|This article or subsection has an associated category.||Ceti Alpha V|
Prior to 2268, Ceti Alpha V was considered to be a Class M planet that was barely capable of supporting life. Following the explosion of Ceti Alpha VI and the changes to Ceti Alpha V's orbit and axial tilt, the planet became Class K. (TOS episode & Star Trek 2 novelization: Space Seed; TOS movie, novelization & comic adaptation: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; TOS novel: To Reign in Hell: The Exile of Khan Noonien Singh, TOS comic: "Khan: Ruling in Hell", ENT episode: "Twilight"; Decipher RPG module: Worlds)
Starfleet charted Ceti Alpha V during a very early period in Earth's exploration of the galaxy. While the planet did possess a great deal of life, it was not ideal for colonization, as its weather conditions were considered extreme, due to powerful rainstorms. Moreover, the planet lacked sufficient metals and minerals that could help sustain a colony.
In 2267, Captain James T. Kirk decided to leave Khan Noonien Singh and his Augment followers on the planet after they attempted to seize control of the USS Enterprise. While the planet would be a harsh environment for average, human colonists, the same could not be said for Augments. In fact, Khan viewed this as an excellent opportunity to tame an extreme and inhospitable new world. (TOS episode: "Space Seed")
Unfortunately, this lush world turned to hell only six months later, when an experiment aboard Vanguard Station (Starbase 47) involving Mirdonyae artifacts triggered the detonation of a Shedai conduit located on nearby planet Ceti Alpha VI. The planet exploded, and all plant and animal life on Ceti Alpha V was killed after its orbit shifted drastically from the shockwave. (VAN novel: Storming Heaven)
However, thanks to their enhanced abilities, Khan and his followers managed to survive the disaster. Cargo holds of the Botany Bay were turned into living quarters and the Augment colonists mined for fresh water, and developed hydroponic gardens to grow their own crops. (TOS novel: To Reign in Hell: The Exile of Khan Noonien Singh)
In 2285, the USS Reliant traveled to Ceti Alpha V (believing it to be Ceti Alpha VI) in a search for test sites for the Genesis Device. Commander Beach detected atmospheric radon gas, along with blowing sand at high velocity, making it almost "completely lifeless" for Doctors Carol and David Marcus' requirements. That is, until what was thought to be a particle of pre-animate matter was caught in the matrix of Reliant's dynoscanner. When Captain Clark Terrell and Commander Pavel Chekov beamed down to inspect, they were taken prisoner by Khan and coerced; through use of the Ceti eel, into helping him leave the planet and reap his revenge on Admiral Kirk. Khan marooned the crew of the Reliant on Ceti Alpha V, where they remained until later rescued by the USS Enterprise. (TOS episode: "Space Seed"; TOS movie: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; Decipher RPG module: Worlds)
When Kirk returned to the planet in 2287, Spock reported that the planet's ecosystem was further deteriorating, and that it would become completely incapable of sustaining humanoid life within 30 to 40 years. The few remaining Augments (a rebellious faction who had refused to accompany Khan) agreed to leave the planet, with the dwindling Ceti eel population left as the only remaining life-forms. (TOS novel: To Reign in Hell: The Exile of Khan Noonien Singh)
In 2258 of the Kelvin timeline, the Vulcan elders chose Ceti Alpha V for terraforming it into their new home world. Spock objected to this, knowing what had happened to Khan and his crew after they were marooned there. When he attempted to warn the elders of this, he was overruled and exiled for his role in Vulcan's destruction, asking Sarek to dissuade the elders from commencing any colonization efforts. Armed with a sample of red matter, the Romulan fleet soon arrived above Ceti Alpha V to try and destroy the Vulcan people only to be chased away by Starfleet, the red matter being harmlessly detonated. When James T. Kirk came to the surface, he reiterated Spock's warnings about the planet, having learnt of its fate through his earlier mind meld with the time traveller. Convinced, the Vulcans evacuated the planet. (TOS - Legacy of Spock comics: "Part 1", "Part 2", "Part 4")
In a mirror universe version of the Kelvin timeline, the Augments had been exiled to Ceti Alpha V by the Terran Empire, the planet's barren resources and terrain preventing them from paying the harsh imperial taxes. The ISS Enterprise was eventually dispatched to bomb the planet from orbit, arriving in time to find the universally displaced USS Enterprise. The Terran ship proved superior to its counterpart, capturing its Federation counterpart and razing the planet. Despite this, SS Botany Bay managed to launch from the planet in time, carrying most of the colony to safety. (TOS - Live Evil comics: "Part 1", "Part 2")
The former close proximity of Ceti Alpha VI had an impact on the planet's surface as it produced a considerable tidal effect and resulted in the development of a large equatorial range which divided the two hemispheres. The northern hemisphere was warm, even lacking a polar ice cap, and possessed two major continents centered around mountain ranges. Three smaller island continents existed near the north pole. The southern hemisphere was cooler in temperature and was dominated by a vast ocean.
