meg shouted.

"Junkar you're a Lieutenant now, the Ferengi ship is yours. Qapla" The General said, before he cut the link.

"The IKS Bat'leth is heading towards the Romulan ships, Sir." Jo'meg said, other warriors moving around the bridge to take up any consoles that were still in working order.

"Get these shields back up, prepare weapons" Junkar said pushing aside several warriors to take the weapons console himself.

***Klingon Defence Force Headquarters, Qu'noS***

Six days had passed, and no word had been heard from the IKV Bat'leth, which had gone silent to pursue a Ferengi ship under mysterious circumstances. Watching the system readout for incoming ships, Colonel To'mek was surprised to see a Ferengi ship come out of warp and move towards the Klingon homeworld.

"Bah look a Ferengi Marauder" To'mek said to a nearby warrior, picking up hull damage thought-out the vessel."Dispatch the IKS Daq'tagh to investigate"

"The ship, she's hailing us, Sir" His partner replied.

"Put them on before the Daq'tagh blows them out of space" The Colonel ordered.

"This is Lieutenant Junkar, Son of Ka'pok, of the newly christened IKS Ferenginair" Several laughs could be heard in the background as he said it. "Requesting permission two vessels to enter orbit around the homeworld."

"Two?" The Colonel asked himself, he only picked up one on the scanner.

"Two, Colonel" Junkar replied as the IKV Bat'leth now decloaked to the Marauders port followed by the IKS Daq'tagh who had broken off its intercept course and was now tailing the marauder.

***Tapar, Kurlush, Qu'noS, 2381***

"That's a glorious story" Keleth said quietly holding Fortan in her arms.

Junkar had a wide grin on his face as he placed the Ferengi Chef's cleaver back up on his display wall. Although the Chef had not put up much of a fight, it was one of his most prized possessions. It had been the first step to his Lieutenancy and two partial victories with the IKS Bat'leth against two Romulan Birds of Preys.

"One day he'll be old enough to understand it" Junkar said. "And whether I am in Sto-vo-Kor or not, you now know how to tell it."

Keleth smiled. "Qapla, my dear warrior, qapla"



Captain Korleth, Son of Mi'Goth

Lieutenant Junkar, Tactical Officer

Ensign Ihsaan, Science Officer


Qo'noS, KDF Spacesport - I.K.S. Ty'Gokor, Captain's Office, Deck 9-

The House of Dumat even defeated was still the House of M'Vagh's Nemesis and Ihsaan had in a way, paid the consequences. Regularly members of the Dak'ou Colony had to suffer from what remained of the influence of 'former' House of Dumat. Their titles and lands had been taken away; but still many members managed to survive by using former bounding, by blackmailing other Houses. They could have tracked them down one by one, but that would have implied attacking many other Houses, and the small House of M'vagh wasn't ready for that. Besides, it wasn't their way. In a sense the Dumat became more dangerous because they were condemned to act in the Shadows.

This was how Ihsaan learnt three years ago that his promotion to the rank of Ensign had been suspended for an 'investigation of Honor'. Something he never heard about. Even his lawyer's siblings discovered it with amazement. An investigation revealed that a General was behind this decision and this General had been involved with the House of Dumat before their disgrace. But Justice and Truth couldn't be contained for ever: the word of Captain Korleth and Chancellor Martok could not be ignored. This dubious investigation had been called off and the rank retroactively given. Ihsaan could have fought the decision; he could have killed in a fair duel his opponent, it wasn't his family's way, or his own. He had all the time in the Universe and the House of M'Vagh would build itself by achievement, not with the bones of its enemies. Time and deeds had proved to be worthy allies.

It was the second time Ihsaan was standing in front of the Captain Korleth in his office and the two events were related. The first time Ihsaan was reporting about the cloak and the progress he and Holden had made. This gave birth to a glorious maneuver which contributed to the recent victory. This Victory did help Ihsaan in a certain way. The Captain had noticed his value, and awarded him with the Warrior's Torch, a great distinction, especially for a Science Officer. Ensign Holden shared the glory since he also received this award. ~A Science officer and an Engineer~ They did make a big work and set up the foundations of the Victory. A common Captain wouldn't have seen that, only remarking the Klingon who had fired the torpedo or the one who made the escape maneuver. But Captain Korleth was different and Ihsaan proud to serve under his command. He was standing in front of the Captain because he was about to announced that his rank had been officially granted.

"You do this ship and its crew an Honor Ihsaan." Korleth said, clearly pleased with the science officer. "Continue to serve well and you will bring much honor to your House."

"It is an honor to serve under your Command, Captain." started Ihsaan. But he couldn't stop there. Of course the Captain attention had been drawn by the fact that the 'Ensign' rank had been for three years and the Captain needed an explanation. "I am not very fond of Politics, but former members of the House of Dumat still have influence on major Houses, and they use it as much as they can, to avenge their disgrace."

"Bah!" Korleth waved his hand in disgust. "The House of Dumat is nothing more than a gang of petty thugs from a time long past." he said. "They ally themselves with the lowest of the low in the name of their so-called call to glory and they sully the name 'Klingon'." The Captain really had no tolerance for those with no Honor. "They are right up there with the House of Duras in that they side with enemies of the Empire. They need to all be exterminated in my opinion."

It wasn't easy to summarize a more than sixty years of rivalry. But that wasn't an impossible task either: "Our people won their Honor by working hard. We believe that we can build Honor with the stones of our deeds rather than upon the skulls of our enemies... I know it is not very 'Klingon'. But our House may have never existed if we started to attack established Houses... we wanted our independence. That is why we went where no one wanted to go, and turned a hostile world into a foundation of our power."

Ihsaan's Klingon ancestors belonged to the generation of settlers that expanded the Frontiers of Empire by choosing worlds that no powerful House would prey and keeping their independence by staying quite far from the Politics. Many had been tempted by or had tempted preying activities. Most of them had ended under the domination of powerful Houses. But there was another reason for them to go for the adventure outside the limits of the Empire. Many of them had some blood from jeghpu'wI, conquered people, even if they belonged to the very years of the Empire, they still had little opportunity to raise in the Klingon society. Their only chance was the Battle for survival where everyday was a challenge. They did pretty well, avoiding attracting the interest of other Houses, especially the growing House of Dumat which gained a lot from its cooperation with the Romulan. When Ihsaan's father arrived on Dak'ou, things started to change. The wedding with the head of the House of M'Vagh gave the colonist a new status, but also attracted the attention of the House of Dumat. The Battle of Two Stars is not well known outside the two Houses. The M'Vaghs had found plenty of evidences of treason with the Romulan and even atrocities on non-klingon species. But the Victory was also due to an unexpected intervention of three D'kora Class Marauders which came to protect their sources of profit. And this detail couldn't be mentioned anywhere. Fortunately there had been no survivors in the attack fleet of Dumat. But those who stayed in their domains couldn't imagine how the modest Prey whose fleet had only half a dozen Bird-of-Prey could wipe out an attack fleet two times stronger.

As the records of his family came up to his mind, Ihsaan looked at Korleth and tried to give a simple picture: "We defeated the House of Dumat sixty years ago, and exposed their implication with the Romulan. But what we didn't know was that they could expose some other Houses, minor ones but also some quite powerful, among them the House of Duras. And this gave to many of them some way to escape their punishment. And since then they tried to avenge from the shadows. The disgrace of the Duras had weakened them, but they still have allies. Some of them are even living inside the Romulan Empire as gratitude for their services... The suspension of my promotion was just one of their small attempts to bother us... I guess the General who asked the 'investigation' had something to hide."

Junkar did not know how to reply, his cut instinct would have been to hunt the survivors of this house and put them all to the sword, or Mek'leth for that matter.

Korleth shared the same opinion as Junkar. Korleth personally had backed the previous Chancellor in the latest attempt by the honorless Houses to take power that was not theirs. Anyone who dishonored the Empire such deserved to die a coward's death.

With his usual calm and clear voice Ihsaan responded: "I fought in my way! I let the Truth came out and against that the opponent is left without Honor. The Truth is sharper than a Bat'leth. We don't want to give them a chance to die with honor in a fight. We let their lies dishonor them and those who are backing them." He smiled "I may still be alive when the last of them would give his last breath in dishonor, or pity will gain me and I will send him to Sto-Vo-Kor in a fair fight."

"Thats if he ever reaches Sto-Vo-Kor" Junkar commented. "The ship might not take him"

"No, but the barge of the dead might!" Korleth said with a laugh. Ihsaan joined the laugh and then ended his story: "I guess I am trained to fight the Unknown in the way of the Science, and in this fight only patience and honesty can lead to the Victory."





