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Rogue Starfleet officer captured as Astrofori One officially opens

ASTROFORI ONE — The founding members of Astrofori One voted to allow the Va Wreth to remain, and while working to prevent a diplomatic crisis, the USS Garuda captured Starfleet traitor Harrison Ross.

The senior staff of the USS Garuda had been tasked with learning more about the Va Wreth in light of claims by the Kubarey Confederation and the Peppalexans of atrocities committed by the nomadic species. A team led by Dr. Chythar Skyfire set out on the Garuda in search for the Va Wreth’s nearby contacts, which led them to a Taredge colony. Meanwhile, teams remaining aboard Astrofori One attempted to find out more about the Va Wreth covertly to mixed success.

Ultimately, the crew discovered that the conflicting views of the Va Wreth – seen by some as helpful traders and others as an unstoppable force – were both valid. When the Va Wreth population is stable with a low rate of adult turnover, they trade and negotiate for what they want amicably with other species such as the Tholians and early Romulans who had just left Vulcan.

Yet because of how vital trade is to their survival, the Va Wreth do not respond well to threats and being denied access to their trade routes. They swiftly attack those who blockade them. All of the fallen, whether their own or their enemies, is used to feed the Va Wreth larvae and adults, which grow rapidly and the ranks of the Va Wreth swell. This exponential growth rate allows them to overwhelm their enemy in numbers, even if they suffer heavy losses. It was this version of the Va Wreth that the Peppalexans remembered as having no end.

“While we may find the Va Wreth’s past ruthlessness disconcerting, they are hardly the only species with such capability,” said Churok, FNS columnist and former press secretary for President Ra-ghoratreii. “When President Ra-ghoratreii extended overtures of peace to the Klingon Empire a century ago, we did not expect them to abandon their warrior culture, and we found a way to work towards common goals.”

Indeed, the Va Wreth delegation assisted Fleet Captain Egan Manno, Captain Aron Kells, and the rest of the Garuda crew in defusing the situation by clearing the station during final negotiations. Ultimately, three of the four members of the majority council – the Federation, Breen, and Romulans – voted for the continued presence of the Va Wreth while the Kubarey chose to abstain.

Meanwhile, on the eve of the Federation President’s State of the Federation address, a team led by Garuda‘s first officer Lt. Cmdr. Roshanara Rahman captured Commander Harrison Ross, who himself was the former first officer of the Garuda before he betrayed his crew last year. During an intense standoff, the team discovered that Ross and his associates had infiltrated even the upper levels of the president’s security detail.

Fortunately, the true Harrison Ross, who was being imprisoned within his own body by the shadow personality that had taken over, was able to reveal to Captain Quinn Reynolds that the true target of the shadow Ross’s plan was not the President but businessman Tyson Holt. Further interrogation by Lt. Cmdr. Evan Delano revealed the other names of his accomplices, but just how Delano was able to extract the information from Ross – a forced mind meld – is now under investigation.

Just as Captain Kells and his crew were about to sit back as honored guests at the State of the Federation address aboard the USS Invicta, the captain suddenly found himself asked to stand as the President announced that he and his crew were to lead the Invicta Expedition, the first of a bold new set of dedicated research and exploratory missions into the farthest corners of the galaxy.

Scandal before Presidential State of the Federation address?

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.

Federation President to attend launch of bold venture in interstellar diplomacy

MENTHAR CORRIDOR — Federation President Nan Bacco is among the dignitaries scheduled to attend the launch of Astrofori One, a new space station designed to serve as a forum for interstellar affairs.

Hailed as one of the greatest cooperative efforts since the Federation/Klingon/Romulan Alliance during the Dominion War, the Astrofori One Project echoes the even earlier historic achievement that was the founding of the Coalition of Planets that led to the Federation itself in the 22nd century.

“If this works, President Bacco has secured her legacy,” said Professor Emil Arbelaez, chairman of political science at Pike City University on Cestus III. “For the first time in recent interstellar history, there will be one neutral location for different powers to come together to discuss their affairs, everything from trade to defense.”

The Astrofori One Project includes representatives from many well-established Alpha and Beta Quadrant powers such as the Cardassian Union and the Klingon Empire, but the four major stakeholders spearheading the project are the Federation, the Romulan Star Empire, the Breen Confederacy, and the Kubarey Confederation. In addition to President Bacco, the Romulan Praetor is expected to attend the opening ceremony of the station.

While many are celebrating the completion of the station’s construction as just the first achievement in an optimistic new direction of interstellar diplomacy, others are more guarded.

