Klingons on the Starboard Bow (USS Endeavour Mission)
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As the USS Endeavour returns home to Cestus III, Starfleet tasks them with travelling into the contested space between the Klingon and Gorn empires, to try and prevent more conflicts erupting during the two species' Cold War.
The Endeavour arrives in orbit of Cestus III following the crew's relief at Deep Space 19. With five days layover allowed for a brief shoreleave, the captain has orders to take the ship into the corridor of space between the Klingon and Gorn Empires in order to act as a deterrent to the two races escalating their Cold War with each other into armed conflict.
Beaming down to the planet, Captain Byrne attends the Command Officers Briefing; a weekly briefing with the fleet's senior admirals attended by the captains of all starships currently in the system to discuss current orders, issues and make the captains aware of concerns of and targets set by the fleet commanders. The meeting is also attended by Admiral Roman Sanchez, Captain De'Lauran of the Kanji, the captains of the Jesop, Catalunya, Monitor, Wintersmith and Edelman, a commander from Starfleet Research & Development and an officer from the Judge Advocate General's Office. Admiral Sanchez begins the meeting by stating that its contents would be exclusively regarding the developing situation between the Klingons and the Gorn. In the meeting, the Admiral outlines the situation with the two races and what an escalation would mean for the Federation, as well as Starfleet's plan to send the Endeavour, Jesop and Catalunya into the region between the two powers as a deterrent, with the Monitor, Wintersmith, Edelman and Kanji to form a continuous patrol of the Federation border, ready to provide assistance as required.
Following the meeting, Byrne meets with his yeoman outside the Command building in order to discuss the situation and the other captains entering the region, and provides her with orders to contact the two captains to establish a rapport before the ships left Federation space.
The Endeavour then welcoms new officers to replace those left behind on Deep Space 19, including a new chief of security, chief medical officer and a new first officer. Ensign Ethan Kessel is promoted to Lieutenant JG and appointed chief engineer in order to fill the space left by Commander th'Ralik. The ship then departs with the Jesop and Catalunya towards the Federation border; the Endeavour is to take up a patrol close to the Klingon border, whilst the Jesop and Catalunya are to cover the space between and the space near the Gorn border.
Immediately before departure, Benjamin is given classified information by Starfleet Intelligence relating to a mission that the USS Tomahawk had been covertly carrying out in the region. The specifics of their task are not included in the data, but Byrne is ordered to ensure their course took them near the ship's last known location in order to investigate the disappearance of the vessel.
Upon arrival at the Tomahawk's last known coordinates, all the crew are able to find was a debris field consisting of materials used in Federation starship construction, and inconclusive readings on the type of weapons used to destroy it. The crew are able to determine the most likely planets that escape pods would have been able to reach had they managed to launch them, and the Endeavour sets off on a search and rescue operation. They are able to locate the surviving crew on the surface of an unnamed planet, and Commander Ra-Xialii beams down with an away team to make contact.
The surviving crew of the Tomahawk are initially reserved towards their visitors, and one of their number, later revealed to be the first officer Commander Nikiri and the sole remaining command officer from the vessel, becomes their spokesman. He states that their reaction was due to their surprise at being rescued so early, due to the nature of their mission and Starfleet's desire not to acknowledge its existence, but the commander refuses to tell and of the away team what the purpose of their mission was. Commander Ra-Xialii orders the team to begin assessing and providing to the needs of the survivors whilst he reports in to the ship.
Meanwhile, the Endeavour in orbit encounters a Klingon Bird-of-Prey as it de-cloaks, and insists that the Federation ship withdraw from Klingon territory, claimed under the House of Kutar. Through a strong bluff by which he arms the Endeavour's far more substantial weapons arrays and aims them at the Klingon vessel whilst insisting that the system they were in has no officially recognised claim on it and that he would respond to any action to try and remove them, Byrne is able to force the vessel to recloak and retreat. Whilst he has Blaise take the report from the away team, Byrne and Jenarian discuss the best way to deal with the situation if the Klingons return and try to remove the ship by force, before Byrne is able to speak with a staff member of the Federation Embassy on Qo'Nos, who confirms that the system has no official Klingon claim on it. The matter dealt with for now, Byrne beams down to the planet surface to speak with Commander Ra'Xialii and the survivors.
