Captain's log, star date 44995.3.
We're en route to the Klingon homeworld
for the installation ceremony of Gowron,
the next leader of the High Council.
This visit should also allow one of my officers
to correct a grave injustice.
Am I intruding?
No, sir. My apologies, I can be back in uniform...
That's not necessary, Mr. Worf.
I'm not here as your captain.
I'm here as the man who stood with you before the High Council.
We will arrive at your homeworld in less than a day.
It is not time yet.
That doesn't sound like the man who came to me a year ago
fiercely determined to return home to clear his father's name.
Isn't it time to confront the Council?
To regain your family name?
Let the truth be known?
I have been told
that patience is sometimes a more effective weapon than the sword.
Patience is a human virtue,
one that I'm glad to see you've taken to heart.
But doesn't this situation require a more... Klingon response?
Your discommendation is a facade to protect less honourable men.
It is a lie. Lies must be challenged.
I have grown weary of bearing this dishonour.
Riker to Picard.
Go ahead, Number One.
We've been intercepted by the Klingon vessel Bortas.
It claims to be our escort.
No escort was scheduled.
- The Bortas is standing by. - On screen.
Gowron! An unexpected pleasure.
I must speak with you, Picard.
We must move quickly to be successful.
- Successful? - Yes.
In preventing a Klingon civil war.
Space, the final frontier.
These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise.
Its continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds,...
..to seek out new life and new civilizations,...
..to boldly go where no one has gone before.
The family of Duras is massing support.
They have many allies on the Council.
Duras died in disgrace.
By tradition, his family should share that disgrace.
Their corruption has poisoned the Empire.
Honour will soon have no meaning.
And who speaks for his family now?
Lursa and B'Etor - the sisters of Duras.
- They claim the Council leadership? - Women may not serve on the Council.
- Then how... - I don't know!
But they are plotting something.
They have secured the loyalty of at least three fleet commanders.
Lursa and B'Etor are feared.
And fear is power.
I do not see how I can assist.
You were first chosen as Arbiter of Succession
because no Klingon could be trusted.
You accepted this duty and you must see it through to the end.
You must ensure my installation.
That is beyond my purview.
You will not support me?
I will not step outside the traditional role of the Arbiter.
And if they attempt to block my installation?
Then I can only assure you
that I will deal with any challenge according to Klingon law.
I fear... that will not be enough.
Mr. Worf, would you escort our guest to the transporter room?
Monitor Romulan activity along the Neutral Zone, Mr. Data.
Have the outposts send tactical reports.
The Duras family are preparing to move against Gowron.
- Backed by Romulans? - I don't know.
There is too much history between the Duras and the Romulans
to discount the possibility.
I would speak with you.
I do not hear the words of traitors.
I am not a traitor.
You admitted your guilt before the Council.
I accepted discommendation to protect the Empire.
Protect it? How?
Duras' father betrayed our people to the Romulans at Khitomer,
- There is proof of this? - There is.
Why would you accept dishonour to protect Duras?
His family was too powerful.
To expose him would have split the Empire.
Instead, the Council chose to blame my father.
The Council knew?
I believe you to be a man of honour, Gowron.
I ask you, restore my family name.
..you killed Duras.
I consider that no small favour.
But what you ask is impossible.
After your installation...
The grasp of Duras reaches out from the grave.
Much of the Council is still loyal to his family.
I must have the Council's support...
I cannot expose their treachery.
You chose to accept this disgrace for the good of the Empire.
Now you must live with your decision. Like a Klingon.
It's a little quiet down at ten-forward,
so I thought I'd get off a little target practice. May I join you?
- You? Practise? - I like to keep my eye sharp.
I practise at level 14.
Guess I could come down to that level for a while. Begin program.
I bet the Captain I'd make you laugh
before you became Lieutenant-Commander.
Not a good bet today.
I've seen you laugh. I like it.
Klingons do not laugh.
Yes, they do. Absolutely.
You don't. But I've heard Klingon belly laughs
that would curl your hair.
- Your son laughs. He's Klingon. - He is a child and part-human.
And you're not, you're full Klingon, except... you don't laugh.
Because I do not feel like laughing.
Other Klingons feel like laughing. What does that say about you?
Perhaps it says that I do not feel like other Klingons!
