049. The Ensigns Of CommandThe U.S.S. Enterprise receives a message from the Sheliak, who order the crew to remove all humans from the planet Tau Cygna V. According to a Federation treaty, the planet belongs to the alien race, who want to take control of their property and have given the crew four days to evacuate the men and women now living there. If the U.S.S. Enterprise does not complete the task, the Sheliak will kill all of the humans, whom they consider "vermin."
Due to the high level of radiation on Tau Cygna V, which the colonists have adapted to over several generations, Data is the only crew member capable of surviving the mission. After Riker speculates that there should be about a dozen humans there, Picard sends the android down to the planet to commence evacuation procedures. But the matter is complicated by Data's reports that 15,000 colonists are living on Tau Cygna V and Worf's estimate that transporting them off the planet will take several weeks, far longer than the Sheliak ultimatum.
What's worse, Data meets resistance to the evacuation plan from Gosheven, the leader of the colony, who refuses to abandon the planet. While Data tries to change Gosheven's mind, Picard's pleas for additional time from the Sheliak, who stick to every word of their 500,000 word treaty, are flatly refused.
While a stirring speech by Data convinces some colonists to revolt against Gosheven, Picard buys time when he finds a clause in the treaty that allows him to demand third party arbitration of the evacuation dispute. He deliberately chooses a race in hibernation for six months, which forces the Sheliak's hand and they agree to give Picard three weeks to relocate the colonists.
050. Evolution 43125.8Dr. Paul Stubbs, an eminent scientist, has come aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise to study the explosion of a star in the Kavis Alpha Sector, which occurs only once every 196 years. As the crew prepares to launch Stubbs' research unit, the ship is suddenly drawn into the fiery path of the stellar matter. The U.S.S. Enterprise computers initially fail to respond to commands to stabilize, yet even after the ship is restored to normal, the computer reports no malfunction.
Faced with the potential breakdown of the ship's main computer, Picard warns Stubbs that the mission may have to be aborted. Stubbs, who has devoted his career to studying the once-in-a-lifetime event, is insistent that his project be completed at any cost. Meanwhile, Wesley is shaken by the realization that an experiment he had been working on may be at the root of the ship's trouble.
Knowing he must confide in someone, Wesley talks to his mother, Dr. Beverly Crusher, who has returned to the U.S.S. Enterprise after a year's service at Starfleet Medical. He explains that during a genetics experiment, he allowed two nanites, robots tiny enough to enter living cells, to interact. It now appears that they are rapidly replicating and essentially eating the main computer, shutting down the power, weapons, communications and life support systems on the ship, one by one.
What's more, the nanites have evolved to the point where they have become, in effect, a civilization capable of intelligent thought. When Picard refuses to destroy them, Stubbs fears that his life's work will be ruined and attempts to kill them. In retaliation, the nanites attack Stubbs and render the ship powerless.
Desperate to stop the nanites, Picard asks Data to find a way to communicate with them. The robots, distrustful of humans, refuse to agree to a cease fire. As a gesture of good faith, Data allows the nanites to enter his circuits and manipulate his verbal programs, thus using him as a conduit for face-to-face communication.
"Speaking" through Data, the nanites reveal that they meant no harm, but needed to explore the computer system. After Stubbs apologizes for trying to kill them and arranges a new home for them on planet Kavis Alpha IV, the nanites relent and even help reconstruct the computer core in time for Stubbs to complete his experiment.
051. The Survivors 43152.4Beaming down to Rana IV, the Away Team finds that the entire planet has been obliterated, except for a patch of land where an undamaged home still stands. Inside, they meet the sole survivors of the attack -- Kevin and Rishon Uxbridge, an elderly couple who cannot explain why they survived the devastation and refuse to leave the decimated colony.
Meanwhile, back on the Enterprise, Counselor Troi's head is inexplicably filled with music which continues to repeat unabated, day and night. She confesses her problem to Picard and admits that she is unable to read the emotions of the Uxbridges as a result.
Suddenly, the ship that attacked Rana IV returns to the area and fires upon the U.S.S. Enterprise, crippling the starship's weapons systems. In sick bay, Dr. Crusher tries to relieve the incessant music in Troi's brain by heavily sedating her, then inducing a coma, but nothing seems to work.
Following his hunch that the warship somehow responds to the Uxbridges' wishes, Picard confronts them. Though Kevin angrily insists that he and his wife do not require the crew's help, Picard tells the couple that the U.S.S. Enterprise will remain in orbit as long as the two of them are alive.
A short time later, the warship reappears and obliterates the Uxbridges' home. In response, the U.S.S. Enterprise destroys the warship. Despite the fact that the crew can find no signs of life on Rana IV, Picard insists upon keeping the planet under surveillance.
Within hours, Geordi reports that the Uxbridges' home has reappeared on the planet -- what's more, the couple is alive and well inside it! Picard beams them up to the ship and forces Kevin to admit that his home, his wife and the warship are merely reproductions of the originals, which were destroyed in the attack.
Kevin confesses that he is a Douwd, an immortal being capable of creating disguises and false surroundings. He explains that after taking a human form 50 years ago, he visited earth and fell in love with Rishon, who remained unaware of his true identity and magic powers throughout their marriage.
Unfortunately, when the aggressive species known as the Husnock attacked Rana IV, Kevin refused to fight back or kill anyone. However, his wife joined the battle and was murdered by the Husnock, along with everyone else in the colony.
Enraged by his wife's death, Kevin then summoned his magical powers and in an instant of grief, destroyed the Husnock race of 50 billion. Fearful that Troi would discover his secret, Uxbridge put the music in her mind to block her telepathic powers.
Stunned by Uxbridge's confession, Picard tells Kevin that he is not qualified to judge his crimes and returns the man to his planet. But before leaving the Enterprise, Kevin restores Troi to normal.
052. Who Watches The Watchers 43173.5A team of Federation anthropologists, working in a camouflaged outpost on Mintaka III, have been observing the Mintakans - a race of Vulcan-like humanoids whose development is at the equivalent of earth's Bronze Age. But when an explosion rips through the post, the expedition's leader, Barron, and his assistant, an elderly woman named Warren, are seriously injured. A third team member, a young man named Palmer, is dazed in the blast and wanders away from the site.
Beaming down to assist the Federation officials, the Away Team is spotted by two Mintakans, Liko and his son Oji. Stunned by the sight of Warren being beamed up to the U.S.S. Enterprise, Liko accidentally slips and is critically injured in a fall. To save his life, Dr. Crusher beams Liko up to the ship, although it violates the Federation's Prime Directive, which states that members are not to interfere with other cultures.
