Federation-Klingon War (2372-73)
In the early 2370's, the Venture was assigned to the Bajor Sector and surrounding space under the command of Admiral Hastur. The ship became embroiled in the second Federation-Klingon War when the Khitomer Accords were dissolved by Chancellor Gowron of the Empire.
Sensing a rise in tensions, Starfleet Command ordered a task force of vessels, led by Admiral Hastur aboard the USS Venture, to the Bajor Sector. This proved a wise move. With the Klingon's furious at the Federation's refusal to support them in action against the Cardassian Union, the Klingon's declared war on the Federation and launched an offensive on Deep Space 9.
The stations defences were soon overwhelmed by the Klingon forces and they began to board the station, but as the Klingon's called for the station's surrender, Captain Benjamin Sisko refused. He challenged Gowron to continue the assault, reminding him that Starfleet reinforcements were closer than those of the Klingon's. Agreeing to a cease fire, the Klingon's withdrew to Cardassian space just as the Venture and her Task Force arrived. The Venture and her task force remained on station for the remainder of the conflict, until the Khitomer Accords had been reinstated in 2373.
In early 2373, the Cardassian Union joined the Dominion, prompting a sense of great fear throughout the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. As tensions rose, Starfleet forces began to amass near the Cardassian border. Although war had not been declared, several skirmishes took place. The USS Venture was involved in one such skirmish with two Heideki class cruisers attempting to cross into Federation space, but they swiftly withdrew back to Cardassian territory.
At the very beginning of the War Deep Space 9 was captured by Dominion Forces. This had been pre-empted to a degree and with a large number of Dominion ships focussed on the battle for Deep Space 9, a joint Starfleet and Klingon fleet, led again by Admiral Hastur and the USS Venture, travelled to Torros III, site of a Dominion Shipyard. By focussing their efforts here, Starfleet chose not to send any reinforcements to Deep Space 9. The station was lost, but the Wormhole was successfully mined, leaving the Dominion cut off from reinforcements in the Gamma Quadrant.
The Venture and her Task Force successfully destroyed the shipyard and returned to Starbase 375.
Three months went by after the first major conflicts of the War, a period of time that allowed Starfleet to gather and redistribute its forces. The USS Venture was transferred to the 7th Fleet, a total of 112 vessels, which was rapidly dispatched to the Tyra System in an effort to halt a Dominion advance into Federation territory.
A fierce battle raged between the Starfleet and the Dominion forces, resulting in massive casualties and losses for the 7th Fleet. Of the 112 vessels dispatched to Tyra, only 14 returned. Among them, a battle ravaged Venture.
Having returned to Starbase 375, the remnants of the 7th Fleet were slowly repaired and bolstered with new forces from around the Federation.
A few months later, the 7th Fleet was dispatched, along with the 5th Fleet, to alleviate the pressure on Starfleet operations along the Bolian Front. The Venture had been slated to go along for the ride, but her participation in the operation was curtailed by significant engine trouble and she remained at Stabase 375. Admiral Hastur and his senior staff monitored the developments of the mission from their Wardroom, screaming for joy when news came in that the operation had been a success and Dominion forces had been beaten back.
In mid 2374, with morale along Federation and Klingon forces plummeting to an all time low, Captain Benjamin Sisko presented a bold plan to retake Deep Space 9, knowing that victory would give the Alliance forces a timely boost. Sisko suggested that a task force consisting of the Second, Fifth, and Ninth Fleets be sent to Deep Space 9 in an attempt to prevent the Dominion from deactivating the minefield that stopped them receiving reinforcements from the Gamma Quadrant – this was the key to winning the war.
The 7th Fleet was folded into the 5th and preparations began, but soon word was received via courier from DS9 that the Dominion were only three days away from deactivating the minefield. Days ahead of schedule, Starfleet ordered the mission to commence, but without the 9th fleet which had yet to arrive. A task force of 600 vessels left Starbase 375, led by the USS Defiant. The Venture formed up with the fleet's Galaxy wings and they set off for Deep Space 9.
Just outside the Bajoran System, the fleet came across the Dominion forces sent to intercept them. Outnumbered by 2:1, Sisko ordered the Starfleet forces to begin their attacks.
