This is our third session and the adventure is a heavily modified Far Trek conversion of "Signals" from the Star Trek Adventures Quickstart guide. I switched out the villains, changed the mysterious device and few other bits.
So sit in your favorite chair turn on the TV and get ready for Episode 03 of Far Trek:
Intro Scene: We zoom in on the USS Argo in orbit around a planet that has massive storms raging in its upper atmosphere. The camera penetrates the primary hull and we find ourselves in the shuttle bay as the main characters board shuttle 1 the Louisiana.
Captain's Log Stardate 2017.17.11
During a preliminary survey of celestial bodies in the unexplored Carina system one of our shuttles has gone missing. We lost contact with Shuttle #2 Coconut shortly after they reported an unusual signal that sounded like “screams” coming from the fourth planet. We are now in orbit of Carina IV and I have ordered a general alert until we find the missing survey crew, and determine the origin and cause of this signal. I am heading a landing party to the surface where we have picked up faint traces of a federation communicator beacon. Intermittent electromagnetic storms are hindering our efforts in locating the shuttle.
Scene 1: Argo Shuttle Bay 1
|Shuttle Bay 1|
"Okay everyone, I want Type II Phasers, Communicators & appropriate Tricorders for everyone. Doctor you have your kit?"
"Of course Captain. If the crew of Shuttle 2 have indeed crashed they could be seriously injured so I had Chief Zav stow a portable triage Unit on the shuttle, I am prepared for any injuries we may encounter."
"Triarius, F'Riid, I need you both scanning for our people, the shuttle and anything else that may give us a clue to what happened and or is happening down there."
Triarius & F'Riid:
"Chief Maple, you and I will be watching over our people. If this is something more than natural circumstances we handle it."
"I understand sir."
[The crew take their seats and strap in. Lt. Holt has the shuttle powered and ready for flight. The captain secures the shuttle door and takes his seat looking over to the young Helmswoman.]
"The readings on those atmospheric conditions are pretty rough. You can do this right?"
Lt. JG "Max":
"I got this, you can count on me.I just hope everyone on the Coconut is alright." Maxine hits the comm button. "Argo this the Louisiana, departing Bay 1."
"Shuttle Louisiana, you are clear."
|Clear for take off!|
[ The shuttle descends into the severe storms in the upper atmosphere of Carina IV, the turbulence is heavy and jostles the crew. Bolts of blue lightning arc across the sky as "Max" deftly pilots the little craft through the orange clouds. Suddenly the entire crew feel the hairs on the napes of their necks stand on end as a massive bolt flares through the clouds arcing directly towards them! "Max" is able to make the shuttle just dodge the bolt, but two members of the crew seem to suffer a sever elctro-static charge! Both Dr. Salec and Chief Maple are momentarily surrounded in blue energy halos!!]
"Mrow!" feeling the charge through his fur, "Doctor, Chief are you both alright?"
"Whoo, I'm okay. That was close!"
Turning in his chair to look at the Vulcan who is cradling his head in his hands and glancing to the back row at F'Riid and the Chief. "You ok back there; Tar'get, Furball?"
"..I.." looking up at the Captain. "Captain, I heard screams.."
"Yeah that was probably me." smirking.
"..in my head. Multiple voices, it was very odd."
"Maxine, I have coordinates on the communicator signal. Sending them to you now."
Lt. JG "Max":
"Got it, okay everyone I'm taking us down. Captain these storms are stressing the systems, I'm compensating."
"Just get us down safe and the next round of Louisiana Coconuts are on me."
[ The shuttle lands at the coordinates supplied by F'Riid, and the crew determines that storms are uncharacteristically potent. Triarius finds they seem to be acting contrary to the weather patterns of the planet itself, yet he needs more data to form a better conclusion. Once on the ground things are bit calmer and gusty winds are the most they will have to worry about for the moment.]
|Rescue search begins|
Using the Medical Tricorder, "I have no human life signs in range at all. Though there are a half dozen indiginous forms showing."
Using a tricorder as well, "The communicator signal is growing weaker, but it is very close. we are practically on top of it!"
Lt. JG "Max":
Climbing up on a rocky outcropping, "I'll check things out from up here maybe they will see me or vice versa."
[Meanwhile, the Captain's party winds its way through the rough broken terrain.]
"Triarius, anything more on that signal the Shuttle crew mentioned?"
"I am getting a better trace than what we were getting in orbit. I am correlating data now and should have a more precise location soon."
Visually scans the area looking for any sign of the missing crewmen. "No tracks, nothing. Let's try over there." The security man motions towards a stand of bright fiery orange trees with his phaser.
[Comm Beeps, and the Captain flips open his communicator.]
"Captain its Max, you better come quick. We found them."
