Vox Sola
Original Airdate: 1 May, 2002

Captain's starlog, supplemental. I'm beginning to wonder if inviting the Kreetassans aboard was such a good idea. It's been a challenging morning, to say the least.

[Corridor]

(The long, thin ship is attached to the starboard airlock, and the Kreetassan's - deep-set eyes, braided hair, blue foreheads and chins - are striding rapidly through the ship, speaking their own language, with Archer, Hoshi, T'Pol and Trip in their wake.)
ARCHER: Did you get that?
HOSHI: Tostka. Insult. Some kind of an insult.
T'POL: He's insulting us or we insulted them?
HOSHI: I'm not sure.
CAPTAIN: Tostka!
ARCHER: Ask what we did wrong.
HOSHI: Kjass. Skjask las?
CAPTAIN: Hwajat ajhakjahs!
ARCHER: Well?
HOSHI: You eat like you mate?
TUCKER: You sure that thing's working?
(They arrive at the airlock.)
CAPTAIN: Sasooratt!
HOSHI: I think they want to leave.
T'POL: That much is obvious.
ARCHER: Whatever we've done to offend you, I apologize.
HOSHI: Jhaaratun yiitooratt loorii.
CAPTAIN: Sasooratt!

(Tucker opens the airlock, the aliens step through and the door closes.)

TUCKER: Well, this is one for the books. Briefest First Contact.
(But as the Kreetassan's docking port retracts, something white and filament-like crawls along the outside onto Enterprise, and slithers inside as the external hatch closes.)

[Bridge]

HOSHI: Does anybody hear that?
TRAVIS: What, the static?
HOSHI: Frequency distortions mixed in with the static.
TRAVIS: You've got better ears than we do.
HOSHI: It's coming from the comm. system.
T'POL: Have you run a diagnostic?
HOSHI: Twice. I guess today is just not my day.
TRAVIS: How's the translation coming along?
HOSHI: Slowly. Hwajat, their word for eat.
TRAVIS: What about it?
HOSHI: With the emphasis on the first syllable, hwa-jat, it means to mate.
TRAVIS: I can see how that might cause some confusion over dinner.
HOSHI: Context is critical in every language but Kreetassan has the most subtle variations I've ever seen. The same word can have a dozen different meanings.
T'POL: We rely on you to recognise the difference, Ensign.
HOSHI: You think it was my fault?
T'POL: I didn't say that.
HOSHI: You implied it.
T'POL: I simply noted that linguistic matters fall within your responsibility. For all we know it was Mister Tucker's table manners that offended them.
HOSHI: But you think if I picked up the language faster they might have not stormed off the ship.
T'POL: There's no need to react emotionally. Try to learn from failure. It could help your next first contact be more successful.
HOSHI: Thanks.
(Trip walks onto the Bridge.)
HOSHI: Commander, I'm picking up some kind of interference from the comm. system. A high-frequency distortion.
TUCKER: Is it a problem?
HOSHI: Mostly just irritating.
TUCKER: I'll track it down first thing in the morning.
HOSHI: Thanks.
TUCKER: Is he in there?
T'POL: Yes.
TUCKER: How's his mood?
T'POL: Now might not be the best time.
TUCKER: I'll take my chances.

[Ready room]

(The door chimes.)
ARCHER: It better be important.
TUCKER: Prime rib tonight with real horseradish.
ARCHER: Thanks. I'll have the steward send some up. Thought we'd set a course for this brown dwarf system. Looks interesting.
TUCKER: I can't wait. In the meantime, why don't we shoot a little nine ball? You can break.
ARCHER: Maybe later.
TUCKER: I was going to save this for a rainy day, but
(He pulls a computer slide from his pocket.)
TUCKER: Stanford versus Texas.
ARCHER: The finals?
TUCKER: Fresh out of the subspace mailbag. You've been threatening to teach me the finer points of the game.
(He tosses the slide to Archer.)
TUCKER: Unless you're too busy with your brown dwarves.
(In Archer's quarters, Porthos leaps onto the bed and starts barking at the air vent overhead. We see the filament thing moving through a Jefferies tube.)

