The Battle of Klach D’Kel Brakt

The Battle of Klach D’kel Brakt

By Azurian Starfyre

Illuminated by the moon of Praxis, a lone Klingon space station orbits high above the night skies of Qo’nos. Starships in various states of construction occupy berths as small one-man tugs transport hull plating to awaiting technicians on top of a battle-worn battlecruiser, replacing damaged components with newly made replacements. From within a pressurized observation deck, a regal Klingon officer scrutinizes the shipwrights as they weld the newly delivered hull plating. A deep baritone voice reverberates from behind, “I thought I told you it was a waste of resources refitting the Klothos, “

The regal officer turns around with a beaming smile on this face and arms outstretched, “Kang!”. He slowly walks towards his friend of many years, “I thought you were on the way to Korvat for diplomatic talks with the Federation?”

Kang walks towards his friend, dwarfing him with his tall, disciplined stature, “I will depart shortly. I had business with the shipyard quartermaster regarding the delay of supplies.”

A look of concentration went into Kor’s face, “Yes, I hear we have a shortage of replacement parts as they are being diverted to the Romulans as part of the alliance agreement.”

“And that concerns me,” solemnly responds Kang. “We promised them weapons and ships in turn for their cloaking devices, and yet they appear to be gearing for war.”

In deep thought, Kor replies, “I agree. This does not bold well. The High Council might be too preoccupied with the notion that the Romulans have the best intentions. And in the process lowering their guard.”

“Do what you must,” Kang turns around and begins walking away, “but, be en guard.”

Kor asks, “And Koloth?”

Still walking away, Kang replies, “He’s already preparing. He’s at the Academy, teaching the new generation tactics.” He stops momentarily, “I hear he has a promising new student.”

“So, I hear,” says Kor with a smirk on his face. “A young warrior with the spirit of Kahless, no less.”

The doors of the turbolift slides open and Kang walks inside, “Be well, Kor.”

His friend of many years was no fool and Kor knew it would be unwise to be unprepared, for it was the Klingon way to always be ready for battle. That is why his venerable D5 Battlecruiser was undergoing another refit. But the Klothos has long ceased looking like a typical D5, when his grandfather commanded this very ship decades ago. Over the years, his grandfather, Temok’n, and his father, Rynar, has kept the ship in front-line service with constant upgrades, where it now resembled a smaller D7. This feat was accomplished due to Klingon ship philosophy sharing core construction.

Some historians attribute the philosophy’s origin occurring during the Hur’q invasion of Qo’nos hundreds of years ago. Where Klingon tribes united and fought against superior Hur’q technology with the fast construction and deployment of combat vehicles. One Klingon engineer, Korvag of Junta Province, realized that they were losing battles because they were constantly retooling factories and retraining technicians for the new vehicles. So he developed the core technology system, where Klingon vehicles shared similar basic construction.

With a couple of the factories dedicated to production of the core framework, this freed the other factories to focus their resources on combat research. Historians recorded that this change in philosophy allowed the Klingons to gain the advantage over the Hur’q as they began to understand their technology and to use it against them. Over the course of a few years, since the start of the Klingon rebellion, the Hur’q was forced to retreat to their fortresses in Ketha Province and eventually, off Qo’nos itself.

At the victory celebration over the alien invaders, General Melovok declared himself Emperor and began the Second Klingon Dynasty. During his coronation, he commended Korvag of Junta’s innovation and declared that the Klingon military shall always use Junta’s system from now on. Then decreed that Korvag shall be the first Klingon inducted into in the newly constructed Hall of Heroes.

Since that day, it has become Klingon tradition and a practice put in use hundreds of times as Klingon Houses fought against one another in civil wars and in the subjugation of worlds as the Empire expanded beyond the Kling star system.

That is why some Houses passed on warships as heirlooms for their descendants, for a well maintained Klingon starship could last hundreds of years and be used to protect the family for generations. The second reason is that smaller, and less financed, Klingon Houses did not have the resources to construct the latest warships. This kept the Klingon status quo, for a smaller House would not dare start a battle against a larger House without support of other families and maybe even the High Council itself.

But to Kor, this was both a source of amusement and tactical advantage. Enemies would misidentify the Klothos as a D7 and use tactics appropriate for that encounter. This left them highly vulnerable to the Klotho’s speed an maneuverability. That is why Kor’s favorite tactic would be to approach slow like a D7, then use superior speed to outflank the enemy ship and unleash a firestorm at the target’s engines. With their engine power being reduced to thrusters, it left the enemy vulnerable since they could attack nor retreat. It worked wonders against the Romulans and enemy Klingon Houses, since Romulan and Klingon shields were weaker in the aft arc. Though Federation ships were another matter, their shields were always well-rounded and harder to penetrate.

If worst came to drawn-out battle, he couldn’t stay in the fight too long, but his ship was the first ship in the Klingon Empire to be equipped with the Romulan cloaking device. This gave him the benefit of surprise attacks. But even without the cloaking devices, Kor was well known by everyone as being a formidable opponent, and one not to be taken lightly. Even the notorious Captain James T. Kirk of the Federation was cautious when Kor was nearby.

But now he’s upgrading the Klothos was with the latest armor that was being tested on the newest D7 Battlecruisers, which was about to enter combat testing. These D7 Prototypes were heavier armed, with thicker hull armor, and the latest in shield technology, which was intended as deterrent to the Federation first major refit of their Constitution-class cruisers. From his intelligence reports, the Federation ships were heavier armed and they too were equipped with stronger shields. In addition, their phasers went through an evolution, where they were not using beams of constant energy as before, but now used magnetic fields to generate powerful short bursts of energy. This gave them greater destructive potential, at the cost of range. Klingon Intelligence suspects its almost as capable as the disruptor cannons on D7s.

A lieutenant interrupted Kor’s thoughts, “Excuse me, sir.”

Kor snapped back to reality as he blinked his eyes a couple of times, “Eh, yes Lieutenant?”

“A message from the High Council,“ the lieutenant presented a pad. “They want you to report to them immediately.”

