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STSF Seiben

Messages from Copernicus

USS Challenger – Present Time



Captain Ja’Lale was sitting on the bridge as the search for the USS Copernicus was underway. Though they had just recently begun their search, they already had some promising signs as to where the Copernicus had previously gone. Though the search was still in its preliminary stages, the captain was still somewhat confident in the crew’s ability to find the ship.


An audible beeping sound then interrupted the silence on the bridge. “We have a message from Starfleet, sir,” replied the communications officer. Ja’Lale looked at his console at the message. “It’s a little delayed, but still useful” the captain remarked. Due to the interference from the nebula, incoming messages were having trouble coming through to the communications feeds. This particular message looked to have been sent more than a week ago.




Vessel Name: USS Copernicus

Type: Federation Science Vessel

Registry: NCC-623

Class: Oberth

Length: 150 m

Mass: 94,000 metric tons

Speed: Normal Cruise Warp 4, Max Cruise Warp 5, Max Rated Warp 5.8 (for 12 hours)

Crew: 82

Years in Service: 28

Commanding Officers: Capt. Sivok - CO, Commander Tom Ford- XO.


In addition to the basic specifications, there were some additional logs from the Copernicus:



USS Copernicus – Three weeks ago.



Captain Sivok’s stoic face came on screen. Captain Seiben was right, Ja’Lale thought to himself. The bland and boring background of the Copernicus made him think that the little old ship Sivok well. Not that that was a bad thing. Many might look down on the Oberth class ships due to their limited size and abilities, but Ja’Lale had a lot of respect for the little ships, which he considered the unsung heroes of Starfleet as well as the crews that operated them.


“Captain’s log, Star date 1308.02. Captain Sivok reporting” replied the Vulcan. “We have been assigned the role of investigating reports of dilithium which was recently discovered near an orbiting M-Class planetoid or its accompanying natural satellite. Personnel at Star base 184 about two weeks prior scanned the dilithium stores. As we are the nearest Science vessel in the area, we have been sent in to confirm their findings and if confirmed, scout the area for optimal placement of a dilithium processing facility to initiate mining.



“The crew is eager to explore the area, and indeed, I share in their interests of confirming dilithium in the area as such a finding would prove extremely beneficial to the Federation’s economy. Though the area we are exploring is well within Federation space, the Klingons may still try to lay claim to the area given our relatively close proximity to Klingon space. Especially since their economy is still reeling from the explosion at Praxis a few years prior.


“The area though is located in a nebula which bigger ships may find difficult to traverse through and as this area is past the neutral zone, I do not believe they will risk a diplomatic incident with the Federation by crossing the line. However, we will remain vigilant for any signs of unfriendly vessels in the area”


The log stopped and the computer played the second log, which was created a few days later.


“Captain’s log, USS Copernicus. Captain Sivok reporting. We have arrived at the nebula to begin our exploration of the area. The journey to the nebula was uneventful. We spent the past two days at Starbase 184 to debrief as well as to stock up on supplies and our scanning equipment. Initial scans of the area is promising, and we are hopeful of finding dilithium at the planet, still no signs of any ships in the area, much to the relief of the crew.


“Progress has been good these past few days. The small size of the Copernicus gives us the advantage of enhanced manoeuvrability in the debris field of this nebula. At our current pace, we aim to arrive at the planet system in the next two days. Crew morale is high as we hope to start exploring the planet and satellite soon after our arrival. Scans continue to show positive signs of dilithium which also contributes to our high hopes and expectations in that regard”


A third and final log created not long before the Copernicus’ disappearance though was what interested Ja’Lale the most. It was grainy and choppy, and beneath Sivok’s Vulcan demeanour, Ja’Lale could sense the apprehension Sivok seemed to be experiencing.


“…Log. We have been in the nebula for some time now and ..experiencing problems with ….ship. ….signs of any ships in the area … the nebula is interfering heavily on our systems. Communications out of the nebula are proving to be impossible and we have taken quite a bit of damage from…nebula. We hope…..” the message ended there as it faded away into static.


“See if you can enhance that last message” Ja’Lale ordered to the communications officer. He knew it wasn’t likely they’d be able to restore much of the message, but it was of course worth a try. But the logs did provide some insight into the Copernicus’ last few weeks in the nebula. Slowly, he ordered the Challenger deeper into the nebula, inwardly hoping they too don’t have the Copernicus’ same fate.

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