Episode Number: 2×06
Written by: Aaron Pollyea
Directed by: Jon Crew
Transmission: 28th January 2023
- Lieutenant Edward Smith: Xenoanthropologist on Lexington.
Lexington is under attack!
We were preparing to leave the twin worlds of HIP 73513, following the depressing conclusion to our exploration, when we were hit by two powerful blasts.
With our shields down as we retrieved the last away teams, the damage has been devastating…Captain’s Log: Stardate, 48322.1
Plot: Pummelled by a pair of powerful tractor beams, the Lexington crew struggle to effect repairs and escape their grip.
The ‘A’ Plot: Alarms blare as the bridge lurches, throwing crew members in all directions, before the lights go out and the emergency lighting comes on. Both Zepht and D’ghov have minor injuries, but Konin has everyone get to work restoring power to the consoles, so that they can find out what happened and defend themselves. Concerned that they may need weapons in a hurry, he goes to help D’ghov at the tactical console, but she burns her hand on the EPS connection, swearing in Klingon. He wisely backs off.
In the meantime, Zohir takes the stairs down to main engineering to find Selvek and his team working to restore power to essential systems. The chief engineer reports that he has discovered that Lexington’s structural integrity system has been compromised; several parts of the system have failed, and the remainder is drawing excessive power to hold the ship together.
Zepht restores power to the ops station and begins scanning for their attackers. He quickly establishes that there are no hostile vessels in the system, and that the Lady Lex is being held by two tractor beams emanating from the twin planets, presumably parts of the same systems that destroyed the Us and the Rl’lowo Shal. Each beam appears to be trying to force the ship into the other planet, but they are evenly matched: unfortunately, she is being crushed as a result. Meanwhile, damage reports are arriving from across the ship: one of the warp nacelles is badly damaged, there are multiple hull breaches, the shields are inoperative, and there is no weapons control.
Boone arrives on the bridge and D’ghov assigns him to coordinate the rescue missions into breached parts of the ship.
Konin convenes a conference to discuss the situation. It’s generally agreed that they will need to deactivate the beam generators and several proposals are made, involving the use of the sensors, the navigational deflectors and the weapons, but Selvek points out that there is not enough power available to achieve the kind of fine control necessary. This power is currently required by the structural integrity system to resist the damage being done by the beams. He and Zepht are tasked to prioritise repairs to that system.
With the emergency repairs complete, Boone proposes using the navigational deflector to manipulate the harmonic resonances between the two beams. The resulting pressures would then push the ship into a natural zone of destructive interference, reducing the pressures on and damage to the ship. This proves successful, but the ship is unable to leave this zone without sustaining more damage, or worse, being grabbed by one of the beams and slammed into the other planet.
Zepht points out that the pinpoint accuracy required to destroy the emitters from space is not really possible with the ship in its current condition and suggests that the emitters should be disabled by teams on the ground. Selvek notes that this will requite precise timing: if one is shut down before the other, even by a fraction of a second, then the interference pattern will dissipate, allowing the ship to be grabbed and, with only one beam active, used as ammunition.
Konin sends two landing parties out by shuttle: Quinn and Zepht take one to Rl’lowo, while Boone and Selvek travel to Five Turns in the other. They quickly locate the target emitters in mountainous regions on each world.
Boone finds himself piloting through a thick cloud layer, and inadvertantly triggers a sonic boom as he narrowly misses a mountain peak. He lands the shuttle on an ancient landing platform, where he and Selvek are briefly halted by a locked door. Using phasers to cut their way in, they finding the remains of a number of both Rl’lowo Shal and Us, who apparently died in battle. They locate a control room and find the emitter console embedded within a block of ice, forcing them to thaw it out. Quinn’s arrival, meanwhile, is near perfect; he and Zepht are able to just walk into the local control station, but then have to wait for the signal from Five Turns to actually shut it down.
They coordinate the shutdown perfectly, then both teams destroy the power source for their emitter. Unfortunately, the station on Five Turns is then buried under an avalanche triggered by the earlier shockwave. Although Boone and Selvek are able to get out, they discover that the shuttle has been swept off the platform and down the mountainside. They have to wait for Quinn to pick them up, although he stops to recover their the lost shuttle first, refusing to lose a second one in the space of six hours…
The triumphant teams return to the newly-freed Lexington, but the ship then has to wait for a tug to help them make the ignominious trip home for repairs.
The ‘B’ Plot: Lt Cdr Quinn is piloting the last Type‑6 shuttlecraft carrying xenoarchaeologists back from Rl’lowo, his passengers excitedly comparing notes and speculations. As he approaches Lexington’s landing bay, the starship suddenly lurches up and sideways, forcing him to react quickly to avoid colliding with the hull. Unfortunately, he is not quite successful and he loses a nacelle against the edge of the bay door. The shuttle careers across the deck at speed, and with the power out, the restraining field fails to activate, allowing the small craft to slam into the inner safety door.
A minute or so later, Quinn comes back to consciousness and realises his predicament, stranded in a small container in a large space open to vacuum, with the power sustaining life support failing. Some of the passengers are injured, all are beginning to panic. Hearing a high-pitched whistle, he begins a search for a possible air leak, successfully finding and sealing it.
Meanwhile, Boone is in the landing bay control gallery, supervising the away team recovery process. When the beams hit, he is thrown off his feet along with the traffic control team, and everything goes dark. As the emergency power comes online, he takes charge, organising damage checks and looking for the emergency evacuation equipment. Finding it, he dons an EVA suit and heads out into the bay, dragging a bundle of empty EVA suits and evacuation balls. On the shuttle, there is enough power to maintain an an air-retaining force field, so Boone is able to enter and assist the injured into protective equipment for evacuation.
On their return to the ship proper, Quinn and his team head to sickbay, while Boone climbs the stairs to the bridge to report to his department head.
Observations: The conn officer Lieutenant Commander Peter Quinn is finally introduced, although he’s been lurking at his console for a few episodes. He’s a bit of a hot-shot pilot, although even he can’t react fast enough to avoid crashing his shuttle when Lexington is hit by the tractor beams.
Starfleet emergency evacuation systems include inflatable balls about a meter across, acting as a simple airtight lifeboat for a single individual.
Dialogue: SLt D’ghov burns her hand on the tactical console: “Untranslateable! Untranslateable Untranslateable of Untranslateable!” (The universal translator appears to have the family filter turned on.)