Star Trek: Casey Jones

Highlights of Season 1: Lightbringer

Gamadan Conspiracy

After their first mission in The Strand, the crew of the U.S.S. Casey Jones makes their way to the Gamadan Confederacy, where the Nausicaan-led government has fallen. The Confideracy, previously controlled by notorious Nausicaan overlord Gamadan Bika, has been overthrown. The crew investigates and finds that Gamadan’s nephew Norris conspired with a ‘Klingon freelancer’ to topple his uncle’s regime. In return, would grant this Klingon freelancer a seat on the provisional chair council that Norris intends to set up. However, not everyone is happy dealing w/the Klingons. Samzol, Phist, and Byrnes head planetside to investigate. Meanwhile, 3 Klingon birds-of-prey appear in orbit…to offer ‘support’. They’re commanded by none other than a Klingon named Shibot. Shibot has orders to assist the council, then attack them so that the mysterious Klingon can move in and claim the Confederacy for himself. On ship, Silvestri senses that Shibot is not quite himself, as if he’s being mind-controlled. She detects that another personality is trying to emerge. Once the Klingons detect the Casey Jones, they begin firing.

On the planet (Gamadan Prime), Samzol, Byrnes, and Phist discover a cloning chamber recently used. It was originally programmed for Gamadan Bika, but used instead by TORAL, who cloned himself 4 times. They also discover a crude mind-sifter in a lab near the cloning facility. Gamadan Bika himself is found dead, killed by Toral or one of his clones. Meanwhile, in space, Monteleone destroys one of the birds-of-prey and disables the other (commanded by Shibot). At this point, the away team reveals the Klingons’ true intent to the provisional council. The secret cloning facility and mind-sifter are destroyed. In orbit, the remaining Klingon (commanded by one of Toral’s clones) retreats, leaving Shibot to be captured. He is brought aboard the Casey Jones, where Silvestri manages to ‘recover’ his true personality: he is actually KURN, younger brother of Worf. Turns out that Kurn had gone missing on a mission for the Klingons late in the Dominion War. He was captured by Toral’s renegade forces and brainwashed. With his personality restored, Kurn assists the Casey Jones crew in capturing any remaining Klingons on Gamadan Prime and reveals everything he knows about Toral’s treachery.

Once the Gamadan Confederacy’s provisional government is stable, the Casey Jones returns Kurn to Kronos…and to Worf. With Worf now Federation Ambassador to Kronos, and Kurn redeeming himself through stopping Toral and providing information about his plans, Chancellor Martok makes an unprescended ruling: he RESURRECTS the House of Mogh. Worf, impressed by the Casey Jones crew’s actions, makes the command crew honorary members of the resurrected House of Mogh!

Courageous Return

The year is 2022. The UNSS Courageous, a DY-100 class cruiser, gets hit w/a solar flare that trashes their engineering controls and navigation systems, sticking the ship in full throttle en route to oblivion. The ship is unable to turn around, unable to slow down. What happened to them?

Stardate 53200(May 2376):The U.S.S. Casey Jones, on patrol, finds a 300+year-old log buoy marked ‘Courageous’. Phist, Byrnes, and Canyon examine its contents: status reports, letters to families, crew log entries, and trajectory records. The team repairs a damaged video clip that shows the crew donning life-support suits as the life support gives out. The clip shows the Courageous shaking as a tractor beam pulls it toward a large object. While Byrnes studies the buoy’s tech, Phist and Canyon analyze images of what they think pulled the Courageous: a DYSON SPHERE!

