Star Trek: Odyssey

Opening Moves
Stardate 49448

The timeline has changed. Sebastian died at the beginning of their mission – Selveth took over as XO. The Tiro was destroyed, the Sikarians are divided… Many things are the same, but many things are different. The chroniton wave, triggered by the Krenim weapon, affected everything, including the fleet.

The discovery that the fleet experienced a shift to a new timeline prompts Captain Tchang and the crew in the know to prepare to track down the weapon that caused the timeline change, and stop it from activating again. The Captain orders the fleet to retreat to a chaotic space anomaly nearby, using its effects on space as a place to hide while the fleet affects repairs. Leaving the ves’Targ to watch over them, the Odyssey separates from the fleet and starts investigating, heading first to the site of the first weapon detonation. Kalen establishes temporal shielding like the ves’Targ’s, and builds the tech into a handful of life support belts for an away team to be protected.

Arrival at the system where the weapon was used is heralded by severe subspace turbulence. Domino safely brings the ship out of warp, and the sensors and science teams aboard the Odyssey get to work. Analysis starts by comparing the system in two timelines, thanks to Zahl records before and after the timeline change – and the system’s third planet is missing. Celestial events in the system were altered by this, and the star is now dying. They do detect something though – an ion trail, seemingly fixed in time, not decaying. They can track the culprit.

With the temporal shielding only just working, the ship opts not to immediately engage the ship. They know too little, but at least now they can keep an eye. The ship launches one of its multispatial probes, using it at a distance to track the superweapon while they investigate further. With the intel they gained on Zahl, they identify a research station behind Krenim lines that is pursuing temporal research – that becomes their next stop.

Managing to avoid Krenim patrols, the Odyssey drops out of warp hidden behind one of this system’s two gas giants. The station orbits the other. Parker assembles an away team of Domino, Kalen, and Vulmos, and the four take the John Stewart over in order to learn what the Krenim have created. They stealthily beam aboard and take some readings, learning quickly that the station is civilian – none of the 13 Krenim aboard are armed, and none are wearing uniforms. Emboldened by the lack of obvious resistance, Parker leads the team to contact the researchers in person. Domino takes the lead, her genuine curiosity about their research and her honesty about not being from this timeline disarms the civilians, and they wind up investigating the chroniton residue left on the crew from their interaction with the weapon on Zahl.

The crew learns much – this timeline ceased research into temporal incursions, the weapon that removed that planet from time. A scientist 200 years ago named Annorax developed two incredible (and highly dangerous) theorems relating to time. The first was the method of creating incursions, and the second was a method of arresting entropy, preventing aging, systems breaking, or things decaying. Thanks to the Krenim building computers that exist slightly out of phase with normal time, the crew locates incomplete technical specs for the weapon Annorax intended to design. The ship itself is equivalent to Kirk-era tech beyond the weapon and its shields, which use the entropy arresting effect to prevent any weapons from penetrating its defenses.

They don’t have much time to process the information, as the Odyssey informs the away team that Krenim scouts are on the way – Krenim sensors aren’t as good as the Odyssey’s, so they have a narrow window to escape. Chief Hegrom starts to beam them up just as the station’s shields go up, almost trapping the team if not for the chief’s experience completing the transport around the interference. The station hails the Odyssey, and one of the senior researchers curses Captain Tchang and the Odyssey, calling them filthy aliens. She was the one who alerted the military, and the Odyssey leaves before they get close.

Their presence now known to the Krenim, the ship considers its options and heads for a Zahl anchorage in the records they retrieved. The possibility of munitions, fuel, and other tech would be a boon since in this timeline the Odyssey has half the torpedoes they did. The Anchorage sits on the far side of an energetic nebula, and after getting singed a bit heading through, the Odyssey finds the anchorage – along with a Krenim strike team boarding it.

Parker gathers another team – himself, Domino, Kalen, and Lt. Mackenzie. The Odyssey confirms that the Krenim’s troop transport is empty, and they’re the only life signs aboard the anchorage. So the team beams to the transport itself, docked with the station. Investigation confirms that the Krenim happened upon the secret base and are preparing to scuttle it with charges. Thinking quickly, Parker asks the chief to beam the charges planted into space. One activated one is beamed out a soldier’s hand, which alerts the soldiers to intruders. They race back to their ship, only to see it flying back toward the Odyssey, with the away team waving to the soldiers as they depart. Stuck on an airless base with limited oxygen available, it’s a quick process to prompt the soldiers to surrender and take them into custody.

