It's losing mass at an extraordinary rate.
How long before it goes supernova?
A hundred years, maybe two.
Too bad we won't be around.
It's going to be one hell of an explosion.
Speak for yourself. I might very well be around.
Can't forget Vulcan longevity, Captain.
A hundred years from now?
How old would that make you?
No earth ship has ever been within ten light-years of a hypergiant.
How much farther can we move in?
Our hull temperature is approaching 1,100 degrees.
It would be unsafe to get any closer.
Then we'll have to run our scans from here.
Tell Astrometrics to get going.
I'm sure they're champing at the bit.
We may not be able to get any closer but someone else has.
-You found a ship? - Bearing 261 mark 4.
They must be at least 20,000 kilometers farther in than we are.
Let's see her.
The interference is pretty heavy, sir.
Then try audio.
This is Captain Archer of the starship Enterprise.
I assume you've detected us.
-Where have you traveled from? - The Sol system.
We come from a system called Vissia, more than 25 light-years from here.
We saw you arrive yesterday.
I assume you're here to study the hypergiant.
My species has never seen one up close.
It is quite a sight.
Have you measured its rate of nucleosynthesis?
I'm afraid we haven't developed the technology to do that.
If you don't mind eliminating the development stage, I'd be more than happy to help you modify your sensors.
I'm not sure we have anything to offer you in return.
You could invite us to visit your ship.
Meeting new species is one of our primary goals.
It's one of ours as well.
We'd be honored to have you join us for dinner.
We'll be there within the hour. I look forward to it.
It'll be nice to have a first contact where no one's thinking about charging weapons.
Tell Chef we're going to have some visitors.
Trinesium can withstand temperatures up to 18,000 degrees.
We've been using it to construct our hulls for over a century.
You must be able to get down into the photosphere of most G-type stars.
We can get even deeper with our stratopod. It's got twice the shielding.
Flying into stars is a long way off for us.
Your technology will evolve.
What's important is that you're explorers.
We have gone farther than any other humans.
You might enjoy going even farther.
I'm taking the stratopod into the hydrogen layer tomorrow.
I'd be pleased to have you join me.
I am an explorer.
This is called vanilla and this is chocolate.
Give it a try.
You've got to eat the cherry first.
you just do.
-A human tradition? -Exactly.
Aren't you going to introduce me?
This is Malcolm Reed, our Armory officer.
This is Traistana, a xenobiologist, and Veylo is a tactical officer.
Very pleased to meet you.
Why don't you sit down?
-The captain did ask us to mingle. -Indeed.
I was just speaking with the chief engineer and his wife.
Maybe you should say hello.
See you later.
I'm told you're the chief engineer.
Lieutenant Reed pointed you out.
-Please, sit down. -Thank you.
This is my wife, Calla.
I'm glad you invited us here.
-Are you enjoying your food? -Oh, very much.
I hope you'll get the chance to sample our food.
It's more fragrant than yours.
I look forward to it.
I'd also like to get a peek at your engine room.
By all means.
It has no name.
It's our cogenitor.
-Cogenitor? - We're hoping to have a baby.
Our warp core emits omicron radiation.
I recommend you speak with your doctor about an inoculation.
This should do it.
you've heard of these cogenitors.
Not all species are limited to two sexes.
In fact, I, uh...
have it on good authority that the Rigellians have four ...or was it five?
So you're saying that this man or woman or whatever is a third sex?
That's exactly what I'm saying.
it... is part of the impregnation process.
I'm pretty familiar with how it works with two sexes, but...
Multi-gender techniques aren't always the same ...
but in this case, I imagine the cogenitor provides an enzyme, ...
which facilitates conception.
What do you mean by "provides"?
-Well, first, the female has to... -No.
No, no, no, don't tell me.
I don't think I want to know.
I have pictures.
Uh, I think I'll pass.
So how long is this going to last? I might want to stay there for a while.
It should protect you from omicron radiation for about 12 years.
That should be enough.
Keep an open mind, Commander?
You came on this mission to meet other species,...
no matter how many genders they may have.
"There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
Where'd you hear that?
Hamlet, Act One, Scene Five.
Your communications officer was kind enough to provide us with some of your literature.
I assumed you approved.
