Live long and prosper
You proceed from a false assumption. I am a Vulcan. I have no ego to bruise.
Star Trek Next Generation play using Gurps Lite - Crisis averted - Saturday 28th of April 2018
Christine as Zizy, betazoid pilot, Lt. commander
Steve stdesjardins as Zoltan Mohar, curious/pacifist human medic
Jan Barad_the_Dwarf as Tsu Go, ensign
Leonie Narl as T'Jayla, Vulcan science officer and helmsman, 1st officer and commander
GM Steve - qutluch
Zoltan Mohar is complaining. He has been transferred to the U.S.S. Lakota and he has heard stories about this ship it being a punishment ship. If you get transferred there, you must have done something really wrong. Then again those stories are probably nothing more than rumours. Before he is aboard he does some research and looks up the captain - an odd person with an unusually clean record. Meanwhile the senior officers and Tsu Go are in the staff room. There is something that has to be done, again. The captain needs to be rescued. Apparently the captain has been sold into slavery and it is the question whether or not a good price was had. For now it is not sure how they can rescue him. Their mission is as usual patrolling the neutral border in a remote region of space.
Then the unexpected happens, there is breaking news being broadcasted on all channels. It is still unconfirmed but on a livestream from Romulus the news is brought they have a defected Starfleet captain! On screen they all can see Belvany in a Romulan attie which irks T’Jayla for some reason. The Romulans stand next to him while Belvany is announcing he did this of his own volition. This has gone on too long, the people in Starfleet have been on a path of war and must be stopped. Belvany has told them about a base Starfleet has in the Kalandra system where they are building a temporal weapon. T’Jayla looks carefully at Hamish, he seems standoffish to her, talks very much to the point which is very unlike him. You could even say he talks like a typical Romulan.
T’Jayla knows him well enough to discern a pattern in his blinking, it is a morse code and spells Caol ila 1976. It confuses her but Mohar might have an idea. He hesitates to bring it up but he thinks Hamish might be ordering his favourite drink from Earth. Zizy has been scanning for the origin of the signal and can tell with a 72% certainty that the signal is coming from the Romulan homeworld. Tsu already can see where this is leading (the crew being known for not exactly doing as they are supposed to) and pleas for sticking to their orders and not to go out on their own. For now they decide to keep patrolling the border but as there is nothing else to do they look up whiskey stores that sell the drink and they check out his quarters. Searching several databases finally scores a hit when accessing the Ferengi database. The trade consortium lead by DaiMon Schlong (the Ferengi who was a serious candidate for T’Jayla’s Pon Farr long ago) is selling several drinks from over the world but when clicking through the list of beverages - alcoholics - Earth - Scotland it turns out this particular drink isn’t to be acquired here. Eventually an archived database reveals the only remaining location where the Caol ila 1976 still is sold. It is a tourist attraction on Earth, a bar with ancient pré world war III drinks in Minsk.
Now the crew of the U.S.S. Lakota does not feel like openly defying orders, yet. But T’Jayla heads to their new medic Zoltan and gets him (rather easily) to put in a request for the U.S.S. Lakota to head back to Earth on the basis of T’Jayla needing an advanced medical checkup which can only be done on Earth. As she is pregnant of a Vulcan/Human hybrid child Zoltan feels he needs an expert on genetics due to unforeseen temporal exposure. It doesn’t seem to work though. Tsu go wants to help just to get this all over with and starts cross-referencing Minsk. He finds a classified block with the computer immediately halting him which is weird, he was not doing anything else but looking for information. Meanwhile the U.S.S. Lakota is already (kind of) making its way to Earth awaiting approval. They get a message from Grey Stone Station they are deviating from their designated course. Tsu replies they are heading for Minsk. The Vulcan Soval thinks this to be highly irregular, he will have to report this. Tsu is actually happy this will be reported, this ship is acting against rules too often. From Grey Stone Station comes a weird request, if they are being hijacked Tsu should blink twice. It isn’t sure if he blinked but soon he hears them say they understand the situation and help is on the way.
Zizy is having the U.S.S. Lakota pick up speed and enters a slight course alteration when she picks up several Defiant Class ships on long range sensors. They are on an intercept course and they will rendez-vous in about 90 minutes. With the course alteration it might take an hour more. Zizy and Tsu are still working on the computer file and make good progress in opening it while doc Zoltan manages to get a permit for Earth anyway with another excuse with the right reference this time. The excuse is merely passable and he is not sure how long it will hold so they will have to be really quick. It comes down to extensive psychic evaluations (or just calling her plain crazy). Zizy works on the file but triggers a lock of some kind. Information about the bar is accessible, so is the captain but when combining the two gets a block. Zizy does retrieve a name, Michael O’Leary. The man himself is dead but he worked as a bartender twenty years ago. His daughter Dolores still works in the same bar in Minsk.
