Star Trek: Casey Jones

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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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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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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Season 8: More Typhon (Im)pact and Trailblazing
Summit Dreams and Nightmares

NEWSFAX STARDATE 58380: The Imperial Romulan States Office of Information today disclosed that one of their top officials, Senator Peldon, recently thwarted an attempt by the Tal Shiar to assassinate Empress Donatra at a recent political event. Empress Donatra herself ordered the disclosure as a gesture of goodwill in sharing information with other Alpha Quadrant powers, notably the Federation. She hopes that such disclosures will “foster continuing dialog and cooperation with other Alpha Quadrant powers, thus strengthening our mutual position against the growing threat of the Typhon Pact.”

Captain’s Log, Stardate 58400: We’ve just finished up refurbishing at our Dyson Starbase in The Strand, and are proceeding to Earth for a top-priority high-level meeting. Admiral Zammit would like to meet with us on board the ship to discuss a most important matter. He’s not usually this cryptic, so it must be something important. I trust his judgement. After that meeting we’ll head to The Strand to represent the Federation, along with the USS Guardian, at the 8th annual SuperTrade Summit.

Our visitors from the Triangulum Galaxy are enjoying their time here, and are working on establishing formal relations with the Federation. The Diplomatic Corps. is scheduling visits, exchanges, and eventually plans trade routes via the Supergate (long way off, but all parties favor it).

Personal Log: In the 3 months since we returned from the Triangulum Galaxy, quite a bit has changed. Some changes good, some not so much.

For starters, Captain Byrnes has been reassigned to StarFleet Corps of Engineers, to replace Captain Scott. Inconceivable, I know. I wish them both the best. Also, my former first officer & friend Randolph Phist left for a position at the Daystrom Institute. I wish things between us ended better. One good thing he did before he left was promote Elphaba to Chief Civilian Research Specialist. I think she’s up for the job, though she’ll need encouragement. Both officers will need replacing, along with other command staff changes.

So for the first time ever, the Casey Jones feels like a young school whose inaugural class has just graduated. With change being the one constant we face in life, I find myself pondering my own future.
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USS Casey Jones receives a Priority Communication to meet w/Admiral Zammit at Starfleet Headquarters on Earth. Meeting is on the Casey Jones with Zammit, Spock, & Empress Donatra to discuss receiving new science officer, Subcommander Tal Tolak, a specialist in Romulan space science, Romulan ship technology, and Cloaking Device deisgn. Through the presentation, Donatra emphasizes how important it is that the Casey Jones accept the transfer, and keep an open mind with him, just as they did w/Subcommander Alidor T’Baah. Zammit, of course, stands by his crew and answers their questions regardless of their decision.

President Spock says little during the meeting, though he vouches for Subcommander Tolak and stands by the Casey Jones, regardless of their decision. This last statement makes Donatra nervous. Meanwhile, the command crew deduces fairly easily that Donatra is ‘selling’ Tolak to them, and suspect there’s more to her agenda. At this point, Zammit confirms that Tolak had something to do with thwarting the recent attempt on Donatra’s life. However, because his actions disgraced a high-profile Romulan senator—one who is key to Donatra’s power base—Donatra came up with a way to save him from being convicted for Treason, while saving face and preserving her power. The answer: indefinite exile from the Imperial Romulan States to….a posting on the Casey Jones. After airing their concerns w/Admiral Zammit—-and finding out that Tal Tolak is a party animal—-they agree to take him on. Zammit then indicates the crew will pick him up at The Strand’s 8th Annual SuperTrade Summit on Gamandan Prime. They’ll co-represent the Federation at the summit, along with the USS Guardian. As he leaves the ship, Zammit suggests that this should be an easy assignment.

