The Hironian Expanse (Columbia)

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Columbia Completes Successful First Mission
Stardates: 238103.31-238106.30

The original crew contained Commanding Officer: Commander Mal Avatar, First Officer: Lieutenant Commander Makal Kora, Chief Engineer: Lieutenant J. Bowden Hapgood, Helmsman: Lieutenant J.G. Shawn Anderson, Chief Security Officer: Lieutenant J.G. Cristobal Colon, Chief Tactical Officer: Ensign Jason Blackstone, Chief Science Officer: Ensign Minardo Suega, Chief Medical Officer: Ensign Nox and the HCO would be Maitreya Choi who was assigned just prior to launch. The Columbia's first mission was to enter the gamma quadrant and explore an area of space known as the Hironian Expanse. What made this area of space unique was a high concentration of the element Ununoctium which was previously known only to exist in laboratory experiments. The element contains properties that cause it to fade in and out of existence. The Columbia's orders were simple, collect a few particles and go home.

As the Columbia approached the expanse, strange phenomenon began to occur. At first the viewscreen stars began to move in an opposite direction, although instruments showed that the Columbia was maintaining her current velocity. The Columbia apparently entered into some sort of a subspace eddy that the preinstalled metaphasic shields were supposed to protect the ship from. The effects of subspace altered the Columbia, leading to the disappearance of recently promoted Lieutenant J.G. Blackstone. Other strange happenings also were reported from around the ship. Once the Columbia was able to pull herself out of warp, she found herself stranded in the Andromeda Galaxy. Commander Avatar ordered an immediate investigation. The findings were compiled from several sources including a report from one of the science officers, Ensign Gleeben, and one of the engine designers, Carlos "Phoenix" McGrath. Unbeknownst to Commander Avatar, a test transwarp engine had been installed aboard the Columbia. When the Columbia approached the expanse, the engine was activated. The result of the transwarp engine coming into contact with the Ununoctium propelled the Columbia into another galaxy.

Speculation among the bridge crew that the Columbia was sent away from the expanse began to take wind. Newly transferred Lieutenant J.G. Nugra began an investigation to try and find a possible culprit aboard the Columbia. While Lieutenant J.G. Anderson was checking up on the computer core near engineering, he noticed a rift in the space-time continuum. One of the officers on duty, Sofia Bozek was sucked into the rift as he entered the compartment. As the report was made to the bridge, Anderson was also in turn brought into the rift. Commander Kora arranged an away team to investigate the breach.

Lieutenant Anderson found himself along with the rest of Kora's away team, in a dark room as they were held captive by an alien race that would later be identified as the Urulans. Kora's away team found Anderson almost catatonic as he could barely even recognize them. Apparently the Urulans had made some sort of mental contact with his Betazoid half. Kora and the rest of his away team had come across a group of scientists who were interested in studying the humanoid races. The Jiak'mah (alien scientists) were more interested in Anderson than any of the others, as they arranged for more comfortable accommodations as Kora's team waited in a furnished holding area which they would later escape from.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Nugra's investigation turned up some evidence suggesting that the "accident" was triggered by someone who was located in either Main Engineering or on the Bridge. Nugra's first suspect was Commander Kora. Before any of this could be examined further, an apparently mad Lieutenant Hapgood burst into the Captain's Ready Room and pulled Avatar and Nugra aside. The Chief Engineer had determined that it was not Kora who was behind the accident, but Phoenix. Hapgood devised a plan to expose Phoenix in which Avatar would elevate Phoenix to the position of Chief Engineer while Hapgood would oversee his actions from the brig.

Lieutenant J.G. Suega began to find out more about his subordinate, Ensign Gleeben. Gleeben would only speak with Commander Avatar about what had happened to the Columbia. The El-Aurian revealed himself to be Commander Gornil of the Temporal Investigations Agency. He was sent on a mission to investigate the Ununoctium deposits and determine whether they can be used to affect time travel. The Columbia mission was a cover-up.

The somewhat friendly aliens that were examining Anderson became more hostile as he refused to answer questions. An alien named Velin who was the High One of the Urulans, took over the interrogation. Apparently, the entire away team was unconscious in some sort of a dream prison where the aliens could study them and their actions. If the away team escaped in their dreams, it was no matter as they were still held captive. Soon the Columbia crew would find out that their entire crew was imprisoned in the dream prison, so that even as the away team was evacuated back to the Columbia, they still remained in control of the Urulan people.

The Urulans had problems of their own. There were those within their own government who disapproved of their kidnapping and testing of humanoid species. One of these Urulans was Juken, who helped to release Anderson and allow for communication with the rest of the Columbia crew.

Hapgood turned out to be right. Phoenix was behind the plot to bring the Columbia into subspace, but what he did not realize was that Phoenix himself was a Urulan. Commander Avatar was contacted by the leader of the resistance named Drakmar. The resistance leader told him that the Urulans had learned that the Columbia was going on a mission near their area of space and planted an agent, for the purpose of gaining not only further knowledge of humanoid races, but to capture Gornil and uncover his knowledge of time. Drakmar informed Avatar that the crew was all in the dream prison. It was at this point that the Temporal Investigations Agency pulled Gornil completely out of the operation, giving up on the mission. Drakmar was able to send Avatar and the crew sans the away team back aboard the Columbia out of the dream prison, thus freeing most of the crew from Urulan control.

Juken and Velin had their own fight, with Juken emerging victorious. Velin had been overthrown by the resistance as the experiments were put to an end. Anderson and the others were freed and returned to the Columbia.

Once back aboard the Columbia, the crew found that they never actually made it to the Andromeda Galaxy and were sitting outside of an alien starbase in the Hironian Expanse. After the crew had returned to the Columbia they found Gornil missing. Phoenix found out what Hapgood was up to and confronted him in the brig. With the knowledge of Phoenix's true identity, Commander Avatar barged in with a full security team and a face off ensued. As Phoenix's powers were reduced being out of the dream prison, he was forced to surrender. Juken and Drakmar took him into custody and the Columbia was free to return home.