History - AU

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2233:

  • Following a series of colony support and relocation efforts along the Klingon border, one Starfleet ship in the task group, USS Kelvin, encounters an unusual spatial anomaly and is destroyed by an unknown, but extremely powerful vessel. Most of the Kelvin's personnel and colonists manage to escape aboard shuttlecraft and report visual confirmation of what appeared to be tattooed Vulcans aboard the unidentified vessel. Subsequent analysis of the data retrieved from the battle's wreckage and the information relayed to Starfleet Command aboard the escapees' shuttles, including communication protocols and universal translator recordings, indicates that the aggressor vessel was Romulan in origin, if of an unknown design. It is identified as the Narada.


2233-2234:

  • Attempts are made to contact the Romulans. Starfleet stations ships on the border and has them project messages towards known Romulan worlds, but there is no response. In the absence of vessels capable of combating ships as powerful as the one that attacked the Kelvin, Starfleet is unwilling to seek reprisals through force.


2234-2241:

  • Research on technologies conceived of following analysis of the Kelvin incident continues.


2241:

  • Raid on Federation outpost along RNZ. A Starfleet flotilla is sent to investigate whether the Romulans are finally making a push. The evidence is inconclusive, but an analysis of debris and weapon signatures indicates a level of technology analogous to that of the Federation and, most peculiarly, to what continual intelligence reports had set Romulan technological levels as being. Starfleet is unwilling to allow the impasse to continue. Presented with the possibility of a Romulan foe inferior to the one that attacked the Kelvin, the flotilla is ordered to annex a star system adjacent to RNZ. This move provokes a quick response from Romulus. Warships arrive, but no shots are fired. A stand-off commences, with Starfleet retaining possession of the system in a deliberate bid to force the Romulans to talk, turning the system into a fulcrum on which future negotiations will hinge;
  • Romulans are revealed to be related to Vulcans, clearing up one of the mysteries relating to the Narada.


2241-2242:

  • Tentative talks commence, but the Romulans deny responsibility for the raid on the outpost and deny all knowledge of the Narada. Starfleet Intelligence knows otherwise where the Narada is concerned, but now suspects that Romulan intelligence on the giant ship was gained when spies in the Klingon Empire relayed information on the Narada to Romulus. The talks stall late in 2242 in light of Klingon aggression against the Romulans, but the UFP retains the adjacent star system;
  • Khitomer, previously an unaligned world, is annexed by the Romulan Star Empire as an anti-Klingon staging post during 2242, but is swiftly lost to Klingon forces.


2242-2243:

  • Over a year of hostilities between Qo’noS and Romulus sees the Klingons attempt to invade a large swathe of Romulan space. The ships deployed in the Klingons’ vanguard are surprisingly advanced. The Klingons start the war for fear that the Romulans are on the verge of mass producing advanced ships of their own. In Starfleet Intelligence’s estimation, aggressive Romulan counter-intelligence efforts in the late 2230s and early 2240s are to blame, as the Romulans’ ploy of insinuating to the Klingons that the Star Empire was more advanced than was actually the case backfired, prompting the Klingons to attack instead of holding back. This was a massive miscalculation on the Romulans’ part. The Romulan Star Empire loses several key systems, but is able to hold others. The war is a stalemate until a cloaked Romulan task force, using captured technical data, locates and destroys the secret shipyard at which the advanced Klingon vessels are being researched and constructed, killing all Klingon personnel and obliterating the data collected to date in the process. An armistice comes into effect.


2243-2244:

  • The star system held by the UFP, newly named “Hinge”, comes under attack from Orions. The relatively large Starfleet presence is caught off guard and the Orions manage to disable the main installation’s defences and make off with essential resources before they are driven away. Subsequent raids by Orions continue throughout the following month, with Starfleet Intelligence operating under the assumption that the Romulans are sponsoring the attacks.


