Copernicus Mission 9: "Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained" - Stardate 20910.15

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Located below you will find three helpful pieces of information on this mission. First is a generalized Mission Overview which covers only specific and important events. Second is excerpts from the Captain's Log entries made during the mission, this can make for quite a read, but contains far more detailed and in depth accounts of the mission and the events surrounding it. Third is the crew's personal logs which will give insight into the mission from their perspectives.

Mission Outline

Stardate 20910.15

The Copernicus is sent to a binary star system, Gamma Cephei, that has recently been discovered as unexplored by the record keepers at Star Fleet Command. However, just as they arrive they are diverted to Tellar after a Fleetwide emergency with temporal anomalies appearing suddenly at the key Federation founding homeworlds. The Copernicus arrives to find the system changed beyond recognition, seemingly representing an alternate reality. The ship encounters an alternative to Star Fleet called the Terran Empire. After tense communications, the ship along with the Tallahassee and Poseidon use converging modulated subspace beams to close the temporal anomaly and the system returns to normal. Across the Federation the other anomalies are closed in similar fashion and the crisis is averted.

Returning to Gamma Cephei to resume their previous mission, the Copernicus finds a planet inhabited by a primitive but seemingly generous, good natured people. They discover that the natives are humans who had left behind their advanced technological society to live a simpler life several generations earlier. Some of the elder members of the community are concerned at the potential negative influence of the away team and kidnap two members of the team. They are eventually liberated and the team leaves behind the natives to their simple existence.

Captain's Logs

Capt Stovon Stewart

Stardate 20910.23

Captain's Log, Stardate 20910.23, Captain Stovon Stewart recording:

We have received our new orders after what has turned out to be an...eventful...shoreleave. The records keepers at Starfleet Command have discovered a planetary system that was catalogued but never explored. Which is strange given its proximity to Earth - forty-five light years. The system is known alternately as HIP 116727 or Gamma Cephei and consists of a binary star pair with a number of planets in orbit. We have been tasked with investigating this so far unexplored system. I'm actually somewhat excited about this mission as it should involve actually using the Copernicus' sensor suite to its full potential.

A less exciting aspect to the mission is that we are also going to be the subject of a field trial of a tactical system upgrade. This upgrade was not installed at SBA, but will be done so en route by the designer and then tested. If past history is to be our guide, then my only question is will Command never learn that this is not a good idea. Needless to say, I have my reservations.

However, now it is launch time.

End log.

Stardate 20912.16

Captain's Log Stardate 20912.16, Captain Stewart recording:

Today was to be the day we entered the Gamma Cephei system and began our exploration there. However, I have just been contacted by Admiral Linden - we are being redirected to Tellar in an effort to ascertain details of an emergency situation that has arisen there, and apparently at a number of other core worlds of the Federation.

It is my sincere hope that we don't wind up with a repeat of Tekna. Still, duty calls.

End Log.

Stardate 21003.12

Captain's Log Stardate 21003.12, Captain Stewart recording:

The Copernicus has arrived back in the Gamma Cephei system after our diversion to Tellar. The reports still aren't clear about what we witnessed there. And so all that can be said for sure was that it was some kind of inter-spatial, possibly interdimensional or temporal, incursion. The point of that incursion was closed with an anti-proton burst from the deflector shield, which then required repairs.

And of course, in the process, through other...temporal matters...we lost Commander Dys as well. Officially, she is listed as missing in action; and it is my distinct hope that we will be able to hunt for answers in the near future. Her loss is being felt throughout the ship, although Lieutenant Commander Monbrin has made quite the capable stand-in.

I've called for the senior staff to assemble and for an away team to be prepared. We've discovered the existence of life on one of the planets orbiting Gamma Cephei A. This in itself would not be unusual, except that there are also signs of humanoid life on the planet.

This is what Starfleet's mission is about. It is strange that so close to Earth life would develop and we not find it before now. The Prime Directive does not seem to be quite an issue, since the humanoid life signs are clustered around what appears to be old weather control equipment. Still, I will urge caution on the part of the away team.

End Log.

