Galaxy's Child
Stardate: 44614.6
Original Airdate: 11 Mar, 1991

Captain's Log, Stardate 44614.6. We are approaching Starbase three one three, where we will pick up a shipment of scientific equipment for transport to a Federation outpost in the Guernica System. During the journey we will be hosting a special guest.

[Ready room]

PICARD: Come.
LAFORGE: You wanted to see me, Captain?
PICARD: Yes, Mister La Forge. It seems that the exemplary nature of your work has caught the attention of Starfleet Command. In fact, someone is coming on board just to see the engine modifications you've made.
LAFORGE: Who, Captain?
PICARD: The Senior Design Engineer of the Theoretical Propulsion Group. Doctor Leah Brahms.
LAFORGE: Leah is coming here? This is terrific.
PICARD: It is?
LAFORGE: Well, I mean, I've studied her schematics for years. She was responsible for a lot of the engine design on the Enterprise.
PICARD: Well, it should be a very enjoyable visit, then. She'll be transporting on board as soon as we reach the Starbase. Would you like to greet her on our behalf?
LAFORGE: I would love to, Captain. Thank you.

[Ten Forward]

(Geordi is brushing non-existent dust off his shoulders)
GUINAN: If you keep picking at that uniform you'll wear it out.
LAFORGE: I guess I am a little nervous. It's not every day a man comes face to face with his dream.
GUINAN: What?
LAFORGE: You remember about a year ago when we were caught in that booby trap the Menthars set? Okay. While we were trying to get out of it, I went down to the holodeck to study an engine prototype that was made when the Enterprise was first designed. And the computer, well, it gave me an image of the engine but it also created this hologram of the designer. Doctor Leah Brahms.
GUINAN: So you met a computer-simulated female.
LAFORGE: Yeah, but not an ordinary computer-simulated female. I mean, she was brilliant, of course, but warm, you know? Friendly. It' was like we worked as one. I would start a sentences, she'd finish it. What I didn't think of, she did. It was just so comfortable. Okay, I know it was just a holographic image but the computer was able to incorporate personality traits from her Starfleet record.
GUINAN: You know, Geordi, everybody falls in love with a fantasy every now and then.
LAFORGE: No, no, Guinan, see, you've got it all wrong. I'm not necessarily expecting anything romantic here. It's just I know whatever, Leah Brahms and I are going to be good friends.

[Transporter room]

CREWWOMAN: Doctor Brahms is ready to transport, sir.
LAFORGE: Okay, bring her over.
(Leah beams in)
LAFORGE: Hi. I mean, welcome aboard, Doctor Brahms. I'm Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge, Chief Engineer.
LEAH: La Forge. So you're the one who's fouled up my engine designs.
(and stalks past him straight out of the room)

[Engineering]

(Leah is getting the full tour)
LEAH: The matter-antimatter ratio has been changed. The mixture isn't as rich as regulations dictate.
LAFORGE: Experience has shown me that too high a ratio diminishes efficiency. I worked with the mixture until I got the right balance.
LEAH: The magnetic plasma transfer to the warp field generators doesn't correspond to the recommended specs.
LAFORGE: Right. Again, I adjusted the flow. Sometimes things happen a little differently here is space than they do on the drawing board.
LEAH: Is that a criticism, Commander?
LAFORGE: No, of course not. It's just a well known fact. There's theory and there's application. They don't always jibe.
LEAH: You've charted a completely new swap-out schedule for main components replacement.
LAFORGE: You bet. I found the Starfleet estimates for the MTBF units to be unrealistic. I simply determined my own schedule based on observation and experience.
LEAH: Is that going to be your only defence, Commander, that same tired rhetoric? Out here in the field we learn things you designers couldn't possibly understand.
LAFORGE: In the first place, Doctor, I'm not aware of needing any defence. And in the second place, if you're determined to be.
CREWWOMAN [OC]: Doctor Brahms, you have an incoming message on subspace.
LEAH: I'd like to hear this message privately.
LAFORGE: In my office. Be my guest.
LEAH: Thank you.

[Bridge]

DATA: Commander, I am picking up some unusual readings from the Alpha Omicron system. At this range, all I am able to discern is that it is an asymmetrical field of intense energy.
RIKER: What type of radiation signature?
DATA: Unknown, sir. The Alpha Omicron system is yet to be charted. I recommend we take this opportunity for further research.
RIKER: Well, we're way ahead of schedule. Alter course for Alpha Omicron.

