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"[Ico] Trouble In Paradise" (ST-HA4QUWNST) is the second of three missions in the Amargosa series. The [Ico] tag in the title identifies this mission as part of Tales from the Frontlines: An Iconian War Anthology.
Unlike previous mission series by this author, Amargosa is presented as three separate standalone missions, as they do not form a single overarching storyline; they merely share a common MacGuffin and a few other, minor plot elements. The Amargosa title itself is used only informally by the author; none of its three missions include it in their own titles.
Risian floaters are usable during the island scenes, but powerboards are not.
"Trouble In Paradise" was the winning entry of the inaugural ZEFilms Foundry/RP Challenge in August 2015.
This mission takes place in the year 2410 during the Iconian War, between Cryptic-authored missions "House Pegh" and "Time in a Bottle". It is also meant to coincide with the start of the Risian Lohlunat Festival, whose 2015 edition began between the publications of those two missions.
The player's ship receives an incoming message from the Risian Hospitality Association, inviting the player and his/her crew to partake in Risa's Lohlunat Festival. The personal invitation, while gracious and eagerly accepted, strikes the player as odd - usually the Risians just send a representative to Earth Spacedock to promote the Festival. It turns out that someone has left a message for the player with instructions to deliver it only upon his/her arrival at Risa. When the ship arrives, the player receives a cryptic text message signed "F.D." - whom the player takes to be the notorious Section 31 operative Franklin Drake, last seen in Admiral Quinn's office after having apparently goaded the Iconians into sending their Heralds to raid Spacedock with the lure of falsified information regarding something called the "Amargosa Project".
Drake's message directs the player to Risa's "Classic Island", a sleepy place nowadays since the new Suraya Bay resort (the site of the Lohlunat Festival) opened. The player assembles an away team and beams down, then proceeds to question the vacationers on the beach. Though none have seen anyone resembling Drake, one Denobulan reports a strange incident, in which the island's usually docile feather monkeys attacked and chased him. The team explores the island to investigate, and soon discovers that the crazed monkeys are actually holograms, which seem to be guarding something at the top of the hill - which turns out to be a subspace transceiver antenna, presumably to facilitate communications with a hidden base somewhere on - or underneath - the island. Recalling the cave directly beneath the hill's summit, the player descends, enters the cave - and sure enough, soon discovers a hidden passageway leading to a research and development lab built into an underwater rock formation. Here, the player comes face to face with Franklin Drake.
Drake gets right to the point: Section 31 has developed a weapon capable of bringing the Iconians to their knees. It's a trilithium warhead based on the device invented by Dr. Tolian Soran in 2371, augmented with a molecular phase inverter provided by the Romulan Star Navy, enabling the device to pass through the hull of the Andromeda Dyson Sphere, and evade detection by the huge Herald fleet contained within, en route to the star at the sphere's heart. This is, as it turns out, the Amargosa Project referenced in Drake's planted disinformation; however, in order to dissuade anyone from attempting to steal or duplicate this weapon after the war, Drake has crafted an elaborate cover story that the Sphere-killer is actually the legendary Tox Uthat, obtained from over 200 years in the future.
By targeting the Andromeda Sphere, Drake hopes to cripple the Iconian war effort, literally in one blast - and he asks the player to do the honors. The player asks Drake to run a simulation of the Sphere-killer in the lab's test chamber first, but the simulation is interrupted by Devidian intruders. (The Devidians had also assisted the Heralds during the aforementioned Spacedock raid; Starfleet believes the Iconians recruited them as servitors for their time-traveling abilities, which the Iconians themselves lack.) Their attack is easily repelled, but almost immediately followed up by a much larger Elachi assault force, suggesting that the Devidians managed to alert their Iconian masters to the Sphere-killer. Meanwhile, unidentified (but presumably either Iconian or Elachi) ships in orbit have begun bombarding the island with energy weapons. Remembering that there are civilians on the island, the player's team beat a hasty retreat from the lab just ahead of its destruction, and return to the surface to look for survivors.
The entire island is ablaze, and the usually clear azure sky turned a ghastly orange-gray overcast with smoke and ash. Unable to contact the ship due to subspace interference, the player's team must make their way back to where they beamed down, fighting off Elachi and Herald ambushes along the way. When they reach the beamdown point there are no civilians, only more Elachi, so all that's left to do is return to the hilltop transceiver and try to get a stronger signal out to the player's ship. The team make the climb up the hill again, facing more Herald attacks, including a Harbinger awaiting them at the transceiver. When they finally re-establish contact with the ship, they learn the vacationers have already been safely evacuated there and the attacking enemy ships have been defeated - but more are on the way.
Returning to the ship in orbit of Risa, the player and a few Risian Guard vessels engage several Elachi warships. Soon a much larger Iconian force arrives - but so do several squadrons of Starfleet, KDF and Republic Militia ships, who've come for the Festival but now provide additional reinforcements against the assault. Once the Iconians are finally defeated, the ship is hailed by a runabout leaving the system. It's Drake, who says he has the Sphere-killer with him and will arrange to have it hidden well enough that the Iconians, or anyone else, can never find it. The player is not surprised to learn that the Tox Uthat was hidden, and eventually destroyed, on Risa in the past; evidently Drake found Risa such an effective hiding place for his lab that he saw fit to hide the device itself there too. Fortunately, the Iconians were only targeting the island and left the rest of Risa untouched, so the Lohlunat Festival is still on.
