Episode Number: 2×09
Written by: Jim Johnson
Directed by: Jon Crew
Transmission: 25th March 2023
- Captain Akul: Commanding officer of the I.K.S. MupwI’.
- Chief Petty Officer Adorr Rogon: Bolian operations NCO on Lexington.
- “Slab”, “Grunt” and Bahl: Orion Syndicate pirates.
- Assorted officers from S.S. Bann, S.S. Berbice, S.S. Corazon, S.S. Cowslip, S.S. Felicidade, S.S. Gerba, S.S. Jahde and S.S. Londonderry.
After days crawling at warp 5 into the depths of the Expanse, we’ve been ambushed by pirates. With MupwI’ kept out of the fight by a warp core failure, they’ve been able to use their numbers to inflict severe damage on Lexington, but we’ve now gained the upper hand.Captain’s Log: Stardate, 48625.7
Plot: While escorting a convoy to a remote science outpost, MupwI’ has suffered damage to her warp drive, leaving Lexington to defend against a horde of pirates alone.
The ‘A’ Plot: Boone staggers away from the tactical console shaking his head after the last impact. As he sits back against a wall, Konin takes over, launching a salvo of photon torpedoes at the pirate freighter. The multiple blasts break the ship’s back, leaving it helpless in space.
A corruscating wave of energy washes over the battlefield, causing minor systems failures on many of the convoy vessels, although the pirate fighters seem to be ready for it, dodging around the energy ribbons. Worryingly, Corazon and Bann flicker and vanish, and the crew of Lexington is suddenly confronted with a very different world: dressed in unusual uniforms, straining to see in diminished lighting and developing more aggressive attitudes. As Konin realises they have somehow slipped into the infamous “mirror universe”, everything returns to normal. The missing transports also reappear, although Corazon appears to be covered in a thick gel-like substance, which is evaporating into space. Her captain later relates that they spent those moments immersed in a dense liquid, and surrounded by giant, shadowy creatures.
The remaining pirate fighters close in on the transports, then the second pirate freighter reappears, coming to a halt next to Jahde and briefly dropping her shields. Ops Chief Rogon reports transporter activity before the vessel’s shields go back up.
As Lexington moves to respond to the new threat, a second wave of energy hits the region, with similarly odd effects. Once again, two of the transports vanish, this time Felicidade and Berbice, while Lexington is hit by an even more dramatic change, briefly being replaced by what appears to be a 20th century Earth aircraft carrier. And once again, everything returns to normal a few seconds later.
Konin fires phasers, causing minor damage to the second pirate, which then jumps to warp, followed by both Jahde and Londonderry, which have obviously been boarded and commandeered. Lexington easily disables the remainder of the fighters and moves towards the stricken pirate freighter to rescue survivors. Suddenly, the freighter explodes, followed by the disabled fighters, in what appears to be a deliberate act of self destruction.
Sighing, Konin contacts the remaining transports for damage reports, before leading them back to MupwI’, where they can be protected while Lexington recovers Jahde and Londonderry. On the Klingon cruiser, Zepht and his engineering team are making good progress in restoring the warp core, as Captain Akul watches critically, impressed with their work, but continually criticising his own people’s lack of efficiency.
When Lexington arrives, Zepht takes the opportunity to return to his station, leaving the engineers to carry on without him. Noting Akul’s disappointment at being left to look after the convoy, Konin invites him aboard Lexington, to take part in rescuing the missing transports.
They quickly track the commandeered vessels to a deserted planet in a nearby system, where they find them docked to a huge freighter in a decaying orbit. The surviving pirate freighter from the attack is also present and moves to intercept them. Ignoring it, Lexington heads straight towards the two transports, beaming their crews to safety, before Akul is given the honour of disabling the engines of the large vessel. He also takes the opportunity to fire a quick phaser volley at the smaller freighter, disabling it and apparently motivating them to self-destruct.
Boarding the remaining ships, they are able to regain control of the transports, and to locate four pirates, who are taken prisoner and returned to the brig. Quinn is put in charge of interrogating them, and asks Akul to accompany him; Konin tags along, intending to monitor the prisoners telepathically.
The first prisoner is a surly Human going by the name of “Slab”. He doesn’t want to talk and refuses to rise to Quinn’s attempts to intimidate him into doing so, even when he’s escorted to the airlock where Quinn tries to convince him that he will be ejected into space. Unfortunately, Quinn forgets to lock out the airlock controls; when Konin realises that Slab is going to space himself, he orders the transporter room to beam the prisoner back to the brig as soon as the outer door opens. It is clear that the pirate is more afraid of his boss than anything Starfleet could do to him. The idea of handing him over to the Klingons doesn’t scare him either, and Konin vetoes this anyway.
“Grunt” is a towering Nausicaan, but is barely able to understand the questions he’s asked. They don’t get much out of him.
A Bolian named Bahl seems happier to talk … to a point. He admits that they’re pirates, that they work to their captain’s orders, and that they are all part of the Orion Syndicate, but he won’t name his captain. Konin is able to read from his surface thoughts that this is actually the Orion owner-operator E’loruul. Bahl flatly refuses to give any information as to who is advising her or where her base is, explaining that his life is simply not worth it. When asked about Syndicate spies operating on Narendra, he just sneers and asks: “what do you think?”
Unfortunately, the fourth prisoner appears to have died in his cell. Dr Conners is unable to establish a cause of death, and there’s no sign of any suicide devices, so she initially assumes he may have somehow willed himself to death. Konin, however, is worried that he may have been murdered by an accomplice aboard the vessel, so she agrees to carry out a more detailed autopsy.
As the senior officers return to the bridge, the ship is briefly hit by another energy wave, losing all power for several minutes. As they try to get the door to the bridge open, Quinn requests Akul’s assistance in a rather familiar fashion, and is treated to a display of the Klingon’s temper. He’s backhanded for his insolence, and Konin is forced to step in, requesting that Akul not strike his officers.
Once power is restored, they are able to return to the convoy, escorting it to Array 3–5 without incident. As they return to Narendra Station for more repairs, Konin begins to establish a working relationship with the Klingon commander.
The Arc: The crew has uncovered evidence that the Orion Syndicate is up to something in the region, with their old adversary E’loruul playing a major part. It remains unclear as to whether this is anything more significant than the usual organised crime activities.
References: E’loruul was the Orion transport captain seen previously in ‘Fading Sun’.
Dialogue: Captain Akul boards Lexington: “Let us hunt pirates together!”
Quinn asks for help with a door: “Akul, if you could help me open the door…”
And Akul’s temper flares: “You will address me with the respect due to my position!”
Questions: Suspicions remain that sabotage may have caused or contributed to the multiple technical failures experienced by the convoy.
And what was happening with those flashes of alternative universes?