Three weeks of preparations for crossing Borg space have been completed in the Hollow. Shuttle missions are sent to collect useful resources from wrecks near the boundary of the safe zone. The Odyssey’s power systems are reverted to their previous fuel sources, now that they’ve been slowly traveling through the dense pockets of energetic particles that are scattered throughout the area. Engineering is also able to expand the ship’s sensors via adapting alien sensors. Security preps both ship and personal weapons for facing the Borg. And Selveth leads the science division in creating a way to bring the T’l with them, trying to invent a subspace suspension field that does not also place T’l into stasis of some kind or another.
The T’l’s representative Eqar has been checking in daily on progress, which has been slow. Selveth and many of the Romulan scientists have committed to the work, but they are inventing new subspace field theory to make this happen, and after three weeks of work, it is clear this is a process that may be harder to manage than initially thought.
PB is determined to assist, aiding the science team as a Guinea pig in order to attune fields to their energy signature. One morning, a test goes particularly awry – the subspace field attenuator overloads and discharges a massive amount of energy, injuring Selveth, Vulmos, and Kemman. Parker and Petra handle triage on-scene, and after emergency care, the three are deemed serious but stable.
The Commodore calls the available officers together. With all the folks read into the scientific exploration in sickbay, the team is hard-pressed to come up with a solution to their dilemma of fulfilling their end of the bargain to the T’l – until Dash reluctantly brings up previously quietly-held expertise in the sciences. He steps in, borrowing Parker as a lab tech, and with some unconventional applications of subspace tech, after a few days, Dash is able to find the missing piece to Selveth’s work and assemble a functional prototype of a field designed for the T’l to use to live aboard in Cargo Bay 2. They make prep to set up the cargo bay to take on their passengers.
Petra has been monitoring the crew and their visitors, offering support to Commander Adams and also to PB. Adams indicates that he will seek her out for help – as soon as this crisis is past. PB, however, confesses concern. After this time observing the Starfleet and Sikarian people, PB isn’t confident that the T’l are a people that they would work with – if they knew the story. Petra convinces the entity to open up, and learns that the Hollow isn’t naturally occurring. Instead, a few hundred years prior, the T’l used their ability to manipulate subspace to kill the stars of a number of inhabited systems, exterminating untold lives to create this astrophysical anomaly.
The commodore gets that information from Petra, along with reports from the shuttle salvage teams that the T’l killed the ships they visited, and the fleet is left with a troubling possibility – the lives they are working on saving may have ended far more in the past. And the fleet may not be anything more than tools to the bulk of the T’l.
Tchang calls a meeting to discuss the fleet’s next move…