PRIME DIRECTIVE: Space may be the final frontier, but I'll never get there by any monies derived from this as Harry Potter and all properties of such are owned by the Dark Lady JKR. All content, characters related to Star Trek are owned by Paramount Pictures, Inc....except maybe some of that stuff that ended up being used in Starfleet Battles which is owned by the Amarillo Design Bureau who used much of their content via the Starfleet Technical Manual by Franz Joseph Schnaubelt and published by Ballantine Books.
CHAPTER THIRTY – PROPHECY – PART ONE
(Episode: ST: VOY Prophecy and elements of Tinker, Tenor, Doctor Spy)
(References: ST:TNG The Battle and ST III:TSFS)
(References: Star Fleet Battles alternate historical timeline and races)
PITHY STATEMENT RELATING TO THIS CHAPTER: "Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so you shall become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil." – James Lane Allen – American novelist and noted "local color era" writer for his works revolving around capturing the vernacular of his native Kentucky – 1849 – 1925
LAST UPDATED ON: 05-12-2021
Commodore's Personal Log Star Date 51779.2. It's been six weeks since the botched stealth assimilation by the Borg using Seven as a bio-weapon. While Seven was only just released two weeks ago, the concern continues to be waiting for the Borg to respond. However, we have seen only very distant Borg activity at the very edge of the Astrometric sensors and that was from small probes.
Even so, the crew has become very motivated to take Captain Potter's modified nanite treatment. So much so that Specialist Telfer had plenty of opportunities to see the process in action before allowing himself to be injected. So in a small way, this incident has been a good thing.
Less so for me. If anything, I feel like I somehow picked up Telfer's hypochondria. I'm hyper-sensitive about my body and my dreams are troubled. Borg nightmares dominate but sometimes I think the erotic ones regarding Harry Potter are the worse. It would be easy to blame the spell he used on me but the truth is I was in full control the minute the Borg Queen cut the connection. I was just enjoying myself too much to stop. It is sadly ironic in that Harry berated me on the fact that 24th Century humans feel like we've come so far compared to the dark days of the 21st Century. Yet, in the case of sex, a lot of old hang-ups are still there. Seven was right; I've got so much responsibility in uniform that I find myself giving it all up in bed…and I feel shame over it.
Worse is how innocuous and normal it is but such feelings are hard to break. I'm ashamed to admit how much I wouldn't mind Harry dominating me again as he did six weeks ago. I find myself worried that somehow Chakotay will find out and lose respect in me. Stupid, I know. Chakotay is probably one of the most understanding men I've ever had the good fortune to meet, let alone serve with.
Still, old hang-ups are insidious. I find myself hesitating over going to see Dr. Sokolov due to worries of rumors even though I know the protocols to keep such rumors from happening have been effective for over a century.
Perhaps I will bring it up when I go and talk to the Doctor today. I've been feeling off the last few duty shifts and for once, I think this is not some phantom pain or hold-over from the assimilation. I certainly can't, in good conscience, take someone like Telfer to task when I won't follow the rules I'm supposed to enforce. I vowed, after that first, awful training cruise back at the Academy, never to be the sort of captain who thinks the rules don't apply to them. I know I haven't made good on that vow many times here in the Delta Quadrant. Now, as Commodore, I need to do better.
SICK BAY, USS VOYAGER, , SECTOR 322, DELTA QUADRANT – STAR DATE 51779.5
Harry walked into Sick Bay and was hit with a sense of déjà vu when he saw Janeway sitting on one of the tables with the Doctor and Dr. Muroc attending her. B'Elanna was sitting off to the side in a non-duty outfit which implied she was probably waiting to be screened to check on the unborn twins.
This feeling was made more when Janeway glared at him, "You knocked me up!"
"You bastard!" B'Elanna quipped from where she sat.
Harry blinked at this before smirking, "Well…at least I didn't kill Kenny!"
The looks of confusion made Harry laugh and raised his hands in surrender, "Sorry. That joke would have been a riot back in my time." He looked over to where Janeway was still glowering at him, "As for you, well it's probably for the best. You always struck me as the type of person who would wait for 'the right time' to have kids so they'd be properly prepared to become a parent. Too bad people who do so miss a central truth of the universe."
One of Janeway's eyebrows went up in a way which reminded Harry strongly of Seven. Obviously, the lessons between the two were going both ways, "And what truth would that be?"
Harry grinned, "The truth is that nobody is ever truly prepared to have kids. Nope, you just have to grit your teeth and hang on for dear life." Harry paused and his face became serious. "All jokes aside, is this really so bad? I doubt if any potential suitor of yours would care."
B'Elanna coughed into her hand which sounded suspiciously like Chakotay. Janeway glared at her before turning back to Harry, "No…no I guess it's just the shock talking. Still, I guess I had hoped any child of mine would have been conceived through a nice, romantic interlude."
Harry couldn't help but pretend to look shocked, "What? Are you saying having sex without your consent while being under the influence of a spell on top of being possessed by the Borg Queen isn't romantic?! My dear commodore, your high standards are obviously impossible to meet!"
Dr. Muroc raised an eyebrow in a way both Tuvok and Sohn did to show admiration of something humorous even as B'Elanna broke out into laughter while the Doctor tried desperately to keep his face impassive. Janeway, however, just glared a bit before she too chuckled. "Well I think I might wait to tell the child exactly the circumstances of their birth till they are a bit older…like Starfleet retirement age perhaps."
"About that…" the Doctor said with an oddly embarrassed tone. "Like Commander Torres, you're having twins."
While Janeway looked shocked, Harry looked at Dr. Muroc, "I find that to be a tad bit too coincidental."
Dr. Muroc nodded, "I agree. I believe this is another case where your magic is acting with intent. In this case, given your experience with the so-called Baby Factory where the natural births were all artificially twin births, I believe something similar is happening. I would give it good odds that the twins will be fraternal boy and girl like is the case with Commander Torres."
Harry rubbed his chin, "Huh…I guess that makes sense. While the genetic diversity will be close, the different genders allows for different options. Magic truly is amazing in picking up on such things. If anything, with family magicks being involved, I would have thought I'd be throwing boys. Still, I learned back in the day that like normal humans, even magical males were prey to diseases and conditions witches were less prone to. So even with family magicks pushing for male heirs, it just meant a lot of miscarriages. Which explained why most years back in Hogwarts had more girls than boys."
Janeway looked thoughtful, "What are the chances you passed on your magical genes?"
Harry shrugged, "The chances depend more on you, Kathryn. The amount of potential Squib DNA is the major factor. Given your ancestors were American could work for you. America was an oddity in that respect. The melting pot affect seemed to work for and against Muggleborns being born. You'd get these weird pockets with high concentrations as well as vast areas were Muggleborns were rare. That your family has Welsh roots might help as mine does as well. Sometimes it seems it can be a matter of like calls to like."