Regaining consciousness in Sickbay, Liko overhears Picard promising Barron that he will find Palmer. Despite the fact that Crusher performs a procedure to remove his short term memory, it doesn't work and Liko returns to the planet describing "the Picard" to other Mintakans as a god, capable of healing wounds and reversing death.
To find Palmer and minimize any cultural contamination, Riker and Troi beam down to the planet disguised as Mintakans. They overhear Liko telling his friends about "the Picard's" powers and are shocked when three Mintakan hunters walk in carrying Palmer. Liko immediately assumes that Palmer is a servant of "the Picard" and it would please the god if they presented Palmer to him.
While Troi diverts the Mintakans, Riker beams himself and Palmer up to the Enterprise. When Liko and the group realize what Riker has done, they fear that "the Picard" will be angry with them for losing Palmer. To redeem themselves, they seize Troi with the intention of killing her to prove their loyalty to "the Picard."
Fearing for Troi's life, Picard has Nuria, the Mintakan leader, beamed aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise, hoping that if she is convinced that he is not a god, she will be able to persuade her people of that fact. Despite all his efforts, Picard is unable to convince Nuria that he is a mere mortal -- until she sees him stand by helplessly in Sickbay when Warren dies and she realizes Picard has no power over life and death.
Just as Troi is about to be sacrificed, Nuria and Picard return to Mintaka III. Liko, still believing that Picard is a god, attempts to prove Picard's omnipotence by firing a crossbow at him. Only when he sees Picard suffering from his wound is Liko convinced of his mistake. Troi is freed and after Picard is healed, he bids farewell to the Mintakans, who are left to progress on their own.
053. The Bonding 43198.7An Away Team, led by Worf, investigates a barren planet once inhabited by the Koinonians, a race which destroyed themselves in a lengthy war. While exploring an underground tunnel, archeologist Marla Aster is killed by a bomb buried years earlier beneath the surface. Worf, though injured in the blast himself, feels he is to blame for the tragedy, despite Picard's assurances that it was an accident.
Lt. Aster is survived by a son, 12-year-old Jeremy. Together with Troi, Picard informs the child of his mother's tragic death. Knowing that Jeremy's father is also deceased, Troi is concerned by the child's stoic reaction to the news. Worf, himself an orphan, feels a special kinship with Jeremy and tells Troi of his wish to perform a Klingon ceremony, the R'uustai (The Bonding), with the boy.
A short time later, Troi detects an alien presence on board the U.S.S. Enterprise. In his quarters, Jeremy senses a movement and turns to see what appears to be his late mother, telling him that they are both going to leave the starship and live on the planet. When Worf discovers Lt. Aster's impostor, she vanishes. She later reappears and transforms Jeremy's room into the Aster home on Earth, as the confused boy rushes to the warmth of his "mother's" arms.
Determining that an energy beam from the planet is powering the image of Aster, Picard orders the crew to sever it. Undaunted, the energy field then gathers into a glowing mass, enters the ship and tries to gain control of the transporter room, while Jeremy and his mother hurry toward it to make their escape.
When the alien Aster is trapped in the U.S.S. Enterprise's forcefield, she confesses that she is part of a lifeform that survived the Koinonian Wars. In an effort to prevent further suffering from that conflict, the being recreated Jeremy's mother and home to comfort him.
Wesley, who suffered the loss of his own father, joins Picard in explaining to Jeremy that it is part of being human to mourn and feel pain, as well as joy. At first torn between his "mother" and reality, Jeremy soon decides to stay on board the U.S.S. Enterprise. After the lifeform leaves the ship, Worf performs the R'uustai with Jeremy, making them brothers forever.
054. Booby Trap 43205.6While investigating a signal emitting from an ancient Promellian battle cruiser, Picard and the Away Team discover a ship that has been floating in space for over 1000 years. There are no survivors on the vessel, which has remained intact for centuries.
As the crew tries to determine what happened to the ill-fated cruiser, the Enterprise is plagued by a rapidly increasing energy drain which traps the ship in a holding pattern. Worse yet, the crew is simultaneously being bombarded by radiation and raising the protective shields only depletes more power.
Geordi, unable to determine the cause of the rapid energy loss, informs the Bridge that all of the ship's power will be depleted in three hours. And without energy for its shields, the entire crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise will be killed by the radiation.
In search of clues to help free the U.S.S. Enterprise, Riker and Data return to the ancient battle cruiser and begin reading over the ship's logs. Meanwhile, Geordi enlists the aid of Dr. Leah Brahms, a beautiful young engineering expert, to help him save the U.S.S. Enterprise from disaster.
The Promellian logs reveal that the ship was trapped by Aceton assimilators, devices which attract energy, modify it and convert it to radiation. During a centuries old battle between the Menthars and Promellians, the Menthars had used the assimilators to ensnare their enemy in the booby trap. The Promellians, in trying to escape, unknowingly supplied the power for their own destruction.
Meanwhile, Geordi tells Picard that their only hope for survival requires turning command of the starship over to the computer. But while running simulations of the maneuver, Geordi discovers that the radiation force striking the ship has reached fatal levels.
With time running out, Geordi abandons the idea of overpowering the booby trap. Instead, he gives the U.S.S. Enterprise all of the power it can muster in one quick blast and then immediately shuts down all non-essential power, allowing the ship to break the inertia and free itself from the trap.
Picard, taking control of the U.S.S. Enterprise, maneuvers it out of further danger by using the gravitational pull of an asteroid to slingshot his vessel out of the battle zone. To prevent other ships from suffering a similar fate, the U.S.S. Enterprise destroys the entire asteroid field and resumes its original course.
055. The Enemy 43349.2While investigating a distress signal on the Federation planet Galorndon Core, Riker, Worf and Geordi discover the wreckage of a crashed Romulan vessel and a dying Romulan officer, Patahk. Due to the fierce electrical storms on the surface, beaming up and down to Galorndon is restricted by brief "windows," or breaks in the storm, which occur sporadically throughout the day. Unfortunately, Geordi loses contact with the Away Team and is trapped in a pit, from which he is unable to contact Riker and Worf before they are forced to beam back to the U.S.S. Enterprise with Patahk.
Dr. Crusher's examination of Patahk soon reveals neural degeneration caused by exposure to the planet's magnetic fields, which increases the crew's concern for Geordi. Tensions rise when the U.S.S. Enterprise learns that a Romulan warship intends to cross the Neutral Zone and enter restricted Federation territory to rescue any crash survivors. When Picard informs the Romulan captain, Tomalak, that Patahk is aboard his ship, Tomalak insists that the two ships rendezvous and that Patahk be returned.
