Fury of the Hive, Part II

Epis­ode Num­ber: 1×05

Writ­ten by: Jac­ob Ross

Dir­ec­ted by: Jon Crew

Trans­mis­sion: 21st May 2022

Guest Stars:

  • Deputy Admin­is­trat­or Elyse Rus­sell: Cur­rent lead­er of the Cori­olanus IV station.
  • Dr Akio Naruhita: Lead xen­o­bi­o­lo­gist of the Cori­olanus IV station.
  • The Queen of the squid hive.

It would appear that the attack by the hive­like struc­ture out­side the neb­ula and the dis­tress call from Cori­olanus IV are linked. The struc­ture appears to have been a home and ves­sel for the squid-like creatures that are scattered in a dormant state across the sur­face of Cori­olanus IV. The Fed­er­a­tion research sta­tion is mostly rubble, and the sur­viv­ors in the shel­ter to the north have stated the squid are respons­ible. We need to find a way to stop the attacks.

Cap­tain’s Log: Stard­ate, 5494.7

Plot: Hav­ing loc­ated the sur­viv­ors from the research sta­tion, the land­ing party devises a plan to try and estab­lish com­mu­nic­a­tion with the squid creatures.

The ‘A’ Plot: Cap­tain Pryce talks to Dr Naruhita and Deputy Admin­is­trat­or Rus­sell to get the full story of the emergency.

It seems the squid arrived in the sys­tem without warn­ing and imme­di­ately attacked the dilith­i­um extrac­tion oper­a­tion and the com­munity itself. Numer­ous people were killed and injured in the first few minutes, and although some were able to get to weapons, they had little effect on the attack­ers. Build­ings, includ­ing the main power gen­er­at­or, were demol­ished rap­idly. Admin­is­trat­or Nurn was able to get off a dis­tress call and order an evac­u­ation to the shel­ter, before he has killed.

The shel­ter, which was also the main dilith­i­um mine, pos­sessed a pair of phaser ground emplace­ments for defence from raid­ers, but the squid tar­get­ted these early in the raid, break­ing their power­lines. The sur­viv­ors were able to get to safety in the shel­ter but were unable to escape.

Rus­sell wants Lex­ing­ton to des­troy the creatures, but Naruhita believes they are a rare, pos­sibly intel­li­gent, spe­cies and should be pre­served. The sci­ent­ist points to their attack on the phaser tur­rets as an example of their intel­li­gence. Pryce lets them argue, decid­ing that he needs more inform­a­tion before he can make any decisions or recommenations.

Not­ing that the squid seem to be coordin­ated, Strauss begins research­ing how they might do this. He starts scan­ning for sub­space radio sig­nals and, not­ing a large num­ber of such sig­nals across the area, ana­lyses them for com­mon patterns.

Adred pro­poses lur­ing the squid away with a small sample of dilith­i­un, and sug­gests it might be pos­sible to cap­ture one in a suit­ably large “cage”. An altern­at­ive would be to dis­sect a dead example, if they can find one. Pryce orders pre­par­a­tions for both plans, the cre­ation of a suit­able cage, and bring­ing a bios­cience team down from Lex­ing­ton.

Mid­ax assesses the injured for trans­port, before she and Adred return 4 of the worst cases to the ship. Once there, she takes the cas­u­al­ties to sick­bay, and dir­ects Dr Scheider to return with Adred. The pilot, mean­while, is super­vising the load­ing of a num­ber of durani­um pan­els onto the heavy shuttle, Mam­moth. These com­prise the newly-con­struc­ted cage for Adred’s cap­ture plan. A small bios­cience team with accom­pa­ny­ing secur­ity also assembles to study the squid.

A’Mathi sets out to repair the ground defence phaser tur­rets. He determ­ines that the power cables were vul­ner­able due to being too close the sur­face and unar­moured, and bur­ies the new cables under a lay­er of duracrete.

Adred drops the sci­ence team off at a suit­able corpse, then lays a trail away to a good loc­a­tion to leave the cage as a trap. As he does so, large num­bers of the squid in the area begin to wake up, and fly towards both him and the shelter.

“Gently” encour­aged by the cap­tain, Strauss begins to fig­ure out the basics of the squid’s com­mu­nic­a­tion sys­tem. It seems quite basic, deal­ing in broad con­cepts like emo­tions and danger, and he is able to fig­ure out how to send a danger sig­nal. He broad­casts this sig­nal along with one indic­at­ing the shel­ter, and the approach­ing squid begin to retreat.

Lex­ing­ton reports that the squid hive ship is arriv­ing in orbit. Pryce is kept updated as sev­er­al lar­ger creatures exit the struc­ture, one of which is the size of a long-range shuttle, and des­cend towards the loc­a­tion of the shel­ter. At the same time, the squid begin to res­ist Strauss’s warn­ing sig­nal. Naruhita sur­mises that this is their “queen”, in much the same sense as the queen of an euso­cial spe­cies like ants. He believes “she” is the source of the com­mand sig­nals con­trolling the indi­vidu­als already present. Her com­pan­ions may be some kind of body­guard escort.

The sci­ence team is forced to retreat into a nearby rock cleft, when sev­er­al oth­er squid show up. They are a little sur­prised when they appear to start feed­ing on the body – A’Mathi con­cludes that they are recov­er­ing par­tially-pro­cessed dilith­i­um from its digest­ive system.

A’Mathi is able to fix one tur­ret, but is still work­ing in the open when the queen and her escort appear overhead.

Dir­ect­ing A’Mathi and those with weapons to stand ready, Pryce opens the hangar door and steps out to attempt to com­mu­nic­ate. Strauss assists by broad­cast­ing a no-danger sig­nal. Halt­ingly, as Strauss des­per­ately tries to com­mu­nic­ate spe­cif­ics in a lan­guage of con­cepts, Pryce begins nego­ti­at­ing with the queen, explain­ing that the col­on­ists are not hos­tile and are will­ing to share the dilith­i­um. The queen for her part, wishes to ensure the sur­viv­al of her people.

Even­tu­ally, they arrange a deal; half the plan­et for the squid, and half for the humans. Des­pite Rus­sell’s protests, they also agree that the humans will uncov­er deep­er sources of dilith­i­um for the squid.

The ‘B’ Plot: Nossaag’s attempt to uncov­er the secrets of the colony come to an abrupt end as he is diver­ted on to pro­tec­tion duty as A’Mathi works on the phaser turrets.

Obser­va­tions: The squid are rel­at­ively unin­tel­li­gent, but led by a much more intel­li­gent queen. She con­trols them by sub­space sig­nals, which con­vey gen­er­al concepts.

Lex­ing­ton’s shuttle­craft num­ber 4 is a heavy mod­el, named Mam­moth. It can be recon­figured for med­ic­al, cargo and pas­sen­ger operations.