Come on in.
Excellent! That's exactly what I needed.
Mr Worf. And the good Doctor bearing gifts.
Ale from Ennan VI. Your omelettes deserve no less.
This is not an efficient method to prepare sustenance.
The computer is more efficient,
but it isn't subtle enough for great cooking.
It would give you the ingredients,
but wouldn't allow for flair or individuality.
And flair marks the difference between artistry and competence.
Historically, the breaking of bread
symbolized friendship and community.
Something we've got away from in the 24th century.
You've a practised hand, Commander.
- I have my father to thank. - Your father liked to cook?
No, he hated it. That's why he left it to me.
I understand in most human families the woman shares in the cooking.
There were only the two of us.
I never knew my mother. She died when I was very young.
Where did you get these eggs?
On our last stop.
- At Starbase 73? - Yeah.
- What kind of eggs are they? - Owon.
For you, Data, something special.
Don't be afraid. They won't bite you.
And for you, Mr Worf.
A cook is only as good as his ingredients.
- Number One. - Go ahead.
- Would you join me on the bridge? - Right away, sir.
We've picked up a signal from a Federation shuttlecraft.
How? I thought we were the only manned vessel out here.
Apparently not.
What's it doing out this far? Where's its mothership?
Sensors indicate at least one life form aboard. Humanoid.
Perhaps someone to answer your questions. Open hailing frequencies.
Communication is not possible. The shuttle has no power.
Set course to intercept.
Estimate intercept in three minutes.
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 civilizations,...
..to boldly go where no one has gone before.
Captain's log, stardate 42679.2.
En route to the Endicor system,
we have encountered a Federation shuttlecraft,
which has appeared out of nowhere.
There are no indications of where it came from or how it got out here.
- We are closing on the shuttlecraft. - Thank you. On screen.
Prepare the tractor beam.
Target vehicle. We will be within tractor-beam range in two seconds.
Set automatic locking device. Alert shuttle bay two.
Shuttle bay two, prepare for retrieval procedure.
Locking tractor beam.
Number One.
You're with me, Mr Worf.
Dr Pulaski, you are needed in shuttle bay two.
I've been monitoring. I'm on my way.
Engage secondary tractor beam.
It's a Federation shuttlecraft, alright.
Yet there are no bases or vessels in this area.
NCC-1701-D, USS Enterprise. Shuttlecraft 5.
NCC-1701 -D, USS Enterprise. Shuttlecraft 5.
How is this possible?
Commander, come here!
- Captain? - Yes, Number One.
- Are you on the bridge? - Where else would I be?
Right now, you should be in shuttle bay two.
Why? What is it?
This you should see for yourself. Bring Cmdr Data.
Life signs are very confusing. Strong heartbeat but weak pulse.
- Is he injured? - There's no signs of trauma.
Why is he unconscious? What happened?
I can't say.
The readings of his brain waves are very strange.
Strange? In what way?
- Not human? Artificial? - No, neither.
They're just out of phase.
Can you revive him?
I wouldn't even attempt it till we get him to sickbay.
Come on, let's get him out.
I have never felt anything like this before,
so it's difficult to put into words.
- That person is you. - No.
He is as much Jean-Luc Picard as the person I'm standing next to.
Beyond that, there is very little I can be sure of.
I will have to wait until he regains consciousness.
I need to know what's on the shuttle's logs.
Aye, sir.
Captain, both primary and reserve power has been drained.
I need to connect to the Enterprise to activate the shuttle's systems.
Geordi, report to shuttle bay two immediately.
I'm on my way.
- I'll be in sickbay. - Captain. Seen this?
Looks like the damage caused by an antimatter explosion.
It must have been just out of range of the shuttlecraft.
Data, I need those logs.
We'll be on the bridge.
Resume course and speed. Scanners at maximum range.
Maximum range.
There you go. You should have power now.
What happened?
The polarity is not compatible.
That's not possible. The connection's idiot-proof.
The power requirements of the shuttle do not match those of the Enterprise.
We will need a variable-phase inverter,
to align the power from the Enterprise to the shuttle.
Data, what do you think is going on here?
Not just the shuttle, I mean everything.
I do not have enough information.
I'm just starting a complete medical work-up.
His vital signs are distorted.
Some indicators are depressed, others are fluctuating wildly.
