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Part of Starbase Bravo: 2401: Mission 1

Flashback: The Warriors Heart

Klingon/Romulan Boarder : Klingon Zone - Beta Quadrant
Mid/Late 2387
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The night was calm, serene and cool as the trees of the lush forest sang subtle base to the soothing chorus of the insects of the night, chirping away like a movement of violinists to the conductor’s guide.

There was a thin mist hanging just above the canopy, catching the pale magenta glow of a titanic gas giant and ring system that dominated the night sky.

Apart from the thin mist, there were no other visible signs of moisture except for the intermittent discharge of vapour from K’vagh’s breath as he lay prone in the foliage, Stalking his prey.

The Klingon reflected on the culture of his kin and considered that whilst sticking to the shade and shadowing his quarry could on initial assessment appear cowardly and unbecoming of a warrior’s honour, it was senseless to throw one’s self into battle without an effective plan.

His guille and patience are what made him such a formidable Klingon Warrior and allowed him time to assess his enemy, analyse weaknesses and defenses to ensure that the inevitable battle would be a glorious one worthy of song for generations to come. This however was not a philosophy shared by his present company.

“My blade thirsts for blood. Why do we delay? Let us quench that thirst and have our fill of glory this night brother!”

A voice spoke from the Kingon’s left.

“We will advance when I decide the time is right Gow’Rok, not before!” K’vagh silenced his complaint.

Gow’Rok rolled his eyes. “They are only a unit of 20, they are wounded and weakened from the crash…” he protested, “we shall slaughter them easily if we move now but the longer we delay the more likely it is that a rescue ship will arrive in orb–”

SHKINT!

Abruptly the Klingon subordinate was silenced by the pressure of an incredibly sharp blade against his throat. Before he could utter another breath, he was staring into the eyes of K’vagh who had drawn his Mek’leth in challenge to his battle-brother’s insolence. This was just a warning, and a promise to follow through if he spoke out of turn again.

“Before what brother?” K’vagh tilted his blade forcing his brother to look away, “Would you truly have glory this night if you turned and ran from such a fight?” K’vagh began his inquest.

“How dare you speak of honour, when you would have us hide here in the dirt like cowards.” Gow’Rok clenched his jaw and growled through his teeth, “We are Klingon! I do not wish to die with my face in the ground!”

K’vagh chuckled. “And yet you are content to die with your back turned towards the enemy, like an Orion slave girl…” he increased the pressure on his blade, “assuming… Her… station.” 

“Perhaps I should kill you for such an insult, and take all the glory for myself” Gow’rok retorted.

There was a momentary standoff as K’vagh began to feel a slow push of a d’k tahg blade into the side of his abdomen, it did not yet pierce the skin but it was sufficient to call a ceasefire between the two warriors.

“Then see for yourself the reason we lie in wait, look five hundred meters, three two zero degrees ” K’vagh enlightens his companion. 

Gow’Rok hesitated for a moment until K’vagh retracted his blade and then he raised his scope to his eye and sighted it on the encampment in the valley below. “I see only a pile of broken panels and fried circuitry”

“Look closer!” 

Below what appeared to be the pile of wreckage, one officer appeared to be accessing a visual communications device.  The apparatus was hastily constructed and from damaged components, its range would be severely limited meaning that their rescuers must be close by.

Gow’Rok dropped his scope and rapidly drew his side-arm, “I told you, the rescue party is imminent. The time to attack is now!”

K’vagh once again restrained his brother and attempted to make him see sense. “They have been communicating for the past hour! THINK Gow’Rok! Their rescue ship isn’t on the way…. it is already here!”

A sudden epiphany overcame Gow’Rok. “And they are waiting for us to attack again so they can capture us too.”

“I sincerely doubt the Tal-Shiar will be content to take prisoners when they are on our side of the border…Illegally” K’vagh turned and looked his companion in the eyes. Both men then shared a look with each other, as Gow’Rok finally began to understand the situation as K’vagh saw it. There was now no doubt in his mind that this was a clever trap by the ‘Pointed-ears and if K’vagh’s theory was correct then there was likely a cloaked Warbird in orbit or hovering nearby, waiting to vaporise any ground assault that approached so there could be no witnesses and no evidence.  

It was understandable that Gow’Rok would yearn for his first blood, he was but a youngling on his first hunt, and K’vagh was his mentor. The pair had been on the hunt for nearly a week since the Romulan ship had crashed, tracking the remainder of its crew that had so foolishly wandered into the Klingon borders with hopes of developing their intelligence picture. 

It had only been 6 months since Romulus was obliterated and while the remnants of the once mighty Romulan Star Empire were reduced to a nomadic diaspora, the Tal-Shiar had become far more dangerous and ruthless in their operation; without a central government to provide organisation and directive. They had become a radicalised splinter group whose focus turned to an agenda of expansion, conquest, and control inside the power vacuum following the disaster.

