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WRITING GROUPS: Star Fleet: PRIME (SD- 2427) | Star Fleet: ORIGINS (SD- 2261)- DEFUNCT | Star Fleet: BEYOND (SD- 2771)- DEFUNCT
- INFORMATION CLASSIFICATION: TOP SECRET
- RELIABILITY CLASSIFICATION: B (multiple direct interaction by multiple Star Fleet assets but somewhat out of date)
The term 'Fardons' refers to the Terran Standard transliteration (and pronunciation) of the self-described 'Echen F'don' which they equate in Terran standard to 'Fardon Empire.' The Fardons are a technologically modern space-faring empire with discernible territorial ambitions on several systems in Federation Space.
Because the exact location and extent of Fardon space are still unknown, it is impossible to judge reliably if the empire is, in economic terms, satiated. While expansion is the most straightforward explanation for their territorial aims, it is at least conceivable that seizing a few key systems would be of considerable political value to fuel that which appears to be an imperial renascence (harkening back to the 'classical' Fardon period from 4500-1500 B.C. Terran time). Moreover, any projections of their likely commitment of naval and ground force assets to these campaigns is entirely guesswork.
They are tactically sophisticated, strategically aware and employ a highly developed intelligence arm which has successfully infiltrated Star Fleet. While the current focus of their activity appears to be several systems within former Gold Fleet patrol zones, they are to be considered an emerging threat, especially since securing a beachhead there would put them within striking distance of core Federation worlds.
The Echen F'Don, or Fardon Empire, is the creation of Jari Makela, former CINCSF and Commanding Officer of USS Charlemagne. They are an alien race whose physiology and biology far from resemble that of humanoid beings.
The last time the Fardons played a major role in ASR RP was in 2409-2410 on the Charlemagne missions. This mission ended with the loss of the escorts USS Sabre and Yakolev as well as the psychological trauma encountered by the members who were abducted by the Fardons. Immediately following this mission, follow-up missions by USS Resolution and USS Quasar were carried out. However, since this time, they have not come up as a major force in ASR role-play until very recently, when USS Circe began uncovering evidence of Fardon incursions into Gold Fleet areas of operations.
HISTORY OF CONTACT
Federation first contact with the Fardons occured in late 2407, when the USS LaSalle was sent to investigate a vessel of unknown origin which had drifted into GOLD Fleet's patrol zones.
The away teams were able to obtain DNA samples from what appeared to be a colony ship, built to sustain several generations before reaching its destination. The away team was unable to determine why the ship had been abandoned and left adrift.
Moreover, the away team inadvertently activated a sophisticated defense system, releasing a virus into the computer system of the USS LaSalle. In the end, the command crew of the LaSalle was forced to destroy the alien vessel. An emblem of apparent importance to the species was discovered by the away team (see graphic at top of page). The symbol has a large circle in the middle, with a ring of three smaller circles surrounding it. The significance of this tri-partite symbolism was not determined in the course of the mission.
Based on the apparent age of the DNA samples, various dating methods suggest they are between 4000-6000 years old), it was believed that the find was primarily of archaeological interest.
Genuine first contact did not come until 2409, with the maiden voyage of the USS Charlemagne, which was assigned to investigate an alien ship discovered by the USS Sabre and USS Yakovlev in the course of routine patrols. For this mission, the USS Charlemagne was escorted by the AGAMEMNON-class USS Wyvern.
While the Yakovlev and Sabre waited, and even after the two ships joined them, the unknown vessel held its position, remained inactive, apart from fluctuating coloration of the hull. Their first priority was to establish contact.
To this end, the Charlemagne was assisted by Ambassador Chlodec and his secretary, a Mr. Rocker. While it was initially assumed that these changes in color were an attempt at communication, that proved erroneous. When first contact was established, the ship identified itself as representative of the 'Fardon Empire' and stated its purpose was to make contact with the Federation.
Both ships agreed to send away teams to the surface of a nearby planet, a meeting which proceeded without incident. Nevertheless, the aliens were secretive and wore vacuum suits which made it impossible to get much of a sense for the species. They claimed the Class M atmosphere would be inhospitable to them (a claim later proven false as the internal atmosphere of their ships is Class M), but volunteered little additional information.
