Star Trek: The Reunion of Old Friends
by Helmut Eppich

The Reunion of Old Friends

Helmut Eppich

The Federation and Starfleet Command have always been at odds with The Klingon Empire. Mysterious beings known as "Organians" prevented both spacefleets from beginning an interstellar war with each other during the first season episode, "Errand of Mercy". Both fleets had been immobilized by The Organians. They were never permitted to fight again on a grand, massive scale. However, occasional incidents continually flared up between The Federation, Starfleet Command, and The Klingon Empire. Classic second and third season Star Trek episodes, "The Trouble With Tribbles" and "Day Of The Dove", chronicled these occasional incidents. This story is about one of those continual flareups.

Helmut Eppich, March 2024, LaGuardia.

Log 1: The Reunion
Helmut Eppich CONFRONTATION. Drawing by Helmut Eppich.

The red main alert light planted dead center between Sulu and Chekov's combined helm/navigation console beeped and blinked insistently. They checked their individual instrumentation control boards.

Sulu looked intently into his hooded gooseneck sensor viewer, sprouting from the helm control panel's upper corner.

"Sensor contact," Sulu claimed. "Extreme sensor range."

Kirk swung his command chair around to face Spock's library computer station located on the upper Enterprise bridge level.

"Spock? What do you make of it?"

The Vulcan executive and science officer was hunched over his library science computer station's hooded sensor viewer. He astutely scrutinized its contents within the blue glow. The hooded sensor viewer stamped a glowing bar of ambient blue light across his satanic brow. His left hand occasionally adjusted the silver knob at its side.

"Scans indicate configurations of a Klingon D7 Battle Cruiser headed in our direction, captain," reported the Vulcan science officer urgently.

"High speed rate navigational sweeps indicate a possible interception course, sair," announced Chekov from his navigator's console position. "ETA fifteen minoots."

Kirk swiveled about to face Lt. Uhura's communication station behind him on the upper bridge level next to Spock's library computer station.

"Lt. Uhura, sound red alert please," he ordered.

"Aye, sir," Uhura replied dutifully.

Immediately, the ship wide klaxon blared deafeningly.

Kirk swung forward. Thumbed a button on the right command chair armrest.

"This is the captain," Kirk's firm voice reverberated throughout the Enterprise.

"All decks general quarters. This is a red alert. All hands man battle stations."

The ship wide klaxon continued its noisy alarm as personnel streamed in and out of the bridge’s red turbo-lift doors. Hectic voices from various sections deep within in the Enterprise's bowels urgently flooded outer bridge stations' intercoms with continual, urgent status reports.

Sulu’s experienced hands flitted agilely across his helm board, pressing multi-colored buttons. Melodic bleeps responded.

"Deflector screens at full power, sir. All phaser banks engaged at maximum setting. Phaser lock initiated. Standing by."

Chekov spoke up."Photon torpedoes activated, sair. Full power. Set on standby. Ready to fire."

Turbo-lift and intercom activity gradually subsided.

Uhura spoke up. "All decks and sections report red alert status, captain."

"Very well," replied Kirk. "Cut the noise, Lieutenant. Open hailing frequencies. Try contacting the Klingon battle cruiser's commander. I want to ask him a few questions."

"Yes, sir." Uhura turned to her communications board. As if playing a piano her fingers of one hand pressed the console’s jewel-like buttons. Her other hand adjusted the silver electronic receiver poking lopsidedly out from her left ear.

Spock's voice rose from over his hooded viewer. "Klingon battle cruiser’s screens activated. Disruptors are at maximum intensity."

Uhura cut in. "No response from the Klingon captain. Klingon communication jamming signals flooding all hailing frequencies. We're deaf and dumb."

"We may be deaf," stated Kirk, "but we're certainly not dumb."

"What's all the noise about, Jim?"

“Didn't notice you come in, Bones."

"Slipped in during the shipwide red alert alarm," answered McCoy. "You've definitely got other matters on your mind. Besides, sickbay is ready. Hopefully, it won't be needed."

"Amen to that, Bones," Kirk turned to Uhura. "Still no response from the Klingon commander?"

"No, sir. Attempting to penetrate his jamming signal with high intensity transmission tight beam pulses set at different gains. Nothing."

"That Klingon commander means business."

"Also means we can't reach the nearest starbase," added McCoy.

"Status report, Mr. Spock? What's the Klingon ship doing now?"

"Maintaining a steady approach, captain," replied Spock. His face hovered over the hooded sensor viewer.

"Mr. Sulu,” said Kirk. “Put the Klingon battle cruiser on the main bridge viewing screen. I want to take a look at him.”

