Written by Dan Carlson, Based on the Series by Mark Nguyen
Timeline: 2360. That means no Galaxy-class starships in our toolbox, but pretty much everything else should be fair game. The Federation is involved in a few ongoing conflicts, most notably with the Cardassians, but there are no major known threats.
The Kedmar Sector is located on the north-western edge of Federation territory, about 2 weeks’ travel from the nearest major starbase. This sector was first explored by the USS San Jose about 25 years ago. During its survey it made contact with the three spacefaring cultures in this region.
Senac is a relatively new member of the Federation, they joined about 10 years ago. The Senac have been spacefaring for about 300 years, but didn’t develop their warp engines beyond about warp 3 or so, and so mostly stayed in their own sector. Since joining the Federation, their technology and infrastructure are gradually being upgraded to Federation standards.Oasis is a newly-settled colony, founded only about a year ago. About a third of the colonists are Senac, the rest are your average mix of Federation member species.
The Nillavi Cluster is your average star cluster of a dozen-plus stars, all fairly young (galactically speaking). Nillavi Prime was colonized by the Senac about 200 years ago, and the rest of the resource-rich cluster was settled fairly quickly after that. The colonies’ population expanded very rapidly, and they built a highly industrialized society from the abundant raw materials. They declared independence about 70 years ago in a short, fairly one-sided conflict. Relations between the Nillavi Syndicate and the Senac are chilly but not tense. There is some trade between Senac and the cluster, mostly valuable minerals from Nillavi and agri-stuffs from Senac. Some Nillavi citizens feel that their society should join the Federation like their Senac cousins, but that’s a very tentative consideration with no real action yet.
The T’g’nari are moderately xenophobic, have launched some starships but aren’t really interested in contact with other worlds. Despite their industrial capabilities, they’re mostly an agricultural society.
The Qorn are a pre-warp culture that was contacted by the Senac about 100 years ago. There’s some regular one-sided trade, Senac ships will trade raw materials (including some traded from the Nillavi) with many of the nation-states, in exchange for local finished goods (artwork, clothing, local foodstuffs). The Qorn aren’t terribly interested in venturing out of their star system, but are happy to trade with the Senac and take whatever technological advances they can trade for. However, they lack the scientific foundation to build their own advanced technology, and focus mainly on reverse-engineering Semac technology they obtain. There are occasional local conflicts between the nation-states, but nothing major.
The sector to the “north” is also considered Federation territory, and there are 3 member colonies in that area. However, it’s also close to the Tzenkethi border, placing your sector about 10 days’ travel away from the Tzenkethi fleet. They’ve never attacked into the Kedmar Sector in the past, but border skirmishes are common in the ongoing Tzenkethi War.
- Population: 2 billion
- Alignment: Federation (member)
- Government: Democratic
- Technology: Current
- Defense: 5 patrol cruisers (Miranda-class equivalent), moderate orbital defenses
- Notes: Few raw materials, moderate agricultural base, small commercial fleet
- Population: 15,000
- Alignment: Federation (colony)
- Defense: Automated orbital sensor net
- Population: 20 billion (total)
- Alignment: Neutral
- Government: National syndicalist
- Technology: Early 24th-century equivalent
- Defense: 15 patrol cruisers (Miranda-class equivalent), 30 small patrol craft (runabout equivalent), moderate orbital defenses
- Notes: Abundant raw materials, small agricultural base, large commercial fleet
- Population: 3 billion
- Alignment: Hostile (xenophobic)
- Government: Oligarchy
- Technology: Mid-22nd-century equivalent
- Defense: 8 warships (upgraded NX-class equivalent), heavy orbital defenses
- Notes: Primarily agricultural society, small industrial base
- Population: 6 billion
- Alignment: Neutral
- Government: Numerous nation-states
- Technology: Early 21st-century equivalent
- Defense: Minimal orbital defenses
Consider the background information provided above to be your briefing as you assume your duties in this sector. Define what Starfleet’s priorities in this sector should be. Also, note any gaps in the information provided, and where you’d want to focus your intelligence gathering.
