Canopus Station
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Messier Report #3

Posted on Wed Sep 4th, 2019 @ 3:11am by Stephen Spires

When Starfleet partnered with Project Long Jump to put a Spacedock outside the galactic barrier and inside the Messier 4 globular cluster, first contact was to be expected. The crew of Canopus Station has its hands full with the return of the USS Traveller which had a pursuing enemy flotilla on its tail. The return of the lost starship came amidst efforts to relocate the refugees of Xilos while caretaking the Rish stowaways and the colonists of nearby Carpathia, which meant the command staff of Canopus Station were not expecting yet another instance of first contact right under their nose. What began as a routine exploration of an alien ruin turned into a harrowing episode of human trafficking and emergency rescue.

The perpetrator named himself Gastarox and claimed affiliation with an organization he called the Mercantile Academia. Though its name gives the impression of erudition, Gastarox proved to be a specimen to the contrary. His mercenary crew consisted of members of the same hostile battle group that levied war against Canopus Station's home system, a hive-minded avian race that identify as the Reka. Upon interview with Gastarox and the Reka, it was suggested that the Mercantile Academia performs intellectual scavenging along the same lines as the Reka's physical scavenging.

Upon first contact, the alien Gastarox abducted the away team from Canopus Station and ferried them away from Carpathia to a ghastly unknown location that local denizens of Messier 4 called The Mire. Within it was the Sleepers Bazaar, a flesh market where sapient lifeforms are traded for advanced technology and other items of value. Canopus Station dispatched the USS Resolute in pursuit of Gastarox. The Resolute entered the Sleepers Bazaar by way of a narrow conduit through tortured space, which was the defining feature of The Mire. An unknown alien construct of ancient design kept a neutron star from collapsing, converting the gravimetric tidal forces into a self-sustaining power source.

The captured away team was recovered through a canny trade. It was reported that Chief Science Officer Meilin Jiang traded a pricess Xilosian artifact for the Starfleet captives, but the mission logs remain classified at this time due to the destruction of The Mire and the alleged relocation of the Sleepers Bazaar as a result. While the rescue mission was a success, it appears Canopus Station has gotten off on the wrong foot with local stellar powers within Messier 4. Whether relations with the Reka and the Mercantile Academia can be repaired remains to be seen.


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