Captain Korleth, Son of Mi'Goth

Lieutenant Junkar, Tactical Officer

Ensign Ihsaan, Science Officer

Other Ty'Gokor's Crew

Lieutenant Dekar

Various witnesses


Qo'noS, Capital City - KDF's Officers Mess


The Officers were enjoying a traditional Klingon fresh living meal, so far there haven't been any problem. Ihsaan evoked the last updated about the research. The harmonic equations would be ready after two or three weeks. On a joking tone Ihsaan asked: "But do you really want to get a rid of those residuals since we turned them into a weapon?"

"It is only a matter of time before we come across a foe that will use the residuals to their advantage Ihsaan." Korleth explained. "Once word gets out that we have a weapon that fires under cloak and has residuals, then everyone will be after it and targeting it. I for one do not wish to be fired at with no shields." he explained.

Ihsaan looked at Holden with a grin: "Seems that we must get back to work soon!" Then he drank his glass of Soy-milk. He was glad to find it on Qo'noss. Real Soy-milk! But as he finished it he heard a familiar voice that gave a bitter taste to the last drop: "Warrior First Class Ihsaan, House of Soy-Milk, do you want another glass? Or maybe some Bloodwine... Oh! I forgot Warrior Ihsaan cannot drink Bloodwine! He is not really Klingon." This ended in a laughter coming from a group of obviously hostile Klingon.

This voice was too familiar to be forgotten: Lt Dekar, survivor of the House of Dumat under the protection of the General Swarloth. Ihsaan turned to face the troublemaker, he knew that Dekar was behind the 'investigation'. He knew it but never tried to fight the Klingon. He made an Oath to never kill a sentient being in fight unless he had no other choice. Many times he had to bear the dishonor of avoiding the fight. But this hadn't any importance as long as he kept his principles. But he could read in the eyes of Dekar that fight was the only exit. Besides, the Captain and his crewmates were witnessing the scene and he doubted they could understand his philosophy. The Captain just granted him with the Warrior's Torch, he had to prove he was worthy of wearing it and this detail didn't escape to Dekar's sharp eyes: "Warrior torch! How a coward like you could get this medal, did you stole it on a worthy dead warrior's body?"

Junkar stood up now, unable to take the insult to a fellow warrior torch bearer. But managed to restrain himself from drawing the Mek'leth attached to his belt, this was Ihsaan's fight and he knew he couldn't intervene.

Korleth as well stood up. If Ihsaan wasn't going to send this little petaQ to Grethor, then he would. His hand went for his d'ktahg.

The support of both Captain Korleth and Lt Junkar wasn't unnoticed to Ihsaan. It gave him some strength but also responsibilities. There was many alternative: silence, this powerful weapon could work only on the long run and it was inappropriate at that moment, battle, it would give Dekar what he really wanted, an honorable death since he lost his dark fight from the Shadow, escape, impossible.

"Lt Dekar, first, it's Ensign Ihsaan and I have honorably won my rank and the award. I guess you would have to leverage more of your dark secrets to put pressure on powerful friends who have something to hide and prevent me from getting the honor I deserve. Second, your words insult me, but most of all insult my superiors, and I shall not tolerate that." Those words seemed to surprise Dekar who didn't expect him to be so offensive. "Words, words, words, Romulan PetaQ's weapon." Dekar said with anger.

"Curious to hear that from a member of a House which was allied with those you call PetaQ!" replied Ihsaan with a strong voice. Those who were supporting Dekar with their laughter were getting calmer than before. They were now staring at him with interrogative eyes. Dekar took the Bat'leth that was waiting at his feet from the beginning and shouted: "Lies! Lies, from an honorless stranger!" he took an offensive stance. "Dekar, you know I am bound to an Oath to never kill a sentient being, especially a fellow Klingon..." he couldn't end his sentence "You are not Klingon! PetaQ" shouted Dekar.

With calm but observing carefully Dekar's movement Ihsaan answered: "But I will keep my Oath and you shall die with your own Bat'leth." Ihsaan took his El Aurian stick. He didn't know whether it was really El Aurian but his father crafted them to all his children based on the design of his own. It was composed of two small stick of fifteen centimeters. When attached together a full turn released the telescopic parts to make light but strong stick fifteen centimeters long. This weapon expressed Ihsaan's intention: defense above everything. He didn't want to kill Dekar. The young warrior was just another victim of an old dispute. He was born after the Battle and did not take part in any atrocities committed by his family. He even might have been shocked to know their relation with the Romulan. And there might be some sincerity when he accused Ihsaan to be a liar. Maybe. But right now he wanted to kill Ihsaan and Ihsaan had an obligation to defend himself, his Honor, the Honor of his family and most of all, the Honor of his Captain who just put his faith in him.

Ihsaan took a stance ready to welcome Dekar. He didn't have to wait long to feel the sharp blade sliding near his head as he dodged it. The first minutes, Ihsaan just dodged the angry attempt to decapitate him. The more he dodged the angrier Dekar got. He didn't have to use his pole until he had to block the Bat'leth which was coming from the front heading for his chest. Ihsaan made it slide on the side and he found himself on the right flank of Dekar. Ihsaan gave a powerful strike in his opponent's neck blocking for a half a second blood circulation. This could have knock out a Human, but Dekar was a Klingon and this only stunned him a bit. Not enough to allow Ihsaan combining more attacks. Dekar blocked all other attempt with his Bat'leth. Suddenly Ihsaan realized that there was a scheme in Dekar's techniques. He made some attacks to confirm his theory and found out that he was right. He repeated the same attacks he knew Dekar would stop on a standard fashion. After many attempts he made a final one a pretend to drop the guard, Dekar saw it and jumped in the hole blindly. This gave Ihsaan the opportunity he needed. He easily dodged the attack heading for his head and gave a powerful hit in the knee of Dekar, almost breaking it. In a normal condition Dekar would have bend his knee and fall on the floor in pain. But Dekar had prepared this fight and the substance running in his veins was blocking the perception of the pain, as well as some of his lucidity.

This high resistance was not expected so Ihsaan found himself in a delicate position. Dekar should have fall in the ground but instead he was targeting the lower spike toward Ihsaan skull. His legs pushed him on the side and made him tumble to let him stand up in a safer place. There was an old say that you never fool twice the same guy, but Ihsaan always thought that this wasn't absolute so he started again the same strategy. Dekar could have understood the trick under normal circumstances but the anger and the drug made him blind. He was functioning with schemes and that was his weakness. The combos he made were efficient and deadly, but Ihsaan wasn't a rookie. He had more than a century of practice so he couldn't be fooled by such a lack of invention. Once again he could strike Dekar's knee and this time he heard a sound that indicated that the damage were severe. He didn't want to check whether or Dekar could stand and immediately put himself safe from the blade. Surprisingly Dekar was still standing but even if he couldn't feel the pain, his right leg did not respond as well as before. Ihsaan could now think about ending the fight. He put his back on the wall and waited for Dekar. With a raging shout he dashed toward Ihsaan who felt the wiz of the blade sliding on his armor. Dekar gave another hit, this one was unexpected, the rage made him less predictable and Ihsaan lost his stick. Another attack could have pierced his heart if he didn't block Dekar's arms. The two were blocked in this position for a while. At this game Ihsaan would loose, he felt the strength of the Klingon and knew that soon Dekar would overcome him. ~Let the violence come and let it crash itself~ Those words had guided Ihsaan many times, he didn't actually think about them, but this was the best way to explain how his body acted in the following two seconds. Everything got very fast: a kick on the wounded knee, loose of balance, two body falling but one stopped by a Bat'leth, the other on the ground. Ihsaan saw Dekar's eyes as his heart was pierced by his own Bat'leth he could read something like relief.

Dekar was young, less than thirty standard solar cycles. He never did anything such as people of his family. He was only victim of this old feud and had been told lies. His crimes were to follow the path of his predecessor. His attempt to block Ihsaan career was a first step, otherwise he could have been an honorable warrior. But it was a first step toward dark plots and dishonor. Was it enough to justify his death? He could have taken another path, he could have made a difference. Ihsaan wanted to believe it even if it made his death harder to bear. But the Klingon has been given the weapon of his family, he knew things and could use them to fortify his position, maybe regain a name and then turn 'Honorable'. How many House have been built on dishonor and turned to be the champion of Honor once established. Politics and Honor! Oxymora that made the Empire run the way it was. Ihsaan stood up giving a last glance to the dying Klingon. His look, was it gratitude?

