Star Fleet Academy Class of Y143

Episode 1: Secrets of the Federation

Five senior academy cadets Nomen Clay, Skoan, Dash Rendar, Maeve Reeju, and Tamarra King have one last test to complete before they are commissioned as officers of the Federation Star Fleet. Their ‘practical’ final exam will be administered by the mysterious Capt. Ricardo De La Vega. He sends them on a search and rescue mission to an uncharted planet. The cadets soon realize this mission is not exactly as what they were told.

Mission Report:
The cadet team was picked up by the USS Ferris Bueller, a salvage freighter under the command of Capt. Zigg Hanzzen. They were carried to the uncharted planet tentatively named ‘Bueller-3’ where they were transported to the surface.

The events that occurred on the surface are classified pending a full review due to the possibility that a violation of the Prime Directive made have occurred there.

A brief description of what is known: The alleged ‘final exam’ turned out to be a ruse. The actual exam was scheduled to be taken at Star Fleet Academy and the team had been unknowingly kidnapped then stranded on Bueller-3. Bueller-3 is a class-M planet with an overabundance of plant and animal life forms. The team discovered a race of sentient frog-like creatures while on the planet. They also encountered a macro-biotic vegetable life form, but choose to avoid it because it looked really hungry. There is a possibility that a machine of Andromedan origin was encountered but the team destroyed it with several phaser shots before a full analysis could be done. The team located a large debris field littered with T-mass (refer to Items tab).

About 40 hours after it was discovered that the cadets had left Star Fleet Academy and missed the finals, the USS Wesley was dispatched to follow the route of the Ferris Bueller and recover the cadets. Upon arrival at Bueller-3, the USS Wesley made sensor contact with an unidentified ship moving at high warp speed away from the planet. Contact was lost with the mysterious ship but the cadets were found on the surface of the planet with Zigg, De La Vega and the salvage crew. Capt. Zigg and his Orion crew were taken into custody and charged with kidnapping. Capt. Ricardo De La Vega was also taken into custody but released after it became clear that his only purpose for being on the planet was to collect data for his next Exo-Botany lecture.

This data taken from the log files recorded by acting Science Officer Maeve Reeju. The full report is classified.

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Episode 2: The Voyage of the Stauffenberg

Having completed their final exams, the cadets (now commissioned as Ensigns) are ready for their first assignment; the newly commissioned Burke-class frigate, the USS Stauffenberg, Valkyrie sqaudron, 4th Fleet. The ship will be begin it’s tour of duty at Starbase 2204.

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Crew assembles at Starbase 2204

Nomen Clay and Skoan arrived at the Starbase 2204 and discovered that a starbase can be a large and busy place. However, they arrived with time to spare and decided to grab a bite to eat on the Promenade. They entered a restaurant that specialized in exotic foods called K’Chow.

They are seated and served by a Renal waiter (Renal = a race of sentient, humaniod racoons) they affectionately named ‘Rocky’. Rocky annoyed them with pointless banter but he really got annoying when he recognized them as Star Fleet officers. Over and over he asked to hear stories of life on a starship and the adventures they experienced. Nomen tried to encourage him to submit an application to Star Fleet, but Rocky would not be satisfied with anything less than a tour of the Stauffenberg. Such a visit on the ship was completely out of the question and a violation of protocol. Regretfully, they promised to stay in touch with Rocky as long as Rocky would keep them notified of any rumors or information he might uncover on the starbase.

Nomen ordered the Klingon delicacy known as K’Hurl (yellow slugs in a butter and cinnamon sauce). Strangely, this dish was not on the menu but Nomen found it tasty and gained 1 HP for the duration of the episode. Skoan enjoyed a fruit salad.

