ENSIGN BRYNNERS PERSONAL LOG,|
The USS Bonaventure, along with the USS Hornet-A and USS Dieppe, arrived at Starbase One for Operation Grappler. The purpose of the mission was to retrieve the USS Voyager from the Delta quadrant by catapulting the Hornet at extremely high warp speeds using an overlapping warp bubble generated by the two Europa-class starships. During the initial test, however, something went wrong and the warp field became unbalanced. The resulting warp bubble explosion damaged all three ships and hurled them into an unknown region of space. The USS Bonaventure, having suffered the least damage, immediately discovered two alien ships of unknown origin and engaged them with marine fighters, but recieved no response. Meanwhile Ensign Brynner discovered one of the aliens on board the Bonaventure when it shapeshifted from a civilian disguise. The alien informed him that there were two races of these aliens at war with each other and that the other race was already exploiting the Hornet as a power source for unleashing a fleet of hostile combat ships. It also warned Brynner that these creatures were powerful shapeshifters and any members of their own crew could have already been replaced by them. Meanwhile, away teams sent from the Bonaventure to assist the Hornet and Dieppe discovered that the Hornet's CO and XO had been killed in the accident, and that virtually no one was left alive on the Dieppe. Commander Ransom assumed temporary command of the Hornet, where it was discovered that a large number of the alien creatures were already on board. Ransom and a security team led by Hornet marine CO O'Nere James discovered Brynner, who had beamed over secretly, and one of the aliens, and tried to detain them, not knowing it was one of the helpful race. The two escaped when the alien shapeshifted both himself and the ensign into an amorphous form, but Ransom correctly guessed from their conversation that starting a planned power transfer from the Bonaventure to the Hornet would be a bad idea. All crew were evacuated to two decks to maintain minimal life support instead.
Attempting to activate the power transfer anyway, the other alien race launched a full invasion of the Bonaventure. Lt. Chapel and his marines managed to slow them down for some time, but one was able to capture and replace security officer Eggard, frame security chief Ripley as an alien, and take over the ship's security force. By this time Brynner had already sabotaged a plasma conduit on the Hornet, making a power transfer impossible, and had taken a shuttle to the Dieppe to retrieve dilithium needed by the helpful race of aliens to create a weapon. A resourceful Ensign Macann of the Hornet realized the presence of two separate alien races, but unfortunately also got the ship's warp core back online, enabling the aliens to continue their plans without needing the power transfer.
On the Bonaventure, Captain Hurley realized what was going on and prepared to destroy the two alien ships drawing power from the Hornet, but the shapeshifter posing as Lt. Eggard took over the bridge and disabled the marine fighters. Ensign Brynner found Commander Sako and Lt.-Cmdr. Rollins trapped by a collapsed bulkhead on the Dieppe. After helping them free, Brynner proceeded to engineering to get the dilithium needed for the weapon. However, a shapeshifter posing as Rollins a short time later caught the ensign off guard, knocked him unconscious, and was about to destroy the dilithium. Sako and the real Rollins, along with Ransom and James who had beamed over after tracking Ensign Brynner, had put their heads together along with data on the aliens delivered to Ensign Kirk of the Hornet and figured out what was happening. They entered engineering, neutralized the shapeshifter with a phaser blast, and got the dilithium to the helpful aliens.
Back on the Bonaventure, Ripley managed to retake the bridge and revive the crew just as the helpful aliens used the dilithium to create their own warp bubble from the Dieppe. The Bonaventure beamed its crew members back on board and James back to the Hornet before the warp bubble sent the Hornet back to Federation space and the Dieppe's phaser couplings overloaded, destroying the Dieppe and the two alien ships that were ready to dephase a fleet of battleships. The Bonaventure escaped the explosion but missed the warp bubble as it collapsed, requiring a lengthy trip back to Federation space on its own after repairs were completed.
While the mission was technically a failure, the crews of the USS Bonaventure and USS Hornet were commended for averting a confrontation with the alien species that could have been even more disastrous. The loss of the Dieppe and its crew was unfortunate but was determined as unavoidable by a routine investigation. Information on the aliens was sent to Starfleet Science for further research but little is still known about them.