Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Thing board game: AWESOME!!!

I was lucky enough to be invited to play the new "The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31" board game at a friend's Holiday party. I will say this is one outstanding game! If you are a fan of this movie, you need this game. It really, really captures the tone and feel of the movie and the creators did a hell of a job in my opinion.

The re-playability of this game is great because you never know who is or when someone else will become a "Thing"!

The board, cards and figures are all really cool and you can identify each member of the team easily. A very important part of the game is interpersonal dialogue between all the players as the rounds are played. Proclaim your humanity, admit how you can help accomplish the missions as they come up without revealing just exactly how helpful (or not) you can be.

Once you get a flamethrower you can force a blood test on another player and make them reveal to you if they are human or NOT! But only you and that player know the truth!!! Can you then convince the others he/she needs to be torched!!! Or are you lying and hoping to get rid of another human...

My wife fooled us all and was chosen as the person to lead the escape team at the end phase of the game only to reveal to the other four survivors on the Helicopter that we were doomed and humanity had lost, she was the Thing!!!!

Great fun, movie quotes and dialogue were slung back and forth all night, we listened to the movie soundtrack in the background. I cannot wait to get a copy of this for myself and play again.

The only drawback I see is that it states you can play with 4-8 players. However to get the maximum paranoid effect from this you need no less than 6, and for greatest effect 8 players like we had!

Super cool game, go find one now!

Happy New Year everyone!!!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Far Trek crew update III: Main Crew background fluff

Crew as of Ep. 04
From Left to Right:
Communications Officer Lt. Cmdr. - F'Riid Dossa
Navigation/Helm Lt. JG - Maxine "max" Holt
Chief Science & 1st Officer Cmdr. - Triarius - Andorian
Captain - Cade Grim
Security Chief  Lt. Cmdr. - Leonard Maple
Chief medical Officer Lt. Cmdr. - Salec - Vulcan

The Player of our Captain decided he wanted to switch out the figure he used for one that wore the Green Tunic. He wanted to do this to show that his character was more military oriented and we decided that the green tunic relates to time spent in the Federation Marine Corp.

Following are some short Character Bio's about each of the main players in our Far Trek game. We scoured the internet for live action photos or screenshots from STO (Star Trek Online) that we thought would be cool images for the Characters. Big thanks to all the folks out there that do awesome stuff with photoshop etc.!

Meet the Cast of Characters from Far Trek USS ARGO.

Captain Cade Grim:

Cade is the youngest son of Star Fleet Admiral Jonathon Grim, and has recently just received his appointment as Captain of the ARGO.  His career in Starfleet began in earnest when after graduating the academy he followed a strict military path and joined the MACO's. After a recent engagement involving high-ranking Star Fleet officials Cade was promoted from First Lieutenant  to Captain and transferred to take over the Argo from retiring Captain Theodore "Ted" Withrow. There were some who opposed his appointment to the Argo because of what happened on his last mission with the MACO's, however Commodore Stone fought to get Cade arguing that a very 'different' style of commander was needed for the ARGO and her unique crew.

Some might consider Captain Grim a bit of a loose cannon compared to his brother Pryce who commands the USS Enterprise, the pride of the Federation. Though for all his levity, Cade can and will become quite serious when the time calls for it.

 Cade enjoys a good Prank, and also creating specialty drinks for the replicator. He and Lt. JG Holt are responsible for making the signature drink of the ARGO called the "Louisiana Coconut". When off duty the Captain can be found enjoying a good book or practicing his marksmanship on the phaser range.

If you see the Captain in the hall, watch out. You might be the target of his next prank.

1st Officer Triarius:

Triarius was assigned to the Argo a little over three months ago when Vesara Tess was transferred by Starfleet Command. Since the secondary mission of the Argo consists of surveying and cataloging recently discovered star systems Commodore Stone considered the Andorians expertise in Planetary Sciences would be a good match. This is his first posting on a multi-species ship and he is finding the experience very interesting so far.

He is logical and strong-minded as many Andorians are, viewing humans as a tad flighty and erratic. Among humans, he relates to engineers, scientists, and doctors the best; these professionals can keep the worst of their emotions and irrational thoughts under control and are usually intellectually engaging.

Triarius strives to be a logical scientist and make rational evidence-based decisions. This is usually the best approach, but not always. The truth is what it is (Triarius can be blunt).
Rather than give direct orders, Triarius prefers to gather data and make an informed decision based on that data. This includes relying on the professional expertise of other crew members.

If you see Triarius in the halls remember, a simple nod of acknowledgement will do.

Chief Medical Officer Salec:

Chief Medical Officer Salec is the son of Federation Ambassador Spock and was born on Earth while the family was stationed there. He joined Starfleet and graduated first in his class, specializing in the Sciences taking after his father. In his early years as a Lieutenant he was on a mission where most of the landing party was killed, and giving into his mother’s plea, Salec moved into the field of medicine, to alleviate her worries. She believes her son will be "safer" as a Doctor, though we know this is not always the case.

Salec has three siblings – Marina, his sister who is half Vulcan, half human; a brother Senar who is more human than Vulcan; and a second brother, Michael Sarek, also more human than Vulcan. Salec, like his father is also telepathic though he needs to be able to touch another in order to communicate in this method.

The Doctor takes his duties onboard the Argo very seriously, and runs a very efficient department.

Since the appointment of Cade Grim to the Captaincy of the Argo Salec has seen his regimented life turned upside down. There has been no end to the illogical chaos that has ensued. The Argo has always been a ship full of unique personalities, but under the prior captain they were kept more in check.

If you see Dr. Salec in the hall, then you probably haven't reported for your physical.

Chief of Security Leonard Maple:

Leonard Maple was born on Earth and abandoned at at early age. Being an orphan with no guidance, he decided to find purpose through serving humanity in the Federation. His guarded nature led him to the security field during his tenure as a Starfleet cadet.

