Clues
Stardate: 44502.7
Original Airdate: 11 Feb, 1991

Captain's log, stardate 44502.7. Early completion of our mission at Harrakis Five has allowed me to grant extra personal time for many of the crew. This has come as something of a relief, since our recent tight scheduling has prevented pursuit of the leisure activities that are a normal part of life aboard the Enterprise. I expect our journey past the Ngame Nebula to be uneventful, and am personally using the time to fulfill a promise to a colleague.

[Hill's outer office]

GUINAN: Dixon Hill around?
MADELINE: He's occupied at the present moment.
GUINAN: Tell him Gloria's here.
MADELINE: Can't do that. He doesn't want to be disturbed.
GUINAN: Tell him it's Gloria from Cleveland.
MADELINE: Doesn't matter if you're from the moon, hon. Mister Hill is incommuni, incommunica, ka
GUINAN: Incommunicado.
MADELINE: That's it. Sorry, hon.
GUINAN: Look, hon. Just tell him Gloria's here.
MADELINE: Look, when the boss doesn't want to be disturbed, the boss doesn't want to be disturbed. Don't take it personal, like.
GUINAN: I have an appointment with Mister Hill at two o'clock.
MADELINE: It's two ten.
GUINAN: So I had a little trouble getting into the dress. It took me a little while to figure out exactly what I was supposed to do with these. (stockings and suspender belt)
MADELINE: Sorry, Dix. There's a lady here to see you, says her name is
GUINAN: Gloria
MADELINE: Gloria.
GUINAN: From Cleveland.
MADELINE: From Cleveland. Okay. He never heard of you.
GUINAN: He's never heard of me?
MADELINE: That's right.
GUINAN: Oh, wait, I think you don't understand. You see, this was all been set up in advance. You see, I'm supposed to be Gloria from Cleveland, and I was supposed to be on holodeck number four at two o'clock and you don't have any idea what I'm talking about, do you. Not to worry.
MADELINE: Hey, you can't go in there!

[Hill's office]

(Guinan strolls in and is greeted by a gun)
JOHNNY: Get inside. Close the door. Who's the doll?
PICARD: She's a, the doll's my cousin.
GUINAN: Yeah. Gloria. From Cleveland.
PICARD: I'm sorry about this Gu, Gloria. I didn't actually mean you to get involved. She knows nothing about this, Johnny.
(Johnny gestures her to raise her hands)
GUINAN: What does that mean? Oh, I see.
JOHNNY: Yeah, right. What do I look like? A jamoke? You ain't nobody's cousin and you ain't here for a visit. What do you know about my money?
GUINAN: Your money?
JOHNNY: The money he stole.
GUINAN: You stole his money?
PICARD: Don't listen to him, Gloria. He's lying.
GUINAN: Johnny. Johnny. Talk to me, Johnny. I'm a great listener.
JOHNNY: I'm finished with talking, sweetheart. Now, I'm going to get some action or else.
(rapid gunfire, Picard and Guinan duck, and Johnny falls dead)
GUINAN: This is what you do for fun?
PICARD: It's a mystery. Who was this man? Who killed him? Where's the money he was talking about? It's a mystery. Now, we have to go search for clues.
GUINAN: Ah, and that's fun?
(tyre squeal outside)
PICARD: That's fun. A forty eight Packard with white walls. Damn it, I couldn't get the license plate.
MADELINE [OC]: Captain Picard? Sorry, there's no Captain Picard here. You should try down at the docks. Ships come
PICARD: It's all right, Madeline, I'll take it in here.
(picks up the phone)
PICARD: Yes, what is it?
DATA [OC]: Captain, Lieutenant Commander Data here. Please excuse the unusual interruption, but under the circumstances I thought that patching communications through the holodeck programme would be less obtrusive.
PICARD: I appreciate your concern, Commander Data. What can I do for you?

[Bridge]

DATA: Long range sensors detect a T-tauri type star within a pocket of the Ngame cloud.

[Hill's office]

PICARD: Well, there's nothing unusual about that.

[Bridge]

DATA: No, sir. However, the star's single planet falls within the M-class range. It is capable of supporting life.

[Hill's office]

PICARD: That is unusual.
DATA [OC]: Highly, sir.
PICARD: Well, thank you, Mister Data. Procedures require that we investigate. Recall the bridge crew and set in a course.
DATA [OC]: Aye, sir.
PICARD: I'm sorry, Gloria, but there is a twenty-fourth century mystery I have to investigate. You are very welcome to carry on, if you like.
GUINAN: No, I've had enough fun for today.

[Bridge]

MCKNIGHT: (the blonde lady at helm) Entering the T-tauri system, now, Captain.
DATA: Sensors indicate an energy fluctuation directly in our path. Source unknown.
WORF: Still picking up energy distortions, but fading. It seems to be gone.
PICARD: A wormhole?
DATA: Very likely. Small and extremely unstable wormholes have been mapped near thirty nine T-tauri systems in the last one hundred years alone, sir.
RIKER: Captain, I suggest we move to a safer location. It could reappear at any moment.
PICARD: Agreed, Number One. Ensign, take us a course
DATA: Captain!
(Big swirly thing on viewscreen. When Data turns around everyone else is out cold. They wake up after the opening titles)
DATA: Captain?
PICARD: Data.
DATA: Careful, Captain. The stun effect from the wormhole was relatively severe.
PICARD: Apparently so. How long were we unconscious?
DATA: Approximately thirty seconds. I have scanned the entire ship and detected no life-threatening injuries among the crew.
PICARD: You were not affected?
DATA: No, sir. My positronic system is immune to the effect. This is the third unstable wormhole I have passed through during my time with Starfleet. The first was aboard the USS Trieste
PICARD: Thank you, Mister Data. Well, where the hell are we?
RIKER: Point five four parsecs from our original position. Almost a day's travel in just thirty seconds?
DATA: Sir, I should re-align the ship's clock with Starbase four ten's subspace signal to adjust for the time distortion.
PICARD: Proceed.
DATA: Yes, Captain.
CRUSHER [OC]: Captain, this is Crusher in Sickbay.
PICARD: Go ahead, Doctor.
CRUSHER [OC]: I'm getting scattered reports

[Sickbay]

CRUSHER: Of minor injuries. What's happened?
PICARD [OC]: The Enterprise just jumped through a wormhole.

[Bridge]

PICARD: Apparently we were all unconscious for about thirty seconds.
CRUSHER [OC]: Is everybody all right there?
PICARD: There's little or no damage on the Bridge, Doctor.

[Sickbay]

CRUSHER: Acknowledged. Crusher out.

[Bridge]

PICARD: Ship's status?
RIKER: Reports coming in now. Nothing serious so far.
LAFORGE [OC]: La Forge here, Captain. I've checked impulse engines and warp drives, sir. They appear to be unaffected.
WORF: Shields and weapons systems are fully functional.
PICARD: Counsellor? Are you all right?
TROI: I think so. I'm feeling a bit unfocused. It'll pass.
PICARD: Well, not too bad, all things considered.
RIKER: We're lucky we didn't end up half way across the galaxy in the middle of next week.
DATA: That was never actually a possibility. The wormhole's small size and relatively short period would make this a local phenomenon.
PICARD: There's still the anomalous M-class planet we were going to investigate. Do we go back?
DATA: The unpredictability of the wormhole would make an investigation a hazardous one. A probe launched from our current position would be more advisable.
PICARD: Make it so.

[Sickbay]

(O'Brien has a bad elbow)
CRUSHER: Nothing broken, Chief, but the ligaments around the elbow have been twisted pretty severely. What on earth were you doing when you fell?
O'BRIEN: Hanging a plant for Keiko. It's part of her running project to give me a green thumb.
CRUSHER: How's it working?
O'BRIEN: Everything I touch seems to turn brown and wither away.
CRUSHER: Alyssa, would you get me? Oh, never mind, I'll get it. You, don't go away.

[Sickbay lab]

(during the opening log, Beverly had been doing something scientific with modules. Now she sees them again, full of fuzzy pink stuff)
CRUSHER: This isn't possible.

[Sickbay]

CRUSHER: Alyssa?
OGAWA: Yes, Doctor?
CRUSHER: Did you see anybody near the lab today?
OGAWA: No, I didn't.
CRUSHER: You didn't by chance adjust the environments on the incubation containers?
OGAWA: I would never touch one of your experiments unless you asked me to, Doctor.
CRUSHER: Of course not. I'm sorry, Alyssa. Thank you.

[Bridge]

WORF: Probe approaching the T-tauri system, Captain.
PICARD: Readings, Data?
DATA: Coming in now, sir. The probe is within visual range of the planet.
PICARD: On screen.
(the planet is green)
DATA: Sensors indicate a hydrogen-helium composition with a frozen helium core.
RIKER: Wait a minute. Didn't your readings indicate a class M planet before we passed through the wormhole, Data?
DATA: It is possible the sensors were affected by interference from the wormhole, Commander. It is clearly not a class M planet.
PICARD: Mister Data, run a full diagnostic to make sure the wormhole didn't permanently damage the sensors.
DATA: Aye, sir.
PICARD: Ensign, take us back on a course
RIKER: Captain.
PICARD: Problem, Number One?
RIKER: It seems awfully strange that a malfunctioning sensor would give such a specific misreading of a planet. I would have thought that a time-space disturbance would have caused a lot more confusion than that.
DATA: It is conceivable that the sensors picked up the afterimage of an actual planet on the other side of the wormhole. We could survey the nearby stars for such a planet. It would require approximately six days, sir.
PICARD: No, no, we don't have time for that. We've encountered a minor mystery, one that has been solved to my satisfaction. Number One, unless there's a major objection, then Ensign McKnight should put us back on course for Evadne Four.
RIKER: No objection.
PICARD: Ensign.
MCKNIGHT: Aye, sir.

[Ready room]

PICARD: Come.
(Crusher enters with her modules)
CRUSHER: I have something of a minor mystery on my hands.
PICARD: A minor mystery?. That seems to be a recurring phrase these days. Oh, Diomedian scarlet moss. I didn't know you were an enthnobotanist.
CRUSHER: It's a hobby.
PICARD: You've got a good crop here. As I recall, it's not easy to cultivate.
CRUSHER: That's just it. I started these spores right before we were all knocked unconscious by the wormhole. You said we were unconscious for thirty seconds?
PICARD: Correct.
CRUSHER: Then why do these show a full day's growth?
PICARD: Perhaps you've got some sort of fast growth strain.
CRUSHER: Each of these incubators was set with spores from completely different sources in the Diomedian system. I have a dozen more in the lab. Perhaps something extraordinary happened to one of them, but not to all of them.
PICARD: Doctor, we were not unconscious for a full day. Everything on board indicates that we were out for thirty seconds. The ship's chronometer, the computer, everything, Doctor, including Commander Data.
CRUSHER: Jean-Luc, I'm telling you this is over twenty four hours of growth.

Captain's log, supplemental. Commander Data continues to maintain that we were unconscious for only thirty seconds, despite Doctor Crusher's evidence to the contrary.

[Observation lounge]

DATA: Captain, I have a hypothesis. The twenty-second century physicist Pell Underhill conjectured that a major disruption in time continuity could be compensated for by trillions of counter reactions. That effect may have allowed Doctor Crusher's mosses to arrive at the other side of the worm hole with the unanticipated growth.
LAFORGE: Underhill was talking about energy.
DATA: True. Nevertheless, it is possible that the phenomenon could occur in matter at much higher levels of organisation, given the proper conditions.
PICARD: Thank you, Data. An intriguing hypothesis. Well, perhaps we've got a tempest in a test tube, after all.
CRUSHER: Captain.
PICARD: Data, I promised Mister Nelson that you would assist him with the sensor diagnostic. You'll find him hard at work on deck thirty six.
DATA: As you wish, Captain.
(Data leaves)
PICARD: Do you believe him? I want a frank answer, Commander.
LAFORGE: Not for a second. I'm amazed that he even proposed it.
WORF: What are you suggesting, Captain?
PICARD: I'm not sure, Mister Worf. I have never known Data to tell a lie, and yet.
CRUSHER: If we never went through that wormhole, then what happened to us during that day?
LAFORGE: If we were out for a whole day, why didn't our beards grow?
RIKER: Whatever it was it seems something Data doesn't want to tell us about.
PICARD: It could be that whatever caused this situation also affected Data. And it could be that he's telling the truth and that this is all just a minor mystery.
LAFORGE: We could always check the computer's chronometer, see if there's any evidence of tampering.
CRUSHER: A transporter trace analysis might give us another indication of how much time has actually passed.
PICARD: Doctor, Commander, make it so. Meanwhile, we will maintain our present course. If there is something wrong with Data, we don't want him to be aware of our suspicions.

