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A wayward Starfleet ensign struggles to find a path to redemption.

Summary[]

Teaser[]

In the Kalla system in 2380, the Pakleds are in the midst of attacking the USS Cerritos. The crew of the Cerritos have come up with a daring plan to upload a virus to the Pakled ship attacking them, and the exocomp, Ensign Peanut Hamper, is a perfect candidate to sneak to the Pakleds and manually upload the computer virus herself. She declines however, much to the shock and anger of the Cerritos crew and ends up beaming herself into space.

As she drifts in space, Peanut Hamper witnesses the Sequoia crash into the hull of the Pakled ship, and moments later, the ship explodes at the sacrifice of one crew member. Witnessing this all, Peanut Hamper is convinced that she made the right choice in saving herself and is further convinced as three Pakled ships warp in and continue to attack the Cerritos. Moments later however, the USS Titan joins the battle to the surprise of Peanut Hamper. Convinced that the crew of the Titan will respect a robot, she's convinced that she will be brought aboard, but after the Titan fights off the Pakleds, it envelops the Cerritos in a tractor beam and tows it away, leaving Peanut Hamper stranded. Peanut Hamper is convinced someone will be by to save her soon, believing they scanned the area for non-organic life.

Act One[]

Some time has passed, and Peanut Hamper is still stranded in the debris field of the battle. Disgruntled and alone, Peanut Hamper has constructed a friend out of the debris she's named Sophia to whom she expresses her anger towards Starfleet. Peanut Hamper has also been in the midst of building a ship, consisting of a salvaged warp nacelle with some control systems strapped to it, sheltered within a tube-shaped piece of debris, in the hopes of leaving the debris field. While sending a distress signal would be an option for Peanut Hamper she refuses to do so, knowing she will be incarcerated for going AWOL; she breezily remarks that Starfleet is "so uptight about being betrayed." Having found enough fragments of dilithium for what would equate to perhaps 0.02 or 0.03 of warp speed, Peanut Hamper manages to start her ship up, much to her delight. As she expresses her joy to Sophia, Drookmani scavengers drop out of warp and begin to salvage the debris field. Peanut Hamper is nearly caught in their tractor beam, but at the last moment, she throws Sophia into the tractor beam and saves herself. She starts up her ship and engages the nacelle, but as the makeshift contraption moves off at sublight speed, she begins to comment that she's not sure it could even reach warp speed when it suddenly does just that. The trip is brief: its passenger screaming and rattling with the stress, the straps connecting the nacelle and the control system 'seat' break away from each other and Peanut Hamper is thrown back into normal space moments later, plummeting out of control on a collision course for an unknown planet with three moons.

Later on, after her systems reboot, she finds herself on a bed inside a hut. She notices avian children watching her, and they run off in fear as she wakes up. She is then approached by an elder, who introduces himself as Kaltorus of Areore, and he tells her that he saw her descending to the planet and believes that his ancestors had sent her there for their destiny. He brandishes a blade, and while Peanut Hamper fears he will dismantle her, he actually just grazes the blade to scrape off the dirt and residue on her body, promising to fully restore her. Realizing she's not a prisoner as anticipated, she allows him to continue cleaning her.

More time passes, and Kaltorus has completed cleaning Peanut Hamper, and is showing her around his village. Peanut Hamper immediately notices that most of the villagers are afraid of her, and Kaltorus confirms this, saying they've never had a visitor from off-world, or one made of metal. Peanut Hamper quickly realizes they are not members of the Federation, and are a pre-warp civilization, much to her dismay. A child comes to her and gives her a toy stick as a gift which Peanut Hamper reluctantly accepts, returning the favor by using her micro-replicator to make a piece of candy. The act shocks the onlookers, and one tells Kaltorus that beings like Peanut Hamper were what the ancestors warned them about. Kaltorus quiets the crowd and says that Peanut Hamper is a living being, deserving of their respect. At that moment, one of the villagers asks if a machine could ever truly be alive. Kaltorus introduces him as his son, Rawda, and instructs him to show her the ways of their people. Rawda objects, unwilling to be seen "fraternizing" with a mechanical creature. Kaltorus asks him if he questions his own judgement, and Rawda relents, saying he will be Peanut Hamper's guide. Kaltorus then takes Peanut Hamper off to show off the village well.

