STA Mission Report 14- Blinded by Science pt 2

Adventure Source: Last Unicorn Games – A Fragile Peace – The Neutral Zone Campaign Vol. 1

Meetup Link: https://www.meetup.com/Star-Trek-Gaming/events/274517982/

Game Date: December 13 2020

Session Post: No Session Post

Teaser: Having successfully tested the three new sensors, and determining that one indeed works, the U.S.S. Kimura now turns to rendezvous with the U.S.S. Fortunate, a starship heading directly back to Earth to take the scientists home.

Each of the scientists are anxious to report to Starfleet Command: Sarok, to get his device into production; Kragen, to file a formal complaint to have the tests redone; and Nakamura to move on to her next assignment.

Captain Georj Brandt has arranged for a Yuletide celebration as a way for new and old crew members to get to know each other, and has invited the visiting scientists to join in.

The recreation room on Deck 2 has been decorated for the occasion, tasteful floral arrangements, platters of delicacies from throughout the Federation, guests dressed in their off-duty finest. A small band, comprised of fellow crewmembers plays requests.
A very peaceful and relaxing event. What could possibly go wrong?

Active Characters:

  • Cmd. O’Nnyah (Raven)
  • Lt. Cmd. Reittan Andreas (Jon)
  • Lt Cmd. Taemin Rahn (Garrett)
  • Lt. Kirkuurzhaav th’Zoarhi (Trevor)
  • Lt. Cmd Asha (Jaime)
  • Lt. Jr. Wolfgang Ratzel (Terry)
  • Dok – Ferengi arms designer/dealer (Kelly)

Important NPCs:

  • Captain Georj Brandt – New Captain of the U.S.S. Kimura
  • Ensign Jose-Maria “J.M.” Juaraz – Starfleet Engineering Assistant
  • Lt. Satchio Nakamura – Starfleet Science Officer
  • Gretel Vandermark – Technician
  • Sarok – Vulcan Scientist
  • Dr. Gustav Kragen – Human Scientist

Notable Information: Traveling to rendezvous with the U.S.S. Fortunate for the scientists’ return trip home, the Crew and scientists have another opportunity to socialize, this time at a Yuletide celebration. The revelry is interrupted by another distress signal, from another freighter. The Crew attempts to locate the attacker, using the new sensors, only to discover they no longer operate. In between the time of the test and the celebration, someone sabotaged the new sensors. It turns out that Gretel is a Romulan spy. She attempts to take Sarok hostage and escape but is quickly subdued. The Romulans leave with the information Gretel sent them about the sensors.

Mission Recap:

Teaser: Having successfully tested the three new sensors, and determining that one indeed works, the U.S.S. Kimura now turns to rendezvous with the U.S.S. Fortunate, a starship heading directly back to Earth to take the scientists home.

Each of the scientists are anxious to report to Starfleet Command: Sarok, to get his device into production; Kragen, to file a formal complaint to have the tests redone; and Nakamura to move on to her next assignment.

Captain Georj Brandt has arranged for a Yuletide celebration as a way for new and old crew members to get to know each other, and has invited the visiting scientists to join in.

The recreation room on Deck 2 has been decorated for the occasion, tasteful floral arrangements, platters of delicacies from throughout the Federation, guests dressed in their off-duty finest. A small band, comprised of fellow crewmembers plays requests.

Gretel arranges with Lt. Cmd. Reittan Andreas to have access to the ships pool near the beginning of the celebration. She approaches Lt. Ratzel and invites him to join her for a rendezvous at the pool, asking him to wait fifteen minutes after she leaves the party and them meet her there.

They enjoy a pleasant time at the pool and then rejoin the crew at the celebration.

During the celebration, Dr. Kragen tells people about the ruins of his beautiful theory and confides that he misses his wife. As he is talking, he begins to develop a new theory which may lead to further advances in transporter technology. He even touches on his dearest dream- transporters that work across interstellar distances.

Lt. Nakamura confides how glad she will be to return to active duty on a starship soon .

Sarok keeps to the fringes of the party, acting like an alien anthropologist studying humans, but he considers this relaxing. He makes comparisons to the superiority of Vulcan, especially where food is concerned, though he tries to do this in a kindly tone.

After the party has been going on for awhile, Andreas calls for the security teams guarding the cargo and sensor areas to report in and the crew member guarding the room with the experimental sensors fails to check in. Almost immediately after, a call comes in for the captain and senior staff members. The bridge has picked up a distress signal-another Romulan attack on a freighter.
The Crew returns to the bridge to hear the message and Andreas and a couple other crew members head down to the sensor room.

Calling any Federation craft. This is the freighter 5.5. Apollyon. Please help us. We are under attack by a Romulan warbird. Is anyone there? Please save us! I repeat …

In the sensor room, the guard that was posted outside the room is discovered inside, heavily stunned.

