Vic-Maybe, maybe not.
He's still trying to get his head above water, so to speak.
Stitch-lol, yeah. Kyp might go Dark Side on his friends.
The information I got on the subject races is from the IKS Gorkon novels and my own interpretation.
Here we go!
*****Three hours and ten minutes later
Kyp massaged his forehead. He slumped forward on a table in his quarters and took a sip of ale. "That was painful
," he groused. He looked up and across at Maarek as he dug into a plate of wriggling worms. "What is that?"
Maarek's yellow eyes looked up from the plate. "Gagh
," he said. He shoved some of the slick worms into his mouth and bit down hard onto them. "Not bad, actually. Kind of like Verpine food."
Ganner, standing off to the side near a wooden bench were Wurth sat, snorted. "Isn't Verpine cuisine poisonous to humans?"
Maarek shrugged. "It can be, if proper precautions aren't taken." He looked back at Kyp and slid his plate forward. "Want some?"
The Jedi Master held his hand up and the plate floated off the table slightly, moving over to land in front of him. He picked up some of the gagh
with his hands and shoved it into his mouth, biting down on them and swallowing. His face twisted and he shuddered. "Delicious," he choked out, turning slightly green.
Wurth stood up from where he sat next to Ganner and walked over to the table. "Okay, who are
you?" he asked, crossing his arms and standing over Maarek. "Kyp knows you, but we don't. So spill."
Maarek sat for a moment before standing up, his chair toppling back. He pivoted on his heel and stared into Wurth's eyes with a penetrating gaze. "I am Maarek Stele, child," he said, voice hardening. "I was once a Hand of the Emperor before leaving. Baron Soontir Fel was able to convince me that the Remnant had changed, so I returned." His hands clenched and his eyes blazed. "I have done many regrettable things, Wurth Skidder. Many."
Kyp cleared his throat. "Problem, Maarek?"
Maarek's chair righted itself with a bit of telekinesis and Maarek sat back down. "None at all," he said, smiling. He looked up at Wurth. "Answer your question?"
Wurth backed up, stumbling slightly. He sat back down and nodded rapidly. "Yeah, thanks."
Kyp's arm dropped and he pointed to the valise now placed beside a table leg. "Okay, so what's in the case? I could barely sense you back in the council chambers, but ysalamiri cause a total blackout of Force powers." He leaned forward. "What gives?"
"It's a new piece of technology," Maarek replied. He leaned to the side and picked it up, placing it on a clear spot on the table. He unlocked it and opened the valise, exposing several tubes of blue liquid and pieces of electronic equipment. "Genetic material of ysalamiri. Based on Federation replicator technology." he closed the valise and put it back down on the stone floor. "It's obviously not perfected, but in time it will be."
Kyp nodded, then locked eyes with Maarek. "Okay, let's put our cards on the table. "You've been here longer and know the Klingons better." He motioned to his three former students. "We got a crash course in their culture, but we've got Centerpoint-sized gaps in our knowledge. Got anything that would be major shocks for us?"
The former Hand rubbed his stubble-coated chin. "They have subject races known as jeghpu'wI'
-less than citizens, but far more than slaves. They have rights under the law, but are of a lower class than Klingons."
A groan escaped Kyp's mouth. "I figured they'd have something like that." He clenched his hand and slammed it into the table. "How many rights?" he finally asked, lips curling.
Maarek shrugged. "Jeghpu'wI'
are subjects, Kyp. Klingons find the concept of what we consider 'slavery' to be dishonorable, but don't be fooled. They're conquerors and warriors. Maybe the Remnant would simply be a better fit for them."
Ganner spoke up. "We were sent to do a job, Maarek, and we'll see it through to the end." He straightened up. "No matter what."
Maarek chuckled and took a sip of ale. "I know, but the road ahead will be difficult for you." he motioned a bit with his left hand. "You're a bit too... straightforward for diplomatic work. There are many twists and turns ahead for you. Are you sure you want to stay here and finish what you started?"
Kyp's lips quirked up ward slightly. He picked up a cup of water and saluted Maarek before downing it. "If you're asking me that, you don't know me very well." He suddenly stood up. "And if you'll excuse me, I have someone to see." He tossed a salute behind his shoulder before exiting the room.
