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The Retellian escape pod was a type of small escape pod used in the 22nd century to safely evacuate Retellian freighters in the case of an emergency. Two escape pods were directly accessible from a particular section aboard the Retellian freighter. They were not entirely visible from inside the freighter, where merely an access hatch leading to each of the two utility craft was visible.
The Retellian escape pods had small engine ports, stabilizers, and braking thrusters. Each of the vessels also had a pair of landing thrusters, with one of the thrusters on the port side and another on starboard.
The pod's exterior additionally included an enclosed panel that contained a homing beacon which, when active, blinked and beeped. However, the craft gave no indication, at least from its exterior, about the identity of anyone who locked onto the beacon.
Each of the escape pods was built for only one occupant, though could accommodate two persons less comfortably. Each pod contained a single seat, under which was a concealed panel that included a control to activate the craft's two landing thrusters. There was also a storage compartment in the ceiling above the seat.
The escape pod's engine ports, stabilizers, and braking thrusters could all be operated from inside the craft. Indeed, the pod's instruments were well equipped for setting and executing a course, with helm controls and a display that presented the distance between the craft and its destination. The instruments could additionally detect the atmosphere constituents of a nearby planet.
In 2152, Commander Charles "Trip" Tucker and Kriosian First Monarch Kaitaama used a Retellian escape pod to flee from Firek Goff, a Retellian who had kidnapped Kaitaama. Eventually, the escape pod landed in a swamp on an unnamed planet, where Tucker used the pod's thruster assembly to start a fire. The pod was discovered by Firek Goff but he was knocked unconscious by Tucker and Kaitaama, who were rescued by Enterprise NX-01 immediately thereafter. (ENT: "Precious Cargo")
The terms "access hatch" and "small engine ports" originate from the final draft script of "Precious Cargo". In that script, the interior of the Retellian escape pod was described thus; "Cramped, dimly lit, equipped with various control panels and a couple of monitors." The script also referred to the interior's single seat as a "jumpseat."
The Retellian escape pods were scripted to initially be depicted "sitting on the deck" of the Retellian freighter. The pods are not shown that way in the episode, though. Another detail which is not firmly established in the installment is that the escape pods were scripted as being capable of impulse drive.
In ultimately omitted dialogue from the final draft script of "Precious Cargo", the sensors on the escape pod used by Kaitaama and Tucker were established, following the vessel's crash-landing, as broken, with insufficient time for Tucker to repair them. This would explain why Tucker subsequently states that there is no way to determine the identity of anyone who locked onto the pod's homing beacon.