It seemed only moments later that he awoke and this time he was facing a fellow Klingon. Well fellow Klingon... He seemed to be a highly decorated officer of the Empire and judging the scars on his body and face he had probably seen a lot of combat in his life. Kabro didn't want to have anything to do with the Klingon Defense Force. After all, they had disowned his family, taken all their belongings and killed several of his brothers who tried to defend his House. He was the last heir left of his family and for what? They couldn't be blamed that their House was infiltrated by the Undine and replaced his father.
No if anything he hated the Klingon Empire even more than the Federation. The Federation were always a pain in the ass, confiscated his goods and several times sent him to prison, but his issues with the Klingons were of a personal matter. Having nothing to say to this officer Kabro crossed his arms and gave him a look of disgust.
“You son of a Targ! Your house is a great shame to the Klingon Empire and now you dishonor our great race by leaving two harmless children to die on a desolated planet? There is no glory in such thing! If you want to restore some of your honor you will hand those children over to the first Bird of Prey that you encounter. We'll send those two boys off to the pits so they can make themselves useful as slaves for the Empire. They'll be forced to work long tiresome days, get bad food and little sleep, only to repeat that the day after. We'll turn them into real men and show those Federation bastards how we treat the enemies of our great Empire.”
Kabro had nothing to say to this officer and kept quiet. He liked some of what he heard, but the idea that he would be helping those that did so much injustice to his family was making him sick.
Slowly the darkness engulfed him again, bringing him some peace at last.
Moments later he awoke again, this time facing a nervous Ferengi.
“Out with it,” Kabro barked at the short man, “I don't have all night, what do you have to offer?”
The Ferengi fumbled slightly and nervously replied, “well, I have a great deal for you...”
The Ferengi wasn't sure how to bring his offer and fumbled a bit around, Kabro was visibly losing his temper and the Ferengi figured he'd better just spit out his offer, “I want to offer you 50 thousand gold pressed latinum slips per child, a 100 thousand in total!”
Kabro raised his eyebrows, this was the least he had expected, “and why should I trust a Ferengi? When it comes to your race, if something sounds to good to be true than it is. What do you intend to do with those children?”
“Oh you probably don't want to hear the finer details, let's just say they won't be a concern to you ever again and you gain enough gold pressed latinum to get your ship repaired and probably have enough left to buy some upgrades too!”
Kabro's face turned into a scowl again and he menacingly put a hand on his qis, “out with it, what do you intend to do with those boys?”
The Ferengi saw where Kabro's hand was going and decided it'd be in his best interest to answer his question truthfully, “I have a costumer you see, he likes young boys. They'll be treated with luxury and won't be short on anything. They'll get everything they could ever wish for!”
Kabro considered the offer, the latinum sounded interesting but if he understood this Ferengi right he would be condemning the boys to a life of prostitution. That's a fate nobody deserved, not to mention he could forget about ever entering Sto-vo-kor, the afterlife where his honored ancestors reside. He would lose the little honor he had left and the other offers sounded a lot better in that case.
He was still thinking about this when he was slowly engulfed in darkness again...
When he woke up the following morning he could clearly remember his dream, although Kabro was unsure whether it really was a dream. It felt awfully realistic to him. He had at least decided to take the boys with him, but which fate would wait them even he didn't know.
So I either hand them over to the Feds and will live with having to look over my shoulder for the rest of my life in fear of getting assassinated, or I hand them over to my arch enemies and force them in a life of slavery while improving my standing with the Empire, or I sell the boys, my honor and my soul but gain a nice sum of gold pressed latinum in return... Gah, the Gods smile upon me with a wicked cruel smile once more.
Keeping the boys with him was no option either in his line of business and he was still mulling over his thoughts while he shared a cold breakfast with the boys. After that he told the boys to dress warmly, since the trip to his ship would take them several hours of walking through the snow.
With everything ready Kabro picked up his bag and lead the boys away from the crashed freighter into the cold. It looked to be a sunny day, the sky was completely clear and even the wind had died down, very much unlike the previous day.
The blizzard had erased all footprints he left behind the day before, but since they didn't have to deal with strong winds they were making excellent progress and a few hours later they arrived at his ship. Kabro and the boys entered it quickly and Kabro initiated the start up procedures. Meanwhile the boys made themselves at home and quietly watched everything Kabro was doing. Soon they were in space again and Kabro had managed to get his warp drive back on line. He set a course to Orion where he intended to drop off the head, figuring he'd find a solution for the boys on the way there.
After putting the ship on auto pilot Kabro turned around and looked at the boys. They seemed curious and didn't seem to fear him any more. He figured he might as well get to know his passengers a little bit. William and Jason seemed especially interested in his weapons that were hanging on the wall.