“There are a lot of competing voices involved,” notes Che’tai Jora, retired Federation Ambassador to the Tzenkethi Coalition. “Designing and building a space station is one thing. Operating and then hosting regular assemblies aboard it is entirely another. There are vast historical and cultural differences—boundaries even—between these powers and species that should not be underestimated. Opening dialogue is always good, but it must come from a place of mutual respect.”

Perhaps in an effort to soften those boundaries, both the main and the various minor powers also holding a presence on the station are hosting celebrations and galas for visiting dignitaries in the weeks leading up to the grand opening. Among the first Federation starships to arrive is the USS Garuda. The crew had been enjoying shoreleave at the nearby Deep Space 10 station when they were ordered to report to Astrofori One.

The Garuda‘s commanding officer Cassandra Egan Manno was promoted to Fleet Captain and will serve now as Region and Mission Commander for Starfleet in the Menthar Corridor and will be based from Astrofori One. Captain Aron Kells has been named her successor as commanding officer of the Garuda.

Predestination paradox? Away team discovers fossilized remains of Starfleet officers on ancient world

PIKTAR SYSTEM — After traveling back in time while investigating the reappearance of the planet Peppalexa, a Starfleet away team reported finding the fossilized remains of their fellow officers.

“The Department of Temporal Investigations will be conducting a full review. At this time, though, I can assure you that we are not living in an alternate universe,” said Starfleet Public Affairs officer Cmdr. A.J. Ciaravolo in San Francisco, declining further comment.

The USS Garuda had been investigating the sudden reappearance of Peppalexa, the homeworld and capital of the Ancient Alliance that vanished from history over ten thousand years ago. The temporal disturbance that had allowed the planet to travel through time, caused by separatists among the population, had also resulted in the creation of temporal fragments that left parts of the planet in various states of temporal flux.

An away team led by first officer Lt. Cmdr. Msafiri Bakari had been sent back in time to the era of the First Kingdom of Peppalexa, at least several thousand years before the rise of the Ancient Alliance. The team was quickly incapacitated by the natives, and Dr. Chythar Skyfire took the lead when Bakari and another commander were kept in confinement.

Time-traveling planet: Ancient homeworld of Peppalexa reappears

PIKTAR SYSTEM — In the wake of the disaster aboard the Prometheus Station, the planet Peppalexa, which vanished from history thousands of years ago, has suddenly appeared in the same system.

“To be honest, I always thought Peppalexa was a myth,” said Dr. Marcus Brody, a professor of archeology at Marshall College on Earth. “Something along the lines of Atlantis or Vorta Vor. But some of my colleagues have long disagreed, and it looks like I owe them several bottles of wine.”

The Ancient Alliance is believed by some Federation archaeologists and historians to have been an alliance of spacefaring species that existed over ten thousand years ago. Their territory included the majority of the Menthar Corridor, and vast regions of the territories belonging to the Breen, Tholians, and Cardassians, as well as several other minor powers.

Based on fragmented historical records, the Peppalexa were once an integral and powerful member of the Alliance before they disappeared from Alliance records at the beginning of the Alliance’s decline. Historians have long assumed that their disappearance was due to several socioeconomic and political factors and that historical narratives that described the species and planet “vanishing without a trace” were merely that of legends and morality tales.

In addition to the taskforce Starfleet has already sent to the Piktar system in response to the Prometheus Station crisis, the USS Garuda has been assigned to investigate the Peppalexa homeworld. Initial reports from away teams indicate that the Peppalexa themselves may have had a hand in transporting their planet through time, either by accident or as a deliberate act by a group of separatists on the planet.

Regardless, temporal fragments remain across the planet. One away team had several members disappear suddenly only to reappear a few minutes later, while another away team led by the Garuda’s first officer Lt. Cmdr. Msafiri Bakari has seemingly vanished after beam down. Just as Captain Egan Manno and her crew began to work on finding their missing comrades, several Breen warships arrived in the system, apparently intent on protecting Peppalexa, which to the Breen is known as the “World of Heroes.”

Hostile intelligence discovered within Genesis Cloud

MENTHAR CORRIDOR — While surveying the largest protomatter cloud ever discovered, the USS Garuda found itself fending off a botanical infestation controlled by a hostile intelligence within the cloud.

“One minute, I’m working on a diagnostic, and then the next, I see ten engineers struggling to break free of the vines coming out of the machinery,” said Petty Officer Angeline Loupaz, an engineer aboard the Garuda.

