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This page contains information regarding Star Trek: Discovery, and thus may contain spoilers.

When Captain Burnham is trapped with a mindscape designed to test her worthiness to retrieve the Progenitors' powerful technology, Booker, Rayner, and the crew of the USS Discovery must hold off the Breen long enough for her to escape.



Throughout Ruhn's dreadnaught, Breen soldiers bang their staffs as L'ak's body, wearing Breen armor and draped in a ceremonial flag, lies on the ship's bridge. Approaching the body, Moll promises her husband that she's going to fix this. In the Breen language, Primarch Ruhn declares that his nephew, the Breen Scion, is home. Though L'ak defied them in life, still the Breen honor him in death. Ruhn has Lieutenant Arisar pull Moll away from L'ak's body before switching to Federation Standard in courtesy to the woman who had joined with his nephew. Ruhn declares that without the Scion, some believe that the Sixth Flight's claim to the throne of the Breen Imperium has been eradicated when instead it has grown stronger. L'ak's murder will galvanize the other factions to their side and with the power of the Progenitors' technology, the Breen will defeat all who stand in their way. Ruhn's forces begin chanting "For the Scion," causing him to furiously order them to stop.

Seizing her chance, Moll loudly reveals that the technology can be used to resurrect L'ak, quoting Doctor Vellek from his diary that the power that created life can also be used to renew it. Moll asks the Primarch to release her to assist in this noble quest and, after looking around at his men, Ruhn orders Arisar to set her free. Quietly, Ruhn threatens to eviscerate Moll should she ever address his men again, unconcerned by Moll's warnings that L'ak wouldn't look too kindly upon that. Moll's value to him does not extend beyond her ability to acquire the Progenitors' technology and for her sake, Moll needs to make sure that they succeed.

The USS Discovery spore jumps to the Badlands, the largest plasma storm in the quadrant. Lieutenant Gallo reports that while scans can't penetrate through the storm, the Eternal Gallery and Archive has a communications beacon outside of it made out of the same alloy as the library card. Captain Michael Burnham orders Tilly to transmit a scan of the card to the beacon and Commander Rayner reports that while there's no updates from the USS Federation, it's safe to assume that Ruhn's on his way here.

Discovery is hailed by Hy'Rell, one of the sworn order of archivists who tend to the Archive and call it home who greets the crew with a cheery demeanor. Hy'Rell sends coordinates and velocity adjustments to Discovery to guide the ship safely through the plasma storm while she gives a welcoming speech explaining the Archive and its purpose and warning to follow her directions precisely as the Archive won't be responsible for any damage, dismemberment, or death that may occur otherwise. The crew is shocked and unnerved by this particular comment and Rayner and Burnham are unsure if Hy'Rell was joking or not. As Discovery flies through the Badlands, experiencing a rough ride, Hy'Rell continues her welcome speech before Burnham interrupts her so that the crew can focus on getting the ship safely through. Tilly and Gallo report that radiation levels are rising, and shields are down to 70 percent, but Lieutenant Christopher reveals that Hy'Rell wants them to cut engines. Hy'Rell, through a static filled transmission, warns that their engines create a reaction with the ionic discharge and if they don't cut them, it could be catastrophic. Although dubious about Hy'Rell's orders, Burnham orders the engines cut and the ship coasts through the Badlands on pure momentum. The crew has trouble stabilizing without the engines, radiation levels keep rising and shields drop to 25 percent before everything calms down. Discovery finally breaks free of the plasma storm and finds the Archive waiting for them on the other side in an oasis of calm space.

Act One[]

As Discovery approaches the Archive, Lieutenant Commander Asha reports that they will be in range in less than a minute while Gallo reports that shields will be back to capacity in less than ten minutes and Rayner adds that while the ship took a beating, there's no significant injuries or damage. Tilly informs Burnham that they're still seeing high levels of Cherenkov radiation which is a byproduct of the plasma activity, something that Lieutenant Commander Gen Rhys warns will prevent them from being able to cloak, but Burnham points out that the Breen won't be able to either and has Christopher hail Hy'Rell. Hy'Rell is pleased to see that they've all made it in one piece, and she promises to have the Archive lower its shields so that Burnham can beam in. Having detected Cleveland Booker on the ship, Hy'Rell asks Burnham to bring him with her. The Archive has an item from Kwejian in its possession and, as it's one of the last remaining artifacts from that world, the archivist wants Booker to provide some context on the artifact for them which Burnham agrees to. Burnham gives Rayner the conn and orders her crew to maintain yellow alert and to keep an eye out as the Breen are likely on their way.

In the ready room, Burnham offers Booker the chance to come with her to see the artifact from his homeworld which he accepts. Booker offers an apology for his reaction to the Federation's decision to give Moll to the Breen, knowing that it was a tough call and not all Burnham's decision. However, Burnham states that she had supported the call, and she still stands by it. Burnham promises that she does care about Booker and what's important to him, before ending the conversation.

