My goal for this episode was to test the Starship Combat system. I wanted to create a classic cat-and-mouse scenario along the lines of Wrath of Khan and Balance of Terror. I set up a situation where the Starfleet characters would feel strongly motivated to keep pressure on the enemy, and decided that if they “lost” the battle, the enemy would escape.

Episode 2: A Wounded Animal

I feel…young, said Captain Kirk.

She’d been young herself when the words were spoken, gazing at the field of fresh possibility that was Genesis - a world which had so much import upon her early life and career.

Now Saavik was the one to muse upon age and youth. She too felt young. Perhaps this brief stint back in command was restorative to the body and spirit.

She threw her vigor into her morning calisthenics.

Her silver hair bound neatly in a bun, her body flowed purposefully through the Vulcan exercises. Nearly a century after Kirk spoke those words, she was still here, alive and as well as could be hoped-for. Mr. Spock himself, a good deal her senior, was even now continuing his research and diplomatic efforts. Longevity was a gift of the Vulcan physique, of which she partook as well. But from those to whom much is given, much will be expected, she thought. Indeed, the human sages had their wisdom -

Saavik had rolled a Fitness + Medicine Task, failing it and generating Threat.

Her right leg gave way, and her quarters were pierced by the involuntary cry of pain ripped from her lungs. As she caught her balance against a bulkhead, she wiped a tear which had streaked down her cheek, pulled forth from the shocking pain.

It was illogical. I forgot my age, and gave way to exuberance.

Her chime sounded. There was a brief pause as she composed herself. “Go ahead,” she clipped.

“Ma’am, we’ve reached the patrol location,” said Tholima over the speakers.

“Very good,” she breathed. “I shall join you…shortly.”

She rolled up her pant leg, checking over the slightly mottled flesh of her calf and ankle. A sprain - nothing looked outwardly amiss, but internally it was on fire. She limped to the closet for her uniform.

Captain’s Log, Stardate 51967.8

Admiral Nechayev has ordered us to divert our brief voyage home in order to seize upon a fleeting opportunity.

In a recent action against the Dominion, a Klingon Bird of Prey was boarded and captured. All crew aboard were killed. The Jem’Hadar activated the ship’s cloaking device and withdrew the vessel from the field.

It is feared that the Dominion will use this technological specimen to develop their own cloaking technology, or gain insight into that of the USS Defiant. The Le Guin travels near one of the routes deemed by Starfleet Intelligence to be the most favorable paths by which the Jem’Hadar would move the ship to Dominion fleet positions which have research and development capabilities.

Our orders are to confirm its transit, and provide the most intelligence possible towards recapturing the vessel.

Saavik walked onto the bridge, moving slowly so as to de-emphasize her limp. She should call sickbay. In all likelihood it would respond to a mere application of first aid, she surmised. Later, she reasoned, when the critical moments have passed.

The senior officers acknowledged her presence, but quickly returned to their work. Tholima approached.

“Ma’am, the team is running high-resolution, medium- and short-range sensor sweeps for a -“

“Klingon warp signature!” shouted helm.

“How old?” asked Tholima.

“Less than a day. Hours!” she said.

“Show us,” asked Saavik, taking her seat.

I asked the Probability Matrix: is the destination of the warp trail detectable (25%)? Yes it was.

On the viewscreen, a flight path snaked through nearby sectors in abstract LCARS design. It terminated in a star system.

“They’ve cut their transit short…” said Tholima. “What’s that system?”

I used the Probability Matrix to determine in what kind of star system the Bird of Prey had gone to ground: a Class M with Ion Storm activity.

“Typical class M, sir,” said Hernandez, from the Science station. “Unpopulated, and presently experiencing an ion storm.”

“Some kind of secret Dominion outpost?” Tholima mused.

“The warp signature is fresh,” observed Saavik. “Made within the last few hours, it is believed. Ms. Hernandez. Are you able to determine the time of transit with greater specificity?”

“Trying, ma’am,” said Hernandez. The viewscreen zoomed-in upon the system. The Bird of Prey’s warp trail smeared-out like spilled ink.

I rolled for the ship’s Sensors + Science to detect the vessel. Since I had Threat, the roll was more Difficult and I only got one success, not the required 2. We had failed to locate the enemy.

“The problem is that the ion storm is diffusing the residual neutrinos. It’s like a chalk drawing in a rainstorm. They could have arrived there five hours or five minutes ago!”

