‘Plato’s Cave’ Part Three

Epis­ode Num­ber: 107

Writ­ten by: Marco Rafalá

Dir­ec­ted by: Jon Crew

Trans­mis­sion: 21st Novem­ber 2020

Guest Stars:

  • Crew­man Ewendi: an engin­eer from Lyo­n­esse.

The land­ing party on BC-02e was out of touch for some time, so it was a relief when they reques­ted that Lieu­ten­ant Valik rejoin them to assist with react­iv­at­ing equip­ment with­in the seed vault. Unfor­tu­nately, the ship has since begun exper­i­en­cing increas­ing levels of com­puter and con­trol issues with an unknown cause. I am begin­ning to regret allow­ing our chief engin­eer­’s return to the surface…

Cap­tain’s Log: Stard­ate 9833.5, supplemental

Plot: The land­ing party find them­selves sur­roun­ded by armed drones, as they take in a macabre scene of dead Vul­can sci­ent­ists con­nec­ted to an advanced computer. 

The ‘A’ Plot: As Lt Valik asks Lt Astan why he was asked to return, the com­puter cuts off com­mu­nic­a­tions with Lyo­n­esse and repeats its demand: that the land­ing party serve as new hosts for “us”.

Dr Vale imme­di­ately con­tacts all of the team on a secure chan­nel and they dis­cuss the situ­ation. Obvi­ously, they can­not let the com­puter have the crew, but, judging from the state of the Vul­cans, the planned pro­ced­ure would be unsuc­cess­ful anyway.

Vale attempts to explain this to the com­puter, but it repeats its demand. When the group fails to respond, one of the drones shoots Astan’s secur­ity specialist.

Astan imme­di­ately fires back, yelling at the rest of the party to take cov­er as the drone is dis­abled. He and Ewendi retreat between a couple of the stas­is pods, and Vale folllows suit, while con­tinu­ing to attempt to reas­on with the opposition.

Valik attempts to mech­an­ic­ally dis­able one of the drones as it passes him, but he fails and is grabbed. The drone heads back towards the sur­gic­al chairs, car­ry­ing the Vul­can, who is still strug­gling to wrench an access pan­el from its side.

Astan con­tin­ues to dis­able attack­ing drones with sup­port from Ewendi. Vale attempts to shoot the drone car­ry­ing Valik, which cre­ates enough con­fu­sion for him to open a pan­el, dis­able it and break free.

Valik is then attacked by the med­ic­al drone, but with Vale’s aid is able to dis­able it. He turns his atten­tion to the com­puter, where he sees a text mes­sage sim­il­ar to the ones they received earli­er. Invest­ig­at­ing, he real­ises it comes from inside the com­puter, but seems to be a dis­tinct voice with­in the chor­us of the main intel­li­gence. Astan is able to con­firm this with his empath­ic abilities.

Vale estab­lishes dir­ect com­mu­nic­a­tion with this entity, who informs her of the nature of the com­puter: it’s made up of the unwill­ingly-uploaded minds of the ori­gin­al occu­pants of the bunker, fused into a kind of gestalt con­scious­ness. This com­bined intel­li­gence has become insane from the con­flict­ing desires of its con­stitu­ent per­son­al­it­ies and is try­ing to return itself to an organ­ic body.

As the young­est mind with­in the sys­tem, the lone entity has retained a level of inde­pend­ence and san­ity. And, although they know how to des­troy the com­puter sys­tem, they are aware that they will die in the pro­cess. They don’t want to die…

Valik real­ises that it would be pos­sible to move this entity, which seems to be a child, to a remote sys­tem, which could then be pro­tec­ted while the main com­puter is des­troyed. It takes some work on Vale’s part to per­suade the child that this is the safest path. She suc­ceeds and the entity agrees to help them.

With the child safely sequestered, they blast the quantum com­puter sys­tem with phaser fire, but this causes the power to fail in the remote sys­tem. Valik is unable to keep it work­ing, des­pite his best efforts, but then a bright light emerges from the console.

The child, with Vale’s help, has evolved the will to move on to a high­er state of being. They thank the party for free­ing them and help­ing them real­ise their poten­tial, then van­ish into space.

The ‘B’ Plot: Aboard Lyo­n­esse, Lt Valik under­goes a com­plete psy­cho­lo­gic­al eval­u­ation, cour­tesy of the med­ic­al team. He is passed fit for duty, but advised to spend some time in meditation.

Dia­logue: Com­mu­nic­a­tion from Lyo­n­esse: “After I uploaded the outpost’s data­base, everything went hay­wire. There’s some sort of vir­us con­trolling all the ship’s sys­tems. We’re on backup life-sup­port. And see­ing strange messages…”

Ques­tions: Who are “we”?