- For other uses, see Pathfinder.
- The earlier USS Pathfinder (NCC-74562) and later Bellerophon-class USS Pathfinder (NCC-74562-B) suggest that this Pathfinder'ss registry number is NCC-74562-A.
History and specifications
In 2375, during the latter days of the Dominion War, the Preservers arranged for the young and unseasoned Captain Christine MacDonald to receive command of the new Pathfinder. Originally, MacDonald had been slated to receive command of the Saber-class science vessel USS Endurance six months later. MacDonald recruited most of her senior staff from per previous command, the Oberth-class ship USS Tobias.
Its shakedown cruise marked the first visit of a Starfleet ship to the sovereign planet Halkan in many years. The Pathfinder was to assist the DaiMon Baryon of the D'Kora-class marauder FMS Leveraged Buyout on a geological study of the planet's rich but worthless dilithium reserves. At the time, the ship had a crew complement of 141.
Alerted to the fact that Halka would play a role in the destruction of a universe by a group of psychohistorians led by Doctor T'Serl and Manager Lept, the USS Enterprise-E rushed to Halka to dissuade the Ferengi and Captain MacDonald from conducting the study. When the Enterprise arrived, they found the Buyout and the Pathfinder docked in a Ferengi spacedock in orbit of Halka. Due to an ion storm, subspace communication with Starfleet Command was impossible in a space of 5 light-years around the planet. Captains Jean-Luc Picard and James T. Kirk were unable to dissuade MacDonald from conducting the study because she feared a dissolution of the friendly relationship between the Federation and the Ferengi Alliance. Picard met her personally aboard the Pathfinder, and both captains used their resident Betazoids as lie detectors.
MacDonald granted the Enterprise an hour to retrieve their shuttlecraft Percival Lowell from the mirror universe Halka and left the spacedock. The Enterprise dispatched a negotiator, Teilani of Chal, to bring MacDonald around. Teilani was not successful but Lieutenant Don Darno sensed Picard's fail-safe plan when MacDonald spoke to Kirk via the viewscreen: Teilani disabled the Pathfinder's shield remodulation ability to dissuade MacDonald from attacking the Enterprise. Unfortunately, DaiMon Baryon took advantage of the situation, and the Buyout dealt critical damage to the Pathfinder. The Pathfinder lost its port nacelle in the initial assault. MacDonald was blinded by rage and had the Enterprise attacked while suffering additional damage from the Ferengi marauder. The warp core was ejected before it went critical but its subsequent explosion crippled the Pathfinder. To save the crew, MacDonald steered the ship into Halka's atmosphere in order to land the ship.
The Enterprise engaged its saucer separation: Picard command the stardrive section to combat the Leveraged Buyout while Kirk led the saucer section to rescue the crew from the disintegrating Pathfinder. Teilani's experience with orbital skydiving bought the Pathfinder precious five minutes by modifying the ship's shields. The starboard nacelle was destroyed. The Enterprise rescued the crew through windows in the shields, which had to be kept on lest the Pathfinder disintegrate right away. Captain MacDonald was the last to be beamed off, while Teilani died when the ship exploded in the atmosphere.
Of the ship's complement of 141, twenty-five were lost. At dawn, the Enterprise's crew surveyed the crash site, the Ferengi having been killed in action when the Enterprise destroyed the Buyout before they could complete their plans to ignite the dilithium on the planet. Fleet Admiral Alynna Nechayev herself, aboard the USS Sovereign was on her way to Halka then. (ST novel: Preserver)
- commanding officer:
- science officer:
- Commander T'Rell
- chief medical officer:
- communications officer:
- chief engineer:
- bridge officer:
- Lieutenant Don Darno
|Ships named Pathfinder|
|USS Pathfinder (Constitution-class) • USS Pathfinder (early 24th century) • USS Pathfinder (NCC-74562, Intrepid-class) • USS Pathfinder (second Intrepid-class) • USS Pathfinder (Akira-class) • USS Pathfinder (NCC-74562-B, Bellerophon-class) • USS Pathfinder (NCC-97600, Pathfinder-class) • USS Pathfinder (32nd century) • see also: Pathfinder-class|
|Terran Empire, Starfleet
|ISS Pathfinder (Pathfinder-class)|
|Cardassian Union||CDS Pathfinder (Nerok-class)|