Foundry:Defense Mechanisms (ST-HKWPIA9PW)
"[AEI] Defense Mechanisms" (ST-HKWPIA9PW) is a Foundry mission in the Alliance Exploration Initiative anthology (as indicated by the [AEI] tag in the title).
Synopsis[edit | edit source]
Historical context[edit | edit source]
This mission takes place in the year 2410, in the aftermath of the Iconian War. It coincides with, but is not connected to, the Cryptic-authored Future Proof story arc.
Plot summary[edit | edit source]
The player is contacted by Capt. Anton Mercer, head of the Alliance Exploration Initiative (AEI), from its headquarters at Starbase Magellan in the Archer system. Mercer requests the player and his/her ship to report to Magellan for an unconventional first-contact mission, the specifics of which are revealed when the ship arrives.
Twelve light-years from Magellan is a system containing a Class M planet called Kenessa, home to a civilization which, despite being pre-warp, has developed faster-than-light communication and sensor technologies - with which they have discovered, and attempted to contact, Magellan and the AEI. After consulting the allied governments, the AEI has decided to move forward with first-contact proceedings, and would like the player to do the honors.
Upon arrival at Kenessa, the player sends out a greeting message but gets no reply. Approaching the planet, the player soon discovers a jamming field surrounding the planet, blocking communications. Then, without warning, a swarm of armed drones is launched from the surface and attacks the player, followed by an artillery barrage. The player orders a retreat to a safe distance, but is unwilling to abandon the mission without an explanation for the Kenessans' apparent, abrupt change of heart.
Launching a probe toward the planet, the player's officers analyze its telemetry and find that the planet's defenses are being coordinated from a central location - but that location makes no sense: Apparently it is amidst the ruins of a long-abandoned city in the middle of a harsh and unpopulated desert region of the planet. The player takes the ship back toward Kenessa, getting just close enough to beam an away team down to the ruins to investigate.
Exploring the ruins, the away team is struck by how well-preserved they are; even the solar panels on their rooftops appear to still be generating power. But what, exactly, is using that power? And who built the city in the first place? It doesn't appear to have been the Kenessans; their alphabet is quite different from that observed on the city's signage. Eventually the team traces the power consumption to a specific building, which they enter and explore.
Within one of the building's lower levels, the team finds it: The master control bunker for the planetary defenses - which were apparently built not by the Kenessans but their long-gone predecessors and, with no one left to operate them, have been on autopilot ever since. The Kenessans may not even have been aware that the ancient system was still operational until the player's ship arrived in their system, thus triggering the defenses. Using DNA left behind within the bunker to pass as technicians, the team is able to hack the facility's computer and shut down the defense system.
Shortly afterward, the player and team are contacted by their ship, which reports a warp signature originating from the other side of the planet. The team returns to the ship, which then follows the warp trail to the next outer planet of the system. It turns out to be the Onavi Dar - Kenessa's equivalent of Zefram Cochrane's warp ship Phoenix - captained by one Raejan, the woman who sent the original message to AEI.
Raejan explains that her people had already successfully tested unmanned warp drones, only to watch them be destroyed by what her people call the "Skyshield" upon returning to Kenessa. Unable to locate the runaway system's control center, much less deactivate it, the Kenessans were unwilling to risk a manned warp flight - so Raejan took matters into her own hands by reaching out to AEI, hoping (justifiably, it turned out) that the player's more advanced equipment and experience dealing with alien technology would enable them to find the Skyshield's controls more quickly. Meanwhile the Onavi Dar was kept on standby, ready to launch as soon as the defenses came down, the Kenessans having already gleaned from Magellan that, under normal circumstances, proof of warp capability was the last remaining hurdle before first contact.
"You're lucky it was we who responded to your message and not the Klingons," the player gently admonishes Raejan. "Something tells me they wouldn't have been as understanding." As it is, all's well that ends well, and so the player's ship escorts the Onavi Dar back to Kenessa. In a flash-forward denouement, Raejan and several other Kenessans pay a return visit to Starbase Magellan.
Outline[edit | edit source]
Mission text[edit | edit source]
Objectives[edit | edit source]
- Turned Tables
- Approach and hail Starbase Magellan
- Leave the system
- Blind Date
- Open hailing frequencies
- Enter standard orbit
- Defend against drone swarm
- Break orbit
- Prepare and launch probe
- Move into transporter range
- Ghost Town
- Explore ancient city ruins
- Go to identified building
- Machine in the Ghost
- Explore this level
- Scan consoles
- Collect DNA sample from console
- Use sample to bypass encryption
- Shut down secondary subsystems
- By the Manual
- Check diagnostic console
- Concurrent objectives:
- Shut down self-repair subsystem
- Shut down security subsystem
- Concurrent objectives:
- Override communications
- Override guidance subsystem
- Override targeting subsystem
- Override power management
- Override master controls
- A Rising Phoenix
- Lay in pursuit course
- Approach GFC 2289-IV
- Hail Kenessan warp ship
- Set return course for Kenessa
- Approach Kenessa
- Enter transporter range
- Getting to Know You
- Speak with Capt. Mercer
- Speak with Cmdr. Romaine
- Speak with Dehnis, Sutek and Tukv
- Speak with Raejan
- There is no walkthrough for this mission, yet. You can help STOWiki by writing it here.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Notes[edit | edit source]
- This mission was entered into the Alliance Exploration Initiative Foundry Challenge, a community contest among Foundry authors conducted in the first few weeks following the AEI anthology's launch. As such, it was one of the first missions published under the auspices of the AEI.
- This mission is based on the author's story concept for a Star Trek: The Next Generation spec script; that TV series ended before the script could be written. The AEI provided an ideal vehicle for the concept to be revived as a STO Foundry mission.
- The name of the planet Kenessa started out as merely a temporary name that ended up sticking. It is derived from Kenna, the name of one of the co-hosts of the Priority One podcast which covers STO and the rest of the Star Trek universe.
- Though the mission is designed for Starfleet players, it includes alternate dialogue options for Romulan Republic players who are allied with the Federation.
- A side plot revolves around Ensign Helna, a character created by Havraha who appears in several missions by that and other authors (including another mission by the "Defense Mechanisms" author, "Ghosts of War, Part IV"). Seeing that the Helna character had recently fallen into disuse (not having made any appearances during the current in-game year 2410), the author used the AEI as a vehicle to reintroduce Helna by semi-permanently transferring her to the AEI as a recurring secondary member of its crew. Helna remains officially attached to the player's ship (in keeping with her creator's intent), but is now stationed aboard Magellan to support the AEI's Astrometrics department while the ship is on missions that don't require her presence.
- The map title "A Rising Phoenix" is a double entendre, referencing both Zefram Cochrane's warp ship the Phoenix and "The Rising Phoenix, Part I", a popular early Foundry mission authored by the late Mark "h2orat" Valentine. That mission is no longer available to play.