Personal Log, Stardate 91435.32
No, that’s no mistake on my dating. I usually don’t do this in my logs, but….
What the Hell?
WHAT THE HELL!??!
Okay. I’m better now. Let’s do this dispassionately.
Ordinarily, I wouldn’t be saying half of what I’m going to be saying on this log, but my tricorder isn’t linked to any ship’s computer now, and I won’t ever be doing so. People will just think it’s an affectation or quirk that I keep an “old style” tricorder in my quarters. But it’ll allow me to remark on things I couldn’t otherwise.
For weeks, I’ve been a “temporal agent”, working under the direction of “Agent Daniels”, who had infiltrated my crew to set me on this path. Ever since K-13 pulled its vanishing act, I’ve been more or less conscripted to help preserve the future timeline. I wasn’t sure how to feel about that-the future hasn’t happened yet. My first mission seemed pretty praiseworthy-prevent a conference at Babel in the past from descending into utter chaos. Most of my work involved messing around on Enterprise, and trying to pretend to be a member of their crew. Mr. Scott recognized me, though-except he was saying something about Drozana Station. Since I’ve never been there, and since I seem to be involved in time now…well, I can only conclude that at some point, I’ll be traveling through time to meet him there.
The next mission was in the past as well. We stopped that alien species-the Na’khul-from destroying a Tholian convoy, including a Queen. But one of Champion’s sister ships, the Defiant, was…lost.
The kicker, though, happened in my own time. After a battle with the Klingons, it seemed like it was all over for me. Certainly, the Champion fought like its namesake. But it wasn’t enough. Still, Daniels wasn’t done with me yet. Instead, he dragged me to the future. To the year 2409. Over 150 years in the future. And we’re at war with the Klingons. Don’t get me started on that. I’ve heard Starfleet had actually allied with them for a while, but not anymore. Color me shocked.
I’m being billeted to a new ship-ironically, an updated variant of the Constitution-class, an Excalibur-class starship: the USS Triton. It seems like the battle I just fought in was just the beginning….
The adventures of Rick Masters continue through the back half of the “Agents of Yesterday” early level missions in Star Trek Online. As one might tell from the log, the character has made the big jump from the 23rd century to the 25th. But before that happened, he had to take care of a couple of missions for Agent Daniels-from the future! And the process puts the character behind the scenes of a couple of significant events in Star Trek lore. Let’s take a peek after the spoilery break. Don’t read if you want surprises!
The path of a starship captain never did run smooth-and man, it hasn’t run smooth for Masters. Let’s take a look at the possible havoc he could’ve wreaked in the past, shall we? (That’s right-it’s not enough that we went to the past with this expansion! No, we have to go back even FURTHER! Not much more, though….)
The first of this little trilogy is “Return to Babel”, where our old friends, the Na’kuhl, are trying to disrupt the Bable Conference. For the fans of the Original Series, this was the episode where we first met Sarek (and guess what-you’ll see him too!) and Amanda, the parents of Mr. Spock. In the process, you’ll meet another temporal agent-and one who is a wee bit more famous than Daniels. Hint: he’s actually present in this episode, which means he can’t go and meet himself. Along the way, you’ll also run into Mr. Scott and Captain Kirk…sort of. I really think there’s a likeness permission issue here, because we don’t really talk to him-he’s busy being face down and unconscious. The episode concludes with you stopping Orion pirates who are getting that future assistance; it also involves accidentally leaving behind a bit of tech that really shouldn’t have been, which is found by someone who’s likely to tinker with it in his spare time. I’m sure that won’t do any possible harm to the timeline….
The next episode is “Tangled Webs”, which brings up a couple of threads for the storyline. (Hah hah. I couldn’t help that one.) This time, the USS Defiant is under attack, as are a group of Tholians. The Na’kuhl are looking to stir things up again, and the Tholians-being Tholians-are just as happy to consider both the Na’khul and the Federation as enemies here. The devastation is significant, and presuming you do your job right (and let’s face it-this is STO. Of course you’ll do your job right), the Tholians will leave the Federation blameless, but swear eternal vengeance on the Na’khul. For those keeping track: yes, the Na’kuhl just did what Sela did with the Iconians. Predestination Paradox, indeed. The Defiant, of course, has its own destiny-as it vanishes out of phase to keep its appointment with more Tholians and the Enterprise in the classic episode “The Tholian Web”.
There’s no travel to the past in the final episode, “The Battle for Caleb IV”. The Klingons are massing, and Starfleet wants to push them back before they start getting ideas like invading. Your ship is a part of a task force to hold the line. Unfortunately, this is where the Klingons first demonstrate a new technology they’d gotten from the Romulans in return for giving the Romulans some of their ships-a technology that PvPers are more than familiar with by now. What ensues is something that could have been a slaughter-except you have the opportunity to beam onto the command ship and turn defeat into a fighting chance to live. For almost everyone.
The end result is that Agent Daniels takes you and your bridge crew (if you choose to keep them, of course-nothing stops you from decommissioning them and getting new ones) to the future: 2409, the time of the modern STO. You’re plopped into Earth Spacedock, after receiving some fast-learning courtesy of Daniels, with a new identity (which, strangely enough, bears the exact same name as that fellow who vanished in the 23rd century; you’d think they’d spring for a full free rename here) and a new history where you’re a Lieutenant Commander ready for a new ship. (I chose the Constitution cruiser, Excalibur visuals, because it made sense for the character.) A quick brief from this time’s Temporal Agent and you’re on your way to the next set of missions-familiar to every Federation player in the game by now.
I can’t fault the devs on their work on the environmentals here; everything still has the feel of the TOS series here. We get the official return of “Future Guy” from the Enterprise series (was I right about his identity? Wait and see-that lies ahead), which is something I’ve been hoping for. And we got to cross swords again with Captain Kor; I remain a big fan of the classic Klingons, and sort of regret that our time with him is up. Then again, with the time travel genie out of the bottle, who can say what may yet occur.
The transition to the 25th century is…well, honestly, I don’t know that was handled all that well. The fast-learning thing from Daniels helps explain how you can be at least competent in future-tech right off the bat, but appearing in front of an officer first thing in Spacedock who comments on your cosplaying (I’m paraphrasing)…it felt off, even if it gives you an excuse to zip right over to the Tailor before meeting Admiral Quinn. That’s really my only major complaint, though.
In the end, there’s no denying that the introductory missions that propel you from being a new starship captain to a Temporal Agent have been enjoyable (well, from my own point of view, naturally). It was a fun excursion into the TOS era, which managed to keep its authenticity. I’m sort of looking forward to the little temporal blips ahead (such as meeting McCoy and Scott on Drozana during the Devidian arc), not to mention some of the brand new missions that are awaiting further down the line.
As mentioned a bit earlier, the plan is that the next Agents of Yesterday post will cover a full arc, and be more along the lines of my character progress than content review (after all, these missions have been in the game for years now, with occasional minor adjustments). There will be new content review stuff that I’ll go into with the new “Yesterday’s War” arc, as well as the final episodes for the “Temporal Front” arc-that one’s way ahead, though, given that’s the last one in the entire chain. I’ll also make comments on the Temporal Agent Recruitment event that’s ongoing right now-very similar to the Delta Recruitment that went on when Delta Rising came out.
The Adventures of Rick Masters will continue!