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In the mirror universe, the Klingons were a humanoid species native to the planet Qo'noS in the Beta Quadrant. They forged and ruled the Klingon Empire and subsequently the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance, two of the most prominent interstellar states over many centuries.
Birth of the Klingon EmpireEdit
Klingons started out as barbaric tribesmen, perpetually raiding one another for food and territory. During the 9th century, a terrible tyrant named Molor arose and, aided by an army of unthinking minions, conquered the warring tribes and united the planet Qo'noS. Molor sought to change the Klingon people by making them adopt a concept he called honor, which would replace the lust for conquest as the highest goal of a Klingon warrior, forcing them to restrain their true urges.
However, a Klingon warrior named Kahless the Unstoppable fought and slew Molor, consigning his doctrine to the grave. Although Kahless may have hated Molor's theory of honor, he liked the worldwide empire and kept it in place. Throughout his reign, he put down near-perpetual revolts from regional warlords seeking to test his strength. One of them finally killed him in single combat, smashing his head in and throwing him off a cliff for good measure. Superstitious Klingons believed that Kahless' ghost sometimes materialized in the midst of battle, guiding the hands of the fiercest generals. (Decipher RPG module: Through a Glass, Darkly)
- In the Dark Passions duology novels, it was instead stated that Molor had defeated Kahless and that Klingon culture had a basis for celebrating his victory.
Kahless' slayer did not last long as world emperor. A few months later, warlords loyal to the man he had killed stormed his stronghold and slew him. They then fought each other over the succession. For centuries, Klingon history would swing like a pendulum between world government and utter anarchy. Warfare drove Klingon scientific advances, as warlords, hoping to become world emperor, funded researchers who promised them superior weapons and equipment. The Klingons developed prewarp space vessels in the early 20th century, spurred on by a world emperor named Kalok the Terrible. His sleeper ships put warriors in a drug-induced state of suspended animation. Kalok planned for them to find new worlds to conquer, so that his warlords would not get restless and want to fight him. The explorers would report back, and then entire armies would be sent out on sleeper ships to combat these new enemies. The Klingons pushed out to other planets, building their space empire. However, most of the worlds in close proximity to their own were just as resource-poor as Qo'noS was and none of the races they conquered had achieved industrial economies. Still, the effort did what Kalok wanted, giving his generals something better to do than challenge his supremacy. (Decipher RPG module: Through a Glass, Darkly)
Early contact with the Terran EmpireEdit
In the 22nd century, the Klingon Empire encountered the Terran Empire. In 2151, a Klingon warrior trying to return with evidence of alien interference in the war of the great Houses wound up crashlanding on Earth. The Terran security and intelligence bureaus tortured him for information and, under the influence of various sedatives applied by the Denobulan Dr. Phlox, the warrior gave up information about the Klingon Empire and its location. This contact prompted Starfleet to finish its designs for more powerful warships, something that had been on the back burner due to budgetary infighting over the importance of suppressing local colonial revolts on nearby worlds like Alpha Centauri.
The Terran Emperor funded the completion of the warp five engine and the Empire's first warp-5 vessel, the ISS Enterprise (NX-01), was sent on a mission to learn about and suppress the Klingons. Within only a few months of the expedition, the Enterprise encountered a damaged Klingon vessel. Commander Jonathan Archer offered to rescue the crew if they would serve as slaves, but they refused. Nevertheless, Archer managed to salvage the vessel, enslave its occupants, and drop them off on a nearby Class H desert planet. By the time Starfleet's slower ships could arrive there months later, Archer's prisoners were thoroughly broken and T'Pol, a Vulcan science officer, had cracked the Klingon technologies of deflector shields and photon torpedoes. (Decipher RPG module: Through a Glass, Darkly)
- "When I did this in my universe, it didn't wipe out the Klingons. A decent number should be able to save themselves. Plus, they'll have an advantage – no Terran ships firing on them as they try to escape."
