Episode Number: 3×07
Written by: The authors of the Shackleton Expanse Campaign Guide
Directed by: Jon Crew
Transmission: 9th September 2023
- General V’Roth: Famous Klingon leader and commander of the I.K.S. Hu’Tegh
Lexington is returning to the Federation!
Captain Daak and his crew have finally received orders regarding a replacement for the Bellerophon and are heading home to take possession. As they must travel through Klingon space, Starfleet Command has decided current conditions make showing the flag a necessity, so Lexington is carrying them. Our orders are to assist as needed in Sector 001, before escorting Daak’s new command back to Narendra Station.
The Empire, naturally, has arranged an escort for us: the Hu’Tegh, commanded by the legendary General V’Roth.Captain’s Log: Stardate, 49303.7
Plot: Lexington is escorted through Klingon space by a Klingon battlecruiser, but its commander has darker plans.
The ‘A’ Plot: Captain Xeshnaas Daak and his crew have had little to do in the months since the destruction of the U.S.S. Bellerophon, but he has now received orders to return to Sector 001 to take command of his new ship. While Admiral Hebert wants to send them by civilian transport as would be normal, Starfleet Command has overruled her. Lexington is to demonstrate that Starfleet will not be cowed by the Klingon Empire’s aggression, by conveying them through Klingon space per established treaties. Reluctantly, the Klingons have agreed to the transit via a designated route, with certain conditions, and have assigned an escort.
Lexington arrives at the rendezvous point on the Klingon border, but there is no sign of the escort. Having had success locating the MupwI’ while it was cloaked, Zepht uses the same sensor settings to try and locate their counterpart. He is unable to do so before a large battlecruiser decloaks directly in front of them.
They are immediately hailed by a cheerful Klingon general, V’Roth. He welcomes them and explains that his vessel, the I.K.S. Hu’Tegh, will be escorting them via a somewhat circuitous route to avoid military installations. After a brief digression into the shared experiences of all three commanding officers fighting the Cardassians, he expresses the desire that this “little diplomatic incident” will be over soon and that the two fleets can resume normal business. He believes that there is no reason for unpleasantness, but does request that they power down their weapons completely for the duration of their trip.
They agree to his request and are allowed to cross the border. Zepht almost immediately sees a console warning that the ship is being scanned, but the captain decides to ignore this for the moment, rather than get the voyage off to a bad start.
After a couple of days traveling through deep space, the general invites the senior officers of both crews aboard the Hu’Tegh for a celebratory banquet. They beam across in dress uniform to find a full honour guard awaiting them. The Klingon vessel seems to be unusually clean, and they notice that most of the crew are wearing V’Roth’s house insignia rather than that of the Deep Space Fleet as they might expect. As the general welcomes then, he seems to be very keen to explain his house’s history, relating his own conquests, battles and ancestry; the conversation is very one-sided. Konin, hoping to pick up some indication of any hostile intent, privately notes that he seems to be using some kind of protection against Betazoid telepathy.
They are conveyed to a waiting chamber by the honour guard and left alone there for a while. The room is clean, but sparsely furnished, and refreshments are restricted to water and some odd-looking fruits. When it is commented that this is unusual for a diplomatic delegation, Azonan reminds them that things are often done differently on Klingon warships. Raynor, meanwhile, checks the room for covert listening devices, then tries to leave the room. He immediately runs into a guard, who explains that it is not safe for them to wander the corridors unescorted. Apparently, some members of the crew have differing opinions to the general, and believe that Starfleet have shown their dishonour by siding with the Cardassians.
After about an hour, V’Roth’s first officer appears and announces that the banquet is ready. As they arrive at the banquet hall, Konin notices that the V’Roth emblem is taking precedence over the D.S.F. trefoil, which is definitely not standard Klingon practice. There are a number of Klingon senior officers present, including a rather irritated cook.
The general explains that he has ordered his staff to cook Federation delicacies in honour of their guests. As they take their seats and the food is served, the Klingon officers make a series of speeches extolling the glories of the Empire, Starfleet and the House of V’Roth.
Unfortunately, the food is awful. The soup is cold and breads are rock-hard, the meat is unevenly-cooked, the vegetables over-boiled, and the sauce is extremely over-spiced. The Klingon senior officers do not seem happy either. Only Quinn is tucking in with gusto, complaining that it could do with being a little “hotter”.
All through the dinner, V’Roth engages Konin and Daak in conversation, supposedly comparing war experiences, but they spend most of their time listening as he regales them with tales of his exploits. The other officers mostly find themselves talking to their counterparts about the aftermath of Gowron’s actions.
Later in the meal, Raynor realises that he has not had his regular check-in from Lexington, and takes a moment to contact them. He is unable to open a channel and realises that his communicator is failing. He does his best to “think” urgently at Konin, who gets his telepathic message and tries to contact the ship himself. He is also unsuccessful: it seems comms are being blocked.
Noticing his discomfort, General V’Roth calmly informs him that House V’Roth has taken control of his ship for the glory of the Empire.
The ‘B’ Plot: Konin talks to Dr Conners about a plan he has developed to have the Orion hacker Braxton declared dead, so they don’t have to worry about the Syndicate “tidying up” their failures. He’s also hoping that he may be able to provide some information about the missing Heltin Adred. Conners refuses this as it is unethical, so he turns to Starfleet Intelligence, who are happy to take him into protective custody.
At the same time, Chief Boone is able to obtain their latest findings in the Adred investigation. They’re now certain of the involvement of one Human, who was on the station before the disappearance and vanished at the same time. They are still trying to identify him though.
The ‘C’ Plot: Azonan is concerned by the tensions appearing among the engineering team after his actions on Zeta Gracha VII. He attempts to calm things down with a speech pointing out that the mission, and Starfleet, need them to remain focussed on the task at hand.
The Arc: Captain Daak and his crew are finally getting a new ship, but will have to return to Earth to pick it up.
Observations: General V’Roth is the head of the House of V’Roth, a minor family currently on the verge of ascension. The general reversed his family’s fortunes with his glorious victories during the conflict with the Cardassians during the 2350s, and became a staunch ally of Chancellor K’m’pec. The gift of the Hu’Tegh, the only Vor’cha to be operated by a minor house, was a sign of his favour, but with Gowron’s ascension, V’Roth has fallen from grace. The general appears to believe that Gowron has made a huge mistake breaking with the Federation and is doing his best to restore relations without dishonoring the Empire.
Tensions continue to rise across the quadrant as the Klingon Empire and the United Federation of Planets reinforce their borders. The breakdown of the alliance has led to political tensions within the Empire, as the great houses side with either the Chancellor or those working to repair the division. The House of V’Roth has apparently chosen the latter side, feeling that the Empire and the Federation are stronger as allies.
References: The Hu’Tegh is a Vor’cha-class battlecruiser, one of the flagships of the Klingon Deep Space Fleet.
While Konin doesn’t recognise him, the mysterious individual linked to Adred’s disappearance is a little familiar.
Questions: How will they regain control of the Lexington?