Leonard excelled at every task set before him by his superiors and has a very distinguished record. His constant commendations and promotions allowed him to move from posting to posting, never staying longer than a year or two on any base or ship.  Maple was eventually transferred from his most recent position as security chief of the U.S.S. Yamato to the U.S.S. Argo, filling the recently vacated role left by the retiring chief Thompson. As a new member of the crew, he is still attempting to fit in and integrate with the Argo crew. One of his first orders on the Argo was the establishment of a tactical security team of ten elite members called “The Maple Leafs” to deal with threats both on and off the Argo. Maple has a quiet, reserved exterior that makes him difficult to read among his crew mates. This disposition also makes it so that the crew sometimes do not realize he is there until he makes his presence known. His many years in security have caused him to be skeptical of others and to see possible threats where others see none

On occasion Chief Maple has been known to crack a smile and show he is not humorless. The Chief himself is responsible for the "nickname" given to ensign Ted, showing there is a lighter side to the man.

If you see Chief Maple in the hall, ask him about hand-cooked meals he is quite a chef!

Helm/Navigation Lt. JG Maxine Holt:

Maxine Holt or "Max" was born on the colony world Pandora I. Her mother is the head Doctor for the colony and her Father oversees all manual labor duties, ranging from unloading transports and supply ships to building the actual colony settlements themselves. Needless to say she had to find ways to entertain herself for hours on end. Life on a frontier planet can become tedious and Maxine would spend hours with the site library computer reading just about anything. Her favorite subjects were flight and technical manuals for any type of star-faring ship.

When not reading Maxine would run wild with the few other children of the colony. They spent a great amount of time exploring their new world as children do. As she entered her teen years the young woman took short missions with her parents piloting the colony shuttle from settlement to settlement when they would go on their rounds. Maxine would also invariably interrogate visiting pilots from freighters & transports that would bring supplies to Pandora I, about thier ships and other planets.

After graduating Starfeet academy Maxine was posted to the USS Argo under Captain Withrow. She had recently been promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade when Cade Grim came aboard. She quickly impressed the new Captain with her piloting and navigation skills on thier first mission to Tannos V.

Max, really "gets" the new Captain's sense of humor and he recently appointed her as his personal shuttle pilot. She and the Captain also collaborated on the creation of the "Louisiana Coconut" a special drink served only on the Argo.

In her downtime you can find Max either brushing up on star-charts and flight manuals, or relaxing in the recreation room drawing sketches of her fellow shipmates. It is known that she is a frequent accomplice in some of the Captain's more elaborate pranks.

If you see Maxine in the halls say hello, and talk about the stars.

Chief Communications Officer F'Riid Dossa

The youngest of his generation from a clan of artists that is quite large by most other races' standards, but for Caitians is still small. F'Riid had no real talent for art. In the shadow of his siblings and cousins artistic achievements, he became involved in smuggling rare art objects to try and please his family. This led to a confrontation between the Federation and an Orion smuggling ring. F'Riid was implicated , but his talent for the orion language, and his efforts during said conflict to try and mitigate hostilities (that mostly went unheard) earned him leniancy at sentancing, use his skills in language for the Federation, or face the full smuggling charges.

 He's been disowned by his clan after the incident above, despite the second chance the Federation offered. F'Riid excelled at cryptography/communications & translations at the academy, and found his knack with picking up languages secured him a good position in Starfleet.

Though F'Riid climbed the ranks from ensign to Lt. Commander he has yet to earn any actual commendations, but also has no formal reprimands. It's been rumored that he often does shady things wherever he is stationed, though no charges have ever been filed.

He has yet to serve in a single posting for more than a few months before a transfer request was put in, either by himself or one of his commanders. He recently took over as Chief Communications Officer of the Argo after the transfer of Tsun Capri.

If you see F'riid in the hall say hello in your native tongue!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Far Trek crew update II: NPC Ensign Ted

Episode  04 introduced some interesting background characters to our current game. Most notably are Ensign Ted and Chief Maple's hand-picked specialist team "The Maple Leafs".

Let's learn a little about them and how they make the USS Argo a special place!

Security Ensign Christopher Ted
Ensign Ted

Ensign Ted is good at his job. He handles most of the mundane administrative duties for the Security Dept. and reports directly to Chief Maple. Everyone in Security gets along with Ted he's a genuinely nice guy and helpful too. Ted's one drawback is that he is curious, like curiosity killed the cat curious. He has been known to touch buttons on the bridge while on guard duty. He once launched a survey probe directly into a star, and there was that time he caused all the internal refuse tubes to flush internally on deck 9. Some of the crew remark that if you let Ted operate the food dispenser in the lounge you never know what will come out!

Since coming aboard, Chief Maple see's untapped potential in Ensign Ted. And that's why he got that promotion after Lt. Ka'luth was disintegrated by a Klingon.

Ted misses Ka'luth, he liked the gruff old Tellarite. But Ted knows the life of a Red Shirt is a life of danger. Ted is ready to meet danger head on, and test any buttons that need pressing!

If you see Ted in the halls, stop and say hi!

Ted likes hiking on alien planets for shore leave. It's okay to join him for that because there aren't any buttons around.

Far Trek Stats for Ensign Ted
Class: Red Shirt     Position: Security
ST 0  DX 0  IQ -1  CA +1

Skills: Administration +1, Athletics +1, Marksmanship +1, Unarmed Melee +1
Talents: Durable, Red Shirt**

**In the case of Ensign Ted, the RED SHIRT talent works slightly different. Instead of him being replaced Ted just shows back up in the next appropriate scene! "Ensign Ted, we thought you were dead!"
"Oh that, it hurt terribly but Dr. Salec says I'm okay now."
Should Ted get disintegrated or some other massively horrible thing happens then he's really dead, but that usually happens to the Red Shirt right next to Ted.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

FAR TREK Play Report: Star Date 2017.8.12

Episode 04

Episode 04 of our monthly Far Trek rpg group was a blast! This one is a Far Trek version of the Star Trek Adventures modules of the same name. Two of our players were out for this session, Comms Officer F'riid is on a well earned shore leave and Dr. Salec is an NPC for this episode.

Get your favorite snack, jump into that comfy chair and turn on your TV because it's time!

~Star Trek Theme Music~

Intro Scene:
The USS ARGO sits stationary in space near another federation ship. The camera zooms in and we see the crew on the Bridge going about their duties as the Captain makes an entry into his log.

