Sunday, January 21, 2024

StarPodTrek Episode 39

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

On this stellar episode of StarPodTrek, we consider the Star Trek contents of Starlog magazine in issues 77 and 78 from 1983.

Stuntman Tim Culbertson tells us what it was like to portray one of Khan's henchmen!

Burt Bruce offers his sobering thoughts on Nicholas Meyers' The Day After Tomorrow!

Troy Mepyans remenisces about the FASA Star Trek Klingons role-playing game!

Buck and Trevor fill us in on the details of the USS Reliant!

Bob Turner and Kelly Casto Flashback to 1963!
Check them out on the '70s Trek podcast!

Andrew McLaughlin and Doug Kramer compare the Wrath of Khan to NuTrek!

Plus...Hamilton Plates, the computer games of 1983, IDW comics, the FASA role-playing game, and more on this episode of StarPodTrek!

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, January 15, 2024

StarPodLog #39

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

On this stellar episode of StarPodLog, we consider the contents of Starlog magazine from 1983 in issues 77 and 78.

Rich and Max jump in the Tardis and flashback to 1963!
Check out Doctor Durant's Sanctum:

Mane Man Jamie reminisces about the comic books of 1983!

Alan Siler fills us in on the 20th anniversary of Doctor Who! Check out his podcasts:
Doctor Who A to Z-
Modern Musicology-
and Earth Station Trek-

Plus, the incredible Lou Ferrigno! The movies of 1983...and more on this episode of StarPodLog!

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Music used with permission by Foot Pound Force. 

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Visit us on Blogger at or iTunes or Spotify or wherever you listen to fine podcasts!

Friday, January 12, 2024

S01 E06: Chronicles of T’Avaya: The Quirky Vulcan

 S01 E06: Chronicles of T’Avaya

The Quirky Vulcan


Chief Engineer’s Log. Stardate 45123.3. Doctor T’Avaya reporting. Our scientists on Space Station Tyrellia have developed a new water reclamation system that will greatly improve the quality of life on some Federation colony worlds. It will be of special use to colony planets that have a high concentration of lanithite. Planetary Administrator Nedrin, of the Urban Advancement Commission, is taking bids from various planets to be the first to test the prototype. There are currently ten planetary diplomats on the station to enter their bids and be interviewed by Nedrin. Of those ten, five will be chosen to use the prototype.

As the governmental capital for this sector, Station Tyrellia typically hosts many of these types of functions. However, this time the situation has become strained, as someone has tried to murder one of the diplomats. Extra security guards have been placed around the station. The security department is investigating the attempted murder.  Most of the diplomats have become worrisome and argumentative.


Ambassador Lonada of Celor Prime was sitting on her couch in her quarters. The Zakdorn security chief, Vedarem, could tell that the Celorian was scared. He could see the wrinkles of worry in the ambassador’s almost bald head. The patch of brown hair on the crown of her head and her blue iris-less eyes were the only outward markers that separated the Celorians from humans.

“Do you know anyone who would want to kill you?” Chief Vedarem asked.

“Yes,” Lonada whispered, “It’s the Colri.”

“The Colri?”

“My rival clan on Celor Prime. They have been trying to remove me from power ever since my clan gained a majority over their’s in the senate.”

Her aide, Hosar, another Celorian, brought the ambassador a glass of water and told her, “Maybe you should go lie down, Your Excellancy. You’ve had a very trying day.”

She accepted the water. She was too exasperated to consider the irony that water was the very reason she was on the station. “Hosar, thank you. Just let me finish with the security chief.”

Chief Vedarem asked, “Are there any Colri on the station that you know of?”

“None,” she answered.

“They could be disguised as anyone,” Hosar stated. “They’re such sneaky little creatures.”

“Have any of them made any attempts on your life before?”

“No,” the ambassador said. “But they have made vague threats; saying that I should watch my back wherever I go.”

“I’ll have my people scan for any other Celorian life signs while we continue investigating. I’m also assigning an armed guard at your door and an armed escort for you on the station.”

Ambassador Lonada was grateful for the extra protection.


