Star Trek: New Horizons Season 5, Episode 9 (One Night in Bangkok) by captaintigranian
Summary: SEASON 5 FINALE: It's finally time for Katie and Phil to tie the knot. However, the after party shows that sometimes the most exciting adventures can happen right at home.
Categories: Expanded Universes Characters: None
Genre: Action/Adventure, Drama, Family, Friendship, Romance
Warnings: Adult Language, Adult Situations, Character Death, Violence
Challenges: None
Series: Star Trek: New Horizons
Chapters: 7 Completed: Yes Word count: 10706 Read: 1172 Published: 04 Feb 2018 Updated: 04 Feb 2018

1. Chapter 1 by captaintigranian

2. Chapter 2 by captaintigranian

3. Chapter 3 by captaintigranian

4. Chapter 4 by captaintigranian

5. Chapter 5 by captaintigranian

6. Chapter 6 by captaintigranian

7. Chapter 7 by captaintigranian

Chapter 1 by captaintigranian
Pomparath Nebula: Romulan Star Empire

Stardate: 54455.1

"They've found us…

Rellas choked on the words like bitter poison.

"How?" Onorok said in disbelief. "We left no trails to follow! No clues!"

"It doesn't matter!" Lucretia shouted. "Those warbirds will be here in less than fifteen minutes. If we evacuate now, we can at least salvage some of our forces."

"I'll begin rallying the people in the northern caverns," Onorok said. "Lucretia, take the southern caverns."

"Right," she said preparing to move. Rellas stood silently as stone. He gripped the sides of the computer console until his blue knuckles turned white.

"It's time to go, old friend," Onorok said putting a hand on Rellas' shoulder. He tried to lull him into action, but Rellas suddenly lurched away. He took a few steps and stared back at them.

"No…" he said shaking his head.

"No?" Onorok answered in disbelief.

"What are you talking about?" Lucretia asked just as bewildered. "We can't stay here."

Rellas took a deep breath and began to speak:

"And Kahless and his last twelve followers did climb into the Hamar Mountains. The forces of Molor pursued them until all were deep in the ravine of Qol'qes. When the followers of Kahless saw there was no escape, their faith waivered. They turned to the Unforgettable and pleaded with him to surrender. One man who was named Ar'tob, Son of Mattar, shouted. 'We are trapped, we must throw down our weapons and plead for their mercy. There is no alternative.'

Kahless raised his sword and cut Ar'tob's arm. The blood from the wound stained the stones at Kahless' feet. The Unforgettable held his bat'leth high and spoke so that his voice echoed from the high walls around them.

'You shed the blood of a Klingon, but your tongue is not of our race. The path grows hard and you wish to surrender? How little does your honor matter if you sacrifice it so easily? WE ARE KLINGONS! A Klingon does not surrender nor does a Klingon run away from his battles. That is the path to Sto'Vo'Kor. That is the way to paradise.'

His words brought courage back to his followers and they did turn and fight. When the results of the battle reached Molor's fortress, the tyrant wailed in rage, for the holy thirteen had beaten his army… These are the words of Kahless, the Unforgettable"

"That is a story!" Lucretia shouted. "This is reality!"

"A story?" Rellas muttered with a chuckle. "Just a story…maybe you're right. Maybe it is just a story, but it is also a guide to a new way of life. Kahless was an outlaw, a pariah, a criminal to be captured and crucified, but he would rather die than live under the yolk of another's tyranny!

To them, we are nothing: just fugitive slaves and bandits. They expect us to run away like cowards. However, in this nebula, their cloaking devices and shields are useless and this facility is deep inside an asteroid made of solid gallondium."

Onorok walked over.

"What are you suggesting, Rellas?" he asked with knowing eyes.

"Lucretia," Rellas said, "Prepare the civilians for evacuation in the emergency shuttles. Carry as many replicators and supplies with you as you can. It could be a long time before you find a safe place to land. Onorok, gather anyone else who can use a weapon. We have to hold them until they are all safely away."

"You damned fools," she said with a sigh. "For both your sakes, I hope Kahless is real."

"He's real as long as we believe in him!" Onorok said putting a hand on Rellas' shoulder. "What are your orders, Leader?"

Rellas took a deep breath and threw his shoulders back.

"Arm anti-ship missiles and space defense artillery batteries. Activate transport inhibitors and emergency forcefields." He turned to look Onorok and Lucretia in the eyes. "Today, we make the story a reality."

"And if you fail?" Lucretia asked still hoping to convince them to flee. Rellas took another breath.

"Then today is a good day to die."
Chapter 2 by captaintigranian
Starfleet Academy Memorial Chapel: San Francisco, Earth

The stone halls of the Academy Chapel were the oldest on campus. The building dated back to the school's founding two centuries prior in 2161. Generations of cadets had passed through this room, many of whom would go on to become legends in their own rights. In front of the altar was a slab of polished, snow-white Andorian marble etched with the name of a Federation hero who now rested eternally in the crypt below:

JONATHAN BECKETT ARCHER

2112-2245

Captain of the Starship USS Enterprise: NX-01

2150-2156

Starfleet Chief of Staff

2165-2168

Federation Ambassador to Andoria

2169-2175

Federation Councilor for United Earth

2175-2183

Fifth President of the United Federation of Planets

2184-2192

Stained glass lit the gothic inspired space in the brilliant colors of the early morning sun outside. The largest window was the blue and white crest of the United Federation of Planets above the rear doors which bathed the entire space in soft, blue light. A balcony ringed the second story of the long, rectangular hall. Hanging down over the rows of worn, wooden pews were 152 flags from every member world of the Federation.

As the guests arrived to be seated by the ushers, many looked to the front of the room where above the altar, a huge piece of Vulcanian fire marble was etched with the gilded words:

WE BOLDLY GO SO THAT ALL MAY LIVE IN PEACE

As the hour chimed in the belfry above, a wooden door beside the altar opened and a priest dressed in white robes and green vestments stepped out. He was followed by Phil, Daredevil, Tigranian, and Scharr. All were wearing their pressed, dress whites. As they took their positions in front of the chapel, Phil reached over and shook the priest's hand.

"Thank you so much, Father Ramsey," he said gratefully.

"Your family has been coming to my church since you were shorter than my knees," he replied with a kind smile. "Of course, I wanted to perform your wedding."

"You ready, Sab?" Daredevil said putting a hand on his shoulder.

"I think so…" he said with a smile. Dee smiled back and nodded to a woman in the corner with a small comm unit.

The chapel organist brought her instrument to life and the chamber echoed with the strains Bach's "Prelude in C Major." The doors at the back of the chapel parted to revealed Laria, dressed in a cream colored dress and carrying a small bouquet of flowers. She began her march down the center aisle, followed by Alex, T'les, and then Annabeth as matron of honor. The audience in the pews whispered happily to themselves and many snapped holophotos.