B'Elanna chuckled, "I think your kids will have more issues with being the Commodore's kids over any magical powers they may or might not have."
Janeway smiled in a wry way, "That and who their father is." She looked to the Doctor, "So, how long do I have till I have to go off duty?"
The Doctor shrugged, "Much of that is up to you, Commodore. Obviously, you won't be going on any away-missions. Your pregnancy shouldn't affect duties much unless you don't wish your pregnancy to be an issue being seen on say some form of diplomatic mission. Beyond that, much of that is up to you. Your general level of work will need to come down as the months go by. Even sitting at a desk is work and creates stressors for the unborn."
Janeway sighed, "Yes, I know. Even Seven says I work too much. I guess this is the universe's way of telling me to slow down. I will have to adapt if only for the babies."
"And all it took was some forced sex while possessed by the Borg Queen and an unintended pregnancy!" Harry quipped softly. B'Elanna coughed into her fist to cover up the laugh.
Phlox's avatar hovered among the various data streams. He had to be careful. The longer the Federation Fleet had access to the tactical Cube, the sharper their computer protocols seem to become. Worse were the damnable Cyber-Druoda! Their reactions were so fast and Phlox had almost been caught twice now. But he wasn't one of the Hierarchy's best stalkers for no reason. He wouldn't end up like Pylos who had his brain destroyed in the process of avoiding detection from those blasted AI's. Luckily, the Federation's brush with the odd assimilation event had worked out well for Phlox and his comrades. Even though the Starfleet types had gone through their systems with a fine-toothed comb, all the effort made enough 'noise' to help mask their attempts at intrusion.
However, Phlox found himself often despairing that he'd ever get a break in this mission. Even though they were just the hired help in this case, the Hierarchy was adamant this mission must succeed. Too much energy and prestige had been lost to the Federation Fleet. Helping the Devore renegades get their revenge was a low cost way for the Hierarchy to gain back some of their previous notoriety. Even so, the elders as well as the Devore themselves were getting impatient. Phlox and the others were under tremendous pressure to crack the Federation's system and so far, nothing had broken their way.
An icon flared to life and without thought Phlox dove into the data stream which opened for a mere fraction of a second. Maybe this would be the day he gained access to the main system and cracked the Federation's secrets!
COCKPIT, AMELIA EARHART, SECTOR 322, DELTA QUADRANT – STAR DATE 51785.6
"How we looking, Damir?" V'Lana asked without looking up from the PADD she'd been reading. So far the trade mission had been routine so she'd turned to a famous Romulan epic which turned out to be a lot more mundane than she'd expected. In fact, her old friend Demora Sulu would probably have likened it to a prettied up, trashy romance novel.
V'Lana couldn't help but let out a sigh. One curse of never forgetting, was how many good memories were still fresh even though they applied to those no longer alive. The memory of her friend's devious smile was so vivid, V'Lana felt that she should be able to call her old friend up and invite her and the rest of the old gang for a raucous night on the town.
The old gang.
V'Lana wondered if the eventual children of various officers would come together like her generation had. Would B'Elanna's kids team up with the those of Janeway, Potter, Tuvok and Paris? Would her own kids be the leader or perhaps Naomi Wildman would claim the place V'Lana had held? What sort of adventures and mayhem might they get into?
She thought back to those old friends. Prim and proper Livia Kirk; so different from her famous father. Demora Sulu, always ready to break away from the model of the dutiful daughter even as she could fake it when needed. James Scott, so quiet but not one to piss off in a dark alley. Suave and handsome Barak Uhura who could charm a Ferengi into giving a discount. Rachel Chapel, ever the prankster but wouldn't blink even elbow deep in blood. Then poor, melancholic Malcom McCoy who seemed to enjoy being miserable yet never gave up the chance to help others.
"Captain?" Damir's voice broke into her reverie.
V'Lana blinked and swiveled her chair towards the ops station, "Sorry. Perils of a long life and a perfect memory. What have we got?" They were doing the initial, investigation of a system that Seeker had found as part of the last scouting mission. The plan was for the Fleet to come in and gather supplies. They system in question had been on the way back from where the Earhart had traveled too to buy much needed components and some refined dilithium crystals.
Damir shrugged, "Not a lot. However, I'm starting to gets some anomalous readings from the sixth planet's second moon among the debris field."
V'Lana turned her chair back to look at one of the images projected on the viewport in front of Yin. She scowled, "Well let's check this out. If I were going to hide in this system, the ejecta from whatever hit that moon would be a good place to start."
Tom swiveled his own chair, "You sure about that, skipper? I'm all for the thrill of exploring but the cargo we're carrying is more important. That and you could hide a pretty big ship or ships in that field. Might be better to call in the Equinox if it needs to be swept."
V'Lana laughed, "Where's your sense of adventure, Tom?"
"I think it got left back on Tartarus," Tom said in a flat tone.
V'Lana stopped laughing and nodded at Tom's unspoken message of there being a time and place to take risks. "Good point. However, let's get a few more scans in before heading out. You're right, though. Let the Equinox do the heavy lifting before the Fleet comes in to start gathering supplies. Certainly wouldn't want the Jules Verne to get pirated on its maiden voyage."
The Verne was the Fleet's newest ship even though its main section of it was scarcely larger than the Earhart and only needed a crew of three. It had been adapted from one of the ships they had bought from Abaddon and modified it to haul cargo pods. It's main function, however, was that it had a gas scoop. The Verne could scoop up gas or ice from gas giants and their rings and then transport this back to the Kelionininkas for processing. Of course it could also use drilling phasers to break up asteroids and other bodies for raw ore as well although the Fleet Council was looking into a future, much larger ship to carry out that function.
Alarms suddenly blared throughout the Flyer. Shreen cursed from her science station, her blue face suddenly tense, "By the Seven Hells! A ship just appeared, bearing two, four, seven mark eighteen. I think they did the Picard Maneuver!"
"Evasive maneuvers, Tom!" V'Lana called as she hit the button to cause the restraining straps built into her chair to engage.
"Aye!" Tom called out as he threw the Earhart into a wild roll.
A blast of energy flashed by the viewport. It was obvious they had only just manage to avoid whoever was firing on them. "Can we identify our party-crashers?" V'Lana asked even as she brought up her tactical display onto the screen built into her chair.
"You're not going to believe it, skipper, but it looks like a Kt'QIH battlecruiser of all things!" Damir said, astonishment evident in his clipped tones.
