Episode Number: 3×02
Written by: Scott Pearson
Directed by: Jon Crew
Transmission: 1st July 2023
- Ash’tamalia: Leader of the Tilikaal “Displaced”
- Lieutenant Albert Durand: Lexington’s senior cosmologist
- Turlonumien: Tilikaal acolyte of Ash’tamalia
- Colonel Morok: Commanding officer of the I.K.S. moH be’nal and of the Klingon penal squadron
- Captain Jørgen Hendricks: commanding officer of U.S.S. Minotaur and Konin’s former first officer
We are stranded in a strange alien dimension. Neither time nor space seem to have much meaning, and we have no idea how long we have been here. Willpower and imagination seem to govern what passes for reality, rather than logic and science. We have, however, met the Tilikaal, although they are not quite what we were led to expect. Spirits imprisoned by their own people, they seem mostly exhausted and desperate to escape.
We’re going to have to make our own way home.Captain’s Log: Stardate, unknown
Plot: Now that they are aware of the Tilikaal’s situation, Captain Konin and his crew get to work building a way to get home. Unfortunately, the situation in the Expanse has changed somewhat during their absence.
The ‘A’ Plot: Upon their return to Lexington, the senior officers find that most of the hallucinations have vanished, including Lord Cochrane and the elder Captain Konin.
The captain immediately orders his team to the conference room to discuss the possibilities for returning to the Expanse. They quickly identify a number of targets to achieve: opening a gateway back to real space, generating the power to do so, and actually moving to and through the wormhole (given that there is no real space to move through in the pocket universe).
Based on the way in which the transporter team located him via his brainwave patterns, Zepht proposes using the medical department’s records of the evacuated crew members to ensure they emerge closer to Narendra Station. He also notes that, since most activity in this dimension requires willpower, the psionically-capable individuals on the ship, including Konin and Selvek, along with two dolphins in cetacean operations, might be able to help focus the crew’s collective belief in the operation.
Konin raises the possibility of using isolytic bursts to open the gateway, which would remove the power requirements, but they decide against this option due to the permanent damage it would do in the region in which it opens. Following a brief discussion on whether detonating the warp core outside the ship would provide the necessary power, Quinn points out that using a number of photon torpedoes could achieve the same goal, with the shields funnelling and collecting the energy.
Zepht suggests it may be possible to to modify the shields to catch one of the waves of energy that continually sleet through the system. If angled correctly, they could be used in a similar fashion to the sails on a surface vessel to bring the ship closer to the gateway.
With a plan in place, the crew get to work – Dr Conners points out that they need to do this quickly, as the energy waves are beginning to cause long-lasting damage to the crew. Zepht begins the process by getting detailed sensor readings of the energy waves. While he analyses the data, determining the make-up of the energy and attempting to find a particular pattern in its movement, Konin works closely with Quinn and Azonan to reconfigure the shields to catch these energies.
Quinn then re-orients the ship into the best position to do this, before Konin, taking tactical control directly, fires a number of photon torpedoes, detonating them just inside the bubble of reality surrounding the ship. The explosive energy generated is then funnelled into the power redirection system created by Azonan’s team at Candidate Three. Zepht uses the navigational deflector to focus this energy and recreate the wormhole that brought them here.
There are some delays in this process, while Azonan’s team run around performing emergency repairs to collapsing conduits, and a Tilikaal named Turlonumien takes the opportunity to make an offer. If they can link to one of the crew members now, they should be able to retain that link once Lexington has returned to normal space. This would then enable Turlonumien to advise on the use of any Tilikaal technology encountered by the crew during their rescue mission. Konin reluctantly agrees, allowing the Tilikaal to link with him, although it is unclear whether it worked.
Zepht finally manages to get the wormhole open, and Quinn correctly judges the timing to catch the next energy wave and ride it into the gateway, although the journey through it is rough. Between the shaking and the power overloads, Lexington is quite badly damaged by the time she emerges into normal space close to Narendra Station…
…where she is immediately challenged to identify herself by a squadron of three Klingon battlecruisers.
The ‘B’ Plot: The Klingon commander identifies himself as Colonel Morok of the I.K.S. moH be’nal and his squadron has already armed their weapons. A message on behalf of Captain Akul from Narendra Station quickly calms matters, and is followed by a friendlier missive from Captain Hendricks of U.S.S. Minotaur, Konin’s previous command.