Following the explosion of Ceti Alpha VI, the equatorial range was battered by shockwaves, while debris rained down upon the planet's surface. The impact of the debris sent tons of material into the now thinned atmosphere and resulted in perpetual storms which wore away anything that remained. In fact, the power of the storms was sufficient enough to wear down the equatorial mountain range with the highest mountain being only 6,400 meters by 2285.
Points of Interest
- Ocean of Dust
- Northern Wastelands
- Cataract of Sorrows
- Lucifer's Plateau
- Pillars of Hades
- Valley of Scourges
- Mount Marla
- Botany Bay colony
Prior to Ceti Alpha V's transformation into a harsh class K world, the planet had a varied ecosystem and no large predatory animals.
The northern continents were dominated by forests which varied from tropical at the equator to temperate towards the north pole. The largest of the two main continents had a vast prairie landscape that included large herbivores which Khan and his followers referred to as "Ceti bison." Observation of the Ceti bison revealed that they would enter periods of inactivity and then periods of strange staggering. This odd behavior was caused by another native creature, the Ceti eel who used the bison as hosts for their young. The young of the Ceti eel would wrap themselves around the cerebral cortex of the bison resulting in the strange staggering. While the process seemed horrific, the Ceti bison had adapted to it and remained unharmed.
In an alternate timeline (2153-2165), the Xindi were successful in destroying Earth and other major human colonies. The remaining survivors (~6000 people) found temporary refuge on Ceti Alpha V. The surviving refugees disassembled the civilian vessels for the construction of the new colony until the Xindi discovered the colony's location and it, too, was wiped out. (ENT episode: "Twilight")
In the mirror universe, with the fall of the Terran Empire, the uninhabited planet came under the control of the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance. The Alliance attempted to establish a prison on the planet whereupon several prisoners, guards and the warden died before the eventual discovery of the Ceti eel. Officials quarantined the planet and then claimed to have exterminated the creature. (TNG novel: The Worst of Both Worlds)
- Whether or not the mirror Ceti Alpha V was devastated by the explosion of Ceti Alpha VI is unknown; however, since the planet appeared devoid of all life except for the Ceti eel, it is likely that a similar event took place in the mirror universe.
In another version of the mirror universe, the Genesis Weapon was aimed at the uninhabitable Ceti Alpha V. However, the weapon was destroyed before it could transform the planet.
Ceti Alpha V became the resting place for Spock's body after he was shot dead by David Marcus, the illegitimate son of Captain James T. Kirk. David was seeking vengeance for his father's death at the hands of Spock so many years earlier. Nevertheless, exposure to the device and the Genesis Effect regenerated Spock's DNA and the crew of ISS Enterprise risked a combined Klingon-Cardassian assault to rescue him. (Decipher RPG module: Through a Glass, Darkly)
- It is not stated whether or not Khan and his followers ever settled on the Mirror Universe Ceti Alpha V. The Genesis Weapon was activated during a struggle between Spock and fellow Vulcan T'Pau who had been declared an enemy of the empire for assassinating Emperor Danaher. T'Pau and her allies had seized the Imperial research based Regula I where Carol Marcus and her son David were developing the weapon.