Welcome to STARTREK LEXINGTON, an ongoing weekly summary of the USS Lexington's mission and adventures. Enjoy!
MISSION TO STELLAR ASSOCIATION XM2Edit
Far beyond the other side of the territory of the Gorn Hegemony lies a star-dense portion of our Galaxy ... it's a smaller Galaxy within our own, known as stellar association XM2.
Only the Gorns have explored a small area in the direction of this small population of stars, but XM2 is way beyond any known exploration in that direction.
Until recently, only long range sensors have reached that far from Federation space where electronic and signals analysis could only fully guess what's out there. But we know of worlds within, unreachable and thus unexplored, and we know that some are inhabited. Civilizations exist. We've been listening to them, analyzing languages, learning about cultures from signal waves that have taken millennium to reach us; we've been waiting for a time when we can travel such distances from our own worlds to make contact. For now, we're preoccupied with the fascinating discoveries within the vast boundaries of our own territory, and distracted by conflicts and potential hostilities which have kept starships pinned within our borders, unable to stay away for fear of a sufficient lack of defense.
Six months ago, the Gorns intercepted a distress message from the region; one which may have originated over ten earth centuries ago. The Gorn government forwarded the message and all data to Starfleet Intelligence for further analyses. After it was picked apart, ran through data banks, analyzed over and over, Starfleet intelligence confirmed the claims by the originators of the distress message, that they are indeed from Earth. How they got out that far, and so long ago is up to the USS Lexington to determine.
USS Lexington has received orders to make contact. It will be a long and arduous voyage, arriving first at Starbase 225 in the Delta-Marriah system, last Federation outpost near Gorn Territory. From this last outpost, the ship's crew compliment will be bolstered to 120% of the builders' recommended manning levels. We'll depart there, rendezvous with a Gorn Cruiser to be escorted through Gorn space to one of their Starbases where our science department can analyze the distress information for themselves before departing there to make our nine month journey to XM2. At that point, it's anyone's guess how this mission could go.
Due to the unstable Gorn / Romulan diplomatic situation, the Gorns will not be involved in this venture but have offered support services for Federation ships. The Lexington will be supported by two long range supply vessels who will hold station at approximately half the distance to our destination -- one Gorn, one Federation.
While rescue is priority, the signal is old, and rescue may no longer be feasible. We've been authorized to take minimally timed detours for exploration and to make contact with civilizations as appropriate.
All hands ... prepare to depart Starbase 31 and prepare for a long journey.
After the ceremony on SB 31, during which Captain Jonas Brent was giving command of the USS Lexington, due to Captain Styles' untimely demise, the Lexington prepared to leave dock. While the crew was getting ready to leave the starbase and head toward Gorn space for their new mission, Dr. Ziz Tiesha rejoined the ship from a long LOA.
Plus a civilian Science team joined the crew for this particular journey under the lead of Dr. Gia Ferrari. The hot-headed Doctor promised to be an interesting addition to the Lexington.
Not long after, the Lexington was on its way, departing the Starbase.
The Lexington had departed Starbase 31 and was enroute XM2. From this Star group, an earth signal had been intercepted by the Gorn Hegemony and relayed to Star Fleet Intelligence. The signal was at least 10 Earth centuries old, and the distance to the it has been estimated to be approximately 9 months from Gorn space at Warp 8.
After entering orbit of Aurelia IV, a stop over on the way to SB 225, Medical conducted a routine house-call on the 32 science personnel on the planet. The science teams took the chance to mingle and exchange some information. Lt. Cmdr. Sanantonio led the official away team and was charged with determining if the science colony had any Engineering or security issues they needed to tackle.
All other hands were authorized a 24 hour shore leave in shifts, before heading directly to SB 225.
While Dr. Tiesha checked out the science crew on the planet, the science and engineering teams of the Lexington made any necessary adjustments to the colony's equipment. At the same time Lt. Fred Fogarty arrived back from Utopia Planitia with the Science yacht, Bill Nye, which had just underwent extensive repairs.