Junkar continued to stare at Dekar's supporters, ready to come to Ishaan's aid and strike any down that dared to avenge Dekar's dishonour. Then slowly walking over to Ishaan he took the man's arm and lifted it into the air. "Honour has been served!"

What happened next is not very clear. Ihsaan was too preoccupied by the consequences of his act. Of course he answered and nodded to the comments of his fight. He also listened to the advices his crewmates told him about how to fight. He told them some parts of his personal history. Eventually he laughed with them. But deep inside him something had been printed, something that would follow him for many coming years: Dekar's eyes as he was dying. What is gratitude?


"Blood Oath"

Captain Korleth, Commanding Officer

Lt. Junkar, Tactical/2nd Officer


It was early morning when Junkar reported to Captain Korleth's quarters, with the final reports on the loading of the photon torpedoes onto the ship, a task that if handled recklessly could often have devastating consequences.

Junkar gave the common salute, a fist to the left shoulder, before presenting him with a padd. "We are back up to four hundred torpedoes" He stated.

"Excellent." Korleth said, returning the salute and then motioning for Junkar to sit. "Seems like we have been getting much recognition in the High Council and High Command for our actions during or first flight." the Captain said, looking over a PADD. "Your name has come up quite a bit from not only myself, but many of the crew."

Junkar nodded. It had been a victorious first cruise. Having began early with the destruction of what was now being called a Super Romulan Scout ship, and topped off with a battle in which Ty'Gokor and a Vor'cha squadron destroyed a Starbase, a warbird and three bird's of prey. "Aye, Sir"

"Yes... Well, that's why I was talking with Chancellor Martok." Korleth said with a big grin. "He agrees with me that you should be inducted into the Order of the Bat'leth later this year."

Junkar grinned, more so then his self discipline would usually allow. The Order of the Bat'leth was the highest honour that could be awarded as far as a man of Junkar's upbringing was concerned, the reward for a life dedicated to service to the Empire. We would be inducted by the Chancellor himself at the Hall of Warriors on Ty'Gokor after a day of drunken celebrations.

"Captain this is a mighty honour" Junkar said proudly.

"And it gets better." Korleth said, taking out two mugs and pouring some of the finest Bloodwine ever made from his family's vineyard. "Martok himself requested that you join him on a mission of great importance. He would not tell me specifics of course, but you are to report to the IKS Sword of Kahless at the end of the month." he said proudly, handing a mug over to Junkar.

Junkar drank from it and it was indeed excellent. This news was of course conflicting, as he had still much more time to serve on the Ty'Gokor, yet to serve the Emperor was also a great honour.

"I protested heavily of course, I could use you on the ship. But I cannot defy the will of the Chancellor" Korleth said. "You shall, of course, always have a place on my ship Junkar. You do your ship, your crew, your captain, and your House much Honor."

"Such words Captain, make a warrior want to die for you all the more" He replied. Then he thought of his two warriors from Tapar, Kian and Jo'meg. "Honour bounds warriors Kian and Jo'meg to my body and house" He began. "Honour also prevents a house lord from stripping a ship of its crew... therefore such as is custom, I shall take half my warriors with me and leave half in you're service..." He chuckled now. "Fortunately or unfortunately I only have two warriors. So I take Kian the youngest and one with the most to learn with me and I leave Jo'meg on the Ty'Gokor to serve this ship and you"

"He will continue to serve well." Korleth said. "For this my friend, I thank you."

He began to wonder how he would repay Korelth for the honour of supporting his submission to the brotherhood. Then he drew his blade slowly and in view of Korelth's eyes. Before striking it down across the palm of his hand.

"As the blood runs out of my body, I make an oath, such as those which have bonded warriors since the days of the first Emperor..." He watched the blood. trip down from the blade into his mug, before continuing. "I Junkar, Son of Ka'pok, of the House of Gonkor, Lord of Tapar, swear an oath to you, Korelth, Son of Mi'Goth to come to come to the aid of youre house whenever it is called upon me"

One such act surely deserved another. Korleth then drew his d'ktagh out slowly as well and sliced his palm, letting the blood flow out. "And I, Korleth Son of Mi'Goth, swear a blood oath to you, Junkar Son of Ka'Pok, to come to the aid of you and your house whenever it is called upon me. May our two Houses stand united for all time." he intoned before grasping bloody palms with Junkar and exchanging a formal nod. "And later this year my friend, we will toast your induction to the Order in the Hall of Warriors itself! Warriors from all over joined together in story and song! What a glorious day it will be."


"Blood Oath"

Captain Korleth, Commanding Officer

Lt. Junkar, Tactical/2nd Officer


It was early morning when Junkar reported to Captain Korleth's quarters, with the final reports on the loading of the photon

torpedoes onto the ship, a task that if handled recklessly could often have devastating consequences.

Junkar gave the common salute, a fist to the left shoulder, before presenting him with a padd. "We are back up to four hundred torpedoes" He stated.

"Excellent." Korleth said, returning the salute and then motioning for Junkar to sit. "Seems like we have been getting much recognition in the High Council and High Command for our actions during or first flight." the Captain said, looking over a PADD. "Your name has come up quite a bit from not only myself, but many of the crew."

Junkar nodded. It had been a victorious first cruise. Having began early with the destruction of what was now being called a Super Romulan Scout ship, and topped off with a battle in which Ty'Gokor and a Vor'cha squadron destroyed a Starbase, a warbird and three bird's of prey. "Aye, Sir"

"Yes... Well, that's why I was talking with Chancellor Martok." Korleth said with a big grin. "He agrees with me that you should be inducted into the Order of the Bat'leth later this year."

Junkar grinned, more so then his self discipline would usually allow. The Order of the Bat'leth was the highest honour that could be awarded as far as a man of Junkar's upbringing was concerned, the reward for a life dedicated to service to the Empire. We would be inducted by the Chancellor himself at the Hall of Warriors on Ty'Gokor after a day of drunken celebrations.

"Captain this is a mighty honour" Junkar said proudly.

"And it gets better." Korleth said, taking out two mugs and pouring some of the finest Bloodwine ever made from his family's vineyard. "Martok himself requested that you join him on a mission of great importance. He would not tell me specifics of course, but you are to report to the IKS Sword of Kahless at the end of the month." he said proudly, handing a mug over to Junkar.

Junkar drank from it and it was indeed excellent. This news was of course conflicting, as he had still much more time to serve on the Ty'Gokor, yet to serve the Emperor was also a great honour.

"I protested heavily of course, I could use you on the ship. But I cannot defy the will of the Chancellor" Korleth said. "You shall, of course, always have a place on my ship Junkar. You do your ship, your crew, your captain, and your House much Honor."

"Such words Captain, make a warrior want to die for you all the more" He replied. Then he thought of his two warriors from Tapar, Kian and Jo'meg. "Honour bounds warriors Kian and Jo'meg to my body and house" He began. "Honour also prevents a house lord from stripping a ship of its crew... therefore such as is custom, I shall take half my warriors with me and leave half in you're service..." He chuckled now. "Fortunately or unfortunately I only have two warriors. So I take Kian the youngest and one with the most to learn with me and I leave Jo'meg on the Ty'Gokor to serve this ship and you"

"He will continue to serve well." Korleth said. "For this my friend, I thank you."

He began to wonder how he would repay Korelth for the honour of supporting his submission to the brotherhood. Then he drew his blade slowly and in view of Korelth's eyes. Before striking it down across the palm of his hand.

"As the blood runs out of my body, I make an oath, such as those which have bonded warriors since the days of the first Emperor..." He watched the blood. trip down from the blade into his mug, before continuing. "I Junkar, Son of Ka'pok, of the House of Gonkor, Lord of Tapar, swear an oath to you, Korelth, Son of Mi'Goth to come to come to the aid of youre house whenever it is called upon me"

One such act surely deserved another. Korleth then drew his d'ktagh out slowly as well and sliced his palm, letting the blood flow out. "And I, Korleth Son of Mi'Goth, swear a blood oath to you, Junkar Son of Ka'Pok, to come to the aid of you and your house whenever it is called upon me. May our two Houses stand united for all time." he intoned before grasping bloody palms with Junkar and exchanging a formal nod. "And later this year my friend, we will toast your induction to the Order in the Hall of Warriors itself! Warriors from all over joined together in story and song! What a glorious day it will be."



Warrior 2nd class Duke'Plah, Comm/Sensor Officer.


He just stepped off from the most horrible federation ship he has ever been on. But his trip to the Defiant to talk to his friend, Durran Brown, made his spirit rise once more. He then took his bags and walked to his quarters on the Ty'Gokor. He salutes, putting his fest right under his left shoulder, to all higher ranked and same ranked officers.

