Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (2022) s01e03 Episode Script

Ghost of Illyria

1 Previously on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Is everything all right, Captain? We're going back out.
Captain Pike.
Lieutenant La'An Noonien, Chief of Security.
- La'An.
- Hey, Chief.
Wait, you two know each other? She helped me find my way back home.
Permission to return to Enterprise, sir.
- What's the mission? - Explore.
We seek out new life, new civilizations.
We boldly go where no one has gone before.
UNA: First officer's log, stardate 1224.
The Enterprise has arrived at Hetemit 9, the site of an abandoned Illyrian colony.
Illyrians are a humanoid species known for modifying their genes to enhance their capabilities and levels of function.
However, because genetic modification is forbidden in the Federation, they have always been outcasts.
Our presence here is part of a standing mission to discover what happened to them.
Unfortunately, research time on the surface is limited, as the planet is regularly swept by ion storms.
One of which is fast approaching.
It's funny how genetic modification still puts everyone on edge.
Even you, it would seem.
I just don't like loose ends.
Damn it.
I wish we had more time.
These shelters are pretty old.
We should get everyone back to the Enterprise.
All right, everyone, pack up your data and head to the rendezvous point for transport.
Spock, this is Pike.
Come in.
The storm must be interfering.
I'll go grab him.
No, no.
I got him.
You get the rest of the team back home.
Ensign Lance.
Commander, I'm having trouble getting a lock on your signals.
The ion storm is interfering.
Storm's only getting closer, Enterprise.
One second, Commander.
Transporter Room to Engineering.
Hemmer, I'm losing them.
Rerouting auxiliary power.
Get ready.
Chief Hemmer to Bridge.
Prepare for temporary engagement of emergency systems backups.
Engineering to Transporter.
Try it now.
What the ? How did you ? I am a genius.
Move quickly.
Better not be out of miracles, Mr.
Captain and Mr.
Spock are still on the surface.
Captain, I think I've managed to uncover a previously undiscovered cache of journals that may be relevant.
- I'm looking forward to reading them.
- Great.
How about we get to the rendezvous point before the storm overtakes us, so you can? Pike to Enterprise.
Two to beam up.
- [SIGHS.]
- [SIGHS.]
I can't get a lock.
- Pull more power.
- Power's not gonna help.
The ion storm is too strong.
We try to transport them through that, who knows when we'll get back? Number One to Captain Pike.
You and Mr.
Spock should find shelter until the storm passes, and quickly.
Copy, Number One.
PIKE: Suggestions, Mr.
Spock? Run.
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.
The captain and Mr.
Spock are stuck on the surface.
As soon as it's safe, we'll get them back.
In the meantime, we do our jobs.
Cadet Uhura, can you get a signal? No, Commander.
The ion storm is functionally a communications blackout.
I want to know the second you connect with the captain.
- Yes, Commander.
- Lieutenant Wheeler, I want round-the-clock monitoring of the storm.
The second it starts to let up, I want to know.
And tell Chief Kyle to have relief ready.
I want the transporter standing by.
ORTEGAS: Ensign Lance? Are you all right? It's too dark in here.
Okay, it's been a long day for all of us.
But maybe this is something you should, you know, do in your own quarters? LANCE: I need to feel the light on my skin.
Whatever tweaks your freak, pal.
What the hell are you doing? Ortegas to Security.
I need help on Deck 14.
Computer, increase illumination 25%.
Number One to Dr.
What is the status of the landing party? M'BENGA: Good evening, Commander.
Funny you should mention it.
I have several of them in here as we speak, presenting with some very curious symptoms.
I was about to call you.
Are you feeling all right? - I'm okay.
- Better come down here and let me check you out, just in case.
On my way.
M'BENGA: It's odd.
Half of them have burned or shocked themselves, all on sources of illumination, and yet the light's the only thing that seems to calm them down.
They're being attracted to light.
So much so they're willing to hurt themselves to get to it.
I take it you haven't exhibited any of these unusual behaviors? No.
You found nothing else in their systems? No form of contagion? Well, the transporter's biofilters would have screened out anything abnormal.
But I ran viral and bacterial scans anyway as a precaution.
They're clean.
Only thing I've been able to find is a severe drop in cholecalciferol.
Vitamin D? All show levels in the red.
Outside of this and the aberrant behavior, you'd never know they were sick.
How were my vitamin D levels? Normal.
Whatever affected them seems to have missed you.
I'd like to take a blood sample nonetheless.
Commander? Of course.
