Monday, 31 December 1990

The Valkyrie Chronicles - The Theophilus War Chapter 7

Magus sat in the Gresley, at the piano, playing Bach’s Goldberg Variations. All around listened intently as his fingers swam nimbly across the keyboard. Then, Pendragon entered.
    “Very nice, but can you play anything more modern?”
    Magus smiled and gave them a quick burst of Rhapsody in Blue. At that moment, Pendragon was summoned to the bridge. Admiral Benton was on the screen.
    “Bad news Watt.” he said. “Theophilus has a new ship He has taken over a Klingon Bird of Prey.”
    “How?” asked Pendragon. “The Satan was no match for a Klingon ship.”
    “He used no force. He merely made them beam themselves into outer space.”
    “If we’re hunting a Klingon ship I want Salg in on this.”
    Benton nodded.
    “He’ll meet you on Starbase 25.”
    Magus entered.
    “Bad news?” he enquired.
    Watt nodded.
    “Theophilus has a Klingon ship.”
    Magus nodded.
    “It has occurred to me, Captain, the only way to deal with him effectively is to strip both him and Celsius of their immortality.”
    “How do we do that?” asked Watt.
    “That I do not know as yet.” replied Magus. “Their immortality was granted by the Holy Grail, and that is a power that even I cannot go against and succeed. I do know that we must return to Istarix. To have any hope of success we will need the Eye of the Serpent.”
    At this point, Tamar Amarus rose.
    “Is that wise, Magus?” After all, that’s exactly the thing he is after.”
    “Precisely, my boy.” smiled Magus. “If it is with me then he cannot find it by attacking the Time. He will leave them in peace.”
    “Very well, Magus.” mused Watt. “We’ll follow your plan for now. Are you sure Gandalf will release the jewel to you?”
    The answer soon became apparent. Gandalf released the jewel to Magus, on the condition that Larin Oakenshield, a direct descendant of the dwarf who mined the gem, and whose family were sworn to protect it, be allowed to accompany them. Magus agreed. Soon, the crew of the Valkyrie were treated to the sight of a full blooded dwarf striding the corridors of the Valkyrie with Magus.
    “A wondrous creation, this ship of the stars.” beamed Larin. “Would I be allowed to see the engines?”
    Magus smiled.
    “I will ask Lom.” he replied.

    The sight that greeted them at the Starbase was an unusual one. There had not been many occasions when a Klingon Bird of Prey had docked at a Federation outpost. It was indeed an odd sight.
    Upon docking at the Starbase, Commander Salg beamed over to the Valkyrie. He was accorded a warm welcome.
    “It is good to see you again, Commander.” said Watt.
    “I wish there was time when we could meet under more pleasant circumstances.” said Salg.
    “Of course, you will be accorded all the luxuries that would be given to a Federation first officer.” said Watt.
    “I require no special treatment.” said Salg.
    Watt signalled to Ensign Greenleaf, who showed Salg to his quarters.

    A staff meeting was called an hour later. It looked odd when Commander Salg sat next to Larin.
    “It worries me that a Klingon vessel could be taken with such ease.” said Salg. “One ship would not be enough to destroy him.”
    “Our sister ship, the Lohengrin, is patrolling the Star of Hope and the Time.” said Watt. “We can call on her at any time.”
    “That may still not be enough.” said Salg. “I must warn you, Captain, that Gauron and the Klingon High Council are willing to take matters into their own hands. Klingons were killed, a vessel was stolen. To that Empire, that is…embarrassing.”
    “It is more than embarrassing to us, Commander.” said Watt. “This situation is very serious. We must stop Armand Theophilus at whatever cost.”

    Armand Theophilus strode through the corridors of the Klingon vessel Tochk. He was not a happy man. He walked onto the bridge and took his place in the captain’s chair. Celsius, now wearing the sash of a Klingon first officer, approached him.
    “What’s wrong, Doc?” he asked. “This is the second ship we’ve nicked, don’t say this one isn’t to your liking!”
    “We are now undetectable by Federation sensors.” said Theophilus. “We can match any Galaxy class starship for weaponry and speed, and yet, I still can’t re-activate the Frankenstein monster!”
    Then, Droome, the renegade wizard, entered the bridge.
    “Well.” snapped Theophilus. “Can you assist this Klingon technology? Can you help power the resurrection of the creature?”
    “I am not a member of the Istari.” said Droome. “For me to be able to generate such power, I would need a great power source, such as the Eye of the Serpent.”
    “Then you shall have it, my young wizard!” said Theophilus. “Celsius, set a course for the Time of Legends!”

    A full day passed before the Tochk reached the Star of Hope. A full scan was made.
    “We may have a problem.” said Dolcoon. “I’m picking up a Federation starship in this sector.”
    “On the viewer.” Theophilus ordered.
    The image appeared on the screen.
    “What is that ship?” asked Theophilus.
    Rezadon, the humanoid lizard, was confused.
    “I cannot read Klingon mazzter.” he said.
    Theophilus leapt up from his seat, and pushed Rezadon out of the way.
    “The Lohengrin!” he smiled. “The Valkyrie’s sister ship! Why does Starfleet insist on sending old friends after me?”
    Theophilus re-took his seat.
    “Continue on the course for the Time of Legends.” he ordered.

    Aboard the Lohengrin, all was normal, until the Tochk arrived.
    “I’m picking up some sub-space fluctuations, Captain.” said Lt. Muir at the tactical station. “It could be from a cloaked vessel.”
    Captain Connor McCloud got up from his seat, and approached the helmsman.
    “Confirmed.” said the helmsman. “Forty thousand kilometres off the port bow.”
    “It could be nothing.” said the first officer, Commander Willoughby.
    “Such occurrences are not known to happen in this sector.” said McCloud. “Can you get a lock on it, Mr. Muir?”
    “Now fifty thousand kilometres away.” said Muir. “It is headed toward the Time.”
    “Follow it.” said McCloud. “We’re not taking any chances. Go to yellow alert.”

