Captain's log, stardate 42609.1.
In response to a desperate plea
from my old friend Capt Donald Varley of the USS Yamato,
I'm running a grave risk
by taking the Enterprise into the Neutral Zone.
Dangerous malfunctions have been plaguing our sister ship.
Perhaps if both crews work together, we can eliminate the problems
before our presence is detected by the Romulans.
How long to rendezvous, Mr Crusher?
Four minutes and 33 seconds, sir.
Status of download, Mr Data?
The Yamato log should be in our computer by rendezvous.
Have you nailed down our hiccup?
- Sir? - The odd reading?
No, sir. It might be due to problems being experienced by the Yamato.
Trouble, Number One?
I'm not sure. Are we alone out here, Worf?
Yes. There are no other vessels except the Yamato,
which is coming into visual range now.
At last.
- Transmission from the Yamato, sir. - On viewer.
What's a nice Captain doing in a place like this?
It's good to see you again, despite your antique humour.
I hope your people can help us.
Malfunctions are becoming serious.
We lost an Engineering team
when a computer shut down a force field in a shuttle bay.
18 people.
Any idea what caused this, sir?
None. They affect every system simultaneously.
It's like the ship decided to fall apart.
Maybe we should have run these Galaxy-class ships
across more drawing boards before we built one.
You believe it's a design flaw?
I don't know. I'm grasping at straws.
We must fix it before I lose more than an Engineering team.
Do you wish to evacuate any nonessential personnel, sir?
No. That would be premature.
We'll get our teams to work on it immediately.
I'm not comfortable sitting around in the Neutral Zone.
I know you're wondering what the hell I'm doing here.
Well, I heard rumours about a couple of archaeological digs
that made the Iconians sound a lot less like legend.
I did a little investigating and I located their home world.
In the Neutral Zone?
In the Neutral Zone.
That was quite a risk to run to satisfy archaeological curiosity!
The risk would be in allowing the Romulans to locate Iconia.
Fortunately, I got there first.
It's a virtually dead planet.
Enough technology remains to give the Romulans an edge if they find...
Your transmission is breaking up.
Mr Data, try and clean that up.
Sir, there is an energy build-up in the Yamato's Engineering section.
Yamato, this is the Enterprise.
Yamato, come in.
Magnetic seals in the antimatter chamber are decaying!
Donald, come in!
Shields up.
Sensors indicate... no life reading, sir.
Captain, another vessel is coming within sensor range.
It is Romulan.
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 civilizations,... boldly go where no one has gone before.
Captain's log, supplemental.
The Yamato's entire crew and their families,
more than 1,000 people, have been lost.
Circumstances unfortunately permit us no pause for grief.
No response from the Romulan vessel.
Arm phasers and prepare to lock on target.
Did they attack the Yamato?
Unknown, sir.
Their weapon systems have been fully activated. Still no response.
Romulan vessel, this is Capt Jean-Luc Picard of the Enterprise.
Capt Picard.
Explain your illegal presence in the Neutral Zone!
Explain yours.
Are you responsible for the destruction of the Yamato?
But believe me, had we ex ercised our right to defend the Neutral Zone,
we would not have stopped with one starship.
You will leave at once.
- Mute. - Comments.
- She's extremely anxious. - She just destroyed a starship.
Your scan was inconclusive. We don't know what happened.
Our presence here is provocative. It could force her to respond.
- Open. - We will comply
when I know the cause of the destruction of the Yamato,
and I am satisfied you were not responsible. Picard out.
- Their cloaking device is engaged. - Good.
They can't fire.
Unless they have overcome that deficiency.
The Yamato was destroyed while they were cloaked.
Enough. I want answers, not conjecture.
Number One, I want them at a meeting in one hour.
Aye, sir.
Sensors reveal that what we saw was an uncontrolled
and catastrophic matter/antimatter mix.
The magnetic seals between the chambers collapsed and...
Wait! That's not possible.
It is, but a highly improbable set of circumstances has to take place.
OK. In the event of a breach of seal integrity,
there's a release system which dumps the antimatter.
Such a dump began, was halted, and the containment seals were dropped.
There was enough antimatter present to lead to an explosion.
There is no evidence of weapon use?
No, sir, none.
However it happened, the Yamato did it to herself.
What could have caused such a catastrophic malfunction?
Capt Varley may have been right. There may be a design flaw.
In a Galaxy-class starship?
