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Inaccessible from the Mother Road, Donova IV was once a mostly peaceful farming community until the last fifty years when the criminal elements of the world were finally able to take control of the local government. Nearly every institution from the police to the schools has some link back to the criminal underworld that truly rules the colony, including the Cobalt Clan, the largest and most powerful criminal organization within the nearest two sectors. Those who've tried to reform the system over the years seem to suffer bad luck as unfortunate accidents and tragedies befall them. Yet surprisingly because of how well-run the government has become since the takeover, Donova has now established itself as one of the most idyllic worlds of the Colonial Coalition.
Donova IV, like many of the older colonies of the Colonial Coalition, was originally an independent colony with settlers from United Earth, mostly from that planet's Asian and African continents and the Oceania region. The fourth oldest colony of the Coalition, it was founded before the Federation was even conceived, and the planet's relative remoteness in the Shoals lent itself to an independent spirit from the beginning. Even when the first three colonies of the Shoals banded together a century later in the mid-2200s to form the Colonial Coalition, Donova held out and actually joined the Coalition after Shadow's Edge, the fifth settled colony in the Shoals.
When the Mother Road was mapped out in 2303, it bypassed Donova just as it had Ketar. But whereas the First Colony of the Shoals suffered the economic impact of such a reroute of major traffic--and was still rebuilding itself to this day--Donova managed to hold on and even prosper in the century since. Part of that was that Donova had long established itself as the bread basket of the region. With rich, fertile lands, a temperate climate, and a diverse collection of native flora and fauna, Donova IV was an agricultural paradise. If the Mother Road had passed close enough to its system, there would be no doubt that it would have easily overtaken Meridian's boom.
But the people of Donova were resilient as much as they enjoyed the satisfaction of a life well-earned. While they might not have the towering skyscrapers of Meridian or the mighty shipyard of Ketar, they lived lives of relative comfort in an oasis from an otherwise inhospitable region.
As the Shoals continued to grow and more immigrants from all across the galaxy spread through, looking for fortune and opportunity, various criminal organizations began to sprout across the sector. With freighters filled with goods guaranteed to constantly stop by and then spread to other parts of the region and a relative remoteness that kept the Coalition Marshals presence low, Donova was the perfect base for criminal operations. Various human-led groups came and went over the centuries, but finally by the 24th century, one group, the Andorian-led Cobalt Clan, had secured its place as the largest and most powerful on not just Donova but across two sectors.
While the Cobalt Clan were ruthless when needed, they were also just as deadly efficient. Their rise to power on Donova was not just through sheer force but through careful political calculations. When a series of corrupt or simply inept governing administrations led the colony to near ruin at the turn of the century (especially in response to the recently mapped out Mother Road's impact on the entire region's geopolitical structure), the Cobalt Clan's own lieutenants quickly filled in to take on the crucial duties of meeting the colonists' needs.
For most residents, the Cobalt Clan had secured prosperity to the citizens of Donova. Petty crime fell to near non-existence. The schools and universities of Donova became renown across the Coalition, now attracting thousands of applicants each year to fill the few hundred coveted seats in beautiful lecture halls.
While the Cobalt Clan was mostly Andorians (and no one in the senior membership was non-Andorian), the organization (colloquially referred to as The Administration) had found it useful to employ a few "associates" from the human majority population such as the Donova IV Governor's Chief of Staff, Lin Xiao, a human woman in her 40s.
In 2398, the USS Veritas visited Donova IV to assist the colony with various needs. A cultural event known as the Battle of the Bands was scheduled to begin during the ship's visit, and some of Veritas' officers led by Lt. Cmdr. Antero Flynn formed their own band to enter the competition. Meanwhile, the Cobalt Clan was using the musical event as a front for the illegal exotic animal trade.