Star Trek: Tirpitz


Onias Sector Patrol

Springing the trap

We’ve received new orders from Commander Genstra.  Starfleet has noticed an increase in attacks by Hirogen forces on ships passing near Romulan space.  Most ships have been lucky enough to get away with only moderate damage, but there have been reports of a few transports being lost to hunting parties.  We were being sent to the Aido system in an attempt to encourage the Hirogen to leave the sector.  Starfleet intelligence believed that the Hirogen used a planet in the system as a supply base.  Our orders were to set a trap for the hunters.  We were to patrol the system and engage any Hirogen ships that arrived to resupply.  It wasn’t long after we arrived before we spotted our first target.  Our engagements in the system were fairly quick.  Most of the enemy ships we caught were escorts.  There were no signs of any Hirogen command ships.   

Ambushed

Shortly after we destroyed our fifth enemy ship, we received new orders from Commander Genstra.  While repairs were being made to the USS Nobel, Starfleet engineering teams had made a discovery.  Even with all of the damage the ship had sustained when it was attacked by the Romulans, the emergency transponder system was still in perfect working order.  This ment that it should have been a simple matter of following the transponder signal to find the Nobel while it was missing for three weeks.  This raised concerns at Starfleet Command about the state of the signal relay satellites.  If part of the network was taken offline for whatever reason, any number of Federation vessels could be lost because no one received their requests for assistance.  We were being sent to check out the status of the satellites in the network, repair any that we found to be malfunctioning or damaged, and investigate why they had gone offline in the first place.  Our survey of the network eventually brought us to Khellian system, where we discovered the problem.  We picked up a small task force of Reman ships attempting to sabotage the satellites in the system.  We set an intercept course for the nearest set of Reman ships we detected.  A broadside of disruptor fire alerted us to the decloaking warbird our initial scans had missed.  We took several major hits before we destroyed the Reman vessel.  We suffered a hull breach on deck four, and experienced an energy grid blow out in sick bay.  We knew we would have to put into spacedock for repairs, but we were still in good enough shape to finish the mission first.  After an intense scan of the system to locate any other Remans we missed, we cleared the system of enemy ships and performed repairs on the damaged satellites.  

Broxx

Commander Genstra asked us to complete one more mission before we returned for repairs.  Starfleet had received reports of a plague on Merak II.  In order to combat the outbreak, the Federation had attempted to negotiate with a Ferengi named Broxx for his supply of zenite ore.  However, after being paid the amount agreed upon, Broxx never produced the ore.  We were being sent to locate Broxx and collect the zenite before the situation on Merak II worsened.  During the Federation’s negotiations, Broxx seemed very eager to deal with us.  Starfleet believed that there shouldn’t be any threat to the Tirpitz while we attempted to pick up the Federation’s purchase.  We were able to track the Broxx’s ship to Muso Prime.  When we hailed Ferengi vessel, the ship’s second in command informed us that Broxx had beamed down to a trade outpost on the planet’s surface.  Mr. Scharf accompanied me on an away team to speak with Broxx.  I half expected him to be upset by our arrival, but the Ferengi asked us to help him with a negotiation.  We didn’t have time for this, and I told Broxx as much.  He explained that he had made the deal to sell the ore to the Federation to get enough funds to attempt to complete his current negotiations, but the person he was dealing with didn’t want funds.  Broxx said he would return the Federation’s payments and keep the zenite unless we helped him.  When I finally agreed to assist in his negotiations, he explained the situation.  

Varna

Broxx, it seems, is a collector of rare holo programs.  He needed one final program to complete his collection, and had located a copy of the program in the possession of a man named of Rivv Enda.  Enda had been unwilling to sell to the Ferengi, so Broxx hoped that we would be able to convince Enda to give us a copy of the program.  We arranged to speak with Enda, and it quickly became apparent why he didn’t want to part with the program.  Broxx hadn’t informed us that Enda was a sentient holo program, and his objection to giving the Ferengi what he wanted was because Enda thought of the program as family.  We explained the importance of the situation to him and asked him to reconsider.  Enda decided that he would be willing to part with the program, if we could convince the program to go with us.  He allowed us to access one of his computers to speak with the program.  It was at this point that we discovered that the program Broxx and Enda were fighting over was a Vulcan love slave program named Varna.  We spoke with Varna, attempting to explain our situation and asking for her help.  It soon became apparent that Varna was a very basic program.  Whenever we attempted to explain our problem to her, she simply told us that our questions were beyond the scope of her programming.  In frustration, we returned to Enda.  He apologized to us and explained that it had been a test.  Most people still look at photonic lifeforms as simple computer programs.  Even though Varna was unable to effectively respond to our requests, we had still made an attempt to ask for her help.    Because of that, Enda was willing to give us a copy of Varna’s program.  When we gave him the program, Broxx had his crew deliver the zenite to the Tirpitz.  We are currently en route to Merak II to distribute the cure.  

I want to go on record and state that I’m not comfortable with the deal I had to make to get the zenite supply.  I can’t help but feel like I just took part in a photonic slave auction.  The only thing that makes me feel any better about it is the well-known Vulcan phrase:  “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.”  

Out of Character

So the fate of a planet rests on my captain’s ability to secure Vulcan porn.  Now there’s a phrase I never thought I’d ever say.  

It’s kind of hard to judge what they were trying to go for with the Muso system mission.  It tries to set up the question of if holo programs should be considered a life form or not.  Enda is written to see all holo programs as equal, even those without the programming to understand that the nature of what they are.  Yet after going through his test, Enda is completely willing to give my captain a copy of Varna’s program, knowing full well that she’s going to end up in the hands of a Ferengi that’s going to treat her like a piece of property.  This is the kind of story an episode of Star Trek could explore in great detail.  Unfortunately, the writers for the game have to take the cop-out here because of the nature of some elements of the game.  As players, we purchase officers from a store, are rewarded them for advancing to a higher level of the game, can easily rewrite what they know, and can sell officers we don’t need or want in the game’s auction system.  But in the context of the game’s story, the officers that we treat as objects are supposed to represent living breathing life forms.  So how different are the players from Broxx in searching for those rare programs that will fill a gap in our collection?  

Ouch

Anyway, I decided to give the new difficulty system a try with this patrol.  The damage the Tirpitz took in battle with the Remans was the damage the ship took after being blown up twice.  I only jumped to the advanced level.  I can’t imagine how hard it would be to defeat a mission on elite.  At advanced, I barely scratched the warbird I encountered before I was wreckage.  The one tutorial I needed after giving the higher difficulties a try was one on how to reset the missions back to normal.  I’m not a hardcore gamer.  I’m one of those players that game companies hate.  For any game I get, I play through once to get through the story, and then I rarely go back and play it again.  So to experience the story of Star Trek: Online, I’m fine with playing on easy mode.


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