Captain's log, stardate 46041.1.
We have located the USS Yosemite,
a science vessel sent to observe a remote plasma streamer.
The ship has not been heard from in days.
The last report says they were observing at medium range.
Maybe they went in, got more than they bargained for.
Hail them.
- No response. - Life signs?
Scanners cannot penetrate the plasma streamer's distortion field.
- Can we tractor them out? - No.
Ionic interference is too heavy.
- I'll take a shuttle in. - Too risky. You could be pulled in.
Bridge to Engineering.
Mr. La Forge, can we beam over?
We can, but we might not get a lock to bring them back.
If we bridged our transporter system to theirs
we might cut through the ionic field.
That's a good idea, Barclay.
Captain, I think we can do it by bridging the transporters.
Acknowledged. Meet Riker in transporter room three.
Aye, sir. Barclay, I'll need a systems engineer.
I'll ask Ensign Dern to join you.
I meant you, Barclay.
Shouldn't I stay here and set up the remote link?
Dern can do that. Let's go.
- Status, Mr. O'Brien? - I have to send you one at a time
and transport will take longer.
- How much longer? - Twice the normal time.
- You're in for a bumpy ride. - What do you...?
What exactly do you mean by a bumpy ride?
There may be static. You'll feel some tingling, but don't worry.
Let's do it. Mr. Worf.
Engaging system interlock.
Pattern buffers synchronized.
Phase-transition coils at stand-by.
He's there.
I'll go next.
Engaging interlock. Buffers synched. Energizing.
I'm ready.
Engaging interlock. Buffers in synch.
Wait a minute. An ionic fluctuation in the matter stream.
No problem.
OK. Energizing.
Reg, you're up.
Aye, sir.
Engaging interlock.
Buffers in synch.
- Phase coils are... - Sorry. I can't do this.
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.
Reg, you were faced with a difficult transport.
Anyone would have been apprehensive.
Tell that to Cmdr La Forge and the team.
I'm sure they understand.
As soon as you feel OK, join them.
Reg, is there something you're not telling me?
This is not the...
This is not the first time I've been apprehensive.
Every single time that I tried to do it,
I had this certain feeling.
I guess you could call it mortal terror.
- Why have you kept it a secret? - Why?
Because my career in Starfleet would be over. That's why.
- I doubt that. - I've always avoided it.
You wouldn't believe the hours I've logged in shuttlecraft.
The idea of being deconstructed, molecule by molecule,
it's more than I can stand. Even when I was a child,
I always had a dreadful fear that if ever I was dematerialized, ...
..that I would never come back again whole.
I know, it sounds crazy.
It's not crazy at all.
You are being taken apart molecule by molecule.
You're not the first person to have anxiety about transporting.
We can desensitize you to this type of fear.
It's a slow and gradual process, but it works.
It does? How?
You might try a relaxation technique, like plexing.
- Plexing? - Yes, it's a Betazoid method.
The next time you feel nervous,
you stimulate a neural pressure point, like this.
There's a nerve cluster just behind the carotid artery.
It stimulates the brain to release natural endorphins.
Plexing. Sounds easy enough.
You know, I feel better already. I think I can do this.
There's no need to rush.
We talked about confronting fear. The best way out is through.
You said that once.
- I suppose I did. - I'm gonna beam over. I can do it!
There's no sign of anyone.
- Maybe they abandoned ship. - Unlikely.
The escape pods are still on board.
- There was an explosion. - What caused it?
I've ruled out a core failure or systems overload.
Blast analysis indicates the explosion originated here... the transport chamber.
How? The transporter is still functional.
Could they have beamed aboard an explosive device?
Cmdr Riker, could you come here?
Excuse me.
Lt Joshua Kelly. He was the ship's engineer.
How did he die?
He has burns over his body,
but I don't think they were the cause.
I'd like to take him back to do an autopsy.
- You're sure, sir? - Sure.
- Please, proceed. - It’ll only take a minute.
It should be smooth.
I know how you feel, sir.
You're afraid of transporting, too?
No. Arachnids. Sickening, crawly little things, don't you think?
- All those legs. - Spiders never bothered me.
A few years back,
I was called in to reroute an emitter array on Zayra IV.
The entire system was infested with Talarian hook spiders.
Have you ever seen one?
Their legs are half-a-metre long.
I had a choice. Do I let the emitter blow itself to hell?
Or do I crawl in the Jeffries tube with 20 hook spiders?
What happened?
It was the hardest thing I ever did. I got through it.
- After that I was never so afraid. - Thanks.