Starfleet wants to establish a larger outpost in this sector, to support operations both here and in the sector to the north. This starbase (same type as Starbase 375) will be an important symbol of the Federation presence, and will be have sufficient defenses against any foreseeable threat. Choose a location to establish this starbase, and justify your decision.
Compose a request to Starfleet for your task force in this sector. Assume you’ve arrived in this sector aboard an Excelsior-class cruiser, which will be joining your fleet. In addition to that ship, justify a reasonable number and breakdown of ships that should be deployed. Specify their primary and secondary duties.
Assume Starfleet will allocate you no more than TEN Federation starships to accomplish their goals given the priorities you’ve outlined. Define what classes, or types, of ships should be assigned to your fleet. Assume that:
There can be no more than ONE Ambassador class ship in your fleet. If you include one, justify its presence.
Your fleet will include at least TWO non-combat type ships (science, transport, etc.). Justify their presence and/or use.
Of the remainder, explain their primary and secondary missions.
- First, the Great Drift. It’s basically your average protostellar cloud, the leftovers from what formed the Nillavi Cluster a few hundred million years ago. It’s probably been explored by the Nillavi, but perhaps not to the high standards of Federation sensor technology. I forgot to mention it because there’s not much remarkable about it. Aside from being a cool place to hide out, just like every other nebula in Star Trek.
- Concerning Nillavi membership in the Federation, think European Union membership debates. The Nillavi are moderately advanced already, doing okay on their own, but a notable minority think that full Federation membership could help them out. The government has held a few debates on the matter, but they’re not even to the stage of officially asking the Federation yet.
- Senac technological advancement is probably a moderately fast upgrade, for whatever technology or infrastructure assistance could benefit the society. The closest thing I can think of is Bajor: even before membership, Starfleet was rebuilding water distribution, assisting with medical facilities, providing replicators... It’s probably the same thing.
- Yes, the Senac contacted the Qorn before they were subject to the Prime Directive (or even knew about it, for that matter). How that affects your reactions is up to you. Feel free to elaborate your opinions if you like.
- The Tzenkethi war... well, what’s any war about? Ideas, influence, territory. When it was mentioned in “Homefront,” the Tzenkethi were described as raiders using hit-and-fade tactics, using asteroid fields as cover. It seemed to imply they had smaller ships but were able to match a larger starship in groups.
- Finally, I promise not to pull a Mark and cut your fleet. Well, not permanently, anyway... not this time. :-P
Objectively critique one of the other participants’ answers to question one. 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.
The fleet you requested from Starfleet Command has been granted in full. Most of your fleet has arrived on schedule to assume their duties. However, due to a recent skirmish in a nearby sector, two of your starships have been diverted: your largest starship, and one other combat-capable starship of your choice. They are expected to arrive in the sector in a month or so.
Explain which ships have been diverted, and describe how their absence will affect your fleet operations and diplomatic initiatives in the sector.
The starbase has been towed into position in the location you selected. However, if you chose to place your starbase within 2 light-years of Nillavi space, or within 5 light-years of the T’g’nar system (1 grid space equals 2 light-years), then the proximate party files an official complaint with the Federation. While they acknowledge that they have no territorial claim, they’re concerned about possible Federation encroachment into their territories.
How do you respond to their concerns? What concessions could you offer to make the aggrieved party more comfortable with the starbase? Or will you move your starbase to another location? If you choose to move the base, you will need to assign two of your starships to supplement the available tugs and transports; some of the ships that originally brought the starbase in have already gone on to their next assignments. These starships, if assigned, would be unavailable for any other assignments until the next question.
The following scenarios develop during your first month in the Kedmar Sector. For each scenario, describe the nearest or most relevant starship(s), what your ships will do in response, and how your fleet deployment might change in response. Describe any diplomatic efforts your staff would undertake as well. Assume that your actions in one response do not directly affect the other scenarios.
