Tooth and Claw- - Epilogue...


Well, to wrap up my story...

TCS Mt. St. Helens
Earth, Sol System
0800 hours (CST)

“... and so those Kilrathi pirates out near the Tamayo System need to be
taken care of. Send in a carrier to round them up,” Fleet Admiral William Eisen
said, his dark eyes locked onto his computer slate. The Captain he had been
talking to offered a salute and stepped out of Eisen’s wardroom. The Admiral
sighed. Running a Navy sure was hard work, and he did not know how much
longer he could keep going like this. He took a sip from the glass of brandy
perched upon his desk.
The door to his office slid open again, causing the Admiral to gag
momentarily on his drink. “ Ah, Commodore,” he greeted with a grin. Marcus
Sertorius entered the room, glancing curiously at the brandy glass and then back
to Admiral Eisen. He didn’t seem to care that Bill was drinking; As a
high-ranking flag officer, he had certain luxuries which, say, a newly minted
ensign did not. Nevertheless, Marcus offered a prim salute and Eisen returned it.
“ I’m... sorry to disturb you, Admiral,” he began, “ but your eight o’clock
is here.”
Eisen nodded in understanding. “ Ah, yes, bring the Colonel in.”
Marcus departed, only to return a moment later with a tall man dressed in
the uniform of a Confederation Intelligence officer. The man with the silver
eagles on his shoulders saluted and Eisen grudgingly returned it. “ I’m here
with my report,” he said, his voice a thick Scotsman’s brogue that reminded Bill
of his old friend Paladin.
“ Of course, Colonel, from the Enterprise.” The spry little Francis
Marion-class assault escort carrier had recently returned from her long, perilous
battle in the Outlands against the Orion Consortium. Eisen had to admit that he
was damn proud of Captain Hawk and the crew and pilots on that diminutive
ship. They had successfully defeated Giovanni Valentino’s mad cadre, much
more than their mission objectives had outlined. Baine would certainly get a
promotion to commodore for this, and young Ted Rollins would be getting a
promotion and the captaincy of the TCS Pharsalus. Yes, William Eisen was damn
proud. He motioned for the Intelligence Colonel to continue.
“ Sir,” he said, “ I was ordered to infiltrate Giovanni Valentino’s little
band shortly after I was freed from the prison camp of Sha’ark nar Caxki. By this
time, Admiral, I had gained the trust of the former Marine lieutenant. But what I
saw while I was serving under Valentino was far worse than whatever the
Kilrathi threw our way. With merely the three nuclear warheads that Valentino
pilfered he was able to bring an entire civilization to their knees and use them to
conquer an entire sector of space, Admiral. We should have struck earlier, we
should have ended this madness before it got so out of hand.”
Eisen slowly nodded and, after a brief moment of awkward silence, he
continued. “ Colonel... To be frank, we had no idea what was going on in the
Outlands. It was just too damned far away for us to be sure. And then there was
you. Your mission was an important one, Colonel, it was just too bad that we lost
contact with you.”
“ I hated lying to that bastard, sir, I hated pretending that I was his
friend.” The Colonel paused, lowering his head and looking as if he was wiping
tears from his eyes. Eisen could not blame the man. After everything that he had
seen... “ After Seamus Calhoun’s murder, there was only one real person that I
had hope for: Roger Thereaux. He was a former Marine private... and a good
man. He is dead now, sir, but he should be remembered for his bravery.”
“ Thank you, Colonel McLeod,” Eisen responded. “ I think that will
suffice. Now I want you to take it easy for a while, spend some time with your
family. A long vacation is in order for you, Colonel.” Ian McLeod, sans eyepatch,
offered yet again another salute and disappeared from view.
Marcus returned then, picking up the brandy bottle and pouring himself a
glass. “ Well, sir,” he said, a wry grin tugging at his lips, “ they did it.”
William Eisen chuckled, lifting his own glass and lightly touching it to
Marcus’s. “ Yes,” he replied, “ they did.”

Narkak IV
Narkak System, Kilrathi Space
0635 hours (CST)

