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Until the mid-2260s, the Fesarius was occupied by only one person, Commander Balok. That all changed in 2266, when the Fesarius discovered the Federation starship USS Enterprise entering First Federation territory. Unsure of how to react to the strange vessel, Balok sent out a warning buoy to scare the Enterprise away. However, when the Enterprise destroyed the buoy, Balok took the Fesarius to intercept them. Wanting to appear more threatening, he communicated with Captain James T. Kirk using a fearsome-looking dummy. He wanted to know if the human crew were hostile, so he tested them, first by threatening to destroy them, and then testing their compassion. (TOS episode: "The Corbomite Maneuver")
Fortunately, Captain Kirk and his crew were a compassionate people, and Balok invited a small team aboard the Fesarius. Balok was most impressed with the human crew, and gave them a tour of a First Federation base. As part of a cultural exchange, Lieutenant David Bailey was to remain aboard the Fesarius. (TOS novel: Dark Victory)
After spending twenty years exploring the Alpha Quadrant, Balok and Bailey took the Fesarius into the Delta Quadrant. Their next contact with anyone from the Federation came in 2373, when Captain Kathryn Janeway and the crew of the USS Voyager rescued Bailey from the Mondasians. In gratitude, Balok escorted Captain Janeway on a tour of the Fesarius. (VOY short story: "Ambassador at Large")