Don't feel bad, I was doing this long before you were born.
So, how is he? Your son.
He is having difficulty adjusting to life on Earth.
I could see where it might be hard for the little guy.
Living with humans, being Klingon. Could be very confusing.
It will not be easy for him.
but at some point he'll wanna know
what it's like to really be a Klingon.
Just as you're learning now.
Captain, I request a leave of absence.
Mr. Worf, request granted.
Thank you, sir.
And good luck.
Lieutenant Worf, personal log, star date 44996. 1.
I have located the Klingon ship
which my brother Kurn captains and have arranged to meet him.
It has been too long, my brother.
Too long. We have much to discuss.
I have asked Gowron to restore our family honour. He has refused.
Gowron won't live to see the day he leads the Council.
What do you mean?
He stands alone, surrounded by his enemies.
Lursa and B'Etor would have him killed. And if they don't, I will.
Gowron is weak.
The family of Duras must never be allowed to rule the Council.
Our leaders have failed us.
They no longer deserve our loyalty.
It is time to sweep away the old Council
and put a new one in its place.
How can this be done?
I already have the support of four squadron commanders
in key strategic sectors. When the time comes, they will follow me.
Join us, Worf, and we will usher in a new era
and regain our family name.
Gowron has completed the Rite of Succession.
It is our duty to support him.
Gowron spits in your face
when you ask him to give back what is ours and you support him!
We cannot regain honour by acting dishonourably.
I will not support Gowron.
I am the elder brother, Kurn.
I speak for our family.
We will back Gowron.
But not now. Not yet.
We will wait until he feels the grasp of his enemies
round his throat. Then we will offer him our support.
And the price will be the restoration of our family name.
It will be difficult to convince my allies to back Gowron.
But I will try. I must go to the Mempa sector
to meet with the other squadron commanders.
Contact me when you have gained their support.
Then I will be ready for Gowron.
Captain's log, star date 44996. 8.
My role as Arbiter of Succession has again brought me to the Great Hall
of the Klingon High Council.
Have you reached a decision regarding the succession of power?
Gowron, son of M'Rel Hobkim.
The Arbiter confirms that you have completed the Rite of Succession.
Your enemies have been destroyed. You stand alone.
Do you wish to claim leadership of the Council?
I wish it.
Are there no other challengers?
There is one. I will challenge him.
- An arrogant child? - Who are you?
I am Toral,... son of Duras.
- Duras had no son. - But he did, Gowron.
So, this is your doing, Lursa.
We wish to address the Council.
Lursa, B'Etor, come forward.
Members of the High Council,
it is a day of great rejoicing for the family of Duras
and the Empire. It seems our brother did have a son and heir.
Outrageous! Duras had no mate. Where did you find him, Lursa?
In a harlot's bedchamber?
I will personally cut your tongue out!
A simple genetic scan will prove his bloodline is valid.
An illegitimate son cannot rule the High Council.
The Arbiter will consider his validity.
Our allies on the Council backed Toral's claim.
It's in Picard's hands now.
Excellent. Everything is proceeding as scheduled.
- Why not just kill Picard? - Fool!
Do we want the Federation as our enemy?
- No. - At least not yet.
But when the time is right, we will deal with the Federation.
And Captain Picard.
I have met with the other squadron commanders here.
Three will join us, one will not.
That gives us enough strength to control seven key sectors.
- Do you know our enemy's strength? - They have at least seven squadrons.
But most of the fleet has not decided which banner to follow.
Gowron is nearly out of options.
Soon he will have no choice.
I will return soon to the homeworld. We shall meet then.
Do you require the original logs recorded during the attack?
Everything we have on the Khitomer massacre.
Our analysis of communications between the Khitomer outpost
and the Romulan ships is not as complete as that of Star base 24...
- Mr. Worf, you cancelled your leave? - No, sir.
Lieutenant, would you join me in my ready room?
Mr. Worf, you're using our files on the Khitomer massacre
- as evidence against Duras' father? - Yes, sir.
Do you not see an inherent conflict of interest?
Sir, those Federation records will help me prove
my father was falsely accused of treason!
You were using your position as a Starfleet officer
to effect political change on your planet.
There could not be a worse compromise of our principles.
Do not tie my hands now.
I must be able to prove my father's innocence.