2244:

  • The Klingon-Romulan armistice disintegrates when the Romulans attempt to retake a strategic system. The Klingons respond in force and drive off the Romulans, but the retreat is a ploy and the Romulans manage to invade and subjugate two critical Klingon worlds. The Klingons cannot send reinforcements, however, as the ships sent to repel the original Romulan force suddenly find themselves facing a new enemy fleet. The Battle of Crixus sees a full 10% of all Klingon ground troops and no less than 20% of all Klingon warships destroyed or captured by Romulan forces;
  • The Hinge System comes under renewed assault from an especially large Orion armada, but Starfleet sends four ships to pursue the aggressors. Upon entering a star system previously believed to be unclaimed by anyone, Romulan ships decloak, announce that the system is theirs and systematically destroy the Federation ships “trespassing” on their territory. Immediately following this disastrous engagement, both governments claim that the other reacted with provocation, but communication fragments indicate that the commander of the Federation forces chose not to withdraw when presented with the change in political circumstances;
  • Romulan ships move into the Hinge System and demand the withdrawal of all Federation personnel and equipment, a demand to which Starfleet refuses to acquiesce.


2244-2245:

  • The stand-off in the Hinge System continues. At Starfleet Command, the question is from where did the Romulans get the ships and resources to launch such a devastating counterattack against both the Klingons and the Federation. Starfleet Intelligence believes that, although the Romulan Star Empire may have appeared quiescent behind its protective neutral zone for so long, it had actually been engaging in a series of wars with other powers up until recent events and it was from those engagements that the vessels, troops and so forth were being pulled. All agree that the effect is disastrous for the Klingons and sets Starfleet’s policy of aggression where the Hinge stratagem – to force the Romulan Star Empire into productive negotiations – is concerned on exceptionally dangerous footing, as it is now apparent that the Romulans have the resolve and the capability to repel the UFP’s presence in the area. The UFP offers to hand over the Hinge System on the basis that neither side can claim it and that it will instead be used as a venue for negotiations. Romulus agrees.


2245-50:

  • Talks between the UFP and Romulus proceed at a slow pace, despite dealing primarily with what would be considered low-key issues;
  • Klingons commence rebuilding their depleted forces, but must do so in the face of a resurgent Romulan Star Empire that manages to retake three further star systems before being held. There are at least two coups d’état in the Klingon Empire during this time, with each new Chancellor advocating greater hostility towards the Romulans and the Federation. Analysts believe that the ongoing activities of the UFP and Romulans in the Hinge System are perceived on Qo’noS as a burgeoning threat to Klingon security;
  • Raids along the Klingon Neutral Zone increase in frequency and, for a time in 2248, the Klingon ambassador to Earth is recalled.


2250:

  • Following the actions of an Orion clan at the Disaster of Perseus III at which colonists seeking to escape a rogue black hole are raided and set adrift to fall into the singularity, admirals in Starfleet urge the Federation Council to sanction a retaliatory mission to the clan’s suspected hideout. As it is located within Romulan space, however, the Federation Council rejects the argument and instead calls on the Romulans to censure the Orions directly. The Romulans ignore the call and are, perhaps rightly, perceived to be supporting the Orions in their piracy. Starfleet adopts its own interpretation of the Council’s decision, however, and institutes a standing order – any and all civilian vessels crossing the RNZ into Federation space can be pursued, detained and searched by Starfleet ships;
  • Starfleet requests and receives greater resources to improve its border outposts. It also embarks on a mission to construct advanced starships of its own. The first of the new ship classes to be planned using data taken from the Kelvin incident is the ambitious Constitution Class, a revision on a design first contemplated in 2245 but postponed due to anticipated technical developments owing to the recovered data;
  • The Klingon-Romulan war continues.


2250-2251:

  • The Klingon-Romulan war draws to a climax with the destruction of the Klingons’ main dilithium mining complexes on Praxis, a military action that strikes right at the heart of the Empire. It is apparent that the main thrust of the Romulans’ assault is to diminish the Klingons’ ability not only to wage war, but also maintain their empire, yet the Klingons take pride in the manner in which Qo’noS’ defence forces repel a tentative probe towards the homeworld and then stage a counterattack. Romulan forces suffer heavy casualties and an ill-fated attempt to destroy the construction facilities in the Klingon home system sees those elements of the assault force obliterated. However, they manage to demolish at least two of the main shipyards, most notably the one tasked with building advanced battle cruisers. Elsewhere, the Romulan worlds claimed by the Klingons in 2242 and 2243 and still in the latter’s possession are heavily fortified against further counterattacks, including one in a star system adjacent to the Federation – Khitomer.


