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The Search Part IV
Episode 11 - Family Matters
Stardate 73834.3
MD004 2200 hrs

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Debts

Posted on Sun May 27th, 2018 @ 2:47pm by Captain Cornelius Tremble & Captain Larta Daughter of Shog
Edited on on Tue May 14th, 2019 @ 7:48am

Mission: Episode 3 - Weary Travellers
Location: USS Pioneer / Empok Nor - Various
Timeline: MD003 0900 hrs
Tags: SD 71400.0900
2008 words - 4 OF Standard Post Measure



Tremble had kicked the detachment out of a collective funk after the memorial service and took them all out for a run. Some might think it was insensitive, but for marines you honored your dead and you moved on. With shore leave right after the service, he was worried they would turn to mind altering substances and over do it.

So, it was time for a run.

He’d contacted Cunningham, who seemed distracted and told him to go ahead. Then Tremble had contacted station ops and gotten permission for the detachment to stretch their legs. He started them off easy, jogging three abreast through the stations cargo ring. They were drawing attention, especially with Flarn carrying the guidon and Tremble calling cadence.

Drop ship falling through twenty miles of sky
Delta Seven ‘fo Seven ‘fi Seven along for the ride
Stand up, Seal up, shuffle to the door
Hit the ground running and shout Marine Corps

Fan out left side, cover right
Engage the enemy as soon as they’re in sight
Crawl through the mud, dig yourself a hole
A Federation Vacation, keep your head low

lef’ righ’, yo’ lef’
lef’ righ’, yo’ lef’

If I die in the drop zone,
box me up and notify home
pin my medals upon my chest
tell my momma I did my best

lef’ righ’, yo’ lef’
lef’ righ’, yo lef’

Up at reveille
Running for fun
Twenty five klicks before we’re done

lef’ righ’, yo’ lef’
lef’ righ’, yo’ lef’

* * *
The run had had it’s desired effect. Though tired, the marines were exuberant after the exercise. And it had been a ‘groupsticle’ as Tremble liked to call it. Something the entire detachment did as a unit that had shaken up the day to day of the station.

The Marines were HERE.

He’d gotten a couple of complaints from Ops, but wasn’t taken them too seriously. The Pioneer was only here for a few days and all of the marines would be rotating through shore leave. If Ops had to reassure a few residents or trader captains that there wasn’t an invasion pending or some such, Tremble really couldn’t be fussed.

Of course, once that was done he felt somewhat at a loss. Shore leave wasn’t something he’d planned for and subsequently, he found himself wandering the station’s promenade. He found one merchant selling a bread that passed as a pretzel and the beer he’d gotten at one of the station’s pubs was passable.

But, once he’d walked for an hour or so and sampled the street food, he wasn’t sure of what he should do next. He’d contemplated a camping trip someplace, but they had the Admiral’s dinner tomorrow and his attendance had been deemed necessary in the eyes of the Corp.

Tremble wandered aimlessly for awhile, musing on the fact that no one was shooting at him aboard this station and the place almost reeked of normalcy. People living their lives, commercial concerns weighing heavily on some while others appeared heavily dedicated to entertainment.

And then there was the domestically inclined. He saw several families going about their lives and he wondered what something like that would have been like? Tremble remembered going up, of course. He hadn’t been born in combat boots with a phaser in his hand, despite what some of the troops thought. But, he’d grown up knowing what he wanted to do and had worked toward that goal with the single mindedness of the young.

“Great space, am I getting melancholy in my old age?” he muttered to himself as he rounded the corner of the promenade and debated on making another lap or finding a vantage point to watch people.

His natural inclination at the moment was to gain ground and watch from a raised position, so he made his way to the second level of the promenade and found a likely spot. He let his mind wander as he watched people, but didn’t. His mind wandered through the chapters of his life that had led him to this place and time and he debated on how weighty a volume it might be.

He’d always thought of himself as an open book.

Tremble shook his head at that thought and unconsciously rubbed the insignia Malbrook had given him, wondering if the ‘Butter bar’ was cursed. He was, after all now, officially, the oldest 2nd Lieutenant in the Corp.

That was more depressing than it really should be. He’d had reasons for accepting it but he was dwelling. Dwelling was never a good thing. Tremble caught himself then, sensing someone coming up and pausing behind him. He turned and caught an Klingon female looking at him, her head tilted.

“Marine?” She asked.

“Obviously,” he stated, looking her square in the eye.

Her nostrils flared and he saw her tense. “You are the one they call Tremble?”

He nodded politely then, “Yes.”

She stared at him for several beats, turned abruptly on her heel and started walking away. She turned slightly and said, HItlhej, naghIl! (Follow me, if you dare).

He considered only for a moment, then followed. His father had taught him Klingon as a boy, but never said much about his experience, though Neil knew he’d fought them frequently. And the fact that he’d taught him their language spoke to something.

