Memory Alpha
Memory Alpha
Real world article
(written from a Production point of view)


Morning on Qo'noS, K'ahlynn attacks her grandfather, Kahnrah, with her Bat'leth, but she has underestimated his speed and strength. He brings up the conversation from the prior day about espionage, and tells her that they can both learn a lesson from the "tale of Gralmek, and the mistakes that led to his own dishonor…"

Gralmek was a distant cousin of the family, born a mach ghott, a "small fish", small in stature and strength. He tried his best to fit in and stand his ground, but he was too weak. When the opportunity came to prove himself on a dangerous and painful mission, he was the first to volunteer.

From the mission log of Gralmek: Finally a chance to prove myself in the eyes of my family and the Empire. I was quickly escorted off to a series of briefings about my new mission: working for Klingon intelligence.

Due to the interference of the Organians in their previous encounter, expansion of the Empire could now only be gained through peaceful means. As such, the next step of the Klingons is to try sabotage. Gralmek's forehead ridge and brow were sanded down, his skin dyed with acid, holes drilled in his forehead, and spinal ridges shaved, all to better simulate the Human anatomy. His recovery took eight weeks, and during that time, he discovered that it was not reversible. The next phase was to teach him to act like a Human, and to brief him on his mission, to assume the identity of Arne Darvin, a member of Starfleet, and poison a shipment of grain just before it is delivered to Sherman's Planet.

From the mission log of Gralmek: The High Council had secured for me a Starfleet uniform and forged credentials to get me on board the Lexington, which was ferrying my target to Deep Space Station K-7. Once on board, it was merely a matter of finding him and choosing the opportune moment to introduce myself.

After finally encountering the real Darvin aboard the ship, Gralmek kills him, refusing to stab him in the back, stating in his log that "one has a right to look his killer in the eyes."

When the ship finally arrived at K-7, Gralmek met his new commander, Nilz Baris. Over time, he began becoming loyal to the man, despite his being an irritant. However, when Baris discovered that Klingons were nearby, he issued a Priority One Alert, calling in Federation support. A ship arrived almost immediately, the Enterprise, complete with its overconfident, pompous, and reckless captain. Gralmek liked the captain, Kirk, despite himself, because he held no respect for Baris. With the increased security presence, it would making poisoning the quadrotriticale a bit more difficult.

A frontal route to the grain was no longer possible, but Gralmek had been studying the plans of the base in detail, and with his position, had security access everywhere. He arrived at the grain container, and quickly poisoned it, before returning to his quarters.

How will my courage and ingenuity be recognized in the Great Hall, I wonder. I hope it's a statue. I like statues. "All glory to Gralmek," the plaque will read. "Acquirer of worlds." I hope it's a large statue. Remember to strike this passage out before sending report back to Qo'noS.

Three days later, the ruse was uncovered due to the reaction of the tribbles, brought aboard the station by an itinerant merchant, Cyrano Jones. The Klingon captain that had arrived at the station, Koloth was an unfortunate party to defusing the charade, as the vermin responded to him in the same manner as Gralmek. When the ruse was up and Dr. McCoy discovered that Gralmek was truly a Klingon, Gralmek gave himself up, almost immediately.

Koloth was forced to depart the station in humiliation, but was assured that no fault laid with him. At that moment, he discovered that his ship was infested with tribbles. Meanwhile, Gralmek spent time in a Federation prison before he was returned to the Klingons. After a debriefing, he was taken to the Great Hall and chastised for his actions. He asked if he would be sent to Rura Penthe, but the cost of a barge would not be worth the time, but was discommended instead.

Kahnrah explains to his granddaughter that Gralmek was never seen or heard from again, and that the age of espionage ended as soon as it began. Kahnrah was still at a crossroads when it came to the vote though.

Memorable quotes[]

"All hail Gralmek of the Klingon Empire. Defeated by vermin."

- Kahnrah

"What could possibly be learned from a coward?"
"You remain so closed-minded granddaughter. Despite his small stature and his disfigured form, Gralmek was still a Klingon, and yet, he found himself growing loyal to a Human commander, and admiring a Human adversary. Perhaps… perhaps Klingons and Humans are not so different as we would like to believe."

- K'ahlynn and Kahnrah

Background information[]

  • The framing story is set during the events of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, but the main portion of the story is TOS: "The Trouble with Tribbles", as told from the Klingon perspective.
  • This is the second issue of Blood Will Tell.
  • The title of this story is not listed in the issue at all, but was listed in an advertisement in the previous issue.
  • Benjamin Sisko makes a brief cameo appearance on page 16, passing Darvin in a hallway, a reference to the time-travel DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations".
  • The issue sold an estimated 10,416 copies in comic specialty stores in May 2007. [1] These figures do not cover copies sold on the direct market (bookstores, etc.).



Canon characters listed below are linked to the main article about them. Non-canon characters are not linked, but those that recurred, appearing or being mentioned in more than one story, are defined further in IDW TOS characters.
The Klingon that was altered to become Arne Darvin.
Nilz Baris
Human commander of Deep Space Station K-7.
Cyrano Jones
Merchant, bringer of Tribbles aboard the station.
Klingon captain.
Member of the Klingon High Council.
Granddaughter of Kahnrah.
James T. Kirk
Federation captain of the USS Enterprise.
Leonard McCoy
Doctor aboard the USS Enterprise.
First officer of the USS Enterprise.

External link[]

Previous issue: Series Next issue:
#1: "Against Their Nature" Star Trek: Klingons - Blood Will Tell #3: "The Order of Things"