"Yes, captain. Onscreen."

The Klingon battle cruiser blurred and wavered into focus. Suddenly, a dotted line of green tracer disruptor torpedos spat from the Klingon battle cruiser's rectangular engine nacelle pods’ front end.

Sulu stared excitedly at the main bridge viewer. "He's fired disruptors!"

"Evasive action! Hard over!" snapped Kirk.

Immediately, the bridge tilted to one side. Everyone leaned opposite. The entire bridge shook. Lights dimmed. Brightened. The bridge slowly straightened.

"Return fire, Mr. Sulu!" ordered Kirk.

"Returning fire, captain!" Sulu's hands stabbed the firing controls. In immediate response, outside, from underneath the Enterprise’s saucer section twin blue-white beams of energy lanced away.

On the main bridge viewing screen, blue-white energy coruscated around the Klingon battle cruiser. It tilted to one side and straightened.

"Klingon power reduced by twenty-five percent," announced Spock. His piercing eyes were riveted to his hooded sensor viewer. "He is still mobile."

On the main bridge viewing screen, the Klingon battle cruiser began a gradual turn, beginning a circular course.

"Engineering tae bridge. Scott here,” announced Chief Engineer Officer Scott from Kirk’s command chair intercom.

Kirk thumbed a command chair armrest button. "Go, Scotty. What is it? How's our power?"

"Down fifty percent, sir. Hit us close to me engines. Channeling auxiliary power to main warp engines. Knew just where tae hit us."

"Do whatever you can to keep us going!"

"Aye, captain."

Kirk punched the command chair armrest intercom off.

"Apparently, we have been hit more severely than the Klingon battle cruiser," said Spock. Finally, he straightened from his hunched position over the science library computer console’s hooded sensor viewer.

"Keeping score, Mr. Spock?" snapped McCoy.

"Negative, doctor. Sensors clearly indicate as such."

"Something in mind, Spock?" Kirk queried. "Otherwise you wouldn't have mentioned such an obvious fact."

"Merely responding a fact to the good doctor, captain. However, indeed, captain, now that the Klingon commander knows how much damage he has inflicted, he will increase his assault with a barrage of high-intensity disruptor fire, thereby further increasing damage."

Kirk nodded. "Makes sense. Go on."

"Perhaps we can retaliate with a combined phaser and photon torpedo barrage," explained Spock.

"We'd have to do it right away before he strikes again," Kirk pointed out.

Spock nodded. "Before the Klingon commander is able to increase his upper hand."

"If he gets us first we're all dead in the water," stated McCoy.

"I believe I just said that, doctor," said Spock, raising one eyebrow.

"Well, I'd just like to emphasize it, that's all," McCoy replied grumpily, waving one arm loosely for effect and then placing it behind his back, clasping his other arm.

Kirk looked at the main bridge viewing screen. The Klingon battle cruiser was free of the coruscating phaser energy from the Enterprise’s initial phaser fire.

“Mr. Sulu, he's continuing his swing into a circular course around us," Kirk said. "Cut directly in front of him. On my mark, fire phaser torpedoes at his engine nacelles where that disruptor fire came from. Mr. Chekov, at the same time, hit him with photon torpedos directly on the bow. Through, and into his bow communications sensor tube. Maintain fire until my command to stop.”

Sulu and Chekov grinned wolfishly at each other as they readjusted their instrumentation.

Warp engines were heard deeply rumbling and rising in pitch, then fading as the Enterprise moved into position before the Klingon battle cruiser. Onscreen, the Klingon ship appeared to be turning toward the Enterprise.

Bridge personnel gawked anxiously at the main bridge viewing screen with dreaded anticipation.

"Stand by, gentlemen..." Kirk said anxiously, eyes riveted to the screen. "Ready...on my mark…”

The Klingon battle cruiser turned with infinite slowness.

"He's probably wondering what we're up to," mused McCoy.

"He will find out in short order, doctor" Spock responded. He bent over his hooded sensor viewer.

"Not yet..." sang Kirk.

Their hands poised alertly over their firing controls, Sulu and Chekov stared tensely at the main bridge viewing screen displaying the revolving Klingon battle cruiser. Slowly but surely, the Klingon battle cruiser crept around to align its bow with the Enterprise’s.

Suddenly, the D7 Klingon Battle Cruiser stared directly, forebodingly, menacingly, out at Enterprise bridge personnel from the main bridge viewing screen.

"Now!” exclaimed Kirk. “Fire! Phaser and photon torpedoes! POINT! BLANK! Range! Maximum power! Maintain fire!"

