BOLARUS IX – A starship construction company announced a new and controversial business venture to create a drone fleet to augment Starfleet and planetary defense forces in the Bolian system, with possible expansion across the Federation.
The Bolaux Group, a long-established and prestigious starship construction business, reached out to Federation members, hoping to acquire old and decommissioned starships, which would be disassembled for duranium, tritanium and other assorted metals used in starship construction. Bolaux CEO Chekran, who has run the company for the past three decades, outlined his plans for unneeded starships and related materials, framing the program as one of recycle and reuse.
The members in attendance included representatives of the Terran, Trill, Vulcan, Risan, Betazoid, and Andorian governments.
“We have too many decommissioned starships, both within Starfleet, the merchant sector, and the civilian sector,” explained Chekran, sitting with a small group of representatives from several member worlds. “And with the current problems the Federation is facing with dilithium production slowing down and an overstretched Starfleet, now is the time to consider downsizing the number of ships permanently drydocked and collecting dust in the shipyards.”
“We simply don’t need these ships, many of which are either too damaged to repair or too old to waste time bringing up to current code,” Chekran went on. “But their construction material is still valuable. What the Bolaux Group offers is to let us take this surplus of construction material, break it down, and use the material to create smaller, warp-capable drone units for patrol duty in the Bolian region. Obviously, we would want these drones to have defensive capabilities and top of the line monitoring and recording sensors.”
“We are currently working on a prototype of what we’re tentatively calling the Federation Drone Perimeter Defense, or FDPD. Think about it: automated drone units that can patrol Federation space and record, monitor, and transmit data to Starfleet and the Federation without the need to send a crewed starship, thereby relieving Starfleet from patrol missions so they can concentrate on more important missions for crew-based ships.”
The FDPD Program has been met with a combination of skepticism and optimism as dilithium production continues to plummet alongside a growing abundance of starships that are no longer in service. The advantages of unmanned drones to take up patrol missions and save on the wear and tear of existing manned starships has gained a strong interest in particular.
“It is worthy of consideration,” said Vulcan Ambassador Palek. “To replace a manned starship with a device capable of patrolling, defending, and providing data is a logical approach until the problem of limited dilithium has been resolved.”
The Andorian representative in attendance, C’hnard, further praised the Bolian construction group’s proposal.
“It’s perfect. A warp-capable drone unit program to patrol Federation space and relieve pressure from Starfleet, plus aid our respective freight and civilian ships as they travel,” he said. “I applaud the Bolaux Group for their ingenuity and desire to help keep Federation space safe.”
The Terran representative on hand, Bridgett Ponefar, however, skewered the Bolian initiative.
“We’re talking about placing the lives of the Federation in unmanned drone units that are incapable of the physical person, where logic, instinct, creativity and intuitiveness play an important part,” she said. “A drone unit is incapable of that, and how are they to determine what is or isn’t a threat?”
Both the Trill and Betazoid representatives issued similar complaints, pointing out the risks of putting safety in drone crafts without a person present.
“While I have reservations regarding the Bolians’ drone program, if such an implementation were to occur, it would be thoroughly and completely vetted through the Federation Council before implicated by Starfleet, rather than a private contractor, with due respect to the Bolians,” noted Trill representative Kax’Hari.
When pressed about the concerns raised, Chekran was quick to respond.
“Of course, which is why this program needs people to run it,” he said before revealing the second part of the FDPD program. “We need people who can sift through the data and respond, interact with the drone patrols, and instruct them as situations happen. Anyone within the Federation who is looking for a job, or important work, please submit your request, qualifications and resumes. The FDPD is now hiring qualified individuals for this exciting and wonderful program.”
While wider implementation beyond the Bolian region would require Federation Council approval, the Bolian government has approved initial trials to begin within its jurisdiction. The program and hiring process is being handled by none other than the Bolian legal expert, Karthia, a well-respected corporate lawyer and litigator for the Federation.
Karthia, a former Nationalist, first started in equal rights cases when she arrived on the scene ten years ago and worked her way through both civil and criminal cases before settling into corporate law. She is an obvious choice to mitigate any problems the Federation Council might have with the Bolians’ new drone program, which would bring much needed relief to the question of safety and help bolster the trade and civilian areas as the dilithium situation worsens.
The Bolians are additionally capable of synthesizing dilithium, one of the only races capable of such a thing. As a race of merchant traders and businessmen, and well-respected members of the Federation, analysts predict the Bolian drone program has a reasonable chance for wider implementation if not through the Federation Council than by direct interest from other individual member worlds.
“It’s a program with possibilities. I’m not ruling it out,” said Martian Governor Lars Durnsdale, who has been flexing his muscles politically while trying to push the Martian Colonies’ prominence in the Sol Sector beyond the shadow of United Earth. “It is up to us, the voices of our respective worlds, to determine the validity of such initiatives before they are implemented. The Bolians are well within their rights to proceed with this in their own home system, and I would not want to miss the opportunity to see how this program works.”
In addition to the call for old and moth-balled starships, the Bolaux Group has acquired a massive supply of duranium, tritanium, and neutronium, almost draining the market. Careers have been posted on labor market boards for those within the Federation who wish to apply to work for the Bolaux Group’s drone program.
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