Doctor Marcus Binion paced the bridge with growing unease , while Commander William O’Dell drummed the fingers of his right hand on the armrest of the captain’s chair while staring at the turbolift doors and chewing his lower lip . The brdige was silent except for the normal ambient computer chirping noise of diagnostics and sensor readings of Qo’NoS which they had just arrived in orbit of .
“Computer, time?” Marcus inquired while abesent mindedly glancing up at the ceiling as if the computer lived behind the light panels .
“The time is zero seven hundred hours , five minutes , and forty-eight seconds.” The unemotionless female computer voice replied . Marcus put his hands in his hips and hung his head and shook it wearily , then glanced over at Commander O’Dell who was keeping his eyes locked on the turbolift doors .
“Billy , join me in the ready room , we need to discuss something …” Marcus said scratching his neatly trimmed beard .
Billy continued staring at the turbolift doors while the helmsman Rosa Mendez , Counselor Jonathan Styles , Tacical Chief Lisa Terrell , Nurse D’Raako Joran and Chief Engineer Teydroc Smith watched the silent exchange happening between the XO and the CMO . Billy slumped his shoulders and sighed looking away from the doors defeated . He knew this discussion was coming for quite awhile now and it wasn’t one he was looking forward to in the slightest . He rose from the captain’s chair and began walking with Marcus to the ready room .
“Commander Terrell , you have the bridge .” he said as he walked .
“Aye sir!” she said as she stepped down from her tactical station and sat in the chair , Lt. Svinn the Andorian security officer took her place at the tactical station .
Billy and Marcus entered the ready room , billy sat down behind the desk and put his elbows on the table rubbing his temples , a migraine was forming and it wasn’t even 8 o’clock in the morning yet .
“Just wonderful .” he thought to himself .
“Gods , I need a drink !” Billy finally said aloud .
Marcus sat down in the chair opposite of Billy and looked into his weary eyes with a kind smile .
“You’ve done well on staying sober while on duty these past few months , especially considering Kor’Tar’s condition as of late ….”
Since calling off the search for Captain Valentine , Commander T’Bunn , and Commander Moren , everyone in the senior staff noticed a sublte change in Kor’Tar’s mood , no longer was he the pleasant and capale officer they grew to know and respect , but he was growing more agitated , snapping at people , and becoming less and less reliable . He contined in his duties , then they got the report of his mate’s death Melota , being killed by Empress Lursa of the Terran Empire . He had taken the Captain’s Yatch and battled her in honorable combat only to be defeated , and in a final indignity , she let him live , instead of giving him an honorable death .
He returned to the Kahless battered , and with a broken spirit . He had no joy left , no inner peace . He drown his sorrows in any liquor he could his hands on and he ran countless holodeck simulations of the battle with Empress Lursa , killing her many different ways , but each time the simulation would end , and he would be left with the harsh reality , that Lursa was still alive , and he was defeated and dishonored , with no mate , and missing friends .
Billy looked up at Marcus earnestly , “What do you expect me to do? You know as well as I there is no way to counsel a Klingon , I suggested he at least attempt some type of off the wall hippie thearpy Counselor Styles suggested , Kor’Tar quickly changed the subject . There’s nothing I can think of that we can do for him .”
Marcus looked Billy in his eyes “There is something we can do …” He said letting his sentence go unfinshined . Billy’s eyes went wide as he pushed the chair he was sitting in back rolling it till it impacted with the wall .
“No way , uh-uh! There’s no way in hell your gonna wrangle me into relieving Kor’Tar of duty ! He’s too unstable ! He could break me in half if he was half cocked !” Billy said sweating profusly .
Marcus shook his head at Billy . “I never said I was gonna let you go alone , I’ll go with you , hell I’ll even broach the subject with him , but it needs to be done , and quickly , for his sake , and for ours as well . Billy, out of all the crew , Kor’Tar trusts you and I the most , that’s why I need your help for this . I contacted Admiral Callahan and he agrees with my assessment , Commodore Kor’Tar is unfit for duty. , and until that changes it is up to us to releive him of his command responsiblities until such a time he is judged to be competent once more by a medical board of inquiry , but we won’t let it come to that . Kor’Tar has some leave time saved up , we are near the Klingon border . We are going to suggest he take some shore leave , go back home for a few weeks . Maybe after all is said and done he’ll be more ready to continue his duties here , what do you say Billy? Will you help me?” Marcus asked .
