- The USS Discovery's specialty is using its spore-based hub drive to jump great distances faster than any warp-faring vessel in Starfleet. To do this, Lieutenant Paul Stamets navigates the ship through the recently revealed mycelial network, a subspace domain Discovery can briefly transit but in which it cannot remain. After responding to a startling distress call originating from within the network, the Discovery crew find themselves trapped in an inescapable realm where they will surely perish unless their missing mycelial fuel is found or restored. Is the seemingly human man found alone and alive inside the network the Starfleet officer he claims to be, or an impostor created by alien intruders who hope to extract themselves from the mycelial plane at the expense of all lives aboard Discovery?
The Discovery is using its spore drive to quickly deliver relief to planets during an outbreak of Symbalene blood burn, while Lieutenant Stamets and Ensign Tilly investigate the possibility of sending messages in the mycelial network. However, during one jump, the Discovery becomes stuck in the network, where it will eventually degrade.
Stamets is compelled to leave the ship. Tilly and Captain Burnham follow him and together they discover a human, Hugh Culber. After taking him back to Discovery, they determine he comes from a parallel universe where the showdown with the Klingons at the binary stars led first to a battle and then to all-out war and Burnham was stripped of rank for mutiny. Culber in turn learns that he and Stamets never saw each other again after exchanging barbs on their first meeting. Ephraim, the tardigrade who Discovery previously used for navigation, appears to both Stamets and Culber, who develop an attraction.
Discovery's spores supply starts disappearing and both Stamets and Culber are able to perceive intruders who are out of phase with the ship. Bringing them into phase reveals them as the Maligonq, a race who have long used spore drives along with organic ships. Their ship reveals itself but, after a stand-off, a truce is called. It transpires the Maligonq sent the message after being trapped in the network themselves. Unable to perceive Discovery, they began cultivating their spores.
There are not enough spores on Discovery to free one ship, let alone both, but since the Maligonq are able to send messages through time, they send a message back to the Glenn allowing them to arrive with supplies at the right moment. The three ships leave the network but Culber is left behind. Stamets is convinced to contact the Culber of his universe, while the Discovery investigates mysterious signals. Culber is eventually found by his Stamets.
- Airiam • Breytik • R.A. Bryce • Michael Burnham • Hugh Culber • Keyla Detmer • Dofchi • Orna Enav • Ephraim • Garrison • Philippa Georgiou • Kittik • Kovalik • Ellen Landry • LaPlante • Merrill • Mikhailov • Nilsson • Joann Owosekun • Tracy Pollard • Gen Rhys • Ritkowski • Saru • Sieber • Paul Stamets • Justin Straal • Sylvia Tilly • Deb Underwood • Akila Viswanathan
- Referenced only
- Zefram Cochrane • Genego • John Gill • Amanda Grayson • Khal • Gabriel Lorca (mirror) • Sarah (aunt) • Sarek • Schanne
Starships and vehicles
- USS Discovery (Crossfield-class) • USS Glenn (Crossfield-class)
- Referenced only
- USS Hood • USS Shenzhou
- Alpha Centauri City • Benecia Colony • Cestus III • Cygnia Minor • Denobula Triaxa • Earth • Mantilles • Vega IX
Races and cultures
States and organizations
- Federation Research Council • Maligonq Familial Consideration • Starfleet • United Federation of Planets • Vulcan Science Directorate
Ranks and titles
- astromycologist • captain • commander • engineer • ensign • first officer • lieutenant • scientist • security chief
Science and classification
- alien • alternate reality • antigrav • blast door • circuit • command chair • communicator • computer • holographic • mathematics • microphone • mycelial communications array • mycelial network • padd • phaser • pi • power pack • quadratic equation • shield emitter • spore • spore-based hub drive • subspace • Symbalene blood burn • thruster • time • time travel • universal translator • viewscreen
- Andorian spice-bread • animal • black alert • bridge • bulkhead • classroom • coffee • corridor • day • distress call • Elisurian language • first contact • food • greenhouse • hour • hull • karaoke • laboratory • landing party • language • Maligonq language • map • movie • music • pie • Rigellian mayo • saucer section • second • song • teacup • technology • toast • weapon
The Enterprise War
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Crisis of Consciousness