 Chief engineer T’Avaya was about to start her station rounds to make sure all the engineering posts on the station were functioning properly. The Vulcan made the rounds only once a week. Her staff worked shifts at all the locations, so they made regular reports to her and kept her informed of any problems. Her weekly in-person visits were to see for herself that everything was functioning properly. As she was about to leave her office, she heard her door chime. “Come,” she said.

Another Vulcan woman walked in. T’Avaya recognized that it was Sileia, the new assistant to Planetary Administrator Nedrin, who was interviewing potential users for the water reclamation prototype. Sileia asked if she could accompany the engineer on her rounds. The Vulcan engineer thought it an unusual request. Why would someone from a bureaucratic office be interested in engineering functions? The assistant said she was interested in learning more about the station, and with extra security around the station, she would need to be accompanied by someone the security guards knew. T’Avaya agreed to let the Vulcan assistant accompany her.

They started with the generator grid on level 185. It was where the main power generator was located for the whole station. The generator greeted the visitors with a steady hum. The chief engineer checked the readings to make sure they were within normal parameters. The engineer saw her assistant engineer, Luruwa, and introduced her to Sileia. The two exchanged greetings. There was also a security guard present, since the station was on high alert. Neither the guard, nor the chief engineer, nor the assistant engineer noticed that Sileia stuck something under a computer console.

Next, the two Vulcan women went to the sensor array on level 180. It controlled the external and internal station’s sensors. T’Avaya explained that the sensor readings were displayed here and were also routed to the command center on level 1.

They visited the security center to check the security screens and scanners, the transporter rooms, holosuites, landing docks, science labs, med labs, and finally the command center. The computer controls and comms systems were checked at each location. There had been a security guard at each of the stations. T’Avaya had designed all the station’s systems herself and uploaded the systems once she took over as chief engineer.

Next, they took a shuttle to the apex of her designs: the external communications array. When Sileia asked why the array was external to the station and not a part of the station like other comm arrays, T’Avaya said this array was very powerful and needed its own external field sensors; plus, it had input and output modules that worked better on their own, rather than being connected to the station’s systems.

Once they were back on the station, they walked back to T’Avaya’s office. While making her rounds, the engineer had noticed the Vulcan assistant seemed rather chatty, unlike most Vulcans. At most of the places they went, Sileia would exclaim, “this looks very sturdy.” She spoke at length about how she had been on the station for one week and that her boss, Administrator Nedrin, had been very thorough about checking her reports from each application to bid on the water reclamator.

Then Sileia mentioned that she was from the Vulcan city K’rila’kar. T’Avaya said she had an aunt and uncle in that city and that her parents had taken her there several times when she was young. Sileia said that K’rila’kar was nice because it was more arid than most of Vulcan; one could go outside and feel a cool breeze. Then Sileia, in what seemed to be her usual conversational style, changed the subject.

“Have you found your work on the station to be satisfying?” asked Sileia.

“It is exactly as I had expected.”

“Ah. But no more than you expected.”

The engineer did not reply.

“Why did you choose to work on a station instead of a ship of exploration?”

T’Avaya hesitated, then related a childhood story. She said when she was ten years old, she went on a Starfleet ship with her classmates to see a nebula up close. While inside the nebula, she and some of the other children were abducted by a strange alien entity. The alien kept them all literally inside itself, trapped in darkness with no sense of sound, sight, touch, or telepathy. They were trapped for what had seemed like an eternity before finally being rescued by Starfleet officers. Since that incident, she had been very skeptical about space exploration. T’Avaya was unsure why she had told Sileia this story, as she had told very few people before.

“How long have you worked here?” Sileia asked the engineer.

“Eleven years.”

“And you have never thought of doing anything else?”

T’Avaya ruminated over the question. There were many Vulcans who chose a career change after having one successful career. “Perhaps,” she said, “but I see no need to change.”  

Rubah nam-tor wuh bolayatik torek t’ ek’ nam,” Sileia said. It was Vulcan for “Change is the essential process of existence.”

“Perhaps it is time for a change, Sileia added.

Just then, T’Avaya got a call from the station’s command center. They needed her there immediately.


In the command center, station director Tab Nilo was standing in front of the main viewscreen, along with the station’s chief scientist, Thali Elel, and security chief Vedarem. T’Avaya entered and saw the main viewscreen. “A meteoroid,” she said.

