From:loS
To:*Galactic-Enquirer
Stardate:20081105.1721
Subject:Klingons Deliver Ultimatum to Cardassia Prime

The angular trefoil emblem of the Klingon Empire, three sharp blades of deep crimson upon a disc of bronze, appears on the screen against a field of sable. It lingers there for a breath, then two, then three, then fading in a dissolve to the dimly-lit backdrop of a ship or station's command deck. At the center of the screen is a singular, large chair, set upon a raised dais, and upon that is seated a Klingon of such noble carriage that it would be hard to believe him to be otherwise. He is adorned with the military uniform of the Defense Force, this the more ornamental one of a high officer. He leans forward to address the viewer, his stern, scarred visage both attractive and terrible to behold.

When he speaks, his voice is calm, firm, in a rich baritone that one can feel in their bones as much as hear.

"Citizens of the Cardassian... Union." That word spoken with a hint of irony. "And citizens of the galaxy. I am loS epetaI' qItaQ, Supreme Commander of the Klingon Defense Force and Warrior of the Imperial High Council. For over a year, the Imperial Warfleet has carved a bloody swath through Cardassian space, crushing what resistance it finds, claiming Cardassian territory for our own. The once glorious Cardassian Union is now an annex of the Klingon Empire, save but a single world." There is little joy in the statement.

He addresses the Cardassians directly now.

"We have toppled your powerbase. Severed your supply lines. And now our fleet surrounds your homeworld, like a garrote around your throat, poised to strike and finish you decisively.

"But we are Klingons, and we are not without mercy. We recognize that your empire is ashes. That you are no longer a threat or even scarcely a challenge to the might of our fleet. To strike the final blow would be nothing more than a slaughter, and we are not butchers. We are warriors! We fight for honor and glory, and there is neither to be had in the slaughter of the weak. And you ARE weak, no matter what your pride may tell you.

"Therefore we give to you this gift, Cardassia: The gift of your lives. Our fleet will withdraw from your home system. We will consolidate into the space we have claimed from you. We will allow you to rebuild, to strengthen yourselves, to forge your hate for us into a weapon that will lash out once more to claim our blood. We will let you become a threat once more, because we will it... we crave it.

"We will wait, and we will watch, and we will do battle again...

"And it will be GLORIOUS!"

The screen flickers off.