ARGO Bridge
Captain's Log:
We have been diverted from our standard patrol of Quadrant 44 to rendezvous with the USS Ptolemy and pick up a Civilian Medical Team led by a Doctor Stoorer. They are to be taken to the Dourap system which lies dangerously close to the Klingon border, where a Tellarite colony is dealing with a severe case of d'kar fever. We are to provide staging and technical support as needed by the Doctors since the colony itself is not under direct Federation control or jurisdiction.
Comms Ensign:
"Captain, the Ptolemy is ready to beam over the Medical team and start the cargo transfers."

Capt. Grim:
"Tell them we are ready. Triarius, Chief Maple will you join me in the transporter room to greet our guests. Mr. Holt you have the Conn."

Lt. JG "max" Holt:
"Aye Captain."

Scene 1: Transporter Room

Guests arrive
[As technician completes the transporter procedure three humans appear aboard the Argo.]

Capt. Grim:
"Welcome aboard Dr. Stoorer, I'm Captain Grim. This is my First Officer Triarius and my Chief of Security Mr. Maple. We are looking forward to working with you and helping the colonists of Dourap II."

Dr. Stoorer:
"Thank you Captain, this is Dr. Holloway and Dr. Dirkowitz. I would like to get the rest of my team and our cargo aboard as soon as possible. You understand there is little time to waste. I need to be shown to your Sick Bay immediately."

Capt. Grim:
"The Chief and I will show you to Sick bay, my First Officer will oversee the transfer of your cargo from the Ptolemy."

Outside Transporter Room 1
[As the group leaves the transporter room the Captain asks Triarius to make sure the "cargo" is exactly what it is supposed to be.]

Scene 1a: Sick Bay
[On the way to Sick bay it becomes quickly apparent that Dr. Stoorer has little time for social niceties, as she reiterates the strict timetable by which the team must reach Dourap II and begin the distribution of the cure.]

Capt. Grim:
"Is there any danger of us contracting this disease doctor, how did the breakout occur?"

Dr. Dirkowitz:
Holding up his data-pad so both the Chief and Captain can see, "d'kar fever is a contagious and dangerous disease on Tellar Prime. It’s carried by insects and can be transmitted from person to person like the flu. It appears to have arrived on the colony via a shipment of luxury goods that wasn’t properly quarantined. Early stages are marked by a high fever and muscle weakness. In later stages, it attacks the lungs, compromising their ability to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide, thus suffocating the victim. It is easily treatable with the drug daronite. While primarily a threat to Tellarites, there are documented cases of the disease being transmitted to Humans and Deltans. Vulcans and Andorians appear to be immune to the disease due to the different base metals in their blood."

Chief Maple:
"This drug daronite, where will it come from?"

Dr. Holloway:
"The cargo being brought on board is the daronite, which we spent the last 72 hours synthesizing and prepping in hypos to be distributed quickly among the inhabitants. As of now the colony is still in the early phase of the outbreak and no fatalities have been reported." The young woman stops speaking as the party enters Sick Bay.

Sick Bay
[ Dr. Salec greets the medical staff and they begin to go over plans for staging and distribution once the colony is reached. The Captain and the Chief try their best to keep up with all the medical-babble but soon decide to leave the doctors to their jobs.]


Scene 1b: Cargo bay 3
[The Cargo bay is abuzz with activity. Chief Engineer Zav and a technician oversee the the bulk cargo transporter and are beaming aboard the last of the CMT cargo boxes. Triarius and an Argo medical technician go over the manifest with two nurses from the Civilian Medical Team.]

Cargo bay 3
"All crates will be scanned and stowed according to SOP." The Andorian First Officer hands a data-pad back to the nurse.

CMT Nurse:
"Yes of course. This isn't the first time we've done this sort of thing. We have 200 cases each containing 90 hypos of daronite, plus our standard issue medical gear and pre-fab sterile huts." She continues to check off each case as they are opened inspected and resealed by herself and the Argo med-tech. "Nurse Hunsley and I, with the help of your team should be done stowing everything within the hour."

Nodding in acknowledgement to the female nurse, he turns to Zav. "When you have completed this task, send the manifest to my station Chief." The Andorian gives a final look over everything and turns to leave.

Chief Zav:
"Aye sir, we'll have this done in a jiff!" Turning to the technician the Tellarite grumbles, "He's going to take a bit o' gettin used too. I miss Tess, but things change."

[The crew goes about standard duties and gets ready to depart for the Dourap system. Chief Maple pays a visit to the remaining medical staff as they are stowing their gear in the quarters assigned to them. He makes a cursory measure of their overall attitude and finds them to be quite normal. Especially when one of the nurse staff seems to display an attraction to the Chief. Using this to his advantage the Chief chats the man up and comes away satisfied that the CMT is exactly what they appear to be.]

Scene 1c: Argo Bridge
[ On the bridge Triarius gets confirmation that the cargo is secure. Captain Grim has Maple assign guards to Cargo bay 3 to make sure no one goes in or out until arrival at Dourap II. Lt JG Holt reports that a course for their destination is laid in. The Argo bids farewell to the Ptolemy and heads off at warp 6 for the Dourap system.

  Captain Grim turns the Conn over to Triarius and retires to his ready room where spends time updating his logs.

  About an hour or so later the Captain requests that Dr. Stoorer meet him in his ready room. There is a bit of friction as the Doctor bristles at being pulled away from her work for the Captain's attempts at pleasantries again. Meanwhile on the bridge, Maple approaches Triarius.]

Maple & Triarius
Chief Maple:
"So Triarius, how are you finding the Argo?"

"I find the Argo an acceptable position for myself. What exactly do you want Chief?"

Chief Maple:
"Look, we are both newly assigned to the ship. I was just wondering how your were getting along. What do you think of the Captain?"

"I find the Captain to be competent, and I appreciate his direct approach. Chief, is this what humans refer to as 'small talk'?"

Chief Maple:
"Yes, I suppose that would be correct. I haven't worked directly with an Andorian before, this is new for me."

 "This is my first posting on a multi-species ship. It is 'new' for me as well. Perhaps...!!"

[Suddenly the ship lurches violently and alert klaxons begin to sound!]

"Captain to the Bridge!"

Dr. Stoorer:
"What is happening, that wasn't normal was it?"