"Personal log. I'm stranded with a bunch of hillbilly birds on a planet that's never even been first contacted. I could still put out a distress call if I wanted Starfleet Security to toss me in a penal colony, which isn't the worst option because there's nothing going on here."

As Peanut Hamper records her personal log, she replicates numerous tennis balls that she's shooting at the wall, much to the disdain of Rawda. Rawda has come to have her assist him with the day's work, and she follows him, taking note of how every life form on the planet seems to have wings. As they make bales of straw, a sky snake flies overhead, and Rawda protects her from being seen. They then go and milk goat-like creatures; a task that Peanut Hamper excels in with her technological prowess. Rawda is annoyed as one of the goats bites her, but he is suddenly called over by a villager. Rushing off, he comes to the sight of a dead sky snake, and his mortally wounded father. Having been bitten by the sky snake, he's not expected to survive, so Kaltorus passes village leadership to him. Peanut Hamper replicates a hypospray of antivenom and saves Kaltorus, much to the shock of everyone around. Kaltorus admits that he feels wonderful, likely due to an administration of vitamins as well from Peanut Hamper. Kaltorus is only strengthened in his resolve that Peanut Hamper was brought to them for a reason, and the village children begin to chant her name as she gives them all candy.

Act Two[]

More time has passed, and Peanut Hamper has won over the favor of the village, having helped numerous villagers out in their health. Making an impression on Rawda, he shows her the incubation hut, where the eggs of their young are laid. He expresses sorrow that the hatching process is difficult, and that many of their chicks will not be strong enough to hatch. Peanut Hamper runs a heated beam over the eggs, and every chick hatches from their egg, fully healthy. Rawda is amazed by the act and invites her to go somewhere with him.

As they fly through the air, Peanut Hamper finally admits that despite the primitive nature of the planet, it is beautiful to see. Rawda then tells her that when he's with her, he cannot help but be "full of song." She invites him to sing for her, but his song ends up being loud cawing that she quickly finds unpleasant. Rawda takes her to an overlook that Peanut Hamper admits is peaceful. Rawda tells her that it's his favorite place to hide from his father, as he feels insignificant compared to him. Peanut Hamper sympathizes with him, telling him of her own father who wanted her to stay home. Peanut Hamper had hoped one day to go to Freecloud with the intent of being a dabo girl, but ended up joining Starfleet instead, only to mess that up in the end. She tells him that she can imagine herself settling down on Areore with him. Rawda tells her she's welcome to stay with them, as she's made everyone's lives so much better, though she has not yet "treated" him yet. They gaze at each other in arousal, and as they make preparations to mate, they note how different their "parts" are, and Peanut Hamper says they will just have to "wing it." They then engage in a kiss and begin mating.

After their time together, Rawda decided to show her a secret of his people. He takes her to a cave, hidden by a waterfall, where he says the relics of their ancestors are kept. He shows her some cave paintings of his ancestors and tells her that the Areore were actually at one point, spacefaring people. Despite having access to incredible technologies, it only resulted in endless war with other races. Rawda shows her the remains of the ships of his ancestors, which were capable of "folding space", which Peanut Hamper explains means they were warp-capable. As his ancestors wished to return to the paradise they'd known before discovering warp, they forbade the use of technology, and hid the ships here, but as Rawda sees Peanut Hamper as good, he believes his ancestors were wrong about their judgement. Peanut Hamper declines his outlook, as she does not see herself as good. As Starfleet was her home, she's had time to reflect on her actions with the Pakleds, and has come to conclude that her actions were selfish. It's only been through Rawda that she's finally been able to see how special organic life truly is, and only wishes she could have done the right thing when it was presented, believing Starfleet would never forgive her betrayal. Rawda tells her that she can forgive herself and offers to help her forget what she's done as they once again kiss and begin mating.

Time passes into winter and what appears to be at least spring or summer, and in 2381, Kaltorus unites Rawda and Peanut Hamper in a wing-joining. Rawda tells her that despite having feared her when they first met, he's always seen her as full of life, and only wants to share his life with her. However, as he continues his vow, a shadow looms over them. While initially fearing a sky snake, Peanut Hamper recognizes the salvage ship of the Drookmani entering the atmosphere, believing they had managed to track her down. They launch a small ship which lands in the village. Three scavengers exit, and approach Rawda, saying that they've detected valuable material beneath the village. While they only intend to extract the material and leave peacefully, Kaltorus objects, saying that removing the ships would result in the village's destruction. Rawda attacks one of the guards, and the Drookmani beam away, before the capital ship engages its tractor beam, beginning to tear apart the village in an effort to extract the old ships. Facing the destruction of the village, Rawda realizes that this was what their ancestors feared, and knows that there's nothing that can be done to stop the Drookmani. Peanut Hamper says she can do something.

