Warrior's Song (part 2)
by JuDmoS of the SoSoylI' (Bob McFaddin)
<[email protected]>

     The bridge crew sat in stunned silence. Scarcely more than a
framework of the Orion freighter remained. The rest was literally obliterated. It was as though the vessel had been chewed up and spit out by a tIQnagh beast. "Place a level six force-field around the bridge of that thing. I want a boarding party over there. I want answers. I want them now!", Va'ktcha growled.
      Turg sprang for the exit hatchway, and bellowed behind him, "You will accompany me, son of Toragh!" Ko'var obediently rose and followed the First Officer into the passageway. Kamala followed close behind, aware that a thorough analysis of the remains of this vessel would require her expertise.
      "Helm, you will monitor long-range sensors. If whatever did this
decides to return, I want see it coming.", Va'ktcha said firmly.
  "K'nanna, divert all auxiliary power to the long-range sensors. I am
adjusting for maximum sensitivity." QupQeH said.
     The air shimmered about the boarding party as they materialized
on the ruined bridge of the freighter. There were holes larger than a tactical console in the bulkheads. The telltale sheen of a force-field revealed what held the atmosphere around them in place. Turg attempted to wring whatever information he could from an intact console. Ko'var and Kamala concentrated on analyzing marks and residual traces left by whatever weapon did this damage.
     "Definitely some sort of directed energy weapon. The burn
residue and the molten duranium on the impact sites implies a plasma base. But I cannot identify what did the majority of the damage with the equipment on hand.", Kamala said after she had inspected a section of hull. "I will need one of these bulkhead risers transported to the cargo bay for further study."
      Turg assigned two crewmen to disassemble the riser. Kamala
signaled the transporter operator to return her to the ship, so that she could supervise the analysis of the damage. She first, and then the riser and the crewmen, shimmered into nothingness.
      Ko'var and Turg were alone on the ruined Orion bridge. "Well,
son of Toragh…what do you make of all this?" Turg asked.
     "They never saw it coming. Navigational shields were the only ones in use. It apparently overtook them, and destroyed them. The attack was completed as quickly as it was begun. The plasma/directed energy weapon Kamala mentioned seems to be the only one that was used.", Ko'var replied.
     "The information I was able to retrieve through the console
would seem to confirm your findings. They were entirely unaware that they were being attacked until it was far too late.", Turg responded. "But according to the last entry on this console log, they had encountered their attacker previously."
     It was unnecessary to reply. Ko'var's hesitation was sufficient
to convey his surprise. Turg continued, "The last entry was cryptic. The console operator said only, "Oh, no…it's back."…then the sound of explosions, and then static."
      Ko'var went about the task of trying to retrieve any information
recorded on the sensor array, while Turg attempted to decode the Captain's prior logs, looking for any indication of a previous meeting with an unknown.
     Back aboard the qulSuS, Kamala was uncovering new layers of
mystery of her own. The 'plasma' base she had theorized was, at best, inaccurate. There were many similarities to a plasma-based weapon, yes. But there was something else here that was as mystifying as it was undeniable. The residue on the riser was tested and re-tested, yet the results remained the same.  There
remained no doubt that the compounds from which it derived
      She activated her commbadge. "Kamala to Ko'var." His response was almost immediate. "Ko'var here. What do you want?"  She was not quite sure how to broach the subject, so, in true Klingon fashion, she got right to the matter at hand. "There are traces of an ….organic…compound in the weapons residue.".
 Ko'var new far better than to question her certainty. He knew her
well enough by now to know that she was not one to report anything she had not already verified and re-verified. "Have you informed Lord Va'ktcha ?",  he inquired.  She responded, "Not as yet. I was preparing my Report. I felt it prudent to inform you, as you are still aboard the Orion vessel."  "Understood.", he replied. "Ko'var out."
      Ko'var turned to Turg. "Kamala has identified an organic
compound in the weapons residue.", he stated. "Organic ?!? You mean that what carried out this attack….was ALIVE?!?", Turg asked, unbelieving.
     "So it would appear. And by all reckoning, it is huge." Ko'var
replied.  "I suggest that we retrieve all the available data here, and return to the qulSuS." They busied themselves with completing their duties. They had just downloaded the last of the freighters log files, when Turg's commbadge beeped.
      It was Lord Va'ktcha's voice that said, "Boarding party, return
to the ship immediately. Long-range sensors have detected an unknown contact, approaching our position. All hands to battle stations!"