By Carol Sandford


Chapter 13


"Are you alright, Counselor? Your showing very high levels of anxiety. Your baby is also showing signs of agitation. Would you like me to give you something to help you relax? It will in no way harm your child."

Deanna looked up into the kindly but austere features of the Vulcan doctor as she continued to run the tricorder over her body. Deanna could see the mild concern in her eyes and she in turn tried to reassure the woman, as her fingers consciously splayed across her stomach, searching and calming her child with her own gentle touch.

"I'm alright, honestly, Doctor Selar. I'm just a little overwrought with all the tensions that are building down on the planet's surface. If I promise to be good and relax, may I go back to the bridge? I want to be there in case...in case..."

But she couldn't finish, and before she had even sat up on the bio-bed, she'd known that she was going nowhere. Watching Doctor Selar's eyebrow's rise impossibly higher as the tiny screen before her took an even more erratic reading of Deanna's anxiety levels and she knew she was going to be held in sickbay for the duration.

Sighing silently, Deanna accepted her fate with a slight nod. Moments later, the doctor pressed the hypo to her neck and Deanna instantly felt it's affect. Along side her tiny baby's somersaults, she felt her own mind's tumbling calm and within minutes, she was in a deep dreamless sleep, oblivious to the chaos happening below on Lanaare; Oblivious to her husband's silent terrified scream.


Pairing off into teams of two, Will and Worf stealthily made their way to their designated standpoint then the two men took position; phasers at the ready. From their viewpoint, visibility was not at its best, whereas two sides of the makeshift camp had wide stretches of land before it, the other sported a slow moving river, albeit a deep river. Will and Worf's side was the start of the larger fauna, leading eventually to the forest. The same forest that Will and Beverly had spent a glorious day, unwinding and unloading. Now it seemed so long ago. Now it held their enemy.

No-one heard the knife until it made impact. No-one even knew one had been thrown until it hit the commander full force and he dropped to the ground, hard; His rich red blood begun to ooze instantaneously and as it flowed and the Klingon beside him let out a roar and began firing blindly into the brush and undergrowth beyond, angry beyond belief that he had let his enemy close enough to throw a knife. It would be a long time, if ever, before Worf would forgive himself for letting the warrior in him lapse enough for a fellow comrade; A friend, be felled by someone so close that he should have smelt him.

Worf knew he had hit home when a blast of his phaser caused a blood-curdling howl to erupt from the long thicket, and it was then that the guardian's caught a glimpse of their assailants. At first Worf thought his eyes were deceiving him when he thought he was firing at Ferengi. Similar build, similar head shape, but that was where the resemblance ended.

These aliens were hairy and had teeth that even a Klingon would be proud to own. But it was their attire that surprised them all; They were butt naked.

Hunkering down, Worf continued to fire blind into the brush as he cautiously made his way towards his Commander's fallen body. Even without checking his life signs, Worf knew Will was in serious trouble. Tapping his badge, he spoke sharply to thin air, "Lieutenant Worf to Doctor Crusher, medical emergency. Commander Riker has been injured."

Worf attempted once more to evaluate Will's condition, but it was a fatal error on his part. Still on his knees, Worf heard the unmistakable sound of a body flying through the air and before he could react, an alien landed on his back, the attack surprising Worf enough to be be momentarily stunned. The alien clung on tightly to Worf's neck, his legs hindering movement to the rest of his body, not allowing him to rise to his feet. Worf roared with indignity and shame as he struggled to shake loose his attacker.

The alien knew he had the advantage and chortled with an evil tone as he tried to raise the Klingon's chin, knowing that if he could do that, he could kill the huge man. But Worf must have sensed his intent and clamped his lower face down, somehow knowing his fate if he raised it. He had caught the glance of the small glinting metallic object within the aliens ridiculously small digits. Worf couldn't call them fingers, but fingers or not, they were still able to grip a lethal weapon, and that lethal weapon was doing its damnedest to get at his jugular vein.

But as suddenly as it started, it ended as a phaser blast hit home, knocking the alien from Worf's form. Warily pushing himself unsteadily to a stand, Worf turned to see who his saviour was, hiding his surprise and relief from the woman that stood a few scant feet away from him. But Beverly Crusher didn't even acknowledge that she had just saved his life and was already putting her phaser away and making her way over to Will's inert body.

Before Worf could relay his gratitude, something that he suddenly felt compelled to do, Beverly's deeply concerned voice broke through his first, "Commander Riker has sustained a knife wound that needs attention right now otherwise he is going to die." Slapping her com badge she too spoke out aloud, "Crusher to Enterprise, two to beam directly to sickbay, medical emergency."

Turning away as his comrades began to disperse before him, Worf re-took his place at the battle front, anger radiating from every pore on his massive body. He wanted blood, alien blood, and if he had to die for it, then so be it. Every day was a good day to die, especially if he took a few with him. This time he would be prepared; This time he would be victorious.

Worf could hear the sounds of phaser fire from various other points around the camp and knew the rest of the away team were under attack. His gut instinct was telling him that he had slain the alien's that had been designated to enter the camp from his side but he did not dare leave his position even though he had stared at the somehow comforting silence that lay before him for a solid ten minutes without seeing anything, not even a bird.

He felt useless and he hated it.

The thought barely entered his mind when just as suddenly the noise had begun it went quiet. He heard his com badge chirp and Data's serene voice, "Lieutenant Worf, please rejoin us. We require you to accompany a hostage to the brig. Data out."

At last! Worf was sickeningly elated to finally come face to face with his adversary. His lips curled back at his obvious joy and his snarl of victory slipped through his jagged teeth. He was going to enjoy the next few hours, hoping that he was going to be the one chosen to do the interrogation.

"Acknowledged. I'm on my way. Worf out."

This was it; This was Worf's time. That was until he finally reached the rest of the away team and came face to face with the enemy.

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