Time now on their side, the crew takes inventory, and learns the true value of this anchorage – in addition to hundreds of photon torpedoes, weapons, antimatter, and spare parts, two Zahl heavy cruisers were docked here for repair, and the two thousand refugee Sikarians aboard the Odyssey are ready to get their hands dirty making them spaceworthy. Captain Tchang contacts the fleet and provides the location for the anchorage while the rest of the crew begins the fastest refit possible. The Krenim patrol won’t be missed for another two weeks – they have that long to prepare for war.

First Contact
Stardate 49430

Captain Tchang assembles an away team consisting of herself, Adams, Selveth, and Kalen. The four join Plogh aboard the ves’Targ and range ahead of the fleet as they mend their wounds. They make contact with the Zahl via subspace, who invite them to their planet to trade and exchange information. The trip is several days at warp speed, but it passes uneventfully.

Cleared for landing by Trade Minister Paajik, the ship is landed proficiently by the ship’s newly minted pilot, Heklara. As they land though, a tremendous flash temporarily blinds the view screen, and as the ship touches ground, they are no longer where they were. The tiled buildings of the arid planet were now smashed into rubble and ruin after orbital bombardment.

Using a probe borrowed from the Odyssey and what little the sensors could provide through the sudden spike in unusual radiation, the crew learns a little. First, that some distant event outside the Zahl system caused a chroniton wavefront to sweep through it, altering things immensely. The Zahl homeworld now seemed conquered by their Krenim neighbors, and several upgraded Krenim warships now orbit above. The timeline has been changed.

In search of more information, the team departs the ship to visit the half-destroyed government building they landed near. Selveth stays behind to analyze all they have learned. Inside the building, they find freedom fighter Paajik, who they convince to provide them with coordinates to a cache of governmental records and data. They grab survival gear and head off, carving a path toward their goal via the Captain’s navigation skill and the rest of the team’s combined skills in fire team tactics. They recover Krenim Comms after ambushing and knocking out a patrol, and make it to their goal, where Parker briefly channels his agrarian roots and digs up the cache. The team copies the data and returns the cache – just in case these changes are permanent, and the records are still useful to the Zahl.

With all the information they can gain at hand, the crew makes a stealthy retreat to the Raider. With more pieces to the puzzle, including detailed scans of the Krenim patrol’s weapons, more theories emerge. The Krenim may have developed some form of time-altering superweapon, and it should have affected the ves’Targ, if not for an experiment Selveth had brought aboard with her – a fluke, but useful knowledge.

A daring escape involving their last probe and the sacrifice of an unmanned shuttle gets the ves’Targ clear of the Zahl homeworld and they arrive back at the fleet – and it isn’t long before they notice things are different. When the Captain steps upon the bridge, the biggest change is evident – Commander Sebastian is dead!

Steps Along the River
Stardate 49416.4

The Odyssey has remained in the system with the moving asteroid belt full of syrillium for two reasons – to fill their holds with the energetic material to offset their fuel, and to finalize coordinates for the gravitic displacement drive Kalen reverse engineered from a Federation database. A Starfleet crewman, briefly ‘upgraded’ by a species known as the Cytherians, relocated a Starfleet ship 30,000 light years in order for the Cytherians to make first contact. Kalen had work with scientists in the fleet for months to test the feasibility of using it as a means for a shortcut. The coordinates required were extremely detailed – it wasn’t like the bearing system used by Starfleet to navigate. But the Banean star charts, retrieved almost a year prior, gave a map for the fleet to try to use in order to take a shortcut.

A few things came up in the fleet while they worked. Lt. Hansen’s appointment to the Posel has revealed an issue with the infrastructure set up by the Sikarians, and Adams’ newest deputy is trying to handle as much as he can alone. The captain’s struggles with her hosts point to Dane, the most severe and most intelligent of her former hosts – but something is preventing the two from connecting. The EMH’s prescriptions and meditation are holding her up for now.

