From Hidden Frontier
| Star Trek: Hidden Frontier|
|Audio Play/Teleplay by|
Lieutenant Corey Aster and Ensign Andrew Barrett are temporarily reassigned to the USS Aldrin on a routine terraforming mission on the edges of the Briar Patch. But when they discover a mass grave of hundreds of Bajoran refugees, they must look for answers when the Cardassians are implicated in their deaths. Aster grows close to one of the Cardassian scientists, and comes into conflict with Ro Nevin, especially since his grandfather was one of the victims of the massacre.
"Personal Log, Lieutenant Corey Aster, Stardate 57425.1: Ensign Barrett and I are assisting the starship Aldrin on their terraforming mission near the Briar Patch."
On the bridge of the Aldrin, Lieutenant Aster compliments Captain Pamela Hardin on the thoroughness of her preparations. He clears her to commence isolytic scans of Radjic VI. Captain Hardin leaps up from her chair, exclaiming to the bridge crew that "the water's broke, so let's get busy and deliver this baby." She then looks longingly at the planet on the viewscreen, proclaiming that, as she had hoped, the planet was "perfect".
Hardin's reverie is broken by Aster asking her to look at an anomaly - a negligible energy surge detected just under the planet's surface. Hardin, perturbed, reminds Aster that particles of pre-animate matter are often found on Class L planets' biomatrices. Aster asks Hardin if it isn't odd that her "perfect" planet has just one minor blemish. Hardin, clearly becoming defensive, tells Aster that there is nothing alive on the planet - a difference that makes no difference is no difference. Aster reiterates that the isolytic scans revealed something not apparent before and he cannot simply ignore it. Hardin gives in, allowing Aster access to the ship's sensors, but asks that he be quick about it.
Aster asks Barrett to recalibrate the sensors. Barrett reports a low-power energy field - a deflector screen, integrated into the walls of a cavern just below the surface. Aster reports organic readings on the other side of the deflector, which catches Hardin's attention. When Hardin asks if there is life, Aster responds in the negative - they are organic remains, which he then identifies as humanoid. Barrett runs a DNA scan and states that they are Bajoran remains, nearly a thousand bodies of all types - men, women and children. He also reports major phaser burns throughout the cavern. Hardin is perplexed - what are Bajoran bodies doing here? Aster reminds Hardin that during the Cardassian occupation of Bajor, millions of Bajorans lived in refugee camps on planets throughout the sector. When Hardin reminds Aster that this planet was never capable of supporting life, Aster tells her that this cavern was never meant for the living - it is a mass grave.
Of Whitewashes and Delicate Relations
At Deep Space 12, Bajoran Minister Rozahn is shocked to learn about the mass grave discovered on Radjic VI. She tells Admiral Nechayev and Commodore Knapp that Bajor is in an uproar and everything they have accomplished in their protracted negotiations with the Cardassians is in peril. Nechayev attempts to assure the Minister that her Cardassian counterparts are just as alarmed at the development as she is. This revelation that does not comfort the skeptical Rozahn. Knapp then informs Rozahn that the Cardassian Central Command had informed Starfleet Command that they are sending a team of military scientists to Radjic VI to assist in the investigation. Rozahn suggests that this is a face-saving measure by the Cardassians, who she suggests were responsible for the slaughter.
Nechayev then informs the Minister that thanks to the work of Lieutenant Aster, they now had positive DNA identification on most Bajorans found on the planet. When Knapp asks who they were, Nechayev responds that they were refugees from the Cardassian occupation of Bajor some 35 years ago. One was a Bajoran of some note, Vedek Ro Danar, one of Bajor's greatest spiritual leaders. Rozahn notes that he defied the Caradassians for years, leading missions to refugee camps across the sector. He had disappeared without a trace - now it appears that the Cardassians murdered him. Knapp reacts strongly to this suggestion, assuring the Minister that they will get to the bottom of the situation and that Starfleet had already launched an investigation. Rozahn takes no comfort in this assurance, suggesting that the investigation has all of the makings of a whitewash. While there is no question of Starfleet's objectivity, she informs Knapp and Nechayev that the Bajoran Council of Ministers would prefer that a Bajoran participate in the investigation. When Knapp asks if she has anyone in mind, Rozahn tells them that a descendant of the Vedek's is serving aboard one of the ships at DS12.