Not long after leaving the planet, Lt. Cmdr. Sanantonio and Dr. Ferrari clashed over one of the civilian Scientists. To the XO's suprise the Scientist turned out to be a Horta, having been forgotten and left in a crate in the cargo bay for days. The Horta, lovingly nicknamed "Crusty" by the Science team, had been in stasis, but Dr. Ferrari felt that was no excuse. She showed her misgivings to the Commander in no uncertain terms and demanded that the Horta's quarters would be immediately modified to fit her environmental needs.
On their way to Gorn space, the Lexington stumbled upon a derelict Federation mine floating in space. The ship's presence activated the mine, so Captain Brent order the ship to full stop and they attempted to defuse it by sending out a bomb probe.
In the middle of the confusion and the casualties coming into Sickbay, Dr. Tiesha encounters a patient, a young man without identification. He was hurt and unconscious, wearing a SF uniform, but noone knew who he was, neither was he in the database of the Lexington.
In the meantime, however, the probe activities caused the mine to activate and start to track the ship... the Lexington began backing away from the mine, eventually up to 3/4 impluse. Suddenly, the mine went off, taking the bomb-probe with it. But it was too soon to relax, as 5000 more mines decloaked around the ship. The Lexington was trapped... in the center of a minefield!
The Lexington had been surrounded by the mine field for the past 6 hours. Captain Brent received a message from Dr. Ferrari pertaining vital information to what was called the "Galoche's Mine Concept". Information so confidential, he was surprised she had knowledge of it.
Then, an active scan of the field set off a few of the mines, rocking the ship violently. Due to the shaking, Lt. Cmdr. Sanantonio landed on a live electroplasma terminal, while doing repairs on the bridge console and passed out.
Meanwhile, Dr. Tiesha's mystery patient told her that his name was Ensign Franks. Again, she checked, but there was no Ensign by such name registered on the ship. While the Doctor got called to the bridge to help with Lt. Cmdr. Sanantonio, somehow Ensign Franks escaped from sickbay.
Captain Brent bend on getting out of the minefield, discussed option on using a wild weasel to distract the mine sensors from the Lexington and escape the field with Lt. Sturek. The Captain finally decided to order Lt. Falco Fogarty to launch the wild weasel and it actually began dragging some of the mines away from the Lexington, allowing the ship to back out of the danger zone.
Just a few hours before arriving at SB 225, in the Strelli-Ofi system, Captain Brent and Lt. Falco Fogarty interrogated Dr. Ferrari about her knowledge of the "Galoche's Mine Concept" and a suspicious code accessing secure information. She ended up revealing to Brent that she really was a SF officer, doing undercover work on the Lexington, but she asked him not let anyone else know her true identity yet.
In the meantime, Scurity has started looking for the missing Ensign Franks, whoever he may be.
Arriving at SB 225, which was located on an asteroid, the Lexington picked up another crew member, Lt. Xenthos with his starfighter, plus another civilian scientist, Mr. Mmmf. The stopover at the starbase didn't last long, only giving the crew enough time to beam supplies on board.
A bit over five hours later, the Lexington rendezvoused with a Gorn cruiser. Captain Brent invited Dr. Ferrari and Lt. Falco Fogarty to join him for meeting the Gorn Captain in the transporter room. The Doctor soon made the Captain regret that he took her along, since she was less than tactful with the Gorn.
As the Lexington followed the Gorn escort toward their space station, Captain Brent made clear orders to keep the ship away from the Gorn/Romulan border to not arouse suspicion. They were under direct orders from Starfleet not to get involved in any border clashes. But not long into the trip, the Gorn cruiser suddenly made a turn and headed straight for the Romulan border, in an apparent attempt to show off their alliance with the Federation. And in an instance, a Romulan WarBird decloaked next to the Gorn ship, and shortly after two more smaller vessels.
While they were getting into a fight, Captain Brent had to make the decision if the Lexington should interfere. Both alien vessels were venting ionized radiation and the Lex's sensor were having a tough time picking up anything. Finally, the Captain gave orders to engage and fire on one of the smaller Romulan vessels to take it out.
Dr. Ferrari's analysis of the radiation revealed that the ships were emitting polaric radiation, which had to do with their weapons. At the same time, as Lt. Cmdr. Sanantonio rushed to sensor control to make adjustment to compensate for the radiation, Lt. Xenthos was ordered to launch his starfighter and enter the battle. Under combined fire from the Lexington and X's fighter the Romulan scout ships were taken down. The remaining Romulan ships cloaked and the battle was over as fast as it had begun.
