Star Trek: Klingon Academy is a starship combat simulator game developed in 2000 by 14 Degrees East, an internal development house of Interplay Entertainment. It is set two years before the feature film Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and acts as a prequel of sorts to that film. The player assumes the role of Torlek, a cadet at the Klingon Defense Forces Elite Command Academy, and later a captain in the Klingon fleet, following the orders and instructions of General Chang (portrayed by Christopher Plummer, reprising his role from the film).
== General Chang ==
[opening address to his students] I officially welcome you to the Klingon Defense Forces Elite Command Academy. You have surpassed your peers to earn a place within this distinguished hall... but I tell you, this is not enough. In the days to come, you will be tested beyond your current limitations. Most of you will fail... and failure will mean your immediate dismissal from this institution. Past achievements mean nothing here. I am not interested in the names of your fathers, nor of your family's lineage. What I am interested in... is your breaking point! How will you conduct yourselves in battle? How far will you go to preserve your honor, and fulfill your duty? These are simple questions that will decide the fate of our Empire.One day, there will be a war with our true enemy, the Federation. There are those who disagree, but it will happen. Before that day arrives, your role within this great conflict must be determined. This Academy was conceived to create the very finest warship commanders in the galaxy! Those few of you who succeed will be granted immediate command of a warship. Those who do not, there will be no disgrace. Whatever becomes of you, either at this Academy or beyond, never forget you are all Klingon warriors. Klingon warriors. I have placed the challenge before you. I must conclude this address, and begin the trials.[lecture before the first simulated starship mission] What a fine collection of warriors... so eager for battle. Are you prepared to destroy your enemies? [the cadets cheer and shout in the affirmative] Really... today, you will fire the first shots in a campaign that will lead to the destruction of the Federation. This campaign is not real... but I assure you, it will be worse than real. If you can defeat them in my simulated trials, you will be able to defeat them anywhere, at any time. I believe you know when an enemy intends you harm... but are you truly prepared? Have you meticulously observed your enemy? Have you discerned his weaknesses, appraised his strength, discovered his greatest hopes and fears? To know your enemy is to defeat him before you have faced him. Do not wait until you meet him in the coldness of space, for space is the harshest instructor.
You have all known, since childhood, the symbol of our Empire. It has been called many names throughout the ages. One of the least understood is the "Heart of Virtue", or tiQ ghob, in the ancient tongue. The Heart of Virtue originated from an archaic weapon favored by Kahless, the Unforgettable. It is said he chose this as the symbol of his House and later the Empire because of the weapon's unequaled balance, yet this is inaccurate. Kahless chose it because each of the three blades represents those virtues that are the very foundation of every true warrior: Honor, Loyalty, and Duty, each in perfect balance. Of these three, Duty is the first virtue. It is the beginning and the end of the warrior's path. Without Duty, a warrior becomes the slave of vain glory and reckless self-interest. No true warrior could ever tolerate these vices, neither in his comrades... nor in himself.
So this is the answer: Polish the blade of Duty, sharpen its edge, until there is nothing it cannot pierce. But do not be lulled into believing this is enough. The longest blade of the Heart of Virtue belongs to Honor. It is the most difficult to master. It has been said, "Mine honor is my life; for that I will live, and for that I will die." What is honor? Honor is the absolute and unselfish adherence to all virtues - to truth, to courage, to forthrightness. It encompasses all these, and yet it is greater. It is the fire illuminating the difference between an armed savage and a true warrior. It is the light that will guide you along the warrior's path.
[to a much diminished assembly, with the "failures" dismissed] Look around this great hall. What do you see? Most of your peers are gone, yet you remain. That is as it should be. The weak must fall to give place to the strong. Do not allow yourselves to grow careless; security is mortals' chiefest enemy. All warriors travel the same River of Blood. If one is disgraced, we are all disgraced; if one finds his death in glory, we all share in that glory. No true warrior would allow another to suffer an unjust disgrace, nor would begrudge him the fruits of a well-earned victory. Know this, and your mastery of the Heart of Virtue will be all but complete. Ignore it, and you will ultimately fail yourselves as you fail your comrades. That is why the final blade of the Heart of Virtue signifies Loyalty, because we are all united by our common journey.
