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#sttri

#sttri Star Trek Interactive Fiction

Twitter thread: https://twitter.com/ICE_Trance/status/1249580553252278272


#### PART ONE ####


You are a Lukari captain aboard a non-warp-capable shuttle. Your starship has been destroyed in a spatial anomaly. You...

> look for escape pods.

> search habitable planets.


You are in a 2-seat sublight shuttle. Nevertheless, the crew is your responsibility. You perform a spherical search pattern for several hours, but find no escape pods or any debris.

On long-range sensors you see an L-class planet, only a day away at full impulse.

> Set course.

> Widen search area.

> Send distress signal.


Space is big. Mind-bogglingly so. You may think it’s a long way down to the chemist’s...

You zigzag towards the planet, calling to the void. As you catch up on Cardassian poetry and ponder the elegance of the repetitive epic, you notice the stars are unfamiliar.

> Consult star charts


The charts confirm your worries: somehow you have ended up in an uncharted area of space, too far away from any known location to identify.

> Continue towards planet.


You park in a high orbit, finally giving your engines and orbital mechanics a rest. It’s been four days since your ship was destroyed, yet you found no traces of it or the crew on your long-winded way here. Wherever you are, you’re on your own.

> Scan planet for life.


You are a Lukari aboard a shuttle, orbiting a brightly coloured L-class planet. While the surface appears to be scattered with vegetation, your scans show no carbon-based life. Instead you find high concentrations of copper phyllosilicates.

> Scan for structures.


The mineral formations are oddly regular, despite looking quite fragile. They follow a hexagonal pattern which spans vast distances, larger than any city on Lukari. Understanding the origin and purpose of this network would require a closer look.

> Land a safe distance away


You take the shuttle into the atmosphere and gently guide it towards a safe spot. Guiding is, after all, the only thing you can do as the harsh winds send you into a downwards spiral, performing several ground-scraping loop-de-loops before plummeting into a hole.

> Assess damage.


The interior is quite shaken up and the fire suppression system is on fire, but the integrity field has kept the hull in near pristine condition. As you check this, the ground below collapses and traps you inside a cave. Your console lights up with a distress call.

> Put out fire.


You are in the 25th century. You have never intentionally started a fire in your entire life, let alone put one out. How the suppression system does it so seamlessly is genuinely pure magic to you, and now you’re faced with the daunting task of figuring it out.

> Trap it in a forcefield.


Trapped inside a cave with a console trying to get your attention, you decide to raise a forcefield around the fire and mark it as SEP in the computer. You shift your attention towards the primary task.

> Follow distress signal.


You head towards the source of the signal. As you delve deeper into the perfectly symmetrical cave system, it grows in amplitude but also diffuses all around you. You feel like you're running in circles.

> Try to maintain heading.


With the reverb overwhelming your computer, you stop tracking it and continue your flight on a straight path. You reach a hollowed-out section, several kilometres in diameter. Your console goes silent. In the distance, you see a glimmer of light.

> Follow the light.


The light flickers as you approach it. It seems to be reflected from a familiar-looking metal object, mostly buried in the ground. The source of the light is likely to be one of the many tunnels above.

The signal has resumed, originating where you came from.

> Inspect object.


You are the captain of the now destroyed L.S.S. Coelho. You land your shuttle next to the object, this time not having to worry about wind-induced litholanding. Walking up to it, you see the end of a Lukari word engraved on its smooth surface. It’s an escape pod.

> Identify life signs.


Tricorder shows one life sign inside the pod, too faint for the transporter to lock on to. No badge found. There should be a door on the other side, about two metres underground. It’s fairly spacious inside, but it could still be dangerous to cut the hull open.

> Cut the hull.


You take your piezo-polaron pistols and blast the shit out of the hull. Structural integrity must be off. You finish at a lower setting and clear the debris. Fortunately it’s empty, except for the rock filling half the space. Still one life sign on the tricorder.

> Scan rock.


