Return to the Ring (Juneau)

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Captain Melchor of the USS Grace Hopper contacts the USS Juneau. After beaming over a contingent to Ring 42 with the task of setting up the basic infrastructure for an outpost, Melchor has lost contact with a large number of his people. Realizing the challenges of organizing a search through the gigantic ringworld, Captain Oddas immediately offers her help to her old Academy classmate and orders Juneau to set course towards the Dialran system.

Plot Summary

Part 1

The Bridge officers gather in the Conference Room to discuss their next mission over a delicious plate of pastry, an idea of Aurelian Ensign Dekas, especially appreciated by Captain Oddas and Lieutenant JG Kendrick. During the meeting the crew gets a brief update on the situation down at Ring 42 as well as information gathered during the Eagle’s First Contact mission there, now little over a year ago. After the briefing, the crew disperses to make the necessary preparations to start up, what is now considered to be, a rescue operation.

Down at the Security Complex, Major Han and Security Officer Kendrick go over their plan to safely explore the Ring complex. Meanwhile Ensign Dekas and Lieutenant Stelek are working on ways to boost the ship’s sensors to find the missing Hopper crew members.

As the crew prepares for the mission, Captain Oddas receives word that First Officer Iovianus is being transfered by order of Starfleet Command. Realizing the ship needs the chain of command to be intact, especially when they’re about to face a potentially dangerous operation, she promotes Lieutenant-Commander T’Lea as new XO. The Romulo-Vulcan reluctantly accepts her new job, realizing her ship and Captain needs her now more than ever.

Part 2

As the Juneau arrives at the Dialran system, the Captain orders a rendezvous with the USS Grace Hopper at Ring 42.

After contacting the Hopper, Commander Cole brings the Captain up to speed on the current situation down at the Ring. Unfortunately their search hasn’t been successful. They were able to find one of their missing officers, Ensign Stig, but that appeared to have been just a stroke of luck. His Away Team down at the Ring is exhausted and his medical team is running low on staff.

Upon hearing the Hopper’s needs, Captain Oddas orders Major Han and newly promoted First Officer T’Lea to take the Orca down to the Ring with a team of Marines and Starfleet personnel to aid with the search. Doctor Indobri and Counselor Tierney are ordered to beam over to the Grace Hopper to assist their medical team. They’re joined by Intelligence Officer, Commander Williams, and Ensign Dekas.

Part 3

As the Orca lands inside one of the many bio-domes of Ring 42, they are greeted by Hopper’s First Officer Torlek Smith and his team. Juneau’s crew is informed about the existence of an anomaly inside the city, dubbed “The Vault” by Smith’s people. After Hopper’s Away Team receives a medical check-up, nurse Pelley administers them a stimulant to help them stay on their feet after a 24 hours search. Juneau’s Away Team, accompanied by Commander Smith and his men, decide to take a look at the “The Vault” and step into the ATV they brought with them on the Orca.

Meanwhile on the Grace Hopper, doctor Indobri and Counselor Tierney are confronted with a medical mystery. Their patient appears to be in a coma so deep he is virtually dead, yet there is still neurotransmitter activity and a normal body temperature.

Part 4

As the Away Team set course for “The Vault”, back on the bridge of the Juneau Lieutenant Stelek detects an energy buildup from underneath the city. Captain Oddas tries to warn the team back down on the planet, but unfortunately fails due to interference originating from the Ring.

Down on the Ring, the Away Team arrives at the location of “The Vault”. During their ride up there, Ensign R’Kala devised a way to track the members of the team by injecting them with a dose of hyronalin – originally a drug to combat radiation poisoning, but also a substance they’d be able to pick up on their tricorders.

With a means to track each other available to them, Commander T’Lea suggests splitting up to explore “The Vault”. Before the team can act on her order, Lieutenant JG Kendrick is suddenly startled by two blinking lights, staring at him in the dark.

Part 5

Back on the bridge of the Juneau, Lieutenant JG Silveira has found a way to send the Away Team the vital information needed to help them complete the mission. Although a risky operation, Captain Oddas gives him the go-ahead.

Unable to track the source of the lights, Commander T’Lea is about to reprise their search when Commander Smith suddenly warns everyone to take shelter as a probe hits the ground. As the dust settles down, the Away Team opens up the probe to find a PADD containing information on the energy buildup underneath the city.

Without any warning, the Grace Hopper suddenly loses altitude as power is being drawn from the ship. Surprisingly the pattern of the energy drain across the ship resembles the bio signal of Ensign Stig down in sickbay. Captain Melchor realizes there must be a link and orders his crew to find a way to stop the energy drain.

