The Burn

Created by Fleet Admiral Luzol Targaryen on Sat Jul 10th, 2021 @ 10:13pm

Please Note: The information contained within this page includes information from canon sources and heavy spoilers for Star Trek: Discovery Season 3. Some of the items detailed herein have not yet been shared in group and are identified in the Out of Character portion.


The Burn was an apocalyptic disaster that occurred in 3069 that led most of the dilithium throughout the galaxy to become inert.

In Character Information

The Burn

Before the Burn

During the 29th Century the Temporal Cold War ravaged the galaxy as various factions sought to dominate the galaxy through the use of time travel. It was during this time that the Federation began to experience significant reductions in its Dilithium supplies. Dilithium was an essential component of every active Warp Drive, without it interstellar travel would become impossible. Knowing this, the Federation issued a mandate to its member worlds to start trials on alternate warp drive designs that did not require a Dilithium catalyst while research vessels searched the galaxy for new supplies of the essential crystal.

During the Burn

While several proposals were received, including Project SB-19 from Ni'Var, all investigation would abruptly stop when the Burn occurred in 3069. In an instant Dilithium Crystals throughout known space became inert through unknown means and, as Dilithium was used to regulate the matter/antimatter reaction, every active Warp Engine lost antimatter containment and detonated. Throughout the galaxy countless vessels and outposts were destroyed, subspace was irrevocably damaged, and billions were killed in seconds.

After the Burn

Throughout the galaxy there were more theories than there were answers, with several members of Starfleet believing that the ideas behind the cause of the Burn outnumbered the remaining ships in the fleet. The damage to subspace impeded the Federation's ability to communicate with its member worlds, while the loss of most vessels prevented direct travel to member states. With the Federation unable to determine the cause of the Burn and whether it would occur again, many throughout the galaxy lost confidence in the Federation's ability to keep them safe. At the time of the Burn the Federation featured 350 member worlds; not long after the Federation collapsed with only a handful of planets remaining loyal members and many seceding to the Emerald Chain.


Out of Character Information

Information in this section has been made available for story purposes. Items in this section are still unknown and will not be added to our in character story until a later date.

The Source of the Burn

In 3189, the Starship Discovery, having recently arrived from the 23rd Century, began an investigation into the cause of the Burn. Through Discovery's analysis, the crew was able to discern that the Burn was not instantaneous and took time to spread from its point of origin: the Verubin Nebula.

With the approval of Starfleet, Discovery visited the Verubin Nebula and located the remains of the Kelpien starship KSF Khi'eth. The Khi'eth had located a "dilithium nursery" on planet Theta Zeta in the nebula's interior, becoming heavily damaged while navigating the radioactive nebula and crashed on the surface. Discovery visited the wreck of the Khi'eth, discovering a survivor named Su'Kal inside an elaborate holosimulation designed to keep the Kelpien safe. While visiting the planet, Discovery's away team determined that Su'Kal had been the source of the Burn after encountering a holographic representation of a Kelpien sea monster that distressed Su'Kal and almost led to a second Burn.

Through the intervention of Discovery's Captain, a Kelpien named Saru, Su'Kal agreed to leave Theta Zeta; thus the threat of another Burn was negated. Additionally, the vast dilithium reserves on Theta Zeta reestablished the Federation as the dominant galactic power in the region and led many former members to petition to return.


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