Repulse shuttle has cleared docking bay three.
- Open hailing frequencies. - Hailing frequencies open.
This is the Enterprise. We are getting under way.
Acknowledged. Transfer complete. Good luck on your mission.
And to you.
Give my regards to your Captain. Repulse out.
Shuttle bay secure.
Thank you, Mr. Crusher. Make preparations to get under way.
We're constructing the enclosure on cargo deck five.
The transfer's complete. Dr Pulaski is being shown to her quarters.
Grand. Look at the containment module our Chief Engineer designed.
Chief Engineer. It still has a nice ring to it.
Each unit has total environmental control,
gravity, temperature, atmosphere, light, in a protective field.
These go into the large containment unit?
Right. See, these modules will keep the specimens alive,
but it's the large containment area that will keep us alive.
I have to replicate this 512 times,
which means I have to divert power from the warp engines.
- So how long on impulse power? - A couple of hours. Can't be helped.
When we leave 'audet IX, I'm going to need that power.
You'll have it.
Number One, I'll relieve you at 0300.
Take us out of orbit, Mr. Crusher. Set course for 'audet IX.
Aye, sir. Course for 'audet IX has been input.
- Maximum impulse velocity. - Aye, sir.
Engineering, I have just observed what appeared to be
a random energy transference.
- Where? - Aft.
- Outboard of the port nacelle. - Hold on. I'll check.
No, I show nothing here, Data.
Possibility, sir. An unexplained power fluctuation.
- Let me know if it reoccurs. - Aye, sir.
Space, the final frontier.
These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise.
Its continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds,... seek out new life and new civilisations,... boldly go where no one has gone before.
Captain's log, stardate 42073. 1.
There is an unclassified plasma plague outbreak
in the Rachelis system.
We need specimens of the deadly plague
to transport them to Science Station Tango Sierra,
where, hopefully, an antidote can be produced.
- How's it going? - Ready to insert the modules.
Number One.
Lt La Forge says we can engage the warp drive within the hour.
Grand. Mr. Data, when we have a list of specimens we will carry,
I want you and Dr...?
- Pulaski, sir. - Dr Pulaski.
- Go through them. - Aye, sir.
Where is our new Doctor? Has she reported in?
Not yet.
- Sickbay, this is the Captain. - Sickbay, aye.
- Is Dr Pulaski there? - No. The Doctor is in ten-forward.
- Thank you. - Aye, sir.
A few hours on board and she's found ten-forward.
- I'll go get her. - No.
I'll go.
Not the best way to meet your new Captain.
Deck ten, forward station one.
Hello, Captain.
I'm sorry this mission will delay your reunion with your mother.
That's alright. It gives me time to finish some projects I have to do.
It's going to be hard leaving the Enterprise.
Mixed feelings for all of us.
It's always hard leaving any ship.
Just as it was for your mother, leaving to head Starfleet Medical.
But moving from one assignment to another is part of this life.
I know, but this isn't any ship.
How true.
- Guinan. - Captain.
Where is Dr Pulaski?
Thank you.
You must be Capt Picard.
Doctor, protocol may have been lax on your last assignment...
Sit down, Captain. You should hear this.
Lt La Forge, status report.
The last of the modules are being inserted.
- Warp six as soon as possible. - Acknowledged.
This is Dr Pulaski. We'll handle the formal introductions later.
Counsellor Deanna Troi is pregnant.
She... is going to have a baby.
This is a surprise.
More so for me.
This pregnancy is unlike any I have ever encountered.
Since she came to me,
I have done two examinations of Counsellor Troi.
This is the first examination.
This is halfway through the first trimester. About six weeks old.
Now, understand we believe conception took place 11 hours ago.
It gets better. This is the second exam, one hour later.
It's consistent, except that the foetus appears several weeks older.
At this rate, Counsellor Troi will have her baby in about 36 hours.
The normal gestation rate for a Betazoid is ten months.
I don't mean to be indelicate... but who's the father?
Last night, while I slept,
something which I can only describe as a presence entered my body.
A life form of unknown origin and intent
is breeding right now inside Counsellor Troi.
Our purpose here is to determine what is to be done.
No, wait. Let me get this straight. Deanna was impregnated by... what?
Doctor, is it a humanoid? An alien?
It's a male human or, in this case, half-human, half-Betazoid.
- Exactly the same as Deanna? - In every way.
In fact, nothing indicates any genetic patterns other than hers.
I don't think this is random. I think there is a reason.
What, I don't know.
