Kruge entered the Klingon Defense Force as a member of a political house with family ties to the Klingon Emperor; specifically, Kruge was a favored cousin of Emperor Kahless IV. (TOS comic: "Trial and Error")
As of 2246, Kruge served as gunner aboard the IKS Kut'luch, a D6-class battle cruiser, under the command of Commander Kor. In October 2246, Kruge was serving as gunner on the bridge when Kor launched an attack against the USS Enterprise to prevent their entering the Tarsus system. Although Kruge was able to inflict damage on the Enterprise, the Federation starship was able to launch a stronger attack against the Kut'luch and disabled the vessel. When Kor ordered the Kut'luch to withdraw, Kruge began to question his captain's orders, but later stood down. However, Kor believed that Kruge would one day challenge him. (TOS - Enterprise Logs short story: "Though Hell Should Bar the Way")
He was later reassigned to the IKS Kad'nra, under the command of Captain Vheled, as second officer. After the disruptor-deaths of Vheled and his first officer following an attempted mutiny at the Federation science outpost at Beta Canzandia, Kruge took over command of the ship. (TOS novel: Faces of Fire)
Some time after the incident at Beta Canzandia, Kruge was placed in command of a K't'inga-class battlecruiser, the IKS Vigilance, as well as in charge of a three-ship Klingon task force in pursuit of a Romulan dilithium convoy traversing the Triangle region of space. Engaging the Romulan force in combat (their foes likewise escorted by Klingon-produced D-7A class (K't'agga-class) battlecruisers, Kruge's force managed a spectacular victory, his squadron transporting their looted mineral prize back across the border to the Klingon Empire. (FASA RPG module: Star Trek III: Starship Combat Game)
By the mid-2280s, Kruge had risen to command a B'rel-class bird-of-prey, with about 12 officers and crewmen under his command. In 2285, after obtaining information about the Genesis Device from the freighter Merchantman, Kruge took his ship and crew to the Genesis Planet in a rogue operation aimed at stealing the secrets and technology of the Genesis Device (or Genesis Torpedo; as he called it). Upon entering orbit, Kruge ordered an attack on the Oberth-class science vessel, USS Grissom. Kruge intended to only disable the Grissom, but the attack destroyed the ship, killing the entire crew. Furious, Kruge pulled out his disruptor and killed the officer at the weapons station. Torg then discovered Lieutenant Saavik and Doctor David Marcus alive on the surface.
Kruge sent a landing party down to the surface to find the survivors in the hopes that they would have the secrets of Genesis-a weapon of "ultimate power." When the Klingons found them, they discovered that they had a Vulcan teenager with them, who was actually the regenerating Captain Spock. Meanwhile, the Enterprise under the command of Admiral James T. Kirk entered orbit and the Bird-of-Prey and the Enterprise fought in a brief, inconclusive battle. In order to prove his sincerity to gain the Genesis Device, Kruge ordered his guards to kill one of the prisoners on the surface. The Klingon guard decided initially to kill Saavik, but David Marcus rushed the guard and was killed.
On the surface of the Genesis planet, Kruge tried to thwart Kirk's attempts to secure the body of Spock and tried to bargain Spock's revived body for the Genesis technology. As the Genesis planet began to break up, Kirk engaged Kruge in hand-to-hand combat. The two combatants found themselves on a precipice overlooking a lake of molten lava, the ground gave way beneath Kruge, and he ended up clinging to the edge of the cliff. Kirk offered to rescue him, but Kruge was determined to take Kirk with him to a fiery death below, and attempted to pull Kirk over the edge of the cliff. Enraged and exasperated, Kirk kicked Kruge into the sea of lava. This image, however haunted Kirk in the years ahead. His nightmares took him back to that place. First, with seeing Khan Noonien Singh, then David Marcus and finally himself (along with Enterprise) crashing into the molten sea. (TOS movie: Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; TOS comic: "Debt of Honor")
Though he was dead, the House of Kruge was still active by the mid-24th century. One of his descendants was K'Nera, who sought to avenge his illustrious ancestor by claiming the same power that Kruge did; namely the data on Project Genesis. At some point after 2373, he allied himself with a Maquis cell and helped raid a Starfleet facility where the information was supposedly declassified. After claiming it, he murdered the Maquis involved and attempted to use the power of Genesis to make his house dominant in the Klingon Empire. However, he was stopped and his vessel was destroyed by Maquis Ro Laren and Starfleet officer William T. Riker of the USS Enterprise-E. (TNG comic: "The Enemy of My Enemy")
In an alternate timeline created by the death of Spock in 2237, Kruge was the commander of the IKS Katai in 2285. In March of that year, he received intelligence regarding the newly formed Genesis Planet in the Mutara Nebula. After travelling to the planet and destroying the USS Grissom in orbit, his crew captured David Marcus and Saavik, who were conducting research on its surface, and brought them aboard the Katai. Kruge proceeded to torture David both physically and mentally, severing his left hand and subjecting him to the mind-sifter. However, he was unable to glean any information about the Genesis Device from David's mind as, through a mind meld, Saavik was able to make David temporarily forget all he knew about Genesis by storing the information in his subconscious mind. Kruge was neverthless able to determine that David was the son of Admiral James T. Kirk, the "Genesis Commander." David and Saavik were then transported to Qo'noS' moon Praxis, where they spent the next two months as prisoners.
In May 2285, Kruge contacted the disgraced former spy Arne Darvin and paid him to inform Kirk's former first officer Thelin th'Valrass that David and Saavik were still alive and that Kruge was willing to release them in exchange for all Federation data concerning Genesis and an operational Genesis torpedo. Shortly afterwards, Kirk and his former crew stole the Enterprise from Spacedock and rendezvoused with the Katai. While Kirk appeared to accede to Kruge's demands, the Enterprise transported Commander Pavel Chekov aboard the Katai in a mock Genesis torpedo. Chekov proceeded to beam Kirk, Thelin and Hikaru Sulu aboard the Katai and they promptly gained control of the ship and rescued the hostages.
However, the captured Klingons briefly gained the upper hand when Maltz, whom Kruge had frequently disparaged for his perceived cowardice, accessed the Katai's weapon console and fired at the already damaged Enterprise's warp core. While Maltz was doing this, Kruge entered into physical combat with Thelin. The Andorian officer was able to kill Kruge by firing his phaser, set on stun, into his chest at point blank range. The Katai was taken to Vulcan, where its surviving crewmembers were held prisoner and the ship itself was scrutinised by Federation scientists. Kamarag, the Klingon Ambassador to the United Federation of Planets, blamed Starfleet for Kruge's death and the incident was a contributing factor to the outbreak of the Genesis War in 2286. (TOS - Myriad Universes novella: The Chimes at Midnight)
|IKS B'rel/IKS Qel'poH personnel|
| Klingon Empire, Klingon Defense Force|
as IKS B'rel or IKS Qel'poH
|Kruge • Maltz • Torg • unnamed Klingons (gunners, sergeant, etc.)|
| Federation, Starfleet|
commandeered as HMS Bounty
|Pavel Chekov • James T. Kirk • Konom • Leonard McCoy • Saavik • Montgomery Scott • Spock • Hikaru Sulu • Nyota Uhura|
| Terran Empire, Starfleet|
temporarily commandeered as HMS Bounty
|Pavel Chekov • Spock • Hikaru Sulu|