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" The Light Of Darkness"


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(( Stardate 237308.15, the planet Ba'kei, in Dominion- controlled space ))


:: Starfleet said the planet was important, and the Dominion seemed to think so as well. Second Lieutenant Hannibal Parker had already received his first battlefield commission during the earlier assault on the facility, and the resulting firefight had chewed up his detachment and the Klingon troops who were also fighting by his side. The fighting had been brutal, with neither side giving ground. No prisoners were being taken, no quarter given. Not that the Klingons were interested in prisoners, anyway. All of them were dirty, and a hot meal none of them had seen in weeks. The Starfleet Marines had been reconstituted for just this kind of conflict, a fight like this no living human had ever experienced.


:: His father Ryland, captain of the USS Sitak, had told him this day was coming, and the starship captain prepared his son for that eventuality...but even Ryland could not foresee the absolute brutality being visited upon Hannibal, the Marines under his command, and the Klingon Defense Forces which fought alongside him. The Klingons were used to war, but even they knew they had to break out before they were eventually all chewed to pieces by the huge numbers of Jem' Haddar they were facing. Sitting under a makeshift shelter, Hannibal sat with his platoon..each of them the definition of the walking dead.... looking defeated, worn out, exhausted. But not him. No matter how bad it got, the Jem' Haddar were going to have to kill him. Not fear, not fatigue...and the Klingon commander seemed to sense that as well in him. The massive Klingon commander, clad in armor, his eyes fixed on the Second Lieutenant. Hannibal rose from his seat to greet the man, whom Hannibal remembered being named Ha'Rouque. He wore no rank, but there was no doubt he was in command. They stepped outside, where they could talk privately...::


Ha'Rouque: We must attack their emplacements. We cannot continue to allow them to throw themselves at us like so many targ off a cliff....


:: The Klingon had a point. Ever since the USS Charleston had dropped them off, they had been fighting just to stay in the same place, and while the stink of dead filled his nostrils, they were not one inch closer to their objective since they landed two weeks ago. They needed a break out..but Hannibal was apprehensive..::


Parker: We need to take that facility..but we don't have...


:: The Klingon flashed anger unlike Hannibal had ever seen, and his eyes looked through the young Marine..::


Ha'Rouque: HA! DON'T TELL ME WHAT WE DON'T HAVE! WE ARE WARRIORS!


:: Hannibal knew the vaunted history of the Marines...how they turned sure defeat into victory..and this new incarnation had not yet made their mark on the pages of history. Hannibal felt a change in him...a shift into another mode...he was no longer just a Marine, trained to fight...he had truly heard the call, the call his father had told him about, the one that would come in the most unexpected of places...and that time was now. Hannibal looked into Ha'Rouques' eyes, defiantly declaring his warrior intentions...there was no going back now...::


Parker: It's time to drive those pe'taq off this planet, and claim it as ours....


:: As quickly as the anger flashed in the Klingons' eyes, it was replaced by a glint...the steely glint of one warrior to another. The Klingon clasped Hannibals' shoulders as they prepared to walk back inside...::


Ha'Rouque:: smiling:: Today is a good day to die....


Parker:: Returning the smile:: It is...for them....


:: An hour later, the combined forces of the KDF and Starfleet Marines began moving towards their objective. There were no tricorders, as they were being jammed, on both sides. In the predawn darkness, they moved down to the building they had spent two weeks trying to take. With the rising sun at their backs, they waited. Both sides had expended their mortars a week ago, and bazookas were no more than heavy clubs. Power packs were almost gone. Even the Jem' Haddar weaponry they had managed to scavenge was less than optimal. The Jem' Haddar no longer saw a reason to shroud themselves, so confident they were that they would finally crush the Starfleet/ Klingon contingent. Out in front stood Hannibal and Ha' Rouque, eyeing the entrance to the facility. They could see their enemy, massing towards the front, readying for their assault. It was game time..::


Ha'Rouque: Can your vessel replicate blood wine?


Parker: I guess we will find out once we return....


