(Data enters and sees a smashed flower vase on a
table, then hears a cat's snarl)
LAFORGE: In here, Data.
LAFORGE: Got her now. She's trapped. Come on out of there, you. Hey,
don't you spit at me.
DATA: Why is Spot under the bed?
LAFORGE: Probably because she knows if I catch her, I'm going to kill
DATA: Has Spot been misbehaving?
LAFORGE: So far she's broken a vase, a teapot, she's ruined one of my
chairs using it as a scratch post, and she's coughing hairballs up all
over my carpet.
DATA: These incidents are common to cat owners. When you borrowed Spot,
you said you wanted to experience the full range of feline behaviour
before getting a cat yourself.
LAFORGE: Yeah, well, I'm not ready. You can take her back with my
blessings. Go ahead, call her.
DATA: Spot does not respond to verbal commands.
LAFORGE: She won't come when you call her? Data, have you ever
considered training this cat?
DATA: I never found it to be necessary.
LAFORGE: Necessary? Data, the cat is out of control. Half the time I
wasn't sure if she was going to lick me or scratch my face off.
DATA: I have never experienced this kind of behaviour in Spot. Although
she does have the unfortunate habit of jumping on my computer console
when I am working.
LAFORGE: She needs training.
RIKER [OC]: Riker to senior staff. Please report to the Observation
lounge. Mission briefing in ten minutes.
LAFORGE: Right, we have to get her out of here. I'll scare her. You
grab her when she comes out, okay?
DATA: I do not think it would be wise to startle her.
LAFORGE: Ready? Ow!
(Spot runs out and there's a crash sound)
LAFORGE: Training. Definitely.
Captain's log, Stardate 47310.2. We're
investigating the disappearance of the Medical Transport Fleming
somewhere in the Hekaras Corridor. Our search is complicated by the
unique properties of this particular region of space.
RIKER: The Fleming's last contact with Starfleet
was four days ago. According to them, there was nothing out of the
ordinary when they entered the Corridor.
(Data explains the wall monitor display)
DATA: The unusually intense tetryon fields in this sector pose a severe
navigational hazard to
warp driven vessels. The Hekaras Corridor is the only route through the
area which is free of tetryon fields. Ships travelling at warp must use
the Corridor to ensure safe passage through the region.
PICARD: How long will it take to complete a level one search?
DATA: At least two days, sir. The Corridor is over twelve light years
long, and the surrounding tetryon interference will limit our sensor
WORF: Could we send out reconnaissance probes to supplement the
LAFORGE: They won't be very effective. The interference will make it
difficult to maintain contact with the probes. The best we can do is to
increase sensor efficiency. We've installed multiphase buffers on all
the sensor modules, Captain. It should help a little.
TROI: Hekaras Two is inhabited, isn't it? Maybe they've had contact
with the Fleming.
RIKER: They haven't. I've already spoken to the Hekaran government.
According to them, only one ship has passed through the system in the
last week. It was a Ferengi trader.
CRUSHER: The Fleming was carrying a supply of rare biomimetic gel,
which is very valuable. Is it possible that the Ferengi might have
RIKER: I wouldn't put it past them. I think we should prepare for that
PICARD: I agreed. All right then. Mister Worf, initiate your search
pattern. Let's head in.
(La Forge is doing something with a device to the
DATA: Geordi, there has been a slight drop in sensor efficiency.
Perhaps we should examine the phase buffers.
LAFORGE: No problem, Data. I'll be right with you. Okay, Hansen,
transfer EPS conduit thirteen to the stabiliser matrix.
HANSEN: Aye, sir.
DATA: Is there a problem with the engines?
DATA: Then why are you stabilizing the EPS conduit?
LAFORGE: I'm just trying to get a slightly higher power conversion
DATA: But that would not affect the engines in any way.
LAFORGE: I know that, Data. It's not the point.
DATA: What is the point?
LAFORGE: I'm just trying to get a higher conversion level, that's all.
LAFORGE: You know the Intrepid?
LAFORGE: Well, their Chief Engineer is Commander Donald Kaplan. He and
I went through the Academy together. I just like to make sure that our
power conversion levels are a little higher than theirs.
DATA: I understand. You are in competition with Mister Kaplan.
