Mission Design: Planet of the Titans (SW:TFA Spoilers)

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Mission Design: Planet of the Titans (SW:TFA Spoilers)

Postby NecronLord » 2016-02-02 09:31am

1.1 Mission Outline

You are in command of the USS Foundation, a Nebula Class starship, dispatched by Starfleet Command to a remote planet with a large number of wrecks on its surface, known locally as the Graveyard of Giants. The wrecks in question are one generation behind the most probable threat-vessels in this galaxy, and are numerous; your mission is to gain the most comprehensive understanding of the technologies used that you can, and/or to obtain the most useful cargo you can from the planet.

The initial survey conducted by the USS Progress indicates that there is a small local population, primarily clustered around a settlement called Neema Outpost, who explore the wrecks and salvage small components, which are traded for food pre-fabricates, and water. You may either avoid contact with this local population but if you become involved with them you are likely to encounter small scale resistance from armed exploitative traders who rely on having a monopolistic and violent control of food supplies to retain their position on Jakku.

Other risks include radiation and toxins, which the natives appear to lack treatment or serious protective gear for, and possible surviving hostile mechanical life forms within some wrecks.

The Starfleet Judge Advocate General’s office and the UFP State Department have advised that the Prime Directive does not apply in this situation.

Expected mission duration, 2+ years on station, with periodic resupply and removal of artefacts for study via the USS Armstrong.

1.2 Mission Resources

USS Foundation – Nebula Class Starship

Upgraded to post-Voyager specifications, including quantum slipstream drive (cruising speed - 2,630,000 c) and equipped with transwarp beaming technology (maximum range 1 parsec approx.) and a cloaking device.

Recommended loadout suggests use of pod space to provide additional runabouts and shuttles for the mission, allowing extended stays on the planet’s surface.

Smallcraft (Main Complement)
10 shuttlepods
5 personnel shuttles
5 vehicle (Argo type) shuttles
2 Mission Scout Vessels
Smallcraft (Pod; Optional)
20 Danube Class Runabouts

Personnel
You have a complement of 800, of which 300 are essential ship crew, including engineering, command, medical and security branches, and 500 of whom are scientific personnel. The majority of these will be Starfleet, however, up to 100 of the scientific personnel are likely to be civilian experts.


For the mission:

  1. What kind of scientists and engineers particularly do you try and bring?
  2. What is your approach to researching the wrecks, landing runabouts with laboratory modules and working on the ground, or short duration transports from orbit (or beyond)? Feel free to make up your own ideas/concepts.
  3. Do you hire native guides?
  4. What security measures do you take?
  5. What are your goals in exploring the wrecks?
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Re: Mission Design: Planet of the Titans (SW:TFA Spoilers)

Postby Lord Revan » 2016-02-02 11:31am

How I'd do it is start of with a long range scan to pinpoint and identify as much of useful tech as I can (so that getting it will be faster) then I'd try to figure out if I have anything I could use to trade with the locals for any tech they might have and are willing to sell (just because I can doesn't mean I should go in phasers blazing).

as for scientist and engineers I'd bring people who could identify things like computer systems and data storage as well as other smaller peices of useful tech (or peices of those).

My primary goal would be to take detailed scans of as much of the wrecks as humanly possible while taking smaller (nothing bigger then a Type-9 shuttle) peices to the ship for more detailed study with the best parts sent back to Starfleet for even more detailed study, though with the caveat that my science and engineering teams shouldn't expect too much as these wrecks have probably been looted extensively before we even got to the system (I assume this mission will happen at about timeframe of TFA so the wrecks have been on Jakku for about 30 years or so).

For security I'd use standard security teams but make it clear that specialist must be protect, also I'd keep constant transporter lock in the salvage teams since just because they not attacked doesn't mean the wrecks are totally safe (as the wrecks are in essence large caves just ones made of metal instead of rock).
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Re: Mission Design: Planet of the Titans (SW:TFA Spoilers)

Postby FaxModem1 » 2016-02-02 05:51pm

1. Jakku seems to be an unaffiliated, so standard engineering teams with security escorts seems to be the order of the day. Have them wear bring their handy tricorders of course, and in irradiated areas, wear the appropriate spacesuit/radiation suit for the job. In cases where it seems that regular clothing will be fine, bring Starfleet desert robes. Better for the environment and will help us blend in a little.

2. First order of business will be to salvage as much of their working computers as possible. The more data we can just download safely aboard the Foundation, the better. Intact turrets, cannons, fighters, communication devices, and shield generators will be priorities. Any droid production facilities will also be grabbed. Any functioning industrial tech will also be a priority, as having something that can manufacture the local weapons, droids, fighters, ammunition, etc. will come in handy.

3. This really depends on who Unkar Plett is 'buying' these parts for. If he has First Order, Black Sun or Pirate ties, we may have to hide from him and work around the local scavengers. If he's an independent trader, we may just compete, by doing what Picard did in "Ensign Ro", and provide rather good work and equipment for the location of gear, even offering to build them homes using our replicators(like Janeway's and Chakotay's shelter from "Resolutions"). We will be accomplishing four things, One, we will be establishing a good rapport with the locals. Two, we will be helping out the local community and making the galaxy a better place. Three, we will have rather loyal scavengers, who know that Plett cannot out compete us, and will come to us for the better work. Four, we will have a sizable/loyal work force that are experts in the local technology.

If any of the locals want to join the Federation instead of living on Jakku, they are certainly welcome to join us after our survey mission is done. Rey is perfectly welcome to join us, and if she wants a ship, or at least better accommodations, she's welcome to them.

4. Prior to beam up/transport by shuttle, each piece will be personally scanned for explosives/funky radiation/computer viruses, etc. We really don't need a plot of the week to happen to us. Establishing armed guards with all survey teams, and for the duration of our stay here, establish a camp in some relatively friendly territory near the graveyard near a natural water source, so we can build a well. If nothing else, the locals can have free access to the water when we leave. Camp Jekku will also be established next to it, with the standard motion sensors and defense technologies established to prevent our base or our friendly locals from being attacked.

Survey teams are to talk to anyone who approaches first, and shoot with the stun setting if attacked. Attackers will find themselves in our brig, awaiting our time to journey home and either being turned over to the Republic or to Starfleet JAG offices.

If the First Order shows up, immediately tranpsort our teams and volunteers who wish to leave with us, and hide until they depart. If Poe shows up, try and establish unofficial ties with the Resistance, but hold off on that until the First Order superweapon is destroyed.


If all this plays out right, unless the First Order shows up, we should find quite a few items that will help us reverse engineer Star Wars tech, as well as a loyal local population, and if motivated properly, several volunteers who will want to help us understand a generation old Imperial and Rebellion fleet technology, as well as a potential foothold in the Star Wars galaxy if desired by the Federation Council and Starfleet.
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Re: Mission Design: Planet of the Titans (SW:TFA Spoilers)

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-02-02 06:28pm

My answers to each of the OP's questions:

1. We're probably going to want computer experts and people with a background in advanced alien energy sources, weapons, and materials, among other things. Biologists wouldn't be amiss either, to study the local wild life. Some additional medical staff as well, maybe, if, like FaxModem1 said, we're going to be working with local volunteers who probably don't have the highest standard of medical care (indeed, from what I've seen of Jakku, a lot of them have probably never heard the word "clinic").

2. We scan from orbit. Provided nothing hazardous is detected, we beam down a security contingent to check out the site. Once its deemed secure, we beam down an engineering/science team, set up a local base camp, and thoroughly explore the site. Transporter locks to be maintained at all times if the site presents some sort of danger.

3. Hell yes I hire native guides, for much the same reasons FaxModem1 said. I probably don't need them to actually locate anything, given that I'll have a starship with all the usual sensors in orbit plus a bunch of support craft I can use for reconnaissance, but it'll help build relations with the locals, give poor residents of Jakku a way to make a better living, and maybe garner me some useful tips on how the local technology we're recovering actually works, which might speed up efforts at reverse engineering and reduce the risk of accidents.

