The sun blazed down with all its fury, a fury matched only by that of the warriors clashing on the field of battle below. It was as fierce a struggle as any Klingon had ever seen. The two combatants fought toe to toe for what seemed hours. Sarot's fury gave him the strength of ten, and against chonDar, he needed it. chonDar was the leader of the band of brigands that had slain his betrothed...and he had sworn that this man would die. But the
opponents were far too evenly matched. The battle had raged on, neither warrior able to gain an advantage. This struggle would ultimately be lost, rather than won. The first one to make a mistake would die. At last, incredibly, the opportunity came. ChonDar, attempting to maneuver for leverage, stumbled. The opening was small, but perhaps it would be enough.
Sarot pressed his attack, knocking aside the defense chonDar offered, and smiled as his betleH struck home. Awash in the glory of the final blow, the deathstroke, he almost did not notice the hilt of the dagger that protruded from his chest......and then the blackness rushed up to envelop him......He saw his comrades as they gathered around him. Then, as he saw himself lying prone on the ground, he realized that he was no longer a part of this world, but merely a spectator. He watched as they held open his eyelids. Then, as the last of the life force left his body, they all lifted their voices to the sky in an earsplitting howl...to warn Sto-vo-kor to prepare for the arrival of a true warrior....
"Strange", he mused...as he watched the death howl of his comrades go past him, onward and upward....
Then suddenly, his vision blurred, and when it again cleared, he stood at the entrance to an enormous cavern. A hideous beast guarded the entrance. Strangely, it did not seem so much to serve to keep intruders OUT of the cavern, as to keep its occupants IN.....The beast noticed his presence...
"Ah, a new arrival. Pass into ghe''or, Honorless petaQ!", the being before him stated emphatically.
He replied with a question, "Who are you, and what is this place ??".
"Do not be such a fool. I am Fek'lhr, Guardian of ghe' 'or! You have died in dishonor, and your worthless spirit now belongs to me!", said the being. "Pass through now, or suffer the consequences!", Fek'lhr said loudly, a hint of threat in his voice.
"NO! I will NOT!', shouted Sarot. "I died Honorably, in combat! I cannot be destined for this place!".
Fek'lhr chuckled evilly. "All who die in dishonor are sent here. And all claim there is some....mistake. You are no different than they, and you try my patience ! Enter, and enter NOW!!". Sarot shot back, with equal ferocity, "I will NOT!! I will KILL you first!! If I must fight my way to Sto-vo-kor, then so BE it!!" With that, he swung his betleH in a mighty arc.
"Perhaps I misjudged you....perhaps not. Either way, ghe' 'or can always use a warrior who is quick with a weapon.", Fek'lhr said as he easily parried the blow. A vicious, underhand counter-strike followed, but Sarot was not to be felled so easily.
He blocked it, then bellowed., "I fight for my Honor, even on the far side of Death!! And NO ONE will take it from me!!" The exchange of blows, the thrust and parry, the strike and counter-strike...they continued for what seemed like days. "You fight well, warrior. It is a shame that one such as you should die without Honor." Fek'lhr said.
Although his arms felt as leaden weights, still Sarot fought on. "I have told you, and I yet claim, that my death was HONORABLE!! I should not BE here!! And I will fight with the last ounce of strength I possess to prevent it!!", he continued.
He grew more weary with each move, but still he fought. He would NOT give up, not surrender to the exhaustion that threatened to take him. He COULD not. The love of virtue and truth that fired his soul would not ALLOW it. If he must die a thousand deaths, he would not accept this ignominious end. He pushed himself ever harder.
"Hold, warrior. I can PROVE that you should be here!" Fek'lhr waved his arm, and a scene from the distant past appeared on the cavern wall......Young Sarot was being mercilessly teased by a much larger boy. He was obviously incapable of matching strength with this other boy, and he waited until the older boy turned away in disgust. Then, in a fit of blind rage, he grabbed a nearby stone, and hurled it at the larger boy's head.
The scene froze, and faded. "You see, and you remember. A cowardly act. It is written, 'He who attacks without showing his face is without Honor.' Your spirit is mine. I have a just claim. ". Sarot shot back, "No, foul trickster!! That was long ago, and the events depicted have no bearing on those of this day!! " He renewed his attack, his anger spurring him on.
Fek'lhr was growing weary, and wished to postpone this battle. He tried again."Wait, then. A more recent example!" Fek'lhr said, his breathing becoming more ragged. "Behold!" Again, Fek'lhr waved his arm, and another scene from his past unfolded before him. The twist in his gut was painful as he once again beheld the face of his betrothed, De'lara, dead these long weeks.