After dinner, the two hung out at the “Space-bar”, a popular haunt for military types. Nomen used his Enhanced Hearing to eavesdrop of the conversations of the patrons. He found out the following rumors

1. The Federation economy has been drained because of the Kzinti war. Federation is nearly bankrupt and member planets are considering succession.
2. Kzinti warships have been detected in Fed space. As deep into Fed territory as Regulus IV!!
3. A spy has been in place at the Academy for quite some time.
4. There are stories of indiscretions among the Academy instructors. Tamara King has been suspected of having an affair with an instructor! (Is anyone surprised?)

At 0600 hours the following day, the team embarked on the USS Stauffenberg which is docked at Starbase 2204. At 1000 hours the captain Lt. Cmdr. Basil Williamson, held a briefing and introduced the team to the full Crew of the Stauffenberg as well as Marine Lieutenant M’Binga. The captain explained that the ship will be performing all the standard duties of a Burke-class frigate and they would expect 3-4 missions per month. The typical action seen by larger ships were perhaps one every 3-4 months. He gave out the department assignments. Also, the captain was willing to wait before nominating a First Officer. He wanted to see all the new Ensigns’ performance on a few missions before making a selection. Engineer John Morimoto formally requested the honor of performing the duties of team leader on the first mission which was granted. Nomen Clay was clearly annoyed at Morimoto’s shameless display of brown-nosing.

The ship had been assigned to do cargo inspections of the freighters passing through the nuetral zone from Klingon and Kzinti space. But first, the captain wanted to test the new officers in a game of ‘Star Fleet Laser Tag’. The scenario would pit the Officers vs. the enlisted Marines.

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Starfleet Laser Tag

Skoan was given the assignment to create a suitable map for the teams to use as a battlefield.

Two teams were selected. For the Officer’s team, Ensign John Morimoto – team leader, Ensign Skoan, Lieutenant M’Binga, Ensign Cy-Siddah, and Ensign Maeve Reeju. With Maeve’s four arms, she is the only officer with the ability to use two weapons and two attacks per round. For the Marine’s team, 4 Squad was selected with Tm Sgt. Genn Anison as team leader.

The objective: Capture the flag. All weapons were set to Stun-1 setting. The maze was separated into three corridors. Each team flag was setup at each end of the middle corridor. The middle corridor was straight except for two force fields positioned about half-way between the flags. One player could hold down a button on the console next to each force field to turn off both force fields and allow movement down the corridor. The force fields would be down as long someone was holding the button. The other two corridors had many corners and turns with an entrance at each side next to the flags.

The Captain gave the order to begin the competition. The marines split up and sent three marines down the center corridor, one marine down the right corridor and Genn Anison down the left corridor. The officers sent Morimoto, Cy, and Maeve down the center, Skoan went down the left corridor and M’Binga stood watch next to the entrance of the left corridor.

In the center, the marines moved quickly to their button. The officers moved to their button and Morimoto attempted to bypass the button using his Engineering Tricorder. The Marines didn’t waste a moment and immediately pressed the button. One of the grunts shot Maeve and knocked her out completely. Cy-Siddah returned fire and stunned the grunt mildly. He would be up again in ten minutes.

On the left, Genn Anison moved cautiously around the turns and was met with a suppressing fire from M’Binga. Unfortunately for Genn, she did not make her perception roll to see Skoan using his camouflage ability to hide along the walls. She had walked right by him! Skoan then proceeded unimpeded to the enemy flag.

On the right, the last marine got lost checking each and every corner and made no progress.

Victory went to the Officers!

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Customs Inspections and Ion Storms

Cargo freighters have been following routine routes back and forth across the neutral zone. At this time, the neutral zone had been experiencing unusually intense Ion Storms directly in the path of the shipping lanes. Freighters had difficulty maneuvering through these storms, which made the job harder for the Stauffenberg and her crew. They had been tasked with performing Customs Inspections on all freighters crossing the neutral zone.

