Captain's log, stardate 44307.3. I am preparing to leave by
shuttlecraft for Pentarus Five, where I have been asked to mediate a
dispute among the salenite miners, a contentious group unfortunately
prone to violence. But first I must deal with a situation of a far more
(Wesley hurries in, breathless)
PICARD: Mister Crusher, I summoned you almost ten minutes ago.
WESLEY: Sir, I'm sorry. I was in the middle of a very important
experiment. I was using some very volatile compounds. I couldn't just
leave them lying out
PICARD: Excuses, Mister Crusher?
WESLEY: No, sir. I was just attempting to offer a
PICARD: Because I can assure you that will not go down well at
WESLEY: Yes, sir, I'm aware of that. The Academy?
PICARD: I just received a message from Admiral Nsomeka. She expects you
to report in two weeks. A position has opened up in this year's class.
WESLEY: Thank you.
PICARD: Now, you'll have to work overtime in order to catch up, but I
have assured the Admiral that you are capable of that. Please don't
make a liar out of me.
WESLEY: Oh, no, sir, I won't.
PICARD: Well, for your final mission aboard the Enterprise you will
accompany me to Pentarus Five while I try to sort out the problems with
the miners. Commander Riker has told me you've been studying the
effects of outpost judiciary decisions on Federation Law. What better
way to get first hand experience?
WORF: Captain, I am picking up a general distress signal from Gamelan
PICARD: On screen.
SONGI [on viewscreen]: Please. Does anyone read us?
PICARD: Open a channel. I am Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Federation
SONGI [on viewscreen]: Captain, I am Chairman Songi of Gamelan Four. An
unidentified spacecraft has entered orbit above our planet. Radiation
levels in our atmosphere have increased by three thousand percent. We
can only assume we are under attack, but the ship will not answer our
hails. We are a peaceful planet. We have no ability to defend
ourselves. Please, can you help us?
PICARD: Mister Data, are we close enough for a scan?
DATA: No, sir, we are out of range.
RIKER: Any other ships in that sector?
DATA: Negative, Commander.
PICARD: Chairman Songi, we will proceed immediately to your planet.
SONGI [on viewscreen]: Thank you, Captain.
PICARD: Commander Riker, take the Enterprise and investigate the
problem. Ensign Crusher and I will proceed to Pentarus Five.
The miners have sent a shuttle. We shall leave in ten minutes.
WESLEY: Yes, sir.
LAFORGE: You know, I've noticed here that your
manoeuvring thrusters are rigged in a configuration I've never seen
DIRGO: It's my own modification. It's more efficient. You can study it
if you want to.
(say Hi! to Nick Tate, aka Eagle pilot Carter from Space 1999)
(Picard and Wesley enter)
LAFORGE: Excuse me, Captain. I've run safety and operational
inspections, Captain. Everything checks out all right, but I won't make
any claims as to its comfort.
DIRGO: Captain Picard. Captain Dirgo of the shuttlecraft Nenebek.
PICARD: Ah, Captain. It's good to meet you.
WESLEY: Captain? Of a mining shuttle?
DIRGO: Yes, Ensign, Captain. My ship isn't pretty, she isn't big, but
we've logged almost ten thousand hours together.
PICARD: Oh, yes. She seems a very sturdy craft.
DIRGO: We should go. Captain, will you take Ops?
PICARD: I'll let Ensign Crusher perform that task. I have to study up
on Regalian law.
DATA: Shuttlecraft has cleared the bay, sir.
RIKER: Ensign Allenby, set a course for the Gamelan system. Warp six.
ALLENBY: (a young blonde) Aye, aye, sir.
DIRGO: You've done this before?
DIRGO: Your Captain back there. If he isn't tougher than he looks,
those miners will tear him apart.
WESLEY: Don't worry about Captain Picard. He'll handle them.
(alarms come on and the lights go out)
WESLEY: I've lost navigation.
DIRGO: The port thruster quad's gone. Guidance coupling's severed. I
can't stabilise her.
(they plunge towards a planetary system. Picard comes out of the rear
WESLEY: The port thruster module blew.
DIRGO: Nenebek to Enterprise, emergency. Do you read? Pentarus station,
come in. Communication's gone.
PICARD: Is your navigational system functioning?
