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!
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.