As soon as Casey Jones reaches Gamadan Prime to prepare for the Summit, it becomes clear that this will be anything but an easy assignment. First, Gamadan Prime’s government greets the crew and invites them to speak at the Summit if they wish, though Prime Minister Sul Krim wonders why they’re here. Third Minister Sal Moneus & Fourth Mnister Birlock are less welcoming, stating that the Casey Jones isn’t really needed here anymore. “After all, you’ve been gone for so long and Admiral Holly has represented your Federation admirably. Why come back now?” The PM strongly insists that the Casey Jones is really not needed here because economically and politically, The Strand is “starting to branch out from The Federation’s shadow toward standing alone.” Captain Monteleone strongly reminds the PM and her ministers that the Summit is possible today only because the Casey Jones helped stablize this region of space many years ago. Prime Minister Krim again invites the Casey Jones crew to visit, indicating that the visit is “a courtesy” to the USS Guardian, also in orbit.

Meanwhile, on the Romulan cruiser Star Talon, also in orbit, Subcommander Tal Tolan, wakes up w/a female logistics officer in his bed and realizes he forgot to set his alarm. Realizing the time, he stumbles about his quarters, gathering the last of his belongings. Security officers arrive to escort him to the transporter room, so he takes a SoberAll pill and stumbles down the corridor with them, dressing himself along the way. The Romulans, eager to complete their delivery, beam him over partially-dressed, followed by his belongings. Before he leaves, Tolak messages his contacts in the Intelligence community, seeking info on advanced Klingon Cloaking Device tech.

The Casey Jones detects 2 Romulan Griffon Class ships in orbit, one of which hails the Casey Jones to transfer an new officer. Security Officer Samzol, Lt. Sorren Nass, & Leeta greet him in the transporter room. On the transporter platform appears a most-dressed, slightly disheveled Romulan Subcommander, Tal Tolak. Tolak extends greetings and presents his transfer orders. Samzol, very tactfully, says, “GET DRESSED. NOW” Sorren shakes his head, saying, “You’ve got to be kidding me,” which earns him a smack to the back of his head…from Leeta. Leeta just stares at Tolak, stone-faced as ever. Tolak, who has an eye for ladies, quickly checks Leeta over and figures he might have a shot with her off-duty. Leeta’s ever-present scowl and her 6’3" Extreme Amazon Physique tells him otherwise. Samzol, Sorren, & Leeta escort Subcommander Tolak to the bridge, where he presents his transfer orders to Captain Monteleone, along with a gift. Sorren help Tolak settle into his quarters, while the rest of the crew decides who beams down during the 4-Day Summit and when.

On Day 1, Canyon remains onboard while Monteleone, Samzol, Tolak, Sorren & Elphaba beam down, along w/other junior officers & crew. The Prime Minister gives her keynote speech, citing where the worlds have been and where The Summit is going. Several new worlds are joining the Commercial Union:

  • Rigel II
  • Madrele 6
  • Jemison
  • Comstock

After the speech, the crew have several interesting encounters:

  • Deputy Advisor Myers pulls Monteleone aside, warning him that the Gamadan Ministers are considering asking CJ to leave before conference is over. The reason: they don’t feel the CJ is needed here, and some planetary members (Cominotto & Madrele 6) are “reportedly uncomfortable” with CJ being there, especially Captain Monteleone. Monteleone finds this odd, especially considering that only a couple years ago, these ministers welcomed him and his crew with open arms. He then reassures Myers that if Starfleet is asked to leave a region of space, they do so, so long as those parties are able to sustain & protect themselves. Myers then leaves quickly.
  • Sorren has a run-in with a planetary security guard named Toba, who thinks Starfleet is getting a little too big for its britches, then presses Sorren to tell him if the Casey Jones is only here for the Summit, and nothing else. Sorren sternly replies that they’re here for the Summit, nothing else. Toba warn* * s Sorren to stay out of private business….or else. Sorren just glares at him, knowing they’ll likely meet again.
  • Tolak, while observing the Summit, receives a private text, indicating to meet at Aircar #804—1900 hours outside Conference Center, end of Summit Day 2.
  • Elphaba encounters trade reps from her former homeworld Madrele 6, one of them being Madam Morrible. Morrible berates Elphaba for “weaseling her way on to the Casey Jones. Speaking of which, those social reforms are moving along I suppose, but your bullheaded captain failed to realize or accept that some of us like things as they were.” Elphaba holds her own w/Morrible. Subcommander Tolak notices this and approaches, but does not interfere. Elphaba notices him, and knows he has her back. Just then, Madrele 6’s other trade rep, Bocq, shows up and also starts verbally accosting Elphaba. Morrible and Bocq together berate Elphaba, suggesting she has little or no value to society. At this, Captain Monteleone steps in, towering over Bocq. Tolak steps up at this point. Morrible & Bocq now realize they’ve made a colossal mistake & quickly retreat to their booth, texting.
  • Samzol notices a figure leaving the building (Myers). As he leaves, he’s texting something or someone. Samzol follows him out, sees him get into an aircar, and speeds off. He warns the captain, who in turn alerts the ship.
  • Canyon, in orbit, notices no unusual traffic. However, after several Communications scans, she detects a coded “Piggy back” text message to Comstock and Rigel system: tell arriving ship to hurry up, the kitchen’s getting a little too hot.

