Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (2022) s01e02 Episode Script

Children of the Comet

1 Previously on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Send someone else.
You don't want me in command of that ship.
- You saw the future.
- I saw my own death.
APRIL: Your first officer doesn't do down time well, Chris.
- Captain.
- Samuel Kirk.
Well, you're posted to life sciences, and he's your new boss.
Captain Pike.
Lieutenant La'An Noonien-Singh.
Chief of Security.
PIKE: Ah, the prodigy.
Cadet Uhura? - What's the mission? - We explore.
We seek out new life and new civilizations.
We boldly go where no one has gone before.
Stardate 2912.
The Enterprise is surveying the Persephone system, where the crew is studying the behavior of an ancient comet, C/2260-Quentin.
I, however, am doing rotation in landing party readiness protocols, which doesn't really involve comets, ancient or otherwise, so duties are pretty slow at the moment.
Except, of course, for a recent invitation to dinner at the captain's cabin, for which I have been encouraged by Lieutenant Ortegas to dust off my dress uniform.
(SIGHS) You said it was formal.
Actually, what I said was you might want to wear your dress uniform.
Are you kidding? This is your idea of a practical joke? Kind of.
I'm going back to change.
You do not want to be late to the captain's table.
(UHURA SIGHS) Relax, Cadet.
It's tradition.
- Hazing the newbie? - All in good fun.
We get bored.
It's a small ship.
You know, it's really not.
Come on.
Consider it your first complete square in Enterprise bingo.
- You know about that? - I was a cadet once too, Cadet.
So, what are these things like? Well, first off, they're not just the command crew.
Captain wants, you know, regular people, to hear what's actually happening on the ship, so he'll probably ask you questions.
That a problem? How do I put this? My father liked to say that I was unburdened by conversational boundaries.
So, this'll be fun for you, then.
(DOOR CHIMES) (DOOR WHOOSHES OPEN) Lieutenant Ortegas, Cadet Uhura, wel (LAUGHS) Dress uniform, huh? Grab a drink.
I got to deal with the ribs.
UNA: Ortegas, come help refill drinks.
Cadet Uhura, - good to see you.
- You, too.
(MUSIC PLAYING QUIETLY) Feel your eyes burn ♪ (SIGHS) (OVERLAPPING CHATTER) Oh, uh, can I help? No.
You have offended Hemmer, our new Chief Engineer.
No offense intended.
I was raised to offer help to anyone with a sensory impairment.
- If I was - That word again.
Sir? "Impaired.
" A human in my condition might consider themselves impaired.
Hemmer may not be able to see, but his other senses compensate.
HEMMER: Compensate? They are superior.
Uh, I've read that, among many things, the Aenar have a form of precognitive ability.
I knew you were going to ask that.
Because you sensed my question before I asked it? Because everyone always asks that.
HEMMER: You telegraphed your throw, telepathically.
As was my intention, to illustrate.
(CHUCKLES) This is a hazing thing, isn't it? You guys are screwing around.
I like her.
So, I have my phaser out, and, sure enough, down the street, there's the Nausicaan we're after.
Running away, no pants on.
(QUIET LAUGHTER) I move after him, only I trip, flat on my face.
I shout, "Freeze!" But the Nausicaan keeps running.
(LAUGHTER) I try to stand up, but my feet are caught on something, and then I realize - I've tripped on his pants.
- (LAUGHTER) PIKE: So, anyway, after, my lieutenant pulls me aside and says, "Maybe Security isn't the best fit for you, Ensign.
" (LOUD LAUGHTER) I've never understood the human inclination to laugh at others' misfortune.
It feels impolite.
That's why it's funny.
Because it breaks a social expectation? PIKE: Sometimes, Mr.
Spock, things go so badly you just have to laugh.
(UHURA HUMMING) (POURING) What's that you're humming, Cadet? Sorry.
Bad habit.
Uh, it's an old folk song from my village in Kenya.
I've visited Lake Simbi Nyaima several times.
It is achingly beautiful there.
- I grew up just a few miles away.
- Really? You know, the Enterprise only gets a handful of cadets a year from Starfleet.
You got to be pretty impressive to make the cut.
Thank you, sir.
I hear you speak 12 languages.
Uh, 37.
