Hypothetical precedent for Klingons to join UFP by 26th Century?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Sumghai, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. Sumghai

    Sumghai Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jul 17, 2012
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    As part of some fanon I'm working on, I'm examining the hypothetical scenario of the Klingon Empire becoming part of the Federation by the mid 25th to 26th Centuries.

    I'm familiar with some similar threads on these forums, although I felt that my specific query would be better answered in its own thread.

    Established points

    • It has been noted by various Trek fans and canon that as a warrior race, contemporary Klingon attitudes and politics are incompatible with that of the Federation (e.g. glory in battle, subjugating servitor species like Kriosians, distinct caste system)

    • In ENT: "Judgment", Archer's Klingon advocate Kolos spoke of how Klingon society was once based on "honor [that] was earned through integrity and acts of true courage, not senseless bloodshed". Kolos also spoke of his parents, a father who was a teacher and a mother who was a biologist, who were from a generation that encouraged him to pursue law, whereas by the time of "Judgement" the warrior class had become dominant.

    • ENT: "Azati Prime" depicts a possible future timeline where in the 26th Century, Klingons and Xindi were members of the Federation fighting against the Sphere Builders in the Battle of Procryon V.

    • Andorian are technically a warrior race themselves, although they also had various other cultural features that made them founding members of the Federation.

    • TNG's season one had some off-handed dialogue regarding Klingons as part of the Federation, although this was quickly retconned into having Klingons as merely close allies.
    Since I'd rather this thread not devolve into a debate as to whether Enterprise was a poor series / whether the Federation still exists by xth Century,I am going to assume that, for the purposes of my fanon, the first four points stand.

    In which case, the big question is:

    What events (or series) of events could lead to a fundamental shift in the Klingon Empire that would set them on the path to eventual Federation membership by the mid-25th to 26th Centuries?

    My current working idea is essentially a Klingon version of the Vulcan Reformation / Syrranite / Kir'Shara, in which contemporary Klingon warrior culture is in reality a warped interpretation of Kahless's (or a predecessor's) original teachings about integrity and courage.

    Possible subideas include:
    • At the start, a brief state of war in 2409/2410 between the Federation and Klingons following allegations that a certain Klingon Ambassador was involved in nefarious schemes to topple the Federation (an allusion to B'vat from Star Trek Online) as well as the Klingon's outrage at the Federation refusing to help them fight Undine infiltration (again, from STO)

    • The crew of a Klingon battlecruiser discovering a colony of Klingons who chose to live by the ancient ideals.

    • The discovery of an artifact that contains the "true" teachings of Kahless by a group of Klingons alongside their Starfleet acquaintances

    • Members of the Klingon High Council attempting to suppress said discoveries to preserve the status quo.

    • Worf getting involved in some capacity, given his own interpretation of what it means to be a "true" Klingon - possibly involving the death of then-Chancellor Martok and Worf's own rise to the leadership of the Klingon people.

    • As a result of the discovery being validated, Klingon-Fed tensions ease somewhat from the brief period of war over B'vat and the Undine to a renewed detente.

    • Decades into the future where relations have greatly improved, the Empire beginning to emancipate its subject worlds and eventually culminating towards Worf's successor attending the signing ceremony for Klingon admittance to the Federation.

    As this is hardly refined, thoughts and ideas would be much appreciated.
  2. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 20, 2009
    In The Troubble with Tribbles, there was this:

    ... one side or the other must prove it can develop the planet most efficiently.
    Kirk ... And unfortunately, though the Klingons are brutal and aggressive, they are most efficient.

    It's hard to see warriors "developing a planet," so other aspect of the Klingon culture do exist, along side the warriors.

    In the Houses of Quark, it's revealed that the various Klingon aristocratic houses have complex property, financial and trade dealings with each other. Again, not simply warriors.


    Given the strength and (presumed) size of the Klingon Empire, would it really be the Empire joining the Federation? Or would you see instead more of a merging of the two into a whole? Why would the Empire with hundreds of star systems become a member of the Federation council where they are on equal footing with species/races than have only a single planet?

    The Federation might be more inclined to merge with the Empire if the Federation itself were in some kind of desperate straits, and were ready to "lower their standards."

  3. t_smitts

    t_smitts Captain Captain

    Jun 11, 2005
    Although the idea of some "lost" teachings of Kahless being rediscovered is intruiging, it's a bit too close to "Kir'Shara". Nothing against those episodes. I actually really liked them, but been there, done that.