:: The big Klingon smiled, and nodded..::


Ha'Rouque: Qapla', Lieutenant Parker....


Parker: Nodding:: Quapla' , HaRouque.....


:: With that, a hush fell over the future battlefield. Hannibal could hear his own quiet breathing...even the morning birds with their annoying early morning chatter had stopped...until his ears were assaulted by the roar from his Klingon counterpart, and night turned into day as Starfleet phasers and Klingon disruptors lit up the predawn sky. The two forces raced towards each other, the air filled with the sounds of weapons fire, the screams of the wounded, and the collision of bodies as the two forces slammed into each other, both sides abandoning their now empty rifles and began to slash with their edged weapons. The screams of wounded and crashing metal filled the air as the desperate battle continued. Hannibals' only edged weapon was his Bowie knife, and he was using it to effect, slashing at the Jem'Haddar and the Klingons were now in their element, their bat'leths whistling through the air, barely missing some of their Starfleet allies by not much..their weapons making a thudding sound as they found their way into the bodies of their enemies. Picking up a bat'leth from a downed Klingon, Hannibal used the weapon brutally, remembering the lessons he had learned not so long ago from his father. Ha'Rouque was to his left, taking on two Jem' Haddar..but he did not see the third as he buried his blade deep within the back of his Klingon counterpart...he watched as Ha'Rouque went down to one knee as the drug- fueled enemy was about to administer the killing blow. A roar came from Hannibal, a roar which even he himself did not know where it came from...::


Parker: H'ROUQUE!!!!!!!


:: A rage grew within him, one which flared like the heat from a exploding sun. It washed over him like a river, filling him with a murderous resolve as he closed on the enemy who had downed his compatriot. roaring and cursing, he swung his bat'leth, catching the Jem'Haddar squarely in the neck, completely severing his head.. Hannibal never saw the body drop as his bat'leth cut down one after another . His surviving Marines and Klingons were a swirl of flashing blades and falling bodies, until the ground was slick with blood and gore. He didn't know how long he fought..he didn't know how many they had killed..but he realized there were no more of the reptilian- looking [...]s standing. As Hannibal looked around, there were only a few Klingon and Marines left able to fight. Each of them had undergone their own personal hell to survive to this point, and for them, defeat was a would no longer part of their vocabulary. They were the living embodiment of the Jem' Haddar mantra of "victory is life", and they had turned it on its ear. Caked with blood, gore and mud, they had never looked better..or more fearsome. The combined forces of one hundred Marines and Klingons had taken on one hundred and fifty of the enemy..sixteen now stood before him. Gripping his bat'leth, Hannibal needed them to harness the darkness one more time..::


Parker: COME ON YOU MISERABLE PETAQ'! YOU WANNA LIVE FOREVER? LET'S FINISH THIS!


:: With a thunderous roar and Hannibal leading the way, the surviving Starfleet/ Klingon soldiers stormed the facility. They did not know if anyone would be inside, but it would not have mattered...they were going to take that building...nothing would stop them...::


:: Inside, the combined forces found what they were looking for...a ketracel white facility, fuel for the hated and now dead enemy they had just defeated...and one Vorta, who sat cowering in the corner. As Hannibal looked around, he also noticed he was the senior officer present...no Klingon officers had survived, and he was already the senior surviving Marine officer. Hannibal approached the cowering Vorta, who was shaking his head slowly from side to side. Hannibal had never seen a Vorta before, and the pale skinned humanoid stood up to face the massive Marine. Hannibal could hear the rushing feet behind him, the Klngon and human curses being hurled at the one time commander of the feared Jem'Hadar. After this day, Hannibal would never fear anyone...or anything...Holding up a fist, Hannibal stopped the encroaching troops and faced them, his voice echoing off the walls, bat'leth in hand....::


Parker: THE VORTA IS MINE!!! IF ANYONE DOUBTS THAT, FACE ME NOW!


:: Not a Marine or Klingon moved..::


Parker: Find what you can and destroy this place. :: seeing one of his Marines:: Baker...get on the horn and see if you can raise the Charleston or anyone in Starfleet. Tell them we need emergency extraction..


