On the bridge of the Andorian warship Kumari, Commander Shran crawls out from under the wreckage of his damaged ship which has been attacked by a Tellarite vessel. The computer announces a warp containment breach in two minutes, leaving Shran no other choice but to order the crew to abandon ship, vowing to make the Tellarites pay for the loss of Kumari.
In Captain Archer’s ready room aboard Enterprise, Archer and Hoshi are violently arguing. It is in fact a preparation for the Tellarite’s ambassador’s arrival. Enterprise will transport the ambassador to a planet called Babel, to settle a trade dispute between the Tellarites and the Andorians. Hoshi and Archer discuss the Tellarites’ frequent arguing and Sato tells the captain to keep Porthos out of sight during their stay, as they consider canine a delicacy.
I was wondering what was going on for a moment there !
While Archer and Trip Tucker walk through a corridor, Tucker tells the captain that the engineering staff are busy trying to finish a mud bath which the Tellarites requested. Archer explains that Babel is on the far side of Andorian space, and they won’t allow a Tellarite ship to pass through their territory. Archer reminds Tucker that the conference is urgent – if it fails, it may ultimately mean war between Andor and Tellar.
Tucker is not too keen on diplomatic missions
Meanwhile, a shuttlepod docks with Enterprise, carrying the Tellarite delegation. Archer, T’Pol, Tucker, Sato and a group of MACOs arrive to greet the Tellarite delegation. Archer immediately engages in insulting the Tellarites, which the ambassador seems to find amusing.
Ambasador Gral : I find [Enterprise] small and inimpressive Captain Archer : Funny, I was about to say the same thing about you.
In Enterprise’s mess hall, Archer speaks harshly to Trip, who is a bit taken aback, but then realises the captain is practicing his Tellarite. Archer then tells Ambassador Gral that they have just entered Andorian space. Gral recalls the last time he was in the Andorian territory, on the command deck of a Tellarite cruiser. He asks why his race should trust Starfleet to settle the dispute between the Andorians and Tellarites, when the Andorians helped save Earth from the Xindi. Archer reassures Gral that Starfleet’s intention is to establish peaceful relations between the two species. When Gral argues that Humans have no experience in interstellar affairs, Archer reminds Gral that the Tellarites’ options are limited.
Again, I was not expecting the exchange between Archer and Trip.
On the bridge, Hoshi reports that Enterprise has received an Andorian distress call. Travis notifies Archer that there are no other Andorian ships within range, and that it would take Enterprise two hours to intercept the Andorian ship. Archer orders Mayweather to change course.
Enterprise arrives at the source of the distress call. Judging by the debris pattern left by the Andorian vessel, Malcolm determines that the vessel’s reactor breached. T’Pol detects large amounts of duranium alloy and concludes that the ship was probably an Andorian combat vessel. Malcolm detects multiple bio-signs aboard escape pods, and Archer orders that they are brought into Enterprise’s launch bay.
In sickbay, Phlox is attending to Lieutenant Talas’ injuries when Archer and T’Pol enter. Archer tells Shran that nineteen of his crew were brought aboard, to which the Andorian commander responds that the complement of the Kumari was eighty-six. Shran also tells Archer that he believes they were attacked by Tellarites. The Kumari was escorting the Andorian ambassador’s ship to Babel when they were both attacked. The ambassador’s vessel was instantly destroyed and the Kumari shortly after that. Shran was surprised at the attacking vessel’s maneuverability. He suspects that the Tellarites have been improving their warships and suggests that Enterprise scan for the Kumari’s data recorder. When Archer tells Shran that a Tellarite delegation is aboard Enterprise, the Andorian immediately becomes agitated. Archer reminds Shran that he’s on board his ship. The Andorian commander warns that if the two groups’ proximities are significantly reduced, it will result in bloodshed.
In Enterprise’s armory, Malcolm reports that his analyze of the hull fragments confirms the damage have been caused by Tellarite particle cannons. T’Pol was able to salvage the last few seconds of the Kumair’s damaged memory core, and she plays back a visual record of a Tellarite vessel firing. Archer orders Enterprise to proceed to Andoria at maximum warp speed.
In Gral’s quarters, the ambassador denies that the Tellarites attacked the Andorian ships. Archer offers the Kumari’s sensor logs as proof, but Gral replies that they could have been fabricated. When Archer tells Gral that his intention is to transport the Andorians back to their homeworld, the Tellarite responds that his delegation will be arrested by the Andorians and held responsible for the incident.
In the captain’s dining room, Shran makes a toast to his ship while he and Archer share a bottle of Andorian ale. Shran talks about his relatioship with Talas. The two of them then talk about the Tellarites. Shran is convinced that they attacked the Kumari and the Andorian ambassador’s vessel. He’s also convinced the Tellarites are responsible for the loss of 6 freighters in the past months. Archer notes that the Tellarites claim to have lost ships of their own. T’Pol hails Archer and informs him that an Andorian ship on an intercept course. On the bridge, Oshi fails to contact the Andorian vessel, which soon attacks Enterprise.
That's when I started wondering 'what the hell is going on here ?'
