Posts Tagged ‘Star Trek’

Greetings Fellow Comic Fans!

 

In my Comic Box Recap article series, I want to talk about each of the comics that I read from my subscriptions that week. I don’t always read all the comics I order, because I’m only collecting some of them. Others are ones I may have started reading, but lost interest in but I still order them. You never know when you may want to go back and revisit a series at a later date.

*** SPOILER WARNING ***
Do not read any further if you are trying to avoid SPOILERS!
Marvel
Fantastic Four #10

I appreciate the wholesomeness of this series. There are situations that younger readers can relate to and lessons that they can learn from. I think that’s important for young readers, but also important to draw in younger readers. Franklin is having emotional growing pains and has seemingly worked through them. But we’ll see if that’s the case. He also has to face the consequences of his actions from a previous issue where he acted very disrespectful toward Alicia. It’s important that young readers see heroes have consequences for their actions, and this expresses that in a way young readers can relate to.

Val has met a friendly rival that may be smarter than her, so she’ll have to figure out how to deal with that. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur are characters I’m not very familiar with, but seeing them in this issue makes me want to know more. Lunella is adorable and brilliant, and Devil Dinosaur is too cute!

Both Val and Franklin are dealing with their personal issues in their own way. Val has been sending texts to the Future Foundation, even though she knows they might not be receiving them. Sometimes, you just need to see your troubles to help you work through them. Franklin isolated himself and turned inward instead of reaching out. He tried to burn his sketchbook, which is probably the only record of those worlds and people he created. It takes an invasion of other-realm creatures for him to finally realize that he’s not alone.

I feel like there is a message in this issue too. The message I got is that family isn’t always directly related to you. The folks of Yancy Street are a family, even if they don’t always get along. What a wonderful issue this week! I’m looking forward to the next installment.

IDW
Star Trek: Year Five #2

Well, I got mental whiplash from Kirk in this issue. Being the captain of a starship is not easy but flip-flopping on decisions is not how a captain should be. There are always tough choices to make and Kirk is definitely stuck between a rock and hard place in this issue. Did he make the right choice in the first place to save that Tholian (last issue)? Maybe, but I would not have plucked the Tholian child from the planet without a better understanding of their physical makeup and how to care for it. He also has no real way to communicate with it. I’m not sure I’m okay with him kidnapping that Tholian. It just doesn’t sit right with me. And he’s now facing the consequences of his kidnapping adventure.

While Kirk is having his moment trying to connect with the Tholian child, he mentions an old captain by the name of Mayweather. Is that the very same, Travis Mayweather from the Enterprise TV series? I mean… It could be. It could easily be a relative too, or someone completely unrelated. Enterprise was roughly 100 years before Kirk’s time on the Constitution class Enterprise. Humans were living over a hundred years, so it ‘could’ be Travis Mayweather. Kirk mentions that Mayweather lived his whole life in space and Travis Mayweather was space boomer who lived his whole life in space, either on a freighter or a starship. I really think it’s him! Even if it isn’t, what a pleasant little Easter Egg that was. I would also like to mention that the writer nailed the bits about Tarsus IV. I love it when the writers do their homework and don’t just wing it when writing about things that are canon.

Conclusion

If you want a wholesome, family oriented super hero book, pick up Fantastic Four. I recommend it to families all the time and I’ve only heard good things back from them. Star Trek had a fun Easter Egg with a side of mental whiplash, but it was still a decent read. I look forward to next week’s books!

What are you reading?
Is there a series I should be reading?
You can drop me a line here or find me on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty!
Thanks for reading and remember to like, follow, and subscribe!

A good book is the best vacation!

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Greetings Fellow Comic Fans!

 

In my Comic Box Recap article series, I want to talk about each of the comics that I read from my subscriptions that week. I don’t always read all the comics I order, because I’m only collecting some of them. Others are ones I may have started reading, but lost interest in but I still order them. You never know when you may want to go back and revisit a series at a later date.

*** SPOILER WARNING ***
Do not read any further if you are trying to avoid SPOILERS!
Marvel
Doctor Strange #14

I am so happy! Bats was in this issue! I don’t know if it was Barry Kitson or Mark Waid’s doing – or both, but I’m very happy to see Bats. Zelma makes a brief appearance with Bats as well. So, Strange had found a suitable planet for Galactus and with Clea’s help, led him to it. There was something wrong with the energy of the planet and it caused him great pain which could be felt across the world barriers. That’s how we get our glimpse of Bats and Zelma – they’re discussing the imminent danger and wondering about the fate of Strange. We also see the Watchers on the same page, making mention of how this could be the last event they ever watch.

We find out fairly quick that Dormammu is the culprit behind the corrupted magic of the planet. He’s made himself the new ‘Herald of Galactus’ with the help of Mephisto. Galactus is imbued with the power of the Faltine; Clea and Umar are trapped by Mephisto; and Strange is being held by Dormammu. Things are looking pretty grim!

I don’t see Dormammu holding onto Galactus for long, even with Mephisto’s help. Galactus is a force of the universe and Dormammu is just an all-powerful being. Clea, Strange, and Umar are all trapped at the moment. I doubt Umar’s unsteady alliances are strong enough to persuade them to help Umar and Clea escape Mephisto. Umar and Clea together might be able to escape Mephisto and rescue Strange, but I don’t see Strange being able to escape Dormammu without help. He was zapped by Galactus and I’m shocked he wasn’t totally blown up by that. I’m anxious to see how all this gets sorted!

Dark Horse
Invisible Kingdom #2

We were shorted my copy of Invisible Kingdom #2 on release day and it has just now come in.

There is so much going on in this issue. We get a brief glance into Vess’s past, just before she leaves her home to journey to the monastery. We also see a little of her routine at the monastery. She’s definitely young and impressionable. She actually believes Mother Proxima’s lies, which doesn’t surprise me. At least, I’m pretty sure Mother Proxima is lying.

Grix is in hot water and it appears that Eline might be trying to genuinely help and isn’t the spy Grix thinks she is. Grix and Eline tried their best, but Oris Prime definitely didn’t fall for their explaination. I have a feeling that the collision course with the freighter was Lux’s doing. And now I’m suspicious of Rath – because he sent out a distress signal after they had their scrape with the freighter. But who was he sending it to? Is he really Grix’s little brother or a spy? I just don’t know who to trust at this point.

Invisible Kingdom #3

Well, I’m really happy that Rath was only trying to help and isn’t a spy. Unless he’s secretly a doppelganger and a spy… I mean… it’s possible. But Grix decides to follow the mysterious response that their distress signal got them. She decides to meet up with the sender in hopes they’re telling the truth about the data they have against Lux and the Renunctiation. I found the initial meeting between Grix and Vess to be very honest and believable. I like the interaction between the two and how genuine it feels. But I can’t believe how ridiculous Vess is being! She meets up with Grix and gives her the data, but then thinks she’ll be able to go back. Well, that idea is quickly dismissed when the two are confronted by the giant flying ship thing with what I assume is Mother Proxima’s scolding voice booming from it.

This issue leaves us on a cliffhanger with Grix and Vess leaping from a cliff to escape the Renunctiation. I’m fairly certain that Grix called her pod to meet up with them, so jumping from the cliff is just a way to hopefully trick or elude the Renunctiation for a time. It’s safe to say that the worlds that these two came from will never be the same. There is a truth to be told and lies to be exposed. The lives of Grix and Vess are now intertwined because of their individual discoveries of the Lux and Renunciation conspiracy. I can’t wait to see what’s coming in the next issue!

IDW
Star Trek: Q Conflict #4

This was an explosive issue! Guinan gives Picard some insight into Q’s state of mind, revealing that she believes there are allies yet to fully reveal themselves. Q then gives all the crews a new challenge. He wants them to get the attention of the Prophets in the wormhole near DS9. This obviously doesn’t sit well with any of the captains or their crew, especially Sisko and Kira. They all play along, and all try their own methods of contacting the Prophets. It comes down to Kirk, with advice from Dax, who finally gets their attention. They’re not happy about Q’s shenanigans and the universe is about to implode on itself as a result. On the last page, in the final panel, we see Q2 and Amanda Rogers watching everything unfold. Q2 says to Amanda Rogers, that they’ll have to do something about the events they’re watching. I’m still trying to figure out if the Q are behind all of this or if it’s Q himself being… well, Q.

There was something bothering me and I didn’t want to mention it until the very end of the series – if it hadn’t been brought up. But it was in this issue. O’Brien asks Worf why he’s so distracted during a meeting and he mentions that it’s difficult being around Jadzia Dax, but doesn’t give any details. I’m very happy it was addressed because Worf was plucked from the timeline after he had left DS9, and Dax was plucked from the timeline before Worf ever came to DS9. He has all his memories of Dax and their time spent together, even after her death when the Dax symbiont was given to Ezri. It has to be very jarring to be sitting at the table with someone who has yet to meet and marry you, and then die – almost literally in your arms. I’m happy with the situational awareness, even if this is the only mention it gets.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for an unusual conspiracy story based in a sci-fi setting, Invisible Kingdom is going to come highly recommended from me. If you like Star Trek characters and don’t mind the shenanigans of Q and timeline flux, then Q Conflict is hands down a must read.

So much chaos in one week’s worth of books! Dormammu is the new Herald of Galactus, the Lux/Renunciation Conspiracy is on the way to exposure, and Q has angered the Prophets to the point that the galaxy may implode. Well… what from my box next week could possibly top all this?! Can’t wait to find out!

What are you reading?
Is there a series I should be reading?
You can drop me a line here or find me on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty!
Thanks for reading and remember to like, follow, and subscribe!

A good book is the best vacation!

Greetings Fellow Comic Fans!

 

In my Comic Box Recap article series, I want to talk about each of the comics that I read from my subscriptions that week. I don’t always read all the comics I order, because I’m only collecting some of them. Others are ones I may have started reading, but lost interest in but I still order them. You never know when you may want to go back and revisit a series at a later date.

*** SPOILER WARNING ***
Do not read any further if you are trying to avoid SPOILERS!
Marvel
Doctor Strange #13

Strange is biting off more than he can chew, again. Trying to contain Galactus is just a silly notion. Strange definitely tries and succeeds briefly, but ends up needing help. I was tickled to see Clea was the one that gave the assist on his binding spell. I really like Clea and it’s great to see her back in the pages of Doctor Strange. It’s nice to see that she’s become a force to be reckoned with and that other mighty beings see her as an equal. I think Strange’s fears about Clea’s new allies are only slightly valid. While war and turmoil may be inevitable, having a time of peace among enemies is not a bad thing. I believe Strange’s agreement with Galactus is asinine. He hasn’t garnered peace with Galactus, only temporarily halted the world eater’s advancement. And he’s about to hurt someone because of this ‘deal’ he made and there’s not going to be anyway to avoid it. I just hope he can deal with the consequences of his actions. I guess we’ll find out next time!

Fantastic Four #9

Fantastic Four has been a fun read. In the previous issue, I was a little disappointed that Sue made Doom’s clothes and armor invisible, exposing his nether regions to the world. But that wasn’t exactly what happened. She made the top portion of his clothes and armor invisible, not the bottom part. My faith in Sue has been restored! I should have known that a book with such a family oriented tone wouldn’t have been that obscene. Shame on me for thinking as much.

It’s inspiring to see how each of the Fantastic Four have evolved above an beyond their basic abilities because of the influences of their other family members. Doom really doesn’t see himself as a villain, but the things he does are definitely evil. You don’t enslave any sentient being, let alone a cosmic one like Galactus. You also don’t kidnap folks and then attempt to kill them just to keep them out of your way. I would have liked to see Galactus free himself, but I guess the Fantastic Four needed to help him to keep everything in balance.

I still didn’t know who Wendy was when I read this issue. I decided to go look her up on a Wiki and discovered that the little demons are called the Friends. She has a particularly powerful level of influence over them and can order them to do her bidding. It doesn’t look like they were ever a major antagonist of the Fantastic Four, just a regional antagonist with their own purpose. I wonder if Wendy and her Friends were written into this story  because they’re going to play a bigger part later, or if they were there just because. It would be interesting to see what comes of their presence.

IDW
Star Trek: Year Five #1

You always hear about the Tholians, but rarely see them. I understand that using such a species in movies and TV would be very taxing on the special effects budget. But even in written media, there isn’t a lot about the Tholians. It’s great to finally see a story that looks like the focus is going to be on them (at least for the moment). Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly have done an amazing job with the story so far. You can tell that they either grew up on Star Trek or they did a very thorough job in their research. Artist Stephen Thompson and colorist Charlie Kirchoff have done such an awesome job with the art as well. I was totally lost in the story and the art is so alive that it felt more like I was watching episode on TV than reading a comic.

Kirk’s emotional struggle in this comic is the beginning of what you see in Star Trek the Motion Picture. Instead of loving every moment of being captain of the Enterprise, he let the worry of things to come ruin what time he had left. The writers really did nail the personalities of all the crew. Color me – impressed! I can’t wait for the next issue to see where all of this is headed!

Star Trek: Waypoint (Special 2019)

This book has four different stories in it; Hearts & Bones, Unfathom, The Swift Spoke, and The First Year.

Hearts & Bones

This story was definitely fun to read and it felt like it could easily have been the sub-story to a larger story in an episode of TOS. We very rarely saw the romantic side of Doctor McCoy, so it was nice to see that. But – he definitely chose the wrong person to pursue! The heart loves who it loves, I suppose. I would have been in total disbelief if she had entertained any of McCoy’s advances. And a true friend will always give you the truth, even if it hurts. Spock may be part Vulcan, but he definitely cares about his friends. He didn’t offer his opinion until McCoy sarcastically asked for it, and when he did, Spock told him the honest truth. I really enjoyed this story and I love the art. The art style is complimentary to TOS. I want more Star Trek: TOS from Stephen Mooney!

Unfathom

Well, I was a little more than disappointed in this particular story. It wasn’t very entertaining and I really didn’t care for the art. Something else that bothered me quite a bit, was how similar this story was to “Remember Me”. Granted, there are lots of differences, but I’m not happy about the similarities in the core of the story. Crusher was the key character in both stories and both stories involve folks vanishing and being forgotten. The main difference that really stands out for me, is that the Orpheus’ computer still had records of those that had vanished in this story; but in Remember Me, the personnel files on the Enterprise were gone when someone vanished. And the cause and solution are different, but in the end, they’re too similar for my liking.

The Swift Spoke

This was a story about past event in Janeway’s life when she was the second officer of the Billings. Tuvok had been assigned there as well, only briefly. They are both on an away mission to make first contact with the Adegeda, but things go completely awry. It’s not the fault of the Adegeda, it’s the planet that causes the trouble and the crew is forced to temporarily abandon their mission. The story is a great cautionary tale about how things are not always what they may seem to be, so don’t be quick to judge! It was fairly entertaining and the art is fine, but I felt like it was missing something. I would read this story again if I were reading this issue, but I wouldn’t pull this book out just to read this story.

The First Year

This story is definitely my favorite of all of them. Not just because it’s about Klingons and Worf in particular, but because it clears up that time gap a little bit between the end of DS9 and when we see him again aboard the Enterprise-E. It was a well written and well illustrated. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and this is a story I would want to read several more times. It’s not just a story about some lost time, it also deals with loss and the emotional scarring that can be left behind when someone is taken too soon. As much as I loved Jadzia, Ezri was her own person – not a replacement for Jadzia. She was just a new host for the Dax symbiont. She was not given he opportunity to evolve as a character on DS9, but I’m happy to see the character’s evolution happening in other media. Ezri is an intelligent character with what I call ‘cute charisma’. She’s got a look that you can see on her face that tells you she genuinely cares, and I feel like it was shown very well in this story. Thom Zahler did an excellent job at writing this story. Artist Andy Price and colorist Mark Roberts did a wonderful job at bringing the images to life.

Conclusion

Well, I liked everything this week! There may have been bits I didn’t like within each book, but overall it was a rewarding week of reads. No surprise that my favorite book was Star Trek: Year Five, but I really did liked everything.

What are you reading?
Is there a series I should be reading?
You can drop me a line here or find me on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty!
Thanks for reading and remember to like, follow, and subscribe!

A good book is the best vacation!

