Created by Commodore Dazad on Mon Apr 4th, 2022 @ 1:47am

The Maelstrom is a volatile region of space, located near Badlands in the Alpha Quadrant, on the edge of territories annexed to the Federation and Klingon Empires by the Cardassians after the Dominion War. The region is plagued by high levels of ambient radiation, dangerous subspace rifts, quantum destabilization, and high radioactivity that makes living and operating in the region nearly impossible for all but the best explorers and navigators that the galaxy has to offer.

Due to the inhospitable nature of many star systems in the region no major powers expressed any interest in the sectors comprising the Maelstrom; however, following a survey by the USS Hawking, several scientists expressed great interest in studying the Maelstrom and its attributes. Many star systems in the Maelstrom have triple the amount of ambient radiation of their counterparts containing habitable, Class M planets elsewhere in the galaxy and several worlds, such as Nepenthe, feature high concentrations of metaphasic radiation in their soil, offering limited regenerative effects for biological life. For much of its history following discovery no power expressed interest in developing the Maelstrom, except for the Federation’s decision to establish the New Holland Colony on the outskirts of the region.

As time passed the Federation made the discovery of a lifetime in the Maelstrom: vast deposits of Dilithium in many of the star systems in the zone. An old-fashioned space race began to colonize the region to exploit the mineral riches it offered, with the Federation making the strongest claims through their development of environmental bio-filters and atmospheric shielding. By 2378 the Federation had began terraforming the two outermost planets of the Vesuvi system and a Federation science station was also constructed in orbit of Draegos, third planet of the Vesuvi system. Shortly after it was established, the Federation Starship Dauntless visited the world and was witness to the destabilization of the Vesuvi star and the destruction of the majority of the Vesuvi star system. The Dauntless barely escaped but detected evidence of another vessel leaving at high warp before the shockwave destroyed the third planet.

Starfleet Command assigned the Dauntless crew, who were later transferred to the Starship Sovereign, to investigate the destruction of Draegos. Their investigation led to the discovery that the True Way, an offshoot of the Cardassian Central Command led by Legate Matan, had begun building their forces in the region with the intention of rebuilding the Cardassian Union. They had partnered with a mysterious, yet technologically superior silicon-based civilization known as the Kessok to build their forces. Starfleet authorized military action against Legate Matan and his forces and launched a counteroffensive. In the interim, the Sovereign was able to establish peaceful contact with the Kessok through the assistance of Lieutenant Commander Data and a Kessok Captain named Neb-lus who connected the Sovereign crew with the Kessok governemnt. The Kessok aligned themselves with the Federation to defeat the True Way, but not before the renegade Cardassians adapted the superior Kessok technologies to strengthen their fleet. The Starfleet Task Force, led by the Sovereign and supported by the Enterprise, was able to defeat the Cardassians and save the Kessok Colony in the Battle of Omega Draconis. Formal diplomatic relations were initiated shortly thereafter with the Sovereign herself assigned to study the region.

In 2381 the Federation became aware that the Romulan Star would go Supernova within the decade, leading to a mass exodus of the Romulans with the Federation offering support to their one time enemy. Due to his familiarity with the region from his days aboard the Enterprise, Jean-Luc Picard considered the Maelstrom as one potential site for the Romulan Relocation Effort and reached out to the Kessok to negotiate the usage of their solarformer technology as a potential solution to prevent the Romulan Supernova. Due to the damage done to the Kessok culture by Legate Matan of the True Way, the Kessok rejected the Federation’s plea but did agree to assist with relocation efforts by terraforming several systems to meet the needs of the Romulans. With the support of the Kessok the Federation successfully established Romulan colonies in four systems.

The Federation Day Massacre of 2385 significantly destabilized the galaxy in many ways. A group of A500 synthetic workers went rogue and launched an unprovoked attack on the Utopia Planitia Shipyards at Mars. The attack ignited Mars' stratosphere, killing thousands, and destroyed all the ships in orbital construction, refit, or repair at the base. The loss devastated the Federation and Starfleet, significantly reducing Starfleet's forces and led to a ban on all synthetic life throughout the United Federation of Planets and its allies. A revised mission plan was offered to Starfleet Command by Admiral Picard; however, focused on their own disaster and facing secession threats from fourteen member worlds, all Romulan relief efforts were cancelled. All Starfleet forces, including those of the Maelstrom, were recalled to Federation held space. Essentially, in many respects, the Maelstrom was abandoned to its own devices with only Nepenthe, New Holland Colony, and the remnants of Vesuvi receiving continued support from the Federation while. All exploratory missions were cancelled.

The vacuum left by the Federation withdrawal from the region had a disastrous effect upon the Maelstrom. The Kessok closed their borders to all outsiders and the Cardassians began to reestablish themselves in the region. The Romulans, having established 4 colonies during the relocation efforts, were forced to fend for themselves due to the departure of the Federation and their resources and became even more isolated than once before. The Kzinti, who had been losing influence in the galaxy, set designs upon colonizing the region as the new home of their empire. The twin Vesuvi colonies, with their vast reserves of dilithium, became frequent targets of privateers and the Cardassians despite the Federation maintaining support to them.

In 2399, due to internal policy changes implemented by Fleet Admiral Kirsten Clancy, Starfleet Command agreed to resume limited exploratory and support assignments in the Maelstrom. Resources were diverted to refit Deep Space 12, which had fallen into disarray, to full operation. Vice Admiral Gregory Macray, who had been assigned to the Maelstrom since the final days of the Dominion War, chose to retire and Starfleet assigned Commodore Dazad to oversee the region.

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