Chapter 49 - Season 4: Episode 2 "Decision Point"
Assigned to answer a distress signal from the SS Tesla, a civilian science ship. We pick it up in the Organ system. There are 2 prewarp civilizations, one on Orgon II and one on Orgon III. Scanning is challenging due to the spatial anomalies in the Shackleton expanse.
We trace the Tesla to the surface of Orgon III. Transporters can’t be used. We have a general location of where the Tesla crashed. Pax recommends taking a type 9 or 11 shuttle to the surface. Atmospheric conditions are choppy- planet is undergoing a massive geological disaster. Probably only has weeks before it completely blows. Volcanic ash, electric discharges etc.
We decide on a type 11 shuttle, board up, but in the atmopshic the shuttle is struck by a massive lightning strike. Normally shields would protect s, but it overloads conduits and primary and secondary power are out! Elli tries to handle the power fail, brings back enough backup power for the atmospheric thrusters, Geoffrey brings us to a controlled fall and drags us 1200 metres through the grasslands to a rest. The Tesla is right there to the side of us. It’s a 5 deck Raven Class. Also seems to have been lightning scorched.
We message the Potemkin and update them of our situation. Pax decides not to send another shuttle until we get a better sense of the conditions. The planet is M class. It’s dusty. In the distance, there’s a bunch of dust being kicked up- possibly approaching vehicles.
We know this world has a pre-warp civ at about pre-mid 20th century level development. No evidence of recent wars or major conflicts. Within minutes, the vehicles are revealed to be some type of hover cars. They have personal stun weapons.
We slice open the door lock to the Tesla and send Meme inside to investigate. Meanwhile the locals arrive. They are a lemur-like humanoid type. The leader introduces herself as Captain Therma- head of the security crew. She seems to make a side comment about how aliens land their ships…
Carl introduces himself and says “Sorry about the mess. There was a minor incident with a bit of lightning.”
Therma smiles although the non human expression looks awkward to us. She says “this is a new development. It wasn’t like this a cycle ago.” They call themselves Lemurians. Generally they are about 4 ft tall. The hover craft travels about 150 mi/ hr. We arrive at a “city” made of houses constructed in 100 meter or taller trees, the buildings start about 50 meters off the ground and are constructed with bridges between. Buildings are generally the shape of squashed balls. One of the few buildings on the ground, is something like a visitor’s hotel. We park outside and Therma leads us inside main doors into a large, curved room. A half dozen humans are sitting at a table. One introduces himself to Carl as the lead scientist, Dr. Emmet Sherman. Sherman tells us the planet is about to be, within a few weeks, rendered uninhabitable for centuries to come. Shows us a holographic display, and we recognize a hybrid of Lemurian and Federation technology- Lemurian anti grav coupled with a starfleet engine as a means of reaching orbit. We have some concern about the Prime Directive/ General Order 1
76 million Lemurians to rescue.
Organ II devel is early 19th century- prior to industrial revolution. Horse and cart, steam technology. Population is a few million clustered around the coastline.
We discuss moving them temporarily to Orgon II’s polar regions until we can get them to a new world in another system. Not sure we can move them all fast enough, plus support structures and materials.
We detect a disturbance beneath us- a powersource seems to be the source of the geological problems. Set up in a cavern system.
We ask what they are doing underground.
Lemurians look surprised, moreso than usual for lemur expressions. They never go underground and have not explored under the surface. No mining operations in the area.
Captain Therma seems desperate. “Can you help us try to stop or reverse the tremors?” There is a cave entrance not far away and they can take us if we want to go. Dr. Sherman says he will come along but the rest of the team is staying to work on the escape plan. Sherman is dodging a lot of questions and we’re not trusting him much. We want to head back to the shuttle for gear.
While there, Elli and Meme hack the Tesla to learn that the science ship had planned some R&R on the world, but had crashed instead. They were discovered by the Lemurians and gave them some tech to help them plan escape ships. Sherman avoided our questions because of embarrassment and likely to be prosecuted for his carelessness.
We get caving gear and Meme, and we head back to the caverns under the city. There’s a volcano in the distance, but here it’s a mountain range and we’re in the foothills. The Cavern mouth is wide. The first few minutes heading inside, the cave is dry. There’s minerals and sediment. High up on the wall is an old watermark. Starts sloping down at about 20 degrees. Carl is leading and notices when the floor ahead drops away to a large chasm, about a meter and half across. We get across, although there’s some scary tremors.
Cave network branches but our tricorders lead us towards the power source. The caves look natural, but in several places where walls have caved in, it appears the tunnels were created then made to look natural. The most direct route appears man-made.
The tunnel opens up towards a massive chasm, our torches don’t illuminate an opposite wall. In the center is a clay-red ship: a starship. It’s arrow shaped with two extrusions- elongated pyramid shapes, that appear they could be engine nacelles.
