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Re: STORY WORKSHOP 2021 | EPISODE 02, SEASON 2

Reply #50

QUICK UPDATE


Just wanted to post quickly that I have been working on a loose manuscript based on the input here, and I will post it as soon as I feel like it is presentable. I have a good feeling about it, and I hope it will accommodate for a lot of storytelling and characterisation, along with some high stakes and moral dilemmas, not to mention political intrigue and implications make a lot of impact in the Theurgy's timeline.

Until then, make sure to make the most of the shore leave on Qo'noS, everyone! :)

Best,

Auctor Lucan


Re: STORY WORKSHOP 2021 | EPISODE 02, SEASON 2

Reply #52

QUICK UPDATE


Just wanted to post quickly that I have been working on a loose manuscript based on the input here, and I will post it as soon as I feel like it is presentable. I have a good feeling about it, and I hope it will accommodate for a lot of storytelling and characterisation, along with some high stakes and moral dilemmas, not to mention political intrigue and implications make a lot of impact in the Theurgy's timeline.

Until then, make sure to make the most of the shore leave on Qo'noS, everyone! :)

Best,

Auctor Lucan

Hi Al -

Since it's been almost two months since you teased this, I wanted to see if you had any idea when it might become available for us to look at?   I'm looking forward to seeing what you have in mind.


Re: STORY WORKSHOP 2022 | EPISODE 02, SEASON 2

Reply #54

PART 1: SYNOPSIS OF EPISODE 02: BROKEN TALON (WORKING TITLE)


Well then, let's see what you think of this proposal for Episode 02. which does pick up on a lot of the things mentioned in this Story Workshop and yet stays plausible to the development we have so far in the story. :)

My first and second drafts of the skeleton manuscript were highly... ambitious in terms of the logistics and ended up convoluted messes where there was a lot of space-hopping back and fourth between coordinates to accomplish things, which in my experience from both Episode 05 of Season 1 and Episode 01 in this Season, becomes almost unmanageable to not just coordinate, but communicate in a way that allows all writers to easily stay on the same page with where the current development stands. Instead, I deleted those manuscripts, took the core elements of the proposed development, and simplified everything into five Chapters that both start at the same time, and run parallel with each other. They all start out from the Prologue, leading to a final Epilogue to tie a bow on things. The reasons why I suggest this simple story progression are as follows.

First, given the fact that we are so many writers, the number of writers involved in group scenes lead to a lot of waiting time. Best exemplified by the current Senior Staff meeting thread in the Interregnum - Tempus Sigilum - which becomes a slog when RL competes with escapism and writing for any number of the involved writers. We have many other examples of this, from both Advent of War, Episodes 4 and 5 in Season 1, and other group threads where there are more than 4-5 writers participating in a scene. So, with this pre-condition of our community's size, space-hopping with different means of propulsion in a manner which would have allowed for the different Vectors/Vessels/Shuttles to rendezvous mid-Episode becomes difficult when one facet of the story development is less quick to accomplish the intended objectives. It ends up with two or even three groups of writers having to wait for a prerequisite objective to be completed.

Secondly, based on the experience of how drawn-out and long-winded our Episodes can become, I wish that we mitigate this as much as we can and actually have us write an Episode that doesn't take us a full year - or more - to complete. The two parts of Episode 05 in Season 1 took us much more than a year and a half. The ambition with Advent of War was to make it a quick Episode as well, but we endued up with so many loose ends of the story development - when the Theurgy finally reached Qo'noS - that in order to give all the writers something to work on, and to settle all matters in a plausible way, we had to extend the story farther than originally intended.

Third, since we are very prolific writers here, adding to the rich tapestry of our magnum opus with lengthy and highly detailed posts, making the plot outline more convoluted than it needs to be makes it harder to keep track of what is going on. By means of starting all five Chapters at once after the Prologue, with their own distinct and clear objectives to work towards, the only challenge - which I believe can be overcome - is to moderate cross-Chapter interactions. What I am talking about there is if a ship in Chapter 2 were to contact a ship in Chapter 4, we need to keep track of the space-time continuum. We'll do this with a new wiki Calendar, which shows what each ship in each each separate Chapter is doing at that time. What we do need to keep in mind is to keep these subspace communications at an absolute minimum so that we don't create plot-holes or continuity issues. This can, of course, be handled with different plot elements preventing communications, but at some turns, we do need the Chapters to correlate with each other as well.

Without further ado, here is the skeleton manuscript for Episode 02, and while I am okay with Broken Talon as a working title for it, I would love if you all could post title suggestions in this thread, and then we'll run a Poll. Non-serious suggestions will, of course, not be considered, so please keep the suggestions in tone with our narrative? :)


PROLOGUE


In the Prologue, I will finally show what it is like behind enemy lines, illustrating more about the nature of the enemy and their plans. So far, we have had very little of that, and at the risk of meta-writing, I believe there is some confusion and misunderstandings that we can clear up in a way that allows all writers to be on the same page about what we are up against. I have already begun to work on a scene from the point of view of the Nicander that crossed over from an alternate timeline.

