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CHAPTER 3

Even though Kyle Malone had been on board the Klingon cruiser for a little over a month he still could not get over the stench. He was known as Specialist Zeta-Two to his superiors, and on board the T'Acog he was known as Lieutenant R'Kag, or rather he had been known as Lieutenant R'Kag. Once the infecting agent, knows as BNK95, ran its course he was able to shed his disguise and not a moment too soon. He had almost begun to forget what he looked like in a mirror. Malone, a human of average height with short red hair, shoved the dead body of Captain K'lagh out of the raised, center command chair just to hear the satisfying thud it made on the metal grating that passed for a floor. The captain and two junior officers had made their last stand on the bridge. Disguised as he was Malone had little difficulty in finishing them off with a disruptor blast to the chest. He could have let the horde do it but then he would have to put up with them standing in the way on the bridge.

He sat down at the helm and took a moment to familiarize himself with the interface. Malone hated Klingon technology. It wasn't intuitive, they made things much harder than they had to be. He snorted with disdain and muttered, "The only good Klingon is a dead Klingon."

Malone turned in the seat and gave the captain's dead body a solid kick in the back. "Isn't that right?" he asked, then laughed to himself. When he turned back to the helm he took a moment to lock the controls out from everywhere but the bridge and set the course he had painstakingly memorized. Prior to this assignment it would have taken him precious minutes, which he did not have, with tricorder to translate the controls that he needed to engage the warp drive. He was no good with languages and learning Klingon had been difficult, but thankfully his superiors did not utilize him for his verbal skills. "It's a miracle these idiots ever developed faster than light travel," he complained.

Moments later, with a course set for Federation space, the battle cruiser's warp drive came to life. Malone got up and walked to the tactical station. From there he engaged the cloak, the interior lights dimming as he did so, and then dropped onto the seat and put his legs up on a railing. A few hours from now he was going to be enjoying a bacon cheeseburger, no more disgusting Klingon food that still moved when it went down. He was certain his tastebuds were irreparably damaged. Malone was about to indulge himself with a nap when the lights suddenly came back up to full intensity. Seconds later he was thrown from the chair when the cruiser lost attitude control and dropped out of warp. Alarm klaxons began to blare, drowning out the pained grunt he made upon slamming into the deck.

"What in the hell?" he asked, receiving no answer of course. He pushed himself onto his hands and knees and made his way to the helm. Still reeling from the shock of being flung into the deck he had to pull himself into the chair because his shaky legs would not cooperate. Malone punched up a status display and discovered the engines and the cloak were offline. "Obviously,' he thought to himself. While he tried to get a more detailed report from the computer and stop the ship from tumbling with maneuvering thrusters he performed an internal sensor scan. Pulling up a detailed report was the hardest. He decided he didn't have time to translate, not now, it would at least have to wait until he stabilized the ship.

When the results of sensor sweep came back he decided it was going to have to wait even longer. Somehow one of them had survived; he was reading a Klingon life sign in engineering. With the ship returned to relative stability, relative because it was still drifting under its own inertia but no longer tumbling, he got up from the helm but waited a moment to test the steadiness of his legs. Satisfied, he walked to Captain K'lagh and took the ceremonial d'k tahg from its sheath on his belt. Malone then pulled his disruptor from its holster and headed for the turbolift.


It took longer than he anticipated to make his way through the herd of genetically altered Klingons than he thought it would. Malone cautiously stepped off the turbolift, holding the disruptor ready and the d'k tagh, a Klingon knife, perpendicular to his arm. He saw nothing when he looked up and then down the corridor. With quiet steps he began crossing to the entrance to main engineering. If the survivor was inside and the arrival of the turbolift had not already alerted him then Malone did not want to do so with a misstep. He crept to the angular, open doorframe that led into main engineering and pressed his back to the wall. Carefully Malone looked around the corner and narrowly missed having his face melted by a disruptor blast.

"Come and fight me openly, petaQ!" Logruk spat.

Malone swore under his breath. He did not have the luxury of firing blindly into engineering. If he struck the warp core it would mean death, and he was not going to die because some Klingon bastard did not have the decency to join his brethren. He leaned around the corner once more to see if he had a decent shot but jerked back, blinking his eyes. The blinding flash of a disruptor bolt striking the durasteel near his head left him temporarily blinded. In the next instant he felt himself being tackled onto the hard deck plating, the wind getting knocked from his lungs, and he felt the sting of a meaty fist cracking him square in the mouth. One arm instinctively went to his stomach but the other he brought up to his face in an attempt to deflect the rain of blows falling on his head.

"You call this open, you coward?" Malone challenged, his voice slurred from a lacerated, swelling lip. His world spun when the Klingon yelled with rage and hauled him up by the fake house sash he wore. Logruk had discarded the helmet after sweeping engineering to make sure there were no Fek'Ihri. His eyes were bulging with rage and bloodlust as he stared into Malone's pale face, snarling with sharp bared teeth. Logruk hurled the human down the corridor and then stalked after him.

Malone tucked when he hit the deck plating and continued forward in a controlled roll, eventually landing upright on his knees. He looked up in time to see Logruk raising a knee to his face, and he barely got his arms in the Klingon's path to block it. The impact jarred him to the bone but adrenaline allowed him to shake it off. He flipped the d'k tagh in his hand and drove it through the environmental suit and into the joint of the Klingon's ankle. He heard Logruk howl in pain and barely had time to withdraw the blade and roll out of the way before the burly doctor crashed onto the deck plating.

It gave Malone the few seconded he needed to recover and that kept him from being driven back to the deck again when the enraged Klingon fought to his knees and lunged for him. Human and Klingon became locked in a struggle, neither willing to relent. Logruk was snarling like a rabid animal and Malone let out a grunt of pain, he was certain the Klingon was going to snap his right arm at any second. Malone refused to give, pushing as hard as he could for as long as he could against Logruk's left arm and the disruptor he held in that hand. Finally, Malone's own left arm slipped free and it gave him the opening he needed. He plunged the blade into the Klingon's kidney. He watched his foe's eyes widen with shock, heard the disruptor clatter to the floor, and then Malone drove the heel of his palm as hard as he could into the Klingon's jaw and knocked him unconscious.

Malone pushed the Klingon away, the d'k tagh still in his back, and panting for breath he fell backward. Knowing that inaction could mean his death Malone summoned the last of his strength and pulled himself into a standing position. As he caught his breath Malone watched the Klingon lay there for what felt like an age while gripping the bulkhead to steady himself. When he realized the Klingon wasn't going to move he suddenly registered the repeated beep of a sensor contact coming from engineering. Malone made his way inside to one of the few consoles that was not a smoking ruin and started pulling up the sensors. Shutting down the distress call was easier, but once the sensor display came up he would immediately regret doing so.

Malone cursed under his breath while scanned the report. A vessel was approaching, Intrepid-class, and he read off the transponder to himself, "USS Pathfinder, NCC-92864." The console began to beep again and he glanced to his right, the starship was hailing them repeatedly. This changed things considerably; he had to hide.


Chapter End Notes: Edit: Fixed some formatting issues. Hopefully.

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