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Crew, residents bid farewell to Starbase 12 in emotional decommissioning ceremony

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SOLARIA SECTOR — Following a full week of celebrations, speeches from visiting dignitaries, and a spectacular antimatter fireworks display, one of Starfleet’s longest-serving installations has been decommissioned.

“Starbase 12 was a bastion of peace and friendship in this sector for 185 years,” said Cmdr. Katu G’Gekk, commanding officer. “The space around us has changed a lot, but the spirit of the people who called this place home is as august today as it was nearly two centuries ago.”

At the time of its commissioning in 2214, Starbase 12 was on the frontiers of Federation space and served as a supply point for ships departing the core worlds of Andor and Tellar for destinations to the galactic south and west. As explorers and colonists pushed further out into the galaxy, Starbase 12 was often the last friendly face they would see for months, even years.

“Borders were much more porous back then,” said G’Gekk, who, after 30 years commanding the station, has also become its unofficial historian. “We like to think of the Federation as a solid wall of blue on the map, but this wasn’t always so. Planets like Trill and Betazed would have been connected to the mainland of the Federation by narrow trade routes stringing across vast, virtually unexplored space.”

While its utility as a supply station declined as the Federation expanded around it, the emergence of powerful neighbors—namely the Cardassians, Breen, and Tzenkethi—briefly made Starbase 12 a focal point for defense planning in its corner of the Alpha Quadrant.

In the early 2300s, Starbase 12 boasted a permanent population of nearly 2,500 and received more than a thousand visits from transiting ships each year.

“That really was our Golden Age,” said G’Gekk, “but it wasn’t to last.”

By the 2320s, advancements in warp propulsion had significantly reduced interstellar travel times, and Starfleet responded by building fewer, but larger starbases in the most strategic sectors. The changing geopolitical situation also contributed to Starbase 12’s decline, as frontiers with Cardassian, Tzenkethi, and Breen space hampered Federation expansion. A half-century later, the population had dwindled to approximately 900, and its facilities were increasingly in need of maintenance. The Dominion War briefly saw Starbase 12 return to prominence, especially following the Breen’s entry into the conflict, but this was only temporary.

“The station’s future has become a frequent agenda item in Starfleet Operations meetings in the last decade,” said G’Gekk. “I would argue that after 185 years, we’ve created a society here that’s no different from any planetary colony in Federation space. At the end of the day, however, this is a Starfleet station. What happens to the place is up to them.”

The final nail in the coffin came late last year, when the chief science officer identified that the station’s computer cores needed replacement. Modern computer cores would have required extensive retrofitting, a commitment Starfleet Operations declined to make.

“[Operations] gave us a year to wind things down and provided relocation assistance to the civilians,” G’Gekk said. “But it was still difficult news to break.”

After the decommissioning ceremony, most of the 105 remaining inhabitants disembarked for the last time, leaving a skeleton crew behind to secure sensitive equipment before the Corps of Engineers arrives to mothball the station. G’Gekk does not know where Starfleet will send her next, but she is content to wait until the work on Starbase 12 is complete before moving on.

“I insist on turning out the lights myself,” G’Gekk said.

The post Crew, residents bid farewell to Starbase 12 in emotional decommissioning ceremony appeared first on Federation News Service.

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