[Engineering]

LAFORGE: Gentlemen, how goes the battle?
DATA: The long range and infra-red sensors apparently suffered ill effects as a result of the wormhole. We are presently checking neutrino and heavy particle detectors.
LAFORGE: Great. I'll take over now, Data. The Captain wants you back on the Bridge. See you later in Ten Forward?
(Data leaves)
LAFORGE: Nelson, I need your help with the computer.

[Transporter room]

CRUSHER: Hello, Chief. How's the elbow?
O'BRIEN: Much better, thanks. This isn't a house call, is it?
CRUSHER: No, it's not. Tell me, do you remember the last person to use the transporter before we went through the wormhole?
O'BRIEN: Let me check. Ensign Locklin. She's one of my technicians.
CRUSHER: Tell her to report to Sickbay immediately.

[Sickbay]

CRUSHER: Electrolyte concentration?
ALYSSA: Twelve point five deviation from previous.
CRUSHER: Interesting. Check the cellular membranes. I'm willing to bet the internal turgid pressure is off by almost the same amount.
ALYSSA: Eleven three deviation from the norm.
CRUSHER: Terrific. That's what I wanted to hear. Thank you, Ensign Locklin. That'll be all for now.
(the Ensign leaves)
CRUSHER: Crusher to Captain Picard.
PICARD [OC]: What is it, Doctor?
CRUSHER: I need to see you immediately.
PICARD [OC]: I'm on my way to Engineering. Join me.

[Corridor]

CRUSHER: Physiologically, each of us is on a daily cycle. Our cells have developed rhythms based on a twenty-four hour period.
PICARD: The internal clock.
CRUSHER: Exactly, and I can measure that effect at the molecular level. I took a trace from the last person to use the transporter before the incident, and compared her cell function levels at that time to what they are right now. If we were unconscious for only thirty seconds, those cycles should be nearly synchronous.
PICARD: And were they?
CRUSHER: No. We were out for longer than thirty seconds, Captain. A lot longer.

[Engineering]

LAFORGE: I've got some good news, and some bad news. The good news is that we were right about the computer's chronometer. There's a security programme to prevent tampering, but it looks now like it was disabled and a new programme put in its place. Someone has reset the clock.
PICARD: If that's the good news, what's the bad news?
LAFORGE: That Data and I are the only ones aboard this ship capable of doing it.

[Ready room]

DATA: It is a mystery, Captain.
PICARD: That is an understatement, Data. Is it possible that someone or something could have affected you without your knowing?
DATA: I am unable to answer that question, sir.
PICARD: Data, would you consent to being examined by Commander La Forge?
DATA: As you wish, Captain.
PICARD: Will you escort Commander Data to Engineering?
DATA: I know the way, sir.
(but the lady security guard follows him anyway)

Captain's log, supplemental. It has become clear that everyone aboard the Enterprise has lost an entire day. As the mystery of what actually occurred during those missing hours continues to deepen, so do my doubts about Commander Data.

[Engineering]

LAFORGE: We'll start with the higher functions before we get down to basics. Okay. All right. Now, this won't hurt a bit.
(Geordi is probing an exposed part of Data's 'brain')
DATA: Have you forgotten, Geordi, that my sensory inputs are not programmed to experience pain?
LAFORGE: A figure of speech. Bedside manner. I'm just trying to make you feel comfortable.
DATA: I am perfectly comfortable.
LAFORGE: Pattern recognition, syntactic algorithms, heuristic functions, all normal.
DATA: I have noticed, however, that you appear a bit uncomfortable yourself.
LAFORGE: It just seems like you're not being completely honest with us. Data, I'm your friend. If there's something wrong, I want you to tell me. Maybe I can help.
DATA: I cannot tell you anything beyond what I have already stated.
LAFORGE: Okay.

