The Lost Souls (Darwin-A)
|Season 2, Episode 1|
|Commander Renos as ne is enroute to Deep Space 6 to relaunch the USS Darwin-A. The Darwin, a Horizon-class science vessel, is being recommissioned alongside other ships in the fleet to deal with the Prometheus Incident. Renos, most recently the Chief Medical Officer on the Apollo, has a checkered past with nir own people. As a J'naii, a genderless, androgynous species, any individual who shows gender identity is considered a ‘deviant’. Escaping nir homeworld nemself to avoid psychotectic reprogramming, ne has devoted nemself to help other J’naii like nemself escape and seek asylum in the Federation and beyond. Ne wonders worriedly what this new transfer, with the added responsibility and remote location, will do for nir efforts in this covert field.
|Captain Greir Reinard, who is on hand to complete the transfer of command. After a tour of the ship, they are joined by the Darwin’s new first officer, Lieutenant Commander Brayden Jorey. It soon becomes apparent that there is a deep history between Jorey and the previous captain. That intimacy, plus Jorey’s Betazed telepathic abilities and Intel history, puts Renos ill at ease and strains relations between the two new commanding officers of the Darwin right off the bat.
With the rapid launch schedule of the Darwin, officers are pulled from across the fleet to man the science vessel, and they arrive to board her in quick succession. We are introduced to the new compliment of senior officers as they report aboard to Cmdr Jorey before having one-on-one meetings with the captain. They consist of (in order of reporting):
|Interspersed before and around the meetings with the captain, the rest of the senior staff get the opportunity to meet and explore the ship. Malon and Yael share a drink on Deep Space 6 before embarking on the Darwin. Kael and Peters suss each other out in the ship’s engine room. Traenor gets introduced to both Lexicon and Valdivia at the science consoles on the bridge. Peters visits Sickbay and seeks assistance from Malon for a potentially debilitating injury he had received just prior to reporting to the Darwin. And, Thomas meets a returning colleague and his young son.
The scene then changes to the Conference Room on Deck 1 of the Darwin, where Cmdr Renos is staging nir first mission briefing as commanding officer. The senior staff file in and take their seats quickly, allowing for only a short bit of personal conversation before the meeting starts.
Lt Traenor provides a little background on the Prometheus Incident, and how the anomaly affecting the Dunbar may be related. Cmdr Jorey raises concerns about outside influence, with special emphasis on the regions’ primary antagonists, the Zalkonians. One weapon in particular, the Anoxia Field, is particularly dangerous due to its effects on the systems of affected ships. Ens Valdivia, with his expertise, offers to try and devise countermeasures. Lt Shedet, familiar with the region, expresses concern that there is more than the Zalkonians on the minds of the region’s inhabitants. Lt Peters is among the first to volunteer for the Away mission to the Dunbar, as well as Lt Dragumov. The mission briefing winds down as Renos tasks: Shedet, Lt Yael, and Ens Lexicon to work with another mission specialist, Nicu Icavoc, to determine the risks presented by the Zalkonians at the present time; Jorey to consider the makeup of the Away team to board the Dunbar; Malon to prepare for treatment of the Dunbar’s crew; and the engineers to brush up on their knowledge of Antares-class freighters.
|After the senior officers disperse, the bridge of the Darwin prepares for her historic maiden relaunch. Cmdr Renos gives instructions to Lt Connory to clear Deep Space 6, and he brings them about on course to the Zeta Gelis cluster and jumps them to Warp 7. Renos then commands Traenor and Valdivia to commence scans of the anomaly affecting the Dunbar once they are within range, before handing control of the bridge to the Chief Science Officer and leaving the bridge to attend to personal matters.
Meanwhile, Cmdr Jorey has summoned PO Jellico to his office on Deck 7. He engages the enlisted man in pointed questions, then admits to testing Jellico in preparation to shouldering him with responsibilities above his rank. Dismissing him, Jorey decides to use the short down time while enroute to satiate his hunger. In Main Engineering on Deck 9, Thomas and Peters oversee the engines during the launch, and discuss their knowledge of Antares class ships such as the Dunbar. On Deck 3, Shedet, Lexicon, Yael, and Icavoc are utilizing the Stellar Cartography lab to study the asteroid field where the Dunbar originally ran into problems.