Also, this means that, depending on the exact time period, I may be able to recruit Rey, and end up with an honest to God Jedi (and possibly one related to Luke Skywalker) on my staff. That's too good to pass up. Of course, that might screw over Finn and BB8, so...

Hmm, if I have foreknowledge of the Star Wars galaxy, doesn't that raise Temporal Prime Directive issues? ;)

4. I've already explained security measures somewhat, but to elaborate:

-Their will be probes/sensors placed in orbit designed to alert me if any starships (particularly First Order starships) enter the system. Placing these will be the first damn thing I do after scanning the system on arrival.

-Ground sites will be thoroughly surveyed as described above before research teams are sent down.

-I will advise my personal not to approach local settlements in large numbers or a threatening manner to avoid provoking a fight. However, when operating amid the wrecks in the desert, and away from settlements in general, we will move in groups to discourage outlaws or animals from attacking us. A typical team might consist of a couple of engineers, a couple other scientists, a medical officer, and several security officers, under the authority of a command officer. Larger teams, or multiple small teams, might be dispatched for exploring a major site, like a crashed capital ship.

-Undercover officers and delegates to local settlements will accordingly be armed only with phaser pistols. Security detachments operating in the desert will be armed with pulse phaser rifles. I don't think we need to deploy anything heavier on the ground unless something more formidable than the locals shows up to attack us.

-If a hostile capital ship arrives, we beam up and bugger out until its gone, like FaxModem1 said. We're their for research, not a war.

5. Priorities for exploring the wrecks are to recover local energy and propulsion technology first, weapons/armour/shield tech. second, anything else third. Secondary priorities will be to build positive relations with the locals, and gather intelligence on the current state of the galaxy. We will endeavour to do this without exposing either ourselves or the locals to unnecessary risk.

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Re: Mission Design: Planet of the Titans (SW:TFA Spoilers)

Postby biostem » 2016-02-02 07:06pm

Given that technological know-how seems pretty common in Star Wars, I wonder how difficult it would be to send in a small unnoticed team into the main settlement, and try to recruit someone familiar with local starships, (we could offer plenty of food, water, and various bits of whatever metals they find valuable). Alternatively, how difficult would it be to use our resources to collect a huge amount of salvage parts, establish a few well-trained people as local scavengers, and have them proceed to trade in the salvage for even a modest FTL-capable local ship. Then we can get the local tech expert to go over everything with us and help us out, perhaps even upgrading what we could in that simple craft and establishing our own local presence, (without revealing our own Starfleet vessel).

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Re: Mission Design: Planet of the Titans (SW:TFA Spoilers)

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2016-02-02 07:11pm

It occurs to me that there is a big gap between local tech scavengers like Rey knowing how to use/ix/maintain technology and knowing how to build it from scratch or understand the principles involved.
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Re: Mission Design: Planet of the Titans (SW:TFA Spoilers)

Postby biostem » 2016-02-02 07:17pm

Eternal_Freedom wrote:It occurs to me that there is a big gap between local tech scavengers like Rey knowing how to use/ix/maintain technology and knowing how to build it from scratch or understand the principles involved.


Oh no doubt, but I'm sure they know enough about the separate components and how they interact, not to mention how to maintain and/or repair them. That's why I talked about starting by acquiring a fully functional ship...

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Re: Mission Design: Planet of the Titans (SW:TFA Spoilers)

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-02-02 07:28pm

You know...

I know this is outside the scope of a research mission, but since we're talking about building relations with the locals...

Would it be possible for the UFP to stake a territorial claim to Jakku, since it appears to be uncontrolled by a major faction? Either as a protectorate or potentially, long-term, even a UFP member?

I highly doubt Jakku would meet the criteria for admission to the UFP, since it appears to be less a society than a collection of scavengers and petty crooks.

However, establishing a claim would potentially give us uncontested access to the wrecks (barring someone being willing to commit an act of war over them) and a territorial foothold in the Star Wars galaxy. And the OP specifically says their are no Prime Directive obstacles.