Those Federation records can do that.
..here I am lecturing you on a conflict of interest
while I'm desperately trying to avoid one of my own.
You think I wish to allow the Duras family
to solidify their hold on the Council?
Do you think I cannot see for myself the implications for the Federation?
Duras tried to have me killed.
All of my instincts, my training, my very being as a Starfleet officer,
are at odds with my responsibility as Arbiter of the Klingon High Council.
We walk the same tightrope between two worlds, you and l.
We must try our very best to keep those two worlds separate.
Or we shall certainly fall.
I will make the Khitomer-massacre files
available to anyone who wants them.
To the High Council, to the Duras family, to you. Anyone.
- Thank you, sir. - Mr. Worf,...
..this is as far as I will go.
- Riker to Picard. - Yes, Number One.
An incoming message for you from the surface, coded personal.
Send it through.
Captain. Welcome. Please come in.
Something to drink, Captain?
Tea. Earl Grey, perhaps?
You come alone. And unarmed.
Nothing will be served by killing the Arbiter before his decision.
a brave act, Captain.
Your invitation was unexpected.
We should have extended it sooner.
We don't want you to judge us by your experience with our brother.
- Duras was a fool. - He deserved to die.
Forget him. We have.
We do not wish to be your enemy.
Quite the opposite.
That pleases me.
Have you... have you made your decision
regarding Toral's challenge?
I'm pursuing it with due vigilance.
Allow me to heat up your tea.
Toral has the bloodline to lead the Empire into the next century.
He has the support of the people.
Then it remains to see if he has the support of law.
But he must. Surely you see that?
I'll tell you what I see.
If I find Toral's challenge valid,
the two of you will quickly gain control of the Council
and Gowron will be found dead shortly thereafter.
If I reject Toral's claim, you will accuse me
of serving Federation interests. It will serve as a rallying cry
to declare war and overthrow Gowron.
You see very clearly, Captain.
But one thing is missing.
If you rule against us and we are the victors in a war against Gowron,...
Which we would be.
..it will mean the end of the alliance with the Federation.
We would hate to see that happen as much as you.
This is not a threat, Captain, just an unfortunate truth.
So, why be our enemy when you can be our friend?
You have manipulated the circumstances with the skill
of a Romulan. My decision will be announced at high sun tomorrow.
Excellent tea. Good day, ladies.
What is your decision?
K'Tal, this Council knows the law of heredity well.
"A son shall share in the honours or crimes of his father."
Toral is Duras' son,
it has been proven by genetic scan.
But with due respect to the laws of this High Council,
there is no basis for accepting a petition for leadership
from a boy who has fought no battles, shed no blood for his people,
nor earned honour for himself.
One day, perhaps he shall.
But not now.
Duras is dead. His claim to the leadership died with him.
Gowron shall lead the Council.
The Arbiter has ruled.
There are no more challenges.
Does the Federation dictate Klingon destiny?
Or do we?
Follow me and I will show you honour.
..and you reject all Klingon law!
Can you not see what you are doing?
Are you blind to what they represent?
Then go. Your blood will paint the way to the future.
Your message said it was urgent. What do you want?
Your forces are weak, Gowron.
You need help to fight the family of Duras.
From one dishonoured Klingon?
I offer you four Klingon squadrons.
Why would they follow you, a Starfleet officer?
They are pledged to support my brother Kurn.
Kurn is your brother?
His true bloodlines were hidden to protect him.
Kurn will follow me? He has opposed me in the past.
I am the elder brother. He will do as I say.
What is it you want in return?
You know my price.
The return of your honour
for the support of four squadrons. No! That will not be enough.
The Duras family controls most of the fleet.
We must have Federation help.
- They will not intervene. - Perhaps not yet.
But Starfleet Command will listen to Picard
and Picard... listens to you.
I can ask nothing more of him in this matter.
My duty as a Starfleet officer...
You come to me
and demand the restoration of your family honour and now...
you hide behind human excuses.
What are you, Worf?
Do you tremble and quake with fear at the approach of combat,
hoping to talk your way out of a fight, like a human?
Or do you hear the cry of the warrior calling you to battle,
calling you to glory, like a Klingon?
- The shield's down. - Warp coil's damaged.
A second ship has joined the attack.
