HEROES OF THE EMPIRE
by Gary Hollifield, Jr.
Little is known of Chang’s early history such as his place of birth, early achievements, or life before his time in service to the Klingon Defense Forces as Chief of Staff. Early on, Chang was involved in protecting the Chancellor of the High Council against an assassination attempt by Kalnor and later Melkor. He fought Kalnor in a blood duel where Chang lost his eye in battle and was later forced to wear an eye patch. He would later be involved in combat against Melkor and his allies, the Romulans, in their attempt at claiming the throne of the Klingon Empire.
Chang was also responsible for creating the Elite Command Academy to better train Klingon commanders for the rigors of battle. One of his greatest students was Cadet Torlek. By 2290, Chang had risen through the ranks and had become the Chief of Staff under Chancellor Gorkon.
The most prolific part of Chang’s life came when he became part of the Khitomer conspiracy that sought to prevent any lasting peace between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. He conspired with Starfleet officers (namely Lieutenant Valeris, Admiral Cartwright, and Colonel West), Romulan Officials (Ambassador Nanclus), and even other Klingons. The tryst of this whole debacle was that all of these enemies conspired with one another to defeat an effort of peace…they worked TOGETHER in an attempt to achieve this. General Chang was the spearhead in the Klingon effort. He ordered the development of the top secret warbird that could fire when cloaked, which, had it not been destroyed, would have shifted the balance of power within the Alpha Quadrant forever in favor of the Klingons. Chang wanted this to happen, and then with the Federation and Starfleet ultimately defeated, the Klingons would move into former Federation territory and begin rebuilding their socio-economic status. More than likely, Chang would have usurped command from Azetbur (via assassination more than likely) and then claimed himself as Chancellor of the High Council.
As part of the Khitomer conspiracy, Chang commanded a prototype Klingon Bird-of-Prey that had the ability to fire its weapons while it was cloaked. Chang's ship fired on the IKS Kronos One while it was under escort by the Enterprise-A, making it appear as if the latter ship had fired upon the Klingons, violating the terms of the truce. This attack made it possible for co-conspirators Burke and Samno to board Kronos One and assassinate Gorkon.
When Enterprise officers James T. Kirk and Leonard McCoy boarded Kronos One to provide assistance and to prevent a full-scale conflict from developing, Chang ordered them arrested and charged with Gorkon's assassination under the rules of interstellar law. He also served as the prosecutor for the state at Kirk's and McCoy's trial, where he was successful in obtaining a conviction by forcing Kirk to admit that, as captain, he was responsible for the conduct of the crew under his command.
However, Chang was surprised that the Klingon judge did not order the customary death sentence, but instead sent the pair to Rura Penthe. In order to put Kirk and McCoy away permanently, Chang had the commander of the prison camp arrange for Kirk and McCoy to attempt to escape, so that they could be killed without explanation. However, they were rescued in the nick of time by the Enterprise-A.
With time running out before the Khitomer Conference, Chang ordered his Bird-of-Prey to intercept and attack the Enterprise in orbit of Khitomer. His ship initially had a huge advantage in being able to fire while cloaked, causing massive damage to the Enterprise-A, despite attempts by the late-arrival Excelsior to distract Chang (even though they could do little more than be "something else to shoot at"). However, Enterprise first officer Spock and Dr. McCoy were able to modify a photon torpedo to track Chang's ship by homing in on the plasma exhaust from the impulse engine. Chang and his bridge staff were killed when the modified torpedo struck the bridge of the Bird of Prey. The Enterprise and the Excelsior quickly destroyed the ship after the torpedo hit caused it to decloak.
On a personal note, General Chang enjoyed reading Terran poet William Shakespeare, and at time, quoting him at the most opportunistic times. Once back aboard the Enterprise, Dr. McCoy was supposedly overheard claiming “I’d give real money if he’d shut up” after Chang had made a quote from Hamlet stating “I am as constant as the Northern Star!”