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A Clash Of Prejudice

Posted on Sun Sep 17th, 2017 @ 2:27pm by Lieutenant K'Laus & Lieutenant JG Cailus Griffin & Ensign T'Kemi

Mission: Into The Wild
Location: Security Division
Timeline: Current

It was that time again in the Security Division, the time that every officer in the department hated: it was the time that Lieutenant Griffin ran the evaluations. He didn't do them particularly often, of course, only once a week at most, but everyone had learned to dread the tests when they came. Griffin's standards were punishingly high, drilling his subordinates mercilessly on every aspect of their work from marksmanship to proper Brig protocol to even the intricacies of Federation law. There was a price to such, of course. The Sec/Tac crewmen and officers were often exhausted at the end of their shifts, and most of them detested their draconian boss with a passion.

After several months in space, however, attitudes had begun to change. In the main room of the Security Division on Deck 17, surrounded a large horseshoe of desks in the big chamber, eight officers were split into four pairs, all holding small knives. The officers were all stripped to their vests and caked in sweat, but there was nevertheless a determined pride in how they carried themselves. Even the small Vulcan ensign seemed satisfied, eyeing her much larger opponent with confidence.

Stood a safe distance away, Lieutenant Griffin watched them carefully. "One!" he called, and immediately four of the officers struck at their opponents in a variety of ways; one stabbed, two slashed, and a fourth feinted with his blade as he launched a punch. Griffin found himself intensely pleased when all of the defenders blocked, deflected or avoided the fast attacks before launching their own counterattacks. Only two of the counterattacks were successful, but Griffin still nodded in satisfaction.

Lieutenant K'Laus was not in the Security Division. Despite being a Klingon raised on the Talarian home world; K'Laus had found his way into Starfleet with no intention on serving them in a warrior's capacity. He was still hesitant about serving on a Federation starship as it was, he was not about to willingly put himself in harms way to defend this starship's Captain and crew. Though he had been passing by, hearing what sounded like some sort of training going on. Curiosity killed cats and Caitians, sometimes an annoying Bolian if you could be so lucky. Curiosity did not kill Klingons or Talarians for that matter.

He stood there silently observing, crossing his arms and watching members of the Pandora's Security Division train. "If they were against true warriors like the Klingons or the Talarians, they would be slaughtered like livestock" said the Klingon, glowering at the Lieutenant.

At the interruption, Cailus glanced back over his shoulder at the tall Klingon. He was silent for a moment, his expression inscrutable. "Many people have made that assumption, lieutenant, including the Klingons. They lived to regret it." With that he looked back at the security officers, purposefully turning his back on K'Laus. "Better, people. Not as good as you can be, but better. Keep up the drills with your team leaders and be sure to try alternative blades to a Starfleet combat knife, like Klingon d'k tahgs and Tholian slashers. More than that, get out of that stupid habit of focusing on the knife to the exclusion of everything else. Your opponent is the true threat, not their blade. Dismissed."

With that said, he sighed and directed his full attention to K'Laus, still as cold and impassive as ever as the exhausted officers left to get a shower. "Can I help you, lieutenant?"

"I heard the sound of your training" said K'Laus. "It lured me here and I was expecting to be captivated by discipline and good combat. I was hoping to see a nice spectacle. I cannot say it lived up to my expectations and anticipation, but you seem to have good control over your warriors. That I can respect" said the Klingon. "Is it an issue if I stand here and watch?"

Cailus' upper lip curled in disdain, his hands behind his back in a formal at ease stance. "We don't train for an audience, Lieutenant, and regardless, the training session is over. This is a starship, not some stadium on Qo'nos. If you wish to refine your skills as per your standard training as a Starfleet officer, and as mandated through our exchange program with the Talarian military, then I shall accommodate you."

"Lieutenant" said K'Laus sharply in a low growl, but it was evident that he was trying to control himself from striking the man. "My participation in the officer exchange program ended. I earned my officer's commission a handful of years ago. I may be a Klingon raised Talarian, but I have the necessary training to serve alongside everyone aboard this starship including yourself. You may be a Department Head, and I respect you in that capacity" added K'Laus "But looking at our two collars, it looks like you are trying to overcompensate for something."

