AoY: Just When I Thought I Was Out, They Pull Me Back In

How do I keep getting called in on temporal problems? Oh, yeah, that’s right…I AM a temporal problem….

Personal Log, Stardate 94874.13

Well, this figures.

I shouldn’t be surprised.  Even though I hoped that I was finally done with the temporal craziness, I knew in my heart that I wasn’t.  I’m in command of a ship from the 31st century, and an acknowledged temporal agent, hailing from the 23rd century, operating primarily in the 25th.  Temporal stuff is always going to catch up to me, sooner or later.

And it seems that a loose end from a previous temporal event has come up.  When Agent Daniels showed up again talking about a mess with the EnterpriseC, I wasn’t sure what to make of it.  I had to get briefed on that, which included not only the fact that a temporal mess caused a 24th century Starfleet officer on the D to wind up on the C on its way back to its doom, but also that there were survivors from that-from which came future-Empress Sela.  And added to that was the fact that between the C‘s final fate and the diversion to the D‘s time, it made one other stop:  the 25th century.

And apparently, I was involved-somehow.  I must’ve done something right, but I can’t recall the details.  But I must’ve also overlooked one minor issue-that timeline’s version of Admiral T’nae was on the C when it went back to its proper place in time.  So now we had two elements in play that were causing the timeline to start buckling.

At least this time, I didn’t have to worry about jumping into the past; we took care of things in the present, and got a prisoner to boot:  Sela.  I can only hope that this time, Starfleet Security can actually hold onto her.  She may cooperate more now that she hasn’t been turned in to the Romulan Republic for execution-but what do I know?  That’s politics, and I have enough trouble dealing with variant timelines.

What a job.

End Log.

Nah, that couldn’t be. Right?

Got us a new featured episode in Star Trek Online, and instead of continuing the Tzenkethi line, it seems like it’s a stand-alone episode.  I’m sure it’ll get folded into one of the existing arcs, of course-and given the presence of Sela in this mission, called “Survivors”, I’m guessing that it’ll be after the Iconian War and the Temporal Front.  It’s also possible that it may be put as a part of the current storyline, too, but I’m going to treat it as a stand-alone because it really doesn’t fit the story-arc structure that STO encourages.

And since it involved Agent Daniels and time travel, I had to bring Rick Masters out of mothballs for this post.

The episode conceit is this:  waaaay back in the episode “Temporal Ambassador”, your character managed to help fix the timeline by breaking the Enterprise-C out of Tholian hands with the help of Tasha Yar, Richard Castillo, and-most relevant to this point-T’nae of Vulcan.  The thing is, T’nae is a native of the current time, not of the era of Yar OR the era of Castillo.  Now, Captain Walker of the Pastak retrieved your character to avoid the timeline from getting messed up horribly-but he missed the tiny detail that T’nae was aboard Enterprise-C.

Oops.  Walker screwed up.  So Agent Daniels has to fix it, or more to the point-YOU get to fix it.  And who should he suggest to help find the divergent T’nae than the daughter of Tasha Yar:  Sela, the Empress of Escapology.  (TV Tropes would call her a Karma Houdini.  That’s fair.)

This is actually a reasonable breather episode, really.  I’m not going to say there’s no combat-you’ll be slugging it out with Tholians in space and on the ground, as well as some local wildlife, and another unexpected target.  But once you get past it, it turns into a bit of a mystery as to the fate of not just the alternate T’nae, but also the rest of the Enterprise-C survivors, including a very unexpected one.  And when all is finally said and done, there’s one more [speechless] cameo appearance from a Starfleet legend.

Sela hasn’t really learned too much from her previous encountered with the PC captains.  Still an arrogant know-it-all; you’d think she’d have become a little less sure of herself from her actions on Iconia, but nope.  I really wanted a dialogue option to have her pushed out an airlock; maybe the Klingons will have that option.  (I doubt it.)  By the end of the episode, she might have dialed it down a bit, but I’m going to say the jury’s still out on that.  I doubt we’ve seen the last of Sela.

Reward wise, the gear’s okay.  I often don’t try too hard for the gear sets, and that’s probably going to continue for the foreseeable future.  Ground gear, with another portion of that gear coming next week to complete the set.  The fact that it’s only going to be two weeks is probably in recognition of the fact that the next Season is going to land later this month.  Also worth noting is that during these two weeks, you’ll get the standard “first time run-through” reward which can either be a tech upgrade or a specialization point, your choice (I always go with spec points).

One minor complaint was that the pathing on the planet is…somewhat awful.  I lost one character at one point, and even respawning after a bad encounter didn’t reunite us; he was there for a second, then bamf-he headed right back to where he’d gotten stuck, over 100m away.  That made some of the fighting rougher than it had to be.  Aside from that, it’s nothing we haven’t seen before.  It’s also possible that one of the early puzzles on the planet is a bit too easy; you can generally find important areas by using tricorder scans-do we really need the big yellow arrows pointing out which way to go, too?

So, I think I’ll give this one high marks for story, mediocre marks for mechanics.  And a wish that it had come a bit earlier so that the wait between the last Tzenkethi episode and the upcoming one wouldn’t have felt so long.

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