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Sentinel (Veritas)

Plot Summary

After the destruction of the space station Astrofori One last year, a large fleet of Tholian ships had remained in the Gamma Camelopardalis system in a tense standoff with Starfleet's own Task Force 105. However, the Vesta class USS Endurance suddenly lost sensor contact with all Tholian ships, and a field of tetryon radiation enveloped the system, preventing further scans or the largest vessels of Task Force 105 like the Endurance from entering. As such, Starfleet sent the USS Veritas (which has extensive experience with tetryon fields) along with an escort from Task Force 105, the Steamrunner class USS Solaris, to the Menthar Corridor to investigate the matter further.

Upon entering the system, the two Starfleet ships were soon attacked by Tholian vessels, but further investigation showed that the vessels were being controlled like drones, with no Tholians aboard. In addition, an alien probe breached the hull of the Veritas to gain access to its computer core, temporarily disabling the ship's engines. The USS Solaris was soon destroyed, although most of its crew managed to abandon ship. Upon regaining control of her engines, Veritas quickly rescued the Solaris crew before encountering another Tholian vessel, this time a manned but badly damaged battlecruiser.

The Tholian battleship was ultimately disabled, and the crew surrendered. As life support on their own vessel was failing, Admiral Vamuwene, the ship's commanding officer, agreed to evacuate most of his crew to Veritas. During negotiations, it also became clear that the attack had been ordered after a case of mistaken identity. According to Vamuwene, their fleet had been attacked by a Starfleet vessel of identical design to the Veritas. Later, the crew learned the attacker was the USS Minerva, a Veritas-class vessel lost during the Battle of Astrofori One late last year, which, like the Tholian drone vessels, was being controlled by the alien defense system known as Sentinel.

After the battle, the crew identified a connection between Sentinel and Menthar ruins on a nearby planet. An away team was dispatched to investigate while Starfleet and Tholian crew members attempted to liberate several ships from Sentinel's control to provide fire support for Veritas, which had once again come under heavy attack by Sentinel's drones, including the Solaris and the Minerva. Seeing no other choice, Captain Rahman on the Veritas made a decision to destroy the ruins, ultimately disabling Sentinel.


Log Entries

Ensign
Wil Ukinix

Personal Log, Ensign Wil Ukinix. Stardate 239603.06

After our almost forced new life on Limbo, the long break on Earth was nothing short of perfect. It was great to spend some R&R time with my family and G’var. It made me appreciate what I’ve got at home, how lucky I am to have the loving family I have – and having G’var with me reminded me how lucky I am to have the family I have on the Veritas.

About a week ago I told Captain Rahman that I was onboard early because I wanted to come back and be a starship engineer, like I get a second chance to start. Standing with my Chief and my fellow engineers, it really does feel like my first day again – the difference being that I know that this time I’m surrounded by friends. And having the Veritas temporarily so close to my home is special for me. I’m sure I’m not the only one from the Sol system that feels the same way.

Even though I’ve already been here for a few weeks, I can sum up how I feel in a few simple words – “it’s good to be back starting again”.


Captain
Roshanara Rahman

Captain’s Log, Stardate 239603.06

We’ve left Utopia Planitia and are underway back to a place that holds many memories for both myself and a number of this crew: the Menthar Corridor. Many of those memories are good ones: my first assignment as chief engineer of the Mercury and the wonders of discovery that we encountered mission after mission under Captain Kells and later Captain Egan Manno on the Garuda. Others, not so much: the cybernetic spiders of Deep Space 10, the protomatter cloud that gave rise to a botanic infestation on the Garuda, and of course the sabotage of that ship later by Harrison Ross in the midst of the volcanic mud dome crisis on Pleethion.

Regardless, going back to the Corridor this time feels less like a nostalgic trip to an earlier chapter of my life and more like coming back to a neighborhood you once lived in only to find the neighbors have changed—or left completely—and the condition of the place has deteriorated since your memories. Everything seems… colder.

For most of the junior officers aboard, this will be their first time to the Corridor and their first dive into deep space. Though it may not be known for the pirates, storms, and anomalies that give the Shoals its formidable reputation, the Corridor is no less dangerous. Though it is an exciting milestone in their careers, I hope they are spared an encounter with the terrors that still lurk out there among these ancient stars.


