Qaplah's!

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Qaplah's!

Postby Jack Lucas » Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:17 pm

A short history of the Klingon establishment "Q'plah" - now know as "Qaplah's!"

2373

The Klingon held the d'k tahg in his right hand and pulled it slowly across his left. The blood dribbled from his open hand and spilled onto the floor. This was the d'k tahg that had killed eight Klingon warriors loyal to Gowron during the Klingon Civil War. The dull pommel, which had once been covered in sharp spikes, had bashed the skull of Gon'dak himself. The now narrowing blade had slit a dozen human throats nearly one hundred years earlier during the Federation-Klingon War of 2267. Garosh was old, as was this blade.

He squeezed his bleeding hand into a fist, the blood pooling on the floor beneath him, lipping around his spiked boot.

"Q'plah!" He shouted! It echoed through the empty establishment. It was dark, and there was a constant drip of water somewhere behind the bar. The walls were drab and curtained, black. Garosh did not care for the plain metal walls on the station Sigma Rho, rather than set up false walls, he chose to hang black curtains and grand tapestries of the clan Duras.

The Duras had been branded traitors after the Klingon Civil War, and Garosh had been exiled, or perhaps he chose to leave. He didn't recall anymore, his mind wasn't what it used to be.

He wiped the wet blade on his gray cloak and pulled his red palm across his chest. The ritual was complete, and this small hovel was now a safe harbor for Klingon Warriors of any clan. He left the pool of blood and walked to the bar, retreiving a half-empty bottle of Blood Wine. He tilted his head back and swallowed every last drop before tossing the bottle over his shoulder, crashing onto a metal slab behind him.

The bar was sparsely decorated, aside from the tapestries and the dim red lights, there were metal slabs on which to eat, and a bar. The bar had no chairs or stools, but did have a long, loose tritanium pipe lying at it's base, which wobbled under his boot as he rolled it back and forth, slowly from it's weight.

He clenched his fist, still bleeding, as he'd cut deep. He looked to the back of the bar, where there were more slabs, and a large sparring area, separated by a waist-high cage. It was big enough for six of Qo'nos' greatest warriors, he'd littered the area with rocks and chains and even a snapped bat'leth.

Garosh stepped behind the bar, full of strength despite his advanced age. He slammed his bloody hand down on the rough metal bar, leaving the smack of a Klingon handprint in deep red. He looked up at the bat'leth hanging above the bar, his, from his time as a warrior for the clan Duras. The tips were dull and one of the inner blades had snapped off. It was a reminder of his service to the Empire, his service to his clan, and the betrayal, as he saw it, of his people.

He touched a small electronic pad behind the bar, droplets of blood fell onto the pad, he showed no interest. The large metal door at the front of the bar slid open, Q'plah was open for business.


2375

The Dominion War was in full swing, though an end might be near, some said. Garosh stood behind the bar, unconscious, propped against the wall like a mannequin.

Over the bar stood two Klingons, both on leave from the battlecruiser D'kah'eroa - which had docked at the station for repairs.

The Klingon bar was an eyesore to the Federation Officers onboard Sigma Rho, but it had become an important diplomatic spot for the tense alliance between the Federation and Klingon Empire. With heavy casualties on both sides, the small bar had been a reminder to the Warrior race of the open arms the Federation had showed them, in their war against the shapeshifters, Vorta and Jem'Hadar. Invaders from the Gamma Quadrant would never set foot in a bar that required you spill blood in its entry way.

On busy days, the pool of multicolored blood near the entryway of Q'plah would run into the promenade. The Engineering crew had installed a sieve near the entryway, meant to pull any errant pools below the floor and into a recycler, though sometimes the flow was just too thick.

Today the entryway was dry, squeegeed by an annoyed Engineer with warts on his face. Garosh had offered him a blood wine, on the house, but the Engineer had declined. This was moments before the crewmen from the D'kah'eroa had knocked Garosh unconscious, for his crimes against Gowron.

He was still a traitor, in their eyes.

They had knocked him out with a single blow to his brow, and slumped him against the wall. No one would be the wiser, as they drank his blood wine and sang their songs on his bar. The war would soon be over, and all Klingons would be welcomed home with new songs of their battles and victories... All Klingons but Garosh.


2385

The Rigellian brothers shared a glance, as the elderly Klingon across from them spat into the crook of his elbow. They had hoped we would have died before their negotiations were complete, so they could have the space on the station Sigma Rho at an even better price.

