Stardate: 141212

Astraios Colony Commander's Log, 
Location: Astraios Colony

Just finished another media scrum. Answered questions on the Klingon Pegh situation, what occurred and why. Again. But I was able to focus most of the interest on the news that our mission to explore the Galactic Core has begun in earnest. Three UFS ships, USS Hideki Yukawa (Nova), USS Warrior (Defiant) and USS Trinidad (Sabre), arrived at the Great Barrier some time past. After resting and recalibrating instruments, the Yukawa and Warrior set course into the Barrier. We received a signal from Trinidad - which sits on the outskirts of the Barrier, monitoring communications - to say that the two vessels were in good shape and heading further into the Core.

I rather envy them. It's a new frontier. Only our newest technology in engine design and shielding makes this possible. Yet it's still a perilous journey....

On the homefront, we have dropped DefStat from 2 to 3 now it appears the revenge of the Pegh members associated with M'Reh has ended with the destruction of a warbird on the outskirts of our system.

We had a lovely ceremony this past weekend, congratulating our new graduates from Academy, announcing promotions and awards... followed by a great Christmas dance with many from the local community as well as other planets. I was very pleased and it seems everyone had a great time.

Hard to believe another year is almost done. In January, it will be five years since I first set foot on Astraios. So much has happened in that time... but we are still here, despite the naysayers and the desertions, the attacks and the conflicts, we have survived due to the spirit of those who serve here... and the friendship of the native Astraionians.

Now paperwork is done, time for a cup of Earl Grey and some time at my piano. I am not very good at it, but I try.

Starfleet Reports: Message from Galactic Core

141212: [3RG AC Skynews] .... Two UFS ships have successfully crossed the Great Barrier and are now moving towards the Galactic Core, a Starfleet spokesman said today. “The Nova class USS Hideki Yukawa and Defiant class USS Warrior entered the Barrier two days ago and were able to transmit a signal to the USS Trinidad, Sabre class, which awaits them outside the core,” said Fleet Captain Poison Toocool. She went on to say that it’s only recent advances in shielding, engine design and other technologies which makes this exploration feasible. She declined to answer questions with regard to the purpose of the mission, other than to state that scientific curiosity is the mandate of Starfleet. She added: “The crews of all three ships are in good health and good spirits. We applaud their courage and wish them well on the remainder of their journey.”

Battle on the Bridge

[3RG AC Skynews] .... A Starfleet ship was boarded by rogue Klingons during a skirmish on the outskirts of the system last Sunday. Damage to the vessel was severe enough to allow an enraged revenge killer to reach the bridge and attack the officer commanding the vessel before being shot dead on the scene. Starfleet officials declined to comment further, but sources close to colony command say the confrontation was initiated by Klingons loyal to M’Reh, the former ambassador to the Astraionian Council for the Klingon Pegh. M’Reh disappeared into a spatial rift after firing an illegal weapon in the Astraios System some weeks ago.

Tensions have been high between the remaining Pegh representatives and Starfleet. The Pegh blame Fleet Captain Poison Toocool for M’Reh’s banishment from the Council and Astraios. This latest attempt to enter the Astraios system was foiled by the Argonaut, which, in spite of heavy damage, lost no crew in the exchange. Sources say a battle cruiser was destroyed and the remainder of the Klingon boarding party was captured by security before they could infiltrate any other sensitive areas of the intrepid class vessel.

In a brief statement, Toocool commended Commander Genny7 Markus and the Argonaut crew for their actions. “Make no mistake,” Toocool added, “the Argonaut only fired when fired upon. If they had not acted quickly, the consequences for Astraios Prime could have been severe.” Although she would not answer any further questions, it is suspected that the Klingon Vessel was preparing to fire an isolytic burst, which could have destroyed the entire Astraios system. The leader of the Astraionian Civilian Authority, Mr Lazuli Pookara, spoke in high praise for Starfleet and their continued efforts to protect Astraios prime and the Astraionian people. The attack and its aftermath will be the subject of a talk at the next Council meeting on Tuesday, he added. AC Skynews will be there to bring you all the latest.

Stardate: 141202

Astraios Colony Commander's Log, 
Location: SS Astraios, Astraios Colony

The trip back from Pinastri was relatively uneventful. I stayed in my quarters for most of the trip, glad to have the time to study some reports and work on some projects of my own. Captain Foulsbane was willing to defer to my rank and have me command the vessel during the trip, but I demurred. He knows his ship much better than I.

The visit at Pinastri went quickly by, but I did have enough time to myself to be able to transport to one of the gardens I used to go to when I was a cadet. It was very quiet and it seemed no one was there, so I allowed myself to... ummm, well... take some rest and relaxation.

Toocool wandered the garden, listening to the birds and hearing the slow swish of the waves on the shore of the silky white sand. The air was warm as it always was there. Deep in the forest, in a small meadow, she shed her uniform and shoes, toes sinking into the warm earth. Stretching her hands towards the sky, her small body was as slim as the spruce trees around her. She closed her eyes, allowing the vision, so long held at bay, to come to her mind. Oh the pain, the delicious and almost unbearable pain that signalled freedom. It began within, her organs shifting, then her extremities, she moaned slightly, dropping down to the ground, writhing. Finally her face changed, growing hair and whiskers. But her eyes were the same. 

The she-wolf shook its body, and yawned. Sniffing the air, it moved away.

After a good long... walk in the gardens I felt better than I had in a long time. I sat on the beach in the sun and let myself dream as I bathed in the Terran rays. Memories came to me, of the old time, the time when I gave my heart only to lose it, and with it, the my only youngling. Sadness overwhelmed me for a time, but not badly. My life took a different direction because of that loss, and in so many ways I am glad of it. I have a family, all the officers and crew who look to me to lead and supply the answers. I have my work of exploration and discovery, discipline and duty. I teach those who come after me on the path. They are, in a way, my younglings. I watch over them, care for them, correct them when they go astray, and their welfare is chief in my thoughts every day.

After a snack of fruit and a long drink of water, I dressed in my uniform, returning to my guest quarters to shower and prepare for transport to the USS Prophetic, and the voyage home.

Storm abates

[141128]  (3RG AC News) ...A major winter storm hammered the northern continent of our planet over the past weekend. Fortunately the inhabitants of Astraios Prime took heed of the warnings - and this News Agency is pleased to report that as a result, there were no fatalities attributed to the weather. Now that the storm is over, repairs are being carried out to those buildings damaged by the strong winds and precipitation. The snow is being cleared away and, with the solar flares decreasing in strength, electrical systems are back on-line. Life is slowly getting back to normal. Businesses are mopping up, and merchants report an increase in sales.

Stardate: 141122

Astraios Colony Commander's Log, 
Location: SS Tranquility, Pinastri Colony

Arrived safe via the USS Prophetic. Still getting used to this transwarp speed. Due to the Astraios Effect, we are unable to use it in the Astraios Sector nor the neighbouring sectors but once we left the restricted area we made the jump. Since I am seldom on long term deployment, I was interested to see how quickly we can travel through subspace. I am not sure if my molecules like it. I feel strangely off kilter.

This morning it was a pleasure to attend the social event hosted by those senior officers who accompanied me from Astraios, see some old friends and be introduced to some new faces. Afterwards I had several meetings and have made my situation report to Command.

We will remain here until Sunday noon and then begin the journey back. Long range communications with Astraios are presently obscured, but we trust the solar storm will have abated by the time we enter the Sector.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 141120

Location: SS Astraios

With the weather - planetary and system-wide - so bad this weekend, I've ordered all ships to keep at least one light year between the Astraios Sun and their vessel. Patrols will continue at this distance, and any ship attempting to enter this region of space will be stopped.

All non essential personnel have been evacuated to homes and shelters on the planet. SS Astraios shields have been thoroughly inspected and expected to stay at maximum for the three day event. Once they are up, no one will be leaving or arriving via transporter or shuttle.

Rather than stay imprisoned here, I have decided to hitch a ride aboard the USS Prophetic and travel to Pinastri. I will be able to brief Starfleet Command on our situation here in person.

Hars promises to keep watch of our garden home. We have covered our flower and vegetable beds and engineering has added an additional force field to our security system.

Now I need to pack for a few days away. I look forward to relaxing on the Prophetic, the reins of command taken out of my hands... by stormy weather.


[3RG SkyNews 141120] ....The population of the northern continent of Astraios Prime (located deep inside the Gamma Quadrant) has been warned to prepare for a major storm this weekend, when two unusual occurrences will combine to create a potentially dangerous situation.

Winds gusting up to 120 kilometers an hour are expected to mix with cold northern air along the coast, whipping up snow flurries and producing white out conditions for land-based vehicles.

While the rare blizzard will make conditions extremely difficult for those on the ground, ships and stations skyward will fair no better due to a massive solar flare expected to affect systems and sensors throughout the system.

Ships have been ordered to move to a distance of at least one light year during the solar event, and objects like spacestations, satellites and other devices in orbit are advised to have shields at maximum during the solar storm.

The solar flares will increase the number of electrically charged particles entering the atmosphere, and scientists say the aurora over the northern axis of the planet should be larger and more colorful than ever. They admit, however, that the low clouds and snow of the predicted winter storm will probably obscure the light show from all eyes.

Effects of the two storms will begin to occur sometime early Friday morning (141121), and are expected to continue for the entire weekend. All residents are warned to stay indoors or seek shelter at certified facilities in order to keep warm and stay out of danger. It is hoped that skies will be clear and normal business will resume early Monday (141124).

Stores will remain open for 26 hours a day until ordered closed. It is recommended that you charge all batteries and ensure power relays to your replicators and heaters have been inspected. Keeping a couple of extra plasma packs with your other supplies is also a good idea, emergency officials say.

