STARFLEET XENOBIOLOGY REPORT SUBJECT: THE METAR (met-are)
The Metar forces are set apart into specialist broods which act as separate military units. These large organic war machines are also unusual in that they exist both in a corporeal form here in our universe, and simultaneously as an energy wave within a nearby level of subspace. How this bizarre evolution came to be is unknown, but this 'dimensional conjoined-twin' aspect provides the Metar with the ability to channel energy from their subspace environment and project it out via their corporeal bodies to devastating effect. Perhaps the most startling aspect of these creatures is their war cry. Battlefield troops report that the Metar literally scream as they fire. Whether this is a direct result of the energy channeling, or as a display of aggression is not known.
Addendum: Recent reports from our colonies within the core systems claim that the Metar are also able to disrupt our surveillance and sensor systems, rendering them undetectable until the last second. It is not known at this time whether this is the ability of a previously documented brood, or that of a subset not yet discovered.
The known Metar broods have been categorized as follows:
The Metar-Bur is the most numerous of the broods in the Alpha Quadrant. Physically the smallest of the Metar, it is also the quickest and for this reason the Bur often form the bulk of Metar forces.
The Metar-Dea are a terrifying sight to behold. A collage of bleached white bone and raw flesh give the Dea an air of abomination. Their splayed arms jut forward with the menace of a scorpion poised to strike, while the contours of the skull give the Dea a leering grimace.
The Jii appears as a starved and wasted creature, its head seemingly too heavy for such an elongated neck. The Jii are the Metar's sniper brood and its skeletal from is strangely apt. While laying motionless waiting to strike, it conveys an air of death having already struck. The reason for this deformity is that the majority of the Metar-Jii's powers are concentrated into its skull, to make its senses and weaponry effective at extreme range; while its light and slight body helps it to move between positions quickly.
The Metar-Yat is considered the most dangerous of all common Metar broods. This is because the Metar-Yat is used to gather a reservoir of Metar defensive energies, which any Metar in the immediate vicinity can tap.
The Nak is the siege weapon of the Metar. To fire, the Nak channels a ball of energy through its skull cavity, spitting it out at its target. Upon contact, this energy ball explodes with a devastating area of effect. An added nightmare is the fact that these monsters do not rely on sight for targeting and are able to attack targets far beyond what would be their normal field of vision.
At the very heart of Metar 'society' are the Metar-Ras. They are the most powerful but the least numerous of all Metar broods. They are both colony creators and leaders. They are charged with building up colonies, replacing those Metar killed in battle and genetically engineering new broods to counter new threats. As such an important brood the Metar-Ras only leave their colony in the direst of circumstances, when every Metar is needed at the front. When they do join battle, the Metar-Ras's primary weapon is a highly potent energy cannon, similar to the Metar-Nak. With the vast amounts of power at their disposal this weapon is highly accurate, dangerously powerful and with a recharge rate that is virtually instantaneous.
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Romulan "Shiva" weapons test produces an unexpected result—a spatial anomaly which has transported a whole stellar cloud of star systems into a previously barren area of the "Triangle", an area of space where Romulan, Klingon, and Federation interests meet. Colonial exploitation of these mineral-rich systems by all three powers proceeds over the next few months, while diplomatic overtures are made by all three to the alien race inhabiting these worlds, the Taubat.
This and all subsequent 'Anomaly Systems/Metar' data is from the 'Star Trek: New Worlds' computer game. These actual stardates are given in game at the start of each mission.
The Klingons declare war on the Taubat when they side with the Federation—after Klingon warriors die putting down a rebellion on planet Ixion at the request of the Taubat authorities.
Supply station Aljetarius is authorised for upgrading to starbase status to support the Tabula Rasa campaign, with the unofficial designation of 'Starbase 77'. Supplies are delivered by U.S.S. Explorer.
On planet AP-173-B, the Taubat—the alien race inhabiting the Anomaly systems—summon their masters, a highly advanced and powerful space-faring race called the Metar. In defending the Taubat from the Klingons and Romulans, the Federation unwittingly gave them enough time to activate the dormant Metar portals located on planets all over the Anomaly systems. Apparently, the Taubat were created as a vassal race by the Metar.
The upgrading of Aljetarius to 'Starbase 77' is indefinitely delayed as a result while Starfleet scrambles to contain the Metar threat.
