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Posted on Sun Jan 25th, 2009 @ 10:02am by

Mission: Echoes of the Damned: Pilot Episode.

She couldn't place it but there was something about K'Tan that rattled her. He was as proud and as stubborn as every other Klingon she had encountered, yet he had a way of making her feel on edge every moment they came into contact. She was pacing around her quarters restlessly killing time before the ship arrived at the planet.
The guided tour around the ship was testing both to her limits or mental restraint and physical. There were many moments she wanted to punch him for being so arrogant and forceful. She was after all in charge to the safety of the crew and the civilians that lived aboard. She had made a vow she would never allow any harm come to them, even if that meant coming to blows with the crew who were out of order.
LT JG Lake was another that was testing her too, but he she felt certain she could manage and perhaps with time he would develop him into a worthwhile officer. Why else had he been posted her unless Starfleet had seen some sort of potential in him?

K'Tan roamed the hallways of the ship and eventually he found himself by Kristina's quarters. In his usual Klingon Navy uniform the man pressed her door chime, adjusting his hair slightly and adopting a rather serious, martial demeanor he waited for her to answer. That woman had a strong spirit, attracting his attention from day one. Perhaps she had a bit of a Klingon in her.. or so he thought yet he would test her out.

At the sound of the chime she ceased her pacing at promptly answered. She wasn't surprised to see the towering Klingon at her doorway, perhaps he had come to goad her or to discuss the mission. "Mr K'Tan," she smiled forcefully. "Come in." she stepped aside admitting him inside.

The Klingon responded on a rather formal tone to her words "Thank you for your hospitality Miss Mason. I am honored to be here." his eyes studied her quarters and eventually he seemed unable to find his words he spoke quietly, "I was wondering if you have the time in joining me... in the Holodeck, perhaps we can practice and spar together?"

Instantly Kristina felt her guard rise up. She felt a muscle in her calf twitch, "Is that so you can demonstrate your superiority over me?"

The Klingon burst out into a healthy laughter slapping her shoulder "It is a friendly practice session. We are in the same crew therefor I do not see this as a contest but if you wish it to be one, we can make it so", he grinned widely then returned to his serious demeanor. The girl would prove a challenge and if she was good then he would perhaps move forward.

His deep laughter made her jump slightly and the slap stung her shoulder she was certain it would leave a lasting bruise. "In the interest of the crew and the MoQ`Bara training program I'll go with you" she looked over him briefly. "Allow me to change out of uniform first."
She vanished deeper into her quarters and reappeared moments later wearing a short sleeved white t-shirt and sports pants. While changing she quickly massaged her shoulder where he had slapped her. If that bruise and ache was from a playful slap she was a touch concerned about what she was about to walk into.
"I will give you as good as I get." she warned him convincing herself that she would not be beaten into a bloody pulp. Heading to door she glanced over her shoulder to ensure K'Tan was following.

The Klingon moved behind the woman slowly studying her form rather discretely. Setting his hand lightly on her shoulder he spoke quietly "I am sorry if I hurt your shoulder, it was not my intent. So how is your day going so far Kristina?". He waited for a reply, hoping his actions would not upset her.

Kristina's stride faltered for a moment. K'Tan sounded both genuinely sorry and interested, it was a very strange and almost unpleasant experience. Why would such a towering, overbearing, and honor bound Klingon care about her welfare? Considering the greeting they had given one another on the bridge his behavior now was unusual to say the lest.
She shrugged the thoughts away: "Don't feel apologetic it will distract your fighting," she answered coolly glancing over her shoulder. "As for my day," she signed. "I've been running a training program with the security personnel to test how well they work as a team in extreme scenarios. From the observations I made they still have a lot to learn. It seems that the standard of Starfleet training has dipped since I was put through the mill."

The Klingon grinned a little and spoke "Then it's good I am here to muster your security personnel. Make them as they should be. Warriors". As he entered the Holodeck eventually he tapped the LCARS screen loading a Klingon training room. He removed his overcoat tossing it on the floor, bowing to Kristina in greeting before their fight. Now certain he didn't cause too much damage he would make up for it. He had decided for unarmed combat and as he took a defensive stance he waited for the girl to act.

Feeling a little uncomfortable Kristina bowed stiffly in return and drew her body together bouncing lightly upon her toes and drawing her fists close.
She felt at ease kickboxing normally but having an actual physical opponent was thrilling, she could feel the adrenaline beginning to pump with every heart beat. K'Tan was intimidating but she needed to prove to both herself and to him that she was not afraid.

