Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad
Stardate: 2136.8-2137.2 (2256)
Original Airdate: 29 Oct 2017

BURNHAM: Personal Log, Specialist Michael Burnham. Stardate 2136.8. Despite my fears to the contrary, I seem to have found my place on this Discovery. An air of routine has descended upon the ship, and even I am a part of it. I've made friends. Well, one, at least. I take comfort in my work. This ship has quickly become the most important weapon in the Federation's arsenal in our war against the Klingons. And because of her, the tide has turned. Because of us, we are winning. Lieutenant Stamets' ability to pilot the ship's spore drive has given him access not just to all of space, but to unseen parts of his personality as well. As we perform our daily responsibilities, I confess I find some members of my fellow crew more interesting than others. Lieutenant Tyler has suffered so much, and still maintains such dignity and kindness. I find him... intriguing. But I fear my personal history interferes with my ability to forge relationships. I am among the others... but also apart. I wish sorely to step out of my comfort zone, yet don't know how. But tonight, I will face one of my greatest challenges so far. Tonight we are having... a party.

[Mess hall]

TILLY: (drunk) One, two, three, go!
(Drinking games, music heavy on the base beat, and Burnham is the only one with her uniform jacket still zipped up. Suddenly the power goes off.)
ALL: Oh!
TILLY: Where's the music?
(And it's back.)
TILLY: What's your deal?
BURNHAM: Starships have power-redundant relays. There shouldn't be any flickering.
TILLY: No, not work. I'm talking about him. (Tyler) You guys have been on two dates. What's going on? I want the details.
BURNHAM: Oh. I helped him calibrate pulse scope rifles in the armoury. And we ate lunch together because it was the end of our shift.
TILLY: Hey, listen. Tou got to give him a sign that you're interested, otherwise, you're gonna lose your shot.
BURNHAM: Duly noted, when I'm actually on a date, which these were not.
TILLY: Well, how... how do you see him? How does he stack up compared to your old boyfriends?
BURNHAM: How does he compare to yours?
TILLY: Well, I used to exclusively go for soldiers, but I'm kind of going through, like, a musician phase right now.
TYLER: Everyone, hey! We're all lucky to be here tonight, surrounded by our brothers and sisters in arms. Laughing. Dancing. But let's not forget the sacrifices that have been made by those who still serve alongside us.
(Shot of a crewman in a wheelchair.)
ALL: Hear, hear! Yeah!
TYLER: And by those who have given their lives for us so we can continue the fight.
ALL: Hear, hear!
TYLER: To the 10,000 souls who are gone but will never be forgotten.
ALL: Never forgotten! Yeah!
TILLY: My soldier thing is back.
TYLER: Burnham. Hey, Tilly. What are you up to?
TILLY: I'm leaving. You guys have fun!
TYLER: Your friend's subtle.
BURNHAM: Inappropriately so.
TANNOY: Science Specialist Burnham and Lieutenant Tyler, please report to the Bridge.
TYLER: Look at that. Saved from the horrors of small talk by duty.
BURNHAM: Wait. No, I...

[Corridor]

BURNHAM: To be clear. I wasn't attempting to be rude. It's just that my experience with parties is limited.
TYLER: Easy, Burnham, I get it.
RUNNER: Left, please.
(Two joggers pass them on the left.)
TYLER: Vulcans don't party. What about the Shenzhou? You served on it for what, seven years?
BURNHAM: Due to my rank, interpersonal fraternisation was... not appropriate.
TYLER: Not really an excuse anymore. So why are you still hiding in corners?
(They walk straight into Culber and Stamets.)
BURNHAM: Oh! I'm sorry, Lieutenant. I'm sorry, Doctor Culber.
STAMETS: (hugging her) Why would you apologise for a random act of physical interaction? You know, these are the moments that make life so gloriously unpredictable. (to Tyler) You're a very tall man.
BURNHAM: I believe you've met Lieutenant Tyler. He's our new Chief of Security here.
STAMETS: May I say you are astonishingly grounded for having endured seven months of torture.
CULBER: I deeply apologise for my partner. Lately he's been, er... different.
STAMETS: Speaking of different, look at the cybernetic augment that my resident genius here built for me.
CULBER: We're trying to make his connection to the spore drive more comfortable.
STAMETS: You're always looking out for me. By the way, what's the deal with you two?
BURNHAM: There is no deal.
TYLER: Specialist Burnham would hate to be inappropriate. Coming, Burnham?
STAMETS: What did he mean by that?
TANNOY: Attention officer trainees. Please report to your immediate supervisors.
STAMETS: What did you mean by that?
CULBER: Okay.

