Captain's log, stardate 44995.3. We're en route to the Klingon home
world, where I will participate in the installation ceremony of Gowron,
the next designated Leader of the High Council. This visit should also
provide an opportunity for one of my officers to correct a grave
(Worf is doing his bat'leth exercises when the
PICARD: Am I intruding?
WORF: No, sir. My apologies, Captain. I can be back in uniform
PICARD: No, that won't be necessary, Mister Worf. I'm not here as your
captain. I'm here as the man who stood with you before the High
Council. Your cha'DIch. We will arrive at your home world in less than
WORF: It is not time yet.
PICARD: That doesn't sound like the man who came to me a year ago
fiercely determined to return home and to clear his father's name or
die trying. Isn't it time to confront the Council? To regain your
family name? Let the truth be known?
WORF: I have been told that patience is sometimes a more effective
weapon than the sword.
PICARD: Patience is a human virtue, one which I am glad to see you've
taken to heart. But doesn't this situation require a more Klingon
response? Your discommendation is a facade to protect less honourable
men. It is a lie. Lies must be challenged.
WORF: I have grown weary of bearing this dishonour.
RIKER [OC]: Riker to Picard.
PICARD: Go ahead, Number One.
RIKER: We've been intercepted by the Klingon vessel
RIKER [OC]: They claim to be our escort.
WORF: No escort was scheduled.
RIKER: The Bortas is standing by, Captain.
PICARD: On screen. Gowron. This is an unexpected pleasure.
GOWRON [on viewscreen]: I must speak with you, Picard. We will have to
move quickly if we are to be successful.
GOWRON [on viewscreen]: Yes. In preventing a Klingon civil war.
GOWRON: The family of Duras is massing support.
They have many allies on the Council.
PICARD: Duras died in disgrace. By Klingon tradition, his family should
share that disgrace.
GOWRON: Their corruption has poisoned the Empire. Honour will soon have
PICARD: And who speaks for his family now?
GOWRON: Lursa and B'Etor, the sisters of Duras.
PICARD: And they would claim the leadership of the Council?
GOWRON: Women may not serve on the Council.
PICARD: Then how
GOWRON: I don't know. But they are plotting something. They have
secured the loyalty of at least three fleet commanders. Lursa and
B'Etor are feared, and fear is power.
PICARD: I do not see what I can do to assist.
GOWRON: You were first chosen as Arbiter of Succession because no
Klingon could be trusted. You accepted this duty and you must see it
through to the end. You must ensure my installation.
PICARD: That is beyond my purview.
GOWRON: You will not support me?
PICARD: I will not step outside the traditional role of the Arbiter.
GOWRON: And if they attempt to block my installation?
PICARD: Then I can only assure you that I will deal with any challenge
according to Klingon law.
GOWRON: I fear that will not be enough.
PICARD: Mister Worf, would you escort our guest to
the transporter room?
(Worf and Gowron enter the turbolift)
PICARD: Begin monitoring Romulan activity along the Neutral Zone,
Mister Data. Have the outpost stations send us their tactical reports.
DATA: Aye, sir.
PICARD: The Duras family are preparing to move against Gowron.
RIKER: Backed by Romulans?
PICARD: I don't know. But there is too much history between the Duras
and the Romulans to discount the possibility.
(the transporter technician leaves)
WORF: I would speak with you.
GOWRON: I do not hear the words of traitors.
WORF: I am not a traitor.
GOWRON: You admitted your guilt before the Council.
WORF: I accepted discommendation to protect the Empire.
GOWRON: Protect it? How?
WORF: It was Duras' father who betrayed our people to the Romulans at
Khitomer, not mine.
GOWRON: Duras? There is proof of this?
WORF: There is.
GOWRON: Why would you accept dishonour to protect Duras?
WORF: His family was too powerful. To expose him would have split the
Empire. Instead, the Council chose to blame my father.
GOWRON: The Council knew?
WORF: I believe you to be a man of honour, Gowron. I ask you, restore
my family name.
GOWRON: Worf, you killed Duras. I consider that no small favour. But
what you ask is impossible.
WORF: But after your installation
GOWRON: The grasp of Duras reaches out from the grave. Much of the
Council is still loyal to his family. I must have the Council's support
to survive. I cannot expose their treachery. You chose to accept this
disgrace for the good of the Empire. Now you must live with your
decision, like a Klingon.
(Worf is practicing shooting moving coloured
targets when someone enters)
GUINAN: It's a little quiet down in Ten Forward, so I thought I'd get
off a little target practice. Do you mind if I join you?
