BRIEF SUMMARY: On its shake-down cruise, the USS Endurance discovered that Klingons had secretly established control over the borderlands world of Verian II — a Federation colony whose population rejected modern technology.
"I must defend myself if you attack, Ha'DIbaH." — Savalis to a Klingon
"Good work Mr. Savalis... but do you kiss your mother with that mouth?" — Maddox to Savalis
"A kiss captain, would be most representative of the emotions we Vulcans tend not to display..." — Savalis to Maddox
EXTENDED SUMMARY: As the newly-constructed USS Endurance (NCC-1862) waited for its first captain to transfer from the USS Republic (NCC-1371), First Officer Savalis oversaw the final "shake-down" aspects of its construction — all were within specifications, save for some potential damage to the warp drive caused by a minor intermix error. Captain James Apple of the Republic transferred the final supplies to the ship. Endurance communications officer Bonnie Thomas recorded in her log that the complete supply manifest read "1 Starship Captain" — none other than Samuel C. Maddox, the Republic's former XO.
A priority communique from Admiral Elizer routed the Endurance's shakedown cruise to the Verian star system — deep into the borderland region between the Federation and the Klingon Empire, immediately adjacent to the Klingon Neutral Zone. A collision between a Federation-registered merchanteer and a Klingon scout ship in the Verian system had contributed to another tense moment in Federation/Klingon relations.
The Verian system was home to one of the more successful recent expressions of the Neo-Luddite movement — which called for Federation citizens to recreate a simple way of life by abandoning modern technology (cf. lost Bringloid expedition, failed Eden expedition, Omicron Ceti III, etc.) Verian II, colonized in 2233, had achieved a population of about 3,500 humans engaged in the attempt to recreate the lifestyle lived by 18th-Century English Colonists in Earth's North America. The only modern technology on the planet was a subspace transmitter which the Federation insisted be maintained due to the planet's proximity to Klingon space. However, for 1 year prior to the Endurance's mission, Starfleet had received no subspace transmission from Verian II.
The nature of the colony necessitated period disguises for the landing party, which consisted of Captain Maddox, First Officer Savalis, Lt. Aronax (tactical), Lt. Bonnie Thomas (communications), Ensign Joseph Gamelson (engineering), and Ensign Azaal (security). In the cases of Savalis (a Vulcan) and Azaal (an Andorrian), the diguises — which Lt. Thomas devised — had to be especially inventive.
Scans from the planet's surface identified several initially unexplained sources of Delta radiation, which prompted the captain to divide the landing party into two groups. The captain, Savalis and Thomas went to meet the planetary governor while Aronax, Gamelson and Azaal attempted to identify one of the Delta ray sources. Because of interference from the radiation, the groups lost communications contact with each other and with the Endurance.
Aronax's scouting party located and identified a modern metallic device as the source of the rays. Gamelson confirmed that the device was of Klingon manufacture. Lt. Aronex decided to probe the device more closely, setting off a Klingon booby-trap. The resulting explosion caused Aronex's own death and knocked Azaal and Gamelson unconscious.
The captain's team succeeded in receiving an audience from the Governor, William Harrison, in the primary New Virginia settlement. But the landing party quickly learned that the governor had made some compact with Commander Klevik of the Klingon Defense Force, and briefly fell into the control of Klevik and six of his men. Quick thinking and the nimble fingers of Savalis allowed the landing party to turn the tables on the Klingons. Taking the Klingons in tow, the captain and his team located the colonial Subspace transmitter where an additional frackass allowed Klevik and his Klingons to escape back to their cloaked ship, the IKS K'Ploctq. Lt. Thomas was able to break through Klingon jamming using a boosted signal from the colonial transmitter long enough to get a message through, warning the Endurance of the K'Ploctq's presence.
Under prodding, Governor Harrison revealed that the discovery of a dangerous, warlike race of red-skinned "savages" on the planet had led to a deal with the Klingons, who were secretly preventing any outgoing transmissions from the colony to the Federation. The governor believed that the Klingon Delta ray generators were the only thing preventing the savages from overrunning the colony — and, in retaliation for the presence of the Endurance landing teams, the Klingons had apparently shut them all off. In prepration for the anticipated attack, the governor called the colonial militia to arms.
Meanwhile, out of communicator contact with the landing party, Second Officer Ronald Kelley, in command of the Endurance, assembled two rescue parties. The first, sent to the surface via the shuttlecraft James Caird, included Lt. Ramon Tulouse and Dr. T'Kel. The second — consisting of Dr. Chadwick, Nurse Penney and Ensign Ford (security) — was beamed to the site of the explosion (scanned from the ship) where Lt. Aronax and his team had been incapacitated. They learned that Azaal and Gamelson had been rescued and nursed back to consciousness by a colonial farmer and his daughter. The reunited crewmembers along with the farmer and daughter all barricaded themselves in the farmer's house when an enormous wave of "savages" attacked. The Endurance crew held the "savages" off using phasers set on stun, wide-dispersal.
As a much larger force of Verian II "savages" massed to attack the New Virginia settlement, Savalis ascertained that naturally occuring Delta rays in the environment could be amplified using energy from the captured Klingon disruptors. The rays staved off the invasion, causing a hypnotic effect in the attacking "savages."
Dr. Chadwick performed several tests one of the stunned "savages" and determined that the individual was actually an indigenous inhabitant of Verian II. He then returned to the ship to perform emergency surgery on Lt. Azaal. When Azaal recovered, his antennae picked up some disturbance which momentarily caused in him the same berserker rage which had been witnessed in the natives.
Chadwick realized that even as the Delta rays from the Klingon emitters had been keeping the "savages" at bay, another radiation source was causing them to behave like violent berserkers. Commander Kelley on the Endurance identified the source of the second form of radiation as the cloaked IKS K'Ploctq. A brief fire fight convinced the K'Ploctq to retreat, freeing the natives and restoring communications between the landing parties and the Endurance.
The landing party, rejoined by Dr. Chadwick, transported to a new area where they attempted to communicate with the now-docile native "Verianites." Further analysis led to the conclusion that radiation, naturally occuring in variable amounts from the system's Van Allen Belts, resulted in an aggrevating effect on the Verian II natives brainwaves, causing them to behave violently. Nature compensated by giving the Verianites a hybernation cycle corresponding to the height of the radiation output from the Van Allen Belts. The Klingons had discovered the frequency of the naturally occuring radiation and simulated it for their own purposes.
The Endurance team left the colony with two Languange Training Module computers and instructions to establish positive relations with the red-skinned natives — hopefully with better results than their ancestors had accomplished centuries past on Earth!
CASUALTIES: Lt. Aronex.
CREW ROTATIONS/PROMOTIONS: Dr. T'Kel transferred to Pyschology Dept. Dr. Chadwick promoted to CMO. Joseph Gamelson promoted to Lt. JG.
CITATIONS: Citation for Original Thinking: Savalis. Purple Hearts: Maddox, Chadwick, Azaal, Gamelson.