- For other uses, see Marrat.
The Marrat system was a star system located in the Marrat Nebula, a strategically important area space to a dozen cultures including Arcturans, Khodini, Klingons, Orions and the Federation. The Nebula's properties often make sensor and communications technologies unreliable and the region subsequently became an area popular with those fond of illegal activity. In response, Starfleet built Starbase 13 in the system to police the area, however the eventual result was for the starbase to become a target itself, provoking the nickname of "Fort Apache".
Some time later Starfleet began a more ambitious scheme to bring order to the region in Project Pharos, in which a huge lighthouse was built on a planet in the system to broadcast navigational data to all vessels in the area and chart and log illegal traffic. However, in building the lighthouse the Starfleet engineering teams discovered huge quantities of extremely pure and extremely valuable dilithium. Starfleet choose to keep this discovery a secret. Unfortunately the Klingon commander Kaaj became aware of these findings and took Starfleet’s secrecy as duplicity; concluding Starfleet was planning to the claim the region for the Federation. In response he rallied local criminal elements to launch ever more violent attacks on Starbase 13. (EV comic: "The Fires of Pharos")
The USS Enterprise was scheduled to visit the system on around stardate 2252.34, but was delayed while investigating unusual activity evenetually attributed to the Ngultor. When the Enterprise did arrive on stardate 2378.1 it was just in time to drive off the most recent brigand attack on Starbase 13. (EV comics: "Flesh of My Flesh", "The Fires of Pharos")
Kaaj choose this time to make his move and sent soldiers to the Pharos siteworld to claim the world back from the Federation. The Enterprise was sent to investigate the sudden loss of contact with the engineering teams on the planet and battle quickly ensued. With Kaaj threatening war, and striking a crippling blow to the Enterprise, Captain Pike saw only one way to prevent a more extended conflict. He fired on Pharos. The pure dilithium ignited and the planet became a huge fireball which burned for decades, providing the navigational beacon the region required. (EV comic: "The Fires of Pharos")