Romulan Retrograde

While in the Triangle within a parsec of Romulan space, the PC's ship picks up an erratic sensor reading of an unusual energy burst. The burst is followed by a faint and garbled distress signal. The PC's arrive to find a heavily damaged Romulan warship caught in a swirling vortex that is streaming from a rip in the very fabric subspace.

When the PCs arrive, the ship does not respond to hails. Sensor scans of the interior of the ship are inconclusive due to interference from the vortex. The only thing that is obvious is the Romulan is being pulled toward the rip. Galactic Regulations dictate that PCs must assist any vessel requesting assistance. Plus the chance to make close internal scans of a Romulan warship is the intelligence coup of the decade. Beaming over finds that while there are heavy casualties (4D10+20% total, with standard rules for percentage killed), there are many survivors, but every Romulan on board is unconscious. A tricorder scan shows that while many are suffering from obvious physical injuries, many others are in some form of psychic shock. A quick check of Engineering shows that both Warp and impulse power on the Romulan ship are offline and that life support is running on battery back up.

All controls are obviously in Romulan, so any character without at least Language: Romulan at least 10% will have all technical skills halved while trying to operate the ship's systems. If another character translates, the technician will have a -20% penalty. A Warp Drive Technology roll will find that while the impulse drive is functional, while the warp core has been ejected and can not be brought back online without a replacement. A Computer Operations roll will figure out how to reactivate the impulse drive and a Starship Helm Operations roll will steer the ship away out of the vortex just as it emits a final burst of radiation and collapses in on itself. The tear in subspace doubles in size and the entire area shows evidence of instability on a quantum level. The Romulan ship is closer to this second burst of radiation and the effect on the crew is severe. Any NPC that is wounded is too weak to survive this extra drain on what's left of their life energy and simply dies. Of the ones that were in psychic shock, most sustain a total of 4D10 points from Current Op End. However, 2D10+10% convulse into a fetal position and emit a piercing shriek and then slip even further into their coma. The entire crew however, remains unconscious.

Any Vulcans on the Romulan ship must make a PSI roll. If failed that PC takes the same 4D10 points from Current Op End. If the roll is made, that PC must make an immediate LUC roll, if this second roll fails, there is no additional effect good or bad. If the roll succeeds, that PC will gain 2D10 to their PSI score. The GM makes this addition in secret and will use this new PSI rating for the rest of the adventure. At the end of the adventure, the PC must roll LUC again. If this roll succeeds, the PSI gain becomes permanent. If it fails, the extra points will fade at the rate of one point per day until returning to it's original score. Any Vulcans on the PCs ship will be far enough away from the second burst to be unharmed. If the PCs thought to raise the shields on the Romulan ship, the above PSI roll is made with a +20% bonus.

Once the ship is clear of the vortex, the boarding party can investigate the ship. The ship's log shows the ship to be the Praetor's Lance and while the ship is a standard V-30 Type 2 cruiser, the warp core is using a prototype power source in the form of an artificially created Quantum Singularity! The warp core had to be ejected after a catastrophic loss of containment of the synthetic black hole. The logs show that the power output was twice normal for this class of ship as well as a full warp factor faster in cruising speed and capable of a staggering maximum of warp 9.9 for thirty hours! The Praetor's Lance had, up until the sudden failure of containment, been escorted by two additional standard V-30 Type 2 cruisers. However, while making a high speed run, there was a cascade failure in the containment field for the singularity that destabilized their warp envelop and created a worm hole. The crew finally managed to eject the warp core mere seconds before it would have destroyed the ship. The result of dumping an unstable black hole inside a worm hole collapsed both fields. This dropped the ship out of warp, but it also ripped open subspace at the point of the collapse and subjected the crew to a never before seen burst of unknown radiation.

It will take a Computer Operations at -20% to access any of the computer station to get more detailed information. It will take Computer Operations at -40% copy the details of the quantum singularity power core. The Starfleet officers will have time to make very thorough tricorder and sensor scans of the ship. Each use of Computer Operations takes 1-4 minutes.

If the Romulans are checked by the doctor, the Romulans are similar enough to Vulcans that they will only have a -10% penalty to their General Medicine: Vulcan skill. The only thing the doctor can tell for certain is that the Romulan's brains show massive neural activity, especially the ones that are in the deepest comas. The doctor will have no way of knowing that the Romulans will regain consciousness in 30+2D10 minutes. The GM should also make the time roll in secret.