Captain Grim:
"No, that was not normal. I suggest you return to Sick Bay with Dr. Salec while I get to the Bridge!" As the Captain makes his way onto a turbo-lift he mutters. "This better not be ensign Ted again."*

[ The ship bucks and tilts wildly, and the crew is tossed about. Holt does her best to steady the ship but systems are shorting out and failing!]

Captain Grim:
Entering from the turbolift, "What is happening, Triarius status report!"

"The ship has been caught in a wormhole Captain!"

Captain Grim:
"Max drop us out of warp and level us out!"

out of control!

Lt JG 'max' Holt:
"Warp drive is not responding sir! I'm barely holding us steady, speed increasing warp 6.8!"

Chief Maple:
"Shields holding but power is dropping rapidly!"

Lt. JG 'max' Holt:
"Warp 7.5! helm is not responding!!"

"At this rate we will exceed maximum safety threshold in 90 seconds!"

Captain Grim:
"Zav, we have no control up here. What can you do?"


[ The Argo careens wildly out of control in a warp space worm hole.]

"Captain, hold on! I'm going to attempt a manual warp drive shutdown."

Captain Grim:
"Zav, I don't care how you do it, just get us back to normal space!"

[ The lights go dark for a brief moment then space returns to normal as the warp drive goes offline. The crew quickly begin to assess their situation.]

Scene 2: Briefing Room deck 4

picking up the pieces
Chief Engineer Zav:
"Propulsion and guidance systems are offline. Subspace communications are out, as well as weapons. Our shields are functioning, though only at 45% capacity. Also 80% of the ship is without lights and internal systems due to an overload in the main power grid. Lastly, Life support and sensors appear to have come through unscathed. There's very little physical damage to the ship itself."

Dr. Salec:
From the Tri-vid monitor - "Injuries are numerous, consisting of lacerations and multiple reports of broken bones and concussions. Thankfully, I have no casualties to report. With the aid of Dr. Stoorer and her staff I can compensate for the lack power to our systems here."

Captain Grim:
"So far this isn't too bad. Things could have been a lot worse."

"Captain, Lt JG Holt and I have calculated our present position and course. After breaking free of the wormhole we have been travelling at warp 0.9 with no way to reduce speed or change our trajectory."

Captain Grim:

Lt. JG 'max' Holt:
"While we were bouncing around in that wormhole, we were knocked 90 degrees and more than a few light years off course. Our current trajectory takes us directly into Klingon space. The Argo will drift across the border in approximately three hours."

Capt. Grim:
"It just got worse...."

[ At this point the crew had decide which repairs to the ship were most important and in what order they would be worked on. Everything couldn't be repaired before reaching the Klingon border so they opted to get propulsion, power systems, weapons and shields working as priority.]

Captain, there is one more thing. A wormhole incident like the one we just encountered can only occur when a warp core goes out of balance.

Chief Engineer Zav:
"My warp core was in perfect balance, what are you trying to say!"

Chief Maple:
"Triarius is saying, this was sabotage." The chief activates the intercomm, "Security, I want Franklin & Benjamin posted at Sick bay right away, be sure the CMT members do not leave."

"Exactly, but to what end I cannot yet say."

Captain Grim:
"Salec, I need you to get the crew back to work as fast as you can. Zav, get working on the warp core. Triarius, I want you to oversee full power restoration, I want to know what happened to my ship. Maple, Holt you two are with me. We have some questions to ask of our guests."

Scene 2a. 
[In the turbo lift on the way to deck 7 and Sick bay.]

Chief Maple:
"Everything points to one or more members of Stoorers team being our culprit. Triarius is right though, what is the motive to sabotage the Argo?"

Capt. Grim:
"The mission to Dourap II perhaps. We could be dealing with a Klingon plant here. Keep us at Yellow Alert."

Lt JG Holt:
"Captain, what about the cargo. We should check on it."

[Just outside the turbolift on deck 7.]

Maple checks on the Cargo
Chief Maple:
"Ka'luth, I need a visual status on the cargo."

Cargo bay 3
Lt. Ka'luth:
"Chief, it looks like the cargo broke loose. I would say at least half has been destroyed. We have broken hypos all over the place."

Lt. Japard:
"Hey this vent cover has been broken open from the inside!"

Chief Maple:
" Japard, I want you to enter that vent and find out where the saboteur got in from, and if they are still in there. Get the rest of the team to help you."

[The security team springs into action checking the various jeffries tubes and repair access crawlspaces near the cargo bay.]

Player rolls high!
Scene 2b. 
[Meanwhile on deck 6 near engineering. Triarius oversees the first stage of repairs and also keeps an eye out for signs of sabotage. He eventually makes a discovery!]

"Yes, see how these conduits have been cross-connected. someone did this intentionally."

 Engineering Tech:
"But sir, it was total luck this only resulted in the damage we sustained. Whoever did this had no idea what they were actually messing with here. Why they could have blown the whole ship!"

"So we can conclude our intruder is no expert in starship technology. He or She is working with rudimentry knowledge and will therefore make a very obvious choice as their next target."

Scene 2c.
Sick Bay deck 7
Sick bay
[ Sick bay is swamped with activity as Salec oversees his staff in conjunction with Dr. Stoorers people. Security officers Franklin and Benjamin relate that none of the CMT members have left this deck since they arrived. The players question the civilian doctors and nurses and quickly discover that one of them; nurse Hunsley; has been missing for and undetermined amount of time, when a call for the Captain comes over the intercom.]

"Captain, long range scanners have picked up a Klingon D-7 waiting at the border point where we will drift across."

Captain Grim:
"Right, notify me of any changes in their activity." turning to Maple & Holt. "Max, I want you on the bridge. As soon as impulse power is restored adjust our course and keep us away from the Klingons as best you can. Maple, find Hunsley before he causes any further damage. I need to show Dr. Stoorer what has happened to her cargo."

Chief Maple:
Activates the intercom, "Security, I want two three man parties searching the ship for a lone member of the CMT. He may be armed, use stun if necessary."


[ Many things are happening all across the ship at this moment. Repairs are being made, security teams begin to scour the ship. The main cast are going to do specific thing. All this is being played out cinematically.