On Deck 6, Avaris Torrin has been drowning his sorrows in the crew lounge almost since he had boarded the Darwin. The knowledge that he and his husband had been selected for the Darwin based predominantly on his own personal ties to Renos, as opposed to his spouse’s professional abilities, had been off-putting. Torrin spent his time conversing with the Romulan bartender Rhean Velal, and discovering an old acquaintance in the form of the bar’s owner, Alam Naseera. Once the mission briefing concludes, Lt Dragumov finds his inebriated husband still at the bar, and they are soon interrupted by none other than the captain. Renos has searched out Torrin to relay sensitive information through him, as a conduit for his efforts to help fellow J’naii deviants. In Torrin’s current state, Renos harbors doubts about the timing of this meeting, but his hasty departure is stymied by the arrival of Jorey looking for his pre-mission meal. Both Renos and Torrin share reservations about the first officer, but for different reasons. Fortunately for them, Dragumov captures Jorey’s attention and steers him away, allowing Torrin to advise Renos that he has important information to impart.
|The scene cuts away to the Dunbar and her captain, Connor Dreyfus, where we see the effects of the disturbance on the small vessel. A flashback shows us when they first encounter ill effects from the anomaly, and the sense of confusion and chaos that ensues. Something strange is afoot, and it seems to revolve around the missing chief engineer...
The urgent conversation between Capt Renos and Avaris Torrin is moved to the captain's ready room on Deck 1. There, it is revealed that the civilian had an unsavory tie to the disabled freighter in the past. Worried that his past has finally caught up to him, Torrin places his fate in Reno's hands, who promptly reassures him that there is no current need for concern. Placing the issue to rest, the commander then reports back to the bridge.
Lt Traenor gladly hands control of the bridge back to Cmdr Renos as they approach the location where the Dunbar lies prone in space. PO Jellico reports to the bridge, trying to keep his composure after receiving devastating personal news. In response to the possible threat of the Zalkonian's Anoxia Field, there is speculation among the bridge crew about how best to contact the crew of the derelict freighter off their bow. In an example of great minds thinking alike, both Ens Valdivia and Jellico independently propose the use of a Darwin shuttlecraft to act as a communications relay, thereby isolating the Darwin herself from the effects of the computer weapon.
The scene cuts momentarily back to the Dunbar, where the crew and the captain, obviously exhausted and barely holding on, are elated to receive word from the Darwin. They relay their status to Renos, and prepare to receive the Away team.
As Cmdr Thomas reports to the bridge, Traenor and Valdivia continue to study the effects of the anomaly within the Zeta Gelis cluster, trying to predict how long the Away team will safely have to assist the freighter. Several theories and actions are discussed, but the final diagnosis is that only a few hours remain until the Dunbar is irretrievably caught in thrall of the rift, unless power can be reestablished and the ship is drawn away from its gravity well.
Meanwhile, back on the bridge of the Darwin, both Renos and Thomas harbor misgivings about the comparison of the rift before them to those found in the Piktar system, only reinforced by a report delivered to the commanding officer by Shedet. The whole contingent of the bridge are startled by a blinding discharge visible on the viewscreen, and by the subsequent effects tempered by their hearty shields. When they turn their attention to the Dunbar, they see the grievous damage that has occurred, and are met with an inability to communicate with their endangered Away team. Inspired by and assisted by the Chief Engineer, Valdivia and Traenor work to re-establish comms through subspace damaged by the same effect from the rift that battered the Dunbar. Attempting contact after their efforts to overcome the comm difficulties, another flash disrupts the space around the two ships. As if confirming previous comments by Lexicon, Shedet notes the possible presence of an object or being in the rift during the latest flash. Valdivia confirms that something unknown is indeed in, or causing, the rift. Previous discussions regarding efforts to close the rift artificially are tempered by this news.
|Arriving in the Dunbar's engine room, the Darwin crewmembers are disrupted by a small console fire. Jellico urges Peters to carry on and check in with the acting chief engineer of the freighter while he douses the fire. A few minutes later, when Capt Dreyfus enters Engineering and the fire has been extinguished, nobody can find Peters. He has disappeared without a trace, much like the missing officers of the Dunbar. In Peter's point of view, however, he has stepped from the chaotic reality of the engine room into a hollow, pristine version where he is trapped and alone. The remaining officers on site start to consider the possibility of the missing Starfleet officers being trapped in subspace, and Jellico offers a suggestion of using subspace communications to try and test the theory.
