“Commander Adet’pa,” Doctor Oskar Mazur put on a winning smile as he emerged from the surgical chamber. “You’ll be happy to know that the procedure was successful. Your captain’s memories have been restored, and –“
The sharp-faced, bald Klingon veteran lifted her hand in response. “Shush. Be still, Doctor. I shall summon the captain’s mate and brother. They will wish to hear this as well.” With that, as Mazur stood silently with a look of mild astonishment on his face, Adet’pa activated her communicator and spoke into it tersely.
“Commander B’irja. It is done. The doctor is ready to report. Inform the ambassador, if you please. Adet’pa, out.”
“Trouble on the Kor?” Mazur asked as he took a seat across from the security officer. “I understand there has been some confusion regarding the captain’s medical needs and his ability to command.”
“Nothing we can’t handle, Doctor,” Adet’pa said with a smirk. “As it is something of a family matter, Commander B’irja and the ambassador felt that it required their personal attention. Hence, I am here to guard the captain while they are restoring order in the ranks.”
“I see. Well, we are in Starfleet Medical, in the heart of the Federation,” the doctor replied. “A bodyguard really isn’t necessary here.”
“In most cases. Still, we both know that Klingons can be quite bold, Doctor, no matter where they happen to be.”
“So I am told,” Mazur said. “Well. The, ah, ambassador tells me you have a rather impressive nickname, Commander. I can’t say I’ve ever met a Klingon witch before.”
“Ah, yes. It is almost as impressive a title as ‘Doctor,’ don’t you think? I suspect it installs more fear into the hearts of impressionable young beqpu’.”
“You obviously haven’t dealt with young Starfleet officers trying to avoid their annual physicals,” Oskar said with a wide smile. “You’d find that the word ‘Doctor’ is fearsome indeed. I believe some would consider beaming themselves into a planet’s core to get out of the procedure.”
“I see,” Adet’pa smiled in response. “And how do you compel them to follow your orders?”
“Well,” the doctor said in a conspiratorial tone. “We don’t usually break the painstiks out unless they’re being particularly stubborn." Before the amused Klingon could offer a reply, the hum of two people beaming into the waiting room filled the air.
“And here they are,” Mazur said, turning to the new arrivals. “Ambassador Worf, Commander B’irja. I have an update for you … with your permission, of course, Commander Adet’pa.” Still smiling, the security officer gave a simple nod in response.
“What is my brother’s condition, Doctor?” Ambassador Worf said curtly. “Was the procedure successful?”
“He’s in stable condition, and yes, it was very successful,” Oskar said proudly. “My Vulcan colleagues here have considerable experience with memory-restoration procedures, particularly Doctor Sovat. Our consultation with the original surgeon –“
“Yes. His input on the matter made the difference. Your brother should make a full recovery in a relatively short period of time.”
“Thank you, Doctor,” B’irja said. “Will he suffer any complications from the procedure?”
“It may be a while before his memories are fully integrated,” Mazur replied. “During that time, I recommend keeping his stress level low and conflicts to a minimum.”
“Understood,” B’irja said with noticeable relief. “He is long overdue for shore leave, and the Kor requires a number of repairs and upgrades. This seems like an ideal time to achieve both goals.”
“Well, if you’d like any recommendations, I know of a number of resorts that provide a suitably low-stress environment,” said Oskar. “Risa, of course, is lovely this time of year, and there’s always -”
“When will he be able to receive visitors,” Worf asked before the doctor could get too deep in resort discussions. “There are… family matters to discuss.”
“Right,” Oskar replied, back to business. “We’ll be completing the cosmetic procedure next, to restore his former features. That won’t take long. He should be alert and ready for brief discussions in the morning. I’ll keep you posted if anything changes.”
“Of course. Thank you, Doctor.”
“Don’t mention it,” Oskar said. “And Ambassador?”
“Low stress. Minimal conflict. Consider those doctor’s orders.”
As the three Klingons stood to leave, Oskar smiled and shook his head with amusement. Death, taxes and Klingons – some things never change.
“It seems you are well, brother,” Worf said to Kurn, son of Mogh. “It is good to see your face – your true face – once more.”
Kurn turned to Worf and nodded in reply, sitting upright in the recovery bed. As he did so, his mate B’irja approached his bedside along with Worf. He knew that Commander Adet’pa would be standing guard outside the chamber. For the moment, all was well.
“loDnal,” B’irja said after a moment. “We have much to discuss, and little time to do so. Already, our enemies conspire against us for our role in the liberation of General Martok.”
“I see,” Kurn said sternly. “Let them whisper and plot! I grow weary of the political nonsense that runs through Qo’noS like a rabid targ. That is for old schemers like J’mpok.”
“Perhaps,” said Worf patiently. “But there is the matter of our own house, Kurn… the House of Mogh.”
“And? Martok says he will see our father’s name and house restored, part of the price J’mpok must pay to avoid civil war,” Kurn sneered. “But these are only words, Worf, at least for now.”
“You do not care to see our family honor restored?”
“Brother,” Kurn said in even tones. “While I am a son of Mogh, I shall honor my debt to House Noggra… just as you honor yours to House Martok. I will not forsake them simply because Martok and J’mpok dangle a promise of former glory before my face.”
“Noggra has done much for us, Worf,” said B’irja. “Our family has enjoyed the honor, strength, and security of his house. We are proud to stand with him, and he with us – even now, as the truth of Kurn’s identity has been revealed.”
“You are the older brother, Worf,” Kurn said. “Should the time come where Martok’s words become a reality, and our father’s house is restored, it will fall to you to lead it. I will not contest this. And should your enemies come, I will answer the call to battle.”
“Very well,” Worf replied. “Where will you go from here?”
Kurn shared a look with B’irja before turning to Worf, a look of mild displeasure on his recently-restored face.
“It is my understanding that I shall be taking shore leave somewhere… pleasant while my ship is in for repairs and upgrades.” B’irja’s stern nod told Worf all he needed to know about that decision.
“And after that?”
“The Alpha Quadrant. The Tzenkethi have grown too bold, and the Alliance wants to put an end to their madness. They will need every warrior with experience in battling the Tzenkethi. I have volunteered for the duty.”
“What of your family… your daughters?”
“They will be joining us… perhaps on Deep Space Nine. I think my family could use some distance between us and Qo’noS for now.”
“I will do what I can to keep you informed on political matters,” Worf said, frowning slightly. “B’irja is correct when she speaks of enemies moving against us. Qo’noS shall be… interesting in the months to come.”
“Fight with honor, Worf,” Kurn replied. “As you always have, and always will.”
“And you, brother. Both of you.”
Adet’pa entered the chamber. “Captain, the human doctor is here. He wishes to conduct tests and check your stress levels.”
Kurn laughed. “Send him in, Commander. My family and I will have plenty of time to speak together later.” As much time as any warrior with powerful foes can have, he thought as Mazur entered the chamber. No Klingon could ask for more.
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