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Scandal before Presidential State of the Federation address?

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ASTROFORI ONE — Just days away from President Bacco’s delivery of her State of the Federation address, allegations have been made against one of the species invited to the Astrofori One initiative.

The Astrofori One Project, the brainchild of Federation Ambassador and presidential candidate Lily Ventu, has been hailed as a bold step forward in interstellar diplomacy. While the Federation, Romulans, Breen, and Kubarey are the four major powers of the project, numerous other species and groups have also been invited to become a part of the galactic forum. However, trouble may be brewing already between some of the participants.

An anonymous source attending the launch of the station reports that strong allegations by the Kubarey Confederation and the recently reintroduced Peppalexans have been made against one of those species, known as the Va Wreth. Most information about the Va Wreth classify them as a nomadic species of traders, and they have passed through the Menthar region of space on a number of occasions.

The Peppalexans state that ten thousand years ago, the Va Wreth were at war with the Ancient Alliance over attempts to block or regulate their trade routes which ran through the middle of Alliance space. Despite heavy losses, the Va Wreth eventually overwhelmed the majority of Alliance species. Peppalexan records further show that they cannibalized their fallen foes and committed other atrocities.

Confounding the matter is that the Va Wreth were invited to join Astrofori One by the Tholians, who have had contact with them. Given the Tholians normally xenophobic nature, the move is surprising. The proposal was seconded by the Romulans, who recall a very different Va Wreth who were eager to trade, communicate and make connections with for the future. Two thousand years ago, the Va Wreth passed through what became Romulan space and helped those fleeing Vulcan to establish themselves by trading supplies.

“It’s a major headache all around,” said one member of the Bacco Administration on condition of anonymity. “They’re trying to handle the crisis quietly because at this point, all eyes are already going to be on the station with the president’s State of the Federation address.”

Crew members of the USS Garuda have been tasked to investigate the claims as discretely as possible. One team, led by Capt. Aron Kells, has attempted to go undercover disguised as a group of Romulans to gather more information from the other species aboard the station and what they know about the Va Wreth. After speaking with Romulans, Tholians, and others, the team has split up with one set of officers taking the Garuda out under the command of Dr. Chythar Skyfire to search for the Va Wreth’s nearby contacts. Skyfire’s search has led to a Taredge colony the Va Wreth visited that isn’t answering the Garuda’s hails.

Meanwhile, another team led by the Garuda’s first officer Lt. Cmdr. Roshanara Rahman launched an operation to seek any direct evidence for the Kubarey and Peppalexan claims during a reception held by the Va Wreth. However, just as the operation was underway, an old enemy has chosen this time to make a reappearance: Harrison Ross, the Garuda’s former first officer who betrayed his crew last year and kidnapped the Garuda’s Director of Intelligence Capt. Quinn Reynolds.

Now, the Garuda crew must work with Federation Security to protect the President and other VIPs attending from whatever plan Ross might have in store, but if the Va Wreth crisis isn’t resolved, Ross might not have to do anything before the entire diplomatic experiment unravels.

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