Mission Title : Inner Space

Author : @rsmudger / @rickysmith1

Faction : Federation

Level Requirement : 31+

Requirements : Shuttle Based Mission


Introduction:

A huge Zone of Darkness has been detected deep within Cardassian Space on a direct course that intercepts many highly populated planets from Cardassia Prime to New Romulas.

It is so vast it shifts the gravity-well of local stars and can block out all sensor readings in and around entire star systems.

Visual recordings of the engulfed star have revealed there IS a body at the center of this veil and several Cardassian ships have gone missing attempting to intercept it.

Now Starfleet has made it ‘your turn’ to face this Goliath, What lies at the center of this blackness, why is it destroying life and are you ready to go where no man has gone before?

This review has spoilers; if you do not want spoilers then do not continue to read this review.


Screenshot of the 'Zone of Darkness'About:

You arrive after at Deep Space Nine to meet up with Admiral Marconi, who informs you that there is something known only as the Zone of Darkness that is cutting across Cardassian Space and heading straight to Federation Space. Due to recent battle damage, your ship is unable to intercept the Zone of Darkness, so you must take a shuttle.

When you reach the location, you discover that all life in the system has been drained, even the life aboard starships. While you investigate the lifeless Cardassian ships, the True Way show up blaming you for the death of Cardassians, and you are then engaged in battle.

That’s when the connection appears between the Zone of Darkness and a phenomenon a James T. Kirk had encountered when he was the captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise. You enter the Darkness to confirm that it is an organism, but instead of a single cell organism you discover it’s a 13 cell organism. One of the cells stands out: besides being blue in color, it appears to be a neural cell.

When you enter the neural cell, you discover something compared to a Nano-cell attached to the cell, and you then maneuver into the cell to find a dome artificial environment meant to support humanoid life. The dome is as lifeless as the systems the organism passes through, but you find that an unknown alien race inside, dead.

Going through their computers you learn that they died when the environment had failed, and also that the organism had entered from the far side of the Milk-way Galaxy. When Kirk destroyed the organism that he had encountered, the resulting explosion had sent a pulse that was like a mating call that attracted this current organism. After you reprogram the device the dead aliens had set up before their deaths, you kill the organism, saving the millions of lives that were in the path of the Darkness.


Screenshot of the 'Artificial Enviroment'

Highlights:

The maps were very bare and empty, which would not normally make it into my highlights, but since these were areas where life was sucked dry, it worked really well for the story. The story links with an episode from the original Star Trek Series, “The Immunity Syndrome“, which gives the story a foundation to build upon. The story ran smoothly from start to finish, and the exploding organism was done well. I liked it.

Criticism:

On the first map, there was a problem with the combat; there were four frigate-type fighters against one tiny shuttle since. In some of the reviews, I read that some people couldn’t get past the battle and dropped the mission and/or gave out low star ratings. There were also a few spelling/grammar errors, which can be fixed easily enough.

On the map where you were inside the neural cell, where the “Nano-cell” attached to the neural cell, there were a lot of blending issues that can be easily fixed. When approaching the “Nano-cell” there are beacons at the front entrance which can be confusing to some players; some may enter when they were not at that objective.

The first map fell into the dreaded 2D plane, although the backdrop did not, because objects in the map were near the same plane. Bridge Officer Dialog: many people, including me, are not fans of authors, who write the dialog for their Bride Officers, so avoid this whenever possible.


Screenshot of the 'Zone of Darkness' Exploding

To the Author:

First suggestion and the most important; remember that this mission is a shuttle mission so you should redo the mobs at the first map. Instead of having both groups of frigates in at the same time, have the second group show up when the first is destroyed. You will have to make them it into two objectives instead of one, but it will cut down frustration by the players that have trouble with the battle.

Fix the blending issues in the “Nano-cell,” and add one more group of “Android” defenders in the main cave area where you go to kill the “Darkness” which could give the facility a more defensive feel to it.

Q: If the aliens inside the dome died because the artificial environment failed, then why is my captain walking about without an environment suite?

Conclusion:

With the connection to TOS, the story was well written; well-done maps that fit well with the story. Although there were good things in this mission, there were faults that hurt the rating of this mission by many players. I rated Inner Space by @rickysmith1 at 3 Stars. I wish the author luck in the Foundry Challenge #7.