Tigranian beamed as he saw his wife draw near and take her place mirrored on the other side of the altar. Soon, the other bridesmaids joined her and Phil felt his heart really start to pound. The back doors closed again as the organ came to an abrupt halt.

"Get ready, Lexington," Annabeth whispered over to him. "She's definitely dressed to impress."

Phil began breathing so hard that Dee reached out a hand to steady him.

"Calm down there, Sab," Dee whispered. "She's got a long walk and you don't wanna pass out before she gets here."

The back doors opened again and the room climbed to its feet. Phil's mouth dropped as he saw a woman in white standing next to Chief Stone. The organ began the thunderous strains of Handel's "March." Time seemed to slow down for Phil as Katie began her slow walk down the center of the chapel. The entire wedding party smiled as they immediately saw joy replace fear on Phil's face.

Katie beamed from beneath her veil as everyone in the pews looked at her with tremendous love and admiration. She had dreamed about this moment for a very long time, and it was everything she had ever hoped for.

In what seemed like the blink of an eye, Katie and Chief Stone were in front of the altar. Her father leaned over and placed a soft kiss on her daughter's cheek. He then reached over and placed Katie's hand into Phil's.

"I love you so much, K," he whispered softly. "You're the best thing I've ever done with my life and I'm so proud of you."

"I love you too, Dad," Katie replied. Phil looked over to him and said:

"Thank you." Chief Stone nodded.

"Welcome to the family," he grinned before taking his seat next to Ashley in the front row. Katie stepped next to Phil and then handed her bouquet of white lilies to Annabeth. The two of them looked up to Father Ramsey who held out his arms to welcome the congregation.

"Good morning, Everyone," he said smiling. "It is always a wonderful and blessed event to bring two people together in the bonds of holy matrimony. However, before we begin, the couple has asked to replace the traditional opening hymn with a tribute to those they love and care about that are no longer with us. Please rise and join us all in a moment of reflective silence."

The audience rose to their feet once more and bowed their heads. Phil squeezed Katie's hand and steadied her as they turned around to face the audience. A few months back, she asked him if he would be alright with what was about to come. He immediately agreed. Both had lost people while in the service, but she especially needed a moment to connect with the fallen. After all, she owed her life to them.

After a few quiet seconds, Father Ramsey looked up towards the second story and nodded. A bugler stood up and began to mournfully play the opening bars of a solemn hymn. With him, the entire Cadet Glee Club in their grey dress uniforms appeared behind the balcony railing. On the walls surround the entire chapel were black marble plaques etched with the name of every starship lost in service to the nation. Over the centuries, hundreds of names had been added as the Federation expanded out in every direction towards the stars. The rear doors opened and two Federation Honor Guards entered carrying a wreath of flowers between them. As the congregation looked on, the guards walked over to section of the memorial in the back right corner of the chapel. They reverently placed it next to the name that read:

USS TRINITY: NCC-2008

They guards solemnly raised their right hands into a salute as the bugle strains ended. Then, the glee club began to sing. Their angelic voices echoed off the high-vaulted ceilings and lifted the spirits of everyone inside:

To fallen soldiers, let us sing. Where no rockets fly nor bullets wing.
Our broken brothers let us bring, to the Mansions of the Lord.

No more bleeding, no more fight! No prayers pleading through the night!
Just divine embrace, eternal light, in the Mansions of the Lord.

Where no mothers cry and no children weep! We will stand and guard though the angels sleep.
All through the ages safely keep, the Mansions of the Lord…

The cadets concluded their hymn and stood silently. Katie, Phil, and many of the others wiped tears away from their eyes as they remembered all those who they had lost over the years. However, all were simultaneously grateful that they had the honor of knowing such fine men and women. Father Ramsey took a deep breath as he looked out over the crowd.

"Ladies and Gentlemen," he said softly. "I invite you to reflect or pray in your tradition as I pray in mine." He turned to face the altar and made the sign of the cross across his chest. "Almighty and Ever living God, as we gather before you together in thanksgiving for the marriage of Philip and Katherine, we also pray to you to take into your loving arms the souls of all the dearly departed who have fallen in the cause of bringing justice, peace, and freedom to the galaxy. Give them eternal rest at your side and also comfort and succor all those left behind. Help them be strong in their faith and the knowledge that you can provide for those we love more than we can desire or pray for. Amen."

"Amen," Katie and Phil said together. Annabeth and Alex both bowed their heads. T'les touched her right hand to her heart.

"Varo ay tem," Laria said in ancient Bajoran as she raised her arms beside her.

"pIyajchu'," Tigranian said making the sign of the tIq ghob.

"Uzaveh Krish Sh'Atan Shras," Scharr whispered.

Katie reached out and grabbed Phil's hand again. They both smiled at each other and then looked up to Father Ramsey. He beamed back at them and began the wedding service.

"Dearly Beloved," he spoke raising his hands again, "In the presence of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we have come together to witness the marriage of Philip Lexington and Katherine Stone, to pray for God's blessing on them, to share to their joy, and to celebrate their love…"
Chapter 3 by captaintigranian
Lap Trenh Bar: Bangkok, Thailand, Earth

Speakers at the DJ's table blared music into the Southeast Asian night:

Who knows what tomorrow brings
in a world where few hearts survive?
All I know is the way I feel
When it's real, I keep it alive.

The road is long
There are mountains in our way
But we climb a step every day…

Life in the 24th century provided many opportunities to test one's self. One of the most common was the ability to control one's body clock. It was still morning in San Francisco, but here across the Pacific, it was well past midnight.

The reception was a wonderful success, and despite the Lap Trenh's dilapidated appearance from the street, the covered wooden deck out back had an incredible view of the Chao Phraya river with several skyscrapers and ancient stone temples glinting in the moonlight on the far bank. Now, as the night came to a close, a warm breeze caused the paper lanterns hanging above to sway back and forth with only one pair left on the dancefloor. Phil held Katie gently in his arms as she rested her head on his shoulder. It was a beautiful sight that the Pershing's crew, joined by Dee, Zhenia, and Crestia, took in as they all rested at one of the tables. The jackets were off, ties untied, and high heels cast aside.

Love lift us up where we belong!
Where the eagles cry,
On a mountain high!
Love lift us up where we belong!
Far from the world below,
up where the clear winds blow…

"My Lord," Annabeth said taking another sip from her can of local beer, "this music is terrible."

"But it's perfect for them," Laria said smiling as she rested her hand underneath her chin.

"I suppose so," Alex said agreeing with her. "They are so in love. It's adorable."

"So, after I vomit from that comment," Scharr said rubbing his eyes, "what's next on the schedule?"

"What's a matter, Old Man?" Zhenia said playfully pushing her father's knee. "Getting tired?"

"Listen here, Squirt," he said glaring at her. "I was partying like this a decade before you were a glimmer in your four parent's eyes. Show some respect."

"Right…" she said sarcastically.

"Katie and Phil wanna get us all back together for brunch tomorrow on Fisherman's Wharf at 1030 local before they head to Napa for the honeymoon," Annabeth said.

