Story [Star Trek Into Darkness] The Life To My Soul (Khan/OFC) Completed 12 September!

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by Dantana Skywalker, Jul 27, 2013.

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  1. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

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    Jun 29, 2004
    star 4
    I'm actually considering writing a companion piece to "Scars", telling the events of STID from Khan's POV. In the scene where Kirk runs in and goes "Why's there a man in that torpedo?", just before Kirk run in and starts running his mouth off, Khan's sitting on that horrible cot, all by himself, looking down at the floor, and he just looks so sad. I found myself wondering what he was thinking right then, and . . . Well, I'm gonna write it, eventually.

    Ooooh, this! [face_hypnotized] I want this! :D


    Chapter 11 - First off, I enjoyed the parting scene muchly, but really struck me about the beginning of the chapter was Khan's 'fear' at being back on the Enterprise - like his body remembers the panic and the mad rush to recover his crew and is reacting without his conscious control. It was a veeery interesting character moment. :)

    You did a great job setting up the attack to come - Kirk and Khan's back and forth was great, as always, and I liked Kirk bringing up the matter of Khan's blood so quickly, Khan's reaction was spot on.

    But what really worries me is the stranger in the shadows! He'd better think twice about using Anthea and Nolan as leverage, though - that can only end badly . . . for him. o_O

    Chapter 12 - Great action here. I liked the acknowledgements about the complacency of Starfleet. While Marcus went about things in the wrong way, he did have a few valid points - a better trained officers makes for safer traveling for everyone. I also liked the brashness of Joachim here - in TWOK, he was always a voice of reason pulling Khan back when he went to far, and it was interesting to see his youth and inexperience here. Khan too really made strides as a character - TOS Khan wouldn't have hesitated to take the Enterprise, but Khan has a family to think of now. [face_love]

    And the Brithini baby! I loved the father in Khan reaching out to the child. It was a very sweet moment. [face_love]


    =D=
  2. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Well, since I'm almost done with "Life" (writing, not posting), and I have no idea what to do for a third 'fic just yet, maybe I'll do that. :)

    Khan isn't invulnerable, especially emotionally. The last time he was on the Enterprise, it was under really horrible conditions, and it ended with him frozen again, thinking his people were dead. I'm 99.99999999% sure that no one told him they weren't dead before they put him under again. And in this, since he didn't know if Anthea was alive, either--he sent the apology text just in case she was alive, but he thought Marcus might have "eliminated" her--he thought he'd lost everything. So he associates being aboard with a lot of trauma. Even if he doesn't want to have that reaction, he's human and he can't help it.

    I thought Joachim was the obnoxious blonde one Khan kept yelling at . . . Given that they didn't really name his people, and I took the names from the TOS episode "Space Seed" (except Chin and Yves, they're mine), I just . . . labelled one of 'em. Heh. I'm pretty sure none of them really match up, but it's AU, so I don't care that much.

    One of my reviewers on ff.net recently said that this story is "too sentimental". I keep going, "Wait, what?" over it. Why, because I took the humanity Khan shows in this and ran with it? Pfft.
  3. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

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    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
    Khan's sentimental abilities are especially moving moments in this story. He cannot be only a monster and one-dimensional; his growth because of his family and other circumstances are what makes this so compelling to see him with these amazing powers and yet his family makes all of that moot as he cares now more about them then conquest.

    Of course if something makes him snap, then I would expect his dark side to come back and hurt those who have hurt him or his family. As he states in the movie, "is there nothing you would do for your family."

    That summarizes his viewpoint perfectly. His family is first and he will protect it to the utmost of his abilities and power.
  4. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    That's what I really love about Benedict's performance. You have this guy who was created for one purpose: to be a killing machine. And yet, family, even adopted family, is THE most important thing to him. I can only imagine the horrors of his childhood. He was raised to be ruthless, conditioned to be a soldier; that didn't come with the superior genetics. And even with that in mind, he's capable of very deep, powerful love that motivates him to do very drastic things. How many of us would, say, take on the US government all by ourselves for the sake of our family? Is what he did right? Not entirely. But I can see why he did it. Even in TOS, especially in TWOK, he was motivated by a passionate caring for his people. His wife's death gutted him.

    This is a man who, in TWOK, tried to hunt down Kirk because he believe that Kirk's actions killed his wife. In STID, he cries in front of Kirk and Spock, even if they don't see the tears because he has his back to them. He's a sentimental man to start with. A violent one, yes, but sentimental. Add a wife (as in TWOK), add in a child, and he's going to very much care deeply and perhaps obsessively over them. He's capable of discussing his feelings, admitting to them, even to people he doesn't know (as in STID), so why couldn't he discuss that with his wife of all people?

    Yeah, that "too sentimental" thing is still irritating me.
  5. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

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    star 5
    BTW, the movie is going to be released on Blue Ray/DVD on September 10th, so that is a little over 3 weeks away. Hopefully, he is busted out of his cryo-chamber in the next movie and then the ramifications from that event occur as well. I know that the Klingon War is what was telegraphed as going to be next since Admiral Marcus wanted to use the Vengeance for it, but they can have both happen if they want to.
  6. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Yeah, I've had the movie pre-ordered since May. Ha ha ha.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    --Chapter Thirteen--

    One of Kirk's men watched the baby while the rest of them cleared out the fifty or so Klingons in the city. Taking them out wasn't the issue; hunting them down and getting to them was. It took all night, and by very early morning, Khan was exhausted. It had taxed even he, and he'd been up nearly three days by that point, anyway.

    All he wanted to do, all he could think about, was getting home to his wife and sleeping for a good eighteen hours. Hell, he'd even settle for two hours.

    To Khan, destruction needed to serve a purpose. "Because it was there" wasn't a good enough reason to do this much damage to a civilisation, especially one as pacifistic as the Brinthi. He didn't understand how the Klingons could justify attacking others just because they could.

    "It makes you think, no?" Inigo murmured, as they watched the Brinthi shuffle back into their retaken city.

    "About what?"

    The Spaniard shrugged. "I remember, on Earth, at the end of the wars. We sit back and think, 'Why did they do this?' More land? Dominance? You ruled a quarter of the planet, Khan, and you did not do it this way. You can be a hard man, surely, but you are not cruel like this. I have not seen this kind of cruel since Russia, and their raids on central Europe. You took Russia and stopped this senseless mess."

    Khan turned slightly, to look at Inigo. "I was just now thinking of that time."

    "It is impossible not to be reminded," Inigo replied. "These people, they are weak as France was, weak as my own people were when Germany took them again. If I may be honest, Khan?"

    "Always, Inigo."

    "I am glad we have Sitara. A place of our own. We all want the same thing in our new home: peace, and to prosper. To be our own people. Earth, it was too . . . political. Everyone out for themselves. Even this Starfleet? I do not like this Starfleet. They think they are better than everyone, no? So educated, so mighty. It is good they helped these people, but look where their enlightenment has got them. We do their dirty work, they take the credit."

    Khan huffed a laugh. "If only you knew, Inigo, just how true that is."

    "So, we go home now?"

    "As soon as the illustrious and dashing Captain Kirk is finished, yes."

    ----------

    The Brinthi, it turned out, had one particular cultural quirk that managed to irritate both Kirk and Khan: no one would take the baby Khan had rescued. Orphans were apparently shunned, which seemed to both men to be completely ridiculous. The Brinti had no orphanages. Single parents were expected to re-marry immediately, in an arranged marriage set up by the city council, after the loss of a spouse. Divorce was unheard of.

    "And these people are advanced enough to have warp drives?" Kirk asked incredulously. "What the hell?"

    Khan held the crying child against his shoulder. It was a boy, and not more than a few months old. "I cannot imagine leaving a child to die simply because its parents are also dead. How is that conducive to a thriving culture?"

    McCoy, come down in another shuttle, approached with his medical bag. "What's going on?" he asked.

    "The Brinthi have abjured the baby," Kirk said. "Khan rescued it from some Klingons that killed its parents, and no one will even look at the poor kid. And as long as we've got the baby with us, no one will talk to us, so I can't figure out why. I was wondering if you'd look the baby over, see if there's some biological reason they're willing to let him die? I'm going to go talk to those people over there and see what the hell is going on."

    "Sure, Jim. May I?" Bones asked Khan.

    Khan gingerly handed the child over. Despite his rather abrupt entry into fatherhood, he'd adapted quickly as he did to just about all things. He was protective of this little one almost as much as he was over Nolan.

    McCoy examined the baby, holding him just as carefully as Khan had. "Definitely a boy," he said to himself. "Good, healthy set of lungs. I don't know much about the Brinthi, but he seems strong enough for a baby his size and approximate age. Have the people said anything about him?"

    Khan reached out, brushed a finger over the baby's white-blonde, wispy hair. "Other than that he is twelve weeks old and that they will not take him, no. The woman we spoke to told us his age. Her spouse dragged her away and would not let her tell us anything further."

