The Game
Stardate: 45208.2
Original Airdate: 28 Oct, 1991

[Riker's holiday apartment]

(a tropical evening on Risa, and Will's not alone)
RIKER: Etana? I know you're back there. Don't make me come after you.
(she has his communicator pin)
RIKER: Give me that.
ETANA: You don't need that.
RIKER: Yes, I do.
(they play chase around the room)
RIKER: I need that communicator.
ETANA: Commander Riker to the Enterprise. I've a terrible problem down here on Risa.
RIKER: Give me that.
(She throws it out of the window)
ETANA: Go get it.
RIKER: I don't believe you did that.
ETANA: Believe it.
(they end up on the couch and she produces a device like a headset, but instead of ear pieces it has arms that jut out in front of the eyes)
RIKER: What is this?
ETANA: It's a game. Everyone here's playing it. It's fun.
RIKER: Do I keep my eyes open, or closed?
ETANA: Open.
(lasers shine into his eyes)
RIKER: What am I seeing?
ETANA: The playing field.
(a blue horn and a red disc)
RIKER: Now what?
ETANA: See the disc and the cone?
RIKER: Yeah.
ETANA: Concentrate. Make the disc go into the cone.
RIKER: How do I do that?
ETANA: Just let go. Relax. You'll do it.
(the first one misses, the second is a success, and he gasps with pleasure)
RIKER: What was that?
ETANA: Your reward for clearing the first level.
RIKER: How far does this game go?
ETANA: As far as you can take it. Would you like to go for level two?
(two horns and two discs and more pleasure without effort)

Captain's log, stardate 45208.2. Commander Riker has rejoined the Enterprise from Risa, and we are on our way to an uncharted area called the Phoenix Cluster. We're all anticipating this historic first look at the region.

[Bridge]

RIKER: It's starting to get busy around here. Five new science teams just beamed in from the Zhukov. Quarters are filling up fast.
PICARD: On top of everything, there's been a change. We've been given only two weeks to complete the exploration.
RIKER: Two weeks? That's not enough time to explore a region that size. I thought we had five weeks.
DATA: Commander, Starfleet has added a diplomatic mission to Oceanus Four.
PICARD: Will, I'm leaving it up to you to make sure that all science departments have an equal chance of completing their research.
RIKER: That'll be quite a juggling act.
PICARD: Oh, and one piece of good news.. We're to rendezvous with a shuttlecraft carrying Wesley Crusher. He's on vacation from the Academy.
RIKER: Wesley? Good. We'll need an extra hand around here.

[Engineering]

RIKER: Geordi, how are you coming with the survey preparations?
LAFORGE: I'm up to my neck in observation schedules right now. Our biggest hurdle is sensor availability.
RIKER: Especially since two new exobiologists and three stellar cartographers have joined us from the Zhukov.
LAFORGE: Fifteen science teams, only two weeks, and one long-range array don't make for a great combination.
RIKER: What about the lateral sensors?
LAFORGE: They're booked solid for planetary observation.
RIKER: And the gamma ray scanner?
LAFORGE: We're reprogramming them now. Lefler, a moment of your time, please?
(a young brown-haired woman joins them)
LAFORGE: You know Robin Lefler.
RIKER: Of course.
LAFORGE: Her work around here's been so sensational, I've decided to make her a mission specialist.
RIKER: Congratulations.
ROBIN: Thank you, sir.
RIKER: Okay, specialist, what's our sensor status?
ROBIN: We're increasing the available bandwidth so more science teams can use the sensors at once. We figured out a way to do it by multiplexing the array.
RIKER: Can we have that done before we arrive?
ROBIN: Yes, sir. You can count on it.
RIKER: Keep it up, Lefler.
(Lefler leaves them)
RIKER: Geordi, I brought something back from Risa that you have got to try it.
LAFORGE: I'd love to, but I'm running a full sensor recalibration in ten minutes. Can it wait?
RIKER: Of course. I'll catch up with you later.

