From The Divine To The Squidiculous (Darwin-A)

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Season 2, Episode 2

After a short shore leave at Deep Space 6, the crew of the Darwin are ready to launch on its next mission. The crew is faced with some departures, and some new arrivals. Ensign Ian Patrick Connory, Lieutenant JG Cadfael Peters, and Ensign Ilyazi Malon transfer off the ship, while some new transfers are accepted onto the Darwin:

During shore leave, Commander Renos is named director for the regional Starfleet Multispecies Initiative, and is tasked with mentoring an influx of temporary assignments from under-represented worlds. He shares this information with the departmental heads, and the ship is readied to accommodate these new crewmembers.

Ribbon awarded to the crew
A senior staff meeting is called by Cmdr Renos, where some promotions are handed out. Michael Jellico is promoted to Chief Petty Officer, Maxwell Traenor is promoted to Lieutenant, and John Valdivia is promoted to Lieutenant JG. As well, since the rift encountered by the Darwin in the last mission was determined to be related to the Prometheus Incident, all crew present on the Darwin during that time are awarded the Prometheus Ribbon. It is also revealed that Lieutenant Commander Kael Thomas will be reassigned as the Darwin's First Officer.

After these announcements are made, Cmdr Renos informs the senior staff that their next mission will be to the planet Asav, a world visited twice before by Starfleet, including most recently by the Darwin itself a year prior. The Asavii are interested in fostering improved relations with the Federation, and have asked for Starfleet's assistance with an archaeological expedition on their homeworld.

The planet Asav
Arriving in orbit around Asav, Cmdr Renos chooses Cmdr Thomas, Lieutenant Commander Nicu Icavoc, Lt Traenor, Lt Valdivia, Ens Lexicon, Lieutenant JG Ashley Deneve Yael, Ens Lyldra, Ensign Graham Block, Ensign Todd Manius, CPO Jellico, and Iy to accompany him on the Away mission to the planet. Beaming down to the biodome Gasceka (The Second Coming), they are greeted by Patriarch Aheran Phlendorp, science minister Saladin Veilta, and their retinue. After introductions are made, the Away team is split into two groups. Renos, Yael, Lyldra, Jellico, and Iy will accompany Patriarch Phlendorp for a cultural tour of the biodomes, while Thomas, Icavoc, Traenor, Valdivia, Lexicon, Block, and Manius will accompany science minister Veilta to the docking bay where they will commence with the exploration of the mysterious cavern structures called Skarlozent (Unbelievers Folly).

Prior to the Away team mission, Ens Manius confides to Ens Alekos that he would rather not be back at Asav, due to his previous experiences with the planet, but dutifully brushes off his concerns. Iy, still acclimating to life on a Starfleet vessel, is surprised to find ne is invited to the planet.

Cmdr Renos asks Patriarch Phlendorp to explain the meaning of the biodome's name Gasceka, and he obliges. Phlendorp leads the cultural team through the reception hall of Gasceka to a large room where refreshments are laid out, and leads a toast to the Asavii god of the seas, Zolrak. CPO Jellico is discomfited by the diplomatic proceedings and the layout of the feast. Iy, unfamiliar with Starfleet doctrine, asks discreet questions of protocol to Lyldra and Jellico.

Science Minister Veilta leads the scientific team to the docking ring, and enroute Manius asks him about the exploration vessels' similarities to their attack ships. It is revealed that both Manius and Thomas piloted Asavii attack ships on the Darwin's previous visit to the planet. Valdivia asks about the geological history of Asav. Arriving at the docking bay, Thomas divides the scientific team onto two ships, with himself, Alekos, Manius, and Valdivia on one, and Traenor, Icavoc, Lexicon, and Block on another. Traenor assigns duties to the crewmen on his exploration vessel.

EV suit
At the docking bay, Cmdr Thomas and the rest of the scientific team welcome the arrival of Cmdr Rennyn, new to both the Darwin and the Away team. Thomas assigns duties to the officers on his exploration vessel. After preparations are complete and EV suits donned, they are ready to launch. With Rennyn and Ens Manius piloting, Lt Valdivia and Ens Alekos prepare their consoles and man sensors in the back. Valdivia muses over the comparison between their sample-gathering methods and the Terran tall tales of alien abduction. Dealing with nerves imparted by the underwater environment, Rennyn adapts to the differences between aquatic and space vessels in terms of control, while Manius imparts some assistance base on his previous experiences. Entering Skarlozent, the crew discover a promising find on a cavern floor and stop to investigate.

