Monday, October 23, 2023

StarPodTrek Episode 36

If you grew up in the '60s, '70s, or '80s,you will love StarPodTrek!

On this dynamic episode of StarPodTrek, we consider the Star Trek contents of Starlog magazine in issues 71 and 72 from 1983.

Burt Bruce considers William Shatner's latest roll: T.J. Hooker!

Lou, Rich, and Max discuss the Star Trek content that was featured in Famous Monsters of Filmland!
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Plus... the Star Trek II novelization by Vonda McIntire, the Making of the Wrath of Khan book by Alan Asherman, the Trek novels of 1983, and more on this episode of StarPodTrek!

Monsterama! The incredible classic sci-fi and horror convention in Atlanta, Georga returns on Halloween weekend! Special guests include Nicholas Meyer, Laura Banks, Alan Howarth, Stephen Manley, Clayton Landy, Tim Culbertson, and more! Plus, see a 15-foot model of the Enterprise!

Our Treksgiving tradition continues as we will attend Starbase Indy in Indianapolis, Indiana, November 24th-26th. Join us for this amazing Trek family reunion!

Interested in finding out more about the Star Trek Adventures Role Playing Game by Modiphius? Then subscribe to The Final Frontiersmen YouTube channel!

Would you like to learn more about astronomy and participate in a Star Party near you? Then join the NASA Night Sky Network!

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Monday, October 16, 2023

StarPodLog #36

If you grew up in the '60s, '70s, or '80s, you will love StarPodLog!

On this dynamic episode of StarPodLog, we consider the contents of Starlog magazine from 1983 in issues 71 and 72.

Mike and Kyleigh Jones consider Carie Fisher and her portrayal of Princess Leia in Return of the Jedi! Find out more about Rebel Legion costuming here:

Lee Ramsey and Josh Philips bid farewell to Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker!
Check out the patches created by Star Wars Joshua:

Plus...the television shows of 1983, and more on this episode of StarPodLog!

Sinbad and the Eye of Monsterama! The incredible classic sci-fi and horror convention in Atlanta, Georgia returns on Halloween weekend. Guests include Patrick Wayne, Caroline Monroe, Steve Coulter, Linda Miller, Trina Parks, Pauline Peart, and more!

Videogames, pinball, comic books, cosplay, and more at Music City Multicon October 27-29!

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Thursday, October 12, 2023

S01 E03: Chronicles of T’Avaya: The Unintended Guest

S01 E03: Chronicles of T’Avaya: The Unintended Guest

[The Investigation]

Chief Engineer’s Log. Stardate 45120.2. While patrolling the distant sector 785J, the USS Prophecy found a derelict ship of unknown alien origin. They have towed the ship to Station Tyrellia by tractor beam and left it here while they go on to their next mission. My orders are to investigate the ship, try to find its origins, and get its engines working.

Space Station Tyrellia’s chief engineer Dr. T’Avaya and her assistant engineer Luruwa donned their Federation-issued space suits and beamed over to the derelict ship. It was a small ship. They estimated it could hold one hundred fifty humanoids, if it had a humanoid crew.

Dr. T’Avaya did a tricorder scan and stated, “No lifesigns detected. Air has trace amounts hydrogen, helium, oxygen, and an unknown gas.”

Luruwa added, “It looks abandoned. No signs of struggle. And I didn’t see any structural damage outside the ship.”

They looked around and saw several computer consoles and screens, none of which were powered on.

As they continued scanning, T’Avaya asked, “How was the hiking with Regan and Lisa last night?”

Luruwa responded, “Wonderful! It’s a great holoprogram.”

“As I suspected. Sorry I had to miss it.” T’Avaya had been working on equations for more upgrades to the communications array last night.

Luruwa teased, “You really do work too much.”

 T’Avaya knew her friend was joking. The station director had asked her to work on the upgrades, and Luruwa knew how much T’Avaya had wanted to experience the program.

They decided to split up and explore different parts of the ship. T’Avaya found what must have been sickbay. She saw several beds connected to nonworking computer scanners that were probably bodily function scanners. She touched a computer console, and it immediately lit up. Only the one computer came on, not the whole system. There was a screen that had some type of data scrolling across it. She recorded it all with her tricorder. She would take it back to the station and run a computer analysis.