LAFORGE: You might say that. This is the flagship. We should be better
than everybody else.
DATA: Then you are trying to outperform the Intrepid.
LAFORGE: Actually it's more a point of personal pride. These are my
engines. And there's nothing wrong with a little friendly rivalry.
Okay. Computer, how much have the conversion levels increased?
COMPUTER: Levels are unchanged.
LAFORGE: All right, I'll deal with of this later. Let me give you a
hand with those sensors.
(at a panel in a junction)
LAFORGE: How's that?
DATA: One moment. The phase buffer is functioning within normal
parameters. Sensor efficiency has increased by six point seven percent.
LAFORGE: Six point seven? One of the stages must still be out of
alignment. Let's try junction A nine.
(they climb down one level)
DATA: Geordi, I have taken your suggestion regarding Spot.
LAFORGE: Coming down.
DATA: I have begun training her.
DATA: Yes. I am studying several new techniques.
DATA: I began with simple conditioned response exercises and followed
with environmental enhancement. Next I plan to explore bioconditioning
DATA: Such as sensor nets for behaviour modification or biofeedback
motivators. Unfortunately, I have been less than successful.
LAFORGE: I've got an idea. How about a phaser? A low stun setting at
just the right moment might do the trick.
DATA: Geordi. I cannot stun my cat.
LAFORGE: I was kidding, Data. (at a panel) Let's see what we've got.
No, this isn't it, either.
DATA: Clearly there is a misalignment somewhere in this system.
LAFORGE: That's for sure. Well, we've got one more possibility.
Junction C twelve.
DATA: I am somewhat concerned that my training efforts will ultimately
LAFORGE: Maybe you're just going about it the wrong way, Data.
DATA: I have consulted numerous animal training manuals. Some of them
claim that cats are inherently untrainable.
LAFORGE: I don't believe that for a second. Listen to me. My sister
didn't know a thing about animals and she was able to train her cat.
How complicated could it be?
DATA: What did she train her cat to do?
LAFORGE: She had that cat jumping into her arms on command.
DATA: Interesting. Perhaps I could modify your sister's techniques to
keep Spot from jumping on console. Do you know how she was able to
train her cat?
LAFORGE: Well, as I recall, she walked around for two months with a
piece of tuna in her blouse.
(at the next junction)
LAFORGE: I was right. This buffer is out of alignment. Okay, try that.
DATA: Phase alignment is stabilised. However, sensor efficiency has
increased by only an additional one point three percent.
LAFORGE: It's not much, but every little bit going to help.
RIKER [OC]: Riker to Data.
DATA: Data here.
RIKER [OC]: We're picking up a ship ahead on long range sensors. If you
and Geordi are through down there, we'd like to have you on the Bridge.
LAFORGE: We're not going to squeeze anything else out of these systems.
DATA: Acknowledged, sir. We are on our way.
WORF: We are within visual range, sir.
PICARD: On screen.
WORF: It is a Ferengi transport ship, D'Kora class.
RIKER: That's the same Ferengi vessel that entered the Corridor a week
LAFORGE: Captain, there are no emissions from their plasma vents. Their
warp drive must be completely inactive.
DATA: That is correct, sir. Their impulse system is down as well, Power
generation is at extremely low levels.
PICARD: What about life signs?
DATA: Life support systems are also functioning at low levels. There
are approximately four hundred fifty Ferengi on board. That is a
standard complement for a ship of that class.
PICARD: Mister Worf, open a hailing frequency.
WORF: There is no response on any channel, sir.
LAFORGE: I'm not picking any subspace emissions from the ship at all,
Captain. It looks like every one of their field coils has been
RIKER: That would explain why they haven't respond to our hails.
DATA: It would also explain the failure of their warp drive.
LAFORGE: Captain, Ferengi sensors are still online. I could modify one
of our deflector emitters to transmit old style delta waves. If I
modulate that with a comm. signal, the Ferengi should be able to pick
PICARD: Make it so.
RIKER: If they did hijack the Fleming, they sure didn't get very far
with the cargo.
PICARD: Mister Worf, have tractor beams standing by. We may have to
take them under tow. Helm, take us within tractor range.
HELM: (female) Aye, sir.
WORF: Captain, I am picking up power emissions from the Ferengi ship.
They are locking weapons.
