Star Trek: Normandy

Episode 4 - Encroachment

Stardate 58295.4

While the Normandy was running an emergency delivery to plague-stricken Corada V, Commander S’Vok and Dr. Williams were sent to the hot, humid jungle world of Indra III to investigate an automated distress call from the Starfleet frontier xenobiology lab Echo 7. They found the base overrun by vines, so they used a wide angle phaser blast from their shuttle to clear a landing site. They found the power disabled, so they investigated the shield and power generation shed. They found a technician dead and dessicated, with blood red flowers growing out of his flesh. The shield generator had been damaged by organic acid, which Dr. Williams determined had come from a carnivorous plant, one of which they found trapped in the reactor room. After neutralizing it and restoring power, they proceeded to Ops. On the way they found the vines regrowing around the shuttle, so they sent it into orbit to keep it safe. The Ops building had become overrun by another strange plant form, one which lived symbiotically with a dangerous necrotic mold and exuded sticky webbing to trap prey. By clearing out a corridor with their phasers and patching in to the ODN lines, they determined that the plant attacks began after the base brought a new tetryon-based scanning technology online to parse the various intense and vibrant life signs on the planet. Dr. Williams also was able to determine that these various dangerous plant forms shared a genetic heritage, as if they were castes of a single species. Security footage showed a massive attack by spider-like clusters of wickedly thorned vines, which shredded the personnel on base and excreted seeds into the scraps to procreate. They also discovered that the base’s commander, Commander Charon Dekchardt, had left the base to determine the source of the attacks and wasn’t seen again. An examination of the crew quarters showed many more bodies, and the infirmary was full of bloodflower patients, as well as one traumatized EMH. The lab included various samples in stasis of local life, including bloodflowers and the insect that propagated them. The two of them also discovered a comm badge signal from several kilometers away in the jungle, which appeared to come from Deckhardt. They used the shuttles transporters to execute a site-to-site transport to her location, and found her kneeling before a huge stalk emitting pollen with organs that sense and emit pollen extruding from her mouth. Williams determined that these organs, symbiotically insinuated into her nervous system, were the result of a spore infection. They beamed her to the biolab into a stasis tube, and then themselves up to the shuttle. They quickly realized as they analyzed the data that a special moss, sharing the same genetic link to the other plant castes, was dissolving the computer core and causing general malfunction. Decompression only slowed the moss’s progress, so S’Vok tried to beam it out, accidentally taking computer components with them. They manually piloted the shuttle out of the planet’s gravity and signaled to the Normandy. She arrived some days later and rescued her officers. Williams had Ylea beam Deckhardt to sickbay, and after briefing the Captain he ordered her to perform a controlled mind meld. The organs Deckhardt had implanted inside her were a means of communication with “the Mother,” the core of the plant species that had overrun the base. The Mother had already taken and reformed several of the human staff aboard the base, saving their neural clusters to assist her in translating humanoid language and comprehending the knowledge stored in the base computers. In horror, S’Vok recommended the annihilation of the life form, and Dr. Williams suggested at least euthanizing the once-human members. To that end, he configured the deflector dish to irradiate and kill the former humans, and did so.

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