THE BORDERLANDS – An encounter with unknown intelligence on Cytaris V has transplanted the Excalibur crew’s consciousnesses into the bodies of their coworkers.
The Vesta-class Excalibur (NCC-41903-A) was reintroduced to active service in the Borderlands last month, replacing the USS Resolution (NCC-78145), which was destroyed earlier in the year. Most of the Resolution’s surviving crew, including the entire senior staff, moved to the Excalibur. Starfleet assigned the ship and crew to the isolated Cytaris system, whose fifth planet had suddenly and inexplicably entered a phase of severe radiation.
When the team arrived at Cytaris V, a crater-scarred surface and radiation that barred any attempts to scan through met them. First officer Cmdr. Addison MacKenzie led an away expedition to the planet, during which a sphere of unknown composition contacted intelligence officer Ens. Talos Dakora telepathically and rendered him comatose.
The ship’s crew watched an identical sphere lift off from the planet and leave the system while in orbit. Several psychic crew members, notably counsellor Lt. Meidra Sirin, were influenced by its presence. The away party returned to the ship unharmed, but the telepathic meeting prompted Dakora to awaken in the body of strategic operations officer LtCmdr. Yogan Yalu, and vice versa. The ‘body swap’ ailment quickly spread throughout the ship, resulting in individuals of the crew gaining or losing telepathic powers, changing genders, or finding themselves unexpectedly linked to Trill symbionts.
“I always thought ‘see oneself through another person’s eyes’ was a figurative figure of phrase,” tactical officer Lt. JG Vitor Silveira, now in the body of helm officer Ens. Kirkington Bean stated. “Now that I’ve done it, it’s far worse than we could have imagined.”
With the source of the exchanges unclear, the crew placed quarantine beacons in the Cytaris system to notify passing ships, then dispatched a fresh team to the fifth planet to explore further. Meanwhile, the 800 officers and crew members who remained on board the ship had the arduous job of acquainting themselves with foreign bodies and skills, with some finding the transition considerably more difficult than others.
Written by Yogan Yalu