Bacchus’s Irresistible Call

Epis­ode Num­ber: 1×06

Writ­ten by: Shawn Merwin

Dir­ec­ted by: Jon Crew

Trans­mis­sion: 4th June 2022

Guest Stars:

  • Com­modore Banna Stoker: Star­fleet troubleshoot­er with a murky past.
  • Cap­tain Parahk: Com­mand­er of the IKS Ya’­leth.
  • Ser­geant K’Tah: Lead­er of the Klin­gon land­ing party.
  • Lar­gh, Keth: Klin­gon warriors.
  • Lieu­ten­ant Janna Frye, Ensign Kam­ila Chara: The shuttle­craft thieves.
  • Bareen, Sen­at­or Xeton, Kaj, Mehr, D’lok, Bru­tog: Vic­tims of the ali­en influence.
  • Lieu­ten­ant, juni­or grade Patrick O’Keefe: Lex­ing­ton’s psy­cho­logy officer and ama­teur parasychologist.

We will arrive at the Bac­chus sys­tem with­in the hour. Star­fleet Com­mand has ordered us there for three reas­ons. First, we are to track down two Star­fleet officers who stole a shuttle and were last detec­ted head­ing in this dir­ec­tion. No one is sure why they did it, but two people were killed, and so they must answer for their crimes. Next, reports from passing ships and nearby out­posts speak of signs that a Klin­gon bird-of-prey has viol­ated the Neut­ral Zone and is head­ing toward the Bac­chus sys­tem. We are to invest­ig­ate to see if there is any truth to these reports. Finally, strange, inde­cipher­able sig­nals have been eman­at­ing from the Bac­chus sys­tem for the past sev­er­al weeks. The Lex­ing­ton is to search for the source of these sig­nals and try to determ­ine their mean­ing, if any.

Cap­tain’s Log: Stard­ate, 5582.2

Plot: Lex­ing­ton pur­sues a pair of shuttle­craft thieves to Bac­chus IV, where she is trapped by ali­en tech­no­logy. When Pryce and some of his crew are abduc­ted to the plan­et’s sur­face, an ancient mys­tery unfolds.

The ‘A’ Plot: Lex­ing­ton arrives in the Bac­chus sys­tem, in pur­suit of two Star­fleet sci­ence officers who have stolen a shuttle from Star­base 12. Their mis­sion also includes seek­ing a Klin­gon bird-of-prey which has cov­ertly crossed the bor­der, and invest­ig­at­ing strong sub­space radio sig­nals which have been emit­ted from this sys­tem in recent weeks.

Not­ing sub­space radio activ­ity around Bac­chus IV, they head there, but as they drop out of warp, they are struck by a beam of orange energy. The ship crashes to a halt instantly, and power break­ers trip in main engin­eer­ing, caus­ing a loss of power across the ves­sel. Emer­gency lights come on, but the main view­er is down, and life sup­port appears to have shut down. The rap­id res­tor­a­tion of power is vital.

A’Mathi, cur­rently on the bridge avoid­ing Lt O’Keefe’s activ­it­ies, heads for the tur­bo­l­ift, real­ising just in time that the door will not open without power. He diverts to the hatch just for­ward of the bridge, lead­ing to the Jef­fer­ies tube net­work. Diving head­first down the lad­der (tak­ing advant­age of his Caitian agil­ity), he reaches the main deck and bounds aft, paus­ing briefly to inspire some pan­ick­ing crew­men into get­ting back to work. Once he reaches engin­eer­ing, he begins restor­ing power, pri­or­it­ising life sup­port, bridge ser­vices and propulsion.

On the bridge, the return­ing power trig­gers a flurry of activ­ity: the ship is not in a stable orbit, so Adred is forced to make some quick adjust­ments to pre­vent them hit­ting the atmo­sphere. Mean­while, Strauss is invest­ig­at­ing the source of the beam. He real­ises that it may be pos­sible to mod­er­ate the beam’s effects by send­ing a sig­nal back down to the source. His work res­ults in the viewscreen, cur­rently dom­in­ated by a strong orange glow, begin to clear, reveal­ing the plan­et below, which is criss-crossed by prom­in­ent artific­al struc­tures, vis­ible even from orbit.

The Cap­tain attempts to start work­ing out a plan of action, but he is inter­rup­ted when he is envel­oped in an orange light and dis­ap­pears from the bridge. Adred, A’Mathi and Nossaag also disappear.

