The mission was born out of a fit of annoyance at Star Trek: Voyager's writing team for, whether intentionally or not, managing to write Captain Janeway committing in "Scorpion" what could be considered treason against the Federation, in addition to numerous other high crimes such as accessory to genocide. And yet (in the author's words), "because she's our wonderful protagonist who can do no wrong," she gets off scot free and even gets promoted to flag rank by Star Trek: Nemesis. Because military justice works that way.
And then the season 8.5 update "A Step Between Stars" comes along and gives the Dyson alliance a gateway to the outside.
From what starts as an exploration mission out of the Jenolan Dyson Sphere, the Player Character gets to meet some of the people who were screwed over by Janeway choosing to help the Undine fight the Borg. In particular, remember the Krenim Imperium from "Year of Hell"? Reduced to a Vestigial Empire when the Collective expanded into their territory.
- The Alliance: Several spacefaring races from "Year of Hell", including The Remnant of the Krenim Imperium, have formed a group called the Coalition to battle the Borg, and are hostile to the Federation for Janeway's helping the Borg to remain a threat to their existence.
- The Bartender: Sslith, a Gorn on Starbase 114 who claims to be able to make over five hundred different cocktails from scratch, refuses to serve bloodwine out of nationalism, and commiserates with the Romulan PC over the loss of their respective homes.
- Biting-the-Hand Humor: From a one-shot NPC in the prologue, in reference to the Voth in season eight.Lt. Penya Izer: And then there was that insanity in the Jouret system and suddenly we're fighting mecha and giant lizards with laser cannons on their heads. It's like something out of a bad holodrama.
- Call-Back: Sslith, a Gorn bartender on Starbase 114, acquired ten cases of Romulan ale from Virinat, the Doomed Hometown of the Romulan Player Character. If you're Romulan, she'll offer to give you the remaining case, "one exile to another."
- Cruel and Unusual Death: The Krenim apparently used to practice crucifixion as the penalty for high treason. Since Kerennos fell, it's changed to the firing squad, which is what Lord General Deralax threatens the Player Character with.
- Cyborg: Cybernetic brain enhancements are apparently extremely common among the Borrakites.
- Deadpan Snarker: The Player Character when Deralax turns up and calls you an enemy of the galaxy.Player Character: I'm sorry, have we met? Hello. How are you.
- Your science officer says the Federation's been lucky in its dealings with the Borg. Your tactical officer says that, yeah, you've been lucky that the Borg are complete idiots with no actual tactical sense.Tactical: Hell, they even let armed away teams run around their own ships with impunity, for heavens' sake!
- The main plot is one of the Protagonist-Centered Morality that Star Trek: Voyager so often practiced. Thanks in particular to Janeway helping the Borg, the Federation's reputation among the major (non-Borg) powers of the Delta Quadrant is horrible.
- Your science officer says the Federation's been lucky in its dealings with the Borg. Your tactical officer says that, yeah, you've been lucky that the Borg are complete idiots with no actual tactical sense.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: In an early scene you get to bitch out Subcommander Kaol for his failure during the Dyson missions (particularly "A Step Between Stars") to give the player (required to be a vice admiral by this mission) the respect due their rank.
- Fantastic Slurs: When asked for bloodwine, Sslith angrily says, "I don't carry that ridgeface ssathrhassth and I don't plan on starting now." If queried further, he explains it's because he's a Gorn nationalist.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The Star Kingdom of Borrakash, for Britain. Their ships use the prefixes "HMS" and "RMS" and they're mentioned to have a queen.
- Fix Fic: For Janeway's actions in "Scorpion". You get to try and patch up relations with an alliance in the
- Future Food Is Artificial: Sslith takes pride in the fact that hers is not.
- Gratuitous Latin: "Emendatio Erratarum Veterum" loosely translates to "righting old wrongs".
- Humans Are White: If you've paid attention to the author's various other works, you'll rightly expect an aversion. Your communications officer is Ambiguously Brown with a Persian name, and there are various human Starfleet extras wandering around Starbase 114 such as a Thai red-jacket commander and a black yellow-jacket captain.