WORF: You? Practise?
GUINAN: I like to keep my eye sharp.
WORF: I practice at level fourteen.
GUINAN: Guess I could come down to that level for a while. Begin
(and Guinan gets the first target before Worf realises it has started)
GUINAN: You know, I had a bet with the Captain that I could make you
laugh before you became Lieutenant Commander.
WORF: Not a good bet today.
GUINAN: I've seen you laugh. I like it.
WORF: Klingons do not laugh.
GUINAN: Oh yes they do. Absolutely they do. You don't. But I've heard
some Klingon belly laughs that would curl your hair.
(Guinan gets three hits, Worf gets two hits and a miss)
GUINAN: Your son laughs. He's a Klingon.
WORF: He is a child and part human.
GUINAN: That's right. And you're not, you're full Klingon except you
WORF: I do not laugh because I do not feel like laughing.
GUINAN: Other Klingons feel like laughing. What does that say about
WORF: Perhaps it says that I do not feel like other Klingons.
COMPUTER: Programme complete.
GUINAN: Good game. Don't feel bad. I was doing this long before you
were born. So how is he? Your son.
WORF: He is having difficulty adjusting to life on Earth.
GUINAN: I can see where it might be hard for the little guy. Living
with humans, being Klingon. Could be very confusing.
WORF: It will not be easy for him.
GUINAN: No, it won't. But at some point he's going to want to know what
it's like to really be a Klingon. Just as you're learning.
WORF: Captain, I request a leave of absence.
PICARD: Mister Worf, request granted.
WORF: Thank you, sir.
PICARD: Lieutenant. Qapla!
PICARD: And good luck.
Lieutenant Worf, personal log, stardate 44996.1. I
have located the Klingon ship on which my brother Kurn serves as
captain, and have arranged to join him.
[Kurn's ready room]
KURN: It has been too long, my brother.
WORF: Too long. We have much to discuss. I have asked Gowron to restore
our family honour. He has refused.
KURN: Gowron will not live to see the day he leads the Council.
WORF: What do you mean?
KURN: He stands alone, surrounded by his enemies. Lursa and B'Etor will
have him killed. And if they don't, I will.
WORF: You will?
KURN: Gowron is weak. The family of Duras must never be allowed to lead
the Council. Our leaders have failed us. They no longer deserve our
loyalty. It is time to sweep away the old Council and put a new one in
WORF: How can this be done?
KURN: I already have the support of four squadron commanders in key
strategic sectors. When the time comes, they will follow me. Join us,
Worf, and we will usher in a new era and regain our family name.
(Worf thinks about it)
WORF: Gowron has completed the Rite of Succession. It is our duty to
KURN: Gowron spits in your face when you ask him to give back what is
rightfully ours and you would support him?
WORF: We cannot regain honour by acting dishonourably.
KURN: I will not support Gowron.
WORF: I am the elder brother, Kurn. I speak for our family. We will
back Gowron. But not now. Not yet. We will wait until he feels the
grasp of his enemies around his throat. Then we will offer him our
support. And the price will be the restoration of our family name.
KURN: It will be difficult to convince my allies to back Gowron. But I
will try. I must go to the Mempa sector to meet with the other squadron
WORF: Contact me when you have gained their support. Then I will be
ready for Gowron.
Captain's log, stardate 44996.8. My role as Arbiter
of Succession has again brought me to the Great Hall of the Klingon
K'TAL: naDev ghoS!
(Picard walks forward)
K'TAL: Have you reached a decision regarding the succession of power?
PICARD: Qaja plu d'itch jung. La woq you ghir klas qimha. Gowron. Doj
hon. Doj hon.
K'TAL: Gowron, son of M'Rel, hakt'em. The Arbiter confirms that you
have completed the Rite of Succession. Your enemies have been
destroyed. You stand alone. Do you wish to claim leadership of the
GOWRON: I wish it.
K'TAL: Are there no other challengers?
(just as Picard is about to put the cloak on Gowron's shoulders)
TORAL: There is one. I will challenge him.
GOWRON: An arrogant child!
K'TAL: Who are you?
TORAL: I am Toral, son of Duras.
GOWRON: Duras had no son.
B'ETOR: But he did, Gowron.
GOWRON: So, this is your doing, Lursa.
LURSA: We wish to address the Council.
K'TAL: Lursa, B'Etor, come forward.
LURSA: Members of the High Council, it is a day of great rejoicing for
the family of Duras and the Klingon Empire. We have discovered that our
brother did indeed have a son and heir.