DIRGO: Negative. Switching to manual. Fifty million kilometres to
Pentarus Five. We may have to put down somewhere else.
PICARD: Mister Crusher, scan for a class-M environment.
WESLEY: Aye, sir.
DIRGO: I'm going to have to throttle back on the main impulse engines.
WESLEY: Sir, one of the moons around Pentarus Three registers as class
M, barely. The mean temperature is fifty five degrees Celsius.
PICARD: Life forms indicated?
WESLEY: Negative, but scanning is limited. There's a very strong
magnetic field around the surface.
DIRGO: We don't have a choice. Save the impulse engine for controlled
PICARD: Mister Crusher, reconfigure working thrusters to manual input.
WESLEY: I'll try, sir but, this grid looks about a hundred years old.
DIRGO: We don't have the Federation's resources. Captain, take the
helm. I'm rerouting the deuterium flow. Hull temperature seven hundred
PICARD: Beginning braking manoeuvre.
DIRGO: We're below mach one. Bypass the thrusters now.
PICARD: Brace yourself for impact.
(a very bright sun is glaring down on a desert)
PICARD: Dear God. Let's salvage what we can. The first thing we'll need
is shelter from the sun. In this heat, the shuttle will act like an
DIRGO: All the systems are out. Can't get a communication channel.
Location transponder's gone too.
PICARD: We'll have to check the craft for something to protect our
heads and eyes. And Captain, please recover your medical supplies, food
and water rations
DIRGO: Well, the medical supplies are all right.
PICARD: Food and water?
DIRGO: The replicator, damaged beyond repair.
PICARD: Surely you have emergency supplies?
DIRGO: This isn't a starship. I have to choose what I carry.
PICARD: Are you telling me there's no water?
(Enterprise meets up with the polluter)
DATA: Scanning. Vessel reads as an unmanned sublight freighter.
DATA: Indeterminate. Propulsion appears to employ a gaseous core
fission reactor, but it is not functioning.
LAFORGE: The radiation levels from that ship are off the scale.
RIKER: Could that be leakage from their engines?
DATA: No, sir. Engine reactor elements appear to have been inactive for
approximately three hundred years. The vessel is carrying various
unstable waste products.
LAFORGE: You mean, it's a garbage scow.
RIKER: Mister Worf, open a hailing frequency. Chairman Songi, this is
Commander Riker on board the Enterprise.
SONGI [on viewscreen]: Yes, Commander.
RIKER: It appears you've inherited someone else's problem. An old waste
vessel caught by your planet's gravitational pull.
CRUSHER: Have your people begun to suffer from radiation sickness?
SONGI [on viewscreen]: Not yet, but some areas are already detecting
RIKER: We'll do our best to get it out of here as quickly as possible.
SONGI [on viewscreen]: Thank you, Commander.
RIKER: We're going to push that barge into the Gamelan sun.
DATA: Sir, the Meltasion asteroid belt lies between here and the sun.
RIKER: Then we'll have to take it ourselves. We'll use our deflectors
clear a path through the asteroids.
LAFORGE: I don't like the idea of getting close enough to that barge to
tow it. The radiation levels are so high we'd be risking the
contamination of the entire crew.
RIKER: Do you have a better idea, Geordi?
LAFORGE: We could send over a construction module to attach thrusters
to it. Then we could direct it through the asteroid belt from a safe
WORF: Commander, a message from the mining settlement on Pentarus Five.
The shuttlecraft carrying Captain Picard has not yet arrived.
CRUSHER: They left here at oh eight hundred hours.
WORF: They have asked if we are beginning a search.
RIKER: Tell them we have an emergency situation. We'll begin a search
as soon as we've completed that.
WORF: Aye, sir.
RIKER: Mister La Forge, prepare to launch the construction module. I'd
like to get this over with as fast as possible.
(They've fashioned headdresses for themselves, and
Wesley is working in the shadow of the shuttle)
PICARD: Any luck with the tricorder, Ensign?
WESLEY: I think so, sir. The scanning range may be a bit limited, but
it's better than nothing.
DIRGO: These were on board, Captain. They're working.
(weapons, on makeshift belts)
PICARD: Excellent. Our communicators may not be able to get a signal
through this strong a magnetic field. I'm fashioning an arrow. If a
search party finds the wreckage, they'll know we've headed for those
(using brittle debris to make the pointer on the sand)
DIRGO: Are you crazy? They're too far away. We'll never make it.
PICARD: We can't survive in this sun. Where there's mountains, there's
DIRGO: You've got no right to make the decisions. I'm the captain of
WESLEY: If you want to get out of this, I suggest you listen to Captain
Picard. He's the one who's going to keep us alive.
PICARD: Thank you, Ensign, that's enough. Captain Dirgo, you're an able
pilot. I welcome your input. Do you feel that there is an alternative
PICARD: Very well. I suggest a steady pace, not a brisk one. We need to
ration our energy. Try breathing through your nose. That way it will
help to prevent dehydration. I'll lead. Captain Dirgo, will you bring
up the rear?
(Dirgo says farewell to his ship, picks up the medical bag and off they
(Dirgo is the first one to stumble in the heat)
WESLEY: And you were worried about how tough the Captain is?
(Wesley walks off, and Dirgo takes a swig from a concealed bottle)
(the mountains are a lot closer now)
DIRGO: Did you find water?
WESLEY: No, not yet.
DIRGO: What are you doing with that?
PICARD: Mister Crusher?
WESLEY: I'm not sure, sir. It's an energy reading.
PICARD: Energy reading? What kind?
WESLEY: Low frequency EM. It's been getting stronger the closer we get
to those mountains.
DIRGO: What are you saying? Is something over there, waiting for us?
WESLEY: I'm not sure what it is. It just keeps registers as a repeating
PICARD: Ensign, are you suggesting this energy is not naturally
WESLEY: The readings could be indicative of some electromagnetic
properties in the rocks, but I don't think so.
PICARD: A life form?
WESLEY: It's possible. The pattern is fairly organised.
PICARD: Well, we can't go back and we can't stay here. We've got to
keep going for the mountains. No matter what is waiting there.
(the ceiling is high, there is a wonderfully even
flight of steps down, and Picard is carrying the medical supplies)
DIRGO: There has to be water in here. Aren't caves formed by water?
PICARD: Not necessarily. This could be created by volcanic activity.
Lava flows. These walls are dry, Mister Crusher, do you have any
WESLEY: No, sir. But that EM reading? The pattern's changed. The
frequency's peaking a lot higher.
(Dirgo accidentally drops his bottle while undoing his tunic)
WESLEY: You have water!
DIRGO: I wouldn't hide water. That's called dresci. It's from my
PICARD: It's alcohol.
DIRGO: It's medicinal. It's for emergencies. I was going to share it
PICARD: This wouldn't quench your thirst, it would make it worse.
DIRGO: I'll take my chances.
PICARD: I'm not going to let you waste this. This is more valuable to
us as a coolant or disinfectant.
DIRGO: It's mine.
PICARD: Mister Crusher, stow that with the medical supplies. Keep your
eye on it. All right, we're going to explore the cave. Mister Crusher,
look for any signs of water, no matter how faint. Captain Dirgo, will
you lead the way?
CRUSHER: We're projecting that the bulk of the
radiation will affect three small island groups. Fortunately, they're
very sparsely populated. We'll begin replicating hyronalin now and be
ready to transport it to them if it becomes necessary. Please
coordinate with all the medical personnel on the planet.
TROI: Beverly? We've contacted the nearest Starbase for a search
vessel. I'm afraid the closest one is almost a week away.
CRUSHER: I see. Thank you.
TROI: But we have asked the mining settlement to send any vessels they
might have. You know, there are many reasons why the shuttlecraft may
have been delayed.
CRUSHER: Deanna, thank you, but I'm all right. And for now, I have work
WORF: Commander, the miners report that they have
very few operable shuttlecraft. They want to know when we will be
joining the search.
RIKER: Tell them to stand by. If this works, we'll be on our way.
WORF: Aye, sir.
LAFORGE: Thrusters are attached and ready, Commander.
RIKER: Initiate prefire sequence.
LAFORGE: Prefire command transmitted. Thrusters to standby.
RIKER: Fire thrusters. Gradual acceleration to forty percent power.
(The scow begins to move, but one thruster flies off on its own)
LAFORGE: We've lost one module. Correcting thrust vectors to
DATA: Structural integrity of the barge has been compromised.
Disintegration is continuing.
RIKER: Shut down thrusters. Ensign, take us to one thousand metres
ahead of the barge and hold.
DATA: External radiation levels increasing, sir.
ALLENBY: Coming into position at one thousand metres.
RIKER: Worf, extend shields around the ship. Lock on the tractor beam.
WORF: Aye, sir.
COMPUTER: Warning. Radiation levels at seventy millirads per minute and
RIKER: Allenby, set a new course. We'll take it through the asteroid
belt ourselves. One quarter impulse.
ALLENBY: Aye, sir.
RIKER: Doctor Crusher to the Bridge.
CRUSHER [OC]: On my way.
RIKER: Mister Data, I'll a projection of the radiation's impact on the
crew. Mister Worf, contact the mining settlement. Tell them we won't be
joining the search for awhile.
(they emerge from tunnels into a lit cavern with a
fountain in the middle)
DIRGO: I knew there had to be water.
(but he is stopped by a forcefield)
PICARD: Mister Crusher what was that?
WESLEY: It seems to be some kind of tightly confined annular force
PICARD: Put there to protect the water.
WESLEY: Yes. There has to be a way to deactivate it, sir.
DIRGO: We can, with our phasers.
PICARD: Mister Dirgo, I think it would be wiser
(Dirgo fires at the forcefield)
WESLEY: Captain, the EM reading. The power level's really spiking now.
DIRGO: I think it's working.
(some things rush into the cavern, rather like the seraphim from
Raiders of the Lost Ark)
PICARD: Stop firing!
(one of the things takes the weapon from Dirgo. Rocks are coming loose)
(Picard pushes Wesley aside then gets buried under falling rocks
(later, after they've dug him out again and moved
him to a small side cave)
WESLEY: Apply pressure to that wound. (scans Picard) This is the worst
DIRGO: What was that thing?
WESLEY: Keep the pressure constant.
PICARD: Ensign, how bad is it?
WESLEY: Your right leg is broken. You have a fracture in your left arm.
And you took a blow to the head. But we're getting the bleeding under
PICARD: Well done. I'm going to be fine. I just need to get my breath.
DIRGO: Are you telling the truth?
WESLEY: What truth?
DIRGO: He's bleeding inside. I've seen it before. He's never going to
WESLEY: You don't know what you're talking about.
(pours alcohol on the cuts)
DIRGO: You're wasting your time. Will you save that dresci for us.
PICARD: Mister Dirgo, I would appreciate it if you didn't bury me
before I'm gone.
(Dirgo storms off)
PICARD: The trouble is, he could be right.
WESLEY: No, he's not, sir. You're going to be fine.
PICARD: Wesley, you are going to have to keep a rein on Dirgo. He's
wilful and stubborn. That's dangerous.
WESLEY: You'll handle him, sir.
PICARD: Wesley, listen to me. I have no feeling in my right leg. My
vision is blurred. I'm going to get worse, not better. I'm not going to
be able to help you. Now, you are going to have to stand up to Dirgo on
WESLEY: Yes, sir.
PICARD: Hey. Good man.
First Officer's log, stardate 44307.6. Radiation
levels on the Enterprise continue to rise. The ventilation system has
started pumping hyronalin into our air supply to counteract the
DATA: At the rate the radiation levels are
increasing, the hyronalin additive will only be effective for another
thirty eight minutes.
CRUSHER: Crusher to Medical unit one, evacuate and seal off all
non-operational areas. Group the crew and their families in the
interior corridors of decks nine and ten. Radiation exposure protocol.
OGAWA [OC]: Acknowledged, Doctor.
RIKER: Mister Data, at our current speed, how long will it take us to
get through the asteroid belt?
DATA: Fifty one minutes, fourteen seconds, sir.
CRUSHER: There's going to be a lot of casualties if we can't get there
RIKER: Mister La Forge, how much more can we get out of that tractor
LAFORGE: We're already at the maximum limits of our towing speed,
RIKER: Let's see if we can establish a new upper limit.
LAFORGE: Yes, sir. Data, monitor the shearing effect on the beam.
Increasing to one half impulse.
DATA: Tractor beam is holding. Shearing force, eighty metric tons per
LAFORGE: Increasing to three quarters impulse.
DATA: Shearing force ninety two metric tons. Ninety three. Tractor beam
is destabilising. Se are going to lose the barge, Commander.
RIKER: Reduce power.
ALLENBY: One half impulse.
RIKER: Geordi, you've got to stabilise that tractor beam.
LAFORGE: I can't divert any more power to the shields. We're already
hitting our maximum thermal limits. Only other choice is to bring some
other fusion reactors online, but we're running at peak coolant
RIKER: Do it.
COMPUTER: Warning. Radiation levels at one hundred fifty millirads per
minute and rising. Lethal exposure in thirty five minutes.
(Wesley finds Dirgo's weapon wrapped in fibreglass)
WESLEY: How did this happen?
DIRGO: That thing did it.
WESLEY: These are selenium fibres. Electrically deposited. The EM
pattern is back down. It only peaks when we move towards the water.
Whatever we saw must act like a sentry to try to guard the fountain.
When we're not moving toward the water, the wave pattern stays low.
Right between five and fifteen megahertz. Dirgo, move toward the
WESLEY: There. It just went to forty.
DIRGO: What is this getting us? We've got to get to the water.
WESLEY: If I can figure out how to manipulate the frequency, maybe I
can control it. The sentry first appeared when you used your phaser.
That means it could respond to heat, or collinated energy.
DIRGO: If you're right, we can use a phaser to lure it away.
WESLEY: Hold on. We need to know what we're dealing with before we
start doing anything.
DIRGO: Enough talking, it's time to do something. I'll start firing.
When it comes, you fire and draw it away.
WESLEY: Dirgo, I can't.
DIRGO: Put your phaser on automatic. Leave it on that ledge and take
WESLEY: And what makes you think it's going to go for my phaser and not
DIRGO: Because I'll be firing on the lowest setting. You use maximum.
WESLEY: There is no evidence that it responds differently to higher
settings. We have to figure out our options before we just
DIRGO: While we are doing that, your Captain is dying. With those
wounds, most men would already be dead. If he doesn't get water. When I
start firing, you better do your part.
(So Dirgo goes up to a ledge and fires. The forcefield instantly
appears. Then Wesley's phaser fires and a sentry immediately deals with
it. Then it goes after Dirgo and envelopes him. There are screams, then
silence. Wesley creeps out of his hiding place. Dirgo is wrapped in
selenium fibres and is very dead)
First Officer's log, supplemental. Mister La Forge
has diverted power from auxiliary fusion generators in an attempt to
stabilise the tractor beam. This is the only hope of increasing our
towing speed so we can clear the asteroid belt before radiation levels
COMPUTER: Warning. Radiation levels at three
hundred millirads per minute and rising. Lethal exposure in one minute.
LAFORGE: Ready, Commander. I'll be rotating the output of the auxiliary
reactors, but it should still give us the power we need.
RIKER: Proceed, Mister La Forge.
LAFORGE: Increasing to three quarters impulse.
DATA: Shearing force is at one hundred three metric tons. Tractor beam
LAFORGE: Full impulse.
DATA: Tractor beam is holding.
COMPUTER: Warning. Lethal radiation exposure in thirty seconds.
WORF: We are within visual range of the asteroid belt.
RIKER: On screen.
COMPUTER: Warning. Lethal radiation exposure in fifteen seconds.
RIKER: Prepare to cut the barge loose.
COMPUTER: Warning. Lethal radiation exposure in ten seconds.
DATA: We have cleared the asteroids, sir.
RIKER: Let it go.
WESLEY: When the sun went down, the temperature really dropped. This
(Wesley heats rocks with a phaser)
PICARD: Good. Thank you. I'm not much good to you, Wesley.
WESLEY: Sir, Dirgo is dead. I should've tried harder to stop him, but
he. Captain! Captain Picard! Sir, stay with me.
PICARD: I'm trying.
WESLEY: Sir, do you remember when we took the shuttlecraft to Starbase
five one five? I was dreading it. Six hours alone with you. But it
didn't turn out the way that I thought. You opened up to me. I kind of
got to know you.
PICARD: Wesley, it's my fault that you're here. I shouldn't have asked
WESLEY: Sir, I'm honoured you wanted me along.
PICARD: I was selfish. I thought I wouldn't see you again. I'm sorry.
