Ep 4: Wedding of S’zera - Main Plot
Current Events Announcement:. A day or mourning occurred on Tynyridan. A statue of General Vloceg and a memorial for the rest of the deaths during what is being called by the Tyneridea The Final Stand has been commissioned by a nearly unanimous vote of the Great Guild. The ruling cabinet of the Great Guild, the mysterious triumvirate known as the Tehom, has declared them all Heroes of Tyneridan and have lodged a formal diplomatic complaint with the Federation. The popular religious group known as The Chasm of the Stars has begun calling their Deepests to prepare the people for conflict.
A combined Obsidian Order and Tal Shiar fleet enters the Gamma Quadrant and is destroyed by the Dominion, apparently in a planned ambush to neutralize them as a threat in the Alpha Quadrant at the Battle of the Omarion Nebula. This has sent shockwaves throughout the powers of both the Alpha and Beta Quadrants with the Dominion threat being the acknowledged singular problem for the Federation since perhaps the Borg. It is well known that in the last several months both construction of new Federation starships as well as refits, upgrades, and reinforcements of existing vessels has been significantly ramped up, with the Federation going so far as to bolster their forces by activating a number of vessels from the mothball fleet. This is already stressing Federation and Starfleet resources, both for craft and personnel.
Captain’s Log: The Bonaventure senior staff are “invited” to the wedding of S’Zera O’Zark’krel and Thavan Z’ubres’krel, strengthening ties within the Orion Syndicate. This is a rare opportunity to see an Orion wedding...blah blah blah. These two families are already related by multiple marriages, but remain rivals because of bad blood between their older members. That balance of relationships and rivalry among these 2 families helps keep the balance of power in the quadrant.
Admiral Heath makes his visit, has his commendations and dressing down, and instructs the crew for their assignments to the Orion wedding. He makes it clear that there are Federation interests in seeing the Orion pacified, which includes an Orion diplomatic overture that promises to cease selling military and weapons technology to Tyneridea. O’Zark’zo has offered to do this if the Bonaventure senior staff serves as his daughter’s Jhoudalar a kind of best man by committee designated to symbolically protect the bride until morning. Admiral Heath will point out that Starfleet intelligence does have some reports that if this does not go well, then the Orions are going to upgrade the Tyneridea military at cost just to spite the mission.
Othrys Station Description: (Exterior) Orthys Station is a complex amalgam of at least two previous space stations over a Class K planet with some pressure domed colonies used for manufacturing and mining/resource collection. Neither space stations are of Orion construction or design, with the core portion of the first section being unidentifiable and the second being apparently Ferrengi surplus. (Interior) The interior of the station is a oppressive mix of darkness, bright, flashing lights and advertisements, competing foods and smells, and thick, greasy smoke. Rampant poverty is in existence, with all of the attendant problems, alongside lavish wealth. While the Federation is present, all obvious examples of slavery are shut down, it’s presence is barely hidden. It is a place that both tempts and turns the stomach in equal measure.
Orion Salvaged Alien Station
Comms 09, Computers 09, Engines 11, Sensors 10, Structure 14, Weapons 10
Command 03, Conn 01, Security 03, Engineering 02, Science 02, Medicine 03
Crew: Proficient (Attribute 9, Discipline 2)
Up to 15 vessels, each of scale 5 or less
Phaser Arrays (14CD, Versatile 2, Area, or Spread )
Photon Torpedoes (7CD, Long range, High-Yield)
The wedding takes place on Othrys Station, an Orion station between Castoria and the Shackleton Expanse. When the crew arrive, they are assigned an Orion escort who advises them on customs and protocol. This escort shows them their quarters, makes formal introductions to the heads of both families, the bride and the groom, and anyone they request to meet.
The scene opens in a large hall, thick with the sickly yellow smoke of dozens intoxicating substances. The Z’ubres family is at the left of the hall with the O’Zark on the right. Everyone is armed only with non-energy weapons.
The ceremony of gifts: The tension of the situation between the Z’ubres family and the O’Zark is high. Investigation reveals that the two families are on the verge of open warfare and this marriage is the last opportunity to stave off conflict. The ceremony entails each family to give gifts of escalating value and beauty in turn. It will be explained that the bride’s first gift is important because it symbolically sets the price of the haggle but the groom’s family need to be able to provide the final and most expensive and impressive gift, which can be manipulated to break even a great house.