Luruwa found what appeared to be the command center. She touched one computer screen, and it lit up and started chirping. She saw data scrolling across the screen, and she started recording it with her tricorder.

Next, T’Avaya walked down a corridor and found what appeared to be the engineering section. Her scans showed that it ran on a multi-spatial resonance infuser. Ingenious, she thought. They must have been very advanced. Again, she touched a console, and it lit up, and data started scrolling across a screen. She recorded the data.


[The Mediation]


Chief Engineer’s Log. Supplemental. We have several VIPs arriving today. Commissioner Charick, a Benzite Federation negotiator, will be mediating a dispute between two Federation worlds: the Enoli and the Drandenot. They both claim to have rights to the same planet. The Enoli discovered the uninhabited planet a year ago, but left it untouched because they were embroiled in an internal political struggle on their home planet. The Drandenot discovered the planet on their own one month ago and immediately started bringing mining equipment to the planet. The disputed planet is rich in kerubium and trenbium, both excellent for use in building structures and for trade with other Federation worlds. Of course, the two species have been rivals for centuries, and do not want to share the planet. They have agreed to have their dispute mediated on Space Station Tyrellia because it is neutral ground. The leaders of both worlds have come here. The station is hosting a VIP reception tonight to welcome our three guests.

Even though I am still continuing my assignment to investigate the derelict ship, I will be attending the reception. As a part of the senior staff, I am required to attend all station dignitary and diplomatic functions.

Luruwa and T’Avaya arrived at the reception together. Luruwa was fond of these receptions. She was a Bolian, so she loved any chance to make small talk. T’Avaya, unlike other Vulcans, didn’t mind socializing, but did have other duties she preferred to attend to. Nevertheless, T’Avaya tried to look elegant in her long blue dress and upswept hair. She carried her Vulcan dignity with calm and grace.

She saw Commissioner Charick standing in a corner talking to station director Tab Nilo. T’Avaya spotted Presider Foheiv, the Drandenot, chatting up one of the station merchant traders. As Luruwa got pulled away by another friend, Presider Lavess, the Enoli leader, approached T’Avaya and said, “You look as out of place here as I feel.” T’Avaya turned to Lavess. T’Avaya put on an air of openness. She told Lavess that she was fine; just looking for anyone she knew. Lavess told her she hated social functions, especially right now. The Vulcan looked at her questioningly, and Lavess told her that her daughter was ill with a serious viral infection. There was no known cure. Lavess had not wanted to come to the station at all, but her daughter had insisted. T’Avaya offered her sympathies.

Meanwhile, in a dimly lit corner of the room, Commissioner Charick said to Director Nilo, “I brought that artifact you wanted. I will have it sent to you in the morning.” Charick tried to smile as she inhaled from her Benzite breathing apparatus.

“Why, thank you so much!” the director replied.

Nilo collected rare artifacts. Charick had brought him an arrowhead from a Benzite archaeological site that had just been discovered. Several of the artifacts had been given to Charick by a friend who was a museum curator, so she didn’t mind giving one to Nilo. He had told her about his collection of rare artifacts. She hoped the gift would help her gain favor with him, in case anything went wrong with her secret plan.

The next day, Charick looked across the round table at two leaders from two horribly disagreeable worlds. First, there was Presider Lavess of the Enoli. She had an orange face and a large, bald head and orange fur on the backs of her hands. Then there was Presider Foheiv of the Drandenot. He had deep red, scaly skin and long black, wiry hair. The planet in dispute was designated Iota Mu Secundis by the Federation. They used that designation for now, because the two factions also disagreed about what they wanted to name the planet. Charick pulled up the case info on her PADD. “First of all,” she began, “at warp five, this planet is fifteen days away for the Enoli, and twenty-one days for the Drandenot. That’s farther than most want to travel to a mining world, unless you intend to colonize. Do you?”

The two Presiders looked at each other. Foheiv said, “The planet has conditions favorable to us. Colonization is not out of the question.”

Lavess retorted, “We may colonize at a future date.”

