Monday, December 16, 2013

The Future Begins...No Relation

This is my 700th Post.

Continuing my recap of the Pilot Episode of our new Star Trek RPG campaign 'Star Trek: Journey':

Pilot Episode: "Look Into The Future"

Part II:...

As Helmsman deRivera maneuvers the Journey just above and slightly starboard of the damaged USS Kelvin, Communications Officer Nesmith makes contact with the Kelvin's Comm Officer, or at least she thinks she does, as his voice sounds very strange. It is difficult to determine if he is an alien or there is trouble with the communication system just by listening.

Nesmith also notes the time stamps on the messages don't make sense. Some were received hours ago according to the computer. Some haven't been received yet and won't be sent for another few hours.

She is informed that the Kelvin's commanding officer, Captain Robert Robau, was slightly injured but is still alive and on duty. Nesmith conveys the Journey's intention to help, eventually speaking with the Kelvin's first officer, George Kirk. Kirk decides to check on his ship's badly damaged engineering section to make sure everyone is out of there and it's secure. Nesmith transfers the channel to Captain West of the Journey so he may speak with Robau directly.

During their conversation, the image of Captain Robau shift and changes slightly, revealing him in an unfamiliar uniform and slightly different bridge. The Science Officer reports sensor shadows showing an alternate design for the Kelvin that quickly goes back to normal.

USS Kelvin? Is that you?

It is quickly determined that the Journey will beam anyone who is badly injured to that ship from the Kelvin. Lt. Ma'Harra, the Security Chief ,recommends they not beam anyone mortally wounded as that will just occupy valuable personnel, resources and time we don't have. Accused of being cold by the crew and captain, she explains her reasoning further, suggesting the first people beamed over should be able bodied engineers and technicians who can help the Journey clear up it's sensor and communication issues, work the transporters and boost power in engineering for a more effective evacuation.

While it goes against his gut, Captain West can't help but agree given the circumstance. His is not a mainline starship but a flying test bed for better craft to come. 

The only exception West makes is not for an injured crewman but a pregnant one. West learns that Lt. Commander Kirk's wife, Wiona, a Starfleet Botanist, is aboard the Kelvin and he insists she accompany the first people off. As Navigation prepares to lower the shields for transport, Lt. Commander Thorest, the Journey's first officer, and Security Chief Ma'Harra of Altair go down to the Transporter Room to receive the Kelvin's crew.

Transporter locks are made thanks to help from the Kelvin and the amazing skill of the Journey's (NPC) Transporter Chief, Hank 'Skippy' Whipple. The first group come over no problem. The second batch seems to include two very unusual transporter signatures. As the forms begin to coalesce, Thorest and Ma'Harra immediately know these are not members of the Kelvin's compliment. Dressed in heavy duty, black leather gear for either mining or harsh weather or both, the two individuals are also wearing sealed helmets of an unknown make.

Up on the bridge, Kate Nesmith sends Starfleet Command an update on the situation, her communication system is flooded by a burst of 'Comm Chatter' that appears to be encoded. Unable to decipher the code on her own, she receives assistance from Lt. T'Amar, an intelligence agent with the Vulcan High Command assigned to the ship to root out anyone trying to steal or sabotage the experimental designs the Journey is testing. The strange code seems familiar, but even she can't seem to break it just yet.

Meanwhile, back down in the Transporter Room, Thorest yells "Freeze!' as he fires his Laser Pistol at one of the two mysterious intruders, but the stun beam passes through the not-yet-completely materialized being. Ma'Harra's shot strikes her target square in the chest, throwing him against the rear wall. She quickly lets off a second shot at Thorest's previous target, with another perfect hit. Don't mess with the purple gal, that much is certain.

Realizing there is a danger of additional invaders, Captain West reluctantly orders the shields raised. The commanding officer and crew discuss options when Ma'Harra makes a rather old school suggestion. She recommends the Journey and the Kelvin physically dock by connecting their airlocks. The crew of the Kelvin and their walk right onto the Journey and by combining their shield frequencies, the weakening shields of the Kelvin will get a major boost. Wow! West says to make it so, likes the phrases, wonders if it will ever catch on.

Over on the Kelvin, George Kirk reaches the Engine Room but wisely avoids entering it as, in all honesty, it isn't there anymore. A massive hull breach and a fractured Warp Core are all that remain of Main Engineering. The room, flooded with radiation and open to the vacuum of space, is devoid of life. The Kelvin's Bridge informs Captain West that they've lost at least a dozen men and women.

Ma'Harra moves the bodies of the invaders to the brig as Thorest proceeds to process the new arrivals and have the med team check them for radiation. After that, he tries to talk to them to ascertain more information about what happened and what that 'Red Hole' is. Following this, Thorest assigns them to other duties to help get the two ships free of the anomaly.

A message comes in from Starfleet Command and even Nesmith is surprised. The new sensors and communication systems are amazing! She didn't expect a response to her report for hours at best.

The message is from Captain L.T. Stone of Starbase 12, former posting of Captain West and others aboard the Journey. Stone gets an update from Lt. Nesmith in what has to be one of the funniest sequences of the game. She is like an over-excited kid talking to her favorite uncle. Awesome portrayal by Emi (wife of my friend Will who plays Lt. Commander Thorest).

Just as Nesmith informs Stone about the weird, coded comm signals coming from the 'Red Hole', T'Amar is able to partially identify them by noting they resemble Romulan codes from the Earth/Romulan War, but far more complex. Standing next to Stone in his office is a female Vulcan who is in fact T'Amar's immediate superior officer. She suggests T'Amar look into ancient forms of the Romulan language as many cultures use older or more obscure languages as bases for encryption, similar to Earth's Native American code talkers during that planet's second World War.

As T'Amar and Nesmith, a linguistics specialist herself, get right on that, Lt. Ma'Harra, Lt. Commander Thorest and Security Officers Jones and Horowitz prepare to interrogate that invaders, only to find...they're dead.

Actually they've been dead for some time...over 150 years.

End of Part II

Barking Alien