The next ship due for a border crossing was called ‘The Wandering Child’, owned by an Andorian shipping company. The freighter lost communications when it entered one of the large Ion Storms and had drifted far off course. The captain ordered the ship into the neutral zone and into the Ion Storm to intercept the freighter. He gave Nomen Clay the assignment to investigate with an away team.

Nomen selected for his team, M’Binga, Skoan, Tm Sgt – Genn Anison, and Cy-Siddah

The equipment loadout:
M’Binga – Tactical tricorder
Nomen Clay – Data tricorder – with civilian ship database
Skoan Medical tricorder, medical bag
Cy-Diddah – Engineering tricorder

The weapons loadout:
Phaser II pistol for all
Phaser Carbine for Genn A
Grenades for M’Binga
2 stun, 1 flash-bang, 1 concussion

1x Transporter beacon
2x D-cells

The captain suggested the team use the transporter to beam over to the ship, but the team insisted on taking an admin shuttle with Skoan at the helm. The captain moved the Stauffenberg to within transport range of the freighter and launched the shuttle.

The shuttle rocked and turned violently through the Ion Storm, attempting to get closer to the freighter. Several team members became nauseous and lost a few HPs. Skoan skillfully brought the shuttle close to the shuttle hatch of the ship. There was still no communication from the freighter and the shuttle bay doors were closed.

At this time, Nomen attempted to take remote control of the freighter via the control console of the shuttle. He made the skill roll and was about to command the freighter to open the shuttle bay doors….

Suddenly, the shuttle lost all power. It floated helplessly in the emptiness of space.

The emergency power systems on the shuttle came on but it was only enough to illuminate the emergency lights. Everyone put on their emergency oxygen masks and looked through the portals. Outside the shuttle, they could not see stars and they could make out the faint image of the freighter which appeared to have lost all power as well. They could not see the Stauffenberg anywhere.

Skoan successfully fired the shuttle’s grappling hook at the freighter. M’Binga and Genn started cranking the manual winch to slowly pull the shuttle closer to the freighter. But, the shuttle bay doors were still closed.

Two space suits were stored on the shuttle. Cy and Genn suited up and climbed out of the shuttle through the pressurized hatch. But, they noticed that space had somehow become something different. Rather than an empty vacuum, space had become a thick liquid. They could swim through it like water. Cy swam to the freighter and was able to use an old manual hatch control to open the shuttle bay doors. Cy and Genn climbed onto the shuttle bay deck. Once there, they pulled the winch line and dragged the shuttle into the shuttle bay.

The freighter was in the same condition as the shuttle. All engines were off and all decks were completely dark. The emergency life support systems had turned on but they estimated only 8 hours of life support remaining.

Using their tricorders as flashlights, they found a spiral staircase leading up to the rest of the ship. They made their way to the auxilliary control room. There they found 2 dead Andorian crewmen with massive stab wounds in their chests and their Andorian antennae torn out! Who would do such a thing? Clearly, there was a murderer on board.

They continued searching and the team found the door to the main bridge. It was sealed tight with no way to jury rig it without ship’s power. A tricorder scan showed 6 beings in the bridge with indeterminate life signs.

The ship had only 7.5 hours of life support…

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Searching the 'Wandering Child'

After pulling the shuttle into the shuttle bay and swimming in thick liquid ‘space’, some of the team had lost fatigue points.