After the Lexington's crew had time to do minimal repairs on the ship, they were continuing on to the Gorn base. But not all was over yet. Lt. Neko suddenly reported that internal sensors had detected a Romulan intruder. Lt. Falco Fogarty and Lt. Xenthos rushed to head the unwanted guest off, and with the help of other security team members they were setting out to track the Romulan down.
Following a bit of a hunt, they finally trapped the intruder in sickbay, where Lt. Cmdr. Sanantonio happend to be as well. A short firefight ensued and the Romulan lost his weapon. When he suddenly popped a pill out to put it in his mouth, everyone rushed at him at ones, but Lt. Cmdr. Sanantonio fired on the pill. In the confusion, Lt. Falco Fogarty was shot, but only injured his cybernetic arm.
Afterwards, Lt. Cmdr. Sanantonio noticed that the Romulan intruder had tried to access a computer terminal in sickbay to insert a preloaded isolinear chip to run some programs that would allow the Romulans to hack into the Lexington's database. The spy was eventually taken to the brig, where he would remain until the Lexington would be able to meet with the Federation supply ship in five months. Captain Brent did not want to leave him on the Gorn base, thinking he might become lunch.
After the Lexington received and confirmed the data concerning the XM2 transmissions from the Gorn space station, they were headed out of Gorn territory and into unexplored space. Captain Brent had called for the crew to be at general minimal watch manning levels for the next 24 hours, after which they would resume space normal routine. He also had left standing orders for the bridge watch to keep an eye out for class M planets, or any other signs of possible civilizations along the way. Two days into the journey, sensors had not picked up anything unusual yet.
Though that silence did not last long. While Dr. Tiesha was conducting a search on her disappearing mystery patient, Ensign Franks, by running extensive DNA cross-matching and criminal listings, the Lexington picked up a faint distress signal, coming from a system lying some 2 hours ahead. The message had not said much, just that whoever sent it was 'in trouble'.
As the Lexington came closer to the source of the signal, scans provided information on the star system. It appeared to have 10 planets, two of them Class-M, capable of supporting life. After entering the system and approaching the 7th planet, more information became available. Scanners detected humanoid lifesigns, though on a horizontal basis, not a vertical one (like lizards compared to upright humanoids). The lifeforms were just under 3 1/5 feet tall. However, no signals were detected coming from that 7th planet.
Captain Brent ordered an Away Team to be assembled and the Lexington to be moved further into the system, toward the 5th planet. Reports on scanning result were still pending at that point.
In preparation for arrival at the fifth planet, Captain Brent gave thought to putting together an Away Team. He asked Dr. Tiesha, the CMO, to be ready to lead the away mission in anticipation of the worst case scenario. However, whether or not he would dispatch an AT would greatly depend on the civilization's stage of development and technology level the Lexington would encounter.
Captain Brent finally decided that he would go on the AT mission himself, accompanied by the helmsman, Chief Squill, and a Science officer, Ensign Laryn. Not being able to disguise themselves as natives, since those are horizontal lifeforms, they opted to go down to the planet in a shuttle. They landed several kilometers from the main city, where the distress signal was originating from, and put on cloaked isolation suits. Closer scans revealed that the natives were at a developmental level of humans around the 22nd century.
As the AT was discovering the planet and moving toward the source of the signal, the Lexington found itself in a bad spot, being fired upon with missiles. Commander Sanantonio decided to use electronic countermeasures and try to outrun the rather 'ancient' weapons. The countermeasures were rendering some of the missiles inert, but others exploded closer and closer, shaking the ship.
While investigating the source of the distress call, the Lexington had come under Nuclear missile attack from an unknown source. Sensors revealed that the missile were a mix of proximity and contact explosive warheads, of which it appeared the proximity explosive warheads had all but detonated due to the countermeasures taken. But approximately 9 missiles were still in flight, and another wave had just been detected leaving the orbit of a small moon around the inner most planet of the system.