Inside of the Archive – an unfathomably enormous library – Hy'Rell meets with Burnham and Booker in a reading room and leads them through the Archive's vast hallways. Burnham admits that they're pressed for time and asks if the archivist had received her first officer's report about Discovery's recent run-in with the Breen. An unconcerned Hy'Rell simply thanks Burnham for it, revealing that the Breen are contributing members of the Archive and they have quite a bit of experience dealing with cultures in active conflict with each other. The Archive is here to serve everyone so long as everyone follows the rules. Hy'Rell jokes that they send anyone who doesn't follow the rules to the dungeon before clarifying that it's really more of an oubliette, a dark and sinister type of medieval prison.

Hy'Rell has set up viewing rooms for the both of them and she leads Burnham and Booker into the one where Labyrinths of the Mind is waiting for Burnham. The Archive's records show that Burnham is the first person to ever come looking for it and she asks about the person who had left it here. Hy'Rell is only able to tell Burnham the basics, namely that Doctor Marina Derex was an accomplished neuroscientist originally from Betazed who became an archivist herself later in life and lived out the remainder of her life in the Archive. Hy'Rell leaves Burnham to it while she takes Booker to another viewing room to see his own artifact. Burnham flips through the manuscript, finding a large metal card near the back of the book with Betazoid text on the top, and depicting a maze with a large symbol in the center. Burnham touches the symbol, and the card lights up, much to her amazement.

In the second viewing room, Hy'Rell is excited to have a Book visit her in the library for a change. Booker identifies the box as being made out of Tuli wood and is shocked to find two cuttings from the World Root inside, the World Root being a massive tree root system from Booker's destroyed home planet that symbolizes their heart and the unbroken chain of their ancestors to the Kwejian people. Crying, Booker asks how the Archive has it and Hy'Rell explains that it was given to them long ago, but was recently moved to a place of honor following the destruction of Kwejian by the Dark Matter Anomaly. Part of the Archive's sacred duty is to ensure that cultures that are lost are never forgotten. Hy'Rell offers to let Booker take the World Root cuttings with him as the Archive considers it his right as one of the last living Kwejian. In return, Hy'Rell only asks that Booker return some day to tell the archivists what's become of it so that they might have a record, something that Booker agrees to do, overwhelmed and grateful to have a piece of his lost homeworld and culture. Booker and Hy'Rell return to the first viewing room, only to find Burnham unconscious on the floor.

A confused Burnham awakens in the reading room where she first met with Hy'Rell, now empty along with the rest of the Archive, and she is unable to raise Discovery on comms. What appears to be Booker, who is wearing the robes of an archivist, appears at the table behind her, telling Burnham to be quiet as he's at a really good part of Labyrinths of the Mind.

Act Two[]

Burnham realizes that this isn't real and the being in Booker's form explains that her consciousness has been transported into a mindscape, a virtual space created from what Burnham's neural activity indicates is the most important place in her life. Although Burnham protests that she's never been to the Archive before, the being points out that the mind doesn't lie. The being is the AI that Doctor Derex had created for the mindscape, and his form was generated from Burnham's own subconscious. Burnham realizes that this is a test, the same as with every other clue that Discovery has found, meaning that Burnham has to figure something out, pass, get the clue, and get out. Burnham states that she's ready, but the AI asks if she is really.

In the real world, Doctor Hugh Culber examines Burnham, reporting to Booker, Hy'Rell and Rayner that she's stable, at least physically and she doesn't seem to be in any distress. Hy'Rell doesn't know what happened to Burnham, having never seen anything like this in the decades that she's worked for the Archive. Culber determines that some kind of a nucleonic emitter is connected to Burnham's frontal lobe and is running a program in her mind. Culber can't safely disconnect it and beaming her back risks severing the nucleonic beam. Disconnecting the beam while the program is still running could be fatal to Burnham. Booker tries to go in after her by touching the symbol on the center of the card which he deduces must be the transmitter, but nothing happens. Culber guesses that the program must not be capable of multiple connections, but he notes that each clue so far has had some kind of a challenge involved with it and they have to assume that that's what this program is. Rayner protests that they can't just wait around and hope that she passes the test, they have to find the clue themselves if it's here. Rayner asks Hy'Rell for everything that she's got on Doctor Derex such as any biographical data and any books that she had accessed and Hy'Rell leaves to comply.

Burnham and the AI wander the Archive in the mindscape and the AI tells her that the clue is in here somewhere and when she finds it, Burnham will know where to find the clue in the real world. Burnham is surprised that the test is just finding the clue, but the AI corrects her that finding the clue is the objective and the test to find it is something that Burnham will have to figure out on her own. Burnham protests that she doesn't have time for games and the scientists who found and hid the Progenitors' technology, including Doctor Derex, had wanted it found and protected which is what she is here to do. The AI is glad to hear it and hopes that she will succeed, telling Burnham to let him know if he can help. Burnham asks if he can narrow down where to look, but the AI is not allowed to give hints, although he can answer yes or no questions depending on the question that is asked.

