The characters used by the players should be senior officers of a Constitution class heavy cruiser. Although the Enterprise is used this may be changed to suit the circumstances of a campaign. This scenario was written using FASA's first edition Star Trek rules and converted to the ICON system rules by Last Unicorn Games. The scenario is set in the 2260's, during the original series, some time after the episode Errand of Mercy.
Captains Log Supplemental, 11.45 hours:
Captains Log Supplemental, 12.15 hours:
Captains Log Supplemental, 12.35 hours: One of the Klingons, named Maalaax, has requested political asytum.
Maalaax will not voluntarily submit to Psycho-Tricorder interrogation or truth drugs. He intends to escape on a neutral world, and make his way back to the Empire to resume an underground political career.
If Maalaax is taken at face value he will escape sooner or later, doing as much damage as possible before he leaves the ship. If he is questioned properly when he defects, or after an abortive escape attempt, he will reveal the following information:
The freighter carried five Klingon agents on its last trip, three weeks earlier, and met a Federation shuttle near System KA-1102. The agents boarded the shuttle carrying several equipment cases. Maalaax does not know what the agents planned, and didn't see the registry number of the shuttle. He believes that they intended to sabotage the Federation colonies in system KA-1102.
The spies were members of an infiltration squad who spent some time determining the weak points of the colonies and have now taken over automated mining facilities, reprogramming the equipment to bombard two colonised class M worlds with 500-tonne ore cargoes. Once the main cities are destroyed the Klingons will say that the Federation colonisation effort has failed and will claim the system for the Klingon Empire.
The Klingons are based on the moon of New Sussex, occupying one of the mine installations. The mining operations create static which disrupts Sensor scans and Transporter operations in a 5 km radius. Within this radius there is a +10 difficulty modifier on operation of these systems. Outside this area operation is normal for the system. There are no immediate clues to the Klingons' location, and the Enterprise will probably investigate the entire system. The referee may wish to run some or all of the following encounters:
Planet I (Hell). During the exploration of this system, two Federation instrument packages were dropped onto this planet's surface. Both are detectable from space but have corroded to an extent which makes accurate identification difficult. They can be beamed aboard but nothing significant will be learned. The planet's intense heat, corrosive atmosphere, and high pressure are far beyond the specifications of normal life support equipment. If anyone beams down to this planet their equipment will start to malfunction in 5+1d6 minutes, failing and killing the wearer approximately 30 seconds later; anyone without life support will die instantly. Since this planet is close to the triple suns, all Transporter operations are made with a Challenging (10) Difficulty. If the first roll fails nothing will happen, and it will take 3D10 seconds to re-energise the Transporter. If a second roll fails the Transporter will 'scramble' and kill the person being beamed.
Planet II (High Sierra). The colonists will extend a normally cool Vulcan welcome to visitors. The climate of this world means that mirages, sandstorms, and other dangerous weather conditions are likely. Characters who insist on exploring without local guides should be exposed to these conditions. There are no native life forms, but the colonists have imported a few familiar species. Many of the local homes have Sehlats as pets. There are a few Le-Matya roaming in the deserts, but explorers would have to be very unlucky to meet them.
If a Vulcan crew member (or a crew member who has visited Vulcan) lands, make an Intellect + Perception roll. If this roll succeeds the party will be met by a Vulcan who knows the crew member and will invite the group to his home. This Vulcan is a mining engineer who helped build the automated installations on New Sussex's moon. He isn't particularly interested in talking about his work, preferring to concentrate on news from home and intellectual discussion.
Note. This encounter should be used carefully, mentioning the installations during extended conversations about science, philosophy, art, and other topics. Other events during the evening, such as a tense 3-dimensional chess game or encounters with a pet Sehlat, should be made to seem more significant. If the players have discussed the mining installation this encounter can be omitted.
The solar observatory on this planet is working at the forefront of Federation scientific knowledge. The central star trio is very odd, by normal astrophysical standards, and the scientists are reluctantly coming to the conclusion that they were moved into a stable equilateral triangle by an unknown force. They also suspect that there is a subspace rift between the suns, but this is incorrect.
The shuttle which carried the agents wasn't seen or recorded by this observatory. Klingon freighters routinely pass near the system, and have been recorded on several occasions.
Planets IV and V (unnamed). There are no interesting features (apart from the normal hazards of gas giants and rough airless moons)
Planet lII (New Sussex): On approaching this planet the Enterprise will receive traffic control signals, assigning the ship to a polar orbit. If the order is questioned traffic control will explain that equatorial orbits are reserved for robotic freighters and ballistic ore shipments. If the Captain has further queries the material on the moon mining facilities (The Apocalypse Plan, below) should be quoted briefly, without hinting that anything is wrong there.
