Psi-Shift, Part II

Epis­ode Num­ber: 2×06

Writ­ten by: ELH

Dir­ec­ted by: Jon Crew

Trans­mis­sion: 8th May 2022

Guest Stars:

  • Sub­com­mand­er T’lan: exec­ut­ive officer on the Sonak
  • Sublieutenant/Subcommander Sev­al: juni­or trans­port­er technician/executive officer on the Sonak
  • Com­mand­er Sovik: com­mand­ing officer of the Sonak
  • Ensign Saur­ik: Vul­can officer in Stel­lar Cartography
  • Lieu­ten­ant, jg, H’uur­as: Caitian assist­ant secur­ity chief on Lyo­n­esse.

It appears we have accom­plished the second goal of our mis­sion, the redis­cov­ery of the VES Sonak. Her con­di­tion is some­what con­fus­ing though: while sensors (and our eyes) report a drift­ing, life­less hulk, our board­ing party, led by Lieu­ten­ant Astan, is report­ing a live crew, with the ves­sel fully-operational.

Mean­while, we are exper­i­en­cing some odd events aboard Lyo­n­esse.

Cap­tain’s Log: Stard­ate, 9884.7, Supplemental

Plot: As the board­ing party learns more about the situ­ation on Sonak, strange events begin to occur on Lyo­n­esse. When the warp core begins to over­load, solv­ing the mys­tery becomes a mat­ter of life-or-death.

The ‘A’ Plot: On Lyo­n­esse, odd things have been happening.

Lock is try­ing to intro­duce Kheled to Human food in the officers’ mess, although he insists on liquid­ising it because of the Zaran­ite’s mask. Return­ing to the food slot to receive his own order of a salad, he is con­fron­ted instead by a bloody Human heart, still beat­ing. He slams the shut­ter down and stalks away mut­ter­ing that he’s not hungry. Kheled, mean­while, returns to his quar­ters, but is sur­prised when anoth­er officer opens the door as he tries to enter. The officer curtly informs him that he’s on the wrong side of the ship, so he goes to the oth­er side and runs into them again – he is still on the wrong side. He asks for assist­ance from the com­puter, which dir­ects him to his quar­ters, which are where they always were.

Cap­tain Mas­uda is becom­ing increas­ingly con­cerned about the odd and creepy responses she and oth­ers are get­ting from the com­puter; at one point she is informed “It comes. It hun­gers.” She becomes more so when more reports of odd occur­rences come from across the ship. She orders seni­or officers from all depart­ments to a meet­ing in the con­fer­ence room, but as they enter the room, they see exact cop­ies of them­selves already present. The duplic­ates turn to face them and then scream, their faces dis­tort­ing unnat­ur­ally before the door slams shut. Attempts to reopen the door fail, and Crew­man Ewendi, stand­ing in for Valik, is forced to use an engin­eer­ing over­ride. As the door reopens, the room is empty…

On Sonak, Astan is dis­trac­ted, as he tries to pro­cess the macabre vis­ion he had of the bridge. Valik is talk­ing to Sev­al, the ves­sel’s exec­ut­ive officer, ask­ing to meet the com­mand­ing officer. Sev­al arranges this, but Astan sud­denly finds him­self tak­ing part in the cap­tain’s meet­ing on Lyo­n­esse. Mas­uda, for her part, seems sur­prised to see him, and asks for an explan­a­tion, but he van­ishes moments later. He real­ises Dr Vale is try­ing to get his atten­tion, and that, phys­ic­ally, he nev­er left Sonak.

On Lyo­n­esse, Mas­uda’s con­fer­ence is con­tinu­ing. After Astan’s brief appear­ance, Lock reports that sensor read­ings are show­ing that Sonak is trapped with­in a sub­space field anom­aly. At this point, the red alert siren goes off and the com­puter reports a react­or over­load in the warp core. After sev­er­al tense minutes, the engin­eer­ing team report that they have man­aged to avoid an explo­sion, but that the core is becom­ing increas­ingly unstable. Ewendi believes the instabil­ity is due to the anomaly.