Charick looked annoyed. She took a breath from her Benzite breathing apparatus attached to the front of her tunic. She continued by stating that both Presider’s worlds were in economic slumps, and she didn’t see how they could afford to expend resources on another world. Both Presiders responded that expanding was just what they needed to fix an economic slump. Charick went on about how the mining would be slow to yield results; how storing and transporting the kerubium and trenbium to their homeworlds or to other worlds for trading would be difficult. The two Presiders would not be deterred. Charick closed the session for the day and left the room in a huff.


T’Avaya was eating dinner in the station’s dining room and reading one of her philosophy books on her PADD. Station Tyrellia had a five-star chef whose repertoire consisted of cuisine from ten different alien cultures. T’Avaya had sampled many different foods on many different worlds since leaving her home on frontier colony Sa’idi III, and she considered this station’s food to be some of the best. She was eating Bajoran cuja beans, Edosian mushrooms with Idanian chanta sauce, and Kutari white bread. It was always nice to be able to find filling vegetarian meals. One of the many purposes of the station was to receive dignitaries. In that vein, Tyrellia had many luxuries that T’Avaya thought superfluous. But because food was sustenance, she indulged in this one advantage to living on the station.

She took another bite of food and turned the page on her PADD. She had always been enthralled by the writings of T’Mee’an. She found them deeply spiritual and universally relevant. Presider Foheiv approached her and asked, “May I ask what you are reading?”

“The writings of T’Mee’an.”

“Ah,” Foheiv said, “The Vulcan philosopher. And a very poetic one.”

Dr. T’Avaya was impressed. She said, “Yes. Very much so.”

“You are the station’s engineer?” he asked.

She told him yes. He asked her to examine a small machine he had obtained by trading with a station merchant. He held up an object that was approximately half a meter in length. He had not been able to get it to work. It was a personal heating device. It was an old, outdated model. In proper working condition, it would create only a small amount of heat. It was made for beings who worked around other species who were more comfortable in a slightly different climate. The devices were not as effective as more modern machines. She told him so. He told her he would still like to be able to use it. T’Avaya agreed to take it and try to get it working, right after she examined the data from the derelict ship.


[The Investigation]


The next day, in the station’s engineering lab, T’Avaya and Luruwa uploaded the data they had collected from the derelict ship into the station’s computer. The computer started analyzing. T’Avaya worked the controls on her console. She had to work the controls manually instead of by verbal command because she had disconnected the computer voice in her engineering lab. Director Nilo had ordered the station’s computer voice to be that of a female Melowan. He found the voice pleasant, but T’Avaya found the voice to be screechingly unpleasant, like the sound of an attacking lematya.

Luruwa inserted a data chip she had taken from the ship. The computer analysis showed the chip contained the captain’s log. The ship had encountered an ion storm that knocked out their life support system. The computer could not interpret any data that let them know what happened to the crew. Maybe the crew had escaped. The two engineers did not see any escape pods when they were on the ship. Analysis determined that the ship was around two hundred years old and that it had been abandoned for sixty of those years. T’Avaya recalled that it had been found in a newly explored sector, and records showed there were no nearby star systems.

Just then, the director called them via the intra station comms. T’Avaya turned on the vid screen.

“Director Nilo,” she said.

The Trill director said, “Hello doctor. What did you find out about the ship?”

T’Avaya told him what they had discovered. He asked if they would be able to power it up. She said the ship was powered by a multi-spatial resonance infuser, and that she may be able to turn the power on by connecting a beryllium infuser. He told her she had two weeks to get it working. If there were no results by then, the ship would be taken to a shipyard and used for scrap. She understood. She told Nilo she would continue her investigation of the ship, and he left her to it.

Luruwa excused herself to go run her daily diagnostic of the station’s external communications array. T’Avaya examined Foheiv’s heating machine. It was standard Federation technology. She recognized the brand logo on the side that showed the company that made it, Tremen Corporation. She knew their products were average quality. This one looked like it had stopped working because the inside parts had simply worn out due to over use. Just then, the machine lit up internally and she saw something appear on the control screen. It was the word “Veninu”. T’Avaya did not recognize that word. She plugged the machine into her engineering diagnostic computer. The computer showed there was no power in the machine. Then where did the internal light come from, she wondered. Then she saw more words appear on the machine’s small control screen, “I Veninu. Help.”

