In late 2375, Voyager received a distress call from a nearby Class M planet. On investigating the away team commanded by Ensign Kim discovered that the call had originated from an artificial source, a metallic device approximately 1.2 metres in length. Scanning revealed that the device had para-trinic shielding and a dense energy matrix, as well as bio-neural circuitry which mimicked Humanoid synaptic functions and proved to be both sentient and highly intelligent. It was badly damaged, and had no memory of the time prior to its crash landing on the planet.1
|Weapon Name :||Druoda warhead|
The device did remember that it had been travelling with a companion, but on scanning the surface Voyager could not locate any other machinery. They did discover minute traces of metallic particulates scattered across the planets northern continent. The continent had a four hundred kilometre diameter crater on it, the walls of which had concentrations of radiogenic decay and fracture gradients consistent with a highly focused explosion. Voyagers crew realized that the device was in fact a weapon of mass destruction.
They tried to deactivate the weapon, but in doing so it regained some of its damaged memories and became determined to fulfil its function by attacking a nearby system. It seized control of Voyager and plotted a course for its target, 2.3 light years away. The crew was unable to disarm the device, but Neelix realized that they had recently acquired a power node with transkinetic energy regulators and bio-neural circuitry very similar to those in the warhead from a trader named Onquanii. Voyager signalled the trader and he rendezvoused with the ship. Onquanii told them that the device was of Druoda manufacture and featured a Class 11 intelligence, warp drive, heavy armour, a self guiding system and a maximum range of 80 light-years. It was designed to fly through ion storms or even an entire armada of hostile ships on the way to its target.1
Onquanii attempted to buy the warhead but Captain Janeway declined. He attempted to take it by force, but the warhead destroyed his ship in the process and ordered Voyager to continue on its way to the target.1
During the trip Ensign Kim was able to discover that the warhead had in fact been deliberately ordered to crash by its creators. The war which it had been built for had ended three years previously; the weapon had been launched by accident along with 33 others and had been destroyed rather than recalled. Ensign Kim was able to convince the warhead that its mission should be aborted, but the remaining warheads had already passed their 2 light year targeting threshold, at which point they were programmed to refuse all further recall orders. Still in space nearby, the remaining bombs detected the one on Voyager and intercepted the ship in order to launch a co-ordinated attack.1
The warhead on board agreed to leave Voyager and accompany the others in order to destroy them. Once clear of the vessel the warhead detonated its antimatter energy matrix, resulting in a chain reaction which set off all of the other weapons harmlessly in space.1
Voyager has not had any further contact with the Druoda, and the amazingly advanced weapon remains their only encounter with this species thus far.1