From Hidden Frontier
|Star Trek: Hidden Frontier episode|
|Directed by||Jennifer Cole|
and Jennifer Cole
|Produced by||Rob Caves|
|Cinematography by||Rob Caves|
|Editing by||Rob Caves|
|Production Code||HF 3.03|
|Original Air Date||2002|
|Streaming Video Link||Link|
Jennifer Cole as Commodore Jennifer Cole
|Season 3 episodes|
|HF Season 3 Page|
The Independence becomes entangled in a cat-and-mouse game that leads them to ancient archaeological artifacts indigenous to the Briar Patch. Meanwhile, Commodore Knapp and Traya spend some quality time together on a shuttlecraft. Back on Deep Space 12, meanwhile, Lieutenant Commander Lefler is haunted by her capture by Sha'kev the previous year - the nightmare worsens when Sha'kev sends her a cryptic message of his imminent return.
Lull in Activity
"Station Log, Stardate 56354.7: Life is beginning to return to normal after our recent encounter with the Grey. I've decided to use the lull in activity to spend some time with my daughter."
Commodore Knapp is onboard the Independence, chatting with Commodore Cole in her ready room. Cole tells Knapp that repairs to the Independence from their most recent encounter with the Grey are almost complete. The Saratoga took the most damage, with the fleet having played cat-and-mouse with Grey fighters for several days before they finally gained the upper hand. Knapp asks Cole if she knew Commodore Terry - she didn't know him well, but she notes that his sacrifice probably saved them all. She then expresses concern about how she's going to break the news of the death of Lieutenant Commander Jason Munoz to Commodore Willcocks and the crew of the Angeles, which was Munoz's previous posting. She notes that Munoz never knew when to quit and that she's going to miss him.
Knapp then says that he understands that the Independence was taking up the slack in supply shipments. Cole indicates that this is indeed the case and that they're scheduled to depart for Starbase 153 in the morning whether their repairs are completed or not. Knapp tells her that he's planning on taking Traya to Browder IV for some R&R, figuring that the alpine resort and fresh air there would do them both some good. He suggests that Browder IV isn't that far from the Independence 's course, but Cole corrects him, noting that it's three light years from their course. She can take Knapp as far as Sector 415, but he'll be on his own in a shuttlecraft from there. Knapp figured it was worth a try. Cole then reminds him that they shove off at 05:30 the next morning and to not "miss the boat".
Onboard Excelsior, Chief Engineer Lefler receives some reports from Lieutenant Luko. A tired Lefler notes that repairs are coming along slowly, as she's having to attend of all the "little details", which she normally would delegate to Toby Witczak so she could focus on the bigger problems. When Luko asks her what he can do to help, she asks him to help find her a new Assistant Chief Engineer. Luko then reminds Lefler that he spent time in engineering during his time on Voyager. Taking him up on his offer, she sends him off to repair the port-side plasma injectors.
The following morning, Commodore Cole welcomes Commodore Knapp and Traya on the bridge of the Independence. She orders Ensign Abney to pilot the ship out of her slip at Deep Space 12. Commander Johns then orders him to set a course for open space and then to set course for the Browder system once they've cleared the Briar Patch.
Later, back on Excelsior, Luko has finished his assignment. He asks for more work, but Lefler is tired and is turning in. She thanks Luko for his help today. Luko offers to take her to Ten Forward for a meal, but Lefler begs off, being too tired to eat. Luko then offers his assistance again tomorrow, as Security is pretty light. Back in her quarters, Lefler replicates a cup of hot chicken noodle soup. The door then chimes - she gladly receives a delivery of flowers from one of the floral shops on the station. There's a chip included in the flowers, which she then displays using her tricorder. The image is that of Sha'kev. He hopes that she's not forgotten about him and suggests that she'll have the "pleasure" of his company very soon, suggesting that she keep a good lookout for him. Lefler is obviously scared by this message, dropping the flowers just before the Andorian's image fades from view.
Pirates, Real and Imagined
As the Independence speeds towards its destination, Commodore Cole reminds Ensigns Abney and Sytac that they'll be taking on hazardous cargo, including extra antimatter containers, for their return trip to DS12. Abney promises to not "hit any potholes" which confuses the ever-logical Sytac. Upon arriving at the bridge, Commander Johns advises Cole that the cargo bays are ready. Abney then reports that the Independence is approaching their drop-off point. Cole goes to inform Knapp herself, leaving Johns in command of the bridge.