All was quiet on the Kilrathi planet of Narkak IV. Srakkah nar Ki’ra
stepped out of his cabin into the cool morning air of the forest planet. Praise
Sivar, Srakkah thought with a baring of his canines. Peace... at last. He had
picked up the pieces of his life, putting them back together on this beautiful
world at the edges of what had once been the Kilrathi Empire. The billowing
crimson trees here reminded him so much of glorious red Kilrah. So different
from H’Rktath II...
At times, he felt his thoughts drifting back to that world. He had not
stepped foot upon the beaches of the planet in six long months. And he was
convinced that he would never return. Not to H’Rktath II. And not to the
Outlands. There were just too many bad memories there to contend with, but not
here. With the remnants of his followers, he had purchased a small piece of land
on the southern continent and life was returning to some semblance of order. If
only Karbok was here, he ruefully thought, then everything would once again be
“ Beautiful morning,” a soft voice behind him said. Srakkah turned away
from the gorgeous sunrise breaking through the trees to see Kali nar Kiranka
standing a few meters behind him.
He nodded in agreement. “ That it is. Makes me wonder why I ever went
into space in the first place.” Kali stepped up next to him, leaning her arms
against the cabin’s railing. After she had escaped the destruction of the
Skarr’var’Rhis in the so-far-away Hadrian System, Redfang’s corvette, the
Kar’ska’Liss, had tractored her on board. She had been unconscious then, but
when she had risen from her coma three weeks later, she had instantly agreed to
join Srakkah on this new world. He quite honestly enjoyed her company. It was
so strange... The sister of his arch enemy now his mate. Redfang would never
have expected it.
“ Space... It is so large,” Kali murmured. “ And yet why cannot we live in
harmony?” Redfang hid his smile. Some of his teachings were definitely rubbing
off on her. “ Here, on this planet, we are all equals.”
Srakkah nar Ki’ra sighed in contentment, munching on an arakh sprig.
Yes, he was indeed finally at peace.

Kilrathi War Memorial
Earth, Sol System
1825 hours (CST)

As the stars began to twinkle high overhead, Captain Christopher Edison,
TCSF, approached the massive black wall before him, a memorial winding
across a vast stretch of Virginia land. Captain... That rank still felt strange to him.
Six months ago he was a plebe, a scared 2nd Lieutenant fresh from the Academy
and now... Wow, squadron commander on the TCS Actium.
Chris, wearing civilian clothing, squinted in the darkness. “ Ebert...
Eckhart... Edison!” He saw his father’s name there: Edison, Major Douglas N.--
KIA 2664. It had been twelve years since his father had been shot down by that
Salthi, but his absence was still felt nonetheless. With a sigh, Chris knelt down,
placing the flowers on the ground by his father’s name. All across the Wall,
hundreds of other similar flowers had been laid down as well. So I guess I’m not
alone, he thought, others have lost loved ones too.
Still... I’ve had to face far too much death of people I care about. Dad,
Ruby... Caliban. Roger Thereaux, as Chris had come to know the man
posthumously, had been buried in the Confederation National Cemetery shortly
after the Enterprise had returned from Outlands space. Some people still looked
at him as a monster that had betrayed the Confederation, but to Chris he was
indeed a hero. And in the end he sacrificed his life to save the galaxy from a
horrible evil. Perhaps there should be a new memorial, Chris thought, one
dedicated to the lives lost in defending the Terran Confederation from the Orion
Consortium. Maybe one of these days...
“ Dad,” he said, the loudness of his own voice surprising even him.
“ I, uh, just wanted to say that I miss you. Things have been quite different with
you gone, but... You taught me a lot, sir. About life, about duty, about honor.
Your words meant more to me than anything, dad. I just wish you were here
with me right now.” But he stopped short, reaching down to clutch the locket
Major Bowen had given to him. Maybe his father was with him, if not in body,
then in spirit. Chris had never been too religious, but he reasoned that must be
the case. His dad was with him. “ Thanks, dad.”
And there were others with him, too. Friends that cared about him, and
would, quite possibly, die for him as he would for them. They were with him
this night, just down that hill: Ju’rak, Stingray, Carrie... Dana. He did not know
what the future held for him, but Christopher Edison felt confident. Valentino
had been wrong. He had not failed.
With a sigh and a shake of his head, Chris turned away from the Wall.
His friends were waiting for him.


If I'm locked on, there's no such thing as evasive action!

[This message has been edited by Dralthi5 (edited April 07, 2000).]
Now that was a lot better
. A very nice wrap-up. And I see you decided to explain Captain Eisen's death
. He never struck me as the drinking type, but hey - strange things happen to people who work at a desk job.
The Kali thing was a bit strange - not that I mind, in this case - she just seemed to change her mind too quickly. Ah, well. I guess that's what happens when you float in a lifepod one time too many.
BTW, what's with all the Roman ship names? Seriously, haven't they had enough

Oh, and I think I picked up a slight error. As I recall, his father was killed by a Sartha, not a Salthi (who could get killed by a Salthi?
). This same error also occured in the last chapter, but I forgot to tell you. Just do a search-and-replace on "Salthi".
Last edited by a moderator:
Thanks, Quarto.

You ever read the WC 3 or 4 novelizations? Seems to me that Eisen is the drinking type.
I mean, not to say that he got soused or anything, but he kept a few bottles of scotch around his day cabin...

About the Kali thing: Hey, near death experiences can do a lot.

I like Roman history. Actium and Pharsalus were major battles, so I decided to allude to them for some reason...
Anyway, you'll see a lot more of the TCS Actium in my next story, and Chris Edison will return.

Sartha, right. I just checked that.

If I'm locked on, there's no such thing as evasive action!

[This message has been edited by Dralthi5 (edited April 08, 2000).]
Last edited by a moderator: