Coda, Part I

Epis­ode Num­ber: 4×10

Writ­ten by: Jon Crew

Dir­ec­ted by: Jon Crew

Trans­mis­sion: 1st June 2024

Guest Stars:

  • Doc­tor Mitchel Al’Malki: Head of the archae­olo­gic­al team explor­ing Alpha Tory­ui II.
  • Lieu­ten­ant Com­mand­er Nedre Veezia Mid­ax: Chief med­ic­al officer on U.S.S. Lex­ing­ton NCC-1709

Once again the cease­fire is in place and we can … war­ily … return to the real reas­on we are out here.

We’re pay­ing a vis­it to an old friend, xenoar­chae­olo­gist Dr Al’Malki, who was head of the team we res­cued from Alpha Tory­ui. He and his staff have moved on to anoth­er sus­pec­ted Tilikaal site and we’ve been asked to check on their progress.

Cap­tain’s Log: Stard­ate, 50380.1

Plot: While car­ry­ing out a routine inspec­tion of an archae­olo­gic­al exped­i­tion, the seni­or officers find them­selves trans­por­ted a cen­tury into the past.

The ‘A’ Plot: Lex­ing­ton arrives at Gamma Tory­ui IV, site of an ancient city attrib­uted to the Tilikaal, and the seni­or officers beam down to vis­it Dr Al’Malki’s archae­olo­gic­al dig.

Remem­ber­ing their pre­vi­ous con­tact on Alpha Tory­ui II, Al’Malki jok­ingly asks if they have come to ruin his work again, before tak­ing them on a tour of the archae­olo­gic­al site. The city is so big that the archae­olo­gists have installed a light rail­way sys­tem to ease their travel about it. As they travel towards the centre of the site, Al’Malki explains that while they have uncovered a lot of very large, empty build­ings, com­plete with some machinery and a func­tion­al geo­therm­al energy plant, there are no per­son­al arte­facts or fur­niture. There are inscrip­tions in the Tilikaal script, but in an unfa­mil­i­ar dia­lect, and he’s hop­ing that Zepht can help with trans­lat­ing these.

Halfway to the centre of the city, the archae­olo­gist receives a mes­sage from one of his col­leagues, report­ing that an intern has gone miss­ing. As they are quite close to the loc­a­tion of his dis­ap­pear­ance, the away team offers to help with the invest­ig­a­tion. They con­sider the pos­sib­il­ity of a car­ni­vor­ous anim­al or plant, but Al’Malki tells them there are no large pred­at­ors in the region. The intern dis­ap­peared from a large room covered in Tilikaal inscrip­tions, and the research­ers have erec­ted scaf­fold­ing to be able to study them more eas­ily. Zepht is able to detect human DNA on a plat­form high up near the ceil­ing, so Raynor and Azon­an climb up for a closer look. They find burnt remains close to a live Tilikaal power duct, which Azon­an notes is dan­ger­ously over­loaded. It appears the unfor­tu­nate vic­tim got too close and was incin­er­ated by a power surge. As they col­lect the remains for a suit­able funer­al, Azon­an repairs the con­duit to ensure this can­not hap­pen again.

Once their tour is com­plete, the land­ing party returns to the camp in order to beam back to the Lex­ing­ton. The trans­port takes a lot longer than usu­al, and when they finally mater­i­al­ise, it’s in an unfa­mil­i­ar loc­a­tion: a dark, grey room with a con­trol pedestal.

It’s evid­ently a trans­port­er room, but there is no oper­at­or present. Invest­ig­at­ing the con­trol ped­es­tal, Azon­an finds phys­ic­al switches, rather than touch con­trols, and real­ises this is mid-23rd cen­tury Star­fleet tech­no­logy. Zepht attempts to access a nearby lib­rary com­puter con­sole, and is able to obtain the “cur­rent” stard­ate (5797.5), and that the ship is cur­rently at yel­low alert while dam­age from a power­ful sol­ar flare is repaired, but finds him­self locked out of everything else. Quinn, mean­while, finds a name pan­el on the wall near the door:

U.S.S. Lex­ing­ton NCC-1709
Star­ship Class
San Fran­cisco, Calif.

Although they con­sider the pos­sib­il­ity that they have stumbled on the derel­ict remains of the older ship, it seems most likely that they have trav­elled in time, espe­cially since they are unable to con­tact any oth­er ship with their commbadges. The cap­tain imme­di­ately invokes the Tem­por­al Prime Dir­ect­ive, stat­ing that their pri­or­ity must be to avoid con­tam­in­at­ing the timeline, but that they should aim to get back to their own time if they can. Then he points out that this is the date the ori­gin­al Lex­ing­ton was des­troyed, and that by his estim­ate, they have about 6 or 7 hours to find a way home, or they will be des­troyed with the ship.

Giv­en that it will take Azon­an some time to work out how they arrived in this peri­od, he does see an oppor­tun­ity to learn more about this era’s Lex­ing­ton and her mys­ter­i­ous mission.