2251:

  • The Romulans withdraw behind the RNZ again, but keep a nominal presence in the Hinge System;
  • The Klingons struggle to rebuild their mining operations on Praxis, but meet with limited success. Worse still, the resources they had intended to use to construct their new fleet of advanced battle cruisers had been stockpiled, pre-distribution, at the shipyards lost in the Romulan strike. It is estimated that this particular loss has set the Klingons back two years, a situation worsened by their inability to restore Praxis to operational status. The Klingons act to fortify their captured Romulan worlds further, but call a stop to all raids across the border. The High Council is heavily criticised for this “cowardly” order, but no House or element of the Imperial Defence Forces is willing to break it;
  • Starfleet begins construction on the final batch of its current starship designs and retasks its shipyard facilities to accommodate future designs. Since 2236, when the first lessons learned from the Kelvin attack were fully implemented, Starfleet has been focusing on retrofitting existing ship classes and modifying systems for later construction batches. To date, only the Newton Class of starships has been purpose built to incorporate preliminary advances stemming from the technical information gleaned from the Narada.


2252:

  • The keel of the first of the Constitution Class cruisers is laid on Stewart Island, New Zealand, Earth. The ship is to incorporate the latest advances in phasers, torpedoes, shields, warp drive and armour, but work is delayed due to Orion raids on shipping lines. When a Starfleet vessel, USS Pegasus, moves to lend aid to one supply convoy, it is set upon and destroyed by Romulan-designed vessels. The Romulans’ explanation for this is that the Orions purchased military surplus, but this assertion is refuted by Starfleet on the grounds that the Orions’ ships were less than four months old. The Romulans declined further comment, but were forced to intercede with the Orions when, following an attack on a decoy supply convoy, the pirates were captured by Federation security forces and elaborated on the relationship between their clan and the Star Empire. While the Romulans do not admit to orchestrating or even sponsoring the Orions’ piracy, they are forced to arrest the clan leaders in the face of rising political pressure from the UFP. However, the Orion clan in question and many of its ships depart Romulan space for Klingon territory. In an unexpected move, although one later determined to be an attempt to balance the embarrassment of the Orions’ revelations, the Romulans move a large force into the Hinge System and occupy the diplomatic facilities there. The Federation Council is caught off guard by the handing over of the Orion clan leaders on the one hand and the annexation of Hinge on the other, but overrules those in Starfleet who seek to launch a counterstrike. When rebellious elements attempt to engage the Romulan ships in the system anyway, the Federation Council enforces its decision by dismissing all but a handful of Starfleet’s senior operational admiralty and court-martialling the captains who tried to move against the Romulans. This rebellion becomes known as the Empress Mutiny after the lead admiral’s flagship, USS Empress. The Federation President, with the consent of the Council, appoints new admirals to lead Starfleet, ones more disposed towards following the civilian government’s instructions and pursuing conciliatory approaches to the Romulans;
  • The political damage done by the Orion incident diminishes the power of the Romulan Praetor, but not significantly, yet it is the innovation of a proconsul that threatens insurrection. Late in the year, it becomes apparent that the unexpected push on Hinge was the idea of said proconsul in a bid to discredit the Praetor, but the Star Empire’s ruler, having got wind of the plan, assumed control of the operation personally and presented the entire endeavour – handing the Orions over the to UFP in an embarrassing admission of culpability and annexing Hinge in a show of strength – as her own. The proconsul’s influence is deliberately diminished, albeit temporarily;
  • The Klingons continue to rebuild steadily, yet it is the discovery of sizable mineral deposits on an outlying planetoid in the Archanis System that gives the most cause for optimism. Further scans of the system show unusually high levels of minerals and other resources critical for the construction of starships and starbases. Quickly, the Chancellor orders the system occupied and fortified and a massive mining operation is launched. This spells trouble for the UFP, as the Archanis System is directly adjacent to several Federation sectors and, in a bid to ensure security, the Klingons push into those sectors with thousands of warriors and dozens of warships. A Starfleet response is called for, but the new admiralty, conscious of the reasons behind their promotions, are reluctant to appear too hawk-like. In the end, Starfleet mounts a token defence of several systems and restricts its strongest opposition to any Klingon encroachments into the Ajilon System.