List of gifts, starting with the bride’s family:
1. Andorian gems
2. Tholian ceramic eggs
3. Breen hand disruptors (several crates)
4. 100 barrels of Klingon Blood Wine (of a very good vintage)
5. 100 kegs of Romulan Ale
6. A Ferengi mining concern near the Tzenkethi Coalition borders
7. A Betazoid sacred empathic poetry receptacle (a collection of empathic/telepathic impressions considered poetry, this artform considered lost)
8. Gorn sub-space mines (illegal)
9. A partially corrupted schematic file of a Federation Mark I Quantum Torpedo
10. The remains of a single Suliban corpse that has genetic advancements encoded into their DNA that are more advanced than anything anyone currently has
The wedding Ceremony Proper: When the wedding proper begins, the Perfection enters being carried on a litter carried by strong males of various species, including two Letheans, a Lurian, a Romulan, a Hyperiun, and a Xindi Arboreal. When the litter is put down, two rows of nearly naked Orion men walk in from either side of the hall, only to crouch down on all fours in a row, for both the bride and the groom to walk on their backs (it may be mentioned that the length of this walkway is a demonstration of status and wealth) towards the centre. Once at the centre, they continue to stand on this living dias when a chain is brought to the groom, blessed by the Perfection who says “In the mists of old, Orion fists ruled the Quadrant. Systems died and lived on our whims. Those days are gone, and our kind became more and less. What hasn’t changed is our strength, our will, and our families. This day we repeat the actions that were laid down in the old Times, so these two young ones will know family and honour.” At this point the large, metal chain is given to the groom, who symbolically binds the arms of the bride, only to have the bride produce from nowhere (which draws murmurs of approval at her skill) a small and thin golden coloured metallic chain who binds the wrists of the groom. Following this the Perfection continues “As the Orion Empire who Quadrants ruled did not survive and thus all was taken from us, this bride must prove her worth by surviving until morning with the protection of her non-aligned Jhoudalar or all will be taken away from her but her existence as it was with our people. You would have no property, no currency, no freedom, and no rights to ever have these things. Now, by the light of the rising sun you will be married and these families will be joined.”
Dinner and entertainment: The dinner is decadent, with dancing “servants” of various genders and raucous music. Various intoxicants flow, and each course of the meal is more excessive. This is clearly designed to display status. Anonymous bidding occurs via datapads for various lots identified only by number. Whenever someone wins the bidding they laugh and look meaningfully at the Federation folks.The party can go on for some time before the complication.
Complication: At the dinner, the Z’ubres family starts taking ill, with Z’ubres’ka the first to fall gravely ill and there’s accusation of an O’Zark plot using the wedding as a cover. O’Zark’zo insists it’s a coincidence, or perhaps an internal plot within the afflicted family.
Diff 2 Medical scans will show that this is an advanced and aggressive biological poison designed to target their specific DNAs.
Z’ubres revenge contingencies go into effect. This does likely mean that an immediate fight does break out with both families protecting their leaders and scions, while withdrawing to different parts of the station. At this point, the Z’ubres are able to put into place a powerful pattern desequencing field directly tied to the main station reactor.
Diff 5 for zones (medium range from station) impacted by the Pattern Desequencer. This should impact everything from sensors to transporters to energy weapons to targeting to creating warp fields to communications.
The Z’ubres family pulls back to the main station reactor area, and will defend it with their life, this is where they set up their command post and plan to carry out various attacks. The O’Zarks pull back towards the casino/pleasure palace to set up their command post. This should be a running battle, or a series of stealthy rolls to get from the hall to this area with S’Zera. When they arrive they would receive reports of multiple high ranking assassinations that have occurred. O’Zark’zo is ordering various contingency protocols to go into effect, ordering the deaths of various Z’ubres leaders. S’Zera appeals to the Federation to fulfil their duty to protect her until morning and O’Zark’zo tells them that his diplomatic overtures is at play if she doesn’t live.
Attempts on S’Zera:
Her betrothed Thavan Z’ubres’krel contacts them and insists on his innocence; to prove his commitment, he has the Z’ubres who were in on the revenge plot executed. His remaining family members are still struggling with the mysterious illness, and he begs for Federation assistance in finding the source. He will willingly meet with O’Zark’zo to negotiate an end to hostilities, and S’Zera demands that she goes with him to confront her husband. During this tense meeting S’Zera administers a hypospray to her father, killing him with a modified allergen.
She and Thavan embrace and thank the Federation for their help.
Possible Conclusions: In the end, when the two perpetrators are brought together, possibly by pitching a peace conference with the intent to stop the violence, it should become clear that they were at the heart of the violence, using the Federation to protect them during this chaotic ascendency. It should leave the Orions in the sector completely unified and a more powerful and coordinated threat than ever, though in need to some time to consolidate their position.
In the end: The Federation will have been used, but the Orions will now say that they are in their debt, and if they ever need a favour, to let them know. This action will actually raise them in their esteem with the Orions politically, with the Tyneridea anxious about closer Federation/Orion ties and the Castores concerned that their allies can be so easily manipulated.