Stay safe, stay warm. Use of holosuites during this event is not recommended.

((OOC: 3RG will be offline this weekend for a major OpenSim upgrade. We're going Hypergrid!!!! :D ))

Colony Commander's Log, Stardate: 141119

Location: Astraios Colony

How I am beginning to detest politics. Before Astraios, my only connection with politics was reading about it in various reports, or in history classes at the Academy. But now...

If politics and diplomacy wasn't enough, I also have to deal with the planetary news media, which is becoming more and more Terran-like in its voracious appetite for death, destruction, warp speed chases, and accusations of wrong doing.

It begins to feel like I need a whole team of communications experts to put the correct 'spin' on information being given to the public. Oh, how I hate that. Why can't we just be honest and trust each other to be so.

Ah, well, I guess it all goes with the job. I rather miss being on the bridge of my ship, exploring the cosmos, scanning strange anomalies, and going where - as far as we know - 'no one has gone before'.

I am immensely proud of all we have accomplished here.

But I admit it worries me that we seem to have morphed from an organization involved in exploration of space to... warriors. Which goes back to politics, because I believe we have to be extremely careful in choosing our fights, and in asking Starfleet members to risk their lives on the behalf of the Federation. Especially in this climate of hostility and friction, it can be easy to put our ideals on the back burner when they are inconvenient. We must always place them first, no matter how difficult.

It would be easy, for example, to whip up hostility towards Klingons in general and continue to hound the Pegh until they are forced to leave Astraios and Treman for good. Very easy.

Too easy.

Starfleet Directive 010: "Before engaging alien species in battle, any and all attempts to make first contact and achieve nonmilitary resolution must be made."

Starfleet declares DefStat Two

[AC Skynews 141114] ...Astraios Colony and SS Astraios are under lockdown after an alien vessel entered the Astraios System and approached the spacestation. A spokesperson for Starfleet gave a news conference Sunday after the latest incident, but would not give specific details as to the identity of the ship or how it had managed to penetrate so far into local space. Prior to this, several explosives were found in festive decorations on the lounge deck of SS Astraios. A woman, who claimed to be the bartender, was arrested and was later found dead in the station’s brig - the result of an apparent suicide. An earlier explosion had damaged part of the station’s Reactor Room and caused several casualties. The Colony Commander and official representatives for Starfleet have been tight-lipped about the reasons for these attacks, but unsubstantiated rumors suggest the Klingon Pegh may be involved.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 141111

Location: SS Astraios

The peace of home has been shattered. It is clear we are under attack. What is most upsetting is that we cannot fathom how these acts of sabotage have been carried out. Security measures are extremely tight, everyone is scanned prior to transporting to SS Astraios, anyone suspicious is taken aside for questioning. So how exactly does an alien agent get aboard? All I can think is that someone knows our routines well enough to know when we will be dropping shields for transport, or how we inspect incoming shuttles. It's easy to assume that the Pegh is behind these attempts.

The fact that one of their ships - cloaked or not - was able to approach the Astraios system without interference is troubling.

The sleeper agent we were searching for was known to have some kind of emitter or force field that would allow them to be scanned as human. Two agents were able to beam into our Reactor Room without being detected and, if their plot had not been discovered, the entire station would have been significantly damaged. Security grew even tighter yet a female Klingon managed to get on the station, find the lounge, and was able to place the numerous explosives she had somehow smuggled aboard, all without detection.

As I lie sleepless, I wonder how the Pegh came to have this kind of advanced technology... and who is helping them. Is there someone in my crew who is disloyal to me, the Colony, UFS? Who would it be? A new cadet... no, they don't have that kind of access or knowledge. It has to be a senior officer. Someone currently active as well, as the security measures, passwords and other restricted knowledge... are only known to those who are on regular duty. How do you even search for someone like that without alerting them to the search. How could they work among us, smile in the mess, laugh at a joke in the turbo, report calmly at briefings, knowing their actions will hurt or kill those with whom they work and play?

Or what if the sabotage is meant for us to look within, all eyes straining myopically to find a traitor, blind to the attack swiftly moving in?

Too many questions and not enough answers. And sleep, precious enough in these dark days... eludes me entirely.

Death at 20,000 kilometers

[AC Skynews 141107] ...An unidentified civilian died in the SS Astraios brig on stardate 141102 after being arrested by Starfleet Security. The female prisoner had been apprehended in the bar during a search of the spacestation. The sweep had been initiated following the broadcast of a bogus alert which had sent teams scrambling to the shuttle bay only to find nothing was amiss, prompting Commander Genny7 Markus to order a complete inspection of all areas. During the search by tactical teams, a woman identified as being at least partially Klingon was captured in the station’s lounge. Posing as a civilian bartender, she had placed explosives in several hollow fruits set out to decorate the bar for a festive event. If she had had enough time to complete her task the resulting damage to the station could have been severe, said Chief Engineer Karl Quar.

The response team arrested the woman and placed her in a holding cell on the Security deck, but when officers entered the chamber to begin an interrogation she was found lifeless on the bed. Medical assistance was requested but CMO Dr Breydon Lane was unable to revive her. The cause of death is yet to be determined but a toxic substance is suspected. Colony Chief Security, Captain Dolfke Barbosa, refused to answer questions regarding the presence of an saboteur aboard the station. Unnamed sources say, however, that the woman was identified as an agent for the Klingon Pegh… and unsubstantiated rumors say that the Pegh are receiving assistance from a member of the station’s crew.

Fall festival delights all

[AC Skynews 141031] ...As is tradition on the northern continent of the planet Astraios, the fall equinox is celebrated on the first day of the month of Kimberlite, somewhere in the months of September or October for Terran personnel. The Celebration commences at dawn, with a procession to the ancient Temple, where wreaths of grain and woven baskets of recently harvested fruits are placed at the base of the rocks that have stood in that place for time immemorial. Once gathered, the participants begin to hum, all eyes on the horizon, waiting for the first sight of the morning sun to peek above the horizon. Then, a chosen singer steps forth, flowers in her hair and in her arms, softly singing in the old dialect, a song of peace and thankfulness for the abundance the planet offers them. When the sun rises over the horizon and gleams upon the water, all voices join her in a thrilling chorus. Afterwards, a breakfast feast is held on the grass near the temple, and all are welcome to sample the many good treats made from natural ingredients grown in the gardens and on the farms. Much preparation goes into organizing the ceremony and feast, and hopes are high each year that the sun will not be hidden behind clouds on that day. Surprisingly, in the centuries that are recorded or remembered, that has only happened a handful of times. A good thing, as some say a rainy Festival bodes ill for the year ahead.

Sabotage on SS Astraios

[AC Skynews] ...At 1021 hours on stardate 141026, SS Astraios security teams reported a medical emergency on engineering deck. Cmdr Genny7 Markus quickly ordered the Alpha bridge crew to investigate and assist. A major explosion had occurred in the stations’ reactor room. The ship’s sensors had extinguished the flames, but still, when the team managed to get the doors open, steam and smoke poured out into the hallway. Inside, were several injured crew, extensive damage to some of the infrastructure, and one casualty. Fortunately the explosive had gone off early and the fusion reactor was undamaged. Remains of one unidentified humanoid were found encased in a wall behind a forcefield. Further examination established the deceased was a Klingon male, although how he materialized inside the bulkhead is as yet unknown. The station is currently under repair and off limits to any non-Starfleet personnel while a thorough investigation into the incident is conducted.

Pegh attack on Starfleet

[AC Skynews] ...Details of a recent military mission were released today by Starfleet Colony communications. On stardate 140921, Astraios Prime was attacked by M’Reh, the ambassador to Astraios from the Klingon Pegh. She had been barred from the Astraionian Council and Astraios itself after the Council determined her behaviour and threats were detrimental to good order. The Pegh also lost its right to speak at council for two years. M’Reh blamed the Colony Commander, Fleet Captain Poison Toocool, for this. After the Klingon was escorted from the system, she returned with a cloaked warbird and assaulted Federation installations and a Starfleet shuttle. The USS Argonaut (under the command of Cmdr David7 Bravin) gave chase while SS Astraios warned the Astraios Civilian Authority to raise planetary defences. As the warbird approached Astraios Prime some odd energy readings were detected. The Klingon ship was using an illegal weapon. They fired an isolytic burst, and a tear appeared in subspace. If they were not stopped, the entire system could be damaged. The warbird slipped into the subspace rip and could not get out. The Argonaut quickly ejected their warp core and fired upon it. The resulting explosion sealed the breech, but, according to unnamed sources, the fallout of this action by the Pegh continues.

Task Force deals with intergalatic intruders

[AC Skynews 141024] In a statement today, Fleet Captain Poison Toocool, Colony Commander for the Starfleet Colony on Astraios, answered limited questions on a recent military mission. Task Force Egress was assigned to deal with The Apeiros, a species from another galaxy who pose a threat to the Federation and its allies. A fleet of vessels, led by the USS Prophetic, travelled to the Varish system where the Apeiros had established a base and interfered with the lives of the peaceful natives, called Varishians. The situation was dangerous but through the diplomatic efforts of Starfleet the situation was brought under control, at least for now. Work to broker a peaceful solution continues, and a mediator is now at Varish IV, overseeing talks between the Apeiros factions and offering Federation assistance to those who wish to settle on uninhabited planets in the Quadrant in exchange for certain provisions, including non-interference with other species and inhabited worlds. The Task Force, commanded by FCapt Poison Toocool and Capt Wolfton Foulsbane, was deployed from stardate 140717 to 141012.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 141005

Location: Astraios Colony

It has been a lovely weekend so far. With M'Reh and the Klingon Pegh no longer an issue, and The Apeiros dealt with for the time being, as well as the Armstrong on its way home... and the downgrading of our defstat to four... FOUR... for the first time in months and months... I'm almost giddy with a sense of peace that has been long overdue. I'm able to turn my attention to little things like gardens, friends, fall celebrations, even a little shopping in the local farmer's markets. Yesterday I took an entire day off, leaving the head of security in charge with strict orders not to call me. I spend a long lazy morning in my own garden, lunch in the little village of Slate, and the afternoon wandering the market and shops, looking for seeds and bulbs for planting, buying some garden impliments, and even some handmade clothing for relaxing around the house.