[Bridge]

LAFORGE: Excuse us, Counsellor. Captain, I finished examining Data.
PICARD: And?
LAFORGE: Nothing's wrong with the technology, that I can see. He's in perfect condition.
PICARD: I was almost hoping that you'd find a problem.
LAFORGE: He still could be malfunctioning beyond my ability to detect it.
PICARD: This entire mystery started when our sensors detected that planet. First it was class-M, now it isn't.
RIKER: But our sensors were malfunctioning. Our probe clearly established the planet could not support life.
PICARD: Data launched that probe.
RIKER: If he rigged it, could you prove it?
LAFORGE: I could try.
PICARD: What happened to us in that missing day? Surely there must be some clues. Each of us should try and think what we were doing just before we blacked out. Reenact it if you have to.
(Troi gasps and grabs the rail)
WORF: Counsellor?
PICARD: Deanna, are you all right?
TROI: Just a moment. Yes. Yes, I'm fine.
RIKER: What happened?
TROI: I suddenly became dizzy. I'd think I'd better go to my quarters.
PICARD: Perhaps Sickbay would be a better idea.
TROI: No. No, really, I'm all right.
PICARD: Will you see the Counsellor to her quarters?
WORF: Aye, sir.

[Corridor]

TROI: Thank you for coming with me, Mister Worf.
WORF: You are certain you are well?
TROI: I just need some rest. Thanks.
(she goes inside her quarters. Worf is walking away when he hears a scream)
WORF: Deanna! Security! Override the lock on Counsellor Troi's quarters! Now!

[Troi's quarters]

WORF: What's wrong?
TROI: The mirror. I came in here. I looked into the mirror. It wasn't me, Worf! It wasn't me! It was my face, but it wasn't me inside.
(a little later)
PICARD: Is she all right?
TROI: I feel fine, now.
CRUSHER: Signs of stress, adrenaline by-products higher than baseline. But that's a normal reaction after sudden fright. All brain functions check out okay.
PICARD: What happened, Deanna?
TROI: It wasn't what I saw, it was more what I felt. I looked into the mirror, and it seemed a stranger was staring back at me from behind my own eyes. As if my face was a mask.
LAFORGE [OC]: La Forge to Captain Picard.

[Engineering]

PICARD [OC]: Go ahead, Geordi.
LAFORGE: I've found something, sir.
PICARD [OC]: I'm on my way.

[Sickbay]

CRUSHER: Lieutenant Worf.
WORF: Doctor.
CRUSHER: Can I help you?
WORF: Perhaps not.
CRUSHER: Worf, you came in here for something.
WORF: A warrior does not complain about physical discomfort, but the Captain ordered us to report anything out of the ordinary.
(he is rubbing his right wrist)
CRUSHER: Are you in pain? (she scans it) How did this happen?

[Data's quarters]

PICARD: Do you recognize this planet, Data?
DATA: Yes, sir. It is the planet our probe detected in the T-tauri system.
LAFORGE: No it's not. Actually, it's Tethys three. I retrieved this image from the ship's library. Its geophysical figures have been slightly altered, but it's definitely Tethys three.
PICARD: Strange, that an obscure planet several hundred light years from here should be picked up by the probe. Data, did you take this image from the ship's library and programme the probe to send it back to us?
DATA: I cannot verify that hypothesis.
PICARD: But you don't deny it.
DATA: No, sir.
PICARD: Mister La Forge, will you send another probe to the T-tauri system?
LAFORGE: Yes, sir. I'm sorry, Data.
(Geordi leaves)
PICARD: Counsellor Troi just had a very disturbing hallucination.
DATA: Is she all right, sir?
PICARD: For the moment. Can you tell me if Deanna's incident is related in any way to this missing time period?
DATA: No, sir, I cannot.
PICARD: Data, you're the key to this entire mystery and you've done nothing but block my every attempt to solve it. Why are you fighting me?
DATA: It is not by choice.
PICARD: What do you mean by that?
DATA: I cannot say.
PICARD: Would you rather endanger Deanna, a friend and a colleague, than tell me what is going on?!
DATA: Which would you place first, the welfare of a single individual or that of the entire crew?
PICARD: Are you saying that by not cooperating, you are actually protecting us?
DATA: I am not saying that at all. I merely state a possible alternative explanation.
PICARD: Then, Mister Data, I'm going to ask you again, and I order you to directly answer me. What really happened to us?
DATA: I cannot answer that.
PICARD: What would you have me do, Data? How would you handle this if our positions were reversed?
DATA: I am apparently guilty of falsifying the Enterprise's records, of interfering with an investigation, of disobeying a direct order from my commanding officer. Your duty seems clear, sir.
PICARD: Do you know what a court martial would mean? Your career in Starfleet would be finished.
DATA: I realise that, sir.
PICARD: Do you also realise that you would most likely be stripped down to your wires to find out what the hell has gone wrong?
DATA: Yes, sir. I do.

