- With reason. - About Worf or Cmdr Riker?
Both. I think it is perhaps best to be ignorant
of certain elements of Klingon psyche.
Above! Look out!
The exercise is over!
At ease, Lieutenant!
You do this every day?
Usually, my callisthenics are more... intense.
But those sessions are too personal to be shared.
I'll bet they are.
Computer, program complete. Save.
Right behind you.
Space, the final frontier.
These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise.
Its continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds,...
..to seek out new life and new civilisations,...
..to boldly go where no one has gone before.
Captain's log, stardate 42193.6.
We're bound for Morgana Quadrant,
which has yet to be visited by a manned Federation vessel.
We are using the time to detail the charts of this region.
There it is again, sir.
An area of blackness.
It appears, disappears, then reappears.
No predictable pattern.
There it is.
I can't see anything.
Magnify section 285.
There it is, sir. It's... Like a hole in space.
We're acquainted with the wormhole phenomenon, but this...
This appears quite different.
What do your sensors indicate?
- Nothing, sir. - Nothing?
Mr. Data, you must mean it's empty of matter.
There's always some energy at work.
Sensors show this to be the absence of everything.
A void without matter or energy.
Yet this hole has a form. Height, width.
Perhaps. Perhaps not, sir.
That's hardly a scientific observation.
Captain, the most elementary and valuable statement in science,
the beginning of wisdom, is "I do not know."
I do not know what that is, sir.
Captain, if this were any ordinary kind of hole in space,
wouldn't we see what's behind it?
I know what you're asking, but I feel nothing from it.
Data, is there any record anywhere of any occurrence similar to this?
No record of any Federation vessel encountering anything like this.
Indeed. I believe we have time to take a closer look, Number One.
Ensign, slow down to half impulse power.
Adjust co-ordinates to intercept... whatever this is.
Scanning and recording as we go.
Aye, sir. Adjusting course to intercept in... 12 minutes.
Let's launch a probe into it.
Worf, prepare a scanner probe.
This is close enough. Hold this position.
Aye, sir. Holding this position.
Fire probe when ready, Mr. Worf.
All probe systems are functioning perfectly, sir.
- It's gone! - Data, what happened?
Recommend we go to yellow alert.
Sorry, sir. It's...
this starship operates best when my officers say what's on their minds.
My thoughts... were of an old Klingon legend of...
..a gigantic black space creature
which was said to devour entire vessels.
- Devour vessels? - Sorry, Commander.
I agree, these are thoughts hardly worthy
of a trained and practical Security Officer.
Mr. Worf, will you launch another probe?
A class-1 with full sensor array.
Happened even more quickly.
- Recommend photon torpedo. - Negative.
Captain, I've been able to plot the outer boundaries.
I could move in closer.
Make it so, Mr. Crusher. Thrusters only.
- Still no readings of any kind, sir. - Number One?
I'm going with Worf on this one. Let's be careful.
Alright. That's enough, Ensign. Hold these coordinates.
- What's happened? - Data?
Whatever it is, sir, we seem to be inside it.
- It enveloped us. It moved. - All stations, report.
No response, Captain.
Captain's log, supplemental.
While exploring a strange void in space without any matter or energy,
we have apparently moved past its boundary and entered it.
After a brief disruption,
communications have returned to normal.
All stations have reported. Appears to be no immediate threat.
Let's hold this position. It's worth studying.
Incredible. It's like looking into infinity.
Remember the ancient history course at Starfleet Academy?
About when men believed the Earth was flat?
And the sun revolved around it?
And that a ship could fall off the edge of the world?
"Beyond this place, there be dragons."
It's even said that crews threatened to hang their captain
if he refused to turn back.
I'm sure no one here has that in mind, sir.
- How comforting, Number One. - Captain.
We have no communications outside of the void.
Complete scans, Data. Let's stay no longer than we must.
Doctor, have you been briefed on what's happened?
I heard, but I don't understand it.
Wish I could say I did. Increase magnification by ten.
Isn't this impossible, sir? I'm not a bridge officer, but...
Increase by... 1,000, Mr. Data.
It does know how to do these things, doesn't it?
Cmdr Data knows precisely what he's doing.
Forgive me, Mr. Data.
I'm not accustomed to working with non-living devices that...