They find them­selves stand­ing on grassy hill, next to a huge stone build­ing. It towers into the sky and appears to be many kilo­met­ers across, and is cer­tainly big enough to be one of the struc­tures they saw from the ship. They look closer and note that it appears to be a single piece of rock – indic­at­ive of advanced technology.

Tak­ing stock of their situ­ation, they real­ise they have no weapons and no means of con­tact­ing the ship – they’re on their own for now. Nossaag invest­ig­ates a herd of loc­al life­forms but decides they are harm­less. Adred points out that anoth­er build­ing a few kilo­met­ers away appears to be the source of the orange energy beam. They decide to investigate.

As they approach, they find a met­al can­is­ter about the size of a ward­robe par­tially bur­ied in the grass. Nossaag recog­nises Klin­gon mark­ings and they dis­cov­er that it is full of emer­gency sup­plies, includ­ing water, food and a sol­it­ary dis­ruptor pis­tol. Pryce hands it to Nossaag.

Adred hears voices from the far side of this buld­ing, which is also where the beams seem to be being emit­ted. Round­ing the build­ing they find an oddly dis­par­ate group of indi­vidu­als: two Humans (in Star­fleet uni­form), two Trill, a Romu­lan sen­at­or, a Vul­can sci­ent­ist and two Klin­gon sol­diers. They seem to be hav­ing a spir­ited, but quite friendly dis­cus­sion about some­thing. Pryce walks for­ward and tries to intro­duce him­self; the Romu­lan sees him and points him out to the oth­ers, then they resume their dis­cus­sion. Nossaag wanders over to see what they’re dis­cuss­ing, then to every­one’s sur­prise, joins the debate.

Pryce observes the group as they study and argue over a group of sym­bols on the wall for a few minutes, then offers his assist­ance in find­ing a way in. He takes the oppor­tun­ity to learn who the indi­vidu­als are, dis­cov­er­ing that all of them had dis­covered the exist­ence of the plan­et sep­ar­ately and been drawn to invest­ig­ate it. The Humans are the sci­ence officers that stole the shuttle, although they had no idea someone had died. Adred notes that they seem to be in pairs of the same spe­cies (Klin­gon, Human, Trill, Vul­canoid) and tries to fig­ure out its sig­ni­fic­ance. He and A’Mathi also try throw­ing rocks at some of the high­er sym­bols but this does not achieve anything.

Pryce man­ages to per­suade sev­er­al of them that they may be able to find an entrance else­where along the wall, and leads them away to do so. As they round the corner, they are sur­prised by the arrival of anoth­er trio of Klin­gons, officers this time. After an ini­tial con­front­a­tion, in which the Klin­gon lead­er (Ser­geant K’tah) accuses Pryce of being respons­ible for trap­ping them, he is able to calm things down and nego­ti­ate a truce, prom­ising the Klin­gons that he will help him loc­ate a pair of Klin­gon desert­ers who stole a bird-of-prey and fled in this dir­ec­tion. (This pair are actu­ally the Klin­gons they’ve already met, although they’re with the group that did not accom­pany Pryce.)

At this point, the Vul­can Bareen finds a way in, identi­fy­ing a glyph indic­at­ing a door, then pla­cing him­self in the light beam that is gen­er­ated when he touches it. A change comes over the group as a whole, includ­ing Nossaag, as they begin fight­ing to be the first to get through the door this cre­ates. The Romu­lan, Xeton, is the first in, and sprints down the cor­ridor inside, where she runs straight into a trap that dis­en­teg­rates her. Bareen nearly fol­lows her into obli­vi­on, but A’Mathi tackles him, sav­ing his life. Nossaag takes a close look at the trap, fig­ur­ing out how it works, and obscur­ing the sensor that trig­gers it. He tests the res­ult him­self, and takes a glan­cing hit from the dis­in­teg­ra­tion beam – he had missed a second sensor.

With the trap now fully dis­armed, they enter what appears to be a con­trol room. After sev­er­al attempts, one of the civil­ians man­ages to activ­ate the con­trols, and holo­graph­ic dis­plays show images of the whole appar­at­us being belt, and its cap­ab­il­it­ies. They also show that the two ships are on the verge of being destroyed.