Complaining that her brain should've picked Tilly rather than Booker, Burnham tries to figure out what kind of a test Derex, who was a neuroscientist, would've created. The Archive is too big to search randomly, and the AI confirms that Derex wants them to succeed so Burnham deduces that Derex would've created a way to narrow the scope of the search. Burnham notices a card catalogue nearby that shows the various sections of the library. Dismissing Fiction, Art, and Neuroscience, Burnham guesses that the clue is hidden in the History section. The AI asks for her logic, and Burnham explains that the scientists who had found the Progenitors' technology had started the clue trail during the Dominion War and Jinaal Bix had told her that the scientists had wanted it found during a time of peace. Jinaal believed that peace was possible and the only way that progress like that happens is by learning from the past. The AI agrees that those who learn history aren't doomed to repeat it and Burnham asks where the History section is to start by going through all of the books on the Dominion War. The AI asks if Burnham has thought about what will happen if she fails and he reveals that the mindscape will shut down and Burnham's brain functions will cease, a security precaution. Burnham quips that she shouldn't be surprised since Jinaal would've let an itronok eat her and the real Booker. The AI offers her a last chance to be released from the program, but Burnham is determined to finish what she started.

In the real world, Culber monitors Burnham while Rayner looks through Labyrinths of the Mind for any possible clues. Hy'Rell returns with Derex's biographical data and a list of all materials accessed by Doctor Derex while she was living in the Archive. Booker scrolls through the list which proves to be extensive and Hy'Rell warns that a Breen ship has arrived at the beacon and is requesting access to the Archive. Although the Archive can't be perceived as taking sides, Hy'Rell promises to handle this matter appropriately. Rayner contacts Discovery, ordering them to red alert as the Breen are on their way.

On the Breen dreadnaught, the Archive responds to their hail. Ruhn tells Hy'Rell that they've tracked a Starfleet jump signature to this location and Discovery is after an item which belongs to him. Hy'Rell begins to tell him that the Archive doesn't take sides in a conflict, but Ruhn threateningly warns that the item had better remain in the Archive's possession. Becoming more serious, Hy'Rell suggests that in light of the fact that the Archive holds several priceless Breen artifacts, the Primarch should rephrase his request. Ruhn furiously demands that the clue be handed over to him, threatening to destroy the Archive and its contents otherwise. Moll notices that the other Breen don't appear to be pleased with this and Hy'Rell denies the Primarch's request and suspends all Breen privileges at the Archive until further notice. Arisar confirms that they have traced the signal and Ruhn orders his helmsman to navigate the plasma storm over objections about how dangerous it is.

Moll recalls to Arisar how L'ak had told her that the Breen hold great reverence for their culture and history, pointing out that the Primarch doesn't seem to share that. Ruhn asks how what is to be found in the Archive will lead them to the Progenitors' technology, and she explains that they need to combine it with the clues that Discovery already has. Ruhn is furious to learn that there are other clues, but Moll tells him that Discovery is already here and the Breen can recover what the Archive has, easily overpower Discovery, and take the rest of the clues. Strangling Moll, the Primarch demands to know if there's anything else and when she denies it, warns her not to test his patience again. Moll notices that Arisar is visibly uncomfortable with Ruhn's treatment of her.

In the mindscape, Burnham notices that the lights are growing dimmer as she searches through the History section. Burnham has found nothing in the Dominion War section, the sections on any other wars, Betazed history, Trill history, or the mirror universe. Burnham realizes that she's going the wrong way which the AI confirms. The AI states that he didn't tell her because she simply didn't ask. The AI told Burnham that everything is in here for a reason and she assumed that the reason was history. It's her mindscape and the AI can help Burnham, but he can't solve it for her. Burnham tries to figure out why her subconscious chose the Archive as the most important place to her for the test. Burnham guesses that it's because the mission is here and when she's on a mission, the mission is her priority. The AI admits that she might be onto something and shows her Labyrinths of the Mind, causing Burnham to deduce that they're in a maze and getting out is how she finishes the mission and finds the clue. Burnham believes that she needs to find her way back to the reading room where they first started, which the AI confirms she needs to do unless she wants to die in here. The AI gives Burnham a bucket of sand to mark her path as Burnham finds her through the labyrinth. Burnham is pleased with this version of Booker that's helpful, but the AI states that Tilly would've been just as frustrating to her for what it's worth. Burnham sets out to solve the maze.

In the real world, Rayner discovers that nothing in Labyrinths of the Mind leads to the clue while Derex's reading list includes books such as A Comprehensive Guide to Talaxian Hair Styles, Hupyrian Folk Tales, and Euclidean Geometry, nothing that's of any use to them, although it indicates that Derex loved learning new things. A klaxon alarm goes off and Hy'Rell rushes in to inform the group that the conversation with the Breen didn't go well. The Archive has raised its shields which means that transport back to Discovery will be impossible for the time being. Hy'Rell leaves to go prepare their defenses with Booker going to help. Rhys, serving as acting captain with both Burnham and Rayner on the Archive, reports that they've detected the Breen on approach through the plasma storm. With the ship's sensors blinded by the plasma, Lieutenant Naya guesses that they have two minutes from gravimetric calculations. As Discovery is no match for the dreadnaught's firepower, Rayner orders the crew to find a way to conceal themselves and to stand by for further orders. With no cloak, Rhys decides that they'll have to use natural cover and orders Asha to take them out of the oasis and back into the plasma storm, reasoning that it'll blind the Breen sensors too. Rhys orders Naya to monitor weather patterns in the plasma storm and send it to Asha to help keep Discovery as safe as she can. Tilly points out that they can only withstand the storm for so long which Rhys already knows, but they just need to withstand it for long enough. Discovery flies into one side of the plasma storm as the Breen dreadnaught emerges from the other side.