Seeing that they would have to deal with a lot more missles, Lt. Cmdr. Sanantonio made the unconventional decision to head the ship straight into the oncoming weapons. The Lexington leaped to warp five, shoving through the cluster of missiles and popping out of the other side. The missles were pushed to the side and either deactivated or exploded. His gambled had worked.
Meanwhile, on the planet, the AT under lead of Captain Brent had closed in on a city. They tracked down the origin of the distress signal to a green-colored, four-story building. Brent decided to head toward the signal, since they were still being protected by the cloaked suits.
On the Lexington, Lt. Cmdr. Sanantonio ordered the missiles to be fired upon, then matched the speed of the weapons to drag them back to where they came from. While Lt. Falco Fogarty launched his fighters, Falcon and Hawk, the Lexington lined up with the moon. The Commander contacted the missle base and informed them that their weapons would impact them in five minutes unless they deactivated them. After charging up the Fogarty Nexus, the Lexington let the missiles get close, then jumped to warp and did a Z+90 degree turn. The missiles continued on their path, missing the Lex and striking the base on the moon, but bouncing off without doing harm. Apparently, they had been deactivated.
Back on the planet, the AT suddenly realized that the natives could see them, despite their cloaked isolation suits. Captain Brent decided to take off the cloak and fully reveal themselves to the inhabitants; they had mixed reactions. The AT made clear that they came in peace, in answer to the distress signal. With the help of the Universal Translator, the natives were capable of explaining to the AT that the aggressors in space call themselves Tonchans and had made them destroy their ships, keeping them captive on the planet.
In answer to the missile maneuver of the Lexington, two ship suddenly came around the sun and were on intercept course. When being hailed, they only responded with the demand for the Lexington to leave the system.
The Lexington was at Red Alert, in a standoff with the Tonchan ships and the missile base on the moon below. Just as more missiles being launched, Captain Brent and the AT returned to the ship via a transporter they had somehow tweaked. He rushed to the bridge in hopes that they could head off more violence by communicating with the Tonchans.
But first, the Lexington fired on all the oncoming missiles, destroying them. The two Tonchan cruisers, however, did not engage, since their technology was way behind that of the Lex, and let the ship head back for the fifth planet.
Captain Brent ordered to hail the Tonchans, in hope to resolve the issue with them without putting the Lexington in a bad light, since they might have to travel through their space for a while on the way to XM2. Finally, a Commander Divon answered the call, still demanding for the Lex to leave their space. When the Captain stood his ground, pointing out that they had invaded the space of the race on the planet first, the Tonchan Commander ended the transmission.
In the meantime, Dr. Tiesha and Dr. Ferrari got into a bit of a tiff over some pointed questions the civilian Scientist asked the CMO about Captain Styles' death.
The Lexington hailed the station on the moon several more times, before another Commander by the name of Jeltz answered, demanding the same as the one before and also threatening to fire on the Lexington again. The Captain tried hard to remain diplomatic and asked for a temporary truce to have time to negotiate. Finally, Jeltz agreed to give the Lexington 10 minutes to make their case.
With the Captains permission, Chief Squill put his Ferengi negotiating talents to work and tried offering the Tonchans some more advanced technology for a free pass and truce. Commander Jeltz seemed interested but replied that he would have to talk with his government first.
At the same time, in the Science lab, Dr. Ferrari tried accessing confidential information with her 'secret' access code again, but this time it didn't work. Lt. Cmdr. Sanantonio had enabled the computer to track down and shut out access by said code. As his animated image appeared on her screen, waggling his finger at her with an "access denied" message, her anger hit the roof and she set out to pay him back.
While the AT was back down on the fifth planet, Captain Brent had an interesting conversation with Commander Jeltz, who admitted that he and those with him were actually far away from their species' homeworld and had not had contact with them in the past 40 years. When his group had left the Tonchan homeworld, they had been at war with a species called the Koth. Jeltz agreed to Brent's proposal and asked him to deliver a message to his government that might help them to get back to their home.
In the meantime, Dr. Ferrari tricked Ensign Penny into leaving her alone at the main Science console on the bridge. She used the access she had gained to look up some confidential files and mess with Lt. Cmdr. Sanantonio's settings. Before the Commander could return to the bridge, the Doctor quickly vacated the Science console, leaving Penny to take the heat, when the XO would discover the modifications. Trouble was surely brewing!
