THE SWORD OF HONOR
Harry Hennington was the Captain of the Federation Merchant ship
"Belvedere." Actually, that was the way he was introduced at Federation
functions. He always corrected people. "That is my job," he would say
with a wry smile. "In reality, I am the 5 time, 5 TIME! Batlhletlh
champion of Forcas 3 (alien division)."
Hennington had served on the NCC 1701-D until its untimely destruction.
He had started as a communications ensign and had worked his way up to
third shift navigator, and had sat, a time or two, in the big chair.
But the critical moment in his career happened on an away mission. He
was accompanying Lt. Cmdr Worf, doing technical scanning on a primitive
planet when four Klingons appeared suddenly and ambushed their party.
Harry pulled his phaser, but found himself quickly disarmed. A batleth
at his throat, he thought he was dead until Worf interceded. Moving
like a whirlwind, Worf had dispatched two Klingons and took on
Hennington's executioner with a batleth torn from the hands of a dead
attacker. Hennington watch with awe the ballet of death that ended in
all four Klingons dead at his and Worf's feet. Worf looked down at him
as he extended his hand to Hennington with an inscrutable Klingon
frown. Hennington stood up and asked, "Could you teach me to do that?"
Worf stood back and assessed the human. "Yes" he said tersely.
Three years later, after many broken bones and lacerations, Worf came
to Harry, "Lt. Hennington, your training is sufficient. If you wish,
you may accompany me to Forcas 3 for the Batleth Tourney." Hennington
was ecstatic, but masked his feelings to mimic his tutor. "The
Batlhletlh Tourney? I would be honored!" He always wondered why Worf
winced a little when he used the proper tlhIngan Hol, "Batlhletlh" In
the three years Hennington had immersed himself in Klingon culture and
felt he could speak the language as well as any human. But Worf always
had a pained expression at his enthusiasm.
Hennington did compete and after placing second in his first
competition, quite disappointed he was not allowed to compete against
Klingons, proved the finest human fighter. He always gave credit to his
taciturn teacher, Worf.
After the destruction of the Enterprise "D" he left Starfleet. Deciding
he needed more independence and adventure than he could have in
Starfleet, he and several of his sparring partners, mostly Marine and
Security officers, purchased the FMS Belvedere.
They quickly developed a reputation for the best ship to hire for
dangerous or precious transport. Their Starfleet and Worf-directed
training made them as competent as any ship their size in Starfleet.
Then the job came. The Maquis were no more, but the badlands were still
a treacherous place to go. The Dominion war had caused much upheaval
and many soldiers had been released as the Romulans, Klingons and
Federation worked to rebuild the infrastructure destroyed by conflict.
Most returned home to family and their old lives. But some still had
the taste for blood and decided to ply their trade as pirates in the
Still, people needed goods and services, and some planets were only
accessible through the badlands. Dilithium was in great need and the
people of Dirvitis were directed to Hennington. After much hard
negotiation, he took the job and after loading up at Deep Space Nine,
he made his way to the planet, that was accessible only by crossing the
Five days after entering the badlands and putting up with the
interference the magnetic storms inflicted on their systems, it
happened. A shot neatly directed into their shield array took them out.
A moment later their view screen snapped on, a heavily ridged Klingon
appeared and declaimed in slightly accented Federation, "I am Krell of
the Vengeance, and your ship is my prize!"
Hennington looked up with a wide smile on his face, "ToDsaH! If you
want it, you will have to win it in personal combat!" He nodded to helm
and Murphy hit the SMT pulse generator. "I have just disabled all
energy weapons within 1000 kilometers. Come get some!"
Krell's eyes widened and he laughed. "We are there!"
"Captain! Multiple energy signals! They are beaming in!" Murphy said as
he jumped up and grabbed his phaser.
"Murphy, those won't work," laughed Hennington, "grab a Batlhletlh!"
Hennington, Murphy and Johnson left their posts and grabbed their
batleths as the door to the bridge crumpled and the broken bodies of
his crew were flung onto the bridge floor. The quickness and
ferocity of the Klingon attack drew inadvertent gasps from the 3
remaining humans. "How many beamed in?" Hennington wondered to himself.
Three blood spattered Klingons strode into the room. They looked about
and their captain said, "Where is the great Hennington, the lap targ of
Hennington called out, "Here I am! Prepare to die, Ha'DI'BaH!"
Krell, a short compact female, looked him over with contempt, "I have
to say that while Federation standard is inferior to Klingon in almost
every aspect, there are a few words I like because there are no words
in our language to describe such fools. Hennington, you are a prick and
a schmuck, everyone but you seems to know it. I give you too much honor
by telling you this before you die. Worf nursemaided you through your
stupid career, and guided you to win meaningless awards against kuve,
not against warriors."
"I never saw you compete, Krell, so you have no honor!" Hennington
smarted under the insults.
Krell looked at him with a look approaching pity, "I don't compete,
human, I kill."
Hennington took that as his invitation and charged Krell. He had
decided to use the Morag maneuver, it was the move that won Worf his
3rd championship, but before he could complete the swing, he felt his
left leg go numb and something wet and hot was splashing on his right
leg. The batleth dropped from his hands and chattered to the ground.
"What happened?" he thought. "This is all too fast . . . ."
Krell looked as Hennington sunk to his knees, reflexively clutching his
lower abdomen, trying to hold his bowels from falling out as his life
drained away. The other humans wisely surrendered. "Yes," the Klingon
thought, "A dumb schmuck. He believed the human propaganda that humans
were a match for us. He was fast for a human, but Kahless! My little
sister is quicker than that!"
"Are you going to kill us?" asked the human who Krell identified as
"Why would we do that?" replied a puzzled Krell.
"Well, you killed the captain!"
"No," remarked Krell with a smile, "He killed himself. Yes, Klingons
love a good fight, but we only wanted your ship and your cargo, the
battle was a bonus. Your captain was a fool. He imagined that a crew of
20 marines and Starfleet Security was a match for a few Klingons. You
have a shuttle? Yes? Then use it. If you hadn't, we would have dropped
you at the nearest Feddie listening post." Krell turned to her men,
"Who am I and what is this?"
Her men smiled, "You are Krell of the Vengeance and this ship is your