He then walks into his quarters...not much if it, just bunks. Sighs as he throws his stuff under his bunk and laid down for a up, grabbed his bag and pulled out his home made blood wine. It's not so bad, lack of tasting, less alcohole...but at least it is a drink. He takes the bottle out and takes a long drink. Puts the bottle back into his bag after putting the cork back in. Gets up and heads towards the bridge.

Once he stepped foot onto the bridge, he didn't find the Captain. It don't bother him. He will greet himself later. Right now, he is wondering if the Comm or sensor systems are even working at all. He just grunts at the other officers and stepped to his station. The comm systems are fine. But the sensors need a little adjusting.... He puts in a few commands, here and there, and increases the sensor inficientcy to 120% without draining hardly any power from the warp core.

Smiles at himself. Thinking to himself 'Ah, I've done it again. I was able to increases the sensors power without draining a single power from the warp core. I amaze myself. Too bad I can't do this to the communication systems...too far complicated, and always takes too much power even if I try to get it to 105%.' Sighs. He then waits for his Captain to show.


"Meet The Doctor"

Micheal Pallara


The chief medical officer sat sipping his drink in the mess Hall. Not exactly a place he liked very much. Although over the weeks people started leaving him alone. He had proven to have a thick skin, and a Klingon temperament when needed. And his last name did save him from too much. His grandfather was still a very respected figure within the empire.

T'Aiko strode in confidentally. She'd never show anything but confidence and that went double for a new posting. The door swished closed behind her as she stood for a moment surveying the scene. Her hands were firmly on her hips folded into fists.

She let her hands fall to her sides as she made her way to the bar. "What passes for food on this bucket?" T'Aiko asked banging her fist. It was a joking insult and eveyone else in attendance knew it. It's just how the rest of the crew expected a newcomer to act.

Michael rolled his eyes. Another new young hotshot wanting to prove herself in here. And sometimes the females were even worse. It was as if they had to prove themselves doubly. Such a waste of time.

T'Aiko went over to where the human was sitting figuring he was part of the officer exchange program. There were far too many of those aboard the Ty'Gokor for the security officer especially with this ship's advanced ability. She sat down with one stool between them.

"Greetings Earthman. What's good on the menu today eh?"

"I am not human. Michael Pallara. I'm sure you have heard off the family name." He was less friendly than he is usually was, Klingons respected that more.

Of course T'Aiko recognized the name. It was a prominent name in

Klingon political machine. "I know the name ... but ... you certainly 'look' human." She peered at Pallara in the dim light of the mess hall.

"Human grandmother. Strong genes, unfortunately I look like her, although I am three-quarters Klingon. Believe me, not an easy thing in this Society."

"I can imagine with ridges that shallow." T'Aiko teased with a grin. She looked around for the bartender or server. She was asking Pallara but looking up and down the counter "What does a warrior of the Empire have to do to get some SERVICE around here!"

"You could always challenge the bartender for the position and serve yourself." Michael said with a very serious face.

T'Aiko laughed out loud, "A quick wit. I like that.... In fact, I just might to it if this keeps up."

Fortunately, she didn't as the bartender came over and took T'Aiko's order. A few minutes later she had a bowl of skull stew and a side of gagh. "And it's still alive and well," she commented on her sidedish, "Wonderful!"

"I think Gagh is overrated by a bunch of macho's who are too scared to admit they don't like it." Michael watched her. "You don't want to know how many Klingons and have treated for bowel problems."

T'Aiko paused in her feeding, "Our people have been eating gagh for centuries. Those that get sick are weak," she regarded the doctor a second before continuing, "But like any delicacy, it needs to be kept properly or it would make even the strongest warrior sick." After taking a bite of her skull stew, she added, "We are not the only culture to eat food alive. The Xanthe do it, so do some Catians and Lyrans. As a doctor I would think you'd 'know' that."

"I know, if you look hard enough you will find people's on almost any planet or culture that eat live food. And yet mostly their intestines are not made for it. So most noble Klingon warriors come to me in the dead of night and swear me to secret." He chuckled.

T'Aiko chuckled along with Pallara while motioning to the server to refill both their drinks.

"By the way, what is your name, and position on this ship?" Michael asked while they were eating.

"I am T'Aiko. I work in security and intellignence," she took a sip of her bloodwine, "You are a doctor as I suspected? The chief medical officer perhaps?"

"Strange name, which house?" He asked. "And indeed I am the chief medical officer. The only person on board you can trust."

"My house is Hov'Vaj," it was an old and venerable house. One that always was there to defend the Empire from it's enemies. T'Aiko regarded Pallara for a moment before commenting, "The only one to trust eh? Does that mean you don't trust our commanding officer?"

"Me? I don't trust Klingons." He laughed. "What I mean is, with me you can be sure am not after your job, and I will not be watching to see how well you perform. Outside the chain of command and happy about it, that's me."

T'Aiko flashed a critical gaze in Pallara's direction. "As a security officer I will watch 'everyone' .. including you, my shallow ridged friend."

Michael pretended to be frightened. "Oh dear, around you I must really take care not to make the wrong stitches." He laughed again.

"Yes, indeed!" T'Aiko laughed heartily.


"Cryptography: Cloaked data"

Lieutenant T'Aiko, Security/Intelligence Officer

Ensign Ihsaan, Science Officer


Qo'noss, KDF Spacesport - I.K.S. Ty'Gokor, Science Lab, Deck 10

Dekar's death was still in Ihsaan's mind. It happened the day before and this would not be easy to forget. But Ihsaan had work to do and there was little room for mourning the death of an Enemy. Right now Ihsaan had to find a way to encode the data and protect them from any intrusion. He wanted to use the computers of the Academy of Sciences but there the security wasn't same as on the Ty'Gokor but he could process them in a matter of days. That is why he had asked the new Intelligence Officer to come and help him find a way to easily encrypt the files. The trick was to ease the data processing without sacrificing the security.

T'Aiko appeared in her usual confident manner. "You are Ihsaan." It was as much of a statement as a question. "How may I help?" Today her auburn hair was wrapped tightly in a pony tail with a barbed clasp on the end. Ihsaan welcomed the young officer. "Thank you for coming,... please have a seat" he said showing a chair in front of the console full of data.

T'Aiko took the seat offered and studied the screen in front of her. 'Interesting,' she thought.

He cleared his throat: "You may have been briefed on the special cloaking device of the Ty'Gokor? I mean... to fire cloaked."

"Junkar has told me about it, but not any details. I'm looking forward to trying it out in battle," she grinned. "Does this data pertain to the device?" she asked.

"Yes" started Ihsaan. "But this is a drop compared to the ocean of data we got." Ihsaan said to introduce his explanation: he told the details of the flaw and how they first started to use the residuals as a weapon evoking what he was starting to call the Korleth Burst Maneuver. But cutting to the essential he quickly went back to the data. "Actually, these are the data collected during our last battle. It was an optimal situation to have a real test of the cloak in battle condition. I put many variables to control for the Korleth Burst Maneuver. Well, anyway... the next stage would be to run some simulation and test the equations we designed Holden and I. I intend to use the Simultaneous Squared Bootstrap Simulation methods." He paused wondering if this jargon was clear, but T'Aiko was an intelligence officer with a solid training in encryption sure she had grounds in advanced data processing. "This will allow infinite random re-sampling and we will test all the equations." Now he came to the point.

"The Ships computer is not fast enough to deal with this issue, even on the ground with limited use for other system, it could take weeks. I want to use the Academy of Sciences Astrometrics A.I... I got an exclusive access for two weeks, which is enough to get the results. But security is not as high as on this Ship."

"Ahh, I see. So you want my help with some encryption algorithms?" T'Aiko smiled again. Using her brain was the next best thing to using her  Bat'leth.

"Well, actually I would like to encrypt the data in a way that the source files will be protected but readable by the Artificial Intelligence, and the output is also encrypted. Raw data need one week to be processed, so the encryption can only slow the process to 50%. You see the challenge!" Ihsaan said waiting for an answer.

She began tapping the console tentatively at first, then with more confidence, "I think I have just the thing... only it may take some time for me to remember how to do it. It's a technique I've learned sometime ago."

"Humm... I think I can get two or three more days, but no more. The Ty'Gokor project has a priority, but we don't want to attract too much attention by using the A.I for a very long time." explained Ihsaan.

"I wasn't talking about 'days' Ihsaan," she looked up and smirked at him, "merely hours." Honestly, how slow-brained did he think she was? This puzzled a bit Ihsaan, he wasn't talking about her. But he didn't put too much attention to that misunderstanding since he plunged his attention to what T'Aiko was programming.

