OASIS STATION, MAR ALPHERIS — Thanks to the introduction of quantum slipstream-capable freighters, the outer colonies of the Federation are receiving regular supplies, but not all colonies are accessible with the new technology.
As more shipping companies introduce quantum slipstream freighters into their fleets, many worlds that were weeks away from the Federation core are now less than two hours away, meaning that these members and colonies can receive proper and regular supplies.
“Like many colonists, I am relieved that the Federation has taken our concerns seriously and has deemed us a priority for the use of their slipstream freighters,” said Magistrate Benjamin Raynor of Mar Alpheris.
Previously, until the process of certification was complete, Mar Alpheris and other colonies in the Beta Quadrant along the Klingon border were plagued by bands of pirates and what the Klingon Empire has called “rogue elements and criminals.” The Federation was forced to resort to a private security contract with New Holt Alliance to protect shipping convoys when Starfleet’s Operation Safe Harbor was unable to stop the scourge.
With the arrest of several officials and officers who had been caught passing fleet movement information to these pirates, the suspicious attacks of freighters exiting slipstream came to a halt as many of the ships formerly in Safe Harbor were stationed at the common slipstream exit points.
In addition, Starfleet Command today announced the reactivation of the Anti-Organized Piracy Task Force, a joint task force of Starfleet Security and Starfleet Intelligence and in cooperation with Federation Security. The task force had been disbanded in 2381 after the Orion Syndicate was assumed eliminated by Starfleet Intelligence and Starbase 118 personnel in a major operation the previous year. Fleet resources were redirected to handle major crises throughout the 2380s.
Over the past year, however, the Orion Syndicate has been revealed to have remained active throughout the past decade, and the criminal organization had even found influence within the ranks of Starfleet.
“With the reveal that several officers betrayed their oath, we believe now that a dedicated task force is necessary to ensure that this never happens again,” said Starfleet Public Affairs officer Commander A.J. Ciaravolo to reporters in San Francisco.
Agent Casper, of Federation Security said in a prepared statement, “Recent activity has shown us that the spectre of organized crime we thought quelled in 2380 has risen again, and we are reactivating the task force in response.”
Many in Mar Alpheris agreed, stating they were pleased that Starfleet was taking the threat seriously. Others were happy about the efforts the Federation Council was making to ensure communication and supplies flowed at a steady rate
“This was the promise of the Federation, for us, that we wouldn’t be left in the cold. I’m happy they have continued to hold their promise,” said Ter Daleon, a local shopkeeper.
Yet while the introduction of quantum slipstream freighters have helped assuage some colonists’ concerns, others living in areas inaccessible by the new propulsion technology fear their problems are being overlooked once more, in particular, those living in the Shoals, a swath of sectors along the Tholian border littered with tetryon fields that have long posed a danger to starship crews. Just as the tetryon interference hinders the ability for ships to achieve high warp, quantum slipstream is likewise inoperable in the area, which ironically is a key supplier of benamite, the crystal integral to the drive.
While Starfleet has dispatched elements of Operation Safe Harbor to the Shoals, the local colonial governing body, the Colonial Coalition, has continued to request more resources to assist with similar issues of piracy and natural disasters that have plagued the region. For some colonists, all of the talk for the past several years has grown tiresome, and murmurs of succession have grown louder.
“What good is a quantum slipstream drive freighter out here?” asked Paige Fox, who manages a small refueling station along the historic Mother Road that runs through the Shoals. “We don’t need useless fancy ships, and frankly, maybe we don’t need useless officials back on Earth or Andor deciding what’s best for us.”
When asked for comment, the Federation Council released a statement that they remain fully committed to ensuring the equal protection of all Federation citizens.
With additional reporting by T’Vas.
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