Ch’ramaki – a report by Lieutenant Commander Judith Peers, U.S.S. Sheffield.
This material is classified secret by Starfleet Intelligence. To be distributed only with clearance (ie plenty spoilers for upcoming stories here).
Home world: Ch’ramak. (Currently occupied by Klingon forces).
Capital city: Ch’rami.
Second city: Birizani.
Lo'oaster - coastal town
The Ch’ramaki are from a farming world located on the fringes of Klingon space. For centuries the Ch’ramaki supplied agricultural produce to the surrounding systems, including the Klingon Empire. As the Klingon war efforts continued decade after decade, Chancellor Kesh saw an opportunity to supply the Klingons with a reliable, plentiful supply of war rations as well as potential new race for joining the empire.
The Ch'ramaki flag consists of green base with a green shoot bisecting a rising yellow sun on a blue sky.
The Klingons invaded Ch’ramak on Stardate 8134.6, utilising the First Fleet under the command of General Chang. Beachhead class assault ships led the landings with Commander Kaarg leading one of the units.
Refugees from Ch’ramaki were first encountered by the Federation liner Arcadia of Epiphany Tours on Stardate 8138. When Captain Estaban of the Grissom was unable to offer the twenty-nine refugees anything more than asylum, a minority decided to take the liner hostage to highlight their plight and gain sympathy. The crisis was resolved by the Grissom security operations team led by ‘Thor’ Thorsen.
The eleven Ch’ramaki guilty of the attempted hostage-taking were granted asylum, along with the others on the grounds that their repatriation would lead to certain death. After a period at a penal colony, the eleven were released early on the grounds of good behaviour and their sentence commuted on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Starfleet Intelligence assigned assets to track Ch’aikamek after his open statement that his act was but the first move in the resistance against the Klingons. He promised that "Whilst they stain the soil of my world with our blood, nothing of theirs is safe. We shall destroy their statues, their monuments, their leaders, their temples, their paintings, their children - all will be crushed underfoot. As they have destroyed my world, so the Ch’ramaki will destroy their empire, brick by brick."
Ch’aikamek was found to have fled the Federation when an agent failed to track him through a market. It is thought that his escape and evade training as a corporal in the Ch’ramak defence forces was underestimated. His whereabouts were unknown for some time afterwards.
Starfleet Intelligence reports that the first known act of resistance was the bombing of the first Klingon colonial hub on Stardate 8312.5. The Klingons identified the explosives as being derived from common fertilisers. Governor K’plex was killed along with many of his staff in the explosion. The bomb-makers were never caught, however the presence of Ch’ramaki bodies in the rubble suggest they were possibly amongst the victims.
Prior to the explosion, the only known acts of defiance had been in the form of mass suicide of Ch’ramaki, refusing to aid the Klingons in the farming of their crops. Other unconfirmed reports speak of sabotaging of the fields using herbicides and farming equipment to kill the crops. Both of these courses of action have been in vain given the disregard of Klingons to the plight of their new ‘members’, the crops apparently being harvested on time.
After the explosion of Praxis and subsequent Khitomer talks, Starfleet committed to sending aid ships to Kronos. These ships were attacked by what the Klingon authorities referred to as ‘rogue elements’ unhappy at the aid. This was put down to prideful Klingons not wanting aid, an assumption the authorities of Kronos did nothing to correct. Later analysis suggests this may not have been Klingons at all, but Ch’ramaki terrorists trying to undermine the assistance.
Recently, evidence has shown that the Ch’ramaki have begun to spread their jihad further afield. The assassination of Klingon representative General Koord on Nimbus III in the early 24th Century was put down as an internal Klingon family blood feud. There is now strong evidence that this was the act of a Ch’ramaki assassin posing as a Klingon member of embassy staff.
The Klingon flagship, Kronos One, was also destroyed over Ch’ramak in an act of defiance in 2309. It took three attempts to build the colonial hub on Ch’ramak and there seems to be no end in sight to the acts of terror. The Klingon overseers have executed thousands of the populace in an attempt to intimidate the terror cells into stopping and to encourage the local populace to hand in the terrorists. The result has been the exact opposite, with attacks on the Klingons now at a new level of ferocity and complexity. The Ch’ramaki are now learning to imitate Klingon officers and soldiers, speaking fluent Klingonese and breaking security codes.
Male names start with Ch’ or Gh’ prefixes and finish with suffix –ek.
Female names start with Lh’ or Rin’ prefixes, ending in suffix -eh.
Names tend to be three or more syllables long, suggesting they perform the function of personal and family name all in one.
