Stranded on Ambrosia (Columbia)
After a shore leave at Starbase 118, the Columbia is ready to depart towards her next mission: test a new propulsion system based on Iconian technology, which in theory shall be able to fold space to allow instant jump between two points in different galaxies. Because of the extremely dangerous conditions, Starfleet Command has decided that the Columbia shall leave all civilian and surplus officers at the Starbase, and operate only with a skeleton crew of 70 crewmembers... Since energy requirements are great, only but a starship of a Nebula Class size can generate enough power to run the experiment.
The ship arrives to a remote desitination after six day of travel ready to begin the experiment. The Iconian artifact has been jury rigged to the Columbia by way of Orion technology. The experiment begins with sucess when a wormhole is created. The Columbia moves into the rupture, with the destination having been established as a point on the other side of the Romulan Empire.
The new propulsion system based on Iconian technology failed during a test because of a fatal interaction between unexpected chronitons generated from the artifact and the anti-chroniton shield placed for Lt.Cmdr. Anderson's safety, to prevent timeline incursions destined to end his life. As a result, the Columbia's engineering and science crew aborted the experiment, bringing the ship prematurely out of the artificial wormhole to prevent the ship's destruction.
With structural integrity heavily taxed, the captain ordered all hands to abandon ship via escape pods and head towards Ambrosia, the nearest M-class planet.
Lt. T'Lea managed to shield the escape pods from the wormhole with Columbia while Lt.Cmdr. Moranta initiated the computer's lock out. After abandoning ship, Columbia was absorbed again back into the wormhole, with all five exo-comp units attemting to disconnect the new engine. Due to Ambrosia's atmospheric ionic charge which renders inoperative all kind of self powered technology, all pods arrived to different coordinates of the same small continent. After finding some shelter to spend the night away from the unwelcoming planet, the crew is working in reuniting with the rest of the pod's personnel, and in the interim search for a way out of Ambrosia or send a distress signal.
While providing a possible way of sending a distress signal, the recent discovery of the abandoned Tantalus Complex on Ambrosia's surface has uncovered a failed, long forgotten experiment laying dormant. While Lt.Cmdrs. Anderson and Soul with a group of engineers from the Columbia restored main power, Lt. T'Lea discovered one of the underground laboratories still functional.
Doctor Franks, Lt.jg. Dickens and Ensign Ramirez managed to extricate one humanoid lifeform of unknown race out of the only working stasis tube before the unit completely failed, and carried him to a nearby science lab with medical equipment... The presence of other species (Vulcan, Klingon, Cardassian, etc.) in other stasis tubes made it a top priority to investigate the purpose the original researchers had.
To that effect, and after a failed attempt to retrieve more data on the nature of these experiments from the science lab computers, Lt. Cmdr. C'elest Moranta and Lt. T'Lea headed for the computer's central core, located in annother adjacent building of the complex. On their trip, they discovered Lt. Zubowskivich extremely agitated and only after he was calmed they learned Captain Mal Avatar and other crewmembers of the Columbia were also inside the complex. With the assistance of an ancient railway vehicle, Moranta, T'Lea and Zubowskivich were about to travel to the other building when they found Lt. Alexander, also very confused... The events have begun to suggest that something very wrong might be influencing them all..
The situation has become more difficult within the Tantalus Complex as the Ethereal Creatures that reside that have wreaked havoc among the Columbia's crews mind. Using their highly advanced mental capabilities, these creatures have been able to take control over several of the Columbia crew including Captain Avatar. Some of the Columbia crew including Lt. Cmdr. Moranta, Lt. T'Lea, and Lt. Keldon have been able to regain control of their minds using strong mental techniques. Meanwhile Ensign Ramirez has been able to retain control by not falling asleep despite tremendous exhaustion. This was determined to be significant because the Ethereals are able to gain control while a humanoid sleeps and dreams.
Because Captain Avatar's mind was compromised, Commander Moranta was forced to take command of the crew on the planet's surface and relieve him of command. Moranta ordered the destruction of part of the complex in order to stop the Ethereal's experiments. The stopping of the experiments was successful, but the Ethereal still remain a threat and the Columbia remains out of reach and to the knowledge of the Columbia crew, perhaps destroyed.
However, the Columbia was not destroyed by the artificial wormhole experiment. Instead, she was found adrift approximately 11 light years from the Tantalus Complex on Ambrosia. The ship was in the process of being repaired, despite a life support failure, by Lt. Cmdr. Anderson's series of exo-comps. The exo-comps were starting to make headway on repairs when a group of Ferengi declared salvage rights to the Columbia. The exo-comps were successful in putting down the Ferengi claim but were also able to get them to assist in repair efforts.
Meanwhile, the Stonebridge, an Akira Class ship has been dispatched to search for the missing Columbia. After the experiment ended, the Columbia was unable to report back to Starbase 118 as to their status. With no radio contact for several days, the Stonebridge has begun a search. The new Columbia Chief Operations Officer, Lieutenant Drake Barlow is currently leading a group of Columbia personnel not aboard the ship during the experiment, to help in locating their missing ship.
With the Columbia crew stranded on the planet Ambrosia and with several under the control of an Ethereal force, the situation has looked grim to return to the ship. Fortunately for the crew, Lieutenant Commander Anderson's series of exo-comps have been successful in repairing the ship to a point where they have entered into orbit around Ambrosia. Despite an attempt by a group of Ferengi on board to take the ship, the exo-comps indentured the Ferengis as engineers and ultimately thwarted a further Ferengi attempt to loot the ship.
On the surface, the crew was successful in negotiating with the Ethereals. Captain Avatar used a series of lucid dreams in order to place the Columbia crew in a better position to bargain. Commander Moranta was successful in learning of two separate groups of Ethereals with conflicting plans. One group was insistent on continuing an experiment at all costs to return the Ethereal to a solid form while the other would rather discontinue further experiments to prevent any further harm to other lifeforms. A compromise was reached where the Ethereals would create a symbiotic relationship with the primitive Ambrosian natives on the planet. One of the native girls would be brought back to Trill in order to learn how to deal with a two part mind.
With the Columbia in orbit of Ambrosia, the survivors of Columbia were beamed aboard to find the ship badly damaged, but functional. Unfortunately upon arrival on the ship, the crew quickly learned that they were deep inside Romulan space and that the only way out would be through a dangerous area of unguarded space known as the Bogon Beltway. This area of space connects to areas of Federation space that are not separated from Romulan space by a Neutral Zone, but passage is treacherous considering the large number of scavengers and other troublemakers.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Barlow has embarked on his own mission with a handful of Columbia personnel who did not participate in the initial experiment. Barlow's mission was to use an alien freighter that could traverse into Romulan space without a problem. Once inside, they located the Columbia and are now in pursuit waiting for the right time to lend a helping hand.