Fading Sun, Part I

Epis­ode Num­ber: 2×03

Writ­ten by: Ian Lemke

Dir­ec­ted by: Jon Crew

Trans­mis­sion: 19th Novem­ber 2022

Guest Stars:

  • Vice Admir­al Hebert: Head of Star­fleet oper­a­tions in the Shack­leton Expanse and com­mand­er of the 10th Fleet.
  • Com­mand­er Murphy: Hebert’s adjutant.
  • Secur­ity Spe­cial­ist Jones: Human mem­ber of Lex­ing­ton’s secur­ity department.
  • Com­mand­er Erich Johanssen: Human com­mand­ing officer of the Epsi­lon 19 research station.
  • Len­ana Mosa: Bol­i­an head research­er on Epsi­lon 19.
  • Cap­tain E’lor­uul: Ori­on cap­tain of the Rak­tar’s Profit.

And Intro­du­cing:

  • Cap­tain Atani Kon­in: Com­mand­ing officer of U.S.S. Minotaur NCC-42044.

So… It appears that Cap­tain Adred resigned his post and his com­mis­sion at approx­im­ately mid­night last night, exited the ship onto Nar­en­dra Sta­tion and promptly dis­ap­peared. There’s a lot that does not make sense here; hope­fully Lieu­ten­ant Zepht and his team will get to the bot­tom of this quickly.

Exec­ut­ive Officer­’s Log: Stard­ate, 48198.3

Plot: When Cap­tain Adred resigns his com­mis­sion and dis­ap­pears in the middle of the night, the crew sus­pects foul play. How­ever, their mis­sion must con­tin­ue, as they deliv­er sup­plies to a remote sta­tion, under a strict new com­mand­ing officer.

Pro­logue: The U.S.S. Minotaur is pur­su­ing a small trad­ing ves­sel in the Brukkea sys­tem, catch­ing up rap­idly with her prey. The exec­ut­ive officer calls Cap­tain Kon­in to the bridge, inform­ing him that the ship is with­in range. Order­ing a com­mu­nic­a­tions chan­nel opened to the ship, he intro­duces him­self, order­ing the trader to stand down and pre­pare to be boarded. The oper­at­or of the oth­er ves­sel protests his inno­cence, then offers to share some of his profit with Kon­in. The cap­tain is not impressed and orders the ves­sel to be tractored, its occu­pant to be beamed into the brig, and a board­ing party arranged.

Later, in the inter­rog­a­tion room, the pris­on­er again protests his inno­cence, then tries to improve on his offer. Kon­in retorts that he should not be try­ing to bribe a Star­fleet officer, but real­ises that the pris­on­er is actu­ally more scared of someone else. An inter­com call from the bridge inter­rupts his thoughts, and he returns to his ready room to receive a call from Vice Admir­al Hebert. She informs him that she has a prob­lem with the com­mand­er of Lex­ing­ton and would appre­ci­ate Kon­in’s tak­ing com­mand of the big­ger ship for the fore­see­able future.

The ‘A’ Plot: Three days earli­er on Lex­ing­ton, still docked at Nar­en­dra Sta­tion, Zepht arrives for his shift and is asked by Com­mand­er Zohir if he has seen the cap­tain. Zepht has not, although he is usu­ally on the bridge before him. Fur­ther enquir­ies are made, and when there is no response, the door on Adred’s cab­in is over­rid­den. The room is empty of occu­pant and pos­ses­sions, except for a single PADD con­tain­ing a simple resig­na­tion letter.

Agree­ing with Zepht that the cap­tain is unlikely to have just resigned, Zohir informs Hebert and organ­ises a meet­ing of the seni­or officers. Brief­ing them on Adred’s resig­na­tion mes­sage, he asks them not to inform the crew as yet, and instructs Zepht to lead an invest­ig­a­tion into the dis­ap­pear­ance. Com­mand­er Murphy mean­while, ini­ti­ates a search of the sta­tion, although the miss­ing Trill is not found.

Over the next few days, Zepht, with the assist­ance of Lt (jg) Selvek and Dr Con­ners, estab­lishes some facts about the case. Video records show that Adred left the ship around 2 am, but there is no activ­ity in the cor­ridor out­side his rooms around the time he would have left. He is vis­ible in foot­age from the main cor­ridor, but not the side pas­sage he entered it from, as if he appeared out of thin air as he roun­ded the corner. The guard on the main gang­way is seen to have greeted the cap­tain as he left, but he has no memory of see­ing him spe­cific­ally. Sta­tion secur­ity has a record of him exit­ing the ship, but then loses track of him as he enters the Gal­ler­ia. Oddly, the com­puter con­tin­ues to report that, while the cap­tain is not on the ship, he has nev­er left it.

