In the early months of 2375, the Dominion
War was at its most violent, with battles raging across the quadrant almost incessantly.
The Dominion’s entrenched supply lines and famed ability to construct ships at high speed
allowed them to maintain a level of pressure on the Federation Alliance that prevented
them from staging a serious counterattack. It was General Martok of the Imperial Klingon
Defence Force that finally proposed a solution to this problem. The General assembled a small
but nimble force of five B’rel Class Birds of Prey at the Federation Starbase Deep Space
Nine. These vessels and their volunteer crews were considered entirely expendable, and the
high probability of loss even inspired Martok to leave his usual flagship, the IKS Rotarran,
in drydock, instead taking temporary command of the IKS Ch’Tang. Martok planned a sequence
of rapid attacks on dominion installations across the sector, none of which were intended
to actually destroy the facilities, but rather to interrupt their normal functions, and force
them to undertake months of repair, creating vital breathing room for the Federation Alliance.
The Federation starship Defiant was placed at the head of a 7-ship flotilla and stationed
at a rendezvous point in the Kalandra sector, this would allow the Klingon raiding force
to lead any hostile craft into the Federation’s line of fire should they fall under pursuit.
The most important target selected by Martok was a Planetside Starbase on Trelka V. Upon
entering the Trelka system, Martok dispatched the warships Malpara and Ning’tao ahead
of the squadron to perform a single strafing run against the base and then retreat while
keeping the rest of his forces under cloak, the purpose of this move was to deceive the
Dominion Garrison into believing the attack was over, prompting them to lower their alert
condition and deploy their damage control teams. The Malpara and Ning’tao successfully
destroyed two defence towers in dive bombing attacks before withdrawing as planned, during
their escape they fell under attack by a Cardassian Galor Class Destroyer and the Malpara was
lost with all hands. As the Cardassians continued to pursue the Ning’tao, they left their
ground facilities undefended, and the base deployed its repair crews exactly as Martok
had predicted. Decloaking the rest of his forces, Martok was able to wipe out the vulnerable
repair crews and inflict major damage on the starbase facility.
During the final strafing run, General Martok was briefly incapacitated, and command fell
to the legendary Dahar Master Kor, who had requested a commission aboard the Ch’Tang.
In the confusion, Kor deviated from Martok’s strategy by continuing the attack long after
the planned withdrawal, this decision led to heavy losses aboard the IKS Orantho including
their captain and first officer, as well as causing serious damage to the rest of the
Klingon Fleet. Eventually Kor was removed from command and the retreat order was given,
allowing the four surviving birds of prey to reengage their cloaking devices and escape.
After assessing their losses and damage, Martok elected to move his fleet to the Federation
Rendezvous point to consolidate and recover before moving to the next target, but after
a few hours of travel at warp factor 7, the Ch’Tang detected a force of ten Jem’Hadar
attack ships that had used some manner of advanced sensor system to locate the fleeing
Klingon vessels in spite of their cloaking devices. Slowed by engine damage to their
ships, the Klingon force was unable to outrun their pursuers, and estimated that the Dominion
fleet would catch up with them in less than two hours, one hour and 45 minutes before
they could reach the Defiant and it’s support ships.
Faced with no alternative, Martok’s first officer Worf, proposed a self-sacrificial
plan to delay the enemy fleet and allow the Klingon vessels to escape. He offered to take
command of six volunteers aboard the IKS Ning’tao, the least damaged of the remaining Birds of
Prey, and to break formation with the intention of engaging the enemy fleet long enough for
the rest of the Klingon squadron to reach their Federation allies. On his way to take
command of the Ning’tao, Worf was ambushed and knocked unconscious by Kor, who had decided
to redeem himself for his actions at Trelka V by leading the doomed mission in Worf’s
place. Decloaking and dropping out of formation,
Kor and the Ning’tao closed on the Dominion Fleet. Upon reaching weapons range they engaged
an inverse graviton pulse that forced the Jem’Hadar ships to reset their drive units
before they could resume pursuit, this pulse was followed up by a full spread of torpedoes
from the Ning’tao, that confused the sensors of the Dominion vessels and threw them off
balance for the opening moments of the attack. Shortly afterward, all telemetry from the
battle was lost, but the final reports suggested that the Jem’Hadar formation had collapsed,
and that the crippled Ning’tao continued to hold the enemy fleet in their tracks.
Ten minutes later, the Ch’tang’s sensors confirmed that the Dominion fleet was no longer
able to catch the three remaining Birds of Prey before they reached the rendezvous point.
Though the specific details of Kor’s sacrifice could never be learned, there was no doubt
that his actions had saved the fleet and the lives of every warrior aboard the Ch’Tang,
Orantho and Slivin, and as the remains of Martok’s fleet reached the safety of the
rendezvous point, the bridge crew of the Ch’Tang drank a toast in honor of the fallen Dahar