End of Days (Mercury)
- Stardate 239007
After extensive questioning by Mercury CO Aron Kells and DSX CO Melitta Herodion, Ambassador Lily Ventu admitted that she had been asked to venture out into the Menthar Corridor with a modified troopship to “assist” with the incipient eruption of a supervolcano on 83 Leonis II. The planet was home to an agrarian pre-warp civilization, and while it seemed clear to the crew of the Mercury to what use the troopship was to be put, Captain Kells made the decision that an evacuation of a portion of the population would not take place as it would be a violation of the prime directive
However, two away teams were sent down to the planet. The first, led by executive officer Commander Harrison Ross, and including Herodion, Dr. Saveron, and Lieutenant Tato Zeme, was to examine the blind observation post of the Starfleet team that Ventu revealed had been assigned to the world, though Ross's team found no sign of the team upon first inspection and added their potential disappearance to the list of mysteries. The second team, led by Captain Kells and including Lieutenant Commander Roshanara Rahman, Lieutenant Mei'konda, Lieutenant (JG) Trel'lis, and Ensign Kotir Arith, landed the shuttlecraft Valentina Tereshkova within the volcano itself and beamed out to the planet’s surface to determine if any mitigation might make the eruption less severe.
- Stardate 239008
The supervolcano on 83 Leonis II erupted ahead of its predicted time. Away teams from the Mercury determined, before this eruption, that Starfleet’s presence on the world had not been limited to secret observation but had instead been much more involved: Captain Kells’s team discovered evidence of biotampering, while Commander Ross’s found a remaining researcher who admitted that the rest of his team had geoengineered the eruption, apparently to eradicate the pre-warp population. Captain Kells determined that this degree of tampering nullified the Prime Directive’s order of non-involvement, and the crew of the Mercury and the Aquitania began beaming up refugees. However, the civilian Dr. Saveron also beamed down without authorization, ostensibly to expedite the evacuation, but the distress call he sent from the surface attracted the attention of a Cardassian warship, which arrived and chased away the two Starfleet vessels despite their pleas of humanitarian assistance. As the ships left, the Mercury crew gathered on the bridge to pay respect and tribute to the unknown race that was likely to perish thanks to the eruption and the climactic changes it would cause.
The Aquitania, with Ambassador Ventu and all the alien refugees, departed Deep Space 10 after it and the Mercury had returned, and the Mercury crew turned its attention to recreation and the remaining problems of the previous mission: Dr. Saveron was arrested for his unauthorized beam-down, Ensign Alora DeVeau continued to search for the DNA fingerprints of the missing researchers, and Captain Reynolds and Dr. Hawkeye revealed that the last researcher had been intentionally poisoned — and genetically manipulated.