On their exploration craft, Ens Lexicon liaises with their Asavii pilot Korig Tamit on integrating Starfleet sensors with their ship. Launching behind the first watercraft, Ens Block assists pilot Tamit with navigation. Lexicon also implements a buoy marking system, and assures pilot Tamit as to their inert status. Approaching Skarlozent, they encounter an unknown life form, and take readings of the creature to forward to the Asavii researchers. After the creature passes, Cmdr Icavoc identifies a plant sample that he would like to capture.

Meanwhile, Patriarch Phlendorp entertains inquiries by the attendant Starfleet personnel. Iy asks questions about the religious tolerance of the Asavii, and a question by Ens Lyldra about biodome interaction leads to a long monologue by Phlendorp. A social faux pas causes CPO Jellico to beat a hasty retreat. After this, the feast concludes and they continue their short tour of Gasceka. Iy and Lyldra converse about similarities between Asav and Bolarus. Lyldra and Renos make an offer to the Asavii for collaboration on aquatic technologies.

A whale of a tale!
Upon reaching the docking bay, Cmdr Renos is awed by the Asavii method of launching their watercraft via immersion. Patriarch Phlendorp describes the docking bay procedure to the Starfleet personnel. Phlendorp offers the opportunity to CPO Jellico and Iy to try piloting the craft that they will be using to follow the previous two watercraft. Lt Yael returns to the Darwin for pressing matters. Iy shares a story about a mythical J'naii sea creature called a horlobok, and Jellico shares a story about a fictional Terran character called Geppetto. Arriving at Skarlozent, Renos notes that the path they have chosen may be too narrow to safely traverse with their submersible. Lyldra shows promising scans past the restriction. Iy suggests that they exit the watercraft to continue forward.

On the first watercraft to launch, Lt Valdivia muses about the intricacies of underwater travel, until he spots an interesting site. A perfectly flat surface with a technological relic centered on it presents itself. As Cmdr Rennyn illuminates the area, Ens Alekos uses a robotic arm to try and scour the sediment from the structure. Writing becomes visible, and Science Minister Veilta is able to discern that the device was manufactured by Chitern, a pre-cataclysmic corporation. An off-the-cuff remark by Rennyn annoys Science Minister Veilta. Cmdr Thomas orders Alekos and Valdivia to retrieve the object and bring it aboard, and Alekos finds the foreign task nerve-inducing. Valdivia assures Alekos during the delicate procedure, while sharing details of his past. Rennyn discovers that the sonar can't penetrate behind the flat surface, and Thomas orders a closer look.
Glowing plant
Back at the interesting plant life, Ens Lexicon and Ens Block work together to capture a sample and transfer it into a container for further study. It surprised the inhabitants of the exploration craft when it started to glow eerily green. The Asavii pilot Tamit makes an admission after the fact that the plant is well-known to his people, much to the consternation of the Starfleet personnel for his reticence to mention it earlier.

On the final watercraft, the decision is made to exit the craft and continue through the restricted corridor ahead in their EV suits. CPO Jellico hooks a tether onto the watercraft as a guide back. The group traverses the tunnel, and finds a fork in the path. Lyldra reads a large number of life forms down the path that leads to a lower chamber, and some artificial signs down the path that leads to a chamber above. While they consider their options, Iy notices an indigenous life form, which Phlendorp identifies as a tremuro. The crab-like creatures are an Asav delicacy, and upon examining them further, Iy also notes an unnaturally straight bore-hole that the tremuro have retreated into. While the group examines the new find, Cmdr Renos receives a hail from the Darwin, advising of the imminent arrival of two new officers. While Renos is away, the others discuss the origin and meaning of the long man-made tunnel.

Cmdr Icavoc and Lt Traenor are patched into the conversation between Cmdr Renos and the Darwin, and Renos requests Icavoc to return to the ship in order to receive the new officers. Icavoc concurs, and shortly beams back up to the ship. As Block rechecks the integrity of their connection to the Asav mainframe, Ens Lexicon is sent back to the Darwin as well. Moving over to the rear wall of the cavern they are in, they discover etched hieroglyphs. Block is able to deduce that the glyphs predate the biodome era of Asav's past.

When Cmdr Renos returns to the rest of nir group, ne advises Phlendorp that two new officers would be reporting to the planet. As the group discuss which path to take, Phlendorp advises that it is safe for their watercraft to bore through the tunnel to their current location.