Meanwhile the U.S.S. Lakota is being hailed by the lead ship, Commander Straighthorn from the Break Iron wants to have a word. According to the medical officer their commanding officer is half unfit to serve. Tsu Go asks him to “please hold” while still proceeding towards Earth. He contacts doctor Zoltan Mohar who can finally report they have been cleared for Earth orbit and Zoltan will have to be in meetings for the next 24 to 36 hours explaining himself and his decision to board after board. It feels like a 1000 meetings.
Tsu is during that time patrolling the Earth and the girls (Zizy and T’Jeyla) are heading towards the bar. It is a small bar and not the most reputable. A blond haired woman is serving drinks and as they both enter all heads turn towards Zizy. Zizy ignores it and orders a Caol ila 1976 for herself and an apple juice for T’Jeyla. The woman behind the bar remarks they’re obviously not from around here, they do not sell that drink anymore. Once and so often people show up for that drink as it is mentioned in “The Hunters Guide” but she claims not to have it. Zizy asks the girl whether she is a friend or not (she feels she knows something) as Zizy is here as a friend of Belvany (and that name should ring a bell) and T’Jeyla has a personal interest. That elicits the remark she must be the Vulcan. T’Jeyla gets a sense of danger all of a sudden, which humans would call a bad vibe. The woman tells her to go to the backroom. As Zizy wants to come along she is told to stay here, only the Vulcan has to go.
T’Jeyla thinks this might be the only way to get more information and heads towards the backroom with the woman. As soon as she closes the door behind her a man stands up to block the door. Zizy senses hostility and insecurity. In the back room T’Jeyla gets scanned with a medical tricorder first. The woman (Dolores O’Leary) assumes she has come for “the thing”? T’Jeyla is not sure what the thing might be yet but says she has. Dolores wants to know if she thinks they can stop him, her dad gave his life for it at “The Happy Unicorn”. (Still no clue but say yes for now) T’Jeyla does want her to tell more, what happened twenty years ago to her father? Dolores says when she was looking through his personal effects she came across a paper with an address in Scotland. When she looked it up it was the address of an old abandoned distillery. Her father kept going on about 31 but she has no clue what that means. T’Jeyla tells her it is an organisation they are aware of, but it is not good news they are involved. T’Jeyla thanks her for the bits of information and both of them exit the room, Dolores with a gloomy face and T’Jeyla with a concerned mind. Zizy feels the mood as she sees both of them come out.
Doctor Mohar is meanwhile being interviewed by one of the boards. One of the questions is why he had asked for a transfer to the U.S.S. Lakota (usually people ask for a transfer away from the U.S.S. Lakota). For Mohar it was an easy decision, there are no children on board. Doesn’t Mohar like children then? From all ships in the fleet, the U.S.S. Lakota has the least amount of children. Although he had no idea of the abysmal mental health on board, which is somewhat to be expected looking at the amount of times they have to get out of danger. The crew is jumping from one epidemic to another. In Mohar’s opinion the crew has regressed emotionally due to traumatic experiences. The board is done interrogating Mohar and he is free to go to the next board. Not influenced by Mohar’s opinion of the crew, Tsu gets the crew on board of the U.S.S. Lakota to do some needed cleaning and small repairs.
Zizy feels Dolores is somehow relieved. Her father’s death was officially a natural death. He was found in the bar. In those days the bar had been visited by some shady characters on occasion of which some carried a portable scanning device with them. Dolores does not think the death had a natural cause but there was no evidence he was murdered. The three of them sit down and have a few drinks while Dolores keeps talking about her dad and a young Hamish meeting. When Hamish was still a young ensign he and her father got befriended really well. When Hamish left for Starfleet her father got more in touch with the wrong people. This went on for five years and she saw less and less of her dad, he went off planet a lot. The night before his death the bar had several customers but none of them were locals, there were only strangers in the bar. When Dolores found her father’s body he had a crumpled note in his hand. The note was written in her father’s handwriting. Dolores hands them the note and a specific scanner. Moments later the U.S.S. Lakota has Zizy and T’Jeyla materialise in front of an abandoned warehouse. There is no sign of the whiskey and the place is devoid of life signs. As they check the blind spots all they find are a lot of spiders. Eventually they get a weak signal from behind a door. It is stuck but they are able to break it open. There is in the middle one bottle of a 400 year old whiskey with a datarod next to it and a note with T’Jeyla’s name on it and 3 x’s. (how did that get here?!) The datarod is protected with a progressive fractal code which can take about 200 years to break.