Furthermore, we will have a scene with Garak and President Bacco, in which the story will advance on that front, setting of a new direction that I hope you all will like. This will correlate with the fallout at Qo'noS and how Martok sent out the real Simulcast after he quelled House Mo'Kai's uprising and Gorka was killed, picking up on what kind of development that may lead to in the Federation as well. What the FNN says and doesn't say will have great impact not just on the public opinion, but also show people of high political influence that everything isn't quite what they seem.

Aboard the Theurgy, repairs and some upgrades (more on that later), have been finished, and Commander Donatra is crossing the RNZ. Therefore, Captain Ives gives the order to use the QSD and jump to where Martok's fleet is at - the latter having a head start from Qo'noS and already waiting for Donatra's arrival. During this time, and following the arrival at the coordinates of Martok's forces, more intel is gleaned from various sources which establishes the objectives of the Chapters in the Episode. The Prologue, and its Supplemental threads, become the starting-point of a multi-facetted ambition to stop the Romulans from invading Klingon Space. That is not all, however, because more trouble is brewing on the horizon in the form of the Hobus supernova being accelerated by the Infested. This, orchestrated by the Scion High Council after the Borg invasion was stopped in the Azure Nebula.

In short, during the cool-down of the Theurgy's QSD, the next phase of the mission takes form, and the crew is divided between different objectives. Before Donatra arrives, there is time for Supplemental threads between characters that have to say good bye to one another, and then, all the other Chapters are launched.


CHAPTER 01: FIND THE THALARON TRIGGERS! (WORKING TITLE, LOL)


Obviously, dealing with the Romulan Empire hinge on the development of some kind of anti-thalaron dispersal field, which is science that plausibly needs two things to be complete. The Story Prompt dealing with this tech has yet to be started in the Interregnum, which may be a good thing. See, the research may show that in order to disperse thalaron radiation, they will need two things. 

One of them is sensor data from Ba'Ku, specifically the metaphasic radiation that was contained within the planet's rings. What we need to establish on that front during the Interregnum, is how the Oneida sets out for Ba'Ku in order to get this data prior to Episode 02. The data can then be sent to all ships/shuttles in need of it in all the Chapters of the Episode. The reason why the Oneida is going off alone to do this is that there is frankly not enough story development to work with on that separate front, so it is better to have our NPC guest ship do this quite mundane and uninteresting task, lol.

There is, however, a second component needed for this anti'dispersal tech, and my idea is that it could be scans of thalaron triggers, which can be found in a Romulan R&D facility. With both of these sets of sensor data acquired, the missing pieces to create a countermeasure against thalaron weaponry can be deployed by the Theurgy and indeed, both Donatra's remaining fleet and Martok's forces. This would be a significant factor in stopping the Praetor's forces, and Chapter 01 will detail how the Apache acquires the scans of the thalaron triggers.

How is the Apache to reach the Romulan research facility? My idea here is that the Savi assist with this, sending the Apache to the coordinates that the Intelligence Department has found, using a soliton wave (like the Savi used for the Theurgy at the end of Advent of War). This is an infiltration mission of the utmost importance, and with the Apache having a Reman cloak, it can remain cloaked while sent on its soliton wave to the R&D facility.


CHAPTER 02: EXTRACTING REVAD BEYOND THE RNZ (WORKING TITLE)


In Tempus Sigillum, the means in which the USS Relativity can work with the Theurgy to make the Temporal Defence Grid re-appear in time has been established. During the Prologue, input from the Relativity grants the crew the name of a Romulan Temporal Agent that will be involved in creating the grid. His name is Revad, an agent of the Temporal Assessment Group. Moreover, Captain Ducane and his crew has deduced from the timestream that Revad's life is threatened by the Infested, whom mean to retro-assassinate him and prevent the TDG from being created. The great difficulty is that this Romulan operative is currently aboard a Romulan carrier that is heading for the Klingon Border. Waiting for the arrival at the border isn't an alternative either, because the Relativity reveals that he is to be assassinated before that.

Given the sensitive nature of objectives with the Tempus Sigillum code, this Chapter opens up for a lot of interesting plot elements to work with. The crew of the Ranger (Vectors 2 and 3 of Thea, sans Vector 1) can only be informed to a small degree why they are crossing the RNZ at maximum warp and delve deep into Romulan space in order to intercept a specific Romulan ship. A ship in all likelihood armed with thalaron weaponry and geared to not just destroy what's left of Donatra's forces but invade Klingon space. The balance for the Ranger's Commanding Officer - Commander Cross - is to keep the crew from questioning orders and keeping morale high, and yet push them towards accomplishing the mission. Moreover, there is a challenge in the approach of the Romulan ship, how to reach Revad, save his life, and survive the cunning Romulan captain's tactics and his squadrons of Stalker-class fighters.