[Bridge]

SARU: Captain, the unidentified signal I monitored is directly ahead.
LORCA: All right, yellow alert, Mister Saru. Shields up. Phasers to standby.
TYLER: Copy that, sir. Topping up.
BURNHAM: Scanners identify the object as biological. Xenobiological classification gormagander. Its health appears to be compromised.
LORCA: Cancel the yellow alert, Mister Saru. Thought those things had been hunted to extinction.
BURNHAM: Hunting isn't the cause of its reduced numbers. It's primarily due to their mating practices, or lack thereof. They spend their lives feeding on alpha particles in solar winds. They're often so consumed by this task that they ignore all other instincts, including reproduction.
LORCA: That's as depressing a trait as I've ever heard. Helmsman, plot a course...
BURNHAM: Captain, the gormagander is on the endangered species list. Protocol requires us to transfer it to a xenologic facility.
LORCA: Then have at it.

[Cargo bay]

MEDIC: I hear we've got a lonely gormagander beaming in. Lost cub or old widow?
BURNHAM: No matter what she is, she is all alone.
TRANSPORTER CHIEF: We've got a lock on the creature, and we're ready to transport.
BURNHAM: Energising.
(The thing is huge. Question - why doesn't the sudden transition to gravity flatten it?)
BURNHAM: All right, sweet girl, let's see if we can't figure out what's got you down.
MEDIC: Wait a minute. I'm detecting abnormal readings inside the creature.
(A bipedal alien walks out, shooting.)
WOMAN: Look out!
MAN: No, don't shoot!
MEDIC: Call the Bridge!
(Burnham runs for a dropped communicator.)
BURNHAM: Burnham to the Bridge. Intruder alert. Shots fired. Need immediate assistance.

[Bridge]

TYLER: Intruders on deck six, sir.
LORCA: I want him locked down. Status on Burnham?
SARU: Unharmed. She reports four confirmed fatalities.
LORCA: Tell her not to engage the hostile.
TYLER: We have him trapped, sir.
LORCA: Whoever you are, drop your weapons. This ends now.
(The intruder removes his horned helmet.)
MUDD [on viewscreen]: Did you miss me as much as I missed you?
LORCA: Mudd.
MUDD [on viewscreen]: Did you really think that you could leave me to rot in a Klingon prison and not suffer any repercussions? As soon as I find out what's so special about your ship, I'm gonna sell it to the Klingons. Do you hear me, Captain? I'm going to sell your ship to your mortal enemy. And in so doing, destroy any chance your Federation has of winning this war! When you left me behind with the Klingons, you robbed me of my dear sweet Stella, the only woman I have ever loved, and I will have my revenge. Also, I'm gonna kill you as many times as possible.
LORCA: I don't see this ending with you taking my ship.
MUDD [on viewscreen]: Not this time. But I have all the data I need for the next. So I will see you later. Or rather, earlier.
(Mudd activates a device, the screen whites-out and the ship judders.)
LORCA: Mister Saru?
SARU: Sensors read amicium and yurium compound explosion.
TYLER: Hull breach on deck six. Five, four, now three. We can't contain it, Captain.
(Discovery goes KaBOOM! Oh please, ST:TNG Cause And Effect?)

[Mess hall]

(Heavy beat version of Staying Alive playing.)
TYLER: To the 10,000 souls who are gone but will never be forgotten.
ALL: Never forgotten! Yeah!
TILLY: My soldier thing is back.
TYLER: Burnham. Hey, Tilly. What are you up to?
TILLY: I'm leaving. Have fun.
TYLER: Your friend's subtle.
BURNHAM: Inappropriately so.
TANNOY: Science Specialist Burnham and Lieu...

