Attended: Alex, Gail, James, Owen & Sue
Venue: James’s place
Covers events on Stardate 49052 to 49054.
insert player log here
A Ferengi proposes that the Maquis seize a cargo of gold-pressed latinum that a rival is supposedly sneaking out of Cardassian space, splitting the takings 50/50, so Sirco cell sets out to capture the ship en route between Cardassia Prime and Bajor. The unfamiliar ship easily capitulates, and while Sirco Meru and K’VodleH are aboard discussing terms with the Vorta, Yelgrun, a Klingon bird of prey arrives on the scene and starts firing at everyone. They’re fought off, but in the confusion, the freighter flees with the Maquis still aboard. An attempt to seize the ship fails dismally when Jem’Hadar soldiers uncloak and begin firing, but Kestra Hagen at least manages to beam back the Maquis and the Vorta.
However, they are then pursued by a Cardassian warship and intercepted by the USS Boston NCC-71935. Yelgrun tries to get them to take him through the Bajoran Wormhole, but when it becomes apparent that there’s a Federation fleet massed at Deep Space Nine, and that the Hur’Un stands little chance of passing them, the Vorta somehow commits suicide. The Maquis return to the Badlands empty-handed, apart from some senior Klingon prisoners.
The theme of this episode was “too many things!” I’d been trying to get a grip on the interstellar politics of 2372/2373 for this season, and even re-watched some key DS9 episodes to refresh myself on the specifics, and all I can really summarise this period down to is, “chaos.” This was, of course, the Founders’ plan, but I think a lot also came from the show’s vagueness about a lot of details, like how exactly the Klingons were reaching across the Federation to reach Cardassian space. It makes sense while they’re still allies, but after that?
Anyway, this episode began with the idea of a simple robbery job, but that’s far too easy with transporters. And with my growing realisation of how messy the situation was, it seemed better to focus on who all would get in the way of such a crime, rather than on what was needed to pull off the job. At first I thought I’d just throw half a dozen ships together at once, but this made little sense and would too easily slip right out of the players’ control, and I’d be stuck fighting 5 ships against each other on my own. Throwing them at the players one by one kept them on their toes and gave me the least work, while still showing how improbably crowded this region of space had suddenly become.
It also confused the hell out of some players, which is what I wanted. As I say, not a neat, clear point in history, and conveying that was one of my goals. On a smaller scale, it also drew some attention to the consequences of the players not having a single, dominant leader figure, a captain, because their responses to this constantly changing scenario were very reactive and erratic.
Yelgrun was one of my favourite Vorta (all the Vorta are my favourite Vorta, they’re a very fun species, but he was especially memorable), plus he only ever appears in one real episode, which seemed a waste, and so he was an easy choice to play this part. He also gave me a gentle way to get the players up to speed on the Dominion, and putting them on a Karemma ship meant I didn’t need the brutal sledgehammer of a Jem’Hadar vessel. Of course, slipping Jem’Hadar bodyguards out of cloak as soon as the players tried getting violent with the Vorta was great fun for me, and added nicely to the personality of the Dominion. The Tuhmeen is named after an old friend of mine, sort of.
The other ships were pretty mundane this time. Moch translates as ‘the Superior’. The Boston and its captain come from the Fires of Armageddon Dominion War book, and I got Captain Fonseca’s face from Jehan Sadat, who is certainly an interesting figure. The Galor they skirted away from was the Veshar, which I only realised afterwards sounds really close to Vetar. In episode 5, I hung a lamp on this by sending the two ships out together. And then they blew up together, which is another way of making the problem go away.