Written by Shik, Based on the Series by Mark Nguyen
With Mark’s permission, I’ve decided to restart the YTA threads here. As before, you will assume the role of a Starfleet rear admiral in a specified era and given authority over a sector of space with orders to demonstrate and enforce Federation policy as best you can. To do this, you’ll be asked to first assemble, and then utilize a fleet according to circumstances. However, I intend for my versions to be less shippy and more policy, so keep that in mind as you play. Also, if MM wants to redo the maps as he’s done in the past, I’m all shiny with that, too. or anyone else... but I’ll probably always start with a hand-drawn one.
Our new playground shall be the Dorza Sector; the timeframe: 2379, shortly post-Nemesis. The following represents the pre-assignment briefing info packet:
The Dorza sector lies in Beta Quadrant near to Gorn space and slightly “below” the Klingons.
The Dorza system consists of an A1 primary with 8 planets, classed Y, B, N, O, M, K, J, and J, from closest to outermost orbit. There is a wide asteroid belt between planets 6 and 7. The J-class giants also sport two L-class moons (planet 6) and one K-class moon (planet 7). The class-Y world has a very close orbit.
Dorza V is a Federation affiliate world similar to Bajor in status, with similar technological capabilities as well. The only world in that system with sentient life, they were discovered 80 years ago and have since worked well with the Federation, developing the resources and colonizing the other planets of their system. Full membership status has been hampered, however, by the nature of the Dorzan government: a pediocracy. Dorzan citizens are able to become involved at 5 standard years, the age of physical maturity. By the time they reach 40 standard years of age, the citizens are stripped of title, rank, and power and although are consulted by the ruling party, are no longer allowed a say in the decision-making process. While the youthful drive of this form of society has driven them valiantly towards the future, the Dorzan refusal to enact equality has stagnated their drive for full UFP acceptance. This focus on youth has also hampered Starfleet relations with the government, as the Dorzans lend little credibility to more aged flag officers. This is the primary reason for your assignment here, as you are one of the younger admirals available.
Semma is a F4 primary with 5 worlds classed E, F, G, M, and D, from closest to outermost orbit. The fifth planet is in such a far orbit that it appears to be a small captured rogue moon. Semma is of interest to Federation science as it is not only one of the rare worlds where two independent species have evolved, but also that neither of them are humanoid. The Sh’sh’l are a race of communal sentient plants evolved from the massive forests and plains that cover 89% of their world. The other race, the Zznjlii, are hive-mentality insectoids. The two species have a symbiotic nature roughly analogous to Earth insects and plants; indeed, the Zznjlii hold a necessary role in Sh’sh’l reproduction, while the Sh’sh’l secrete an enzyme needed by the Zznjlii for survival. Although the world his warp capability, they very rarely leave the planet. Contact with Semma IV occurred some 25 years earlier. Initial first contact with the planet went well until one of the starship’s botanists unknowingly descrated a Sh’sh’l holy site. Since then, no direct contact has been made with the world and no off-worlder has set foot on the planet. All requests by the Science Council for joint studies have been politely rebuffed.
The “eastern” part of the sector is home to a pre-warp civilization known by xenoanthropologists as the Zemch. The homeworld is noted on the map and 3 nearby systems [note: with habitable worlds] have been reserved in Federation trusteeship for their eventual usage. Information on the Zemch is sparse, although they are known to possess a technological and social level equal to earth circa 2025. Estimates put Zemch warp flight capacity within the next 35 to 50 years. (See the novel Prime Directive for more info on trusteeship issues.)
Systems labeled with an (H) [or marked purple on Shik’s map] contain habitable class-M worlds with no sentient life on them.
