“Captain’s log, stardate 76461.3: the Yorktown has been everything I imagined when I first came to the Federation and loaned my efforts to Starfleet. We’re six months into our five-year mission and I can’t help but be grateful for the trust that Starfleet has put in me, a Romulan former warbird commander who defected almost two decades ago, to captain one of their premier ships of exploration. The crew has been settling in well and are truly the best at what they do. We’re currently on course for a type-O blue hypergiant that our long-range sensors picked up some strange readings. Hopefully, this will be something worth mentioning in my next report. End log.”
Captain Jerok took in a deep breath as he laid the PADD down on his ready room desk. Indeed, he felt fortunate to be where he was in life, considering not even twenty years previous he was considered a defector. But times had changed, and the Federation welcomed him, albeit cautiously, with more welcome arms than he had expected in the wake of the Shinzon coup d’etat. His place in the Federation was elevated even more when his homeworld was threatened, and his experience as a scientist was invaluable to Federation efforts to bridge the gap with the Romulan Star Empire to attempt to solve the problem. In the end, the attempt failed, but Jerok felt like the Federation was and had been home for a while and where he would stay.
Now, two decades after his arrival in the Federation, Jerok found himself the captain of a Starfleet vessel. The Yorktown wasn’t a new ship, but it was still one of the premier explorers in the fleet with state-of-the-art technology and the best sensor suite in all of Starfleet with a crew to match.
After a few moments of reflection and letting his good fortune really sink in, his concentration was interrupted by the comm, “Bridge to Jerok. Sir, we’re about to drop out of warp at our destination. Thought you’d want to know.”
“On my way, commander.”
As Jerok stood and made his way to the bridge it was bustling with activity as sensors came to life with the Yorktown inching closer to the star they came to investigate. “Report?”
“We just dropped out of warp,” Commander Aylen Branson, the Yorktown’s first officer, explained. “We’re holding distance. The star is giving off large amounts of radiation as well as gravimetric and magnetic disturbances, all to be expected with a type-O.”
“What about the anomaly we picked up?” the captain asked as he walked towards his command chair in the center of the bridge and took a seat.
Ensign Thomas, the operations officer, cleared his throat, “I’m picking it up now.”
The view was astonishing and almost indescribable compared to anything that anyone on the Yorktown’s bridge had ever laid eyes on. It appeared to be a creature with a bulbous body and long legs, immensely large, with its legs planted firmly on the surface of the star appearing to consume part of the surface, revealing the bare solar surface underneath.
“What the hell is that?” Commander Branson finally blurted out.
Jerok put together a few words, “Not like anything I’ve ever seen before. Scans?”
The young ensign at helm finally was able to put together what his sensors were reading, “It appears to be biomechanical. Definitely not a natural spaceborne creature.”
“A ship?” the captain asked, raising an eyebrow.
“I wouldn’t even know where to begin,” Ensign Thomas responded.
“How about an educated assessment, ensign?” the first officer barked.
Ensign Thomas sighed and looked over the scans again, “If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say it’s some sort of really advanced starship of some kind. Far beyond Federation technical capabilities.”
“What is it doing?” Lieutenant Zemess, the Yorktown’s chief of security, finally chimed in with a Saurian click of the tongue.
“It looks like it’s devouring that star,” Jerok surmised by what he was seeing before him, as unbelievable as it may be. “Open hailing frequencies.”
“Sir?” Thomas asked.
Jerok stood from the command chair and took a few steps forward, “If it’s a ship, maybe there is someone on board.” The hailing chime filled the bridge for a brief second before the captain announced himself, “This is Captain Jerok of the Federation starship Yorktown. Is anyone receiving us?” After a few seemingly long moments of silence the captain continued, “We’re here on a mission of peaceful exploration and have never seen anything like your… ship… before in our journeys. We’re just interested in getting to know more about you, please respond.”
After another few moments of agonizing silence, Jerok surmised, “Seems no one is home.”
Finally, without notice, the bridge flickered with light as a hologram appeared before them in the appearance of a Human male, creating a sea of puzzled looks among the bridge crew’s faces. Immediately the hologram introduced itself, “Greetings, I am Companion, a sentient AI created to interact with you. I bid you greetings from the Zadmeen civilization.”