So how does the Ranger escape? Well, because during the end of the Interregnum, we need to have Engineering start working on enabling the Ranger to use the QSD, even if at a less effective output since it would be missing the warp core of Vector 01. More precisely, Vector 2 needs Slipstream Initiators mounted on the hull of Vector 2, so that they can escape back across the RNZ once Revad is extracted. This means that during Chapter 02, Engineering has to finalise this project for the Ranger to escape. No pressure!

Revad's life being saved, and potentially delivered to the USS Relativity, the main objective of this Chapter is completed, but as you can already imagine, a great number of Story Prompts can be created around this Chapter. The correlation with the anti-dispersal tech affecting the situation is present as well, like I said, since one of the key objectives at this point in the story ought to be a way to mitigate the threat of thalaron weaponry.


CHAPTER 03: THE TRIANGLE REGION (WORKING TITLE)


Here, after the Ranger has left, Vector 1 - the Helmet - remains with Martok's forces in the Triangle region, where Donatra is due to arrive. The Flag Bridge of the Theurgy can then serve as neutral ground upon which Donatra and Martok can reach an accord, with the help of the Helmet's Commanding Officer - Natalie Stark - facilitating the arrangement and the Diplomatic Department mediating between the two. There is already a tentative understanding between Donatra and Martok because of a previous summit in which Martok acknowledged Donatra's Imperial Romulan State, but there are a lot of matters to bring to the table in preparation for Tal'Aura's forces reaching the Klingon Border. Donatra has yet to acknowledge the threat of the Infested, and be willing to screen her own officers for Infested infiltration.

While any high amount of detail surrounding the presence of the Imperial Klingon States is something that I am unwilling to incorporate into the story since it adds an unneeded amount of complexity to the story - introducing a story element that a great majority of the writers know nothing about - the IKS does serve as a plot element that can be a disrupting factor during this Chapter. This, because it makes great sense that the scarce forces of House Mo'Kai that fled instead of recognising Mickayla's leadership would naturally flee to the Triangle and join forces with the Klingons there. Moreover, with the Azure Nebula having gone ka-boom in Episode 05, a great majority of the IKS has been obliterated completely or become stranded in the non-subspace envelope following the blast. Naturally, the IKS isn't... impressed with the Theurgy and Martok's involvement in the Azure Nebula fallout to begin with, and with House Mo'Kai arriving and fanning the flames even more, it makes sense that the remains of the IKS would pose a threat in the Triangle.

That being said Chancellor Martok is there in force, as well as Donatra's remaining forces, so the IKS would have to be sneaky as "#%¤" if they are to deal any kind of meaningful revenge. I would think a surgical decloak, hit and run thing against Vector 1 while the diplomatic talks are underway would be most plausible here, since that would have the IKS not just destroy the Theurgy, but also kill Martok with the ousted Romulan Empress merely there as a bonus.

Then, of course, we also have the anti-thalaron dispersal tech that needs to be deployed prior to the arrival of Tal'Aura's forces. The Theurgy would need to be in the role of ensuring that all present ships - Klingon and Romulan - are prepared to calibrate their deflectors to emit these dispersion fields as soon as the sensor data from Ba'Ku and the scan readings of the thalaron triggers are sent to them. Sufficed to say, the implementation of this tech will be crucial prior to the arrival of the Praetor's forces, and the pending battle at the border. A battle at which - after the thalaron radiation is no longer effective - we can show off prominent Romulan characters from canon, and have our characters attempt to deter them from engaging Martok and Donatra's forces.


CHAPTER 04: HOBUS (WORKING TITLE)


So, in the Prologue, the Voice of the rebel Savi has already aided the Theurgy in deploying the Apache to the coordinates of the Romulan R&D facility (Chapter 1). There is, however, a development in the civil war between the rebel Savi and the Scion High Council. As it happens, this development is that the Scions - whom made the breach into the Nameless Darkness and became the first Infested - mean to accelerate the Hobus supernova. Not just to destroy a lot of the galaxy's intelligent life and raze a lot of present civilisation, but by utilising the force of the blast, make another breach into the dark void beyond. A breach far surpassing the original one, which is to be featured in the Prologue.

