Author’s Note: This was published on a RP group’s ‘in character’ news service. I found it while sorting through old notebooks. Posting it here for posterity.
The Newest Menace: Pirates
By Lixa Dansha
I hope I’ve caught your attention with that title. While piracy has been a small trend throughout the federation, recently it’s become a plague, especially on the outlying colonies. (You’ve probably heard of the FTU strike and the letter written by the Colonial Coalition). It’s time to examine this more closely, and see what might really be going on.
A (brief) history of Piracy from the Launch of the NX-01
The history of pirates is a long one, with Nausicaan pirates being the first known threat, until Starfleet began to deploy more ships to patrol the space routes during the nascent days of United Earth. Later, Orion pirates began to supplant Nausicaans as a major threat – establishing the Orion Syndicate. During the Earth-Romulan war, the Romulans would often fund pirates to force Starfleet to divert resources to protect its cargo shipping and merchants.
After the Earth-Romulan war settled, the Romulans still remained active as sponsers of piracy – they funded the Elasi, a species native to the planet Menalvagor, so that they could continue acting against the Federation. While Starfleet settled this by making peace with the then ruling faction who joined the Federation, drying up the Elasi threat took several years, and during this, the Orion Syndicate continued on.
“The Orion Syndicate is a menace against all of us, and collectively, we must take steps to provide for the safety of our shipping.” Fleet Admiral Morrow, in 2284, shortly before increasing patrol activity along the edges of Federation space.
Soon, with the discovery of the Ferengi, Ferengi pirates also joined the fun, causing Starfleet to have to divert resources from exploration to patrols within the Federation. And finally, we can’t forget privateers… and on that subject
State Sponsored Piracy
I’ve alluded above to the Elasi (which occured in the late 23rd century.), but it happened shortly before and after the Dominion War, with Breen privateers spotted in 2372. There has always been a certain amount of tension, but starting in 2390, the incidents of piracy on the outer edge of the Federation began to rise sharply. While there has always been rogue Klingon pirates, the High Council and the Great Houses formally disavow any such dishonorable activity.
The Nausicaans have always been privateers, but Starfleet does dedicate a certain amount of resources to that sector to stop them from getting out of control (with mixed results – after all, Operation Safe Harbor is going as well as Starfleet wants it to.)
“I urge any Federation citizen concerned with the notion of piracy to frame those concerns with caution and compassion. ‘Piracy’ is now and always has been a loaded term, one applied most often, historically, by the individuals who hold personal success to those who do not. Piracy is, by its most basic definition, a form of lawlessness, but I would remind all citizens that one generation’s lawlessness is the next’s revolution and the following’s order. Far be it from this candidate for the great Office of the President to suggest that piracy is excusable, of course; but where some may advocate harsher punishments or stricter controls, I will always advocate for the ways of peace and understanding. Let us know these pirates, let us understand why they have turned to piracy — and in doing so, let us see what parts of our own cultural practice may require reevaluation.”