Once again, from beneath the Enterprise’s saucer section, blue-white and yellow orange blobs of light shot out in combined, direct lines of fire at the Klingon battle cruiser to strike relentlessly at its bow tube-like communications sensor hull structure and rectangular engine nacelles.

Eventually, steadily, as the phaser and photon torpedoes pounded into the Klingon battle cruiser, coruscating green energy bolts cocooned it, flaring up its high intensity forcefields with direct hits.

"Captain," spoke up Uhura. "I'm picking up a Klingon distress signal. Has to be a distress signal at this point.”

Kirk’s intense stare remained steadfast on the main bridge viewer, displaying a sizzling Klingon battle cruiser.

"Acknowledged,” snapped Kirk. “Plot bearings and distance."

"Yes, sir," replied Uhura efficiently, turning back to her communications board.

The Klingon battle cruiser tilted sideways as she buckled wildly within her cocoon of green energy forcefield arcs. Phaser and photon torpedoes continued relentlessly hammering the Klingon battle cruiser as she began to peel and break apart.

“All stop!” ordered Kirk.

The Klingon battle cruiser disintegrated, finally exploding.

Bridge personnel released huge sighs of relief. Sulu and Chekov smiled as they ran hands about their consoles, slamming down switches and buttons, shutting down phaser and photon torpedo banks.

"Disengaging phaser bank energizers and deflector shields," announced Sulu.

"Photon torpedo banks shutting down," declared Chekov.

Kirk pressed his command chair armrest intercom. "Bridge to engineering. Scotty, are those auxiliary power backups working?"

"Aye, captain. They'll do the job while we're gettin’ everythin’ back tae normal down here."

"Very well, Scotty. Good work." Kirk punched off.

"Now for the next question," pondered McCoy.

“And just what would that next question be, Bones?” Kirk inquired.

“What else, Jim? Where in blazes did that Klingon battle cruiser come from?" answered McCoy.

Spock straightened from his hooded sensor viewer, clasping hands behind his back. “I believe Lieutenant Uhura and possibly Ensign Chekov may answer your query, captain," Spock offered.

“The CAPTAIN’s query, Spock?” McCoy questioned irritably.

Spock ignored McCoy with a raised, pointed eyebrow. "Lt. Uhura has been tracking distance and bearings as per your order, captain. Perhaps Ensign Chekov can follow and plot Lt. Uhura's klingon distress signal coordinates to it’s destination point of origin and lay in a course for Mr. Sulu to follow. All queries should be answered, captain. Yours AND Dr. McCoy’s.”

"What the devil are we waiting for?" snapped McCoy in frustration.

Log 2: Distress Call
Helmut Eppich ENCOUNTER. Drawing by Helmut Eppich.

As if on cue Uhura spoke up. She looked and sounded confused. "Captain. Picking up a distress call. I can barely hear it through all that static clogging the frequencies and channels. Oddly enough it’s coming from the Klingon distress signal’s destination point.”

Spock’s eyebrows rose in astonishment. Kirk and McCoy switched anxious glances.

Kirk swiveled around to Uhura’s station. “Can you pull the signal in, Uhura?”

“I believe so, sir,” Uhura responded uncertainly. She continued adjusting her glistening communications station controls. Her normally smooth brow was marred by an intense frown of concentration and confusion. “Drowning under increasing waves of static. Adjusting various frequencies and channels." Suddenly Uhura stiffened. "Hold on, captain. Have something. Or someone."

"Audio, Uhura," instructed Kirk.

"On audio, captain."

Desperate, weak, excited voices argued behind one prominent voice fading in and out, and through crashing static. "If …any ship…signal ...range…help! This...Senkovich...and Bianchi...Klingon attack! Rescue…soon…as…possible… Phoenix…Medical…Algae…risk… capture!”

The weak, distorted, urgent voice deteriorated quickly under harsh, relentless static, assaulting bridge personnel's ears. Uhura cut it off. Quickly. With great relief.

"Mr. Chekov, home in on Lt. Uhura's transmission coordinates for the distress signal’s source. Sulu, lay it in. Plot a course for it."

Both men sitting at their combined helm and navigation console acknowledged simultaneously.

"Course plotted. Laid in, Keptin," reported Chekov from his navigation console.

"Mr. Sulu, increase speed from warp factor one to warp factor six," ordered Kirk from his command chair.

"Yes, sir." Sulu worked his helm controls diligently. Deep lumbering thunder of the warp engines were heard rising to a crescendo and faded. "Warp factor six, captain. Following Chekov’s course."

"Stand ready, ladies and gentlemen. All hands maintain red alert. We're heading into a blind alley."