PICARD: Shields up.
(the Enterprise gets hit)
RIKER: Ready phasers. Prepare to return fire.
PICARD: Target their weapons array only.
WORF: Phasers locked.
DATA: Direct hit. Their weapon systems are down.
PICARD: Damage report.
WORF: We sustained minimal damage to decks five and seven, sir.
DATA: Sir, the Ferengi ship's power has stabilised. They appear to have
RIKER: They were just playing dead. Conserving power until we got in
PICARD: But why would they attack us in the first place?
RIKER: Somehow I don't think they'll let us beam over there and ask
PICARD: Mister La Forge, how are you coming with that comm. link?
LAFORGE: Almost ready, Captain. All right, let's give it a try.
PICARD: Open a channel.
(a fuzzy viewscreen image that La Forge cleans up)
PICARD: This is Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Enterprise. Will you
please explain why you attacked us?
PRAK [on viewscreen]: Our attack? We were defending ourselves. Do you
deny that you are responsible for disabling my vessel?
PICARD: DaiMon, your ship was adrift, your communications inoperative.
We were attempting to assess your status.
PRAK [on viewscreen]: You were attempting to move in for the kill. Do
not toy with me, Picard. We are obviously at your mercy, but know this.
When the Ferengi Council learns of your actions, they will consider
this an act of war.
PICARD: DaiMon, clearly there has been some misunderstanding. I think
it would be in all interests if you were to come aboard and we discuss
PRAK [on viewscreen]: I see no reason to trust you, human.
PICARD: In that case, we'll be on our way. I'll relay your position to
your government if you wish, in case you're unable to complete your
repairs and you remain stranded.
PRAK [on viewscreen]: Perhaps it would be better to discuss the
PRAK: We detected what appeared to be a Federation
signal buoy. When we approached it, it emitted a massive verteron
pulse. Our warp drive, our sensors, our communications systems were all
disabled. We assumed we were the victims of a new Federation weapon.
PICARD: The Federation established this corridor to ensure safe access
through this sector. We have nothing to gain from mining it.
RIKER: Whatever happened to your ship may not have been an isolated
incident. A Federation Medical transport was recently lost in that
PRAK: We passed a Federation ship several days ago. It did not appear
to be in any distress.
RIKER: Can you give us an idea of its heading?
PRAK: It is possible that information was recorded in our sensor logs,
Commander. Unfortunately, my entire crew is occupied with our repairs.
I don't think there will be time to search our records.
PICARD: DaiMon, if we assigned an Engineering team to assist you with
your repair efforts, would that give you time to retrieve your logs?
PRAK: I believe it would, Captain.
(Spot is sitting on the computer console)
DATA: Spot. Spot. Spot, down. Spot, down. Down. Spot. (lifting the cat
off the desk) Down. This is down. Down is good. This is up. Up is no.
DATA: (to Spot) One moment. Come in.
LAFORGE: Data. I had another idea that might help boost the power
conversion levels. Could you give me a hand?
DATA: I would be happy to.
LAFORGE: Don't tell me you're trying to teach the cat to use the
DATA: It is part of her training programme. I am teaching Spot to jump
down from the desk on my command.
LAFORGE: How's it going?
DATA: I have not been entirely successful.
(Spot meows, and Data goes to the replicator)
DATA: Feline supplement number two twenty one.
LAFORGE: Data, that cat definitely has a mind of her own. Maybe she's
just not trainable.
DATA: I suppose I must accept that possibility. It may be that Spot
lacks the intelligence necessary to learn the appropriate responses to
(Spot meows again and Data fetches her a toy)
LAFORGE: I don't know about Spot, but it seems to me your training is
coming along just fine. Come on, let's go.
LAFORGE: Data, keep the EPS flow constant will you,
while I re modulate the power taps.
DATA: This procedure will only increase the conversion level by point
LAFORGE: I know, but it could be just enough.
LAFORGE: I just received this from Commander Kaplan, subspace.
(Data reads from a PADD)
DATA: La Forge, I got the Intrepid's power conversion levels up to
ninety seven point one percent. Maybe you should try cleaning your
plasma grid once in a while.
LAFORGE: Can you believe the nerve of that guy?
DATA: We perform maintenance on the plasma grid at regular intervals.