Meanwhile, the crew launches a signal probe to locate Geordi. As he frees himself from the pit and makes his way toward the beacon, Geordi is ambushed and taken prisoner by Bochra, a second survivor of the Romulan crash. Before long, however, the electrical storms on Galorndon wreak havoc on Bochra's nervous system and render Geordi's visor inoperable, temporarily blinding him. Geordi is able to convince the critically ill Romulan that their only hope for survival is to beam aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise, and the two enemies join forces to locate the beacon.
Back on the starship, Dr. Crusher informs Worf that a transfusion of his ribosome's is the only hope for Patahk's survival. But the Klingon officer refuses to help because his parents were killed by Romulans years earlier. Although Picard explains the drastic political implications of a Romulan dying in Federation hands, Worf stands firm. When Patahk dies, Tomalak prepares to retaliate by attacking the U.S.S. Enterprise. Tomalak's actions force Picard to raise his ship's shields, preventing transporting activity, just as a window in the storm appears.
With time running out, Picard informs Tomalak that the U.S.S. Enterprise is lowering its shields to beam Geordi and a Romulan officer aboard. Knowing that an aggressive response could lead to an all-out war between the Federation and Romulans, Tomalak allows Picard to proceed. Geordi and Bochra return to the U.S.S. Enterprise, where they regain their neural functions and bid each other farewell.
056. The Price 43385.6The crew plays host to a group of visiting dignitaries who are negotiating for the rights to a stable wormhole discovered by the Barzan, which could provide a valuable shortcut through the galaxy. Stressed out by her job as the ship's counselor, Troi reluctantly attends a reception for the representatives. There, she is immediately drawn to the Chrysalian delegate, Devinoni Ral. The two share an instant attraction which soon leads them into a passionate affair.
Meanwhile, negotiations for the wormhole grow increasingly tense. Determined to win the rights, the Ferengi secretly inoculate the Federation delegate, Mendoza, leaving him too ill to continue his task. In his place, Picard selects Riker to represent Federation interests.
Concerned that there is little concrete information about the coveted wormhole, Riker suggests that the U.S.S. Enterprise conduct an expedition into it before committing the Federation to a binding contract. Picard agrees and orders Geordi and Data to pilot a shuttlecraft into the hole. Not to be outdone by the Federation, the Ferengi send a craft of their own into the hole.
Before long, however, Geordi and Data determine that the wormhole is not as stable or as valuable as it looks. They inform the Ferengi shuttlecraft pilots of their discovery but the Ferengi ignore them. Back on the U.S.S. Enterprise, negotiations for the hole continue, as does the romance between Troi and Devinoni. Although she's fallen in love with Devinoni, Troi begins to have some reservations about him when she learns that he is part Betazoid and has been using his empathic powers to manipulate his competitors in the negotiations.
Masterfully maneuvering his position, Devinoni narrows the competition down to the Federation and the Chrysalians, whom he represents. Just when it appears that Riker will secure the wormhole rights, the Ferengi threaten to destroy the hole, insisting that an "informed source" has told them that the Federation has made a secret deal with the Barzan premier.
Devinoni takes advantage of the conflict and the Barzan leader's wishes for peace to win the rights to the hole. When Troi senses that Devinoni staged the entire incident to undermine the Federation, her sense of duty compels her to speak out. But before the Barzan premier has a chance to revoke the agreement with Devinoni, the Enterprise shuttle appears from the wormhole and announces that it is worthless. The dashing delegate then bids farewell to Troi and returns to face the Chrysalians.
057. The Vengeance Factor 43421.9After finding traces of Acamarian blood at a looted Federation outpost, Picard leads the crew to Acamar III. There, he learns that the responsibility for the attack on the outpost lies with the Gatherers, a thieving band of renegade Acamarians who split off from their culture 100 years ago, following centuries of battles between rival clans. When Acamar's leader, Marouk, expresses her desire to reintegrate the Gatherers into her now peaceful society, Picard offers the services of the Enterprise to find the bandits.
The search leads to a Gatherers camp in the Hroni Cluster, where the pack leader, Brull, agrees to meet with Marouk to discuss her proposal for amnesty. During the meeting, however, Marouk's young servant Yuta kills an elderly Gatherer from the Lornack clan named Volnoth, though she makes it appear as if he suffered a heart attack. Dr. Crusher soon discovers that Volnoth was murdered by a microvirus specifically engineered to prove fatal to his system.
Despite Brull's interest in Marouk's proposals, he insists that they must meet with the Gatherer chief, Chorgan, before any final decisions can be made. En route to Chorgan's hideout, Riker is drawn to the enigmatic Yuta, who claims to desire freedom, but alludes to the fact that her path in life has already been determined. Adding to Yuta's mystery, Riker learns that she serves Marouk not by command, but by choice.
Although Chorgan is at first violently opposed to talking with Marouk, Wesley is able to convince him that it would be in his best interests to do so. While Marouk attends a meeting on the Gatherer ship, Riker learns that Yuta was responsible for Volnoth's death and has killed others in the Lornack clan -- whose surviving members include Chorgan. Knowing that Yuta is attending Marouk's conference with Chorgan, Riker beams aboard the Gatherer vessel.
Riker arrives just in time to prevent Yuta from killing the unsuspecting Chorgan. Yuta proclaims that she is only seeking vengeance for the massacre of her clan, the Tralestas, by Chorgan's clan. She explains that her grandfather, the only other survivor of the attack, altered her cells to make her touch fatal to the Lornacks, and that she used her position with Marouk to get close to the last remaining members of the Lornack clan. When Yuta makes another attempt to touch Chorgan, Riker is forced to destroy her with his phaser, thus ending her mission. The peace talks, however, are saved.
058. The Defector 43462.5Answering a request for asylum from a Romulan scout ship, the crew beams aboard. Although he claims to be a low-ranking logistics officer, the vessel's pilot, Setal, shares a startling revelation: the Romulans have established a base on Nelvana III, from which they plan to launch a major offensive to reclaim the Neutral Zone. Informing Picard that the assault against the Federation will begin in 48 hours, the Romulan defector begs the captain to destroy the base to prevent a catastrophic war.
Without firm evidence supporting Setal's claims, Picard fears that Setal's story may be a Romulan ploy to trick the U.S.S. Enterprise into initiating war. His suspicions are heightened when Setal informs Picard that he is really a Romulan Admiral named Jarok, who once led a massacre of Federation outposts. Although Jarok now claims that he only wants to keep the peace, Worf alerts Picard that Klingon ships in the area have warned him not to trust the Romulan, since his race had once tricked a great Klingon commander into appearing the aggressor in a war.
With time running out on a volatile situation, Picard meets with his security officer, Worf, and then leads the U.S.S. Enterprise through the Neutral Zone to Nelvana III. When a closer probe of the planet reveals no Romulan power base, Jarok is dumbfounded.
Suddenly, the U.S.S. Enterprise is surrounded by three Romulan warships and ordered to surrender by Tomalak, a commander who once confronted Picard over a skirmish in the Galorndon Core. Picard realizes that Jarok, who had recently been reassigned to a position of lower rank, was used by the Romulans to lure the U.S.S. Enterprise into a trap. The information about the base was all just a ruse to test Jarok's loyalty to his leaders.
Picard refuses Tomalak's demands that the crew surrender and, at a prearranged moment, three Klingon warships uncloak, surrounding the Romulan ships. The odds stacked against him, Tomalak backs down and retreats, promising Picard that they will meet again. Knowing that his defection has cost him his family and his homeland, a despondent Jarok commits suicide.
059. The Hunted 43489.2The U.S.S. Enterprise visits the planet Angosia, which recently emerged victorious from a lengthy war and is now seeking membership in the Federation. During the visit, a violent prisoner in Angosia's penal colony escapes and is later captured with the help of the crew. The escapee, Roga Danar, is detained aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise while repairs to the damaged prison can be completed.
Although Troi has been warned that Danar is extremely dangerous, she is drawn to him when she senses that he is being tortured by nightmares. Meeting with the prisoner, she comes to believe that he is inherently non-violent, despite his reputation.
A check of Danar's records reveals that he is a military prisoner who served Angosia honorably in the recent war. He informs Troi that when he volunteered for service, his government conducted intense psychological and biochemical modifications on him and his fellow soldiers. When the men, programmed for violence in any situation threatening their survival, had difficulty readjusting to civilian life, they were exiled to Lunar V.
Confronted by Picard with Danar's story, Angosian Prime Minister Nayrok basically tells him to mind his own business and insists that the prisoner be returned. Picard reluctantly informs Danar that he will be sent back to prison via a police shuttle.
But during the transfer, Danar hijacks the shuttle and returns to Lunar V, where he leads an assault on the prison. Nayrok then sends an urgent message to Picard, informing him that hundreds of rioting prisoners are headed for the Angosian capitol.
In response to Nayrok's pleas, Picard leads an Away Team to Angosia, where he finds Nayrok and the members of his senate arming themselves against an attack. Just then, Danar and his comrades burst in, but knowing that the veterans will not kill unless their own lives are threatened, Picard vows that he and his crew will not fire upon the prisoners. Instead, Nayrok is urged to take steps to reprogram the soldiers and welcome them back into society - only then, Picard asserts upon leaving Nayrok and Danar, will the Federation reconsider the planet's application for membership.
060. The High Ground 43510.7While delivering medical supplies to a planet involved in a lengthy civil war, Dr. Crusher is taken hostage by Finn, the leader of a radical separatist organization. Although at first fearful for her life, Beverly soon learns that she has been kidnapped to provide expert medical care for terrorists dying from the effects of an interdimensional transporter. Although the nuclear-powered device allows the rebels to move at high speeds and to escape detection by Rutian sensors, its end result is fatal internal damage.
Certain that Finn and his followers will use Beverly as a bargaining chip for their cause, Picard asks Riker to rescue Dr. Crusher with the help of Alexana Devos, the leader of the Rutian police. Alexana, determined not to compromise her hard-line position with the terrorists, is furious when Riker tells one of Finn's men that the Federation is willing to negotiate for Beverly's release.
Alexana's skepticism is justified when Finn, certain that the U.S.S. Enterprise has joined forces with the Rutians against his people, launches a deadly assault on the U.S.S. Enterprise. Although Geordi is able to remove a bomb from the vessel before it detonates, several crew members are killed in the skirmish and Captain Picard is taken hostage with Beverly.
At his hideout, Finn tells Picard that he welcomes Federation involvement in his cause, since that will force the Rutian government to make important concessions. On board the U.S.S. Enterprise, Riker plots a surprise attack on Finn's underground headquarters.
But when Riker, Worf and Alexana show up in the hideout, Alexana shoots Finn to death after the terrorist leader appears ready to execute Picard. Riker chides Alexana for her actions, but she tells him that Finn's death will result in less bloodshed than if he had been taken prisoner and his followers attempted to free him. With Beverly and Picard safely released from captivity, the U.S.S. Enterprise leaves the outcome of the Rutian conflict to Alexana and her advisers.
061. Déjà Q 43539.1While orbiting Bre'el IV to investigate a descending asteroidal moon which could cause landquakes and tidal waves on the planet, the crew is surprised by the unexpected arrival of "Q." Although Picard immediately suspects that the mischievous "Q" is responsible for the moon's deteriorating orbit, "Q" admits that his superiors in the Continuum have stripped him of his magical powers and made him human, thus unable to indulge in such chicanery.
Fearful that "Q" is lying, Picard assigns Data to keep an eye on "Q" while the crew deals with the perilous situation on Bre'el IV. But "Q's" presence on board the ship becomes problematic when the Calamarain, a gas-like life form with a grievance against "Q," begins attacking him. Picard soon realizes that "Q" came aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise to receive protection from the Calamarain. But a short time later, the life form attacks "Q" again and in an attempt to save him, Data sustains serious electrical damage to his android body.
Moved by the injured Data's sacrifice for him, and aware that the crew will be unable to move the moon as long as it must use its shields to protect him, "Q" steals a shuttlecraft and heads into space, knowing that the Calamarain will follow him. As the force approaches the shuttlecraft, Picard orders the shields to be extended to protect "Q," but they are inexplicably inoperative.
Inside the shuttlecraft, another member of the Continuum, Q2, appears beside Q and tells him that he is impressed by his selfless act and gives "Q" his powers back, but warns that he'll be keeping an eye on him.
A grateful "Q" suddenly appears on the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise with a band and confetti to thank the crew. When Picard asks him to leave, "Q" obliges, but not before thanking Data by using his newly regained powers to give the android the experience of a human belly laugh. After "Q" disappears, the crew receives a transmission from Bre'el IV announcing that the moon's orbit has been corrected. Initially confused, the captain realizes that "Q" has learned a little humanity and saved the planet himself.
062. A Matter Of Perspective 43610.4Following a routine mission at the Tanuga IV science station, Riker beams back to the U.S.S. Enterprise moments before Dr. Apgar, the director of the Starfleet research facility, is killed in an explosion. A short time later, Chief Investigator Krag of the Tanugan security force arrives to take Riker into custody after Apgar's widow, Manua, and his assistant Tanya accuse the first officer of threatening Apgar. Picard, however, refuses to release Riker until reasonable evidence is offered to warrant his arrest.
