Episode Number: 109
Written by: Jon Crew
Directed by: Jon Crew
Transmission: 23rd January 2021
- Ensign Saurik: Vulcan officer in Stellar Cartography
- Nurse Brag jav Pend: Tellarite nurse, specialising in therapy and surgical work
Chief Exobiologist’s Log: Stardate 9839.5, supplemental
Researching a treatment for Lt Astan’s unfortunate reaction to contacting the space whales has been taking up the majority of my time since our return to Lyonesse. I understand the Captain is keen to learn more about life and possible civilisation in the seas of BC-03b.
Plot: Captain Masuda leads an away mission beneath the oceans of the planet, where they encounter something disturbing.
The ‘A’ Plot: With Lt Astan incapacitated by his attempt to communicate with the “space whales”, Captain Masuda decides to take a closer look at the oceans of BC-03b. With Ensigns Lock and Kheled as her crew, she takes the aquashuttle Isolde to visit the water world.
Despite a major stormy whipping up the waves, they successfully make it below the surface. They observe huge shoals of fish, with larger fish feeding on them, as they begin their dive, and encounter a couple of young space whales. Huge coral columns rise from the depths.
Knowing the bottom is far below them, they begin their descent, hoping to find signs of a subterranean civilisation. They reach the lower limit of Lyonesse’s sensors at around 5 km down, but there is still no sign of the bottom, so they head down further. They’re observing the exotic life that resides on coral shelves at various levels, when a huge many-tentacled cephalopod (which they christen a “millipus”) looms out of the darkness and tries to grab them. Lock has been having nightmares about giant tentacled things in the nebula, and immediately panics, demanding they get away. Kheled takes Isolde sideways at speed and they successfully escape.
They reach the safe depth limit for the shuttle, but still can’t see either the bottom or any sign of alien civilisation. There are a number of larger serpent-like creatures which ignore them, but then Lock picks up a huge moving mass at the limit of their sensors. Moving towards it, they are receive a hail over communications. Opening a channel, they receive a creepy welcoming message, but the odd thing is that each hears it in their own language, bypassing the universal translator.
Given that the message is basically “come and join us” and that the sensors are showing a large pseudopod reaching towards them, Masuda decides that maybe it’s time to leave. They are followed in their ascent by the continually-shapeshifting mass. As the shuttle nears the surface, several millipusses converge on them in a coordinated effort to catch them, but some quick reactions from Kheled ensure that they are able to break into the air successfully, before heading for orbit and safety.
Later, Masuda is called away from Sickbay to the bridge, where a huge new landmass has been detected on the surface. Close-up imaging shows the mass continually changing shape, and what appear to be massive eyes. It’s the creature they encountered in the depths, and it appears to be growing into the atmosphere. Its mass begins to extend upwards in a narrow pillar, until it reaches an altitude of around 50 km, then it pulls the rest of its mass up into a floating mass, which begins to drift upwards towards orbit.
Given the events under the water and Astan’s warnings, Masuda decides it’s time to leave the system – at warp speed.
The ‘B’ Plot: Dr Vale, Masuda and Ensign Saurik debate the best treatment for Lt Astan in Sickbay. Vale eventually settles on rehabilitation and retraining, backed by cortical stimulation and other medical technology. Nurse Brag is brought in to assist with the process.
The process is quite effective, and Astan is recovered enough to communicate basic concepts by the time Isolde returns from the surface. At this point however, he is stricken by overwhelming emotions from the planet, of a cold curiosity and a desire to learn more about the strange creatures that visited. He feels that they are to this intelligence, about the same as an ant to a human researcher.
The Arc: The crew encounters another sentient resident of the Cluster, and this one seems both powerful and potentially malevolent.
Observations: This is the first time Masuda has taken part in an away mission so far.
Astan’s rapid rehabilitation brings to mind Lt Uhura’s rapid recovery after having her mind “wiped” in the classic Star Trek episode “The Changeling”.
Dialogue: Lt Astan: “…dispassionate…we are as an insect to it…”
References: The oceans of BC-03b are very deep and full of life, ranging from plankton to huge eel- and squid-like forms.
There’s also something very big, intelligent and possibly hostile. This creature or being is dozens of kilometres across, capable of changing shape and and apparently can move both in and out of the seas. It may even be able to reach orbit. It is curious about the intruders to its domain, but seems to be so in the way that leads to dissection.
Lyonesse’s varied shuttlecraft complement includes the submersible aquashuttle Isolde.
Questions: What was that? And what does it want?