Greetings Fellow Comic Fans!

In my Comic Box Recap article series, I want to talk about each of the comics that I read from my subscriptions that week. I don’t always read all the comics I order, because I’m only collecting some of them. Others are ones I may have started reading, but lost interest in but I still order them. You never know when you may want to go back and revisit a series at a later date.

*** SPOILER WARNING ***
Do not read any further if you are trying to avoid SPOILERS!
IDW
Star Trek: The Q Conflict #3

There is only one thing that bothers me about this issue and that’s how Chekov references the planet killer as though he were present during those events. He’s actually not in the episode, The Doomsday Machine. Uhura is also absent in that episode, but she doesn’t talk about the planet killer like she was there. It’s very likely that they were off duty and in their quarters while the chaos was happening. That’s the easiest explanation for their absence, but they were not involved in the incidents that involved the planet killer. It’s also easy to explain that they read a report about the incident and so that’s how they both know about the monstrosity. I really don’t like continuity errors and I know that the studio only considers the movies/shows to be canon, but I prefer consistency even in non-canon material.

Other than the minor continuity error, which can be easily made or explained away, the book itself was very entertaining. You get to see some of the discourse that the game has caused for the other all mighty beings during the coaching session. Metron and Ayelborne obviously don’t want to participate and wouldn’t if it they had a way to avoid the war all together. Trelane and Q seem to enjoy these types of charades. Trelane also shows his lack of experience as all powerful being, and his immaturity, when he gets bored with the starship ‘capture the flag’ game and summons the planet killer. He alters the challenge by using a loophole in the non-interference agreement that Q made. Naturally, the crews all do what they do best – work as a team. The planet killer is destroyed by a torpedo fired from the Enterprise-E, securing the ‘victory’ for Picard and Q.

I’m not sure how this is all going to end, but I imagine it’ll conclude with all the crews being returned to their respective timelines with no memory of what happened. That’s typically how these type of things go when time travel or an all mighty being is involved. I hope there is a lesson learned or some greater knowledge is gained from the outcome of the events in this story. I’m still curious as to why Q2’s face was in the clouds in a previous issue. I didn’t see any evidence of ‘hidden’ faces in this issue. Q2 definitely has something to do with all this, but I still have no clue what his involvement is. I wonder if Q is Q2’s puppet in all of this or if Q2 is just keeping an eye on Q’s shenanigans? We’ll find out – I hope!

Conclusion

I typically do not enjoy time travel or stories about all mighty beings that can’t be defeated, but Star Trek has a particular way of handling these that makes it entertaining and enjoyable. Even if all the crew have their memories wiped when they’re returned to their respective timelines, as long as something is learned or retained by the all mighty beings, it was worth it. I can’t wait to read more of The Q Conflict!

What are you reading?
Is there a series I should be reading?
You can drop me a line here or find me on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty!
Thanks for reading and remember to like, follow, and subscribe!

A good book is the best vacation!

Greetings Fellow Star Trek and Roleplaying Game Fans!

 

This is the latest session from our adventures in the Star Trek Adventures RPG (by Modiphius). Whenever you see text in this reddish brown color, that was what was read to the players. I’ve also included Game Mechanic elements so that others can incorporate it into their games if they want to. Any GM notes are in this bright blue color.

Previous Episodes and Sessions:
Previously on Star Trek Adventures (Kage Hoshi Division):

The crew helped the Ocampa recover their stolen generator parts and rescue their people that had been captured. The Ocampa repaid them with plenty of plants for their journey home. The crew was able to convince the Kazon-Ogla to move on to another planet and leave the Ocampa in peace. Will they uphold their end of the deal or give the crew more trouble? The crew must mine for materials on the asteroids around Ocampa, but can they do it safely?

And now, the conclusion…

Episode Two: Find Your Bearings (Part 3 – Conclusion)
ACT THREE: Scene One – On the Rocks

Back on the ship, the crew is arranging one of the empty cargo areas into a temporary aeroponics bay in order to acclimate the new plants to their new environment. The crew’s next assignment is to pilot a shuttle around the asteroids and mine Dilithium and Duranium for the ship’s supplies. It’s not possible for the transporters to beam the material out of the surrounding rock and all attempts have ended in failure. A manned shuttle must be sent into the asteroid field with a crew to mine the material. The mining crew must work quickly to get as much as possible from each asteroid. The asteroids are rotating while in orbit around Ocampa and it’s not safe to mine from the surface while the asteroid is facing this system’s Sun.

Aboard the Mulgrew, the crew is working on arranging one of the empty cargo bays into a temporary aeroponics bay for the plants that the Ocampa gave them. Dirnick is overseeing the team and working on a more permanent solution.

K’orvo is in the situation room discussing the mining operation with M’Kora, Cross, Zynes, and Zylas.

“I still don’t see why I need to be there. If any of that debris smashes into us, we’re dead. There’s no amount of Latinum that can fix being dead.” Doctor Zylas shrugs. He’s wearing a stark white uniform instead of the traditionally flamboyant Ferengi clothing he usually wears.

“Because, Doctor Zylas, when you signed up to be part of this crew, you agreed to follow my rules and do as I ask. I told you that you would also be expected to assist in any away mission I think your expertise would be a valuable asset. I believe that medical personnel will be an asset in this situation. It’s not just about the flying debris. There is a potential radiation threat too. I think you should be there just in case someone is exposed to too much radiation.” M’Kora says as she studies his coat. “What’s with the vintage uniform?”

“Like it? I found the pattern in the replicator. I think it’s from the late 2250’s. I thought it was time for a change of wardrobe.” Zylas smiles a wide smile, revealing his abnormally flat teeth.

“Stop using the replicators for unnecessary things. We need to preserve energy.” M’Kora sighs and turns to K’orvo. “I would like you to stay here and oversee the building of the refinery. Here’s a list of personnel that I’d like you to use for this project. There are some tension issues that I’d like you to keep an eye on. They’re noted next to the names.”

“Aye, Captain. I will round up the selected personnel and begin the work immediately.” K’orvo acknowledges the assignment and leaves the room.

“Now, Lieutenant Zynes, you are in charge of this away team. I want my best pilot chauffeuring our mining crew around.” M’Kora nods at Zynes and his antenna straighten at the compliment.

“Aye, Captain. I won’t keep them out after curfew.” Zynes acknowledges.

“Wait. You said mining crew? I’m a doctor, not a manual laborer!” Zylas exclaims as he jumps up from his chair. “Surely, you meant ‘mining crew and Doctor Zylas’?”

“You are there to assist in the scientific portion. Ensign Cross will do most, if not all, of the plasma cutting.” M’Kora cuts a sharp look toward Zylas, who in turn, squeaks and sits back down. “I have confidence in your scientific abilities. Lieutenant Commander Dirnick and most of the science team is occupied with another project that can’t be put on hold. You are the next most qualified to operate the science equipment.”

“Yes, captain. I understand.” Zylas looks down and says to himself, “Doesn’t mean I like it though.”

“Captain, I would like to attempt to chart the asteroids movements, if it’s possible. That will help us pick the best target to mine and time the rotation as well.” Zynes says, looking at an orbital chart of Ocampa’s moons.

“Good idea, Lieutenant. Take the doctor with you. Ensign Cross, you should get started loading the shuttle.” M’Kora looks around briefly for any objections and when she doesn’t see any, she dismisses the team. “You’re all dismissed. Good luck out there.”

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Chart Hazard (Optional)
~ Difficulty: 3
~ Reason + Conn
~ Ship Assist: Sensors + Conn

Success: Reduce the difficulty to pilot around the asteroids in this zone by two. Navigator can spend two Momentum to extend the navigation to another adjacent zone.

As you chart the area of asteroids, you are able to determine their rotations and trajectories, making it much easier for the pilot to navigate around them.

The space around the asteroids is littered with rocky debris, some pieces large enough that they could do serious damage to the shuttle or crush a humanoid body into goo. Navigating them will take some time, skill, and a little ingenuity.

“Lieutenant, are you sure you can fly us through this mess?” Zylas asks as he stares, shivering, at the shuttle’s small view screen.

“I don’t call him Ace for no reason, Doc.” Cross chimes in from the engineering station behind Zynes. “I suspect he’s the best pilot in all of Starfleet.”

“I’m not the best, but I’m close to it. Don’t worry Doctor Zylas. This is similar to the entry level simulations at the academy. I aced those while blindfolded, on a dare.”

“Well, keep your blindfold packed away for the time being.” Zylas sighs nervously.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Piloting and Landing
~ Difficulty: 3
~ Daring + Conn, Control + Conn
~ Ship Assist: Engines + Conn

Success: The shuttle lands with a jolt, as the light from this system’s sun is fading over the horizon of the asteroid. The crew that’s mining must get to work immediately and not waste a moment to gather as much material as they can. The Dilithium crystals are fragile and need careful handling while the Duranium has unusually harmful radiation emanating from it. Once the materials are brought up to the surface, they must be put into hazardous material containers and secured on the shuttle. Once the materials are back on the Mulgrew, they can be properly decontaminated and stored.

As the shuttle comes to a landing, there is a sharp jolt, almost knocking Zylas from his seat. “What in the name of the Grand Nagus was that?! Are we blowing up?! Shouldn’t there be a red alert?!”

“Keep your lobes in place. It was just a little turbulence on landing caused by the asteroid’s rotation. Nothing to panic about.” Zynes rolls his eyes at Zylas.

Zylas struggles to put the EV suit helmet on over his ears and Cross snickers a little to himself. Once he’s suited up, he gathers his supplies and pulls out a tricoder. He gives Cross an irritated look and sighs, “Ready, Ensign?”

Cross gives Zylas a very concerned look through his own EV suit’s helmet, “Not really, Doc. But it has to get done and we’re the men for the job!”

“Gross. You’re optimism is sickening. Rule of Acquisition, number… ummm.. something: Don’t be too optimistic. Optimism makes Latinum larger than it appears.” Zylas shakes his head at Cross and watches as Cross struggles and wrestles with the plasma cutter. Zylas winces at Cross and asks him, “Are you sure you can manage?”

“Sure can, Doc. You just operate that whats-it and tell me where to point and shoot.” Cross says as he continues to struggle with the bulky, rifle looking piece of equipment. “And I’ve never heard that Rule of Acquisition before. Are you sure it’s…”

“Don’t question me on the Rules of Acquisition! I’m a Ferengi! Now, let’s go!” Zylas waddles up behind Cross into a decompression area.

Zylas and Cross approach the rear of the shuttle and a force field buzzes to life behind them. The two look at the timer displays on the inside of their helmets one last time before decompressing the rear section and opening the rear hatch. Zylas and Cross step out onto the rocky surface of the asteroid. The light from the crews’ SIMs beacons cut through the darkness, revealing the treacherous surface before them.

“Be careful out there. I’ll leave the hatch open. Your timers should be synced to the shuttle’s timer, so keep a close eye on your time.” Zynes says as the two make their way across the asteroid’s surface.

Game Mechanics
~ Extended Timed Task: Mining
~ Time Intervals: 10
~ Time per Task:
2

~ Work Track: 8
~ Magnitude: 3
~ Resistance: 2
~ Base Difficulty: 2
~ Daring + Engineering, Fitness + Engineering
~ Player Assist: Any Applicable Pairing with Explanation

Success/Fail: An alert sounds on the crews’ suits and in the shuttle, letting them know that they need to secure the gathered materials before the sun’s harmful rays peak over the asteroid’s edge.

Succeeding on this task means that the crew gathers a large amount of material. Failure means they gather a minimal amount and they need to try a different asteroid. The crew needs one successful attempt to acquire enough materials for the ship’s stores.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Securing the Spoils
~ Difficulty: 2
~ Control + Science, Daring + Engineering
~ Player Assist: Any Applicable Pairing with Explanation

“Here’s a deposit that’s close to the surface, Ensign.” Zylas points to a spot on the ground where a small, shiny crystal form is peaking through the surface. “Looks like a much larger deposit of Dilithium than the last one. I’ll try to find more Duranium and then we should have enough for this trip.”

“Aye, Doc. Now all I need to do is adjust this nobby thing here so it doesn’t damage the crystals and…” Cross continues to talk to himself as Zylas moves off towards what appears to be a large Duranium deposit.

“I can’t believe there isn’t a single thing worth even a slip of Latinum on this blasted asteroid, besides Dilithium and Duranium. But I can’t make off with any of that. Someone will definitely find out.” Zylas grumbles to himself as he continues to scan the surface for other valuable materials. Zylas engages the two-way comm with Cross and asks, “Have you finished mining that Dilithium yet? I found a Duranium deposit.”

“Sure have, Doc! I’m on my way to you.” Cross answers back. “We should probably start securing the materials we’ve extracted. Our timer is running low and we want to be sure we get this load back on time, wouldn’t you agree, Doc?”

“I’ll start on that while you finish mining this deposit.” Zylas says as he bounces away from Cross.

A short time later, an alert sounds on both of the crew’s suits and Zynes calls to the two over their comms, “You two okay out there? I can put on a suit and help if you need me.”

“We’re just fine, Lieutenant. We’ve almost finished gathering all the mined materials. We should be back at the shuttle in plenty of time.” Zylas responds. And just as Zylas predicted, the two are back aboard the shuttle with a large haul of materials.

“We make a pretty good team. I think we should come back out after we drop off this load and get more.” Zynes says, with a twinkle and a look of pride in his eyes.

“Speak for yourself, Lieutenant. This was way more manual labor than I’m used to.” Zylas complains as he takes his seat on the shuttle.

“Ignore his grumbling, Ace. Doc’s just sour because he didn’t find any trinkets to swipe and sell later.” Zylas cuts Cross an angry look and snorts. “See there? He didn’t deny it! I knew that’s why you kept sneaking off.”

The two snicker at Zylas as the shuttle returns to the Mulgrew to dock and unload.

As soon as the shuttle docks, the ship is rocked with phaser fire and a Red Alert has been issued.

Upon arrival to the bridge, the senior staff relieves the temporary staff. The captain hails the attacking Kazon ship and a grizzled looking Kazon answers the hail. “Captain, I am Captain Zendurk of the Kazon-Nistrim, and we are here to destroy you for your part in the murder of Maje Culluh.”

The crew can attempt to use Culluh as a bargaining chip.

“Culluh is not dead. He is in our brig.” K’orvo steps up to the viewscreen and addresses Zendurk. “His ship was exploding and we transported around 50 of his crew over to our ship, to safety. They acted out in hostility so we detained them. If you want Culluh and his crew, we can make arrangements.”

“Federation tricks! The Maje’s ship is destroyed and bodies were detected. You will pay for the murder of Maje Culluh!” Zendurk yells.

“I do not perpetrate deception! I am an honorable warrior and I do not participate in such dishonorable acts! Your Maje is safe aboard our ship.” K’orvo fires back at Zendurk.

“You are weak, hiding behind your Federation technology. You would not be able to achieve victory in face-to-face combat against a Kazon. That’s why you blew up Maje Culluh’s ship! You took advantage of his lack of technologically advanced weapons, like a coward!” Zendurk yells at the view screen with drops of spit flying from his mouth as he hurls insults at K’orvo.

“Meet me face-to-face and you will see just how much of a coward I am, you dishonorable…” K’orvo begins to defend himself but M’Kora cuts him off.

“Commander, stand down. We need to handle this in a diplomatic fashion.” M’Kora looks at K’orvo and sees the frustration in his face.

“Fine! You deal with this petaQ then! I am going to my quarters.” K’orvo storms off the bridge, punching the wall near the turbo lift as his exits.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Talking the Kazon Down
~ Difficulty: 2
~ Presence + Command, Reason + Command
~ Opposed Task: Insight + Command (15)
~ Maximum Attempts: 2

* GM Note* If the crew decides to send Culluh over to the Kazon ship, the fire fight will be instantly avoided.

Success: The Kazon have agreed to take Culluh and his crew off your hands. And because they were not mistreated, the Kazon have decided to take Cabrok and his subordinates off Ocampa and relocate them, whether they want to go or not.

“Computer, site to site transport – Maje Culluh from the brig to the bridge, immediately!” M’Kora calls the orders out to the computer and there is a twinkling and sparkling of energy to the left of her. Culluh materializes with a look of shock and surprise on his face. “Culluh, one of your ships is here, threatening to destroy us to avenge your death. Will you explain to them that you and most of your crew are very much alive?”