Crew Logs

First Officer

Gloria Dys

Stardate 20912.12

Personal Log, Stardate 20912.12, First Officer Gloria Dys recording:

My future awaits. Ens Sring has completed her meticulous research and is confident that she can recall the temporal key. All that is required now...is for me to give the go ahead.

Now that it appears that I have a choice to return to my future-past...I am hesitant to initiate it...but for the sake of the crew, Star Fleet, the Federation...and particularly to those individuals most closest to me...I must make the attempt.

Johnny Z has been placid enough, held securely in solitary...but I can't shake the feeling that he's plotting something. No matter...

Upon the completion of this mission...it will be 'time'...

End Log

Danaris Monbrin

Stardate 21005.05

Acting First Officer’s Log, Stardate 21005.05, Danaris Monbrin {Dys} Recording:

Upon investigation of the Class O planet in the Gamma Ceheid A system, an aptly named ‘Aqua’ by the human natives, the away team and I have been accepted by a culture similar to ancient Polynesia/Hawaii, Earth.

The humans appear to be from Earth, but their reference to time I believe indicates that the culture here has been on this planet for a well over a hundred years. When these humans arrived here is still an open question and hopefully one that can be answered.

Apparently the Aquan’s had received ‘visitors from the sky’ some generations ago, and we are attempting correlate the indigenous calendar with our own. I can’t help but think that we may have disrupted the lives of the Aquans with our very presence. By all outward appearances, their culture seems peaceful and idyllic.

The women are gatherers and the men hunt, the young and the elderly stay in the village. Our away team was granted a celebratory feast in our honor, and the inhabitants seem quite open and curious about us as well. Of note, the people here have never seen a Klingon before, as questions asked of SCPO Darok attest.

The Aquan society is protected from the elements by a force field and power source that we shall visit on our next day here.

On a side note, the leader of the village is a woman named Hiroko and I find myself at complete ease around her; I recognize that I have an infatuation with the woman, however the away team remains polite, yet wary; a counter for my perhaps, biased thinking.

End Log.

Stardate 21008.03

Acting First Officer's Log, Stardate 21008.03 Lieutenant Commander Danaris Monbrin recording:

The away team has left 'Aqua' with emergency beam outs of LCdr Brooks and Lt St. Vrain, due to intentional infliction of injuries by a small cadre of the locals.

What initially looked like an idyllic, peaceful, lost colony from Earth; is comprised of two major factions, a peaceful (to a fault) group, interested in the larger happenings of Earth and the galaxy, and a faction adamant on keeping the colony isolated and free from outside 'contamination'.

The culture is very reminiscent of the peoples of ancient Polynesia Earth. A simple uncomplicated life, males hunt, females gather and the aged and children stay together in the village. Technology comprises hand-made items and tools; primitive by our standards, akin to the Amish enclaves that still exist today in North America Earth; or the Native American tribes up to the 19th century.

It is my recommendation that Starfleet apply the Prime Directive to the Gamma Cepheid star system; inclusive of the inhabited planet called Aqua by the colonists; until as such a time when re-contact is desired by the Aquan colonists, or if sometime in the distant future, warp capability is observed. Records of this planet should remain classified and not be made public.

As it stands, our mission of exploration and finding this lost colony, we have disrupted the existing planet's culture, and have cut our time on Aqua short. Objectives lost are the meeting of

the working age men and women, and scans of weather control system, that allows a temperate climate on this lone large-island mass, upon the otherwise global spanning ocean on this Class O planet.

The 'leader' of the colonists, a woman named Hiroko, has agreed to keep a communication device (at my behest), should the Aquans ever desire Starfleet contact. It is my hope that our intrusion to the colony proves to be but a short lived bit of excitement, and that both the 'pro' outsider faction and the isolationists find a middle ground to work around their differences.

On a personal note, and an observation: we of the Federation have become a highly suspicious lot, seemingly incapable of taking anything at face value. Not withstanding the egregious attack on my two officers; we were very poor guests; suspicious (as opposed to alert), nervous, distrustful.

I wonder what we have become...

End Log


Engineering

CE Lt Peter Powell

Stardate 21001.09

Personal log: Chief Engineering Officer Peter Powell reporting.

Stardate: 21001.09

Since my last log, many things have happened both on a personal level and also in a professional level.

Well on the personal level after the docking of the Copernicus from our last mission, I learned that my grandfather had died from a massive coronary and unfortunately there was nothing the medical staff could do, Losing a grandparent is not a good thing for somebody to handle especially if they are close, but for me it was even worse as my grandparent brought me up from the age of five, so it was like losing a father.

Initially I had contemplated either resigning my commission or taking a long leave of absence, as I felt that I was needed back home helping my grandmother, but after having a long conversation with one of the ship councillors and then with my parents when they surprisingly arrived from the assignment, I decided that my grandfather wouldn’t want me to do anything stupid like resigning my commission.

Ok, now to the professional level, well where do I begin.

First off I got another promotion to be a full Lieutenant, that was a massive surprise, as it didn’t seem that long ago that I was promoted to Lieutenant junior grade, but I wasn’t going to complain.

The next big thing that happened nearly made me vomit at the feet of Captain Stewart, but I managed to keep it under control, following the surprise departure of the Acting Engineering Chief Lieutenant Mali Kaluhani, I was made the Chief Engineer of the Copernicus.

I couldn’t believe it, as far as I could figure I had done nothing to warrant that sort of job and also I didn’t think I had been in serve that long to be given such responsibility, but I will do my duty and attempt to not let either the Captain or anyone else on this ship down.

Mission wise we originally was ordered to checkout a system about four weeks from the Sol system, called Gamma Cephei. During the time we took to get there we had a civilian engineer aboard ‘Doctor Rose’ his job was to, with help from us, to install a bio-neural gel pack system into our tactical systems to enhance the speed of the targeting system, but as things often go in Starfleet we received a massage to make hast to the Tellar system in response to a spatial-temporal anomaly that had appeared there.

There have been other anomalies appearing in key systems of the federation, even thought all these are important the worst one in my opinion is the one which appeared in the Vulcan system, from the report we got from Starfleet command Vulcan no-longer exists.

I will make an additional report once more information become available.

End log.

Stardate 21005.31

Chief Engineer’s personal log, Lieutenant P Powell reporting.

Stardate:21005.31

Following on from my reported from Stardate 2101.09, things have quietened down in regards to the anomalies that were appearing all over the federation.

I managed to find out that my parent’s ship had been sent to Denobulan system, which thankfully had no reports of any activity and thankfully never did, I would imagine that they were worried about me as they would have probably done the same search as I did and found out where the Cop was being sent, but they knew as Starfleet personal that we face danger everyday being out here, you never know what you are going to run into next.

As for the engineering department, things have been running reasonably well, towards the end of our little trip to Tellar, we lost gravity thought out the ship and I managed to knock myself out, by impacting the deck when gravity was restored, I awoke about ten days later in sickbay.

I knew that engineering would be in good hands as Ensign Gylanna would automatically assumed section command and would be able to make the correct decisions in order to solve any and all issue which would come his way. There was an away mission lead by Cdr Monbrin which the newly promoted Lieutenant Junior Grade Gylanna joined as the engineer.

Ensign Crab was also assigned to an away team that was sent on a top secret mission, which I only have partial knowledge, which I will not state here.

It seems that the away team initiated first contact protocols and then was shown some old pieces of what only could be described as shrapnel from a supposed space ship, this might be how they arrived on this planet or at least their ancestors did anyway.

When more information becomes available I will make an additional report.

End log.

Stardate 21008.30

Personal log: Chief Engineer Lieutenant P Powell reporting.

Stardate: 21008.30

Well during the ending stages to the last mission, things kind of went, well how can I say it, slightly on it head.

With Commander Monbrin on Gamma Cephei A and the rest of the senior staff either with him or on another mission, it left both myself and Captain Stewart the only senior officers on the ship.

As it was only a survey mission, Lt Korbel decided to start the physical examinations from the top down, so the Captain went for his physical, so for the first and not hopefully the last time, I was given command of the Copernicus.

It was an experience that I will never forget; I was extremely nervous and was worried that something would go wrong on my watch and something did go slightly wrong, we had a new officer Midshipman Mills was manning the console when it had a little short circuited, unfortunately this caused the young midshipman to go into unconsciousness, luckily following a good going over by Doctor Korbel, he is undergoing a little rest and relaxation therapy.

Crewman Vassily Rautenstrauch sorted out the problem on the way back from the mission, this was after we collected the away team from the planet, there were two minor casualties from the away team Lt Brooks and Lt St. Vrain, Doc Brooks managed to have some sort of paste spread over him by some disgruntled villagers and during the rescue Lt St. Vrain was hit by a federation phaser beam which did a little bit of damage.

The report from the Copernicus medical staff stated that both officers are ok and will be back to full health with no lasting repercussions.

The report from Lt Kell Perim in regards to engineering was that everything was running fine. It is good to know that I can leave engineering at anytime and know that it is in safe hands.

This next bit is going to sounds strange, my apprentice Lt Gylanna has managed to secure himself the position of Chief Engineer aboard the USS Yeager and it will be ashamed to lose him, but people need to move up and I know that he will do a wonderful job.

As we are going to be going on shore leave, I am thinking of asking the first officer for the opportunity to undergo the Bridge officer’s test, as following my little stint in command, my curiosity was aroused and I would like the further chance of commanding something sometimes.

Hope our next mission is going to be a good one and I don’t have to wait long before we are shipped out.

End log.

Lt JG Kralton Gylanna

Stardate 21007.06

Engineering officer Lt[JG] Kralton Gylanna recording via remote log system.

Stardate: 21007.06

The Aquan's have been very welcoming in the first contact situation we have been facing, although it may not be entirely first contact. Speculation holds that a cargo ship may have lost a panel or have landed on the ship prior to the Copernicus's visit to this planet. However, no confirmation can be found on the rumors. As far as the race themselves, they appear to be a simplified form of a human race. However, when using the word simplified, I mean that they not less intelligent, but have decided to live in a more basic fashion.

The Aquans live very much like the ancient native american's lived. Their primary food source is from hunting, their clothing choice is the pelts of the animals they hunt, and cover only what would be qualified as "indecent exposure." The climate on Aqua is similar to that of earth, in a more Edenic atmosphere. Air pressure is heavier, humidity is greater, and everything is in full bloom.

The main curious item that the Aquans possess is the energy field that they use to protect themselves from the elements. The primary use it seems would be to prevent radiation from the sun. In other words, they prevent themselves from getting a sunburn due to the choice of clothing. The only question that remains with me, is what is the generators power source, and who maintains the generator when in need of repair? There has been no evidence of other technology upon the planet surface, and nothing that would suggest anybody with technological knowledge. All of the Aquans seem ignorant in regards to the functionality of the generator save for the defense from the weather.

Further investigation will be conducted as soon as possible, but as for now, we can only do what the Aquans will allow. Another report will be made when the mission is completed.

End report.

Medical

CMO Daniel Brooks

Stardate 21008.06

Chief Medical Officer's Log, Stardate 21008.06 Doctor Daniel Brooks recording:

I think Gamma Cephei A system will live long in the memory for me. Finding a planet called 'Aqua' we seemed to have found some lost humans. Maybe from Earth as it look as if there was remains of a star ship being used by the children as some kind of fort.

There of course was excitement at our arrival and we were invited for something to eat and drink, even through it seem to be just children and elders the away team were on edge including myself.

This was only heighten by the fact that the men where out hunting. Having seen the part of the ship I decided it would be better to figure out how far their technology had advanced if at all and the first port of call was their village doctor or healing hand.

Lieutenant Commander Monbrin gave the go ahead for me and St.Vrain to carry out this investigation which lead us into all I can describe as a trap by other colonists that didn't want us there, or anything to change because of our involvement.

While the rest of the away team were still tracking down information, Myself and St.Vrain where tied up. Until a woman entered and proceed to tell us we were in the wrong. Even through we were working to the Prime Directive. She ended up getting a couple of men in who even through were old they was very strong, they held me down while she put a burning paste down my face and into my ear. Just talking about it now I can still feel the pain.

Lucky for me and St.Vrain the away team found us in time.

As for the colonists I hope there isn't too much fall out for them. However, I still feel hate for towards that woman and her friends as she wouldn't listen to reason. It just showed how stubborn she was and that unless that generation dies out I can't see much improvement for the people of 'Aqua' only time will tell.

However, I am pleased with Doctor Korbel for keeping on the top of things while I have been away. It looks like I might have to leave it in his hands again soon. There has been a request from Star Fleet Medical to handle an operation on my uncle as he has requested for only me to do it. Even through this is an honour I will have to give it deep thought before I say yes.

End Log.

Security

COS LCdr Jane Fields

Stardate 21005.01

Personal log, Stardate 21005.01, Chief of Security Lieutenant Commander Jane Fields recording:

It has been a long time since my previous log entry and there is much to report in the following entries. Notably a threat to the Security of the entire Federation, and the loss of the Copernicus First Officer, my friend Gloria Dys.

I had known that the temporal dissonance caused by having two Gloria Dyses and two John Zenteals in one timeline could not go on for long without repercussions. This was brought to a head all too soon. On stardate 20912.16 the Copernicus was called away from an exploration mission in the Gamma Cephei system to a temporal incident. Along with USS Tallahassee and USS Poseidon we were to investigate an anomaly suddenly appearing in the Tellar system. It quickly became clear that there was a grave threat to the founding homeworlds of the Federation, as reports came in detailing temporal anomalies not only at Tellar, but also Vulcan, Betazed and Alpha Centauri.

Arriving at Tellar we discovered the system changed almost beyond recognition. Tellar Prime itself was missing, signs indicating that it had been long destroyed by some natural disaster. The entire system was devoid of life other than a group of vessels of unknown specification engaged in an apparent mining operation. It looked as if the temporal anomaly had transformed the star system into that of an alternate reality.

During our investigation of the alien mining vessels, they fired some kind of proton beam at the ship causing us to lose power and the systems to reboot. The power loss extended to the brig where the timeshifted Johnny Z had been imprisoned. With forcefields down, the man escaped and I was astonished to find that he had access to command codes.

Our John Zenteal had transferred ship to the USS Sheridan prior to our mission. Since his departure I disabled all of his command and security codes. So the question was, how was Johnny Z able to access the codes? The answer to this lies in Copernicus history and involved none other that a certain Commander Avark, onetime COS and First Officer of the ship.

Of course I had heard rumours about Avark - that the Klingon had died and been brought back to life and then somehow ended up existing as a hologram, his memories surviving in an artificial lifeform. According to Ensign Sring, the remains of Avark's intelligence somehow fused themselves into the Copernicus computer and still exist today causing minor glitches from time to time. To my dismay Commander Dys revealed that Johnny Z had in her future timeline formed a bond with the engrams of Avark, the remnants of which were still integrated into the Copernicus systems. Johnny Z therefore had a kind of 'sympathetic connection' to the computer and he appeared able to bypass our Security systems at will.

I was astonished to learn this. I was especially angry with the First Officer for not telling me about this previously. It made his very presence on the ship a severe security risk. Not only were we faced with an extreme threat to the security of the Federation at Tellar, but to complicate matters a homicidal madman was loose on the ship with the ability to cause unknown havoc to our systems and evade our attempts to track him.

Suspend log.

Restart log

With the insane Johnny Z roaming the ship, we did all we could to track his progress but he was masking his biosigns with some kind of personal dampening device. Using a magneton scan of each deck I forced him to abandon the device and erected forcefields to pin him down. However, the man deactivated the forcefields in his way using his access codes. Eventually he entered my quarters on Deck 3, and he had with him a quantum explosive device with a dead man's switch. Johnny Z sent a message to the Bridge that he wanted Dys and myself there.

I surmised what his intention was. I was sure the deranged man wanted revenge on Jane Fields and her best friend - he wanted to kill Gloria in front of me. I couldn't let that happen and I knew that Gloria would try to sacrifice herself. Before the First Officer or indeed Captain Stewart had time to respond, I initiated the security protocols I had put in place to protect Commander Dys, locking out the ability to transport her and myself. I then raced to my quarters and ordered my officers to prevent anyone following me. I was going to tackle Johnny Z myself.

It became clear at this time that the temporal anomaly in the Tellar system was causing severe physical effects on the temporal travellers: the Commander and Ensign 'Alora' Dys and Johnny Z. As I expected, Gloria did indeed try to follow me to my quarters in confronting Johnny Z. My officers followed orders and prevented her from doing so. In any case the First Officer was physically struck down as the effects of the temporal anomaly racked her body and she was rushed to sickbay.

When I arrived in quarters Johnny Z was suffering likewise and his condition appeared more advanced. He was incapacitated on my bed and partly delirious. In this weakened state I managed to coax out of him how to disable the explosive device. The override code was keyed to my voice. I had to speak the words "I love you John."

And those were the last words the future John Zenteal ever heard, as he expired shortly afterwards, the temporal dissonance causing major organ failure. I transported myself and his body to sickbay. Gloria's condition was critical but she was conscious. The only way to save her and Ensign Dys from the same fate as Johnny Z was to send the Commander back to her own time with Johnny Z's body. Ensign Sring had managed to activate the temporal key and a temporal commlink was established with the future Sring on the other side orchestrating things from 8 years in the future with Captain Jane Fields at her side.

There then followed an emotional farewell with Gloria. She said to me "you are my sister, for now and for always." It was a moment I'd be dreading but knew was inevitable. She had to return to her timeline.

And so on stardate 21001.24 Commander Dys used the temporal key to send herself and the body of Johnny Z back to the future. The temporal dissonance was resolved with her departure and Alora Dys' condition stabilised. My own emotional dissonance had just begun though.

Suspend log

Restart log

With the return of Commander Dys to her future timeline, Lieutenant Commander Monbrin, sent to 'spy' on Commander Dys, ironically took over as acting First Officer. After events in sickbay, I returned immediately to my post on the bridge. We had been contacted by the alien mining vessels at Tellar, the commanding officer was an insectoid and spoke a language that the Universal Translator took time to decode. They, it seemed, were as surprised to see us as we were to see them. It was clear that the anomalies had indeed brought two alternate realities crashing together. Fortuitously, news arrived from the fleet that the anomaly at Vulcan had been closed by combined, modulated subspace beams directed at the centre of the anomaly.

With the help of the USS Tallahassee and USS Poseidon we implemented the same solution and thankfully it worked to close the rift. The Tellar system as we knew it was restored, along with Tellar Prime and its inhabitants. The alien vessels were no more and the two realities apparently separated. Similar reports came in across the fleet. All was well. If only my internal state matched the external reality, but the internal rift caused by the loss of Gloria had just opened and it seemed there would be no easy closure of this emotional chasm.

The Copernicus is now en route to the Gamma Cephei to return and complete our interrupted mission. I hope this will be uneventful, but our missions are seldom routine...

End log

Log #2

Log supplemental

The cause of the temporal anomalies at Tellar and the other founding Federation homeworlds remains somewhat mysterious. However, news from the fleet implicates an aggressive species known as the 'Grath.' It also appears that the USS Gettysburg, thought hitherto destroyed in a battle during the Romulan war, was in some way involved. It emerged that, far from being destroyed, Gettysburg had instead been sucked into the alternate reality during their battle with the Romulans via a quantum rift of some sort.

Whether or not this intrusion into the alternate reality by Gettysburg alerted the Grath species to our presence in the Universe I can only speculate, but, using the anomaly at Alpha Centauri the Grath entered our spacetime and set a course for Earth. Fortunately they were defeated partly by a task force headed by Pulsar with the help of the 'Terran Empire,' an apparently benevolent organisation from the alternate reality and resembling something like our own Federation. This was not before some considerable loss of life however and USS Bismarck was one of two ships destroyed by the invaders en route to Sector 001.