Kalen handled the tech. The EMH tried to counteract the physical effects reported from the jump. Domino handled all the logistical concerns. So when the time finally came, the fleet bid adieu to the Talaxians who had helped them mine, and activated the displacement drive, coordinates set for a small bubble far ahead of the bulk of the mapped space in the star charts. Domino had pored over the charts and selected this spot after considering all the available options, and considered this – a landing zone over 9,800 light years distant, where Baneans had been watching the growth of a chaotic space anomaly – the best option, based on distance and danger.

The transition went smoothly enough – unlike the trajector, which was relatively instantaneous, the drive built up a red-hued subspace rift, the fleet was all tractored together via the Harge, and when the rift was large enough to admit the tethered fleet ships, the Odyssey pushed them forward into it, and far, far away.

The return to realspace was fraught with bright white light. A collision alarm came before the viewscreen provided any meaningful data, and Domino performed evasive maneuvers on instinct, barely avoiding entering the threshold of a subspace distortion not unlike the one they just left, save flooded w/ tetryons and chronitons. The Harge and Posel are both lodged within, though, leaving most of the refugees in peril. One of the ship’s special multispatial probes, modified for anomaly research like this, is launched, and determines that while the anomaly seems to have frozen time for those affected, the Harge is also in the midst of being crumpled by the impact, and may not survive the return to real time.

With Kalen needing to step down the engines after the leap, the solution falls to Domino and Adams. Adams dislodges the Posel enough with the Odyssey’s tractor beam that they can get themselves out for the most part. While close enough to the anomaly, Chief Hegstrom fills the Odyssey with all the crew of the Harge, in case they can’t save the ship. This brings the Odyssey to very much full capacity, but the bulk of the colony ship’s crew are able to be transported over. This takes several hours, but in the meantime, Domino comes up with a plan based upon the spatial phenomena – she inverts the resonant frequency of the drive, using the deflector to fire a beam designed to close the rift. Adams aims and fires the beam, and the rift starts sealing, pushing the Harge out. Quickly, the tactical officer snares the empty ship with a tractor beam, arresting its final movement from the rift. The effort does some damage to the ship’s warp coils, but nothing crippling – Kalen may not appreciate it, but the lives and ship saved are deemed worth the effort by the captain.

The effort ends with several injured on both of the Sikarian ships, a few casualties, and the Harge in even worse shape than it was prior. With barely a third of its capacity useable at the moment, and all the biggest ships in the fleet needing serious repairs after that, the ships start looking at possibilities on the road ahead. The ves’Targ picks up traffic in the distance from two separate polities – the Zahl, and the Krenim. After surreptitiously monitoring their subspace traffic for the better part of a week, the captain decides to assemble an away team to join the ves’Targ in making contact with the Zahl. They seem peaceful, and safe harbor would be appreciated…

Rush of the Belt
Stardate 49394.6

Power rationing has begun after Cravic space. With the ship conserving power and handling other logistic concerns, a sudden interruption from Skrillix provide hope – Talaxian miners nearby are working on collecting Syrillium, a highly energetic mineral useable to offset the ship’s power woes.

Arriving near the miners, the Odyssey’s newest tactical officer, Lt. Commander Parker Adams, scans the star system and discovers the mineral-laden asteroids are being accelerated via the ultra-massive blue Star they orbit. Approach is dangerous, and the miners have a shuttle (and their captain) stranded in the belt.

Captain Tchang invites the remaining miners aboard to discuss rescue. She notes a negative reaction to the mention of Skrillix, but she volunteers to pilot a shuttle into the field in order to retrieve their Captain. Kalen joins her on the shuttle, and Adams coordinates with Astrometrics on a course out while the Odyssey carefully keeps pace with the stricken shuttle.

After some hiccups and complications, Kalen gets the Talaxian shuttle working and lashes it to the Starfleet one using docking clamps. Then Tchang manages to pilot the ungainly craft free of the belt, with some timely help from Adams and the Odyssey’s phasers.