[Corridor]

BURNHAM: To be clear. I wasn't attempting to be rude. It's just that my experience with parties is limited.
TYLER: Easy, Burnham, I get it.
RUNNER: Left, please.
TYLER: Vulcans don't party. What about the Shenzhou? You served on it for what, seven years?
BURNHAM: Yes, but due to my rank, interpersonal fraternisation was inappropriate.
TYLER: Not really an excuse anymore. So why are you still hiding in corners?
(This time, they stroll past the runners, who have stopped, but don't bump into Stamets and Culber.)
BURNHAM: There aren't always simple answers to those kinds of questions.
TYLER: And sometimes there are.
(Tyler steps into the turbolift.)
STAMETS: Oh, Tyler. Tyler, wait!
TYLER: Stamets?
STAMETS: Yeah. Burnham, both of you. You need to listen to me. There isn't any time. I.. Or rather, there is time, too much time.
BURNHAM: Stamets, slow down.
STAMETS: I can't slow down! Don't you see what's happening? We have been here before. All of us. I cannot be the only person who recognises this.
CULBER: Paul. I'm very sorry. You're ranting.
STAMETS: What I need is for all of you placid people to finally start listening. Wait! Wait! Er, it all starts with a gormagander, okay? A gormagander.

[Turbolift]

TYLER: What's a gormagander?
BURNHAM: It's a space whale.
TYLER: Well, that explains it.
COMPUTER: Yellow alert. Yellow alert.
LORCA: Nice of you two to show up. Mister Saru, what's hiding from us out there?
SARU: The object is not an enemy ship, sir. It is an organic lifeform. A gormagander.
LORCA: Oh, for crying out loud. All right, cancel the yellow alert. Helm, find some way to get around it.
SARU: Sir, scans show the gormagander's bio readings to be highly unstable. Now, according to regulations, we are required to transfer...
TYLER: Belay that order.
BURNHAM: I can't advise that, Captain.
SARU: The Endangered Species Act is quite clear. Ignoring our duties would put us in direct violation of established laws, and subject our Captain to court-martial.
LORCA: Let's beam this thing into the shuttle bay and drop it off at the nearest sanctuary as soon as we can.
BURNHAM: Captain, I'd like to run point on this, sir. As science specialist, I'm the most qualified to handle the needs of this creature.
LORCA: I don't give a damn, I just want it done.
TYLER: I request security oversight of the operation, Captain.
LORCA: I still don't give a damn. Go.

[Corridor]

TYLER: How could Lieutenant Stamets know we were gonna run into a gormagander?
BURNHAM: There have only been 57 cases of near-misses with starships in the last ten years. The odds are almost incalculable.

[Cargo bay]

MEDIC: I hear we've got a lonely gormagander beaming in.
BURNHAM: Yeah. Activate transporter.
(Tyler powers up his phaser.)
MEDIC: You thinking this whale is armed?
(The space whale is beamed in.)
BURNHAM: Medical readings are abnormal, but nothing else is unusual. I'm gonna get closer readings.
TYLER: You got something?
BURNHAM: Faint. An energy pattern. Almost like a transporter beam.
COMPUTER: Black alert. Black alert.
TYLER: Why are we preparing to jump?
(They clear the cargo bay.)
COMPUTER: Spore drive activated.

[Bridge]

LORCA: I didn't order a spore jump.
AIRIAM: I did not activate it, sir.
LORCA: Computer, show me Engineering.
COMPUTER: Denied.
LORCA: Tyler, get to Engineering. Go, go, go!

[Outside Engineering]

TYLER: Door's locked from the inside. Security override isn't functioning.
(The door opens.)
COMPUTER: Warning, critical drive overload in three minutes.
MUDD: Welcome, kiddies. Make yourselves at home. I have.
TYLER: How the hell did you get out of that prison, Mudd?
MUDD: You remember my multi-legged friend, Stuart? Well, we performed a feat of magic that would make the most accomplished escape artist blush. Alas, once free, he went his own way. Bugs, no loyalty.
BURNHAM: Tyler, you know this man.
TYLER: He was my cellmate. Back away from the console. Put your hands in the air. I won't ask you again, Mudd.
MUDD: Actually, you will. But, before then, would you please tell me how to work these controls? I understand that the drive system is what's special about this ship.
TYLER: Back away or we fire!
MUDD: But for the life of me, I can't...
(Tyler and Burnham fire their phasers, to reveal a forcefield in place between them and Mudd.)
MUDD: ...figure out what these contraptions do or what they connect to.
COMPUTER: Warning, critical drive overload in 60 seconds.
MUDD: Can we just jump ahead to the part where you tell me how to make these systems operational, please? I've got some Klingons on the hook. You might want to hurry. We're getting close to that point where, you know...
BURNHAM: Computer, beam intruder to the brig.
MUDD: I've created a containment field to protect me on this side of the room. You really think I would forget to take control of the computer?
COMPUTER: Warning. Critical drive overload.
BURNHAM: You are mad.
MUDD: No. I'm Mudd. Now, will one of you tell me how to work this damn system!
(Stamets shoots Mudd in the back.)
STAMETS: As days go, this is a weird one.
BURNHAM: Stamets, the drive.
STAMETS: I know, believe me.
COMPUTER: Warning, critical drive overload in 20 seconds.
STAMETS: We've been through all this before. Multiple times, actually. And I hate to tell you, but I have yet to find a way where it ends with a win for the home team.
COMPUTER: Warning, drive overload critical.
STAMETS: I'll see you again soon.
TYLER: Stamets, wait!
(KaBOOM!)

