Fontana Station

Since before the founding of the Federation, several diplomatic conferences have been held in a small habitat dome on the surface of the otherwise uninhabited planetoid Babel, located on the Wolf 424 system. Following a series of incidents during the 23rd century involving attempts at sabotage and espionage, Federation officials came to understand how ill-equipped said habitat dome had become. Being a structure more than 100 years old at that point, it had become impossible to guarantee the safety of dignitaries at future conferences.

In 2274, the decision was made to construct a small starbase in orbit of Babel, to host all conferences going forward. This would not only mean a more defensible structure in the case of a direct attack (something which worried Starfleet in particular given the tensions with the Klingon Empire at the time), but also provide a more future-proof structure able to be updated and upgraded for generations. This new orbital station would be named after the Earth ambassador who first proposed a conference at Babel in 2154, and who was later instrumental in writing the Federation Charter.

Inaugurated in 2286, Fontana Station counted with state-of-the-art diplomatic facilities and amenities; including 32 conference rooms of varying sizes; accommodations for over 250 guests; multiple independent environmental systems to accommodate a wide range of species with their own environmental needs; large scale transporters for diplomatic parties; and several shuttlebays able to receive a large number and variety of small transport crafts.

  • I came up with the idea for this station as a homage to Dorothy Fontana (1939-2019) shortly after her passing. She was a writer and story editor for The Original Series, among many other things, and was instrumental in developing the United Federation of Planets as the political entity it became, most notably through writing the episode "Journey to Babel".
  • The design of the station itself is from a painting by Rick Sternbach, seen in Picard's quarters during TNG. The book 'Star Trek Maps' states that Babel is a planetoid with 3 moons, which matches the painting, so in my head the painting is supposed to depict this very station. Perhaps it was Picard's first posting, or perhaps being a diplomat himself he saw the station as an icon of the diplomatic corps.