Joy’s Soul Lies in the Doing, Part I

Epis­ode Num­ber: 3×11

Writ­ten by: Jim Johnson

Dir­ec­ted by: Jon Crew

Trans­mis­sion: 4th Novem­ber 2023

Guest Stars:

  • Com­mand­er Mauti: Akaru com­mand­ing officer of the Star­ward.
  • Akaru’Bak Chiel: Akaru pro­vin­cial governor.
  • Spe­cial­ist Jumai: Akaru act­ing chief engin­eer of the Star­ward.
  • Cur­ate Kelu: Akaru ship’s sur­geon of the Star­ward.

Our research into the plight of Ash’Tamalia and her people has led us to a remote sec­tor with­in the Expanse. We’re gath­er­ing evid­ence to sup­port a the­ory our sci­ence team has cooked up revolving around har­ness­ing the energy from power­ful bursts of EM radi­ation to burn a hole through sub­space in order to “tun­nel” to the Tilikaal pock­et uni­verse. I have the ship on yel­low alert.

Cap­tain’s Log: Stard­ate, 49767.5

Plot: The Lex­ing­ton crew comes to the assist­ance of a dam­aged star­ship, mak­ing first con­tact with a new culture.

The ‘A’ Plot: The Lex­ing­ton is explor­ing a new sec­tor rich in pulsars and oth­er unusu­al astro­graph­ic fea­tures. The Pro­ject Dia­mond Hedge sci­ent­ists want detailed sensor data of the area as part of their research. The tele­path­ic voices of the Dis­placed are stronger in this region, and many crew­mem­bers with lat­ent esper tal­ents are hear­ing them. Kon­in and Selvek are forced to take diluted ther­agen to pre­vent their own tele­path­ic senses being overwhelmed.

After a couple of days, they begin to receive an audio-only dis­tress sig­nal in an unknown lan­guage. The mes­sage is short, so the uni­ver­sal trans­lat­or has little to work with, but it appears to be a live trans­mis­sion, so the cap­tain answers dir­ectly in order to get vary­ing responses for the sys­tem. This works and, with­in a few minutes, they hear a female voice express­ing sur­prise that they are sud­denly com­mu­nic­at­ing in her lan­guage. She intro­duces her­self as Com­mand­er Mauti, and explains that her ship, called Star­ward, is stuck in a grav­it­a­tion­al eddy, hav­ing been dam­aged by aster­oids also caught in its grip. She has lost 20 of her crew and oth­ers are badly injured. The remain­ing engin­eers are unable to com­plete repairs by themselves.

Kon­in fol­lows Star­fleet pro­tocol and volun­teers Lex­ing­ton’s help.

The jour­ney to the stran­ded ves­sel is a little dif­fi­cult, and des­pite Quin­n’s efforts to weave between the anom­alies, the ship takes some struc­tur­al dam­age. Azon­an is forced to divert power to the struc­tur­al integ­rity field to keep things together.

They find a com­pact ves­sel stuck in a grav­it­a­tion­al vor­tex, badly dam­aged by grav­ity stresses and phys­ic­al impacts. After announ­cing their pres­ence, they grab the ship with a tract­or beam and extend their shields around it before pulling it out of the trap. Zepht, Con­ners, Azon­an and Raynor beam aboard with med­ic­al and engin­eer­ing teams to assist, mak­ing first con­tact with the crew. The vul­canoid Akaru are very grate­ful for their help, and turn out to be wel­com­ing and very curious.

While Con­ners begins assess­ing the injured, beam­ing the most ser­i­ous cases back to Lex­ing­ton, Azon­an begins work­ing on Star­ward’s dam­aged shields, power sys­tems and engines. He finds that Akaru tech­no­logy is roughly equi­val­ent to that of the late 23rd cen­tury Fed­er­a­tion, but that some items, espe­cially power gen­er­a­tion, are much more advanced. He’s par­tic­u­larly intrigued that the ship seems to have been designed as a com­plete sys­tem: while this is more effi­cient, he is con­cerned that the indi­vidu­al sys­tems woud be dif­fi­cult to upgrade.

Raynor invites Com­mand­er Mauti to come aboard Lex­ing­ton, where she meets with Cap­tain Kon­in. She presents him with an elab­or­ately-dec­or­ated wooden box, con­tain­ing a copy of what appears to be a reli­gious text. They exchange inform­a­tion about their cul­tures and dis­cuss the pos­sib­il­ity of Lex­ing­ton escort­ing the Star­ward back to Setu. Mauti is impressed by the size of the Star­fleet ship and by much of the Fed­er­a­tion tech­no­logy, includ­ing the trans­port­ers and the uni­ver­sal translator.