    The Tochk moved into orbit around the Time. Theophilus sat at the science station, altering the ship’s scanners so they could detect the energy that the Eye of the Serpent gave off. An uneasy look appeared on his face.
    “Where is it?” he cried. “Where is the crystal?”
    He busily entered computations into the panel, but still, he could find nothing. He smashed his fist into the panel.
    “It’s gone!” he shouted. “It’s bloody gone!”
    Theophilus re-took the captain’s chair.
    “Prepare to enter the atmosphere.” he ordered. “We will make them pay for hiding it from us!”
    The Tochk de-cloaked as it entered the atmosphere. This gave the Lohengrin it’s chance.
    “Target phasers.” McCloud ordered.
    “Too late.” said Muir. “They have entered the planet’s atmosphere.”
    “Signal the surface.” said McCloud.
    The Tochk made good speed through the atmosphere. Theophilus checked the charts. He soon found an ideal target, Valhalla.
    They soon neared the mighty island, which was situated near the Land of the Gods. Two small Valhalla class vessels, which had been designed by the dwarves on the island, were dispatched to intercept the Tochk. They had no chance against the mighty Klingon vessel. Soon, they neared the shores of Valhalla. Theophilus knew that none of the Norse gods lived on the island now.
    “Arm phasers.” Theophilus ordered. “Arm photon torpedoes.”
    “What is our target?” asked Dolcoon.
    “The entire island, you buffoon!” Theophilus screamed. “Fire!”
    Phasers ripped into the island, followed by photo torpedoes. The screams of Valhalla’s inhabitants could be heard for hundreds of miles around. Within a matter of minutes, the once mighty citadel was raised to the ground.
    “Everything destroyed.” said Celsius. “No remaining life signs.”
    “Good.” smiled Theophilus. “Now let us leave this worthless planet.”
    A few minutes later, the Tochk left the Time’s atmosphere. Just as they did, a phaser blast ripped into them. The blast was from the Lohengrin.
    “They have no shields.” said Muir. “Auxiliary power is failing. Life support badly damaged.”
    “Fire again, Lieutenant.” McCloud ordered.
    Another blast ripped into the Tochk.
    “We are no match for them, master.” said Dolcoon. “We must abandon ship.”
    “Never.” cried Theophilus.
    Theophilus ran over to the weapons console.
    “We have a few torpedoes left.” he said.
    He then ran over to the science station. A plan formed in his mind. He closed his eyes. His thoughts moved away from his body. His power reached out beyond the confines of the crippled Klingon vessel. His mind reached out to that of Lt. Muir on the Lohengrin. He probed his thoughts. Then, Muir’s mind belonged to Theophilus. Theophilus made Muir enter the Lohengrin’s computer.
    “Hail them, Mr. Muir.” said McCloud.
    Muir did not respond. He continued to access the ship’s computer. McCloud got to his feet, and turned to Muir. He was surprised at the blank look on Muir’s face.
    “Mr. Muir?” said McCloud.
    Suddenly, all power was drained from the ship’s system, all except from helm control, and life support. After this had happened, Muir slumped to the ground, unconscious.
    “All power is gone.” said Willoughby. “How, I don’t know.”
    “I do.” said McCloud. “Theophilus!”
    Then, a gas-like substance came through the air vents on the bridge.
    “Tecion gas!” gasped Willoughby.
    Seconds later, all of the bridge crew were unconscious, and near death. Then, the gas was sucked back through the air vents, and shortly after that, Theophilus, Celsius and Dolcoon beamed onto the bridge. Celsius walked over to the tactical station.
    “All of the crew are unconscious.” he said. “Many are nearly dead.”
    “Do we dispose of them in the same way as the Klingons?” asked Dolcoon.
    “No.” said Theophilus. “We will need some of these officers to help us run this ship. Access the computer Celsius. We keep the captain, first officer, tactical officer and science officer.”
    Celsius did as he was ordered.
    “The science officer, Lt. Quatermass, is in engineering.” he said.
    “Lock the transporter onto all but the four I have indicated.” said Theophilus. “Beam them off this ship.”
    “To the planet?” queried Dolcoon.
    “No, you fool.” snapped Theophilus. “To the empty void of space!”
    Celsius carried out his orders. Soon, over a thousand crew and their families were killed.

    The Valkyrie was still over a day away from the Time of Legends.
    “We are being hailed, Captain.” said Amarus. “From the Time of Legends.”
    “On screen.” said Watt.
    The image of Watt’s grandfather, Ambassador Watt, appeared on the screen. A solemn look was on his face.
    “I have bad news, Jim.” he said. “Two hours ago, the Klingon vessel Tochk, under the command of Armand Theophilus, attacked the island of Valhalla. All the inhabitants were killed.”
    “Isn’t the Lohengrin in the sector?” asked Watt.
    “She was.” said the Ambassador. “They engaged the Tochk after it left the atmosphere. The Tochk was destroyed, but Theophilus and his crew managed to gain control of the Lohengrin.”
    “How?” asked Watt.
    “We don’t know yet.” the Ambassador replied. “All we know is that all the crew, save Captain McCloud, Commander Willoughby, Lt. Muir and Lt. Quatermass were beamed to outer space. They are all dead.”
    “But the Lohengrin had over a thousand crew and family aboard.” said Watt. “Nearly thirteen hundred.”
    “I know, Jim.” said the Ambassador. “But I have new orders from Starfleet Command for you. You must destroy the Lohengrin!”