Spock was bent over his library computer station’s hooded sensor viewer, peering into its soft blue light. A blue glow was stamped across his piercing eyes and satanic eyebrows.

"Spock, any information in the library computer about this... Paradise Pharmaceuticals and…Nightingale Division on... Baria Five?" Kirk inquired curiously.

"Checking now, captain," Spock answered, scrutinizing the hooded sensor viewer’s readings. Its blue glow remained constant.

"Bones. Paradise Pharmaceuticals. Nightingale Division. Right up your alley," stated Kirk. "Familiar?"

McCoy scowled in thought. "Doesn’t seem to be, Jim. Probably one of those basic run-of-the-mill labs manufacturing pills for God-knows-what."

"Well, you’ve heard of them now." Kirk remarked sarcastically.

"Why would the Klingons attack an unassuming drug manufacturing plant barely on the map?" queried McCoy. “If that’s what it is.”

"The only reason Klingons would attack a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility is that there's something important... vital... they want," mused Kirk. “Perhaps out of desperation. Especially if Paradise Pharmaceuticals is barely on the map. A perfect, unassuming target.”

"Agreed, Jim," said McCoy. "But what? How did the Klingons gain information on what they're after?"

"Espionage," stated Kirk. "Remember Space Station K-7, Bones? Arne Darvin. Nilz Baris’ Federation Ambassador's assistant. Was a Klingon spy genetically altered to pose as human."

"Right," agreed McCoy. "Klingons did such a good job they fooled everyone."

"Except for those tribbles." Kirk pointed out.

"Hissing and spitting," McCoy said cocking an eyebrow with a smile. “At Commander Koloth and Korax. Wish I could have witnessed that Space Station K-7 barfight. Must have been a whopper. Remember Scotty’s black eye? Sure proved it.”

"What worries me, Bones,” Kirk stated boldly, “What kind of Klingon treatment will those Paradise Pharmaceutical Facility personnel receive?" asked Kirk.

"Depends on what the Klingons are after, I guess, and how desperately they want it," answered McCoy grimly.

"Klingon occupation forces use indigenous slave labor of inhabitated systems they conquer. Weak and injured are killed. Put under torture by their mind-sifter. Used one on Spock when we visited Organia. Barely survived," said Kirk.

McCoy replied sarcastically, "Blasted Vulcan mental stamina helped him survive. Spock must’ve had one really bad headache. Klingons have no use for the dead."

Spock straightened from examining his hooded viewer, hands clasped behind his back. "Indeed, doctor. Klingons honor a courageous death. Much like Earth's ancient Rome or The Nazis of your Second World War."

"Now is not the time for a history lesson, Spock," snapped McCoy.

"I was not attempting to teach history, doctor."

"Oh? How about a lecture? What's your point?"

"Simple. Observing various ways barbarism remains unchanged. Your ruthless ancient Roman Empire, brutal Nazis, and our totalitarian adversary, the Klingon Empire. Thousands of years in the past Vulcan’s barbaric ways have changed by adapting principles of logic. By controlling emotions, instead of emotions controlling us. Logic saved our race.”

"Speak for yourself, Spock," muttered McCoy.

"I believe I just did, doctor."

"Paradise Pharmaceuticals, Nightingale Division. Baria Five, gentlemen," Kirk reminded them.

Spock and McCoy had gotten carried away with their habitual feuds. Again.

"Yes, captain," Spock acknowledged. "Paradise Pharmaceuticals on Baria Five is located in a secluded section of Federation Space amidst a wide geological asteroid belt from which certain drug ingredients are mined, produced, and developed into various chemicals. Totally ordinary. Quite rudimentary for incurring the wrath of any military invasion risking lives for menial objectives. Much less a Klingon invasion."

"The Klingons definitely are after something.... special," deduced Kirk. "Even if what they’re looking for is menial. To us.”

Lt. Uhura interrupted. "Captain, I've been trying to raise Starfleet Command and the nearest Starbase. Jamming signals interfering and cutting off all hailing frequency transmissions on every channel."

"The Klingons’ calling card," Kirk said. "They're in the vicinity and about to attack. All hands continue red alert."

At the helm console Sulu turned to Chekov at his navigation board. Sulu uttered,"Uh-oh."

Chekov hunched over his navigation board, elbows planted on the console. Raised hands placatingly. "Vell. Here vee go. Agayn. More Klingons. Agayn." Sulu and Chekov reactivated their phaser and photon torpedo banks. Again.

McCoy looked glum. "Well that's it then, isn't it?"

Kirk swiveled about to face Uhura. "Keep at it, Uhura. All channels. All Frequencies. We've got to warn ... SOMEBODY."

