SIM:LtCmdr. Jackford Kolk - The Once & Future Tyrant, Part I
and the identity of its sender, with his captain and crew.
Lieutenant Commander Jackford B. Kolk - "The Once & Future Tyrant, Part I"
((Flight Operations Center, USS Ronin - Stardate 238603.03))
::Lt. Commander Baranduin had just finished running every system in the Flight Ops Center through a Level 3 Diagnostic when a strange blip came up on his console. A coded message had been received and routed to his station automatically. Checking it's subspace header, he was perplexed that it didn't seem to have a point of origin or a sender. It was simply addressed to the Chief of Flight Ops in the USS Ronin. The El-Aurian didn't recognize the language, but one of the words, "Iackfordus" was close enough to his predecessor's first name that he knew to tap his badge and get the man on the line.::
Baranduin: =/\= Baranduin to Commander Kolk. =/\=
((Turbolift en route to Deck 15))
::LtCmdr. Kolk had just left the Counselor's meeting and was on his way to his office when his old Flight Ops "First Officer" called him.::
Kolk: =/\= Kolk here. Go ahead. =/\=
Baranduin: =/\= Sir, I've just received a strange message that I think you'll want to take a look at. =/\=
Kolk: =/\= What's the message? Is it sensitive or can you read it to me? =/\=
Baranduin: =/\= I'm not sure, actually. I don't recognize the language, but I'll try to read it... ::pronouncing it slowly and carefully:: "Hic Iacet Iackfordus, Tyrannus Quondam Tyrannusque Futurus." Do you recognize it? =/\=
::Jack instantly recognized the quote, and more than that he knew what it meant. His arch nemesis was taunting him. His jaw tightened and his hands instinctively became fists. This was not good news.::
Kolk: =/\= ::brusquely:: Yes. Thank you. Was there anything else in the transmission? =/\=
Baranduin: =/\= Um... yes. Two sets of coordinates. Did you want me to-- =/\=
Kolk: =/\= Route the whole thing to Stellar Cartography. Commander Kolk out. =/\= Computer, halt lift. Redirect to Deck 14, Stellar Cartography.
::His brow furrowed, he looked at the floor for a moment, deep in thought. He had to remain clear-headed. The Counselor had just reminded them not to be impulsive. What had to be done? What? Walker and Cruise. He had to contact Walker and Cruise.::
Kolk: =/\= Commander Kolk to Captain Walker. =/\=
Walker: ::nearly biting off the word:: =/\= What!?=/\=
Kolk: ::ignoring the captain's tone:: =/\= Commander Baranduin just informed me that we've received coordinates and a message from... "me." It's being routed to Stellar Cartography now. =/\=
Walker: ::Calming himself forcibly down.:: =/\= I see. I'll be right there. Walker out. =/\=
::One down, one to go.::
Kolk: =/\= Kolk to Cruise. I need to use Stellar Cartography immediately, Can you meet me there? =/\=
Cruise: =/\= Why? What's up? =/\=
Kolk: =/\= This is very serious, Allen. I'll explain everything there. =/\=
Cruise: =/\= Alright. On my way. =/\=
::As the line dropped, the lift opened and Jack strode into the corridor with more purpose and determination than he'd felt in a while. Why now? What could his alter ego want?::
((Stellar Cartography, Deck 14 - Later))
::By the time Allen and Ben entered the darkened room, Jack had already pulled up the two coordinates on the Ronin's star charts and drawn a triangle connecting them and the Ronin's current position. The space covered was huge, thousands of lightyears, and Jack couldn't yet make sense of it. One of the coordinates was deep within the Cardassian Union, a system charted by Dr. Bashir from Deep Space Nine ages ago: Arawath. The other was altogether uncharted, behind but definitely outside of Gorn territory. When the two men he'd called entered, Jack gave his full attention to the Captain, knowing that he at least would understand the urgency of the matter.::
Walker: Alright Mr. Kolk... What's going on?
Kolk: It's Evil Jack, Captain. He sent me a message: ::pronouncing it as if he'd said it a hundred times before:: "Hic Iacet Iackfordus, Tyrannus Quondam Tyrannusque Futurus."
