The fleet traverses Cravic space in relative peace – at least, until Kalen requests an urgent meeting with Captain Tchang. Worse, shortly before the meeting, the EMH reports that T’ven and Selveth have both fallen mysteriously ill. Recognizing the effects of the neurotoxin before, the EMH requests Plogh investigate while the captain talks to Kalen. Plogh recognizes the toxin from the Alpha Quadrant, and strangely, the RNA has his KDF identification number encoded within. This prompts Plogh to explain his familiarity with the neurotoxin to the Captain: he created the neurotoxin that killed that station of Romulans, and the title of Butcher of Adosia Station belongs to him. He and the Captain both express dismay at his checkered past, but acknowledge that this isn’t important here, save as potential motivation for the use of the neurotoxin.
Kalen explains to the captain his doings during the heist and the time since – warned by Selveth weeks prior, he rigged probes to surreptitiously scan the lab occupied by his erstwhile Romulan friends, and learned troubling things. He proceeds to lay out a timeline of events going back to when the Sikarians initially provided trajector technology to the Odyssey’s crew, that culminates in four of the Romulan contingent aboard having reverse-engineered the spatial trajector to power a jump back to the Alpha Quadrant – for them only. For those on the ship powering the trajector, likely death as the ship’s reactor overloads.
Troubled by the coincidence of the plan coming to light the same time as her chief of security and the only other Romulan likely to stop the plan falling ill, Captain Tchang orders T’ven’s available substitute, Lieutenant (JG) Mackenzie, to arrest the Romulans in the lab. They do so without incident – indeed, Ulun, the ringleader, seems to have expected this. Domino descends upon the lab, intent upon the captain’s instruction to disassemble any active trajector – but they find no active equipment. Kalen and Domino are immediately suspicious, and while she digs deeper into the lab, Kalen faces Ulun in the brig.
They verbally spar for some time, with Kalen egging Ulun on via silent disapproval and Ulun’s ego opening him up. Ulun finally acknowledges that they intend to go home, to share the trajector’s secret with Romulus. The Tiro is damaged by its energy, but most Romulan ships use different methods, and would potentially be compatible. The gain in force projection is immense, and would make it possible for Romulans’ reach to far exceed the box the Federation and the Klingons have placed them in. Before explaining everything, he stops short – and an automated program snuck into the Odyssey’s computer activates a modified trajector, transporting all the Romulans out of the brig and seriously damaging the Odyssey for its trouble.
While Kalen diverts his attention to the sudden engineering emergency, Domino and Plogh work to try and identify where the Romulans transported. With investigation and analysis, they pin the destination to the Posel, the fleet’s pleasure barge. Lt. Mackenzie and a security team beam over and are ambushed by the Romulans, who get away and traject again. Plogh orders the fleet to scatter to beyond the distance of the trajector’s range, hopefully preventing another jump. Meanwhile, Domino rigs a probe to emit a neutrino scattering field, interfering with the source of a trajection, and flies out in the John Stewart to help scan the fleet. The group look into the four Romulans’ background, and determine that they are likely Tal Shiar, and are far more trained than the crew realized. The tactical team does a manual check and realizes that two photon torpedoes are missing.
Domino spots the Alanel moving out of formation and, micro-warping to catch up before they can escape, catches them in a tractor beam, threatening them with her “torpedo” and preventing their warping away. The fleet’s ships scattered, bombs potentially hidden in them, Romulans taking the ghost ship hostage, and a dangerous trajector experiment looming, the crew is forced to consider their options…