[Ready room]

CRUSHER: This wrist has been broken. Broken and reset and treated with one of our subcutaneous bone fusion units.
PICARD: During the missing day?
CRUSHER: That's the only possibility.
PICARD: Are you suggesting he was conscious?
CRUSHER: I'm suggesting that maybe we all were. I certainly didn't repair a broken wrist while I was unconscious.
PICARD: And our memories of that day?
CRUSHER: Blocked, possibly erased.
PICARD: By whom?
WORF: There are very few individuals on board who could have broken my wrist. Commander Data is one of those individuals.
PICARD: I can't accept that explanation.
WORF: Well, he does possess the speed and the strength.
PICARD: Granted, but I'm beginning to suspect that Commander Data is refusing to co-operate because he believes he is acting in the best interests of the Enterprise.
LAFORGE [OC]: La Forge to Captain Picard.
PICARD: Go ahead, Geordi.
LAFORGE [OC]: Our probe is approaching the planet, sir.
PICARD: Acknowledged. Maybe now we'll get some answers.

[Bridge]

PICARD: What do you have, Mister La Forge?
LAFORGE: Visuals available now, Captain.
RIKER: M-class. Nickel-iron core, nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere.
PICARD: The same planet our sensors picked up before the so-called wormhole.
RIKER: Affirmative.
LAFORGE: No indication of any space-time distortion whatsoever. The probe should at least be detecting some residual effect, even if the wormhole is inactive.
PICARD: That's because there is no a wormhole. There never was.
RIKER: Sir?
PICARD: It was a ruse, designed to throw us off the track. Look at the clues. Doctor Crusher's incubation experiment, the computer clock, the transporter trace. All indicate the existence of a missing day. Lieutenant Worf's broken wrist would seem to suggest that we were awake and aware for that day, possibly in a struggle for our lives.
CRUSHER: The fact that we're still alive suggests we might have won.
PICARD: Not necessarily, Doctor. Data's behaviour would seem to suggest we did not. Why else would he be willing to sacrifice his career rather than tell the truth?
WORF: If we didn't win and we didn't lose?
PICARD: Then the only alternative would be a stalemate. Maybe a compromise might have been reached, a compromise that forced Data into this silence.
RIKER: Maybe by uncovering all this, we run the risk of upsetting the stalemate. Maybe we should leave well enough alone.
PICARD: Possibly, Number One, and I would be prepared to live with the mystery, but Data's role in this must be ascertained or he'll never be trusted with starship duty again. Ensign, take us back to the scene of the crime. The T-tauri system, warp two.
(whoosh)
MCKNIGHT: Within sensor range, Captain.
PICARD: Drop to impulse, Ensign. Mister Worf, maximum shields. Ready all weapons.
WORF: Shields up. Photon torpedoes armed. Phasers standing by. Captain, an energy field has appeared between our position and the planet.
PICARD: On screen. (it's green) Hold position. Let's see what it does.
WORF: The field has emitted an energy pulse. Approaching the Enterprise.
RIKER: Too slow to be a photon torpedo.
WORF: It might be a probe.
PICARD: Let's see what happens when it hits the shields.
WORF: Shields undamaged. The energy pulse has dispersed.
(Troi is asleep when the green pulse takes her over)

[Data's quarters]

DATA: Counsellor Troi, what is it?
(Troi does not speak with her own voice, but sounds more like a Bynar)
TROI: The plan has failed.
DATA: You have returned.
TROI: Your ship is again in our space.
DATA: I was unable to prevent it.
TROI: Nevertheless, you are here.
DATA: The Enterprise is not a threat to you. Give me more time. Our destruction would only
(Geordi enters)
LAFORGE: Data, Captain wanted me to bring you to the Bridge. Counsellor.
DATA: One moment, if you would.
(Geordi leaves)
DATA: Do nothing. It may yet be possible to salvage the situation.

