Game Recap: Star Trek – Episode 1

This is the first episode of Mark’s PDQ#-based Star Trek game, run on the Monday night Skype open games. The premise: the crew of the USS Resolute is the second-wave team, charged with establishing diplomatic relations and trade with suitable worlds that were recently visited by the Constitution-class ships like the USS Enterprise and the USS Hood.

The characters are described here. Edit: Character creation rules are here.

Episode 1

Defense contractor Adriana Katsopoulos is warned by one of her people that the Vortex Technologies envoy on Talitha VII, where the USS Resolute is headed, is missing. Talitha VII used to have warp technology but lost it in a war, and is eager to join the Federation to regain access to that technology (now at transistor level). The USS Hood made contact some time ago.

Captain Benjamin Stone gets his briefing; take the Resolute on a little shake-down exercise, then to Talitha VII. The planet also has resources of babylonium, a valuable compound. Stone should also get a private briefing from Section 31 at Starbase 6. In addition, Klingons have been spotted in the area of Talitha VII.

Lt. Commander K’hepri, Dr. Elizabeth Warden, and Lt. (JG) Zephram Curry report aboard, at Space Station McKinley. Captain Stone meets with Ms. Kotsopoulos and briefs her on ship-board rules. The contractors are not to go to the engine room unescorted.

The Resolute leaves McKinley Station and heads for Bolorth V to test the new upgraded sensors. Adriana notices that someone has rigged surveillance on her personnel’s activities, but can exactly tell who (it’s Cdr. K’hepri). The planet has life but was impacted at some point by a small moon.

The sensors’ primary plasma conduits suffer an overload for reasons unknown. Two civilians are injured, and Dr. Warden heads for the auxiliary controls where the accident happened. Captain Stone has the sensors taken offline and orders the shuttlecraft to execute the rest of the survey while repairs are being effected. This takes a couple of days, so Stone also runs some exercises for gunnery and manoeuvres.

With Cdr. K’hepri’s help, Adriana and Vortex Technologies personnel identify the design flaw on the starboard array — which differs from what Vortex Technologies originally designed and installed. They report to the captain, who orders a complete check and rebuild, then repairs to the port-side array completed. He also orders Cdr. K’hepri to investigate.

In sickbay, one of the wounded civilians is rambling; Dr. Warden calls Adriana. He wants to know if anyone else was hurt and keeps talking about DyneCorp and making a mistake, something that wasn’t supposed to happen. He keeps repeating himself. Dr. Warden, puzzled, conducts additional scans; his brain chemistry has been modified, as if he suffered from a severe mental disorder. He becomes agitated and does not respond normally to sedation.

Dr. Warden calls security, as the foaming wounded tries to flee sickbay, but Lt. Curry subdues him. Once the man is sedated, Dr. Warden sends her nanites to examine the man’s brain. She finds evidence that the man must have very recently been exposed to a burst of Q-radiation, causing brain damage. With enough time and work, Dr. Warden may be able to reverse this.

Cdr. K’hepri and Adriana discuss the implications and report to Captain Stone. He orders Science personnel to modify tricorders to detect Q-radiation and scan the ship. Adriana believes the sabotage detected earlier cause the Q-radiation burst as a side effect of the destruction. Captain Stone sends two shuttlecraft to scan around the planet.

Within a day, Adriana and her team have the sensors repaired. Back in sickbay, Dr. Warden examines the other wounded civilian and everybody who was present during the tests to identify additional Q-radiation damage. Everyone present received some low-level damage that without treatment would have eventually caused neurological damage. There are no lingering traces of radiation aboard.

When the wounded suspect, Hans, is well enough to talk, Cdr. K’hepri interrogates him with Dr. Warden and Adriana (and Lt. Curry) present. At Cdr. K’hepri’s request, Dr. Warden asks Hans a few question. As before, he wants to know if anyone else was hurt. Then he lies about his involvement with DyneCorp, tries to flee, making Cdr. K’hepri very irritated.

The First Officer tries a different tack, and tells Dr. Warden: “Doctor, prepare the truth serum.” With enough intimidation, he reveals that he had been approached by Dyne Corp and first refused to sell out, but his family was threatened so he provided access to a saboteur.

By the time they get to Starbase 6, things are in good shape and Captain Stone has had the crew and contractor develop a system to augment of the sensors. They drop off personnel and equipment, and Captain Stone authorizes a 24-hour shore leave. He then reports to his Section 31 contact at the Goose and Gridiron and they exchange code words. He learns that the leader on Talitha VII, Tarkan Laziene, is suspected of negotiating with the Klingons but the Federation wants the planet’s resources, “no matter what it takes.” To this end, the planet’s past and Laziene’s unsavoury deeds during the war must not come to light. These include warfare using warp weapons.

Stone needs to sanitize the record, disguise the evidence, make sure the surviving faction rumoured to survive in the asteroid belt does not come to light, and ensure that Talitha VII joins the Federation.

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