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Organia System: Federation/Klingon Border

27th Day of the Year of Kahless, 998

"Captain, The Federation Starship, Yokohama, is approaching the border. They are broadcasting a message of truce and signal they are ready to conduct personnel transfer," K'Vresh said from the bridge over the transporter room's intercom.

"Acknowledged," Captain Torlek said. "Inform them to standby for our signal."

"jIyaj, Hod," K'Vresh replied.

Torlek turned to face a Klingon warrior, still dressed in his lieutenant's armor. He was shorter than the rest of them, but still sporting a thick beard and scraggly hair hanging down around his shoulders. The warrior rested his bat'leth on his right shoulder, a gift from his captain and brother. However, over his left shoulder, he carried a worn Starfleet duffel bag, the only reminder he still had of his old life among humans.

"It is time, Daniel," Torlek said. Tigranian was so full of anger and sadness, he couldn't speak. In the blink of an eye, the Federation and the Klingon Empire were once again enemies. Gowron, the Chancellor of the High Council, had ordered all Federation citizens expelled from the Empire, and Starfleet had recalled Lieutenant Tigranian back to the Federation in kind.

When the Sk'oh first received the orders, Daniel thought it was some kind of mistake. He had so little contact with Starfleet in the past five years, he had figured that they must have forgotten about him.

Commander Kentok reached out a hand and rested it on Tigranian's leather clad shoulder.

"I still can't stand humans. They are foolish, arrogant, weak, and often profess to know what they do not understand. You, however…" Kentok paused. "It would be an honor to kill you battle."

This was the highest compliment that Kentok had ever bestowed on him. Tigranian grinned.

"It would be an honor to kill you as well, Sir," he replied.

Kentok laughed.

"You could try, Son of Tigranian."

Torlek looked at Daniel with as much compassion as a Klingon could muster.

"Do not be troubled, my brother. You return home to your people."

Tigranian closed his eyes and then opened them again.

"They are not my people anymore, Sir. I do not remember them."

"Daniel," Torlek said grabbing Tigranian's arm. "You must learn to live among them again. Someone must show the Federation who we really are or any chance of restoring the Alliance will be lost."

Tigranian could only nod.

"Now," Torlek continued. "Emotional goodbyes are for weaker races. Go now, and don't look back."

With a final deep breath, Tigranian stepped onto the Sk'oh's transporter pad for one final time.

"If I don't not see you again in this life, Brother…" Tigranian called out.

"We will dine together at Kahless' table," Torlek replied. "jol yIchu'!"

Instantly, Tigranian was surrounded by bright light. As the transporter beam transitioned from deep red to light blue, he knew he was stepping out of the Klingon world, quite possibly for the last time.

The warm, pungent air of the Sk'oh was replaced by the cool, sterile atmosphere of a Federation starship. It was like stepping into a hospital reeking of disinfectant. A disapproving scowl registered on Tigranian's face as he rematerialized aboard the Yokohama.

He was confronted by the shocked faces of three humans staring back at him: a Starfleet Commander, a lieutenant, and a transporter chief who literally covered her nose and mouth when his powerful scent reached her nostrils.

The commander looked at the new arrival with an expression that was a mix of shock, wonder, and downright disgust. Tigranian stared back at him with intense eyes, not breaking the commander's gaze for a moment. Finally, Daniel couldn't take the awkward silence anymore and spoke.

"Permission to come aboard, Sir?" he said almost sarcastically.

"Of course," the Starfleet officer replied shaking himself back to reality. "I'm Lieutenant Commander Terrance Grigsby. Welcome aboard the USS Yokohama, Lieutenant Tigranian."

The three humans stood motionless, like they were in the presence of a wild animal who could strike out at any moment. Perhaps, in a manner of speaking, they were.

Tigranian marched off the transporter pad. The metal studs on the bottom of his Klingon boots scraped against the plastisteel of the transporter room floor like fingernails on a chalkboard. Without looking away from Grigsby's face, he pulled a Klingon PADD out from his bag and handed it to the commander.

"My orders, Sir."

"Well, I'm sure these are just fine," Grigsby said nervously glancing at Tigranian's bat'leth a few inches from his face. He took the PADD like it was piece of disgusting garbage and handed it to the lieutenant standing next to him. "Lieutenant Bailey here will take you to your quarters. We'll arrive back at Earth in three or four days."

"Yes Sir," Tigranian said following Bailey out into the corridor.

"Mr. Tigranian," Grigsby suddenly said from behind him. Daniel turned around. "You are back in the Federation now. The next time I see you, I expect you to be in the proper uniform and with your hair and beard within Starfleet grooming standards. Am I understood?" Grigsby said puffing out his chest a little in a pathetic attempt to reassert his dominance.

"Clearly Sir."

"Good, and one more thing, Lieutenant."

"Yes Sir?" Tigranian replied growing increasingly more annoyed at this glob fly standing in his presence.

"Starfleet Officers bathe every day," Grigsby said glancing over the transporter chief who was still covering her face with one hand.

A growl emanated from Tigranian's throat that literally caused Grigsby to take a step backwards.

"Yes, Sir," Tigranian replied with more than a hint of disgust in his voice. "They do," he spoke while turning up his nostrils at the insipid, lifeless air again. "Is that all…Sir?"

"Yes, that's it…Enjoy your time on board," Grigsby replied meekly as the glint of Tigranian's bat'leth caught his eye once more.

Daniel pushed passed Lieutenant Bailey and out into the corridor. She looked back at her first officer and mouthed the words:

"He's an animal!"

She turned to chase Tigranian down the corridor.

"And he stinks like wet dog!" the transporter chief said from behind her console. "I literally feel nauseated."

Grigsby rubbed his eyes in frustration. His only solace was that in less than ninety-six hours, this gagh-eater would be someone else's problem.


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