Yes, sir. It's the most sophisticated machine ever built.
Maybe something was overlooked.
Knowing where the flaw is located, can you isolate it and solve it?
We're already working on it, sir.
Pull any personnel you can use.
If we have established that the Romulans
were not behind the destruction of the Yamato,
would it not be prudent to withdraw?
If it is a design flaw, we're better to stay where we are
and give Geordi time to work on it.
Or what happened to the Yamato could happen to us.
Computer, access Capt Donald Varley's personal log.
Search parameter.
Locate entries containing words Romulan and/or Iconian.
Personal log.
It was kind of Dr Ramsey to allow me to take my own piece of legend
from the archaeological dig at Denius III.
My engineers have examined it,
but are completely baffled by its technology.
What was its purpose?
I'm like a caveman confronted by a tricorder.
I'm certain this device is Iconian,
but how far had it travelled before it was abandoned
on this alien world?
Personal log.
A galactic Rosetta stone.
The star fields on the artifact were unintelligible
until I took into account 200 millennia of stellar drift.
After that, it was easy to pinpoint Iconia.
My First Officer is questioning my order to violate the Neutral Zone.
But I'm convinced I've taken the only proper course.
Should this technology fall into the hands of the Romulans
we might as well dock our ships and defend ourselves with sticks.
Personal log. We've been spotted by a Romulan cruiser.
After playing hide-and-seek through several solar systems,
I think I've managed to elude them.
The Iconian probe scan.
Was it an attempt at communication?
If only I knew what we were dealing with here.
Personal log.
I can't send a team to the surface of Iconia or scan its energy source
because of these maddening systems failures.
It's infuriating to be stopped at the threshold of a dream by my own ship.
We're leaving orbit to rendezvous with Picard.
If he can't help us repair the Yamato,
I must convince him to continue this exploration.
The future wellbeing of the Federation may well depend on it.
No further entries conforming to search parameters.
Mr Data.
There's a reference in Varley's log to a probe that scanned the Yamato.
Aye, sir. We have a visual record.
Put it on main viewer.
What the devil is that?
Have you seen anything like that before?
No, sir. It appears to be a scanner, possibly a transmitter.
- Transmitting what? - Unknown, sir.
La Forge.
Any progress on the matter&antimatter scan?
Everything continues to check out. Now analyzing the magnetic coils.
When the Yamato was probed, where was she?
In orbit around a planet at coordinates 227, mark 359.
ETA at warp factor eight?
12 hours, 16 minutes, sir.
Sir. That would put us close to the Romulan side of the Neutral Zone.
Can't be helped. Lay in a course.
- Warp factor eight. - Aye, sir.
- We'll assume the Yamato's mission. - And risk a war?
Perhaps... prevent one.
Sir, may I speak with you a moment?
Yes, of course.
Well, what is it, Wesley?
It's about the Iconians, sir.
I was told they were just a myth.
China was thought to be a myth until Marco Polo went there.
The Iconians are certainly real. Sit down.
We know that three systems within this sector
had several cultural similarities which could only be explained
by there being a unifying influence.
So they colonized those worlds?
Probably conquered.
- You mean they were warlike? - Perhaps.
Ancient texts did speak of "Demons of Air and Darkness".
Air and darkness?
Legend has it that they travelled without the benefit of spaceships,
merely appearing out of thin air on distant planets.
Sounds like magic!
Well, we would appear magical to Stone Age people.
How did you find this out?
Archaeology has been a hobby of mine since Academy days.
But why don't we talk about what really brought you here?
It's the Yamato, Captain.
I can't stop thinking about her.
All those people, ...
I don't know how you and Cmdr Riker and Geordi,
how you handle it so easily.
No, not easily.
We handle it because we're trained to, ... you will be.
Tea, Earl Grey, hot.
But... if ever the time comes
when the death of a single individual fails to move us...
- Didn't you order tea, sir? - Now that should not have happened.
Captain's log, supplemental. As happened to our sister ship,
the Enterprise is experiencing a series of system failures.
So far they are random,
but they could be early symptoms of what happened to the Yamato.
- Engineering. - La Forge.
Any progress on solving our problems?
No, but I can eliminate one worry. It is not a design flaw.
Reviewing the Yamato logs,
I think that probe had something to do with their problems.
- How? - I need to see the thing.
If it was the probe, that explains the Yamato.
But how do you explain the Enterprise's difficulties?
I can't.
Are our problems likely to attain the seriousness of the Yamato's?
If you're asking for speculation, I'd say yes. I need time.
Mr La Forge, time is one thing we do not have in abundance.
Analysis, Mr Data.
Scanning, sir.
- Well, Mr Data? - No life-form readings, sir.
All major cities have been damaged.
The destruction is consistent with large-scale orbital bombardment.
How long ago?
Approximately 200,000 years, sir.
There is an energy source in the smaller continent's mountains.
Is that Iconia?
Capt Varley died believing that it was.
Did you see that?
Projectile launched from the planet surface!
Its size and composition match the probe which scanned the Yamato.
Shields up. Prepare a tractor beam.
Mr La Forge, I'm going to assist you in your research.
A probe has been launched from Iconia.
I'm going to capture it.
No, sir! Wait!
Coming through!
Emergency! Stop!
Stop! Damn it!
Tractor beam ready, sir.
- Geordi, are you alright? - Destroy the probe, sir! Quickly!
Worf, target phasers.
- Phasers locked on target. - Fire!
Welcome to the bridge, Mr La Forge.
Thank you, sir. If that thing had managed to scan us,
we'd have had no chance of saving the Enterprise.
That probe was transmitting an alien computer program.
That program is now on the Enterprise trying to rewrite our software.
We have two completely incompatible computer systems trying to interact.
That's why our instruments are so erratic?
- Yes. - What can you do?
Not much. The Iconian program is so sophisticated, I may never crack it.
Consider, Captain, this program has entered an alien database, ours.
In less than seven hours it has learned our systems
and begun to reprogram our computer.
The earlier probe was responsible for the Yamato's destruction?
Yes. Only inasmuch as it was the probe that transmitted the program.
We weren't scanned by that probe. How did it get aboard the Enterprise?
We downloaded the Yamato log, and in that log was the program.
Why didn't we suffer the same fate?
The program affected the Yamato's systems simultaneously.
Here, it was deposited within a specific section of our mainframe.
It has to work its way out. It gives us some breathing space.
Not much.
Injury reports are increasing, too, sir.
Dr Pulaski does not trust the turbo lifts.
She is sending her teams through access tunnels.
The Enterprise computer is a lot like our own bodies,
with voluntary and involuntary systems.
90 percent of what goes on in this ship is done automatically.
Completely out of our control.
We're sitting on a bomb that could go off any second. Or maybe never.
The biobeds aren't working? The ship is falling apart!
I've had 35 emergency calls scattered across 12 decks.
My trauma teams are being run ragged trying to respond.
- Dr Pulaski? - Yes?
I've got a problem here. The knitter isn't working.
Try a splint.
- Doctor? - Splint. It's an ancient concept.
You take two flat pieces of wood, or plastic, a bandage.
- The broken limb is kept immobile. - That's not practising medicine.
Yes, it is. It's a time-honoured way.
With your head, your heart and your hands. So jump to it.
Try a bypass on the shield-control interface.
No go. Let me see if I can directly access the master program.
- What happened? - Any answer would be speculation.
This is yet another example of how our actions have random results.
Thanks, Data. I noticed.
Life support has failed on decks seven and 13, sir.
What if this thing can rewrite our entire system?
It's so far beyond our understanding, never mind our control.
Our own ignorance could kill us.
We may never...
We may never reach that point.
A variation of what happened to the Yamato may destroy us first.
So, we sit and watch our ship disintegrate around us?
The probe was launched from Iconia.
Probably from an automated system.
There may be records near the launch site
that could help us find a solution.
- I'll arrange an away team. - And I'll lead it.
- You will lead it? - Yes.
We've had this conversation a hundred times.
And we will have it again. I have studied the Iconians. I have to go.
The Enterprise is yours.
For as long as she lasts.
I've got a lock on the energy source and it's working.
- But that could change. - We're aware of the risks.
Transport complete.
Stay sharp. I want to be able to pull them out at a moment's notice.
Aye, sir.
- Commander, Romulan vessel. - Open hailing frequencies.
- They're arming torpedoes! - Shields up! Go to red alert.
- The shields aren't responding! - They're preparing to fire!
Mr Crusher, I need those shields!
- I'm trying, sir! - They're firing!
What happened?
Instead of firing, they disarmed and cancelled.
..protects fools, little children and ships named Enterprise.
Lock phasers on them and hold your fire.
- Sir, the shields are back up. - Impeccable timing.
Sir, the shields are back down.
- Phaser banks are down. - Shields are back up.
Another time and place, this could be funny.
Status of torpedo banks?
They're down, too.
If we have to fight, could you find me some rocks to throw?
Sir, the Romulan torpedoes are continuing to arm and disarm.
Perhaps its attempt to fire was unintentional.
- Open hailing frequencies. - Open.
Romulan vessel, this is Cmdr William Riker of the USS Enterprise.
Why did you attempt to fire on us?
This is Subcommander Taris of the Haakona.
Why have you penetrated deeper into the Neutral Zone?
Why are you still here?
I have claimed this planet for the Romulan Empire.
This is the Neutral Zone. No one can claim anything.
Withdraw or I'll have to destroy your ship and your away team!
What the hell...?
This is your final warning. I will not...
Trouble with your systems, Commander?
Maybe we should consider postponing the war...
..until we solve our more immediate problem.
You're stalling for time.
Sir, another probe launched. Heading for the Romulans.
- Have we got our phasers back? - No, sir.
Taris, if you have phaser capability, prepare to use them now!
- What? - Destroy that probe!
And not even a thank you.
She is frustrated, probably because her ship is as crippled as ours.
Why would the Romulans be having problems? They weren't probed.
They must have tapped into the Yamato log.
Taris got more than she bargained for.
Maintain red alert.
Try to keep our shields up in case Taris decides to act on her threat.
What about the away team? With the shields up, we can't beam them back.
Captain's log, supplemental.
There is little left on the surface of Iconia,
but we have found a control centre which seems to have remained intact.
Come in, Enterprise.
Still no response, sir.
Keep trying. Communications are bound to be erratic.
I would not like to become a permanent resident of this planet.
Nor would l, Mr Worf.
Scanners show no other life forms on the planet, sir.
I would not expect any.
Judging from the severity of the bombardment,
I doubt any Iconians survived.
Mr Data, let's see what sense we can make of this.
Aye, sir.
- This is reminiscent of Dinasian. - Yes, sir.
There are also similarities to Dewan and Iccobar.
Is it possible they form one language family, beginning with Iconian?
It is, sir.
Run a comparison using basic words from Dinasian, Dewan and Iccobar.
See if we can reconstruct a common root language.
Accessing, sir.
You're jumpy.
The tension on the ship is very high.
Any recommendation?
Give everyone something to do, to focus their attention.
Let's consider evacuation.
For the planet?
I know it's probably impossible with Taris sitting out there,
but it would give everyone something to do.
You go and organise it.
You may need me if you have to negotiate with Taris.
I'll manage.
Right now, they're more important.
Your original hypothesis is correct.
Iconian is the parent tongue of a language family
consisting of Iccobar, Dewan and Dinasian.
I've constructed an understanding through a comparison of root words,
such as mother, father, child, home, tribe, food, life, death, yours...
You know my interpretation of the signals will not be exact?
Yes. Let's get on with it.
This appears to be manual override.
That was not manual override.
Demons of Air and Darkness indeed.
- What is that? - A gateway?
These scenes could be holographic images.
Be careful!
- That was very foolish. - But proves this is not a holograph.
If I stepped through, we could see if this is truly a gateway.
No, Data. You might not get back. I can't risk losing you.
This gate would seem to take us beyond the confines of this planet.
Is this how the Iconians travelled?
Crossing light years as easily as we would cross a room?
Those places could be on worlds in distant corners of the galaxy.
I think the Iconians might have outfoxed their enemies.
Maybe they didn't all die in the bombardment.
Some of them could have passed through this.
This is what Varley feared.
- This is what he died for. - Sir?
The Romulans could use this technology as a weapon.
- Like the Iconians did. - No, I disagree.
Captain, nothing here indicates this was a military command centre.
Perhaps a transporter room?
- The probe was hostile. - We can't make that assumption.
It devastated the Yamato, but what if it was by accident not design?
What I'm going to say may sound unscientific,
but... standing on this soil, breathing in this air,
my instincts say we may have got them wrong.
We do know the Iconians were conquerors.
Only according to descendants of those who attacked this world.
The victors invariably write history to their advantage.
It is an unfortunate tendency in many cultures
to fear what they do not understand.
It's possible that their enemies, confronted by this technology,
may have attacked the Iconians out of fear.