LAFORGE: I know. He's just trying to get me angry. There. That should
do it. Computer, what are the current power conversion levels?
COMPUTER: Power conversion levels are at ninety seven point two
LAFORGE: Too bad, Mister Kaplan.
Captain's log, supplemental. We have traced the
Fleming's most likely course. It now appears that the vessel may have
come to an unfortunate end.
(at the science station, grid search pattern
PICARD: What's the origin of this debris field?
DATA: Unknown, sir. It does not appear in any Federation charts of the
PICARD: Could it be what's left of the Fleming?
DATA: It is a possibility. The debris consists primarily of duranium
and polycomposite fragments which suggest a ship. Furthermore, the
field contains sufficient mass to account for the Fleming.
PICARD: All right, let's take a closer look. Perhaps we can find
something that will give us a more positive identification. Helm, take
us through the debris field, ahead slow.
DATA: Captain, I am picking up a small metallic object, approximately
three point five metres in diameter.
RIKER: Could be a ship's log recorder, or a probe casing.
DATA: I do not believe so. It is emitting an unusual signal. Captain,
it is beginning to generate a verteron field.
PICARD: Shields up! Full reverse. Now!
(a sound, then the lights dim)
PICARD: Damage report.
WORF: Warp engines are offline. Shields are down. All subspace systems
RIKER: Just like the Ferengi ship.
DATA: Unidentified ship heading toward us. Two life forms are aboard.
PICARD: On screen.
DATA: Captain, they are initiating their transporter system.
PICARD: Can we get more power to the shields?
WORF: No, sir.
RIKER: All decks, security alert.
DATA: Captain, we are being boarded.
LAFORGE [OC]: La Forge to Bridge.
LAFORGE: We have intruders in main Engineering. I
need a security team down here immediately.
WORF [OC]: It's on its way.
LAFORGE: What do you want?
RABAL: (male) We're trying to make you listen.
SEROVA: (female) You're killing us.
PICARD: You have made a very serious accusation. I
want you to explain it.
RABAL: Captain, according to our research, warp fields cause a
dangerous reaction in this region of space.
SEROVA: Our planet is already being affected. We have measured large
gravitational shifts throughout our system.
RABAL: If something isn't done, our planet will become uninhabitable.
LAFORGE: Captain, I've heard this theory before. Their research was
evaluated by the Federation Science Council a few years ago. Quite
frankly, it didn't hold up.
SEROVA: That research was only preliminary. Our original analysis was
PICARD: If you wanted us to review your research, you should have made
a request through the Science Council.
RABAL: Their resources are limited. It would have taken over a year
before they dispatched a science ship to come and evaluate our work.
SEROVA: We were not willing to wait any longer. We knew that if we
disabled enough ships, Starfleet would come. Then at least we would be
able to present our case.
RIKER: That's how you rationalise these attacks?
SEROVA: Neither you nor the Ferengi suffered any casualties, Commander.
The actual damage to your vessels was negligible.
RABAL: We dispersed verteron probes in the Corridor merely to disable
warp-driven ships. Nothing more.
RIKER: You can call it whatever you like. The fact remains you
deliberately disguised your probes. You made them look like signal
markers. You hid them in debris field. You mined the Corridor.
PICARD: Mister La Forge, how long do you estimate it will take to
restore the engines?
LAFORGE: Their verteron pulse overloaded our field coils, Captain.
It'll take at least thirty six hours to get underway.
SEROVA: I know precisely how our pulse affected your field coils. With
my help, your ship could be operational in ten hours. Provided you
agree to review our research.
PICARD: Because of the seriousness of your claim, I'm willing to listen
to your case. But let there be no mistake. Our priority here is the
recovery of the Fleming. Now I expect you to help us restore our
engines and deactivate all of the remaining probes in the Corridor. If
you do not, you will both be taken to the brig and from there to the
nearest Starbase, where you will answer charges for what you have done.
RABAL: My sister and I do not wish to impede your rescue process.
SEROVA: Rabal, don't. The probes are the only leverage we have. If we
RABAL: Serova. We will do as you ask, Captain. But please, re-examine
PICARD: We will. It is part of our job to retain an open mind, even
under these circumstances. Mister La Forge, take them to Engineering.
Get the core back online.