Programmed with the testimonies of Riker, Manua, Tanya and the information in Apgar's personal journal, the holodeck recreates the events leading up to the fatal explosion, according to each person's perspective. Contrary to Riker's claims, the accounts of the other witnesses indicate that he had tried to seduce Manua and intimidate Apgar. Although Picard does not believe the accounts, he admits that the corroborating testimonies provide Krag with enough evidence for Riker's extradition.
Meanwhile, Geordi, Data and Wesley try to determine the cause of a power drain which occurred as Riker was being transported off the station, as well as the source of the energy blast which cause the explosion. Krag's evidence shows that the energy source came from Riker's position as he was beaming out, which means he could have fired his phaser at Apgar as he was departing.
In their investigation, however, the Science Team finds out that Apgar had discovered the new source of energy which Starfleet requested, but hid that fact so that he could develop it into a weapon that he would sell, at great personal profit, to the highest bidder. Using a holodeck recreation, Picard asserts that Apgar was afraid Riker would tell Starfleet that his work was completed before the scientist could create the valuable weapon.
Geordi is then able to prove that Apgar had intended a beam from his energy source to interfere with Riker's transport, scattering his cells through space and killing him in what would appear to be an accident. However, the beam merely reflected off the transport effect back into the condenser, causing the explosion and Apgar's subsequent death. Convinced by the crew's evidence, Krag drops all charges against Riker.
063. Yesterday's Enterprise 43625.2While on a routine mission, the U.S.S. Enterprise discovers a bizarre rift in space, which reveals an unidentified vessel. Both ships are now on an alternate time line where the Federation is in the midst of a bloody war with the Klingons.
The crew identifies the mysterious vessel as their ships' immediate predecessor, the U.S.S. Enterprise 1701-C, believed to have been destroyed in battle over 20 years ago. Their own crew now includes Tasha Yar, the ex-security chief who was killed in the line of duty. Meeting with the captain of that vessel, Picard learns that it was responding to a distress signal on a Klingon outpost when it was attacked by four Romulan Warbirds. But in the middle of the assault, the ship broke through the space rift, thus saving it from the destruction recorded in the history books. Although Picard and his crew are baffled by the strange appearance of the U.S.S. Enterprise-C, Guinan's alien instincts lead her to believe that the Federation's current war with the Klingons is the result of the U.S.S. Enterprise-C's presence in their future. Certain that the ship is now existing in the wrong time line, she pleads with Picard to send the U.S.S. Enterprise-C back through the rift in order to change the course of events,
which has resulted in the loss of 40 billion lives during the Klingon conflict.
Picard confers with Data, who asserts that if the U.S.S. Enterprise-C was destroyed while aiding the Klingon outpost, it would have been viewed as an honorable act, which means the current war with the Klingons may have been avoided. Faced with this knowledge, Picard decides to send the U.S.S. Enterprise-C back through the time rift, to face its tragic destiny.
Meanwhile, Tasha learns from Guinan that, in the correct time line, she died a meaningless death. In response, Tasha requests that she be allowed to serve on the doomed U.S.S. Enterprise-C crew so that she may die in the heroic battle with the Romulans. Picard reluctantly agrees.
As the U.S.S. Enterprise-C makes its way back through the time rift, three Klingon warships launch an attack on it. To assure that the U.S.S. Enterprise-C returns to its rightful place in time, Picard positions the U.S.S. Enterprise-D between the vessel and the Klingons, sustaining heavy losses in the process. Just as the U.S.S. Enterprise-D's engine core seems on the verge of exploding, Data announces that the rift has closed, and, unaware of the preceding events, the U.S.S. Enterprise returns to its original time line, heading for a cultural exchange program with a Klingon delegation.
064. The Offspring 43657.0Hoping to further his creator's work and perpetuate his species, Data creates an android named Lal, who receives Data's programming through neural transfers. Although Picard is apprehensive about Starfleet's reaction to the unauthorized experiment, he allows Data to continue his research.
Allowed to select its own appearance, Lal chooses the form of a human female. As she becomes increasingly capable of perception and feeling, Data enrolls Lal in school so that she can assimilate human behavior. When the android has difficulty fitting in with the children, Guinan agrees to let her work in Ten Forward, where she can supervise Lal's socialization process, and where Lal can study many different kinds of people.
Meanwhile, Starfleet Admiral Haftel learns of Data's creation and informs Picard that he wants to transfer Lal to a research station where he can more closely monitor her progress. When Picard refuses, citing Lal and Data's mutual need to remain together for full developmental growth, Haftel gets permission to come aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise to observe Lal and is empowered to remove her from the ship if he is dissatisfied by what he sees.
Despite all evidence to the contrary, Haftel is convinced that a bar is an unacceptable environment for Lal and orders her removed from Ten Forward. He then meets with Lal in the hopes of convincing her to leave the U.S.S. Enterprise, but she firmly states her desire to remain with her "father" Data and the crew. Upset by her meeting with the Admiral, Lal seeks out Troi, who is stunned to sense the emotion of fear emanating from the android.
After Haftel informs Data that Lal will be taken from the starship, Picard states his intention to defy the admiral's orders, but their face-off is interrupted by an emergency call from Troi. Data and Haftel rush to Lal's side, only to find that she is dying. Troi tells them that Lal's functions broke down after experiencing an extraordinary range of feelings in the counselor's presence.
In a valiant effort to save Lal, Haftel joins Data in repairing the android's malfunction, but her neural pathways shut down faster than they can fix them. After Lal thanks Data for her life and tells him that she loves him, her neural system fails and she expires. Unable to experience the grief and emotion the crew feels at Lal's loss, Data must be content with Lal's memories of life, which he transfers to his brain.
065. Sins Of The Father 43685.2As part of an exchange program, a Klingon officer named Kurn arrives on board the U.S.S. Enterprise. He soon informs Worf that they are brothers, having been separated shortly before their parents were killed in a Romulan attack on the Khitomer Outpost.
Kurn tells Worf that new evidence has surfaced which indicates that their late father, Mogh, aided and abetted the Romulans in the Khitomer assault which resulted in the deaths of 4000 Klingons. To defend his family's honor, Worf goes before the Klingon High Council to challenge the treasonous accusations.
Accompanied by Kurn, who serves as his brother's cha'Dlch (a second who will defend him during the trial), Worf faces the high council. During a recess, the council leader, K'mpec, asks Worf to drop his challenge, but he refuses. Elsewhere, Kurn is seriously wounded by two Klingon assassins after Duras, another council member, requests that he betray Worf and Kurn refuses.
Due to Kurn's injuries, Worf asks Picard to be his cha'Dlch. Honored by the request, Picard returns to the council with Worf. Meanwhile, the crew learns that Klingon records of the fatal attack have recently been altered to indict Mogh and that the only other survivor of the massacre, Worf's nurse Kahlest, is living nearby.
