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Hostile intelligence discovered within Genesis CloudStardate 239202.21 MENTHAR CORRIDOR — While surveying the largest protomatter cloud ever discovered, the USS Garuda found itself fending off a botanical infestation controlled by a hostile intelligence within the cloud. “One minute, I’m working on a diagnostic, and then the next, I see ten engineers struggling to break free of the vines coming out of the machinery,” said Petty Officer Angeline Loupaz, an engineer aboard the Garuda. The sudden infestation appeared overnight. The Garuda had been ordered to investigate the Genesis Cloud, which had been discovered by the Qilin Project. Initial sensor readings were off the scale of any previously found protomatter deposits. The survey would also be a diplomatic mission that hoped to rebuild trust and understanding between the Federation and the Community, a species native to the Menthar Corridor comprised of a collective consciousness that uses plant-like forms to communicate. Representatives of the Community came aboard the Garuda to witness standard Starfleet scientific procedures and evaluate the crew. By all accounts, the survey itself was a success as an engineering team headed by Garuda’s chief engineer Lt. Cmdr. Tristam Core and operations chief Lt. Cmdr. Mei’konda constructed a specialized shuttle dubbed the Robert Ballard to explore the volatile protomatter cloud and collect samples. “We had to be very careful,” explained Lt. JG Danielle Vistain, a shuttlebay ops engineer. “Protomatter is highly unstable. Even the slightest disturbances from a ship or shuttle’s systems can cause it to ignite. Rather than strip an existing shuttle bare, we decided it’d be easier to use spare parts to build an entirely new craft.” Expertly piloted by Lt. Kaitlyn Falcon, the shuttle returned safely with the valuable data, and alpha shift retired for the night. Yet things slowly grew amiss in the early hours of the morning. As drastically growing plants began spreading across the ship, the Garuda’s chief science officer Lt. Alora DeVeau went missing. “I knew something was wrong when she left her office a mess,” said Lt. JG Alif Lepore, a quantum biologist. “This was an important mission, what with the Community reps and the Diplomatic Corps watching so closely. Lt. DeVeau is always meticulous about her work.” Additional reports of other missing crew members came in, including that of one unfortunate crewman who had been dressed as Santa Claus for a department Christmas party. The children would have to wait a little bit longer for their presents as the crew soon found themselves battling a shipwide plant infestation. From small houseplants to the large trees of the ship’s arboretum, it seemed all plant life aboard the Garuda was being affected somehow by the protomatter, growing exponentially in size. Worse, it was apparent that the plant life exhibited hostile behaviors as crew members struggled against slithering vines attempting to capture them. Finally, DeVeau reappeared, her body having been taken over by an alien influence. Holding hostages in the arboretum, she announced to the Garuda’s commanding officer Captain Cassandra Egan Manno that she was speaking on behalf of the Kindred, an intelligence that resided within the Genesis Cloud. Its intent was to capture the crew and use their bodies to escape the protomatter cloud. However, Egan Manno had a plan. The shuttlecraft Ballard was secretly piloted by remote back into the center of the cloud. Then, during Egan Manno’s direct meeting with DeVeau in the arboretum, the captain revealed the shuttle would ignite the entire cloud if the Kindred did not comply. The Kindred were defiant, and the captain gave the order, destroying the cloud and bringing the crisis to an end. As the Garuda’s crew began cleaning up the mess, the mission left many reflecting on the chaos. “We lost a lot during this mission. I’ve only been here a short time, but I can tell this mission has left a mark on ship and crew,” said Ensign Ryan King, a security officer. “I myself am suffering from premature hair loss—though the nurse assures me it’s only temporary. I’m willing to make my sacrifices to continue the Federation’s mission though—and as long as my hair grows back. The nurse tells me it will with the gel…” Others weren’t sure how they were going to explain this to their friends and families. “I know no one back home’s going to believe me,” said Loupaz. “I hate plants.” FNS Home • FNS Data Feed• FNS on FB