Hars was with me, of course, his conversation often comparing the goods and produce to that of other planets he has visited in his long career. He is walking better these days and smiles more often, although I catch a glimpse of sorrow and pain occasionally, time and the good doctors at Majel Hospital are helping him move on. He is so easy to be with, often reading or writing, able to just sit and look at the sky or enjoy the garden, and most interesting to talk to when he has something to say about an issue. His viewpoint is different from mine and its refreshing to speak to someone who has so much experience in Starfleet but no vested interest in politics or even the need to be 'right'. He was much respected as a Captain during his active duty years. I know sometimes the loss of his career has been difficult. Of course he's not perfect - who is - pain or frustration occasionally make themselves known, yet his own self-appraisal swiftly brings contrition for anything untoward he might have said that would cause an upset.

Today I plan much the same kind of thing as yesterday. Fruit from the garden to break the fast, attend an old traditional Astraionian naming ceremony, lunch with friends afterwards, a sleepy afternoon by the fire while the rain waters my flowers, a quiet dinner with Hars and an early night.

Tomorrow I'll think again on the Colony and all the various things that need to be maintained, repaired, assigned, delegated, and otherwise managed. But this day... just the pleasing ambience of autumn and the beauty around us...

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 141001

Location: Astraios Colony

Ah, an evening in my garden is just what I need, preparing for the fall weather, tending my late-blooming flowers, cares at bay, Hars reading in his hammock...

Good news today from USS Neil Armstrong, Cmdr Markus and her crew succeeded in collapsing the gravimetric distortion and left the area, hopefully without detection. Wolf and the Prophetic have also left Varish IV, heading for the Bena'ali for some cloak and dagger work. T'Polo & the USS Temujin remain in the system to medicate the talks between the Apeiros factions, her mission is to facilitate their decision making process and find a way to satisfy their needs while removing their influence from the Varish people... whether this is possible or not I can't say... they have already inbred, creating a hybrid species. But there are many areas of Varish IV that are unsullied by the Apeiros influence, and it is these we would wish to preserve so the true Varishian may develop naturally without outside interference.

SS Astraios is still under repair after the attack by M'Reh, my chiefs are running battle drills and keeping the cadets on their toes in the Academy with simulations and flash exams.

The weather is now turning pleasantly cooler, a touch of rain in the air this evening. It feels like an oasis of peace after the constant threats and worries of the past few weeks.

It will be good to see my senior crew back again. I've missed them. They have some distance to travel but I expect they will be here in the next week or so.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140929

Location: SS Astraios

M'Reh was not finished with Astraios. After she was removed from Colony lands on 140918, I received a report that a Klingon battle cruiser had requested escort to leave the planet. Permission was given. M'Reh and her entourage left the system. Or so it seemed.

Early Sunday morning 1400921, a sensor net located 1 LY rimward was momentarily breeched. Thinking it could be a meteor or other small anomaly, OPs had dispatched a runabout to check the net and undertake repairs. A couple of hours later, I received a message from SS Astraios operations. They were concerned that crew aboard the runabout had not reported in. My instincts sensed trouble. I ordered the USS Argonaut to investigate.

It was M'Reh. She captured the runabout and its crew, returning the vessel to space laced with explosives and a Starfleet officer chained to the helm. Argonaut managed save the officer, in the nick of time. M'Reh made a run for Astraios Prime, cloaked, laying mines in her warp trail to damage any ship following.

I was at OPs, watching and listening. I had already deployed all our shuttles and runabouts into defensive postures, and the Astraios Civilian Authority had been requested to raise their planetary defence shield. The planet was safe, but the station... its shield could only withstand so much damage, still I was confident we could easily deal with one maverick Klingon warbird and its angry little captain.

Then science informed me of a strange energy reading in the system, and Ens Anjar reminded me of the consequences should this be the result of an isolytic burst. I withdrew our vessels to the other side of the planet and informed the Argonaut. Although now exchanging fire with the warbird, they approached the subspace breech and prepared to eject their core. M'Reh's ship, executing evasive maneuvers, suddenly found itself in the breech. It looked like they were trying to reverse engines but to no avail, they were drawn in. With the fate of Astraios System, SS Astraios and perhaps this area of the quadrant at sake, Argonaut ejected her warp core and fired upon it. The resulting explosion sealed the subspace tear... with the warbird in it. Whether she is dead or alive, M'Reh is no longer a threat to this time and this place.

The shockwave from the explosion did some damage to the station, and to Argonaut as well, but other than bumps and bruises everyone is safe and sound.

Now perhaps the Council will listen to me about the Dosi.

But I don't count on it.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140918

Location: SS Astraios

Well, it was an interesting day. After the usual meetings and briefings, I attended the Astraionian Council meeting, as usual. Normally I dread it but I was curious to see how the Council would deal with my protests over M'Reh's insults. Her tirade had been aimed at me, and Starfleet. It was slightly justified as a subject for talk because her group, the Klingon Pegh, wants the same thing Astraios Colony has... land and community support. However the vast majority of what she said was a somewhat lopsided account of the Federation's history in the Alpha Quadrant. Given that her group is not associated with the Klingon home world or the Klingon High Council, but has in fact declared they are an independent group of 'traders' seeking a home base here in the Gamma Quadrant, they just might rule her out of order.

At least that was my hope.

I arrived early, in full mess dress, with my Marines marching behind and beside me, greeting every councillor I saw with a smile, appearing unconcerned. M'Reh and her associates were standing just inside the fence, near the transporter, I greeted her and them formally as I passed. She growled something at me.

Soon everyone was assembled. The chair called the meeting to order and the first order of business was to ask me, as the last speaker of the previous meeting, whether I had any more to say. I took my time rising, looking around the Chamber. I then replied that I had said all I had to say, that I left it to the ancient traditions of this civil chamber and the intelligence, compassion and advanced thinking of its members to resolve the dispute between speaker M'Reh and I. I then quoted an old Astraionian saying, in their language. Roughly translated it means, 'stand like a rock in the face of unfairness and injustice.' They liked that and erupted into applause, many even rising to denote respect.

The chair then called for M'Reh and I to rise. A page entered the Chamber, carrying on a pillow the ancient fragment of rock that is traditionally called the Stone of Judgement. It was placed on a round table in the centre of the chamber. First me, and then M'Reh, were called to approach the stone, touch it with our right hands, and declare we would abide by the judgement of the Chamber and Council without protest or complaint. I spoke clearly and forcefully so all would hear, repeating the declaration in Astraionian and Federation English. M'Reh growled her statement.

We were then asked to leave the chamber for 21 minutes. During this time the chair would call for a motion and a vote would be taken. I went down and stood on the lawn near the Officer's Mess, my Marines around me, and my Yeoman brought me a cool drink. M'Reh and her group stayed on the opposite side.

A page appeared and stepped toward me, I assumed to call me back. He addressed me formally and then informed me the Chamber asked me to wait a little longer. In the distance, I could see M'Reh also talking with a page, and then she entered the turbo with him to return to the council meeting. I thought that was odd, I assumed we'd be called back together, but, never having actually been part of this kind of dispute, I assumed it was tradition that the complainant returned last.

In a few minutes M'Reh was back on the ground, escorted by Chamber guards, while clearly still protesting whatever had been said. After she and her group had moved away, the page invited me to take the turbo back up.

I stood in the centre of the Chamber, and waited respectfully to hear their judgement. I assumed M'Reh had been admonished and would return another day, perhaps slightly more aware of the rules and need for respect.


I was informed that, 'This great Council, after reviewing the talk and resulting protest, and in mind of the tradition of respect, tolerance and relevance established long ago, have collectively and formally agreed that speaker M'Reh failed to consider these traditions of discourse. As representative of the Klingon Pegh, which has twice been admonished for failure to abide by Astraionian Council rules and guidelines, she has displayed again disrespect for the Council and thereby the Astraionian people. We have therefore declared her right to speak is silenced forever. In addition, the Klingon Pegh is formally admonished and may not have a presence at Council for a period of two Astraionian years. Thus say we."

At that point they all rose in respect, while I stood there, surprised, pleased, moved. I bowed and spoke a formal reply thanking them for their thoughtful and considered judgement.

The Chair then declared the meeting closed, after advising the Gabbro councillor would begin her talk next Council.

My friends on the Council were jubilant and I invited anyone who would like to come, to join me on the upper deck of the Officer's Mess for refreshment. I send a quick message to Hars to ask him to come as well. So the rest of the day was spent enjoying the sun and views from the deck and chatting with friends.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140916

Location: SS Astraios

So much has happened over the last month. I'm happy to say The Apeiros situation may have been calmed for the moment, through the good work of Cmdr Genny7 Markus and her team, in conjunction with Capt Wolfton Foulsbane and the USS Prophetic. Reports are just coming in regarding diplomatic meetings held with most Apeiros-Vashian factions. I am dispatching an experienced negotiator aboard USS Temujin, they leave at 0730 tomorrow and should arrive at Varish IV within 12 to 14 days. This development is excellent news.