A tricorder scan shows the rock is composed of the same copper phyllosilicates found on the planet’s surface. The life reading is unclear, but appears to be concentrated on the far side of the pod.

> Try to talk.


‘Can you hear me? Is anyone there? Hello?’ You sigh, reconsidering your stupidity. ‘I’m just talking to a rock, amn’t I?’

It shivers in response.

‘You’re right...’

You straighten up, watching the rock tremble.

> First contact protocols


‘Oh, excuse my callousness. Greetings, I am Captain Uukaave of the Lukari. We are thrilled by this opportunity to meet and exchange information. I’m sure our people will have a bright future together.’

The rock keeps trembling.

> Explain your situation


‘I have been exploring your network for the past few hours, it is most intriguing.’ You look around. ‘My... ship, I lost it to an anomaly. I don’t know how I got here. Apologies if I disturbed you in any way.’

You can sense the rock getting calmer in its trembling.

> Inquire about survivors (40%)

> Get to know their species (30%)

> Invite for a drink (20%)


‘Do you drink?’ You select a random option on the replicator and a bottle materializes. The rock trills quizzically.

‘Oh well it’s, um...’ You turn the bottle, smell it, then look down its neck. ‘It’s green.’

As you down it, you feel a reassuring mind meld forming.

> Discuss new knowledge.


‘Pentheor... pleased to meet—severed? The pod? But how did you get—it appeared around... But what—oh thank Kal Dano they are fine! Where—just one? I know we’re similar. Less blue? Spots!’

> Let the thoughts flow.

> Drink more to boost link.


You pour another glass for each and free your mind, hoping the thoughts will clarify.

‘Where is—Rock’s offensive? You are one, within—The one with spots, soon she should—Millennia? Naturally... Evil—home... far. lost. alone. not—gone?’

> Separate the voices.


You fill another glass and drink from the bottle.

‘...feed on minerals. We travel in groups, but your cage trapped us.’

‘...not from this galaxy, are you? Long since we had visitors, how lovely to see someone so alien!’

You see a figure entering the pod.

> Greet them.


You lift your head off the floor and try to clear your throat. ‘Greets, I’m... mwhh... wh-what can I do you for?’

‘With all due respect, Captain, why are you drinking my Aldebaran whiskey?’ You recognize this as the voice of your science officer, Caoilfhionn Afhm.

> Offer a glass.

> Introduce the Pentheor.


‘Commander! How lovely to see you again! Here, a toast! To another successful first contact. Oh but how rude of me, these are the Penthor. Pentheor, this is—’

‘We’ve met.’ she says, trying to stop you from flailing your arms across the floor and preparing a hypo.

> Ask for details.


‘You have! ...since when d’you do peletaphy? And what’re’ye doing with that thing?’

‘I’m giving you some inaprovaline to counteract the effects of alcohol. Tell me, have you ever met a Betazoid? Did you have to be intoxicated for telepathy to work?’

> Respond affirmatively.


‘Is that why the asmassabdor gave us champagne when we entered the Federvation? I should’ve known there was something sketchy about that kolrak.’

She chuckles. ‘You know these drinks don’t go well with you. Better stick to the standard menu. Alright, hold still.’

> Question legality.


‘Why can it make this anyway?’

‘You don’t tell Starfleet about my tweaks, and I’ll keep hush about your little adventure. Deal?’

‘Doubt that’ll come up. The marble mentioned another galaxy.’

‘We’re still here, you know.’

‘Excuse my captain, they’re quite boozy.’

> Salvage pod.


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You struggle to stand up, covering your grunt by pretending you meant to say your commander’s name. ‘Afhm, transfer all data to my shuttle.’ You gesture at the Pentheor to scoot over so you can start emptying the supply container.

‘So what’s the plan, Captain?’

> Scout planet’s surface.


‘I want to take a better look at the surface.’

The Pentheor quickly consume what rock’s in the way.

‘Impressive.’

‘Perhaps we could help? Always wanted to know what lies in the beyond.’