M’Binga –2 FP
Genn –4 FP
Cy-Siddah –4 FP

The team decided to explore more of the ‘Wandering Child’. They choose to take the rickety old turbolift, which amazingly still had power and lead to the engineering deck on the opposite side of the ship (Aft side). In the turbolift were two cold-weather parkas and one operational battery lantern. They got to the engineering deck to find the engineering control room door locked. They tried to force the door open but heard voices on the other side of the door. They opened the door with phasers drawn and ready. Inside the control room were two frightened Orion crewmen. They tried to explain that they were the engineering assistants. When asked what happened to the ship, they simply answered that they heard lots of screaming, the power went out, and they locked themselves inside the engineering room for safety. Nomen Clay was not buying the story though. With his Andorian senses, he could tell they were lying about something. He also noticed a familiar tattoo on the Orions. A tattoo that symbolized loyalty to the pirate Capt. Zigg Hanzzen. Meanwhile, Skoanand Cy-Siddah discussed the possibility of re-starting the warp engines. Cy explained that the warp engines looked fine and there was no reason they should not be active. After some discussion, it was decided that Cy would use his engineering skill to try some warp core simulations on the data tricorder. M’Binga found a damage control kit and a cutting torch in one of the crew’s lockers. 1 hour passed while exploring Engineering section.

At this time, the group decided to split up. On the Engineering deck, Genn would watch over the Orions while Skoan and Cy would continue research on the warp engines. M’Binga and Nomen took the turbolife back to the bridge on the forward side of the ship taking the damage control kit and cutting torch with them. Their plan was to cut their way into the bridge.

When the turbolift reached the forward end of the ship, they noticed another turbolift car was parked there. Phaser drawn and using the light of their tricorders to see, they heard the sound of someone moaning as if in pain. They followed the sound down an air shaft to the battery deck. They took the stairs to the battery deck. Walking cautiously onto the desk, they called to whoever was there. Someone answered in the Andorian language and summoned them to move closer. M’Binga threw a grenade in the direction of the sound but did not pull the pin. A shadowy figure moved toward the grenade, picked it up and licked it?! Nomen rushed toward the figure as the figure fired a laser pistol back at Nomen. The laser shot missed and Nomen tackled it. Nomen saw the person face to face. It was an Andorian screaming and moaning and kicking and firing the laser pistol randomly. The Andorian was extremely strong and tried to get away from Nomen but Nomen had him in a headlock. M’Binga used his phaser to shoot the laser pistol out of the Andorian’s hand. Nomen tried to grab the wild Andorian’s antennae but saw they had been pulled out! The Andorian begged to be released. Nomen released him and he ran to the corner, hands over his scarred head and moaned…

There were 6.5 hours of life support remaining…

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Andorian Madness

Nomenand M’Binga looked upon the pitiful Andorian. Judging by his clothes, they suspected he was a crewmember of The Wandering Child. It was clear the crazed Andorian would not go without a stuggle so they set their phasers to stun-2 and fired. Rather than stunning the crewman, it just pissed him off. He rushed Nomen and bashed him with closed fists. Nomen fired his phaser again with no effect. M’Binga started moving back toward the staircase. The Andorian chased him and attacked. M’Binga used a knee-strike to injure the crewman, but it wasn’t enough to stop him. Regrettably, Nomen set his phaser to Kill-1 and fired. The phaser blast did slow him. One more karate kick from M’Binga finally brought the Andorian crewman down. They tied his hands and feet with some loose wires they found in an equipment locker and left him in the stairwell. He would need medical attention but for now he was neutralized.

Nomen and M’Binga returned to deck 2 and the bridge access door. Nomen fired up the cutting torch and started to open a hole in the thick door. After about 30 minutes, he was able to open a small hole through the door into the environment behind it. An immediate whistle of air through the hole suggested that there was no atmosphere in the bridge. After a few minutes, the air pressure equalized, and they continued cutting.

After 1 hour, there was a hole large enough to open the door. Inside the bridge were 6 dead crewmen all in vacuum suits, the bodies were still at their posts. It was unclear just how they had died.

There was no power on the bridge. They thought it might be possible to restore power to the consoles by directing power from the ship’s batteries.