2253:

  • The loss of systems bordering the Archanis Sector, an area of space now totally dominated by the Klingons, continues not to sit well with the UFP, but neither the Council nor Starfleet are willing to resort to force to reclaim the lost territory. Analysts agree that, following the war with the Romulans, the Klingons are desperate for resources and would strongly resist any assertive action by Starfleet. Instead, Starfleet recommends that resources in the Ajilon, Omega Leonis, Sherman’s Planet and 74 Orionis Systems be increased incrementally in a bid to pressurise the High Council into negotiations, the opinion being that a gradual but sizable redeployment of Starfleet forces to those systems would force the Klingons to choose between the security of their border with the UFP and the security of their border with the Romulan Star Empire. The risk is sizable, but the Federation Council views it as acceptable and agrees with the recommendation. A Council amendment to Starfleet’s plan is contested by the admiralty, however. While Starfleet wants to escalate forces in the area within the space of a year on the assumption that any longer would allow the Klingon mining operations in the Archanis System to replenish imperial military forces, thereby undoing the overall objective of the campaign, the Federation Council believes a slower escalation is preferable, as it would allow for the construction of military outposts and stations with a view to future colonisation efforts. In the end, Starfleet acquiesces to the Council’s amendment and begins redrafting its plans. Within two months, Ajilon Prime has become the headquarters for the Federation’s Third Fleet while Omega Leonis and Sherman’s Planet become home to the Second and Fourth Fleets, respectively. 74 Orionis plays host to reserve elements of the First Fleet. Almost immediately, tensions along the border increase and the starships USS Gormley, USS Cu’thor and USS Moncrief are lost with all hands, while the starship USS Mayflower is critically damaged and its crew forced to evacuate. They are captured by Klingons and, despite repeated diplomatic efforts, never repatriated to the UFP. In late July of this year, a pair of Starfleet vessels, USS Hood and USS Farragut, intercept and destroy a small force of Klingon warships returning from a raid on the construction site of the new Deep Space K-7, forcing the Empire to pull out of the Donatu System temporarily. A number of Starfleet personnel recommend that this opening be exploited, but the majority of the admiralty declines and continues its plan of defensive escalation. When the Klingons return to Donatu four months later, they do so in force and catch the starship USS Intrepid by surprise, then move on the construction site of Deep Space K-7 again. When the Fourth Fleet responds, a small battle ensues in which four Klingon battle cruisers and two Federation starships are lost, but it is a victory for the Empire – the fledgling station is destroyed. Work begins anew several weeks later and Starfleet continues its policy of increasing numbers in the area, but the Klingons refuse calls to sit at the negotiating table;
  • The Romulans, quietly victorious against the Klingons, the Federation and, according to reports, several distant small powers, remain indifferent to events until shortly after the second Klingon incursion against Deep Space K-7. In December, three Romulan warships cross the RNZ into Federation space and spend three hours in orbit over Bolarus for reasons unknown, then return to their own space. During this time, their ships do not respond to or emit any hails. Two days later, a civilian freighter in the Bolarus System vanishes from sensors. The activity evokes concern at Starfleet and two ships, USS Truman and USS Kep’toh, are dispatched to bolster the sector’s defences and search for the missing freighter, but it is never found.


