Have you ever wondered what the Klingons thought about all those tribbles that Scotty beamed into the Klingon ship’s engineering section in the Trouble with Tribbles episode of the original series? How about why later Klingons all have forehead ridges later, but not in the original series? In his first Star Trek novel, author Dayton Ward explores the answers to these questions and explains many other aspects of Klingon culture, especially the concept of honor.
Dayton’s story is set between the events of the original series movies, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. The story opens with an incident in which the USS Gagarin, a Federation starship is brutally attacked by a Klingon ship several years prior to the events in the novel. Prisoners are taken and sent to mine dilithium on the planet Pao’la, apparently one of many mining colonies where slave-labor obtains resources needed for the empire.
Flash forward. While delicate peace negotiations between the Federation and The Klingon Empire, it is discovered by the then Councilor Gorkon of the Klingon High Council the existence of the Pao’la mining colony and that there are Starfleet personnel being held there. In fear that the discovery of the incarceration of members of the Federation might derail the negotiations and actually lead to an all-out war, Gorkon dispatches Koloth to bring information to Captain Kirk of the prisoners, as well as to aid him in their rescue. Koloth is reluctant to follow his orders because as you might recall, he was the commander of the incident in Trouble with Tribbles. However, as an honorable Klingon, Koloth follows his orders. Kirk, also reluctant to work with Koloth, leaves the Enterprise in the hands of Spock, who is charged with watching over the peace negotiations.
The Empire has split into two factions, those who do follow the teachings of Kahless, and those who do not. Those who do not are determined to disrupt the peace overtures, and the Enterprise crew has to investigate and stop incidents that would end any possibility of peace. Kirk and Koloth gain a mutual respect for one another while they face their own trials to rescue the prisoners on Pao’la.
I have always been fascinated with Klingon lore and culture and I found this story very satisfying. So, the answers to the questions at the opening of this post; well Trekkies/Trekkers who are familiar with original series can only imagine what the reaction of the Klingons would be with thousands of tribbles screaming away on their ship. Dayton explores the why, but not the how of why later Klingon’s sport their forehead ridges. Read the book, it’s worth the time. This one is a real page-turner; the action is non-stop with numerous references to episodes from the original series and the films. There is no downside to In The Name Of Honor.
Well, there it is…