Episode Number: 2×12
Written by: Jim Johnson
Directed by: Jon Crew
Transmission: 6th May 2023
- Subcommander Rathar: Executive officer of the Romulan warbird Castorex.
- Assessor Tredik: Mysterious resident, and apparent caretaker, of Candidate Three’s ruins.
- Ash’tamalia of the Tilikaal.
- Lieutenant Lojeea Konin: Engineer on Starbase 364, and Captain Konin’s daughter.
- Lieutenant Qumoch: Second officer of the MupwI’.
We’ve been ordered to investigate Romulan operations in the HIP 73788 system (also designated “Candidate Three”), close to the known extent of the border. As we were also to investigate the oversized third planet of the system, which seems to be the source of a lot of local anomalies, I’ve taken a small party to the surface. Unfortunately, it looks like the Romulans got here first, and they seem to have made first contact with an unknown species.Captain’s Log: Stardate, 48943.8
Plot: Captain Konin and his away team battle a Romulan platoon for access to an ancient ruin housing alien technology.
The ‘A’ Plot: Captain Konin remains carefully hidden, though with a clear view of the Romulan soldiers, as he replies telepathically to the tall being, asking if they need assistance. The being, calling themself Assessor Tredik, says they do not believe so.
Suddenly, the Romulan leader, Subcommander Rathar, looks straight at Konin’s hiding place, and signals his troops. They begin moving in his direction, spreading out to encircle his position. Realising he’s been spotted, the captain quickly reports his situation to the others, then tries to negotiate, informing Rathar that although the two polities are rivals, it might benefit both sides to explore this world jointly.
Rathar responds with the same bluster Lieutenant Commander Quinn encountered on Seku VI, declaring that the Lexington has intruded into space annexed by the Romulan Star Empire. He regrets that he does not have the authority to grant them permission to be there, but despite their presence being an “act of war”, he will allow them to leave unharmed.
Konin asks why the annexation does not appear to have been formally announced, as he has heard nothing via the diplomatic channels, but Rathar responds that diplomacy is not the responsibility of the Romulan Star Navy.
When Konin refuses to surrender, the Romulan leader orders his men to take him captive. The captain quickly signals the rest of his team to take up positions flanking the advancing soldiers. Then he tries to put a call in to the ship to request reinforcements, but Commander Zohir replies that Lexington is currently facing down the Romulan warbird Castorex and is not in a position to assist.
Lieutenant Commander Zepht moves to a doorway in the ruined wall, then smartly steps back as he spots a Romulan coming the other way. He tries to grapple the soldier, succeeding in getting a basic hold, before Lieutenant Commander Azonan, close behind, threatens to stab him with his ushaan-tor. The Romulan sensibly surrenders. A second soldier appears around the end of the wall and fires his disruptor rifle, injuring Zepht, but Azonan charges and hits him with the flat of his ice pick, knocking him out.
Konin, Master Chief Boone and Crewman Servalan are involved in a firefight with the main part of Rathar’s squad, who are slowly advancing, firing their disruptor rifles. Boone lays down covering fire, making it harder for the Romulans to achieve any level of accuracy as they dodge his shots. The others pick off individual soldiers with aimed phaser fire, but they continue to advance. The tide of battle turns when Zepht (doing his best to ignore his disruptor burn) and Azonan get into position, catching the soldiers in a crossfire. Rathar, realising the fight is lost, vanishes in a transporter beam, and the last soldier drops his weapon and raises his hands.
While Boone and Azonan tie up the stunned prisoners, and Servalan attends to Zepht’s injury, Konin goes looking for Tredik. He’s unable to find the tall being and realises that he probably hid when the fighting started.
Noting that the plasma energy streams all converge on the building in front of them, Zepht enters and discovers a large pillared hall with a carved column standing on a pentagonal dais at its centre. His tricorder shows that the energy is being gathered in the ceiling and the column, but the levels involved exceed its measuring capabilities. A shimmering shaft of blue energy is swirling in front of the column, resembling a transporter materialisation effect, but something is preventing it from resolving. He calls in Azonan, who realises something in the central pillar is out of alignment. With the captain’s permission and Zepht’s help, he quickly fixes the problem.