    Setting aside whether one considers ST:O canon or not, I could see a greater emphasis on honor under Martok. Given his own humble background, I could also see him less concern with maintaining aristocratic traditions and being more open to appointing those from a "common" standing to important positions (assuming a chancellor has the authority to do that).

    If the Empire is prosperous under his rule, it might make it easier for more progressive Klingons to gain support.
  4. -Brett-

    -Brett- Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 22, 2001
    Is there any criteria for what exactly defines a "warrior race"? Because even the supposedly "evolved" humans of the Star Trek universe seem to have this tendancy to wage wars pretty regularly.
  5. Mars

    Mars Commander Red Shirt

    Aug 21, 2012
    I think Klingons should be reserved as Star Trek's Orcs, if you civilize them too much there is no point to the race. Any good Star Trek show needs a race of bad guys, just as Tolkein needs his Orcs, Star Trek needs its Klingons.
  6. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 28, 2009
    The glorious Shetland Isles!
    I'm not sure why the Klingon Empire would join the UFP. They have their own system, rules and codes of conduct, many of which just don't fit in with Federation principles. They have a massive expanse of space with is older that the Federation, and their alliance to the UFP has proven to be both mutually beneficial (SEE: Dominion War 2373-2375) as well as being a hindrance to their warrior mentality (SEE: Federation-Klingon War 2372-2373).

    I think there would be a few more Klingons sign up for Starfleet, a continuation of the alliance with many partnership operations, but I would think the two would remain separate entities.

    But that's just me.
  7. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

    Jul 23, 2001
    Honestly, when I heard they became memebers of the Federation in Azati Prime, I just assumed the Klingons suffered a serious enough defeat and the KDF was in shambles. So they sought Federation membership to guarantee that Starfleet would defend them.
  8. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    May 10, 2005
    The visitor's bullpen
    The Klingons are the Federation's best allies but I don't see them ever actually joining.
  9. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    Klingons themselves probably couldn't see it ever happening, either - but they might one day find that their alliance with the Federation (and possibly with other local star empires) against some major external threat has grown so close that they have ended up being de facto and perhaps even de jure UFP members! I doubt Vulcans and Andorians believed they would end up losing their independence when entering the ENT alliance, either...

    Back in the 22nd century, the UFP was built out of small blocks, such as the fledging "Empire of Earth". In the 24th or 25th century, the building blocks might simply have become larger, the size of the Klingon and Romulan Empires.

    Timo Saloniemi
  10. E-DUB

    E-DUB Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 28, 2011
    Well, Let's look at actual Earth history as a guide. The Klingons, when Trek was started, were supposed to represent the Commies, the Reds, you know, the "evil empire". As times changed on Earth, so did the relationship in Trek. Praxis was Chernobyl, Gorkon was Gorbachev. (And I can't believe I never realized it till just now despite the same 3 first letters.)

    So the likliest scenario that I see is that some Klingon planets will break away and perhaps join the Federation individually, just as some former Warsaw pact members are now in Nato. You might even get some "erosion" at the core, but I doubt that the empire proper would ever join or merge with the Federation absent some common and ongoing threat that would force a generations-long cooperation between them.
  11. neozeks

    neozeks Captain Captain

    May 30, 2009
    Well, most of those star systems are probably conquered worlds. If the Federation was ever to let them in, the Klingons would have to relinquish all those worlds and then it would be just Qo'noS and the Klingon-populated colonies joining the Federation.
  12. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    May 10, 2005
    The visitor's bullpen
    ^ Unless by that time, the 'conquered' systems have evolved their own forms of government and no longer consider themselves conquered.
  13. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 20, 2009
    I always saw them as more the Mongol Horde. Started small, just kept growing and spreading, until they came up against the Europeans (the Federation) and they couldn't expand that way, so they continued to conqueror in other directions.

    While they never came right out and said it, I would agree.

    It would depend on how badly the Federation needed to incorporate with the Empire. If it's the Empire that needed the Federation, then the conquests get released. If the Federation were the one needing the Empire, then the Klingons keep the conquests, and represents them on the Council.

    Or if the conquests were far enough in the past, the conquered worlds might self-identify as being Klingons themselves, maybe second or third class citizens, but still Klingons.

    The English invaded and conquered the Welch, now they're both "The UK."

