Given how folks seemed to respond well to my Star Trek: Orion Mini-Mini Series (i.e. a small number of short stories) I thought I might try it again and see if lightning could strike twice. I'm still working on story ideas, as well as an underlying plot that will bubble under the surface of all that happens until the finale, but given the time of year I may not have anything to post until the New Year. I just hope this whets some appetites... THE SET-UP: A few months after the end of the Dominion War, the Naduri Republic, a close Federation ally, asks for aid after old rivalries with a neighbouring race sees the loss of two border outposts on the far side of their territory. During the war the Naduri supplied a substantial amount of raw materials for the construction of new starships, a debt they are calling in when they request the use of a space station (and admit that a Starfleet presence could go a long way to help restore peace in the region). Eager to support one of their longest standing allies, the Federation Council and Starfleet Command agree, though the only facility they have nearby that isn’t carrying out essential duties is a base that’s seen better days: Deep Space Station K-16. Though well looked after, K-16’s heyday is long behind it and the station has become little more than a trading outpost or refuelling port. The S.C.E. work out a means of towing the base to Naduri space, utilising ships from both Starfleet and the Naduri Star Navy, and once in place is given a quick round of upgrades and refurbishment. As this work is going on Starfleet Command faces the difficult task of assigning a new crew, but with personnel in short supply and needed elsewhere across the Alpha Quadrant they cannot assign a large contingent to the station, nor can they spare a ship (other than four runabouts) to support them. The crew assigned to the base find themselves beyond the frontier of Federation space, facing the unknown and all the challenges that brings with it. THE CHARACTERS: Captain Akivazahn zh’Vharath (though she much prefers to go by “Zahn”), an Andorian with twenty years’ service behind her, is the newly assigned Station Commander. A solid all-rounder she has distinguished herself through hard work and intense focus. K-16 is her third command, following the starships Pieces and Resolute, and she has proven herself to be a very personable CO with a tough-but-fair manner. She will hold her ground, especially when in defence of others, and likes to muck in and get her hands dirty. Not only is Commander Talenn amply qualified to serve as First Officer, but he is also one of the highest-ranking Naduri currently in Starfleet (being the first born of the leader of a prestigious Clan doesn’t hurt either). Patient, thoughtful and insightful, he puts consideration into everything he does but that doesn’t mean he is indecisive nor is he a pushover. Though a loyal Starfleet officer, he has misgivings about returning to his people, having left home in order to be his own person. Lt. Commander Jordan Keller was the S.C.E. mastermind who managed to safely move the station and work out the most effective way to overhaul key systems in as little time as possible. Known for his adaptable manner, out-of-the-box thinking and practical solutions, he has been involved in a number of high-profile assignments for the S.C.E., but when asked by Captain Zahn to remain onboard he was a bit flummoxed, having never held such a post before but eager to see what challenges it presented. Lieutenant T’Vell applies her Vulcan logic, intellect and analytical mind to her role as Strategic Operations Officer. Calm and collected, traits that have been hugely advantageous during her years spent with Starfleet Intelligence, she can quickly dissect whatever situation that presents itself. She declined a posting to Deep Space 9 in favour of this position, believing her skills would be put to better use on K-16. With a warm and husky voice, it comes as no surprise that Lieutenant Sahir al-Majid is a Communications Officer (nor that he entertains many with his singing). A man with charm to spare, his open and friendly manner makes him well liked by almost all those he serves with, though his optimistic outlook can sometimes be a little excessive at times—though most don’t hold it against him for long. Doctor Lanyda Xenau (the Betazoid surgeon who was involved on the classified U.S.S. Ajax mission) is a dedicated and compassionate healer, who puts her all into helping others. Straight talking, she cuts through a lot of pomp and ceremony to get to the heart of the matter. She is someone who cares more about doing the right thing as a doctor rather than as an officer. Rylek Lieutenant (j.g.) Ceely Adan’a is a rarity in Starfleet, from a species akin to the Orions as such she has had to deal with a lot to get to where she is. Tough and driven, she has a chip on her shoulder and a sharp response on the tip of her tongue, so her appointment as Chief Tactical Officer has surprised quite a few (herself included). Wary of her new posting, she is looking for the ulterior motive behind her assignment. With the War still fresh in everyone’s memory, Counsellor Keirath M’Karr will have a crucial role to play in helping those onboard K-16 with the events and trauma they endured. A Caitian with highly acute senses, he can pick up on the subtle changes in people who come to see him. Patient and disarming, often he has to say very little to get people to open up. Despite being in a new area of space, only a small Science staff could be assigned, which Ensign “Jat” is in charge of. The first (and so far only) Yrr’Qeyite in Starfleet he has applied a lot of pressure on himself to succeed and show what his people are capable of in the wider galaxy. Though courteous, considerate and helpful, almost to a fault, his appearance (a squat body with eight tentacles for limbs, a long face with four eyes and another pair of mandible-like tentacles for hands) can be a little difficult for others to relate too. Senior Chief Arzen Daul may not be Joined but often comes across as having the wisdom of lifetimes, which has made him an excellent criminal investigator and combat expert. Having served with Captain Zahn for seven years he is a close friend and confidante, the two share a close bond of trust and faith in one another. He sees it as his responsibility to keep all others safe and will do whatever is called for to do so. Federation Envoy Mei-Xiu Wen is the diplomatic link between the station and the Naduri Republic (and the other major players in the region). Observant, insightful and meticulous, she plays her cards close to her chest and can be a tough person to get a read on. Not to be underestimated, especially when in her element and facing off over the negotiating table.