Aboard Sonak, while Vale and Astan are try­ing to under­stand what just happened, Valik is talk­ing to Com­mand­er Sovik, not­ing that there have been some very odd events on his ship. Look­ing for sup­port from the exec­ut­ive officer, he real­ises that T’lan is now in that pos­i­tion again, Sev­al being nowhere to be seen. Sovik is also look­ing dis­tinctly young­er than before. Valik brings this to his atten­tion, and the CO agrees that recent events cer­tainly do not appear to com­prise a reas­on­able sequence of events. Logic­ally, there must be some­thing wrong with the uni­verse in this loc­a­tion and time.

Vale requests some time for the board­ing party to con­fer, and T’v­al shows them to a con­fer­ence room. Once there, the group dis­cuss what has been hap­pen­ing and what the cause may be. Their ideas range from pos­ses­sion by ali­en spir­its, through space/time anom­alies to exper­i­ments by dis­em­bod­ied intel­li­gences, but Astan real­ises that maybe they are deal­ing with some kind of death echo of a tele­path­ic spe­cies – such as Vul­cans. Valik is not a par­tic­u­larly spir­itu­al Vul­can, but he is aware of the concept of the katra: the Vul­can “soul” which can some­times sur­vive bey­ond phys­ic­al death.

On Lyo­n­esse, the com­mu­nic­a­tions officer finally man­ages to rees­tab­lish con­tact with the board­ing party, allow­ing Mas­uda to con­fer with her seni­or officers. They each report their find­ings, and fur­ther dis­cus­sion ensues. Astan ven­tures the sug­ges­tion that maybe the kat­ras of the crew are trapped between life and death by the anom­aly? Vale agrees that it is pos­sible that such beings could be des­per­ately cling­ing to any men­tal ener­gies in the area, such as those of Lyo­n­esse’s crew. And with such power­ful psyches, they may be affect­ing the mal­le­able struc­ture of real­ity with­in the anom­aly, caus­ing many of the odd events.

Mas­uda decides that the best thing to do would be to move Sonak out of the anom­aly, which would drag the kat­ras free of the trap. Lock cap­tures the Vul­can ves­sel in a tract­or beam and Kheled tows her out of the anomaly.

Sonak imme­di­ately reverts to a wrecked con­di­tion, both inside and out. The board­ing party has just enough time to get their hel­mets on as the breath­able atmo­sphere and grav­ity on the ship dis­sip­ate. One team mem­ber does­n’t quite man­age it and has to be trans­por­ted dir­ectly to sick­bay, but recov­ers under Brag and Vale’s care.

Fur­ther board­ing exped­i­tions show that Sonak had become trapped in the anom­aly over two dec­ades ago. The crew were unable to break free, and after sev­er­al months, the ship exper­i­enced a power fail­ure, which led to the loss of life sup­port and killed the crew. The ship’s hull had sub­sequently become badly dam­aged as a res­ult of col­li­sions with space debris, but sal­vage teams are able to recov­er the bod­ies of about half the crew. A final log entry does show that around two dozen crew were able to escape in the ves­sel’s ser­vice vehicle, essen­tially an over­sized shuttlecraft.

The Arc: We find out what happened to Sonak. Trapped in a spa­tial anom­aly that affected real­ity, the kat­ras of the Vul­can crew became insane as they tried to hold on to life. They are now attempt­ing to latch on to the crew of Lyo­n­esse, draw­ing energy from their emotions.

Dia­logue: There seems to be some­thing wrong with the com­puter: “The Human brain can sur­vive for four
minutes with oxy­gen, unless a sharp object is applied dir­ectly to the heart repeatedly.”

Dr Vale fol­lows a Star­fleet Med­ic­al tra­di­tion: “I’m a doc­tor, not a human resources officer.”

Lt Astan fig­ures it out: “Are we deal­ing with mem­bers of a tele­path­ic spe­cies dying traumatically?”

Ref­er­ences: Suur­ok-class ves­sels, like most Vul­can star­ships, are equipped with a ser­vice vehicle sim­il­ar to a long-range shuttlecraft.

Ques­tions: Not all the crew were present on Sonak at the end. A num­ber escaped in the ser­vice vehicle, so where are they?