After everyone was back on board, the Lexington left the system at warp 5, heading toward XM2 once again, with plans to detour to Tonchon Prime when the time came.
It didn't take long for Lt. Cmdr. Sanantonio to realize that someone had messed with his console. After he questioned Ensign Penny about it and found out that she had allowed Dr. Ferrari access to it, his anger knew no bounds. He grabbed Lt. Falco Fogarty and a security detail and marched to confront the civilian Scientist. In his rage, he stormed into the lab and exchanged a few unpleasantries with her. Then, he had her arrested and thrown into the brig.
At the same time, Otto Koontz was sending a high-priority, top-secret message to Sector 001, reporting Gia's arrest to their superior.
After Captain Brent and Commander Sanantonio discussed the issue with Dr. Ferrari in the Ready Room, the Captain headed out to see the doctor in the brig to talk to her. Meanwhile, Sanantonio went to find Otto Koontz to question him about the subspace transmission he had made and apparently received a reply for.
At the same time, Dr. Tiesha asked Lt. Falco Fogarty to bring a few of his Security officer to sickbay to help her in her endeavor to find the stowaway that had escaped some days ago. She had her new EMH, Dr. Lazara, modify scanners to look for thermal patterns and hoped to pair up a Security officer with a Medical officer to find the fugitive.
Just as the Captain and XO, with Koontz in tow, met again at the brig, Brent received a call from Fst. Lt. Fred Fogarty from the bridge, informing him that Fst. Lt. Sturek had detected a planetary system with advanced technology that was about 1.5 lightyears away. Not being able to start any discussion with Dr. Ferrari at that point, the Captain opted to place a Security guard with both her and Koontz until further notice.
A little while later and after Captain Brent had returned to the bridge and checked in with Fogarty and Sturek, he instructed the Chief Engineer to keep command of the bridge and further investigate the planet in question. Then, he returned to his Ready Room and requested all parties for the discussion about Dr. Ferrari's actions to meet him there.
After everyone arrived, Gia Ferrari informed all present about her undercover assignment to investigate the death of Captain Styles. A heated discussion ensued that soon was brought to an end, when it became apparent that Gia Ferrari was suppose to have had access to any files on the ship. Cmdr. Sanantonio apologized for taking any efforts on her part personal and the doctor did so likewise. She also informed the Captain that her mission had just been called off, due to conflicting evidence, and that she was thereby decommissioned from service to the DIA.
Suddenly, a call came through from Fst. Lt. Fogarty, alerting the Captain and XO that the Lexington was being made subject to a tactical scan from the planet surface and that there was apparently a weapon locked onto the ship. Brent immediately ordered RED ALERT status, and everyone dispersed to their stations.
After establishing orbit around the planet from which the tactical scan had initiated, Captain Brent ordered to hail whoever was down there. Only an automated message was returned, "Enemy vessel, you have enter Koth territory and will be destroyed, if you do not surrender yourself and allow us to board", and further scans revealed no life signs.
To be sure, though, and gain some information on the facility on the planet, the Captain decided to send an Away Team down to the surface, consisting of Fst. Lt. Fogarty, Chief Squill, and Dr. Ferrari, who was helping out at the Science console. Just before they beamed to the surface sensors showed a slight drain in the shields, but nothing major.
The Away Team quickly found out that they had not been transported right next to the facility, but on a mountain slope just above a valley, where the large building was located. Apparently, something had interfered with pinpointing the exact location or something during transport had messed up. As the Away Team began their decent into the valley, Lt. Xenthos readied himself in his fighter on the Lexington.
It took Fst. Lt. Fogarty just a little while to lead the Away Team down the path leading to the facility. As they came closer, energy readings were spiking and they suddenly detected life signs approaching. After hiding, they observed a group of strange looking alien creatures devour a small animal in a ghastly way and then scatter off again. Gia Ferrari took the chance to peek into the facility through some sort of hexagonal viewing hole. Besides a musky smell emitting from the large building, she also heard some kind of mechanical sound.
Despite what any scans from orbit had shown, the Away Team confirmed visually and with tricorder readings that there were definitely some sort of inhabitants on the surface... matter of fact, right inside the facility.
