The USS Artemis is a Dallas, Texas based Chapter within Region 3 of STARFLEET International. The chapter is a social organization in which people of diverse backgrounds with an interest in Star Trek and all forms of science fiction can interact socially and recreationally. We use role playing scenarios and Chapter-sponsored social functions to promote friendship and a form of brotherhood amongst its members.
To accomplish the role playing scenarios, we use a standard tabletop, dice-based role playing (which is a customized combination of several gaming systems) combined with Artemis Bridge Simulator (our Chapter's namesake) in a LAN setup so that all present members can either be working on the bridge of the ship or in other locations, such as the decks of the Artemis or on away missions. We have two Game Masters who control both the tabletop and video games who work together to coordinate the story. Occasionally, we will even coordinate multi-ship missions with other chapters of STARFLEET International, each controlling their own bridge but working in tandem.
Artemis - Daughter of Zeus and twin sister of Apollo. The goddess of the hunt, wild animals, and the wilderness.
Just over one year after the Dominion War, the Alpha Quadrant lies in chaos and shambles.
The Federation Alliance with the Klingon and Romulan empires is decimated, having each lost hundreds of vessels. Chancellor Martok agrees with Starfleet Intelligence estimates that the Klingon Empire has been set back at least a decade. There is speculation that the Federation and Romulan Empire will be the ones struggling for control of a post-war Alpha Quadrant. Even before the war's end, many in both the Federation and the Romulan Empire believed that their alliance was only a temporary war-time coalition. There is concern that the Romulans will not cede worlds they liberated from the Dominion (such as Benzar) back to the Federation.
Many members of the Klingon High Council were loyal to Gowron, and many Klingons cannot help but to still see Worf as a traitor to the Empire and have voiced opposition to Chancellor Martok and his Federation Ambassador. The Empire may just stand on the edge of a coup d'ét and a very long, very bloody civil war.
Cardassia Prime lies in ruin after the Dominion and Breen bombardment during the last day of the war. An estimated eight hundred million civilians were killed, and the entire Cardassian Union is in danger of total collapse. The Alpha Quadrant has lost a major power, and the effects on galactic politics will continue to be seen for many years to come.
The appointment of Rom as the Grand Nagus of the Ferengi Alliance and his furthering of the progressive changes put in place by Zek has sent shockwaves through the entire Ferengi Commerce Authority. The Orion Syndicate, as well as bands of Nausicaan pirates have taken advantage of this power struggle, taking on the "dirtier" jobs that are no longer handled by the more respectable Ferengi. Raids on cargo ships assisting with the rebuilding efforts on Cardassia Prime have become almost routine.
During the war, the Dominion executed almost every member of the Maquis, but if the Maquis are known for anything it's their ability to survive and to hide in plain sight. There is a growing fear that members of Maquis sleeper cells could exploit Cardassia's weakened state to their own desires.
Although the Female Changeling surrendered herself to Federation authorities to stand trial for war crimes, Starfleet Intelligence fears that there are pockets of Alpha Quadrant Jem'Hadar who would be willing to mount a rescue to return her to the Great Link. There are even fears that on the Gamma Quadrant side of the Wormhole that the Dominion could be planning a rescue attempt of their own.
Section 31 has been exposed, but their infiltration into the highest levels of Starfleet Command and the Federation Council means that they will always be a threat to the very foundations of the United Federation of Planets. And who's to say that there are not still Changelings posing as high-ranking officials in the quadrant?
In order to protect the Federation (and most of the Alpha Quadrant), Starfleet must rebuild the number of ships it has out in the galaxy. While many in the Federation Council long for the memories of a simpler time and want to see Starfleet return to its days of peaceful exploration and discovery, some at Starfleet Command feel that the stakes are too high. There is growing concern of a rift between the Civilian and Military leaders on this issue.
New vessels are being built, but filling their rosters is not easy. Docked at Ark Angel Station is the U.S.S. Artemis; an upgraded Defiant-class starship. Artemis will be tasked with patrolling the Cardassian and Bajoran Sectors, protecting cargo ships from piracy and also keeping the peace through these troubled areas.
The Artemis will also be sent through the Bajoran Wormhole into the Gamma Quadrant at random intervals to ensure that the Dominion are maintaining their side of the peace treaty and are not rebuilding a fleet that could invade the decimated Alpha Quadrant. She will also assist the Martok regime as needed, knowing that a Martok-led Empire will be the most beneficial for the Federation in the long run.
Starfleet Intelligence is starting to report that there are surviving members of the Maquis still hidden within Starfleet, and a ship responsible for assisting with the rebuilding of Cardassia would be a perfect opportunity to rekindle their rebellion.
Section 31 agents feel that they have a mission to complete - the mutagenic virus they implanted in the Great Link was cured, but they still see the Founders as a threat to the Federation. However, Section 31 must now work in even more secrecy since people are at least aware of their existance now (though few actually believe that such a covert group could be sanctioned by the Federation Council and Starfleet Command).
During character creation we asked for everyone to assume that they were creating a normal, run-of-the-mill Starfleet Officer. However, randomly-selected members of the Artemis were asked by a Game Master to possibly align themselves with the Maquis or Section 31. Only the Game Masters know who has which affiliation. Even if someone has chosen to align themselves with one of these groups, they have no way of knowing how many allies they have - they could be working alone, or have half the crew on their side. However, each faction will have their own objectives during the missions.
The trick is obtaining your own faction's objective without showing your allegiance. This requires the skill of subterfuge but without accidentally derailing someone who might be your ally.
Misdirection and trickery are key.
- The Maquis want to disrupt the Cardassian rebuilding efforts
- Section 31 will not shy away from getting their hands dirty to protect the Federation
- Starfleet Officers will be looking to "out" members of the Maquis and Section 31, but in a way that is not disruptive to the overall mission
But most importantly, all groups must work together to successfully complete each mission given by Starfleet. When a mission is completed, bonuses will be secretly given to the Maquis and Section 31 operatives if their own faction's sub-objectives are met and helped complete the mission for the crew as a whole.
So... how would you contribute to the story?
For membership information, please contact co at uss artemis dot com