[Ten Forward]

(Deanna removes the pointless cherry from the top of her dessert)
RIKER: Chocolate ice cream, chocolate fudge and chocolate chips. You're not depressed, are you?
TROI: I'm fine, Commander.
RIKER: Would you like me to leave you two alone?
TROI: No, you can join us.
(she offers him a spoon)
RIKER: No, thanks. I don't like fudge.
TROI: Really? I never met a chocolate I didn't like.
RIKER: Doesn't it taste good?
TROI: Of course it does, but it's not just a matter of taste. It's the whole experience. First of all, you have to spoon the fudge around the rim, leaving only ice cream in the middle. Then, you gently spoon the ice cream around the sides, like you're sculpting it. Relish every bite. Make every one an event. And then, with the last spoonful, close your eyes.
RIKER: I had no idea it was such a ritual.
TROI: Chocolate is a serious thing.
RIKER: I brought something back from Risa. Better than chocolate.
TROI: Oh? What is it?
RIKER: Just a game.

[Transporter room]

WESLEY: Chief O'Brien.
O'BRIEN: Welcome back, Wesley.
WESLEY: Congratulations on little Molly.
O'BRIEN: Thanks you. Wait till you see her. She's the spitting image of her dad.
WESLEY: So, where is everybody? Is my mom around?
O'BRIEN: The senior staff is in a meeting. You're supposed to go to your mother's quarters.
WESLEY: Oh. Do you think it'd be all right if I dropped in just to say hi?
O'BRIEN: I'll check. Chief O'Brien to Bridge.
WORF [OC]: Bridge here.
O'BRIEN: Wesley Crusher has arrived and wants to know if he can stop by the Observation lounge to say hi.
WORF [OC]: I suppose that is acceptable.
WESLEY: Thanks.

[Observation lounge]

(the lounge is in darkness when he enters, then)
ALL: Surprise!
WESLEY: Mom!
CRUSHER: Welcome home.
WESLEY: Hi, Mom.
PICARD: Wesley.
WESLEY: Captain.
PICARD: Quomodo tua Latinitas est?
WESLEY: Praestat quam prius.
PICARD: Oppido bonum. Your Latin has improved.
TROI: You're looking very handsome.
CRUSHER: You really do that cadet uniform justice, Wesley.
LAFORGE: I bet you're driving all the girls wild.
WORF: Wesley. Tarvokian pound cake. I made it myself.
WESLEY: Thanks, Worf.
DATA: Wesley, was our attempt to make you uncomfortable effective?
WESLEY: You bet it was. For a second there, I thought I was on the wrong ship.
DATA: Did you find our deception pleasing?
WESLEY: Yeah. It's fun to be surprised.
RIKER: Are you here to work or to play, Mister Crusher?
WESLEY: Sir.
RIKER: I know you're on vacation. Probably like to sleep and spend some time on the holodeck. But if you're so inclined, we could use your help with the Phoenix Cluster survey.
WESLEY: Sounds great, sir.
LAFORGE: Excellent. As soon as you get settled, come down to Engineering and we'll get you started.
CRUSHER: So what kind of game is this?
TROI: Come by my quarters and I'll show it to you.

[Corridor]

DATA: Have you found the Academy challenging, Wesley?
WESLEY: Yeah. I thought after being on the Enterprise, it would be a breeze, but there's a lot more to learn than just starship operations. What was your first year like?
DATA: Although I did extremely well scholastically, my lack of human understanding often created social obstacles.
WESLEY: Like what?
DATA: I particularly remember the phenomenon of practical jokes, several of which I fell victim to.
WESLEY: Tell me about it. My first week that I was there, this guy named Adam Martoni reprogrammed the sonic shower to cover me with mud. It took me a while, but I got him back really good.
DATA: Good for you.
WESLEY: Thanks.
DATA: I also found social gatherings difficult. There was one event, an Academy tradition, the Sadie Hawkins Dance?
WESLEY: They still hold it, every year.
DATA: A notably awkward experience.
WESLEY: I know what you mean. I can't even dance.
DATA: Really? Your mother is quite an expert. She recently taught me.
WESLEY: The Dancing Doctor? She tried to teach me too, but I just don't have the knack.
DATA: I would be happy to teach you dancing. I have programmed a comprehensive seventeen part course with some interesting holographic partners.
WESLEY: I'll let you know.