[Mess hall]

TYLER: Because I was gonna ask if you wanted to dance.
TANNOY: Science Specialist Burnham and Lieutenant Tyler, please report to the Bridge.
TYLER: Saved by the bell.
STAMETS: Excuse me. Excuse me. Hey. Where's Burnham?
TILLY: I don't know.

[Bridge]

BURNHAM: The gormagander is on the endangered species list.
LORCA: Have at it.

[Corridor]

STAMETS: Burnham, don't talk, just listen. The ship is in danger. We are caught in a temporal loop. We are repeating the same thirty odd minutes over and over again. The ship can be destroyed, we can all be killed, but as long as the thirty minute window doesn't expire, everything starts over. And every second that you doubt me brings us all closer to death. Do you understand?
BURNHAM: Okay. I think we need to get you to Sickbay. think these might be side effects of your...
STAMETS + BURNHAM: Exposure to the alien DNA. It's possible we haven't taken into consideration the cognitive variances...
STAMETS: Yes, yes, yes. Please stop talking and come with me. I'll explain everything.

[Bridge]

LORCA: Is the fish safely on board yet?
SARU: Technically, it's not a fish, it's... (silenced by a Look)
TYLER: Shuttle bay reports five by five.
LORCA: Good.
COMM OFFICER: Captain, message from Doctor Culber. He's requesting you in Sickbay. It's regarding Lieutenant Stamets. It's urgent.

[Turbolift]

LORCA: Sickbay, direct.
COMPUTER: Destination cancelled.
(The door opens and a crewman falls with a knife hilt sticking out of his back.)
MUDD: Heavy.
LORCA: Mudd. Computer, red alert.
MUDD: Override, my dear computer. Come on.

[Corridor]

LORCA: What the hell are you doing on my ship?
MUDD: You ask me that question every single time. You know that, don't you? No. Of course you don't.
LORCA: What?
MUDD: Move! I really can't take it from the top for you all over again, Lorca. The message from the doctor was not real. I just wanted some alone time with you. There's an area of the ship I can't access, and I'm hoping you're hiding your secrets to the spore drive inside.
LORCA: I don't know what you're talking about, Mudd, but if you think I'm gonna help you in any way at all, then you're crazier than I remember.
MUDD: There really are so many ways to blow up this ship, it's almost a design flaw. Computer, access self-destruct programme.
COMPUTER: Accessed.
MUDD: Ball's in your court, Captain.

[Corridor]

STAMETS: Mudd is using some kind of technology that allows him to repeat the same thirty minutes over and over. He's trying to get the spore drive running so he can sell the ship to the Klingons.
BURNHAM: Well, how are you capable of existing outside of the time loop?
STAMETS: Well, the Tardigrade is a multidimensional creature, so it must be a side effect of combining its DNA with mine.
BURNHAM: Yes. So you remember everything?
STAMETS: Yes. And it's getting really hard to keep it straight. I can't stop Mudd alone, Burnham. And sooner or later, he's going to figure out there's a piece missing from the spore drive. It's me.
BURNHAM: How is Mudd creating a time loop?
STAMETS: I don't know. I'm hoping maybe Tyler might, because they shared a cell together. Tyler mentioned it right before I shot Mudd. Anyway, I need you to talk to Tyler. We're almost out of time in this loop. Tell me a secret. Something that will immediately prove to you we've had this conversation. Something you've never admitted to anyone. I promise it'll be safe with me.
(Burnham whispers in his ear.)
STAMETS: I'm sorry.
BURNHAM: Where is Mudd now?
STAMETS: Now is usually around the time he kills the Captain.