In orbit around Asav, the shuttlecraft Coriolis docks with the Darwin. Cmdr Icavoc, sent ahead to be aboard to receive the new officers, arrives on the bridge and notes a weather disturbance that has little consequence to the mission. Cmdr Walker and Ens Logan report to the bridge, where they are surprised when Icavoc advises them that they will be immediately assigned to one of the Away teams on Asav. Logan has some concerns, but Icavoc addresses them and the two new arrivals prepare for their descent to Asav. Logan visits the ship's armory prior to reporting to the transporter room, and stocks up on some heavy weaponry. Rejoining in the transporter room, Walker and Logan discuss their underwater experience, and Walker is unsure about the amount of ordinance that Logan has brought along. After their departure, Icavoc checks in with the Away teams led by Cmdr Renos and Cmdr Thomas.

After retrieving the mysterious technological device, the Away team led by Cmdr Thomas discuss the void on sonar, and the possibility that the flat surface hides a sealed room. An idea to breach the area is brought forward, though there is concerns about maintaining the integrity of the void if it is flooded. Despite initial misgivings, Science Minister Veilta and Cmdr Rennyn convince Thomas to try a watertight connection to the flat surface before cutting their way in. Rennyn asks Ens Manius for advice on dealing with panic attacks, and Manius tries to talk him through his discomfort. To ease both curiosity and discomfort, Rennyn discusses farming techniques with Science Minister Veilta.

Deciding to avoid the life sign readings in the lower chamber for now, the Away team headed by Cmdr Renos and Patriarch Phlendorp decide to explore the upper chamber. Iy suggests that the exploration craft be brought to their current location for convenience, and Patriarch Phlendorp sends an attache to fetch the vehicle. CPO Jellico produces a micro welder to widen the opening to the pipe, and is tasked to lead the procession up the pipe. During their ascent, the noise and reverberations of the advancing exploration craft cause momentary consternation among members of the party. Lyldra continues her scanning of the environs, though she finds their location is making the readings difficult to identify. Iy and Jellico note that an exit to the pipe is not as obvious as the entrance was, but are able to infer a few possible locations for cutting themselves out. Making a decision, Renos orders Jellico to cut an exit to the pipe, and the party leads out into a decrepit industrial complex.

The writings of Balzog
Patriarch Phlendorp, feeling discomfort and unease, moves out from the shaft and into the large industrial complex with the rest of the team. Concerns about a secret past are realized when one of his attendants are discovered to be missing. When the man, known as Darnol Pernod, is found he is seen to be praying at a strange set of glyphs on the wall. A new god is introduced, the Asavii earth god Balzog. Attendant Pernod tells an explosive tale about how the followers of Zolrak destroyed the followers of Balzog and erased all record of the god's existence, dating back to the time of the planet's flooding. Attendant Pernod then transmits a cryptic code. Though at first trying to deny it and discredit Attendant Pernod, Patriarch Phlendorp soon realizes that he must come clean. Understandably, the Darwin Away team members are each perplexed by this revelation. Iy considers nir response, unique due to nir status as a civilian. Renos and Ens Lyldra attempt a diplomatic approach, before separating themselves for a private conversation on the matter. With these two separated from the larger group, Iy continues nir line of questioning to both Patriarch Phlendorp and Attendant Pernod. After conferring, and a quick conversation with Cmdr Thomas, Renos returns to the two Asavii and demands cooperation and answers.

Discussing an option on how to clear sediment for exploration purposes, Pilot Tamit suggests using the exploration craft's thrusters. Lt Traenor receives notice from Cmdr Icavoc that the newest Darwin officers will be joining his expedition. Once they arrive aboard the submersible led by Traenor, Cmdr Walker defers to the scientist's leadership on the mission. Noticing the amount of firepower brought with Ens Logan, Traenor asks him to stow it for the time being. While briefing the two new officers, Traenor is interrupted by the cryptic transmission that had been transmitted by Attendant Pernod. Pilot Tamit responds to the transmission in kind, then describes a similar story to that given to Cmdr Renos' expedition by Attendant Pernod. Ens Block questions Pilot Tamit, but the Asavii man is resolute in his story. It is discovered by Walker that they no longer have the ability to communicate with the Darwin.

With discussions underway about docking with the un-scannable void, Cmdr Thomas has Ens Alekos and Lt Valdivia inspect the unknown device that they brought aboard their submersible. Initial scans are inconclusive, but that changes after the cryptic transmission is received from Attendant Pernod. Science Minister Veilta explains what he knows about the earth god Balzog. Valdivia discovers that the device has been activated by the transmission. Alekos finds that the device is also now interfering with their scanning devices. At a loss, and with no answers in sight, Thomas contacts Cmdr Renos and advises nem of their current situation.

