Prologue: Inauspicious Beginning to a Starfleet Career

Stardate 1/9407. The Federation has enjoyed a century of relative peace within its borders. The long and devastating war against the Romulan Star Empire is all but forgotten and the Federation’s border with them remains tense, but stable. The Klingons remain silent as well, perhaps still engrossed in a conflict with the unknown enemy on the far side of their empire. The Federation’s peace-time focus is now on research and exploration, although Tellarites and Andorians argue for a stronger navy of gunships and frigates. The compromise is the new Constitution Class Cruiser. Equipped with the most advanced weaponry and home to state-of-the-art scientific research and medical facilities, these debutants of the fleet can operate for years beyond the logistical support of star bases. It is the dream of every starry-eyed Star Fleet recruit to serve on these ships.
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Prologue: Inauspicious Beginning to a Starfleet Career

Post by Orvost » Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:58 am

Stardate: 1/9406.19
To: Cadet {appropriate title field 1, full name, if species form of address is unfamiliar, please reference the Star Fleet Cultural Guide}
From: Cadet Placement Services
Regarding: Your Cadet Cruise Assignment

Cadet {appropriate title field 2, title name only},
On behalf of Cadet Placement Services; Star Fleet Academic and Vocational Training; and indeed, the whole of Star Fleet, congratulations for completing {branch school identity field 1}. Up to now, your Star Fleet career has been academic, theoretical, and classroom oriented. This is about to change. Your upcoming Cadet Cruise is your opportunity to showcase not only the training you have received, but also the innate talents you possess that carried you through the rigorous and competitive process to enter Star Fleet service.

Your tour assignment is attached below. Your Cadet Cruse performance will greatly influence your subsequent tours and will follow you throughout your career, so I encourage you to spend the next six months proving your abilities to your assessment officer.

Sincerely,
Commander Bol Ch’thalnal
Supervising Officer, Cadet Placement Services

{attach placement report associated with appropriate title field 1, full name}

Tour Assignment: Colonial Operations Command
Destination: Starship USS Pas-de-Calais, Ptolemy Class Transport-Tug
Commanding Officer: Commodore Rupak Singh

Your Itinerary: Take the Orbitron warp transport from Alpha Centauri to Star Base 11. Arrive no later than Stardate 9407.09. Upon your arrival, report to Lt Commander Shasss’thik of Starbase Command. The Pas-de-Calais is scheduled to rendezvous with Starbase 11 sometime between Stardate 9407.07 and 9407.14 for an operationally sensitive refit. If the Pas-de-Calais is not in dock when you arrive, Lt Commander Shasss’thik will provide accommodations on the Starbase until the ship arrives.
Last edited by Orvost on Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:09 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Prologue: Inauspicious Beginning to a Starfleet Career

Post by ManWithDoor » Mon Jun 15, 2020 2:22 am

Alik lets out a long sigh upon reading his command orders. Colonial Operations? On a Transport-Tug? He shakes his head with resignation, then smiles ruefully. Well, at least it isn't the Merchant Marine. He was raised in that, minus the marine part. Merchant ships ply the stars everywhere you look. He would have accepted the assignment, of course, but effectively he'd be in the bowels of a merchant ship just like his parents, but this time with a fancier uniform. Not the upgrade he was looking for.

Well at least he doesn't have a lot to pack. Cadets aren't exactly given the luggage and quarters that would make relocation difficult. He has his uniform and spares, personally issued tools, and a couple memorabilia. The rest of his pack space is filled with books he is working through. He buys, reads, then gives away scads of novels. He has personally supplied a number of other cadets with reading material, and expects the same to happen on the USS Pas-de-Calais.

Having said his goodbyes to the others as they each in turn received their assignments, he heads to the starport to find the Orbitron warp transport to take him to Star Base 11.
Rule Number 12: "A soft answer turneth away wrath. Once wrath is looking the other way, shoot it in the head."

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Prologue: Inauspicious Beginning to a Starfleet Career

Post by Shurijo » Mon Jun 15, 2020 10:07 pm

Shur reads over the orders and shakes his head. "Colonial Operations?" After a light punch to the wall of his room, he considers "This has to be because of Cato Ashwin. I'm going to kick his ass again. Well hell, maybe that's why I didn't get Exploration Command. I wonder if those disciplinary actions really are in a permanent file."