This initial meeting was followed by an invitation for Star Fleet personnel to visit the Fardon ship. There, the away team was attacked and taken prisoner. Shortly thereafter, another Fardon ship arrived and fired upon the Star Fleet vessels. Destruction of the Yakovlev and Sabre (loss of all hands) ensued, though the Wyvern and Charlemagne were able to retreat after securing the safe return of the away team.
The away team was also able to obtain DNA samples of the orange-skinned humanoids, a race within the Fardon Empire calling itself the 'An'oke.' Moreover, Mr. Rocker was unmasked as a chameleonoid mole planted by the Fardons in the Federation Diplomatic Corps. This matter was referred to SFSECIS (Star Fleet Security & Investigative Services) for a full-blown investigation.
In late 2409, the USS Resolution was dispatched to follow-up intelligence reports of a hidden Fardon base in a mature star cluster well within GOLD Fleet's former patrol zones (currently assigned to GREEN). Between sketchy reports from various OSFI assets and claims made by pirates arrested by the SIGMA Patrol Squadron (PATRON-74), there was reason to believe that the Fardons were constructing a hidden base.
That intelligence was corraborated when the USS Panache, a PATRON-74 Wolfe-class vessel on patrol, spotted a superfreighter which they were able to identify as a Fardon vessel from engine signatures. This vessel eluded the Panache and escaped using superior Fardon stealth technology.
The USS Resolution proceeded under the guise of a scientific mapping mission, exploring several possible systems. Intelligence from the Resolution's mission suggests a probable location for Fardon space deep within the Beta quadrant. Over the course of the following year, SECIS made several arrests of suspected Fardon agents, most of them chamelenoid, and was able to get one to talk. That prisoner's testimony substantiated what the Resolution had learned.
Several missions were dispatched to find the suspected bases; no more were found. It was as if the Fardons had disappeared for more than two years. In early 2412, USS Ikar, a Tsyklon-class scout was studying gravitic anomalies on the near edge of the Scutum Rift. Without warning six Fardon corvettes attacked and destroyed Ikar with the loss of all hands. The attacking vessels used gravitic propulsion exclusively, gravitic weapons of an unknown design and had armored, spiked hulls made of a substance called kirellium. Stafleet dispatched USS Quasar to the scene; her squadron spent about a year looking for evidence of the Fardons in the area and found nothing.
Some analysts suspect that the recent destruction of the USS Chang Zheng might also be the work of the Fardons. USS Circe found a kirellium-hulled shuttlecraft on Karbella II in the Orestes Sector and traces of kirellium have also been found on Frika, a planet outside Federation space and not far from the Gorn_Hegemony and Romulan borders near DS13.
In all encounters, the Fardons are apparently roughly technologically equivalent to the Federation, though their technologies appear to have different underlying principles.
Like Federation technology, which relies heavily upon gravitics, the Fardons appear to have gravitic drives and a stealth technology which can be best classified as a forerunner to gravitic cloaks. However, unlike Romulan and Klingon style gravitic cloaks, the Fardon's technology does not leak tachyon emissions. Their ship's power sources are unknown, but Fardon vessels have been observed with raised shields and weapons firing while still in 'stealth' mode.
Fardon shielding is not gravitic in nature, but instead appears to rely upon some rudimentary phasing technology. Why this was not developed into a phase-cloak is unknown, but it may in part explain why the hulls of Fardon vessels may not be scanned while the vessel's shields are raised. Apparently they have developed a means of permitting limited particle beam transport between differently phased vessels. The effects of this on humanoid specimens in not understood.
Their stealth technology, morever, is not reliable while the vessel is travelling (owing to their apparent inability to cloak warp field emissions). Moreover, it seems clear that advanced materials science has led to the development of metal alloys which augment the masking properties of their stealth technology in at least some of their ships.
The Federation calls that alloy 'kirellium.' Until the recent recovery by of a shuttle with a kirellium hull by USS Circe, only fragmentary samples of the metal had been analyzed. The metal is far more dense than any known to the Federation. Its manufacture would require prohibitive energy levels. It has been theorized that properly tuned disruptors might be effective against this metal, but until now there has never been enough of the material to know.
The exteriors of some but not all of their ships appear to have spikes, the purpose of which is unknown. Two theories vie for dominance: the first is that this is a beam weapon, the second is that the ships use them for ramming. Because Fardon ships from images several thousand years old also are depicted with these spikes, there is some suggestion that it may be a retention of form over function, or that the latter has changed over the millenia.