Have you been able to reach the captain and Mr.
Spock? Still too much interference with the storm.
We'll have to hope they weren't exposed to whatever this is.
I have to believe the landing party came into contact with something down there that the biofilters missed.
HEMMER: Nonsense.
The biofilters would have caught any contamination during transport.
Unless it was something they weren't programmed to catch.
Can't happen.
If they don't recognize it, they filter it out.
What about the ion storm? Could that have interfered with it? - No.
I mean it shouldn't have.
And yet M'Benga's got four landing party members in sickbay.
Anything else abnormal during transport you can think of? Besides the landing party's atoms almost getting mixed up into a puddle of bio-organic stew? No.
I can sense that expression, you know.
Oh, I know.
You had to pull a lot of power to keep pattern stabilization.
Could that have inhibited the biofilters? Not only are all the ship's transporters networked for emergency power distribution, the new systems have discrete backups for biofilters and pattern stabilizers.
I will run a level 5 diagnostic ship-wide.
- To make you feel better, Commander.
- Thank you.
Which, I might add, may well take all night.
UNA: On screen.
Number One? Are you and Lieutenant Spock all right? We're fine, but the storm has us pinned down in the library.
We have an emerging situation here.
Landing party members are getting ill.
The doctor thinks they were exposed to something on the surface.
: What kind of something? Apologies.
The signal's out again.
The storm's interference is too strong.
UNA: Computer, show me everything you have on Illyrian genetic modifications, specifically related to disease control.
COMPUTER: Working.
Computer, isolate any files pertaining to the original Illyrian settlement on the Vaultera Nebula.
Records are limited.
You wanted to see me, Chief? Yes.
Several landing party members are showing symptoms of some kind of contamination.
Security needs to keep an eye out for anyone exhibiting strange behavior.
Illyrians? You think this contamination might be related to them? I don't know what to think.
I'm just doing research.
Well, it seems to me, things like this are exactly why the Federation is so wary of genetically-modified species like the Illyrians.
You start breaking down the genetic code, who knows what the unexpected consequences can be? If the problem originated with the Illyrians, maybe they could also provide us with a cure.
Isn't using any Illyrian medical tech against Federation regs? Thanks to the Eugenics Wars.
I imagine you know all about that period in history.
Well, you don't grow up with a bio-engineered mass murderer as your ancestor and not develop a thick skin.
Khan Noonien Singh.
Made myself a kind of an expert on him when I was a kid.
I never think of you as a child.
For a while there, the worst thing that had ever happened to me was a bunch of the other kids' teasing.
I'd hope that someone with your last name would know that snap judgments made on genetics are faulty at best.
Individuals are so much more than just Is it me or is it dark in here? [EXHALES.]
- UNA: La'An? - [EXHALING.]
Is this the only light you have? Number One to Dr.
M'Benga? M'BENGA: Commander? I think we have a new problem.
M'BENGA: Same vitamin D deficiency.
Same attraction to light.
She wasn't part of the landing party.
- She never went down to the planet.
- I know.
How is that possible? How is it spreading? - I don't know.
- Internal contact tracing shows that Lieutenant Noonien shared a turbolift with Ensign Lance.
- It's a possible source of exposure.
- M'BENGA: Maybe.
Except whatever it is isn't being passed by any traceable viral or bacteriological means.
What do you recommend, Doctor? To keep it from spreading, full lockdown.
UNA: Computer, open a channel ship-wide.
Attention all crew members, we are initiating Level Five lockdown protocol, effective immediately.
All nonessential personnel will be confined to quarters until further notice.
All on-duty personnel will be confined to specific work zones until further notice.
You have your orders.
I believe there is a human phrase.
"A watched kettle never boils.
" It's a pot.
And in this case, I'm pretty sure we're gonna get hit with the scalding water.
You are deliberately mixing my metaphor in order to indulge your anxiety.
There are sick people on my ship, and we're stuck down here? I don't like feeling helpless.
Pacing relentlessly back and forth will not change the situation.
PIKE: This place is fun.
They should sell tickets.
It seems this particular group of Illyrians wanted to join the Federation.
As Federation law forbids genetic manipulation, this group was attempting to reverse its DNA modifications to gain entry.
De-engineering themselves, as it were.
- That's a new one.
- Indeed.
Any clue as to what happened to the colony? I am only halfway through these records, Captain.
Consider maybe skipping to the end before the storm tears the building apart? [THUNDER CRASHES.]
Tell me you saw that, too.