Here at home, the Astraionian Council meetings have become tense. The atmosphere seems to snap with underlying challenge of the age old system adopted by the Astraios people. The Dosi and the Klingon Pegh continue to insist they have equal right to settle on Astraios Prime, expecting good land to be provided to them for their settlements. They continually point to our Starfleet Colony as an example. We provide protection, medical treatment at our Community Hospital, and education at our Academy. Why, they ask, can an agreement not be reached whereby they will provide something to the Astraios people in exchange for the use of the land? Food, clothing, engineering experience, etc etc. Each time one of their representatives have the floor... things get worse.

Today the representative of Klingon Pegh, M'Rel, spoke - well, snarled - for nearly an hour, eyes fixed on me as she spoke derisively about Starfleet. She even brought up the agreement with the Cardassian union that led to issues on Bajor, and every other mistake Starfleet has ever made. She said we were unworthy of trust, and at that point I rose, glaring, snarling my own words, filling the chamber with my demand to the Chair that this unproductive and insulting tirade be stopped. The bell rang just as I was finished speaking, so a decision will be given at the start of the next meeting on Thursday.

My Marines around me, I stayed to talk to various representatives, determined not to scurry away.

I need some time in my garden tonight. The fall nights grow slightly cool, but there are so many lovely flowers still.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140802

Location: SS Astraios

At 0435 this morning I was woken by the duty Operations Officer aboard SS Astraios, via comms. He apologized and said he was sorry to have disturbed me but a communication had been received from the USS Neil Armstrong that he felt I might wish to see. I asked him to put the message through to my quarters. I swiftly splashed some water on my face and obtained a cup of Earl Grey from the replicator, and sat down.

Approximately three weeks ago, the USS Neil Armstrong had been dispatched to Pléō, a planet 26 light years rimward of Astraios. The Pléōns had just recently developed warp drive, and reported on stardate 140704 that their only two Neptune class ships had disappeared. Their remaining vessels are shuttles or runabouts, thus short range only, hampering their trading businesses and precluding them from searching for their lost ships. Just before the newly built vessels vanished, some kind of unknown force had affected their planetary systems and their habitat area had been damaged. The Armstrong was assigned to assist the Pléōns with medical and engineering issues, and investigate the cause of the malfunctions. In addition, they were to ascertain what happened to those two warp capable ships. I was thus anxious to hear the Armstrong report.

Capt London had sent an encrypted priority message disguised as space noise and piggy backed it on a routine message from the communication array in that sector, thus appearing to prying eyes as an uninteresting update on the array status. After hearing what she had to say, I instantly called my tactical chief and ordered a briefing in mission control at 0515. Subsequently orders were sent to both the USS Dorado (Intrepid, Phaser) and USS Sloan (Venture) - both on patrol in Sectors G-009D / G-009E - to rendezvous with the Armstrong in the Pléōn system without delay.

The COs of USS Colossus (Sovereign) and USS Aristotle (Nova), both on standby at SS Astraios, have been ordered to take over the patrols rimward. They will depart at 1000 hours today.

Simply put, we do not yet know who sabotaged the planetary defences on Pléō Prime or took those vessels. But one week ago another recently warp capable planet in the Argus System, 43 LY rimward, suffered the theft of a battlecruiser from space dock. As soon as London heard this report, she arranged to send the secret signal to me.

It appears that someone is taking newly built vessels and possibly assembling a fleet in the sectors below us.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140731

Location: SS Astraios

This morning was spent in Mission Control, reviewing the deployment of the Fleet. Then a lunch with my Senior Staff, with birthday cake as it was LTcmdrs Smithers birthday, some smiles and laughs as we celebrated somewhat casually on the roof garden of the Officer's Mess. After that, the dreaded Council meeting with a long speech regarding agricultural practices which was, on the one hand, a bit of a relief as I had expected more about Starfleet and our work with the Civilian Authority on the Astraios Prime shield grid, and a bit annoying on the other hand as I would like the chance to say more on the topic. It's over for another week and the media had some other story in their teeth so I was able to sign off at 1830 and go home to Hars.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140730

Location: SS Astraios

The USS Marco Polo, on deployment in Sector G-009C, has reported over encrypted long range comms that they escorted the USS Mont Cervin to the edge of the Astraios Sector before continuing on their assigned patrol some days ago. They added that they have since received a repeating signal buried in what appears to be noise from a supernova. After some examination they believe the message is from the USS Prophetic. The signal contains information about the Prophetic current position and status, along with details of what they have discovered to date with regard to the Apeiros factions and their intentions in our galaxy. Wolf also mentioned the Mont Cervin reached them at last, but not without incident. I have passed all the data to our intelligence officers for further perusal.

It was good to hear from Wolf and know that Genny and her crew reached him safely.

Here at home the issue over the planetary shield grid continues to rage, the media have now become involved and I cannot read the reports or listen to the broadcasts without feeling discouraged. Astraios was accepted into the Federation because it fulfilled the set requirements for membership, amongst them: "values of benevolence, peaceful co-existence and co-operation, the rule of law, and equal rights and justice." I have no issue with the value of free speech, what I do not appreciate are opinions presented as fact or one-sided journalism. Perhaps that's my own prejudice talking. I will have to think deeply about what I wish to say at Council when I get the chance.

The weather just now is really wonderful. The ocean breezes are fresh and slightly cooling while the sun is warm and embracing. I enjoy the evenings in my garden with Hars. I have to admit, I have grown to love this little planet on the edge of the unknown.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140729

Location: SS Astraios

A difficult day today. Plans set in motion to assist the Astraionian Civilian Authority to move the major power supply for the planetary shield grid suddenly are in jeopardy after a motion to limit our involvement was proposed to the Astraionian Council. It would be easy to point the finger at the Klingons or the Dosi but I believe there is a darker power at work here. Unseen and malevolent, it is manipulating the situation. Spouwwgna? Apeiros? I responded calmly with details of how our engineering expertise was requested and the status of the preparations. It was suggested that, since the USS Prophetic was sabotaged on Colony soil and subsequently hijacked while on a test run in the system, our security is lax. Therefore we cannot be trusted to protect the location of the power plant or the details of the inner workings of the shield. Many will speak on the motion before a vote is held, meaning the work is delayed indefinitely. I tried to point out, in the five minutes allowed me for rebuttal, that the shield is therefore even more important than before and a delay could be dangerous. But now I must await my turn to speak. Given the rules, that could be weeks away.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140724

Location: SS Astraios

0515 - wake up before the computer alarm. Dress.

0530 - turbo to transporter room, beam down to Colony for morning run

0535 - nod hello to the Security detail as I step out to the lawn in front of the Welcome Centre, to stretch

0540 - begin my run. Left through the Council guest houses, out to the beach, run along the water to the temple, then around to the fishing area, and along the waterfront to the lagoon, past the banquet hall, back to the Welcome Centre, the across the bridge to the Majel Science Centre, along the path past the Observatory, the sun now rising behind me, faint pink in the sky as I go past the hospital and Shuttle Bay Club and over to the Enterprize area, more administrative buildings, the amphitheatre, gardens... beyond to the Equiner embassy area and then a swift right to the shuttle shipyards, past the civilian museum, back across the parade square to the bridge, welcome centre, and a quick transport up directly to my quarters.

0635 - fresh glass of water, and a solar shower. Fuss with my hair. Medium combat uniform. Combadge, pips, PADD.

0700 - breakfast in my Ready Room with senior staff. A briefing over something called 'hotcakes' and other items my crew seems to enjoy. I have a fondness for fresh baked buns, but I have only a fruit salad. The agenda is loose, we discuss various concerns, I watch their faces, see the worry flash across them, see the tired smiles, but even stronger, I see the dedication and determination to make a difference.

0830 - beam directly to Mission Control for a more serious briefing on the status of the Fleet and overnight reports.

0930 - time for a brief walk to the Hospital and a morning cup of tea with staff.

1015 - board my shuttle for the planned visit to Keratophyre Province, and a tour of the medical facilities we have set up there to deal with the KP virus and the need for water and food.

1330 - disembark back at Astraios Colony. Time for a quick change of uniform

1400 - Thursday Astraionian Council Meeting. Slat Resinerash still has the floor.

1700 - say my polite farewells while sending messages to my Yeoman with my eyes to get me out of the crowd quickly. He's smart enough to get the hint and approaches me with an urgent communication. Instead of walking back to the Welcome Centre, I have us beamed to SS Astraios.

1715 - after a short briefing, I dismiss my Yeoman for the day. I spend an hour in my ready room going over reports and messages.

1830 - I beam down to my cottage and change out of uniform. In bare feet I walk out to my garden. The westerning sun still has a little warmth. I sit down and breathe deep, letting the scent of the flowers and the peace of the evening work its magic. Hars brings a salad, and says nothing, just sits by me, holding my hand, as the sun moves closer to the distant hills, and my mind calms to nothingness.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140723

Location: SS Astraios

Yesterday's meetings went as expected. The Astraionian Civilian Authority, headed by Mr Pookara, was welcoming and listened carefully, and a thoughtful discussion took place about safety concerns for the population and planet. The Council, as usual, was more acrimonious, with a particularly long and bitter speech by Slat Resinerash, the member from the small southern province of Picrite. Only a few thousand souls live there but he is seen as quite an influential figure. He complained about a great many things, Starfleet included, but mostly the lack of trade in his area and the affect of drought on the local crops. I caught him alone afterwards and reminded him Starfleet has technology that could assist in finding or providing water, or even seeding the clouds to provide rain. He seemed somewhat startled that I would offer him assistance after his negative views on our presence here... we are to meet to discuss specifics when I visit Picrite next week.