[Engineering]

LAFORGE: Doctor Brahms, there's no reason for us to argue. We're on the same side here.
LEAH: I'm aware of that.
LAFORGE: So, why don't I take you on a little tour, show you the adjustments I've made, why I think they work and we can begin pulling together on this? Okay. Then why not start with the dilithium chamber. Okay?
LEAH: Okay.

[Bridge]

DATA: The anomaly is orbiting the seventh planet, sir. It is a mass of plasma energy contained within discrete boundaries by an outer covering of silicates, actinides, and carbonaceous chondrites.
PICARD: On screen. Magnify. Is it a ship?
WORF: It does not conform to any known design.
RIKER: Any records of similar phenomena in Starfleet listings?
DATA: None, sir. This has never been seen before.
PICARD: Ensign Rager, ahead one quarter impulse.
RAGER: Aye, sir.
PICARD: Put us in orbit of the seventh planet. Keep us at a relative distance of ten kilometres from the object.
RIKER: Alert science stations to standby. Tell them to coordinate all efforts with Commander Data.
WORF: Aye, sir.

[Engineering]

(gazing at the dilithium cradle)
LEAH: What happened here? Who did this?
LAFORGE: You remember, the crystal's been reoriented to adjust the direction of the lattice structure.
LEAH: Remember? Why would I remember?
LAFORGE: Right, why would you? Well, the ship was experiencing some difficulty, and we made this adjustment hoping that it would work, and it did.
LEAH: So it was your idea?
LAFORGE: Not exclusively, no.
LEAH: It's curious. this modification was due to be introduced.
LAFORGE: In the next class starship.
LEAH: Yes. How did you know?
LAFORGE: I didn't. I mean, well, it's the next logical step, right? Listen, Doctor, sometimes we have to fly by the seat of our pants out here so it stands to reason that once in a while we're going to come up with the same solutions you do. Listen. I've got a personnel review scheduled to start in about five minutes, and I know it's been a long day for you. So, why don't we get together later? Sort of plan our agenda for the next day or two?
LEAH: Agenda?
LAFORGE: What it is we want to accomplish here, how we might best go about that, maybe even get to know each other a little bit. It might make this easier.
LEAH: Maybe you're right.
LAFORGE: Okay, great. How about my quarters. Nineteen hundred hours? Maybe even have a bite to eat? I make a great fungilli.
LEAH: I love fungilli.
LAFORGE: Is that right?

[Bridge]

DATA: Sensors are having difficulty penetrating the interior. However, the radiated output suggests a coherent system of energy storage and utilisation.
RIKER: Then it was constructed by someone?
DATA: It is a possibility. However, the sensor data gathered thus far suggests a naturally occurring phenomenon with biological properties.
PICARD: A life form.
DATA: Yes, Captain.
RIKER: Mister Worf, begin compiling readings for transmission to Starfleet Headquarters. Mister Data, prepare to launch three level-five probes. Ensign, aft thrusters. Standard observation posture.
DATA: Level-five probe sequence ready for launch, Commander. On your mark.
(Troi enters)
RIKER: Stand by, Mister Data.
DATA: Aye, sir. PICARD: What would it be like, Counsellor? No ship, no bulky spacesuit. Just to live between the stars, have the entire galaxy as a home.
(green energy sweeps out from the creature to the Enterprise)
WORF: Captain, we are being probed. Recommend we raise shields.
PICARD: Negative, Mister Worf. If we are curious about it, it has a perfect right to be curious about us.
DATA: Change in readings, sir. The life form has increased its energy output by fifty percent.
WORF: It is moving toward us.
PICARD: Reverse course, Ensign, three hundred kph.
RAGER: Aye, sir.
PICARD: Easy, we don't want to alarm or provoke it.
(harsher green energy crackles against the ship)
DATA: We are caught in an energy damping field, sir.
PICARD: Raise shields.
WORF: No effect, Captain.
PICARD: Reverse power, full impulse.
RAGER: Impulse engines at full power.
DATA: No change in position.
RIKER: Red alert!
PICARD: Mister La Forge, prepare to initiate warp drive.

[Engineering]

LAFORGE: Sorry, Captain. There's too much interference to form a warp field.