  14. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 15, 2012
    This is even assuming the Federation exists in the 26th century. A lot can happen in 200 years and it's frankly arrogant to assume that a given power will still be dominant for that entire time span.
  15. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Mar 8, 2001
    Great Britain
    FYI: That would be Welsh.
  16. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Mar 8, 2001
    Great Britain
    I'd point out a 29th Century ship like the Wells Class U.S.S. Relativity. Which was clearly Starfleet, which would tend to indicate the Federation is still around.
  17. NrobbieC

    NrobbieC Commander Red Shirt

    Aug 30, 2012
    Burton, UK
    You could take a less literal view of what Daniels said. In DS9 we saw the Federation Alliance, which the Klingons were a member of, what if by the 26th century that arrangement became more formal. Say, both sides are members of one unified power but retain their separate laws and airspace, or something.
  18. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 20, 2009
    I always figure that was the way it was for all Federation members.

  19. Jimi_James

    Jimi_James Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jun 9, 2007
    Gettin' Lucky in Kentucky
    It might not be impossible, but it's a long ways off, perhaps even by 26th century standards. Klingon space is vast, likely nearly as vast as the Federation and there is no reason to assume that it's any less populated. Of all those races that originated in what is now Klingon controlled space, how many of them were asked to join the Empire and how many were conquered, pillaged, and subjugated in order to serve the Empire.

    It's likely most of them were conquered because let's face it...the Klingons weren't out there spreading peace and prosperity.

    So while it's one thing to be allies with the Klingons in order to resolve the centuries of conflict between the Empire and the Federation and stand with them in a fight because they represent a prominent political and military power in the galaxy, it's quite another to acknowledge them as equals within the Federation by extending full membership. Not without first bringing about some representation and restitution to those worlds that have been conquered. Though realistically, by even 24th century standards, they've likely been in the system for so long that many wouldn't know how to operate on their own. And depending on the situation, the Empire might not be willing to even give them up.

    The Klingons are like Hannibal Lector. You might use him to help solve a case, but you're never going to invite him into your home for dinner, because you'll be dinner. Likewise, the Klingons might stand beside you in a fight because it's the right thing to do or worth the greater good, but you don't want to really be thier friends or want them dating your daughter because their blood thirsty killers who despite all their talk about honor will stab you in the back if it suits their purpose.
    This is an empire built on the backs of other worlds after all.

    That being said, one way to do it, might be to do something along the lines of what state Cardassia is in post Dominion war. Cardassia is in the perfect position to become a federation member in the near future due to the complete devastation of their homeworld. They will be relying on the Federation and other neighboring worlds for decades to come. Through this joint cooperation, the Federation will be in a position to build Cardassia up as a close ally with the potential of becoming a full member, though it will no doubt take quite some time.

    So if like the Cardassians, the Klingons suffered a defeat that so irrevocably destabilized their government and military that pretty much anyone who walked into the capital and claimed the job could be appointed leader, then the Federation might step in to help rebuild and in doing so, begin to build the bridges and ties needed to bring them into the fold.

    It's hard to imagine though, the Klingons suffering such a defeat without the Federation either being involved as an ally and being equally damaged or being an opponent. And if its the latter, than any help the Federation might give, could be seen as an attempt to take over.
  20. Sumghai

    Sumghai Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jul 17, 2012
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Most interesting points.

    I definitely agree that a direct Kir'Shana analogue with "the true teachings of Kahless" would be too overt, so I'm binning that aspect of the story.

    I also concede that either party would need to be in dire straights in order for an alliance to proceed to a merger.

    Excellent point about Martok's heritage and emphasis on honor, t_smitts. I think that's something could incorporate, too.

    So here's a brief draft of my fanon, borrowing and rearranging snippets from the Star Trek Online storyline:

    • Through manipulation by Iconians, the Undine (Species 8472) believe that an invasion from non-fluidic space factions into their realm is imminent, and begin infiltrating major Alpha and Beta Quadrant powers as a pretext for a possible counter-invasion.

    • The Undine successfully take over key positions in the Gorn Hegemony, and nearly does so with the Klingon Empire. Minor skirmishes between the Gorns and Klingons follow as a consequence of Undine manipulation.

    • 2403 - Fed/Klingon relations are briefly strengthened following an successful but costly joint operation with a handful of Cardassian Defense Force volunteer vessels to defeat a Borg fleet in the Aldeberaan Sector.

    • After the High Council is convinced of the Undine threat, the Klingons begins a full-scale invasion into Gorn space, which eventually ends in a stalemate. The Federation condemns the conflict, and Fed/Klingon relations sour slightly.

    • 2409 - the main Starfleet cast of my fanon sets of on their first adventures (yay!)

