- For other uses, see Bounty.
- See also the IKV B'Rel, a later and similarly named Bird-of-Prey. And the IKS Katai, this vessel's counterpart in an alternate reality.
HMS Bounty was the name given to the B'rel-class Klingon Bird-of-Prey captured by James T. Kirk and the former crew of the USS Enterprise in 2285. The vessel, the prototype of the B'rel-class, was, when in Klingon service, previously known as either the IKS B'rel (IKC-9200), the IKS Qel'Poh or the IKS Katai. (TOS movies: The Search for Spock, The Voyage Home; Decipher RPG module: Starships; CCG set: What You Leave Behind)
The IKS B'rel was the prototype of the B'rel-class, a design that came out of the Klingon-Romulan alliance in the mid-23rd century; equipped with a cloaking device the class saw the Klingons develop new, more stealthy, tactics. (Decipher RPG module: Starships)
In 2285 the Qel'Poh was commanded by Commander Kruge; Kruge received a transmission from the Klingon operative Valkris, who had obtained a copy of the Genesis Project summary and related data. The Qel'Poh rendezvoused with the freighter Merchantman, which Valkris had used to travel to the rendezvous point. Valkris transmitted the data to Kruge, and when she revealed that she had seen the data, Kruge attacked and destroyed the Merchantman. After viewing the data. Kruge realized that potential of the Genesis Device as a weapon, and he ordered his men to cross the Klingon Neutral Zone.
Arriving at the Genesis Planet, the Qel'Poh encountered the USS Grissom, which was conducting a study of the planet. Kruge ordered his gunner to disable the ship, but the torpedo scored a direct hit, and the Grissom was destroyed. A furious Kruge vaporized the gunner with his disruptor. The Qel'Poh's sensors picked up the life signs of Saavik, David Marcus, and Spock on the planet surface, as well as Saavik's radio transmissions.
Kruge and several men beamed down to the planet, and eventually captured Spock, Saavik, and Marcus. It was then that the USS Enterprise arrived in the system after Kirk stole the ship from Earth Spacedock. On the Qel'Poh, Torg cloaked the ship, and contacted Kruge. Kruge beamed aboard to attack the Enterprise.
However the Enterprise was able to detect the Klingon ship, and tried to raise shields. Captain Scott's automation to the computer system was successful in allowing the ship to run with only the five of them on the bridge but was overwhelmed with the added stress and Chekov was unable to fully raise the shields. When the Qel'Poh decloaked, the Enterprise fired two photon torpedoes that seriously damaged the Klingon starship. When the Bird-Of-Prey regained posture, Kruge launched a devastating counter-attack against the Federation starship in the very same manner he wished to use to disable the USS Grissom. With the Enterprise completely disabled, Kirk, hoping to bluff his way out, attempted to negotiate Krug's surrender. Kruge, believing that he dealt a more damaging blow than he thought, began his own negotiations, using his hostages on the planet below as leverage and ordered a random hostage killed to show how serious he is.
After David Marcus was killed, Kirk finally agreed to surrender. Kirk and his crew set the auto-destruct systems on the Enterprise and beamed down to the planet. A minute later the Enterprise was destroyed, taking Kruge's boarding party with her.