    The doctor muttered something unflattering under his breath. "What kind of people does that to a kid, huh?"

    "One my people will not be doing business with," Khan said fiercely.

    Kirk came back, looking disgusted. "Okay. So here's the deal. According to their religion, if a kids loses his or her parents at the same time, the kid is cursed and will bring doom on anyone who helps them. Given that these people are pretty pacifistic, I'm gonna hazard a guess and say that the only time that kind of thing happens is when families get sick. You'd think they'd know about illnesses and how they work, but . . . I dunno. I was told flat-out that no one will take him, even the mom's parents who live about a mile away."

    "Dammit, Jim, that's the stupidest-"

    Kirk held up a hand. "Yeah. I know. I already said as much to those people over there. They also have absolutely no interest in the Federation, and while they're grateful we helped them, they want us to go away. We're outsiders."

    "We will take the child," Khan heard himself say.

    McCoy and Kirk both turned to look at him with surprise.

    "Say again?" This from Kirk.

    "My people. We will take the child."

    "Doesn't that go against your philosophy?" Bones asked him.

    Khan shrugged, taking the baby back from the doctor. "I find my philosophy is evolving. My lieutenant and his partner would like a child. As they are both male, they cannot have one of their own. I believe Otto would be more than happy to adopt this boy."

    ----------

    The cabin was almost ready to move into. Anthea looked forward to when Khan set up their bed and she could sleep on a real mattress, one with plenty of room to stretch out on.

    Since the cabin was still a bit dirty, Anthea dressed in boots, trousers, and one of Khan's Starfleet shirts, which she'd taken to sleeping in sometimes while he'd been missing.

    She carried Nolan inside and set him on the floor in the living room, on the rug she'd brought from Earth. She hadn't brought all of her possessions, but there were a few she hadn't been able to part with; she was lucky in that she had been able to bring parts of her old life with her when coming here. Khan's crew had lost everything when they'd fled Earth two centuries before.

    Measuring tool in hand, she began taking notes for making the window coverings. The frames didn't have glass; instead, there were shutters they could close, on the inside of the window. Still, she wanted curtains, to provide cover while still letting the breeze in.

    She ran a hand over her stomach, smiling to herself. They still had several months, but it wouldn't be long, really, 'til their child was here. Khan was planning to build Nolan a bed of his own, so that they could use his crib for the new baby.

    "Good thing I brought your baby clothes with me, even if they're all for a boy," she told Nolan over her shoulder. "I doubt anyone here will have a problem with me dressing a girl in anything covered with blue teddy bears, right?"

    There was a footfall at the door, and Nolan yelped, "Mama!"

    She turned. Two hulking forms had entered through the open doorway, both in leather-and-metal armour. It took her one heart-stopping second to realise what they were.

    Klingons.

    Anthea dropped the measuring tape and dove for Nolan, but one of the Klingons got there first. He lifted her little boy in one metal-plated fist.

    It had been close to three years since her hand-to-hand combat lessons, when Khan had been going by John Harrison. She hadn't practised since getting pregnant, hadn't needed it. Still, some of it lingered in her memory.

    She changed direction and grabbed the machete Khan had left on the table, from when he'd been stripping saplings to make curtain rods for her. Anthea caught up the blade and went for the nearer Klingon as he reached for her. Desperation drove her to move faster than she had in her life. She ducked under his outstretched arm and slashed the blade across his midsection, just as Khan had taught her. It had been an idle thing, his telling her where the Klingons' weak points were in their armour.

    The leather parted under the wickedly-sharp blade, and she drove the rounded end as hard as she could into the exposed flesh beneath. The Klingon made an "Urk!" sound. Anthea twisted the machete and shoved hard upwards, driving it towards his heart.

    He dropped to the floor with a thud.

    She turned to the other Klingon, who looked a little surprised that she'd just killed his companion.

    "Give me my son!" she hissed.

    He responded in Klingon, which she didn't speak, and gave her son a shake with his large fist. Enraged, Anthea rushed him, throwing her weight into him. She wasn't heavy, but her momentum knocked him off-balance, and he lost his grip on Nolan. Heart pounding, she caught her little boy and dropped to the floor, rolling between the Klingon's widely braced legs.

    She scrambled to her feet, a startled-into-silence Nolan still tight in her arms. Anthea hit the front door at a dead run.
    Just outside, she ran into a familiar figure, somewhat literally.

    "Help!" she said. "Klingons!"

    "I know," the figure said, and grinned.

    Then he raised his fist, and swung it at her face.
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  7. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    What's happening to Anthea.

    Nice to see Khan taking the baby.
  8. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

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    A traitor is among Khan's contingent; I feel sorry for their eventual death once Khan finds out what has happened.
  9. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    You'll see. [face_devil]

    Oh, yeah. [face_devil]

    --------------------------------------------------------------

    --Chapter Fourteen--

    Sitara

    The Enterprise's shuttles landed just outside the settlement proper and disgorged their occupants. Kirk had come down to the surface, wanting to make sure that the Brinthi child was seen to. He didn't doubt Khan, he'd seen the guy with his own kid. It was just . . . the injustice of the whole thing.

    Everything was sleepy at this early hour, rather eerily quiet without the sounds of construction. It was only a little past dawn, and Khan wanted to crawl in bed beside his wife. With the Brinthi baby in hand, he walked through the town square, towards Otto and Chin's cabin. As he passed the armaments cache, he noticed that several of the spears they'd fashioned were gone, as were some of the phaser rifles. That meant that some of the men--and likely women--had gone hunting.

    He knocked at the door of Otto's cabin, the infant snuffling against his shoulder. There was no answer, even after a second knock. A peek inside told him that both Otto and Chin had likely gone with the hunting party.

    Khan sighed and turned, headed towards the Reliance. Anthea, he was sure, would be willing to look after the child until he had a chance to speak to Otto.

    He had to pass their under-construction cabin on the way to the ship. The first sign something was amiss was the bright blue strip of material lying on the ground just outside their new house. Khan nudged it with a booted toe, wondering what it was.

    It clicked a moment later that it was the "leash" from Nolan's silly harness. It seemed to have been ripped right off.
    Khan looked to the door, saw it was slightly ajar. The construction wasn't quite finished yet; Anthea had been talking about measurements for curtains on the windows before he left, and the measuring tape lay just inside the door, bent and crumpled.

    Just beyond that, a Klingon lay in a pool of blood, Khan's machete buried in his chest. The corpse looked vaguely surprised.

    "Anthea?" he called. "Anthea!"

    There was no answer. Heart pounding, he vaulted over the body and hurried searched the other rooms. There were scuff-marks in the construction dust, and Nolan's teddy bear lay facedown on the floor near the Klingon.

    He went cold, head to toe, and then hot a second later. Khan snatched the toy off the floor and stormed out of the house, making for the Reliance at a dead run, the new child held tight to his chest. If she was in danger, Anthea would hide aboard the ship, lock herself in with the baby. If she could get there, that was.

    Kirk sprinted over from the shuttle as Khan opened the main hatch of the ship. "What's up?"

    "Anthea is missing, and there is a dead Klingon in our house," Khan told him. "I need to see if she is aboard the ship, it's the safest place."

    He went and pounded on Yves's cabin door, waking the doctor from a sound slumber. After the doctor put the Brinthi baby in the medbay, the three of them searched every nook and cranny of the starship.

    Anthea was not there, and neither was Nolan.

    Khan stood in the hold, the last place they'd checked, and felt a fear greater than anything he'd ever experienced well up from his gut. When he turned to the Starfleet captain, there was genuine, undisguised anguish in his eyes.
    "Anthea is gone. And my son. They have taken them, Kirk. They have taken my family."

    ----------

    The hunting party returned not long after, to find the entire village in an uproar. Khan had gone door to door and woken every resident, accounting for everyone and demanding to know when they had last seen his wife and son.

    Khan's lieutenant expressed horror and remorse at Anthea's disappearance. "If I had suspected, Kaiser, I would not have left!"

    "There was no way to know," Chin pointed out. "Khan, what can we do?"

    Their leader shook his head and turned in a circle, taking in the village with a bleak expression. He and his council had gathered, with the Starfleet officers presently in their midst, at the "war table".

    Kati had found the Brinthi child in the medbay and unofficially adopted him. She paced near where Khan stood, worry creasing her brow, with the little blonde head against her shoulder.

    Khan watched her, thinking that he'd intended the child for Otto and Chin, but if Kati wanted him, he had no argument with it. Part of him wished they'd just left the infant on Brinthini and come straight back here. If they hadn't wasted time, he would have been here, and Anthea and Nolan would not be missing!

