“How’s our special guest doing?” Torg walked into the Security Office waving a PADD. “We need to make sure he’s ready for our new friends.”
Commander Korok turned back from the console. “We’ve put him back in isolation, sir. He’s been causing trouble with the guards again. We’ve had him here for 17 years, and he still hasn’t been broken by the dishonor. If he wasn’t our mortal enemy, I would be impressed.”
“Leave that Ha'DIbaH in his cell until his new owners come to pick him up. We don’t need any more trouble, and our payment has come in full.”
“Ah, about that, sir,” Korok stood to face his superior officer, determination etched into his scarred face. “You know we are all loyal to you and your House. We embraced our discommendation with you. We all mourned the loss of your son S’gen. We will stand with you on the day you kill the coward J’mpok and take your rightful place as ruler of the Klingon Empire.” Korok paused to gauge Torg’s reactions; when he saw that Torg stood in silence, emotionless, he continued.
“We… accepted your decision to imprison your enemies, rather than grant them honorable deaths. We even stood aside when you tortured your prisoners in ways that would give pause to the Fek’lhri.”
“Get to the point, Korok,” growled Torg, now irritated by the boldness of the younger officer. “Or I’ll find a new first officer who will.”
Korok chose his next words carefully. He knew how Torg dealt with defiance – several cells in the prison were occupied with formerly insubordinate officers. “Sir. The crew has been… concerned about this deal you have made. You have joined with former enemies of the Empire – and if reports from Qo’noS are to be believed, they will soon be our enemies again. Is it wise to risk treason?”
Torg slammed his PADD down on a nearby desk and stepped into knife-fighting range to Korok. “The crew is concerned,” he snarled. “They would question my will, in hushed whispers, like quarrelsome old women?!”
“They hold their tongues out of respect –“
“No! They hold their tongues out of fear, out of cowardice! I will not abide such treachery! You will identify each and every one of these cowards immediately. They will be judged and they will suffer the fate of all who defy my will. I trust my command is clear, commander?”
“Then you will execute it in good faith, or you will share their fate. I have bided my time long enough! The time of my vengeance is almost upon us, and I will not march on Qo’noS with a legion of cowards and treacherous curs at my back!”
Taken aback, Korok took a moment to compose himself, and give silent thanks that he had managed to get through Torg’s fit of rage without being ran through by his d’k tahg.
“I have spent the last year in this miserable stench-cloud, living amongst cowards and criminals to ensure our victory,” Torg ranted, pacing around his desk. “I have relied on those face-tightening taHqeq to arrange meetings with our allies so that the Alliance wouldn’t learn of my plan. I have carried this burden far too long, and I will not be disrespected on the eve of my triumph!” He slammed his fist down on the desk.
Torg took a moment and then picked up that PADD again and shoved it in his first officer’s face. “Once our friends collect their prize and deliver our new weapons, we will return to Qo’noS and take our rightful place. But first, it appears a purge of the disloyal is required.”
“You have your orders, Commander. I suggest you carry them out immediately. You are dismissed.”
Dejected, Korok could only nod in compliance and leave his superior’s chamber in silence.
Korok scrolled through the roster of names he designated for arrest on charges of cowardice and treason. He had narrowed the list down to troublemakers that he had no personal fondness for - Gelka, Moloth, two Kangs, B’vQok, and Kael. Would this be enough to satisfy Torg’s desire for justice?
After some thought, he added one more name - Korgat, Torg’s second officer. If Korok should have to challenge Torg for the right to rule, keeping Korgat imprisoned would remove him from the chain of command. It would be challenge enough to seize control – he’d rather not deal with the chance of immediately being challenged for it thereafter. Korgat was crude and brutal, but he was loyal to Torg and no friend to Korok. Fortunately, he was known for his fondness for Gelka, and could be easily painted with the brush of treason as a result.
He cursed himself briefly – had his own honor fallen as far as Torg’s? No, he was doing it for his men and for the Empire. Perhaps they were all pariahs, but the Empire still meant something to him. When Torg crossed a line he wasn’t willing to accommodate, then and only then would he issue challenge. Until that time, he would do as he was told.
He sent the order to Torg for signing, though he doubted the Dahar Master would actually read the names. It would only be a few more days on this rock and they could stop being prison guards and return to being warriors again. For now, there was a foul taste in his mouth and a cup of bloodwine with his name on it.
Ryon “Melange” Levitt
Staff Content Designer