[Bridge]

COMPUTER: Warning. Radiation levels at sixty five millirads per minute and rising.
RIKER: Riker to Doctor Crusher.
CRUSHER [OC]: Go ahead, Commander.
RIKER: All decks prepare for radiation protocol.
CRUSHER [OC]: Acknowledged. Crusher out.
COMPUTER: Warning. Radiation levels at three hundred millirads per minute and rising. Lethal exposure in one minute.
PICARD: Mister Worf, ready phasers. Minimum power.
WORF: Ready.
PICARD: Fire.
DATA: Radiation levels dropping back to normal, Captain. Energy patterns are breaking down, sir. The radiation signature is no longer stable.
(the once-colourful alien goes dark)
DATA: Energy output is negligible, sir. Radiation patterns no longer coherent. I believe it is dead, sir.
PICARD: We're out here to explore, to make contact with other life forms, to establish peaceful relations but not to interfere. And absolutely not to destroy. And yet look what we have just done.
TROI: Captain, everything you did was consistent with established Starfleet procedures.
PICARD: Number One, you have the Bridge.
DATA: Captain, sensors are picking up a new energy reading from the life form.
PICARD: Elaborate, Data.
DATA: There is a new concentration of ionising radiation growing in the centre of its body.
PICARD: Then, perhaps it's still alive.

[La Forge's quarters]

(Geordi is laying the table for dinner)
LAFORGE: Okay. Computer, subdued lighting. No, that's too much. I don't want it dark, I want it cozy.
COMPUTER: Please state your request in precise candlepower.
LAFORGE: See, it's not a matter of precision, computer, it's a matter of mood. Brighter than this. More. More. A little more. Hold. Right there. Perfect. Now, some music. Maybe a little soft jazz. No, that's not right. Let me think here. Oh, I got it! Some Brahms! A piano etude. Nah, that's too corny. Probably everybody thinks of that. Computer, just give me some guitar. Classical guitar. Doesn't matter who. Yes, thank you.
(Doorbell)
LAFORGE: Come on in.
(Leah enters)
LEAH: Oh, you've changed.
LAFORGE: Yeah. The uniforms are so formal.
LEAH: You're less formal than any Starfleet officer I've ever met, Commander.
LAFORGE: Am I? I really just wanted to make you feel more comfortable.
LEAH: I'm fine. Thank you.
LAFORGE: I'm sorry. Come in and have a seat. Can I get you a drink?
LEAH: No, thank you.
LAFORGE: You sure? You know, your hair, it's different.
LEAH: Different than a few hours ago?
LAFORGE: No, I mean it's different than I expected. Different from your Starfleet records.
LEAH: Oh. Yes, I used to wear it up.
LAFORGE: Yeah.
LEAH: Why would you need to see my personnel file?
LAFORGE: Standard procedure when guests come on board. Protocol. I mean, it was nothing specific, actually. Just, you know.
LEAH: Commander La Forge, if I seem to be somewhat unyielding in my views, it's because I care so very much about my work.
LAFORGE: Oh, I know.
LEAH: To be honest, people find me cold, cerebral, lacking in humour.
LAFORGE: But they're wrong, I assure you.
LEAH: Well, I try not to be that way, but when it comes to my designs, my engines, especially the ones on the Enterprise.
LAFORGE: It's like they're your children.
LEAH: Yes. Exactly.
LAFORGE: So naturally you're a little possessive about them.
LEAH: You understand that?
LAFORGE: Yes, I do. You see, I feel the same way.
LEAH: That's amazing. I don't think anyone has ever. Sometimes I feel more comfortable with engine schematics than people.
LAFORGE: Well, maybe you just haven't met the right people. You hungry? I'm hungry. Why don't I just start dinner, okay?
LEAH: Commander.
LAFORGE: Please, call me Geordi.
LEAH: I'm sorry, I hope that I didn't put you to a lot of trouble but I can't stay.
LAFORGE: You can't?
LEAH: I just don't think that it's appropriate.
LAFORGE: Oh.
LEAH: I'll meet with you at oh eight hundred tomorrow. I'm preparing a list of discrepancies that I've identified in your modifications. I hope, now that we've reached an understanding that you'll be prepared to discuss them with me in a more objective fashion.
LAFORGE: Sure. Fine.
LEAH: Thank you. Goodnight, Commander.
(Leah leaves)
LAFORGE: Goodnight.