Then T’Avaya looked at her diagnostic screen and saw bytes and bytes of quickly changing code.  She ran the code through her computer database. She determined that it was some kind of binary intelligence. The heating machine was inhabited by an artificial intelligence! Using her diagnostic computer, she typed a message to the intelligence. “What are you?” The computer translated a reply on the screen, “I am Veninu. Trapped. Must go ship.” T’Avaya did not know what ship Veninu was referring to, but she did know that this was some type of living intelligence and that she must try to help it.


Engineer’s Log. Supplemental. I have discovered an artificial intelligence that has somehow survived inside of Presider Foheiv’s old heating machine. The AI seems to be in distress. I am attempting to communicate with it. Furthermore, I am still trying to determine the origin of the derelict ship that I have been assigned to analyze and restore power to.

As the intelligence grew more familiar with its surroundings, it was able to travel from the heating machine to T’Avaya’s diagnostic computer, which contained data from the derelict ship. T’Avaya saw her computer screen light up with more binary data. She could tell the intelligence was there in her diagnostic computer. It flashed the word “Aradeye” on the screen. She typed into the computer, “What is Aradeye?” Veninu answered that it was the name of the race that had built the  ship. She asked if it knew the race. It did not, but it was able to interpret much from the data in T’Avaya’s computer. She asked Veninu if it could tell what happened to the crew. It told her they had taken the escape pods. She was thankful for that. It was good to know that the crew, even though she had never known them or their race, had at least survived that one disaster.

Then, T’Avaya had an idea.

[The Mediation]


Foheiv knocked on Lavess’s door. When she opened the door, she was more than surprised to see him. He asked if he could come in. She wanted to say no, but she did not feel like arguing. He came in and asked her what she thought of Commissioner Charick. As it turned out, they both thought the same thing, that Charick did not seem interested in mediating an agreement between them. Foheiv said that he actually did not have a problem with sharing the planet. He was sure he could get his people to agree. Lavess looked shocked. He tried to tell her it would be beneficial to both sides. Then she started looking very sad. She said that maybe he was right. Why should they fight over a planet when there were other problems to deal with? Lavess confessed that ever since her daughter took ill to a serious viral infection ten days ago, she had not really been interested in arguing with anyone any more. What’s the point of keeping up old grudges? Foheiv told her he was deeply sorry about her daughter and wished the best for her. The two of them decided to tell Charick they had reached an agreement about the planet.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Charick was enjoying the accommodations of her luxury suite. Station Tyrellia was known for having the best VIP suites in the Beta Quadrant. She had just taken a nice bubble bath. She had been introduced to bubble baths by a human friend in the Diplomatic Corp. In the wake of modern sonic showers, very few stations had bathtubs and bath oils and such, so she was determined to get the most out of it. She put on a night shirt and a thick bathrobe and sat on the nice, comfy couch.

“Computer,” she ordered, “release aroma 15.”

“Aroma 15 released,” the computer intoned it its high-pitched female voice.

The commissioner picked up her PADD. In about five minutes, she started smelling the sweet scent of tecideron blossoms. Now it was time for her favorite feature of the suite.

“Computer, activate holodeck scenery. Planet Siwara V. Time of day: Dusk.”

“Scenery activated,” the computer voice said.

Then Charick was suddenly sitting on a couch on the distant planet Siwara V with the red sun setting in the distance. The sky was a dark velvety red. The ground was stoney and blue with a few scattered plants and some native crystals that glowed on the ground.

“Perfect,” she said softly.

On her PADD, she pulled up pictures of Iota Mu Secundis. She had ordered a secret survey of the planet in hopes to have more data to use in the mediation. But when she viewed the survey results before coming to the station, she had found something that changed everything. As she was viewing the pictures, she heard her door chime. She softly cursed and ordered the holoscenery off. Setting her PADD down on the couch, she walked to the door. It was Foheiv and Lavess. Surprised and shocked, she nervously invited them in. They apologized for intruding at such a late hour. They said they had reached an agreement to share the planet. Charick was less than happy.