With his gear already packed, he scans and forwards the orders to his family. With his kendo swords, shinai, and a bow shaft strapped to the side of his bags, he throws the bag over his shoulder and begins walking towards the Orbitron warp transport. As he walks, his attitude begins to lighten as he contemplates his sister sitting behind a desk analyzing sales and operations reports and other mundane tasks at his grandfather's company. "Could be worse. At least I'm not home.," he thinks to himself.

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Prologue: Inauspicious Beginning to a Starfleet Career

Post by Orvost » Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:16 pm

Word quickly gets around the Engineering School that Alik, one of the top students in this semester’s graduating class, was given a colony cruise. Of course, more than half the class are assigned to colony or merchant marine duties, but it is a head-scratcher that such an outstanding student would find himself among them. For certain underclassmen, the news is disheartening: If a gunner like Alik couldn’t get a decent cruise post, what chance does anyone else have?
When the final tests are graded and student rankings are calculated, Alik finishes second in his class behind V’Laav of Vulcan, who will be spending her cadet cruise aboard the Flagship of the Federation: The USS Constitution.

Always the Vulcans.

Shur’s Colonial Operations assignment is a disappointment, but not a big surprise given his disciplinary problems. It doesn’t create much of a buzz among his peers. Although he, too, is a top performer in his class, his past seems to inconveniently resurface from time to time. He finishes his branch school in the top 10th percentile of his class.

Stardate 1/9405.21
You board the Orbitron Shuttle from a Centauri commercial orbital platform. You are one of 28 passengers. While your quarters are small, the ship boasts many spacious amenities.

GM Note: After calculating distances and warp speeds, I realized just how long your shuttle trip to Star Base 11 was going to take. I adjusted the date of your assignment letter accordingly. We are going to fast forward through the two weeks you spend in transit. You can explain how you want to spend the time on the shuttle. You get to know the other passengers on a superficial level. If any of them become consequential later, I will refer to this shuttle trip as your introduction to them. The exception is the other Star Fleet cadet passengers, all of whom are heading to a rendezvous with the Pas-de-Calais too. Their NPC write-ups are in the Captain’s log.
The Orbitron Shuttle:

A privately owned transport line between Alpha Centauri and Star Base 11. The correct Federation designation for their passenger liners is Yacht rather than Shuttle. Always equipped with the latest, commercially available warp systems, the current Orbitron liners can boast an average warp cruising performance of 8.3, which means the trip can be made in less than 15 days.

Although it isn’t unheard of for junior Starfleet officers to use the Orbitron service, the price and amenities make it more suited for transport of senior officers, low-level government dignitaries, or private business interests. For some reason, the powers that be in Starfleet’s bureaucracy are willing to pay a premium to move you at speed, and in comfort, to your Cadet Cruise assignment.

Stardate 9407.07
Five officers of the Pas-de-Calais Cadet class arrive and disembark at Star Base 11.

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Prologue: Inauspicious Beginning to a Starfleet Career

Post by ManWithDoor » Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:26 pm

Alik finds this wide split in his expectations here quite amusing. He gets assigned a lowly Colonial Operations assignment, yet somehow rates using the Orbitron Shuttle. That's unexpected. He's a world away from the usual senior officers and government officials using the service. It's a pleasant surprise that he is happy to have, and he isn't about to reject it.

The engineer is friendly enough and tries to socialize and get to know people. He doesn't have any particular gifts of gab, so his sincere efforts are counter-balanced by how much he talks about literature, philosophy, and deep dives into technical details. For those who are inclined to discuss such things he gets along with them just fine. Others who aren't, well, they usually find him too intense, incomprehensible, or both.
Loving it. Only learned the term 'gunner' in the last year or so, as a Law School student reference. Great descriptor right there.
Rule Number 12: "A soft answer turneth away wrath. Once wrath is looking the other way, shoot it in the head."

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Post by Shurijo » Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:19 pm

As they mingle, Shur begins talking to Miles Campeador and learns of his passion for judoka and boxing. The two share some conversations and make a point to help train each other in hand-to-hand combat once they arrive and get settled aboard the USS Pas-de-Calais.

When he introduces himself to Serao Zh’rialrehr, Shur finds it both odd and welcoming that an Andorian is included in their cadet assignment. Being somewhat proficient in Klingon, Shur proposes he helps her with human customs and language and she assists him with furthering his Klingon and possible Andorian language skills. Shur asked her about the Ushaan and honor duels and then talked about earth similarities which are now extremely rare on the planet.

Lastly, Shur also introduces himself to April Weathers. However, he feels unable to find a common interest or anything compelling, other than her looks, to lead to prolonged conversations.