"On our way. You heard her, let's get back to the others!"
|a gruesome find|
"Salec, what do you have?"
"I'm afraid they are both deceased. However they did not perish due to injuries from crashing. Their nervous systems have been burnt out. Severe neurological overload, unlike anything I have ever seen."
Lt. JG "Max":
"Captain, look at their faces. It was like they were scared to death..." the young officer places her hand on her phaser.
"Look here," pointing to several locations all around them. "those are phaser burns. There, there and over there as well. It's like they were firing wildly all about themselves." Picking up a phaser near one of the bodies. "Drained completely. They fought to the end, that's for sure."
"Look at this communicator, no wonder I was getting such a bad signal. This thing has been fried!"
The Comms Officer holds out the burnt item for all to see. "I also picked up a second communicator signal north of here, just as weak as this one was."
"Captain, the Signal seems to be focused in a northerly direction also."
"Captain, I would like to move Salley and Travis back to our shuttle. Leaving them in the open like this could summon scavengers or predators. I do not want to see their bodies disturbed in such a manner."
"Agreed, let's get our people taken care of then we head north. Chief you take point."
Scene 2: Crash Site
"Captain, I have a lifeform reading. Just behind those rocks there."
"Phasers on stun everyone." Cade scoops up a golfball sized rock from the ground.
Pointing to an area about 6 meters away. "There it is."
[ A sort of alien stegosaur orange/yellow in coloration emerges from the rocks. The creature stands its ground and makes a growly ululation.]
Scanning with the Tricorder, "This is a totally new lifeform, I have nothing like it in the files."
Throwing the rock so it strikes the ground just to the right of the creature. "Let's see something."
[The alien stegosaur reacts quickly with a flick of its tail launching a pair of foot long spines in that direction!]
"Captain! I would not advise doing that again. Why needlessly antagonize the lifeform?"
"You said earlier our people were essentially 'Fried'. That creature throws spines. I know it isn't responsible, but something on this planet is."
"I found the other shuttle!" The Chief points to hollow in the landscape nearby, a furrow in the ground a telltale sign of a forced landing.
|The missing shuttle Coconut|
Comms Officer F'Riid goes to high ground to scan for communicator signals.
Lt. JG "Max" checks the shuttle and determines it has suffered a complete power drain due severe EMP damage. She uses a Phaser power pack from storage to attempt to get the scanners and comms back online.
Dr. Salec determines the crew, if alive, are not within tricorder range.
Triarius is still concerned about the contrary weather readings and planetary conditions of the electromagnetic storms that are starting to get worse.
Chief Maple sweeps the area. ]
"Captain! I have something here." the Chief sees a tricorder and a set of tools scattered on the ground at the rear of the shuttle. As he looks about the area a strange wispy smoke like dust devil begins to form. The Chief swears it seems to have a sort of humanoid appearance when it rushes towards him!
"What have you got Maple, what the!?..."
Rounding the aft end of the shuttle Cade swears he sees a ghostly figure transfuse itself into his new Security Chief just as the man pushes the Captain back.
"Captain lookou...ahhh!" Maple struggles to stay standing as his mind reels!!
"Sorry Chief." Cade fires his phaser set to heavy stun point blank at Maple.
[The Chief drops to the ground, groggy and dazed. Salec and Triarius run up and help the Chief to his feet.]
"What happened? I found tracks over there heading north when I heard the phaser shot."
"Something was here, it looked like it tried or did possess the Chief. Keep your eye on him."
[ The Landing party retreat to the perceived safety of the shuttle. F'Riid is set on sentry duty and he climbs up on top of the craft to have a clear field of vision. Meanwhile inside the Doctor sees to the Chief while, while "Max" with the help of Triarius get the scanners and comms working. Everyone is slightly on edge.]
Scanning the Chief, "Sit down, you will be fine. Your neuro-levels are severely elevated but seem to be returning to normal. What do you remember?"
"Ohh, my head. It was like someone else was in my head. I wanted to go to the mountains. I felt angry, and oohh I'm dizzy. It's like a dream, slipping away..."
"Captain, perhaps a mind-meld. I could attempt contact with whatever it is."
"No!" sitting up, " No it's gone, I think the stun broke its contact with me."
"Alright Maple, calm down. Salec let's talk outside."
[Meanwhile outside F'Riid is overcome with the intense sensation of being watched by multiple beings. An oppressive sense of discomfort that shakes him to the bone. The officer drops from the top of the shuttle just as the Captain and Doctor emerge.]
"Captain, we are being watched. I cannot see them, but they are out there... all around us." a low rumble echoes from the Caitian.
"Stay here by the door F'Riid. If you see anything weird happen to any of us. You have permission to stun them. That goes for all of you." Cade leads Salec a few meters away from the shuttle.
