Star Trek: Survival Test
Survival Test Briefing
An Unexpected Complication
Into the Jungle
The Journey Continues
Scouting The Exobiology Station
Many dream of joining Starfleet, of attending the Academy and then
taking their place alongside such legends as Robert April,
Tyra Yates, James T Kirk and Jean Luc Picard but few are accepted.
Starfleet only accepts the best and the brightest of candidates.
Every year thousands of aspiring candidates make their way
to assessment centers across the Federation to seek admission to the
Preparatory Programme for the Starfleet Academy entrance examinations.
Star Trek: Griffin focuses on the lives and careers of six of these applicants:
- Gol, a male Vulcan with an aptitude for science
- Jarmia Srevin, a female Andorian whose lifelong ambition was to join
Starfleet and command a ship of her own. Undeterred by failing
to gain admission to the Preparatory Programme on her first two
attempts she persisted and finally succeeded on her third
- Prev Teral, a male Tellarite with an aptitude for
- Taylor Robertson, a male human who aspires to be a
- Vida, a female human
- Gerron, a male Betazoid
After six weeks and much hard work on the
Preparatory Programme the Entrance Examinations are finally in
progress at testing centers throughout Federation space. The
examinations consist of several formal papers, a number of
holographic simulations, tests of physical ability as well as a
number of 'hidden' tests designed to test the candidate's
Gol is taking the paper on problem solving. He is confident of passing this one
as it is an exercise in logic, something at which the Vulcan excels. He looks
around the classroom, calmly assessing the other candidates when he notices one
of them surreptitiously viewing at miniature PADD attached to his forearm. The
candidate notices Gol looking at him, winks and brings his finger to his lips.
It doesn't take much logic to work out that he is cheating. Gol of course
reports him to the invigilator.
"Psst. Are you Prev Teral?" The Tellarite is relaxing after completing the
examinations when a shifty-looking Ferengi approaches him. "I'm Pok and I'm just
about to do you a big favour. It so happens that I've obtained the access codes
to the examination computer. I've been looking at the results and to put it
bluntly you've failed. Course I can change that for a price, say 100 strips of
latinum. You interested?" Prev Teral isn't and reports the Ferengi to the
Jarmia and Taylor are both sitting the examinations at the same facility. They
are both invited to a formal dinner in honour of a visiting Klingon admiral. At
the dinner the admiral circulates, offering the cadets present some gagh from a
bowl he carries. It is said that gagh is best served live and these worms are
certainly that. Both Jarmia and Taylor accept the gagh. Taylor swallows his and
feels it wriggling on the way down while Jarmia takes the time to chew hers first.
"The Federation way of choosing cadets is weak!" The ambassador continues.
"Klingon candidates are taken to Jakar III, a hostile planet with many
predators. They must make their way across its surface to a specified location
in a designated time, fighting off the predators as they go. Those that make it
are accepted, those that don't aren't! A simple system that ensures only the
strongest candidates are accepted. You two would never survive on Jakar III and
would therefore never become a Klingon officer!"
Both Jarmia and Taylor reply politely, pointing out that Federation culture
differs from Klingon culture and that the Federation also values non-combat
All the candidates pass the Academy entrance examinations and make their way by
various means to San Francisco and Starfleet Academy.
On arrival the new cadets are assigned quarters, a bedroom in
shared accommodation. It is here that the cadets meet each other for the first
time. Each group of cadets sharing quarters is known as a squad and each squad
can select it's own name. After much debate the group finally decide on the name
Griffin Squad! The year is 2366.
During their first year at the Academy the cadets study a core curriculum:
History (Federation), Law (Starfleet Regs), Planetside Survival (Choose
Specialty), Energy Weapons (Phasers) plus 1 topic of their choice. There is also
plenty of opportunity to explore San Francisco and Earth. San Francisco is home
to both Starfleet and the Federation Council. As a site of historical importance
there are many preserved buildings. The city is a centre for tourism and has
many theatres, restaurants (a particular favourite is Petsi's Parlour).
The cadets indulge in a variety of extra-curricular activity including mountain climbing and skiing.
Survival Test Briefing
Captains's Log, U.S.S. Fearless. We have taken aboard several squads of Starfleet cadets on route to Aldos II,
where they hope to complete their final examination is Planetside Survival. Some of the cadets are
practicing in the ship's holodeck at this moment. From what I remember of my own examination they're going
to need all the practive that they can get!
Not knowing where they are going or what they will be facing Griffin Squad are practicing their ability
to survive in an arctic climate.
"Computer, end program!" a voice calls out, the voice of Professor Zakarian, one of the course
"Right cadets, it's time to tell you about the examination. We're now in orbit around the planet Aldos II,
a class M world near to the Romulan neutral zone. Aldos II is a jungle world with no intelligent lifeforms.
It does however have a number of predators, the Aldosian lion is probably the most fearsome of these but
you'll also need to watch out for the Aldosian spider. These are very poisonous, though a standard anti-venom
treatment will negate the effects of the poison."
