WEEKEND FORCAST: SUN FLARES & SNOW BLARES

[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.

No.

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.