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Precious Cargo (episode)

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(written from a Production point of view)
"Precious Cargo"
ENT, Episode 2x11
Production number: 037
First aired: 11 December 2002
36th of 97 produced in ENT
36th of 97 released in ENT
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 97 released in ENT Remastered  
664th of 728 released in all
Kaitaama in stasis pod
Teleplay By
David A. Goodman

Story By
Rick Berman & Brannon Braga

Directed By
David Livingston
September 12, 2152
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After Enterprise rescues a pair of aliens with a mysterious cargo, Trip finds himself in a major predicament after he accidentally opens the cargo.

Summary

The Enterprise answers a distress call from a Retellian cargo ship that is experiencing problems with its life support systems. Two crewmen come aboard Enterprise and explain that they have been hired to return a young woman back to her homeworld but a few days ago her stasis pod began to malfunction. Their ship is a small cargo vessel, however, not designed or equipped for more than two people; they still have a long journey ahead of them (at warp 2) and if she wakes up, there won't be enough food or air. They gladly accept all the assistance Captain Archer offers them and are grateful for Trip Tucker taking a look at the power cells for the pod.

When Archer offers to help them get to their destination in just a few days, they get nervous, however, politely declining the offer, insisting that they are on a schedule and that the family is not even expecting her on her home world for another five months.

However, when the passenger awakens following another malfunction, it becomes obvious that she is not there of her own will: she is kicking and screaming in the pod that she is being held in, demanding to be let out. When Tucker tries to help her, one of the Retellian cargo pilots, Goff, strikes him down and flees the Enterprise at once - leaving his brother behind. Enterprise is able to catch up easily, however when dropping out of warp, the cargo ship manages to release a dilithium hydroxyl cloud that disables Enterprise's warp drive, and it gets away.

On the cargo ship, the outraged passenger, whose name is Kaitaama, explains to Tucker that she is a prisoner and that she was attacked on her way back from a diplomatic mission. She is surprised that Tucker doesn't know her, for her family is apparently known on hundreds of worlds. She is to be the First Monarch of the Sovereign Dynasty of Krios Prime. She is sure that she has been kidnapped by the Retellians for a ransom - so she suggests just waiting until the ransom is paid and they are returned safely. Tucker, however, doesn't want to sit around and wait, so he suggests trying to escape the cargo vessel through an escape pod he saw earlier. She protests, stating that it is too dangerous, but Tucker tells her that he is not one of her subjects and that he will try to get out regardless of what she says.

Despite protests and refusal to help at first, she finally changes her mind and takes her chances with Tucker aboard the escape pod, which is entirely too small, obviously made for one person only. Crammed inside a tiny space, they irritate each other immensely and do not get along very well at first, but manage to tolerate each other until they can land on a habitable planet.

Back on the Enterprise, Archer and T'Pol tell Plinn, the alien left behind, that under Starfleet regulations, he will be held responsible for the actions of his brother and severely punished if he doesn't reveal the cargo vessel's warp frequency. Archer is playing "good cop" and offers him leniency versus T'Pol, who assumes a position of high authority. After much pressure and theatrical performance, they are finally able to get that information out of him.

In the meanwhile, the escape pod approaches a planet that supports a breathable atmosphere. They manage to land and end up in a hot, humid, swampy area that does offer a breathable atmosphere but is not very hospitable otherwise. Kaitaama and Tucker continue irritating each other again, but after some arguing, yelling and bickering they end up physically intimate. Shortly after, the escape pod beacon is traced back by Goff, who lands on the planet in pursuit of the two. They set a trap for him and manage to strike him down just as Archer, T'Pol, and Lieutenant Reed arrive on the planet to rescue the them.

"Captain's starlog, September 12, 2152. We've rendezvoused with the Krios battle cruiser which is taking the kidnappers into custody."

Back on the Enterprise, Tucker accompanies Kaitaama to the battle cruiser that is to take her home. He jokes that he doubts that from what she told him, her family would allow her to see him if he were to ever visit Krios Prime. But she states that once she has been made First Monarch, she will have the authority to change the rules and asks him to come visit her to find out.

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Log Entries

  • "Captain's starlog, September 12, 2152. We've rendezvoused with a Krios battle cruiser, which has taken the kidnappers into custody."

Memorable Quotes

"Take him back to docking port 2. Put him in the airlock and post a security detail."
"I'm telling you the truth!"
"We'll keep the outer hatch unlocked. If you decide to leave, you know the way out."

- Archer, at the end of an unfruitful interrogation of Plinn


"Is your entire species so ill-mannered?"
"No... just me."

- Kaitaama and Charles Tucker


"Is it edible?"
"Well, depends how hungry you are."

- Kaitaama and Charles Tucker, on the escape pod emergency rations


"Well, we started out with 83 crewmen on board. We're down to 76."

- Archer about T'Pol's supposed strictness about unbecoming conduct for an officer


"How much do you weigh?"
"What?"
"Your weight?"
"72 kilograms."
"Height?"
"1.8 meters. Why are you asking these questions?"
"Does your culture observe any postmortem rituals?"
"This is not fair! I demand to speak with someone from my government!"

- T'Pol pretending to be Plinn's judge and executioner

Background

Links and references

Starring

Guest stars

Uncredited co-stars

Stunt doubles

References

Ardanan shuttle; automobile; bio-pod; bio-sensor; Chatkin Point; chef; crowbar; dilithium hydroxyl; distress call; Earth; EPS conduit; escape pod; Everglades; first contact; First Monarch; Gulf of Mexico; homing beacon; humor; kilometer; Krios Prime; Kriosian; Kriosian battle cruiser; ‎Sovereign Dynasty of Krios Prime; Sovereign Guard; Kriosian transport; life support system; logic; methane; mosquitoes; nitrogen; oxygen; oxygen recycler; parking; phase cannon; pyrosulfate; Retellian; Retellian freighter; stasis pod; Sleeping Beauty; subspace threshold; universal translator; Vulcan High Command; warp frequency


Previous episode:
"Vanishing Point"
Star Trek: Enterprise
Season 2
Next episode:
"The Catwalk"

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