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 Post subject: Act IV: Pandora's Planet
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:03 pm 
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In a desolate corner of space, the Janus floats beaten and bruised above a lonely, windswept planet.

Below lie the mysteries of an ancient and brutal race, and also the risk of death: from enemies, from natives, from unseen radiation and unfathomable technologies…



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ACT 4: "Pandora's Planet"

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Captain's Log, Stardate 2271.3.24: 0800h:
"The Janus has had another engagement with the enemy—a pirate ship wielding Romulan cloaking technology. Both ships are severely crippled; most of our prisoners have escaped, and the pirate vessel has retreated into deep space.

I have ordered the ship back into orbit around the planet. Whatever is inside that Slaver Outpost, we cannot allow it to fall into Romulan hands. I have logged distress calls to the nearest Starbase, but relief is expected to arrive nearly two days from now, and action is imperative. I am assembling a landing party to locate and investigate the ruins, with the task of recovering or neutralizing whatever they find before the Romulans or their pirate allies can do the same.

The planet is still surrounded by radiation, leaving us outside of transporter range: the crew will have to land via shuttlecraft."


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U.S.S. Janus: The Bridge

The crew stands together on the Bridge, gazing upon the silent planet below, wondering what mysteries lie hidden in its feral wildernesses. They recall the adventures of the previous day (viewtopic.php?p=297705#p297705), and know that in moments they will once again hazard the unknown.

The Captain speaks. "Nadix, Needles, Endilev: you know what's down there. I'm counting on you. You'll be accompanied by a detachment of four security guards. You have Type-2 phasers at your disposal, and I have the discretion to authorize two rifles and a pack of photon grenades as a last resort. Once you find the place, if you can retrieve anything, do so: otherwise, I want that outpost neutralized using whatever method you can think of, as long as it doesn't get us all courtmartialed."

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:57 am 
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Commander Nadix Ar Eth, Science Officer:

"Aye, captain," the Edosian answered with calm determination. He silently readied himself for the mission ahead, acutely aware the Prime Directive had been grievously violated here, by several factions.

If Carlax was captured and the Romulan centurion's personal cloaking forcefield recovered, Nadix quietly added: "Sir, the recovered Slaver artifacts we now possess may also prove useful to our efforts."

Starbead, did Dr. Moore have any info on the Slaver outpost? Has she ever been there? Thanks.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:34 am 
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Dr. Ned (Needled) Ryerson:

"Aye, Aye Captain" he says as he double checks the calibration of his medical tricorder.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:22 pm 
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Dr. Moore hasn't been there—the team was on the verge of discovering its location when the Janus arrived. At best, she knows that it is in the jungle due west of the Coxan village, that it is made of the undetectable Slaver alloy, and that the "Rod of Life" held in the village is likely a key that allows access to some, or all, of the outpost.

"If I were a betting woman," she says, "I'd wager the Romulan Commander has already taken the Rod of Life and is hunting for the outpost right now."

Looking through the data readers on the Bridge, Nadix recalls that the strange radiation surrounding the planet was being emitted from a source due south of their shuttle's landing site, and due west of the village.

"You may use the equipment taken from the Romulan," says the Captain. "But don't let them get back into enemy hands—I'd rather see them destroyed. You can use the briefing room to formulate your plans and procedures."

Four young ensigns in red uniforms approach. "Ready for duty, sirs. I've had the ordinance called up to the shuttle bay," says one, standing at attention proudly.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:44 pm 
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Been gone too long :) Can we coax a Coxan to come along with us with the Rod of Life? If I read correctly, that thing protects from the strange radiation, but it also can't be handled by anyone but a Coxan?

Endilev nods at the Captain and the just arrived Security personnel. "Very good," he responds to the report about the weaponry. "Shall we convene in the briefing room?"

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:20 am 
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Commander Nadix Ar Eth, Science Officer:

The orange alien officer trod to the briefing room atop his three legs and serenely reported, "The female captive suggests the Romulans already have the Rod of Life by now. I can't imagine the Coxans would relinquish it willingly.
"We may locate the Slaver ruins by their radioactive signature. I shall set all our tricorders to detect it."


What working Slaver artifacts are in our possession, Star? Thanks.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:03 am 
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Dr. Ryerson:

"Speaking of radiation each member of the away team is going to need to be inoculated for radiation before we depart. The inoculation of Potassium Iodide is only temporary and prolonged exposure can cause irreparable harm to the neurological centers as well as cause numerous other health factors to long to list. Our time at the source should be limited to prevent complications of motor and cognitive functions."

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:12 am 
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U.S.S. Janus
Stardate 2271.3.24: 0810h

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"Needles is right, see to it that you have all of the radiation treatments you'll need," the Captain says, seeing the group to the Bridge's sliding door. He leaves them there and returns to his other duties.

The officers move out into the corridor, around a few turns and then into the Briefing Room.

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The Edosian science officer checks the computer files to confirm that the personal force-field belt that had been modified with the undetectable Slaver Alloy is still in working order, and has been recharging overnight in the Science Lab. The Romulan Centurion's prototype plasma pistol was also recovered and sits in the same room.

Chief Engineer Endilev debates with Nadix Ar Eth over the observable and hypothetical properties of the Rod of Life. Between them they determine that the Rod does emit its own radiation into a small area, and the energy signature it produces is exactly the opposite of the radiation that currently surrounds the planet. The likely result is that being near the Rod would in fact counteract the effects of the negative radiation. There is no reason to believe that the Rod can only be handled by a Coxan.

Dr. Ryerson goes over the data in his medical tricorder and is confidant that he can provide the necessary treatments that will nullify the effects of the radiation for 3 hours. After that, they will have to rely on personal force field belts, which will slow radiation to 33% —that is, so long as the belts are powered, every 3 hours spent on the surface will count as 1 hour. He estimates that their bodies can accumulate a total of 24 hours before ever seeing any signs of radiation poisoning.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:36 am 
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Commander Nadix Ar Eth, Science Officer:

His third hand resting on his chin, Nadix serenely observes, "It remains a possibility that the Romulans do not suspect we can track their movements via the radiation signature of the Slaver artifacts they possess. An advantage.

"If one of us wears the forcefield belt modified by the undetectable Slaver alloy, he would be cloaked from the Romulans' scanners. Another advantage.

"In accordance with the Prime Directive, I would prefer not to disturb the Coxan civilization any further, and recommend that we go directly to the site of the outpost. Gentlemen?"

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:33 am 
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Dr. Ryerson:

"But Commander Nadix Ar Eth won't it also make the person wearing the belt undetectable by our scanners? What if that person gets separated and injured? How will we locate them? As far as the Coxan are concerned, I agree that we avoid making anymore contact with them. Who know what damage has been already done to their culture."

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:41 pm 
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The security ensigns look at each other in wonder at the thought of a belt that would make them undetectable. One of them, Mr. Larsson, steps forward. "Sir? Perhaps we can agree that whoever wears the belt should take it off if he gets separated, to expedite recovery." He looks eager, obviously excited at the thought of being assigned the belt himself.

A call comes in from Security Chief Vek. She squeals in frustration, reporting the results of her latest interrogation with the Romulan prisoner and Dr. Moore. "The Romulan cur refuses to divulge information on the personnel still down on the planet, and the human woman's information is useless. Scanning the area for human and Romulan life signs will require moving into the radiation zone on impulse power." Her voice suddenly gains a mirthful tone as she adds, "I can administer truth serum or call in one of our Vulcan crew for a mind meld, if you like."


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 7:44 am 
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Commander Nadix Ar Eth, Science Officer:

The Edosian nods at the ensign, "Very good, Mr. Larrson."

Then Nadix sedately replies to the shrill Tellarite, "I believe the human woman is telling the truth, Commander. However, a successful mind meld upon Centurion Carlax could prove fruitful."

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:25 am 
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Dr. Ryerson:

"A mind meld! Are you crazy! Do you know what that can do to a person's mind and the mind of the person crazy enough to administer it. It will make scrabble egg of both of their brains. They would be walking vegetables. I can't allow that to happen. I can however mix up a little concoction that should loosen the tongue of our captives. It's no truth serum but it will cause the patients inhibitions to ease enough to allow easier access to knowledge held tightly."