“Not only that,” said Elel, “but it’s heading straight toward the station. Impact in fifty-seven minutes. The station’s quantum torpedoes would not have any effect on the meteoroid because of its chirvidm core. The chirvidm will also render the station’s deflector shields useless.“

Elel explained further that scanners showed the meteoroid wasn’t a natural phenomenon. The chirvidm was proof of that. Plus, if it were natural, Federation probes would have detected it long ago. This one just suddenly appeared. Its origin seemed to be the Celor system. Director Nilo ordered Cunha, the Bolian at ops, to send a message to the Celor system and ask them what they knew about the meteoroid. And he told Chief Vedarem to have his guards escort Lonada, the ambassador from Celor Prime, to the command center. Vedarem’s earlier scan had shown that Lonada and her aide were the only Celorians on the station. Then Nilo asked Elel and T’Avaya how they could keep the meteoroid from crashing into the station.

The Vulcan engineer looked at the scanner readings. She noticed there were lepton waves coming from the station. That shouldn’t be, she thought. She had just made her rounds and checked all of the station’s critical systems. There was nothing that could cause those kinds of readings. She scanned to find the source of the lepton waves. Odd . . . they were coming from all the places she had just visited: the power core, transporter rooms, holosuites, security, etc. She did an un-Vulcan-like thing--- cursed herself for getting distracted. The meteoroid was a more immediate problem. The lepton waves could wait, as they posed no danger. Wait . . . she thought. Lepton waves . . .

She should be able to emit an annular axionic beam through the station’s deflector array. With the added energy of the lepton waves, that should be enough to break the meteoroid down into smaller, harmless pieces. The trick would be to add a confinement stream to aim it correctly. She told Nilo her plan.

As the director was about to order her to start working on it, Mr. Cunha at ops said the message received back from Celor Prime stated they were unaware of any meteoroid. “Well, of course,” director Nilo said. “It would just be too easy if they knew anything about it.”

Ambassador Lonada walked in, followed by a security guard. Nilo told her about the meteoroid. She also claimed no knowledge of it. Director Nilo ordered T’Avaya to start working on the deflector array. Elel went with her to help. As the two women left the command center, the Trill director said to Vedarem and Lonada, “I’ll bet a symbiont’s lifetime that someone here or on Celor knows something about that meteoroid.”


As T’Avaya and Elel were working on the deflector assembly, Elel asked about the Vulcan assistant, Sileia. Before the attempted murder, Elel had seen her in the astrophysics lab looking around.

“I asked her if she needed anything,” Elel recounted, “and she said ‘no, I never need anything.’ What do you think that means?”

T’Avaya answered, “I do not know. I have noticed that Sileia has some eccentric qualities. However, she does not seem irrational.”

The Barzan scientist shook her head. “Another quirky Vulcan.”

What do you mean ‘another’ ?” said the Vulcan engineer.

Elel smiled. “I’ve seen you stand on your head while rattling off equations.”

“Headstands are a way to calm the mind, increase blood flow, and strengthen the spine.”

Elel shook her head, smiled to herself, and went back to work.

Minutes later, in the command center, station director Nilo watched a beam of light shoot out from the station’s deflector array and go straight toward the meteoroid. It was a direct hit. The meteoroid shattered into hundreds of miniscule fragments. Everyone in the command center cheered. Well, that’s ONE crisis averted, he thought.

Nilo made a call to T’Avaya from the command center. He told her he wanted her to take a team on a runabout and go to Celor Prime to find out what had set off the meteoroid and why. He wanted to know why that threat was sent to the station. He felt that it had to have been sent intentionally and that someone on Celor would have the answers. It couldn’t be a coincidence that a threat from a planet came at the same time there were people here from that very planet, and an attempt had been made to murder one of those people.


Engineer’s Log. Supplemental. Dr. T’Avaya reporting. Director Nilo has ordered me to take a runabout to Celor Prime to learn more about the origin of the meteoroid that almost hit the station. Ambassador Lonada from Celor has asked to accompany me. The Celorian aide Hosar was asked by Lonada to remain on the station to see the Urban Advancement Commission’s decision on Celor’s bid. I have asked Commander Masor-Emac, chief engineer of the USS Prophecy, to come along as well. The chief engineer is currently visiting the station on leave while the Prophecy is away on another mission.