I can't explain any of it.
But he is alive.
The restraints are for his own protection.
Have you determined why he's still unconscious?
No, but I have been able to rule out any head injury.
Wake him.
What happened?
Apparently, the normal stimulant had the opposite effect.
I'll have to try something else.
Alright, Data.
I think I've got it now.
That ought to give you something.
Making this power adjustment is very tricky.
By all rights, this should blow all the shuttle's circuits.
Perhaps you had better step out of the way.
Alright. But remember, you're not indestructible yourself, you know.
Increase the power.
Powering up.
Adjust the inverter two percent positive.
Two percent positive.
The right decision is having the opposite effect.
I can't think of anything
that would cause the circuit to change so radically.
Adjust the inverter two percent negative.
Two percent negative.
That's it. It shouldn't work, but it does.
Take a look at the stardate.
- Captain... - Go ahead.
We've been able to reactivate the shuttle.
The clock indicates that the shuttle is six hours in front of us.
Captain, do you read me?
If the shuttle's from six hours into the future,
then so is the other Capt Picard.
Captain's log, supplemental.
Part of the mystery has been solved.
There are two number 5 shuttlecrafts because one is from the future.
Six hours, to be ex act. And so, presumably, is the facsimile of me.
Try and wake him again.
- No. - It's only a sedative.
I know. Don't sedate him. Let him be. Please.
Let him remain conscious.
I've never seen anything like this.
Are you alright?
Fine. Save your ministrations for your patient.
I want a staff meeting in five minutes.
I assume you will remain here.
Yes, I will monitor the conference from here.
Keep me informed of any changes, no matter how small.
Captain's log, supplemental.
Mr Data has recovered the logs from the duplicate shuttle.
I am apprehensive to play back a log
which will not be recorded for several hours.
We've retrieved all we can from the logs,
including the last visual records. Everything else is just a jumble.
Show me.
The distortion is because we had to use a phase inverter.
The quality will improve slightly.
According to the log, the Enterprise was destroyed
three hours, 19 minutes from now.
Captain, we also have a portion of the last log entry. It's audio only.
Captain's personal log, supplemental.
I have just witnessed the total destruction of the USS Enterprise,
with the loss of all hands, save one.
All attempts to obtain further information have failed.
Well, at least we have something to go on.
I don't understand how you could have ended up in a shuttlecraft
- while the Enterprise was destroyed. - Nor I.
The last thing you would do is leave the bridge during an emergency.
Alright. Let's proceed on the premise
that what we have just seen happened,
and that in less than four hours from now...
..the Enterprise will be destroyed,
and, somehow, although this is unfathomable,
l, and I alone, escape. Discussion.
Our destination is the Endicor system.
We'll arrive in three days.
The charts show nothing to threaten the ship between here and there.
Sensors indicated no other vessels, Federation or otherwise, here.
- Data? - I have nothing to offer.
There is not enough information upon which to base a hypothesis.
The shuttle came from up ahead.
Rather than continuing, maybe we should stop here
and let whatever it is out there come to us.
We may already be too late.
What? Stopping, turning, even reversing our course is pointless?
When we brought the shuttle and the other Picard on board,
we committed to a sequence of events which may be unalterable.
Yes, this is not some... rock on the trail,
which once seen can easily be avoided.
This is much more complex.
There is the theory of the Möbius.
A twist in the fabric of space where time becomes a loop
from which there is no escape.
So when we reach that point, whatever happened will happen again.
The ship will be destroyed. The other Picard will meet us.
And we do it all over again. Sounds like someone's idea of hell.
Well, I know this much. We can't avoid the future.
Agreed. So let's continue on course.
Somewhere out there, something will happen.
A decision will be made and I will be separated from the Enterprise.
At the time, the decision will seem to be correct, but it won't be.
We have to anticipate, and not make...
..not make the same mistake once.
Something is waiting for us out there.
Let's try and determine what it is, quickly.
I'm just beginning to realize how much of the body
is held together by its own internal clock.
He was thrown out of time,
which caused his body systems to change their rhythms.
Now, slowly, as we get closer to the time that he left,
his internal body clock is realigning.
Are you saying that when our time intersects with the time he left,
in that instant he will function normally, and...
..and there will be two of us?
