The Final Mission (Independence)
- Date begun: 238304.25
- Date ended: 238309.26
It would easy to look at the conflict that arose between Starfleet and the Gorn Hegemony beginning in late June as the final mission the USS Independence embarked on, but the roots and events preceding the outbreak are the starting point for what would chronicle the beginning of the ship’s four year run end.
On stardate 238304.25, the USS Independence was rerouted to retrieve a fallen observation probe orbiting an inhabited planet called Groen Klei, consisting of a pre-warp civilivation. The goal of the probe was a first step to the establishment of an anthropological observation post. Twenty-four hours after the signal was lost, DS17 launched a probe to determine the location.
It was proven the original observation probe fell into a decaying orbit and crash-landed on the planet, sparking controversy among the inhabitants about the origins and function of the technology. The USS Independence was dispatched to penetrate and retrieve the parts of the probe, which proved during the course of the mission to have far reaching implications.
A Free Trade Union (FTU) ship had been found within the orbit, which on later contact had been determined was hired by an unknown party to retrieve the probe from the planet’s surface. The conflict over retrieving the probe nearly led up to a violation of the Prime Directive, which was narrowly avoided. But the implications were clear, that some foreign body was collecting research on Starfleet technology.
But it was the event on stardate 238306.01, when Gorn ships engaged a ship of unknown type (later to be identified as the USS Achilles) while firing on a smuggler ship proved to be a precursor to the outbreak, along with with a communications breakdown as the government of the Gorn suffered a dramatic change. Details of the actual events within the Confederacy are not known, but on stardate 2383.0614, the Gorn struck inside the Furies Furnace at one of the FTU asteroid base installations.
The USS Independence, along with the FTS Marauder, joined in the fray in what became the first skirmish between the Independence and the Gorn, resulting in heavy casualty and damage to the ship. It barely made it out of the Furies as other Starfleet vessels (such as USS Ursa Major and USS Triumphant) were engaging the Armada elsewhere. But the intended target of the Gorn Invasion became crystal sharp:
Starfleet’s DS17 installation in the Eratis System.
Admiral Jessa Kyrn Anassasi promptly left with a shuttle, taking a part of the crew with her, to return to the starbase and prepare its defense while Commander Idril Mar remained with the Independence and the rest of the crew.
What followed was one of the most brutal campaigns in The Battle for DS17, encompassing the efforts of the USS Ursa Major, the USS Triumphant, the USS Independence among the forerunners of the Federation Fleet rerouted to meet the Gorn Armada. It was the combined efforts of the Fleet along with a last minute treaty wrangled that stopped the onslaught, but not soon enough.
On stardate 238309.26, Commander Idril Mar, in the final moments on orders to take out the Gorn flagship, the Emperor’s Fang, was left with a crippled USS Independence that was redirected to collide. Both ships, both the Emperor’s Fang and the USS Independence, were destroyed in the impact. The crew abandoned ship and were picked up the surrounding Starfleet vessels.
DS17 didn’t fare as well, despite the announcement the war against Starfleet was at an end. In the last moments, the remainder of the Gorn Assault Forces that penetrated the Starbase took on an all-out effort to storm Operations, where the rest of the Independence crew, along with DS17 personnel, were able to successfully defend the facility, resulting in massive casualty including severely injuring several of the crew, as well as Admiral Anassasi herself.
With the ship lost, the Independence crew has temporarily taken operations of DS17 where they wait for what lies ahead, where they will go, and what their new home will be.