As Burnham makes her way through the maze, the mindscape darkens behind her, and she is able to figure out the pattern and find the path to the center of the labyrinth where the door to the reading room is. However, Burnham finds only the empty reading room and the AI waiting for her, having not actually passed the test. Burnham pleads to know why he is making this so hard as she's doing what the scientists wanted and protecting the Progenitors' technology. The AI explains that the scientists didn't ask for her, they wanted the technology in the right hands and protected, but who's to say that Burnham is one of the good guys. How could the scientists know that Michael Burnham out of anyone alive could be trusted with it. There's a test here, one that Burnham hasn't passed yet. Burnham notices that the lights really are going out and realizes that she's running out of time to solve it which the AI confirms.

Act Three[]

Culber detects that Burnham's cortisol levels are rising, meaning that whatever she's experiencing is making her stressed and scared. The Archive suddenly shakes violently, and Rhys tells Rayner that an energy connection unlike anything that he's ever seen before has been established between the dreadnaught and the Archive's shields which is focusing on one particular spot. An alarmed Rayner recognizes it as the Breen using shield-tunneling technology to get their troops inside. Rayner orders Discovery to figure out how the technology works and find a way to slow it down. Rayner recalls Booker to help fight the Breen and Culber warns Rayner that he's going to need all of the time that Rayner and Booker can give him.

In the mindscape, now only illuminated by the lights around the reading room itself, Burnham paces as she tries to figure out what the test is. Seeing the AI reading Labyrinths of the Mind, Burnham finally realizes that the mindscape is her own mind and she picked Booker as the AI's form because she wanted to fix things between them earlier, but she didn't, Burnham doesn't know how. The AI gives her the same flat stare that Booker had earlier which Burnham knows is because Booker thinks that the job is all that matters to her. Burnham admits that if she doesn't complete this mission, then she doesn't know who she is. Burnham thinks that no will love her or care about her if she's a failure and maybe that the reason she lost Booker. The AI acknowledges that some of those things might be true, but they still aren't the answer. Most of the remaining lights go out, leaving the mindscape illuminated only by the lights around the reading room table. Burnham furiously asks what's wrong with having a purpose and reveals that she feels the need to prove herself every day, prove that she deserves the uniform, her rank, that she can be counted on, that she won't quit, and that she won't fail again. The AI takes an interest in Burnham referring to failing again, but she leaves to find her own way out rather than explaining what she means.

On Discovery, Rhys asks Commander Paul Stamets how much longer until they can help the Archive, but he's still trying to figure out the problem with the help of Commander Jett Reno and Ensign Adira Tal. Stamets and Adira notice that the Breen are using harmonic resonance to match the Archive's shield frequency, amusing Reno when they both speak at the same time. Stamets realizes that if they can make the Breen's system think that the shield frequency has changed, the system would remodulate, closing the tunnel so that none of the soldiers could get inside of the Archive. Adira points out that the Breen use base-duodeca coding, which is really hard to hack, but Reno recalls one of her odd jobs before joining Starfleet where she did a stint near Hysperia fixing comms relays. The workers would use concentrated positron beams to do remote repairs which can be set to pulse at pretty much any frequency. Stamets and Adira realize that they can direct a positron beam right to where the tunnel meets the Archive's shields and then if they set the beam to a different frequency, the tunnel would automatically close. While the Breen will eventually realize the error and correct it, the away team will hopefully already be out by then. Stamets reports to Rayner that they have a solution, but it will take a few minutes to implement.

Stopping at an intersection, Rayner tells Booker that the Breen come into this intersection and fan out and look for the team, probably in groups of four. Booker sees a few places that they can hit the Breen from depending on their arrival position, but Rayner is able to quickly find a better ambush spot where they'll be hidden by the shelving but will have clear sight lines wherever the Breen come in. Booker is impressed that Rayner thinks like a hunter and Rayner explains that he had to in order to survive the Breen occupation of his homeworld. Stamets reports that they're closing the tunnel now, but some of the Breen got through. Booker and Rayner ready themselves to ambush the boarding party.

On the dreadnaught, Arisar reports that they can't send in anymore soldiers because the tunnel just closed. Ruhn orders his lieutenant to fix it, but Moll informs the Breen that it isn't their only problem as someone just took out one of their troops and Moll had told them that Discovery was here. The Breen helmsman reports that scans still don't register anything in the vicinity and the Primarch orders that the feeds from that sector of the Archive be shown to him. Ruhn and his crew watch as one by one, the Breen soldiers are ambushed and eliminated by Booker and Rayner. Moll asks the Primarch to send her in as Moll has beaten Starfleet in close quarters before, she would never miss the chance to bring L'ak back and Ruhn wouldn't have to keep losing soldiers. However, Ruhn is willing to sacrifice as many of his men as it takes and orders for all forces in the facility to be redirected to that sector immediately. Moll warns Arisar that the Primarch doesn't care at all about L'ak or any of his men.