Picard visits Kahlest, who asserts that Mogh was loyal to his race and had actually followed the real traitor to the Khitomer Outpost to prevent the Romulan attack. But when Picard tries to introduce Kahlest's testimony, K'mpec abruptly cuts him off and calls a recess before she can prove Mogh's innocence.
In private chambers, K'mpec admits that Mogh was a scapegoat for the real traitor, Duras' father, to protect political interests and prevent a civil war. He also reveals that the council never expected Worf to challenge their charges, but since he has, he must be punished for his father's "treason" to keep the peace. To protect Kurn, who would face execution along with him, Worf agrees to drop his challenge and instead be labeled a coward before the council, though in their hearts, Kurn and Worf know that their family honor has been maintained.
066. Allegiance 43714.1While in his quarters, Picard is taken from the ship by an alien energy beam and held in a room with three other hostages: Tholl, a peace-loving Mizarian; Haro, an Algolian and Starfleet Academy cadet; and Esoqq, a beast-like member of the Chalnoth race.
The situation in the cell becomes increasingly tense when the prisoners discover that their food supply is poisonous to Esoqq, who eyes his fellow captives hungrily. Picard, Esoqq and Haro attempt to rewire the circuitry in a wall panel to open the door to the room, but they're struck by a bolt of energy. The frustrated quartet begins to suspect each other, believing that one of the others may actually be their captor.
Meanwhile, on board the U.S.S. Enterprise, the false Picard arouses the suspicions of the crew when he begins acting strangely, ordering the ship off course, leading the crew in drinking songs and making romantic overtures to Dr. Crusher. But when Riker finds traces of a sophisticated replicator in Picard's chambers and learns that the captain has led the U.S.S. Enterprise perilously close to a star emitting radiation, he overrides Picard's orders and takes command of the ship. Despite being called mutinous by the false Picard, the crew stands by Riker.
Back in the holding cell, the real Picard deduces that Haro is the captor among them. When she tries to deny the accusation, Picard points out that she exhibited knowledge of classified Starfleet information that would not be available to a cadet.
With that, Haro suddenly metamorphosizes into three identical aliens who are linked telepathically. The aliens explain that they were merely conducting an experiment to study leadership qualities among different species, since their race has no distinctions of authority. When one of the aliens accompanies Picard back to the U.S.S. Enterprise, the false Picard metamorphosizes into another alien.
Furious that he's been used as a guinea pig and that the lives of his crew have been needlessly endangered, Picard captures the two aliens in a forcefield. By this act, he is able to show how effective leadership really works and also that kidnapping is immoral. The point made, Picard send the aliens on their way.
067. Captain's Holiday 43745.2At the crew's insistence, Picard reluctantly agrees to take a week-long vacation to Risa, a tropical resort. However, following his arrival, the captain's peace is disturbed by Sovak, a Ferengi who accuses Picard of conspiring with Vash, a woman in possession of a mysterious optical disc.
Although Picard knows nothing about the disc, Vash implicates him by slipping it into his pocket without the captain's knowledge. Returning to his room, Picard is also confronted by two Vorgons, Boratus and Ajur, who have been shadowing him.
The duo reveals that they're a security team from the 27th century in search of the Tox Uthat, a powerful secret weapon. According to their history books, the scientist who invented the Uthat traveled back in time to hide the device from criminals who tried to steal It. What's more, Vorgon records indicate that it's Picard's destiny to find the missing object on Risa.
Although skeptical of the Vorgons' story, Picard discovers he has Vash's disc and confronts her. She claims the disc was given to her for safekeeping by the archeologist who discovered the location of the Uthat, just prior to his death. She hid the disc in Picard's pocket to prevent it from failing into Sovak's hands, since he plans to find the Uthat and sell it to the highest bidder.
With Sovak hot on their trail, Picard and Vash use the information on the disc to locate the Uthat's reputed hiding place, where they begin digging for the weapon. When It doesn't turn up, the trio surmises that the archeologist's findings must have been flawed. But when Picard later catches Vash sneaking out of town, he realizes that she already has the weapon, having found it long before she led Picard and Sovak on a wild goose chase to the hiding place in order to throw the Ferengi off track.
When Vash shows the Uthat to Picard, the Vorgons appear, demanding the weapon. But having learned from Vash that it was the Vorgons whom the inventor had originally hidden the Uthat from, Picard grabs the device and then signals to Riker, who, based on prior orders, beams the device away and blows it up. The disappointed Vorgons reveal that Picard did fulfill his destiny by destroying the Uthat and they concede defeat ... this time.
068. Tin Man 43779.3The U.S.S. Enterprise is ordered to transport Tam Elbrun, a Federation emissary, to a distant star system. Tam, a Betazoid who specializes in first contact with new life-forms, is assigned to establish mind contact with Tin Man, an alien intelligence resembling an organic spaceship, which is orbiting a star that's about to explode. The crew's mission: to reach Tin Man before two Romulan Warbirds, which are also trying to make contact with it.
En route to the site, Tam shares with his old friend Troi his frustration with his extraordinary telepathic powers, which constantly bombard him with the thoughts of those around him. He also intimates that he has already made preliminary contact with Tin Man.
Upon the crew's arrival at the star system, one of the Romulan Warbirds fires on the U.S.S. Enterprise, then prepares to destroy Tin Man before the crew can make contact. Instead, Tam sends a telepathic warning to Tin Man, which responds by emitting an energy wave that destroys the Warbird, but also causes serious damage to the U.S.S. Enterprise.
With the star's explosion imminent and the second Warbird on the way, Picard asks Tam to coax Tin Man into moving to the safety of Federation space. Tam explains that Tin Man, having lost its crew years earlier, has come to the star to die in the explosion. He then asks to be transported to Tin Man to establish personal contact, but Picard is hesitant, questioning the loyalties that caused Tam to protect Tin Man at the risk of losing the Enterprise.
When the second Romulan vessel arrives to destroy Tin Man, Picard sends Tam and Data to approach the life-form. Upon boarding, Tam has an immediate sense of belonging with the alien and Tin Man shows a mutual rapport with the emissary. Shortly afterwards, Tin Man breaks orbit and sends the U.S.S. Enterprise and the Romulan Warbird hurtling into space and away from the star just before It explodes. Data is then returned to the U.S.S. Enterprise, where he explains that Tam has remained with Tin Man, having finally found on the ship the peace that has eluded him his entire life.
069. Hollow Pursuits 43807.4When the U.S.S. Enterprise experiences problems with an anti-gravity unit, Geordi orders one of his engineers, Lt. Barclay, to investigate the malfunction. But when Barclay later claims that he's unable to find a problem, the anti-gravity field fails, causing a canister of alien tissue samples transported from a nearby planet to fall, break open and expose its contents.
