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Star Trek - The Next Generation: Worf Meets His Match Part 1 (no sex)
by Anonymous

The scene was reminiscent of some he had witnessed during his recent
experiences in the Klingon Empire during the revolution. Ten Forward was a
wreck, drapes smoldering, transparent dura-plast tables smashed, crew members
lying about like scattered children's toys. After making a quick appraisal,
he slapped his comm-badge angrily and growled, "Worf to Sick Bay! We need a
medical team to Ten Forward, several crew members with light to moderate
injuries!"

His security team was already picking their way through the wreckage, seeing
to immediate first aid where necessary, others questioning dazed-looking
people who seemed unhurt. Worf himself stepped across what had once been a
chair, and stood before the bar. Before him Guinan stood with her head
cradled on her arms, bent over the bar, her shoulders shaking. "Are you
injured?" he asked her gruffly, but with real concern tinging his voice. The
enigmatic woman looked briefly up at him, grinning like a loon, before
letting her head fall again on her arms to continue laughing helplessly.

"This is not a laughing matter!" Worf told her more sternly. "What happened
here?" Guinan looked up again, tears standing in her eyes from the laughter.
She was still unable to answer him, but pointed across the room weakly.
Following her gesture, Worf's eyes found a figure who seemed utterly out of
place, a woman dressed in an immaculate white cling-suit, holding a drink and
looking out the viewport at the stars.

What Worf did not notice was how unusual the woman was. To another human, she
would have appeared majestic, statuesque, unusually tall and heavy-built. To
the Klingon security chief, she was just another fragile human, smaller than
he, and likely to break if he was not cautious. Worf, always the consummate
warrior, walked up to her obliquely, some vigilant reflex within him watching
for a sudden move or attack. He could see from her stance and the tension in
her body that she was equally aware of his approach and prepared to defend if
necessary. Some part of him heartily approved, but he had a duty. "Worf,
Security: I require your assistance," the Klingon announced.

The strange woman ignored him, seeming lost in her reverie, but his battle
training took in minute changes in stance and breathing, telling him that she
was well aware of his presence.

"It is a violation of regulations to refuse to answer an inquiry from a
Security officer!" he growled.

She turned then, all at once in a motion so graceful that it didn't even
startle his reflexes into causing him to strike. But now she was well inside
arms' reach, and could attack if she chose. He restrained his impulse to step
back, but braced himself for possible combat.

"I haven't refused you anything. You have had my full attention since you
stepped into this room," she answered him at last. She had a full, throaty
contralto, very much like that of the Ship's Counsellor, but unlike Deanna
Troi, her accents were more fluid and almost songlike. Looking at her made
even Worf, with his Klingon standards of beauty, look again. She was over
six feet tall, although not as tall as the Klingon. Her hair was a
luminescent white, caught up in braided loops all around her head, seeming
like an abstract ice sculpture executed by some great artist. Despite the
white hair, her face was young and unlined, and looking up at him, he saw
that she had the bluest eyes he had ever seen.

"What has happened here?" he asked her at last, shaking himself slightly as
if to shift mental gears from his silent appraisal of the beautiful woman.
"And please identify yourself!"

The woman frowned a bit at his tone, crossed her arms and threw back her
head, challenge dancing in her steely eyes.

"Fair Marika, Aino's daughter,
daughter of the Seventh Planet,
miner's daughter in the foothills!
Starfleet trained in engineering,
learned to sing the very lightning,
learned to twist the antimatter,
specialist in engine systems,
knows the ways of starship systems..."

Worf was utterly confused by her rhythmic recitation, and angered by her lack
of cooperation. He gritted his teeth, a sight that at times even caused those
of his crew mates who were used to his moods to blanch, although this woman
seemed not to notice. Throttling down his ancestral impulses to mayhem, he
interrupted her and asked again for her name, rank, and an account of what
had happened to destroy the rec area. He had hardly finished speaking his
demand when she hissed at him in flawless Klingonaase, "Do'Ha' 'e'
chovangvIp, nuch! Salamqangbe' 'etlhwIj!"

Only Starfleet training could have kept him from killing her where she stood,
as the harsh tones of the mightiest insult of his people rolled over him.
What might have happened next remained conjecture, however, for just then one
of his security officers approached to report on the team's findings.
"Lieutenant, Sir, injuries have been treated. We've found out what happened
here and have taken a suspect into custody, Sir!"