[Mess hall]

(Travis, Malcolm and Hoshi are eating.)
TRAVIS: What if they just don't like being touched? Remember how uncomfortable they looked when the Captain tried to shake their hands?
REED: They looked that way the entire time. Besides, they didn't really lose their temper until they arrived here in the mess hall.
TRAVIS: Are you staying for the movie tonight?
REED: What's playing?
TRAVIS: Wages of Fear. Classic French film. No, you'll like it. Things blow up.
REED: Oh, sounds fun. Hoshi?
HOSHI: No, thanks. I'm turning in early.
REED: We might need a translator. Those subtitles go by pretty fast.
HOSHI: I've had enough language problems for one day.
(Out in the corridor Hoshi hears something, and puts her ear to the bulkhead. We see the filament creature on the other side.)

[Engineering]

ROSTOV: We're going to have to sit in the back.
KELLY: One minute.
ROSTOV: I hate missing the beginning.
KELLY: It's on the computer. You can watch it whenever you want.
ROSTOV: It's not the same. You don't want to go back and see the first part after you know how it ends.
KELLY: The power just went out on D deck. Cargo bay two. The lighting grid's down.
ROSTOV: It's probably just a blown relay. Leave it for the night shift.
KELLY: If it's just a blown relay it'll take you ten minutes to fix. Here.
(Kelly throws him some equipment)
KELLY: The comm.'s out too.

[Mess hall]

(Converted to a cinema for movie night.)
REED: Two and a half hours?
TRAVIS: Two hours and twenty four minutes.
REED: Seems awfully long for a movie about four men in a truck.
TRAVIS: You'll be on the edge of your seat.
REED: You promised me explosions.
TRAVIS: Don't worry.
(The lights go down, the screen comes on, but it's not the movie, it's sickbay, then the situation room.)
REED: This is all wrong. (gets up) Excuse me. Reed to Bridge.
VOICE [OC]: Go ahead, Lieutenant.
REED: We're trying to watch a movie down here but instead, we're being treated to a view of you. So unless you're planning on giving us a little song and dance, maybe you could see what's gone wrong.

[Captain's mess]

(Out of uniform, watching the water-polo game on the wall screen, eating snacks and drinking beer.)
ARCHER: Come on, come on. Goal for Stanford!
TUCKER: How deep's the pool?
ARCHER: Deep enough so that no one can touch the bottom.
TUCKER: I didn't know it was such a rough game.
ARCHER: Think of it as one part basketball one part swimming and one part wrestling.
TUCKER: And I thought it was just a bunch of guys screwing around in a pool.
(In cargo bay two, Rostov enters with a torch. He discovers a hole in the ceiling at the far end with white gung dripping down the walls, and just catches sight of a white tail slithering away along the floor. He follows the trail to a while filament construction and gets out his communicator, when suddenly)

[Engineering]

KELLY: Engineering. (silence) Michael, is that you? Hello?

[Captain's mess]

ARCHER: Nice goal!
TUCKER: Did you see the way number twelve set him up? Wait, he's called the point man, right?
ARCHER: Very good. I told you, best sport in the world.
TUCKER: Well, I'll still take a great off-tackle run out of the backfield, but I can see how you can get hooked on this.
ARCHER: Thanks for thinking of it.
TUCKER: My pleasure. Now keep watching while Texas trounces your sorry California butts.
ARCHER: You haven't watched the end of this, have you?
TUCKER: Of course not.

[Cargo bay two]

(Kelly has come looking for Rostov.)
KELLY: Hello?

[Captain's mess]

TUCKER: What the hell was that?
ARCHER: Oh, number eight on Texas just fouled one of my boys. He's going to be ejected for twenty seconds.
TUCKER: Is that fair? It gives you guys an advantage.
ARCHER: Well, that's the point. I don't suppose it'd be practical to put a pool on the ship.
TUCKER: I wouldn't want to be taking a swim if the gravity plating went offline.
ARCHER: No. No.
KELLY [OC]: Kelly to the Captain.
ARCHER: Go ahead.
KELLY [OC]: Sir, I'm in Cargo bay two and

[Cargo bay two]

KELLY: There's some kind of lifeform in here.

[Captain's mess]

ARCHER: Lifeform?
KELLY [OC]: It's got Rostov, sir. He's still conscious, but he can't
ARCHER: Crewman?

