Episode Number: 2×14
Written by: Jim Johnson
Directed by: Jon Crew
Transmission: 27th May 2023
- Assessor Tredik: Mysterious resident, and apparent caretaker, of Candidate Three’s ruins.
- Commander Tomalak: Commanding officer of the Castorex and of the Romulan squadron.
We are in the Candidate Three system, along with the rest of the task force, where we have become involved in Assessor Tredik’s attempt to save his charges, the Tilikaal, from a planetary collision. It looks like my questions will have to wait.Captain’s Log: Stardate, 48965.2
Plot: Lexington and Bellerophon attempt to aid Assessor Tredik in saving the vulnerable Tilikaal from the planetary collision, while Thunderchild keeps the Romulans from interfering.
The ‘A’ Plot: Aboard Lexington, Captain Konin orders all non-engineering personnel to evacuate the lower levels of the ship, reducing the risk of casualties from power overloads. D’ghov and Boone help ensure that there are no stragglers as crew members move purposefully into the main saucer. Azonan gathers his engineering team and explains the details of his plan, outlining the various contingencies built in to allow for potential problems.
The work begins in earnest as Selvek, assisted by Konin on the bridge, reconfigures the shields to help redirect the energy. Azonan takes the lead on the next stage, as his engineering staff reinforces and rearranges various parts of the power grid to ensure the expected energy flow will be contained and conducted without harming Lexington or her crew. Selvek is alarmed to see that Azonan is not above using brute force when the connections don’t quite fit correctly on the first try, but it seems to work.
Once all is ready, Konin gives the order to Quinn to take Lexington into the heart of the energy stream, while Azonan and Selvek attempt to ensure the ship survives long enough to even attempt her task. Quinn is more cautious than usual, dodging the more powerful energy bursts as he steers her into the centre of the storm.
Azonan quickly activates the energy redirection, and they are relieved to see a powerful green energy beam coalesce in front of the ship’s deflector dish, directed out into interplanetary space. The engineering and damage control teams are kept busy for the next half-hour, constantly rerouting power, diverting overloads into storage batteries and repairing overloaded equipment, as Azonan carefully orchestrates the whole process. This achieve the target of allowing Bellerophon and her teams to remain on the surface significantly longer.
With his crew entirely occupied by redirecting the energy stream, Konin is unable to react when the Romulans arrive. Quinn does suggest attempting to aim the navigational deflector at the intruders, but Azonan points out that this could disrupt the energy flow catastrophically, so the Captain decides not to risk it.
As Thunderchild arrives moments later, something odd begins to happen to the energy streaming out of Lexington’s deflector, as the beam begins to deform into a vortex. Flattening out into a disc, it opens up to form a portal into another space. Similar portals are opening up on the surface of Candidate Three II and in the corridors and rooms of the spacecraft.
Within each portal is the figure of Ash’tamalia, the same being seen in holographic transmissions. They reach out their hand, begging the beholders to help them. Many of the Starfleet personnel respond by grabbing the hand, intending to pull the Tilikaal through to join them, but they find they are dragged through the portal instead. In orbit, a giant hand grabs Lexington, pulling her through the giant vortex in front of her.
The ‘B’ Plot: Below the surface of Candidate Three II, Assessor Tredik explains that Zepht and his team need to fix some of the carved conduits bringing energy plasma to his apparatus. The Denobulan quickly directs his assistants to begin making the necessary repairs, but after the first three, it becomes obvious that most of the damaged conduits are outside the control room. This will require clambering out on to the narrow ledges and catwalks criss-crossing the huge chamber containing the Tilikaal suspended animation chambers.
Sighing, he removes his boots so that his bare feet can get a better grip as he edges through the window. The others look at each other and follow, each aiming for a different damage site. The repairs are time-consuming, especially since debris impacts on the surface are sending tremors through the chamber and its fittings, making movement dangerous. Eventually, Tredik indicates that enough repairs have been completed to enable adequate power for his systems, and the Starfleet personnel head back to the control room.