First impressions will be of a pleasant world with a near-Terran ecology. There are three small cities, all in various stages of construction, and a number of farm communes. The capital, Doylesville, has already evolved a few seedy bars and nightclubs - the sort of places Starfleet engineers visit when they don't have to repair their engines. The arrival of the Enterprise will be known to everyone, and all the crew are likely to encounter hero-worshipping children, drunks buying drinks, salesmen, and colonists with other personal and commercial propositions. The Captain will be invited to appear on the planetary video network; other officers may expect similar treatment. If the Captain explains the reason for the visit to local authorities, they will try to find any record of visits by strangers, eventually coming up with two small trading vessels, a supply shipment, and a research ship which stopped to pick up mail. None of these vessels are relevant to the scenario, and all can be eliminated through Starfleet channels
The following encounters should be used while characters are on New Sussex: :
Day 2. The police call the Captain to report that a woman living in one of the farming communes has seen an unidentified flying object possibly a starship shuttle. She is a harmless crank, who has heard gossip about the Enterprise's mission and put her imagination to work. Her version sounds like a mid-twentieth century flying saucer sighting, complete with 8' tall aliens with glowing eyes and haloes.
Day 4. Dr McCoy (or any medical officer) is asked to visit the planet's main hospital and give some advice on a baffling case, a man found unconscious near the city airport which adjoins the planetary spaceport). His vital signs don't make sense, and the local doctors need help in diagnosing his condition. The 'man' is actually a surgically disguised Klingon, suffering from a rare and invariably fatal disease which attacks the central nervous system, causing insanity and IQ loss. He developed the symptoms while the Klingons were sabotaging the mining facility. The other Klingons intended to kill him, but he escaped. A medical treatment roll at a Challenging (10) Difficulty will cure the disease, but brain damage is already irreversible. The patient is a 'vegetable', and won't respond to Psycho-Tricorder scans. The disease does not affect Humans or Vulcans.
Police forensic scientists (or characters with Tricorders set to enhance faint patterns, such as footprints) can trace the Klingon back to a hole in the port perimeter fence, but no further. The port is serviced by a robot cleaner every night, and all evidence has been removed. Eight aircraft, two ore freighters, and an in-system passenger shuttle (from High Sierra) visited the port in the 24 hours before the Klingon was found. The Klingon travelled from moon mining base 4 in the unused manual control compartment of a robot ore freighter; fingerprints and other traces can be found if the vessel is searched.
It is likely that characters will want to visit this base if they find out that the Klingon came from the ore freighter. If they stay on New Sussex an additional encounter can be used:
Day 5. [Use if James T Kirk (or similarly charismatic Captain) is a player character.) While visiting government offices Kirk meets Alice Vilkyo, a girl who was in his class at school before he entered Starfleet Academy. They were friendly until she decided that a Navy career would conflict with her pacifistic ideals, and joined the Colonial Service. Kirk has always thought of her as an old flame. She regards Kirk as a warmongering savage, and will try to convert him to her philosophy. This encounter is amusing but irrelevant to the adventure; however, Vilkyo will be killed if the Klingon plan succeeds, and the Captain will have to live with his conscience.
If players make no progress by day 6 the following incident should occur:
An engineer making a routine visit to moon mining base 4 reports that someone took a shot at his shuttle as he was landing. His pressure hull was punctured. Fortunately he was wearing a life support suit and managed to fly the shuttle out of range. Tricorder examination of the damage suggests that an energy weapon was used.
Ten-kilometre deep shafts are dug by Phasers set to disintegrate, then atomic heaters are lowered to the shaft base to melt the ore. A permanent tractor beam installation (usually called a 'Pithead') pulls the molten rock up the shaft. It cools as it rises, and hot slag is eventually dumped on a conveyor belt. These belts carry the ore to an automated smelter which purifies and refines it. Valuable components (eg radioactives) are shipped by robot freighter. Useless components are dumped on a spoil heap. The main metal content is refined and formed into 500-tonne cylinders, usually called slugs. The slugs travel down another belt to the main control centre, where they are loaded into a magnetic mass driver and fired to New Sussex. Ground-based Tractor and Pressor installations catch the slugs and bring them in for slow landings at equatorial sites. There are usually several dozen slugs stored in the control centre for firing as needed.
Plans of the mining installation (large area scale) and control centre (area scale) may be shown to players if requested, since they are filed on New Sussex.
The terrain is extremely rough; the 50-metre contour lines shown on the map are a guide to the general lie of the land, and sharp ridges and stones are very common. The zero altitude on-this map is an arbitrary contour line passing through thefloorofthe control buildings. Gravity is .25G, except on the upper floor of the control building.
