Fading Sun, Part II

Epis­ode Num­ber: 2×04

Writ­ten by: Ian Lemke

Dir­ec­ted by: Jon Crew

Trans­mis­sion: 3rd Decem­ber 2022

Guest Stars:

  • 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.

Our resup­ply vis­it to Epsi­lon 19 has been more event­ful than I expec­ted. Com­mand­er Johanssen’s Ori­on “guests” are almost cer­tainly respons­ible for the explo­sions in the com­mand centre, and I intend to invest­ig­ate as soon as we’ve escaped the wrecked lift car.

Cap­tain’s Log: Supplemental

Plot: Escap­ing from the lift shaft, Lex­ing­ton’s away team aids in dis­aster recov­ery, fights nefar­i­ous pir­ates and dis­cov­ers what really caused the explosions.

The ‘A’ Plot: Cap­tain Kon­in, now sep­ar­ated from his com­pan­ions, con­tin­ues his climb to the top deck of the sta­tion, loc­a­tion of the com­mand centre. With flames still bil­low­ing from the open door to the com­mand cen­ter itself, he opts to exit onto the level below. He over­rides the doors and enters the main cor­ridor for the top level of the sta­tion’s quar­ters. Find­ing sev­er­al sci­ent­ists arguing about how to break into a recre­ation room to res­cue an injured col­league, he opts to take charge, send­ing one down to fetch tools from the sci­ence labs, and anoth­er to loc­ate a med­ic­al kit. Look­ing around, he spots the door to a gym­nas­i­um. Emer­ging with the sturdy bar from a weight-train­ing set, he uses this to lever the broken door open so that they can assist the trapped scientist.

Cut off from Kon­in by the broken lad­der, D’g­hov and Con­ners exit the lift­shaft through a Jef­fer­ies tube into a lower level of crew quar­ters. Spot­ting a sta­tion crew­man, D’g­hov intim­id­ates him into show­ing them the stair­case up to the com­mand deck. As they climb the stairs, they run into the sci­ent­ist sent by Kon­in, and rush up to assist with the res­cue efforts.

While Con­ners attends to the injured sci­ent­ist, Kon­in and D’g­hov go up to check the com­mand centre. The door is red hot, so they take great care in open­ing it, find­ing that the room bey­ond is a mess of burn­ing wreck­age, shattered con­soles and charred bod­ies. D’g­hov ven­tures in with the hope of loc­at­ing a work­ing con­sole that they can use to manu­ally activ­ate the fire sup­pres­sion sys­tem. Unfor­tu­nately, there does not appear to be any­thing work­ing at all, but she is able to res­cue the injured sta­tion commander.

Kon­in and his team begin work­ing their way down the struc­ture, res­cuing oth­er vic­tims in the crew quar­ters and sci­ence levels. Enter­ing one lab, they dis­cov­er Cap­tain E’lor­uul and sev­er­al of her crew ran­sack­ing the appar­at­us, look­ing for valu­ables. She takes one look at the new­comers and orders her Naus­icaan body­guards to attack. D’g­hov reacts quickly, shoot­ing at (and miss­ing) one and lunging at the oth­er with her d’k tahg. Con­ners charges the first Naus­icaan and demon­strates her own mok’bara skills. Kon­in jumps over a table and goes hand to hand with an Ori­on crew­man. The fight is over in seconds, as the Ori­ons and Naus­icaans fall to Con­ner­s’s and D’g­hov’s com­bat skills. Kon­in has more dif­fi­culty, but his oppon­ent sur­renders when he real­ises he’s the only one left stand­ing. Look­ing for the Ori­on cap­tain, they find she has escaped in the confusion.

As they begin to inter­rog­ate the pris­on­ers, D’g­hov becomes aware of a quiet beep­ing sound. Spot­ting “slave col­lars” around the necks of the pris­on­ers, she pushes the oth­ers into cov­er as the col­lars explode, killing the pris­on­ers. D’g­hov vows to kill E’lor­uul, and chases after her, catch­ing up with her in anoth­er lab just in time to see her trans­port out.