Like a mirage, Peters sees the 'other' Dunbar engine room and his colleagues, and overhears their conversation. Yet, he cannot interact with them or the environment. Both Capt Dreyfus and Lexicon catches the merest glimpses of the missing Darwin engineer.
In the Dunbar's sickbay, Jorey has arrived seeking treatment for his apparent sightings of apparitions. Yael and Malon check him over, finding no physical or mental reasoning for any hallucinations. Still, just then Jorey experiences another premonition, this time of armed troops advancing on the sickbay. Malon, being telepathic much like Jorey, is nontheless unable to sense what he does. The images and feeling falling on him alone, to be safe Jorey recalls Dragumov to his location to and starts conducting detailed scans.
In the Darwin's Intelligence Lab, Icavoc has information on the Zalkonians and prepares to head to the bridge, when he notes a flash. Suddenly, he finds himself incorporeal, unable to interact with the surroundings or, indeed, other people such as civilian Nino Brocales. He finds a way to the bridge where he tries to garner anybody's attention and almost manages to interact with Traenor and Valdivia.
Lexicon becomes out of phase himself, but not to the same degree that Peters is, meaning he cannot talk to Peters clearly, nor can communicate with the rest of the non-phased crew. Peters, being present in Engineering yet unable to interact or talk to the assembled group, shows increasing frustration with the helplessness of the situation. Despite her misgivings, due to the harmful nature that Rodulan telepathy takes, Malon attempts a mental connection with Peters, which he can receive but Malon cannot note.
|With the sensors off, the Darwin enjoys a reprieve from the outbursts from the rift - temporarily. After only a couple minutes, the largest gravimetric spike yet strikes the Darwin, leaving Traenor dumbfounded in his theory. Though insisting that the latest spike must have been caused by another ship, there is no evidence to back Traenor's claim. Immediately following the spike, Valdivia manages to see Icavoc and tackles the man, only to find that he has joined the Dokkaran out of phase instead of rescuing him as intended. Thomas is the first to notice Valdivia's absence, and realizes that the same thing is happening on the Darwin as is happening on the Dunbar.
Valdivia, out of phase, notices a Zalkonian ship on the viewscreen that he hadn't seen prior to phasing. We switch to the bridge of the SWC Purity, the Zalkonian warship we visited earlier, and we learn that this is indeed the ship that Valdivia is seeing. Zalkonian Commander Akaym, along with his bridge crew and Romulan attache Sub-Commander Tal'Aura, are watching the incident with the two Federations ships play out. The ship is equipped with a transphasic cloak and is therefore invisible to the Darwin's sensors, and they are conducting experiments on the rift. They also confirm Traenor's theory that scanning the rift is the cause of its gravimetric spikes.
Valdivia and Icavoc continue trying to figure out how to phase back into normal space to warn Renos about the Zalkonian threat off their bow, while the effects and consequences of phasing affect other crewmen and women around the Darwin.
|Ensign Pon Pon, a science officer from the USS Gemini who had somehow ended up on the Dunbar when knocked out of phase on his own ship. Utilizing a suggestion by Pon Pon, they overload a PADD to try and knock them out of their phased state, but the plan only partially works by sending the diminutive Gemini officer back to his own ship.
On the bridge of the Darwin, after Traenor's futile experiment, Shedet devises a program that might accomplish the ability to tow the Dunbar from the rift. Thomas encourages Traenor to break him out of a mental funk, before using Shedet's program to lock a tractor beam onto the Dunbar.
Jorey, now on the Dunbar's bridge, is advised by Dragumov that Connory was able to get a message through from the Darwin advising of their intended plans. A hail from Jellico reminds Jorey that his recent experiences have a basis in reality, and he senses the presence of more minds in the vicinity than the sensors can account for. Jorey starts to suspect the presence of another ship, and recalls all Darwin officers to the freighter's bridge in preparation for tow efforts from the Darwin.
Finally, both Malon's and Peter's efforts to contact each other telepathically are rewarded, and she is able to convey to both Peters and Lexicon that they should accompany her to the bridge of the Dunbar. Jellico as well reports to the freighter's bridge as commanded, and Capt Dreyfus joins them there as well.