“Does it matter?” Tholima asked Saavik, seeking her mind.

“It is possible that they have halted their transit in response to the Le Guin’s engagement,” explained Saavik. The bridge grew silent. “Perhaps selecting a system with storm activity precisely for its obfuscating effect.”

Tholima returned his eyes to the star system on the viewscreen.

“Well, we can at least confirm Starfleet’s hypothesis,” he suggested. “Unless…you’d like to do more?”

Saavik looked across the faces of the bridge officers, all trained upon her. She was the veteran, they the fresh-faced graduates - and yet she was the academic, while they served in war. The Le Guin had already seen battle. Many of these young officers had undoubtedly lost friends to the Dominion.

“The stolen ship is believed to be damaged, correct?” she ventured.

“That’s right, ma’am. Admiral Nechayev said it had sustained heavy fire as the Dominion sought to board it.

I was determined to take Starship Combat for a drive, but the enemy was elusive. I had to rely on character motivations to get us closer to the fight.

“It is alone and compromised,” she continued. “I believe our Excelsior-class vessel has every likelihood of overwhelming such an adversary, even if cloaked. In my calculation, we risk little by conducting a closer investigation. Helm, take us to the system.”

“Yes, ma’am,” said the helm officer. The bridge was energized, the officers eager to press the advantage against the enemy for once. Could they prize back the stolen vessel? That is what the young officers are wondering, she conjectured. I suppose, if I am honest, I am wondering the same.

I rolled a Flight Task: Engines + Conn, succeeding.

I wanted to start fleshing-out the crew of the Le Guin more fully. In Captain’s Log, there’s no need to create character sheets for NPCs; however, I wanted to use the Probability Matrix to generate their species and inspire their character concepts. I started with the Flight Controller.

I rolled a number of species I felt were too hard to explain as Starfleet officers, like Son’a and Talaxian. I kept re-rolling and got Andorian.

“Into the storm, Ms. sh’Zynes,” Saavik had instructed. Now the Le Guin made its way through a shower of charged particles, the viewscreen crackling occasionally in response.

“We have no idea where to look,” said Hernandez. “They could be waiting in the lee of the jovian moons, hiding in the oort cloud, anywhere. And the ion storm’s going to make finding them even more difficult.”

“We shall do what we can,” offered Saavik. “We may hope that our proximity will compensate. Conduct a full search. Launch probes.”

“Ma’am, is your leg ok?” asked Tholima, seated next to her. “I’m sorry to pry. It’s just, I haven’t seen you grimace before. Should I call sickbay?”

“A mild discomfort borne of exercise,” Saavik acknowledged, pulling her hands away from where she massaged the joint. “What I would benefit from…is a cup of coffee.”

A Sensors + Science Task to search for signs of the vessel, which succeeded.

“I was right!” shouted Hernandez.

Saavik accepted Tholima’s proffered cup with thanks, and hobbled to the Science station.

“They’re among the moons,” the science officer indicated, “I picked up a faint signal of increased residual neutrinos through the storm. They came out of warp in this orbit, right by the gas giant. It’s got a series of 12 moons and there’s even a little gravitational shelter from the ion storm.”

“But they could have flown away on thrusters since then,” said sh’Zynes. “They could be leaving the system on impulse as we speak. You said yourself, we don’t know how many hours they’ve been here.”

“Say…” offered Tholima. “The Enterprise once tracked a cloaked Bird of Prey by analyzing the gaseous anomalies in its wake. Were you serving aboard her at that time, Captain?”

“No,” said Saavik. “And there is a human maxim which holds: ‘fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.’ Klingon engineers would have corrected that design flaw decades ago.”

Klingon engineers. How many Klingons had the Jem’Hadar slaughtered to steal this vessel, she wondered?

“So that’s it?” asked Tholima. “Nothing else we can do?”

Saavik conducts a ruse to draw the enemy out using Control + Security, succeeding.

Saavik rocked on her bad joint, testing the boundaries of its injury.

“A wounded animal - even a powerful predator - may attract opportunistic scavengers. Captain Saavik to Main Engineering.”

“Ma’am?” came the reply.

“The forward saucer section was damaged by the cosmozoan crustaceans yesterday, was it not?”

I rolled Xindi Primate on the Probability Matrix for the Chief Engineer.

“It looks bad, ma’am, but it’s really superficial. One day in space dock and that’ll clean right up.“

“Could you arrange a power failure in the surrounding decks?”