Lt. Japard finishes his search of the vents and determines the saboteur entered them just after messing with the conduits on deck 6.]

Scene 2d.
Cargo Bay 3 deck 8
severe loss
Dr. Stoorer:
"I can't believe Hunsley would do this, it makes no sense. He is an exemplary nurse and has shown nothing but compassion for others since he joined the team."

Capt. Grim:
"Just how recently did he join your team Doctor?"

Dr. Stoorer:
" Kyle has been with us just a little over a month. The damage done here is terrible, many lives could be lost as a result even if we make it Dourap II before the outbreak worsens! I need to confer with Dr. Salec about synthesizing more daronite."

Capt. Grim:
"If your man causes any more damage to my ship, we might not be able to defend ourselves from the Klingons, much less synthesize more cure."

Dr. Stoorer:
"Klingons, sabotage! Captain what is going on here?"

Capt. Grim:
"That is precisely what I intend to discover Doctor!"


Scene 3: Hide & Seek

[ At this point the priority repairs have been completed, and the Argo regains control of her weapon systems and Impulse engines. The power systems overload has also been repaired and the ship begins to come back to life with shields now operating at maximum. Captain Grim returns to the Bridge.]

Capt. Grim:
"Max, status report."

Lt JG 'max' Holt:
"I have adjusted our course for Dourap II, but without warp capability we cannot make our ETA for the medical emergency. Also the D-7 has been following us, but have so far stayed on their side of the border."

like a shark
Capt. Grim:
"No doubt they smell blood in the water. Has there been any sign of communications from the Klingon?"

NPC Comms:
"Sir our comms are still down, so I couldn't say. But they have been using long range scanners on us."

Capt. Grim:
"Now it's a waiting game."

Scene 3a.
Security Sweep/continuing repairs
Security sweeps the ship

[ Again, we enter a cinematic mode as the crew go about their business and the D-7 follows the Argo. The security teams report the searches are coming up clean which means the target is possibly being forced to hide on decks 6 or 7, as they have been working at checking the ship from above and below simultaneously.
Triarius has surmised that if the saboteur is a Klingon, he will need a tricorder to scan for his life-sign differences. Procuring one, the First Officer heads for Main Engineering. Maple also heads for engineering assuming this is where the intruder will make a final stand.

The warp core repair is finally able to begin in earnest at this point but will still take an hour to replace the damaged plasma injector, and another hour to restart.]

Scene 3b.

[ Triarius has been scanning the repair teams looking for the intruder. This task has now left him with only the crew in main engineering to cover. He is in the midst of doing this when Chief Maple arrives.]

Chief Maple: "Anything?"
Hunsley makes a move

"So far nothing. All of our men are who they should be. But interference from the damage has been hampering my ability to conduct broad scans. I believe we need to rely on our physical senses and instincts to find him at this point."

Chief Maple:
"Agreed, there are too many access points for someone to get in here to be covered alone. You take the right side and I will take the left."

[ The Officers begin an intensive search of the area while leaving Chief Zav and his crew to their work. It is the superior hearing of the Andorian that alerts him to danger!]

"Maple, above you!" raising his phaser and firing!

Kyle Hunsley:
Just dodging the First Officers shot, he drops down from the upper engineering deck brandishing a type I phaser and aims at Maple! "I don't want to hurt anyone, just stop doing your repairs!" The young nurse fires at the Security Chief.

Chief Engineer Zav:
"Watch that phaser fire!!" as he and the repair team duck for cover.

Chief Maple:
"Thanks Triarius!" executing a perfect tumble roll, he is missed by the blast. The Chief takes aim with his own phaser and fires back!

Kyle Hunsley:
"I mean it, just back off...ahhh!!!" struck by the blue beam, the nurse seems to shrug off the stun effect but is clearly staggered. "This doesn't.. have to.. get worse, back off!"

"Perhaps heavy stun." adjusting the setting on his phaser, another shot catches the man full on and he drops.

Scene 3c.
The Brig

[ The Captain and his Officers question Hunsley once he regains consciousness. A tricorder scan revealed Hunsley to be jacked up on stims which explains his resistance to stunning. They uncover the fact that Hunsley has been put up to the sabotage of this mission at the behest of the Orion Syndicate. The young man owes them a large gambling debt from his many trips to Rigel IV.]

"I was just supposed to make sure we didn't arrive on time and destroy the bulk of the daronite. I was given some very basic instructions on power systems, but I'm afraid I was never good with technical stuff. No one was supposed to get hurt."

"What of the hundreds of victims on Dourap II, will not your actions result in possible deaths there?"

Capt Grim:
"Kyle, you've endangered the lives of those colonists. Adults and children could die now because we may not be there in time!"

"No, they won't. You see the Orions are going to be there when we don't arrive and supply the colony with daronite in exchange for exclusive trading rights. It has something to do with their proximity to the Klingon border. Or at least that's what I overheard."

Chief Maple:
"Allowing the Orions much easier access for smuggling, and less likely for us to hinder those actions since the Tellarite colony is outside of Federation control."

"Captain, I was supposed to signal with a device I was given once the job was done. It was damaged when I sabotaged the ship initially. I don't know what the result of that may be..."

"Captain, the D-7 is crossing the border and heading to intercept us!"

Capt. Grim:
"We'll be right there," looking to his Officers. " Let's get to the bridge!"


Scene 4: Shall we Dance?
[ On the bridge the crew take their stations as the D-7 closes in.] ~ dramatic music~

D-7 approaches
Lt JG "max" Holt:
"Captain, they are increasing speed and gaining on us."

Chief Maple:
"Even with our shields at full capacity they outgun us! We couldn't take more than a couple of direct hits before they tore us apart."

"They are scanning us. I would guess to assess our level capability after the sabotage. Is it possible this is who Hunsley was supposed to signal?"

Capt. Grim:
"We know there is an Orion/Klingon connection so the possibility is high." Capt. Grim looks to the Communications staion, "Are we up yet?"

Comms NPC:
"Yes sir, we have full communications restored."

Capt. Grim:
"Open a channel." Swiveling about in his chair to face the viewscreen. "Klingon vessel, this is Captain Grim of the USS Argo, we suffered damage from a warp malfunction and nearly crossed into your space due to circumstances beyond our control. The issue has been rectified and we are no danger of violating your space. Please respond."