[Cargo bay two]

(Archer and Trip are joined by Reed and a guard at the door.)
ARCHER: Weapons to stun.
REED: Captain.
(Reed goes first, the rest follow carefully.)
TUCKER: Sir?
(Their torches illuminate Kelly, entwined in white filament.)
REED: Careful.
(The filament tightens on Kelly.)
ARCHER: The light.
(As they lower their torches, the filament loosens again.)
REED: (gets out scanner) She's alive.
ROSTOV: (bound further up the web) Captain? Leave.
ARCHER: Crewman?
ROSTOV: Leave.
(The group back away, then Reed spots tentacles reaching out.)
REED: Captain!
(Archer is dragged along the floor, Trip hanging onto him. Despite shooting at the tentacle, he's pulled up into the web, and Tucker is grabbed around the chest.)
TUCKER: Get out of here! Go!
(The guard tries to get up a staircase but is grabbed by the foot and pulled in too. Reed dashes for the door and manages to slam it shut, cutting off an end of a tentacle in the process.)

[Situation room]

REED: This thing appears to be growing. There's no telling if it'll get out of the cargo bay. I recommend we evacuate the entire deck.
HOSHI: How did it get onboard?
TRAVIS: The last time we opened the airlock, we were docked with the Kreetassans.
REED: You think they left us a little souvenir?
T'POL: Our encounter didn't go well but I doubt we gave them reason to attack us. We're not even certain that the organism's hostile.
REED: You didn't see that thing go after the Captain! It seemed hostile enough to me.
TRAVIS: The Kreetassans might know something about this thing. I can start scanning for their ship, try to pick up their warp trail.
T'POL: We'll need to communicate with them better than last time.
HOSHI: I'll do my best.
T'POL: T'Pol to Doctor Phlox. Report.
PHLOX [OC]: I'm preparing to examine the specimen. Would you care to observe?
T'POL: Yes. Stand by.
(The display monitor switches to an overhead view of dissection table with the tentacle on it.)
PHLOX [on monitor]: You'll note that even though it's been severed from its body, it survives independently

[Sickbay]

(Phlox is in full protective suit.)
PHLOX: Not unlike the common earthworm or the Neethian cradlefish.

[Situation room]

REED: Do you think that's wise, Doctor?

[Sickbay]

(Phlox takes hold of the tentacle.)
PHLOX: Possibly not, but I'm going to need a tissue sample if I hope to learn more about its physiology.
(The tentacle reaches up his arm, and he removes it.)
PHLOX: That'll be quite enough. This is no earthworm.

[Situation room]

T'POL: Doctor?
PHLOX [OC]: Look at the synaptic activity. This organism possesses a very sophisticated nervous system. It could be capable of higher mental functions.
HOSHI: If it's intelligent maybe we can communicate with it. The frequency distortions, they look a lot like the phonetic patterns in certain Andorian dialects.
REED: With all due respect, Hoshi, we're not talking about nouns and verbs here. It could take you days to learn a language like that, even if it is one.
HOSHI: What other choice do we have? Give me a chance.
T'POL: I'm sorry, Ensign, there isn't enough time.
HOSHI: Sub-Commander.
T'POL: We need to neutralise it, quickly. You said phase pistols had no effect?
REED: None that I could tell.
T'POL: Then I suggest you find a method that does.
PHLOX [OC]: If I may, the organism is highly photo-sensitive. A sustained burst of EM radiation might be enough to stun the creature.
T'POL: Can you assemble some EM emitters?
REED: It'll take a few minutes.

[Cargo bay two]

ROSTOV: Why doesn't it just kill us?
TUCKER: Take it easy.
ARCHER: I'm sure T'Pol and Malcolm are doing everything they can to get us out of here. Can either of you see Crewman Kelly?
ROSTOV: Yes, sir.
ARCHER: How's she look?
ROSTOV: She's still breathing.
TUCKER: Zabel's still unconscious.
ROSTOV: Captain?
ARCHER: Yeah.
ROSTOV: I imagine in a situation like this they'd cancel the movie.
ARCHER: I imagine so.
ROSTOV: I really wanted to see it. Yves Montand driving explosives through the mountains.
ARCHER: I'll make sure they reschedule it for next week.
ROSTOV: Thank you, sir.
(Reed and other men enter the cargo bay, and fire off their light emitters.)

[Situation room]

PHLOX: It's working.

[Cargo bay two]

(The captives start screaming and writhing in their bonds.)
REED: Bridge, something's wrong.

[Situation room]

PHLOX: Shut off the emitters.
REED [OC]: Doctor?
PHLOX: Shut them off.

