Best Left Alone
During standard patrol, Starship Sensors roll detects a highly concentrated unknown energy pattern. A closer scan discovers effect is very powerful, but very localized. The energy field is equally comprised of powerful radiation bursts and a distinct temporal signature. As the ship scans the disturbance, there is a blinding flash of light. Anyone failing an END roll is stunned by the overload to their optic nerve. Anyone making the roll turns away in time and looks back in time to see a hundred year old starship come tumbling out of the disturbance. The ship is a D-3 Cruiser last used by the Klingon navy some 110 years ago. Sensor scans show no life signs, but incredibly a functioning, if weak, life support system.
There are powerful eddies near the focal point of the disturbance that threaten to pull the ship back into the anomaly. A tractor beam can hold the ship in place, but the eddies are too powerful to break the relic completely free. The tractor can keep the ship out of the focal point for 20 minutes tops before engine strain is too much for the PC’s ship. A boarding party could quickly beam over to see if anything is salvageable or can explain the ship being here. There is standard penalty for local interference, but there aren’t any additional modifiers to beam over.
On arrival, the air is stale, but breathable. A Computer Use roll -20% will access the ship’s log long enough to gain that this is the IKV Vengeance last entry in the log is dated 1/1404.15 and badly garbled, but the following portion can be made out: “…nating discovery for the Empire. The… is held in stasis, we look forward to great…” then the terminal shorts out. A tricorder scan will detect a faint power reading in the cargo hold. The PCs also get a message from the ship that the eddies are getting stronger and that they can not maintain the tractor much longer. A quick jog to the cargo deck does indeed discover an intact stasis tube. The Ship calls again and states the boarding party has to go no or they will lose them. A Transporter Operations roll can beam the self contained stasis tube and the boarding part to safety.
As the PCs rematerialize on their ship, the old D-3 is sucked back into the anomaly. There is a second blinding flash as the anomaly collapses in on itself and the disturbance is gone without a trace.
A check of the stasis tube shows it is holding something, but tricorders have no reference to what it is and can not specify exactly what is inside. The PCs have two choices at this point. They can open the tube or leave it closed for examination at a better equipped Star Fortress or planetary lab. If they choose to be prudent and leave the tube closed, shortly after it is stored in their own cargo hold, the stasis tube fails. Sundered from the anomaly, the old power cell runs out of power. If any of the PCs think to add a battery backup, or tie the stasis tube into ship’s power, they may do so with an Electronics Technology roll -10 due to the old interface. Regardless if the PCs are this cautious, the old circuitry of the stasis tube simply gives in to entropy and shuts down. Less than twenty minutes after being left unattended, the tube shuts down.
If the PCs choose to open the tube, they are present when the Alien creature bursts from the tube. The hell-spawned thing is eight feet tall, roughly humanoid in shape, but with two legs and four arms. It moves with a blinding speed and grabs the closest NPC and sinks powerful fangs into his throat. The powerful clawed arms bat anyone aside with ridiculous ease and the creature is smart enough to use the crewman as a shield from energy weapons. When the NPC’s head lolls to one side, the creature throws the body at the attackers, then before any weapons can strike the thing, it shifts phase and becomes indistinct. In this non-corporeal state, it is immune to energy or physical attack.
The thing races out of the cargo hold and into the corridor. Even Klingon Warriors are shaken by this demonic alien and screams are heard as the thing attacks. With its ability to phase shift, the creature is upon even the best armed crewmember can do any damage. Three more crew are killed in short order before the thing disappears into the nearest Jeffries tube.
As the security sensors sweep the ship, two things are quickly discovered. First, when the creature is phase shifted, it doesn’t register and two, after the medical teams pick up the dead, the corpses animate shortly after reaching sickbay and begin a new rampage. The reanimated crew are slow, but strong and absorb massive amounts of damage before falling finally lifeless.
Security teams reach sickbay and the reanimated crewmen are quickly dispatched. If gamed out, the casualties are a the battle goes. If it is an NPC show, assume 2D6 sickbay personnel are killed by the powerful zombies.
The original creature has become more careful in its attacks now that its rage and hunger have been sated. Half a dozen crew go missing without having a chance to call for help. No trace of them or the Alien can be found. Two engineers, one from sciences, two security, and a medic have all vanished. They were all last seen in the same general area of the ship, but otherwise have nothing in common.
The Doctor can make Medicine: Klingon rolls on any of the dead that were not totally disintegrated. The critical clue is, the first crewman attacked did not reanimate. He was drained of his entire blood volume and remained a simple corpse. The three crewmen that did reanimate, all show signs of reduced blood volume and are infested with some unknown form of microbial infection. It is this infestation that keeps the dead animate. An INT roll will realize, the first crewman was simply drained by the starving alien. The others were deliberately infected with the microbes to turn them into the zombies they became.
The key to solving the way to defeat the alien is in the Vengeance’s log. The download of the garbled ship’s log has the means the original crew used to capture the alien. It will take a Computer Sciences roll and a Computer Operations roll -20% to create a logarithm that can recover enough of the data to be useful.
