Episode 1: The Return

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Episode 1: The Return

Post by BlanchPrez » Wed Jan 18, 2006 8:34 am

Captain’s Log, Stardate 5832.2

We are currently entering orbit around Cestus III in order to investigate the disappearance of a combined Federation/Gorn science team. We had been running the
Challenger through her shake down cruise, testing the warp drive engines when the mission came in from Admiral Bohensky.

It’s funny, lots of people back at Starfleet Headquarters were sure the
Challenger would break apart upon activation of the warp drive. Silly superstition. I knew she would not only hold together, but outperform everyone’s expectations. I was right. Here we are, two days later, in orbit around Cestus III on our first mission, and the ship is still in one piece.

I received a report that the Gorn have sent a ship, the
Ssleestak, to the colony world on the same mission as ours. I’ve already contacted her captain, Sslarr, who will meet us on the surface with his first officer. My away team will consist of myself and my first officer, Commander Dra, as well as my communications officer, Lt. Komar. He actually speaks the Gorn language, which will aid in any confusion we might have with them. I’m also bringing down my security chief, Lt. Dixon, and Dr. Witherspoon to aid in the search for the missing scientists.

What little information he do have suggests that the archeological team discovered some mysterious artifact just before disappearing. Search parties from the colony of New Dodge found no trace of them, but I’m sure that with the more power sensors and tricorderes at our disposal, this will be an easy mission.


The whine of a transporter beam can be heard on the grassy plain just outside of New Dodge as five figures materialize into view. Captain Wraith, Commander Dra, Dr. Witherspoon, Lt. Dixon and Lt. Komar look around at what could easily be a peaceful prairie on Earth, with small bushes and lush green grass, and a few tall, willowy trees. Behind them, they see the pre-fabricated metal buildings that make up the colony of New Dodge. A few seconds latter, another transporter whine can be heard, and as they turn to watch, two large, reptilian figures appear. This must be the Gorn captain Sslarr and his first officer.

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Post by mordraine » Wed Jan 18, 2006 9:20 am

Sslarr
Surface of Cestes III
Regarding Crew of USS Challenger


After materializing on the surface of the planet, Sslarr immediately became aware of the Earthlings. Their away team was substantially larger than his own. These Earthlings apparently liked to travel in packs. Putting away his misgivings, he strode towards them and made the traditional Gorn salute (that of pounding one fist into the palm of the other hand) as a means of greeting.

"Greetings. I am Captain Sslarr. Standing with me is my first officer, Lieutenant Korrf. I am very eager to get this investigation underway."
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Post by Gotetsu » Wed Jan 18, 2006 9:24 am

Dang, that's a big lizard. Dixon thinks. Fighting the urge to ready his phaser, just in case, he stands ready to react. He glances to the Captain.
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Post by opwunder » Wed Jan 18, 2006 10:29 am

My first concern is to check my tricorder to insure that what little is know about Gorn physiology has been downloaded. I then shoulder my med-pack and take in the aliens. As Captain Sslarr greets us, I, with some excitement, wait for the Captain to speak. A thought crosses my mind, I wonder if they have detachable tails?
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Post by Skyman » Wed Jan 18, 2006 1:20 pm

Commander Dra sees the Gorns and imitates the greeting. "Captain our friends have arrived."

Commander Dra thinks to her self "Wow those guys are huge. Gosh I hope they don't want to fight us for some weird ritualistic alien rite of friendship. *Looks at her shirt* Ok Dra remember it's not red anymore. Oh gosh they're doing something. Umm, papa use to say when in Hibore, do what the Hiboreans do...Ok that worked. Ummm what now...crud...CAPTAIN!"
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Post by SpaceMonkey » Thu Jan 19, 2006 10:28 am

Captain Wraith takes in the scenery, but is more focused on the heady brew of his first command. When the Gorn arrive, he notes their alien appearance, but only slightly -, having spoken with Captain Sslarr earlier - they are different in person though, somehow.

Giving the crew a moment to adjust themselves, and an appropriate diplomatic pause, he strides forward confidently and mimics the Gorn greeting, then offers his hand.


"A pleasure to speak again, Captain Sslarr. Let me show you the greeting custom from my world - we call it 'shaking hands." He grins and awaits Sslarr's response.

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Post by mordraine » Thu Jan 19, 2006 4:00 pm


[quote="dnd3eplayer"]"A pleasure to speak again, Captain Sslarr. Let me show you the greeting custom from my world - we call it 'shaking hands." He grins and awaits Sslarr's response.[/quote]

Sslarr searched his memory for Earth customs and he vaguely recalled the act of hand-shaking. That was not alarming to him, but the baring of teeth set him back for a moment, until he remembered that for Earthlings, that was not a gesture of aggression, but rather a sign of friendliness or happiness.



Sslarr enveloped Captain Wraith's hand in his own sizable extremity and shook it once up and down, then released it.



"Yes. A pleasure," responded the Gorn. "I believe the Archeological dig site is nearby. Shall we proceed?" He turned in the direction of the site and started walking, expecting the Earthlings to follow.

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Post by SpaceMonkey » Thu Jan 19, 2006 5:37 pm

"Straight to business, Captain - and no preamble eh? I like that. Crew, let's get moving then. Commander Dra - scan for anything of interest besides the New Dodge colony nearby - structures, lifeforms, etc. Dixon - keep an eye out for ambush or hostile activity of any kind. We have some missing people, and we can't assume they weren't attacked."

With that, he heads after the Gorn toward the dig site and last known location of the missing science team.

[Note: I've assumed above that Dra would be the one to scan - but I'm not sure that's correct. Spock always seemed to do that sort of thing, but he's a sciency sort, and I'm not sure Dra is..?]

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Post by Skyman » Thu Jan 19, 2006 7:45 pm

Commander Dra *Flips Tri corder out* "Scanning now captain." Her eyes flipping up and down from the tri corder...

Commander Dra thinks to herself "The power of the Captain compells you! The power of the Captain compells you! Crazy terran movies stuck in my head. Hey that Gorns got a little tent pitched on his bum. Must be happy. Hehehe...those tails are cute. Gorns must work out. He's got a tight bod. Ok let's see what my little baby is picking up here..."
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Post by opwunder » Fri Jan 20, 2006 8:02 am

Thinking that scans for possible biological threats might fit more within the pervue of the medical officer, the Doc flips out his tricorder as well. Walking behind the Capt. and the Gorn, he takes a quick scan of them as well.
"Right behind you, Captain!"
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Post by Gotetsu » Fri Jan 20, 2006 8:37 am

Dixon pauses to let the rest of the party get a few steps ahead of him, and then readys his phaser. As he walks he scans the entire area for anything "suspicious" including sounds and smells.

Better not slack off on my first assignment.
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Post by Cthulhu » Fri Jan 20, 2006 9:00 am

Komar queitly follows along behind the captain and crew, watching for anything out of the ordinary.
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Post by BlanchPrez » Fri Jan 20, 2006 1:03 pm

As the group started marching towards the dig site, they spotted a small, muscular human walking towards them. He had dark hair, cut short, and wore a blue utility jump suit, like the kind worn by Starfleet repair crews, or construction crews.

"Good, you're all here," he said.

He came right up to the two captains, looking at them each seperatly, making sure not to bear his teeth at the Gorn.

"I am Albert Schulenburg, mayor of New Dodge. It's a pleasure to meet you both. You don't know how happy we are to have you here. We've been in an awful fright since the scientests went missing."

He shook Captain Wraith's hand, and for Captain Sslarr, he gave the traditional Gorn greeting of holding both hands up, palms open.

"I see you're ready to get down to business. Let me take you to the camp site."

He turned and led the group on a slightly different path then they were taking before.

"As you already know, we discovered the remains of an ancient civilization on Cestus III not too long ago. The buildings were thousands of years old, and the initial research indicated that they were made of indiginous materials. No biological sign of the people that lived there was ever found, however. Though the site showed technological advancement, it did not show that they were advanced enough for space flight. There was also no signs of a natural deistaster. No one is sure what happened to the people that used this city."

With that, he takes you over a hill, where you come upon the ruins. The remains of several single story structures are immedatly visible in the small valley, made of some sort of local rock, from the looks of them. Several piles of artifacts could be seen. One stack was tables, chairs and other such devices. Another appeared to be small, metal boxes of different shapes and sizes, their uses unknown from there. Yet another stack appeared to be electronic equipment, wires and chip boards and other, more advanced computer components. There were at least ten stacks such as these.

"Gentlemen and ladies," the mayor said, waiving his hand at the sceen before him, "welcome to Atlantis."

Seeing your blank expressions, he said, "That's what the archeologiests were calling this site. We haven't had much luck translating the writing on the artifacts we found yet, and Atlantis serves as well as a name as anythign else."

He then leads you arond a bend past several buildigns towards a series of metalic tents. Several peices of computer and research equipment could be seen in the middle of the tents. This must be the scientests main camp.

"Here's where they made their last transmission. We know all 11 scientests were here, because they made sure they were all on the viewer when broadcasting. They told us they had found some new artifact, one that showed technilogical advancements far beyond anything they had seen yet, maybe even beyond our own. But the transmission ended just before they could show us the artifact. We sent a search team to find them, but they turned up nothing. No trace, not even a sign of a struggle. No sign of the artifact either. Our town sherrif believes the artifact was a weapon of some sort, and that it did to the scientests what it did to the original inhabitants, vaporizing them completly. It seems unlikely, but many believe that it would explain everything. I don't, and that's what I called for your help. Please, find the missing scientests. My wife was among them... I know she's alive somewhere, and I know you can find her!"

A look of grim determinition comes over his face as he looks at each of you in turn.

((Feel free to ask questions of the mayor on your way to the camp site, I just wanted to get to the meat of things.))

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Post by SpaceMonkey » Fri Jan 20, 2006 1:58 pm

Wraith listens intently as the group walks, not interrupting until the mayor's speech is done. He thinks for a quick moment, then says:

"I don't think your sheriff's theory is quite complete - if it were, how does it account for the missing artifact itself? Besides, as long both my crew and that of Captain Sslarr came all this way, we should do what we can."

He then looks to Captain Sslaar, then his own crew..

"What about it? Anyone have an alternate theory or a suggestion on how to proceed? "

Wraith will also check with Mayor Schulenburg to see if he can provide some data - such as the files on each of the missing scientists?

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Post by opwunder » Sat Jan 21, 2006 12:31 pm

When the Mayor first appears, I will run a bio scan on him. Any anomalies I will report to the Captian the first chance that I can get him to the side.
When asked the question by the Captain, I will respond," Could be they were all simply beamed somewhere else. Are we certain that the artifact was not simply a tagging and trigger mechanism?"
I walk over to the Mayor, tripping slightly on a small rock, "Have any scans been done for residual energy readings? Are any of the scientists belongings missing? Ones that they would not have had during the comm cast? Was it normal for them to all crowd into a comm cast so that they all could be seen? And when was the last time that they had had a medical scan?"
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Post by Skyman » Sat Jan 21, 2006 2:05 pm

Commander Dra's eyes gloss up from tears but is stoic in her poise. She reaches out to the mayer's arm and says "What was her name?" She then agrees with the captains evaluation and joins with the docs hypothesis of the people being beamed out.

Commander Dra thinks to herself "Vaporized? Holy crap! Poor guy. Man, if we find this thing we should not take it onboard the ship. That thing and the ship history will only guarantee that this will only end in tears. I wonder if we should look at the broadcast from the crew maybe the artifact was in the feed and they missed it during review."
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Post by mordraine » Sat Jan 21, 2006 2:21 pm

Captain Sslarr's longer strides took him slightly ahead of the rest of the group, and he motioned his 1st officer to follow.

"Run your diagnostics and scans, Lieutenant Korrf," he said in Gorn, "Not that I don't trust the Federation, but I think we should have readings of our own to look at."
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Post by BlanchPrez » Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:31 am

"I... I apologize for my outbreak," the mayor says. Turning to Commander Dra, he replies "Her name was Martina."

Taking a moment to compose himself and clearing his throat, his face is all business once again.

"Captain, of course you may have access to all our files on the scientists. There were 11 in all, 5 humans, a vulcan and 5 gorn. Several of them were not part of the original settlement of Cestus III, but came here after Atlantis was discovered.

Doctor, I'm afraid that our scanning equipment here just is not that advanced. We did find some residual energy signatures, but we were unable to determine what they might be. It was not normal for all 11 of them to be gathered together like that for a report, but this was an unusual find and all of them were excited."

Your scan of the mayor reveals nothing unusual. He's in perfect health for a man of his age.

A few moments later, Lieutenant Korrf calls to his captain in Gorn, "Captain! You might want to look at this. I'm detecting an unusual energy signature here by the communication equipment. It's fading, but still strong."

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Post by Cthulhu » Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:34 am

Komar faces the Captain and straightens his posture a bit. "Captain sir, may I have your premission to investigate the com equipment?"
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Post by opwunder » Tue Jan 24, 2006 10:09 am

"Thank you Mr. Mayor."
Find out the spot where they stood during the transmission and take readings. If nothing registers on my equipment I will suggest to the Captain that having the ships scanners check might reveal something.
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Post by SpaceMonkey » Tue Jan 24, 2006 10:28 am

"Of course Komar, good idea."

Noting the exchange between the Gorn, Wraith will inquire:

"Find something interesting over there Captain Sslarr?"

[opwunder - I'm assuming, and let me know if incorrect BlanchPrez, that scans are better done closeup in the 'old trek' days - they always seemed to need to beam down to investigate things and do scans. The ship sensors seemed to detect major things only, not fine details...]

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Post by mordraine » Tue Jan 24, 2006 10:45 am


[quote="Lieutenant Korff"]A few moments later, Lieutenant Korrf calls to his captain in Gorn, "Captain! You might want to look at this. I'm detecting an unusual energy signature here by the communication equipment. It's fading, but still strong."[/quote]
Sslarr looked at the readouts from the scanner Korrf held out for him.



"What do you make of this, Lieutenant? Analysis please."


[quote="dnd3eplayer"]Noting the exchange between the Gorn, Wraith will inquire: "Find something interesting over there Captain Sslarr?"
[/quote]

"Yes," replied the big Gorn, "my first officer is getting some unusual readings by the communications equipment here. But we haven't analyzed it yet."

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Post by Cthulhu » Tue Jan 24, 2006 10:50 am

Komar grins and hurries off to the com equipment, and tries to pull up any communications records or other information he can gather from it.
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Post by SpaceMonkey » Tue Jan 24, 2006 11:16 am


[quote="Sslarr"]"Yes," replied the big Gorn, "my first officer is getting some unusual readings by the communications equipment here. But we haven't analyzed it yet."[/quote]

"If you like, Lt Komar here can assist - communications is his area of expertise."


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Post by mordraine » Tue Jan 24, 2006 11:27 am


[quote="Cthulhu"]Komar grins and hurries off to the com equipment, and tries to pull up any communications records or other information he can gather from it.[/quote]
[quote="dnd3eplayer"]"If you like, Lt Komar here can assist - communications is his area of expertise."[/quote]

Sslarr nodded crisply. "Korff, share your results with Lt. Komar. I want an analysis on this anomoly as quick as possible."

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Post by SpaceMonkey » Tue Jan 24, 2006 12:50 pm

"Dixon - I'd like you to do a quick security sweep of the area. Take the doctor with you and look for life signs - however faint. See if there are signs of a struggle or disarray anywhere also. I assume a search was done, but let's double check and make sure something wasn't missed that can be seen with our scanners.

Mayor - if you can transfer those files now, then please give them to Commander Dra here. If not, send them to the ship when you can, or we'll go to New Dodge later and retrieve them if necessary."

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Post by Gotetsu » Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:09 pm

Dixon moves in for a closer look, and to make sure that if any energy field were to suddenly engulf the party, he's right in the middle of it.
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Post by Skyman » Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:52 pm

Commander Dra nods to the mayer...


Commander Dra thinks to herself "Martina...Hmmm. He seems really passionate about her...I'm detecting something off...I think there is a rock in my boot. Crap! I hate that."
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Post by opwunder » Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:13 pm

"Aye, Captain! Let's go Mr. Dixon." (I am assuming this is after my previous post...and you know what they say about assuming...)
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Post by Gotetsu » Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:19 pm

Keeping a close eye on the activity near the equipment, Dixon scans the area for tell-tale signs of any struggle, or anything that seems out of the ordinary. Perhaps marks on the ground where objects have been inexplicaby moved, and whatnot.
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Post by BlanchPrez » Wed Jan 25, 2006 12:48 pm

Korff and Komar bend over to discuss Korff's discovery. Making a scan with his own tricorder to verify what the Gorn have discovered, he can now verify that the scans show residue energy that is defnatly simmilar to a transporter signal.

Looking over the communications equipment itself shows nothing out of the ordinary. The last communication seems to have not actually been stopped, and continued to broadcast after the scientests dissapeared for another hour befor shutting down by itself. However, the recordings after the dissapearance is black. It's possible that the ships computer could retreive something else from it, but the equipmenet here is just now powerful enough to clean up the recorded signal.

Searching over the campsite itself reveals no signs of struggle. Everything seems to be as you would expect it in an early morning. The search, however, does reveal that one scientest was keeping a personal journal of the whole experience.

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Post by opwunder » Wed Jan 25, 2006 4:04 pm

Doc reads the Journal and then shares with Dixon his findings and reports these findings to the Captain.
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Post by BlanchPrez » Fri Jan 27, 2006 7:33 am

The journal starts a few weeks ago, with the beginning of the dig. It seems entirely focused on the dig itself, no personal entries. The person who wrote it was a human, male, and apparently one that disagreed with the team lead, Martina Schulenburg.

The last entry catches your eye, however. It discusses the artifact.

"A strange device, triangular in shape, approximately 1/2 a meter on a side, and laced with buttons and controls. Oddly, not a single display screen or read out on the entire thing. More of the strange writing is on it, labels of the various controllers, no doubt. Our linguist expert, Dr. Hanson, has had no luck with that language in the past few weeks. I am beginning to doubt her skills or usefulness to the team.

We have all been very careful to not touch any of the controls, though my scans have revealed a faint energy signature coming from it. It's faint, and looks vaguely familiar to me, but I can't quite place it. I have attached a copy of the scan readout to this journal. Whatever this thing is, it's still got power, which is remarkable for a device over 1,000 years old.

I am looking forward to the transmission to New Dodge this morning. I will recommend once more to Dr. Schulenburg that we replace Dr. Hanson before then, but I doubt she will listen."

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Post by opwunder » Fri Jan 27, 2006 8:08 am

Hmmmm, Doc thinks, A real likable guy. Major team Player. After Dixon and Doc are done reading the journal, he takes it over to the Captain.
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Post by Gotetsu » Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:07 am

Sheesh, thinks Dixon, this guy can't spell. And he's a scientist?

Dixon follows Doc, wondering if he's going to be of any real use anytime soon.

