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Captain's Log 41387.9 (2364-May-21 | 2330 hrs)

Posted on 22 May 2021 @ 4:11pm by Captain Philip Demarcus

I've just ordered the Boston to depart star system NGC-2766. This first stop after our departure from the Shaya Shi'kwai region has reminded me of why we're out here as Starfleet officers. To seek out new life, and new civilizations. Though we truly discovered a unique being in the form of the Mtima Entity of Sepitus within the Shaya Shi'kwai, and had many fulfilling encounters with inhabited worlds during our subsequent star-charting operations in the region, the pall of our nearly ruinous early mission phase lingered over much of the crew. And I must admit I was not immune from these burdens.

But then we found ourselves with some time to spare while awaiting rendezvous with U.S.S. Canopus at the edge of star system NGC-2766. Time to spare. Free time. It was something we hadn't been accustomed to for over seven months during our voyages within the Shaya Shi'kwai. I wanted to give the crew something to occupy their minds with, and so I ordered a full system survey of NGC-2766. Even though the star and its planetary bodies had been charted when it was initially surveyed nearly a century ago, I decided that Starfleet could always use updated scans for the next round of starchart updates.

The survey itself was fairly routine. The star and all planetary bodies were catalogued and the original survey's data updated and re-verified. I decided to give the first planet of the system a wide berth, though, as it hosts a pre-industrial civilization and did not want to risk them detecting the Boston by whatever nascent astronomical instruments they might possess. Just as the crew was finalizing the scans of the final planet in the system, a sudden discovery completely changed the course of our survey.

A centuries old alien probe had been discovered on the fourth planet of the system. Apparently overlooked during the original survey of the system, the alien probe was intact and its data modules were able to be analyzed by the Boston's computer. It revealed detailed scans of the pre-industrial civilization on the first planet, including visual records of the alien lifeforms. From this the crew was able to extrapolate a sartorial and prosthetic profile for the natives of the first world, and began forming an outline for an anthropological observation mission. Two teams were organized and beamed to the surface. After careful consultation with Lieutenant T'Char and Ensign Sobek, I assigned a strict time limitation of two hours on the surface, with half of that time being devoted to travelling to and from the beam-in location.

Once on the surface, Ensign Sobek led a small team to observe a nearby village belonging to the pre-industrial society, while Lieutenant T'Char led a second team in search of a suitable location in which to deploy a "duck blind" type outpost. A recent development in the rapidly advancing holo-projection technology, such outposts would render direct anthropological observation teams obsolete once they are fully deployed.

After hiking some distance in the foothills surrounding the village, Lieutenant T'Char's team encountered what turned out to be a sort of travelling bard. Initially offering vague excuses to be on their way, this bard continued to trail the second away team until they came to a bridge that was utilized as a checkpoint between villages. Realizing that she would have to distract both the bard and the guards at the bridge to allow geological scans to be made of a nearby cliff-face, Lieutenant T'Char proceeded forward with Lieutenant S'Roiti and the bard - known apparently as 'Itchy' - while Lieutenants Bajn and Duarte Núñez remained behind to collect the geological scans at a distance.

This endeavor eventually proved successful, and Lieutenants T'Char and S'Roiti were able to reassemble with the rest of the teams after having some difficulty in convincing 'Itchy' to allow them to part ways after the encounter at the bridge checkpoint. With the anthropological observation teams beamed back to the ship, we set about analyzing the data collected. It should keep all departments quite busy for some time.

As for now, Starfleet Command has placed U.S.S. Boston on detached duty pending our next mission assignment. So I've decided to set course for Starbase 617 for general resupply. Mr. Harper has certainly depleted much of our stock of Type III and Type VI probes over the last several months. And much of the crew will have the well deserved opportunity to enjoy some shore leave while we're at the starbase.

All said, while I certainly look forward to our next mission assignment from Starfleet, for the time being it feels good to be back in Federation space and to have the free time to set our own course for a while...


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