Mindscanner #57

Klingon Hockey League

by Dennis Hanon <[email protected]>

HovpoH 9911.13 - again the crew of the Stranglehold visited with the San Diego Gulls in what was an exciting evening of battle as the crew attended another game of ice hockey. This game was filled with all things a Klingon would love - fights, attacks, blood, and lots of shouting, and though it was looking pretty grim for the team (which fought hard against a team from the Fire Mountain Quadrant - Colorado) the Gulls pulled an exciting victory. K'Tor and our Sgt. Major were so hoarse after the game that they were unable to sing any victory songs and had to search out some barrels of Bloodwine to sooth their strained throats. Before the start of the game our crew, representing the Empire and the Klingon Hockey League, stepped out onto the ice to present the Gulls with our own version of their banner and to give their mascot the opportunity to meet our own mascot. Our Bird of Prey was an instant hit with the children and she spent plenty of time to give each child fan a hug. Qapla to K'Lyynn Duras for the hard work and dedication she puts forth on setting up these particular missions and to Resut for the

impressive work done on the KHL banners and the KHL Bird of Prey mascot. Maj Qa to the crew for following the directions on the time and location requirements we had to follow for this game to do the presentation. We must be doing something right since we are being asked back by the arena employees and the hockey fans are checking what our schedule is and look forward to the games we intend to attend. They know that the warriors of the Ring of Fire Fleet and the Kri'stak Quadrant are fun to be around.

Capt. K'Han Den (zantai) aka Wakov Warnok

Ring of Fire Fleet CO

commanding IKV Stranglehold

Kri'stak Quadrant

DujlIj yIvoq

Warrior's Song

by JuDmoS of the SoSoylI' (Bob McFaddin)

<[email protected]>

Chapter One.....

The bridge crew of the Klingon cruiser qulSuS sat silently tending to their duties. The muted, distant thrum of the matter-antimatter reactors was the only sound, save for the occasional blip and beep of the consoles. These were sounds that one grew accustomed to, over time, and learned to just filter out, so to those here, it was as silent as a tomb. The vastness of space lay opened before them, spread out on the forward viewscreen for them all to see.

Ko'var, son of Toragh, was hesitant to break the silence, but it was, after all, time for him to report his console status. "Sensors remain clear, HoD. No threats detected." Then the silence re-asserted itself, as the Captain nodded his acknowledgment. Ko'var busied himself with his status readouts. No, there were no threats detected....no anything. It had been so for the entire length of this patrol....and the one before it, and the one before that.

The qulSuS had been assigned to patrol this desolate section of the Klingon border for the last two weeks. And this particular section bordered on little else but empty, open space. "No threats" was the nature of the beast on this frontier. Oh, there were the occasional trader vessels requesting clearance to cross the border, even an infrequent border violation, which the sensor nets would immediately report. Then qulSuS would rush to investigate, ready to fight and die for the Empire, only to find some wayward alien with a navigational error. But never anything to truly test the mettle of a warship such as this one, or a crew such as this.

Ko'var, as the ship's Tactical Officer, was responsible for the ship's weapons systems, and their maintenance and utilization in combat. A true hulk of a man, he was, huge even by Klingon standards. He stood very nearly two and a quarter meters tall, and easily weighed 150 kilograms, yet trim and muscular. The natural power projected by this warrior was difficult to miss.

QupQeH was Ko'var's best friend, almost like a brother to him. They had attended the Academy together, and were both assigned to the same first ship. There, they formed a fast friendship, and learned to count on each other in difficult situations. They had become inseparable. QupQeH now held the position of Helmsman, and a finer pilot was, at best, difficult to come by. He knew his console and his ship's characteristics as well as any warrior.

Va'ktcha was Captain. This was beyond question. A more commanding presence, a more authoritative figure, simply did not exist outside the chambers of the High Council. He had spent many years serving aboard Imperial warships, and no small measure of them in command. He was used to having his orders obeyed, and without question. He tolerated nothing less.

The Science officer was Kamala, a lovely Klingon female, yet not one to be toyed with. High-born, haughty and proud, and a damned capable Science Officer as well, she was quick to put any "romantic" thoughts entertained by her fellow crewmen to a sudden halt. Her duties to the ship and the empire were her first concern, and anything else was a distant second.

Another lovely female warrior, and no less dedicated to her position, her ship, and the Empire, was the Chief Engineer, K'nanna. She had worked long and hard to get where she was. She had earned this position, and she was damned proud of it. Few Officers in the Empire knew shipboard systems as well as she.

...And finally, there was Turg. He was First Officer, second-in-command to the Captain. He took this position very seriously, and ruled with an iron hand when the Captain was not around. He was not the sort of man you turned your back on. While his loyalty to duty was never questioned, one could not shake the feeling that he would do whatever was required to advance himself. During the infrequent times the Captain would absent himself from the bridge, leaving him in command, he sat perhaps a little too comfortably

in the Command Chair.

Ko'var had just sent an inter-console message to his friend, "Another boring patrol, eh, old friend?" And then, a familiar, yet strangely ominous chirp from his console drew his attention. He checked the information on the readout, then reported, "I have a contact on long-range scanners, HoD. A ship, unidentified, bearing 235 mark 71." A second later, the console answered his question. "It has not crossed our border."

The Captain responded, "We shall ensure that it does not." He turned to QupQeH. "Helm, lay in an intercept course to that vessel. Engage at maximum warp." QupQeH manipulated the controls as necessary to carry out his orders. "Course laid in, engaged at maximum warp," he responded promptly. A second later, he added, "ETA to contact is 6 minutes at present speed, HoD." The Captain's reply was curt and crisp. "Very well. Disengage the cloaking device, and raise shields." He turned back to Ko'var. "Tactical, bring our weapons on line, and charge them. I want to be ready for anything." Then, to no one in particular, he added, "Make all preparations for battle!"

Excited at the break in the tedious monotony of the last few days, and anxious at the prospect of combat, the crew rapidly transformed the ship from a nigh-undetectable observation and patrol system into one of the most fearsome weapons platforms in the known galaxy...a Klingon Bird of Prey.

K'nanna quickly re-allocated the limited power available to the systems most likely to require it in a battle. "Standard combat allocations are enabled, sir", she reported.

Over at the navigation console, QupQeH's trained, agile fingers completed their required tasks almost before he thought them. He announced, "Cloaking system de-activated, shields at full strength. All systems are functioning normally." The Captain nodded his head in acknowledgment.

Meanwhile, Ko'var's hands flew rapidly across the familiar Tactical console control panel. Checking his readouts, he informed the Captain, "Missile capacitor at full charge, disruptors on-line and charging. Photon launcher is armed. Diverting all other available tactical power to the EW systems, sir."

Kamala checked in. "Science station is ready, sir."

Turg made his final report to the Captain directly. "The ship is in full standard battle configuration, HoD."

The Captain again nodded his acknowledgment, pleased with the rapid response and skill level of his crew. Moments later, Ko'var reported, "Contact is entering visual range, sir." The Captain looked forward, and replied, "On screen, maximum magnification. Give me a full sensor sweep."

The initial sensor reports came flooding through her Science console, and Kamala relayed the information to the Captain. "Orion freighter, sir. Shields and power systems are off-line." She paused, then continued, " Sir, life-support systems are also off-line....the ship is disabled. No life signs, no signs of any escape pods."

As they drew closer to the derelict freighter, the extensive level of damage became more apparent. This ship had been on the receiving end of a very powerful attack. It was all but destroyed, and by an incredibly powerful weapon, the likes of which Ko'var had never before seen....

(to be continued......)

Artwork by

Qo'rraQ (Gary Nelson)