V'Lana's eyebrows jumped towards her hair-line, "What the hell is an old Klingon cruiser doing out here? Are there any ships left in the Alpha Quadrant or are they all out here now?"
"Captain, they are jamming us. It will take a bit to compensate to get through to the Fleet," Shreen called out.
"Do what you can, Shreen," V'Lana said before hitting the intercom to the aft compartment, "Pax, is our cargo still secure?"
"Zorn and I are on top of it, captain!" The Orion's voice was calm. Then again both he and Zorn had been smugglers and such were used to being shot while under high-speed maneuvers.
She looked at the tactical display. While she hadn't had to look at the specs for the old D-7 battlecruiser for decades, she remembered enough to know the ship wasn't moving as nimbly as it should be able to. It was probable the age of the ship was catching up to it.
"Tom, I think she's a tired old gal but she still has too much punch for my tastes. I'm betting we could mess that ship up badly but I'd rather not let it come to that. I think our best bet is to give Shreen time to send out a SOS and then let ourselves be captured. Shreen, estimated time till you can break through the jamming?"
"Give me a minute, captain. Just setting up the metaphasic pulse now. It'll break through their jamming easy enough. With their clunky sensors, I doubt they'll even know we sent it." Shreen said with confidence.
V'Lana's face broke into a satisfied smile, "You heard her Tom. Do your magic till we can send out the signal. If anything, see if you can maneuver us towards the outer moon. Let them think they're cornering us against it. Not sure if their sensors are good enough to realize how much of a threat we actually could be," V'Lana ordered. "As you said, better to let the Equinox deal with this."
The crew lapsed into silence as they bent to their tasks. Tom continued to keep the ship from taking fire even as he moved the ship along the path Yin plotted to get them to the outer moon. While they had avoided the Klingon phasers, they had taken two disruptor bolt hits. Luckily, the D-7's main weapons were from a time when V'Lana's father had still been on the Enterprise while the Earhart's shield were state-of-the-art and then some due to Borg enhancements.
Shreen finally called out, "Message sent, captain!"
"Tom! We need to start acting wounded. Soon as we get hit again, let's make it look like were more damaged than we are. Let's make it convincing, people!" V'Lana ordered.
Seconds later the Earhart rocked while bracketed by phaser fire. The gravity alert alarm went off as Tom cut the artificial gravity off on a delay and let the Earhart go into an uncontrolled spin. At the same time, Damir cut engine power by 2/3rds causing the ship to be plunged into the emergency red lighting.
"Captain, they're finally hailing us," Shreen said.
"It's about time. Frakkin' Klingons!" V'Lana groused. She'd long noticed that far too often Klingons ended up killing people they were trying to capture. The lost crew of the USS Grissom was testament to that. "Let's hear it."
"Alien vessel! You are now our property. Any resistance will result in your execution. Prepare to be brought onboard."
Tom looked over his shoulder with a bemused expression, "Wow! Their sensors must be trashed if they can't figure out we're a Federation ship!"
V'Lana made an airy gesture, "In their defense, the Earhart is an advanced ship even by the current Federation standards and we didn't put a lot of the normal Starfleet logos and the like on it. Whatever the reason, I'll take it."
There was a bump and a feeling of motion, "They have us in a tractor beam, captain," Damir intoned.
V'Lana hit the intercom button, 'Pax, Zorn, get in here." When the other two crew-members arrived, she stood, "Here's what we're going to do. Right before they tractor the Earhart into the shuttle bay, we're going to abandon ship. If they do what pretty much every race I've ever encountered does, they'll cut the tractor beam right before the bay and let inertia bring the ship in before the bay grapplers grab the ship. That and the proximity to the ship hull will keep their sensors from seeing us leave."
Pax frowned, "We don't have enough suits for everyone. Who will stay behind?"
V'Lana smiled evilly, "We're not going to use the suits. They'd be too easily detected. No, we'll be letting our uniforms do their job. There are maintenance hatches to the left and right of the shuttle-bay doors of all the bigger Klingons ships. With their outdated tech, it'll be easy to override their security and once inside, I think we can either hide out till help shows up or cause our own brand of chaos."
Tom looked sour, "Ugh, do we really have to rely on the Xenylon? It doesn't have the best track record, you know."
V'Lana laughed, "Don't worry, Tom. If things go wrong we can still signal for help. But that's not going to be necessary. We'll be leaving the ship about 30 meters from the hatches. It'll be a snap. I've done it before so trust me."
Tom's face didn't change, "That doesn't make me feel any better about it. It's like jumping into space in your pajamas."
V'Lana turned her gaze to the rest of the crew after a quick check at the tactical display. "Okay team, everyone grab a small personal weapon and a good combat knife. We'll need a few charges and any specialized equipment you think will help us hack the cruiser. We've got about 3 minutes people so let's move!"
After a flurry of activity, V'Lana gathered her crew by the aft hatch. Even though she was confident in her plan, she did acknowledge using the emergency function of their uniforms was a bit of a risk. However, the technology was old enough that her father had used it. Of course, the function V'Lana was counting on had only been in use for the last 50 years but so far had proven its worth.
Space was deadly and too often disaster didn't give you the luxury to get into an environmental suit. So the answer was to somehow be in one before disaster struck. That's where the biological properties of Xenylon came into play. What started as an algae-based fabric that allowed uniforms to be 'grown' for use in deep-space missions, had steadily became filled with more and more functions.
V'Lana knew many non-Federation races had commented on how Starfleet personnel wore their uniforms almost religiously, sometimes even in bed. What few knew was the current uniforms (even the ones in use in the Fleet which mimicked Romulan or Klingon uniforms) were almost symbiotic organisms. The uniforms absorbed dead skin, sweat and the ship's constant light to help maintain the wearer's body temperature. If the wearer were injured, it would help seal the wound. For their purposes, it was rarely used emergency function that she was interested in. The uniform had a level of oxygen stored throughout the suit. If the wearer were suddenly exposed to space, the entire uniform would act to stabilize the pressure. Other chemicals would ignite to help keep the body warm in the cold of space. A hood would erupt out of the collar and cover the head even as the same would happen around the hands. The uniforms had been tweaked over the years so they would work when exposed to harmful gasses. So many people who would have died in the past due to gasses released to accidents or battle-damage now escaped with barely a brush with such deadly agents.
In their case, since they knew they were going into space, everyone was wearing gloves that had already merged with the uniform and they all had a breathing apparatus with the attached goggles. This would allow V'Lana and her team more mobility given under normal circumstances, the uniform's function was simply to keep the wearer alive in space for as long as possible until they could be rescued. Mobility was sacrificed to achieve this.
"Has everyone confirmed their emergency beacons are disabled?" V'Lana ordered as she sent the order to her own uniform via her tricoder.
