Star Trek: New Horizons Episode 2 (Families) by captaintigranian
Summary: Captain Tigranian must choose between his Klingon Family and his new crew when a coup breaks out against Chancellor Martok.
Categories: Expanded Universes Characters: None
Genre: Action/Adventure
Warnings: Adult Language, Adult Situations, Violence
Challenges: None
Series: Star Trek: New Horizons
Chapters: 8 Completed: Yes Word count: 17163 Read: 10464 Published: 14 Feb 2016 Updated: 03 Mar 2016
Chapter 1 by captaintigranian
Historian’s Note: This story takes place approximately two weeks after the conclusion of the DS9 Episode “What You Leave Behind.” Its narrative runs concurrently with the J.G. Hertzler and Jeffrey Lange novels, The Left Hand of Destiny: Book One and Book Two.

Other referenced works include The Klingon Art of War: Ancient Principles of Ruthless Honor, translated from the Original Klingon by Keith R.A. DeCandido.

Zarias Cluster: Federation Occupation Zone, Cardassian Space.

Stardate: 53108.5

Tigranian picked up the bottle of bloodwine from his shelf and poured himself another tankard. His quarters were quite unique: a combination of mementos, photographs from his friends and family, and on the wall across from the metal slab he called a bed, hung his most prized possession.

Torlek commissioned a master smith at the K’vel’kar foundry on Qo’nos to forge that bat’leth exactly to Tigranian’s specifications: polished baakonite folded a thousand times till it was as resilient as duranium, blades sharper than one of Alex’s laser scalpels, and handles wrapped in krencha skin for grip. The old warrior presented it to his adopted brother after Tigranian had served a full cycle on the Sk’oh. It must have cost more than most common Klingons made in a decade, but none of the other crew batted an eye. They knew that their beloved captain felt the human earned it…not just by honoring their ways, but by also by proving himself in battle.

Crossing back over to the slab, Tigranian laid down on his thick klongat fur, the only comfort he allowed himself while he slept, and returned to his book. He had first read the qeS’a’ in translation when he was ten years old. That edition, somewhat erroneously titled as “The Klingon Art of War,” by its Federation editor, had enraptured young Daniel so much, he immediately found an old candle, lit it, and completed his own version of the First Rite of Ascension…he even attempted the Klingon wording until his mother stopped the ritual, afraid he would burn the house down.

That day was when Daniel decided to become Klingon. qeS’a’ spoke to him, and made him realize that being a warrior wasn’t about his DNA, but about how he chose to live his life. He pushed himself to fluency in tlhIngan Hol.

The first time he was able to get through the entire ancient text in its original language, the mysteries contained within qeS’a’s volumes struck him with an even greater relevance. He had since read it dozens of times, but forced himself to re-read it every few months to keep its lessons fresh.

This particular copy, over a century old and bound in brown targ leather, was also a present from Torlek on the occasion of his official Ascension. Tigranian looked at the sharp letters etched into the yellowing parchment:

Dictum: The Arduous Path

Warriors must keep their feet on the road to strife. Honor can be found along the wayside, an honor borne of sacrifice. Beware the prize won easily. It is a stone hung around your neck, and it testifies only to the fact of its own irrelevance. Comfort summons indolence, inaction, and insignificance. To shrink from danger is to shrink from duty. But righteousness demands more than holding one’s ground. It calls the warrior to run into the whirlwind, for this is where glory dwells. Let struggle-never prudence, never what is merely reasonable-be your criterion, rigor your law.

He mediated on that for a second before his concentration was shaken by the sound of laughter coming through the bulkhead. He couldn’t help but roll his eyes a little. Annabeth must be having another, “Girls Night,” in her quarters.

Every few evenings, she gathered the females of the senior staff for what she termed, “bonding,” but as far as Tigranian could tell, was just an excuse to lounge around in sweat pants, drink wine, and watch bad tele-programs on the Starfleet Network feed. He didn’t really understand it, but it kept some of the key members of his crew happy, and that’s what mattered.

On the other side of the wall, Annabeth, Alex, Katie, and Laria were huddled around a glowing monitor. Annabeth lay on the couch with her arms wrapped around Alex. Katie, wearing a sweatshirt emblazoned with “Starfleet Academy Fighting Phoenixes” in big gold letters, was sprawled in an arm chair with a bowl of popcorn and a ridiculously large wine glass. Laria sat cross-legged on the floor in front of Annabeth and Alex. She wore her favorite “Starfleet Science: From the Stars, Knowledge,” t-shirt and pair of flannel pajama bottoms. She had her arms wrapped around a stuffed plush Bajoran pugabeast resting in her lap.