Their next tasks are to reset and restart a pair of power regulators vital to his system. These processes are simple enough, but the regulators take time to power up. As the minutes tick past, Elser receives a message relayed from Thunderchild regarding incoming Romulans. Working on his own initiative, he quickly arranges a booby trap with a phaser and a tricorder to delay any Romulan assault through the entry passage.
After what seems like hours, everything is ready, and Tredik thanks them for their assistance. He suggests they get to safety, as he will be able to accomplish his task now. They take the hint and head for the surface, arriving in time to see two Romulan assault shuttles fly overhead, firing disruptor blasts at Bellerophon’s extended shields. Seeing that the shields are weakening they sprint for the ship.
Unfortunately, they are only about halfway there when the shields flare and begin to collapse. Moments later, they are forced to take cover as a cluster of rocks penetrate the dissipating shields, striking the ground where they were running. As they get back to their feet, an explosion rips through the secondary hull of the landed ship, breaking her back as escape pods begin to eject from her hull. They watch aghast as more explosions turn Bellerophon into a pile of scrap.
The ‘C’ Plot: On the edge of the system, Thunderchild and her fighters battle a quartet of Romulan warbirds, led by Commander Tomalak aboard the Castorex, in an effort to delay their interference. With the fighters distracting the Romulan targeting systems, the cruiser dodges and rolls to avoid incoming disruptor fire from the warbirds, but Castorex scores a hit, scoring a line of explosions across the left side of her saucer.
Thunderchild returns fire, her phaser beams sweeping across Castorex, and huge explosions ravage her starboard warp nacelle. The warbird Cassian takes another shot, but misses, and again Thunderchild’s phaser arrays wreak havoc, leaving the Romulan crew desperately trying to restore power to their crippled vessel.
The remaining warbirds, T’vallin and Verastas, break past the dogfight and head towards Candidate Three II, Thunderchild turning to pursue. Both Romulan ships fire plasma torpedoes at the Starfleet vessel, causing little damage, then briefly drop their shields to launch a pair of assault shuttles each, before turning to face their pursuer.
More plasma torpedoes speed towards Thunderchild, which retaliates with a salvo of quantum torpedoes, cripping Verastas. Captain Pyanfar senses the opportunity to broadcast a demand that the Romulans stand down, but the remaining warbird commander does not respond. Instead, T’vallin races towards the colliding planets, the Starfleet cruiser in hot pursuit.
The Arc: It looks like the Lexington crew will get to meet the Tilikaal at last.
Observations: There’s an Ensign A’Mathi in Engineering: is he a descendant of the original Lexington’s Chief Engineer?
Dialogue: Lt Cdr Azonan gets his team to work: “Mr Selvek, take charge of the shields. Maintain power levels and stand ready to bring backup generators online as needed. Lieutenant Lehman, we’re going to use auxiliary deuterium tank 7 as overflow storage for the tetryons if needed. I want the tank completely drained; shunt the fuel to other tanks, anything we don’t have capacity for, toss it overboard, then put up a level four containment field around the tank. At the first sign of a leak, flush the tank out through the refuelling valves. Ensign Galez, get up to cargo bay 2 and establish a transporter lock on tank 7; if the worst comes to the worst, we’ll have to beam it off the ship. Ensign A’Mathi, we’ll be pushing tetryons through the deuterium system, so make sure the feed to the warp core is isolated, I don’t want stray tetryons running through M/ARA. Ensign Kelen, do the same with the fusion reactors. Chief Calloway, get down to the antimatter generator and isolate the QCRD from the Bussard collector feed; no one’s ever proved a tetryon antiparticle exists, and this is no time for impromptu experiments to find one. Everyone else, stand to your stations, keep a weather eye on the readings and sing out at the first sign of trouble. Everyone clear? Then jump to it!”
Questions: Where have Lexington and her crew gone? Did the rest of the ships and personnel in the system survive?