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This article is very spoiler-heavy and should not be read if you have not read Moon Trek NEO III: Prime Directive. Continue at your own risk!
On stardate 60712, the U.S.S. Benjamin L. Sisko was sent to engage what was believed to be a Cardassian flotilla that was planning on attacking a Federation colony near the Federation/Cardassian border. The Sisko engaged the ships and either destroyed or drove off the attackers. Shortly after the attack happened the Sisko’s engines, which had just recently been overhauled at the Lincoln Park Shipyards, fused open and caused the Sisko to go into warp, not to any destination but simply in the direction she happened to be facing.
The ship continued to accelerate and eventually, despite it seemingly being an impossibility, she entered a transwarp state. Due to the speed at which they were traveling and the concern of where they might end up, the command staff decided the only option was to forcefully stop the ship by ejecting the warp core.
After the warp core was ejected, the warp coils shut down and the ship violently exited her transwarp state and returned to normal space. In what had to have been a trillion and one fluke, the Sisko ended up coming to a stop within a few hundred kilometers from the planet NZ-12G-4, later learned to be Valari. Due to the violent nature of her return from transwarp to normal space, almost all of the Sisko’s systems and EPS grid were damaged or destroyed and she only had navigational thrusters.
Because of the increased mass of the Sisko as a result of her armor, and the gravity exerted on her from the planet, the navigational thrusters were not powerful enough to prevent her from entering the upper atmosphere of Valari and beginning a descent towards the planet’s surface. The Sisko ended up hitting one of the planet’s oceans, but due to the speed she picked up from her freefall, she managed to ‘skip’ across the ocean and come back down on a continent, plowing through trees and stopping about 15 kilometers inland.
Between the exit from transwarp and the crash, over one hundred members of the crew were injured, many seriously, 44 of them being fatal, including Captain Karyn Walker.
While crashing into a planet was not a good thing, the Sisko did luck out insofar as she crashed into an M-class planet, rather than a gas giant or a star. This would be the end of where her luck would take her as it was soon discovered that Valari was inhabited by an atomic-era civilization. The government controlling the area where this Sisko had crashed immediately sent their military to investigate the alien spaceship. Thankfully they were restrained and did not immediately attack the Sisko, seemingly realizing that she was in distress and crashed, rather than being an invasion force.
The former Executive Officer, now Captain, Ranma Saotome made contact with the military investigating the ship and eventually made contact with the government and their Prime Minister Pho Mao (Vo’Maau). Fortunately, the government of the ‘Valari Western Republic’ (generalized translation of the nation’s name) was friendly to the alien visitors and shared the same goal as the crew when it came to keeping their arrival a secret from the general population.
Saotome soon learned about the theocratic nature of this government as well as the planet’s second government, the ‘Eastern Valari Republic’ (generalized translation), and the racial and religious war being fought between the two. He learned of the EVR’s indiscriminate usage of nuclear weapons on the population of the VWR. Mao believed that the Sisko’s arrival was orchestrated by God in order to protect the VWR and its people from the EVR. Saotome was determined to obey the Prime Directive and not get involved, despite his deep personal feelings in opposition to the EVR’s targeting of civilians.
The Sisko’s crew had done a good job so far in both repairing some damage to the ship - getting backup power restored and using the power cells from photon and quantum torpedoes to power the ship’s vital systems for instance - and staying uninvolved in the war between the two Valarian nations. That was until she was attacked.
On stardate 60955 several large bomber aircraft were on a direct course to the Sisko. After they locked their radars on the ship, confirming their intentions, the Sisko used her phase cannons to shoot down the bombs of the first wave. One bomb got through, however, due to her armor and hull plating, the Sisko was undamaged. Fearing the use of nuclear weapons, the Sisko shot down the aircraft of a second wave. While most went into the ocean, one bomber crashed in the forest a few kilometers inland. The Sisko’s NEO team went out to investigate and found the aircraft to be of Easter design, having Eastern language in the cockpit, and the pilot appeared to be of the Eastern race.
Believing this attack was done by the EVR, Saotome decided to retaliate by destroying the Eastern ICBM silos, arguing that because the EVR attacked them, they were now in direct danger of an ICBM strike. The Sisko’s NEO team covertly infiltrated all 36 silos and despite getting into a firefight in the last silo, managed to destroy all of the EVR’s nuclear missiles.
Several submarines soon appeared near the crash zone and appeared ready to launch missiles at the Sisko. Using Nighthawk, Sisko destroyed the submarines, but the incident led to questions. The Western military was very strong, so the idea of EVR submarines getting through their blockade of the crash zone seemed implausible. Hacking of the VWR’s military databases by the Sisko’s crew also brought to light some of the VWR’s covert operations, many involving gene altering.
