Dark Frontiers Story Arc Timeline
Almost sixty years since Starfleet's last significant push in The Wastelands region, the colonies and bases along the border with the wastelands lay neglected, no Starfleet vessel having been nearby in almost a decade prior to the assignment of the starships Brier-Ridge and Charleston in May 2389.
But whilst the Federation have been negotiating with the Alrakis Pact for more time to explore the Inconnu Expanse, Pact vessels have secretly made inroads into the now desolate region known as the Wastelands. Upon receiving intelligence regarding Pact activities in this unexplored territory and faced with the prospect of losing ground in this modern day space race, Starfleet dispatches an initial Task Group to the Wastelands to make contact with those worlds closest to their borders and to expand the Federation’s sphere of influence once again, whilst preventing the Pact from doing the same.
Starbase 214 suddenly becomes an integral cog in the fleets newest area of operations as a mysterious foe and Pact movements threaten the border region of Federation space. A four ship Task Group, consisting of the starships Adriatic, Nogura, Odyssey and the Roehampton is soon assigned to provide some additional safety and security...
Stardate 66382.53: May 20th, 2389 – Mission Day 135
See main article: War Crimes.
- Fifteen days after the events that saw the loss of the USS Ulysses, the escape of Monhok, the death of Nathan Hunter and the betrayal of Thalek th’Zorati, an inquest by the Judge Advocate General hears the testimony and evidence of countless personnel from both starships and beyond. It is soon clear that a catalogue of errors led up to the events of stardate 66342.34.
- Admiral Sitak finds that, after looking at the evidence, the failure of the slipstream drive aboard the Ulysses was precipitated by an act of sabotage that could not have been foreseen. Captain Drayton, in her opinion, rendered aide to a fellow Starfleet crew in a bid to capture a terrorist, a man who would have put many more lives at risk, and in doing so, risked his ship and crew in the defence of the Federation.
- Sitak, most uncharacteristically, apologises to the crew of the Nogura for them being placed in an extremely volatile situation through no fault of their own. She acknowledged the catalogue of errors relating to the appointment of Thalek th’Zorati and, had never been in command, then none of the subsequent events would have occurred. In a volley of fire aimed at the superiors of the Task Force, Sitak states that the negligence of said superiors put the ship and crew at risk whilst also confirming her respect for the Commander’s attempts to apprehend the Andorian.
- Sitak shocks the room with a sudden betrayal of Starfleet Intelligence; she reveals that at the start of the Consortium surge, then Captain Nathan Hunter was assigned to Starfleet Intelligence as an operative. He would later, as part of his cover, be granted command of the Nogura. During his first mission in command of the Nogura, Hunter was deemed to be a traitor and a Consortium agent. In truth, he was an undercover asset for Starfleet Intelligence. The Vulcan reveals that it was unclear when the Captain truly fell under the Consortium spell and whilst he did commit crimes, it is so often the case with undercover assets that they find themselves either believing in the cause of the very people they were sent to ensnare or having to carry out unspeakable acts to maintain their cover.
- Sitak claims that there had been many claims about his actions, often with little more than circumstantial evidence, but it was her belief that in the days prior to his death, the old Nathan Hunter began to resurface. He provided evidence to bring down the downfall of Consortium agents and was playing a key role in the apprehension of a known asset. At a time when he was provided with both a means of escape and the means to kill again, Hunter rejected both. In doing so, he gave his life, once again, in service to the Federation. It was her official recommendation that his record be restored and he no longer be considered a traitor, branding him a “lone Starfleet Officer who, at some point, seemingly lost his way.” before adding that he eventually found his way home again.
- In closing, Sitak’s judgement was that both Drayton and Neprem were to be cleared of any wrongdoing in relation to the loss of the Ulysses, the death of Nathan Hunter and the escape of the Consortium agents, adding that it was but it was her belief that none of the incidents were entirely preventable and certainly not by an officer propelled to command after the betrayal of her commanding officer, nor an officer suffering the loss of his starship. Sitak declared that no charges of any kind would be brought.
- Following the inquest, Neprem and Drayton meet with Admiral Zachary O’Connell of Task Force 72. He offers Drayton command of the Nogura and together, the two officers seek to start a fresh chapter in the history of the ship and crew by not returning to the Gamma Quadrant and the ghosts of the past.
- Later and back on the ship during their discussions about crew replacements, an explosion rocks the Nogura and critically injures the ships Chief Engineer, Lieutenant Meibei zh'Khessi. Drayton orders an evacuation of all non-essential personnel as engineering leads a sweep of the ship for any other affected systems.
- Lieutenant Commander Cordelia Millarini (seconded to the ship to oversee the completion of the Quantum Slipstream Drive installation) works with Master Chief Andrea Cater to ascertain the cause of the explosion. Together, the two find evidence of a cloaked explosive and lead a search of the ship for further explosive devices.