Your ships observe a moderate increase in the number and frequency of trading ships traveling between Senac and Qorn.
A T’g’nar warship on patrol about 2 light-years from home sends out a distress beacon. While not directed at you, your officers report that the ship has sustained heavy casualties from an internal explosion and is losing life support. Another T’g’nar warship is on its way, but it’s uncertain whether they can get there before the crew runs out of air.
Your starship on patrol near the Nillavi Cluster detects an unusual series of energy signatures in deep space just outside of Nillavi territory. They look suspiciously like the detonation of antimatter warheads in some sort of weapons test. If that is the case, these new weapons would represent a notable upgrade in the capability of the Nillavi fleet, making their ships equivalent to, say, the Saber-class starship. However, there have been no unusual activities by the Nillavi on either the military or diplomatic front.
Create your own 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 other participants as part of the next set of questions.
Respond to any two scenarios posed by other participants in part (E) of the previous question. (Assume that your two delayed starships have not yet arrived. Also, if you chose to move your starbase in part (C) last time, those ships are also not available for this response.)
Respond to the following developments in the Kedmar Sector, detailing your fleet movements, diplomatic efforts, and any other actions taken by your staff. (By this time, the rest of your fleet has finally arrived. Also, if you chose to move your starbase last turn, that relocation has been completed.)
The USS Chesapeake, on defensive patrol in the sector “north” of Kedmar, is attacked and crippled by a Tzenkethi raiding squadron. The battle took place about 5 light-years past the border of the Kedmar sector; it’s the furthest that the Tzenkethi have struck into Federation territory yet.
A nation-state on Qorn engages in a border skirmish with one of its rivals. While this is not exactly unusual, what is unusual is that both sides are using plasma-based weaponry. The origin of this technology can’t be conclusively determined; all the non-Federation spacefaring cultures in this sector use similar weaponry.
A scientific team surveying dense jungle on an uninhabited continent of Oasis makes a startling claim: there is a species of sauroid creatures that is starting to exhibit signs of developing intelligence. The closest analogue to Earth species would probably be Australopithecus. The claims have yet to be confirmed—but if they are, how will this discovery affect the Federation settlement on Oasis?
The Nillavi contact the Federation with an urgent request for assistance. One of the stars in their cluster (H7417, known to them as Darev) is showing increasing signs of instability. For the past two decades, Darev V has been experiencing notably warmer climate due to increased solar radiation. They’ve been trying to cover up the true extent of their troubles, but the effects of the warming are growing more severe.
The Nillavi report a couple immediate effects: First, Darev V produces about 30% of all foodstuffs for the entire Nillavi Syndicate. As crop yields drop, the impact to the entire cluster will be obvious. Second, population movement is starting to impact the other worlds of the cluster as people start fleeing Darev V. With the Nillavi’s already-high population density, they’re ill-equipped to absorb so many people, so quickly.
Respond to the following questions and scenarios given recent developments:
Compose a query to your superiors at Starfleet. What additional resources, support, or intelligence do you require to start addressing this crisis? If you think you will need additional ships, specify the number and type of ships.
The Nillavi attempt to open trading relations with the T’g’nari, with the goal of obtaining a new supply of food. However, the T’g’nari are not interested in any trade. The Nillavi ask the Federation to assist in the negotiations.
A passenger transport carrying approximately 2,000 Nillavi refugees arrives at Oasis. The Oasis government is willing to help, but they’re concerned about opening the floodgates and becoming overwhelmed by refugees.
Compose your own scenario that deals with the situation in the Nillavi Cluster. However, do not answer the scenario yourself. Rather, it will be answered by the other participants as part of the next set of questions.
React to the following developments in the Kedmar Sector:
Respond to any two scenarios posed by other participants in part (D) of the previous question.
