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Subject: STA: Cloak & Dagger - Session 1 rss

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Hein Ragas
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Our GM, who studied 3D modelling, created a super-cool title sequence for the campaign, from scratch, which he played for us at the start of our first session.

So cool to see your nickname in such a clip!

The introduction shows a scene inside a Klingon Bird of Prey: wartales are being recounted from the Dominion War. Afterwards, the warrior stumbles towards his bunk, and fails to see a small circular device with a blinking red light. There are more attached to the walls, and they turns out to explosives... The Bird of Prey goes down in a ball of fire when they go off.

Captain Roger Bucks and his first officer Weston Forgrave are at the Star Fleet Academy Campus. They walk past a statue of Bejamin Sisko, dedicated to the memories of those killed in the Dominion War. They enter a turbolift. They have been called back from shore leave to meet with Admiral Maxwell. When the lift opens, armed guards insist on taking a bloodtest to make sure they're not Changelings: a procedure left over from the Dominion War. After subjecting themselves to this routine test, they are let inside a spacious minimalist office to meet Maxwell. He is a short, portly man of Asian descent. He has a mission for the Valiant that needs to be kept out of the books, and they are the right crew for it. Maxwell hands them datapads and tells them a Bird of Prey carrying diplomats from Kronos to Romulus has been destroyed. Normally this would be regarded as am internal matter for the Klingons, but a few months ago the same happened with a Federation vessel on its way back from Romulus. Maxwell wants to conduct a combined investigation, and Klingon High Command has information they want to share in person. The datapads contain coordinates for a rendez-vous and clearance codes.

In a large hangar with lines of shuttlecraft, the crew of the Valiant are lined up, waiting for departure to the ship. The betazoid Luitenant Andal Dulas is among the rest of the crew. With his telepathy, he picks up that people are a little anxious while some are excited. There is a bit of intrigue about not knowing the mission. Next to him is a young human Ensign who introduces herself as Lillian Masters, who chatters at him nervously since this is her first assignment.
Then the whistle sounds, everyone goes at attention and Roger and Weston emerge from a turbolift. After a few seconds, the captain tells the crew to be at ease, and he leaves the inspection to his first officer. A young male Bajoran science Ensign has his shirt untucked, and is chided for that. Then the Captain gives a little speech about their mission: he urges the crew to not believe rumours, and he expects the best performance of the crew. Then, they are dismissed. Andal feels that the crew is excited to go on their way, and people file towards the shuttlecraft.
The shuttles leave for the USS Valiant, which is waiting in space dock. Captain Bucks goes to the Ready Room. He is going on a tour of the senior staff.
Weston goes to engineering and offers his help to the senior engineer (a 4'6" Tellerite) who is pleased with the state of the ship. He mentions that the chief engineer is a Betazoid and reminds the Tellerite to mind his thoughts! The Tellerite mutters something and goes back to work.
Andal goes to his assigned quarters to dump his pack. As he is about to leave to report to his station on the bridge as the Operations Manager, in comes Lillian Masters, his roommate! (The dice decided, honest!) They make awkward smalltalk, she tells him she is on the night shift for the first few weeks, but they sort-of decide to eat some meals together.
Captain Bucks has his own little ritual: he lights a pipe and walks around the ship. He meets with Rajesh, the medical officer, who refrains from making any remarks on the pipe. He asks for details of the mission, and all Roger tells him is that the ship is going to a rendez-vous point to have a meeting -- until that time, the details will remain secret.
When the crew and the ship are ready, captain Bucks gives the coordinates for the rendez-vous. They are at the edge of Federation space, near Klingon space. When he is ready to give the order to leave, there is nobody at the helm! Then Lillian stumbles in, she got the schedules mixed up! Roger tells her that she made quite an impression... She takes the helm and manoevers the ship out of the dock. Then the course is set, and the ship jumps away at Warp 7.

The ship ticks along nicely for a day at warp. During that time, Andal tries to convince the captain that the crew should be in on the mission -- not the details, but certainly that the mission entails communication with the Klingons. Weston has the same idea, and the captain allows him to address the crew. He fills them in on the necessary details of the mission, which improves crew morale tremendously.
Then the ship approaches its destination, and everybody goes to their stations as the ship drops out of warp. There is no sign of Klingons. The Valiant hails on all frequencies to announce its presence, and a Klingon Bird of Prey decloaks in front of the ship. Their shields are up and their weapon banks are charged. They hail the Valiant back and a fairly old Klingon with long grey hair and beard comes on the screen. He introduces himself as Captain Grolchu of the Magchock, and he demands their clearance codes, which are duly transmitted. He checks them and asks the crew of the Valiant to stand by.
Andal takes the opportunity to gauge Grolchu's emotions, and feels contempt, impatience and anger. His surface thoughts are a hurry to get 'this' over with, and "I hope they don't find out". Andal probes further, and finds that Grolchu doesn't want "them" to find out that he has a second set of orders. He notifies the captain of this information, who orders the ship to go to Yellow Alert. Masters, who is at the helm, is ordered to prepare for evasive manoevers (pattern delta!) in the event of an attack.

Twenty minutes pass in an uneasy feeling with the Klingon vessel staying as it is. Hailing them gives an automated message to stand by. When Andal scans the Klingon ship for lifeforms, they correlate that with the layout of the ship, and see that everyone aboard the Magchock is at their battle stations.
The captain searches the ship's libraries for information on Grolchu, using Weston's knowledge of Klingon political power structures. He is mentioned as a battle-hardened veteran, mostly against the Federation back when there were open hostilities between the two powers. His house was reprimanded by Klingon High Command, and they came very, very close to being discommended. The details of the incident are not available, but it probably had something to do with following orders.
Then another automated message comes in, to stand by. Then a Negh'var Battle Cruiser decloaks off the starboard bow of the Valiant. It doesn't have its shields up, nor any weapons charged. The new arrival hails the Valiant, and a grizzled face appears on the screen: it is Chancellor Martok of the Klingon Empire! He addresses the captain and states that the two of them have much to discuss. First officer Weston suggests the Valiant as the host for the talks. Martok is beamed aboard, and just as that happens, the Bird of Prey moves and unleashes their weapons on the Negh'var, blowing a hole in the ship's "neck"! The Negh'var is rocked by a series of explosions. Over open channels, a Klingon voice barks: "Today is a good day to die!"
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Hein Ragas
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Report of next session is here.
 
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