We Came Forth to Contemplate the Stars, Part II

Epis­ode Num­ber: 1×09

Writ­ten by: Ian Lemke

Dir­ec­ted by: Jon Crew

Trans­mis­sion: 16th July 2022

Guest Stars:

  • Com­modore Banna Stoker: Star­fleet troubleshoot­er with a murky past.
  • High Cur­ate Meher­on: Lead­er of the Cov­en­ant Curate.
  • Bal­aq: Rebel­li­ous mem­ber of the Cov­en­ant Functionaries.
  • Lieu­ten­ant Gar­ren Har­rid: Cen­taur­an xenoanthropologist.
  • Lieu­ten­ant T’rhyn: Vul­can astrophysicist.
  • Dr Hans Schneider: Human med­ic­al officer.
  • Crew­men Haverty and Sh’vaohran: Human and Andori­an secur­ity personnel.

Tak­ing cov­er from a pred­at­or attack among the ruins of 51 Pegasi V, our land­ing party was sud­denly trans­por­ted to a space sta­tion con­struc­ted with­in an aster­oid, appar­ently loc­ated 300,000 light years bey­ond the Galactic Bar­ri­er. Two rival ]soci­et­ies live here: the Cov­en­ant, who believe they were brought here to per­form rituals in sup­port of their Gods, and the Apostate, mutated humanoids who reside in the core the Hab­it­a­tion. The power sys­tems appear to be fail­ing and, if we ever want to see home again, we need to work with both fac­tions to repair them.

Cap­tain’s Log: Stard­ate, 5632.4, Supplemental

Plot: Stran­ded on an extra-galactic space sta­tion, Lex­ing­ton’s land­ing party works with a fac­tion of the inhab­it­ants to repair the fail­ing power sys­tems, vital to both life sup­port and the means of get­ting home. Mean­while, the lead­er of the lar­ger fac­tion plots to dis­pose of the “False Mes­sen­gers of the Gods”.

The ‘A’ Plot: As A’Mathi and his crew of sci­ence per­son­nel work on the Hab­it­a­tion’s power plant, with the help of some of the Apostate, Cap­tain Pryce con­tin­ues his tor­tur­ous signed dis­cus­sions with the loc­als, aided by Lieu­ten­ant Har­rid, and Nossaag dis­trib­utes his secur­ity team to best cov­er the half-dozen exits.

Dr Schneider stud­ies the Apostate them­selves, learn­ing that they are basic­ally identic­al to the Cov­en­ant, but have been mutated as a res­ult of their prox­im­ity to the faulty power sys­tems. He real­ises it would be pos­sible to fix many of the muta­tions sur­gic­ally, and that care­ful genet­ic ther­apy could ensure they did not recur. The easi­est to fix would be their inab­il­ity to speak, but there would be little point in rush­ing this as their deaf­ness is rather more fun­da­ment­al and the neces­sary parts of their brains would be underdeveloped.

Not­ing his interest, one of the Apostate leads him and Strauss to a cham­ber at the end of anoth­er pas­sage, which appears to con­tain highly-advanced med­ic­al facil­it­ies, includ­ing scan­ners and advanced tis­sue regen­er­a­tion tools. As it has not been used for some time, Schneider begins to eval­u­ate the equip­ment, set­ting one device to recon­struct an organ miss­ing from the cur­rent Apostate.

Back in the power room, Crew­man Haverty notices move­ment com­ing from one of the pas­sages. Nossaag orders his team into pos­i­tion and warns the oth­ers to pre­pare to take cov­er, before a half-dozen armed Cov­en­ant enter the cham­ber, ahead of High Cur­ate Meher­on. She announces that she’s come to end the false “Scouts of the Mes­sen­gers of the Gods”, along with the Apostate “men­ace”, once and for all.

Pryce attempts to reas­on with her, point­ing out that the Cov­en­ant and Apostate are the same people, divided by time, and need to work togeth­er to sur­vive. Des­pite her blus­ter­ing, he even­tu­ally gets through, per­suad­ing her that the “gods” are prob­ably not going to return. She turns and leads her stunned squad back to the Hab­it­a­tion, look­ing some­what defeated.

