Starship production grinds to a halt as fallout from dilithium shortage continues

Starship production grinds to a halt as fallout from dilithium shortage continues

PARIS, EARTH — Following a diplomatic failure to secure mining rights from the Sarshayet, the strained dilithium market has begun taking its toll on trade and starship production across the Federation.

Growing Crisis

The reclusive Sarshayet in Nebula KR27-B were open to becoming members of the Federation as well as offering rights to mine their nebula for much needed dilithium, but negotiations fell apart after Federation representatives missed the summit due to malfunctions aboard the USS Apollo-A, which suffered issues with her quantum slipstream drive.

The dilithium shortage has crippled major shipyards, and production of new starship vessels has been minimized across both civilian and Starfleet contracts. Representatives from the Federation Council have surveyed member races for any and all new potential sources of the much needed crystal resource. Councillor Mira’Vax, representing the Trill, offered short, terse words.

“All I will say is the Federation Council is aware of the situation, and we are working toward solutions,” she said.

Attempts to reach a spokesman for Starfleet have been met with silence.

Supply and Demand

Meanwhile, further dialogue with the Bolians to manufacture warp capable dilithium has stalled due to the Bolaux Group’s drone program initiated earlier this year.

“We cannot meet the manufacturing requirements we’ve been asked to undertake,” said Bolian representative Ivakec in a press release after repeated attempts to contact the Bolian Embassy. “Our labs are currently fabricating crystals for the deployment of the Bolaux Group’s FDPD, which must take precedence.”

The FDPD (Federation Drone Perimeter Defense) program has been fast-tracked by the Bolians to be implemented within the next month or two for Bolian space. Despite the controversy regarding automated drone units, several member races have already requisitioned patrol units as they become available. An Andorian observer confirmed the Andorians will be participating in the program.

“This is exactly what’s needed with the few reserves we have left,” stated Andorian representative C’hnard. “We were invited to observe the construction of the drone units, and we’re excited to be a part of this revolutionary venture.”

Economic Consequences

With the dilithium shortage continuing further into the year, its effects are beginning to be felt across the Federation. A noticeable decline in trade among the Federation’s member worlds and between the Federation itself and non-aligned, friendly worlds was reported by the Federation Department of Commerce, with some estimates placing the drop at almost forty percent.

“So many worlds out there are still recovering from the transport union strike from last year,” said Avery O’Connell, a senior fellow on economic affairs at the Auckland Institute. “President Narala and the Federation Council better have a plan to deal with the shortage, and they need to implement it quickly if we’re to avoid the woes we experienced last year.”

The Merchant Marines have filed petitions with the Federation, demanding that Starfleet open their dilithium reserves to the civilian market. Francis Dellerman, a Merchant Marine captain, has additionally filed a trade litigation against Starfleet and the Federation to open the reserves. The Federation government has yet to respond.

In the mean time, member worlds have opened their own negotiations with non-aligned worlds to secure shareholder rights of dilithium mining directly, bypassing the Federation government entirely, a direction which bolds ill for Federation President Narala’s call for a renewed focus on Federation unity and equal treatment of all members.

About Jacob Deitz

Jacob Deitz is an investigative reporter for the Federation News Service. Born in New York City, Earth, Deitz worked at the Federation Star before joining the FNS, where he continues to investigate both political and criminal affairs.