“Tradecraft, Mr. Kralleck,” suggested Tholima. “I think I know the Captain’s mind, here. How weak can we believably look?”

“A power failure, I see…” mused the Chief Engineer. “We’ll cook up something good.”

Minutes later, orders were shouted.

“Full stop!” Saavik declared, as the power failure warning signal sounded. “Re-route power from warp drives to support systems. Endeavor to restore power to the forward saucer section - slowly.”

“Ma’am, Kralleck’s crew has vented three forward chambers into space,” said Tholima. “Evacuated, of course.”

Saavik smiled slightly. “An excellent flourish. Why not dispatch workbees to repair the ‘breach?’”

“Will do,” said Tholima, returning the smile. “Anything else?”

“Take us to red alert,” she instructed. “Show fear.

The bridge was bathed in crimson as the siren sounded.

“Open a ship-wide channel,” she requested of Ops.

“Crew of the Le Guin, this is your Captain. We now appear to our hidden adversaries as a wounded vessel conducting emergency repairs. You have been briefed on our objective. If the attack comes at all, it will do so imminently. Maintain heightened vigilance. Remember your training and the experience you have gained to date during this regrettable war. I shall notify you when it is safe to stand-down. Until then, I wish you success: Qapla’ as our fallen comrades would say. Saavik out.”

To initiate combat, I began to track “hits” on tracks representing the Scale of our forces vs. the Scale of the enemy’s.

The Le Guin has Scale 5, so it could take 5 “hits” before things really got serious. A “hit” might represent shield loss, physical damage or any other setback. At and beyond 5 hits, it would take “Critical Damage” to a random system, and with three such impacts it would lose. I committed to myself that if it reached this point, and possibly even before (based on the Probability Matrix), the enemy would escape and my characters would be forced to deal with the loss of their quarry.

I chose the same Scale to represent the enemy’s strength, reasoning that the enemy’s cloaking device and unpredictable Dominion Crew might even the odds despite the vessel’s smaller size. Thus it was Us: ☐☐☐☐☐.☐☐ vs. Them: ☐☐☐☐☐.

I then asked the Probability Matrix does the opposition have the initiative (50/50)? This would give us one hit off the bat, but No, they did not.

“No sign of them yet?” asked Tholima, pacing the bridge.

“Negative,” huffed Hernandez.

“We shall not be able to continue this ruse indefinitely,” observed Saavik.

Tholima sighed. “How’s the coffee?” he asked.

Saavik looked at her cup with a slight smile. “It is…replicated. But if our encounter with the neo-Shapers of Saras V has taught us anything, is it not to discount the real craft that lies behind products of replication -“

Bird of Prey decloaking in orbit around moon 6E!” shouted Hernandez. “228 mark 12!”

“Battle stations!” ordered Saavik. “sh’Zynes, Hernandez, Jhennar, carry-out orders!”

I rolled “Aenar” as a Species on the Probability Matrix for the Le Guin’s Tactical Officer. We’d just been watching an Aenar character on Strange New Worlds, and I tried to think of a new element to add to the concept. Since this story takes place in the TNG/DS9 era, I thought an Aenar might choose to adopt a VISOR like Geordi LaForge’s, and thought it would be fascinating for such a character to use their unique senses as a Tactical Officer.

Jhennar has no “stats;” I used the Le Guin’s Weapons + Security to make an attack, succeeding.

Us: ☐☐☐☐☐.☐☐ vs. Them: ☒☐☐☐☐

The hands of tactical officer Jhennar played deftly over his console. The VISOR which sat atop his clouded eyes delivered a three-dimensional representation directly into his brain, engaging not only his latent internal visual capacity, but his proprioception, vestibular system, and unique precognitive awareness. Phaser bolts shot forth upon the viewscreen towards the Bird of Prey - a mere mote upon the viewscreen, but they found their mark.

“Magnify!” shouted Saavik.

By the time the wounded Klingon vessel filled the viewscreen, a torpedo was already flying towards the camera.

“All hands, brace for impact,” Saavik instructed. The hit was mild upon the Le Guin’s shields, the mighty Excelsior-class not nearly as wounded as they had led their adversaries to believe.

“Again!” Saavik ordered.

The Le Guin makes another attack with Weapons + Security, failing. It takes 1 hit.

Us: ☒☐☐☐☐.☐☐ vs. Them: ☒☐☐☐☐

In light of this, I asked the Probability Matrix: being almost defeated, will the Bird of Prey withdraw for the moment (50/50)? Yes.