“Did they say what the matter was about?” asked Kor.

“No, sir. They just said it was top priority.”

He looked at the pad for a second and gave his response, “Tell them I am on my way.”

The lieutenant saluted with his arm across his chest and withdrew.

Something inside Kor was burning, he would not be called to the High Council on trivial business. Recalling the station’s layout, he began walking towards the nearest transporter pad with urgency in his step.

Travel to the Great Hall only took a few short minutes as the station’s transporters took the son of Rynar, to a security station just outside the ancient temple. As Kor materialized, the Hall guards performed a detailed security sweep and motioned him clear. This was the first sign that something was afoot. The doors slid open, revealing a busy cityscape with civilians and military walking to and from the Great Hall on matters of state. Seeing the population busy with noble purpose filled him with pride. This is what gave him the reason to serve the Empire and uphold the noble blood that ran through his veins.

When Kor was a child approaching the Age of Inclusion, his mother often told the tales of the Great Hall and it’s endurance over hundreds of years from it’s founding to the betrayals within it’s halls when General K’Trelan ended the Second Imperial Dynasty. From there she would tell the stories of how the ancestors of the House of Rynar survived the purge of Imperial Blood by K’Trelan and restored their House when the Third Dynasty was established. If not for his brave ancestors survival, there would be no descendants of Kahless alive today. And the top floor of the Great Hall reminded him of that, for that was where the Emperor governed the Klingon Empire.

Passing through the entrance of the Great Hall, Kor identifies the three Klingon Captains who are tasked with evaluating the newest variants of the D7 Battlecruisers, which were expected to enter service later this year. On the right, was Lormat, Captain of the I.K.S. Suv’cha. A short, burly Klingon with a styled mohawk and a braided beard. Though he looks he could bite the head off a Sunvarian Marsh Beast, Lormat was regarded as the most jovial of Klingon captains serving within the Imperial fleet. To his right was Captain Denmach of the I.K.S. Tarok. A very tall and well-built Klingon that hated wearing a mustache. He regarded it as a distraction and greatly disliked all things that caused contention. Kor often believed Denmach was as serious as Kang, but even Kang laughed on occasion. And finally there was Captain Mogera of the I.K.S. Grevoh. Like himself, Mogera was a decedent of royal blood and he stood regally at all times, never wavering from his stance. He easily stood out in a crowd with his trimmed hairstyle and stylized handlebar mustache. But don’t let looks fool you, while he may look pompous, his cunning on the battlefield was well earned. His proficiency with the single-bladed sword was equal to masters of the Bat’leth.

Kor walked over to the three captains and beamed his customary smile. Mogera was first to see his comrade approaching, “Kor? They summoned you as well?”

Denmach furrowed his brow, “This is more serious than we were lead to believe.”

“I agree”, Kor interposed as he walked up, nodding in the direction of the Klingon guards in stylized red armor – the Yan-Isleth, the Chancellor’s personal guard.

All around, the Yan-Isleth were stationed in force at the Great Hall’s entry points and vigilantly scanning for unauthorized devices. Security was so tight, even in the few minutes since he entered the Great Hall, there was a number of Klingons escorted outside and “educated”. It was rare for security to be this tight and Kor knew what it always resulted in – war!

The chamber doors opened and High Councilman K’Tohr beckoned the Klingon captains inside. It was dark and foreboding inside the Great Hall chambers, the only light was coming from the skylight and the torches on the wall. As the last captain entered the chamber, Chancellor Lorak flicked his wrist and the Yan-Isleth silently departed, securing the doors behind. The chancellor stood up with a displeased look on his face, “Hours ago, I received disturbing news regarding a threat to the Empire,” he looked at every captain in the eyes and displayed a document for everyone to see, “As of now, the Alliance between the Klingon Empire and the Romulan Empire is no more!” Then he flings the document across the room and into the nearby ceremonial fire pit, bursting into flames.

Da’JoQ questioned Lorak, “What has happened, Chancellor?” Da’JoQ was no fool, he was a veteran of the Battle of Axanar and learned to question reasons before taking action.

Motioning once more, this time a group of Klingons entered the room, accompanied by one alien. A young, bald Klingon walked into the light and shouted in grandeur, “Sound Trumpets! Let our bloody colors wave! And either victory, or else a grave!” The Klingon captains looked at one another confounded. “I am Chang, military adviser to the Chancellor.” Chang extends his arm to the alien, “This is Captain Jo’ves, a Pergium Trader from the Son’a Conglomerate. He has provided us with irrefutable proof that the Romulan Star Empire has the intention of attacking the Empire.” The room erupts in anger at the Romulan betrayal. “Traitorous bak’tag!” roars one captain. “We shall obliterate Romulus!” shouted another.

Chancellor Lorak banged a stone on the arm of his chair, bringing the room into order and the captains settled down, “Resume.”

Chang continued, “Captain, in your own words, tell us what you know.”

The Son’a captain details the events, “Nearly four months ago, a group of Romulans arrived on one of our colony worlds within the Piv’ar Oktullo, or what you call the Klach D’Kel Brakt. At first, we thought they were simple scientists interested in purchasing the pergium ore that we mined. But they started asking questions about our Benefactors.” Jo’ves took a deep breath to calm himself, “I have no idea why they were interested in them, but our Benefactors were offlanders we encountered many years ago that helped my people in returning to the stars and establishing our first colonies. Two months later, the entire colony was overran by military troops and my people were separated from the Benefactors. That was the last time anyone saw of them.”

He continued, “I was fortunate to be on a trading run in Orion space, when the invasion occurred. By the time we were on final approach to our colony on Tsi’s’du, we received a warning to turn back. Along with it, information detailing the events that occurred while we were away,” Jo’ves sighs. “But the Romulans must have detected the transmission, it was jammed before the download could be completed. And our sensors began detecting many, many Romulan scout ships on an intercept course. We began to evade them, but we ended up stumbling right into the thick of their invasion fleet. Fortunately, our knowledge of the nebula was far superior and we managed to evade them and escaped to the Klingon Empire.”

