The planet Kirlos is an artificial world built by a mysterious long-dead race called the Ariantu. Kirlos is home to many races from both the Federation and the K'vin Hegemony, who have enjoyed years of peaceful co-existence and profitable trade. The planet also holds a wealth of undiscovered archaeological treasures, which the U.S.S. Enterprise and its crew are dispatched to help uncover.
Sent to the surface to assist an archaeological team, Geordi, Data, and Worf find themselves cut off from the Starship Enterprise and the prime suspects in a series of terrorist attacks. The three Starship Enterprise crewmen are imprisoned, relations between the K'vin and the Federation begin to crumble, and Kirlos' ancient underground machinery awakens from a centuries long dormancy, primed to release a powerful destructive force.