Culluh looks at the viewscreen and sees Captain Zendurk. Culluh smiles and says, “Zendurk, good to see the face of a subordinate I can trust. This ship rescued my crew from our ship before it exploded. And even though they’ve treated us all… well, I would very much like to get back to a Kazon ship.”

“How do I know you’re not some kind of Federation illusion?” Zendurk retorts.

“Zendurk, if you don’t get me and my crew safely off this ship, I will personally skin you alive and keep it as a trophy.” Culluh growls at Zendurk as he glares at him.

“Imagine if we had such a wonderful working relationship aboard the Mulgrew… I’m a bit jealous.” Dirnick says with a smirk, looking at Lorne. Lorne just sighs and continues to monitor the security reports coming in to his station.

“Culluh, we can transport you and your crew to Zendurk’s ship immediately. Lieutenant Lorne, prep our guests for transport. Ensign Cross, please go straight to the transporter room and prep the transporters for mass transport, at least ten at a time.” M’Kora orders and the officers acknowledge and immediately make their way to their assignments.

“Maje Culluh, we will greet you when you arrive. Apologies for the suspicions.” Zendurk bows and the viewscreen returns to a view of the Kazon ship floating in orbit around Ocampa.

M’Kora turns to Culluh and with a friendly tone, says, “Culluh, before you leave, there is a favor I would ask of you.”

“Well, since you kept your word and didn’t kill us all, I might try to do this favor for you. What’s the favor?” Culluh looks suspiciously at M’Kora.

“I would like for you to remove the Kazon-Ogla from Ocampa. I’m certain that is within your power.” M’Kora eyes Culluh.

Culluh lets out a long sigh and says, “I can do this. The Ogla and Nistrim are not allies. They will resist, but they’re much weaker than the Nistrim. I will tell them that the Federation asked us to collect them and take them to one of their ships.”

“Thank you. We will have ships entering this space very soon. It would be best if you collect them and leave quickly. The Federation sees the Kazon as a hostile entity and will likely meet you with aggressive caution.” M’Kora says, waiting to see if Culluh questions the validity of her claims.

“We want no war with the Federation. But we will find stronger technology and return to do battle with your Federation.” Culluh says as a team of security officers arrives and instructs Culluh to come with them.

ACT THREE: Scene Two – Single File, You Will Comply

There are Kazon being escorted to the transporter room in groups of ten by the ship’s security officers. The Kazon are very disgruntled and aren’t afraid to let everyone know. Even as they’re being transported to their sister ship, they show no appreciation or gratitude to the crew. Several of the Kazon attempt to start a fight with the security officers, but they are quickly subdued and carried to the transporter room.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Transport the 50 Kazon
~ Difficulty: 2
~ Control + Engineering
~ Ship Assist: Sensors + Engineering
~ Must be done five times, 10 Kazon each transport.

“Step right up, folks!” Cross calls out to the Kazon as they enter the transporter room. Lorne is escorting groups with several of his security team.

While the Kazon are being transported off the ship, some of the other crew members are beginning work on the refinery for the Duranium. The crew is manually transporting the stored goods from one cargo bay to another and replicating materials for the refining machines when the senior staff arrives to assist in the construction of the equipment.

K’orvo has made his way back to his quarters and is resting his eyes for a moment. Zylas has returned to Sick Bay to check on some of the crew that were injured when the Mulgrew was thrown into the Delta Quadrant. Zynes is manning the helm and Dirnick has made his way to the cargo bay, in K’orvo’s place, where the refinery equipment is being put together and calibrated.

Dirnick looks over the equipment carefully and then calls to Cross over the comm. “Dirnick to Ensign Cross, I require your assistance in cargo bay three.”

“On my way, Lieutenant Commander.” Cross calls back and then looks to Lorne. “Could you take over for me here, Lieutenant?”

“It would be my pleasure.” Lorne looks sternly at the group being escorted into the transporter room. It doesn’t take Lorne much longer to transport the remaining Kazon off the ship and the Kazon ship warps away without any sign of appreciation or hostility.

A few moments after Cross leaves the transporter room, the doors to cargo bay three slide open and Cross comes hopping in. “I’m here, sir.”

“Excellent timing, Ensign. We need your expertise in engineering to help us finish constructing this refining equipment.” Dirnick points to a pile of primitive looking machinery.

“No problem! I’ll get right to it!” Cross immediately gets to work, pulling up large pieces of machinery with cogs and wires hanging from it, and then assembling them with ease.

Game Mechanics
~ Extended Task: Build Duranium Refinery
~ Work Track: 8
~ Magnitude: 2
~ Base Difficulty: 2
~ Reason + Engineering
~ Player Assist: Any Applicable Pairing with Explanation

“All done, sir!” Cross stands over the refinery equipment, looking at it with a sense of pride.

“Well done, Ensign. Now let’s begin cleaning up this Duranium.” Dirnick nods approvingly at Cross and then begins selecting his refining team.

The crew is about to begin scrubbing the abnormal radiation from the Duranium when a proximity alert sounds and a red alert is issued. There are hundreds of voices, speaking in unison, coming across the ship’s communications system. It says, “We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ship. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.”

K’orvo sits straight up in his bed, sweat pouring down his face, and he begins to shake at the sound of the Borg hail. Zylas is screaming and running around sickbay looking for valuables to grab.

The rest of the senior staff drops everything and rushes to the bridge. A red alert and call to battle stations goes out. Lorne and Zynes are already on the bridge when Dirnick and Cross enter through the turbo lift.

“Status report, Lieutenant Lorne.” M’Kora calls across the bridge.

The Kazon ship has already warped away and there is a Borg Sphere pulling the ship with a powerful tractor beam. The viewscreen has a sickly green glow from the light of the tractor beam and there is another alert sounding across the ship. The computer’s voice comes over the ship’s comm, “Intruder alert on decks 19, 20, and 24.” The ship has been pulled into the Borg sphere and is being boarded.

“The Kazon are long gone, and there is a Borg Sphere dropping out of warp directly ahead.” Lorne looks at his captain with a sense of dread on his face.

“Computer, open a ship-wide channel. Alright folks, this is it. We are alone and the Borg are here to assimilate us. We will most likely not make it out of this, but do not go down without a fight! That’s an order! Defend the ship and the crew to the last individual!” M’Kora reaches for her phaser and D’k tahg to ready herself for battle. The other bridge members put their phasers within reach and continue their attempts at fortifying the ship’s defenses.

“Intruder alert on decks 19, 20, and 24.” There is a pit in the stomach of every crew member aboard the Mulgrew when the computer alerts the crew of the intruders.

K’orvo is sitting in his darkened quarters on his bed with his disruptor trained on the door. He’s shaking and his breathing is erratic. Memories of assimilation and the reversal are flooding back to him as he waits for the door to his quarters to open.

Zylas bolts for the entrance to sickbay and then turns down the corridor towards the escape pods, screaming the entire time. His arms are so full of equipment, medicine, and other items that some items are falling to the ground as he runs. He doesn’t seem to notice the loss of any item until he drops a bar of Latinum. Only then does he grow silent and pause to retrieve it. Once he tucks it safely back into his pocket, he resumes screaming and continues his sprint towards the escape pods.

There is a sickening green glow as almost a dozen Borg drones beam onto the bridge. The crew immediately engage the drones with phasers set to rotating pulses. The Mulgrew jerks suddenly and Zynes looks to his console for answers.

“Captain, they’ve got a tractor beam on us! We’re being pulled into their ship!” Zynes calls to M’Kora.

“Someone try to break that beam! Try a feedback pulse!” M’Kora calls out as she blocks an attempted grapple from one of the drones.

Cross is approached by a drone who tries to inject him with assimilation tubules. Cross screams in a really high pitched tone and flails his hands at the drone. The unnatural response startles the drone for a brief moment but the drone decides to attempt to incapacitate Cross instead. The drone punches Cross, who squeaks at the pain, but Cross holds his ground at the console.

“Boss, I can’t stop the beam, but I can do this!” Cross activates a command on his console and every Borg on the bridge begins to twinkle and disappear in a flash of transporter light.

“Where are they, Ensign!?” M’Kora turns to Cross in anger, suspecting he beamed them somewhere else on the ship.

Cross points to the viewscreen and says, “There, boss.”

The viewscreen activates and there are almost a dozen frozen Borg drones floating in space, just outside the ship’s hull. There is a look of shock and surprise on the faces of the other bridge crew, but M’Kora steps up to Cross and places an approving hand on his shoulder.

“Good work, Ensign. Now, let’s take back our ship!” M’Kora says and the rest of the bridge crew rally to her call.

Borg Drone (Minor NPC) – Core Book, pg 322

The crew does everything they can to repel the boarders, fighting them off the best they can. The fight does not end without casualties on both sides. The ship has been pulled into the Borg Sphere by the Sphere’s tractor beam. The fight isn’t over before the ship is rocked by explosions coming from inside the sphere, all around the ship. Lights and panels begin to flicker and dim. Emergency lighting is on but the ship’s internal atmosphere feels off. The air feels lighter and each step takes less effort. Sweat beads off your forehead but doesn’t drop to the floor; it instead floats away from you towards the wall. Everything is starting to feel like it’s moving in slow motion, when the ship is jostled once more and gravity returns to normal.

On the bridge, there is a hail coming in, but it’s audio only. You can hear the voice of a woman calling the ship, but there’s a lot of distortion. You can barely make out what she’s saying and all you can hear is, “This is *static* Janeway. Can you hear me? *static* Please respond.”

Roll Credits!
  • Travis – Lieutenant Zynes/Lieutenant Commander Dirnick
  • Wednesday – Doctor Zylas/Commander K’orvo
  • North – Ensign Cross/Lieutenant Lorne
  • Kat (Dice Dice Kitty) – Captain M’Kora

“These are the voyages of the starship Mulgrew. We go where other Federation starships cannot. We blaze a path in the stars for fellow explorers. We don’t just boldly go, we go boldly and silently into the black.”     ~ M’Kora

Qapla’!

Next Time:
Episode Three: – (TBD)

GM Notes

I added some increased complication ranges to some of the tasks in this after their last session. I did not add it to the base adventure though because I feel like it’s a situational thing that relates specifically to my players. It definitely added some pressure and the fear of potential failure. It scared them enough to spend their Momentum more often, and while they didn’t fail, they did create some complications and generate threat for me to use later.

Show Your Support!

I haven’t heard one way or the other if Modiphius is planning to attend Origins Game Fair this year (2019). Modiphius has something special in the 2D20 system and I think it needs proper representation at Origins. I know they were at GenCon, but many of us can’t go to a convention that size or that expensive. For me, it’s more about the size than the cost. I want to put this out on all channels – Show Modiphius you love their games! Ask them to attend Origins so they know it’s not just me poking at them about it. Even if you’re not planning to attend Origins (which you should), go ahead and let them know what it means to you as a fan and customer, to see them with representation at multiple US conventions!

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Don’t forget to follow Origins as well!
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Thanks, as always for reading my ramblings and also for your support. Tune in next time, for the beginning of episode three.

Greetings Fellow Star Trek and Roleplaying Game Fans!

 

This is the latest session from our adventures in the Star Trek Adventures RPG (by Modiphius). Whenever you see text in this reddish brown color, that was what was read to the players. I’ve also included Game Mechanic elements so that others can incorporate it into their games if they want to. Any GM notes are in this bright blue color.

Previous Episodes and Sessions:
Previously on Star Trek Adventures (Kage Hoshi Division):

The U.S.S. Mulgrew arrived at Ocampa and found that there was a substantial amount of interference that prevented them from getting accurate readings from the ship’s sensors.  There were two away teams assembled, one to stay below the mesosphere and relay messages to the Mulgrew, and the other to investigate the planet and its inhabitants. General K’orvo, Lieutenant Commander Dirnick, and Lieutenant Lorne were almost ambushed by a group of hostile Kazon-Ogla. They weren’t willing to negotiate for the Kazon-Nistrim and a firefight erupted. The crew subdued and detained the hostiles in their shuttle and sent Trenack, the Kazon-Nistrim, with Lieutenant Zhang on the second shuttle.

And now, the continuation…

Episode Two: Find Your Bearings (Part 2)
ACT ONE: Scene Two – Beauty Beneath the Surface

(If the players failed the previous scanning task, they may attempt it again. If they passed, they may review their findings)

Once the crew has successfully subdued and secured the attackers, they are able to fix the shuttle doors and secure the shuttle from potential scavengers. The crew looks over their scans once more. The caves that they detected are located a short distance away, but they run deep underground with winding tunnels and areas that the tricorders can’t get readings for. The crew picks up an opening on their scans, just on the other side of the large rock formation that the Kazon were hiding behind. The opening leads beneath the surface and into one of the tunnels. There are very faint readings of plant life and moisture throughout that tunnel, as well as a fluctuating life sign that’s not Kazon and could be in distress.

“Commander, I’m reading a life sign that may be in distress. It looks like we have to traverse a short distance into this opening to reach it.” Dirnick looks at K’orvo to gauge his potential response before continuing. When he doesn’t detect a hard resistance from K’orvo, he continues, “Starfleet protocols require that we lend aid to those that ask for it. Also, these life signs are not Kazon. It’s possible I could be reading an Ocampa life sign.”

“Well, whoever it is did not request aid, but in the interests of the mission, I think we should investigate. Can we safely navigate the tunnels to get to the being?” K’orvo asks Dirnick.

“I believe so, sir. There appear to be hazardous spots, but it’s very difficult to get accurate readings for the terrain below the surface from here. Not sure what’s causing it, but there is some minor interference.” Dirnick says, studying his scans.

“Gather the minimum amount of supplies we might need and let us venture into the tunnels to find this life sign then.” K’orvo sighs as Dirnick signals to Lorne and the trio prepares to venture beneath the surface.

The crew makes their way to the underground entrance and they can easily see the path that lies ahead is treacherous. The walls are rough and the floor is loose dirt. The tunnels do not look like they were created with precision or planning, more like they were dug out with crude tools. The rock is dark in color with hues of purple and burgundy splashed in. There are chunks of wall missing in several locations, like someone dug something out of the wall. The tunnels resemble a crude mining operation. There are no places to hang lights on the walls and there are no ceiling supports either. If this had been a mining operation at one time, it was not very well planned or executed. The crew must take care and not misstep.

“Commander, these tunnels are quite dangerous. My scans were accurate for the upper levels, but if go too deep, we could find ourselves injured if we don’t take care where we step.” Dirnick says, looking at K’orvo. The light from the surface peeks through a few cracks in the ceiling, as the dust they disturbed upon entering the area drifts lazily through the beams of light.

K’orvo surveys his surroundings and turns to Lorne, “Do you think you can safely navigate us through the tunnels? Your past experiences could prove useful here. Bajoran resistance fighters often used caves to hide in, correct?”

“Aye, Commander. I know how to read the terrain. Every planet is different, but some things never change. I can get us safely to the lower tunnels.” Lorne takes the lead, stirring up more dust with every step. The upper levels are easy enough to traverse, but once the crew begins to descend, they find that one small slip could easily leave them injured or worse. Lorne steadies himself and guides the other two around the dangers.

Game Mechanics
~ Extended Timed Task: Navigate the Tunnels
~ Time Intervals: 14 (1 Per Attempt)
~ Work Track:
12

~ Magnitude: 3
~ Resistance: 2
~ Base Difficulty: 2
~ Fitness + Command
~ Player Assist: Any Applicable Pairing with Explanation

The lower paths are indeed treacherous have many pitfalls and loose rocks that could easily cause someone to fall to their death, or at the very least, a life threatening injury. The walls are damp and a type of moss can be found clinging and hanging in the moistest areas. As the crew travels the tunnels, light from the surface peeks through cracks and crevices in the ceiling of the tunnels. Once the crew gets far enough beneath the surface, there is no more natural light and the crew must use their SIMs beacons. As the light from the crews’ beacons pass over patches of moss, the moss emits a faint blue glow for a brief time and then the light fades.

“Oh! That’s fascinating! Commander, if I may have a moment, I’d like to take some readings of this mossy substance.” Dirnick is already pulling out his tricorder before K’orvo has a chance to respond.