Captain Shelby and Lefler meet in Luko's quarters. Luko questioned the owner of the flower shop for over two hours - he was unable to determine who paid for the flowers, but assumes that it must have been one of Sha'kev's associates. Shelby then tells Lefler that there have been rumors that the Tzenkethi and the Orion Syndicate have apparently been cooperating on a number of ventures. Lefler angrily responds that all of this information is "interesting" but wonders what she is supposed to do about this "madman who keeps sending me flowers". Luko tells Lefler that Starfleet Intelligence had been unsuccessful in tracking Sha'kev down since having been captured last year (referring to the events of HF 2.04 - "Great Starship Robbery") but that they're doing the best they can. Luko and Shelby then try to comfort Lefler by telling her that there's no safer place in the entire Federation to be than the Excelsior. Lefler, however, is not comforted, wondering what happens the next time she goes on an away mission - and that she can't even go on vacation without watching her back. Luko promises her that they will find Sha'kev.
Meanwhile, Knapp's shuttlecraft heads towards Browder IV. Inside, Ian tries to get Traya to talk to him, as they have another five hours ahead of them. Knapp notes that it has been a "rough couple of months" with his encounter with the Grey and his promotion. Traya wonders why he's making such a big deal about what he's done - everyone considers him to be a hero, including Traya, albeit in a grudging admission. She then notes that Aris sacrificed himself so that Knapp could return to her, to give her something he could never have. They both come to an agreement that Aris, too, is a hero. Their discussion is interrupted by a subspace communication from Commodore Cole - Tzenkethi pirates have raided the Browder system, their destination. She asks them to hold position until they can be retrieved by the Independence. This leads Knapp to ask an exasperated Traya what else she'd like to talk about - they will be there for a while longer.
The Independence fires torpedoes at a speeding Tzenkethi vessel in the Browder system. Lieutenant McCabe reports that the vessel is heading towards the Briar Patch. Cole orders full impulse power in an attempt to cutoff the pirate vessel before they lose it in the Patch. The pirate returns fire, albeit to no effect. Cole hails the vessel and orders them to stand to and prepare to be boarded. The pirate responds by sending a copy of the Khitomer Accords, requesting intervention by a neutral party. Cole refuses to be distracted and orders the ship be tractored. Sytac reports that the Independence is not close enough and that with the pirate ship's shields up, she cannot guarantee a tractor lock. Cole orders Abney to close with the pirate. Commander Johns then tells Cole that they're receiving a distress call from the transport Redlands - they are under attack from two Tzenkethi ships. WIth the ship they're pursuing about to enter the Patch, the Independence changes course for the Redlands, accelerating to maximum warp.
While in engineering, Lefler sees Sha'kev, dressed in a Starfleet uniform, coming up to her with a PADD - she awakes from her nightmare, startled. Later, in Counselor Elbrey's office, Lefler is told that she's giving Sha'kev exactly what he wants - the ability to disrupt her life whenever he chooses. When Lefler asks if she's supposed to just go on as if he doesn't exist, Elbrey says that she should, to the best of her ability. Elbrey tells her that people like Sha'kev thrive on fear and allowing his terrorizing her to affect her like this, he can keep control of Lefler indefinitely. Lefler tells Elbrey that she can't block him out - every time she goes to sleep, he's there. Lefler doesn't feel safe any more, not even on Excelsior. Elbrey apologizes, as she really can't help with that. She suggests that she keep trying to let go of the situation and move on. Lefler, having no other recourse, leaves Elbrey to her thoughts.
Later, in Cole's office, Commander Johns tells the Commodore that, once again, the Tzenkethi government is denying any involvement in the pirate attacks. Cole notes that this is not surprising, but they're not doing much to prevent the attacks, either. They both agree that they've done this before and that the diplomatic channels aren't creating any positive movement. Cole notes that as long as the Tzenkethi government leaves their people in poverty, the attacks will continue. Johns then suggests that they detect weakness in the Federation owing to the recent attacks of the Grey. Cole empathizes with their desperation and wishes someone would do something so that more innocent people aren't killed. She then asks about Commodore Knapp's shuttle. Commander Johns notes that they're out of communications range and they'd be foolish to use subspace while there are Tzenkethi ships about. Cole notes that they have at least two more days before proper relief, two heavy cruisers, arrive in the Browder system.
Meanwhile, on their shuttle, Knapp is complaining about Commodore Cole being late and not being able to contact her. Traya reminds him that they're out of range. Knapp rules out sending a subspace message, as they are too close to the Tzenkethi border. Ian and Traya then get into a discussion about how she knows all about communications and engineering and how her childhood had been stolen away from her by the Orion Syndicate.
