In this holodeck adventure, you are Pok, a young Klingon warrior caught up in the dangerous circles of Klingon clan politics. On the day of your Rite of Ascension, your father is murdered in his own home. It is up to you, with the help of Gowron, leader of the Klingon High Council, to find the murderer and close the circle of vengeance. Along the way you will encounter strange aliens and treacherous friends and even serve aboard the mighty Bird of Prey, the Tagana.
- "You are frightened young human. You should be. Your strength, your skills are no better than that of a Klingon boy. When you have finished this holodeck adventure with me, this test, you will have learned more than how to live as a Klingon. You will learn how to be Klingon. Then, it will be an honor to kill you."
The Immersion Studies simulation begins on the holodeck. Gowron, son of M'Rel, Chancellor of the Klingon Empire, appears with his D'k tahg drawn. The universal translator has been disabled for most of this simulation so that the fullness of the Klingon culture can be experienced. Gowron introduces himself as the Devwl' (leader) of the Klingon Empire and says that this will be a test to prove the human's claim to the title of Suvwl' (warrior). Suddenly, Gowron throws his d'k tahg at the human. Gowron laughs and asks if the human thought that he would kill such a little loDHom (youngster). Gowron tells the human that he/she is as weak as a Qa'Hom (small animal) and there would be no honor in killing a Qa'Hom.
Gowron complains that outsiders have been spreading "lies" about Klingons. In order to correct these misconceptions, he has designed this Immersion Studies simulation to help Federation citizens learn about the true nature of Klingons. Since humans only see the Klingon's fierceness and love of battle, Gowron has decided to break the wall of secrecy that shrouds the Klingon culture. He hopes to teach humans to see the tiQ (spirit) that shapes the Klingon heart.
- "Honor is what we treasure. Honor above all things."
The holodeck simulation begins in the House of Seplch on the planet of Taganika. The human assumes the identity of Pok, son of Torghn. Torgh's ancestors conquered Taganika and the surrounding sector centuries ago. The House of Seplch is a proud House that is extremely loyal to the Klingon Empire. There are eight Great Houses on Taganika. The two most powerful are the House of Seplch and their rival the House of Ingka. Gowron has declared that these ancient houses must relinquish their control over this sector for the good of the Empire. Torghn has agreed to comply with Gowron's orders. However, there are those on Tanganika who do not agree with Gowron. The opposition is led by Vok of the House of Ingka. Vok also descends from the original conquerors of Taganika.
The House of Seplch is holding a lop'no (celebration). Young Pok has just completed the chontay (ritual hunt) and is preparing for the second Rite of Ascension. There are many guests who are feasting on the TKnag (a dangerous carnivore) that Pok slew with a naQjej (hunting spear). These beasts are considered extremely dangerous and killing one requires great skill. By killing a TKnag, Pok has demonstrated great bravery and earned the respect of his fellow Klingons.
Torghn is a close friend of Gowron, who arrives just after the start of the lop'no. When Torghn reaches to take Gowron's hand in friendship, one of Gowron's bodyguards shoves him aside. Gowron rebukes the guard, saying that he feels safe in the House of Seplch. In order to demonstrate this trust, Gowron dismisses all of his guards. Gowron has brought Pok the cha'nob gifts. These are traditional Klingon gifts given to a boy just before the second Rite of Ascension. While waiting to be dismissed by his father, Pok finds the gifts too heavy to hold and drops them on the floor.
Vok (Barry Lynch) arrives and insults Pok as being "clumsy and slow". Pok's mother, K'Tar (Martha Hackett), takes offense and starts to throw the veQ (trash) out of her home. However, Vok reminds her that the traditional rules of the lop'no allow all to join in the celebration, even hated enemies. It would be a great dishonor to the House of Seplch if Vok were forced to leave. Therefore, she allows Vok to stay, but warns him to stay clear of Gowron. Satisfied with K'Tar's involuntary welcome, Vok leaves to find food.
K'Tar tells Pok to take food to Gowron and Torghn. Two Klingons in the dining hall tell Pok to stay away from the Rokeg blood pie as it has been prepared by the mate of another guest. They laugh as they describe her inept abilities. "If he heard you say that he would rip out your lung." "Worse, he would have his mate cook it and then make me eat it." The two friends go on to brag about the domestic skills of their own mates. One of them says that the secret to his mate's blood pie is a secret recipe from a human woman.
Pok delivers a plate of qagh to his father and Gowron in the main dining hall. Gowron laughs and asks Pok if he tripped over a woman on his way. Pok's uncle, Qua'lon (Scott MacDonald), laughs and says that Pok would not know what to do with a woman. Gowron jokingly tells the group to stop harassing Pok as they might find a ghojmeH taj (boy's knife) at their throats.
