I finally ran a session of the Modiphius Star Trek Adventures RPG. A short little intro adventure that was inspired by the Intro-adventure in the Starships & Spacemen Rules by Goblinoid Games.
The crew of the USS RAKOTA (a Pioneer Class Ship) have been dispatched to locate, and if needed render aid to the USS ESSEX (a Deadelus class science vessel) that has gone silent while on a standard system survey mission.
Intro: Star Trek theme music plays as we see Captain Jack Roark sit in his command chair and begin a Log entry - and the USS Rakota flies through space.
"Captain's Log, stardate 2020.10.8 - The Rakota has been dispatched to the Zeta Herculis system to locate the USS Essex. They are forty-eight hours past due for standard check-in procedures with Starbase Six. My hope is that this is nothing more than an unfortunate technical difficulty, however out here on the frontier nothing is ever that simple."
The Rakota drops out of warp at the edge of the system and begins long range scans. While Captain Roark and First Officer Rodrigo go over what little info they have on the system itself.
The crew is able to determine that the outer most planetoid Zeta VII is giving off severe magnetic interference that makes scanning difficult, however the Essex had already registered this fact and gave information on how to compensate for this. Using this technique they are able to get a good reading and discover no trace of the Essex itself within the star system!
Emile Rodrigo, First Officer turns to the Captain: "From the last updates the Essex should have been about to start a Class II survey of Zeta IV - a proto-earth planet."
Captain Roark points at the screen. "Zeta IV preliminary data shows an atmosphere not capable of sustaining human life. Zeta V however shows M class but locked in a severe glacial state. If they had to crash-land or abandon ship that seems the most likely candidate." Moving back to his command chair the Captain flicks a button and speaks to the crew over an open intercom.
"All systems Yellow Alert, as of now we are considering this a rescue mission. We have been unable to contact or detect the USS Essex and will assume she and her crew are in dire need of our help. Captain out."
The Rakota then did a complete orbit and deep scan of the planet Zeta V. Upon completion they found no trace of the Essex or her crew there. The ship then turned its attention to Zeta IV, the last known location of the missing ship and this time they found something!
There in a decaying orbit with all but the barest of life-support functioning, the Essex was minutes away from burning up in the atmosphere! The question of using a tractor beam was quickly brought up by the Captain, while scans for life-signs were run and attempts to communicate directly with the Essex were also attempted.
|Lt. Rogers, Engineer|
"I'm getting no life-signs on board either." commented Emile.
At the Engineering console, Lt. Rogers calculated the data he was receiving from scans of the Essex. "At this stage our tractor beam and the gravitational stress would just tear the ship apart. We need to at least get her impulse engines going and we stand a better chance of saving her Sir!"
"Okay then, Rogers your with me. Emile you have the Conn get Dr. T'prel to meet us in transporter room one. We're going to save that ship." Captain Roark and Lt. Rogers enter the turbo-lift.
In the transporter room we see the Captain Roark, Engineer Rogers and a pair of technicians as they prepare to step up on the transporter platform. The doors open and the ship's Vulcan Doctor enters.
"Captain, our scans have shown no life signs aboard the Essex. I find it unlikely the entire crew is deceased as there are no adverse conditions apparent."
"Exactly T'Prel, something is off over there and I want to know what." Roark looks over the away team and turns to the transporter operator. "Put us in the engineering room of the Essex, Energize!"
"Aye Sir, coordinates set. Energizing!"
[ COMMERCIAL BREAK ]
The away team materializes in the engine room of the Essex. Rogers and his men get to work immediately. Roark looks about and notices that everything seems in place and there is no damage or sign of a boarding action. The Doctor has unslung her tricorder and finishes a scan, her eyebrow cocked she turns to the Captain.
"As I suspected, we are the only five life-signs registering. Although the life-support systems are below general safety standards we will not be adversely affected."
"Any biological anomalies?" asks Roark.
"None that our scans are aware of. If there is something unique to the Zeta Herculis system itself we may as yet be unaware of it, however I calculate we are 99.9901% safe for now aboard the Essex."
Smiling at the Vulcan Doctor, Captain Roark turns to see how Rogers and the men are doing. " I like those odds Doctor. Rogers, how are we doing?"
"The ship has been shut down-systematically. I can get us impulse power but you need to get to the Conn to get us out of this decaying orbit." replied Rogers as he moved about the engine room from console to console.
Turning towards the engine room door Captain Roark motions for T'Prel to follow him. "Alright Rogers, the Doctor and I will head to the Bridge. I want you three to seal yourselves in here and stay in touch, communicators only."
As the Captain and the Doctor made their way along the deserted halls of the ship, emergency
"Look at Rogers illuminating our path." Roark thought to himself as he kept an eye peeled for the turbolift. "Our ride should be just up here T'Prel... Doctor?" Roark realized suddenly that the vulcan physician was about fifteen feet behind him looking into a jeffries alcove. The Captain drew his phaser and cautiously retraced his steps back towards his crewmate. "T'Prel, what is it?" he whispered urgently. As he approached T'Prel he noticed that she was standing stock-still, as if she was frozen in mid-stride. Her gaze was locked in the direction of the red lit alcove. Reaching out he touched her shoulder and queried, "Doctor, are you alright?"