With a quick steadying breathe Kristina sprung off the mark closing the gap between then in three strides. She clenched her jaw and drew her fist back releasing her energy and frustration of duty into her blow. With a sharp sting her fist made contact and was quickly followed by her left.
If she was true full it was rewarding to be able to work out her pent up feelings in this manner, far better then bottling it until it overwhelms you like it had done with Beverly.

K'Tan stepped back at the impact, taking the hit fully. The girl was strong and now the fun would begin. Laughing out he grabbed her extended arm, twisting it as he made a near Judo like throw, tossing the girl over his shoulder, letting her hit the mattress as he stepped back, not wanting to attack a prone opponent dishonorably.

Quickly Kristina scrambled back to her feet. The unexpected throw had knocked the wind from her lungs, but trying not to show it she stepped back into the fight taking a slightly more defensive stance. Pulling her fists up to her chin she darted closer again cautious she keep her blows short and sharp, ducking away and recoiling when K'Tan moved to counter.

K'Tan saw that as a challenge, her defense something he had to break. Lunging forward he moved with a swift strike in her abdominal area, his hand open in the shape of a Predator's claw, his right hand moving to strike her chest a fraction of a second later as he looked in her eyes defiantly. He seemed pleased with her attitude so far and possible resilience.

Instantly Kristina folded almost falling upon the second blow to her chest. The combination sent her reeling backwards, amazingly she manged to hold her footing and stop herself from falling. Her abdomen muscles were beginning to spasm and she fought back the urge to cough.
Shaking herself she resumed her stance and drew closer choosing to change her tactics slightly. Dancing on her toes she suddenly broke into a short sprint, stopping barely and inch from K'Tan, then channeling that energy and speed she quickly extended a powerful high kick catching the Klingon firmly on the shoulder.

K'Tan flew backwards into a wall literally. Shaking his head but laughing it out he lunged at her again leaving aside niceness. His whole body lowered as he swiped with his leg at her own trying his best at knocking her down. Now the fight was more interesting.

The deep laughter made her skin prickle and made her see red. Easily she leaped over K'Tan's low tackle and while for the briefest of seconds she hung in the air above him she bent her knee sharply catching the Klingon fully in the face.

The Klingon took the hit unable to dodge it. But now his face was no longer a laugh. It expressed anger. His eyes locked on her like a Predator's do on prey and he closed in on her, cautiously this time. He moved his stance to a MoQ'Bara attack stance and charged in, unleashing a flurry of blows with both hands, both high and low at her torso with precision.

Unable to defend herself against the onslaught Kristina allowed her body to go limp and took each blow, each battering and dazing her. Then, finally with a deep upper cut the blows halted and Kristina's limp body slumped to the ground.
A groan escaped her lips as she tried to roll onto her side. Every inch of her torso ached but she dug deep and staggered back to her feet, swaying a little unstably. Stubbornly she raised her weakened guard again laboring for breath. The adrenaline was still pumping, perhaps it was the only thing that was keeping her going.
Squaring her tense shoulders Kristina stepped back into the fray throwing a series of punches but each one she could feel lacked the strength of the previous.

K'Tan raised his hands in a defensive stance letting her exhaust her energy. Once he was sure he could block her and she would be done he kicked low at her calf and thigh then stepped back to observe the results. The woman had quite the spirit and he liked that. But for now he decided to observe....

Feeling herself tire Kristina hit the floor on her knees hard and stayed there for a moment drawing in lungfuls of air, while beads of sweat ran beneath her clothing chilling her flushed skin.
She turned her head up at him looking into his eyes. She could see a battle being fought inside his mind, a battle of self restraint. He had stood over her like a predator on the verge of the kill, but just when she thought the blow would come he retreated and waited as if he was toying with her.
With a struggle she pushed herself back to her feet but her battered thigh shook under the her own weight and deposited her back onto the floor. Bitterly she gritted her teeth and tried again, this time she cursed mildly under the strain and stood fully unsteadily.
She knew she couldn't fight much more but she refused to accept defeat. Her pride and ability were at stake, neither did she wish to surrender to a Klingon even if he were a stronger opponent.
Wearily she raised her fists and waited for the invertible.

The Klingon closed his eyes... the woman had a strong will, much like one of his own. He pretended to move for a head on charge but just before the moment of impact he lunged left, punching her ribs and upper back, then tumbled on the floor only to rise to his feet again, turning to face her. He shifted to full defense and waited. She was at the end of her strength but he wanted an honorable fight.

The blow to her back landed her again on her knees. She spun around to face him knowing the dangers of exposing one's back to their enemy. Everything hurt, her knuckles were swollen, her ribs ached fiercely, her legs and arms felt like dead weights all throbbing into a mass wave of agony that broke over her senses.
However she continued and struggled to climb back to her feet, her aching muscles straining in protest. Digging deep she found and tapped into a reserve pool of energy, clenching her jaw she bounded into the fight crouching under his massive arms she threw the last of her strength into a well aimed punch hitting the exposed section of his abdomen.

