|NOTE: This is an outline of the plot as I originally ran it in my homebrew Star Trek campaign in 1994. I had written it up at the time for discussion, and then re-used the scenario in a convention game (using HERO System rules) in 2004. Below is my discussion of the original scenario.|
There was a world in the Organian Neutral Zone (Neural) which has a humanoid society at a roughly medieval level of technology. However, three years ago, the Klingons had traded with the dominant culture (the villagers) -- giving them weapons for mining rights and labor. The Federation later found out about this, as shown in the episode A Private Little War. Kirk discovered that the Klingon Captain Krell was supplying the villagers with flintlocks. Later, Nona, the wife of Kirk's friend Tyree, was killed by the villagers. Kirk then agreed to supply Tyree's hill people with flintlocks to maintain the balance of power.
After that happened, a civilian orbital base was established for anthropological study of the region. Because of the terms of the Organian Peace Treaty, they could not establish an armed military base. However, they could put a civilian one which would monitor the cultural damage done, and guard against further interference.
Now, for this scenario I had a basic idea -- a character and an event. Vilid was the leader of a tribe of hill nomads who were fighting the villagers, which was still dominant with its advanced weapons. Vilid's people had been watching the Running Star (the base in orbit) and knew of its association with the Sky Demons who had helped the Arains. From legend, Vilid thought that there were Sky Demons disguised among the people (Federation anthropologists).
He had a plan to find a Sky Demon, and trick the demon into bringing him to the Running Star, where he would demand weapons to fight the Arains with. His men would stalk strangers in cities, and then check them for red blood (which distinguished the demons from regular people). After finding one, his men would bind and gag it to prevent it from working its magic -- and then they would drug it, torture it and deprive it of sleep.
Then, Vilid would stage a mock "rescue". He would burst in on the torturers (i.e. his men) and thrash them, and thus bring the demon into his debt. He would bring the demon back to his "hideout", where a sensuous woman would tend to its wounds in a most sympathetic manner... Then "Arain guards" would begin pounding at the doors: they were all trapped and would be killed unless someone could transport them away...
In my idea, Vilid's plan works -- they found a Federation anthopologist, and in his confused state, they tricked him into saving what he thought were his friends, by emergency transporting them to the base. What followed was a furious and confused melee as Vilid and his men took over the base, which was caught by surprise due to the recent Organian disarmament of all of its high-tech weapons.
The PC's are the senior officers on board the USS Enterprise, which is patrolling the Neutral Zone, and will naturally be called in to the situation.
Now, with this setup, it is still an open question as to what the scenario will consist of. The situation is a morass of issues: the Prime Directive, saving the base personnel, and practicality. Further, there was an extreme potential for miscommunication and misinterpretation on both sides.
In a world-based approach (how I actually ran it), I would detail more about Vilid's character, culture, and background. Then the course of the negotiations would be determined largely from the sequence of negotiations as the PC's found out about the situation. In play, this became a big debate among the players as to whether Vilid was a hero or a terrorist. In a primitive culture, this is the classic act of a mythic hero (i.e. tricking your way into heaven and demanding help from the gods). In a modern culture, this is more the act of a terrorist.