Saturday, 11 February 2012

STO prequel story

The latest Star Trek Online blog post takes the form of an in-universe prequel of sorts to the new feature episode series. So have a read of Prelude to The 2800: Second Wave:
Personal Log, Lieutenant Commander C'thal, Starbase 375

My team has completed our analysis of the Jem'Hadar vessel – a 35-year-old mystery found floating derelict in a system two light years from nowhere. Another team is investigating what happened to the crew. I think their working theory involves a quantum anomaly.

Our job was to find out all we could about the ship itself.

At this point, I'm not sure what to tell Admiral Sola. That's not a position I like. The admiral looks to the Starfleet Corps of Engineers to solve any problem. I'm used to being able to give her what she wants.

We've confirmed that this vessel is from the Dominion War. Quantum dating puts its construction somewhere around stardate 51133, and analysis of the materials used in its construction turned up trace energy signatures that are only found in ships created at the Dominion shipyards in the Rakhar sector.

Every Jem'Hadar ship that Starfleet has found derelict – and there were dozens scattered across seven sectors – is from the same fleet. We're assuming that the ones the Klingons found in their space are connected, but they haven't been inclined to share technical data with their enemies. I can't say I blame them.

At least I know where this "ghost fleet" came from. The neutrinos detected by the Belfast when they found this ship in the Enocha system were the key. At first I thought that they indicated that there was a cloaked ship in the region, but it didn't make sense. If the ship was there as bait for some trap, then whoever placed it there wouldn't have simply let us haul it away.

Besides, these ships found over a six-week period, and neutrinos were detected on all of them. That's a heck of an operation – I don't know of anyone who could have pulled that off.

Anyone on a cloaked ship, that is. The neutrinos had to come from somewhere. We looked at coded neutrino pulses, searched for neutrino fields in the systems where the ships were found – I even asked the Belfast to go back to where it found the ship and search for signs of null space. Lieutenant Commander Tem, the Belfast's science officer, argued that null space only develops during the formation of star systems and that the Enocha system was far too stable for their creation. She was right, of course, but by then I was grasping at straws.

Tem was the one who finally figured out the mystery of the neutrinos. They came from a wormhole. More specifically, they came from the Bajoran wormhole. Great!

But solving that mystery just brought up more questions. How did that ship get from the wormhole to the Enocha system? Why didn't DS9 detect any unusual activity from the wormhole in the time period in which the ships appeared?

And why would the Bajoran wormhole start spitting out Dominion ships?

It's safe to assume that the appearance of the ships is a temporal anomaly. We know that the wormhole contains large amounts of verteron nodes. Maybe there is some variation in the nodes that caused the temporal anomalies? Does that mean the wormhole is destabilizing?

Lieutenant Commander Tem is from Bajor, so I asked her if she had any insights. She doesn't think the wormhole is in danger of destabilizing, but recommended that DS9 send out a runabout to do a proton scan anyway.

Like I said, I was reaching for any explanation at this point, so I started searching old logs from the Dominion War. Took me about six hours, but I found something.

During Operation Return in 2374, there was a report that a wave of Dominion reinforcement ships passed a listening post in the Gamma Quadrant and then entered the wormhole, but never came out. Could these ships be from that fleet? And if they are, what happened to the rest of them?

As far as I can find, the U.S.S. Defiant was the only Federation vessel in range of the Dominion ships. I've requested her sensor logs and battle reports, but a lot of them are still classified.

If I can't get the files through official channels, maybe there is another way. The Old Man was on the Defiant that day. If anyone knows what happened, he will.

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