STA: A Stitch in Time

Star Trek: Thine Own Self

S01 E03 A Stitch in Time

***

A Stitch in Time

Title card

STARDATE 57079.7 – Mon Sep 01 2380 21:54:29 GMT+0800 (Malaysia Time)

CAPTAIN’S LOG, STARDATE: 57079.7. AFTER FENDING OFF THE SS RAFFLESIA FROM A PIRATE SHIP, WE HAVE RECEIVED INFORMATION FROM CAPTAIN SEIDOV THAT THEY SPOTTED THE MISSING USS NAIROBI AT DELTA MELPOMENE 5 TWO DAYS AGO, ABOUT TO PICK UP A FEDERATION ARCHAEOLOGICAL TEAM THERE. THEY REPORTED BEAMING UP A HIGHLY-IMPORTANT CLASSIFIED ARTEFACT ABOARD FROM THERE. ACCORDING TO LT. MIRAL, THE DIG TEAM WAS AT A SUSPECTED ICONIAN SITE. BASED ON THEIR SKILLS AND TRAINING, I HAVE DISPATCHED ENGINEER KODAR TAMAT AND SECURITY OFFICER SIMON CANETE TO INVESTIGATE THE DIG SITE ON THE RUNABOUT MOONSTAR WHILE THE SIENKIEWICZ GO TO NEW INVERNESS.

Starfleet Dramatis Personae

  • Captain Vosgal Toor, Command, Zaranite Male – Bridge NPC
  • Lt. J.G. Kodar Tamat, Support, Engineering officer, Cardassian Male – Martín
  • Lt. Simon Canete, Support, Security officer, Humal Male – Mario
  • Ensign Sparik, Command, Shuttle pilot, Vulcan Male – Away Team NPC
Main screen turn on!

Main screen turn on!

AWAY THE MOONSTAR!

The runabout Moonstar slipped out of the Sienkiewicz‘s forward shuttle bay, after which the Saber-class starship warped away for the moon of New Inverness. Ensign Sparik, piloting the Moonstar, set a course for Delta Melpomene V.  Lt. Kodar Tamat, the young Cardassian, is at the co-pilot’s seat with a tool kit at his side. Behind them, Lt. Simon Canete was alert as ever with a phaser rifle slung over his shoulder.

Tamat, leading the Away Team, said, “Look alive, team. We might be in for some surprises, Iconian technology is unpredictable.”

Captain's Log

Captain’s Log

The Vulcan conn officer addressed the security officer in the back and said, “Lt. Canete, sir. I will attempt to do something new.”

“What would that be, may I inquire?” Canete asked.

Sparik calmly explained, “I will attempt to initiate conversation. Much has been said about my lack of speaking skills.” Then, he touches a button which beeps and the Moonstar lurched into warp.

THE JUMP TO WARP!

Tamat beamed a slight smile at Sparik, agreeing with him. “It is only logical to be prepare for any situation, including diplomacy and small talk.”

The young Vulcan replied with the flight status report, “We are at Warp 6. ETA Delta Melpomene V in 20 minutes.”

“After the Sienkiewicz reaches New Inverness, what would be the estimated time for them to reach us if we require assistance?” Canete asked Sparik.

Reading his console, he reported, “We could be back here in 20 minutes or less. The Delta Melpomene is not that far a system.”

Tamat muttered, “Good to know, Sparik. Great question, Canete.”

THE PERILS OF SMALL TALK!

Then he turned to Canete again. “I do not believe we have conversed before, Lt. Canete. Could you detail your place of origin and your personal background… if it is not too much to ask.”

Canete was amused at the Sparik’s eager attempt at conversation and replied, “I come from a small colony, mostly humans on my planet. I enlisted so I could provide help to my planet at some point, but I’ve been assigned here and there. I believe in the goodwill of the Federation and I will do anything in my power to render help to anyone who needs it.”

Sparik raised an eyebrow. “Fascinating. I find the diverse reason for why people join Starfleet to be intriguing as a whole. For example, I would never have thought to be serving beside a Cardassian like Lt. Tamat here. In fact there was a time when I would be… unnerved to be in a runabout with a Cardassian. But as you humans say, we live in interesting times.”

CARDASSIANS OF THE FEDERATION!

“Well, I’m certainly aware of my rarity in the fleet,” Tamat mused. “But I’ve lived on Earth since I was 10, and my people’s government hasn’t always been the most… stable or just. I thought the best place for me to use my skills was Starfleet. I was fortunate that my parents had a friend in Starfleet who sponsored my entrance into the Academy.” He smiled to himself at the thought. “But I get that, Sparik. I’m trying to be a better face for my people than some Cardassians have been.”

Sparik said, “I said it not 60 seconds ago and I will say it again: Fascinating.”

New Orleans class starship

New Orleans class starship

“I for one am glad at the fact of inclusiveness,” Canete said. “I’ve wondered what was it like for the first humans who joined the galactic community.” He was referring to First Contact Day.