The danger passed, the fleet joins the Odyssey, and a more serious mining operation begins. Meanwhile, Kalen’s research into gravitic displacement may lead to cutting a few years off their trip…

The Way of D'era, Part 2
Stardate 49202.7

Ulun broadcasts fleetwide: "Refugee fleet and your Starfleet minders – know that as this message reaches you, two antimatter explosives equal to 200 isotons of destructive force each have been hidden aboard ships within the fleet. I will detonate these explosives if the following demands are not met:
- The commander of the Klingon contingent and the chief engineer of the Odyssey use the Tiro to dock with the Alanel and join me aboard to discuss the terms of my surrender. A Starfleet representative may join, but if more than three beings enter the airlock, or if any of the three are armed, I will detonate the explosives.
- The Raider and the Odyssey keep their engines unpowered, and remain at least 100,000 KM from the Alanel while our negotiation takes place. If either ship comes closer than that, or any ship gets within 60,000 KM, I will detonate the explosives.
- The shuttle that is targeting the Alanel with a torpedo retreats to 60,000 KM before the Tiro docks. If the shuttle remains when the Tiro docks, I will detonate the explosives.

“You have 30 minutes to comply.”

With limited time, the captain selects her negotiators – Kalen will lead, as a Romulan and as a commissioned Starfleet officer. She looks to Sebastian as well, who readily agrees, though he tells Kalen that the engineer will be the lead here – Sebastian will assist. With the team chosen, Sebastian works to prepare the launch while Kalen focuses on counter-intelligence. At his spurring, the captain invokes the prefix codes of the Alanel, remotely disabling all functions beyond life support. With the Alanel now unable to fully observe the movements of the crew, Kalen uses the sensors to seek any sign of the missing torpedos, the explosives that the Romulans are using to hold the fleet hostage. After some analysis, along with information from the internal scans of the Bio lab explosion, Kalen is able to determine with relative confidence that the Romulans used one torpedo to erase their evidence in the bio lab, and the other is with them on the bridge of the Alanel, behind a scattering field. Thinking ahead, Kalen creates a shutoff switch for the torpedo activated by his tricorder – however, the signal needs to be sent within a few feet to be effective.

Knowing that the Romulans do not threaten the entire fleet, the captain authorizes a risky plan put forward by Kalen – using the approaching Tiro and the retreating John Stewart as a transporter relay to beam a security team aboard the Alanel ahead of the negotiators. As the two support craft proceed with their parts of the instructions given them, Lt. Mackenzie and two other security officers are beamed quietly into a passenger cabin, where they must immediately contend with quieting the hostage Sikarians within.

Separately, Kalen, Plogh, and Sebastian board the Alanel and are greeted by Rossik, the technician of the conspirators, holding two disruptors on them. He leads them to the Alanel’s mess hall, where Ulun has made a farcical attempt at a meal to negotiate over. They sit, and it becomes clear early on that Ulun is not negotiating in good faith – he spends much of his time questioning the negotiators’ motives and philosophies, centering on Kalen in particular but Plogh as well. They do learn some information, though – Ulun and his fellows feel as though the fleet’s trek home is doomed thanks to the unknowns of the quadrant and the Starfleet tendency to prod the unknown, and see the trajector as a means to escape a situation where they have no other means to save themselves.

After the pair make clear their disinterest in Ulun’s opinion, Rossik gets angry and attempts to strike Plogh. The Klingon throws Rossik to his back on the deck without getting up from his chair and proceeds to ignore him. In response (and perhaps realizing his delay tactics are wearing thin), Ulun signals for Nalira to activate the trajector and go before surrendering to the negotiators.

Kalen disarms Rossik and discovers their disruptors have no power cells. They race to join Mackenzie and his team at the door to the bridge, where the controls have been slagged and the door sealed. They’ll have to cut through. Kalen looks to Lt. Mackenzie, who recalls a service conduit nearby. The pair hurry through the back route and corner Kumir and Nalira in the bridge as the trajector is spinning up – along with the overload of the photon torpedo, which they are using as a power source for their jury-rigged trajector. Kumir’s disruptor is not unpowered, and his initial salvo forces the pair behind cover. Trusting in Mackenzie, Kalen leaps forward out of cover as the trajector begins its cycle and dives for the torpedo, activating the shutoff signal from his tricorder as he slides close. Kumir, seeing an opportunity, rushes forward to attack Kalen – and is immediate stunned down by Mackenzie and his rifle.