GOWRON: This is outrageous. Duras had no mate. Where did you find him,
Lursa? In a harlot's bedchamber?
TORAL: I will personally cut your tongue out, Yintagh!
GOWRON: Impudent wretch.
B'ETOR: A simple genetic scan will prove his bloodline is valid.
GOWRON: The illegitimate son of Duras cannot rule the High Council.
K'TAL: The Arbiter will consider his validity. Len'mat.
(the sisters have Romulan visitors)
LURSA: Our allies on the Council backed Toral's claim. It's in Picard's
MOVAR: Excellent. Everything is proceeding as scheduled.
TORAL: Why not just kill Picard?
B'ETOR: Fool! Do we want the Federation as our enemy?
(and from the shadows, that familiar voice again)
WOMAN: At least, not yet. But when the time is right we will deal with
the Federation and Captain Picard.
KURN [on monitor]: I have met with the other
squadron commanders here. Three will join us, one will not. That gives
us enough strength to control seven key sectors.
WORF: Do you know the strength of our enemies?
KURN [on monitor]: They have at least seven squadrons, but most of the
fleet has not decided which banner to follow.
WORF: Gowron is nearly out of options. Soon he will have no choice
KURN [on monitor]: I will return soon to the home world. We shall meet
DATA: Do you also require the original logs
recorded during the attack, Lieutenant?
WORF: Everything we have on the Khitomer massacre.
DATA: We can provide you with our analysis of the communications
between the Khitomer outpost and the Romulan ships. However, for a
complete record you will have to contact Starbase twenty four
PICARD: Mister Worf. Have you cancelled your leave?
WORF: No, sir.
PICARD: Lieutenant, would you join me in my Ready room?
PICARD: Mister Worf, you're using our files on the
Khitomer massacre as evidence against Duras' father?
WORF: Yes, sir.
PICARD: Do you not see an inherent conflict of interest here?
WORF: Sir, those Federation records will help me prove that my father
was falsely accused of treason.
PICARD: You are using your position as a Starfleet officer to affect
political change on your planet. There could not be a worse compromise
of our fundamental principles.
WORF: Do not tie my hands now. I must be able to prove my father's
innocence. Those Federation records can do that.
PICARD: Mister Worf. Here I am lecturing you on a conflict of interest
while I'm desperately trying to avoid one of my own. Do you think I
wish to allow the Duras family to solidify their hold on the Council?
Do you think I cannot see for myself the implications for the
Federation? Good Lord, Duras tried to have me killed! All of my
instincts, my training, my very being as a Starfleet officer are at
odds with my responsibilities as Arbiter of the Klingon High Council.
We walk the same tightrope between two worlds, you and I. We must try
our very best to keep those two worlds separate, or we shall certainly
WORF: Yes, sir.
PICARD: I will make the Khitomer massacre files available to anyone who
wants them. To the High Council, to the Duras family, to you. Anyone.
WORF: Thank you, sir.
PICARD: Mister Worf, this is as far as I can go.
RIKER [OC]: Riker to Picard.
PICARD: Yes, Number One.
RIKER: There's a message coming in for you from the
surface. It's coded personal.
PICARD: Send it through.
B'ETOR: Captain, welcome. Please, come in. Be
(B'Etor is a very tactile woman, she likes to touch people)
LURSA: Something to drink, Captain? Tea. Earl Grey, perhaps?
PICARD: Thank you.
B'ETOR: You come alone, and unarmed
PICARD: Nothing would be served by killing the Arbiter before his
B'ETOR: Nevertheless, a brave act, Captain.
PICARD: Your invitation was unexpected.
B'ETOR: We should have extended it much sooner.
LURSA: We don't want you to judge us by your experience with our
B'ETOR: Duras was a fool.
LURSA: He deserved to die.
B'ETOR: Forget him. We have.
LURSA: We do not wish to be your enemy.
B'ETOR: Quite the opposite.
PICARD: That pleases me.
LURSA: Have you made your decision regarding Toral's challenge?
PICARD: I am pursuing it with due vigilance.
(B'Etor kneels by Picard)
B'ETOR: Allow me to heat your tea.
LURSA: Toral has the bloodline to lead the Empire into the next
century. He has the support of the people.
PICARD: Then it remains to see if he has the support of the law.
B'ETOR: But he must. Surely, you can see that.
PICARD: I'll tell you what I see. If I find Toral's challenge valid,
the two of you will very quickly gain control of the Council and Gowron
will be found dead shortly thereafter. If I reject Toral's claim, you
will accuse me of serving Federation interests. It will serve as a
rallying cry to declare war and overthrow Gowron.
