A veteran starship captain with a long record of diplomatic service and involvement in Romulo-Federation border affairs. Once commander of the Fourth Fleet’s Task Force 86 near the volatile Triangle region of space, Mek now finds himself heading up Task Force 17 in the remote borderlands near the Typhon Expanse. Here he must balance Starfleet’s coreward exploratory mandate against the need to keep a close eye on the splintered remains of the Romulan Star Empire.
Erill’Yun Mek was born in the third brood cycle of 2347. A resident of Peliar Zel Beta, or Beta Moon as it was colloquially known across the Federation, Erill’Yun’s childhood was typical of those growing up on the twin moons. His parents had made their home in Relthet Settlement, on the Red Cliffs of the Myeldric Coast. There, cut into the iron rocks, a million homes were scattered like honeycomb chambers looking out over the lazy turquoise waves. A geoengineer by profession, Erill’Yun’s father imbued him with a keen understanding of geographic sciences from an early age. His mother, an astroparticle physicist conducting research on board the Tryssych Orbital Observatory, helped cast Erill’Yun’s eyes to the stars.
As a child, Erill’Yun would accompany his father in gathering the sea harvest. Beneath their home, when the tide was low, great sea doors would be thrust open. Erill’Yun clung to the schooner’s railings as it slid into the yearning ocean. He swelled with anticipation as the blustery salt-air assailed his senses. The exhilaration of a new voyage would become a feeling forever etched into his being. Before long he had learned to sail his own sloop, and he would catch his own harvest just as his ancestors had done for generations. His travels were many and varied. Up and down the coast, then beyond the horizon to new climes, creatures and vegetation he had never seen with his own eyes. The wind was his engine, the stars were his guide. He spent the bare minimum of time attending school, completing his basic education in his spare time between sailing trips. At the age of 20, he had barely finished his elemental studies in astronavigation, when the magnetic event occurred.
In 2367, the Alpha Moon government began first stage technical trials of an experimental new technology designed to tap energy from their sun’s magnetic field. The energy beam used to do so was vast, capable of providing enough for the whole moon. All tests and simulations indicated the electromagnetically encapsulated energy would remain inert in its transit phase, posing no problems when the orbit paths of Alpha and Beta Moons would inevitably cross. Disastrously, these conclusions proved inaccurate. When crossing the beam, radical particles in Beta Moon’s atmosphere began to react at a magnetic resonance frequency high enough to bind them to existing greenhouse gases. The rapid atmospheric thickening began to create a runaway warming effect on Beta Moon’s surface. Catastrophic weather events increased in frequency, and sea levels rose. Huge sea life die-offs all but ended the sea harvest along with millennia of enduring tradition for the inhabitants of Beta Moon. With the population incensed, Beta Moon soon demanded reparations from Alpha Moon’s government. It became rapidly clear that the central planetary government on Peliar Zel Prime had lost control of its lunar colonies. The two moons armed for war. Direct Federation intervention was now the only option for resolving tensions. A visit from the USS Enterprise-D was the only thing capable of bringing the two governments to the negotiating table. After a series of tense meetings, a peace accord was signed.
Young, impressionable and just beginning his 20th year, Erill’Yun witnessed firsthand the rapid deterioration of Beta Moon’s environment. The resulting political chaos, resolved only by Federation negotiators, made his next steps seem obvious. He would join Starfleet, and he would be part of the solution to conflicts and rivalries that plagued other star systems like Peliar Zel. Starfleet Academy was a culture shock for Erill’Yun in many ways. He initially found San Francisco claustrophobic, frequently journeying out into the Mt. Tamalpais Watershed area and beyond whenever he could. Sailing around San Francisco Bay went some way to reminding him of the shores he’d left behind. Erill’Yun was frequently reminded by friends, associates and professors that if he was going to serve aboard a starship, then he would need to get used to more enclosed environments. Studying and training exercises soon put a stop to his forays into the wilderness, and by the time he embarked on his training cruise in 2370, he was ready for shipboard life.