Absolutely, but I didn't think you'd be quoting it the next day.
We retain most of what we read.
And you obviously read pretty quickly.
After I finished Shakespeare last night, I began reading the plays of Sophocles.
What do you recommend after that?
Seems like you're picking the good ones all by yourself.
That's gotta be ionized hydrogen.
It's generating magnetic currents.
I've got friends back at home who are not going to believe this.
I have friends who'll be equally impressed with Macbeth.
We're almost into the chromosphere.
The antimatter stream is compressed before the deuterium's injected into the core.
So you don't need magnetic confinement.
Let me bring up the schematics.
Where we come from, Earth...
there are only two genders.
That's true of most worlds.
I don't mean to pry, but...
does every family have a cogenitor?
That wouldn't be very efficient.
They are only needed when a couple's trying to have a child.
And... when they're not?
The cogenitor is assigned to another couple.
They make up about three percent of our population, ...
which seems to be a perfect ratio.
Nature has a way of finding the right balance.
Is the one I met the only one on your ship?
The only one.
Once Calla and I are finished with it, ...
I doubt it'll be needed before we return home.
Would you like to take a closer ook at the plasma converters?
I would. Thanks.
does it live with you and your wife?
We keep it in our quarters, yes.
What does it do when you're not...?
It eats... sleeps.
There's not much else for it to do.
What about school?
They only serve one purpose.
Sending them to school would make no sense.
Why are you so...
curious about them?
Humans are very curious.
You might find this difficult to believe,...
but this polymer is composed of over 200 naturally occurring elements.
I read in your database that you've discovered only 92.
I understand how this might seem unnerving.
A lot of things around here do, but, ...
uh, I'm trying to keep an open mind.
How long will you be gone?
Close to three days.
The circumference is nearly a billion kilometers.
We'll be scanning surface features that are undetectable at higher altitudes.
Three days is a long time to be confined to such a small craft,
especially with a person you've just met.
I think I'll survive.
These people are fascinating, T'Pol.
They have a lot to offer us.
"This could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship."
Which reminds me:
They've asked us for a sampling of films.
I put together a few suggestions.
I'll see to it.
You're in charge.
Of the ship or the movies?
Captain left yet?
He'll be gone for three days.
He asked that you download these films and ...
transfer them to the Vissians' database.
-Did you meet their engineer? - Briefly.
He and his wife were trying to have a baby.
There was someone else with them.
-They called her a "cogenitor." You know what that is? - A third gender.
Why do you call it "her"?
Well, she looks more like a her than a him.
They treat her like a pet.
Kept in a room, not taught to read or write, no name!
Porthos has a name.
It's not our place to judge the customs of other cultures.
We're not talking about taking your shoes off when you walk into someone's house.
This cogenitor's treated like one of Phlox's leeches.
You pull it out of its tank when you need it, then you throw it back in.
Tri-gender reproduction is not uncommon.
That's not what I'm talking about.
This is a question of...
-human rights. -They're not human.
Captain Archer hopes to develop a productive relationship with this species.
It might be best you kept your opinions to yourself.
It's a good advice.
Mating habits are often quite personal?
Some species aren't comfortable discussing them.
I'm not interested in discussing their habits.
I'm concerned with the way they treat this cogenitor.
They're most likely one and the same.
Yeah, well, that doesn't make it right.
It's not a question of right or wrong.
You scanned them when they came on board. Don't you always do that?
Yeah. They weren't carrying any pathogens that would be dangerous to our crew.
Is there anything you can tell me about the mental capacity of this cogenitor?
Is it any different than the males and females?
I'm afraid I didn't take any neural scans.
Is that something I could do?
Why would you want to?
I suppose you could.
Fruit and cheese compliment each other.
So cheese comes in eight varieties?
I'd say there are hundreds, maybe thousands.
What made you choose these?
They have the strongest smells of anything we have on board.
You said our food was aromatically bland. I thought this might change your mind.
but very nice.
The odor is a little spicier.
-What's it called? - Stilton.
Chef says it's pretty pungent.
-Haven't you ever tried it? -Not for a long time.
Well, I'd say that's more than a little spicy.
-And what's this called? - Alsatian Muenster.
