Whence Esprit Starbase

by R. K. Wigal & Maryse de la Bruere

     The M.A.C.O. Forces are renowned far and wide for their heroic exploits throughout the Delphic Expanse during the joint ventures they shared with Starfleet aboard the USS Enterprise. But what else do we know about them?
     Legend has it that a contingent of MACOs on a routine recon patrol uncovered a remote space station while scanning the outskirts of the Beta Quadrant. There, within a hair's breadth of the Delta Quadrant, lay a forgotten but recognizable Federation outpost. Hoping for a little R and R after a prolonged and tiring mission, they hailed the outpost. The response was not what they had bargained for.
     As the story goes, a cluster of alien vessels set out from the space station, assumed an attack formation and began firing. The MACOs polarized their hull plating right away and took evasive maneuvers. Nevertheless, their cruiser sustained moderate damage before the crew was able to reply. Recovering quickly, they focused their firepower on a single target. They crippled the lead offending ship and slipped through the enemy line.
     Within transporter range now, several troopers volunteered to beam aboard the station. The go-ahead given, the intrepid MACOs immediately found themselves outnumbered by a well-armed weasel-like species. However, the element of surprise combined with the familiar layout of the place gave them clear advantage. After a brief but harsh skirmish, the MACOs motioned for the remaining combatants to drop their weapons. Those that continued firing were "stunned" for their efforts. Within minutes, the rest had surrendered. The victors then gained control of the station's defenses and soon neutralized the threat from the alien flotilla.
     Soundly defeated, the Ferrets, as the MACOs had dubbed them, all vanished into the Delta Quadrant, never to be seen or heard from again. Except for this fabled encounter, their existence might never have been known.
     A subsequent search of the station yielded a lone Federation survivor. Logan Kale, a mysterious futuristic fellow who spoke little, chose to remain on board.
     Closed down for a time but no longer forgotten, the solitary outpost was reactivated after Major General J. Tanner recognized its potential and assumed command. The station was named in honor of its liberators' esprit de corps. Now, Esprit Starbase thrives!