Comms NPC:
"Nothing Captain, they heard us but are making no response."

"They are charging disruptors and attempting to get a lock on us!"

Capt Grim:
"Red Alert!" Grim taps the intercom button for Engineering, "Zav, I need warp power now. I can't outrun this Klingon without it!"

Chief Zav:
"We've just completed the plasma injector installation. But I need sixty minutes to re-balance the core and bring it online!"

Lt. JG 'max' Holt:
Maxine turns to the Cade with a wide grin on her face, "Captain, permission to Hug the Donkey."

Capt. Grim:
Cade nods, "Permission granted!"

[ At this point we switched to Ship to Ship combat mode. Our Helmswoman was able to roll high enough against the enemy ship that even with weapons locked they could not score a hit! For two rounds the Argo was able to avoid the heavy disruptors of the D-7.
As round three began the Argo had gained initiative and Capt. Grim gave Helm the command to execute an Unorthodox Maneuver called the "Clingy Koala". The high maneuverability of the Argo allows the crew to get into a position directly behind and just below the rear of the D-7. So close in fact that the Klingons momentarily lose track of just where the Argo has gone!]

Ship to Ship Round 3
Lt JG 'max' Holt:
"Let's see what they think of this!"

Chief Maple:
"We have weapons lock for phasers and photon torpedos sir!"

Capt. Grim:

Looking into his viewer. "We have penetrated their shields, phasers have damaged their warp nacell and photons have disabled a disruptor cannon. Level 3 damage to both areas."

Ship to Ship Round 4

[ The D-7 attempts get in position to fire on the Argo, 'Max' rolls and beats the Klingon Helmsman, keeping the Argo in "Clingy Koala" position. Even though the Klingons now know where they are, they cannot shake the crew of the Argo!]

Chief Maple:
"Weapons are still locked Captain!"

Capt Grim:
"Fire! Nobody messes with the Argo, especially Klingons!"

"They have sustained Level 2 damage to their communication array, and our photons have inflicted level 3 damage to the main life support systems."

Ship to Ship Round 5

[Finally the Klingons pull away from the Argo putting her at short range, but still behind them.]

Lt. JG 'max' Holt:
"I've lost Clingy Koala sir, but they still can't fire on us!"

Capt Grim:
"Chief, assemble a boarding party. I want to know what these Klingons were up too!"

Chief Maple:
"Aye sir, weapons are locked and ready." Maple taps the intercom at his station, "Lt. Ka'luth prep the Maple Leafs for boarding actions, meet me in transporter room 2!" The Security Chief leaves his station leaping to the turbo-lift while bellowing, "Maple Leafs Assemble!"

Capt. Grim:
"All weapons, Fire!"

"Another hit on their life support system, it is completely obliterated. The photons have crippled the impulse engines and their shields are failing!"

Capt. Grim:
"Comms tell the Klingons to prepare for boarding and we will aid any injured they may have."

Ship to Ship Round 6

[The D-7 gets initiative and is just able to use the last burst of maneuvering thrusters to point the ship straight down in front of the Argo and come to a full stop. In essence making themselves a wall that will be hard to avoid!]

Lt. JG 'max' Holt:
"Hang on!" the helmswoman is just able to avoid ramming directly into the disabled craft.

Capt. Grim:
'Fire, all weapons!"

"Direct hits on communications again, and the photons have taken out the shield generators. Transport can commence."

Capt. Grim:
"Alright Maple you are clear the shields are down! Max, keep us out of their firing arcs just in case."

"Captain scans show the D-7's warp core is going into overload, we need to stop Maple!"

Capt. Grim:
"Chief belay the order to board, the warp core is going critical. Try to beam aboard as many survivors as you can instead!"

Ship to Ship Round 7

[The Argo attempts to put as much space between themselves and the Klingon ship as they can before the warp core explodes!]

Capt. Grim:
"Get us as far away as you can Max!"

Lt. JG 'max' Holt:
"I'm on it sir!"

[Meanwhile in Transporter room 2]

Chief Maple:
"There's a lot of interference from the damage they've sustained, having trouble getting a lock. Ha, got one! Energizing now, set weapons to heavy stun men. These are Klingons we're dealing with!"

[ A single Klingon is brought aboard and even when faced with overwhelming odds the warrior lashes out with his disruptor!]

Klingon Warrior:
"Federation dogs!" a full blast hits Lt. Ka'luth, the Tellarite glows red and in a flash is gone!

Chief Maple:
"Lieutenant!" the Chief draws his own phaser, "Fire, take him down!"

[The lone Klingon drops under a hail of phaser fire! He is then quickly whisked away to the brig.]

Ship to Ship Round 8

Capt. Grim:
"How are we looking?"

Lt. JG 'max' Holt:
"We are at full impulse but I don't think we are far enough to not take a bit of a hit from this!"

"Our shields are at full capacity, we have a 75.348% chance to suffer minor damage at this range. There it goes!"

The D-7 explodes
Final Scene:

[The Argo is in orbit over Dourap II, on the planet below we see Dr. Salec and the medical staff helping Dr. Stoorer and the remaining members of the CMT aiding the colony. The scene then shifts to the Captain in his quarters staring intently into his desk view screen.]

Capt Grim:
"Thank you Commodore, I will see you when we drop off Hunsley." A chime sounds, and Cade looks up at his door. "Enter."

[He removes a disc and places it in his files as an unseen person enters his quarters. We are clearly able to see the disc is labeled "Lt. Commander Leonard Maple."]

Capt. Grim:
"I have a favor to ask, off the record."



The Captain and the Chief were going to interrogate the lone Klingon captive, however he disintegrated himself just as the Captain entered the brig. He looked directly at Cade and cried "Tuq B'ol 'Oth!". It was determined that had it not been for the security force field, the device used would have disintegrated everyone within 10ft of the captive. The brig itself suffered extensive damage.

Captain Grim later talked with Commodore Stone in an effort to see that Kyle Hunsley received a lesser charge in exchange for his help and information on the Orion plot at Dourap II and the possible collusion with Klingon forces.