"There's a small Federation exobiology station on the planet. We're going to be taking
a shuttle down to the planet. You'll each be given a type I
phaser, 1 days rations and standard survival gear. Your squad will also be assigned a tricorder and a medical kit.
You must hike from the landing site to the exobiology station, a 3-day jouney; find shelter, food and water; and deal with
any threats from the native lifeforms along the way. You can request an emergency beam-out at any time, however this
will end the examination. We leave now, any questions?"
An Unexpected Complication
The shuttle to the Aldos II is piloted by Vida Pimoli. She successfully
navigates out of the shuttle bay and towards the planet. Aldos II is a striking world.
From space its continents are predominantly green in colour and are surrounded by deep
Suddenly the proximity alarm sounds! A Romulan vessel, a D'deridex no less,
is de-cloaking nearby. It fires its disruptors at the shuttle as it moves to attack the
U.S.S. Fearless. The shuttle is badly damaged and plunges towards the planet with a
number of crucial systems offline. Several control panels explode and Professor Zakarian
is badly injured. Prev Teral manages to restore propulsion and Vida Pimoli regains some
semblance of control over the shuttle. However the computer seems to be damaged beyond
repair and all navigation systems are down so she is flying by the seat of her pants.
the shuttlecraft plunges into the planets atmosphere its structural integrity is
threatened by the heat and stress of re-entry. Prev works frantically tries to restore
power to the shields and succeeds in raising them to minimum levels, enough at least to
provide some protection. Taylor suggests hooking up the data feed from the shuttles
sensor systems to the tricorder, since the main computer is down. This is quickly done
and Taylor locates a suitable landing (crash?) site. Vida continues to battle with the
shuttle, gradually forcing it towards this site.
The shuttle rushes towards the landing
site crashing through trees and jungle for some distance before finally hitting the
ground. The impact is hard but apart from a few bruises no one is seriously hurt. The
shuttle finally comes to a rest in a clearing.
Taylor quickly examines Professor Zakarian, trying to determine the extent
of his injuries. He has a broken leg, several cracked ribs and internal bleeding. His brain
is also badly bruised and he appears concussed. Taylor stabilizes the professor using the autosuture to
mend the broken bones but cannot bring the professor round - brain damage is a distinct possibility!
While Taylor tends to the professor the rest take stock of their situation.
The shuttle is damaged beyond repair. There is no word from the Fearless. The Exobiology station, while only
a few days walk away, may well have been captured by the Romulans. Not good! However there seem to be few options
and after some debate it is decided to make for the station. A stretcher is fashioned for the Professor, the shuttles
fusion reactor is shut down and the group enters the jungle.
Into The Jungle
The jungle air is hot and humid and the strange sounds of
many alien life forms fills the air. Progress is slow as a path has to
be hacked through the thick jungle. Mid-afternoon a Romulan shuttle
flies overhead. An hour or so later it returns broadcasting a message in
"Attention Federation personnel. Your ship has
been destroyed. You have no hope of escape. Surrender and you will be
Needless to say the cadets don't believe the Romulans
and decide to press on.
By the end of the day everyone is
hot and extremely tired. A rustling sound attracts the attention
of the group. Nearby, in the jungle undergrowth, is a medium sized creature
with six legs, a long horn and protective armour-plates (an Aldosian
Rootbeast). It appears to
be using it's horn to dig in the ground. When it becomes aware of the
cadets it quickly
curls into a ball. After some debate the creature is stunned with
phasers and scanned to see if it is edible. It is, so Prev kills it the
old fashioned way, using a knife. Gol finds edible roots where the
creature was digging.
A bivouac is constructed to provide shelter for the
night and a watch established. During the night Prev spots a number of
Aldosian spiders converging on the campsite from a number of directions.
He raises the alarm and then with his phaser set on wide-beam proceeds
to target as many of the creatures as he can. He is soon joined by the
other cadets. Spiders start to fall from the jungle canopy to lie
twitching on the ground. Some however make it past the energy beams -
one drops onto the back of Prevs neck and another onto Gol. Both bite
their targets and their poison soon takes effect. Both cadets start to
feel woozy. The attacking spiders are quickly pulled off the cadets and
phasered. Taylor tends to both cadets, injecting both with anti-venom
from his hypospray.
After the combat the jungle floor is littered with the
bodies of numerous spiders. A creature appears from the jungle and
starts to feed on them. It looks rather like the Sloth that can be found
on Earth. There is some debate on whether to capture it but in the end
the cadets decide to leave it alone. The rest of the night passes
The Journey Continues
The journey through the jungle does not get any easier,
a path must be hacked through the undergrowth and the stretcher bearing
the Professor Zakarian must be carried (his condition shows no sign of
improving but at least it hasn't got any worse).