Billy nodded slowly before saying , “Ok , I’ll help you , but I’m going to stay behind you incase he decides to charge the door !”
Marcus chuckled and Billy’s statement “Come on!”
The two men exited the turbolift at deck eight and wound through the maze of cooridors till they found the doors of Kor’Tar’s cabin . Through the duranium doors they heard the pounding of Klingon Thrash Metal . Marcus took a deep breath and held it and pressed the door chaime as Billy hid behind Marcus peeking over his right shoulder .
The music stopped and they heard a low gravelly voice rumble from inside “ENTER!!!”
Marcus walked slowly as the doors swooshed open , Kor’Tar’s quarters had been trashed, furnature broken and sliced open with swords , art ripped aprt on the walls , statues destroyed , computer terminals smashed , the lights , what few that were left flickered on and off . Kor’Tar the once tall and proud warrior sat in an armchair pulled up to a wall table in a t-shirt , boxers , and a bathrobe . His hair a mess , his sideburns unshaven . surrounded by empty blood wine bottles on the table and floor with a 12th in the klingon’s hand which he was pounding away at , trying to get every last drop of blood wine out of .
Marcus , followed closely behind by Billy apporached Kor’Tar and took the empty bottle from his lips and set it on the table . Kor’Tar mumbled something incoherently .
“Billy , get me a glass of cold water from the replicator .” Marcus said as he observed Kor’Tar’s pulse and respiration and his blood alcahol levels with his tricorder .
Billy complied and retirved a glass of cold water from the replicator and handed it to Marcus while he closed his tricorder . Marcus threw the cold water on Kor’Tar’s face , waking the drunken Klingon up with a start “ Arrgghhh!!!”
“Good morning sunshine ! You look like hell !” Billy said to Kor’Tar .
Kor’Tar glared at Billy as he hid behind Marcus again .
“Kor’Tar , how long has it been since you’ve been home , on Qo’NoS?” Marcus asked carefully .
Kor’Tar wiped off the water on the front of his shirt as he stripped it off and looked for a clean one in his closet , he found an old ratty , Led Zeppelin shirt and put it on .
“About ….12 years now , why do you ask ?” He said as he pulled on a pair of old faded black jeans with well worn holes in both knees .
“Kor , I think it’s time you you head back to the homeworld and reconnect with your roots , the past few months have been hard on everyone , especially you , I think you need to take some time away to consider some things .” Marcus said as Kor’Tar listened and pulled on his socks and boots .
Kor’Tar eyed his number one , “We have the Doctor’s opinion , what about you Billy? What do you have to say ?”
Billy came out from behind Marcus and sat down on the couch and looked Kor’Tar in his eyes , “Sir , you are one of the bravest men , and most couragous men I have ever known , but recently since the disappearnce of Captain Valentine , T’Bunn , and Commander Moren and the assasination of Melota and your subsequent defeat at the hands of Empress Lursa , your morale and command ability has been on a steady decline , your drinking non-stop , and spending most of your time in the holodeck running program “Revenge 1” . Sir , your lifestyle as of late has been the most unhealthy since …well , me , after that incident during the Dominion War .” Billy stopped for a moment as the flashbacks of those bloody days washed over his mind . He quickly pushed those feelings back down into the pit of his stomach .
Kor’Tar looked at them both sunk his head into his hands , “ I am being relieved of duty , is that it?” He asked .
“Well , we are going to call it shore leave , while you heal at home for 3 weeks , Billy will be left in command of the Kahless , after three weeks we will come back into orbit , where you will either resume command or ….”
Kor’Tar finished his sentence for him “ Or I will formally turn command over to Billy and resign my commission .”
There was an uncomfortable silence , and Kor’Tar began packing his bags .
Kor'Tar after packing his bags , showering , cleaning up the mess in quarters and getting dressed walked down to the transporter room where he was met by the entire senior staff . Nurse D'Raako Joran , the ship's resident Orion , hugged Kor'Tar's neck tightly . "Be sure to take plenty of pictures , and contact us by subspace !" she purred . Kor'Tar hugged her back then regained his composure , "Of course Nurse Joran ! Number One , I leave the ship in your command until my return from shore leave . "
Billy nodded , "Understood sir ."
"Get a lock on the B'RoQ family estate and beam me down George !" Kor'Tar commanded .
Cheif Sulu input the commandsinto his console , "Ready sir" he said .
Kor'Tar took one last look around at his officers and then said , "Energize" the low hum of light enveloped the Klingon as he molucules were taken apart by the transporter beam .