From:The Q Continuum
To:*Galactic-Enquirer
Stardate:20090224.1510
Subject:Orion Syndicate Strikes Shipping Lanes

In a political climate of decaying foreign relations, piracy and the smuggling of stolen goods across borders becomes a lucrative industry. Of particular interest is the rare isotope, Berkelium-254, difficult to replicate and so unstable that it must be kept in stasis to prevent its decay. Owing its increasing value as the key ingredient to the growing Vargian flu pandemic, black market value of the isotope has reached as high as 150 credits per gram.

The past several weeks have seen an increase in criminal activities preying on independent traders and shipping services, with the infamous Orion Syndicate, led by its flagship, the often-thought-destroyed OSC Oxis, at the top of the food chain. Several small shipments of Berkelium bound for Federation worlds stocking up their own supplies of the vaccine have been captured by the rogue Galaxy-class starship in the last several days, prompting private operators to hire heavily armed gunship escorts for more valuable cargo.

With the growing threat of a spreading pandemic, souring relations with its neighbors and trouble rising on the Bajoran front, is the Federation capable of stemming the increase in piracy before its space becomes a sea of anarchy?