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A FOLD IN THE WOLF (a Star Trek fanfic)

This story was initially submitted for STRANGE NEW WORLDS VII (volume 1) and didn't make the cut. Normally, I would retool a story like this and sell it as an original piece but, as you'll see, this one is just too deeply entrenched in Star Trek mythology to be anything but. So, I guess, it now counts as fanfic. Hope you dig. Energize!

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A Fold in the Wolf

by

Geoffrey Thorne

War found Murder spread in pieces across three parsecs of the western spiral arm. He wouldn't have stopped normally but he'd been sulking over his own troubles for some time.

His failed attempt to set the Romulan Star Empire against the Tholian Confederacy weighed heavily on him and, he felt, the distraction of helping to heal his brother might be curative to himself as well.

War was rarely at a loss. He didn't take to it. He'd spent, well, a long a time- even by his standards- ruminating on his failure.

He'd just gotten the Romulans all set to blast the Tholians into chunks of crystalline dust when the whole thing had just fizzled.

Shoddy materials, thought War as he drifted aimlessly through space. It's like the fire has gone out of the galaxy.

War was a solitary being, at least when it came to his own

family, and did not seek their company if it could be avoided. The company he avoided most scrupulously was that of his brother, Murder.

While most of their siblings tolerated Murder's idiosyncrasies, his moodiness and his occasional attempts to kill more than one of them more than once, War always gave his brother a wide berth.

Murder was trouble.

Still, trouble or not, he was family. Murder was one of the

last sixteen Pandorans in existence and he was in such obvious distress- so much of him spread over such a distance- that War felt compelled to assist.

In the manner of their kind, War counted the near infinite and nearly infinitely dispersed bits of Murder and drew them together.

It was tedious work, the sort which was only satisfying once done and then only barely. War was patient. His own recent difficulties had taught him to apply himself more diligently to the details of a given project and this one would not be the first exception to that rule.

Murder, true to his nature even in this state, was not

helpful. Each bit of him seemed not only to resist contact with War but with one another as well. War was persistent, though, and durable.

It took him some while, even as members of his relatively unique family reckoned time, but eventually he did manage to get most of the bits into one place.

"All right," he said to Murder. "What happened?"

Murder did nothing at first, the sparking bits of his essence merely glowing balefully at War in the interstellar dark.

"Murder," said War, in irritation. "I've just spent a good

little time getting you here. The least you can do is straighten up and talk to me."