    The stupidest thing anyone anywhere in the galaxy could do would be to get between Khan Noonien Singh and his family. Admiral Alexander Marcus had learned that the hard way. The Klingons were about to learn an even more devastating lesson, for not only had they dared interfere with his family, they had taken his son. He worried for Anthea, the feeling an uncomfortable but not entirely unfamiliar knot in his gut, but it was the thought of Nolan that drove him into a fury hotter than any he had ever known.

    The notion that someone had taken his helpless little boy, could hurt his precious son, made Khan angrier than anything he had ever felt. He had trained Anthea in hand-to-hand combat himself, though he was sure it had been a while since she'd used any of it. Still, she could put up a fight, had obviously done so when she'd slain the Klingon they had dragged out of the house and examined. Nolan could not defend himself.

    He didn't even want to contemplate the child Anthea carried.

    "It looks to me, Khan, they wait 'til we leave for the hunt," Otto told his deathly-silent leader. "Then they go in and take her, and the boy."

    Khan lifted icy blue eyes to his right-hand man. "And no one stayed to guard them?"

    "We did not hear a thing," Kati reminded her brother. "How could we know there was danger?"

    His sister gently rubbed the baby's back. "She told me last night she intended to get an early start on the measurements, and on making the curtains. She said . . . she wanted to make them herself so that she could put something she made in the house."

    Kirk braced his hands on the table. "I wouldn't think Klingons could be very sneaky, but it really wouldn't take more than two or three at most to grab Anthea and the kid. She's not as strong as you guys, and she's pretty small. Skinny. She wouldn't be able to fend off one of those Klingons for long, and . . . Well."

    "I am aware my wife is not combat-trained," Khan snapped. "I have done what I can, but if you will recall, I was frozen for two years."

    He turned to Otto. "Surely you left someone in charge while you went hunting?"

    "Uh . . . Rodriguez."

    His blood went cold. Without a word, Khan turned and stalked through the village, to where Rodriguez worked outside his cabin. Kirk and Otto followed close on his heels.

    Khan kicked aside the worktable, hauled Rodriguez up by his collar, and slammed him against the side of the small house.

    "You let them take her, didn't you?"

    Rodriguez had never been very good at masking his expressions, and in the space of three heartbeats, went from surprise, to fear, and then to resignation.

    "There were too many! I heard her call out, but when I went to see, there were too many. I couldn't fight them all alone!"

    "How many?" Khan demanded.

    The man hesitated. "Six!"

    "Bullshit," Kirk snapped. "Khan here took out a patrol group of thirty Klingons."

    "But I am not Khan." Rodriguez kicked his feet, but they weren't anywhere near the ground. "I am not so good a fighter. My training was not complete!"

    "So you sat back and did nothing, didn't alert the others?"

    "They are women-"

    Khan shook Rodriguez and pounded him against the wall. "They are still soldiers!"

    Rodriguez held up his hands. "Please, Khan, I did not know what else to do! They told me they wanted her, I . . . showed them where to find her. That is all. I know nothing more!"

    His leader's ice-blue eyes fixed on his raised hand. Purple bruises spread across his knuckles, along with bite marks puncturing the skin there. They weren't shaped right for a Klingon, as Klingons had fangs. Most, anyway. Too large to be a child's, too small to be a man's, they could only have belonged to Anthea.

    Khan grabbed Rodriguez's hand, lifted it to get a better look. Then he turned his gaze to his crewman. "Would you like to explain these injuries? It looks as if Anthea bit you. Did you strike her?"

    The shorter man wouldn't meet his gaze, which was, as far as Khan was concerned, as good as an admission.

    "You helped them take her," Khan stated flatly. "You betrayed as and you helped the Klingons take my wife and my children. I told you to stay away from her and stop giving her trouble. I told you what the punishment would be for betrayal. You know what you're forcing me to do, Rodriguez."

    "So what if I did? Better this than to live with her as my queen!" Rodriguez snarled. He turned his head and spit, then grinned. "They want the weak, human woman, they can have her! And her halfbreed child!"

    It took every ounce of Khan's control not to rip Rodriguez's head from his shoulders. He lowered the man until his feet touched the ground. Still with a firm grip on the man, he looked to Kirk, Otto, and the gathering crowd, then dragged him out to the "village square". He wanted to tear Rodriguez to pieces, rend him limb from limb while he screamed, but his people had laws, ones he himself had put into place, and as much as it pained him, there was something of a process required.

    If he'd known that one day he would be punishing a man who had taken his wife from him, he'd have written in a clause letting him shred the man's skin off with his fingers. He'd amend it later.

    "You are witnesses!" Khan shouted. "He has given his confession. He helped the Klingons take Anthea. He attacked her, he hurt her, and he gave her and my son to the enemy!"

    A shocked murmur ran through the crowd. Rodriguez had the temerity to smile. Watching him, Kirk wondered if the man was intent on suicide-by-crazy-dictator.

    "Wait," the Starfleet captain said. "He may have information."

    Khan turned cold eyes to Kirk. "And how do you suggest I extract it?"

    "Spock, he's a Vulcan. They can do this mind-meld thing-"

    "I am aware," Khan interrupted harshly, remembering when the Vulcan tried on him. "It does not work on us."

    "Oh."

    Khan dug his fingers into Rodriguez's arm. "Tell me everything you know, and I will make it swift."

    "I told you everything," the condemned man replied. "They came, they said they wanted her. I showed them where. When she tried to run, I stopped her. They took her. I do not know where, and I do not care. Kill me if you wish, Khan. I have lived by my ideals."

    Unable to hold in his rage, Khan wrenched Rodriguez's arm, dislocating it from the shoulder and shattering radius and ulna in one vicious twist. Rodriguez screamed, legs buckling.

    Khan fisted his hand over Rodriguez's short ponytail and shook him, nearly blinded by his fury. "You know what the punishment is for betrayal of our people! You all swore to abide by my laws when you joined me. Those are our laws still, though we do not live on that old world anymore."

    Now, all of his people were deathly silent, waiting. They knew, though Kirk did not, what was coming. They'd seen much of what Kirk had only glimpsed.

    "We have no hood, Kaiser," Otto told his leader.

    "No need. This will be much swifter than he deserves," Khan said, and he turned his prisoner to face him. "Only because I do not have the time to further waste on this bakrichod."

    And he snapped Rodriguez's neck.

    Kirk was the only one who reacted at the crack of bone and sinew, his stomach lurching. He made a small sound and a furtive motion forward, but it was already done.

    Khan let the body fall to the ground.

    "Inigo, Joachim, take the body to the quarry. Dismember it and burn it. Burn it to ash. I don't want to run the risk of some genetic fiddling bringing him back to life. Though, if it does, I'll kill him again. Slower this time."

    "Yes, Khan," Inigo said, and saluted.

    Joachim hurried over, and the two men dragged the corpse away.
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  10. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Now where are Anthea and Nolan.
    Waiting for the next chapter[face_praying]
  11. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

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    I figured that it was Rodriguez who turned Anthea and Nolan over to the Klingons. Hopefully, Khan, Kirk and the rest will be able to track them down.
  12. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Hmm, that;'s a good question!

    When I posted this to ff.net, so many people were shocked and horrified when they discovered it was Rodriguez, and I'm going ". . . really?"

    --------------------------------

    --Chapter Fifteen--

    Kirk remained silent until the men hauling the body away were out of sight. "You killed him. Just like that. One of the guys you were gonna kill me over."

    Khan was looking over, eyes unfocused, towards his home, from whence his family had disappeared. "I told them that if any of them laid a hand on Anthea, I would kill them. He thought marrying her had softened me enough that I would not do it. He hurt her, Kirk, gave her to the Klingons, and then he lied to me. He knew that was punishable by death, and he did it anyway."

    He flexed his hands. "I needed to make an example of him. I am still Khan, and this is still my world. It is simply . . . smaller."

    Kirk had a difficult time finding the words to voice the tumult in his head. "Doesn't it upset you, though, to kill one of your own?"

    "Would it upset you, Kirk, if you were forced to execute one of your crew?"

    "I wouldn't do it," Kirk insisted. "I'd court-martial them and exile them, or I'd lock them in the brig until I could take them back to Earth to stand trial."

    Khan's blue eyes shifted, at last, to Kirk. There was no mockery in his voice, only a vague tinge of the pity of one who had seen horrors, and knew how naive Kirk truly was. "You say that, and I know you believe that, but there may come a day when you are forced to do it, to take the life of one of your crew for the safety of others. Then you will know how I feel."

    The captain shook his head. "I still don't see how you could just . . . kill him, with no trial or anything."

    "He knew my law, knew I would follow through. Or, perhaps, he was testing me, thinking me weak. We come from a savage time, Captain Kirk. We do not keep ourselves neatly ordered with regulations and protocols and uniforms. They lived with me before our exile. My people know my rule is absolute."

    "So, what, they behave themselves and you don't kill them and you give them treats to stroke your ego?"