They were working on the different possibility when Ihsaan realized that he knew the algorithm T'Aiko proposed. "It looks like the one we use to decode the low-band spectral emissions from other galaxies... A bit different though." It was a smart use of the same principle but adapted to encryption. Of course, the important variables were used as encoding keys. Ihsaan liked the idea of launching a fractal counter-program if a decoding measure was initiated during the processing. It made impossible for them to get to the result on an interim base, but at least nobody could access to them, besides it used only a limited processing resources thus protecting against aggression wouldn't slow down the simulations. Without any problem the simulation would take a bit less than two weeks.

"Does this meet with your requirements?" T'Aiko had finished tapping the console. On the display was an inverted quadratic equation with triple redundant variable derivatives in base 16. Klingon mathematics usually used base 10. "It should only slow the processing speed thirty percent compared to the fifty you were predicting."

A quick look at the console revealed the trick. It was indeed a good way to overcome assure a high level of safety as well as it considerably reduced the time to process. "That sounds great!" Ihsaan said with satisfaction. They ended the work and started to prepare the memory banks. After they had secured them, Ihsaan proposed T'Aiko to have a lunch. "If you have nothing else to do, we can celebrate this small victory with a good lunch!"

T'Aiko was taken aback, "You would 'dare' ask me to lunch?" Despite her incredulous, disbelieving tone there was a slightly playful smirk on her face.

"Yes I dare propose you a lunch. I don't see why I shouldn't!" Ihsaan said on a joking tone. "We have worked hard and I am hungry, and I guess you are hungry. As a Vulcan would say: 'It is logical to go and eat.' Don't you think so?" Ihsaan said wondering how the officer would welcome this joke. He had noticed that she had some Vulcan blood. I could have been Romulan, but that kind of union was very unlikely. The words spoken revealed that she didn't take it as an offence. "How can I refuse then?"

The lady was tall and quite impressive, but she was on his side. ~Don't want to have to fight her~ Ihsaan commented scanning her with a new look. He had been too busy thinking when she arrived about two hours ago. Now had plugged off from his work and as usual he saw his environment with different eyes. "Good! Shall we?"


"How I became Klingon"
Ensign Hunter, USS Venture (former), IKS Ty'Gokor
Captain Jared Yellowstone, USS Venture
First Jarren Ka'Tros, Dominion Military
    "Take us out of warp ensign and put us in a standard orbit.". The Captain said as he arrived on the brigde. "Aye sir.". I did not fully understand why we where going out of warp and engaging in a standard orbit, but orders were orders. "Major, get your team ready and assembly in Cargo Bay 2.". The captain said as he sat down in his chair. Now I really didn't know what was going on. The Captain said that our mission was secret and could only be revealed to the special few who were going on the mission. "Well I need my team too. Mr. Hunter please assemble in Cargo Bay 2 along with Mr. Johnson and Mr. Hackman.". The Captain said as he got up to follow us. I knew this mission wouldn' tbe an easy one because he did not tell us any detail in the midst of other crewmen.
    We climbed aboard the Danube class runabout and toom our seats in the crew quarters, which converted with all sorts of things. Phasers, Medkits, Explosives, a few Photon Rocket Launchers, and almost everything else I could imagine. I heard the Captain over the intercomm. "Ok people, your probaly wondering why where going on a mission that i've told you nothing about. Well 2 SFI (StarFleet Intelligence) officers crashed on this planet while on their way back to Federation space. They where carrying intel. vital to the Alliance aboard. We're here to retrieve it and, if possible the Officers themselves.". I strapped in and as the Runabout jetted out of the shuttlebay and towards the planet. It didn't take long for us to reach the planet. "Ok people, lets split up. Major, you and your marines will form one group and my men will form the other. Let's go.". We were searching near some caves when the Major contacted Captain Yellowstone. "Captain, we're entering some caves (Static) It;s nearly pitch-black in here (Static) wait....what's..what the hell is this? Ah shi...(Roar of static as the comm goes dead).". "Damnit! Wem have to get to the Majors position! Now!". We ran for about 5 minutes until we noticed some Jem'Hadar standing near an entrance to a cave. "There they are. Let's massarce them!". I whispered.
    Then I noticed something bone-chilling. The Jem'Hadar we're killing the Marines one-by-one. "Damnit! Did you see that?!". I said in anger. "Calm down, we need a pla..". "Screw that! I'm going in there!". "Ensign, I said we wait, and I am the Captain!". "Screw you! Screw you all!". I said as a grabbed a Photon Rocket launcher. I launched it at the Jem'Hadar by the cave. It litteraly blew them apart. I dropped it and grabbed two Type-3 phaser rifles, one in each hand. "AHHHH!!!!". I screamed as I ran into the cave shooting  any Jem'Hadar I saw.
"First, heres the report you asked me fo..". I ran into the room that First Ka'Tros was in. I shot both of them. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed every last second of it. We retrieved the information the SFI Officers had, but they were dead. We returned to the ship.
    I was transfered off the Venture and onto various other ships during the war. After the war I tried to apply for the USS Galaxy because of it's record, but that was overruled and I was sent to the I.K.S Ty'Gokor. The Klingons actually wanted me to join them because of what I did in the war. I quess i'll have to get use to this nw life aboard the Ty'Gokor.

"Transferring Out"

Lieutenant Junkar, Tactical Officer

Ensign Ihsaan, Science Officer


Qo'nos, KDF Spaceport - I.K.S. Ty'Gokor, Science Lab, Deck 10-

Equations on the screen and a glass of soy-milk in the hand, Ihsaan was trying to solve a puzzle that could be useful when the data would be processed. He still had to work on the equations he planned to input in his model. Sometimes a diversion offers a good opportunity to step back, rest and then return to the issue with a fresh mind and new perspective. Did Junkar know what he was doing when he stepped in the Science Lab and proposed Ihsaan to join him in his Domain? Maybe not, but the bottom line was, Ihsaan welcomed the invitation.

"It would be a great Honor to visit your village. I look forward to hear

the stories of your House." Ihsaan said. Then he quickly asked: "When do

we leave?"

"Whenever you're able" Junkar replied. He still hadn't informed Ishaan that he was leaving the ship to join Chancellor Martok on the I.K.S. Sword of Kahless, but that could wait till later. "And you're work?" Junkar commented looking over at the screen.

"Oh! That!" Ihsaan said as he looked at the screen, "it can wait. I worked too long on it... I need to clear my mind." Then he added: "If you run too long after a Targ, you forgot to see where you go!" He let a big laughter escape from his throat.

***Tapar, Kurlush Province, Qu'noS***

Once again the warrior's hall at Tapar was filled with warriors and their mates dinning away as their Lord gave yet another feast that month, this time in celebration of his transfer to the I.K.S Sword of Kahless. With all the General's off planet and Captain Korelth busy, Ishaan was the guest of honour and had been awarded the heart of a Tarq to eat, which Kian had hunted down earlier that day.

"Now that you're rival house is finally destroyed, what will you do with all that spare time you'll have now?" Junkar said with a wide grin as he ate a piece of his bloodpie, referring to the slaying of Dekar a few days back at the KDF officers mess in the Capital City.

The smell of the food was surrounding the dinner room. A very nice house, a very quiet place. It was very different from the battlefield atmosphere of the Ty'Gokor, but no warrior can battle without enjoying a rest. Ihsaan was indeed enjoying the food and Junkar's hospitality. He had been a fine Tactical Officer and now he was showing a similar level in the art of welcoming guests. The evocation of the unfortunate death of Dekar gave the food a bitter taste. He didn't like slaughters or killings, but when he was put in a no-other-choice situation Ihsaan could turn into a normal Klingon warrior, even if after he would not enjoy the victory in the same way. He swallowed the food and spoke up: "Those enemies would not be destroyed before a long time. This was just a small fight. Many of them are still alive, and now without their status, they act from the shadows making it harder to fight them... Actually it only when they move for a big strike that we can defend ourselves." Ihsaan said thinking about the recent problem he had with the new First Officer. The Human had been called back and a Klingon had taken his place. He had reduced the size of space allocated to Science, and energy consumption rights. And just the day before, Ihsaan had received an order to reduce the Science Personnel. It wasn't a pure chance that four of the Science Officers that were sent off were close to Ihsaan. He had asked an investigation about this new Commander, was he related to the Dumats or just a Klingon that looked down to science?

"If only you could challenge their honour, bring them out into the open" Junkar suggested, taking a slice of his rokeg blood pie.