Nomen returned to the deck 5 to check the battery breaker box. He passed the crazed Andorian, who was conscious but unresponsive. M’Binga stayed on the bridge. The ship’s batteries had just enough power to turn on the bridge consoles only. Nomen flipped the switch and M’Binga used the console to bring up a status report on the ship. The report showed the warp and impulse drives in full working condition but unable to generate power. Ship wide intercom did not work. M’Binga was about to check the captain’s log files when he got the feeling that there was something else alive on the bridge. He drew his phaser pistol and slowly turned around. Then a siren went off. A horrible siren so loud he thought his bones would shatter. The sound was so intense that he thought he couldn’t hear his own thoughts. Then, he thought the room lights went out again. The big Rigellian lost consciousness and fell to the floor.

Three decks below the bridge, Nomen Clay heard the terrible siren and his enhanced hearing only made it worse. The sound pierced his eardrums like hot needles pressing into his brain. He hated the sound and wanted to run from it but where could he go? And what of his comrade? Would he suffer the same fate as the other Andorians on board? He knew he had to move up the staircase back to the bridge to help M’Binga. He made it to deck 4. The sound grew louder. He climbed to deck 3 and the his feet stopped moving. His natural instinct to flee had taken over and his feet would no longer carrying him any closer to the horrible, infuriating sound. Although his brain felt like jelly, vibrating within the confines of his skull, he remembered his training. The discipline that was drilled in to his conscience helped him to push through the pain and his feet moved again. He found a locker with another vacuum suit. He put on the helmet first and the sound seemed a little more tolerable. He suited up, grabbed another helmet for M’Binga and headed up the stairs to the deck 2.

When he arrived on deck 2, the siren stopped. He almost fell down from the relief. He walked toward the bridge. There he saw a large lobster-like creature crawling on M’Binga. Another lobster was crawling on a dead crewman. He banged a fist against the spare helmet to get the monsters’ attention. Both creatures looked at him and began shrieking their horrible song again. Nomen dropped to his knees and fired a phaser at one of the beasts. He missed and they both scurried away into a hole underneath the bridge consoles.

There was only 5 hours of life support remaining.

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The Song of the Universe

Meanwhile, in the engineering module (aft side of the freighter), Skoan and Cy-Siddah debated the condition of the warp engines and whether they could be fixed. Cy programmed a formula in the data tricorder which would simulate the normal operation of a warp engine. And he pondered to himself, “If all things were equal, the warp engines should be working”. But, things were not equal, which led him to believe that if there was nothing wrong with the warp engines then there could be something wrong with the universe! “Perhaps,” he said, “The freighter fell into a rift in the universe which was created by the violent ion storms. And perhaps, the freighter is trapped in a pocket universe. The nature of this pocket universe is indeterminate. All the rules of physics could have changed.” He immediately started his simulation, but altered the constant values of the formula, such as the c=speed of light. In doing so, he found a few different combinations of values that could maintain a stable warp reaction. But, in order to test his simulation, he needed a working engineering console and there was no power in the engineering module. Skoan knew he could jury-rig a console with a D-Cell battery, two of which were left back on the shuttlecraft on the other side of the ship. Skoan recruited one of the Orions and jumped into the turbolift back to the command module.

As the turbolift moved toward the command module, Skoan and the Orion heard the sound of the siren quietly but increasing in volume as the turbolift moved closer. They also heard the distant sound of phaser fire! When the turbolift arrived at the command module, they found Nomen and M’Binga stunned and lying on the floor. When they awoke, they explained all that had happened with the strange lobster creatures that emitted a wicked siren. For now, the creatures had left the bridge.

Nomen gathered his wits and began sorting through the files in the captain’s log and the ship’s manifest. The log showed the freighter had left a Klingon planet named K’Dall. The manifest showed a list of exotic foods destined for the Andorian home planet. Among the exotic foods was something called K’Ryth Ha. No one recognized that name.

M’Binga scanned the ship for life signs and found signs of the two lobsters on shuttle deck 4. Apparently, they crawled through the walls to move between decks. Skoan knew the risk but he had to get to the shuttle bay and pickup the D-cells. The ship was without power until Cy-Siddah could jump start the warp engines.