[Cargo bay two]

REED: Off.
(The creature stops twitching and the captives stop screaming.)

[Situation room]

T'POL: What happened?
PHLOX: Their nervous systems appear to be linked to the organism's. They're sharing autonomic functions, neural impulses. If we continue firing we could end up killing our own people.
T'POL: Mister Reed, withdraw your team.

[Cargo bay two]

REED: Understood.

[Situation room]

PHLOX: The rate of symbiosis is increasing. If we don't find a way to extract them soon their systems will be too integrated with the creature. I won't be able to separate them.
T'POL: (to Hoshi) You wanted a chance to communicate. I suggest you begin.

[Sickbay]

(Looking at five sets of lifesign readouts on the monitor.)
T'POL: How much time do they have?
PHLOX: A few hours at most. Their metabolic rates are dropping. Temperature, respiration.
REED: There must be some way to cut them out of there.
PHLOX: I'm not sure if you appreciate how alien this creature is. It's not attacking our crewmen, it's trying to integrate them into itself.
REED: The end result's the same.
PHLOX: At some point in the very near future there won't be six lifeforms in that cargo bay. There'll only be one.

[Corridor]

REED: If that thing continues to grow, we're going to have to find a way to contain it.
T'POL: Do you have a suggestion?
REED: Starfleet's been working on creating a stable EM barrier for the last five years.
T'POL: A force field.
REED: Right. They just haven't found a way to control the particle density. All the specs are in the database. I've been trying to jerry-rig a prototype of my own.
T'POL: And?
REED: I've got it stable enough to absorb a phase pistol blast sixty percent of the time. I think I can improve on that.
T'POL: I suggest you work quickly.

[Bridge]

TRAVIS: I think I found them.
T'POL: Where?
TRAVIS: Point five two light years from here.
T'POL: Lay in a course.
TRAVIS: I already have. I've been sending out hails but we're still out of comm. range.
T'POL: Let me know as soon as they respond.

[Situation room]

T'POL: Any progress?
HOSHI: Believe me, you'd be the first to know. I'm sorry. It's frustrating. I'm not having a lot of luck.
T'POL: The situation requires expertise, not luck.
HOSHI: Maybe I don't have the expertise.
T'POL: If you don't, no one else aboard Enterprise does.
HOSHI: I'm doing my best.
T'POL: It was your suggestion that we attempt to communicate with it. If you don't think that's possible, we'll have to find another solution.
HOSHI: I've made a little progress, but our translation matrix isn't designed for this. Look at it. It's more like a calculus equation than a language.
T'POL: Mathematics is sometimes considered a form of language.
HOSHI: What I'm trying to say is that I could use help from someone with a background in higher mathematics.
T'POL: Perhaps I can assist you.

[Cargo bay two]

TUCKER: The Texas goalie can't block to his right because he keeps his hands too deep.
ARCHER: How do you know that?
ROSTOV: Captain, I know it too, and I don't understand anything about water polo.
ARCHER: It's this lifeform. It's linking us together somehow.
TUCKER: We got to get out!
ARCHER: Calm down.
TUCKER: This thing's gotten inside our heads!
ARCHER: Trip, do you know what I'm thinking about?
TUCKER: Now's not the time to be thinking about the regionals.
ARCHER: Trip.
TUCKER: Senior year, North American regionals against Princeton. We, I mean, you were down by two goals under a minute left.
ARCHER: And what was I thinking? What was I thinking.
TUCKER: You thought you could win every game. You always thought you could win. No matter how far behind you were.
ARCHER: And we did. We went on the finals that year. As soon as you give up, the game's lost.

[Sickbay]