[Bridge]

DATA: Reporting as ordered, Captain.
PICARD: Well, Data, as you can see, we're back where it all started.
DATA: We must leave immediately, sir.
PICARD: Why?
DATA: Any further delay would put us all at grave risk.
PICARD: Why? What is the source of that risk? The energy field?
DATA: I cannot say.
PICARD: Data, you sound as if you're stuck in a feedback loop. You certainly can say. You have free will, you have a choice.
DATA: My silence is not by choice, sir.
PICARD: Not by choice? Are you somehow being controlled by that force? Did Geordi miss something when he examined you?
DATA: Geordi's examination was exemplary.
PICARD: Then why are you compelled to disobey my orders? How? During the missing day, were you contacted by Starfleet? Did they order you to conceal the truth from us?
DATA: I cannot answer that. We must leave, sir.
PICARD: This ship isn't going anywhere. Not until I get an answer. Now who gave you that order?
(the possessed Troi enters)
DATA: You did, sir.
PICARD: I ordered you to lie?
WORF: Captain, the energy field is approaching.
RIKER: Maintain shields at full intensity.
DATA: No. We must vary shield shape and strength as rapidly as possible. Maximum shields will only speed the ship's takeover.
WORF: Contact imminent.
PICARD: Do as Data says. At once.
WORF: Aye, sir. The field is shifting amplitude, trying to match the shields.
DATA: The energy field will eventually penetrate our shields. There is no way to counter the Paxans' technology. We can delay their takeover but we cannot prevent it.
PICARD: The Paxans. Who are they?
TROI: You have invaded our system.
(Worf points a phaser at Troi)
PICARD: No, Worf.
DATA: You will only harm Counsellor Troi's body.
PICARD: We are not invaders. We are explorers.
TROI: Your knowledge of us is unacceptable.
DATA: They are xenophobes, sir. Isolationists. The Paxans terraformed a protoplanet in this system in order to better conceal their whereabouts. The apparent wormhole we experienced is actually a trap designed to keep out invaders. The energy field stuns everyone on board the invading vessel and places them in a state of biochemical stasis.
LAFORGE: That explains why our beards didn't grow.
DATA: The Paxans then take the ship out of their territory.
RIKER: So the crew wakes up and thinks they've been through a wormhole, count their blessings and keep going.
DATA: Precisely.
PICARD: What went wrong this time?
DATA: My positronic brain is a technology unknown to the Paxans.
TROI: Our stun field had no effect on him. He remained conscious while we tried to take over the ship.
DATA: When I realised the crew was incapacitated, I initiated emergency procedures

[Flashback - Bridge]

DATA: Computer, engage emergency plan zed zed alpha.
COMPUTER: Automatic defense procedures initiated. Energy field strength increasing. Warning, shield penetration seventeen percent.
DATA: Computer, begin random fluctuation of shield frequency and modulation.
COMPUTER: Executed.
DATA [OC]: With the Enterprise temporarily protected, I revived the crew.
DATA: Computer, release compound ADTH into the airflow system, five parts per million.
COMPUTER: Acknowledged. Initiating compound release now.
(and they wake up)
PICARD: Status, Data.
DATA: The energy field is attempting to match shield frequencies, sir.
PICARD: Options, Mister Worf?
WORF: I do not recommend weapons at this range, Captain.
PICARD: Can we go to warp?
DATA: Negative, sir. The field is also acting as a tractor beam.
(and the lights go down)
COMPUTER: Warning. Shields have been penetrated.
WORF: All systems are frozen, Captain.
DATA [OC]: The Paxans can manipulate energy structures on many levels. They took control of Counsellor Troi's body to communicate with us.
(lights back up)
WORF: Captain!
(Worf dashes over with a phaser. Troi grabs his wrist and throws him across the Bridge. That's how his wrist got broken)
PICARD: No, stop, everyone. Who are you?
TROI: You are aware of our existence. Our attempt to place you in biochemical stasis has failed. We have no choice but to destroy this ship.
PICARD: If you destroy this ship, then others will come in search of us. You may not be able to stop them all. Knowledge of your civilisation would be spread across half the galaxy.
TROI: No.
PICARD: Allow us safe passage and I will protect your right to privacy to the best of my ability. We will never tell anyone of your existence.
TROI: There are over a thousand lifeforms on this vessel. How could you assure their silence?
PICARD: This biochemical stasis, does it suppress synaptic functions?
TROI: It does.
PICARD: Then you must have the capability of affecting memory. Can you erase the short-term memory of everyone on this ship, remove all knowledge of this event, allow us to proceed as if it had never happened?
TROI: It would take time. One of your days. He is immune to our influence.
PICARD: Data, I'm going to give you a most unusual order. I'm not sure that you will be able to integrate it into your programme.
DATA: As a Starfleet officer, I am required to follow all of your orders, Captain.
PICARD: Good, because our survival depends upon it. I am ordering you never to reveal what has happened here today. Not to Starfleet, not to myself. You will conceal your knowledge of the Paxans for as long as you exist. Do you fully understood, Data?
DATA: Completely, sir.
PICARD: Satisfactory?
TROI: Agreed.
PICARD: Good. Now, our task is to eliminate from the ship's records any information that might lead to knowledge of this incident. Let's get to work.

