Something Wicked This Way Comes

Epis­ode Num­ber: 3×14

Writ­ten by: The authors of the Shack­leton Expanse Cam­paign Guide

Dir­ec­ted by: Jon Crew

Trans­mis­sion: 13th Janu­ary 2024

Guest Stars:

  • Com­mand­er K’rigosh: Akul’s first officer, broadly sup­port­ive of Gowron’s policies.
  • Lieu­ten­ant D’relk: Hulk­ing chief engin­eer aboard the Mup­wI’.
  • Lieu­ten­ant Rusk­erg: Tac­tic­al chief aboard the Mup­wI’, pos­sess­ing an air of Vul­can-like calm.

Spe­cial Appearances:

  • Jaresh-Inyo: Pres­id­ent of the United Fed­er­a­tion of Planets.
  • Gowron: Chan­cel­lor of the Klin­gon High Council.

Viol­ent incid­ents with the Klin­gons have become more com­mon since Chan­cel­lor Gowron’s demand that the Fed­er­a­tion give up the Arch­anis Sec­tor, and the Admir­al fears war is immin­ent. In the hope of keep­ing some civ­il­ised form of con­tact open with the Klin­gons, I have agreed that my seni­or officers will take part in Cap­tain Akul’s pre-com­bat ritual.

Cap­tain’s Log: Stard­ate, 49969.4

Plot: The Lex­ing­ton com­mand crew con­tin­ues its com­pet­it­ive ritu­al with the seni­or officers of the Mup­wI’, its mem­bers fin­ish­ing some­what battered and, in some cases, wiser. Unfor­tu­nately, this seems to be just the calm before the storm.

The ‘A’ Plot: The two team con­tests con­tin­ue, with the Klin­gons becom­ing a little irrit­ated by Azon­an’s ingenuity.

Cap­tain Akul finally joins his officers in car­ry­ing the rocks to their des­tin­a­tion, but half-way along the route, he trips and stag­gers sev­er­al steps side­ways. He drops the rock as he tries to regain his bal­ance, but it lands on his foot, before rolling into and demol­ish­ing Azon­an’s crane. Win­cing, Akul apo­lo­gises, but they get the impres­sion it was not totally an acci­dent. The Klin­gon is obvi­ously injured, so Kon­in offers med­ic­al assist­ance, but is waved off.

Com­mand­er K’ri­gosh, tak­ing part in the marks­man­ship con­test, is vis­ibly angered by the con­trap­tion, and acci­dent­ally mis­fires his dis­ruptor. Azon­an nar­rowly avoids being grazed by a “misaimed” low-power bolt as he bends to pick up a rock to join the labour. K’ri­gosh is unapo­lo­get­ic, accus­ing the Andori­an of being a cow­ard, “afraid of his own war­ri­or her­it­age”, and backs down only when Akul forces him to. Both Azon­an and K’ri­gosh appear eager to match weapons in the indi­vidu­al combats.

The two team com­pet­i­tions soon come to an end, with the Lex­ing­ton crew tak­ing the prize in both, although the marks­man­ship con­test is close. Ignor­ing the glar­ing match between K’ri­gosh and Azon­an, D’relk com­pli­ments Quinn on his marksmanship.

Akul announces it is time for the now tired par­ti­cipants to begin a series of indi­vidu­al com­bats, and the two com­mand­ers begin alloc­at­ing oppon­ents. The Klin­gon com­mand­er notes that while a vari­ety of Klin­gon mel­ee weapons are avail­able, they will only be used if the Star­fleet officer in each fight so chooses.

First up are Kon­in and Akul, an obvi­ous pair­ing. Kon­in has the advant­age in the early exchanges, des­pite his taller oppon­ent’s reach, using the Klin­gon’s momentum against him and con­cen­trat­ing his attacks on the injured foot. Even­tu­ally, how­ever, Akul topples him with a power­ful double-handed swing, leav­ing him briefly unconscious.

Zepht then takes on the oddly calm Rusk­erg. The Klin­gon med­it­ates for some time before their bout, then climbs to his feet, bows, and suprises Zepht by simply char­ging. The Den­ob­u­lan puts up a good defence, but Rusk­er­g’s innate tough­ness wins out in the end. They fin­ish by bow­ing to each oth­er in the tra­di­tion­al fash­ion of Ter­ran mar­tial artists.

Next, Raynor faces off against D’g­hov. Kon­in attempts to coach him before­hand on his obser­va­tions of her fight­ing style, but it turns out that this isn’t needed. Raynor simply steps to one side as the Klin­gon woman charges and trips her. D’g­hov is some­what annoyed, but mostly at her own lack of skill.

Quin­n’s match against D’relk is sim­il­arly brief, des­pite both choos­ing to fight with weapons: sgi­an-dubh vs d’k’tagh. Quin­n’s ini­tial lunge is deflec­ted and he sud­denly finds him­self on his back with the Klin­gon woman astride him. Grin­ning fero­ciously, she growls – then bites him. Quinn nods and she drags him into the bushes. No-one is quite sure who won that bout, but Kon­in opts to invoke the holo­suite’s pri­vacy filters.

