(Will is setting places at a table and whisking an egg in a bowl when the doorbell chimes)
RIKER: Come on in.
(Data and Geordi arrive with a portable stove, and Pulaski follows with a flask. Finally, Worf)
RIKER: Excellent. Exactly what I need. Ah, Mister Worf. And the good Doctor, bearing gifts.
PULASKI: Ale from Ennan Six. Your omelettes deserve no less.
DATA: This is not an efficient method for the preparation of sustenance.
RIKER: No, you're right, Data. The ship's computer would be more efficient, but it wouldn't allow for the subtlety needed for great cooking.
It would give you all of the ingredients in pre-determined measurements, but wouldn't allow for flair or individuality. And Data, as we both know,
flair is what marks the difference between artistry and mere competence.
PULASKI: For much of the history of mankind, the breaking of bread was a symbol of friendship and community. Something we have gotten
away from in the twenty-fourth century.
(The beaten egg is poured onto the hot plate)
PULASKI: Ah, you have a practiced hand, Commander.
RIKER: Yes, I have my father to thank.
PULASKI: Your father liked to cook?
RIKER: No, he hated it. That's why he left the chore to me.
WORF: It is my understanding that in most human families, the woman shares in the cooking.
RIKER: There were only the two of us. I never knew my mother. She died when I was very young.
LAFORGE: Where did you get these eggs?
RIKER: On our last stop.
LAFORGE: At Starbase Seventy Three?
LAFORGE: What kind of eggs did you say these were?
RIKER: Owon. For you, Data, something special. Don't be afraid. They won't bite you. And for you, Mister Worf.
(Geordi takes the first mouthful, and starts coughing.
RIKER: A cook's only as good as his ingredients.
(Kate pulls a disgusted face. Worf clears his plate)
PICARD [OC]: Number One.
RIKER: Go ahead.
PICARD [OC]: I would appreciate you joining me on the Bridge.
RIKER: Right away, sir.
PICARD: Number One, we've picked up an automated signal from a Federation shuttlecraft.
RIKER: A shuttlecraft? How's that possible? I thought we were the only manned Federation vessel out here.
PICARD: Apparently not.
RIKER: What's a shuttlecraft doing out this far? Where's its mother ship?
WORF: Sensors indicate there is at least one life form on board the shuttle, sir. Humanoid.
PICARD: Perhaps someone to answer your questions, Number One. Open hailing frequencies.
WORF: Communication is not possible, sir. The shuttle is without power.
RIKER: Set course to intercept.
DATA: Estimate intercept in three minutes.
Captain's log, stardate 42679.2. While en route to the Endicor system, we have encountered a Federation shuttlecraft,
which seems to have appeared out of nowhere. There are no indications of where it came from or how it got out here.
WORF: We are closing on shuttlecraft, sir.
PICARD: Thank you, Lieutenant. On screen.
(Definitely a tiny Federation shuttlecraft, tumbling gently in space)
RIKER: Prepare to lock on tractor beam.
DATA: Target vehicle. We will be within tractor beam range in two seconds.
RIKER: Set automatic locking device. Alert Shuttlebay two.
DATA [OC]: Shuttlebay two, prepare for retrieval procedure.
DATA: Locking tractor beam.
(The beam stops the shuttle from tumbling and moves it towards the open bay door)
PICARD: Number One.
RIKER: You're with me, Mister Worf.
PICARD: Doctor Pulaski, you are needed in Shuttlebay two.
PULASKI [OC]: I've been monitoring. I'm on my way.
(Guy Vardeman is on duty here)
DATA [OC]: Engage secondary tractor beam.
(The external beam is swapped for an internal one to bring the shuttle in to land. The markings say NCC-1701-D 05 El Baz.
Riker and Worf enter)
RIKER: It's a Federation shuttlecraft, all right.
WORF: Yet there are no Federation bases or vessels in this area.
RIKER: NCC one seven zero one D USS Enterprise, shuttlecraft five.
(They look over to a shuttlecraft already parked in the bay. Pulaski and a medic enter)
RIKER: NCC one seven zero one D USS Enterprise shuttlecraft five.