Starbase 403 is a free-floating station approximate one light-year from Dorza. It is the major Federation hub for the sector and is a setting for Dorzan relations as with the Gorn, who have come through on “show the flag” missions, and occasionally the Klingons, who had a larger presence during the Dominion War. SB 403 is also the homeport of the sole standing vessel for the area, USS Runnymede (NCC-15017), an aging Miranda under the command of Captain Sarah Henschel. Captain Henschel is well-known and well-liked by the Dorzans due to her young age and astute command abilities. She is also fully aware of the situation on Semma IV and considers sustained contact with the races there to be a driving goal.
Analyze and evaluate the sector, determine what Starfleet’s priorities should be, and in what order they are to be addressed. Note any gaps in the information provided and where to focus your intelligence-gathering.
Runnymede is the only standing ship in the sector. Starfleet has authorized you to requistion a total of no more than twelve (12) vessels to build a standing fleet. There can be no more than one large explorer-type vessel (Ambassador, Nebula, etc) in your fleet. Starfleet would prefer that you not use any since those types are needed for deeprange missions elsewhere, but Operations is willing to consider a request for one if well justified. The fleet must contain at least one non-combatant vessel type. Explain and justify the primary and secondary missions (if any) for each ship.
The previous sector commander, Rear Admiral Ong, was 84 years old, not happy about his treatment by the Dorzans, and has left his replacement—you—a note about how dangerous the people can be. In it he cites the potential of “youth run amok” and the Dorzan nature of “advancement for advancement’s sake.” He also mentions an increased interest in the other races in the sector by the Dorzan government but that he had no time before reassignment to investigate. How do you take this missive? Explain any actions you may or may not take.
Are the Dorzans planning to contact other species?Bajor, Bajor, Bajor. Bajor is your watchword. Imagine Bajor as a pediocracy instead of a theocratic democracy. And, y’know... populated by humanoids who seem to mature faster than Klingons.
Are the Dorzans planning any colonization operations?At the moment, they have no interstellar colonies of their own. They have an deep-sea colony on the O-class 4th world, domed colonies on the class-K 6th planet and moon of the 8th, and plans for a colony on one of the class-L moons of the 7th.
Exactly what is the political situation with regards to the populace over 40?Y’know how at Thanksgiving, everyone listens to Grandpa rant on and on, pretends to pay attention to him, but you really just ignore him? Yeah. That, but on a planetary level.
I want a full report on the reason why contact with the Semmans was lost.“AAAAHHHHHHH!! WHAT DID YOU DO?!?! YOU HAVE TO GO. YOU HAVE TO GO RIGHT NOW.” Later attempts to contact have been very politely rebuffed: “Thank you, no, we’re fine. Yes, we know you’re there. That’s nice. Yes, we’ll call if we need anything. G’bye, Mom.”
Similarly, have the Semmans made contact with any other civilizations? Gorn, Klingons, Dorzans?Not to any one’s knowledge. It’s like they got warp-capable, looked around, said, “...Huh. What’s on TV?” and went home. For... y’know... 120 years.
What is the status of Federation membership for Dorza? Are there any other concerns beside the age discrimination?Again, Bajor pre-admittance. No concerns except the unnecessary lack of equal rights.
Objectively critique one of the other answers to Question One. Yes, it has to be someone else’s; no doing your own. Point out what you believe are the strengths and/or weaknesses in how the answer differs from yours. You may critique another answer which has already been critiqued.
Good news: Starfleet has evaluated your fleet requests and recommendations and decided to grant your needs in full. Bad news: The majority of your fleet has been diverted to put out a fire on the Klingon border, a minor skirmish. They will be delayed at least a week, perhaps two. As such, your largest ship of the line and largest non-combatant vessel are now on station, giving you a total of three vessels in the sector (including Runnymede).
The crew of a merchant vessel recently arrived at the starbase tells of detecting a small grouping of ships at the extreme edge of sensor range during their approach. When pressed further, the crew notes that the ships were entering from the “upper righthand side” of the sector. Further analysis of the merchie’s sensor logs reveals a small force of four vessels, types unknown, but with warp signatures that are unmistakably Gorn. The logs also show that the group is heading in the general direction of the Zemch Trusteeship Zone.
What follows are three possible scenarios for events in Dorza Sector. Choose two scenarios to respond to, describing what diplomatic efforts your staff should be making. Describe also the nearest (or most relevant) starship to that event should be, what that ship should do in response, and how your fleet status could or should change as a result. (NOTE: Assume that events from one scenario will not directly affect the others.)
A plague strikes the deep-sea colony on class-O Dorza IV. The cause is swiftly identified, but there no medications in the Dorza system. Consultation with Starfleet reveals that the nearest medications are two sectors and three weeks away; by that time, the 3,500-person colony may be totally dead. In the midst of the crisis, the Dorzan leader mentions that the cure can most likely be made from plants on Semma IV and demands that you ask the Sh’sh’l for assistance and adequate flora to synthesize sera.
A small civilian craft suffers a catastrophic accident and is adrift. Communications are spotty but the craft’s master implies that they are headed towards the Semma system and plan to land and make repairs. Shortly after the transmission, the craft crosses the heliopause and long-range sensors detect two vessels leaving Semma IV and traveling on a slow intercept course. Inital scans put the ships at being equal to Yeager-class starships.
A faction of Dorzan rebels capture the colony on the class-K moon of the eighth planet. They make a broadcast calling for an end to the ageist policies of the Dorzan government, saying they will hold the colony—a key mining spot—hostage until such time as the changes are implemented. The Dorzan leader calls you up demanding Federation assistance—within the bounds of the Prime Directive. Unsurprisingly, the rebel leaders do the same.
Create another scenario like the ones presented in part D. Any reasonable military, political or scientific scenario is acceptable. However, DO NOT ANSWER the scenario yourself. Rather, it will be answered by the others as part of Question Three.
Answer any TWO of the scenarios postulated in part “E” of Question Two. You may not answer your own scenario.
The rebellion on the Dorzan K-class colony enters its second week. Communication is spotty, but your intel suggests that the rebels have prepared for an assault by Dorzan forces. Conversations with the Dorzan leader have neither confirmed nor denied any attack is being planned, but his general attitude implies there is infact something in the works. To make matters worse, a reply to your report to Command has yielded the fact that there are 25 visiting researchers on the colony who are Federation citizens; one is the grandson of a well-connected Tellarite councillor. If the rebels know of this or that the researchers are there, they have yet to announce it. Detail how this new information changes or does not change your planned handling of the situation. Describe any actions you may or may not take and the concerns that guide them.
The civilian craft that entered the Semma system is now docked at Starbase 403. The craft’s master has reported that the Semman vessels were quite polite in their assistance but made no direct personal contact. However, one of the crew has drunkenly let slip in private that the captain took covert scans of the vessel that imply an organic construction to the Semman ships. He has offered to make a copy of the sensor logs on the sly for your staff if they so desire in exchange for certain favors that he may collect on in the future. do you take him up on his offer? Explain your decision.
The Gorn task force is now one day from the border of the Zemch quarantine zone and has been identified by the ship you stationed nearby as a large transport carrying 65,000 Gorn, two Gorn light cruiser escorts (similar to the Saber class) and one Gorn battle cruiser (similar to the Vor’cha class). The remainder of your fleet has arrived, just in time it seems, and they come with a message relayed from Starfleet Command that the Gorn have made official claims to the Zemch systems and all stars “rightward” of them. This expedition is the first of what is to be several planned for the area. The message has made it clear that while the Gorn wish to continue to peaceably live with their Federation neighbors they are willing to defend what they see as their interests in the area. The notes from Command seem to imply a similar sentiment in San Francisco. How will you handle this apparent powderkeg?