Welcome aboard.
- You ready to work? - Yes, sir.
Good. Start downloading the ship's science logs over there.
Four crew members unaccounted for. Did you get anything?
I don't know how these fit in. They were around the transporter.
They look like pieces of sample container.
We'll take these back to the ship for analysis. Mr. Barclay.
- Glad you could join us. - Me too, sir.
The Ferengi claim two freighters
were destroyed by Cardassians in your sector.
Is there any evidence?
I'm loathe to believe them about anything...
..but there was evidence of Cardassian weapons.
If the Cardassians also attacked the Yosemite,
it could indicate a large movement in this sector.
I have an away team on board.
The initial report indicates there was an explosion,
but not if it was an attack.
- How soon until you know? - A few hours.
If it looks like Cardassians, I'll contact you.
Very well.
- Bridge to Capt Picard. - Go ahead, Mr. Data.
The away team is returning to the Enterprise.
Have Cmdr Riker come to my ready room.
Aye, sir.
La Forge to transporter room three. Ready.
Stand by, Commander.
Barclay to Enterprise. One to beam back.
Stand by, sir.
See, sir? That wasn't so bad, was it?
Mission logs, science and medical logs, all scrambled.
Looks like the blast wiped out the ship's core memory.
We could try to reconstitute the data stream.
It's worth a try.
Commander, has anything strange happened to you during transport?
Like what?
I don't know. Anything out of the ordinary.
No, not really.
This looks hopeless. We won't get anything from these logs.
Maybe this broken container I found can tell us something.
Let's get this thing back into one piece.
I mean, have you ever seen anything?
- Where? - During transport.
Sometimes my visor picks up resonance patterns.
It's actually kind of pretty. Why?
I'm just wondering.
What are you getting at?
Did you see something?
When I was returning to the Enterprise, ...
..I could've sworn I saw something in the stream.
In the phased matter round me.
At first I thought it was some kind of energy discharge.
But then it flew toward me and touched my arm.
How could something be in there?
Molecules flying apart, half-phased?
I mean, it's impossible, isn't it?
We better check it out.
When we're done here, we'll run a full diagnostic, alright?
The confinement-beam subsystems check out.
- So do the phase-transition coils. - Pattern buffer is fine.
Emitter pads, targeting scanners, they're all working fine.
This system's clean. So is the science vessel's.
There's a lot of energy in the beam.
Maybe you saw a surge in the matter stream.
I'll scan the Heisenberg compensators.
- Chief, you've done enough. - It's no problem. Give me a hand.
You know, maybe ignorance really is bliss.
If I knew less about these things, they wouldn't scare me.
I remember the day in Dr Olafson's transporter-theory class,
when he was talking about the body being converted
into billions of kiloquads of data, zipping through subspace,
and I realized there's no margin for error.
One atom out of place... You never come back.
It's amazing people aren't lost all the time.
With all due respect,
I've done this for 22 years and haven't lost anybody.
Yes, but you realize if the imaging scanners are off
even one thousandth of a percent...
That's why each pad has four redundant scanners.
If one fails, the others take over.
How many accidents have there been in the last ten years? Two? Three?
There are millions of people who transport safely every day.
I've heard of problems. What about transporter psychosis?
Transporter psychosis?
There hasn't been a case in 50 years.
Not since they perfected the multiplex pattern-buffers.
Transporting really is the safest way to travel.
I'd like a closer look at those burns. Take a tissue sample, please.
Damage to the epidermis only. Initiate a circulatory probe.
His heart's beating. Cardio-stimulator.
It's gone.
Neuro-electrical activity in the cerebral cortex.
Now his respiratory system's active.
What the hell is going on?
Water, ten degrees Celsius.
Computer, access Starfleet medical database.
Tell me about...
Describe the disorder transporter psychosis.
Transporter psychosis was diagnosed in the year 2209
by researchers on Delinia II.
No, stop. All I need is... What causes it?
Neurochemical molecules break down during transport,
affecting motor functions,
autonomic systems and the brain's higher reasoning centres.
What are the symptoms?
Victims suffer from paranoid delusions,
multi-infarct dementia, hallucinations...
Hallucinations? What kind of hallucinations?
Victims experience somatic, tactile and visual hallucinations,
accompanied by psychogenic hysteria.
Peripheral symptoms include sleeplessness,
accelerated heart rate,
diminished eyesight leading to acute myopia,
painful spasms in the extremities,...
..and in most cases, dehydration.
What is the treatment for transporter psychosis?
