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Season Two

218 Jetsam of a Hybrid Mind

Lyranna Quayn sends the Stephenson (with Loras in command) to meet the runabout with the stricken M'Kress on board. She sets out to meet the Vulcan leader Vox.

M'Kress awakes, and tries to smash her way out of her quarters. She wants to speak to Petersen.

Veltr'a and Councillor Tang argue over the right course of action. Tang tries and fails to counsel the Vulcan. M'Kress makes a more subtle escape attempt, which also fails.

Petersen talks to M'Kress over runabout Comms. M'Kress has chosen Petersen as her mate.

Vox sends a Vulcan shuttlecraft, the Sarek, to meet the runabout.

Lyranna suggests a holographic release to George, but M'Kress is insulted by the suggestion. Petersen and M'Kress discuss the options over the Comm - they fight, M'Kress fights Petersen's champion, they mate, or M'Kress tries to satisfy herself with a hologram. M'Kress is offended that Petersen has been digging into the nature of Pon Farr. Petersen prepares himself to fight M'Kress.

When the Stephenson arrives, Veltr'a transfers M'Kress to the brig. When the Sarek arrives, Veltr'a stuns M'Kress in order to transfer her to the Sarek in a stasis pod. She turns out to be feigning unconscioussness, so he stuns her again. But the Vulcan priests on the Sarek find they cannot allieviate her Plak Tow.

Petersen joins the Sarek, whose crew try to convince Petersen that being chosen by M'Kress is a great honour.

Meanwhile, the Stephenson is sent away to the Tekindus IV Shipyards, to aid a battle near the UFP borders with now-Dominion-occupied Klingon space and the Tholians.

Kath'lar is angry to find out that the Mauro ship claims to have developed a fault and is still in orbit, so the house Mauro Klingons that are staying with them will continue to do so for some time longer. The Mauro Klingons find out about the M'Kress / Petersen situation by overhearing a conversation between Loras and Kath'lar. They three young Klingons volunteer themselves to Cmdr Quayn to fight M'Kress. Petersen nominates them to serve as his champions in the duel.

House Mauro informs the Klingon trio of more about M'Kress. They bet blood wine on which of them will be the first to mate with her.

The modified ceremony of Koon-ut-kal-if-fee is held at the Temple in the Vulcan Quarter on New Lhasa. Captain Horah-Marush and Commander Quayn are there, on the former's insistsence. When MíKress discovers Petersen's choice of champions, she demands her batíleth before berating both Petersen and the Klingons.

M'Kress fells one Klingon. Petersen asks her to stop, and she asks if she accedes, but he doesn't. The prone Klingon dematerialises - beamed out by an orbital shuttle. M'Kress kills the second before, unmated, her Plak Tow subsides. The final Klingon refuses to stop fighting after his fellows have been beaten, and attacks anyway. She receives more injuries - to limb and torso - and collapses. Before he administers a coup de grace, he is stunned - by Horah-Morash.

Horah-Morash has angered Vox and his colleagues, but by smuggling in a phaser and teleporting out the injured, he has limited the fatalities to one Klingon. Starfleet can at least heal the physical damage.

Koon-ut-kal-if-fee translates as "marriage or challenge". I don't know how to translate "just challenge" into Vulcan.

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© Ian McDonald 2001