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Three at a Time(less), pt. 2

by Richard New, Designer

11th January 2023

Argus Array

Hubble's Double

"...a remote subspace telescope at the very edge of Federation space. The unmanned structure mysteriously stopped relaying its data nearly two months ago."

--Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation, "The Nth Degree"

Seen in two TNG episodes, the Argus Array was first repaired by the crew before Reginald Barclay was evolved into god-like intellect and later formed a backdrop to Worf's changing realities in "Parallels." The quote and story on the card is from the second episode. In that story, Cardassians and then militant Bajorans from another reality both had interests in reprogramming the telescope to gather intelligence. But as the card suggests, it's not unreasonable that in several more realities that the Dominion, Klingon, and Romulans might have gotten into the game.

The skills involved have never all appeared on the same mission, but often overlap, making this mission pretty easy to stack with similar skill profiles. The Cardassians might have the easiest time with it, hosting both of the non-uniques Jasad and Rogesh, who can supply all the skills. The Bajorans might have the hardest time covering the Intelligence requirement, but the other skills are common enough among all of the listed affiliations, often with Intelligence and Treachery overlapping.

Tholian Space

Charlotte's Favorite Episode

"What is that?"

"Mister Sulu, I shall run an analysis on those filaments. Tie in all sensors to the ship's library computer console. Switch scanners."

"Yes, sir."

"There's no analogy to this structure in Federation technology. It is, however, an energy field, and if the Tholians are successful in completing this structure before we have completed our repairs, we shall not see home again."

--Uhura, Spock, and Hikaru Sulu Star Trek, "The Tholian Web"

I think I might have known this image (or the pre-Remastered version, at any rate) since before I knew the name Enterprise. The Original Series wasn't my first love, but I know I saw it on television before I really knew what it was. And I was aware of the Tholian Web before The Next Generation eventually piqued my interest and my life-long passion began. Maybe this was an image that accompanied commercials. Maybe it's one of those stills from the end of a TOS episode. Regardless, it would be decades before I would actually see this episode, quenching the thirst for it that this image elicits: a web in space. So cool.

The skills to stay out of the web are all pretty commonplace, even though all three haven't appeared on the same mission before. There are a handful of personnel that can offer all three, but I think the real selling point is the low Cunning requirement. This mission is Insurrection-able, but might still be worth the risk. Any affiliation can attempt the mission, so analyzing skill matrices would be a large task, but Treachery Klingons come to mind for decktypes that have easy access to Biology, Navigation, and Science, probably being able to solve with just four personnel.


A Complicated Man

"It may surprise you to hear this, but my position is a lonely one. I'm isolated from the people who live under my protection. I require someone to talk with. In short, a friend."

--Dukat, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, "Things Past"

There might be a couple of questions when one sees the personnel revealed today. Another Dukat? What does this one offer that the others don't? Why does he have the alternate universe icon? All good questions. Let's start with the last one, as it sets up our story. Specifically, this Dukat is from (as the quote above implies) "Things Past" (or "Nightmare on Odo Street"). Just like Thrax, this Dukat is from the version of events that were relived in Odo's mind. The events themselves are often at the mercy of that unreliable narrator, desperately trying to rewrite history to appease his guilt. As such, like Thrax, this Dukat gets the alternate universe icon and, as a consequence, can play in a KCA deck (a universe ungraced by Dukat until now), giving that headquarters a taste of AP personnel too.

Dukat's details are pretty standard. Officer and Treachery fit with what we know of the character and the 2 Security shows his interest in (Cardassian) law and order in this particular instance. Biology is new for a version of Dukat, but he did just get patched up after surviving another assassination attempt from his "children," as he so condescendingly puts it. But, of course, he's also one of the two personnel in this expansion with an ability. Dukat hasn't shown much of an interest in one of the core mechanics of Cardassians: capture. Until now. Rounding up prisoners to be tried and executed seems like a full time job at this point in the Occupation, so much so that Dukat hasn't even had time to increase slave rations. (What will slip his mind next?) As a result, Dukat can get to a very appealing Cunning of 9 for doing what Cardassians do best anyway.

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