From Hidden Frontier
|Star Trek: Hidden Frontier episode|
The Excelsior chases a Grey battleship.
|Directed by||Anthony Diaz|
|Written by||Rob Caves|
|Produced by||Rob Caves|
|Cinematography by||Rob Caves|
|Editing by||Rob Caves|
|Production Code||HF 1.06|
|Original Air Date||April 29, 2001|
|Streaming Video Link||Link|
|Season 1 episodes|
|HF Season 1 Page|
The Grey are back, but the only one who can stop them may not be willing to help.
Leaf Peeping and Hostages Abound
The episode begins with Barrett entering a turbolift en route to the bridge. Rawlins, already there tells him that he's "babysitting" the ambassadorial delegations for Captain Knapp's monthly address. After a brief exchange regarding whether either Barrett or Knapp would take the address seriously, Rawlins notes that Knapp "gets a little punchy" at the end of the week. He then recounted a time, the previous April, that it took eleven takes for Knapp to get the address recorded correctly, forcing him to give the ambassadors all free holosuite passes, as they had stood in Knapp's ready room for three hours. Upon arriving at the bridge, Rawlins asks Barrett to join him in the conference room, as he's going to "do his thing". Barrett said that he'd seen it before, but Rawlins said he'd added a joke this time. Barrett reluctantly joins him.
Once in the conference room, Rawlins welcomes the ambassadors to the Excelsior and introduces himself as "nothing but a babysitter". Barrett, having seen Rawlins "do his thing" gave him a big thumbs-up...and then quickly exited stage right. Knapp enters the room, seeming to save Rawlins from further embarrassment. He then begins his address, tripping up over a line regarding "a celebration of leaf peeping" during the upcoming Tzenkethi Trade Festival. Rawlins mutters a line about needing more holosuite passes and thus invokes Knapp's ire.
Down in Engineering, Lefler is in a Jefferies Tube conducting repairs, with Lieutenant Witczak assisting. She comes out of the tube and Witczak indicates that Lefler looked "kinda pretty" when she's dirty. Lefler made fun of the bad pick-up line but appreciated the sentiment, again reminding him that he's not her type. The exchange is interrupted by Knapp calling red alert.
On the bridge, a Tzenkethi ship is approaching the station. Commander Shelby enters the bridge and asks for Knapp to catch her up to speed on the situation. Knapp tells Shelby that the ship claims to be holding a Federation citizen as a hostage and demanding access to Ba'ku. Once the Tzenkethi are on-screen, Lefler immediately recognizes the hostage as Wesley Crusher.
Knapp orders a quantum torpedo locked on the Tzenkethi ship, refusing to bow to terrorism. Shelby attempts to warn Knapp about Starfleet policy, but Knapp quickly cuts her off. Lefler reminds Knapp of the hostage's identity. The Tzenkethi refuse to give up their hostage after Knapp issues an ultimatum. He orders the torpedo fired. The Tzenkethi power up their engines in an attempt to evade the torpedo, but its guidance system has already locked onto it - the ship won't survive the impact. Rawlins announces that the Tzenkethi are surrendering. Martinez inquires as to whether he should abort the torpedo - Knapp responds in the negative. Shelby and Lefler both continue to plead with Knapp to abort the torpedo. He relents only at the last second, prompting Shelby to question Knapp's actions - he responds "that's what you get for missing staff meetings, Commander."
Knapp resumes communication with the Tzenkethi, telling them that the next torpedo will not have its safeties engaged and asking if "we're on the same page now." The Tzenkethi's only response is to lower its shields. Knapp orders the hostage beamed to sickbay. Once that is accomplished, the Tzenkethi attempt to leave. Knapp orders the ship held in a tractor beam and boarded.