At the same time, Captain Brent authorized the launch of the Albatross fighter to run more scans from orbit and be ready for any attack. As the fighter launched, the weapons system on the planet momentarily diverted its lock onto the fighter, scanned it, and then went back to lock onto the Lexington.
Chief Squill reported in from the surface to let the Captain know that there was intelligent life present and that his tricorder was detecting elements and compounds unknown to the Federation market. It appeared that the building was some sort of research facility. Dr. Ferrari also informed Captain Brent that she suspected that the creatures they had observed were the Koth. Her conclusion was based on the report she had not yet been able to turn in about the data they had received from the Tonchons.
As the Away Team found a way into the facility, finding that the Koth were apparently constructing proto-type weapons there, the Lexington's sensors detected two vessels at the edge of the star system, winking in and and out of sensor visibility. While Lt. Xenthos received instructions to investigate but not engage, the Away Team members overheared a conversation from their vantage point. It didn't forebode well for the Tonchons.
Suddenly, Squill's tricorder beeped loudly and spewed out a long stream of information, while all consoles on every single station on the Lexington displayed the same design: A large blue greek symbol of Omega.
Captain Brent immediately recalled the Away Team from the planet, then called Lt. Cmdr. Sanantonio into his Ready Room. After he secured the door again, he ordered the Commander to have Fst. Lt. Fred Fogarty install multiphasic shielding around the warp cores within the next 3 hours and have Chief Squill modify a shuttle to be able to withstand extreme thermal stress. When Sanantonio inquired about the reason, Brent apologized for not being able to be more specific, but requested for the crew to just trust him.
After the XO left the Ready Room, he called Fst. Lt. Fogarty, the CENG, to the bridge and all Engineering shifts to emergency alert status to work on the 5 warp cores. Briefing the CENG, Sanantonio reminded him to be quick with the work, or they might have to prepare to eject any warp core that has not been outfitted. While the Engineers began their task, Chief Squill and Lt. Falco Fogarty, the ACSEC, were getting to work on refitting one of the shuttles.
In the meantime, Captain Brent was pouring over the information on the Omega particle, looking for a solution, and Lt. Cmdr. Sanantonio quizzed Dr. Ferrari on the situation, hoping that she might know something about the blue Omega symbol.
Down in the brig, the Romulan prisoner was getting angry, being neglected due to the emergency status. He threw the soup bowl at the shields of his cell, it bounced back and hit him in the head, knocking him unconscious.
While Captain Brent remained locked in his Ready Room, Dr. Ferrari admitted to Lt. Cmdr. Sanantonio that she had no knowledge about the Omega symbol. With a tad bit of cynicism, she reminded the Commander that if he had not revoked her access with Admiral CeKpet's code, they might be able to get some answers. The XO had to concede, exasperated over the situation. Somehow, he was expected to protect the ship from some kind of possible energy wave, while he couldn't be told what he was up against.
Dr. Ferrari decided to go on a quest of her own, leaving the bridge to talk to some of the foreign civilian Scientists and trying to find out if they could provide answers. On her way to the mess hall, she suddenly turned around, thinking she might be able to enlist the help of the Romulan prisoner, whom she made acquaintances with during her short stay in the brig. She, however, only discovered that the prisoner was lying unconscious in his cell and headed back for the mess hall once more.
At the same time, the XO called the CENG to the bridge once again to discuss the situation a bit further.
Back in the brig, the Security officer on duty called Dr. Ho'blux from sickbay to have a look at the Romulan. After scanning the prisoner, the doctor discovered that the Romulan had apparently knocked himself out. He instructed the Security team to move him back onto his cot and let him sleep it off.
By then, Dr. Ferrari was in the mess hall, questioning Dr. Verrabolys about any knowledge he might have of a blue Omega symbol. Neither him nor his colleague, however, had ever heard of it, leaving Dr. Ferrari with nothing to report to the XO.
In the meantime, Lt. Cmdr. Sanantonio bribed Chief Squill with latinum to get the information off the Ferengi's tricorder. Suddenly, a distress call came in from the planet, something about a virus spreading and an experiment failure. The XO immediately had Science send the data collected on a Theda Comm Band wave to sickbay and the Science labs for Dr. Ferrari to analyze.
