These are the voyages of the USS Burketown. Her mission: to discover strange new worlds, meet new civilisations and to carry out her Federation orders despite being cobbled together from two different vessels, having lost its Captain and being run by a skeleton crew.
Can two of the crew handle reliving their painful past?
“Gaze upon the Orb of the Prophets and behold their holy visions,” the Bajoran priest, Hiktok Mu, intoned. A wave of light engulfed Dr Lojika and 421 and they found themselves…
The Priest was gone. In his place stood another figure. It looked just like Captain Darcy, who was currently unconscious in a stasis pod on the USS Burketown. But when this Darcy spoke, 421 and Lojika knew that it was not their Captain, but something else in his form.
“What does the Lojika search for?” the Darcy figure asked.
Before Lojika could answer, the swirling mist that surrounded them began to coalesce. The air took near-solid form, and the trio of observers found themselves inside a Federation medical lab.
“It’s my first posting out of the Academy,” Lojika explained. Almost on cue, a ghostly, younger version of herself walked through the door to the medlab, talking to a senior medical officer. “My mentor,” Lojika explained.
Together, young Lojika and her mentor moved from bed to bed where Bajorans lay stricken. Occasionally, the Doctor would place a sheet over the face of a deceased patient.
The scene changed abruptly, showing Lojika’s mentor weeping, cradling a deceased Bajoran in her arms. 421 noticed that Lojika’s mentor had subtle nose-ridges herself, marking her as half-Bajoran. While her mentor wept, young Lojika averted her eyes.
“The plague swept through the Bajoran population of our station,” Lojika explained to 421.
“How did you stop it?” asked the furry purple engineer, and the group found themselves in the midst of another conversation.
“You’re half-Bajoran – you have no idea what this plague could do to you. You can’t risk infecting yourself!” young Lojika argued.
“The human part of my immune system might be the key to curing this disease,” the mentor explained, injecting a hypospray at her own neck, “and I won’t let any more of my people die!”
A series of images flashed before Lojika, 421 and Darcy. Lojika’s mentor in the throes of the plague, but still trying to synthesise a treatment from her own blood. More and more Bajoran bodies being carried away for burial. Lojika’s mentor’s face, scarred by the plague and tear-stained as the last Bajoran on the station died. The images faded into nothing but swirling mists.
“She was too emotional,” Lojika declared. “Since then I tried not to get attached to my patients. How could I help anyone if I was too attached?”
The Darcy figure simply turned away, and the scene changed again. The trio were now inside the engine room of the Bajoran shuttle they had seen a few hours earlier. Ghostlike versions of 421 and Hiktok Mu, the Bajoran priest entered, talking. In one of her eight limbs, the ghostly 421 was carrying a mechanical tool like none Lojika had ever seen.
“That repair tool is very unique,” the Priest was saying,” Where did you get it?”
“It was my father’s, and his father’s, and so on for many generations,” ghostly 421 explained, “The name in our language means The Spanner from the Sky”
“And have you ever deciphered the writing, there, along its length?”
“You mean those decorations?” 421 asked. “Is that a form of writing?”
“One with which I am intimately familiar. If I may?” Hiktok Mu took the spanner, examining it with his eyes wide. “It says ‘A mechanic of great skill will rise and bring peace to the galaxy’. How curious. May I borrow the spanner and try to translate more for you?”
“Sure, just bring it back when you’re done,” replied 421. The engineer returned to its duties repairing the priest’s ship while Hiktok Mu left the room with the spanner in hand.
“Is 421 the Great Mechanic?” asked the Darcy figure.
“There is no such thing as peace,” 421 replied, obviously saddened. “Wars do not end. I am probably the last of my species.”
Again, the Darcy figure turned, and the mists swirled and changed.
What other visions would the Orb of the Prophets show 421 and Dr Lojika? Would they dig up more memories of a painful past, or would they show something else? Find out next time!