Erill’Yun was first assigned as a Flight Operations Officer at Brreyt Station on Jenthet VI. The system was something of a crossing point for travellers from all corners of the Federation. Runabouts, shuttles, starships big and small occupied landing berths and orbit points. Station facilities ensure that all those stopping by would enjoy a well needed break. Many availed themselves of the dramatic scenery, immaculate parkland, and the many holodecks and recreational spaces within the base’s main complex on the northern continent. The planet itself possessed an abundance of life, making it a destination for all manner of scientific expeditions and nature enthusiasts from across the galaxy. The leviathan Jenthet whales were renowned for being the largest oxygen breathing species in the quadrant, and Erill’Yun was able to see them with his own eyes on several occasions when sailing a schooner three days’ south from the station’s port shelter. The colleagues who crewed the boat would become lifelong friends, and it was with a heavy heart that he departed Brreyt Station in 2374.
Captain Teblettan Vernolthyx Drenn had taken notice of Erill’Yun’s personable nature while a passenger on a diplomatic shuttle piloted by the young Pelian officer. Drenn’s ship, the USS Vela, had been dispatched on a goodwill mission to the Talarian Empire. Starfleet hoped to shore up allegiances in an area of Federation space containing precious few friends. An excellent pilot, culturally fluid with the gift of conversation, was exactly who Drenn needed in his flight control team.
The journey through Talarian space was long and bereft of the usual Starfleet comforts. Calling in on many of the Empire’s border worlds, the Vela’s crew conducted innumerable cultural exchange events, conferences and diplomatic talks between officials. As a senior staff member, Erill’Yun was expected to attend nearly all of them. After two years ferrying dignitaries and avoiding diplomatic gaffes, he was very much ready for a change of pace. His application for a transfer to an exploratory assignment was accepted regretfully by Captain Drenn, and before Erill’Yun knew it he was bound for the unknown.
A five year mission to the outer edge of the Alpha Quadrant took Erill’Yun farther than he’d ever been from the shores of his home. The wonders he saw were only outweighed in his mind by the bonds he forged with his crewmates. After the Dominion War’s devastation, being part of Starfleet’s initiative of returning to the stars felt only right to Erill’Yun. A great sense of pride swelled within him whenever a new discovery was made, planet charted, or species contacted. During first contact with the Aleythian Dynasties, Captain Drenn could not help but notice the Pelian’s willingness to put himself front and center of efforts to make their representatives feel at home aboard the Vela. Erill’Yun had gone as far as to quickly learn of Aleythian greeting rituals. These, along with a few phrases in the Aleythian native tongue, instantly afforded the proud species the respect they would customarily expect from visiting guests. This initiative and cultural malleability soon found Ell’Yun being placed into areas of greater responsibility. He was asked to organise conferences, research cultural customs, and provide regular briefings to the senior staff on all that Starfleet knew about a particular species.
Upon conclusion of the USS Vela’s five year mission, Erill’Yun returned to Federation space to find that news of their discoveries had preceded them. Data and initial research from the mission would form the basis of hundreds if not thousands of studies over the following years. Erill’Yun’s own observations would be cited in many, and it was no coincidence that he was quickly offered a posting at the Centre for Xenocultural Studies on Beta Portolan II. Captain Drenn reluctantly agreed to the transfer, not before attempting to persuade Erill’Yun to join him for another voyage. Tempted, Erill’Yun carefully deliberated his choice before concluding that there were other forms of exploration than simply journeying out among the stars. He would now begin his journey deep into the diverse and divergent cultures of the Alpha Quadrant.
Erill’Yun’s life in the Beta Portolan system was itinerant. His office in the Briltet Dome was really more of a base from which to visit any number of Starfleet’s “duck blinds”. These research missions, set up to monitor pre-warp civilisations, were conducted with the utmost degree of stealth so as to avoid cultural contamination and any violations of the Prime Directive. Nearly every month, Erill’Yun would ferry himself by runabout to a new site, observing the unique characteristics of 46 different civilisations spread over 38 Alpha and Beta Quadrant worlds. Occasionally a research team would accompany Erill’Yun as he attempted to map a defining set of criteria affecting the likelihood of a species achieving warp flight. One notable mission to Getorix III resulted in the team observing and holoimaging the first warp one flight of the G’Tharian people. Shortly after this event, Erill’Yun was part of the Federation delegation establishing first contact with these new members of the galactic community.