    Khan snorted. "Hardly, Kirk. Otto usually handles the executions, though we haven't had one in centuries. I look after my people. You see these homes? I made certain I had personally worked on constructing each, that everyone here had a roof over their head, until I began construction of my own."

    He turned and walked back towards the war table, sheltered from the sun by a tent-turned canopy. Kirk trailed behind, lost in his thoughts.

    "You said he helped the Klingons take Anthea and your children," Kirk began.

    Khan flattened his hands on the rough-hewn wooden surface, an involuntary spasm wracking him head to toe at the reminder. He was losing control; he didn't like it, didn't know how long he had until he completely snapped. Killing Rodriguez had not been enough to get a grip on his emotions. "Ironic that you should be the first I tell," he said after a moment or two. He sighed heavily.

    "Anthea's pregnant," he confided at last. "Roughly nine weeks. We do not yet know the gender, but we are hoping for a girl."

    He glanced up at Kirk. "I'm not certain why I told you that."

    The younger man brushed his knuckles over the table top. "Because you're human?"

    "At times, I have my doubts," Khan murmured to himself.

    Kirk eyed the man before him, suddenly seeing not the driven warrior or the homicidal dictator, but a husband and father who faced losing what mattered most to him. He didn't understand the devotion Khan had to his people, not quite. But then, he thought of Carol. Of Spock, Bones, Uhura, Scotty. Even Sulu and Chekov. Yeah, scratch that, he got it.

    "Look. You and I have our differences. We've tried to kill each other, but let's look beyond that. That deal we made stands. You helped us out on Brinthini, and I'm not gonna go back on what I said."

    Khan turned slightly, watching Kirk through a dark fringe that fell in his eyes. "I sense a 'but' coming, Captain."

    "Far as I'm concerned, Anthea is . . . Okay, not a friend, but a colleague. There's no way I can go on my way and leave you to find her by yourself. And the thought of your kid in their hands makes me sick to my stomach." It did. Kirk had to swallow past the nausea at the thought of that bright-eyed little boy at the mercy of the Klingons, had to fight just to speak. He couldn't imagine how Khan felt. "So we'll help you find her. Me, my crew and my ship. And when we've got them back, I'll drop you back off here and let you go about your business, just like we agreed."

    It pained Khan to admit he needed outside assistance, but in this case, he couldn't do it alone. He had no idea where to look, outside of knowing the Klingons had her. But why?

    "Rodriguez said that they came looking specifically for my wife," he said aloud. "They knew she was here, and they wanted her, no one else."

    "He lied about the number of Klingons," Otto intoned. "There are only tracks for two."

    "I know," Khan said. "So they came for her and my son. It could not have been for Brinthini. We assisted you, but that was a Starfleet operation. This was retaliation for something."

    Nearby, there was a bright light, in a column shape, and a high, almost chiming sound. When the light faded, Commander Spock stood where it had been. Khan's men gaped, still not used to transporter technology.

    "Spock," Kirk said. "I'm glad you're here. We've got a problem."

    "Given that you did not immediately return to the ship, that was my conclusion as well," the Vulcan said. He took in the motley gathering. "I came to see if I may be of assistance. Please elucidate, Captain."

    "Okay, here's the short version: While we were on Brinthini, some Klingons came here and kidnapped Khan's wife and kid. One of Khan's men helped them grab her, but he's dead."

    Spock arched one already winged brow. "I presume you have offered our assistance in locating them?"

    "It's the right thing to do," Kirk said defensively.

    "I am not arguing. In fact, I agree." Spock turned to Khan. "My condolences."

    Khan just stared at him.

    "Do we know why Lieutenant Commander Harrison and the child were taken?"

    Kirk shook his head. "Nope. Just that the Klingons were here specifically for her, and there were two of 'em. I'm guessing that the one survivor-she managed to kill one of them-beamed with her and Nolan back to their ship."

    The captain swore to himself. "How did we not know there were two Birds of Prey in the area?"

    "While it is apparently common for the smaller classes of ship to group on Qo'noS in a patrol party," Khan put in, "none of my reconnaissance while working for Starfleet indicating they do the same with the larger classes while away from their homeworld. It's behaviour I have not seen before."

    The Vulcan watched him with those expressionless dark eyes, and it irritated him. "What?" Khan demanded.

    "It would seem that the Klingons sought your wife in connection with you," Spock said. "But why?"

    "That," Khan said, between gritted teeth, "is what we are trying to discern!"

    Spock turned to Kirk. "Captain. You said yesterday that it was possible someone managed to survive when Khan took out the patrol in the Ketha province."

    "Yeah," Kirk said slowly.

    "Is it also possible, theorising that there was, indeed, a survivor, that the Klingons have managed to not only identify Khan as the party responsible for the patrol, but also to locate him?"

    "Anything's possible, Spock," Kirk sighed. "Two years is a long time. But Khan and his people have only been here a couple months. What, four at the most?"

    Khan nodded.

    "Be a pretty big coincidence if they just happened to stumble across 'em like we did," Kirk continued.

    "You believe that the Klingons on Brinthini contacted the Klingons in this system?"

    "Maybe. I dunno."

    It was possible, yes. It was also possible they had a spy somewhere, though that thought gave Kirk the beginnings of a headache.

    ----------

    Her first conscious thought was that her head hurt. "Hurt" was actually an understatement. It felt heavy and lopsided, even lying as she was on something hard and cold, and the stabbing pain sliced through with every beat of her heart.
    Anthea groaned, lifting a hand to press it to her forehead. She gasped when her fingers encountered a large, spongey lump. Her eyes snapped open and she hissed in pain, even the low light of the room too much for her.

    Where was she? Not the Reliance, not the cabin. The floor under her was metal, unfamiliar. She sat up and the room seemed to bounce and sway. Anthea clapped both hands to her head and groaned.

    "Mama?"

    Nolan!

    Anthea immediately pushed aside her own discomfort and squinted through the dim light to find her son. He sat not far away, his face streaked with tears and dirt.

    "Oh, my baby!" She snatched him up, ignoring the way moving made her head pound, and clutched him close. "Are you alright, No?"

    He burrowed against her and hiccuped, an indication he'd been crying. Poor thing, all by himself while she'd been unconscious! She peppered the top of his head with kisses.

    "Mama, ow!"

    "Where does it ow?" she asked, setting him back a little in her lap.

    "No," he said. "Mama ow!"

    Nolan patted his own forehead.

    She let out a shuddery breath. "Yeah," she whispered. "Mama has an ow, hasn't she?"

    Gingerly, she reached up again, brushing her fingertips over the swelling on her forehead. Her memory was really fuzzy; she couldn't remember what had happened, how she'd come to be . . . wherever here was.

    Nolan reached up and patted her cheek. "Grrr mens," he whispered. "Bad. Hurt Mama."

    She caught his little hand, his fingers curling around her thumb. His simple words broughy back flashes of . . . something. Fangs, harsh words-

    The door to their cell banged open, and she didn't have to fight to remember anymore. A Klingon stood silhouetted in the doorway, the light blinding to Anthea's eyes. Instinctively, she shielded Nolan with her body.

    "yIQam!"

    She shrank back against the wall. "I don't understand! Please! What's going on?"

    "Mev ving," he growled.

    "I don't speak Klingon!" Anthea insisted. She really should have taken Khan up on his offer to teach her a few phrases, uncouth as she'd viewed it.

    Another Klingon appeared and spoke to the first. The newcomer pushed past the first and came in, shining some hand-held light in her face.

    "I speak English," he said roughly. "He said to get on your feet."

    "I can't stand. I'm hurt."

    The second Klingon grabbed her by the hair and wrenched her head so he could shine the light over her head wound. "BaQa'," he muttered. He barked something at the first Klingon, who nodded and left.

    Anthea licked dry lips, leaning away from the light. "Please . . . why is this happening? Where are we?"

    "You are aboard our ship, the mighty Gr'oth. I am Captain Koloth. You are wife to Khan, also called John Harrison?"

    She wasn't sure if lying or telling the truth would have a worse outcome. Nervously, Anthea nodded. "I'm- I'm Anthea Harrison."

    Furiously, she tried to think of why the Klingons wanted her. It had to do with Khan, obviously. They knew he'd been John Harrison, but it had been over two years since he'd used that name. The last time had been . . . Qo'noS.

    "What do you want with my husband?" she rasped.

    "That is for us to know," Koloth growled. "Now get on your feet!"

    He gripped her arm with bruising force and hauled her upright. The room swayed and she stumbled, unable to catch herself with Nolan in her arms.

    Koloth said something in his tongue and made as if to hit her. She ducked, curling against the wall, and gasped, "Please, no! I'm pregnant!"

