Decision Point, Part I

Epis­ode Num­ber: 2×01

Writ­ten by: Ian Lemke

Dir­ec­ted by: Jon Crew

Trans­mis­sion: 8th Octo­ber 2022

Guest Stars:

  • Dr Emmet Sher­man: Astro­phys­i­cist and lead­er of the miss­ing sci­ence team.
  • Dr Norma Grange: Phys­i­cist in the miss­ing sci­ence team.
  • Dr Orimu Faz: Joined Trill chem­ist and xen­o­bi­o­lo­gist in the sci­ence team.
  • Dr Scia Lort: Bio­lo­gist in the sci­ence team.
  • Chief Min­is­ter Toorel: Head of the Lormean government.
  • Cap­tain Theema: Lead­er of the Lormean law enforce­ment detachment.
  • Vice Admir­al Hebert: Head of Star­fleet oper­a­tions in the Shack­leton Expanse and com­mand­er of the 10th Fleet.
  • Com­mand­er Murphy: Heber­t’s adjutant.

We’d barely com­pleted the long voy­age to Nar­en­dra Sta­tion before they decided to put us to work. Lex­ing­ton has been search­ing for a miss­ing sci­ence ves­sel, the S.S. Tesla, which went miss­ing six weeks ago while cata­loguing anom­alies in an unstable region of the Shack­leton Expanse. This region is notori­ous for an unusu­al num­ber of tem­por­al and spa­tial anom­alies, some benign and oth­ers extremely dan­ger­ous. Eight­een hours ago, we picked up a plasma trail, likely from a dam­aged ship.

The Orgun sys­tem has two Class M plan­ets, both with pop­u­la­tions pro­tec­ted under Gen­er­al Order One: The Prime Dir­ect­ive. Orgun II has a prim­it­ive civil­iz­a­tion, equi­val­ent to medi­ev­al Earth. The res­id­ents call them­selves the Slithar and are a viol­ent and war­like cul­ture. The res­id­ents of Orgun III, who call them­selves Lormeans, are quite dif­fer­ent, being a mam­mali­an spe­cies resem­bling humanoid lemurs that are noted for a peace­ful and com­mun­al soci­ety. Their tech­no­logy is equi­val­ent to mid-21st cen­tury Earth, just pre-warp tech, but still covered by the Prime Directive.

The plasma trail from the Tesla leads dir­ectly toward Orgun III.

Cap­tain’s Log: Stard­ate, 48127.2

Plot: Arriv­ing at Nar­en­dra Sta­tion to take up her new assign­ment, U.S.S. Lex­ing­ton hardly has time to pick up some new crew mem­bers, before head­ing out to res­cue a miss­ing team of scientists.

The ‘A’ Plot: The crew get their first sight of Nar­en­dra Sta­tion and U.S.S. Bellero­phon, which sig­nals a wel­come as they are cleared to dock. Relax­a­tion oppor­tun­it­ies after the long jour­ney are, how­ever, cut short, as they and Bellero­phon are ordered to loc­ate a team of sci­ent­ists, who are miss­ing in the Shack­leton Expanse.

Sev­er­al weeks of search­ing later, they detect a weak plasma trail and fol­low it towards the Orgun sys­tem. The sys­tem is on record as hav­ing two class M worlds, des­ig­nated II and III, each with a pre-warp civil­isa­tion. With the plasma trail lead­ing to Orgun III, the mis­sion becomes one of pre­vent­ing con­tam­in­a­tion of a prim­it­ive society.

Using modi­fic­a­tions to the nav­ig­a­tion­al deflect­or to hide her pres­ence from the Lormeans, Lex­ing­ton enters orbit to per­form a detailed scan of the sur­face. The miss­ing ves­sel is quickly detec­ted, lying in a forest about 200 km north of the largest Lormean city. Oddly, a power­ful energy source of an unknown form is also detec­ted about 5 km below the sur­face near the city itself; it’s not some­thing the Lormeans would be able to produce.

Cap­tain Adred exper­i­ences a sense of déjà vu. Reas­on­ing that it might be due to a memory from one of his pre­vi­ous hosts, he retreats to his quar­ters to per­form a Trill ritu­al to track it down.