PIKE: Okay, wow.
Uh, in Kenya we have 22 native languages.
I found early that, if I wanted to be understood, it's best to communicate in someone's own tongue, so I learned them.
Easy as that? For me, sir, yes.
I noticed you're on the next landing party rotation.
I know it can be confusing jumping from department to department.
- Right, Number One? - That was one time.
(LAUGHTER) I'm sure you've chosen a specialty you'd like.
Where do you see yourself in ten y Ten years, where do you see yourself? UHURA: Are you asking me what I want to be when I grow up, Captain? Sure.
I guess the truth is, I'm not sure I'm actually all that "Starfleet.
" That's not something I've ever heard from a cadet.
You worked pretty hard to get here.
You beat out, how many, a thousand applicants? Several thousand.
PIKE: And now you're not sure if you want to be here? I always wanted to study alien languages.
I have an ear for them.
And a gift for understatement.
I was going to attend the University in Nairobi.
Both my parents taught there.
About a week before I was due to start, they were, uh killed in a shuttle accident.
My older brother, too.
I'm so sorry.
After, I just couldn't go to campus.
Their absence was everywhere.
I moved in with my grandmother, but I just didn't feel like I fit anywhere.
Anyway, she was in Starfleet when she was young, and she always used to talk about it, and, well, I didn't know what else to do.
So you ran away to Starfleet? Yes.
That is an impressive and heartbreaking story, Cadet.
That's me.
Well, Cadet, I appreciate your honesty, and I sincerely hope you discover a place where you feel you do fit, wherever that may be.
Guess I kind of blew it in there, huh? Not at all, Cadet.
The captain values honesty, as do I.
But ? But I would say to you that Starfleet has been a lifelong dream for many, myself included.
If it is not your path, you might consider making way for someone else who wants to walk it.
(SIGHS) UNA: I've seen you ask that cadet question a hundred times.
Tonight it felt different.
Is it because of what you told me, about what you saw on Boreth? Turns out, knowing your future kind of takes the fun out of imagining it.
Chris, have you considered that maybe your fate isn't written? Dusty Swender.
T'quiel Dawn.
Muliq Al Alcazar.
Yuuto Hoshide.
Andrea Lopez.
I could keep going.
These are the kids I save when it happens.
You know their names.
Lately, I've been saying them over and over again, like a reminder.
Stay the course, save their lives.
I refuse to believe there isn't another way.
(COMM CHIMES) SPOCK (OVER COMM): Captain Pike to the bridge.
There is a problem with the comet.
SPOCK: The computer simulation suggests that, when the comet strikes the planet in two days, there will be no survivors.
Persephone III is an M-Class world.
Previous surveys suggests it is home to an intelligent, pre-warp species that call themselves the Deleb.
Given their current state of technological advancement, it is highly unlikely that they're aware - of the danger they are in.
- PIKE: Options? The Deleb can't move the comet, - so we move it for them? - Mr.
Spock? An ion engine.
To be precise, four, programmed to fire in sequence to account for the comet's rotation.
Got it.
Number One, thoughts? It could work.
We could use photon torpedoes as launch vehicles.
Take about an hour for the retrofit.
A rosy assessment, considering I'll be the one doing the retrofitting.
Let's get it done, people.
We've got a planet to save before breakfast.
I love this job.
Anyone want to tell me how a comet puts up a force field? PIKE: Space.
The final frontier.
These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise.
Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.
♪ ♪ ♪ We've tried every hail, every scan you can think of.
If there's life on the comet, we can't find it.
But we did find a structure.
It's enormous and mostly subterranean.
A structure suggests alien intelligence.
Which is why I've asked Sam Kirk of Xenoanthropology here to join us.
So, let's start with the obvious.
It looks like a comet, has shields like a starship, and a building on its surface like a planet, but no life signs.
Maybe it's not a comet at all, but some kind of derelict spacecraft? Okay, so how do we shut down its shields? Logic suggests this structure is likely where we'll have to go.
Except it's got shields.
The shields are not constant.
They only appear in response to a threat.
It should be possible to beam to the surface without triggering them.
Sam, are you aware of any civilization that developed on the surface of a comet? First I've heard of one.
I'm starting to like the mustache.
Maybe you should try one for yourself.