There is no known treatment.
The autopsy showed ionization in every one of Lt Kelly's systems.
I think that caused the muscular contractions.
From where did the ionization come?
There's evidence of electrical burns on his body,
as if he was exposed to ionized gas or high-energy plasma.
Plasma? There's no way they could have been exposed.
Unless it was from the streamer.
Is there evidence of a breach? Could the plasma enter the ship?
No. Data, what's the report on that broken sample container?
The analysis of the fragments is not yet complete.
Captain, if there's ionization in those fragments,
it could mean they beamed aboard material from the streamer.
If the plasma exploded, that would explain a few things.
Let me know when the analysis is complete.
From the look of these fractures, the explosion came from within.
The container does show evidence of residual ionization.
I believe you are correct. It was used to store plasma.
So they were collecting samples from the streamer.
They had the proper container. How could it have exploded?
Perhaps we should recreate their experiment
to see what happens when matter is beamed aboard in the same way.
Good idea. We'll prepare a new container.
I don't want to take any chances. Set up a containment field.
Aye, sir.
- Are you alright, Lieutenant? - I'm fine.
Yes, thank you.
Geordi, Lt Barclay appears inordinately preoccupied
with his physiological condition.
I have seen him check his pulse and vision
several times over the last 20 minutes.
Thanks, Data.
- Yes, sir? - Are you OK?
- I'm just fine, sir. - You look a little pale.
I do?
Look, Reg...
It's been a long couple of days. Get some rest.
We got everything under control here.
I think I'll do that. Thank you.
- La Forge to Counsellor Troi. - Go ahead.
Counsellor, do you have a minute?
Lt Barclay, I've been calling you.
Why haven't you responded? What are you doing?
- Walking. - So I see. Where to?
Nowhere. I don't get to see these decks often.
Stellar Cartography. I thought that was deck 11 .
I was having trouble sleeping. I'm trying to wear myself out.
A perfectly normal thing to be doing.
Cmdr La Forge said you seemed nervous this morning.
I'm always nervous. Everybody knows that.
He also mentioned that you saw something in the transporter beam.
I was wrong. They checked the transporter. I imagined it.
You don't sound very convinced of that.
Counsellor, I appreciate your concern in this matter.
But I wish you wouldn't continue. I'm perfectly fine.
Mr. Barclay, you're exhausted and highly agitated.
I cannot allow a crew member to endanger himself or others.
I'm not endangering anyone and I wish...
I think it is in your interest to take a leave of absence.
I'm temporarily relieving you of duty.
Fine. Do what you have to do, Counsellor.
Computer, more birds.
End stress-reduction program.
- Water. - Specify temperature.
I don't care. Just give me water.
Calm, calm. Stay calm.
Alright, computer, let's try some music.
Something soothing.
Sir, couldn't this wait till the morning?
Chief, I've been reviewing the transport logs.
What are these energy variations that keep appearing?
There was one when I transported.
They're just... ionic fluctuations,
a result of our interlock with the Yosemite.
A fluctuation occurred while I was inside the matter stream.
It's nothing to worry about, sir.
I need you to transport me to the science ship and back again.
And while I'm in the beam, can you recreate an ionic fluctuation?
I guess so. But, sir, what for?
Cmdr La Forge wants some tricorder readings.
- We can do that here. - No!
The sensors may not be sensitive enough.
I'm giving you an order, Mr. O'Brien.
Aye, sir.
If you don't mind an observation, sir, ... forgot your tricorder.
Either there's something there or I'm crazy. I've got to know.
You can understand that, can't you?
Yes, sir, I can. Stand by, sir.
Wake the senior staff.
And then I saw it again just 20 minutes ago.
It was the same, exact thing,
just moving around in the transporter beam.
Let me get this straight. You think it was alive?
It... was dark and distorted
and it had what looked like a mouth.
A mouth?
I don't see anything wrong.
Why didn't you tell anybody about your arm?
Well, I thought I was hallucinating,
that I had...
..that it was transporter psychosis. But now I know it was real.
I was the only one who experienced ionic fluctuations in the transport.
Maybe that's why I saw it.
Mr. Barclay, I'm told that you've been under considerable strain.
Isn't it possible that you simply imagined...?
I know what you're going to say. I've acted strange. But believe me,
I would never have called you in here unless I was certain.
Mr. La Forge, get Mr. O'Brien.
Take that transporter system apart piece by piece if you have to.
Mr. Worf, I want a level-three security alert.
I'll run a microcellular scan of Mr. Barclay's arm.
