Episode Number: 203
Written by: ELH
Directed by: Jon Crew
Transmission: 8th May 2022
- 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?