La'An, you, Spock, and Sam get suited up, and this is the cadet's first away mission.
You wanted to learn to speak alien languages go where the aliens are.
The surface of the comet is bombarded by ridiculously high levels of cosmic rays.
This will buy you two hours.
Any more and your insides will turn to liquid.
Ow! Ugh, you could've warned me.
Then you'd know it was gonna hurt.
You know I've had people run on me? Weapon up, people.
Kirk, Uhura, when you're recovered, with me.
You ready for this? I am more than capable of managing any pain you can induce.
Now you're just toying with me.
That was not my intention.
- I've noticed.
- Heads up.
Thank you, Lieutenant.
LA'AN: Remember, when we arrive, gravity is a fraction of Earth normal.
Don't want anyone flying off into space.
Energize, Mr.
- (SIGHS) - You good? Yeah.
I'm standing on the surface of a comet.
(EXHALES) ♪ Curious.
According to my readings, there is breathable atmosphere inside the chamber.
We should make sure it's secure.
Lieutenant Spock, you scan the room.
I'll do a perimeter sweep.
SAM: These markings.
What do you think, decorative or linguistic? You're asking me? Don't study linguistics if you don't want people to ask you questions about it.
It's just, uh You're a cadet, it's your first away mission, I get it.
But you're here for a reason.
UHURA: These markings, they repeat in a sequence.
A sequence, huh? Maybe a code? I don't know.
Just Everything seems to point to this egg.
It's important, just I don't know how.
Do you think these markings indicate some kind of control? If they do, then perhaps this is how we can affect the comet's shields.
LA'AN: Perimeter's clear.
No one here but us.
Uh, Lieutenant, I don't think that's a (CHUCKLES) a good idea.
Huh? It's an old Earth game.
I am familiar with Yahtzee, Lieutenant, but I am reading a dangerous buildup of energy.
Please step away from the egg.
Turn him over.
Get his helmet off.
His heart has stopped.
We need to get him to the ship.
We ne ergency beam out.
La'An, your signal's spotty.
We can't quite hear you.
Lieutenant Kirk has been injured.
Beam us out.
Having trouble getting a lock.
Captain, the force field.
It's back up.
(GRUNTS) Signal's being blocked.
I can't get them back.
He's stable, for now.
All frequencies are down.
We're cut off from the ship.
We're on our own.
He sustained massive trauma from electrical shock.
I've sedated him.
Uh, maybe we don't touch anything else.
Just a suggestion.
He will not survive without prompt medical attention.
(TRICORDER BEEPING) Seems that force field is back.
It appears the comet wishes to keep us here.
What kind of comet knows someone's walking on it? A salient question, Cadet.
One that I am afraid you may have to answer in order for us to escape.
Sir, I'm reminding you this is my first away mission.
SPOCK: That may be, but the key to our escape may well be in these markings all around us, and you are the only linguistics expert here.
♪ Right now, I need ideas.
We've got a planet full of people who will die without our help, and our crew members are trapped on that comet.
We need to get through that force field.
How? Phaser harmonics? A phaser at a higher frequency could cause resonance.
The right frequency could shatter it.
I like this plan.
This is a good plan.
Ortegas, bring us around.
How are we doing, Cadet? At the moment, pretending not to be in way over my head.
Too honest? I am a Vulcan.
We are "too honest" by nature.
Your girlfriend must love that, huh? Nurse Chapel.
Nurse Chapel is not my girlfriend.
I know, but she was flirting with you.
It was a joke.
You know, to break the tension.
Do you not think this is an inappropriate time for jokes? It's like the captain said.
"Sometimes things go so badly you just have to laugh.
" I find the best way to diffuse tension is to apply rigorous logic.
That's always an option, too.
Phasers locked and ready, Captain.
On your command, Number One.
(EXPLOSION) - Incoming weapons fire.
- Damage report? Minimal damage to port nacelle.
Shields holding at 70%.
Who hit us? Uh, they did.
Hail them.
On screen.
PIKE: This is Captain Christopher Pike of the Federation starship Enterprise.
Who are you and why are you attacking our vessel? We are the Shepherds.
Really? That's how the universal translator is processing it.
We escort M'hanit.
The comet? M'hanit is far more than a comet.
M'hanit is one of the ancient arbiters of life.