[Bridge]

DATA: This new concentration of energy was detected only after the surrounding material became inert.
RIKER: Could this be some sort of tissue regeneration?
DATA: The radiation signature is similar to the original pattern, but with significant differences.
PICARD: Some kind of reaction to our phaser fire, perhaps.
DATA: I believe it is separate and self-contained within the body of the dead life form.
RIKER: Another entity.
DATA: Yes, sir. It appears to be a smaller, less developed version of the original creature.
PICARD: No wonder it attacked us. It was about to give birth.

[Observation lounge]

PICARD: Doctor.
CRUSHER: It's dangerous to generalise about new life forms, but based on my experience with other beings who bear their young in this manner, I'd say that the offspring is still premature. Otherwise, it would be able to break through the outer body shell of the parent.
PICARD: Will this creature be able to survive on its own without the parent?
CRUSHER: There's no way to tell. We don't have enough information about the bio-functions of the adult, much less the child.
TROI: Is there something we can do to help?
CRUSHER: If we were in Sickbay, I'd try a Caesarean section. The first priority is to free it from the body of the parent.
RIKER: We could use our phasers as a scalpel.
CRUSHER: Yes, that might work.
WORF: I advise against this, Captain. The parent proved to be a threat to the ship. We do not know how the offspring will react.
PICARD: Your objection is noted, Mister Worf, but we are directly responsible for the death of the parent. We cannot simply wash our hands of it now. Doctor, we will proceed at your discretion.

[Engineering]

LEAH: Good morning.
LAFORGE: Good morning.
LEAH: The first thing I'd like to do is inspect the power transfer conduits.
LAFORGE: You realise the only way to inspect them is to crawl inside.
LEAH: I designed them, Commander. I know what's involved.

[Jefferies tube]

(they are both on hands and knees, in brown overalls)
LAFORGE: Here we go. Power taps. Watch yourself.
LEAH: The acoustic signature doesn't sound right.
LAFORGE: You're probably the only other person in the galaxy who could pick that up.
LEAH: What's causing it?
LAFORGE: It's right up here.
LEAH: I've never seen anything like this before. What is it?
LAFORGE: It's a mid-range phase adjuster. Puts the plasma back into phase after inertial distortion.
LEAH: This has never been done before. I don't even think this has ever been conceived of before. You should write a scientific paper.
LAFORGE: Uh-uh, Doctor, no. Writing is not one of my strong suits.
LEAH: But this kind of refinement should be shared, and you deserve the credit for it.
LAFORGE: Well, maybe we could collaborate. Writing is one of your strong points.
LEAH: Commander La Forge, ever since I came on board, there seems to be something a little peculiar about your attitude. You seem to know things about me, even though we've never met.
LAFORGE: Well, to tell you the truth, I've studied you. Your writings, your Starfleet file. I've admired you. You know, your work.
LEAH: Well, I'm flattered, but.
LAFORGE: And, well, I really, I really wanted to meet you for a long time, And I'd like to think that we could become friends. Maybe good friends.
LEAH: I thought you knew. I mean, you know everything else about me, but Commander, if I'm hearing what I think I'm hearing, then you should know that I'm married.

[Bridge]

CRUSHER: Set phaser power to three percent, narrow beam.
WORF: Three percent.
CRUSHER: All right, here we go.
(the phaser cuts across the pulsating belly)
DATA: The first incision is complete.
CRUSHER: Ideally the offspring should now be able to push through the outer shell of the parent by itself.
RIKER: I think it needs a little more help.
CRUSHER: We've done all we can. I don't want to risk hitting the offspring by accident.
TROI: Come on. You can do it.
(and out slips a miniature version of the space creature)
CRUSHER: Captain, I'd like to announce the birth of a large baby something.
PICARD: Well done, Doctor. Well done.

[Ten Forward]

(playing chess with Guinan)
LAFORGE: How could it have been so far off? It was based on every piece of information on record about Leah Brahms. Okay, with an admitted margin for error. but this is an error that's a light year wide.
GUINAN: Not what you hoped for, huh?
LAFORGE: Hoped? Guinan, the woman is about as friendly as a Circassian plague cat, only cares about her work, hates what I've done to her engines, and to top it off she's married. Computer never even told me she was married.
GUINAN: Computer glitch?
LAFORGE: Must have been.
GUINAN: Maybe it was your old visor.
LAFORGE: What are you talking about?
GUINAN: The one you wore when you were on the holodeck with her.
LAFORGE: Guinan, it's the same visor.
GUINAN: Really? Oh, I figured it was probably the one that lets you see what you want to see.
LAFORGE: What's that supposed to mean?
GUINAN: You saw exactly what you wanted to see in the holodeck. Sure, the computer made it look like her, gave it personality, but when it came to the relationship. La Forge, you filled in the blanks. And you had a perfectly wonderful, marvellous little fantasy. until the real Leah showed up and ruined it. She's probably done the most horrific thing one person can do to another, not live up to your expectations. So I'd take a good, hard, long look at her, La Forge. See her for who she is, not for what you want her to be.

