Star Trek



Star Trek Fan Fiction

Thank you Montana author Fran Tabor for sharing this interesting look at how the physical characteristics of the Klingon people, from the time frame of the original series came to be and what the end result would be. I never would have guessed it!


An alternate explanation for the Klingon change


Klingons Once & Future
Fran Tabor


Place: Office of the Romulan security counsel
Time: About the same time a young Kirk is about to graduate from the academy.

The Kilngons are aware of the Romulans and have not yet met the Ferengi. Earth has had recent run-ins with the Klingons, and is afraid of all out war, but has modeled their new Space Academy after Vulcan ideals. They are aware of Romulans and have yet to meet Ferengi.

A lone Ferengi enters the Romulan counsel room. He stands in the middle of a U-shaped table. Except for several satchels hanging from neck straps, he is dressed like a typical Ferengi master scientist.
The head Romulan sits in front of him. About a dozen other Romulans sit about the table. All glare at him.
The Ferengi bows his head slightly, then grins, “Thank you for allowing me to help you avoid the greatest danger facing the quadrant.”
The Romulan leader asks, “And what might that be?”
“Why full-scale, multi-generational war between the federation and the Klingon Empire.”
“Don’t you Ferengi like war? Arms dealing can be most profitable.”
“Even I, a Ferengi scientist, know that peace is always more profitable than war.”
“Dead men don’t spend money. Refugees almost never have money, but the desire for people to have more than their neighbors, the desire to experience more luxury, that never ends.”
“Why did the Grand Negus send you, and not himself?”
“Since what he wants done violates every rule of acquisition, it could cost him an early ‘retirement.’ Worse, it would make the Vulcans our enemies. More importantly, since I made what we desire possible, he felt I’m the only one who can persuade you to help.”
The short Ferengi holds his head higher, folds his arms over his chest. “It is possible to destroy the Klingons---and in a way the Klingons will never guess either you or I have anything to do with their destruction.”
“The Klingons don’t even know you Ferengi exist, how can they be a threat to you?”
“Need I repeat myself? Peace is more profitable than war. As Klingons now exist, they will never allow peace. They plan to spread their bloody empire across the galaxy. Humans will never again have enough to be profitable. Evan your cousins the Vulcans will become poor refugees.”
The Romulan’s eyes narrow. “And you believe genocide is the answer?”

The Ferengi’s eyes widen in horror. “No! Just a slight modification. Like this.” He hands the chief Romulan a tablet.
As the Romulan reads, the other counsel members disappear. The Ferengi asks, “Doesn’t a war treaty need full counsel approval?”
The Romulan glances up, “Approval is easier if no one is given the chance to disagree. We’ve been alone, no eavesdroppers, since you’ve arrived. I studied the sealed records of my predecessors when we first heard from you.”
Looking even more severe, he adds, “A Grand Negus makes an offer only about every thirty years. All but one was accepted, at the immense benefit to the Romulan Empire. Each time, we risked much; the price was high. The one time we said “No”, we still debate if our decision was right or wrong.”
“You were wrong.”
The Romulan leans forward slightly, stares into the Ferengi’s eyes a full minute. The Ferengi scientist doesn’t flinch.
The Romulan blinks. He continues, “It seemed wise to be careful. Judging from this,” He taps the tablet, “I was wise to be cautious.”
The Romulan leans back, “Now tell me, Ferengi, in your own words, why you believe we can reverse-engineer the DNA of every Klingon and not get caught.”
The Ferengi hisses. “First, because Klingons are tied to their primitive genetic roots more than any other space-faring race. If not for an accidental encounter only one generation ago, they would still be attacking each other’s keeps, not each other’s space colonies. There would be no Klingon Empire. Honest merchant ships would safely travel the most direct star routes.”
The Ferengi speaks faster, his eyes brighten. “I’ve developed a virus, easily spread by one Klingon breathing near another. It lies dormant for twenty to thirty years. Then it awakens! It attacks only male sperm, devouring recent additions. I started testing it sixty years ago. May I beam in a child fathered by an infected host?”
At the Romulan’s nod, a cage materializes between the two sentients. Within the cage a naked animal rages. The Romulan’s auto-translator interprets the creature’s vocalizations as animal snarls.
The Ferengi tosses it a piece of bread from one of his satchels. The wild creature flips it aside, snarling. Then the scientist pulls out a small rodent and tosses it into the cage.
The caged creature pounces on the fleeing animal. He runs one of his claw-like finger nails along the rodent’s abdomen. He eats the bloody, still kicking animal.
It sat back, knees bent, ready to stand.
The Ferengi said, “Every population has thousands of harmless viruses floating about in it. No data base has every existing virus. My new virus will have been around so long, so wide-spread, that no one will notice it, or make the connection with the deformed off-spring. In twenty years, a few normal children will continue to be born, but most will be primitive animals.
“In time the Klingons could emerge again, only this time under our guidance as safe and profitable neighbors.”
“Why do you need us?”
“We don’t currently have any dealings with Klingons, no way to spy on them to determine the results of ‘improving’ them. You do.”
“What if the Klingons, in spite of your reassurances, connect us with the genetic regression?”
“Don’t worry. We are feeding information to an exceptionally arrogant human scientist. He is under the delusion certain discoveries are his. You will, when the time is right, make certain his actions are more successful than he has any right to expect. All will believe the Klingons are altered by the criminal acts of that maniacal human megalomaniac.”