The Klingons suffer a major loss as 37 ships comprising the 3rd Fleet are destroyed over planet Bursai IV when the Metar attack.
The wreck of the Constitution-class USS Explorer is found on the surface of planet Al Fadir, another casualty of the Metar.
Although the Explorer is mentioned later in the game as the ship carrying Ambassador Sarek, I'm going with the 'physical' evidence.
The Federation dispatches a second Constitution-class starship to the Anomaly systems, carrying Ambassador Sarek to negotiate with the Metar.
The Federation, Romulans, and Klingons get help in their fight against the Metar onslaught. Another ancient, advanced race from the Anomaly systems called the Hubrin offer their support, as it was they who originally imprisoned the Metar some time ago over after having warred for millennia. However, the Hubrin numbers are low, as they were on the verge of total defeat when they sealed up the Metar the last time.
After a year-long campaign, the Federation, Romulans, and Klingons manage to seal the Metar back into their prison dimension, unfortunately taking the races' Colonial Program command staff and all of the mineral-rich "Tabula Rasa" Anomaly systems with them.
The survivors of the Tabula Rasa campaign survive to steal a Metar starship and return to their home dimension.
With the disappearance of the Tabula Rasa star systems, the need for a starbase in the region is gone. 'Starbase 77' is shelved. This is the stardate given in the final mission of the game, and my assumption of the aftermath.
The above Tabula Rasa campaign notes courtesy of Scottish Andy’s superb Starbase 23 website.
Events as seen from the three superpowers from contemporary sources:
The Federation sent the U.S.S. Explorer to the Neutral Zone to stop the Romulan's weapons test, but they arrived too late. The starship reported the sudden appearance of these new worlds, and set one goal clear for the Federation: Investigate the new worlds to find out who really inhabited these worlds. Then one of the Federation's deep-space probes picked up a broadcast; a cry for help from a small planet...
Many Federation missions had characteristics such as investigating and scanning buildings for scientific reasons, defending themselves as well as the Taubat, and expanding colony size. In the battlefield, their greatest advantage was their use of advanced photon artilleries and mobile shield generators that prevented major casualties by increasing the defence of units.
For 20 Years the Federation and the Klingons clashed in an economic war. According to the Klingons, the Federation's posture was to drain the Empire's mineral reserves and starve them into submission. But these strange new worlds, filled with many potential minerals like dilithium, seemed to be a gift straight from the hands of Kahless...
Klingon missions usually used elements such as total warfare and destruction of entire colonies and cities, capturing buildings, and ravaging the enemy in whatever way possible, in addition to colony expansion, mining and defence. The Klingons from the start had no liking for the Taubat, and most early missions involved destroying them. Their greatest asset on the battlefield was their powerful disruptor batteries that destroyed some units in one shot.
Since they initially 'brought' the worlds to the Alpha Quadrant, the Romulans were there in numbers to claim ownership over the 'bountiful, new possessions'. Some Romulans had other goals in mind with the materials than the others...
The Romulan missions usually included capturing buildings and personnel, mining, and defending themselves from the other races. Romulan cloaking technology was a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield.
Observations on the other races involved:
Taubat - A strange, naïve race that seemed at first friendly to the three Beta Quadrant races, especially to the Federation. The Taubat seemed to treat their power stations like temples, and when provoked, they attacked in sufficient numbers as they protected their territory, and especially the sites they hold sacred zealously. But there was more to the Taubat that meets the eye...
The Taubat were seen in every earlier mission and most throughout the Tabula Rasa Crisis. Their buildings included houses, vehicle manufacturing facilities, Metar temples (or power temples), and very powerful defence turrets. Their buildings were used by the Metar as well later in the campaign. Their units had similar functions to most races such as Taubat tanks, APCs, and photon artilleries. Quite often, their power temples were in disrepair and required teams to go in and fix them so they didn't have a meltdown and explode.
The Taubat were a creepy, artificial biological construct. Their mould from which they were cast had eroded over the eons creating their unfinished appearance and incomplete, degraded mentality. The Taubat had reached a stage where the maintainance of their masters had taken on the feel of a religious faith. Once the Metar were awoken, evidence was seen that these masters were working to restore their vassals' abilities to more be more capable in assisting in the takeover of the Beta Quadrant from these new child race defenders.
