HEMIX — Investigating a vibrant island ecosystem that appeared overnight, USS Columbia has encountered Romulans, pirates, and dangerous new creatures.
In support of Operation: Knife Point, Commodore Heather Westhaven dispatched USS Columbia, NCC-85279, to the Skalur Expanse.
The Columbia crew welcomed a number of new transfers prior to their new mission. This emerging team celebrated the promotion to Commander of Brek, Columbia’s commanding officer and the first Ferengi captain in Starfleet. Following a holodeck celebration modelled on Risa by Ensign Flynn, a Risan native, the crew of Columbia were recalled to duty.
Arriving in the Skalur Expanse, Columbia was sent to Hemix, an uninhabited world previously studied only by the Romulan Republic. Romulan scans shared by Tribune Shiarrael of the Republic showed a rocky planetary surface devoid of life. However, an island on Hemix was recently found to be home to a wide array of plant and animal life, where nothing had previously existed. As the first to set foot on the island since it developed this dynamic ecosystem, the Columbia crew was guided by their mandate to seek out new life.
Yvonne Komeno, a spokesperson for the Daystrom Institute, expressed excitement at the unfolding discoveries.
“Initial data from Columbia shows unprecedented forms of life on Hemix,” she said. “This is a unique opportunity to study plants and animals that are not only new to us, but untouched and unobserved by any culture.”
Challenging Columbia’s progress is the rumored but unconfirmed pirate presence in the Skalur Expanse. Reports indicate operations by the shadow organization known as Sicarius, as well as other possible cartels. Following transmission of initial data, Columbia’s away teams lost communication with the ship. A team led by Lt. Commander Tyler Kelly appeared to have encountered pirates on the planet surface, and are reported to have been taken to a pirate spaceship in orbit of Hemix. A science team led by new first officer Lt. Commander Rendal Rennyn is reportedly still on the island, having difficulty with unexpected and unpredictable lifeforms.
Meanwhile, a shadowy presence has been reported lurking aboard Columbia. With the crew distracted by dangerous pirates and strange creatures, Sicarius may find an opportunity to strike. As Operation: Knife Point continues in its quest to seal the rifts caused by Prometheus Station, USS Columbia is working to ensure the safety of Federation ships operating in the area by watching for dangers and stopping them whenever possible.