Ihsaan shrugged: "Unfortunately not every Klingon live by the Code of Honor... Or I should say, as long as the information can be kept away from the public, some would easily break it... We do have examples of Honorable warriors victims of the lies, the Duras were masters in the art of appearing 'honorable'."

Junkar had fought the Duras in the civil war, he knew their dishonour all to well. Their raiding parties driven out the herds of domestic targs away from his families lands onto their burning villages and homesteads as they did. "We'll what ever happens you have won this round, that is at least some comfort."

Junkar leaned back into his chair. "I hear this first officer is more incompetent than Blackburn." He stated, having never liked the lazy human who spent the previous cruise in his quarters sleeping. "You have the seniority to deal with him now" Junkar said getting straight to the point, Klingons did not mince words.

The name of the new First Officer sounded in his mind. Blackburn might have been a 'lazy' one, at least he hadn't bothered Ihsaan in his work. "Well, Commander Blackburn didn't harm me directly, but it's true his excelled by his absence. Now I have to deal with a First Officer that put his nose even in the Science team. It seems that he has some precise targets" Ihsaan said knowing what he meant.

A challenge! "I am in facing a problem! Either I let him ordering me to do what I refuse to do, or I challenge him. But challenging a first officer would have severe consequences... I always worked in my lab. I am a science officer... But maybe I can find a way to make him understand, without having to send him to Sto-Vo-Kor." Ihsaan said without seriously believing his words. Three days later he was supposed to report on the Ty'Gokor. The First Officer would learn that Ihsaan had opposed all the orders, especially sending off his officers, and the confrontation would be inevitable. He gave a look to the room. The low-intensity lights make it heavy and war-like. Of course, Qo'noss sun always gave this more or less reddish light. The component of the atmosphere filtered some frequencies of the spectrum. It was not like in his home planet. Hostile but shinning. No wonder that this Planet had gave birth to one of the most war-like species. One could see it in the architecture, the decoration, the way the streets were designed. Everything was thought from the perspective of a war, a combat. All forms of fights. Blood and war, they were everywhere. Even in a dinning room.

Junkar considered what Ishaan had said, before replying. "But... you have the second longest term of service in the defense force of all the crew, only second to Captain Korleth himself, that and as a department head, you can challenge the first officer without circumventing rank and dishonouring him or your department on the Ty'Gokor"

The words were heavy of meaning. Ihsaan knew that he wouldn't escape. That were the rules: ~follow the orders or if you disapprove: show that the Truth is in your side~. Ihsaan looked seriously at Junkar. He was tall and strong, a pure Klingon in a word. When he smiled, his sharp teeth reminded he could bite. They were on shore leave, but the spirit of the warrior was shinning from his look. Slowly a smile appeared on Ihsaan face: "Of course! I will honor the crew of the Ty'Gokor and I won't let a 'desk-keeper' waste what we have built. The Ty'Gokor you helped to launch shall remain!" Ihsaan said pouring some soy-milk in his mug.

"Indeed Ishaan" Junkar replied, knowing that Ishaan was capable of removing the pa'tagh if and when he choose too. "You and that soy-milk of yours shall triumph once again"

The room was filled by Ihsaan laughter. The soy-milk, it was always a source of joke: of course without it, the Ty'Gokor wouldn't be the same. It had become a famous joke among the crew. He looked at Junkar and said: "This is much better than the famous 'prune juice'. You can find many elements that help your body get ready for combat. Not to mention how it helps fighting diseases. I usually make it myself. Do you want to try? I know it is not an easy taste..."

Junkar laughed. "No no you stick to the soy milk and I'll stick to my bloodwine and warnog" He said with a wide grin, still not entirely convinced yet somewhat more accepting of the man's choice of beverage.

"No problem! Anyway, I shall honor your trust in me." Ihsaan answered looking seriously at Junkar. He was a fine officer and yet leaving the Ty'Gokor. He would have done a good First Officer, allowing Ihsaan to stick to his lab and experiments. But his road was a different one. Full of Honor and Glory he wished for him.

The curves of the room, the dark lights, the trophies on the wall, everything made them talk about their story. Ihsaan listen to the glorious battle Junkar had fought. He was impressed by the nobility of his House and the fact that he took side against the Duras was enough to make him a good Klingon in Ihsaan eyes. Then Ihsaan talked about his own family: "We are not as noble as you are." He started. He gave the main lines of their records: the settling, the arrival of the El Aurian, the discovery of the rich soil, the trade with the only one Ferengis that could understand the meaning of the word 'honor'. "You'd be surprised how they are! And they proved to be worthy warriors, in the Klingon sense of the word." Ihsaan commented. He made himself more comfortable and continued his story. Of course this Ferengi's company was quite uncommon and that is why Hemwing, Ihsaan father, thought about them to set-up the refining factory and sell the refined keemecite, a multi-function product that was a base for various use after transformation. "Officially, now we have a wing of twelve small Bird-of-Prey and one medium size. We had more, but we lost them during the Dominion war. We also lost our D'Ktinga Class warship. Now, we are rebuilding our defense to avoid being preyed by those who kept their strength during the conflict."

In the course of the conversation without knowing why Ihsaan came to talk about how his Colony was ran. He tried to make it simple without entering in many details. The government of Dak'ou was a bit different from usual Klingon organization. Since every settler helped building the power of the Colony, they deserved a right to give their opinion. The House of M'Vagh gave them a certain visibility and protection among other Houses. But their power inside the colony was more symbolic. The Two Councils had the legislatives power. The Council of the warriors, the young warriors, male and female had most of the initiative in terms of regulations. But that didn't mean the Council of the Ancient was ineffective, they had a great influence on the youths. Besides, an ancient would always have half a dozen young warriors following his or her teaching. Every Ten Cycles both councils selected one representative as a 'Banner Guardian'. The first Banner Guardian was from the House of M'Vagh, the Second an Ancient, and the Third a young Warrior. They were the Head of the Government dealing with other Houses and protecting Dak'ou interest on daily basis. Hence a good balance could be achieved.

Junkar had listened with great interest,the way Kurlush province on Qu'noS was run, was very different from their Dak'ou brothers. Kurlush was in a sense a principality ruled by the House of Gonkor within the Klingon Empire. The House Leader was leader of the province, he ruled like a prince and was only subject to explaining his actions to the the Chancellor and High Council whenever he was called upon to. He appointed Lords to govern various parts of the province and they in turn payed him tribute, such as Junkar was Lord of Tapar. The House had its own small squadron, but it was known more for its manpower then its ships, able to field several field divisions if called upon too.

The flame of the torch made the shadow of the trophies dance on the dark walls. It was as if they were listening to the talk and reacting to the words. "Although it might seem unusual form of government it not very different from early Klingon organizations. Besides, we put a great emphasis on the 'Honor' and 'Truth'. These two words are very important to us. Maybe more than 'Glory' I have to admit. Our peculiar history made us believe that the quest of Honor can be a very personal fight. Self Improvement through daily work on myself, that is the meaning of my name, but that's also the leitmotiv of many settlers. That is why for us, being a Klingon doesn't necessary mean be born Klingon. You can be Klingon by choice of the way of living, and the way of dying." Ihsaan said recalling the everyday fight of many relatives for the recognition of the jeghpu'wI'. "To us to be Klingon is a 'Path', that any worthy species can choose to walk within."

"I agree with this in most respects, but we also need the jeghpu'wI to farm our fields and work in our factories, if they all suddenly decided to become Klingon warriors, who would do the jobs that are not worthy of warriors." Junkar stated. "Besides there is a popular misconception that all houses treat their jeghpu'wI as slaves. The various jeghpu'wI here in Kurlush were brought over from conquered planets over one hundred years ago, the new generations are no more from those planets then they are from Qu'noS at this point" He paused, thinking of where his various subjects came from originally. "They live good lives, they are fed well, they have their own homes, banking accounts, they can travel off world, and in exchange they farm our fields and work in our mines, and there are exceptions to this some serve on our ships, such as Captain Korleth's bodyguard and the Ty'Gokor's galley staff"

Junkar had made his point and Ihsaan could only agree. "Of course. I totally agree. What might seem different is, that in our case, the only enemy we had for a more than a century was a hostile environment. So everyone was involved in the fight: warriors and farmers. Nobody could get set aside and let the other work. This built our characters. But we weren't just settlers, we were all Klingon and we built the Colony applying the Principles of the Way of the Warrior. That made us work on the spirit of it, since there was no foe to slay, we fought our own weakness. In a sense we are proud of what we have done: Bak'ou is now a less than hostile planet. It still shape our people's character, there no room for weak and lazy inhabitants. But we can see what we have realized! It is an achievement we are very proud of." Then Ihsaan made a grin "And we learnt to protect it, that what distinguish us from simple farmers or settlers."