The PCs will have the choice of trying to make a stealthy scan of the ship and beam back before being detected or they can openly wait for the Romulans to regain consciousness before they departe.

If they elect to go stealthy, as they go to beam back to their ship after making their scans, the transporter chief will report that the collapse of the vortex has caused the subspace tear to begin emitting pulses waves of quantum instability that is making it impossible to lock onto them. Before they can get off of the ship the Romulans all snap awake at once. If the PCs choose to wait for the Romulans to regain consciousness, the fact that the transporter is unavailable will not be discovered until they contact their ship.

The regular compliment of a V-30 is 348. The uncontrolled trip through the worm hole and the initial burst of radiation will reduce the crew to an average of 278 survivors. The second burst will reduce this to around 202. Of that number, statistically, 42 recover from being in the deep coma state. The Romulan captain was one of the light coma casualties, the first officer, will be one of the deep coma casualties.

The Romulans that were in light comas wake up and, aside from their injuries, will act like any normal Romulan would on discovering Federation officers on their ship: with extreme hostility.

The real surprise will be the Romulans that were in the deep comas; they will wake up and will seem unnaturally calm and distracted. If any one tries to gain their attention, they will "snap out of it" and will look around the ship almost as if seeing it for the first time. However, they continue to observe with interest, but will not take hostile action even if ordered to do so.

This refusal to respond will cause the captain to walk over and slap the first officer, who in response to being struck will place his hand on the captain's chest. There is a slight pause, during which the captain raises his fist back to strike again, when the first officer's hand emits a bluish corona and the captain is a suddenly and violently thrown across the bridge. The first officer smiles and turns to the next closest Romulan (another of the light coma survivors, but this isn't obvious to the PCs} raises his hand and also sends this second crewman flying across the room. If any one PC or Romulan attempts to draw a weapon, it is pulled from their hand to land in the hand of the first officer.

At this point the first officer laughs and says: "It would seem what was lost has now been found. It looks like our little unexpected trip has reawakened long lost memories and talents. I can now recall the great migration when our forefathers refused to give up their power to that upstart the Federation venerates now as Surak, even though he pre-dated your existence by several thousand years. I also remember how we crossed the stars to find our new home, but that the journey was so arduous for our psychic adepts that they sacrificed themselves so that we would be free to reclaim that road to the stars that leads back to our true home. Starfleet has no idea of the power that Vulcans gave away so long ago. Well, since Captain Zel is unworthy to take the necessary steps to greatness I mean to reclaim that power myself!"

The Romulan helmsman listens to this diatribe as he watched the captain recover from the impact of being thrown across his own bridge. He waits until the mutinous first officer's back is turned and lunges toward him, the first officer wheels with amazing speed and holds his hand out almost as if signaling the helmsman to halt. The younger office indeed halts as if he's run into a force field. The first officer grows and snarls. "Looks like you need a further demonstration of the power I and others of the crew have regained." The first officer clutches his hand into a fist and the helmsman begins to scream horribly as he begins to MELT!

Captain Zel uses the distraction to reach a terminal and barks out a command and a force field snaps into existence around the first officer who screams in rage and lets the ruined mass that was the helmsman drop to the deck. The first officer lashes out at the force field and it begins to waver. The captain turns to the PCs and says. "For good or bad, it looks like we are in this together. I don't know how much longer that force field will hold Torvik, but I need your help to stop him and the others he mentioned from starting a war neither one of our governments is prepared to fight."

The flickering of the force field adds urgency to the PCs to agree to assist the captain prevent a war. If the PCs agree, the captain heads for the turboshaft and simply says. "Follow me." If they refuse, he glares hard at them and as he enters the turboshaft he snarls. "Meet you in hell you fools."

Regardless if the PCs have agreed to help or not, the boarding party receives a hail from their ship. The other two V-30s that were escorting the Praetor's Lance have arrived and have ordered the PC's ship to evacuate the area as they will take over the recovery operation. If their ship doesn't withdraw immediately, the Romulans charge weapons forcing the PC's ship to raise shields.