Hubrin - An ancient race who were at war with the Metar for millennia on end, and they created the original anomaly which the Romulan Starship opened. The Hubrin live in a Fortress, which is a rather curious floating structure. The Hubrin are deadly when they go to the offensive. They were a crucial part for the later missions...
The Hubrin make their first real appearance in "Absent Friends", but their ancient fortress is seen by the Klingons in their first mission. The Hubrin use one type of tank unit that is very aggressive and intimidating due to its high speed, firepower, and range.
Metar - An ancient race that appeared midway through the campaign. The Metar operated under a caste system; with each caste being 'designed' to counter a specific threat. The Metar were extremely hostile as they attacked anyone except the Taubat without provocation. The most powerful warrior of the Metar was the Metar Ras, who was also the leader of the Metar Society.
The Metar made their first appearance in the mission "The Mask Slips". They had the ability to quickly make many units at a time by the use of their active portals. Some of their vehicles included Naks, Deas, Burs, Snipers, and Mobile Shield Generators. The Metar Ras lived in the Metar Colony Core, a lopsided stone tower (which later turned out to be their starship - Metar starships landed on the planet's surface and then become the colony core).
Orion Pirates - Some missions featured Orion Pirates in the area, usually enslaving the Taubat and harassing colonies with their own disruptor tanks or stolen Taubat vehicles and units.
The Federation allocated science stations to study the Metar, Taubat and Hubrin relics during the campaign. It is also known that the Klingons, Romulans and Orions have identical facilities.
Unlike the other races, the Federation set about conducting cultural studies on the anomaly region native races as well as technological.
There were rumours of Metar survival after the final explosion of the second Shiva device that closed the anomaly systems forever; the explosions blinded most starship sensors, but the modern Excelsior class starships did pick up faint readings suggesting the Metar may have got a handful of ships through the closing rift. The rift region is now in the Neutral Zone once more, making it off-limits to all races.
Starfleet has been studying, in some detail, the relationship between the Metar and Taubat. The Taubat DNA was studied in some detail. There are some signs of technologically advanced genetic manipulation. There was no sign of such technology in the possession of the Taubat, beyond the Metar power structures that they religiously defended.
This relationship seems to have been more complicated than just master and slave. The suggestion is that the Metar manipulated the Taubat DNA to create their own caretakers to look after their facilities, perhaps as intelligence-gatherers to assess the attitudes of the races the Taubat encountered. There have been debates over how much genetic manipulation the Taubat have undergone; to the extent of suggesting they might have even been designed from scratch.
In a similar way the Metar technology scanned by the different races was studied by both Starfleet and private research facilities alike. With the Metar locked away across the subspace void, samples of the technology is simply what was scanned or debris obtained from Starfleet Anthropological missions of the Oberth class fleet.
Whilst the Orions managed to capture only Taubat technology successfully, the Federation and Romulans obtained Taubat artefacts and obtained detailed scans of Hubrin and Metar technologies, although without the creator races the success of replicating this technology has failed.
With the ISC Pacification Campaign and Romulan aggression, the Metar soon became disregarded as a solved problem, locked away in their subspace pocket. That all changed with the discoveries in 2312 of Taubat cultural material by the U.S.S. Chantho, Oberth class. Urgent questions are flashed back on a coded frequency to the Second Fleet headquarters. The question is whether the Taubat technologies are relics from the 90s or whether this is brand new piece.
The scans were inconclusive as to whether the cultural matter is historic, since the Taubat may have been in the Beta Quadrant for over twenty years. The orders that came back on the matter are to investigate the matter thoroughly, but discreetly. The other Beta Quadrant powers are not to know anything until there is anything confirmed: command does not want a panic.
Commodore Maxwell Buckingham was fully briefed on the situation and instructed by Starfleet Commander-in-Chief Irina Khmelnova to prepare the tactical aspects of the starbase up-to-speed, should the Taubat discovery lead to more. With the dreadnoughts Zrinyi and Howe, along with Ark Royal class Glorious deployed to Starbase 77, Commodore Buckingham had assets available should the Metar reappear. The reason for the deployment was never given and was played down.
With this possible Taubat appearance, the Beta Quadrant remains as unpredictable as ever.
Original Star Trek: New Worlds concept art by Gavin Cooper. © Copyright all rights reserved.