Triarius was able to determine that the D-7 they encountered was not a part of the standard Klingon Star Navy. The ship bore no insignia, and was running on outdated systems and using A.I systems to make up for a smaller crew complement. Further analysis reveals this D-7 to possibly have been an early prototype of the class.

The Argo had a funeral service for Lt. Ka'luth the Tellarite security Officer slain in the line of duty. He is survived by his wife and six children.  

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Far Trek RPG Background Update II

Star Date: 2017.29.11

This is Part 2 of my background information for the Far Trek Universe as it appears in the Eroc-verse. This is my own time-line that fits in with the story/stories being created as we play this game.

Star Dates:
I use my own version of Star Dates by swapping the order of the Month & Year. I put the Year 1st, Day of the Month 2nd, & Month of the Year last. Mostly I do this because it helps me keep actual track of when I played games, and I think its cool.

Prior Captain's of the Enterprise:
The Enterprise does exist in my game, just not quite exactly as it was in the show. Nor is the Enterprise the star of my game as that right is reserved for the Players and the ship they serve on. Here is the timeline of those who have and currently Command the Enterprise.

1. Captain Robert April.
Capt. April

Served from Star Date 1993 - 2002

The first Captain who led the ship on two five year missions to great success. He is now retired and resides on Earth.

2. Captain Christopher Pike.
Capt. Pike

Served from Star Date 2002 - 2014

Two years after being promoted to Fleet Captain, he was severely injured while rescuing several cadets from a baffle plate rupture on board a training vessel, the deadly radiation left him paralyzed, unable to speak, badly scarred.

3. Captain Gary Mitchell.
Capt. Mitchell

Served Star Date - 2014

Mitchell had the shortest run as Captain. He was first Officer under Capt. Pike and took his promotion quite seriously. Near the end of the first year of his initial 5 year mission a terrible incident at the edge of the Galaxy took the life of Capt. Mitchell and many of his crew. A surviving Lt. Commander brought the Enterprise home and reported the event.

4. Captain Pryce Grim.
Capt. Grim

Star Date - 2014 to current

Pryce was an up and coming Lt. Commander on the Enterprise during the incident that led to the death of Captain Mitchell. Pryce was commended and promoted to Captain of the Enterprise for his actions during that time. Since then he has led the crew on some of the most renowned missions in Federation history. Considered by some to be a bit arrogant, he is the model of Federation Command material. Pryce is the older brother of Cade Grim the newly appointed Captain of the USS Argo.

Other NPC's of Note:

 Vice Admiral Jonathon Grim
Vice Admiral Grim 

Jonathon is a decorated officer of the Federation and has the scars to prove it. Jonathon cut short his third five year mission to return home after his wife died giving birth to his second son Cade. Having spent the last 25 years bound to desk duty the Vice Admiral has overseen many issues in the Federation and is know to be head of Starfleet Intelligence. Of his two sons it is clear that the Admiral favors Pryce, and that Cade is kept to the background. Almost hidden away some would say.

Commodore Aaron Stone
Commodore Stone

Stone was one of the few Starfleet officers to have attained the position of starship captain before going on to serve in the operations division as the portmaster of Starbase 13. A close friend of Jonathon Grim, he took command of the USS Lexington when Grim returned to earth after the death of his wife.
In 2015, Commodore Stone was called to attend a secret meeting along with Ambassador James Kirk, Vice Admiral Jonathon Grim, Captain Nick Silver, and Commodore José Mendez, to discuss the possible end of the Klingon Cold War Conflict. Sadly this led to an incident in which the Klingon Ambassador was killed while meeting with Ambassador Kirk.
The Commodore oversees the sectors patrolled by the USS Argo now captained by the younger son of Vice Admiral Grim.

Ambassador Spock
Ambassador Spock

Spock spent his earliest years in service to the Vulcan Science Academy and as a Science officer on the
Enterprise with Captain Pike. After his time on the Federation ship he became an ambassador and representative on the Federation Council. He is also the father of  Starfleet officer Dr. Salec of the USS Argo.

Currently Spock works closely with the famed Federation Ambassador James Kirk of whom he shares a deep friendship with.

Ambassador James Kirk
Ambassador Kirk

James Kirk is by far the foremost Ambassador in the Federation. Responsible for ending numerous conflicts considered unattainable. His greatest failure and almost the cause of his death, was a meeting with the Klingon Ambassador in 2015. If not for the sacrifice of a Federation MACO team led by then Lt. Commander Cade Grim Kirk would surely have died. Though the reports of what happened that day are sealed by Star Fleet Command it is considered by many to have had serious repercussions for both the Federation and the Klingon Empire. Tensions have been lessened to some extent since the treaty enforced by the Organians.

Currently Kirk works closely with the Vulcan Ambassador Spock of whom he shares a deep friendship with.

Monday, November 20, 2017

FAR TREK Play report: Stardate 2017.17.11

Far Trek Play Report: Star Date 2017.17.11

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 with 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
Capt. Grim:
"Okay everyone, I want Type II Phasers, Communicators & appropriate Tricorders for everyone. Doctor, do 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."

Capt. grim:
"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, or is happening down there."

Triarius & F'Riid:
"Aye Captain."

Capt. Grim:
"Chief Maple, you and I will be watching over our people. If this is something more than natural circumstances we handle it."

Chief Maple:
"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.]

Capt. Grim:
"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."

Argo Control:
"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 severe 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?"

Chief Maple:
"Whoo, I'm okay. That was close!"

Capt. Grim:
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?"

Dr. Salec:
"..I.." looking up at the Captain. "Captain, I heard screams.."

Capt. Grim:
"Yeah that was probably me." smirking.

Dr. Salec:
" 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."

Capt. Grim:
"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 the 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
[The Landing Party know they are within a kilometer or two of the faint communicator signal. The Captain sends Dr. Salec, F'Riid, and Maxine to higher ground to get better readings and a broader visual look at the area. While he, Chief Maple and Triarius make a sweep of the area.]

Dr. Salec:
Using the Medical Tricorder, "I have no human life signs in range at all. Though there are a half dozen indigenous 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.]

Capt. Grim:
"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."

Chief Maple:
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.]