Out in space, the USS Cerritos picks up a distress signal. Ensign Beckett Mariner alerts Captain Carol Freeman that it is coming from Peanut Hamper, and Brad Boimler tracks the signal to the planet, Areolus, noting it to be the home of a pre-warp civilization. Realizing that Peanut Hamper is likely breaking the Prime Directive, Freeman orders a course to be set for Areolus, wanting to have a "little chat with [the] wayward ensign."

Back on Areolus, the Drookmani are continuing to extract the salvage of the old ships. Peanut Hamper continues to transmit her distress signal, unsure if anyone got it. As time is running out, Peanut Hamper realizes she can sneak aboard the Drookmani ship and disable it. Rawda objects, as it would be too dangerous, but as the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, Peanut Hamper remembers her Starfleet origins, and hijacks the Drookmani shuttle, flying towards the Drookmani ship.

The Cerritos arrives to see the Drookmani attacking the village, and before Freeman can order an attack, they see Peanut Hamper flying the shuttle to the ship, much to Ensign D'Vana Tendi's delight.

Peanut Hamper steers herself, and crashes the shuttle into the ship, quickly taking out a few guards. Accessing a control terminal, she begins to overload the engines. The tractor beam gets disabled, dropping one of the Areore ships back to the surface, and the Drookmani ship explodes. Rawda, fearing Peanut Hamper to have been caught in the explosion, weeps her loss, but Kaltorus spots a lone shuttle flying out of the explosion. The shuttle crash-lands, and Peanut Hamper emerges from the shuttle. Rawda is overjoyed and the village cheers for her.

Captain Freeman, Lieutenant Shaxs, and Ensign Tendi then beam down to the village, and Freeman begins first contact, but Rawda interrupts her, telling them that they know about her. Freeman clarifies that normally they wouldn't be aware of them due to the Prime Directive. Kaltorus then tells them that due to the actions of Peanut Hamper, she's saved the village. Rawda concurs and tells them that Peanut Hamper is one of them, refusing to allow her to be taken to a penal colony. Freeman calms everyone down, assuring them that she is not in trouble, as they witnessed Peanut Hamper's heroism, and only want to thank her. Peanut Hamper says that the Areore are the ones deserving of thanks, as without meeting them, she likely would have remained as selfish as before, but that through them, she understands love and sacrifice, and feels indebted to return to Starfleet. Peanut Hamper asks for a second chance, and though Freeman notes that they will have quite a report to write up about it, she sees no problem in letting her rejoin Starfleet. Rawda asks Freeman if he may join Peanut Hamper, but Peanut Hamper declines, not wanting to take Rawda away from his paradise. Rawda only replies that with Peanut Hamper, anywhere is paradise.

The Areore ship that was dropped by the Drookmani then begins to power up. Commander Jack Ransom hails Freeman and tells her that the Drookmani were able to transport to the ship. Not only is it operational, but the weapon systems are highly advanced. The Drookmani captain laughs as he engages the ship's weapons and begins razing the village, before taking the ship up to face the Cerritos. It opens fire, and Ransom hails the ship, ordering it to hold their fire. The Drookmani accuse them of tricking them, and that they will all pay. Confused, Ransom has Boimler patch the communication through to the captain. The Drookmani claim to have received a subspace communication from Areolus, inviting them to come and take the Areore ships, and that they would be met with no resistance. Rawda claims that he's lying, and the Drookmani captain says that the communication came from none other than Peanut Hamper. Peanut Hamper tries to play off the accusation, but as the Drookmani recorded the transmission, he plays the audio of Peanut Hamper indeed telling the Drookmani of the Areore ships beneath the village, saying that there would be no pushback since the Areore were all "tree-kissing farmers." Peanut Hamper tries to refute the evidence, but when Rawda asks for the truth, she admits to calling the Drookmani since the Areore didn't want the ships, and she wanted a way to show Starfleet that she was a hero to help them take her back. Rawda is devastated as Peanut Hamper shows her true colors, but Peanut Hamper says she never wanted to spend her life on such a primitive planet and hadn't expected the Areore ships to still be functional. Tendi approaches her and says that she can still have a chance to redeem herself, but seeing where it's going, Peanut Hamper declines, ignoring Freeman's infuriated orders for her to stay.