[Engineering]

WESLEY: I'll modify the planetary scanners.
LAFORGE: Just make sure we keep enough data lines open for stellar physics.
WESLEY: No problem. I'll compress the signal flow.
LAFORGE: All right.
(Geordi leaves him to it)
WESLEY: Why aren't these registering?
ROBIN: You might try calibrating them manually.
WESLEY: Excuse me?
ROBIN: The detectors. They tend to get temperamental. You can try calibrating them by hand.
WESLEY: You're kidding. The computer has to do this.
ROBIN: No. Look. The subroutine lets you do it from the panel. Law Seventeen. When all else fails, do it yourself.
WESLEY: It's working. Thanks.
ROBIN: Sure.
WESLEY: By the way, I'm Wesley. Wesley Crusher.
ROBIN: I know. Just came back from the Academy.
WESLEY: That's right.
ROBIN: Robin Lefler.
WESLEY: Hi.
ROBIN: Hi.
ROBIN: Your neutrinos are drifting.
(he finally lets go of her hand)
WESLEY: They're what?

[Bridge]

DATA: Geordi, a conflict has started between the planetary evolution team and the stellar physicists. Each wishes to be the first to use the thermal imaging array.
LAFORGE: Well, tell them to flip a coin. We've got to work together on this mission, otherwise we're never going to get it done.
DATA: A coin. Very good. I will replicate one immediately.
CRUSHER [OC]: Doctor Crusher to Data.
DATA: Data here.
CRUSHER [OC]: Do you have a minute to join me in Sickbay? I need your help with something.
DATA: Yes, Doctor. On my way.

[Sickbay]

DATA: You wanted to see me, Doctor?
CRUSHER: Yes, Data. I need to ask you to do something for me. I'm working on a new experiment with bioactive silicon. Would you reprogram this tricorder to these specifications?
DATA: Certainly.
CRUSHER: I'm sorry to bother you with it, but I need it done quickly.
DATA: It does not bother me. In fact, I am happy to
(Crusher switches Data off, then Troi and Riker enter. Will puts Data on a biobed)
RIKER: Computer, secure Sickbay.
COMPUTER: All entries to Sickbay are secured.
(Crusher opens a panel at the back of Data's head and starts working)

[Ready room]

(a chat over afternoon tea served in the silver tea service)
WESLEY: Let's see. I have Novakovich for anthropology and Horne for creative writing.
PICARD: Walter Horne? Is he still teaching?
WESLEY: Yeah, he is. And he's good too. And you'll be pleased to know I took your advice. The first week that I was there, I went and met Boothby.
PICARD: How is old Boothby? I hope he didn't tell you a lot of stories about me.
WESLEY: He didn't remember you, sir. At first. I found an old yearbook photo and he remembered you right away. He said he's very proud of you that you're Captain of the Enterprise.
PICARD: Is he still tending grounds, or have the years finally caught up with him?
WESLEY: Not that I can tell. He took me on a grand tour of the place. He showed me every single blade of grass, practically.
PICARD: I had the very same tour.
WESLEY: Sir, what do the initials A F stand for?
PICARD: AF?
WESLEY: Boothby said he caught you carving those initials into his prized elm tree.
PICARD: AF. Just an acquaintance of mine. (goes misty) Wesley, if you meet someone whose initials you might want to carve into that elm tree, don't let it interfere with your studies. I failed organic chemistry because of AF.
CRUSHER [OC]: Crusher to Captain Picard.
PICARD: Go ahead, Doctor.
CRUSHER [OC]: I need you in Sickbay immediately.
PICARD: On my way.

[Sickbay]

CRUSHER: He came in complaining of a servo malfunction but my scans came out negative. Then he just collapsed.
PICARD: What have you found?
CRUSHER: His biosystems and positronic functions seem to check out, and his power cells are active.
LAFORGE: From what I can tell, his higher functions are intact, but the signals aren't getting from his brain to the rest of his body. It's like he's in a coma.
RIKER: Data performs self diagnostic routines on a regular basis. We should take a look at his logs. They may reveal something.
LAFORGE: I recommend going through his quarters, as well. You never know what we might find.
PICARD: Agreed. Continue the analysis. Keep me informed.