“Why didn’t you crawl to the Federation?” insolently shouted one Klingon.

Commander Chang calmly stood in, “The Son’a do not trust the Federation.” He dismisses the alien and is escorted out of the room, as the Klingon leadership began to reveal their strategy.

“And the evidence for the Romulan treachery?” questioned Kor.

“My dear Captain, the devil is in the details,” retorted Chang. “The Son’a download detailed the very reason the Romulans targeted their colony and their very intention to attack the Empire.” A button is pushed on a nearby console and a holographic display appears with the sensor readouts of the trader’s encounter with the Romulan warships. Most of the Klingon captains gasped at the information they saw.

Lormat was first to speak, “The Terox Division? Are you sure?”

Kor understood the ramifications of the Terox Division being called into action, “So, Hectavious is involved.” He had met Hectavious for the first time when Chancellor Lorak ordered him to Nimbus III on a secret mission during the founding of the “Planet of Galactic Peace” on Stardate 3387.34, a month after the Treaty of Organia was signed. While the Federation was hosting festivities at the embassy, Kor met with Hectavious in private and began the first steps that ultimately led to the Klingon-Romulan Alliance.

Prior to the meeting, knowledge of Hectavious and the Terox Division only came as rumors. Most of the time, it was said they were a branch of the Tal Shiar, the Romulan Intelligence agency. Others said the Terox Division was an independent Romulan business that built ships for the Romulan Navy. But after the exchange of technology and information, it was learned the Terox Division was in fact part of the Praetorian Guard, called the Tal Praenax. They answer only to the Praetor and the Terox Division is their research arm, with Hectavious as their leader.

Kor was astonished when he learned the news that the Romulan Bird-of-Prey that attacked the Federation outposts along the Romulan Neutral Zone, was commanded by Hectavious’s predecessor and mentor, D’nael. He was tasked by Praetor Colius to test their new flagship, which was equipped with an experimental cloaking device and a prototype high-energy plasma torpedo. The mission was regarded as a complete failure with the Aetius being discovered, hunted down, and destroyed by James T. Kirk. The logs recovered revealed that the cloaking device took so much warp power, the ship was incapable of escaping. This scared the Romulan Senate into believing that they were falling behind technologically and it was decided that the only recourse was to open dialogue with the Klingon Empire.

This resulted in the meeting at Nimbus III, where the Romulan Star Empire would exchange five of their cloaking devices in favor of thirteen Klingon D7 Battlecruisers and a dozen D6 Battlecruisers. Along with parts and equipment.

After the two governments ratified the agreement, Kor was given the five cloaking devices. On the return trip to Qo’nos, Kor spent three days meticulously taking apart and reassembling one of the devices in the Klotho’s engine room, learning the technology. Once he returned to the homeworld, Chancellor Lorak ordered Kor and Kang to combat test the devices by attacking the Federation Outpost at Caleb IV. Though it was questioned if it would violate the Treaty of Organia, so soon after it was signed. But there was a legal loophole that the Federation themselves added when they the signed the Neutral Zone Treaty. Both sides agreed to demilitarize point-five light years away from the agreed upon border. But the Federation Outpost at Caleb IV was at the edge of the demilitarized area and not abandoned. Thus it was regarded as a treaty violation.

Kor and Kang made their strike on the Federation Outpost and the cloaking devices proved themselves in battle. The Federation quietly withdrew from the planet and the settlers repurposed the Outpost as a trading station. Which today serves as an economic bridge between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. Where one of the most demanded Klingon commodities was surprisingly the He’pochQaD beans, the main ingredient in raktajino. While not widely popular in the Klingon Empire, it was an overnight success in the Federation. Farmers in the Upper Kol’bria region went from near-poverty to establishing the Great House of K’mel, who exported frequently to Mudd Imports at Caleb IV. A business founded by the once infamous smuggler and trader, Harcourt Mudd.

Chang continued, “From the sensor logs, the Romulans have a large fleet consisting of four of the D7’s and seven of the D6 Battlecruisers we traded them. They are modified with Romulan plasma weaponry and has been designated as D6-R and D7-R by the High Command. It is safe to assume they also equipped with cloaking devices. Furthermore, they were escorted by a several Romulan Bird-of-Preys, which are acting as scouts and interceptors.” The hologram expands to display the planetary system, “The planet, Tsi’s’du, is mostly a desert world which consists of two type-eight moons and a Class D asteroid base. It’s unlikely the Romulans established any bases on the moons, but the asteroid base is being used as a repair yard.”

Lormat makes a personal comment, “It appears the Romulans can’t take a little space dust!” The room erupts in hearty laughter, including the Chancellor.

Chang gains composure, “Now then.” The room calms down, “From what we gather, the Romulans have a small contingent of guards at the Son’a Colony in the northern hemisphere, near a volcanic-active region.” The hologram zooms in to the colony, “There appears to be no anti-ship batteries, nor any defensive weaponry to deter a ground assault. Guards are…”

Something concerns Kor and he interrupts, “Something is not right. It’s too lightly defended.” He lifts his head up and succinctly came to a conclusion, “It’s a trap.”

Mogera interjects, “A trap? Sensor data does not lie!”

“That’s exactly why it’s a trap.” Kor quickly retorts and turns to look his feeling captains, “How are we getting such detail about the Romulan forces though the sensor logs of this trader?”

Da’JoQ questions, “Are you saying the Son’a is a spy?”

“No,” Kor paused “Hectavious is shrewd. It’s possible the sensor logs were modified without the captain knowing. He was focused on escaping at the time.”

“Then how could he have changed the sensor logs on such short notice?” asked Denmach.

A look of determination appeared on Kor’s face, “They knew exactly when the freighter was going to return. And they had to have the false data ready ahead of time.”

“Kor, are saying the Romulans let the traders go?” interceded Lorak.

“Yes, Chancellor.” answered Kor, then he went into thought again, “What type of sensors does the freighter have equipped?”

