WHERE NOMAD HAS GONE BEFORE

#1
SPANNG! A bullet ricochets off the rock next to your head.

‘Looks like you guys have a mighty fine problem there. Teach you to mess with the Hallidays.’

Sveli risked a glance over the rocks. The town of Deadwood was in the distance, through a rock-strewn canyon; the Hallidays were in the canyon.

‘Let’s not mess around’, said Ishrath. He dived forwards at the nearest of the Halliday gang and easily put them down.* The rest of them pulled their six-guns but missed with every shot.

‘Why are we wearing these strange clothes?’

The Hallidays returned shots; it was clear that the characters were going nowhere fast.

‘If we don’t get this claim to the judge in Deadwood by sundown then we lose the mine to Pa Halliday.’

More shots were exchanged; three of the Hallidays went down but Sveli was hurt by trying to make a run for Deadwood.

‘Y’all in a bad way now. You just hand over those deeds and we go our separate ways.’

SUDDENLY

The scene faded to the gridded lattice of the holodeck and the comms activated.

‘Matsuda to Away Team Alpha. Report to ready room immediately.’

********************************

CUE OPENING MUSIC [Deep Space Nine]

STAR TREK

THE STARS LIKE DUST

FEATURING: –

LISA WHITEHOUSE AS SENIOR COMMANDER KALEM JEL

JAMIE WALKER-HALL AS COMMANDER SVELI

BEN COOPER AS COMMANDER ISHRATH TH’CHIAQIS

JON WHITEHOUSE AS LIEUTENANT NETTUS

********************************

“WHERE NOMAD HAS GONE BEFORE”

Captains Log: Stardate 48761.64

The ‘Oberon’ was en-route to Starbase 47 when we received a priority message from Starfleet Command to investigate faint signals coming from the Gliese 8028 system. I ordered the ‘Oberon’ to the system at Warp Six and briefed our primary Away Team, led by my XO Kalem Jel.

Captains Log: Supplemental

Away Team Alpha arrived wearing non-regulation Starfleet uniform. Apparently, they had been indulging in a themed Game on the holodeck. They were ordered to change into regular uniform and then report back to me. **

Briefing Room; ‘USS OBERON’

Captain Matsuda indicated for the team to sit; then called up a display on the screen.

‘We have orders to check out a faint transmission signal from Gliese 8028; the third planet of the system. Gliese 8028 III is a Class M hot desert planet; the computer lists as uninhabited. Our ETA is two hours; Commander Kalem, you and your away team are to beam down and investigate.’

They retired to the away team office and performed some investigations. The signal was coming from an area of badlands near to the equator. The signal was distorted; something was interfering with it. They were able to discover that the transmission was coming from a ‘Nomad’-class probe.

Science officer Sveli did some research using the ship’s library. The Nomads were a series of probes launched by NASA from Earth in the 21st Century (2001 – 2002, to be precise.) They were fitted with an experimental heuristic artificial intelligence.

‘Commander,’ said Sveli to Kalem, ‘it would appear that a Nomad probe attacked the USS – Enterprise on Stardate 22742.47.’

‘Attacked? Did these probes carry weapons? Are there any further details on record?’

‘It would be highly illogical for NASA probes to be armed. There is nothing listed. The Enterprise survived with only minor damage.’

‘Who was in command of the Enterprise at the time?’

‘Captain James T. Kirk.’

Ishrath and Nettus had been analysing the interference patterns. Ishrath, now Chief of Security, used to be the Transporter Chief.

‘XO. We can’t beam down directly to the site; the interference patterns could seriously disrupt the transporter signal. I’ve identified three possible landing sites; all of them are about six hours walking on foot from the source.’

[COMM]

‘Matsuda to Away Team. We are entering standard orbit around Gliese 8028 three. Report to the transporter room.’

‘ENERGISE’

Team Alpha beamed down to landing site C, south-west of the probe’s signal. They arrived in a flat area of crystalline ‘flowers’ that began to burst; releasing fine shard-like fragments into the air.

Nettus pulled his tricorder, which beeped red.

‘These are toxic!’

‘Kalem to “Oberon’”. Four to beam up.’ There was no response; only a burst of static.

‘Kalem to “Oberon”. Kalem boosted the signal on her commbadge. ‘”Oberon” Four to beam up, stat.’

Back on the ‘Oberon’ they were checked over by Doctor T’Lar and given a clean bill of health.

‘ENERGISE’

Landing site B, east of the probe’s signal. They saw a huge metal mushroom supported by a central stalk. Liquid flowed over the dome and dripped off the edges; forming a curtain. Underneath the shade was a collection of buildings.

‘This is a mining camp,’ said Nettus, ‘I’ve worked at one. The dome provides shade and the water, pumped up from an underground aquifer, cools it.’

‘I don’t mind the heat’, said Sveli. ‘I’m from Vulcan.’

‘And I’m from Andoria and I do mind the heat,’ growled Ishrath. ‘Let’s get under cover.’

‘Wait,’ ordered Kalem. ‘There’s nothing moving. Ishrath, scan for life signs.’