Finally, Azon­an and K’ri­gosh face off, in what seems more of a form­al duel. The Klin­gon selects a bat’­leth, so Kon­in pro­duces the Andori­an’s ush­aan-tor, pre­vi­ously con­fis­cated after the events on Zeta Gracha VII. Azon­an aims to end the fight as quickly as pos­sible, but with min­im­al blood­shed. Char­ging at K’ri­gosh, he knocks his bat’­leth aside, and sidesteps, stabbing the Klin­gon in the leg. With pink blood gush­ing from his wound, K’ri­gosh is forced to yield, although it is clear he is far from happy.

Akul praises the Star­fleet officers for their efforts, com­pli­ment­ing the cap­tain on their unortho­dox but suc­cess­ful tac­tics, and they break out the blood wine for a cel­eb­ra­tion. Hours later, the two crews stag­ger back to their quar­ters, some­what the worse for wear. Quinn is suf­fer­ing from sev­er­al injur­ies that don’t seem to have been caused in combat.

The ‘B’ Plot: Across the Fed­er­a­tion, ten­sions con­tin­ue to rise over the poten­tial war with the Klingons.

Kon­in is increas­ingly involved in plan­ning meet­ings with Hebert, her advisors and oth­er Star­fleet com­mand­ers. Hebert advises him that the stra­tegic oper­a­tions team has agreed with his idea for a sup­ply route around the far side of Romu­lan space, and that he may be involved in pathfind­er oper­a­tions to make it work. The sta­tion’s engin­eer­ing team reports that work on the Lex­ing­ton is tak­ing longer than planned due to the deep struc­tur­al dam­age suffered on earli­er mis­sions, and the res­ult­ing emer­gency repairs.

As he leaves the office after one such meet­ing, he is con­tac­ted by Zohir, who wants to talk to him in private. Wor­ry­ing about the implic­a­tions, Kon­in chooses a quiet bar, and Zohir begins by pla­cing an odd device on the table, which he says will hide their con­ver­sa­tion from eaves­drop­pers. Kon­in looks scep­tic­al, but the Ris­an goes on to explain that a “con­tact” has informed him that Klin­gon engin­eers have been act­ive in unmanned access ways, and he’s con­cerned that they may be engaged in sab­ot­age. Kon­in asks who the con­tact is, but Zohir refuses to say, and the Betazoid can tell he’s try­ing hard not to think of the name. He agrees to pass the inform­a­tion on to Raynor anonym­ously and act on his recom­mend­a­tions. Raynor puts a plan in motion to invest­ig­ate the prob­lem, work­ing out which of these loc­a­tions house access to sys­tems essen­tial in battle. He arranges with Zepht and Azon­an to investigate.

Quinn finds that his Klin­gon para­mour is not respond­ing to his mes­sages. When he invest­ig­ates, this appears to be due to enhanced secur­ity amongst the Klingons.

On stard­ate 49989, Kon­in exits a meet­ing with the admir­al just as the Fed­er­a­tion News Ser­vice broad­casts a speech by the Fed­er­a­tion Pres­id­ent, refus­ing to accede to Chan­cel­lor Gowron’s demands. As it con­cludes, Gen­er­al Kar­gan stalks out of his office, accom­pan­ied by his guard, and leaves the oper­a­tions centre, fol­lowed by all of the Klin­gons present.

Three hours later, Gowron issues a single state­ment from the bridge of Qo’noS wa’, “Qapla’!” And hun­dreds of Klin­gon war­ri­ors surge out of the lower levels of the station.

The Arc: The war with the Klin­gon Empire has begun.

Obser­va­tions: When con­fer­ring with Admir­al Hebert, Kon­in requests a list of armed Star­fleet ves­sels in port, or nearby. The list includes the U.S.S. Golden Hind, U.S.S. Kumari, U.S.S. Cour­ageous, U.S.S. Thun­der­child, and the run­abouts U.S.S. Cass, U.S.S. Severn and U.S.S. Rhine.

Qo’noS wa’ is the latest flag­ship of the Klin­gon Chan­cel­lor, a Negh’Var-class battle­cruis­er.

Quinn pos­sesses a genu­ine High­land dirk, the sgi­an-dubh, which he sheathes in his boot.

Dia­logue: Pres­id­ent Jaresh-Inyo’s speech:

Over the last few days the Coun­cil of the United Fed­er­a­tion of Plan­ets has been in closed ses­sion as the del­eg­ates con­sidered the requests of the Chan­cel­lor of the Klin­gon High Coun­cil regard­ing the status of the Arch­anis Sec­tor. It is with great regret that I must inform you that these requests… no, demands… are being refused.

Fur­ther­more, any move by the Klin­gon armed forces to occupy this, or any oth­er, region will be met with force. We can­not allow a return to the galaxy of two cen­tur­ies ago when Klin­gon aggres­sion ran unchecked.

To that end I am author­ising Star­fleet to respond to any act of force accord­ingly, and to react­iv­ate its reserve forces in case the Klin­gon Empire chooses the path of war. Addi­tion­ally, I am call­ing on the mem­ber worlds to bring their own defence ser­vices to read­i­ness. His­tor­ic­ally, the Klin­gons have achieved their greatest suc­cesses in the open­ing stages of any con­flict, and we must be ready for this.

We will not fire the first shot, but we will deliv­er the last…

Gowron’s response: “Qap’la!”

Ref­er­ences: The war with the Klin­gons begins in “Apo­ca­lypse Rising” (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine).