Blockades and Diplomacy (Garuda)
- Stardate 239104
The crew of the USS Garuda traveled to Zeta Equulei, a K-class star, to meet the two rival alien races of the Community and the Myr Luuks. Both races were quite unusual in appearance. The Community were comprised of one collective consciousness, who used plant-like avatars to communicate with the Starfleet officers. Meanwhile, the Myr Luuks were giant furred centipede-like beings, whose chosen form of communication was to project holograms mimicking the Garuda crew members themselves.
Upon arrival at the gas giant and orbiting moons, the crew of the Garuda realised that they had stumbled into a system engaged in a cold war, with the Community ships blockading the Myr Luuks. Wanting to not only mediate between the two races, but also investigate reports of some rare artifacts from the lost civilization of the Ancient Alliance, Captain Egan Manno split her crew into three teams. She sent LtCmdr Calderan with the Saucer section of the ship to liaise with the Myr Luuks, and a team under FO Commander Ross down to the surface of Zeta Equulei 3 to talk to the representative of the Community, Bodhisattva.
Meanwhile, Captain Egan Manno kept her remaining crew upon the Stardrive section of the Garuda, waiting to assist either of the Away Teams. However, whilst doing a system check, Chief Rahman and Ensign Rawlings discovered some damage and potential sabotage in engineering conduits of the Garuda. Soon after, strange disembodied voices started taunting the crew as the Stardrive section was pulled towards a 'void' in space, where many Myr Luuk and Community space ships were found drifting and derelict - a veritable ship's graveyard!
- Stardate 239105
Commander Ross's away team visited the home moon of the Community and discovered a complex base in the course of their discussions that was probably left from an older race, as the Community didn't possess the technology necessary to construct the structure. As part of the negotiations, Lts. Delano and Mei'konda and Ambassador Ventu willingly underwent a mind merge with the Confluence (the Community’s hive brain) where they discovered a link between with the even more ancient and mysterious Menthar race that once inhabited this region of space: The Menthar had uplifted the pre-warp Community to be an aggressive race that could fight on their behalf. After the disappearance of the Menthar, the Community continued along this developmental path.
Meanwhile, the Garuda’s saucer section under Lt. Cmdr. Calderan was hosting a delegation of Myr Luuks. However, a renegade on board had plans to scupper the meeting. They murdered an ensign to gain control of a shuttlecraft, and launched it on a collision course with the alien escort vessels, destroying one upon impact. This brought the Myr Luuks and the Community to the brink of war.
To remove themselves from making the situation any worse, Captain Egan Manno decided to reunite the saucer and stardrive sections and withdraw the USS Garuda from the Zeta Equulei system. However, it must be noted that the Myr Luuks – unsatisfied with the Federations overtures, began negotiations with the Cardassians soon after. Before the Garuda arrived back at DSX, Commanders Rahman and Core discovered that a nest of DSX’s rogue spider-drones had been making a new home in the Garuda’s plasma conduits. The nest was excised quickly and the crew began shore leave on DSX, though there remained several loose ends to tie up.