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Rating: * 1/2
Edited Length: 45:25
U.S. Airdate: November 15, 1987
Nielsen Rating/Rank: [12.1/3]
John Durbin: [Ssestar]
Co-Producer: Robert Lewin
Co-Producer: Herbert Wright
Producer: Maurice Hurley
Supervising Producer: Rick Berman
Supervising Producer: Robert H. Justman
Teleplay By: D. C. Fontana
Story By: Michael Halperin
Directed By: Cliff Bole
Executive Producer: Gene Roddenberry
Associate Producer: Peter Lauritson
Colm Meaney: First Security Guard
Kavi Raz: [Lt. j.g.] Singh
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The Enterprise is on a mission to transport emissaries of two warring races, the Anticans and the Celle, to Parliament for negotiations. En route, they pass through a strange cloud traveling at warp-speed, consisting entirely of energy. As they pass close to make a sensor pass, a freak bolt of energy strikes Worf in sensor maintenance, knocking him out.
The energy continues on, traveling from Worf to Beverly while she's examining him. After the transfer, Worf doesn't remember anything since the bolt hit, and Bev is in something of a daze. She asks Wesley some questions about navigation, then heads to the bridge. While there, the bolt travels into the ship's computer, leaving Bev just as confused as Worf was. Then, warp power suddenly goes down, along with several other systems.
The engineers manage to fix the problem for a short time, but then warp goes down a second time, taking the subspace radio with it, so that the crew can't even tell Parliament that there will be a delay. The bridge crew concludes that some form of sabotage is involved, and immediately suspect that one of the delegates is responsible.
Wesley helps Assistant Chief Engineer Singh for a short time. After he leaves, however, the bolt strikes Singh, killing him. Data (currently in the guise of Sherlock Holmes) deduces that both sets of delegates were too concerned with trying to kill each other to be responsible. Troi, meanwhile, has hypnotized both Beverly and Worf, and has found evidence that some other intelligence had temporarily invaded their minds. The bolt finally departs the computer, only to take over Picard's mind.
"Picard" orders the ship around, back to the cloud, and does not accept anyone questioning his orders. When questioned by Riker (who is anxious to avoid any attempt to relieve Picard of command), he shrugs off any suggestion of an alien influence and orders Riker, Troi, and Bev to sickbay. When Beverly later confronts him alone, Picard makes it clear that both intelligences are at work in his mind.
As they reach the cloud, Picard subdues the crew and beams out, energy only, under the assumption that he will meld with the entity in his mind and they can explore the galaxy unfettered by a body, together. The melding proves impossible, and Picard is left alone. Just as Riker is about to order the ship to Parliament, Picard manages to enter the Enterprise's systems. He sends all his energy into the transporter circuits, and Data reproduces the pattern Picard left with, bringing him home safely.
Technical design, graphic design, interactive features, HTML & CGI programming by Andrew Tong. || All materials Copyright © 1987-1995 by their respective authors. || Document created: January 28, 1995 || Last Modified: July 12, 1999