The torpedo’s overload abates and the weapon shuts off. However, Nalira has disappeared, indicating that the trajector worked and sent her… somewhere. The danger passed, Kalen signals the all-clear to Sebastian, who reports in to the captain. With everything relatively in hand, Kalen hands off command of the negotiation team to Sebastian, who smiles and suggests they all head home.

Once the fleet is back underway, the council of captains calls an emergency session to understand the events that unfolded. Carela Tann calls for the Romulans to lose their seat on the council in light of the situation, but Tchang stands firm – they may be a small contingent, but the Romulans who broke did so as a means of trying to exert control on a situation in which they felt they had none. Taking away their sole voice in their fate only enforces what the conspirators feared. Cowed for now, the call fails, though who sits in the seat is in question for now – Selveth’s health is in question after the neurotoxin, and Kalen sees his serving on the council as a conflict of interest.

With many unknowns still to ponder, three Romulans in custody, and serious repairs to make to the Odyssey, the fleet finally escapes Cravic space and seeks a place to affect repairs.

The Way of D'era, Part 1
Stardate 49202.5

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…

The Heist of Warship 112
Stardate 49167

A daring plan is hatched by the crew. The Cravic warship that assaulted them before is a short distance beyond Pralor space, licking its wounds in an asteroid field. While the fleet heads for the emission nebula that has fuel to top them off, the Tiro and ves’Targ are surreptitiously launched away from the fleet, heading for the warship. The Tiro is cloaked, and the ves’Targ uses its masking circuitry to run “silent”, making for an easy approach to their target. They split up once close, and the Klingon raider, commanded by Plogh, begins firing on asteroids, drawing the Cravic’s attention. Lt. Domino lends her services at the helm as they lead the automated warship on a merry chase through the field.

While distracted, the Tiro slips inside the damaged ship’s shields before they raise. The pilot, Lt. Commander T’Ven, has a bumpy ride to get them close enough to latch directly onto the Cravic ship’s hull, but eventually gets them seated. Chief Hegrom, the Odyssey’s transporter chief and a Tellarite perfectionist, mans the Romulan scout ship’s transporter and beams T’Ven aboard inside a repair bay. Once secure, he is joined by Vulmos and Lt. Hobbs. The trio haul a set of pattern enhancers stealthily through the corridors of the Cravic ship until they reach an antimatter storage bay.

Carefully causing a distraction with his phaser, T’Ven clears a single antimatter storage pod of personnel units, and he and Vulmos set up pattern enhancers. Hobbs isolates the pod so that it isn’t currently moving dangerous fuel around, and then they wait patiently while Hegrom uses the pattern enhancers to beam starship fuel out of the Cravic tank and into a fuel cell set up on the Tiro. While they wait, Hobbs learns terrible news thanks to Cravic intelligence being sent to the terminal.

Once their little bit of piracy is complete, the away team is afforded escape thanks to a timely distraction from Vulmos, who renders the APUs unable to connect to their ship thanks to some malicious programming he had worked up. As they escape, they witness a tremendous explosion where they last saw the ves’Targ. It was a ploy to end the distraction. Lt. Domino performed a daringly executed maneuver while the.Raider released a mine. The enemy’s weapons fire hit the mine, giving the impression the ves’Targ had exploded. In reality, the Raider was floating on an asteroid nearby.

The whole plan successful, the small ships rush back to the fleet to deliver the much needed fuel, and a warning – the Pralor will renege on their deal of safe passage.

The fleet refuels in a nebula and hurries back on the way, only a day or so ahead of the Pralor who are now following them.

As One
Stardate 49161.3

A two-month warp trip with no stops looming, Commander Sebastian involves the senior crew in codifying procedures fleetwide. T’Ven is sent to meet with the captains of armed ships in the convoy to discuss strategy. Kalen meets with the rest of the captains to handle resource and fuel reserve calculation. Annira works on streamlining communications throughout the fleet, and Domino works with the various ships’ pilots to better schedule shuttle trips within the fleet. Plogh, along with the Romulan biologist Ulun, get dispatched to the Alanel to aid the crew with a spate of illnesses making their way through the Sikarians aboard.