"In the meantime," Dee continued, "they're headed toward a newlywed suite Phil scored in the Swiss Alps overlooking the Matterhorn. I highly doubt they'll want to be disturbed for the next twelve or so hours," she said vulgarly lifted her fist in the air and pounding it back and forth. "So that means we're left to our own devices."

"I'm heading back to the ship to crash in my own bed," Scharr said as his antenna straightened. "That monstrosity the hotel calls a bed is too damned soft."

"That actually doesn't sound too bad," Katan said. "I've got a mountain of annual physical paperwork to catch up on in sickbay. Somebody forget to do them all before she left the ship…"

"You're welcome, Kinzo" Alex said with a laugh as she took a sip of her cocktail.

"No!" Laria said upset. "We're in one of the most famous party cities on Earth and with Alex here, we finally got the gang back together. We should go out and hit the bars!"

"What happened to the timid, little frostmouse who came onboard three years ago?" Scharr said condescendingly. "Back then, you couldn't spell the word 'bar.'"

"A bunch of people were bad influences on me!" Laria said back at him annoyed.

"All you had to say was 'party'," Dee said. "I'm in."

"As am I," T'les said. "I would enjoy taking in the leisure activities and local culture of this area."

"Me too," Zhenia said. "Apparently Brett is taking his platoon out for dinner Beijing, so I'll be stag soon."

"Can I come?" Crestia asked.

"Of course!" Laria answered. "It'll be great," she said.

Annabeth and Alex looked at each other.

"I don't know," Annabeth concerned. "We really should be getting back to Max in Germany."

"We only have the sitter for another two hours and then we have to put him to bed," Alex added a bit disappointed.

"That's easy," Tigranian said. "I'll go back to Munich and watch Max."

"You?" Annabeth, Alex, and Laria all answered simultaneously.

"Yes, me!" the captain replied indignantly. "I am his godfather after all."

"Are you sure, Dan?" Annabeth asked. "He's still really young and can be a bit of a handful."

"Do you even know how to change a diaper?" Alex asked nervously.

"I get the basic concept," Tigranian said rolling his eyes. "Besides, he's a Tigranian man. My mother says that I a little terror too. Besides, if anything goes wrong, which it won't," he reiterated, "I'll give you a call and you can come right home."

Alex looked at Annabeth again.

"We haven't actually had a night out together since the baby was born," Alex said. Annabeth nervously glanced back and forth between her wife and the Tigranians. Finally, she realized she had been overruled.

"Fine," she said acquiescing. "Max is a strong kid. I'm sure even Dan can't do any permanent damage in just one night."

"Awesome!" Laria said nearly jumping out and down. "A night out with just the ladies will be even better! We'll all run and change out of these wedding clothes and then hit it!"

"Just be sure you don't hit it too hard, frostmouse," Scharr warned. "Bangkok is definitely a wild place for shore leave, but it's not very forgiving for newbies. It can even make the hard Andorian humble."

"How would you know?" Zhenia said curling her antennae. "You hate Earth."

"Listen here, Snowflake," Scharr said looking back at her. "I spent four years at the Academy and another two years in the fleet before I headed home to marry your mothers. I'm no stranger to this place. Trust me."

"Sure Dad," Zhenia said skeptically. Scharr grinned. A waitress was picking up glasses from a nearby table. Scharr turned to her and said:

"Khxthos na chan khx beiyr him di him?"

The Thai woman immediately grinned from ear to ear and brought him a fresh drink.

"That's incredible," she said in accented Federation Standard while handing him the beer. "Most people from other parts of Earth cannot speak Thai! I've never seen an off-worlder who could before!"

"Khaawp-khun," Scharr said holding up his hands and placing his palms together.

"By Uzaveh, Dad…" Zhenia muttered in disbelief as everyone else's jaw dropped.

"On an unrelated subject," he said taking a sip of Singha. "If while you're out, you meet a half-human/half-Andorian who looks like they're related…don't tell them you know me. You've got enough siblings already.
Chapter 4 by captaintigranian
Munich, Germany: Earth

"There we go, Bud," Tigranian said to Max in gentle tlhIngan Hol as he fastened the last few snaps of his pajamas after a bottle, bath, and diaper change. "You've got a full tummy, you're all nice and clean, and ready for bed." The ladies were on their way back to Bangkok for a night of barhopping and Tigranian was now alone with the baby.

The outfit Max was wearing was a gift from the captain and Laria at Annabeth's baby shower. It had remained conspicuously absent from the infant's normal rotation, but when Tigranian found it in the bottom of one of the drawers in Max's nursery, he felt it was the perfect night for him to try it out. The sleeper was light brown and had a hood crowned with a plush horn. A soft ridge of fake fur ran down Max's back and the words, "Mommy's Little Targ" were written in pIqaD across his chest.

"Now, you look like a fierce beast, Little Warrior," Tigranian said hoisting Max into his arms. The baby stirred a bit, a bit skeptical of the man who was suddenly caring for him, but he didn't cry.

"That's right, that's right," Tigranian said gently bouncing him. "I know you don't understand what I'm saying yet, but you will. This is the language of my blood..." he paused and smiled as he looked down into Max's face. "And it's the language of your blood too."

Tigranian walked out into Annabeth and Alex's empty living room and stared out at the early Bavarian evening through the large windows. The sun had just set and the lights of the old city were beginning to sparkle. He walked up to glass and showed Max the landscape.

"You're very fortunate to grow up in a place like this with mothers as wonderful as yours. You're gonna have such an amazing life," He then looked over to the wall where Alex had mounted the bat'leth presented at Max's blood christening. "But when you're old enough, I hope that you'll let me show you an even greater life: one of passion, integrity, adventure, and honor." He shifted so that Max could see his sword. "I'll even teach you how to use that," he said pointing. "Would you like that?" he asked staring at the little bundle in his arms. "I hope so, because I want to pass on what was taught to me. I want to make you brave, just, and strong…not only because I'm your godfather, but because…I'm your father, and I love you so much."

Max looked up at him and his eyes started to grow heavy. Tigranian chuckled.

"But that's all still a long way away. Why don't we just have fun tonight? Sound good?"

He walked over to the couch and took a seat. Max was beginning to doze off.

"I know you're tired, Bud," Tigranian continued, "but I have one thing to show you before we go night-night. I promise it will change your life, but don't tell your mothers."

Max rolled over in his arms as Tigranian turned on the holoscreen.

"Computer, play Battlecruiser Vengeance: Season 1, Episode 1."

The holoscreen came to life with the image of a starscape. A Klingon narrator's voice began booming through the speakers:

"It is an age of destiny. Warriors now travel across space to wage war and paint the stars red with blood. This is the saga of the Battlecruiser Vengeance. Her enduring mission is to fight the enemies of the Klingon people, conquer new subjects and new worlds, and bring everlasting glory to the Empire!"

