Recording Basic Shooting D.
As the new heavy cruisers drove into previously unexploited territory, Avengers and Predators D271 notes lead and escort survey vessels, science ships, habitation assessment teams, terraformers and, finally, mining and refinery ships and colonial transports to tame and settle new solar systems.
As had happened in the late 22nd and early 23rd centuries, Federation colonies were occasionally established in areas claimed or controlled by other powers. In such cases, the apparent operating policy of the Federation Colonization Authority was that the presence of Federation settlements and industry turned any area into Federation-controlled territory, deserving as any core system of protection by Starfleet.
In such cases, Avengers and Predators would remain on station at these contested colonies, guarding against possible attack. However, the Federation preferred not to expend its valuable ship resources in this way. Territorial claims by powers not openly hostile to the Federation could often be settled by trade agreements, such as import and export quotas; payments of fees; joint-use agreements; mutual defense treaties; or technology transfers.
Unlike the young "Imperial Federation" of a half century earlier, the midrd century Federation did not colonize for the sake of expansion. Instead, they D271 notes to bring more space under control of the Federation and its allies so that the Klingon Empire or other hostile powers could not make use of it.
Because of their large numbers and small size, Avenger and Predator destroyers were extremely active in missions to support Federation diplomatic efforts to contain the Klingon Empire.
When the 44 Valley Forge-class ships were the Federation's chief long-range cruisers D271 notes the early 23rd century, systems on good terms with the Federation but off the major spacelanes might be visited by Starfleet ships once every few years.
However, the new destroyers, which were much faster than the quarter-century-old Valley Forges, could make quarterly or monthly visits to most systems, showing Federation interest, concern, and support on a nearly continuous basis.
Of course, some systems resented what they considered Federation intrusion into their affairs or felt they had been become virtual colonies of the Federation, but most powers living in the shadow of the Klingon Empire felt reassured by the numerous port calls. With the lure of Starfleet protection, they were more willing to conclude trade, cultural, and technology agreements with the Federation.
The visiting Starfleet vessels also assisted Federation and allied commercial operations, commodity transport, and communications; provided timely intelligence and diplomatic information to Federation officials; and couriered high-priority personnel and materiel throughout Federation-controlled space.
Most importantly, the new destroyers ranged widely throughout free space bordering the Klingon Empire, bringing much of it safely under Federation control or, at the very least, solidly into the Federation's sphere of influence. Working with the Federation Diplomatic Corps, the new destroyers helped to establish and maintain peace between minor powers, which were then made part of the Federation's informal coalition against the Klingons.
For example, in Sector the Tomta had been at war with the Urjo in a neighboring star system for nearly three centuries. Apparently, each race had believed it was the only sentient race in the galaxy and reacted violently when it learned otherwise. The fact that the two races were nearly identical genetically, both having been created by an ancient humanoid race, increased rather than lessened their hatred for one another.
Because the systems were only 3 ly apart, the Tomta and Urjo, although limited to sublight speeds, were able to prosecute a slow-motion projectile war with atomic-tipped missiles and accelerated asteroids.
However, the Urjo's breaching of the lightspeed barrier in promised to escalate the hostilities to a much more violent level. With the rationalization that any interstellar conflict was a threat to galactic peace and security, the Federation declared their right to intervene.
Both governments refused to negotiate, so their leaders were beamed aboard the destroyers for "consultations" with Federation diplomats. In exchange, the Federation offered a wide range of technical, agricultural, and military assistance, access to the Federation's commercial and banking systems including convertibility of domestic currency with Federation creditsand frequent visits from Starfleet.
The Tomta and Urjo subsequently formed an official union, then joined the Federation in This action was effective in forming a barrier to Klingon free passage across Sector and preventing Klingon illegal mining in neighboring systems.
Through similar actions with many other independent systems, the Federation was able to restrict Klingon movements in large areas of previously free space. Before most military actions undertaken by Avengers and Predators against the Klingon Empire had been defensive, or at least nonoffensive, in nature.
Launched from border worlds, starbases, or destroyer tenders, the new destroyers ranged in large numbers across free space and, occasionally, Klingon treaty territory, to monitor subspace communications, starship movements, starbase ship traffic, shipyard construction, mining operations, and shipments to and from colony worlds.
Some observations were made directly by the destroyers, while other were made remotely by highly stealthed, autonomous sentry devices released by destroyers in free space or within Klingon territory. Because of the relatively peaceful relations between the Federation and the Klingon Empire, Avengers and Predators operated under strict rules of engagement.
When challenged by Klingon warships, most often short-range D6 cruisersthe Federation ships were ordered to refuse combat unless absolutely necessary to avoid capture or destruction.
However, since they were twice as fast as the short-range D6s, Avengers and Predators could usually return to base with little more than some light hull scorching and interesting tales to tell at the canteen.
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