Sytac joins McCabe in one of the Independence 's science labs. McCabe has been going over the Redlands' distress call, suggesting that something wasn't right, as the expected position of the ship and the signal's degradation don't add up. He feels the signal may not be genuine. When McCabe notes that he's pursuing a "gut feeling", Sytac questions whether he's simply having an emotional response to the Tzenkethi's escape. McCabe notes that he wanted Sytac's logical view on the matter before taking it to Cole. The computer then finishes its analysis. Sytac notes that the signal was strong and used an older Federation frequency. McCabe continues, suggesting that the signal did not come from the Redlands at all, as it had to have been boosted.
McCabe meets with Cole in the conference room, telling her that he spotted an alien subspace relay on the Redlands' flight path. Commander Johns notes that the Redlands had not been spotted on sensors. Cole orders him to break radio silence and contact the Redlands directly. While Sytac finishes triangulating the signal's origin in the science lab, McCabe tells Cole that the signal may have been sent from the ship that sent the fake distress call - Cole had previously noted that the Tzenkethi are spread thin in the region. Sytac then informs them that the likely location of the signal was from the Ishmar system, .7 light years distant. Cole orders the ship to that system at maximum warp.
As the Independence enters the Ishmar system, Commander Johns takes the ship to red alert. McCabe reports a single Ferengi cargo ship orbiting the fifth planet. Sensor scans indicate heavy damage and five life-signs aboard. Cole hails the vessel and offers assistance. The captain of the freighter tells her that they're fine but the ship is damaged. When Cole presses, he indicates that the Tzenkethi took their cargo, which they want back and that they haven't been back for long. Cole orders them beamed aboard and placed in secure quarters, just in case. Sytac reports that she has found the Tzenkethi's ion trail. Cole orders a pursuit course.
The Independence begins to overtake the Tzenkethi vessel, firing a photon torpedo as a warning shot. The Tzenkethi vessel hails them - the captain, a human is indignant, claiming that he's done nothing wrong. Cole tells him of the Ferengi ship and the false distress signal, which originated on an Orion Syndicate frequency. She then asks him about possibly being affiliated with the Orion Syndicate. He claims that he's working as a freelancer for the Tzenkethi and that Cole should disengage immediately. Cole tells him that they can either do this "the hard way" or he can beam aboard. The captain cuts off communication and fires a volley of torpedoes. Cole orders that the ship's engines and weapons be disabled. Both ships drop out of warp. The Tzenkethi fires phasers, striking the Independence 's starboard shields. The Independence returns fire, taking out the smaller ship's shields. Cole orders the crew beamed into the brig and a boarding party assembled to search the vessel.
Degrees of Severity
The captain of the Tzenkethi vessel is brought into the conference room under armed guard. Cole welcomes him as "Mr. Mason", although she questions if that's really his name. Mason says she won't get anything from him. Commander Johns then enters, bringing two items with him - they cannot be opened, but scans suggest that they contain archaeological remains. Cole wonders why Mason left a hold full of Romulan Ale behind and only took the two artifacts. She then notes that Mason is a known operative of the Orion Syndicate, implicated in the capture of three Starfleet officers and the death of one of those officers. She also notes that he has a wife and child on Malaina IV and asks if he really wants to spend the rest of his life on a penal colony. Mason responds that this would be preferable to death, which is what he would suffer should he cooperate in answering her questions.
Cole then decides to ratchet up the pressure. She reminds Mason that Sytac is a Vulcan - she then asks if he's familiar with the forced Vulcan mind meld, noting that it can be quite painful. Mason blanches. Cole continues, suggesting that if he answers her questions, that's all he'll have to answer for - if they have to perform the mind meld, it will be much more painful. Mason reminds Cole that this would be against every ethics rule in the book. Commander Johns then remarks that rules can be bent. McCabe offers to hold Mason down. Cole declines the offer, noting that they'll get more information from him if he's unconscious in sickbay. McCabe moves to take him there.
Mason finally relents after struggling against McCabe briefly. He claims not to know anything except that the artifacts have something to do with the Grey. The two they have aren't enough - they need to find the others. The Ferengi had retrieved the artifacts for him and his employer, a "very powerful man" Mason suggests Cole not get to know, but that the Ferengi then turned around and offered up the artifacts to the highest bidder. When Cole tells Mason that she'll be waiting for his employer when he comes for his artifacts, Mason tells her that he pities her. Cole orders him taken to the brig. Johns then asks Cole if she was really going to go through with the forced mind meld. Cole responds that the nice thing about being captain is, some things can be kept to yourself.
Meanwhile, on the shuttle, Traya thanks Knapp for "everything" - rescuing her, saving the station ad for being there for her. Knapp responds that he's just doing his job. Traya then says that being a villain is easy but being a hero takes work. When he asks her how he's doing, she says that he works a lot, but that it's OK. As they share an embrace, the Independence hails, telling them to prepare for docking.