Traveling as quickly as they can to the Apollyon’s last reported position, the starship comes upon the freighter. It’s taken a lot of damage and is in real trouble, but is not yet destroyed. There is no sign of the warbird, however.
The freighter captain hails the starship, reporting that the warbird fired on them and then cloaked itself only two minutes before the starship’s arrival. He is almost frantically grateful for the starship’s prompt appearance.
Another 10 minutes and we’d have been debris, Captain. I don’t know how to thank you enough. There are 200 colonists aboard, families and livestock on their way out to Geronimo IV. You’ve saved all of us.”

The freighter captain asks the starship to escort them to their destination (a new colony world only two light years from the Neutral Zone border) in a neighboring sector. The Captain calls in the U.S.S. Galvarino for assistance, although it will be several hours before it arrives.

Sarok powers up his sensor with Gretel’s help. The sensor picks up no sign of other vessels, and the screen remains blank. Gretel suggests that none of the equipment works reliably.
Unamused, Sarok insists his device has been sabotaged, and runs a level 3 diagnostic on it. He can find no evidence of it having been touched.
Dr. Kragen, very much against Gretel’s reasonable advice, absolutely insists on powering up his sensor. He argues that since Sarok’s sensor fails to operate, perhaps his might work. With a cry of horror, he announces his device has been tampered with. This time he is sure.
Previously, it was not working correctly or giving the right results. Now it does not work at all.

In the sensor room, an investigation of his equipment does show that it has indeed been tampered with. Careful examination of Sarok’s sensor shows that it has not been touched since being put into place. It isn’t working, but that clearly isn’t because of crude physical sabotage.

Once they remove the panel Dr. Kragen indicates, the damage to his sensor is visible and thorough. It may be capable of being repaired but it will need some parts from Engineering. Further inspection reveals that part of the interface was jury-rigged to tap into the variable frequency EM flux sensor
and transmit a message. Someone used the device, then destroyed it to cover the their tracks.

It takes some time, but the Crew is able to determine that the message could only be intended for one listener – the Romulans. The Crew manages to determine exactly when the message was sent. Checking the starship’s sensor logs, a Crewmember uncovers a brief message hidden in the sensor’s
carrier wave, sent sometime during the celebration. They then decrypt the message from the sensor’s EM waves; it consists of numbers corresponding
to the harmonics used in Sarok’s sensor. These were known only by Sarok, Gretel, the Science Officer and Chief Engineer, and anyone else who was listening to Sarok, which may include Lt. Nakamura and Dr. Kragen .
The destination is simple, the other side of the Neutral Zone.

The timestamp matches the time just before Gretel’s rendezvous with Lt. Ratzel, and check the computer logs for the instrument bays behind the main deflector dish clearly show Gretel walking down the corridor in her swimsuit, distracting the guard just enough to be able to stun him and drag him into the sensor bay.

Around this time on the bridge, Gretel grabs Sarok and holds a small disruptor on him, demanding that the Kimura drops it shields and allow her to beam over to the Romulan Warbird, the I.R.W. T’Varen, which has just decloaked near by.

Gretel is distracted by a bold and creative gambit from Lt. Ratzel, and some general yelling from some of the other crewmembers. which allows Lt. Cmd. Reittan Andreas and Cmd. Asha to almost instantly disarm and capture her. Dr. O’Nnyah collapses into a yowling ball when the yelling and shooting starts, adding to the mayhem.

Lt. Zhaav uses his general knowledge of Romulan ships and tactics, as will has his familiarity with Commander Mheven and the T’Varen from their previous encounter to focus the ships regular sensors on a specific area that he believes they would be in and is successful in picking up enough indications of where they are to be able to fire a photon torpedo at them and hit, although just doing superficial damage. He also focuses a “forcefully worded communications” burst at them as he fires.

The Crew, particularly Cmd. Asha, successfully convinces Commander Mheven and the Romulan spy known as Lt. Tellek on the T’Varen that Gretel was killed in the hostage attempt, that they are obviously still able to detect cloaked ships, and that the U.S.S. Galvarino will be arriving momentarily. The T’Varen then recloaks and presumably leaves.

When questioning Gretel, she admits to the Crew that her name is Greva, and that she’s a Barolian and Romulan spy. She explains how she had hoped
nobody would notice her tampering with Dr. Kragen’s equipment, but that she couldn’t sabotage Sarok’s sensor without calling attention to herself. Gretel’s eyebrows are artificial, but very firmly attached. At home, Greva was a worker in an orbital factory. The Tal Shiar recruited her with offers of a better life on Romulus. She has spent the last two years being trained for this mission: to discover what the Federation knows about cloaking devices
and, if possible, to sabotage any project intended to detect cloaked ships. She has been promised Romulan citizenship for herself and her family if she is successful. In addition, to secure her loyalty and prevent her defection, the Tal Shiar keeps her twin sister, Aleva, under close observation. Aleva was also a factory worker, but she has since been trained as a spy and a soldier in the Romulan auxiliary forces.
Greva’s feelings for her sister are very strong. The Tal Shiar managed to remove Kragen’s original assistant by infecting her with a deadly illness.
They then substituted her with Greva after concocting a a fake personnel record.

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