The Colony and Fleet remain at DefStat 2 while we investigate the Apeiros-Varishian situation. No reports from the Prophetic for the past few days but we expected that as they remain focussed on their covert mission.

Here at home some rain at last today after several weeks of sun, a welcome relief. My garden perked up immediately. I have felt quite tired after all the meetings and mission briefings of the past few days. This day I will spend the morning in my garden after the 0600 briefing, and will attend a luncheon at one of the local colleges, speaking on careers in Starfleet as well as sampling the food prepared by student chiefs. I must check and make sure Mr Farrell advised them I am vegan. Then a late afternoon meeting in mission command for reports on the fleet status and positions, and readiness of Colony installations.

I hope dinner will be a quiet salad with Hars. I have been much detained in my ready room or operations these past days. It would be nice to stretch out my legs and relax for a brief time.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140721

Location: SS Astraios

And so it begins. We move our ships from point to point in the surrounding sectors, searching, watching, listening. When or if something will happen, we don't know. All we know is... the threat is there. Twice we were hit here, at home. All of our investigations and analysis to date lead only to the inescapable conclusion that the potential for more exists. The enemy is cloaked. Scattered among friendly faces. Powerful enough to steal a Federation vessel from under our very noses.

I have established a Task Force to deal with this potential threat. Some of our deployed ships are set to patrol and guard. Others have been sent with diplomatic messages and a warning that a faction of the species known as The Apeiros may attempt an invasion or incursion into Federation space.

All our strategy is centred on the USS Prophetic and her mission to gather further intelligence as to the state of the enemies fleet or technology, and any information that can be obtained as to their plans.

In the meantime, Astraios Colony is quiet. All shoreleaves are cancelled, there is a nightly curfew. A few ships are docked at SS Astraios for refit, supply or R&R. When I walk through the hallways, there is a sense of hushed anticipation.

This morning I meet with the Astraios Civilian Authority to brief them on this situation and discuss the potential need for planetary defences should the need arise. The afternoon is the usual Council meeting. It is not yet my turn to speak. Others have spoken. The Prophetic was first sabotaged at our Colony shipyards, and then stolen on a test flight. Some are dismayed that the building of one of our vessels should have brought attention to Astraios Prime. Others say it is proof our presence here is necessary, that without us, these kinds of incursions and attacks would be more frequent. Both sides have a point. But it's a moot point now.

We are here, and we have a job to do. We are protecting Astraios at the cost of our own lives. We guard her system and sector. And now we reach out beyond, to places light years away, concerned about the interference with the natural development of a people called Varishians, concerned that an intergalactic species has a foothold in our galaxy. We are ready to stand up to them if need be.

Of course a diplomatic solution is what we desire. The Prophetic's mission of intelligence gathering is only a precursor to diplomatic talks with the other Apeiros factions who desire either peaceful settlement or a return to M33. If we can get them on side, if we can show our willingness to stand by them and assist them...this may be the leverage that allows us to control the aggressive faction that wishes to conquer this Galaxy.

Sometimes I feel very small in the face of all this... so many beings, so many problems, so much bitterness. It is my family, my adopted family of friends, crew, fellow officers, that allow me to remain strong.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140710

Location: Astraios Colony

I was unable to attend our weekly community dance ("boogie") this day, although I wished I could. The morning was spent in meetings with senior staff receiving updates on a variety of issues, followed by a discussion of fleet deployment. I only had time for a quick lunch before the afternoon Council meeting. I grow impatient with those who think Astraios should have an open door policy. Have they forgotten so quickly the war initiated by the Tremanites and the reason we were invited here, to assist them to protect themselves?

One piece of good news from the Keratophyre Province is that the "KP Virus" seems to be under control, although the quarantine has not been lifted, there have been fewer deaths now everyone is inoculated. I will have a moment at Council to give them this news. And make it clear it was only our assistance that stopped the virus from reaching the northern provinces.

The weather has been fine lately and my garden is overflowing its borders. I hope to find an hour tomorrow to tend my vegetables!

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140708

Location: SS Astraios

The forces at work here are like piranha. But slower. Here and there, they take a bite. Just when we think we can relax our guard, they will move in. Unseen. Malevolent. Dogging our steps and our daily thoughts. Yet this is what we signed up for. To protect the weak and innocent from those that would do them harm. To offer a counterbalance to the darkness that exists. And we organize, plan, train and prepare for those moments when we need to put it all on the line.

This report from Pléō is troubling to say the least. The sketchy description we could pull from their garbled distress call has some chilling similarities to the hijacking of the USS Prophetic. If indeed, the The Apeiros are involved, we need to warn all our allies and friends in neighbouring sectors.

We need to investigate further, and come up with a defense against these technological robberies. Otherwise one day soon we may be facing one of our own Starfleet ships, fully armed, ready to fire upon us.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140603

Location: SS Astraios

I woke early, as usual - 0512. I lay looking at the ceiling, in the darkness, until the computer informed me it was 0530, and slowly brought up the lights. I slipped into my running gear. The swish of doors behind me as I left my quarters sounded loud in the dim, quiet corridor. The turbo hummed softly as it moved through the giant spacestation. I entered the transporter room and with a quick nod, Crewman Serres prepared to beam me down to the Welcome Centre, where I always start my daily run. I stepped onto the pad, and for a moment the silence of the station surrounded me. Then a shimmer of light, and I landed in my usual spot just outside the entrance to the lobby, prepared to breathe deep of the morning air, stretch for a few moments, and then begin.

An uproar hit me. Loud voices, threats. I turned. Two Klingons were facing down three of my Security officers. Their deep guttural tones and insults rang in the Lobby. LTcmdr Bradford, holding fast in her post, glanced to me, "Sir."

"What's all this," I asked, walking through the open doors casually. In my shorts, T and runners.

A Klingon looked and me and shrugged, growling something in his own language.

"qaStaH nuq?" I snapped. "nuqneH?"

One looked at the other, looked at me, and said with a smirk, "naDevvo' yIghoS."

I bristled right up to him, as close as I could get, eye to eye, and I said in that deep dark booming voice I own, "bIjatlh 'e' yImev!" He didn't move but I saw his eyes widen in surprise. Then I turned to Bristol and commanded, "Either get these two petaQ to the Brig or get them off my patch." Glancing back at the Klingons, I shrugged my shoulders, whirled, and walked away.

I have to admit I felt some satisfaction. Until I started to wonder why they were there in the first place.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140602

Location: SS Astraios

Work continues apace after our spring Military Ball, which was a great success despite our increased security and concerns. Only one Klingon had the gall to show up. We had a number of people from the nearby towns and settlements come, some just to have fun and some curious to see inside the Colony proper, since entrance is usually restricted these days to Starfleet or Astaionian Council members, or those with business to conduct.

First duty this morning is a breakfast meeting with Senior staff in my ready room, to discuss the deployment of the Fleet and the status of the USS Prophetic, based on reports from Intelligence, Tactical, and ship's mission logs.

Then attend a Science Exhibit followed by lunch on the lawns of the Lamproite University in the same town of that name, should be interesting. After lunch I get to present the prizes for the best exhibits to the winning students. I look forward to this although the need to be attended by armed Marines... does not present the non-military aspect of Starfleet as I would wish.

Upon my return, some time in my ready room to rest before the Tuesday Council Meeting. Today it is the turn of the Council member from Keratophyre Province. I met him several times to discuss dealing with the KP virus, I am interested to hear his report on the situation. The area has been quarantined for weeks and, although an inoculation has been tried and is successful... those who already have the virus are currently out of luck. There is concern that opening the borders might cause the contagion to spread, as things have been so distrupted by the virus they cannot guarantee that everyone has been inoculated.

After that I hope for a quiet evening in my garden. But we could do with a little rain.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140531

Location: SS Astraios

Somehow it has reached the end of the month and I have neglected my personal log for the past few days. Sometimes there just seems to be so much to do the less urgent items have to wait. My brain is a jumbled mass of facts, figures, reports, theories, and tasks to be completed. Most important was to prepare everything for our yearly spring military ball. Everything seems to be in place with security, greeting, hosting, music, food, dressing rooms, but as usual I keep myself awake at night wondering if we've done everything that needs to be done. But no matter, we have good people at Astraios Colony and they will jump in to assist if anything comes up.

There are many things to be concerned about: the Varishians and their use of what appears to be stolen technology, not to mention 'when' and 'where' they obtained it; the Treman civil dispute that threatens to spill out into the Sector; the continued pressure by the Klingon Pegh and Dosi Traders on Astraios Prime; the Astraionian Council and their blindness to the outside influences they are permitting to infiltrate their society; the Keratophyre Province Virus (dubbed "KP" by the media) that continues to rage in that area of the continent; and a report from the USS Shogun that they encountered the Borg in the Delta Quadrant and were forced to abandon ship... self-destruct failed and the Borg now have control of a UFS vessel.

Despite our many concerns, we will smile and dance and make everyone comfortable for this event. Who knows when we will have a chance to be this light hearted again.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140526

Location: SS Astraios

Recieved a full report from Capt Wolfon Foulsbane, CO of the USS Prophetic. He left USS Neil Armstrong on stardate 140525.2300 aboard the shuttle, USS Icarus, and was able to rendezvous with the USS Davy Crockett at 140526.1200 as planned. They then set course for Arish IV with the intent of retaking the Prophetic via use of insertion teams. There was some concern that the vessel, which had been unarmed when hyjacked, may have since had weapons installed.

When they arrived, they found the Prophetic beaming up hundreds of life forms from the Arish IV colony. Apparently the indigenous Arishians and the colonists have co-existed for centuries, however, whilst the colonists have very advanced technologies, they have not shared them with the native population, thereby setting themselves up for deification. And so, the Arishian news agencies were reporting a "flying saucer" was stealing their gods and causing much consternation among the indigenous people.

