Valnarran First Contact
USS Iliad was sent on a first contact mission with a race called the Valnarrans. The Valnarran ship sent to greet the Iliad with the Valnarrans Supreme Leader, Batoule, aboard was having trouble with its warp drive and the Iliad's Chief Engineer beamed across. It was then that the underlying trend of the entire operation first surfaced. There was some evidence that the Valnarrans had come into contact with the Federation before.
The warp drive was stabilised and the Valnarran ship escorted Iliad to Valnarra, the only habitable planet within the Valnarran system.
Having made first contact with the Valnarrans, the crew were to live amongst the Valnarrans for a while to study the race but of course without contravening Starfleet General Order Number 1, the Prime Directive, which prohibits personnel and craft interfering in the normal development of any society.
Upon beaming down, the crew are treated as members of the Valnarran community. They hunt for their own food and by the end of the first day have built their own shelters. However, certain alarming facts are being discovered about the Valnarrans, there is evidence of sacrificial practices, a burial ground is found. Towards the end of the crews first night their settlement is attacked by a rival village. During the attack, Lieutenants Keiffer and Flannery are abducted although another attempted abduction is foiled.
Following the beating off of the attack, the Away Team regroup. A rescue plan is formulated but that too runs into difficulties. As if to rub salt into the wound, Lieutenant Commanders Davis and Dorvan are ambushed on a reconisance mission resulting in serious wounds to Dorvan and the disappearance of Davis.
Before long, rifts appear within the Iliad's security team. Commander Nathan Hunter has started to act strangely and is clearly being controlled by a third party. That third party is Thresha, who has taken advantage of Batoules weakness by overthrowing him and installing herself as Supreme Leader. In order to cement her power, Thresha has decided to offer Flannery and Keiffer as sacrifices to her gods, she will also use her crowning ceremony to dispose of Captain Karasov who she sees as the only potential threat to her succession.
Over a sort period, the weather has taken an alarming turn for the worse. Rain starts to fall. The Valnarran villagers turn out the crew believing they have upset the gods. As the crew head for Quetzamal, the Valnarran capital, a landslide engulfs the village and washes it away. The crew are caught up in the flood and are separated.
The crew, in their by now much smaller groups, set off for Quetzamel. They regroup outside the City walls and witness tremendous excitement. Camdyn and Havard, Valnarrans who have befriended the crew, inform the crew that Thresha is about to be crowned the new Supreme Leader. The crew set off, intent on rescuing their captured crewmembers.
At the crowning ceremony, Karasov watches as Erin Flannery is brought out, drugged, and placed on an altar. Thresha's plan is working as the Away Team head for the altar. As they reach the altar, Hunter turns on Karasov. Thresha however showed her cunning by turning Ensign Rob Light at the same time against the rest of the crew. The crew had no idea that Light had also been turned. The confusion sown by Light is used by Hunter to try to tip Karasov over a precipice towards his death. He is however caught by Lieutenant Commander Dorvan who manages to haul Karasov up. As Dorvan and Hunter face each other, Dorvan makes a painful decision...and fires on Hunter. With Hunter down, the link between Thresha and Hunter is broken. Lieutenant Flannery is rescued (Keiffer had already succeeded in an escape attempt but Flannery was recaptured) and the crew head for the hills awaiting rescue.
Captain Karasovs report to Starfleet Command will state that the Prime Directive was clearly breached long before the Iliad's mission. The Valnarrans had clearly made contact with the Federation at least fifty years before as both Camdyn and Havard have human DNA. His report will go on to state that the Valnarrans in many ways remain, through choice, a backward society and are a good example of a civilization where it is proven that advanced technology is not always of benefit to a society, particularly where that society is not ready for it. It will be many, many years before the Valnarrans are ready for Federation Membership.