WORF: How is this possible?
PULASKI: Commander, come here!
(They gaze at the unconscious pilot of the new shuttlecraft - Jean-Luc Picard)
PICARD [OC]: Yes, Number One.
RIKER: Are you on the Bridge?
PICARD [OC]: Where else would I be?
RIKER: Well. right now I think you should be in Shuttlebay two.
PICARD: Why? What is it?
RIKER: This I think you should see for yourself. Bring Commander Data.
(Picard, Data and Troi enter)
PULASKI: The life signs are very confusing. His heartbeat is strong, but the pulse is off.
PICARD: Is he injured?
PULASKI: There's no signs of trauma.
PICARD: Why is he unconscious? What happened to him?
PULASKI: I can't say. The readings of his brain waves are very strange.
PICARD: Strange? In what way? Non-human? Artificial?
PULASKI: No, neither. They're just out of phase.
PICARD: Can you revive him?
PULASKI: I wouldn't even attempt it till we get him into Sickbay. Come on, let's get him back.
(The second Picard is wheeled away)
TROI: I have never felt anything quite like this before, so it's difficult to put into words. That person is you.
TROI: He is as much Jean-Luc Picard as the person I am standing next to. Beyond that, there is very little I can be sure of.
I will have to wait until he regains consciousness before knowing more.
PICARD: Data, I need to know what's on the shuttle's logs.
DATA: Yes, sir.
(Data gets into the shuttlecraft)
DATA: Captain, both primary and reserve power has been drained from the shuttle. I am going to have to connect to the Enterprise
in order to activate the shuttle's systems.
RIKER [OC]: Report to Shuttlebay two immediately.
LAFORGE: I'm on my way.
PICARD: I'll be in Sickbay. Keep me informed.
RIKER: Captain, seen this?
PICARD: Looks like the damage caused by an antimatter explosion.
RIKER: It must have been just out of range of the shuttlecraft.
PICARD: Data, I need those logs. Counsellor.
RIKER: We'll be on the Bridge. Lieutenant.
(Geordi enters as Riker and Worf leave)
RIKER: Resume course and speed. Scanners at maximum range.
WORF: Maximum range.
LAFORGE: There you go. You should have power now.
(Data touches a panel, and sparks fly)
LAFORGE: What happened?
DATA: The polarity is not compatible.
LAFORGE: That's not possible. The connection's idiot proof.
DATA: The power requirements of the shuttle do not match those of the Enterprise. We will need a variable phase inverter,
to align the power from the Enterprise to the circuits of the shuttle.
LAFORGE: Data, what do you think is going on here? I don't mean just with the shuttle, I mean everything.
DATA: I do not have enough information.
(The second Picard is on a bed. Kate is walking around with a medical tricorder when Picard and Troi enter)
PULASKI: I'm just starting a complete medical work-up. His vital signs are distorted. Some of the indicators are totally depressed,
others are fluctuating wildly. I can't explain any of it. But he is alive. The restraints are for his own protection.
PICARD: Have you been able to determine why he's still unconscious?
PULASKI: No. but I have been able to rule out any head injury.
PICARD: Wake him.
(Pulaski gives him a hypo, and the readings on the wall plummet into the red. She rushes for another hypo, and the signs recover)
PICARD: What happened?
PULASKI: Apparently, the normal stimulant had the opposite effect. I'll have to try something else.
LAFORGE: All right, Data. I think I've got it now. That ought to give you something. Making this power adjustment is very tricky. By all rights,
this connection should blow all the shuttle's circuits.
DATA: Perhaps you had better step out of the way.
LAFORGE: All right, but remember, you're not indestructible yourself, you know.
DATA: Increase the power.
LAFORGE: Powering up.
DATA: Adjust the invert two percent positive.
LAFORGE: Two percent positive. It's the right decision, but it's having the opposite effect.
LAFORGE: I don't understand. I can't think of anything that would cause the circuit to change so radically.
DATA: Adjust the invert two percent negative.
LAFORGE: Okay. Two percent negative. That's it. It shouldn't work, but it does. Hey, Data. Take a look at the stardate. 42679.5. Captain.