[final lecture] This will be my last address. It marks the end of the Academy's term, and your graduating mission. Whether you fail or succeed in this last trial, I again urge you to remember: You are all Klingons. You carry a legacy in your blood that lends strength to your deeds and strikes terror in the hearts of your enemies. The hope of every Klingon is to die in the service of the Empire. There is no dishonor in dying before a superior foe, if your heart is pure, your actions forthright! What you have been taught will serve you throughout your battles to come, until one day, you earn an honorable and glorious death.Today, we strike at the heart of our enemy. With the success of the Roptargh Assault Fleet at the Federation shipyards, all the pieces are in place. While Starfleet's counter-offensive approaches our fictitious supply lines, we are positioned for a massive coordinated attack against the Sol system itself. My personal assault fleet will engage Earth's home guard and pin them down; the Qo'noS Planetary Assault Fleet will focus upon all bases in system. Individual strike groups will destroy the shipyards on Mars, research facilities near the Jovian moons, and any other targets of opportunity. It is vitally important that you pin down all of Earth's defenders. It has been a long road that has carried us to Earth's doorstep. We will now show our goodwill by returning to the humans one of their greatest scientific achievements.Cry woe, destruction, ruin, and decay. The worst is death... and death will have his day.
== Dialogue ==
[Opening cinematic - the Qo'noS system, home system of the Klingon Empire, two and a half years before the Camp Khitomer peace accords. A voD'leH heavy battlecruiser destroys a K't'inga and wheels around, as two Klingon fleets are engaged in battle with one another.]
Tactical Officer: General, positive identification of the traitor's cruiser. Linking to your tactical display.
[On the bridge, General Chang observes a visual ID of the enemy command ship, another voD'leH heavy battlecruiser.]
Chang: Follow my intercept course. Take us around the fiercest fighting, and deliver us near his flank.
[Chang's ship approaches the enemy ship, as battle rages around them.]
Tactical Officer: Target shows no sign of evasion. General, forward weapons locked and ready.
[Chang's ship fires a torpedo, damaging the other vessel, which begins to drift.]
Tactical Officer: Their shield is down. Forward disruptors, recharged and locked.
Chang: Hold fire. Lower shields.
Tactical Officer: General, they are beaten. I request the honor of delivering the final death stroke.
Chang: Maintain your position aft of their rear shield array until you hear from me directly. [stands] I will now bring an end to this... charade. [unsheathes a dk'tahg dagger] Chief engineer, transport me to the traitor's bridge.
[The scene shifts to the bridge of the other ship]
Kalnor: I care nothing for the damage to the engines! I want Chang! [as he speaks, Chang beams aboard] Shake him off and bring us about, or your head will adorn my -- [he pauses, turning in his chair to face Chang]
Chang: Kalnor, son of G'Iogh, I challenge you under the ancient rites of blood peace. Your officers will bear witness.
Kalnor: Chang. This is not one of your lectures at the Academy; this is a warship of the House of G'Iogh. Your life became my property the moment you beamed aboard. There will be no duel.
Chang: Our ancestors settled their differences in this fashion. The rite of blood peace may have fallen out of favor in this decadent age, but it is no less binding today... or will you flaunt your cowardice in the very presence of your men?
Kalnor: [stands] You are a fool, Chang! Chancellor Lorak will fall. His illness weakens him by the hour; already, he is unfit to lead the High Council. Withdraw this challenge, join me, and I will ensure a proper place for you in my new government.
Chang: You cannot avoid my challenge, Kalnor. If it is Lorak's fate to be deposed, so be it. I will ensure his successor will be a man of honor... not a cowardly son of G'Iogh!
[Kalnor lunges at Chang, who neatly avoids him as he thrashes around in rage. Seeing a communicator on his command chair, Kalnor tosses it in Chang's face to distract him and slashes him with his knife, destroying his left eye, and wrestling him against a bulkhead.]
Kalnor: Where are your famous words of Shakespeare now, Chang?
[Kalnor and Chang continue to grapple, as the latter becomes pinned against the back of the captain's chair]
Kalnor: Had you accepted my offer, you would have lived to fight your true enemy! Now you're just a glob fly on the road to my ascension!
[The two men wrestle down to the ground, before the killing blow is finally struck. His enemy dead, Chang - blood running down his face from his wound - stands over his opponent.]
Chang: Poor player... life's but a walking shadow. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying... nothing.[Torlek, the player character, is summoned to an urgent meeting...]
