It was a great day for his people, a first strike at the stars themselves. And they desperately needed room to expand.
“We need breathing room,” one of his comrades had told the High Chancellor and the other members of the council.
As Commander K’mot looked out from the observation deck of the orbital facility, he could not help but think of that comrade. He had fallen during a feud war, unable to claim the honor of seeing his life’s work accomplished. K’mot swore a blood oath to see that work completed, but still felt it should be his comrade standing here watching as they put the finishing touches on the Imperial Sword.
“You look uneasy commander,” came a voice, one of age and respect. “Is something troubling you?”
“Emperor!” he bowed his head as he turned to the older man. “It is good to see you well.”
“Rumors of my aged health have been greatly exaggerated,” he stated in an as-matter-of-fact sort of way. “Doctors… always trying to prolong our lives so that we might fight one more glorious battle. No, I am forced to say that there will be no more battles for me, but I am honored to see you follow in the steps of lIjHomta'.”
“You give me too much honor my emperor, I am but a simple warrior of the empire.”
“Do not look a gift targ in the mouth K’mot,” he said calmly. “Or it may bite your face off. lIjHomta' left us many generations ago, pointing to a single star and telling our forefathers that he could be found there. Now you go to the stars.”
“It is only a test flight, a minor event.”
“Cannot a drop of water shape the very mountains; this is but the first of many, I should think.”
“Well, I had better go before the Doctor comes after me,” the Emperor said, then lowering his voice. “If they ask, you didn’t see me, understand?”
“Of course Emperor.”
“And get some sleep; a warrior should be rested on the eve of battle.”
The next day, as the sun rose over the First City down below, K’mot set in the control chair of the Imperial Sword. The craft was little more than a three man scout, armed with projectile explosive warheads and not much else. They didn’t expect to encounter a need for them, but it didn’t hurt to be prepared.
“Control, this is the IKS Imperial Sword,” K’mot said into the communication system. “We’re leaving.”
“Qapla’ Imperial Sword,” came the reply as K’mot activated the drive systems and moved the ship away from the dock on thrusters before shunting power into the main drive.
The ship operated smoothly as they reached minimum safe distance when K’mot spoke again.
“Activate the pIvghor,” he ordered, silently admitting to himself a certain level of excitement.
The test flight went off without a problem, a two day flight to the edge of the tlhIngan system, then a return trip at half power. He knew the Emperor would likely be there to greet him personally, as well as the High Chancellor. And that the majority of the Klingon people would also be waiting for the results of their flight, and that many barrels of blood wine would be opened that night.
“Now that we have reached the stars,” the Emperor said in a speech to welcome the ship back. “Our people will go out and conquer new worlds. It is the beginning of a new age of glory.”
It had been several weeks since that first flight, and K’mot’s blood boiled to return as he sat in his home studying the workings of the ship. There had to be a way to make the new drive work better, to shorten the travel time between stars. As it stood, it would take years to reach the nearest star.
He was so focused on his task that he almost didn’t notice the communication panel signal an incoming message.
“Yes?” he said as he activated the unit.
“You are needed at the Imperial Palace,” barked a member of the Imperial Guard.
“Very well, I shall go shortly.”
Before he could say another word, the screen went dark. K’mot quickly changed into proper attire for a visitor of the Imperial Palace, and called for his servants to make his personal craft ready.
The Palace was an imposing sight, even after the many times K’mot had been there. It was built to strike fear into the hearts of any potential invader during a time when the Klingon people were fractioned, before the death of Molor. Not much had changed in architecture since then, but K’mot briefly wondered if that would change with this new technology.
“What is it?” he demanded of the guard who met him at the main hall.
“We’ve detected something at the extreme edge of our sensor range, moving towards us at fantastic speed,” the guard answered.
“Any idea what it is?”
“The Emperor will explain the rest.”
“Commander K’mot,” the Emperor greeted. “How good of you to join us.”
“I live to serve the Empire,” he replied. “May I ask what is going on Emperor.”
“If I’m not mistaken, we’ve received a signal from someone not of this world.”
The Emperor gestured to one of the people working in the room, a sort of control center that had been remodeled for the spaceflight experiments. The speakers crackled to life, static at first, but then relaying a distinct sound.
“We aren’t sure what it is,” he explained. “It seems to be a language, but not one we are able to translate.”
“What does this have to do with me?”
“We also received this,” he stated, handing K’mot a data device.
“Landing coordinates?” K’mot asked as he looked at the information. “I still don’t understand.”
“It’s simple. Since you were the one in charge of the first mission, I think the only honorable thing to do is have you there when we meet them.”
The alien vessel reached the planet in far less time than it took the Imperial Sword to reach the outer fringes of the solar system. Whoever the visitors were, they were obviously more advanced then the Empire. The alien vessel entered orbit, releasing a smaller vessel to enter the atmosphere which K’mot assumed to be a dedicated landing vessel. Their scans revealed that the power output was far greater than they were able to achieve themselves, proving that faster speeds were possible. He wondered what else they might learn from these visitors.
The craft landed gently, lowering a ramp before the doors to the craft opened. What stepped out, however, was not what K’mot had expected.
“They are bugs?” he heard one of the others ask.
The alien approached them, holding a small cube in it’s (Would it be a hand? K’mot wondered.) K’mot stepped forward, standing as tall as he could to face a creature twice his height.
“I am Commander K’mot of the Imperial Defense Force,” he stated. “To whom do I have the honor of speaking?”
The box made several clicking and hissing noises, which the aliens seemed to understand as they responded in the same manner. After a moment the box took those noises and seemed to translate them with far more efficiency then anything the Empire could accomplish.
“We… see flight. We… help.”
“Help? In what way?”
The creature revealed another piece of technology. ‘Perhaps a gift to the Empire?’ K’mot pondered.
The creature pointed the device at K’mot, and a moment later K’mot was on his knees with pain moving through his entire body. ‘It’s a weapon,’ K’mot realized. ‘The beast shot me, and I didn’t even see it.’
K’mot looked up at the creature as it spoke again.
“We… are Hur’q. We… help ourselves.”
(Authors Note: I took some liberty here. Most people seem to believe the Klingons were conquered by the H'urq prior to attaining spaceflight capabilities. However, I never saw a reason why they would do so. I think, as shown here, the first flight of the Empire is what drew the H'urq to them.)