Panic Settles on Pacifica as Asteroid Nearly Hits Planet

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Date: Tue Aug 9 07:04:14 2011 PDT
IC Date: Wed Apr 22 11:25:24 2409
Stardate: 86306.21

PACIFICA (INW) - In the second of recent natural disasters to plague the vacation world, mass panic erupted across Pacifica last week when it was discovered that an asteroid the size of a tiny moon was on course to impact within three months. Starfleet vessel USS Indomitable, still on the scene after assisting the planet with a rash of unexplained illnesses, was able to destroy the asteroid by opening a subspace tear in front of it. It has since fixed subspace in the Selki Sector.

Experts in Stellar Geology and Cartography tell INW that a planetary impact of a Hygeia-class Asteroid would most likely cause irreparable harm to the planet's atmosphere, if not destroy all life on it entirely.

Numerous sources to INW have indicated that Starfleet was reckless in its handling of the asteroid incident. The Indomitable, detecting the trajectory of the asteroid from its orbit, broadcast a message on standard, unencrypted communications channel warning the planet of the asteroid's impending approach, causing a panic throughout the planet's population. The planetary government, at well past midnight, scrambled to calm citizens and gather enough of its governmental leadership together to decide whether to approve of the Indomitable's plan of action of using a subspace tear to swallow the asteroid outright.

"We're grateful to the Indomitable, don't get me wrong. But Starfleet could use some refreshers on diplomacy," Pacifican Minister of Science Pel said in an interview. "There's something to be said for urgency, but our economy has taken enough of a hit without everyone in the quadrant hearing [the unencrypted broadcast.]"

The Minister also stated they were chastised for not moving fast enough, even though planetary leadership were awoken after midnight and, as INW found out in an interview with the USS Indomitable, Starfleet had known of the asteroid almost two months prior to its emergency late-night transmission.

In an interview, Commander Calvin Dwayne Smith of the USS Indomitable indicated that Starfleet had known of the asteroid "for 6 or 7 weeks," and had wanted to wait to notify the planet until they had a couple of solutions. In the end, it was decided tearing subspace was the most effective method. When asked, Commander Smith stated that the asteroid has now been destroyed and "Pacifica is now safe. The tear was repaired to 98.97 percent integrity," which he indicated was good enough "to handle any and all ships at warp speeds."

To the Pacificans, according to Minister Pel, "Our world was saved, and that's the most important thing."

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