Subject:The Klingons Respond

GNN -- QO'NOS. In response to Federation Press Secretary Bassus Seius, the Klingon government issued the following recorded statemet:

(The great trefoil seal of the Klingon appears on the screen, bright crimson amidst a field of sable. The seal dissolves to a scene set on the battle-bridge of a Klingon warship, dark and brooding save for a single ghostly-white spotlight that spills down into the center of the bridge, casting the ridges of the warrior seated in the command seat in sharp relief. He leans forward, revealing a scarred face now infamous throughout much of the galaxy -- he is loS epetaI' qItaQ, new Chancellor of the Klingon Empire.)

"The Federation accuses the Empire of an act of war," he says in a low, controlled tone -- a rich baritone that would make many a singer envious -- "even while it crosses its own blockade lines and into sovereign Klingon territory without negotiation of passage or invitation. It is laughable, but of little surprise that the Federation government would be expected to adhere to the same restrictions and standards that it has placed upon the Klingon government."

He lifts a mechanical hand holding a datapad, and recites from it, "All unauthorized vessels found to be ferrying contraband materials between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire, directly or indirectly, shall be captured and boarded, and all goods and materials aboard be declared contraband and confiscated pending legal action."

His green eyes stare into the camera, and he states, quite plainly, "The vessels in question were instructed by Imperial picket ships to return to their point of origin, even though they were within their rights to seize these vessels and their cargo. Yet the invaders chose to ignore the instructions and push forward. This is clearly an aggressive action and, since the Federation government made no attempt to negotiate this... 'mercy mission'... with the Empire prior to engaging it it, we cannot be sure that the cargo of the fleet was as benign as claimed. Aggression was met with aggression. If there was a clear act of war in this incident, it was on the part of the Federation."

Until this point, the Klingon's voice has been strangely calm and composed, but now he rises and so does his tone as whatever bonds that restrained his fury are broken. "The Klingon Empire will continue to destroy any Federation ship that violates the embargo! If the Federation wishes access to Cardassia Prime, then it will negotiate with the Empire on the Empire's terms! But if it wishes to pursue this incident to a full declaration of war, then the Klingon Empire will be happy to oblige!"

He hurls the datapad at the camera, which blacks out.