Episode Number: 2×01
Written by: Ian Lemke
Directed by: Jon Crew
Transmission: 8th October 2022
- 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?