THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL IS
                 *  *  * CLASSIFIED GRADE ONE *  *  *
                AND SHOULD ONLY BE VIEWED BY PERSONNEL
                      WITH APPROPRIATE CLEARANCE

Begin file for OPERATION CURIOSITY

On SD 70616, a number of low-grade officers were assigned to a
heavily-modified and unregistered Thunderbolt-Class Escort vessel named the
FRONTIER.  The crew were selected on the basis of ability and not rank.
Hence, for the duration of the mission, each crew member was given an
alternate rank which would apply solely when aboard the Frontier.

The mission consisted of three phases:

1) Discover the fate of all the starships recently reported missing in
Kzinti space.

2) Locate missing crews and arrange for their escape.

3) Find an explanation for the recent activities of the Kzinti rebellion,
whom it is suspected is responsible for the hijackings, though they do not
apparently possess the necessary resources to do so for such an extended
period.  They may have been aided by any number of factions in this sector.


Upon entering Kzinti space, the ship was immediately ambushed and boarded,
its covert entry disrupted by an act of sabotage by its traitorous Chief
Engineer.  Eventually, by some miracle, the Kzinti were driven from the 
ship and it made a high-speed dash for safety in an uncharted system, 
eluding the Kzinti fleet.

The system was not empty.  One particular planet possessed a surface-based
shipyard, and two stolen Starfleet ships and their crews were being held
there.  The security being less than perfect, a small proportion of those
crews escaped the complex and found refuge in the nearby mountains which
contained material retardant to scanning devices.  The complex itself is
protected by guards and also a subspace dampening field which prevents
transport and subspace communications.  The field is normally dropped for a
full minute every two days so the base can report its status and receive
orders.  This leads to a certain degree of isolationism.

In a raid on the base, enforced by a deperate need for repair facilities
and by the requirements of the second phase, the complex was secured.
There were a number of injuries and two deaths during this delicate
operation.  The USS Intrepid was destroyed inside the Kzinti base when the
tractor moorings were released by a desperate Kzin.

The crew of the Intrepid was split between the Scharnhorst and the
FRONTIER.  Unbeknownst to the assault team, four members of the skeleton
crew were replaced by counterparts from a dimension known as the
mirror-universe.  They proceeded to gather intelligence on the FRONTIER
whilst also agitating the crew in some ways.  They were eventually caught
out, but escaped just after the real crew members transported off the other
FRONTIER.

A battle between the two ships ensued, leading to a warp core breach on the 
mirror FRONTIER.  The destruction would have been a calamity for both 
universes, as ships from the mirror universe have to return soon after 
entering to avoid permanently warping the fabric of space-time.  This was 
where Q arrived, averting the breach.  In return he expected the two crews 
to help him out with something, not being too specific on the matter.

Both crews soon found themselves on a strange planet, wearing medieval 
battle gear, in the midst of an ensuing battle.  After hiding from both 
armies as best they could, the two groups agreed to an uneasy truce, and 
split into one small group and one large, to track the two armies back to 
their bases.

The two androids in the main group were seperated from the others by forces 
unknown, to follow a path through a dense forest, leading almost in the
same direction as the smaller group.  They found one Commodore William T.
Riker in a hibernation chamber, and awakened him.

The three groups got as much sleep as they could or needed during the
bitter night, with the exception of the smaller group, who were taken in
the middle of the night and awoke in a castle nearby.

The androids and Riker found this castle and were reunited with the smaller 
group.  At almost the same time, Katie Braun's illicit activities were 
discovered, and she was placed under guard in the main group as they moved
on.  Unfortunately she was picked off by arrows coming from a tree, as
she tried to escape.  A funeral was later held.

The smaller group was now split in two as Keanu Maren found a Ferengi 
Marauder and later used an escape pod to leave the castle, along with four 
others.  The remaining five escaped through the castle, in time to see the 
escape pod making a hard landing forty kilometres away.

Riker came to in what was left of the escape pod to find Teri Blake dead, 
Houston shut-down, Keanu Maren and Joanne Calidan unaccounted for.  He left 
with Houston, narrowly avoiding falling debris as the pod detonated.

