Fury of the Hive, Part I

Epis­ode Num­ber: 1×04

Writ­ten by: Jac­ob Ross

Dir­ec­ted by: Jon Crew

Trans­mis­sion: 7th May 2022

Guest Stars:

  • Com­modore Banna Stoker: Star­fleet troubleshoot­er with a murky past.
  • Administat­or Kartaav blasch Nurn: head of the research sta­tion on Cori­olanus IV.

After the excite­ment of Omega Dra­conis, we have been able to relax for a few days while we delivered the Ith­ik to Star­base 12 for reset­tle­ment. We are now head­ing out for a month of patrolling sys­tems near the Klin­gon border.

Cap­tain’s Log: Stard­ate, 5494.2

Plot: When Com­modore Stoker sends Lex­ing­ton to invest­ig­ate the loss of con­tact with an isol­ated research facil­ity, the crew encounter a swarm of squid-like cos­mo­zo­ans and find things at the facil­ity are not what they appear.

The ‘A’ Plot: Cap­tain Pryce receives a coded com­mu­nic­a­tion from Com­modore Stoker, a loc­al rep­res­ent­at­ive of Star­fleet Com­mand. Tak­ing the call in his ready room, he learns that a cov­ert Star­fleet facil­ity on Cori­olanis IV has stopped respond­ing to com­mu­nic­a­tions. Lex­ing­ton has been ordered to investigate.

The Cori­olanus sys­tem is embed­ded in a col­our­ful gas neb­ula and is riddled with elec­tro­mag­net­ic anom­alies, cre­at­ing an effect sim­il­ar to that of an ion storm. Adred recom­mends drop­ping out of warp at the edge of the sys­tem in order to sur­vey the anom­alies before entering.

As they come to a halt, they detect what appears to be an ali­en struc­ture float­ing nearby. Strauss scans the object and, with Mid­ax’s help determ­ines it to be part organ­ic. They move closer, whereupon it dis­charges a burst of ion­ised plama in their dir­ec­tion, drain­ing a sig­ni­fic­ant amount of power. Pryce orders Nossaag to return fire with the phasers, but the secur­ity chief sug­gests half-power, in order to indic­ate their abil­ity to defend them­selves without caus­ing harm and start­ing a ser­i­ous fight. The cap­tain agrees, but the phasers still cause notice­able dam­age as the struc­ture does not appear to have any shields.

Sev­er­al squid­like creatures, each the size of a large shuttle­craft, emerge from the struc­ture as it moves away at speed and head towards the ship, each fir­ing its own energy-drain­ing plasma bursts. Lex­ing­ton fires a photon tor­podo at the retreat­ing struc­ture, caus­ing more dam­age and agit­at­ing the creatures fur­ther. Nossaag sug­gests that maybe play­ing dead would prompt the creatures to leave them alone. The cap­tain agrees and the ship goes into “silent run­ning” mode. The creatures act con­fused and then head back to their “craft”. Lex­ing­ton enters the neb­ula, leav­ing the squid behind.

Sev­er­al hours of Adred care­fully nego­ti­at­ing the anom­alies later, they arrive in orbit around Cori­olanus IV. Scans for life signs show a lot of examples of the squid life-form just sit­ting on the sur­face. There are no humanoid life signs at the recor­ded loc­a­tion of the colony, but the com­mu­nic­a­tions officer reports receiv­ing a repeated dis­tress call, heav­ily dis­tor­ted, but request­ing evacuation.

Since trans­port­ers would be dan­ger­ous in an envir­on­ment with heavy ion­ic radi­ation, Pryce orders the shuttle­craft Bru­tus pre­pared for a land­ing mis­sion. He leads the mis­sion, tak­ing Adred, Mid­ax, Nossaag, A’Mathi and Strauss with him. The shuttle lands in the main square of the siz­able com­munity, and it’s imme­di­ately obvi­ous that some­thing is wrong: most of the build­ings are dam­aged and there are signs of weapons fire. Limbs can be seen stick­ing out of piles of rubble.