((Sorry, I got nothing else. :lol: ))
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Post by BlanchPrez » Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:09 am

<There, I fixed all the damn spelling errors. Can we keep on game, please?>

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Post by Cthulhu » Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:59 am

Komar tries to get as clean a copy of the last transmittion as he can and upload it to the ship.
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Post by opwunder » Fri Jan 27, 2006 1:07 pm

Doc, after handing over the journal, goes and stands next to Dixon. "Well Mr. Dixon," Doc notes, "I noticed that you don't have much to do. Now might be a good time for that colonoscopy, you've been putting off. I believe I have my probe in my medkit here...."
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Post by Gotetsu » Fri Jan 27, 2006 1:37 pm

"Ya know, Doc, you're kinda creepy sometimes." Says Dixon, unconsciously taking a step away.

Dixon looks to the rest of the group, and again checks the perimeter for something he may have missed.

I have a bad feeling about this. He thinks to himself.
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Post by mordraine » Fri Jan 27, 2006 2:04 pm

Sslarr, ignoring the interactions of the small humans and various other races around him, spoke to Lts. Korff and Komar:

"Is there any way we can determine either the source or the target for the transporter signal?"
Hey man, I'm slinging volume and fat stacking benjies, you know what I mean? I can't be all about spelling and shit!

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Post by Skyman » Fri Jan 27, 2006 2:45 pm

Commander Dra *eyebrow raises* and is still with the mayer getting the data.

Commander Dra thinks to her self "WTF?"
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Post by SpaceMonkey » Fri Jan 27, 2006 5:39 pm

"interesting information. Everyone keep an eye out for anything that looks like the artifact. Anyone recognize the energy signature from the log?"

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Post by opwunder » Sun Jan 29, 2006 4:00 pm

Doc, thinking the Cap probably means the energy signature mentioned in the journal, checks his medical data base and finds....
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Post by BlanchPrez » Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:57 pm


[quote="opwunder"]Doc, thinking the Cap probably means the energy signature mentioned in the journal, checks his medical data base and finds....[/quote]

Nothing. It's an energy signature, not a bio-signature.



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Post by opwunder » Tue Jan 31, 2006 7:59 am


[quote="BlanchPrez"]Nothing. It's an energy signature, not a bio-signature.



Chris[/quote]

Drat! (Well, it was worth a try...)

A writer is congenitally unable to tell the truth and that is why we call what he writes fiction. – William Faulkner

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Post by mordraine » Tue Jan 31, 2006 8:22 am


[quote="mordraine"]Sslarr, ignoring the interactions of the small humans and various other races around him, spoke to Lts. Korff and Komar:



"Is there any way we can determine either the source or the target for the transporter signal?"[/quote]


OOC - ahem... I'm asking Korff and Komar this question, but I believe it requires a GM answer...

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Post by BlanchPrez » Tue Jan 31, 2006 9:17 am


((OOC - Sorry, I missed these posts... my bad))


[quote="Cthulhu"]Komar tries to get as clean a copy of the last transmittion as he can and upload it to the ship.[/quote]

A copy is easily transmitted to the ship. The communications computer there can clean it up easily, but you'd need to be there to do that and to view it.


[quote="mordraine"]Sslarr, ignoring the interactions of the small humans and various other races around him, spoke to Lts. Korff and Komar:



"Is there any way we can determine either the source or the target for the transporter signal?"[/quote]


Both Korff and Komar can verify that the target was an area, immedatly in front of the communications equipment.



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Post by mordraine » Tue Jan 31, 2006 9:24 am

OOC - oops, what I meant by target was "destination"... goof.
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Post by BlanchPrez » Tue Jan 31, 2006 9:32 am


[quote="mordraine"]OOC - oops, what I meant by target was "destination"... goof.[/quote]

Ah... well, in that case, no... the tricorderes are not capable of tracking a transporter signal.



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Post by opwunder » Tue Jan 31, 2006 10:30 am

"Mayor, I know that the ship can track us by means of our communicators and bio-signs, did any of the scientists have communicators with them?"

(If the answer is no, I will mention to the Captain that we could always have some of us stand in the same spot and recreate the circumstances and have the ship track us...if we can find the artifact that is.)
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