Battle of the Houses

From Star Trek: Theurgy Wiki


The Battle of the Houses was the largest battle of the brief Klingon civil war of 2381. Chancellor Martok faced a rebellion, led by his rival, Gorka, with the renegade Federation dreadnought Theurgy heavily involved in the conflict. The battle's outcome and subsequent conclusion of the war would have long-lasting ramifications throughout the Alpha and Beta quadrants, particularly in the clandestine war against the Infested. The battle takes its name from the Klingon Great Houses, whose varying loyalties and politics determined the course of the engagement.

The Battle of the Houses serves as one of the major events of Episode 01 of Season 02 of the Theurgy story.


The Battle of the Apertures, while a major victory for the combined Federation/Klingon forces, sent political shockwaves throughout the Klingon Empire. Dozens of Klingon vessels were destroyed in the struggle against the Borg, with several thousand Klingon warriors losing their lives. Though Chancellor Martok survived the battle, the heavy losses, notably including the celebrated flagship IKC Negh’var, severely weakened the Klingon military, which had barely begun to recover from catastrophic losses and economic ruin during the Dominion War.

Though in itself, this was not a problem for a warrior culture, Martok's radical actions following the battle stoked suspicion and alarm. He suspended the hunt for the renegade dreadnought Theurgy, despite that vessel destroying the IKS Hakkarl over a week prior, slaying Martok's own son. More, Martok ordered strict secrecy among the few survivors of the battle, flatly refusing to give even the High Council details about what had occurred. This unusual act greatly perturbed many of the fallen's families, who were unable to properly celebrate the deeds of the glorious dead, and outraged more conservative elements of the Empire. Even more bizarre, though remaining outwardly friendly, Martok suspended joint operations with Starfleet and began refortifying the Empire's border with the United Federation of Planets.

As time passed, discontent with Martok's secrecy grew, building on concerns about the Empire's slow economic recovery. Martok's absence from Qo'nos further weakened his political standing, as did odd rumours spread: that the Theurgy had been present at the battle, had escaped, that it was being secretly refitted in a distant Klingon dock, that Martok had gone mad and aligned himself with the psychotic terrorist Captain Jien Ives. Nothing made sense, and the Klingon populace grew ever more disturbed.

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Though the rumors were partially true, Martok had excellent reasons for his secrecy. At the Battle of the Apertures, he had learned the horrible truth about the Infested, their control of Starfleet Command, and the Theurgy crew's struggle to stop them. The Theurgy was indeed being secretly refitted at Aldea, a distant vassal world of the Empire, as Martok made his own plans to fight The Infested and save the Empire. However, fast-moving events derailed those plans before he could act.



In retaliation for the Theurgy thwarting their schemes in the Azure Nebula, the Infested enacted a new strategy simultaneously in all three of the major powers. In Paris, an Earth city that housed the Federation Council and President Nanietta Bacco, the Infested detonated a thalaron bomb. Within moments, millions of people, including much of the Federation government, was dead. Though the President survived, the attack was the deadliest atrocity on Earth in over two hundred years, stunning the entire Federation.

Starfleet's investigation quickly confirmed a Romulan connection, and concurrently, as planned by the Infested, Praetor Tal'aura publically admitted to the attack, claiming that it was due to Starfleet's interference in the Romulan civil war. In response, the United Federation of Planets formally declared war on the Romulan Star Empire for the first time in the tense history of the two great civilisations. Immediately, ships and troops on both sides of the Neutral Zone began arming for war, though both Starfleet and Romulan Star Navy were taken by surprise by the sudden conflict. Skirmises began immediately, but neither side would be ready for a major offensive for quite some time.

However, the Infested had more immediate plans. Shortly after the destruction of Paris, Gorka's grandfather on the High Council publically confirmed that the Theurgy was indeed being sheltered by Martok. After numerous accusations of treason, deception and dishonourable conduct, Martok was formally challenged for leadership of the Empire. Despite broadcasting the truth of his alliance with the Theurgy and the threat of the Infested, Martok's words were met with skepticism by many, especially since he contradicted the Federation's own version of events. Battle lines were drawn.

Almost instantly, much as it had during the civil war between Gowron and the Duras, the Empire was split asunder, with various major houses declaring themselves for either Martok or Gorka. Fighting began soon after, and civil war broke out in earnest.

The Race Begins

It quickly became apparent to both sides that whomever reached Qo'nos first for the challenge would have a marked advantage, both militarily and politically. Gorka, though his grandfather on the High Council was killed in combat by one of Martok's allies, had planned his challenge perfectly, with Martok far away on Aldea, several weeks travel from Qo'nos even at high warp. He had been meeting Captain Ives for a conference on the Infested threat, but was caught out of position.

The crew of the USS Theurgy, however, had not been idle. With the ship repaired by the Klingon dockyards after the Battle of the Apertures, and equipped with a quantum slipstream drive gifted by their Savi allies, the Theurgy immediately departed for Qo'nos with Martok aboard. The race was on.

Via quantum slipstream, the Theurgy crossed the vast gulf in space far faster than anyone could've predicted. Simultaneously, their Savi allies covertly deployed Theurgy teams on other missions, ranging from the planets Breen and Andoria, where the teams worked to avert more thalaron detonations, while yet another team rescued Martok's grandson. Meanwhile, Klingon battlegroups raced to Qo'nos, while cities across the capital world were ravaged by internecine fighting.