    The Klingon captain froze with a hand in the air, his dark eyes wide. Before he could speak, the other one was back with what appeared to be a first aid kit, and she belatedly realised it was the one from the cabin, the one Khan had left there after Joachim had hammered the nail into his hand.

    The two Klingons conversed, and the lower-rank one left again, returning in a few moments with what looked like a medical tricorder. He scanned her with it, then said something to his captain. To Anthea, with her pounding head and nausea, it sounded like dogs growling and barking.

    She yelped when the captain grabbed her arm again and hauled her out into a corridor. Anthea nearly had to run to keep up, holding her son tight.

    To her surprise, he opened a door to a small cabin, shoved her through the door, and tossed the first aid kit on the floor. Then the door slid shut and an indicator light to the side flashed red.

    Anthea took that to mean the door was locked. She slowly let out a breath and surveyed the room. It was barely four square metres, just big enough for a cot, a wash-stand, and a horrifyingly basic toilet. Still, it was an improvement from that cramped little space she'd been in.

    She set Nolan on the bed and retrieved the first aid kit. After dry-swallowing two pain killers, she used antiseptic wipes to clean the blood off her face and did what she could to bandage her forehead in the meagre reflection from the sink, as there was no mirror.

    "You are being such a good boy, Nolan," she said to her son, when she joined him on the bed. "I know it's scary. But Daddy will come for us. He'll be here soon, and he'll take us home."

    Nolan nuzzled against her, popping his thumb into his mouth. "Mama," he mumbled around it.

    "Shh. Go to sleep, baby." She leaned her head against the wall.

    Her head hurt viciously and she wanted Khan more than ever before.

    She could only pray he'd find them in time.
    RX_Sith likes this.
  13. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Exciting update. She is alive and with Koloth (a familiar name)
    Dantana Skywalker likes this.
  14. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
    Klingons sure know how to not treat women properly. What a rude awakening that I'm sure will cause her to plan her escape.
  15. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2004
    star 4
    I finally had time to sit down and read! And wow! What a roller coaster ride these last few updates were! :eek:

    I thought Joachim was the obnoxious blonde one Khan kept yelling at . . . Given that they didn't really name his people, and I took the names from the TOS episode "Space Seed" (except Chin and Yves, they're mine), I just . . . labelled one of 'em. Heh. I'm pretty sure none of them really match up, but it's AU, so I don't care that much.

    I just assumed he was the one that kept on saying 'let it go, it isn't wise to keep after Kirk' in TWOK. :p But its AU, like you said, so whatever. I am enjoying the ones you made up more, anyway. ;)

    One of my reviewers on ff.net recently said that this story is "too sentimental". I keep going, "Wait, what?" over it. Why, because I took the humanity Khan shows in this and ran with it? Pfft.

    ??

    Some people! Really, Khan's whole character is built on caring - and caring too much, at that. He really, really is Kirk in a lot of ways - and that love is what drove him to do what he did in the movie. Heck, even in canon, his 'sentiments' are there for all to see. In TWOK, he specifically stated that one of his reasons for vengeance (besides simple arrogance) where for the deaths of his crew - and his wife - when the planet went downside. [face_raising_brow] This is just a more interesting version. :p And completely plausible, at that! The alternative to that would be a one-dimensional character, and a simple villain for villain's sake, which is never interesting.

    Now, onto the story. :)

    Chapter 13 - Alien culture; it isn't so fun sometimes. :( But I am glad the baby will have a home. :) And ack! Anthea and Nolan! If only the Klingons knew that they just made such a wrong decision. [face_worried][face_devil]

    Chapter 14 - Oh . . . but reading Khan's reaction was akin to taking a punch in the gut. That literally hurt to read, and my heart broke for him. :( I love, too, Kirk's sympathy for him. Rodriguez was the lowest of slime here, and Khan was too quick with his death - that's all I have to say. :mad:

    Chapter 15 - Khan made some good points about Kirk. The execution was brutal, but quick, and in a small society such as theirs, that was a trial. Like Khan said, that's something Kirk would face himself to truly understand. (And, foreshadowing, is that, for later in the story? [face_thinking])

    Anthea's pregnant," he confided at last. "Roughly nine weeks. We do not yet know the gender, but we are hoping for a girl."

    He glanced up at Kirk. "I'm not certain why I told you that."

    The younger man brushed his knuckles over the table top. "Because you're human?"

    That was one of my favourite pieces of dialogue from the story so far. So much said. [face_love]

    Anthea is . . . Okay, not a friend, but a colleague. There's no way I can go on my way and leave you to find her by yourself. And the thought of your kid in their hands makes me sick to my stomach." It did. Kirk had to swallow past the nausea at the thought of that bright-eyed little boy at the mercy of the Klingons, had to fight just to speak. He couldn't imagine how Khan felt. "So we'll help you find her. Me, my crew and my ship. And when we've got them back, I'll drop you back off here and let you go about your business, just like we agreed."

    Oh Kirk. He has such a big, big heart. [face_love]

    "I am not arguing. In fact, I agree." Spock turned to Khan. "My condolences."

    Khan just stared at him.

    [face_laugh] I just loved that!

    The situation is not looking good for Anthea - I'm not sure if it was a good or bad thing telling them of her pregnancy. [face_worried] But, either way, help is on the way, they just have to hang in there!
    Last edited by Mira_Jade, Aug 20, 2013
  16. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    I thought it appropriate. :D


    How can she escape? She has no weapons, no transportation, and a toddler to protect.


    Thanks! I've had a lot of fun fleshing out Khan's people, showing that they aren't just nameless, faceless soldiers. They're people. Khan wouldn't be attached to a bunch of boring drones. These are his friends.

    They also said they liked the dynamic I'd set up, and then complained about sentimentality. *eye roll* Khan is incredibly sentimental, and he's not a one-dimensional villain who just kills people for the hell of it. If he were,and a friend on Tumblr mentioned this to me a few weeks ago, he would have kidnapped Carol Marcus and tortured her until her father agreed to give his people back. That's the kind of thing a villain does. Khan's not a villain, not in that sense. His targets were military ones, not civilian. He may be hard and ruthless, but I wouldn't say he's cruel.

    Yeah, but torturing him to death, as satisfying as that would be, would be that much more time he wasn't looking for Anthea. :\

    Nothing planned yet, but I'm hesitant to say no.

    I see it as Kirk really starting to understand Khan in this one. He's gone from "You're a murderer and need to die!" to "Actually, I kinda know where you're coming from on this", and is starting to really see the man behind the soldier than Anthea fell in love with.

    That's one of the reasons he agreed to Khan's terms, previously. Kirk is not the kind of guy who can just walk away if someone needs help and he has the ability to do something about it. If someone brings something on themselves, that's a different story, but with the Brinthi being attacked, he couldn't turn Khan's offer down and walk away, because he knew he wasn't able to handle it on his own.

    Same thing's going on here, sorta, but he's the one in the position of power, and he's suddenly found that having the higher ground with Khan isn't satisfying, because it's Anthea and Nolan at risk. Kirk can't be smug about Khan's situation because there's a toddler in danger.

    Khan and Spock have such an antagonistic relationship, both of them trying to stay civil while wanting to kill the other. Khan's bearing a huge grudge, too, over Spock's trick at the end of STID. It gets a little more heated later.


    I'm not sure, either, but it was a risk she had to take.

    Next chapter coming right up!
  17. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    --Chapter Sixteen--

    It was decided somewhat hastily that the best chance they had of tracking down the Klingons was from the Enterprise. Khan didn't want to waste time coming back for his men-and he knew he'd need them if he were to go after the Klingons-he asked for volunteers to hunt the Klingons who had taken Anthea.

    To his surprise, nearly every hand went up. Wallace was injured and elected to stay behind, having caught a bat'leth to the shoulder in the earlier skirmish. Kati, too, voted to stay and tend the Brinthi child. Yves, desperately in love with Kati, obviously chose to stay with her.

    Khan assigned three others, including Joachim and Inigo, to remain on Sitara. The rest travelled to the Enterprise, some via transporter, some via shuttle.

    "This was not how I expected things to go," Khan muttered to Otto as they made their way to the enormous ship.

    "Ja, you expected to come home to your wife," Otto said.

    "Yes, that, obviously. I meant with the child. I brought him for you and Chin."

    Otto stared at him, hazel eyes wide, and laughed. "I am honoured, Kaiser, but I will not fight your sister for him! She is very taken with him already. I think he will be good for her."

    "I agree, strange as it is." Khan looked out the transport window as they left the atmosphere and the Enterprise appeared.

    "Khan," Otto said quietly. "Why did you not tell us of Kaiserin's condition?"

    It took Khan a moment to turn from the window. He struggled to keep his voice level. It always amazed him just how deeply Anthea affected him, even now. "We've been waiting until she reached the second trimester. Tradition, you know."

    "You do not strike me as traditional type, Khan," Otto said.