Very much unlike his usual self Kabro sat down in his captain's chair, put a boy on each knee and starting explaining what his qis and several other weapons were for. The boys also made him show them his bat'leth, they had heard a lot about this weapon and were very interested in learning everything about it.
Bringing out the true Klingon in Kabro he started telling them about the fierce battles he took part in, often twisting the truth to make him come out as a hero. William and Jason were starting to look up to him with worship clear in their eyes. After all he had saved them from certain death on Xandora III. In their eyes he was nothing short of a champion, not realizing it was Kabro in the first place that got them in their unfortunate situation.
Kabro on the other hand had become interested in this holiday called Christmas and the boys told him all about Santa Claus, reindeer, elven, Christmas trees and presents.
An hour later an alarm beeped and Kabro went to investigate, he was being hailed by a Ferengi merchant ship.
Kabro figured he'd better take the call in his ready room since he had a vague idea what this would be about. He opened the channel on his panel and stared in the eyes of a smug looking Ferengi.
“Greetings Captain, I'm Tarr and I see that you have some interesting cargo aboard your ship.”
“I have no idea what you're talking about,” Kabro lied while giving the Ferengi a stern stare back, daring him to challenge his words.
“Mm... Well from what I can tell is that your ship seems quite damaged and you look like you could use some latinum for repairs. I find it strange that a Klingon would have any use of two young humans. All they do is use up your limited resources and I'm willing to trade them for quite a hefty sum of gold pressed latinum, let's say 50 thousand each?”
This sounded awfully familiar to Kabro. Even though his ethical standards were pretty low and despite the fact that he could really use the latinum he decided against selling the boys out. He simply couldn't live with himself any more if he did. The Ferengi frowned when he noticed Kabro wasn't willing to sell and decided to up the odds a bit in his favor. He could easily sell the boys for 500 thousand himself and though it'd cut in on his profit margin smaller profits were still preferred to no profits.
“Fine, I'll offer you 250 thousand total, but that's my final offer!” the Ferengi snarled.
For a moment Kabro was tempted to accept the offer, 250 thousand would go a long way and for that amount of latinum he could even buy a new ship... He quickly shook off the thought and angry he yelled at the monitor, “no deal! Now leave me alone before I decide to blow you to pieces you blasted offspring of a Vermilian cockroach.”
Kabro armed his weapons and though his ship was badly damaged it still packed quite a punch too. The Ferengi merchant decided that it wasn't worth the trouble to start a battle with a heavily armed Klingon mercenary and quickly warped away.
Kabro let out a deep sigh and fell back in his chair, I guess there is some decency left in me after all. Funny, a few days ago I probably wouldn't have thought twice about selling them to a Ferengi, perhaps I'm growing weak hearted.
Kabro let out another sigh, this left him with two choices he could still make. Sent the boys off to the Federation with a large chance that they'll eventually come looking to kill him or sending them to the Klingon Empire and clear the name of his House. He knew that they would still end up as slaves but he could pull some strings and make sure they'd end up in a House where they'd be treated fair and get some education. Eventually they might even be accepted as officers in the military.
Unsure of how to solve the situation right now Kabro got up and went back to the bridge where the boys were still playing with his weapons, pretending to be fearsome Klingon warriors.
Kabro decided to make some repairs on his vessel while the ship was flying on autopilot. The boys being ever curious decided to help him as good as they could and their little hands actually made work easier for him since they could get to small places a lot easier than his big calloused hands could.
After the boys helped him out on all the places they could they wandered around the ship to see what else they could do. Kabro continued making repairs and when he returned to the bridge after a few hours he was surprised to see a make-shift Christmas tree there.
William, the youngest of the two brothers, proudly said, “it's so Santa can drop off presents for you too mister Kabro!”
Kabro wasn't sure what to reply to that and only managed to bring out an approving nod, Empire be damned! These boys deserve better than to live the life of slaves, even if they are treated well. I may never be able to restore the name of my House, but these two boys are like a new family now!
Kabro dropped to his knees and hugged both boys, having finally made up his mind.
A day later, on Christmas day, Kabro met up with a Federation vessel, the USS Corintha. He handed the boys over to Captain Nishka Morganth who promised that she'd do her best to find their relatives and that they'd be well taken care off on her ship. Before the boys had to leave Kabro promised to stay in touch with them and write them regularly about his adventures in space, sending them small gifts whenever he could.
It was a tearful goodbye for the boys and even Kabro became visibly emotional after all they had been through.
It's amazing how those rascals can grow on you in such a short time, he thought.
Just as the boys beamed off his ship Kabro softly whispered, “merry Christmas boys, merry Christmas.”
© Copyright 2013 Jasper Storm