[Bridge]

DATA: The life form's patterns are stable, Captain. It seems able to withstand the solar radiation.
PICARD: Good. Ensign, set course for the Guernica system.
RAGER: Aye, sir.
RIKER: We're not staying?
PICARD: No, Number One. We've done all we can to help. Now it's time to move on. This creature can continue its existence without any further interference from us.
RIKER: It might be wise to put some distance between us before we initiate warp drive.
PICARD: Very well. Five hundred kph. Ensign. Engage.
WORF: Captain, it is following us. Maintaining a distance of four kilometres, directly astern.
PICARD: Seventeen degrees to port, Ensign.
RAGER: Aye, sir.
WORF: It is turning with us, sir.
RIKER: Increase to half impulse.
WORF: It is matching our velocity.
TROI: It's imprinted on us. It thinks the Enterprise is its mother.
DATA: A change in energy readings, sir. I am reading an internal buildup of gamma particles in
WORF: Its velocity is increasing. It is moving directly toward the ship.
PICARD: Evasive manoeuvres, full.
(shudder)
RIKER: Report.
WORF: Minor damage.
DATA: The creature is now in direct contact with the hull, sir.
PICARD: On screen.
(Baby is sitting at the back of the saucer section, the lights fluctuate)
PICARD: Mister Data?
DATA: Sir, the life form is draining energy directly from the fusion reactors.
TROI: It's feeding off the energy of the Enterprise as it would from its mother.
WORF: What action should we take, sir?
PICARD: None, Lieutenant. None at all.

Captain's log, supplemental. Since the newborn has attached itself to the hull, it has been making greater and greater demands on the ship's energy, but we have been able to stabilise our power systems temporarily.

[Observation lounge]

PICARD: How long before the power drain becomes critical, Mister La Forge?
LAFORGE: If it continues to increase at the current rate, six, maybe seven hours.
LEAH: We may be able to modify the engine to extend that a little longer, Captain.
PICARD: Your help would be appreciated, Doctor.
LAFORGE: By then, Junior may not need us any more.
PICARD: Mister Data, is there any way to determine what the destination of the parent might have been?
DATA: I can attempt to extrapolate from the heading it was on when we encountered it, sir.
CRUSHER: Perhaps it was its way to a safe and supportive environment for its newborn.
PICARD: We might be able to deliver it to the same destination.
RIKER: Which brings up the question of how do we get Junior off the hull once we get there.
LEAH: It's almost completely covering the door of shuttlebay two. If we open the door and deactivate the atmospheric force field.
LAFORGE: the pressure from inside the ship might push it away from the hull.
PICARD: Make it so.
DATA: Sir, is the appellation Junior to be the life form's official name?
PICARD: No, it is not.

[Corridor]

LEAH: We can save a lot of energy just by improving engine efficiency.
LAFORGE: We've run into similar problems before. That's actually why I reoriented the dilithium crystal.
LEAH: And why you added the mid-range phase adjusters?
LAFORGE: Right.
LEAH: Commander it seems that you've made a lot more modifications than I'm aware of. Do you have a file on all the work you've done?
LAFORGE: It's in the computer.
PICARD [OC]: Picard to La Forge.
LAFORGE: La Forge here.
PICARD [OC]: Commander, I need to see you on the Bridge.
LAFORGE: On my way, Captain. You go on ahead, Doctor. Ensign Palvik can show you the file on the engine modifications.

[Engineering]

LEAH: Phase coils upgraded to fifty five field densities. Plasma inducers interlinked with generator. Ensign, would there be any other files with data on the original engine specifications?
PAVLIK: (a young woman) I believe so, Doctor.
(file 9140, holographic simulation)
LEAH: This file utilises the prototype engine schematic.
PAVLIK: It's a holographic programme, set in the drafting room at Utopia Planitia.
LEAH: I'll run it on holodeck three.

