Tributes and Honour
Stardate: sometime in the current era, Qo'Nos...
"Is We's nought subjects o' th' Empire? Hath our tributes not arrived to thee on time and in full, o'er near a Full Century of years? Di' we not choose t' remain Subjects o' th' Empire through'at th' times of alliance w' th' Federation-species similar'ty or nae?" a Grieving father stood before the High Council, "Aye, we hath been Good Imperial subjects, so now I stand here, and ask what any good subject would ask o' his Lords-Mine World is under siege, and where is our garrison? Where art thine warriors whilst mine people are hunted by these pirates-loyal subjects t' th' Empire be dying and worse, and thine high commanders hath said 'tis na' a Priority t' defend one back'ards planet fro' enemies what walks through walls and..."
"Enough-go back, 'walks through walls'?" the Chancellor asked avidly, leaning forward. Outside the chamber, repair crews were working still, to clear the rubble of the Fel'Khri's re-emergence and assault on the Klingon Homeworld.
"Aye, Y're Lordship." the man before him said, "They hath ta'en the children."
"Tell me...wait," Chancellor J'mpok gestured to a waiting Staff officer, "Tell Tah'rog here, exactly what you think happened, step by step, as clearly as...as clearly as you can manage...in an interview room."
"Which House holds that world?" J'Mpok demanded softly.
"None, the world is listed as one of the Emperor's private holds-none of the Great Houses wanted it." J'ras of House J'ras said, "Honestly it is a fairly poor holding-Habitable, but mineral poor in a system on the back end of the empire, and inhabited by...those people."
"You can Say 'Humans' without your tongue rotting out." General K'ogh snarled, "They ought to be the Federation's problem, but they are not-we could deport the entire population and nobody would care."
"except that that world has been part of the Empire, as the man said, for more than a century-and they have always been prompt and complete with their tributes-poor as those tributes are." J'thon of House Thuron, the nearest thing to an economic advisor on the council, stated. "and never been ANY kind of problem before-their current governor is whiling his life away-or was, prior to this incident, in minor disgrace. The posting is one step up from guarding Ru'ra Penthe."
"Now, something has slaughtered that garrison and is stealing children." J'mpok interrupted, "From a world that, like it or not, belongs to the EMPIRE...which makes it a problem we MUST address."
frowns and glowering flowed around the room-it was a problem none of the Great Houses saw any glory in dealing with, but none wanted to be the one to suggest it be ignored.
"Find someone-someone competent, preferably someone whom we can spare from the front lines, to deal with this...someone expendable." J'Mpok stated, "Someone whom has seen the Fel'Khri."
That drew looks from all around.
"Why not? There has to be a reason that that world, in particular, was originally ceded to the Emperor's holdings, and the Fel'Khri have re-emerged. I do not find this coincidental, but I also agree, that such a poor world with such...noisome inhabitants, is a relatively low priority." The Chancellor said, "Unless it becomes a higher priority-for instance, if it IS the Fel'Khri, or the Iconians, or some other power on the rise or on the return."
Gonalda Station, Medical wing, three days later...
"...suppressants have side effects, Colonel D'Moj. In your case, you are also building up a tolerance to their intended effect-You need to be off the suppressors to heal properly." The CMO of the IKS ***'lhr was the daughter of a Maquis who did not take the Amnesty from the Federation at the end of the Dominion war-Mary Moriarty had been raised in the Klingon empire, and was an expert in Orion physiology-two things that made her the ideal choice to keep her CO alive and healthy.
"I need to be able to count on my crew to keep their brains." Colonel D'Moj growled from the recovery bed, "Pheremones make people stupid, I can't afford that."
"We are on a stand-down, Colonel, you can afford to give your body time to recover." Mary insisted, "The crew do not think less of you for this... some of the Klingons think your tryst with General Krogh'nuus was actually a good idea, injuries and all-we've moved up in the supply chain because of it."
"we got moved off the Deferi front." D'Moj reminded her, "I don't think Thal'lyr is actually competent enough to hold what we gained for him."
"Someone else's problem." Commander Talash was a Gorn, unaffected by Orion Pheremones, aggressive, and occasionally even rude, as he stepped into the medbay. "Colonel, we have orders."
D'Moj sighed, "Thank the Prophets, and God, and Kahless and Luck." she said, "I'm mobile." she squeezed out from under the regen lock. "What front? where are we going?"
"I do not know, the orders are sealed, Chancelor's business seals-eyes only." Talash said.
"Last time we had one of those..." Mary mused, "We ended up part of a raiding operation on Utopia Planetia."
"Good times." D'Moj said with a pixie grin, "Gimme."
She took the dat. chit and slipped it into her PADD, then started swearing. "all the (censored) in the (censored-censored-censored)!!!"
"What is it?" Mary asked.
"Croatoan." D'Moj growled, "Second worst thing for a career in the KDF-right behind babysitting prisoners on Rura-Penthe!!"
The human medic looked over at Talash, questioningly.
"Croatoan is a Klingon world populated by Humans-the humans in question have no records of when it was colonized, the Federation never asked about it, and it is reputed to be very quiet there." Talash said, "Which is career suicide for a Tactical Officer in the Regulars."
"Oh...well, quiet is good then. The Colonel needs to heal."
Good writing. Looking forward to the next chapter.
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