- —Philippa Georgiou to Michael Burnham, 2257[src]
By the late 22nd century, the new starship designs of the Terran Empire were ready, and the Empire decided to send a message to the raggedy Klingons. In 2218, the ISS Ranger warped into the Qo'noS system in order to claim Qo'noS for the Empire. The captain of the Ranger felt that the warlike and imperialistic nature of the Klingons would make them useful subjects of the Empire, and powerful soldiers. As such, on behalf of the Terran Emperor Stephane Louvin, he showed unprecedented mercy in offering the Klingons the status of Praetorian Guards. The Klingons seemingly agreed, asking only for the mercy of being allowed to surrender in their own sacred ceremony, a ceremony that the Klingons soon revealed as a desperate ambush. Siezing the Ranger, the Klingons rapidly decimated the economies of their slave worlds building copies, but even these ships and Klingon ferocity could not stave off the inevitable. The Terrans managed to smash through their core colonies and would destroy nine out of ten Klingon ships during their battles. The Andorians, seriously galled by the fact that the Klingons were offered the role of favored slaves and guards, were the most eagerly aggressive attackers, slaughtering fourteen Klingons for every lost Andorian. (Decipher RPG module: Through a Glass, Darkly)
Sometime before 2257, Terran Emperor Philippa Georgiou detonated a hydro bomb in the vents of the planet's volcanic system, which triggered a phreatic eruption and turned Qo'noS into a blackened ball of dust, rendering the planet uninhabitable within weeks. Although escaping Klingon vessels were fired upon by Terran ships, a sizable number managed to escape. (DSC episode: "Will You Take My Hand?")
- In the RPG "Through a Glass, Darkly", it was stated that the Klingons were defeated by the Terran Empire in 2218 when Starfleet carried out General Order 24, leveling and subsequently occupying Qo'noS. Klingon survivors similarly escaped extinction and swore vengeance against the Terran Empire.
Klingon survivors retreated to the fringes of colonies and conquered worlds furthest from Terran space. In the wake of their defeat, the Klingons retooled their society in order to achieve their one overriding goal of destroying the Terran Empire. Wanting vengeance and their homeworld back, the Klingons discarded every tradition and custom that did not somehow bring them closer to these goals. No matter how many Klingon vessels Starfleet destroyed and no matter how many Klingon terrorists and raiders were executed, the Klingons kept coming back for more.
Although the Klingons originally despised sabotage, assassination, and similar intelligence operations as cowardly, they ultimately formed their own Klingon intelligence agency, the Khak'ma. With the aid of hired instructors from the Orion Cabal, they became the quadrant's masters of covert operations. (Decipher RPG module: Through a Glass, Darkly)
By 2257, various Klingons had also joined in a rebellion against the Terran Empire, which also included Vulcans, Andorians and Tellarites. That year, the rebellion was led by the Klingon Voq, who was known as the Fire Wolf. (DSC episode: "The Wolf Inside")
Formation of the Klingon-Cardassian AllianceEdit
By the early 23rd century, the Klingon Empire was engaged in a cold war with the Terran Empire. The conflict flared up from time to time with the Klingons winning a major victory in the 2220s. However, the Klingons respected the Terrans as worthy foes.
In 2268, in a effort to bring peace between Elasians and Troyians, Elaan, the Dohlman of Elas, was arranged to marry Hakil, the Caliph of Troyius. The Terran Empire assigned the ISS Enterprise to transport Elaan to Troyius in order to prevent the Klingon Empire from conquering their worlds and gaining access to their rich supplies of dilithium crystals. Kryton, the leader of the Dohlman's guards, hated the arrangement, as he loved Elaan and wished to marry her. Consequently, he conspired with the Klingons to sabotage the mission. However, the Klingons' plan failed as Captain Spock, via the Tantalus field, observed Kryton sabotaging the Enterprise. Kryton was then taken into custody and executed on Spock's orders while the captain used the Tantalus field to disintegrate the entire crew of Klingon battle cruiser which was poised to attack the ship. The ship itself was undamaged. A peace treaty was signed between Elas and Troyius shortly afterwards, scuppering the Klingons' plan.