Informing Nikiri that he has been given clearance to take control of the Tomahawk's mission should their captain have been killed, he orders the former vessel's first officer to read him and Gaius in to the mission and bring them up to speed. Nikiri informs them that their mission was to investigate rumours that a third party may be involved in the increasing tensions within the corridor of space, who may be pushing for the two empires to go to war in order to suit their own goals, whatever they may be. The Tomahawk was able to track down a rogue power reading to the Gamma Firaxa system before they were attacked by a Klingon Bird-of-Prey and, though they managed to heavily damage the Klingon vessel, the Tomahawk was destroyed. Byrne realises that the ship they encountered in orbit is very likely the same vessel, and orders the survivors to be beamed up to the Endeavour as soon as accomodations can be made.
Just over a day later, the survivors are all aboard and Byrne orders a course set for Gamma Firaxa at warp nine. Deciding that he cannot withhold information as to what they are going there for on the basis that he will be putting their lives in danger, he reveals to the senior bridge staff the nature of the Tomahawk's mission, and orders the ship to red alert.
The Endeavour arrives in the Gamma Firaxa system, and finds it empty of other starships, but are able to locate the facility on the fourth planet, and sensors reveal it to be constructed from a collection of different technologies and designs, including Romulan, Klingon and Cardassian. Breaking standard procedure against his first officer's advice, Byrne elects to lead the away team to the facility himself by shuttlecraft in order to allow them to approach more stealthily, and orders Gaius to hide the ship somewhere in the system where they should remain undetected.
Once on the planet's surface, the away team scout out the facility and are able to get inside unseen by the guard patrols, whilst Lieutenant Hawke remains outside the facility to either provide backup or retrieval if necessary. Inside the facility, the team discover a weapons manufacturing plant, creating weapons from designs of multiple sources, including Federation phaser rifles, Klingon disruptors and Breen weaponry. As the team attempts to proceed deeper into the facility, they are stunned by a number of guards who appear to be wearing personal cloaking devices, and the visible number of guards increases outside the compound, prompting Hawke to return to the shuttlecraft Vancouver and signal the Endeavour for assistance.
Meanwhile, the Endeavour's sensors have picked up the same Klingon Bird-of-Prey that threatened them whilst rescuing the Tomahawk survivors, with an apparently damaged cloaking device. Upon receiving the call for assistance from the surface, Commander Ra-Xialii orders a strike against the Klingon vessel's engines, and orders a course to take them into orbit of the fourth planet.
When the away team regains consciousness, they are bound on the floor and faced with a Romulan familiar from Captain Byrne's past; T'Marl, a former agent of the Tal Shiar. Boasting of the fact that she had been expecting Starfleet, but not necessarily her former lover, T'Marl mercilessly shoots Lieutenant Biggs in the chest when he interrupts her, leaving him dead on the floor next to the rest of the away team. She confirms that she has been dealing with elements of the Klingons and the Gorn to work towards her own goals in the region, but becomes angered when she learns that one of her guards has gone missing, and that there has been no report yet of the shuttle that the away team arrived in. Surmising that there is a fifth officer on the planet, she attempts to make Byrne tell her who it is and where to find him, but Lieutenant Hawke is able to beam the away team aboard the shuttle before she can interrogate them further.
Ordering the Endeavour to level the facility with a spread of quantum torpedoes, Byrne instructs Hawke to return the shuttle to the ship, where he then orders a direct course for Qo'noS.
Upon arrival at the Klingon homeworld, Byrne and Ra-Xialii meet with Thopok, the aide who Byrne had spoken with previously, before being escorted to speak with Alexander Rozhenko, the Federation Ambassador to Qo'noS. Byrne informs Alexander of what the crew have learnt of T'Marl and her actions, and provides him with sensor data and the away team logs to be presented to the Klingon High Council.
- "The greatest honour history can bestow is that of peacemaker"
- —Yeoman Sophie Blaise
- "Captain, you have scanned our vessel and you know that we have scanned yours. You are no match for our ship, and until I hear an official and recognised claim to this system by the Klingon High Council, I will not leave it. I suggest that you save yourself the dishonourable disgrace of being swatted away like a pi'Nak fly and withdraw. Byrne out."
- —Captain Benjamin J. Byrne
- "One of the things that I have learnt about Klingons is that when they try to bluff you, the best thing you can often do is bluff right back... especially if you have the firepower to reinforce it."
- Klingons on the Starboard Bow was conceived by game master Matt Williams as a potential opener into a more widely-spanning story arc for Task Force 11 involving the growing tensions between the Klingon Empire and the Gorn Hegemony.
- The name of this episode is a nod to the famous comedic song Star Trekkin' by Rory Kehoe and The Firm.
|Star Trek: Endeavour Season 2 Episodes|
|Deep Space 19 • Divisions • Klingons on the Starboard Bow • Remnant Part I • Remnant Part II|