Under the Cover of Winter

Under the Cover of Winter was a mission carried out jointly by the USS Nightingale, NCC-40901, and Deep Space 101 between stardates 14.0310 and 14.0714.

Senior staff

USS Nightingale

aCO: Lieutenant-Commander Daniel Stuart
aFO/CMO: Lieutenant Paly'n McCuen
CEO: Lieutenant-Commander Kelen
OPS: Lieutenant JG Alex Thayer
CSciO: Ensign T'Mal
CSO: Ensign V'Vorn Choksha
CNS: Lieutenant Melani Wral
SAR: Lieutenant Ma'kauran
NMS: Specialist Kari
Commander Pol Canon was away on another mission

Deep Space 101

aCO: Lieutenant-Commander Rudolf Fischer
FO: Commander Galia Bitzalel
CEO: Lieutenant-Commander John Roberts
OPS: Lieutenant Pavis dal Starian
FCO: Lieutenant Card
CMO: Lieutenant JG Carl Poynton
CNS: Lieutenant JG Jack Kersh
CSciO: Ensign James Stryker
CSO: Ensign Goose
Captain Alyza was away on another mission

Mission summary

written by Ruud Visser

On stardate 14.0310, the crews of DS101 and the USS Nightingale team up for a rescue mission in the Wolf sector, where the USS Tasmania has been reported crashing into a world inhabited by a pre-warp civilization. The impact of the crash has erected a thick layer of dust all around the planet, plunging it into an extended period of winter. While keeping the Prime Directive in mind, the crews' mission is to undo the damage done, to locate and rescue any survivors, and to investigate the cause of the crash.

Meanwhile, Captain Alyza and Cmdr. Pol Canon have orders of their own. They will travel along to the Wolf sector, from where Mrell, a Cardassian civilian consultant on the Nightingale, will lead them to Cardassian space in one of his shuttles. LtCmdr. Rudolf Fischer is placed in temporary command of the USS Curie (the ship used by DS101's senior staff), with Cmdr. Galia Bitzalel as FO. On the Nightingale, LtCmdr. Daniel Stuart and Lt. Paly'n McCuen are made aCO and aFO, respectively.

The planet of their destination is dubbed Nescio, Latin for 'I don't know', to reflect the lack of information at the start of the mission. After departing DS101, the Curie's Advanced Subspace Sensor Platform is deployed to get some long-distance scans of Nescio. An energy residue is found around the planet, indicating a warp core breach. Before more data can be collected, a power surge shuts the ASSP down. LtCmdr. John Roberts discovers a computer virus is responsible for the power surge. The virus becomes a threat when it uses the ship's systems to attack the people investigating it. Fortunately, Roberts is able to contain the virus and eliminate it from the computer core before casualties occur. Later, it is found the virus was placed by an SFIntel operative in an attempt to keep the Curie from reaching Nescio.

On the Nightingale, Lt<jg> Alex Thayer is looking for information on the Tasmania, her mission and her crew. She discovers the ship may very well be operating under SFIntel cover. Dr. Rafe Torisma, a Starfleet weapons expert, and Dr. Kara Andersen, an expert in comparative anthropology, are found to have boarded the Tasmania at SB Omega.

When the Nescian system is reached, the Curie holds position at the edge to repair the damage done by the virus. In the meantime, the Nightingale takes a tour through the system to gather information on its planets. They discover unfamiliar technology on the fifth planet, but further investigation will have to wait until the rescue mission has been completed. The Curie finishes repairs and joins the Nightingale in orbit around Nescio, which is the system's third planet. A probe is launched to set up a video-link. It seems the Tasmania's crew has made contact with the locals, which of course goes against the Prime Directive.

Three away teams are sent down. Team one, led by Fischer, will investigate the crash site and make contact with the Tasmania's crew. Team two, led by Stuart, will infiltrate one of the villages to assess the situation amongst the locals. Team three, led by Lt. Card, goes searching for the Tasmania's missing escape pods. Naturally, all teams are dressed in local garments to minimize exposure to the locals.

Fischer and his team meet with LtCmdr. Harald Shields, the Tasmania's acting CO. Shields asks for medical assistance for a couple of severely injured crewmembers that can't be treated aboard the Tasmania. Although Fischer suspects Shields is lying about the nature of their injuries, he agrees to have them beamed to the Nightingale. LtCmdr. Kelen, CEO Nightingale, discovers the warp core has been removed *after* the crash, suggesting the ship is being stripped. Review of the data already collected by the ASSP supports this theory.

In the village, Stuart is kidnapped by Tasmania officers. He manages to free himself and reunites with his team. They proceed to the village's temple, where they meet with Mother Saiya, a local priestess. She knows who they are and is aware of the other Starfleet personnel on the planet. She reveals that for tens of thousands of years select members of the Nescian species have been able to interact with special underground sites and get a dim view of different time-lines. Five years ago, Starfleet discovered this aspect of Nescian culture in a cultural survey. SFIntel became interested and sent its own expedition to Nescio, and now a number of agents have taken the Tasmania on an illegal mission. Interrogation of some of the injured crew aboard the Nightingale indicates a struggle for power led to the crash.

Fischer and his team track the Tasmania's missing warp core to a frozen lake, which turns out to have been created when the warp core was blown up. This explosion also created the dust layer around the planet, as the crash of the ship itself wasn't severe enough to have such a massive effect. While they are still scanning the area, a Federation shuttle attacks them. The team is beamed back to the Curie before anyone gets injured.

Roberts receives a communiqué from an SFIntel operative called Steven, who tells him there's another operative aboard the Curie. Alex Monee, as her name is, has a copy of Roberts's neural program inside her head and unexpected side effects have caused her to deviate from her original task of keeping the Curie and the Nightingale away from Nescio. She is the person responsible for the computer virus that attacked the ship while underway to Nescio.

Ensign James Stryker comes up with a plan to get the Tasmania from the planet's surface without the locals noticing. He intends to create an artificial tornado over the wreckage, then to use the Curie's tractor beam to lift the Tasmania into orbit. Although Alex tries to disrupt the tornado, the plan succeeds.

Alex, working by her own agenda now, incapacitates Roberts and kidnaps him and Fischer to a shuttle. She encourages Fischer to kill Roberts, but he refuses. She goes berserk and, vowing to return and take her vengeance, transports to a cloaked shuttle. Fischer and Roberts beam back to the Curie, where Roberts's injuries are easily treated. Fortunately, Mrell just happens to return and he detects Alex's shuttle. After a quick check with the Nightingale, he goes after her and delivers her into the Curie's brig.

With most of the dust out of Nescio's atmosphere and radiation treatments administered, the locals are strong enough to recover from the damage done by the Tasmania's crew. During the mission debriefing, Fischer promotes Ensigns Goose (CSO) and Stryker to the rank of Lieutenant JG. Also, he awards Stryker with the Noonien Soong Medal for coming up with the idea of using an artificial tornado to get the Tasmania off the planet.


Ensign James Stryker (DS101): Promoted to Lieutenant JG
Ensign Goose (DS101): Promoted to Lieutenant JG


Noonien Soong Medal: Lieutenant JG James Stryker (DS101)

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