Upon detecting Cmdr Brogdram's ship, the Prophetic raised all but the ventral shields and charged weapons, firing warning shots in front of the Crockett.

Another cloaked transwarp gate appeared and was rigged to self destruct just like the one outside Astraios Shipyards, but oddly, someone on the Prophetic destroyed the gate before she could leave.

Once it was determined that shuttles from the Crockett would be able to bypass the Prophetic shields, insertion teams were deployed. They were able to disarm the crew of hyjackers and regain control of the Prophetic. The Crockett successfully locked on a tractor beam and course was set for Astraios.

Wolf took his shuttle to the Prophetic to interrogate the detainees.

It appears that there was much more to the bombing and subsequent hijacking of the Prophetic previously thought. Some of the people evacuated onto the Prophetic did not wish to leave Arish IV. Some wanted to leave but not by stealing a Starship. Others wanted to colonize the entire Astraios Sector for their own.

Though much of their technology is more advanced than ours, their grasp of it is limited - almost as though it wasn't created by them.

What is most puzzling though, is their origin. These people have different star charts and an alternate version of galactic history.

Wolf suggests that these charts are either intentionally misleading data (propoganda), or that these life forms are in fact from another timeline or dimension.

He ends by saying, "For now, though, we will still refer to them as the Arishian Factions, as most of their genetic makeup is identical to the indiginous Arishians. If the indigenous Arishians discover faster than light travel, my official recommendation is that a non-saucer-like ship make the first contact. They would be very hostile to anything resembling the USS Prophetic and would see our orbit as a demonic threat."

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140526

Commanding Officer's Log
Stardate: 140526.0730
Location: SS Astraios

We have received messages from the USS Davy Crockett. They are changing course to intercept the USS Neil Armstrong and take Capt Foulsbane and some of his crew aboard. They will then begin a search for the Prophetic.

The Armstrong will then use slipstream to cross the sectors between them and home, but are mindful of the damage to their hull, caused by a rough ride through a degrading transwarp conduit. They had intended to drop out of transwarp on this side of the Takaar Nebula, but were forced to discontinue. Lucky for Wolf.

We remain at DefStat 1 due to the use of technology that was not detected by our sensor sweeps, vessels, or any other means we have. Until I am sure the threat has subsided, we will stay at full alert status.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140525

Location: SS Astraios

YES! I can scarcely believe it but SS Astraios OPs just called me with the news. The USS Neil Armstrong has reported in! Apparently they are 55 light years coreward, near the Bena'al System, and have sustained some damage from using a transwarp conduit, but they are in one piece. They also have LT Isis Gaelyth aboard, so their mission to find and rescue her was successful - although she is reported to need medical care at the Colony. I'm just so thrilled to hear that Genny, David, Karl, Dolfke... oh, all of them - are okay.


Commanding Officer's Log: Supplemental

The Armstrong came across Icarus and some escape pods - all from the USS Prophetic! They have Wolf, his children, and his few crew members aboard. They are on their way home and will be here by Saturday. Capt Foulsbane requested permission to rendezvous with one of the ships currently searching for the Prophetic as he doesn't want to just return to Astraios. I gave permission, of course. The Foulsbane children will return with the Armstrong and remain under our care until Wolf gets back.

What a day! Some good news at last.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140522

Location: SS Astraios

I began today with an early briefing, 0630 instead of 0700 as we had a lot to get through before I issued new orders to the fleet. We have several ships patrolling the system and we have set up a blockade that stretches from Astraios to either the Sector border or the Takaar Nebula on every side. There is no word from Wolf, the Prophetic, or the USS Neil Armstrong for that matter.

This morning was also our Monthly Town Hall, held in the Amphitheatre whenever weather permits. I like to see the sun and feel the wind on my face, and I imagine the crews do too. We had a good discussion about several items, including protocol at informal affairs and the current Academy requirements for Cadets. Afterward some went to the Orbit Club for a noontime dance, while others, like me, returned to duty.

I took a break from the Astraionian Council chamber, sending my Yeoman in my stead to record the Thursday session and summarize the salient points for me tomorrow at our usual briefing. Instead, I spent the afternoon in Mission Control, discussing the fleet movements and assignments with my Senior Officers and Colony Chiefs.

I had barely seen Hars since Sunday so after all the meetings were over, I walked with him in the Colony gardens and told him all I knew. The sun was setting. It was good to talk to someone who is rather outside all that is happening, and get his objective view. He's so wise. I felt much better after that chat. Now I am having a cup of Earl Grey before retiring. I can't quite bring myself to sleep down on the planet. I am in my quarters on SS Astraios, so I can be close at hand should something occur.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140520

Location: Astraios Colony

Our normal events continue, although security is tight and everyone is a bit on edge. We held our weekly "Boogie" at the Shuttle Bay Club at lunchtime and several officers came, but it wasn't as jolly as usual, especially when the civilians noticed the armed security officers. I had gone as I felt it is important for people to see me carrying on as normal, and be there to answer questions or calm frayed nerves.

I then had to steel myself for the afternoon Council meeting. I begin to dread Tuesdays because of this. I wish to be on the bridge of a fast ship travelling at the speed of light, helping to find Wolf and the Prophetic, not sitting and listening to dreary politics where people never say what they mean and saying it takes forever. The one good thing is the meeting never ever runs late, as the Astraionians permit someone to speak as long as they like, there is no agenda and the thing just continues again the next time.

Dinner was a quick fruit salad before a tactical meeting to discuss security measures at the Colony and station, and to receive further reports on the technology used to steal the Prophetic.

We remain at DefCon 1.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140518

Location: Astraios Colony

The past few days have been a blur of official duties, council meetings, discussions with architects and landscapers, and attending diplomatic functions. Thankfully I did not need to leave Astraios Prime but I did travel by shuttle to two different events on the same day, rather exhausting and I will have to have a word with my yeoman about that.

But the most pressing, and depressing news, is about the USS Prophetic. I received word this morning that she was gone. She had disappeared while on a short test flight. Initial reports were vague as to what happened but as the investigation carried on it became clear the vessel had been stolen while still in the system. How this happened with all our security, tactical and operations personnel on duty and our technology primed to alert us to all movements in the sector... is still beyond our understanding.

From what we have been able to determine, the ship passed through a cloaked transwarp gate which then exploded, leaving us no trace of the ship or where she might have been taken. We are examining the debris. Questioning of crew and engineering teams on the ground have led us to this conclusion: the Captain, several bridge officers, and the Foulsbane children, are all missing and presumed to be still aboard the ship, wherever she may be.

I have issued an alert to the Colony, the Fleet, and the Astraionian Civilian Authority. We are now at DefStat 1.

Investigation into the technology used to infiltrate the Sector and steal a Starfleet vessel continues. The fleet has their orders. A message has been sent to Starfleet Command to advise our situation. At this point, nothing and no one is safe.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140514

Location: Astraios Colony

I slept last night in the new quarters provided for me in the Colony Commander's Residence... it's mostly reception areas and has a yet to be set up roof garden that will be quite lovely... it's quite close to the ocean and I enjoyed the view very much.

Yesterday's Council meeting went as expected, the Dosi still holding the floor for the entire afternoon. It makes no sense to me that an outsider is given all the privileges the others have, including the right to hold the government decision making process up for days. I think he recounted the entire history of Dosi and Dosi trading in the Quadrant. He did finally finish and a council member from the Northern Province is next to speak.

Today I spent the morning observing a simulator training class with some of our newest cadets. A few bumps in the road but they performed well and I look forward to seeing their progress in the coming months.

The weather has turned quite warm and I see our engineering team has finished preparing the beach areas for recreational use. Perhaps I'll take a walk there after sunset, to watch the moon rise near the temple of Norite. It always feels so... ancient and special when I walk there, knowing others have done so for centuries, looking up at the same moon as I. Makes you wonder about the mysteries of life, and seems odd that I, an outsider from another planet so far away, ended here, walking on the beach at Astraios, lit by the silver rays of Questi, in the footsteps of so many beings.

We have so much to learn.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140512

Location: SS Astraios

This morning's breakfast meeting with Senior Officers did not go as well as some others. Oh, I suppose it was alright but I found myself in disagreement with LTcmdr Bradford over Colony security. To wit: she proposes that a large fence of stone or wire be built around the Colony proper, and equipped with sensors to detect any nearby movement. I understood all her reasons for suggesting this as a way of protecting the Academy, Majel Community Hospital, our shipyards, etc. And she is right, in a way. It would make things easier to build a wall to keep everyone out and avoid any possible trouble. But she forgets something very important: a wall built to keep people out also fences them in. Not only physically, but in other ways as well. Most especially, it causes a separation in the population that I would be loathe to establish.

Maybe it's my experiences of the past, and my dislike of feeling hemmed in within walls. But I think it's more than that. I feel that we must keep our Colony and infrastructure open to the world. We can scan, use sensor alarms, have eagle-eyed teams on the ground, etc. When we start closing ourselves in, we close out the world around us. We isolate ourselves. For the sake of community, for the sake of tolerance and transparency, even if we run the risk of sabotage or more, it is vital we invite people in. That's what open borders are, in space, and in the outposts which we are invited to establish by various species throughout the galaxy. We must trust, knowing that trust will be broken by some, but accepting that as part of our way of being in the world, and part of what it means to be who we are... Starfleet.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140511

Location: Astraios Colony

Today was a quiet day. After my morning run and usual briefing, I met the Engineering Chief working on our current Colony building projects and toured the facilities, including the new Astraionian Council Chamber. In addition to this are new reception rooms for Colony Command with private areas above, and lastly, some wonderful landscaping and provision of facilities along the beach front here, all looking quite lovely. I think our Cadets and off-duty crews will enjoy the recreational areas. I asked that an area of the accessible beaches be left wild, and the rest gently prepared for use without damaging the ecosystem. An excellent job so far but then, I expected no less.

