Chapter 8 - Season 3, episode 8, The Day That Never Was
Lieutenant Commander Carl Hedley Executive Officer
Lieutenant Alexander Artopolis Chief Medical Officer
Lieutenant Scott McIntyre Chief Tactical/Security Officer
Back to starbase, oh no! There’s a massive burst of chronitons from a nearby planet, near the edge of the expanse! Again! Orbits a pretty standard star, with a civilisation that seems to be in early space age. Chronitons seem to have broken the orbiting probe, though. Maybe they were recklessly experimenting?
Scans on arrival show the epicentre was on the surface. More evidence for reckless experimentation? Pulse went out as far as the oort cloud and affected everything. Doesn’t look like there’s any technology anywhere around here, or ever has been. Something screwy is going on, but it’s unclear what. Either moved forwards or backwards, or maybe removed outright?
Looks like the only way to find out more is to check out the surface, so down the crew beam. It seems pretty pleasant, all things considered. Nice summer day and everything. Only thing that’s out of place is a small, one storey building. Which the ship’s scanners didn’t pick up. Hmmm.
Tricorders think it’s there, anyway. Weird. Time to go knock on the door. It seems powered, at least, even if it is closed. Ral opens it up, almost as well as Elli. Inside there’s a cylinder about half a metre tall and two in diameter, glowing blue with cherenkhov radiation. Tricorder says it’s pretty hard in there. Probably not a good idea to go inside.
Transport a robit in instead. Doesn’t go all that well. Transporter beam gets scattered before the robit arrives. Transporter controller says it was going for fifty years, which is blatantly untrue. Looks like time is going faster in there?
From Ral: “The one time we need Ellie on scene and she is off gallivanting in the holodeck!! Privileges revoked!”
But Ral manages to get into the thing anyway! Looks like the thing is degrading pretty quickly, but it seems to be a time-travel power generator thingy. Sounds like an incredibly stupid idea to Carl, but he isn’t a temporal physicist, so…
Again, Ral does some excellent improvisation, and manages to work out a control system for the thingy, which she could use to shut it down. Looks like the Potemkin can track temporal anomalies now, and apparently this thingy can be used to fix the altered timeline, maybe, whereas turning it off will break things permanently.
Then, all of a sudden, ghost readings start to happen, and become less and less ghosty. Then the away team is suddenly in the past, about 4 days before the incident. And the planet’s occupants seem to still be there. So that’s good. Looks like the city is about 15km away, and so is the temporal stupid. So it seems like it’s time for a bit of a hike, and then some powerful diplomacy.
Carl seriously enjoys himself! It’s been a long time since he’s had a good hike, and he’s almost irritatingly keen. The others, not so much. Anyway, the city paints a somewhat grim picture. The centre is all lovely, glassy, and towering, but the outer edges are pretty much a slum. Also the populace are apparently 2 and a half metres tall, which is fun. Don’t seem to be many out and about, though.
Since it’s probably best to do this without being noticed, Carl decides the right thing to do is to sneak into the powerplant and try to disable it undetected. Since technically this is super against the prime directive, or something.
Sneaky sneak through the city, heading towards the timey-wimey power generator. It goes pretty well, despite Carl’s best efforts to mess things up, and the away team arrive at the building in decent time and the dead of night.
After a discussion of various plans, it seems like the best way forwards is to try and abuse the power plant into wiping itself from history, so the away team sneak into the power plant to have a nose around. Looks like it’s pretty deserted at night, so shouldn’t be too difficult, maybe. The doors are certainly pretty easy.
There are a bunch of computers in here this time. They’re in an alien language, but Carl is a linguistics expert, and he deciphers it easily enough. Looks like the thing is operating normally, and has been for a year. Seems alright, it’s producing a metric shitload of power, but it looks like it’s still being tested.
Fortunately, Ral’s idea seems pretty good, and she’s able to convince the machine to erase itself from history and solve all our problems. It should even make a big ol’ chroniton pulse for the Potemkin to pick up so they can come and collect the crew! Although it is probably a good idea to leave the building that will soon have no reason to exist…
And then it turns out their star might explode at some point, and their plan to escape into Long Earth style parallel universes hinges on this power generator. A conundrum! Fortunately, Ral’s tricorder is connected to the thing both in our present and 4 days in the future, so hopefully she can work out what went wrong.
Looks like whatever happens, the odds of things working out well are pretty much the same, so it seems like the away team are in the clear. Nice! Now it’s just time to make sure no one dies, hopefully.
As it turns out, the way to decide what outcome happens is to literally choose. So the crew decides to wipe this insanely dangerous and reckless power generator from history and make sure that the star doesn’t explode. Along with some other stuff.
So, things happen, big ‘ol chroniton wave, and oops, looks like things might not have turned out perfectly. Just before it hits the crew, it looks like it’s making quite a few of the buildings abandoned… But that’s fine, because a moment later they’re back on the bridge, about to respond to a message about a wave of chronitons from a pretty ordinary planet.