The sudden infestation appeared overnight. The Garuda had been ordered to investigate the Genesis Cloud, which had been discovered by the Qilin Project. Initial sensor readings were off the scale of any previously found protomatter deposits.

The survey would also be a diplomatic mission that hoped to rebuild trust and understanding between the Federation and the Community, a species native to the Menthar Corridor comprised of a collective consciousness that uses plant-like forms to communicate. Representatives of the Community came aboard the Garuda to witness standard Starfleet scientific procedures and evaluate the crew.

By all accounts, the survey itself was a success as an engineering team headed by Garuda’s chief engineer Lt. Cmdr. Tristam Core and operations chief Lt. Cmdr. Mei’konda constructed a specialized shuttle dubbed the Robert Ballard to explore the volatile protomatter cloud and collect samples.

“We had to be very careful,” explained Lt. JG Danielle Vistain, a shuttlebay ops engineer. “Protomatter is highly unstable. Even the slightest disturbances from a ship or shuttle’s systems can cause it to ignite. Rather than strip an existing shuttle bare, we decided it’d be easier to use spare parts to build an entirely new craft.”

Expertly piloted by Lt. Kaitlyn Falcon, the shuttle returned safely with the valuable data, and alpha shift retired for the night.

Yet things slowly grew amiss in the early hours of the morning. As drastically growing plants began spreading across the ship, the Garuda’s chief science officer Lt. Alora DeVeau went missing.

“I knew something was wrong when she left her office a mess,” said Lt. JG Alif Lepore, a quantum biologist. “This was an important mission, what with the Community reps and the Diplomatic Corps watching so closely. Lt. DeVeau is always meticulous about her work.”

Additional reports of other missing crew members came in, including that of one unfortunate crewman who had been dressed as Santa Claus for a department Christmas party. The children would have to wait a little bit longer for their presents as the crew soon found themselves battling a shipwide plant infestation. From small houseplants to the large trees of the ship’s arboretum, it seemed all plant life aboard the Garuda was being affected somehow by the protomatter, growing exponentially in size.

Worse, it was apparent that the plant life exhibited hostile behaviors as crew members struggled against slithering vines attempting to capture them.

Finally, DeVeau reappeared, her body having been taken over by an alien influence. Holding hostages in the arboretum, she announced to the Garuda’s commanding officer Captain Cassandra Egan Manno that she was speaking on behalf of the Kindred, an intelligence that resided within the Genesis Cloud. Its intent was to capture the crew and use their bodies to escape the protomatter cloud.

However, Egan Manno had a plan. The shuttlecraft Ballard was secretly piloted by remote back into the center of the cloud. Then, during Egan Manno’s direct meeting with DeVeau in the arboretum, the captain revealed the shuttle would ignite the entire cloud if the Kindred did not comply. The Kindred were defiant, and the captain gave the order, destroying the cloud and bringing the crisis to an end.

As the Garuda’s crew began cleaning up the mess, the mission left many reflecting on the chaos.

“We lost a lot during this mission. I’ve only been here a short time, but I can tell this mission has left a mark on ship and crew,” said Ensign Ryan King, a security officer. “I myself am suffering from premature hair loss—though the nurse assures me it’s only temporary. I’m willing to make my sacrifices to continue the Federation’s mission though—and as long as my hair grows back. The nurse tells me it will with the gel…”

Others weren’t sure how they were going to explain this to their friends and families.

“I know no one back home’s going to believe me,” said Loupaz. “I hate plants.”

Largest protomatter cloud discovered

MENTHAR CORRIDOR — One of the densest known clouds of protomatter has been discovered near Deep Space 10, and the USS Garuda has been dispatched to survey the finding.

Dubbed the Genesis Cloud, a reference to the 23rd century terraforming project that had used protomatter at its core, the cloud was first identified by the Qilin Project.

“The numbers are literally off the scale,” said Dr. Eloise Wancata, a researcher with the Qilin Project. “If we put the measurements of previous protomatter collections next to the Genesis Cloud, you wouldn’t even notice them.”

Starfleet, eager to return a sense of normalcy to the troubled region after the recent terrorist attack by the Maquis Reborn, has assigned the USS Garuda to investigate the cloud, which is eight hours from Deep Space 10 at warp.

For their actions during the crisis aboard Deep Space 10, the Garuda crew were awarded the Silver Star, and the ship’s first officer Nia Calderan was promoted to commander and named Federation Ambassador to the region. The crew spent much of the aftermath of the Maquis attack helping the station rebuild and reconnecting with their own loved ones. Several crew members attended a charity bazaar for the reopening of Room 7, a local bar and club.