“Make it quick, Lieutenant Commander. We may be on stable ground for the moment, but I do not wish to linger here longer than is necessary.” K’orvo glances around with a look of concern on his face.

“All done! I just needed a moment. Thank you, Commander.” Dirnick holds up his tricorder to check the readings of the being he registered earlier.

The crew notices that the life sign they detected has begun to move slowly and deeper into the tunnels. The crew carefully works their way through the tunnels and caverns until they finally catch up to the life sign. The crew rounds a divide in the tunnel to find a woman sitting on a rocky, flat protrusion. She’s startled and jumps up from where she was sitting. As she tries to run away from the crew, they notice an obvious limp. The crew calls to her but she only glances back, without stopping. She doesn’t get far down the tunnel before she trips and falls.

“Commander, the life sign is moving slowly, but deeper into the tunnels. We should catch up to it any moment.” Dirnick points out as they approach a divide in the tunnel. They move around it to find that the life sign is an almost human looking woman with ridged extensions on the tips of her ears. When she sees the dark figures of the crew, she jumps up from the rock she’s sitting on and tries to run away.

“Miss! Wait! We won’t hurt you!” Lorne calls out, but the woman is limping further down the tunnel. She glances back for a moment, which causes her to trip and fall. Lorne and Dirnick cautiously approach her and attempt to calm her down. Lorne holds his hands up so she can see that he isn’t pointing any weapons at her. “We just want to help. We noticed you were limping. Is everything okay?”

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Calm the Woman
~ Difficulty: 0
~ Insight + Command
~ Player Assist: Presence + Security
~ Opposed Task: Insight + Security

When the crew calms the woman down, they are able to get a quick scan of her leg and discovery the limp is caused by a minor sprain. The sprain is easily corrected with an osteogenic stimulator from a medkit or a dermal regenerator from a standard emergency kit. Once the crew has healed the woman’s ankle, she opens up a little more about who she is and her people.

“You should be good as new, but I would rest that leg when you get home.” Dirnick smiles quaintly at the woman as he finishes mending her injury.

“My name is Lorne, this is Dirnick, and that’s our commanding officer, K’orvo.” Lorne introduces everyone and the woman seems to be more at ease after getting a good look at the crew.

“My name is Tyla and my species is called the Ocampa. We’ve lived here on this planet for over 500 generations. Our planet used to be a beautiful place until “The Warming” happened. Bodies of water evaporated and the rains never fell again. Since then, the Caretaker had always provided for us, but he’s not now. My people learned how to develop a sustainable power generator that uses cormaline as fuel. We built it about a year ago, with the help of a human from the Alpha Quadrant. He was a crewmember of a Federation ship, called Voyager. I didn’t recognize your uniforms in the dark and that’s why I ran. The Kazon, who are brutal and war hungry, discovered that we had developed our engineering skills and they began attacking us. My people are in great danger from the Kazon. The generators that power our force field and all the systems in our society are failing. I was on a mission to recover parts that were stolen from us, but I’ve failed. Without those parts, or a way to repair the broken temporary ones, our force field will fail and the Kazon will invade my home and enslave my people.”

If the crew are worried about the Prime Directive, remind them of this; the Ocampa have a unique culture but they’ve already been assisted by a member of Voyager’s crew. Helping them now wouldn’t be in violation of the Prime Directive.

“If you will let us, we can accompany you on your way back, Tyla. We can take a look at the generators to see if we can assist you.” K’orvo says as Tyla stands up and brushes the dirt from her pants.

“I’m sure the Elders would appreciate any help, especially from Federation people.” Tyla says and motions for the crew to follow her. “This way.”

The crew will hopefully decide to help Tyla and the Ocampa repair their generators. Tyla can guide the crew through the rest of the tunnels with no trouble. Suddenly, they reach a dead end.

The crew follows Tyla through several tunnels, some of which look almost impassible but the dangerous spots are easily maneuvered with her help.

“Scouts, like myself, know every inch of every tunnel. We scout for potential new tunnels and new entrance locations too. We move our surface entrances often, so the Kazon have a harder time finding them.” Tyla explains as she helps the crew across a crack in the ground, big enough to trip over, but small enough to miss in the dark. “We don’t want to live on the surface, but it’s a place that’s rich with our culture’s archaeological history that we want to explore. It’s not much further now.”

The crew follows her until they approach a dead end in the tunnel. Dirnick instinctively scans the area, but his scans do not yield any significant results. “Excuse me, Tyla, but have lost your way home?”

“Don’t worry; it’s just the illusion of a dead end to hide the entrance.” Tyla touches a spot on the wall to her left and a panel opens up. She taps several buttons on what looks like an LCARS panel and the image of the wall begins to pixelate and fade away. There is now a wall of energy where the dead end once was, and the crew can easily see beyond the yellow glow of the energy field. The tunnel continues and not far from where the crew is standing, the rough walls become smoothly formed walls. The floor transitions from dirt to what appears to be a metal plating of some kind. “There are very few access tunnels that are safe to use, so we have to protect them in any way we can. These entrances can’t be moved. The energy signature of the force field is masked so the Kazon can’t detect it. Their scanners should show a magnetic fluctuation, which would deter them from trying to progress beyond the dead end. Cormaline is not magnetic and any cormaline that’s exposed to a magnetic field will change the composition of the mineral, making it worthless. Since the Kazon’s main interest is in the cormaline deposits, this is the best solution we’ve been able to come up with.”

Tyla smiles and presses a few more buttons on the panel. The force field dissipates allowing the crew to pass through the entrance. Once crew is on the other side of the force field markers, Tyla closes the panel and steps across the markers to stand near the crew. She touches another spot on the wall and different panel that’s almost identical to the other panel opens. She inputs several commands and the force field initializes, but the wall doesn’t appear to be visible from this side.

Dirnick watches with intense curiosity, memorizing her hand movements. Lorne steps up to the force field and looks into the tunnel that they just came from. “Is this some sort of two way mirror?”

“This is something we learned how to do on our own. The dead end wall appears normally on the other side of the force field, but we’re able to see through it from this side. We can see potential threats before they see us.” Tyla smiles and motions for the crew to follow her down the hallway.

“Sneaky and resourceful. The Kazon should be thankful that you and your people are a peaceful race.” K’orvo compliments Tyla and she smiles.

The crew follows her as she leads them down a long hallway. There appear to be several retracted bulkhead doors installed in the hallway. It appears that the Ocampa have been reinforcing their home in such a way that they could repel any Kazon invaders. The crew can easily assume that the generators power these doors and all the other safeguarding systems, so without the generators, the Ocampa will be at the mercy of the Kazon.

“It seems you have some serious security measures already in place.” Lorne says as they continue down the hallway.

“We can remotely close these doors, but we need the generators to power them. If we close the doors, we won’t likely open them again and they’re made to withstand any phase pistol the Kazon have. We can also collapse the hallway, rendering it completely useless.” Tyla says with a grim tone.

“I take it that’s a last resort though?” Lorne asks.

“If the Kazon make it beyond the fake wall, the doors are here to prevent them from advancing. When we clear them out of the tunnel, we collapse the ceiling rendering the tunnel unusable.” Tyla doesn’t seem to want like talking about this particular subject.

When the crew and Tyla reach the end of the hallway, it opens up to a great cavernous area that has artificial sunlight beaming down onto miles of city-scape. The architecture of the buildings looks as though it was inspired by the ancient Romans, with domed roofs and massive columns on almost every building. The roads and walkways are very rigid and sharp in appearance with hard angles and no curves, much different than the look of the buildings. Accents of what appears similar to bronze and gold metallic decorations adorn the buildings and walkways. There is a sparkling river calmly flowing down the center of the cavern, from one end to the other. Hanging over the river, at various locations, are planting boxes for a variety of crops and other plant life. There are decorative trees and potted plants placed all around the city. It’s a vast difference from the world above the surface.

“This is my home. The Ocampa live here and wish to be left alone. We study art, literature, music, gardening, and a variety of other life enriching topics. We have no taste for conflict. Follow me and I’ll show you to the generators.” Tyla says as she motions for the crew to follow her.

Dirnick begins scanning the area and his curiosity gets the better of him, “I assume that the crops are not a necessity, but more of a hobby? And what of the river; is it naturally occurring? It’s so still, it’s almost like glass. I’m very interesting in your irrigation techniques as well.”

“Lieutenant Commander, you will have time to discuss plants later. We need to assess the situation with the generators first.” K’orvo says, almost cutting Dirnick off mid-sentence.

“Yes, sir. Sorry about that. I just find horticulture and botany to be of great interest. We may also need to incorporate some of their methods to use on the Mulgrew. We should think about saving energy by using the replicators less and eating fresh food when possible.” Dirnick says.

“I do not have any issue with your personal pursuits. I think it is a good idea, but let us complete our mission first.” K’orvo explains.

“We have replicators, but their main function is to replicate nutritional supplements when we need them. We mostly eat freshly grown food, right from our crop boxes. You will find them interesting. We would be more than happy to show you all of our botany and horticulture projects later, Mr. Dirnick. We’ve arrived at the generator building.”

You enter a large building, which isn’t a building at all. The building face is only for decorative purposes, as far as you can tell. When you walk through the doors, you enter a huge area that’s been roughly carved into the side of the cavern. It looks like they’re still working to smooth the walls, and the floors are mostly dirt with alloy floor panels surrounding massive pieces of machinery. They machines are making a steady humming sound, but every so often the power is interrupted and one of the machines shuts down. The moment it happens, one of the Ocampa monitoring the machines jumps up and quickly tinkers with some settings and changes out a part or two and the machine restarts and begins humming again.

“We have to use temporary stabilizers to keep the generators running. We never know when they’ll shut down, so we have to keep shifts of maintenance workers watching them non-stop. The parts the Kazon stole are too complex for us to replicate, and we’ve got technicians working on rebuilding them, but our parts just aren’t like the originals. They took all of the conversion sustainers from the machines. Now we have to manually swap the temporary sustainers, but that will only work for so long. We will eventually run out of the temporary sustainers and be left defenseless.” Tyla explains with a look of concern and fear on her face.

“They run by converting cormaline into energy. Just a pebble sized piece of cormaline can convert into enough energy to power the city for a month or more. The conversion sustainers make it possible for the machines to use the energy from the converted cormaline. The Kazon invaded our planet and want the cormaline to sell to other races for weapons most likely. If the Kazon mine it all, we’ll have to find another energy source or we’ll be taken as slaves of the Kazon.”

(If asked how the Kazon stole the parts, she hesitates to explain, but will if asked politely. She explains, “We were told that they wanted to extend their hand in peace. We allowed a ‘diplomatic’ party to join us in the city. We thought everything was working out and we were giving them a tour and then everything changed when we came to this room. As we led the party around one of the generators, the Kazon diplomats ambushed us and started to remove parts from the generators.”)

“So, how did the Kazon steal the parts in the first place?” Lorne crosses his arms and looks at Tyla with suspicion.

“We were told that they wanted to extend their hand in peace. We allowed a ‘diplomatic’ party to join us in the city. We thought everything was working out and we were giving them a tour and then everything changed when we came to this room. As we led the party around one of the generators, the Kazon diplomats ambushed us and started to remove the parts from the generators.” As Tyla explains what happened, two more of the generators malfunction and the technicians rush to repair them.

K’orvo sighs to himself and looks at the away team. “We need to get an engineer down here. I do not want either of you mucking about the machinery.”

“You’ll get no argument from me, Commander. I’m happy to avoid it if possible.” Dirnick says as he wipes his index finger across a flat surface on one of the machines. He rubs his thumb and index finger together and makes a disgusted face. “This equipment is somewhat primitive compared to our technology. I wouldn’t know what to do with it anyway.”

“Commander, what about Ensign Cross? Isn’t he more familiar with primitive technologies?” Lorne asks, as he studies some of the moving parts on the closest generator.

“K’orvo to Shuttle Spiner.” K’orvo waits for a few moments and when he doesn’t get a response, he tries to hail the shuttle again. “Lieutenant Zhang, respond.”

“You may not be able to communicate with your shuttle because of the interference field we have in place. We created it to make it more difficult for the Kazon to communicate with anyone on the surface. You’ll have to leave the tunnels to reach them.” Tyla explains as she assists one of the technicians with a different part on a nearby generator.

“Alright, we will all go back up to the surface and assess the situation.” K’orvo says. “They may have somewhat primitive technology compared to ours, but it can still disrupt our operations. That means the Kazon will also have a harder time. I feel confident in the Ocampan defenses, once their generators are fixed.”

“I definitely agree with you, Commander. I think our passive friends here can defend themselves adequately. The captain will be happy to hear it.” Dirnick says as Tyla rejoins the away team.

“We’ll guide you through the tunnels.” Tyla says and the group begins to make their way back towards the tunnels.

Once on the surface, the crew makes several personnel changes to better accommodate the current state of things. Lorne returns to the Mulgrew to monitor security for the Kazon-Nistrim aboard the ship and Cross ventures out to join the away team on the planet’s surface. Ensign Castle is assigned to monitor the Kazon-Ogla in Shuttle Dorn as well as keep a lookout for any signs of danger.

K’orvo, Cross, and Dirnick make their way to the tunnels. Once they have re-entered the tunnels, a crew of Ocampa begin collapsing the entrance and are making plans to open a new one nearby. The away team makes their way safely back to Ocampa with the aid of several scouts. When they enter the generator room, Cross’s eyes grow wide with excitement and he rushes to inspect the closest generator.

“Ah, yes, I see that this doomaflatchy here shouldn’t be acting this way. Oh, never thought to use this thingy-ma-jig in this manner, but it seems to be useful. If you were to swap the attachment here with this do-hicky, then it should increase the output by fifteen percent… maybe more if you add a what’s-it….” Cross’s thoughts and ideas uncontrollably spill from his mouth as he mumbles to himself and instantly jumps into the task at hand.

“Is he okay?” Tyla asks as she watches Cross skirt around the corners of the generators, pulling at wires and tubes.

“This is how he works. It’s… unconventional, to say the least. But he’s effective and efficient. Sometimes I wonder if it’s intentional or accidental.” Dirnick raises an eyebrow as he watches Cross trip over several components and then scold the pieces for getting in his way. Dirnick looks at Tyla with a smile and says, “But they say that genius and insanity go hand in hand.”

Tyla’s eyes grow wide as she now has a look of uncertainty about their choice of aid.

Game Mechanics
~ Extended Task: Engineer a Solution
~ Work Track: 8
~ Magnitude: 3
~ Maximum Attempts: 5
~ Base Difficulty: 3
~ Insight + Engineering, Reason + Engineering
~ Player Assist: Any Applicable Pairing with Explanation

You are able to successfully adapt the machinery and the temporary conversion stabilizers, but only enough that the Ocampa can now predict with extreme accuracy when they’ll need to replace them. You were also able to extend the life of the temporary stabilizers, but again, not enough to be a sustainable solution. The Ocampa need their parts back.

Cross finishes his work in a matter of minutes and walks back over to the rest of the away team. “Hey, um, so I kinda fixed the parts, but they really need the actual pieces back. I’m not sure how the others are made so I can’t duplicate them without having one in my hands.”

“We were just discussing the Kazon compound with Tyla. We figured we were going to need to get those components back, regardless of your success or failure. We can not leave technology like that in the hands of the Kazon.” K’orvo says as he studies the faces of the away team.

A male Ocampa walks in, just as you complete your task, and Tyla addresses him. “Elder Quim, these are officers from a Federation ship, just like the Voyager Federation ship. They’ve found a way to extend the life of the conversion stabilizers and also found a way to predict when they’ll fail. This will buy us the time and the manpower we need to get the main conversion stabilizers back.”

“This is good news. Thank you, Federation officers, for your help. We can help supply you with plants to help you grow food on your ship, but we have little else to offer. If you will excuse me, I need Tyla to accompany me. We must put together a rescue effort.” Elder Quim seems genuinely grateful, but also concerned.

(If the players ask who is in need of rescue, Quim does not hesitate to respond. If the players don’t ask, then Tyla will ask in front of the crew.)

“I’m sorry to impose, but if you don’t mind me asking, who is in need of rescue?” Dirnick asks coyly.