Both sides in the Dorzan conflict have accepted your offer of Federation mediatorship. Of course, as usual, nothing comes easy. The Dorzan government will not accept anyone over the age of 30 while the rebels refuse to accept a mediator under they age of 45. A brilliant solution came to your mind, but after checking with Starfleet Command it’s shot down—there simply are no El-Aurians within a 5-sector radius. The longer you wait, the testier both sides get: the Dorzans are chomping at the bit to send in the clow—er, troops, and the rebels are willing to wait until everyone on the colony is over 40. Both sides respect your command authority but it’s evident that you are not the choice to mediate. Solve for x.
The Gorn have been stopped for the moment half a light-year from the ZTZ border. Placations and barbs have been traded between your fleet commander and theirs, and it’s a standoff that would make Pancho Villa beam in pride. But of course it can’t stay static: the morning intelligence briefing is headlined by a flash action message from Starfleet Intelligence. Their listening posts along the Gorn border have intercepted orders from Gorn High Command for a heavy assault force dispatched to your backyard to knock over the Federation force blocking their way.
Since the force was already underway and given time for decryption, Intelligence estimates that the Gorn reinforcements will cross the sector border in 2 days, be at the ZTZ in about a week. A Starfleet rapid-response fleet is available, but should they leave immediately, they would still only arrive in about 10 days. You adjutant points out that the Dorzan military is available for drafting under the current terms of treaty governing their protectorate status as a last resort should the sector commander feel that Dorza is threatened. Plan your defense. Describe your elements and reasons for their usage.
In all the running around, somehow the Semmans have snuck a task force out of their area; it wasn’t even noticed until a small courier noticed it and notified Starbase 403. Long-range scans identify it as a force of about 5 vessels, size and composition unknown. Extrapolated course tracks show them headed for... you guessed it. It’s just not your day, is it?
The Gorn heavy fleet has entered the sector from the “upper right” and are gunning for bear. Starfleet sensor probes have noted 20 separate warp signatures and analysts have determined the compostion of the heavy fleet as the following:
- two (2) battleships [Negh’Var equivalent]
- four (4) battlecruisers [Vor’cha equivalent]
- six (6) cruisers [Akira equivalent]
- four (4) frigates [Steamrunner equivalent]
- four (4) destroyers [Bird-of-Prey equivalent]
- Additionally, each battleship of this class is known to embark 15-25 attack scouts [Gemini or Peregrine equivalent]
There is no doubt: they will be reinforcing the expeditionary force in the next 3 days. How will your fleet deploy to handle this numerically superior force? Will they redeploy at all? What (if any) diplomatic measures have/are you taken/taking?
All is not entirely lost. Starfleet has monitored the situation and the Quadrant Commander has sent you reinforcements as well in the form of the 29th and 96th Rapid Response Squadrons. Each squadron is 6 vessels, comprised of 2 frigates, 3 destroyers, and a scout. The complement of each is as follows:
In command of both squadrons is Fleet Captain Vehnil Shaala, an Andorian with broad border experience and well-known for a tactical genius. Six years earlier, he was a lieutenant at the outbreak of the Dominion War and was rapidly promoted through the ranks due to his actions in battle. A seasoned veteran of the Battle of Tyra, the Kalandra Sector Offensive, and the Pullock raid, FCPT Shaala has a reputation for being as quick to calm as he is to the gun. He is embarked aboard Basilisk and is in continuous contact with you.
The bad news is that the RRF will not arrive for another 5 days—two days after the Gorn get in. However, FCPT Shaala is aware of the enemy composition and wishes to begin tactical planning en route. Describe your battle plan. Describe actions to be taken and rationales behind them. Finally, although these ships are under FCPT Shaala’s command and he is an excellent tactician, he has never fought the Gorn before. Do you go to the front and take command of the entire fleet? Do you command only your standing fleet and coordinate with the RRF? Do you let FCPT Shaala take overall command?
You were able to find a mediator to satisfy both sides in the Dorzan crisis and for the past week the talks seem to have been going well until a long hard day of where no progress is made. Near the end of the day, the Dorzan governmental delegation storms out of the talks. The next day, it is reported that the rebels have killed a hostage, but their representatives insist it was an accidental death. The crisis flares anew and mere hours after the announcement, your intelligence chief runs into your office and reports that the Dorzans have launched assault ships. To add fuel, his moles report that the government plans to simply lay waste to the area and level the entire colony. What actions to do take (or not)? Will you be able to pull it off and still uphold the Prime Directive?