Worf's dark eyes remained locked on the woman's lighter ones a moment yet,
before he was able to tear his gaze away from her, force control back over
his anger, erecting his training like a castle wall to avoid attacking this
female human before him. "Do not leave yet," he told her. "I wish to question
you momentarily!" He was able to relax a bit when she shrugged and turned
back to the starscape visible behind her.

After conferring with his team, he found that his instincts were in fact
correct, that the strange woman had, indeed been involved. Witnesses reported
that she had been challenging all comers to arm wrestling bouts, with the
loser to buy drinks for the winner. She had won every round, and despite the
massive quantities of alcohol she had won and imbibed, was still able to win
again and again. The problem was not the arm-wrestling, however, but the side
bets that were being placed as first this and then that Enterprise crew
member faced her and lost. The precipitating event for the small riot that
had taken place was when one large, aggressive male sciences officer had bet
an entire month's credits on his victory. He sat down to the table with the
big woman and locked wrists with her, but when the word was given to begin,
she folded his arm over as easily as if he had been a child. The blow to his
pride was too much, and he jumped up and swung on the ice-woman, but she was
suddenly not there. His fist had instead flattened a transporter technician,
and the brawl began.

Worf nodded his understanding, and gave appropriate orders to his team,
dismissing them to their duties. Then he turned back to the woman and the
challenge that she had left burning in the air between them. "That form of
insult must have an answer!" he told her. "Are you aware of what you have
said?" he snarled, his Klingon pride warring within him with his Starfleet
training.

"Of course I am aware. I have tendered you the deadliest insult of your
people, as you have tendered the worst of mine to me!" she answered, her
back still to him. The liquid quality of her voice seemed to negate the
memory of the accentless Klingonese she had spoken earlier.

"Insult!?" he snapped, "I gave no insult!"

"Oh yes you did!" she returned, "you asked me for my name and station and
then INTERRUPTED my runo! My sisu DEMANDS that you make apology and amends!"

Worf was not so blinded by his fury that he failed to note the keystone to
this entire strange encounter. "Runo" and "sisu" --- this woman was from New
Helsinki, a heavy-gravity world settled by a homogenous ethnic group from
Earth back before the Eugenics Wars. The Helsinkinen were touchy,
pride-conscious, and clung fiercely to their heritage. Worf had heard it
said many times at the Academy that no Helsinkinen sailor, whether it was
in a wet navy or in Starfleet, had ever lost a fist-fight, nor backed down
from any sort of rough-and-tumble that came along. "I will apologize and
withdraw my insult," he told her, fury still adding gravel to his voice,
"if you will do the same." Sometimes, he thought, catering the customs of
other peoples was more trouble than it was worth, especially when a warrior's
soul was crying out within him for blood.

Her sudden smile was like the sun leaping free of clouds. She put her hand
out to him and again in that perfect unaccented Klingonaase said,
"ChoHoHvIpbe'neS - batlh Daqawlu'taH!"

He gravely took her hand and answered in Standard, "I apologize for my
rudeness. I was not aware that I was transgressing against the customs of
your people." Her grip was painfully strong, surprising him almost more
than the spate of harsh syllables. This so surprised him that a small
portion of his brain could only say, stunned, "Be'le'!" -- "What an
exceptional woman!"

She smiled again, still holding his hand tightly, and said, "I think you are
a very exceptional man as well, Security Chief Worf! I have heard much about
you! Please, let me introduce myself more correctly, if less formally. I am
Marika, and I'm assigned to Engineering as a Propulsion Systems Specialist,
rank, Lieutenant. Better?" She cocked her head to the side as she waited for
his reply, making her look tiny and delicate to his amazed regard.

Did I actually speak out loud? he wondered to himself. But she was waiting
for his reply. "Much better," he answered, "I did not mean to misunderstand
you before." He was rapidly becoming aware that for the first time he could
remember, he was physically, sexually attracted to a non-Klingon woman. He
disengaged his hand from her warm grasp. "I must return to my duties." he
told her curtly.

There was that grin again. "I did give you an imperative challenge, Mr. Worf!
Perhaps when you are not on duty, you would meet me at Rec Area 4, where we
will do combat, but perhaps without bloodshed a necessary element! I shall
see you there!" She moved past him with that uncanny grace again, sliding by
him without seeming to move, then she was gone, ducking under the arm of one
the housekeeping crew that had come to set Ten Forward back to rights.

Worf was arroused...

CONTINUED IN PART 2

    

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