REED: How's our little friend?
(He means the tentacle.)
PHLOX: Fast asleep. It appears to have entered a dormant state. Probably a reaction to the shock of being severed from the larger organism.
REED: But it's alive?
PHLOX: Very much so.
REED: Good. Now, if you don't mind, I'd like to run a few tests of my own.
PHLOX: What kind of tests?
REED: I need to determine how much bioelectric stress it can tolerate.
PHLOX: May I ask why?
REED: I'm trying to create a force field to isolate the cargo bay, but if it's going to work, I have to calculate how much of a jolt it will take to repel the organism without killing it or any of the people it's taken.
PHLOX: If you intend to pummel this appendage with EM radiation until it cries for mercy, I'm afraid I can't permit that.
REED: Why not?
PHLOX: This is more than just a severed limb. It exhibits all the signs of an intelligent being.
REED: Intelligent being or not, its big brother is in the Cargo bay strangling the Captain and four other crewmen. If we don't do something to contain it now it could pose a threat to everyone on board.
PHLOX: There are less invasive ways to gather the information you need.
REED: Such as?
PHLOX: Microcellular analysis.
REED: How long would that take?
PHLOX: Less than an hour.
REED: In less than an hour that thing could spread across half a deck.
PHLOX: I'm willing to help you, Mister Reed, but not if it means torturing this organism. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't our mission to try to better understand unique forms of life?
REED: Not if they're trying to kill the Captain.
PHLOX: We don't know anything about this creature's intentions.
REED: I admire your interspecies ethics, but until Hoshi tells me she's found a way to communicate with it, I have to assume its intentions are hostile. Now, if you don't mind.
PHLOX: If you want information to help you construct your force field, you'll acquire it under my supervision.
REED: I'm sure I don't have to remind you, Doctor, I am the ranking officer here.
PHLOX: Not in my Sickbay, unless the Captain says otherwise.
REED: The Captain is in no condition to offer an opinion.
PHLOX: Precisely.
REED: Fine. Your rules, but we'd better get to it.

[Mess hall]

(The two women are working at separate tables.)
T'POL: What if we used a bilateral algorithm?
HOSHI: I already tried.
T'POL: Did you compensate for frequency drift?
HOSHI: I wouldn't be much of a comm. officer if I didn't.
T'POL: Allowing your emotions to control you won't help solve this problem, Ensign.
HOSHI: Neither will questioning everything I do.
T'POL: You asked for my help.
HOSHI: I didn't ask for you to keep count of every time I make a mistake, or to second-guess all of my decisions.
T'POL: As First Officer it's my duty to supervise you.
HOSHI: This goes beyond duty, Sub-Commander. You've been looking over my shoulder ever since you came on board. Double-checking my log entries, my translations.
T'POL: It's my job.
HOSHI: Is that all we're talking about? You don't think I belong on Enterprise, do you.
T'POL: On the contrary. It would be a great loss to Starfleet if you were not a part of this crew. If you feel I've been unfair to you, I apologise, but I hold you to a high standard, Ensign, because I know you're capable of achieving it. Shall we continue?
HOSHI: Yes. Why don't we take another look at the sub-harmonics. I was thinking we could run it through the decryption matrix, see if we can find a pattern. All I see is numbers, codes.
T'POL: Any code can be broken.

[Bridge]

(Travis is basically on his own when an incoming signal beep starts up.)
CAPTAIN [on viewscreen: You hailed us?
TRAVIS: You speak English.
CAPTAIN [on viewscreen]: We studied your database. It wasn't difficult.
TRAVIS: Okay. We have a problem.
CAPTAIN [on viewscreen]: Yes?
TRAVIS: There'an alien organism on our ship.
CAPTAIN [on viewscreen]: Yes?
TRAVIS: It came aboard around the same time we saw you. We were hoping you might know something about it.
CAPTAIN [on viewscreen]: Describe this organism.
TRAVIS: Well, it's big, but it didn't start out that way. It's like a large mass of tendrils.
CAPTAIN [on viewscreen]: Tendrils?
TRAVIS: Like a giant web, but it moves and grows.
CAPTAIN [on viewscreen]: We have seen this.
TRAVIS: Where?
CAPTAIN: On its home world. Perhaps it attached itself to our ship. It wasn't our fault.
TRAVIS: Can you tell us where this planet is?
CAPTAIN [on viewscreen]: Apologise.
TRAVIS: Excuse me?
CAPTAIN [on viewscreen]: We will send you the coordinates but first you must apologise to us for your offence.
TRAVIS: That's the thing. We don't know what we did to offend you.
CAPTAIN [on viewscreen]: On your ship, you put food in your mouths.
TRAVIS: You mean eat.
CAPTAIN [on viewscreen]: Yes. Eat.
TRAVIS: I don't understand.
CAPTAIN [on viewscreen]: It is like mating. It is very offensive to us.
TRAVIS: We were just eating. How do you eat?
CAPTAIN [on viewscreen]: We eat the same way, but not in the presence of others.
TRAVIS: I see. Okay. Please believe me, we had no idea that would be offensive to you. It was simply a misunderstanding. On behalf of the entire crew, I sincerely apologise.
CAPTAIN [on viewscreen]: Your apology is accepted.
TRAVIS: Thank you. Now, could I have those coordinates?

