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|Star Trek: Black Hawk episode|
|Original post date:||2003|
|Previous episode:||"I, Borg"|
In 2366 the Federation and the Cha'ouw Empire came to the conclusion that a common base was needed to help in a mutual military and economic situation. The Cha'ouw long had a mutual defense treaty with the Federation and thought that a space station would serve their interest. In 2367 this was put on hold after Cha'ouw agents acquired top secret technology about the phase cloak from a covert Starfleet Intelligence facility. With the revelation of the cloak from the USS Pegasus by the USS Enterprise-D, the decision to allow the Cha'ouw to work on the cloak (with Starfleet help) was seen as a positive step in relations between the two powers. The Federation saw a need for a larger station though. At first the station was to be known as Deep Space 021, but some of the construction workers started calling it Starbase Rockford after one of the workers told a tale set in 19th century Illinois.
The tale was that the northern part of Illinois from the tip of Lake Michigan (including the Chicago and Winneford Metroplexes) was not included in the plan for statehood in the United States until some enterprising, young territory official managed to change the boundaries to their present location. The tale also told that several counties in the mid-1850s tried to secede from the State of Illinois into Wisconsin due to overtaxing of down-staters in the Illinois legislature. The name Starbase Rockford stuck and was made official when it was decided that it would be designated as Starbase 021.
During the Dominion War, the partially completed starbase was used a a construction, repair and resupply base for the Federation Alliance, especially the Romulans, Klingons, Cha'ouw and the Federation.
The story begins...Edit
The story starts in the office of the President of the United Federation of Planets, where he is meeting newly installed Starfleet Commander Fleet Admiral Christine Gran and her Chief of Staff, Vice Admiral Chris Wallace. They are discussing the selection of the first commander of the newly built Starbase Rockford. The selection has been made but the President is concerned about the political fodder the new starbase commander will have with the Federation Council. Gran and Wallace make assurances and send Wallace with Starfleet Intelligence Chief R.K. Locarno to tell the new commander of his appointment.
The story switches to the Great Imperial Hall of the Cha'ouw Empire where a crowd waits for the Emperor. As he and his wife, the Great Epetai, enter, all but a few bow in reverance to the Emperor. The Emperor and the Great Epetai mount the thrones, the crown prince, Kijo, standing to his father's right. Federation ambassador T'Selit informs the Emperor that the choice he had requested has been approved by the President and Federation Council. The Emperor seems pleased that his recommendation was selected and orders a Bird of Prey to be sent to the new starbase commander as his Cha'ouwian flagship.
Meanwhile, in his home, Fleet Captain (Brevet Admiral) Jeff Higdon greets Admirals Wallace and Locarno, who inform Higdon of his selection as the new starbase commander for Starbase Rockford with his brevet rank of admiral made permanent by the Federation Council. At first Higdon balks at this assignment and even offers his resignation from Starfleet. However Locarno leads Higdon into a separate room and tells Jeff that grave events are about to happen and the fleet needs the best in place. Higdon asks if Section 31 has anything to do with the new threat and Locarno says he isn't sure; however he reveals that it may have something to do with the Temporal Cold War of the 22nd century. Higdon, who obviously knows something unsaid about those events, agrees to take command of Starbase Rockford and the admirals leave to allow the Higdon family one more night together before he is sent off to his new command.
Admiral Higdon arrives at Starbase Rockford aboard the USS Prometheus, under the command of Captain James Rotello. Higdon immediately takes command of the station by installing his security codes. He is greeted by Commodore Tom Atkins, the temporary commander and Chief of Staff, on loan from Admiral Roger DeVack of Starbase 2114, and Admiral Stormclaw, the Cha'ouwian Vice Commander. He is also surprised by the presence on the base of Admiral K'Cire and the arrival of Kijo and the USS Cha'ouw, the flagship of the Cha'ouw Imperial Star Fleet. The official turnover ceremony will take place later in the day.
Meanwhile a Cha'ouw that attended the Emperor's audience is in contact with someone who is not enamored with the events leading to Higdon's selection. The "someone" (who looks like Future Guy from the 22nd century) says that there is a 25% chance that the Federation will fall in the future if Kijo dies and 95% if Higdon dies with him. The Cha'ouwian assures the other person that actions are being set in place for the destruction of the starbase with Kijo, Higdon and others on it.
On the base an engineering chief is opening a power conduit and pouring nanites into it. He reseals the power conduit and leaves.
Meanwhile the official commissioning ceremonies are being concluded as Admiral Higdon announces that Captain Rotello is being transferred to the newly constructed Consortium-class starship USS Shakelton in order to bring his family with him. The Prometheus is given to a new commander.
Suddenly an alert is activated. It seems one of the power cores is going critical and is about to explode. Higdon goes to his office where he orders all transporters to tie into his office and to clear an area of space off the station. He also orders the evacuation of the station, opening the spacedock doors for immediate launch. With the transporter Higdon is able to identify that the secondary core is the one overloading and successfully beams the core out into space where it explodes.
As the lifepods and shuttles are recovered after the emergency, one of the security officers comments to his superior of an "older engineer" with the rank of Master Chief of Starfleet. He also comments that he has seen those eyes before. The superior dismisses it as more lifepods are recovered.
When the mysterious "older engineer" gets back to his quarters he takes a case out and opens it. It has a typing pad into which he enters some codes, returns it to its place, then takes a syringe and injects it. Later the chief is found dead.
Higdon is spending some time with his old friends, Kijo and K'Cire, when they are interrupted by Dr. Chiodini (Chief Surgeon), telling Higdon he may need to come to the Medical Center at once. Once there Higdon sees that the corpse of the older engineer looks exactly like his father, retired Engineering Chief Earl Higdon. At once he contacts his father on Yalabousha Retirement Colony, who is clearly alive and makes arrangements for his father and one of his younger sisters to travel to Starbase Rockford. The investigation begins as Higdon and his staff start to investigate the mysterious older engineer who looks like his father.
The tales about a portion of northern Illinois wanting to secede from the state as well as the adjustment of the most northern point of the state border are true stories. The narratives can be found in an edition of The History of Rockford and Winnebago County by Charles Church, published in 1901.
During the commissioning speech that Admiral Higdon gives, he is quoted saying:
- "...all the battles, of all the glories, the truest test of a warrior, whether it be a Cha'ouwian, Klingon, Teni, Kilrathi or Human, whether it be a fighter or a lover, can only be found in the heart."
- — This becomes the motto of the starbase according to its dedication plaque.