[Laboratory]

MUDD: Okay. Ooo, I love what you've done with the place, Gabe.
LORCA: There's nothing here for you, Mudd. This is my own private research area.
MUDD: Ah-ha. Why didn't you tell me that you had so many wonderful toys? Ooo. Wonder what this does? I'm thinking it might melt brains. Does it melt brains?
LORCA: If you kill a Starfleet Captain, they lock you up forever, you know that.
MUDD: Do you know how many times I've had the pleasure of taking your life, Lorca?
(In the Ready room, on the Bridge three times including spacing Lorca while eating a ham roll)
MUDD: 53, but who's counting? And it never gets old. Oh, drat. We're almost out of time. I'll figure out how that little motor of yours works sooner or later. I've got all the time in the world. And in the meanwhile, we still don't know what this does. Let's find out.
(It's a disrupter type weapon.)

[Mess hall]

TILLY: Where's the music?
(Power returns.)
TILLY: What's your deal?
BURNHAM: Starships have redundant power relays. There shouldn't be...
STAMETS: I just spotted the hottest guy over there, and apparently he's in a band. Have fun.
TILLY: Okay.
BURNHAM: I wouldn't take you for this kind of event.
STAMETS: You've never been in love.
BURNHAM: Why would you say that to me?
STAMETS: Because I need your help. - You told me that piece of information to prove to you that what I'm saying is true. We have been caught in a 30-minute time loop and I'm the only one who realises it. I have witnessed you and Lorca and Tyler die at the hands of a criminal named Harry Mudd, who is trying to take over our ship. I need to know that you believe me, because if I have to explain this again, I'm gonna throw myself out an airlock.
BURNHAM: I believe you.
STAMETS: Good. So please, talk to Tyler and find out if he has any information on Mudd that will help us stop him.
BURNHAM: But what if he won't talk to me either?
STAMETS: Oh, he will. He likes you. Here he comes.
TYLER: Uh-oh. Xenoanthropologist in the corner. Don't tell me, you're busy studying the coupling rituals of pent-up soldiers.
BURNHAM: No.
TYLER: Because I was gonna ask you if you wanted to dance.
BURNHAM: We don't have time for that.
TYLER: Oh.
BURNHAM: I mean...
TANNOY: Science Specialist Burnham and Lieutenant Tyler, please report to the Bridge.
TYLER: Saved by the bell.

[Corridor]

BURNHAM: I am really bad at this.
STAMETS: Yeah, you should've gone with him to the Bridge.
BURNHAM: And if what you say is true, then Tyler and I don't have any more alone time until the next reset. Our one chance to fix all this, and I blew it.
STAMETS: Well, you like him. That makes things a little tricky.
BURNHAM: I'm out of my element.
STAMETS: Dance with me. For science. I need to see what I'm working with.
BURNHAM: But say I wanted to... step out of my... corner. How do people connect in that way?
STAMETS: Hugh and I fell in love after I told him to get lost.
BURNHAM: That doesn't make any sense.
STAMETS: Love isn't logical. Can you let me lead, please? I was in a wonderful café on Alpha Centauri, when, three seats down, comes this hideous humming. Have you ever heard someone try to hum Kasseelian opera?
BURNHAM: I can't say that I have.
STAMETS: Well, I told him to stifle it or sit somewhere else. Instead, he sat right next to me. And he's been there ever since.
BURNHAM: But after such a rude exchange, why would he do that?
STAMETS: I told him how I really felt, and he did the same. And we liked that about each other.
BURNHAM: I'm good at honesty.
STAMETS: Never hide who you are. That's the only way relationships work. We're out of time. We'll have to figure out how Mudd's resetting the time loop. You'll do better on the next go-around. You have to.

[Mess hall]

