What's Past is Prologue
Stardate: 1834.2 (2257)
Original Airdate: 28 Jan 2018

[ISS Charon Brig]

(Prisoners are being released from agony booths.)
LORCA: One year, 212 days of torture, of agony, my friends, my followers, but I have returned to give meaning to your suffering. Today is the day we reclaim our Empire.
LANDRY: Captain?
LORCA: Welcome back, Commander Landry.
LANDRY: They told us you were dead.
LORCA: And you believed them?
LANDRY: Not for a second, sir.
MAN: Sir. (gives Lorca a weapon)
LORCA: Let's get you geared up.
LANDRY: Sir, Charon has ten battalions of Imperial guards on station. I don't know how you got here, or how you got us all out alive, but we should withdraw, regroup. We still have supporters on several worlds.
LORCA: The Emperor's ship is exactly where we need to be. I have been to another universe and back. You think I'd come all this way without a plan?

[ISS Charon Spore lab]

(They cut through the door.)
LANDRY: Clear.
LORCA: Clear.
LANDRY: Stamets is gone. Coward probably left at the first sign of trouble.
LORCA: All his research is still here. I've known more than one Stamets, and they both have one thing in common. They love their work too much to leave any of it behind!
(Drags Stamets out from behind a camoflague forcefield.)
LORCA: Hello, Paul.
M-STAMETS: Gabriel. I really hoped you were dead.
LORCA: Well, you can't always get what you want.
LANDRY: Hi, Doc.
LORCA: Ironically, I have to thank you for helping me finish what I started. After you sold me out and ruined our coup attempt, I was down on Priors World recruiting allies when the Emperor caught up with the Buran. As I beamed back to join the fight, her torpedoes hit, and luckily, so did an ion storm, which caused a transporter malfunction, and know where I ended up?
M-STAMETS: Frankly, I'm still stuck on the not dead part.
LORCA: A parallel universe.
M-STAMETS: The ion storm must have swapped your transporter signatures.
LORCA: Mmm hmm. To me, it was physics acting as the hand of destiny. My destiny. The bioweapon you were developing for the Emperor. Show it to me.
M-STAMETS: Happily, sir.
(Gas is released through the ship and people die, frothing at the mouth.)

[ISS Charon Throne room]

COMPUTER: Sensors have detected mass casualties on decks 1 through 17.
GEORGIOU: He's come back from the grave to stage a revolution, and that's the best he's got? If he keeps doing that, he'll reveal his location. Then he's mine.
BURNHAM: Emperor, I've seen firsthand how he operates. He can get inside your head, manipulate you.
GEORGIOU: You think I don't know that?
BURNHAM: He is baiting you. He wants you to come to him. Let me contact my ship again. They have no idea they're flying into a battle zone. Please, Philippa.
GEORGIOU: I'm not Philippa to you. But you are right about one thing. He preyed on my sentiment, my weakness for your face. It will not happen again. Take her to the brig. Your choices have determined your fate.
BURNHAM: No.
(She attacks her guards, makes them shoot each other, then escapes through a vent grating.)
M-OWOSEKUN: They'll find her, Emperor.
GEORGIOU: Take your men. Bring Lorca to me alive. I will kill him myself this time.
SARU: Captain's Log, stardate 1834.2. Acting Captain Saru recording. We are en route to the Terran flagship, having been summoned by Specialist Burnham. Discovery's spore drive is operational again, thanks to the full recovery of our navigator, Lieutenant Stamets. Yet, despite his best efforts, the Lieutenant was unable to save Discovery's mycelium crop. His fear is that his Terran counterpart has already contaminated the network, and if so, the results could be catastrophic.

[Discovery Bridge]

SARU: What is it that you wish to show me, Lieutenant? We have less than 30 minutes before we reach the Terran vessel.
STAMETS: Airiam flagged it. A massive energy signature coming off the central orb.
ARIAM: It's mycelial.
STAMETS: This is what my counterpart has been using his mycelium for. It powers their ship.
SARU: As it does ours.
TILLY: Not exactly. We ride along the network with the spores. That orb is pulling power directly out of the network.
SARU: But I thought the network could regenerate itself.
STAMETS: Typically it does, but this process is poisoning it, spreading infection back up into the system.
TILLY: Without a fresh supply of spores, it'll only get worse.
SARU: The Terrans must be aware of this flaw. It's not sustainable.
STAMETS: I don't think sustainability is their main objective, but it does provide them with far more energy than I ever thought possible. Enough to run their city-sized ship and power weapons that can destroy a planet.
AIRIAM: As they did on Harlak.
SARU: How can a people be so shortsighted?
STAMETS: Well, the Terrans are egotistical enough to believe that they can replenish this resource before it collapses. The other Stamets must have been looking for a solution when he got trapped in the network with me. If we don't stop them soon, the contamination will be irreversible. The network will continue to deteriorate everywhere. Here, in this universe, back in ours, across the entire multiverse.
SARU: And when it does?
STAMETS: Life as we know it will cease to exist.