A chorus of aye's answered her. An alarm went off and V'Lana reached out to the hatch controls, "Activate your suits!" She ordered. While it was hardly used, the uniform's emergency function could be activated early. Generally this was used when a ship had no workable suits and some form of EVA was needed.
The hood burst out of her collar and enveloped her head. She was gratified that it didn't hinder visibility that much. When all her crew gave her the thumbs up, she depressurized the compartment and opened the hatch. Everyone was already tethered up and had hand-held thrusters. She could feel her uniform swell and warm up. Everyone tensed as the hatch opened. There was a moment of waiting before there was a general bump as the previous thrum of the tractor beam cut off.
V'Lana gave a hand signal and the crew all pushed off at once. The Earhart kept moving toward the open shuttle-bay. Now out in space, they all felt like ants compared to the Klingon ship. Even if the ship was smaller than the Equinox.
V'Lana quickly oriented and pointed towards the port maintenance hatch. She then signaled for everyone to use their thrusters to slow themselves down. The key would be to remain hidden by the Earhart. The biggest unknown was whether or not the Klingons would keep the hatch completely open until the Earhart had touched down or would start to close it before the ship fully cleared the door. V'Lana knew the latter was more likely given it would allow the Klingons to leave the area faster.
Her suspicions proved correct to the point where she worried the Earhart's stern might get clipped by the closing doors. The old D-7's lacked the energy field used by modern ships as a backstop to the actual bulkhead doors.
As soon as the doors shut (oddly silent in space regardless of their bulk) V'Lana signaled and the team all used their thrusters to give them a small boost towards the hatch. While they had plenty of time left, V'Lana wanted to get onboard as quickly as possible. In short order, they were hovering next to the maintenance hatch where Shreen quickly began to work on an override. Again, the difference in tech worked in their favor and the door opened quickly and without any alarms.
Even better was it wasn't a simple, utility airlock but a space large enough to field a work skiff or multiple crew-members in suits. More than enough room for them all to enter and pressurized the door.
The team quickly began the process of purging their uniforms. Soon the floor was covered with an oily slick. Worse, now their uniforms felt sticky and hung poorly off them. V'Lana knew they had to be careful given they now had no emergency protection from depressurization.
After everyone finished, V'Lana began to scan the ship's system's with her tricorder while other's did likewise. Finally V'Lana spoke up, "Well it's obvious to me we could probably stay here undetected but I'd rather not chance it if the Klingons decide to try and fight whoever comes to our rescue."
Shreen looked up from her tricorder, "Captain, their computer security is really bad. It's obvious this ship hasn't had the luxury of the type of TLC we got back at the Pit-Stop. I can pretty much get the computer to do whatever we need within reason."
Tom checked his phaser, "Can we manage a site-to-site transport to the bridge? For all the Klingons warrior culture, you stick a phaser into the faces of the senior staff and I'm betting the rest of the crew won't just cut their losses and attack."
V'Lana nodded, "Agreed. It's obvious these people have been traveling for some time. I'm sure they are a lot more risk adverse than those back in the Alpha Quadrant." She turned to Shreen, "Think you can pull that off?"
Shreen checked her tricorder and filled with it for a bit before nodding. "I can. Huh…in fact, things are such that the bridge is actually an easier target than main engineering. That's a bit suspicious."
Pax shook his head, "Not necessarily. These old Klingon ships had a lot of non-Klingon sepoy crews. Most of those weren't happy to be there. So there are security stations throughout the ship to help keep order and prevent a mutiny. If this ship has been traveling for as long as it might, well it seems like they may all be Klingons or non-Klingons who want to be onboard. If so, I can see them letting the protocols around the bridge lapse a bit."
Zorn nodded, 'Besides, without the proper codes, taking the bridge isn't as useful as taking over main engineering."
Pax grinned, "Never did much pirating but it always was gratifying when the captain of your target realized that we'd cut them off and for all their status as captain, they were just along for the ride if we controlled their engines."
Zorn's tusks glinted as he grinned as well, "Ah yes, those could be good times."
Pax's previous comment caused V'Lana to have a ghost of a memory. She shut it down; it wasn't important right now and could wait. "Well if our hosts are going to be so kind as to leave the door open, I say we should use it."
Captain Kohlar sat in his thrown-like command chair and brooded. Something was wrong. He could feel it. His instincts served him and the ship well since he'd been a young boy. It had led him to becoming captain out of all the other potentials. He always felt it was because he had been born on a Starbase and thus spent his formative years in space. One learned to listen to the bulkheads, the constant hum of lights and power. The subtle flow of air from the vents. Being a warrior and good leader was essential, but on this quest, being one with the ship was just as important.
Kohlar scowled to himself as he watched his crew carefully moved the Demonslayer through the debris field to rendezvous back with the Kalday. While being more in-tuned with the ship was one of his strengths, Kohlar felt his faith was his biggest asset. Too often others did not see the signs. Didn't see the omens which were clear to him. Subtle things but ones that showed their long quest to see prophecy through to the end was the right choice. Few ever thought about such omens. Kohlar had. Even as a boy, before their quest had begun, Kohlar had seen the signs of the divine pushing things into place.
It might seem like a small thing, but Kohlar had been struck by the names of the ship the questor's had been able to procure before leaving Klingon space. Out of all the old ships they might obtain, the names of the ships they ended up with were fine omens. The old fleet tug which carried the two community pods was named after Commissar Vadmark Vak Kalday, a hero of the first Federation-Klingon War. He had been a master of stretching supplies and getting food into places no one thought possible. His efforts almost single-handedly kept a sector on the war front from collapsing. What a better name for a ship which would carry the Banished on their long, long journey?
Then there was his own ship. The disease they all carried might as well be a demon tied to their bloodline. The very name of the ship implied the prophecy would come to pass and the demon in their very cells would be slain. All fine omens which too many of his fellows never noticed.
Kohlar sighed. He knew some of the others felt his devotion bordered on fanaticism. Yet it was his faith which had kept the crew in line, especially after the incident which had thrown them from the Theta Sub-Quadrant to deep into the Delta Quadrant. This had caused a crisis of faith given how they had been on the previous course due to the best interpretation of the prophecy and old texts found in the Sacred Scrolls. So far, Kohlar had kept things calm along with the Elder Council to include his predecessor, Captain Krang who now was Chief Elder.
His chair communicator beeped. He jabbed the button, "Report!" He'd been eagerly awaiting the report from his science officer M'Tok regarding the captured ship.
"Captain, now that we have the alien ship in the shuttle-bay we can get a better read on it. While we're still having trouble penetrating whatever the hull is made off, however markings on the ship imply it may be a Federation vessel." M'Tok reported, tension in his voice.