Instantly, Max was completely awake. His eyes grew wide as he stared at the violent images flashing across the screen. He began sucking on his pacifier and wildly waving his arms causing the horn on his pajama hood to bounce up and down. A grin crossed Tigranian's face…
Chapter 5 by captaintigranian
Pat Pong District: Bangkok, Thailand, Earth

The seven ladies were dressed to the nines and entered the front doors of a bar called, The Dragon's Breath. Immediately, they were deluged with flashing lights, techno music, and a crush of patrons from all over the galaxy. The walls were covered with panoramic mirrors that gave the impression the club was far larger than it actually was. In reality, it was barely more than a claustrophobic closet that reeked of cheap beer, sweat, and bad decisions. Crestia and T'les looked around suddenly wondering if this whole expedition was a good idea.

"Perhaps we should find another establishment," T'les said sniffing the air with her sensitive Vulcan nose. "There appears to be many more taverns of nearly identical composition further down the boulevard. Also, perhaps they smell less like humanoid urine."

"Are you kidding? That's part of the local charm and this looks like the place to be!" Zhenia shouted as she raised her hands and started swaying over to the drinks.

"It's past three am here!" Crestia shouted. She could still barely be heard above the music. "Don't these people ever sleep?" she asked.

"This is Bangkok!" Dee said back to her. The pilot was now dressed in a white mini-skirt and black tank top. "The party never stops here!"

"I guess not…" Crestia said shaking her head.

"Why don't you guys get that table?" Dee said to Laria while pointing to a long wooden slab near the bar. "I'll go help Zhenia get the first round."

"Sounds Good," Laria replied gesturing to the others to follow. They shuffled over while Dee headed to join Zhenia.

Alex looked over the heads of the crowd to a raised stage at the far end of the room. Two dancers were writhing to the beat of the current song much to the satisfaction of the mostly male audience. They were dressed solely in white blouses, plaid mini-skirts, and thigh-high stockings.

"A little cosplay…" Alex said with a grin. "I like it!"

"Careful, Babe," Annabeth said leaning over to her wife. "This is Thailand. There's a pretty good chance at least one of them is a man."

"That's too bad," Alex replied. "They're both so hot!" the doctor said waving a hand to the dancers. One of them actually smiled and waved back at her. "This was a great idea. I really needed a night out again!"

"That's the spirit!" Laria said with a grin. "I just missed hanging out with all of you so much."

"What do we do now?" Crestia asked quizzically.

"We take in the atmosphere, we drink, and we enjoy each other's company," Annabeth replied.

"I hope we do not stay in this place for too long," T'les said. "I am not sure how much of this 'atmosphere' I can continue to ingest safely."

Annabeth rubbed her eyes. Alex continued staring at the stage.

"Shake it girl!" Alex yelled at the stage while cupping her hands around her mouth.

"Babe, I am right here," Annabeth muttered.

"Oh calm down, Beth," Alex said indignantly. "For the last month, I've either been at work or at home with the baby. Cut me slack. We're just doing looky, no touchy."

Laria laughed while Annabeth groaned.

At the bar, Zhenia and Dee were collecting seven mugs of beer.

"That's a sweet tattoo," a voice leered at Zhenia. She turned to see a human in his early twenties staring at the Andorian Glikar'ma inked into her blue shoulder. He was tall, burly, and very drunk. A Tellarite man stood next to him and leaned against the bar.

"Thanks," Zhenia said dismissively as she picked up her half of the group's beers.

"Hey Spots," the Tellarite said to Dee. "I'd like to see how far those things go down on you. Then maybe you can go down on me!" The men laughed at his remark.

"Fuck off, Pig Boy," Dee said grabbing her drinks. "Let's go, Z."

"Did you hear what that Trill bitch said to me?" the Tellarite said angrily as the pair walked back to the others.

"Calm down, calm down," the human said to his snouted friend. "She's just a little feisty that's all…"

"What assholes…" Zhenia muttered passing the beers out back at the table. Her antennae curled to match her tone.

"What was that about?" Annabeth asked a bit concerned.

"Don't worry about that," Dee countered. "Just two pricks thinking with their pricks," she said taking a sip of beer.

"Well, they do not appear to be satisfied," T'les said raising an eyebrow. "Also, there are more than two of them."

The human, the Tellarite, and a group of several other males of various species sauntered over from the bar and gathered around their table.

"Chas Ver'chess Nerazh!" Zhenia muttered under her breath angrily. T'les recognized the phrase and was impressed with the young Andorian's fluency in vulgar profanity.

"Please," the human said raising his heads and smiling from ear to ear. "Forgive us. I don't think we gave the right impression at the bar."

"The only right impression is you and your buddies leaving us the hell alone," Dee said starting at them. Crestia began to look uncomfortable. Laria gritted her teeth.

"Look," the human said innocently holding up his hands. "My name is Craig and this is my friend, Grik. We're all part of the Sigma Sigma Tao fraternity at New Berlin University on the moon and we're just trying to enjoy the weekend on good ole' Earth just like you fine ladies. There are seven of us and seven of you. Some would call that fate."

"Ok Craig," Annabeth said still trying to maintain some semblance of courtesy. "Obviously you and I have very different definitions of fate. Perhaps my companions didn't make it clear, but we don't want your company. So, why don't you and your friends just go back to the bar and leave us alone. You're drunk, young, and stupid right now. Plus, most of us are Starfleet."

"Let us thank you for your service then! C'mon, Sweetie," he said trying to get a little closer to her. "We're a lot of fun when you get to know us."

The hair on the back of Annabeth's neck stood up as she smelled the booze on his breath. She backed up between the men and Alex.

"Why do you persist in your ridiculous attempt for female company?" T'les asked. "It is obvious that your desire for sexual intercourse has overpowered your ability to perceive reality."

"Vulcan chicks are hotter when they don't talk," another human said from the rear of the pack of pathetic suitors.

"Can we just leave?" Crestia whispered to Laria. "I don't like these men. They make me uncomfortable."

"I think that's a good idea," Laria said putting her beer down. "I don't think this is the place for us. Why don't we take T's advice and try another bar."

"Sounds good to me," Alex said glaring at the pack of men.

"Let's book," Dee said taking a final drink from her glass. "Hey Bartender!" she shouted over the frat boys' heads. "You need to throw these assholes out!" she said pointing to them all. "They just cost you some awesome customers."

The women all turned to head for the door, but Craig gritted his teeth, reached out his arm, and forcibly grabbed Zhenia's shoulder.

"Listen skank, we're not done here," he said angrily. Without another word, Zhenia reached up, seized his hand, and then kicked her right leg into Craig's face. His face shattered under her heel as he flew backwards over the bar. His flailing body crashed into the wall of liquor bottles against the back wall. A deluge of glass fell on top of him and shattered into pieces.

"Impressive technique," T'les said dispassionately. "Though I think you might have killed him."

"Naw," Zhenia said cracking her neck from side to side. "The bastard is still twitching."