On the screen, an enlisted Starfleet crewman walked down a corridor and into a starship’s engineering section.

“Hey, could you re-calibrate the dilithium chamber?” the ships’s chief engineer said before hurrying off to another task.

“Sure, Ma’am,” the chipper crewman said heading to the warp core.

“Hey, Lexa!” Another crewman said waving. “Did you enjoy playing Dom-jot last night?”

“Yeah, Tobey! It was fun,” the first crewman replied, not paying attention to what she was doing. She opened the access panel without engaging the containment field. A flash of blue light filled the compartment as both crewmen screamed in pain. The screen faded to black and the words, “Staying Safe is Staying Starfleet Strong,” appeared.

“God, I hate SFN commercials,” Katie muttered taking a sip from her glass. “They’re so stupid. This spring wine is amazing, Laria,” she said changing the subject. “It’s like a cross between kiwi and banana.”

“Thanks!” Laria answered cheerfully. “My dad makes it. He sends me a couple of bottles after the harvest each year.”

“Anyone mind if I change the channel?” Annabeth said from the couch.

“Go for it.”

“Computer, what’s on SFN: Movie?”

“The film “Against the Grain,” is currently playing. Forty seven minutes have elapsed.”

“Oh, I love that one,” Alex said. “Computer change channel to SFN: Movie.”

Suddenly the image of a confused twenty-something Lumerian girl appeared on the screen next to a muscular human male standing over a table saw.

“You’re an empath, aren’t you?” he said measuring a piece of lumber.

“Not a very good one,” she replied. “I can only sense those I’m comfortable with…”

“Well, can you sense what I’m feeling?”

“What is this movie about? I’ve never seen it.”

“That’s Una,” Alex said starting to explain. “She moves to New York to get her dream job at a fashion magazine. However, she’s already engaged to her father’s business partner’s son back on Lumeria. Against his wishes, she starts falling in love with her next door neighbor who runs a carpentry shop that restores old buildings.”

The screen changed to a shot of Una talking with a Vulcan in an office.

“Who’s the Vulcan?” Laria asked.

“That’s Mr. Suvek. He’s the editor of the fashion magazine.”

“Why would a Vulcan run a fashion magazine on Earth?” Laria asked confused.

“Laria,” Alex said with annoyance, “if you start pulling at the threads, the whole plot will fall apart. Just watch the movie.”

“I just don’t know what to do, Mr. Suvek,” Una said sitting next to him.

“Logic dictates…that you follow your heart.”

“Ugghhhh,” Katie said feigning disgust. “Really, Alex?”

“Don’t judge me.”

“Too late,” Katie said taking another sip of spring wine.

“You are such a woman,” Annabeth said kissing the top of Alex’s head.

“Yeah, but I’m your woman,” Alex said retreating deeper into Annabeth’s embrace.

“This movie does bring up an interesting epiphany though,” Katie began.

“And that is?” Annabeth asked.

“There is not a single man on this entire ship that I would consider dating.”

“What?” Alex said surprised.

“I thought you and Phil had something starting?” Annabeth chimed in hopefully.

“Oh no,” Katie said shoving a fistful of popcorn in her mouth. “First, you two wonder twins over there don’t get to lecture me on dateable men. Second, he’s a friend. That is all. He’s not terrible looking, but a man I can out deadlift is a serious turn off.” She looked down to the carpet. “What about you, Laria? Is there a guy onboard who warms up your warp core?”

“No, no…” Laria said shaking her head. However, her cheeks started to turn a slight shade of red.

“Wait a second,” Katie said leaning forward with a grin, “our little Bajoran’s lie detector is going off. There is someone onboard isn’t there?” Laria kept shaking her head. “It’s Lieutenant Mendez down in Engineering, isn’t it?”

“Ewww, Katie, No!” Laria exclaimed, “He has a tail.”

“Hey, don’t discount a guy just because he has a tail,” Alex said from behind her. “It’s the 24th century, after all.” Laria’s cheeks continued to grow brighter.

“Ok, then, who is it? C’mon it’s just us girls.” Katie refused to let up. With a trained eye, she kept watching Laria for signs of breaking. In a glance that would be imperceptible to anyone but a trained security chief, she saw Laria’s eyes glance over to the bulkhead.

“No!” Katie said almost gleefully, “THE CAPTAIN!?”

“Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!” Laria exclaimed while burying her face in the stuffed pugabeast’s fur. “He’s right on the other side of the bulkhead and he might hear you,” she said dropping to a whisper.

