Captain
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1,325
I'm not that good with programming, so I'm not sure I'll even be able to make it into a Foundry mission, but I've been working on a script for a mission idea I've had...

Would anyone be willing to look over the partial script and give me their opinions?
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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 200
# 2
10-04-2013, 03:37 PM
While knowing how to program can certainly help with doing Foundry work, the process is quite different. If you ignore map development, battle setups and triggers, it's pretty much a tool for translating a script into a mission. It's worth making an attempt to just put your story in to see what happens. I encourage you to at least give it a try by just worrying about the story and ignoring all the other stuff at first. Creating battles and script triggers and building maps are skills that you can build on top of the basic skill of creating the story.

(I know you battle-minded authors are cringing right now, but you've got to admit that starting with story is a good way to learn Foundry basics.)

As far as script review, I'm certainly open to it. I'm currently producing a kind of comic book by first writing the dialogue as a screenplay and then converting that into comic book frames. So I'm familiar with script treatments.
Captain
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1,325
# 3
10-04-2013, 04:04 PM
STO - Foundry Script - "Death Penalty"

(shipname) is sent to track Borg manuveurs in a rarely-traveled sector of space near Talos IV, upon discovering the Borg proximity to Talos IV, General Order Seven is suspended and the (shipname)'s crew informed of the reasons behind the Order - the Talosian illusionary abilities and the two-hundred year old colony/family of humans currently living alongside the Talosians.


Routine patrol, enforcing the line for a quarantined sector (Talos system), (shipname) engages and defeats a Borg ship (Probe or Sphere most likely)


OPS: Borg vessel confirmed destroyed, Captain. Starfleet Command has standing orders that any Borg encounters are to be reported as soon as possible, sir...

button: I'm well aware of the standing orders. Hail Starfleet.

OPS: Aye, sir, hailing Starfleet...

button: Admiral Danar...

ADMIRAL DANAR: Yes, Captain, what do you have to report?

button: We encountered a Borg vessel near the Talosian quarantine line.

ADMIRAL DANAR: This is troubling, Captain. Latest reports from the Omega Task Force show no signs of Borg activity anywhere near there. As you know, approaching or contact with Talos IV is the sole remaining death penalty on Federation books. However, considering the circumstances, I hearby waive General Order Seven. You now have authorization to access the LCARS database information on Talos and make contact with the Talosians. You'll understand the gravity of the situation after you read the information, suffice to say that if the Borg manage to assimilate even one Talosian, the results could be disasterous.

button: Acknowleged, Admiral.

SCIENCE OFFICER: Encryption codes being recieved now, Captain.

button: Access Talos IV database entry.

(PLANET: Talos IV
INDIGINOUS NAME: Clesik
PRIMARY STAR: Talos

GALACTIC CO-ORDINATES; negative 119.4, negative 43.7, negative 24.0

DATABANK:
The Talos star group consists primarily of white dwarf stars and 'Stellar corpses', which are systems now devoid of life. One red giant still supports a planetary system, however. Its five inner planets are remarkable for their highly eccentric orbits. In fact, no two worlds lie in the same orbital plane, a phenomenon believed to be the result of ancient planetary engineering. The other six planets, all gas giants with no natural satellites, have conventional orbits.

Continue: One of Talos' eleven planets, Talos IV, is the home of a dying race of humanoid beings, the last of a once-spacefaring culture. The Talosians are pale-skinned, of slight build, and have the largest cranial structure of any known humanoid species. This increased brain size has resulted in such great mental powers that they have become masters of hypnotic illusion. By superimposing their brainwaves over the natural sensory receptors of other beings, the Talosians can make others see, hear, and feel anything the telepaths wish. Since this power extends deep into space, the entire sector has been quarantined. Entry into the Talosian sector demands the only death penalty applicable under Federation law. Any emergency call or other signal emanating from the area is assumed false, with no exceptions.

Continue: The Talosians, nearly extinct and no longer able to reproduce, sought 'breeding stock' for a slave culture to rebuild their planet, devastated in a nuclear war thousands of years ago. They had lost the ability to build and could not even repair those machines and structures left by their surface-dwelling ancestors. The Constitution-class USS Enterprise NCC-1701, commanded by Captain Christopher Pike, answered a distress call supposedly transmitted by the lost United Earth colonization vessel SS Columbia. The plea was a trap, and Pike was captured so that he could mate with the Columbia's only survivor, a Terran woman. A determined effort by Pike to escape convinced the Talosians that his was too dangerous a race for their purposes, and he was eventually freed.