Torlek: Academy instruction has been suspended for several days in observance of the Kot'baval festival. I finally have time to see my father... and yet the General summons me in the middle of the celebration. Why the urgency... and the secrecy?
[Torlek approaches General Chang's desk.]
Chang: Torlek. I have summoned you for a very special purpose. Before I continue, I must have your full support and pledge of silence.
Torlek: You have it completely, General.
Chang: Good. I am certain you are familiar with the recent attempt to overthrow Chancellor Lorak, and the rumors of the Chancellor's weakening health.
Torlek: Yes, General. I doubt there is any corner of the Empire where word of this has not spread.
Chang: I can now confirm these rumors are true. I thought the threat posed by the House of G'Iogh had ended, but I was wrong. Kalnor left behind a half-brother named Melkor. My sources inform me this Melkor is building support for a second attempt to overthrow Lorak's regime. I have a time and place for a meeting between Melkor and the heads of four other Houses. You see why I have summoned you?
Torlek: Yes, sir, I believe I do.
Chang: I have acquired an experimental Bird-of-Prey that carries an extremely sensitive passive sensor array. It will allow you to eavesdrop on Melkor's meeting. Take command of this vessel, warp while cloaked to the Krios system, and locate Melkor's flagship. You must manuever within fifty meters of his bridge and come to a full stop. At that range, you will be able to engage the sensor array and monitor the meeting. Before you depart, have you any questions regarding this mission?
Torlek: [player chosen response] I am greatly honored to be chosen for this special assignment, General. Yet, why have you chosen me, a student, and not one of your seasoned commanders?
Chang: My associates and I are being watched closely by allies of the House of G'Iogh. We cannot conduct this operation without attracting notice, and... I am forced to turn to someone not directly linked to me. After examining your records, I have concluded you are the only one I can reasonably trust to succeed. I regret sending one of my students in what should be my place, but the situation demands it. The Empire will be ruined if the House of G'Iogh fulfills their honorless ambitions. What I ask of you has nothing to do with your studies here, yet it is vital to the future of our Empire. I wish you good fortune, Torlek, son of Ro'vagh. Qapla'![A secret meeting between Melkor, Kalnor's half-brother, and the heads of four other Klingon Houses...]
Brigadier Toq: I have sworn to you. I and my House stand ready to support your claim. But we must know the exact nature of your plans before we declare ourselves publicly.
Melkor: I do not want you to declare yourselves publicly. At the proper time, I will reveal everything. Until then, you will wait... patiently.
Brigadier Toq: Wait?! Lorak is at his weakest now! The time to strike is now!
Melkor: I will ascend and take my rightful place as leader of the Klingon people. It is my destiny. But it will happen in a fashion of my own choosing. You may follow me and share in the glory to come, or not. The choice is yours. But if you will follow, you will obey. [Toq looks hesitant] DECIDE! If you fear the risks, I will waste no more words and count you amongst my enemies. [Toq finally nods] Good. Now leave. You may beam directly out of these chambers. I will contact each of you in the weeks to come.[Torlek completes his trials and graduates from the Academy.]
Torlek: What a truly glorious day this is. This marks the fulfillment of my most cherished dream. I have delivered great honor to my family name, and I have justified my father's faith in me.
[Torlek approaches General Chang, standing before a brazier with a hot brand in the flame.]
Torlek: From this day forth, I will proudly bear the mark of this school, and its teachings.
[Chang tears open Torlek's sleeve, and brands the Academy insignia into his arm.]
Torlek: After the ceremony, the other students received their assigned commands. At first, there seemed to be a mistake, for mine was withheld. Then I received private word from the General, instructing me to meet him in the graduation hall that evening.
Chang: Torlek. It is good that you came.
Torlek: General... I am puzzled by these circumstances.
Chang: You mean the late hour of this meeting, and the fact that you have not received your assigned command. You will understand, once our guest arrives. [a door opens, and someone enters] Wait... here he is now.
[The figure is revealed to be Gorkon, Chancellor Lorak's chief of staff and chosen successor.]
Gorkon: Chang. [glances at Torlek] I requested we meet in private.
Chang: Torlek has been instrumental in our efforts to thwart Melkor. He has proven himself worthy.
Gorkon: Very well, then. I'm here to inform you Chancellor Lorak died not three hours past.
Chang: [worried] And Melkor?
Gorkon: This... whelp is not seeking the Chancellorship as we had presumed. He publicly declared himself Emperor of the Klingon people no more than an hour ago.
