The Rescue: Cadet's Log

Cadet’s log, : My assignment aboard the USS Cerritos will be coming to an end this week, as I have finally received orders for my Starfleet Academy final exam: a 100 day reassignment to the USS Rio Grande, a Danube Class Runabout. Our orders are to perform a series of Warp 5 runs through the Mutara Sector bordering the Genesis Exclusion Zone. We will record all scientific tests on fluctuations in the Rio Grande's warp core and perform analysis. I am very excited for this mission, and I am relieved that the exam is so well suited to my abilities. However, if my family could see me now I am certain that “Eater-of-Grass” is the least of the insulting names they would give me. I am thankful that in the Federation is so welcoming to those like me of other backgrounds.

I will be joined by Cadets 1st Class Milez and Tiberius, as well as another cadet who I have not met yet. Starfleet personnel are spread thin due to the warp speed limits leading to the need to spread crews out among all warp-capable vessels to make up in numbers what is lost in speed. Consequently, our final exam will be proctored by an Emergency Medical Hologram programmed with additional subroutines for the test and capable of activating its Emergency Command Hologram subroutines should the need arise.

In my time on the Cerritos over the past few weeks, I have been fascinated by the leadership of Captain Votner. Despite her obvious disability, the crew follow her orders without any hesitation. Indeed I find even myself looking to her as a capable commander. The culture of non-Kzin species is fascinating and I have much to learn even after four years at the Academy. Some species, like the Nausicans and Klingons, are very relatable to me. Others, such as the Humans and Trill, are very alien and I must remain mindful to act appropriately around them.

A cutaway map of the USS Rio Grande with its bow pointing to the right. Clockwise from the top left are Crew Quarters, the Lab, Officer's Quarters, the Head/Lavatory, to the far right the Bridge. Immediately behind the bridge and then continuing clockwise are the Transporter, the Garage containing two hoverbikes, the medical bay, the fabricator, and the at the lower left the galley which contains a storage area.

I had a Session 0 for a short “Star Trek Adventures” campaign being run by Aram Vartian of Kill Every Monster on Tuesday. Most of my TTRPG experience has been in D&D 5th Edition with a few brief plays of Pathfinder, D&D 3.5, and Monster of the Week. I’m excited to try out a new system and what I know so far of Aram’s story is really exciting, bringing together threads from Lower Decks, The Next Generation, and Wrath of Khan.

My character is a Caitian re-flavored as a Kzin. Kzinti are a warrior species originally from Larry Niven’s Known Space setting and introduced to Star Trek in The Animated Series. There’s now a minor, unnamed Kzin character in Lower Decks as well. Kzinti are similar to Klingons in that they are violent and warlike, but while Klingons are motivated by honor, Kzinti are described as naturally violent. Kzinti earn their partial names by performing great deeds and their full names by becoming Heroes. Eater-of-Grass has earned neither and is known by an (incredibly insulting for a carnivorous warrior race) nickname. Unless he is given a name by a high-ranking Kzin superior, he’ll probably never get a full name. If he ever does, he’d take major offense if anyone called him by his old name or even his partial name.

I wanted to play into the recurring Star Trek theme of playing against type: Worf, a Klingon warrior raised by humans; Dax, a Trill deeply steeped in Klingon culture; Ram and Nog, industrious Ferengi merchants working as a technician on a Bajoran space station and a cadet in Starfleet; Data, an artificial lifeform superior in many ways to humans who wants nothing more than to become human himself. In that vein, I’ve taken a natural predator species and created a “cowardly” scientist who rejected/was rejected by his own culture and joined Starfleet. Of course, “cowardly” for a Kzin is still fairly beefy (Fitness) and brave by foodnon-Kzin standards.

We start playing the , and I can’t wait!