“The Kazon have captured our scouts. Only one of them returned, and he was badly injured. It seems that the Kazon are also to be credited for the community members that have gone missing over the past few weeks. Our people are presumed alive, but being held captive. We must try to assemble a rescue team with the people we have left, and also try to retrieve our stolen generator components if possible. The Kazon have become bold because of their new compound manager, Cabrok. If he thought we had powerful allies, it might discourage him the Kazon under his command. You have already done so much for us, but may I request your help in rescuing our people and putting a stop to the Kazon’s embolden attempts at locating the entrances to our home? Please, help us.” Elder Quim pleads with the crew, as the door flies open and wiry young boy bounces in.

The boy takes one look at the away team and his eyes grow wide with excitement when he sets his sights on the Starfleet comm badges the three are wearing. “Starfleet! Federation! The rumors are true! You’re really here! I’ve only heard tales about you! Are you real Starfleet?!”

“Why, yes, we are.” Dirnick begins to respond but the doors open once more as a young woman bursts in and sets her sights on the boy.

“Tus! I told you to stay away from here. Elder Quim, I’m so sorry for the disruption.” The woman says.

“It’s fine, Iriam. Tus, you should be in school right now.” Elder Quim looks at Tus as he scolds the young boy.

“I’m sorry, Elder Quim, but I’m almost two! I wanted to see them before they left. I may never get another chance!” Tus looks the away team over with excitement.

“Wait, did you say, two? As in, you’re only two years old?” Cross looks at the boy with disbelief.

“Ocampa age much more rapidly than other species. We mature by age four and we die around age ten or eleven. Tus is almost two and Iriam just turned five. I think the equivalent ages in human years would be around eight and twenty, respectively.” Tyla explains.

Dirnick pulls out a tricorder to scan Tus and Iriam. “This is quite extraordinary. Are the two of you related as well?”

“Yes, sir. Tus is my younger brother. Our parents have passed and I’m in charge of his care, but he makes it difficult when he doesn’t want to listen to me.” Iriam, standing behind Tus, squeezes her brothers shoulders and he gives an awkward smile.

“I can’t help it. It’s more fun to explore the surface than stay down here.” Tus says, as he stares curiously at Dirnick’s tricorder.

“Oh, I almost forgot! I found something!” Tus says excitedly. “I know where the Kazon have our people AND the generator parts!”

The away team, Elder Quim, Tyla, and Iriam all look at Tus with shock and surprise. But K’orvo is the one that speaks first. “Well, speak up boy! Where are they?”

Tus explains how he overheard one of the patrol guards at the compound discussing the captives and where they were being held as well as the new parts for their equipment. The crew realizes that they need to move quickly and recover the Ocampa prisoners and the components in one attempt. He also overheard them talking about a control room that contains all the controls for all the force fields and security protocols of the compound.

ACT TWO: Scene One – Forceful Diplomacy

Nightfall has come and the crew is scouting the outside the Kazon encampment where the Ocampa believe their people and stolen components are being kept. There are a few Ocampa with the crew: Tyla, Iriam, and Tus. They are crouched on a ridge just on the outskirts of the compound.

Cross stayed behind to study the generators more closely and Lorne returned from the Mulgrew to assist the away team with the upcoming mission.

The crew visually surveys the compound, looking for signs of the Ocampa captives. The compound is not well secured. There are rundown buildings being used as makeshift shelters and there are Kazon sleeping in the open, on the ground. There is one larger building that looks like it’s fortified with locked doors and alarms, a stark difference from the surrounding structures.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Scan the Encampment
~ Difficulty: 1
~ Reason + Science, Reason + Security, Control + Engineering
~ Player Assist: Opposite Attribute + Discipline used by player attempting the scan.

Success: You’re reading several Ocampa life signs in the fortified building. You are also getting readings from equipment with an energy signature that’s very similar to the one produced by the temporary conversion stabilizers. It also appears that there are Kazon life signs spread throughout the building. You can’t get a clear enough reading at this distance to pinpoint the location of the control room.

Momentum Spend: Spending one extra momentum will give the players details on what they’ve scanned. For instance, how many Ocampa (15) are in the building and where they’re located (left front area of the building). Spending another momentum will give the players details on where the equipment is located (right front of the building) and also that’s it’s hooked up to some machinery that’s causing unusual fluctuations in the stabilizers’ energy signatures. Another point of momentum will give the players details on the Kazon. There are about a dozen Kazon spread throughout the building, but only two near the Ocampa and three near the equipment and all appear to be in motion around those areas.

(Give the players time to work out what they want to do. If the players look lost as to what their options are, give them some suggestions: They can attempt to quietly infiltrate the camp, bypassing the sleeping Kazon; or they can go in by force, ambushing the sleeping Kazon as they go.)

“A smart warrior knows that the wind does not respect the fool.” K’orvo whispers. Dirnick and Lorne look at each other and Lorne shrugs at Dirnick.

“Commander, what does that mean exactly?” Dirnick whispers back.

“Only a fool would try to take on that many enemies at once. Choose your battles wisely. A foolish death does not gain you entry into Sto’Vo’Kor.” K’orvo looks at the two, both still obviously confused. “It means that we can sneak in and then sneak out without being seen.”

“Ah, espionage! Isn’t that a dishonorable tactic?” Dirnick asks, eyeing K’orvo.

“Not when the end result is more honorable than the dishonorable act. It is an honorable mission to aid the civilians and retrieve their stolen property… at least in the eyes of Starfleet.” K’orvo says, studying the layout of the area.

“Well, we should carefully make our way to the entrance, where I can get a better scan of the building’s interior and look for that control room location.” Dirnick says. “I can’t get a clear reading out here.”

“Alright, let us advance upon the enemy territory. Do not speak and make your feet as silent as the mess hall at midnight.” K’orvo says as he leads the team down the side of the hill. One by one, they fall in behind him and move silently and swiftly across the sandy ground.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Infiltration (Each player must attempt this Task).
~ Difficulty: 2
~ Fitness + Security, Control + Security

(If the players choose to ambush the Kazon, they simply approach and attack them while they’re sleeping. There are three Kazon (Minor NPC) between them and the entrance to the building. Attacking any one of them will stir the others. They can attempt to sneak up on them, using the Infiltration Task above, but attacking one will still stir the others. Guards will be alerted by the disturbance and two Kazon Guards will join with the other Grunts.)

There is a moment where Tus loses his footing and almost falls onto a sleeping Kazon. Lorne reaches out and grabs the collar of Tus’s shirt, steadying the boy. He turns to thank Lorne, but Lorne puts a finger to his own lips and shakes his head. Tus nods and steps silently and carefully up to the doorway with the rest of the crew.

(The crew may scan the building from the doorway without disturbing the sleeping Kazon, and they may perform a Task with Difficulty 0 for this if they need Momentum.)

Once the crew has (slipped past or subdued) the Kazon and made it to the entrance of the large building, a quick scan of the building shows that the door opens to a hallway that goes to the right and left. The Ocampa are to their left and the components are to their right. The scan also reveals that the equipment the stolen parts are being used for are actually some form of ground to air weapons.

The crew can see through their scans that there is a crude alarm that triggers each time the door is opened. There is a keypad on the wall opposite from the door, which appears to be tied into the alarm system through primitive electronics. The crew is still having trouble locating the control room through scans, but is confident they can locate it once the door is open.

(The crew can attempt to disable the alarm, but it uses a Task during the upcoming Timed Task. They can destroy the keypad or try to decipher the buttons which will take much longer. Closing the door behind them will close the circuit and shut off the alarm, but this information is only available on a momentum spend if they performed a scan task.)

Dirnick makes a frown and whispers to K’orvo, “Commander, there is an extremely primitive electronic type security system in place. There is no way to disable it or stop if from sounding when we open this door.”

“Can we shut it off after we enter?” K’orvo whispers back, studying the door frame, which appears to be solid stone like the walls.

“I believe so, but it’ll take some time and that’s time we won’t have.” Dirnick whispers back. “The control panel is a primitive keypad device on the wall across from the door. We would need time to decipher their language and then determine the security code.”

“What if we just broke it?” Lorne whispers as he strokes his chin with his index finger and thumb.

“Well, that would work. I don’t see any reason to not break it. Commander?” Dirnick looks at K’orvo for orders.

“Do it. When we enter, break the keypad. Scan for the control room as soon as possible. I will move toward it with Iriam, Tus, and Tyla. Lorne and Dirnick, you two will move toward the room with the parts and retrieve them as soon as I lower the force field. I will retrieve the captives and lead them out. If we do not meet each other while exiting the building, we will meet up on the ridge. Understood?” K’orvo whispers to the away team and the Ocampa. Everyone nods to signify they understand and then K’orvo signals Dirnick to open the door. Lorne slides a knife out of a sheath in his boot.

Game Mechanics
~ Timed Linear Task: Compound Troubles
~ Time Intervals: 16
~ Time per Task:
2
~ Difficulty:
1

ONE – Locate the Control Console
~ Task: Tricorder Scan
~ Reason + Science, Daring + Security
TWO  – Open the Cells and the Generator Room
~ Task: Use the Control Console (Two separate Tasks – one for each goal)
~ Reason + Science, Insight + Engineering, Control + Security
THREE  – Rescue the Ocampa and Retrieve the Components
~ Task: Lead the Ocampa Out
~ Insight or Presence + Command (Diplomacy) – OR – Daring + Security (Forceful)
~ Opposed Task: Presence + Command (Diplomacy) – OR – Daring + Security (Forceful)
~ Task: Remove the Components

~ Control + Engineering, Reason + Science

The door slides open and an alarm sounds inside the building. The nearby sleeping Kazon don’t seem to be stirred by the sound. Lorne rushes toward the keypad and pops the cover off with his knife, while Dirnick scans the interior of the building. The corridors are dark, with sparse shafts moonlight shining in from holes in the ceiling.

“Commander, the control room is to the left and around the corner on the right.” Dirnick says as he turns to the exposed guts of the keypad. He scans the wiring and then cuts several of them, making the alarm go silent.

K’orvo and the Ocampa have already begun walking towards the control room by the time Dirnick silences the alarm. As K’orvo approaches the corner, he hears several voices. The group pauses at the corner of the wide hallway and as he attempts to get a look at the source of the voices, one the Kazon notices his dark figure.

Tyla whispers to K’orvo, “You look like a Kazon in the dark because of your ridges and hair. I bet they won’t know the difference. We can sneak by unnoticed, just keep going.”

K’orvo steps out and walks in the direction of the Kazon, who are guarding the Ocampa locked up behind a force field. The one that noticed him returns to his conversation with the other guard and they completely ignore K’orvo and never notice the Ocampa sneaking around his feet. The group comes to the open doorway of the control room and they slip inside without incident.

Meanwhile, Dirnick and Lorne are making their way to the room where the parts are. They come to the corner of the hallway and peer around it. The wide hallway is empty and the two approach the doorway to the room, but the force field blocks their way. Dirnick looks at it and back at Lorne with a look of concern on his face. “I hope the Commander doesn’t run into trouble. I don’t think we have the equipment to bypass that force field.”

“Aye. At least we’re in position and ready to move when that force field comes down.” Lorne says as he studies the layout of the room through the force field.

Back in the control room, K’orvo is studying the control panels trying to figure out how to lower the force fields without accidentally alerting the Kazon to their presence. K’orvo hears voices headed toward the control room from the direction of the Ocampa captives.

“Those guards are headed this way. Hide!” K’orvo instructs Tyla, Iriam, and Tus, but they’re already hidden. K’orvo looks toward the doorway and watches as the two Kazon pass by, leaving him unnoticed. He overheard them discussing their shift change, and K’orvo realizes this is the perfect opportunity to accomplish their missions and get out before they’re discovered! He works with the control panel as quickly as possible. Tyla is standing at the doorway and signals him the second she sees the force field drop. K’orvo activates a few other controls, hoping those are the ones that drop the force field on the other room. K’orvo, Tyla, Iriam, and Tus make their way back down the hallway towards the captives. As K’orvo enters the room, several of the captive Ocampa startle and scurry to get away from him.

Tyla steps in behind K’orvo and addresses the captives, “Wait! Don’t be afraid! He’s not a Kazon. This is K’orvo from the Federation, and he’s here to rescue you.”

K’orvo looks down at the Ocampas’ hands and sees that they’re bound together with a cord made of some metallic compound. “I need you all to trust me. I have an idea. Tyla, I want you to walk in the back and keep watch. Iriam and Tus, I want you behind me, guiding the bound Ocampa. We do not have time to deal with the binding right now. Everyone walk in a single file line and follow me.”

Meanwhile, Lorne and Dirnick watch as the force field dissipates and they immediately spring into action. They move with lightning speed from one machine to the next, carefully removing the stolen components. Once they have all the components, they make their way to the door and peer out. When they see that the hallway is still empty, they make a break for the compound’s entrance. As they round the corner, they see K’orvo walking down the hallway as though he belongs here, with a line of bound Ocampa behind him.

As soon as K’orvo sees Dirnick and Lorne, he speeds up and they meet at the doorway. They open the door and survey the surroundings. When they don’t see the patrolling guards, the group makes their way around the sleeping Kazon, to the ridge above the compound.

Once the group is safely atop the ridge, K’orvo orders a partial retreat. “Tyla, Iriam, and Tus, I want you three to lead your people away from here. Once you are at a safe distance, try to break the restraints. We will meet you at the entrance to the tunnels once we have completed our mission here. Take the components with you. If you do not see us in a few hours, seal the tunnel and get the components to Ensign Cross. Ensign Cross can find us later. Understood?”

“Yes, K’orvo. We’ll see you soon. And thank you.” With that, Tyla and the rest of the Ocampa disappear into the darkness.

The crew has successfully liberated the Ocampa captives and retrieved the components for the generators. Now all that’s left is to track down Cabrok and try to ‘convince’ him that he needs to leave the Ocampa alone. The crew is faced with a tough decision. They must decide how they want to locate Cabrok. The only method of identification that the crew has is a blurry picture on a PADD that the Ocampa got from one of their security cameras. Scans will only reveal the location of Kazon and not a specific one without an identifying marker. There are several Kazon guards patrolling the perimeter, but none of them resemble Cabrok.

(If the players aren’t certain, you can give them several suggestions: Scout visually for Cabrok, or try to interrogate one of the guards.)

“Now we need to find this Cabrok and see what we can do about the Kazon problem.” K’orvo says as he turns his sight back to the compound. “Lieutenant Lorne, I want you to scout the perimeter. Do not engage the guards unless necessary.”

“Aye, Commander.” Lorne quietly slips into the darkness, back toward the compound.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Visual Scouting
~ Difficulty: 4
~ Fitness + Security
~ No assisting on this Task.

Success: You overhear one of the guards talking to another. He says, “I don’t think it’s fair that Cabrok gets to pick up supplies all the time. Why should we suffer this planet without a break?”

Momentum Spend: The only other information you can hear is something about Cabrok taking a shuttle to meet a cargo ship for supplies and he’s not supposed to be back for several days.

Lorne returns after a few minutes and relays the information he overheard from the guards’ chatter. “Commander, it seems Cabrok is off planet retrieving supplies from a cargo ship. He’s not scheduled to return for several days.”

“Commander, it seems our ‘conversation’ with Cabrok will have to wait. We could cripple them further, maybe try to push them off the planet with force.” Dirnick says.

“Is that a good idea? More violence could cause the Kazon to bring in reinforcements.” Lorne counters.

“Like intimidating Cabrok won’t?” Dirnick snaps back.

As the crew is discussing the information that’s been gleaned from the guards’ conversation, a shuttle approaches and lands a few hundred meters away. The crew watches as none other than Cabrok exits the shuttle, looking quite irritated. He has three guards with him, and he’s barking orders at them. The rest of the Kazon in the encampment don’t seem to have noticed Cabrok has returned.

“The light of Kahless is shining on us today! Our target has presented himself for us to capture. The rest of the camp does not know he has returned. We should take this opportunity to strike!” K’orvo says with excitement.

“Aye, Commander!” Lorne jumps to action.

“Wait! Commander, Lieutenant, should we rush into this? Why don’t we wait and be sure they aren’t going to signal for others to help unload supplies?” Dirnick says cautiously.