As the battle raged on, Starfleet and Captain Sisko realised the battle was doomed to failure, until an opening was spotted. Seizing on it, Sisko ordered his Galaxy wings to attack the Galor class Cardassian Cruisers and create a hole at the centre of the Dominion fleet. This was Venture's chance to have an impact. Flanked by several other Galaxy class vessels, Venture surged forward and unleashed volley after volley of torpedoes and multiple bursts of phaser fire, targeting Galor class vessels at random. With the Galaxies engaged in a particular task, the battle turned into a melee of sorts for the rest of the fleet.
Then, with sudden Klingon reinforcements joining the battle, ships began to break through the lines and head towards Deep Space 9. As the battle came to its conclusion, the Venture was one of the last vessels to return to Deep Space 9. With it, a fearsome reputation forged out of leading the line and with over thirty enemy vessels destroyed.
With DS9 returned to Starfleet control, the Fleet disbanded somewhat, but Venture remained at the station to undergo repairs.
After a lull in the fighting, hostilities resumed in late 2374 and the Romulan's now a part of the Alliance, Starfleet felt they could now go on the offensive. Whilst the Romulan's rejected any and all notion of an attack against Cardassia, Starfleet convinced them to commit forces to an invasion of the Chin'toka system.
Again, the USS Venture formed part of the fleets Galaxy wings and, when the fighting began, the Venture was in the midst of it, taking extensive damage but not without dealing a significant blow to many of the Dominion vessels and Orbital Weapons platforms it was tasked with destroying.
The Venture remained in the Chin'toka system until the Dominion decided that they would retake the system. Making use of their new Breen allies, the Dominion launched a counter-offensive. 312 allied ships waited for the Dominion but did not anticipate the advantage the Breen would give the enemy. Destroying several Breen vessels before the enemy opened fire, the Fleet sensed victory might be possible again. The USS Venture destroyed a Breen vessel by itself during the initial stages, but as soon as the Breen made use of their dangerous energy dampening torpedoes, the large, less manoeuvrable Galaxy class vessels warped away, leaving the rest of the Fleet to succumb to destruction as the Dominion reclaimed the system.
Several months later, with the Klingon's having held off the Dominion forces whilst the Federation and Romulan's devised a counter-measure for the Breen Energy Dampener, the Breen, Dominion and Cardassian forces withdrew to Cardassian territory to form a heavily fortified defence perimeter. It was hoped that this perimeter would deter the Alliance from launching an offensive, but it was decided that now was the time to catch the Dominion off guard and launch a final offensive towards Cardassia, irrespective of the losses they would encounter. A massive combined fleet of Federation, Klingon and Romulan forces depart from Deep Space 9, traversing the five light-year distance in a day and a half.
The Dominion were ready for them.
The Fleet was combined of various wings and attack groups and, like all major engagements of the war so far, the Galaxy wing formed a large part of the fleet. Allied ships matched enemy ships for tactics – fighter vs fighter, cruiser vs cruiser, warship vs warship. The Venture, like the other Galaxy and Nebula cruisers involved, targeted the Cardassian Galor and Keldon class cruisers. The Venture herself destroyed several vessels, suffering moderate damage.
Fighting continued for almost an hour, until something unexpected happened. Cardassian vessels stopped engaging the alliance ships and started targeting the Breen and the Dominion – they had switched sides! The two fleets bore into each other with abandon, with the battle degenerating into a melee of close-quarters combat. Enemy forces retreated to into orbit of Cardassia, allowing the Alliance forces to regroup. Once the Allies had agreed to press on and arrived at Cardassia, they were shocked to find thousands of enemy vessels and weapons platforms waiting for them. The Alliance were about to engage their enemies one last time when the order suddenly came through for them to stand down. The enemy had surrendered and the war was over.
The Venture and her crew, battle weary and tired, began the long trek back to Earth where she would undergo extensive repairs and refit. Admiral Hastur retired from command of the ship upon its return to Earth and her XO, Captain Patrick Banks assumed command.
When early 2385 came around, Starfleet assigned the Venture to Task Force 9 of the 4th fleet, deep within the Gamma Quadrant and transferred commanded over to Captain Lee Valdez. He and his crew boarded near Pacifica in the southern Alpha Quadrant and immediately assumed command of the ship. The Venture had been operating within the Gamma Quadrant when the wormhole unexpectedly closed.
