Romulan vs. Klingon Prime Directives
Dear Poison Fox,
You keep getting referenced as an expert on the Rihannsu and I have a question for you. What is the Rihannsu opinion of the Prime Directive that the Federation’s Starfleet has to follow and what is the policy that the Rihannsu on the same basic subject and why?
Dear Soriedem, does Gates of Sto’vo’kor have a show dealing with Klingon attitudes on Prime Directive situations? If not, in your own words what were the pre-Federation-Alliance attitudes and if the alliance changed attitudes, how so and what are the modern attitudes and policy on this basic subject and why?
The Romulan Prime Directive by @PoisonFox
Well, I’m glad that people have good things to say about me to go along with all the bad things.
Since we’re talking Rihannsu and not TNG/DS9 Romulans we’ll go by what Diane Duane had spelled out for them. For those that have already read this, I apologize, but it will help those that don’t to understand why the Rihannsu are the way they are, and the question did say “and why?”.
Long before the “Eighty Thousand and S’task” left 40 Eridani and eighteen thousand arrived on ch’Rihan they were all Vulcans. Because of their xenophobia, the enmity between neighboring groups and wars between them were legendary, spanning between Earth’s Bronze Age and the fall of the Spartans. While Humans were building pyramids, Vulcans were flying to other destinations in their solar system.
The birth of Surak which would eventually turn the Vulcans around coincided with the “da’Nikhirch” (Eye of Fire) which made the Vulcans even more intensely interested in space. Rumor is that the da’Nikhirch was Sigma-1014 Orionis going nova from a “sunkiller bomb” which wiped out the major space power at the time, the “Inshai Compact”. When this happened the planets of the Southern Orion Congeries began a reign of terror across the galaxy. Wars, economic and societal collapse, starvation, plague, and fighting over interstellar trade routes. The surviving planets of the Compact like Etosha and Duthul turned to extortion and conquest in order to survive. This grouping would eventually become the Orion Syndicate.
Since the Vulcans had been traveling their solar system and searching for other life in the galaxy, they had been sending out electromagnetic signals in an attempt to contact any sentient lifeforms. Unfortunately, the closest planet was Etosha. The pirates set forth for Vulcan and surveyed it for months, monitoring their communications, learning the languages, seeing what material value the planet had. They eventually contacted Vulcan through subterfuge, sending out trinary conventional radio signal-pulses expressing atomic ratios and the like. The Vulcans understood the code almost immediately and replied.
The pirates offered peaceful trade and cultural opportunities and this caused all the wars on Vulcan to grind to a halt as the council decided to receive the pirates as a united front. This was done for two reasons. One, their own strength would be greater if they all acted together, and that no faction would be able to use this trade as a way to advance beyond the other factions. Around Earth’s 22 BC, 523 Vulcan’s gathered at Shi’Kahr to meet with the pirates. Chieftans, priestesses, clerics, merchants, scientist and philosophers who spared no expense to show riches and courtesy to the pirates because that was the honorable thing to do.
The pirates on the other hand met the Vulcans with weaponry and force, gruesomely killing anyone who tried to fight or escape and stunning those that were of strategic importance to be sold into slavery or held for ransom. Surak’s aircar malfunctioned and he was stranded at ta’Valsh. When he heard what the pirates had done he immediately offered to go by himself to the aliens and deal peace with them. No government would support him. Instead the Vulcans did what they did best, they went to war… “The” war as Vulcan history records. No ransoms were paid and all the mining and trading ships the Vulcans had were quickly fitted with weapons and the ability to hide their ships from the pirate’s sensors. The Vulcan psi-warriors (eventually Remans) went out as well and waged a war of the mind, twisting metal with their minds, causing pilots to put their own ships on collision courses with each other, while the rest of Vulcan waged a war of firepower and attrition. When the war was over, the Vulcans sent a message to Etosha, simply images of the destruction of the pirate’s fleet.