Gowron orders Pok to open his cha'nob. The first one is an opera score to qul tuq (House of Fire) which is the ancient name for the House of Seplch). All of the guests begin singing the song which tells the glorious history of the House. Since Pok fails to sing along with the others, Qua'lon tells Torghn that Pok is ignorant of the ancient ways. K'Tar tries to cover for Pok by saying that many young people have no interest in such things. Torghn feels that he has spent too much time teaching Pok to hunt when he should have spent more time teaching him to sing. The crowd urges Pok to open another gift which is an Acta crystal that is larger than Pok's hand. These crystals are a slow growing crystalline lifeform from Acta II. They are a rare commodity and as valuable as gold pressed latinum. The Acta crystal will continue to grow over time increasing its value.
- "Today is a good day to die."
Hidden in the package with the Acta crystal is a Romulan Hunter-Killer Assassination Probe. These probes are extremely lethal. The probe has been pre-programed with the target's DNA pattern, but no one knows who the target is. As soon as the probe appears, Torghn orders everyone to freeze. The probe hovers over the table while turning to seek out its target. Grabbing or shooting the probe is useless as it is simply too powerful. The probe's reputation is well known. It never misses.
When it locks onto Gowron, he growls as he prepares for his inevitable death. As the probe strikes, Torghn jumps in front of it at the last possible moment. Torghn takes the full brunt of the attack. The probe buries itself deep within Torghn's heart, killing him. K'Tar and Pok are horrified. Qua'lon screams that Torghn died without even seeing the face of his enemies. Klingons consider this form of killing to be as dishonorable as using poison. Qua'lon demands vengeance for the death of his brother, but Gowron reminds him that a ritual must be performed. Qua'lon begins the ritual, but Gowron stops him. Pok must perform the rite. Pok steps forward and preforms the Heghtay (death ritual). Pok opens his father's eyes and everyone howls a warning to the dead that a Klingon warrior is about to arrive. Qua'lon tells Torghn that he will now have the honor to serve with the Black Fleet in Sto-vo-kor.
Gowron examines the probe and the package. He had sealed the package many days ago, long before he left Qo'noS for Taganika. Qua'lon believes that no Klingon would use such a cowardly method to kill. Gowron tells him that the days when Klingons would not use such dishonorable methods are long gone. Qua'lon instantly suspects Vok. When Qua'lon finds Vok, he accuses him of the murder of his brother. Vok ignores Qua'lon as he his busy examining the probe. Qua'lon calls Vok a verengan Ha'DlbaH (Ferengi dog) and kills him. He returns to the dining hall and hands the knife to Pok and declares that the circle of vengeance is closed. However, Gowron believes that more people than Vok must be involved. Gowron and Pok swear a Blood Oath to seek out and kill all those involved in the murder of Torghn. Qua'lon states that he will accompany them on the quest. However, Gowron orders him to remain behind in order to protect the House of Seplch.
- "Show your heart. Today you are a warrior. Travel the River of Blood."
The guests assemble around a large, elevated fire pit. Qua'lon asks Pok if he is prepared for the second Rite of Ascension. Each guest is carrying a Klingon pain stick. Gowron tells Pok: "It is time." As the drums beat louder and louder, the guests form two lines in front of Pok. Qua'on recites the history of the great warriors of the House of Seplch. Agan was one of the original conquerors of Taganika. Agan begat Seeth. Seeth begat Seegath. Seegath begat Chan. Chan begat K'mpok. K'mpok begat Torghn and Qua'lon. When a warrior dies, he must know his family line and how to greet each of his ancestors by name.
Pok steps forward and begins his journey down the River of Blood. Each Klingon in turn stabs Pok with a pain stick. As Pok advances, the guests become more and more enthralled with their blood lust. They tell Pok to think of his father and his father's father. As Pok approaches Gowron, he whispers to the human disguised as Pok that he is about to do what no non-Klingon has ever done. The guests continue their frenzied stabbing of Pok while yelling "The battle is yours! Travel the River of Pain! You will die a warrior and join the Black Fleet where you will fight forever!"
Exhausted, Pok collapses and catches himself on the edge of the elevated fire pit. Gowron can see in Pok's eyes that he is now a warrior. Gowron leans over Pok staring straight into his eyes and asks if what he sees are the eyes of Pok or the human impersonating him.