“I’m losing her!” he replied, as the Klingon ship activated their cloaking device once more. His phasers fired wildly now, missing the target as their quarry rippled out of sight. For good measure, the Aenar tactical officer let loose a full spread of photon torpedoes, not one of which hit their target.

Scan the Bird of Prey using Sensors + Science, succeeding but generating Threat on one die. I spent this Threat on a “hit” to the Le Guin - not as physical damage, but as a loss of the heroes’ grip on their quarry.

Us: ☒☒☐☐☐.☐☐ vs. Them: ☒☐☐☐☐

“Damnit!” shouted Tholima. “Hernandez, scan for vapor trails and debris! Anything we can get a hold on!”


They’re gone, thought Saavik, turning away. It was 2274. The cloaking device would mask all sign. Every second that passed would put the ship further out of reach, no matter how nearby she lay.

“Where do we stand?” demanded Tholima. “Did we disable her engines?”

“Negative, sir,” Jhennar grumbled. “She’s hurting, but she re-cloaked before any critical systems went offline.”

“Hernandez,” spoke Saavik. “What did you learn?”

The science officer took a breath. “24 Jem’Hadar crew,” she began.

Saavik and Tholima exchanged a look. That was a bit more than they’d imagined.

I asked the Probability Matrix: does the Bird of Prey hold Klingon survivors, in spite of reports (50/50)? That would have altered the terms of the fight - but no.

“Two Vorta,” Hernandez continued. “One in Main Engineering, the other on the bridge. No Klingon or Coalition life signs of any kind.”

Tholima threw himself back into his seat.

“We’ll never find her now,” he muttered. “She’ll just limp away until we get tired of waiting.”

Saavik massaged her calf. “Operations,” she instructed. “Open a line to Admiral Nechayev. Secure channel theta-alpha-seven.”

Saavik builds upon the ruse, using a compromised channel to telegraph phony points of interest to the Dominion. She used her Daring + Security, and initially failed.

I then used her Value “Knowing the Rules Means Knowing When to Break Them” to gain Momentum, re-rolling 1 die and succeeding. I had given Saavik a Focus of “Security Clearance,” and used this to Create an Advantage of “strong interest” from the Dominion - the enemy would not lightly disengage at this point.

“Ma’am,” said Tholima in a low voice, drawing close. “That channel is believed to have been compromised by the Dominion last month. We have to assume they can hear everything we’re saying,” he explained.

Saavik met his gaze, but spoke no response.

“I have her connected, Captain!” shouted Ops.


The bridge found Nechayev even more impassive than usual.

“Captain,” she began. “What is the purpose of this transmission?”

“Alynna,” said Saavik. “We have located the lost Bird of Prey in an unpopulated system, exactly on the route your staff predicted. We have engaged her in combat and exchanged fire. Unfortunately, our vessel had been suffering a power failure from prior damage, and our condition has worsened under their torpedo barrage.

“I contact you to warn you that I carry intelligence gleaned from the Founder uncovered at Saras Vb - information so sensitive that I dare not transmit it except in person. I must disengage the lost ship, make repairs, and get the Le Guin back into Federation space for fear of losing this hard-won information.”

Nechayev stared, calculating.

“I agree with your assessment, Captain,” she said carefully. “Unfortunately, Coalition forces are occupied and you will be on your own for some time. I will do what I can - godspeed, Saavik. Nechayev out.”

A player may only use a given Value once per adventure, after which it should be rewritten, even if only slightly revised. Saavik would revise her Value “Knowing the Rules Means Knowing When to Break Them” to “War Has its Necessities.”

I liked that this had given Saavik an opportunity to evolve the “by the book” attitude that characterized her younger self, placing herself in a similar role as Kirk with Khan.

The bridge officers stared at their aged Vulcan Captain. “A lie?” asked Tholima.

“Yes,” she stated simply. “A necessity in a time of war.”

Tholima lifted an eyebrow in response.

The ship makes a maneuver in concert with Saavik’s ruse, using Engines + Conn, succeeding.

The Le Guin rumbled along on one quarter impulse. Entire sections of the saucer were dark. More systems had gone “offline” near the locations where the torpedoes had struck the ship’s shields. They passed through the wide open spaces of the system, no cover of any kind was to be found.

Saavik and her Acting First Officer sat in the ready room.

