The Daystrom Institute has announced the successful launch of the "Jellyfish," an experimental spacecraft equipped with trans-metaphasic shielding designed to withstand conditions that would destroy most other ships. Designed by famed engineer Geordi La Forge, the ship is slated for extensive testing before it can be used for scientific and exploration missions. Starfleet is working with La Forge and the institute to determine which of the ship's systems can be adapted for Federation use.
Starfleet Intelligence recommends that the Federation keep a close eye on activities of the Orion Syndicate. A multi-year crackdown on criminal activity in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants has been successful in curbing the threat of the Syndicate for Federation citizens, but on Stardate 64163.8 Hassan the Undying assassinates top Syndicate boss Raimus on Farius Prime. Raimus's death opens the door for Hassan's employer, Melani D'ian, to take over Raimus's Syndicate operations. Starfleet Intelligence estimates that Melani D'ian now controls as much as 30 percent of the Syndicate's operations, and that other Syndicate bosses may seek to topple her before she seeks to expand her powerbase even more. Analysts note that Melani D'ian is the first Orion to rise to a top spot in Syndicate leadership in more than 20 years, and speculate that this could mark the return of the Orions as an interstellar power. On Ferenginar, social and economic reforms pushed by Grand Nagus Rom are a topic almost as important as the stock market. The Nagus presents a bill to the Economic Congress of Ferengi Advisers that would formally ally the Ferengi with the Federation. Opponents of the bill launch a campaign of advertisements that argue that a formal alliance with the Federation is an attack on traditional Ferengi values, and that the Federation would force the Ferengi to turn their backs on profit and the Great Material Continuum. The bill fails to pass the Congress after several lawmakers are paid to vote against it.
On Stardate 64317.6, Klingon long range sensors pick up a small Romulan fleet led by Sela. The fleet passes the Beta Stromgrem supernova remnant and continues into unexplored space. Starfleet sends a fleet to Cardassia Prime to assist the Cardassians with the dismantling of their military, a process which is expected to take several years. The Cardassians plan to use a much smaller self defense force to patrol their space, and coordinate with Starfleet for issues outside of their borders.
This arrangement is soon tested when Alpha Jem'Hadar take control of Devos II, which has been mostly unpopulated since the Dominion War. The Jem'Hadar establish a base of operations near a former Dominion ketracel-white storage facility, and then expand the facility so they can manufacture their own supplies of the substance. Starfleet sends the USS Stargazer-A to the Devos system as a precautionary measure, but chooses to take no additional action as long as the Alpha Jem'Hadar make no further aggressive moves.
On Stardate 64333.4, a Romulan Mining Guild ship observes the start of a chain of events that will forever change the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. The star in the Hobus system, in the far reaches of Romulan space, begins to exhibit massive fluctuations of radiation. Days later, Ambassador Spock of the Federation appears before the Romulan Senate to warn them about the dangers of this star.
Spock believes that if the Hobus star goes supernova, it could create a reaction that would threaten much of the Romulan Empire, and he asks the Senate to coordinate with Vulcan to find a solution. After a lengthy debate, the Senate rejects Spock's plan.
After the close of the Senate's session, Donatra accepts an invitation from Colonel Xiomek to visit Crateris and inspect the construction of the new Reman colony. Their path allows them to perform a sensor sweep of the Hobus system.
After arriving on Crateris, Donatra and Xiomek spend several hours in a private meeting, where it is believed that Xiomek gives Donatra information about possible rogue elements within the Romulan military and government. Donatra decides to return to Romulus earlier than planned, and invites Xiomek to take passage on her ship, the IRW Valdore, so he can be in Ki Baratan for the next meeting of the Romulan Senate.
On the way back to Romulus, Donatra contacts Admiral Taris, who is in the Levaeri system, and orders her to return to Romulus. The message is recorded by Romulan military communications relay stations, but Taris does not change course. A later review finds that there is no evidence of the message in the computer banks of Taris's ship, and that the communications officer who would have been on duty during that time cannot be found. Ambassador Spock returns to Vulcan, where he meets with Ambassador Jean-Luc Picard. The two appeal to the Vulcan Science Academy to assist the Romulans with the crisis in the Hobus system, but the academy declines their request without comment. The two former Starfleet officers decide that they will make their own plans to deal with the situation.
On Stardate 64444.5, the IRW Valdore reports unusual stellar activity, including a disturbance equivalent to a force seven ion storm. Romulus loses contact with Donatra's ship, and dispatches four D'deridex class warbirds to search for the Valdore.
The Romulan Senate finally authorizes an evacuation order, and ships are recalled to help ferry Romulus residents off-world. Military estimates are that it will take a minimum of six weeks to evacuate the homeworld.
Twenty-seven hours later, the Hobus star goes supernova. The resulting chain reaction destroys Romulus and Remus. Billions of Romulans are killed.
Starfleet immediately orders all available ships to cross the Neutral Zone and assist the Romulans with any possible relief and recovery efforts. Several of these ships are attacked by Nero, who is captaining the Narada, a heavily modified Romulan vessel. Additional cruisers are diverted to escort relief vessels to Romulan space.
Intercepted Romulan transmissions indicate that Praetor Chulan and the leaders of the Senate escaped Romulus before the planet's destruction. But the USS Nobel, en route to Romulus, finds the bodies of Chulan and the Senate's ruling council floating in space near their derelict shuttle.
After Nero expands his attacks to Klingon ships, Chancellor Martok orders a fleet to enter Romulan space. He appoints his friend Worf as one of the mission's commanders, giving him the rank of General for the mission.
Meanwhile, Geordi La Forge brings the Jellyfish to Vulcan and agrees to allow Spock to pilot it to the Hobus system.
According to sensor reports recorded on Stardate 64471.6 by the USS Enterprise-E, the Hobus supernova was contained by a limited singularity, ending the threat to the quadrant. Starfleet believes that both the Jellyfish and the Narada were lost.
"He sacrificed himself to save us all," Ambassador Picard says of his friend Spock. "May his soul live long and prosper."