Forgive me again. Your service record says that you are alive.
I must accept that.
- Are all systems functioning? - Yes, Captain.
Wherever we are is having no effect on Engineering.
Thank you. Data?
Difficult to judge with no information.
This void has a total lack of dimension.
Therefore, by all standards, it does not exist.
Yet being within it denies that conclusion.
Might we have moved into another dimension?
Could a lack of dimension be another dimension in itself?
That's an interesting question.
For a later discussion.
We should get on with our mission.
Starfleet can send a science vessel to investigate further.
- Move us back out. - Aye, sir.
Set course for Cornelian star system. Impulse power.
Aye, sir. Reversing direction. Course laid in.
- Your engines have engaged? - Aye, sir.
Lt La Forge, I'd like you to monitor our velocity closely.
Is everything alright?
Are the engines operating normally?
Yes, sir. Everything looks fine here.
- We're increasing to warp two. - Aye, sir.
We should be seeing stars by now.
Data, how far have we come?
Inertial guidance shows 1.4 parsecs travelled, Captain.
Confirmed, sir. Exactly what my readings say.
Engineering, transfer to bridge.
What's happening, sir? We should be clear.
We should be. We're on a reverse course.
- Full stop, helm. - Full stop, sir.
This says we're past the point at which we entered the void.
But we are still in it, sir.
If we dropped a stationary beacon,
we would have a fixed point of reference
to confirm speed and distance.
Make it so. Lock onto it. Keep it dead astern.
- The beacon is in place. - Dead ahead. Impulse power.
The beacon is falling astern.
All systems functioning normally.
- Prepare to increase to warp two. - Aye, sir.
Captain, we're receiving a signal from dead ahead.
Maybe you've found the door out of this.
- Closing on the new signal, sir. - Identify.
Captain, it is the stationary beacon we just released.
We've come full circle, sir.
We couldn't have, sir. I've shown us moving steadily away from it.
Full stop. Hold this position again.
Captain, sensors indicate a disturbance in sector 108.
Possibly a vessel.
Perhaps some answers at last. On screen.
The ship is equipped with a cloaking device.
- It's closing! - Shields up. Red alert.
- I'll be at my duty station. - Viewer locked onto coordinates.
Arm photon torpedoes, Mr. Worf.
Hold for my orders.
- There! - It's uncloaking!
Direct hit, sir. Our shields are weakening.
Warn them we'll return fire.
Transmitting. They've armed another full spread, sir.
Oh, that was too easy.
Our sensors show no debris from the Romulan vessel.
Another vessel approaching. Sector 091, mark 26.
It's a Federation ship. NCC 1305-E.
It's the Yamato, our sister ship.
The Yamato's nowhere near here.
Open a hailing frequency, Data.
USS Enterprise to USS Yamato.
USS Enterprise calling USS Yamato.
Respond, please, on this frequency.
- No response, Captain. - Make a full scan.
Life-support system, engineering and propulsion appear functional.
- But there are no life signs. - Can it be a false reading?
As we know nothing of these circumstances, it is conceivable.
You look doubtful, sir.
I'm not anything, Number One.
I'm just a man looking for answers.
Like the rat said, "Keep the cheese."
"I just want out of the trap."
Request permission to board the Yamato with an away team.
Something on board might explain what happened.
- Granted. Minimal complement. - Worf, you're with me.
Captain's log, supplemental.
We remain like a fly in amber, trapped in the void.
We have encountered what appears to be the USS Yamato.
All systems show functioning, yet it seems devoid of life.
Cmdr Riker is leading an away team.
Hopefully, the answer lies over there.
- Have you got a lock on that ship? - Aye, sir.
- Can you put us on the bridge? - Anywhere.
I know the Yamato. Recommend the aft station of the bridge.
When in doubt, surprise them.
- Them? Who's them? - Whoever may be there.
- Our sensors show no life forms. - Still, the tactic is sound.
- Agreed. Aft station. - Aye, sir.
Phasers on stun.
This isn't the bridge. Worf?
Halt! Don't fire!
I heard you screaming. I was coming to help.
You heard me? I heard you.
Transporter Chief, where do you show us here?
Captain, do you read me?
We're having difficulty with our communications.
Number One, come in.