It takes time, but if there's a problem, I'll find it.
Keep me apprised. Dismissed.
I'm picking up minute levels of ionization
from the tissue of his left arm.
The patterns correspond exactly to those in Lt Kelly's body...
and in the sample container.
There's no question. You have been exposed to the plasma.
So, something did happen in the transporter beam.
You might've been exposed on the science ship.
You did say something touched your arm during transport.
That's exactly where the ionization is focused.
- Does this pose a threat to him? - It might.
I'll run a base-pair correlation for any sign of DNA breakdown.
Cmdr La Forge and I were planning to recreate the explosion.
That might give us some answers. Permission to continue?
Granted. Tell Mr. O'Brien to take primary transporters off line.
I don't want further contaminations.
- Make sure you take precautions. - Aye, sir.
I'd like you to wear this monitoring device.
It will tell me if there's increased ionization.
Yes, Doctor.
Structural reinforcement is at 240 percent.
Activating containment field.
That should do it.
We've locked on to the plasma. Beam aboard a sample.
What would they do first?
Standard would be a resonance-frequency scan.
That sounds like a good place to start.
Initiating resonance sweep.
Frequency range at three...
Barclay, check the containment field.
The field is at maximum but it is holding.
My visor's picking up biomagnetic energy.
Highly complex patterns.
You know, I think these things are alive.
Life forms?
That is correct.
They appear to be microbes
that exist within the distortion field of the plasma.
We didn't detect them until we ran the scan.
Apparently, they didn't like it.
- They shattered the container. - Which caused an explosion
similar to the one on the science ship.
When we linked up with their transporter,
one or more of the microbes got into ours.
We think they're caught in the buffer.
It might explain what you saw.
But what I saw was much bigger than a microbe.
Normal spatial relationships are distorted in the matter stream,
exaggerating your perceptions.
Some of these microbes are also in your body.
Inside me?
They were in Lt Kelly's body, causing the contractions during the autopsy.
The biofilter should have screened them out.
The microbes exist simultaneously as matter and energy.
The biofilter cannot distinguish them.
If we held Barclay suspended in mid-transport
at the point where matter loses molecular cohesion...
The molecules would emit nucleonic particles.
We may be able to derive a pattern the computer would recognize.
Then the biofilters could screen the microbes.
I think this'll work, Reg.
You'd suspend me? I don't like the sound of this.
- We'd have to keep you in there. - How long?
30, 40 seconds, tough to tell. I think it'd be safe.
But if I'm in the matter stream too long...?
Your pattern would degrade and your signal would be permanently lost.
After 15 seconds, you might feel light-headed.
Try to stay calm. It's important not to move around too much.
Initializing the pattern buffer.
- Holding at stand-by. - Ready, Reg?
Molecular resolution at 60 percent. Engaging static mode.
His pattern is locked and holding.
Starting biofilter scan.
Signal's holding.
The imaging scanners haven't isolated the microbes.
I'll increase molecular dispersion.
- His resolution's now 55 percent. - I can hold him together.
Commander, the resolution's 50 percent. Bring him back.
I know, give me one more second.
We need to increase phase-transition frequency.
Aye, sir.
The scanners are actuating.
Got it. Pattern acquisition... positive.
Programming biofilter.
Don't worry, Reg, this won't hurt a bit.
A 92 percent increase in mass.
There's something in the beam with him.
- Security to transporter room three. - Right away.
I'm setting up a force field round the chamber.
Drop the force field.
There are more in the beam. Grab them and hold on.
Understood. Follow me.
Reg, what happened?
When I saw that there was more than one,
I thought the other crew were trying the same thing.
We're infected with something.
Lt Kelly tried to reprogram the biofilter.
Looks like he pushed molecular dispersion past integrity point.
Your patterns got caught.
The residual energy must have amplified the charge in the buffer
and stopped your patterns degrading.
Captain's log, stardate 46043.6
The reprogrammed biofilter was effective
in removing the alien microbes from all crew members.
The microbes have been returned to the plasma streamer.
- Chief. - Lieutenant.
I'm glad you could make it.
This is the first time we've spoken outside the transporter room.
- I've always avoided you. - Why?
You run the transporters that I hate.
At least, I used to. So, what's in the box?
I thought you might like to meet Christina.
Christina, Lt Barclay.
It's your pet spider.
Lycosa tarantula. Don't worry, she won't bite.
She's... very large.
I found her on Titus IV. Almost stepped on her by accident.
I'll get us a couple of drinks.
- Keep an eye on her. - Sure.

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