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Edited Length: 45:27
U.S. Airdate: April 7, 1991
Nielsen Rating/Rank: [10.9/3]
Maryann Plunkett: [Lieutenant Commander Susanna Leijten]
Patti Yasutake: [Nurse Alyssa Ogawa]
Co-Producer: Peter Lauritson
Producer: David Livingston
Supervising Producer: Jeri Taylor
Executive Producer: Michael Piller
Teleplay by: Brannon Braga
Based on a Story by: Timothy de Haas
Directed by: Winrich Kolbe
Executive Producer: Gene Roddenberry
Executive Producer: Rick Berman
Associate Producer: Wendy Neuss
Executive Story Editor: Ronald D. Moore
Executive Story Editor: Joe Menosky
Story Editors: David Bennett Carren & J. Larry Carroll
Amick Byram: [Lieutenant] Hickman
Dennis Madalone: Transporter Technician [Chief Hedrick]
Mona Grudt: Ensign Graham
[Paul Tompkins: Breville]
Currently, this feature is disabled... Sorry.
A friend and former shipmate of Geordi's, Lt. Comm. Susanna Leijten, has come on board the Enterprise...and she's got a problem. About five years earlier, she led a team down to Tartiannen Three to investigate a lost colony, and found no traces of any abductions, or anything wrong at all beyond the fact that the colony had vanished. But now, three of the five members of the team have just independently stolen shuttles and headed back to Tartiannen Three for no apparent reason. The only two left are Susanna...and Geordi.
The Enterprise catches up to one of the shuttles, but Lt. Hickman, the occupant, doesn't answer any hails and ends up being incinerated in a faulty atmospheric entry. Riker takes down a team (consisting of Worf, Data, Geordi, and Susanna), and they find one of the other missing shuttles (the Cousteau, from the U.S.S. Aries). Nobody finds anything concrete, but Susanna sees footprints being made by nothing she can see, and when Geordi catches up to her, she goes a little crazy, prompting an emergency beam-up.
A little later, she's fine again, although Beverly says her blood chemistry is way off. Since she's not allowed at the moment to go back to the surface, and a preliminary report already exists, she and Geordi (who's tested out as fine) go to hear it. Data's report shows traces of alien skin cells on the uniform they found, and the footprints Susanna saw are from nothing native to Tartiannen. Geordi and Susanna decide to try looking for a link common to all five members of the original investigation-something they all touched, ate, breathed, etc. Before long, though, Susanna, who's been getting more and more edgy, decides it's all a waste of time and insists that she and Geordi simply go down to the planet and find the answers there. When Geordi tells her that they can't, she ends up going into convulsions and collapsing-and when Geordi gets to her, he finds bright blue veinlike structures on the back of her neck, and that her first three fingers on each hand have fused together somehow.
Bev's subsequent investigation would seem to indicate that Susanna's somehow being transformed into a completely different species, and that Geordi is very likely to be next, with little or no warning. After managing to persuade Picard and Bev to let him continue working until symptoms start appearing, Geordi goes back to work, and initially gets nowhere. As Susanna's condition accelerates (causing Bev to decide that there must be something inside her causing the changes), however, Geordi notices an anomaly in the original recording (to wit, an extra shadow), and orders a simulation in holodeck 3. He eventually manages to get an approximation of the "invisible" creature's form, but it's too late, as he succumbs to the same condition. Bev, meanwhile, manages to isolate and remove the parasite in Susanna's body, but by now Geordi has mutated to the point where he is undetectable by sensors, and he manages to overpower a transporter technician and beam down.
With time running out for Geordi, a much recovered Susanna joins the away team to search for him. Using UV light, they manage to find Geordi (along with several other similar creatures), and Susanna manages to break through the pure instinct of the "creature" to find Geordi's remaining scrap of humanity and bring him back. With Geordi returned and recovering, Picard orders warning beacons on and around the planet, both to protect the Federation and the planet's creatures, and the ship continues on.
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