K’lemiik – cleric/oracle of the Ch’ramaki people; they utilise the juice of the Jaarvid plant in order to make prophesies.
abi’di’batah – A holy war, crusade or jihad.
cha'numi - sort of plough
tatanikel - combined spade and hoe -can be used as a weapon
B'ranna - hat for the hot climate. It resembles a turban crossed with arab Keffiyeh.
Be'tal - flowing poncho/robes for the climate
Z'ch'tama - the traditional markings of a Ch'ramaki individual to match their clan markings. e.g. left cheek marked with two white parallel stripes with a red inverted triangle underneath.
The Ch’ramaki are the Chechens or Palestinians of the Star Trek universe. They were inspired by the Terajuni from Starfleet Command 2: Empires at War bonus Sulu missions’ disk and the books by the late Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya. This was my small way of taking the Klingons back from their ‘nice’ TNG portrayal as honourable warriors to the very nature of what a conquering empire is like.
The point of the first chronological appearance of the Ch’ramaki, in ST: Grissom “The Price of Virtue” was to dispel this ‘touchy-feely nice’ image of the Klingons and to show that to every action there are consequences. That story also set out to show the consequence of the Prime Directive – a noble rule in principal, but one that allows bad people to do bad things to good people. The Ch’ramaki were a victim of this, as were the Bajorans later on.
I wanted to create a race that look Klingon on the outside, yet are very different in their manners, speech patterns and language. This creates a mystery in their first appearance and then works in the story-writer’s favour for later stories as they can sneak into venues to destroy them, courtesy of looking Klingon. The facial tattoos are part of the clan life, but these will have to be covered up in order to look Klingon, as with the need for the beardless Ch’ramaki to grow the facial hair of a Klingon to look the part.
The story of the Ch’ramaki is one of both escalation and evolution. I gave a hint to this in “The Price of Virtue” with Ch’aikamek’s speech promising that they would destroy everything the Klingons value. This is much like Al Qaeda today and Hitler during his Baedecker raids of 1942, which targeted places and items of cultural value. It is an unwritten rule of law that items of cultural value are generally left alone. Where this rule has been broken- for example the Taliban destroying the Buddha statues in Afghanistan , there is a consensus as human beings that this is a distasteful act.
The Ch’ramaki are very much peaceful farmers when we first see them, then the brutal, swift Klingon assault shocks them into action. The first acts are those of desperation, such as the Arcadia hijack and the mass-suicide on the planet. With Klingons not caring at their new subjects killing themselves – aside from perhaps some disappointment at being denied an honourable death- then the acts are transferred to anger at the Klingons themselves. They use the knowledge and equipment at hand to start with: fertilisers to make bombs and farming machines to attack with. Later this will lead to alliances with impartial traders such as the Orions to acquire better weapons. Their methodologies will also improve with their attacks moving from retaliatory strikes on their home world to being pre-emptive strikes on Klingon colonies, monuments and even their flagships and embassies, to make the Klingons feel the pain of their occupation.
The saddest side to this story, I feel, is that as the Ch’ramaki harden up and use cultural targets and indiscriminate killing of Klingons, so they eventually end up becoming the very people that they despise. The farmers who happen to look like Klingons end up behaving like Klingons. As each side loses people, so their siblings and younger generations take up the baton. Whereas the Federation would try diplomacy (well, they wouldn’t have invaded in the first place, to be fair), the Klingons only react to the violence with more killings and destruction of their own: A pyrrhic cycle.
My own story arc features the family of Gh’ouzamek and Ch’alabek, the trials of a father and son which will span over fifty years from the fields of Ch’ramak to the gulags of the Klingon Empire in the 2330s. I want this story to have a personal feel to it as well as having the grand feel of an epic. This is a journey of heart and mind, of hate, pain and loss.
Ch’aikamek is planned to be the first leader of the resistance, his paramilitary training coming in useful to arrange a series of cells. His experience with Starfleet has shaped his opinion that they are pacifists to a fault, unprepared to help them in their time of need. The level of desperation can be seen in the use of suicide bombers and missions in which the Ch’ramaki has no chance of escape. This evolves later on to more complicated missions as mentioned above, brought on from the growing confidence of the resistance fighters.
Ch’alabek is the leader later on, a child of the occupation and pays the price in full when he will end up in a Klingon gulag. No nice Rura Penthe, mind you; unpleasant and harsh treatment is planned here. The myth of the cuddly Klingon is dispelled with the realisation that Mr Worf was brought up by humans and perhaps ended up far nicer than his brothers, despite the fact that he is not a merry man. Ch’alabek will have witnessed the death of his parents at the hands of Klingons and his dedication is perhaps even more than Ch’aikamek.
