Star Trek: Tirpitz


Acting Captain’s Log, Orion Sector Patrol

The Klingon offensive continues.  Every day brings in reports of new battles between Starfleet and Klingon forces.  We’re losing a lot of good people in this conflict. 

After a week in spacedock for repairs, Commander Sulu assigned us to a very important mission.  We lost contact with the Orion Sector.  We didn’t know if it was a simple malfunction in the communication satellites that connect the region with Starfleet Command, or if there was an active effort on the part of the Klingons to cut off communication.  In any event, the Tirpitz was being assigned to a task force to assess the situation and take whatever steps were necessary to restore contact.

Orions guarding the communication satellites

The main communication relays were located in the Reytan System.  It was the most likely location for the disruption to be occurring.  If the relays were in working order, we would have to work our way down the system, checking each link in the chain.  In the worst case, we would have had to check in with every Federation colony and outpost in the sector.  And if it came to that, it was most likely part of an attack.  A natural event could explain the equipment in one system failing, but I couldn’t think of any natural event that could disrupt the equipment for each individual system that went dark.  When we arrived in system, our sensors picked a fleet of ships positioned around the communications satellites, but they weren’t Klingons.  The Orion Syndicate had advantage of the distraction provided by the Klingons to take over the satellites for their own needs.  When we ordered them to depart from the system, the opened fire on the task force.  After fighting highly trained Klingon soldiers, the Orion’s battle tactics were sloppy and easy to over come.  After the battle was over, it took our engineers a few hours to reset the system and reestablish contact with the region.

Seismic sensors on Pellme II

With the communications satellites working again, we received several urgent messages from the surrounding systems.  The task force dispersed in order to better respond to the messages we received.  The message the Tirpitz was assigned to check up on came from the colony on Pellme II.  The head of the colony had reported that sensors on the planet were registering a massive build-up of seismic energy.  According to the readings, a seismic event that could destroy the colony was imminent.  However, when the Tirpitz arrived in the system, our ships sensors picked up no unusual seismic activity.  I ordered an away team to beam down to the planet and perform a diagnostic on the planet’s sensors, while we prepared to evacuate the colonists if needed.  After checking out several of the sensor packages, the away team was able to determine that they had been sabotaged during their last maintenance cycle.  When the technician was confronted with this information, he confessed to what he had done, claiming he had been bribed by the Klingons.

Battling Klingons in the rings of Una

As we were preparing to leave the Pellme system, we received an urgent communication from the Una system.  A mining outpost had been established on one of the planets in the system.  Unfortunately, the planet had a ring system so dense that a series of sensor satellites had to be placed in the rings in order to detect approaching ships.  And according to the message we received, those satellites had detected the presence of Klingon ships.  We set course to investigate.  When we arrived, our initial scans didn’t detect the presence of any enemy ships.  Due to the Klingon’s cloaking technology, we knew we couldn’t just take our readings at face value.  We flew a patrol through the planet’s rings, checking to make sure that the satellites had not been sabotaged and were in proper working order.  As we moved through the rings, we did come under attack from several Klingon ships.  We were able to defeat them with minimal damage to the Tirpitz and her systems.  Our best estimates would indicate that it had been a scouting party, and not an actual invasion force that we encountered.  We contacted Starfleet Command regarding the incident, and they agreed that increasing patrols in the system would be in our best interest.

Approaching the Klingon facility

We were then contacted by the USS Heinlein.  It had been part of the task group assigned to reestablish contact with the Orion sector, and had been assigned to collect data from scientific probes that had been launched to study stellar phenomena  in the Kinjer system.  Due to the nature of what they were studying, the probes were not able to broadcast their collected data back to Federation scientists.  The information had to be collected by a ship.  When the Heinlein had started collecting the probe data, it had come under fire from Klingon ships.  I had the helm plot an intercept course for the Heinlein at our best possible speed.  When we arrived, several other ships from the task force had already arrived to back up the Heinlein.  We helped to drive off the Klingon forces while the Heinlein finished collecting the probe data.  It was only with all the data collected that we realized why the Klingons had attacked.  Sensors had picked up the construction of a Klingon outpost on a nearby asteroid.  Knowing that we couldn’t allow the Klingons to establish a beachhead this deep into Federation territory, the task force fought its way to construction site and destroyed the outpost before it became operational. 

With contact to the sector reestablished, and several emergency situations defused, we contacted Starfleet command to update them of our situation and to receive further orders.

Out of Character

I’m continuing to play with my game setting on default, which means I once again found myself assigned to several groups when did the Orion patrol missions.  The Kinjer system mission at the end (which was actually the first mission in the group I tackled), pointed out a drawback to this.  The mission objectives for Kinjer are to collect data from five probes before being given the order to destroy the enemy installation.  When I loaded into the system and was assigned to the group, they had already managed to visit a couple of the needed probes.  I got credit for all the probes needed to advance the mission when the rest of the group got their fifth, so it wasn’t like I got left behind or had to do the mission a second time to complete it.  But I missed out on the combat that occurs around each of the probes, and I’m rather enjoying space combat when it’s somewhat balanced.

Another interesting impact teaming up can have on these missions is in splitting the team on ground missions.  If you are playing solo on a ground mission, you send down an away team of five people who is usually made up of your Captain and a mix of whatever bridge officers you want to bring and random red shirts to fill out the rest of the group.  In a group, it’s still the five person away team, but it includes both captains.  So for the Pellme mission I had started off by myself, and then just as I’m about to beam down to the planet’s surface, I get partnered with another captain.  And so the away team make up looks like the two captains, and then my usual gang of suspects that I take with me on away missions.  I wanted to give the other captain a chance to bring along some of their bridge officers if they wanted to, but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to unassign my crew from the mission.  It didn’t really matter that much, because there’s no conflict on the ground for the Pellme mission.  But it would be something nice to know for the future, incase I end up grouped with someone who really wants to bring along their awesome Bolian engineer or whatever.

One nice thing I did notice though was the fact that the Pellme ground mission had weather.  You beam down into the middle of a massive sand/dust storm.   I’m glad Cryptic included some weather events.  It’s not going to be sunny skies on every planet you visit in the galaxy (Geordi’s visit to Galorndon Core would be good evidence to that).  I’m looking forward to some snowfall on an arctic world or a bit rain on a jungle planet in my future.

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