Arriving on the Darwin, newly assigned Ensign Mpeba takes a quick trip to visit Engineering, before hurriedly reporting to Cmdr Icavoc on the bridge. Icavoc clears the administrative aspects of Mpeba's arrival, and advises jhea that jhe will be reporting shortly to an Away team. Mpeba takes an opportunity to orient jheaself about the mission parameters.

After demanding answers, Cmdr Renos suggests to both Patriarch Phlendorp and Attendant Pernod that they move their discussions to the Darwin, where ne can mediate their differences in a neutral setting. CPO Jellico muses if they should return to the biodomes, which Patriarch Phlendorp disagrees with. Renos shares the information that was given to him by Cmdr Thomas about the ancient Asavii device being activated by the cryptic code uttered by Attendant Pernod. Garnering a promise of a temporary truce by Patriarch Phlendorp, Attendant Pernod utters another cryptic transmission which he says will deactivate any defenses erected by the first command. The two Asavii agree to Renos' offer to beam up to the Darwin with nem and Ens Lyldra, but not before Attendant Pernod issues a word of caution about Skarlozent to Renos. Sharing the advisement with the rest of the Away teams, Renos requests Cmdr Rennyn to transport over to take nir place in nir expedition, before transporting nir small party back up to the Darwin.

With the receipt of Attendant Pernod's second cryptic transmission, Cmdr Rennyn and Lt Valdivia discover that the device they had transported aboard was no longer active. Valdivia posits that the device was meant to transmit a signal into the void over which they had retrieved it from. After receiving Cmdr Renos' updated instructions, Cmdr Thomas orders the jettison of the device they had taken aboard, and preparations for docking to the air-filled void behind the slab where the device originally rested.

An admittance by Pilot Tamit that he is indeed the source of the blocked communications angers and frustrates Lt Traenor. With Ens Logan considering the use of force, Ens Block, Cmdr Walker, and Traenor discuss how to reestablish communication with the Darwin and the other expeditions. When Attendant Pernod's second cryptic transmission is received, Pilot Tamit reinstates the comms. Receiving a subsequent message from Cmdr Renos to continue with their assigned mission, Logan is still convinced that their expedition is at increased risk and suggests returning to the Darwin. While understanding his concerns, Walker doesn't agree with Logan's arguments, and Traenor insists on following the captain's orders.

After the departure of Cmdr Renos, Ens Lyldra, and the two Asavii, Iy and CPO Jellico are left to explore the industrial complex where they were located while they await the arrival of Cmdr Rennyn. Deciding to explore a side room, Jellico cuts the lock with his micro welder.

Upon returning to the Darwin, Cmdr Renos and Ens Lyldra lead Patriarch Phlendorp and Attendant Pernod to the bridge, where Cmdr Icavoc requests audience with the captain. Asking Lyldra to escort the two Asavii to the observation lounge, Renos gets the opportunity to meet Ens Mpeba. After a quick discussion, Renos instructs Mpeba to report for a physical in sickbay prior to her transport to Asav. Before Renos can head to the observation lounge, he is advised by sickbay of a medical emergency involving Ens Block's adopted son. Renos orders Icavoc to recall Ens Manius, Ens Alekos, and Block from Asav to cope with the event.

In the observation room, after a minute to admire Asav from the viewpoint of space, Lyldra starts conversations of understanding between Patriarch Phlendorp and Attendant Pernod. In discussing their divergent views of history, the two Asavii start to form an inkling of understanding between them.

Rennyn's deadly sea monster!
Upon being transported from Cmdr Thomas' expedition to the site where Iy and CPO Jellico are located, Cmdr Rennyn is disoriented by his immersion in the sea outside of a submersible. Despite being safely housed in an EV suit, Rennyn panics as he is entangled in what ends up being data cables. Hearing the distressed calls of Rennyn over their comms, Iy and Jellico exit the room they were exploring to aid him. Assisting Rennyn in disentangling himself, Iy explains that the machinery around them might still be operational despite the prolonged exposure to water.

This episode is still airing, stay tuned for periodic updates!

Primary Cast
Support Cast
Deck by Deck
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John Valdivia
Merrick R'Ven
Graeme Cook.png
Graeme Cook
Isabel Pond
Jora Kalis
Didrik Stennes
Ren Rennyn.png
Rendal Rennyn
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Randal Shayne
Nicu Icavoc
Kurt Logan
Emery Rhyn
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Kael Thomas

REV SD 239205.18