However, the alien has not been idle in this time. It has bided its time while it figured out the layout of the ship and to enthrall the six missing crewmen. Before the Vengeance’s log can be recovered, there is an attack in main Engineering. The Alien and the six missing crew assault the engineering staff with blinding fury. Even if the PCs thought to post security, the Alien uses its phase shifting ability to kill them first. This battle should be fought out if any PCs are present. This however, will be a deadly fight. Any PC or NPC that is not directly killed by the fighting will be enthralled by the Alien. If the PC in engineering can make a Small Unit Tactics, or a Starship Strategy and Tactics roll -40%, they will recognize a lost cause and organize a fighting retreat. One of the enthralled engineers will seal the emergency bulkheads. Once activated, it will take three rounds for them to fully close. Anyone left in engineering at this point will be killed or enthralled. On the first round the emergency bulkheads are closing a DEX roll will safely exit the room. On round two it is a DEX -20% and on the third round it is DEX -40%. Anyone left in engineering once the bulkheads seal will be killed or enthralled.
With main engineering under its control, the alien has the ship alter course and the ship accelerates to maximum warp. A Starship Navigation roll will quickly determines a destination in Kinshaya space with an arrival time in forty-five days. The next action by the Alien is even more threatening. Life support starts to shut down! It will take two full hours to completely shut down the entire system. The crew has that much time to regain control of their ship.
The log from the Vengeance takes 6D10 minutes to reconstruct. A failed roll adds 2D10 minutes. Once recovered the log explains that the was scouting an unknown region of space and stumbled into a uncharted wormhole. The wormhole collapsed immediately after dumping them at their maximum speed of warp five, some ten months from Klingon space. They found themselves near a star system and made orbit over the only class M planet in the system to make repairs prior to returning home.
A landing party dispatched to explore the planet while repairs were underway made a startling discovery, a completely new lifeform. Like some mythical nightmare the captain called them Nightfangs. The creatures suddenly showed themselves to be extremely intelligent and strong as well as the unnatural ability to phase shift. The landing party was decimated and as they tried to beam up, one of the creatures was accidentally caught in the transporter beam as the survivors of the landing party tried to escape and the horror was brought onto the ship.
The Nightfang rampaged through the crew killing and enthralling the bulk of the crew before the chief scientist hit upon using an altered disrupter that emitted a variable frequency particle beam. The weapon could hit the creature while it was phase shifted and they managed to stun the Alien. Once they captured it, the first officer, now in command with the death of the captain, ordered the thing be put in stasis.
The enthralled crew were hunted down and killed, but the hunt was a costly one, only twenty percent of the crew of one hundred and forty survived. The twenty-eight survivors did not include an engineer. During the long trip home, the crew tried to shave some of the time by taking the most direct route back to Klingon space. Even though this meant passing through a nebula. This was the survivor’s last mistake. The nebula included a flare star that bombarded the ship with a never before encountered form or radiation that also consisted of a temporal matrix (TNG would call these chroniton particles). The radiation caused the warp envelope to become unbalanced and the ship created its own wormhole. A particularity strong burst from the flare star was drawn to the wormhole and struck the ship simultaneously with the ship hitting the event horizon. The results of the combined energies threw the Vengeance to where the PC’s encountered it as well as putting the ship into a causality loop that kept the ship bouncing back and forth between the two points for more than a hundred years until the PC’s ship’s warp envelope disrupted the loop. The flare star powered wormhole remained semi-stable and that was generated the powerful eddies that eventually pulled the Vengeance back to the distant point.
The modification of a disrupter only requires a Weapons Technology roll to create a weapon that can affect the Nightfang. Arming themselves and moving quickly to engineering, the PCs are now set for the final confrontation. The Nightfang, confident in its position did not disable the emergency bulkhead door’s override. Thus it is a simple matter to reenter engineering.
The original battle for engineering, if it was a NPC affair cost the Nightfang, two of its original enthralled crewmen, but netted nine more from the engineering crew. This makes thirteen zombies and the Nightfang defenders holding the compartment. If the first battle was gamed out, use the results to figure out the total number defending engineering.
The modified disrupters only are on the right frequency to hit the Nightfang if the PC makes a LUC roll following a successful To Hit Modern, roll. The weapon can not do high energy shots and the damage is a variable 6D10 per hit instead of the usual constant damage.
This is the grand finale, so the GM should play it up for all the heroism it deserves. However, indiscriminate use of high energy shots in main engineering will have serious effects on the ship’s controls and should be penalized accordingly. If a high energy shot misses its intended target, the firer must make a LUC roll not to hit anything important. Once the Nightfang and the zombies are defeated, the PCs can quickly regain control of the ship (unless damaged by high energy shots). If the controls are damaged, it will take a Warp Drive Technology roll to jury rig repairs to get back to the nearest planet or Star Fortress.
If the PCs choose to make the same mistake as the Vengeance’s crew did and put the Nightfang into stasis again, they are welcome to do so, but that would be a follow up adventure.
STR 150 DEX 120 END 200 INT 60 CHA 20 LUC 50 PSI 30
Skills: Unarmed combat 75% (can make four attacks per round -5% for each attack after the first on the same target, -10% for each attack after the first on a different target).
Damage 3D10 claws, 2D10 fangs (plus drain 2D10 END in blood per ACTION. If a target is completely drained of blood, it does not reanimate).
Zombies: Anyone infested by the Nightfang undergoes the following changes: double STR and END, half DEX and INT, plus END has to be reduced to 0 before that zombie falls lifeless again.