Star Trek: Tirpitz


Argelius Sector Patrol

The Tirpitz has been diverted to the Xleen system in the Areglius sector by Commander Sulu.  The planets and asteroids in the Xleen system contain several veins of minerals that are very valuable to the Federation and our war efforts.  We were informed that the Federation had lost contact with the USS Welch when it had entered the Xleen system as part of a routine patrol of the sector.  The Tirpitz was being sent to investigate what happened to the Welch.  While I hoped that silence from the Welch was the result of a system malfunction, I was expecting us to run into some sort of trouble.  

Naussican weapons platforms

 

When we arrived in the system, we were already too late to aid the Welch.  Our initial scans of the system picked up the wreckage of the ship.  Our scans also picked up a high concentration of Naussican ships in the system.  It wasn’t long before we were hailed by one of the Naussicans and told, in no uncertain terms, to leave their system.  It quickly became apparent that the Naussicans intended to annex the Xleen system from the Federation.  Besides a number of ships in the system, the Naussicans had managed to set up several weapons platforms around one of the more valuable asteroid fields in the system.  We quickly contacted Starfleet Command to inform them of the situation, and received orders to destroy the weapons platforms and prevent the Naussicans from gaining more of a foot hold in the system.  This proved difficult to accomplish, as most of the platforms had a small squadron of ships assigned to protect them.  We were able to disable most of the Naussican ships long enough to take out the weapons platforms.  Without a defensive position to fall back to, many of the Naussican ships in the system left.  We attempted a search to find any survivors from the Welch, but we found no signs of escape pods having been launched from the ship.  

A mined freighter

 

When we reported back the loss of the Welch, Commander Sulu assigned the Tirpitz to complete the patrol the Welch had been assigned to.  Sulu first ordered us to deal with a situation that was brewing in the Ruben system.  Starfleet Command had been notified by a science station in the area about some aggressive activity by a task force of Gorn ships.  The Gorn had taken to capturing civilian freighters by deploying mines around the ships, preventing the freighters from moving until a larger Gorn ship could come and board the captured ship.  By the time we arrived in the system, the Gorn had even mined the transport the science station used to investigate anomalies to keep them from escaping the station.  The science station was able to send us scans they had taken of the mines.  They seemed to work on a very basic system.  The mines were able to detect active warp cores, and had a basic friend versus foe identification system to prevent them from targeting the Gorn ships that deployed them.  And since the mines wouldn’t arm until they got within close range of an active enemy ship, we were able to effectively pull the mines away from the captured craft just by approaching close enough for them to detect the Tirpitz as an enemy ship.  The entire Gorn operation in the system had been designed to target civilian craft.  Vehicles that have lowered powered shields than those found standard on a Starfleet vessel.  So while we did attempt to destroy as many of the mines we pulled as possible before they impacted on our shields, we only took minor damage from the mine or two that got past our weapons fire.  Seeing their plans go south, most of the Gorn ships left the system, leaving only a few ships behind that decided to attack us.  We were successful in defending ourselves and contacted Starfleet to update them on the situation.  

On Europani's surface

 

Our next destination was the Europani system, where we had been instructed to check up on a science team that was performing a survey of one of the planets in that system.  As we arrived in the system and approached the planet, our scans turned up no enemy activity.  We entered orbit of the planet, and I was able to convince Mr. Scharf to let me lead the away team to check in on the scientists.  He agreed to let me go, as there appeared to be no immediate threats in the area.  However shortly after beaming down to the planet’s surface, a member of the science team contacted the away team for urgent assistance.  While they were in the middle of performing tests on local plant life, the science team had been attacked by a Klingon ground force.  As far as the ensign that contacted me knew, he was the only one that had avoided being taken hostage by the Klingons.  I led my away team in a rescue effort to save the science team before the Klingons had a chance to take them off the planet.  Our efforts were successful.  We were able to take a number of the Klingon patrols by surprise, and suffered no casualties to either the away team or to the hostages.  The only thing that may have been damaged were my chances of being allowed to lead future away missions by Mr. Scharf.  

Attacking Orion Pirates

 

The Tirpitz was then sent to the Maro system to perform repairs on a series of very important satellites.  A recent survey of the system had discovered a planet that seemed to be giving off high concentrations of what Mr. Toran informed me were “Crusher particles”.  Crusher particles are apparently a rare form of anti-chronitons first encountered by the Enterprise-D coming from a spatial anomaly in the Devron system.  Because the reaction between time and anti-time is theorized to be similar to the reaction between matter and anti-matter, the Federation was concerned that if the emissions from the planet went unchecked a devastating temporal anomaly could be created.  To prevent this, a series of satellites had been set up around the planet to collect the Crusher particles and process them safely.  Unfortunately, a group of Orion pirates that likely didn’t know of the importance of the satellites had started stripping them of parts to sell illegally.  The Tirpitz was sent to the system to drive off the Orions and to repair the satellites before a particle build up caused an anti-time reaction.  We were fortunate in that the Orion pirates only had a small force in the system.  We were able to repair a number of the damaged satellites without needing to engage any of the Orion forces.  And by repairing those satellites first, it bought us time to engage the Orions and repair the other satellites while the ones we repaired reduced the build up that had occurred.  It wasn’t long before we reestablished control of the system and restored all of the satellites to working order.   

Out of Character

I have to admit that I liked the Naussican weapons platforms.  It’s basically the same thing as the weapons turrets that have been used in previous missions, but these things actually have some size to them.  Granted, you’re still trying to hit small targets on the platform’s surface.  But because of the size and shape of the platforms, you can’t just attack them from any angle.  You have to come at them from an angle that won’t have its line of sight blocked by the platform itself.  I enjoyed setting up strafing runs along the surface of the platforms to attack the turrets.  

So what struck me first about the Argelius Sector Patrol was the unevenness of the writing.  Mostly because the writing for the Europani system mission was lacking.  And I mean that literally.  The writing for the mission was not present.  When the player arrives in the system, they get a single sentence that tells them to approach the planet.  When the player gets close enough, they get a single sentence that tells them to beam down.  There’s no flavor to the text.  There’s no explanation of why you’re there or what’s going on until “whoops!  Klingons!”  It felt like they were trying to write a surprise attack that the player gets caught up into, but if you don’t have a set up as to why you’re there in the first place, you just go along waiting for the shoe to drop.  

We get two references to Star Trek that I picked up on this time.   The Crusher Particles in the Maro system are named after Wesley Crusher, who apparently discovered them.   And as the mission progresses, the player is informed that the particles were originally discovered by the Enterprise during the anti-time anomaly that was featured in the series finally of the Next Generation.  Now, I’m not one of those people who absolutely hates Wesley Crusher.  I’m not fond of the episodes where he some how was the only thing standing between the Enterprise and its total destruction.  But when he was treated as a regular, ordinary person with the occasional problem (like the rest of the cast) he was alright.  The problem with him being mentioned in the Maro system segment of the patrol, is that it doesn’t make sense.  By the time “All Good Things” occurred, Wesley was off exploring the universe with the Traveler.  He wasn’t around to encounter, let alone study and identify, the particles that got named after him.  And saying that he somehow did identify the particles for the Federation implies one of those “deus ex Wesley” moments that everyone hated him for.  Like he suddenly popped into a Federation lab somewhere, pointed at the particles on the screen and said, “You see those?  They do this.  Do me a favor and name them after me will ya?  Bye.” and then disappeared again.

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