Dispatched on a secret mission, Commander Worf and the crew of the USS Defiant find themselves trapped—along with the exiled Klingons who had pledged their loyalty to Worf’s dishonored family—on an alien world threatened by a global cataclysm. Worf must find a way to save himself and his fellow Klingons and also prevent a bloody massacre that will forever stain the honor of the Klingon Empire.
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"Aye, sir." The phaser-wreathed glow of the Olxinder vanished, turning instead into Gul Hidret's furrowed visage on one side and an even more familiar Klingon face on the other. It wasn't the magnificent mane of gray hair or the broad brow that jogged Sisko's memory so much as the surprising glint of humor in those crinkled eyes. He snapped his teeth closed on a surprised curse. What in God's name was Curzon Dax's old drinking buddy doing out in the middle of the Cardassian demilitarized zone? "Ah, Hidret," Kor purred in the same tone of pleasant reminiscence he might have used to greet an old lover. "What a joy it is to see your face and recall once more the delightful memory of how I demolished your last battle cruiser. How nice of the Cardassian High Command to give you another." "It pleases me, too, Dahar Master Kor, to see that your legendary drunken stupors have not cost you all of your titles and privileges in the Klingon Empire," Hidret shot back with equally venomous politeness. The old guts lined face was rigid with some fierce emotion, but Sisko couldn't tell whether it was fury or satisfaction. "Although they have obviously condemned you to manning an obscure post in an unimportant system." "How unimportant can it be, when a Cardassian ship as magnificent as yours drops by to pay a visit?" Kor retorted. "Although it is a Klingon tradition to welcome visitors, I'm afraid you might not like my particular brand of hospitality." Hidret raised his brows in mock incredulity. "Are you telling me I have to leave? And here I thought you would welcome my help in evacuating the planet." "What?" All traces of humor evaporated from Kor's eyes, giving Sisko a glimpse of the formidable warrior Jadzia Dax had once been willing to risk her life for. "What are you talking about?" A little more satisfaction leaked out around the edges of Hidret's inscrutable expression. "Aren't there Klingons stranded down on that planet, being bombarded by comets? I came to help you rescue them." Sisko exchanged startled glances with O'Brien and Worf. "I thought Hidret suspected those exiles of being planted, to give the Klingons an excuse to claim the planet." Worf snorted. "More Cardassian lies." "More Cardassian lies!" Kor echoed, his voice a bubbling growl. "I don't know where you got that information, but it's wrong. No one here needs to be rescued." "You're telling me there are no Klingons on that planet?" The Dahar Master bared his stained and shattered teeth. "I'm telling you that no one needs to be rescued. The Klingons on this planet have chosen their fate, and it is my duty as a Dahar Master to make sure that no one interferes with it. It is a matter of honor." Hidret pointed an accusing finger at the viewscreen. "And you can make no allowances for the Cardassians who are dying of ptarvo fever, and need the drug that only this planet can provide?" Kor snorted. "Bring me a Cardassian dying of ptarvo fever, and I'll be glad to let him beam down to Cha'Xirrac to be cured. In the meantime, old enemy, the only allowance I will make is to let you turn tail and run before I start firing." "But -- " "But nothing!" The Klingon's sudden eruption into a roar made even Sisko start. "And if you ask one more question, your answer is going to be a photon torpedo!" Gul Hidret snorted in apparent disgust, but the triumphant glint in his eyes made Sisko's stomach roil in apprehension. He was starting to suspect why the old Cardassian had engineered this unlikely confrontation. "From you or from your ally?" "Ally?" Kor demanded. "The cloaked Starfleet vessel we spoke to several hours ago. Her transmission originated from within this system." "You spoke to a cloaked Starfleet vessel?" Kor's eyes narrowed. "That means the Defiant is here." "And they didn't even bother to inform you?" Gul Hidret showed his own teeth in a maliciously triumphant smile. "How rude of them --" A photon torpedo explosion slammed across the open channel, and the Cardassian's smile vanished. "All right, I'm leaving, damn you! Stop shooting!"
Copyright © 1997 by Paramount Pictures