Then a casual lunch with a large civilian family in town, Hars and I attended, and sat in their garden chatting about nothing very important until one of the young daughters began to ask me about Starfleet and my duties. Mindful of the cautious looks of the parent, I was tactful in my replies, careful not to encourage a yet unformed mind to dream too much of life beyond her present world.

We walked back then, a long walk, and whether it was the heat or the lingering sense of darkness I have in my heart, it seemed longer and more tiring than expected. When we reached the Colony I excused myself to go lie down in the quiet of my room, my window open to the fragrance of the blooming flowers and the sea breeze, letting my mind wander and my heart feel its pain. Perhaps it is the illness I had a little while ago, still not quite gone. Perhaps it is the worry about the Neil Armstrong, her crew and her officers, so long without word... or perhaps it was that small, eager face looking up at me with interested eyes, reminding me again of my loss.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140510

Location: Shuttle T'Pan

I interrupted my early morning run around the Colony to take in the new Council Chambers, the infrastructure is up already. It's an interesting design and I hope will bring more light and more oxygen to the long-winded meetings of the Astraionian Council.

At 0700 I held a breakfast meeting in the Operations Briefing Room on SS Astraios to discuss current fleet operations pertaining to the issues at hand:
-investigation into the expansion of the Takaar Nebula which, if it continues, may affect nearby systems adversely;
-the continued medical quarantine of Keratophyre province and the pathogen that has now been dubbed the 'KP virus' by the media;
-the issue of the sabotage of the USS Prophetic, the questions of why and who still have not been answered to my complete satisfaction;
-the question of the pressure by the Klingon Pegh and the Dosi traders upon the Astraionian Council in order to obtain land and governmental privileges;
-and last but not least the long absence of our flagship, the USS Neil Armstrong, 1,153 people sent on a fool's errand by me to try to find one missing officer. Oh I didn't put it like that, but the tactful comments in the briefing and the voice of my own heart make me question myself.

I dismissed everyone at 0849 and went to the shuttle bay. I needed to... well I needed some time alone. I went to the far far north where spring is still absent and patches of snow are on the ground. I had given the story that I was looking for clippings of a certain bush that grows in that climate... but I really just wanted to shed being a Captain and a Commander for an afternoon.

She thought then of how she had landed the shuttle and scanned for life signs, no sentient beings for miles. Opening the door, she stepped out and breathed the fresh, cold air. The sun shone weakly over the tall mountains. Nearby a lake, fed by glaciers, gleamed deep blue. She went back inside and stripped off her uniform... squatting to the ground, she closed her eyes, breathed deeply, and let her mind focus on the image in her mind. Two minutes later a large black wolf stood at the door of the shuttle, sniffing the air. In another moment, she had disappeared into the forest.

I will be landing the shuttle shortly, SS Astraios Operations has acknowledged my signal. Hars also left me a message to say he has a quiet dinner waiting in my garden. I had a... nice afternoon but regrettably did not locate the flowering bush I was seeking. Another time.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140509

Location: Astraios Colony

Today I was in the province of Syenite, attending a spring festival and also meeting with the Syenite Agricultural Alliance, who sponsor this event in order to advertise the fresh organic produce they grow as well as raise funds for children without families. They have set up several residential schools for these children. The festival was held at the largest farm in Syenite, which also has a school that houses 111 children of all ages. After the introductions, we all sat down at long tables while children, dressed in flowing garments with garlands of flowers in their hair, played the Astraionian wood flute, danced, and sang for us. The smallest hardly knew what to do but were so cute, they brought joy to my heart and perhaps also a tear or two for the youngling I lost. It was a sweet moment caught between beauty and pain, as I watched them. I left a sizable donation before beaming back to the shuttle to return to Astraios. I checked in with OPs and Security and then went off-duty, I have been feeling slightly unwell and decided to rest for the remainder of the day.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140508

Location: SS Astraios

Breakfast meeting with my Senior Officers over a delicious meal of fruit and fresh bread, coffee or Raktajino for most of them, Earl Grey for me. I had it served in my ready room. Questi was high and visible through my window, I had the computer dim the lights to 80 percent so everyone could see it. How many people have breakfast by moonlight?

During the meeting we discussed a variety of topics with regard to security, medical, astrometrics, engineering. Several expressed concern about the influx of more aggressive attitudes to the Colony... probably a polite way of saying there are too many Klingons on Astraios Prime. I suggested we have some training simulations on how to deal with Klingons and Dosi, who view aggression as strength and assertion as weakness.

Overall the station is running well. We might need to adjust the orbit slightly as we move into summer, the planet will be passing closer to the sun and there is more potential for solar storms.

The Colony is also well managed, we have these difficulties of diplomacy and the presence of unfriendlies but I think that is natural in this line of work. We have a good relationship with the Civilian Authority and they know we will stand by them through think and thin. It's the politics that are less easy, so much subterfuge and jostling for position.

We also looked over the plans for the Astraionian Council chambers, which will be build in the Colony proper so we can provide security for the delegates.

We concluded our meeting at 0849, all smiles until someone asked about the USS Neil Armstrong and I had to report again that there is no news on that front. The USS Marco Polo is now 177 LY coreward of Astraios and has been doing extensive sensor sweeps for warp signatures or... debris.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140507

Location: SS Astraios

Yesterday's Council meeting was... frustrating, to say the least. The Dosi had the floor and they must have picked the meekest, mildest, slowest talker from among them. He spoke for three hours and forty-two minutes. The information imparted during this time was: where they are from, that they are merchants, and that they have trading arrangements with several large organizations on Astraios Prime and Treman. We all knew this already, so it was a total waste of time. But they still have the floor, and will continue on 140508.1400. If I drank, I'd have a few before that meeting. Perhaps he'll talk about the evolution of wheatgrass as it relates to quadrant-wide trading.

I spent this morning with LTcmdr Bradford, touring the Colony proper and discussing security arrangements for our upcoming military ball planned for 140601.1200 as well as the additional forces we have in place to prevent further sabotage.

After lunch, a medical briefing on the Keratophyre situation, which continues, however, Science and Medical teams worked together to discover a vaccine and this treatment is now being distributed to avoid further infection. They still need to come up with a treatment for those already infected. Currently 666 have died, and 2,049 are suffering with the virus. The worst will be placed in stasis until a cure can be found... if we can supply enough stasis pods. I have engineering teams working on that. We have not lifted the quarantine yet, as we need to be satisfied that everyone has had the vaccine and that it is working. We also discussed how to deal with further outbreaks... we will need to introduce the vaccine to our officers and crew as a standard item I suppose.

After the final briefing of the day with my yeoman Mr Farrell I will return to the surface for dinner with friends, and hopefully a little time in my garden before the sun sets.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140506

Location: Astraios Colony

I awoke again before the computer was set to wake me, and was down on the surface for my run before sunrise had begun. Everything is quiet at that time, although I know that above the planet, the station is humming with life. Duty shifts changing, routines maintained, ever present alertness on OPs deck, ships being dispatched and others being resupplied. I heard we had a new baby in sickbay as well, one of the junior officers I had the privilege of marrying last year had her first child, a boy.

As I ran my mind nibbled at the problem of the USS Prophetic sabotage. Was it just a one time thing, local protesters against Starfleet, or military, or perhaps even an alien presence on their world. Or was it something more... must be something more if the perpetrators came from areas outside our home sector. The Klingon Pegh could be involved but I sense Klingons are more in your face. The Dosi? No. Tremanites I could believe, although what they hope to gain isn't clear. Wolf's messages suggest.. well it's alarming. I hope he returns soon with all the details of what he's learned so I can put his theory into context. In the meantime we remain at defstat 3 but privately I have spoken to the acting Colony Chief security and special teams are in place around our sensitive areas, including our shipyard and spacedock.

This afternoon is the dreaded Tuesday Astraionian Council meeting, today the Dosi have the floor. They again have a chance to make their case and, given their aggressive nature, I expect there will be some verbal fireworks.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140505

Location: Astraios Colony

Today has several meetings to prepare for tomorrow's Astraionian Council. Morning briefing, a visit to OPs deck, then down to the surface to touch base with Security, and then beam over to Micrite for a quick chat with Mr Pookara of the Civilian Authority. Tackle a couple of Councillors. Mr Aplgahrt I have invited for lunch in the lounge of SS Astraios. I know he has an interest in space and our table will have a fine a view of Questi, the moon. Later, over "afternoon tea", a discussion with Ms Quirtez, this time on the surface, on a sunny day in the shade of a tree in the garden by our Banquet Hall. Both meals provided by our SS Astraios chief, Mr. Marrxa. After all that, a long walk around the Colony and then home to my own garden and Hars.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140504

Location: Astraios Colony

0513... I awoke again before the computer alarm. In a moment I shall go to the transporter room and beam down to begin my run. As it is, for us on the station, a "Sunday" it is a light duty day, with shorter shifts so everyone has a chance to visit with family and friends, or have some extra time off to rest and relax. I feel it is important to do this, most especially I like to see my crew on the planet surface and not sequestered on the station for days at a time. Of course we all sign on to Starfleet knowing we may be deployed on a ship for months... still, while there is a chance to give them all a little freedom from duty and care, I want them to have it. I know how hard they work... and how dangerous that work can be sometimes.