The hours had made their path and the all the words had printed the dark walls of the room. Junkar and Ihsaan had some different point of view, and agreed on the most important values. They shared the grounds and had different leafs. But both of them had a great respect and comprehension to what the other believed in. The mugs were empty and hadn't been filled by anything but words and talks for a moment when Ihsaan realized that it was getting late. "And tell me! What do you have in store for the rest of my stay in your Domain?"

"We'll I am of the opinion that you should prepare for the coming battle with these first officer from the Imperial Desk Corps" Junkar said with a wide grin. Ishaan could fight, he'd shown it against Dekar, although he could do with a little more practice and seeing as Junkar had time he volunteered.

Training! Of course! "It will be an honor to train with a worthy warrior like you. I guess you saw some of my flaws during my fight against Dekar. Well, I will be glad to train with you, and be careful because I will not soften my guard!" Ihsaan said to honor the invitation. It would have been a lack of respect to underestimate a warrior such as Junkar.

"Aright that Ishaan, before I leave for the I.K.V Sword of Khaless we shall make sure you are ready to defeat this new first officer, if he continues to fail the crew and Captain of the Ty'Gokor." Junkar said, now fairly certain there would be a challenge sooner or later.

The flame of the torches had weakened and the dance of shadows slowed down. They were telling that it was time to end the talks. Besides, in the morning they would have to be ready for their training.


"Turning point"

Captain Korleth, Commanding Officer

Lieutenant T'Aiko, Security and Intelligence Officer

Ensign Holden, Engineering Officer

Ensign Ihsaan, Science Officer

Commander Guiher, First Officer (NPC)


Qo'nos, KDF Spaceport - I.K.S. Ty'Gokor, Main Bridge, Deck 10-

There was a skeleton crew for this review preparing the return of the ship into space. Unfortunately Lt Junkar was here anymore. Ihsaan had the honor to train with him twice and had practiced some of his combo to make them a second nature. The month had been long but not uneventful. The new First Officer had put his nose in every business of ship, trying to impose his authority by pulling the rank instead of earning respect. But that could have been fine, if this Officer had made a kind of purge of many non-Klingon who had a drop of responsibility. Ihsaan had to see three of his fine assistants being sent away. Every department was concerned: engineering, OPS, tactical, security, sciences. He especially had a focus

on Science. Ihsaan couldn't accept that. Guiher had done that using the fact that Captain Korleth was busy with the High Council and other matters. But he had done it well, using detail of the regulations that strangely applied with a quite severe angle toward those people. He even tried to bother the Starfleet exchange crewmembers, but they had made their proofs so it was harder for him.

All this time, Ihsaan had avoided the Commander, busy with the data processing, then with the equations he managed not to cross his road. But that day, confrontation was inevitable especially since Ihsaan had called back his crewmates, challenging directly an order.

The doors opened in a whoosh revealing to Ihsaan his destiny. In a matter of minutes this Bridge would become the stage where he would perform his role. 'Struts and frets' his hour upon the stage. The circling curves of the Bridge filled with the red lightening was underlying what Ihsaan called the circle of blood. One would die, one would spill the blood, one would take the role, until the next Challenge.

A glance at the Science Console reminded him what he was and where he came from. Science and logic, equations and data, that was what he was. He didn't want to leave that. But if nothing was done, even this could be taken away from him. But not only from him, also from every non-Klingon born warriors who fought hard to earn a minimum of respect from their fellow warriors. Ihsaan had heard some words of disapproval from people of the crew, but he also had been stroke by the silence of many. The same silence that filled up the Bridge when he entered. The low level lightning didn't allow him to show the details of Guiher face staring at him. But he could feel his gaze full of rage. Ihsaan represented an aberration to him. A hybrid in charge of a Department. Maybe the fact that it was a not very honorable department could have mitigated his rage. But no! It wasn't enough. In a sense, the Warrior Torch and the recent promotion was acting as an aura, protecting Ihsaan. But at the !

first leak, Ihsaan knew that Guiher would strike down.

Korleth was sitting back in his command chair reading the latest reports from High Command and from the various departments on the Ty'Gokor. He had reservations about this new First Officer that Command had decidedly thrust upon him. He missed Blackburn and he would've liked to have had Junkar replace him, but Martok snatched him up for the IKS Sword Of Kahless. It was an honor to have one of his warriors go on to serve the Flagship of the Klingon Empire, but still, he couldn't help but feel a bit put out. Especally since the arrival of this new First Officer, Guiher.

The parting of the doors caused Korleth to look up and see Ihsaan walk onto the Bridge. There was one Science Officer worth his mettle. He knew of some tensions between him and Guiher, something about rival Houses but not much more than that. He listened to the exchange between the two.

Ihsaan gave the PADD to Guiher: "This is the last results of what we've done with Ensign Holden and Lt Carson to eradicate the shimmering effect. I am proud to announce that the concentration of residuals trapped in the fields had been reduced to less than 0.0001 percent by hundred tetra joules. No known sensors can detect us."

"And what's about this less than 0.0001 percent? This is a lack a competence, Hybrid. And dare present yourself in front of me." Guiher asked. Ihsaan glanced at the Captain seeking a non-verbal authorization to answer and looked back to the Commander:

"I don't write law of Physics, and they don't obey to order. One has to comply with them." He paused. "I wanted to add, that the level had been reduced by a genius contribution of Warrior Kiron and Warrior Yura. They were supposed to leave the Ty'Gokor but I thought it was an error of judgment so I kept them on the project. It appears I was right."

"... and you mean I was wrong" finished Guiher. "Are you questioning my choices?"

Korleth perked up at that. It was beginning to look like a challenge! There hadn't been many on the last voyage, the crew all came together almost perfectly in the face of battle. Now it looked like he wasn't the only one who disliked Guiher. He noticed the others around the bridge, they seemed to be supporting Ihsaan. It was all good with him, someone should've killed this micromanaging petaQ long ago.

Holden had not been a big fan of Guiher, and already felt a brotherly bond with Ihsaan, a scientist, yet still a warrior of great honor. Having recently finished sparring with a younger warrior in his staff, Holden held his Bat'leth in hand as he walked onto the bridge, already feeling some of the tension.

Ihsaan felt confident and could feel a certain support from the other crewmates. Holden had his Bat'leth close, T'Aiko was also a hybrid, the humans would have hard time serving under Guiher wouldn't recognize even their rite of ascension. He knew that Pallara would support his position but guessed he might not approve Ihsaan's ways: "As a matter of fact, I am!... I question the ground of your motives. Your acts and decisions are based on prejudices and not on the actual performance of the crew. In this way, you lower the efficiency of this ship."

T'Aiko was at the tactical station updating some of the ship's navigation and intelligence files. She watched the proceedings with great interest. There would certainly be blood spilt this day.

She managed to hide the duality of her heritage much better than others on the ship. Truth be told, T'Aiko wondered what took so long for a challenge against the new first officer. She deftly keyed the console and brought up the Intelligence file on Guiher. After a few seconds of reading it was obvious why this idiot was sent to the Ty'Gokor.

He was meant to die in a challenge. T'Aiko let a smile cross her face at the thought, a detail that Ihsaan noted.

Intel reviews of Guiher's performance indicated he was nothing but a troublemaker. He even once had his own command but squandered it away in a foolish mission. He sought out glory for the Empire against an unknown foe. His ship ended up being destroyed while he escaped. Thinking he was the only survivor, Guiher blamed his ship's destruction on the crew's incompetence. He hadn't counted on another escape pod being found a week later with one of his engineer's inside.

The engineer had quite a different story. 'Dishonorable p'thak,' T'Aiko thought. 'His only saving grace is his place in a major house.'

Holden was not a heckler, but his eyes came to settle with some anger and scorn on the first officer, a man who came to scorn Holden for his human name a number of times since Commander Blackburn's departure.

T'Aiko watched gripping the hilt of her mek'leth but kept it in its sheath at the small of her back. Should Ihsaan fail she'd finish the job.

Guiher looked at Korleth, who had since risen to his feet. "Am I to be insulted by this mewing grishnar cat Captain? This is ridiculous!" he wasn't overly thrilled to see the Capatin's scowling face. Guiher pointed at Ihsaan, "The only reason he is upset is because of our House Rivalry! There is no need for this. Send him back below decks to play with his test tubes so we warriors can get down to real business!"