[Corridor]

LEAH: Computer replay programme nine one four zero. Engine schematic at Utopia Planitia.
COMPUTER: Programme loaded and ready.

[Engineering]

LAFORGE: She went where?
PAVLIK: Holodeck three, sir. I didn't think there was anything wrong with her seeing the file.
LAFORGE: Of course not. Nothing at all.

[Holodeck - Utopia Planitia Drafting room]

(see episode 'Booby Trap' for a reminder)
HOLO LEAH: I'm with you every day, Geordi. Every time you look at this engine, you're looking at me. Every time you touch it, it's me.
(Geordi runs in, too late)
LAFORGE: Computer, freeze programme.
LEAH: Now I understand.
LAFORGE: No, you don't. It's not the way this may look.
LEAH: I called up a replay of the programme file. I was all ready to compliment you again, Commander, for constructing a programme which contained the prototype engine so that you would always have a baseline reference for your modifications. And now I find that it's all about a fantasy plaything.
LAFORGE: It's not like that, I swear.
LEAH: I'm outraged by this. I have been invaded. Violated. How dare you use me like this? How far did it go, anyway? Was it good for you?
LAFORGE: Nothing like that happened. It was a professional collaboration.
LEAH: Oh, I can tell. Every time you're touching the engine you're touching me. Real professional.
LAFORGE: Look, if you watched the whole programme, you saw what it was. We were working together to solve a problem in a crisis situation.
LEAH: How do I know how far it went? How many other programs did you create? Perhaps dozens of them, one for every day of the week, one for every mood.
LAFORGE: All right, look. Ever since you came on board, you've been badgering me and I've taken it. I've shown you courtesy, and respect, and a hell of a lot of patience. Oh, no, no, no, wait a minute. I've tried to understand you. I've tried to get along with you. And in return, you've accused, tried and convicted me without bothering to hear my side of it. So, I'm guilty, okay? But not of what you think. Of something much worse. I'm guilty of reaching out to you, of hoping we could connect. I'm guilty of a terrible crime, Doctor. I offered you friendship.

[Bridge]

WORF: Captain, its total volume has increased by eight point five percent in the last three hours. I now read it at forty six million cubic metres.
DATA: Captain, I have completed the analysis of the parent's course through this system.
RIKER: It was headed for an asteroid belt.
PICARD: Ensign Rager, set course two five nine mark three one eight, half impulse.
RAGER: Aye, sir.
PICARD: Hold a position five hundred kilometres from the periphery of the asteroid field.
RAGER: Aye, sir.
WORF: Difficulty getting a clear sensor reading beyond four thousand kilometres.
DATA: The asteroids contain large quantities of meklonite, which is interfering with our scanners. I am also detecting traces of kephneum, a compound found in the outer shell of the parent being. It is likely the asteroids provide sustenance for this lifeform, sir.
RIKER: We could leave the child here. If Data's right, it would have an ample supply of food.
PICARD: Agreed. Mister La Forge, are you ready to separate our guest from the hull?
LAFORGE [OC]: Ready, Captain.
PICARD: Proceed.

[Shuttlebay control booth]

(looking down on the empty bay)
LAFORGE: I am deactivating the atmospheric force field now.
(the decompression ripples the alien body)

[Bridge]

PICARD: Engineering, report.
PAVLIK [OC]: Power drain just jumped to ninety three percent, sir.
DATA: Captain, the offspring is emitting high frequency radio transmissions.
RIKER: Is it trying to communicate?
PAVLIK [OC]: The power drain is increasing, Approaching auto-shutdown.
RIKER: Take the engines offline. Supplement with auxiliary power only. All decks go to emergency level seven. Life support and critical operations only.
PICARD: Mister La Forge, what is your status?
LAFORGE [OC]: Sorry, Captain.

[Shuttlebay control booth]

LAFORGE: The bay's been completely depressurised, but it's still hanging on.

[Bridge]

DATA: I am detecting other radio transmissions, Captain.
WORF: Sensors detect movement within the asteroid field. Bearing two five seven mark one six one.
PICARD: On screen. Magnify.
(three adult aliens are on their way)
DATA: At their current speed, sir, the entities will intercept us in ten minutes, thirty one seconds.
RIKER: Weapons status?
WORF: Auxiliary power only. Two seconds phaser fire available.

