[ <-- | CREDITS | PROMO | PRESS | QUOTES | REVIEWS | SNAFUS | --> ]
Edited Length: 45:29
U.S. Airdate: November 4, 1990
Nielsen Rating/Rank: [11.4/3]
Eric Menyuk: [Traveller]
Bill Erwin: [Commander Dalen Quaice, M.D.]
Colm Meaney: [O'Brien]
Co-Producer: Peter Lauritson
Producer: David Livingston
Producer: Lee Sheldon
Supervising Producer: Jeri Taylor
Executive Producer: Michael Piller
Written By: Lee Sheldon
Directed By: Cliff Bole
Executive Producer: Gene Roddenberry
Executive Producer: Rick Berman
Associate Producer: Wendy Neuss
Executive Story Editor: Ronald D. Moore
Executive Story Editor: Joe Menosky
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The Enterprise is docked at Starbase 133, and Bev greets her old friend Dr. Dalen Quaice, who's departing the base after his wife's death (the Enterprise will be taking him home when they depart). After getting him settled, Bev thinks about his comment that "the worst thing about getting older" is finding that everyone around you is gone, and goes to see Wesley. Wes is in Engineering, working on some warpfield experiments, and Geordi's telling him to finish sooner than possible, because he needs his engines back. As Bev watches, Wes hurriedly tinkers a little, and then there's a bright, completely unexpected flash. There doesn't seem to be any lasting effect, however (though Wes looks up not long after and seems puzzled not to see Beverly there), and the ship leaves.
The next morning, Bev goes to Quaice's quarters to invite him to breakfast, but after he doesn't answer the ring, she enters-and finds neither him nor his belongings. Further, the computer claims that no such person is on board. She calls Worf, who is apparently not aware of Quaice's presence either, but he agrees to start a search. Stranger still, Picard doesn't remember seeing any mention of his visit, despite Bev's insistence that she sent the electronic paperwork about it to him weeks ago. When Bev becomes confused about why anyone might have intercepted her request and approved it, Picard suggests looking into whether Quaice had any enemies on the starbase.
However, things get worse. The starbase claims to have no record of Quaice's existence-and he worked on the base for six years. Then, as if that weren't enough, O'Brien, whom we saw beam Quaice on board, doesn't remember doing so\ but does remember Bev coming in alone, looking around, saying "Thank you" and leaving. And, of course, there's no transporter trace of Quaice's existence, either.
While Worf, Riker and others start looking to see if the ship's somehow been tampered with, Bev checks O'Brien to see if he's all right. He's fine, but Bev finds that Drs. Hill and Selar, and four other medical personnel are gone as well-and they've all been on board for months. After she reports this to Picard, the two of them proceed to Engineering, where Wes talks about his experiment. He'd been experimenting with Kosinski's warpfield equations, and when he tried to create them (i.e. make a stable warp- bubble), it destabilized. While a bubble could theoretically have swept up Dr. Quaice, it was limited to Engineering, so it can't be the culprit- and there's no way it could alter computers and memories like that either.
Bev goes back to sickbay-and finds it completely empty. When she reports the absence of her staff to the bridge, they seem unsurprised-after all, says Data, she's never had one. And the complete crew assigned to the ship only numbers 230. As Bev reacts with somewhat understandable shock, Picard takes her aside and begins expressing concerns for her mental state. He believes her, and even sends the ship back to SB 133 based solely on her plea, but she agrees to talk to Troi.
Then, not much later, Bev's in sickbay, when suddenly a bright vortex appears out of nowhere, blowing papers and books everywhere, and nearly sucking Bev in. Geordi, however, looks for it after it disappears and finds no trace of it-or any evidence that it ever existed. By now, an analysis has shown that there are no malfunctions, and no other ships in the area (including a Ferengi cruiser) have reported anything abnormal-but now the complete crew only numbers 114. No one other than Bev finds the ship's emptiness unusual-the space is necessary for transport of colonists, ferrying diplomats, emergency evacuations, and so on.
Worse yet, when Bev suggests working with Worf on something, she finds that no one knows whom she's talking about. She asks Deanna if she's going mad, and Deanna comforts her, saying first that Bev has "acted in...the best interest of the ship and the crew-what more could anyone ask?", and then that if this is all just a big misunderstanding, all that happens is that they're a little late at their next destination. Bev starts wondering if they'll even reach the starbase, then runs off in a panic, worried about Wesley.
