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Circa 2359, the Starbound was used for a six-month-long training cruise for recent graduates of Starfleet Academy, under Captain Enid Jarvis. Their safe and non-urgent mission was to transport supplies between a number of planets. On the way, Security Chief Darryl Adin had Sestok reprogram the ship's computer because it beat him at chess, alleging that a previous crewmember had programmed it to cheat.
The cruise was so successful that, four months in, the Starbound was given the secret and important mission of transporting dilithium from Tarba to Starfleet's Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards on Mars while on its way back to Earth. The dilithium was loaded in secret at Starbase 36, where the crew took leave. However, news of it was leaked to Orion agents on the station. They contacted Chief Engineer Nichols and offered him a deal.
- The nature of the dilithium cargo was reportedly only known to Captain Jarvis, the first officer, and the Security personnel. It is therefore unclear who leaked information about the dilithium. Without supposing another corrupt officer, then Nichols may also be the first officer or he found out by other means.
Nichols sabotaged the ship's Weapons Room by installing an incorrect circuit breaker in the charging unit for hand-held phasers, rendering many of the ship's Phaser Ones and all of its Phaser Twos defective. Ensign Tasha Yar discovered the defective phasers during an inventory 28 days after leaving Starbase 36, and an investigation by Adin and Ensign George Bosinney of Engineering discovered the sabotage, though not Nichols's involvement.
Soon after, the Starbound was attacked and disabled by an Orion pirate vessel. Refusing offers of surrender, the Orions boarded the ship. The crew fought back with what phasers they had available, but with little effect against Orions in new phaser-resistant body armor. Victorious, the Orions executed the senior officers, took all the dilithium, wrecked the impulse engines, destroyed the shuttlecraft and escape pods, and took components from the subspace radio. They left the remaining trainees and medical personnel alive, to suffer a slower death in the crippled ship. Seven officers and fourteen students died during or after the assault, including Jarvis and Nichols.
However, Commander Adin was missed in the executions and survived to take charge of the ship. As Acting Captain, he organized the remaining crew and motivated them to repair the Starbound. With a radio distress signal and three damaged impulse engines reassembled into one, it limped towards Starbase 18. Some thirty-three days later, its distress signal was picked up and another starship towed it in. Once there, however, Adin was arrested and accused of sabotaging his ship, as well as not informing anyone of the existence of the new Orion armor (Which he had apparently attended a conference about).
- Commanding officer:
- First officer: unnamed
- Other personnel: