Safe Passage, Part III

Epis­ode Num­ber: 3×09

Writ­ten by: The authors of the Shack­leton Expanse Cam­paign Guide

Dir­ec­ted by: Jon Crew

Trans­mis­sion: 7th Octo­ber 2023

Guest Stars:

  • Gen­er­al V’Roth: Fam­ous Klin­gon lead­er and com­mand­er of the I.K.S. Hu’Tegh
  • Cap­tain Erika Ben­teen: Com­mand­ing officer of U.S.S. Lakota
  • Lieu­ten­ant Yeager: Secur­ity chief of U.S.S. Bellero­phon

We’ve escaped cap­tiv­ity on the Hu’Tegh. Retak­ing Lex­ing­ton should be rel­at­ively simple…

Cap­tain’s Log: Stard­ate, Supplemental

Plot: Hav­ing sab­ot­aged V’Roth’s flag­ship, the seni­or officers return to Lex­ing­ton, intent on retak­ing control.

The ‘A’ Plot: The two teams of seni­or officers mater­i­al­ise in one of Lex­ing­ton’s cargo holds. There does­n’t appear to be any­one around as they quickly take stock of their situ­ation. After some dis­cus­sion, they decide on a two-pronged plan: to attack and take con­trol of both main engin­eer­ing and the battle bridge. With con­trol of these loc­a­tions, they can lock the Klin­gons out of the ship’s sys­tems and release the crew.

Intel­li­gence and weapons are pri­or­it­ies, so Raynor volun­teers to recov­er tri­cord­ers and phasers from the nearest stor­age lock­ers. Azon­an pulls the cov­er off of a Jef­fer­ies tube and the secur­ity officer crawls stealth­ily towards one of the main cor­ridors. After open­ing an emer­gency hatch, he’s sur­prised by a Bol­i­an com­ing the oth­er way. It’s Chief Rogon, who was in the tubes when the Klin­gons boarded, and decided dis­cre­tion was the bet­ter part of valour. Raynor sends him back to join the oth­ers, and heads on to his des­tin­a­tion. Cau­tiously remov­ing an access pan­el, he sees two pairs of Klin­gon boots stand­ing just bey­ond. Remem­ber­ing what Rogon said, he decides to try anoth­er access point, find­ing that cor­ridor empty. He quickly opens the nearest weapons lock­er, col­lect­ing half-a-dozen type 2 phasers, then grabs a couple of tri­cord­ers and a med­ic­al kit from an emer­gency lock­er, before van­ish­ing back into the crawlways.

Equipped with the tri­cord­er, Zepht is able to loc­ate the Klin­gon intruders and their pris­on­ers – the lat­ter mostly under guard in large spaces, such as the recre­ation hall, main hangar and some of the oth­er holds. With this inform­a­tion in hand, they split into two groups to take on their object­ives, while Cap­tain Daak and a couple of his team form a reserve.

Kon­in leads Zepht, Quinn, Rogon and Daak’s secur­ity chief, Lieu­ten­ant Yeager, in the asssault on the battle bridge. Yeager and Kon­in, break­ing in through the main door, catch the Klin­gon officer in charge of the room’s occu­pants in a phaser cross­fire; unfor­tu­nately, he does not go down and charges them with his bat’­leth, scream­ing a battle­cry. Kon­in simply trips him and he goes sprawl­ing on to the floor. The oth­er Klin­gons in the room take cov­er and return fire with their dis­ruptors. Rogon stuns the Klin­gon officer, but fumbles and clips Kon­in and Yeager in the pro­cess. Quinn sneaks around the side of the bridge, and tries to intim­id­ate the two Klin­gons at the conn and ops pos­i­tions into sur­ren­der­ing: unfor­tu­nately, they’re not impressed and one of them attacks him with his d’k’­tahg.

Zepht, mean­while, is attempt­ing to break into the ship’s com­puter, using the main­ten­ance con­soles in the room imme­di­ately behind the battle bridge, but is only able to lock out the alarms before he is drawn into the battle. A fire­fight breaks out through the door­way, then Zepht advances into the room and takes cov­er behind a con­sole before shoot­ing at the Klin­gons. The cap­tain con­tin­ues fir­ing from the door­way, but is hit in the shoulder, suf­fer­ing a nasty burn. With Yeager also knocked out by a Klin­gon shot, and Quinn bleed­ing after a knife duel with the Klin­gon helms­man, it is down to Rogon and Zepht to finally take the last oppon­ents out of the fight.

They request med­ic­al assist­ance from Dr Con­ners, but she appears to be engaged in a mel­ee of her own. It seems her team, includ­ing Azon­an and Raynor, are facing fierce oppos­i­tion in main engin­eer­ing. She joins the battle bridge team as soon as she’s able.