Maarek stared after him, then turned around at the waist and looked at Ganner, confusion on his face. "What the Sith did he mean by that?"
Ganner walked over and picked up a piece of bregit lung from Kyp's plate. "He's got a hot date with Jaroul," he stated, taking a bite. He chewed it a bit before swallowing. "Is it weird this food's growing on me?" he asked, sky-blue eyes narrowing slightly.
Wurth chuckled. "As long as you don't mean it literally, Ganner."Chapter Three: Answers not Wanted
Kyp stomped down the hall. His hands clenched and he bit his lip as he increased his gait. Several Klingons and even a few members of species Kyp didn't recognize stopped and stared at him... and then increased their gait, hurrying away from the Jedi Master as his aura flashed between red, blue and indigo.
He let his feet carry him around, down long corridors lit by flickering torches. His mind barely registered the passage of time until he stopped beside a single door near the back of the Great Hall. He glanced down at a nameplate right above the door's controls, then smacked his forehead. "Can't read Klingonese," he muttered. Kyp half-closed his eyes and reached out, sensing the familiar aura of Gartul and someone else. He tapped the control panel, letting the Force guide his fingers. "Councilor, I must speak with you."
The door slid open, revealing a somewhat small office. A desk was placed near the back, with a rather large viewscreen dominating the far wall. Several cabinets, computer terminals and one other door lined the wall. Gratul sat at the desk while an odd alien stood next to him. It... he was purple, with multiple tentacles and three eyes on stalks jutting from his bulbous head. One of the tentacles was curled around a bulky PADD, studded and heavy-looking.
Gartul waved the being off. "We shall continue this later, Yok," he grumbled. He stood up and held his arms out, grinning. "Welcome, Kyp! Have you come to announce you want Jaroul's hand in marriage?"
Kyp opened his mouth, closed it then opened it again before blinking. He looked to the side, then stepped out of the office. The door slid closed, then opened again. Kyp stepped back into the office. "Okay, gonna try this again," he muttered before looking at Gartul with blazing emerald eyes. "Councilor, what are jeghpu'wI
'?" he asked.
Gartul's stance shifted ever so slightly. "They are the subject races of the Empire. Why?"
Kyp breathed through his nose and steadied himself. "Before I answer, I must tell you about my own past." He thumped his chest. "My old home was the Deyer Colony in the Anoat System. When I was nine, the old Empire rounded up 'dissidents' and shipped them off to slave labor camps or other, worse fates." He paused and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "I spent the next eight years in the spice mines of Kessel, a living hell. My parents died... and I sometimes wonder if it was better to have joined them."
Gartul's mouth turned down. "But you survived, stronger and more powerful. What does this..." His voice trailed off and he glanced to Yok, still standing to the side of his desk. "Yok, how did you come to be my secretary?"
Yok's beak clacked open and his middle eyestalk shot up. "Oh, my. Has senility set in, sir? I could ask the lady Jaroul to-"
"Answer the question!" Gartul barked, balling up his fist and slamming it into his desk. He fell down into his chair and tossed his arms up. "For twenty-five years, you have enraged me. I should kill you, now!"
Yok's body shook slightly. "Ah, yes. Please kill the only being in the Klingon Empire able to keep you in line and make sure you reach your appointments." His beak clacked and his head wavered. "Oh, very well." Two of his eyestalks swiveled over to gaze at Kyp. "To answer Councilor Gartok's question, I applied for the position about twenty-five years ago. You interviewed and hired me."
Gartul nodded and waved his hand to Kyp. "Yok is a Pheben, a jeghpu'wI
'. They are not slaves, Kyp. Subjects, yes. But not slaves. They have
rights." He glanced down to his desk, then back up. "Although it was not always so."
A chair opposite Gartul slid back, allowing Kyp to step over to it and sit down. "You lost your way," he stated evenly. "The Klingons forgot what Kahless taught you."
A snort came from the councilor. "Others would challenge you to a fight to the death over such words. Fortunately, I am not a fool." He leaned back and looked to the ceiling. "Once, we knew
that being a warrior was simply a path to honor. Not merely the
path. Doctors, politicians, farmers and merchants. All could achieve Sto-vo-kor
as long as they led their lives with honor."
