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Author Topic: Klingon use of the Cloaking device.  (Read 15985 times)
Brian_Starr
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« on: 06 06, 2005, 12:36: PM »

Klythe originaly posted this elsewhere.  I found it interesting enough that I would like to see discusion on it alone.  How about it?
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Sorry about that, TFC moved to a new server and the Wiki didn't follow. I found my old article and am in the process of updating it. When it's done, I'll post a new thread in the Klingon language discussion area and link it here.

In the meantime, here is excerpts from a thread where I explain how the Klingons use of the cloaking device, created my those masters of treachery the Romulans, can in fact be honorable if done the Klingon way.


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The accusation:
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I think cloaking is dishonorable. You lie in wait in a place where your enemy can not see you or defend himself, and then when it's most safe for you, you pounce, weapons blazing.

What happened to mettle against mettle? Glorious battle where inner strength and skill win the day? Didnt the Klingons get such a despicable technology from the Romulans?

Arent they spineless and honorless? Why use it, Klingons?


... Despicable... From the terrorists who created the Genesis planet bomb?

You would take the stalk out of the hunting fox and force him to starve because occasionally one will use it when it is not needed? The hunters starve even though they are responsible enough to punish or at least shun those who misuse the tool? How badly you misunderstand us, Captain

Warriors should if at all possible see the face of thier oppenents and fight face to face once fighting begins. This is why the Klingons in the TOS book "Flag Full of Stars" crippled their own computer-controlled supership, but then allowed Kirk the Glory of finishing it off. There is no glory in having machines fight for you.

Larger Klingon ships are not generally used for hunting raids. They are more often assigned defensive and occupation duties. They have cloaks mostly to get them into a new theatre of operations undetected. Once there, unless needed to assist and support the raiding fleets against defenders capital ships, they are used to secure strategic areas for occupation.

An analogy that is even better is the fox and the henhouse. The hens are protected by the farm's fence, dogs, roosters, the henhouse walls and door... and the farmer with his shotgun. By stalking in you stand a chance at getting past the fence and the door without immediately attracting the dogs, roosters and farmers. Even then, there is no guarentee it will work, you still could be detected before you strike, and even if you aren't, then you still have to get past the rooster and dogs on your way out before the farmer shows up and it's all over.


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Klythe Zantai-Vra'al
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« Last Edit: 06 06, 2005, 12:37: PM by Brian_Starr » Logged
Brian_Starr
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« Reply #1 on: 06 06, 2005, 01:05: PM »

While I agree with Klythe, I would like to add to his remarks.

1. A cloaked Klingon ship is prepared to do battle.  It does battle, usually, with other war ships.  Normally, a cloaked ship will decloak before attacking, the timing is up for debate.  This is not just because of the energy requirements needed to run both weapons and a cloak, but also the cultural need to face your enemy.  General Chang was obviously crazy and without honor to attack the Enterprise at the Khitomer Accords while cloaked.  His actions brought dishonor to all Klingons.

2. It is true that there is little honor in defeating a defenseless opponent, but the enemies of the empire are armed combatants.  Any ship that enters space with weapons, or is a part of a military organization, is an armed combatant.  In war, anyone in uniform is a combatant, and is expected to act as such with the same duties and protections.  Anyone who is a combatant, and not in uniform, is a spy or terrorist, and can be shot as such.  Weak civilians are not honorable opponents.  (Though they can be killed if it is militarily expedient.) See TOS “Errand of Mercy” As such, armed combatants make themselves legitimate targets.  

3. Once it has been determined that an opponent is a legitimate target, it is honorable to engage these legitimate targets in any way you can.  You increase your chances of success by the surprise attack.  The fact that Klingon ships have been destroyed while cloaked, or shortly after decloaking, shows that the technology is not foolproof. There is always a chance, and a fight with no risk is not an honorable fight.

4. Use of a cloaked ship does not ensure victory.  It is like wearing armor, it adds to your chances of success, but does not guarantee it.  
 
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tilk
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« Reply #2 on: 06 07, 2005, 02:46: AM »

A warrior by definiton does what ever he needs to survive and to win. If sometimes that means to retreat, deception, pure strength, then that is what is used to win the day. as gowron himself says, and Work(ds9 episode), klingons valus victory above all else. Do not forget this.

It is a HERO, but not a warrior that stands his ground, plays by rules, considers the welfare of his oponent. This is not the klingon way.  
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qoSagh
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« Reply #3 on: 06 10, 2005, 10:21: PM »

I find it hard to equate honorable combat with a being capable of language with hunting for FOOD. That being said, the claok in and of itself is not capable of being honorable or dishonorable any more than is my armor and my blade. The cloaking device is a tool fo the warrior and may be used honorably or dishonorably. I think it is intersting that the humans who know very little of honor, are quick to brand us dishonorable every time we gain an advantage through superior tactics or technology. Me thinks they doth protesxt too much.
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« Reply #4 on: 07 04, 2005, 01:37: PM »

Why is this so hard for you to equate?   Is the hunt not an honorable ritual?   Is FOOD any less valuable than Victory?   I would see how long you survive with only Victory in your belly.  Just because we are capable of using language does not mean we cannot understand ourselves better by studying those that do not.  