Carl feels like this is an episode of Futurama. The narrator assures him it is not.
The ship is thousands of years old. About 3 times the size of a shuttle. The powercore of the ship is highly unstable and seems to be affecting the electromagnetic field of the world, disturbing the geological action of the world. There’s a hatchway in the belly of the ship. It’s alien encrypted. We plug Johnny into it.
He opens the door with no problem. Some aspects of the alien computer are familiar to Johnny. He suspects the ship is built by one culture and altered by another. The borg probably encountered the original creators. It’s a familiar feeling but the specifics elude Johnny right now. Carl, being a huge ship nerd, recognizes it as similar to some esoteric archaeological discoveries of a race called the Tilikall.
The door opens. There is a slight pressure difference- internally a lower pressure, so air draws into the ship. The lights come on inside. We detect a separate stand-alone energy source, not connected to the destabilisation. Johnny and Alexander head to the second power signature.
There’s no conventional life signs like body heat etc. But there is a weird electrical-neural signature. It doesn’t conform to any life readings commonly detected. Seems to be coupled to the other energy signal.
Elli and Meme meanwhile determine the power generator is essentially a static energy generator collector. The reason it’s never really used as a power source is that static electricity isn’t a big source on a starship. Similar readings as my zero point battery. An unstable pocket universe inside is creating large amounts of static. Output equiv to a small ship warp core. Can’t see a way to turn it off. Once it’s activated it’s always on. But could temporarily stabilise it to give the planet additional time. Elli makes calibration adjustments that equalise the EM problems, but it will only last about four months. Then goe to check on the guys with the second powersource. They’re in a lab with a blue white swirly filled tube. Inside, visual impressions of a humanoid figure.
Geoffrey goes to find a bridge of some stripe- hones in on a platform at the back of engineering with some controls. But joins us in the lab instead, in time to see the swirly stuff draining out of the tube. Inside a metallic alien skeletal structure with an elongated skull. Has four eyes, one pair dominant at the front and smaller ones at the temples, so has a 360 field of vision. Side-eyes seem more like just light receptors.
The body isn’t organic, except a gooey inside of the skull- an organic brain, and organic eyes. It reaches out to touch the glass and puts its hand right through in a fast movement. Pupils dilate in surprise at its own strength.
Alexander introduces himself. The creature makes an electric ‘static’ sounding squeal, which changes into words of an alien language. The UT is struggling. Carl adjusts it. The UT gives it a feminine voice which seems a little off with the appearance. The creature is asking “What happened? Why do I look like this? What happened to everyone else?” Carl: “That’s a very good question” The creature understands us back through the translator as well. And asks “What happened?” Carl: “We were hoping you might tell us. Was this your ship?” Creature: “ It was, but I thought I died. What is this body, how am I in here?” Alexander: “You appear to have been installed in the metal body.”
Creature is surprised, recognizes that Johnny is a Borg, a race that troubled hers. He explains he is a freed borg.
Tricorders recognize system activity and the lights go red.
Meanwhile, Geoffrey is heading up towards the cockpit of the ship. The cockpit is shuttle-like. The consoles are dark, but have little red buttons glowing red. The UT marks out switches that say they are for activation. The consoles appear to be like a PC for the individual consoles, not for the whole ship. Geoffrey turns on the helm console. Lights the cave ceiling and examines it. No door or hanagar of any description. All solid, complete with stalactites. Geoffrey checks out the armrest console of the captain’s chair, looks for a ship’s record. There’s a few records, but the database has been corrupted by time and the intense EM field. The gist is that they had to hide the ship here a long time ago and that they were forced to land and hide from the then-primitive lemurians and constructed the cavern to hide the vessel.
As he relays the info to Carl- the lights go red
Scene cut, back at the creature, it’s grasping its head and screaming in pain. It points and says “intruders will be dealt with.” Initiative starts, but Elli and Alexander successfully put it to sleep with a beta wave signal. The body of the creature is as tough as a ship hull, it wouldn’t have felt a phaser tickle.
The team discusses how to fix the situation. Determines they can wait for the atmosphere to clear now, then in a while transport the core off the ancient ship to prevent the EM problems from arising again.
Alexander repairs the Alien’s stasis pod and tucks her back in with a lullaby.
Further deciphering from the computer discovers that the creature was the ship’s attempt to rescue a crew member but couldn’t finish the process and the ship went dormant.
We head back to the Potemkin. Starfleet sends another ship to complete the plan we set in place to remove the unstable powercore from the ancient ship and recover the alien.
Potemkin is called back to hang out with the Xec. The Xec now have ships with mixed Xec and federation crew, generally small exploring classes about Nova sized- 7 decks or so.