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Labyrinth

In response to the chaotic opening of Underspace tunnels all over the galaxy, the Fourth Fleet must respond to understand this new phenomenon.

Event Description

From across the galaxy, wild reports reach Starfleet’s ears. Sensor readings pick up gravimetric distortions that cause chaos in planetary atmospheres, disturb stellar phenomena or agitate nebula particles. Ships are going missing, or appearing as if from nowhere, thousands of light-years from their last known location.

Those that can communicate speak of being dragged into what they thought was a wormhole, a subspace passageway of branching tunnels and chaotic turbulence their ship tumbled through before falling out of another exit point. It defies all known records of any wormhole – but readings and descriptions do match another phenomena, barely known to Starfleet and ill-understood: Underspace.

This network of subspace corridors was first encountered by Starfleet through the journey of the USS Voyager. Complex, dangerous, and labyrinthine, these passageways once enabled the long-dead Vaadwaur to build one of the largest empires the galaxy has ever known before their eventual downfall. Now, only their former vassals, the Turei, understand enough of Underspace for it to be safely traversed. Since then, Starfleet has only accessed Underspace with the help of the Turei, and has never known its tunnels to reach any further than the Delta Quadrant. Until now.

Now, when apertures into Underspace seem to be opening all over the galaxy, its vast network reaching from Betazed to Ocampa, from the heart of the Klingon Empire to, potentially, the heart of Dominion territory. What does this mean? How has this happened? Why has this happened?

But those are all questions for later. Many have no idea what Underspace is, or are too busy dealing with strange phenomena, lost ships, or falling through the to the far side of the galaxy to care about reports of some Delta Quadrant highway.

For some, the galaxy will never be the same again. For others, surviving the next 24 hours is far more pressing.

Lore Office Guidance

THE CAMPAIGN

The campaign of Labyrinth is a series of independent stories contributing to the greater narrative of the second 2023 Fleet Action. Members will write the stories of their ships and crews investigating and responding, and the Intelligence Office will respond to these and advance the campaign’s events.

Any member is welcome to participate in Labyrinth. If you have a primary command, you can write the story of your starship and crew encountering an Underspace aperture, or those who have travelled through it. You can start a Mission on BFMS under this fleet-wide Mission. If you want to write with another member, you can do so! Your ships or characters can work together on missions. BFMS supports this.

Labyrinth is a campaign stretching across three phases. After each phase, the narrative will advance, circumstances changing to provide a new galactic situation, and new storytelling opportunities. This does not mean that you should plan, write, and resolve a whole mission every two weeks. It is absolutely fine for you to start with a premise and write it over the whole six weeks – but to get the most out of this campaign, we encourage writers to be flexible. Be ready to add new plot elements, reflecting changes as the galaxy responds to the expansion of Underspace. If you want to stay as agile as possible, able to incorporate as much of the plot of Labyrinth into your story as you can, follow the guidance from the Intelligence Office as every phase is released.

The status quo will not turn wildly on its head each phase. But new circumstances will arise, new challenges, priorities, and themes.

LABYRINTH: PHASE 1

In the first phase of this campaign, all of these inciting events are still happening. Unlike in past campaigns, where the initial action – the invasion of the Lost Fleet, the fall of the Romulan Senate – has kicked off by the time your ship is involved, for the first two weeks of this story, the Intelligence Office invites members to write their part of the very start of the campaign.

Here, ships may be going about their ordinary business before encountering an Underspace aperture opening on top of them, with all the chaos that brings. Rather than responding to a known situation, Phase 1 is about the confusion and chaos brought about by events such as:

  • Your ship investigating strange readings, only to be pulled into a gravitic phenomenon and become trapped in these mysterious subspace ‘tunnels’
  • Your ship has tumbled through these tunnels and suddenly emerged somewhere in the galaxy. Where? How?
  • Strange sensor readings lead your ship to a gravitic phenomenon that is causing chaos in space. It might be agitating a nebula’s particles such that a common trade route is impossible to navigate – or disturbing the atmosphere of an inhabited world, causing chaotic and dangerous weather particles.
  • As if from nowhere, a ship appears in front of you: travellers from impossibly far away. Do they need help? How did they get here?

At this point in the story, while it’s acceptable for your characters to figure out that these phenomena or these tunnels are, in fact, Underspace, it’s also fine for them to not. This phase depicts the initial chaotic weeks, where Starfleet is scrambling to deal with strange readings, missing ships, and sudden appearances all over the galaxy.

There will be time for more considered study, more intentional exploration, in later phases. Phase 1 is about chaos. Disruption. And, in many cases, survival.

