Star Trek: Tirpitz

Divide et Impera

I keep going over the events of the past few days in my head, trying to see if there was something I missed.  Some clue that I should have picked up on.  

When we returned to starbase after our last mission, Admiral Zelle briefed me on our next assignment.  Over the past few weeks, Starfleet Intelligence had detected a number of Romulan ships moving in and out of the Vendor system.  Several surveillance probes launched into the system had detected a hidden facility.  Admiral Zelle believed that the Romulans were using the base to continue research into experimental subspace weapons.  My crew’s history in dealing with several Klingon research stations made us the perfect choice for a top-secret mission.  The admiral wanted us to transport her to the base, and assist her in destroying any prototype weapons we may find there. 

The Romulan research station

In retrospect, the resistance we faced when we arrived in the system should have been my first clue that something wasn’t right.  As we got closer to the station, we were attacked by several Birds of Prey.  We defended ourselves from the assault without much trouble.  And that should have tipped me off.  We only faced a handful of  scout ships.  If the facility was as important as the admiral’s report had made it out to be, there should have been at least a warbird guarding the station.  Once the admiral was satisfied that we had secured the system, she gave orders for me to join her in leading the away team to the station. 

Scanning for weapons

Once on the station, the Admiral made it very clear just how important this mission was for the Federation.  No matter the cost, we needed to eliminate any and all research we discovered.  We were even authorized to use lethal force if needed.  We quickly made our way through the facility until we reached a storage area.  After dealing with the guards, we performed a series of scans on the cargo containers.  The only thing our search turned up were medical supplies, but the admiral was convinced that we just hadn’t found what we were looking for yet.  We attempted to access the station’s computer core from a terminal in the cargo bay.  The information we recovered suggested the base was a medical research station.  We found no evidence of weapons testing or development.  This didn’t change the admiral’s mind.  The terminal didn’t provide full access to the station’s computer core.  Zelle  ordered us to continue to the station’s command center, where we would have full access.  She also gave orders to leave no witnesses.  

No witnesses

We should have stopped right then and there.  We had assaulted a station that appeared to have no military significance, and now Zelle wanted us to cover our tracks.  We should have beamed back to the Tirpitz, left the system, and gone over the reports again.  But the admiral convinced me to continue.  It’s been suggested that the Hobus supernova was caused by Romulan weapon’s research.  If they were continuing their research at the station and another accident happened, the loss of Federation lives would be disastrous.  And if the Romulans ever discovered the Federation was responsible for the assault on the station, they would have all the reason they would need to go to war.  When we reached the command center, the commander of the facility led the rest of her personnel in a defense action against us.  They held out as long as they could.  Once the battle was over, we attempted to access the station’s computers again.  We found no evidence of weapons or weapons research of any kind.  The station was a medical facility, involved in research to find a vaccine for the terothka virus and to find a way to detect Undine spies.  

Zelle revealed

That’s when Zelle chose to reveal herself.  An Undine operative had been posing as Zelle.  It had planned our assault on the station as a way to increase tensions between the Romulans and the Federation.  Finding out the station was a key to the Romulan’s efforts to ferret out Undine infiltrators was just a bonus.  We attempted to capture “Zelle”, but it was able to escape by disguising itself as the station’s commander and being rescued by a Romulan task force that entered the system. 

Assaulted by Romulan reinforcements

My away team beamed back to the Tirpitz just before the Romulans opened fire.  We raised shields and performed evasive maneuvers while we tried to hail the attacking ships.  I wanted to warn them that they had just rescued a member of species 8472, but we received no response.  Their attacks made it apparent that they didn’t want us to leave.  After just a few volleys, our warp drive and transwarp systems were knocked offline.  As much as I didn’t want to return fire, in the end we needed to just to make sure we weren’t destroyed.  After we eliminated a few of the attacking ships, the remaining Romulan forces appeared to retreat from the system.  At the very least, they left us alone long enough for us to complete repairs in order to retreat from the system.  During that time, I had Mr. Toran perform a detailed scan of the wreckage from our battle.  We found no evidence that the Undine spy had been onboard any of the destroyed ships.  It’s possible that the Undine are able to retain their disguises even after death, but I doubt we were lucky enough to have destroyed the Romulan ship that rescued “Zelle”.  

I’ve sent a full report to Admiral T’nae of what happened.  With any luck,  the Federation will be able to convince the Romulans to listen to reason.  I only hope that if there are any sanctions against the Tripitz for what was done, that they are leveled against me.  Every officer should know better than to just blindly follow orders.  And because I forgot that, I may have drug the Federation into another costly war. 

Out of character

So this is the second time the player has ended up transporting an Undine spy.  I would imagine at this point, Ruz would be setting up a meeting with Dr. Franklin to figure out some way to screen all future guests of the ship to determine their species.  I’m leaning towards getting the guest absolutely blitzed on Romulan Ale. 

Almost two months after the release of the game, a book based on the game’s storyline titled “Star Trek Online: The Needs of the Many” was released.  For all of the book’s faults, there’s one thing that it does fairly well, and that’s explain that there was never any way to identify undercover Undine agents.  The Undine don’t just take on the shape of the people they replace, but they have the genetic structure of their victim as well.  Not even the old Dominion War blood test will work.  But most of the stories that feature the Undine have the character telling the story find out purely by accident.  Some kind of high stress event leads the Undine agent to lose concentration, and revert back to their normal forms.  The strangest of these stories involves a baseball game where the pitcher for one of the teams gets so drunk that he changes back to his Undine form on the mound.  And if I understand the timeline right, that event should be fairly common knowledge by the time of the game.  I don’t know about anyone else, but this seems like a fairly easy test to perform to me.  “Yes Ambassador, we’ll take you to DS9, but first we’re going to go shot for shot with this green stuff while this platoon of armed guards watch.” 

And I’m fairly convinced that I will be transporting another Undine agent at some point.  I would like to hope that the game’s writers wouldn’t pull this on the player a third time.  “Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.  Fool me three times, oh for $&#* sake.”  But they’ve written in fact that you can’t test for these guys.  So we could be transporting an Undine agent somewhere every other day, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it.  Just like there’s nothing we can do to change the outcome of this mission.  By the time the player is told to leave no survivors I knew something was wrong.  But aside from beaming off the station and dropping the mission right then and there, you can’t change what’s going to happen.

5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Yes, I remember after doing this mission thinking, “Fool me once…”

Comment by mmogamerchick

[…] Divide et Impera […]

Pingback by The Daily Grind « Star Trek: Tirpitz

YOU could even be an Undine agent. “Some of them are programmed to think they are human.”

Comment by Adventurer Historian

Yes, but then the Federation would be well and truly screwed. Cryptic has yet to develope the ability to write a branching path into their gameplay. If the missions say that one player turns out to be an Undine agent, all of the players would be Undine agents.

Comment by captainruz

Love your write up for the mission, especially the way you worked around the lack of branching, which would’ve been especially nice for this one.

Comment by Blue Kae

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