When the repairs are fin­ished, the two ships head back to the Akaru home­world, a jour­ney that ulti­mately takes them a week. Kon­in uses the jour­ney time to wean him­self off the ther­agen, so that he has his full fac­ulties when he meets their new friends’ government.

On the way, they are attacked by pir­ates who appear to have tracked them via the corodum particles leaked by the Star­ward’s dam­aged engines. The raid­ers fire one tor­pedo, miss­ing, and real­ise they’ve bit­ten off more than they can chew, when Raynor returns fire and nearly cripples them with a single shot. They leave in a hurry, much to Kon­in’s disappointment.

As they arrive at Setu, Mauti gives them coordin­ates for a land­ing, but asks them to wait for an hour so that she can pre­pare a wel­come for them at the palace. Even­tu­ally, Quinn takes the seni­or officers to the sur­face in a shuttle, put­ting it down in a large court­yard with­in the palace of the Ewyn Khar in the city of Perro. The sur­round­ing build­ings are elab­or­ately carved with what appear to be reli­gious scenes. Mauti is wait­ing for them and leads them to a wait­ing area, where they talk over food brought by small, float­ing robots, accom­pan­ied by servants.

Even­tu­ally, they are joined by a tall Akaru, who is intro­duced as Akaru’Bak Chiel, one of the region­al gov­ernors, along with two assist­ants. She wel­comes them, and Kon­in offers her a spe­cially-prin­ted book of Fed­er­a­tion philo­soph­ic­al texts. In the ensu­ing con­ver­sa­tion, they learn more about the Akaru gov­ern­ment, lead­ing to Kon­in ask­ing if it will be pos­sible to meet the Iry­ax. Chiel agrees to request this, and will try to arrange meet­ing for the fol­low­ing day. As she gets up to leave, Kon­in real­ises that the Akaru’Bak is an empath.

The team takes up the offer to stay overnight in the palace, and use the oppor­tun­ity to learn more about the Akaru. Examin­ing the art on the walls, Zepht notices that one indi­vidu­al appears fre­quently, and looks noth­ing like the loc­als. This is pre­sum­ably the Iry­ax – and he bears a strik­ing resemb­lance to Assessor Tredik.

The Arc: The Akaru appear to have some hid­den links to the Tilikaal. Their power sys­tems use Tilikaal-style plasma trans­mis­sion, and the Iry­ax appears to be of the same spe­cies as Assessor Tredik.

Obser­va­tions: The Akaru are an open and wel­com­ing people liv­ing deep with­in the Shack­leton Expanse. They prize plan­ning and organ­isa­tion, which has enabled them to go from early rock­ets to warp 5 tech­no­logy in less than 50 years. Their power sys­tems are very sim­il­ar to those of the Fed­er­a­tion, but are more effi­cient, and there appears to be some Tilikaal influ­ence in the way they handle the trans­mis­sion of energy. They are ruled by their Iry­ax, Nedaon the Age­less, who although of a dif­fer­ent spe­cies, serves as a kind of god-king, assisted by a coun­cil of 300 region­al rulers called Akaru’Bak. Although basic­ally a dic­tat­or­ship, this sys­tem appears to be bene­vol­ent, and has las­ted sev­er­al thou­sand years.

They appear to be vul­canoid, and Con­ners, work­ing with the cas­u­al­ties, is able to estab­lish that they have a com­mon ancest­or with oth­er vul­canoid spe­cies. While the Akaru as a whole are not tele­path­ic, Akaru’Bak Chiel appears to have empath­ic gifts.

Setu is a pleas­ant class‑M world, orbit­ing the star des­ig­nated FGC-694751. It has two con­tin­ents, with large, well-planned cit­ies scattered across them. Lex­ing­ton does detect some unusu­al tetry­on radi­ation in the upper atmosphere.

Ther­agen is a Klin­gon nerve gas, but when diluted in alco­hol can reduce the sens­it­iv­ity of cer­tain types of brain func­tion. Dr Talia­ferro has dis­covered that it can be used to pro­tect tele­paths from over­whelm­ing psion­ic input, such as that found in the Shack­leton Expanse.

Ques­tions: Who is the Iry­ax and what is his con­nec­tion to Tredik and the Tilikaal?