Capt. Grim:
"Grim here."
      "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
[ Two members of the Shuttle crew; Engineering Ensign Salley & Geophysicist Lt. Travis have been found, their bodies huddled together backs against the rocks.]

Capt. Grim:
"Salec, what do you have?"

Dr. Salec:
"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.

Chief Maple:
"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 alien signal seems to be focused in a northerly direction also."

Dr. Salec:
"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."

Capt. Grim:
"Agreed, let's get our people taken care of then we head north. Chief you take point."


Scene 2: Crash Site
Indigenous life!
[ Hiking north, the crew continue general scans and soon encounter a local lifeform!]

Dr. Salec:
"Captain, I have a lifeform reading. Just behind those rocks there."

Capt. Grim:
"Phasers on stun everyone." Cade scoops up a golfball sized rock from the ground.

Dr. Salec:
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.]

Dr. Salec:
Scanning with the Tricorder, "This is a totally new lifeform, I have nothing like it in the files."

Capt. Grim:
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!]

Dr. Salec:
"Captain! I would not advise doing that again. Why needlessly antagonize the lifeform?"

Capt. Grim:
"You said earlier our people were essentially 'Fried'. That creature throws spines. I now know it isn't responsible, but something on this planet is."

Chief Maple:
"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
[ Shuttle #2 Coconut,  is found the hull badly scorched, however the two remaining crew are not here. The Landing Party set about various tasks in hopes of finding out what has happened.

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. ]

Chief Maple:
"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!

Capt. Grim:
"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.

Chief Grim:
"Captain lookou...ahhh!" Maple struggles to stay standing as his mind reels!!

the attack!
Capt. Grim:
"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.]

Dr. Salec:
"What happened? I found tracks over there heading north when I heard the phaser shot."

Capt. Grim:
"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. 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.] 

What happened?
Dr. Salec:
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?"

Chief Maple:
"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..."

Dr. Salec:
"Captain, perhaps a mind-meld. I could attempt contact with whatever it is."

Chief Maple:
"No!" sitting up, " No it's gone, I think the stun broke its contact with me."

Capt Grim:
"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.

Capt. Grim:
"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.

Dr. Salec:
"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."

Capt. Grim:
"You think the planet is after us?"

Dr. Salec:
"I would like to try to mind-meld with the planet."

Capt Grim:
"You can do that?"

Dr. Salec:
"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!]

Dr. Salec:
Snapping out of the pyschic trance, "Captain tell "Max" to realign the harmonic sensor array to account for bio-electric ranges."

Capt Grim:
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?"

Capt. Grim:
"Wait for my comma...."

Dr. Salec:
"It's here..." the Vulcan rises and turns to face the entity with the Captain.

The entity arrives!
 [ Coalescing out of thin air, the sparking billowing thing roiled like a living thunderstorm. It's very presence emitting waves psychic energy. The Captain fires his phaser and it passes through the creature with no effect! Salec senses that the creature is instilling fear and then feeding upon that emotion to the detriment of its victim! The Vulcan Doctor quickly administers a nerve pinch that releases the Captain from the creatures hold. However at the same moment, Chief Maple charges out and fires upon the creature to no avail. Salec attempts to put himself between the creature and the Security Chief, but its reach is not hindered by the few meters between them and the Chief falls victim to fear inducing psychic attack!]

 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.

Chief Maple:
"That shot missed on purpose." thinks the Security Chief, also scanning the rocky ledges for their assailant.

Dr. Salec:
Scanning with the tricorder, "One individual, 8 meters to our right. There! among those rocks."

Capt. Grim:
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."

Capt. Grim:
"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.]

The camp
[ Chief Maple reports that other than a few hundred kilos of raw Radium, the group has no contraband. However they are in possession of a  Sensor-Net that is draped over their craft to hide it from orbital scans. Captain Grim believes Ero and his men have suffered enough and tells them no charges will be forthcoming as long as they cooperate fully going forward. Ero agrees and leads the party into the cavern to show them the alien structure within.]

Alien device
"When we entered this chamber the machine was still running, but something else was here as well. This place is haunted I tell you."

Dr. Salec:
"There are fossilized remains here. At least five sets of alien bones, a couple of thousand years old by my calculations."

Chief Maple:
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 brandishing weapons!]

the missing crew!
Ensign Jenkins:
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.]

Alien Spirits
Capt. Grim:
"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."

Chief Maple:
"Maybe we can use the miners force field to keep it at bay."

Capt. Grim:
"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.]

Ghost attack!
[ Arriving at the cave entrance the party is surprised to see the Entity break into three distinct forms. The miners are feverishly trying to get the jury-rigged field generator back on as the Ghosts move in!"]

Capt Grim:
"F'Riid, help them with those field generators. Chief, provide covering fire with me. Let's see if F'Riid's adjustment works!"

Chief Maple:

[ 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 re-synchronize the resonance modulator."

Alien/Dr. Salec:
"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."

Alien/Dr. Salec:
Taking the component from Maxine, "Yes, yes this will work."

[ As the machine begins to hum, the buffer is opened and thousands of souls finally find rest!]

"Now to release ourselves."

fight music!
[ At the cavern entrance a frantic battle ensues! The generators were not meant to create a stable field for extended periods and they fail! The adjusted phasers are keeping the 'Ghosts' at bay, but suddenly the Entity begins to hurl rocks and loose equipment at the defenders! ]

Capt. Grim:
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 causing a 'Ghost' to dissipate. "Chief, we need to push them back!"

Chief Maple:
Looking to a miner, "Do you have any explosives?"

"No, but you could overload my laser pistol."

Chief Maple:
"That'll do," grabbing the hand laser the Chief motions to the Captain then sets it to overload and tosses it to him.

Capt Grim:
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! ]

dramatic music

[ 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.]

Capt. Grim: 
"C'mon guys, c'mon."

[ Just then both creatures waver, and then dissipate into nothingness!]

Capt. Grim:
"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 Ero no charges will be filed against the miners and that he expects them to get proper permits going forward. Ero and his people are thankful and accept the help of the crew in repairing their ship and getting off world.]

Scene 5: Argo Galley

Capt Grim:
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?"

Dr. Salec:
"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:
Louisiana Coconut
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!