‘You’ve never seen your sky?’ Caoilfhionn asks.

‘Few can make it that far out.’

> Ask what’s stopping them.


‘It seems you can travel fairly quickly, what’s stopping you from heading up?’

‘Up?’

‘You know...’ You look above.

‘Oh, but how deceiving your eyes must be. The network is vast and leads many false ways. Even if we knew where to go, we can only carve so much.’

> Ask about their movement.

> Agree to take them.


‘Carve? Would you like a trail of pebbles to the shuttle?’

‘We can follow your ringer, it is only a week away.’

‘For a few metres?’

‘For you it may be just a few, but for us it is billions of molecules away.’

‘Right. We’ll just use the transporter. Commander,’

> ‘accommodate our guests.’


You start updating the cargo logs on your PADD and enter the tiny transporter at the back of your shuttle.

‘Captain.’

Your view jolts up as your body stiffens. ‘Chief.’ you say baffled. ‘How did... Right, of course you were here.’

‘Is everything alright Captain?’

> Offer a summary.


You hesitate for a bit. ‘Yes. Yes, we... lost the Coelho and its crew, we might be in another galaxy, and we established first contact with some kind of bacteria. Transport our guests to these coordinates.’

‘I-I-I... I was asking about y-your balance, b-b-wh...’

> Comfort him.


‘Chief...’ You rest your elbow on his shoulder and gesticulate aimlessly. ‘Vril, you always said you wanted to serve on an exploratory vessel, right? Well here we are, the first to wander into a whole new world, and we already encountered intelligent lifeforms!’

> Focus on mission.


‘So come on, let’s not leave them waiting.’

‘I... Aye Captain.’ He beams the Pentheor over to the main room.

‘Hey Kav, why are you tracking your own distress signal?’ you hear Caoilfhionn shouting. ‘And what’s with that forcefield?’

> Turn off signal.


‘Carry on, Chief.’ You pass the melted console while disabling the signal.

‘Who were you talking to?’ Afhm asks. ‘Chief! Didn’t see you coming.’

‘I’ve been here all week. You said to wait in case anyone needed emergency beamout.’

‘Oh that’s right! Carry on, Qott.’

> Ask them what happened.

> Ask for suggestions.


‘Either of you know what happened after the Borg attacked?’

‘The Cooperative sphere?’ Qott asks surprised.

‘I've been thinking about it,’ Afhm replies, ‘but I'm still not sure why they’d turn hostile. A glitch in their system, I assume, or a virus of some kind.’

> Debate who would do that.

> Discuss the anomaly.

> Form a plan.


‘Maybe the Voth are trying to stop us from catching up to their tech?’ Qott suggests.

‘I don’t think they could get us all the way here,’ you reply.

‘Unless...’ Afhm enters some numbers into a PADD. ‘If we could replicate warping away together with the Borg...’

> We don’t even have a ship

> Check Coelho’s scan logs


‘If only we still had the Coelho,’ you say.

‘There should be a backup of all scan logs on this shuttle.’ Qott offers.

‘Oh you beautiful bastard.’ Afhm rushes to a console. ‘Chief, how soon can I have a simulation from this data?’

‘Two hours, maybe?’

‘Get on it.’

> Plan route with Pentheor.



#### PART TWO ####


You are Lieutenant Toval, a Cardassian Starfleet officer in command of the LSS Coelho, a short-range science vessel. The ship is badly damaged, running on minimal power with a skeleton crew. You’ve been drifting through deep space for weeks.

A small unidentified vessel has dropped out of warp and is approaching on an impact course at high speed, not responding to hails. This is your first encounter since the accident, and possibly your only chance of survival.

> Evasive manoeuvers.


Despite Chief Engineer Amber’s protests, you route what’s left of your engines through the RCS thrusters and push them beyond their limit. Still, the other vessel adjusts its course faster than you can.

