The Mercury disabled momentarily the tractor beam of the Cardassian warship and outran that ship to one of the Nygel system’s stars where, using its metaphasic shielding, the ship and crew were able to hide for a time. However, the Cardassians were not deterred, and as a last-ditch maneuver to try and convince the Cardassians that the ship had been destroyed, the Mercury’s crew evacuated and then jettisoned the sensor module to simulate the ship’s destruction. This still didn’t put off the warship, and so the Mercury was forced to trigger a solar event and try and damage the warship at the expense of their warp core. Though the warship was not destroyed, it was badly damaged.
Meanwhile, on the ravaged surface of Nygel II, the away team quickly encountered trouble as they searched for the Iconian gateway, including in the person of the Orion Pasht-Nos, skipper of the free trader Treasure Sprite — the same ship that had led the Mercury to Nygel. Captain Kells set off in a shuttle with Lieutenant Jade Shryker and Ensign Sahriv to retrieve the away team, and just in the nick of time.
Before the Cardassian warship or the Mercury could gather their wits, two Cardassian Galor-class warships, under the political call of the Detapa Council majority and who disagreed with the assignment of the ship that had attacked the Mercury, arrived to investigate. With them was the Galaxy-class USS Garuda, newly arrived in the Menthar Corridor to assist with the Mercury’s mission. The attacking warship turned and fled, though not before destroying the gateway, while the Garuda and her escorts retrieved the Mercury and towed her to DSX before she returned to Federation space for a six-month overhaul. The senior staff of the Mercury was primarily assigned to the Garuda, under Captain Cassandra Egan Manno following Aron Kells’s disappearance with one of the Mercury’s shuttles….
Following their efforts at the Menthar Anchorage, the Mercury’s crew relaxed in a holodeck scenario designed by acting CO Harrison Ross. However, they did not count on the return of Captain Kells, very recently returned from his trial on Deep Space 10. Kells called out Commander Ross and Lieutenant Commanders Rahman and Saveron and dressed them down for holding a celebration without finishing their mission and this — along with the the captain’s meetings with several others — sparked and then fueled rampant rumors of what may have happened during his trial. Meanwhile, Ross, Rahman, and Saveron were tasked with preparing the ship to follow up on the most promising lead they’d discovered at the Anchorage: the independent trader Treasure Sprite, which was thought to have information about the supposed Iconian gateway. And though the Mercury found the Treasure Sprite quickly, the away team led over by Ross found little information and only corpses; assistant CMO Kotir Arith removed one of these to the Mercury’s morgue for further study. However, under the leadership of Lt. Cmdr. Rahman, the ship’s historians, [PNPCs] Kvitova and Gupta determined a useful search criterion for the gateway; the crew soon tracked it to the second planet of the Nygel system. Once there, Commander Ross set out again with an away team — but this time, the Mercury has company: A Keldon-class Cardassian warship equipped with an experimental cloaking device. With one shot, the Cardassian ship disabled the Mercury and thereafter tractored it, threatening the crew with death if they didn’t provide details on the gateway….
Following the recall of Cmdr. Melitta Herodion, Dr. Saveron, with the assistance of Lt.(JG) Trel’lis and [PNPC] Cmdr. Ari Capronne turned from attending the auction announcement from Tol, the Ferengi owner of the Menthar Anchorage, to the monumental task of obtaining enough latinum to make a serious wager on the coordinates of the alleged Iconian gateway; and though an offer came by way of one Trayden Jora, the team was extremely apprehensive about taking the offer, as it came with a corollary: A message, from Jora, delivered to Lt. Cmdr. Isaac Bale.
Meanwhile, on the Mercury, Lt. Cmdr. Bale was himself overseeing methods for searching for the gateway under acting-XO Lt. Cmdr. Roshanara Rahman. Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Breeman, recently arrived R&D specialist from the USS Excalibur, assisted in the modification of several probes to search, while Ensigns Alora DeVeau and Kotir Arith attempted to trace the ship that had discovered the gateway in the first place.
On Deep Space 10, Captain Aron Kells attended his hearing into potential General Order 1 violations that occurred at 83 Leonis II. Examinations were limited to only a few individuals, including Kells’s XO and the Mercury’s acting CO, Cmdr. Harrison Ross, who appeared via hologram. At the same time that Ross, back aboard the Mercury, ordered the auction team to return when it became clear they would not raise the necessary funds, [PNPC] Lt. Cmdr. Damos, Starfleet’s JAG prosecutor, abruptly dropped the charges against Captain Kells moments before Shyn, the presiding judge, offered her verdict. Kells was left to return to his ship, now seeking the gateway, as he attempted to seek his own answers.