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Mako, The Lost City of the Pharaohs (1e)


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:34 am 
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Cmdr. Endilev, Engineering Officer

Trying to hold back a smile at Larsson's request, and not show that he was itching for some action, the Andorian adds, "Sounds good, the sooner we get the information the better. This is a mystery that can only be solved planetside."

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:56 am 
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U.S.S. Janus: Conference Room
Stardate 2271.3.24: 0840h

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Dr. Ryerson departs for the Medical Labs to withdraws the necessary chemicals for his concoction. Soon the group have reassembled at the Brig. It has been repaired somewhat, and portable field generators have been set up to doubly ensure that the prisoner Carlax cannot escape during another power failure.

The red-shirted ensigns brandish their phasers and deactivate the fields. Carlax stares at them defiantly, though with tired eyes that know defeat. Ryerson finds himself incapable of making small talk while he administers the injection, and soon Centurion Carlax sits limply against the wall, his head rolling back and forth in half-consciousness.

"From your team, who is left on the planet?"

"Two pirates… and the Commander…"

"Do they already have access to any other Slaver technology?"

"No… nothing else has been found, save the key…"

"What is the key?"

"What the Coxan savages call the Rod of Life…"

"How likely is it that your Romulan Commander would have ordered the remaining pirates to take the Rod of Life by force?"

"We care very little for the Coxans… It was necessary to garner their cooperation… to avoid alerting Star Fleet… We did not know whether the planet was under careful surveillance… Now that matters little…"

"Do you know the location of the Slaver Outpost?"

"No… We planned to follow the radiation to its source… The radiation appeared when the girl stole the key from its resting place…"

The Romulan begins to shake off the effects of the concoction.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 5:53 am 
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A call comes through the communicator panel from the shuttle bay. The Minerva is repaired and primed for departure whenever the crew is ready.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:07 pm 
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Commander Nadix Ar Eth, Science Officer:

“Well done, Doctor.
"Hmm. ‘Two pirates.’ I wonder if Dr. Moore could tell us more about them?”
The Edosian’s three legs calmly bring him to her cell in the brig, where he asks:

“Doctor Moore. Centurion Carlax has given a full confession. He informed us that two pirates and the Romulan Commander are planetside.
“Can you please tell us everything you know about the gentlemen in question? Your continued assistance can only help at your trial.”

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 4:40 am 
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The Dr. Leigh Moore eagerly complies. "That would be Lawrence Caddigan, Captain of the S.S. Arcadia, and Ursula Norton, one of the Arcadia's crew. They were the only two who ever had the luxury of seeing the Romulan Commander personally—other than Carlax, of course. I don't know what Ursula's position on the ship was, but you shouldn't underestimate either of them. During our research on the mythologies of this planet, James and I had given Captain Caddigan the identity of Cabbo, God of Despair; the Coxans were introduced to Ursula as Yormahan, Goddess of Death. Even back then I could only laugh inside, knowing how fitting those titles were."

She goes on to explain Caddigan's fiery impatience and tendency toward violent solutions, and of Ursula's cold and cruel intelligence, the result of her genetic engineering. They would be armed with combat phasers, possibly disruptor rifles, and basic inferior tricorders. She can only guess what Romulan weapons they may have with them.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:06 am 
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Commander Nadix Ar Eth, Science Officer:

"Thank you, Doctor. You've been most helpful. I'll see that Star Fleet hears of this. I have every hope it will lessen your sentence."

The Edosian uses a wall panel communicator to inform the rest of the landing party that is proceeding directly to the Minerva. He makes a brief entry into his personal log about Dr. Moore's assistance, should he never return from this mission, and heads to the shuttlebay.

There, he duly reports Moore's account to the landing party.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:38 am 
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Dr. Ryerson:

The doctor waits outside the shuttle Minerva inoculating each member of the away team with a resistance to the planet's radiation.
He says to each one as he administers the shot. "Now remember this is only temporary. We have only a few hours before the radiation will start to effect us. Lets not dilly dally any longer than we need to."

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Hoom Feethos, The Horror at Briarsgate (1e)
Mako, The Lost City of the Pharaohs (1e)


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