“It would be prudent to prepare a boarding party,” she suggested.

“Against 24 Jem’Hadar?” Tholima asked, his face grave. “The Le Guins are magnificent, but they’re not marines.”

“You must ask yourself how badly you want the prize,” said Saavik. “If a second attack comes, we cannot predict where it will lead. It may come to personal engagement.”

Tholima laughed. “I’d hoped we’d just shoot them out of the sky.”

Saavik thought of the twenty-four Jem’Hadar souls aboard the Klingon vessel. Murderers, she recognized. She’d watched simulation after simulation at the Academy of the ruthless warriors tearing through Starfleet crews. But they are thralls, bound to their overseers she considered. She thought of how the Jem’Hadar forces had fought selflessly against the monster of Saras 5b, in service of no country but all sentient life itself.

“One way or another, we must be prepared to meet the enemy face to face,” she reiterated. “Keep in mind, Number One, that if they manage to lower our shields it may be the Le Guin defending itself from a boarding party.”

Tholima stared.

Hernandez scans for the enemy vessel. In Captain’s Log, such actions can be considered to be carried-out by the starship itself, using Sensors + Science.

The door chime rang: it was Hernandez.

“Captain, I have something…”

The viewscreen once again showed the system, bathed in ions.

“I said the ion storm was like a rain shower, right?” Hernandez began. “But rain makes a shadow. When it hits an umbrella, there’s a place where there’s no rain.

Saavik’s eyes were alight. “Show us, Hernandez!”

The science officer tapped, and the main viewscreen was once again filled with a map of the system. The Le Guin was there, swimming in a bath of ion activity. Zooming in, Hernandez increased the resolution until the shadow could be seen: negative space, in the familiar shape of a Bird of Prey.

“She’s following us!” said Tholima.

“Yep,” said Hernandez. “She’s matched our speed and course. But she’s keeping herself at quite a long range.

“So we close the distance!” suggested Tholima. “Attack now, while we can see her position!”

Saavik considered. “She may safely flee, at that range. Let us remember that she believes we are wounded,” she remarked, gazing at the system map. “Entering the oort cloud at the edge of the system will give her a perceived advantage in the form of cover. She may decloak and harass us with lessened concern of being outgunned.”

She turned to the officers. “We shall hold our course and allow her to attack us on her terms. It is the surest way of enhancing her confidence and willingness to engage.”

Tholima nodded. Hernandez spoke up: “Ma’am, the oort cloud is naturally shielded from the storm. We’ll lose her shadow, if she cloaks again.”

Plotting a course using Engines + Conn, succeeding.

“We may lose the ions, but gain snow. Helm,” Saavik ordered. “Direct us to a particularly dense cluster of icy planetoids.”


Re-rolling “initiative”: does the Dominion have the advantage? (50/50) No.

Probability Matrix: would the Bird of Prey have conducted Emergency Repairs in the interim? (50/50) Yes. Removed 1 hit from Opposition. Hits: 0

Us: ☒☒☐☐☐.☐☐ vs. Them: ☐☐☐☐☐

“She’s accelerating,” reported Hernandez from her console. “She’s going to decloak!”

Saavik nodded. “Lock phasers on the shadow, Jhennar.”

“The lock, ma’am,” he replied, “was established as soon as her shadow was revealed.”

Saavik smiled. “Don’t fire until she decloaks. We must endeavor not to tip our -“

“Target presenting on sensors, ma’am!” cried Hernandez.


Le Guin makes an attack with Weapons + Security, succeeding.

Us: ☒☒☐☐☐.☐☐ vs. Them: ☒☐☐☐☐

The two ships erupted. The Le Guin’s shields sizzled from disruptor fire as it seared the hull of its quarry with phasers. The conflagration lit up the faces of the bridge officers.

“Fire at will!” Saavik urged. “Do not cease until I supply the order.”

Another attack: Weapons + Security, succeeding.

Us: ☒☒☐☐☐.☐☐ vs. Them: ☒☒☐☐☐

“Direct hits!” cried Hernandez. “Ventral hull integrity loss, thrusters flickering…”

The Le Guin opens a channel to the Bird of Prey using Communications + Conn, succeeding.

“Excellent. Hail them!” ordered Saavik. “Jhennar, do not break off the attack.”

The channel was open, but I thought I would ask the Probability matrix whether the Vorta would respond (25/75): No.

“Channel established, ma’am, but no one’s picking up,” reported Ops.

