Captain’s Log – U.S.S. Righetti
It feels like it’s been ages since the last time I was able to update my log properly with anything other than terse combat reports and basic situation reports. I feel like I’m compiling 6-months’ worth of reports into one entry. If you were unlucky enough to draw the short straw in entering data for this report, I offer my apologies. Please bear with me, there is much to cover.
The situation with the Vaadwaaur lasted for several months and thousands of lives were lost on both side of the conflict. Starfleet was forced to fight multiple defensive actions while we established a beachhead of sorts into the Delta Quadrant. Between the actions of many 101st Fleet captains, and efforts at Fleet Command from specialists like Admiral Tuvok, Seven of Nine and Captain Harry Kim, we were eventually able to forge a relatively stable alliance between Starfleet, the Talaxians, the Kobali, Borg Cooperative, and even more unpredictable species like the Hazari and Kazon. I was asked to infiltrate a Vaadwaur facility with Seven of Nine’s help where we learned the facts behind the Vaadwaur’s rapid rise to power and the reason they were suddenly so aggressive. Their high command structure had been thoroughly infiltrated by the neural parasites that Starfleet and Captain Picard had encountered in 2364.
Though that incident occurred 17 years before I, Lujayne, had been born, the Elea part of me had been a symbiont in an exobiologist working back on Trill. Starfleet had published a classified “Eyes Only” report to all starship captains and a select group of qualified researchers. Lorent Elea spent several months looking into the biology of the parasites as part of a think tank. Lorent’s team completely mapped the parasite’s genome but they were unable to ascertain the species’ origin, other than it differed from any species on record.
After Starfleet learned of the parasite’s role as the driving force in the Vaadwaur we were able to send small teams to drive the parasites from their hosts. In the initial stages of development I helped ensure that the new devices used to exorcise the parasites would not affect any of Starfleet’s joined Trill members, uncommon though we are. It wouldn’t do to have symbionts and hosts dying due to unforeseen consequences. Starfleet Medical conducted initial testing and my staff, Commander Cyphert and Lt. Cdr Mouja, confirmed that because of the different methods the symbionts and parasites bond with their hosts, the symbionts would be unaffected. One fewer thing to worry about.
Starfleet, and 101st Fleet specifically, conducted a multi-pronged assault which purged the infected Vaadwaur leadership and allowed them to save many of the infected. The Delta Alliance withdrew after we confirmed that all parasites had been removed and allowed the Vaadwaur to install a new government of their own choosing. The Kobali halted converting Vaadwaur they had found in stasis and are currently in negotiations to deliver the serviceable pods back into Vaadwaur hands in exchange for cessation of all hostilities and re-establishment of previous interstellar borders. For all intents and purposes the Delta Quadrant has returned to a place of relative quiet and stability… or at least as stable as it’s ever going to get.
With this second, far more effective, appearance by the parasites Starfleet mandated research into their origins as a top priority. Lt. Cdr Mouja and Dr. Exil spearheaded the Righetti’s efforts, with significant assistance from Lt. (JG) R’rarj. R’rarj, due to his promotion, was given access to a higher level of intelligence reports which allowed our team to extrapolate various possibilities of the parasites’ origins. We cross-referenced our theories against comparative projects other 101st Fleet ships were making. The science departments on the U.S.S. Sarajevo, U.S.S. Lancaster, and U.S.S. Beowulf helped significantly, logically eliminating or strengthening the dozen+ theories that we had come up with. In the end though it was an inadvertent science confab between Righetti, Admiral Ellic’s U.S.S. Triad, and Admiral Aaron’s U.S.S. Zuikaku.
The Fleet was in orbit over Risa to attend Starfleet’s annual status update conference, which we all know means 10 minutes of report briefings and two weeks of powerboard surfing, floater piloting, and relaxing on the beach. My crew and I were hosting a social gathering aboard Righetti, when Dr. Exil overheard an offhand comment from Zuikaku’s first officer Commander Joros regarding hoping to spend less time with the Admiralty than the Elachi spend in our dimension when they attack. This started him thinking about the possibility of a link between the Elachi, Solanae, and the Bluegill parasites. Eventually he enlisted members from multiple 101st science departments in his strategy meetings. This drastically cut into their recreation time but they made significant progress, given that our Fleet starbase’s research facilities were offline due to ongoing construction. Through their combined efforts they formulated a theory that no 101st ship’s staff was able to disprove. Admiral Aaron forwarded our findings to Starfleet Science and Starfleet Intelligence.