LAFORGE: Yes, sir.
PICARD: Mister Data, I want you to review their research. I'd like your
report as soon as possible.
SEROVA: There. Shields have been restored. You will
be able to reengage your engines in approximately eight hours.
LAFORGE: You know, even when we get the engines online, it's going to
take at least a week to recalibrate them properly.
SEROVA: I'm sorry you've been inconvenienced. But that's all it is, an
inconvenience. Our concerns are much more important than the condition
of your engines.
LAFORGE: What if the Fleming had been transporting perishable supplies
or was on an emergency mission? Your little plan might have cost a lot
SEROVA: That didn't happen, Commander. And saving lives is precisely
what we're trying to do.
LAFORGE: Yeah, well, you have a very interesting way of going about it.
SEROVA: There's no point in trying to talk to you. You've already
decided not to listen.
RABAL: Commander, I know my sister can be somewhat, er, aggravating.
LAFORGE: I'd have to agree with that.
RABAL: But please, try to understand. She believes profoundly in this
cause. She has sworn to dedicate her life to exposing the dangers of
LAFORGE: Warp drive has been around for three centuries. It's a proven
RABAL: And you sound just like I did, about four years ago.
LAFORGE: You mean you didn't believe her either?
RABAL: No. What I didn't realise was just how brilliant my sister is.
It took two years of study for me even to grasp the principles behind
her theoretical models. They're that sophisticated.
LAFORGE: Well our Commander Data's no slouch. If there's anything
there, he'll find it.
RABAL: Well I hope so, because once we persuade Starfleet to stop warp
travel through the Corridor, we're going to have to convince our own
people to give up warp drive completely.
LAFORGE: Hekaras Two is the only inhabited world in this region.
Without warp drive, you'd be completely isolated from the rest of the
Federation. Are you really willing to take that step?
RABAL: Yes. And if you were in my position, I hope you'd be willing to
do the same thing.
DATA: Serova and Rabal believe there are regions of
potential subspace instability within the Corridor. They believe that
if these regions continue to be exposed to warp field energy, they will
rupture. Subspace will extrude into normal space, forming a rift.
PICARD: It's like pacing up and down on the same piece of carpet.
Eventually you wear it out.
DATA: That analogy is essentially correct, sir.
PICARD: Can this theory be proven?
DATA: Not at this time, sir. There is insufficient evidence to do so.
In order to determine whether or not a rift will form, region must be
exposed to warp field energy approximately one million times greater
than that normally generated by a starship.
RABAL: Commander, we believe the warp field effect is cumulative. Each
starship that passes through the Corridor at warp brings us one step
closer to forming a rift.
DATA: I agree that is a possibility. Captain, I suggest we ask the
Federation Science Council to send a research vessel to this area. A
more detailed investigation would resolve many of our questions.
SEROVA: That's your response? More research? More delays. I suppose I
shouldn't have expected anything different.
RIKER [OC]: Bridge to Captain Picard.
PICARD: Go ahead, Number One.
RIKER [OC]: We've located the
RIKER: Fleming on long range sensors, approximately
zero point three light years away.
PICARD [OC]: What's their condition?
RIKER: The vessel appears to be intact. They have shields, but it looks
like their subspace systems are out.
PICARD [OC]: Very well.
PICARD: We'll be underway as soon as our engines
RIKER [OC]: Aye, sir.
PICARD: I would like you all to put together a research proposal for
the Science Council. I'll give it my full recommendation.
RABAL: Captain, I appreciate the opportunity you're giving us. It's a
beginning that we need
SEROVA: Not we. You can do whatever you want, Rabal. I'll have no part
of this. It's just another delay.
LAFORGE: Captain, the engines are back online. All
systems are ready.
PICARD: Very good. Helm, lay in a course for the Fleming.
HELM: Aye, sir.
RIKER: They appear to be in pretty good condition. According to our
sensors their shields back to full strength.
WORF: Captain, the Hekaran ship is moving off. There is one person on
board. It is Serova.
PICARD: Doctor, what is going on?
RABAL: I don't know. Captain, may I speak to her?
PICARD: Mister Worf, open a channel.
RABAL: Serova, what are you trying to do?
SEROVA [on viewscreen]: They wanted proof. I'm going to give it to
them. I'm sorry.