[Data's quarters]

RIKER: Standard security sweep shows nothing out of the ordinary.
LAFORGE: Personal logs, diagnostics, duty logs, they all appear normal. There's no evidence of anything that could lead to Data's shutdown.
RIKER: Maybe we should ask his cat.
LAFORGE: I guess I'd better get back to Sickbay, see if there's any change in his condition.
RIKER: Doctor Crusher's got everything under control, Geordi. If there's any change, you'll be the first to know.
LAFORGE: I guess so.
RIKER: Looks to me like you need a break. Unwind a little.
LAFORGE: Yeah, maybe you're right.
RIKER: I've got just the thing. Why don't you join me in Ten Forward? There's something I'd like you to try.

[Engineering]

WESLEY: Conduits twelve and twenty two are still down for testing.
ROBIN: We can re-route through junction fourteen B.
WESLEY: You have a funny way of looking at conduit configuration. But it works.
ROBIN: That's Law Thirty Six. You've got to go with what works.
WESLEY: What are all these laws that I keep hearing about?
ROBIN: They're my personal laws. Every time I learn something essential, I make up a law about it so I never forget.
WESLEY: How many do you have?
ROBIN: A hundred and two so far.
(they sit at a console)
ROBIN: Looks like the starboard array needs another subprocessor.
WESLEY: It'll be online in a few minutes. I'm way ahead of you.
ROBIN: They said you were good.
WESLEY: Why do I get the feeling that you already know me?
ROBIN: I have a few friends at the Academy. Your name's come up a couple of times. That was really some stung you pulled on Adam Martoni in the physics lab. I just want to know how you got the antimatter regulator to spray chili sauce.
WESLEY: There is another side to that story.
ROBIN: Is it true what they say about your birthmark?
WESLEY: This isn't fair. I hardly know anything about you.
ROBIN: Hey, that's Law Forty six. Life isn't
WESLEY: Always fair. Yeah, I know that law. I still have to work on the sensor relays, but I'd like a chance to even the score. Ten Forward, nineteen hundred hours. Will you join me for coffee?
ROBIN: No. But I'll meet you for dinner.

Captain's log, supplemental. We have arrived at the Phoenix Cluster, but it will take us several hours to determine the best possible location from which to conduct our survey. Commander Data's condition remains unchanged with no further indication as to the cause of his collapse.

[Crusher's quarters]

(Beverly's playing the game at high level, and getting a lot of pleasure from it)
WESLEY: Mom?
CRUSHER: Wesley.
WESLEY: What are you doing?
CRUSHER: I'm embarrassed to say. This was meant for you. But it was so much fun, I couldn't resist.
WESLEY: What is it?
CRUSHER: It's a game. Riker brought it back from Risa. Everybody's playing it. Want to try?
WESLEY: Maybe later. How's Data?
CRUSHER: Geordi's still working on him. He's going to be fine.
WESLEY: I think I should go give him a hand.
CRUSHER: No. Wesley, you are on vacation. You have done enough already.
WESLEY: Yeah, maybe you're right. Computer, increase light level.
CRUSHER: Are you in a hurry?
WESLEY: Yeah, I'm late for a dinner date.
CRUSHER: Really. With who?
WESLEY: Robin Lefler from Engineering.
CRUSHER: Why don't you invite her here? We can all play the game together. I can replicate a couple more.
WESLEY: Mom.
CRUSHER: Sorry. It's just that I want to spend some time together while you're here.
WESLEY: We'll have time together. I promise.
CRUSHER: Okay.
WESLEY: Okay.
CRUSHER: Just one game. Come on, try it on for size.
WESLEY: Mom! I really need to get ready.
CRUSHER: Have a good time.
WESLEY: Thanks. I will.

[Ten Forward]

ROBIN: When your parents are the only plasma specialists in the sector, you do a lot of travelling around. We went from base to base to base. I felt like a piece of luggage after a while. I spent all of my time around technical gear. My first friend was a tricorder.
WESLEY: Really? My very first friend was a warp coil.
ROBIN: My parents work came first. They didn't really have time for me, even when I needed them. So that's how I learned my first law. Law One. You can only count on yourself.
WESLEY: Sounds kind of lonely. Well, now you're here.
ROBIN: Now I'm here.
WESLEY: Well, I'm glad.
ROBIN: You wouldn't believe what's going on in Engineering. Commander La Forge and all the others, they're crazy about some new game.
WESLEY: Yeah, what kind of game is it?
ROBIN: It's some Risian gadget that fits over your ear.
WESLEY: Have you played it?
ROBIN: Not yet.
WESLEY: My mom has one. She keeps trying to get me to play it.
ROBIN: It's everywhere.
(a crewwoman on a seat by the window is totally lost in the game)
ROBIN: See what I mean?
WESLEY: Don't you think that's a little strange? Everybody playing it all the time.
ROBIN: It's just a fad. It's here this week. Next week we won't even know it existed.
WESLEY: I wonder how it works?
ROBIN: Why don't you try it and find out?
WESLEY: I'd like to know a little bit more about it before I try it.
ROBIN: I bet if we worked together we could figure it out.
WESLEY: Yeah, we could hook it up to one of the computers. The medical programs in the lab can be set up to emulate human responses.
ROBIN: I noticed it uses a visual interface. We could connect it through an optical sensor.

