Divided We Fall
|Description||While traveling further into the Inconnu Expanse, the Pandora begins to explore a dense patch of gravitic storms. After sending a probe to find out more information, they unknowingly cause a large explosion and from within the storm, an unstoppable particle wave rushes towards the Pandora! The ship tries to manoeuvre out the way but the Bridge and first two decks make contact. In the aftermath, the Pandora is disabled and the crew discovers everyone that was caught in the particle wave has disappeared. It's up to the remaining officers to find out where they went and hopefully, bring them back safely.|
|Mission Group||Phase One: Rise|
|Start Date||Wed Jun 24th, 2020 @ 10:48am|
|End Date||Tue Aug 4th, 2020 @ 10:48am|
Captain's Log, Stardate 66834.49. Declassified and published to the entire crew of the Pandora.
"It has been a long journey into the Inconnu Expanse. As we face the prospect now of leaving the region we have been exploring for this past year, I find myself with mixed feelings about withdrawing.
On one hand, our most recent mission to the Indigo Sky was the toughest experience I have ever faced in Starfleet. The particle wave that trapped our bodies in the memory buffers of the ship and the subconscious 'bubble' that we lived in was emotionally and psychically draining. We faced a no-win situation with no hope of escape or rescue, and every moment of that felt entirely real to everyone. Real pain, real sadness, real deaths. It was a living nightmare from which we could not wake.
To make matters worse, there was a divide that began in the crew of the Bubble, and it proved incredibly difficult to heal. I found myself unable to come up with a proper solution to unite everyone again. The fact that I was killed, in the bubble, by one of my own crew members continues to haunt me. How did I fail them as a Captain and a fellow officer? I will continue to ponder this.
But there were bigger events than my own experience. The traumas faced by the crew who lived out their entire lives - both the good and the bad - only to then wake up again as if nothing had happened. People died and yet they live. There was no training at the Academy or any previous assignment that we have had that could possibly prepare us for that situation. We have done well to keep functioning now and move on to our next mission, but it would be foolish to assume everyone will just 'get over' the Bubble.
It was no easy time for those who remained in the real world either. To face the prospect of potentially losing your friends and crew, to trying to repair a majorly damaged ship while investigating the mass disappearance. It would have been stressful and confusing for them as well. In that regard, I am glad we are leaving the Expanse. We could use the rest and relaxation. I don't think a little bit of liberty on Paradise Outpost will be enough.
And yet, the explorer in me wants to stay. Because I know there is a lot more to the Expanse that we have yet to see. Take the Indigo Sky, for example. When the particle wave exploded out from the gaseous storm, it appeared as if the Indigo Sky had disappeared as well. There was nothing left. However, as we departed for Paradise, our sensors picked up glimmers of glowing lights starting to appear throughout the area.
The Indigo Sky hadn't been destroyed, it was being reborn.
Further analysis shows we experienced a once in a millennia event. The Indigo Sky's make up of highly volatile particles and spacial gases is in a constant state of build up and release. This process takes approximately eight hundred and forty two years to cycle through. The storms build up, they release, and then the remaining particles start to rebuild again. It appears our probe was like a spark into already-lit powder keg. Now that all those excess particles have been released and the density cleared, the Indigo Sky will form together once more and brighten up the universe again.
We've only just begun to visit the hundreds of new species and locations in the Expanse. Paradise Outpost is a prime example. How does this seemingly perfect eco-system of different species come together in complete harmony? How do they all agree to just get along on this station? What power does it possess to neuter even the most aggressive and hostile species in the region? I wish we had more time to look into this so-called 'paradise' before we leave.
And yet I find myself at a cross-roads as well. The experiences have been very trying to my personal life and family. We had some incredible highs, like being reunited together on the ship and Emilie falling pregnant again, mixed with some terrible lows. Some I don't wish to mention. But trying to be a husband and a Captain has been a difficult juggling act and I haven't always succeeded in balancing them both. It has caused me to wonder if I shouldn't just make a choice between the two. At least having a rest back in Federation space will allow us time to figure out what we're going to do.
In the end, if I were to look back on this past mission and the previous few weeks, there is something I can be proud of; the way in which this crew has come back together. The talent show at Mindo's bar was a testament to our strength and our defiance. No matter the pain we went through, we have helped each other through this situation. I am constantly amazed and impressed by the skills and capabilities of this crew, there is surely no team better in Starfleet. The fact that we now stand united together again, despite everything we went through, is solely down to their commitment and professionalism. I am proud to serve the Pandora and no matter what happens next, I know this ship can handle it."
- Captain Nycolas Temple