Skoan and the Orion took the stairs down to the shuttle deck. They grabbed the D-cells out of the shuttle and returned without incident.

Nomen performed the Andorian ‘last rites’ ritual for the dead crewmen of the Wandering Child.

The group decided to return to the engineering module with the D-cells, hoping Cy-Siddah could work some magic on the warp engines.

They weren’t so lucky because when they returned to the engineering module, Cy, Sgt. Genn Anison, and the second Orion were gone. A quick tricorder scan showed they were in the crew bunk room with four extra visitors.

The team drew their phasers. The Orion grabbed a shiv out of a storage locker. M’Binga threw a stun grenade into the bunk room. It went off. Then they carefully peeked into the room and saw a laughing Andorian holding a large box with one hand holding the lid closed. Also in the room, wounded and unconscious, were Cy and Genn. The second Orion slouched on the floor in one corner, presumably stunned by the grenade.

The Andorian preached to them, “Please, Please! Come in and listen to the ‘Song of the Universe’! You cannot hurt me! I have heard the song and will live forever! Come closer and I will let you hear it too!” Both of his antennae were torn out just like the Andorian on the battery deck.

The team wasted no time and fired phasers at the Andorian with kill-2 settings. The Andorian uttered his last words, “I am in Nirvana!” as he removed his hand from the box lid. Out from the box, came three lobsters and they sang their siren song immediately.

Nomen was stunned again. Skoan and M’Binga managed to resist the effects of the siren song and phasered the lobsters on kill-2 setting. The engineering module was quiet and safe again.

Skoan used his physician ability to keep Cy and Genn in stable but critical condition. They needed to be taken to sick bay and soon. But, the freighter still did not have power. Skoan grabbed the data tricorder from Cy-Siddah. With the formula stored in the tricorder and using the D-cells to power an engineering console, Skoan was able to get the warp engines and the impulse engines back online. Unfortunately, neither engine could generate forward momentum. Apparently, Cy-Siddah’s formula did not account for that.

The freighter still had solid-fuel maneuvering thrusters which could be used to push the freighter. The team decided to split up again. Nomen and Skoan went back to the bridge to drive the ship. M’Binga and Orion #1 stayed in engineering with the wounded.

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The 'Wandering Child' comes home

Nomen Clay and Skoan stepped out of the turbolift into the hallway. Skoan used his tricorder to scan for life signs. As was expected, the two remaining K’Ryth Ha were hiding in walls behind the consoles on the bridge. It was clear that if they wanted to drive the freighter out of this pocket universe, they would need to secure the bridge. Wishing to avoid contact with the beasts at all costs, Nomen recommended they go to the Auxiliary Control room. Furthermore, they decided to put on the vacuum suits and remove the entire atmosphere from every deck in the command module. They presumed the vacuum would slow down the K’Ryth Ha and prevent them from using their sonic attack.

Once in the Auxiliary control room, Skoan was able to scan the area outside of the freighter. He deduced that there must be a rift in space that connected this pocket universe with the normal universe. He was able to locate this rift. Using the control console, he turned on the maneuvering thrusters and directed the ship back through the rift.

===

While back in the engineering deck, one of the Orions tried to start some small talk with Lieutenant M’Binga. The Orion said that he had seen the wounded Sgt. Genn Anison before and that he had some personal information he would pass on to the lieutenant. M’Binga showed no interest and kept his phaser carbine pointed at the Orion.

===

Skoan piloted the Wandering Child back into normal space and into the ion storm. Immediately, communication with the USS Stauffenberg was restored. Captain Williamson contacted the team and informed them that a powerful gravity wave was heading in their direction. He ordered an immediate evacuation of the freighter. Nomen Clay, Skoan, M’Binga, the wounded Cy-Siddah and Sgt Anison, the two Orion stowaways, and the wounded Andorian tied down in the battery deck were all transported to safety on the Stauffenberg.

