- Stardate 238812
The crew of the newly commissioned USS Mercury, NCC-99812, received orders to leave spacedock shortly after being made aware of their reassignment. Their destination: Cardassia Prime, specifically a meeting with the Detapa Consul to formally accept an invitation to explore the Menthar Corridor, a region of space that lies between Breen, Tholian and Cardassian territory. With a long-term scientific mission looming large and the transfer to a science vessel, some of the ship’s more military-minded personnel began to wonder about the need for their presence aboard ship, until a second staff meeting was held to inform them of Starfleet Intelligence’s plan to use the Mercury’s enhanced sensor array to gather any data possible on what they see as a politically turbulent people.
With the meeting on Cardassia Prime drawing to a close, more questions were raised than answered. Why hadn’t the Cardassians explored an area of space that lies so close to their territory? How would the elements in the Cardassian government who were opposed to collaborating with the Federation react to their continued presence?
To make matters even more interesting, an independent Cardassian observer was assigned to the Mercury in an attempt to assuage the doubts of those who still did not trust the Federation.
- Stardates 238901-238902
SD 238901: Nightmares Revisited
A lucky find in the form of a dilithium-rich asteroid close to the Cardassian border initially raised questions as to why it had not been previously mined, but with the temporary Cardassian liaison officer Gul Kerena Vetak’s approval granted, a mining survey was undertaken, and an away team was sent down to the asteroid’s surface to begin mining operations. With many of the Mercury’s crew now on the surface of the asteroid, the procedure should have been routine.
However, the crew remaining on the Mercury found themselves cut off from their away team, who were experiencing terrifying visions of memories past. Lieutenant (j.g.) Scott Reed had to be stunned after he believed he saw armed Cardassians preparing to attack the away team and reacted violently. Lieutenant Skyleena Blake began to follow the same path before being talked down by Lieutenant Commander Hannibal Parker. Meanwhile, Ensign Misha Yates and the rest of the away team struggled to understand exactly who, or what, was causing these visions, as Yates claimed to be able to sense the presence of “guardians”, who seemed none too pleased at the presence of intruders.
With three dissident Hideki-class ships on their way to intercept the Mercury and lay down their objections to the treaty with the Federation with their disruptors, the chances of survival for the away team looked bleak.
SD 238902: The Guardian
The away team determined that there was a presence on the asteroid that was acting on them telepathically, bringing their most haunting experiences back to life. Lt. Commander Parker split the group, taking telepaths deeper into the caves to find and communicate with the entity. They found him deep in the caverns. His name was S’Rioue, guardian of the planet Brigolee. S’Rioue claimed there had been a collision, the planet’s inhabitants had been evacuated, and he was safeguarding it for their return. S’Rioue asked them to leave his world and never return before allowing them to contact the Mercury and return to the ship.
Meanwhile, the Mercury was besieged by three Cardassian ships bent on her destruction. Controversy reigned when a sleeper intelligence operative became involved, but at the crucial moment, Gul Vetak uttered a code which sent the rogue Cardassians packing. Questions were raised about the true reasons for her presence on the ship.