After some tuning, the swirling cloud of energy soon resolves into a holographic projection of a tall androgynous humanoid with small wings. The being seems to react to their presence and reaches out to them, before speaking: “I am Ash’Tamalia, of the Tilikaal. We are trapped and need your help! Please – can you…”. Their voice is cut off as energy surges up the pillar, releasing a blinding flash. Servalan and Boone, outside the building, see a pulse of blue plasma projected off into deep space.
Konin turns and sees Tredik standing in the doorway. The Assessor informs Konin telepathically that “it is not yet time” and that the Starfleet officers must leave immediately. They make an odd gesture and the members of the away team find themselves back on the bridge of the Lexington, which appears to have suffered battle damage. Zohir brings them up to date on his battle with the Romulans, while Azonan mutters under his breath and gets to work on repairs. Zepht sits down at ops and attempts to figure out what just happened, tracking the plasma pulse into the depths of the Expanse.
Konin again hears Tredik, saying there is much to prepare and that it is not safe for them to remain. Zepht announces that a poweful energy field has just appeared around the planet, then space appears to fold up like an origami flower around them. Moments later, it unfolds again and the Candidate Three system has been replaced by Narendra Station. Although there is momentary concern that the station has been brought to the system, Zepht’s readings show that Lexington has been returned over a distance of 30 light years in seconds. MupwI’ is located around three kilometers away, having also been transported.
Vice Admiral Hebert calls them, demanding to know what’s going on and Konin explains that it appears they have been to have been evaculated from the system by a powerful entity, but that they still need time to evaluate their discoveries. Hebert requests a full debrief as soon as possible.
The ‘B’ Plot: In orbit around the planet, the crew of Lexington are surprised when a huge warbird decloaks directly in front of them. With the shields up, they are unable to assist with the away team’s battle, and then the warbird opens fire on them. Lexington takes moderate damage, but the shields are able to hold until the arrival of MupwI’, which drives the Romulans off.
The ‘C’ Plot: Two crew members have been recommended for medals after recent missions, and another is due for promotion. Captain Konin organises a combined award and promotion ceremony in the ship’s forward lounge, to be followed by a formal dinner, which takes place the evening after their return to the starbase. A number of notables are invited, including the admiral, Akul and two of the senior officers from MupwI’, and Lieutenant Lojeea Konin, the captain’s daughter. Captain Pyanfar of Thunderchild attends by remote hologram, as her ship is monitoring Romulan activity.
The proceedings begin with the award of The Starfleet Decoration for Gallantry to Lieutenant Commander Zepht for his actions on Seku VI, and The Star Cross to Lieutenant Commander Azonan for saving the ship at Alpha Toryui III. Finally, Selvek is promoted to full Lieutenant. They settle down to the meal in a civilised fashion, but later celebrations get more raucous. Lieutenant Commander Quinn takes on Lieutenant Qumoch in a drinking contest – they both fall unconscious within seconds of each other. Zohir leaves early, pleading a prior appointment on the station.
The Arc: It appears we have finally met the Tilikaal, although we know little about them except for their appearance. It is unclear where Assessor Tredik fits in their society, if at all.
Observations: Assessor Tredik seems to prefer to communicate by telepathy, and Konin is the only person to converse with them. Oddly, he’s also the only person to see them.
Dialogue: Konin responds to Rathar’s ultimatum: “I might not have grown tired of war, but the Federation feels differently.”
The projection speaks: “I am Ash’Tamalia, of the Tilikaal. We are trapped and need your help! Please – can you…”
References: The Romulan vessel Castorex is a D’deridex-class warbird, more than twice the length of Lexington.
Subcommander Rathar was previously seen on Seku VI. Executive officer on the Castorex, he’s not a fan of diplomacy, preferring to intimidate through superior numbers.
Questions: Are the Tilikaal imprisoned somewhere? Assessor Tredik appears to be a different species: how are they connected?