With the upcoming scientific mission, Starfleet also hopes to reconnect with the Community, a species native to the Menthar Corridor comprised of a collective consciousness that uses plant-like forms to communicate. Starfleet had previously encountered the Community during their dispute with their long-term enemy the Myr Luuk. The Federation Diplomatic Corps hopes a demonstration of a standard scientific survey to visiting delegates from the Community will help pave the way for renewed relations between the Federation and the Community.

Siege of DSX ends as Maquis leader escapes

MENTHAR CORRIDOR — Starfleet and Cardassian forces have wrestled back control of Deep Space 10 from the Maquis Reborn, but the perpetrators remain at large.

“The terror is now over,” said DSX security officer Lieutenant Lidia Ivanova. “It’s up to us—Federation and Cardassian—now to help rebuild and remain resilient.”

Following the bombing of Deep Space 10’s main medical center by Nikael Kalre and the Maquis Reborn, the crew of the USS Garuda worked quickly to regain control of the situation before Kalre’s imposed time limit for his demands — that the Federation release all remaining Maquis prisoners — ran out.

Garuda plot summary for October

The USS Garuda, NCC-73809, docked with the Deep Space Ten station for much needed shore leave, and the crew enjoyed their time relaxing and recovering from the previous mission. However, their time to recuperate was cut short when without warning alarms blasted, and quarantine containment doors sealed across the station.

The crew were cut off in small groups throughout the station and needed to deal with the rising panic among the civilians on the station. After initial thoughts that the crisis was just a malfunction, a number of the Cardassians on the station started becoming sick, and showing symptoms such as bleeding from the mouth and nose, accompanied with violent coughing. Some of them even needed emergency resuscitation. To make matters worse, Captain Egan Manno and the Garuda were summoned away just minutes after the crisis began on an urgent mission for Starfleet, leaving the remaining crew under Acting-CO Lt.Cmdr Nia Calderan to find a solution to the pathogen.

Things seemed to have stabilised with Doctor Chythar Skyfire working on a cure, and a team under LtCmdr Msafiri Bakari trying to get the station’s systems back online, but this was ended when a chilling video message was broadcast across all monitors in the station. Terrorists calling themselves the Maquis Reborn were behind the quarantine, and to prove their seriousness, murdered the Cardassian CO of the station live on air.

Garuda plot summary for September

The USS Garuda, NCC-73809, came across the apparently abandoned USS Mercury adrift in space, and so two away teams under Lieutenant Commanders Nia Calderan and Tristam Core were dispatched to secure the ship and discover what had caused the crew to flee, and for it to attack its fellow Starfleet ship, the USS Icarus.

Both teams, once aboard, began seeing strange phantom-like apparitions of familiar crew members, and even were able to interact with them. However, some of these ghosts were under the illusion that the Garuda crewmembers were hostile Cardassians and they started to fight back. There were several injuries, but eventually the phantoms were convinced of the truth.

Meanwhile, the USS Garuda received another distress call from the Mercury’s jettisoned science pod. The ship split into its primary (Saucer) hull under Lieutenant Commander Mei’konda; and the secondary (Stardrive) section under Captain Egan Manno. Whilst Mei’konda waited to assist the Away Teams on the Mercury, Egan Manno went to the rescue of the survivors in the pod. However, far from being full of refugees, the pod contained a mutant monster that beamed over to the Stardrive and ran amok before being eliminated. The real Mercury crew were actually in smaller lifeboats and had already being rescued by another ship.

Back on the Mercury, the disgraced Lieutenant Commander Roshanara Rahman assisted Core in getting the Mercury’s systems back online, despite the best efforts of her Mercurian doppelganger who took Lieutenant Alora DeVeau as a hostage at gunpoint. It was also discovered at this point that the phantom crew were in fact holograms produced by a rogue artificial intelligence infesting the Mercury, and so not really alive.

With the damaged Mercury secured, the Garuda towed it back to Deep Space Ten for repairs. The crew looked forward to some rest and relaxation over shoreleave. However, not all the crew could do so. Rahman was still facing a court martial for her actions in assisting the traitor Commander Harrison Ross a few month before. Worse still, Lieutenant Commander Alleran Tan – a Trill – suffered a near fatal symbiont rejection and needed emergency surgery, his fate still hanging in the balance.

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