With the Federation actually helping the Klingons in the form of aid missions in the 90s, the Ch’ramaki will then talk of what they see as the duplicity of the Federation: refusing to help the Ch’ramaki against the invasion and yet helping the Klingons – their invaders- in their time of need. This will put the Federation in the sights of the terrorists as aiding the enemy of the Ch’ramaki people.
Politkovskaya, Anna (2003) A Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches from Chechnya, translated by Alexander Burry and Tatiana Tulchinsky, The University of Chicago Press, 2003, ISBN 0-226-67432-0.
Politkovskaya, Anna (2005). Putin's Russia : Life in a Failing Democracy. Metropolitan Books. ISBN 978-0805079302.
The original Terajuni material from Starfleet Command 2: Empires at War:
The Khitomer Accords were signed on stardate 9529; they were signed on the back of the Praxis explosion and the devastation of Kronos. Following a classified meeting on stardate 9521, Starfleet Intelligence set out to assess which colonies of the Empire may leave and put them into a list of priorities of which would go first and the magnitude of their impact on the Empire. Historically and politically it is safe to say both the President and the Federation Council dreaded the aftermath of Praxis following the tals at Khitomer, as the resultant Treaty was at a vulnerable, new stage and could be de-railed by any such colony breaking away from the Klingon Empire. Contingency plans were created to deal with the eventuality of a colony leaving, more in terms of guidelones over what could or could not be done and what definitely to avoid. Even in the worst case scenario, only protectorate status could be offered and not membership. Azetbur had major issues persuading her generals for a second time to follow her and support peace with the Federation.
Terajuni was a border world with a mineral rich asteroid belt. It had been a conquered world for many decades and supplied ores to the Empire to build its ships and power its cities. In terms of impact it was assessed more like the Baltic States in 1989: likely to be the first to attempt to acceed from the Empire but not as big an impact as either the Lyrans or Hydrans being lost.
Stardate 9702, less than a year after the signing of the Khitomer Accords. Deep within Klingon space, the first piece of the melting iceberg that was the Empire began to break away. Terajuni subjects captured a Klingon E4 frigate and loaded a plutonium fission bomb aboard, cloaked and headed for the neutral zone. They had a plan that would draw a Federation response. They would execute that plan and hang around cloaked, awaiting that starship. Starfleet sent the Valiant and Excelsior to investigate the monitoring station in the Kazhar system, in the recently abolished Klingon Neutral zone (the station is unmanned and was due to be decommissioned under the terms of the Khitomer Accords) as it had gone silent. Excelsior was called away by a freighter distress call, Valiant deep scanned the asteroid and discovered that a single com relay was operational, and that the rest of the monitoring station was destroyed by a plutonium fission device.
Valiant's Security Officer postulated that, since no alert call was sent, it was brought in under cloak, transported over and detonated. He further stated that the Klingons don't employ these kind of "home-made" weapons. Two Klingon ships then entered the system: an E-4Y and a D-8 (a cloaking frigate and K’T’inga with photons). What was immediately unusual was the D7 was chasing the E4. The E4 broadcasted a distress call, Valiant answered. The E-4 commander identified themselves as Darkel of the Terajuni. In response to the continued persecution of the Terajuni by the Klingons, they confiscated the E-4 so they could formally request asylum. Valiant hailed the D-8, who said the frigate was piloted by terrorists; it doesn't concern the Federation, and Valiant had better stay out of it by leaving.
Valiant's science officer said Terajun is a Klingon world, but an unhappy one. They believed the Klingons to be an occupying force and there were many terrorist cells which vowed to liberate the planet. They'd been accused of murdering hundreds of Klingon innocents and the accusations were undeniable, as were the Klingon crimes against the Terajuni. Valiant hailed Darkel to ask about the Federation monitor station. Darkel slandered the Klingons: undoubtedly it was the Klingons. Those crab-heads delight in acts of mindless violence, however, with the Terajuni's reputation, and the evidence at the blast sit, the captain didn’t believe him. He hailed Sulu, who said he could offer asylum; only once they're in Federation space. He then informed Sulu there's a second Klingon involved, and Sulu replied investigate thoroughly as politics are involved and things can get very messy very quickly. He must be sure asylum is warranted. Granting them asylum, Valiant had to disable the D-8 until the E-4 can get off the map and into Federation space.