Right now, that is my guess.
I don't think that's possible.
I'm able to feel much more from him now.
His emotions are still a jumble, but...
He desperately wants to leave this ship.
Captain's log, supplemental. We continue on course to Endicor.
We are less than two hours away from our rendezvous with ourselves.
Maximum scan, sir. Nothing unusual to report.
If this timetable is correct, we could get an indication soon.
- Bridge, this is sickbay. - Yes, Doctor?
Captain, my patient is more coherent.
I'm on my way. You have the bridge, Number One.
How is he?
His vital signs are more normal, more like ours.
- He is calmer. - He's aware of me?
Perhaps, in some fashion.
But he knows where he is, who's here?
I doubt it.
What went wrong? You know, don't you?
What did you do? What happened? Why did you leave the ship?
Don't turn away! Look at me!
Picard! Look at me!
- He doesn't understand you. - He knows I'm here.
Yes, but in a nightmare
of disjointed images and half-heard voices.
He's in another dimension, looking at us across a great chasm.
He's feeling remorse at what he witnessed.
- He's afraid. - What is he afraid of?
Damn you. Help me. Why did you leave the ship?
It's no use, Captain. He can't answer you.
When we get closer to his time, he may be able to.
- Are you still convinced he's me? - Yes, but you're not convinced.
Not in the slightest.
Except for his features, there is nothing about him I find familiar.
Counsellor, I want you to stay with him.
He'll be able to communicate with you before anyone else.
I don't know how long anyone could take this anxiety state.
- There has to be a breaking point. - He's handling it very well.
He has a lot of anger.
- Because of what he represents. - And what is that?
Doubt. He's afraid that seeing him here,
and knowing what happened to the Enterprise, will make him timid.
Or worse, make him hesitate.
Part of my job is to anticipate problems.
My duty is to the Captain, but first to the ship and its crew.
Doctor, the Captain is quite capable of making command decisions.
Yes, for now. But this situation has put him
under extreme pressure of a unique and very personal kind.
We both know that pressure will only increase.
You said yourself that he already has doubt.
Which is understandable and healthy.
And could be potentially paralyzing.
If we begin to see signs that he's acting in an irrational manner,
I have the authority and duty to relieve him.
I don't think that will be necessary.
I hope you're right.
What force or phenomenon could cause the shuttle
to be thrown back in time?
None that we know. In theory, accelerating beyond warp ten.
Using the gravitational pull of a star to slingshot back in time?
The shuttle doesn't have warp capability.
No. So some external force was needed.
We've never encountered a natural force that powerful.
Why only six hours? Why not a day? Or a year?
Are you saying there was some conscious mind at work here?
There's no evidence either way.
The Traveller moved through time using the power of his mind.
I don't think that's the case here.
And Manheim's experiments with gravity and time
were rudimentary and uncontrollable.
Captain, I think this is one instance
where you should suppress your natural tendencies.
- Really? - One of your strengths
is your ability to evaluate the dynamics of a situation,
and then take a definitive pre-emptive step, take charge.
You're frustrated. You not only can't see the solution,
you can't even define the problem.
Go on.
What we're facing is neither a person nor a place.
At least not yet. It's time.
You're saying I should shut up and wait?
I wouldn't have put it exactly like that.
- Not something I do easily. - Your Persian flaw.
Yes, perhaps it is.
Captain to the bridge.
This energy vortex has just appeared beneath us.
- There was no warning. - Well, at least the waiting's over.
Captain's log, supplemental.
We have apparently intersected with... something.
It is similar to our tractor beam, only much more powerful.
- Bridge, this is Lt La Forge. - Bridge.
The pull on the ship is steady.
I'm holding the engines at 30 percent to maintain our position.
Transfer Engineering control to the bridge.
Captain, there is a consciousness here.
Not thought, more like instinct.
- What do you think, Number One? - I think we're being probed.
The beam is coming from the centre of the vortex.
Sensors show it to be only a mass of energy.
What is it trying to learn?
I think it's trying to determine if we are a life force.
- We'll stay and investigate. - Agreed.
Unless that was the mistake.
- Staying too long. - Possibly.
- We should go now. - Well...
That would be the prudent move.
I never thought I'd hear myself say that.
Under the circumstances, sir, I think you're right.