Giv­en that the wreck is quite remote, and that energy fluc­tu­ations in the atmo­sphere would make trans­port­ers dan­ger­ous, D’g­hov pilots Lieu­ten­ant Zepht and Doc­tor Con­ners to the sur­face in a shuttle­craft, again mod­i­fied to avoid detec­tion. Although she’s new to Fed­er­a­tion con­trols, she adapts quickly, but it is not a smooth ride, espe­cially when she uses a Klin­gon tac­tic, des­cend­ing ver­tic­ally at high speed to avoid detec­tion. Con­ners is par­tic­u­larly unappreciative…

Land­ing next to the wreck, they exit and con­firm it is the Tesla before inspect­ing the area. Zepht enters the ship and estab­lishes that there are no bod­ies aboard. D’g­hov sur­veys the sur­round­ing area, quickly loc­at­ing what looks like a pair of graves, which Con­ners is able to hold both a Human and an Andori­an corpse. Zepht attempts to get log inform­a­tion out of the Tesla’s com­puters, and is sur­prised to find that the data cores have been removed.

As they are relay­ing this inform­a­tion to Lex­ing­ton, D’g­hov becomes aware of approach­ing vehicles. She draws her weapon and darts into the trees as a skim­mer lands near the Tesla and dis­gorges sev­er­al small fig­ures. The Lormeans have found them.

Altough D’g­hov is ready to fight, the Lormean lead­er announces that they have come in peace and would like them to come and join the oth­er ali­ens in the cap­it­al. Real­ising that con­tact has already been made, and that they are out­numbered, the party agrees to accom­pany them.

They are brought to the main gov­ern­ment build­ing, con­struc­ted with­in a huge tress, where three Humans and a Trill await them, along with the head of the Lormean gov­ern­ment, Toorel. The sci­ent­ists are pleased to see them and explain how their crash occurred, when an anom­aly dam­aged their warp drive. They lost their cap­tain try­ing to fix the core and anoth­er of their num­ber dur­ing the crash, but the Lormeans found them quickly and were quite hospitable.

Then Toorel explains that Orgun II is doomed: a series of power­ful seis­mic events is des­troy­ing whole regions, and the Lormeans have determ­ined that in less than thirty days, the plan­et will fly apart from the stress. They are attempt­ing to evac­u­ate some of their spe­cies to Orgun III in an attempt to pre­serve at least some of their cul­ture, but with their cur­rent tech­no­logy and resources, can­not move enough people to cre­ate a sus­tain­able gene pool. The sci­ent­ists have devoted them­selves to assist­ing with the pro­cess, using their more advanced tech­no­logy to increase the num­ber of people that can be evac­u­ated. The Lormeans under­stand about the Prime Dir­ect­ive, but this whole pro­cess would be much easi­er with the assist­ance of a starship…

At this point a power­ful tremor hits the city, knock­ing them all off their feet, and giv­ing Zepht a nasty head injury.

In orbit, the bridge reports the tremor to the cap­tain, and this makes the con­nec­tion he’s been look­ing for: his pre­vi­ous host, Kroso, serving aboard the ori­gin­al Lex­ing­ton, had also been wit­ness to power­ful energy sources endan­ger­ing plan­et­ary stability.

The ‘B’ Plot: As Lex­ing­ton heads towards Star­base 364, she is sud­denly brought to a halt when a ves­sel decloaks in front of her. The ship turns out to be a Klin­gon cruis­er, and moments later, a fig­ure mater­i­al­ises on the bridge with a heavy-look­ing chest. The Klin­gon ship then departs without a single communication.

The intruder intro­duces her­self as Sub-Lieu­ten­ant Kalama D’g­hov, their new Klin­gon exchange officer. She is eager to get to work and, after depos­it­ing her chest in her assigned quar­ters, returns to the bridge, insist­ing on full access to the sys­tem as tac­tic­al officer (although she uses the Klin­gon term nuH­pIn, “weapons officer”).

The ‘C’ Plot: Upon dock­ing at Nar­en­dra Sta­tion, Cap­tain Adred is met by Com­mand­er Murphy of Vice Admir­al Heber­t’s staff. The adjut­ant explains the new flo­til­la’s role and takes the cap­tain on a tour of the sta­tion. As they sur­vey the Klin­gon bar­racks, Murphy receives a mes­sage and apo­lo­get­ic­ally informs Adred that his ship is needed for a res­cue mission.