BURNHAM: Hi.
TYLER: Hey. I was just coming over to see... Want to dance?
BURNHAM: I thought you'd never ask. Will you lead, please?
TYLER: Yeah.
(It's one from the Reverend Al Green. Nice.)
BURNHAM: So, I hear you were locked up in that Klingon prison cell with Harry Mudd.
TYLER: Not one for small talk, are you?
BURNHAM: I've never understood it, really. But I've realised that relationships are built on honesty. So here it is. Harry Mudd is here. And in a few minutes, he's gonna take over this ship. He wants to sell it to the Klingons. He's already trapped us in a time loop.
TYLER: Harry Mudd? Wait, is this Vulcan humour?
BURNHAM: I wish it were.
TYLER: And why didn't Stamets come to me himself?
BURNHAM: He tried, in previous loops, but he felt like you'd have an easier time trusting me.
TYLER: And why is that?
BURNHAM: Because I like you.
TYLER: Oh.
BURNHAM: And he thinks you like me, too.
TYLER: This night's gotten weird, but also very interesting. If time really is repeating, this won't matter.
(He kisses Burnham.)
BURNHAM: That was nice.
TANNOY: Science Specialist Burnham and Lieutenant Tyler, please report to the Bridge.
BURNHAM: No, please ignore it. We have to.
TYLER: Okay. Okay. So how can I help?
BURNHAM: Did Mudd ever mention having access to equipment that could help him do something this big?
TYLER: Yeah, yeah, he did used to brag about robbing a Betazoid bank, heavily secured and fortified, no way in. Volatile encryption, molecular locks, daily DNA password protection. Mudd claimed to have memorised the security patterns. I thought it was just another one of his lies. But I guess if he had an unlimited number of tries...
BURNHAM: Did he say how he did it?
TYLER: Something about a non-equilibrial matter state.
BURNHAM: A time crystal. We learned about these at the Vulcan Academy. But the decay rate of the lattice is too unpredictable. No Federation-aligned species has ever been able to stabilise them. A four-dimensional race must have perfected the technology, and now Mudd has it.
TYLER: Why don't we track Mudd down and see if he's wearing one of these crystal things? Any idea where he is?
BURNHAM: Let's go.

[Bridge]

LORCA: Has that fish beamed aboard safely yet?
SARU: Well, technically, it's not a fish, it's... (silenced by a Look)
LORCA: Where the hell are Burnham and Tyler?
(Triumphal classical music blasts out of the sound system. Wagner?)
LORCA: Mister Saru?
SARU: I don't understand, sir. I'm locked out of the ship's controls.
LORCA: Computer. Computer, respond!
MUDD: Let me see what I can do. Computer, reduce volume so we can have a normal, adult conversation.
COMPUTER: Yes, Captain Mudd.
LORCA: Captain Mudd?
MUDD: I never thought I would say this, but I'm actually tired of gloating. In any case, this is very much my ship. Your ship? Very much not at all.
LORCA: All right, show's over, bud. Back to whatever little hole you crawled out of.
MUDD: To the brig.
(Lorca is beamed away.)
SARU: I do not know how you wrested control, but you are in violation...
MUDD: Of code 7.5.3. Yes, you've said. Many times. At any rate, tell me, Lanky, have you ever seen one of these?
(Holds up a blue gem.)
MUDD: Of the 823 ways there are to die in space, this is rumoured to be the most painful. I found them in your former Captain's man cave. Apparently, the weaponised dark matter rips molecules apart at the subatomic level. So, if any of you are planning on becoming heroes, including you, random communications officer man, you'll find there's very little I don't know. Now, just sit tight. This will hurt a bit.
TYLER: Mudd!
(Once again, the phaser shot reveals a protective containment field around Mudd.)
MUDD: Oh. (laughs) You seem to have missed.
(Mudd throws the dark matter gem at Tyler, who disintegrates painfully, head last.)
MUDD: Well, that was new.
(Saru stops Burnham.)
SARU: Let us not suffer any more needless losses. Please.
MUDD: Okeydoke! Listen up. One of you is going to teach me how this damn drive works or the beanpole dies screaming. So, how do I start that engine? Hmm? I will disintegrate every single one of you in a screaming fit of agony, one at a time, starting with you.
STAMETS: Stop! I can't watch you kill any more people.
(Stamets reveals the cyber-implant in his left forearm.)
STAMETS: It needs me to work.
MUDD: Delicious. Shall we to the engine room? Computer, pump up the volume. Destination, Engineering. Toodles.
(Mudd and Stamets are beamed away.)
BURNHAM: Tilly, where are you?