“She’s maneuvering,” said Hernandez. “She’s moving into the lee of an oort object approximately 1.7 kilometers in diameter.”

“I thought her engines were impacted!” cried Tholima.

“We must factor-in the high level of competence of the Jem’Hadar and their Vorta overseers,” said Saavik breathlessly. “Track her emergence from behind the body.”

“I think she’s come to a halt, ma’am. Plasma trails dispersing!”

“She’ll play games with us, dodging around the rock if we move,” observed Tholima.

“Tractor beam upon the Oort object,” Saavik ordered.

“Ma’am?” asked Jhennar.

“Shove it towards them. Disrupt their position. Helm, it is you who should carry this out. Jhennar, prepare to fire again.”

Tractor beam: Weapons + Security, successful, and generated Momentum.

“Plasma emissions detected!” cried Hernandez, as the ice object lurched in the blue glow of the Le Guin’s tractor beam.

“I see them!” cried Jhennar.

“Fire!” cried Saavik.

Another attack using Weapons + Security, succeeding with one die while generating Threat with the other. I could have cancelled the Threat with Momentum, but I liked the tension and wanted to see what would happen next. I spent the Threat on a hit to the Le Guin.

Us: ☒☒☒☐☐.☐☐ vs. Them: ☒☒☒☐☐

The Le Guin seared the Klingon vessel once more with phaser fire, and was met with a torpedo in response. It shattered her shields, exploding against the saucer’s hull and releasing a cloud of debris.

“Hull breach, decks 4 and 5! Shields down, Captain!”

“Jhennar…” breathed Saavik. Nothing more needed to be said.

Another attack, succeeding. I spent the Momentum on a second hit, making the contest a victory for the Le Guin.

Us: ☒☒☒☐☐.☐☐ vs. Them: ☒☒☒☒☒

Jhennar turned his head, casting his VISOR-assisted gaze inward towards his own mental model of the field. He unleashed a torpedo spread, two soaring past the thin quarry, but the last striking her starboard nacelle. Plasma bloomed, and Hernandez excitedly read out the damage.

“Direct hit. Her shields are offline, engines significantly compromised! I don’t think they can fix this one so fast.”

Saavik turned to Tholima. “Make preparations, Number One.” He nodded and left the bridge.

“Ops, damage report from the Le Guin,” requested Saavik.

“Hull compromised,” he said. “Repair crews and medical teams responding. Fifteen casualties. Presumed dead, ma’am.”

Saavik nodded, a wave of nausea and grief passing over her. Into this, Ops interjected: “ma’am, they’re hailing us!”

“Operations,” Saavik instructed, “they will try to stall to make repairs. Proceed as we discussed, without delay.”

“Yes, ma’am!”

“Place the call onscreen.” Saavik leaned back in the CO’s chair, using her breath to dispel the growing pain in her lower leg, and appear at ease.

A Vorta man appeared onscreen, flanked by two Jem’Hadar. His brilliant eyes were captivating, his dark skin reflected the red glow of the Klingon bridge.

“Dominion vessel,” began Saavik. “I am Captain Saavik of the USS Le Guin. We are capable of supplying overwhelming force. Surrender now, and we will cease fire and begin making arrangements for prisoner exchange.”

The Vorta smiled. “I am Ashe, of the Dominion. You’ll need to destroy us, Captain. For we have our orders, as surely as you have yours. You must know that we will faithfully fulfill them with no regard to our own lives. Or, try your hand at boarding us. Send your enlisted Starfleet crew against two dozen Jem’ - what - “

I rolled a Transporters Task using Sensors + Engineering. This initially failed, but I spent Momentum to re-roll 1d20 and succeeded.

The two warriors faded out of existence, leaving the Vorta alone.

“We are beaming your crew directly into our brig,” explained Saavik. “I will give you a brief moment in which to reconsider your options.”

“All hands!” shouted the Vorta into an offscreen console. “Shroud!”

“Losing transporter lock, Captain!” said Hernandez. “All I’ve got is last-known positions.”

“Number One, is your team ready?” Saavik asked loudly into her badge. “The Dominion appears uninterested in conversing. We may expect the crew to offer stiff resistance while the leaders self-terminate.”

“We’re ready, ma’am.” came the reply. There was death in his voice; Tholima had mustered his courage.

Ashe smiled, sighing. “All hands de-shroud,” he said. “We surrender, Captain.”