As he looked over the information from Squill's tricorder, Sanantonio suddenly got the idea to modify the crystalline structure of the Lex's armor sheeting to protect the exposed parts of the warp cores. He instructed Fst. Lt. Fogarty to order the Engineering team to make the needed changes.
After analyzing the data on the biological agent in the planet's atmosphere, both Dr. Ferrari in the Science lab and Dr. Ho'blux in sickbay came to the same conclusion. They comm Lt. Cmdr. Sanantonio almost simultaneously to report that the Lexington was dealing with a metagenic virus, a virus that kills all biological life on a planet, but leaves its technology untouched.
Captain Brent, determined to carry out the Omega Directive, requested a high dosage of Arithrazine from Dr. Tiesha, but made clear to her that he could not disclose the reason. She reluctantly accommodated his request with a stern warning that she was not going to take responsibility for whatever could possibly happen to him.
Sometime later, the Captain handed a detonation device to Lt. Falco Fogarty to affix to the modified shuttle and add a 55 isoton yield of anitmatter to it. He also informed Commander Sanantonio that he would be departing for a secret mission, and instructed him to take the Lexington out of the system should he detect a subspace explosion, which would mean his mission had not succeeded.
In the meantime, Engineering was working hard on modifying the armored sheeting to protect the warp cores in case of such an explosion. CENG, Fred Fogarty, was getting mighty exasperated with his crew when problems kept coming up.
As Dr. Tiesha was headed to the brig to give the Romulan prisoner a checkup, the power on deck 5 suddenly went out. The prisoner escaped from his cell and immediately took her hostage. She began struggling with him, only to be thrown into a bulkhead and rendered unconscious.
Simultaneously with the prison break, a Romulan tactical assault craft decloaked to the Lex's starboard side and began firing plasma bolts to drain the shields. Within moments, the Romulans managed to beam a boarding party on the Lexington through a modulation in the shields and assist the prisoner is his escape. The group made its way down to the shuttle bay, running into resistance as the Lex's Security and Engineering teams engaged the intruders. Several Romulans were stunned in the fire fight.
Captain Brent ordered Tactical to return fire only at 50% power and to only target non-essential areas of the Romulan ship. He also instructed Dr. Ferrari, who was helping out on the bridge, to blow open the shuttle bay doors after the Romulans had entered. Falco Fogarty was still in the bay, working on attaching the detonator, when the Romulans flooded in. He took up a lone stand against them, but was whisked away via transporter, just as Gia blew the doors. Most of the remaining Romulans perished, while the Lex's former prisoner and the Admiral who had been leading the assault escaped by a direct site-to-site transport into an awaiting craft.
Though seemingly safe, the Romulan prisoner suddenly turned on his superior officer and stunned him...
MISSING WEEKS (WILL BE FILLED IN SOON)
After the Lexington had encountered a strange spacial phenomena on their way to Toncha Prime and the ship had been pulled through the void between the stars, all male crew members began to age rapidly. Science discovered there was a strong burst of unidentified radiation directed toward the ship that directly influenced certain chromosomes, affecting only males.
Captain Brent suggested to take the ship back through the void in hopes to reverse the effect. Unfortunately, it had quite the opposite outcome. The aging of the male crew accelerated to the point where Fst. Lt. Tiesha, the CMO, had to relieve all of them from duty in a ship wide announcement, replacing them with female officers, including the Captain. Taking on the command herself, she temporarily made Ensign Penny acting first officer, under the supervision of Dr. Ferrari. Currently, the crew is still in search for a solution to the problem. Time is of the essence, since the men are inevitably getting weaker and beginning to die.
Research into a possible lead as to how to reverse the aging process that was threatening the male crew members did not yield much. In the couple of hours that had passed, since the Lexington had gone through the spacial phenomena for the second time, one crew member was discovered dead in the torpedo room. His species was apparently one that had a very short life span.
As time was ticking away, Dr. Tiesha found herself under more and more pressure to do something to save the menfolks. After a frank discussion on the bridge, in which it was pointed out that the ship, though passing back through the phenomena, had done so in forward mode, the acting CO decided to take a chance and take the ship back through the rotating star cluster... this time in reverse.