"I have a theory Captain. I think we are focusing our search in the wrong direction. I do not believe we should be looking for a being or beings, I think we may be encountering a planetary consciousness."
"You think the planet is after us?"
"I would like to try to mind-meld with the planet."
"You can do that?"
"I can certainly try."
[From the shuttle doorway F'Riid and the Chief watch as Salec kneels and places one hand to the ground while closing his eyes. The captain standing over him phaser out and ready. At the same time Triarius has brought up the survey logs and fed them into his tricorder as "Max" keeps the systems running.]
"Look at this Lieutenant, the data shows that the storms were very concentrated at every location where incidents have happened. Shuttle 2's initial atmospheric insertion, Salley & Travis's location, here at the crash site, and it seems to be building up again even now."
[Outside the shuttle, Salec has opened his mind and attempts to listen to the planet. There is nothing at first then something quite unexpected happens. The Vulcan feels the psychic presence of not one mind, but many. Thousands even, and the screaming begins! He feels that a certain few minds in particular sense him, like beacon in the dark. A beacon that they rush to extinguish!]
Snapping out of the pyschic trance, "Captain tell "Max" to realign the harmonic sensor array to account for bio-electric ranges."
Flipping out his communicator he relays the information. "Does that make sense to you, Max?"
Lt. JG "Max":
"Not really, but Triarius says it does and we have done so. Now what?"
"Wait for my comma...."
"It's here..." the Vulcan rises and turns to face the entity with the Captain.
|The entity arrives!|
Lt. JG Max:
"What's going on out there?"
"Both the Captain and the Chief are down, Salec is trying to hold it back, but I don't think..."
" Lt. Holt, turn on the sensor array now!"
Lt. JG Max:
"Take this space Pennywise!" the Helmswoman pours the last iota of energy the shuttle has into the array! Sparks fly from the panel as it overloads and burns out!!!
[ Outside the entity wavers, backs away and then dissipates into nothing!]
"Did, did that kill it?"
"I doubt it, but it will certainly have hurt it in a sense. I need to confer with the Doctor, I have an idea."
[ The Doctor and 1st Officer figure that they need to create an emotional inhibitor to essentially level out the neurological levels of the party. A sort of anti-fear serum. Once everyone is inoculated the Party agree that all indications are leading them to the nearby mountains. ]
Scene 3: A New Foe?
[ The Landing party follows the trail from the Coconut northwards for about two kilometers before they lose it in the rocky terrain. A few minutes later as they crest a rise they find a small prefab mining encampment set near a large cave opening in the mountainside. Suddenly a laser blast shatters a rock near them!]
"Take Cover!" the Andorian dives for cover and draws his phaser looking for the sniper.
"That shot missed on purpose." thinks the Security Chief, also scanning the rocky ledges for their assailant.
Scanning with the tricorder, "One individual, 8 meters to our right. There! among those rocks."
Raising his hands, and calling out. "I am Captain Grim from the USS Argo, we are here on a rescue mission and mean you no harm!"
[ A disheveled man in mining coveralls pops up from the rocks, he eyes the party then approaches.]
You are real! I thought you might have been the ghost, or those others I saw before."
"Ghost!? Wait, did you say others? Were they dressed like us?"
[ A quick conversation reveals the Miner did indeed see two Federation crew before sneaking around the area. He is highly unnerved and suffering exhaustion. Just then the Entity appears again, and the Miner freaks out! Triarius and Chief Maple attempt to stun the man as he breaks and runs screaming but they both miss him. Capt. Grim is able to stun the man and deprive the Entity of gaining anymore energy. The creature dissipates again. Dr. Salec revives the Miner and administers a dose of the Leveler. Once calm, the man agrees to take them to his leader at the nearby camp.]
Scene 4: The Signal
[ The Miners though here illegally, are glad to see the Federation crew. Their Leader Ero, explains how about a week earlier while mining for Radium they uncovered the remains of an ancient alien structure deep in the cave. At about that same time the weather patterns became violently erratic and that same night the first 'Ghost' attacked them. It wrecked their camp and drained the power from their small ship and they have since been sheltering in the cave behind a hastily constructed force field generator. They ran out of food two days ago and have been taking chances going hunting and hoping the 'Ghost' doesn't notice them. it had worked until now.]
"When we entered this chamber the machine was still running, but something else was here as well. This place is haunted I tell you."
"There are fossilized remains here. At least five sets of alien bones, a couple of thousand years old by my calculations."
Looking at some statue that adorn the chamber. "This is what i saw before, this must be what the aliens looked like when they were alive."
"This machine is quite amazing. It is drawing geo-thermal power directly from the planet itself, and if I am correct it appears to very similar in to our own Transporter technology but with an odd variance in build."