Chang: This is preposterous! There's not been a functioning Emperor since the time of Krogh the Weak! The fool's brother had more sense!
Gorkon: Not so. This is a very unusual yet calculated move. Melkor is leveraging his family's influence with outrageous promises of glory. It is certain I will be named Lorak's successor; I will need you to gather your fleet.
Chang: [shaking his head vehemently] No!
Gorkon: [incredulous] What?
Chang: I cannot support you in this, Gorkon.
Gorkon: Are you mad?! Have you also fallen under this Melkor's spell?
Chang: Do not insult me. If you have any doubts as to my feelings for Melkor, ask his dead brother!
Gorkon: Then be reasonable.
Chang: I have never been otherwise. Gorkon, we've been friends for a long time now! We both know that if you become Chancellor, you will seek a peace with the Federation. I cannot abide this! I will fight the House of G'Iogh, but I cannot in good conscience support you!
Gorkon: Your "conscience" did not prevent you from killing Melkor's brother.
Chang: When I killed Kalnor, Lorak was still very much alive!
Gorkon: You say this knowing the threat Melkor poses?
Chang: [laughs bitterly] Better that fate than a future where we become Federation slaves!
Gorkon: And this is your final answer?
Chang: It is!
Gorkon: So be it, then. You were always a stubborn fool, Chang, but this time your hatred will cost us everything!
[As Gorkon leaves, Chang sighs and looks grimly at Torlek.]
Chang: As of today, we are at war.[during a mission to evacuate a sabotaged starbase, when Melkor and his fleet arrives]
Communications Officer: Sir, Chang is transmitting a general broadcast to all ships in the area.
Torlek: On screen.
[Chang appears on screen]
Chang: Melkor! No more sabotage! No more shameful acts of sabotage, you hear me? Break off from your fleet; I will do the same, and we'll settle this, you and I.
Communications Officer: Sir, Melkor is hailing General Chang on an open channel.
Torlek: Merge the two transmissions.
[Melkor appears on a shifting screen view, looking away from his tactical scope.]
Melkor: Chang, is this how you would pay homage to your future Emperor?
Chang: [scoffs] You're a coward! Come about and face me! Let's see how well you fight when you have no shadows in which to hide!
Melkor: You mistake me for my dead brother, Chang. I am not of woman born. Isn't that what your human poet would say? I have no need to fight; you are already defeated. Your forces are in disarray, weighed down by refugees. Resistance is suicide. But I can be generous. Bow down before me, Chang, and you may participate in my victory over Gorkon. As a sign of my good faith, I swear to you I will never allow peace with the Federation.
Chang: You think you can seduce me with false promises while you cower from my challenge? Very well, then, I will come to you - even if I must cut down every warrior you hide behind![in the Tal'Ihnor Gates, source of the Empire's energy production...]
Communications Officer: Sir, a Melkor-allied ship is hailing us. It is Brigadier... K'mak, sir!
Torlek: K'mak?! On screen!
[K'mak appears on the viewscreen, his eyes widening in surprise]
K'mak: Kahless' beard... Torlek! I meant only to hail the nearest of Chang's warships... but it is fitting I have found you.
Torlek: K'mak, how can you of all warriors serve this honorless traitor?
K'mak: [smiles grimly] But that is a sad tale. Suffice to say that my elder brother, head of my House, threw in his lot with Melkor; I had no choice but to follow. I have hailed you to deliver this urgent warning: This system, and everything in it, will be completely destroyed.
Torlek: What do you mean? How?
K'mak: There is a device aboard my ship, stolen months ago from a research center, that is designed to atenuate large gravitational fields. I intend to activate it at the edge of the black hole's event horizon. The gravimetric waves will radically destabilize the Tal'Ihnor sun, forcing it to become a supernova.
Torlek: Why? What would this accomplish?
K'mak: [bitterly] Melkor would rather see the Tal'Ihnor Gates utterly destroyed than lose it to Chang. I have been ordered to be the instrument of his spite, Torlek.
Torlek: That is insane! This star system is the Empire's chief source of energy production. Think of what this will mean to our people! Melkor will lose this battle regardless, but your actions will cripple the Empire!
K'mak: I know this. Yet my duty requires it. But my honor demands that I deliver this warning. Leave this system now. You have just enough time to warn your comrades and warp out before the cataclysm.