The warning microcharges in the ops console go off. ‘Damn these Starfleet systems,’ Ensign Cajaaro mutters. ‘I’m detecting a high energy buildup within their vessel, ma’am.’

‘They’re firing some sort of wide superheated methane beam.’ SubLt. Kihal takes over tactical. ‘No damage. It appears to be very short range.’

> Hack them.


‘Vox, that Hierarchy tech of yours could really come in handy right now.’

‘I’m trying, but it’s quite limited without a connection to the Central Command.’ They go through several unfamiliar interfaces. ‘It appears fairly primitive. Attempting to disrupt its power flow.’

The vessel is disabled. On its current course, it will fly past the Coelho at 2146 m/s in two minutes.

‘I’m also reading high amounts of organic matter, minerals, and antimatter.’

‘A freighter?’ Cajaaro perks up. ‘We could trade.’

‘Or capture it!’ barks Sgt. Qovak.

> Send away team.


‘Are they willing to talk yet?’

Cajaaro attempts another hail. ‘Negative, captain.’

‘Then let’s see what’s on that ship for ourselves, shall we? Vox, find a suitable location to beam to.’

(Select away team. Top 3 win. Above 50% counts as two members.)

> Security. (38%)

> Scientist. (19.7%)

> Go yourself. (29.6%)


‘Kihal, Dr. J’Lan, prepare for beamout. Amber, you have the bridge.’

‘You’ll start close to a connecting node,’ Vox informs you. ‘No gravity. Nitrogen-hydrogen atmosphere, so keep rebreathers on. You’ll be out of transporter range in five hours.’

‘Acknowledged. Energise.’

You’re in a small room. A blinking light draws your attention towards an opening in the ceiling. The corridor outside stretches to the right into a fog. To the left, you hear the hum of machinery. Further ahead, another corridor splits off, glowing a soft purple.

> Take second corridor.


You silently cross what appears to be a main corridor spanning the length of the ship, and slip into the first branching off point. A series of thin window strips run across the bulkhead, allowing the light to escape. You carefully approach one of them and squint through.

‘Imirrhlhhse arhem.’

‘That...’ J’Lan swallows, ‘that is a lot indeed, sublieutenant.’

‘Toval to bridge.’

‘I see it,’ Amber replies. ‘You don’t suppose they’ll mind if we take a few crystals? Just enough to get the Coelho running again, find a populated system.’

You consider the suggestion, as the dilithium crystals gently bounce across the chamber and float away into the endless fog.

> Start moral debate.


‘Let’s not rush it. Log the coordinates, but I’d like to at least know the purpose of this ship first. Maybe we can still make a deal with whoever...’

You look over at Kihal configuring her plasma disruptor. She stops awkwardly when she notices your silence. ‘Sorry, what?’

‘We’re not here to rob.’

‘Well they certainly seem unwilling to trade. And they don’t know we’re here yet.’

‘And for all we know, this could be just an automated freighter.’

‘J’Lan does appear to be right,’ Amber chimes in. ‘We’ve been studying the ship’s structure—’

‘Shh.’ Kihal indicates at you to take cover.

You look around expectantly. The fog makes it impossible to see for more than a couple dozen metres.

A loud bang is followed by a small round creature rapidly approaching you, propelling itself from surface to surface.

> Order team to hold fire.


You’re not one to usually play into stereotypes, but with a Vaadwaur veteran and a quarter-Klingon on your team, you can never be too careful. ‘Hold your fire!’ you order them, only a squeeze of the trigger away from a deadly mix of polarons and plasma.

The creature stops above you. You stare at it intently, waiting for a reaction. Getting the feeling it’s doing the same, you slowly take your tricorder out and attempt to scan it. It responds by rapidly changing colour in waves in your general direction, then jumps away.

‘Was it laughing at us?’ Kihal bursts.

‘Never mind that.’ J’Lan grabs your tricorder. ‘Why is it not showing up on scans?’

‘If it’s masking its signature, it must have a reason. And now it knows we’re here.’ Kihal looks back at you. ‘I say we hunt it down.’

