Task Force Flagship Vanishes While Charting Anomalous Region

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Title   Task Force Flagship Vanishes While Charting Anomalous Region
Category   General News
Author   Rear Admiral Iluvar
Posted   Mon Jun 01, 2009 @ 10:30am

Starfleet investigates probable cause, denies rumors of sabotage

Three days ago, the USS Tethys departed from Starbase 386 for a region of space near the Cardassian Border known as the Golden Discontinuity. Similar to the Badlands, this region is plagued by severe plasma storms that have been a source of mystery to Federation scientists and of concern to Starfleet Command. The Tethys, under the command of newly promoted Commodore Iluvar, commanding officer of the Eighth Fleet’s Task Force 22, was dispatched to begin charting the Discontinuity in hopes of obtaining a better understanding of this particular region of space.

Admiral Alynna Necheyev, Commander, Starfleet Operations for Sector 441, expressed confidence in the captain and crew of the Tethys. “I know Commodore Iluvar to be an extraordinary officer, his crew to be one of the finest in the fleet,” the admiral told reporters via subspace communication, “I’m sure that things are just fine…we’re simply overreacting to what could just be interference from the plasma storms.”

Sector 441, known locally as the Briar Patch, is a region marked with dense pockets of metryon gas as well as heavy concentrations of metaphasic particles. Starfleet’s presence in the area is centered around Deep Space 12 and focused on protecting the region from intrusion and exploitation.

An "overreaction". While this may be the case, this reporter has learned from reliable sources that within minutes of Commodore Iluvar arriving on Starbase 386, there was an explosion near one of the station's computer cores. Starbase 386's Commander of record, Commander Madeline Dubois was contacted by Michael Godwin of FNN via subspace right after the incident.

MG: "Colonel Dubois, are the rumours true of an attack on the station?"

"There has been an unfortunate incident a short time ago. All I can say at the moment is that the safety of the residents and crew of Starbase 386 is of primary concern. Security is currently looking into the matter, and we will have more information for you as soon as we know more." While Starfleet has been reluctant to reveal numbers, they were compelled to reveal that approximately 15-20 civilians were among the casualties of this "unfortunate incident".

In that last segment you may have noticed that Michael referred to Colonel Dubois. This is because Madeline Dubois only holds the provisional rank of Commander. She is actually a Colonel in the Starfleet Marine Corps, having been assigned to Starbase 386 as its commanding officer as part of a special joint-service project between the MACOs and Starfleet. A veteran of the Dominion war, and decorated twice for valour in combat, there had been rumours of dissent within the ranks of Starfleet Command surrounding her appointment.

While any evidence of a connection between the explosion on 386 and the disappearance of the Tethys would be circumstantial at best, the timing of the events and the lack of denial from Starfleet Command are enough to give this reporter pause.

Further investigation into the commodore’s own personal record have revealed some startling information about this man and raised some interesting questions. In 2379, then Lieutenant JG Iluvar was the sole survivor following the destruction of the Sovereign-class USS Valar, resulting in the loss of all hands. The Valar had been attempting to divert an asteroid that was on a direct course for a science outpost. A board of inquiry was convened and the assessment concluded that the Valar had overtaxed her systems, resulting in a core breach. Unable to accept the verdict, Lt. JG Iluvar embarked on a rogue mission to attempt to prove that it was alien sabotage. When threatened with discharge from Starfleet, he took leave and settled on the forbidden Ba’ku planet.

Since taking command of the USS Tethys in 2384, Iluvar has made questionable decisions regarding both crew assignments and command decisions. One officer who wished to remain anonymous informed this reporter that the commodore allows temperamental holograms to roam the ship freely without limitation. Further reports indicate that he willingly supported the secretive activities of his chief of security as well.

Under the command of Iluvar, the Tethys has been involved in no less than four interstellar incidents involving the Breen, the Romulans, the Elyshans, and the Tzenkethi. In the most recent of these incidents, the commodore was absent from his post, having attempted to pick up the vendetta of 2379. His activities nearly led to interstellar war between the Tzenkethi and the Federation. One might wonder how such an officer has risen to such prestige within the ranks of Starfleet’s Eighth Fleet.

Whether simple interference, a rogue Starfleet officer, or some sinister plot, readers can be assured that this reporter will do everything in his power to find the truth behind these events.

Jason Aberdeen
Federation News Network