Commander Murphy contacts Konin and informs him that politics have gotten a little complex since Lexington’s disappearance, and that the alliance with the Klingons has ended. Learning that this has been just four weeks, Konin is shocked at how quickly this could happen. Murphy sympathises and invites his senior officers to the station operations centre for a briefing. He also promises to arrange repairs for the damaged vessel.
Docking at the station, the crew are concerned when they find armed guards everywhere, both Klingon and Starfleet, watching each other suspiciously. When they reach the briefing room, they find Murphy waiting with Captain Akul, who is pleased to see them, having worried that they had died in a dishonorable accident. The pair quickly begin to explain recent events, from the Klingon invasion of the Cardassian Union to Chancellor Gowron’s breaking of the Khitomer Accords and the Battle of Deep Space Nine.
Akul is quick to explain that there are no hostilities between the two powers, but that armed conflict could break out over the smallest thing with little notice. They are still working out how things will work aboard the station: basically, the Klingons have complete control of the training and barracks levels, while Starfleet controls the diplomatic level. All other areas are being administered jointly, but all operations are being carried out by teams that are made up of 50% KDF, 50% Starfleet personnel, overseen by security teams. The aim is to minimise any chances of false accusations of treachery or sabotage. Hebert has returned to San Francisco and Kargan to Ty’gokor to consult with their respective superiors on the situation.
Morok’s presence is complicating things, especially with both Bellerophon and Lexington out of the picture, hence the presence of Minotaur and the newly-arrived U.S.S. Courageous. While Morok outranks Akul, the latter is disputing his claim to overall command, citing Morok’s status as commander of a penal squadron; he warns that Morok is very conscious of what little honour he has, and is likely to retaliate violently if provoked.
When they return to the ship, Konin’s first act is to order Sub-Lieutenant D’ghov to be relieved of duty and turned over to the Klingons, in order to avoid any accusations of treachery. He finds that Chief Boone, sporting a black eye, has already done so, based on instructions from Starfleet Security.
The ‘C’ Plot: Murphy requests that Konin take part as one of the presiding officers in the court martial of Captain Daak for the loss of U.S.S. Bellerophon. Following evidence from both Konin and Pyanfar, as well as members of his own crew, Daak is ultimately commended for saving everyone possible, and assigned to return to the main body of the Federation to refit a mothballed ship for duty.
The Arc: Captain Konin has agreed to try and rescue the Tilikaal and also to link with one of their number for the duration of that process.
Elsewhere, relations between the Federation and the Klingon Empire have begun to break down.
Observations: Following the dissolution of the alliance with the Klingons, life on Narendra Station has become somewhat complicated. The Klingons are in control of the barracks near the base of the station and Starfleet controls the diplomatic levels. The rest of the station is still formally shared, but all operations are carried out by joint teams made up of equal numbers of Starfleet and KDF personnel. While the leaders on both sides want to avoid any conflict, some of the lower ranks are spoiling for a fight, and this has led to a heavy security presence from both sides.
I.K.S. moH be’nal and her two companions are century-old K’t’inga-class battlecruisers, which have been assigned to bolster the Imperial forces at the station. The three dishonored ships form a Klingon penal squadron, to which the KDF assigns dishonored and criminal warriors, who fight for the chance to regain their honour. Colonel Morok is known to be quick to avenge insults, usually in a lethal fashion.
Admiral Hebert and her staff have responded by calling in Captain Konin’s old command, U.S.S. Minotaur (Centaur-class), and U.S.S. Courageous (Defiant-class). Other elements of the 20th Fleet are within easy reach, led by U.S.S. Beowulf (Akira-class), but Starfleet is not keen to escalate the situation. The Defiant-class has only just been declassified at this point, following the class-ship’s successful operations in the Bajoran sector.
Starfleet maintains the tradition of court-martialling the commanding officer for the loss of a starship. It is regarded as a formality, primarily used for determining what exactly happened and what can be learned from the disaster, rather than for laying blame and assigning penalties – unless a failure of duty is determined to have occurred. Captain Daak and his crew will be returning to the core sectors of the Federation to refit and crew a mothballed vessel.
Dialogue: Zepht to Quinn: “How do you fancy being the first helmsman to use a starship to ride a wave?”
Zepht: “Looks like we’ll be making use of the spacedock premium member’s card again!”
References: The dissolution of the Khitomer Accords and the First Battle of Deep Space Nine took place around Stardate 49011. The story was related in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “The Way of the Warrior”.
Questions: What is Turlonumien really up to? Is the captain now compromised?