S’task was one of the hostages. He broke the back of his torturer, sabotaged the ship’s databanks and then released the other Vuclans to organize an in-ship rebellion that killed many of the slavers. He released the other hostages and flew the ship right into the pirate’s mothership, killing thousands of pirates and nearly himself in the process, having escaped in a lifepod just seconds before it was too late. He was picked up weeks later in orbit. half starved, half dead of hydration but still alive by the force of his rage alone. He was rushed to Surak who tried to console his student for days to no avail. There was no undoing what had been done to S’task’s mind and Surak declared “I have lost my best student to madness”.
Surak continued his message of peace, that it was time for Vulcans to put aside their differences and work together for a peaceful future. S’task spread his views that peace was not the way to deal with the universe that now awaited them, that the only way to meet these other barbaric species in space was through violent, blatantly exhibited power. When riots nearly killed Surak, S’task went into hiding so he could consider the situation. The Etoshan pirates had returned with a scout ship that it thought was cloaked from Vulcan’s sensors. It was destroyed almost immediately. S’task still cared for Surak even though because of what he experienced he could no longer follow Surak’s teachings. He knew however, that a divided Vulcan would mean that one side would eventually triumph over the other after centuries of bloodshed provided a bigger alien force did not wipe them out first.
So S’task decided that if the world was not working, then those dissatisfied with it should make another. Let them salvage the faster-than-light technology the pirates brought with them, add in their own Vulcan science and go find a new home, a “true” Vulcan, Vulcan as it “should” be. 50 years later, the Eighty Thousand and S’task left Vulcan to find a new home. As the Rihannsu saying goes “The meek inherited Vulcan; the Rihannsu had gone out and conquered the stars.”
Many millenia later, after contact with Earth and Vulcan were re-established with the Rihannsu the Great Empire began to falter. The rulers forgot those words and handed their rule over to onetime enemies, the Klingons. In their contempt and laziness they tried to absorb, and forgot to fear. They learned their lesson again, having to work their way back up from the scraps the Klingons left when they were through with them. Later still, interference from other species such as the Iconians cost them the one thing they all agreed on, what planet was home.
tl;dr version. “We don’t have any desire to interfere with another species just as much as we do not want them to interfere with us for we know first hand what that causes, besides we’re too busy trying to rebuild from our planet being blown up.”
The Klingon Prime Directive by @SoriedemSTO
To understand the Klingon Prime Directive or its equivalent, a little Klingon history is required. During the 14th century (400 years after Kahless), the Klingons were at an early industrial age of technological development. They traveled around using animal-drawn carts, sea-faring boats, and simple engines. The Klingons of this age had the concept of honor as defined by Kahless the Unforgettable. However, their fledgling Empire was not united as various houses bickered and fought against one another.
Outsiders descended on Qo’noS with the advanced technology and conquered the planet easily. The Hur’q invasion force enslaved the Klingon people and worked many of them to death as they raped and pillaged the planet of nearly every resource it possessed. The invasion united the Klingon people and a resistance force was organized. As some warrior faced off against the Hur’q with Guerilla tactics, other watched, waited, learned what they could from their oppressors.
The Hur’q’s advanced technology made them arrogant. They believed that the Klingons were too primitive to offer any real kind of resistance. However, they did not account for the Klingon’s tenacity, bravery, intelligence, and willingness to die for their cause. The Klingons captured Hur’q weaponry and eventually their ships. And after three years of occupation and enslavement, the Klingons rose up and drove the outsiders from their home world.
The damage, however, was done and the Klingons had few resources left to them on the planet. The people were starving. The Klingon High Council was formed consisting of the most powerful Houses within the Empire along with the remnants of the noble houses. The Council’s first task was to order the creation of spacecraft using the remnants of the Hur’q technology capable of interplanetary travel to gather resources, build to protect the Klingon Empire, and ensure that the Klingon species is never enslaved again. These three tasks became the foundation of the Klingon Prime Directive. Their second order of business was to remove political opposition by the heroes that won their freedom from the Hur’q. Their solution was to give them command of those spacecraft and send them forth on the mission.
Using the damaged remains of the technology the Hur’q left behind, the Klingons technological development leap frogged over the usual developmental hurdles and instantly they became a space faring race. Although, they did not quite understand the mechanics, let alone the theory of warp travel, and spurred on by starvation and deprivation, a few brave Klingons set out and began to colonize their star system and neighboring systems using sub-warp sleeper ships, while Klingon scientists studied the Hur’q technology and eventually learned how to create their own warp engines.