A’Mathi fig­ures out how to dis­able the tract­or beams, but this trig­gers a new prob­lem, as an auto­mated voice announces that their med­ddling has ini­ti­ated a self-destruct sequence – and that the sys­tem will be des­troyed. The ancients do, how­ever, provide an escape hatch: a trans­port­er device that will return them to their ships. Adred and the Klin­gons imme­di­ately take advant­age, but Nossaag and the civil­ians do not, so Pryce and A’Mathi are forced to push them into the beam.

Rather to their sur­prise, they appear on the bridge of the Ya’­leth. After an ini­tial con­front­a­tion, K’tah explains the situ­ation to Cap­tain Parahk, indic­at­ing that the Star­fleet officers have proved hon­our­able. Unfor­tu­nately, the Klin­gons are unable to get out of the sys­tem: their warp core has become unstable, and their engin­eer is dead, leav­ing them unable to fix the prob­lem. Pryce glances at his engin­eer and imme­di­ately volun­teers him to fix the problem.

A’Mathi real­ises there is noth­ing they can do about the core: it needs to be ejec­ted. Unfor­tu­nately, the ejec­tion sys­tems have failed, and fur­ther invest­ig­a­tion indic­ates it is a mech­an­ic­al prob­lem in the clamps them­selves. As they can only be accessed from out­side the ship, someone will need to space­walk to do this.

The Klin­gons have two space­suits avail­able, so A’Mathi and Adred take them to go out on to the hull. They make their way to the clamps and lever them open, allow­ing the core to be ejec­ted. With lim­ited time until it explodes, Pryce takes the con­trols to get the ves­sel to a safe dis­tance under impulse power, before the space­walk­ers can get back inside.

Mean­while, the machines on Bac­chus IV have star­ted to fire huge energy bolts at the oth­er bod­ies in the sys­tem, hint­ing at the dangers to come. Lex­ing­ton approaches and takes the Ya’­leth under tow, leav­ing the sys­tem at warp before beam­ing the cap­tain and his com­pan­ions aboard, along with the civil­ians from the planet.

Report­ing in to Stoker, they are ordered to ren­dez­vous with her ship, the USS Astrad, to report in per­son. Pryce says that because of dam­age sus­tained, this will take around 4 days. After sign­ing off, he offers to tow the bird-of-prey to the Klin­gon bor­der, where they can call for assist­ance from their own people, and Parahk grudgingly accepts. As they part ways, he informs Pryce that he con­siders him a comrade-in-arms.

When they meet with Stoker, she orders them to turn over all records of the mis­sion, then delete their own cop­ies. She also takes cus­tody of the civil­ians for “fur­ther study”, and finally orders them to nev­er speak of the mis­sion to any­one. They obey, but no-one is very happy about it.

The ‘B’ Plot: Lt O’Keefe requests per­mis­sion to con­duct a para­psy­cho­lo­gic­al study of Main Engin­eer­ing. He sets up equip­ment around the facil­ity overnight, as is tra­di­tion­al, although he fails to take into account that Engin­eer­ing is almost as busy then as dur­ing the day shifts.

The Arc: Anoth­er set of ancient ruins that shows some sim­il­ar­it­ies to the arti­fi­cial world in the Omega Dra­conis sys­tem. There are hints of more to be found in a region bey­ond the Klin­gon Empire, although how they would ever get to these is unclear.

It is clear that Com­modore Stoker has an agenda, though wheth­er it’s her own or con­nec­ted in some way to Fed­er­a­tion secur­ity has yet to be seen.

Obser­va­tions: IKS Ya’­leth is a Cha’­par-class bird-of-prey, pre­de­cessor to the well-known B’rel-class first seen in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.

Com­modore Stoker flies her flag from the USS Astrad (NCC-1833). The Astrad is a Cal­listo-class light cruis­er, a pre­de­cessor to the Mir­anda-class.

Lex­ing­ton has a ghost! Or at least, there are rumours of paranor­mal activ­ity centered on Main Engin­eer­ing. There have been dis­em­bod­ied voices repor­ted eman­at­ing from the inter­mix ducts, tools fall­ing from upper levels when no-one is there, and unex­plained “pres­ences” in the Jef­fer­ies tubes. Spec­u­la­tion from the believes is that this is linked to the loss of life dur­ing the M5 incident.

Dia­logue: Nossaag, after invest­ig­at­ing a flock of sheep-like anim­als: “Cap­tain, I’ve assessed the situ­ation – they pose no threat.”

Ques­tions: What lies bey­ond the Klin­gon Empire? Are the ancients still there?

Why does Stoker want to keep these events secret?