Looking up the data, one of Chang’s assistants replies, “Eh, it’s an old Orion Havna-type nanocomposite sensor array.”

“An Orion sensor array?” Walking up to the hologram, Kor focused his gaze, “Orion sensors have an uncanny ability to detect lifeforms and even distinguish specifics. Women, children, and even could tell the difference between Vulcans and Romulans. And yet, there are few guards.”

Everyone then was convinced, the sensors logs was replaced with false data and that convinced Chancellor Lorak whom to put in charge, “Kor! You are to command the fleet!” He points energetically, “Lormat! Mogera! Denmach! You are to take the prototypes into battle! I want to see what the new battlecruisers are capable of! If they prove themselves in honorable battle, the High Council has decided they shall be named the K’t’inga! In honor of General Vorok’s converted D4 Battlecruiser, whom valiantly fought against the Romulans a hundred years ago, when they tried to take away our claim over Khitomer!” The Klingon captains roared in agreement, stomping their feet! “Vorok’s ship inspired the development of the D7 and it shall be venerated!” The crowd again stomped on the floor. “Now go forth and bring honor to the Empire! Show the Romulans that treachery shall not go unpunished!” The crowd roared and departed through the double doors with the Yan-Isleth looking in envy.

“One moment, Kor” asks Chancellor Lorak. “Take the Qoj’chu. I feel it will be an asset. In addition, you are cleared to get reinforcements from the fleet at Gandala.” Kor nodded in agreement and left the Great Hall.

Cool fresh air from the mountains invigorated Kor as he exited the Great Hall. He was not so was fond of stuffy meetings, open rooms was his forte. But to be given the Qoj’chu reflected the anger of the Empire against the Romulans. She was a refitted D7 that was the initial testbed of the new generation of battlecruisers and equipped with the new shield plating that adorned the dorsal side and the command section that increased durability by thirty percent. Also, they replaced the old S-2 Graf Unit with the newer J-1 Graf unit, which changed the impulse engine configuration from a quad to a dual-system. This lengthened the hull to 250 meters over the standard D7’s length of 228 meters, but she was still dwarfed by the new generation battlecruisers, which was 350 meters in length. So High Command decided that the Qoj’chu would be redesignated D7-K Koro-class and it set the news standards for Klingon Houses that wanted to upgrade their D7s.

Returning to the shipyard, Kor received pleasant news that the Klotho‘s refit was complete and the ship was ready to depart. On the gantry stood Da’JoQ, “Shouldn’t you be readying the Qib’leth for departure?”

“I will shortly,” responded Da’JoQ. “There’s a young warrior whom I like you to meet”. Together they boarded the Klothos and proceeded to the bridge, “He’s the son of my friend Sa’wol, whom died in the Battle of Axanar. And this young man has already proven himself in battle.”

The old warrior hands over a pad to Kor and he reads it, “Yes, Koloth told me much about this young warrior. I’m particularly interested in his battle record even before he entered the Academy.”

Kor’s first officer Kaz, interrupted, “There is someone requesting permission to board.”

Da’JoQ smiled, “That would be him.”

Giving approval, Kor sat in his captain’s chair and looked over the pre-departure data. All but a few ships were ready to depart. Lormat’s ship, the Suv’cha, was missing it’s gunner and medic. He believes they will be quickly found at the local pub. The Juv’chegh, was in the middle of repairs and the crew was scrambling to repair it’s starboard shield array before the fleet left orbit.

The doors slid open and a young Klingon equipped with ancient arm plating entered the bridge, “Ah, Ki’TaQ!” Da’JoQ waves over the young Klingon and gestures towards Kor, “This is Kor, son of Ry’nar. He has been placed in command of the fleet by the High Command.” The young warrior was obviously taken aback, a sign that he greatly respected Kor.

Kor swings his chair around to face his young guest and questioned him, “Is this the young warrior whom won a great victory in the Azure Nebula? And in an old Mup’beH-class Bird-of-Prey no less?” His smile grew wide, “Impressive.”

“I am confident that he is the best choice to command the Qoj’chu,” added Da’JoQ.

The smile disappeared and firmness came to the captains face,as he stood up, “Koloth has great confidence in you.” He examined the young warrior closer, “That’s not an easy thing to obtain. The Qoj’chu is yours to command.”

Two new passengers entered the room, Kor continued, “This is Nairusa from Klingon Intelligence and Jo’ves, the captain of the Son’a freighter. They will provide you with additional details regarding the mission.”

Nairusa commented, “Sir, I was friends with Ki’TaQ since childhood. I assure you that he will get all the information he needs.”

Kor was a bit skeptic, he never fully trusted Intelligence since you never knew what important information they were not conveying, “See it that he does.”

It was now Stardate 7381.0, an hour had passed since Ki’TaQ and Da’JoQ left for their ships after they briefed the young captain. Kor transferred Nairusa to the Qoj’chu as well, mainly to get rid of a major source of irritation, but also he figured the young captain could use all the information he needs. Though it was best that the Son’a captain stayed on the Klothos, the first-hand information about the colony was needed in planning the attack and most of the time traveling to Tsi’s’du will be spent doing just that. But now, planning had to wait, “Open channel to all ships in the fleet!”

“Channel open,” promptly replied the communications officer.

“To all forces, we will be departing 15:00 standard time. We will be crossing the Neutral Zone to get to our destination. If anyone shows any sign of hostility to any Federation starship, I will personally execute them myself! Engage cloaks! From here on out, we will be running silent, no outbound transmissions of any kind! Kor, out!” He sat back down in his chair and contemplates, “Undock moorings and come about to 180.5, engage cloak when we have cleared the station.”

“Yes, sir!” replied Kaz.

Kor examined the data on his display, “Set course for the Federation border at the designated coordinates.” On the tactical display, a line appeared from Qo’nos to the Federation Border in the Archanis Sector. The clock reached 15:00 hours and the massive fleet of thirty-one Klingon warships went to warp, all while unseen by any potential onlookers or spies.