Rayner helps a wounded Booker into the viewing room where Culber determines that he's been shot in the abdominal cavity. However, Culber can't treat Booker's wound here and they need to get him to sickbay. Culber tells Rayner that there's been no change on Burnham and she's still in the mindscape while Rhys reports that Discovery has disrupted the tunnel, but the Breen will have it fixed soon and they can't take this plasma storm much longer. Rayner decides to give it five more minutes at which point if Burnham's not conscious, they'll evacuate the Archive. Rhys is to contact the Archive and have them ready to lower their shields for just long enough for the team to beam out as the clue won't matter if they're all dead. Rayner knows that beaming out means that they could lose Burnham, but if they stay, she will die for sure, meaning that they don't have another choice.

In the mindscape, a much calmer Burnham returns to the table and apologizes to the AI, explaining that she had needed a minute. Burnham knows that her time is almost up, but she's tried everything and there's nothing else that she can do. Burnham doesn't want to die in here and the AI wonders if she's scared of death. Burnham admits that she's afraid a lot, but not of death, surprising the AI that the great Michael Burnham is afraid. Starting to cry, Burnham confides that she's afraid of failing, and not being a good enough captain, friend and partner. Sometimes Burnham's fear drives her, and she hates that, and it makes her feel small, weak, and ashamed. The AI sympathetically notes that it sounds hard to live like that and Burnham tells him that she's been working on it, but her fear is always there. Burnham finds relief in saying it out loud, even if she's not really saying it to Booker. Burnham regrets not telling the man that she loves the real reason that she had pulled back from him, but Burnham was afraid she'd failed him or herself and it was just easier to let him go.

Composing herself somewhat, Burnham asks if the AI can at least tell her what the test was before she dies. Closing Labyrinths of the Mind, the AI tells Burnham that she's passed the test and all of the lights in the mindscape turn back on. The AI explains that if Burnham is going to be the one to protect what the Progenitors left behind, she's going to need to know herself and be able to be honest with herself, especially with the things that are hard to look at. These are things such as fear and guilt, the things that Burnham may be vulnerable to. Most people can't admit those things to themselves and the fact that Burnham can is the only way that she can be trusted to do the right thing with so much power. The AI congratulates and thanks the stunned Burnham. The AI tells Burnham that the last map piece is hidden in a crystal in viewing room 7 and Burnham need only retrieve the crystal and break it open once she wakes up to get the piece. Before Burnham leaves, the AI reveals one final secret: the way to get through something inside of her final destination.

Burnham wakes up in the viewing room and embraces Booker, shocked to find him hurt. Rayner warns her that they need to evacuate now as Breen are here and more are coming. Burnham now knows where the final clue is, and they need to get there first. Burnham leads the team to viewing room 7 and Rhys reports that the Archive is ready to lower their shields, but the Breen reinforcements have almost arrived, and the team has 30 seconds if they're lucky. Burnham finds and smashes the crystal, retrieving the last map piece as Breen reinforcements beam in. Discovery beams the team out as the Breen open fire on them.

Act Four[]

Burnham and Rayner beam into Discovery's bridge where Tilly confirms that Booker and Culber have been beamed to sickbay. Lieutenant Christopher reports that according to Hy'Rell, several archivists were injured, although none critically yet. However, Rayner points out that with Breen reinforcements beaming in, that won't last long. Rhys reports that having figured the Archive would need help, he'd sent Gallo to work on their shield emitters. Burnham orders Commander Lorna Jemison to have Gallo's team route all of the available power to her station and for Asha to prepare to move out into the open and draw the Breen away from the Archive.

Discovery flies between the Breen dreadnaught and the Archive and hails the Breen ship. Burnham informs Ruhn that the Breen's business is with Discovery, not the Archive, as the ship now holds the item that the Primarch is searching for. Ruhn threatens to destroy the Archive if he is not sent the entire set of clues immediately, alarming Moll. Naya reports that Ruhn's dreadnaught is charging some kind of an energy weapon, causing Burnham to protest that there are a thousand innocent lives onboard the station, but the Primarch tells her to take it as her final warning. On Ruhn's command, the dreadnaught fires a powerful directed energy weapon into the Archive, breaching the shields and causing heavy damage. Bryce tells Burnham that Hy'Rell is reporting significant injuries from the attack. Ruhn issues his ultimatum to the shocked Burnham: give him the clues or the blood of everyone he kills will be on her hands. Steeling herself, Burnham demands the Primarch's assurance that the Archive and everyone it won't be harmed if she does against Rayner's objections. Specifically, Burnham wants a tergun, a sacred Breen oath, from the Primarch who is furiously incredulous at the very idea of swearing one with a Human. Burnham refuses to budge and Ruhn decides to take a moment to consider and cuts the transmission. Burnham orders Tilly to get all of the clues up to the bridge so that they can finish the map to find where the Progenitors' technology is hidden, and Tilly quickly beams away to get it.

Moll questions why Burnham would do this, but the Primarch believes that the Federation's compassion has always been their weakness and that to save the few, they will always risk the many. Arisar warns that it could be a trick, but Ruhn is sure that Burnham wouldn't risk it after seeing what their weapons can do. Reopening communications, Ruhn swears a tergun to spare the Archive and everyone inside of it, warning that if Burnham deviates from their agreement, everyone will die excruciating deaths. Accepting this, Burnham tells the Primarch to prepare for transport and cuts communications. Tilly beams in with the pieces and Burnham completes the map. Once completed, the pieces project a star map in the middle of the bridge with a set of coordinates highlighted in the center of it. With the coordinates to the Progenitors' technology in hand, Burnham has a scan of the map sent to Stamets and has him standing by to jump. Much to the crew's confusion, the captain orders for the crew to prepare to vent the main shuttlebay and all plasma from both of the nacelles.

Discovery beams over the map to the dreadnaught where Moll confirms the object's authenticity. Ruhn access the star map and then orders his crew to lock onto Discovery and prepare to fire over Moll's objections that the Primarch would be starting a war with the Federation that would draw in all of the Breen factions, possibly turning the rest of the Breen against Ruhn's forces. Ruhn notices that Moll refers to herself as one of them and she reminds the Primarch that she's the wife of the Scion, but Ruhn is unmoved as L'ak is dead and orders his crew to prepare to fire.

Detecting the Breen preparing to fire, Burnham orders evasive maneuvers and Stamets reports that he's ready to jump. The ship goes to black alert with Burnham planning to vent and jump simultaneously. The dreadnaught fires on Discovery, taking out lateral thrusters and damaging Decks 5, 14, and 18. The Breen fire a second time as Burnham has Rhys return fire and the ship held steady. Structural integrity weakens and shields drop to 30 percent, but Burnham orders for Discovery to keep holding. As shields collapse, Burnham has Discovery vent and jump. The vented plasma reacts violently with the surrounding plasma storm and the energy from the Breen weapon, exploding and simulating the destruction of Discovery to the Breen.

Discovery emerges from the jump heavily damaged, but still intact. Asha reports that they have emerged from the jump twenty-two light years off target, but Stamets isn't sure what happened other than the spore drive malfunctioned. Linus reports that sensors say the spore drive was damaged in the attack and they can't jump again until it's fixed. Discovery's warp drive is also damaged, although it's unclear how badly yet. Naya reports that while the crew suffered a few minor injuries, there were no casualties. Tilly calculates that it will take the Breen ship six hours give or take to get to the coordinates at maximum warp, so Burnham orders Rayner to get all available personnel on repairs, giving them five hours before Discovery needs to go. Rayner compliments Burnham's move because Ruhn now thinks that they're dead, giving Discovery the advantage. Burnham simply quotes Rayner's warning to her to never turn her back on a Breen. Rayner is worried that the Breen might still beat them to the map coordinates, but Burnham reveals that she had learned something in the mindscape that they will need to know when they get there, something that Burnham can't imagine Ruhn figuring out. Rayner wonders if Moll could figure it out, but Burnham doesn't have an answer for that.

On the dreadnaught, the Breen are successfully fooled by Burnham's deception and believe that Discovery has been destroyed, something that Moll seems to be distressed by. Pleased, the Primarch orders his crew to prepare to fire on the Archive, shocking everyone. Moll reminds Ruhn that he swore a tergun and tries to get the Primarch to not make this any worse for his crew than he already has. Moll instructs Ruhn to set a course for the map coordinates, reminding him that their goal is L'ak, but Ruhn declares that the goal is whatever he says it is. Ruhn orders for the weapons to be recharged and for Moll to be taken to the Chamber. When one of his crew objects, Ruhn kills him and reiterates his order to Arisar.

Moll warns the Primarch that if he destroys the Archive, he will have the other Breen coming after him as revenge for Ruhn's dishonorable act, but the Primarch is certain that with the Progenitors' power, they will have nothing to worry about. Moll points out that Ruhn doesn't have it yet and that L'ak will never support his succession if Ruhn kills her, but the Primarch states that he doesn't need L'ak anymore or Moll. "And there it is. You don't give a damn about your Scion, your oaths, or the lives of your soldiers," declares Moll, exposing Ruhn's lust for power above everything else to the watching Breen. Moll challenges the Breen, asking if their Scion would be this selfish. While Moll acknowledges that L'ak loves her, she states that he left because of Ruhn. Ruhn raises his staff to kill Moll, but Arisar mutinies against the Primarch, drawing his own weapon on Ruhn in defense of Moll. As Ruhn furiously turns on Arisar, Moll drops to the ground, kicks the Primarch backwards, grabs his staff and shoots Ruhn twice with it, killing him. The Breen surround Moll with their weapons, and Moll declares that she is the wife of L'ak, the Scion and true ruler of the Breen Imperium and they will get L'ak back. After a moment, Arisar leads the Breen in chanting "long will he reign," uniting behind Moll's leadership for the cause of finding the Progenitors' technology and using it to resurrect L'ak.