I did.
Although what I saw, exactly, I am not sure.
UHURA: What are y'all doing? Computer, end simulation! - What did you do that for?! - We need light! UNA: How many more? Almost 50.
I had to open our auxiliary bay to handle the overflow.
CHAPEL: Contact tracing is all over the map.
Some people are getting it after being down the hall from someone who's sick.
Meanwhile, Cadet Uhura's roommates both came down with it, she's completely fine.
UNA: Hemmer, did you find anything? Of course.
That's why I'm wandering around the ship in the middle of the night running diagnostics.
For fun.
Doctor, we need to check your emergency medical transporter for systems integration and excess power usage.
Please! I have research in there.
You doing anything right now? If you hadn't noticed, I'm in the middle of a ship-wide medical emergency.
Trust me, I've noticed.
My medical transporter is fine.
That shouldn't have affected the lights.
Please stop messing around in here! You're only making things worse.
Point taken.
Whatever made that sound, looks like it's gone.
A curious figure of speech.
- I think we know what made that sound.
- Indeed.
Oh, you're lucky.
Any closer and that could have hit the carotid.
On a human.
The journals did mention unconfirmed rumors of creatures living inside the storms.
I think we can confirm them.
What do you think the odds are that'll hold? Perhaps we should weight probability in our favor.
A lockdown is instituted, you're off duty, you come here.
Your roommates contract the contagion, you do not.
Why? UHURA: I went to bed.
Like this? I closed the door.
I need it pitch-black to fall asleep.
I'm like The Princess and the Pea that way.
Uhura was exposed to the same conditions as her roommates, with one exception: she was in the dark.
I ran an electromagnetic scan on the ship.
Around infected crew members, light waves carry additional energy.
The contagion travels on light.
And remarkable.
The most successful viruses propagate in a host, then trigger a spreading response.
The way a common cold makes humans sneeze to transfer itself to other humans.
Once we're exposed, this virus triggers our pleasure centers when we are in close contact with light.
Light is literally everywhere.
Any light wave could carry the infection.
CHAPEL: It's only a matter of time before we all become infected if we don't stop it.
So how do we stop it? What's the one thing we can control that counteracts light? Dark hates light, light hates dark.
So we turn off the lights.
We have a sickbay full of patients who are essentially light addicts.
The virus is gonna make them very uncomfortable.
Would it be too intrusive to sedate all of them? Given the alternative I think it's the best option.
Computer, narrow search parameters to Illyrian genetic modifications.
- COMPUTER: Classified.
- Override.
Narrow search parameters to Illyrian genetic modifications related to disease control.
- Classified.
- Override.
Blackout override in Transporter Room.
Danger of critical circuit overload.
Commander Chin-Riley to Transporter Room.
- What's going on? - [WHIRRING.]
Computer, clear screen.
Hemmer, what are you doing? Performing a miracle.
Come in.
You'll enjoy it.
What is that thing? An iron-sulfur alloy, I believe.
It took all my skills to isolate a portion that could transport from the core of Hetemit 9.
It's not fully materialized.
You're transporting a piece of the planet's core? Mantle, to be precise.
I want to feel the radiance on my skin.
I've almost stabilized the signal.
Hemmer, it's a thousand degrees.
It'll kill you.
More like 10,000.
Just a few seconds more and it'll be here.
Hemmer, stop! ♪ [HEAVY THUDDING.]
Does that thing have a setting for stun? I am arming us with knowledge.
You think the Illyrians knew how to stop these things? Perhaps.
But even if they did not, we may be able to learn from their misfortune.
I have deduced that these creatures did not destroy them.
That, in fact, they began to appear as the Illyrians were starting to be wiped out by a mysterious disease.
I'm still waiting for the useful part.
SPOCK: I have found no entry describing the creatures causing harm to the colonists.
My ears are popping.
The atmospheric pressure is rising.
Ionization levels in the storm are now lethal to organic matter.
- Looks like they're gone.
- Indeed.
And thanks to them, it would seem, we are not.
How in the exact hell are you carrying him? UNA: Never mind.
He needs to be sedated before he wakes up.
I'm afraid I'm going to have to be next.
My cholecalciferol levels are plunging.
And it's down to Nurse Chapel and myself, I'm afraid.
You took my blood earlier.
Did you find anything that could help synthesize a cure? - Just because you haven't caught this thing yet - I'm immune.
- You don't know that.
- I've already come down with it, and my immune system did what it was bio-engineered to do.