Another blip from the head of sector operations. Good news! The Semman ships (numbering 3) are not entering the Trusteeship Zone. Bad news: they do seem to be headed for the blockade point. Were you born under an unlucky sign or something?
Critique the plans of another player. Identify the strengths and the weaknesses.
The Gorn heavy fleet has arrived. Your opposite number, Marshal S’sgrrng, is not a lizard known for overt usage of his thoughty thingy. Upon arrival, he surveys the situation for about a good three minutes and then makes a decision for all concerned. For your people, it’s of the “OW, that hurts, oh god make the pain STOP!” kind. In the resultant skirmish, your largest ship attending the dance is heavily disabled and two (2) medium-sized vessels are destroyed. The trusteeship zone has been broached and the Gorn are running inward. React accordingly.
“Well, look at this! Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What does that make us?” “Big damn heroes, sir.” “Ain’t we just.” — Firefly, “Safe”
Fleet Captain Shaala comes blazing out of the... um, lack of sun and manages to rendezvous with your pursing ships at a point about equidistant from the “upper three” stars within the ZTZ as shown on the local map, coming in on the Gorn flank. Detail any possible tactical revisions.
During the Big Damn Battle, the Semman vessels arrive and stand off outside the borders of the combat zone. They engage no ships on any side nor communicate to neither you, the Gorn, or themselves.
In the heat of combat, several sensors on many ships detect an unidentified warp signature approximately 4 LY away. A crude cursory scan reveals that the signature is in fact a prototype Zemch warpship, still within the system. What to do if they show up in the middle of your Big Damn Battle?
The Big Damn Battle doesn’t go well. Although the Starfleet forces give as good as they get, the Gorn hammer you hear. The situation does not look good.
The three Semman vessels move in and begin to harangue the Gorn forces, adding their firepower to yours. Eventually, 30% of the enemy is destroyed or disabled, and the remaining forces retreat out of the zone. In the aftermath the Semman commander contacts you. An odd image; he (it?) is one of the Sh’sh’l; others of the species can be seen in the background aloung with Zznjlii members. The commander opens by stating that his people(s) have considered themselves the watchdogs and mentors for the sector for hundreds of years. They have placed operatives, both plant and insect, on the local planets to observe and gather information, and in this aspect have passively nudged the Zemch towards warp flight. They observed the Federation’s actions in the sector over the years and have been impressed by its actions, especially your willingness to protect from outside influences that which you do not know about. As a result, he has been empowered to request the formal opening of negotiations. It has made one request, however: that his people(s) participate in the Zemch first contact. How do you go about handling that?
The Trusteeship Zone has been successfully defended and the Gorn have been pushed back. However, the “lower right” star has been conceded by the Federation to the Gorn. Describe how (or even if) this redraw of the borders changes your future fleet disposition and plans for sector operations.
Speaking of the Zemch first contact, how is that to be handled? After all, it was only an in-system warp flight. Will you send a ship? A message (which may or may not be detected)? Will you handle it personally or delegate it to a junior officer? What about the Sh’sh’ll commander’s request?
The Dorzan rebellion is put down, and brutally at that. The entire colony is leveled. In the initial negotiations, the Semmans have revealed that they had operatives on the colony and were able to smuggle away the Federation citizens before the Dorzan assault arrived. All remaining on the colony are lost, however. How does this affect your future relations with the Dorzans, if at all?
Starfleet has reviewed your reports and supported your decisions. They have asked to for future recommendations and requests for the continued Federation presence in the sector. What thoughts and reasons do you have behind what you tell them? They have also offered you the chance to move on to another posting if you desire. The choice is yours: stay? Or go? Why?