Twenty five years later, at a birthing room of a noble Klingon.

The mother-to-be, sweat rolling down her face, “Is it---”
Her question is answered by her newborn’s screech followed by the sound of a body dropped in water. She screams, “No! This one, no matter how deformed, this one I keep!” Forcing herself up, she kicks the water tub over and grabs the tiny, mewing infant. “This one is mine!”
The father, Wazic, storms out of the room; the doctor follows.

The three women attending the birth gather around her.
One says, “I don’t think those ridges look so bad.”
Another whispers, “But the stories! I’ve heard these strange, throw-back children never learn to talk, never become fully Klingon.”
The mother and her three attendants become silent as the small infant cuddles up against his mother’s breast and suckles. She croons to it. The baby relaxes his body against hers.
The third attendant says, “He knows who his mother is, just as any Klingon newborn should.”

Three years later, just outside the same home.

A large cage is on the front lawn, what seems to be a wild animal is curled up, sleeping in a corner.
A ten year old Klingon child (original type) approaches, carrying a large platter of raw meat.
Wazic and the doctor are about to enter the home, but stop to watch.
When the child is a few feet from the cage, the penned animal awakens, jumps against the fence, snarls. It’s now obvious that the animal looks a lot like the Klingon child, except for the facial ridges, longer, thicker foot and finger nails and denser hair. As it howls, his pointed teeth make him look still more feral.
The Klingon boy uses a stick to lift open a small door. Using the same stick, he shoves the meat into the cage. The animal grabs the meat, shredding it with his teeth. His face, hands and torso are soon covered with blood.
The father explains to the doctor, “He won’t eat cooked meat, and prefers live worms. He does talk, but his speech is---”
“I know, his speech is harsh, limited to food and fighting.”
“Worse, my wife will not admit it was wrong to force him to live. Now our last child, a throw-back girl, already seems as violent as her brother.” The boy finishes feeding the caged feral monster, his brother. The doctor nods towards the lad. “At least you have one normal child. It seems every Klingon house, from the lowliest beggars to the most high nobles, has been cursed with these throw-backs.”
The father nods, then looks again at his caged second son. The creature stares back. “He does have an animal cunning.” He looks at the doctor. “Is it true, our gods have cursed us because we grew too soft, forgot our roots?”
The doctor shakes his head. “I don’t know. But I do know that if we could somehow mate their cunning, their fearlessness, with the knowledge of our warriors, we Klingons would be invincible.”
They go into the house.
The animal-child, still holding the last hunk of meat, watches.

