BRUT III – With a solution to the rifts in hand, the USS Darwin-A has moved to deploy the Jentar Assembly in the Skalur expanse in the hopes of sealing the rifts.
On shore leave at Deep Space 6, the crew of the USS Darwin (NCC 99312-A) was coming to terms with the fallout of their recent mission. With Captain Renos on medical leave, Commander Kael Thomas was tasked to step up and lead the Darwin on its next mission. However, before that came, several Darwin crewmembers partook in the 2nd Annual Deep Space 6 Shuttle Race.
Team Ugly Baby, manned by Lieutenant Commander Ren Rennyn and Lieutenant JG Iniko Mpeba, managed to win a race that was marred by tragedy. The shuttle piloted by Lieutenant JG Todd Manius and engineered by Cmdr Thomas exploded at the finish line, claiming the life of one of the shuttle’s occupants. Another Darwin entry, manned by Lieutenant John Valdivia and featuring an AI pilot co-designed by Lieutenant Commander Maxwell Traenor, placed well and proved their concept.
The short down time allowed for a small measure of relaxation and introspection for the crew, made necessary by the stresses of the Zakdorn mission and the atrocities experienced there. Finally, repairs to the Darwin were completed, and the ship was tasked with a role in Operation Knife Point, a mission in support of the Prometheus Incident.
The Darwin traveled with all haste to the Slakur Expanse and took up orbit around Brut III. There, they are to deploy the Jentar Assembly, which is a small constellation of satellites built using reverse engineering of Sicarian technology. The Assembly will use subspace harmonics to potentially close a Prometheus-related rift present in the Cadaka system.
Lt Mpeba’s team are required to perform an EV mission to complete assembly and positioning of the lynchpin satellite, while a beacon on the surface of Brut III requires an Away team to investigate. Cmdr Traenor and his team take a shuttle down to the heavily jungled surface and are forced to make an arduous hike to the site of the signal. Meanwhile, a power spike from the increasingly unstable rift causes the main satellite to spin uncontrollably, putting the EV team in mortal risk.
On the Darwin’s bridge, the same rift activity causes intense pain a heavily pregnant Lieutenant JG Lyldra. She receives an emergency transport to the sickbay and the ministrations of Lt Manius, while the senior officers bring the satellite back under control.
Back on Brut III, the Away team finds the source of the beacon: a crashed shuttle. Offering aid, the Starfleet officers found Ankia Viljoen and Duccio Turrisi, the leaders of the crew, claiming to be missionaries looking for a place to start a monastery. “Ah, we’re a scout ship. Looking for potential habitable worlds for a . . . monastic order. They’re very peaceful and wanted someplace isolated and pastoral”, claimed Viljoen. However, suspicions rose and the ruse failed once their captive, a kidnapped Ash’lie escaped her bonds and caught the attentions of the Starfleet officers as she fled. The shuttle’s crew, actually Sicarian agents, fired upon the Away team and forced them to scramble for cover.
The Darwin, needing to effect repairs on the lynchpin satellite of the Jentar Assembly, prepares to tractor the device into its containment sphere. At this moment, a small ship enters the system and hails the Darwin, claiming to be a scout ship for a mining magnate, Captain Altek professes to be attending to the distress beacon. As Cmdr Thomas is made aware of the true nature of the situation planetside, he demands answers and compliance from the Cardassian captain of the scout ship.