AAR: The Tidehollow

Stardate 96490.1
LT S. Valore
Level 2 - Confidential

LOCATION: Kelterre II, Kelterre Sector.

MISSION: Determine whether the Tidehollow are considered ready for First Contact and proceed with said contact if affirmative.

OUTCOME: First Contact established. Captured Federation team traded for logistical favors.

CAPT Bahieh K.
CAPT A. Derenzis
CDR R'lmus
CMDR J. T'nar
LCDR K. Sedai
LT S. Valore
LT T'Lal
LT K. Blake
SUBLT Shiarrael

NARRATIVE: This officer has omitted different investigate discoveries and hypotheses presented during the mission due to them having been rendered either moot or nonessential to the narrative. All key personnel were in the ready room of the Invictus at the beginning of the operation, with Captain Bahieh assuming operational command. There was a debate with regards to whether maintaining secrecy under General Order 1 was necessary or not, and whether gateway travel equated that of warp with regards to whether they were classified as pre-FTL or not. Captain Bahieh decided to treat the gateway species as pre-FTL, and that involved maintaining secrecy of the existence of the Federation, though not everyone agreed.

It was discovered that the observation team was tardy in meeting to brief us on the species that had come to settle the planet from the gateway. Communication was impossible, and it was believed that something had happened to them. Due to atmospheric issues with the planet itself, communications and transporters were impossible. This officer would note, however, that a radio signal was emitting from the gateway for the duration of the mission. It was decided during the meeting that a clandestine operation was preferable to a diplomatic one to maintain the previously mentioned secrecy.

Captain Derenzis led a shuttle towards the planet with most key personnel onboard. A probe was also launched to act as a comm buoy between the shuttle and the Invictus. Following investigations, it was determined that some of the observation team were cut off from others. They were unharmed, and the Tidehollow that held some of them appeared to lack armament. Making contact with the part of the team that had not been caught, they reported no medical emergencies and offered assistance in aiding us in acquiring audio access to the missing personnel's commbadges.

At this time, the shuttle was in direct communication with the Invictus that was also in communication with RDML Quint's office on DS13. Several hypotheses and suggestions were presented, but it was decided to follow the present clues. As the audio was relayed, it became clear that the Tidehollow were aware of Federation presence - including the shuttle we were on. At this point, it was deemed by the commanding officers that secrecy was no longer relevant. Captain Bahieh beamed onto the shuttle and we landed on the planet. Due to the observation team being captured, it was deemed important to initiate diplomatic talks now rather than await the Diplomatic Corps.

During First Contact, Captain Bahieh began conversing with the leader of the Tidehollow chosen by their compatriots. He stated that he and his people captured the observation team and were willing to trade them in return for logistical favor in transporting their entire species to this Kelterre II due to ecological catastrophe that forced them to send out four different colonial units akin to the one that landed on the planet.

Captain Bahieh immediately accepted the terms, making an official promise of the United Federation of Planets to bring the Tidehollow species to Kelterre. At this point, this officer believes it necessary to voice a concern. Very little is known of this species, their state, and potential diplomatic ramifications on the other side of the gateway. This officer also believes it necessary to voice the concern that this course of action may set a dangerous precedent in the future. This observational team was abducted by the Tidehollow. It is understandable that they would consider them to be a hostile force sent by a foreign power, given that the Tidehollow know nothing of this side of the gateway. However, to accede to their demands for transporting their species because they utilized the lives of the captured team only encourages more of such actions in the future. The Federation itself is a state, not a charity. We should attempt to aid those who need it, but not because they have our people as hostages.

Following the end of First Contact, this officer returned to the shuttle.

RECOMMENDATION: Recommend Federation Diplomatic Corps be contacted on the developing situation. Recommend 38th Command evaluate the diplomatic and logistical challenges this First Contact has presented.

OOC: Thanks to Kat for running the event. Let me know if I missed something.
Edit: Did an oopsie by forgetting Bajoran naming conventions.