T'Prel snapped back into motion at Roark's physical contact. "Captain, I thought... no I felt...something." Roark was surprised to see the look of uncertainty flash across the vulcan's face before it was quickly masked with a stoic look.
"Scan again for life-forms, I have a feeling we're not alone on this ship." He turned and scanned the length of the hall, phaser at the ready and motioned her again to follow him towards their original destination.
As the turbolift doors closed behind them T'Prel snapped her tricorder shut, "As I noted before. There are only five life-forms actively registering aboard this ship."
"We'll see about that. Bridge!" The soft hum filled the lift as the pair began their ascent to the command section of the ship. "Doctor, you were frozen in sort of a paralytic state until I touched you. What did you see, or say you felt?" Roark looked at his chief medical officer.
Her brow furrowed slightly, "I have no recollection of being frozen, as you say. As we were heading along the corridor I had the sensation of someone being in the alcove. I glanced in that direction and saw nothing then you asked me what was happening. There was no time loss from my point of view."
"Hmm, some type of phased time-displasia? Something we should keep an eye on. Maybe this is symptomatic of whatever happened to the Essex crew." Roark holstered his phaser and drew his communicator. The gold lid opened as he flicked his wrist and the lift doors swished opened revealing a dimly lit bridge. "Rogers, we're on the bridge. What do have for me?"
Stepping into the recovery ward he found only empty beds, the sensation of being watched was overwhelming and he reached his phaser....
"Beep, beep.." the communicator at his side chirped! "Roark here." he intoned as he spun on his heel to return to the exam room.
"Captain, Rodrigo here. We are getting readings that the transporter is being activated. What's going on!"
A cold sensation ran down the Captain's spine when he realized T'Prel was no longer in the Sickbay! "Emile, I need a reading on who is in that transporter room now!" Roark turned and ran out of the medical room heading for the teleporter.
"Jack, it's a Vulcan life sign only! What is.."
"Damn!! I'll call you right back!" A quick flick of his wrist and Roark contacted Rogers.
"Rogers here, Captain where have you been?" queried the Engineer.
"Never mind that, all of you meet me in the transporter room! Someone or something has our Doctor!"
The ships pulled back to a safe orbital distance, and prepared to transport any and all survivors from the planet at the moment Captain Roark called in. He hoped his intuition was right and that not only would he locate the missing Doctor, but the crew of the Essex as well in whatever destination he and his landing party were about to enter on the desolate world below.
[ COMMERCIAL BREAK ]
The hum of the transporter faded and was replaced by eerie silence. Wherever they were it had been fashioned by and for humanoids. There was air to breathe and the temperature was comfortable. This reinforced his hunch that the crew of the Essex and Doctor T'Prel were most likely alive!
A quick attempt to contact the Rakota revealed that whatever was preventing scans of this area was also blocking communication. "Set your phasers to stun, and follow me." Commanded the Captian as he ascended the stairs before him. There was only one way to go so the three men delved deeper into the bunker.
Within moments the trio entered a large chamber with half a dozen rectangular raised platforms, upon one rested the inert form of T'Prel! Roark approached cautiously and could see the vulcan seemed to be in state of calm rest. He reached out and touched her shoulder, "Doctor, are you awake?"
Sitting up and instantly alert, the vulcan took in her surroundings quickly. "Captain, we are no longer in the sick bay aboard the Essex," she stated flatly. "I was looking at the viewer and a motion made me look up and now I am here. Extremely odd?"
"A Blank-out no doubt, I think it might be visually stimulated. But by what I'm not sure." motioning her towards a door that exited the chamber the party started to move in that direction.
"A likely hypothesis Captain, determining the trigger would help us avoid any further inconvenience. Perhaps a robot or drone of some kind, as we have registered no other life-forms as of yet."
That seemed likely to Roark and made sense. He had those sensations of being watched as if there was ... The doorway slid open silently before them and in the now open portal stood a large humanoid form topping some seven feet in height at least! On instinct Roark turned his head away and shut his eyes.
First Officer Rodrigo stands next to a seated Jack Roark. "Jack they might've really turned you into DNA soup. You took a big chance!"
"That's why we're out here Emile. To take the big chances, face the unknowable, and hopefully make a difference."
The turbo-lift doors open and the vulcan physician emerges.
"The crew of the Essex will be staying on Zeta Herculi IV until a Federation Medical ship arrives. The remaining Zetans will survive as our remedies for the radiation levels they have can be cured." She steps down and stands alongside the captains chair.
"What about their physical forms?" asks Roark.
"Given time, their DNA banks can be de-radiated and the procedures reversed. I approximate the Zetans will be back in their bodies within a decade."
Looking at Emile, Roark smiles "I'll take that as a win Rodrigo!"