LURSA: You see very clearly, Captain. But one thing is missing. If you
rule against us and we are victorious in a war against Gowron.
B'ETOR: Which we would be>
LURSA: It will mean the end of the alliance with the Federation.
B'ETOR: And we would hate to see that happen as much as you would.
LURSA: This is not a threat, Captain. Just an unfortunate truth.
B'ETOR: So why be our enemy, when you can be our friend?
PICARD: You have manipulated the circumstances with the skill of a
Romulan. My decision will be announced at high sun tomorrow. Excellent
tea. Good day, ladies.
K'TAL: What is your decision?
PICARD: K'Tal, this Council knows the law of heredity well. G'now juk
Hol pajhard. A son shall share in the honours or crimes of his father.
Toral is Duras' son. That has been established by the genetic scan. But
with due respect to the traditions and laws of this High Council, there
is no basis for accepting a petition for leadership from a boy who has
fought no battles, shed no blood for his people, or earned no honour
for himself. One day, perhaps he shall. But not now. Duras is dead. His
claim to the leadership died with him. Gowron shall lead the Council.
GOWRON: The Arbiter has ruled. There are no more challengers.
TORAL: Does the Federation dictate Klingon destiny or do we? Follow me
and I will show you honour.
GOWRON: Follow him and you reject all Klingon law.
(but council members move to stand behind the Duras group)
GOWRON: Can you not see what you are doing? Are you blind to what they
represent? Then go. Your blood will paint the way to the future.
[Gowron's Ready room]
GOWRON: Your message said it was urgent. What do
WORF: Your forces are weak, Gowron. You need help to fight the family
GOWRON: From one dishonoured Klingon.
WORF: I offer you four Klingon squadrons.
GOWRON: Why would they follow you, a Starfleet officer?
WORF: They are pledged to support my brother, Kurn.
GOWRON: Kurn is your brother?
WORF: Yes. His true bloodlines were hidden to protect him.
GOWRON: Kurn will follow me? He has opposed me in the past.
WORF: I am the elder brother. He will do as I say.
GOWRON: What is it you want in return?
WORF: You know my price.
GOWRON: The return of your honour. For the support of four squadrons?
No, that will not be enough. The Duras family controls most of the
fleet. We must have Federation help.
WORF: They will not intervene.
GOWRON: Perhaps not yet, but Starfleet Command will listen to Picard
and Picard listens to you.
WORF: I can ask nothing more of him in this matter.
WORF: My duty as a Starfleet officer
GOWRON: You come to me and demand the restoration of your family honour
and now you hide behind human excuses? What are you, Worf? Do you
tremble and quake with fear at the approach of combat, hoping to talk
your way out of a fight like a human? Or do you hear the cry of the
warrior calling you to battle, calling you to glory like a Klingon?
(and someone opens fire on the Bortas)
KLINGON: Aft shields down.
HELMSMAN: Warp coils damaged.
PICARD: Red alert.
DATA: A second ship has joined the attack on the Bortas.
PICARD: It's begun.
GOWRON: Send an emergency signal to any loyal
HELMSMAN: Impulse engines not responding!
(there's an explosion. Worf takes the Klingon's station)
GOWRON: Engage emergency override!
WORF: Override engaged. Disruptors still not responding.
DATA: The Bortas has lost her port shields, sir. It
is unlikely they will withstand another hit at that quarter. Their
primary life support has failed, sir.
RIKER: The Bortas has put out a general distress call.
PICARD: Ensign Riol, plot a course to take us safely away from the
combat area. Half impulse.
RIKER: Captain, the Bortas is Gowron's ship. If he's the legitimate
leader of the Empire, shouldn't we help him?
PICARD: If we go to the aid of the Bortas, we'll be dragging the
Federation into a Klingon civil war.
RIKER: What about Worf?
PICARD: Ensign, engage.
KLINGON: Port shields are still down.
WORF: Disruptors online.
GOWRON: Lock on target.
WORF: No. Don't you see? Their sensors will detect the weapons lock. If
they think we're helpless, they will try to board the ship.
I can aim and fire disruptors manually when they drop their shields.
WORF: Thirty five thousand kellicams. Twenty thousand kellicams. Now
within transporter range.
WORF: They're dropping their shields.
WORF: Firing on second target.
KLINGON: They were able to raise the shields in time. Minor damage
(the ship fires on the Bortas)
WORF: Disruptors offline.
GOWRON: All power to shields.
KLINGON: Shields failing!
(another Klingon ship swoops in and drives off their attacker)
WORF: Incoming message.