- Location Theme Naming: The Krenim seem to name their frigates after rivers.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Queried on not seeming like a typical Klingon, Drang says it's mostly the nobles, particularly those from Qo'noS, who act like drunken lunatics and babble about glory and honor. He's a commoner from one of the border planets and his parents are a farmer and an accountant.
- Off-the-Shelf FX:
- A Borrakite starship is actually a stock ship contact, specifically an oddly colored Starfleet Jupiter-class dreadnought, reskinning a Romulan Republic battleship mob. The fighters are Gorn healing platforms over Republic fighters. The frigate and cruiser, only visible with multiple people in the mission, are respectively a kitbash of a Research Science Vessel and the saucer section of an Envoy-class Exploration Cruiser.
- A modified Klingon Vo'Quv-class carrier provides the ship skin for a Mawasi cruiser.
- Oh My Gods!: When the Romulan PC demands to know where Sslith got Romulan ale from Virinat:Sslith: Now I recognize you, Vice Admiral. Egg-Bringer, I'm sorry.
- Operation: [Blank]: The expedition into the DQ is titled "Operation Black Walnut".
- Pardon My Klingon: When asked for bloodwine, Sslith angrily says, "I don't carry that ridgeface ssathrhassth and I don't plan on starting now." If queried further, he explains it's because he's a Gorn nationalist.
- Rubber-Forehead Aliens: Lampshaded in a roundabout way when a Klingon calls other humanoids "Klingonoids".
- To the author's own STO fic Bait and Switch. A Trill named Lieutenant Penya Izer mentions that she has a joined stepsister named Birail who's the science officer of the USS Bajor.
- You apparently loaned Governor Ternkalet of the Borrakites a book by Timothy Zahn. He enjoyed it but thought the science was thoroughly unrealistic. (The author mentioned in a forum post that he wasn't sure when he wrote it if that comment was meant to poke fun at Star Wars, Hypocritical Humor directed at Star Trek, or both.)
- Starfish Aliens: Kthx!ttarr!Tcahr, a member of a species called the Ihl. Towering, bulbous body on five short legs.
- Starfish Language: When queried why Kthx!ttarr!Tcahr keeps referring to you as "it", the following text is displayed:Instead of words there's a hissing, wheezing noise punctuated by several screeches and clicks. After a moment your universal translator tries, "This one's native language lacks other pronouns."
- Time Skip: Six weeks pass between the Mission Briefing in the first stage and the second.
- Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: Governor Ternkalet's full title apparently runs, "Sir Ternkalet var Beren, KRE, DSO, Governor of Delzoun by the Grace of Her Majesty Queen Vantris III of the Star Kingdom of Borrakash."
- Viewer Gender Confusion: In-Universe. When you ask Drang, the bouncer at the Starbase 114 cantina, why the place needs a bouncer when the barman is a huge Gorn, Drang first stops to correct you that Sslith is a barwoman, "not that we Klingonoids can actually tell." This works because of the Gorn version of Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism (from the EU): Female Gorn are simply bigger than males rather than having Non-Mammal Mammaries, although since Gorn never stop growing until they die of old age, things can get blurry.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Lord General Deralax of the Krenim to the Player Character when the plot kicks off.Deralax: Silence. I have no patience for an ally of the Borg.
Player: ... Come again? We are most certainly not allies of the Borg.
Tactical Officer: You seem to have mistaken us for somebody else, Lord General. The Federation is as much an enemy of the Borg as anyone.
Deralax: Tell that to the billions who lie dead on Kerennos. Tell that to the heroes who gave their lives in the last stand at the Kalanchu Gate. Tell that to the children who have lost their parents, the parents who have lost their children, all because your Captain Janeway sided with the Borg against the Undine. Why don't you tell THEM how much you hate the Borg!
- You Can't Go Home Again: Sslith the Gorn bartender. She describes herself as an exile to the Romulan PC, and in other dialog she mentions she's a Gorn nationalist who evidently refuses to accept the Klingon conquest of the Hegemony and calls Slathis a "worthless excuse for a king."