-Don't you find it sensual? -Very.
Cawe visit the Armory later?
I'm anxious to see your tactical array.
There's an old Earth expression:
"I'll show you mine if...
you show me yours."
Your father-- that's hard to imagine.
The man who developed warp drive on my world lived nearly a thousand years ago.
I'm surprised your ancestors never made it to Earth.
They don't believe in traveling great distances.
There's far too much to see close to home.
Well, maybe now you have a reason to visit us.
-It's not that far. -I'm sure we can make an exception.
I'm going to take us down to the edge of the photosphere. It might get a little turbulent.
Fine with me.
When the engine reaches critical mass, ...
a mixture of positrons and neutrinos is injected into the chamber.
The efficiency is up over 30%.
It's possible this technology could be modified for Enterprise.
We'd be very grateful.
But we don't have any married couples on Enterprise.
Do they give you special quarters?
The captain's very generous.
Oh, I wish ours was.
I've got a room not half the size of this one.
I'd love to get a look at your quarters sometime.
If I could describe it to Captain Archer, he might consider expanding my living space.
Oh, why don't you join us for dinner tonight?
You did agree to try our food.
Are you telling me you have a dining room?
We'll try not to prepare anything too pungent.
It's pretty mild, considering the, um...
For us, the aroma is far more important than the taste.
This must have taken you all day.
If I had all day, I would have prepared a far more scented meal.
Calla's in charge of the Microgravity Lab.
We usually don't have much time for cooking.
Will your cogenitor be joining us?
It rarely eats more than one meal a day.
Oh, so in our mess hall...
Bringing a cogenitor to your ship was an exception.
I was hoping to say hello.
Why would you want to do that?
Commander Tucker is very curious about our reproductive process.
Humans are bi-gendered.
I'll see if it's awake.
Which one's the cogenitor?
Her synaptic density and neural mass are almost identical to the other two.
No cogenitor appears to be no more or less intelligent than the male and female.
I wouldn't mind taking a turn at the helm.
Our navigation controls are not like yours.
They're based on five spatial axes.
I've been watching you. I think I can handle it.
You obviously have some experience.
There's a pretty big flare forming below us.
I think I can loop around it, let you get a better scan.
It's giving off a lot of magnetic flux.
It may cause false readings in the navigation sensors.
I'll keep an eye on it.
So by rotating the quantum inverters, you've tripled the anitmatter flux?
Three more and I'll be finished.
I haven't eaten anything since this morning.
If you don't mind, I'll go to your mess hall, see what they're serving.
If you wait until I'm done, I'll show you how to get there.
I'll be all right; I'm sure I can find the way.
See you in a little while.
They're not here.
I came to see you.
I brought you this.
It'll teach you how to read.
Now you try it.
I don't understand.
You just touch the word, then you'll hear it pronounced.
Go ahead, try it.
That's right. Now go to the next one.
Why are you doing this? It's not right for me to read.
-Who told you that? - You shouldn't be here.
You're as capable as they are...
as smart as they are.
That's not true. They need me to have children.
It's not a question of what they need.
You have the same rights:
to learn, to choose how you're going to live, to have a name.
That may be true on your world but not on mine.
When Calla gives birth,..
who's going to raise the baby? Who's going to take care of it?
You're just as crucial in creating the child as they are.
You don't understand.
But we took scans--
my doctor says you have the same potential as they do.
The only thing that sets you apart is your gender.
You're no more different than they are from each other.
Haven't you ever wished you could read?
It won't hurt you, you know.
There's nothing to be afraid of.
Today we're going...
Today we're going to...
Today we're going to read.
I'm starting to get the hang of this.
I could take us down a little closer if you'd like.
Another 10,000 meters, and I'll be able to get a particle count of the photosphere.
Aye, aye, Captain.
10,000 meters it is.
-Are you all right? -Absolutely.
If you can keep us at this altitude a little while longer...
Are these armed with photonic warheads?
I'm not familiar with that.
I'm afraid our weapons are somewhat more sophisticated than yours.
This technology must seem pretty antiquated to you.
Where I come from, antiquated can be very quaint.
Is that how you see us?
-Quaint? -And charming.
What sort of power source do these use?
I suppose that's very quaint, too.