It was the third day since the Klingon fleet departed the homeworld and now they were in the Archanis Sector, fast approaching the Neutral Zone. Tensions were high as the crew were readying themselves for a possible conflict with the Federation. Repair parts were being prepared, the armorers charged the disruptor rifles and pistols, and the engineers ensuring all systems were within perimeters. None of the crew knew how they were crossing the border, since it would be violating the treaties, but they had faith in their captain and trusted him with their lives.

The countdown on the display reached zero and Kor ordered the communication channels open. When he got a confirmation, he got serious, “Attention Federation, I am Kor, Captain of the I.K.S. Klothos. I’m invoking Article Six, Subsection Four, of the Treaty of Organia. You will grant us passage according to treaty stipulations.”

It felt like an eternity as they waited for a response, “This is Captain Genavia Ferdinand of the U.S.S Excalibur, please state your intentions for crossing.”

His curiosity was piqued, the Excalibur was one of the Federation cruisers that was involved in a training accident a few years ago, where all crew was lost. Kor motions to mute the channel, “Is the Federation ship within visual range?”

The sensor officer checks and confirms, “Yes, sir”.

“On screen,” he commanded with elation.

A small image of the Federation starship appeared, but it was different than the ones previously encountered by the Empire. “Enhance!” The view zoomed in and it became clear, “So the Federation finally fielded their refitted cruisers.” When the Federation got word about the Alliance with the Romulans, Starfleet got nervous and began refitting their Constitution-class cruisers as well as fielding their new Miranda-class light cruisers. “Record what you can, but do not actively scan them! We do not need to provoke the Federation. The Romulans are primary objective.” It was time to face his opponent, “Open secure channel to the Federation starship!”

“Channel secured!” replied the communications officer.

The screen revealed a mature Human woman on her bridge in a gold command shirt. Kor responded, “On behest of the Son’a Conglomerate, the Klingon Empire has been requested on matters of State. Under the articles of the Treaty of Organia and under Federation law, I’m requesting passage through Federation space to the Klach D’Kel Brakt!”

The Federation captain had a look of bewilderment on her face, “The what?” Her first officer leans over and whispers in the ear, “Oh, the Briar Patch!”

Kor tried his best to keep composure, “Yes, the…Briar Patch.” It annoyed him to call it that, for this area of space was flown by Klingons for hundreds of years, now to call it by another name is almost insulting.

Captain Ferdinand continued, “One a moment, Captain. Let me contact Starfleet and get authorization.” She put on a friendly smile, “I’m sure it will not be a problem.”

Kor returned the smile, even though he was faking it, “Of course.”

“Channel closed,” confirmed the communications officer.

With a sigh, he asked with urgency, “How close is the Federation ship?”

The tactical officer replied, “Two-thousand Kelicams!” In the past this was a safe distance away from Federation ships to conduct narrow-band transmissions. But this ship might have better sensors.

“Directional quick-burst transmission to the Fleet!” ordered Kor, “All ships are to fall back and remain cloaked at safe distance from the Federation ship and outposts. The Qoj’chu, Tarok, Grevoh, and the Suv’cha are to proceed immediately on mission. Covert operations only. Kor, out!” Transponder signals from the cloaked ships in the fleet suddenly began disperse on the tactical display, four of those signals separated from the group and began crossing the border.

The communications officer holds his earpiece, “The Federation ship has given us clearance to cross the border. They’re asking us to decloak and come along side to be escorted.”

Signaling to proceed, tension is released from Kor’s demeanor. The first major hurdle has been cleared. The Klothos came alongside the Excalibur and they were escorted into territory the Empire regarded as it’s enemy. But today the Federation was not their enemy. Though taking advantage of the situation, Kor panned the viewscreen to get a good look at the Federation’s “new” starship. He had to admit, the Federation had completely overhauled their Heavy Cruisers to the point they really were a new ship. Sensor data came in and showed the enemy ship had stronger shields, new engines, and the torpedo launchers were moved to a more functional location. The High Command would be very interested in this data before the first production battlecruiser was commissioned.

Stardate 7381.26, two days had passed before the fleet arrived at the edge of Son’a Territory. The Excalibur‘s Captain said her goodbyes and the Federation ship came about, giving the illusion that they were leaving the area, but Kor knew from experience that they were going to shadow them in an intelligence operation. The Federation was either very interested or very concerned that there was a Klingon warship deep in the heart of their territory.

“Entering the nebula,” informed the sensor officer.

The Son’a captain gingerly walked over to the navigation officer and gave him a set of coordinates, “This is the route to Tsi’s’du. Sensors cannot be fully trusted here due to interference caused by false vacuum fluctuations and metaphasic radiation.” Positions himself alongside Kor and explained, “Too many times people followed their sensors and ended in a pocket of metreon gas and blew themselves up.”

The fleet plowed its way through the thick remnants of an ancient supernova and avoided the interstellar clouds of concentrated particles. The ship’s deflectors were at full power and it was still not sufficient enough to push all the debris out of the ship’s path. Once in a while you could hear the clang of space rocks impacting the hull. But Jo’ves’s advice was helpful as they expertly averted one possible disaster after another. Even so, the treacherous trek to the Tsi’s’du system took eight hours.

Crossing the system’s heliosphere was as if the heavens were revealing a nirvana, as the golden light from the young star illuminated the nebula all around them. It was like being in the calm center of a maelstrom. The number of particles and space debris greatly dropped and the deflector’s power output could be lowered to it’s normal power range. Which is good, for the Romulans might have detected the power signature, even when cloaked. But now Kor was focusing all his attention to the long-range sensor data of the solar system and determined it was time, “Send the signal to the Third Division.”

“Signaling,” replied the communications officer. Seconds turned an eternity as they waited. After ten minutes, there was a reply. The second phase was proceeding according to plan. Before departing the homeworld, he and Da’JoQ briefed Ki’TaQ of the objective of the Third Division. They were to split away from the fleet and head to this asteroid, which was fortunately spotted entering the long-range sensors as the Son’a trader escaped the system. But plans had to be quickly changed as they encountered the Excalibur. Out of precaution, he had them go off on their own and head to their staging point.

