Safe Passage, Part I

Epis­ode Num­ber: 3×07

Writ­ten by: The authors of the Shack­leton Expanse Cam­paign Guide

Dir­ec­ted by: Jon Crew

Trans­mis­sion: 9th Septem­ber 2023

Guest Stars:

  • 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?