[Bridge]

DATA: We proceeded to erase all evidence of our encounter with the Paxans. I reset the computer's chronometer and the crew was again stunned into unconsciousness, their short-term memories erased. When they were revived a day later, the computer adjustments made it appear that only thirty seconds had passed.
RIKER: And here we are.
PICARD: Here we are again.
TROI: Your plan has failed. This ship must be destroyed.
PICARD: No. Wait. The plan failed because clues were left behind that suggested a mystery. And to many humans, a mystery is irresistible. It must be solved. The Doctor's incubation experiment, Worf's wrist, Troi's hallucinations. Little pieces of evidence that suggested even more clues. The clock, the transporter trace, Data's odd behaviour. If we eliminate the clues and begin again
TROI: Again?
PICARD: Yes. Consider the first time a run-through, a rehearsal to shake out the flaws. The second time will succeed if we leave no clues.
TROI: You are a most unusual species. Worthy of a second chance. Proceed.
(the green leaves Troi and she falls to the floor)
RIKER: Deanna?
PICARD: Welcome back. Counsellor. Geordi, Data, reconfigure the computer and the records. Number One, I want you to oversee the rest of the ship. And this time, let's get it right.
(and so it is that much later, Picard finds himself lying on the floor)
PICARD: What happened, Data?
DATA: The effect from the wormhole was rather intense.
PICARD: So it would seem.
DATA: Everyone but myself was rendered unconscious. My positronic system is immune to the effect.
PICARD: How long were we out?
DATA: Thirty seconds, Sir.
RIKER: Current position?
MCKNIGHT: Point five four parsecs from our previous position. Bearing two eight five mark one four seven.
PICARD: It could be worse.
DATA: Yes, sir. The wormhole appears to have been a local phenomenon.
CRUSHER [OC]: Crusher to Bridge. What happened, Captain?
PICARD: The Enterprise went through a wormhole, Doctor. It seems the entire crew was unconscious for approximately thirty seconds.
CRUSHER [OC]: Is anyone on the Bridge hurt?
PICARD: Apparently not.
CRUSHER: I'll start checking the other decks. Crusher out.
PICARD: Status reports?
WORF: Shields and weapons systems unaffected.
RIKER: No damage in Engineering.
PICARD: Counsellor?
TROI: There's a general feeling of disorientation on board, but nothing serious as far as I can tell.
PICARD: Well, then. There's still that anomalous class-M planet we were going to investigate. Ensign, replot a course to take us back to
DATA: Sir, it is likely the anomalous readings were the result of the wormhole's effect. It was extremely unstable. I would recommend against returning. It might put the Enterprise at further risk.
RIKER: We could launch a probe.
DATA: That would certainly be sufficient, sir.
PICARD: Make it so. And put out a hazard advisory to Starfleet. Ensign, set a course to Evadne Four.
MCKNIGHT: Aye, sir.
PICARD: Engage.

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