Was that really the Enterprise?
I believe that it was.
Gentlemen, we have a way home.
Captain, there is a vast underground power source
which is controlled by this console.
I believe my triggering of the gateway
has caused an upsurge in the power level.
I have access.
Data, can you hear me?
Data, respond.
- Are you alright? - No...
I am... damaged.
How bad is it?
The Iconian program is attempting to rewrite my software.
Physical manifestations, blindness, motor cont...
Sir, without him we have no hope of deciphering the program.
Captain. The Enterprise again.
How long is the interval?
About four minutes. If the cycle holds.
Next time the Enterprise appears, go through it with Data.
Geordi can learn from him. Maybe help him.
- We don't know if that is a gateway. - This will be the test.
Aye, sir.
Destroy the tricorder.
It contains everything we've discovered up to this point.
Precisely why it must be destroyed.
How long?
About three minutes.
I'm running out of time.
We all are.
I have to destroy this.
This control room must not be allowed to fall into Romulan hands.
I... understand, sir.
How? How do I do it? How do I destroy everything?
The control room, the probes, all of it!
The... power source, sir.
I detonate it.
- But how? How do I do that? - The... probes, sir.
Probes? The probes?
Launch? I launch the probes?
But... why?
- What good will that do? - The... doors, sir.
Perhaps the probes are in a launch bay.
If the doors are closed,
the backwash from the rockets will overload the power bridge.
Yes, ... sir.
The doors open automatically when the launch begins.
- And I will override. - Correct, sir.
Which control keys? Damn.
You can't see.
Worf, help him up.
Describe, please.
I'm in front of the gate. To my left there is a small triangular screen.
Right. One... meter.
To my right is a larger screen. The top is solid amber.
- The left, red... - Correct.
Key, ... blue, ... amber, amber, ... red.
That's the launch sequence?
How do I override the doors?
Blue, blue, blue.
I hope that's not a stutter.
I don't know what the delay is between launch and detonation.
I won't key the launch sequence until you're through the gate.
How long until the Enterprise reappears?
Almost time. Captain, ... will be killed.
- I'll go through the gate. - But where will you end up?
Very shortly, anywhere will be preferable to this room.
Mr Worf, I am depending on you to get Data back to the Enterprise.
He may be their only hope.
Aye, sir.
- Commander, look. - What happened? Where's the Captain?
We must take Data to Engineering. Hopefully the Captain will follow.
I don't know how to help him. Comparing recorded norms
to these current readings shows all his functions are just going crazy!
If we had an expert, a Maddox, somebody...
He's gone.
What the hell...?
- I am accessing. - The self-correcting mechanism.
It's kicking in to make minute adjustments in the positronic brain.
I am on the Enterprise! How did I get here?
He cleared the Iconian program from his system. How?
I was on Iconia, now I am on the Enterprise.
- This is critical. How? - Give me a second to think.
There was an incompatible program in Data's system.
The mechanism looked for a way to keep him alive. The solution...
The solution was a shutdown and a total wipe of affected memory.
- Inquiry. What have I forgotten? - Can you do it with the Enterprise?
I don't see why not. But it must be a complete shutdown
to effect a wipe of the Yamato log,
including every event since we downloaded it.
I'll reload the ship's programs from the archives in the core.
Geordi, if we shut down, it means we'll be bringing down the shields.
We're hanging nose to nose with the Romulans!
Whether it's Romulan phasers or our own warp engines, we're just as dead.
Make it so.
May I help?
All systems functioning.
- Lock on the Captain, get him back. - Scanning, sir.
Got him!
- I've lost him. - Damn it!
Got him, sir.
- On the Romulan ship! - How the hell...?
Go to your stations.
You did this!
- You sabotaged my ship! - No.
I cannot deactivate the auto-destruct,
but at least I have the satisfaction that you will die with us.
Not, I think, today, Commander.
Bridge, Picard. Take us out of here.
The Romulan vessel is set to auto-destruct.
Wait! Open hailing frequencies.
Cmdr Taris, our Chief Engineer will transmit how to purge your system.
Agreed, Enterprise. Standing by.
Commander, your transmission has been received and acknowledged.
Now, Mr Data, warp speed, please.
In case Taris's engineer is not as efficient as La Forge.
Aye, sir.
Well, Number One, I see why you keep the away missions to yourself.
That's where the excitement is. What's been happening here?
Same old routine, I suppose?

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