Sunday, October 25, 2009

Darkness, Darkness

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 .

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