PICARD [OC]: Go ahead.
LAFORGE: Captain, we've been able to reactivate the shuttle, and the on-board clock indicates that the shuttle is
LAFORGE [OC]: Six hours in front of us. Captain, do you read me? If the shuttle's from six hours into the future, then so is the other Captain Picard.
Captain's log, supplemental. Part of the mystery has been solved. The reason there are two number five shuttlecrafts is because one of
them is from the future. Six hours, to be exact. And so, presumably, is the facsimile of me.
PICARD: Try to wake him, again.
(Pulaski gives the injection, and the second Picard opens his eyes. He seems in pain)
PULASKI: It's a only a sedative.
PICARD: I know what it is. Don't sedate him. Let him be. Please. Let him to remain conscious.
PULASKI: I have never seen anything like this. Are you all right?
PICARD: I'm fine, Doctor. Save your ministrations for your patient. I want a staff meeting in five minutes. Doctor, I assume you will want to remain here.
PULASKI: Yes, I will monitor the conference from here.
PICARD: Keep me informed of any changes, no matter how small.
Captain's log, supplemental. I've been informed that Mister Data has recovered the logs from the duplicate shuttlecraft.
I am more than apprehensive to play back a log which will not be recorded for several hours.
LAFORGE: Captain, we've retrieved all we are going to get from the shuttle logs, including the last visual records. Everything before that is just a jumble.
PICARD: Show me.
LAFORGE: The distortion is because we had to use a phase inverter to retrieve the logs. The quality will improve slightly.
(We see Riker standing in the shuttlebay as the craft takes off. There is a wormhole effect, and a bolt of energy hits Enterprise, knocking her
against the tunnel side, and she blows up)
DATA: According to the shuttle log, the Enterprise was destroyed three hours nineteen minutes from now.
LAFORGE: Captain, we have a portion of the last log entry. It's audio only.
PICARD [OC]: Captain's personal log, supplemental. I have just witnessed the total destruction of the USS Enterprise with a loss of all hands, save one. Me.
LAFORGE: All attempts to obtain further information from the shuttle have failed.
RIKER: Well, at least now we have something to go on.
LAFORGE: I just don't understand how you could have ended up in a shuttlecraft while the Enterprise was being destroyed.
WORF: Nor I. The last thing you would do is leave the Bridge of the Enterprise during an emergency.
PICARD: Yes. All right, let's proceed on the premise that what we have just seen happened, and that in less than four hours from now,
the Enterprise will be destroyed, and somehow, although this is unfathomable, I and I alone escape. Discussion.
RIKER: Our destination is the Endicor system. We're due to arrive in three days. The charts show nothing of consequence, certainly nothing to
threaten the Enterprise, between here and there.
WORF: Sensors indicated no other vessels, Federation or otherwise, in this area.
DATA: I have nothing to offer. There is not enough information upon which to base a hypothesis.
LAFORGE: Well, the shuttle apparently came from somewhere up ahead, so Rather than continuing on this course, maybe we should stop here
and let whatever is out there come to us.
RIKER: We may already be too late.
LAFORGE: What are you saying? That stopping, turning right or left, or even reversing our course, would be pointless?
RIKER: When we brought the shuttle and the other Picard on board, we committed to a sequence of events which may be unalterable.
PICARD: Yes, this is not a rock on the trail which once seen can easily be avoided. This is much more complex.
WORF: There is the theory of the moebius. A twist in the fabric of space where time becomes a loop from which there is no escape.
LAFORGE: So, when we reach that point, whatever happened will happen again. The Enterprise will be destroyed, the other Picard will be sent back to
meet with us and we do it all over again. Sounds like someone's idea of hell to me.
RIKER: Well, I know this much. We can't avoid the future.
PICARD: Agreed. So let's continue on course. Somewhere out there something will happen. A decision will be made during the course of which,
I will be separated from the Enterprise. At the time, the decision will seem to be correct, but it won't be.
We have to anticipate and not make, not make the same mistake once. Something is waiting for us out there. Let's try and determine what it is,
as quickly as possible.
PULASKI: I'm just beginning to realise just how much of the body is held together by its own internal clock.