After Geordi complains to the captain about Barclay, Picard advises Geordi to find a way to motivate him. Unfortunately, Barclay's attendance at an officers' meeting does little to inspire confidence in him and Barclay retreats to the Holodeck where he programs a session in which Counselor Troi seduces him. Later, when Picard mistakenly calls Barclay "Broccoli," a nickname used by the crew, Geordi finds him back in the Holodeck, engaged in a fantasy sword fight in which he defeats Picard, Data and Geordi.
Geordi then encourages Barclay to meet with Troi to discuss his need to vent his frustrations on Holodeck recreations. But before long, Barclay again begins shirking his responsibilities, which sends Riker, Troi and Geordi to the Holodeck to confront him about his obsession with the device.
Just then, the ship is jolted by a sudden increase in warp speed. Although Geordi sympathizes with Barclay's self-esteem problem, he explains that he desperately needs the lieutenant's help in engineering. Otherwise, the rapidly accelerating starship will automatically self-destruct within minutes.
With all other theories exhausted, Barclay deduces that the ship's malfunctions can be traced to crew members who were in contact with the canister that broke open earlier, and that they may have inadvertently spread some sort of contamination throughout the U.S.S. Enterprise's mechanical systems. Geordi concurs with Barclay's hunch and is able to save the ship just seconds before it would have self-destructed. Having gained confidence from the crisis, Barclay returns to the Holodeck one last time to bid farewell to his recreations.
070. The Most Toys 43872.2Finding no apparent signs of foul play, the Starship proceeds on its mission to transport rare hytritium to neutralize a sudden water contamination at a Federation colony. En route, Geordi is tormented by his inability to account for the shuffle explosion and the subsequent death of his friend.
Meanwhile, Kivas Fajo, the trader who supplied the hytritium, holds Data captive on his ship, adding the android to his collection of one of a kind items. Unable to escape, Data uses passive resistance to defy Fajo until his captor threatens to kill his own assistant, Varria, with a disrupter gun that slowly tortures its victims.
As the U.S.S. Enterprise approaches its destination, Geordi realizes that Data never transmitted a confirmation of departure from Fajo's ship, a breach of protocol virtually impossible for him to commit. Suspicions continue to mount when Worf reports that the contaminant in the outpost's water is not indigenous to the planet, and that the only neutralizer is the rare hytritium so conveniently supplied by Fajo. A report confirming that Fajo is a collector of rare objects convinces Picard that Data may have been kidnapped, and the U.S.S. Enterprise sets out in search of the trader's vessel.
Back aboard Fajo's ship, Varria attempts to seduce Data, but she is rebuked by the android who tells her that she is being used by Fajo to test his sexual abilities. Humiliated and angered by the truth, Varria helps Data escape, supplying him with a destructor gun and escorting him to a shuttlecraft. As they prepare to depart, Data and Varria are confronted by guards and a fight ensues, leaving them both unarmed.
Fajo then enters the shuttle bay and shoots Varria with a disrupter gun, leaving her to suffer a torturous death. Shocked by his own actions, Fajo discards the weapon, which Data quickly snatches up. Fajo then laughingly dares Data to shoot him, proclaiming that the android has no feelings which could justify murder to his anti-violent programming.
Moments later, Data is unwittingly transported back aboard the Enterprise. Much to his surprise, Riker learns that Data was firing a weapon at the moment of transport, but Data refuses to discuss the matter. Fajo is then arrested and the trader, who defined his value by his possessions, is stripped of his self-worth when his collection is confiscated.
071. Sarek 43917.4Sarek, the renowned Vulcan Ambassador, is on a mission to establish relations between the Federation and a race of beings known as the Legaran. His arrival on the starship is preceded by his human Chief of Staff, Mendrossen, and a young Vulcan, Sakkath, the Ambassador's personal assistant. Mendrossen explains to Captain Picard that Sarek's age has recently caused him to tire easily, and asks him to dispense with the official ceremonies that would normally be accorded a visitor of Sarek's rank, so that he may rest. Picard is disappointed that Sarek will not be able to attend a concert arranged on his behalf, but defers to Mendrossen's wishes.
Picard later extends a personal invitation to attend the concert to Sarek's wife, Perrin, who thanks him and says that she will extend the invitation to her husband. When Picard departs, Perrin enters Sarek's room to find the Vulcan uncharacteristically annoyed by an apparent inability to meditate. Later in the evening, Sarek and his entourage attend the concert, where Picard is surprised to see the Ambassador, who is normally emotionally detached, moved to tears by the music.
During the course of Sarek's stay, sporadic bouts of anger and violence plague the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise. Dr. Crusher is horrified when she is driven to strike Wesley, and seeks counsel from Troi, who expresses concern because it is just one of many similar incidents that have been reported to her. The situation becomes desperate when a brawl breaks out among the crew in Ten Forward.
Troi and Dr. Crusher theorize that Sarek is suffering from Bendii syndrome, a rare condition among Vulcans, characterized by a loss of emotional control. Although Mendrossen denies the suggestion, Sakkath, concerned about the success of the conference, admits that he has been attempting to telepathically reinforce Sarek's emotional control.
When Sarek is informed of the recent events, he so vehemently denies his affliction that it results in an outburst of anger, which proves Picard's point. Before the captain cancels the conference, he proposes that he and Sarek participate in a mind-meld in which they would become telepathically linked, and virtually share one mind. When Sarek agrees, Picard suffers through a whirlwind of the Ambassador's emotions unleashed in his mind, while Sarek is able to use the captain's strength to successfully negotiate with the Legaran delegates.
072. Ménage À Troi 43930.7At the conclusion of a trade conference on Betazed, Commander Riker and Troi take shore leave on the planet, while the U.S.S. Enterprise sets out on a routine mission. Shortly after Troi's mother, Lwaxana, interrupts a tender moment between her daughter and Riker, the trio is unexpectedly joined by two Ferengi who had served as delegates at the conference. One of the Ferengi, Daimon Tog, proclaims that he has come for Lwaxana, who had previously rebuked his amorous advances. As the Ferengi transports out with Lwaxana and Troi, Riker is caught in the beam and is carried away with them.
When the captives awaken aboard a Ferengi ship, Troi and Lwaxana are transported into the lab of Farek, a Ferengi doctor who hopes to study Lwaxana's telepathy through mind probes. Lwaxana gains Troi's return to Riker by agreeing to discuss with Tog a proposal by which he could use her telepathic abilities in trade negotiations.