Doc­tor Con­ner­s’s scans indic­ate that the com­mand­ing officer­’s quar­ters have been cleaned thor­oughly, leav­ing no trace of any DNA; though this would be nor­mal between one occu­pant and the next. Selvek is asked to check the records from the rep­lic­at­or to see if the cap­tain’s comm badge had been recycled, but dis­cov­ers the device’s records have been erased from about 10 the pre­vi­ous night until about 6 the fol­low­ing morn­ing. Zepht, mean­while, real­ises that some of the foot­age in the videos is faked: it looks like maybe the cap­tain came from a dif­fer­ent point in the main cor­ridor, but this was over­writ­ten later.

Three days after the dis­ap­pear­ance, the U.S.S. Minotaur arrives at the sta­tion, and Cap­tain Kon­in beams across. He is met by the Admir­al, who fills him on what has tran­spired so far before escort­ing him to Lex­ing­ton. They meet with Com­mand­er Zohir, then Kon­in is intro­duced as the new C.O. to his seni­or officers and com­mand codes are transferred.

His first task is to put the ship back into some semb­lance of nor­mal ser­vice, so he orders Zepht to con­tin­ue his invest­ig­a­tion around his nor­mal duties, while they under­take a deliv­ery mis­sion. Murphy and his team will also con­tin­ue the invest­ig­a­tion back on Nar­en­dra Station.

The ‘B’ Plot: Lex­ing­ton, under her new com­mand­ing officer, is assigned to deliv­er sci­entif­ic instru­ments to Epsi­lon 19, a new research sta­tion in the Osar­in sys­tem. Decid­ing he needs to know how his new crew will per­form under pres­sure, Kon­in rearranges their shift pat­tern and begins run­ning vari­ous drills as they travel. Once they arrive, the equip­ment is trans­por­ted to the sta­tion, while the cap­tain and his seni­or officers are invited for din­ner and a tour by Com­mand­er Johanssen. Lex­ing­ton, mean­while, departs to make close-up sensor scans of the star.

At din­ner, they dis­cov­er that Johanssen has oth­er guests, the Ori­on cap­tain E’lor­uul and her body­guards, a pair of Naus­icaans. Doc­tor Mosa briefs them about the sta­tion’s research into the pecu­li­ar nature of Osar­in, which is los­ing bright­ness at an increas­ing rate. Johanssen spends most of his time in deep con­ver­sa­tion with E’lor­uul, who has brought gifts and is request­ing per­mis­sion to bring her crew aboard for recre­ation. Appar­ently her ship’s drive is dam­aged, but when Selvek offers to help with the repairs, she demurs, claim­ing that he would have dif­fi­culty with the pecu­li­ar­it­ies of Ori­on tech­no­logy. Johanssen accedes to her request, des­pite Zeph­t’s reser­va­tions; as a Den­ob­u­lan, he is aware that Ori­on pher­omones are present and sus­pects that E’lor­uul is using them to influ­ence the commander.

Fol­low­ing the meal, the away team are taken on a tour of the sta­tion, but while they are in the core elev­at­or, the entire struc­ture shud­ders as the power goes off. Moments later, there is a muffled explo­sion and the elev­at­or plum­mets sev­er­al decks before grind­ing to a halt, leav­ing sev­er­al of them badly bruised. Selvek determ­ines that the only way out will be through the emer­gency hatch on the ceil­ing, so Kon­in organ­ises their climb out on to the access ladder.

They sep­ar­ate, Zepht and Selvek head­ing down to the engin­eer­ing deck to try and restore power, while Kon­in, Con­ners and D’g­hov head up towards the flames flick­er­ing around the access to the com­mand deck.

Then the lad­der gives way beneath Kon­in’s feet, sep­ar­at­ing him from his companions…

The ‘C’ Plot: On the morn­ing of Adred’s dis­ap­pear­ance, the U.S.S. Thun­der­child arrives at the sta­tion. Lt (jg) Selvek dis­em­barks and heads across the dock­ing bay to the Lex­ing­ton gang­way, identi­fy­ing him­self to the guard. Lt Zepht is sent to meet him, learn­ing that he is the ship’s new chief engin­eer, des­pite his rel­at­ive youth. After he meets Com­mand­er Zohir, Zepht gives Selvek a brief tour, explain­ing the situ­ation, and giv­ing him the chance to apply his engin­eer­ing tal­ents to the investigation.

The Arc: Giv­en the tim­ing, it seems likely that Cap­tain Adred’s dis­ap­pear­ance is related to his reveal­ing his know­ledge of the events exper­i­enced by his pre­vi­ous host.

Obser­va­tions: Cap­tain Kon­in, the new com­mand­ing officer, is an old friend of Vice-Admir­al Hebert, with over five dec­ades’ his­tory in Star­fleet. He has a repu­ta­tion as a stern but effect­ive commander.

Lt (jg) Selvek has been appoin­ted as engin­eer­ing depart­ment head on Lex­ing­ton, des­pite being only a few years out of the Academy.

Dia­logue: Cap­tain Adred’s resig­na­tion: “Giv­en the cur­rent situ­ation, I have no choice but to resign my com­mis­sion and return to civil­ian life, effect­ive immediately.”

Ques­tions: Were the Ori­ons respons­ible for the explo­sion? And what did hap­pen to Cap­tain Adred?