BAJOR SECTOR — The USS Churchill (NCC-28836) has launched an emergency search of the Argaya system following the disappearance of a runabout carrying former Federation President Nan Bacco.
Bacco, on a lecture tour to promote her new book, had just finished a week of speaking engagements on Bajor and was on her return trip to Starbase 375 to rejoin Churchill. Catrin Key, the tour’s public relations manager; C’Rau, Bacco’s personal assistant; security guard Gurk Tango; Bajoran journalist Lemma Origu; and PO 2nd Class Kirkington Bean, a Starfleet pilot, were also aboard the runabout.
“The runabout was under instructions to report in every twelve hours,” Churchill’s chief communications officer, Lt. Zyda, claimed. “When they didn’t check in, we contacted other ships in the vicinity to get a fix on their position.”
Later that day, a passing Galador freighter transmitted the runabout’s distress signal to Churchill, who departed Starbase 375 promptly to intercept.
“Petty Officer Bean stated that the runabout’s propulsion and life support systems had been damaged and that it was seeking for a suitable spot to land,” Zyda added.
The uninhabited Argaya system, located on the boundary of Federation and Cardassian space, includes two habitable planets and more than a dozen moons. Both planets have extraordinarily disruptive magnetic fields, making it difficult to find the runabout, any probable wreckage, or indications of life.
Survival specialists have recognized the difficulties of surviving for an extended amount of time on any Argayan planet or moon.
“Just because they’re habitable doesn’t guarantee they’re hospitable,” remarked Tri-Planetary Academy’s Dr. Elivil Shagrar. “Argaya II has almost no edible flora, while Argaya IV is 92 percent ocean.” Neither would be a good place for an emergency landing.”
As Churchill’s search entered its fifth day, public personalities from around the Federation released comments expressing their outrage at the loss of Bacco’s runabout and expressing optimism that the search teams will be able to safely rescue everyone onboard. The Vedek Assembly, many of whose members attended Bacco’s lectures on Bajor last week, proclaimed a global day of prayer, and Berengaria—the next scheduled destination on Bacco’s tour—postponed all cultural activities and programming planned to accompany Bacco’s lectures the following week.
“Nan Bacco and I differ on many issues,” Kevin Steiner, a Terra Nova Federation Council member, commented. “But I always know she has the best interests of the Federation’s people at heart. Adelise and I have Nan’s family, and the loved ones of everyone aboard that runabout, in our thoughts.”
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