Largest protomatter cloud discoveredStardate 239201.20 MENTHAR CORRIDOR — One of the densest known clouds of protomatter has been discovered near Deep Space 10, and the USS Garuda has been dispatched to survey the finding. Dubbed the Genesis Cloud, a reference to the 23rd century terraforming project that had used protomatter at its core, the cloud was first identified by the Qilin Project. “The numbers are literally off the scale,” said Dr. Eloise Wancata, a researcher with the Qilin Project. “If we put the measurements of previous protomatter collections next to the Genesis Cloud, you wouldn’t even notice them.” Starfleet, eager to return a sense of normalcy to the troubled region after the recent terrorist attack by the Maquis Reborn, has assigned the USS Garuda to investigate the cloud, which is eight hours from Deep Space 10 at warp. For their actions during the crisis aboard Deep Space 10, the Garuda crew were awarded the Silver Star, and the ship’s first officer Nia Calderan was promoted to commander and named Federation Ambassador to the region. The crew spent much of the aftermath of the Maquis attack helping the station rebuild and reconnecting with their own loved ones. Several crew members attended a charity bazaar for the reopening of Room 7, a local bar and club. With the upcoming scientific mission, Starfleet also hopes to reconnect with the Community, a species native to the Menthar Corridor comprised of a collective consciousness that uses plant-like forms to communicate. Starfleet had previously encountered the Community during their dispute with their long-term enemy the Myr Luuk. The Federation Diplomatic Corps hopes a demonstration of a standard scientific survey to visiting delegates from the Community will help pave the way for renewed relations between the Federation and the Community. FNS Home • FNS Data Feed• FNS on FB
Terrorists attack Deep Space 10 Stardate 239111.03 MENTHAR CORRIDOR — Terrorists calling themselves the Maquis Reborn have launched an attack on Deep Space 10, demanding the release of all remaining Maquis prisoners from Federation penitentiaries. In a chilling message to the station's residents and the Federation, Maquis leader Nikael Kalre announced the apparent revival of the terrorist organization, although what formal connection to the original Maquis of the 2370s—if any—is unknown at this time. With a sinister smile, Kalre seemed to be enjoying his taunting of the joint Starfleet and Cardassian crew of Deep Space 10. "I hold in my hand, the key to your destruction. Whether not it truly is, however, is all up to Starfleet. As some of your engineers may have found, we have a variety of devices spread throughout your space station that will cause a - well, a nasty little surprise if our demands are not met," said Kalre. "What are those demands you may ask? Very little, I promise. In six hours, the Federation will release all of our Maquis brothers and sisters that have been left to rot away in prison - and my brothers and I here will be allowed to leave without harm or hinderance." To prove their seriousness, Kalre detonated a chain of explosions on the station, killing the station's Cardassian commanding officer Gul Tolas Dajhul live on air. An emergency meeting of the Federation Security Council has been called into session. Starfleet Command has not made any official announcement regarding the attack, but anonymous sources report that the nearest Starfleet vessel, the USS Garuda had been docked at the station earlier for much needed shore leave as the crew enjoyed their time relaxing and recovering from the previous mission. However, their time to recuperate was cut short when without warning alarms blasted, and quarantine containment doors sealed across the station. The crew were cut off in small groups throughout the station and needed to deal with the rising panic among the civilians on the station. After initial thoughts that the crisis was just a malfunction, a number of the Cardassians on the station started becoming sick and showing symptoms such as bleeding from the mouth and nose, accompanied with violent coughing. Some of them even needed emergency resuscitation. To make matters worse, the Garuda and her commanding officer Captain Cassandra Egan Manno had been summoned away just minutes after the crisis began on an urgent mission for Starfleet, leaving the remaining crew under acting CO Lt. Cmdr. Nia Calderan to find a solution to the pathogen. Things seemed to have stabilised with Doctor Chythar Skyfire working on a cure, and a team under Lt. Cmdr. Msafiri Bakari trying to get the station's systems back online, but this was ended when the video message from Kalre was broadcast across all monitors in the station.