“Some Cardassians haven’t been Dominion allies for five years,” Tamat laughed. Sparik’s mouth twitched for a second or two, then he held a slight smile. “In fact, my parents never were. As soon as the Federation-Cardassian war was over, they jumped at the chance to join a scientific exchange on Earth. They’re biochemists, by the way. A cousin of mine was killed by Jem’hadar during the riots on Cardassia Prime though,” said Tamat, in a more sombre tone.

MYSTERY OF THE ANCIENT RELIC!

“So what do we know of the archaeological team that was supposed to be picked up here?” Canete asked.

Sparik answered, “The team was digging at an alien relic site, reportedly 10,000 years old. Suddenly they went quiet, then the USS Nairobi was sent to check on them. They picked up the archaeologists and — according to Captain Seidov of the SS Rafflesia earlier — some sort of secret artefact. I was not on the bridge when they discovered this but Lt. Miral also found something from her investigating the mission logs, is that not correct, Lt. Tamat?”

“Yes, the team discovered potential Iconian technology.”

“Lieutenant,” Canete said to Tamat. “My major was far removed from archaeology or history. What are the possible dangers from this revelation?”

Tamat recalled the briefing Miral had given on the bridge of the Sienkiwicz.  “Well, I’m actually an engineer but I did get a good deal of science training. Plus, Miral gave me some up-to-date information. The Iconians were a highly advanced people, presumably destroyed some 200,000 years ago. They travelled through space without starships, with powerful gateways that allowed instant teleportation as far as the Gamma Quadrant.”

The pilot said, “It must be older than 10,000 years then.”

“Most likely.”

Sparik turned back to his console which was beeping. “We will drop out of warp in 5 seconds… 3… 2… 1…”

Red Alert

Red Alert

DANGER OF A MILLION DEBRIS!

The space before them was filled with a chaotic miasma of asteroidal debris. Millions of deadly rocky fragments of various sizes blocked the Moonstar‘s path. Alert klaxons began to wail. Tamat barked, “Brace for impact.”

Sparik regained manual control and said, “I need someone to navigate me through this debris field.”

Tamat’s hands deftly played upon his console. The LCARS display reconfigured itself and the Cardassian said, “Let me see what route I can trace with the sensors.” (Tamat uses Insight+Science along with the Hazard Awareness Focus, but no joy with every dice except the one assist dice from the Moonstar, giving one Momentum which Sparik uses in his piloting check.)

“Thank you, Lieutenant,” Sparik muttered and swerved in every direction and around every axis, hoping no debris would strike their runabout. The navigational deflector were pushing away smaller particles, creating a cone of safety for the Moonstar. Still, several sharp cracks could be heard on the hull, but not strong enough to punch holes through the ship. (Sparik rolled 4 Successes with his Daring+Conn, only requiring 3 Successes to fly through the debris field safely.)

The Vulcan ensign safely flew the Moonstar through a thick cloud of debris, but as he turned towards the edge of the larger debris field, something enormous loomed along their path: A gargantuan asteroid fragment!

PERILS OF A CARBONACEOUS COLOSSUS!

Simon, from his station, fed Sparik data from his tactical board. (He gained two successes with a Daring+Security roll.) “I see the path, Lt. Canete,” Sparik said. But (upon rolling NO successes) he was unable to adhere to the path suggested by the tactical board. The huge asteroid was rolling. One more roll and its bulk will pulverise the Moonstar!

Danube class stats

Danube class stats

There was not much time to act. Tamat unstrapped himself and headed for the engineering console. Meanwhile, Canete attempted to lock phasers on the asteroid and fire.

Tamat reconfigured the impulse engines to give it an extra burst of thrust, hopefully enough for it to zoom past the collision area in time (using Determination to activate his Untapped Potential Talent, giving him two free successes).

Canete thumbed the FIRE button and a phaser beam lanced out, striking the giant space rock. There was a bright burst and an explosion, but it was insufficient to disintegrate the asteroid (only subtracting 1 Stress point out of 4). Canete interjected, “Darn!”

From the engineering board, Tamat yelled at Sparik to punch it. Sparik made the ship sped faster and turned even tighter, thanks to Tamat’s quick adjustment. With its approach delayed by the phaser hit by Canete, the Moonstar was able to soar away from it and out of the debris cloud into safety (using three Momentum to roll 5d20 in Daring+Conn and getting SIX SUCCESSES).

“That was a close one!” said Canete.

Determination

Determination

LANDING ON A PERILOUS PLANET!

Sparik said, “That was a close one indeed.”

“Great flying, Sparik,” Tamat commented with a sigh of relief. Looking at the ever-growing disc of the planet before them, he ordered, “Land us as close as you can.”

The Vulcan navigated the Moonstar into orbit above Delta Melpomene V. It was a class-M planet located in the goldilocks zone of the Delta Melpomene system. It had two sets of rings. The inner ring was of silicate rock from a collision of bodies long ago while the outer was composed of dirty ice.