They took the runabout Tongo Eta. It was a class J2 runabout that had a maximum speed of warp 7. They would reach Celor Prime in two point twelve hours. Minister Katah, the head of state of Celor, had already been informed they were on their way. Lonada said she still did not understand that her planet could or would somehow send a meteoroid toward the station. They were a peaceful planet, even though there were internal squabbles and rivalries and such. And they did not possess the technology to move or hurl a meteoroid. T’Avaya asked if it could have something to do with the previous attempt on Lonada’s life. The ambassador thought it possible, but still didn’t see a connection.

As they were conversing, Commander Emac, an Orion, couldn’t help but notice Lonada’s necklace. It had a silver pendant with an odd shape.

“Where did you get that necklace?” he asked her.

“My aide, Hosar, gave it to me. It was a gift.”

“It’s an Orion trinket. The pendant is shaped like a velcat, a wild animal on Orion 2.”

“Hmm. I have no idea where he got it.”

Suddenly, they received a communique from Celor Prime. There had just been an explosion on Celor’s moon, Lilchide. The resident police were investigating. Lonada said that Lilchide was owned by a member of her clan. They used the moon for mining.


Once they arrived at Celor Prime, they received permission to land in the capital city. Then  T’Avaya beamed over to the moon, Lilchide, and Emac and Lonada walked to the capital building to meet the planetary leader. Minister Katah welcomed the Orion to his planet. Then he introduced Senator Thisoan to Commander Emac. Thisoan then turned to Lonada. They touched their right palms and forearms together in a ritual embrace. They were from the same clan, the Rayal clan. Katah apologized for the meteoroid and again said he knew nothing about it. He assured Emac it did not come from his planet.

T’Avaya and Emac had been sent to the system as Federation representatives investigating threats and murder. So, Emac explained, they had authority to demand to see any records pertaining to their investigation. The Orion asked to see the records of any celestial happenings in the area in the last twelve hours. The minister pulled up the records. Emac noticed a spike in radiated chirvidm in the surrounding space a few hours ago. He also noticed at the same time there was a spike in radiated chirvidm on the moon where the explosion had happened.

While on the moon, Lilchide, T’Avaya found the Celorian police investigator to be very uncooperative. But he did tell her the explosion took place inside a mining facility. There had been eight people inside. All of them had been found dead. T’Avaya asked to look through the rubbled remains. The investigator tried to stop her, but she insisted on looking. She ran her tricorder over the rubble and found an explosive device that had been detonated. She also found a strange energy signature that was out of place. Clearly, the facility had been sabotaged. She also found what must have been a large power reactor, but no mining equipment. She could see that it was not a mining facility at all. They had been building some kind of weapon. Her tricorder confirmed chirvidm at the location. This facility had been the origin of the meteoroid. They had been able to appropriate a meteoroid and instill chirvidm and launch it towards the station. The chirvidm made it almost indestructible to standard phasers and torpedoes.

She beamed over to the planet to talk to the minister and Emac. She showed her tricorder readings to the Orion. The minister seemed genuinely shocked at the news about the Lilchide facility. Senator Thisoan said that he ran the facility on Lilchide and that it was perfectly legitimate.

The Vulcan engineer took out her tricorder and started scanning the room. Based on the tricorder readings, she walked over to the senator.

“What are you doing?” he asked angrily.

She scanned the senator with her tricorder. She found the same particle trace energy signature that was in the radiation coming from the explosion on Lilchide; he had been on the moon recently.

“So you’re the one,” T’Avaya said to Thisoan. “You blew up the facility to keep us from discovering where the meteoroid had originated.”

“You, Thisoan?!” Lonada exclaimed.

“No! It’s a lie!”

But the Vulcan and the Orion told him it was useless to deny it.

Thisoan looked at Lonada as Minister Katah ordered his guards to cuff him. Thisoan said angirly to Lonada, “I could not let you be the one to win the bid for the water reclamator and save the planet’s water supply. You were always the smartest one in the family, the most renowned.”

“You fool,” said Lonada. “We are alike. Of the same clan. Is my success not your success?”

“And,” Emac said to Thisoan, “you were working with the Orions.”

“How could you know that?” Minister Katah said.