"Andorian Slut!" Grik the Tellarite shouted as he tried to land a blow on the back of Zhenia's head. Dee was faster than the pig-faced college boy. She grabbed the handle of her mug and swung it right into Grik's porcine face. It broke across his flat nose sending shards of glass right into his eye sockets. He dropped to his knees clutching his shredded face his hands. "I'M BLIND" he roared as blood poured through his fingers.

The remaining five frat boys leapt forward to avenge their fallen comrades. It was a poor decision. A Rigellian picked up a barstool and lifted it over his head. Laria jumped forward and landed a strike to his abdomen. He doubled over and she wrapped an arm around his neck. With a twist of her hips, she slammed his face right into the floor. Another human broke a beer bottle along the edge of the bar and held it up like a shiv. T'les reached over and pinched his neck. He immediately fell into unconsciousness, smashing his head against the bar as he fell.

A kid from Alpha Centauri balled his fist and swung wildly at Annabeth. She dropped down, shifted her weight, and then slammed her fist into his jaw. He stumbled back into the crowd as Alex grabbed Crestia and pulled her towards the door. The last two frat boys: another Tellarite and a Martian held up their hands and backed away in meek surrender. The sound of chirping sirens began filtering in from the street.

"Cops!" Alex screamed, still with a protective arm around Crestia.

"Scheiße!" Annabeth cursed. "Move it! Move it!" she said trying to rally the group.

"We gotta go, Bluebelle!" Dee shouted as she grabbed Zhenia's arm.

"Remember this the next time any of you dumbasses won't take no for an answer! We woulda kicked all their worthless asses!" Zhenia shouted over her shoulder as the women all bolted out the door. The bar remained stunned into silence.

****

"This is definitely the stupidest thing we've ever done!" Alex shouted as they sprinted through the crowded street filled with tourists, food stalls, power scooters, and hover tuk tuks.

"Not even in my top three!" Dee laughed back at her. Crestia looked around nervously as she did her best to stay next to Laria. The sensory deluge added to the confusion and adrenaline gripping the group. It seemed like a million voices in just as many languages had crowded into this tiny Bangkok enclave. Pounding music poured out from the open doors of the restaurants and bars still in full swing towards the early hours of the morning. The sounds mixed with flashing lights and the pungent aromas of spices, meats, and produce emanating from the food vendors. Not to mention, there was the ever present, oppressive heat. It might have been mid-Janurary, but it was still well over thirty degrees centigrade with nearly a hundred percent humidity.

"Maybe we should go back and explain things to the police," the tiny Elohsian said nearly out of breath as she looked over her shoulder at the blue lights gathering around the entrance to The Dragon's Breath. "I mean if we just tell them that those guys were hassling us, I'm sure they'll understand." She barely had time to squeeze past a pair of Bolian tourists attempting to negotiate the purchase of sticky rice crepes from a Thai woman operating a food cart.

"Are you kidding?" Zhenia replied. "It doesn't matter what those guys were doing. All the cops are going to care about is that there's not a scratch on us and those assholes look like they just got fed through a wood chipper."

"So, we're going to be punished because we can defend ourselves?" Crestia asked in shock. "I thought the Federation was supposed to be enlightened?"

"The only people who really think that are naïve old men in wood paneled offices!" Dee said. "People are never gonna stop being motivated by sex, booze, and violence. It's freakin' humanoid nature no matter what century you in," she explained as she dodged a speeding scooter that cut over the sidewalk in front of them and sped between two glowing food stalls serving some kind of seafood stir fry. "Ooo, that's smells good," Dee added. "Maybe we should stop and get something?"

"Maybe you all should shut the hell up and stop yelling!" Annabeth said frustrated. "It's kinda hard to escape and evade when half our group is screaming the details!"

"Beth…" Alex grumbled. "Why don't we all remain calm?"

"We can remain calm once we get out of here," Annabeth said leading them towards a side alley off the main street. "I really don't want to explain to the commander currently babysitting my son that I need him to come and bail me out of a Thai jail for cold-cocking a bunch of sexed-up civvies."

Once they were away from the largest part of the crowd, they stopped running.

"Ok," Laria said checking a guidebook pulled from her handbag. "There's a public transporter station two blocks ahead on Rama IV road. All we have to do is make it there, and we can literally disappear."

"Of course you have a pocket guide of Thailand in your purse," Dee said shaking her head.

"What?" Laria asked defensively. "I always carry one when I'm in an unfamiliar city. It's Federation Diplomatic Corps Travel Tip Number Five on their holonet site."

Dee shook her head and muttered:

"Nerd…"

Laria grumbled.

"If that book gets us back home," Annabeth said looking around as she led the group through the narrow streets, "I'll personally write the Diplomatic Corps a thank you note."

"See?" Laria said glaring at Dee.

"You're still a pretty big nerd," Zhenia said.

"The empirical evidence does suggest that," T'les added. Laria groaned.

As they came out of an alley onto the massive thoroughfare that was Rama IV Road, the women looked past a few hundred pedestrians and saw the public transporter station under an awning a hundred meters away.

"Awesome," Alex said. "Let's get out of here."

"I second that," Crestia said. The women began to push their way against the crowded sidewalk until they were almost home free. However, as they approached the turnstiles, they noticed a police officer standing watch just outside the entrance.

"Scheiße," Annabeth cursed again. "Ok," she said turning back to the group. "Just be cool. They don't know our names, so just act natural and walk right past him. Hopefully, they haven't sent out a description from the bar."

"What happens if he asks us who we are or where we came from?" Alex asked nervously.

"I have no idea," Annabeth said. "We'll figure that out when we have to. Just be cool."

"Be cool," Laria said with a deep breath. "I can do that."

"We're boned," Zhenia muttered.

"Shut up! Both of you!" Annabeth said as she started casually walking towards the transporter station entrance.

Annabeth pulled out her FedTransport Card and confidently approached the nearest turnstile. The others shuffled along behind her. The police officer looked over to her and Annabeth flashed him a friendly smile. He smiled back. She was just about to swipe her card to enter the station when he spoke:

"Excuse me, Ladies," he said holding out an arm. "I'm sorry, but may I ask you a few quick questions?"

"Questions?" Annabeth said suddenly turning back to him. "Questions about what? It's very late and we're just trying to get back home."

"I'm very sorry," he said kindly. "But there was just a large fight in a bar a few blocks away. Apparently, a group of women beat up a group of stupid young men pretty badly."

"That sounds terrible," Laria said with an exaggerated shake of her head. Annabeth gritted her teeth.

"Unfortunately, it's more common in Bangkok than you might think. Some people cannot hold their alcohol."

"Very true," Dee said agreeing with him.

"Anyways, these boys want to press charges for assault, so we have to detain the women and you match the description the men and bartender gave. May I see some identification?"

"Oh, we would never do such a horrible thing!" Alex said shaking her head. "We're Canadian and we respect the law."

"You're Canadian?" the police officer said skeptically.