“While I appreciate your caution, Lieutenant Commander, this is an opportunity we should not let slip away. We will strike now. Incapacitate the guards first, then Cabrok. Move out!” K’orvo orders and the three sneak up to Cabrok’s landing sight.

When they get within range, the away team opens fire on the three guards, who return fire and rush towards the away team. Several blasts from the Kazon’s phase pistols streak toward Lorne, striking him several times.

“Lieutenant!” Dirnick calls out to his fellow officer. Dirnick fires back at the Kazon with a look of frustration and anger on his face.

“I’m okay, Lieutenant Commander. It burns a little, but I can shrug it off.” Lorne stands back up and begins firing once again. Not all of the Kazon guards are able to span the distance between them and the crew before they are knocked unconscious by the away team.

An infuriated Cabrok rushes blindly into battle against them. He takes a few phaser hits, but continues his advancement. He rushes K’orvo, who lands a hard punch to Cabrok’s gut, knocking him to the ground.  Dirnick approaches Cabrok and with one swift motion, lands a hard kick on the side of Cabrok’s face, knocking him completely unconscious.

“Disgusting. I didn’t tolerate the way my people treated the Bajorans and I won’t tolerate the Kazon’s behavior either.” Dirnick says as he stares at Cabrok.

“Lorne, disable this shuttle. We do not want them using it to escape or to come after us. Loosely restrain those guards as well and leave them in the shuttle.” K’orvo says as he stares at Cabrok, who is laying unconscious in the desert sand. “I think I have an idea, but we’ll need the captain’s permission. K’orvo to the Spiner.”

“Lieutenant Zhang here.” Her voice comes across K’orvo’s comm badge with a bit of static.

“We need a lift.” K’orvo replies.

Once the crew has managed to capture Cabrok, they attempt to convince him to leave the Ocampa alone.

Aboard the Shuttle Spiner, Cabrok is securely locked away behind a force field while Lorne, Dirnick, and K’orvo stare menacingly at him.

“We, the Federation, want you to leave Ocampa. We want you to take all your people with you and do not ever come back.” Lorne says as he stares up at Cabrok. Cabrok stands at least a foot taller than the Bajoran.

Cabrok laughs at Lorne and asks, “Now why would we do that? You won’t be here forever. Just like your Voyager, you will leave too.”

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Convince Cabrok to Abandon Ocampa
~ Difficulty: 2
~ Reason + Command (Diplomacy) – OR – Fitness + Security (Forceful)
~ Opposed Task: Reason + Command – OR – Fitness + Security

Success: He says, “Fine. There are other places to mine for cormaline, for now. But I know you won’t be in this sector forever. I’ll be back when you leave!”

K’orvo steps forward and looks Cabrok directly in the eye and says in a very stern voice, “We will not be gone forever. We have a stable wormhole here. There will be more Federation, more Starfleet, and more of my Klingon warriors coming here very soon. If the Federation does not want to sully their uniforms, my warriors will be more than happy to do so instead.”

A security officer steps up to Dirnick and hands him a PADD. Dirnick looks up with a wide grin on his face and addresses K’orvo, “General K’orvo, you have an message from the Mulgrew. The ships should be here within a 24 hours.”

“Excellent. Thank you, Lieutenant Commander. Well, Cabrok, it looks like you do not have long before this area of space is crawling with Starfleet ships.” K’orvo grins slyly at Cabrok who looks a bit more concerned now.

“Fine. I’ll get my people off the planet, but I’ll need a few days to get a ship here.” Cabrok says. “We can’t stand against the might of your ships. We concede control of the planet Ocampa.”

K’orvo, Lorne, and Dirnick walk to the front of the shuttle, out of earshot of Cabrok. Dirnick whispers to K’orvo, “Captain M’Kora says that the probe should be ready in 24 hours.”

“I got your meaning in the ‘message’ from the Mulgrew, Lieutenant Commander. But it is good news. With the probes in orbit, masked by the interference from the planet’s atmosphere, the Kazon will see Federation signals and avoid Ocampa.” K’orvo says.

“Oh, I thought that was all part of the act. He’s good, Commander. But then again, he’s Cardassian and they’re all good at deception.” Lorne says, as Dirnick cuts him a sharp look of disapproval.

“Regardless, our goal has been achieved. We should retrieve Ensign Cross, if he’s completed his task.” Dirnick says, still eyeing Lorne with sharp glances. “We also need to get back to Tyla and the others before they believe we’ve run into trouble.”

K’orvo nods and directs Lieutenant Zhang to drop them off between the Kazon compound and the tunnel entrance. “Do not release him until we have left your visual range. Make sure he heads back to the compound.” K’orvo finishes his instructions to Zhang and the away team disembarks from the shuttle in the direction of the tunnel entrance, where Tyla and the other Ocampa await their return.

The crew makes their way back to the Ocampa and we fast forward to the crew’s return to the Ocampa city.

The crew and the liberated Ocampa are met by groups of cheering Ocampa, and joyous reunions for those that were once captives. There is a group of engineers that approach you and ask, “Were you able to recover the components?” The crew turns over the components and they’re thanked by the engineers as they rush the components to the generator room.

Ensign Cross is in the generator room and greets the engineers with an enthusiastic smile when he sees the components in tow. “This is perfect! I can easily adjust your replicators to make the component’s individual parts and show you how to put them together. Shall we get started?”

The engineers smile with anticipation and watch every move that Cross makes with looks of curiosity and amazement.

Elder Quim approaches the crew and says, “Well, you officers of the Federation are quite capable and skilled in many areas. The Ocampa should aspire to be like you. What of Cabrok?”

“He will not be bothering you any longer. We will have devices in orbit around your planet that will make them believe we are still here, with more of our ships. This will stop them from returning and your people will be free to live your lives.” K’orvo says.

“I would still take all the necessary precautions, and continue to develop your force field technology as well as your energy masking capabilities. I’m sure there are beings out there that are far worse than the Kazon. And the Kazon may not fall for our deception forever.” Dirnick says as he takes a basket full of what appears to be fruit or vegetables from a young Ocampa woman.

“We can give you a tour now, Mr. Lieutenant Commander Dirnick, if you’re still interested in our horticulture.” Tyla says, smiling at Dirnick. The young woman that brought him the basket also smiles at him.

“Why yes, my dear Tyla. I would love that. Commander?” Dirnick looks to K’orvo for permission.

“Go ahead, Lieutenant Commander. We have to wait for Ensign Cross to complete his work. We have time.” K’orvo nods and continues his conversation with Elder Quim.

(If the crew was successful): Elder Quim says, “This is truly a joyous day! We can’t expect him to uphold his word, but he’s scared now. This will give us enough time to complete some of the work we want to do on the tunnels and then they will never be able to interfere with us again. Deepest gratitude. You may stay as long as you like, to study our society. We also have a variety of plants and seeds ready to be taken to your shuttle. Safe journeys to you all.”

To Be Continued…

Next Time:
ACT THREE: Scene One – On the Rocks

Roll Credits!
  • Travis – Lieutenant Zynes/Lieutenant Commander Dirnick
  • Wednesday – Doctor Zylas/Commander K’orvo
  • North – Ensign Cross/Lieutenant Lorne
  • Kat (Dice Dice Kitty) – Captain M’Kora
  • Supporting Character – Lieutenant Zhang
  • Supporting Character – Ensign Castle

“These are the voyages of the starship Mulgrew. We go where other Federation starships cannot. We blaze a path in the stars for fellow explorers. We don’t just boldly go, we go boldly and silently into the black.”     ~ M’Kora

Qapla’!

GM Notes

I noticed that several of the Tasks were still a little too easy and the threat of failure didn’t loom the way I would have liked it to. I don’t want the tasks to be too difficult, but I want them to be challenging and make my players think about what they’re doing. There was lots of RP in this session on their parts as well as mine and the Tasks worked perfectly for the players. When I edit this module, I plan to add in some increased complication ranges. That’s because they’re on an alien planet, in alien space, and dealing with alien technology or modified alien/Starfleet hybrid technology. I don’t think increasing the difficulty further would be appropriate as it’s already difficult. As long as the players are storing their Momentum (which is relatively easy to do), there shouldn’t be too much concern over the difficulty settings.

Show Your Support!

I haven’t heard one way or the other if Modiphius is planning to attend Origins Game Fair this year (2019). Modiphius has something special in the 2D20 system and I think it needs proper representation at Origins. I know they were at GenCon, but many of us can’t go to a convention that size or that expensive. For me, it’s more about the size than the cost. I want to put this out on all channels – Show Modiphius you love their games! Ask them to attend Origins so they know it’s not just me poking at them about it. Even if you’re not planning to attend Origins (which you should), go ahead and let them know what it means to you as a fan and customer, to see them with representation at multiple US conventions!

You can find them here:
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Don’t forget to follow Origins as well!
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Thanks, as always for reading my ramblings and also for your support. Tune in next time, for the continuation of Episode Two.

Greetings Fellow Comic Fans!

 

In my Comic Box Recap article series, I want to talk about each of the comics that I read from my subscriptions that week. I don’t always read all the comics I order, because I’m only collecting some of them. Others are ones I may have started reading, but lost interest in but I still order them. You never know when you may want to go back and revisit a series at a later date.

*** SPOILER WARNING ***
Do not read any further if you are trying to avoid SPOILERS!
Marvel
Doctor Strange #10

This is the 400th issue, which is an anniversary collection. What I love most about this issue is that the first story is a continuation of the ongoing story from the previous issue, as well as a few miscellaneous stories. The stories are: Remittance, House Call, The Lever, and Perchance. There is also a very pretty two page spread of Doctor Strange artwork by Tom Palmer.

Remittance

This is the continuation of the ongoing story. I have to say that I’m somewhat surprised that Dormammu is behind this. I figured Mordo or some other cosmic entity would be the cause of it. Strange’s biggest flaw is his ego paired with with his arrogance. And now look where it has got Earth – under the boots of the Faltine. And it looks like his friends are getting a front row seat to all of the destruction. Strange looks completely defeated in the final panel, and I’m anxious to see how he squirms his way out of this problem. He better suck it up and fix things with his friends too.

I’m happy Bats was mentioned by name and that he appeared in a single panel, but I remain concerned that Waid will write him out. I want to see him stick around.

House Call

This is a short story with a lesson about the right way to handle a bully. It’s almost too short and the story gets a little wonky, but it has a good message behind it.

The Lever

This story is about Strange’s past, when he first came to the Ancient One for help. It includes the lead up to Mordo’s betrayal, and of course, it’s a little different. But, it’s okay to be slightly different, so long as the core of the character remains. Strange has a humbling moment in this story and it’s a shame he doesn’t retain that lesson.

Perchance

This story was at an odd place in the book. The two page spread of art is before this story, and it feels like the conclusion when you come across it. Surprise! There’s another story hidden behind an add for War of the Realms! This story was a fun one about a super scary demonic looking dude who is afraid to sleep because Strange haunts his dreams. That’s a cool concept and I love it.

Overall, this compilation of stories is probably the best compilation I’ve read in any of the super hero comics on my subscription list. They were all fun to read and I’d definitely read this issue again.

IDW
Star Trek: The Next Generation 20/20 One-Shot

Twenty years before Picard was captain of the Enterprise-D, he was captain of the Stargazer. He was not exactly the same Picard that we all know and love. He was not as understanding and he worried to much about what others thought. This got him into trouble while on a diplomatic mission. Instead of sending his commander to represent him, he went to the planet’s surface, knowing that there was a very high potential for something bad to happen. Luckily for him, Jack Crusher’s fiance, Beverly Howard was aboard the ship and they were able to send to the planet to save his life. There’s a lovely wedding at the end and Beverly Howard is now Beverly Crusher.

What a wonderful story, with a great message! Folks will respect you more for making the right decisions, than for always trying to be the hero. Put your faith and trust in those who work with you. Also, don’t assume you can handle everything – everyone needs help sometimes and you should never be ashamed to ask for help. This was such a wonderfully written story, but I would expect no less from Peter David. He’s a writer and author that I’ve idolized for a long time and he’s written some really amazing Star Trek content. When you pair his writing with the astounding artwork of J. K. Woodward, you’ve got a truly great work of art.

Star Trek: The Q Conflict #1

This book doesn’t say outright what year it takes place, but I’m going to assume it’s 2379. There is a panel that’s almost midway through the book where Jake and Captain Sisko are shown celebrating Sisko’s promotion to captain and that was in 2371. The panel has a caption that says, “eight years earlier”, which would put the year at 2379 for the Enterprise-E crew.

So, Q and several other beings of phenomenal cosmic power are at odds. The reason is petty, as it always is with ‘evolved’ beings. I mean, when you have everything you could ever need or want at the snap of your fingers, what’s left to cherish? I guess their inflated egos are all they truly have that’s special to them and they feel it’s worth fighting over. We have a truly all-star cast of cosmic entities, most of which are from TOS: Metrons, Trelane, Organians, and Q. Trelane has been noted as a member of the Q Continuum in non-canon novels, but the Continuum is notorious for adding and booting members too. Each of these entities have chosen one of the captains from various series to be their ‘champion’ in this contest. All the captains and crew are plucked from various points in the timeline as well, which makes for an interesting interaction. I’m sure there will be a mind wipe of some kind after this event. I dislike when folks use gimmicks like that in a time travel event, and I hope a different explanation comes up later.

I was initially upset when I saw Worf on the bridge. I had forgotten he was a member of the Enterprise-E crew and I had to do some digging to jog my memory. It’s been a long time since I’ve watched Insurrection and Nemesis. But there is an error with his uniform color. He was in the command division during Insurrection and Nemesis, so why is he in operations in this book? Probably just a minor oversight or maybe something has happened prior to this book that I’m not aware of.

I definitely enjoyed the story and the artwork is good. It was definitely well written and entertaining, and I look forward to the rest of this series and to see how they reconcile the time travel memories.

Conclusion

I picked up Batgirl this week, but after the repeated real world political references, I will be dropping it and it will no longer be featured in my Comic Box Recap articles. Doctor Strange more than made up for the disappointment in Batgirl.

As for the minor continuity errors that have occurred and will continue to occur in the Star Trek comics, they have to be overlooked. As a huge Star Trek fan, I’ve learned that there is no way to keep the entirety of continuity in tact. TOS had continuity errors within it’s three seasons. The Star Trek universe is vast and there are going to be unavoidable errors. As a fan, you can either accept the errors and continue to enjoy new content; or you can be a stickler about it and keep with the same content and never enjoy anything new. I choose to accept the new content, to a certain degree. If you stray too far from the core of the characters, I will choose to not accept it, regardless of any official stance. At my core, I’m a Trekkie and I love Star Trek. I want to enjoy all the content I can, while I can.

What are you reading?
Is there a series I should be reading?
You can drop me a line here or find me on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty!
Thanks for reading and remember to like, follow, and subscribe!

A good book is the best vacation!

Greetings Fellow Star Trek and Roleplaying Game Fans!

 

This is the latest session from our adventures in the Star Trek Adventures RPG (by Modiphius). Whenever you see text in this reddish brown color, that was what was read to the players. I’ve also included Game Mechanic elements so that others can incorporate it into their games if they want to. Any GM notes are in this bright blue color.

Previous Episodes and Sessions:

When we last left the crew of the Mulgrew, they were in a very unusual predicament. An entity known as a Nacene, has thrown the Mulgrew and her crew into the Delta Quadrant for reasons that are not completely clear. All they know is that the Nacene wanted them to ‘preserve the legacy’ of a friend by helping an unknown species. Before they’re able to get their bearings, they’re attacked by a species known as the Kazon. The Kazon vessel was damaged so badly that the warp core lost containment. Ensign Cross transported the crew of the Kazon vessel to the Mulgrew before their ship exploded and there are now fifty Kazon being contained in a cargo bay and the brig. The Mulgrew is on its way to Ocampa, where there are Kazon terrorizing a species native to Ocampa. It’s up to the crew of the Mulgrew to decide if they should help the Ocampan people or to leave them at the mercy of the ruthless Kazon.