[Cargo bay]

(Scanning the space whale.)
TILLY: So, did I die, too?
BURNHAM: We all died. Many times. But now Mudd has everything that he needs, and if we can't find a way to stop him, then he'll let Discovery rejoin the time stream and sell the ship to the Klingons. Anyone who's dead'll stay dead forever. And Starfleet loses the war. I noticed that Mudd was wearing a crystal on his wrist, but it's too small to generate enough energy for chronal displacements. There has to be a larger energy source.
TILLY: Oh, okay. Er, er, I got something. Yeah, I'm sending it to you right now.
BURNHAM: Poor thing. No wonder you feel bad. Mudd hid the ship inside the creature and the crystal inside the ship. This crystal, it has the same orthogonal indices as the device on Mudd's wrist.
TILLY: Can we beam it over to the deck and try to figure out a way to disable it?
BURNHAM: No, because Mudd has control of all the critical systems, and we're running out of time. Now that Mudd knows how to work the spore drive, the only way is to get Mudd to reset time himself.
TILLY: You said that he has no reason to restart time. He has everything the Klingons want.
BURNHAM: No, he doesn't.

[Ready room]

MUDD: Captain's Log, Stardate 2137.2. Captain Harcourt Fenton Mudd recording. I am about to close the deal of the millennium...
(Door chime.)
MUDD: Enter! Hmm.
BURNHAM: You seem at home. You should have been a Captain.
MUDD: I'm neither one for following orders nor giving them. No, the solar winds are my mistress, and I follow her wherever she beckons.
BURNHAM: Hmm. And what about Stella?
MUDD: What? Oh, yes. Stella, the love of my life. Ah, Stella. The war took her from me. Never have two souls been so star-crossed. Romantic? Yes. Tragic? Huh, even more so. But the best of romances always are, aren't they?
BURNHAM: Are you done?
MUDD: Almost. Computer, please send our location to the awaiting Klingon ship, courtesy of Harry Mudd.
COMPUTER: Coordinates sent.
MUDD: Now I'm done.
BURNHAM: The Klingons will pay a lot to win this war, but there is one thing they would pay more for.
MUDD: Oh, really?
BURNHAM: Me. I murdered T'Kuvma, the Klingon messiah.
MUDD: That's absurd. I checked the officer's manifest. You're a nobody.
BURNHAM: I'm not an officer. I'm Michael Burnham.
MUDD: Computer, confirm.
COMPUTER: Identity confirmed. Captain Mudd, the alien ship is hailing.
MUDD: Quiet!
BURNHAM: You'll get a lot of money for this ship, but what would I be worth to them?
MUDD: Oh. Oh, yes. More. Much, much more. Why are you telling me this, hmm? What's in it for you?
BURNHAM: Lieutenant Tyler.
MUDD: Lieutenant Tyler is dead.
BURNHAM: Not for long.
(Burnham grabs a dark matter crystal and swallows it.)
MUDD: No. Oh!
COMPUTER: Captain Mudd.
MUDD: Damn it!
COMPUTER: We are being hailed by the Klingons.
MUDD: Son of a...
(Whiteout. And round we go again. Except this time Tyler does something clever with the security protocols when Mudd isn't watching.)

[Bridge]

LORCA: Captain Mudd.
MUDD: What's this?
LORCA: Your chair.
MUDD: What's happening? You. Hmm. You've been cheating. Passing notes in class to save your friends. Well, whatever you think you've come up with, I'll find a workaround. I'll keep resetting time until I do. Nobody beats Mudd!
BURNHAM: Lieutenant Stamets has shown us your success is a universal certainty.
STAMETS: Using considerable scientific methodology. This must end for all of our sakes.
LORCA: So, Harcourt Fenton Mudd, the USS Discovery is yours.
BURNHAM: As am I. You win.
MUDD: Don't try and con a con man.
LORCA: I'm not. I'm negotiating with a businessman. My offer's simple. The lives of my crew in exchange for Burnham, the ship and Stamets.
MUDD: Why would a Federation Captain do that?
LORCA: I will not have a repeat of the Buran. We will do whatever our new owners require if I have your word that you will spare the ship's complement. Your word, Mudd.
MUDD: Well, I've never been one to look a gift Captain in the mouth.
(They shake hands.)
MUDD: You have my word. Excellent. Excellent. Good. Computer?
COMPUTER: Working.
MUDD: Send our coordinates to the awaiting Klingon vessel, courtesy of Harry Mudd.
COMPUTER: Sending, Captain Mudd.
MUDD: Now, this is your last chance to stop me. Only got about 30 seconds until we rejoin the time stream and there is no turning back.
COMPUTER: Captain, incoming warp signature detected.
MUDD: I never thought I'd be so happy to see those pointy-headed bastards. Oh, look at this. Five, four, three, two, one.
(Mudd's armlet disappears.)
COMPUTER: Captain Mudd, we are being hailed by the Klingons.
MUDD: Excellent. Welcome our guests on board.
COMPUTER: Acknowledged. Two to beam aboard.
MUDD: Energise once I reach the transporter room. Come along. Meet your new masters. Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah. Not you, old man. Lorca, I'm gonna really miss killing you. Adieu, mon capitaine.

