by Patrick Goodman
Before the ink had even fully dried on the Khitomer Accords, the Federation Council pledged to help the Klingon Empire either repair the damage to their homeworld, or to find them a new one. To this end, they repurposed Starbase 24 to also serve as a scientific and diplomatic post. Thus was born the Razor’s Edge Initiative.
As the REI was ramping up, Starfleet Command began withdrawing some of the more blatantly militaristic vessels which had patrolled the Klingon border for years, and in some cases decades. It was intended as a conciliatory gesture, a sign of trust. Privately, many high-ranking Klingon warriors considered it a slight, a not-so-subtle acknowledgment that they were no longer worthy adversaries. Support among the Great Houses for the Razor’s Edge Initiative began to waver.
At the same time, a permanent “discretionary fleet” was being assigned to Starbase 24; the sole purpose of these vessels was to support the Razor’s Edge Initiative, and so it skewed towards scout ships. Though the fleet’s crown jewel, the U.S.S. Lexington, was more than capable of defending itself, the reassignment of the destroyers and frigates that used to call Razor’s Edge their home port left the starbase vulnerable.
The commander of SB24, Admiral Andrew Spain, put his foot down with Starfleet Command. A thirty-year veteran with an extensive personal history with the Klingons, Spain insisted that if Starfleet Command was going to reassign border patrols in such a manner, then the station’s permanent fleet was going to need some teeth. While the admiralty resisted for a time, Spain eventually won out and two Miranda-class cruisers, the U.S.S. Condor and the U.S.S. Tempest, were assigned to the station’s permanent fleet. Both ships were equipped for tactical operations, and the Condor had actually patrolled along a separate stretch of the neutral zone for several years and enjoyed its own reputation with the Empire.
To the surprise of many at Starfleet Command, assigning the Twins, as Spain called them, actually improved relations with the Klingons in regards to the Razor’s Edge Initiative. While most members of the High Council had little regard for Starfleet Command in general, their admiration and respect for Admiral Spain was strengthened; in spite of the Empire’s current weakened state, he still considered them a credible threat, and did them the honor of treating them as such.