"Absolutely," Alex said as she began panicking inside. "All of us!"

Annabeth's eyes grew wide. The others looked over at Alex in total exasperation. The doctor looked back at them as her eyes begged forgiveness. The police officer looked at the Bajoran, Andorian, Trill, Vulcan, and Elohsian members of the group and furrowed his brow.

"You're…all Canadian?" he asked even more skeptically.

"Oh, you betcha!" Dee said throwing on a fake North American accent. "Just cause I got spots don't mean I'm not Canuck through and through. We're all orphans, don't cha know? We were adopted by the most lovely family from Montreal."

"I loved growing up there," Zhenia added. "Lots of snow and ice, eh? Ice hockey is my favorite sport!" she said grinning as her antenna shot straight up.

"I am not from Canada and I am not an orphan," T'les said without any emotion.

"Yes you are…" Annabeth said through gritted teeth.

"No, I am not," T'les reiterated as the cop dropped his chin.

"It's so sad," Laria said shaking her head. "Her biological parents were killed in a terrible hovercar accident when she was four." Laria leaned towards the cop and whispered. "She was in the car. Terribly traumatic experience. Sometimes she slips into these fugue states where she doesn't remember who she is."

"That is false," T'les said.

"See what I mean?" Laria whispered. The other woman all nodded their head in agreement, but the police officer looked like he wasn't buying it.

"Well," he said. "If you are all from Canada, your IDs should confirm that, right?"

"Oh, je suis désolé!" Crestia suddenly shouted out in perfect French. "Mais j'ai oublié ma carte dans mon autre sac à main. Cependant, la Thaïlande est si belle."

The other women all turned to her in shock and her language ability seemed to mollify the cop a bit.

"See?" Alex said smiling. "We're all from Montreal!"

"I apologize," the police officer said. "I'm sure this is just a misunderstanding, but I have to check. Let me just make a call to confirm the description of the suspects." He turned his back and activated his comm unit.

Annabeth frantically waved her hands and silently gestured for them to disappear back into the crowd. Without a word, the seven of them walked backward and were soon lost again in the sea of pedestrians.

"Apologies, Ladies, but my sergeant still wants me to check…" he froze when he realized he was alone again. He immediately spoke into his comm unit again.

When the women were a block away, they slipped back into another alley and started running again.

"Verdammt!" Annabeth said to her wife. "Canadian, Alex? Really?"

"I'm sorry!" she said. "I AM Canadian and I never lied to a cop before. I panicked!"

"I said be cool! We coulda talked our way past him. Now, they know where we are and they'll be watching all the transporter stations! We have to find another way out of this city!" Annabeth said.

"I'm looking!" Laria said fishing out the guidebook again.

"Great, our fate is now in the hands of the geek and her replicated copy of Frommer's Having Fun in Bangkok: Twelfth Edition!" Dee said.

"Hey, it's the Thirteenth Edition," Laria replied trying to flip pages while also running at full speed.

"Also, T'les!?" Dee continued "What the hell was that? You NARCed out your own crew?"

"I am Vulcan," she said calmly. "I cannot lie."

"That doesn't mean that you can't keep your green lips shut!" Dee spit back at her.

"Forget the Vulcan wet blanket," Zhenia said chuckling. "I'm more impressed with Crestia pulling out the parlez-vous Français"

"What?" Crestia replied. "Georgetown has a language requirement for undergrads. I already spoke Romulan, so I picked French."

"I'm just glad you didn't pick Tholian," Annabeth said. "I don't think we all could have pulled off being silicon based lifeforms…"

They all laughed as they disappeared deeper into Bangkok's urban sprawl.
Chapter 6 by captaintigranian
Fisherman's Wharf: San Francisco, Earth

It was just before half past ten when Katie and Phil entered a wood-paneled restaurant on the edge of San Francisco Bay. It had huge picturesque windows overlooking the water towards Alcatraz, the Presidio and Starfleet Headquarters. The diners enjoyed breathtaking views of the shuttles lifting off over the Golden Gate on orbital ascent towards spacedock in low Earth orbit. The Lexingtons were blissfully happy after a wonderful evening alone in the Swiss Alps.

"I have to admit," Katie said grinning from ear to ear. "I had no idea you could do that last night. It caught me a little off-guard…"

"Get ready for a life full of surprises, Katiebug," he replied happily. They laughed as they approached the hostess' podium.

"Welcome to Frederico's at the Golden Gate," the Rigellian hostess said beaming with far too much energy for a Sunday morning. "How many?"

"Um, excuse me," Katie said. "We're meeting our party here. I'm not sure if any of them have arrived yet."

"Are you here with the Andorian, the Betazoid, and the Human man with a baby?" the hostess asked with a smile. "They're all so cute."

Katie and Phil exchanged a surprised glance.

"Cute?" Phil asked. "In what way?"

"The human and the Andorian are a couple right?" the hostess asked. "I mean, they had a baby and were whispering to each other the whole time."

"Umm, no. They're not a couple," Katie said.

"Ohh," the hostess said apologetically. "I'm so bad at telling when people are together. The human man must be with the Betazoid then."

Katie laughed.

"Is there anybody else with them?" Phil asked trying to change the subject.

"No," the hostess said shaking her head. "I don't think the rest of your party is here yet." Katie and Phil suddenly looked nervous. "However, the gentlemen are all in the Harbor View room. I'll take you back to them."

Katie and Phil followed her to a secluded room sectioned off from the rest of the restaurant. The long table had twelve spaces set, but only Scharr, Doctor Katan, and Tigranian were there. The captain had Max in a carrier strapped across his chest. All three looked very nervous as they studied an array of PADDs laid out across the end of the table.

"I'll send back the rest of the guests when they arrive," the hostess said before excusing herself. Katie and Phil slowly approached the others. It looked like they were deep in some kind of planning section. They didn't even notice the arrival of the guests of honor standing at the far end of the room.

"The Bangkok police aren't reporting them in detention, but they definitely have an all-points bulletin out for a group of women matching their descriptions. Some kind of bar brawl gone bad. At least they don't seem to know they're connected to Starfleet," Tigranian said rubbing his jaw. Max was dozing in the carrier on his chest. When he moved, the baby stirred and began fussing a bit. "I know you're tired, Buddy," Tigranian said. "Hang in there. We'll find them."

"Four Deities Preserve Them," Katan said nervously. "No hospitals in the area have reported anyone matching their descriptions. I've widened the search to all medical facilities in Eastern Asia, but still no luck. Hopefully that means they're not injured."

"I feel like at least one of them would have called us if that happened. Annabeth is with them. She's too experienced," Tigranian said.

"I might be able to use the Pershing's sensors to conduct a narrow band scan for their comm badge ID codes. It will be difficult while still in spacedock though. Might arouse a lot of suspicion for us to power up while in port," Scharr said. "I should have never let my daughter go alone into that city. This planet can be a lot more dangerous than you humans think."