"Suppose THEY know already, Jim?”

"In our present situation we DON’T, and WON’T, know who, Bones. Course and weapons status again, Mr. Sulu," ordered Kirk.

Sulu consulted his gooseneck hooded sensor viewer. "Sensor scans show all clear. Phaser banks at full power. Set on stand-by. Deflector shields setting maximum. On course for Baria Five."

Chekov spoke up. "Photon torpedos ready to fire, syr."

"We’re good tae go down here in engineering, sair," called Scotty from Kirk’s left command chair armrest intercom.

"Thank you, gentlemen," responded Kirk.

"Sensor scans negative at this time," reported Spock. "Confirming Mr. Sulu’s sensor scans."

"Besides that blind alley, exactly what are we getting ourselves into, Spock?" offered Kirk.

"More details have become apparent on Paradise Pharmaceuticals, captain," responded Spock. "It is a geological scientific complex on Baria Five known for environmental and chemical studies development, as well as supervising manufacturing healthy nutritional supplements supporting various types of planetary ecosystems, discouraging depletion, avoiding extinction. Hopefully. Nothing about a Phoenix Medical Algae.”

"Doesn’t seem to have military or special scientific value warranting a Klingon attack," said Kirk. "Commander Kor once sneered at what The Federation had to offer Organians. Medicines for the sick. Food and liquids for the hungry."

"Jim, I could swear there was a small glint in Spock's eyes when he mentioned Paradise Pharmaceuticals was a scientific complex," nitpicked McCoy.

"Negative, doctor," Spock replied. "As First Officer during battle alert it is my duty to inform the captain of our situation, as well as answer all his inquires, which I have done, and will continue to do."

McCoy rolled his eyes. "Oh brother. Poppycock."

"Then what's so important, so vital, so crucial, for the Klingons to attack an ordinary, average drug manufacturing facility?" persisted Kirk.

"Something extremely secretive, captain," stated Spock. "Quite valuable. Known only to them. At this point."

"Command intuition tells me we're caught in the middle of some…. secret type of clandestine Klingon operation gone wrong. Baria Five’s distress signal gave the Klingons away," Kirk claimed. "Starfleet may not know what's going on. We do. Now. Unfortunately, we're cut off by that annoying Klingon jamming frequency. And we’re caught in the middle with our hands tied. To untie them we’ll have to visit Baria Five. And find …Senkovich and Bianchi with their…mysterious…Phoenix Medical Algae.”

"Then we're still in the dark," stated McCoy.

The red main alarm light between Sulu and Chekov's helm and navigation blinked and beeped urgently.

"Maybe not for long," commented Kirk. “In more ways than one.”

"We're about to find out, captain!" explained Sulu, looking into his sensor gooseneck viewer. "Sensors picking up one D-7 Klingon Battle Cruiser at edge of sensor range."

Spock hunched over and looked into his hooded viewer. "Confirmed, captain."

Kirk looked at the main bridge viewing screen worriedly. McCoy, standing slightly behind the command chair, looked grim. With clasped hands behind his back. “What do you mean, ‘in more ways than one’, Jim?”

Kirk looked at McCoy grimly. “Well, for one thing, a second Klingon Battle Cruiser. The Klingons want Senkovich and Binachi with their Phoenix Medical Algae.”

“But Spock detected nothing in Paradise Pharmaceuticals scans about Phoenix Medical Algae.”

“Concealed data, Bones. Senkovich’s idea. Has to be.”

“So only Senkovich knows where and what this Phoenix Medical Algae is,” concluded McCoy. “Bianchi too, I suppose.”

“Exactly,” stated Kirk. “And we’re after both of them too. It’s a race, Bones. Between us and the Klingons. For Senkovich and his Phoenix Medical Algae.”

"Phasers locked on, captain," reported Sulu. "Ready to fire."

"Photon torpedos engaged on Klingon wessel, sair," said Chekov.

From the intercom: "Scott here, captain. We'll gi’ yee all the engine power yee need."

"ANOTHER battle cruiser, Spock?"

"Scanning, captain. Klingon shields raised. Disruptor weapon power at maximum. Heading directly toward us."

"A SECOND Battle Cruiser," Kirk stated thoughtfully. "Makes sense now. A lookout. Scout. Reconnoitering. Searching for us or the first Klingon Battle Cruiser? Perhaps both.”

"A distinct possibility, captain," commented Spock.

"We can't let him find us, Jim. Or we’re all dead," claimed McCoy.

"Now there's an understatement if there ever was one, Bones," remarked Kirk. "But you're right."