Responding to a distress call from a non-aligned planet en-route to the Gamma Quadrant, Captain Valdez and the crew of the Venture were tricked into believing it was an emergency when in fact, it was a rouse to cripple the starship and raid her for supplies. The Venture's XO was on an undercover mission for Starfleet Intelligence which led him to the same planet. Unmistakeably, the man he was after was the one behind the sneak attack on the Galaxy Class vessel.
The Pirates escaped with the Venture's supplies and weapons and headed deeper into the Gamma Quadrant.
With the wormhole open again, the Venture stopped at DS9 for repairs and re-supply, being joined by two other starships, the USS Civilization and USS Cairo in order to track down the pirates that attacked the vessel and put a stop to their apparently large activities in the Gamma Quadrant. Whilst searching for the pirates and their base, the 3 vessels received word that one of the pirate cells was responsible for permanently closing the wormhole!
Tasked with exploring the North region of the Gamma Quadrant, the Venture sets out to find new allies and species to trade with the enhance the position of the now stranded Task Force 9. The Venture discovered an abandoned Dominion Starbase on the border with the Dominion and a newly discovered species, the Mawasii. Starfleet ordered Captain Valdez to assume command of the Starbase to oversee Starfleet's assets in that region of space, the Venture remaining on station to provide assistance as required.
During a mission in the Gamma Quadrant, some 18 light-years from the Dominion Starbase, the Venture crew discovered a seemingly derelict Borg Vessel. The Acting Captain at the time, Commander Max Voroso, ordered an away team to the Sphere to discover what had happened to the vessel.
During the mission, the Borg ship became active and activated its transwarp drive systems. With no choice but to follow and rescue their crew, the Venture followed. With no idea as to where the transwarp corridor was taking them, Voroso ordered the Sphere destroyed as soon as his away team was aboard again.
With his team aboard safely, the Sphere was promptly destroyed, sending the Venture hurtling from transwarp speed and causing severe damage to the Galaxy Class vessel. Luckily, upon further analysis, the Venture had found its way back to the Alpha Quadrant, just two light-years from the Romulan Neutral Zone. Travelling to Starbase 74 for major repairs the Venture was back in the arms of the Federation, Voroso and his crew being debriefed on the closure of the wormhole and events in the Gamma Quadrant.
Change of Fortune
With the repairs to her outer hull completed, the Venture was transferred to the command of Captain Nathan Hunter. Hunter was to guide the Venture to the newly established Deep Space 10 and complete final repairs before embarking on a mission of exploration to the Gavarian Corridor. Very few of the ships previous crew remained under Hunter's command, the Captain deciding upon a fresh start for all who had been trapped in the Gamma Quadrant.
Upon the ships arrival at Deep Space 10, the Captain met with Rear Admiral Thalek th'Zorati to receive his orders and begin the restaffing procedures. To his chagrin, the Admiral had already assigned several "leftovers" from the previous commander of DS10 to the Venture. Among them were Commander Toshiro Siaki and Commander Thax Corsair, veterans of the Gavarian Corridor and people with scores to settle.
Captain Hunter's assignment as Commander of the vessel marked the return of several crewmembers who had served on the ship during the war, Hunter himself having served as an Engineer throughout the conflict.
Following the destruction of the Hobus Star within Romulan Space, Task Force 93 Commanding Officer Rear Admiral Kara Thrace requested more starships to be deployed along the Neutral Zone. Captain Hunter had been transferred to a new assignment, so the Venture was transferred at her behest. Upon the USS Venture's arrival, she placed Deep Space 6's Commanding Officer, Captain Roman Valdez in command, to act in her place along the front lines.