"What? How can this be?" Kohlar cried out.
"Unknown, Captain. However, while it lacks the typical Starfleet identifiers, the design does have elements common to Federations ships. However, the key indicator is there is writing to be found on various parts of the ship to include its name that are all in Federation standard. The name, the Amelia Earhart, is even in our databanks. It refers to a female explorer who doubled as an agent for one of the nation states during Earth's Second World War." M'Tok explained.
Kohlar stroked his beard, "Interesting. That was the one before the Terrans began testing rockets, yes?"
"That is correct, Captain. How or why this ship is here in the Delta Quadrant, I cannot say but it is likely they might have got taken by whatever event that took us. However, the obvious high-level of tech involved worries me. If this over-sized shuttle is such we can't even tell how many are on-board, what might the ship this shuttle presumably is from be like?" M'Tok asked.
Kohlar scowled, "Not your concern, Sogh M'Tok. Continue your work and leave such things to those in command!"
"I comply, M'Tok out," came the chastised reply.
Kohlar's scowl deepened. Every year it became harder to maintain discipline. The ship was becoming rife with mutterings of things being more democratic of all things. Resentment towards the chain of command. He would not have it! They would show the Klingons back in the Empire that disease or not, they were the true Klingons! They were the ones who had kept faith with the old ways. He would not allow his people to become weak like those in the Federation. How the Federation ever managed to defeat the warriors of the Empire with their weak discipline and egalitarian ways just showed how much the rot in the Empire had grown. One day, after the prophecy had been completed and the nehret cured, their descendants would return and reclaim the Empire from the decay and corruption.
Suddenly the light's and all ship system displays flickered. The standard lights went off to be replaced with the red emergency lights. All of the various screens went to static before the system all reset. Before Kohlar could do more than half rise out of his chair, several beings beamed onto the bridge.
One of them, a Romulan by the look of her uniform had a phaser pointed at his chest. With a smirk she said (in Klingon no less!) "Klingon vessel! You are now our property. Any resistance will result in your execution. Surprise! You've been boarded."
His crew all went for their disruptors of knives but the intruders had the drop on them with their phasers and knives already ready. Kohlar barked out, "Stations!" causing his crew to rest back in their seats. Only his second, T'Greth moved to stand to the left behind his chair."
The Romulan woman nodded. This time she spoke in Federation Standard which Kohlar was fluent in and thus didn't need the help of the Universal Translator. "Excellent. You can never tell with you Klingons. Sometimes the lure of Sto-Vo-Kor just overrides your survival instinct. So, I'm V'Lana and I'll be your captor for the day."
"Who are you? How did you get on the bridge," T'Greth hissed from behind him.
Kohlar nodded at this. He wanted answers as well. The intruders were an interesting mix. They all wore a variant of the Romulan Naval uniform even as they all wore a Federation style insignia on their breast. Kohlar recognized an Orion, Tellerite and one of the humanoid males was likely a Elasian due to his size and gold bracers around his wrists and the also golden circlet on his forehead. Beyond the Romulan male, there was a blue-skinned alien Kohlar thought might be a Bolian. As a boy, he'd seen one when he'd accompanied his father on a trade mission along the Klingon-Kzin border. The Bolians homeworld was supposedly on the edge of known space claimed by both the Kzin and Federation.
How had such an odd mix of Alpha Quadrant races come together? Kohlar wondered.
"Well since you asked so politely," V'Lana said with a smirk. "I'm Captain V'Lana Charvanek off the Amelia Earhart. I'm head of special operations answering to our Fleet Council under the command of Commodore Kathryn Janeway on the USS Voyager.
The Klingon (apparently the captain's second in command) looked shocked. "Charvanek! You're the daughter of the Traitor!"
V'Lana scowled and moved her phaser from the captain to his second, "My mother was tricked fair-and-square by my father and Captain Kirk, thank you very much. She was never a traitor to the Imperium. In fact, I'm sure she's still back working to ensure the Imperium's interest are best served while in negotiations with the Federation with my father. Given I'm the one with the phaser, you might want to guard your tongue in regard to my mother. You Klingons aren't the only ones who can be prickly about our family honor."
Zorn chuckled from where he was keeping his phaser on the Klingon manning the engineering station, "Don't give her an excuse to show you how prickly she can be. You really don't want to see what a human temper married up with Vulcan/Romulan strength can do!"
The rest of her crew chuckled at that. V'Lana scowl turned to a smirk till she noticed Kohlar trying to surreptitiously enter some commands into his chair's pad. "Uh, uh, uh, Captain Kohlar, you can't trick a trickster. Besides, that won't work. Trying to separate the boom from the rest of the ship was the first thing Damir thought you might try if we took the bridge. Unlucky for you our resident Elasian has sort of a hobby regarding old ships and from our perspective, your ship is very old indeed. That and your files were like an open book to our tricorders."
Kohlar stopped inputting commands. The blasted hybrid had known exactly what he'd been trying! While there were no non-Klingons aboard and all the old security stations had long ago been converted to other things, they had never messed with the old emergency protocols which would allow for boom separation. While it would have been a right mess to fix, it would have made the intruders helpless as there was little the boom could do other than use emergency impulse and not have any power for weapons or shields.
"You realize this ship is filled with Klingon warriors. There is no way you can hope to get off this ship alive. We are expendable." T'Greth said from behind him.
The hybrid surprised her by laughing cynically. So odd to see someone who looked like a Vulcan or Romulan laugh like a human. "Oh I doubt the rest of your crew feels that way. As I said, we hacked into your database. I knew there had been something familiar about all this. While you and your people all left before I was born, your story caught my interest as a girl. Given your lineage and that you won command, I'm confident the rest of the ship will be more willing to listen. Besides, if anything, the people you are protecting back on your tug might benefit from your crew not rushing in, disruptors blazing."
"What could you offer us that we'd find remotely worth dealing with the likes of you?" T'Greth snarled.
Kohlar raised his fist to quiet his second, "He brings up a point. We left the Empire due to the rot and corruption. Why would we stain our honor doing other than killing you in honorable battle?"
The friendly look slid off the hybrids face.
V'Lana had forgotten how much being an asshole was embedded in the Klingon DNA. It's like they lived every minute to prove to themselves they weren't just one of the subject races the Old Kings had used to control their empire. That they themselves had just been the attack dogs for their masters, bred and altered for their mission. Like a dog, you had to be firm with them and push their face into the dirt to prove who was boss.