So, to grant asylum, Captain Al Matthews (Actor I met who played Sgt Apone in ‘Aliens’) of the Valiant said: we recognise the historic oppression of the Terajuni. Starfleet congratulated him on his act of mercy. When they later de-briefed Darkel at Starbase 24 he revealed when the Feds arrived and de-cloaked they misjudged; a D-8 patrolling the zone found them and gave chase. Starfleet has a legal right to enter the neutral zone to check up on the monitoring stations, though legal niceties are wasted on the Klingons. If the Terajuni had used the ship's own weapons it would have looked like a Klingon attack. No question of asylum. With them failing to surprise the frigate crew, they capture it but the crew successfully lock down the weapons systems, necessitating the use of the homemade device.
Obviously Starfleet cannot show up in a Klingon system where a world is undergoing rebellion. So, the Terajuni rep had to get out-system the Terajuni get one of their civilian starships out of their system by creating a distraction elsewhere that draws off the patrol ships. At the start of that mission it says they've seceded from the Empire; they are an independent world now we can further stipulate that they are directly on the the edge of the Neutral zone and allows for short transit times. Thus, on getting the request from the rescued Terajuni official ambassador to the Federation to help protect their world, starships are dispatched through the neutral zone to the non-Klingon world of Terajuni, to protect it from a weak Klingon attempt to wipe out the population and entire biosphere.
There are a couple of ships patrolling this system as a likely target, but there are many other systems to cover to track down this ship. So, the meeting is set up in the Astkel system and two huge Federation starships try to sneak in. However, both captains are aware that this could be and likely is a trap; this is why both ships are sent. Intelligence knew there were only small units in the area, plus a few heavies such as standard D-8s. With both ships there, it has been analysed by the Federation, the Klingons will not force an issue of it because they do not have the ships to waste, and they don't have big enough ships to defeat an Excelsior under Sulu and an uprated Constitution. Both ships went in, hoping to remain undetected, but with enough mutual support that they will not be destroyed by a trap.
Excelsior and Valiant were sent on the basis of the de-briefing for a meeting with a Terajuni representative on an asteroid base in the neutral Astkel system asteroid, referred to as Astkel 6. There was a Klingon patrol on the far side, avoided by going through the asteroids to the base. Klingons then came in from the other side of the system. Excelsior went to deal with the D-8 but suffered sabotage.
Unknown to the Federation, when they had escorted the E-4 to the nearest base, Klingon spies who had previously managed to infiltrate the starbase's ship maintenance crews were able to board and sabotage the Excelsior in a skillfull manner. During this mission to Astkel, the sabotage is activated by Klingons, because they know Excelsior has left port again. Included in the sabotage is a tracer. The patrolling D-8 then gets a bead on the Federation ships and approaches, and once woithin the system alerts the patrol on the other side. Knowing Excelsior will be easy pickings, they decide to capture her and have a huge PR & propaganda coup, and something to bolster the anti-Fed feeling on the High Council, and change the Empire's direction. The Excelsior goes to handle the D-8 and Valiant to pick up the Terajuni rep. The sabotage was fully effected.
Excelsior was hobbled.
Valiant challenged the D-8 captain, who accepted; with their three ships they should have been able to defeat Valiant. The battle did not go well for the Klingons though; Valiant acquits herself well, and the other two ships take too long to get through the asteroid field to support the D-8. The Klingons still had no idea where the Terajuni was in the system, so they tried to defeat the Starfleet ships to get that information too. Then Sulu's crack engineering team managed to localise, isolate, and then bypass the sabotage enough to join the battle, and Starfleet triumphed. Disabling their ships is a Very Bad Political Move, and both Starfleet captains are well aware of this, being smart on their own and having a Very Serious Briefing at the starbase before the mission.
So, Klingon ships disabled, the Valiant recovered the Terajuni representative.
The political consequences cancelled each other out; Active Klingon sabotage of the Flagship and the attack on the Starfleet ships balanced against the Klingon ships being in the Neutral Zone in the first place, the battle between them happening outside of Klingon space, and the Klingon ships not being destroyed.
Captain Sulu and his aide reached the Terajuni system on Stardate 9703 with no apparent Klingon activity. Top-level diplomacy was underway with the Klingon High Counil to reassure them that the Federation was not looking to add the Terajuni to their systems. The reply back was somewhat cold, highlighting that the Terajuni were a member race of the Empire as recognised under Interstellar Law and that the Governor and other Klingons had been killed and injured in the fighting. Meanwhile, talks took place on the Excelsior over several days, with Captain Sulu hosting the talks. It was made plain that all that was on the table was protectorate status and that this was also dependent on the Klingon response. That response was not long in coming; the Klingon Govrnor's House send a task force to retake the system, which was successfully deterred by the two Starfleet ships. Whilst the engagement between the two sides took place, this gave the Terajuni time to think over the talks; the Terajuni realised that the Federation had cold feet about having them as protectorates, especially if the Klingons proved to be hostile to the idea.