Korleth had heard enough. He had no patience for those who would try to worm their way out of an Honor Duel. He got into Guiher's face, "You have been issued a challenge!" he snapped. "You will answer it or I shall run you through with MY blade and send you to Gre'thor personally!" He yelled now at the top of his lungs and was satisfied when Guiher paled visibly from the verbal lashing.

~MY blade and send you to Gre'thor personally~ The words sounded in Ihsaan mind as he nodded to the Captain. His brain processed the information and drew the lines of the potential exits. There was only one acceptable issue. He knew it the moment he called back his crewmates. The moment he refused to reduce his energy consumption. This was the only exit.

Korleth then stepped back to watch how this would play out as Guiher turned to face Ihsaan. He noticed several of the bridge crew gripping weapons ranging from d'ktaghs to disruptors in an eager chance to take out Guiher should Ihsaan fail in this duel. He began to wonder how some Klingons ever managed to get into to the KDF to begin with and the answer came to him right afterward: the honorless bastard's House. Korleth made a mental note to be sure to make Guiher's House really miserable in the near future.

It wasn't only a matter of shadow's manipulations from the Dumats. Ihsaan had not thought about this possibility seriously. It was about the ideas the Commander was carrying with him. It was about the ideas he was allowed to spread out. The crew, a fine crew, was the Future of the Klingon Empire. Marrek and Junkar two worthy warriors that worked with others without any troubles, Holden a Klingon with a human name, Pallara and his human heritage, T'Aiko and her Vulcan heritage, the Humans, of course Ihsaan another hybrid, and Captain Korleth, a Klingon that understood how to use the best of this diversity. The Ty'Gokor wasn't only the finest ship of the fleet, it was the symbol of the triumphant Empire. An Empire that opened its door to the diversity. An Empire that was sharing its best values such as Honor with aliens. And Guiher! He was just a fossil, replacing worthy warriors with people who shared his ideas, no matter their skill were.

So now Ihsaan was about to start a vItHay', a challenge. Guiher was angry, but Ihsaan read doubts in his eyes. A blind anger: that was Guiher's most deadly opponent, not Ihsaan. Blind because of his ideas, blind because somehow he knew that he actually lowered the efficiency of the ship. The results were there, but he didn't want to see. He knew he wrote off talented element. He just hoped that the replacement would be as good. But worthy Klingon were already serving on glorious ships. Those he could find were good of course, but they needed to be more than just 'good'. Besides, most of the jeghpu'wI' that received the honor to serve on Klingon ships used to dedicate themselves more than any other crew member. They had to prove their value twice.

The D'ktahg was in his hand. The background faded away, just a reddish light and the tall Klingon with a D'ktahg in his left hand. In his early time in the Federation Ihsaan had to face some prejudices some Starfleet officers. Some of them had lost relatives or companion because of the Klingon. Ihsaan remembered a young Lieutenant blaming Ihsaan for the lost of his father. It was the Federation, citizen life was sacred and protected. So only a verbal duel could solve the issue. On the Ty'Gokor Bridge Ihsaan was again facing the same kind of issue. But this time, words wouldn't be enough. Words had been spoken and now the D'ktahg would tell the end of the story. But the real fight had ended well before. The Bridge and even the Captain had given their support to Ihsaan, hence taking it away from Guiher. The tall Klingon had already lost, this vItHay' was the only way out for him. Beyond the blind anger Ihsaan saw the defeat of Guiher. His dooming ideas were dragging him out. H!

e was doomed. The real fight had been won. Ihsaan knew it, so did Guiher. The duel couldn't last long, Ihsaan had to strike once and only once. The Truth cannot be questioned too long or the lies would get stronger.

~Breathing~ Source of life, source of energy. Ihsaan body naturally took a three quarter stance. Flexibility. His mind was clear, his eyes in Guiher's eyes but monitoring his whole body. The words barked by the tall Klingon never reached Ihsaan neurons. He was focused on the body language of his foe. His body didn't back his spoken words anyway. Maybe the old tradition is right ~The Truth is stronger than the lie~. Ihsaan felt it. His breath was calm, his muscles relaxed, his body flexible.

A shout! The D'ktahg of Guiher started to move. In Ihsaan brain a discharge of neurotransmitter overwhelmed the pathways. A million of complex combinations resulted in a rather simple movement. The muscle got tensed, the leg bended and move forward slightly oriented out of the front axis. Ihsaan's right hand would be disturbed by Guiher's left hand, since they both were holding the D'ktahg. But this disadvantage was symmetrical. Maybe not, Guiher was used to it, but right handed were more comfortable in a fight with a right handed opponent. ~Doubt~ During a micro second this detail bothered Ihsaan mind, diverting a drop of attention. A drop yet enough to allow Guiher's D'ktahg slice Ihsaan forearm. The pain arrived to the brain, but didn't stop his movement. Resistance. The D'ktahg had stopped its course: right side of Guiher's neck. It was a deadly spot. Guiher was aiming the same target, but he encountered Ihsaan's arm.

Holden almost prematurely let out a howl of triumph, holding his bat'leth in the air. His friend had won and retained his honor. His teeth were bright in a display of happiness. He wanted to speak, but thought perhaps the captain should first.

Korleth looked on proudly, Ihsaan countinued to serve him well on the ship. He waited for Guiher to drop dead to the deck before looking on to Ihsaan. "Well done." he commented. "But before we continue, there is one matter that must be taken care of." he said pointing to the body on the deck that was spitting out massive amounts of blood. "The Ritual"

Holden may have been slightly out of turn when he remarked aloud, "Jorik would agree..."

Ihsaan nodded in agreement to the Captain and prepared himself to the ritual.

T'Aiko didn't really think the former first officer deserved it, but her mother had instilled in her a cery strong respect for Klingon tradition and culture. She sneered at the body and prepared to participate in the ritual.

He held up his hands to the warriors assembled to silence the outraged cries, "PetaQ he may be, but he did die in honorable combat. Therefore he is to be commended to Sto-Vo-Kor, otherwise we cannot claim to be better than his worthless House."

Speaking in a low voice, mostly to himself. "I'm sure you'll have an encounter or few with his PetaQ in Sto-Vo-Kor, won't you Jorik..."

There was something in those rituals that made Klingon violence something different than pure Barbary. The respect to the dead was comforting. Comforting because every Klingon knew that whether he got alive or he died, he would be honored. That made Death more acceptable and mitigated the guilt of being alive in depend of someone else. Ihsaan joined the howl, sincerely hoping that Guiher would find his way to Sto-Vo-kor or at least find the peace he couldn't get during his life. He felt that he didn't rob this victory, and his crewmates looked at him with respect.

Korleth watched as Ihsaan pried open Guiher's eyes and howled to the roof. Within moments the entire bridge crew joined in the glorious howl that would send the now former First Officer across the River Of Blood and into Sto-Vo-Kor.

After the ritual was completed and the howls died down, Korleth clapped a hand on Ihsaan's shoulder. "You continue to do me well Ihsaan." he said. "I am in need of a First Officer now, we obviously have an opening." He said gesturing to the sprawled out body of Guiher, eliciting a round of hearty laughs from the crew. "Who better to take it than someone who is constantly looking out for the well being of the ship and its crew... Commander." he said, looking at Ihsaan with that insinuation.

Holden smiled profusely, holding his Bat'leth high in the air again. He wouldn't have anyone else.

Suddenly Ihsaan came back to the reality. The ritual, the howls, the smell of the blood, the color of the blood stressed by the light, all this had surrounded him like a cloud of smoke. But ~Commander~ this word was full of meaning and expectation. A glance at the science station reminded him who he was. The Blood in his hands reminded him what he had become. He had been dragged in the circle of blood. His faith wasn't determined. As long as he could serve this ship well, he would delay the return of the blood. But now he would attract more attention. More eyes would monitor his gestures and more ears would listen to his words. For the better or for the worse, Ihsaan would not move as freely as he used to do.

Blood was still spilling from his wound, his nerves sent signals to inform his brain through the basic sensation of 'pain', but still a smile appeared on his face and then he shouted "I shall honor you and the crew, and if I fail, then I wouldn't be better than the one who died from my hand. With all the crew we promise Glory and Honor to the Ty'Gokor and her Captain! Qa'pla!".

"Qa'pla!" T'Aiko resounded with the rest of her crewmates much louder than her death howl for the targ food still bleeding on the deck.

Korleth smiled broadly as he clapped Ihsaan on the shoulder again. "Come to my officer then Commander, we have much to discuss." he said as he led the newly promoted First Officer across the bridge while the rest of the crew chanted Ihsaan's name in victory.