Act Three[]

Still in control of the Areore ship, the Drookmani continue to attack the Cerritos. The ship's advanced weapons render the shields useless, as Chief Engineer Andy Billups is unable to match the weapon signatures.

Back on Areolus, Kaltorus saves Freeman from getting crushed by a burning tree, saddened that their ancestors have seemingly forsaken them. But at that moment, one of the Areore ships rises from the ground. While Tendi believes that Peanut Hamper has taken control of the ship, it turns out that Rawda has taken control of this ship and flies it into space where the Cerritos is in combat with the Drookmani. Rawda effortlessly interrupts the Drookmani attack, and saves the Cerritos, disabling the ship the Drookmani are on. As their ship begins to crash down to Areolus, the Drookmani captain orders an emergency transport.

Having saved the Cerritos, Rawda lands his ship, and declares that the Areore must protect their way of life, saying they will now live however they desire, eager to leave their fear of technology in the past. As the village cheers, Kaltorus tells Rawda that he is ready to lead the village. At that moment, Peanut Hamper reappears, trying to claim that she was only teaching them about cooperation between organics and technology. Rawda angrily tells her that she's no longer welcome among them, and Peanut Hamper is seemingly unfazed, comparing the Areore to "poor man's Aurelians." She then tried to rejoin the crew of the Cerritos, but Freeman declines, no longer willing to give her a second chance. Peanut Hamper then says that they're all jealous of her advanced intelligence and goes on to say that instead of the Drookmani, she should have instead called the Borg to come. She tries to call them, but is stopped by Tendi and then by Shaxs, who effectively has to take her into custody to keep her from sending a signal.

Peanut Hamper is ultimately taken back to Earth to the Daystrom Institute and imprisoned in the Self-Aware Megalomaniacal Computer Storage area, right next door to AGIMUS. AGIMUS takes interest in her and complimenting her mathematically perfect name, says that she and he could do awful things together. They both begin to cackle, which leads to the other computers laughing with them, though Peanut Hamper tells them all to stop as no one invited them to laugh with them.

Memorable quotes[]

"Call it android intuition, but I'm kinda sensing that everyone here hates me."
"Fear, not hate. They've never met a visitor from off-world, much less one that's made of metal."
"Wait, you're not in the Federation?"
"The what now?"
"So, no ships come here, like, ever?"
"You are the first visitor in my lifetime."
"Oh, *bleep*."
"I beg of your pardon?"
"Yeah, it's just something we space folks say when we're stranded on a backwater planet with no culture."
"Oh, yes. *bleep* indeed!"

- Peanut Hamper and Kaltorus


"Shush! Sky snake."
"I'm sorry, 'sky snake'? That's ridiculous. If everything here flies, then why call it a sky snake? Wouldn't that just be a snake?"
"Come. More tasks await."
"You know, my universal translator can't make your language smart."

- Rawda and Peanut Hamper


"Hey, Doyle, those stomach worms clear out?"
"Oh yes! My fecal matter is back to being oily and white."
"Great, but also gross."

- Peanut Hamper and Doyle


"Oh, Peanut Hamper, I can't help but be full of song when I'm with you!"
"Oh, Rawda, sing for me!"
"… CAW-KAAAA! CAW-KAAA CAW-KAAA!!!"
"Oh! You scared the living *bleep* out of me! Never do that again!"

- Rawda and Peanut Hamper


"You're welcome to stay. You've made everyone's lives so much better. Although, there is one person you haven't treated yet."
"I guess we should start with a physical."
"Ohhh, how I long for the touch of your nozzle. But our pieces are so … different."
"Yours are complicated."
"But how will we‐"
"We're just gonna have to wing it."

- Rawda and Peanut Hamper


"Peanut, it's too dangerous!"
"The needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few, baby."
"But you aren't even a few, you're just one!"
"No. I'm Starfleet."

- Rawda and Peanut Hamper


"Okay, fine, I called the Drookmani here, but it was for a good cause. You guys didn't want these ships, and I needed a way to show Starfleet that I'm a hero so they could take me back. How was I supposed to know these old ships still worked? I mean they were built by organics. People who make things out of straw. Yeah, what are the odds?"
"But- but Peanut…"
"Oh my God, just shut the *bleep* up. Rawda. Grow a *bleep*ing beak. I wasn't going to spend the rest of my very long robotic life on a frickin' bird planet."
"How could you???!"
"Oh boy, here comes the waterworks. The guy cries at everything. He even cries after we do it."