I didn't tell you earlier because I'm an Illyrian.
- Would that even work? - No.
Why not? My body knew how to fight off the infection.
It's not that simple.
There are other factors.
Neither of us has any experience with your unique metabolism.
Why do I get the feeling you're about to quote Starfleet regulations? Oh, no, I'm not.
I just Look, I know there's a directive against mixing human and Illyrian blood, but I couldn't care less right now.
Then why are we wasting time? - [GROANING IN DISTANCE.]
- Go.
- What is the issue? - I've looked at your blood.
It has no novel antibodies.
And that is consistent with what I know of Illyrian biochemistry.
You don't create antibodies that lie dormant.
Your immune system literally burns out new infections immediately.
Which means I have nothing left to synthesize an antidote from.
So I'm protected but I can't help anyone else? Perhaps if I was there at the moment you were infected.
- You'd better put me out.
- UNA: No, no, no, wait.
We'll come up with something.
- There's nothing to come up with.
You're a Starfleet doctor.
There's always something.
You put a lot of faith in Starfleet.
That must be hard.
Starfleet is right about a lot of things, but not all of them.
Not about us.
- If my blood - I understand.
Prejudice has kept people from helping each other for centuries with no scientific justification.
And after we met our neighbors in the galaxy, we found new bigotries.
Human and Vulcan blood.
Now it's human and Illyrian.
In any case, they're meaningless to me.
I am a physician.
I'd beg you to help if you could, regulations be damned.
But you can't help here.
I'm sorry.
Now put me out.
Before I lose control.
COMPUTER: Warning.
Warp core containment field has been deactivated.
Recommend reestablishing containment field immediately.
Warp core containment field has been deactivated.
Warp core breach imminent.
Containment field has been deactivated.
Warp core breach imminent.
UNA: La'An, stop.
Back away from the panel.
- That's an order.
- Denied, Commander.
You know what'll happen if that containment field goes down.
We'll be flooded with light.
La'An, stop.
Danger of exposure to matter/antimatter radiation.
Containment field at 75%.
Seventy percent.
Fifty-five percent.
Radiation nearing critical levels.
LA'AN: Let me go.
Containment field at 40%.
Get off of me! I'm trying to help you.
It's me, La'An.
You know me.
I'm your friend.
You lied to me every day for years.
What kind of friend is that? - 30%.
- You're an abomination.
An augment.
That's what the other kids called me when they heard my name: augment, monster.
Like you are.
Radiation levels are now toxic to organic species.
Warp core breach imminent.
Pike to Enterprise.
Do you read me? I think it's safe to go back out now.
We'll get a stronger signal.
Those plasma creatures they went to great lengths to save our lives.
They shielded us when the storm broke through.
Why wouldn't they have done the same for the colonists? I see two possibilities.
They were not motivated to save them because of some previous interaction with the colonists.
And the second? They were unable to save the colonists because they are the colonists.
How? I found mention of some odd behavior in reaction to the disease I mentioned earlier.
The infected had a compulsion for light.
Some were driven so mad, they ran into the storms, chasing the lightning.
Wouldn't they have died? Yes.
Although it is possible the charged storm particles bonded with the colonists' electromagnetic presence, creating what we saw.
This is a thorough account of the colonists' initiative to renounce their genetic engineering in order to join the Federation.
It would seem, even in death, they wanted us to be aware of who they really were.
What is it, Spock? Some Illyrians were, among other things, bio-engineered to fight disease.
Had they not tried to reverse their augmentation, they may not have all died.
They wanted to join the Federation so badly their good-faith gesture got them killed.
UNA: It's okay.
It's okay.
We got an antidote.
La'An tried to jump into the warp core while the containment field was down.
As I was stopping her, she got a bad dose of radiation, and so did I.
Apparently, my body cured both of us before I reengaged the field.
La'An is not an Illyrian.
Her proximity to the commander created chimeric antibodies in her system.
I was able to synthesize them into a cure before they set.
Don't thank me.
I know I'm good at my job.
Everyone here owes you their life.
There's something I need to take care of.
Mind if I sit? You pack one hell of a punch, Lieutenant.
Thank you.
That wasn't a compliment.
What's the penalty for striking a superior officer? I can't seem to remember.
I mean, we're friends, right? Do you want me to tell you it was just the sickness talking? I don't know.
Was it? Yes.
And also, no.
All my life I've hated augments.
Hated what-what people thought of me because I was related to them.
Understanding why they were outlawed in the Federation.
The damage they did.