Meanwhile, Gowron's men have finished examining the probe. It was manufactured in the Soltaris system in Romuan controlled space. These probes have been outlawed by the Romulans, but a few are manufactured and sold as contraband. These probes are extremely expensive, even for a Romulan. However, Gowron doubts that the Romulans were involved in the assassination attempt.
K'Tar angrily rebukes Gowron for bringing his enemies' dishonorable hatred into the House of Seplch. Gowron asks K'tar if she blames him for Torghn's death. K'Tar does not, but she is concerned that Pok plans to accompany Gowron on a quest of vengeance. She warns Gowron that she can also swear a mother's Blood Oath. Gowron backs down and agrees that he would not want to fight her. Gowron gives Pok the option to remain behind, but Pok refuses.
- "No one just stands around on a Klingon ship. Everything must have its use."
Since Gowron's ship, the BortaS, would be too noticeable, Qua'lon gives Gowron his ship, the IKS Tagana. On the Tagana bridge, Gowron busies himself with ship operations. While waiting for orders, Pok notices that one of Gowron's guards, T'lak, is working on a piece of equipment. Meanwhile, two Klingons are fighting over the tactical station. One of the Klingons has long gray hair denoting his advanced age. The old Klingon is badly beaten in the fight and surrenders. Pok learns that station assignments must be won. This ensures that only the strongest Klingons control the key positions. Also, these challenges are not "to the death". Only when the captain is challenged does the battle become a death match. Pok also learns that the older Klingon is Ler'at of the House of Tignar (J.G. Hertzler).
Gowron orders Pok to fight for a position of his own. Pok chooses to challenge Ler'at for the helm position. Ler'at leaves without contest. However, by taking advantage of Ler'at while he was weakened from his previous battle, Pok earns the praise of Gowron, but the hatred of Ler'at.
Later, the tactical officer pulls Pok aside and shows him how to operate the tactical controls before shoving him back to the helm. Feeling that he must prove himself to the other Klingons, Pok foolishly decides to challenge Gowron's lieutenant for her station. However, his challenge is so ridiculous, that she takes it as an overture for "another kind of combat". However, she tells Pok that he is not strong enough to survive it.
Gowron orders the ship to the Balka system. A short time later, he begins drumming the armrests of his command chair. The crew takes this cue and begins singing the Klingon's warrior anthem while Gowron cheers them on.
- "Move fast or the food will be gone."
In the mess hall, two Klingons are playing qeyllS minDu (Eyes of Kahless). One rolls the dice on the table while the other one catches them, one in each hand. The object is to guess which dice has higher value. The winner's "prize" is a punch to the face. Pok plays a round and wins. Afterwards, Pok moves to another table and choses a plate of Durani lizard skins. However, Ler'at arrives and takes the food away from him. Looking around at the other Klingons for their approval, Pok knocks Ler'at to the deck. Ler'at leaves without a fight. Another Klingon challenges Pok and knocks him to the deck. Still lying on the mess hall floor, Pok looks up at Gowron who tells him that although he will go hungry tonight, he has earned the respect of the other Klingons.
- "Sleep well, but sleep light."
Later, Pok observes Ler'at all alone in the mess hall eating the scraps left by the other Klingons. Clearly ashamed of his weakness (or perhaps injured by the battle over the tactical station), Ler'at won't even look up as Pok passes. It's clear that Pok has made an enemy of this cagey old Klingon.
- "It is an interesting drink."
Once in orbit of Balka II, Gowron, Pok, and two other Klingons beam down to the surface. Gowron knows of a bar that is frequented by unsavory types who might have information on how to obtain an assassination probe. As soon as they enter the bar, the bartender, Meska (Michael G. Hagerty), demands that they turn over their weapons. Despite Gowron's personal assurance that no one will be killed, Meska insists. Finally, the bartender relents and allows the Klingons to keep their knives. Gowron comments that Pok hasn't been without a knife since he reached the Age of Inclusion. Gowron orders a bottle of Necti, a beverage that is fatal to the more "delicate" species such as human, Romulan, or Ferengi. Even some Klingons have died from drinking it too fast. Gowron pays for the drink with a handful of small Acta crystals.
Gowron makes a request to a female musician named Aleria (Annette Helde), who is playing a Sunni Sound Manipulator. Aleria states that she knows several Klingon operas. She plays part of one while she flirts with Gowron. In appreciation, Gowron demands that Pok choose something to destroy, so Pok smashes a chair against the wall. Having built a rapport with her, Gowron coaxes a little information from her. After more flirting, she reveales that Meska is the biggest weapons smuggler in the bar.