"Okay, let's cut to the hard truths here, shall we?" V'Lana said coldly, her Romulan heritage snapping into place with a menacing look. "We've already stashed explosive charges at key areas of the ship. Shreen over there is inserted enough into your system that we can block or delay anything your crew tries. Any minute now one of our Fleet's ships is going to show up because we called them from right under your nose. Chances are it's going to be the USS Equinox. Even back when it was just a plain Nova class science vessel, it would have shot this ship into pieces no matter how honorably or bravely you fought back. Given her upgrades, she'd probably take out a modern Klingon Vor'cha class cruiser."
V'Lana made a gesture towards the main screen, "Then there is Voyager. She was top-of-the line when she launched three years ago and you all are in an antique my father used to spar with working under Kirk back on the old Enterprise. Besides that, we have other ships, loads of fighters and sensors which can track you wherever you might try to run now that we know what to look for. So, whether your honor likes it or not, your fate is in our hands now. Now can you accept that or do I need to start killing my way through your command chain till I get someone willing to show some brains enough to hear us out?"
Kohlar had to admit he didn't like the way the hybrid was holding the knife in her other hand. It was obvious she knew how to use it and was eager to do so. No matter what Klingons might say publicly, they respected the strength of Vulcans and Romulans were worse given their passions. Kohlar didn't doubt this woman wouldn't make such a boast unless she was confident she could back that threat up. The body language of her crew also spoke volumes on their faith in their captain.
So he gave a curt nod, "Very well. What did you mean about the rest of my people?"
The hybrid relaxed slightly, "Well I don't know if we can help with the disease you folks have. Don't look so surprised. The real reason you folks left came out a few decades after you were banished. You see, the Empire and the Federation signed the Khitomer Accords so there is a lot more interaction between them. While not chums, the two aren't enemies any longer and haven't been for some time. Indeed, before I got zapped here to the Delta Quadrant, the Empire and the Federation are allies in a fight against the Dominion which is a race attacking through a wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant. So these days we know a lot more what is and was going on inside the Empire."
"I don't believe it!" T'Greth muttered.
V'Lana shrugged, "Believe what you want. You folks missed out on the General War which broke out after the Organians mysteriously disappeared. While the Empire didn't lose that war, things weren't looking good for them either. Having Praxis blow up a few years after the war ended didn't help. The Empire had too many issues to deal with so making a more lasting peace with the Federation was suddenly something the Empire was more willing to accept."
Kohlar scowled, "And the Federation? Did they use this as an excuse to continue to steal our trade and seduce planets away from the Empire?"
V'Lana shook her head, "Well from a certain point of view, the Federation and the Gorn Hegemony came out of the war the best. Still, both the Empire and the Imperium did a lot of damage before being beaten back. Even with the defeat of the Romulans, Starfleet was just beginning to replace all of their losses when the war ended. And it wasn't just the Federation that was suffering. You folks had wrecked the Hydrans and Kzin badly as well and they had given the Empire and your allies the Lyrans almost as much back in return. So even if the Organians hadn't returned to stop the war, peace was imminent given all the combatants were exhausted and their economies in tatters after seventeen years of war. The only reason the Imperium had formally surrendered was much of Remus was devastated when the USS MacArthur, one of the major Federation fleet carriers was damaged in orbit during Operation Remus. The crew lost control and it smashed into the planet at almost full impulse."
Both he and his second grunted at that news. A vessel as large as one of the Federation super-carriers crashing into a planet could make it uninhabitable if one were unlucky. Having the secondary planet to the Romulan race blasted such was more than enough reason to want to stop fighting. Kohlar could also easily imagine the devastation the energy moon Praxis must have caused by exploding. With the centralized paradigm of the Empire, the very heart would have been damaged. The Empire making a more lasting peace thus did seem a more believable thing especially since it was likely that many of the subject races in the Empire must have gotten restive during the war.
Kohlar gestured for her to continue, "If you cannot help us medically, what else do you offer?"
V'Lana waggled the hand with the knife in it at him, "I said I didn't think we could help. Doesn't mean we might not be able to. Medical science has gotten a lot better and the Fleet has some tricks you never have come across. However, the biggest thing we can offer is security. You see, both Voyager and the Equinox were brought here by a cosmic being and we're trying to get back. That's going to take time. Along the way, we keep picking up more people. It's complicated. The fact remains is, we have a giant generational ship with a lot more room than what you've got available on that tug. If you're out searching for a cure, you will be a lot safer doing it with us."
Kohlar blinked at this. Yet before he could say anything, the woman grinned at him.
"Even better, a few months back, me and my team found some ships trapped in patch of interphasic space. One of them was the pre-dilithium cruiser IKV Thunderchild. She's in decent shape, even if all the crew were dead, but we don't have anyone to crew it even after we upgrade its tech. We only have three and a half Klingons in our fleet and three of them were former Borg drones. It would be a lot easier if we didn't have to rip everything out by having actual Klingons to crew it." V'Lana explained.
Before he could reply, an alert sounded. "Report!" Kohlar ordered, heedless of the phaser which was still trained on him.
"Captain, a Federation ship of unknown configuration has come out of warp 650 kellicams off the port bow," came the reply.
The Orion was closest and apparently could read Klingon. He leaned over before looking up, "It's the Equinox alright.
V'Lana gestured to Shreen who fiddled with her tricorder. The main screen blinked from the image of the Equinox closing to that of the bridge. Captain Tahl was standing in front of his chair along with Commander Korath who had taken the XO slot when Dhael had become captain of the Tovarek.
Tahl raised an eyebrow in slight surprise, "We send you out for isolinear chips and dilithium and you come back with an antique Klingon cruiser. I think your reputation is more warranted than I had first assumed."
"I am good at making the best of a bad situation. Captain Tahl, may I present Captain Kohlar. He is the current leader of the Banished. You might have heard about them back in your Academy days," V'Lana explained.
Tahl's face took on the look of surprise and then interest, "Those Klingons following a prophecy? Oh yes, I did learn of them. How did they end up here? I always assumed the Cardassians had discovered them and destroyed them. Barring that, they should have been in the Theta Quadrant somewhere."
V'Lana looked at Kohlar who seemed dying to ask how a Romulan was the captain of a Federation ship with a Klingon XO of all things. "We're not exactly sure but Tom has a theory. He thinks that during the civil war in the Continuum, the Banished got shunted to the Delta Quadrant by accident. The time frame fits perfectly."
Tahl frowned, "Anything is possible when those thrice-damned Q are involved."
V'Lana fought down a smirk. Captain Tahl hadn't like losing Tom from the helm and then to lose Ensign Ro to the whims of Q hadn't improved his mood.