If you tamper with it again, we will not hesitate to destroy you.
Scan the ship.
What kind of weapons are we dealing with? Our intentions were not hostile.
M'hanit is on a collision course with an inhabited planet.
We were simply trying to divert its trajectory.
Would you adjust the height of the waves or the position of the stars? M'hanit's course is preordained.
There are millions of people on that planet.
The impact will kill them all and likely blow your comet Uh Blow your M'hanit into just as many pieces.
SHEPHERD CAPTAIN: Are you a reasonable man, Captain? I-I'd like to think so, yes.
Then please entertain the proposition that M'hanit is not, as you continue to call him, a comet.
It is an instrument, an ancient arbiter, one of the few remaining in the galaxy.
If it is his will to move, he will move.
If it is his will to bring life, he will bring life.
If M'hanit wills the planet to die, even chooses to die with it, then that is what will happen.
As I said, it is preordained.
Blowing up a planet full of people is not preordained You said you were a reasonable man, Captain.
So how can you know? Since before our distant ancestors touched the sky and the stars beyond, my people have been charged with the protection of the arbiters.
None of us even remember when the charge first came to us, but we accepted the mantle with honor.
For centuries, we have protected the arbiters as they follow courses set long before our suns first burned in the sky, bringing life across the galaxy.
It is not our prerogative to interfere, Captain, nor is it yours.
PIKE: Please, excuse me.
Pause communications.
Shepherds? Zealots is more like it.
What did you find? UNA: Their systems are incredibly advanced, their ships faster than ours, and their weapon systems Let's just say we don't want to piss them off.
How exactly are we supposed to move the comet without doing that? We have to buy time for the landing party to get the force field down.
And hope these Shepherds don't find out that they're down there.
I'm guessing they'd be kind of touchy about that.
Ensign, resume communications.
You have your sacred duty.
We have ours.
The Federation doesn't interfere in the development of species, but we also don't just let them die.
We don't mean to disrespect M'hanit.
We'd do the same for you if you were in danger.
You say you don't interfere, that you mean no disrespect, but your crew has desecrated the temple on his surface.
Guess they know about the landing party.
- We were simply trying to ascer - Their presence is blasphemy.
M'hanit will be their tomb.
Any further action to rescue them will be considered an act of war.
Find a way to get through to the landing party right now.
Break the laws of physics if you have to.
How is he? Stable, and holding.
What about you, Cadet? You gonna get us out of here, or get us killed? Right now, I'd say it's pretty much a toss-up.
(UHURA HUMMING) Your humming suggests you may be experiencing distress.
May I remind you that circumstances are less dire than they were.
Kirk identified one error you can avoid.
By eliminating that option, he has improved your odds.
Was that actually your version of a pep talk? Yes.
I've been working on them.
How was it, would you say? Maybe don't take your foot off the gas on that one.
Well, you are achieving your stated objective of studying alien languages.
Like you said, I'm not even supposed to be here.
That's not precisely You all should be relying on someone who's prepared.
Someone actually Starfleet, not someone who's gonna get us all fried to a crisp.
As this is your first away mission, may I assume it is also the first time your life has been in danger? Yes.
Kind of.
No, just yes.
Confrontations with our mortality often cause us to see ourselves as if from the outside.
Such a perspective can be a unique opportunity.
You did not intend on being here, but you are here.
Hypotheticals are irrelevant.
Today, you are, quite simply, the only person for the job.
Will you rise to see it through? That one was better.
Your pep talk, I mean.
The cave seems to be reacting to your voice.
It responds to music.
Anything? Nothing from the landing party, but I found a possible signal coming from the comet itself.
What kind of signal? (MELODIC TUNE PLAYING OVER SPEAKERS) Computer, identify this song.
COMPUTER: "Vamuvamba", a traditional song from Earth, originating in Kenya.
That cannot be a coincidence.
- (UHURA VOCALIZING) - (CAVE RESONATING TO MATCH) Different pitches elicit different responses.
What's the light show? Is it good? The comet's systems seem to be controlled by music.
Lieutenant Kirk thought these symbols were a code.
Music is just sound waves, which can be represented by numbers.
What if the code is harmonics? Someone help me out here.
I skipped music class.
