The month began with shore leave aboard DSX as both captain and crew came to terms with the results of the last mission and their assignment to the Garuda, the Mercury’s Galaxy-class successor. However, while controlled chaos reigned behind the scenes — civilian astrophysicist J. Cowens disappeared during the Mercury’s firefight with the Cardassian warship Nok’Tan, and that disappearance precipitated a fierce but quiet manhunt, among other things — the majority of the crew enjoyed a pantomime of Peter Pan as brought by the United Service Organizations. Unexpectedly, though, many members of the senior staff were asked to participate in the panto when the USO’s full troupe did not arrive on the station. After a week of rehearsals, however, the crew was recalled on opening night for the Garuda’s first mission: A first contact with a powerful race deep in the Menthar Corridor.
Just before the Garuda departed DSX, however, it was approached by a Cardassian diplomatic shuttle with Detapa Council member Prianna and Federation Ambassador Lily Ventu aboard, both of whom were welcomed politely but guardedly as both openly mentioned complicating agendas that extended beyond the first contact. However, the trip to the meeting with the Kubarey, the new species, proceeded smoothly, at least up until the contact at Rho Aurigae IV: The Kubarey contact vessel did not respond at all to overtures from the Garuda, so Captain Egan Manno decided to take a diplomatic away team down to the planet’s surface to investigate in more detail while ordering her crew to probe the other ship in greater detail.