The Captain even gets her own special duty – accepting a meeting from Captain Goull of the Miton, the merchant who holds the singular distinction of being the only owner of their ship. Captain Tchang asks for the canteen staff to cater all the day’s meetings as a courtesy, but in Goull’s case, it keeps Skrillix close at hand to observe the goings-on. Goull is demanding, and his values aren’t perfectly aligned with the Federation’s but his basic request to the Captain is one they both support – seeking more ships to carry the fleet. She begins preliminary planning on an expedition to acquire more ships for the fleet, that may include Skrillix and/or T’Ven.

Kalen’s meeting with the other captains starts with Selveth stepping in briefly to warn her fellow Romulan that the others of their kind aboard the fleet seemed to be up to something. Kalen accepted the warning, and transitioned directly into dealing with three fleet captains arguing over their interpretation of critical resources. Once everyone got on the same page, Kalen’s insight as an engineer gave grave news – two of the ships in the fleet didn’t have the fuel to complete the trip across Pralor space.

T’ven’s meeting is much more productive, save for Captain Vavel leading with the declaration that he would not commit his ship to battle. After T’ven placidly informed him that he was not part of the fleet in that case, Vavel backed down, and the group brainstormed strategies that capitalized on the fleet’s unique strengths.

That was tested as shortly after the meetings, a Cravic warship showed up on sensors on an intercept course. It was clearly violating Pralor space to get at the fleet. While T’Ven organized the fleet to engage the warship, the Captain warns the Pralor of the incursion in their space. Their reply is merely, “Appropriate force will be dispatched.” The fleet engages the warship using T’ven’s strategy – the Odyssey trails ahead as bait, having been the only ship in the fleet to attack the Cravic. Once they prioritized the Odyssey, the Odyssey led them into the Posel’s phaser cannon fire. With the other fleet ships bolstering the Posel’s shields, they fleet is able to keep the Cravic at bay until a pair of Pralor ships arrive. In the chaos, the fleet scatters and escapes, rendezvousing back on course.

Safe for the moment, Kalen reveals the information gleaned from the fleet captains. They have critical fuel needs, and risk diplomatic trouble if they try to resolve them. The senior staff ponders the issue..

The First Law
Stardate 49146.4

Some time after the colony ship’s repairs, the fleet’s course takes it near a binary system with an object that deflects long-range scans. At Lt. Domino’s request, Commander T’ven investigates the object in a shuttle and learns it is a ship of similar design to the one that attacked them before, but damaged and derelict. The engine core is leaking radiation, making a solo away team unsafe. T’ven calls the fleet their way to investigate further.

An away team of T’ven, Kalen, Lt. Hobbs, and Vulmos is assembled. Plogh administers radiation inoculations to the team. Kalen, using designs from past Starfleet missions, assembles modified life support belts to ward off radiation, and the team goes in EVA suits in order to further protect themselves. Once beamed aboard, the team looks for crew or information on the damage, eventually finding a robotic body in a corridor, which they beam back to the Odyssey for further study.

Opening a sealed door reveals a repair bay with eight of the robots within, all malfunctioning and moving to attack. While the engineers and Vulmos take cover, T’ven bravely stands his ground and stuns half the pack of robots before being downed by their return fire. Kalen downs a few more, and the last ones stumble out of the bay and their power cores are immediately disabled by the radiation, revealing the repair bay is shielded. The team gets T’ven inside and uses his EVA suit’s medical interface to rouse him.

Investigation of the repair bay’s computer system reveals a wealth of information. The ship is Pralor in origin, who are the adversaries of the Cravic, the robots who attacked the Odyssey before. An ambush by Cravic ships disabled this one, and should have destroyed it save for luck. Kalen and T’ven find a wealth of information beyond that, including the ship’s mission (signals intelligence) and tactical capabilities. They store all of the information on isolinear chips for future review.