“That is preferable,” she replied. “You, personally, will be beamed into separate secure quarters. My away team will be scrutinizing the Klingon vessel for tampering, and records of all outbound communications made while in your possession. Any information and assistance you choose to supply will be treated as building blocks in a productive negotiation.”

“It will be of great pleasure to converse with you,” Ashe replied, fixing his gaze upon her as he vanished with a transporter flourish.


Saavik sat in a comfortable chair, a gold-necked security crew member standing to her left and right.

“So,” said Ashe, “you have met the lost Founder Iaga.”

“No,” she replied simply, her face a blank.

Ashe blinked.

“But you were given her testimony, then,” he continued. “Of what did she inform you? Has it occurred to you that a traitor would tell you whatever she believed you wanted to hear?”

Saavik was impassive. “If you have allowed yourself into my custody in order to obtain insight from me upon your lost Founder, I fear that your hopes are in vain. I am unable to reveal information to which I was not party.”

“But you told -“ Ashe began, and then broke into laughter. “Well. This is intelligence valuable in and of itself. Vulcans can lie.

Saavik smiled slightly. “Shall we proceed to discuss your team’s activities aboard the Klingon vessel?”

“Fine,” said Ashe. “The first communication we issued was a detailed technical assessment of the Klingon cloaking device. Oh yes,” he continued, emboldened by the slight involuntary twitch he caught in her expression. “Close-range, high resolution sensor scans. A personal report from our engineer. The physical specimen is superfluous at this point - merely a ‘nice to have.’ Why did you think I felt comfortable engaging your vessel in combat? Tell me, Captain, how many of your crew perished in the action which just took place? Would it not have been better to leave well alone?”

Saavik attempts to maintain composure, using her Presence + Command. I had also given Saavik a Focus of Composure, but this was not of use to her, as she failed the roll.

Saavik did not respond. Her stomach turned, the pain in her leg intensified.

“Ma’am,” said a security officer, placing a supportive hand on her shoulder.

“Thank you,” she replied tensely, paling visibly. “I am prepared to continue. Commander Ashe, let us turn to the matter of -“

A stream of vomit surged forth from the Captain across the carpeted floor of the quarters. Saavik fell to her knees, clutching her right calf.

“Ma’am! Security to sickbay. Immediate assistance for the Captain!”

“Oh, dear,” said Ashe, gazing upon the spectacle.

The medical team burst into the room. “Lay her down. Get him out of here!” the nurse barked, nodding roughly to Ashe. “Captain, describe your symptoms.”

“It is my leg,” she hissed through the pain. “I fear it has suffered significant compromise.”

I wanted to know the Chief Medical Officer’s species and rolled “Xindi: Reptilian” on the Probability Matrix.

The tough, reptilian face of Dr. Gajarr stared at Saavik as she blinked awake upon the bio-bed. Stoic and determined thought Saavik. A comfort in a medical practitioner. Though, at present, he looks grave.

Dr. Gajarr attempts to stabilize the Captain. I used the ship’s Structure + Medicine to carry this out.

“Doctor,” she mumbled, mastering her composure. “What is the status of the casualties from decks -“

“Captain, with due respect,” he interrupted, “it is you about whom we must speak.”

Saavik sighed. “This morning, I thought it was a sprain. As the day went on, I began to suspect that there may be something more deeply wrong. In the bone, perhaps?”

“Indeed, Captain.”

“Is it cancer,” she asked simply.

Gajarr heaved a laugh. “If only it was something so easy as cancer.”

Saavik instructs Tholima using her Presence + Command.

“There has been a change in plans,” Saavik explained to Tholima, from where she lay.

“Please tell me, Captain,” he begged. He leaned forward from the seat, his blue hands clasped in worry.

“Dr. Gajarr has notified me that I am suffering from a medical condition unresponsive to the technology at his disposal aboard the Le Guin.

“Captain!” said Tholima, grasping her aged hand.

“I had planned for you to take command of the recovered Klingon vessel. However, I will be unable to command the Le Guin in my present state. I request that you resume command of her in the immediate term until further plans can be made.”

“I’m not ready,” he stated simply.

“Correct,” she replied. A long look passed between the two.

“Though, the knowledge of that fact shall make you readier,” she said.

Tholima nodded. “Yes, Captain.”

“Send Hernandez to command the Bird of Prey.”

“Good choice,” he replied. “And Captain - we’re going to get you better.”

Saavik gave a weak smile. “We’ll do what we can.”