Walker: And I presume by the look on your face that you recognize that?
Kolk: It's Latin, from ancient Earth. It means, "Here lies Jackford, the Once and Future Tyrant."
Walker: At least he's being subtle. ::He was sure the sarcasm would not be lost on the two others in the room.:: Is that something that means anything else to you?
Kolk: It's a bastardization of the words that, according to legend, were written on the tomb of King Arthur of England.
Walker: So he wrote out his plans and sent them to you... the question is... why?
Kolk: I have no idea, Sir. ::slamming his fist down on the console on the word "have":: But I have to find out. He's taunting me and I--
Walker: And you are on a mission Commander. Unless this takes priority over your duty to the ship? ::As the words slipped out, he realized that his anger had spoken for him. And while not completely incorrect... not the response he should have given.::
Kolk: You're right, Sir. I'm sorry. I won't let it affect my duty or the mission.
Walker: ::Shaking his head dismissively.:: No, I understand. And I don't think you would. You do need to have it clear where your immediate responsibilities are however.
Cruise: Excuse me, but would one of you make sense.
Kolk: Oh, that's right. You wouldn't know, would you? He's me...
Cruise: What? There're two of you? Twins?
Walker: ::barking out a short laugh:: Not quite, but last we saw him, he was wearing facial hair. And he has caused a great deal of trouble. Mr. Kolk, do we have any idea about the origination of the message?
Kolk: No, Sir. Not yet.
Walker: So we have no idea where he sent it from?
Cruise: Shouldn't be too hard to figure out.
Walker: The timing is... suspect. We are going into a region where communication is intermittent due to the ore... and then he sends this.
Kolk: Well, he is nothing if not a pain in the...
::Allen shook his head and began manipulating the star charts::
Walker: That's the question. Is he trying to scare us off? Or lure us in? ::wry laugh:: Or is this just the universe's perverse sense of timing?
::The three stared at the observatory as Allen followed the trace patterns through the star charts.::
Cruise: I'd say timing, Captain; my best guess this message is at least a week old...
Kolk: Luring us in seems the most likely. I mean, the message could be a sort of warning, but judging by his past actions and... well, my own temperament... I'd guess he's betting on our curiosity to bring us to... wherever he's hoping to lead us.
Cruise: ::Grinning at Jack:: Then if this other Jack is your alternate... shouldn't we do the opposite of what you would do? ...like maybe stay away.
Walker: Check into it. We are eight hours out from Wheeler, and the ore will shut down long range comms in four. I need an answer before then.
Kolk: Aye, Cap'n. We'll have one.
::The man in the maroon tunic left the two LtCmdrs alone in Stellar Cartography, and Jack turned to his friend.::
Kolk: Any more questions about who we're dealing with before we start? I know I haven't given you a lot to go on so far...
Cruise: If he's anything like you then we're screwed. ::wry grin::
((Roughly 3.862 Hours Later))
Walker: =/\= Commander Kolk, Commander Cruise. Do you have anything for me? =/\=
Kolk: =/\= The most we've been able to determine is that the transmission originated from the Cardassian coordinates he gave us. =/\=
Cruise: =/\= Nothing further sir. =/\=
Walker: =/\= Understood. Any other reason why we should turn away? =/\=
::Jack looked at Allen for confirmation, but he already knew there wasn't before Allen shook his head.::
Kolk: =/\= No sir. None that we've been able to find. =/\=
Walker: =/\= Alright, Walker out. =/\=
::The line closed and Jack turned a weak, tired smile toward his teal-tunicked friend.::
Kolk: Was it just me, or did it sound like he was hoping we'd give him a reason to turn back?
Cruise: Yeah... It makes you wonder. Somehow I get the feeling the captain's not too keen on returning to the Wheeler Colony.
"A Little Cestus Festivus"
|Lt. Commander Jackford Kolk
Chief Tactical & Second Officer
USS Ronin NCC-34523
"How to Start a War, Part II"
| "Evil" Jack Kolk
Tyrant of Tyrants
SS Idril Mar KolkPrepared-02
"The Once & Future Tyrant, Part II"