Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Star Trek: The Next Generation belong to their respective creators, Joss Whedon and Gene Roddenberry.
Note: I apologize in advance for any Klingon-related mistakes.
The thing was a ship, the chief engineer told him, of human make, and perhaps three hundred years old.
“From before the Federation, before humans even discovered warp drive,” said D'romok. “Perhaps in the years immediately following their Third World War. It must be one of the earliest space-worthy transports the humans built.”
The ship had none of the usual features of Alpha Quadrant ships. Rather it was an exact sphere, without distinguishing characteristics. If not for its mathematically precise shape, as well as its size, the sensors of the IKS H'grot
could have missed it altogether, dismissing the anomaly in the scans as wreckage or trash.
“You're certain it's a ship?” asked Haragga.
“Yes, Captain,” said D'romok. “But...”
The chief engineer hesitated, and Haragga growled his impatience.
“There are many things wrong with it,” said D'romok. “There are no visible means of propulsion, and I do not detect any weaponry. It is completely round, with no obvious openings for entry or exit. No shields, no insignia—it is a ball, floating without trajectory.”
“Yet it is a ship,” said Kahmar, the first officer, somewhat doubtfully.
.” D'romok called a schematic up on the screen. “I have detected a rudimentary life support system still functioning inside, as well as inner compartments. Metal degradation and mechanical failures have taken a toll. I cannot see any system of propulsion, but in any case the stress of movement would break the ship down completely within fifteen minutes.”
Haragga turned back to the screen that still displayed the ancient ship. Centuries old, an impractical if not useless design, pre-Federation human in origin... “What could it hold?”
“I detect no life signs, Captain,” said Magh, the security chief, his growl more a rasp.
No life signs. Wreckage, then, except—he did not know. Something...something about
this was—off. “HoD,”
said D'romok, “I cannot detect a navigation system, though that could only mean that it has deactivated or been destroyed.”
“A ship without navigation or propulsion,” said Magh. “It might as well be a box floating in space.”
Haragga was watching the ship drift, turning slowly on some either pre-established or random axis, and it was he who saw it first. “Sogh!
D'romok contained the view on the screen, brought it closer. On the side of the human vessel, in the center of a square section of corrugated plating, were lines of alien print.
“Federation Standard, Captain,” said D'romok, eyes fixed.
By now, every Klingon on the command deck was watching. When the tlhIngan Hol
translation overlaid the deteriorated inscription, they all saw it at once.here sleeps the slayer
the end of evil
the enemy of the evildoer
the destroyer of evil things
our lives in one hand
their deaths in the other
do not wake her
Haragga stood from the command chair, his eyes on the screen. “Slayer,”
he breathed. Then, to D'romok, “This translation is accurate?”
“Yes, Captain,” said D'romok, over the console. “I...do not know the human context of the title as it is used here, but the meaning is unmistakable. One who destroys, or kills by violence.
“A tomb,” said Magh, his eyes wide. “The tomb of an ancient human hero—and not one of those weakling scientists, but a warrior. A true warrior!”
“But a female,” someone protested. “A human female?”
“And?” snarled Magh. “Was not Kahless's Lukara a woman? Do you scorn her memory too, fool?”
“Besides, this is the work of primitive humans,” said D'romok. “Who knows how they thought, why they did anything?”
Haragga growled, silencing all arguments. Mind made up, he motioned to Magh. “Assemble the away team. We will board this ship.”
“The Federation?” asked la'
Kahmar. “Should we not contact them?”
“Later,” said Haragga. “This ship was found in Klingon space, and I want to see this ancient human hero.”
“But Captain,” interrupted D'romok, “we do not yet know for certain if there is even a sustainable atmosphere, if the ship itself can bear the strain of—this is work for a salvage crew—”
“Then you have one hour to prepare, chief engineer,” said Haragga, glaring at him. “But we will board this vessel.”
“Captain,” tried Kahmar, “we do not even know for certain if it is a tomb.”
Haragga bared his teeth. “Look, la'
.” He pointed, gesturing with one, gloved hand. “Have you been a stranger to battle and glory for so long that you cannot recognize what is placed before you? Where else would you put the final annunciation of a warrior, but on the door of her tomb?”Glossaryla'