The Klingon fleet fast approached the far side of the second moon of Tsi’s’du and the I.K.S. Garuka, a D8-class Bird-of-Prey, was sent ahead to act as scout and signals in, “This is the Garuka. Kristak is dormant by the lake. The blade is sharpened!” A coded signal saying the Romulans were not aware of their presence, a surprise attack would be devastating.

Kor proudly stood up from his command chair and showed the reason why he was chosen as the leader of the fleet, “Open all channels!” The communications officer acknowledged and Kor passionately exclaimed, “All ships! Pattern Boreth Vo’ral!” A battle tactic that Kor himself devised after the Battle of Caleb IV, to uncloak near the enemy and unleash untold destruction in a hailstorm of disruptor bolts. And the communications channel reflected that as hundreds of Klingon warriors yelled a battle cry that some say echoed across subspace, as if the heavens opened up the Gates of Sto’vo’kor. For the battle had just begun!

On the speakers, ship captains relayed information, “This is the K’vort! Engaging Romulan scouts at vector pagh wa’ hut pagh vagh!” Indicating they were attacking the scouts on the right flank. Kaz relayed news to his captain, “Division Three engaging! Target is the Actium!” Hecativious’s flagship was a heavily modified Romulan D7 battlecruiser that functioned as a command ship. He was where Kor anticipated, in the rear, directing the flow of battle. That’s why he had Division Three come in from behind in a flanking attack.

All around, ships on both sides were engaged in very fierce battle. A Romulan Bird-of-Prey quickly loses it’s wing and spins out of control, exploding in a bright green flash as it’s plasma torpedoes detonated when the ship impacted moon’s surface. Then the Vor’tagh is focused fired by a Romulan D6 and a Bird-of-Prey, their port warp nacelle is blown off. But the Klingon crew shrugged off the loss as they had no intention of running away.

The Baikul, a Romulan D6, turned directly towards the Klothos in an apparent suicide run, but Kor’s gunner let loose paired volleys of energy blasts from the ship’s heavy disruptor cannons. The first blasts quickly takes down the Baikul’s bow shields, then the second volley obliterates their bridge, sending the ship out of control. It collides with another Romulan ship and brilliantly explodes. The Klotho’s crew cheered, some patting the gunner on the shoulder in high praise.

The battle was going very badly for the Romulans and one of their D7 captains broke away from the conflict, attempting to escape. The I.K.S. Qib’leth quickly took chase and dispatches the coward with a volley of photon torpedoes into it’s aft hull, breaching it’s engine room and the anti-matter containment. A powerful explosion flashes the Qib’leth’s shields and scorching it’s hull, but the ship was built strong and shrugs it off.

Within seventeen minutes, the battle was over. The Romulans lost over twenty ships and ten freighters, while the Empire only lost eight ships. The Qoj’chu‘s communications officer relayed to the fleet that Ki’TaQ had bravely boarded the Actium with his bridge officers, in an attempt to capture Hectavious.

The next objective was the asteroid base, which was currently occupied by a crew of two hundred Romulan soldiers. Da’JoQ once commented that Romulans were “devious and underhanded creatures like the Vongwam”, a caneline creature that lives in the forests of Qu’vat. When spotted, the creature acts coy and amicable, but when their prey was caught unaware, it revealed a ferocious nature. It loved to attack from the shadows, dispatching it’s prey in packs of three. Kor had to agree with Da’JoQ’s analogy, the old Klingon had his experience of battles over his decades of service. So it was expected that the trapped Romulans would attempt some kind of subterfuge.

In the Klotho‘s transporter room, the boarding crew was checking their equipment to see if they were working and battle-ready. Kor enters with his family’s bat’leth in hand and marches to the transporter pad, “Energize!” Then the five Klingons disappear in a display of glowing atoms.

Materializing in what appeared to be an unmaintained section of the asteroid base, one officer immediately took out his scanner, “They approach.” The Klingons draw their disruptor weaponry and patently wait. Two Romulan Uhlans carelessly burst into the room in their silver uniforms and gold helmets, then quickly fall in rain of disruptor fire. It was obvious they were inexperienced, for no trained soldier would just burst into a room full of enemies.

More Klingons from the Klothos materialize in the room. Kor ordered, “Come with me.” And nine Klingons left the room with their weapons drawn.

Beams of green energy narrowly miss one of the Klingons as he exited the room, another dodged. One Klingon returns fire and the green bolt hits the Romulan in the chest, instantly killing him. Then a brilliant flash of light lit up the interior of the station, blinding both Klingons and Romulans alike. As the light dimmed enough to see, Kor wasted no time hailing the Klothos, “Status report!”

Kaz responds, “The Actium‘s core breached.”

“Casualties?” questioned Kor.

His first officer reports, “Ki’TaQ reports that Hectavious escaped to the surface and he’s in pursuit. Nairusa is missing and presumed dead.” The loss of an Intelligence Officer is somewhat disadvantageous, but it does not stop the flow of battle. But Hectavious needs to be dealt with at all costs, for they still do not know why the Romulans went to this world, deep in Federation space, in order to attack the Klingon Empire.

“Tell him to proceed.” ordered Kor. “And scan the surface, I need to know what’s down there
!”

“Yes, sir!” obediently responds Kaz.

The flash scared the Romulan crew to fall back deeper into the station, they obviously were frightened. The Klingon forces exited from the maintenance tunnels and entered the atrium. This was a bad tactical position, there could be an enemy anywhere within three hundred sixty degrees. Motioning silently with his hand, the Klingons split into two groups and followed the walls, keeping a lookout for an ambush.

Movement caught one Klingon’s attention and he opened fire, followed quickly by another Klingon officer. The Romulans were retreating to the end of the atrium, then as the survivors got to the hallway, the door was sealed and there was an explosion. Chunks of the metal asteroid fell from the ceiling, pulled by the gravimetric plating that kept people in a comfortable gravitational field. If they were chancing a hull breach, they truly were desperate. And no Klingon officer would be foolhardy to attempt to open that hatch, it very well was sabotaged.