The preliminary data is in concerning the Darev star. The good news is, it looks like whatever change the star is going through is starting to slow down, meaning that Darev V won’t become uninhabitable. The bad news is that the warming phase isn’t done yet. The population will have to deal with higher UV levels and warmer climate, though, and the food situation will take a while to sort out too. Towards that end, the Nillavi request that the Federation provide assistance in building a system of food replicator facilities to supplement their existing agricultural supplies.
A small Nillavi ship docks at your starbase for repairs. Surprisingly, the crew are all Qorn. They state that the ship was purchased legally, but they’re acting kinda odd in their interactions with the Starfleet officers they meet. It’s clear they have only general knowledge of the workings of their ship and technology (though not Pakled-level inexperience, either). What actions (if any) will you take to investigate this unusual development?
Assuming you sent a starship to patrol around Qorn, your inspectors discover a Nillavi civilian freighter carrying arkenite crystals and reinforced proton accumulation chambers, two key components of plasma-based weaponry. During questioning, the Nillavi captain reveals that there has been trade of some advanced technology from the Nillavi in exchange for vitally-needed food supplies from Qorn. The equipment has been moving along the existing Nillavi-Senac-Qorn trade route. Although some of the trading ships have passed through the Senac system, it appears that the Senac themselves are not involved.
The Nillavi and three of the larger Qorn nations all file a protest with your office, accusing you of interfering with legitimate interstellar trade. Considering these developments, how will you respond?
A meeting between the Nillavi and the T’g’nari has gone horribly awry: during a trade negotiation between a T’g’nari and a Nillavi warship in the G510 system, the two ships started shooting at each other. There’s few details about how it started (naturally each side accuses the other of firing the first shot), but it ended with the T’g’nari ship completely disabled and the Nillavi warship limping for home at warp 2.
But when it rains, it pours… the T’g’nari send 3 more warships in pursuit. And it looks like they’ll catch up with the Nillavi cruiser before any friendly ships can reach them from the home cluster. The Nillavi captain begs for help from any nearby ships.
Objectively critique one of the other participants’ answers to part (E) of the previous question. Point out any strengths or weaknesses in their strategy, and feel free to examine the underlying political or philosophical assumptions of that strategy.
The Nillavi crisis is addressed when a large relief convoy arrives from the Federation core. They bring whatever supplies and equipment you’ve proposed, and are the first of several (smaller) convoys that will be en route on a regular basis until the Nillavi get back on their feet.
The first convoy has its own escort (two New Orleans-class frigates), but Starfleet has ordered you to redeploy your fleet to protect future convoys. The ships will be entering the sector from the “eastern” border, near system Z436. Although the Nillavi will contribute to the escort, they can only spare two of their patrol cruisers, and they’d prefer to keep them as close to their own territory as possible. Describe how you will reassign your ships to protect this new shipping route.
It’s time to start picking up the pieces. Following the recent confrontations, two of the largest nation-states on Qorn have decided to form an alliance with the T’g’nari. Although the T’g’nari aren’t exactly turning into expansionists, they’re not very happy with the Federation or the Nillavi, and see this alliance as a necessary evil. Two T’g’nari warships are sent to patrol in the Qorn system, and a handful of trade ships are seen traveling the route between the two planets. React to this shift in the political landscape, and describe how you will redeploy your fleet, if necessary.
Your research team studying the proto-saurians on Oasis files their report. The species in question is not intelligent, and though their evolution definitely seems to be taking them in that direction, it’ll likely take a few million years. Though the decision is not up to you, your report will likely influence the decision makers. Do you believe this qualifies Oasis for Prime Directive protection? If so, outline a plan to “de-colonize” the planet. Assume that the report has not yet been made public, and that it may not be popular with all the settlers. If you don’t believe the Prime Directive applies, explain why not.
It’s time to move on. Starfleet has decided to send you on to a new sector, and to replace you with a fresh Admiral to continue your work. As your last duty in this sector, you are to brief the new guy about what you’ve done. Read over your responses to all the previous questions. Define what Starfleet’s priorities should be in this sector, and your recommendations to your replacement as to what he or she should concentrate on.