"Hey, my wife, adopted sister-in-law, and this guy's parents are gone too," Tigranian said pointing to Max. But they're all grown women," he emphasized. "They've been through a lot worse and can take care of themselves, Tren."

"Alright," Katie said loud enough to get their attention. "What is going on and why do you have Max, Sir?"

"Did something happen last night?" Phil asked.

"Katie, Phil!" Tigranian said surprised. "No, no everything's fine. We're just trying to figure something out. How was your night?"

"Don't bullshit us, Sir," Katie said glaring at him. "Just cause we got married doesn't mean we can't help in a crisis. What happened to the others?"

Tigranian sighed.

"After the reception last night, the girls decided they wanted to go out to a few bars," the captain replied.

"We haven't heard from them since," Katan added.

"Jesus," Phil said. "None of them are picking up their communicators?"

"No," Scharr said shaking his head. "Not even, Dee. We've been trying for an hour."

"Ok," Katie said walking over to the PADDs. "I know Bangkok pretty well. If they're still there, they're probably in the tourist districts in the center of the city. If they drifted south towards the harbor…"

"Then they could be floating dead in a canal or in the hold of a Ferengi freighter warping towards an Orion slave market…" Scharr said as his antennae curled downwards.

"Like I said," Tigranian interjected. "Let's not get melodramatic. We're talking about experienced Starfleet officers here. However, we might be approaching the point where we should think about going to the police…"

"I would advise against that, Dan," Annabeth's voice filled the room as she limped in through the door. She looked exhausted, her hair was a mess, and her skirt was torn at the hem. The other six stumbled in behind her looking just as worse for wear. They all collapsed at the table and picked up menus. "I'm a little hungry," Annabeth continued. "Could really go for a good eggs benedict right now."

"Qu'vath guy'cha baQa!" Tigranian shouted after covering Max's ears. "By Fek'lhr's battle axe, where in Gre'thor have you all been!?"

"Please don't yell, Dan," Alex said rubbing her eyes. "We're all a little on the hungover side. Thanks for babysitting though."

"And before you say anything, Daddy," Zhenia said looking at Scharr. "Don't worry, I don't think any of us have the intention to travel back to Southeast Asia anytime soon…"

"Or New Berlin University for that matter…" T'les mumbled.

"What?" Tigranian asked.

"Hi honey," Laria said waving at Tigranian with a pair of dark circles under her eyes. "Sorry we didn't call. It was difficult to get a signal running through the cargo containers on the waterfront."

"I have to admit," Annabeth said with a yawn. "It's good to know you can get an early morning lift across the Pacific from a Lissepian cargo shuttle pilot with no questions asked. You just have to be willing to show him a little skin."

"Just preemptively keeping you gents calm," Dee said raising her hand. "I'm the one who bit that bullet. However, you have to admit," she said turning to her companions, "Kuwaltho was a really nice guy."

"Yeah…" Alex said about to fall asleep on the table, "…a really nice guy. I especially enjoyed the XXX posters he had hanging all over the walls of the cargo compartment while I was balancing on a burlap sack filled with coconuts. I haven't seen that much anatomy since the first year of med-school…"

"He was a man of his word though," Dee countered. "We're sitting here, aren't we? By the way, Laria, I was very impressed that book of yours told us where to find the popular trucker hangouts."

"Yeah," Laria replied. "But in fairness, those were on the 'places to avoid' list."

Tigranian opened his mouth to say something, but a hand from Annabeth quieted him.

"Dan, just let it go," she said. "We're here and we're safe. Why don't we all just sit down, enjoy a great meal celebrating our friends' marriage, and you hand me my baby?"

Tigranian grumbled as he lifted Max out of the carrier and handed him to Annabeth.

"Guten Morgen, kleiner Mann," she said bouncing him up and down. Max looked as tired as his mothers did. "What's wrong?" she asked Tigranian. "Did he have trouble sleeping?"

Tigranian tried to look innocent.

"A little," he said feigning ignorance of their all night Battlecruiser Vengeance marathon. "Probably because his moms were gone."

"I know, Little Guy," Alex said leaning over and kissing his forehead. "Don't worry, we're back now."

Internally, Tigranian let himself exhale. Katan must have sensed his discomfort because the doctor held back a chuckle. Tigranian cast a bit of side eye in his direction while simultaneously thanking Kahless that Annabeth and Alex couldn't read minds.

"Can I just say something?" Crestia suddenly spoke up. Everyone turned to her a bit surprised. "Last night was one of the craziest of my life. There were definitely moments where I was concerned," she laughed as she shook her head. "But for the first time in my life I wasn't afraid. Not even a little. It's because I knew I was with a group of people who could face anything and push through.

Two years ago, I wasn't a person. I was just someone's object and that's all I was ever going to be." Slowly she looked around the table to look into everyone's eyes. "Then, you all miraculously fell out of the sky and everything changed. I'm not sure if some higher force brought the people here together, or if it's just serendipitous fate. Either way, I know there's nothing we can't accomplish together. Thank you for making me part of your family."

No one knew what to say. Finally, Katie stood up and walked over to Crestia.

"No," she said shaking her head. "Thank you for being part of ours."

She wrapped her arms around the little Elohsian as the others clapped their hands and banged on the table. As Katie returned to her seat next to Phil, Tigranian looked down the table. He had seen this view few hundreds of times during staff meetings, but somehow this moment was different. Everyone was together, everyone was relaxed, and everyone was only here to celebrate something joyful.

"Ladies and Gentlemen," he said. "It's rare in our profession that we ever have a perfect moment: a day when we're not worrying about a cataclysmic natural disaster, a brutal alien invasion, or some virulent space plague. However, today we've come together just to celebrate love, not just the love of two of our dearest friends, but the love we all have for each other.

It's a privilege flying with each and every one of you," Tigranian reached down to the table and lifted a mug of coffee. "To our future…together."

Everyone else lifted their glasses and echoed:

"To our future!"
Chapter 7 by captaintigranian
Pomparath Nebula: Romulan Star Empire

Four missiles flew from the surface of the asteroid and streaked into the nearest Romulan warbird. The warship exploded in a massive fireball that was soon consumed by the micro-singularity inside its warp core. Its two companions evaded the explosion and continued raining disruptor blasts and plasma torpedoes down on the rebel base.

Inside the council chamber turned command post, Rellas, Onorok, and Lucretia stared at a computer screen. Tulan and Grisgok stood a few meters away nervously gripping their weapons. The giant space rock quivered and shook with the enemy bombardment. Dust and debris poured down from the ceiling.

"The first warbird is destroyed!" Onorok said triumphantly. A cheer erupted throughout the asteroid as hundreds of people continued to make their way to evacuation stations with only what they could carry. "But that was the last of our missiles," Onorok continued. "We only have two disruptor batteries left and they're about to burn out."

"It's going to be at least ten more minutes until the escape shuttles are ready to launch," Lucretia said examining the reports from her assistants, "but they won't get very far with those Romulans hanging over our heads. They'll be picked off like drossflies!"