More guidance on how and what to write this phase can be found below on the ‘Campaign Table’ section. For this phase, the Intelligence Office encourages (but does not require) you to tell a story about chaotic disruption that could be resolved in 2 weeks, either about your ship getting lost or dealing with a local Underspace aperture. When Phase 2 starts, the initial chaos will be dying down, and Starfleet – and the wider galaxy – will be considering how to deliberately use Underspace for travel.

CAMPAIGN TABLE

Unlike the 2023 Fleet Actions, Labyrinth does not include the mission briefing system. The stories of what could happen to a ship falling through Underspace – or what might fall out of Underspace – are too numerous. This is not a tightly-scripted story about a single military campaign, or the close, paranoid investigation of a dangerous foe. While there is a mystery – why has Underspace opened like this? – the emphasis is far more on the vast spectre of opportunity for discovery it brings.

To reflect the chaos and diversity of the story, Labyrinth thus introduces the Campaign Table system. Members are free to draft their own mission prompts, as they always have, but everyone is invited to use this new system. We have developed a selection of tables, sometimes branching, offering different story prompts, developments, and details. Members are invited to roll on those tables – or, if you prefer, simply choose an option! – to sketch out a framework and starting point for your story.

How you use these tables is up to you. At the most basic level, the tables introduce a few generic story prompts pertinent to each phase. But from there, members may make their own decisions about the details – or randomly roll on additional tables to flesh out the details.

For example, in Phase 1, a member may roll on the ‘Inciting Incident’ table and get the result that their ship will fall into Underspace and be catapulted out somewhere else in the galaxy. They could make their own decision about where they are or where they end up, or they could move on to the ‘Catapulted by Underspace’ table, which not only gives them another set of options to roll on – or choose from! – about the nature of the story (rather than the specific details) they might tell, but also direct them to further tables to flesh out the detail.

Tables like ‘Antagonists,’ for when your story needs someone who’s going to show up and cause trouble – but with Underspace chaotically transporting people across the galaxy, surely that could be anyone! Roll on the table, and find if you’re trying to repair your damaged ship, lost somewhere deep in the Delta Quadrant, only for some angry Gorn to show up and make matters more complicated. You can, as always, reroll or choose an option if one appeals to you or you don’t like your initial result.

Sometimes, the Prompt tables encourage you to roll on one of these Generic tables (the result ‘Your ship makes first contact with a completely unknown species’ directs you to a First Contact table to help generate a whole new people). But you can use these tables as much or as little as you want, from rolling the ‘Underspace Effects’ table if you want to add a complication to your story about your ship trying to navigate the network home, or even the ‘Random Complications’ table, which adds a story-neutral development to throw a spanner in the works.

With each phase, a new table or set of tables will be released. If you finish writing your story of surviving being lost in Underspace by the end of Phase 1, at the start of Phase 2 you can pick up a whole new prompt – perhaps about returning home, or what about where you end up if you emerge from the network somewhere else? Sometimes, tables may look similar across phases – if a ship is travelling through Underspace on a mission of exploration, there are only so many ways the galactic situation will affect that. Others are brand new.

Importantly, each phase also introduces a simple ‘Phase 2 (or 3) Developments’ table. This means you don’t have to finish your story at the end of each phase and start up a new one. This table could be integrated with a new, phase-specific storyline – or you can simply roll on it and integrate this complication into your current mission, demonstrating how the galaxy is adjusting and reacting to Underspace as time goes on.

You do not need to inform the Intelligence Officer – or anyone – of your results from rolling on the Campaign Table. It also doesn’t matter if two people get the same result – the additional tables and your own imagination will keep these stories unique.

Don’t feel too constrained by the Campaign Table. It’s there to help add some chaos, but it’s up to you to decide how much chaos. If you get a result you don’t like, don’t use it! Write a story you want to write, and use a table to add something a little new or different if you need it. The Campaign Table is, however, how the Intelligence Office envisions Labyrinth being written: with agile storylines ready to adapt to something new at any moment, reflecting the sheer scope of possibility unleashed by the expansion of something as vast and unknowable as Underspace.

You can find the Campaign Tables, with a more detailed explanation of how to use the tables themselves, here:

Campaign Table Guide
Labyrinth Campaign Table
Labyrinth Additional Tables

Competitions

About the Event

Event Type
Fleet Action
Phases
3 phases
Status
In Progress
Competitions
17
Missions
3
Stories
294
Start Date
15 June 2024
End Date
29 July 2024

Managed By the

Office of the Chief of Staff

This service is managed by the Office of the Chief of Staff. If you have questions about this service, please contact an office staff member.