Fifteen years later, in the Command Tower of the Klingon Military Cadet Training Center, in the Office of the Chief of Training.

The chief is standing at a window, staring down at a nearly empty field. He squints against the bright sun. Directly beneath his window, about two dozen Klingon teenage boys stand in formation. An older Klingon man, in full formal uniform, stands in front of them. At this distance, the chief can’t hear what is being said, but he knows the traditional “welcome to training” speech by heart.
The field is so large, that if the Chief didn’t know those few young men were down there, he might not have noticed them.
At the sound of a tone he says, “Enter.”
Wazic, and someone else partially hidden by him, enter. “Greetings, Old Friend.”
Without turning, The Chief says, “And to you, Wazic. Look out this window.”
Wazic approaches, looks out the window. His smaller companion stays by the door.
The Chief continues, “Remember when we joined the emperor’s forces? How that field wasn’t large enough to hold all who wanted to join? Our fears we would be rejected?” His hand slaps the window, the sudden sound makes Wazic blink. The Chief yells, “Now look! Only one of those recruits would have been chosen in our youth, now each will be.”
An uncharacteristic choke, the beginning of a Klingon sorrow-cry, cuts off The Chief’s voice. “There are so few Klingons born, so few to choose from. The plague of throw-backs has devastated every house. Not one child in a thousand is born normal. Klingon parents no longer take pride in raising warriors. The few normals are coddled, pampered, spoiled. They could pass for human children they are so weak.” He sighed. “The Klingon Empire will not die in battle. It is only a matter of time our enemies learn it is already dead. Our future is as stillborn as our children.”
He turns, “Wazic, have you---”
The chief’s voice instantly switches to anger, “How dare you!” He lunges for his desk, his hand reaching for a button.
Wazic grabs his hand, pushes him back against the window. “Blood brother, oath brother, listen!”
The chief replies, “I’ll listen as soon as you put him” pointing to the Klingon throw-back youth standing by the door, “in proper restraints.”
Wazic, keeping the chief pressed against the glass, said, “This is my son, whom you last saw five years ago. He is the promising recruit I told you about.”
The chief stops struggling and stares at the youth standing before him.

The young Klingon stares back, not with feral animal cunning, but with something else, something more controlled---and therefore more dangerous. His thick black hair is pulled back and braided, making his brow ridges more prominent. He wears medieval-looking chainmail and leather. A broad leather strap crosses his chest. An antique weapon, whose blade can be seen above his right shoulder and down pass his left hip, rests against his back. A modern disrupter is in his belt.
The throw-back Klingon youth steps forward. The bright sunlight streaming in the window reflects off the blade.
The sun’s reflection in the blade makes the chief blink. “How did you get him in here, armed like that?”
Wazic answers, “I told security he is an alien from a warrior race who is considering allying themselves with the mighty Klingon Empire.”
The Chief nods. “Since few have seen a mature throw-back, they didn’t recognize him for what he is.” He looks at the youth; speaks slowly, with extreme accuracy, “Can…you…talk?”
The throw-back slaps his fist to his chest and answers, “I can talk and I can sing.”
The youth breaks into a classic opera song about a noble warrior whose house had died; a warrior treated like a beggar instead of the respect he deserved.
At the end of the song the hero faces a dilemma. Should he accept his fate, forever serve another man’s house, forever fight for another man’s glory, or should he attempt the impossible?
Should he fight to regain his own family’s glory? To renew his own family’s honor?
He had no kin, not even a sister, not even a grandmother. He had no wealth, he ate only wild game.
The path to honor led only to death.
The operatic hero stood, fist to sky, “If honor can come only with death, then today is a good day to die!”

Unlike any performance the Chief had ever seen, the last line was sung three times, each time more powerful than the last.
Never had he heard such passion.
Never had he heard so many rich overtones sung.
Never had music made him so proud to be Klingon.
Deep in his gut something stirred, something akin to battle frenzy the way an eagle is akin to a duck.