Later, aboard the Excelsior, Ensign Ro Nevin meets with Commodore Knapp and Captain Shelby. Ro, having just been informed of the news, recounts that it had been assumed that he had been killed by the Cardassians. With this news, it appears that they were right. Knapp extends his condolences to Ro and then informs them both that he's been ordered to dispatch a starship to assist with the investigation. He then reminds them that this is a tense diplomatic situation, as the Cardassians have dispatched their own forensic team to Radjic VI to assist in the investigation. Shelby is surprised and Ro asks what the Cardassians could hope to accomplish. Knapp tells them of Minister Rozahn's assumption that the Cardassians are attempting to mitigate the blame being heaped upon them. He then tells them that the job of the investigation is to ensure that all of the facts get out. He then informs Captain Shelby that he'll be borrowing some of her personnel for a while longer, as he is dispatching the Antietam to oversee the investigation. He then turns to Ro and informs him that Rozahn has requested that he lead the Starfleet investigative team. Ro, having accepted his orders, is dismissed by Knapp. Once he leaves, he notes to Shelby that he is angry. Shelby concurs in this opinion. Knapp then reminds her that with the delicacy of relations between Cardassia and Bajor, everyone needs to be on their best behavior.
Above Radjic VI, a Cardassian Galor-class vessel approaches the Aldrin. Below the surface, Aster and Barrett are continuing their investigation. Captain Hardin hails the away team, informing them of the arrival and that the science team insists on beaming down immediately. Three Cardassians materialize in front of them - Gul Desset of the Cardassian Second Order, Glinn Betras and Science Officer Hanar. After introducing themselves, Betras voices her disdain at the fact that she is addressing junior officers. Desset then notes that their presence is awkward, but assures them that they are present to acknowledge whatever role the Cardassian military might have played in the events on Radjic VI. He then notes that the Cardassian Union is still recovering from the Dominion War and can ill-afford to antagonize anyone, especially Bajor. Desset then suggests that they get to work.
"Personal Log, Stardate 57457.6: Our joint investigation is well underway as we await the arrival of the Antietam from Deep Space 12."
In one of the Anitetam's science labs, Aster complements Hanar on his thoroughness. Hanar appreciates the compliment, but suggests that he isn't thorough enough. He notes that Radjic VI is a Class L planet that cannot support life, but that the cavern had a breathable atmosphere - they need to find out why. Aster suggests that Hanar won't give up until he finds all of the answers. When Hanar asks if Aster would give up, he notes that they have that in common. Hanar tells Aster that is not the only thing that they have in common. Aster then asks why Hanar considers the mission to be so important. Hanar notes that the Cardassians have a lot to answer for.
After Aster tells Hanar to call him by his first name, Hanar continues, telling him that he lost his entire family during the closing days of the Dominion War. Since then, he has asked himself why the Cardassians chose to ally themselves with the Dominion, causing the Federation, the Klingons, even the Bajorans to defeat them because of his people's wrong priorities. Corey tells Hanar that he, too, lost his family, to the Borg. Hanar tells Corey that he understands then, as the Cardassians cannot grow until they have faced their past and the consequences of their obsession with conquest. He suggests that this tragedy can help them do that. Corey, acknowledging this, tells Hanar that they have a lot of work yet to do.
Unease and the Nobility of Intent
The Antietam finally arrives at Radjic VI. In the Antietam's observation lounge, Aster presents the results of their investigation to date to Commander Darwin and Ensigns Barrett and Ro. Aster tells them that they have two questions to answer: what were the Bajorans doing on a lifeless planet and who killed them? Ro explodes at this second question, stating that it was the Cardassians, as they killed thousands of such refugees in the past. Darwin asks how cooperative the Cardassians had been thus far. Aster responds that they had been fully cooperative, calling out Hanar as a thorough investigator, a comment that makes Ro visibly upset. Darwin thanks Aster for his report and then tells them that they will reconvene the following morning in the transporter room. They will meet with the Cardassians aboard the Aldrin and Darwin will attempt to learn what he can from Gul Desset. Darwin then adjourns the meeting.