Following an assignment aboard the USS Resolute, Captain Hunter and his command staff were ordered to return to the USS Venture by Admiral Thalek th'Zorati. Meeting the ship at Deep Space 10, Hunter prepared to take the ship on a diplomatic mission to Cardassia for Admiral Luke Duncan of Task Force 47. The Venture's return to Cardassian space would mark the first time she had been in Cardassian territory since the end of the war, twelve years earlier. Whilst journeying through Cardassian space, the Venture detected an energy ribbon wrapped around a nearby planet in the Algira System. Captain Hunter ordered the ship to investigate and had he not, they would not have detected the CUS Vornok trapped inside what was later discovered to be the Aurora Algiralis. The Venture was able to rescue a great many of the Cardassian crew but the ship was ultimately destroyed.
The Venture continued on her way, suffering some affects from the energy ribbon, and arrived at Cardassia Prime behind schedule. The Cardassian's thanked the crew for rescuing their people and Captain Hunter assembled his away team for the negotiations. His XO, Commander Kirsa Vreni had been scheduled to attend but she requested permission to stay aboard the Venture as she felt under the weather. Hunter, Ambassador Rider, Lieutenant Commander Zilth and Lieutenant Vetorri beamed to Cardassia and the following morning, negotiations began.
Shortly after their return to Deep Space 10, several officers from the crew were transferred to the station for a short term mission whilst Venture was dispatched under the command of Commander Krull Larkon. When the ship returned to Starbase 565 some months later, Captain Hunter departed from Starfleet service but the crew were on hand to resume their positions, now under the command of Captain Makayla Perin.
The Perin Years
A career in strategic operations and command circles had seen Captain Romaes Anjin, the new commander of the Venture, develop into a fearsome tactician, a talented diplomat and a master strategist. With a growing reputation to boot, the Captain was entrusted with some of the most important missions in recent times, conducting first contact negotiations with the Ash’Voro, the Nisea and the T’Kreshians all before he had even been in command for two years. By the time of his 4th anniversary in command, Romaes had also negotiated peace treaties and trade deals between implacable enemies whilst proudly following the mandate of peaceful, scientific exploration, but the best was yet to come. In late 2398, Venture had stopped off at Deep Space 9 when the Captain was ordered to report to the Starfleet Headquarters for the Beta Antares sector on his homeworld of Bajor. It had been over a decade since he had returned home, and to do so now was just the refresher he needed. After a short break, the Captain reported as ordered to Vice Admiral Noah Ramsey and was brought in to the Admiral’s confidence regarding a possible new front of exploration. For the first time since 2385, a petition to open a new front of exploration was up for consideration by the Federation Council. Endorsed by Vice Admiral Ramsey himself, eventually supported by Fleet Admiral Kirsten Clancy herself, the petition sought permission to divert a small task group of Starfleet vessels to the Gamma Quadrant for the first time since the armistice that was agreed at the end of the Dominion War. The task group would begin initial exploration efforts around the mouth of the wormhole in the Idran system of the quadrant, and would ensure the terms of the treaty were being respected. An area of the galaxy neglected after the war, with minimal exploration having taken place since, Ramsey had chosen Venture as one of the ships to lead the exploration initiative if the Council gave it their approval.
Retirement and Succession
For what felt like an eternity, Venture remained at Deep Space 9 until, eventually, the Federation Council granted the petition and authorised the formal creation of Gamma Exploration Command, initially to operate out of Deep Space Nine until such a time as a location for a headquarters could be identified in the Gamma Quadrant itself. With the Cardassian Union and the Federation becoming closer friends, tensions rising with the Klingons (who were desperate for a return to the old ways and thus, had begun a conflict with the Gorn), the Romulan Empire replaced by the Free State with factions vying for power in different sectors of Romulan space, Starfleet exploration operations had become limited, and in less scope than before as the great union of planets threatened to tear itself apart from within. The Council felt justified in approving the new theater of exploration in an effort to try and remind the people of the Federation about the positive nature of the Federation, and why the organization had grown in the way it had.
With just days until the launching of the GEC mission, a startling, last minute change turned the fate of Venture on its head. Arriving at DS9, a brand new Inquiry-class starship branded with the Venture name saw the crew revitalised and transfer to a new home, eager to get to grips with their new mission aboard a ship that finally seemed capable of such a dangerous mission.
Promoted to full Admiral in order to oversee the creation of the GEC, Admiral Ramsey assembled his group and, on the 1st June 2399, the first vessels of the GEC, led by Captain Romaes and the USS Venture, entered the Gamma Quadrant.