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The Columbia discovers the USS Belle, a Federation research vessel, in the asteroid field that fell prey to an unknown disaster. Lt. Commander Thoran leads an away team to the other ship. The sole survivor, Lt. Commander Graciela Solis, is found on the bridge. She is treated and brought aboard the Columbia.
Doctor G'Renn's team happens upon a settlement protected by a energy field. After disabling the field the team wanders into the seemingly abandoned town. The group gets into a firefight with a local until he is disabled and captured, but not before injuring Commander Jolara in the shoulder. The group enters a building with an unusual energy source only to be accosted by large humanoids. In escaping the second firefight the group discovers an underground nuclear reactor that seems to be powering the settlement. In an effort to escape the attacking enemies they simulate a reactor overload only to realize that the reactor is actually in the process of melting down
. The group escapes when the attackers flee and the away team uses a local transport to make for their shuttle. On the way they run into the Vadhavulan that attacked them before. He is briefly captured and then released out of harm's way.
Commander Shayne's team finds a structure near their landing position and gain entry after speaking with the sole inhabitant, an augmented human named Breno. The massive building is a power plant, though poorly maintained and leaking radiation which is causing members of the team to get sick. Another augmented human named Zufar arrives and quickly kills Breno and orders the away team to leave. They depart and return to the shuttle where Commander Shayne decides to transport with Lieutenant Pran back to the structure to try to discover what is going on. He leaves Mika and Lor to make repairs to the shuttle.
Lt. Commander Ezo's team discovers the captain and others being held prisoner in a network of caves by genetically altered humans who arrived on the planet in the sleeper ship SS Monticello. The leader, Adlynn Verne, confronts the team and threatens them. She orders them to provide information on the USS Kumari to get it working again. The megalomanical Augment wants to use the ship to gain dominance over the other Augment groups on the planet. Ezo and MacKenna devise and execute a plan whereby MacKenna causes an explosion using her mechanical hand to puncture a hypospray with pressurized contents.
Meanwhile the Columbia
has buzzed the planet's surface as a show of force. They achieve a lock on Ezo's team and beam them away just as the explosion goes off. Captain Whittaker places a no-contact restriction on the planet to keep others from falling prey to any of the Augments in the future.