Admiral Will gave us our marching orders and the Righetti was temporarily detached from the rest of 101st Fleet to pursue this theory. We spent the next few months operating in a small task force with Captain Kayliee Acicle’s U.S.S. Daddario and Romulan Admiral Kenzi’s warbird R.R.W. Ksenia chasing down leads and running experiments. Our initial elation and certainty in our theory slowly gave way to doubt and skepticism as experiment after lead after experiment went without success.
Starfleet also began conducting the same subspace experiments they did back in 2366 aboard the Enterprise with the goal of pushing the subspace bubble into their dimension rather than allowing them to push into ours. It wasn’t long until they made their presence felt, deeply involved with Sela. We learned that the Elachi are foot soldiers for the Iconians, the front line troops for this mysterious race we know little about. They had captured many Alpha, Beta, and Delta quadrant species and were conducting more experiments on them. Upon her rescue Sela escaped, but returned to show us what she had learned as a captive of the Elachi, namely the horrible introduction to a race or races of Iconian servitors called The Heralds. The Iconians have an ancient Dyson Sphere full of ships. Full. Of. Ships. So many ships that they blot out the sun. I’ve faced the Borg more times than I can count. I’ve faced Klingon battle fleets, survived sneak attacks by Romulan flotillas, travelled in time to eras where one misstep could alter the course of history. In Elea’s three centuries of living, I have never beheld such a sight in my life. Thousands upon thousands upon thousands of ships, with the plainly stated intent to eradicate all ‘unworthy’ species in the galaxy. The sight was staggering; I almost lost hope then and there. There were more Iconian ships in that one sphere than all the navies of the Alpha quadrant powers combined. Thankfully Lt. Cdr Fyrsuk had the presence of mind to wrench me from the sight and we successfully escaped. Commander Yalal filed our report to Starfleet as I retired to my ready room to meditate on what we’d witnessed.
We set course for 101st Fleet’s new Delta Quadrant research platform and I sat and thought about all we’d been through over the past several years. The war with the Klingons that killed untold thousands. The Elachi razing worlds and devastating colonies. The Solanae stealing people from their homes and beds to conduct their cruel medical experiments on. The use of Bluegill parasites to drive the Vaadwaur into attacking the Delta Quadrant, killing tens of thousands. Starfleet Intelligence has compiled “Captain’s Eyes Only” reports that weave the puzzle pieces together. We’ve learned that all of these conflicts were instigated in some part by the Iconians. And now the Iconians themselves make their appearance into our space and resume the killing firsthand. This will not stand. According to the computer I was in my ready room for nearly 16 hours, but any uncertainty I felt was burnt away by my anger at these intruders. How many more people must die due to these Iconian bastards?
The war began several weeks ago. It has not gone well for anyone in the Alpha Quadrant. The Iconians were ancient before most life in our quadrant even existed, and their Heralds benefit from that technology. Starfleet has lost dozens of ships. In mere days our casualties approach levels not seen since the low-water mark of the Dominion War. Q’onos and New Romulus have both narrowly repulsed attacks. At best we fight delaying actions to allow for maximum evacuation. Captain Paris and his daughter Miral lead a small, highly mobile force called Delta Flight. The Righetti has assisted Detla Flight task forces on several missions of high importance, alongside other 101st ships. We’ve avoided serious damage to this point, but we’ve taken a few shots that have ‘rung our bell’, to use an old Earth colloquialism.
The war goes so poorly that Starfleet is currently working with the Krenim to develop a temporal ship which can erase elements from history. I admit, things do look worse than we’ve ever seen before, but this time ship strikes me as madness. Even during the height of the Borg threat we did not consider constructing such weapons of mass destruction. It may even be worse than the thalaron weapon Shinzon developed. The research team at the new 101st labs has been ordered to assist in any way possible. The Righetti’s tactical staff, led by the XO, is conducting daily strategy sessions with their counterparts on other 101st Fleet ships. As of yet Yalal has nothing significant to report. I wrack my mind for answers that would keep us from having to develop this terrible weapon, but even with my experience nothing I come up with seems to work. My crew is more determined than ever, but the Alliance’s defeats have our morale faltering. Things cannot continue as they have or there will be nothing in the galaxy left to save. The Iconians have come this far, they will go no further.
*sigh* Now I just have to figure out how to make that happen.
Computer end recording and save log.