In 2289, the Klingon Empire conquered Korvat, an unarmed farming colony less than a lightyear from Klingon space which had previously been located in inviolable Terran territory. The political and military elite of the Klingon Empire met on Korvat to celebrate their victory. During a speech by Kang during which he stated that the Terrans were no longer the able workers which they had once been, the Terran Empire's ambassador Curzon Dax spat at Kang's feet in disgust and decried the manner in which the Klingons were celebrating the "least audacious victory in [their] history" and accused them of having a "miserable empire" before storming out, which earned him Kang's wrath.
By this time, Regent Gorkon's senior military adviser General Chang had successfully overseen the development of a prototype bird-of-prey which had the ability to fire its weapons while cloaked. Based on the military capacity of the Terran Empire at that time, he informed the Regent that it would take nine years to build a fleet of such vessels large enough to conquer the Empire. The construction of this fleet was carried out on Praxis, one of the moons of Qo'noS. To power the production, and the cloaking field that kept it hidden from Terran spy arrays the energy production on Praxis was tripled In 2293, Praxis exploded, causing massive ecological damage to Qo'noS: toxic elements from Praxis' crust began to break down the atmosphere and contaminate water supplies, threatening the end to higher-order lifeforms within fifty years. Additionally seventy percent of the population were inflicted with deadly xenocerium poisoning. This led to the staging of the Khitomer Conference, a diplomatic conference held by the major Alpha Quadrant powers on the Klingon-held world Khitomer. At the conference, Gorkon offered Spock the opportunity to forge an alliance between their empires but the latter declined.
Following the failure of the Khitomer Conference, Spock postulated that the Klingons and the Cardassians would meet to discuss a grand alliance between the Klingon Empire and Cardassian Union, which would allow them to defeat the Terran Empire. This prediction was proven entirely correct. In 2295, the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance was formed. In a relatively short period of time, the Alliance was able to completely defeat the Terran Republic, the short-lived successor state of the Terran Empire, using the advanced fleet of Klingon birds-of-prey which had the ability to fire their weapons while cloaked. The Terrans, the Vulcans and other former subject species of the Terran Empire were massacred while the survivors were enslaved. (TOS - Mirror Universe novel: The Sorrows of Empire)
In spite of the fact that the Klingons were generally not comfortable with sentient species shaped differently than themselves, they respected the reptilian Pahkwa-thanh's predatory nature. The Klingon Empire had lost thousands of warriors to their failed attempt to conquer the Pahkwa-thanh homeworld. Granting such honourable and songworthy deaths to so many warriors was the Klingon idea of a generous diplomatic overture so the two species became stalwart allies. (TTN - Mirror Universe short story: "Empathy")
The Alliance remained the undisputed major power in the Alpha Quadrant until the early 2370s, at which time its stability was threatened by the success of the Terran Rebellion. (DS9 episodes: "Crossover", "Through the Looking Glass", "Shattered Mirror", "The Emperor's New Cloak")
In January 2379, the Terran Rebellion, with the assistance of Memory Omega and M'k'n'zy of Calhoun, was victorious in its war against the Alliance. The Terrans, the Vulcans and the other enslaved species were freed and the Galactic Commonwealth was founded. A neutral zone was subsequently established between Alliance and Commonwealth space. This effectively ended the unprecedented power and influence over galactic affairs which the Klingon people had enjoyed for the previous 84 years as one of the two principle races in the Alliance. In 2380, the Alliance was officially dissolved. (ST - Mirror Universe novel: Rise Like Lions)
In the 2260s, Klingon Emperor Kor decided that his people would never be more than a peripheral threat to the Terrans unless they freed themselves from poverty. In 2266, Khak'ma operatives informed him of Terran plans to hit the Cardassian Union and his fleet intervened. Starfleet managed to deal severe damage to Cardassian ships, communications, and industries before Kor arrived and turned the tide against them. However, the Cardassians were still eager to show their gratitude. Kor entered into a mutual assistance pact with Cardassian Legate Cascul not long after. The Klingons offered manpower and information on the enemy while the Cardassians provided them with the funding and technology they needed to build vessels better able to compete with the best of Starfleet.