Monteleone, Samzol, and Canyon calculate the approximate trajectory and follow it to an uncharted region of The Strand and discover the Dyson Sphere. This is a different one from the sphere discovered by the U.S.S. Enterprise on Stardate 46125.3. The Casey Jones is pulled inside, where they find some 250,000 people spread across a land mass the size of California. THIS sphere is slightly smaller…and surrounds a stable star! The humanoids in the sphere include Maquis survivors, Klingons, Romulans, Vulcans, Gorn, Andorians, Betazoids, Deltans, and Ferengi. While Samzol does a tactical analysis of the sphere and the colony, Phist and Storn find what appears to be the central capital of the colony. Monteleone beams down with an away team…and gets caught in the crossfire between Maquis survivors, and the descendents of the UNSS Courageous crew. Turns out a plague of Correllium Fever has broken out, but the Courageous descendants, headed by Rocco Wellerbee, are unaffected. The Maquis survivors think Wellerbee is hiding an antidote. And because of the close quarters in combat, the Casey Jones crew is now infected! Samzol and some of his team are captured and taken to the Maquis section of the colony, where they meet Kira Ro, cousin of Kira Nerys. She thinks Nerys sold out by working with the Federation, and wants to fight for freedom the way it should be done!

Meanwhile, a Klingon Bird of Prey enters the sphere and attacks the Casey Jones. The Klingons want to avenge “Toral’s” defeat and steal the Dyson Sphere data for themselves. The Bird Of Prey cloaks and starts attacking the land mass. The Casey Jones manages to dog the Bird of Prey when a second Bird of Prey enters the sphere and ambushes the Casey Jones. Monteleone struggles to keep both ships at bay while the away team tries to rescue Samzol (now infected) and his guards. Finally, Monteleone uses several trick maneuvers that make the Klingons fire on themselves, then he destroys both of them. The ship’s sensors detect an underground labyrinth near the colony capitol, so Monteleone sends a team to investigate.

Meanwhile at the Maquis settlement, Samzol befriends a Klingon soldier named Kanara. She respects his fighting abilities and helps him escape, in return for helping find the cure. They make their way back to the colony capitol, where Wellerbee and Phist find a cure. Once the fighting on the ground ends and everyone’s cured, Wellerbee tells the last chapter of the UNSS Courageous: The Dyson Sphere pulled the Courageous in and the ship crash-landed. The crew barely survived, but managed to settle and explore the region. Among their findings:

  • The Dyson Sphere was built by the Dyson Preservers, cousins of The Preservers.
  • Lots of animal and plant life in the area.
  • The Sphere was not abandoned, but some people in the nearby colonies died from disease. It is likely the sphere is still inhabited by relatives of those who built it.

Finally, Wellerbee and other Courageous descendents bring the Casey Jones away team to the capitol center: a cemetery containing the remains of the UNSS Courageous and her crew. Monteleone and Phist offer to take the descendants back to Earth, but they politely refuse, claiming this is their home. Phist and Byrnes ask to scan the site. Wellerbee agrees and invites the crew to come visit, as well as other Federation travellers. However, Wellerbee insists that the remains of the Courageous crew remain in the Dyson Sphere as a monument to the courage displayed during their final voyage, and when settling their new home.

En Route back to Starbase 127, the crew is ordered to Leshworld…for wargames. Some worlds, including Leshworld, are building ships for Starfleet to help revive their economies, and need to test them out. What better target to practice on than the Casey Jones?

Wargames Gone Bad

Stardate 53500(June 2376):Admiral Zammit, Fleet Admiral of the 20th Fleet, is now commuting between Starbases 8 and 127. Pleased w/the Casey Jones’ work, he sends them to Leshworld, a progressive monarchy world that has several eco-friendly factories, which they’re using to build commercial ships and light cruisers. Leshworld just wants to test out their cruisers in a nice, simple wargame. What could possibly go wrong? Seems simple enough, right? Suuure.

En route to Leshworld, the Casey Jones renders much humanitarian aid to ships in need. Meanwhile, Byrnes is able to catch up on sleep now that the ship’s repairs/defects are under control. The crew reviews the mission files Admiral Zammit sent: Leshworld, a planet once rich in agriculture, has been devastated by the war. Through indirect Federation support, the ruling monarchy managed to drive out Jem Hadar forces attempting to occupy the planet. Now, however, the world’s economy desperately needs rebuilding. So Starfleet has commissioned Leshworld to build several older class ships. Many private companies are looking to commission Leshworld to build ships as well. The planet’s manufacturing economy is also planning to switch to building eco-friendly products. Further, the crew spends some time among Leshworld’s citizens. It becomes clear that:

