So there we were, three light years into the Neutral Zone, with two Romulan cruisers starin’ us in the face, an’ we could tell by the micro distortions in the subspace that there were probably three more we couldna see.
Usually we’d have the Captain there with us to use his Negotiate skill to even the odds summat. But he had ta leave early ta pick up his kids an’ the XO was in command, an’ the XO had a thing for the photon torpedoes.
So the Rommie subcommander had given us three Earth minutes to explain ourselves before we became the newest nebula in forbidden space. With thirty seconds to go, XO calls a meeting in his Ready Room.
So we go there, which we shoulda done earlier, ‘cuz that puts the whole encounter on pause while we figure out what ta do.
I bring out my deck of cards, same as the others, and I leaf through them. I’m a particle man. Vertion particles, warp particles, holomatter, even some inverted gravitons I picked up from an NPC merchant on Beta Epsilon 5 in the raid last week.
XO puts a torpedo card on the table. I kinda sighed, because the Bajoran science officer was just itching to use her Remodulate skill to dephase the shields or modify the static pulse array or something. But she can’t play anything on a torpedo.
Chief engineer puts a probe modifier on the torpedo card. It’s a decent card, one I know he’s been holding since we excavated the Mysterious Alien Ruins on the fifth moon of 351 Wolf. That’s fine, that turns the torpedo into a little miniature ship. The whiz kid plays his science project card, and I play my baryonic plasma particle card, because Rommie cloaks are weak vs plasma. Science officer remodulates the photonic emitter in the torpedo to instead spread the baryonic plasma throughout local space, we all press our “it just might work!” buttons, and seeing the votes come in, XO presses his “make it so” button and we instantly return to the bridge.
Torpedo is launched and a couple of seconds later the viewscreen fills with a lovely electric blue. We see the outline of a third Rommie cruiser and two cloaked Deception buoys. So it could be worse. But it’s still pretty bad.
Well, that plasma aggroed the Rommies something bad, and pretty soon disruptors were hitting us from all sides. This was Navi’s turn to shine, and he was spinning the ship pretty good to keep the shield damage balanced, but not good enough, and pretty soon my console exploded. Nothing to do now but lie on the floor until the doctor could rez me in Sickbay, so I went and watched a little “Deal Or No Deal”.
Anyway, about five minutes later I look over and see the doc had rezzed me, and I see the rest of the crew is in the Ready Room again, so I press the button and I’m there too.
XO is finally listening to the engineer, and the security chief has played the forward deflector array card. Engineer remodulated it to be in phase with the cloaked buoys, but she needed some oomph, so I played my inverse graviton particle card on it. Navi played a couple target select cards, we pressed “It just might work!” and XO pressed “Make it so!”
On the bridge, we watched as the remodulated forward deflector array used an inverse graviton pulse to push the two cloaked Deception buoys into the plasma-soaked shields of the uncloaked Rommie ships, turning them into bits of debris that would almost certainly have lots of nice, rich particles for me to harvest.
The cloaked ship ran off, and we harvested the debris quick and hightailed it out of there before the Rommie came back with a raid.
I got a rare Berthold Radiation card from the wreck. I could already see how I’d be using that in our next mission.
It’s good to be a particle man.
Disclaimer: I am not in Star Trek Online’s alpha, beta, or anything else.