PAO | The U.S.S. Ceres Incident



38th Fleet rescue team uncovers unlawful tactics used to combat unconventional threat to Federation Starship Ceres

DS-13, Aldebaran: On Stardate 94945.6, a rescue team comprised of several command level officers of the 38th Fleet, along with specialists in security, tactics and engineering were briefed on a potential threat to Deep Space Thirteen posed by the U.S.S. Ceres. The Ceres had not responded to hails and was traveling towards the station at a low rate of speed. There were concerns that the ship may have been compromised by suspected Borg interference, though this turned out not to be the case.

In reality, the Ceres had encountered a previously unknown substance while testing experimental weaponry on target asteroids, releasing the substance into the surrounding space. The substance then came in contact with the hull of the vessel, hindering its operation and ability to send communications. A sample of the substance was transported aboard for study, and members of the Ceres crew became contaminated, the result of which impaired the judgement and reason of the infected, causing them to infect additional crewmembers.

To combat and attempt to contain the threat posed by the substance, and those infected by it, a decision was made to partially assimilate a number of the Ceres crew, under the direct control and oversight of a liberated Borg officer who was assigned to the Ceres weapons design team. This order was unlawful, and unauthorized by Starfleet Command. As was the decision to carry it out by the officer in question, who has been punished for the infraction.

Upon the arrival of the 38th Fleet's rescue team, the facts of the matter became clear to this command, and were verified in a follow-up investigation conducted by the Judge Advocate General's office. While the rescue team attempted to secure and recover as many Ceres personnel and civilian family members as possible, the loss of life that resulted from the nature of the infection is staggering. A difficult recovery continues for those infected by the substance, and those partially assimilated, intentionally and unintentionally, to combat it. Two members of the rescue team were also affected.

Currently, steps are being taken to prevent further contact with the substance in question. U.S.S. Ceres is being decommissioned and disassembled, due to contamination by the substance and Borg technology. A follow-up mission to investigate the source of the substance is scheduled, and will be carried out by assets of the 38th Fleet.

All media inquiries into this matter should be sent through the Fleet PAO.

About the 38th Fleet: 38th Fleet ARGO's mission is to support Starfleet with forward deployed forces that are ready to support scientific and exploration missions as well as act to maintain the security of Federation space. We are Starfleet's primary security assurance in this sector. We will provide ready forces to secure our region as well as deploy forces throughout Federation space and areas of interest to support Starfleet missions. We are on the scientific and exploration frontier for the Federation. It is the desire of this command to make science and exploration the pinnacle of all of our operations, with the understanding that security may sometimes override this desire. We are ambassadors of the Federation. Our efforts in this area will be foremost considered in all decisions made with both new encounters and previously established relationships. We will be an organization exemplified by decisive action, innovative thinking, and a culture of professionalism and integrity.