Episode Two: Find Your Bearings
ACT ONE: Scene One – Welcome Party

Setup: The captain is in their ready room and the commanding officer is in charge of the bridge. The commanding officer is notified that the ship is approaching Ocampa. The commanding officer will likely order the ship into a sustained orbit around the planet and then notify the captain. Once on the bridge, the captain will likely want to see the planet’s surface, ordering the viewscreen on.

There are several sensor alerts echoing around the bridge. One is at the helm where Lieutenant Zynes is currently operating the ship’s navigational sensors. His blue antenna wiggle back and forth as he turns the alert off.

“Commander, sensors indicate we’re approaching Ocampa.” Zynes informs General K’orvo, who is currently inspecting PADDs while reclining in the captain’s chair.

“Take us into orbit, Lieutenant Zynes.” K’orvo instructs Zynes, who nods and turns back to his console. K’orvo taps the communicator badge that’s clipped to his Klingon uniform and says, “Captain, we are entering orbit around Ocampa.”

“I’ll be right there, General.” Captain M’Kora’s voice comes back over the comm. Within moments, M’Kora steps onto the bridge from her ready room. She looks at the viewscreen and then at Zynes. “Well, what are you waiting for? On screen.”

The view screen displays an ochre brown planet, barren of plant life and devoid of bodies of water. The cloudless atmosphere gives way to towering mountains and deep chasms where water once flowed. The bridge crew stares at the desolate planet before them but a sudden proximity alert breaks their focus. It appears that there are several asteroids near the ship.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Proximity Sensor
~ Difficulty: 0
~ Reason + Science
~ Ship Assist: Sensors + Science

Success: The asteroids have entered into a stable orbit. There is plenty of time to do anything that needs to be done on the planet before having to worry about mining.

The proximity alert startles K’orvo and he calls out, “Dirnick, report.”

“Commander, it appears that there are several asteroids that are now entering a stable orbit around the planet. These are the ones we’ll want to send a mining crew to. They’re rich with duranium and dilithium.” Dirnick reports.

“If the asteroids are in a stable orbit, then we can lower the priority of that mission. First priority, I want scans of that planet. I want to know what we’re looking at down there. Dirnick, please get on that.” M’Kora says as she inspects the PADDs that K’orvo handed over.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Scan the Planet
~ Difficulty: 3
~ Reason + Science
~ Ship Assist: Sensors + Science

Success: There is an atmospheric interference with a partial radioactive signature that’s going to block transporter signals. An away team can’t beam down and there’s no way to beam the Kazon survivors to the surface either. A shuttle shouldn’t have trouble navigating through the atmosphere to the surface. There are faint readings of clusters of life signs on the planet’s surface.

Momentum Spend: There are more life signs scattered beneath the planet’s surface. There are also readings of water and vegetation in what looks like underground caverns.

Dirnick turns from the science station and faces M’Kora as he delivers the report. “Captain, there appears to be some form of radioactive interference, but the source is unknown. It’s going to prevent our transporter signal and it’s interfering with the scans. The layer of interference is only in the mesosphere of the planet’s atmosphere. If someone were to scan while on the planet’s surface, there shouldn’t be any interference. The radiation isn’t strong enough to penetrate a shuttle’s hull either. It’s just enough to cause a slight annoyance from orbit.”

“Well, that’s rather annoying. I don’t like sending my people in blind. Can you get anything else from your scans?” M’Kora asks as K’orvo moves to the commander’s chair to give M’Kora her seat.

“Well, there are life signs, but I can’t tell if they’re Kazon or not. The interference is just too much, even for our sensors. I’m also getting readings of what looks like vast underground caverns, caves, and tunnels. It looks like there might be water and plant life there too. I wonder what kind of plant life is surviving in such an inhospitable world. They would be fascinating to study.” Dirnick says, as his gaze drifts off, as though he were daydreaming.

“Thank you, Dirnick. If you discover anything else, please inform us immediately.” M’Kora says, in a loud voice. It snaps Dirnick out of his daydream and he nods at M’Kora.

“Yes, Captain, of course.” Dirnick returns to the console in an attempt to glean more information.

After the bridge crew realizes that thorough scans and transporting won’t be possible from orbit, the captain orders an away team to take a shuttle to the surface and investigate the situation as best they can. The away team will be equipped with survey equipment, weapons, and field med kits in advance. The mission is to make it safely to the planet’s surface and determine the number of Kazon located on the planet and what the Ocampan defensive situation is and then report back to the ship.

“Well, we need to get a team on the surface. I want to know how many Kazon are down there and what kind of threat the Ocampa are under. I can’t leave here knowing that these people might be oppressed by another species. If they’re defenses are adequate, then we won’t interfere. Commander, assemble your team and see what you can find out.” M’Kora says as she nods to General K’orvo.

K’orvo stands up and points to each crew as he calls them out, “Dirnick, Zhang, and Lorne. Meet me in the situation room promptly.”

All the officers stand and acknowledge the orders simultaneously as their relief steps in and takes over their stations. Zynes looks at Lieutenant Zhang, who is sitting at the navigation console, and sighs. “You’re lucky. I wanted to fly the away team.”

She looks back at Zynes with an irritated look on her face. “I don’t feel so lucky. I would rather stay here at navigation, but if the ‘General’ wants me to fly the shuttle, I can’t refuse the order. Well, not if I want to stay in Starfleet anyway.”

“Why did you take this commission if you have an issue with Klingons?” Zynes asks, swiveling his seat around as she makes her way to the situation room.

“That, Lieutenant, is none of your business.” She turns and walks through the doorway to the situation room.

In the situation room, K’orvo and M’Kora are discussing strategies and potential threats to the away team with the other team members. Lieutenant Zhang, who has long dark hair and a light complexion, walks into the room a little later than the rest of the team.

“I apologize for my tardiness.” Zhang addresses the rest of the team as she enters. “Lieutenant Zynes had some things he wanted to cover with me before I left.”

“Please, Lieutenant, take your seat. We were just discussing the best strategy for moving all of you and still being able to keep in contact with the ship.” M’Kora says.

“Captain, I still think we should take two shuttles. One piloted by Lieutenant Zhang and one piloted by Lieutenant Lorne and Lieutenant Commander Dirnick. Zhang and the security officers can stay close to the mesosphere, just in comm range of us. We can report to them and they can fly above the interference in mesosphere and report to you. A sort of relay system.” K’orvo says. “It will take a little more manpower and resources, but it is likely the safest way to get our warriors to the surface and then back in a hurry if there is danger. We want to keep casualties and injuries to a minimum.”

“I think the old man has a good idea.” Zhang says.

“Lieutenant, it’s Commander K’orvo. He’s your superior and I expect you to treat him with respect.” M’Kora sternly scolds Zhang.

“Yes, Captain. Commander, I apologize and I do agree with your plan. I think your idea is solid.” Zhang says, looking around at all the other officers.

“Well, I agree.” M’Kora says. “Lieutenant Lorne, assign some security to the second shuttle with Lieutenant Zhang and she’ll stay just under the mesosphere, within comm range of the away team. Lieutenant Zhang, you’ll be in charge of extracting the away team, but only if necessary. I would like both of my shuttles back, in tact. You’re primary mission is to collect reports from the away team and relay them to the Mulgrew. Understood?”

“Aye, Captain.” Zhang acknowledges the orders as she takes a PADD from Lorne with the officer assignments. “Thank you, Lieutenant Lorne.”

“I think we should take Culluh with us as a bargaining chip, in case we come across the other Kazon. Maybe we can use the promise of his safe return to convince them to the leave Ocampa.” Lorne says.

“Are you out of your mind, Lieutenant? You do not take the best you have to offer. You take something else of lesser value to begin negotiations.” Dirnick says with a matter-of-fact tone.

“Well, of course you’d see them as things. I wouldn’t expect a Cardassian to see the Kazon as people.” Lorne snaps back at Dirnick.

“Stop this bickering, right now.” M’Kora glares at the two of them. “If you two don’t reconcile your ‘cultural issues’, I’ll demote you both.”

“I hate to say it, Captain, but Lieutenant Commander Dirnick has the right idea. He just needs to express it in a more ‘Starfleet’ way. Which is something I am struggling with as well.” K’orvo says, as he looks at a PADD with all the Kazon listed on it. “Here is a helmsman, with what appears to be a high rank. His name is Trenack and he is in the brig with the other bridge officers. I bet he will be adequate enough to begin bartering, should we encounter the Kazon.”

“I don’t want you to engage the Kazon unless it’s necessary.” M’Kora says. “I want all the information we can gather about the planet and the Ocampa before we have to engage them. But having a prisoner on hand would be helpful in the event you are forced to engage with them. However, I do not think it’s wise to take Culluh. Trenack should be sufficient.”

“I want him as secure as possible. What kind of restraints does the Federation have, Lieutenant Lorne?” K’orvo asks.

“I can assure you that he won’t be a problem. Our restraints are more than adequate.” Lorne responds.

“I want his hands fully secured. I don not want to take any chances and have him escape or find a way to operate a console.” K’orvo explains.

“I’ve heard tales of a devious device that was used on ancient Earth, that traps the fingers of the prisoner in such a way that if they try to pull their fingers out of the device, it tightens its grip. I believe it was called a Chinese finger trap. Lieutenant Zhang, you may know something about it since you’re Chinese.” Dirnick turns to Zhang, whose face is bright red.

Zhang lets out cough to clear her throat and says, “Lieutenant Commander, the Chinese finger trap is a child’s toy. It’s not meant to be a prisoner restraint.”

Lorne tries to stifle a laugh as he glances at Dirnick, whose face is turning pale compared to his regular purple-grey complexion. “Lieutenant Commander, I think I have the security details under control. If I see any flora that looks threatening, I’ll let you handle it.”

M’Kora has her eyes closed and her fingers clamped on the bridge of her nose when she lets out a sigh and asks herself, “How did I get stuck with such an insufferable group of officers? Kahless save me…”

“Sorry, Captain.” Lorne says, with a snicker and a glance at Dirnick, who is obviously frustrated. “Good news is, we won’t need EV suits! The planet’s atmosphere is not hazardous to any of us.”

“Alright, crew. Round up the prisoner and secure him in our shuttle. Lieutenant Zhang, get your security officers briefed and prepare your shuttle. We launch at 1300 hours. Dismissed.” K’orvo orders and turns to M’Kora when the others have left. “Is it not a violation of the Prime Directive to interfere with underdeveloped species? We didn’t pick up anything resembling warp technology on the planet.”

“General, I don’t care about the Prime Directive right now. I might care tomorrow, but I don’t care today. We don’t know for certain if they have warp technology or not. We also don’t know if they’re more advanced that us or not. They could have something beyond our understanding at their fingertips. That’s why we’re investigating and not engaging any intelligent life, unless necessary. And it may be necessary to speak with the Ocampa to understand their situation. If that’s the case, I give you authority to represent Starfleet and the Federation. I hope you’ve been studying.” M’Kora smiles with a weary look on her face.

“Captain, I will not disappoint you. We will complete our objectives with as little damage as possible to the Ocampa culture.” K’orvo says and he turns to leave. Before walking out of the situation room, he turns back to M’Kora and says, “I will report to you as soon as possible, through Zhang. Qapla’!”

“Kahless guide you, General. Qapla’!” K’orvo leaves the situation room and M’Kora turns to look out the window at the unwelcoming planet below.

The two crews are ready to go by 1300 hours and they are about to the leave the docking bay. Lorne is piloting the first shuttle with Dirnick using scans at the science station to assist. K’orvo is sitting across from the containment field, eyeing Trenack. Zhang is piloting the second shuttle with two back up security personnel aboard.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Pilot the Shuttle
~ Difficulty: 1
~ Control + Conn, Daring + Conn
~ Player Assist: Reason + Science

As the shuttles leave the docking bay of the ship, the vast deserts of Ocampa appear more desolate and unwelcoming than they had on the viewscreen of the bridge. The two shuttle crews look on as their pilots fly the shuttles into the mesosphere layer of the planet. There is a moment when all of the panels and consoles flicker off and on and several of the shuttles’ warning systems sound off. The interference that the ship had detected is in this layer of the atmosphere, but there is currently no indication of what’s causing it.

Success: Despite the disruption in the shuttles’ systems, the pilots are able to land the first shuttle with no real trouble, and keep the other shuttle flying just below the mesosphere. Once the first shuttle has landed safely on the planet’s surface, the crew attempts to hail the ship, which results in static. The shuttle’s systems are operating normally, but it appears that layer of interference is stopping the comm signal, just as predicted.

Momentum Spend: A distress beacon should be able to penetrate the layer of interference. Also, the shuttle’s equipment can assist you in scanning the planet.

The crew of the first shuttle lands safely on the planet and they contact the second shuttle immediately.

“Shuttle Dorn to Shuttle Spiner. We’ve landed safely. Are we coming through clear enough?” Lorne monitors the communications while Dirnick and K’orvo are exiting the shuttle to scan the surrounding area.

“Shuttle Dorn, we hear you. There is plenty of interference but it’s only causing a small amount of static. Is it coming through the same for you?” Zhangs voice comes across the comm and there is static just as she described, but Lorne can easily make out what she’s saying.

“Aye, Lieutenant. We’ll report back within two hours. If you don’t hear from us, come looking. Those are the Commander’s orders. Shuttle Dorn, out.” Lorne stands up from the console and makes his way to the rear hatch.

“Lieutenant Lorne, assemble the distress beacon. I want to be ready in case something bad happens. Lieutenant Commander Dirnick, assist him. I will stand watch.” The two officers acknowledge the orders as K’orvo takes position near the rear of the shuttle, slightly obscured by the shuttle’s shadows, where he can watch Trenack and horizon.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Prepare a Distress Beacon
~ Difficulty: 1
~ Control + Engineering, Insight + Science
~ Player Assist: Control + Engineering, Insight + Science
Note on Assist – The assisting player may not use the same Attribute or Discipline as the player attempting the Task.

Once the crew has assembled the distress beacon, they have a moment to take in the scenery. There is nothing but hot and dry desert as far as the eye can see. There are rocky protrusions scattered sparsely and a mountain range that can be seen far off in the distance. There is a large rocky formation next to the shuttle’s landing spot. The planet looks very desolate and unwelcoming. The crew pulls out their tricorders and begins taking scans of the area, looking for life signs and signs of water.

“Now that we’ve completed this simple task, we should attempt to complete some of our mission objectives. We need to scan the area and find out how many Kazon are here, where the Ocampa are, and if there are defense systems in place for the Ocampa.” Dirnick pats his pants legs, knocking the dust from his Starfleet uniform.

“Do you want to use the shuttle’s sensors, Lieutenant Commander?” Lorne asks, eyeing his superior.

“No thanks, Lieutenant. My tricorder is more than adequate.” Dirnick begins his scans of the area while Lorne attempts to assist him.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Scan Your Surroundings
~ Difficulty: 1
~ Reason + Science
~ Player Assist: Control + Security
~ Shuttle Assist: Sensors + Science (Only if scanning with the shuttle’s systems)

Success: You detect hundreds, possibly thousands of life signs below the planet’s surface and they do not have the same life signs as the Kazon. You can assume that they are the Ocampa. There appear to be hundreds of kilometers of caves under the planet’s surface too. You also pick up Kazon life signs from behind the nearest rock formation right next to the shuttle which is large enough to hide several shuttles.

Momentum Spend: The Kazon life signs are headed your way and there are also weapon signatures consistent with phase pistols showing up on scans.

“I’m reading hundreds of kilometers of caverns, caves, and tunnels beneath the surface. There are areas that are obscured from my scans as well. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of non-Kazon life signs down there and those may be the Ocampa. There is water and hundreds of varieties of plant life too. It’s baffling as to how they are surviving beneath the surface. These scans indicate that there isn’t an adequate light source beneath the surface.” Dirnick is studying the scans on his tricorder as he turns it towards the closest rock formation.

“Lieutenant Commander, that rock formation is odd looking, almost like it wasn’t formed naturally. Don’t you think?” Lorne asks just as the tricorder begins to sound an alert that there are life signs in close proximity.

“Why, yes, Lieutenant. I do think it’s strange looking, but I’m more concerned about the six armed Kazon moving towards us from the other side of it.” Dirnick eyes Lorne, who is now scrambling for his phaser.