The ‘B’ Plot: Zepht and Selvek head down the lift shaft to the engin­eer­ing sec­tion at the base of the sta­tion. As they enter, they find two dead engin­eers and then a plasma fire block­ing their way. Selvek shuts down the EPS con­duit fuel­ing the fire, allow­ing them access to the sta­tion’s sec­ond­ary con­trol room, where they can view the engin­eer­ing records. They find that there were explo­sions in EPS sys­tems across Epsi­lon 19, arising from over­loads caused by fluc­tu­ations in the fusion react­or. Zepht loc­ates a tri­cord­er in a tool lock­er and scans the react­or, learn­ing that the sys­tem is stead­ily los­ing power, and this is trig­ger­ing the over­loads. The reas­on for the drain is unclear, but he notices tri­ol­ic radi­ation eman­at­ing from the reactor.

Des­pite strong sub­space inter­fer­ence, Zepht is able to con­tact the cap­tain, attempt­ing to con­vey that Selvek wants to shut down the power sys­tem, in order to fig­ure out why it is fail­ing. They would be unable to restart it without the assist­ance of Lex­ing­ton, but they would have about 4 hours on bat­ter­ies before life sup­port fails. He assumes Lex­ing­ton should be back by then. Kon­in gives his approv­al, so Selvek shuts it all down. In the mean­time, Zepht mon­it­ors the radi­ation levels, noti­cing that the source is now mov­ing – out of the sta­tion and towards the sun.

They the­or­ise that the tri­ol­ic radi­ation source may be respons­ible for the fluc­tu­ations. With it out of the react­or, Selvek thinks the sys­tem will behave nor­mally, once they are able to restart it. There are, how­ever, plenty of essen­tial sys­tems to fix before then. He gets to work.

Zepht finds that with the tri­ol­ic radi­ation dis­persed, the sub­space inter­fer­ence is greatly reduced. He brings the cap­tain up to speed with their work, then con­tacts Lex­ing­ton, inform­ing Com­mand­er Zohir that the away team needs their assist­ance. The ship returns with­in a few minutes, deliv­er­ing dis­aster recov­ery and repair teams to the station.

Now that they have access to the ship’s sensors again, Zepht is able to com­bine their read­ings with the sensor logs of the sta­tion to identi­fy a num­ber of large out-of-phase creatures on the sur­face of the star. They appear to be feed­ing on it, and bud­ding smal­ler ver­sions of them­selves, that are then head­ing into deep space. Noti­cing that some of them are attached to the ship’s warp core, and that they are also emit­ting tri­ol­ic radi­ation, he the­or­ises they are attrac­ted to energy sources and were prob­ably respons­ible for the drain at the station.

While D’g­hov is keen to des­troy them, it is poin­ted out that, as well as viol­at­ing sev­er­al Star­fleet pro­to­cols (“I do not work for Star­fleet!”), this would dam­age the warp core. Selvek and Zepht how­ever, have figured out how to con­fig­ure the shields to cloak the warp core from the entit­ies, and believe this tech­nique would also work for the sta­tion. D’g­hov has to con­tent her­self with pro­gram­ming photon tor­pedoes to mim­ic power sources, in order to draw the nearest entit­ies away from the ship and the sta­tion before the recon­figured shields go up.

With the energy drain dealt with, repairs under­way and a means of keep­ing the entit­ies away from their react­or, Johanssen’s team res­ist any attempt to des­troy the creatures, des­pite their poten­tial threat to nearby stars. They are keen to expand their stud­ies to include this unusu­al lifeform.

Obser­va­tions: As expec­ted, D’g­hov is an effi­cient and dev­ast­at­ing mel­ee com­batant, cap­able of inca­pa­cit­at­ing Naus­icaans in a single blow. Dr Con­ners also turns out to be remark­able cap­able, primar­ily due to her interest in com­pet­it­ive mok’bara. Kon­in uses moves from the Kirk school of mar­tial arts.

Ref­er­ences: Tri­ol­ic radi­ation emis­sion was a side effect of the Devid­i­ans’ tem­por­al gate­way in ‘Time’s Arrow’.