In Chapter 02 of Advent of War, Quantum Frontier, Captain Ducane alluded to the Savi constructing something - which Sarresh Morali only held low access information on - and that something would be a structure in orbit of the Hobus star. Here, the idea is that Nicander - in the brig - gleans what is about to happen through his Farsight, which is a kind of astral consciousness projection into the eyes of other Infested. When the plans are relayed to the Voice of the rebel Savi, as in accordance with the alliance with them, the Voice sets out to prevent this from happening. This Chapter is a chance to depict the Savi Civil War, and have the Theurgy aid the Voice in two ways. Nicander's Farsight would be crucial to spy behind enemy lines, and Thea - being an unique A.I. - could play a role in aiding the Voice as well. The Theurgy would not, however, hand over both Thea and Nicander to the rebel Savi on a whim. The only "use" the Voice has for the alliance with the Theurgy is Nicander's ability, so giving away the Theurgy's only bargaining chip with the Voice doesn't happen without a lot of precautions.

Moreover, as was evident in Episode 05, the Savi are scientists. They may be very advanced and have access to cutting edge technology, but they are not by any stretch of the imagination veterans in the art of war. They have always relied on being clandestine and out of sight, but as they fight this war amongst themselves about which version of their Code to believe in - the one made by the Scions or the original Code - it becomes clear that they are in need of help with their tactics if they are to take the fight to the structure in orbit of the Hobus star. This is where the Theurgy can aid again in stopping the Scions from accelerating the supernova and making another breach.

So, the Chapter begins with the Erudite - after having sent off the Apache - heading to the Hobus star. It allows for a chance to go head to head with the Infested of the Savi, and the conclusion of this Chapter revolves around a great turn in the Savi Civil War. Allowing the Hobus star go supernova when it should, and without the Infested using the blast for their own plans.


CHAPTER 05: MAKING THE PRAETOR SEE THE LIGHT (WORKING TITLE)


Aboard the Erudite, the Allegiant will also be, and the mission that Captain Ives will oversee from the scoutship is to try and reach Praetor Tal'Aura. In the Prologue, it is decided that the attempt to try and expose the Praetor to transphasic light would be key for her to call back her troops. The reasoning is that since Nicander could regain his sanity after exposure to transphasic light, evidence being how he has been aiding the Theurgy's mission at every turn since his true nature was exposed and he willingly aided the crew from his cell, there is a high enough probability that the Praetor might call back her fleets if she were to regain her mental faculties.

So, launching from the Erudite at Hobus, the Allegiant - using its Reman cloak - head for Romulus with the mission to reach the Praetor and expose her to the light of the kemocite cannon that the Theurgy crew has been using to keep Nicander from being subdued by the parasite remaining inside him. Therefore, Nicander will be incarcerated aboard the Allegiant instead of the brig of the Theurgy, and the cannon in question being close at hand both to preserve his mind when spying on the Infested, but also to use said cannon against the Praetor. With the cannon being prototype tech and powered by kemocite, the crew is currently only in possession of one cannon, meaning that the cannon will have to be brought to Romulus along with Nicander. With Nicander on the Allegiant, the Savi would not be in direct possession of him either, but able to assist in the Hobus mission via subspace comms (which will be a coordinating challenge between Chapters, but be that as it may). I hope this makes sense, lol.

If the mission to Romulus is successful, and they reach and manage to expose the Praetor to the transphasic light, then the battle at the Klingon border, and the losses suffered there, can be halted on the order from the Praetor. Same goes for the Ranger in Episode 02, which may be in dire straits after extracting Revad, not to mention the crew aboard the Apache, whom is deep behind enemy lines. Until the Apache manages to send the thalaron trigger data, the threat of the thalaron weaponry ought to be substantial, causing a lot of dismay until the the dispersion fields can be utilised. See, reaching the Praetor will not be that easy, and while Captain Ives and those accompanying hir will try their best to turn the head of the raptor, they might not be successful, and thalaron weapons or not, the Romulan Star Empire would remain one of the biggest threats.


EPILOGUE

When the fallout of all Chapters run to a close, the Epilogue is used for closure, in which Thea is reassembled, shuttles return, and celebrations are in order. The Infested in Starfleet Command may still be out there, along with whatever other schemes they have in play, but this Episode comes to a conclusion in the Triangle, where it began.

All the preceding Chapters can have their own Story Prompts and sub-plots added to them, allowing for IC hours here and there wherein there can be one-on-one threads for those so inclined. This ought to balance both individual needs for characterisation and light threads, as well as dedicating characters to a specific sub-plot of a Chapter that they find meaningful. I have, however, not listed all the potential Story Prompts I can see within the envelope of each Chapter, since there is a lot more work needed on those.

I hope this synopsis of my research and notes has been detailed enough, but remember that this is just the skeleton outline. The wide brush strokes of the development, which will only come to life as we write it.