When they land, he collects his gear and begins to head to the landing ramp awaiting his first sight of the ship.

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Prologue: Inauspicious Beginning to a Starfleet Career

Post by Orvost » Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:29 am

I prepared responses to Shur’s specific conversations with the other cadets. Rather than posting them here, I updated their entries in the Captain’s Log.
The Starbase 11 stardock is crowded, everyone walking to and fro urgently trying to get elsewhere. The five of you stand for a few moments taking everything in, the novelty of new sights and sounds after two weeks aboard a warp shuttle. Finally, Cadet Serao speaks up about the details in her itinerary (an itinerary you all share) and reporting to a certain Lt Commander upon arrival. You all confirm your itineraries state the same and, among the five of you, you find your way to the Stardock operational command. There you are ushered to a ready room and wait to meet with Lt. Commander Shasss’thik.

Image

Shasss’thik is a Kaferian, an insectoid race that was granted full Federation membership a little over a decade ago. The inflective nature of Kaferian language is expressed with subtle visual clues as well as verbally. As a result, universal translators have a hard time fully conveying Kaferian communication. Federation anthropologists and linguists are at odds about how to remedy the problem.

Commander Shasss’thik wears a universal translator around his neck like a lanyard. The model is several upgrades out of date and gives Shasss’thik’s voice a monotone, robotic quality and makes it almost impossible to pick up on any clues as to the Kaferian’s emotional state.

Shasss’thik comes in almost twenty minutes later and sits down. The Commander stares at each of you, taking you in with unblinking, chromatic eye clusters for several moments before moving down the line to the next person and, in the end, finally speaking:

"Your ship. She is not here. Behind schedule. As are we. Just as well. Subspace communication with Commodore. Maybe week. Maybe two."

"Will not be brood guard over a clutch of hatchlings. We use you. Commodore says yes. Understaffed in some areas. Will give your information to department heads. They contact you. You housed planet side."

"Give now to me your name and service branch."

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Post by Shurijo » Sun Jul 05, 2020 4:06 pm

Stepping forward, Shur speaks up first. "Cadet Shur Ijocado. Navigation branch, sir." The young man stands straight and tall as wanting to make a good first impression on the lieutenant commander and the rest of the command staff.

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Post by ManWithDoor » Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:52 am

"Cadet Alex Kraig, sir. Engineering branch." As much as he tends to the verbose, adding extra details beyond what is requested, he keeps his eccentricities in check for this moment in time. He manages not to say anything more. This time at least.
Rule Number 12: "A soft answer turneth away wrath. Once wrath is looking the other way, shoot it in the head."

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Prologue: Inauspicious Beginning to a Starfleet Career

Post by Orvost » Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:37 am

Following Shur’s lead, each cadet snaps to attention and gives their name and service branch. Lt. Commander Shasss’thik acknowledges each in turn with a nod and checks a data screen. The Kaferian then punches information into an input terminal and the computer spits out five colored square information discs. Shasss’thik tosses them across the table, one coming to rest in front of each cadet as if being dealt a playing card.

"This is your security clearance. Your room key. Your identification card. Your meal voucher."

Shasss’thik pushes a few more buttons and you hear an automated voice from the computer:

"You are now on temporary service assignment with Starbase Command, Base 11. While this assignment is only temporary, your time here will generate a service record addendum that will be attached to your regular assignment or tour record. While here, you are a fully integrated member of base staff and subject to commendation and disciplinary actions. Please remember: Your service here only ends when relieved of duty by Starbase Command and not by your regular service branch."

When the computer finishes it’s matter-of-fact message delivery, Shasss’thik issues your first order: Report to transporter pad 2. Beam down to habitation ring 2. Hospitality will be there to show you to your rooms. Rest in your rooms until you receive a call from a department head about your work detail. Expect to report for duty in the morning. Dismissed.

*On Planet M-11*

A smiling woman in a bellhop uniform greets you and shows you to your living space. Your accommodations are like hotel rooms. Your private rooms are connected to a central lounge area with tables, chairs, and food replicators. It seems no other guests share this lounge area except the five of you.
See Food replication in Stardate 1/9400 in Captain's Log.
We fast forwarded through some interactions here, feel free to go back if there is anything you wanted to say or do.

For your time at Starbase 11, there will be some dialog opportunities and some work-related events. I would like to know what you, as a player, would rather have more of at this early stage of the game: job-related events or dialog interactions with NPCs. Again: you are going to have both. I just want to know your preference so I know what things to breeze past and what things to focus on.

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