Captain Monteleone then confers w/Admiral Holly on the USS Guardian. Holly indicates that his crew has been working w/Starfleet Intelligence on tracking a possible new smuggling route to get hijacked & contraband goods to The Typhon Pact. He’s not sure, but he suspects The Strand may be playing an unwitting part in this racket. So he’s been on high alert. Meanwhile, he warns Monteleone & his crew to be careful while planetside; several of his own crew were recently assaulted while walking around the Capital City before the Summit. Of course, Holly complained to the planetary security and they told him not to worry. Monteleone & Holly agree to keep each other posted.

After lunch on Summit Day 1, Monteleone, Sorren, & Tolak, along w/several trade dignitaries. take automated aircar tours of the city. As the aircars pass by the Government building next to the Conference Center, the crew spots someone outside looking at the aircars while holding some kind of device in his hand. The aircars go a couple blocks when all hell breaks loose. Controls in each aircar short out, the doors lock from the outside, and the aircars start flying erratically. Some swipe the sides of buildings, others scatter toward the south side of town. Moments later, the aircars start filling up w/poison gas. Sorren & Tolak are in one aircar, while Monteleone is in another. On the ship, Canyon picks up a live newsfeed from the planet about the breaking disaster and tries contacting the away team. She also starts beaming up crewmembers.

The crew attempts to contact the ship, but finds a jamming field set up around each aircar that prevents contact & beaming. After shorting out the field w/their phasers, the crew are beamed to sickbay. Monteleone orders all aircars beamed to the shuttlebay and passengers beamed to sickbay for treatment. Dr. House treats all passengers for Somnazine, a toxic nerve gas used by Bajoran freedom fighters during The Cardassian Occupation.

Monteleone & Tolak head to the bridge while Sorren investigates the aircars. He determines that all aircars were hacked from the same place at the same time: the person standing in front of the Government building, and that all aircars were to be rerouted to the Warehouse District. He relays these findings to the command crew.

Once on the bridge, Monteleone reiterates orders to recall all Casey Jones crew from the surface and sets ship on Yellow Alert. Just then, the transporter tech. calls up with a problem: Elphaba is missing. All they got was her commbadge.

Monteleone orders security troops to prepare to beam down. Just then, Admiral Holly calls from the USS Guardian. Holly informs Monteleone that Starfleet Intelligence has just tipped him off that a ship of interest, possibly related to the smuggling ring he’d been investigating, is en route to The Strand, and is at most 50 light-years away. He needs to intercept it, so Casey Jones will be on their own. Monteleone then tells Holly about the gas attack and Elphaba missing. Holly commits 25 of his troops to help w/the search.

At this point, Sorren returns to the bridge and relays his findings to the command crew. Monteleone instructs the crew to modify the sensors to scan for any biological material unique to Elphaba. Together, Canyon & Tolak check Elphaba’s medical records. Turns out her mother drank a potent ambrosia liquid before she was conceived, resulting in Elphaba’s green skin. Canyon & Tolak modify the sensors to scan for this bio-element and start doing so.