    "Some things . . . I find myself very traditional about, Otto."

    He regarded the man seated next to him, the man who had been his second-in-command for years. He'd first met Otto when he'd fled Russia with his German-born mother, and hidden in New Delhi where Khan had been working in an auto repair garage. Otto was one of the first Augments, and his mother, Hilde, had known Sarina Kaur. She hadn't known of Khan's mother's death. Unfortunately, Hilde had been a normal human, and a bombing by militants had killed her within weeks of their arrival in India. Khan, just eighteen at the time, had taken Otto in. It was Otto who had spurred him to take Russia, when he'd risen to power. Otto who had been there for him like an adopted brother.
    When Otto had met Chin, and come out as gay, Khan hadn't been bothered by the revelation. It gratified him that when he'd woken Otto and told him of Anthea, his lieutenant had welcomed his wife with open arms.

    Others hadn't been so gracious, but Khan knew that what Rodriguez had done had shaken them. He never asked more of his people than they could give, but in this case, he had been ready to force every one of them to come with him. That he hadn't had to pleased him immeasurably.

    Their dynamic was different now. Before they'd fled Earth, his relation to the rest of them had been more distant. They'd had to go into hiding a year before they'd managed to escape on the Botany Bay, and while they'd lost a few during that time, and during the intervening centuries, the group was different, closer, than it had been before. He was more the chief of a small tribe than the leader of a great nation. They needed to adjust; he'd had his time while with Starfleet, and he wasn't the man they'd known before, not entirely.

    That change was due in large part to Anthea, and their son.

    He didn't want to think about what losing them for good would do to him.

    ----------

    Otto was awed by the USS Enterprise. He'd seen the Reliance, of course, and knew how many modern things worked, but there was something about Starfleet's flagship that really impressed the man. Khan would have found his gawking amusing if their situation hadn't been so dire.

    He followed Kalim, the security lieutenant with the strange teeth, to a conference room, and he and Otto paused outside, waiting 'til the security officer had gone.

    Khan stood with his hand posed over the touchpad to open the door, his enhanced hearing picking up the conversation occurring inside.

    Spock was apparently in the middle of lecturing Kirk yet again. "Captain, on further consideration, I do not believe this is a wise idea. Given our previous experience with Khan, I am given to believe that even if we do retrieve Anthea Harrison, he is likely to seek vengeance upon the Klingons as a whole. We have seen what he alone is capable of. Do we wish to risk his eradicating the entire species?"

    "Y'know, Spock, while I'd normally agree with you, they really should have considered that before they took his wife and his kid. What was it that guy said during World War Two? Something about waking a sleeping giant? Well, this time, it was a dragon. The Klingons are gonna get burned."

    Khan smirked. Beside him, Otto chuckled.

    They opened the door and stepped in.

    "Actually, that quote was never definitively attributable to Isoroku Yamamoto," Khan said. "But it was a lovely end to the film Tora! Tora! Tora!, was it not?"

    "Ja, Kaiser," Otto said. He took a seat at the table.

    Khan remained standing, and crossed to the viewport.

    "You seem to continue to operate under the delusion that I committed any sort of genocide," he said. He had his back to Kirk and Spock. "I realise records are spotty for that time period, but while I didn't tolerate criminals and the like in my kingdom, I was hardly the type to massacre people simply because they were . . . inferior. Others did that, Mister Spock, not I. Yes, there were massacres that occurred in what became my territory, but they stopped when I took over. I am not Vlad the Impaler, happy to murder thousands to fulfil a momentary whim. If I really were the type, Spock, don't you think I would have done more than target Marcus and his pet project? Because my rage at Starfleet is far more vast than that, but I haven't touched more than a fraction of a percentage of the whole."

    "You tried to kill me and my crew!" Kirk interjected.

    "Because I knew that if I made my escape, with my people or not, you would hunt me. You would never rest, because that is who you are, Kirk. I would become your white whale."

    Khan turned. He eyed Spock coldly. "You made me believe you had killed my people. Then you imprisoned me again, still letting me believe they were gone. When I attempted to escape you in San Francisco, Spock, do you know where I was going?"

    "To assault Headquarters," the Vulcan replied without hesitation.

    Khan shook his head. "No. I was attempting to get away so I could find my wife, to see if Marcus had killed her, as he threatened to do. I know you are aware of that, Kirk, Anthea told you as much."

    Kirk held up his hands. "Okay, you think Spock's a heartless jerk. Let's get to why we're actually here."

    He pushed a few buttons on the edge of the table, and a holographic map popped up over the surface. "This is the Beta Quadrant, or what we know if it, anyway."

    Another few button pushes, and it zoomed in. "This is where we are now. CX-431 Alpha, or Sitara, as you're calling it. Over here's the Brinthini system. Waaaaay over here is Qo'noS. I'm not sure what the Klingons were even doing in this area."

    Khan approached the table. Since the map was also directable with hand gestures, he reached into the hologram and changed the view. "Here are known Federation member planets within six sectors. They would not hide in these areas, as it is technically Federation space. My guess would be that they have taken refuge closer to the core, further from Federation space."

    "We cannot be certain," Spock said.

    "It is sound reasoning," Otto said, casting the Vulcan a dark glance. "Better to hide in the wilds than risk discovery by accident."

    Khan stared at the holographic stars, vision going unfocused. So many places to look. Where the hell were they supposed to start? She'd already been gone nearly eighteen hours, at least. He had no idea how early she'd gotten up and gone to the cabin, but he suspected they'd missed her kidnappers by less than an hour. She had trouble sleeping if he wasn't there, he knew, and if she'd gone at first light, before dawn . . .

    "Spock," Kirk said. "Look up what known planets are in this and the surrounding sectors that the Federation isn't friendly with. Ones we made contact with the last time through that were hostile. They might harbour some Klingons."
    "Yes, Captain."

    Kirk met Khan's gaze through the holographic star field. "It's a place to start," the captain said, and Khan had to turn away.

    It was better than nothing, but it didn't feel anywhere close to enough.
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  18. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    I hope they will find her soon
  19. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
    Yes, hopefully Kirk will get lucky again and find her.
  20. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    I'm posting, what, chapter 17 now? Yeah, fairly soon.

    . . . Or will they? [face_devil]

    --------------------------------------------------------------

    --Chapter Seventeen--

    She had no idea how long it had been since they'd been taken. At least two days, Anthea thought, but outside of that, she couldn't tell. She hadn't been wearing her watch when they'd been abducted, and there was no clock in their small room.

    Surely Khan had returned to Sitara and found them gone by now. He would be frantic with worry. She could only imagine the kind of hell he was raising. She found the thought of him plowing through the Klingons highly entertaining.

    There was nothing in the room she could use as a weapon. The bed was bolted to the floor and the wall, made of a very solid piece of metal she couldn't break. It was the same with the toilet and the sink. There was a sensor on the faucet that turned it on and off, no handles, and the toilet flushed automatically, too. There was no window, the bed had no linens, and the door had no access panel from the inside.

    It only opened under armed guard, twice a day, when they brought food for her and Nolan. Rather, they brought one meal, and she split it with her son, making sure he was fed before she ate her own portion.

    Anthea lay on the bed, Nolan in her arms, and told him stories to keep him entertained and herself sane. She'd already run through the plot of Star Wars, all twelve films, and a few fairytales. Even at almost seventeen months, Nolan was particular about his bedtime stories.

    "Alright, how about this one? Once upon a time, there lived a little boy, a prince in a far-away kingdom. He was a very special little boy, but he was also sad."

    "Why sad, Mama?"

    "Because his mummy died, and he and his sister had to go live with mean people. This little boy loved his sister very much, and he also loved animals and playing in nature. But the mean people didn't let him play with animals, or have any fun at all. So this prince grew up, and he became mean, too, because no one loved him. All he wanted was for someone to love him, but the people were afraid of him. He was their prince, and he looked after his people, but he was cold, and he never played and didn't have any friends."

    Nolan frowned. "Play wif' him?"

    Anthea smiled. "One day, the prince's sister was kidnapped by an evil dragon. So he went to rescue her, because she was the only one who loved him. Along the way, he met a beautiful princess, who was kind and didn't care that he was mean. Since he was tired from his journey, the princess offered the prince a place to stay for the night, and some food, so he could continue on to rescue his sister."

    "Dwagon?"

    "A dragon is a terrible, scary beast, with claws and fangs, that growls and lives in dark places," she told him. "They have scales and glowing eyes, and they don't like people."

    "Oh."

    "The prince stayed for a time with the princess, and he fell in love with her. He'd never been in love before, since he had been mean for so long. He told the princess he wanted to marry her, but he needed to slay the dragon first. The princess, who had been alone for a long time, had seen the special boy he had been, and loved him, too. She told him she would wait for him.