Acting upon the charts in the runabout’s data banks, Sparik flew them into the atmosphere. Their destination was a rocky mesa high above a dry orange desert. The Moonstar landed 20 metres away from the site where a Federation archaeological encampment once stood.

Sparik asked, “What are you orders, sir?”

“Let’s start with the last known position,” muttered Canete looking at the environmental scan.

“That’s what we’re going to do. Tricorders out, eyes peeled,” said Tamat. The Cardassian exits the runabout first, scanning for anything unusual. As soon as the trio left the ship, their tricorders started beeping wildly as they were registering sort of anomaly within 15 metres.

Starfleet EV Suit

Starfleet EV Suit

SHOCKING SURPRISES OF THE CRYSTAL SHARD!

“We’ve got something!” Tamat exclaimed, studying his tricorder readings. There was a higher than usual stream of neutrino being emitted from somewhere nearby.

“Sir! Here!” Sparik pointed to the ground not so far away. It looked like something had been dug up from here very recently. It was a depression in the soil, approximately 40 centimetres deep. The bottom of the depression was completely flat and circular. Something glinted green in the sunlight within the hole.

Tamat approached and said, “Good catch.” He kept scanning with his tricorder, while visually inspecting the site. The tricorder indicated that something in the hole is emanating a steady stream of neutrinos. It was not harmful, but it was peculiar. The neutrino stream rate was similar at various directions and angles from the hole. The hole was its source.

Tamat cross-referred the crystal’s quantum signature on his tricorder and discovered something similar in the records: the Time Crystals of Boreth! However, although the quantum signature appeared to be similar, the properties and neutrino emission pattern were slightly different. They were not 100% the same.

THE HANDLING OF THE TIME CRYSTALS!

“Oh my…,” Tamat muttered. “Team, this is… some sort of time crystal.”

Sparik raised an eyebrow, “What does that mean? Is it safe for Lt. Canete to pick it up?”

Canete blurted out. “Good lord, then I think using hazard suits might prove irrelevant.” There was a pause and then he continued, “But yes, I volunteer to interact first with the item.”

“I… Let’s all stay close,” Tamat sighed (especially when I gifted the team the Time Crystal Complication for the Scene).

Canete returned to the Moonstar and came back with replicated plastic tongs to pick the time crystal up. He prepared himself, then waited for everyone to form up on him before reaching down and clasping the crystal with his tongs. He successfully lifted the irregular crystal shard 10 centimetres in length, with a 3 cm diameter cross-section, pointy and sharp at both ends.
Sparik commented at the unexciting feat, “This does not appear to be such a bad idea.”

That was when the crystal emitted an intense green pulse that nearly blinded everyone.

VISIONS OF THE FUTURE

Next Week on Star Trek Adventures

Next Week on Star Trek Adventures

(Everyone needed to get three Successes for a Reason+Command roll. Sparik as an NPC rolled three Successes, but both Lt. Canete and Lt. Tamat get two Successes each.)

The green pulse seemed to course through their minds. Canete grabbed on to his phaser rifle.  Tamat pressed his fingers to his temples. Only Sparik stood undisturbed, puzzled at the others’ sudden actions and asked, “What is transpiring here?”

THE SCENE SHIFTED.

Tamat and Canete suddenly found themselves on the bridge on the USS Sienkiewicz. There were thick smoke everywhere. LCARS panels were sparking intermittently. A great rumble sounded beneath their feet, under the deck. They saw Captain Toor dead beside them on his centre seat, his breathing mask torn away from his face.

Canete looked for the rest of the bridge crew and realised that Lt. Metaxis at Conn and Lt. Fuentes at Ops sat limply at their stations, blood flowing down their heads.

CURSE THIS ONCOMING COLLISION!

There was a bright flash from the viewscreen. It was the forward lights of another Federation starship out in space in front of them. The starship possessed an ancient style saucer section with single warp nacelle extending below it, and an engineering section extending above!

It was about to collide with the Sienkiewicz.

Then it collided.

Another green flash came and left, and they found themselves back at the Delta Melpomene V dig site. There was a long pause as Tamat and Canete caught their breath. They confirmed that they were still alive.

Canete said, “Did you all experience that collision? Was that… the future? ”

After a short description of the vision, Sparik mused dramatically, “What did the archaeologists uncover here?”

This was no Iconian technology. This was something even more enigmatic, mysterious, and potentially dangerous.

Kodar Tamat replied, “I… I don’t know.”

USS Sienkiewicz

USS Sienkiewicz

To be continued

Notes:

  • Okay, I gave them a vision! Now where do they go from here?
  • I am happy they did not crash the Moonstar.
Posted in Misc Sci-Fi, Role Playing Games, RPG Actual Play, RPG Campaigns, STA: Thine Own Self and tagged , , , , , .

Khairul Hisham J. is a tabletop RPG artist, writer, proofreader, translator, teacher, grad student and learner-in-general.

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