‘Nothing, commander. The place is deserted’

‘Nettus and Ishrath, check out the nearest building. We’ll stand watch.’

The building was power generation, containing a standard colony-issue fusion reactor. Nettus noted that the reactor was running at full power, but the power output was only a fraction of what it should be.

‘Something is draining the power.’

Suddenly, alarms tripped and the reactor went into overload. Nettus and Kalem managed to stabilise it; but it was obvious that the safety interlocks had been overridden.

The next three buildings were a combination of recreation areas and living quarters for 24 families. They were attacked by a swarm of Sand Rats; feeding on some supplies.

‘Colonies like this don’t have replicators; they rely on preparing their own food.’ Nettus found an unopened packet of cornbread. ‘Try some, it’s good.’

‘You may want to see this,’ Ishrath came through on the comm. ‘There’s two quarantined rooms here; locked and sealed off with tape.’ They checked the other rooms; there were signs of a hasty, but not panicked, evacuation.

The fifth building was a stores and workshop; also a vehicle garage that was empty.

CONTROL

‘We should have checked this one first!’

The control building held the sickbay, stores, computer central and the control room. There were two bodies here; a male [NAME: FOMOS – Chief Engineer] and a woman [NAME- A. ALLIAN – Colony Administrator]. Allian had been shot by an energy weapon; Ishrath failed to identify the energy patterns that could determine the type of weapon.

Sveli and Nettus identified that Fomos died from zeta radiation poisoning and that they were all being affected by it. Using this knowledge and drugs they found; they were able to synthesise a short-term antidote.

Kalem accessed the colony logs: –

* (Early entries) – they are a large prospector crew looking for blacksand duodecimates

* Unexplained systems failures continuing. Two families found dead due to failure of life support in quarters.

* Power loss on reactor increasing. Engineer Fomos has no answer

* A large meteorite landed west of the colony; there was a slight tremor and aftershock that caused no damage.

* Parkin and Veeris are taking a rover out to investigate the meteorite crash.

* The shuttle has landed to take the rest of us off. I and Fomos will remain to wait for Parkin and Veeris.

‘So the energy loss was happening for some time before the probe crashed.’

‘How long will the antidote last?’

‘I’m not a fully-trained doctor; even so; it’s a guess. 18-24 hours perhaps? Zeta radiation is new to me.’

‘Kalem to “Oberon”. Kalem to “Oberon”. Emergency channel Nine One One; “Oberon”, please respond. It must be the zeta radiation.’

They set off for the crash site, after a couple of hours they came across a crashed rover, lying partially on its side in a rill. The front screen was smashed; there were two bodies (Parkin and Veeris), both had been killed by weapons fire. Ishrath looked up, his blue skin noticeably paler.

‘This is Romulan disruptor fire.’ ‘So there could be a Romulan ship in the system, cloaked? But why attack a mining camp?’

Kalem tried again to contact the “Oberon” and this time managed to get a message through to warn Captain Matsuda of the possible Romulan threat.

On reaching the probe crash site, the recalibrated tricorders showed that the zeta radiation was very strong in the area. The Nomad probe was on its side; it was quite bulky and would be difficult to carry to a safe spot. Nettus and Sveli worked on removing the memory core and the locator beacon. They quickly headed back to the settlement; recovering the bodies on the way.

‘Kalem to “Oberon”. Eight to beam up, four crew and four bodies.’

‘Commander Kalem. We are having difficulty locking onto your signal; transporting you would be very dangerous’

‘It’s the zeta radiation that we’ve absorbed’, said Ishrath. ‘”Oberon”, adjust your beam phase resonance to account for the radiation.’

The transporter worked, but shorted out just as Kalem was materialising. She was badly hurt and was rushed straight to sickbay. ***

They made their report to Captain Matsuda, then the “Oberon” resumed its journey to Starbase 47.

[END CREDITS]

——————————–

CAST

SVELI, Vulcan, Science Officer, Commander (Jamie)

ISHRATH TH’CHIAQIS, Andorian Chief of Security, Commander (Ben)

NETTUS, Denobulan Flight Controller, Lieutenant (Jon)

KALEM JEL, Bajoran, XO, Commander (Lisa)

==========

GM Notes

* Like Worf at the beginning of ‘A Fistful of Datas’.

** No-one mentioned about changing clothes before reporting.

*** True! We nearly lost Lisa in the last few minutes of play (she went down to 1 Stress.)

Our first Game of Star Trek Adventures ever; and it went down a storm! Jamie is a big ST fan, but has never role-played before and Jon has only played a couple of times. Ben is an experienced role-player but has never watched ST (not sure how he’s managed that, in our house), and Lisa (my daughter) and I are big ST fans.

The characters were pre-genned; I sounded them out first what sort of characters they would like to play.

When I first looked at the rules, I didn’t find them very intuitive; what combination of Attribute and Discipline to use didn’t seem obvious. However, I found that once we started playing, thing seemed to flow easily.

They are intrigued with the plot hooks and the next session is already being planned. We played this on Sunday afternoon; it took about two hours.

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