Mohar gets an official reprimande and he hangs it in sickbay as if it were a reward. When T’Jayla and Zizy return with the whiskey Mohar checks its composition. It seems to have a medicinal use and has some smokey notes. In his third or fourth breath he even thinks there is something minty to is. A spectral analysis reveals off world traces of Kalifal, a Romulan beverage which is weird to find in an Earth drink. As Mohar separates the different parts of the whiskey he finds that the Romulan part is only ten to twenty years old and makes up 0.47% of the drink. Researching the drink learns them Kalifal is made in a particular area (Tsu Go is very good on history) of a certain planet. The second most likely planet is (how coincidental) also the most likely planet where the transmission originated. Then an urgent message is relayed to them, the Romulan Empire has just declared war and will strike within the next 24 hours!
Tsu contacts Starfleet command informing them he would like to track and capture their traitor captain Hamish. He is patched through to Nechayev and he explains her he wants to go after Hamish. Nechayev starts typing and the connection goes fuzzy for a moment. She then looks at him, she has only one remark for him. They did not start this sh*t right? As Tsu can honestly tell her they did not she decides to help out by clearing them a path to the neutral zone for 22 hours.
There are about forty to fifty minutes left until hostilities commence when the U.S.S. Lakota emerges near the planet where the transmission originated. It looks like there is only a small research station present but its shielding is very thick. The research station is underneath a dome-like shield. Zizy, Tsu and Mohar go down to the planet, they get close to the shielding and walk around the perimeter. Zizy senses in time two life signs around the corner and when doctor Mohar scans he sees there are two heavily armoured Romulans. They head in the other direction and after some scanning from the ship and close by they find the weakest spot of the shield. It is at a point 500 meters below the rocks. Mohar locates the cave and thinks about making his way through down. He thinks it is possible as he can see on a nearby scan at the other end of the shield a person appearing green inside the perimeter. Tsu starts scanning for human life signs below ground. Zizy followed Mohar and she is on ground level, about fifty to a hundred meters away from the building. She tries to sneak in but gets noticed. Tsu is the one who gets shot at and as she dives out of the way and she loses her weapon. Mohar takes cover while Zizy and Tsu are looking to fire back (once the weapon is recovered). Mohar can’t see them now but notices a fire broke out.
T’Jeyla has stayed on the ship and uses the ship’s phasers to knock out the shield without doing any other property damage. She tries to beam the humans down there out but can’t lock on. The transporters are suddenly malfunctioning.Zizy manages to run towards the building while out of the guards’ view who got stunned and are now scrambling to their feet again. Zizy quickly enters the building. Doc Mohar sees her get in and shoots wildly at the guards to get them to cower, he is not actually aiming to hit them. Tsu runs for cover. As Zizy is now in the building she runs forward and notices two guards at the end of the hallway. Instead of encountering them she decides to enter the ventilation shaft overhead. Up on the U.S.S. Lakota T’Jeyla manages to get the transporter back online. Doc Mohar is still hiding outside and Tsu has by now entered the building as well. It will take her a while to get past them though. Doc Mohar is looking into his medkit and starts working on a Romulan anaesthetic which he eventually thinks he has managed very nicely (he has not though). Meanwhile T’Jayla thinks she has located Hamish two levels down together with other life signs.
Tsu spends some time looking for his weapon but eventually picks up one of the Romulan disruptors as Zizy is finally nearing the end of the air vent. Doc Mohar has gone inside by now as well. Zizy gets in an area behind the guards with 4 cell doors. She decides to go for door number three first. She does not have keys but just shoots the lock. Captain Hamish is indeed down there, beaten to within an inch of his life and he is wearing prison clothes. Zizy signals up to T’Jeyla to beam them out of there. As they materialise Hamish reaches to Zizy’s ear telling her to get the ambassador out as well. Down on the planet inside the research station all alarms go off while another transporter beam tries to get a lock.
Tsu and Mohar are still inside the building. Tsu shoots at a guard but his shot goes wide. Mohar has tried to sedate one of them but his spray has had the opposite effect, the Romulan sergeant has gone really mad because of it and starts raging towards Tsu after he has thrown his weapon at him. The other Romulan present shoots. Zizy has in the meantime gone back and puts the remaining three prisoners on a transportation pad, they are ambassador Spock and two confused Romulans. With the ambassador and Hamish back on board the explosive situation can finally be resolved. Hamish is glad they worked out the code to the datarod but they have to admit they have not been able to. How did they get here then? With Hamish and Spock here the datarod is easily deciphered. It contains a holographic recording of a talk with Cardassians, Romulans and humans about temporal weapons. With only four to five minutes before the war starts they broadcast it on every channel. The whole universe now knows. About ten minutes later a Romulan vessel appears with T’Jayla’s cousin commanding. Not many words are exchanged but they are there to escort the U.S.S. Lakota back to neutral space.