DATA: Captain, the Hekaran ship's engines are beginning to overload. I
believe Serova's attempting to create a warp core breach.
RIKER: Prepare for impact.
(KaBOOM! and a purple afterglow)
RIKER: Shields at maximum. Full reverse.
DATA: We have cleared the shock wave. However, tetryon flux in the area
is increasing rapidly.
(there's a swirly thing in the middle of the purple)
RIKER: It's incredible.
PICARD: Mister Data, what's your analysis?
DATA: The event is approximately zero point one light years in
diameter, and it is emitting extremely high levels of tetryon
radiation. It appears to be what Rabal and Serova predicted, a subspace
LAFORGE: She was right.
PICARD: Can you get a fix on the Fleming? Is she still in one piece?
DATA: Scanning. The Fleming is near its previous coordinates. It
appears to be intact, but it is now within the rift.
PICARD: Doctor, is it possible for a ship to survive in there? Doctor.
I'm sorry about your loss but we need your help now.
RABAL: Of course, Captain.
PICARD: Does the rift pose any danger to the Fleming?
RABAL: I don't know.
RIKER: What was that?
LAFORGE: Some kind of high energy distortion wave. Looks like they're
being generated from within the rift.
DATA: IF we maintain our current position, our shields should provide
PICARD: What about the Fleming? How long can they survive in there?
DATA: The waves are even more intense within the rift. I estimate her
shields will fail in approximately twelve hours.
RIKER: Can we risk going in there to get them out?
LAFORGE: Not at warp, Commander. According to these readings, the rift
is in a state of accelerating instability which would make it extremely
sensitive to warp field energy. If we go in at warp, we might make it
expand even further.
RIKER: I don't think we have a choice. It would take weeks to reach
them at impulse.
PICARD: I want some better options. Data, Geordi, take Doctor Rabal and
begin an analysis of the rift. We need to find some way to get the
Fleming out of there.
Second Officer's log, stardate 47312.1. Our new
sensor readings have greatly improved our understanding of the rift.
However, we have been unable to find any way to counteract it.
LAFORGE: Everything here supports Serova's
theories. I can't find any way to close the rift or even reduce its
(rumble and shake)
DATA: Doctor, is it possible there are areas inside the rift which are
stable, where we can safely use our warp engines?
RABAL: Perhaps. Computer, scan the rift for regions of low instability.
(off the monitor display)
RABAL: There's no area stable enough to withstand a warp pulse.
LAFORGE: Wait a minute. This is strange. Computer, display grid delta
seventeen. Enhance and magnify. What do you make of that?
RABAL: It's a subspace instability outside the rift.
DATA: That should not be possible.
RABAL: Commander, I'm going to begin a field enhanced scan of this
sector. I'd like to take a closer look at this.
LAFORGE: In the meantime, we'd better tell the Captain we don't know
how to get to the Fleming.
DATA: I am not certain that is true. I believe I have an idea.
DATA: I suggest we coast into the rift.
DATA: We can initiate a brief, high intensity warp pulse from our
current position. We should be able to attain sufficient velocity to
enter the rift, beam the crew off the Fleming and exit without using
our warp engines.
RIKER: All right, let's say we initiate a full power warp pulse. How
much time do we need to drop out of warp?
DATA: If we field saturate the nacelles, we should be able to sustain
warp speed for approximately two minutes.
RIKER: That doesn't give us much time, and it could get pretty rough in
DATA: The timing will be critical.
PICARD: Begin your calculations, Mister Data. We'll go as soon as
DATA: Aye, sir.
DATA: I believe the maximum saturation level should
be eighteen point three percent.
LAFORGE: All right. With these parameters, we should be able to
maintain warp speed for two minutes eight seconds. I don't think we can
get any more than that.
DATA: I agree. But based on the size of the rift, it should give us
sufficient time to complete the rescue. Computer, initiate nacelle
LAFORGE: How did we miss it, Data?
DATA: I beg your pardon?
LAFORGE: How did we miss the connection between warp drive and the
formation of the rift? Between the two of us we've logged thousands of
hours on these engines. We're supposed to be warp field experts. We
certainly were wrong this time.
DATA: Technically, Geordi, we were not wrong. Serova's theories rested
on assumptions which were unprovable.