- Meanwhile, Captain Drayton wrestles with a potentially deadly decision – should he have the doctors wake up the Chief Engineer in order to learn what she had found out prior to the explosion?
- It soon transpires that several small cloaked devices are responsible for the explosion and, after analysis, it is determined they were also responsible for the catastrophic slipstream failure on the Ulysses, linking all their previous events together. What greater force is at work?
- The ship is swept from bow to stern using engineers from the Starbase to search for any more of the devices and, when satisfied the ship is safe, Captain Drayton allows his crew to return to the Nogura and commence with repairs, whilst also authorizing Commander Millarini to finalize the installation of the Slipstream Drive.
- Just over a week later, Slipstream trials have been successful and Drayton considers the active use of the system. Commander Millarini agrees to remain on board whilst Lieutenant zh'Khessi fully recovers from her injuries, but the Nogura says goodbye to some very esteemed guests as Vice Admiral Hanson and his family depart for Bajor.
Stardate 66414.83: June 1st, 2389 – Mission Day 146
See main article: Into the Fire.
- With the Nogura having successfully departed Starbase 72, Admiral O’Connell reassigned the crews previous mission and now they have a welcome change of pace headed their way – exploration. True exploration. Granted, it is in an unknown region, and granted it would be under the ever watchful gaze of a new alliance known as the Alrakis Pact, but the ship would still be able to explore the area as she carried out other missions of vital importance over the coming weeks.
- A holo-transmission from the USS Odyssey and Captain Eren Utaazi causes a change in orders for the Nogura.
- Slated to meet the USS Adriatic in the Iadora system, Starfleet has ordered the Odyssey to rendezvous with Nogura, the Adriatic and the USS Roehampton just outside of the Penthara System, at Starbase 214.
- The threat of the Alrakis Pact has grown significantly. Whatever the reason for this alliance, two of their ships were destroyed by an unknown presence in the unclaimed territories of The Wastelands less than two weeks previously. Whoever the aggressors were, one of their ships then bested the starships Brier-Ridge and Charleston in a skirmish.
- The unknown aggressors were reported to appear "out of the blue, without warning, before simply disappearing into the night... like ghosts!"
- Drayton authorised the use of the Quantum Slipstream Drive to meet up with the Task Group in the Penthara System.
- Utilizing the time wisely, Captain Drayton brings his crew up to speed on the situation in the Wastelands and has some of his key personnel begin to analyse sensor readings from the combat situations whilst he read up on the Alrakis Pact.
- Meanwhile, Starbase 214 has been monitoring a build up of Pact vessels entering the Wastelands on a heading of 1-9-9-Mark-87. Unable to determine what it is the Pact vessels are investigating, they contact Starfleet Command to appraise them of the developing situation as Pact vessels begin to go missing and the armada scatters, worrying Captain Tora Gral enough to contact the Nogura Task Group directly.
- Nogura receives a transmission from the starbase with worrying sensor readings. Captain Drayton orders an immediate adjustment of the ships course, heading directly for the Starbase whilst ordering the rest of the ships in the Task Group (not equipped with Quantum Slipstream Drive) to rendezvous at the station ASAP.
- Nogura and her Battlegroup arrive at Starbase 214 to begin resupply and refit and monitor the threat of the Alrakis Pact, but strange signals from within The Wastelands worry Captain Drayton. Sensors later confirm the readings to be the formation of a Borg Transwarp Conduit.
- The Battlegroup promptly leaves the Starbase to find a way to close the conduit before Borg vessels arrive in the Alpha Quadrant. Upon arrival at the conduit, the group attempt an audacious plan to seal the conduit using their main deflectors, but are unable to prevent three vessels from reaching the alpha quadrant.
- The Battle of the Wastelands ensues.
- The Adriatic is lost shortly after the Captain gives orders to abandon ship. The Odyssey begins to take on escape pods before being ordered out of the combat zone.
- Nogura is boarded by Borg drones who exhibit some strange tactics. Drayton and Neprem lead anti-boarding actions, but both are killed in the resulting operations. Lieutenant Commander Zar takes command, whilst Captain Desai-Scott of the Roehampton assumes command of the Battlegroup.
- Faced with the prospect of more Borg vessels reaching the Federation, Desai-Scott orders Roehampton to be evacuated, her survivors joining the Nogura whilst she takes her ship into the conduit. Faced with no other option, she destroys the ship and implodes the conduit for hundreds of lightyears, destroying all Borg vessels within it. Desai-Scott is beamed out at the last second by the Nogura, but Commander Juros Brenn gives his life to ensure the success of the task.
- With the battle over for now, Nogura limps to its next destination whilst Desai-Scott, with permission from Starfleet Command, assumes command of the Nogura.