He was thrown out of time, which caused his body systems to change their rhythm. Now, slowly, as we get closer to the
time he left, his internal body clock is realigning.
PICARD: You're saying that when our time intersects with the time he left, in that instant he will function normally and, and there will be two of us.
PULASKI: Right now, that is my guess.
PICARD: Doctor, I don't think that's possible.
TROI: I'm able to feel much more from him now, Captain. His emotions are still a jumble, but
TROI: He desperately wants to leave this ship.
Captain's log, supplemental. We continue on course to Endicor. We are now less than two hours away from our rendezvous with ourselves.
WORF: Maximum scan. Nothing unusual to report.
RIKER: If this timetable is correct, we could get an indication of something very soon.
PULASKI [OC]: Bridge, this is Sickbay.
PICARD: Yes, Doctor.
PULASKI: Captain, my patient is more coherent.
PICARD: I'm on my way. You have the Bridge, Number One.
(Picard leaves. After a fraught moment, Troi leaves too)
PICARD: How is he?
PULASKI: His vital signs are more normal. Which is to say, more like ours. He is calmer.
PICARD: He's aware of me.
PULASKI: Perhaps, in some fashion.
PICARD: But he knows where he is, who's here with him.
PULASKI: I doubt it.
PICARD: What went wrong? You know, don't you? What did you do? What happened? Why did you leave the ship? Don't turn away. Look at me.
Picard! Look at me!
TROI: Captain, he doesn't understand you.
PICARD: He knows I'm here.
TROI: Yes, but in a nightmare of disjointed images and half-heard voices. He's in another dimension, looking at us across a great chasm.
And he's feeling remorse at what he has witnessed. He's afraid.
PICARD: What is he afraid of? Damn you. Help me! Why did you leave the ship?
TROI: It's no use, Captain. He can't answer you.
PULASKI: When we get closer to his time, he may be able to.
PICARD: Are you still convinced he's me?
TROI: Yes, but you're not convinced.
PICARD: Not in the slightest. Except for his features, there is nothing about him that I find familiar. Counsellor, I want you to stay with him.
He will be able to communicate with you before any on else.
PULASKI: I don't know how long anyone could take this kind of anxiety state. There has to be a breaking point.
TROI: I think he's handling it very well.
PULASKI: He has a lot of anger.
TROI: Yes, because of what he represents.
PULASKI: And what is that?
TROI: Doubt. He's afraid that seeing him here and knowing what happened to the Enterprise will make him timid, or worse, make him to hesitate.
PULASKI: Part of my job is to anticipate problems. My duty is to the Captain, but first to the ship and its crew.
TROI: Doctor, the Captain is quite capable of command decisions.
PULASKI: Yes, for now. But this situation has put him under extreme pressure of a unique and very personal kind. We both know that pressure
will only increase. You said yourself that he already has doubt.
TROI: Which is understandable, and healthy.
PULASKI: And could be potentially paralysing. If we begin to see signs that he's acting in an irrational manner,
I have the authority and the duty to relieve him.
TROI: I don't think that will be necessary.
PULASKI: I hope you're right.
(Picard has been to stare at the shuttlecraft on his own)
PICARD: What force or phenomenon could cause the shuttle to be thrown back in time?
RIKER: None that we've encountered. In theory, accelerating beyond warp ten.
PICARD: Using the gravitational pull of a star to slingshot back in time. Is that what happened here?
RIKER: The shuttle doesn't have warp capability.
PICARD: No. So some external force was needed.
RIKER: We've never encountered a natural force that powerful. Why only six hours? Why not a day? Or a year?
PICARD: Are you saying there was some conscious mind at work here?
RIKER: There's no evidence either way.
PICARD: The Traveller moved through time using the power of his mind.
RIKER: I don't think that's the case here.
PICARD: No. And Manheim's experiments with gravity and time were rudimentary, and uncontrollable.
RIKER: Captain, I think this is one instance where you should suppress your natural tendencies.
PICARD: Oh, really?
RIKER: One of your strengths is your ability to evaluate the dynamics of a situation, and then take a definitive pre-emptive step, take charge.
