Summary of Events
The latest communique from Ambassador Endara Khan aboard the USS Exeter, in orbit of Oblissa Three stated that an accommodation had been reached to employ a Talaxian trader to carry a proposal from the Kazon-Ogla First Maje to nearby Kazon Oglamar space, inviting the Oglamar First Maje to a peace conference. As a peace gesture, the Talaxian will present one of the protein resequencers provided by the USS Guadalcanal. It is hoped that the gift of the resequencer will overcome a history of mistrust and outright hostility between Talaxians, humans, and the Kazon sects.
In orbit of Oshionian Six, the USS Guadalcanal reports detecting latent quantum fluctuations in the planet's electromagnetic field. This may have been caused by a spacecraft using an artificial singularity drive, such as those employed by the Romulan Star Empire. Away teams have been recalled, and the ship is on yellow alert.
Following the destruction of four Woden Class freighters in the Archanis Sector, the USS Arizona received a distress signal from a nearby convoy. It arrived in time to catch a Klingon heavy cruiser attacking the convoy. Two freighters had been destroyed, and the Klingon was targeting a third. A combination of long range fire from the Arizona and defensive fire overwhelmed the Klingon. It was disabled, but self-destructed before it could be captured. A manned shuttle launched by the battlecruiser was captured intact. It is unknown what effect the incident will have on rumored negotiations currently underway.
The USS Xerxes destroyed a Klingon Battlecruiser and escaped the Pheben system undamaged. From there it was due to cross back into Federation space and investigate the lack of communications from the Archer system. It has not been heard from since.
"What Are Your Orders, Captain?"
The USS Xerxes has almost completed its dangerous passage through Klingon space. But first it must face a deadly challenge in the Pheben system. Another privateer attacked as soon as the Xerxes dropped out of warp, and was just as easily dealt with as the last. But as it exploded, a massive energy well appeared, preventing the Xerxes from going to warp. Sensors showed that the privateer had been using an experimental artificial singularity drive that could be responsible for the gravity well. This would not be outside the realm of possibility for a private vessel that uses technology from a multitude of sources and governments. But this time, a Klingon D-7 Class Heavy Cruiser appeared almost immediately. Captain Lionidas has no choice but to attack the D-7 and warp away to safety. The question facing him is whether or not the privateer with the artificial singularity drive was sent in his path as a deliberate sacrifice in order to hold him in the Pheben system. If it was, then he expects a larger task force to follow him to the Archer system, which already shows signs of trouble with the Klingons. If that is the case, he'll need to change course and lead the enemy away from the beleaguered outpost. If, on the other hand, the privateer was not a pawn sent by the Klingons, then he must get to Archer as quickly as possible. Assuming he can destroy the D-7 battlecruiser, Captain Lionidas has to make a decision without waiting to see who, if anyone, shows up next. He must either:
A: Distract any pursuit by setting course for the nearby binary Narendra system. If there is a task force on his trail, he might be able to elude them in the radiation shadow between the two stars. If there isn't, he'll take an extra day to get to Archer, where every second may cost lives Or...
B: Take a chance that the encounter in the Pheben system was a coincidence (which is possible), and go directly to Archer, which went silent several weeks ago.
In either case, Captain Lionidas must assume that the Klingons know he is headed for Archer. He can only hope to retain some element of surprise by anticipating the Klingons' moves and staying one jump ahead of them.
Captain Lionidas defeated the D-7 with a combination of plasma torpedoes and phasers, and set course for the Narendra system, reasoning that one more day would probably mean little to the outpost that had already been silent for more than a week. But to further confuse any possible pursuers, he altered course before reaching Narendra, cutting across empty space and making a beeline for the Federation border. In this way, he hoped, any defenders diverted to intercept him at Narendra might be momentarily thrown off. As it turned out, he met no further opposition on his way to the border.