As with Federation ships, agility, speed, and firepower seem to correlate with the size of the vessel. While shielded, as noted above, standard scans do not penetrate their hulls.
Star Fleet has encountered four types of putative military vessels. The first, roughly the displacement of a Solar-class command cruiser, appears to be a modular unit (which can rapidly deploy embarked craft) with protruding spikes typical of classical Fardon ships dating from 6000-4000 years ago. The historical and current purposes of these spikes are unknown. This ship's weapon systems and defensive systems are consistent with Star Fleet battlecruisers.
The second is a medium-sized vessel, approximately equivalent to a light cruiser. While some of these vessels have spikes, apparently not all do.
Both these vessels are apparently escorted by corvettes. Observations prior to the Ikar incident implied that these corvettes have no spikes and do not seem to be warp capable but can be piggybacked upon larger vessels; the discrepency between that information and the readings from Ikar has not conclusively been explained. Finally, there appear to be warp capable freighters which transport troops and materials over longer distances.
While very little is known definitively, there seems to be considerable redudancy in their chain of command and in the technology itself.
While it was originally believed that the individual An'oke could fool sensors (much like Angosians), it appears far more likely that they widespread use of chameleonoid intelligence operatives caused line officers to draw false conclusions in this regard.
Their boarding parties may have personal masking devices (similar to their stealth technology). Observers agree, however, that this is very much par for the course in most modern militaries, especially in the special warfare branches. It is not known if these pose health risks to the users, though it seems to fair to suppose (given what is known of their psychology) that such considerations may not be of primary importance to Fardon troops.
Moreover, Fardon ground troops are highly mechanized. They have impressive landing vehicles, sub-atmospheric assault craft, and employ battle armor (as observed by the Charlemagne away team on the planet's surface) far more extensively than those of most of the major spacefaring races. While this makes their ground troops slower to deploy and more sluggish in responding, it would imply that they rely heavily on seige tactics, buttressed by orbital firepower.
Further, the Fardons possess a trilithium weapon of mass destruction used to detonate stars. Their propensity for employing this device is unknown.
Finally, there are rumors, dating from the Zelasian material, of Fardon religious artifacts of considerable power. Such myths are common to most state religions and should be viewed in that light.
As expected, it took Star Fleet some time to understand the constituent species of the 'Fardon Empire.' Two species were originally associated with the modern Echen F'don. The first, and doubtlessly most important, are the self-described 'An'oke,' the orange-skinned humanoids who appear to compose the Fardon military.
Secondly, a race of highly intelligent chameleonoids, apparent agents for the Fardon Empire, have been discovered acting as moles within Star Fleet. Close scans reveal anamolies which give them away; they are by no means 'shapeshifters,' a distinction worth making. SECIS has arrested several of these moles and interrogated them. Evidently, they are a Beta quadrant species confined to a single star system on the borders of Fardon space.
While it was initially supposed that the relationship between the chameleonoids and the orange-skinned humanoids might resemble that of the Founders and the Jem'Hadar (master and servants), that theory has been entirely repudiated. While the Fardon Empire is heterogenous, the An'oke are the dominant species.
The An'oke are the taxonomical equivalent of mammalian monotremes. They do not give live birth, but instead lay fragile, over-large eggs which support the fetus through all stages of pre-natal development (as observed by the USS LaSalle away team). This embryionic sac is very vulnerable to predators.
They appear humanoid in form, have orange skins (color ranging from deep tan to bright orange) with red or yellow eyes. Specimens appear to be an average of 6' feet tall and well over 100 kilograms. They have a dense bone structure, multiple organs, and sharp vestigal canine teeth.
The An'oke survive in oxygen atmospheres. They are able to digest human foods and have a diet typical of spacefaring humanoid species. While there appear to be essentially two sexes, there is very little sexual dimorphism in the modern day An'oke, at least none has been observed. Moreover, hermaphroditism is not unknown among the An'oke, though it is not known how many of those individuals were fecund.
Evidence for the physical evolution of the An'oke comes from essentially two separate sources. The first consists of multiple DNA samples taken from the colony ship discovered by the USS LaSalle. As noted elsewhere, various dating methods suggest these samples are 4,000-6,000 years old, placing them contemporaenous with the Fardon classical period (4500-1500 B.C. terran time, or circa 7000 to 4000 years ago).