[ The crew are able to determine the device shows this race was developing comparable transporter technology to what the Federation currently has thousands of years ago. But how they were going about it was completely different. They also discover that the buffer seems to contain a few thousand beings in a phased stasis, but they cannot release them because they are only the energy part there is no physical form matrix to match them with!
Just then a phaser blast stuns Ero and the missing members of the Survey team enter the chamber!]
|the missing crew!|
In a weird hollow voice the shuttle pilot moans "Release us, the pain is too great!"
Astrophysicist Lt. Goldberg:
"Help us before the 'others' arrive, there isn't much time."
[ It is quickly determined that the men are possessed by benevolent entities, who explain that they have been trying to get back to their physical forms. Unfortunately, being trapped in this state they have not been aware of the passage of time in the normal sense and are distressed. The machine was meant to separate the Body & Soul so they could travel the stars without needing ships. But one day there was a cataclysmic earth quake that shattered the city that used to be here. The five High Sci-Priests collectively decided to use the machine to separate everyone in the city from their bodies to ride out the quake. Only something went wrong and they became trapped. During this period of "Nothingness" three of the Sci-priests went mad and they had been trying to contain them, but when the miners disturbed the chamber the five were freed to roam the planet. Now they need the help of physical forms to repair the machine and release their people and themselves to the eternal void.]
"The Chief, F'Riid and I, will go back and attempt to hold off the Entity.Triaruius, you and Salec help these aliens as best you can. Max, you stay here and help out."
"Maybe we can use the miners force field to keep it at bay."
"Sounds good Chief. F'Riid, what were you doing with Ero?"
"I planted a comms tracer so we can keep tabs on him. Could be useful with all the illegal activity in this sector. Also, I have an idea about how to fight the Entity."
[ F'Riid explains that the Miners must have unknowingly been using a frequency similar to what the party used when Maxine and Triarius realigned the shuttles sensor array. He shows the Captain and Chief how to manually adjust their phasers to match this harmonic.]
"F'Riid, help them with those field generators. Chief, provide covering fire with me. Let's see if F'Riid's adjustment works!"
[ The adjusted phasers seem to give pause to the 'Ghosts' and they halt their charge. Meanwhile back in the chamber the co-joined crew / alien spirits work to set things right!]
"Carefully now, resynchronize the resonance modulator."
"Oh, the components have aged so much. These feedback infusers are turning to dust! What will we do!"
Lt. JG "Max":
Cracking open a tricorder, "Here try this."
Taking the component from Maxine, "Yes, yes this will work."
[ As the machine begins to hum, the buffer is opened a thousands of souls finally find rest!]
"Now to release ourselves."
Dodging a large rock hurled at him, Cade tucks and rolls into combat stance. "Alright, no more games!" adjusting the phaser power to full the captain fires causes a 'Ghost' to dissipate. "Chief, we need to push them back!"
Looking at a miner, "Do you have any explosives?"
"No, but you could overload my laser pistol."
"That'll do," grabbing the hand laser the Chief motions to the Captain then sets it to overload and tosses it to him.
Catching the overloading laser, "Try this on for size!" The captain tosses the laser like a grenade and it looks to land exactly where he wants it ot go when..."Uh oh!"
[ The Entity halts the arc of the laser just before it lands and flings it into the cave mouth, luckily the creatures aim is a bit high so when the laser explodes everyone but the Captain is thrown to the ground by concussive force! ]
[ The remaining 'Ghost' makes a beeline for the undefended cave entrance as the Entity stalks menacingly towards Captain Grim. Both the Chief and F'Riid try in vain to get to their feet but are overcome from the blast effects.]
"C'mon guys, c'mon."
[ Just then both creatures waver, and then dissipate into nothingness!]
"They did it!"
[ The crew was successful in the task of setting the entrapped alien populace free, and the Sci-Priests were able to set themselves and their maddened companions free as well. The machine was made inoperable afterwards by removing key components which will be delivered to Starbase 13 for study. Captain Grim tells Eros no charges will be filed against him and that he expects him to get proper permits going forward. The Miner and his people are thankful and accept the help of the crew in repairing their ship and getting offworld.]
Scene 5: Argo Galley
Turning from the replicator towards 'Max', "As promised, one Louisiana Coconut!"
Lt. JG 'Max':
Wide grin on her face, "Thanks Captain!"
"What is a Louisiana Coconut?"
"An unusual human beverage concoction, and the special drink of the Argo."
[ Scene fades out on the crew in the Galley ]
Captain's Log Supplemental:
V-8, or tomato juice poured into a pint glass.
Mix in a generous amount of Cajun hot sauce to taste.
Garnish with a fat coconut shrimp, and serve!