With the advent of Warp travel, the Klingons set out into the galaxy. The first worlds they encountered were filled with hostile species. Klingon determination and relentlessness resulted in the conquest of countless planets, where resistance was stomped out before it could gain root and the survivors were allowed to go about their lives as jeghpu’wI’ (a sub-class within the Empire). They were not slaves, but they were required to acquiesce to the desires of the installed Klingon Governor and his occupying force allowing them to take what they wanted. The Klingons in turn recognized the world as part of the Klingon Empire which qualified them for protection and assistance. The resources and technologies gained were shared across the Empire and used to defend and grow its influence. When they encountered a primitive race, they shared resources, technology, and weapons, in exchange for allegiance to the Empire, other resources, and defense from outside threats only after the installation of a Governor accompanied by occupying army.
Their strategy worked for the Empire and it grew by leaps and bounds. Klingon diplomacy and the seamlessly endless wars and battles turned the warriors that fought them into revered figures in Klingon culture, just as those that had fought against the Hur’q invasion and Kahless himself were. However, as the Empire grew and grew, it became harder to defend all of its borders, and those worlds along the frontier were often neglected, abandoned, or conquered by other powers. Klingons, however, would not stand to have what was once theirs taken from them. It was a matter of honor.
When the Klingons made contact with Earth, the planet was too far from their borders to be of much use to them. However, the humans that inhabited it were a nuisance at best, but soon became a threat to their Empire with their talk of peaceful coexistence. The galaxy was not a peaceful place and the Klingons considered the humans and their eventual Federation allies to be naïve and a greater threat to the galaxy. The Federation wanted to recreate the galaxy in their own image, while the Klingons recognized it for what it was – a hostile place for any race. This eventually led to greater hostilities and several wars with the Federation. However, in the end both were too evenly matched for either to conquer the other.
The Klingon Empire turned to a one time enemy, the Romulan Star Empire, for an advantage over the Federation. They negotiated a short-lived trade agreement with the Romulans for cloaking technology. The technology was reverse engineered and quickly rolled out across the entire Klingon fleet, giving them an advantage over the Federation. However, relations with the Romulans broke down, and the three powers found themselves in a struggle for superiority in the quadrant that promised ongoing aggression for centuries to come.
While the powers fought, the diplomats agreed to an experiment in peace at Nimbus that ultimately failed, but opened the door to a future and more stable peace settlement, especially after the destruction of Praxis, Qo’noS moon and primary power plant. Once again the Empire had found themselves without resources and on the verge of starvation. Their people were dying. The Federation moved in, not as conquerors, but as friends offering aid and resources that enabled the Empire to survive the latest disaster.
Eventually, the Federation and the Klingons put their differences aside and they learned to cooperate. It was rough at first. Misunderstandings often brought the two factions to the brink of war. The diplomats were able to prevent the escalation of these isolated events, saving the galaxy from another war between these two powers. However, it wasn’t until the Dominion War, when they fought side by side against the Dominion that they were actually able to put their differences aside and cooperate as equals.
Over the centuries, the Klingons’ version of the Prime Directive had served them well in a galaxy filled with threats. However, as the galaxy became a more peaceful place due in part to the work of the Federation, the Klingon’s prime directive was archaic and dated. Chancellor Martok took the lessons learned from the Dominion War and their dealings with the Federation to draft a new directive. Based on the work of General Klag and his dealings with the race known as the Children of San Tarah, the Klingon Empire realized that it can become stronger by welcoming other warrior races into the fold not as second-class citizens, jeghpu’wI’, but as equals. This has allowed other races to come under the Klingon banner, including the Gorn, Orions, and others, heralding a new age for the Klingon Empire and their prime directive.
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He is the co-owner of Busy Little Beaver Productions and is the producer and co-host for G & T Show and Gates of Sto’vo’kor. He’s directed voice actors, and produced and edited audio podcasts and dramas because he doesn’t have the face for video. He plays well with others and is always on the look out for the next project, the next thing, the next next. If he wasn’t working on something with a half dozen other projects waiting in the wings, somebody please check to make sure he’s still breathing.
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