Shortly after, Kruge left Maltz on the Qel'Poh and beamed down to the planet to face Kirk. Kruge had everyone except Kirk and Spock beamed up to the ship and then fought Kirk hand-to-hand, eventually losing. Kirk then had himself and Spock beamed on board the Qel'Poh, took Maltz prisoner and took the Qel'Poh out of orbit, just as the dying Genesis Planet exploded. Kirk and crew then took the Qel'Poh to Vulcan in order to return Spock's katra to his body. (TOS movie: The Search for Spock; WizKids module: Tactics)
Vulcan to Regula
Following the restoration of Spock in the fal-tor-pan ceremony Kirk and his crew left Spock to recover with his parents on Vulcan and took the Bird-of-Prey to Regula I were they erected a memorial to David Marcus, and-with Carol Marcus-mourned his passing. For the journey, Uhura readied an identification beam labeling them as friendly, so that they might pass through Federation space in the Klingon ship without issue. (TOS comic: "... Promises to Keep")
Meanwhile, Starfleet ordered Captain Styles to take the USS Excelsior to retrieve Kirk and the captured Klingon vessel. When the Excelsior arrived at Regula, a group of work bees was dispatched to generate a tractor field around the Bird-of-Prey, securing in position under the Excelsior's engineering hull for the journey to Earth. (TOS comics: "... Promises to Keep", "Double Image")
Once under way, the Excelsior received a distress call from Starbase 13, which had been attacked by the mirror universe's ISS Enterprise. When the Excelsior arrived the Enterprise had cloaked, however the Excelsior's sensors were able to penetrate the cloak allowing Captain Styles to launch damaging attacks on the opponent vessel. The mirror universe crew found the Excelsior's shields outmatched their ship's capabilities, but did make note of the Bird-of-Prey tethered to the Excelsior and saw an opportunity; mirror-Kirk had mirror-Spock take remote control of the Klingon vessel. On the Excelsior the communications beam was detected; Kirk immediately saw the potential tactic, but Styles assumed it was directed at the Excelsior itself and prepared to dictate his terms of surrender. The Bird-of-Prey then began to fire on the Excelsior, knocking out main power, and allowing the mirror-Enterprise to send boarding parties. (TOS comic: "Double Image")
Once the mirror crew had established their control of the Excelsior they began to investigate the ship's and the Federation's capabilities, and from the Bird-of-Prey's record tapes learnt of the partial success of Project Genesis, a technology that had not been perfected in the mirror universe. Although the primary universe Genesis devise was also imperfect, the mirror crew noted it had restored Spock to life, so mirror-Kirk ordered mirror-Spock to take the Bird-of-Prey to Vulcan to capture Spock in the hope his restored genes would hold the key to a successful Genesis device.
Once at the planet, Vulcan Space Central permitted the Bird-of-Prey to land after receiving authorization from Ambassador Sarek, who went to greet the ship's crew, only to find himself facing another Spock. The mirror universe crew quickly disabled Sarek and Amanda, allowing mirror-Spock to enter their home. He found Spock, who was unconscious due to the fal-tor-pan; not having gone as successfully as hoped. There mirror-Spock initiated a mind meld. Linked, the two Spock's debated mirror-Spock's choices, and helped fully restore prime-Spock. The Bird-of-Prey, with both Spock's aboard (mirror-Spock having been convinced to work with the now healthy prime-Spock), then returned to meet with the Excelsior. However by that time the mirror-crew had been incapacitated by the primary universe crew, who had taken the Excelsior into the mirror universe to head off an invasion force which was gathering. (TOS comics: "Deadly Reflection!", "The Tantalus Trap!", "Masquerade!")
Working together both Spock's made modifications to the Bird-of-Prey's systems to allow the vessel to traverse between realities. The Spocks finished just in time, narrowly missing the phaser fire of the USS Armstrong, which was leading a fleet in pursuit of them. The Bird-of-Prey found its way to the mirror universe, but in an ill state. Fortunately it was detected by the Excelsior on its way to meet with the invasion fleet. The Excelsior beamed the Spocks aboard and treated their medical needs, they also secured the mirror counterparts of Sulu and Chekov, who were also on the Klingon ship, in stasis, and then took the Bird-of-Prey, under cloak, into tow once more to meet with the fleet. (TOS comic: "Masquerade!")
Kirk had hoped to lure the Terran Empire's forces into a trap and destroy them before they could launch their invasion. Unfortunately a spy in the Terran resistance revealed Kirk's duplicity, prompting Grand Admiral Turner to order the fleet to destroy the Excelsior. Kirk had the Spocks, and Konom, a Klingon who served in Starfleet, board the Bird-of-Prey. Under cloak the Bird-of-Prey moved off from the Excelsior and destroyed several of the Terran vessels, allowing the Excelsior to escape. Kirk then ordered the Spock's to take the Bird-of-Prey to the Klingon homeworld.
Once inside Klingon space the Bird-of-Prey was stopped by two K't'inga-class vessels. The commander of the IKS Ravager demanded the ship identify itself, and in response Spock requested an audience with the Klingons' leader, Kahless IV. Under the offer of being able to crush the Terran Empire the Klingons escorted the Bird-of-Prey to their homeworld, where the Spocks and Knom beamed for an audience with Kahless. After Konom endured the Test of Truth the Klingon's accepted the groups' story, and their offer of information that would help the Klingon's crush the Empire. (TOS comic: "Behind Enemy Lines!")
The Romulans also agreed to assist in an attack against the Empire. In the battle the followed mirror-Spock and Konom remained on the Bird-of-Prey, carrying out precision attacks on the Terran starships' communications systems. Following the battle the Bird-of-Prey was once again put in tow by the Excelsior and both ships returned to the primary universe. (TOS comics: "The Beginning of the End...", "Homecoming...")