Old Friends and "Old Friends"
Lefler heads to sickbay and is reunited with her old friend Wesley. Dr. Henglaar informs her that she'll have plenty of time to catch up with the former Ensign, as his internal injuries will take at least a week to heal. Lefler inquires about his whereabouts over the past few years. Wesley briefly recounted his time with the Traveler, having been to other galaxies and dimensions that Lefler "couldn't imagine." But he wasn't happy because he didn't feel human anymore, with the lack of limits and boundaries in his existence. The universe became uninteresting. He wanted to see it from a child's perspective once again. So he gave up the powers of the Traveler and settled on a remote planet in the Briar Patch where he had lived for the past three years, alone. He was happy there until the Tzenkethi found him, ransacked his home and took him prisoner, which led to his rescue by the Excelsior. Wesley mentioned missing human interactions the most and that he was happy to see Lefler again. Henglaar then released Wesley from sickbay, promising to make a house call the following day if he was lucky.
Later, in Ten Forward, Shelby, Witczak, Lefler and Wesley are playing poker, with Wesley regaling them with tales of his time spent with The Traveler. Witczak is clearly jealous of Wesley, who said he was thinking of rejoining Starfleet, with his time on the Enterprise-D being some of the best in his life. The game is interrupted by Knapp calling for all hands to prepare for immediate departure.
On the bridge, the Excelsior has been cleared for an emergency departure. Knapp is so anxious to get the ship underway that he orders Ensign McFarland to back the ship out of her slip prior to the moorings having retracted. Once Shelby arrives, Knapp informs her that a Tzenkethi colony, one light-year distant, is under attack by the Grey. Knapp reminds Shelby of their tactics and postulates that the Grey had completed their psionic attack and that they were likely in the process of removing the planet's population. Rawlins informs them that there are 12,500 colonists and that their defenses might have slowed the Grey down "a bit". The Excelsior screams away from Deep Space 12 at full impulse power. Lefler informs Knapp that warp power is available once they clear the Patch - Knapp announces his intent to the bridge crew to "see how fast this ship can go", noting that every second could mean another colonist saved.
Strategy and Tactics
En route to the edge of the Patch, Knapp asks Lefler for an update on their preparations to combat the Grey. Lefler reports that they've been working on a way to prevent the Grey's psionic attacks. When their shields are lowered, there is a 2.5-second window of opportunity to in initiate a neural destabilizer that would prevent the Grey from using their psionic powers. She also noted that Excelsior could not overpower the Grey ship - they could only save those colonists not already abducted. With the Patch finally behind them, Knapp orders the Excelsior to accelerate immediately to Warp 9 and to continue accelerating. Rawlins informs him that they had received another distress call from the colony and that Excelsior was still the closest ship. Lefler cleared the ship to accelerate to Warp 9.98, but Knapp inquired if they could go any faster.
In Engineering, Lefler asks Wesley to help by channeling his thoughts into the ship's engines. He refuses, suggesting that he'd never live a normal life again if he did. But he has another idea. Meanwhile, the Excelsior is still 23 minutes away from the colony at Warp 9.982 - the ship's maximum speed without risking a containment breach. Knapp orders the neural destabilizer readied once they enter orbit of the colony.
Wesley suggests introducing a hyperactive, destructive breed of nanites into the Grey ship, owing to its bio-mechanical armor. The Grey's systems would then go offline. Along with the neural destabilizer, the Grey would be rendered neutral, permitting the saving of all the colonists. Wesley gives Witczak the necessary information to begin replicating the nanites in Cargo Bay 12. Lefler agrees to the plan.
The Battle is Joined
The Excelsior finally enters orbit of the Tzenkethi colony, with a Grey battleship hanging over the planet. Rawlins reports that the Federation's Fifth Fleet is en route to their position, but will not be present for another seven hours. Knapp orders the ship into an attack posture and the neural destabilizer is readied. Lefler informs Knapp that their plan is ready to execute - they'll need 30 seconds to beam the nanites aboard the Grey battleship. As the '"Excelsior enters transporter range, Knapp orders the neural destabilizer activated. The Grey lose their psionic control over the colonists on the planet. In response, the Grey raise their shields and move off - the destabilizer was not the "knockout punch" the Excelsior crew had hoped for.
