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 above report is © Adrian Jones 2012. All rights reserved"