Also regardless of the PCs agreeing to assist or not, the Romulan captain begins rallying is loyal crew to fight the retrograded mutineers. The weapons fire onboard the Praetor's Lance is one of the few things sensors can pick up through the interference from the subspace tear and the two escort ships leap to the conclusion that Starfleet has boarded their advanced prototype ship and are trying to capture it and its vital secrets. The two ships then open fire on the PC's ship. The energy discharges from the Romulan's weapon fire causes the subspace tear to increase the amount of pulses waves of quantum distortion it emits causing all targeting to be at a penalty of -1 to hit.

If the PCs are assisting the Romulan captain, he leads them to an armory and has them join in with his other loyal crew members. There are roughly 40 retrograded Romulans and 150 loyal Romulans on the Praetor's Lance. By the time the PCs are rearmed, these numbers are 35 and 120 respectively. The Romulan captain wants to reach a transmitter to tell his escorts to stand down their attack and prepare to destroy the Praetor's Lance to prevent either the mutineers or Starfleet from capturing the ship. The PCs and their ten man squad of loyalists will run into three retrograded Romulans on the way to auxiliary control. The PCs can distract the mutineers long enough to give the captain time to send the signal to the other ships to stop attacking the PC's ship. Once the attack is stopped, the captain's next goal is to reach Engineering where he can set the impulse drive to overload and destroy the ship.

The fight between factions will reduce the retrograded Romulans down to 12 (including Torvik) at the cost of the remainder of Zel's loyalists. Both groups of survivors reach Engineering at the same time and the final battle begins, the PCs have to hold off the retrogrades long enough for Zel to key in the over ride to destroy the ship. This will take six rounds. They then have to keep the retrogrades at bay for another six rounds to ensure the overload can not be reversed.

The cessation of firing has stopped the subspace tear's pulses from getting any stronger and a Starship Sensors roll followed by a Transporter Technology roll will allow the sensors to calibrate the transporter's carrier wave to match the frequency of the pulses to allow transport. There will be a -30% penalty in addition to any other normal modifiers to the roll. If either the Starship Sensors or the Transporter Technology rolls are 05 or less the penalty is reduced by -10% to a maximum of -20% if both are made.

An Astrophysics roll at -20% will detect that an explosion of sufficient magnitude should seal the subspace tear as well. It will only take a Starship Helm Operations roll to get the ship moving toward the subspace tear.
As the PCs and Zel are beamed to safety, the Praetor's Lance self destructs and the explosion indeed seals the subspace tear as predicted. Zel finds himself in an unusual position of having to thank Federation officers for destroying his ship. He does rise to the occasion and his gratitude seems sincere. He then asks for one last favor, that they beam him back to one of the escorts. And whether they know it or not, they have made a friend in the Romulan Star Empire.

If the PCs refused to help Zel, they will have to recover weapons from dead loyalists to arm themselves. In addition, the Romulan captain's only motivation will be to reach Engineering to set the ship to self destruct. Thus the two V-30s continue to fire on the PC's ship. This has the effect of increasing the strength of the subspace pulses and further reducing targeting by a cumulative -1 for every other turn of firing. The extra interference will add a penalty of -20% to the Starship Sensors roll to calibrate the transporter's carrier wave to match the frequency of the subspace tear's pulses. The Astrophysics roll to detect that an explosion of sufficient magnitude should seal the subspace tear will be made with a penalty of -40% and the penalty for the Transporter Operations roll is increased to -50%.

Without the PC's assistance, Zel is unable to defeat the retrogrades and the PCs will face 25 retrogrades if they attempt to reach Engineering on their own.

Use standard Romulans for the crew of the Praetor's Lance and the standard Romulan captain for Captain Zel and Torvik, but increase Torvik's and all the other retrogrades INT and END by +20 and his PSI to 80.

The retrograde Romulans also gain the psionic powers of: telekinesis and pyrokinesis.

Telekinesis requires 5 points of Current Op End to activate for every 100 kilos moved or 100 points of damage resisted. (Figure a Phaser set on disrupt does 500 points of damage while a Disruptor set on high-energy does 350 points)

Pyrokinesis requires 10 points of Current Op End to activate for every 100 kilos melted.

The advanced powers of the retrogrades allow for them to regenerate their Current Op End at quintuple normal rate, thus if an NPC normally recovers 6 points per 30 minutes, it increases to 30 per 30 minutes or one point per minute.