for additional AA support.
However, these unknown attackers were waiting for this move on the
Moscowís part and as the starship dropped it shields, dozens of the
small ships de-cloaked and converged on the ship like a hive of angry
bees, firing wildly and striking the unshielded Moscow in numerous
critical systems. The crew of the Moscow responded almost immediately with
volleys of photon torpedoes and phaser fire, but it was already too late.
As a handful of lifeboats launched from the mortally wounded Moscow,
the ship started to break apart after absorbing an incredible degree of
enemy weapon hits. Suddenly, the saucer section blew away from the
engineering hull, the frontal section spinning wildly out of control like
a medallion tossed into space. The engineering hull, minus the warp
nacelles, started falling backwards and downward towards the planetís
surface. The edges of the damaged ship start to glow lightly orange as the
engineering section entered the thin atmosphere of Guardhouse III.
The saucer section continued spiraling away from the explosion, still
spinning wildly out of control, with one or two additional lifeboats
managing to get away from the very damaged starship command section
Suddenly the saucer section decomposes in the flash of a powerful
explosion, tearing it apart at the seams and into a million pieces of so
much space debris.
Meanwhile, the engineering hull is careening down towards the
planetís surface, tumbling clumsily as it flies through the dark blue
skies of Guardhouse III. The ship leaves a white contrail in the frigid
atmosphere with a smoky gray tail following just behind that. The hulk of
the engineering section is awash in flames and explosions as it marks
itís way to itís final demise. It clearly appeared to observers on the
ground that the burning wreck would pass right over the colony and crash
the Moscow into the mountains just Northwest of the main city.
But ground observers had no idea that the beginnings of an
matter/antimatter containment breach began when the ship was first blown
in half. The countdown was on as the engineering hull with the warp core
contained within nearing itís flash point. Just as the Moscowís
remains passed over the embattled colony, about 15 kilometers over the
main city, the Moscowís warp core finally breached and a tremendous
explosion resulted, as always. The core breach had a force equivalent to
the force of about 50 megatons of trinitrotoluene.
The colony, itís inhabitants, itís defenders and itís attackers
were all decimated in the blast. Then the radioactive fallout that
followed the event manages to spread around the entire planet in about 72
hours. This account was assembled from recovered EMF messages and a probe
launched by the Moscow just prior to itís demise, as well as the
eyewitness accounts of 83 Moscow survivors and a few hundred survivors on
the planetís surface (people who resided away from the main city).
incident, as we learned later, was out introduction and first contact with
the Clatadatha species, an insectoid exoskeletal based intelligent
life form, called "chiggers" by their opponents as we all
learned later. This incident represents the first and only time to date
that a warp core breach has resulted in significant Federation citizen
deaths, especially in their own area of habitation.
[NOTE: The Clatadatha conflict lasted less than three months without
the loss of a single additional starship. In fact, throughout the rest of
the conflict there were only fourteen additional Federation casualties and
this was all in ground troops that stormed the Clatadatha home world at
Mendaxx IV, in the Echo Urianai system.
Like most intelligent insectoid based life forms, the Clatadatha are an
extremely xenophobic and paranoid race, preferring to remain entirely
apart from the Quadrantís other life forms, including other insectoid
life forms. They are, however, especially weary of humanoid life forms,
including humans. In fact, the Clatadatha leaders maintain a very powerful
propaganda mechanism in their social order and there is a frightening
degree of anti-humanoid content in the governmentís message to the
masses. From all observations, it appears that the whole of Clatadatha
society accept this as a fact and are extremely uncomfortable, often
almost to the point of illness, in the presence of humanoid aliens.
this reason, the Echo Urianai system is marked off limits on all official
navigation maps, in addition to the numerous marker buoys placed around
the edge of the entire binary star system and itís 16 planets, 4 overrun
with Clatadatha colonies.
Despite the enormous casualties suffered at Guardhouse III, the
Federation has managed to keep this entire conflict under secure status
with less than 0.003% of Star Fleet personnel even allowed basic access to
the information described herein.