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Khitomer Crisis

In 2293 the Klingon moon Praxis exploded, a result of over mining and insufficient safety precautions on the dilithium mining operation located there. The explosion caused major damage to the Klingon home world, forcing Chancellor Gorkon to end the decades of hostility between the Klingon Empire and the Federation. Gorkon attempted to attend a peace conference on Earth, but on the way through Federation space his ship was attacked by its escort, the USS Enterprise, and Gorkon was assassinated by Starfleet personnel who beamed over during the confusion. Captain Kirk and Doctor McCoy were arrested for the crime by the Klingons, and taken into Klingon space for trial. Gorkons daughter Azetbur succeeded him to the High Council. She continued the peace process on condition that the conference be held at a more secure location and that the Federation make no attempt to rescue its officers.

The Enterprise crew refused orders to return to Spacedock so that they could investigate the incident themselves. Captain Spock theorized that Gorkon's ship had not been attacked by the Enterprise, but by a new type of Klingon vessel which was capable of firing whilst cloaked. Determined to prove Kirks innocence, Spock took the Enterprise into Klingon space to retrieve the Captain from the penal asteroid of Rura Pente. Kirk was successful in uncovering a conspiracy among senior Starfleet and Klingon officers aimed at ending all chance of peace between the two powers. Kirk found out that another assassination attempt was planned at the new peace conference, which was being held at Khitomer.

The USS Enterprise and the USS Excelsior both headed Khitomer to prevent the assassination, but the Klingon vessel - under the command of General Chang - was guarding the area. The Enterprise arrived first and began to take repeated torpedo hits from Chang. His ships ability to fire torpedoes whilst cloaked made it a formidable opponent, and he quickly began to inflict major damage on the Enterprise. The arrival of the Excelsior made little difference beyond giving Chang a second target, with the ships sensors were no more able to detect the Klingon ship than were those of the Enterprise.

On the Enterprise, Captain Spock suggested that even while cloaked the Klingon vessel must expend fuel like any other vessel. A torpedo capable of tracking the ship's plasma exhaust should still be able to home in on it. Since the Enterprise, like the Excelsior, had recently been cataloguing gaseous anomalies they were already carrying all the equipment needed to perform the relatively simple modification. Spock and McCoy altered one of the ship's torpedoes in order to track the plasma exhaust and although the Enterprise took several more hits and lost its shield system it was able to fire the weapon.

The torpedo tracked in unerringly on Changs ship, scoring a direct hit. The hit badly damaged the bridge and disrupted the vessel's cloaking device, allowing both the Excelsior and Enterprise to lock in and score repeated hits. The Klingon ship was rapidly reduced to a cloud of debris.

In the aftermath of the battle Kirk personally saved the Federation president from an assassination attempt and crewmen from the Enterprise and Excelsior were able to capture the leading members of the conspiracy. These actions led to a significant easing of tensions between the Klingons and the Federation. The battle marked the final combat action of the Enterprise before its retirement, and the last mission of many of her senior officers.1
The modified Excelsior class Enterprise-B was launched a short time later.2
Yellow text = Canon source Green text = Backstage source Cyan text = Novel White text = DITL speculation

References
# Series Season Source Comment
1 Star Trek VI : The Undiscovered Country
2 Star Trek : Generations
Source: Star Trek VI : The Undiscovered Country
Source: Star Trek : Generations


Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 3,981 Last updated : 23 Jul 2000