Raynor sets out to loc­ate the con­tem­por­ary Adred host, the helms­man Kroso. He picks up Trill lifesigns on his tri­cord­er almost imme­di­ately, in what appears to be the ship’s sick­bay, loc­ated on this deck. Unfor­tu­nately, he can­not get clear enough read­ings to identi­fy the indi­vidu­al, so he tries to get closer. Wear­ing a set of engin­eer­ing cov­er­alls found in a stor­age cup­board, he enters the med­ic­al com­plex, reg­u­larly stop­ping to remove wall pan­els to cov­er the use of his futur­ist­ic tri­cord­er. After a brief con­ver­sa­tion with a sur­geon tak­ing a break from a pro­ced­ure, he gets a bet­ter read­ing of the Trill, learn­ing that they def­in­itely have a sym­bi­ote. He gets close enough to see his tar­get, but it turns out he has found a woman, Lex­ing­ton’s chief med­ic­al officer, Nedre Mid­ax. He stops her any­way, ask­ing if Kroso Adred is around, and learns he is pilot­ing a shuttle for a land­ing party led by Cap­tain Pryce.

Mean­while, Kon­in and Zepht are try­ing to get access to the ship’s log. Since com­puters from this era were highly com­part­ment­al­ised, Zepht will need access to either the ship’s com­mand codes or a seni­or officer­’s ter­min­al to achieve this. Dis­guised in two more sets of cov­er­alls, the pair work their way around to the cap­tain’s office, loc­ated bey­ond sick­bay on the cur­rent deck, with the inten­tion of access­ing the lib­rary com­puter from there. They have no issues get­ting in to the office, and Zepht eas­ily breaks into the com­puter sys­tem. He is able to down­load both the reg­u­lar ship’s log and the cap­tain’s log to his tri­cord­er, although large por­tions appear to be encryp­ted. They also learn the ship’s cur­rent loc­a­tion, orbit­ing Gliese 411 d‑a, the sys­tem where it will be des­troyed, and which Zepht recog­nises as being in one of the sys­tems con­tac­ted by the Tilikaal AI recovered from the Castle Rock.

When they return, they find that Azon­an has not been able to work out how they arrived, but he has man­aged to activ­ate the trans­port­er­’s scan­ner sys­tem, which allows them to access the sensor read­ings for the plan­et the ship is orbit­ing. They learn more about Gliese 411 d‑a, its viol­ent weath­er, the oddly-mech­an­ic­al plant life, and the ruined city sprawl­ing across its sur­face. They are even able to loc­ate the land­ing party and their shuttlecraft.

They real­ise that the ruins are almost cer­tainly Tilikaal in ori­gin and may con­tain the means to get home. Vis­it­ing the sur­face may also offer a chance of dis­cov­er­ing if and how the land­ing party will sur­vive the com­ing cata­strophe, but it’s unclear as to the best way to get there. The trans­port­er does not seem a safe option giv­en the radi­ation levels in the sys­tem, so they con­sider steal­ing a shuttlecraft.

The ‘B’ Plot: Before Lex­ing­ton reaches Gamma Tory­ui, Mas­ter Chief Boone knocks on the ready room door, before enter­ing with a pile of PADDs. He indic­ates that he has the res­ults of his invest­ig­a­tion into his pre­de­cessor’s dis­ap­pear­ance. He has had to pull in a lot of favours and a lot of the doc­u­ments are con­fid­en­tial – he would prefer that his name be kept out of any log entries or pub­lic proceedings.

He splits his report into four parts, begin­ning with the phys­ic­al evid­ence. Due to Zeph­t’s evid­ence of video record edits, con­tem­por­ary glitches in the ship’s sensor sys­tem, and the lack of oth­er forensic evid­ence, such as phaser vapor­isa­tion residue, he believes Adred was kid­napped and trans­por­ted to a cloaked ves­sel, although he can only spec­u­late as to the operators.

He can see little evid­ence as to the reas­on for this in the cap­tain’s career records. There is noth­ing sig­ni­fic­ant in his logs, and no por­tion of his career has been clas­si­fied. The only sig­ni­fic­ant ele­ment is that he dis­closed con­fid­en­tial inform­a­tion to Vice Admir­al Hebert after the events at Orgun III. There’s a ref­er­ence in his per­son­al log to hav­ing seen “some­thing” before, but Hebert will not explain its nature, cit­ing “oper­a­tion­al secur­ity”, but denies that it would be relevant.