“What!-- you, you…can’t,” she sputtered.

Foheiv asked, “Why not? You should be pleased. Your assignment is over. And it’s successful.” Just then, Lavess saw Charick’s PADD on the couch. “The Hiparee!” Lavess screamed and ran over to pick up the PADD. Charick dashed after her, but Lavess got there first.

Foheiv and Lavess could tell by the landscape and flora that the PADD showed a picture from a part of Iota Mu Secundis that they had never seen before. Above the shrubbery, painted on stone, was the symbol of the Hiparee Empire, a once powerful empire that had long since vanished. But the empire had left behind great weapons, if anyone could find them. Remnants of the empire and their weapons had been found in different parts of the galaxy. “So. You were going to keep this to yourself,” Lavess said to Charick. Now that Lavess and Foheiv knew about this, they would have to tell the Federation. Then the Federation would take control of the planet. Neither the Enoli, nor the Drandenot, nor Charick would get control of it. If the Federation explored and found no weapons, then maybe they would let others mine the planet, but only after a thorough search and survey, which could take months.


[The Investigation]


Dr. T’Avaya hooked up a beryllium infuser to the ship’s resonance infuser. Then she inserted a data rod into a computer console.  She then heard many beeps and chirps aboard the derelict ship, as its computer systems finally came to life. It was Veninu. She had brought him via the data rod. She remembered Veninu telling her that it wanted to be back on a ship. Now that it was here, inside the ship’s computers, it was able to power up the ship, with the help of her beryllium infuser.

It spoke to her in a deep male voice through the ship’s comm system,“Power! Surging through me! It feels woooonderfuuuuuuulll!”

Dr. T’Avaya was pleased. She told Veninu, “I have brought you to the Aradeye ship. Are you able to access and translate its records?”

Veninu answered, “Yes. The crew was humanoid. Carbon-based. Bipedal. Hairless. Their skin was light orange. They had large eyes and long, pointed noses. Their mission was to take medicine and medical aid to a world that was ravaged by disease. I can give you the coordinates of their homeworld and the planet they were delivering aid to.

T’Avaya remembered seeing the advanced sickbay on the ship. She thought how horrible it was that they never delivered the medicine. The ion storm had interfered with their mission.

Veninu said, “Thank you for bringing me here. May I stay? I was originally on a ship, and then the ship was taken by pirates. My program was downloaded into that damn heating machine. The machine was passed from person to person. I would have gone mad if I stayed there much longer.” When asked, Veninu didn’t seem to remember from where or from what ship it originated.

T’Avaya told Veninu it could stay in the ship for now. Even though they were still recovering from the Dominion War and could use another ship, Starfleet would want to return the ship to the Aradeye homeworld. If the Aradeye were still there, they would want their ship back. She said if they didn’t want Veninu, then the Federation would find another home for it. The AI happily agreed.

Then the Vulcan engineer said she needed to do one more thing. She went to see the station’s chief physician. Not because she was sick, but because she had a favor to ask.




Engineer’s Log. Supplemental. Dr. T’Avaya reporting. The station’s chief physician, Dr. Getty, examined the medical records for Lavess’s daughter, with Lavess’s consent. Then Dr. Getty examined several vaccines from the Aradeye ship, and did testing to confirm that the ship did indeed carry a vaccine that should cure Lavess’s daughter. Lavess was beyond excited and immediately took a transport home to deliver the vaccine.

 Foheiv was pleased that I fixed his heating machine. More than that, he was happy to have finally made peace with his long-time enemies. Commissioner Charick, as I was told by Nilo, has been arrested for withholding dangerous information with the intent to usurp power. Nilo also said the discovery of a new location of the ancient Hiparee Empire was something the Federation was very interested in.

Veninu seems to be adjusting well to his new home inside the ship. Perhaps I will volunteer to go on the mission to return the ship to the Aradeye homeworld. I would like to meet the Aradeye, the race that saved the life of Lavess’s daughter, and essentially, saved the life of my new friend, Veninu.


 -by the Honorable Kavura


Thank you for reading my Star Trek Adventures: Captain’s Log mission report. Captain’s Log is a solo roleplaying game by Modiphius Entertainment.