The second corpus of material relates to the historical Fardon Empire as judged from archaeological finds in the Amos and adjacent Zelas systems. Situated in what has been for some time a galactic crossroads, owing to the systems' proximity to the Scutum Arm rift, these two systems boast hundreds of millenia of near continuous occupation of sentient species. Once studied for their relevance within the field of Iconian archaeology, they are also central to emerging picture of the relatively recent (in historical terms) Fardon Empire.
The material discovered is discussed extensively in the historical and cultural profile. Nevertheless, among the material recovered researchers found intact DNA samples dating from approximately 4500 B.C. Terran time. Analysis of these samples substantially corraborates those of LaSalle mission.
DNA evidence suggests that the An'oke are in fact a racial subtype of the original but hypothetical 'Planet Fardon' sentient humanoid. Three distinct strains, the apparent product of a collapsed sub-speciation event, have cropped up in the archaeological record.
According to historical documents dating from the Zelasian material, the three strains (mirrored as castes in the social system) consisted of the An'lak, An'oke, and An'gar. Though apparently eventually capable of interbreeding, each of these racial subtypes have distinct traits. While DNA analysis does not, in itself, permit reliable conclusions about skin pigmentation, in combination with other material recovered researchers have been able to identify the An'lak as the 'green skins,' An'oke as the 'orange skins,' and An'gar as the 'grey skins.'
Whether or not these names developed with the sociological caste system or pre-dated it is unknown; nevertheless, the correlation is sufficient to use them interchangeably for purpose of this discussion.
There is little question within the research community that the An'lak should be considered closest to the putative 'base form.' The An'lak were slight by humanoid standards with high reproductive rates though few other survival advantages vis-a-vis the other two.
The An'oke were a robust strain, with a larger build, heavier musclature, duplicate organs and denser bone structure. The An'gar, conversely, were as fragile as the An'lak, but had low birth rates and with brain structures suggesting the presence of psionics. (1)
Efforts to model the evolution of these three sub-species (and subsequent collapse of the sub-speciation event into racial subtyping) failed to produce an entirely satisfactory explanation of how these differences evolved naturally. Conditions would confer a survival advantage to the more robust strain necessarily also implied a susbtantial disadvantage to the grey-skins. (2,3)
Two conflicting hypotheses account for the available evidence; neither is conclusive.
Dr. K. Ancelin (COU, USS Resolution) argues for a double-planet system with one planet of approximately 50% to 100% higher gravity than the other. The An'lak would have evolved on the lower gravity planet as base Fardon humanoids. Ancelin argues that the An'oke were originally genetically engineered (with subsequent evolution) on the higher gravity planet, a colony, while the grey-skins were genetically engineered for a spacefaring existence. (2)
Dr. C. Sarrango argues instead for the single planet hypothesis with a different twist. Her position is that the surface of the planet may have become relatively inhospitable to the base Fardon humanoids (An'lak). Her argument runs that the An'lak remained subterranean, while the An'oke were genetically engineered to endure harsher surface conditions. The An'lak were genetically engineered, presumably a little later, with the priestly and administrative roles in mind. (3)
Determining the veracity of either hypothesis is beyond the scope of the available information.
Nevertheless, the presence of these three racial subtypes during the Fardon classical period, as well as their parallel and current manifestations as caste, is a matter of little dispute. Likewise, the notion that this sub-speciation subsequently collapsed into racial subtyping when the Fardons took the stars is not contested.
During the time frame identified as the late Fardon classical period, one starts to see a gradual process which presumably ends with the disappearance of the An'lak and the An'gar, as they are amalgamated by the An'oke and the local indigeneous populations.
While the present day An'oke are substantially different from the historical An'oke (see comparisons of USS LaSalle and Zelasian samples to those recovered by the USS Charlemagne), the modern day An'oke are the descendants of that robust, orange-skinned strain of the same name.
In the intervening millenia, some analysts argue that the surviving An'oke strain was further diluted by contact with other humanoid populations. It should be noted, however, that the mammalian monotremes cannot naturally interbreed with the far more numerous placental mammals regardless of structural similarities of humanoid form. Thus, any such dilution would necessarily involve bio-engineered reproduction.
(1) See USS RESOLUTION: Analysis of the blueprints and USS RESOLUTION: From Blueprints to Dioramas (no current link) for analysis and interpretation of the DNA samples.
(2) See USS RESOLUTION: Report Card (no current link) for Dr. Ancelin's theory about the physical evolution of the An'oke.