He then describes his invest­ig­a­tion into the his­tory of the Adred sym­biont with the Trill Sym­bi­os­is Com­mis­sion, dis­cov­er­ing an appar­ent three dec­ade gap with no host in the late 23rd cen­tury. Think­ing this was odd, he iden­ti­fied a Trill named Kroso Adred liv­ing in this era, but the Com­mis­sion does not list him as a host. Kroso Adred was the helm officer on the ori­gin­al Con­sti­tu­tion-class U.S.S. Lex­ing­ton, along­side anoth­er Trill, the chief med­ic­al officer Nedre Mid­ax; both died when the ship was lost in 2269. Boone notes that there were not many Trill in Star­fleet so soon after the plan­et’s admis­sion, so it would be rare to find two on the same ship. Addi­tion­ally, sym­biont names are tra­di­tion­ally unique and not shared with fam­il­ies, so the exist­ence of Helt­in Adred, who was joined, implies Kroso Adred was also joined, and with the same sym­biont. There is no record of a Trill sym­biont named Mid­ax, but neither could he find any records of a fam­ily by that name. Giv­en that joined Trill were unknown to the rest of the Fed­er­a­tion until a cen­tury later, he won­ders if she was there to keep an eye on Kroso Adred.

This led Boone to access the records of the ori­gin­al Lex­ing­ton, espe­cially those regard­ing her destruc­tion at Gliese 411, a sys­tem now restric­ted for safety reas­ons. The offi­cial invest­ig­a­tion into the loss of the star­ship was incon­clus­ive, but her logs showed a num­ber of redac­ted mis­sions on behalf of Com­modore Banna Stoker. Stoker­’s record is heav­ily clas­si­fied, but she reportedly became increas­ingly errat­ic late in her career, appar­ently pur­su­ing a per­son­al pro­ject, which may have led to her own death aboard Lex­ing­ton.

Boone con­cludes that Kroso Adred was the miss­ing host of the Adred sym­biont, and that his dis­ap­pear­ance was con­nec­ted to his report to Hebert, although he does not link her to his death. He also con­cludes that Adred had seen Tilikaal techo­logy before, prob­ably on the ori­gin­al Lex­ing­ton, a star­ship involved in very sim­il­ar mis­sions to her name­sake. Someone had an interest in pre­vent­ing this research and des­troyed the ship, but some­how Adred (and maybe oth­ers?) sur­vived. The Kroso host was redac­ted from Trill records for the safety of the sym­biont, but its latest host broke cov­er and was tar­geted for that.

Who this someone might be is unknown, as is their motiv­a­tion. Boone sug­gests that they are inter­ested in con­trolling the Tilikaal tech­no­logy, but wheth­er this is for profit or out of some desire to keep it out of the pub­lic eye is unclear.

When Boone leaves, Kon­in calls Raynor in and orders him to find out if any­one out­side Pro­ject Dia­mond Hedge has accessed the pro­ject’s data. Raynor notes that this will take a while, espe­cially as they still have no access to Nar­en­dra Sta­tion’s records.

The Arc: Long-awaited rev­el­a­tions about the dis­ap­pear­ance of Cap­tain Adred expose con­nec­tions between the two Lex­ing­tons.

Obser­va­tions: The Trill are very secret­ive about those aspects of their cul­ture asso­ci­ated with the sym­bionts. While the plan­et joined the United Fed­er­a­tion of Plan­ets in the early 23rd cen­tury, the exist­ence of sym­bionts only became known in 2367. The Sym­bi­os­is Com­mis­sion records data on hosts, but does­n’t like to reveal it to outsiders.

Azon­an explains that, unlike nor­mal power net­works, where the energy level is determ­ined by the sys­tems using it, Tilikaal power sys­tems propag­ate power at a con­stant level regard­less of its con­sump­tion. This means that power con­duits will be full of energy even if they’re not con­nec­ted to any­thing, and that over­loads are extremely dangerous.

Gamma Tory­ui IV is an Earth-like world, with four con­tin­ents largely covered in heavy forest. The archae­olo­gic­al dig is in deep jungle on the largest con­tin­ent, in a city of mono­lith­ic struc­tures arranged in a log­ar­ithmic spir­al 15 km across. The build­ings are from 100–200 m high, with the high­er struc­tures towards the centre of the city.

Ref­er­ences: Long-time view­ers will know that both Kroso Adred and Nedre Mid­ax were indeed joined Trill. While they and the oth­er seni­or officers sur­vived the loss of the Lex­ing­ton on one of her shuttles, their final fate is still unknown. The events at Gliese 411 d‑a were related in the sea­son 1 finale, “Pun­ish­ment and Crime”.

Dr Al’Malki pre­vi­ously led an ill-fated archae­olo­gic­al dig on Alpha Tory­ui II, accom­pan­ied by Lt Cdr Azon­an. Lex­ing­ton evac­u­ated his research team when the sys­tem’s star under­went a dra­mat­ic collapse.

This epis­ode marks the first appear­ance of the grey-shouldered uni­forms first seen in Star Trek: First Con­tact, although, chro­no­lo­gic­ally, they are adop­ted not long before “Back to Real­ity”, Part I.

Ques­tions: How will they get home? And who is behind the conspiracy?