    "So the prince left to go defeat the horrible dragon, and the princess waited. He found the dragon, and he slew it, but it was a trap! He was imprisoned with his sister, and had no way to get free, because he had been mean, and no one wanted to come save him.

    "No one except the princess! She got tired of waiting for him, so she gathered up her army and she went to find the dragon's lair. There, she found the prince and she rescued him and his sister. They were married, and they joined their kingdoms, and lived as king and queen in a place where no one would be mean to each other."

    "Dey have babies?"

    Anthea ruffled her son's hair. "They had lots of babies! They had sons, and daughters, who all grew up happy because their mummy and daddy loved them very, very much."

    Nolan traced a chubby finger over the Starfleet insignia on Anthea's breast. "Want Dada."

    "Me, too, sweetheart. Me, too."

    ----------

    The Enterprise had a recreation area with a pool, a lounge, a holodeck, and a workout area. Khan's men, trapped for so long in cryotubes and on a planet with only felling trees and construction for a workout, were rather excited about the exercise equipment.

    They'd been on the ship for a few days now, going from system to system-the Enterprise managing to do its assigned exploration duties as well as hunting for the Klingons-and Khan was nearing the absolute end of his patience. Ordinarily, he had nearly infinite control; after all, he'd managed to stay Marcus's puppet for a year.
    But worry for Anthea, for Nolan, and for their unborn child, made him feel like a fraying rope.

    He was seriously considering implanting tracking devices under their skin when he got them back.

    The workout area had a punching bag, but Khan was worried that he'd break the thing, so he spent an hour doing nothing but laps in the pool, trying desperately to use up the excess emotion he wasn't accustomed to.

    Meditation didn't work. Given what he was, working himself into exhaustion took days and wasn't an option. He needed his strength for when they found his wife.

    Most of the crew of the Enterprise hadn't seen Khan or his men in action, so if they weren't on-duty, they tended to gather in clusters and watch, especially when they cleared the deck around the pool and began sparring.

    Khan refrained from the sparring sessions; he was the fastest, the strongest, and the most ruthless, and with the way he was currently feeling, he didn't want to end up hurting anyone.

    That was, until Commander Spock came to watch.

    "An impressive force," the Vulcan said to Khan. He stood with his hands folded behind him, watching impassively as Otto and a huge black man named Yenge wrestled.

    A few other crew members wandered in, including Kalim, the security officer. Khan noted that there were a lot of female crew watching, and privately thought that he wouldn't be the least surprised if some of them defected to join their colony, especially that redhead over there. What was her name, again? McGivers?

    Khan turned to the ship's first officer. "This is merely play, Mr. Spock."

    "Play?" the Vulcan repeated.

    "Much like tigers, Mr. Spock," Khan murmured. "How they play to keep their skills sharp for the hunt."

    Spock's dark eyes flicked to his face. "Indeed? And why do you not participate?"

    "You have seen me fight, Spock," Khan retorted. "That was after over two centuries asleep. They do this to keep occupied, not because they need it."

    The Vulcan eyed him in silence for several long moments. "And yet, I had little trouble defeating you."

    It took so little to make Khan's blood boil over. He lashed out, catching Spock by the throat, and had him in a choke-hold in a second flat.

    "'Little trouble'," Khan repeated bitterly. "You only defeated me because I was exhausted from nearly four days without sleep and I was injured from the crash. And then your woman showed up. Hardly fair odds, Spock. Would you like to try me now?"

    The Vulcan's face was turning green from the blood trapped by Khan's grip. "No," Spock managed to gasp out. "I would not."

    Khan released him, aware that everyone watched them. Spock fell to one knee, then stiffly got to his feet.

    "One of these days," Khan said darkly, "I will have my revenge for what you did."

    "You may try," Spock retorted.

    The commander turned on one foot and strode out, shoving through the crowd of onlookers.

    Otto, dripping with sweat, came over with a towel around his neck. "That is the Vulcan that broke your arm, ja?"

    "Yes," Khan hissed. "And someday, I will break him."

    ----------

    Sleep was uneasy and difficult for Khan of late. He'd been prone to nightmares since Marcus had forced him into servitude, and Anthea had been a balm against them. With her gone, and the added fear of not knowing where she was or if she lived, made Khan's sleep restless and fitful.

    He lay in the dark, staring at the display on the nightstand clock, watching one minute tick to another, and considered asking Otto to beat him senseless just so he could spend an hour or so unconscious.

    There was a faint sound at his door, and light from the corridor spilled into Khan's quarters as the panel slid open. He was instantly alert, calling for the lights.

    That lieutenant he'd noticed earlier, McGivers, stood just inside the door, dressed in off-duty garments with her red hair loose around her shoulders. She stared at him with big, brown eyes as he rose from the bed.

    "What are you doing in here?" he demanded.

    She was very pretty, but didn't compare in any way to his Anthea. "Um. I thought . . ."

    The woman stammered, eyes taking in his pale skin, muscles, and the hint of dark hair at the waist of the pants he'd been sleeping in.

    It wasn't difficult to guess what she'd thought. A lot of women tended to assume he was offering things he wasn't if he looked at them. And if he hadn't been married, hadn't been so all-consumingly in love with his wife, he might have taken what she silently offered.

    Khan gritted his teeth, crossed the room, and backed her against the wall, his hand wrapped loosely around her throat. "Lieutenant McGivers, isn't it?"

    "Yes," she whispered.

    "Lieutenant," he said softly. "Do you have any idea who I am?"

    "Khan Noonien Singh," she breathed. "A twentieth-century man who once ruled a huge nation."

    "And you are not threatened by me?"

    She shook her head.

    He smiled darkly. "Lieutenant. Do you know why I am on board?"

    "One of your men's families was kidnapped."

    Khan slammed her against the wall. "MY WIFE," he thundered. "My wife and my son were taken, and you sneak in here, in the middle of the night, seeking favours?!"

    He released her and she slumped to the floor, rattled by his response. "I- I'm sorry! I didn't know!"

    He glared down at her. "If you want to offer yourself to one of my men, feel free. But if you ever come near me again . . ."

    McGivers rose shakily to her feet. Her eyes were full of tears. Without a word, she hurried from the room.

    A tiny sliver of him felt remorse for scaring her so badly, but the rest didn't care one bit for her feelings whatsoever.
    Khan stood there, hands clenched, breathing hard with rage. He couldn't believe the woman's audacity!

    The door chimed. Khan said, "Enter!" and Otto stepped in.

    "Kaiser, I heard you yelling," his friend said.

    "Yes," Khan murmured. He took several deep breaths, forcing himself to calm down. "I just had a visit from . . . someone who misunderstood."

    "The red-haired woman in the corridor?" Otto guessed dryly. "If I were into women, I would say she was pretty. Perhaps even your type once."

    "Once," Khan said. "Now there is only one woman for me, and I very, very much want to find her."

    Otto jerked his head towards the door. "I saw that one watching the men. She does often. If she chooses to come with us, when we go back to Sitara . . .?"

    "She is welcome to, if one of the men-or the women-wants her. I think I made it clear that I am not interested. And after that . . ." He smiled, just a little. "I'll let Anthea deal with her."

    ". . . You are evil sometimes, Khan," Otto said, and he laughed. "Good night, my friend. You lock the door now, ja?"

    "Ja," Khan replied wryly.
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  21. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Nice to see Mc Givers showing up. Would love to see her and Anthea together on Khan's planet

    And nice tales Anthea is telling to Nolan
  22. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
    Another day for Anthea to remain captured while Khan's tone towards Spock is definitely wanting to hurt him badly.
  23. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Ehhh, I'm not so sure about that . . .

    She sort of romanticised her relationship with Khan for that. But the princess really did ride to the prince's rescue. Now it's his turn to rescue her.


    I think Khan has every reason to be pissed at Spock, personally.

    -----------------------------------------------------

    --Chapter Eighteen--

    The landing of the ship jolted Anthea out of a daze. She had a sleepy-but-awake Nolan tucked against her side. He held a handful of her hair in his fist. She'd once shorn her hair off when he was tiny, so that he couldn't grab her hair, but now, she didn't mind. If he needed the extra security, she'd let him have it.

    The door opened and two armed Klingons, with disruptors in hand, barked at her. She didn't need to speak the language to understand this time. They wanted her to get up.

    With Nolan in her arms, she was marched down the corridor of the large ship and out to the planet surface. She had no idea where they were, but she didn't guess it was Qo'noS. For one, the moon in the sky was intact. It was dark, well after sundown, and difficult to make out any details of where they'd landed. There were trees, and lights flickered between them, illuminating crude structures that seemed to be hastily erected scattered through the forest. There were Klingons everywhere.

    "Mama," Nolan whispered. "Dwagons!"

    She kissed the top of his head. "I know, baby."

    Koloth appeared and led them to a small building that resembled a shed. There were no windows, but the wooden planks making up the walls had large gaps. She and Nolan were unceremoniously shoved inside, and the door slammed shut.