Baker: Yes, Sir!


:: Turning his attention back to the still- cowering Vorta, who was now defiantly standing...and speaking....he looked as though he was in shock at the fact that the most feared warriors in the Gamma Quadrant had been defeated.Since the Dominion had invaded the Alpha Quadrant, they had suffered precious few defeats in the opening stages of the war..in fact, they were actively pushing back the Federation and the Klingons, which made his outrage and shock all the more real to him..this was the first time in known history the Jem'Haddar had been defeated in ground combat, and the realization that the Alpha Quadrant might not be as easy pickings as the Founders led them to believe. He had proof, should he survive to deliver it to them...Staring the massive Marine in his cold eyes...and a cold chill ran up his spine, and fear gripped him like a vise..::


Vorta: You will die for this..all of you will die for this!


:: Hannibal [...]ed his head, then let fly with his Bowie knife, right across the Vortas' throat...::


Parker: You first.....


:: The Vortas' hands reached up to clutch his throat, gurgling was the only sound he could make as he first sank to his knees, then falling forward into a circle of his own blood...Hannibal stood over him, watching the ever expanding pool, then turned his back on the scene. The battle had changed him, deep down. He felt different. He knew he was different. He was a true warrior, a warrior who had met the most merciless enemy in the quadrant, and defeated them, up close and personal..and he had led the Marines into battle. They had truly written one of the first pages in the new continuing story of the Marines, but it was not something he thought about as he could hear the whine of Starfleet runabouts and shuttlecraft touch down to begin evacuation the dead and wounded..::


:: Hannibal walked back out side the building on the opening light of day, and he could see the magnitude of the battle and all its gruesome details. Medical personnel walked among the dead and wounded Starfleet and Klingon personnel, and Hannibal could only watch as they were loaded up, or beamed directly into sick bay. Only then did Hannibal realized that the wetness he felt under his flak jacket was not sweat...it was blood..his blood. He waved off a medic who was trying to examine him..his men had to come first, but he needed to check on his fallen friend. He knew the Klingons would take care of their dead, but he wanted to do something for him, other than watch him be loaded up and taken to the morgue aboard the Charleston..but then, he heard Ha'Rouques' voice as a medic was beginning to treat him. Hannibal made his way over to him, and the Klingon, even through his pain, managed a smile to the Marine. Hannibal kneeled down next to him, glad that he had survived..::


Ha' Rouque: They will sing songs about this day, Parker...I saw you...you fought like a Klingon....a true warrior....


:: There was no higher praise anyone could offer him, even if Admiral Ross himself had pinned a medal on him personally....::


Parker: As did you..as did all of us.....


Ha'Rouque: Tell them to have a barrel of blood wine ready for us....


Parker: Consider it done...


:: A medic tapped him on the shoulder, and informed him that the Charleston needed to bug out, and quick. The surviving Klingon and Starfleet personnel were almost completely loaded, and he needed to be attended to. Before he knew what had happened, Hannibal felt the tingling of a transporter beam, and he was back on board the Charleston, just outside her Sick Bay. He was told more Jem' Hadar ships were on the way, and the Charleston destroyed the entire valley with a volley of quantum torpedoes, which also had the benefit of ripping away the planets' atmosphere..leaving the place uninhabitable. It was a small victory, one which the Federation and Klingon Empire solely needed. While the Dominion lost a ketracel white facility they needed, Hannibal had gained something more important..the ability to harness the darkness which lives in every man, and even now, it worked his way through him, and he embraced it. To win this war, to survive it, he must embrace the darkness like a lover. His father told him war would change him in ways he didn't know were possible, that it would amplify feelings buried deep inside. Once they surfaced, there was no way to put them back,,,and Hannibal had no intention of doing so, ever.


Major Hannibal Tiberious Parker

2nd Officer/Marine Commander/ Chief Of Strategic Operations

USS Thunder-A/ Duronis II Embassy
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