Later, the main group sought refuge in a large castle, where they met an 
unusual individual, Baron Wildantor.  m-Caroline discovered she was
pregnant and told the father, m-Patrick, who then sought the advice of
m-Angus.  m-Angus, after a brief talk with m-Leana, went to see m-Caroline
to try and make a deal for his life.  She postponed a decision on his
future until the next morning.

The next morning, Keanu awoke to find he had a new eye.  The same morning,
Q showed up at the big castle and gave Angus the answers to many questions, 
including what they were really here for.

Upon learning the news that Q would return them if they destroyed Baron 
Wildantor's defence installation, m-Caroline McMirren adamantly decided she 
would do just that, with or without Ramsay's crew's help.  The resulting 
argument escalated into a full-scale brawl, which was interrupted when 
Patrick Simony split up the combatants.  The Baron was furious with the
poor example these two were setting for the the rest of their crews, and
demanded an explanation.  m-Caroline tried lying, that didn't work, and
then Q showed up.

After a referendum, the two crews voted overwhelmingly, in fact unanimously 
that Q's actions on the planet had been wholly unjustified.  After some 
sulking, he returned them all to their two ships.

It is still not clear what Q wanted from all of this, but clearly he didn't
get it.

Shortly afterward, both FRONTIERs staged a mass diversion to allow the 
Scharnhorst to escape unscathed, hideously crippling a gigantic Kzinti 
carrier in the process, with a little help from a lone StarFleet fighter.

The fighter, whose pilot had become stranded by the loss of its carrier,
was tractored aboard into the FRONTIER shuttle bay.

This done, both ships made a run for it.

Captain m-McMirren later handed over sensitive information regarding the 
locations of the missing Federation ships within Kzinti space, and revealed 
that she would attempt to start a rebellion movement inside her universe's 
Empire.  The m-FRONTIER left this universe shortly after.

Limping back home at just over Warp 3, the crew started celebrations.  
Captain Will Ramsay's wife Caroline gave birth to Christopher David Ramsay. 
But the party was to end on a very sour note as a plasma creature which had 
infested the StarFleet fighter's engines awakened and rampaged through the 
ship causing the loss of the Vulcan FCO, Ishara, and severe burns to the 
CMO, Neil Sykes.  The ship dropped out of warp as the creature fed off the 
plasma conduits, and a sufficient warp field could not be re-established 
after the creature had been vented from the ship using the conduit system.

At some point, the FRONTIER also passed through an unusual anomaly known as 
the Black Sphere, little-known because of its unpredictable effects, losing 
approximately three months in time.

As the crew busied themselves the next morning on the captain's new orders
- to build a new warp core - signs of the mission taking its toll were
clear.  Houston, now the acting XO, began to have emotions for the first
time, and they were sadness and unhappiness at the rejection suffered at
the hands of Keanu Maren.  Later, anger and hatred and various negative
qualities began to emerge.  This was but a pale shadow on the crew's day
compared to what happened later in the day.

The FRONTIER was first blinded, then boarded by a mercenary group hired by 
the Kzinti.  The captain, Luther Murray, had also been contracted by 
StarFleet to recover the crew.  Both parties had paid handsomely in advance 
to avoid a serious incident now that the Federation-Kzinti treaty was in 
place.  Luther (whose brother Angus was Tac/CSO/a2O of the FRONTIER at the 
time), decided he could carry out both contracts without making enemies of 
either StarFleet or the Kzinti.  Subsequently, he later delivered the
finely divided wreckage of the FRONTIER to the Kzinti along with a doctored
flight recorder, whilst allowing the crew to escape in borrowed runabouts
and the FRONTIER shuttles.

In the midst of this, a shuttle bearing Kief Sampter, a private
investigator specialising in the paranormal, and two clients (Janet
McMirren and Andrew Ramsay) arrived on the scene, the occupants beaming on
board to meet the presumed-missing-three-months crew.

At this point, Joanna Houston earned her first reprimand, a serious one,
for failing to obey a direct order; she eloped with Ruth Sampter's brother
Kief on his shuttle.  She should have piloted one of the shuttles back to 
Starbase Epsilon, but despite a warning from Captain Ramsay, failed to do 
so.

Upon reaching Starbase Epsilon, Ramsay found himself facing a court-martial 
for losing the FRONTIER, despite the mission success and the circumstances 
of the loss.

End file for OPERATION CURIOSITY


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