She smiled at the him of that time, and said, "I can understand, my beloved. You have your duties to attend to. I shall see you when you return." Her voice was every bit as melodious as he remembered.
And then he heard himself reply, "I have taken a leave of absence. I will remain here with you, for a time. I cannot leave your side now....". The scene again froze, and faded. He once again felt the loss of his beloved.
Fek'lhr sneered. "You LIED!", he spat. "You had taken leave of only your senses! Is it not written, 'If a warrior ignores duty, is disloyal, or acts dishonorably, he is NOTHING !' ?? You sought only to remain with that....harlot!"
At this attack on his deceased beloved, Sarot flew into a violent berserker rage! He attacked, again, and again. He sought to disembowel this fiend who tore at his insides with views of his deceased beloved, then insulted her name and her Honor. "I will see your blood on this ground, or I will die a thousand deaths in the attempt, vile demon !"
Fek'lhr realized he may have gone too far, and attempted once again to prove his point. "Hold, warrior!" But in a blind fury, Sarot was not so easily stopped. Forced into a corner, and much more exhausted from the battle with this warrior than he would dare admit, Fek'lhr waved his arm, and a new scene from Sarot's past
played itself out on the wall....and his attention was drawn to it...
.......It was his final battle, with the wretched chonDar...and again,
chonDar stumbled. Again, he pressed the attack. Again, his betleH struck
cleanly into his fallen foe. And the scene froze, and faded. Fek'lhr played
his final card. "There is no Honor in attacking the weak ! Your battle
ended as it should.... without a victor ! You both fought without Honor!"
he screamed. "Your spirit rightfully belongs to ME!!"
"We Klingons have no Devil," said Kang (in ST:TOS 'Day of the Dove') " ...but we understand the habits of yours." This stood as fact for decades until ST:the Next Generation presented Fecklahr in the episode "Devil's Due." Is this one of those convoluted webworks of fiction that is doomed to paint itself into a messy tangle, or can both accounts be true?
Let's look at what Fecklahr really is... and isn't. He's not a tempter, or deceiver, or some creature with mind control. He's a straightforward honest PREDATOR, gathering dishonored souls into the place of the dishonored.
What does his name 'veqlargh' mean? It roughly translates as "GARBAGE SMELL," and that might be the most pivotal clue to this puzzle. This creature deals his every waking hour collecting dishonored souls and placing them in their final repository... why wouldn't he smell like garbage?
The Place of the Dishonored has a name just as interesting, Ge' 'or. It sounds similar to Gehenna, which was the City Dump outside Jerusalem, a former site of idolatry despised by the Jews, used by Jesus of Nazareth as an illustration of refuse and anguish. It is the word that would later be the translated to 'hell.'
So there you have it... If a terran demonstrates their puny and weak resolve by claiming 'the devil made me do it,' just reply, "We KLINGONS don't HAVE a devil... but we got one monstrous and predatory GARBAGE COLLECTOR for those who listen to yours!"
"No, loathsome creature! You are wrong! Whomever is responsible for sending me here is WRONG! I will NOT accept a fate which is not MINE!", he shouted back. "It is not the moments that make up a warrior's LIFE, that determine where he will spend Eternity! It is the manner in which he DIED. So it is written, so should it be DONE!".
With that, he renewed his attack on the now exhausted Fek'lhr, who realized he could not hold off this warrior much longer. There was only one thing to do, and little time to do it. "Wait, warrior! I yield! You have proven your worth. I do not know how you came to this place, nor do I care. You obviously do not belong here, and I bid you leave! Fare well, warrior. Your place is in the Black Fleet. You have earned it!" And with a wave of his arm, the Fek'lhr was gone.
The scene shifted again, and Sarot stood at the entry to a great hall. He walked inside. There were two warriors engaged in mortal combat in the center of the hall, while countless others watched. A figure approached him. In seconds, he realized it was chonDar. He prepared to once again do battle with the brigand chieftain. He had had a full stomach of combat, but he was in no mood for trifling. He would at least make the brigand pay dearly for attacking him when he was weakest.
"Welcome to Sto-vo-kor, warrior ! What has kept you?", chonDar asked.
With a relaxed sigh, Sarot dipped a tankard into the bloodwine, and took a long, satisfying drink. "It is a long story, chonDar. Perhaps I can relate it to you one day soon." he replied as he sat heavily. "For now, I am glad just to be here."
"Rest well, fellow warrior", chonDar responded. "Our battle gave me an Honorable death, and I look forward to continuing it when you have rested." chonDar then made his way back through the crowd. Sarot leaned against the wall, exhausted, but happy. He was where he belonged.
His spirit had found peace. He closed his eyes.....and then a melodious
voice tickled his ears......and he once again looked into the face of his