[Laboratory]

WESLEY: I've loaded the neurological behaviour programme. This sensor pad should allow the computer to process whatever information the game sends at it.
ROBIN: Let's see what happens.
WESLEY: Okay.
ROBIN: It's activating the reticular formation.
WESLEY: There's heavy synaptic activity all over the place.
ROBIN: I wonder what happens after prolonged exposure?
WESLEY: Speed up the processor and we'll find out.
ROBIN: The effect seems centred around the frontal lobe.
WESLEY: Computer, enhance frontal lobe, full spectrum.
ROBIN: It's stimulating the septal area.
WESLEY: That's the pleasure centre of the brain. Whatever this thing does, it must feel pretty good.
ROBIN: No wonder it's so popular.
WESLEY: Look at this. Serotonin levels are way off. Let's run a neurochemical analysis.
ROBIN: I'm seeing widespread bonding to neuro-receptors.
WESLEY: Correct me if I'm wrong, but this looks like a psychotropic reaction.
ROBIN: Are you saying you think the game's addictive?
WESLEY: What's going on in the prefrontal cortex?
ROBIN: Doesn't that area control higher reasoning?
WESLEY: Yeah, it sure does. I'd better go talk to the Captain.

[Ready room]

PICARD: Come.
WESLEY: Sorry to bother you, sir.
PICARD: It's no bother, Wesley. Please, sit down.
WESLEY: Thanks.
PICARD: How are the survey preparations coming along?
WESLEY: They're coming along fine, but that's not what I'm here to talk to you about.
PICARD: What then?
WESLEY: There's a game going around. It's something that Commander Riker brought back from Risa. It's a device that hooks around the ears.
PICARD: Yes, I've seen it.
WESLEY: I did some preliminary tests on the game, and what I found leads me to believe that it may have some harmful side-effects. Specifically, sir, I think it's psychotropically addictive.
PICARD: Addictive? What have you discovered?
WESLEY: The game initiates a serotonin cascade in the frontal lobe of the brain. Now I know that's nothing conclusive, but it could explain why everyone is so attracted to it. And at the same time, it stimulates the brain's reasoning centre. I don't know what that's all about.
PICARD: I'll start an investigation immediately. Thank you, Mister Crusher.
WESLEY: Thank you, sir.
PICARD: Wesley? It's good to have you back again.
(Wesley leaves, and Picard picks up his headset for a game or three)

[Ten Forward]

O'BRIEN: Have you tried this?
ROBIN: I've tried it, thanks. It's great.
WESLEY: Robin.
ROBIN: Where have you been? Everyone's after me to try it.
WESLEY: I know. I got stopped in the corridor twice. I talked to the Captain. He's going to look into it.
ROBIN: I hope he makes a shipwide announcement or something, because this thing is really starting to give me the creeps.
WOMAN: Did you forget your games?
ROBIN: We left them in our quarters.
WOMAN: Well then, use mine.
ROBIN: No, thanks.
WOMAN: Try it.
WESLEY: She said no thanks.
(they get up and walk away)
WESLEY: You know what else is really weird? If this game is so addictive, there's only one person onboard we can be sure wouldn't be affected by it.
ROBIN: Data.
WESLEY: Right. And he managed to get injured right when the game was brought on board. We'd better take a look at him.

