Star Trek: Articles of the Federation by Keith R.A. DeCandido
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Articles of the Federation
BOOK REVIEW: This novel is a little unusual as it isn’t based on a Starship and it covers a year of time in the first year of Federation President Bacco’s term in office. It takes place shortly after the movie Nemesis and is firmly entrenched in the literary universe’s timeline, which has largely been negated by recent T.V. shows, particularly Picard.
NOTE ON REVIEW: The rest of this review is looking at the novel in the light of how it can be adapted for the Star Trek Adventures Roleplaying Game from Modiphius and I’ve structured it in their Mission Brief format. The style of the novel doesn’t really lend itself to being adapted as an adventure, but there are a couple events that could be used. They occur in the background in the novel, but could be the focus for a ship and crew. I’ve picked one of these events to do as a Mission Brief.
SUGGESTED ERA OF PLAY: Next Gen (2380)
SUGGESTED SPOTLIGHT ROLE: Diplomat or Captain
Following the surprise resignation of Federation President Min Zife after the disastrous Tezwa affair, Nan Bacco of Cestus III has won a hotly contested election to become the new chief executive of over one hundred fifty planetary civilizations and their colonies. But no sooner does she take office than the Romulan Star Empire falls into chaos. With tensions already high, a Reman refugee ship is sighted approaching a Federation outpost, its intentions unknown.
As the first year of the Bacco Administration unfolds, the Federation Council is slow to work with its new president, and not always supportive of her policies or her appointments to key council positions; a successful first contact suddenly becomes a diplomatic disaster; and the sins of President Zife prove difficult to lay to rest…as one celebrated Starfleet officer’s career reaches a turning point…
“Outpost 22 along the Romulan Neutral Zone has picked up a ship heading straight for it from the Miridian system in Romulan space. You are being sent to the Outpost to assist in determining what it’s intentions are and provide any support that the Outpost may require”.
Sensors read the ship as a Shirekral-class vessel. This vessel type hasn’t been in operation since the late twenty-third century and earlier. This vessel is still using an ion drive. This type of vessel was common during the Earth Romulan wars of the twenty-second century, but all the ones that were still in active service in the late twenty-third century had their ion drives replace wih the singularity drives that they still use. A successful difficulty 5 long range sensor roll for general lifesign readings will indicate that the ship is full of Remans. Additional information spends will reveal there are no other lifesigns, including Romulans. They are heading straight for Outpost 22 at warp three-point-one-two. This is faster than those ships are supposed to be able to go. A failed roll will mean waiting a week to try again, with the difficulty being reduced by 1.
Outpost 22 is the closest Federation station to the Miridian system and is otherwise basically in the middle of nowhere, making it unlikely that Outpost 22 is not their intended destination.
The Remans have never operated in the Miridian system, it is a system that was taken by the Romulans approximately fifteen years ago, and has an indigenous life-form that has provided the slave labor that, in other parts of the empire, has traditionally been performed by the Remans. Since Shinzon’s coup, the Miridians have also risen up, and with their infrastructure in tatters, the Romulans have been unable to quell the uprising. There have been reports that the Miridians creating a kind of underground rail-road, supplying ships and methods of getting out of Romulan space.
At it’s current speed, it will take the ship eight weeks to reach Federation Space and six weeks to be within Communications range.
All Remans residing in Romulan space currently live under the protection of the Klingon Empire. This means that if the Remans are refugees and they request that the Federation grant them asylum, granting it would be a breach of the treaty the Federation has with the Klingons. They could approach the Federation Ambassador to Qo’noS, Alexander Rozhenko and ask him to check with the Klingon High Council to see if they will be willing to let the Federation take some of the Remans off their hands. This would seem to be quite unlikely though. They will need to convince the Ambassador to even make the effort.
Attempts to communicate with the Reman ship go unanswered. Additional sensor readings can show that the communication systems are only operating at a low power level, possibly being used for internal communications only.
As background information, The Remans are not slaves now, so if their only reason for claiming asylum is persecution by Romulans, it would not be enough to grant them asylum. The Romulan Star Empire is not considered an enemy nation at this time, and barely exists as a political entity right now.