Saotome ordered further genetic testing of the pilots recovered from the crashed bomber and soon realized that the bomber attack and the submarine attack were a false flag operation, using genetic manipulation on the pilots, done by the VWR to get the Sisko crew involved in the war.
While Saotome was upset over being manipulated, he felt no remorse in destroying the EVR’s ICBMs. However, had to be repercussions for the deception and Saotome immediately cut off all diplomatic ties with the VWR, as well as warning them that encroaching upon the Sisko would result in lethal force in response.
No longer needing to act in a covert manner, the VWR sent a couple of battalions of troops, about 1,100, to seize the ship. The thinking was that given there were only about 400 on the Sisko, not all of them fighters, 1,100 would be enough. Using their superior firepower and tactics, however, the Starfleet security forces made up of both the ship’s security teams and the Marines assigned to the ship routed the Valarian troops, killing nearly 600 while only losing one.
These attacks continued in one way or another for the rest of the Sisko’s stay on the planet.
Fortunately, despite being three months from Earth, there was past Federation activity and exploration in the area (relatively speaking) and the crew was able to use a subspace relay station to contact Starfleet Command. The U.S.S. Crossroads was dispatched by Admiral Scott Larson to come and assist the Sisko crew until recovery and engineering ships could arrive.
While the goal was to keep the Sisko secure, there was a lot of concern over multiple military incursions by both the VWR and the EVR. The concerns turned up to be founded when over a million VWR soldiers began moving on the Sisko from the north, and an amphibious invasion of over a million EVR soldiers was moving in from the east. Fortunately, the Crossroads was able to arrive shortly before the ground forces arrived and evacuated the Sisko crew, including the deceased crew, as well as bringing up the evidence found on the engines that proved there was deliberate sabotage.
In an attempt to kill the Sisko crew and the invading Easter military, the VWR deployed over a dozen nuclear bombs which detonated simultaneously. It was unlikely that the hull was compromised by the bombings as the Sisko had already been targeted by nuclear munitions and had only taken minor damage. Regardless, once onboard the Crossroads, Saotome activated an exploding chain reaction inside the ship designed to obliterate all sensitive equipment, such as the shield emitters, replicator systems, plasma energy technology, and the computer core. Afterward, the Crossroads deployed two volleys of about 16 quantum torpedoes each, obliterating the Sisko to the point that she was little more than metal fragments.
A survey crew was sent to Valari to investigate the aftermath of the Sisko’s presence. It was found that there was little to no evidence that the majority of the population was aware of the Sisko. Most talk of the alien ship was considered ‘conspiracy theories’.
The two governments didn’t appear to be too involved in fighting at the time of the survey crew’s arrival, likely a result of heavy losses taken by both nations after the battle around the Sisko. It’s likely most of the one million-strong EVR invasion force was killed by either the Western nuclear strike or the Crossroad’s bombardment of the Sisko.
The crater that used to be where the Sisko sat was riddled with nuclear fallout, so much so that the survey crew did not feel it was safe to send an away team down, even with EVA suits. While there was still evidence of pieces and shards of the Sisko, it was determined that the remains were so badly damaged and irradiated that the survey crew believed the metal compounds would be discovered organically by the population long before they’d be able to reverse engineer it.
As for the investigation into what happened with the Sisko before the crash, an investigation revealed that operatives from the Vulcan Ministry of Intelligence had infiltrated the Lincoln Park Shipyards, including the Commodore who was in command (Commodore T’kuk). Items that would manipulate the Sisko’s warp field, some of which were Borg transwarp components, were installed and concealed.
The ships that the Sisko was sent to engage were in fact drone ships of unknown origin. They were using sensor manipulation to appear to be Cardassian ships. During the battle, they primarily targeted the aft section of the Sisko in order to make the Sisko’s warp engine fusing look like a result of the attack. The Sisko’s aft weapons were also sabotaged to help prevent the drone ships from being damaged or destroyed too quickly.
It is assumed that the Sisko’s survival was unplanned and that the Sisko was expected to lose structural integrity during the transition into transwarp, which would have spread the debris over dozens of light-years, preventing an investigation from discovering the sabotage.
As for motive, none was able to be factually determined, but investigators assume it was a retaliatory move for the accidental bombing of a Vulcan village by Saotome. It was also part of an overarching conspiracy between former Councilman Zack Young and former Vulcan Minister of Intelligence Salek.