Initial attempts to track the abductors were met with a string of weird and hazardous malfunctions. While LtCmdr. Cain contacted Starfleet HQ, CEO Rahman worked to overcome the malfunctions. After one of Rahman’s engineers suffered an injury, the source of the malfunctions was discovered to be an artificial entity that had spread itself through the ship’s computer network, making use of the Mercury’s holographic emitters to interact with the crew. The entity seemed to want to learn from the crew.
After the malfunctions ceased, the crew traced the abductors to Vador III. An explosive device detonated inside main engineering just after the Mercury entered the Vador system. The device, which was strapped to the warp core, did substantial damage and inflicted heavy casualties. A second device was safely removed without causing further damage. The culprit is yet to be identified. Acting CO Cain sent acting XO Wulfantine on the rescue mission using shuttlecraft while the remaining Mercury crew completed emergency repairs and anticipated a Klingon attack.
Meanwhile, beneath Vador III, Kells, Prianna, and the rest found themselves with no hope of escape until Captain Quinn Reynolds appeared outside their cells undercover in the facility. The group, upon discovering from Prianna’s the planet’s inhospitable surface and its history as a secret Cardassian installation, headed deeper underground, searching for the facility’s controls and, hopefully, a way out.