Classified Personal Log
Access Code **************
I knew that if no other Klingon would talk to me about what happened to so upset the sensibilities of the Empire, it would be General ******. He informed me that the missing CS Horizon in fact ran into a spatial anomaly on the edge of Klingon space in the Gamma Hydra system. It was discovered because, due to the peculiar characteristics of the anomaly, internal comm recordings aboard the Horizon were broadcast externally. A passing Klingon frigate picked up the comm signal and easily tracked it to the source. Spatial stress had torn the vulnerable craft to pieces. The frigate, the IKS dIng'Patlh, recovered all of the debris. The problem, as it turns out, lies in the internal comm recordings. They feature voices determined to belong to the ships captain and navigator:
Navigator: "... if the Klingons get here first?"
Captain: "... don't worry Sam. Since the Klingons joined the Federation..."
That off-hand remark by the Captain of a civilian vessel, a freighter whose average cargo haul amounted to less than one-one hundredth of one percent of just the civiilian traffic that goes on between the Federation and the Empire has done more diplomatic damage between our respective governments than anything since the Klingons withdrew from the Khitomer Accords on the eve of the Dominion war. The Klingons are, in truth, not worried about small vessels straying over the border. They understand that navigation systems do malfunction, and they enjoy the benefits of undocumented commerce just as we do. But what they do care about on a cultural level is their pride. They would turn their back on a harmless smuggler, but they would not, the General reminded me, ignore a slight. And inferring that the Empire had joined the Federation is something that a more hardline Klingon government would go to war over.
So what will it take to get the Klingons talking again? The General said that nobody had enough influence in the council to turn that around. He said that while there was no chance that Martok would declare war over this, the problem was that many warships are actually under the control of the Great Houses that make up the High Council, and they operate with great autonomy. If a council member decides to take the remark as a personal affront, he could well put his ships on the hunt. That is the worry. Since the Klingon Ambassador has been recalled, we cannot even officially apologize. Barring extraordinary good luck, we can only hope that the Empire decides to forgive us before something goes horribly wrong.
My personal apology for the incident was, in the General's words, completely unnecessary but also would unfortunately make no difference. Influential as he was, he couldn't risk coming out for restoring ties without endangering his own position and life. If it were even learned that he'd disclosed this information to a Starfleet admiral, he'd be in great personal danger.
So the peace is balanced on the edge of a bat'leth.
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