The Starship Messenger

U.S.S. Messenger / NCC-74831

=/\=


=/\=

The Intrepid-class U.S.S. Messenger was one of the first ships to take flight out of the newly operational Mariposa Fleet Yards, joining a somewhat elite list of starships whose registry number reflected the date of launch (74831 -- 74 for the year, 2374; 831 for the day -- 8th month, 31st day). Command was given to Captain Tracy Devonshire and her maiden voyage was a simple trip to Starbase 54, her new home port.

​The breakout of the Dominion War changed everything; the little science vessel was expected to be a spy; she was assigned to the 6th Fleet and carried out several dangerous scouting missions, bringing back vital intel for the Federation and their allies. Messenger also proved to be a capable fighter, the ship's maneuverability and the skill of her pilot enabling them to escape from most skirmishes with little damage.

​Just a month before the first year's end saw Messenger's luck reach its own. A short but heated battle took the life of Captain Devonshire, and several crewmembers -- including the XO and chief engineer -- were critically wounded. Extensive damage was sustained on the ship's starboard side and at the stern, leaving her in drydock for two months undergoing repairs. (planned story "Shakedown")

In January of 2375, command of the restored Messenger was taken by Dominic Murphy, a survivor of the First Battle of Chin'toka. Their first mission was to rendezvous with a R'naari medical vessel inside R'naari Imperial Territory; this meeting was interrupted, however, when Messenger responded to a distress call of a Klingon ship. During the ensuing battle with Jem'Hadar raiders, the helm officer was critically wounded when the console exploded. Third-year cadet Charlaine Tucker convinced Captain Murphy to have helm control rerouted to the science station, from which she successfully piloted the ship through the rest of the conflict. For her ingenuity, Murphy granted Tucker a field promotion to Ensign. She would remain helm officer for a number of years. (planned story "Shakedown")

​In February of 2376, Messenger attempted to aid the Sovereign-class starship Andromeda. Upon arrival at their sister-ship's coordinates, they discovered that a discarded Dominion experiment had led to the loss of the Andromeda crew save one officer. With her assistance, they were able to diffuse the very great threat to the quadrant posed by the experiment, though this victory required the destruction of the Andromeda. ("Acceptable Losses")

In December of 2376, Dr. Killian announced she had been offered a new position at Starfleet Medical, and so a new chief medical officer was needed. Much to Captain Murphy's surprise -- and great delight -- the physician chosen to replace her was none other than the beautiful Andorian doctor who had saved his life during the Dominion War. At about the same time, Starfleet announced an early removal from Sanctuary, which led to their counselor being demoted from her senior position. After hearing about it, her friend Amalys Tyr'lylth -- who happened to be Messenger's counselor -- proposed a switch, since it mattered not to her if she was senior officer or not because she was a civilian. The Müus-án arranged a meeting between her friend and captain when Messenger stopped at the old Cardassian space station to deliver medical supplies, and Murphy agreed to the switch: Amalys would join the Starfleet crew going to Starbase Echo, and Roijiana would be going to the Mess. ("Beginning's End")

Mid-August of 2378 saw the greatest of Messenger's calamities. The ship was discovered to be infested with a sub-atomic bacterial lifeform known colloquially as "shiprot", due to the damage caused by their feeding on the hulls of starships. If the lifeforms were not detected early enough, they could weaken a ship's spaceframe in a matter of months. When they were discovered on Messenger, the fact that the ship had not had a proper overhaul in since her initial launch (due to the outbreak of the Dominion War) had given the bacteria more than enough time to cause irreparable damage. Starbase Echo's yardmaster was forced to declare the ship NWS -- not worth saving. It was only by sheer coincidence that a brand-new Steamrunner-class starship, just weeks from being finished, was available to be commissioned to carry on the Messenger name. ("New Life, New Civilization - Part One")


U.S.S. Messenger / NCC-74831-A

_____

Messenger-A was launched from Starbase Echo Repair Yards four years to the day of the launch of her predecessor. The crew's first mission on their new ship was to survey the Paulson Nebula. One day shy of completing the survey, a massive surge in neutrino and chroniton emissions from a nearby sector drew the ship to the location of a subspace tear. Moments after Messenger's arrival, an exact replica of Earth's moon was ejected from the tear. On the moon's surface was a science base with nearly 300 inhabitants, and on the surface of Levzor 5 -- the planet in the moon's flight path -- there were more than a quarter billion. A task force of six Federation starships and one Klingon Bird-of-Prey was hastily formed to alter the moon's trajectory and then settle it in orbit of Levzor 4. ("New Life, New Civilization - Part Two")

When the crisis of the moon had passed, Annika Hansen -- a former Borg drone rescued by the starship Voyager, who was now a member of the Messenger crew -- was tasked with compiling the data of the Paulson survey for presentation to Starfleet Command. She found an anomaly previous surveys had not and wanted to investigate, but her request was initially denied by Lt. Cmdr. Ja-Nareth. Hansen then spoke with Captain Murphy, who approved her request; with two younger scientists and two Alphans as companions, Hansen returned to the Paulson and there the team discovered two Borg drones encased in ice. The drones, casualties of two separate yet connected battles, were turned over to the U.S.S. Enterprise before the group returned to Messenger and Alpha. ("Echoes of the Past")

The new chief engineer of Messenger struggled to devise a way of rotating the Alphans' moon so that it will be able to retain the eventual atmosphere generated by the terraforming project. Working with Hansen and Maya Verdeschi to solve the issue, the three eventually determine that eight asteroid movers will enable a sufficient rotational speed. Meanwhile, another starship has discovered an Eagle adrift in space with three unconscious men onboard. The investigation by the Alphans and Messenger determines that the Eagle is not only from the same parallel universe as the moon: given the identities of the men, it is also from their past. ("Coming Home")

Captain Murphy, Dr. Nir'ahn, and Lt. Tucker briefly visit Alpha on the day the atmosphere inside the dome becomes breathable. Murphy shows some humility when members of Koenig's crew praise his for their assistance, as well as that of Starfleet and the Federation. Tucker then informs a number of the Alphans that she has found some information on their counterparts in this universe, including descendants. The lieutenant reveals that Captain Murphy is related to both Paul Morrow and Tony Verdeschi, and Tucker herself is related to fellow pilot Alan Carter. ("The Inconvenient Truth")