Not at all.
We charge our weapons the same way.
Maybe you'd like to see the phase-canon assembly.
It has multiphasic emitters...
and a maximum yield of 80 gigajoules.
-I'm sorry it's so cramped in here. - Don't be.
I wanted to get a little closer to you all day.
I was hoping to spend some intimate time with you.
Maybe we could sleep together tonight.
Oh! On Earth...
it's customary to ask a woman to dinner first...
before spending the night with her.
It's very different on Vissia.
It's only when a woman enjoys her intimate time with a man...
that she'll join him for dinner.
"The Didiron mountain range runs through the upper planes of the Great Continent."
The text describes far more impressive peaks.
I don't mean the mountains, I mean your reading.
"The fauna and flora vary greatly on either side of the central plateau."
Look how much you've accomplished in a single day.
And reading's just the tip of the iceberg.
You could study all sorts of things.
engineering's not bad.
You don't have to sit in this room all day.
They would never let me learn those things.
Then you've got to convince them.
It's not just learning.
It's... it's experiencing things.
Music, swimming in the ocean...
-You do have oceans on your planet? -Yes.
And how about those Didiron Mountains?
Reading about them is one thing, climbing them is another.
I'd like to climb a mountain.
There you go-- that...
that's the right attitude.
You keep at it.
I've got to get back. They think I'm at the astrometrics lab.
But I'll see you as soon as I can.
I'd like my name to be Trip, just like yours.
Actually, my name is Charles.
Then I would like my name to be Charles.
There's a flare forming ahead.
I don't see it.
Turn the axis 40 degrees to port. I think we can bank around it.
It's too big.
Take us up. Try to get over it.
We're not going to make it.
It won't be enough.
What are you doing?
If you can't get over a wave, you got to dive through it.
-Where did you learn to do that? - North shore of Oahu.
I think it's time you took the helm back.
Would you be punished if they find out you've brought me here?
-Punished? -No, but they might get a little angry.
I would be punished.
Maybe I should take you back.
No, no, I want to see more.
We'll just have to be sure no one spots us.
This is our transporter.
It turns things into a matter stream that can be sent just about anywhere,
within 2,000 kilometers or so.
Then it gets...
-Could it send a Vissian? - I don't see why not.
I'd like to try.
I don't think that would be a good idea.
-Could I see where you work? -Sure.
Coast is clear.
That's our main engine.
Fastest one in Starfleet.
I've had it up to warp 5.1.
I think my ship has something like this, but I've never seen it.
Your ship has an engine that's a lot more sophisticated than this one.
Do you live here?
Uh, no. My quarters are on B-deck.
Have you ever seen a movie?
It's not easy picking a movie for somebody who's never seen one before.
What would you think about a Western?
No, not a Western.
I don't think a musical would be right, either.
The Day the Earth Stood Still.
Nothing like a little science fiction to break you in.
-It's a story about your planet? -Yeah, but it's fiction.
The Earth never really stood still.
Uh, sit down.
You're going to love this.
Why were the humans so afraid of Klaatu and his android?
Well, before we made first contact with the Vulcans, the people of Earth were pretty violent.
They had a hard time trusting things they didn't understand.
The characters in the film knew nothing about Klaatu--
who he was, where he came from-- so...
they tried to kill him.
Does this mean I've won?
No one's beaten me at this in the last two years.
Tell me about Westerns.
Maybe I could watch a Western next.
It's getting late.
We better get you back before they realize you're gone.
I have been told you're no longer welcome aboard the Vissian ship.
I wasn't exactly where I was supposed to be.
No, you weren't.
You told them you were going to the Astrometrics Lab.
They tried to contact you, but you weren't there.
Then they tried their mess hall.
-You weren't there either. -I was with the cogenitor.
-Where? -At first, in her quarters.
Actually, they're not her quarters.
They belong to the Chief Engineer and his wife.
She gets a room to sleep in and if she's real good, ...
she can use their living space.
Why were you there?
I'm teaching her how to read.
Her education is not your concern.
Where else did you go?
I brought her here.
Gave her a little tour.
Showed her a movie.
It appears you're doing everything you can to undermine the captain's wishes.
One day, that's all it took her.
In one day she was reading a geography text.