Note. It is assumed that the Klingon plan begins 18 days before the team's visit to the mine, regardless of the player's rate of progress. As the Federation team arrives it is the lunar morning. The sun is to the East, 45° above the horizon. Temperatures range from 250°C in exposed areasto -150°C in shadow. The referee musfkeep a close watch on time once the players arrive; seconds are vital towards the end of the scenario.
When the Klingons took over the complex they reprogrammed the Computer to fire most of the spare control centre stock into space, targetted on High Sierra. The first slugs hit exactly five hours after the Federation team arrives on the moon, falling randomly over the surface of the planet. The Klingons have reprogrammed the mine computer to increase the number of slugs on hand, and will start to bombard New Sussex in exactly one hour (or if they are sure the mine is under attack). Time bombs have been planted at the planetside installations, to destroy their Tractor/Pressor units at an appropriate moment. The slugs take four hours to reach their destination. At this range their accuracy is high, and the Klingons can place slugs on cities and industrial centres.
There are fifteen Klingons in the complex, six outside the control centre (two in cover near each landing pad, two on patrol) and the rest in the building. All Klingons wear armoured life support suits, capable of absorbing -5 points from an energy attack (or -8 points from a projectile attack), for the loss of one AP. The troops outside carry stolen Phaser rifles, those inside carry Phaser ll's. They have been trained in their use. Rifles are set to disintegrate, Phaser ll's are set to disrupt. All the Klingons have been surgically disguised to resemble Humans.
Note. If Klingon weapons capable of operating in a vacuum are used in a campaign, they must not be carried by the saboteurs. The aim is to make the incident look like an accident or a Human rebellion.
Federation personnel can land by shuttle or beam down to an area outside the static field of the main complex without difficulty. If they choose to land or materialise on either pad they will immediately be exposed to heavy fire. If they decide to beam into the control building, place the Klingon troops before asking the players where they intend to arrive.
Most of the mining equipment is inaccessible; the shafts, pitheads, and smelter unit are automated, radioactive, and extremely hot. Major excavation is required to reach the buried power plant.
The mass driver is a huge magnetic accelerator, designed to induce strong electrical fields in conducting objects entering the west end and throw them to the east. By the time objects leave the track they are travelIing at 25 kilometres a second. The track is supported on pylons up to 150 metres tall, to give a horizontal line across the crater. The only section touching the ground is immediately East of the control building. The pylons carry uninsulated high-voltage superconductors, and anyone touching them will take 50 points of electrocution damage. It is necessary to cut the cables on eight adjoining pylons to put the mass driver out of action. The driver may also be destroyed by starship Phaser fire or explosives, but this will disrupt New Sussex's industries and probably lead to a Klingon victory.
The solar panels are 50 metres tall, with the area behind each panel in shadow. Destroying them will not affect the Klingon plans; they are an emergency supply only.
The two landing pads are made of rubble, melted flat by Phaser fire. Each is fitted with a beacon and bright landing lights (shown as crossed lines on the map). If a shuttle approaches within 5 km, automatic proximity detectors will switch on the beacons and lights, warning the Klingons that a vehicle is approaching. The smelter robots will not emerge with cargo unless a freighter lands on the larger pad. There is no manual entrance to the smelter building; the belts into the smelter lead directly to ore crushers, the belts out are the final stages of automatedproduction lines with little room for intruders. For maintenance the system would be powered down and decontaminated by remote control, but this takes 45 hours.
All the conveyor belts follow the land contours, supported on causeways where they cross difficult terrain. They move at 10 kph. Where belts meetthe ore falls down a chute, landing on the belt which moves towards the smelter. Characters couid ride belts if they avoided falling down a chute. The final belt before the smelter is visible from the area around the freighter pad, and characters riding it may draw fire from the Klingons.
The control centre is a huge block, with walls and roof built to withstand up to 11 points of damage by starship weaponry (for the purposes of this scenario, 1100 points of hand weapon fire):
20. Control compartment (see plan). This area is the heart of the control building, directing the operation of the mass driver, the mining equipment, the power plant, and other installations. If the Federation attack is a complete suprise it holds the Klingon commander and two technicians, otherwise it also holds 3 troopers. The entrance is fitted with armoured doors capable of withstanding 350 points of small arms fire (5 shots at 'disintegrate'). The external controls are disabled and require 5 minutes work and an Systems Engineering (EPS Systems) or a Security (Security Systems) skill roll to open them. The room can also be entered by ventilation ducts from compartment 19, which lead to ceiling grilles.