One of these secrets could be the key to ending the Iconian War.But can it be trusted in the hands of Franklin Drake?
- Blessed Lohlunat
- Approach Risa
- Working Vacation
- Talk to vacationers on beach
- Concurrent objectives:
- Talk to Arazim
- Talk to Creph
- Investigate crazed monkeys on hill
- Approach apparatus
- Disable holoemitter
- Scan apparatus
- Go to cave entrance
- Enter the cave
- Look around
- Examine hidden device
- Open door into tunnel
- Where Lies Become Legends
- Continue down tunnel
- Perform palmprint scan
- Enter Section 31 lab
- Find Franklin Drake
- Concurrent objectives:
- Talk to Kalinak
- Talk to Danozeb
- Talk to Drake again
- Go to conference table
- Begin inhibitor simulation
- Defeat Devidian spies
- Defeat Elachi raiders
- Escape lab via forcefield tunnel
- Run across the tunnel
- Reach the other end
- Retract forcefield tunnel
- Go back up cave tunnel
- Keep going
- Get to the door
- Open door leading back to surface
- Paradise Burning
- Contact your ship
- Exit the cave
- Return to beam-down point
- Defeat Elachi
- Reach hilltop transceiver
- Reconfigure frequency to match your combadge
- Defeat Harbinger
- Contact your ship
- The Cavalry Cometh
- Defeat Elachi squadrons
- Defeat Herald assault fleet
- Defeat Herald reinforcements
- Concurrent objectives:
- Answer U.S.S. Pax Federatica
- Answer U.S.S. Snelling
- Answer runabout
- There is no walkthrough for this mission, yet. You can help STOWiki by writing it here.
- This mission's premise addresses an apparent discrepancy between TNG "Captain's Holiday" and Star Trek Generations: Dr. Soran's trilithium warhead serves essentially the same purpose as Kal Dano's Tox Uthat - to shut down stellar nuclear fusion - yet the Uthat was portrayed as technology centuries beyond the TNG time frame. The mission author's original intent was that Drake's Sphere-killer, based as it was upon Soran's device, would turn out to be the Tox Uthat, that the legend surrounding it was just a pack of Section 31 lies, and that Drake's colleague Sanchez would eventually be the one to hide it on 22nd-century Risa while posing as Kal Dano. Needless to say, neither Drake nor the author ever counted on the real Tox Uthat turning up so soon afterward (in Cryptic's postwar Future Proof story arc). That discrepancy is addressed in the follow-up mission "Mirrorball".
- This mission's original working title was "In Plain Sight". This was changed once the story began to coalesce around Risa and the Tox Uthat. ("Paradise Burning" was also considered as a title; this instead became the title of its centerpiece scene.)
- The scenes in orbit feature several Risian ships (Corvettes and Luxury Cruisers) that were once offered as player rewards for STO's summer event (i.e. the Lohlunat Festival). Early dialogue provides a story explanation of why these ships are no longer available to players: With the galaxy now at war, the Risian government has diverted production of these ships to their own defensive armada, the Risian Guard.
- The early scenes of this mission re-establish Risa's canonical reputation as an anything-consensual-goes sexual playground, which has otherwise been (quite understandably) downplayed in STO. This is made evident by the clearly amorous Risian couple the player speaks with from orbit early on, and then later on the island's beach, where the player may encounter (depending on where he/she explores) a gay Bajoran couple, an Andorian female with a thing for "pinkskins", and a group of polygamous Denobulans on a honeymoon of sorts. (The latter two examples are also callbacks to the Enterprise TV series; one of the Denobulans even claims to be a descendant of Dr. Phlox.)
- Dialogue during the scene in Drake's lab implies that the name "Kal Dano" was made up by Drake as part of his ruse, as a conflation of the names of his two assistants, Kalinak and Danozeb. Whether those are even the assistants' real names is left unanswered.
- Sanchez (who is mentioned in dialogue, but does not appear in this mission) is a character from Foundry missions "Ghosts of War, Part V" and "Ghosts of War, Part VI" by the same author. He also plays a significant role in "Mirrorball".
- The centerpiece of this mission is the battle on the Risian Classic Island, which has been transformed from a tropical paradise into a flaming hellscape. The inspiration for this was the Cryptic-authored mission "Surface Tension", which thoroughly wrecks the old Earth Spacedock interior to make way for the redesigned Spacedock interior seen in-game today. Amid (as-yet-unfounded) rumors that the Classic Island social zone would soon be retired from the game, the idea was to give that locale a similar "Viking funeral" sendoff.
- The U.S.S. Pax Federatica and I.K.S. Hor'tagh are NPC versions of the flagships of two of the author's in-game characters, one of whom (Pax captain Serida Auslin) also makes a cameo appearance in dialogue at the end of the mission. Both ships are successors to ships that appeared in the author's Valley of the Shadow Romulan Republic series.
- Captain Thozal is an NPC version of a former in-game character who was being wound down toward deletion by the author at the time this mission was published, but with the intention of having him live on as a Foundry character in this and future missions. (An alternate-timeline version of Thozal is also planned for an upcoming KDF mission series, Twilight of the Gods.)