- "We know our duty, Commander, just as you know yours. The symmetry of all things must be preserved. You differ from us only in degree." - Manager Chiton Kincaid to William T. Riker.
The Symmetrists were a group that existed since the 22nd century.
- "The revolution will prevail. Those who survive will come to praise us for our sacrifice!" - Manager Kincaid before committing suicide.
Their origin was traced to an ecological movement that began on the planet Vulcan and was dated over two centuries ago, shortly after the foundation of the United Federation of Planets. The formation of this group was believed to have been a direct political response to the creation of the Federation though many believed them to be the equivalent of the isolationist parties on Earth. These early members of the movement felt that it was only logical for Vulcan and her colonies remained independent from the Federation. The Symmetrists, however, were not driven by political motives but were rather more concerned about galactic ecology.
At the time of their creation, the early Symmetrists were a small but vocal minority on the Vulcan homeworld who believed that the majority consensus on standardizing planetary environments was wrong. These early scientific forerunners of the movement instead believed that each planet was a link in the chain of life and had evolved according to the rhythms of the galaxy's own natural ebb as well as flow of matter and energy. Thus, to those who accepted their postulates, galactic ecology was perceived a single organism which was indescribably vast and operated at a timescale where stars died and were born in an eyeblink.
When the newly formed Federation began codifying the rules and regulations of an organized effort to explore the planets in the galaxy, it was on Vulcan where this strategy was challenged on a scientific basis. These individuals believed that all races needed to be stewards of galactic ecology and not exploiters. The early Symmetrists believed that every species had a duty and responsibility to recognize as well as preserve the symmetry of all things. This included that the highest ideal of symmetry was that the galaxy was no different from a living being. Thus, they believed that if the Federation accepted the individual's right to exist than naturally they must also accept the sanctity of all life within the galaxy. The movement at this time consisted of the most noted biologists and philosophers in the day and pleaded with the Federation to amend its charter in order for strict quarantine protocols to be observed on planet's with a natural biosphere and that worlds that were completely devoid of life should be terraformed.
Despite their pleas for such a logical view in their eyes, the Federation Council rejected their arguments as being unfounded and unproven. Furthermore, they believed that such strict guidelines would only limit space exploration and make it overly expensive to achieve. After they were rebuffed, the Symmetrist movement was officially created. At this point, they were a close knit academic group that was more committed to compiling information to prove their case to the Federation Council. However, eventually they began to align with other scientific groups and the scope of their activities began to expand. This led to a slow change in the movement's cause who began to adopt more radical means to achieve their goal. This led to the hostage crisis at Deneva where a group of radical environmentalists from Alpha Centauri captured a colony ship destined for the world of Deneva and planned explosives on it whilst it orbited the world whereupon they threatened to destroy it unless the Federation withdrew from Deneva. Ultimately, this led to the death's of four hundred and eight colonists, all the radicals and thirty two Starfleet personnel who attempted to storm the ship and end the terrorist threat. A radical offshoot of the Symmetrists later claimed responsibility for the Deneva crisis.
For the next fifty years, the movement existed only as an underground community of scientists who tried to make their concerns known to the rest of the Federation. This was the noted time when the organization began to change in its ideals as the more it became thwarted, the more extreme elements began to form amongst them that advocated acts of ecological terrorism against the Federation. Later records indicated that by 2248, the movement was believed to have ceased to have existed as an organized group due to being dismissed by the actions of their more radical followers. Though believed to have ended, the Symmetrists continued to exist as an underground movement that worked in silence whilst it began to recruit members of other races such as Human's into their ranks.
A hundred and twenty five years later, the Symmetrists developed and deployed their Virogen plague weapon against the Federation. Though not acknowledged at first, it was eventually discovered that the organization had continued to exist and was planning on a complete collapse of the Federation in the hopes that their successor would be wiser to recognize the threats posed against symmetry. (ST novel: Avenger)