Back at DS-285 for resupply, the crew of the USS Discovery gets some much needed down-time while the crew of the USS Valiant finds a stasis pod on Goma VI, a desolate moon off the main trade routes. The pod, containing an escaped prisoner known only as Zero, is brought on board and investigation leads to a shocking discovery. The pod was not only deliberately left on a dead moon by Captain Tyr Waltas of the USS Discovery but measures were taken to prevent its accidental discovery. The prisoner, who is catatonic, undergoes a medical evaluation. During that evaluation its determined that the prisoner, a shapeshifter, can adapt and change at the cellular level.
Captain Waltas is confronted about his actions and becomes argumentative and defensive. As Starfleet resources have been stretched then dealing with the ships rescued from the Dyson Sphere, the USS Discovery is ordered to investigate the disappearance of the USS Achilles. The Achilles had been sent to investigate a plague and has gone silent. Because Zero’s unique physiology might be the only way to save billions of lives, Captain Waltas is ordered to take the prisoner on board — along with a JAG Officer, Cmdr. Dylan Hawke, who will oversee Zero’s safety and investigate Captain Waltas’s and the crew’s actions in Zero’s highly unorthodox imprisonment.