Continue: General Order Seven was instituted in an effort to prevent any other race from learning the Talosians' power of illusion, the ultimate cause of the death of their race.

OPS: I've always wondered why this sector was quarantined, Captain. The Admiral is right, if any surviving Talosians are assimilated... that level of mental power in the hands of the Collective.

PLAYER: It is a sobering thought, I agree. Admiral... have you any recommendations to keep us from ending up in Captain Pike's situation.

DANAR: Actually, Captain, measures are already in place. After a severe accident left him paralyzed, Commodore Pike was invited by the Talosians to return to Talos IV and live there, with the Talosians' providing an illusion of full mobility for him to live out the remainder of his life in. While the situation leading up to it was less than ideal, General Order Seven was waived for the Commodore.

PLAYER: How does that help us?

DANAR: The Commodore is still alive on Talos IV, he sends a check-in message directly to the Chief of Starfleet Operations each year. When you reach the planet, contact Commodore Pike, he'll tell you how to handle the situation from there.



(Warp to Talos system... space battle against more Borg vessels.)



(Beam down;

Objective: Contact Commodore Pike and the Talosians.

ground borg fights.

When you reach Pike, he thanks you for your assistance, the Talosians were able to free his mind, but not heal his body and their illusions were ineffective against these machine-men.

PLAYER: "They're called the Borg, sir. A lot has happened in the galaxy since you... retired."

PIKE: "I'm sure it has. As cold as it may sound, Captain, I can't concern myself with the rest of the galaxy, but I can care about what happens here."

PLAYER: "If we can't do something about the Borg, Commodore, they'll assimilate you and everyone else on this planet, turning you all into beings like them, completely under the control of the Collective. Possibly even assimilate the planet itself."

PIKE: "We can't allow that to happen."

PLAYER: "Starfleet has a special unit dedicated to fighting the Borg - Task Force Omega. I'll have my ship route a transmission direct to Admiral D'Vak on Deep Space Nine. We just have to hold the Borg back until they get here."

OPS: "I'll see to that message personally, Sir."

PIKE: "Will one ship be enough?"

PLAYER: "I never thought I'd hear a Captain of an Enterprise ask that question, sir.")

(More ground battle;

Objective: Defend the Talosian Underground Complex.)

(PIKE: "Captain... I've spoken with the Talosians. They're a dying people, Captain, and when they're gone there'll be nothing in the history books to say they were here... and that's what they want, Captain. They've asked that if we outlive them, when we're going to die, that my wife and I activate devices they've placed around the planet to cause a geothermal reaction that will destroy any trace of them left on Talos IV."

PLAYER: "Commodore, do you realise what you're saying? Destroy the whole planet just to keep the Borg from acquiring the Talosians' technology and biology."

PIKE: "Article Fourteen, Section Thirty-One of the Starfleet Charter, Captain. Nobody like it, but it's there.")


(Space battle;

Kobayashi Maru.
Objective: Defeat first wave of Borg ships.
Defeat second wave of Borg ships.

OPS: Captain! A Borg scoutship got through!

PLAYER: Inform Commodore Pike, we've got to hold on until Omega gets here.

Defeat third wave of Borg ships.
Defeat fourth wave of Borg ships.

OPS: We're being hailed from the surface, Captain.

button: On screen.

PIKE: Even in this day and age, sometimes, blood, sweat and tears will avail little. The Borg have managed to prevent us from activating the geothermal overload. Talos cannot be allowed to be assimilated by the Borg. You know what you have to do, Captain... and for what it's worth, we forgive you.

button: I understand, Captain, and... thank you, because we might not be able to forgive ourselves...

OPS: Captain?

button: Science Officer, find me a weak spot in the planet's crust.

SCIENCE: Scanning now... Captain...

button: I know. Let the record show that I absolve my crew of any wrong, you're simply carrying out my orders.

(Talos object target, planet is destroyed.)

Defeat fifth wave of Borg ships.

(Klingon and Starfleet Omega Force ships arrive...)

D'VAK: What has happened here, Captain?

PLAYER: It's a long story, Admiral. One that will never be in the history books.

D'VAK; Ha! After we've dealt with these Borg, I expect to hear this 'long story'! Preferably over a glass of bloodwine, Captain.

Defeat final wave of Borg ships with the help of Task Force Omega.





AUTHOR: Special thanks go to Shane Johnson, author of the Star Trek reference book "The Worlds of the Federation", from which the databank entry on Talos IV was used without permission or intent to profit.
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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 200
# 4
10-04-2013, 05:50 PM
"Death Penalty" is a great title given the story's background and culmination.

Overall, this is a solid, self-contained story. Harking back to "The Cage" and "The Menagerie" for lore is near and dear to me -- I've also done a Foundry mission that makes reference to Captain Pike. The use of library data in a Star Trek story is always a nice touch if it is not too detailed, and I think you hit a good balance with it.

Also, you've specified a good mix of battles that fit well within the story.

I know you are trying to keep the tale simple -- heroic Federation officers keep the Borg from assimilating the Talosians at all costs -- but there is a missed opportunity here. It would be nice if the crew became suspicious that there wasn't a Borg attack at all -- that the Talosians were back to their old tricks and the battle never really happened. Some mind games here that keep the player guessing -- even after the story is over -- would be a very nice touch. The thought that this entire scenario, including the "destruction" of Talos IV, is just a Talosian trick to lift General Order Seven, would become a point of discussion in Foundry circles for some time. And possibly an opportunity for a sequel.

But... the story is solid as-is. A good morality play where individual sacrifices are made for the good of the peoples of the Alpha Quadrant.

I have additional thoughts that I've broken into a few different categories:


FOUNDRY MECHANICS:
  • This may just because you are presenting an early draft, but there's a lot of dialogue when we first meet Pike that is merely hinted at by the script. Do you anticipate expanding this? Or should the summary just be presented as-is in the final product?
  • How do you envision the presentation of Pike? I don't believe we have any assets to show him in his respirator chair. So do we show young Pike? Old Pike? Even older Pike?
  • During the ground battle, will we see any friendly Talosians or Talosian captives/guests?
  • We can certainly show a before and after version of Talos IV as a result of the explosion. I'm not sure we have the ability in space maps, though, to perform the pyrotechnics. I'll defer to the old-timers around here for that one.

QUESTIONS THAT SHOULD BE ANSWERED
  • It's odd that we don't hear from the Talosians and get their input -- that it's all filtered through Pike. It's certainly possible to create Talosian or near-Talosian characters (costumes) in the Foundry, so there's not a technical limitation there.
  • What was your intent for the text "Kobayashi Maru" at the head of the Borg fleet attack? Is this something the player should see somewhere or is it just an indication to the script reader that this is a no-win situation?


NIT-PICKS:
  • "...authorization to access the LCARS database information on Talos..." The mention of the LCARS database, while accurate, is one of those things that people typically never say in Trekdom. A more Trek-ish way of expressing this would be "...authorization to access the classified data regarding Talos..."
  • During Admiral Danar's speech he never suspects that there is a Talosian trick in play. Again, this is a narrative choice, but it seems odd that the mention of the Borg causes him to defy GO7 without even considering the reason for its existence.
  • "CO-ORDINATES" should be simplified to "COORDINATES"
  • "I never thought I'd hear a Captain of an Enterprise ask that question, sir." is a bit awkwardly worded. "...hear an Enterprise Captain ask..." would work better and convey the same message. Great line, by the way.
  • "When you reach the planet, contact Commodore Pike, he'll tell you how to handle the situation from there." This makes it seem like either Pike has been in contact with Star Fleet on the situation already, or as if Pike is expected to be some form of mastermind. It's an odd thing for the Admiral to say if Pike hasn't been briefed. I would recommend adding some dialogue to indicate a briefing with Pike before this statement is made, or re-work it to indicate that Pike and the Talosians know the system best and MAY be able to suggest a course of action.
  • "...a transmission direct to Admiral D'Vak on Deep Space Nine." "direct" is correct here, but would sound better as "directly". Also, since DS9 was a former Cardassian station (Terok Nor) I'm not sure a sensitive captain would mention a station that the Commodore is probably not aware of. 120 years is a long time and so little can be communicated in a once-a-year data packet... Then again, perhaps our captain isn't quite that sensitive. Pike has already established that he cares nothing for the galaxy beyond Talos IV, so it's unlikely he gets or wants a galactic news feed.
  • Pike's speech after the Borg scout arrives on the planet is oddly timed -- he starts pontificating immediately. There should be at least a tiny bit of dialog preceding his swan song. Maybe something simple along the lines of "I'm afraid the Borg are here, [Rank]. Even in this day and age..."
  • Where's Vena? She only gets passing mention near the end of the story and then only as "my wife". She may not be critical to the story (and the Chekovian school of drama says leave her out for that reason), but she's a critical part of the background story to this mission.
  • "Captain... I've spoken with the Talosians. They're a dying people, Captain, and when they're gone there'll be nothing in the history books to say they were here... and that's what they want, Captain." That's three "Captain"s in two sentences. You could easily lose the last two of them.
  • "...Nobody like it, but it's there." should be "...Nobody likes it, but it's there." Another great line!
  • "...I absolve my crew of any wrong, you're..." This will read better if you change "wrong" to "wrongdoing".



