Dilemma (Mission 10)¶
- Suggested era : Enterprise (or Any)
- Suggested spotlight role : CO or XO
Starfleet has intercepted a Romulan distress call from the Epsilon Legato system. A Bird-of-Prey encountered engine trouble and was forced to land on a Class-Y planet. With time ticking as the ship's hull is slowly eaten away by the corrosive atmosphere, the crew is ordered to retrieve as much information from the Romulan vessel as possible. Unbeknownst to the crew, a Romulan vessel has received the distress call too, and is itself underway to Epsilon Legato.
|Do Not Reveal Information About the Romulans.|
|Retrieve as much information from the damaged Romulan Vessel as possible|
|Depart the system before the rescue vessel enters the system|
|[Hidden] Capture the Romulan crew|
|[Hidden] Neutralize the Romulan ship|
Opening Log Entry¶
Captain's Log: Stardate 2157.1
Starfleet Command has intercepted a Romulan distress call from the disputed border system of Epsilon Legato. A Bird-of-Prey has been forced to make an unscheduled landing on a Demon-Class planet, making it unlikely that any of the crew survived. While tragic, this could be Starfleet's only chance to retrieve information from a Romulan vessel; information that could prove vital to the defense of Earth and its colonies.
The Endeavour has been dispatched to investigate the wreckage and retrieve as much information from its computer core as possible. We estimate that at best a Romulan salvage and relief vessel is no less than 12 hours away, giving us a safe window of opportunity to search the vessel and depart without getting dragged into a firefight.
Arrival in Epsilon Legato¶
Even a standard orbit around a Demon-class planet can be hazardous to an unprepared starship. Electromagnetic discharges can wreak havoc with various systems, especially sensors, which could cause navigational errors that destabilize the orbit of the vessel.
Further complicating things, the magnetosphere of the planet appears to be rapidly rotating at about 2 Hz, like a magnetar, which renders shipborne weapons useless in orbit around the planet as the interference causes torpedoes to fail to track and energy weapons to rapidly dissipate.
The Romulan Vessel and Survivors¶
It looks like the vessel's central compartments, like engineering and the bridge, have not been breached by the planet's atmosphere. Hold on, I'm picking up Romulan lifesigns. Ten, maybe twelve. They're weak, but they're alive!
The Romulan vessel, the IRW Destrix, crash landed in the middle of a boiling corrosive lake on Epsilon Legato II. While the ship's hull is highly resistant to most substances, the highly corrosive mixture has already begun eating through the ship's hull. Based on long-range sensor telemetry, the mixture could eat through a standard Starfleet exosuit in less than 15 minutes.
Short-range scans of the vessel should indicate that a portion of the Romulan crew has survived, trapped within sealed chambers within the vessel. It is not possible to beam out the Romulans. Unless the crew can somehow convince highly skeptical Romulans to surrender and willingly board a shuttlepod, the survivors will suffocate within hours.
A Romulan rescue vessel will arrive as predicted by Starfleet's estimates. Their signal can be intercepted and decoded by the player's ship, but due to the planet's interference, won't be received by the Destrix. The rescue vessel's arrival marks the latest possible departure point for the crew, as Starfleet is not interested in risking one of its top vessels over a salvage dispute.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place¶
Given the choice between a slow and painful death versus surrender to Starfleet, the Romulans are at a loss for what to do if their compatriots don't come to their rescue. Some may become desperate enough to agree to surrender, despite the fact it would mean never seeing their homes and families again. It could even lead to a mutiny onboard the wrecked ship.
A Moral Quandry¶
A Romulan relief vessel is underway, but the EM interference makes it impossible for the subspace communications to reach the Destrix. The players' ship however was able to receive and decode the transmission, and could pass the message along to the Romulan survivors. Doing so however takes away the single biggest bargaining chip in the player's arsenal: desperation. With the knowledge that Romulan help is on the way, the Destrix survivors will refuse to cooperate further.
The ranking Romulan survivor, Tevauna is the Destrix's Executive Officer. She is loyal to the Romulan State, and will oppose any attempts to cooperate with the players, unless she can be convinced that the situation is hopeless and her remaining duty must be to her crew.
A junior engineer's mate, Chomon lacks the hardliner stance of his superior officers. He does not wish to die, and will gratefully accept any assistance from the players, even at the risk of being made an example of by panicking officers.
There are multiple ways the scenario can end.
It's possible that the players will fail to convince the Romulan crew to surrender, and choose to kill the Romulans by breaching the hull. This action will be detectable by the Romulan survey vessel, which will lead to accusations of war crimes that will hurt UE politically, and will lead to disciplinary action for the crew.
The players may instead convince the Romulans to surrender by withholding information about the Romulan rescue vessel. They may choose to then either take the Romulans home as prisoners-of-war, or leave the Romulans behind in escape pods and shuttlepods to be rescued.
Alternatively, the players might be able to stay on the moral true-and-narrow, and leave empty-handed but with clean consciences, maybe leaving supplies for the stranded Romulan crew to have a better chance of survival until rescue arrives. Could such a self-less action open the door to negotiations with the Romulans?