August 28th, 2759:
After some controversy and numerous design challenges, Proxima Secundus’ first manned mission to it’s nearest moon – Lygos – is launched.
The Consolidated Confederate Space Bureau called it the Zeus I mission. An enormous rocket called Olympus launches, taking its five crewmembers – Commander Sylika Dru, Pilot Kevin Sanders, Scientiest Q. Danvers, Engineer Viera Coltraine, and Dr. Ivan Volkov – on a path to history.
But less than a single day after initial blastoff, the Zeus encountered a catastrophic, cross-systemic failure which would soon have caused the mission to fail and left everyone aboard dead.
But unbeknown to any of the astronauts – indeed not even to the C.C.S.B. itself, there was help nearby. Three centuries earlier, the United Federation of Planets had decided (as a form of political pork-barreling) to establish a branch of the Starfleet Museum in the Proxima Draconis solar system. Since most branches of the Museum are housed in decommissioned starships, the U.S.S. Praetorian was selected to act as the branch vessel. It was placed at a Lagrange point between Lygos and Proxima Secundus (a small agricultural colony at the heart of the Proxima Draconis System).
Unfortunately, before it could be completely decommissioned, completely staffed and fully brought up to speed – the great galactic cataclysm occurred, leaving the Praetorian (as well as the planet it sat quietly near) completely cut off.
It’s lone surviving crewmember was an El-Aurian named Elgen Tessit. Since the El-Aurians are a race of long-lived people, he was still very much alive when the Zeus first radioed into mission control that it was experiencing serious problems. Tessit then (despite having remained hidden from the world below for centuries) decided to help. He used the Praetorian’s transporter to pull the astronauts from their capsule. The plan was to bring them aboard the Praetorian briefly and then transport them back to their world.
Unfortunately the transporter failed and the astronauts were left to roam freely around a Constitution Class Heavy Cruiser.
Eventually, the Praetorian was brought to Proxima Secundus’ orbit and over the next three years it underwent intensive scientific study while the rest of the planet (particularly the relatively new United Nations) argued over what to do with it.
In the end, it was decided that the ship would once again be sent into the stars to explore and seek out new life and new civilizations.
A new (if somewhat small) crew was selected and on April 8th, 2762, the U.S.S. Praetorian was once again launched to resume it’s mission.