A desperate measure? - Perhaps.
Playing Russian Roulette with the men's lives? - Better than just letting them die.
In any case, the gamble worked, and as soon as the Lexington had passed through the phenomena backwards, improvements in the male crew's health could be noticed. With a sigh of relief, Dr. Tiesha instructed for the changes to be monitored closely for the next few hours.
It seemed the only question remaining now was, will one pass be enough or will the ship have to go through the star formation again?
After careful consideration and re-checking, it was determined that the male officers' deterioration had halted and the aging had even reversed slightly. However, they were not back to their previous age or condition yet.
Despite the Captain's instructions to Dr. Tiesha to take the ship away from the star cluster and on a direct course to Toncha Prime, the acting CO decided to make one more effort to completely reverse the effects of the phenomena. She reasoned, if one pass backwards halted the aging and improved the men's condition some, a second one might heal them completely. After all, the Lexington had gone through the phenomena twice in forward mode before.
Again, Dr. Tiesha's gamble had payed out. She instructed the helmsman to leave a warning buoy for other ships, after the ship had arrived on the other side of the stars.
Down in Sickbay, the acting CMO, Dr. Hope, was pleased with watching the complete reversal of the deterioration in those she was monitoring. Well... pleased at their improved health, not so pleased at the increased immature behavior of some... particularly the Fogarty brothers and Cam Sanantonio, who she had to keep restrained on the bio bed during the incident.
Perhaps, they had reversed their age too far? - Though, quite possibly it was just their delight over their renewed vigor that was flushing their systems with adrenaline and testosterone.
After the CMO was satisfied with the men's 'normalcy', she released them back to duty. Lt. Hanlock, one of the Science officer, handed the Captain a PADD with all the pertinent information on the case. The Captain, in turn, handed it on to Dr. Ferrari, as he instructed her to consult with the Science department on what to name this phenomena.
As the Lexington set course for the Tonchan homeworld again, everyone returned to their duty stations to continue the mission.
A few days after the male aging debacle, the Lexington approached the Tochan system. As the ship dropped out of warp and entered the system, an object was getting in the its path. It gave a warning message not to proceed any further, lest anyone wanted to be fired upon, and was identified as a Tonchan Empire warning buoy. The XO ordered shields to be raised, but Cpt. Brent did not want weapons readied, for it could be taken as an act of aggression.
A few minutes later, a Tonchan cruiser intercepted the Lex, took on a hostile posture as well, and asked for identification. Cpt. Brent greeted the Tonchan officer with a friendly 'hello' and was told to have the ship follow the cruiser to the main planet. As the Lexington proceeded, four other Tonchan cruisers joined in and surrounded the ship... no way to be aggressive now, unless the crew wanted to take a severe beating!
Once the Lexington established orbit, more defense systems locked onto the ship. The crew was invited to send a delegation to the planet. Cpt. Brent chose to go himself, but also take Cmdr. Sanantonio, Cmdr. AAnikh, Dr. Ferrari, and Dr. Tiesha. The resident Tonchan guest, Oolgee, was 'persuaded' to go as well. Dr. Ferrari and the XO protested at the Captain going, but he vetoed their objection. Fst. Lt. Fred Fogarty, the 2nd officer, took command of the Lex and the AT moved out to meet in the Transporter room, where Dr. Hope actually joined them instead of Ziz. The CMO was still working on determining the cause of the aging phenomena. Before the transporter could be activated, the Tonchans somehow beamed the whole group down.
At the same time, Lt. Jg. Rizar began analyzing an enormous ring-shaped device in orbit above the planet, and quickly discovered that it was some sort of long-range transporter. The bridge crew witnessed a freighter move to the ring and then disappear in a flash, apparently being transported hundreds of lightyears away. It was an exciting find that could possibly be used to the mission's advantage.
As the AT materialized on the planet, they realized that all weapons and comm devices had been removed. Cpt. Brent protested that he could not contact the Lex without the badges, and they were returned to all officers. The Tonchan Praeton greeted the visitors, and to everyone's surprise, recognized Oolgee as "Princess Oolgee"! All eyes went to the young Tonchan.... PRINCESS?!?