Harmonics are just the ratios between frequencies.
Every note vibrates at a specific frequency.
Double that frequency, and you get the same pitch an octave higher.
That's the two in our code.
Triple the frequency, and you get a perfect fifth.
Five times the frequency is a major third.
The code is a major chord.
Why would an alien species write music the way we do? Musical notes are easily derived from math.
Vulcans theorize it is their fundamental nature which makes them pleasing to the ear.
Someone match my pitch.
(HUMMING) Oh no help here.
I'll break the thing.
(VOCALIZING) (VOCALIZING) (VOCALIZING TOGETHER) - (HOLDING NOTE) - (VOCALIZING) - (CAVE RESONATES TONE SEQUENCE) - (RUMBLING) We're definitely getting closer to resolving the whole genius or "about to get us killed" conundrum.
So the right time for genius.
(EERIE, DISSONANT MUSIC RESONATING) (MUSIC STOPS) If we are correct and the comet communicates through music, it would be logical to assume that it is speaking to us right now.
So, how do we convince it to lower the force field? (EERIE MELODY RESONATING) Hold on.
Let me try something.
(VOCALIZING EERIE MELODY) (RUMBLING) The comet's force field just disappeared.
Bridge to Transporter Room, energize.
We've got them.
Shields up.
Red alert.
(ALARM BLARING) CHRISTINA: Captain, Shepherds are hailing us.
Open a channel.
On screen.
You continue to interfere.
Well, technically - You were warned.
- PIKE: Look, let's talk about this.
Find some common ground.
I think that went well.
(RUMBLING) They're launching torpedoes, Captain.
- I'm reading three inbound.
- We definitely pissed them off.
Brace for impact.
(ALARM BLARING) Shields at 50%.
- Ortegas, evasive maneuvers.
- On it.
- They are pursuing.
- Return fire? Negative.
Escape pattern April-Omega 3.
Captain, recommend we withdraw.
- We're already on the run.
- LA'AN: We need to warp out and regroup.
Facing off with them is suicide.
- We're outgunned here.
- UNA: She's right.
Their ship is too advanced for us to take on.
- (TORPEDO STRIKES) - Shields at 40%.
SPOCK: Sir, when we were on the surface, I believe the comet - was trying to communicate with us.
- PIKE: Right.
The music you recorded.
Any idea what it was trying to say? I haven't been able to translate it yet.
It might take days.
We have less than one hour before the comet will impact Persephone III.
You do a lot of reminding people of deadlines, sir.
- She does have a point, Spock.
- (TORPEDO STRIKES) Captain, unless we want them to blow us out of the sky Give me phasers.
Target their weapons and propulsion systems.
We don't want to hurt them.
- (TORPEDO STRIKES) - Wish they felt the same.
- Shields at 25%.
Phasers locked.
- PIKE: Ortegas, bring us around to bearing 150 mark nine.
Aye, sir.
And fire.
Direct hit.
They're pulling away to regroup.
I'd say we have less than a minute.
We have to save that planet.
We brought down the force field, so how do we move the comet? Let's face it, the crazy space monks will blow us out of the sky if we try anything to move that comet.
What if we didn't? What if the comet moved itself? PIKE: Everyone ready? We only get one shot at this.
Maximum impulse.
They're gaining on us.
When they get close enough, they'll take a kill shot.
Ortegas, you know how you used to brag you were going to be the best pilot ever to graduate the Academy? Word gets around.
What's your point, sir? Time to prove it, Lieutenant.
Get us in front of that comet.
Initiating evasive pattern Ortegas-gamma-one.
Evasive pattern Ortegas ? ♪ Shepherds are in pursuit.
♪ They've stopped firing.
They don't want to hit the comet.
I think they're hailing us.
Yeah, they are.
Captain? Not yet.
♪ Ortegas, time to come about.
Rerouting to bearing 180 mark five.
Reverse thrusters, full stop.
Reversing thrusters.
And Stopped.
Ops, shut down all systems except for life support.
All right, Ensign Christina.
I'm ready for the Shepherds now.
On screen, please.
We surrender.
The damage we've sustained has caused complete systems failure.
And what if we choose not to accept your surrender? Well, if you don't help us, we'll collide with the comet, which will destroy our ship.