First Contacts are important to the captain.
You may very well have damaged this one irreparably.
You're not listening to a word I'm saying.
I didn't see you.
How you doing? You all right?
They don't want to help me.
They don't want me to climb mountains.
Don't worry, they will.
Give it time.
They're angry with you. They'll leave as soon as our captain returns.
They won't help me.
But you can.
I want to stay here, please.
Archer to Enterprise.
That was one hell of a ride.
I'll tell you about it in a couple of hours.
We've got a lot of data to download into their computers.
I think it would be best if you'd come back immediately, sir.
Where is she?
It's not exactly a she, sir.
-Where?! -In my quarters.
How long ago did this happen?
Last night after supper.
They demanded that she be returned immediately.
I did exactly what you'd do, Captain.
It's not like I had much choice.
-I wasn't going to just... - Will you excuse us, Sub-commander?
I might have expected something like this from a first-year recruit.
But not you.
You did exactly what I'd do?
If that's true, then I've done a pretty lousy job setting an example around here.
You're a senior officer on this ship.
You're privy to the moral challenges I've had to face.
You know I've wrestled with the fine line between doing what...
I think is right and interfering with other species.
So don't tell me you know what I would have done when I don't even know what I would have done.
I didn't think it would hurt to teach her how to read.
Then you didn't think hard enough.
We out here to meet new species, not tell them what to do.
Teaching her to read is no different than you giving them books or movies.
Giving them books is a lot different ...
than suggesting they defy their culture.
And they asked me for the books.
Did she ask you to teach her how to read?
And sneaking into her quarters,...
bringing her on Enterprise, ...
lying about where you were going, why?
Come with me.
You don't understand. I can't go back.
Just until we resolve this.
Trip says I have the same rights as they do.
It's not our place to tell you what rights you have.
Are you going to force me to leave?
Some men can work together for years without creating the friendship and ...
bond that we did in only two days.
I'm certain we can resolve this.
I'm afraid it may not be that simple.
On my world,...
when someone asks for asylum, it has to be given serious consideration.
We're not on your world.
And I doubt whether this person truly understood what your engineer was suggesting.
I've been told this person...
is just as capable of understanding as any of you are.
Why are we debating this?
The cogenitor belongs on our ship.
Or are you suggesting my wife and I abandon our plans to have a child?
I've been asked to give sanctuary to someone who believes she's been treated unfairly.
I can't ignore that.
We're the ones being treated unfairly.
Do you know how long we've waited to be given a cogenitor?
You sound like you're talking about some inanimate object.
You have no right to judge us.
You know nothing about our culture.
What if one of your stewards, ...
the men who are forced to serve you food...
what if they should ask us for asylum?
They're not forced to do anything.
But it's easy to misunderstand someone ...
when you know nothing about their culture.
You can't expect me to ignore someone when they ask for my protection.
We're in no rush to leave.
Take your time.
Consider what we've said.
You shouldn't have misgivings.
You've made the right choice.
I'm afraid Shakespeare only wrote 36 plays.
So it might be best if you take your time memorizing them.
By all means.
I hope yesterday's unfortunate incident...
won't interfere with future relations between our people.
You sure you don't have an extra stratopod you could spare?
I'm sure your Starfleet will develop one soon enough.
Time to say good-bye to the hypergiant.
Prepare to get underway, Travis.
There's a call coming in from the Vissian Captain, sir.
He sounds upset.
Put him through.
You wanted to see me, Captain?
I was just told that the Vissian cogenitor died.
She killed herself.
That can't be...
It's my fault. I'm responsible.
You're damn right you are.
And it's not just her.
There's a child who won't be conceived because of this...
at least not for a long while.
It's time you learned to weigh the possible repercussions of your actions.
You've always been impulsive.
Maybe this will teach you a lesson.
I'm not so sure you do.
You knew you had no business interfering with those people.
But you just couldn't let it alone.
You thought you were doing the right thing.
I might agree if this was Florida, or Singapore...
but it's not, is it?
We're in deep space and a person is dead.
A person who'd still be alive if we hadn't made First Contact.
I guess I haven't been very successful at getting through to you.
If I had,...
you would have thought a lot harder before doing what you did.
You're not responsible...