The crew of the newly commissioned USS Mercury NCC-99812 received orders to leave spacedock shortly after being made aware of their reassignment. Their destination: Cardassia Prime, specifically a meeting with the Detapa Consul to formally accept an invite to explore the Menthar Corridor, a region of space that lies between Breen, Tholian and Cardassian territory. With a long-term scientific mission looming large and the transfer to a science vessel, some of the ship’s more military-minded personnel began to wonder about the need for their presence aboard ship, until a second staff meeting was held to inform them of Starfleet Intelligence’s plan to use the Mercury’s enhanced sensor array to gather any data possible on what they see as a politically turbulent people.
With the meeting on Cardassia Prime now drawing to a close, more questions seem to have been raised than answered. Why haven’t the Cardassians explored an area of space that lies so close to their territory? How will the elements in the Cardassian government who are opposed to collaborating with the Federation react to their continued presence?
To make matters even more interesting, an independent Cardassian observer has been assigned to the Mercury in an attempt to assuage the doubts of those who still do not trust the Federation. Gul Kerena Vetak, who was responsible for guiding Lieutenant Commander Hannibal Parker around Cardassian Central Command, has already rubbed him up the wrong way, and the two are a recipe for a potentially explosive outcome…
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