While the strategic objectives of the Fardons are unknown, OSFI believes that they may now be looking to expand rimward, in the direction of Federation space. The reasons for this are unknown; however, some experts within OSFI believe that it may have something to do with the ore kirellium.
As has been observed, none of the systems in which the Fardons have expressed interest are of much concern to our allies. Nevertheless, they are disturbingly close to core Federation worlds. Though the rimward Beta frontier has been quiet for some time, the presence of the Fardon threat may well change that. It is thus judged absolutely imperative that Star Fleet act with all immediate speed to determine the location of Fardon Space and to the degree possible the nature of Fardon territorial aspirations.
What is certain, however, is that the Fardons had remained unknown to the Federation over the last several thousand years. As noted in the historical/cultural profile, specialists have suggested that we may be witnessing a sort of neo-Fardon imperial renaissance, aimed in part at re-establishing the glory of the old Fardon Empire.
While that in itself would explain an aggressive posture, it is not clear what other considerations may weigh into Fardon strategic objectives, particular the possibility (however highly speculative) that other parts of their Empire have come under seige from hostile powers. If indeed the Fardon Empire is retreating from its own frontiers, only to find itself crowded out of systems long considered ancestral, the possibility for a wider conflict is recognizable and significant.
Investigations conducted by SECIS indicate not insubstantial infiltration of Star Fleet and Federation civil service branches dating back to the late 2390's. How long the Fardons were aware of the Federation before the placement of intelligence operatives is unknown. That they have only recently tipped their hand to their own existence (in late 2408), it seems prudent to assume that they have immediate objectives in mind and are in a position to accelerate the timetable if threatened.
Tactically, the Fardons appear to be typical of modern space-faring navies with some notable differences. Like other major powers, they do engage in ship-to-ship combat, escort their capital vessels, and employ a full range of offensive/defensive weaponry and deflector systems. Like most major powers, they also use some form of cloaking/stealth technology.
Additionally, it is conceivable that they consider ramming a viable tactic. Moreover, they are able to fire weapons and raise shields while stealth technology is operating, something that Federation and allied vessels cannot do. The tactical implications of the spikes on apparent capital vessels is not understood and Star Fleet has yet to observe such devices in operation.
The Fardon military appears to be an integrated force concept with naval, marine, ground force and merchant marine personnel serving under the same umbrella. It is believed that there is considerable redundancy within their chain of command.
Naval personnel appear to be cross-trained in various traditional combat roles, an arrangement which seems especially well-suited to An'oke physiology. They are not at all unlike Klingons in this regard. Ground forces are highly mechanized, using what are presumed to be clumsy but heavily armored vacuum suits. Moreover, their atmospheric assault craft are more heavily armored and seem to possess a wider array of weaponry than Federation or allied equivalents.
Apart from that, the Fardons are highly intelligent and seem to favor any number of deceptive tactics, and have been observed concealing reinforcements near the scene of potential battles. They are considered likely to lay in wait for unescorted vessels which pass close to them. Several pirate ships have been destroyed in this manner by presumptive Fardon assets.
Finally, it bears reiterating that while they do have a trilithium weapon of mass destruction, their propensity for using it, and the degree to which it is standard issue on all but their largest cruisers, is unknown.
In the estimate of TACFLEET's Emerging Threat Assessment Bureau, the Fardons are a technologically equivalent (modern), aggressive species. There seems little doubt of specific territorial aims, the extent of which are currently unknown. As their ambitions appear to be on territory which is of little direct interest to our allies, it is not unforeseeable that we will be pressured to come to a territorial settlement should their objectives prove restricted to a few uninhabited systems.
While it would seem unlikely that they will mobilize on a large scale, until we have a better handle on the location of Fardon space and the internal composition of the Fardon Empire and its military arm, these are matters upon which it is difficult to speculate.
Moreover, it is unknown whether or not the Fardon calculation to make us aware of their trilithium weapon of mass destruction is part of a long term scheme to use same to extort territorial concessions.
DATABASE OF FARDON SHIPS
- Miscelleneous Craft:
- J'Sla-class Light Attack Craft
- Hirq-class Superfreighter
- The 'Fardons' are the creation of Jari Makela. The author seeks only to compile what information which has become public domain in the course of interactive storytelling on ASR.
- The information contained in this brief has been edited and updated by D'Maris Coffman and Scott Lusby.