"We have to risk it!" Onorok replied. "Who knows how many more Romulan ships are on their way?"

"They have no shields!" Rellas reminded them. "The starboard warbird is showing fluctuations in their main power grid. Concentrate all our remaining batteries on that ship."

Onorok made the adjustments. Out in space, two massive green beams punched into one of the enemy vessels. Explosions racked its superstructure.

"Our power couplings are overloaded," Onorok said baring his sharp teeth. "We only have one or two more shots before we're defenseless."

Rellas shut his eyes.

"Fire again," he said quietly. "It's all we can do."

Onorok complied. The asteroid's disruptors found their mark and a second warbird disappeared into a cloud of debris.

"That's it," Onorok said shaking his head. "Our weapons are gone."

The last remaining enemy ship was alone, but not defeated. It continued mercilessly pounding the asteroid. Alarms sounded across the chambers as side passages and rooms began to collapse.

"How many Romulans are on a D'deridex?" Lucretia asked, almost afraid to know the answer.

"Over 1500," Rellas replied.

"Even with one ship they still outnumber us almost two to one," she said dejectedly.

"We still have one chance," Rellas said with resolve. "They can't beam in through our disruption fields, but we can beam out."

"You're not suggesting we board them?" Onorok said totally surprised.

"That's exactly what I'm suggesting," Rellas said.

"It's suicide!" Lucretia exclaimed.

"No," Rellas said shaking his head. "It's a sacrifice so others may live." He turned to Lucretia. "You'll take the woman, children, and elderly in the escape shuttles. Tulan, Grisgok, go with them. They'll need protection. The future of the Soldiers of Akarath will be in your hands."

The two men silently nodded. They realized exactly what their leader was saying.

Rellas then turned to Onorok. "We must distract the Romulans long enough for the shuttles to disappear into the nebula."

Onorok nodded. For a few moments, no one spoke. The sound of the bombardment continued, shattering everyone's thoughts with shockwaves and explosions.

Finally, Rellas chuckled.

"You know," he said smiling at Onorok. "I've always wanted to see what the inside of a Romulan warship actually looks like."

Onorok smiled back at him before looking into Rellas' yellow eyes.

"Too bad it won't be today…"

Onorok pulled out a hypospray and injected Rellas' neck. The Gralluscan's legs collapsed beneath him and the world started to spin.

"What are you doing!?" Rellas said fighting to stay conscious. Onorok grabbed him and stared him in the face.

"I raised you from the time you were a boy to survive in the arena," Onorok said, "but you've accomplished so much more. I took your name and your humanity for those green-blooded devils, but with your strength, you have restored both your honor and mine. You are the closest thing I have to a son…" Onorok said as tears streamed from his dark face. "You are also our leader. You are the symbol of our struggle. You are the faith of millions still in bondage and you must survive!" Onorok screamed. "Take him!" he said to Tulan and Grisgok. They ran over and lifted Rellas into their arms.

"Damn you to Gre'thor, Old Man!" Rellas screamed as Tulan, Grisgok, and Lucretia dragged him towards the shuttle bay.

"Qapla', Son of the Western Stars…" Onorok muttered as he found himself alone.

****

Inside the cavernous engineering deck of the D'deridex, a team of Romulan engineers worked furiously. A Romulan sub-commander barked orders at his crew.

"The captain wants twenty-percent more power to the disruptors!"

"Sir," a younger officer said back to him desperately. "The converters are already ten percent over maximum. We could rupture the plasma conduits."

"We don't have choice," he shouted back. "We have to punch through that asteroid before the slaves have a chance to escape. This ends today!"

Ten transporter signatures suddenly appeared on the far end of the compartment. The engineers spun around in total bewilderment as Onorok and nine other rebels stared back at them. After a few seconds of total confusion, the lead engineer cursed and drew the disruptor pistol from his belt. The other startled Romulans did the same.

"Engineering to bridge!" the sub-commander screamed into his communicator. "We've been boarded!"

"I know! the warbird captain screamed back. "Rebel slaves are appearing all over the ship! They are contained, but I don't know how long till reinforcements reach you."

Onorok and his companions continued to stare at the Romulans in total silence.

"Slaves!" the sub-commander said stepping forward. "If you lay down your weapons, I promise that your deaths will be quick and painless."

Onorok scoffed. Slowly, he removed the leather armor from his torso. He began to speak:

My father raises his hand to me.

My mother opens her arms…

The other Soldiers of Akarath began to join him in the Klingon death prayer.

I see my family together, generations standing as one.

They beckon me to cross the River of Blood!

They rebels were all shouting together. The Romulans began to step backward with fear.

"What are you saying?" the sub-commander yelled back at them. "Shut up!"

To the gates of Sto'Vo'Kor'!

"Be silent, Slaves!" the sub-commander shrieked. "I said shut up!"

"Where the honored dead will live again…" Onorok whispered as he drew his sword. In a flash, he pulled a dagger from his belt and heaved it into the sub-commander's chest. The Romulan spat out green blood before dropping dead to deck. The rebels howled loud enough to shake the entire compartment as they charged forward at the surviving Romulans. Most of the engineers panicked and began firing their disruptors wildly in every direction. The rebels dodged their fire before attacking the Romulans with their blades.

Onorok had his eye on one objective. He charged forwards towards the warp core, cutting down every pointed-ear that stood in his way. Soon, the massive reactor with its artificial singularity loomed directly in front of him.

A Romulan cowering behind the warp core jumped out and fired his disruptor right at Onorok. A green blast tore through the old gladiator's shoulder, taking most of the flesh with it. He cried out with pain, but managed to shove his blade through his attacker's chest.

Onorok chuckled as he felt the life draining out of him. Looking around, he marveled at the cavernous space where he would finally meet his end. It actually reminded him of the arena. In his ears, Onorok swore he could once again here the cheering of the crowds.

"Jolan Tru!" he said mocking the traditional gladiatorial salute. "Glory to the Senate and People of Romulus!"

He reached to his belt and pulled out a plasma grenade. With a final gleam of his sharpened teeth, he pushed the detonator as he collapsed onto the warbird's warp core.

****

The dozen escape shuttles poured out of the asteroid. Immediately they scattered into the nebula hoping desperately to avoid withering fire hurled from the D'deridex. However, no weapons fire greeted their escape.

Lucretia grasped Rellas tightly to her chest as the Gralluscan still fought through the haze of Onorok's hypospray. With his remaining strength, he turned to look out the side viewport of the shuttle just in time to see the entire green monstrosity blow apart in a massive flash. Though they were now free to make their escape, the survivors were completely alone in the heavens with no safe harbor or refuge.

"What do we do now?" Tulan asked shaking his head. Grisgok was silent.

"I don't know…" Lucretia muttered. "It's all gone."

"We keep fighting," Rellas replied as his eyes grew heavier. "We keep fighting…" He finally lapsed into unconsciousness.
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