    After all, we have only been using language for perhaps as much as ten thousand years.  And we have been acting without language for a few million years.

   The voice of your blood does not use language.  Do you ignore your instincts because you cannot equate them with a rational argument, or do you trust them to guide you when there is no time to think, only to act?
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« Reply #5 on: 07 22, 2005, 04:24: PM »

Hmmm....I believe the cloaking device to be usefull in some respects, such as following an enemy to his base or even to hide the numbers of a strike force...but using the device in actual combat is something i do not stand for. I feel that any Klingon who does deservs to have his/her ashes spread accross the gates of  Greh'Thor!
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« Reply #6 on: 10 02, 2005, 04:08: PM »

There is a correction to my estimate of 10,000 years of language use.  Discussion of this matter is in Origin of Speech in Klingons
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Kash
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« Reply #7 on: 11 29, 2006, 07:09: PM »

It should be noted that Klingons find assassination a glorious, honorable line of work as well, provided the victim sees his assailant.

I should think cloaking devices are held in similar regard.
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« Reply #8 on: 12 02, 2006, 04:07: PM »

It should be noted that Klingons find assassination a glorious, honorable line of work as well, provided the victim sees his assailant.

Actually I am not sure that this is the case... We really have little to go on...

We know that poison is considered a dishonorable way to kill (TNG: "Reunion"). We know that there is a specific blade (The qut'luch/kut'lutch), which is regarded as an assassins weapon, which sort of implies that there may be an accepted "Form" or at least a recognized one for assassination. But do we "Know" that assassins are considered to be glorious and honorable as a professional standard? I do not recall hearing such.

And interestingly, both the qut'lutch and poison were employed by Duras against (Presumeably K'mpec) and later Kurn. Now the H'Nter may have supported Duras against Gowron, but history will remember him as a traitor for several reasons all associated directly with collusion with the enemy not for his employment of assassins.

Some of these ideas could be biased by propaganda or cultural misinformation. Before participating in an officer exchange program between the Federation and the Klingon Empire (TNG: "A Matter of Honor"), Riker was under the impression that assassination was the standard mode of advancement amongst Klingon crews. When he asked the 2nd officer Klag about this, he discovered that it was not so much about ambition as it was duty to make sure that only the most capable warriors are in positions of command and authority. (My words not Klags)...

Now we of course know that these deaths are most commonly associated with duel like challenges, and I would argue would not be considered assassination.

The other historical contexts of assassination that I can think of are those of Chancellor Gorkon, (ST VI: TUC), and General K'Trellan's assassination of Emperor Reclaw. Neither of which are directly considered dishonorable unto themselves, but rather the ways in which they were carried out might be... (Mostly in the case of Gorkon, where again collusion with the enemy is the most grievous element)...


Quote from: Kash
I should think cloaking devices are held in similar regard.


As to Cloaking, well... I am of the opinion that it was likely more a matter of keeping a narrow technological gap between the Klingon and Romulan Empires, than a specific preference for attacking from cover...

And if you think about it, how often must Klingon cloaking technology have been directly responsible for keeping the peace. I mean consider the need for good intelligence, something every military requires. If Klingon vessels were seen foraying into disputed space, the Arrogance of the Federation or the Paranoia of the Romulan Star Empire might cause inexperienced or zealous captains to react hastily out of fear or desire for personal glory. By utilizing the Cloak, vital information might be aquired without starting an all out war.

See, we really are the good guys when it comes down to it... Thumbs up!
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« Reply #9 on: 12 03, 2006, 12:18: AM »

In regards to assassination, there are traditionally "acceted" tools and weapons for such tasks, and to date, I've yet to see a klingon apparatus that was "traditional" for a dishonorable act. This, coupled with the fact that the manner of death determines one's place in the afterlife, and that the Klingon traditions of honor resemble Eastern terran cultures perceptions rather than western terran notions, naturally lead me to believe that assassination, carried out in a decidedly Klingon way (facing one's enemy within melee range), would be accepted as an honorable action.

Cloaking devices are good for much more than simple intelligence missions. If one studies the design of Klingon vessels, one will notice the placement of their weapons, as well as their hull configurations, are designed to funciton and appear predatory in nature. Cruising along cloaked gives one the chance to examine their opponents and judge their worthiness; likewise, a properly timed decloaking coupled with the appearance of the vessels themselves, could apply a psychological pressure on the enemy like none other. There are many Klingons use, and will continue to use, cloaking devices.

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torqey
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« Reply #10 on: 04 14, 2009, 12:23: AM »

I most certainly agree with Klythe, but I would just like to say that not all cloaking is dishonorable. In Blood Oath(second season of DS9) qor, qeng, qolotlh, and Dax cloak their BoP only because they are leaving it in orbit while it interfered with their enemies phasers. Some may say it is dishonorable to disarm enemies. However, it was not dishonorable at all under the circumstances. The three Klingons and the Trill had only bat'leths and were outnumbered greatly. (I think there were about forty warriors lying in wait for them.) So, if the circumstances are right, I think cloaking is acceptable.
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