The Excelsior pursues and opens fire, damaging the Grey's shields. Ensign Ro notes that the theta-band holes in those shields that they had used before had been closed. The Grey begin heading towards the Patch, but Barrett informs Knapp that their shields won't last that long. Knapp tells Martinez to "remember the Katana when you fire those phasers...." The ships continue to exchange fire, each taking shield damage, but the Grey's shields are in worse shape, nearing collapse. In Cargo Bay 12, Wesley reminds Lefler that the nanites will take five minutes to do their work, after which they will shut down to avoid damaging the vessel. They both express their happiness at working with each other again.
After making a run at the Excelsior, the Grey's shields finally collapse. Knapp orders the nanites beamed aboard the battleship and for Barrett to find a way to beam the colonists off. The nanites are transported aboard, but the Excelsior continues to take a pounding from the Grey battleship. As her shields begin to falter, the Grey ship suddenly ceases fire. Martinez reports that their systems are going offline and their power levels are negligible. Barrett begins beaming the colonists aboard. Down in Cargo Bay 12, Witczak interrupts Wesley and Lefler in an intimate moment - he is clearly disappointed by this display of affection between the two and leaves quickly.
"Captain's Log, Stardate 54971.6: "We've begun the slow process of studying the Grey vessel."
The Fifth Fleet closely surrounds the Grey battleship. In Knapp's ready room, Shelby reports that the Ethereals aboard the battleship committed suicide once its power failed. Without their psionic control, the Grey are incapable of surviving. Wesley notes that they'll still be able to learn from the corpses left behind. Shelby then reports that Starfleet Intelligence has arrived to retrieve the battleship for study. The Excelsior is no longer needed on-station. Knapp orders the ship to get underway to DS12 after arranging for the colonists to be returned.
Knapp then asks after Wesley and his future plans. Wesley expresses a desire to remain on-board Excelsior in the Second Officer position. Knapp notes that Wesley was invaluable during their most recent crisis. Starfleet authorized Knapp to reinstate Wesley's commission as an Ensign, although the position requires at least a Lieutenant to serve in it. Knapp, in recognition of his service, grants Wesley a field promotion to Lieutenant and welcomes him as his new Second Officer. He then orders Wesley to "wipe that childish smirk" off his face - he's "got enough kids" on his ship. With the newest member of her crew in place, Excelsior warps off, back to Deep Space 12.
- Wesley Crusher, who appears in this episode, originally served as an acting Ensign on the Enterprise-D, then attended Starfleet Academy before joining the trans-dimensional being known as the Traveler.
- Rawlins: "Excuse me. Good morning. Welcome aboard the Excelsior. My name is Ensign Brad Rawlins. So for you folks, that means I'm nothing but a babysitter."
- Knapp: "Leaf peeping? Is that something we do now?"
- Shelby: "With all due respect, sir, what the hell are you doing?"
- Knapp: "That's what happens when you miss staff meetings, Commander."
- Wesley: "I've been to places you can't even begin to imagine: other galaxies; other dimensions... But I wasn't happy."
- Lefler: "Why not?"
- Wesley: "Because I wasn't human anymore. I was something else."
- This is the first, and so far only, appearance of Wesley Crusher on Hidden Frontier, although his presence was still felt. His departure to conduct quantum slipstream research was noted in HF 2.04 - "Great Starship Robbery" when Rawlins bet Ro a week on Risa that the research would go nowhere. His subsequent slipstream research is referenced briefly in ODY 1.01 - "Iliad".
|Hidden Frontier Universe Chronology|
|Special Makeup Effects||Russy Uyehara|
|Associate Producers||Jennifer Cole|
|Line Producers||Barbara Clifford|
|CGI Artist||Rob Caves|
with Lightwave 3D®
|CGI Model Makers||Rob Caves|
and various others
|Technical Consultants||Jon Carroll|
|Craft Services||Betty Bainton|