Captain Lionidas is surprised to see the Federation outpost at Archer Four to be devoid of Klingons and seemingly at peace. However, as the USS Xerxes approaches the planet, he finds that they cannot make contact with the outpost. Further investigation of the surrounding area reveals that the Klingons have built a device nearby that is whiting-out all sensors and communications. That outpost is in an uncharted star system just inside Klingon space. While he is relieved that the Klingons haven't attacked Archer, Captain Lionidas believes that they will at some point. He now must decide what to do about the jamming device. He can either:
A: Destroy the outpost immediately and summon assistance from Federation space (simultaneously alerting the Klingons to your presence), or:
B: Find some way to work past the jammer. This would take more time, but would be less likely to bring an immediate attack.
(Moderator's Note: There are no predetermined right or wrong answers. The most popular solution will give the players who chose it a "Command College Point". Ten of those equal an experience point.)
Choose A or B, or a third course of action, and write a brief explanation
(From last week)
"There's only one way to know for sure."
(Again, I used the random planetary mission tables to spice this up)
Age: 3-10 billion years
Diameter: 10,000-15,000 km
Surface: Surface water abundant; if water covers more than 80%, planet is considered Class-O or Class-P
Atmosphere: Nitrogen, oxygen, trace elements
Life forms: Extensive vegetation, animal life, humanoids
Example: Earth, Vulcan, Cardassia Prime
10) You encounter an incredibly advanced civilization (optionally, there might be a primitive society existing side by side with them).
Captain Sam Carpenter
Captain's Starlog, November Fifth, 2158.
We are headed for a system known to the Vulcans as Tzenketh, investigating signals received from a long range interplanetary probe launched in the last decade of the 20th Century. Even though the probe was launched almost a hundred and fifty years ago, it is still almost inconceivable that such a primitive liquid-fueled device could have gotten so far so fast. Indeed, if a Vulcan scout ship hadn't been surveying an adjacent system, we never would have known. The problem, and the main reason Starfleet sent us out this far, is that the signal that the Vulcans received indicated that the onboard computer had completed it's data dump. Our new non-interference directive requires that an Earth ship personally investigate any possibility of contamination of any alien culture by Earth technology. Even if that technology is more than a hundred years old. Once we get to Tzenketh, we can start to formulate a theory to explain how the probe got out so far, and find out who downloaded the data it held.
Supplementary Starlog, November Twenty-First, 2158.
The Tzenketh system consists of twelve planets, with three in a temperate zone, referred to as the ecosphere in our starcharts. While we've come to understand that life can exist in even the most exotic locations, I was convinced that the probe had to have set down on one of the three Class M planets. A concentrated scan confirmed that. The furthest out of the three planets we scanned was still transmitting the signal that the Vulcans had picked up. From orbit, we detected signs of a what seemed to be a fairly advanced (more so than us in ways) if isolated community, based on visual and other scans, but one that for some reason hadn't begun to develop spaceflight, in close proximity to a much more primitive culture, roughly equivalent to Earth at the end of 19th Century that experimenting with crude ballistic projectile technology. Unfortunately our probe was very close to (and being studied by) both cultures. It seems as if we're too late to prevent some degree of cultural contamination.
Final Mission Starlog, November Thirtieth, 2158.
This mission, that I felt excited about at first, has ended up rather ugly because it was only half completed. In order to minimize our effect on these people, we needed to retrieve the probe without making any sort of contact. Because we weren't able to even beam down until some sort of conflict arose between the two Tzenkethi cultures, momentarily pulling their teams away from the probe. So while we did retrieve the probe and limit the damage done, we are faced with the knowledge that this earth probe has no doubt introduced the idea of spaceflight to these warring people, and may have helped to advance the state of conflict on this remote world. How much damage have we inadvertantly done to this planet, and its future? There's only one way to know for sure. We'll have to watch them closely. I've heard people start to describe our first contact with the Klingons as disastrous, and that has been cited as a reason for our non-interference directive. Hopefully we won't add the Tzenkethi to the list of disastrous first contacts.