Contacting the ship, the the crew discusses the reality of the situation – there may well be other robots aboard, relatively safe in better-shielded compartments. With the focus shifting from salvage to rescue, the away team makes their way to the ship’s engine core after collecting parts, and create a plan. Hobbs will handle the reactor shutdown procedure and system checks, Kalen will make the physical bypass of the ship’s broken EPS junction, and Vulmos will handle power regulation during the procedure. Hobbs has trouble with all of the automated safety subroutines, drawing out his part of the job. But once the reactor is powered down, Kalen handily resolves the repair and bypassing of the damaged power component. Vulmos, however, hesitated for some reason at his stage of the procedure, and the power core began to breach. Only quick intervention from Kalen staved off an explosion, at the cost of further damage to the core.

The situation in hand for the moment, the away team is relieved by a security team bid to watch over the core. Meanwhile, Kalen uses the advanced biobed in sickbay to study the robotic body found in the corridor. After salvaging his memory cells, Kalen learns firsthand the Pralor military plans and strategy the unit was privy to. Sensor data from the ship retrieved by Vulmos reveals that the Pralor/Cravic conflict spans a swath of space more than 200 light years in diameter. That is a two-month long journey in contested territory. The captain resolves to find a means to get through that territory as safely as possible.

That opportunity comes when the radiation dissipates and the ship’s command unit meets the security team, requesting to speak with the captain. It visits the Odyssey, meeting with the command staff in the observation lounge to discuss their first meeting. When the captain declares that their intent was salvage until realizing the ship’s inhabitants were still potentially active, the command unit expresses gratitude for the unbidden assistance, and asks if they want anything in return. The captain asks for a safe way through their space. Though the Pralor ship’s complement was severely depleted, the command unit agrees, though it will take some time.

While they wait for their reward, Kalen brings up the possibility of aiding the Pralor in solving an issue he discovered in their repair database – the Automated Personnel Units cannot build new power cores – all of them that are damaged beyond repair represent the death of that unit. He believes there are avenues of research that may assist the units in resolving their fatal flaw. However, Sebastian chimes in definitively – the Prime Directive prevents their assisting the robots in that endeavor. Kalen reluctantly acquiesces, requesting that he be given leave to return to the Pralor ship in order to confirm they left no Starfleet tech behind, which is granted.

A safe route, one that taxes the Odyssey’s remaining power reserves, is provided. After some negotiation, the Odyssey is also authorized to visit a nebula along the course to potentially replenish power. However, they are forbidden to visit any of the systems along their path. The passage now negotiated, the Pralor flag the Odyssey as a friendly non-combatant, and the fleet parts ways with the robotic starship.

The last shot of the episode is of a Starfleet data module sitting conspicuously on the corridor floor of the Pralor frigate.

Ghosts of the Machine
Stardate 49109

As the crew deals with various personal troubles, the captain is interrupted by an alert from the bridge. The Harge, the fleet’s colony ship, had its warp engines fail and is signalling distress. It needs a planet to set down on and will likely need its warp coils repaired. Domino finds two options a few light years apart – an inhabited planet, and one that was previously inhabited, according to the Banean star charts. The Odyssey opts for the uninhabited one, and tows the Harge there with the fleet following behind.

Once there, they find a planet with several ruined cities, reclaimed by time. The colony ship sets down near one and requests engineering support. Lt. Kalen and his engineering team report on the planet and determine the warp coils need to be rebuilt. Luckily, he’d stripped the Atlantis of her warp coils, and brings those spare parts to bear, quickening the repair process considerably. Separately, curious about the ruins, Domino, Selveth, Vulmos, and a pair of security officers beam down to investigate the buildings, guided to points of interest by T’ven using the ship’s sensors.

The ground teams’ work proceeds apace. The old warp coils are pulled with help from the Sikarian crew, and the Starfleet crew works on fabricating the replacements. Domino and team learn of unique, fungal/plant super blooms that are sprouting in many places in the colony site, and learn of new and unfamiliar elements used in the colony’s structural materials. The first problem arises when Crewman Jones asks Kalen to be relieved, citing not feeling well. He’s beamed to Sickbay and treated by the EMH. Plogh hears of this and beams back aboard from the Ves’Targ, learning upon examining Jones himself that the crewman was exposed to a slow-acting neurotoxin. He begins investigating immediately, seeing similarities to toxins he had previously seen in his work.

