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The Exchange, Part III, Kaybok's Downfall and Rise

Posted on Sun May 7th, 2017 @ 6:14am by Lieutenant Kaybok & Commander Tyro Adina

Mission: Winter Shoreleave
Location: Betazed
Timeline: Final

(Continued from The Exchange, Part II, Kaybok's Pride, where Kaybok met someone, but in the end his career is in jeopardy by losing his temper.)


The walk of shame. Between an officer's quarters, and the place of his demotion. It would occur in Tyro's office, across the bridge. Though the corridors were empty of crew while the ship supplied, there were always staff at their stations on the bridge. Tyro in her office sat across from an Admiral on the Tranquility Council, and one other... a human ambassador. Kaybok would recognize him as Lee Buckner.

Kaybok exited the turbolift with a heavy heart; he knew the time had come to face facts. Usually when he came onto the bridge, there was a comradery between him and the crew… it was as if the staff knew something was going to happen, especially with two admirals on board.

Kaybok walked to the commander’s ready room door, and took a deep breath.

Kaybok thought, “I am Klingon, and I am honorable; I made a mistake, and I must pay for what I have done.”

Kaybok rang the door chime.

"Come in," said Tyro. As Kaybok entered, she stood and waved Kaybok in. Lee wore shimmering purple, and a big black shiner over one eye. Tyro studied Kaybok's face for a moment, trying to determine what he expected of humans as the only Klingon in the room and on the ship.

"The Sheliak do not appreciate light-handed justice," enunciated Lee, and Tyro nearly rolled her eyes, adding, "Kaybok, you were off-duty, on leave, and well within our rights to do as you pleased. The negligence of this man aside, he's right. The government he represents doesn't think this is a small matter." Lee seemed unhappy with Tyro's attitude toward the situation. The admiral nodded however. He was there to ensure Tyro followed her orders as well.

"Lieutenant, I won't allow this situation to go any further. My superiors would like me to eject you from the mission, but I know you. You would not knowingly bring dishonour to your crew or your captain. Do I have that right?"

After Kaybok entered, and saw Ambassador Buckner, he stood motionless for a moment. He could feel the anger boil within him; however he did not want to bring dishonor to his commander. He couldn’t help but chuckle at the ambassador’s shiner but as the commander stared at him as if she wanted to go into battle, he cleared his throat and got his thoughts together.

“You do… have that right, Commander. I did act in a dishonorable manner; I embarrassed you and the Tranquility, not to mention Star Fleet as a whole. There was an important trade agreement that I alone risked. Nevertheless, I have a right to defend myself in this matter. Even among Klingons, when a House or the High Council knows one side is in their right, as the ambassador here is, all are considered.”

“Ugh,” scoffed Lee as Kaybok finished his explanation. “Are we here to… slap this, this KLINGON on the wrist or are we here to make sure discipline is enforced? I have no time for this!! I don’t think you do, either, Commander.”

Commander Tyro simply looked at the ambassador so he would stop speaking; she nodded for Kaybok to continue.

“First of all… I… apologize for your attack, Ambassador. I should have challenged you at another place and time. If you had declined, I would have said you were a coward… and laughed. If you had accepted the challenge, we would have fought our disagreement out, but you did not have the chance for either one.”

“Commander Adina, I do not believe you have all of the facts. When one is in an injury, the injured party does not bring out all of the facts. The morning of the incident, Ensign McClellan and I were enjoying brunch and the ambassador came over to our table to announce that he had been promoted to said position, plus he wanted to meet me; it was a friendly discussion and I enjoyed meeting him. He even said to call him Lee.”

“Lee… I mean Ambassador Buckner wanted to have dinner with the ensign, and the ensign turned him down. There had been some… history between the two. Ensign McClellan gave his reasons for transferring to the Calvin; they simply could not get along. Ian… I mean the ensign expressed regret for the transfer, as there were feelings between the two. As he was talking to the ambassador, there was obvious emotion. After Ensign McClellan explained the reason for the transfer, Mr… Buckner started to raise his voice; I suggested he lower it. At that point, the ensign blurted out how they had feelings for each other; from what he said, they were at least dating.”