  • Leshworld’s monarchy is a powerful and progressive one, respecting all subjects as citizens with rights.
  • The royal family, especially the King, is popular among Leshworlders and well respected across the Strand, though another monarchy in The Strand, Zirton, disagrees with his approach to ruling.
  • During the fight to keep Jem Hadar forces off Leshworld, King Alfoor and his son Prince Humperdink either planned, participated in, or led several raids on Jem Hadar camps. They also used royal vehicles to deliver humanitarian aid to several remote towns.
  • To test out Leshworld’s ships, the Casey Jones will participate in war games in Leshworld’s system. The ships include 1 Enterprise class cruiser, 1 runabout, 2 Klingon K’Tinga class cruisers, and 2 Romulan Birds of Prey. All ships operate w/a skeleton crew with weapons retuned to gaming mode (1/50th power). The first rounds of the games go well, with Casey Jones being a great target. Suddenly 12 rogue Jem Hadar attack ships and 3 Romulan Birds of Prey ambush the war game ships!

    Unknown to the attacking ships, the Casey Jones also has a cloaking device as a result of a special agreement w/the Romulan Empire. So the ship cloaks and does strike attacks from different positions, confusing the ambushers. Byrnes figures manages to restore the ship’s torpedoes to full power and sends coded messages to the Leshworld ships on how to do the same. Together they come up with their own ambush plan for the rogue ambushers: pretend to be dead/damaged, then Casey Jones decloaks and fires…and also launches her armed shuttles whose weapons are still at full power. The result: half of the Jem Hadar ships are disabled/destroyed, the Romulans are damaged and retreat, as do the remaining Jem Hadar ships.

    The games are declared a success despite outside interference, and a new trust begins forming between the Federation and The Strand. Finally, King Alfoor, a ‘drinking buddy’ type, invites the crew to come back anytime for a visit as his wife, Queen Natalya, smirks and rolls her eyes.

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The First Mission--Unfinished Business
The Dominion War is over. Can the crew of the USS Casey Jones prevent another war?

Admiral Zammit ended his briefing w/the Casey Jones command crew, assuring them that he’ll do everything he can to back them up. He also repeats that it is imperative that they get the ship back intact since Starfleet is so short on ships right now.

The command crew reviewed the mission background as they headed to their ship, berthed at Drydock 6. The Excelsior-Class Dreadnought USS Star Union was piloted out of its berth at Starbase 8. Security systems were disabled, suggesting an inside job. However, Starbase security managed to obtain footage of unidentified officers penetrating checkpoints, boarding the ship, and making off w/her. So far no other starship encountered her, but some commercial ships reported seeing an older starship heading toward Starbase 31, near Klingon Space.

The mission: find the Star Union and bring her back. Seems easy enough; the Star Union was an older ship. The Casey Jones was a Galaxy Class cruiser. The problem: the Star Union was an armed, functioning, battle-tested warhorse, while the Casey Jones couldn’t even replicate a sandwich.

While Monteleone and the command crew made their way to the bridge (tripping over debris and fumbling through poorly lit corridors), Burns studied the ship’s upgrades from Engineering: Mono-refracting hull plating, Polaron-resistant shielding, Tri-cobalt devices, and ACB Jacketing. Experimental systems included MAM override and anti-cloak scan. Great, Byrnes thought to himself. Too bad none of this stuff works…yet.

En route to Starbase 8, just about every system that could break down did. At one point, the Casey Jones targeted what the sensors told them was a Borg cube, but turned out to be an unmanned freighter. Luckily, the sensors recalibrated in time. Then the replicators started spewing out tomato sauce instead of peanut butter. Through the power blackouts and system crashes, Byrnes and his crack crew of engineers and the ship’s contingent of Starfleet Corps of Engineers, managed to jury-rig the ship enough to reach Starbase 8.

At Starbase 8, Samzol studied the security footage and managed to identify the officers in the footage and account for them. It turns out that one of them, Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Beckman, was reported killed weeks before the Star Union was stolen.

