The Ensigns have graduated Starfleet Academy – June 1st, 2364. Congratulations!
Unbeknownst to our innocent Ensigns, they are about to be tossed into a political imbroglio.
Admiral Lydia Cho caught wind that the USS Stargazer had been gifted back to Starfleet. She also knows that a certain Ferengi Ambassador wishes to have his own ship, provided by Starfleet and crewed with Ferengi. Cho, guided by her dark sense of humor, fully aware of Stargazer’s past, arranges to give Stargazer to the Ambassador, likely hoping to insult him and back him into a corner of giving him exactly what he asked for.
The Enterprise is scheduled to rendezvous with a tug. The tug will tow Stargazer to Xendi Starbase 9. But, Cho thinks, why waste a perfectly good tug on such a menial task? Instead, she has a whole new crop of Ensigns and Able Crew. Why not assign a skeleton crew? They can take 30 days to limp the ship under impulse to Xendi Starbase 9, make some repairs and clean up on the way. When Stargazer arrives, she will be fitter and will have a crew with some experience under their belts.
Cho passes her commands to Commodore Adam Drake – who is not amused. Drake, officious and bureaucratic, takes his bitter pill orders and gets to work. While he might not agree that a bunch of untried Ensigns and green crew should get their own star ship, he picks ten “Officers” and twenty crew, issuing orders with haste, hoping the orders arrive before the grads get a chance to poison themselves with excess celebration.
The Graduates indeed get their orders and rally on the USS Hood. The Hood makes haste to the Xendi Sabu system while the tenderfoots bury themselves in documentation, studying up on Constellation class star ships.
On arrival, a mere 72 hours after graduation, the Grads look out the view port to see not only Enterprise in all her flag ship glory, but also the storied Amazon, proud sister of Valkyrie; USS Stargazer.
All aboard Picard’s previous command, it’s obvious the old girl needs some TLC. She has fire damage throughout. She has had no maintenance for 9 years – and this becomes the mantra of the day. Her systems are in tact, but not trustworthy. The only shuttles were a pair of small, two man pods. Commodore Drake lays out the plans and orders: get her cleaned up and get her to Xendi Starbase 9 – in thirty days.
Enterprise, Hood and Drake are gone at high warp as quick as they arrived. The Ensigns set about deciding who’s Captain and who takes what spots. Ensign Jake Dwyer claims Captain as his right and is quickly shouted down. Ensign Folla Micci throws her hat in the ring and finds it full of votes. Captain Folla picks Ensign Landon Dorgo for XO, Ensign Ellemir Baristani for Helm, Ensign Talley Williams for Ops. Ensign Surok teamed up with Doctor Melissa Boyd in Sick Bay.
Impulse engines to full, course laid in for Xendi Starbase 9. Three hours into the trip, a faint distress call comes through, audio only. The call is from Harga1 – a station in the nearby Harga system. “Nearby” by Warp standards. Harga1 is under attack, or so claims Alice Andrews, the lead researcher on the base. At Warp 6, Stargazer is an hour away. Dr. Andrews tells the crew she might still be alive by the time they get there.
On arrival, Stargazer finds Harga1 under attack by three corvettes. They are small, 12 meters long, distressed, dull rust in color. They appear to be old Ferengi designs. The station’s shields are at about 10%, the corvettes are attacking irregularly, apparently just to keep the shields at low power.
When contacted, the attackers claim to be “The Fist of the Organized Miner’s Brotherhood”. They demand the station drop its shields to attone for Federation crimes against the Hargans. The crew refuses. Next, the attackers offer that if the shields are dropped, they will transport over unarmed protestors only. Again, the crew refuses.
The crew works out a plan to shuttle people through the shield. Once aboard, the crew discoverers the reserchers are not alone. Aboard are three others. When discovered, they are Hargans. After a short firefight, the invaders surrender – and it’s discovered that the invaders are in Hargan disguises, they are really … Cardassians!
Inspecting the Cardassians, they discover isolinear chips containing research as well as samples of Hargatite 45. Upon inspecting the base, they find a fourth member of the raiding party. Apparently, he tried to transport just as the shields went up. Whatever was left of him was a cooked, awful mess.