"We must remain anonymous, captain," Spock stated urgently. "Dr. McCoy has a point."

"I do?"

"Indeed so, doctor. Our silence from the Klingons is highly imperative if we are to reach….Prof. Senkovich and his Phoenix Medical Algae. If we fail to be detected the element of surprise is to our advantage," Spock explained. “Lt. Uhura’s continual hailing frequency transmissions may have been monitored and alerted the Klingons to our location.”

“A chance we had to take,” Kirk replied defensively.

"Seems to me we’ve lost our element of surprise, Mr. Spock," McCoy said. "That Klingon Battle Cruiser out there probably homed in on the first battle cruiser’s distress call before we blew it to kingdom come. Now it’s shown up to snoop around. We’re still dead. Besides, you WOULD name Senkovich as a professor.”

"All the more reason to play cat and mouse with this Klingon battle cruiser,” announced Kirk. “Or any other battle cruiser we encounter, much less some stray ship which might show up unexpectedly. We’d like to reach Baria Five in one piece so we can stop the Klingons from whatever their up to. Somehow. Unfortunately, if there is a large Klingon battle fleet at Baria Five we'd be outnumbered.”

"A well-equipped, specially selected, concealed landing party must enter clandestinely, avoiding detection. It will be able to investigate firsthand Klingon damages inflicted upon The Paradise Pharmaceuticals complex and medical conditions of its personnel," explained Spock. “Of those who have survived.”

"Any ideas as to where inside this complex a landing party can safely hide, avoiding detection by the Klingons, while conducting exploration and rescue, Spock?" asked Kirk. "You've scanned the Paradise Pharmaceuticals Complex on your library computer already."

Spock locked thoughtful. "I believe so, captain. While scanning Paradise Pharmaceuticals data one section immediately presented itself."

"And that section would be…," prompted. Kirk.

"The Florence Nightingale Section."

"Spock, you're joking!" exclaimed McCoy.

"As you undoubtedly know by now, doctor, I never joke," Spock replied in a deadly undertone.

"Florence Nightingale was the most important nurse in medical history, Jim," informed McCoy.

"Excuse me," Sulu interjected wryly. "If anyone is interested, that Klingon battle cruiser out there is coming closer." Looked into his hooded gooseneck viewer once again. Frowned. "Klingon Disruptor Weapons Lock initiated. Shields raised. Approaching our position. May realize we're here. Doesn’t seem sure."

"Doing some investigating?" questioned McCoy. "Checking us out so he can report back to their occupation force on Baria Five. Just like that first Klingon Battle Cruiser did before we hit him."

"Very well, Mr. Sulu, let's keep it that way," announced Kirk. "Swing us around in a wide course. Avoid that Klingon battle cruiser. Head for Baria Five."

"Yes, sir."

"Keep a low profile from any ships we encounter along the way. Maintain speed and distance. We'll find answers to all our questions on Baria Five in The Florence Nightingale Section at Paradise Pharmaceuticals with, ah, Prof. Senkovich, um, Bianchi, with their Phoenix Medical Algae. Perhaps that blind alley won't be so blind after all."

Log 3: Klingon Attack
Helmut Eppich KOR AND KANG. KLINGON COLLABORATION. Drawing by Helmut Eppich.

The Paradise Pharmaceuticals drug manufacturing complex resembled a combination of futuristic pavilions from the 1964-65 World's Fair’s Industrial and International pavilions. Especially its Futurama Exhibition.

That was before the Klingons attacked.

Afterward, the sprawling Paradise Pharmaceuticals complex had been reduced to charred, skeletal ashes by assaulting brutal Klingon occupational forces. A few structures remained partially intact, looking, and were, unstable.

Klingon invasion vehicles and troops rained upon and flooded the ruined Paradise Pharmaceutical complex like hungry, consuming locusts.

Survivors were medically treated with callous, primitive, painful Klingon methods for slave laborers. These slave laborers were used as work parties for Klingon construction garrisons based on Klingon designs. Discipline and cruel treatments were supervised by callous Klingon officers and soldiers. The dreaded Klingon Mind Sifter was feared most.

Klingon construction of Paradise Pharmaceuticals slowly commenced. Klingon soldiers harshly supervised Paradise Pharmaceutical slave laborers to also sort through debris. To look for any and all manner of laboratory specimen containers that carried various types of drugs and chemicals untouched by explosions while simultaneously constructing different types of Klingon structures.