High level meetings between Ra-ghoratreii and Azetbur continued over the secure channel as the Federation President pressed for a concession in return for further aid. Ra-ghoratreii knew he had to talk the Klingons down; Starfleet would have to maintain a nominal presence, resources were now needed for the new ISC threat by both the Klingons and the Federation. This was not the time for arguing but a time for a united front. The talks ended with the Klingons agreeing to leave the matter for another day, giving no assurances that the House that once ruled the system would not try to retake it.
The fall-out from this Incident, which was only kept out of the news by virtue of the launch of the Enterprise NCC 1701-B and subsequent loss of Captain James T Kirk, was and is still felt across the Quadrant. The UFP President and Federation Council put this saga down as an exercise of over-eagerness and political failure, saved by chance more than anything. High-level diplomatic talks continued with the Klingon High Council; the future policy and reassurance put in place was that the UFP will not look to repeat the process with any other defecting colonies. The President did not want to be seen encouraging the disintergration of the Empire; he also knew that this was only stopped by necessities on both sides. Had cooler heads not prevailed, or General Chang still been alive, this could have very well been the spark for the Klingon-Federation war he spoke of so often.
Since the Terajuni broke away, several attempts have been made by the Governor's House to recover the system; to-date all have been repelled. The Incident was soon overtake by the oncoming ISC Pacification War and was soon largely forgotten - perhaps intentionally.
This is the nightmare scenario played out by Starfleet intelligence after Praxis that colonies would break away as the Klingon Empire disintegrates. This brings home the ‘Alien Trash of the Galaxy’ comments and having homeless Klingon subjects. Policy dictates only protectorate status could be applied for, and more on humanitarian grounds than actually saving them from the Klingons. Political expediency also dictates no negative comment or inference be made about the Klingon Empire or actions. The Federation would have to make the decision right there and then as to whether to protect the Terajuni. For the anti-Federation High Council members this will vindicate their objections about the Federation ‘taking advantage’ of their plight, Azetbur would have a hard time placating these council members for a second time. Federation President Ra-ghoratreii would have to convince Chancellor Azetbur of their good intentions.
This incident would be pivotal in deciding Federation policy for the next decade or so. The Terajuni Incident would be one of the most famous/infamous career happenings of Captain Sulu. Definite results of this Incident are that the former Klingon breakaway colonies are slower and more reluctant to approach the Federation; it is obvious from this encounter that Starfleet are treading very carefully around the Klingons, the Khitomer Accords being seen as fragile at this point.
This is seen as an embarrassment to the Klingon people and a confirmation of the Federation as being opportunists to the Praxis disaster. Aid is needed from the Federation, but at the same time the other colonies must see that they will be stopped – by force – from acceding from the Empire. The D-8 task group that attacked the system was from the House that previously governed the region – an attempt to regain the system and save face. Azetbur received behind-the-scenes re-assurance that the Federation would not seek to add former colonies to their own nation. One can hardly fault Chancellor Azetbur for spitting feathers, this is part of her Empire breaking away; this action puts her diplomatically between Federation Aid and her own generals who were barely convinced the first time by Gorkon.
From my OLD website circa 2001.
Stardate 9702, the Terajuni people of the Klingon Empire declare independence. Federation starships Excelsior and Valiant become embroiled in the resulting political maelstrom. The Terajuni homeworld, Terajun, is successfully defended by the Federation starships from a Klingon fireship attack.
Stardate 9703 sees the Terajuni applying for Federation membership, however, the Terajuni use their terrorist habits to try to further their application. The Excelsior is hijacked temporarily, but the attempt is thwarted. The Terajuni are left to be independent on their own. The Klingon Empire passes sanctions against the Terajuni and blockade the Terajun system.
Relations between the Klingon Empire and Federation are chilled.
Starfleet sends the U.S.S. Javelin on a mission to Terajuni space. The mission sets off from Starbase 11 on stardate 10618.5.
* * * * *
I intend to run the missions to get more detail and flesh out the stardates. I removed the Terajuni around 2002 with the transition to uss-sheffield.co.uk. I recall the missions had Sulu with the Federation President onboard (just why take the President? Surely HIGHLY provocative) and you as captain of Constitution class USS Valiant.
Various missions including the Klingons attempting to attack the Terajuni (and you) as well as the Terajuni taking the Excelsior and President hostage.
"The above report is © Adrian Jones 2018. All rights reserved"