Emac explained, “T’Avaya’s tricorder readings from the moon picked up Orion energy signatures from the explosion. And Lonada is wearing an Orion necklace given to her by her aide, who was probably working for Thisoan. If you examine it closely, it is most likely embedded with a tracking and listening device.”

Lonada was totally caught by surprise. She had trusted Hosar and Thisoan for years. Thisoan told them Hosar had been bribed into turning against her and trying to kill her. And that the Orions had sold him the tools to build a meteoroid weapon on Lilchide, which he was going to sell on the black market.


When she arrived back on Station Tyrellia, Dr. T’Avaya went to see Sileia in her small office next to Administrator Nedrin’s office. Sileia looked up from her desk.

The engineer spoke. “You were the one who hid the lepton wave emitters in the station’s engineering posts.” T’Avaya had reasoned it out. Logically, there could have been no other explanation.

Sileia said simply, “Affirmative.”

“Without those emitters, we would not have been able to destroy the meteoroid.”


“You did it before we detected the meteoroid. How did you know to plant the emitters? You have engaged myself and others in strange conversations, and you have enticed me to reveal things in my past that I have never spoken of to strangers. Who are you? What is your purpose here?”

The young Vulcan rose from her desk and walked around it to stand directly in front of the engineer. “It was all necessary,” she said enigmatically.


“I am a watcher. I was sent here by another race of beings. We guard the integrity of the timeline and guide sentient beings. The meteoroid would have caused severe damage to the station. It would be so costly, in both lives and materials, that other malevolent races would have taken advantage. We could not let that happen at this time. Station Tyrellia is crucial to this sector.”

The station was at a strategic location close to the Romulan Neutral Zone and constantly on the lookout for Romulan activity. There were also dozens of thriving colony planets in the sector that the station had been assigned to protect. Not to mention, the station had the most technologically advanced communications array in the Federation.

The engineer was perplexed about the watchers. Who were these watchers? “So you are not truly a Vulcan?” she asked.

My ancestors are from Mintaka. I was raised on another planet. Others from many different races have been recruited to be watchers. The watchers’ planet is hidden and not yet known to the Federation or any of its allies or enemies.”

Mintaka. T’Avaya had heard of it. A planet whose natives were a pre-industrial Vulcanoid species. The Federation had studied them, but not made itself known to them, due to the Prime Directive. So there is some mysterious advanced civilization that watches over us. But, T’Avaya wondered, who watches the watchers?

Sileia continued. “I was also sent here to guide you, T’Avaya. Please think about how much longer you want to stay here. I know you have made a good home here. And I know you have a relationship with Commander Emac. But you were very ‘excited’ to go on missions for Section 31. Oh, yes, I know about those missions. Perhaps you would like to work for them again. Or Starfleet Intelligence. Or the V’Shar. You may decide to stay here. Just don’t stay here simply because you are scared of the unknown. There may be more to your destiny than you know.”


Engineer’s Log. Supplemental. Dr. T’Avaya reporting. Planetary Administrator Nedrin has decided not to award the water reclamation prototype to Celor Prime, stating the planet has many internal issues to settle on their own. Ambassador Lonada was disappointed, but she thanked me for my help in exposing Hosar and Thisoan.

I just completed a friendly suus mahna sparring match with assistant engineer Luruwa. Later tonight, I am having dinner with Chief Engineer Emac.

My talk with the watcher, Sileia--if that is even her real name-- has given me much to consider. She has now left the station. She did not tell Nedrin, myself, or anyone else where she was going. I can only wish her safe travels.


“ ‘Perhaps it is time for a change’,“ is what she said to me.

Masor-Emac took a bite of his grilled tilapia. He sometimes enjoyed earth dishes. They seemed exotic to him. “Hey, maybe she’s right.”

T’Avaya said, “Many Vulcans choose more than one career. Change is not exactly out of the question.”

“I’d miss you if you left the station. But, hey, you do what’s right for you. You’ve been here eleven years now. Maybe you’ve done all you can do. Only a meshatt stays in one place too long.”

The Vulcan engineer had known Masor for three years. Their friendship had been more than cordial in the last few weeks. If she ever left the station, she would miss him too. She did indeed have much to think about.


 -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.