Leav­ing A’Mathi, Strauss and Schneider to work on their vari­ous pro­jects, Pryce and Nossaag fol­low Meheron.

Back at the Hab­it­a­tion, an argu­ment has broken out, with the Cov­en­ant are split­ting into two fac­tions, along with a num­ber of inter­ested spec­tat­ors. One group is con­vinced the gods have aban­doned them and wants to go back to the galaxy and find their home­world, while the oth­er wants to stick to the plan and wait for their gods’ judg­ment. Meher­on ignores both fac­tions and dis­ap­pears into her quarters.

Pryce and the oth­ers watch the argu­ment evolve for a moment as more spec­tat­ors pick sides. Even­tu­ally, they decide they have to inter­vene before the fac­tions come to blows. Unfor­tu­nately, they don’t seem to be hav­ing much suc­cess, and Pryce asks one of the Cur­ate to find Meher­on in the hopes she can calm things down.

Nossaag mean­while, decides to apply his Tel­lar­ite skills to crowd con­trol, pick­ing on high-pro­file indi­vidu­als, then stand­ing in front of them and shout­ing reas­on­able argu­ments into their faces until they calm down. This is remark­ably effect­ive and the com­bat­ive atmo­sphere dis­sip­ates quickly.

There is still no sign of Meher­on, but the Cur­ate mem­ber returns, sug­gest­ing that the team might want to vis­it her quar­ters. They find Meher­on sit­ting alone star­ing out of the win­dow, in some­thing of a fugue state. Pryce talks to her to find out what her prob­lem is: she’s wrest­ling with the idea that their gods were fake and had betrayed them.

Com­ing to a decision, she stands up and returns to the main cham­ber. She announces her con­clu­sions and that she intends to redir­ect their soci­ety towards learn­ing what the sta­tion does and how it works. If any­one wants to leave, how­ever, that’s ok as far as she’s concerned.

A’Mathi and his team return, accom­pan­ied by Dr Scheider and Lt Strauss. The power gen­er­at­ors are fixed and A’Mathi has ensured the radi­ation leaks will not recur quickly. Schneider, mean­while, has figured out the med­ic­al sys­tems and worked out how to use them to cure the Apostate’s muta­tions. They’ve also made a start on train­ing the Apostate to use and main­tain the vari­ous systems.

Real­ising that Lex­ing­ton will be won­der­ing what’s happened to the team, Pryce makes plans to return to 51 Cygni V. Strauss volun­teers to remain in the Hab­it­a­tion, research­ing its tech­no­logy and teach­ing the inhab­it­ants how to use it. He explains that he hopes to return to the Fed­er­a­tion at a later date, hav­ing learnt as much as he can. Bal­aq and a small por­tion of the more rebel­li­ous Cov­en­ant, mean­while, ask to return with the land­ing party, plan­ning to find their homeworld.

The reor­gan­ised group returns to the trans­port cham­ber, which activ­ates as soon as they arrive. Arriv­ing back at 51 Pegasi V, they find the sub­ter­ranean cham­ber is about to collapse…

Run­ning for the sur­face, Pryce calls for a beam-out just in time, before the moun­tain caves in on itself. They make it to Lex­ing­ton’s bridge in time to see a destruct­ive shock­wave sweep­ing around the world.

The ‘B’ Plot: Upon receiv­ing Pryce’s report, Stoker once again orders them to keep their logs and notes secret – although she does not order them to delete them. Upon learn­ing about Bal­aq and her fol­low­ers, she orders them to keep them safe, and announces that she will ren­dez­vous with Lex­ing­ton soon to debrief them. Mean­while, she’d like them to invest­ig­ate anoth­er world men­tioned in the Bac­chus IV data…

The Arc: Two more struc­tures con­nec­ted to the mys­ter­i­ous lost civil­isa­tion are revealed, although its mem­bers were evid­ently not above lying to and enslav­ing less­er cultures.

Dia­logue: Pryce tot­ters on the edge of the Prime Dir­ect­ive: “No! We are the Scouts of the Mes­sen­gers of the Gods!”

Ques­tions: Will we see Richter Strauss again?