“Prophets protect us! Commander! We’ve got potential hostiles moving towards us from the other side of the rock formation. We should bring Trenack out. Having him in view may prevent them from using a ‘shoot first, questions later’ approach.” Lorne dashes to K’orvo’s side and points to Trenack, who is still in the containment field within the shuttle.

“Good idea, but keep your phaser on him. If he so much as twitches the wrong way, knock him out.” K’orvo looks back at Trenack. “You hear that, Kazon? You do anything we do not like and you will be back in that cell for as long as I see fit!”

Lorne releases the containment field and escorts Trenack from the shuttle, who huffs and stomps out of the shuttle. Lorne puts the tip of his phaser in the center of Trenack’s back and says, “Don’t talk unless we tell you to.”

“I will not be your bartering chip. You are wasting your time.” Trenack spits on the ground at Lorne’s feet.

Lorne, phaser in his right hand, raises his left hand and gives Trenack a swift tap on the back of his head. “What did I just say? You didn’t get a sticker for following directions in school, did you? Don’t speak unless we tell you to.”

K’orvo steps up from the rear of the shuttle and Dirnick takes the opportunity to reposition himself where K’orvo was standing. “I’ll be back here, protecting our rear.”

It’s not long before six Kazon, armed with phase pistols, make their way around the rock formation. They look surprised when they see the three crew and another Kazon, and they take aim.

K’orvo puts up a hand and calls out to them, “Hold your fire! We have a lot of your people and we wish to return them to you. We are not here to fight, only to return your people and discuss your departure from this planet.”

One of the Kazon steps forward, weapon trained on K’orvo, and says, “He is not Kazon-Ogla! He is not one of our people!”

“Wait, he is Kazon and a helmsman from a Kazon ship. We rescued 49 others from that ship before it exploded. He can confirm.” K’orvo looks at Trenack and Lorne pushes the tip of phaser into his back. Trenack nods in agreement and K’orvo calls back to the Kazon, “Do you want them back?”

“He’s nothing to us! They are nothing to us!” The rest of the Kazon train their weapons on the crew.

“Well, this is going well.” Dirnick says as he readies his phaser.

Lorne yells to K’orvo, “This guy is useless! I told you we should have brought Culluh!”

“Culluh! Kazon-Nistrim scum!” The lead Kazon yells.

“The Nistrim will not be slaves of the Ogla!” Trenack yells back, just before the group of Kazon open fire.

A firefight erupts between the crew and the Kazon. The crew is able to use the shuttle as partial cover, ducking behind the corners or just inside the door. When any one of the crew tries to shut the door to the shuttle, the door becomes stuck and they can’t get it to shut. Phaser blasts streak across the desert sands as the Kazon advance on the crew. The crew stands firm in an attempt to stop the Kazon’s advancement. The Kazon fight fiercely, almost without regard for their lives, and they don’t hold back against the crew.

“Don’t move. If you move, I could miss and hit you in the face.” Lorne whispers to Trenack. He uses Trenack’s shoulder to steady his aim and fires a wide phaser spread into the group of Kazon. One of them is stunned and falls to the ground. K’orvo opens fire and nearly incapacitates two more of the attacking Kazon. Energy blasts from the Kazon’s phase pistols fly toward the crew and Trenack, barely grazing K’orvo and Dirnick. Dirnick returns fire, and nearly incapacitates another of the Kazon.

The Kazon rush towards the crew and attempt to physically overpower them. The crew continues to fight back, but with every blow they land, the Kazon fight back with brawler tactics you’d see in a bar fight. The crew is struggling against the Kazon brawlers, but they are able to weaken them substantially.

“They’re weakening! Lorne, fire a spread!” K’orvo orders as Lorne breaks away from the melee.

“Commander, I’ll hit you too!” Lorne calls back.

“Do it! NOW!” K’orvo orders as he grabs two Kazon in an attempt to hold them in place.

Lorne hesitates, but then steps back, quickly sets his phaser to emit a spread, and fires into the group. With one phaser blast, all the remaining Kazon are incapacitated. K’orvo also suffers a minor injury to his shoulder from the close proximity of the blast.

“Commander! By the Prophets! I warned you!” Lorne rushes to K’orvo, but it’s obvious that the wound isn’t serious.

“Get the Cardassian to patch me up. Won’t take much effort since we have those extra medkits.” K’orvo says.

“Don’t worry, Commander. I was already on it before Lorne reached you. This will only take a moment, though you may have some residual side effects, until you get proper treatment.” Dirnick kneels down next to K’orvo and begins working on the phaser burns.

“I will be fine. We have a mission to complete. Besides, if it gets to be too much to handle, I will have Zhang come get me.” K’orvo scoffs at the burn on his back. “We knocked them all out, right? Lorne, go round them up.”

“Aye, Commander.” Lorne jumps up and begins putting restraints on all six of the Kazon-Ogla. Lorne then begins moving them to the containment field area of the shuttle.

K’orvo taps his communicator badge and calls to Zhang, “Lieutenant Zhang, we need you to come pick up the prisoner. He is useless to us down here.”

Zhang’s voice calls back over the comm badge, “Aye, Commander. We’re on our way.” Moments later, the second shuttle descends from the sky and two security officers come rushing from the back hatch as it opens. They each grab one of Trenack’s arms and drag him into the shuttle. Lieutenant Zhang emerges and rushes toward K’orvo, who is brushing the dirt from his clothes.

“Commander, orders?” Zhang asks. K’orvo and Zhang are walking towards the second shuttle. K’orvo pulls out a PADD from one of the storage units and punches in several bits of information as he steps back out of the shuttle.

“Take Trenack back to the Mulgrew and give my report to Captain M’Kora. We can not use the Kazon on the ship to bargain with. They are from different sects, and the only reason they will want Culluh is to kill him. We can not do that.” K’orvo says as he hands the PADD to Zhang.

“Yes, sir. I understand. It’s against Starfleet ideals to do such a thing.” She nods and puts the PADD in one of her belt holsters.

“It may be against Starfleet ideals, but that is not why we can not do it. It is a dishonorable tactic, befitting a Romulan, but not a Klingon.” K’orvo stares at Zhang for a moment and then says, “Not all Klingons are monsters.”

Zhang nods and makes her way back into the shuttle. K’orvo, Dirnick, and Lorne watch as the second shuttle lifts off and streaks toward the atmosphere.

“So much for their little welcome party. Alright crew, we have work to do. Let us get to it.” K’orvo says and both Dirnick and Lorne acknowledge and begin scanning the area for more information.

To Be Continued…

Next Time:
ACT ONE: Scene Two – Beauty Beneath the Surface

Roll Credits!
  • Travis – Lieutenant Zynes/Lieutenant Commander Dirnick
  • Wednesday – Doctor Zylas/Commander K’orvo
  • North – Ensign Cross/Lieutenant Lorne
  • Kat (Dice Dice Kitty) – Captain M’Kora
  • Supporting Character – Lieutenant Zhang

“These are the voyages of the starship Mulgrew. We go where other Federation starships cannot. We blaze a path in the stars for fellow explorers. We don’t just boldly go, we go boldly and silently into the black.”     ~ M’Kora

Qapla’!

 

Show Your Support!

I haven’t heard one way or the other if Modiphius is planning to attend Origins Game Fair this year (2019). Modiphius has something special in the 2D20 system and I think it needs proper representation at Origins. I know they were at GenCon, but many of us can’t go to a convention that size or that expensive. For me, it’s more about the size than the cost. I want to put this out on all channels – Show Modiphius you love their games! Ask them to attend Origins so they know it’s not just me poking at them about it. Even if you’re not planning to attend Origins (which you should), go ahead and let them know what it means to you as a fan and customer, to see them with representation at multiple US conventions!

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Thanks, as always for reading my ramblings and also for your support. Tune in next time, for the continuation of Episode Two.

 

Greetings Fellow Comic Fans!

 

In my Comic Box Recap article series, I want to talk about each of the comics that I read from my subscriptions that week. I don’t always read all the comics I order, because I’m only collecting some of them. Others are ones I may have started reading, but lost interest in but I still order them. You never know when you may want to go back and revisit a series at a later date.

*** SPOILER WARNING ***
Do not read any further if you are trying to avoid SPOILERS!
Marvel
Avengers #13

This week’s issue was a flashback to the Iron Fist’s beginnings in 1,000,000 BC. I loved the Netflix show, but I have zero interest in the comic book. I have less than zero interest in previous Iron Fist characters. This series was off to a great start and I’m not saying that the stories are bad now – they just don’t interest me at all. I will be dropping this series from my subscription list.

IDW
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic 20/20 One-Shot

This issue was a cute one-shot with a cute story. It does a little bit of retcon, kind of. We are all under the impression that the Mane Six met after Twilight Sparkle comes to Ponyville to live, as an adult. This issue retcons that and shows us that they actually met when their adult selves were kicked back in time. The future Mane Six is knocked back to when they first got their cutie marks, because of Dash’s Sonic Rainboom colliding with a lightning blast. They’re placed with their younger selves and then all of them meet up in Ponyville, which is where the younger versions all first meet each other. The Elements of Harmony are lost and the group splits into to groups to track them down. Celestia shows up later and does some mind jujitsu on the younger versions that prevents them from remembering until the older versions cross the portal back into their own time.

Time travel can be exhausting…

I also have a problem with the continuity in this issue. The Elements of Harmony are currently with the Tree of Harmony. So why does the Mane Six have them in the present time? It would be easy to explain that the book takes place before that happened, but there’s another issue. There is an Ambassador from Abyssinia, which would lead one to assume that this takes place after the My Little Pony Movie. The Elements of Harmony were already with the Tree of Harmony and even though Starswirl temporarily pulled them out for them to use against the Pony of Shadows, I doubt Twilight would have pulled them out for an event like this. Abyssinia is mentioned once in the show and once in the comics prior to movie related content, so I guess it’s possible that this could have taken place prior to the movie, but I doubt it. I’m thinking this is just a continuity error.

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Terra Incognita #6

Oh boy… Mirror Barclay thought he was going to be able to ‘start fresh’ in Lt. Barclay’s place. It looks like things didn’t go quite as planned for Mirror Barclay. I wonder how long he’ll be able to keep up the charade, without someone digging deeper into why he didn’t go back to the Mirror Universe. I had a feeling that Mirror Barclay would give up the Faundori facility as a bargaining chip if he needed it. I wasn’t surprised when he gave up the location just to save his hide. I’m actually surprised that the Enterprise crew didn’t notice that Barclay wasn’t himself. That almost bothers me a little bit, but at the same time, I guess they thought he was finding his way finally.

I’m looking forward to seeing if they continue with these Mirror Universe related titles. I’ve enjoyed all of them so far and I hope they continue. I’d like to see what happens to the Faundori people and what other shenanigans the Mirror Universe folks get into.

Conclusion

Aside from Avengers, I enjoyed my books this week, even with the possible continuity errors in the MLP book. I really do hope there are more Mirror Universe Star Trek books are on the way. I am very disappointed that my issue of Grumble didn’t come in this week, but I will add it to the newest Comic Box Recap when it finally comes in.

What are you reading?
Is there a series I should be reading?
You can drop me a line here or find me on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty!
Thanks for reading and remember to like, follow, and subscribe!

A good book is the best vacation!

Greetings Fellow Comic Fans!

 

In my Comic Box Recap article series, I want to talk about each of the comics that I read from my subscriptions that week. I don’t always read all the comics I order, because I’m only collecting some of them. Others are ones I may have started reading, but lost interest in but I still order them. You never know when you may want to go back and revisit a series at a later date.

*** SPOILER WARNING ***
Do not read any further if you are trying to avoid SPOILERS!
Marvel
Fantastic Four #6

Human Torch is full of witty comments, and apparently he knows how to use his wit to gain information from his enemies. I like that he’s different from the other members of the Fantastic Four and his humor is fun. I’m hoping Reed Richards isn’t as naive as he appears in this issue. Doom had planned for everything, even where the FF were going to ‘invade’ at. I like Doom’s over the top personality and I really like Doom’s herald, Victorious. If Doom is just using her, I hope it was all part of the plan and she’s in on it. If not, I’ll be a little disappointed. She’s very devoted and seems like she’d do whatever Doom told her, including sacrificing herself. Fantastic Four has been a great series so far and really fun to read. I definitely look forward to more!

Invaders #1

I don’t have much knowledge of the Invaders because I don’t like Captain America or Bucky, so I always avoided series with them in it. While this book was well written and interesting to read, it’s not really a book for me. That’s kind of disappointing too, since i was looking forward to it. And that disappointment is basically just me being disappointed in myself for not being more interested. The parts with Namor were the parts I liked the most and that’s probably because I really don’t like Captain America. I wasn’t expecting Machan to be a figment of Namor’s imagination, so that was a surprise when it was revealed.

I like how this book is focused on helping a war veteran overcome what’s happening to him, instead of him just being written off or destroyed. It sends a powerful message about our veterans.

I give credit to the team on this book for their excellent work. Just because I’m not digging a book, doesn’t mean it wasn’t done well. I will continue to get this title for a little while longer, to see if it changes topics to something I’m more interested in.

Absolute Comics Group
White Widow #1

Someone just splashed the 90’s all over the pages of this book. I’m not complaining about it at all, so don’t take it that way! There were great books in the 90’s! This book was an interesting read and the main character has a nice personality. She also looks like she has a combination of powers from Carnage, Lady Deathstrike, and Spider-Man, which is also kind of cool. This was a fun read, though I wouldn’t recommend it for folks like that don’t like obscenities, raunchiness, and cold-blooded murder. I liked plenty of the offbeat comic heroes in the 90’s and it’s so much fun to see a new one in that style!

I picked up this book on a whim, but I’m actually interested in the story going forward, so I’ll be picking up this series. I also wanted to mention, one of my fellow comic guys said that this book felt ‘thin’, like it didn’t have as many pages as other books. There are 24 pages (that’s counting front and back as two separate pages) of comic in this book and there are ZERO pages of ads. Most of the other books I read contain right at 20 pages of comic and about 6-8 pages of ads. White Widow had great content on all the pages and has the same cover price as those other books… but with more pages and zero ads…

IDW
My Little Pony: Nightmare Knights #4

I love the warm fuzzies I get from reading an MLP book. They’re full of inspiring moments of friendship and triumph, even if the victory is small. This was another good issue where the smaller achievements will help the heroes rise to glorious victory. Luna reminds Stygian that nobody can save him from himself – only he can decide to be a better pony. Daybreaker is starting to see the light, pun intended. And Tempest is showing her softer side, which is quite wonderful. I also don’t believe Capper has betrayed his friends. I think it’s part of bigger plan that he’s cooked up in his head, or maybe one he’s made with one of the other ponies. Eris could be on to them as well, since she was so suspicious of Tempest’s ‘new nightmares’ – or I could be looking too much into it. I guess I’ll have to wait until next month to find out!

Star Trek vs Transformers #4

This series is the most outrageous Star Trek comic series I’ve ever read – and I LOVE it! I love the over the top dramatics that you’d expect from TAS and an 80’s cartoon like Transformers. I can almost hear the dramatic ‘dun dun dun’ music on the last panel of the comic. When you hear the sound effects and music in your head while reading, you’re either insane, or you’re just really into what you’re reading. I’m almost certain it’s the latter for me. For someone with little-to-no background knowledge of Transformers, I’ve found myself genuinely enjoying those characters. This makes me want to dig up the old series from somewhere and actually watch it. Fortress Tiberius is absolutely ridiculous, but so cool at the same time. I can’t wait to see the crew of the Enterprise defend Kronos from Starscream with the help of the Transformers. It’s going to be an epic battle!

Conclusion

I liked Fantastic Four this week, but I was just a little disappointed that I didn’t like Invaders more. Like I mentioned, the book isn’t bad, just not what I like to read. I hope it switches gears or I’ll have to drop it. White Widow was a pleasant surprise and I look forward to more issues of that 90’s throwback, offbeat super hero style. I have yet to dislike an MLP book and Star Trek rarely disappoints. This was a good week and I feel like I got my money’s worth on every book in my box, including Invaders.

What are you reading?
Is there a series I should be reading?
You can drop me a line here or find me on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty!
Thanks for reading and remember to like, follow, and subscribe!

A good book is the best vacation!