The Klingon woman was dressed in warrior’s kit, tight leather and mail armor and carrying a few blades, from what he could tell. And sexy, if he was being honest with himself. He shook that thought away and decided he’d better keep his wits about them, whatever this was about.

From his studies, he knew she wouldn’t have approached him openly if she’d meant to kill him, so this was something else. She stalked as much as walked through the corridors and people made a path for her. Neil kept his distance and followed her into one of the local bars, and thence into a back room where an old Klingon sat, slumped in a corner slurping at a mug of what Neil took to be blood wine.

She gestured at Neil, then slid into a chair of her own and scowled at both of them as the door shut behind them.

Wiping his mouth with the back of a gauntlet, he gestured at an empty chair and pushed a mug towards Neil as the marine slid into the preferred seat.

“I am Shog, son of Larm,” Shog began. Gesturing to the female, he said “This is Larta, my heir.” He looked Neil over and nodded, “You look like Adolphus. Is my old friend well?”

Neil picked up the blood wine and took as much of a sip as he thought he might be able to stomach and then nodded. “He’s alive and surviving, at least the last time I talked to him. He never mentioned you, however.”

Shog grunted and Larta growled, half standing before Shog pushed her back into her seat. “He was always close mouthed,” he stated. Looking Neil over, he said “Well, it can’t be helped in this case. Believe what I am about to tell you as you will.”

Shog took a long drink from his tankard, belched loudly and started. “Your father was taken prisoner on the N’Chaut, a ship I served upon twenty years ago. I was first officer and chose to spare him, even though he defeated because of the tenacity he showed. Such a soldier was due praise and after a year, he went free and chose to return to the Federation.”

He spit at that, but Neil wasn’t sure if he was expressing an opinion or something in the blood wine. Neil looked for floaters and kept his teeth together as he took another drink of the warm, fiery wine, trying to filter anything out.

“During that year, we formed a bond of warriors. He owed me a life debt and acknowledged it. Now we are old men but you should know that I. We, believe that our bonds follow through and become the debts of our children who would not be alive if it weren’t for those sacrifices and bonds

Neil saw where this was going and eyed Shog. “Listen Shog, this is all new to me. I’m not saying your account isn’t right, but I don’t see how it comes to me.”

Marta snarled at that and stood, one accusing finger pointing at Neil. “See, I told you there is no point. batlh Hutlh wa’ (This one has no honor) Neil pushed the hand away, and stated neH lut tlhaQ such as pagh tob Har qoH loQ be'Hom (Only a fool would believe a story such as this with no proof, little girl).

She punched at him then and he took the blow, rolling head over heels in his chair and coming up with it in his hands as she pulled a ‎D'k tahg and lunged at him. He blocked the knife, the razor sharp blade sliding into the seat and temporarily lodging. Neil twisted the chair, ripping the blade away and kicked her in the stomach, sending her bouncing off the bulkhead.

He blocked her next blow and shoved her behind, using her own momentum and kicked her feet out from under her, causing her to go head first into the opposite bulkhead. Glancing at Shog, the old man was sitting there, watching and drinking.

Then Neil had to turn his head back as she came at him and he caught her in a scoop slam, in an attempt to pin her to the floor. She struggled as he got her arms pinned and that’s when she abruptly kneed him in the groin. Gasping, Neil let her kick him off and he rolled, getting his back to the bulkhead as he tried to push back the pain and the pushed to his feet as best as he could as she climbed to her own, blood dripping from her lip as he saw the blood lust in her eyes.

“ENOUGH!” Shog bellowed out, “this is no time for courtship. You two children barely know each other.” Standing, he ripped the D’k tag from the chair it remained embedded in and tossed it to Neil, who caught it and watched the two warily, unable to straighten from the crouch he was in.

“You have been made aware. In the future, she may require assistance and you will repay the debt owed, or not. Take the knife to remember the bond to us.” He grinned then, slapping Neil on the back as the old Klingon warrior started for the door. “She may kill you or marry you, if you keep this up Tremble.”

Larta spit at that but grudgingly followed her father from the room, wiping blood from her mouth and tasting it as she walked away, eyeing him. Neil eased his back then, straightening as best he could and then regained his knifed chair and sat warily, his gut aching.

He heard Shog bellow, “Ferengi! Your blood wine tastes like fuel, unfit for my ship. We are leaving, give the bill to the human!” Neil gritted his teeth at that and drank the last of the bloodwine from the bottle on the floor. It didn’t make his stomach feel any better and he fought back bile as the liquid fought with his internal organs.

As he drank, he saw Larta glance back at him again, this time her eyes calculating and he sighed.

What had his father done now?


Second Lieutenant Cornelius Tremble
Marine Commanding Officer, USS Pioneer


Captain Larta Daughter of Shog
Commanding Officer, Ram Cha' Par
House H'rell Bird of Prey

 

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