LAFORGE: Seems to me she managed to prove them pretty conclusively.
DATA: By using methods any reputable scientist would never employ.
LAFORGE: Yeah, she was willing to die to make her point. We should have
listened to her more closely, Data.
DATA: We reviewed Serova's research to the best of our abilities, and
we were prepared to continue studying the problem. But that was not
LAFORGE: Yeah, I can remember times when I was a little stubborn,
trying to get people to believe me when I didn't have enough proof.
DATA: I do not believe that you would have resorted to such extremes.
LAFORGE: But she had to, just to get us to listen. Why was I so
DATA: Perhaps because her aggressive methods created an adversarial
LAFORGE: Yeah. Maybe I was taking the whole thing personally.
DATA: I do not understand.
LAFORGE: Maybe I was a little threatened. The thought that warp engines
might be doing some kind of damage. It's going to take another half an
hour for the nacelles to saturate. Will you call me when they're done?
(Rabal is at a table, staring at the rift)
LAFORGE: May I join you?
LAFORGE: I wanted to say I'm sorry about your sister.
RABAL: Thank you. I'm trying to tell myself that she died for what she
believed in, but somehow that isn't much comfort.
LAFORGE: I wish it could have happened differently. Maybe I should have
looked at the research more closely. It's possible there's something
that I missed.
RABAL: No. You didn't miss anything. The problem was time. We needed
more time to do the proper research. Serova wasn't willing to wait.
LAFORGE: No. I guess the question is now, where do we go from here?
RABAL: I don't think we can look at space travel the same way anymore.
We're going to have to change.
LAFORGE: I've been in Starfleet for a long time. We depend on warp
drive. I just don't know how easy it's going to be to change.
RABAL: It won't be easy at all.
DATA: Captain, warp pulse calculations are
complete. We will be firing the engines at maximum intensity for six
point three seconds before disengaging.
WORF: Damage control teams are standing by on all decks.
RIKER: The course to the Fleming is plotted and laid in, sir.
PICARD: Mister La Forge, whenever you're ready.
LAFORGE [OC]: Aye, sir.
LAFORGE: Initiating warp pulse now.
DATA: Engines disengaged. We are now entering the
rift. (rumble) Hull stress is increasing. Eighty three percent of
maximum tolerance and rising.
PICARD: How long until we reach the Fleming?
WORF: One minute twenty two seconds.
RIKER: All transporter rooms are standing by.
WORF: Captain, I am picking up power emissions from the Fleming. They
may be attempting to initiate their warp drive.
RIKER: They might have been able to repair their engines.
DATA: Captain, if they activate
PICARD: I know, Mister Data. Can we establish communication?
WORF: No, sir. Subspace interference is too high.
PICARD: How long until we reach transporter range?
WORF: Fifty three seconds.
RIKER: I don't think we're going to make it.
WORF: Captain, they have initiated their warp drive.
WORF: Damage on decks six and fourteen. Our structural integrity field
RIKER: What about the Fleming?
DATA: They are badly damaged, sir. Their life support systems are
RIKER: All transporter rooms, prepare emergency evacuation procedures.
DATA: Captain, when the Fleming activated their warp drive, the rift
expanded by two point three percent. We no longer have sufficient
momentum to escape.
DATA: Distortion wave intensity has increased by a factor of ten.
WORF: We are within transporter range of the Fleming, sir. Commencing
DATA: Distortion waves occurring every fifty nine seconds. Hull stress
is nearing maximum tolerance.
RIKER: Data, what if we forced an EPS discharge through the impulse
reactor. Would that be enough to get us out of here?
DATA: I do not believe so, sir, and the resulting explosion would
likely destroy the saucer section in the process.
LAFORGE [OC]: Captain
LAFORGE: We might be able to get out of here
without using the warp engines.
RIKER: How, Geordi?
LAFORGE: When was the last time you went surfing, Commander?
PICARD: A distortion wave.
LAFORGE [OC]: Exactly, Captain. If can phase match our deflector shield
LAFORGE: To the EM variance of the distortion wave,
when the next one hits we'll be pulled along with it.
RIKER: We could ride it through the rift and then
break away once we're clear. That is, if we survive the ride.
PICARD: Is everyone off the Fleming?