2254:

  • The keel of the second Constitution Class cruiser, USS Enterprise, is laid in Riverside, Iowa, and plans are made for a further ten such vessels. Early in the year, the Klingons conduct a raid on Sherman’s Planet, but this is deemed a feint by Starfleet Command to draw the Fourth Fleet, which had been temporarily redeployed to defend Deep Space K-7’s new construction site. The raiders are driven off, but a group of Orions take advantage of the confusion to steal valuable technology. The Orions are believed to be of the same clan banished from Romulan space. No similar raids are recorded within either the Empire or the Star Empire. While the first is understandable, the second intimates a continuing relationship or, at the very least, an agreement between the Romulans and the Orions. Starfleet continues to construct new bases and completes the last of the pre-Narada retrofit designs, but the policy of building forces along the Klingon border is meeting with no success. Many in Starfleet fear that the only way to get the Klingons to the negotiating table is through a decisive military victory, but with possible Romulan encroachments and increasingly frequent and damaging piracy, Starfleet is stretched thin and success cannot be guaranteed. An opportunity presents itself in April. A Klingon commander chooses to use the decommissioning ceremony for the supposedly retiring Deep Space K-1 as a show of force, ignorant of the fact that Starfleet had secretly equipped the station with the latest phaser, torpedo and shield technology. Instead of forcibly dismantling the old station with a volley of torpedoes, the Klingon commander instead finds that it is his battle cruiser and the other six vessels in his assault force that are overpowered and destroyed. The Klingon High Council, fearful of Federation trickery and concerned about the UFP’s unexpected advances in weaponry and shielding, re-evaluates its plans. When a Starfleet vessel assigned to the Second Fleet at Omega Leonis, USS Newton, takes advantage of the Klingons concentrating their attention elsewhere and carries out a raid deep into enemy territory to rescue captured Starfleet personnel being imprisoned on Rura Penthe, the High Council is given further cause for concern. Not only is the Newton able to evade and then subdue the penal planet’s admittedly meagre defences, it is also able to disable the reinforcements dispatched from the nearby Morska System and make off with several score prisoners. Unfortunately, the crew of the Mayflower are not among their number. The crew of the Newton are awarded Starfleet’s highest honour as a result. The entire spectacle, allied with Deep Space K-1’s demolition of seven battle cruisers and indications that Starfleet’s technologies are advancing to the point at which the tables will turn against the Klingons, finally prompts the Chancellor and his High Council to enter into negotiations with the Federation Council;
  • The Romulans continue to deny any involvement with Orion pirates, but raids on Federation shipping lines continue to escalate in ferocity and frequency. USS Truman and USS Kep’toh, together with USS Valiant, are quietly given search and destroy missions. When these orders come to light several months later, the admirals involved are forced to step down and the captain of the Truman, the first to raise objections against his orders, is promoted. In the aftermath, it is learned that the Truman had been responsible for the destruction of three Orion bases, yet the apparent contradiction between this information and the reasons for the captain’s promotion is never explained. The Truman is reassigned to Ajilon Prime. Late in October, another Starfleet vessel, USS Armstrong, is disabled by a cloaked minefield in the vicinity of Starbase 10. Romulan involvement is heavily suspected and charges are laid against the Star Empire by the UFP, but nothing comes of the incident.


2255:

