ToT: Where Loose Ends Get Tied Up (Somewhat)

It’s never good when you find this many stasis tubes. What do you think the odds are that they’re all about to open, based on past experiences?

Log copied from First Jalot’iklar’s ship log (encrypted and sent to “F.D.”):

The more we follow Ambassador Odo, the more questions I have.  The Founders continue to clash against each other, here as elsewhere.  The Ambassador has commanded that I watch, learn, and exceed my fellow Jem’Hadar.  So it is with those eyes that I see something between these two gods.  They have a history that goes beyond my mere handful of years.  This colors their interactions.  I do not fully understand the nature of this history, only that it is there.

Ambassador Odo is determined to see what lies ahead.  He is determined to learn what is being kept from him.  His fellow gods are keeping something from him.  I do not know if it is right that I continue to assist him, but as he is still a god, I will follow to the best of my ability.  He is a Founder.  I am Jem’Hadar.  This is the order of things.

The order of things.  I cling to this as my lifeline.  Ambassador Odo is trying to change the order of things-he is disrupting it.  But as long as there is still a Dominion, I will obey.  That is the only way I shall see myself and my crew through this.  I will obey the gods, as my crew obeys me.  I am certain that whatever the Ambassador learns, it will be something he is meant to learn.

How else could it be for the gods?

Appended notes from Commander Two of Five:

Sir.  You really need to read the report attached to this message.  This could further antagonize the Klingons, and they’re already doing their best to stay out of this whole mess.  Recommend that we suppress this information before it gets too far.

I’m not sure how much longer I can continue sending these reports.  The Jem’Hadar aren’t stupid-and Jalot’iklar is even less so.  If I’m discovered, I doubt there will be much mercy-I understand that the Dominion has not forgotten the Section’s role in the Dominion War.

Agent Two, out.

Let’s talk about “Doomed to Repeat”, a little history lesson in Star Trek Online.  This episode manages to not only move along the Hur’q storyline, but also draws the player captains deeper into the mystery of “what the hell is going on with the Dominion?”, not to mention give some significant insights on the nature of the Hur’q-and at the same time, brings it back to one of the longest-standing mysteries in STO, up to now!

With a buildup like that, you know I’m going to have the spoiler section below armed and ready!  First, however, an non-spoilery comment.  I’ve noticed an awful lot of late that bridge officers seem to have trouble following the player captain, and it goes beyond just pathing.  The whole point of being able to set waypoints is so that you can direct where individual officers go, but it seems more and more, you can’t even do that to get officers to go into an area.  This leaves the player captains exposed by themselves in places that are really NOT meant to be dealt with by themselves.  It’s enough to make you want to execute the officers for cowardice in the face of the enemy.  I don’t know if it’s something to do with the maps, or something to do with the officer AI, but something needs to be done to FIX THIS.  It’s intolerable to have episodes that are balanced against you and an away team that wind up being against you and no support.

Okay, rant over.  Without further ado….

Sucks to be right all the time.

“Doomed to Repeat” is a reference to that often-heard dictum, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”.  (If it isn’t a reference to that, I’d be very surprised.)  In this case, it seems the Dominion itself is having issues with history.  It begins in the Masan system, where there’s an ancient Dominion starbase that isn’t as abandoned as it seems.  Once again, you have a pair of Founders butting heads, except this time, the advantage belongs to the Alliance-even when it doesn’t initially appear that way.  This station was guarded for a reason:  on the station, the player will discover the true relationship between the Hur’q and the Dominion…and also learn how the Klingons tie into things.

It’s not unusual for a mission to have two different groups of enemies.  It is more unusual that you get two large groups of different enemies, albeit mostly in space for this episode.  The Hur’q and…well, if you look at the pic above, you should be able to determine who the other problem is…they’re definitely here in force.  It’s a good thing you have a heap of backup on this one out in the void.  On the ground, things are just you and your away team (assuming, of course, you don’t get hammered by that damned pathing bug).  And it’s on the ground where the secrets of the Dominion are opened up-not only in a series of log entries, but during a running fight with the Hur’q that hints that there may be more to them than just savage bug creatures.  (And canny players will pick up on just what happened to cause this revelation, and what that implies.  Heaven knows, I picked up on it so fast, I was screaming at my captain for being so dumb as to wonder what happened.)

This mission is all about the lore of the setting; there’s a lot of background going on in this mission, and those who hate reading…well, you can always click the “continue” button quickly on the dialogue boxes.  But for Trek enthusiasts, seeing how the current events tie into the history of the Dominion is worth going through at least once.  The Jem’Hadar captains will likely find themselves further troubled by these events-boy, almost as if the devs are priming the Jem’Hadar for something.  There are secrets here, and it’s heavily implied that those secrets are worth killing for.  Just the situation a captain loves to be in the middle of.  And as for other captains…the Klingon captains will get a lot out of this mission, too, if only to close the book on a mystery that’s haunted them since the early days of STO (I know this is a spoiler section, but I’ll keep it quiet here, although if you really want to know, look real close at that image above…), so it’s worth reading up on just for that.

The one thing I found kind of iffy is the timeline involved; this pretty much nails down that the Founders, at least, were aware of the Bajoran wormhole for literally millennia before it was discovered on the Alpha Quadrant end.  If that was the case, why the hell did they wait so long before making a move into the Alpha Quadrant?  No, I don’t consider “the people in the Alpha Quadrant were no threat to us”.  They were solids-they were all considered a threat to the Founders!  I haven’t seen anything in canon that would contradict any of this, though, and who knows-maybe it was just the one Founder involved.  And it’s not like there isn’t precedent for a changeling to hide info from the Great Link.

Things seem to be heading for something big.  As the mission closes out, the player captain will find himself being contacted by Captain Nog for some help for a very, very secret mission that could change the course of this conflict.  Maybe, maybe not-but it’ll be very different, as the next post on the docket will show.

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