Episode Number: 3×03
Written by: Michael Dismuke
Directed by: Jon Crew
Transmission: 29th December 2023
- Jak D’Jak: Sovereign Viceroy of the K’si Host Carrier Light of Heaven
We have detected an artificial structure in an otherwise uninhabited system. We hope this may be connected to the K’si, as we want to learn more about this mysterious culture, which has yet to make an actual appearance. I’m also hoping the landing party will be able to avoid trouble, after the near-disaster on Oreison.Captain’s Log: Stardate, 9971.2
Plot: Lyonesse’s crew investigates a mysterious structure on an uninhabited world.
The ‘A’ Plot: Hopera, Vale, Timmons and Valik plunge through the stormy atmosphere of BC-11d in a shuttlecraft. Lt James pilots the shuttle in a complex route through the patches of clear air between black clouds, dodging lightning forks. Ultimately, he brings it to a dramatic halt about 200 metres down the hill from a huge blockhouse-like structure, dominated by a flat bronze disc.
As they step out of the shuttle, they notice that the surrounding terrain is very bleak, with the raging storm providing a dramatic backdrop. The building is about 150 m high and 100 m square, and constructed of blocks of a concrete-like substance, which appears to block scanning. There is a large doorway below the disc, around 6 m high, leading to speculation that the K’si may be very large. While this was reflected in the religious art on Ichtharys and Oreison, Vale notes that Specialist Ara has indicated that exaggerating the size of gods is common in religious depictions.
Timmons approaches the door, but it does not respond to his presence, and he cannot find any sign of a control. He reaches out to touch it, noticing that it is cold even through his gloves, much more so than the surrounding environment. Then the door rapidly rises, clearing the way.
Beyond lies a very modern-looking control centre, although it is unmanned and very badly lit. There are a large number of consoles and screens monitoring data of some kind, but all the symbols, including those on the screens, appear to be in shades of very dark grey against a darker background. They have to use their tricorders to translate the data into a form they can read.
The consoles seem to be linked to sensors attached to a large metal sphere at the centre of the building. Tricorder scans indicate that the sphere contains a globe of dark matter similar to those seen elsewhere, and that the sensors appear to be monitoring for fluctuations in its surface caused by minute gravitational disturbances. They discover that those disturbances are due to subspace anomalies, taking the form of narrow streams of energy carrying signals from ten different directions, two of which correspond to Ichtharys and Oreison.
It appears that the data is being collated and packaged for forwarding on to another location, via the bronze dish on top of the building. BC-11d rotates on its axis in such a way that this dish always points in the same direction. They surmise that this corresponds to the K’si homeworld, or at least a major colony.
Valik has been working to gain better access to the station’s systems and has found an archive of stored data. It looks like the system is keeping backup copies of the signals for about a month, and his initial attempts at decoding indicate that they consist of individual prayers. Interspersed amongst them are packets of strongly-encrypted planetary status information, such as weather data and crop yields. He also finds an unencrypted document in a system folder, describing something similar to Starfleet’s Prime Directive, the “Supreme Mandate”.
As Valik works to copy the data, they discuss its implications, with some wondering if the K’si derive some kind of nourishment from the prayers. They also debate if the Supreme Mandate, combined with the nature of the data, implies a benevolent oversight, or something more sinister and controlling.
Their communicators alert them to a signal from Lyonesse, ordering them to return immediately, as company has arrived.
By they time they get back to orbit, Lyonesse has her shields up and appears to be at red alert. Careful timing and daring piloting on James’s part gets them back aboard through a momentary opening in the shields, and they head to their stations. On screen, a huge black ship is approaching, having entered the system at warp 2. The captain believes this is a K’si vessel, but it is not returning standard hails. Preliminary scans are showing heavy armaments and shielding, but it’s not clear how the vessel is powered.
After a discussion with Timmons and Hopera, Masuda makes another attempt to establish contact, this time emphasising an appeal to a powerful potential ally, for help getting out of their territory. After this has been repeated a few times, they finally get a response, as a dark image of a figure appears on screen, defying the computer’s attempts to lighten the scene. After nearly a minute studying the image on its own screen, the figure finally speaks, and the universal translator does its work in record time.
Sovereign Viceroy Jak D’Jak introduces himself as commander of the K’si Host Carrier Light of Heaven, then asks who they are and why they are present. Masuda repeats her request, and he responds that the K’si are always happy to bring more cultures under the protection of the Supreme Mandate. They get the impression that this is not just an offer to help.
After some discussion between the two commanders, the Supreme Viceroy accepts an invitation to visit Lyonesse for direct talks.
The Arc: The crew has finally made first contact with the mysterious K’si.
Observations: The K’si vessel, the Light of Heaven, is a kilometer long, dwarfing Lyonesse. It has 500 life-forms aboard, all K’si. While it has identifiable equipment, such as weapons, propulsion and shields, it is unclear how these work or how they are powered. What seem to be identifying markings appear to be in shades of black – the crew concludes that the K’si may see in the ultraviolet range.
The K’si themselves possess oily-black skin, eyes and hair, but otherwise appear very Human. Astan notes that they appear to be invisible to his empathic senses. Once the universal translator has deciphered his language, Sovereign Viceroy Jak D’Jak appears to be convinced of his culture’s place at the pinnacle of creation.
BC-11d is class M, but possesses only primitive life in its seas, with nothing more complex than large invertebrates. The land surface is covered in a form of lichen. The amosphere is breathable, and gravity a bit below standard. The world’s day is the same as its year, ensuring that it always maintains the same orientation with respect to the nebula.
Dialogue: The Supreme Mandate: “Space: our divine destiny. We, the K’si, will peacefully observe all worlds under our star-born purview, sustain and support all life and all alien civilizations, and respectfully help all species achieve paradise and peace so as to achieve galactic harmony without direct interference or manipulation so that all can find their own way.”