This entire process was overseen and ruled by the inscrutable Commander Kor. His experience with ground occupational forces proved itself invaluable back on Planet Organia, against Captain James T. Kirk, and meddling, omnipotent Organians, who had prevented Starfleet and The Klingon Empire from starting an interstellar war. No one knew what the Organians really were. Eons ago The Organians evolved beyond physical bodies, evolving to a higher plane of existence. That was proven upon revealing themselves to Kirk and Kor as large twin balls of blinding energy.

Klingon Commander Kang made certain his fleet assault forces maintained continual sensor surveillance for any approaching civilian cargo transport ships. Especially Federation and Starfleet vessels. More importantly, Kirk’s.

Kang had been the only Klingon Commander to take over the Enterprise. Partially because of his duty as a Klingon. Partially under the influence of an emotion-feeding alien. Unfortunately, this emotion-feeding alien fed on feelings of hostility, malevolence, hate, bigotry. With Kirk and Kang’s combined Enterprise and Klingon forces, both adversarial crews worked side by side to overcome the alien’s dangerously hostile influences, securing their safety and as well as the ship’s. The occasion had been interpreted as one progressive step toward Federation and Klingon intergalactic cooperation.

Klingons had their old, traditional ways. They stuck with them.

Klingon Commanders Kor and Kang maintained their command post in what was left of the now scorched, partially charred, Futurama Pavilion-like building. Its prominent rear saucer-shaped structure was cracked and scorched, but surprisingly habitable. The building’s leaning, semi-circular front structure was cracked along its top. A central oblong section connecting front and rear sections were pitted with jagged holes. The saucer section’s interior was crowded with makeshift Klingon gear amplified by imported Klingon equipment, surrounding both Klingon Commanders and their soldiers with thick, heavy, consoles crammed by data screens and various Klingon instrumentation.

"Commander Kor, our communication scans have detected a scrambled transmission signal from within our perimeters," reported a Klingon soldier manning one of the few recently installed Klingon-style control consoles.

Kor leaned in over the console anxiously. He eagerly examined the panel's control readouts. As with all Klingon instrumentation it consisted of flickering screens, dials, graphs, winking status lights.

Commander Kang held back. He observed Kor, avoiding unnecessary interruption. For now.

Kor demanded,"Is this transmission signal locatable? Where is its source?"

The Klingon soldier pressed buttons and flicked switches. Status lights winked and blinked. Screens flickered data. All of it was confusing to the untrained eye. Kor's keen eyes homed in on certain console data screens. In this case, readings were negative.

"Unknown. Perhaps a scrambler channel, commander," replied the Klingon soldier. He indicated a compass-like monitor. On it scrambled tracers rippled outward in all directions from a central point which represented Baria Five. "We cannot track the signal's direction. It spins endlessly out of control.”

Kor and Kang exchanged apprehensive glances.

Kor said,”Unfortunately, the signal’s message cannot be accessed. It’s scrambled.”

Kang spoke up.

"Relay transmission signal coordinates to Commander Koloth’s battle cruiser. He is on reconaissance maneuvers. Koloth will follow. Locate the transmission’s reception coordinates. We can discover the receiver's identity. Engage proper actions."

"Yes, commander," replied the Klingon soldier efficiently. "At once."

Kor straightened slowly. His thoughtful, doubtful, sharp, narrowed eyes ran across the console. Various options juggled in his mind. He stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Kang. Kang loomed behind the busy, seated Klingon soldier’s chair, carefully eyeing instrumentation readouts and data screens. He seemed lost in thought.

Both Klingon commanders stared grimly at the communications console in front of them.

“A Federation starship is usually the initial response,” Kor intoned cautiously.

“Only one ship of any kind need follow this scrambled transmission to us and we will be exposed, resulting in brutal confrontation on both sides of The Federation and The Klingon Empire. Despite our conflict being a glorious occasion, especially during the Organian affair, it is unaffordable at this point in time. The Organians may appear once more to prevent an interstellar war as they once did between vast Starfleet and Klingon armadas across the galaxy back then. Captain James T. Kirk and I have unfinished business to resolve.”

“If one ship follows this transmission to us, we will be exposed,” said Kor. “Surely, conflict will result. Indeed. We may, or shall, complete what was almost begun back on Organia with Kirk. A struggle between two powerful spacefleets. The Organians were omnipotent. Prevented The Federation and Klingon Empire from engaging in a glorious battle.” Kor paused. “I wonder what has become of The Organians? If conflict ensues will they intervene once again? They are silent. Are they not aware?”

