History Main / DistressCall

24th Feb '16 9:59:28 AM Morgenthaler
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This is a common [[BeginningTropes opening]] found in [[SpeculativeFiction Sci-Fi]], {{Horror}} and [[BreadEggsBreadedEggs Scifi-Horror]]. This refers to the plot structure wherein the heroes are summoned to respond to a distress call, or occasionally, a non-emergency yet still foreboding request for assistance from an expedition. Equally often, the heroes are investigating the abrupt stoppage of all communications from the site.

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This is a common [[BeginningTropes opening]] found in [[SpeculativeFiction Sci-Fi]], SciFi, {{Horror}} and [[BreadEggsBreadedEggs Scifi-Horror]].SciFiHorror. This refers to the plot structure wherein the heroes are summoned to respond to a distress call, or occasionally, a non-emergency yet still foreboding request for assistance from an expedition. Equally often, the heroes are investigating the abrupt stoppage of all communications from the site.
24th Feb '16 9:58:05 AM Morgenthaler
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* Episode three of season one of ''TerraNova'' has some of our heroes setting out to investigate why a scientific outpost has suddenly gone dark. Naturally, they go blundering in, ignoring all safety and medical protocols and end up [[spoiler: infected with the same virus which caused the original outpost team to lose a chunk of their memories and forget why they were there]]

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* Episode three of season one of ''TerraNova'' ''Series/TerraNova'' has some of our heroes setting out to investigate why a scientific outpost has suddenly gone dark. Naturally, they go blundering in, ignoring all safety and medical protocols and end up [[spoiler: infected with the same virus which caused the original outpost team to lose a chunk of their memories and forget why they were there]]
29th Jan '16 2:31:00 PM Pseudoname
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* Each campaign match in ''Videogame/{{Evolve}}'' has one of these before it begins.
25th Jan '16 9:35:27 PM Homemaderat
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* Occurs at the beginning of many ''[[WesternAnimation/{{Birdman}} The Galaxy Trio]]'' episodes.

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* Occurs at the beginning of many ''[[WesternAnimation/{{Birdman}} The Galaxy Trio]]'' ''WesternAnimation/TheGalaxyTrio'' episodes.
1st Jan '16 2:17:28 PM StarSword
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* "Fanfic/{{Frostbite}}" sees USS ''Bajor'' called away from an archaeological dig to respond to a distress signal from a freighter being attacked by the [[TheRemnant True Way]].
* In ''Fanfic/AVoiceInTheWilderness'', Eleya initially holds off on sending one after [[spoiler:accidentally waking up the original Borg Queen, One of One,]] so as not to give away her position, but goes ahead and sends it after they come under attack. [[spoiler:The Vaadwaur answer it.]]

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* ** The main conflict of the original story starts when Deep Space 9 receives a distress call from a Bajoran colony under attack by the Orion Syndicate and Eleya is sent to investigate. It later turns out the same attack has been repeated all over the sector.
**
"Fanfic/{{Frostbite}}" sees USS ''Bajor'' called away from an archaeological dig to respond to a distress signal from a freighter being attacked by the [[TheRemnant True Way]].
* ** In ''Fanfic/AVoiceInTheWilderness'', Eleya initially holds off on sending one after [[spoiler:accidentally waking up the original Borg Queen, One of One,]] so as not to give away her position, but goes ahead and sends it after they come under attack. [[spoiler:The Vaadwaur answer it.]]
1st Jan '16 2:10:06 PM StarSword
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* '''Fake Distress Call:''' Like the above, but there's an ulterior motive to the call. It can be an outright trap by enemies, the expedition has gone rogue and need human sacrifices or a new ship to escape in, or the menace that just killed them is both hungry and clever.

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* '''Fake Distress Call:''' Like the above, but there's an ulterior motive to the call. It can be an outright trap by enemies, the expedition has gone rogue and need human sacrifices or a new ship to escape in, or the menace that just killed them is both hungry and clever. Note that in real life, sending a false distress signal is considered a war crime under [[UsefulNotes/TheLawsAndCustomsOfWar the Geneva Conventions]].



