We have completed our shakedown cruise three days earlier than planned. I am declaring U.S.S. Ksenia Solo fully mission capable. She is extremely responsive, and has performed every test in the shakedown manual at a minimum of 5% above the standard baseline. I have recommended to Admirals Norman, Lawford, and Will that the shipbuilding contingent at the 101st Starbase be given a formal commendation for their performance in building Ksenia Solo so far above requirements and even above expectations.
Our weapons performance was nearly off the chart, topping the best that we ever got out either USS Daddario or USS Gunfighter, two very formidable vessels, by over 30%. We are, to quote an ancient Earth cliche, “a lean, mean, fighting machine.” The majority of our crew has reported aboard at this time and we will be stopping by Earth to pick up the remainder. While there will be some familiar faces outside of my bridge crew, I expect the majority of the crew to be unfamiliar. Guess I’ll have to make another first impression on the ship.
Tensions with the Undine have skyrocketed while we’ve been out conducting tests so my staff and I have begun researching their history more in-depth and refreshing ourselves with their tactical tendencies.
Computer- End Recording
It is with a heavy heart I must report the deaths of Lt. Commander Stacie Wampler, my Chief of Operations, Ensign Kurt Freyermuth, Crewman Mohammed Cahela, and Crewman Delza Islob from our ship’s tactical assault team. They were killed during our rescue mission to Kessik IV in the Gamma Orionis sector. Our forces had lost contact with a research team on a planet under siege by the Borg and we were ordered to investigate.
The planet had been assimilated by a Borg nano-virus and we were attempting to rescue the small contingent of Starfleet researchers. We were salvaging data from Dr. Eric Cooper’s mainframe, deep in the heart of an assimilated area of what used to be his lab. We had completed the data download and were beginning our fighting withdraw back to the force fields at the lab entrance. The download must have tagged us has hostile threats as our path getting to the data console was relatively easy, but our retrograde was being met with heavy resistance. I ordered more security personnel to beam down in order to hold our critical left flank against a growing number of Borg. Ensign Freyermuth and his team were unable to rotate their weapon frequencies fast enough and the Borg adapted to them. Crewman Cahela was killed outright, followed shortly by Ensign Freyermuth who was trying to save his teammate. My data retrieval team passed their checkpoint and I ordered them to fall back with us, but the order came too late. Islob was wounded and moving slowly, falling behind the rest of us as more and more Borg flooded into the area. She was probably 50 meters behind us when Stacie Wampler turned back to retrieve her. She had just made it to Crewman Islob’s position when a large group of approximately 20 Borg beamed in between our two groups, cutting them off.
Transporters were unusable due to a localized damping field. 20 Borg stood between the two of them and the 4 of us in my group. We could not rotate our frequencies fast enough to counter all of the drones attacking us and we were forced to hand-to-hand combat using the bladed weapons most of us carried. Three Borg plunged the bone saws on their prostheses into Crewman Islob’s back and she gave the most blood-curdling scream. Stacie kept trying to drag her away from the drones while fighting them off but was unable to do either effectively. Islob was gone and Wampler was unable to rotate her rifle’s settings effectively while still trying to save the body. My team had almost fought our way back to Stacie’s location when the unthinkable happened. Three Borg simultaneously pierced her with injection tubules which we could have counteracted, but a fourth drone stabbed her through the neck and she was gone. The number of drones was rapidly approaching an overwhelming number and the four of us that remained were forced to simply run. We made it back to the lab entrance with the data that Dr. Cooper needed to counteract the Borg nano-virus, but our hearts were heavy and we were all still in shock
Losing one of my senior officers and my friend in such a violent fashion while we were so close to reaching her, it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to witness. Worse even than losing so many crew members on the Gunfighter all those months ago, though not by much. Memorial services were held two hours ago. I did not have a chance to meet the security team prior to being assigned this mission, as most of our crew is very new but they all had friends who spoke fondly of them. I have endured the loss of crew members before, and it is as hateful a thing as I had experienced until losing one of my senior officers, someone I’d served with, counseled, been advised by, and befriended. To this point, despite everything we’ve gone through against the Borg, Klingons, Voth, and everyone else, we had never had a casualty amongst the command staff. We’ve had people leave, but it’s always under happier circumstances, new assignment, a command position. It’s quite devastating but I have to stay strong for the crew’s sake, as well as for the sake of my other senior officers. Starfleet Personnel Division has notified that we will be receiving an Orion exchange officer as a replacement Operations officer, a Lieutenant Danzi Lire but I don’t envy her having to step into a situation like this. I pray that we will get the chance to deal with this tragedy between missions, but I’m not holding my breath. Our counseling staff will be quite busy for the foreseeable future. There are many matters still to attend to, such as notifying next of kin, and packing up personal belongings for shipment home. Rest in Peace my friend.