Back aboard the ship, the Cardassians are tossed in a cell. Captain Folla has managed to destroy one corvette and chased the other two off. Only a few minutes later, a distress call comes from a nearby ship, a Hargan frieghter moving Hargatite ore. The frieghter is under attack. On arrival, Stargazer observes several small shuttles blasting at the larger ship. However, none of their shots seem to do any damage. The shuttles turn on the starship and still do no damage. The shuttles have the letters “OMB” scrawled on the side – the Hargans don’t natively speak English. Stargazer destroyed a few and chased off the rest, much to the relief of the freighter captain. The captain railed against these attacks, especially since they were using the OMB as a cover and he was a member of the OMB!
A little later, a call comes in from a female Hargan we later find out is named Wen. She is secretary to the Governor Exceutive of the Hargan system and the Harga Mining Corporation, Tay Harga. Governor Executive Harga invites Captain Folla and the crew of Stargazer to a formal dinner at the mansion on Harga 3. The Captain, Mike, Deb, Bill and crewmen Michael DuCane and Sean “Spanners” Tavish put on their dress uniforms and beam down for cocktails.
The Governor Executive proves to be the perfect politician. His answers are not answers at all and he never takes a side. However, he does promise to allow the crew to speak with his brother, the second in command of the HMC and governor of Harga 2, Ellit Harga.
While at dinner, one of the crew was approached by the Minister of Trade, Orin Harga, who asked for a meeting at his office at 2 AM.
After dinner, a drunken Spanners had made a few connections while he was at dinner. He lead the crew to a shuttle parking structure in the middle of town. A lift brought the group to the lowest sub-basement level. There, parked in military rows, were 50 shuttles, each with “OMB” quickly painted on the sides, exactly like what they had just fought. Spanners marvelled drunkenly that the mining lasers attached to the shuttles made a very loud noise and a big flash of light, but they did almost no damage – they might set something on fire, but nothing else. To prove it, DuCane stood in front of the laser. Spanners fired it and sure enough, DuCane’s jacket caught fire but that was all. The group proceeded to disable all the shuttles to keep them from flying.
The crew attended the meeting with the Minister, only to discover he was not alone. Instead, he was with Marizka – niece to Tay & Ellit and leader of the Organized Miner’s Brotherhood. She roundly denied that she or any of her people were responsible for these attacks. They were peaceful, only looking for better pay, benefits and safety standards for the miners and pilots working for the HMC. She assured the team that her people wouldn’t attack their own people, like the ore frieghter that had been attacked earlier, they certainly didn’t have any issues with the Federation, other than feeling their cause had been ignored. She also thought the “OMB” on the sides of the shuttles was just a picture, a scribble – she didn’t realize those were letters from another launguage. Mike worked out a deal with Marizka to trade the location of the 50 armed shuttles for some shuttles for the Stargazer. Those have yet to be delivered.
While talking, the crew asks how they can get access to the financial records of Tay & Ellit. Marizka and the Minister look at each other conspiritorily. The Minister places a call to Wen, the secretary, who apparently has a crush on the minister. She arrives and walks the team through the financials. Tay recieved a large sum of gold pressed latinum, or at least bonds for that latinum. Those bonds were issued from a Romulan bank. Ellit had made several large cash payments. One amount about once a month for the last six months. A larger amount about six months ago and a similar large amount last month. The larger amounts together would have paid for nearly 100 shuttles. However, all of Ellit’s payments together wouldn’t have equalled what had been paid to Tay.
Mike attempted to infiltrate Ellit’s house on Harga 2. He found the computer and discovered Ellit was going to a meeting. Mike followed Ellit and saw Ellit pass a container of gold pressed latinum to someone flying one of the armed shuttles at the parking structure back on Harga 3.
Meanwhile, Deb was analyzing the sensor logs from the station for travel patterns in the system. She found the normal commercial traffic. She found the three corvettes. She found the attack shuttles. And … she found a Romulan Scout that uncloaked and landed on Harga 3 – on the property of the Governor Executive.
Bill infiltrated the grounds of the mansion. He was able to get sensor data and video of Romulan soldiers on the grounds of the Governor Executive’s mansion – damning evidence!
Meanwhile, Deb’s tracking caught the armed shuttles, leaving a patch of asteroids where they seemed to regularly hide and head for the station. Stargazer intercepted, destroying several, capturing five pilots and scaring off a couple.
That’s a lot for less than a week after graduating – and still there is more to come!