By Scott Macek
Suggested Era of Play: Original Series Movie Era
Suggested Spotlight Role: Science Officer.
Synopsis: The crew investigates a distress call from the Epsilon IX station, thought destroyed by the V’ger entity, emanating from a region of space far from where the station was lost. The crew must determine how to assist, how the crew and station survived, and what dangers may be tied to its return.
Opening Log Entry: Captain’s Log: Supplemental. We are responding to a distress call of questionable origin. The call claims to originate from Epsilon IX, the station destroyed during the incursion of the entity known as V’Ger into Federation space. Why anyone would send a distress call, supposedly from a station destroyed years ago, in an entirely different sector of space, is hard to fathom.
Return To Sender
When the Crew’s starship enters visual range, every indication is that the entire Epsilon IX station is intact and its crew whole – for the moment. There are indications that the edges of the station are dissolving (pixelating). Closer, detailed scans or boarding the station will confirm that the station and its inhabitants are actually nearly perfect mechanical replicas of the originals – to the point that the crew of the station act with complete autonomy and self-awareness. These are V’Ger’s memories, being lost and discarded following V’Ger’s evolution at the end of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
Not All Memories Are Fond Ones
While the Crew is attempting to sort out what to do about the Epsilon IX station simulacrums, the three K’Tinga class Klingon warships absorbed by V’Ger materialize in long-range from the starship. The flagship of the trio is the IKS Amar, captained by Commander Barak. Their crews realize they are on the wrong side of the border between the Federation and the Klingon Empire and decide they have to fight their way back to Klingon space. They will engage the Crew’s starship unless somehow convinced not to do so. If a fight does break out, each time the Klingon ships fire their weapons or take damage, the ships and their crews degrade faster. If the Klingons manage to board the Crew’s starship or the Epsilon IX station, they will engage in combat but even stun settings or incapacitating, yet non-lethal blows will cause the targeted Klingon to vanish.
For an extra poignant story, have one of the crew members on board the Epsilon IX station be a relative, a classmate, or an old flame of a member of the Player Character crew.
Key Non-Player Characters
Commander Branch – Commander Branch was/is the officer in charge of the Epsilon IX station when it was absorbed by V’Ger.
Conclusion: In Song and In Story
The Crew should realize that there are no permanent fixes to the degradation of the discarded memories of V’Ger. The Crew may be able to maintain the matrixes of the former life forms for a time but the station and vessels are too large to handle. The Crew may beam survivors to their ship, only to discover that removal from their supporting structure will cause those survivors to disintegrate in far less time. The Crew should suggest that the survivors record messages for their loved ones and then the Crew should bear witness to their final dissolution. Adding This Mission to Your Campaign: While this mission is intended for use in the Original Series Movie Era, it could be used for any time after Star Trek: The Motion Picture takes place. Later eras may allow new technological options to maintain or delay the dissolution of the Epsilon IX crew by storing the survivors in the ship’s holodecks, but most solutions are expected to be limited given the unstable existence of the lost memories of V’Ger.