Captain,... obviously, the pregnancy must be terminated,
for the safety of the ship and crew.
You can't assume the intent was belligerent.
That is the safest assumption.
Captain, this is a life form.
Not to allow it to develop naturally will deny us a study opportunity.
If the foetus is aborted, laboratory analysis is still possible.
Doctor, is there any health risk to Troi if the foetus is aborted?
Do whatever is necessary to protect the ship and crew,
but know this.
I'm going to have this baby!
Then it seems that the discussion is over.
Captain's log, supplemental. We have arrived at 'audet IX,
where we will pick up the specimens of plasma plague.
Because so many lives are at stake,
I am willing to put this ship and crew at great risk.
Meanwhile, Counsellor Troi's pregnancy continues to progress
at an astonishing rate.
How are you feeling?
I should feel uncomfortable with the changes in my body,
but I feel fine.
Better than fine. Wonderful.
Standard orbit.
- Open hailing frequencies. - Hailing frequencies open.
This is Capt Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise.
The Enterprise. Here at last. Good. Let's get going.
To whom am I speaking?
To whom are you speaking? Lt Cmdr Hester Dealt, Medical Trustee,
Federation Medical Collection Station.
Are the specimens ready?
Yes, but I would like to inspect the containment area before we proceed.
It's not that I doubt the ability of your crew,
but we cannot afford a mistake.
I appreciate your caution. In the like vein,
I want a complete detailed manifest
of what you plan to bring on board.
Very good. I will allow you access to my computer banks, OK?
Data, cross-reference their inventory to the medical computer.
Number One, arrange the transportation.
Captain's log, supplemental.
It's been nearly 14 hours since we arrived at 'audet IX,
but Hester Dealt has not completed inspection of the containment unit.
A transfer will not be permitted until he's assured of zero growth.
Meanwhile, the desperate pleas from the Rachelis system continue.
Captain, the final manifest has been received.
At last. Review it with Dr Pulaski. I want you both familiar with it.
Data, will you help me get to sickbay?
It's time.
You bet it is! Let's get you to maternity.
Worf, assemble a security team in sickbay.
- Is that necessary? - Yes, Doctor. Captain's orders.
Well, it's strange to need armed guards in a delivery room.
This way.
- How frequent are your contractions? - Very close.
In other deliveries, the father is often present.
- Difficult in the circumstances. - I could serve in that capacity.
Counsellor Troi needs a human touch, not the cold hand of technology.
Doctor, I think Cmdr Data will do very nicely.
Your choice.
You don't have to do anything, Data. Just be with me.
There's nothing to be nervous about.
Nervous? I find this very interesting.
I understand, in technical terms, how life is formed,
but part of the process eludes me.
The child inside you,
are you able to access his thought process?
Does he have thoughts? Is he aware of you? When does awareness begin?
- It's happening! - How does it feel?
- Now! - Now? Now! Doctor!
This is an impatient baby. He's eager to make his appearance.
Do you want something for the pain? It won't diminish the experience.
I have felt no pain.
- None? - No. None at all.
Have your Security men stand back.
I understand you have to be here, but keep out from underfoot.
- Foetal position? - Normal.
Foetal pulse?
The baby shows healthy respiratory movements.
The action of the heart rate is good.
The baby's doing wonderfully, Troi.
Breathe slowly.
You're doing great. Stay calm.
That's it. There it is.
I've got him. You can relax.
There, there. That's a good boy.
He's beautiful!
Are easy births the norm for Betazoids?
Not according to my mother.
You can come in now.
There's no threat, Lieutenant. You can relax. It's just a baby.
Thank you for letting me participate.
It was remarkable.
- Do you have a name? - Ian Andrew, after my father.
- Were you here all along? - Yes.
He's beautiful, Deanna. Just like his mother.
How do you feel?
Thank you, Doctor, for everything.
Doctor! Welcome to the bridge. Please sit down.
How is... Counsellor Troi? Did she have a good night?
I've delivered dozens of babies, but none with no pain or trauma.
- It's true. - It was effortless for both.
I'm not sure of your point.
She had her baby yesterday.
If I examined her now, I couldn't tell if she'd ever had a baby!
It was as if the incident never happened.
Data, how long before the transfer?
Two hours, 19 minutes, sir.
- Number One, take the bridge. - Aye, sir.
You will accompany me, Doctor? Please?
I think it's time I paid my respects.
Come in.
I wanted to see how you were and have a look at your...! My goodness!
- How old is he? - In actuality, a day.
- Yes, but... - In appearance, four Earth years.
Ian, say hello to Capt Picard.