Around mid-day the jungle suddenly drops away before the
cadets. They find themselves standing on the edge of a deep gorge
through which a wide rive flows. On the far side of the gorge the jungle
continues and in the distance a mountain towers above it. The Federation
Exobiology station is located on the slopes of this mountain. The cadets
follow the path of the river upstream, looking for a good place to
cross. They come across the body of an Aldosian lion. Although dead, it's flesh seems
to move. Prev pulls out his phaser and disintegrates the body, visions
of spiders floating before his eyes.
The cadets work their way down the the steep side of the
gorge to the rivers edge. Taylor and Gerrol build a raft to ferry the unconscious
Professor Zakarian over while Prev and Jarmia gather vines to make a
rope. Prev then ties the rope around himself and wades into the river -
at the mid-point the water reaches his chin. Once he reaches the far
side he ties the rope to a tree and the others gradually make their way
across the river.
Once across the journey continues, somewhat easier as
the cadets are able to follow one of the tributaries of the river that
leads towards the mountain. As darkness starts to fall they once again
look for a suitable place to camp and make a bivouac. Jarmia and Gerrol
stun a family group of Aldosian root beasts and jarmia then kills one
with her Chaka. Once again the group are attacked by Aldosian spiders
during the night (something is attracting them, but what?). Phasers set
on wide-beam soon deal with them however, apart from one that bited
Gerrol. Taylor administers more anti-venom from the hypospray.
The following day the cadets resume their journey.
Towards lunchtime they are surprised when nets drop down onto them from
the jungle above. They are quickly surrounded by a number of small
fur-covered humanoids brandishing spears (so much for the briefing that
there were no intelligent life forms on the planet!). One of them speaks
and gestures with his spear. While the universal translator has yet to
decipher his language but his meaning is clear - the group are to walk
in a certain direction. The cadets decide to co-operate for the time
They are led to a small village consisting of a
collection of huts built high-up in the tree tops, connected by narrow
rope bridges and platforms. One of the villagers is clearly the leader -
he stands in front of the largest hut watching the group approach.
Around his neck he wears a crystal on a leather thong. Prev
identifies it as dilithium!
The universal translator has by now heard enough of the
Aldosian language to decipher it. Jarmia talks to the chief, trying to
persuade him that they are friends. The chief, Nexx, is somewhat dubious
at first (he is particularly war of Gol), but he is eventually persuaded.
From what he says the cadets surmise that the Romulans arrived about a
month ago. They captured the Federation Exobiology station along with
many of the Aldosians. The captives are being forced to mine the
dilithium crystal from the mountain. Nexx would welcome the cadets aid
in freeing his people and he offers to lead them to the station so they
can scout it.
The Exobiology Station
The Exobiology station stands above the Aldosian jungle
on the slopes of the mountain. A trail leads from the station down the
slope and skirts the edges of the jungle. It leads to a series of caves
in the mountain where the dilithium is being mined. Behind the station
are two shuttlecraft, one Romulan the other Federation. The station and
the shuttlecraft are protected by a force field. Four Romulans patrol
the perimeter of the force field (2 groups of 2). At the end of each day
the dilithium that has been mined is taken from the caves to the station
by four of the captives escorted by four Romulans. The Romulans are all
armed with disruptors.
The cadets settle down to watch the station for a while and
to make plans. One of the Aldosians returns to the village to bring reinforcements.
Gol and Prev examine the force field. Gol theorizes that it should be possible to
'short-circuit' the field by inducing a phase variance in a section of the field. Using this
theory Prev builds a Phase Variance Inducer using parts from one of the tricorders, a phaser and
a com-badge. Before trying it however the cadets decide to explore further.
Further down the mountainside they discover another cave entrance, this one unguarded.
They enter and begin to explore. The cave runs some distance into the mountain,
gradually getting smaller and narrower. Eventually a point is reached where further
progress can only be made my crawling. Jarmia opts to explore further. She travels some
distance but eventually gets stuck and starts to panic. Hearing her screams Taylor enters the
tunnel and attempts to help her. Eventually the tow manage to return to the others, Jarmia
somewhat shaken by the experience. Deciding there's no point in continuing to explore the
cave system the group decide to implement their previous plan.
Prev uses the Phase Variance Inducer he's built to temporarily
negate a section of the force field. The group, accompanied by some Aldosians
quickly head for the main building, avoiding the Romulan patrols. Prev bypasses the
security lock and the group make for main control center, surprising the Romulan occupants
and stunning them with phasers. They quickly secure the building and then Gol tries
to mind-meld with one of the Romulans, finding to his surprise that he can't as the Romulan
doesn't seem to have a mind!
After spending some time searching Jarmia finally locates a concealed access panel
to the holodecks isolinear control unit, though she is unable to open it.
"Computer, freeze program" a voice says and Professor Zakarian enters the simulation.
"Congratulations cadets" he says. "You've passed your planetside survival test with flying colours. End program".
The backdrop of the Federations Exobiology station fades away, replaced by the familiar grid of the holodeck on board the Fearless."