    The inside didn't look much better than the outside. A single, flickering light hung from a crossbeam on the low ceiling, bathing the interior in a weak, ugly light that tinged everything vaguely yellow. There was a thin pallet on the floor in one corner, and a bucket in another. A single pipe with a simple on/off tap snaked down the wall, from a small cistern she'd glimpsed briefly outside. The meaning of the bucket was fairly easy, and she grimaced.

    Holding Nolan against her hip with one arm--he was getting a little heavy for this, she realised--she prodded the mattress with a foot, hoping there were no vermin living in or under it. Vigilance was difficult with as tired as she was, both physically and emotionally drained. It was hard to tell in the dim light, but nothing seemed to move near the bed.
    Reluctantly, she set Nolan on the bed. Immediately, he did his potty dance, so she took him over to the waste bucket.

    He made a face at it. "Yucky!"

    "I know, sweetheart, I'm sorry."

    The toddler unhappily did his business, with Anthea holding him up. The poor thing didn't have any shoes, since she hadn't put any on him the morning they'd gone to the cabin.

    The pallet was uncomfortable, the floor beneath made of dirt, and every rock seemed to dig into Anthea's back as she exhaustedly flopped down on it. Her head hurt again, no surprise there. At least they'd let her keep the first aid kit, but there had only been a handful of pain relievers in it, and she had one pill left.

    Nolan burrowed against her and she held him close. His hair was in need of a trim, and the way it fell across his forehead made him look so much like a miniature Khan that it hurt.

    She looked up, through a chink in the roof, and saw a star winking high in the sky. For all she knew, that star was CX-431, or Sol. Still, it was the first one she'd seen.

    "Star light, star bright," she whispered. "First star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight . . ."

    ----------

    Five days, now, since Anthea had vanished, and Khan felt every second tick away. It was too much like those days when he sought his vengeance against Marcus, and he knew that if he didn't find her soon, he was going to end up killing someone aboard the Enterprise with his bare hands.

    He had, after all, been specifically created to be a brutal warrior. As much as he tried to control it, the bloodlust was in his very DNA.

    "Does anyone have a proper blade, or are we too civilised for that?" Khan asked, as they left yet another system behind, no closer to finding his wife than they had been when they'd left Sitara.

    Kirk arched a brow. "We have phasers."

    "I am aware of that, Captain. But I am not in the mood for bloodless warfare, Kirk. I intend to slaughter every one of them, and I want a blade for that."

    Kalim flinched. Khan whirled, slamming him into the wall, an arm across his throat.

    "Perhaps I should start with you?" he demanded.

    "Khan!" Kirk yelped. He was baffled by the sudden turn. "That's Kalim, one of our sec-"

    "He is a Klingon, Captain," Khan growled. "I suspected before, but he just now confirmed it. Are you all truly that blind? He reeks of it."

    Kalim bared his teeth, the ones Khan had noticed before were unusually even, as if ground down. "Let me go!"

    "Make me," Khan retorted. "Tell me, Kirk, does your doctor still have that tribble he resurrected with my blood?"

    "How did you-"

    "My wife, Kirk. She tells me everything."

    Kirk let out an explosive breath. "Okay, say you're right. What do you need the tribble for?"

    Still effortlessly holding Kalim, Khan turned to the captain. "Do you not know? How tedious you lot are. Bring me the tribble, Captain, and I shall prove it."

    The entire bridge crew watched them with trepidation. Kirk stared at Khan for several long moments, then leaned over and paged Medbay. "Bones, can you bring that tribble to the bridge, please?"

    They waited in tense silence for McCoy to arrive. When he appeared, he held the chirping ball of fur in his hands. "Not exactly my usual equipment," the cantankerous doctor said.

    "Bring it here," Khan directed.

    When McCoy got within five feet of Khan and Kalim, something odd happened. The tribble he held began to writhe, squealing as if in pain. Kalim hissed at it and tried to break free from Khan's grip, which was a useless attempt.

    "What the hell?" McCoy blurted.

    "Klingons and tribbles, natural enemies," Khan drawled. "How did I know it was Kalim, Kirk? His hair and skin are typical of a Klingon, though his lack of head ridges is not. His teeth are filed down to resemble a human's, though he did it wrong. Only a higher-ranking crew member, ideally placed as a spy, would have been privy to my information, in order to pass it on to the group that kidnapped my family. You only have two new officers on the bridge, Kirk. This . . . man, and the Andorian female at the communications station beside Uhura."

    McCoy handed the tribble to a somewhat perplexed Spock and pulled out his tricorder. He used it to scan Kalim. ". . . I'll be damned. He is a Klingon."

    Khan focused his attention on Kalim. "Tell me where they are, and I will make your death a short one."

    Kalim said something in Klingon and spat in Khan's face. The augmented human wiped the spittle off with the back of his hand and responded in the same tongue.

    "Wait, what's he saying?" Kirk demanded.

    "It's best left untranslated," Khan told him. "Is that really what you're going to go with, Kalim?"

    "Everything I do is for the Empire!"

    "Wrong answer," Khan snarled. He twisted, bearing Kalim to the floor, landing on the Klingon with a knee to the chest.
    His hands were a blur of motion, too fast for Kirk to follow. Kalim shrieked, high and long, a sound none of the Enterprise crew had heard a grown male of any species make, let alone a Klingon one.

    Uhura winced and averted her eyes. Several other crew members looked ill.

    "Khan!" Kirk barked. "We don't torture-"

    "Pain is all they know, Captain," Khan interrupted. He dug his fingers harder into whatever tender spot the Klingon had, right under his ribs. "It is all they will respond to. Believe me. I have plenty of experience with extracting information from them."

    "Yes, you were one of Starfleet's best operatives, were you not?" Spock interjected, speaking for the first time. He still held the disturbed tribble in his hands.

    "The best, Mr. Spock."

    The Klingon on the floor said something that made Khan grin. It was not a comforting expression, and several of the crew took a few large steps back. Khan replied in Klingon and grabbed the front of Kalim's head, slamming his skull into the floor.

    "Uh . . . Well." Kirk stammered and cleared his throat, thoroughly rattled. They'd had a Klingon in a senior crew position for over a year? What else had he spilled to the enemy? "If you . . . really need to . . ."

    He trailed off awkwardly. "Don't do it on the bridge?"

    Khan lifted Kalim to his feet. "Gladly. Perhaps I'll show him my old quarters in the brig."

    He left, dragging Kalim along. When the bridge doors closed, the tension in the room palpably dropped.

    McCoy was the first to speak. "That man is crazier than my cousin Jeb, and he thinks he can talk to rocks."

    ----------

    Kirk didn't want to think about what Khan was doing to Kalim down in the brig, but he knew the man was right. Klingons weren't known for compassion or reason beyond their own code. He didn't like the idea of torturing Kalim-if that was even his actual name-but Kirk couldn't see an alternative.

    "While I do not condone torture," Spock told him, "one could say that as an enemy party, Kalim is not a member of Starfleet and is subject to Khan's jurisdiction as a prisoner of war."

    Kirk stared at his first officer. "Sometimes, you worry me."

    The bridge door slide open, and Khan stepped in. "Permission to come on the bridge, Captain?"

    "Uh . . . granted."

    Khan was freshly showered, and dressed in borrowed Starfleet attire, eerily identical to when he'd first been aboard, two years before. His black hair was slicked back, and it wasn't 'til then that Kirk realised the engineered human had been wearing it loose, a marked change to the Khan he'd met the first time.

    "There is an outpost three sectors away, towards the galactic core," Khan said without preamble.

    "And? Why'd they do any of this?"

    "Their moon, Praxis, has been destroyed, as you know. It is causing the death of their planet, and as such, they are searching for a new home. They see no problem with raiding any civilisations they come across, which is what occurred on Brinthini."

    Kirk frowned. Beside him, Spock inquired, "And your colony?"

    Khan didn't look at the Vulcan. He was still angry for his trickery, and for besting him in battle. "They came specifically for Anthea, as we knew. Our theory was correct. They know that I am the one who took out their patrol on Qo'noS. There was a survivor." Khan clenched his teeth. "Kalim overheard our discussion regarding . . . my abilities, and he passed that information to the second Bird of Prey. It is apparently a new standard procedure for them, in case they meet hostiles such as Federation ships or a race called Cardassians? No matter. They sought to lure me into a trap and capture me."

    "But you have left your colony," Spock pointed out.

    "With an army of my kind, Mr. Spock. You saw what one can do, what twenty can do. Imagine what nearly seventy are capable of."

    "I am aware," the Vulcan intoned. "And that is what concerns me."
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  24. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
    Soon they will rescue Anthea and Nolan.
  25. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    I hope they will rescue Anthea and Nolan
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