WESLEY: Sir, in the past three years I've lived more than most people
do in a lifetime. I think I'm very lucky. no matter what happens. How
many people get to serve with Jean-Luc Picard? Sir, you don't know
this. No one knows this, because I never told anyone. All of the things
I've worked for, school, my science projects, getting into the Academy,
I've done it all because I want you to be proud of me. If there is one
thing that I've learned from you, it's that you don't quit. And I'm not
going to quit now. I've seen you think yourself out of worse problems
than this, and I'm going to think us out of this. You're not going to
die. I'm not going to let you die. I'll get to the water and I'll keep
you alive until they find us. I promise.
First Officer's log, supplemental. The Enterprise
is returning to the last known location of the missing shuttlecraft.
RIKER: Are you certain?
DATA: It is definitely debris. The primary material is duranium, with
smaller proportions of sonodanite and ermanium.
LAFORGE: Most shuttlecraft hulls are made of duranium.
CRUSHER: Then they're gone.
DATA: Not necessarily, Doctor. There is far too little debris to
account for an entire shuttlecraft.
RIKER: So what is it?
LAFORGE: You know, Dirgo had his manoeuvring thrusters rigged a funny
way. Claimed it was more efficient. If one of them blew it might have
left debris like that.
RIKER: If only one of his thrusters was out, he could still have set
DATA: The only Class M planets in the system are Pentarus two and five,
both of which have been thoroughly searched by the miners.
RIKER: Then we'll search them again.
DATA: Sir, there are also four moons in the Pentarus system that could
RIKER: Have the miners searched them?
WORF: Not yet, sir.
RIKER: Which one is the closest one to the debris coordinates?
DATA: Lambda Paz, one of the moons of Pentarus three.
RIKER: Set a course, Ensign.
PICARD: Aupres de ma blonde, il fait bon, fait bon,
fait bon. Ensign, where are we?
WESLEY: We crashed, sir. We're in a cave.
PICARD: I need water.
WESLEY: Sir, we don't have any water. Don't you remember? We tried to
get to the fountain and Captain Dirgo
PICARD: Yes, I remember.
WESLEY: I think I'm on to something. I've analysed the sentry's energy
PICARD: Wesley, I may not make it.
WESLEY: I've taken the transponder element from my communicator and
I've used it to modify my tricorder.
PICARD: No, listen.
WESLEY: I think I can use it to interrupt the sentry's electrical
pattern. Stop it, maybe slow it down.
PICARD: Listen to me.
WESLEY: Yes, sir.
PICARD: There's so much I wanted to tell you. The Academy, there's
someone, someone who meant a great deal to me. He's been there forever.
Someone you must get to know. His name is Boothby. Now, you tell him
that you and I were friends. Now, when I was there, he helped me.
Listen to him.
WESLEY: What does he teach?
PICARD: He's the groundskeeper. One of the wisest men I ever knew. Oh,
I envy you, Wesley Crusher. You're just at the beginning of the
adventure. Go on. Get the water. Stay alive. They'll find you.
WESLEY: I'll be back soon.
PICARD: Of course. Wesley. You remember I was always proud of you.
(Wesley fires his phaser at the fountain, then uses
his rigged tricorder to stop the sentry in its tracks. He frantically
taps at the device until suddenly the sentry flies through him to the
fountain, and the forcefield -which hadn't been there when he had his
back to it - slowly evaporates. Wesley cautiously approaches the
WESLEY: It worked!
(he collects water in the medical case)
WESLEY: Captain? Captain Picard? Wake up.
(he carefully dribbles water into Picard's mouth)
(later, Wesley is asleep)
CRUSHER: Wesley? Wesley. Wesley!
WESLEY: Oh, mom.
(Picard is carried off on a stretcher)
CRUSHER: Wesley, thank God!
WESLEY: I am so happy to see you.
CRUSHER: You're okay. Come on.
WESLEY: How did you find us?
CRUSHER: We found the wreckage, and the arrow which indicated your
direction. We'll take Wesley by stretcher as well.
WESLEY: No, I can walk.
CRUSHER: We're taking you back to the Enterprise. We've stabilised your
vital signs. All right, let's go now.
PICARD: One moment. Mister Crusher?
WESLEY: Yes, sir.
PICARD: What are you doing in such a filthy uniform?
WESLEY: You don't look so ship-shape yourself, sir.
PICARD: Wesley, you will be missed.