Horaq laughed, he threw back his head and screamed in joy for perhaps
the first time in a generation. Here was his destiny! The answer to his
secret shame. The culmination to a quest cut short. Kahless
looked at Horaq and saw himself, or what he might be and began,
"Molor..." He stopped and suddenly divined the truth, why Molor had
spared those years ago. He stood back and looked at Horaq as if he had
never seen him before.
"Molor..." he began again. Horaq's mood
suddenly as he neared tears. Kahless grabbed Horaq shoulders and
looked deeply into his
eyes. "I understand your dishonor now. You were not dishonored in
staying your hand, you were dishonored in failing to raise an honorable
Horaq smiled an enigmatic smile, "Ah, Kahless.
You are finally Wrong. I may have failed with Molor, but I have raised
honorable sons! Molor has foresworn House Horaq in search of his own
dishonorable glory, but as far as my sons, they are all about you. All
House Horaq whether borne or claimed! And I can promise you they
will not spill their
blood for you. They will spill the dishonorable blood of our foes. For
no one won a war by dying for his cause, they win it by making their
A light dawned in Kahless' eyes, "This was
your intent all along. I could have died at their hands and you would
have been true to your legend, killing me with a living Horaq staff!"
Horaq motioned with his hand and small stools
appeared for them to sit upon. "I am four score years your elder,
Kahless. In my youth I
could have dispatched you without a thought, now I am only your equal
in personal combat. I chose my weakest option to confront you as I did.
I could have had my sons overwhelm you and kill you easily, for even
though None of them is your individual equal, they are trained to
fight as one
and would easily kill you.."
Kahless now sat and reflected. Why was this
done in this manner? He could think of a few possibilities but needed
to know why this
thoughtful man, who had strategies within strategies, had risked death
at the hands of a comparative stranger. "Why?" he asked simply.
"A man is not measured by his words, Kahless,
neither by his deeds, as they can be a facade to conceal his intent.
Only in battle does the heart stand forth and does the blood scream. I
needed to know you in truth. I wanted to add you to my retinue, but
knew that would be impossible, you would rather die on your feet than
live on your knees. But I assure you, none of my sons are my
servitors, all serve me from their love, not from their fear. Thus let
it be with you!"
Kahless shook his head sadly. There could be
few greater glories than serving such a king, but his destiny was one
of them. "A great honor would be to sit at your feet and receive
your council. But I cannot, I have a greater destiny. I see a united
Klingon homeworld. A great star spanning empire. Deeds of glory and
empire greater than we
Horaq, I cannot join you, but I ask you to
ally with me to finish the war Molor started against you. I ask you to
be my 'aj Dup in this!
guide our blades to find his throat!"
Horaq chuckled silently and put his arm on
Kahless' shoulder. "Let us go to my tent and speak!" They walked
back up the hill, and
Horaq said quietly, "I will not be able to spend much time with you
to day, but I will send you my most skilled son, Kathes, whom you have
met. Of all of my House, he most thoroughly understands the Way of the
They reached the top of the hill and Kahless
continued a step or Two. "We need to review how I have failed so
far." Horaq seemed
he was going to sneeze, and looked off vaguely. His eyes dropped
slightly as he opened his mouth to speak, and blood started to bubble
out of his mouth. Kahless blanched and went to grab Horaq as the
ancient swayed and started to pitch forward. His tunic bulged slightly
and slowly turned red. As Kahless embraced Horaq he saw the short spear
sticking out his back. Kahless' focus tightened and he barely saw the
dun-clad warrior a spear throws away.
"All hail Molor! True King of Klinzhai! Death
to the usurper and his lackeys!" A score of arrows and spears
sprouted from the spy's
chest and a hoarse scream arose from the throats of the assembled
Kahless barely heard any of this as he saw
only the face of his true friend. He had known him scant hours, but did
not know how he would continue without Horaq, his hope for glory.
He knew doubt for the
first time in his life.
"MiLord, we are lost!" His eyes misting,
Kahless continued, "I had..." Horaq stopped him, "I am dead at the
of he who is my son, but not my son. The evil of Molor knows no
Kathes," he beckoned "I am dying, the Horaq name falls on you."
Kathes had been standing at Kahless' shoulder
but had not been seen. He fell to his knees as if his back had
been broken. "Father!" he cried, "You can not die, death has no
dominion over you!"
"No son, you are the head of house Horaq now.
I would have you serve Kahless." Horaq breathed heavily and his eyes
stared into the distance. "Go for glory Kathes, " then to an unseen
presence he spoke, "Yes, I am coming now. I am finished here." A small
smile curled his
lips and he breathed no more.
Kathes abandoned the shell and stood up. He
stared deeply silently into the eyes of Kahless. Kahless stared back
and a smile appeared on
his lips. Kathes did not return the smile, "My liege has bidden me
serve you and I shall, but know this: I will not be your servitor."
"I would expect nothing more of you Kathes of
House Horaq. I would accept no Klingon that would be my willing slave."
Kahless looked around and saw that the sons of Horaq had quietly
surrounded him. He turned to speak to them, "Your Lord is not
dissipated, he is gone to new battlefields, to fight again all the
noble foes he had fought before. Join me in the battle cry! To warn
them that their greatest adversary is coming to rejoin the eternal
Kahless threw his head back and a low
rumble started in his chest and exploded as a guttural cry that echoed
across the hills. Kathes joined him, then another, then another until
all the sons of Horaq called to the warriors of death. The sound died
unbidden and Kahless looked from face to face. He reached down and
dipped his hand into the blood of his fallen foe. He whipped his
bloodied hand across his own
forehead and those of Kathes and all the warriors.
"We are Klingon.," he whispered.
"We are Klingon!" Kathes agreed.
"We are Klingon!" so said them all.
"We are Klingon." echoed the hills.
"We are Klingon!" sang the birds of the air.
"We are Klingon," said the children in the
"We are Klingon," taunted the demons that
tortured Molor, Tyrant of Klinzhai. Molor awoke from a drunken stupor
to soul-rending dread. He knew suddenly that his days where few, and
his star was setting.
He sprang from his throne, grabbed his staff and rushed to the window
in hopes of seeing his foe riding over the hills that encircled his
He saw nothing and cursed the spirits that mocked him with silent
Suddenly his hand burned and he was
reminded of his staff. Looking at the staff he had made as a
child, a long one woven from the tough prairie grasses of his
childhood, he started in prescience.
The staff dropped from his hand and clattered
across the stone floor. "Vengeance is coming, my debt of blood is
coming due and I shall not live out the year!" Molor knew as he knew
when his foe was coming
silently from behind. The balance of his life was being reconciled and
the dead hand of his old foe was coming set the scales aright. It
would be a cold and bitter time.
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