Kor examines the scans from the Klothos on his display the only place left for them to run, was the shuttlebay. “Fire disruptors into the shuttlebay!”

The response was quizzical, “Sir?”

Anger filled his voice, “You heard me!” The asteroid base suddenly shakes from the impact of disruptor fire. Looking at the display again, there was no more life forms present on that side of the station. The bulkheads contained the blast within the shuttlebay, it was now safe.

Leaving a contingent of troops on the asteroid base to look for any Romulan survivors, Kor transports back to the Kolthos. He is greeted with the latest reports from Da’JoQ that the Second Division was encountering transport inhibitor fields that surrounded the area and prevented troops from being beamed down. Fortunately, Ki’TaQ managed to beamed down to the surface of Tsi’s’du prior to the fields being raised, as he chased after Hectavious. Though now they were being attacked by hidden anti-ship batteries.

Kor knew there had to be defenses installed on the ground, if the Romulans invested so much time and effort to come here, it would be foolhardy to not leave it undefended. Especially when they had intentions of betraying the Empire. Though from the sensor data, they only managed to install two batteries at most. But without their locations, ships would be easy prey.

Sensor officer suddenly shouts, “The inhibitor is down!”

“What?” exclaimed the tactical officer, “There was thirty troops around it!”

The bridge’s viewscreen went to visual and zoomed into where the inhibitor was transmitting from. Romulans in guard towers were slumped over, and there was smoke billowing from the machinery at the center. The remaining Romulan soldiers were concentrating fire at one location.

The fleet channel comes alive over the speaker, “This is the Qib’leth! Beaming down reinforcements!” Another ship transmits, “Yotbe, transporting troops!” Fellow Klingons beaming down to help their heroic comrades.

Kor enters the bridge, “All ships, focus fire on at the following coordinates.” The asteroid station contained the coordinates for the anti-ship batteries. The Klothos moved away from the asteroid base and began raining photon torpedoes on the surface, along with the other ships in the fleet. He could only surmise what it’s like as red fireballs rained down from the heavens and exploding in low-yield megaton explosions.

From the viewscreen, the area around the cannons were glowing orange from fires, melted metal, and vitrified surface material. The guns were now silent.

“Ion radiation is higher than expected,” reported the sensor officer. “Disruptors will be ineffective.”

Jo’ves walks over and places his hand on his chin as he went into thought, “Possibility a reaction to the mineralized pergium ore on the surface.”

“This works in our favor!” Kor raises his family’s bat’leth with one hand, “We are Klingons. We do not need disruptors in order to fight!” The crew cheers. “Prepare for ground assault!”

Within minutes of Kor’s decree, thousands of Klingon warriors transported to the surface of Tsi’s’du. Some came by transporter, some by shuttle, and some simply charged down the gantry of their landed starships. Kor climbed up the small hill that over looked the Son’a colony and gazed upon the raging fires from the orbital bombardment. No Romulans were seen putting out the fires, they had no concern for the buildings whatsoever. Their real objective was underground.

Romulan soldiers stood in formation outside the burning city, knowing full well that they could not attack nor be attacked by energy weapons, due to the ionization. They attempted to put on a show and weakly attempted to intimidate the Klingon warriors by stomping on the ground with their shikeu swords drawn with their right hand and their scuhevlwe shields in their left. Kor was amused, as this was now a battle of broad strikes versus shielded thrusts.

He stared intently at his opponents while on elevated bended knee and sneered, “There stands the last of our enemies. Like true warriors, they stand firm in spite of being outnumbered. They endure.” He stands and turns to his fellow Klingons, “But they made enemies of us all! Threatening our homes, our family, our Empire! And now, they must pay dearly.” The Klingons roared in cheers, they were angry and wanted vengeance. Kor raises his family’s bat’leth high in the air and shouts with a thunderous call, “To battle!” The mass of Klingons warriors began charging towards the Romulan lines, like a living tsunami. The space between the two forces quickly crew smaller and smaller until the Klingon tsunami impacted the wall of Romulan shields.

The force of impact of the Klingon attack was so strong that the first rows of Romulan soldiers were forced back, nearly knocking them over. But the Romulan formation quickly rebounded and those behind, pushed their fellow soldier back on their feet and helped reinforce them. Klingon bat’leths swung downward in powerful blows, impacting the shields. One shield immediately broke in two, down the middle. Others managed to endure the strikes and counter with their own as their swords struck out through the gaps.

The second wave of attacks came and pushed the Romulans back into the walls that surrounded the colony, forcing their lines to come apart. Now the battle was becoming more disorganized as it went from a war of formations to individual battles of survival. All around, swords were clanging against one another, desperation against the anger of treachery. Some battles became battles of pure strength as Kor observed a couple of groups grappling one another. One Romulan knew martial arts and flipped his Klingon opponent over his shoulder and then on to the ground. Near the colony entrance, there was an imposing Klingon that was so strong that he held a panicking Romulan in the air with his two arms, then throwing him into a crowd of his compatriots, knocking them all down. He gave a burly chuckle in his small victory.

Kor was beyond elated as is own bat’leth resounded with battle. He thrusted the back of his sword into the helmet of a neighboring Romulan centurion, knocking him unconscious. Then quickly reversing the direction, spitting an uhlan’s disruptor rifle in two. The young Romulan was befuddled as he held the two halves in each hand, but the Klingon captain had little sign of sympathy and quickly finished him with a fist to the face. The battle was over.

Though Kor wasn’t fulfilled, he has yet to find Hectavious. Seeing a nearby fountain plant, ejecting hot spring water from deep within the surface, he took his frustration out on it by cutting in pieces with his bat’leth. Water that once flowed in natural harmony, now was sputtering in every direction. Drops of hot water landed on his arm, but it did not bother him. It was time to enter the base and hunt down the remaining Romulan personnel.