Lee gritted his teeth and gave Kaybok an angry look as he spoke.

“The ambassador called my friend a coward. I could not and do not stand for anybody I know to be called a coward.” Kaybok gave Lee with deadpan look. “It is a slur, and nobody deserves that.” Kaybok looked at the commander. “I told him it would do well not to insult him, as I was getting angry. Ensign McClellan tried to calm me down as he himself said it was neither the time nor the place to argue as we were doing. The … ambassador,” Kaybok said as he gritted his teeth. “…threatened me, basically with demotion. He said if I cross him, he would have me go back to the first year of the academy so fast, it would make my forehead smooth!! So I told him to apologize. He said to make him… and I said I do not make empty promises, so I called him a coward, a petaq and I punched him. I punched him in the mouth, probably hard I admit… and he did fall back and onto some chairs or even the table. I do not know where his black eye came from.”

Kaybok crossed his arms, went up to Lee to examine the black eye.

“It is possible…that the ambassador’s black resulted from falling onto a chair, or the table, or he might have created the black eye for himself. Hmm… does it… hurt?” Kaybok chuckled.

“Forgive me, both of you, but though I assaulted another Star Fleet officer, an… ambassador, the facts concerning how and why everything happened must be brought out. I regret I assaulted you, Ambassador Buckner, and Commander Adina, I accept my punishment. If Star Fleet policy states I must resign my commission and become a civilian, then I will do so. Much more is at stake here than my pride.”

Tyro sat back down behind her desk. She did not appear pleased with the anecdote, or greatful for the insight, but when she spoke it was measured and unthreatening. She was not an easy person to read, as Buckner was. She leaned back a little so she could look up at the tall Klingon on her crew.

"This is not a trial, Kaybok. Each one of here has her superiors, and her duty." She looked to Bucker and tapped on the desk idly. "Things that happen off my ship, off-duty, they shouldn't follow you here. You may not be sorry for hitting this man in the face, but he cannot threaten the future of your career, and this matter between you is hardly any excuse for it." Bucker was steaming at this news, but the admiral placed a hand on his shoulder to restrain him.

"I would ask you not to take this matter to court, though that is your right. Instead, my judgement is this: You will be removed from duty as the ship's Chief Science Officer, but will not receive a demotion of rank. You will be Acting Chief of the department until such a time as we can bring aboard your replacement, and you will remain in service to the ship under their command. Is this to be understood? This'll also go in your service record. Your only other option Kaybok, is to resign... but I've done my best to offer you an alternative. That's up to you."

“Commander Adina,” Kaybok said, as his voice shook. “I… am humbled and do not know what to say. I do thank you for your decision and I really don’t know what to say.”

“I know what you SHOULD say… RESIGN, Lieutenant,” Lee said with a smugness.

Kaybok continued.

“The ambassador may be correct, but I will not resign, Commander,” Kaybok said. “I came in here expecting to be demoted with being removed as the Chief Science Officer.” Kaybok gritted his teeth, and his jaw muscles tightened. “I have learned something… valuable.”

Kaybok thought a moment.

“Commander,” Kaybok said . “I sincerely appreciate this opportunity to redeem myself. I will NOT resign, as the ambassador …requested. I will fulfill my duties as acting chief science officer until a replacement is in place, and I will be happy to be under their command. And Commander, on my honor as a Klingon, I will remember I am a Star Fleet officer FIRST and a Klingon second. A Klingon’s word is binding, and we take our oaths and promises seriously. Again, ambassador, I regret the incident. I also… plan to receive counselling.”

"Let this make us stronger and wiser," agreed the commander. "Thank you, lieutenant. You have the rest of your shoreleave to let this settle, and I'll have my officer at his station by the time we leave. You're dismissed."

Tyro Adina
Commanding Officer
Commander, USS Tranquility

Science Officer, USS Tranquility


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