However, the Alliance was young, and the two proud species had not yet learned to understand one another. The Klingons thought that civilization had sapped Cardassian drive and aggressiveness and that the Cardassians looked down on them because they were desperate. They grumbled that the Cardassians had never really known the kind of deprivation they had faced if it were not for Kor's intervention, and that they did not show enough gratitude for it.
The strength of the Alliance hinged on the personal admiration Kor and Cascul bore for one another. Kor saw Cascul's perpetual teetering on the edge of violence as eminently Klingon while Cascul admired Kor's strategic foresight as worthy of a Cardassian. (Decipher RPG module: Through a Glass, Darkly)
In 2273, agents of both the Khak'ma and Tal Shiar were captured and turned by the Terran Empire's Minister of Vassal Affairs Samuel Cogley, who, alongside War Minister Spock, belonged to an underground dissident organization called the Oswaldites. Not wanting either the Alliance or the Romulans to know he had stepped down the military build-up, Spock fed both intelligence agencies information suggesting the opposite. Although the disinformation would, in the short term, stop the Alliance from attacking, its long-term effect would be to motivate them to step up their own shipbuilding campaign even further.
By 2277, the Alliance stepped up its incursions into Imperial territory, which, among other things, prevented Terran Emperor Alex Danaher from resuming Spock's reforms. Instead, Spock had to spend more, not less, on Starfleet in order to repel the Klingons and Cardassians. This meant going to the Ferengi Grand Nagus for more loans, which in turn depressed the credit.
In 2285, the Alliance launched an assault on the planet Ceti Alpha V in an attempt to retrieve the Genesis Weapon. However, they ended up battling against the crew of the ISS Enterprise (NCC-1701), who had come to the planet in order to retrieve Spock, who had been restored to back to life by revivifying energy of the Genesis Effect. Although Alliance forces briefly occupied the Enterprise, they were destroyed by an array of booby-traps installed by Montgomery Scott.
In 2288, the Terran Empire suffered an economic collapse. Because the galactic economy was sufficiently integrated, the Alliance, to the surprise of Klingon and Cardassian leaders, suffered as well, causing bankruptcies and job losses throughout their territories. However, they suffered much less than the Empire and were able to complete their military build-up by 2293.
Khak'ma bombs blew up Praxis, one of the moons of Qo'noS, wreaking havoc on the planet below. Klingon ships strafed Qo'noS' surface, killing the surviving Terran colonists and reclaiming their homeworld. Alliance fleets quickly cut their way through demoralized and ill-equipped Starfleet forces. The pace of their victory was slowed only by the Cardassians' methodical desire to fully secure one world before moving on to the next. Starfleet fell back to Earth, leaving only local resistance forces to face the Alliance as it mowed over dozens of colonies, subjects and vassals.
The remainder of Starfleet was smashed in its final defense of Earth in 2297. The Enterprise was seemingly one of the last ships to be destroyed, with Spock presumed to have been on board. Just before it took a direct hit and exploded in the vacuum of space, the ship was maneuvered, its weapons system crippled, so that a pursuing Cardassian vessel smashed into the Klingon flagship. All aboard the Klingon ship were killed, including Emperor Kor. The savage Terrans resisted occupation more fiercely than any other species, occasioning three years of house-to-house fighting before the population was finally pacified. By 2305, Alliance forces had conquered and occupied the entire Terran Empire. (Decipher RPG module: Through a Glass, Darkly)