Goulburn- New South Wales 25/01/2020
On a smoke-filled January weekend four members of the USS Animus: Commander Ross Manuel (CO), Lieutenant Commander Jasmin Manuel (CMO) and their cadet Marcus, Ensign Adam Cox (Operations), Ensign Slaney (Security), and Med Tech Daniels, travelled to the Commanding Officers Quarters for the Premiere of CBS’ newest Star Trek property: Star Trek Picard.
What had planned on being a celebration for our official launch within Starfleet International as a Chapter, it was more subdued as the hellish bushfires ravaged the Animus‘ patrol area. To date, the 2019-2020 Summer Bushfires are the most destructive ecological disaster to strike Australia, gaining it the moniker Black Summer. These fires destroyed 18.6 million hectares of land and destroyed close to 6,000 homes, and claimed 11 lives. For the Animus and her sister ships within the 11th Fleet, there were several times where the Animus was effectively cut off from the rest of the fleet, and a bulk of the crew were separated from each other due to road closures, toxic smoke and actively burning fires meant that only a small portion of the crew were able to make the premiere.
For everyone who attended it was their first official event with the newly launched USS Animus, and to celebrate this, they were all issued with their rank bars and combadges, both unique items to the Animus and a joining perk to commemorate the occasion.
===== Spoilers Ahead ====
With the standard cuisine for a television show premiere watch party, we settled in to watch the first episode “Remembrance” and were reintroduced to a now-retired Starfleet Admiral Jean-Luc Picard retelling reporters why he resigned in protest following Starfleets apparent abandonment of rescuing Romulan citizens following a calamity (the Hobus Supernova shown in the Kelvin Timeline reboots) and how synthetics had rebelled against the Federation resulting in their banning. The next character we were introduced to is Dahj a seemingly ordinary human girl with a dark secret that puts her under threat from Romulan assassins. Eventually, the two meet and it’s discovered that Dahj is the daughter of Data and has a twin Soji.
Picard and Dahj are attacked by more assassins, and Dahj is killed. Picard meets with Dr Agnes Jurati, a colleague (and apparent paramour) of TNG Alumni Dr Bruce Maddox who has vanished following the cybernetics ban at the Daystrom Institute, and she explains that Dahj could be Data’s daughter due to an experimental procedure known as fractal neuronic cloning, a process that results in twin androids with organic bodies. Meanwhile, Dahj’s twin, Soji Asha, works in a Borg Cube that has been reclaimed by Romulan refugees.
While it was a good episode and was largely liked by those in attendance, it did raise a lot of questions of which some were answered by the rest of the season, and others that remained a mystery. Its interesting to see what the second season of this awesome show has in store when it returns to our screens later next year
Live long and Prosper,
Commander Ross Manuel
CO USS Animus