21.4.18

Unofficial 31

Unofficial Literary Challenge #46: Fiction on Fandom

The I.K.S. Valentine sat in orbit of Archanis IV firing extensively modified antiprotons into empty space, puncturing a hole into Gre'thor itself and opening a giant portal. When three trapped Klingon ships emerged, Captains Sigon, Deloss and Kronen beamed back over to their crews.

"Well, it's about time! It feels like those modifications took months," complained the Ferasan, Kronen, from the view screen.

The Orion, Elektra, crossed her arms. "You know it's still the year 2410, and that we have no down time what-so-ever. Not that you have to worry about as much anymore."

"What do you mean by that? You have come off awfully stand-off-ish ever since we rescued you from that Chieftain monster," came the split-screen hail from the Klingon, Captain Sigon. "Almost like you intended to do something or another once things were wrapped up."

Then the Gorn, Deloss, split the screen three ways. "Yeah! Not to mention the fact you 'accidentally' drove a dk'tang through my chest. Good thing there are Gorn hearts all throughout our bodies."

"Oh, fine. But hidden agendas are a norm and not a surprise in this Empire," she scolded. "The only reason I rescued you petaQ from Gre'thor was so that I could send you back there again— only dead!" And then, "It's redundant now. I see that."

Sigon's jaw dropped. "You insolent fake-news slave girl! You have finally shown your inherent, randomized treasonous ways! I guess there are just people out there who exist merely to be the enemies of other people with no other purpose whatsoever."

"It's far from random ever since you murdered Rukkh! I actually liked him! Not to mention the failure you three exhibited by not saving the entire population of Raatooraas from Sage-like destruction," countered Elektra.

Kronen turned to his view screen counterpart, Sigon. "You fool! You were supposed to cover that up! Next time, you're not invited to my worship ceremony of me. I was going to have more gagh-based streamers and everything."

"Oh, great, now I'm going to have Klingon dishonor all over me," complained Deloss. "I'm going to be stress-throwing giant rocks for weeks!"

Elektra rolled her eyes. "Give me a break. You only have yourselves to blame for your ongoing incompetence: Deloss let another Moriarty hologram escape back at our home base, and Kronen has a Mirror Universe double that is more annoying than a Talaxian/Human boy wonder combined! The point is, I have orders."

"—Orders to have fun and party down!" came the fourth split screen hail from Captain Menchez himself. "Remember, Sigon? Like how you used to before you prevented me from an honorable death? Right?"

Everyone reacted on utter shock at the old Klingon's sudden appearance from what seemed like out of nowhere.

"Sir, it was last reported your ship, the I.K.S. Kragoth, its crew and yourself were hijacked by Augments and blackmailed into serving them?" Deloss inquired. "Sure, it was in an RP rather than a ULC, but it still holds." And then, "Oh, the former stands for royal pain, and the latter stands for Unrelenting Loyalty Championship— A week-long test we measure ourselves of quite regularly in the Empire." 

Menchez laughed. "Oh, you four are hilarious indeed! It's like some writer from Sto-vo-kor came down and wrote your lives so epically," he mused. "Indeed, I have been preoccupied and unable to lead our little fleet, but it has been wonderful on my own! The Augments have varied entertainment tastes, which I now see align to that of our precious empire. You simply must join my presentation of the Song of the Dead: A Heart-Wrenching Tribute to Those Lost, Not in Battle."

The screen then cut out, and the group tracked his extra-long-range transmission to the previously-thought eradicated world of Raatooras.

"What!? Must've been technology the Augments stole. Oh, and by the way, did he seem different to any of you?" asked Sigon, confused and shocked all at once. "I mean, the hair in a bun was certainly my red flag."

Deloss snarled. "He obviously requires back up. There is something more going on here. Isn't that right, Captain Elektra? I'm referring to your 'orders,' by the way, if that subtext was not clear."

"I don't need to be lectured by you three. I was out saving the galaxy when your grandfather was in diapers!" Elektra said.

Kronen tilted his head in confused. "Aren't you the youngest of us all, and Hell-bent on mate seeking? Never mind. Let's just all agree not to have it out with each other yet and, instead of spectating, we go in and eliminate those mutant-men once and for all."

"Agreed. After Menchez is back, we will have it out, and not in that Starfleet-harmless-brawl kind of way; I mean actual killing and death and such," explained Sigon. "I want blood and screams. Work with me, people!"

Everyone just looked at him awkwardly, before jumping to warp and into the mission.

---

Later, the I.K.S. Baetal, Masamune, Dragunov and Valentine dropped out into normal space, joining the Kragoth in orbit of Raatooras. The four Captains beamed down onto a large opera stage, circled by Augment-audience seating.

"Welcome to the celebration for The Children of Khan!" came the announcement from Hokke who stepped onto stage with them. "You four are in for a delight. This world is now claimed ours, and your Fleet Captain, here, has been so kind as to prepare a little something for us."

Sigon pulled out his disruptor. "You can forget the niceties, Augment. We've come to take Menchez back, despite the inhabitants of this world being lost because of us."

"Only by extension, may I add," Deloss said, taking out his weapon. "A Takarian Sage did the actual work. We were just late to stop him. Did anyone even read the ULC? Oh, universal library chronicle."

Menchez then put his hands together, prepared to recite his rhythmic epic:

"As you may know, our sorrows grow;
We share them high, we share them low.
But what say you, is how we deal?
Why, a brand new society: to help us heal!"