Perfection Nalem (Orion Religious Authority - Female)
A gorgeous Orion woman of some years, with the curves of a racing yacht, she is a religious/cultural figure called a “Perfection” that presides over important cultural events like marriages. She is not of either family but travels the quadrant doing her duties.
Gal'Gruk O'zark'zo (the bride's uncle on her mother's side)
Former slaver and drug dealer, his idea of going straight was to get formal schooling in Federation law and become a bureaucrats nightmare. When not helping other Orion circumvent the law he has a fondness for history and culture, and is the self appointed judge of Orion tradition for this wedding.
Z’ubres’ka (Orion Family Boss)
An ancient, lecherous Orion, too ornery to die despite multiple war wounds. Wheezes when he talks, and always assumes that everyone is as selfish and hedonistic as he is. No one knows what kind of leverage he must be using to keep his family in line, but it's ironclad--they are loyal to the death.
Grunk (Nausicaan Enforcer)
Chief leg breaker for the bride's family, he is completely oblivious to the fact that he is actually a slave. Grunk isn't actually his name, but he has agreed to answer to it because S’Zera kept mispronouncing his actual name, so she named him after another bodyguard that died (actually, she just thinks the name is funny)
Ildomi Vath (Betazoid Handler)
Since childhood, Ildomi’s prodigious talents for telepathy and empathy have not generated any actual sympathy for other people. He unravels people like puzzles, but loses interest fast once he thinks he has someone figured out. His canny manipulation skills have netted a position in the O’zark’zo family as a general manager of delicate situations, keeping things running smoothly until his master makes final decisions on handling.
Spider (Human Assassin)
Born Missy Comstock of Minnesota, her wealthy family's private investment in eugenics turned into their downfall when she was outed at University for her exceptional intelligence, memory, and athleticism. She has thrived in the Underworld ever since and no longer cares what anyone thinks of her genetic enhancements. Still, she prefers to kill with her silk garrote even when there might be easier methods, and some say that shame about her condition fuels a deep-seated deathwish.
Thavan Z’ubres’krel: (Orion Male)
Nephew of Z’ubres’ka. Polite, gregarious, and extremely agreeable. Although he is never confrontational, he’s as ruthless an Orion as anyone could ask for, and has no qualms about betraying friendships.
Argaz (the bride's disgraced cousin)
She has to serve in slavery to her ex-husband's house for 22 more years for violating the terms of their divorce 3 years ago. Potential object lesson for the fate S'Zera wants to avoid.
Or'ze O'zark'zo (S'zera's favorite auntie)
A ruthless wrinkled dowager with a fondness for drugs. Technically she is a great-aunt to the bride but would be scandalized to hear anyone refer to her that way. Just as she would be outraged to hear anyone speak of her as anything less than radiant.
O’Zark’zo (Orion Family Boss) The local equivalent of a Godfather, high level Orion operative. Big, rotund, but fast on his feet. Get nauseous at high warp. Ruthless. Covered in rings and necklaces. Would sell his mothers for influence and coin. And did.
S’Zera O’Zark’krel: (Orion Female) S’Zera is physically perfect. Her beauty is famous throughout the sector. Her father uses her regularly to get his contacts and customers on the back foot/distracted. What not even her father knows is that S’Zera is ridiculously bright and is slowly hatching plans for herself. She betrays herself every now and again, her “silly blonde” routine slipping occasionally and her identifying a ship class, speaking in foreign languages, understanding engineering concepts, etc. (Seduction: Presence 4, +1 for Orion pheromone ability)
Captain’s Log: The appearance of the Federation as ‘outsiders’ in the region continues to make our mission more difficult. With any luck, establishing a permanent Starfleet presence on Castoria will help give the impression that the Federation intends to put down roots, but so far the inhospitable atmosphere has prevented the establishment of a more extensive or permanent embassy on the planet’s surface. Fortunately, three atmospheric stabilizers are en route from Bolias, which should ease the task considerably.
In this final installment of this episode of the Wedding of S'Zera the crew faced sub-space mines, the transporter transformed into a weapon of war, betrayal, and something terrible happened to the Bonaventure while they were gone. Also, some friends were lost.
In this session the crew of the Bonaventure continues to defend S'Zera from all comers, leading to some engineering done while under fire and multiple problems with fixing environmental controls. Watch for the Captain stepping into the spotlight to show off some mad engineering skills.
From their defensible position in the Orion casino in Othrys station, dubbed the the Captain their "Domjot Table Fort," the away team comes under attack by wave after wave of enemy soldiers (Letheans and Naussicaans and Orions oh my!) while protecting S'Zera, and when their perimeter is nearly breached, things get brutal. Watch for First Officer Kirid Hex being untouchable by disruptors, the bad luck Naussicaan, and the Doctor's new war cry, "Take your medicine!"
For all of the adventures of the USS Bonaventure.