And the trilithium resin in our warp core will ignite, destroying the comet.
Which will also happen if you try to blow us up.
Please, help us.
I give you my word, we will not touch M'hanit again.
UNA: You're taking a big gamble.
I recognize that, Number One.
The Shepherd ship is activating a tractor beam.
Spock? You're up.
Acknowledged, Captain.
♪ Approaching the nucleus of the comet.
And diverting power through the shuttle's shields.
Shields radiating heat at maximum intensity.
The surface appears to be responding.
Maintaining position.
Preparing to engage heat shields.
♪ (ALARM BLARING) UNA: It's moving.
The sublimation is nudging the comet off course.
And for the record, we're not actually touching it.
UHURA: But where's Lieutenant Spock? (STATIC CRACKLES) (SPOCK LAUGHS) Spock? Is everything okay? SPOCK: Fine, Captain.
Sometimes things go so badly, you just have to laugh.
A large quantity of water vapor from the comet is entering the planet's atmosphere.
SPOCK: If I am not mistaken, this will permanently change the atmospheric composition - of Persephone III.
- PIKE: Change it how? Reducing the planet's aridity will make it more amenable to plant growth, agriculture and, one might surmise, societal development.
So did it actually "bring life"? Don't tell me the space monks were actually right.
Captain, Shepherds are hailing us.
Open a channel.
On screen, please, Ensign.
You have seen the glory and the mercy that is M'hanit.
You're right.
We witnessed a miracle.
Perhaps in the future, you will not be so quick to judge the faith of others.
And so - we shall not part as enemies.
- PIKE: Thank you.
♪ (LAUGHING) ♪ PIKE: Captain's log, supplemental.
I am left to wonder who made the comet? How many more like it are out there? Was it coincidence that fostered the chance for more life on Persephone III? Or something more? Look, we already knew how to turn musical notes - into numbers, right? - (DOOR WHOOSHES SHUT) But the computer helped me turn those numbers into numerical coordinates.
You're saying the numbers painted a picture? UHURA: Yes.
But not just any picture.
The music contained this image.
This is a star chart showing the comet's course, a course that includes it moving past Persephone III.
You are suggesting the comet was telling us - it did not intend to hit Persephone III? - Yes.
It meant no harm.
That was the message.
But if I had not interfered, it would have destroyed the planet.
Okay, here's where things get weirder.
When we zoom in on the image, we find this shape.
And this is an image of the chunk of ice that broke off from the comet as Lieutenant Spock flew his mission.
- They're identical.
- UNA: You're saying the comet sent this message before Spock was able to correct the comet's course? We recorded it hours earlier.
SPOCK: It is highly improbable the comet could have randomly guessed the shape the ice that fell off would take with such accuracy.
Unless your flight was foretold.
You're suggesting the comet had foreknowledge of future events? The comet's flight path and its, I don't know, mission to seed that planet was predicated on you flying that shuttle to move it.
It knew its fate, you might say.
Thank you for your report, Cadet.
Cadet Uhura.
As I said, many dream of being worthy of Starfleet, of representing its values - of selflessness, courage, sacrifice.
- I know it shouldn't have been me - down there - I have not finished, Cadet.
The odds of us surviving were, in fact, quite low.
No pep talk could have increased them.
I understand you did not come to Starfleet the way many of us have.
That you are not sure you wish to stay.
But, having observed your actions on the comet, I am certain, should you choose to, Starfleet would be fortunate to have an officer like you.
Thank you, sir.
(EXHALES) A little piece of ice and dust roaming through space brings life.
I bet you not one of us could have predicted how.
(PIKE GRUNTS SOFTLY) I'll give you that.
So, just because you receive a message from the future doesn't mean you understand it.
We're not talking about the comet anymore, are we? Don't throw your life away, Chris.
- Number One - I know you had a vision of the future, but I made a choice.
I accepted my fate.
It It goes beyond my own life.
What if you're wrong? What if you got that message so you could save those kids and that's it? What if you don't have to ruin your life, too? How do you know you can't make a different choice? One that saves all of you? What if your fate is what you make it? Computer, call up all available information for the following Federation citizens.
Dusty Swender.
T'quiel Dawn.
Muliq Al Alcazar.
Yuuto Hoshide.
Andrea Lopez.

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