The doomsday bug
Following the mirror universe incident Kirk was given permanent command of the Excelsior. Later that year the Excelsior was attempting to stop an Andorian who was a carrier for the "doomsday bug". Unfortunately the Andorian had taken a shuttle into Romulan space (at a most unfortunate time - Federation/Romulan relations had just taken a dramatic turn for the worse, so a Federation incursion into Romulan space was poorly timed), and as the Excelsior followed she was stopped by a fleet of Romulan Z1-class starships, who had already intercepted the shuttle. With limited time before the deadly contagion spread further Kirk decided to make use of the Bird-of-Prey - which had been secured in the Excelsior's hangar bay - he had his crew launch the vessel under cloak, allowing them to get behind the Romulan ships and gain the advantage.
Kirk used his new found leverage to get himself invited onto the Romulan command ship, the Harrier, where he explained the situation. Unfortunately on the Romulan ship Predator the bug had already infected the crew, who then broke formation and began to attack. Because of the already tense diplomatic situation the Excelsior did not intervene in the battle, and before the Romulans could disable their own ship the Predator jumped to warp, heading for the heart of Romulan territory. The Bird-of-Prey was returned to the hangar bay, and the Excelsior and the Romulans headed off in pursuit of the infected vessel. (TOS comic: "Stand-Off!")
Meanwhile, Kirk's incursion into Romulan space had upset the Starfleet brass, prompting them to send to Captain Styles to relieve Kirk of duty. While on the Excelsior, Spock, who had survived initial infection by the doomsday bug, was suffering a severe deterioration in his mental state; undoing the fix his mind meld with his mirror-self had achieved previously. By the time the Excelsior caught up with the Predator, and developed a successful cure for the doomsday bug, Spock's mind had deteriorated beyond any repair the Starfleet medical personal could provide, he needed to be returned to Vulcan. (TOS comics: "Stand-Off!", "The Apocalypse Scenario!")
At the edge of the neutral zone Captain Styles waited for the Excelsior on the USS Saratoga. But when the ship came he was disappointed to find Kirk and his command crew absent - They had taken the Bird-of-Prey to return to Vulcan with Spock so that the Vulcan elders might be able to repair his mental imbalance. (TOS comic: "The Apocalypse Scenario!")
The voyage home
During their Vulcan exile, Kirk and his crew began repairing the damage to the Bird-of-Prey, which Doctor McCoy renamed HMS Bounty, an allusion to HMS Bounty of the 18th century British navy, a ship overtaken in a mutiny from Captain William Bligh, who crewmembers regarded as abusive. (TOS movie: The Voyage Home; WizKids module: Tactics)
After three months in exile, Sarek journeyed to Earth to testify on behalf of Kirk and his crew before the Federation Council; shortly after Starfleet demanded they also return to Earth to stand trial. The crew agreed to return, but had to use the Bounty to get there. The crew completed final repairs and modifications; one of the systems repaired was the cloaking device - as they were traveling in a Klingon ship and Chekov didn't want them to be "shot down on the way to [their] own funeral". The computers were also configured to interface with Federation computer systems. (TOS comic: "The Needs of the One"; TOS movie: The Voyage Home)
As they approached the Sol system, Uhura noted the unusual communications traffic. Soon a message came through from the Federation President, warning starships to keep away from Earth - which was being damaged by the Cetacean Probe. Spock determined that the transmissions of the Probe were the songs sung by humpback whales, which had been extinct since the mid-21st century. Kirk and his senior staff used the slingshot effect to take the Bounty back in time to 1986, to locate and retrive humpback whales in order to save Earth from the Probe.
The Bounty was able to make the journey back in time, but by then the dilithium crystals on the ship were de-crystallizing. Due to fission reactors still being in use by 1986, Spock and Scott were able to devise a method of using high energy photons collected from such a reactor to recrystallize dilithium. They were able to successfully re-crystallize the dilithium, enabling the ship to continue its mission.
Meanwhile the Bounty, under cloak, landed in Golden Gate Park, and the crew set off to find their whales. They located a pair of humpback whales, George and Gracie, at the Cetacean Institute; Spock mind melded with Gracie to communicate their intentions, in the process learnt she was pregnant.