[ISS Charon Spore lab]

LORCA: Take this shipwide. Hello, Philippa. I've watched for years. You let alien races spill over the borders and flourish in our backyard, then have the gall to incite rebellion. The Terrans need a leader who will preserve our way of life, our race. Try as you might, it's clearly not you. Even Michael knew that. It was her great shame. Well, it's indecorous of me to share pillow talk. To the rest, many of you know me. Some of you served with me. To all, I make this offer. Renounce Georgiou. The Empire is dying in her hands, But you don't have to. Not today. Michael Burnham is not to be touched. She is integral to our future plans. A future where we together will make the Empire glorious again.

[ISS Charon Throne room]

GEORGIOU: Got him. He's in the main labs. Lorca does not control this ship. I do. We take the fight to him.
ALL: All hail the Emperor!

[Hallway]

M-OWOSEKUN: Don't shoot.
GEORGIOU: Where are your troops, Commander?
M-OWOSEKUN: We were ambushed.
GEORGIOU: How did you survive?
M-OWOSEKUN: Lorca spared me. He said he wanted you to know.
GEORGIOU: Know what?
M-OWOSEKUN: That he was here.
(Mirror Owosekum is atomised, then weapons light up at the far end.)
LORCA: Hello, Pippa. Did you miss me?
(Weapons fire is blocked by a forcefield. Georgiou presses a button on her wrist and guns pop out of the walls to kill the rebels. Lorca and Landry step back and then shoot the guns.)
LORCA: Light her up. Mister Stamets?
M-STAMETS: Containment field at 30%. 25%. Five, four, three, two. It's down!
(Exchange of weapons fire.)
GEORGIOU: Flash grenade! Cover, cover!
(Some imperial guards and some rebels get killed.)
GEORGIOU: Emergency transport!
LORCA: You didn't warn me she could do that, Mister Stamets.
LANDRY: Please tell me we can kill him now.
LORCA: Well, that depends if he can disable an emergency transport system.
M-STAMETS: I can. I can do that.
LORCA: Good. Set up a perimeter around the throne room. Let's tighten the noose.

[ISS Charon Jefferies tube / Discovery Bridge]

BURNHAM: Burnham to Discovery. Do you copy? Come in, Discovery. Burnham to Discovery. Do you copy? Come in. Discovery, do you copy? Come in. Please come in.
SARU [on monitor]: Discovery here. We are receiving you.
BURNHAM [on viewscreen]: It's good to see you, Saru.
SARU: You as well, my friend. It appears your situation has become dire. Is the Captain with you?
BURNHAM: He's one of them. He's Terran. He used us and the Discovery to jump here, to his own universe. It was his plan all along.
SARU: That's impossible. Surely, we would have sensed something. I would have.
STAMETS: That's why we didn't end up at Starbase 46. Lorca altered the coordinates of my last jump.
TILLY: How?
STAMETS: He... he got the data he needed from those jumps I did around the Klingon ship. Then all that was left was to access navigation control. And he can do that from his chair.
BURNHAM: Lorca's staging a coup against the Emperor. You have to abort coming to the palace ship. Get as far away as you can.
SARU: I will not consider leaving you behind.
BURNHAM: Saru, he has no need for our crew. He will kill all of you. He might take Discovery back to our universe and bring the whole Terran fleet with him.
STAMETS: Not if the Terrans have wiped out all life already. They have created a super-mycelial reactor on the Charon, and it's destroying the network. When it goes, it takes all life with it, in all universes.
BURNHAM: How do we stop it?
SARU: Lieutenant Stamets believes a direct hit from our photon torpedoes on their energy orb would create a detonation large enough to sever the reactor's connection and allow the network to heal itself.
TILLY: We're running simulations to account for energy dispersal.
BURNHAM: But?
TILLY: There's a containment field protecting the orb. Our weapons can't penetrate it.
BURNHAM: Leave the containment field to me. Stay at warp, so you can't be boarded, and I'll find a way to signal you when I'm in place. Be ready to blow up the reactor when I do. Burnham out.

