Spartan's crew have begun to realize how tenuous their position is in this reality. While yes, their ship is extremely powerful (Imagine McKinley starbase with transwarp, weapons, cloak and alive) they find themselves in a position where they are desperate for crew and yet the very place they would recruit from is using that against them to get access to their future-tech.
They know that if they ally with the Federation, publicly, then the Typhon Pact will declare war and even with Spartan's help, it would be a near thing and countless billions of lives would be lost that needn't. If they remain a free agent, they risk making themselves a target of everyone that wants their tech. So, they're looking for allies that are "off the grid" so to speak, places where they can go to ground without having to simply leave this side of the Galaxy or leave the Galaxy entirely.
Oh and it doesn't help that the Unity isn't exactly forthcoming about their role in all of this, giving them limited access to their quadrants' wide sensor network but hiding some things and limiting bandwidth and information access in ways that is very unlike them. Its also highly unusual that compared to their timeline, the Unity was already a known factor in this era. But in this timeline, its as if they don't exist to the rest of the galaxy.
So in their search for allies, Spartan has gone to one of their original pillars of support from their timeline, House qIls, located in the qi'tOk system at the farthest edge of Klingon space, galactic east of the Federation. And what they find, is even more confusing.
As Spartan arrives at the remote and normally inaccessible world of qi'tOk, home of House qIls, they find themselves dealing with Klingon Force in occupation of the outer system attempting to circumvent the natural defensive qualities of the system and the artificial ones the qIls have trapped their system with.
Facing a system full of extreme gravitational shear, broken planetary debris and whirling storms of matter in seemingly random patterns in orbit of a neutron star, the Klingon Fleet appears not to be the full strength of the Klingon Empire but rather a few Houses attempting to lay siege. Their target, a lone planet in the golden zone of the system, just close enough to be habitable but too far to be comfortable. The world of qi'tOk is an icy Hell to Klingons, a planet that Efrosians and Andorians would find starkly beautiful and of course, House qIls.
But the confusion for Spartan's crew is that while things look the same as they remember, there're several discrepancies.
First: This showdown between the disgruntled and greedy Houses of the Empire happened a full century prior in their timeline. Not now.
Second: The qIls on this q'tOk have been a little busier than Spartan records indicate, seemingly having had more time to get things in place.
Third: The qIls were expecting them and made sure that Spartan found their cloaked listening post, hacked it and found the communication's tag inside with a welcoming message that opened communications and gave coordinates for transport or landing coordinates (inside the planet) for a shuttle.
Fourth: Spartan is unable to sense more than a few meters into the crust of the planet before encountering "blank zones". This means qIls is cloaking vast swaths of their internal planetary crust installations.
Spartan's crew put together an away team, took one of Spartan's progeny to the landing coordinates and... the drama is still unfolding.
A trans-reality incursion changes Spartan and his crew dramatically (archive)