Transporter room, we've lost contact with the away team. Beam them back.
I've lost the lock on them.
Nothing on my communicator, sir.
Let's find a turbo lift to the bridge.
Transporter room, have you established a lock?
Emergency power engaged.
- Initiate full check, all systems. - Engineering section.
What is our situation?
Request permission to leave the bridge.
This isn't a Federation ship. These walls aren't tritanium.
It's material beyond our technology.
Let's get to the bridge. There must be an answer somewhere.
This bridge should be four decks above us. What's going on here?
That's not where we came from.
Wait a minute...
If we go through there, where will we be?
On the bridge.
But we are on the bridge.
It's up to you, sir.
Let's see what happens.
Is it the same bridge?
Or did we step from one bridge onto another bridge?
We've regained communication, sir.
- I have a star fix. - On screen.
It's an opening, sir.
- Navigation is possible. - Should I set a course?
Transporter room, any fix on the away team?
How did you...?
- Where did you come from? - What's going on?
A ship has one bridge. One bridge!
One Riker, one bridge!
This is impossible! Impossible!
Pull yourself together!
At ease, Lieutenant. At ease.
Captain, the star fix is fading.
Data, lock on to the Yamato with a tractor beam.
- I cannot make the lock. - The star fix is almost gone.
Let it go.
- But, sir, we can get out. - Let it go.
Bridge, I have contact with the away team.
- Beam them back immediately. - Captain.
- Come in, Enterprise. - Hold position, away team.
We're bringing you home.
- Transporter room, hurry! - It's almost gone.
- What is going on? - Are you alright?
Let's put this technology to work and get the hell outta here!
A ship that was almost the Yamato, in a hole in space, with no crew.
What is the purpose?
Plus, an attack by a non-existent Romulan vessel.
It poses an interesting question. Was our away team actually there?
- If not, where were we? - Commander.
I have re-established the star fix.
Great. Set course. Velocity, warp two.
- Course and speed set. - Engage.
- I have lost contact, sir. - What?
The star fix is gone.
Captain, it is not in the same sector,
but another opening has appeared.
Alright. Set a course for those stars, warp six.
- Yes, sir. Warp six. - I have lost the signal, sir.
- What's going on? - All stop.
Yes, Mr. Data. I can see it.
This game is wearing very thin.
Let's just hold this position.
Counsellor? You said you sensed no intelligence in all of this.
You haven't changed in that belief?
I'm not certain now, Captain. I do sense something unusual.
Perhaps a different level of consciousness?
Perhaps an intelligence so vast it eluded me.
- Rats in a maze. - Exactly!
Everything reminds me of a laboratory experiment.
As if something was testing our responses to stimuli.
Are you suggesting... that we're in some kind of laboratory?
The opening seems closer, Captain.
- I've had enough of this. - Agreed, Captain. Hold position.
Good. Don't satisfy its curiosity.
Why are you so alarmed? I've tried to look just like you.
Captain, sensors show nothing out there. Absolutely nothing.
Sure is a damn ugly nothing.
I am Capt Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise,
representing a federation of planets in this part of the galaxy.
Can you identify whoever or whatever you are?
Speaks right up for something that isn't there, Data.
We still have no idea what you represent.
You are of different construction than the others. Interesting.
What are you? Your construction also differs.
Perhaps referring to your gender, Doctor.
Yes, well, there are minor... differences.
I'm what we call a female.
I understand. The masculine and the feminine.
It is the way we propagate our species.
Please, demonstrate how this is accomplished.
Whatever you are, your actions are not welcome.
Let me put up the shields, sir.
Sensors still show nothing out there.
Your life form surprises me more and more.
Is it true you also have only a limited existence?
What do you want? I don't understand the question.
You exist and then you cease to exist.
Your minds call it "death".
We cannot allow you to do that! We will fight you.
To understand death,
I must amass information on every aspect of it.
Every kind of dying.
The experiment shouldn't take more than a third of your crew.
Captain's log, stardate 42194. 7.
It is obvious that whatever we have met
sees no value in our life form.
How do we fight something that both is, and is not, there?
I know this much. We are unimportant to it.
In a battle for survival, 30 to 50 percent casualties...
- Would be appalling. - But within acceptable limits.