The Mercury’s part in the Gateway Crisis of 2390 keeps them within the Menthar Corridor, though it sends them from their usual haven at DSX to the thoroughly unreputable Menthar Anchorage. Tol, the Ferengi owner of the Anchorage, has invited all manner of bidders and potential buyers to an auction he’s intending to hold for an Iconian gateway. How much honesty is there in this auction? The crew of the Mercury intends to find out, and a team (Cmdr. Melitta Herodion, Dr. Saveron, Lt. Jacen Fanel, and Lt.(JG) Trel’lis, with [PNPC] Cmdr. Ari Capronne) head to the Menthar Anchorage to take part in the auction. On the ship, other teams attempt to discover where the gateway might be, and indeed if Tol possesses knowledge of a gateway at all. Ensign Alora DeVeau places a call to her father, a galactic shipping magnate, and discovers that while theirs might not be, the Gateway Crisis itself is very real, and there are certainly more to the proceedings than meets the eye.
Meanwhile, the crew of the Mercury have been operating without their normal CO, as Cmdr. Harry Ross as taken over and promoted Lt. Cmdr. Roshanara Rahman to XO. Captain Kells is back on DSX after being arrested during shore leave for his responsibility for the actions at 83 Leonis II and the potential violation of Starfleet General Order One. Though he is prepared for a regular martial hearing, he is not prepared for the criminal trial that follows….
The crew failed.
The supervolcano on 83 Leonis II erupted ahead of its predicted time. Away teams from the Mercury determined, before this eruption, that Starfleet’s presence on the world had not been limited to secret observation but had instead been much more involved: Captain Kells’s team discovered evidence of biotampering, while Commander Ross’s found a remaining researcher who admitted that the rest of his team had geoengineered the eruption, apparently to eradicate the pre-warp population. Captain Kells determined that this degree of tampering nullified the Prime Directive’s order of non-involvement, and the crew of the Mercury and the Aquitania began beaming up refugees. However, the civilian Dr. Saveron also beamed down without authorization, ostensibly to expedite the evacuation, but the distress call he sent from the surface attracted the attention of a Cardassian warship, which arrived and chased away the two Starfleet vessels despite their pleas of humanitarian assistance. As the ships left, the Mercury crew gathered on the bridge to pay respect and tribute to the unknown race that was likely to perish thanks to the eruption and the climactic changes it would cause.
But life went on. The Aquitania, with Ambassador Ventu and all the alien refugees, departed Deep Space 10 after it and the Mercury had returned, and the Mercury crew turned its attention to recreation and the remaining problems of the previous mission: Dr. Saveron was arrested for his unauthorized beam-down, Ensign Alora DeVeau continued to search for the DNA fingerprints of the missing researchers, and Captain Reynolds and Dr. Hawkeye revealed that the last researcher had been intentionally poisoned — and genetically manipulated. Though the mission had ended, the repercussions for the Mercury crew will continue to accrue….
After extensive questioning by Mercury CO Aron Kells and DSX CO Melitta Herodion, Ambassador Lily Ventu admitted that she had been asked to venture out into the Menthar Corridor with the modified troopship to “assist” with the incipient eruption of a supervolcano on 48 Leonis II. The planet was home to an agrarian pre-warp civilization, and while it seemed clear to the crew of the Mercury to what use the troopship was to be put, Captain Kells made the decision that an evacuation of a portion of the population would not take place, as it would be a violation of the prime directive.
However, two away teams were sent down to the planet. The first, led by (PNPC) Commander Harrison Ross, and including Herodion, Dr. Saveron, and Lieutenant Tato Zeme, was to examine the blind observation post of the Starfleet team that Ventu revealed had been assigned to the world, though Ross’s team found no sign of the team upon first inspection and added their potential disappearance to the list of mysteries. The second team, led by Captain Kells and including Lieutenant Commander Roshanara Rahman, Lieutenant Mei’konda, Lieutenant (JG) Trel’lis, and Ensign Kotir Arith, landed a shuttle within the volcano itself and beamed out to the planet’s surface to determine if any mitigation might make the eruption less severe.
The Mercury’s mission to excavate and explore the ancient library at Beta Scuti proceeded smoothly right up until the away team discovered that they weren’t the only party interested in the information the library had to offer: an independent group of mercenaries had also taken an interest. Meanwhile, back on the Mercury, the crew discovered the independents’ ship when both ships suffered catastrophic power losses and the other required the Mercury’s assistance to maintain her orbit.