Kang stated, “Organians do not concern me. I fear them not. Immediate matters are my concern. Commander Koloth will follow this mysterious signal to its reception point and take an appropriate course of action. Our defense tactics will change accordingly based upon his report in regard to our ongoing search for this Phoenix Medical Algae which regenerates depleted and dying ecosystems. We must have this algae to save poorer Klingon systems. The Klingon Empire’s survival depends upon it. We claim it. No other faction or factions shall have it. Secrecy is of utmost importance. Search for this Phoenix Medical Algae, in whatever form it is found, shall continue. As will Klingon construction and, most importantly, Klingon tradition.”

"Very well," agreed Kor, nodding. "Interrogation and mind-sifter sessions have failed to reveal the Phoenix Medical Algae scientists. It is unfortunate some poor souls have not survived our information-gathering methods."

"The scientists we are searching for are secretly concealed among us" declared Kang. "Eventually they will be found. A special mind-sifter session will encourage them to give up their Phoenix Medical Algae formula and specimen growths. Naturally, their souls will be drained as well as their minds."

"Misfortunes of war," announced Kor. "We still must locate the Phoenix Medical Algae consignment amidst this rubble. If it still exists under all this carnage."

"Indeed," agreed Kang.

"We shall increase our vigilance," stated Kor.

"The Federation's and Starfleet’s possible response hinders my thoughts," said Kang. "Eventually, they will find us out. Then retaliate."

"Your ships are prepared," assured Kor.

"Prepared for Captain James T. Kirk and the Starship Enterprise?" questioned Kang folding his arms. "He is almost always encountered in circumstances such as these.”

"Almost certainly" agreed Kor. "I wonder who or what Captain Koloth will find at the reception point of that scrambled transmission?"

“It is only a matter of time,” responded Kang.

"Indeed," Kor agreed.

The Klingon soldier turned from his communications instrumentation to face the superior officers. The Klingon soldier looked shocked. Kor and Kang stared back curiously.

"Report!" Kang snapped.

The Klingon soldier appeared unsteady, afraid of his Klingon superiors. "Distress call from Klingon Commander Kaz. Attacked by the Starship Enterprise. Warns she will advise rescue for Baria Five. Signal terminates."

Commanders Kor and Kang stared impassively at each other.

"Commander Koloth follows the scrambled transmission sent from here," growled Kor. His eyes squinted in anger.

"There will be a reunion between Commander Koloth and Captain James T. Kirk," grunted Kang. "A reunion of old friends."

The Enterprise easily avoided detection from the D-7 Class Klingon battle cruiser, barely detecting her at extreme sensor range.

"It has bypassed us entirely," reported Spock, hovering over his hooded sensor viewer, satanic eyebrows aglow with soft blue light.

“But where?" mused Kirk.

"Sensors clear, captain," reported Sulu.

"Keptin," spoke up Chekov. "I've noticed something strange."

"What is it, Mr. Chekov?" asked Kirk. "Don't keep us in the dark."

Chekov urgently flicked switches, pushed buttons, examined small navigation console data screens. Double-checked readings. He frowned. "Dee Klingon wessel vas following, perhaps trackink, dah distress call from Baria Fyfe."

"Obviously searching for the scrambled signal's reception coordinates," surmised Spock, who had straightened after bending over his hooded sensor viewer. He lifted an eyebrow. "Interesting. A strategy reversal.”

Spock continued. "Finding nothing, the Klingon ship might return to this area we are currently occupying, verifying his sensor readings which seemingly indicate nothing inhabits this sector to intercept the Baria Five distress call. He may be extremely thorough."

"Klingons usually are. We’ll be long gone from here if he does,” said Kirk. “I’d like to know who that Klingon commander is.”

"Be careful what you wish for, Jim. You might just get it," spoke up McCoy. He stood to Kirk's rear.

"Still here, Bones?" Kirk questioned, staring tensely at the large rectangular main bridge viewing screen, currently showing sugary stars.

"Things are interesting.”

The red alert light between Sulu and Chekov's combined helm and navigation stations beeped and blinked urgently.

"See what I mean, Jim?"

Sulu scrutinized the gooseneck hooded sensor viewer sprouting up from his helm console’s left upper corner. A grim frown chiseled itself onto his brows. "He’s coming back this way."

"You just might find out who that Klingon commander is after all," commented McCoy.

"Wide berth, Sulu," instructed Kirk. “Very wide. Don’t think so, Bones. At least not for now.”

“Going evasive, sir,” acknowledged Sulu.

“Head for Baria Five, Mr. Sulu. Ahead warp factor three. Not too fast. Not too slow. To Paradise Pharmaceuticals and its Florence Nightingale Section, Professor Senkovich, Professor Bianchi, The Phoenix Medical Algae.” Kirk paused wearily. Added grimly, “And The Klingons.”

To Be Continued...