The effects of the temporal rift seemed also in part responsible for the defeat of the Grath, as everything that had entered through the rift into our space was reported to literally disintegrate, including the allies from the Terran Empire.

What the repercussions of these events will be we can only wonder about. It does have chilling overtones of the Borg invasions of the past. Our thoughts are with those who laid down their lives to defend the Federation at Alpha Centauri and those of the Terran Empire who also sacrificed so much to help defeat the Grath invasion of our galaxy.

End log.

Stardate 21008.31

Personal log, Stardate 21008.31, Chief of Security Lieutenant Commander Jane Fields recording:

There was no time for R&R after the Tellar mission which on my part I was thankful for. The Copernicus was posted back to the Gamma Cephei system, a routine exploration mission apparently. As it turned out, I myself was not to accompany the crew on this mission as something extraordinary happened when we arrived back at Gamma Cephei.

Arriving in the binary star system, I was astonished when Lieutenant Alighieri detected a signal from the subspace transponder that I had asked Commander Dys to have surgically implanted in her left lobe as a security measure.

This was astonishing because only weeks earlier we had thought that the First Officer had returned to her own, future timeline at Tellar. The worrying thing about the signal was that it appeared to move in transwarp jumps and then stop at a planet called Helven VI, deep in Orion Syndicate Space.

I immediately pleaded my case with Captain Stewart to be allowed to go after the signal and he agreed, even granting me the use of the Captain's yacht, The Vulcan's Forge, and a small team to investigate and hopefully retrieve our lost First Officer. Leaving Lieutenant Pietro Alighieri behind as Acting COS, I took with me a team of Ensign Poth from Security, Ensign Jack Crab from Engineering, a Marine Captain Jason Sutherly who had recently come aboard after the Tekna mission, and the formidable brains of the Vulcan Ensign Sring from Science.

And so I left the ship and crew behind at Gamma Cephei to pursue my own mission to retrieve Commander Dys.

It took us several weeks to reach Orion Syndicate Space. The team were disguised as 'flesh peddlers', traders of slaves. Helven VI itself is notorious for the trade, so this seemed an appropriate guise. Syndicate space is no place for Star Fleet, a lawless, nefarious part of the quadrant, where the most ruthless, wicked activities and proclivities are indulged. Sring, the petite young Vulcan, was disguised as a 'Lolita', and our 'merchandise' on the trip. Her appearance was meticulous, right down to polka-dot bikini top and a stuffed sehlat toy (which happened to conceal a phaser and tricorder).

I had got us a Ferengi shuttlepod to approach Helven VI, as the yacht was too conspicuous. I had cashed-in several years' salary of Federation Credits to purchase it and some non-Star Fleet weaponry on the way.

It is true that I had prepared myself for violence in advance. I think I had wanted to make someone pay, not just for any possible mistreatment of Gloria, but due to my own past. Both my parents were killed by the Orion Syndicate, albeit by different individuals in different circumstances and at different times.

As soon as our shuttlepod 'The Lady Latinum' had landed on the accursed planet, we were approached by a Saurian 'facilitator' and his Klingon hybrid bodyguard Toq. Flashing a case of latinum I had acquired in exchange for Credits earlier, I showed him our merchandise, i.e. Sring in her 'little girl' guise. I promised him commission on any sale, indicating that I might have a ready supply of 'flesh' to send his way. From that period on, the Saurian, Gykko and the hybrid Toq were at my disposal. I left Crab and Sutherly at the spacedock in order to find a way to disable the minefield for our escape and I accompanied Gykko and Toq to a hotel base. Taking a room, Sring and I used our equipment to track the position of Commander Dys. Crab and Sutherly meanwhile spotted the arrival of a Cardassian shuttle at the space dock, and in it were two Cardassians and a Romulan woman.

Crab was able to get a tap on a conversation between the current Boss of Iklon City and Commander Dys. It confirmed that it was indeed our lost First Officer herself, she had been captured by the Syndicate and held there for some weeks, severely mistreated and degraded. It also confirmed that Boss Kodra, as he was called, was planning to sell Dys to the Romulan-Cardassian party that had just arrived on Helven VI.