Next, Sorren & Tolak check security feeds from the Government building and, through face-recognition, identify the mysterious figure as….Deputy Advisor MYERS! They then check varioius Starfleet & non-Starfleet databases for background data and find out about his checkered past.

Armed with his crew’s findings, Monteleone contacts Gamadan Prime Minister Sul Krim, sitting at her desk reviewing reports about the aircar attack while getting updates from her ministers. She irritably tries brushing Monteleone aside, insisting that she’s quite busy with this “small security matter” and that her people have it in hand and are assessing corrective steps. Monteleone reminds her that such an attack on Starfleet personnel contstitutes an act of war. She insists that her people can handle the “developing situation.” She then turns to Third Minister Sal Moneus and says, “You told me this would be handled discreetly, that nobody would get hurt! What’s going on here?!”

Fourth Minister Birlock then turns to Monteleone, warning him not to interfere w/their plans to address the matter. To try to reassert her authority, Prime Minister Sul Krim repeats her earlier statements. Then all ministers stare at Monteleone, and realize they’ve just made a volcano erupt.

Fed up with the planetary government’s ineptitude, with several Starfleet officers & civilians attacked, and one of his crew missing, Monteleone unleashes a small portion of his fury.

“Prime Minister, several Starfleet officers & civilians have been attacked, gassed, and nearly abducted. And now one of my crew is missing. Starting now, I am sending troops down to search for my missing crewman. Neither you nor any member of your government will interfere with this search. You WILL cooperate as required. I expect to find my crewman alive and well. If she is otherwise, I will hold you and your government responsible.”

The Prime Minister’s face turns white as she slumps back in her chair. Her ministers & advisors quickly leave her office. She simply nods and closes the channel.

Monteleone orders troops to the transporter room, then orders the fighters configured to form a sensor net around the planet to expedite scanning. Meanwhile, from his security office, Lt. Commander Storn assists Tolak & Canyon in programming the fighters to search for Elphaba’s biosignature. Then he orders the fighters to set up a search grid on the far side of Gamadan Prime, opposite the side of the planet the Casey Jones is orbiting. He then sets up a communication relay grid so that all fighters’ readings are in sync with each other and the ship.

After several sensor sweeps, the fighters don’t find Elphaba’s biosigns. However, they detect unusual magnetic readings from under several buildings in 5 cities on the far side of the planet. The Casey Jones detects similar readings under Gamadan Prime’s government building, and in several compartments in the Warehouse District near the edge of the Capital City. Sensors also detect a ship with similar magnetic readings about to launch.

Canyon hails the ship, which doesn’t respond. Tolak scans the ship’s cargo hold and finds it lined with ‘magnetic insulation’ similar to that on the planet’s surface. The cargo ship ignores all hails and fires on the Casey Jones just before breaking orbit. Casey Jones fires back, disabling its Ops systems, then Canyon & Tolak hack into the freighter’s computer and take control of the ship.

Storn sends Sorren to take the freighter crew into custody. Sorren then searches the freighter’s cargo bay and finds cargo containers reported stolen from Winston Enterprises and several other shipping companies. Many crates have new labels marked “Jazeera Shipping Company.” Sorren takes the crew into custody and back to Casey Jones, while Storn checks the freighter’s computer core. He identifies it as one of 5 freighters that Winston Enterprises reported stolen over the past 3-6 months. Storn then contacts his good friend, Wes Gorman, at Winston and requests the command access codes for the ships, which will help secure control of this freighter and the others should Casey Jones encounter them.

Meanwhile, the fighters report back to Storn that several armed shuttles have taken up position in low orbit and are taunting the fighters; they fly close to the fighters, weapons armed and shields up, but not locking and firing. The pilots, including Fiyero (Elphaba’s fiance) figure that these shuttles are just toying with the fighters and trying to provoke a fight. Storn orders the fighters to hold position and “play with these guys a bit, so long as nobody gets hurt and nothing disrupts the mission.” The fighter pilots gladly comply and do some hotdog flying of their own, which flusters the inexperienced shuttle pilots.


TO BE CONTINUED—————————————-

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