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Rating: * 1/2
Edited Length: 45:30
U.S. Airdate: March 29, 1992
Nielsen Rating/Rank: [12.3/2]
Melinda Culea: [Soren]
Callan White: [Krite]
Megan Cole: [Noor]
Co-Producer: Joe Menosky
Co-Producer: Ronald D. Moore
Co-Producer: Peter Lauritson
Producer: David Livingston
Producer: Herbert J. Wright
Supervising Producer: Jeri Taylor
Executive Producer: Michael Piller
Written by: Jeri Taylor
Directed by: Robert Scheerer
Executive Producer: Gene Roddenberry
Executive Producer: Rick Berman
Associate Producer: Wendy Neuss
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The Enterprise has teamed up with members of an androgynous race called the J'naii, in a joint attempt to find and rescue the crew of a missing J'naii shuttle. They quickly find that the shuttle has, in all probability, fallen into a pocket of "null space", where their electromagnetic energy is slowly being drained and signals cannot get out. Riker teams up with one of the J'naii, Soren, to work on charting the pocket. Soren and Riker are each puzzled and fascinated by the differences in each other's culture: the concept of gender is so deeply ingrained to Riker, and so foreign to the J'naii, that it's an incredibly confusing gulf. Nevertheless, the two quickly become friends.
The charting mission is successful, and preparations ensue to modify the shuttle in such a way that it can enter the pocket long enough to rescue the crew. However, the night before the shuttle is to be launched, Soren confesses to Riker that she finds him attractive. She tells him that this can never be made public, however; the J'naii find the concept of gender repugnant and deviant, and those who demonstrate tendencies toward one gender or another are labeled deviant and "cured" through brainwashing. Soren, and those like her, live lives filled with secrecy, pretense, and fear. Riker is stunned.
The following morning, the two successfully rescue the crew of the J'naii shuttle (just barely, and at the cost of their own shuttle). At the reception on J'naii that evening to honor them, however, Riker and Soren slip away to enjoy their rapidly growing love; and Soren's departure is noticed by her former teacher, Krite.
The Enterprise remains in orbit to chart the pocket in detail. However, Riker is shocked when, upon entering Soren's quarters, he finds Krite there instead. Krite informs him that they know what he and Soren have been doing, and that Soren is in custody to ensure it cannot happen again. Riker immediately beams down to the surface and interrupts Soren's trial. He claims that nothing happened, and that any attempts that were made were entirely on his initiative. Soren, however, refuses to add another lie to the proceedings, and boldly announces that she is female. She points out how similar she and those like her are to "normal" J'naii: they laugh, cry, complain, and so on. "What makes you think you can dictate to us how we love one another?", she cries.
Regardless, the J'naii leader Noor is unmoved. She accepts Soren's confession of her "perversion" and orders her taken away for treatment, over Riker's protestations. Riker angrily tells Picard of all that has happened, but Picard says that if Noor is so adamant, nothing can be done-and he cautions Riker against taking matters into his own hands. However, Riker beams down anyway (with Worf coming along to help his friend) and attempts to rescue Soren. To his horror, however, he discovers he's too late; Soren now believes her past actions were "sick", and claims to be much happier as a "normal" J'naii. Heartsick and weary, Riker leaves with the Enterprise.
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