But you would rather stay and find out what it is? What is its intent?
- Engineering, transfer to bridge. - Mr La Forge.
- Sir? - Take us out of here. Maximum warp.
Aye, sir. I've set the velocity at warp nine.
Warp engines are at 91 percent.
- Put it to the wall, Mr La Forge. - Aye, sir.
I can't hold it.
The engines can't handle the strain.
All stop.
- Mr La Forge? - I'm re-engaging warp engines.
All decks have reported. No damage. No injuries.
The hold on the Enterprise is strong.
I'm at warp seven just to maintain our position.
Everything we do tightens its grip.
Let's see what we can learn. Launch a class-1 probe.
Aye, sir.
Mr Worf...
That was personal.
The power drain needed to hold this position is enormous.
How long can you maintain it?
Just a few minutes then we'll have to shut down.
Captain, some kind of energy
just surrounded my patient.
- Is he alive? - Yes.
Arm the photons, Mr Worf. Lock on the centre of the vortex.
Photon torpedoes on target.
Hold for my order.
Like a rag in a dog's mouth.
I am now at maximum warp.
It's you, Captain. It was the entire ship,
but now it has focused its attention entirely on you.
Captain, I can't hold it. If we don't shut down right now...
Hold this position!
Counsellor, if I were to leave the Enterprise,
would its attention still be focused on me?
Yes, I think it would.
You'd never survive.
But in those few seconds, the Enterprise might break free.
That's what he... That's what the other Picard must have thought.
- Where are you going? - You have the bridge.
You're leaving the ship?
We may be on a road that has no turns.
He's very agitated.
I must get to the shuttle.
I know. Do you know where you are?
The Enterprise.
But you're only vaguely aware of it. And me? Do you know who I am?
No, you don't, do you?
I must go!
- Release him. - Do you know what you're doing?
No. Release him.
Security to sickbay.
No! Security, disregard that order and clear all personnel,
repeat, all personnel from shuttle bay two.
I don't want any distractions.
You, stay here.
- You're leaving the ship? - I must.
- Why? - The energy in the vortex wants me.
- You're certain? - Yes.
It's an entity, a life form.
It recognizes the Enterprise as an entity with me as its brain.
Shuttle bay two.
What's your other option?
This is our only chance.
If I leave,
it may be distracted long enough for the Enterprise to escape.
No. If you leave, the Enterprise will be destroyed. Remember?
You saw it happen.
If I don't leave the ship, the Enterprise will be destroyed.
If that's true, then help me. We both want the ship to be safe.
But there is information I don't have.
- It's me. - You?
Captain, we're about to lose warp drive.
- Understood. - Understood.
When you say it wants you, do you mean still you and not me?
You're confusing me.
We're almost out of time. I must get to the shuttle.
Wait! You can. I'll let you.
But, first, tell me, what was your other choice?
Stand aside.
You must tell me. What was it?
You don't know what I'm talking about.
You're locked into a single intent unable to change.
Unable to alter any of your previous actions.
I must leave. There's no other way.
There must be.
One. But it would never work.
What is it? What would never work?
I have to leave.
What was the other choice? We can't fight. We can't go forward.
No, we can't go forward. That would destroy the Enterprise.
Was that it? Was that the other choice?
- I must leave. - No!
Capt Picard!
I cannot allow you to leave.
Before we can go forward, ... the cycle must end.
Dr Pulaski, report to shuttle bay two.
Number One, we're wasting energy trying to escape.
Set a course for the centre of the vortex.
Mr La Forge, on my command, all the power you can muster.
- Yes, sir. - We're going in?
- Yes. - Course set, sir.
Now everyone hold their position. No matter what.
Capt Picard?
Shuttle bay two. The other Picard and the shuttle are gone.
- Explain. - They just... vanished.
- What's our position? - We are back on course to Endicor.
Stand down from red alert.
All decks have reported in. No damage, no casualties.
You have the bridge, Number One.
A lot of questions, Number One. Damn few answers.
Maybe none of it was real.
Perhaps we were all part of a shared illusion.
Or maybe he was thrown back in time,
so that we would be able to take another road.
Make a different choice.
They say if you travel far enough, you will eventually meet yourself.
Having experienced that, Number One,
it's not something I would care to repeat.
I'll be on the bridge, sir.

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