Tahl looked past her and addressed the Klingon captain, "Captain Kohlar, regardless of the phasers in your face, I hope your sensors show that your ship is no match for mine. If Captain V'Lana had wished it, the Earhart could have seriously damaged your ship. Now before things get started, let me give you some advice. Throw out all your preconceptions. Our Fleet is like nothing you will have encountered. I myself was taken by the Borg about 50 years ago before being removed from the Collective. Korath here, was taken by the Borg before you were born. Most of my crew are made up of various races of the Federation who were rebelling against them. Amazingly, my ship and its crew are about the most normal thing you will encounter about us. So again, do not jump to conclusions for there is almost no way you could predict what you are up against. Just remain calm and know that I can say you and your people are in no danger from us if you don't try anything."
Korath spoke up in Klingon, "He speaks the truth, Captain Kohlar. Our fleet is a bizarre mix. Yours could be a welcome addition to that mix if you allow it."
Kohlar looked at the phaser still pointed at him and sighed, "It appears I have little choice."
FLEET COUNCIL ROOM, USS VOYAGER, SECTOR 322, DELTA QUADRANT – STAR DATE 51787.4
Kohlar's head was spinning. He could almost feel T'Greth's confusion as well. The Romulan had been right. There had been no way he could have predicted what he been confronted with when the Fleet had shown up to rendezvous with the Demonslayer, Kalday and the Equinox. He had almost lost his composure as the viewscreen had been filled with the huge generational ship. Even more amazing was the human, Tom Paris, had said the ship was only a third the size of the original ship it had once been part of.
And what a ship! The main section with the habitation pods connected to a Borg tactical Cube of all things. Then the two asteroids he'd been told were being converted to living space for a Delta Quadrant race they had saved from a pocket of sub-space. Then there were the ships! Kohlar could see how, even with all their tech, that V'Lana's team had so quickly infiltrated his ship's systems. They had already been working on tech from his time and thus had become familiar with it.
His chief engineer had already reported that the Thunderchild was in many ways in better shape than the Demonslayer itself. He had been almost blubbering in excitement at the specs the Fleet had on file for the eventual refit of the ship. Certainly almost all of those would turn the Demonslayer from a beat-up antique back to being a dangerous weapon it was built to be.
Kohlar brought his attention back to the Fleet's commodore who was listening to the briefing the woman with obvious Borg tech still visible in her face was giving. He had to admit in being impressed with how thoroughly they had been able to scan his ships and almost immediately know what needed to be done to repair or upgrade them.
Yet Kohlar was worried. He knew the entire mission was in jeopardy. The nanites the holographic doctor had briefed him on would, in theory, at least keep the nehret in check. Then there was the fact that the Fleet would be able to manufacture more habitation pods soon. He knew just by the cursory glance he gave the specs of those pods that they were up and beyond the conditions aboard the Kalday. His people would jump to join this Fleet. He could tell Elder Krang was very much in awe of what he'd seen and seemed very much amenable to the overtures from this Commodore Janeway. If he was wavering, the bulk of the crew would certainly be doing the same.
Had they come all this way only to have a crisis of faith and fail?
He kept such thoughts to himself till the meeting had broken up and the other members of the Elder Council had left and it was just him, the Commodore and the Vulcan Tuvok. As they chatted in low tones, Kohlar just stood by the viewport and looked out at the ships he could see. From his vantage point, he could see robots and crew-members in space suits working on what he'd learned would be the USS Ares.
"Captain Kohlar, can I offer you a drink? Our resident wizard does a very good blood wine if you wish it."
Kohlar marveled at that. Not only was this fleet a fantastical mix of races and ships through time and space, but they had their own proto-ascendant being as well. One who had destroyed an entire planet! Even more interesting was this Harry Potter had been the Phoenix. That warrior's exploits had been such they had made it into the Klingon's military lessons regarding humans. His prowess had been used as a cautionary tale not to underestimate humans, regardless of how weak they seemed. As for the offer, he hadn't had blood-wine for over 50 years so he was interesting to see if it would taste as he remembered it.
He sat and accepted the glass and tasted it. He nodded, "While it has been half a century since our supply ran out, I believe this does match my memories."
Janeway smiled, "He does good work. I felt a little bit of home might help. Our time in the Delta Quadrant has been one shock after another. Having to get much of the fall-out of those shocks at once can only be staggering, I would think.
Kohlar nodded. It wasn't a weakness to admit the situation was truly remarkable.
The Vulcan surprised him with a question he'd never expect to be asked, "Captain Kohlar, if your ships merge with the Fleet, then your well-being will become very much part of my responsibility. Your people left the Alpha Quadrant on a mission. Regardless of the mystical overtones, this mission is central to your identity as a group. While being part of our fleet increases your safety, we are on a course back to the Alpha Quadrant and that may certainly be at odds with the entire reason your people left in the first place. Yet, due to the Varro and the intrinsic Starfleet mission of exploration, it may be possible we can assist you in achieving your goals. However, to do so, we need to gain access to your data along with building trust to allow us to work together to achieve shared goals. Have you given any thought in how this might be achieved?"
Kohlar just stared at the Vulcan for a bit. Trust. That wasn't going to be easy. "Building that trust requires a level of commitment I am not sure I wish to build. From my point of view, our meeting you is the biggest test of our faith since our initial decision to leave the Empire behind."
To his surprise, the Vulcan merely nodded, "As I feared. Vulcan has had a long tradition of mysticism even as we moved towards logic dictating our lives. I can easily see how a man of faith might not see the situation in the same way others might."
Janeway nodded at this, "Let me assure you, whether you stay or go, we are willing to help you. For my part, I believe it would be better for you to stay. While my main goal is to get my people back to the Alpha Quadrant, no matter how long it takes, things have changed. The Varro wish to explore. The Skurk want to find if there are more of their people who escaped the Borg. Our Talaxians are happy but we know there may be a colony along our course created by those they got lost from. They might decide to stay. My point is our over-all goal is fluid. I believe we can accommodate you. Besides, no matter what happens, you are now a long way from where you expected your prophecy to be fulfilled. Barring finding a wormhole back to where you came from, the reality is if there is an answer to your prophecy, it is likely to be found here in the Delta Quadrant."
Kohlar sighed. For all his faith, Janeway was correct. Given the course he'd seen plotting the return to the Alpha Quadrant, in a few years, they'd come to a point almost exactly opposite from where they'd been taken. They were literally almost as far as they could be from their original course as possible and still be in the same galaxy.
"Trust aside, we will need time to look at our scrolls and meditate on this. We haven't had much time to focus on that ever since we were transported. If anything, staying with your fleet will give us that time. Perhaps after that reflection, a better decision can be made," Kohlar admitted. Even so, he worried his people wouldn't leave regardless of what the consensus about the prophecy was. Still, that was a future worry. A thought struck him, "Commodore, I have a question. It slipped my mind and I just remembered it. Captain V'Lana had said that you had three and a half Klingons amongst your crew. What did she mean? I've already met the three former drones. Is there a Klingon child on board?"