With repairs complete, including a computer with a personality, the Casey Jones cruised toward Starbase 31. They updated Admiral Zammit and notified the Klingons just in case. Starbase 31 was already on alert, and transmitted a message gathered from Starfleet Intelligence: the former officers were not happy w/the way the war ended, and they wanted to stage an attack on one of the worlds in The Strand: Terrapin.

The Casey Jones changed course to Terrapin and went to maximum warp. Problem was, some of the ship’s secondary systems were still malfunctioning, so Lt. Cmdr Byrnes and his team worked double shifts just to take care of the repairs while keeping the ship flying. In going through the Intelligence message from Starbase 31, Lt. Cmdr. Samzol and Cmdr. Phist uncovered another plan: the renegade officers wanted to ransom the Star Union…NOT to the highest bidder but to Starfleet. It wasn’t how much the highest bidder would pay to buy the Star Union after she carried out her attack, it was how much Starfleet was willing to pay to get her back!

With clever navigating by Lt. Cmdr. Canyon, AND because the Star Union had to stop and make some repairs, the Casey Jones caught up to the Star Union just as she entered The Strand. In the ensuing battle, the Casey Jones sustained moderate damage and managed to disable the Star Union by targeting her third warp nacelle.

While Byrnes made repairs, Captain Monteleone contacted Terrapin and informed them that the Star Union was captured. Then he boarded the Star Union to inspect her. In the captain’s quarters, he unlocked the command lockouts, including encrypted log entries. He found disturbing evidence that a Klingon renegade, Toral, engineered the Star Union’s theft. Meanwhile, Cmdr. Phist and Cmdr. Samzol scanned the injured renegade officers and confirmed that one of them, the one impersonating Lt. Cmdr. Beckman, was a Klingon spy sent by Toral.

The Casey Jones transferred the Star Union to a recovery crew sent by Starfleet, then headed toward her next mission in the Gamadan Confederacy in The Strand. En route, Captain Monteleone received a voice distorted message from Toral. He warns Monteleone that the Casey Jones will pay for their interference with his plans, and the Toral himself looks forward to making an example of Monteleone, just as he did with all his other enemies.

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Year 1 - Stardate 53164 (March 2376)
The Adventure Begins.....

Starfleet Headquarters, Earth: Admiral Paul Joseph Tovol Zammit reviewed the intelligence report on his desk for the third time. He didn’t like what it contained. He was curious how such a theft took place, and slightly annoyed that he was among the last to find out about it. After all, he was now Fleet Admiral of the multi-purpose 20th fleet. As such, he expected to be informed of these events quickly, especially in the region of space he now commanded. He checked the background section of the report: Operation Liberty Ship was the program that updated 23rd century dreadnoughts with 24th century weapons to fight in the Dominion War. While the program exceeded all expectations, many upgraded ships were lost in the war’s final days. Of the refitted dreadnoughts, only 85 remained. This number reinforced a sad fact: Starfleet was terribly short on all types of starships. That one of these 85 dreadnoughts was stolen made things that much worse.

Standing six-foot-three at age 128, Paul Zammit was known for speaking only when he felt something was important. He also took chances that others wouldn’t consider. This often meant risking the lives and careers of his subordinates, so Zammit extended himself for them when necessary, and even when not. His risks often paid off, surprising many in the Starfleet brass. And in the rare cases they didn’t, he learned enough from his mistakes that he later turned them into an advantage.

As for loyalty, Zammit was about as far removed from the likes of Admiral Edward Jellico as one could be. Whereas Jellico’s underlings obeyed him out of obligation, Zammit’s subordinates followed out of personal loyalty. Many of them stated they would willingly sacrifice themselves for him. Zammit reminded these officers that their oath was to Starfleet, not to him. To his frustration, this statement only reinforced their loyalty.

Because of his unique traits, Starfleet assigned Zammit with a crucial task: restablize the region of space known as The Strand. The rationale: protecting the Federation’s outer rim gave the inner worlds more breathing room to rebuild.

Zammit turned to the crew profiles on his PADD, and his next gamble: putting what many considered a mish-mash crew on an untested, never-active Galaxy Class testbed ship, the USS Casey Jones. This new crew would not have time for a pleasure cruise.