[ISS Charon Throne room]

LORCA: Believe in destiny now, Mister Stamets?
M-STAMETS: That's, er, rhetorical, right?
LORCA: Your lack of vision continues to disappoint me. I used to suffer from that, too. But nothing that's happened to me was an accident. Not ending up in another world, not finding a ship that would help me return here. None of it. I'm living proof that fate is real. Speaking of which, we've reached the tipping point, where your usefulness to me is outweighed by the risk of keeping you alive. I mean, how am I ever gonna trust you? Honestly.
(A hatch opens up in the floor in front of Mirror Stamets.)
LORCA: The living core of the mycelial network. It's poetic justice, don't you think? A scientist destroyed by his own creation? Just kidding. I hate poetry.
(Landry atomises Mirror Stamets. The hatch closes.)
LANDRY: Sir, I'm getting word of an unauthorised ship-to-ship transmission.
LORCA: That'll be my Burnham.

[ISS Charon corridor / Throne room]

LORCA [on monitor]: Hello, Michael. Judging from your communications hack, you're somewhere on the third deck Where, precisely, I can't tell, but no matter, I'm not gonna hunt you down. I'll wait for you to come to me.
BURNHAM: What makes you think I'd do that?
LORCA: Because you belong here.
BURNHAM: With you?
LORCA: In the real world. I know that's hard for you to see right now because you're blinded by your emotions.
BURNHAM: The only thing I was blinded by was you.
LORCA: I know you understand that I had to lie to you, Michael, to get home. Just like you know that the Federation is a social experiment doomed to failure. Childish idealism. Every species, every choice, every opinion is not equal, no matter how much they want it to be. The strong and the capable will always rise. Like you and me. And every living being is safer and happier knowing their place. That's why we have a duty to lead. Like what you did that day at the Binaries. Stay with me. Stay here and help me bring peace to this world through strength and order, the right way. There was no one else like the other you. And what she and I set out to achieve was gonna be remarkable. And then I met you. And the truth is, your gifts far surpass hers. I see you, Michael Burnham. I see your power. And I'm offering you a future. I have since the day I brought you onto the Discovery. Take it.
LANDRY [on screen]: She rerouted the feed and disabled the carrier address. She could be anywhere.
LORCA: She'll come.

[Room]

(Georgiou puts Mirror Burnham's ISS insignia on the table. Burnham enters.)
GEORGIOU: How did you find me? My bracelet makes my life signs undetectable.
BURNHAM: This is your sanctuary. Considering the situation, it made sense you'd come here.
GEORGIOU: I should have known. Lorca seduced you, too.
BURNHAM: Why would you say that?
GEORGIOU: He broadcast for everyone to hear. Why else would he protect you?
BURNHAM: Lorca believes destiny brought me to him. But he doesn't get to tell me what my future is. I'm responsible for forging my own path. We all are. My Philippa taught me that.
GEORGIOU: This belonged to my Michael. Now Lorca has taken everything from me.
BURNHAM: You lost a daughter, an empire. I lost a Captain, and a life. Both versions of me betrayed both versions of you. I won't let that happen again. And I won't let you die again.
GEORGIOU: So that's what happened to me on your side.
BURNHAM: I'm gonna stop Lorca.
GEORGIOU: I see why he's so enamoured with you. You almost make me believe you can do it.
BURNAM: I will do it. For what he's done to me. For what he's done to all the innocent people who have stood in his way. And for the loss of life to come if no one stops him here today.
GEORGIOU: What is your plan?
BURNHAM: I have to disable the orb's containment field.
GEORGIOU: Those controls are in the throne room. How will you get to them?
BURNHAM: By giving Lorca exactly what he wants.