[Corridor]

BURNHAM: You seem very happy.
MUDD: Listen, Petunia, I've been screwed over since the day I was born. I deserve this.
STAMETS: So, it wasn't about Stella after all. It was always only about you. You keep talking about how you lost her because of the war, but her father's an arms dealer who's made a fortune off it. Finding either of them shouldn't be that difficult, unless you don't want to.
MUDD: I never told you about Barron Grimes.
BURNHAM: No, but Discovery's archives are non-critical systems. You probably should have disarmed them as well. And now that you don't have your time crystal, you can't learn from this mistake.
STAMETS: It turns out that Stella's been looking for you. So much so that her father put out a reward.
MUDD: You haven't been running to Stella.
TYLER: You've been running from her.
(Burnham grabs Mudd's phaser while he's distracted.)
TYLER: You skipped out on the Baron's daughter with her dowry. Stella was too tempting a mark for you to resist. But ripping off her father was a risky move, Harry.
BURNHAM: No wonder you needed the deal with the Klingons so badly. You had to disappear.
STAMETS: And you almost pulled it off, except for me, because I exist outside the normal time stream.
MUDD: You think you're so smart. Have you forgotten the Klingons are beaming their way here even as we speak? Hmm? You can forget about that deal I made with Lorca. You geniuses have just condemned your crewmates to a life of servitude.
TYLER: Harry, the Klingons aren't coming. I rewired the Captain's chair.
BURNHAM: Another non-critical system. You didn't send our coordinates to your buyers.
STAMETS: You sent them to Stella, and her daddy.
BURNHAM: Turns out you can con a con man.
TYLER: Let's go.

[Transporter room]

MUDD: Computer, cancel transporter now!
COMPUTER: Denied.
(Two beam in.)
STELLA: Harcourt. Where have you been? I have been so worried about you.
MUDD: Oh, it's been, oh, such a tumultuous year. I can't even begin to explain.
STELLA: Try.
MUDD: Oh, yes. Yes, of course. Well, you know how much you meant to me. Mean. How much you mean to me. But to be brutally honest, I have led a life marred by, oh, how should we say, poor choices, debt, all kinds of blemishes to my reputation, and I couldn't enter into union with you with those pocks upon my character, so I set out to eliminate them. But alas, my plan was led astray.
STELLA: Harry, I have always known who you are. nd I've never cared. We could have faced those problems together, and (sotto) Daddy would have taken care of everything else.
GRIMES: Consider it a consolidation of your debt under one lender. I would do anything for my daughter. And she, for better or worse, has taken to you, Mudd. And now, thanks to the action of these officers, you can finally make an honest woman of Stella. As for Starfleet, I don't intend to be in debt to your organisation. How do I repay you?
TYLER: Just make sure Mister Mudd spends the rest of his days at your daughter's side, and out of Starfleet's way.
STELLA: Consider it done. Come here, Harcourt, you naughty boy.
(Stamets operates the transporter controls.)

[Waiting for a turbolift]

BURNHAM: Hey.
TYLER: Hey.
BURNHAM: Stamets told me in a previous timeline, that we er
TANNOY: Maintenance to airlock one.
BURNHAM: Danced.
TYLER: Yeah. Yeah, he... he mentioned it to me, too.
BURNHAM: He said I liked it. I can't imagine.
TYLER: Why? I'm a really good dancer.
BURNHAM: I didn't mean...
TYLER: Easy, Burnham. I get it.
TANNOY: Cargo bay airlock, repare for rapid decompression.

[Turbolift]

BURNHAM: What I'm feeling is complicated and strange.
TYLER: It's okay. I'm not going anywhere.
BURNHAM: What is it?
TYLER: I'm just sad we missed our first kiss.
BURNHAM: Personal log. Just as repetition reinforces repetition, change begets change. I guess the truth is, we never really know what's coming. Sometimes the only way to find out where you fit in is to step out of the routine, because sometimes where you really belong was waiting right around the corner all along.

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