I used my new 'associate' Gykko and his partner Toq the Klingon hybrid to get Sring and I into the Dys 'auction', which was in a seedy den of iniquity called Taboo. The place was a giant club-cum-brothel-cum-casino. The kind of place where you could buy anything or anyone.

On the way there, our anti-grav skiff was attacked by Breen bandits keen to get their hands on our latinum and on 'Lolita' who was a valuable commodity as a pure Vulcan girl on Helven VI. The attack on us, though we managed to take down all but one of the assailants on their scorpion-like hover bikes, ended in a crash, and Toq was injured bravely trying to protect us. The strangest thing about this was that in the crash Sring's stuffed sehlat toy had come apart revealing her Star Fleet tricorder and phaser. Yet the Klingon hybrid had still helped us given our deception as flesh peddler and merchandise was revealed. I dispatched the last of the bandits with a grenade.

Toq then lied for us with the guards of Taboo to gain us entry to the club. I still do not know why he helped us. But his kindness in such a nefarious hell-hole as Helven VI was extraordinary and surprising.

Gykko the Saurian awaited us in the club. Eventually we were led through to the casino floor, where I was shocked to see the figure of my friend Gloria, shackled, emaciated and abused, paraded upon a dais and up for auction to the highest bidder.

I forced my way to the front with Sring, still with many of my weapons strapped to me underneath my coat. The Cardassians and Romulan woman were there. I watched as the Romulan attempted a mind meld on Dys. And what followed was a blood bath, initiated and perpetrated solely by me.

Suspend log

Restart log

I do not want to go into great detail about what happened in Taboo, but suffice to say that after my intervention the two Cardassians and two Orion guards of Boss Kodra lay dead on the floor of the casino, the Romulan woman was severely wounded, and Boss Kodra himself had felt the blade of my knife.

Kodra, it emerged, had recently taken over as top boss of Iklon City and the mistreatment of Commander Dys was largely down to his predecessor. He was wise enough to realise that letting us take Dys without any further bloodshed was the sensible thing to do.

It pains me to think about Gloria's condition. She had been so abused that I find it hard to speak about. They had also used a mind-sifting device on her at some point, doubtless to try to uncover valuable information about the future. It had wiped her mind of many memories. At first she barely recognised me and seemed unsure about her own identity, but when I spoke to her, telling her that I am and always shall be her sister, recognition set in and her memory of me returned. The reunion was an emotional one.

Boss Kodra agreed to give us safe passage from the planet. He was clearly glad to get us out of his hair and cut his loses. We sabotaged our shuttle the 'Lady Latinum' and took the Cardassian shuttle The Blood Wraith to rendezvous with Ensign Poth and the Captain's yacht at the edge of Orion Space. We also tractored the transwarp ship the 'H.G. Wells' that Gloria had apparently used to re-enter our timeline from her future. It appeared that she had crash-landed on Helven VI in the craft initially. As to why she had returned to our timeline, Gloria has no memory. In fact, her memories of her the 'future' past have been wiped completely. She remembers what happened during the period as First Officer in our timeline, but of the future Captain Jane Fields and all of that time 8 years in the future her mind appears to be a blank.

I have wondered if this was partly a psychological repression on her part, that she wished to repress something about that time. Perhaps this is why she returned to our timeline again, perhaps something was very wrong when she returned to her own, future, time?

The abuse Gloria suffered has certainly taken its toll on her, though she has still the irrepressible spirit and strong personality. I worry that Star Fleet will not allow her to resume her duties as First Officer for long. Already the 'temporal police' of Star Fleet are knocking at the door to 'debrief' her. I suspect that they may see her as a Security risk, given the Romulans and Cardassians are so clearly interested in her knowledge of the future, or should I say former knowledge...

On another note, since Gloria's return I have been appointed as Second Officer on the Copernicus. I am honoured by the position and will continue to serve this fine crew to the best of my ability in this additional capacity.

End log.