You mean he can talk?
Hello, Ian.
Please don't worry. Everything is OK.
Captain's log, supplemental. We have two major problems.
Troi's child and the deadly cargo we're about to take on.
In the hours since his birth, Troi's baby has continued his rapid growth,
and appears, physically and mentally, to be a child of eight.
Still there is no indication as to who he is or why he is here.
Sickbay, we are ready to begin loading.
We need a little more time to categorise these specimens.
Data, look at this.
- Dahta. - What?
My name. It is pronounced Data.
You called me Dahta.
What's the difference?
One is my name. The other is not.
Is this possible?
With all your neural nets, algorithms and heuristics?
Does some combination make up a circuit for hurt feelings?
I am unfamiliar with this symbol.
It indicates a genetically engineered biological life form.
About 20 percent of the specimens fall into that category.
Some eager beaver at play.
Eager beaver?
In this case, eager beaver refers to some overachieving genetic engineer,
who, probably because of lack of anything better to do,
has forced this strain of virus to mutate,
just so we can see how bad bad can get.
I want you to know what risks we're about to take.
Go on.
If any specimen gets loose,
it will destroy all life on the Enterprise in a matter of hours.
I understand, Doctor. Do you have a recommendation?
Considering how desperately this is needed, no, I don't.
I wanted you to know what we were carrying.
Thank you.
Cmdr Data, you are needed in transporter room three.
Aye, sir. Excuse me, Doctor.
That's alright, Dahta... Data. Whatever.
He's very tactile. He wants to touch everything.
It's time to go, sweetheart.
I think he's actually grown since you dropped him off.
- I like it here. - I thought you would.
Thank Miss Gladstone. Let's go get something to eat.
Thank you.
Bio-transport authorisation complete.
Cargo deck five, we will commence transportation on your command.
Transporter three, we are ready to receive.
The first batch is in place, and we're ready for the next.
Inform me when the cargo is loaded and secure.
Aye, sir.
Come in.
I wanted to see how Ian was doing.
We're doing fine. I was about to get his supper.
Do you want your supper, too?
No, Ian, but thank you for the invitation.
You're welcome.
- Have you ever played with puppies? - They had a litter in the nursery.
No, Ian, I don't think I have.
Come to the nursery while the puppies are there.
Perhaps later.
Let me see that.
That's not so bad.
My face is wet.
Is that better, sweetheart? Everything's going to be fine.
He allowed himself to be burned.
- For the experience. - Who is he?
Why is he here? What does he want?
Ian, could you tell us why you are here?
Mommy said it was time to eat.
No, I mean, why are you here on this ship?
I live here.
The Captain wants to know if you're ready to tell us why you came here.
No, not yet.
The answer is within him.
When his cognitive powers have developed, he will articulate it.
I hope that's soon.
Cargo has been loaded and is secure.
Then take us out of orbit. Set a course for Rachelis, warp six.
Can I get you something?
No, nothing. I just like to stand here.
I don't blame you. It's beautiful.
How about a cup of Mareuvian tea?
No, nothing. Thank you.
You'll be leaving soon.
What do you see when you look out there?
The Lorenze Cluster,
and there's Arneb, and there's Epsilon Indi.
No. I mean, when you look out there, don't you see your future?
It'll still be there.
What about a cup of nectar direct from Prometheus?
No, nothing.
That's the third time you've asked me.
It's what I'm expected to do. Don't you always do what's expected?
I try.
Even if it's not what you really want?
Sometimes it's more important to consider others before yourself.
But sometimes the game is to know when to consider yourself first.
Give yourself permission to be selfish.
Something's wrong!
- What is it? - Growth!
- Where? - L-73.
This is cargo deck five.
Yes, La Forge?
Captain, we have a malfunction in the containment area.
- How serious? - Very.
Captain's log, supplemental. For reasons as yet unknown,
one of the deadly specimens of plasma plague has begun to grow.
Report, Mr. La Forge.
Captain, there is no reason for this to be happening.
I can't even isolate the cause.
Data, we better get down there.
- Dr Pulaski. - Yes, Captain?
A difficulty on cargo deck five. Your presence is requested.
I'm on my way.
You never talk about yourself.
Sure I do. All the time.
People say you're very old.
And that you knew Capt Picard when he was on the Stargazer.
No, I never knew him till I came on board.
Everyone's very curious about you.
I bet they are.
Yeah, they wanna know where you're from.
Where do they say?
Well, they say that you're from Nova Kron and...
- Mr. Crusher, to the bridge. - Aye, sir. Gotta go.