Again, I think this is a solid story. It should be about a 40-60 minute mission with all of the battles.
Captain
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1,325
# 5
10-04-2013, 10:44 PM
Fixed the nit-picks. Thanks, kept overlooking those, that's why it's good to have another set of eyes look over things like this.

1. The script itself isn't completely finished yet and is still just an outline in some places, those will be fleshed out.

2. Probably a TOS Foundry Contact - Commodore Ross or whoever from "Night of the Comet" if it's there, an illusion of young and healthy Pike, basically.

3. Talosians... Don't know if we'll see them or not. I'm thinking of either implying or stating outright and, as an added security layer, any Federation communication with Talos has to go through Pike to reduce the chances of being altered somehow...

4. I've been envisioning the destruction of the planet from the "Doomsday" mission, something like that, maybe, in regards to the destruction of Talos. Not sure how that would work out.

5. Notes like "Kobayashi Maru", "Routine Patrol", etc... are notes to indicate different parts of the mission, like you'd see in-game in the mission tracker; "Death Penalty - Routine Patrol - Destroy Borg scout ship", "Death Penalty - Kobayashi Maru - Answer hail from Pike"... So, it's a little bit of both, it's something a player would see in-game, but it's also meant to indicate it's a no-win scenario; destroy an entire planet or let it be assimilated by the Borg...

6. Who knows... now that I think about it, maybe it all turns out to be an illusion; a holodeck training program for Omega, a modern version of the "Kobayashi Maru" scenario... that could be an interesting twist at the end, wouldn't it...
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Lt. Commander
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# 6
10-05-2013, 09:52 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by turbomagnus View Post
2. Probably a TOS Foundry Contact - Commodore Ross or whoever from "Night of the Comet" if it's there, an illusion of young and healthy Pike, basically.
Realize that we can do quite a bit in the Foundry costume editor to create a Pike that is similar to Jeffery Hunter's Pike from "The Cage". We have to take a bit of care to avoid a Terms of Service violation, but it can be done. In fact, I would think that a caricatured Pike (stronger jaw, larger musculature, etc.) would not only satisify the TOS, but would be more in keeping with what the Talosians would do -- Pike's image of himself is likely bigger than life and the Talosians would project that more idealized image.

One other thing... I believe in "The Menagerie" that Pike's rank is Fleet Captain, not Commodore, but that's from a failing memory and should be verified.

Also, I mis-spelled Vina's name earlier.

I'd love to see someone else's thoughts on this script.
Lieutenant
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 48
# 7
10-05-2013, 08:28 PM
It's a nice story, but it really doesn't fit with the continuity as established. Here are my nitpicks.

Talos is too far from the Borg. The location of Talos is near Eminar and Andor, so it would be highly doubtful that the Borg would choose Talos over juicier targets like Eminar and Andor. http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__...red_Galaxy.jpg

Starfleet lifted General Order 7 prior to 2380, so it is no longer quarantined.

It's very doubtful that the Talosians could extend Pike's life as they only had mental abilities. Pike and Vina would be dead by 2409. The Talosians would have also died out by this time as well due to the lack of being able to reproduce.

Talosians lack the ability to understand technology including their own. Memory Alpha has this to say on the subject: As their mental powers grew, they lost the ability to use the technology left behind by their ancestors. Pike was marooned at the end of The Menagerie and had no equipment by Spock and Kirk. http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Talosian

The Talosians would have used their mental abilities against the Borg that would have resulted in the Borg not seeing them or that they weren't there at all. Given that the surface of Talos IV is a wasteland it's highly probable that the Borg would have just bypassed it.
Star Trek: Majestic producer, writer, set designer, and other hats.

Last edited by thepatriot1776; 10-05-2013 at 08:35 PM.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 200
# 8
10-05-2013, 08:57 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by thepatriot1776 View Post
It's a nice story, but it really doesn't fit with the continuity as established. Here are my nitpicks.