On the third day of the war, Gorka was closing fast on Qo'nos with dozens of warships, confident that he had outmaneuvered Martok. He was shocked, however, when long-range sensors detected the Theurgy ahead of his own forces. Not understanding how the vessel had magically appeared, he nevertheless assembled a large fleet, led by the House of Mo'kai, to destroy the Theurgy and kill Martok personally. Since the Theurgy's warp engines were temporarily offline after the quantum slipstream jump, the dreadnought had no means of escape. Though allied forces raced to aid them, the Theurgy was dramatically outnumbered. Dozens more Klingon warships flew to the brewing battle, their allegiances not yet known to either side, and often, not even to their own crews.

With no alternative, Captain Ives, Martok and a small team boarded the SS Sabine NX-59846 to continue on to Qo'nos, hoping that Gorka's forces would not detect the shuttlecraft. The Theurgy, meanwhile, now under the command of second officer Lieutenant Commander Natalie Stark following the unexpected death of the ship's first officer, Ranaan Ducote (KIA) prepared for a last stand against impossible odds.


The Battle is Joined

Gorka transferred his flag to the larger Negh'var-class battleship IKC Ta'rom, and prepared an immediate overwhelming assault against the Theurgy, still believing Martok to be onboard. Although Stark attempted to delay with a hail, Gorka disregarded it and ordered his forces to attack. A wing of six bird-of-preys reached the Theurgy first, inflicting no damage and leaving two of their own disabled to precise return fire. However, the attack was merely intended to pin the Theurgy down as the Klingon fleet assembled in a wide formation, aiming to surround the dreadnought and attack from all sides.

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Now, however, the Klingons learned why the Theurgy had survived so many battles. Unbeknownst to them, the ship had been designed by Starfleet for just such an engagement, and at Natalie Stark's order, the dreadnought launched its fighters and activated Multi Vector Assault Mode. Within moments, one ship became three, and defying conventional Starfleet tactics, the Theurgy's vectors launched a full frontal assault on Gorka's armada, unleashing her vast arsenal of phasers.

Having expected an evasive maneuver, and taken offguard by the sudden aggression, the Klingons were unable to concentrate their dispersed formation against the nimble Federation vessels. The Theurgy's attack run knocked ten ships out of the fight at a stroke. Gorka responded by breaking formation entirely, ordering his fleet to simply swarm the Theurgy's vectors and attempt to beam aboard boarding parties. Realising that Gorka was not going to be deterred, Stark duly authorised the use of torpedoes and unrestricted phaser fire, as the crew grimly awaited the onslaught.

Gorka's tactics, though costly against the Theurgy's awesome firepower, nevertheless soon started to take a toll. The Klingon attack run damaged all three vectors, especially the Helmet, with Klingon boarding parties beaming through gaps in the shield grids. In the brief pause that followed the firing pass, Ensign Cameron Henshaw identified a potential vulnerability in the chaotic Klingon lines. Thus, upon turning back to re-engage the enemy, the Theurgy's three vectors flew together at extreme close range, overlapping shield grids for added protection.

The maneuver worked, the Theurgy successfully penetrating the Klingon fleet even as a small force of ships loyal to Martok joined the fray. Meanwhile, two of the Theurgy's warp fighters attacked the Ta'rom, distracting the battleship and preventing it from fully concentrating on its target. Nevertheless, with numerous Klingon boarding parties battling the Theurgy's security teams and damage rapidly accumulating, the tide of battle appeared to be turning against the Starfleet vessel.

Then came the critical moment: Gorka received intelligence that a shuttlecraft, undoubtedly bearing Martok, had left the Theurgy sometime earlier and headed for Qo'nos. Stunned, Gorka nevertheless reacted quickly, promptly taking the Ta'rom and several escortd to warp in hot pursuit of the Chancellor, leaving his fleet to finish off the damaged Starfleet ship.

Despite a boarding party breaching the Helmet's bridge, barely being fought off by the defending crew, Gorka's fleet was left in disarray by the flagship's sudden flight. As much as anything else, the Ta'rom's huge cannons had been a crucial asset in depleting the Theurgy's shields. In the chaos, more Klingon ships dropped out of warp to join the battle. Ships of the Houses of Grevaq, Merik and Qolqa moved to cover the Theurgy, even as ships of the Houses of K'lek, Konjah, Kyran and Morab reinforced Gorka's forces. Further out, vessels of the Houses of S'Kopa, Tovoj and Woldan, undecided on whom to align with, hailed the Theurgy to learn more about the situation.

The Houses Decide

A lull settled over the battlefield as political wrangling began, ship commanders talking to others in hopes of convincing each other to swap sides, the two fleets continuing to fight. Now that the talking had begun, however, fire began to slacken on both sides, the two fleets now evenly matched. Amidst it all, Stark, aided by Zyrao Natauna and Lieutenant Commander Samantha Rutherford (Stasis), dropped the figurative bombshell: contrary to rumour, Martok's line had not ended with his son's death, as he in fact had a grandson, alive and well aboard the Theurgy. More, Martok was, at that very moment, en route to Qo'nos to settle the challenge personally in the Great Hall.

Stark and General Chu'vok, commander of Martok's troops aboard the Theurgy, made an impassioned argument to everyone present that further battle would be pointless, and would only weaken the Empire even more, regardless of whether Martok or Gorka prevailed. Slowly, in drips and drabs, then finally en masse, Klingon ships on both sides left the battlefield, forming an odd anticlimax. Despite the destruction of dozens of vessels, and the deaths of thousands, far greater carnage had been averted. The Klingon Defence Forces, and the various Houses represented in it, had made their choice. Across the Empire, except for on Qo'nos itself, the Klingon people stopped fighting each other and waited to see who would prevail between Martok and Gorka.

The Theurgy, battered and damaged, was nevertheless free to fly on to Qo'nos. The civil war wasn't over yet, and more desperate fighting was to come, but the Battle of the Houses had ended.

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