One possible solution, particularly in light of reports of violence against Remans seeming to escalate (see minor beats), would be to propose that the Remans get their own world, rather than just a section on Romulus. The Klingons recently expanded into Sector 798-C, the Kavrot Sector, a few years ago and shared some of their sensor data with the Federation, particularly the areas they scanned but didn’t explore or didn’t thing were worth their while. A suitable planet could be found in that sector. Between them, the Klingons and Remans have enough ships to transport all the Remans currently living in Ehri’fvil to a new world
The Shirekral-class vessel reaches Outpost 22 and identifies itself as the Reman Free Vessel Vkruk and its captain requests asylum in the Federation for himself and his crew, which includes twenty-nine Remans of both sexes. Some research will reveal that Vkruk was the name of Shinzon’s viceroy.
The Reman’s leader, who is called Jianuk, is requesting asylum from other Remans. Jianuk was one of Shinzon’s soldiers, They fought together during the war. The twenty-nine Remans on the Vkruk were all loyal to Shinzon – emphasis on were. They claim to have been persecuted by their fellow Remans because they condemned Shinzon’s actions. They wish to live out their lives in the Federation.
The stance of the Klingon’s is that they are not Reman refugees. They are Klingon proteges. Under the terms of the Khitomer Accords, the Federation is obliged to turn them over to the empire at the Klingons request. The Klingons are sending the Defense Force vessel, the I.K.S Ditagh to Outpost 22. It will arrive in four days, at that time they expect that all twenty-nine Remans will be turned over to Captain Vikagh, who will remand them to Klingon custody.
Some research can reveal a loop hole in this argument. The Kihtomer Accords state that if the empire requests that Klingon nations requesting asylum must be turned over to the empire, they will be.
However, Klingon nationals means Klingons who are citizens of the empire, as well as the various subject species. It can be argued that this does not apply to the Remans as they are not citizens and they are not jeghpu’wI’, they are just under the Klingons protection. T will be difficult to convince the Klingons that this is anything more than a semantic difficulty. They consider such a literal-minded interpretation to be cowardly.
The Klingons will agree to the notion of providing the Remans with their own homeworld. They have chosen Klorgat IV to be the new homeworld. However, this is contingent upon the Federation delivering all twenty-nine Remans to the Ditagh when it arrives.
Basically, the unspoken reason the Klingons won’t negotiate is because being protectors of the Remans is something that they take seriously for one reason: It gets the Romulans really mad.
Additional investigation on Jianuk can reveal that there is no basis to his claims. It seems that Shinzon’s inner circle are revered among Remans, not reviled.
If the players are not questioning Jianuk’s motivation at this point, Commander Bowles of Outpost 22 can provide an opposing voice. They were allied with Shinzon, who’s first act was to attack the Federation. She feels that every time they ask them why they’re doing this, their answers are rehearsed, and they’re the blandest reasons – freedom, liberty, and to avoid persecution from their fellow Remans. She feels they have something planned..
Commander Bowles, or suspicious PC’s are correct. The Vkruk makes a suicide run at Outpost 22 before the Ditagh arrives. If the players suspicions have been aroused, steps could have been taken to minimize the damage done. The outposts shields can be kept up at full strength, they can stay at yellow alert and at battle stations, and the outer portions of the outpost could be evacuated for the duration of the Vkruk’s stay. The players ship can take similar precautions. If they are monitoring the state of the Vkruk, they can detect a warp buildup in it and will be able to fire on it at least once before it hits the outpost.
Violence between Klingon vessels protecting Remus and Romulan military vessels has been escalating over the last two months. The settling of the Remans in the Erie’fvil colony has not gone smoothly, with dozens of Remans being attacking in their homes by supposedly unidentified attackers. Ehrie’fvil is the name of the continent on Romulus where the Remans had relocated. Remus itself was barely habitable, used only for mining dilithium and manufacturing heavy weapons. The Remans could service the Romulans there but not command their own destiny, as Remus could never be self-sufficient.
There was a cave-in in one of the dilithium mines on Remus, killing at least a hundred Remans. This report comes from Ambassador Rozhenko. He was meeting with Chancellor Martok when the news came to the Great all (assuming he was convinced to meet with Martok).
There was an explosion on one of the farms in Ehrie’fvil. No one was killed but there was extensive damage.
There was also a report of a Reman couple being found brutally murdered.
The mission can end with the attack on the Outpost, and with a plan to relocate other Reman’s, although that portion could take place “off screen’ without the players direct involvement.
ADDING THIS MISSION TO YOUR CAMPAIGN
This novel takes place at a very specific time in the timeline of the literary timeline, but the basic idea of a group claiming to be refugees but really planning to attack the Federation could be adapted for different time periods, perhaps using a group of Klingons or some other race.
View all my reviews