The colony was like a ghost town, devoid of life and activity. Windows were blown out from the battle and debris fluttered in the wind. Warriors went from building to building, vigilantly searching for any Romulan insurgents. Special Operations troops entered the Son’a commerce tower and searched floor by floor, but all signs showed the last of the Romulan staff evacuated during the bombardment. The lieutenant contacted Kor over the communicator and informed him that he found a safe room that he could set up a command center. It was an old Son’a office directorial center with desks and computer interfaces that was the hub of the colony.

“Well, this is quite the fancy room you have here, Kor!” exclaimed Lormat as he entered with Da’JoQ and the other captains.

Denmach glanced over the consoles, “It will do.” Then they gathered around the command table, which showed the locations of the friendly ground forces on a display.

“Any word from Ki’TaQ?” inquired Da’JoQ.

Kor looked concerned, “None. It’s been a while. But apparently he rescued survivors of a Klingon crew that the Romulans were performing experiments on.”

Da’JoQ was astonished, “Experiments?” He cursed loudly, “Hu’tegh Romulan baktag!”

Concern was on Captain Mogera’s face, “What of the captured Klingon crew?”

“Appears they are survivors of two D7’s that went missing in the Hromi Sector several months ago, ” answered Kor. “They were performing covert operations under orders from Chancellor Lorak. Any further details was classified and required approval from High Command.”

Mogera was not happy, “What are they hiding?”

A Lieutenant walks up to Kor and hands him a datapad, “Hmm, we finally got news from Ki’TaQ. Hecatavious is dead.” The group of captains were clearly pleased, Kor continued with a clear scowl on his face and lowered the pad, “We finally know what the Romulans were up to.”

“What is it!” exclaimed Da’JoQ.

Kor smashed the pad in anger, “They were developing bio-weapons!”

The command center erupted in anger and he continued as they raged, “They were attempting to recreate the strain of Levodian Flu that nearly wiped out our people a hundred years ago!”

Lormat had concern on his face, “The one that created The Dishonoring?”

Kor nodded, “Yes.” The room went silent.

“But how?” Mogera looked concerned, “Everything regarding the augmentation experiment was destroyed!”

The doors opened and Ki’TaQ marched in, answering their question, “They found living Human Augments!” The captains all turned in his direction, “That’s who the Son’a Benefactors are! They are surviving Human Augments that set up base on this planet. The Romulans somehow learned their true identity and sent troops here to capture them and use captured Klingons, to recreate the plague.” He sternly looked at every captain in the face, “And use it to kill every Klingon within the Empire!”
Denmach added, “And to get rid of a threat.”

Reaching into his pocket, Ki’TaQ grins as he tosses another datapad on the table. “What is this?” asked Mogera.

“The Cure!” answered Ki’TaQ.

Mogera was unsure what he meant, “What cure?”

Ki’TaQ points to his forehead, “For this.” The room went deathly quiet, including the warriors who were coordinating the ground troops.

The captains all were in shock as if someone hit them on the head with a ku’ba club, Kor was first to ask, “Are you certain?”

“Yes,” sternly answered the young captain.

Lormat burst out with elation, “Ha, this is a cause for celebration!”

“Not quite,” added Kor as his face as he took a deep breath, “The ramification of the Galaxy learning that the Romulans were the ones who created the cure. It would dishonor our families for generations! We must never speak about this to anyone!”

The captains all nodded in agreement. Amongst one of the greatest Klingon victories in the Empire’s history, it will also be it’s greatest secret. No Klingon families shall ever speak of the Dishonoring to outsiders, and they will never reveal the truth how the cure was discovered.

Ki’TaQ gets Kor’s attention and brings him to a quiet corner of the command center, far from prying ears. “There is one more thing that I discovered in the Romulan laboratory.” He hands Kor another datapad.

His eyes grew big as he read the data on the pad, “Is this true?”

The young captain nodded, “It is. I personally saw him.”

Kor was dumbfounded, “The future.” He paced, “A Romulan from the future was pulling the strings.”

“And he sent this,” he hands Kor a near empty vial of blood.

He was unsure what he saw, “Blood?”

Ki’TaQ nodded, “Not any blood. It was from the Kuvah’magh.”

The Kuvah’magh was a story that was passed down for generations by loretellers and it was often regarded as folklore. “From the future?” The young captain nodded. He could not be anymore surprised.

“And I learned that the Kuvah’magh is to be found in the Delta Quadrant,” added Ki’TaQ. Kor was wrong, he was further surprised. “And I plan to take the Qoj’chu on an expedition to find her.”

Such a journey would not be an easy one and Kor was reluctant, but he was familiar with the stories of temporal paradoxes. This had to be done. “Very well, I will inform High Command. Return to Qo’nos and gather your crew. I will provide you with the necessary supplies for such a journey.” Kor slaps the young Klingon’s shoulder.

Days after, what became the Battle of the Klach D’Kel Brakt, the cure was distributed throughout the Klingon Empire and a great celebration was held for two whole weeks. The Klingon Empire had regained it’s honor!

At the Qo’nos Shipyard, the Qoj’chu was being readied for departure. Crew consisted of volunteers who were of the Sect of the Kuvah’magh. They had given up everything except what they carried. They were prepared for a new life on a very long journey. As the last of the targs were loaded onto the ship, Ki’TaQ walked over to his mentors. Koloth stood there rigidly, but it was obvious he was proud of his student, though he never spoke a word of it. Kor was smiling and shook the young captain’s hands, “May Kahless guide you on your journey.”

“And you, Kor. Son of Rynar!” replies Ki’TaQ as he saluted with his arm across his chest in deep respect.

Koloth fluttered his eyes in emotion, but he quickly regained his composure, “You did well.”

“I’m honored.” Ki’TaQ saluted his teacher in deep respect. The communicator beeps, “It’s time.” He walked to the airlock doors as the gantry retracted, and shouted, “Long live the Empire!” The doors sealed and the Qoj’chu‘s moorings retracted, then the upgraded D7 fired it’s thrusters as it backed away from the station. It slowly came about as if looking at their home for one last time, then the ship disappears in a flash as it went to warp, never to be seen again.

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