[Cargo bay two]

TUCKER: Captain.
ARCHER: Yeah.
TUCKER: I feel you've drifted away over there.
ARCHER: You aren't feeling much better than I do. Rostov?
TUCKER: He's out. When Zephram Cochrane talked about new life and new civilisation do you think this is what he meant?

[Mess hall]

HOSHI: Here, here it is. I found a third set of repetitions. Try it. Just a few more and the UT can start building a syntax.
PHLOX [OC]: Phlox to T'Pol.
T'POL: Go ahead.
PHLOX [OC]: I know you're under a great deal of pressure

[Sickbay]

PHLOX: But Crewman Kelly's metabolic rate has dropped to a critical level. Whatever you're planning to do

[Mess hall]

PHLOX [OC]: You'd better do it soon.
T'POL: Understood.

[Armoury]

(A crewman makes final adjustments to the emitters.)
CREWMAN: Ready, sir.
(Reed flips a switch, a wobbly forcefield comes on, and the crewman fires a phase pistol at it. The beam is stopped briefly, then passes through and the field collapses.)
REED: The particle density's still fluctuating. I think the problem's in the lower left quadrant.
CREWMAN : Got it, sir.
REED: Try again.
(The phase beam doesn't penetrate this time.)
REED: Better.
T'POL [OC]: T'Pol to Lieutenant Reed.
REED: Go ahead.
T'POL [OC]: We've made some progress on the translation, but we're going to need to get into the cargo bay to test it. Is the forcefield ready?
REED: I'm making the final calibrations now.
T'POL [OC]: You'll have to do it quickly. Doctor Phlox says our people don't have much time.
REED: Understood.

{Cargo bay two]

TUCKER: Captain?
(No reply. The web has grown even more, and the two crewmen are just about invisible under the white filaments. Trip and Archer's faces can still be seen. Reed and his assistant creep into the bay and put the forcefield emitters up on the walls a metre or so in from the door. A tentacle come to investigate and the forcefield stops it.)
REED: Emitter B's off by three point two microns.
(He steps outside to speak to T'Pol, Hoshi and Phlox.)
REED: The forcefield's working, but I can't guarantee how long it will hold. Have you done it?
T'POL: We're about to find out.
(The group goes back inside and Hoshi switches on the Universal Translator.)
REED: It just sounds like a constant tone.
HOSHI: I'm going to create distortions in the tone. Hopefully, the organism will understand what I'm trying to do.
(Phlox's scanner shows vital signs at dangerously low levels. After her third attempt, the creature responds to the tones.)
HOSHI: Come on, just a little more. I think I've got enough to try something simple.
T'POL: Ask what it wants.
HOSHI: It's talking to us.
T'POL: What's it saying? Ensign.
HOSHI: Hold on. It's giving us coordinates.
REED: Its home world?
T'POL: The Kreetassans already gave them to us.
HOSHI: These look more like the latitude and longitude. I think it's trying to give us an exact location of the planet.
T'POL: Tell it we're taking it back.
PHLOX: Commander Tucker's heart rate is increasing.
REED: Is that good or bad?
PHLOX: Good. Crewman Kelly's biosigns are stabilising as well.
(Suddenly there is total silence, then a slithering sound as the four humans are gently unwrapped.)
T'POL: Lower the force field. Lieutenant.
PHLOX: Medical Team, report to Cargo bay two.
CREWWOMAN [OC]: Acknowledged.

[Planet surface]

(Enterprise arrives at a planet and launches a shuttlepod. It lands and four figures in spacesuits carry a box between them into a clear area in a massive web structure.)
T'POL: Here.
HOSHI: Look at all of them.
T'POL: Not them, it. This is all one organism.
(They open the box and the white thing crawls out to rejoin the big web.)
REED: The part that got on board, why did it take our people?
PHLOX: Hard to say. When it got separated from itself, perhaps it needed a physical connection with any lifeform it could find.
(He opens a small box and the severed tentacle slithers out to be rejoined as well.  As the pod takes off, we see that the organism stretches to the horizon and possibly beyond.)

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