[Discovery Engineering]

STAMETS: We have a problem. We knew the orb harnessed exotic energy by blocking the flow of the network, but we didn't know that all those mycelial spores packed in together created hyper-gravitational and SARU magnetic fields, too.
TILLY: Even a blast from our photon torpedoes won't be enough to free it.
SARU: Well, then we'll have to create a chain reaction, overload it with potential energy.
AIRIAM: What do we have that harnesses that kind of power?
STAMETS: Er, our harvested spores. They hold enough energy to power us across galaxies. We... we should modify our warheads by loading them up.
OWOSEKUN: And how much of our spore supply would we need to use?
STAMETS: All of it. We won't be able to jump back home.
RHYS: We need to get in close for a clear shot. The orb is in the heart of that superstructure.
DETMER: I don't think we could outmanouvre a blast like that if we're that close.
TILLY: Er, I just ran the simulations. Discovery's shields aren't strong enough to protect us from the energy wave that will be released when the network is freed. The shock wave will incinerate us. I don't think we can make it out alive.
SARU: It is well known that my species has the ability to sense the coming of death. I do not sense it today. I may not have all the answers. However, I do know that I am surrounded by a team I trust. The finest a Captain could ever hope to command. Lorca abused our idealism. And make no mistake, Discovery is no longer Lorca's. She is ours. And today will be her maiden voyage. We have a duty to perform, and we will not accept a no-win scenario. You have your orders. On your way.
CREW: Aye, Captain.

[ISS Charon Throne room]

LANDRY: We've executed her Lords and senior officers, sir. The rest of the crew are swearing allegiance to you.
LORCA: Good. I was just thinking about everyone who's ever said that victory felt empty when it was attained. What a bunch of idiots they were.
(Landry's communicator chirps.)
LANDRY: She's here.
(Georgiou and Burnham enter under escort. Burnham is pointing a weapon at Georgiou.)
LORCA: Michael. What's this about?
BURNHAM: I won't let another crew die on my watch, Gabriel. I've been here long enough to know that if you want your claim to the throne to be legitimate, you have to execute the Emperor.
LORCA: And you're prepared to condemn Philippa here to death?
BURNHAM: What you said on the shuttle yesterday was right. She's not my Philippa.
LORCA: That's very Terran of you. But you and I both know that I have her now. What are you really bargaining with?
BURNHAM: I think you know. In exchange for my crew, I offer you me. Let them leave safely and I'm yours. Like you said, my future is here. But know this. I'm offering you my mind, nothing more.
LORCA: Until you've completely settled in. I'm sure you understand.
(Burnham hands over her weapon to Landry.)
LORCA: Well it looks like you are destined to be betrayed by Burnhams in every universe.
GEORGIOU: No. I'm destined to kill you.
LORCA: Wow. That would certainly be an impressive trick. Welcome home, Michael.

[Discovery Engineering]

TILLY: The Captain was right.
STAMETS: What about?
TILLY: Do not accept a no-win scenario. They're may be a way out of this after all. I've reanalysed the simulations. Now, if we blow the reactor core, the resulting explosion will be pure mycelial energy, right?
STAMETS: Right. Right. But not just an explosion. According to this, the mother of mycelial shockwaves.
TILLY: If we can stay right on the leading edge, we can ride it long enough for the energy to activate the drive, and then you can navigate us home.
STAMETS: But the ship's shields still aren't strong enough to protect us, unless we modify the spore drive to run concurrently with the warp drive. The resulting warp bubble may provide a secondary layer of protection. A shield from the blast. If I reverse engineer the coordinates that Lorca used to get us here, I should be able to pinpoint the... the right pathway to take. And... and that will get us to the same point in our timeline, or at least close to it.
TILLY: There will be infinite pathways opening up in front of you. That... that's gonna be really
STAMETS: Hard is the word you're looking for. But I don't accept no-win scenarios. Thank you for your inspiration, Cadet. Now, please, inform the captain of your findings. Looks like we may be going home after all.

[Discovery Bridge]

BRYCE: Message from the Charon, sir. We're advised that it's safe to drop out of warp. The message has Burnham's security code on it.
SARU: Lieutenant Detmer, drop us out of warp.
DETMER: Yes, Captain.
BRYCE: Captain, we're being hailed. It's Lorca, sir.
SARU: On screen.
LORCA [on viewscreen]: Mister Saru. It's good to see you. I'm glad I got a chance to say goodbye to you, and the rest of the crew. I want you to know that my admiration for you was and is sincere. When I look at you, I see the formidable unit of soldiers that I sculpted. If I thought for a second that any of you were capable of relinquishing this cult-like devotion to the Federation, I'd enlist your skills today.
SARU: We are not interested in your sentiments. Where is Specialist Burnham?
LORCA [on viewscreen]: She's fine. You don't die today because she chose to stay by my side.
SARU: I would like to hear that from her. You are not a reliable source.
BURNHAM [on viewscreen]: I'm where I need to be, Saru. This is my place.
SARU: That is all I needed to see.
(Georgiou and Burnham attack their guards.)
SARU: Fire! Owosekun, keep your eye on that containment field.
OWOSEKUN: Aye, Captain.
SARU: Detmer, get ready to give Rhys a clear shot.
DETMER: Yes, sir.
SARU: Let's go, people.

