Part of Challenger: The Romulan War: The Battle of Krios Prime

The Battle of Krios Prime – PROLOGUE

IKS Vor’chem, in orbit of N’Vak colony
Monday, November 17th, 2155
Late in the month of Merruthk, the Year of Kahless 781
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“qu’vatlh!” General Merik, son of Kolhar cursed as he slammed the report his first officer had just delivered to him on to his metallic grille desk. His current mission was not proceeding as planned and he was frustrated with it. The High Council had dispatched him and his battle group to determine the status of the N’Vak colony after it was destroyed earlier in the year after the augment virus. He and his crew had been infected by the virus and after being ‘cured’ it was felt that those who no longer looked like true Klingons should be the ones inspecting the colony. The apprehensiveness of the High Council  that the virus could still exist and harm others in the Empire had heavily influenced that decision. Becoming smooth headed had not been the outcome that Merik had wanted, instead he’d preferred to have died in glorious battle, like most warriors, and gone to Sto-vo-kor. Instead, the Empire had chosen those who remained to patrol the frontlines and undertake missions that brought a lot of danger. Merik had welcomed the tasks, even though it meant he and his crew were more likely to die in the line of duty, at least it meant that the Empire’s attempts to rid itself of this affliction would take place sooner rather than allowing it to continue for two centuries. Two centuries had been the rough guess of their top scientists for when the augment virus’ infliction would have been removed from the Klingon genome. That said, cranial reconstruction had become popular among those who had suffered the humiliation of being infected. However there were not enough doctors in the empire to truly restore the appearance of so many. 

Returning his focus to the report he had just received, the general who was in his late fifties, stood from the chair behind his desk and walked over to the viewport that sat behind him. Glaring down at the planet below, he had hoped their inspection of the world would be conducted quickly so they could return to their patrol of the borders. Dealing with some Orion pirates appealed to him. Those green-skinned petaQ were cunning and engaging in a battle with any of their interceptors that came close to the border of the Empire had always been an enjoyable experience for Merik. Instead now he had to focus on what their scans had detected. “How many?” He asked, looking back at his first officer over his left shoulder. 

“One crash site on the planet’s northern hemisphere while another remains in orbit.” Came the response from the young man that had stood by his side in the past year. Commander Krune,  son of Jaimpok, remained calm and collected as he always did. “Scans of the Ning’tey show that they suffered a complete system failure. The crew suffocated to death. We are assuming a similar thing took place for the Hor’chen. It may have lost power and fell from orbit. A landing party can determine if we are right.”

“Klingon ships do not just fail for no reason. However this is not the first report I have read about Klingon ships being found dead in space.” Merik stated as he turned around to face Krune. “Do our scans show anything else?”

“Yes, it would appear that the Ning’tey was in a recent battle. Its hull has scorch burns along it.” Krune shared. 

Curious as to know who had fought their fallen comrades, Merik walked back to his desk. “Who was it?”

“Scans show their weapon signature as Kriosian.” Krune answered. “However the vessel has not sustained heavy damage to warrant its current status.”

“Then hunt down and find me some answers, commander.” Merik ordered, almost shouting at him before he glared at Krune to show he was done with their meeting and wanted to be left alone until more answers could be shared with him. Turning his attention back to the scene behind him, he glanced back at N’Vak. It almost looked like Qo’noS. Considering what he had just heard, he wondered if the Kriosians were becoming more of a nuisance to the Empire than they originally were. He knew that recently a Klingon fleet had launched an attack against their armada in response to some of their military successfully attacking several Klingon trade routes. Sneering at the thought that if he didn’t know everything about the fate of these two ships before him, he could find himself in a similar position. He was not keen to not go out without fighting. Suffocating due to a lack of oxygen was not an honourable way to attempt to enter Sto-vo-kor. That said, dying of boredom and frustration from a survey mission was no honourable way either.