Kronen instinctively aimed his own disruptor out at the Augments, while turning to his commanding officer. "Sir, are you... reciting Takarian-like poetry? Delta Quadrant inspired?"

"A world anew, of beings so strong;
Like the Arin'Sen past, they'll come along.
Feasts of no other, with blood-food to suffice;
Don't you think, think it would be so nice?"

Elektra took out her weapon and turned to her three other counterparts. "You fools want to redeem yourselves? Then we must trust Menchez is doing this for a reason and do our job! You know, that thing you were supposed to do last time?"

"But this time he's acting really strange," said Sigon as he saw an Augment come running for him. "And, let's be honest, he ordered Elektra to have us all killed. I say he dies first! As a byproduct of poetry-slamming, not that whole him-regretting-me-saving-his-life-thing that one time."

As the group opened fire on incoming, attacking Augments, Menchez continued his surly expose:

"The Sages, thee, of past and lost;
I call upon you, to judge with cost.
This world was not yours, of that to command;
You do not belong on this surface, not this land."

Suddenly, the entire stadium began to shake, and an Arin'Sen man, already merged with the Great Sage, floated in from the top striking lightning upon the attacking Augments, giving relief to the four fighters.

"This world belongs to no one but the Arin'Sen," he claimed in an echoed, booming voice. "You are not welcome here."

Kronen looked on in shock. "You lair! You said you were leaving to look for more of your kind?? I could've been the god here— in a mortal way. I had this great story written about where I died and came back to life. It's nonsensical, but people fall for it every time."

"Aha! So, we were right. We knew he was here, which was why we tricked Menchez into calling him out," Hokke said, taking out his tricorder. "We plan to offer him real godhood and leadership among the Children of Khan, for access to his unlimited power. It's pretty obvious the Takarians were too dumb to appreciate it. I mean, they ended up worshiping Ferengi."

The Arin'Sen/Sage floated down to them, with Menchez realizing the situation. "Unlimited power? This world was never really cleansed, was it? You hid the Arin'Sen from the Klingon Empire because we continued to ravage them of their food and supplies? I'd say women too, but Klingons have a strict sexual harassment policy that people are constantly shocked to hear."

"So, now you're not rhyming?" Deloss said, looking to Menchez. "And does this mean you were playing the Augments all along? Because that would be delightful."

At that, the entire stadium began to fill with Arin'Sen inhabitants, thought long-dead, glowing with Sage power, as they outnumbered the sparse Augments in the audience. "No! They're alive?? This was to be our planet!" Hokke countered. "We had plans for genetically modified everything! We love GMOs!"

"The Arin'Sen are resilient people to have put up with the Klingon Empire. The Klingons, nor you Augments, are anything like them," the Sage explained as Sigon, Deloss, Kronen and Elektra turned their weapons' aim at him.

Sigon signaled his compatriots to stand down. "Wait! He's right. I was instrumental in the annual conquering of this world. True honour would be us strengthening our conquered worlds, not absorbing their resources until they're dry. Together, we are stronger. Right, Captain Elektra?"

"An interesting perspective, Sigon," the female Orion said as all the Augments were wiped away from the dimensional plane. "Perhaps we divide ourselves when we don't understand the actions of each other."

The Sage's glow began to dim as he approached the group. "So, you are in fact capable of change, are you? If that is so, I will deal with the Children of Khan, if you five will cease the abuse of this culture. No lies this time."

"Lies or not, this planet still belongs to the Klingon Empire," reminded Menchez. "We've been its custodians since the 22nd century, and it will take some convincing with the Council to change our demands."

The Sage looked to him, before slowly disappearing and taking the glow of the local inhabitants with him. "You will do what is right. Calling me out made clear your intentions. The Arin'Sen are yours once again to protect. Do not fail them, or I will be back with my siblings."

"Speaking of failure, we must not falter on our promise to each other— lessons of division notwithstanding," Deloss said as he, Kronen, Sigon and Elektra all aimed their disruptors at each other in standard Klingon practice.

Menchez looked on in shock. "Huh? Oh, the murder and death thing. Ordering my fleet to kill each other may have been a result of my compromised circumstances. Not to mention, conflict and dysfunction is inherent in our instincts, so all we're doing at this point is playing into them."

"Well, I don't want to be predictable," Elektra said taking down her weapon and activating her transport. "But I won't forgive my fleetmates did to my Chieftain slave. I'm taking 3 million energy credits from our shared bank as payment."

When she dematerialized, Deloss reached over to activate his own wrist communicator. "Finally, a non-Klingon method in taking over a world, I, as a Gorn, can embrace. I will prepare a rock throwing Olympic ceremony that will unite us."

"No Sage, huh?" Kronen said as he watched Deloss disappear. "This bodes well for my coming back to life story. How did you do your undead thing, Menchez? The Calibus VII virus? Interesting."

After he was gone, Sigon crossed his arms. "Your poetry was epic and instrumental. Also, it was catchy. We Klingons know this craft all too well, I now realize, and it does not emasculate us at all."

"Uh, no. No it doesn't. Besides, I did it better than the Takarians! Hah! Also, I do not regret that you saved my life that time from the Kazon-Rokka," replied Menchez. "Come. We will work as a proper fleet, finally. A party, perhaps, on our vessels this time to celebrate."

Sigon nodded. "I would like that, Captain. Qapla!" The two clasped each other's wrists in newfound camaraderie and transported up to their respective ships.

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