There was no mistaking Cailus' tone; those conditions were the only reason he would even consider such a thing. Sensing Cailus' hostility towards K'Laus, the various officers at their desks watched surreptitiously, while many of the others found excuses to delay their showers and observe.

The Klingon looked at the Security Chief and glared. "I will not be lured into this trap like an angry targ, Lieutenant. It is clear to me that there is nothing in your tone of voice that wants me around, not because you do not like me, Lieutenant. You do not like what I represent. You Starfleet types are pathetic. Hiding behind the Federation's inclusion and acceptance, trying to mask your prejudices and bigotry underneath your freshly pressed uniforms. You would kill me right here if you could get away with it. I will not give you that satisfaction."

His irritation growing, Cailus looked around them, glaring at the various officers who were watching and who promptly found something to do. It wouldn't stop them from watching the show, but it at least communicated his opinion of the propriety of what they were doing.

Then, his eyes cold, he fixed his glare up at K'Laus, uncaring of the size difference between the two men. "Let me be absolutely clear, sir," Cailus said quietly, frigid scorn dripping in his tone. "I do not hide my bigotry. I am well aware of it. I earned it in battle after battle. I saw my friends and comrades die at the hands of Klingons. I saw civilians hurt at the hands of Klingons. I lost my damned hand at the hands of some cowardly Klingon spies because they lacked the courage to face the consequences of their actions. I had to kill a Dahar Master because the fool couldn't handle the idea of the Federation not being his enemy any more."

Cailus took a breath, forcing the next words out. "They tell me that the Empire is different these days. Fine. You wear the Starfleet uniform, so I'm willing to give you a chance. But don't get offended if we don't start hugging and singing war songs together."

"The day I hug anyone and sing war songs is the day Gre'thor has frozen over and chilled my bones" replied Lieutenant K'Laus. "The Empire is different these days. Weaker. Because of the Federation if I am to be honest" he said shaking his head. "I may have been raised Talarian, but my blood is Klingon. My ancestors were great warriors of the Empire. Klingons were once a proud people, we took what we wanted and nothing stood in our way, not even those honorless Romulan cowards" added K'Laus.

He grunted. "Now?" He glared at Cailus. "The Federation has held my people back for far too long. If the Klingon Empire wants to break free from its alliance and retake what once belonged to them then so be it. However, in this uniform I am sworn to protect this crew and all Federation members. And I will. I will even protect you because it is my duty" explained K'Laus.

"We have that in common, at least," Cailus said reluctantly. He'd known that there were Klingons in Starfleet, but actually working with one would prove harder than he'd expected. "Lieutenant, my offer to spar still stands...in private. I'm willing to work past my bigotry if you're prepared to work past yours."

I have not bigotry thought Lieutenant K'Laus. I just have realism. Humans and the other members of the Federation tend to be weaker the Klingon thought as he glared at Cailus. "One day, Lieutenant. One day I may take you up on that offer to spar" added the Klingon as he crossed his arms and grunted.

Realising that the Klingon wasn't going to back down (not that they ever did), Cailus sighed, regarding K'Laus coolly. It was awfully tempting to simply beat some sense into the man, but Cailus knew from long experience that Klingon pride was stronger than that. In any case, he knew himself well enough to acknowledge his own desire to satisfy his pride. It had been a long damned time since he'd been in proper combat, not counting the stupidity with the Marines before coming to the Pandora.

"Very well lieutenant," Cailus finally said quietly to the big Klingon, refusing to be cowed. "I look forward to it."

Lieutenant K'Laus grunted and partially bowed his head to the man, a Talarian gesture, a sign of respect from one warrior to another. "As do I" replied the Klingon with a bit of a grin. There was perhaps no greater honor than to battle this man for he was the Security Chief. Though K'Laus did not understand humans and other species all that well, he did have an admiration. However, it was left unspoken.

 

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