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Balon the Devious

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Balon the Devious was an Orion and president of the Botchok Planetary Congress during the first Klingon occupation of the Orion Colonies. He had the ear of two Klingon Emperors and tricked the Klingon Empire out of its occupation of the Orion Colonies.

When the Klingons began their brutal push into Orion space on reference stardate 0/7202.10 (circa 2138), beginning at Phillo'tok V and conquering a number of Orion worlds (FASA RPG modules: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge, The Klingons), it became clear that the collected navies of the Orion Colonies could not stand against them. Deciding discretion was in fact the better part of valor, President Balon instead welcomed the Klingon fleet as it approached Rigel, on stardate 0/7203. These events marked first contact between the Orion Colonies and the Klingon Empire (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge).

The Orions cunningly concealed from Emperor Kamtav epetai-Javvic the true value of Rigel, their mineral wealth and the size of their holdings. Therefore, he settled for a small display of force and military occupation of only a minor trade center of the Colonies. The Orions made little resistance (FASA RPG module: The Klingons). The Colonies became, technically, a Klingon protectorate, paying tribute to the Empire with a Klingon military governor on Rigel VIII (Botchok) (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge). The governor was a figurehead who acted mostly as a trade liaison and made no efforts at control.

Trade opened up with a Klingon Empire, a wealthy new market with a secret desire for luxury items. By and large, the Orions profited from becoming a Klingon protectorate, while the Empire gained access to resources necessary for building up their fleet. But the great Orion trading families took pains to ensure that the Empire didn’t grow too interested in Rigel's wealth (FASA RPG module: The Klingons).

However, the average Orion was completely unaware of this state of affairs, as the Klingons didn't place enough forces in Orion space to limit Orion freedoms (FASA RPG module: The Klingons). The Klingon governor grew confused, suspicious and nervous at the total lack of resistance and his easy, hollow victories. He exerted no real influence or control, so increased his fleets in Orion space to have more, and asked his superiors if he was in fact still in charge. However, the Orions never rebelled and always paid their tribute on time – though as trade with the Klingons increased, the tribute decreased and dwindled away to nothing (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge).

By stardate 0/7610, Balon had the ear of another Klingon Emperor. When border disputes between the Klingons and the Romulans escalated, Balon convinced him to withdraw all warships and trade vessels from Orion space to bolster his forces. The Orions would conduct the trade of war-related resources themselves. The Emperor was left with the impression that this was all his idea (FASA RPG module: The Klingons).

This is one of the five unnamed weak Emperors who followed Kagga epetai-Havrk. Canonically, the position of Klingon Emperor was removed in the mid-21st century (TNG episode: "Rightful Heir"), but the FASA RPG had a continuing line of Emperors.

Though the Klingon governor protested feebly, the ships went and he was recalled soon after. No Klingon came to take his place, and his position was downgraded to a civilian governorship. The Orion Colonies seemed only marginally useful to the Empire. As Balon and his fellow leaders had predicted, the Orions were worth more to the Klingons in trade and that a military presence was totally inefficient. Exploiting the Romulan tensions, the Orions kept the Klingons away from Rigel for a long time, while they quietly developed their own military forces. Thus the Colonies were liberated by a period of extended, benign neglect. (FASA RPG modules: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge, The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge, The Klingons)

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