Gamma Exploration Command

Over a decade after the most devastating attack on Federation soil since the Dominion War, Starfleet has changed. Gone are the carefree days of scientific exploration and diplomatic overtures. Instead, the Federation has sealed its borders and limits contact with those beyond them, its mighty fleet aggressively protects vast swathes of territory from threats both internal and external. With a focus on developing Starfleet into a stronger military presence, technological advancements have significantly enhanced the operational capacity of vessels that are long past their usual hull life.

But there is a longing inside every Starfleet officer; a yearning to be out among the stars and exploring the cosmos. For the first time since 2385, a petition to open a new front of exploration is considered by the Federation Council. Endorsed by Vice Admiral Noah Ramsey of Starfleet Command, and supported by Fleet Admiral Kirsten Clancy herself, the petition sought permission to divert a small task group of Starfleet vessels to the Gamma Quadrant for the first time since the armistice that was agreed at the end of the Dominion War. The task group would begin initial exploration efforts around the mouth of the wormhole in the Idran system of the quadrant, and would ensure the terms of the treaty were being respected. An area of the galaxy neglected after the war, the Federation Council granted the petition and authorised the creation Gamma Exploration Command, initially to operate out of Deep Space Nine until such a time as a location for a headquarters could be identified in the Gamma Quadrant itself.

Gamma Exploration Command was officially activated on stardate 76414.72 (June 1st, 2399) under the command of) Vice Admiral Ramsey himself.

Initial assets of the GEC included the starships Novaro and Thurgood Marshall, before expanding to include the USS Europa, USS Kumari, USS Venture and USS Yarra.

[Meanwhile, Deep in the Gamma Quadrant...]

A smouldering wreck of a Federation starship signals Starfleet's first, unofficial, presence in the Gamma Quadrant in years.

Just seconds into a journey through her slipstream vortex, the Polaris-class USS Ulysses began to experience catastrophic systems failures. Hurtling through space at excessive speeds, the ship was eventually ripped from slipstream velocity by the quick thinking of her engineering team. A dark blanket, contrasting with blacks and yellows, and the occasional whites of various astral bodies, enveloped the starship. Explosions ravaged the external hull of the massive vessel. Out of control and picking up speed, the craft was leaving thick plumes of black smoke trailing in her wake. Rather fortuitously, an opportunity to put a halt to the disastrous situation presented itself, it was just unfortunate that the solution came in the form of a large, lifeless space body directly in the ship's path.

Despite the best efforts of all aboard, the crew were left with no choice but to evacuate their ship. Huddled together in pods, shuttles, and runabouts alike, the crew watched helplessly as the Ulysses plummeted to her fiery death, impacting the moon’s surface at phenomenal speed. All but the faintest hope of survivors perished before their very eyes. But as is often the way, fortune favors the bold - an abandoned, derelict outpost buried in the surface of the very space body their ship had crashed on, would become the haven the Ulysses crew required whilst they sought to establish contact with someone, anyone...