The Arc: An unknown power source dam­aging the plan­et? Where have we seen that before?

Obser­va­tions: Rather than pick­ing up where the pre­vi­ous sea­son left off, by fol­low­ing the fate of Cap­tain Pryce and his stran­ded officers, the show resumes with a hun­dred year jump into the Next Gen­er­a­tion era. One Cap­tain Helt­in Adred is in com­mand of this peri­od’s Lex­ing­ton and he seems to have a con­nec­tion to the conn officer on the old ship.

The man­ner in which the new tac­tic­al officer, SLt D’g­hov, was dropped off without com­ment, seems to imply that someone in a pos­i­tion of author­ity was unhappy with either the assign­ment or the incum­bent her­self. The oper­a­tions man­ager, Lt Zepht, came aboard at Nar­en­dra Sta­tion in the usu­al fash­ion, along with a hun­dred or so new crew mem­bers. Cap­tain Adred and Dr Con­ners were already aboard, the lat­ter exper­i­en­cing some fric­tion with the former chief med­ic­al officer, Lt Eliza­beth Lense, who was to take up a new post in the med­ic­al facil­ity at the starbase.

Star­base 364, also known as Nar­en­dra sta­tion, is a joint Federation/Klingon sta­tion built in orbit of Amir II on the edge of the Shack­leton Expanse. Like most such sta­tions, it is a cus­tom design, extern­ally resem­bling many Fed­er­a­tion sta­tions, but with a more Klin­gon-influ­enced interi­or, hous­ing over 4000 Star­fleet per­son­nel, Klin­gon war­ri­ors and civil­ians. Vice Admir­al Hebert and Gen­er­al Kar­gan share com­mand duties, with Kar­gan respons­ible for the sta­tion itself, while Hebert looks after fleet oper­a­tions, along­side her exist­ing com­mand of Star­fleet’s 20th Fleet.

The Shack­leton Expanse itself is an unclaimed region of space along the core­ward edge of the Klin­gon Empire, the scene of many sub­space anom­alies, odd astro­phys­ic­al effects and psion­ic phe­nom­ena. Lex­ing­ton is one of three Star­fleet ves­sels assigned to a “Spe­cial Research Flo­tilla” to explore the Expanse, along with the Intrep­id-class U.S.S. Bellero­phon (NCC-74705) and the Akira-class U.S.S. Thun­der­child (NCC-63549).

The Lormeans of Orgun II resemble large humanoid lemurs, with large eyes and a pref­er­ence for twi­light con­di­tions. Their tech­no­logy is approx­im­ately equi­val­ent to that of 21st cen­tury Earth, although their pop­u­la­tion is only around 17 mil­lion. Their cap­it­al city con­sists of clev­erly-mod­i­fied liv­ing trees, with rooms in hol­low cham­bers with­in their trunks, and mak­ing extens­ive use of an amber-like sub­stance for windows.

The rep­tili­an Slithar of Orgun III are at an early medi­ev­al stage of devel­op­ment, and engaged in an end­less series of wars.

Cap­tain Adred car­ries out the Trill Rite of Emer­gence in an effort to find out why the notion of a power­ful energy source bur­ied deep beneath the plan­et sur­face seems familiar.

Dia­logue: Adred, as he hears about the seis­mic activ­ity on Orgun III: “Ah, now it’s begin­ning to make sense…”

Ref­er­ences: Lex­ing­ton made an appear­ance in the Star Trek: Deep Space 9 epis­ode “Explorers”. Sub­sequently, she under­took a chart­ing exped­i­tion before refit­ting at Earth for the Shack­leton mission.

D’g­hov was dropped off by an unnamed Vor’cha-class cruis­er. Sub-lieu­ten­ant (Klin­gon lagh) is the Klin­gon Defence Force equi­val­ent of an ensign.

Ques­tions: Will Cap­tain Adred and his crew viol­ate the Prime Dir­ect­ive to help the Lormeans, remove the sci­ent­ists and leave them to their fate, or find some oth­er solu­tion? And how did the Adred sym­biont sur­vive after the destruc­tion of the ori­gin­al Lex­ing­ton?