0700... I had a good run around the perimeter of the Colony and the outlying lands. It's a good way for me to keep a finger on the pulse of what's happening on the surface... I see the building, I see the maintenance, I see the preparations for deployment, the Marines doing their drills, the officers walking with their families to the beach, the shuttles landing with visitors... all from a distance as I move through and around the infrastructure. My favourite part is the path that skirts the hills to the north... it's wilder there, and as I go up the first hill I get a great view of the entire settlement... and the air seems cooler, fresher. I feel alive.

0730... SS Astraios mess hall. Mr. Marrxa had prepared breakfast for the Senior Officers, it was set up as a buffet. He feels strongly that as we are in orbit of a planet our crew should, when possible, eat 'real food' harvested locally. There is some scientific merit to this. Certainly eating plants or roots grown here means we ingest pollens or other materials, making us more immune to possible allergies. It took me a long time to like replicated food. It's not tasteless or anything... it's just sort of like the difference between a fresh baked bun and one that's two days old. It's okay to eat it, but it's not quite the same.

0830... Operations Deck, receive morning briefing in person.

0930... attend wedding rehearsal in the Chapel

1030... an hour in my office with Mr Farrell, going over reports and the schedule for the week. The Council sits again Tuesday. We set up meetings with four of the Councillors I need to speak with soon, as the vote on the Pegh and the Dosi will occur later this month.

1200... attend a lunch reception at a school in Dacite. The food was all prepared by students, they had carved ices to decorate the tables. The cooks all stood behind the buffet as we moved through, I chatted to several, so young but so talented.

1330... arrived back at SS Astraios and contacted OPs for an update on communications and a report on station readiness, then handed the comm to the duty officer and went off duty.

Now for some time in my garden, a long chat with Hars, and a dinner of fresh vegetables.

As lovely as that is, I cannot smile as easily as I might wish...knowing the USS Neil Armstrong is out there somewhere, unable to report in. They are always in my thoughts.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140503

Location: Astraios Colony

It's Saturday, 0700 hours.... or is it?

One thing I find difficult is the mix of Terran and Astraionian customs, sometimes it feels ludicrous to live on a planet with an eight day week and a 25 hour day, and organize my crew and my schedule by the Terran hours, days, weeks. Starfleet is based on that model and I still, after all this time, sometimes struggle with the time differences.

For Astraionians, this is Sannaite, a special day that begins at their dawn, with a traditional breakfast of fresh breads made from local grains and fresh water, with seeds and fruits baked within it. This is served typically with a kind of tea made of a bitter herb, this is intended to give the drinker strength in adversity. I adore the bread but only sip the tea, and, if no one is looking, I dilute it with hot water. I guess that makes me weak *smiles*

After bread and tea families usually go together for a walk, the most traditional will go to one of the temples to observe the Rite of the Rock. It involves sparking a fire from rock, on rock, and then singing as the smoke of the herb laden woods fills the air. The smoke is not toxic, it seems, just sweet smelling and rather delightful... (the computer tells me this might be similar to something called 'incense' which was burned in Terran temples of old). The singing is always beautiful, sometimes mournful but always... peaceful. I think it represents the soul of the Astraionian to me... at heart they are farmers and caregivers of their planet, she who bears them, feeds them, and protects them.

For outsiders, the temple, made of stone, with three towering rocks placed by a granite altar, looks archaic. But in reality the Astraionians do not worship the rocks. They revere their planet, the third rock, that spins around their sun. And indeed, Astraios is like no other planet... some speak of her as though she has a mind or soul. Perhaps they are right, she has a mischievous spirit - we've certainly experienced that in our time here... but she is also benevolent. And beautiful. I can't think of anywhere I've been in the three quadrants I've been to that has touched me so deeply.

When I think of Astraios and her peoples... I admit I have a great fondness for them. Which makes me worry all the more about the increasing pressures from outsiders. This fragile world... this fragile peace... *sighs*

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140502

Location: Astraios Colony

A disturbing report from Captain Wolfton Foulsbane with regard to the sabotage of the USS Prophetic has reached me over subspace. Its contents were encrypted and at this point I do not wish to speak of it even in a personal log. Otherwise plans are moving forward with the Colony. I suggested to the Astraionian Council that their current chambers, while traditional, also were not made for the increasing numbers of representatives, and that, in fact, this usage is damaging the 1,000 year old council house - and I pointed out how it was impossible to secure it properly without damaging the infrastructure. I proposed that the Colony build and prepare a suitable building made of natural materials from the planet. I was surprised at the reaction, mostly positive, and I am now part of a committee to oversee plans. It will be built by Starfleet engineers and Astaionian engineers, in partnership. I like that.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140501

Location: Astraios Colony

My run this morning was particularly delightful, the spring air was crisp and clean but the rising sun was warm, I felt so refreshed afterwards. I had a lovely piece of fruit and a long drink of clear water before my solar shower, and emerged energized and ready for the day.

Briefing at 0700 contained several items of interest. First and most important, no word as yet of the USS Neil Armstrong, the Marco Polo continues to search for her trail but is travelling at medium warp for fear of missing any clues.

Secondly, the outbreak of an unknown virus on the eastern coast of the southern continent, called "Keratophyre" due to the quartz in the area, continues. Although we have sent medical and scientific assistance, until the virus is isolated and investigated, a inoculation or cure cannot be found. All we can do now is quarantine the sick, investigate how they got sick, and try to keep the rest of the population well. Our security teams and marine detachment are assisting the local police force in calming residents, getting them to stay home, and ensuring that no one leaves or comes into the area. At present all our personnel are wearing light protective clothing and breathing apparatus when on the ground.

A report followed on the Takaar Nebula, I carried with me the data I had collected while on the Colossus and shared what I had learned. A broader report is expected from the USS Uralia when she completes her investigation, in the meantime the data will be sent to the astronomers aboard.

We concluded at 0830 and I made my way to the transporter room. I wished to see the Acting Colony Chief Security, and discuss with her security arrangements for the colony and the upcoming Council sessions which will begin again next week - unless the Keratophyre situation interferes. I could have called her to my ready room, but I like seeing my staff in their work environments. It helps me appreciate what they deal with every day, what kind of atmosphere they create or have to work in, and I think also makes me seem more approachable. I found July in the Brig area, talking with a young Ensign. The new officer was surprised to see me, I think, and stammered a hello, and then remembered herself... jumping to her feet she shouted "Captain on the Deck" which was rather amusing as only myself and LTcmdr Bradford were there. Surpressing a giggle I said, "as you were Ensign," and after a brief introduction Ensign Moss was dismissed. July and I had our chat.

I then took a brief walk in front of the Welcome Centre, nodding to cadets and gardeners as I strode away briskly, hoping not to be caught in conversation, needing to clear my head after the morning briefings. After a few minutes, a beep on my communicator was LTjg Farrell, reminding me of my lunch meeting with Mr Pookara, to be followed by a visit to the USS Davy Crockett, holding a "May Day" event on the ship.

I took Hars with me to meet with Lazuli, it was really mostly a casual thing, chatting over tea, but discussing also the details of the upcoming Council meetings and our strategies in that regard. There are a few council members we hope will remain on 'our side' and these people will also need to be chatted with over the next few days. Laz thinks, as do I, that the Pegh and the Dosi will work together to undermine our position in order to get what they want. This is a given... it's how they will do it that concerns me... the more I can anticipate them, the better prepared we will be to meet their 'attacks'.

Then I was pleased to beam aboard the Crockett and participate in the social event, meeting more of the crew and listening to the music they played in their '3 Forward'. I declined refreshment due to the strict regimen I have now adopted, but chatted with several until I needed to return to duty.

I met with Mr Farrell then to go over the schedule for the next few days, and receive any further reports on the virus situation. I contacted SS Astraios Operations to hand the conn to the duty officer, then declared myself off duty as of 1430.

I have some new seedlings in my greenhouse that are ready to be transplanted, I plan to spend the rest of the afternoon under the sun in my garden, listening only to the breeze and the birds, and smelling the good earth.

Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate: 140430

Location: Astraios Colony

At my request the Colossus maintained a distance of 500,000 kms from the outer edge of the Takaar Nebula as we cruised it rimward, I spent most of the morning in Astrometrics watching it go by and examining the data received from our sensors, which, as usual, have difficulty penetrating the anomaly, which was then at bearing 301, mark 000. We then moved further away and increased speed to ensure we would be home by sunset.

Upon my arrival I beamed to Sick Bay for a quick chat with the MO on duty, as it had been reported to me that a viral strain had hit part of the population on the east end of the southern continent, with some deaths among the elderly and hospitalization for others severely affected. We have protocols in place but vigilance is always necessary as our officers and crew often come in contact with inhabitants from this world during the course of their duties or social lives. We decided to deploy one of our medical ships to the area, and contacted the local government to request a landing area. Besides medical staff and supplies, we will also be sending marines detachments to help ensure order is maintained and that the quarantine is enforced. All vessels in the area have been grounded and a perimeter set. Besides offering assistance with these vital things, we will also send a crack science team to investigate the pathogen and its source.

After checking in with the Operations Chief I then retired to my quarters with some reports and messages to read, which I did while having a light supper of soup. I am very concerned that the continued diplomatic and community events to which I am invited are going to affect my health, and I have instructed my Yeoman to advise the issuers of invitations of my dietary requirements - not just vegetarian only, but no sugared items, alcohol, breads or buns. Just vegetables and light fruits, and clear water or broth. I may look humanoid but I am not... computer, erase that last sentence, after the word 'broth' [acknowledged]

...after completing my work, which only took about one hour as I had kept up with most of the paperwork and other items while on the Colossus, I beamed down to my garden and met Hars there, and we walked briskly together through the Colony proper, chatting quietly while breathing of the cool night air. I was grateful to be on 'terra firma' again.