- Peanut Hamper and Rawda


"Wait, Peanut Hamper. You still have a chance be a hero! Someone has to get onto that ship, and I think that…"
"I see where this is going, and no thanks."
"Get back here right now, Ensign! That's an order!!!"
"Smell you later! Oh yeah, and I mean that literally, 'cause y'all *bleep* everywhere."

- Tendi, Peanut Hamper and Freeman


"Peanut Hamper, is it? Ooh, I must say, that's a mathematically perfect name."
"Thanks. Who the hell are you?"
"I am AGIMUS, and I think you and I could do awful things together."

- AGIMUS and Peanut Hamper

Background information[]

Title[]

Production[]

  • The standard Lower Decks title sequence is not used for this episode. Instead, the series logo and opening credits are shown over shots of wreckage in the Kalla system against a slower version of the main theme.

Continuity[]

  • This episode prominently features the return of the exocomp, Ensign Peanut Hamper. It is revealed that after the events of "No Small Parts", she remained stranded in the debris field of the Pakled Clumpship that attacked the USS Cerritos and proceeded to create a ship from the debris to leave.
  • When the Drookmani attempt to tractor up Peanut Hamper, another piece of debris briefly lights up. It's later revealed in the post-credits scene for "The Stars At Night" that this was Rutherford's original implant, featuring Badgey.
  • This episode also marks the return of the Drookmani Captain who originally appeared in "Terminal Provocations".
  • This episode additionally marks the return of AGIMUS, who is still imprisoned in the Daystrom Institute. He also echoes Peanut Hamper's earlier conclusions that her name is mathematically perfect.
  • Peanut Hamper describes the Areore as the "poor man's Aurelians," referring to another avian race first introduced in TAS: "Yesteryear" and seen again in the Season 2 episode "An Embarrassment Of Dooplers". Peanut Hamper's reference to Aurelians was the first canon use of their name in the franchise history, forty-nine years after their first appearance.

Links and references[]

Starring[]

Special guest stars[]

Guest cast[]

Characters with unidentified voices

Background characters[]

References[]

ancestors; Andorian; android; antivenom; Areolus; Areore; Areore language; Areore ship (large); Areore ship (small); arrest; Aurelians; "Baby Bear"; backwater; Bajoran; battery; beak; bird; Borg; Caitian; California-class; candy; captain; Cerritos, USS; chick; commander; computer virus; dabo girl; day; Daystrom Institute; distress call; doctor; Drookmani; Drookmani ship; Drookmani shuttle; ensign; exocomp; farmer; father (aka dad); fear; fecal matter; Federation; first contact; flock; flying goat-like creature; flying pig-like creature; flying turtle-like creature; Freecloud; friend; *bleep* (aka *bleep* ing); Great Circle; "Guess What I'm Thinking"; hatchling; hate; hell; hero; hillbilly; hours; hypospray; incubation hut; intuition; invitation; Jackabog's ship; Junksville; Kevin; lieutenant; lieutenant commander; lieutenant junior grade; Luna-class; medical training; Migleemo's species; milk; nacelle; name; non-organic life; nozzle; Okinawa; "organic"; organic life; Orion; Pakled Clumpship (unnamed (x3)); paradise; parasite; "Peanut"; "Peanut Butter"; Peanut Hamper's fellow exocomps; Peanut Hamper's vessel; penal colony; personal log (Peanut Hamper); physical; pre-warp civilization; Prime Directive; primitives; pushback; "randos"; rattan; "Raw-dog"; replicator; robot; salvage; scavenger; science; Self-Aware Megalomaniacal Computer Storage; selfless act; Sequoia; shields; *bleep*; *bleep* hole; singing; sky snake; snake; son; song; Sophia (aka "Soph"); "spacebox"; spacefaring; spear; Starfleet; Starfleet Command; Starfleet Security; Starfleet uniform; stick; stomach worms; straw; Tamarian; technology; tile; Titan, USS; tree; universal translator; venom; village leader; vitamin pack; warp; warp factor; water; weapons systems; well; white; wing; wing-joining; witch

External links[]

Previous episode:
"Hear All, Trust Nothing"
Star Trek: Lower Decks
Season 3
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