When Meska refuses to answer any questions, Gowron takes the Necti and throws the drink in his face, burning his eyes. Meska reveals that a group of Pakleds smuggled the probe from Romulan space. While Gowron is interrogating the bartender, Pok notices that one of the other Klingons is whispering to Aleria, but Pok dismisses it as harmless flirting. Before leaving, Gowron has another sip of the Necti, since he doesn't want to waste it.
- "We are Pakled. We are not stupid."
After searching the surrounding sector, the Tagana's crew easily finds the Pakleds, who are experiencing an engine malfunction. Gowron warns Pok that a Pakled must be questioned with care. If they become overly frightened, then they begin spouting gibberish. The Klingons capture the Pakled ship in a tractor beam. Gowron tricks the Pakled captain into beaming over in order to explain why he is too scared to beam over. The Pakled captain, after rambling for several minutes, confirms that Meska buys large amounts of contraband. After more rambling, the Packled captain confirms that Meska recently purchased a Romulan Hunter-Killer assassination probe.
- "Do not think because he is no longer what he was that he is any less a Klingon."
On their way back to the Balka system, Gowron and Pok are in the Tagana's mess hall when Ler'at comes in. Ler'at sits down beside Gowron and takes Pok's food. Gowron tells Pok that he must clearly establish his dominance over Ler'at. Pok takes back the plate and growls. Ler'at hesitates for a moment before leaving. Gowron tells Pok that the rivalry is now over. Gowron advises Pok that Ler'at's honor should not fade due to old age. Ler'at is one of Gowron's most loyal men. He could have left a long time ago to enjoy a comfortable life, but he stays and puts up with challenges from younger Klingons out of his loyalty to Gowron. He tells Pok to find a way to build a friendship with Ler'at.
Gowron beams down with an armed landing party. Enraged by Meska's deception that led them to chase wild Qa'mey (animals), Gowron orders his men to ransack the bar. Meska has fled. Aleria, the female musician, volunteers to help find Meska. She tells Gowron that Meska owes her money and she would like to cut his heart out. Gowron decides that he will wait to see if Meska returns. Gowron stations his men on one side of the bar while he and Pok watch the entrance.
While waiting, Gowron explains to Pok that he suspects one of his own people. Only an insider could have placed the Hunter-Killer probe in his belongings. Gowron asks Pok whom he suspects. Pok points out T'lak.
Gowron offers to pay Aleria again for her singing, but says that he is short on money. T'lak offers to assist Gowron, who promises to pay him back twice the amount when they get back to the ship. However, T'lak hands Gowron the same Acta crystals that Gowron had given to Meska earlier, revealing himself as the traitor. Gowron begins to question him, but T'lak reaches for a weapon. Suddenly, Aleria kills him with a hidden phaser. Gowron's other men search the body and find a credit chip from Galor. Aleria informs Gowron that Meska might be going there and that she can help catch him. So, Gowron agrees to take her along.
- "We are all dead, Pok! But we died well! Staring into the face of our enemies! Fighting all the way! It might have worked out better had lived, but no matter."
They find Meska's ship fleeing at warp 6.9. Gowron orders an increase to warp 7.5 to overtake him. Meska's ship is no match for the Tagana. Gowron offers Meska the chance to beam over and meet his fate with honor. However, Meska has a hidden advantage. Before his death, T'lak hid a bomb on the ship that is tied directly into the antimatter containment control system. While the Klingons are examining the bomb, Aleria lowers the Tagana's shields and beams to Meska's ship. With their dastardly plan revealed, Aleria and Meska try to blackmail Gowron. They will give him the disarming sequence if he will allow them to leave.
The bomb has a five button control panel. The correct sequence must be entered to disarm it, although there is no way to know what it is. Despite certain death, Gowron refuses the offer. Realizing that their plan has failed, Aleria offers Gowron another bargain. Meska orders her to be quiet. However, Aleria states that a Klingon from an ancient house on Taganika hired her to deliver the assassination probe. She will give Gowron the name in exchange for her life. Gowron answers her by destroying Meska's ship. With Meska and Aleria dead, Gowron and his crew shout "pltlh" (it is done).
Gowron orders Pok to attempt to disarm the bomb. Gowron tells Pok that they are prepared to die and that no one will blame him if he makes a mistake. Luckily, Pok remembers a vital clue and disarms the bomb. Now, they must hunt down the Klingon from an ancient house.
- "His arms are heavy now with the weight of many battles. His heart is burdened by the press of many honors."
