Star Trek Online: S2E5 “Night of the Comet” (spoilers)

Time is a lot more resilient than people think. Free will? Free will is a joke. There’s a reason Starfleet doesn’t like people flitting back and forth through time — it’s because when you do, you realize what a sham this “reality” thing is.

And by-the-by? The Federation and the Klingons have a secret slingshot mechanism set up around a star in the Eta Eridani sector. Pretty much everyone is going back and forth through time whenever they like. We’re not supposed to tell you about that, but we’re the Federation News Service, and YOU have a right to know.

We’ll be back after a word from our sponsor.
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Star Trek Online: S2E4 “Everything Old is New Again”

After defeating a rogue hologram and a couple hundred Devidians in last week’s episode, “What Lies Beneath”, the Federation News Service traveled into the past to take on the deadliest enemy of them all — Starfleet! With some pluck, courage and help from an unexpected friend, we did manage to complete our mission.
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Star Trek Online: What Lies Beneath

There were Bad Things prowling the depths of Drozana Station’s maintenance decks in Star Trek Online’s Halloween-themed episode, “What Lies Beneath”.

Well, what DOES lie beneath? The Ferengi who run the station have no clue at all. THEY aren’t stupid enough to head down to the lower depths. They can always find some suckers to do it for them if they just wait long enough — suckers like the hapless crew of the USS Monterey.

Starfleet, when we asked to be sent off on a mission of exploration, we had in mind some newly discovered nebula or a spatial anomaly. I really don’t think traipsing through the cellar of an old station is really an appropriate job for one of Starfleet’s most elite crews now, is it? Though we did find some wicked old vinyls behind a maintenance duct.

Last week, an undercover operative working both for Starfleet AND the Klingon Empire gave us codes to enter the lower bits of Drozana station, and both Starfleet’s Franklin Drake and the Klingon Empire’s K’men were able to obtain a weapon of surpassing power against the wraith-like Devidians haunting the station and sucking the life clean out of their humanoid prey.

We didn’t expect much trouble. How dangerous could some insubstantial ghosts really be?

The darkened corridors below were brightened only by the single flashlight we found in a box just before the first bulkhead. Our sensors were mostly useless; tricorder scans showed only the closest results, everything else being masked by the pervasive triolic radiation. The Devidians were certainly in evidence, but there were also signs of another danger…

As we descended toward the computer core level, repairing systems as we proceeded, we found the freshly dead bodies of Starfleet officers… dressed in uniforms from the 23rd century. How… we didn’t know.

Delving deeper, we discovered at least one danger in an old hologram that had been given a mobile emitter and told to keep the station innards in good repair. It was thoroughly mad and definitely murderous. We managed to disable it and read the locking codes for the computer core from its program. With no little trepidation, we entered the core itself.

We’d come right to the nest of the Devidians. There incursion into our phase was powered by the station itself, holding open a portal, but to where?

Two powerful Phantasms barred the way to the core, as an untold number of lesser creatures kept us pinned down. We were able to turn some of the station services against the Devidians, weakening them enough so that the weapon Drake had given us could have its devastating effect. The weapon sent a beam through the Devidians that jumped from one to the other, holding them still and draining them to nothing.

With the last of the Devidian defenders gone, for now, we scanned the rapidly-shrinking portal, and found that it was a tear in time, leading back to the 23rd century. If we were to fix the Devidian problem permanently, we would have to head back through that portal ourselves, back into the past.

Drake concurred. He gave us some triolic pattern enhancers that will help bring Devidian-phased objects fully into our world, and told us to prepare ourselves. We would find out what lurked on the other side of that portal, and we will neutralize it.

A very spooky episode that brought to mind such games as Doom 3, Alan Wake and even the original Half Life now and then. Solo or with a group, it was good fun, but I think I preferred the solo experience — spookier!

Star Trek Online: S02E07 “Spin the Wheel” (spoilers)

Last week, we discovered that the out-of-phase life-sucking Devidians — the “blue ghosts” — had followed a comet into the Klingon-Federation neutral zone and were using the humanoids of the Alpha Quadrant as a tasty buffet.

This week, Section 31 operative Franklin Drake ordered the Federation News Service to investigate the Ferengi-run Drozana station. One of Drake’s undercover operatives, posing as a Dabo girl, had triggered an emergency beacon and requested immediate withdrawal. Though dubious about anything to do with Section 31, we are, after all, Starfleet officers first and correspondents second, and must do our duty when called.

The Ferengi who runs the station wasn’t immediately helpful, being somewhat fixated on getting his replicators working. They’d been developing intermittent glitches at about the same time the station lighting started flickering blue. If we could … well, of course we could. We went to the cargo bay to find the problem.

What a tangled mess of fused circuits and melted conduits! Working on non-Federation technology gives you a real appreciation of the virtues of regular maintenance. Once I had the replicators in a reasonable state, I had to reroute some circuits HERE, and connect THIS console to THAT one, but only after I’d switched THIS one on and … back to the replicator system, and it was all somehow working once more.

The Ferengi tried to weasel out of the deal (typical), but eventually showed us to Ze’mara, the undercover operative.

Ze’mara can, apparently, see the Devidians even when they are out of phase. A bit of political intrigue among the Klingon high houses was her news, and the blue ghosts were watching everything, occasionally surrounding a drunk Klingon or other reveler and making them… disappear. She just needed a moment to prepare to leave… in the meantime, we could play some Dabo, perhaps, and wait for her signal.

So we went and played some Dabo. Why not? Running the table was our old friend Leeta, late of Deep Space 9. I guess her husband, Rom, must have gotten a job on Drozana. We spun the Dabo wheel and — nothing. But Leeta screamed Dabo! anyway.

She said that if she’d waited for us to win legit, we’d be there all night. Leeta told us that if we really wanted to get to the bottom of the problems at Drozana station, we’d head to the lower levels; she had an access code for us. But if we wanted to catch Ze’mara, we’d better hurry, because she was about to take off.

We caught up to Ze’mara as she booked passage on a ship off-station. We didn’t need to know the details, but we should tell Franklin Drake that he would continue to get his intel, one way or the other.

Back at the ship, my first officer was full of concern about how we could possibly stop the Devidians whose entry into our phase must be eased by the passage of that “comet”. Perhaps we could stop by the Federation laboratories on Deep Space K-7; there were rumors of a new weapon.

At K-7, a Lieutenant Kalapo confirmed that there was a prototype weapon that proved useless against its intended use against a certain kind of cloaking, but might possibly be modified to prove useful against phase shifted Devidians. He would make those modifications and send the plans to Franklin Drake.

No sooner had we reported back to Drake than he sent us a crate of the new guns, already designed and tested. That was quick! He had some more groundwork to lay, but he told us to stay ready and alert — we had not yet seen the last of the Devidians.

Another fairly short mission. This one was entirely solo, which meant we hadn’t needed to make groups and become ready for battle. Even though the description of the mission made it seem like there would be no need for force, you can’t really be sure.

Next week’s episode brings us back to the lower levels of Drozana station, and promises to be a heck of a ground battle. The new gun will come in handy.