|Tales of the Seventh Fleet episode|
|"Return to Doomsday"|
|Airdate:||April 25, 2004|
|Writer(s):|| Edward C. Tunis III|
Eugene R. Hendricks
|Director:|| Daniel A. Swift|
|Guest star(s):|| James Miller|
- Edward C. Tunis III: The Captain (never addressed by name)
- Daniel A. Swift: Carl Stoeffles
- Eugene R. Hendricks: Robert Lupia
- Michael Stein: David Stein
- Michelle Lee Hendricks: Dr. Valerie Lupia
- Trisha A. Tunis: Enigma
Thirty-three years after the destruction of the USS Constellation, the legendary Captain James T. Kirk stops a planet-devouring robot and places a warning buoy near the inactive machine. The USS Justice, on routine patrol, discovers the Enterprise's buoy has been destroyed, and that the weapon is once again fully functional.
The Federation starship USS Justice is en route to system L-374 where warning buoy 1527-45-FFT is supposed to be transmitting. Science officer Carl Stoeffles attempts to scan the area but cannot locate the beacon.
The experimentally assigned android, Enigma, inquires as to the nature of the buoy. Stoeffles recounts the history of how the USS Constellation encountered an object of extra-galactic origin that had destroyed planets nearby. Enigma starts to read from the library records to correct Stoeffles on minor facts he missed or glossed over, only to be dismissed by the Efrosian Captain.
A small debate starts, asking if the Planet Killer was destroyed. Official records show that it was only "rendered inert". The discussion is cut short when Stoeffles notices the Planet Killer on long-range sensors, reactived and moving away, causing subspace interference along its vector of travel.
The Justice follows. The Captain orders the helmsman to plot an intercept course and asks Enigma to notify Starfleet and advise them of a course of action. A worried Stoeffles quips about how a ship as small as the Justice is going to stop it, considering it took two Constitution-class cruisers to even slow it down.
Enigma interrupts with word from Starfleet Command, instructing to follow and observe the Planet Killer. The android also reports that another starship is being dispatched to assist and should arrive in six days. In order to better observe, a Class V probe is launched to keep track of the Planet Killer.
Meanwhile, the new Chief Engineer, Robert Lupia, who had just recently fixed the ship's GNDN systems, enters the officers' lounge, where his wife, Chief Medical Officer Valerie Lupia, is sitting reading a book.
Robert jokes that he can't believe he is needed on something so trivial as the repair of a food dispenser. His wife ribs back with a jab about his lack of making the bed in the morning. This banter, seen only in married couples, devolves into something that has been bothering Robert since his assignment to the Justice. He feels that he isn't fitting in and this is holding him back.
By this point telemetry from the probe starts revealing technical information on the Planet Killer. The only real information gained is reported by Enigma, stating that the subspace interference is increasing; they will lose all contact with Starfleet Command in 4.5 minutes.
Stoeffles begins to plot the Planet Killer's path and reports that if this device maintains its course and acceleration, it will cross the Klingon Neutral Zone in approximately 47 hours. This worries the Captain, but it is learned that it will at least not intercept any inhabited systems during this time.
Because the Planet Killer's hull is made of solid neutronium, the probe's sensors are too limited to obtain a detailed scan. The Captain figures now is the time to formulate a plan, especially if they are about to lose contact with Starfleet.
The senior staff gathers in the conference room to review their options. Commander Stein points out that even though ship's phasers have improved over the years, he doubts their effectiveness against the neutronium hull, and recommends sending photon torpedoes down the Planet Killer's maw. Stoeffles concurs that the new "modern" torpedoes, placed in a tight pattern, might have the power to harm it.
Robert Lupia asks why they are going through all of this if it's not threatening any habited worlds. The Captain reminds him of the Khitomer Accords and as "good neighbors" they can't allow a weapon of this power to run free, unchecked. The conclusion is reached that the Planet Killer must be fully stopped this time.
The Captain assigns each of the section heads their duties for the upcoming battle and dismisses the group. Robert Lupia and Carl Stoeffles are the last to leave the meeting.
Lupia pulls Stoeffles aside and asks him for advice on dealing with the Captain. Stoeffles responds with an eccentric comment of "Start working on the solution before you know there's a problem". Lupia thanks him for his time and both officers depart, understanding each other even less.
Returning from their meeting, they find that the subspace interference has grown too great for long-range communications. The Captain knows they have little time and orders Commander Stein to obtain a phaser lock since phasers have greater range than torpedoes.
Down in Medical, Dr. Lupia is treating a wound to an engineering specialist. During their casual banter she lays to rest the engineer's fears regarding her husband, assuring him that Robert Lupia is a good man. She reveals that Robert was the one who helped to avert a full warp core breach on one of his last assignments aboard the USS Rittenhouse.
The Justice fires phasers at the Planet Killer; the beams deflect off of the hull harmlessly. This attack gains the Planet Killer's attention; it turns to face the Justice and opens fire. The assault causes only superficial damage, as if the Planet Killer was issuing a "warning shot".
With the torpedo range gap now closed, a volley of four photon torpedoes are sent into the machine's maw. Power fades inside the Planet Killer for only a second, to be replaced by another blinding shot which sends the Justice tumbling through space. This attack does serious damage, incapacitating half of the bridge crew. The Captain jumps from the command chair to the helm console to direct the next attack. The second round of photorps, even at maximum yield, fails to injure the alien weapon. The Captain suggests the unthinkable, exploding the ship inside the Planet Killer, when the ship is rocked again by another attack, putting The Captain out of action. Commander Stoeffles assumes command.
- To be concluded (Scene 8G).
- The static sound of the warning buoy after it is destroyed is caused by rubbing the microphone across a cast member's five o'clock shadow.
- The name "Tales of the Seventh Fleet" is an homage to the group's origins as a chapter in Region Seven of Starfleet International.
- The music played over the opening credits is the theme from "The Last Starfighter".
- Enigma's name came from the German code machine used in World War II.
- "I think we made it mad."
- — Stoeffles to The Captain.
- "I can't believe I have to fix the dessert food dispenser.... again!"
- — Engineer Lupia to self.
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