Talos is too far from the Borg. The location of Talos is near Eminar and Andor, so it would be highly doubtful that the Borg would choose Talos over juicier targets like Eminar and Andor. http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__...red_Galaxy.jpg

Starfleet lifted General Order 7 prior to 2380, so it is no longer quarantined.

It's very doubtful that the Talosians could extend Pike's life as they only had mental abilities. Pike and Vina would be dead by 2409. The Talosians would have also died out by this time as well due to the lack of being able to reproduce.

Talosians lack the ability to understand technology including their own. Memory Alpha has this to say on the subject: As their mental powers grew, they lost the ability to use the technology left behind by their ancestors. Pike was marooned at the end of The Menagerie and had no equipment by Spock and Kirk. http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Talosian

The Talosians would have used their mental abilities against the Borg that would have resulted in the Borg not seeing them or that they weren't there at all. Given that the surface of Talos IV is a wasteland it's highly probable that the Borg would have just bypassed it.
Just a few of thoughts:
  • The lifting of GO7 is according to the book "Q&A", which is non-canon.
  • The Talosians, despite their atrophying technology, did apparently have medical knowledge as they were able to literally piece Vina together from the crash of the SS Columbia. The idea that they could extend life with their medical knowledge should not be considered off the table. In 2267 Pike was likely in his late 40s. Extending his life another 140 years is unlikely, but shouldn't be out of the question.
  • The average lifespan of Talosians is not known, so we can't categorically state that they would be dead in 2409. In fact, the evidence points to Talosians having very long lifespans. They developed warp capability 500,000 years prior to the events in "The Cage". They then degraded into a state where they enjoyed their illusions more than physical pursuits (the story was a warning against the evils of television, by the way) and likely lived a very long time doing so as their civilization crumbled around them.
  • I can see the Borg interest going either way -- though your point about astro-geography is well-taken. The ability to induce illusions is a powerful weapon and one that I could see the Borg wanting to take advantage of if it could be used tactically. I would note also that the Talosian projection ability was limited -- they couldn't influence a Borg ship from within their lair.

I think the story still has merit. And it could certainly be an "alternate universe" story if need be.
Lieutenant
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 48
# 9
10-05-2013, 09:47 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by donperk View Post
Just a few of thoughts:
  • The lifting of GO7 is according to the book "Q&A", which is non-canon.
  • The Talosians, despite their atrophying technology, did apparently have medical knowledge as they were able to literally piece Vina together from the crash of the SS Columbia. The idea that they could extend life with their medical knowledge should not be considered off the table. In 2267 Pike was likely in his late 40s. Extending his life another 140 years is unlikely, but shouldn't be out of the question.
  • The average lifespan of Talosians is not known, so we can't categorically state that they would be dead in 2409. In fact, the evidence points to Talosians having very long lifespans. They developed warp capability 500,000 years prior to the events in "The Cage". They then degraded into a state where they enjoyed their illusions more than physical pursuits (the story was a warning against the evils of television, by the way) and likely lived a very long time doing so as their civilization crumbled around them.
  • I can see the Borg interest going either way -- though your point about astro-geography is well-taken. The ability to induce illusions is a powerful weapon and one that I could see the Borg wanting to take advantage of if it could be used tactically. I would note also that the Talosian projection ability was limited -- they couldn't influence a Borg ship from within their lair.

I think the story still has merit. And it could certainly be an "alternate universe" story if need be.
Since STO is non-canon I felt inclined to include the lifting of GO7 as being relevant within the context of the non-canonicity of STO.

They may have stitched her back together again shows they have rudimentary medical knowledge and that is it. There is nothing in the episodes The Cage and The Menagerie to show that they had the knowledge to extend their life.

Since both episodes show only 5 Talosians as being alive at this point in time it is highly improbable that those five survived. There isn't any evidence to support that they do have long lifespans. It does show that they do not have the ability to use any advanced technology.

The Borg wouldn't be interested as the Talosians do not have any advanced technology. However, the telepathy of the Talosians extended quite a long ways away as evidenced in The Menagerie. The Enterprise receives a direct feed from Talos IV during the entire trip from Starbase 11 to Talos IV.
Star Trek: Majestic producer, writer, set designer, and other hats.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 200
# 10
10-05-2013, 10:07 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by thepatriot1776 View Post
However, the telepathy of the Talosians extended quite a long ways away as evidenced in The Menagerie. The Enterprise receives a direct feed from Talos IV during the entire trip from Starbase 11 to Talos IV.
Ah... forgot about that. "The Cage" seemed to indicate a more localized ability.
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