However, the Mercury crew’s efforts to save the other ship were in vain and, with the crew evacuated, the planet’s manufactured interference cut through, and the away team returned, the Mercury returned to Deep Space 10 with a lot of history of the region to sort through. The crew took some leave time upon their return to DSX, though upon that return, Mercury and DSX COs Aron Kells and Melitta Herodion discovered that they would soon be joined by Federation Ambassador Lily Ventu, who had recently left Starbase 118 to begin her campaign for a seat on the Federation Council — though why she chose to stop over at the small and removed DSX is, as yet, unknown.
As the Mercury’s shore leave at DSX came to a close, the crew was stunned when Captain Kells’s accident of years prior aboard the Ring was repeated, and three different versions of Kells were combined in one, his sixty-year-old self. Though the crew, SFI, and Temporal Investigations wanted to investigate further, the matter was put aside in favor of a larger mission: An installation had been discovered on an uninhabited M-class planet in the Beta Scuti system, some three weeks into the Menthar Corridor at maximum warp, that long-range probes believe to be a library of some sort, and one that may hold ancient knowledge about the dominions of races that once called the Corridor home — and, perhaps more relevantly, what happened to them. After their journey to the planet, second officer Isaac Bale took down an away team and discovered quickly that they weren’t the only interested party…. Aboard the Mercury, Lieutenants Richards and Mei’konda searched for patterns in the relics left behind by the Menthar and the other ancient races in the corridor.
Meanwhile, on DSX, Commander Melitta Herodion investigated some strange (and perhaps related) comm traffic while Mercury CE Roshanara Rahman stayed behind by medical order and used the time to get the station’s systems fully online.
The rescue of Eyas Wulfantine’s mother was a success, but the senior staff of the Mercury was left with the not-so-minimal task of sneaking back to the Menthar Corridor. After this had been accomplished, the crew settled in around Deep Space 10 for some shore leave.
DSX had come fully online while the senior staff was in absentia, and many of them used the opportunity to explore, meet the new residents, and acquaint themselves with the officers who had recently been assigned there. Events of note during shore leave included an experimental surgery upon Lieutenant Commander Roshanara Rahman and the reappearance of the Ring, last encountered by the USS Drake years before, around a planet in the Omicron Geminorum system. Meanwhile, some of the new junior lieutenants bonded; Captain Quinn Reynolds discovered an old friend; and Lieutenant Commander Isaac Bale and Major Jacen Fanel, the Mercury’s two hardened warriors, discussed the noble art of fatherhood.
The USS Drake NCC-1987 and its crew are stranded 2500 years in the past. Several people begin experiencing strange visions of doing activities they have no memory of carrying out. Others experience a connectedness with their alternate selves.
Research concluded by LCMD Solok and Lt. Stennes determines that there are high fluctuations of phase variance and radiation along certain geological locations of the Ishkarian prime world. Comparing the shard worlds of the future Ishkarian system with the unbroken planet of the past, they determine that the locations of this power build up are at the precise points that the world shattered apart. Working off of Ishkarian broadcasts, they determine that the breaking of the shard worlds may have corresponded to a civil war. An away team is altered to appear Ishkarian by Dr. Dyamone and dispensed to a research facility planetside established to be one of the origin points of the Ishkarian disaster, as well as the Drakeâ€™s temporal displacement.
Meanwhile, Captain Rogers transports over with a second away team to the alternate USS Drake. Though they are met by a security team, they are quickly escorted to a conference room so the two Captain Rogers can meet face to face. Left in command of the Drake, Commander Danzia must now deal with a distress beacon from an Ishkarian ship they cannot help without risk of altering the timeline. Though the ship has deflected a Borg scout, the hostile ship is still in the area.
As March began, most of the senior staff remained off-ship on an unexpected and unofficial mission to rescue Eyas Wulfantine’s mother from a trumped-up death sentence on his homeworld. The rescue parties split into three groups and sowed chaos across the planet — sometimes overt and sometimes covert — as the group under the charge of Eyas made its way closer and closer to his mother. Meanwhile, the skeleton crew aboard the Mercury, under the command of Lieutenant (JG) Richard, the chief science officer, answered a distress call from a vessel that turned out to be an old Constitution-class starship, the Saratoga, that had been lost and adrift in the gravity well of a gas giant in the Menthar corridor for one hundred years. Finally, Deep Space 10 (DSX) officially came online under the command of Commander Melitta Herodion.
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