Torlek: Listen to me, K'mak! You must not do this!
K'mak: Glory and honor to you, Torlek, son of Ro'vagh. Tell the General... tell him I regret he will never find me in the halls of Sto'vo'Kor. [ends the transmission]
Torlek: K'mak! Wait![closing cinematic, after Torlek engages and destroys Melkor in his final battle over Qo'noS]
Torlek: In the days that followed the end of the civil war, much changed. Chancellor Gorkon wasted little time solidifying his position. Under his leadership, the Empire began forging order from the fires of chaos. But only so much can be done, now that we have lost the Tal'Ihnor system. Where once we were rich in resources, today we must ravage the Praxis moon to feed our Empire's endless hunger for energy.
[As Torlek narrates, a pair of Romulan vessels makes a rendezvous with a damaged Melkor-allied ship.]
Torlek: And it came as no surprise that our tenous alliance with the Romulans was irrevocably broken, leaving us in a state of blood feud. For this, if nothing else, the entire House of G'Iogh suffered discommendation by the High Council. Those few of Melkor's supporters left alive after the reprisals sought refuge with their Romulan allies. But I believe it is better to die at the hands of an enemy than live with such shame.
[Three Insurrection-class destroyers decloak and destroy first the Romulan escorts, then the Melkor-allied ship, then return to Qo'noS.]
Torlek: And as for myself? Fate decided that my glory would be a silent one. The full extent of my actions during the war was kept secret by the High Council. This was done to help preserve the story given to the Federation. I do not know if Starfleet truly believed that Chang led his fleets across the Neutral Zone simply to make Melkor think Qo'nos was left undefended, but perhaps the truth is harder to accept than a lie. Despite the convenient deception, for a brief time, rumors of my future abounded. It was said I was to be the next Military Adviser - a tremendous honor to me and my family name. Sadly, these rumors proved untrue. Instead, I was chosen to lead a deep space expedition, in the hopes of locating new sources of energy for the Empire... and shortly before my departure, Chang asked to speak with me one last time.
Chang: [entering the Academy lecture hall, smiling] Torlek!
Torlek: Chang... or should I call you by your new title, "Chief of Staff"?
Chang: [laughs] I did not ask you to meet me here in order to observe formalities.
Torlek: Why, then? Why this meeting?
Chang: To bid you, among many other things, farewell.
Torlek: "Farewell"? Given your animosity for me, that is the last thing I would expect you to say. Why did you agree to be Gorkon's Chief of Staff? Your debt of honor to him has been repaid in full.
Chang: Oh, no, it has not. Gorkon insisted I serve the next two years in this capacity. How did he put it to me... ah yes, "despite our differences, there is none more qualified, and no one else I can trust to keep me honest." [chuckles] Those were his words. Artfully diplomatic, wouldn't you say?
Torlek: General... Chang, I know that you blocked my nomination to be the next Military Adviser. So why this friendly farewell? We both know you still harbor a grudge for my actions at the Tal'Ihnor nebula.
Chang: [shaking his head] No. Time has made me realize that you were simply doing what I had taught you to do, Torlek. You conducted yourself as a true warrior, and you did so superbly. I bear you no grudge. It would be best, however, if you left the Empire for some time. We stand at the brink of a difficult new future. This future will discard its old heroes and raise new ones. You are the finest student I have ever taught. You must claim your proper place in this future, while I must step aside. In the past, you served me as a loyal warrior, a friend, and my conscience when things were at their worst. But where I go now, you cannot follow... and I will need no conscience but my own. [looks grim for a moment, then looks up and smiles] Farewell, Torlek, son of Ro'vagh. [turns to walk away]
Torlek: "Conscience"? [Chang stops and turns back] What have you resigned yourself to, Chang?
Chang: Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.
Torlek: What do you mean by all this? Where are you going?
Chang: I go to the undiscovered country from whose bourn, no traveler returns.
[Chang turns and walks out of the hall, leaving Torlek alone in the hall, as the lights begin to go out.]
Torlek: That was the last day I ever saw General Chang, and despite what came afterwards, I have never forgotten what he taught me. Today, when I am asked what became of him, I gladly sit upon the ground and tell sad tales... of the death of kings.
== Cast ==
Christopher Plummer - General Chang
David Warner - Chancellor Gorkon
Greg Eagles - Torlek (voice only)
J. Paul Boehmer - Melkor