Send an emergency signal to any loyal ships!
Impulse engines not responding!
- Engage emergency override. - Override engaged.
Disruptors still not responding.
The Bortas has lost her port shield, sir.
It is unlikely they will withstand another hit.
Their primary life support has failed, sir.
The Bortas has put out a general distress call.
Ensign Riol, plot a course to take us safely away from the combat area.
- Half-impulse. - Captain, it's Gowron's ship.
As legitimate leader, shouldn't we help him?
If we help the Bortas, we drag the Federation into a Klingon civil war.
What about Worf?
Port shields are still down.
- Disruptors on line. - Lock on target.
No. Don't you see? Their sensors will detect a weapons lock.
If they think we're helpless, they will try to board the ship.
I can fire disruptors manually when they drop their shields.
Now within transporter range.
They're dropping their shields.
Firing on second target.
They were able to raise the shields in time. Minor damage only.
- Disruptors off line. - All power to shields.
- Incoming message. - On viewer.
This is Captain Kurn of the Hegh'ta. We come to defend the Empire
and to follow the banner of Gowron.
You have done well, Captain Kurn.
Lursa and B'Etor moved more quickly than I anticipated.
We shall not underestimate them again. Meet us at the Great Hall.
Advise the Enterprise that their delegation is welcome to attend...
..my installation as leader.
Captain's log, Star date 44998.3.
With new-found support, Gowron has chosen to proceed
with the installation ceremony.
The Enterprise has returned so that I may perform my final duty
as Arbiter of Succession.
Receive now the loyalty of the Council and of the Empire.
You both fought as warriors.
You have proven your hearts are Klingon.
I return your family honour.
I give you back that which was wrongfully taken from you.
Let your name be spoken once again. You are Worf, son of Mogh.
The Duras family is gathering a large force near Beta Thoridar.
As per the terms of the treaty of alliance,
I now formally request your assistance
in fighting these enemies of the Empire.
These enemies are Klingon.
By right and tradition,
I am the sole leader.
All who oppose me... are traitors.
I understand, but you're aware that the Federation cannot interfere
in what is, by definition, an internal Klingon affair.
You arbitrated the succession. You are already involved.
- Those duties are finished. - Captain, we must intervene.
The Duras family is corrupt, power-hungry, with no loyalty.
They represent a grave threat to the security of the Federation.
..you and I know that they have conspired with Romulans in the past.
If they should be victors in this war,
they would surely form a new Klingon-Romulan alliance.
That would represent a fundamental shift of power in this quadrant.
Starfleet must support Gowron.
It is in the interest of both the Federation and the Empire.
I beg you, support us in our cause.
Mr. Worf, I don't have to lecture you on the principle of non-interference.
All Starfleet officers swear an oath
to uphold it, whatever our personal feelings. I'm sorry. I must refuse.
I'm afraid I must recall you to duty. We are leaving this sector now.
Captain, I respectfully request that I be allowed to take
- an extended leave of absence. - Your duties as a Starfleet officer
are incompatible with remaining on a Klingon ship at a time of war.
- Captain... - You are to return to duty at once.
Then I resign my commission as a Starfleet officer.
I will await you aboard the Bortas.
Am I intruding?
I understand you'll serve on board the Bortas.
As weapons officer.
Your tactical knowledge and experience will serve them well.
Thank you, sir.
Mr. Worf, are you certain that this is the right decision?
I was rescued from Khitomer by humans,
raised and loved by human parents.
I've spent most of my life around humans,
fought beside them.
But I was born a Klingon. My heart is of that world.
I... do hear the cry of the warrior.
I belong with my people.
Being the only Klingon ever to serve in Starfleet
gave you a singular distinction, but...
..l felt that what was unique about you was your humanity,...
..compassion, generosity, fairness.
You took the best qualities of humanity and made them part of you.
The result was a man whom I was proud to call one of my officers.
I'll have your belongings transported to the Bortas.
Thank you, sir.
Attention on deck.
Permission to leave the ship, sir?
Picard has rejected Gowron's plea for help.
The Enterprise has left orbit.
Coward! He didn't have the courage to face us!
- The Federation... - Celebrate later, Toral.
We should not discount Jean-Luc Picard yet.
He is human.
And humans have a way of showing up when you least expect them.