[Sickbay]

WESLEY: Maybe you should go check again.
ROBIN: The nurse is still playing the game.
WESLEY: I don't know what to make of this. There's brain activity all his systems seem to be working.
ROBIN: How can that be? He's unconscious.
WESLEY: Maybe there's a signal breach between his brain and his body. Let's map his nervous system and see if we can isolate a weak link. Patch the neural output through to that station. Here. The signal stops just below his cortex processor. There's some kind of damage. It's almost undetectable. Let's look at it on the viewer.
ROBIN: Wesley, look at that.
WESLEY: It looks like some of his positronic links have been severed.
ROBIN: The cuts are precise. Look how clean the edges are. Computer, increase magnification, factor four.
WESLEY: Only two people on board know enough about Data to do something like this. Commander La Forge and my mother.
ROBIN: Why would one of them do this to him?
WESLEY: Maybe there's more going on here than we thought. What if someone's trying to use the game for some purpose other than pleasure?
ROBIN: Then Data would be a threat to that plan. And only with Data out of the way would everybody become addicted.
WESLEY: And everyone has. Except us.

[Bridge]

WORF: We've reached the designated coordinates, Captain. There is a ship bearing three two seven mark one five two on an intercept course.
PICARD: Advise them of our status, Mister Worf. Go. Replicate what you need, and see that the devices are properly distributed. Not forgetting Mister Crusher.

[Crusher's quarters]

(Worf and Beverly enter)
CRUSHER: Wesley? Wesley?
WESLEY [OC]: In here, Mom.
(she looks round the door into his bedroom to see Wesley and Robin, on the bed, playing the game. So Worf and Beverly leave)
ROBIN: It worked.
WESLEY: We should keep these mock-ups with us. We can't trust anyone anymore. Not even the Captain.
ROBIN: I'm supposed to be on duty in Engineering. I've got to get back before Commander La Forge suspects something.
WESLEY: Okay. When you get there, start accessing the codes for the security tracking system. There's something I want to try.
ROBIN: Wesley, don't forget Law Ninety One. Always watch your back.
WESLEY: You too.

[Bridge]

WORF: The vessel is approaching, Captain.
PICARD: Computer, all senior officers report to the Bridge. On screen.
ETANA [on viewscreen]: Report.
PICARD: Welcome, Etana. The Enterprise has been secured. We await your further instructions.
ETANA [on viewscreen]: The expansion will proceed as follows. Commander Riker, you will pilot a shuttlecraft to the Cleon system, where you will rendezvous with the starship Endeavour. Proceed with distributing the device to that vessel. Commander La Forge, Counsellor Troi, take a shuttle to Starbase sixty seven. Distribute the device to all starships currently docked there.
PICARD: We also have an opportunity to introduce the game to Starfleet Academy.
ETANA [on viewscreen]: Excellent. See to it. The Ktarians commend your efforts, Picard. Once the expansion is complete, you and your crew will be rewarded.

[Turbolift]

(Alyssa is in the lift, playing the game)
WESLEY: Deck thirty six.
ALYSSA: Wesley, at what level are you?
WESLEY: I'm only level ten.
ALYSSA: I'm at level forty seven.
WESLEY: That's great.
ALYSSA: You know what the secret is, don't you? Don't force it. If you just let the game happen, it almost plays itself.
WESLEY: I'll try that.

[Engineering]

WESLEY: I think we're going to be okay. I've just got one more thing to do. Help me compile the forcefield overrides.
ROBIN: What are you doing?
WESLEY: I created a site to site transporter programme. If things get difficult, this'll keep us one step ahead of them. Were able to access the security tracking codes? Robin?
ROBIN: It's your turn, Wesley. Play the game.
(Riker and Worf approach, Wesley runs)
RIKER: Get back here!

[Corridor]

RIKER: Computer, activate security containment field. Deck thirty six, section fifty two.
(Wesley runs up against the forcefield)
WESLEY: Computer transport programme Crusher One.

[Transporter room]

(Wesley takes off his comm. badge and dashes out)

[Bridge]

RIKER [OC]: Riker to Bridge. We lost Crusher. It appears he rigged a site-to-site transport.
PICARD: Security alert, condition three. Computer, shut down all transporter systems and shuttlebays. Mister La Forge?
LAFORGE: I can't track him, sir. He's done something to the internal security sensors. I'll try bypassing his subcommands. Hold on. I'm picking up a piece of his trail, sir. Sensors show power activation in transporter room three. That would put him somewhere on deck six.
PICARD: Seal off deck six. Activate security fields sections twenty three through twenty nine.
LAFORGE: Aye, sir.

