On Stardate 1207.3 (May 11, 2256), the crew of the Shenzhou
investigate a damaged interstellar relay in deep space and discover an
unidentified object. Without a clear reading of the object, cautious
Kelpien Science Officer
Saru advises leaving the area. Burnham disagrees, and dons a space
suit to investigate in spite of the dangerous radiation from a nearby
binary star system. She finds the object to be covered in ancient
carvings, and guarded by an armed Klingon. The Klingon attacks, and when
she uses her suit to escape she accidentally kills him. Burnham later
awakens aboard the Shenzhou being treated for severe
The Klingons hold a memorial service for their dead comrade, a
"Torchbearer". Burnham warns Georgiou of her encounter with the Klingon,
and though Saru suggests that she is confused due to her injuries,
Georgiou believes her and locks weaponry on the object. T'Kuvma was
expecting this, and reveals their cloaked vessel. The Klingons debate
attacking the Federation ship, but T'Kuvma is looking to fulfill an
ancient prophecy by having the Torchbearer light a beacon and unite the
great Klingon houses. Voq, an outcast with no house of his own,
volunteers to be the new Torchbearer, and "lights the beacon", sending
light and signals from the carved object.
Starfleet orders the Shenzhou to wait until reinforcements
arrive. Burnham contacts her adoptive father
who believes that the Klingons must have a new leader that could be
looking to bring order to the Klingon Empire, which has been in disarray
for centuries. He also explains that
his species earned the respect of the Klingons by firing on them
first whenever they meet. Burnham recommends this action to Georgiou,
but the captain refuses. Burnham disables Georgiou with a
Vulcan nerve pinch and takes command of the ship, ordering an attack
on the Klingon vessel. Georgiou recovers in time to stop the attack,
just as several more Klingon vessels arrive.
9/24 "Battle at the Binary Stars"
After being raised as a
and becoming the first human to attend and graduate the Vulcan Learning
Center and the Vulcan Science Academy,
Michael Burnham is entrusted to Philippa Georgiou, captain of the
USS Shenzhou, by Sarek. Seven years later, Burnham is the
first officer of the Shenzhou, and has just disobeyed and
attacked Georgiou in an attempt to fire, unprovoked, on a
vessel, hoping to avoid an inevitable war. The Klingon outcast Voq, on
behalf of his leader T'Kuvma, has just started a beacon that attracts 24
new Klingon vessels to the system, as Georgiou has Burnham arrested and
imprisoned for mutiny.
The leaders of the 24 great houses question T'Kuvma's use of the
beacon, which was prophesied to be used to unite the Klingon Empire once
again. T'Kuvma is of a disgraced house, and the House of
Kor leader Kol refuses to listen to T'Kuvma, especially given his
acceptance of outcasts like Voq. T'Kuvma pleads with the other leaders
to join him in fighting the
United Federation of Planets, who he says intends to destroy their
species' individuality. He predicts that reinforcements for the
Shenzhou will soon arrive, and that they will announce that they
"come in peace", and when these come to pass, the other leaders agree to
Starfleet ships take heavy fire, and the Shenzhou is almost
destroyed, but is saved by the arrival of Admiral Brett Anderson and the
USS Europa. T'Kuvma agrees to a ceasefire with Anderson, but then
sends a large vessel, hidden with a
cloaking device, to ram and destroy the Europa. The latter
self-destructs, taking the large vessel with it. T'Kuvma proclaims
Kahless, the ancient uniter, reborn, and allows the rest of
Starfleet to escape as messengers of this. He sends the other Klingon
leaders back to
Qo'nos while he tends to their dead. In the damaged Shenzhou,
Burnham escapes the brig after telepathic encouragement from Sarek, and
convinces Georgiou to take T'Kuvma hostage.
Using an explosive sent to T'Kuvma's ship with a Klingon corpse as a
distraction, Burnham and Georgiou board the ship and attack. Burnham
fights off Voq, but Georgiou is killed by T'Kuvma. Burnham fatally
shoots T'Kuvma, before being transported back to the Shenzhou.
Voq promises the dying T'Kuvma that he will be remembered. Burnham is
later sentenced to life in prison by Starfleet for her mutiny.
10/1 "Context Is for Kings"
Six months into her sentence, Burnham is on an unexpected prison
transfer when an emergency forces her shuttle to be rescued by the USS Discovery.
Spending several days on the ship, Burnham is ordered by its captain,
the mysterious Gabriel Lorca, to assist with a scientific assignment.
Burnham overhears Lieutenant Paul Stamets, an astromycologist who is
leading the assignment, discuss an upcoming experiment with a colleague
serving on another starship; Lorca is soon informed of an incident on
sister ship, the USS Glenn, that has killed the entire crew.
Stamets leads a boarding party to investigate and finds the dead crew
hideously twisted and malformed, as well as a group of Klingons that has
been killed by an unknown creature. Lorca later asks Burnham to work for
him, despite her sentence, explaining that he organized the
circumstances that led her to him so she could help develop a new way to
fly that could win the war she started. He also secretly has the
creature transported aboard the Discovery.
10/8 "The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry" 10/15
"Choose Your Pain" 10/22 " Lethe" 10/29 "Magic to Make the Sanest
Man Go Mad" 11/5 "Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum" 11/12 " Into the
Forest I Go"
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