DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of Cheree Cargill and is copyright (c) 1977 by Cheree Cargill. This story is Rated G. Originally printed in TAL-SHAYA #4, April 1977.
Kirk and the small group of security people stopped before the guarded cabin and nodded for the chief security man to deactivate the force field. The Captain then pressed the buzzer for a second and opened the door.
Inside the two Klingon officers turned to face him, the woman looking expectant.
"We are ready to beam down," Kirk said.
"Then we are ready as well," replied the tall powerfully built man. The expression on his dark face was difficult to read; it certainly was not defeat. A mere acceptance of the situation perhaps.
Silence reigned in the small room for a moment then Kirk said uneasily, "I'm sorry things have turned out this way, Kang. I would have preferred that we had both gone our separate ways."
The Klingon looked slightly indignant. "We all must do our duties, Captain. I would do the same were the situation reversed."
"Do you think we'll ever see home again?" the dark-skinned woman interjected.
"I don't know," Kirk answered honestly. "You'll all be detained here at Starbase 12 until someone decides what to do with you. There's been talk about negotiations for a prisoner-exchange program but I don't know what its chances are. The Federation and the Klingon Empire aren't formally at war so, technically, there aren't any prisoners."
"I see." Kang's face did not change but his eyes studied the floor.
"The Federation is big. Surely there's someplace you could fit--"
Kang's eyes snapped up, sharp. "I am still a loyal Klingon, Kirk. I will not betray my heritage."
"No, of course not," Kirk answered softly. "Excuse me; I'm ashamed of mentioning it."
One of the security guards spoke up, "Sir, all the other prisoners have been beamed down. The base authorities are wait--"
"Yes, yes, ensign. Commander Kang, Mara, if you'll accompany me, please."
As the two Klingons stepped from the cabin, the security team brought their phasers up to cover them. "Put your weapons away," Kirk said, a little irritably. "They're not going to attack."
With reluctance, the guards stuck their phasers back on their belts and took up their positions behind the small entourage.
"Thank you, Kirk," said Kang rather stiffly as they marched down the hall toward the transporter room. "You are an honorable man."
The Captain's eyes strayed over to the Klingon's stony face but he said nothing. There was nothing to say.
When they reached the transporter room, Kirk punched the intercom button and told Uhura to notify the base of the last beaming. Kang and Mara stepped up on the platform and Kirk came over to face them, his face a little sad.
"Be of good cheer, Captain," Kang smiled, an expression that was almost mischief on his hard face. "We two shall meet again. Until then, may your triumphs be many and bloody. Farewell, Kirk."
"May you fare well, sir. Energize, Lieutenant."
As the two sparkling images faded from view, Kirk turned to go back to his duties on the bridge. He hadn't expected to be affected by his enemies' departure. Enemies ... not for the first time doubt crossed his mind. They were really so much alike, the Federation and the Klingons. Would they really become friends and allies as the Organian had said?
The Captain shook his head and went out into the bustling hall. Kang was a man he would be proud to call friend. If only ... if only ...