Janeway smiled, "No. She was probably referring to my Chief Engineer, B'Elanna Torres. She's of mixed parentage with a human father and Klingon mother. While raised in the Federation, she honors in her own way her Klingon heritage. For all her engineering talent, she was one of the Maquis best warriors before the Caretaker stole the Val Jean with her on it."
Kohlar blinked at this. A hybrid? Did not the prophecy state the Savior would come from two warring houses? The Empire and the Federation had gone to war soon after they had left according to V'Lana.
"Interesting. I would very much like to meet this B'Elanna Torres," Kohlar said carefully, not wanting to give away his mounting excitement.
"A warning. Commander Torres has a volatile temper and a historical lack of respect for those in command she does not respect. That she is pregnant has not improved this," the Vulcan said diplomatically.
"Pregnant? Is either Korath or Warg the father? And how far along is she?" Kohlar asked, careful to mask his interest.
Janeway chuckled, "While I know B'Elanna and Korath have spent time together, the father is Harry Potter. Special circumstances regarding him."
Tuvok gave Janeway a side-long glance, "Circumstances which have tripped you up as well. As to when, Captain Kohlar, Commander Torres is roughly five months pregnant."
Kohlar quickly did the math in his head. Yes! That fell during the holy month of N'Pok just as the prophecy had said. Then there was Harry Potter being the father. While not a Klingon, he certainly fit the prophecy's line of '…and the father's voice shall bring destruction down upon his enemies. A Master of Death who's coming is heralded in blood and fire.'
"Captain? Are you alright?" Janeway asked.
Kohlar blinked and found both the human and Vulcan staring at him, "Yes, yes I'm fine. I need to return to my ship. I will, however, like to set up a time to meet Commander Torres. And this Harry Potter. I'd like to thank him for the blood wine. It is quite remarkable."
Without waiting for an answer, Kohlar stood and quickly strode out of the room, leaving two confused people in his wake.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: This chapter started to get away from me so I decided to split it so I could get more content in. There are various sub-plots I need to address, show more how the various kids are faring, as well as focus on how the rest of the canon episode is going to be very different and so I need to explore more on what life was like for the Klingons.
Uniforms: As promised last chapter, I expanded on the Xenylon concept as well as gave a reason to why we always saw people in their 'job-jammies' at almost all times. Also, the concept isn't that far-fetched. Scientists are already working on 'memory metal' where an electrical current could make a metal change its form or even go from a solid to a liquid. Thus, I can see that sort of thing being woven into the uniforms. True, it does lead to a sort of "Venom" aspect to the uniforms as they are quasi-alive in a very symbiotic way. Also, the hood coming out of the collar is taken from a Dutch invention of the Hödving emergency helmet where a collar that looks like one of those neck pillows is worn by cyclists. When activated (Google it to see it in action) it creates an emergency helmet. This system allows for protection without the issue of a helmet affecting your vision. With future tech, I could see it being miniaturized enough to fit in the collar of the uniforms seen in the show.
Titles: When Captain Kohlar refers to M'Tok as Sogh M'Tok, he's referring to him with his rank. Sogh being the Klingon equivalent of a Junior Lieutenant.
General War: This is the central part of the alternate Star Trek timeline used in the game Star Fleet Battles. Simply put it went like this. The Organians, the proto-ascendant beings who had been enforcing the peace disappeared. This was followed quickly by…
The Four Powers War: The Klingons and their allies the Lyrans (and off-shoot of the Kzin in a similar manner that the Romulans are an off-shoot of the Vulcans) jointly attack the Kzin on their shared northern border. Early successes on this front forced the Hydrans (a race of non-oxygen breathers who live on gas-giant type planets) to attack in support on the Lyrans southern boarder/Klingon eastern border. During this time, the Federation worried about how a Klingon victory would upset the balance of power so they began to help the Kzin in a manner similar to what the US did with the UK in WW II before the US came into the war.
The War Broadens: After two years, the Kzin are in dire straits and the Hydrans have been pushed to colonies unknown to the Klingons and Lyrans. This emboldens the Klingons to launch a surprise attack on the Federation. After a year of the Klingons having success along their border, the Romulans join the Klingons in attacking the Federation. This forces the Gorns to join in against their traditional enemy the Romulans for reasons similar to how the Federation had felt what might happened if the Kzin fell.
The War and Aftermath: The war goes on for many years and a LOT of places are wrecked. The failure of the Klingon/Romulan alliance to break the Federation causes enough diversion of effort that it allows both the Hydrans and Kzin breathing room to get back into the war. Also, due to galactic topography, the Tholians are forced to join with the Alliance to keep from being crushed between the might of both the Klingons and Romulans. Both of those Empires also start having internal troubles as many of the races in those empires were subject races who weren't happy at their status. The Klingons especially began to have economic issues as they had been in the war the longest.
Finally the Alliance is able to fend off the Klingons long enough to mount an attack on the Romulan homeworld which knocks them out of the war. They then turn to the Klingons but before the same thing can happen to them, the Organians return and end the war. So 17 years of fighting, billions of lives lost and planets trashed and not really much changed in the way of territory.
If anything, this bit of alternate history dove-tails with the established canon because it is very possible that the maintenance and upkeep of Praxis got skimped during the war which led to it exploding. It also shows why in ST:TNG when we meet the Romulans again, the captain in that episode states, "We are back!" – After the disaster of the General War, the Romulans basically kept to themselves and it took almost two centuries to get back to where they could start feeling able to spar with the Federation again.
Also, while not perfect, it also helps explain why the Khitomer Accords happened with both elements of the Federation and the Klingons were willing to sabotage it. Tensions after the war were still high and it was expensive for both governments to try and reconstitute all the bases along the Neutral Zone. Yet there had been a LOT of hate invested during the war and people on both sides didn't want to let it go. Obviously, in this history, Kirk isn't going to just hate Klingons because they killed his son, but he'd spent almost two decades fighting them.
Old Ideas: This fic contains a few things I've kicked around going back to the 80's or so. Long before the Internet, FF dot Net and fan-fics, I had an idea for a follow on show to ST:TOS. It would be centered around the kids of the main crew of the Original Series. Some of that can be seen in this chapter and was alluded to before. Zorn's comment about V'Lana came form a line I had where the character (a male) would threaten a potential enemy with, "I can laugh like a human, calculate like a Vulcan and if you piss me off I can rip off your arm and beat you with it like a Romulan!" The take-away from this is no plot/scene bunny ever dies. It just may take time (decades even) before it can be expressed.