The dilapidated room had seen little repairs or upgrades over the last decade, and blood stains on the paneled floors had been left to weather among the scratches and divots. The long black curtains were torn and ratty at the ends. Even the priceless Warrior Tapestries were fading and frayed.

But the Brothers ADORED the space. It was larger than it looked, with enough room in the back to install a few holosuites or a play area.

The station Sigma Rho had become more of a trading hub for errant travelers after the Dominion War. There were less Klingons in this area than ever before, now that the Empire was rebuilding, and the warships and Federation transports had long been replaced by science vessels and ships marked for exploration. Traders and cargo haulers filled the promenade now, which had driven Garosh's business to bankruptcy.

The two enterprising Rigellians had made him an offer that was more than fair, but still a pittance. They were certain he'd accept, though he had terms for the sale. Rigellians did not respond kindly to "terms."

Garosh wiped his mouth with his palm and slammed his fist on the table. "The name must stay, and it must remain a place where Klingon Warriors are welcome."

The Rigellians shared another look. Agrat spoke first.

"We must be allowed to rebrand the space. There just isn't a market for... Targ and blood wine." He spoke, calmly.

"We could make it a Klingon "coffee" shop - the Federation pinks love their Raktajinos." Agrat's brother Mergim replied.

Garosh twisted his fist on the table, as if he were holding a knife. "The name... must stay."

The Rigellians turned to each other again. Their silent eyes were excellent for communicating during a business deal. The glance they shared was one of agreement.

Agrat tilted his head in kindness, "Garosh... You will go bankrupt and we will seize the property when the Federation forecloses on you."

Garosh smiled, his gray teeth marred and filled with holes. "The Federation will repurpose this den, and you know it." He held both his arms out at his side, a prideful warrior, "I am your only chance."

The brothers chose not to look at one another. Mergim pushed the PADD in front of him towards Garosh. "We will keep the name." He conceded. "For a minimum of 10 years, after that, we are free to do what we wish. This is our final offer, there's a space opening up across the way in another 36 cycles that we could take just as easily. It's bigger, and has more power available anyway."

Garosh pulled his d'k tahg from his waist with the flick of his wrist, with speed he had not shown in years.

"So long as the doors are ALWAYS open to a Klingon Warrior, I will accept." He pulled the blade across his scarred and wrinkled hand, blood dripping on the table. He outstretched it, ready to clasp their arms in agreement. He did not dare offer them his own blade, though.

The brothers shared a look. "Pardon us if we don't shake." They stood.

"We'll need the space in 24 hours. Take what you wish." Agrat offered.

"That," Garosh raised his arm to point to the bat'leth above the bar, "must also stay, lest it take one last life."

The brothers looked at one another. "Sure." Agrat shrugged.


2392 - Present Day

Q'plah had long ago become Qaplah's - as the Rigellians found the new spelling more friendly to foreign tongues. The dark metal walls and grim black curtains had been replaced with cartoonish paintings of Klingon warriors and their achievements.

Trinkets and Klingon paraphernalia had been hung over every inch of the interior walls. From daggers and bat'leths to pain sticks and disabled disrupters. There were "klingon utensils" and holographic portraits purportedly of true Klingon origin. The majority of the decorations had been replicated or stolen, and represented only the worst and most recognizable aspects of Klingon culture.

The quiet drip of the bar had been replaced with modern music remixes of Klingon opera. The slow beat of the bass gave the room a heartbeat. Neon black and yellow symbols danced along the walls from a projector in the high ceiling. The metal slab tables had been replaced with bright red and yellow booths, with iron trimmings and faux-rusty tablecloths.

The Rigellians stood behind the bar, where they often did, amused by their glamorous obstructions. The wait staff all wore foam head ridges and long braided wigs. Children were playing in the Tribble pit, where the coos of thousands of tribbles warmed the hearts of the children as they danced on the soft furry bodies. Were they coos of pleasure, or the whimpers of tiny hairball death throes?

On the back wall were two small holosuites, each adorned with a menu of "Klingon Battles" - which were family friendly and featured little actual history. But there, above the bar, still hung the bat'leth of Garosh. On the long metal bar, a bloody handprint remained. The Rigellians couldn't bear to clean it, as it brought more character to the room than any of their fake decorations. Even the floor still bore the marks of the Warriors who had once stood here, not that the guests would ever know. To them, it was just part of the charm of the place.

It was a disgraceful monument in the cloak of a proud race. If a Klingon had ever walked through these doors, he would likely kill every last one of them.

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