Barrett catches Ro before he leaves the observation lounge and asks if there is something wrong. Ro asks why his best friend (Barrett) and Aster are so "chummy" with the Cardassians. He then asks after Hanar. Barrett defends Hanar, noting that while he is the junior Cardassian officer on their team, he is also the hardest worker. Barrett then pauses and asks if he's jealous of Aster and Hanar. Ro states that he and Aster are just friends. His concern is Cardassia and their attempt to escape the accountability for the slaughter of nearly a thousand Bajoran men, women and children, including his great-grandfather. Obviously frustrated, Ro excuses himself, leaving Barrett to his thoughts.
The following morning in the Antietam 's mess, Ro is having a beverage at a table when Aster and Hanar approach, asking if they can join him. Ro, obviously upset, tells them to take the whole table, as he has suddenly lost his appetite. He leaves the mess and Aster follows him out, after telling Hanar to wait for him. When Aster approaches Ro in the corridor, Ro pelts him with questions about why Hanar is on the ship so early and if he spent the night. Aster tells him that they had been working late, running sensor readings through the Antietam's more extensive database. Ro quickly leaves, telling Aster that he will see him at the briefing.
Later, in a science lab, Commander Darwin approaches Gul Desset and asks him why he and his team are so anxious to participate in the investigation when they must know that the Cardassian Union will be blamed for this massacre. Desset responds that Cardassia has paid a dear price for its participation on the wrong sides in wars over the last century - their recovery, and hence their fate, are bound up with those of the Federation and Bajor. Hanar adds that their future demands that Cardassia take responsibility for their wrongdoing. Glinn Betras then interjects, noting that as the nobility of their intentions have been made clear, they need to complete surveys of the planet so that they may proceed to transport the remains of the refugees back to Bajor. Darwin agrees to this course of action.
Competence and Dedication
Later, at the gravesite, Hanar asks Barrett how long he's served with Aster. Barrett tells him that it's been about two years, since they investigated another doomed terraforming mission. Hanar then remarks that in the short time he's known Aster, he has come to admire his competence and dedication. Barrett tells Hanar that he's an excellent judge of character. He then notes that the shield generator protecting the site, aside from having had its power cells nearly drained, is still fully functional. As Barrett heads off to the beam-out site, Hanar scans the generator nearest them, then heads off after Barrett.
Meanwhile, Ro and Aster survey at another site. Ro reports small differences in the composition of the rock on the other side of the shield. Aster complements on his sensor specifications, as he never would have thought to examine the walls of the cavern in the manner they have been. Ro remarks that he will not let the Cardassians get away with what they did on the planet. Suddenly, he asks Aster if he's attracted to Hanar. Surprised, Aster tells him that he likes Hanar, admiring his passionate pursuit of the truth. He then reminds Ro of the uncertain nature of their own relationship. Hanar then approaches, reminding them that they are due back on the Antietam. Ro thanks him, then heads to the beam-out site, leaving Hanar and Aster to themselves.
Early the following morning, Ro calls Aster in his quarters, waking him and asking him to come to a transporter room in ten minutes. As Aster agrees and closes the channel, he turns to Hanar, also in his bed, and tells him that he has to go. Hanar asks him if he loves Ro. Aster deflects this question, telling Hanar that they'll talk in the morning. He then kisses Hanar and then gets into his uniform.
Minutes later, Ro and Aster have beamed down to the gravesite. Ro tells him that he has some sensor readings he wants Aster to look at, as their terraforming expert. After complaining about the being awoken, Ro tells Aster that he's spent the night recalibrating the sensors. Aster conducts a scan of the rock wall and notes the presence minutes amounts of protomatter suspended in the shield matrix. When Ro wonders what protomatter would be doing on Radjic VI, Aster tells him that it was a terraforming technology that was abandoned by most major powers nearly a century ago, owing to its unstable properties. Ro tells Aster that they were focusing so much on their geological analysis that he thought they should examine the deflector field protecting the cavern. Aster tells Ro that they never would have found this without him - had they discovered the gravesite a few weeks later, the deflector field's energy supply would have been depleted and the protomatter traces would have disappeared. Ro suggests that they examine the shield generator.