Now, you're frustrated because you not only can't see the solution, you can't even define the problem.
PICARD: Go on.
RIKER: What we're facing is neither a person nor a place. At least not yet. It's time.
PICARD: You're saying I should just sit down, shut up and wait.
RIKER: I wouldn't have put it exactly like that.
PICARD: Not something I do easily.
RIKER: Your Persian flaw.
PICARD: Yes, perhaps it is.
(There's a nasty noise)
WORF [OC]: Captain to the Bridge.
WORF: This energy vortex has just appeared beneath us. There was no warning.
(Pretty blue swirly thing on the viewscreen. The Enterprise is sitting at the top of a space tornado)
RIKER: Well, at least the waiting's over.
Captain's log, supplemental. We have apparently intersected with something.
DATA: It is similar to our tractor beam, sir, only much more powerful.
LAFORGE [OC]: Bridge, this is Lieutenant La Forge.
LAFORGE: The pull on the Enterprise is steady. I'm having to hold the warp engines at thirty percent in order to maintain our present position.
PICARD: Transfer Engine control to the Bridge.
LAFORGE [OC]: On my way, Captain.
TROI: Captain, there is a consciousness here. Not thought, more like instinct.
PICARD: What do you think, Number One?
RIKER: I think we're being probed.
DATA: The beam is coming from the centre of the vortex. Sensors show it to be only a mass of energy.
PICARD: What is it trying to learn?
TROI: I think it's trying to determine if we are a life force.
PICARD: We'll stay and investigate.
PICARD: Unless that was the mistake. Staying too long.
PICARD: We should go now.
PICARD: That would be the prudent move. I never thought I'd hear myself saying something like that.
RIKER: Under the circumstances, sir, I think you're right.
PICARD: But you would rather stay and find out what it is? What is its intent?
LAFORGE: Engineering, transfer to Bridge.
PICARD: Mister La Forge.
PICARD: Try and take us out of here. Maximum warp.
LAFORGE: Aye, sir. I've set the velocity at warp nine.
LAFORGE: Warp engines are at ninety one percent.
PICARD: Put it to the wall, Mister La Forge.
LAFORGE: Aye, sir.
(The ship shakes, but they're not actually going anywhere)
LAFORGE: I can't hold it.
RIKER: Captain, the engines can't handle the strain.
PICARD: All stop.
(The Enterprise slides gently backwards into the top of the funnel)
PICARD: Mister La Forge.
LAFORGE: I'm re-engaging warp engines, Captain.
WORF: All decks have reported. No damage. No injuries.
LAFORGE: Captain, the hold on the Enterprise is still very strong. I'm having to hold at warp seven just to maintain our position.
PICARD: Everything we do tightens its grip. Let's see what we can learn. Launch a Class one probe.
WORF: Aye, sir.
(The probe is intercepted by an energy bolt and destroyed)
PICARD: Mister Worf
(Picard gets zapped by an energy bolt, and so does his counterpart in Sickbay)
PICARD: That was personal.
LAFORGE: Captain, the power drain needed to hold this position is enormous.
PICARD: How long can you maintain it?
LAFORGE: Just a few minutes and then we're going to have to shut down again.
PULASKI [OC]: Captain some kind of energy
PULASKI: Just surrounded my patient.
PICARD [OC]: Is he still alive?
RIKER: Arm the photons, Mister Worf. Lock on the centre of the vortex.
WORF: Photon torpedoes locked on target.
PICARD: Hold for my order.
(Picard gets zapped again and thrown against a bulkhead)
RIKER: Like a rag in a dog's mouth.
LAFORGE: I am now at maximum warp.
TROI: It's you, Captain. It was the entire ship, but now it has focused its attention entirely on you.
LAFORGE: Captain, I can't hold it any longer. If we don't shut down right now, we are going
PICARD: Hold this position. Counsellor, if I were to leave the Enterprise, would its attention still be focused on me?
TROI: Yes. I think it would.
RIKER: You'd never survive.
PICARD: But in those few seconds, the Enterprise might break free. That's what he, that's what the other Picard must have thought.