New Assignments and A Signal
"Captain's Log, Stardate 56429.1: Mr. Mason has been turned over to Starfleet Intelligence. Hopefully, they can get more out him than we could. Our efforts to analyze the artifacts continue."
Cole tells Knapp that the Independence should rendezvous with the Antietam in about twelve hours to return him and Traya to the station - the Independence should be back within a week. Knapp hopes that with the Grey threat subdued for the moment, they'll be able to focus on humanitarian projects, like aiding the Tzenkethi. Cole suggests that they need more than "a few blankets and a hot meal." Knapp says that something needs to be done to keep the Tzenkethi from continuing their raids. Cole agrees, but notes that when there is such a large gap between the ruling class and the starving underclass, there will always be a problem. Knapp agrees. He then gives Cole a new mission. Knapp orders her, upon her return to DS12, to travel to the Tzenkethi home world and secure talks with their leaders to help them see the Federation's point of view.
Cole is amused that Knapp would give her orders. Knapp considers it a favor for Cole to hear it from him as opposed to Admiral Nechayev. Cole notes that the assignment sounds interesting and that she'll do it. She then remarks that Nechayev isn't "as bad as she used to be." Knapp agrees, remarking that being on the front lines was the best thing to happen to Nechayev. Cole then asks after Traya and Knapp wonders if he's bothering her. Cole remarks that Knapp is only bothering her in the ways she likes to be bothered. Knapp responds that Cole is sounding like Captain Janeway. Cole corrects him, noting Janeway's recent promotion to Rear Admiral. Knapp is surprised at the news, noting that Janeway had beat them both to the rank. Cole notes that Starfleet gave her a "desk job", where she "can't do any more harm", heading the Department of Temporal Investigations. Knapp finds this amusing, noting that Starfleet Command does indeed have a sense of humor. They then exchange their farewells.
Later, on Excelsior, Lefler stops by Captain Shelby's quarters. Lefler notes that she's been a bit tired out after her experiences of the past few days. Shelby then invites her to dinner - a cup of chicken noodle soup for each of them. Lefler thanks Shelby, calling her "Eppy", a nickname Shelby's not been called in a while. Lefler then thinks back to their time on the Excalibur, noting that things seemed much simpler then, then questioning this. Shelby responds that she doesn't know if those times were simpler - they had their challenges that they always managed to get through, just as on Excelsior. Lefler agrees. Shelby continues, suggesting that we each change into a different person every second of every day. The important thing is to live every moment, something Sha'kev can't take from her. Lefler says she won't let him do that.
Meanwhile, on the Independence, McCabe and Sytac continue their analysis of the artifacts. Nothing they have can get a clean scan. McCabe notes that they are as elusive as the Tetrahedrons previously encountered by the Excelsior in that regard. Sytac notes that there are strange energy fluctuations, but nothing she can pinpoint. Just then, McCabe reads a tachyon spike. At that same moment, light-years away on Norpin IV, Tolian Naros is interrupted from the reverie of his garden. He simply looks up to the sky and nods.
- This episode introduces the character of Ensign Sytac, who served as the basis of future character Ensign S'Tal.
- The situation where the Independence pursues a Tzenkethi warship near the Briar Patch, is sent a copy of the Khitomer Accords and breaks off pursuit to respond to another distress call (in this case, from the USS Redlands), is reminiscent of (and refers back to, through the use of repurposed special effects footage) the first scene of the first episode of Voyages of the USS Angeles, "Return to Duty" (ANG 1.01)
- Cole: (regarding antimatter storage) "I want to do this safely and by the book."
- Sytac: "Of course, captain."
- Abney: "I'll try not to hit any potholes, ma'am."
- Sytac: "Potholes?"
- Cole: "Never mind."
- Johns: (regarding a forced mind-meld) "You weren't really going to, er..."
- Cole: "That's the nice thing about being captain - some things you can keep to yourself."
- This episode marks the first appearences in Star Trek: Hidden Frontier of future Excelsior officers Matt McCabe and Tolian Naros.
- Commnader Johns' goatee appears and disappears throughout his appearances in this episode.
|Hidden Frontier Universe Chronology|
"Worst Fears, Part 3"
"In Memory Of"
|Assistant Director||Quinn Promarug|
|Guest Makeup Artist||Glenn Barkan|
|Special Props||Bart Gold|
|Support Services||Adam Tindall|
|Tape Operators||Gary Barrett|
|Boom Operators||Gary Barrett|
|Costume, Makeup and Props||Barbara Clifford|
|Story Consultant||Dan Crout|
|Technical Consultants||John Whiting|
|CGI Artist||Rob Caves|
with Lightwave 3D®
|CGI Model Makers||Rob Caves|
and various others
|Craft Services||Betty Bainton|