"Jon," SO1 says, clasping Cpt. Quantum's hand, "I think you know everyone." The Vulcans give him a dubious once-over. "Not everyone," Cpt. Quantum says, sweeping past the Vulcan coven and looking in at the Klingon patient. "It's a Klingot," SO2 says, putting as much xenophobia as he possibly can into the mispronunciation of the species. "A Kling-on," VO2 corrects him in superior tones. Cpt. Quantum asks where the Kling-on came from. "Oklahoma," SO3 tells him. So he's a Sooner? Cpt. Quantum looks surprised. "A corn farmer named Moore shot him with a plasma rifle," SO1 explains. I wonder if it's a coincidence that a former ST writer who reportedly had a falling out with the current Powers That Be has the same last name as a plasma-rifle-toting corn farmer with an itchy trigger finger and redneck overtones. "Says it was self-defense," SO1 further explains. VO2 sniffs that it's "fortunate" that he and Ambassador Soval (okay, now we've got a name for Gary Graham, Vulcan Ambassador, and it's the same guy Child Archer referred to as "Ambassador Pointy") have maintained close contact with "Kronos" since the incident occurred. The dude who swallowed all his kids in Greek mythology? Notice how much of Star Trek draws from Greco-Roman myth? Romulus, Remus, Vulcan, and Kronos? "Kronos?" Cpt. Quantum asks. "It's the Kling-ons' homeworld," Xenophobic SO2 says derisively. SO1 steps forward and explains, "This gentleman's some sort of a courier." Excuse me while Post Road Pumpkin Ale sizzles out of my nose at the idea of a Klingon being called a "gentleman." I think they would find no honor in being thus described. "Evidently he was carrying crucial information back to his people." I have to say I'm really liking these new/old Starfleet uniforms. Dark blue, rank strips on the shoulder-chest area rather than pips on a Mao collar, and white shirt with a dark Windsor-knot tie. Smart. Classy. "When he was nearly killed," Ambassador Soval interjects, "by your farmer." I just love how much derision he manages to put into the two syllables of "farmer." SO1 tells Cpt. Quantum that Ambassador Soval thinks they should put off Enterprise's launch until the Klingon mess is mopped up. Cpt. Quantum smiles humorlessly and drawls, "Well, isn't that a surprise. You'd think they would've come up with something a little more imaginative this time." Ambassador Soval points out that Cpt. Quantum can be as sarcastic as he likes, but Earth doesn't really want to make themselves an enemy of the Klingon Empire. Yeah, take a page from Kirk's log -- oh, wait, he can't. VO2 tells Cpt. Quantum that if the Vulcans hadn't finessed the Klingons into allowing them to bring Klaang the Klingon's corpse back to Kronos, "Earth would be most likely facing a squadron of warbirds by the end of the week." "'Corpse'?" Cpt. Quantum repeats incredulously. "Is he dead?"
Without waiting for an answer, Cpt. Quantum throws open the examination room door -- did anyone else wonder if he needed to take protective measures before going in? A smock, a mask, anything to protect a potentially vulnerable Klingon from contamination by a human? -- and strides inside. "Excuse me," Cpt. Quantum demands of a medical technician (recognizable as Dr. Phlox), passing a guard with a plasma gun. "Is this man dead?" I like how the writers subtly clue us into the open-mindedness of Cpt. Quantum and SO1 by having them call the Klingon "gentleman" and "man." "His autonomic system was disrupted by the blast but his redundant neural functions are still -- " Dr. Phlox babbles. "Is he going to die?" Cpt. Quantum interrupts. "Not necessarily," Dr. Phlox says cheerfully. Dude, Phlox is a total composite of the Emergency Medical Hologram and Neelix from Voyager, but better. I like him already. ["Plus, he's named after a pretty flower. Aw." -- Sars] Cpt. Quantum strides (because honestly, can he be said to walk any other way?) out and delivers an uninformed PSA to the Vulcans about euthanising Klaang. "Now where is the logic in that?" Cpt. Politically Correct Quantum demands. Ambassador Soval attempts to edge around T'Pol's (now visibly) enormous dinners and explain that the Klingon culture "finds honor in death. If they saw him like this, he'd be disgraced." Vo2 offers further explanation to the culturally ignorant human captain that the Klingons are a race of warriors: "They dream of dying in battle. If you understood the complexities of interstellar diplomacy --" But Cpt. Quantum's not interested in those complexities as he interrupts VO2 to stick his hands in his pockets, widen his stance, and demand, "So that's your diplomatic solution -- to do what they tell you? Pull the plug?" VO2 tells Cpt. Quantum, "Your metaphor is crude," and then elevates his eyebrows ever-so-slightly, "but accurate." Cpt. Quantum gets all defensive and says that while humans may be "crude," they aren't murderers either, and turns to his senior Starfleet Officers to ask them, "You're not going to let them do this, are ya?" The senior Starfleet Officials look uncomfortable as Ambassador Soval says that the Klingons want Klaang's corpse back immediately. "Admiral?" Cpt. Quantum demands. SO1, now Admiral, tells him they might have to "defer to their judgment." Cpt. Quantum raises his voice and says they've been deferring to them for over one hundred years. "Jon," Admiral says warningly. "How much longer?" Cpt. Quantum insists.