- Stardate 239211.30 to Present
Just as the Invicta crew ended their shoreleave on an uninhabited moon, having sought shelter for the past few weeks from a passing neutronic storm, they were stunned to hear that Fleet Captain Aron Kells has been killed. As they try to find out what happened, they soon discover a shocking, secret mission underneath the pomp and circumstance of the grand Invicta Expedition.
The crew of the USS Invicta had just finished their impromptu shoreleave on the moon of the fifth planet in the W Cygni system when Fleet Captain Kells was called away to attend an urgent personal matter. Though the neutronic storm had passed, the crew still were working on clearing their campsite as per prime directive regulations, and so Kells left aboard the captain's yacht. Two days later, he was dead.
An Al-Layen freighter in Sector Zeta-Three-Gamma picked up a distress call from the yacht but when they reached the coordinates, they found the craft, gutted. There was significant damage with life support non-functional, and the entire crew massacred. The Invicta arrived at the site of the attack and retrieved the yacht as well as the bodies for positive identification. The autopsies confirmed that it was Kells along with two other Invicta crew members.
The Invicta's search for their captain's killers led them to Darvo V, a desert planet on the edge of the sector. Commander Rahman dispatched three away teams, one to Syrene Station, a repair facility and trade post in orbit of the planet, and two teams to the planet itself. The first searched a marketplace while the second investigated strange energy readings from within a cave system. The teams soon ran into their share of trouble.
The marketplace team met a shopkeeper named Elias Cumberbatch who indicated he might be able to help the crew get what they wanted. They were suddenly then attacked by two assailants who seemed to know the shop owner and who used archaic weapons very much like the ones that had attacked the yacht crew. Cumberbatch killed the assailants and then proceeded to threaten Ensign Nikki Ryan. Science officer Alora DeVeau quickly stunned him and had him beamed to the brig.
The team aboard Syrene Station was able to identify the ship that attacked the yacht, and its owner. The ship utilized a unique verteron drive, somewhat similar to a quantum slipstream drive.
Finally, the team that had checked into the cave system energy readings instead found a suspicious woman named Nairi Demirjian along with unexplained Starfleet medical and scientific equipment. What the equipment was doing so far out from Federation space is currently under investigation.
Meanwhile, back on the Invicta, Rahman learned that the Invicta Expedition held a secondary objective known only to Kells: find Maiek Khev, a Romulan biologist and fugitive war criminal. Shortly thereafter, though, Khev found them instead, in an act of desperation and pleading for their help. He claims to have information that can prove Kells, who is also his grandson, is still alive.