Stardate 53249.55 (April 2376): Captain Robert Monteleone looked down at the 4 pips on his collar. He was not yet used to them or his new rank. As he waited in Admiral Zammit’s office lounge, he reflected on recent events.

During the final days of the Dominion War, Starfleet ships fought many unsung battles that were just as crucial as those in the headlines. Monteleone fought in one such battle. His former ship, the Excelsior-class USS Avatar, led a battle group to punch a hole through a weak point in the Dominion’s defenses. With this ‘side door’ open, Starfleet hoped to clear yet another path toward Cardassia Prime. Monteleone shuddered at what happened next. As his battle group approached the lines, dozens of Jem Hadar fighters ambushed them from a nearby asteroid field. The first attack wave damaged one-third of the Avatar’s battle group. The Starfleet ships fired back, pushing the fighters back to the asteroid field.

The second attack wave was far more devastating: more fighters, bigger ships, faster strikes. Chaos ensued; fires and screams erupted. When all was said and done, the captain was out cold with a severe concussion and the first officer lay dead in a pool of blood. Avatar’s smoke-filled bridge smelled of burned circuitry and flesh. Half the bridge crew were injured or killed. As second officer, Lt. Cmdr. Monteleone-himself injured with a broken collarbone-took command of the ship and battle group. Shouting orders from his seat at Conn, he gathered what was left of the Avatar’s battle group (only 35% of the original group), set up a spearhead formation for a fast-attack maneuver, and punched through the remaining Dominion defenses.

The Jem Hadar ships followed them, but were quickly defeated by the Starfleet ships that noticed the hole the Avatar had punched. Afterward, the Avatar barely made it to DS9. Engineers considered the ship beyond repair. So she was stripped for parts and scuttled, her crew reassigned. And Starfleet honored another war hero, promoting Monteleone to Captain.

Great, Monteleone said to himself as he studied the specs on his new command. Just what I’ve always wanted. A testbed ship, complete with broken chairs and untested flight systems. What’s that saying, be careful what you wish for?

His reverie was interrupted when two other people entered the lounge. Monteleone recognized one of them: Lt. Cmdr. Robert Burns, another mountain of a man. By contrast, the man next to him was much shorter, of average build. He went over to greet them.

“Captain Robert Monteleone,” he said, extending his hand. Both men accepted.

“Robert Burns, your new chief engineer,” said the larger man.

“Randolph Phist,” said the smaller man. Monteleone recognized the name from all the science journals he’d read. Phist was both a well-published scientist and an accomplished officer. “I believe I’m to be your first officer.”

Monteleone nodded approvingly. “Wherever we’re going, we’ll need someone who can pick things up quickly. Glad you’re both aboard.”

Soon several other officers showed up and greeted each other: Chief tactical officer Lt. Cmdr Samzol, Betazoid Counselor Valynn Silvestri, and Bajoran Lt. Cmdr Bariel Meru, head of the Starfleet Marines assigned to the Casey Jones. Once all the officers arrived, Admiral Zammit invited them into his office.

Unlike most Starfleet Admirals, Zammit practiced an open-door/open-dialog policy with his subordinates. Anyone could approach Zammit about anything, just be prepared for his answers. Sensing this, the new command crew of the USS Casey Jones quickly felt at ease.

Zammit started off the meeting off. “Thank you all for coming, and congratulations on your new assignment. Each of you has an impressive service record, and what some would consider an ecclectic background, which is why I picked you. Your diverse backgrounds will serve you well in the years ahead while you come together as a crew.”

“Starting with your first assignment,” Zammit continued. He pushed a button and the wide monitor across the room lit up, showing several refitted dreadnoughts. He briefed the crew on Operation Liberty Ship, its success, and that only 85 remained. Then he pointed to a 3-engine Excelsior ship.

“One of these is missing,” he paused to let his words sink in. “To complicate matters, this ship is a battle-tested warhorse, where the Casey Jones is a barely-functioning testbed.”

Thus began the adventures of the USS Casey Jones…

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