[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/BaitAndSwitchSTO''
* "Fanfic/{{Frostbite}}" sees USS ''Bajor'' called away from an archaeological dig to respond to a distress signal from a freighter being attacked by the [[TheRemnant True Way]].
* In ''Fanfic/AVoiceInTheWilderness'', Eleya initially holds off on sending one after [[spoiler:accidentally waking up the original Borg Queen, One of One,]] so as not to give away her position, but goes ahead and sends it after they come under attack. [[spoiler:The Vaadwaur answer it.]]
[[/folder]]



** An episode of ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' had the ''Defiant'' crew answering a DistressCall at the beginning of the episode, and getting to know the stranded woman over the long distance radio as they sped towards her. They arrive at the end, and discover [[spoiler:she's been dead for years, they were only able to talk to her through some [[TimeyWimeyBall temporal-weirdness]]]].

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** An episode ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'':
*** The Dominion apparently has a habit
of ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' responding to distress calls with gunfire, so in "[[Recap/StarTrekDeepSpaceNineS06E05FavorTheBold Favor the Bold]]" Sisko and Martok take turns sending fake distress calls to lure Dominion ships into ambushes.
*** "[[Recap/StarTrekDeepSpaceNineS06E25TheSoundOfHerVoice The Sound of Her Voice]]"
had the ''Defiant'' crew answering a DistressCall at the beginning of the episode, and getting to know the stranded woman over the long distance radio as they sped towards her. They arrive at the end, and discover [[spoiler:she's been dead for years, they were only able to talk to her through some [[TimeyWimeyBall temporal-weirdness]]]].


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** "[[Recap/BabylonFiveS02E22TheFallOfNight The Fall of Night]]" has a Narn cruiser that escaped the Narn-Centauri War arrive at the station seeking aid. After destroying a Centauri cruiser that attacked it, damaging relations between the neofascist Clark Administration and Centauri Prime, Sheridan justifies himself with Earthforce regulations on response to distress signals: under military law he is required to provide aid and sanctuary to ships of any organization not engaged in hostilities against the Earth Alliance.
31st Dec '15 1:55:13 AM Arivne
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* ''WesternAnimation/JonnyQuest'' TOS. In episodes "The Invisible Monster" and "Pursuit of the Po-Ho" Dr. Benton Quest gets a radio call for help and springs into action.

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* ''WesternAnimation/JonnyQuest'' TOS. In episodes "The Invisible Monster" and "Pursuit of the Po-Ho" Dr. Benton Quest gets a radio call for help from an old friend and springs into action.
7th Nov '15 10:39:28 PM nombretomado
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* Parodied in ''RedVsBlue'', in which the distress call basically consists of a funny voice exclaiming the word "Distress!" over and over.

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* Parodied in ''RedVsBlue'', ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'', in which the distress call basically consists of a funny voice exclaiming the word "Distress!" over and over.
25th Sep '15 9:45:48 AM Sark0TAG
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* Parodied in ''VideoGame/SpaceQuest 6'' after Roger steals a shuttle and goes through the [[NegativeSpaceWedgie anti-anomaly]]. However, instead of a signal, Roger unfolds a large "HELP" sign and puts it on the shuttle, then spends hours waiting. Given the kind of game this is, someone shows up.

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* At the beginning of ''The Crystal Key'', the people of [[spoiler: planet Evany]] stumble upon such a signal from the Arkonians who warn that the [[GalacticConqueror evil Ozgar]] has almost literally sunk their capital, and that all Arkonians must return to their home planet immediately. Just days later, Ozgar himself arrives in his mothership and deploys satellites that do the same thing to Evany. Naturally, you have to track that signal to its source.
* Parodied in ''VideoGame/SpaceQuest 6'' after Roger steals a shuttle and goes through the [[NegativeSpaceWedgie anti-anomaly]]. However, instead of a signal, Roger unfolds a large "HELP" sign and puts it on the shuttle, then spends hours waiting. Given the kind of game this is, someone shows up.
** This can also count as inverted, as the whole reason Roger did this was because Corpsman Stellar Santiago sent a distress call herself, and Roger's trying to track it to its source.
12th Jul '15 11:22:09 AM rcmerod52
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* Similarly, ''VideoGame/EarthBound'' has Paula give a telepathic distress call to a sleeping Jeff when she and Ness get captured in Threed. She also gives these to a sleeping Ness shortly after he enters Twoson.
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