There is news of a suspicious (and random) quest NPC roaming the halls of Deep Space 9. What makes this NPC special is the rare, special episode (STO speak for quest) that becomes available to you if you meet certain requirements. The rumor is that this suspicious character is a member of the secret Federation organization called Section 31.
Never heard of them? Allow me to regale you the tale of Section 31. Taken from collaborative work provided by fans like you, Wikipedia provides some insight to what this secret organization is.
In the Star Trek fictional universe, Section 31 is the name of an autonomous intelligence and defense organization. It is presented as a special security operation, manned by United Federation of Planets citizens, which is not subject to the normal constraints of Starfleet ethical protocols. The organization appears, or is mentioned, across eight episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Within Star Trek, Section 31 exists outside Starfleet Intelligence’s influence and deals with threats to Earth’s and, later, the Federation’s security. Its operating authority stems from a provision of the Starfleet charter—Article 14, Section 31, from which its name is derived—that makes allowances for “bending the rules” during times of extraordinary threats.
Accountable to no-one, Section 31 focuses on external threats, and pursues those it identifies by whatever means it sees fit.
There have been sightings of Section 31 agents and activities in several episodes of Star Trek. Head to www.watchtrek.com and watch these episodes for free:
- Deep Space 9 –
- Extreme Measures
- Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges
- Tracking into the Wind
- When it Rains…
- Enterprise –
- Terra Prime
You can learn more of this organization by reading some novels and pocket books to include “The Good That Men Do, Kobayashi Maru, The Romulan War: Beneath the Raptor’s Wing, Star Trek Section 31: Rogue, Shadow, Cloak and Abyss. This makes for a very fascinating story line crossing several different mediums.
So what’s this got to do with Star Trek Online? Well, it appears there’s a secret quest line for level 45 Fleet Commanders. There hasn’t been much news available on the subject because of the rare nature of the quest and of anyone coming across the NPC and meeting the requirements to receiving it. Also, every time a post is made concerning the topic it’s removed from the official forums. However, a great new podcast called Star Trek Offline, http://starfleetdental.org/forums/, has a nice piece on the subject and news of second hand experience with the quest line.
The quest begins as a random encounter on Deep Space 9 with an entire episode requiring some influence work to gain reputation and ends with you picking one of three different secret organizations to join; Section 31, Red Squadron and possibly (it’s not verified) the Romulan Tal Shiar. The thing is, in order to receive this quest you must be a Fleet Commander and in the right place at the right time. Then, as you gain reputation, you can begin inviting members of your fleet to participate and join your organization. And what about the reward for this quest line? Access to specialized crafting BOP purple rewards. Are you intrigued? I sure am!
If you’ve come across this quest line or know someone who has, I’d love to see some screenshots of the rewards. This is potentially the coolest quest line I’ve ever heard of for an MMO and I would love to learn more. What a great addition by Cryptic. I can’t wait to see more on this as people begin to discover it.