Captain
Roshanara Rahman

Captain’s Log, Stardate 239603.12

We’ve rendezvoused with the USS Solaris and have just entered the Gamma Camelopardalis system. Tetryon radiation limits the range of our sensors, and so far, we have detected nothing beyond the ruins of Astrofori One. Scattered among the wreckage, however, appears to be bits of what remains of a Tholian fleet.


Lieutenant JG
Geoffrey Teller

Ship's Log, Supplemental, Chief Engineer Geoffrey Teller Reporting

It has been two hours since the Tholian attack and the destruction of the Solaris. Our damage control teams continue to mend the ship as the medical staff attend to the wounded from both crews. We haven't seen any sign of Tholian reinforcements yet but the ship remains at yellow alert. The wreckage of the Tholian ships that we've been able to analyze is baffling - many show signs of recent battle damage that we can't account for, and as far as we can tell, not a single one of them was crewed. We haven't been able to locate any Tholian remains in the debris field and the energy signature of the ships themselves doesn't conform to anything our computer recognizes. Further compounding issues is our hitchhiker, the alien probe that has embedded itself in the ship. We've been able to prevent it from further intruding into our systems but all efforts to dislodge it have been fruitless. Engineering and Science teams are setup around the computer core, attempting to analyze and formulate new strategies to excise it. Most of the senior staff is engaged in the effort, along with several officers from the Solaris. Main Engineering has been successfully decontaminated and repair crews are working feverishly to bring the ship back to full readiness before another Tholian attack.


Lieutenant JG
Wil Ukinix

Engineering Officer’s Log

A few hours since the hull was compromised by the mystery prong and we are still wading through diagnostics logs, monitoring displays, raw data and in some cases qubits. The prong keeps building up to regular discharges and we’re not sure why – but we’ve managed to erect a modified containment field around it that also acts as a temporary subspace isolation field, using one of the spare transporter phase discriminators. We’re not sure how long that’s going to last, so we have to move quick and not spend time on things like engineering officer’s logs.


Lieutenant JG
G'var

Security Officer’s Log

After seeing to Commander Moonsong’s injuries, I returned to the Computer Core, our uninvited guest made quit an entrance, tearing itself through two decks and three sections of deck 8 to imbed itself into the bulkhead around the Computer Core. Lt. Ukinix has been running diagnostics and test on the prong along with Lt. Petras and Commander Moonsong, the three have been hard at work trying to decipher all the data they have gathered so far. I’ve posted a Security detail outside as the Prong seems to build to discharge every 21 minutes like clockwork. So far there seems to be no damage occurring, just a short light show. The intruder that infiltrated the Core is still locked away in its partition and has caused no further issues within the Core. So far no one can tell me how to get rid of it. Lt. Petras and Commander Moonsong have been adamant that we cannot eject the core and the CHENG has left it to Lt. Petras’s discretion. Lt. Ukinix and his team have setup a containment field around the prong along with a subspace isolation field using a transporter phase discriminator, a very clever idea, that I’m told should keep any more unwanted guests out of the Core. The Team is moving quickly and I’m confident we will have some real answers very shortly.


Captain
Roshanara Rahman

Captain's Log, Stardate 239604.08

With both the Tholian and Solaris survivors aboard, we are continuing our way further into the system, following the faint signal our sensors are just barely able to decipher through the tetryon interference. As Lieutenant Teller and Lt. Commander Core continue to work on fortifying our ship’s control systems from another attack with their security and science counterparts, the Tholians have been able to provide some more information about this mysterious Starfleet ship that they previously encountered.


Captain
Roshanara Rahman

Captain’s Log, Stardate 239604.16

As we approached the source of the signal, we unexpectedly encountered a lost Starfleet shuttlecraft, apparently ensnared by the same tetryon radiation set off by whatever this defensive system is.