Of course, it was a Klingon vessel that shot down the Romulan scout, but K’vagh knew that such a short-range vessel was unlikely to be alone; this was something that his experience as a warrior taught him. Experience his companion sadly did not possess.

“What a cowardly way to dispatch one’s enemy!” Gow’rok exclaimed with disgust.

“You assume a Romulan can act with honour…you still have much to learn.” K’vagh quipped.

Gow’Rok pondered for a moment and then came up with his own suggestion, “Perhaps we should call for our own reinforcements?”

K’vagh turned to his companion and introduced a communication device from his pouch, upon its screen it displayed that a message had been dispatched several hours ago, “Why do you think we have been waiting?”

***

Several hours passed as the Klingons continued to observe the Tal-Shiar encampment. The night grew colder as the slow rotation of the moon they were operating on presented them with an almost eternal night. A full day lasted 96 hours 17 minutes to be exact, but this meant that temperatures plummeted to near freezing overnight. The only source of heat the pair had was a small pile of rocks that K’vagh had heated with his disruptor; but only gently so as to not give away their position.

‘BLEEP BLEEP… BLEEP BLEEP’

K’vagh retrieved his communication device from its pouch. “An encoded message. That’s the signal, we attack!” K’vagh exclaimed, now visibly excited.

“Today Is a good day to die!” Gow’rok joined his mentor in standing and locking arms in a personal salute as the battle he had longed for was about to begin.

Both Klingons began the charge down the valley slope as they both drew their weapons, K’vagh with a Disruptor pistol and his trusty Mek’leth and Gow’rok with a full-sized Bat’leth. They moved swiftly down the valley, the breeze of their motion whipping through their long rough locks as they began an aggressive battle cry. The distance was closing, K’vagh began to see the clearing ahead and the silhouettes of the pointed ears as the forest canopy receded overhead.

The night sky began to shimmer and a stationary Valdore-Type Warbird began fading into existence overhead, the Tal-Shiar were unimpressed by their approaching attackers and almost began to relax knowing that the vessel that hovered above them would quickly dispatch their foe; bringing an end to this game of cat and mouse. 

There was a flicker of green light casting shadows across trees and the meadow floor. This aura of light was acknowledged by the Tal-Shiar to be their Warbird launching a volley toward the advancing attackers, yet they were so consumed with arrogance and assumed victory that they failed to notice additional colours that did not belong; Red and Bright Orange. The Klingons still advanced, with negative impact from the Valdore’s weapons as yet.

The Romulans grew confused, ‘Only two of them?’ one Sub-commander thought to herself. ‘Any moment now, they’ll be dust’ another imagined. Moments became seconds and seconds grew longer as the flood of bright orange light flickered and intensified. It was at this moment several of the Romulans who became impatient in anticipation of green disruptor blasts, began to turn their heads away from the advancing warriors and gaze upon the horror behind them.

A swarm of Klingon ships circling and de-cloaking on attack runs; bombarding the Romulan Warbird with cannon fire and Photon Torpedoes before she could even raise her shields after de-cloaking herself. Almost immediately the shock wave from the detonating ordinance and sonic booms of torpedoes flying overhead reached the Romulan platoon knocking them off balance; stunning their senses whilst the pressure wave aerosolised whatever dry dust and organic debris littered the valley floor, reducing visibility just enough that the Romulans could barely see their ship begin to disintegrate in the sky above.

One final shockwave as the Romulan ship finally succumb to her critical damage, lost power, and came crashing down about a mile or so away from the platoon and warriors in the meadow. The Romulans were confused, disorientated, and had no idea where to look as the last thing many of them saw was the swift swing of a blade cut through the dust cloud and plant itself in a part of their anatomy. 

One by one they fell, blindly firing in all directions, hoping to wound or kill their attackers. Their efforts were futile, within minutes the battle was over, the dust settled and the burning wreckage of the Romulan Warbird cast a bright orange glow against plumes of smoke on the horizon.

K’vagh surveyed his kills, his Talley climbing ever higher until his eyes fixed on one corpse with thick tangled hair and bony ridges instead of pointed ears. K’vagh dropped his weapon and scrambled to his brother’s side only to arrive moments too late to witness Gow’Rok’s fleeting final breath. By his brother’s side; the broken blade of a Bat’leth, the edges of the shards were still glowing red hot having been shattered by a direct hit from a Romulan disruptor. K’vagh checked his companion’s wounds and it appeared the blast sent fragments of shrapnel into his brother’s chest and throat. It was at this moment K’vagh felt his brother’s purple blood begin to soak into his knees as he knelt at the side of the now exsanguinated Klingon Warrior.

There were no words to speak, K’vagh gripped his brother’s face and stared directly into the vacant expression on his lifeless face, took a deep breath, and screamed with all his strength and might at the sky; A warning to Sto-Vo-Kor ‘Beware, a Klingon Warrior is about to arrive’

With a last effort of his strength, K’vagh retrieved the shards of his warrior brother’s blade and clambered to his feet leaving his friend behind as he made his way away from the encampment and into the night.