The compartment is built on two levels, with a 1 metre high deck around the rim of the room. The area underneath repacked with microcircuitry, sealed in plastic blocks and armoured against hand weapon attack. This equipment handles power distribution and other peripheral functions.
The lower area holds nine desks used by engineers in the event of a breakdown of the installation. Some desks are covered with plans of the installation, many of which are amended by notes in Klingon writing. These are good evidence of the Klingon plot.
The stage holds several items of interest including two hologram display screens. Screen L shows the approximate orbits of the slugs fired at High Sierra, screen M shows the orbits planned for slugs fired at New Sussex. Several are targetted on the Enterprise, if it is still in orbit. Rapidly changing numbers show computer updates of this data. A Tricorder scan of screen L, or data from the main computer, will give a +2 difficulty modifier on navigation and sensor operations if the Enterprise attempts to intercept slugs before they strike High Sierra. The Klingons will switch these screens off before the team can see them, if possible.
15 Limpet mines have been fixed to units F-J, L, and M. The Klingon commander is seated at the control desk, holding a detonator box. If the intruders seem to be winning he will announce that he can destroy the installation at will. This isn't a bluff - the control desk operates the main power plant, which can be detonated in a 3.5 Megaton explosion. If shot or stunned he will release the detonator, setting off the charges (but not destroying the power plant). If the detonator box is destroyed the charges will explode.
The Klingon leader will attempt to bargain for a safe passage to the shuttles, taking the detonator box with him. The other Klingons have witnessed his failure and are expendable. As the shuttle takes off (approximately 8 minutes after he leaves the control centre) he will detonate the charges. If the shuttle is allowed to escape see End-Game, below.
The charges can be disarmed in 20 seconds using a Systems Engineering (EPS Systems) skill roll, with a cumulative +1 difficulty modifier for each charge successfully disarmed, or can simply be pulled off and thrown into the centre of the room, detonating 5 seconds after they are pulled free. A failed Electronics roll will not detonate the charges, but will waste 4d6 seconds. The charges do 30 points of damage to anyone within a 4.5m radius. It is possible to be this close to several charges when they detonate, and damage will be cumulative.
Destruction of control room installations will shut down the mining installation for 1D6 days per unit destroyed, but will not affect the long-term success of the colonisation effort.
Detonation of the power plant will destroy the complex, and cause the long-term failure of the colonisation effort through loss of vital mineral resources.
If players are unusually slow or careless, some or all of the slugs will reach High Sierra, striking with damage equivalent to a tactical atomic weapon. Each slug will kill 2d6 x 2d6 inhabitants. 250 or more deaths will lead to the abandonment of the colony, with the Vulcans requesting evacuation to another system.
If the players fail completely, the Klingons will bombard New Sussex.Ten slugs will be aimed at the Enterprise (if it is still in orbit), another 50 are targetted on the cities and installations of New Sussex. If the attack comes as a complete surprise, the crew of the Enterprise should be allowed one Sensor roll. If this roll succeeds the first slug aimed at the Enterprise will be detected, otherwise it will strike for 2 points of damage. Subsequent slugs arrive at 30-second intervals. Any manoeuvre will take the Enterprise out of danger, with the slugs aimed at it burning up in New Sussex's atmosphere. The other slugs are aimed directly at planetside installations, and the Enterprise must attempt to destroy them as they arrive, using the interception rules above. The first 15 slugs are aimed at cities, and each will kill 01 Ox 500 people if they penetrate. The remainder are aimed at farms and industrial installations; each will kill 1D10x20 people.
In this case the Klingons will have already left the moon in their shuttles before the first slugs reach New Sussex, detonating the charges as they leave.
Particularly clever players may capture the Klingon commander and learn about the rendezvous plan. It is possible that they might then attempt to impersonate the agents and capture the battlecruiser. Roll 2d6. On a roll of 3-7 plan 1 is in use, on a roll of 8-12 plan 3 is in use. On a roll of 2 the 'homing beacons' are bombs. Players should be allowed saving rolls before switching them on, and will realise that something is wrong if the roll succeeds.
The long-term consequences of a Klingon success include the abandonment of this colony, and its acquisition by the Klingon empire. The Captain of the Enterprise will be court-martialled and possibly relieved of his command.
If the Klingon plan fails and the Federation can prove that they attempted to destroy the colony, the Organians will confiscate a Klingon colony, world and give it to the Federation. The Captain will be decorated.
Intermediate results (partial failure or success) should be handled accordingly.
Maalaax: Former Klingon Lieutenant, deserter
Halroth: Klingon Captain (Intelligence)
Slaad: Lieutenant (Intelligence, Technical Branch)
Kolan: Sergeant (Intelligence, Technical Branch)
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress: Robert A Heinlein