  • Construction of the first Constitution Class cruiser is further delayed, this time by technical difficulties with the warp drive. A solution is eventually forthcoming, but the unfinished ship’s move from New Zealand to the San Francisco Shipyards where specialist equipment and expertise will finalise the ship’s construction is put back by six months. Construction begins on the remaining ten ships of the class. Starfleet’s build-up of ships, bases and resources around the Archanis Sector continues for a time, but the Klingons have stopped agitating. The Federation Council sees this as evidence of the success of its gradual policy and, in concert with the admiralty, instructs Starfleet to discontinue its escalation efforts and to instead concentrate on technological developments. So impressed is the Council with the advantages presented by the new technologies that it redirects plentiful resources to design efforts and orders a second batch of Constitution Class cruisers. Plans are drafted for new ship designs, including the Miranda, the Saladin and the Hermes. Starfleet argues that some of those resources would be better devoted to starbase construction, but only receives permission to pursue this course of action after several months. Construction also begins on a resupply depot in the Loki System. Chosen purely for its proximity to Hinge, Loki Station is to act as a staging ground for any future defence of Federation space against an attack from the Romulans stationed at Hinge;
  • The Klingon Chancellor is deposed by his nephew. Although a renowned warrior, the new Chancellor is perceived more as a political strategist by those within Starfleet. For a time, his intentions towards the Federation are unknown. Many believe he will maintain the Empire’s current activities for a time, then refocus the Klingons’ energies against the Romulans. Others believe he will redeploy Klingon forces in the Archanis Sector in an attempt to test the Federation’s resolve. Unfortunately, the new Chancellor does neither and instead opens a new front against the Federation, swiftly taking the systems of Carraya and Jouret. Starfleet forces in those sectors, outflanked while their attention is firmly on the Romulans across the RNZ, are slow to react and early attempts to dislodge the invaders are repelled. However, it soon becomes apparent that the Klingons’ overall target is not the Federation, but the Romulans, who are forced to redeploy their ships in the hotly contested Dewa and Narendra Systems in the face of unanticipated aggression from their other flank. The Federation Council allows this situation to continue for several weeks, as the Chancellor has opened diplomatic channels and promised to negotiate the Empire’s withdrawal from those sectors. Both the Federation Council and the Federation President are unsure of Starfleet’s ability to remove the aggressors by force and order Starfleet not to counterattack, despite several admirals’ objections about the political untrustworthiness of the Klingon hierarchy.


2255-2256:

  • Relative calm descends on the UFP, Klingon Empire and Romulan Star Empire, although the apparent ceasefires between the three are on a knife’s edge. The Klingons, true to their Chancellor’s word, have continued their talks with the Federation and have not made further attempts to claim Federation territory. However, the Empire retains a sizable military presence in the captured systems, forcing both Starfleet and the Romulans to maintain defensive positions nearby. The Chancellor plays a skilful political game, keeping the Empire’s enemies on their toes. Starfleet’s analysts believe it is not only a mechanism to ensure security, but to allow the Empire to complete the final stages of its rebuilding efforts without interference from the Romulans and without needing to worry about the Federation scooping the Archanis Sector out of the Klingons’ grasp. For its part, Starfleet Command is somewhat happy about the stand-off, as the Chancellor’s machinations allow Starfleet to finalise construction of the first of the new generation of starships, USS Constitution. The vessel is launched in late 2256 and embarks on a shakedown cruise expected to last at least two years, with an eye to ensuring the new technologies used aboard her are fit for purpose, reliable and safe. The keels of the first Miranda, Saladin and Hermes Class vessels are laid.


2257:

  • The Klingons finally withdraw from Jouret and Carraya after winning a politically, if not militarily, decisive victory against the Romulans at Icobar. By playing the role of the aggressor, the Klingons use the Romulans’ natural inclination to provoke others into acting first as a means of justifying hostilities. When the Romulans respond by striking at Tranome Sar, Lambda Hydrae and Icobar, Klingon ships, secretly redeployed from the Azure Nebula, take advantage of the gaps in the Star Empire’s defences and launch simultaneous strikes against bases at Dewa, Narendra and Nequencia. At the end of two days of warfare, there have been no fewer than six battles. The Klingons cede Icobar and Lambda Hydrae, previously in the RNZ, to the Romulans, but severely damage the Star Empire’s Dewa and Nequencia installations. Romulan forces at Narendra hold for a further three months. Tranome Sar remains in Klingon hands, although only barely. Militarily, neither side has achieved significant gains, but the Klingons have forced the Romulans to overextend themselves and displayed an ability to beat them at their own game;
  • Immediately after the Icobar Campaigns, the Federation asks the Romulan Star Empire to enter into talks concerning Lambda Hydrae with a view to restoring it to the RNZ. The Romulans reject the suggestion, intent as they are on using the system, recently evacuated by invading Klingons, as an advance base of operations. The Federation insists on a return to normalcy until, two months after the Campaigns, four Starfleet ships, USS Lexington, USS Boyle, USS Wolcott and USS Antares, are dispatched to the Neutral Zone. Faced with a Starfleet seemingly intent on enforcing the treaty establishing the RNZ and with only two of their own vessels in the system, the Romulans are forced to the negotiating table. A month later, Lambda Hydrae is restored to the RNZ and Romulan forces have withdrawn across the border. They also withdraw from Narendra, their flanks too exposed to Klingon counterattacks;
  • The second Constitution Class ship, USS Enterprise, is moved from Riverside, Iowa to the San Francisco Shipyards for its final construction phase. Construction of the Loki station resupply depot in the Loki System is completed.