Now they’re on a clock. The captain is looped in, who seeks to control the information to prevent a panic. T’ven reaches out privately to the leaders of both ground teams and lets them know the situation. Kalen’s team continues working, but is losing ground as the team’s exposure starts to lay them out. It comes down to Kalen and the Sikarian crews racing the clock to try and get the Harge’s warp drive functional. Domino and her team realize that a toxin’s danger increases with duration of exposure, and so she rigs some of the team’s equipment to emit various containment fields, learning she can keep the toxin at bay via tetryon fields – not useful as a cure, but as a barrier to further exposure. Vulmos is able to get a scan of the neurotoxin, and secretly shares it with the other Romulans aboard ship. They look through their database of info and learn of a similarly made toxin the Romulans have seen – used by someone known as the Butcher of Adosia Station. Kalen and Selveth both seem troubled to learn this information.

As the ground teams work, a large, unidentified warship speeds into the system. Captain Tchang, seeing the danger, orders yellow alert and suggests the fleet retreat, keeping the Ves’Targ at hand. The unknown warship arrives and announces itself to every comm in the system – “You are trespassers in sovereign Cravic territory. You have one hour to leave, or be destroyed.” With the situation laid out to everyone, Kalen opts for drastic measures in order to get the colony ship running – he pulls out every extraneous safety feature, the systems that diminish the colony ship’s warp signature and limits its speed – he tears the complex Sikarian machine down to its basest functions, skipping more than three quarters of the work he would have to do in order to return the engine to function. Domino and her team retreat to the colony ship, preparing to leave. They realize though that their ascent will be after the deadline, though not by much. With most of the Sikarians afflicted by the toxin, leaving the surface falls to Domino, Kalen, and Selveth. Domino begins breaking all the proper procedures for powering up in order to get the Harge moving faster.

With warning, the captain orders a tactical assessment. T’ven learns the warship has nearly impentetrable shields, and extremely powerful tetryon-based beam banks. It’s dangerous, to be sure, but less so to the Odyssey than the Harge. Tchang tries one last attempt at diplomacy, pleading for only thirty more minutes, before the deadline. In response, at the moment time expires, the Cravic ship reorients and begins firing from orbit at the rising Harge. Options expended, the Odyssey joins the fight, interposing itself between the Harge and the warship and firing a spread of torpedoes. T’ven’s skills mean that a few of the torpedoes sneak through, doing some superficial damage to the warship’s hull. But in response, it fires repeatedly at the Odyssey, entirely draining the shields and striking the front saucer, damaging the sensors and injuring Skrillix in the Canteen.

The Harge clears orbit while the Odyssey spars with the warship, and working together, Domino gets the colony ship close while Kalen use’s the colony ship’s array of tractor beams to ‘punch’ the warship out of the way. The combined graviton beams are successful in pushing the warship away, ruining its kill shot on the Odyssey, and the two ships use the opening to warp away. The warship doesn’t give chase. In Sickbay, Plogh has ably found a retrotoxin to inoculate the exposed, and using the ship’s medical supplies and the EMH, synthesizes enough to return the Harge’s crew and all the exposed Odyssey crew to health.

The captain asks for a debrief in the observation lounge, opening the bar within to the senior staff for a relatively successful mission. On his way there, Kalen is pulled aside by Ulun, a biologist from the Romulan faction. He asks Kalen to inquire as to how Plogh solved the problem – neurotoxins aren’t cured in a day. Kalen agrees, and poses the question to Plogh, who cites his previous exposure as a surgeon to various horrible weapons over the years. Selveth talks about someone the Romulans knew as an enemy, who killed the entirety of a Romulan holding named Adosia station once using a very similar toxin to the one they were exposed to. The parallels have troubled her. But she was able to learn that the Cravic who attacked them were automated personnel units – artificial lifeforms, likely executing their last orders to protect the worlds of their creators. Dominos charts their course and has an idea of the warship’s patrol route, in case they want to avoid it.

Once the debrief wraps up, the crew retreats to their lives to process. Plogh works on a bonsai in his quarters, ending with throwing the shears in anger. Captain Tchang briefly connects with Kemman, who is having trouble adapting to life on the ship. Life continues, and the Odyssey does too.