K'Tan took the punch, her move still too quick for him to defend himself. In retribution for her attack he moved with a sideswipe kick to her side. Not at his full power but the amount he had judged to be enough to bring her down for good. As it connected the Klingon let out a War Cry, raising his arms as he stood over the woman, waiting for her to react.

Kristina crumbled to the ground losing the last of her strength. As hard as it was to bear she had to admit it was over. Her weaker human body had reached the end of its endurance. The sound of K'Tan's war cry resounded around the holodeck as well as in her head adding a head ache to her list of injuries.
She could sense his form standing over her, waiting maybe for another chance to beat her. Sluggishly she turned her head seeing in a instant the warrior monster that lived inside her colleague, she was suddenly glad they were on the holodeck not the battle field.
"Enough," she croaked stiffly rising to sit lifting her open palms in surrender. "I yield."

The Klingon nodded and moved besides her, he turned her to face up cupping her chin in his hand and for a moment he touched her hair looking in her eyes: "You fight well, I was honored to have you as my opponent. I am also happy I have such worthy colleagues. I'll take you to the sickbay".

Receiving a compliment from a Klingon was worth its weight in gold Kristin knew. "Thank you," she said softly flinching at his light touch. After their battle the gentleness of his hand was strange and uncomfortable, worse then being pulverized.

The change in his eyes was obvious, his gaze was softer now, revealing that there was a heart under that gruff appearance. He set both hands on her shoulders and smiled warmly: "I expected such a resistance to be honest, I enjoyed this experience, perhaps we should do it in time again.", he reached forward and briefly his hand touched her cheek lightly. "Come on then woman, let's get you fixed up. You need to be fit enough for the mission".

She jerked her head away feeling a little puzzled by day's activities. K'Tan was a puzzle himself. One moment he was stubborn, arrogant and firmly trapped in tradition, the next he's as wild as a battle crazed fighter, then almost tender like a over sized teddy bear.
Regardless she pushed herself to her feet taking several wobbly strides towards the exit. Although her body had taken a beating, her spirit had not been crushed but her pride dented. But not completely broken as she shook off K'Tan's supportive hand she walked with her head still held high in defiance.

"Kristina, wait - " the Klingon spoke quietly and moved to her side, examining her closely. He didn't understand why she refused his hand. It was not weak to accept help, he thought. Eventually he addressed her "Dear Kristina, this sparring was not meant to show superiority. ... I felt honored that you decided to spend some time with me".

Kristina spun so fast on her heel she felt a wave of nausea threatened her self composer. "Who are you K'Tan?" she asked fiercely. "First you're arrogant, throwing around your weight not caring who it knocks, you challenged me every step that morning when I gave you a tour," her anger was rising. "Then in that training session the other day you couldn't stop criticizing me and today you pulverize me then to try to make up. I don't understand you. What do you take me?"
Despite her obvious pain she stepped closer puffing out her chest angrily.

"It is obvious you have not dealt with my people until now, but you must understand that I was merely testing you and I was right. You are strong both physically and mentally and it is customary for Klingon men and women to spar. If you had refused I would have assumed you did not like me", he set his hand lightly on her shoulders and continued.
"It is my nature to be a little critical especially as I was raised up in a military environment. It is common for a Klingon man and woman to spar while part of a couple", he explained as if it was all natural.

Kristina irritably shook off his hands. "A couple?!" she hissed stepping backwards. "Please tell me this is some sort of joke? I respect you as a colleague but that's as far as I'll go!" she was retreating now cutting a wobbly route to the exit.

K'Tan looked at her... looking hurt somewhat but he shrugged it away immediately and then he blew up in her face allowing his sudden pain to fuel his anger: "You know what woman, if this is how it's going to be then so be it", he snarled at her, "I was thinking you liked me as well but it seems my efforts were in vain", he turned and left storming out of the Holodeck.

His rage was as vicious as she had been expected, she had been preparing herself all day for him to snap. Oddly she wasn't over what she had been expecting. The muscle hairball had feelings for her! Of course if you had any sense you wouldn't agree to stay joined to such a violent being. No doubt underneath he had a soft heart as she had briefly saw before the advances started.
Still feeling angry she watched him storm away with a touch of satisfaction. Although he may have beaten her in a duel she had won the battle over their emotions. If he wanted to find a mate he would have to look elsewhere for one, Kristina certainly did not want to be his.

With a sign Kristina resumed her journey to sickbay trying to decide what story to create when the medical team asked how she sustained these wounds.


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