Kyp leaned forward. "What happened? And how have you regained sight of the path?"
Gartul's eyes clouded over slightly. "A little over a thousand years ago, an alien species known as the Hur'q invaded and sacked Q'onos. We eventually drove them off, but they left behind devastation. Our cities were in ruins, our fields salted and our people scared. We quickly began building fleets, vowing to never be weak like that again." His fist suddenly curled into a ball and he slammed it into his duranium desk, denting it. "But we lost sight of our honor! We became conquerors and-yes-slavers. We became
the Hur'q ourselves."
There was silence for a few heartbeats before Kyp spoke once more. "And now?"
"There have always been those who remember the true path of honor, or have been reminded of it by outsiders such as James Kirk or Diego Reyes. But it wasn't until Chancellor Gorkon in 2293 who was able to truly
set us once more on the true path." Gartul smiled sadly. "Over the past eighty years, the jeghpu'wI'
have gained more rights. We still conquer species, but it is less conquering and more..." He shrugged. "Why bother? We conquer. But that is our way. We are aggressive by nature, barely held in check by our honor and ego." He spread his arms out. "We are Klingons, Kyp Durron. No other explanation is necessary."
Kyp sat there for a moment before standing up. "Thank you for your time and words," he said. He looked up to Yok. "Thank you as well. I am glad you're not a slave... but I wish you were something more in the Empire."
Yok's eyestalks dipped slightly. "Thank you, but really, it's no problem. I've got a good salary and can send a substantial portion back home to the family farm on Phebes. My retirement plan's the envy of my spawning pool!"
Kyp blinked. He leaned forward slightly. "Your family farm? Your family owns property?"
Yok's body shuddered. "I did
just at least imply that, didn't I?" His eyestalks drooped. "Yes. It's been in my family for over seven generations. One of the larger on Phebes, but not the largest." One of his tentacles shot up and the tip curled, shaking. "One day, Ladg, one day we shall surpass you!"
Gartul's head slowly turned and he looked up at Yok. "Yes, Yok. That will be... all. I'll see you in the morning." His eyes followed the Pheben as he shuffled off to the door and out. The councilor then looked back at Kyp. "Things were worse for the jeghpu'wI'
. They are better, though."
Kyp bit his lips and his brow furrowed. He slid his chair back and stood. "Thank you, Councilor," he said, thumping his chest. "I am glad for the information you gave me here."
Gartul rose and returned the salute. "Such information will aid you in your negotiations, Kyp. Both with Martok and with Jaroul."
The Jedi opened his mouth, but snapped it shut. His right eyebrow rose slightly. "Wait... what?" he half-shouted. His hands clenched. "What in the Force are you talking about?"
A rumbling sigh came from Gartul. "I have heard from Jaroul how well you two get along." He walked around his desk to stand by Kyp's side. "I have seen you, Master Jedi. You have the soul of a warrior, of a Klingon!" He reared back and patted Kyp on the arm. "You would make a fine addition to the House of Gartul!"
A fine sheen of sweat suddenly appeared on Kyp's forehead. "Gartul, I've known your daughter for," he raised his arm and looked at his wrist chrono, "a whopping twenty-two hours! She's strong-willed, feistier than a Dathomiri and is pretty damned smart. We spent a lot of last night discussing Klingon philosophy along with some of your literary works and someone named Shakespeare. In time-"
"In time?" Gartul interrupted. He threw his hands into the air and groaned. "Kyp, the time is now
! Do not think like a human, here." He brought his right hand up to chest-level and clenched it, a grin on his face. "Think like a Klingon!" Before Kyp could do anything, Gartul's smile widened, baring his sharpened teeth. "Of course, if you do anything to hurt my daughter, Force or no Force, I'll skin you alive and make sure you feel every
second of it," he said, poking Kyp lightly in the chest. "Have fun!"
Kyp's green eyes darted back and forth, a smile trying to form on his lips and failing miserably. He took a few steps back to the door. "I'll keep that in mind," he said. "I'm going to go talk to Jaroul, now. Just talk." He thumped his chest again as the door slid open, allowing him to turn and run out of Gartul's office.
Gartul let a smile play across his mouth. "Ah, youth. Sometimes they can't see the fleet for the ships."
Please read and review. Up!