The gravity wave slammed into the freighter and destroyed the command module and the engineering section. The cargo pod was still intact and the Stauffenberg was able to tow it back to Starbase 2204.

On the Stauffenberg, Captain Williamson ordered a full medical scan for Nomen Clay. Unfortunately, the doctor determined that Nomen had a serious case of PTSD. The siren song of the K’Ryth Ha had a serious effect on him. Nomen would suffer the effects of the Combat Fatigue disadvantage until he fully recovered. The doctor put him on medical leave for two weeks with a strict regimen of medication and psychotherapy every day. He was also restricted to quarters for two weeks. Ensign Morimoto would cover the duties of weapons officer in the meantime.

The following morning, Captain Williamson held a debriefing session. He clarified several issues

  1. The K’RythHa were recently discovered on a Klingon world and were considered a delicacy among Andorian foodies. No one had ever tried to ship the K’rythHa into Federation space before and the freighter crew found out how difficult they are to transport.
  2. The Orions were definitely stowaways and would receive a light sentence at the starbase.
  3. The rift leading to the pocket universe closed unexpectedly without a trace.
  4. He spoke to M’Binga about Sgt. Anison. The captain had concerns about her and the comments made by the Orion made him more concerned. He requested that Sgt. Anison be reassigned to 5 squad and someone else promoted to team leader of 4 squad.

The captain commended the team for recovering the ‘Wandering Child’ and preventing a potential health crisis. For their service, the team was awarded two Seniority points, one Professional Reputation point, one Heroic Reputation point, and two bonus points to apply to their character’s skills.

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The Colony on planet B-4354

The USS Stauffenberg was a small ship but a very busy ship. As soon as the Orion stowaways were dropped off, Capt. Williamson ordered the ship to leave starbase 2204 and return to patrol duty on the edge of the neutral zone. Before the ship arrived at the neutral zone, an emergency communiqué from 4th Fleet Command HQ was sent to the entire fleet.

The message carried the news of an outpost sensor station that exploded and all of its crew was killed. Hundreds of these sensor stations were deployed along the neutral zone. They created a type of early-warning radar network. The network could detect any foreign ships passing across the neutral zone and into Federation territory. With one of the stations destroyed, there was a “hole” in the early-warning network. Any ship could enter into Federation territory through the gap and nobody would know about it. The apparent cause of the explosion was a fusion reactor overload. But, even a blind Slirdarian could tell this could only have been an act of sabotage. The Stauffenberg was ordered to rush to the location and provide some sensor coverage for the “hole” until a specialized scout ship could be deployed there.

The captain ordered the ship to go to general quarters. M’Binga was assigned to be temporary weapons officer while Nomen Clay was on disability leave.

Skoan suggested deploying several of the ships probe devices into the hole to provide additional sensor coverage. When the ship arrived at the location, they setup four of the five Class-1 probes in a diamond formation around the ship. They pointed the ship’s sensors toward the neutral zone, hoping that no enemy ships had passed that way before they arrived.

Sure enough, one of the Class-1 probes made contact with a ship already in Federation space and it was moving quickly toward the interior planets of the Federation.

The Stauffenberg started to take up pursuit, but the contact was too fast to catch and too far away. Dyesha Fey signaled another Federation ship in position to intercept the contact.

The heavy cruiser USS Republic was able to intercept the contact but confirmed it was only a civilian priority transport. The civilian vessel appeared legitimate and was following an approved course to B-4354, a small colony planet. The Republic broke off contact with the civilian ship and left the area.

Captain Williamson chose to stay and monitor the gap in the sensor network. But, once the scout ship arrived to relieve the Stauffenberg, the captain ordered a sweep of the debris from the destroyed sensor station. Skoan discovered that a fusion reactor overload did indeed cause the explosion. He also scanned the area for any warp signature trails that might indicate that a ship had crossed the neutral zone recently. He did find a trail but could not identify the specific ship that created it.