Actually, we now know a great deal more about this system thanks to the work of our engineering and science teams. For one, the technology appears to be Menthar in origin. The Menthar of course were infamous for their traps that could disable entire starships. Second, work by Lieutenant Solak, Dr. MacKenzie, and Lieutenant Ukinix confirms our initial hypothesis that the ships we encountered were salvaged somehow by the system, turned into “Frankenstein” ships as Dr. MacKenzie put it. This makes finding a way to fully destroy them somewhat complicated.

Our engineers, however, led by Lieutenant Teller have come up with a rather ingenious solution to prevent the defense system’s probes from commandeering our own systems again: bombarding the probe with packets of “junk data.” After analyzing the probe’s language parameters, we believe we can adjust the junk data to be even more effective than our initial efforts. After deciphering its language, we’ve also learned the system’s name: Sentinel.

We’re now in orbit of an M-class planet, previously unknown to have existed in the system. The planet has been enveloped in a tetryon field of its own, generated somehow from its core. This kept it invisible even when Astrofori One was in operation.

We’ve identified what appears to be Menthar ruins on the surface, and I’ve asked Commander Wynter, with his expertise in archaeology and anthropology, to lead an away team to the planet to find Sentinel’s control center and shut it down.


Lieutenant JG
Wil Ukinix

Engineering Officer’s Log, Stardate 239604.16

It’s been an interesting trip to the Menthar corridor. The USS Solaris was lost; there was a probe with that wanted to get it on with our computer core; and then there’s the ship debris that has been seemingly patched back together to become operational, aggressive ships once again. Apparently, not only were the Menthar inventive and resourceful in battle, they were fanatical about recycling.

After scanning mounds of debris in the Science lab, we’ve discovered that the re-assembled ships are put back together for one purpose – combat. They are re-assembled to be expendable. Commander Kelrod discovered that this kind of “Frankenstein” reassembly of ships has been done before, except this time the assembly is much more precise.

Lieutenant Teller led the charge for coming up with a potential counter measure for the probe – a bunch of rubbish data to throw at it. We also learnt that apparently that the probe has a name for itself, and I was most disappointed to find out it wasn’t “Prongy” – it is, in fact “Sentinel”.

We’re currently in orbit around a tetryon blanketed planet. Chief Teller’s down there as part of an away team, leaving me to run with Engineering. We also have a new Ensign joining Engineering. Fingers crossed we don’t see any action while we effect system repairs. Despite the Menthar’s fanaticism for sustainable practices, I don’t think anyone is keen to see the Veritas recycled – particularly while the crew is still on it.

By the way, I apologise for the ongoing refuse related analogies in my log, but I am a “trash panda” after all. Apparently.


Lieutenant JG
G'var

Security/Tactiacl Officer’s Log, Stardate 239604.17

After a long day in the Engineering lab, My Team and I didn’t come away with many solutions to our puzzle in dealing with our Guest in the Storage core or the Prong. Commander Moonsong and Lieutenant Petras were able to decode its language however and we learned the name of our friend, “Sentinel” We also streamlined our plan for a “Junk Bomb”, a data packet stuffed with useless data that hopefully will distract the program with so much Esoteric Trivia that we can delay it long enough to shift it to another partition.

Thanks to Lieutenant Ukinix and his team, we now know that the enemy we are facing is Mentharian in origin. Commander Moonsong has dubbed the ships we have fought as “Frankenstein” ships, as they are cobbled together from the Hulls and pieces of ships destroyed in the Corridor, and used as Drones of some type to defend a long lost Civilization from intruders. Research has shown that the Menthar were well known for their traps. Seeing as how the technology is based on piecing together whatever it can to form a Ship, we will need to be thorough in dealing with the debris afterwards.

With the help of the Tholians we were able to locate a signal and the destination of where Sentinel planned to send the data it had collected from our Computer. Following it we have arrived at an M-class planet that has previously been undiscovered. A blanket of tetryon radiation surrounds the Planet and has prevented it from being found, even though it was in Astrofori One’s backyard. As we approached the Planet we encountered a lost shuttlecraft that become stuck in the tetryon radiation belt.

The Captain had ordered a Scan of the surface and we have located what appears to be the ruins of several ancient Mentharian structures. The Captain has tasked Commader Wynter to lead an away team to the surface to locate Sentinel’s Command and Control Center and shut it down.