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Re: Mission Design: Planet of the Titans (SW:TFA Spoilers)

Postby NecronLord » 2016-02-02 07:56pm

It would of course be possible to claim the planet, but outside mission parameters. ;)

There's no foreknowledge of First Order actions; in fact it may well be that the map, and Max Von Sydow's character never goes there.
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Re: Mission Design: Planet of the Titans (SW:TFA Spoilers)

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-02-03 01:40am

Okay. I figure the changes to the timeline caused by our presence would make things unpredictable pretty fast regardless.

And yeah, outside mission parameters, but I think that, unless some local power has a prior claim to Jakku (one they're actually willing and able to pursue, not some obscure treaty or decree from long ago), then I will be recommending to Starfleet Command that we consider laying claim to the system. Will make it easier to study the wrecks if they're in our undisputed control and their's a permanent Federation presence their, after all. ;)

Edit: I will also, with that in mind, try very hard to maintain good relations with the locals.

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Re: Mission Design: Planet of the Titans (SW:TFA Spoilers)

Postby Lord Revan » 2016-02-04 03:08am

Something we should remember is that assuming our time frame is anywhere near TFA there's a community built around looting these wrecks so it's highly likely that things like fighters are looted to a point they're little more then empty spaceframes and finding a fighter that's anywhere close to being able to function is nearly impossible, also I assume our Nebula isn't equipted with compacted subspace folds (aka is bigger on the inside) so we're presumebly mostly limited to what actually fits inside the Nebula instead of being able do things like transport an ISD reactor globe intact (or as intact as it was on the ground) to our labs as it would probably be too big to fit inside a nebula class.

That's why I made taking scans a higher priority to actually recovering artifacts as we probably learn just as much from those scans as we would from the artifacts (especially if specialized scanners for this purpose exist).

Obviously if we hit a jackpot and find a fighter or similar item in semi-decent condition we should beam them to our labs as soon as we can determine that doing so wouldn't pose and necessery risk to the ship.
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Re: Mission Design: Planet of the Titans (SW:TFA Spoilers)

Postby FaxModem1 » 2016-02-04 04:44am

Lord Revan wrote:Something we should remember is that assuming our time frame is anywhere near TFA there's a community built around looting these wrecks so it's highly likely that things like fighters are looted to a point they're little more then empty spaceframes and finding a fighter that's anywhere close to being able to function is nearly impossible, also I assume our Nebula isn't equipted with compacted subspace folds (aka is bigger on the inside) so we're presumebly mostly limited to what actually fits inside the Nebula instead of being able do things like transport an ISD reactor globe intact (or as intact as it was on the ground) to our labs as it would probably be too big to fit inside a nebula class.

That's why I made taking scans a higher priority to actually recovering artifacts as we probably learn just as much from those scans as we would from the artifacts (especially if specialized scanners for this purpose exist).

Obviously if we hit a jackpot and find a fighter or similar item in semi-decent condition we should beam them to our labs as soon as we can determine that doing so wouldn't pose and necessery risk to the ship.


That's why a dedicated base camp with defenses might come in handy. Unless the First Order comes knocking, we'll be the guys with the biggest sticks, and have a safe place for Starfleet engineers and scientists to tear it apart with the friendly locals.

We also have the advantage, as you said, of an orbiting ship able to scan the entire planet. It seems that the scavengers have been pretty limited to what they can carry to their community, via what they can haul on their backs, a pack animal's back, or on their small vehicles for the day's quarter portion. Depending on the size of the graveyard, picking off items, ships and fighters in areas that haven't been touched yet will probably yield the best results.

If the prime directive doesn't apply, and depending on Unkar Plett's interactions with us, we may have to deal with a small turf war as we're taking away both his best workers, and the best prizes for surveying. I guess we could just zap him after the first unfriendly encounter, and have him enjoy a first class trip on the Armstrong's brig to a Federation penal colony. I actually think this is a preferable outcome, just as long as we don't appear as hostile invaders.