Back on the Darwin's bridge, Valdivia realizes that if he intersects with non-phased objects, the results are scannable by the rest of the crew. He draws Shedet, scanning the disturbances that Valdivia is creating, into the turbolift and onto engineering where he might find a phased engineer that can help him with his plans. In the turbolift, they encounter Ensign Todd Manius, a medic that has mistaken a phased officer for a deceased loved one and had been driven into the lift out of panic. Icavoc remains on the bridge, hoping to find a way to communicate the Zalkonian risk to the bridge crew. Eventually, Valdivia is able to reach engineering, with Shedet and Manius bickering in tow, where Valdivia is frustrated by not finding what he was looking for.
|On the bridge of the Dunbar, as tow efforts are underway, Lexicon notes a disturbance in his level of phased state. Taking a risk that it is a portal back to normal space, he jumps in. Peters is also drawn back into phase as the Dunbar, barely surviving the ordeal, is towed free of the rift's effects by the Darwin. Jellico feels the strain of trying to keep the ship's structural integrity up during the tow, but prevails in his efforts.
Renos, Thomas, and Traenor discuss the feasibility of anyon sweeps to de-phase the Darwin's missing officers. It was a idea posited by Valdivia earlier, and the situation is deemed dire enough to give it a try. Traenor's efforts conducting handheld sweeps uncover two people on the bridge, Icavoc and Amanda Rivers. Icavoc immediately shouts out his warning, bringing the fear of the Zalkonian anoxia field back into play.
In the Darwin's engineering section, a phased Valdivia struggles to find a method to communicate his needs to Shedet and Manius. Though not having much luck communicating with Valdivia, Shedet and Manius try to patch their combative nature with each other.
Now free of imminent danger by the rift, and made aware of the Zalkonian ship, Jorey and Capt Dreyfus order Peters, Jellico, Lexicon, and Malon to report back to Engineering and make repair attempts to put the freighter back under her own power. Lexicon relays the uncertainty and difficulty of recreating his de-phasing incident for the rest of the missing Dunbar crew. Peters's relief at being de-phased is soon replaced with apprehension as he is ordered to return to the point where the original phase shift occurred. Jellico picks up on his colleague's discomfort and tries to ease his concerns in a gruff manner.
After a period of time, Peters and Jellico are able to bring the Dunbar's impulse engines back online, while Lexicon shores up the freighter's structural integrity. Peters and Jellico discuss terminology for providing engineering estimates.
Renos and Traenor transmit the details of their successful efforts to de-phase affected officers to Shedet, with instructions to prepare efforts to implement the plan ship-wide.
|It is revealed on the bridge of the SWC Purity that the Zalkonian ship has been employing a Transphasic Cloak to remain unseen by the Federation ships. Cmdr Akaym orders the cloak disengaged, and they launch a probe-like device into the heart of the rift. When the device impacts the anomaly, the rift implodes as the Zalkonians warp back towards their sovereign space.
Shedet and Manius use the instructions received from the bridge to build an anyon emitter, and manage to de-phase Valdivia. Manius gives Valdivia a perfunctory medical exam before releasing him to return to the bridge. Shedet and Manius then go throughout the ship and re-phase all the missing crewmembers.
On the Darwin, the bridge officers watched with concern as the Zalkonian ship appeared and fired its probe at the rift. Traenor struggled to scan the rift as it imploded, leaving mostly empty space.
With both the Zalkonian ship and the rift gone, and the Dunbar safe and under power, Renos gives orders to the Away team to return as the two Federation ships make course to Deep Space 6. All senior officers are given leave to rest. On their return from the Dunbar, Jorey instructs Peters and Lexicon to receive a checkup in sickbay, and dismisses the rest before himself reporting to Renos. After discussions with Jorey, Renos then summons Traenor to nir ready room for a debrief. Capt Dreyfus of the Dunbar is thankful for the Darwin's assistance, and receives a welcome reunion with his chief engineer. Once the Darwin reaches Deep Space 6, the crew are given a short shore leave session while the fate of the Darwin's continued mission status is being determined.
This episode completed its airing on stardate 239204.03
|REV SD 239803.23|