STARDATE: 3198.4, DEEP SPACE, 1629 HRS FST
“Astrometrics to bridge – the probe is only gonna last a few more minutes. We need to download or retrieve it soon.” Captain Diego watched the telemetry coming in on the main view screen. It was clear the unusual anomaly was causing degradation to the data. “Zinn, how much total data loss is there so far?” he asked the communications officer.
“At least 20%, possibly more.” The young Edoan was clearly enjoying his position.
“If the data is that degraded, sir, we’ll need to physically retrieve the probe. It’s the only way to guarantee the information.” This was the last cruise for the science officer. He would soon retire to his farm on Miros. “Spectacular,” replied the captain. The ship had already been buffeted a number of times just keeping the probe in sensor range. “So a rough ride it is” he said with just of hint of excitement.
“This should be fun” commented the Helmsman. It would be up to him to keep the ship steady while they retrieve the probe.
“Captain…receiving an automatic all-points relay from Starfleet Command.” Zinn paused for a moment, as if gathering his strength to finish his report. “Code one, sir.”
Captain Diego looked at his first officer. He drew a deep breath and looked back to the main screen. “Sir, if this phenomenon is not naturally occurring, this could prove to be a significant piece of science. Perhaps even dangerous?” it was more a statement than a question. But Diego knew what his first officer was hinting at. These planets should be here, and they should be locked tiredly. Such a technology could be easily turned into a weapon. Captain Diego knew recovery of the data was no longer an option, but a necessity.
“Standby to recover the probe…and go to yellow alert.”
“Sir! Screens just came on…intermittent contact on the far side of the second planet.” The navigation officer was calm knowing it was most likely Klingon they were about to engage.
“Of course,” comment Diego. “Make that red alert.”
Lay out one Star Trek Combat Simulator map-sheet in the configuration shown. Place two planets within 5 hexes of each other at the center of the map. Place an upside down counter between the two planets. This counter represents the probe. Use the Graduate Starship Tactics Course rules in this scenario.
1 Bonhomme Richard Mk III Class XI Cruiser (USS Saratoga)
Sensor Probe: A Federation sensor probe is currently located between the two unusual planets. It can not move or be pulled by a tractor beam but must be recovered by beaming aboard any vessel. Any ship that attempts to recover the probe must be within 4 hexes of the probe with one shield side down for 1 full turn.
Gravitational Waves: The two planets are locked in a gravitational field with each other. This field is creating unusual eddies within 50,000 (5 hexes) of each planet. Any ship that is within 5 hexes of the planet must make a Crew Skill role or be buffeted by the gravity. A successful roll means the ship is moved 1 hex in a random direction. An unsuccessful role means the ship is thrown 1d10 hexes from its current location in a random direction. Roll 1d6 to determine which directions the vessel is moved.
Ending: The scenario ends when either player recovers the probe. If the probe has not been recovered by turn 10, it disintegrates.