Enterprise quickly looses warp speed and drops to impulse. Shran attempts to command the attacking vessel to cease hostilities, but with no success. Archer asks Shran to provide Malcolm with the location of the vessel’s shield generator. Reluctantly, Shran provides information. Malcom fires on the attacking ship, scoring a direct hit, but this strangely does nothing. Archer order to fire a torpedo. It hits its target, and the ennemy vessel retreats, but Malcolm is confused. He claims he didn’t target its power grid and can find no explanation for the damage which it apparently took.
In the briefing room, Archer asks Shran why the Andorians are attacking Enterprise when their government requested Starfleet’s assistance. Ambassador Gral is convinced that the Kumari sent out a distress call to lure Enterprise into a trap, but Shran assures Archer that the Andorians do not wish to begin hostilities with Starfleet. Gral suspects that the Andorian Imperial Guard may have taken action without consulting their government first. Shran theorizes that the vessel which attacked Enterprise may not have been Andorian in design. He noticed that its shield matrix had a completely different configuration to any of the other ships in the Andorian fleet. He argues that several Andorian ships have been reported missing, and that the Tellarites could have commandeered them, and enhanced their systems. Gral claims that the Andorian is suffering from paranoia. Eventually, their verbal arguing becomes physical and Archer and two MACOs have to restrain them. The captain threatens that if they continue to fight, he’ll have them arrested and held in the brig.
In the Tellarites’ quarters, Gral tells the other members of his delegation that they may have made a mistake in trusting the humans. One of the other Tellarites comments that a MACO has been posted outside their quarters and that they are being held prisoner. He offers the possibility that Archer is conspiring with the Andorians.
On the bridge, Archer and T’Pol show Shran that the energy signatures of the ship which destroyed the Kumari and the vessel which attacked Enterprise are identical. Shran finds it hard to believe and still thinks the Tellarites are responsible. Trip contacts the bridge from engineering with the news that warp power is almost ready to go back online and that hull plating will be ready to use within an hour. Archer informs Shran that Enterprise has detected the attacking vessel’s warp trail and his intention is to follow it. Shran argues that some of the Kumari’s crew require urgent medical attention from Andorian physicians, but Archer replies that if they continue to Andoria, the vessel will have disappeared again.
In the captain’s mess, Archer and T’Pol eat together. Archer thinks it may have been a mistake for Starfleet to involve itself in the continual feuding between Andoria and Tellar, a dispute which has lasted for more than a century. Perhaps Starfleet should have allowed the Vulcans to mediate the conference. T’Pol informs him that the Andorians still do not trust the Vulcans. Archer struggles to find much that the Andorians and Tellarites have in common, but T’Pol answers that similar statements have been made concerning Humans and Vulcans. She then tells Archer that she received a personal message from Koss. Their marriage has been officially dissolved. Malcolm contacts Archer and tells the captain that the Andorian ship has been detected.
Oshi told Archer about a transmition to T'Pol. So much for privacy in the 22nd century !! Also, T'Pol seemed reluctant to tell Archer about Koss, and emotional when she finally did.
In a large, darkened room, two Romulan officers detect a vessel approaching. One, Admiral Valdore, orders the other, Nijil, to display the approaching ship on a viewscreen. It is the Enterprise, on an intercept course.
On the bridge of Enterprise, Archer and Reed are puzzled. Enterprise has followed the warp trail to its present location. There is a ship on the main viewscreen, but it looks nothing like the Andorian ship that attacked earlier. Sato hails the vessel, but there is no response. Archer asks what the spikes on the vessel are, and T’Pol replies that they appear to be subspace transceivers. She determines that its hull is also lined with multispectral emitters, but she doesn’t wish to guess their function. Archer orders Reed to take a team of MACOs aboard the alien ship. The security officer reports that the vessel’s life support is not functioning, so Archer orders him to take Tucker, thinking the engineer will be able to fix it.
The away team arrives in a very cramped corridor. They can’t get any reading through the bulkheads. Nijil reports that the propulsion matrix is still not operating on the alien ship. Valdore seems impatient when he asks how much longer it will take to be fixed, but all Nijil says is that it is being repaired. Valdore orders Nijil to prepare a core overload, as he isn’t prepared to allow Starfleet to gain possession of the ship.
Tucker contacts Enterprise from the alien vessel. He reports that the away team hasn’t met with any resistance, yet, and that he’s found a computer interface. The only problem is that there’s no power on the ship. Suddenly, the away team are thrown to the deck as the alien ship lunges forward and fires on Enterprise. Archer calls for evasive maneuvers as his crew attempts to retrieve the away team. T’Pol reports that the hull plating of the alien vessel has been reinforced. As a result, Enterprise is able to transport only one member of the away team at a time. Both of the MACOs are beamed off the ship before the primary phase coil is fused and the transporter goes off-line. It will take several hours to repair and Enterprise is beginning to suffer extensive damage. Archer contacts the away team and explains the situation to Tucker before Enterprise withdraws from the engagement at maximum warp.