While the rest of the crew repaired the Bounty and sourced materials to construct a holding tank for the whales inside the ship, Kirk and Spock befriended the Institute's assistant director, Doctor Gillian Taylor. Kirk decided to tell Taylor the truth about their mission, and she informed him the whales were due to be released into the wild. However the whales were released earlier than Taylor anticipated; she went to Golden Gate Park to ask Kirk for his help, and was beamed aboard the Bird-of-Prey. On board she helped the crew find the whales using their radio tracking tags, and found them just in time - the whales were being hunted. Kirk had the Bird-of-Prey decloak just above the whaling vessel, terrifying the crew, then beamed George and Gracie aboard.
The ship began experiencing a power loss, but was able to travel back to the 23rd century. Upon its return, the Bounty was crippled by the probe and crashed into San Francisco Bay. Kirk was able to free the whales from their holding tank. The whales were then able to communicate with the Probe, which stopped attacking Earth and left the system. The Bounty sank shortly afterwards. (TOS movie: The Voyage Home; WizKids module: Tactics)
In the fallout of the Genesis Incident, the Klingons initially demanded the return of the stolen Bird-of-Prey. However, in light of the loss of both the USS Grissom and Enterprise, and the murder of David Marcus, the Klingons agreed to consider the capture as "spoils of war" and withdrew their demand as a diplomatic gesture. (TNG novel: The Genesis Wave, Book One)
The ship suffered irreparable damage to its structure and all of its primary systems in the crash. However, the slingshot around the sun inadvertently proved that the B'rel design was capable of far higher warp speeds than its engineers thought possible. As a result, all subsequent Birds-of-Prey had their maximum warp speed upgraded from warp 8 to Warp 9.6. (TOS video game: Klingon Academy)
In 2370, Montgomery Scott christened another Klingon Bird-of-Prey, Bounty II, in honor of the original Bounty. Like the first Bounty, Scott used the Bounty 2 to travel back in time, hoping to prevent the loss of James T. Kirk to the Nexus; in 2293. (TOS novel: Engines of Destiny)
- Commanding officer: Kruge (2285, killed on the Genesis Planet)
- Maltz (2285, taken prisoner when ship was captured by Kirk and crew)
- Torg (2285, killed while attempting to commandeer the USS Enterprise)
HMS Bounty crew
- Commanding officer: James T. Kirk (2285-2286)
- Pavel Chekov (2285-2286)
- Leonard McCoy (2285-2286)
- Saavik (2285-2286, remained on Vulcan)
- Montgomery Scott (2285-2286)
- Spock (2285-2286)
- Hikaru Sulu (2285-2286)
- Nyota Uhura (2286)
Mirror universe incident crew
- Commanding officer: mirror-Spock (2285)
- Co-commanding officer: Spock (2285)
- mirror-Pavel Chekov (2285, put into stasis when mirror-Spock defected)
- Konom (2285)
- mirror-Hikaru Sulu (2285, put into stasis when mirror-Spock defected)
- Three conflicting Klingon names have been established for this vessel, the 2003 RPG book Starships describes it as the "IKS B'rel (IKC-9200)", while the 2007 Star Trek Customizable Card Game card for the ship in the What You Leave Behind expansion identifies it as the "IKS Qel'Poh". The Klingon Empire Core Rulebook calls it the "IKS Katai", which is also its name in the Myriad Universes story "The Chimes at Midnight". The name Qel'Poh appears to be tip-of-the-hat to the actor who played Kruge, Christopher Lloyd; as "Qel" translates to "Doctor" and "poH" to "Time" (Doctor Time). This is a reference to his role in the Back to the Future movies as Doctor Emmit L. Brown.
- The appearances of the ship in the DC Comics series are somewhat inconsistent: It appears throughout the New Frontiers storyline, often tractored by the USS Excelsior, and shown to be wider than the Excelsior's engineering hull. However when the ship returns in the The Doomsday Bug story it is shown to have been small enough to have been kept inside the Excelsior's hangar bay.
- The comic "Behind Enemy Lines!" shows the Bird-of-Prey firing while still under cloak, which is curiously inconsistent with Star Trek III: The Search for Spock which established the vessel and its capabilities, including its having to decloak before firing. It is similarly inconsistent with later stories, notably Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, where a Bird-of-Prey being able to fire while cloaked was a notable tactical advantage.
- The novel The Final Reflection mentions that Klingon vessels have "primary" and "auxiliary" bridges, possibly providing an explanation for the inconsistent onscreen appearances of this vessel's bridge.
|USS Excelsior auxiliary craft|
|NC-1138 • NX-2000/05A • NX-2000/E7 • Amagiri • HMS Bounty • Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben • Fujitsuba • Hyman Rickover|
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