Bev goes to find Wes in Engineering-fortunately, he's still there. She tells him that they've got to find someone who can help-someone who understands all about warp-bubbles. Unfortunately, Kosinski's no help, and they're his damned equations. However, Wes mentions that Kosinski's "assistant", the Traveller, might be able to assist-but no one knows where, or even if, he is. The two of them head up to talk to Picard-but only Bev gets as far as the turbolift. Now truly panicked, she runs to the lift and goes to the bridge, finding a sole occupant-Picard.
Picard, despite Bev's vivid descriptions, has no memory of any of the people she mentions (Riker, Data, Troi, O'Brien, Worf, and Wesley), insists that the ship's "never needed a crew before", and doesn't remember the Traveller. To make her feel better, he agrees to have his vital signs continually monitored, and the computer starts talking about them continuously in the background. Bev apologizes for her outburst, but Picard says that if she's right, and he has forgotten people who were once his closest friends and associates, then he deserved every bit of it.
She promises not to forget any of them, and to try to get them back. She tells Picard that she's got something to say to him-but his seat is suddenly empty, and the computer is silent. Then, the vortex appears again, and Bev again just manages to avoid being sucked in. However, as we see her starting to recover from the vortex's influence, we hear Geordi and Wes trying to maintain something-but then they fail, and the vortex (in reality, a gate they tried to open) collapses. Wes gives up, saying they'll never get Bev back now. But a voice says "It's not over, Wesley...", and the Traveller phases in. "There's still a way."
The Traveller, on board the real Enterprise, says that Bev is still alive, for as long as she thinks she is. It would seem that a warp-bubble did capture someone-her; and while inside, Bev's thoughts created the reality she's currently in. He cannot go in and get her, any more than he can enter her thoughts, but together, he and Wes might be able to open a gateway. (However, she'll have to choose to go through it.)
Meanwhile, Bev tries to reason things out, but gets nowhere, despite managing to catch the computer in a contradiction (namely, that she's the only member of the crew, but alone she is incapable of fulfilling the Enterprise's primary mission). She tries to contact the Traveller's race, and then orders a course to Tau Alpha C, that race's homeworld-despite it being 123 days away at Warp 9.5. But as she says "Engage", she finds that the planet has vanished from the computer's starfield.
As the real ship heads back to SB 133, and Wes begins to rework the equations, the Traveller tells him that he must let go of his guilt over what happened-he must exist solely for the here and now if he is to have a chance. Bev tries to raise the starbase and finds she cannot. She calls up the viewscreen, but sees only a mist outside, which the computer describes as a mass-energy field 705 meters in diameter. She continues her enquiries, and finds that according to the computer, the known universe is a spheroid that is only 705 meters in diameter.
The Enterprise arrives at the starbase and begins to assume the precise location and position they had when the bubble formed. The Traveller senses the bubble, and Wes sees it again on his panel, but then the Traveller shudders slightly, and says that the bubble's collapsing.
Bev calls up a graphic of the universe, and when she finds it looks exactly like the schematic she saw in Engineering of the warp-bubble, realizes that she's trapped inside it herself. Then there's a sudden hull breach-when she investigates, she finds that reality is shrinking further; and she's only got 4 minutes 17 seconds left. As the Enterprise reestablishes the exact coordinates, Bev theorizes that her thoughts created this reality, but she can't figure out what to do next.
With about three minutes left, the Traveller starts phasing-and Bev realizes while talking to the computer that the vortex she saw must have been the gateway out of this reality. She decides to go to where the bubble originally established itself, in Engineering, traveling just to deck 36 when she finds the lift won't go directly to Engineering.
By this time, both the Traveller and Wesley are phasing, and the gateway is beginning to form, but now time's running short. Seconds after Bev leaves the lift, it vanishes, and now she starts outrunning entropy. She makes it to Engineering, and manages to dive through the gate just as the bubble vanishes entirely. She embraces Picard, thanks the Traveller, and clings to her somewhat exhausted son. And all is as it should be.
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