Skoan laid in a course to colony B-4354. Once there, he put the ship in standard orbit while the captain contacted the local governor. Governor Gordon Seabolt denied that any ship came to the planet and refused to allow any scans of the planet surface. “We are an official Federation colony and home to Federation citizens!” He growled, “Starfleet has no right to invade our privacy by scanning this planet or any other Federation colony!” Captain Williamson contacted Starfleet HQ and confirmed that the planet and its citizens were protected by certain rights. He was not authorized to scan the planet in any way.

But, the captain thought he could justify a routine inspection of the fusion reactors on the colony since there had been a recent fusion reactor accident on the sensor station. Governor Seabolt was furious but quickly realized he could not prevent the inspection. A team led by M’Binga was sent down to the colony.

Team included M’Binga, Skoan, Maeve Reeju, Morimoto, and two marines. Everyone was lightly equipped with phaser pistols and tricorders only.

On the planet surface, the team was met by governor’s aide Matthew Genarro. He gave the team a short tour of the colony. The planet was Class-O meaning it was very similar to Earth but with a much colder climate. There had been several failed attempts at colonizing this planet over the years due to the difficult winter weather. Matthew was confident, however, that his colony would ultimately survive.

The colony was home to about 10,000 people and the community produced agricultural products and imported everything else. The colony also had an excellent fabrication facility. Matthew explained that supply ships normally arrive once a week and this week’s shipment arrived some days ago. No other ships had arrived recently. Since there was no commercial platform in orbit, it was necessary that all supply ships have the ability to land on the planet’s surface. Although the colony was struggling financially, the governor was very wealthy. Just at that moment, the governor’s sport airplane flew overhead. It headed in the direction of the old 3rd colony ruins. Matthew explained that the governor was also the chief surveyor and used his airplane for surveying work. M’Binga was now very interested in exploring the old ruins.

When the team arrived at the fusion reactor building, they found the fusion reactor chief asleep in his office. They started the inspection immediately. All appeared well but Morimoto did everything he could to find an excuse to keep the team on the planet just a little longer. M’Binga decided to leave Morimoto and Maeve Reeju to conduct the inspection while the rest of the team continued the tour.

They stopped at a civilian house to rest and spoke with the lady who lived there. She introduced herself as Mrs. Smith and she was very friendly and hospitable. The team noticed that there were several old photos displayed around the house of ruined settlements. She said that her husband was a history buff and collected a lot of info on the old failed colonial expeditions. She explained that he was working late today at the fabrication plant. Mrs. Smith also spoke of a rocket launch that was to occur this weekend but it was cancelled unexpectedly. The team decided to speak with Mr. Smith at the fabrication plant.

M’Binga used his communicator to update Morimoto. Morimoto had caused an alarm condition in the fusion reactor to allow more time for the team to visit the fabrication plant.

The team met back at the fabrication plant. They were able to get the plant manager to provide a brief tour. The colony was able to produce agricultural machinery, pre-fab buildings, and all sorts of tools at this facility. The plant manager showed them something very interesting; five solid-fuel booster rockets in production. The plant manager was very excited about these rockets and was proud that his facility was able to produce such excellent quality devices. He was obviously disappointed because the payload had not been delivered this week as expected and the launch would have to be delayed. The payload was supposed to be weather and survey satellites which would be boosted into orbit with the solid-fuel rockets.

Morimoto used a brief moment during the tour to speak with M’Binga. He explained that he had been informed that 5 orbital defense satellites had been stolen recently from a Starfleet production facility. How coincidental was it that this factory was constructing exactly five booster rockets?

The team was able to speak to Mr. John Smith. John was excited that Starfleet personnel were interested in the history of his little colony and he agreed to take the team to the ruins of the 3rd colony that following day.

The team returned to the Stauffenberg and made plans to take the shuttlecraft to the ruins of the 3rd colony with John Smith.

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