Filthy Letters – Worf Meets His Match Part 3

The time passed swiftly on Worf’s duty shift. It seemed only
moments since his unusual encounter with the ice-woman —
Lieutenant Marika — and now he was going off-duty. He turned over
the Security office to his relief, then on a whim queried the
computer about the Helsinkinen woman. The public record held little
of interest, except that it showed exceptional grades at Starfleet
in Klingonaase and Empire History. With his Security overrides, he
could look deeper into the record if he so chose, but he would then
have to justify his decision to his commander, and he didn’t want
to be discussing this woman with Riker for some reason. Not yet.
Marika’s mandatory security and combat training results were also
part of the public record, and it appeared that she had taken many
more elective martial arts classes than were required for an
engineering specialist. Some of his Security officers did not have
as much training. He was interested to note that she was a
SovwI’a’, a master of the difficult and dangerous discipline of
Sun’garghtaj, a type of Klingon knife-fighting that was only used
in mating rituals and highly formalized duels. Be’le’, indeed!

Worf directed the turbolift to the appropriate deck and made his
way to Rec Area Four, a gymnasium area set aside for combat
training and martial arts. The annunciator chimed a moment, then
the doors hissed aside to admit him, while the computer’s
emotionless voice informed him of a gravity differential on the
other side of the threshold. Worf stepped across as if he were
climbing down a stair… a wise precaution, when stepping from a
normal gravity area to one which felt to be almost a full 3 G’s.
The temperature was also very low, in the Klingon officer’s
opinion, perhaps only 10C, and the deck was red-lit, as if the
environmental controls were set to simulate a large planet under
a cool red sun. As his eyes adjusted to the light conditions, he
could make out across the room a whirling, spinning, leaping figure
in silvery armor. With the crown of white hair secured tightly in
braids, it could only be Lieutenant Marika. Again, Worf felt a
strange stirring in his loins. He would have to move very
cautiously under the extra gravitation to avoid injury, but this
woman moved as though she were weightless through the heavy air.
The woman noticed him as soon as he entered, but completed the
complicated kata-figure before she stopped.

“Computer… lights and gravity, normal!” As she spoke into the
air, Worf could feel the weight gradually leaving his body, until
the local gravity was back to normal. Now that the light level was
also higher, he could see that Marika was dressed in full Klingon
body-armor as well.

“I am here!” he said in Standard, echoing the formal Klingon
response of the challenged appearing at a duel. She bowed to him
in the formal manner of the high Klingon duelist, and gestured
beside her. There, awaiting him, was body-armor identical in every
respect to her own, sized however for him. She crossed her arms and
stood, challenge written in every movement of her lithe body, a
sardonic smile that would have done a Klingon princess proud
playing upon her lips. The thought of undressing before this woman
poured molten lead through his veins, making his heart beat more
rapidly and causing a definite tension between his legs. She
noticed his hesitation apparently, for she said, “Will you don
armor, Mr. Worf, or shall we play at draughts? The conditions
agreed to specified ‘no unnecessary bloodshed.'” If his skin had
not been so dark, one could easily have seen the spreading flush
that was heating his cheeks, but he met her eyes and began
stripping, very deliberately. Marika watched every moment,
carefully appraising his body as well as his movements.

Carefully he laid aside his sash with its badges of honor, then
pulled off his uniform tunic with a single fluid motion. He could
not restrain himself from flexing the muscles in his chest a bit.
Her only reaction was a slight dilation of her pupils, but her
stance told him that she was not preparing an attack. Next, he
stepped well away from her, and knelt to unseal the magseams on his
boots, never taking his eyes off the woman for a moment as he
pulled them off and set them aside as well. Lastly, he unfastened
the closure of his trousers. Now her eyes were not meeting his,
they were riveted instead upon the obvious bulge that was still
concealed by the midnight fabric. He could see her flush, of which
she seemed unaware, spreading like sunrise across her pale skin.
He slowly pushed the pants down over his hips, and as his huge
erection sprang free of the cloth, her tongue flickered across her
lips for a moment. Then he stood naked before her, the seeming
illusion of humanity stripped from him with his clothes. Marika
beheld a Klingon of mighty ancestry standing before her, muscled,
trained, armored within his own sinews, and as deadly as a hunting
cat. Swiftly he donned the armor, guarding carefully against
possible attack. Then he rose, saying, “The field is yours. What
form shall the combat take?”

She turned away from him then, and knelt before an ornately carved
wooden case. After watching her execute katas in 3 G conditions,
Worf would have hesitated making an attack, even if he were
treacherously minded. He watched with true appreciation as she
opened the case, revealing within two sets of weapons for the
Sun’gharghtaj, the formal duel that tested a warrior’s courage or
passion. The silver yoDtajmey for the left hand, curved double
tines wrought in starship-hull grade duralloy, gleamed like
starlight, and the golden gharghtajmey, with their rippling
flamelike, pattern-welded blades of iridium-plassteel, caught light
against their faceted edges, throwing yellow-gold glimmers away
like the decay of an antimatter reaction. “Those are antiques from
TlhIngan! Where did you acquire them?” he growled, impressed
against his will by the magnificence of the blades before him,
distinctive in their style, the hard Klingonaase symbols etched
into them proclaiming their maker’s name, famous in Klingon
history, a thousand years dead.

“They were the gift of my QobSovwI’a,” she answered. Worf nodded.
The Klingon warrior who had taught her must have been very
impressed with her skills indeed to have given her such blades, or
(unthinkable in a human, and a woman at that) she had killed her
master and taken them as spoils. Worf’s already high estimation of
Marika increased exponentially as he considered this. “You may
select your weapons,” she told him, the beautiful singing vowels
of her speech rolling over him like the light from the daggers.
“We will fight until there is a clear victor, or until first blood,
but no further. Do you agree?” He nodded, and chose his blades. The
yoDtaj he took from the set nearest him, the gharghtaj from the
farthest. She took up the remaining set. As they rose, she called
out to the computer in a language that he didn’t know, one full of
the rolling musical lilts that he heard beneath her Standard —
presumably Helsinkainen — and the computer obligingly created a
Klingon duelling triskele beneath their feet. She saluted him with
her weapons, and he drew himself up in the formal stance and echoed
her gesture. And the dance began.
To be continued…