For a dish of Delovian soufflé?
No, not for the soufflé.
I meant... for the rest.
That's why I'm here.
Why this module and not the others?
Computer, run diagnostic on module L-73.
All circuits functional.
Environment's as programmed, temperature 97 degrees Kelvin,
radiation flux zero, stasis field nominal,
everything as it should be, right down the line.
Perhaps it is a sensor malfunction.
Computer, inquiry. Is growth actually occurring in L-73?
- Doctor, one specimen is growing. - Destroy it now.
- I can't. - Prepare to jettison the module.
We can't do that. It will remain until it comes into contact
with a planet or another ship.
The results would be disastrous.
You're saying no matter how bad I think it is, it's actually worse?
- This won't hold it. - Go on.
Within 30 minutes, it's going to push out of its module.
It will break out of the containment area.
- No. It can't break through this! - Yes, it will.
Captain, we may not be able to get control of this situation.
Recommend transfer of nonessential personnel to the saucer section.
If we lose containment, we should prepare to separate.
Make it so.
Why this one specimen and none of the others?
Something is stimulating it. Do you know how it was developed?
Yes, it's right over here.
It's a mutated strain developed during an outbreak of plasma plague
70 years ago in the Oby system. It was ninth in a series of 58 tests.
This particular test was bombarded by low levels of Eichner radiation.
Could exposure to Eichner radiation stimulate growth?
It could, but l...
I've got something!
Why didn't you detect this before?
I don't know. It wasn't here before.
It is now. What emits that type of radiation?
- A subspace phase inverter. - We don't have one.
Certain cyanoacrylates.
What else? It's here. We better find it!
I feel that some of the people are very worried.
I feel it, too, but don't you worry.
It's me, Mommy. I'm the reason.
- What? - It's me.
- You? - Yes.
I have to leave you now, or it will be bad for everyone.
- What are you saying? - I have to leave now.
You're going to die!
No, you can't!
Sickbay! This is Counsellor Troi. I need the Doctor in my quarters!
It's Ian! Hurry!
What happened? Did he eat anything? Did he fall?
Commander, the child is the source of the unusual radiation.
He said he's why the ship is in danger.
That analysis is correct.
I'm losing life signs.
You must save him!
I'm sorry.
Cmdr Riker, the containment field has... stabilised!
Thank you, Lieutenant.
Then Ian was right.
He was the cause.
Apparently so.
He is a life-force entity.
When we passed each other in space, he was curious about us.
He decided the best way to learn
was to go through the process, to be born,
to live as one of us and, in that way, to understand us.
He never meant any harm.
There was a moment when you smiled.
He said, "Thank you."
I told him we will miss him.
And I will.
- Standard orbit, Mr. Crusher. - Aye, sir. Standard orbit.
Transporter room three, this is the Captain.
Let's make this transfer with all deliberate speed.
Aye, sir.
I'll be glad to be relieved of this cargo.
You have the bridge, Number One.
Could I see you when you're free?
- In my ready room. - Thank you, sir.
- How long will a vaccine take? - We may never develop one.
All this was in vain?
- Let's hope not. - Stand by to energise.
Good luck.
Data, you can lock on to the first group and begin transporting.
Capt Picard, I've thought about this a lot.
I want to remain on the Enterprise.
Have you told your mother?
No, sir. Before I do, I'd like your permission to stay.
Wesley, it's a little more complicated than that.
Captain... This is where I want to be.
This is where I feel I belong.
Captain, transfer complete, we are ready to leave orbit.
Make it so, Number One.
Return to your position.
All systems secure.
Take us out of orbit, Mr. Crusher. Set course for Morgana Quadrant.
Ensign Crusher has requested to remain on the Enterprise.
I'm not surprised. How did you respond?
I haven't yet. I didn't think it was my responsibility alone.
His remaining will create difficulties for us all.
Yes, indeed. Who will see to his studies?
Of course, that duty will fall to Cmdr Data.
- Who will tuck him in at night? - Come on, Commander.
I will accept that responsibility.
Well, we know he'll get his sleep.
That's the practical, but there's more to growing up than that.
Number One, you are best qualified to supervise that.
Are you willing to serve?
Difficult decision.
Yes, I can do that.
Mr. Crusher, communicate with your mother.
Tell her you have my permission to remain on the Enterprise,
but I will abide by her wishes.
Yes, sir. Thank you, sir. I know she'll agree.
If you have course and speed laid in...
Yes, sir, they are.
Then, Mr. Crusher,... engage.

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