    • Federation-mediated peace talks between the Gorn and the Klingons are threated by a rogue Klingon faction, the latter of which seeking to restore the Empire "to its former glory" with the desire to conquer Gorn space and reclaim the Archanis System (the latter still in Fed hands at this point in time).

    • Our intrepid crew discovers that revered Klingon Ambassador B'vat plays a major role in this conspiracy, combating him in a series of confrontations and eventually defeating him after a detour via the Guardian of Forever to the TOS era.

    • Fed/Klingon relations sour. The High Council is divided over the death of B'vat - figurehead Emperor Kahless II (the clone) and Martok's Gin'tak Worf condemn B'vat's deeds, in contrast to the majority angered by Starfleet's actions. The Empire ejects all Federation Ambassadors save for Worf.

    • Further poking around by Undine agents within the Federation lead the Klingons to believe that the Undine have also taken over the UFP, resulting in skirmishes that are barely reined in by the leadership from both sides.

    • Meanwhile, the cast is away meddling in the Reman affairs of the Romulan Empire, which is otherwise on reasonably good terms with the Federation following the overthrow of the mad Praetor Shinzon and the averting of the destruction of Romulus from the Hobus Supernova by Ambassador Spock and former-miner-turned-Senator Nero.

    • An Undine agent manipulates a Romulan subfaction into plotting to assassinate Chancellor Martok's grandson M'ven, in the hopes of igniting a war between the Klingons and Romulans.

      Whilst following on leads pertaining the possible Undine threat, the Starfleet cast crosses paths with their Klingon counterparts (they already know each other from numerous past encounters).

      The motley Klingon crew, seeking to regain their honor from a past incident, manages to warn M'ven about the assassin with the help of two of the Starfleet cast, and saves his life, although he is seriously wounded and thus cannot participate in a Bat'leth tournament as planned.

      One of the Starfleet officers then takes a great risk by representing M'ven and the House of Martok at the tournament, as the other Klingons in their party are also in no fighting shape. With some sage advice from Worf, said officer wins First Place.

      In light of the honorable deed shown by both the Klingon and Starfleet cast, Chancellor Martok restores the former's honor and concedes to a temporary cease-fire between the Feds and Klingons until they can sort the details out.

    • In the meantime, the Bajoran prophets in the Wormhole aren't too happy about the Alpha and Beta Quadrant powers poking at each other. With their justification "A hand that remains closed ceases to be a hand," they promptly redeposit the missing Dominion ships they took away during DS9: "Sacrifice of Angels" back outside Deep Space Nine, where the Federation and Klingons were just having their negotiations.

      These time-displaced Dominion ships promptly capture DS9 and cause Starfleet and the KDF to retreat to Bajor. The station is finally retaken by a joint task force including Vice Admiral Sisko on the USS Defiant, the fanon's primary cast, their Klingon counterparts and the new Enterprise-F.

    • (Minor plot detour whilst the main Starfleet cast explores fluidic space and confronts the Undine)

    • Towards the end of Martok's reign, there has been a small but significant shift away from aristocracy towards appointing "commoner" Klingons to positions of authority based on honor and integrity (the idealised Klingon that Worf himself once dreamed of becoming). Klingons continue to maintain their own cultural identity but are already more receptive to closer collaboration with the UFP.

    • Tholians invade and occupy Nukara Prime on the Fed/Klingon border. Federation and Klingons jointly fight the Tholians.

    • (Skip a number of decades, well after the end of the fanon)

    • The Klingons, Federation and Romulans would eventually independently discover the pecking order of manipulation, so to speak:

      Sphere Builders -> Iconians -> Tholians and Undine

      where the Sphere builder's aim is to cause disharmony in both normal and fluidic space as a pretext for invasion.

    • The three factions would engage the Sphere Builders separately, with the Klingons and Romulans suffering the heaviest losses of territory and military power.

    • These two factions would then enter into an alliance with the similarly-battered Federation, and through the century-long conflict with their common enemy, the Klingons and Romulans merge with the UFP out of necessity.

    • The union turns the tide of the war, with the final UFP victory at the Battle of Procryon V in the 26th Century, forcing the Sphere Builders to retreat and decide to try their luck in the 22nd Century with the Temporal Cold War.

    • (Skip a few centuries)

    • In the 29th Century, two Federation operatives - a Vulcan and a Klingon from the Korath-class timeship USS Rozhenko - are sent on a series of missions to ensure that the Klingons do join the Federation.