Malcolm : We'll be fine sir ! - Always the optimist ^^
The alien ship pursues Enterprise. Malcolm falls and a tube that brings the oxygen to his helmet gets loose. Tucker puts it back in place, and shares his supply of air with Reed, but Reed comments that Tucker’s supply won’t last forever. The engineer tries to get life support on-line.
Again, there's this strange suit with what seems to be a person inside, but no clue about what or who it is. Also, those suits are not very reliable ^^
On the bridge of Enterprise, Mayweather struggles to outrun the alien vessel, and with the help of new injectors, he reaches warp 5.06, and eventually manages to get rid of the Romulans.
In the Andorian’s quarters, Shran is still slightly suspicious of Gral. He wonders how Archer could have been fooled by the Tellarite’s deception. He tells Talas that he won’t entrust the security of Andoria to the pink skins, even though Talas believes Shran has little choice but to allow Archer to deal with the situation. Shran promises never to trust the Tellarites again. He wants Talas to bypass the security protocols so that he can interrogate Gral.
On the alien vessel, Tucker is struggling with the environmental controls. He wonders if the ship has life support at all but Reed is sure that the bridge must have an environment, so both officers head there.
I didn't pick that hint the first time I watched the episode.
Nijil reports that Enterprise has moved out of sensor range. Valdore insists that it must not be allowed to escape, as the humans have seen too much already. Nijil argues that the Romulan ship is only a prototype which wasn’t ready for combat. Valdore orders that the Romulans begin a search for the Starfleet vessel.
In Archer’s ready room, T’Pol has determined that the alien ship is neither Andorian or Tellarite, but there’s a remote possibility that it is Romulan in design. Archer asks why the Romulans would be in this area of space, and T’Pol replies that they have been known to act agressively against species which they view as a threat. The captain responds the Tellarite-Andorian conference could be the first step in changing a long time history of species not getting along. T’Pol asks whether Archer believes the Romulans fear an alliance. He says that the conference has been postponed indefinitely, and that it doesn’t sound like there’s going to be an alliance any time soon. When Archer asks if they received any news about Trip, T’Pol reports that Enterprise is too far away from the alien ship to contact him.
On the Romulan vessel, Tucker and Reed are having difficulty locating the bridge. Tucker suggests following data conduits that run throughout the ship. He tells Reed that they probably lead to the bridge. They find a chemically-fueled maneuvering thruster, powered by oxygen and liquid hydrogen. Reed suggests that they refill their air tanks.
Malcolm is curious about Trip's intentions now that T'Pol is no longer married
Outside the Andorian’s quarters, Talas tries to seduce the MACO on duty there. When the officer tells her to return to her quarters, she and the MACO fight each other. The Andorian eventually knocks the MACO to the ground. She and Shran escape from their quarters.
She's one hell of a fighter !!
Nijil detects a problem with one of the fuel tanks on board the Romulan ship. He’s certain that it is not the result of another malfunction, but that the starboard transfer valve has manually been opened. Valdore orders Nijil to activate the ship’s internal sensors. While Tucker and Reed work on restoring their air supplies, they are detected by Valdore. He asks if the inertial stabilizers are off-line, to which Nijil replies affirmatively. Valdore turns to the person in the suite, and orders them to initiate evasive maneuvers, throwing Tucker and Reed to the deck of the Romulan ship. They manage to magnetize their boots and get up.
Again, I didn't pick on this clue !
Talas and Shran make their way through Enterprise’s corridors. After firing at a pair of MACOs, they enter the Tellarites’ quarters. Talas assaults Gral’s aide, Naarg, while Shran points a particle rifle at maximum setting at the Tellarite ambassador.
On Enterprise’s bridge, T’Pol and Hoshi have determined that the emitters on the Romulan vessel’s hull are holographic projectors. The vessel is designed to use the emitters to mimic a wide variety of almost any ships. The vessel’s disruptor uses tri-phasic emitters which can simulate the effects of different kinds of weapons. The ship is unable to mask its power signature, though. As mayweather starts speaking, an officer hails the bridge, reporting weapons fire outside the Tellarites’ quarters on G Deck. Archer rushes off the bridge, calling for a team of MACOs to go to the Tellarites’ quarters and for that deck to be sealed off.
In Gral’s quarters, Shran insists that the Tellarites were the reason for the disappearance of several Andorian ships, but Gral argues otherwise.
Fighting Andorians on the way, Archer and several armed MACOs run towards the Tellarites’ quarters. The captain enters and convinces Shran to surrender his weapon. Just as Shran does, though, Gral’s aide fires at Talas. Archer returns fire at the Tellarite, who falls to the deck. The captain sends for Phlox. Shran says that Talas’ injuries are only superficial, but he’s just trying to put a good face on things.
Funny how phasers only pierce metal went the heros need to, but never when there's a firefight in the corridors !
On the Romulan ship, Reed and Tucker arrive at the bridge, only to find it deserted.
Those magnetic boots are magical. The manouevers knocked them down before, but now, just because their boots stick to the desk, the stand up with minimal disconfort !
Nijil reports that the away team has entered the bridge of the ship, as Valdore gazes out a window… on Romulus !
And then I went "Oh !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Of course !!!", and it all became clear.
TO BE CONTINUED…