The lad stands silent, again that unflinching stare, the stare of a Klingon warrior.
The chief says, “You are accepted. I think you already know what we teach first year recruits. What do you wish to study?”
The Chief starts to protest, saw the look in Wazic’s eyes, instead asks, “Why?”
“If I’m to ride a spaceship into battle, I should know all there is to know about it.”
The Chief looks back at Wazic. “That involves advanced math.”
Wazic smiles. “I brought him here because his math skills already exceed my own. He needs teachers who can challenge him.”
The chief looks back at the youth. “Forgive my doubting you. You’re the first throw-back I’ve met who could sing or talk. Your name?”
“My name is Gork, son of Wazic. My father believes all throwbacks can sing, and by singing awaken their Klingon soul.”
He pauses, then adds, “I believe he is right. I believe the Creator returned our old bodies to us because the modern ones, the soft ones like yours, are too small to contain the Klingon soul.” He stands straighter. “In opera we awaken.”
“You believe that because we have no ridges on our foreheads we are less Klingon than you?”
“No, you are less Klingon because your singing is hollow.”

Wazic puts his hand on the Chief’s shoulder. “With music, every throw-back out there will become our future. They will forget, become ashamed, we were once not that different than humans.”

Seventy years later, in one of the many Grand Negus’s offices, a Romulan is granted a private audience. Only the Negus’s personal servant and son are present.

As soon as he is convinced there are no recording or listening devices, the Romulan shouts at the Negus, “How can a Ferengi scientist become Grand Negus, especially one who failed?”
The Negus answers, “Failed? At what?”
“You know what! There may not be any record, but you planned to send the Klingons back to living in caves. Instead they became stronger, trickier. Now they have allied themselves with the federation! Humans and Vulcans were no problem. But humans and Klingons?”
The Grand Negus says, “What would your staff say if they saw you ranting like a human? They’d think you mad, replace you.”
“I am mad. No else may know of our plot, but I do. I can’t stop thinking about the evil we unleashed. If not for us, Klingons would be just another hominid race little noticed in The Federation.”

The Grand Negus looks bewildered. “I’ve no idea what you’re talking about. Before I became interested in profits, I was a simple geneticist studying more profitable farm animals and how to raise grak. I had nothing to do with Klingons. Besides, nothing is risk free.”
“Deny all you want, but you and I both know that you are a failure!”
The Romulan calms himself. He speaks in the controlled fashion his people affect. “The degree of the calamity our meddling created has caused me to make an eyes-only entry to be seen by successors. There will be no more genetic manipulations with other races. The outcomes are too unpredictable.”
The Negus whispers to the Romulan, “Who knew to test our experimental subjects with music?”
“Precisely. There is no way to predict what environmental influence would change the outcome in future attempts. If we Romulans get even a hint of genetic tampering with any intelligent race, no matter who it looks like is doing it, it will be war.”
He left the room.

After he left, the Negus’s son asks, “If your plan was such a failure, why were you acclaimed Grand Negus because of it?”
“Because it did succeed. It wasn’t designed to make the Klingons weaker, it was designed to make them stronger. Tell me, would the Federation be stronger or weaker if Klingons were still the people they were when I was your age?”
“Since the Klingons would be weaker, then they would give less to the Federation, so it would be weaker.’
“Right. Now the Romulans by themselves could easily conquer any one Federation member---and can almost defeat the Federation as a whole. If the Federation were only a little weaker than it is, what would stop the Romulans from spreading their Spartan, penny-pinching ways across the galaxy?”
“True. And that would be very bad for profits. Peace is better than war, but only if people are free to spend money and create wealth in that peace.”
“Then creating a better Klingon warrior was---”
“The greatest thing I ever did!”
The two Ferengi laugh.

About the Author


The cornucopia of stars in Montana’s Rocky Mountain night sky easily inspires dreams of distant worlds. Those stars aroused Fran’s storytelling DNA. Her dream-weaving ancestors include Russian peasants, Chippewa war chiefs and American Revolutionary soldiers. Fran’s varied writings include the epic first-contact science fiction eBook, To Own the Sun, which can be viewed at