PLANET TE-965-2035 — While rescuing officers from the 22nd-century Starfleet vessel Columbia, the crew of the USS Thor helped a pre-warp species find a new home in the Typhon Expanse.
The ionisation of the planet Kjenta II, where the rescue took place, was such that it rendered almost all modern technology useless. Indeed, it was these circumstances that led to the crew of the Columbia (NX-02) being stranded there in the first place after an ill-fated away mission over two hundred years ago. Previous rescue attempts had been mounted before, with varying degrees of success, leading to some of the Columbia crew being brought home. But for a few unfortunate souls, Kjenta II remained their home until this latest mission undertaken by Bajoran Commander Oddas Aria and her crew.
The rescue of the remaining survivors was made all the more urgent by the discovery that Kjenta II’s orbit had been slowly decaying and was leading the planet on a crash course with the Kjenta star. Added to the fact that gravity on the surface of the doomed planet was almost three times that of the recognised standard, this made for an extremely tense mission for all involved.
“My Gods! I had no idea nature could look so derelict,” said Commander Brayden Jorey, first officer of the USS Thor and leader of the away team, of the conditions on the surface. “It was too hot, too barren and too depressing. Like an endless desert of despair. Only slightly better than Vagra II because of a noticeable absence of black goo.”
However, the crew of the Thor dealt with the situation admirably and with incredible speed given the task that had been handed to them. While a team of science officers worked double shifts on the bridge in order to construct an antenna that would pierce the radiation in the planet’s atmosphere, the away team on the surface modified the shuttles they had crash-landed with in preparation to launch the old-fashioned way. A true showing of innovation and industriousness from both those on the ship and those on the surface.
Incredibly, in the midst of all the action, the decision was taken by the senior officers in charge of the mission to also attempt to save the native Kjenti people from certain extinction and offer them passage by way of the USS Thor to the closest inhabitable planet. While the Prime Directive would normally preclude such action being taken, it was the opinion of Commander Jorey that in this very specific case, Starfleet General Order 1 was no longer applicable, as in order to survive on such a hostile planet, the crew of the Columbia, had had no choice but to interact, trade with and eventually live side-by-side with the native tribes of the area.
“The damage had already been done,” explained Jorey. “We have no way of knowing if they might have advanced beyond their former tech level and been capable of a mass exodus without our interference. Re-homing the Kjenti was the logical, compassionate, and right thing to do.”
Sadly there were two casualties as a result of the challenges faced: Crewman Emiko Saito, a Columbia survivor, and Private T’Nall, a Vulcan member of the USS Thor’s Marine contingent. Both deaths are understood to have been from natural causes and are not being treated as suspicious.
With the remaining Columbia crew aboard the Thor, along with a few hundred Kjenti, the focus of the mission shifted to finding a new home for their visitors and with the ship’s Typhonic Shield Device available, it was decided that an inhabitable planet within the Typhon Expanse would provide ample breathing room and shielding for the pre-warp civilisation to flourish anew. Starfleet hopes that the Kjenti people’s meeting with two different Starfleet crews, separated by two centuries, will have a positive influence on their culture, and the agency will be keeping a watchful eye on their development.
“Planet TE-865-2035 is much colder than what the Kjenti are used to, but the high gravity will be familiar. The planet is full of life and possibility,” said Dr. Nathalya Ferreira, director of the Federation Science Council, “By all accounts they have already started to build the basis of their new colony and are looking forward to a future of liberty, prosperity and progress.”
As for the rescued Starfleet officers, since the Thor arrived back in orbit of Duronis II, little has been heard of their whereabouts, though it is assumed they were escorted back to Earth where they will be given the choice of whether or not they wish to resume their Starfleet careers. One effect of the radiation the crew endured on Kjenta II is prolonged life along with increased and accelerated healing abilities, which allowed the Columbia officers to survive far beyond the expected lifespan of the average Terran.
This factor has led some conspiracy theorists to recall the tragic deaths of the last members of the Columbia crew to be rescued from Kjenta II. These people claim that the officers were subjected to testing and experimentation against their will by an unnamed intelligence agency in order to discover the secret of the longevity brought on by residing on the now extinct planet. In actual fact, however, it is well-known that the unfortunate individuals in question were instead the targets of a deranged serial killer who deliberately targeted them for reasons known only to himself.