As part of their negotiations with the Eclipse Syndicate the crew agreed to introduce them to Nelari. The intent being a partnership between underworld organizations for mutual benefit and growth in mutually exclusive markets.
While in the docking bay, Zopa and Glack decide to scan local comm traffic for any signs of Dominion signals. After a day of sifting through raw data they discover tight beam burst transmissions coming from an isolated antenna array generally used for low level system traffic and updates. Further investigation requires looping in the Commander and getting permission to access restricted systems on the station.
After getting permission they manage to trace the transmission point to the Violet Sector near the base of one of the primary communication arrays. An in-person investigation is required and they enter the Terminal's transient population center. On entering the crowded halls and common areas it's obvious this is a perfect place to remain less than noticed on the station.
They're greeted with a glare by one resident who has apparently taken it upon himself to monitor the zone. The crew dub him 'Grumpy Gus' since they don't stop to inquire any further.
There happens to be a hack-shop in the Violet sector so it's the first stop on the whirlwind tour. With minimal convincing the tech explains that someone came to him looking to by a comm spike that would 'theoretically' allow them to tap a station tower to send messages off-the-record.
The crew go back to 'grumpy gus' since it's obvious he notices everyone coming and going. After agreeing to provide a meal to Gus and some fellow hungry residents, Gus directs them to the quarters of the individual described by the tech. As they approach the quarters the crew see an individual leaving. It quickly escalates into a chase.
After disabling the suspect, they decide to turn him over for the outstanding bounty on Reptoids. Zopa and Strig manage to crack his personal terminal and find encrypted files concealed behind a shell operating system. With the ship's assistance, the files are decrypted and expose extensive dossiers on each crew member as well as logs and notes regarding their activities and their ship.
Before they can act further an urgent message from Command requests a meeting to discuss an unusual development.
The Vigilant security outpost has gone silent. It would take weeks for a threat response ship to reach the station under conventional power. The Administrator and Commander request the crew's assistance. Terms agreed upon, the crew returns to their ship and depart. After a brief transit they emerge near the outpost. Sensors indicate that the entire outpost power core is completely shut down. Records indicate the last fueling cycle was just over a week ago. The small outpost should have plenty of fuel. There are not outward signs of an attack of any kind.
The crew attaches to the available airlock at the bottom of the outpost and enter the dark structure. Not even emergency lighting is active at this point and the only atmosphere is thinning quickly. Entering the engineering compartment, they discover four bodies that appear to have been shot with some sort of scatter gun that left no projectiles. The consoles are all dark and no readings can be retrieved. It appears even power backups have been drained.
The crew advance up the zero-g central passage stopping at two residential levels and discovering more bodies. They reach the fuel pod access level and discover no fuel remains for reaction in the stations power core. Given the timeframe, these tanks should have been well over half full. The crew continues up the zero-g passage. On reaching the main deck the crew sees significant signs of fighting with debris scatterd around and destroyed fixtures punctured by the same strange scatter gun projectiles. More bodies are discovered in the mess hall and on the command deck. The consoles in command have some strange, raw crystals jammed into various data jacks. As the crew investigates the command deck, Kallie'Dar and Glack notice familiar telepathic feedback.
After attenuating to the signal, Kallie'Dar discovers that the crystals are broadcasting data from the consoles. Telemetry, fleet communications, disposition of Oryx assets throughout the STX system and much more. The crew pull the crystals for further investigation. As the crystals are removed from the console their ship alerts them of an unusual energy signature building in intensity in close proximity to the dark outpost. They rush back to the ship and board in time to witness a jump portal of some sort open and a larger ship emerge. Sensors detect target locks. Strig moves to undock and get underway, hurriedly calculating the destination coordinates. The Dominion Battlecruiser opens fire on the station. As the crew enters transit, the Vigilant Outpost explodes. The Dominion have announced their arrival.