Since this synopsis has been so lengthy, I will end this post here, and post again with PART 2: QUESTIONS, ANSWERS & COMMENTS, which I will address questions and ideas specifically brought up in this Story Workshop. Indeed, since some parts of the comments deal with the Interregnum rather than Episode 02, I figured it was best to separate this Synopsis from the QAC where I deal with the input posted in the Story Workshop separately, so stay tuned for that!

If you have any intermediate comments or questions to bring up prior to Part 2, feel free to post them and I will deal with them as well! :)

Best,

Auctor Lucan

Re: STORY WORKSHOP 2022 | EPISODE 02, SEASON 2

Reply #55
Thank you for all the hard work and thought put into this! Cross looks forward to making things go boom...and he'll endeavor to be careful in the process. Enyd is up for chaos in any fashion, and Hirek delights in the manipulations. Looking forward to Part 2!

Re: STORY WORKSHOP 2022 | EPISODE 02, SEASON 2

Reply #56
I waited a tad too long to toss in my input, but in short, I love these missions. Each mission is interesting, with enough room for most characters to have things to do. It's also going to be complex as hell and take forever, but I fear that's inevitable, given how many writers are involved. We should all be enjoying some more quality storytelling, though.

I will say one thing: it's worth remembering that the Federation and the Romulans are at war, which has all sorts of knock-on effects. Politically, for the Romulans, it's their worst nightmare. For many decades, they've been paranoid about the Federation-Klingon alliance, worried that their old enemies will team up to overwhelm and destroy the Empire. Now, their worst fears are seemingly being realised. As far as the Romulans are concerned, they might be on the cusp of annihilation as a civilisation.

Secondly, there might well be fighting along and inside  the Neutral Zone. The Theurgy crew might encounter Starfleet ships attacking bases and worlds inside the Empire proper, or Starfleet Intelligence operatives on unrelated missions. After Paris, Starfleet will certainly be just as eager to counteract the thalaron weapons as the Theurgy crew, just to provide one example. There are all sorts of narrative opportunities.

Moreover, maybe the Romulus mission can have a different tone? Instead of breakneck running and gunning into the Praetor's office, what if it's very cloak and dagger instead, with the away team infiltrating the capital city to meet a contact? They have to interact with the Romulan civilians, see Romulan society, muddle their way through an alien world, and trick their way to the Praetor. Just a thought, anywho.

Re: STORY WORKSHOP 2022 | EPISODE 02, SEASON 2

Reply #57

PART 2: QUESTIONS, ANSWERS & COMMENTS


I'll now follow up on the questions and comments made earlier in the workshop and giving answers as best as I might. Thank you for all the kind feedback on the barebone plot for Episode 02! I have not received any negative feedback on it, beyond suggestions on the Romulus Chapter above, so I am really glad it has been met with such great approval!  (L)

For clarity, and not forcing readers to go back and track who said what and where earlier in the workshop, I will segment this QAC by topic, and reference comments as needed in each section.

HOBUS!

As you may have read in the manuscript (see my earlier post), I have fully integrated this idea into the Episode. I think this was a really fitting contingency plan of the Infested now that they have failed to use the Borg for their own purposes. It makes a lot of sense that not only would they seed the intergalactic war for its own sake, but also have it serve as a red herring, shrouding the way they actually mean to destroy as much as possible in the least amount of time.

As for the means of how they accelerate the fate of the star, the methodology of that would be well within the reach of the science that the Savi might apply, so using the Scion High Council to facilitate this development more than makes sense. On their wiki-page, it is already stated that...

Quote
Yet the growing aches of a society such as the Savi was harmful for them. During the course of their long history, they experienced nine Cataclysms, which had different causes but were all devastating to both their survival and their ability to retain their scientific discoveries. The loss of their home planet was such a Cataclysm, but only the seventh of such an event, in which their scientific discoveries went too far, and decimated their numbers. In five of these Cataclysms, even their Archives were affected, and with their short life expectancy, much of the knowledge lost was forever gone. At some points, a Cataclysm could even be noticed by the species the Savi studied, in the form of a supernova, the creation of a volatile nebula, or some other unexplained event. Still, despite these upheavals, and the need to re-discover many things, they survived, and continued their research. During the millennia the Savi also saw many other civilisations rise, fall and rise again.

After each Cataclysm, while some designs survived, the Savi developed new starships for their Flotilla - each with a specified purpose. Some were made and sent to study celestial objects and others were designed to study life on other planets.

Therefore, I don't believe we need to incorporate some manner of pre-existing Trek lore in the form of Salver weapons or tech from other old civilisations. I think it is easier if we keep it simple, and have the Savi stand on their own achievements in being able to  accelerate the life-cycle of a star.

THALARON DISPERSION FIELD

As the manuscript shows, I have also incorporated the awesome idea of having the rings of Ba'Ku play a role in figuring out how to deploy a thalaron dispersion field, added with the scans of thalaron triggers. The triggers would be located at the Tal-Shiar base that has figured in the reports in the Intelligence Department, this being the very same base where Shinzon stole his thalaron generator prior to Nemesis.

The scans of both (the rings of Ba'Ku and the triggers) serve as components for a scientific solution that might help the Theurgy win the day, by mitigating the threat posed by these banned weapons of the Romulan fleet. It will not only give the infiltration team aboard the Apache something to do in the Episode, but the Science Department. We do need to send away the Oneida prior to Episode 2, however, so that Captain Jackson can reach the planet in good enough time to make sense. This means that the Oneida will be leaving sometime in the middle of the Interregnum.

This also means that the scientific research that yields the idea to travel to Ba'Ku needs to come up prior to that as well! I know @Tae has a character fitting for this research to be made, and said research would help a lot in having his character Nara Nueva get the recognition she needs, and having her old rank restored via field promotion.

PRE-BREACH, FIRST INFESTED, THIS HAS HAPPENED BEFORE?

I think this suggestion might stem from a misconception about the "cycles" that figure in the speech and thoughts of Infested like Nicander. The cycles referenced are not meant to suggest that the breach into the "darkness beyond" has been made before. When cycles are mentioned, they refer to time-loops, not cyclical re-visits from the Infested. So, the cycles are the means in which the Infested may repeat their conquest endlessly, for sake of their own enjoyment, since their "clairvoyance", as so aptly put, allows them to re-experience endless versions of their exploits. This, until the cycles are broken, and the paradox cease to be - the timeline hopefully restored at some point. This ending of Episode 04 may shed some light on this for those who have yet to read it, where a new cycle is started: Epilogue

So, in short, there is no pre-breach intended in our story, by Iconians or otherwise. The Savi pushed their experiments too far sometime just prior to 2375, causing the breach and the first Infested came into existence. How, and by what means, is something that I mean to finally delve into in the Prologue of Episode 02, as mentioned in my previous post.

That being said, I am intrigued by the 'Unity Device', and I think it may serve us greatly in the forthcoming story if we decide to make use of it somehow. I don't think we need to implement that just for the sake of it at this point in the story though, since such a MacGuffin could be utilised in a more interesting way at a later time. So, I suggest we keep that device in the notes for the time being, until we might use it optimally?

"EXILE/SHADOW GOVERNMENT" IDEA FOR THE INTERREGNUM

This refers to an Interregnum development that was suggested, where a Deputy Chief of Starfleet Security and a Federation Senator - in observing the actions taken by President Bacco in the wake of the Paris Bombing - think that something is wrong with how things are handled, leading them to elope with other Councilors rather than staying with Bacco? That is how I read it anyway. On one hand, there was suspicion against how Starfleet Command, not the Federation Council, was behaving at Starfleet Headquarters when this was first suggested. This, as a consequence of what the Infested are doing, but the Federation Council is another entity. Unfortunately, this is something else entirely, and I cannot allow it since it contradicts the events in Advent of War in many ways.

While it might be interesting to create an exile government that opposes Bacco on the assumption that she has been compromised, the problem is that the surviving members of the Council has already been established to be with Bacco on her ship in Advent of War. Even if that wasn't the case, I don't really see how any perceived malpractice in Starfleet Headquarters - which is by no means readily apparent but something that might be merely suspected, how would this automatically be the case with the Council?

As previously written, the UFP President, Nanietta Bacco, managed to survive Paris, and when Starfleet Intelligence cite that Praetor Tal'Aura of the Romulan Empire was the most likely to be behind the attack, she and the surviving Council authorised Starfleet to investigate and act on this threat to the Federation. Later, in Advent of War, it is also made plain that the Praetor does declare war on the Federation after the Paris Bombing, and even takes responsibility for it, so Bacco's and the surviving Council's actions should be more than merited, right? Moreover, in the FNN news article we featured in the story, Bacco is still pursuing a diplomatic solution, even if she has ordered defensive mobilisation against the threat.

Therefore, I hardly think the sequence of events suggested, where the two NPCs would persuade Federation Councilors to shirk their duties, even commit treason against the Office of the President in order to try to establish an exile council is plausible in the slightest. Why would they? Merely on the circumstantial anecdotes and observations about Starfleet Command? I mean, why would they do so on their mere word?

More plausible, instead, is that almost all surviving members of the Federation Council would be joining Bacco on the USS Venture in the direct wake of the Paris Bombing, or in communication with the President from whatever safe shelter they would be. See, I am now talking about the mere hours immediately after the detonation. Not days and weeks afterwards. Instead or spreading to the wind, in order for the Federation to function, the Federation Council would definitely remain intact, and report to the President. Anything else would be a grave dereliction of their oaths.

That being said, a single Deputy Chief of Starfleet Security and a single Federation Senator that has - as a romantic couple - observed strange behaviour in Starfleet Command? They might chose to suspect something is terribly wrong, and they could make contact with the suggested SFI contact named Hurley in a plea to go off grid. Just the the two of them, sure, since they might believe that the President may be compromised as well even if there is no proof of that in the story. That, however, does not include the rest of the Council, whom have not made any such observations, and has no reason to believe them above their loyalty to the Federation and the President.

As for Paris One, the President's ship, and if it orbits Earth? It has not orbited Earth at any featured point in the story, since Bacco travelled on a Galaxy-class ship (the USS Venture) in the Prologue. When Paris One was featured, on Day 3 of Advent of War, its coordinates were classified. In the first paragraph of that post, it is also stated that "The days since the Paris bombing had been interesting, sufficed to say. In all honesty, Garak was surprised he had been allowed to remain with the President of the Federation and the surviving members of the Council."

Therefore, we cannot have parts of the Federation Council whisked away to establish some exile seat of power, I am sorry, but the two NPCs that believe something is wrong with Starfleet Command might do so if they reason that the problem extends to the Federation Council as well. If those two characters wish to leave their duties behind, that is all well and good, but they would not be able to reach the Theurgy at Qo'noS before they leave. Why not? Simply put, it would offset the chain of command aboard the Theurgy if we had an NPC Starfleet Officer with higher rank than Ives aboard the ship, so they would have to remain aboard Hurley's ship and remain in subspace communication with the Theurgy instead. Frankly put, I am not interested in having some family NPC second guessing the direction of the mission and trying to pull rank aboard, so no thank you, lol.

Sorry to disappoint, but while this idea doesn't rhyme with what has been established in the story in Advent of War, I loved the idea with the Diplomatic Corps aboard the Theurgy aiding Martok in his talks with Donatra at the Klingon Border, so much that it has its own Chapter in Episode 02, as made evident in the manuscript above! :)

MISCONCEPTIONS REGARDING THE NATURE OF THE ENEMY

The comments about the nature of the enemy and the idea that there is a logical flaw in their ideology is a misunderstanding revolving around the word usage of atrophy, I believe, and I hope that the prologue of Episode 02 will help clear that up. Atrophy was a term that emerged at some point in the story as a means to convey what the Great Attractor does, assumed to be a massive black hole of great scale, but it doesn't imply that the cosmic phenomenon atrophies the space around it rather than devouring it. I don't recall why the word came into use, and when, in that context, but is is supposed to reflect the way that the universe is pulled towards something rather than draining it of energy. I hope that serves to help clarify it a little bit, and sorry for the misunderstanding if I have been an ignorant Swede and caused it by seeming too literal in my writing! lol

As for the idea that the enemy can't be conventionally fought, that there would be no reliable way to prevent possession, the occasional/limited rate of added Infested, etc. All of that, I hope, will get some light shed on it in the Prologue as well! Awesome that these matters were brought up in the workshop so that they can be addressed properly In-Character at long last. It seems apparent that the time to indulge you all some more about the nature of the enemy is long overdue. :)

A dimensional barrier was brought up as well, and yes, the breach and its nature will be further detailed to serve the shown interest in this facet of the story.

GOING UP AGAINST THE ROMULANS

A lot of awesome ideas were put forth in regard to facing the Romulans in this Episode, and all of it sounds great! Hit-and-run attacks, diversions, ambushes etc. There are no Schimitar-class warbirds in the Romulan fleet in Theurgy canon, however, as has been pointed out already. With the Theurgy not having the torpedo launchers and phaser emitters of Vector 1 when entering Romulan space, they would be at a disadvantage, making it more interesting than if Thea was completely overpowered. Better yet, with the Slipstream Initiators not complete yet when entering the RNZ, they will have to scramble mid-mission to secure a solid escape plan back to Klingon space, by completing the installation of those Initiators.

As for undercover espionage, as in the suggestion where particular crewmembers undergo physical modifications to appear Romulan and infiltrate their ranks, that method might come into play either when infiltrating the Tal-Shiar base, posing as a number of identified Tal-Shiar agents. Alternatively, at some junction in the mission on Romulus, that might work as well, but it has to be a plausible and effective tactic given the mission parameters rather than a shoehorned choice merely for the sake of it. If it fits the situation at Romulus or the Tal-Shiar base, let's do so! But I don't think we should do it if it doesn't make sense. :)

I love the already established way that Intelligence might subvert the Romulan war effort with misinformation and misdirection of communication. Fabrication of orders and throwing the supply lines into disarray by sending them off in the wrong direction is excellent and realistic implementation of Intelligence operations at this juncture in the story. This is also true for Starfleet Command, in case they deploy Task Force Archeron again, for example!

