ZAKDORN IV – After responding to a distress call on Zakdorn IV, the USS Darwin-A has discovered that the situation is not what it seems.
In orbit around Zakdorn, the USS Darwin, NCC 99312-A is providing assistance to a remote factory complex ravaged by explosions and fouled by an insidious toxin, with an away team led by LtCmdrs. Maxwell Traenor and Rendal Rennyn.
Meanwhile, a menacing ship of unknown origin appears in orbit. When Capt. Renos attempts contact with them, he is rudely greeted by a commanding officer named Tor’kath, using the alias of Raikenoff, who demands the immediate return of the shuttle. Electing not to comply, the crew of the Darwin find themselves in a firefight with a vessel that outclasses them tactically.
One intruder manages to corner and threaten LtCmdr. Luna Walker, before executing a daring plan: blowing out a section of the Darwin’s hull, and the two escape into the vacuum of space.
Though having firepower superiority, Tor’kath’s ship is stymied by the piloting efforts of HCO officer Ens. Raakel Ells and the tactical skills of CPO Michael Jellico. Once the Zakdorn orbital defense satellites come into play, Tor’kath feigns damage so as to draw the Darwin away from Zakdorn; before pummeling them and knocking down their shields. With that accomplished, Tor’kath beams away the shuttle and the escaped operatives. He also kidnaps Captain Renos in retaliation.
At the factory complex, Rennyn’s group follows an insistent factory supervisor named Eleene Mornay, deeper into the rubble; and Traenor’s group finds a pregnant victim trapped underneath some debris. Her condition is too delicate for transport, so Manuis and Cook decide to operate on site. Meanwhile, Mornay leads the others to a control room where she manually shuts down some malfunctioning equipment. At this location, Rennyn spies an undetonated bomb, which contains a vial of the toxin that is plaguing the disaster zone. Mpeba disarms the bomb, but there is a tense confrontation with Mornay before the Zakdorn succumbs to the airborne toxin.
On the enemy warship, Tor’kath tortures a bound Renos in order to extract information from him. He is hoping to discover what, if anything, the Darwin knows about the reason for their presence at Zakdorn. Meanwhile, with the Darwin’s front shields inoperative and at heavy risk of further damage by the enemy ship, Thomas makes the decision to move all crew out of the sphere section to the safety of the drive section. There, he establishes command functions in Main Engineering. Once relocated, he recalls the Away teams from the surface and canvasses the senior staff for option in rescuing Renos.
With a plan set in place, Thomas leads the crew of the Darwin to get their Captain back. Feigning a damaged status the Darwin falls into a decaying orbit and successfully lures the enemy warship into a vulnerable position. With the help of the Zakdorn defence satellites and some quick firing shots from the Darwin, the Captain is beamed out as the Darwin passes over the hull. Seconds later the Darwin is at high warp with their Captain in a critical condition. With Admiral Kwiecinski leaving Kael to Captain the Darwin in Renos’ absence, the crew is left wondering how long this will last for.
Upon being advised of the withdrawal of the Darwin crew, Zakdorn Regional Supervisor Aleron Surani thanked the crew.
“The disaster site is nearly under control. We need a breakthrough on treating the toxin, but for now, we’re doing as much as we can,” he said. “If you need to recall your teams from the surface to help you, we can manage down here without them. Best of luck to all of you. And to your captain.”