From shadowy concepts, the Intelligence Support Activity is borne. With no precedent to fall back on - except don't create a mess - the crew of the USS Bellona is forced to navigate the uncertain currents with the Cardassians beating war drums, the Breen militia crippled and the rest of the quadrant on high alert.
While going through the paces of a shakedown cruise, the Intelligence Support Activity's counselor receives a mysterious communique about what may be a telepathic assailant causing havoc on Starbase 141, fitting the pattern of a legend known as the "Mind Burner". As the USS Bellona sets course, there's the obvious question of who the assailant is, what he wants, and if he's indeed the fabled mind burner. When they arrive, they're faced with the near impossible task of tracking down the assailant, and then tragedy strikes when one of their own is burned.
The ink has barely dried on the order commissioning the Bravo Fleet Intelligence Support Activity. The custom wedges have barely settled into the superstructure of the newly minted USS Bellona. And now, ambiguously-worded dispatch orders fly across Federation space, summoning a hand-picked group of officers, specialists and civilians for their new assignment.
Apparently, a Breen Grelek knew of the Cardassian advance two hours before the Cardassians crossed the border, and not just the vagaries you would expect from an intel operation, but specifics about its outcome that had no way of being known. The Bellona is sent to investigate. Without a formal invite, they must figure out not just what is at play but first how to even get themselves welcomed into Breen territory with tensions and suspicions running high.
On a peaceful, quiet and mostly forgotten colony world bordering the Cardassian Empire, strange things start happening. First come random acts of violence, growing from none to a few dozen. By the time a group of Federation marshals arrive, dozens have turned to hundreds, each caught attacker in a sort of catatonic trance. Then all hell breaks loose when two marshals and some colonists are found dead, and a marshall is identified as the culprit in a similar state. The violence grows to almost epidemic proportions almost as if a disease. Starfleet imposes a quarantine and the Intelligence Support Activity is dispatched. When the ISA arrives, before they can even determine the issue, they must first figuring out how they can even get down to the planet. And they're up against the clock.