GOWRON: On viewer.
KURN [on viewscreen]: This is Captain Kurn of the Hegh'ta. We come to
defend the Empire and to follow the banner of Gowron.
WORF: The enemy has sustained major damage to its life support systems
They have disengaged.
GOWRON: You have done well, Commander Kurn. Lursa and B'Etor have moved
more quickly than I anticipated. We shall not
underestimate them again. Meet us at the Great Hall.
GOWRON: Advise the Enterprise that their delegation is welcome to
attend my installation as leader.
Captain's log, stardate 44998.3. With new-found
support, Gowron has chosen to proceed with the installation ceremony.
The Enterprise has returned so that I may perform my final duty as
Arbiter of Succession.
(Picard places the Chancellor's cloak on Gowron's
K'TAL: Receive now the loyalty of the Council and of the Empire.
GOWRON: naDev ghoS.
(Worf and Kurn step forward)
GOWRON: You both fought as warriors. You have proved your hearts are
(he draws a dagger, and Worf grips its blade firmly)
GOWRON: I return your family honour. I give you back that which was
wrongfully taken from you. Let your name be spoken once again. You are
Worf, son of Mogh.
GOWRON: The Duras family is gathering a large force
near Beta Thoridar. As per the terms of the Treaty of Alliance, I now
formally request your assistance in fighting these enemies of the
RIKER: These enemies are Klingons.
GOWRON: By right and tradition, I am the sole leader. All who oppose me
PICARD: I understand your position, but I', sure you're aware that the
Federation cannot interfere in what is, by definition, an internal
GOWRON: You arbitrated the Rite of Succession. You are already
PICARD: My duties in that regard are finished.
WORF: Captain, we must intervene. The Duras family is corrupt and
hungry for power with no sense of honour or loyalty. They represent a
grave threat to the security of the Federation. Captain, you and I know
that they have conspired with Romulans in the past. If they should be
victors in this war, they will surely form a new Klingon-Romulan
alliance. That would represent a fundamental shift of power in this
quadrant. Starfleet must support Gowron. It is in the interests of both
the Federation and the Empire. I beg you, support us in our cause.
PICARD: Mister Worf, I don't have to lecture you on the principle of
non interference. As Starfleet officers, we have all sworn an oath to
uphold that principle whatever our personal feelings. I'm sorry. I must
refuse your request.
(Worf starts to follow Gowron out of the room)
PICARD: Mister Worf. I'm afraid I must recall you to duty. The
Enterprise will be leaving this sector immediately.
WORF: Captain, I respectfully request that I be allowed to take an
extended leave of absence.
PICARD: Mister Worf, your responsibilities as a Starfleet officer are
incompatible with remaining on board a Klingon ship during a time of
PICARD: I order you to return to duty at once.
WORF: Then I resign my commission as a Starfleet officer.
(Worf puts his comm. badge on the table)
GOWRON: I will await you aboard the Bortas.
(Worf is now in Klingon uniform, and packing a case
when the doorbell rings)
PICARD: Am I intruding?
WORF: No, sir.
PICARD: I understand that you'll be serving on board the Bortas.
WORF: As weapons officer.
PICARD: Your tactical knowledge and experience will serve them well.
WORF: Thank you, sir.
PICARD: Mister Worf, are you certain that this is the right decision?
WORF: I was rescued from Khitomer by humans. Raised and loved by human
parents. I've spent most of my life around humans, fought beside them.
But I was born a Klingon. My heart is of that world. I do hear the cry
of the warrior. I belong with my people.
PICARD: Being the only Klingon ever to serve in Starfleet gave you a
singular distinction, but I felt that what was unique about you was
your humanity, compassion, generosity, fairness. You took the best
qualities of humanity and made them part of you. The result was a man
who I was proud to call one of my officers. I'll have your belongings
transported to the Bortas.
WORF: Thank you, sir.
(Worf and Picard exit the turbolift to find the way
to the transporter room lined with crewmembers, last one being Guy
PICARD: Attention on deck.
(the senior staff are here)
WORF: Permission to leave the ship, sir?
PICARD: Permission granted. Qapla'
(and Worf is beamed away)
[Duras family home]
(a Romulan aide brings a message on a PADD)
MOVAR: Picard has rejected Gowron's plea for help. The Enterprise has
TORAL: Coward! He didn't have the courage to face us. The Federation is
WOMAN: Celebrate later, Toral. We should not discount Jean Luc Picard
yet. He is human, and humans have a way of showing up when you least
(especially as we can now clearly see the familiar voice belongs to