WORF: The last of the crew has been beamed aboard, sir.
PICARD: All right, Mister La Forge, get us out of here.
LAFORGE: Yes, sir. Phase matching the deflectors
DATA: The next distortion wave will impact in
LAFORGE: Matching phases. Prepare to engage the
deflector shield on my mark.
DATA [OC]: Ten seconds.
LAFORGE: And mark.
PICARD: Engage deflector shield. Full power.
LAFORGE: We lost it.
DATA: We were unable to maintain phase match with
the distortion wave, sir.
PICARD: What went wrong, Mister La Forge?
LAFORGE [OC]: The speed differential was too high, Captain.
DATA: Another distortion wave approaching. Impact in twenty six
RIKER: Our hull stress is already critical. We can't handle many more
jolts like that.
DATA: Captain, I suggest we take the ship to full impulse. If we can
attain sufficient speed, it will lessen the shock when the wave hits.
PICARD: Helm, full impulse. Head us out of the rift. Mister Worf,
channel all available power to the structural integrity fields.
WORF: Aye, sir.
PICARD: Stand by deflector shield.
LAFORGE: We're ready, Captain.
DATA: Distortion wave impact in five seconds.
PICARD: Engage deflector shield, now.
(and they start paddling hard to catch this wave. Whumph)
DATA: We are now within the distortion wave. Hull stresses have
exceeded maximum tolerance.
WORF: Structural integrity fields are failing on decks ten through
LAFORGE: We're separating from the distortion wave.
I'm attempting to compensate.
PICARD: How much longer until we clear the rift?
DATA: Approximately twelve seconds, sir. Hull stresses one hundred
twenty percent above tolerance.
WORF: A structural breach is imminent.
(Enterprise stops shaking and the lights come back up to full)
DATA: We have cleared the rift, sir. Hull stress has returned to
PICARD: Cancel red alert.
Captain's log, stardate 47314.5. We have been
continuing our research, while the Federation Council studies our
preliminary reports on the subspace rift. It now appears certain that
what we've seen here will have repercussions for many years to come.
LAFORGE: Our scans have shown a lot of subspace
instabilities throughout the sector. If they're exposed to enough warp
energies, they could eventually create other rifts.
PICARD: Doctor Rabal?
RABAL: Based on current warp drive patterns in the sector, we've
projected where subspace rifts will be most likely to be formed over
the next forty years. This is the way things are now. This is how
they'll look in ten years. Twenty years. Thirty years. Forty years.
(the monitor display moves up to almost total blue subspace rifts)
PICARD: Thank you, Doctor, Mister La Forge.
(a crewman hands Picard a PADD)
PICARD: Ah. We've received new directives from the Federation Council
on this matter. Until we can find a way to counteract the warp field
effect, the Council feels our best course is to slow the damage as much
as possible. Therefore, areas of space found susceptible to warp fields
will be restricted to essential travel only, and effective immediately
all Federation vessels will be limited to a speed of warp five, except
in cases of extreme emergency.
WORF: The Klingons will observe these restrictions, but the Romulans
TROI: And what about the Ferengi? And the Cardassians, for that matter?
PICARD: The Federation's sharing all our data with warp-capable
species. We can only hope that they realise it's in their own interests
and take similar action.
CRUSHER: Putting limits on warp speed is only going to prevent other
rifts from forming. What are we going to do about this one?
LAFORGE: Unfortunately, right now there's not much we can do.
RABAL: The gravitational shifts have already begun to affect my
planet's orbit. Our climate is changing.
PICARD: The Federation is setting up a weather control matrix on
Hekaras Two. It's only a temporary solution, but it should suffice for
RIKER: We're lucky the rift took place as far away from the planet as
it did. It gives us some time to consider our options.
PICARD: If there are no more questions, you're all dismissed.
(all but Geordi leave)
LAFORGE: We should have those thermal stabilisers ready for the
Hekarans in another day, sir.
PICARD: Very well. You know, Geordi, I spent the better part of my life
exploring space. I've charted new worlds, I've met dozens of new
species. And I believe that these were all valuable ends in themselves.
Now it seems that all this while, I was helping to damage the thing
that I hold most dear.
LAFORGE: It's won't turn out that way, Captain. We still have time to
make it better.