Does anyone think it would be wiser or better to just deal with him instead of cutting out the middleman?

EDIT: Had to change bridge to brig. I didn't meant to imply that Plett was going to get to be an honored guest of Starfleet.
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Re: Mission Design: Planet of the Titans (SW:TFA Spoilers)

Postby Lord Revan » 2016-02-04 06:57am

FaxModem1 wrote:
Lord Revan wrote:Something we should remember is that assuming our time frame is anywhere near TFA there's a community built around looting these wrecks so it's highly likely that things like fighters are looted to a point they're little more then empty spaceframes and finding a fighter that's anywhere close to being able to function is nearly impossible, also I assume our Nebula isn't equipted with compacted subspace folds (aka is bigger on the inside) so we're presumebly mostly limited to what actually fits inside the Nebula instead of being able do things like transport an ISD reactor globe intact (or as intact as it was on the ground) to our labs as it would probably be too big to fit inside a nebula class.

That's why I made taking scans a higher priority to actually recovering artifacts as we probably learn just as much from those scans as we would from the artifacts (especially if specialized scanners for this purpose exist).

Obviously if we hit a jackpot and find a fighter or similar item in semi-decent condition we should beam them to our labs as soon as we can determine that doing so wouldn't pose and necessery risk to the ship.


That's why a dedicated base camp with defenses might come in handy. Unless the First Order comes knocking, we'll be the guys with the biggest sticks, and have a safe place for Starfleet engineers and scientists to tear it apart with the friendly locals.

We also have the advantage, as you said, of an orbiting ship able to scan the entire planet. It seems that the scavengers have been pretty limited to what they can carry to their community, via what they can haul on their backs, a pack animal's back, or on their small vehicles for the day's quarter portion. Depending on the size of the graveyard, picking off items, ships and fighters in areas that haven't been touched yet will probably yield the best results.

If the prime directive doesn't apply, and depending on Unkar Plett's interactions with us, we may have to deal with a small turf war as we're taking away both his best workers, and the best prizes for surveying. I guess we could just zap him after the first unfriendly encounter, and have him enjoy a first class trip on the Armstrong's brig to a Federation penal colony. I actually think this is a preferable outcome, just as long as we don't appear as hostile invaders.

Does anyone think it would be wiser or better to just deal with him instead of cutting out the middleman?

EDIT: Had to change bridge to brig. I didn't meant to imply that Plett was going to get to be an honored guest of Starfleet.

I'd say at the start it might be better to leave Unkar Plett stay, at least until we've gained the trust of the locals so we can avoid seeming like invaders.

What I meant by my post is that we shouldn't assume we'd just stumble onto a fighter in pristine condition and everything that's easy to get is probably been taken, they've had the better part of 3 decades to loot the ships after all.
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Re: Mission Design: Planet of the Titans (SW:TFA Spoilers)

Postby Lord Revan » 2016-02-04 10:57am

I'd say that we should avoid upsetting the status que too much as I dout Federation Council would like if they suddenly were responsible for Jakku as we destroyed what passed for authority in there and are now left with the aftermath (or that we royally screwed over the locals by destroying the local authority and then left them to pick up the peices) just because Prime Directive doesn't apply it doesn't mean we should think that "anything goes" while neither the First Order or the Republic really care about Jakku exactly they might object to us meddling too much there as they might see it as us trying to meddle in their internal politics.
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Re: Mission Design: Planet of the Titans (SW:TFA Spoilers)

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-02-04 11:14am

Well, as I said, I'd like to establish a Federation foothold on Jakku in theory, but that's a decision to be made by the Council, not a star ship captain.

As to Plett, while he seems a bit of a scumbag, there's no indication he's actually evil in the film, so I see no need to depose him unless he becomes an obstacle. Especially when he might conceivably have ties to larger criminal organizations that could make things difficult for us (someone already raised this point, I think).

And frankly, with our replicators and the level of wealth we see on Jakku, we can probably afford to pay him more than his wildest dreams to stay out of our way.


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