RIKER: Captain, where are you going?
PICARD: You have the Bridge, Number One.
RIKER: You're leaving the ship?
PICARD: We may be on a road that has no turns.
(Troi has got to Sickbay before Picard)
PULASKI: He's very agitated.
P2: I must get to the shuttle.
PICARD: I know. Do you know where you are?
P2: The Enterprise.
PICARD: Yes, but you're only vaguely aware of it. And me? Do you know who I am? No, you don't, do you.
P2: I must go.
PICARD: Release him.
PULASKI: Do you know what you are doing?
PICARD: No. Release him.
PULASKI: Security to Sickbay.
PICARD: No. Security, disregard that order, and clear all personnel, repeat, all personnel, from Shuttlebay two.
(Picard 2 gets up)
PICARD: I don't want any distractions. You, stay here.
PICARD: You made a decision to leave the ship?
P2: I must.
P2: The energy in the vortex wants me.
PICARD: You're certain.
P2: Yes. It's an entity, a life form, which recognises the Enterprise as an entity with me as its brain. And it wants me.
P2: Shuttlebay two.
PICARD: What's your other option?
P2: This is our only chance. If I leave, it may be distracted long enough for the Enterprise to escape.
PICARD: You're wrong. If you leave, the Enterprise will be destroyed. Don't you remember? You saw it happen.
P2: If I don't leave the ship, then the Enterprise will be destroyed.
PICARD: If that's true, then help me. We want the same thing. We both want the Enterprise to be safe. But there is a piece of information I don't have.
What is it?
P2: It's me.
RIKER [OC]: Captain.
RIKER [OC]: We are about to lose warp drive.
PICARD: When you say it wants you, do you mean it's still you, only you, and not me.
P2: You're confusing me. We're almost out of time. I must get to the shuttle.
PICARD Wait. You can. I'll let you. But first, tell me. What is, what was your other choice?
P2: Stand aside.
PICARD: You must tell me. What was it? You don't know what I'm talking about. You're locked into a single intent unable to change.
Unable to alter any part of your previous actions.
P2: I have to leave. There's no other way.
PICARD: There must be.
P2: One. But it would never work.
PICARD: What is it? What would never work?
P2: I have to leave.
PICARD: What was the other choice? We can't fight, we can't escape, we can't go forward.
P2: No. No, we can't go forward. That would destroy the Enterprise.
PICARD: Was that it? Is that the other choice?
P2: I must leave.
PICARD: No. (grabs a phaser) Captain Picard. I can not allow you to leave. Before we can go forward, the cycle must end.
(So he shoots his other self)
PICARD: Doctor Pulaski, report to Shuttlebay two.
(Pulaski and O'Brien dash into the shuttlebay. She scans the other Picard, then leaves. No dialogue required)
PICARD: Number One, we're wasting our energy trying to escape. It only weakens us. Helm, set a course for the center of the vortex.
Mister La Forge, on my command, I want all the power you can muster.
LAFORGE: Yes, sir.
RIKER: We're going in?
DATA: Course set, sir.
PICARD: Now everyone hold their position. No matter what. Engage.
(The Enterprise turns and heads down the tunnel towards the light. There's some shaking. In the Shuttlebay, the other Picard and his shuttle
disappear before O'Brien's eyes. Then they are in clear space again) ibi
O'BRIEN [OC]: Captain Picard.
O'BRIEN: This is Shuttlebay two. The other Picard and the shuttle are gone.
PICARD [OC]: Explain.
O'BRIEN: They just vanished.
PICARD: What's our position?
DATA: We are back on course to Endicor.
RIKER: Stand down from Red Alert.
WORF: All decks have reported in. No damage, no casualties.
PICARD: You have the Bridge, Number One.
PICARD: A lot of questions, Number One. Damn few answers.
RIKER: Maybe none of it was real. Perhaps we were all part of a shared illusion.
PICARD: Or maybe he was thrown back in time, so that we would be able to take another road. Make a different choice. Well, they say
if you travel far enough you will eventually meet yourself. Having experienced that, Number One, it's not something I would care to repeat.
RIKER: I'll be on the Bridge, sir.