Worf's onetime lover, the half-human, half-Kllingon ambassador K'Ehleyr, hails Picard with an urgent request and comes aboard the Enterprise with her young son Alexander. K'Ehleyr then drops two bombshells: that Worf is the child's father, and that dying Klingon leader K'mpec wants Picard to moderate the struggle to choose his successor. K'mpec is dying of a slow poison and hopes that Picard can discover which of the two candidates is responsible - the ambitious Gowron, or Duras, whose family dishonor led to Worf's discommendation from the Klingon High Council. Before Picard can complete the Rite of Succession, an explosion kills several guests at K'mpec's wake, including men from both Duras's and Gowron's delegations. To stall for time, K'Ehleyr suggests that Picard invoke the Ja'chuq, a lengthy listing of a candidate's battles and victories. When K'Ehleyr agrees to become Worf's mate, only to learn that he does not wish for her and her child to suffer his discommendation, she begins to investigate what happened the last time the Enterprise visited the Klingon homeworld. She is also offered a bribe by Gowron to help curry favor with Picard, but Worf remains adamant that no matter Gowron's flaws, the traitorous Duras must not lead the Empire. LaForge and Data discover that the bomb used a Romulan detonator, which makes Worf even more suspicious of Duras because of the deal his father secretly made with the Romulans at Khitomer. Once K'Ehleyr uncovers the conspiracy that led to Worf's discommendation, she confronts Duras and tells him her suspicions about his current deception. When Worf finds her bruised and bleeding, she tells him that Duras was her attacker before dying. Worf transports to Duras's ship and demands the right of vengeance, killing Duras even though Duras could clear Worf's father's name of crimes at Khitomer. When Worf returns to the Enterprise, he acknowledges Alexander as his son but tells the boy that he will be happier raised by Worf's adoptive human parents, the Rozhenkos. Picard sympathizes with Worf's continuing desire to clear his family's name but gives him a reprimand for leaving the ship to kill Duras against Starfleet regulations.
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