Memorable quotes[]

"Without the Scion, some believe that our claim to the throne has been eradicated. In fact, it has grown stronger than before. His murder will galvanize the other factions behind us. And with the power promised by his Joined, we will defeat all who stand against us."
"For the Scion! For the Scion! For the Scion! For the Scion! For the Scion! For the Scion!"
"Apologies, Primarch."

- Ruhn, rallying the Breen to his cause

"I can bring him back to you! The power we seek created life. In the words of someone who saw that power, "it can also renew life." That is why we need to find it. That is why I've come. I ask to be set free, Primarch, so that I may assist in the noble quest to restore the Scion."
"Of course, we want nothing more than to see our Scion returned. Speak to my soldiers again, and I will eviscerate you in front of them."
"I don't think your Scion would look very kindly upon that."
"Your value to me does not extend beyond your ability to acquire the Progenitors' technology. For your sake, make sure we succeed."

- Moll and Ruhn, struggling for power

"The Eternal Gallery and Archive is proud to house the largest known collection of historical and cultural artifacts in the Alpha or Beta Quadrants. As this is your first visit into the Archive, please follow my instructions precisely and do not deviate. The Archive is not responsible for any damage, dismemberment, or death that may result in your failure to do so."

- The first part of Hy'Rell's welcoming speech

"Was that meant as a joke?"
"I guess we'll find out."

- Rayner and Burnham, concerned by the last part of Hy'Rell's welcome

"The Archive has made its home in the Badlands for nearly a century. These uniquely treacherous conditions help us protect our collection. Archivists, such as myself, come from a wide array of backgrounds. We have devoted our lives to the preservation of galactic knowledge."
"We appreciate the information, but if you don't mind, we need to focus."

- Hy'Rell, interrupted by Burnham

"I – I should apologize. Look, when you all sent Moll away... I mean, I get it. You have a duty, your mission. I know it was a tough call. Yeah, not all yours. Yeah, I get that."
"But I supported it. And I stand by the decision."
"I do care about you. And what's important to you."

- Booker and Burnham

"We are here to serve everyone as long as everyone follows the rules."
"And if they don't?"
"Why, we send them to the dungeon, of course. Just kidding, we don't actually have a dungeon here. It's really more of an oubliette."

- Hy'Rell, telling Booker and Burnham the dark cost of breaking the Archive's rules

"Is your name really Book?"
"Uh, yeah."
"How fun to have a Book visit me in the library for a change."

- Hy'Rell and Booker

"Have you thought about what might happen if you fail?"
"The mindscape shuts down, and your brain functions will cease. Security precaution. Sorry."
"I shouldn't be surprised. Jinaal would've let an itronok eat us."
"It is not too late to leave. I can release you now. Last chance."
"I'm gonna finish this mission, and you are going to help. Lead the way. Let's go."

- The Mindscape AI, revealing the possible consequences to Burnham

"We tracked a Starfleet jump signature to this location. They seek an item which belongs to me."
"As a matter of policy, when it comes to conflicts between our visitors, the Archive does not..."
"I hope, for your sake, that it remains in your possession."
"Sir, in light of the fact that we have several priceless Breen artifacts in our Archive, I'll do you the courtesy to suggest that you rephrase your request."
"Give it to me! Or the Archive and its contents will be made ash."
"Your request is denied, and all Breen privileges are suspended until further notice. May you gain knowledge elsewhere."

- A furious Ruhn, arguing with an increasingly passive-aggressive Hy'Rell

"L'ak told me the Breen had great reverence for their culture and history. Not you, though, hmm?"
"You say what is hidden down there will reveal the location of the Progenitors' technology. How?"
"You have to combine it with the other clues Discovery has."
"You made no mention of other clues."
"Discovery is here already somewhere. You can easily overpower them. Find what's in the Archive, take what they've got. We'll have everything we need."
"Is there anything else? Do not test my patience again."

- Moll and Ruhn

"Why are you making this so hard? I'm doing what the scientists wanted. I'm – I'm trying to..."
"They didn't ask for you."
"They wanted the technology in the right hands, yes. They wanted it protected... yes. But who's to say you're one of the good guys? How could they possibly know that you, Michael Burnham, out of anyone alive, could be trusted with it? There's a test here. You haven't passed it yet."
"The lights are going out. I'm running out of time, aren't I?"
"Yes. You are."

- Burnham and the Mindscape AI

"Labyrinths of the Mind. Is it me? It's my mind. Right? That's why my subconscious picked you. Because we talked earlier. And..."
"And what?"
"We didn't fix it. That's why I picked you. Because I wanna fix it, but I don't know how. He looked at me like that too. Flat. 'Cause he thinks the job is all that matters to me. And so, is that what you want? Do you want me to admit that? That the job is everything? Is that how I get the clue? Or maybe, I should go even more psychobabble here and admit that if I don't complete this mission, then I don't know who I am. Maybe I think that, uh... nobody will love me, or... or care about me if I'm a failure. And maybe that's the reason why I lost you. Him. Is that right?"
"Some of those things may be true, but they are not the answer."
"Wait. So, I succeed, I fix things. What's wrong with that? What's wrong with – with having a purpose? You don't have to go out every day and prove yourself, why you matter. You don't have to prove that you deserve this uniform, this rank, that... that you can be counted on, that you won't quit, that you won't fail again."
"Screw you. I'll find my own way out."