By this point, Zepht has com­pleted lock­ing the Klin­gons out of Lex­ing­ton’s com­puters, and is loc­at­ing and isol­at­ing indi­vidu­al bands of Klin­gons behind secur­ity force fields. He com­ments that more Klin­gons seem to be appear­ing in batches, then the prox­im­ity alert goes off. The com­puter­’s calm voice informs them that there is a warp core breach in pro­gress on a nearby ves­sel – it appears that their sab­ot­age of the Hu’Tegh was more suc­cess­ful than they inten­ded, and the crew are evac­u­at­ing to Lex­ing­ton. Kon­in is forced to raise shields to pro­tect the ship, but wor­ries this is con­demning some of the Klin­gon crew to death.

They watch on the main view­er as Hu’Tegh breaks up in a series of explosions.

Moments later, there is a call from the main bridge: V’Roth announces that he will sur­render to Kon­in per­son­ally. When the band­aged Betazoid arrives on the bridge, the gen­er­al hands his bat’­leth to him, delib­er­ately evok­ing an old Earth tra­di­tion. He explains that his actions were his own decision, an attempt to repos­i­tion his House in the Klin­gon hier­archy ahead of the com­ing war, by provid­ing Chan­cel­lor Gowron with a worthy prize. His gamble has failed badly, and both he and his House will pay the price.

The alerts sound again as Mup­wI’ decloaks in front of them, accom­pan­ied by the cruis­ers of Col­on­el Morok’s pen­al squad­ron. Akul apo­lo­gises for the incid­ent on behalf of the Empire, and informs them he has man­aged to res­cue much of Hu’Tegh’s crew. He escorts them across the Empire to Star­base 24, where the Klin­gon pris­on­ers are handed over to their gov­ern­ment, except for V’Roth and his seni­or officers. That little mat­ter is left to the diplomats.

The ‘B’ Plot: On leav­ing Star­base 24, Lex­ing­ton resumes her jour­ney to Sec­tor 001. She arrives in the Sol sys­tem and is dir­ec­ted to the Uto­pia Plani­tia orbit­al yards for a com­plete secur­ity sweep. Star­fleet Secur­ity is con­cerned that the Klin­gons may have left hid­den devices and soft­ware to com­prom­ise her systems.

This leaves her crew with a few days to take some leave, so Kon­in calls on his eld­est daugh­ter at Star­fleet Academy, and Azon­an heads back to Andoria for a couple of days. Quinn returns to Bri­tain and Raynor spends time with fam­ily, while Zepht arranges to meet up with around two dozen of his fam­ily for din­ner in New Orleans.

About two days later, the entire plan­et­ary power net­work col­lapses, caus­ing prob­lems across Earth, and they are all recalled to act­ive duty. Kon­in is put in charge of coordin­at­ing secur­ity patrols, and the oth­ers find them­selves enfor­cing newly-intro­duced emer­gency laws. They are wit­ness to the grow­ing para­noia of the pop­u­la­tion regard­ing the pos­sib­il­ity of Changeling saboteurs.

About a week into this, Quinn is sud­denly trans­ferred to the U.S.S. Lakota, as a conn officer under Cap­tain Ben­teen. Lakota soon departs to inter­cept U.S.S. Defi­ant, lead­ing to a battle when Lieu­ten­ant Com­mand­er Worf refuses to sur­render. Quinn fol­lows his orders but he’s not happy about it.

When Vice Admir­al Leyton resigns his post to “spend more time with his fam­ily”, Quinn is inter­rog­ated along­side many of the officers, but is ulti­mately returned to Lex­ing­ton without any marks on his record.

The ‘C’ Plot: After the fail­ure of Leyton’s coup, Lex­ing­ton returns to the Shack­leton Expanse via the Tri­angle and the nar­row band of Fed­er­a­tion-con­trolled space “above” the Klingon/Romulan bor­der, this time accom­pan­ied by Cap­tain Daak’s new com­mand, the Intrep­id-class U.S.S. Pegas­us.

Obser­va­tions: As a juni­or officer, Quinn served on the U.S.S. Okinawa under Cap­tain Leyton and Lieu­ten­ant Com­mand­er Sis­ko. Leyton regarded him as a reli­able officer and trans­ferred him to Lakota to replace an officer he moved into anoth­er pos­i­tion as part of his conspiracy.

U.S.S. Pegas­us is anoth­er Intrep­id-class ship, named for the Greek hero Bellero­phon’s fly­ing horse. She has a con­nec­tion to anoth­er admir­al with a flex­ible approach to eth­ics, as the suc­cessor to her Oberth-class name­sake, lost under mys­ter­i­ous cir­cum­stances under the com­mand of Cap­tain Erik Press­man.

Dia­logue: V’Roth sur­renders: “Well played, Captain.”

Ref­er­ences: The story of Leyton’s coup attempt is related in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine epis­odes “Home­front” and “Para­dise Lost”.

Zeph­t’s fam­ily meet-up takes place at Sis­ko’s Creole Kit­chen in New Orleans.