There was also mentioning of prominent novel-verse characters among the Romulans, and I am sure we can implement a few of hem in the Episode, as the manuscript suggested. As for what the Romulans think about the Praetor's orders, yeah, of course there would be those who find Tal'Aura's declaration of war against the Federation a grave mistake. At the frontline, this might be mitigated by the usage of thalaron weaponry, and the belief that this would allow the Romulan fleets to break the frontlines of the Klingon Empire and claim victory. This, because the Klingon navy has been weakened by not just the Battle of the Houses, but the losses in the Azure Nebula against the Borg. That being said, hell yes, the Romulans would not be 100% in acceptance of the Praetor, and I think we can illustrate this in any number of ways.

There was a mentioning of whether or not Martok and Donatra would also take up using thalaron weaponry to counter the armament of the Praetor's fleets, and that is an excellent matter to incorporate in the diplomatic talks aboard the Theurgy in the upcoming Episode.

STAND-BY SHIPS TO CALL UPON & TIME-SHIPS

The problem with having an entourage of ships with the Theurgy - be it guests ships of Starfleet, Klingon or Romulan origin - poses the problem that they can't keep up with the Theurgy as soon as it makes a QSD jump. Hell, most can't even match Thea's warp speed. But, having a couple of ships of different origin to fulfil plot functions, like the Oneida in this upcoming Episode, can work if they operate on their own in the story!

So, timeships... Well, having contemporary timeships isn't just implausible for our story, it undermines the integrity of what we've written, along with the role of the Relativity. DTI ought to be involved in helping time-displaced people, but that would have to be while working with Starfleet to get things done. Time travel access to deal with helping those people get to 'when' they are supposed to be? Yeah, I can see that. No contemporary timeships in any capacity though... The only available time ship in our story is the Relativity. The rest are, so to speak, lost in time. :)



I think I, with the manuscript incorporating and addressing the rest of the comments, have addressed the rest in the workshop, but if there are any follow-up questions, I am all ears! :)


SO, WHEN DOES EPISODE 02 BEGIN?


We are currently capped at Day 21 in the Interregnum, and I think we should have the Prologue start on Day 22. That is, unless y'all want or need more In-Character days in the Interregnum for your character plot ideas. I will assume Day 22 is okay, but please let me know if I need to push that onwards.

I will start working on the preparations for the Episode launch, and get back to y'all when I know when the Prologue and the new board will be up! :)

Best,

Auctor Lucan

PS. In case you have other name suggestions for Episode 02 besides Broken Talon, please post them here!


Re: STORY WORKSHOP 2022 | EPISODE 02, SEASON 2

Reply #59
Also yes, this is specifically why I created Nara with the specialty she has.


THALARON DISPERSION FIELD

As the manuscript shows, I have also incorporated the awesome idea of having the rings of Ba'Ku play a role in figuring out how to deploy a thalaron dispersion field, added with the scans of thalaron triggers. The triggers would be located at the Tal-Shiar base that has figured in the reports in the Intelligence Department, this being the very same base where Shinzon stole his thalaron generator prior to Nemesis.

The scans of both (the rings of Ba'Ku and the triggers) serve as components for a scientific solution that might help the Theurgy win the day, by mitigating the threat posed by these banned weapons of the Romulan fleet. It will not only give the infiltration team aboard the Apache something to do in the Episode, but the Science Department. We do need to send away the Oneida prior to Episode 2, however, so that Captain Jackson can reach the planet in good enough time to make sense. This means that the Oneida will be leaving sometime in the middle of the Interregnum.

This also means that the scientific research that yields the idea to travel to Ba'Ku needs to come up prior to that as well! I know @Tae has a character fitting for this research to be made, and said research would help a lot in having his character Nara Nueva get the recognition she needs, and having her old rank restored via field promotion.

Re: STORY WORKSHOP 2022 | EPISODE 02, SEASON 2

Reply #60
I'm happy to start with the new episode soon. Still plenty of dates in the Interim for me to use for character developments. Just looking forward to some possible espionage and undercover portions in the Romulan spy network.  ;)

Re: STORY WORKSHOP 2022 | EPISODE 02, SEASON 2

Reply #61
Hopefully, this helps folks know who is where and what is what with the episode 2 chapters: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1KjU5XQH6Qv8dwJEnN5Rms-gPfhnOoUIlrEQHwI3Y6xc/edit?usp=sharing

Don't forget to use the Cosmic Imperative calendar to ascertain when/where you can write with characters who may not be in your chapter (there are time slots before the separation of the vectors): https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Cosmic_Imperative_Calendar

The bolded/hyperlinked names are active writers; those that are listed as NPC can be offed or maimed to your heart's delight just give the GM of the chapter a head's up on that; the unbolded non-NPC names are those who do not currently have active writers but are not slated to be maimed/killed as their writers may return from their current temporary hiatus.

 
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