After four years of research, Erill’Yun’s feet began to itch once more. His time at the Centre for Xenocultural Studies came to an end with the publishing of his research in a book; The Sociocultural Trends and Criteria of Early Warp Civilisations. With its publishing, Erill’Yun felt as though his work had reached a natural conclusion, and later in 2379 he accepted a posting as Chief Science Officer aboard the USS Gujarat. His assignment here led to a permanent realisation that his true calling would always be to travel the stars. The Gujarat was tasked with monitoring developing pre-warp civilizations along the border with the Ferengi Alliance. Commercial activity in the area threatened to disturb the natural development of these species. Rare artefacts, commodities and minerals were all Ferengi targets for profiteering, and it was tough work to continually patrol these systems to deter harmful activity. Erill’Yun found the work meaningful, and on occasion was required to put together “rectification programmes” to counteract societal damage occurring as a result of Ferengi interference on these developing worlds.
In 2382 Erill’Yun was invited to the Vega Conference on Noninterference in Developing Galactic Cultures. Here he was responsible for presenting evidence, collected over the course of his career, of negative development outcomes following unplanned contact between pre-warp and warp capable civilisations. It was a landmark event that forever changed the regulatory framework of such instances throughout Federation and Ferengi space. An agreement was signed between the two powers, with the Ferengi Alliance agreeing to punish merchants found responsible for interfering and unnecessarily making contact with developing cultures. The Gujarat was to remain on assignment for a further year to monitor the Ferengi’s commitment to the Vega Agreement. Instances of cultural interference did fall significantly, and it was concluded that the Ferengi were upholding their end of the deal in good faith. The Gujarat was therefore reassigned as part of a reallocation of Starfleet resources, and with a new taste for diplomacy, Erill’Yun was promoted to Commander and Executive Officer of the USS Taurus.
Under the command of Captain Lakshel Meyrelian, the Taurus was charged with border patrol along the Romulan Neutral Zone. The vessel would skirt the zone, deploying long range sensors to detect any border incursions made by Romulan Star Empire vessels. The ship routinely assisted with listening post maintenance and incident response. Interdiction of illicit cross-zone activities, interception of defecting Romulan personnel and thwarting of espionage activity also demanded the Taurus’ involvement between 2383-86. In 2387, the Hobus Supernova changed everything. The astropolitical landscape of the Alpha Quadrant was blown wide open by the Romulan Star Empire’s collapse. The USS Taurus was among the first starships to detect and report back readings of the event to Starfleet Command. It was further involved in providing logistical support for the ill-fated rescue convoy commanded by Captain Jean Luc Picard. The erasure of the Neutral Zone and resulting chaos was a matter of immediate urgency for the Taurus over the next two years. Erill’Yun would help to resettle thousands of refugees on colony worlds during this time.
In 2390 the USS Bellatrix was launched. Erill’Yun graciously accepted a promotion to captain, and a posting as her commanding officer. With his experience of Flight Control Operations and diplomacy along the old Neutral Zone, Command felt he would be a good fit to command this type of light carrier. The Argonaut Class vessel was assigned to a new response task group responsible for colony protection and intervention in hostilities provoked by either the Romulan Free state or what remained of the Romulan Star Empire. She also saw action as a logistic support vessel, helping the Romulan Republic to avert humanitarian disaster when grain supplies on Crateris were poisoned in an act of sabotage by the Tal Shiar. In 2399, the Bellatrix was part of a relief effort for Task Group 27; a permanent Starfleet border defence force stationed near “The Triangle” region between Federation, Romulan and Klingon space. A recent incursion from a fleet loyal to the disgraced Klingon House of D’Ghor saw a number of Starfleet vessels lost or damaged in defence of several Federation border colonies. As part of the relief effort, Erill’Yun would work to organise and redeploy Starfleet assets across the region in order to support the continued rebuilding and aid distribution effort.
Recognising the effective execution of his duties, in the latter half of 2399 Erill’Yun was given command the Fourth Fleet’s Task Force 86. Based out of Starbase 86 in the Raeyan Sector, it was to be the beginning of Erill’Yun’s long standing relationship with this volatile region of space.