Deflecting the Truth
As Ro and Aster approach the shield generator, they find Hanar. They are both surprised - Ro becomes defensive and raises his phaser, asking what he's doing there. Hanar tells Nevin that he knows why he's there and that he is just as interested as Ro is in protecting his ancestor's good name. He then tells them that Gul Desset's statement about Cardassia and Bajor's fates are intertwined was the truth. The truth about Vedek Ro might doom that future. Nevin, raising his phaser again, figures that Hanar found something in the shield generator and demands his tricorder. Hanar hands it over to him, telling Ro that he decrypted a message from Vedek Ro. Taking the tricorder, he activates the code hidden in the generator, causing a ghostly image of Nevin's great-grandfather to appear and then begin to speak:
- "My name is Vedek Ro Danar. I am the last Bajoran alive on Radjic VI. This beautiful world once promised shelter to the refugees who discovered it by accident. It also sheltered some kind of terraforming research facility run by the Cardassians. I don't know what they were hiding here, but when I arrived, they captured me immediately. For years, the Cardassians had turned a blind eye to my missions of mercy. I had proved useful to them. But now the Bajorans who will share this mass grave with me have paid the price for my betrayal. I faced a difficult choice. Abandon so many of my people to despair and hunger or compromise those few who resisted the Cardassian occupation. With Federation forces advancing on this sector, the Cardassians here have worked to eliminate all traces of their research on this world. This world that only they and the Bajorans knew to be habitable, so they had to eliminate us as well. The Overseer ordered everyone killed. And I had to watch. He was amused by the notion of leaving me to die in some final terraforming experiment that would leave Radjic VI completely lifeless. A mute testament to what had once lived here and died. I am resigned to justice for my betrayal, but my countrymen deserve better. I pray that this deflector mechanism will shield this gravesite to be discovered some day in the future. May the Prophets forgive me for what I have done. I beg them to bring peace and freedom to Bajor once again."
Nevin is clearly shaken by the message and, at first, suggests that the message is a forgery. Hanar tells him that it doesn't matter - no one need know about the message, as it would harm the relations between Bajor and Cardassia. Nevin is surprised at the notion of a Cardassian saving his ancestor's good name in order to preserve those relations. Hanar tells him that some Cardassians have learned to value peace over conquest. He then suggests that Nevin join him in deleting the message from the shield generator for the good of both their peoples. Aster stops Nevin from assisting Hanar, telling them both that lasting peace cannot be built on a foundation of lies. He then asks for the tricorder. Hanar refuses, reasserting that Cardassia needs to accept responsibility for what occurred on Radjic VI and that their findings, sans the revelation about Vedek Ro, will lead both worlds towards reconciliation. Aster again asks for the tricorder, telling Hanar and Nevin that it is not their place to make this decision. Both Ro and Hanar argue that it is indeed their place. Aster, apologizing to both of them, asks for the tricorder once again. Hanar, telling Aster that he cares for him, refuses once again.
The First Duty
Realizing that additional incentive is required, Corey raises his phaser and asks for the tricorder a fourth time. Hanar asks why his duty is so important. He then realizes that Ro and Aster were unaware of the message encoded in the shield generator. As he asks them what their purpose for beaming down was, Aster is struck in the hand by a disruptor blast, causing him to scream in pain and fall to the ground. Glinn Betras appears and tells Ro to drop his phaser, which he does. Hanar asks what she is doing. Betras tells him that she is paying more attention than he is - their Starfleet colleagues have found something far more important than "the last words of a superstitious Bajoran cleric." Ro pieces things together, accusing Betras of knowing about the terraforming experiments on Radjic VI. Betras tells Ro that this does not involve Cardassia's past, but rather its future. With the devastation of the Dominion War, the future of Cardassia depends on new colonies providing resources. As Cardassia is too poor to conquer them, so they'll create them using the protomatter technology. Their discoveries on Radjic would alert the Federation before they were ready to resume their experiments.
Hanar tries to assure Ro that he knew nothing about this and that likely neither does the Cardassian Central Command. Betras silences Hanar, then moves the entire away team away from the shield generator. She sets it to overload, which would kill anyone remaining in the cavern along with destroying the evidence of protomatter contained in its matrix. Betras then tells Hanar that it is time to depart, but he refuses to take part in her plan. She calls him foolish and naive, noting that he came unarmed - he cannot stop her. She offers him one last chance - remain on the planet and die with his lover and a Bajoran or depart with her. Hanar refuses to join her again. Again calling him foolish and naive, she asks for the tricorder. As he moves to give it to her, Hanar attacks Betras. After a brief struggle, Betras manages to shoot Hanar in the chest with her disruptor. Using the diversion as cover, Ro picks up his phaser and shoots Betras, disabling her.
