Last week, I told what’s basically the first part of a larger storyline for my hypothetical Starfleet Academy show. One of the cadets, Herschel Williamson, has been used by a shadowy organization to create a large amount of an unstable material called Omega. At the end of the last season, the Omega molecules were stolen and Herschel was almost thrown out of the Academy, only to be saved by his friends.
So what happened to his creation? Well, that’s what we’ll learn throughout this season.
If everything was normal, the fourth year of Starfleet Academy should be stressful enough for the cadets. They would be graduating at the end of the year. They’d be thinking about their future aboard starships or starbases or wherever they were going to wind up. The best of the best would be busy applying for command school (something that Kam, Jessa, and Naomi are considering).
But due to the events of the previous season, there’s a hidden threat that only our heroes know about. Over the past several months, they’ve been trying to figure out who used Herschel to make the Omega molecules and where they wound up. They’ve basically hit a brick wall and they have to reluctantly put their investigation on hold as they go out on field assignments and finish up their final course work.
But it’s on one of those field assignments that Kam finds a clue: he encounters a Romulan officer who claims to have spotted a Federation ship near Romulus, only before he could catch it, it cloaked. Not only that, but right before it cloaked, he thought he picked up an unusual energy signature, one that could only come from Omega.
Kam brings these findings to the others and, with the help of Nog, they convince Starfleet to send them undercover to Romulus to investigate. Their cover story is that of students on the cultural exchange program, but their job is to find what they can.
What they find is Sienae Rehu, their former classmate who allegedly was part of the plot to steal the Omega molecules.
When confronted, Sienae denies any involvement. She says that she hid when Herschel’s lab was attacked. In the aftermath, she contacted her superiors and was sent back to Romulus. She insists she had nothing to do with what happened to the Omega molecules. Not only that, but she also insists that she help them in their investigation. They’re reluctant to trust her, but when Sienae helps hide them from the Tal Shiar, they’re convinced.
They quickly learn what happened: the Omega molecules have been taken to a small outpost set up in Romulus’s Kuiper belt region. Herschel can’t fathom why they would be taken there, hidden away from prying eyes. Are the Romulans conducting experiments on the molecules? Sienae is certain her people had nothing to do with the theft but the others aren’t convinced.
Before they can crack that puzzle, though, they encounter a new problem: Romulus’s star has become unstable somehow. There’s a real chance that the whole thing could go supernova at any time.
Starfleet panics and pulls the cadets out of there. As they leave, Herschel takes some readings of the star and discovers what’s happening. Someone has parked some satellites in near orbit, hiding them with phase-shifting cloaking devices. These satellites are emitting a form of trilithium-based radiation, which is destablizing the star.
More importantly, they manage to capture a low-level operative of the Big Bad, a random alien stooge that they’re able to question. He reveals that the Big Bad was behind the theft of the Omega molecules. They’re the ones who placed the satellites.
“Why would they do that?” Kam wonders.
The stooge reveals the Big Bad’s plan: they believe that the satellites will cause the star to go supernova, which would destroy the cache of Omega molecules. The resulting explosion would disrupt subspace throughout the Romulan Empire, causing it to collapse.
At least, that’s what should happen. Herschel tumbles to the horrific truth: thanks to the trilithium radiation, the resulting Omega explosion would be enough to destroy the galaxy.
When the cadets report back to Starfleet, they discover that someone else has figured out what’s going on as well, namely Ambassador Spock. Spock has come on behalf of the Romulan underground to ask for help. The Romulan military is in full denial of the problem. The underground is hoping that the Federation can help them.
Herschel thinks he has the answer. Upon further reflection, he’s realized that the byproduct from creating the Omega molecules can be used to stop the trilithium reaction and hopefully stabilize Romulus’s sun, maybe permanently or, at the very least, long enough so they can retrieve the Omega molecules. Or, as a last resort, they can detonate some of the “red matter” and create a black hole. “It would destroy the Romulan star system, but it would also dispose of the molecules as well,” he says.
Starfleet doesn’t like it, but they don’t see any other option. They have to work fast. Herschel works with a team of scientists to design a revolutionary new ship that can deliver the red matter where it needs to go and they fast-track its construction. Starfleet also readies a fleet of ships to escort Spock on his mission to deliver the red matter. It turns out that the Romulan government is not cooperating; they still don’t believe that a bunch of cadets uncovered this vast conspiracy.
Eventually, the fleet raids Romulan space. In theory, they should be able to make it, but then a Romulan fleet intercepts the Starfleet ships. A battle breaks out and Spock is ordered to keep going and finish his mission. Herschel and the others are sent on another vessel to retrieve the Omega molecules if they can.
I think we all know how this is going to end:
Due to the delay, the Romulan sun goes supernova. Spock has no choice but to use the red matter to create a black hole. Herschel and the other cadets wind up having to abandon the Omega molecules and retreat. Someone would die on this mission (I have my thoughts on who it would be) and Starfleet has to retreat.
In the aftermath, the newly formed black hole winds up swallowing the Omega molecules safely. Ambassador Spock has disappeared (and so has a mining vessel that was spotted in the area). The Romulan Empire is in shambles.
And due to this crisis, a war is brewing.
Now I don’t know who would be involved in this war. It might be that the Romulans blame the Federation for what happened. They lost their home planet, but they still have enough territory and resources to be a serious threat. Maybe the Klingons decide to take advantage of the chaos and attack. Or it could be that the Big Bad is really a front for either the Dominion or the Borg, who are about to make an aggressive move on the Alpha Quadrant.
Whatever the case, as our cadets graduate from Starfleet Academy, they find themselves entering service in a Starfleet that’s very different from the one they thought they’d serve. Instead of being engaged in peaceful exploration, that Federation is going to war.
It’s a situation that will test the cadets and show their strengths. It’s a situation that will reveal which one is destined for greatness.
So there we have it. I had to incorporate J. J. Abrams Trek plotline somehow and try to untangle it a little (I’m still stumped as to how he thought a single supernova could destroy an entire galaxy). What do you think?
Come back next week, because I’ll really be wrapping this series up with the final three seasons.
Think I missed something? Do you see a way to make this even more dramatic? Let me know in the comments and, if you have Trekkie friends, let them know what we’re doing here. The more comments, the merrier!