In S1E3 "Context is for Kings" of Star Trek Discovery, towards the end of the episode Captain Lorca is with Michael Burnham and is explaining their experimental technology that uses spores for organic travel. He states that the "Discovery's leaps measure only in the hundreds of kilometres" but "[the] more advanced sister ship [...] was travelling 90 light years in 1.3 seconds".

He then goes on to demonstrate the technology by transporting Burnham to Ilari (in the Delta Quadrant), then the moons of Andoria (in the Alpha Quadrant), then on to Romulus (in the Beta Quadrant). These locations are thousands of light years from one another.

Even if Lorca had lifted the technology from the USS Glenn and used that, how is Lorca's speech and demonstration congruous? Was it all just a ruse? If it was just a souped-up Powerpoint presentation, why did he bother getting Burnham in the cell and then flood it with (presumbly valuable) mycellium spores? Was it just showmanship?

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    I don't remember the scene specifically, but there's a difference between moving a person and moving a whole ship. Nov 13, 2020 at 14:09

1 Answer 1


Several episodes were dedicated to getting the Spore Drive to transport the entire ship. That's what the USS Glenn was doing when it had its "spinout" accident. In S1E3, the technology doesn't entirely work... yet.

Lorca is showing Burnham the proof-of-concept system and it's not clear he actually transported her, as opposed to showing her locations the mycellium network could take them to. He talks all throughout her trip, which seems to indicate she's still on Discovery the whole time (or they would have one hell of a new transporter). Remember, she would have to be seeing real places in real time, or she would simply think it was a hologram.

Lorca's goal is to get Burnham to help make the spore drive work.

Ultimately, Lorca was using this to get this universe's Burnham to help him get back to the Mirror universe and overthrow Emperor Georgiou.

  • Ok, I've now just seen the episode that has the spoiler text above, it makes sense now :)
    – e_i_pi
    Nov 25, 2020 at 11:10

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