Down in Sickbay, doctor Indobri and Counselor Tierney discover a puncture wound on the side of Ensign Stig’s neck. As they take a skin sample from the wound to perform a DNA analysis, they detect traces of a metallic compound. Unable to make heads or tails of it, they decide that trying to establish a telepathic link with their patient is the only way to find out what happened to him. Doctor Indobri contacts Juneau to beam over a recently discovered telepathic device.

Part 6

In an attempt to help stabilize the Grace Hopper, Captain Oddas orders her crew to establish a tractor beam between them and Juneau through which they could transfer power to compensate for Hopper’s power drain.

As the Grace Hopper rocks back and forth, suffering from another power shortage, doctor Indobri tries to stay on her feet and accidently touches Ensign Stig on the biobed. An image of machines working to keep a city functioning, flashes before her eyes.

Down on the Ring, Commander T’Lea suddenly notices that Nurse Pelley has gone missing. And so did Hammond. Commander T’Lea orders the team to split up. Major Han and Lieutenant are ordered to try to force their way into “The Vault” while she and the rest of the team try to locate the missing team members.

Part 7

On the bridge of Juneau, the crew is trying to figure out how to counteract the soundwave that’s been hitting the Grace Hopper, causing her to lose power. Ensign Falt discovers that the soundwave might be a communication attempt by whoever is down there on the Ring.

Back on the Ring, Commander Smith notices a strange looking alien creature – almost looking like some sort of chipmonkey. But then the creature’s head blows into a giant sharp tooth thing and fires some kind of bio-tech package straight into Clarkson’s neck. Smith immediately orders to fire upon the alien creatures, scattering them around. As they find another entrance to the building, they find themselves in a corridor underneath “The Vault”.

Meanwhile in Sickbay aboard the Grace Hopper, doctor Indobri and Counselor Tierney find a way to connect the device to Ensign Stig, in the hope it would enable them to communicate with the Ensign.

Back at The Vault, Major Han and Lieutenant JG Kendrick are able to enter the building by blowing out the vault door. Once inside, they join Commander T’Lea and Commander Smith who have gained access to the building through one of the back entrances.

Aboard the Juneau, the crew notices the City on the Ring slowly coming to life. Another wave hits the ship and Captain Oddas damages her prosthetic arm as she falls out of her chair.

Part 8

Inside The Vault, Clarkson too has gone missing, resulting in a heated argument between first officers T’Lea and Smith on how to proceed next. The stalemate ends as Ensign May - Hopper’s security officer - finds another door that leads them to another corridor that leads into a subterranean level that looks like a subway transit system. Aboard the Hopper Doctor Indobri manages to establish contact with Ensign Stig - who is still unconscious – and is able to hear the lyrics of an old Earth song, instantly reminding her of her ex, Lieutenant Nyka Wyss.

The same song is heard aboard the bridge of the Juneau and Lieutentant JG Silveira decides to send out a message to the Ring containing another song, hoping it will somehow stop the power drain of the Grace Hopper. Meanwhile Ensign Falt discovers that the soundwave that’s been hitting the Hopper is almost a perfect match with the brainwave pattern of Lieutenant Wyss. Captain Oddas decides to fire upon one of the power junctions in the city to put an end to the attack on their ships.

Meanwhile back on the Ring, Commander T’Lea and her team arrive at a room designated as “Chapter One” where they find the missing team members of the Hopper but they soon find themselves under attack by a group of chipmonkeys who apparently want to protect Wyss, Clarkson and Hammond. Fortunately Juneau was able to take out the power junction in the city, thus disabling most of the city's systems – including the alien chipmonkeys.

Part 9

Nurse Pelley, who is in another room called Chapter Six, contacts Chapter One and informs them about a pod containing a strange looking alien. Commander T’Lea and her team move out to Chapter Six. They learn that the pod contains the City’s last Caretaker, currently in a critical condition. Commander T’Lea decides to beam back to the Grace Hopper, together with the alien pod.

Back on the Grace Hopper, doctor Indobri and Counselor Tierney come to the conclusion that the alien pod is not only a stasis device but also a machine that helps facilitate some kind of mitosis. The Caretaker procreates by dividing itself into another whole humanoid. An immense amount of energy is needed for this process, which is why the City attacked the Grace Hopper. The City itself seems to have a symbiotic relationship with these Caretakers.

With the Grace Hopper being no longer in danger and their Away Team safely back aboard, Captain Oddas says her goodbye to Commander Melchor, leaving him further in charge of the operation on Ring 42.