Star Trek: Tirpitz


Acting Captain’s Log, Researcher Rescue

En route  to spacedock, Admiral Quinn sent us new orders.  We were to travel to Kassae system to reestablish communications with a Federation Science station.  Some sixty years ago, Jean-Luc Picard (then captain of the USS Stargazer), had discovered a series of ruins on Kassae II.  Since then, archeological teams had been studying the site, trying to learn more about the culture that had built them.  It was possible that the station was only suffering a malfunction in its communications equipment.  Strictly speaking, the Kassae system doesn’t hold enough strategic value to make it a target for the Klingons.  The Tirpitz was being sent to investigate the matter simply as a precaution. 

Attacked by the Gorn

As soon as we arrived in the system, and before we had a chance to complete a proper scan, we were assaulted by several Gorn vessels.  I ordered T’Lol to return fire, and we engaged in a brief battle with the Gorn.  With the Gorn craft destroyed, we attempted to hail the science station.  Our hails went unanswered and a scan of the station provided evidence as to why.  The station had taken severe damage, with several sections on fire.  We also picked up quite a few life signs still on the station, most of which were Gorn.  I sent an away team to the station to evacuate any remaining Starfleet personnel.  

A Gorn boarding party

When the away team arrived, they were greeted by one of the station’s scientists.  When we asked her if the Gorn had given any reason for the assault on the station, she informed us of a recent discovery.  Two years ago, the archeologists working on the Kassae II site had discovered an ancient map.  It seemed to indicate that thousands of years ago, this region of space had been controlled by a proto-reptillian civilization.  This map had led the team to discover a second set of ruins on Kassae IV.  Somehow the Gorn had learned of the science team’s discovery, and had come to “reclaim this lost outpost of their empire”.  When asked about the state of other personnel aboard the station, she informed us that there still were several people trapped aboard the station.  As the away team explored the station, they were able to locate the remaining scientists.  Only a couple had been captured by the Gorn boarding party.  The rest had found themselves trapped by fires started by the Gorn assault.  The attack had disabled the station’s fire suppression systems, so the away team had to use hand-held fire extinguishers to combat the blaze. 

Gorn cruiser at Kassae IV

I went down to sick bay to speak with the scientists.  They informed me that an archeological team had left the station for the Kassae IV dig site before the Gorn had attacked the station.  We attempted to contact the team but there was no response.  I ordered Mr. Scharf to take us to Kassae IV to investigate while I returned to the bridge.  When we reached the second dig site, we quickly detected two Gorn cruisers on an intercept course for the Tirpitz.  We attempted to hail them, but the only response we received was disruptor fire.  We returned fire, and after a brief battle, we were able to disable the Gorn ships.  With the threat eliminated for the moment, we scanned the planet for signs of the scientists.  We were able to detect a series of shields protecting the dig site, and several Gorn patrols in the area.  Unfortunately, the shields prevented us from determining if the scientists were at the dig site.  I sent an away team down to locate and rescue the scientists. 

The Kassae IV dig site

On the planet, the Federation scientists had constructed a temporary structure to protect the dig site from the elements.  When the Gorn arrived, they had quickly constructed three shield generators to reinforce the temporary structure as a defensible position.  The away team would need to disable all three of the shield generators in order to enter the dig site.  The Gorn protecting the site were very well-trained and employed a number of strategies.  The away team reported everything from trained attack animals to automated turrets.  Fortunately, the away team was able to pull off a stealth assault.  They managed to complete their assignments without alerting the entire Gorn occupation to their presence.  When they dropped the shields, we were able to determine that the science team was not on the planet.  

Rescuing the hostages

It was at that point that we picked up a Gorn ship approaching from the other side of the planet.  Our hails were answered by Captain S’tarr.  He informed me that he had claimed the planet in for the Gorn.  I inquired if he had any knowledge of the location of the missing archeologists.  He informed me that he had several “grave robbers and thieves” locked in his brig and scheduled for execution.  He also suggested we leave the system before he was forced to take action against the Tirpitz.    I began to respond saying that I could not leave while he was still holding Federation citizens hostage, but was cut off when he closed communications and opened fire.  I ordered T’Lol to return fire and to focus our attacks on trying to disable the Gorn ship’s systems.  We didn’t want to destroy the enemy vessel before we could rescue the hostages from it.  Thanks to T’Lol’s tremendous skills at her station, the Gorn ship soon found itself with its engines, weapons and shields offline.  When their shields went down, I had the transporter chief beam the captured science team directly to sick bay.  The head of the science team thanked me and my crew for our actions, and requested that we transport them back to the science station.  I asked if that was wise considering the state of the station.  He said that they had a lot of work ahead of them to repair the damage done.  It was only after confirming with Admiral Quinn that a ship was already being dispatched to assist with the repairs and to help guard the station from future attacks, that I returned the science teams to the Kassae II station. 

Out of Character

The writing for the end of this mission is just goofy.  When you rescue the hostages from the last Gorn ship, they ask you to leave them at the dig site.  And you do.  Which seems like a really bad idea since you just disable, not destroy, the Gorn ship that took them hostage.  You almost want to ask them “Are you sure about this?  Because they’re just going to repair their ship and attack you guys again.”  Maybe a little later on I’ll get an unexpected distress call mission to come back here and rescue these guys from becoming 2409’s Darwin award winners. 

I believe this is the first time we get to see Gorn ground forces in the game.  They have a few basic soldier types, like I’m sure most enemy species will.  I noticed three different special soldier types for the Gorn.  They have an animal handler type, which matches the ones the Klingons have.  The Gorn attack animals themselves are a little more dangerous than the targs, as they seem to have a poison effect.  They have a mortar type, which will construct a mortar turret to launch bombs at the player’s away team.  And they have a brute type, which simply like to pick up big rocks and throw them at you.  It’s nice to see a little variety in the enemy types.  I’m glad that not every ground encounter in the game is just going to be a re-skin of the last one.  

This mission is also where players pick up what seems to be a favorite item for many people.  The hand-held fire extinguisher only seems to be useful for putting out the fires in this mission.  Others have reported that trying to use them to put out fires they run across later in the game had no effect.  But it has this really cool animation where the extinguisher sprays this big cloud out.  I’ve seen plenty of people running all over the common areas of the game, spraying everything and everyone with the extinguishers.

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