2258:

  • USS Enterprise is launched and sent to Beta Testing Ward 956 for final evaluations before her commissioning ceremony. The increase in Starfleet’s combat effectiveness that the Enterprise represents does not come too soon, as reports from the Klingon border indicate the High Council and its potent leader, the Chancellor, are revisiting their recently peaceful approach to the disputed systems surrounding the Archanis Sector. Starfleet expects newly created Klingon reinforcements to begin moving into the area soon, but the admiralty and the Federation Council are unwilling to accelerate their own build-up of forces. Instead, the presumed lull before the storm is availed of and a number of Second, Third and Fourth Fleet ships are temporarily recalled to Earth for enhanced combat refits, including USS Antares, USS Wolcott, USS Farragut, USS Hood, USS Truman and USS Newton. As the works commence, however, sudden fleet movements in Klingon space force Starfleet to begin redeploying all available forces to the Laurentian System in the expectation of a massive push into Federation space. The invasion never happens. At Rura Penthe, the Romulan crew of the Narada escape their captors and regain control of their former vessel. Shortly afterwards, they destroy the fleet of 47 Klingon warships sent from the Archanis Sector to stop them. At almost the same time, contact is lost with Vulcan and an emergency is called, requiring the six ships undergoing refits and the Enterprise to enter into duty without their full crew complements. The recently repaired USS Armstrong is present at this time while another vessel, USS Mayflower, which has only been restored to full operability in the past year, is dispatched to the Vulcan system from its post-repair cruise. All ships bar the Enterprise are destroyed by the Narada. Vulcan is destroyed by a singularity reportedly created by the Narada and, in the following days, Earth is threatened before the ship and its Romulan crew are destroyed by the Enterprise;
  • The Klingons, having lost a sizable portion of their forces along the Federation border, make the difficult decision to postpone their plans for securing additional star systems in the area. The High Council fears that the Romulan Star Empire, perceiving the Empire’s weakness, might take the opportunity to launch a renewed offensive against Narendra, and instead redeploy ships and warriors to protect that system;
  • The events of elsewhere are watched with some curiosity and opportunism by those within the Star Empire and plans are set in motion to take advantage of the Klingon Empire’s sudden change in fortune.


2259:

  • The present. The third, fourth and fifth Constitution Class starships are launched, as are USS Miranda, USS Saladin and USS Hermes. Concerned by the growing Romulan presence in the Hinge System and the failure of the Federation Council’s diplomatic advances to entice the Romulans back to the negotiating table, Starfleet reviews its resources and begins permanently redeploying additional vessels, old and new, to form the Obsidian Task Force, operating out of Starfleet’s Independent Fleet Operations at Loki and named for that system’s sole habitable planet;
  • The Romulans renew their assault on Narendra and open a new front in the Khitomer System, still a heavily fortified Klingon outpost. A new praetor comes to power, the previously discredited proconsul whose plan it had been to take Hinge. Under his leadership, the Star Empire begins work in the Hinge System, but Starfleet Intelligence is unable to determine the Romulans’ intent in this regard. For the time being, the system is heavily patrolled and considered the operational headquarters for the Star Empire’s Twelfth Fleet;
  • The Klingons try to recover from their losses of 2258 and step up their mining operations in the Archanis Sector while maintaining diplomatic relations with the UFP. They struggle under the brunt of constant Romulan raids and the increasingly frequent incursions against Narendra, but rely on the embattled Khitomer outpost to act as their main defensive bulwark in the area.