“Oh, he’s not gonna hear anything,” she said leaning back in her chair. “Funny, I never pegged you for someone who goes for older guys,” Katie said.

“He’s only thirty,” Laria said turning around and burying her face in the couch cushions this time. Annabeth leaned forward and reassuringly tussled Laria’s hair.

“Stop making fun of her. It’s completely normal to have crushes.” Laria calmed down and turned back towards the monitor.

“I’m not making fun of her,” Katie said taking another large sip of wine. “I think it’s cute. Plus, totally get the older guy thing. Lost my V-Card to a senior when I was a freshman at the Academy before I met Paul…” Katie paused when she said his name. She took another drink.

“Do you think you should slow down a little on that spring wine, Katie?” Alex asked a little concerned. Katie put the glass down on the table, but still kept talking.

“How about you, L?” Katie said turning back to Laria. “Who did you first give up the card to?”

“Is that a human expression I should be familiar with?”

“You know,” Katie said sitting up again. “The V-Card? Your first?” Somehow, Laria’s cheeks grew even redder. She awkwardly looked down, brushed the hair behind her earring, and gazed at the floor. Suddenly, Katie realized. “Oh, Honey…”

“I was always studying or working!” Laria said reaching for her own glass of wine on the coffee table. “Plus, the guys I knew never…warmed up the warp core, like you say.”

“That is perfectly fine,” Annabeth said flashing Katie a look.

“Yes, if you haven’t met the right guy yet…it is totally fine,” Katie said starting to slightly slur her words. “However, Ladies, we have a new mission,” Katie said moving to the floor next to Laria. She wrapped a supportive arm around the little Bajoran’s shoulder. “Can’t promise you the captain, but we’re gonna find a guy to get our baby sister laid!”

“We’ll get Laria laid later!” Alex said cutting in behind them. “Right now, let’s just watch the movie.” Everyone except Laria laughed.

On the other side of the bulkhead, Tigranian heard the laughter. He looked up from his book again before taking another sip of bloodwine.

“What could possibly be so funny?” he thought to himself. He didn’t think long before the intercom chimed.

“Captain, you have an incoming transmission from Klingon military headquarters on Ty’Gokor. A General Torlek wishes to speak with you. .” Tigranian immediately sprang toward his desk.

“Put it through to my quarters.” Tigranian knew that today was Martok’s formal installation as Chancellor of the High Council. It was a holiday throughout the entire Klingon Empire. Torlek probably wanted to chastise him for not being there with him to celebrate.

He keyed his terminal, and the battle hardened face of his old commander appeared. However, it was not the sly, grinning, and sometimes inebriated expression that he always expected on the face of his older brother and mentor. He immediately knew something terrible had happened.

“My brother, what is wrong?”

“You’re still very perceptive, Daniel,” he said before letting out a terrible sigh. “There has been a coup on Qo’nos. The Great Hall has been destroyed…”

Tigranian nearly collapsed. Though Qo’nos was no stranger to political upheaval, the Great Hall had never been touched in over five centuries of conflict. It was a sacred place for Klingons.

“Who would do this? Who stands against Martok: Hero of Cardassia Prime?”

“His name is Morjod: a petulant youth who speaks with the poisonous tongue of a Wam Serpant. Many have already fallen under his spell of lies and treachery.”

“Where is Martok making his stand against this traitor? Where do we gather our forces to the true Chancellor’s banner?” He had no doubt that his house, The House of Torlek, would ally with Martok. They had always stood with the legitimate government going back centuries. Torlek’s grandfather had even fought to install Chancellor Gorkon against the Romulan collaborators, the House of G’Iogh. Torlek and Tigranian themselves fought together against the House of Duras during the Klingon Civil War shortly after the young Starfleet officer arrived on the Sk’oh.

“I don’t know, Daniel…” The way he paused made Tigranian’s bold run cold. “The Chancellor is missing.”

“Missing?” Tigranian said in disbelief.

“It is no longer safe on Ty’Gokor. There are too many here who are corrupted by the words of this Morjod. I am taking my fleet to the Avenal System in the Klingon Zone of Occupation to determine our next step.”

Tigranian didn’t even hesistate.

“I will see you there in twelve hours.”

“Understood, Qapla’, my brother.”

“Qapla’,” Tigranian replied as the screen went blank. He immediately pressed the communicator lying on his desk. “Tigranian to bridge.”

“Lieutenant Hawkins here, Sir.”

“Set a course for the Avenal System, Mr. Hawkins. Maximum Warp.”
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