Meanwhile, Riker entices the Ferengi guard into a chess match, and once outside the cell quickly disarms him. As Lwaxana seduces Tog by rubbing his large and erogenous ears, she receives a telepathic message from Troi and Riker saying that they need an access code to operate the communications system so they can summon help. Lwaxana has nearly extracted the code from Tog when Farek enters, threatening to reveal the incident unless Lwaxana is turned over to him for experimentation.
A message that Riker and Troi are missing summons the U.S.S. Enterprise back to Betazed, where an Away Team discovers flowers indigenous to Ferengi at the spot where they were last seen. Picard orders a scan of all radio transmissions in hopes that Riker has sent a message, but the Ferengi frequency is interrupted by interference. In the midst of the search, Wesley prepares to depart for the Academy to take his Starfleet oral exams. Suddenly realizing that the interference itself may be a signal, he rushes back to the Bridge, causing him to miss his transport ship. The decoded interference reveals the heading of the Ferengi ship, and the U.S.S. Enterprise begins pursuit.
When Troi is overcome with pain, sensing mind probes being used on her mother, an armed Riker enters Farek's lab to free Lwaxana, but a standoff ensues when Tog enters with a phaser. As the Enterprise arrives, Lwaxana buys the release of Troi and Riker by agreeing to aid Tog with her telepathy, and they are returned to the ship. Picard is then forced to play the role of a jealous lover, in order to frighten Tog into returning Lwaxana. For his selfless efforts, Wesley is promoted to full Ensign and is told that he will be allowed to complete his Starfleet courses aboard the Enterprise.
073. Transfigurations 43957.2When the U.S.S. Enterprise discovers a severely injured humanoid in the wreckage of an escape pod, Geordi volunteers to have his nervous system hooked up to the stranger's, in order to stabilize him. During the process, a wave of visible energy is transmitted from the humanoid to Geordi.
Dr. Crusher holds little hope for the recovery of the patient she has dubbed "John Doe," but he soon begins to exhibit amazing recuperative powers. While his damaged tissue is repairing itself at a remarkable rate, "John's" undamaged cells are mutating in a manner incomprehensible to the doctor.
Evidence surrounding the pod's wreckage indicates that it was involved in a battle, but when "John" awakens, he is unable to remember anything from his past. When Picard tells him that they have nearly determined the coordinates of his origin and that he will soon be returned to his planet, "John" experiences a sense of fear and tells Picard that he thinks he was trying to escape his planet, but cannot remember why.
Meanwhile, "John's" presence seems to bring a sense of serenity to the crew members he is in contact with, particularly Geordi. "John" then exhibits remarkable powers when he heals O'Brien's dislocated shoulder with a touch of his hand, which emits the same wave of visible energy that entered Geordi.
"John," however, is soon plagued by intermittent bouts of severe pain which frighten him into trying to steal a shuttlecraft. When Worf tries to stop him, "John" suddenly convulses in pain and then pulses into a large flare, knocking Worf off a catwalk to the deck below. Dr. Crusher's examination of Worf shows a broken neck and no vital signs, but when "John" touches him, a glow of light again emanates from his hand and Worf is completely healed.
When Dr. Crusher reports that "John's" rate of cell mutation is increasing, he fears that he will be dangerous to the crew and asks Picard to let him leave. However, their conversation is interrupted by the approach of an unidentified vessel which begins scanning the U.S.S. Enterprise. The commander of the ship, Sunad of Zalkon, demands the return of "John," declaring that he is an escaped prisoner sentenced to death for acts of agitation.
Having no memory of the past, "John" can neither confirm nor deny the accusation, but offers to surrender in order to prevent endangering the U.S.S. Enterprise. When Picard refuses to turn "John" over, the entire crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise is suddenly struck with paralysis. Realization of his past slowly dawns on "John" and he calmly departs for the Bridge where, by touching a console, his energy spreads to cover the entire starship and heals the crew.
With a wave of his hand, "John" brings Sunad onto the Bridge and explains to Picard that his species is on the verge of an evolutionary change and that the rulers, fearing a loss of power, began to destroy the first members to go through the metamorphosis. Sunad is then returned to his ship and "John," having evolved into a form of energy, prepares to return to his people to spread the word of the coming rebirth.
074. The Best Of Both Worlds I 43989.1Suspecting that the powerful Borg are responsible for the disappearance of an entire federation colony, Starfleet sends Lt. Commander Shelby, an ambitious young woman who specializes in Borg matters, to assist the U.S.S. Enterprise crew in their investigation. It is quickly apparent that she is interested in more than just the Borg; Riker has been offered command of his own starship and Shelby would like to replace him on the U.S.S. Enterprise. When Admiral Hanson, an ardent admirer of Shelby's, learns that Riker is planning to turn down the promotion, he suggests that Captain Picard encourage Riker to accept the position.
Meanwhile, the U.S.S. Enterprise is sent to investigate the disappearance of another starship after an encounter with the Borg. En route, the Borg intercept the U.S.S. Enterprise and threaten to destroy it unless Picard transports over to their ship. When Picard refuses, the U.S.S. Enterprise narrowly escapes the Borg's grasp and finds seclusion in a solar nebula where sensors cannot find it.
The encounter exposes a Borg weakness, which Shelby believes will allow them to destroy the ship with a burst of concentrated energy. As they plan their next move, tensions between Riker and Shelby mount when she goes above his head to Picard with a suggestion. In the heated discussion that ensues, Shelby tells Riker that he is too cautious and that he has lost his edge.
When the Borg ship begins a new offensive, the U.S.S. Enterprise is forced to leave the nebula before its retaliation system is prepared. Again in the grasp of the Borg ship, the U.S.S. Enterprise is invaded by three Borg who take Picard captive and return with him to their ship. The U.S.S. Enterprise then begins a high-speed pursuit of the Borg ship, as it heads for Earth.
Picard is informed by the Borg that they intend to add human biological and technical traits to theirs as part of a plan to conquer the human race, and that he has been chosen to speak for them in all communications with Earth. Back on board the U.S.S. Enterprise, Geordi informs Riker that the Borg ship must be slowed to impulse power so that the starship can divert its own power toward a shot at the kidnappers.
After initially assigning himself to lead an Away Team to the ship, Riker must grudgingly defer to Shelby when Troi reminds him that he is now in command of a ship at war. Shortly after locating Picard's belongings on the Borg ship, the Away Team begins tinkering with the ship's circuitry, causing the Borg to leave their compartments and putting the team in extreme jeopardy.
When their efforts to reach the captain prove futile, the Away Team is forced to leave Picard behind and return to the U.S.S. Enterprise. Shelby informs Riker of the situation and offers to return for the captain, but Geordi insists that they must take their shot at the ship immediately.