[ <-- | CREDITS | PROMO | PRESS | QUOTES | REVIEWS | --> ]
Edited Length: 45:03
U.S. Airdate: March 6, 1994
Nielsen Rating/Rank: [11.8/3]
Consulting Producer: Peter Lauritson
Co-Producer: Wendy Neuss
Co-Producer: Brannon Braga
Producer: Ronald D. Moore
Line Producer: Merri D. Howard
Supervising Producer: David Livingston
Executive Producer: Jeri Taylor
Executive Producer: Michael Piller
Written By: Joe Menosky
Directed By: Robert Wiemer
Executive Producer: Rick Berman
Executive Story Editor: René Echevarria
Story Editor: Naren Shankar
Rickey D'shon Collins: Eric
Currently, this feature is disabled... Sorry.
The Enterprise has come across a rogue comet that has been traveling for 87 million years to get to its current location. A sensor scan creates a temporary but giant sensor echo, and suddenly strange things start happening: Troi finds a pedestal in her quarters, Data is inspired to sculpt a mask with a similar design, and symbols start appearing on terminals all over the ship. As Geordi discovers that the symbols have leaked in via the sensors, Data somehow intuitively recognizes many of them, and suspects his systems have also been corrupted.
The Enterprise uses main phasers to melt the icy shell off the comet, and discover a city-like structure lurking within. It is of unknown composition, and is even older than the comet itself. Data theorizes that it is a type of cultural archive, and becomes concerned enough about his own systems to have Geordi run a diagnostic. As he leaves, Picard notes the frequent occurrence of two symbols all over the ship: a compass symbol possibly denoting movement, and a small sliver of unknown meaning.
The diagnostic suggests Data is fine, but Data begins to feel extremely strange, as though he is losing his mind. Geordi tries to reassure him as much as he can, but Data ... changes. As Geordi disconnects Data from the diagnostic set, there is a rush of sound and Data's appearance alters: now, not only does he have an eerie grin on his face, but he also has one of the key symbols appearing on his forehead - and he tells Geordi very smugly that "Masaka is waking."
Picard makes it to Engineering in short order to talk to Data, or "Ihat", as he now calls himself. Ihat tells Picard that soon he will know pain and death, because "Masaka is waking". He tells Picard to leave, quickly, and possibly avoid being found. Ihat tries to leave, but runs into Troi and falls to his knees, identifying her as Masaka.
After a conference revealing that Data is being taken over by elements of the archive, in effect suffering an android version of multiple personality disorder, Picard goes to talk to him in his quarters (to which Data has now been confined). Ihat's personality is dormant until Picard specifically asks for him, but then emerges and smirks. He refers to Masaka as being "a lazy creature", mostly sleeping - but very, very dangerous when awake. Picard suggests that they should keep her sleeping, but Ihat scoffs, saying one might as well "try to stop the sun from climbing the sky," and informing Picard that only "Korgano" can do that. Suddenly, Ihat vanishes, to be replaced by someone terrified of Masaka, and clinching Picard's wrist to the point of pain to avoid being left alone. Ihat briefly returns, then, telling Picard that Masaka is now awake.
By now, Ten-Forward has been converted by the archive into a primitive-looking structure, complete with a totem to Masaka (represented by the sun-symbol). The small, crescent-like symbol is also there, but hidden. As the data show that the Enterprise is slowly being converted into a city, Picard orders the archive destroyed - unfortunately, the inner mechanisms of the photon torpedo Geordi and Worf plan to use are transformed into snakes before they get the chance. With propulsion and weapons systems out, Geordi suggests that he try to access the transformation program in the archive. Picard agrees, and also wants to access Masaka herself. He leaves once again for Data's quarters.
There, he finds Data in the role of an old man, Masaka's father. This one also says that Korgano is the only one who can control Masaka, but that he "no longer pursues her." Masaka's father is quickly replaced by Ihat, who taunts Picard once more, but also agrees to give Picard the symbol to create Masaka's temple in return for Picard's agreement to take his place as a sacrifice if necessary. Ihat is "captured" before he finishes, however, and disappears, to be replaced by the old man. Picard convinces Masaka's father to finish the symbol: "a line, as the unending horizon; a cure, as the rolling hillside; a point, as a distant bird; a ray, as the rising sun." The old man then collapses into a helpless, pitiful soul, saying only that "she's coming."
The symbol for the temple is input, and a corridor transforms into the temple. Picard, Worf, and Troi explore the temple, and find several instances of the sun-symbol and the crescent-symbol paired, almost as if the sun is chasing the crescent. As Data "becomes" Masaka, donning her mask and breaking out of his quarters, the three realize upon seeing the crescent "chasing" the sun that they're dealing with a sun/moon myth. Masaka appears on "her" throne, but will not speak to Picard, or anyone else.
Picard decides to take matters into his own hands, using the symbol for Korgano to create his mask, and bluffing his way through the culture's legends to appear before Masaka as Korgano. Korgano convinces Masaka to sleep once more, so that she can wake as the hunter rather than the prey. Masaka/Data agrees, and as Masaka fades into sleep, everything returns to normal. With the transformation program disabled, Picard reassures a now empty-feeling Data that he's had a unique experience: becoming, if only temporarily, an entire civilization.
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