> Grab dilithium and go.


‘No. We should leave as quickly as possible.’

‘Toval,’ Amber calls, ‘something is interfering with the transporter.’

‘It’s fine, we can find another way out.’

‘No, that is not it. I cannot get a lock on the dilithium.’

‘Oh, right.’ You look over at Kihal.

She grins and happily blasts a hole in the bulkhead, then grabs an armful. ‘Is this enough?’

‘I only need one good crystal. Take the one there.’ Amber adds a highlight to her AR. ‘No, slightly to the right. Up a bit. Yes, that one—actually, can you take the one behind it?

‘Ooh, over to the left, it has a far better structure.’

‘How much of a difference are we talking about here?’ you interrupt the two of them.

‘It will take 12 microseconds less to prepare. Look, up there, that one will reduce our subspace fluctuations by 3 nanocochranes.’

You sigh and grab a handful at random. ‘Let’s go.’

‘No, those will take a full minute!’

‘You could use a challenge, haven’t had a good one in a while.’

‘I am still dealing with last week’s plasma leak. It got all over the neural gel.’

‘Come on, we’re done here.’

> Head to an airlock.

> Head to the bridge.


‘So much for that “we’re not here to rob,”’ J’Lan mutters while continuing to scan the area.

‘We’re not. Yet. Chief, can you guide us to the command center?’

“Start heading down this corridor.”

‘So what’s the plan?’

‘We’ll ask nicely.’

‘If we could even speak to them.’

‘Guess you better get on with figuring out their language.’

‘On it. Although one second isn’t much of a dataset.’

‘Kihal, I’ll need you to secure us an exit. We’ll try to stop the interference, but we might need to jump out.’

“Now left.”

‘Here,’ you hand both of them a few crystals, ‘keep them hidden.’

‘Shouldn’t be hard, I can’t even see my toes,’ Kihal jokes. ‘What’s with all this fog anyway?’

‘Ammonia. Probably what these creatures are based on. It would explain why it’s so damn cold in here.’

‘I thought Kobali liked the cold,’ you smirk at J’Lan.

‘I don’t. Reminds me of being stuck in a cryopod.’

“Continue up the corridor above you.”

‘Up?’ You look at the overhead. ‘I suppose they wouldn’t care about moving vertically. Does this ship even have an up?’

> Discuss the creatures.

> Discuss ship’s design.


“Not really. It is perfectly symmetrical around its axis, and between its two ends.”

‘Try not to get us walking in circles.’

“You are simply going straight up.”

“Or down,” Vox interjects.

“Towards the central ring.”

‘Is that gun on both ends?’ Kihal says. ‘I wonder why.’

‘Might be data carriers...’

‘Excuse me, doctor?’ you ask J’Lan.

‘The creature. It’s almost as if it was pulsating in 5-bit patterns.’

“Can you send that data over?” Vox says. “If we know their frequency range...”

“Enter the next corridor behind you. Are you thinking the interference is caused by chatter?”

“Or power flow.”

J’Lan shakes his head. ‘Must be a limitation of their luminescence.’

> Stay quiet and listen.


“They would have to redshift their power signature so as not to interfere with communication,” Vox says.

“Access denied.”

“Come on you stupid... there you go.”

“Through this door now. And as power draw increases, so does its frequency, getting increasingly less efficient.”

‘Maybe we just agitated them,’ J’Lan mutters.

“I should avoid any unnecessary hacking to minimise the stress we cause on their systems. Suggest replotting route.”

Amber drums her fingers. “Unless...”

“Why do you Starfleet always say that?” You hear Qovak playing Kotra.

“Unless, right,” Vox agrees.

‘No, that’s not it.’ J’Lan deletes a whole file.

“Perhaps Kihal could... Where did she go?”

You feel a rumble. ‘Toval to Sublieutenant Kihal, come in. Kihal.’

J’Lan taps his PADD proudly. ‘A system report.’

> Ask J’Lan for details.