This is not a battle, Worf.
No. A laboratory experiment would be the closest comparison.
Any reason not to believe Nagilum?
Evidence indicates it is willing and able to do as it proposes.
Agreed. Under the circumstances, there is only one decision.
I will not stand by while half my crew is slaughtered.
Sir, I cannot see anything you can do to prevent it.
- Yes, there is. - What?
Destroy the Enterprise.
Isn't that like curing the disease by killing the patient?
Better than standing around helplessly.
Why do I get the feeling this was not the time to join this ship?
Recognise Picard, Jean-Luc.
Recognise Riker, William T.
Initiate auto-destruct sequence.
- Does Riker, William T, concur? - I do.
Initiate auto-destruct sequence.
Desired time interval?
Interesting question. How long to prepare to die?
What would be the least painful for our crew?
Move to it quickly, or allow them time to prepare thoroughly?
Well, 20 minutes? Nice round figure.
Interval,... 20 minutes.
20 minutes to auto-destruct.
19 minutes, 50 seconds.
Our destroying ourselves won't change its mind.
I would feel that.
You didn't mention you were that certain.
I was wrong not to tell you. And your decision may also be wrong.
Yes. Come in, please.
- I have a question, sir. - Yes, Data. What is it?
What... is death?
Is that all?
Well, Data, you're asking probably the most difficult of all questions.
Some see it as a changing into an indestructible form.
They believe that the purpose of the entire universe
is to then maintain that form
in an Earth-like garden which will give delight through all eternity.
On the other hand, there are those who hold to the idea
of our blinking into nothingness,...
..with all our experiences, hopes and dreams merely a delusion.
Which do you believe, sir?
Considering the marvellous complexity of the universe,
its clockwork perfection, its balances of this against that,
matter, energy, gravitation, time, dimension,
I believe that our existence
must be more than either of these philosophies.
That what we are
goes beyond Euclidian or other practical measuring systems,
and that our existence is part of a reality
beyond what we understand now as reality.
We should not let ourselves die, Jean-Luc.
I agree with her, Jean-Luc.
If only half of us live,
I'd rather take my chances on being one that does.
Yes. It is wrong of you to force us.
It is wrong.
Yes. This is very wrong.
Neither of you should be reacting in this way.
Computer, locate Cmdr Data for me.
Cmdr Data is on the bridge.
It's not going to work, Nagilum.
Captain, we are clear. We are out of the void.
It's gone, Captain. We can abort the auto-destruct.
Hold, Number One.
- But, Captain... - Hold.
One minute to auto-destruct.
We are out of the void. You may stop auto-destruct.
Mr. Crusher, warp six, any heading. Now.
50 seconds to auto-destruct.
- 40 seconds to auto-destruct. - Captain?
It could all be part of the illusion.
Cmdr Data, report.
- We are at warp six, on course. - 30 seconds to auto-destruct.
- Counsellor Troi? - It has gone.
- I no longer feel its presence. - 20 seconds to auto-destruct.
Ten seconds to auto-destruct.
Abort auto-destruct sequence.
- Riker, William T, do you concur? - Yes, I do concur, wholeheartedly!
A simple "yes" would have sufficed.
I didn't want there to be any chance of a misunderstanding.
You have the bridge.
He sure held that bluff to the last second, didn't he, sir?
Was he bluffing?
Well, Nagilum, I hope you got what you needed.
You have provided me with much more than I needed.
Why did you release us? You could have seen the way we face death.
It wasn't necessary. I learned all I needed to know.
Would you like me to share some conclusions?
I'm not interested.
Of course you are. You're too inquisitive for that.
You seem to find no tranquillity in anything.
You struggle against the inevitable.
You thrive on conflict.
You're selfish, yet you value loyalty.
You are rash, quick to judge, slow to change.
It's amazing you've survived.
Be that as it may, as species, we have no common ground.
You're too aggressive.
Too hostile. Too militant.
During this period, you too have been evaluated.
It would seem we have at least one thing in common.
The point is well taken, Captain.
Perhaps that is a trait we share.
And perhaps we shall meet again.
But next time, it will be out here, among the stars.
Ensign, put us back on course. Warp three.
Yes, sir. Warp three.
And, Ensign, if you encounter any holes, steer clear.