They almost destroyed Earth.
The augments, yes, but not us.
My people were never motivated by domination.
Illyrians seek collaboration with nature.
By bio-engineering our bodies, we adapt to naturally-existing habitats.
Instead of terraforming planets, we modify ourselves.
And there's nothing wrong with that.
If that's what you believe, why do you hide it? Why hide it from me? I've been hiding it from a lot of people.
All I ever wanted, since I first saw the stars, was to join Starfleet.
I know.
You're the one who gave me that dream.
And the fact that strawberries are my comfort food.
UNA: Captain.
I'm an Illyrian.
Not from this colony, from far away.
Starfleet policy is clear.
By not disclosing my genetic augmentation worse, by enlisting in Starfleet I've committed a Federation offense.
I am resigning my commission and surrendering myself for disciplinary review.
I only ask that my sincere desire to join Starfleet be taken into consideration.
- Sir? - I don't care where you come from.
You're the best first officer in the fleet.
Thank you, sir, but I feel obligated to point out that Starfleet does not allow Una, stop.
Chris, that's kind, but I've broken a dozen regulations.
I lied to get into Starfleet.
According to Federation law, if you shelter me, they could come after you, too.
I welcome that discussion.
One thing became clear to me on Hetemit 9.
Illyrians are severely misunderstood.
Your actions in the crisis prove that again.
I just did my job, sir.
You defy every stereotype the Federation has about Illyrians.
You're an example to them.
And to all of us.
What do we do when Starfleet finds out? [CHUCKLES SOFTLY.]
You let me worry about Starfleet.
Oh, before you go Uh, the glitch was with the transporter's biofilter, right? That's how the virus got on board? - Let's get that fixed.
- Yes, sir.
M'BENGA: Come in.
It was your medical transporter that inhibited the biofilters.
The new transporters keep biofilter and pattern integrity power systems separate.
But you didn't let them upgrade the medical transporter when we were in spacedock.
I'm starting to suspect you couldn't.
Hemmer's diagnostic shows you're keeping something in the pattern buffer.
And whatever it is, you needed to preserve it, even if it ended up killing everyone on the ship.
- Isn't that right, Doctor? - No.
I didn't know.
It was an accident.
What are you keeping in there that could be worth all our lives? Not what.
My daughter.
A year ago, she was diagnosed with cygnokemia.
Brutal disease.
You can't imagine what it's like to watch your child wither away.
To see a lifetime of potential reduced to a 12-week prognosis.
I'm sorry.
I am chief medical officer.
On the flagship of Starfleet.
You'd think I'd be able to do something about it.
But nothing worked.
Did you know there's no limit on how long you can store someone's pattern in the buffer? You just have to materialize them regularly.
In the buffer, my daughter doesn't age.
And her disease can't progress.
We travel light-years in hours.
And somewhere out there is a planet that has the discovery I need.
Only the light virus epidemic was my fault.
It seems so, yes.
If I thought, even for a second, that could have happened It won't happen again.
I can't endanger our crew for one life.
No matter how much that life means to me.
But I ask, would you consider, before you return me to Starfleet, that I might have a chance to spend a little more time with my daughter? To say goodbye.
I'll provide a dedicated power source, direct from the warp core.
This problem? We can ensure it never happens again.
I look forward to meeting her one day.
First officer's personal log.
The lights are back on.
But that doesn't mean we see clearly.
People are always hiding things.
Hi, Dad.
Story time? You bet.
- Now, where were we? - King Ridley was about to climb the tower to rescue Princess Thalia from evil Queen Neve.
: No spoilers.
Dad, we've read this, like, a hundred times.
That doesn't mean that the ending couldn't miraculously change.
UNA: Dr.
M'Benga stopped hiding today, just a little.
And for once, I did, too.
I told Captain Pike the truth about myself.
And he defended me.
Told me I was exemplary.
That he would fight for me.
So why do I feel terrible? What if I hadn't saved all those lives? Would the captain feel the same? What would he do if I wasn't a hero? One of the "good ones"? When will it be enough to just be an Illyrian? Computer.
Delete log entry.
COMPUTER: Log entry deleted.
M'BENGA: If King Ridley would seek out the Mercury Stone and win it as his own, his victory over Queen Neve would be assured.
It is said that in the right hands, the Mercury Stone has the power to cleanse the land of evil and bring prosperity to all.
But if it were to fall into the wrong hands, the Mercury Stone's power would bring about a terrible, long-lasting dark age across the land.

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