Jim and Michael—Captain’s Log Collaborative Play: Star Trek: Saratoga “Eminent Domain” Act 1 Scene 1

Story by Jim Johnson and Michael Dismuke

Every so often, Jim and Michael will play and record their collaborative Captain’s Log game and make it an episode of Continuing Conversations. After the recording, we will write up a post-play report for the scene(s). This will enable you to see the dice rolls and how we journal.

To begin, we rolled up our characters (we are using Creation in Play), the game to be Picard-era, and the SPACEFRAME: Reliant-class.

Now we had to roll up the mission type. Here is what we got.

  • Mission Type – Tactical: Provide Starfleet Ship deployment strategy
  • Incident: Command and Save Theme: Salvageable Wreck (Federation)
  • Federation Other Ship “Birch” Mission: Spiritual. Science conflicts with long-held beliefs. Their Incident Theme was Navigate Crater. ADV: Redundant Systems. Birch is Saber-class
  • Roll ADV or COMP? Sudden Reversal! 
  • Encounter: Uninhabited Planet—A devastated planet wiped out by civil war (Beta radiation involved; nuclear fission related) Beta radiation is a type of radiation caused by nuclear fission, such as that which results from the detonation of an atomic bomb. Contaminated: Local animal and planets fatigued…
  • Politician Ved’Be [Masculine] [Species: HaHop-OpaAr] [ (Carbon-Based/Asymetrical/Animal) — Another Species (Orion) World; Cultural Traits: Purity Goals: Gain Territory Tactics: Technological Upgrades Federation Outlook: Furious.

“Captain’s Log, Stardate October 16, 2401

“We have been deployed to the Orion Sector to assist a Federation ship in distress, the USS Birch. They were assigned to aid Ambassador Ved’be, a Hahap-OpaAr delegate, in conducting planetary surveys of a highly unique nature. Apparently, the Orions stumbled upon a world devastated by a nuclear war, only to discover that the remaining species included a mutated branch of high-functioning amoeba. These amoebas were transported back to Orion for study and astonishingly evolved at an incredibly rapid pace, achieving sentience in just 300 years. What was initially a subject of great scientific intrigue and entertainment on Orion soon escalated into a diplomatic incident when the creatures, who identified themselves as the HaHop-OpaAr, demanded to be returned to their planet of origin, claiming ownership based on their obscure origins. The Orions hesitated in fulfilling their request, but Ved’be managed to escape Orion and sought asylum from the Federation. Asylum was granted, allowing Ved’be to persuade the Birch, a science vessel, to assist in planetary surveys with the aim of securing the rights to bring the Hahap-OpaAr back for colonization. However, something went terribly wrong during the survey, and now we must assist a distressed ship.”

  • These are some other rolls we did to establish the scene:
  • Is there going to be resistance from the Orions? Probable: No.
  • Yellow Alert: Tactical
  • Advantage: Change of Heart: A nemesis or superior officer decides to assist the crew, whether for their own purposes or because they have been charmed by the crew. BANKING
  • 12 Survivors 
  • Entering atmosphere with Shuttlecraft: Damage to Structure – Catastrophic – Critical System Destruction – Sensors
  • Orions Damage to Engine – Catastrophic – Repair Necessitating Spacedock – 

Captain Gin’emat completed their log, their resonant Aenar voice echoing through the empty confines of their private office aboard the USS Saratoga, a reliable Reliant-class vessel. They recited the tale of the USS Birch, a science ship in distress, an ambassador on a mission, and sentient amoebas demanding their homeworld back.

After sending the log, Gin’emat returned to the bridge just as the Saratoga dropped out of warp in the Orion sector. The star-strewn vastness of space stretched out before them, their usually expressive silver eyes dulled with worry. They were looking for the Birch, a Federation Saber-class vessel reported to have crash-landed on a world designated V9543-Orion by the Federation. Preliminary scans of the star system revealed no other vessels.

“Bring us into orbit of the planet,” Gin’emat ordered, their voice steady. “Commence a focused scan for the Birch.”

As they orbited the planet, still visibly scarred from a major nuclear war hundreds of years ago, the Saratoga’s advanced sensors picked up the Birch’s signal. Gin’emat’s heart sank as they saw the data. Out of hundreds that had set off on a mission of diplomacy and exploration, only 12 souls remained.

Gin’emat’s antennae twitched – an Orion vessel had entered the system and was now hovering near them in orbit. The Orions’ intentions were unknown, adding a layer of tension to an already dire situation.

“Open a channel,” Gin’emat ordered. To their relief, the Orions offered to assist in the rescue operation. Both the Saratoga and the Orion ship would send shuttles to the planet.

“Commander Fofem,” Gin’emat turned to their first officer, a resourceful Talaxian. “I want you to lead the away team. You’re familiar with the evacuation procedures. Have operations prepare the shuttle McCarver for immediate departure.”

Minutes later, the McCarver, with Fofem and three other officers, disappeared into the planet’s toxic atmosphere. The Orion shuttle followed suit, flying on a parallel course.

From the Saratoga, Gin’emat watched the blips of both shuttles on the view screen. The shuttles were rocked by the planet’s super-charged winds, making visibility through the turbulent clouds impossible. The nuclear aftermath of the war still reigned supreme on V9543-Orion.

A sudden alert from the console shattered the tense silence. The McCarver had suffered major damage; their sensor array was offline. They were flying blind. Worse still, the Orion shuttle had lost engine power and was plunging headlong into the dense atmosphere. Their fate was a mystery.

On the Saratoga, Gin’emat struggled with a rising sense of dread. Had they sent their first officer, their crew, to their deaths?



Oh, and here’s the wrap about our ship I mentioned in the podcast…

(Beat drops)

Yo, listen up, I got a tale to tell,

About the Saratoga, NCC-Three-One-Nine-One-One-C, man, it’s swell.

In the Alpha Quadrant, yeah, that’s where she roam,

Reliant-class starship, space is her home.

Uh, she’s got phasers, shields, torpedoes too,

Rippin’ through anomalies, what she born to do.

Captain at the helm, crew in their seats,

Warpin’ through the stars, man, can’t feel defeat.

Yeah, remember Wolf 359? A battle hard fought,

The Borg came in hot, but Saratoga got caught.

She ain’t backin’ down, no, she’s Starfleet bred,

Remember her name, cause her legacy ain’t dead.

In the Dominion War, yo, she made her mark,

Givin’ Jem’Hadar hell, yeah, she’s got that spark.

Cruisin’ past Deep Space Nine, givin’ Odo a nod,

This ship’s a legend, man, no facade.

Uh, Sisko was her first officer, yeah, he’s a pro,

Took that experience to DS9, in case ya didn’t know.

Saratoga, she’s more than nuts and bolts,

She’s got soul, man, defyin’ default.

So here’s my rap, payin’ homage to her lore,

USS Saratoga, forever we’ll adore.

Boldly going where no one’s gone, see?

That’s the tale of the NCC-Three-One-Nine-One-One-C.

(Mic drop)


  1. The more I read these posts on Captain’s Log the more I realize I don’t have the RP chops for this game.

    1. Aw. Just have fun with it. You can do it. Remember, a person’s first guitar referral or first date or first painting are always something to be improved upon. Just do the work of trying and tweaking. This is like my 10th go at it and I still see room for improvement.

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