On their way back to Taganika, the crew gathers in the mess hall. Pok presents Ler'at a Klingon PADD containing a gha'tlhlq (Ode of Respect). Ler'at refuses to read it. Ler'at believes in many old superstitions and thinks that it is bad luck for anyone to praise him. So, Gowron's lieutenant reads the ode aloud. She proudly proclaims that Ler'at has many glorious victories to his name. The rest of the Tagana's bridge crew also reads from the ode. Ler'at fought at the Battle of Lagon, the Battle of Dumath, and the Battle of Negan. His skill with the bat'leth was legendary. He killed many men at the Battle of Teh, but was injured badly at the Battle of Reth.
Ler'at is moved to emotion, clearly honored by Pok's ode of respect. After wishing Pok a glorious death, Ler'at takes the PADD and walks out of the mess hall as proud warrior. Gowron smiles and calls Pok a warrior-poet.
Back on Taganika, Gowron and Pok met with K'Tar and Qua'lon. T'Var, Vok's mate, bursts in the door and demands an audience with Gowron. Qua'lon's men have ransacked her house. K'Tar says that it is a fitting payment for the death of Torghn. However, T'var proclaims Vok's innocence. Qua'lon, as the head of the House of Seplch, refuses to hear her words. Gowron reminds Qua'lon that Pok is the new head of the House of Seplch. Pok decides to listen to her claims. T'var reminds Gowron that everyone on Taganika knew that Torghn would have died before allowing Gowron to be killed in his home. T'Var tells Pok that if anyone wanted to kill Torghn, then they could aim at Gowron. Pok is asked to choose who would have gained the most from Torghn's death, his mother, his uncle, or T'Var. Pok points to his uncle, Qua'lon.
Shocked by Pok's accusation, Qua'lon claims that he would gain nothing from his brother's death. However, Gowron points out that if Torghn and Pok were both dead, then Qua'lon would become the new head of the House of Seplch. Qua'lon denies the charges and demands that this disgrace be answered in the vltHay' (a duel to the death to determine which one has the truth on his side).
- "Honor above all things."
Gowron's men prepare a chamber for combat. Both Pok and Qua'lon are armed with bat'lethmey. Qua'lon is physically larger and stronger than Pok and believes he will win easily. He feints a few attacks attempting to unnerve Pok. Then suddenly, Qua'lon attacks with his bat'leth. His first thrust is low, at Pok's legs. Pok parries the blow. Before Pok can counterattack, Qua'lon attacks again with an overhead slice. Pok again parries, but is unable to counterattack as Qua'lon is extremely fast. Qua'lon spins, causing Pok to wonder from which direction the blow will come. Qua'lon attacks from the side, but Pok is able to block the strike at the very last moment. With their blades interlocked, Qua'lon tries to shove Pok to the ground, but Pok manages to knock his uncle to the ground instead. Pok places his blade to Qua'lon's throat. Qua'lon confesses to the murder of Torghn. Qua'lon wanted to keep Torghn from complying with the High Council's orders to free the conquered people of Taganika and the surrounding worlds. This would have bankrupted the House of Seplch. Gowron tells Qua'lon that as Chancellor he must look to the good of the Empire. This sacrifice would have made the House of Seplch rich with Honor. Hoping that Pok is distracted by Gowron's speech, Qua'lon tries to stab him. Pok blocks the knife attack and kills Qua'lon. The circle of vengeance is finally closed.
- "Now you know what it is to be a warrior."
With the simulation complete, Gowron appears on an empty holodeck grid and tells the human that both of them have learned much about each other. He wonders if he has done the right thing teaching the human about Klingons. He wonders what it would be like to fight, now that the human has become a true warrior. Gowron laughs and tells the human that "it would be a good match."
IKS Tagana bridge and mess hall
Meska's Bar on Balka II
States and OrganisationsEdit
- Robert O'Reilly as Gowron, son of M'Rel
- John Cothran, Jr.
- J. G. Hertzler as Ler'at
- Rick Worthy
- Scott MacDonald as Qua'lon
- Martha Hackett as K'Tar, wife of Torghn
- Barry Lynch as Vok
- Michael Hagerty as Meska
- Annette Helde as Aleria
- John Kenton Shull
- Catherine MacNeal as T'Var
- Joan Elizabeth
- Joe Hulser
- Joel McKinnon Miller as Pakled Captain
- Paul Sandman
Klingon Language Lab CD-ROM and Power Klingon Audio CD:
- Written by: Hilary J. Bader
- Directed by: Jonathan Frakes
- Associate Producer: Elizabeth J. Braswell
- Graphic Consultant: Michael Okuda
- Creative Consultant: Marc Okrand
- Additional Writing: Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith
- Visual Effects Supervisor: Ronald B. Moore
- Make-up Consultant: Michael Westmore
- The Warrior's Anthem would later be heard in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Soldiers of the Empire".