Commodore's Log, Stardate 51227.7 [August 15, 2410, 2:00 p.m.]
The Enterprise has been dispatched at my request to participate in the investigation of the kidnapping and suspected homicide of Worf, Governor of the Klingon border colony H'atoria. Our hunt for clues will begin with a brief stop at the Klingon homeworld Qo'noS. There, we will be joined by the Governor's son, Alexander Rozhenko, who has taken emergency personal leave from his duties as Federation Ambassador to the Klingon Empire to aid in the search for his father. It has been forty years since I last saw Alexander. Knowing what it is to lose a father, I can't help wishing that our meeting now was underâ€¦less painful circumstances.
"Sir, we're coming up on the Klingon homeworld."
Commodore Data rose from his command chair and took three measured steps toward the viewscreen. The rocky planet ahead took up most of the screen, and was surrounded from pole to pole by the glittering spacebases, busy starports, and swarms of interstellar ships that were the hallmarks of early 25th century civilization. "Very good, Ensign," he said. "Inform the Klingon High Command of the Enterprise's arrival and request permission to enter into standard orbit."
"Aye, sir." The white-haired Andorian bobbed her blue antennae and began entering commands into her navigation console. After a brief pause, she said, "Permission received. Now entering standard orbit."
"Sir," Lieutenant Devna, the Orion security chief, spoke up from behind him. "Incoming message from the Federation Embassy. Our passenger is already standing by for transport."
"That was quick." Data's executive officer, Commander Akira Kinoshita, stood up and joined the pale-skinned android by the viewscreen. "Shall I go to greet him, sir?"
Data tilted his head slightly, as if considering something, then said, "I'll join you, Commander. Lieutenant Commander Asil, you have the bridge. Be prepared to depart for H'atoria as soon as our passenger is aboard."
"Aye, sir." As the Vulcan second officer rose from her Ops station to take the command seat, Data and Kinoshita entered the turbolift.
"Transporter Room 1," Kinoshita said as the doors closed, and glanced at his commanding officer. "Sir," he said once they were moving, "far be it for me to question your command decisions, but I've been wondering why you volunteered the Federation's flagship for this mission. From what I can tell, you haven't shared word one with Governor Worf for more than twenty years, and with his son for just about forty. Under such estranged circumstances, most officers would send their condolences by subspace and leave the investigation to the local authorities. So, why are we here?"
The android regarded his first officer for just over three seconds. Then, his golden eyes slid to the side and a distant expression came over his face.
"Worf was my colleague for many years, at a time when I was still struggling to find my own place in this universe," the commodore said. "If he has been murdered, I feel it is my duty to find out why, and to bring the criminal party to face justice. To compound the matter, Alexander may have lost his father. It is a loss with which I personally can sympathize. If helping him to find answers can soothe even a fraction of that pain, I believe I should do all in my power to help." He turned his golden gaze to his first officer. "Is that a satisfactory response, Akira?"
Kinoshita nodded, his broad features stretching into a smile. "Good enough for me, sir."
The turbolift stopped and the two officers strode through the doors and across the wide corridor to the transporter room. Chief Lorenzo looked up from his station with a nod. "The ambassador is in position, sirs," he informed them. "Awaiting your order to transport."
"Energize," Data said.
The air above the transporter pad shimmered gold and blue. Two point one five seconds later, Ambassador Rozhenko, dressed in Federation civilian clothes of blue, black, and maroon, coalesced and stepped off the platform. He was carrying only a single silver suitcase, and he looked pale and tired, as if he hadn't slept in days.
"Ambassador Rozhenko, welcome aboard the Enterprise," Data said warmly, holding out his hand to the Klingon. As he did, he couldn't help comparing the last memory file he had of Alexander as a small child to the middle-aged man he was now.
The ambassador was about six centimeters shorter than average for a Klingon male, his skin and hairtone just a shade lighter, and he was perhaps seven kilos overweightâ€
"There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do."
~The Doctor, Survival
"There's no point in being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes."
~The Doctor, Robot
"If this isn't civilization, why am I standing in a bomb crater?"
~Hawkeye Pierce, M.A.S.H.
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