[Corridor]

(Wesley stops at a junction, and sets a hand phaser to send pulses of energy at the forcefield generator before ducking down a side corridor)

[Bridge]

LAFORGE: We've got him, Captain. Section twenty five. It looks like he's trying to cut through the forcefield with a phaser.
PICARD: Security to deck six, section twenty five.
SECURITY [OC]: On our way.

[Corridor]

(Wesley hides as security come out of the turbolift)
SECURITY: You check left.
(the security man turns off the phaser)

[Engineering]

RIKER: Where the hell is he?
WORF: I am attempting to isolate him with thermal sensors.
RIKER: Narrow the scan field. Go deck by deck if you have to.
WORF: Unfortunately, he knows our procedures. He will avoid corridors and public areas. Commander, an unidentified heat source. Deck seven, section twenty three. There.

[Jefferies tube]

(Wesley crawls along, only to meet Worf coming the other way. He turns and dashes back again but gets trapped between Worf and Riker at an intersection)
WESLEY: No! Let go of me!

[Bridge]

(Wesley is hauled onto the Bridge)
CRUSHER: It's okay, Wesley.
PICARD: You led us quite a chase, Mister Crusher. Doctor Crusher.
WESLEY: No!
PICARD: Hold him steady.
CRUSHER: It's okay, Wesley. It won't hurt.
WESLEY: (as they put the game on him) No!
CRUSHER: You'll like it.
PICARD: His eyes.
(Worf and Riker pull his eyelids open, and the game plays itself)
CRUSHER: That's right, Wesley. just let it go. Yes, just let yourself go. Relax.
(the Bridge lights dim and Data enters. He shines a strobing flashlight into everyone's faces and they 'wake up')
DATA: Computer, resume normal illumination.
(Wesley rips the game off)
DATA: Mister Worf, you will find a small alien ship off the starboard bow. Please secure it with a tractor beam and raise our shields.
WORF: Engaging tractor beam.
DATA: Are you all right, Captain?
PICARD: I think so, Mister Data.
WORF: Captain, we are being hailed by the alien vessel.
PICARD: On screen.
ETANA [on viewscreen]: Explain yourself, Picard.
PICARD: The explanation is simple. Your attempt to capture our ship has failed.
ETANA [on viewscreen]: Release us immediately, or we will open fire.
RIKER: Tactical analysis, Mister Worf?
WORF: Their weapons systems are substantially inferior to ours. They are not a threat.
RIKER: Get her off the screen.
LAFORGE: I can't believe what we were about to do.
RIKER: Data, we deactivated you.
WESLEY: I managed to reconnect his positronic matrix.
DATA: Wesley's subsequent diversions gave me adequate time to modify the palm beacon. The optical burst patterns we programmed were successful in counteracting the addictive effects of the game.
PICARD: And the rest of the crew?
DATA: We programmed the main computer to transmit the same optical burst to all display screens, work stations and terminals throughout the ship.
RIKER: That should reach almost everyone. Take a medical team to treat the rest.
DATA: Aye, sir.
PICARD: We'll take the alien ship to the nearest Federation starbase. Ensign, lay in a course.

Captain's log, stardate 45212.1. We have delivered the Ktarian vessel to Starbase eighty two and are now on a course to rendezvous with the Starship Merrimack, which will transport Wesley Crusher back to Starfleet Academy.

[Wesley's room]

ROBIN: I never saw you wear these. Afraid someone might see your birthmark?
WESLEY: Now, I wonder who started that birthmark rumour?
(they kiss)
ROBIN: I wish you didn't have to go.
WESLEY: Me too.
ROBIN: You'll write, won't you?
WESLEY: Somebody has to kill all those rumours you keep hearing about me.
RIKER [OC]: Mister Crusher, we've rendezvoused with the Merrimack. Please report to transporter room two.
WESLEY: On my way, sir. I've got to go.
ROBIN: Here. A gift, so you'll remember. Robin's Laws. All one hundred and two of them.
WESLEY: Thanks. Law one hundred and three?
ROBIN: Yes?
WESLEY: A couple of light years can't keep good friends apart. Bye.

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