Aster goes to Hanar, cradling him while calling the Antietam for emergency transport. Ro shuts down the overload of the shield generator, then joins them. Hanar grabs Ro's hand and tells Ro to trust him - his people will change. Hanar then goes slack and Ro tells him that he has died. They are then beamed up to the Antietam.
Change of Heart
Later, after the Anitetam has returned to its berth at DS12, Aster, Ro and Gul Desset present the findings of their investigation to Admiral Nechayev and Minister Rozahn. Rozahn is outraged, accusing Cardassia of attempting to hide its guilt, what with slaughtered Bajorans and secret scientific experiments. Desset tells them that Glinn Betras will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of Cardassian law. He also expresses no interest in Rozahn's self-righteousness, as there is enough guilt to go around, considering Vedek Ro's complicity in the death of Bajorans. Rozahn suggests that their discussion is pointless and recommends that talks between Cardassia and Bajor be suspended. Nechayev notes that the incident on Radjic VI has clearly reopened old wounds. She would recommend that the Federation Council facilitate a cooling-off period between the two parties. Moved by the dispute, Ro asks Admiral Nechayev for permission to speak, which she grants.
Ro stands and tells everyone that they've all lost something on Radjic VI. The treasured memories, honor and respect that he had for his beloved ancestor have been lost, replaced by respect, admiration and trust in a Cardassian he thought he hated, Hanar, who sacrificed himself for peace between Cardassia and Bajor. He then tells them that as officers and diplomats, they will do what they think they must, and so will he. He will tell Bajorans and Cardassians alike that he has hope, that he believes in a future where both peoples will stand together in peace and trust. Those assembled are left to dwell on his words.
- The character of Minister Rozahn first appeared on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
- The references to the use of protomatter as a failed terraforming technology are an indirect reference to the Genesis Device from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.
- Captain Hardin: "The water's broke, so let's get busy and deliver this baby."
- This milestone episode featured the first homosexual kiss on Star Trek: Hidden Frontier.
- This episode also featured Rebecca Wood's first appearence as Glinn Betras. She would later reappear several times as this character, as well as President Vindenpawl of Vrijheid IV, and then as the new Commander Jenna McFarland in Season 7.
- The music for this episode was primary derived from the Star Trek: Nemesis soundtrack, composed by Jerry Goldsmith.
|Star Trek: Hidden Frontier Chronology|
|Star Trek: Hidden Frontier||Next Episode|
|Hidden Frontier Universe Chronology|
Cast and Crew
|Commodore Ian Quincy Knapp||David W. Dial|
|Captain Elizabeth Shelby||Risha Denney|
|Commander Tolian Naros||Larry LaVerne|
|Doctor Henglaar||John Whiting|
|Lieutenant Commander Robin Lefler||Joanne Busch|
|Lieutenant Matt McCabe||Wayne Webb|
|Counselor Myra Elbrey||Barbara Clifford|
|Ensign Ro Nevin||Arthur Bosserman|
|Lieutenant, junior grade Corey Aster||J.T. Tepnapa|
|Ensign Andrew Barrett||Tyler Bosserman|
|Glinn Betras||Rebecca Wood|
|Gul Desset||Ariel Vitali|
|Minister Rozhan||Taylor Dooley|
|Vedek Ro Danar||Travis Sentell|
|Admiral Alynna Nechayev||Reneé Huberstock|
|Captain Pamela Hardin||Erinrose Widner|
|Commander James Darwin||Cliff Gardner|
|Background Performers||Quinn Promarug|
|Executive Producer||Rob Caves|
|First Assistant Director||Quinn Promarug|
|Second Assistant Director||J.T. Tepnapa|
|Tape Operators||Quinn Promarug|
|Additional Wardrobe||Risha Denney|
|Story Consultant||Mike Urvand|
|Technical Consultant||Jonathan Foertsch|
|CGI Artist||Rob Caves|
with Lightwave 3D®
|CGI Model Makers||Rob Caves|
and various others
|Craft Services||Betty Bainton|