Send­ing Mid­ax and Nossaag off to look for sur­viv­ors and check the power gen­er­at­or, Pryce decides to invest­ig­ate the main admin­is­tra­tion build­ing first and force their way through a broken door. Inside, the equip­ment is silent, except for a sub­space radio sta­tion, with a dead Tel­lar­ite slumped over it: it would appear that this was Dir­ect­or Nurn. The con­sole is still broad­cast­ing the dis­tress call, and they are able to hear it undis­tor­ted. In it, Nurn describes how the colony was attacked by a horde of space­borne creatures, appar­ently drawn to their tech­no­logy, and that he has ordered the sur­viv­ors to evac­u­ate to a des­ig­nated shel­ter about 20 km north of the community.

Nossaag and Mid­ax return hav­ing found no sur­viv­ors and dis­covered that the power sta­tion was com­pletely des­troyed – look­ing as if it had been crushed by repeated blows. They return to the shuttle and Adred heads north towards the shelter.

En route, they become aware of a num­ber of the squid-like creatures lying on the ground. They appear to be dormant, as if asleep, but soon detect a couple of the more act­ive ones mov­ing towards Bru­tus. Adred takes the craft lower in an effort to avoid notice, but one of them comes close enough to see. It’s about twice the size of the shuttle, and it fires a burst of plasma towards them. It misses, but Adred reacts quickly, drop­ping the craft to the ground and shut­ting down its sys­tems. As this looks less appet­ising to the creature, it starts to drift off.

Resum­ing their jour­ney, they reach the shel­ter, loc­ated in a box canyon in the hills. More squid are approach­ing as they enter the val­ley, fly­ing just above the ground, but the huge doors to the shel­ter are open wide. People with­in ges­ture for them to enter and Adred brings the shuttle through the doors at speed, land­ing just short of the far wall.

The ‘B’ Plot: Although the cap­tain does not inform the rest of the crew, Stoker informs him that there is more to the Cori­olanus sta­tion’s mis­sion. The plan­et is rich in dilith­i­um and the colony is extract­ing it for Star­fleet use. Its cov­ert nature is neces­sary as oth­er­wise, it would be raided by either the Klin­gons or the Ori­ons (or both).

Although not privy to this inform­a­tion, Nossaag is sus­pi­cious that some­thing is going on. He takes the oppor­tun­ity on the plan­et’s sur­face to look around the ruined town, not­ing that it is sig­ni­fic­antly lar­ger than would be needed for a simple research station.

Once they reach the shel­ter, he also notes the inact­ive ground-defence phaser tur­rets out­side, the heavy secur­ity doors and the min­ing equip­ment in the hangar, con­firm­ing his suspicions. 

The Arc: Com­modore Stoker, lis­ted in ini­tial pub­li­city as a recur­ring char­ac­ter, is intro­duced. She appears to be com­fort­able with keep­ing secrets.

Obser­va­tions: Cori­olanus IV hosts a Star­fleet research sta­tion, appar­ently kept secret to avoid the atten­tions of the Klin­gons across the nearby bor­der. In real­ity, it is also a secret dilith­i­um mine.

Nossaag reacts notice­ably when Stoker­’s call arrives, indic­at­ing that he may know her.

In keep­ing with Iron Maid­en, Lex­ing­ton’s second shuttle is named Bru­tus.

Dia­logue: Pryce, as Adred steers Lex­ing­ton through the elec­tro­mag­net­ic anom­alies lit­ter­ing the sys­tem: “See if you can do this without spill­ing my cof­fee!” When Adred has to react swiftly to an unex­pec­ted near-col­li­sion, the cap­tain’s cof­fee goes straight into his lap…

Ques­tions: What do the squid creatures actu­ally want?

What past exper­i­ence does Nossaag have with Stoker?