- Burnham and the Mindscape AI

"Wait, look at this. Their tunnel has a periodic fluctuation. It's, uh, 8.4 times per second."
"Yeah. They're – they're using harmonic resonance..."
"(together) To match the Archive's shield frequency!"
"I love when you two do that."

- Stamets and Adira, figuring out a problem together, much to Reno's amusement

"Remember when I was talking about all the odd jobs that I used to have?"
"Uh, yes?"
"There was a stint where I fixed comms relays near Hysperia. Hysperians really know how to party, by the way, but it's another story."

- Reno and Adira

"That's it. Do it again."
"The tunnel would automatically close!"

- Reno, getting Stamets and Adira to answer together again

"You think like a hunter."
"Had to, to survive the Breen."

- Booker, impressed by Rayner's thinking

"There's more of that down here, you gelatinous assholes!"

- Rayner, taunting the Breen

"I'm sorry. I needed a minute."
"Your time is almost up."
"I know. I've tried everything. There's nothing else I can do. I don't wanna die in here."
"Are you afraid of death?"
"Not really. I'm afraid a lot. But not of death."
"I'm surprised to hear that. The great Michael Burnham, afraid?"
"More than I'd like to admit. Of failing. Not being enough. A good enough captain... friend, partner. Sometimes... it drives me, that fear. And I hate that. I hate it so much. It makes me feel... makes me feel small. And weak. Ashamed."
"Sounds hard to live like that."
"Well, I've been working on it. But it's always there. It actually feels good to say it out loud, even if you're not really Book. I should've told him that. Why I pulled back. But I was afraid I'd failed him. Or me. And so, it was easier to just..."

- Burnham's impromptu therapy session with the Mindscape AI

"Well, anyhow. Can you at least tell me what the test was? Before the lights go out."
"No need. You've passed."
"If you're going to be the one to protect what the Progenitors left behind, you'll need to know yourself. Be able to be honest with yourself. Especially with the things that are hard to look at. Fear, guilt. The things you may be vulnerable to. Most can't admit those things to themselves. That you can is the only way you can be trusted to do the right thing with so much power. Congratulations, Michael Burnham. Thank you."
"That's one hell of a test. Damn. You don't mess around, do you?"

- Burnham, passing the Mindscape AI's test

"There's one more thing you need to know first. About something inside your final destination. The way to get through it."

- The Mindscape AI, revealing one final secret

"Smart move, by the way, captain. Now Ruhn thinks we're dead. Advantage us."
"Someone once told me never turn my back on a Breen."

- Rayner and Burnham, after she fakes Discovery's destruction

"They still might beat us to the coordinates."
"No, I learned something in the mindscape. Something we'll need to know when we get there. And I can't imagine Ruhn figuring it out."
"What about Moll?"

Rayner and Burnham

"If you destroy the Archive, it won't just be the Federation coming after you. It'll be other Breen too. As revenge for your dishonor."
"With the Progenitors' power, we will not worry."
"But you don't have it yet. Do you? L'ak will never support your succession if you kill me."
"I don't need L'ak anymore. Or you."
"And there it is. You don't give a damn about your Scion, your oaths, or the lives of your soldiers. Would L'ak do this? Would your Scion be this selfish?"
"He left. For a Human."
"He loves me. Yes. But he left because of you."

- Moll, goading Ruhn into revealing the truth about his motivations

"I am the wife of L'ak. Scion and true ruler of the Imperium. We will get him back. Long will he reign."
"Long will he reign. Long will he reign. Long will he reign. Long will he reign."

- Moll, rallying the Breen to her cause

Background information[]


Cast and characters[]

  • Doug Jones (Saru) does not appear in this episode and is not credited in the opening credits.


Story and script[]



Links and references[]



Guest starring[]


Uncredited co-stars[]


24th century; 31st century; advisor; Alpha Quadrant; Badlands; base-duodeca; Beta Quadrant; Betazed; Betazoid Loyalties award; Breen; Breen Imperium; Breen language; Cherenkov radiation; communications beacon; Comprehensive Guide to Talaxian Hair Styles, A; Computer Science; Derex, Marina; Dominion War; Efrosian; Eternal Gallery and Archive; Euclidean Geometry; Federation; Federation Science Council; Hupyrian Folk Tales; Hysperia; Hysperian; Interstellar Evolutionary Biology Neuroscience; Kwejian (planet); Kwejian (species); Labyrinths of the Mind; Master's Degree; mirror universe; plasma storm; positron beam; Progenitor; Psychology; researcher; Ruhn's dreadnaught; Scar Tissue; scientist; shield-tunneling technology; spore drive; Starfleet; tergun; The Reformation; Trémaux's algorithm; Trill; Tuli tree; Valaric manuscript; UFP Calendar; University of Betazed; wood; World Root; Zee-Magnees Prize

External links[]

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Star Trek: Discovery
Season 5
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