For Next Week:
(Expand the following into a log entry of at least 100 words. Members post answers to the yahoogroup or the 'comment' feature on the blogsite. Lurkers feel free to leave comments on the blogsite)
"...make do with visual scanners..."
I completed the second run of the convoy raid scenario, and I'm getting ready for another orbital combat run. I've revamped and (hopefully) improved the heavy combat log template. Here it is:
A) Roll 
A) Helm: Position/Movement[ , /Speed]/[Course]
A) Countermeasures/Reinforce shields/Cloak/Tractor: [ECM/ECCM()+retained][Reinforce shields()+retained]CloakTractor[pts]
A) Tactical: Target Target Bearing Fire weapons [(x)+(x)]
A) Auxiliary Craft: Shuttle[ , /Speed]/[Course] Target Target Bearing Fire weapons [(x)]/(Fighter[ , /Speed]/[Course] Target Target Bearing Fire weapons [(x)]
B) Roll 
B) Helm: Position/Movement[ , /Speed]/[Course]
B) Countermeasures/Reinforce shields/Cloak/Tractor: [ECM/ECCM()+retained][Reinforce shields()+retained]CloakTractor[pts]
B) Tactical: Target Target Bearing Fire weapons [(x)+(x)]
B) Auxiliary Craft: Shuttle[ , /Speed]/[Course] Target Target Bearing Fire weapons [(x)]/(Fighter[ , /Speed]/[Course] Target Target Bearing Fire weapons [(x)]
Damage to A:
Damage to B:
As you can see, I've added a line for auxiliary craft (fighters, shuttle, etc), and labelled the lines according to task. "Helm", "Countermeasures/Reinforce shields/Cloak/Tractor", "Tactical", and "Auxiliary Craft".
The helm section includes 'course' which will help make it work in orbital combat. I'm thinking about adding a 'mark' notation to the 'course' notation, to add a third dimension. For example, a course notation of 000 mark 180 would mean due north on the galactic plane (or due north on the current map), and a complete flip based on an imaginary horizontal line running through the center of your ship. So your ship is still moving 'northward', but it has essentially flipped so that it's flying backwards. You might (more realistically) set course 'mark 45' to just angle up. That might protect your forward shields or target your opponent's dorsal (top) shields. I'll test that before I add it to the template.
The Countermeasures section now includes templates for shield reinforcement, cloak, and tractors. Tractor rules should be worked out this week. And of course, just because it says 'cloak' that doesn't mean every ship can cloak. I just wanted a 'one size fits all' template that comes with a spot for everything anyone might have.
I've moved all of the target info to the tactical section. Included in that section is target bearing. For example, if the 'B Aft' is directly facing the 'A Fore', then A would show this in the helm and tactical sections: Helm: Position/Movement[ 3,3/Speed5]/[Course 180 mark 000]. Tactical: Target[B Aft] Target Bearing. That shows that the target (B Aft) is directly in front of (mark 000) A. That sounds complicated, but should make it easier to keep track of shield facings in a 3D environment. Hopefully :) . This is also the kind of micromanagement that would only appeal to heavy combat fans, and would normally be handled easily by a computer program that I don't know how to write. If it's too much of a pain I won't bother. Also, note the "(x)" in the 'fire weapons' bracket. That is there to accommodate the dice roll or allocation times the muliplier. I'm also envisioning a 'special weapons' section for Lyran ESG's, Hydran Hellbores, Tholian Webs, Borg assimilators and cutting beams, etc., but that is way in the future. Xindi weapons will have to come first for the "Enterprise: Xindi" expansion pack. How about a Star Wars expansion pack.... anybody? Anybody?
The Auxiliary Craft section (for shuttles, fighters, and other small ship-launched craft) has much the same info for helm and tactical, but it's a bit condensed, and obviously doesn't include countermeasures. Position, speed, course, target, target bearing, and fire weapons. Everything that a pilot would need.
Damage section will include any auxiliary craft. Shuttles can sustain 15 points of damage. Fighters can sustain 20. And damage is still noted cumulatively.
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