[Engineering]

LAFORGE: Ensign, power readings.
PAVLIK: We're on auxiliary generators. life support is functioning, that's about all.
LAFORGE: Keep your eye on that generator console. We've got less than six minutes to get that baby off our back before his relatives get here. Whatever we try, Junior responds by sucking up more energy.
(Leah enters)
LEAH: Commander, I have a thought. If you're interested.
LAFORGE: Of course. What is it?
LEAH: If the baby is nursing, perhaps what we need is to find a way to sour the milk. If we could contaminate the energy he's feeding on, we could try to
LAFORGE: make it unpalatable somehow. But the emergency generators are all we've got.
LEAH: And how do we modify them without losing life support?
LAFORGE: Exactly. Unless.
LEAH: What?
LAFORGE: Well. this is a space baby, right? I mean, these creatures are born, live, and die in interstellar space.
LEAH: Apparently.
LAFORGE: Okay. All matter in space vibrates in a specific radiation band.
LEAH: Twenty one centimetres. That's good, Commander, that's very good. If we could alter the power frequency so that it's completely foreign to the life form's natural vibrations
LAFORGE: It might just give us enough to pour a little vinegar in baby's milk.
LEAH: We have to be careful, though. If we upset it this time, we might lose auxiliary power too.
LAFORGE: If we're gradual enough it won't be such a shock. Hopefully it'll just lose interest. La Forge to Bridge.
PICARD [OC]: Go ahead.
LAFORGE: Captain, Doctor Brahms and I have a plan.

[Bridge]

WORF: Two minutes until the creatures intercept, Captain.
LAFORGE [OC]: Captain, we're ready down here.
PICARD: Proceed.

[Engineering]

LAFORGE: Lowering wavelength in the energy system now.
LEAH: Reading eighteen, fifteen thirteen, eleven, eight, five, three. Now at the two centimetre level.
LAFORGE: Any reaction, Bridge?

[Bridge]

DATA: Negative. I detect no reduction in the life form's rate of energy consumption.
WORF: One minute thirty seconds to intercept.

[Engineering]

LAFORGE: Okay not sour enough. Leah, take it down further.
LEAH: Reading one, point eight, point four

[Bridge]

LEAH [OC]: Point two.
(shudder)

[Engineering]

LAFORGE: I guess it noticed what we're doing.

[Bridge]

DATA: The lifeform is emitting its high frequency transmission. Energy consumption is rising, sir.
WORF: Captain, the creatures are accelerating their approach. They are changing colour.
PICARD [OC]: Mister La Forge.
LAFORGE [OC]: Captain.

[Engineering]

LAFORGE: Just a little more time. Leah, nudge it down even further, toward point oh two.

[Bridge]

WORF: Thirty seconds to intercept.
LEAH [OC]: Point oh eight.

[Engineering]

LEAH: Oh five, oh three.

[Bridge]

LEAH [OC]: Now at point oh two centimetres.
DATA: Auxiliary generators losing power, Captain.
(then everything goes quiet)
DATA: The entity has disengaged, sir. Power levels are returning to normal, Captain.
(on the viewscreen, Junior joins the three adults who drop their aggressive green colour and return to friendly brown)
RIKER: Bring the engines online and take us out of here.
RAGER: Aye, sir.
PICARD: Mister La Forge, Doctor Brahms, congratulations. You've weaned the baby.

[Engineering]

LAFORGE: Good work.
LEAH: You, too.

[Ten Forward]

LAFORGE: Yeah, I admit it. I did get a little attached to that lady in the holodeck.
LEAH: The computer never told you that I was married?
LAFORGE: I never asked. And the computer is notorious for not volunteering information.
LEAH: You know, I really owe you an apology.
LAFORGE: No, you don't. I should have told you straight out.
LEAH: Well if you had, then I never would've got a chance to see the look on your face when you walked in on me and me in the holodeck.
LAFORGE: The look on my face? How about the look on your face? I will remember that for a long, long time.
LEAH: I wouldn't change a thing. Except for the way I behaved. I guess I came here with my own set of preconceptions about you.
LAFORGE: Well, I guess I'm just glad that I got the opportunity to get to know you. The real you.
LEAH: Me, too.
WORF [OC]: Worf to La Forge. There is an incoming message on subspace for Doctor Brahms.
LAFORGE: Acknowledged, Worf. La Forge out.
LEAH: My husband.

<Back to the episode listing

Star Trek and related marks are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. Copyright 1966, Present. The Star Trek web pages on this site are for educational and entertainment purposes only. All other copyrights property of their respective holders.