[ISS Charon Throne room]

(Recovering from the attack on the ship, Georgiou and Burnham fight the survivors. Georgiou goes after Lorca. Burnham takes on Landry. Lorca manages to slash Georgiou with the Imperial sword, Burnham throws a dagger into his shoulder. Lorca knocks Georgiou down in the 'throne' area, then Burnham goes after him.)
LORCA: Wait. Stop! Don't make me have to kill you.
BURNHAM: You won't.
(Burnham gets a phaser aimed at Lorca.)
BURNHAM: We would've helped you get home if you had asked. That's who Starfleet is. That's who I am. That's why I won't kill you now.
GEORGIOU: But I will!
(The Imperial sword is thrust through Lorca's torso.)
LORCA: We... We could've
(The hatch to the spore drive opens. Georgiou kicks Lorca down into it.)
GEORGIOU: It was a good plan.

[Discovery Bridge]

OWOSEKUN: Burnham did it. The containment field is down.
SARU: Beam her back now.
OWOSEKUN: I can't get a lock, Captain. I'm working on it.
SARU: Work faster.

[ISS Charon Throne room]

GEORGIOU: You fought well. For a moment I thought I had her back with me.
(Commotion outside.)
GEORGIOU: Lorca's troops. I will buy you some time. I am a defeated Emperor. They've seen my neck. I have no future now. But I will die on my feet as fitting my station. Go, Michael Burnham. Find a way home. Live.
(The door opens, and Georgiou starts firing.)
BURNHAM: Burnham to Discovery.

[Discovery Bridge]

OWOSEKUN: I've got her.
SARU: Get her out of there now.
(Burnham runs forward and grabs Georgiou, and they are beamed away.)
OWOSEKUN: She's on board.
SARU: Black alert.
AIRIAM: Aye, Captain.
COMPUTER: Black alert. Black alert.
(Stamets is plugged into the spore drive.)

[ISS Charon Throne room]

LANDRY: Lock weapons onto that ship!

[Discovery Bridge]

OWOSEKUN: The Terran ship is targeting us, sir.
SARU: It's now or never, Lieutenant Detmer.
DETMER: Aye, Captain.

[ISS Charon Throne room]

(Discovery turns and heads for the spore drive.)
LANDRY: What the hell are they doing? Is the containment field up?

[Discovery Bridge]

BRYCE: Locked on, Captain.
SARU: Fire, Mister Rhys!
RHYS: Aye, sir.
SARU: Warp speed now!
DETMER: Yes, sir.
(KaBOOM!)

[Discovery Engineering / Bridge]

TILLY: Ambient mycelial energy is interacting with the drive.
SARU: Cadet Tilly?
TILLY: Levels look good.
SARU: Engage the spore drive, now.
AIRIAM: Aye, Captain.
(Discovery twirls, travels the network.)
STAMETS: It's working. The network is regenerating.
OWOSEKUN: Heat shields at maximum.
STAMETS: The pathways are bifurcating too quickly. I don't know where to go.
CULBER [memory]: The network is a gift. It's the thread that weaves life through space.
STAMETS [memory]: I can't even find my way out.
CULBER [memory]: Follow the music, Paul. Open your eyes.
STAMETS: Wait. It's the clearing in the forest. Thanks, Hugh.
(Discovery twirls out into normal space. The whole of Engineering is filled with spores which then dissipate apart from one that enters Tilly..)
STAMETS: Tilly. Reboot the system and find out where we are. And when.

[Transporter room]

GEORGIOU: What have you done to me?

[Bridge]

STAMETS: Captain, celestial patterns and subatomic analysis confirm we are in our Alpha Quadrant.
SARU: Oh.
STAMETS: But we overshot by nine months.
SARU: Mister Bryce, send a transmission to Starfleet. Inform them we have returned.
BRYCE: Aye, Captain.
SARU: Mister Rhys. Update our tactical map. I need to see the status of the war.
RHYS: Aye, sir.
BRYCE: Captain, there's no response from the Federation to our signal. Not even an automated one.
STAMETS: What does that mean?
RHYS: War map on screen, Captain.
SARU: Well, if the map is to be believed, it appears the Klingons have won the war.

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