- Geordi? - In here, Data.
Got her now. She's trapped.
Come on out of there. Don't you spit at me!
Why is Spot under the bed?
Probably because she knows if I catch her, I'll kill her.
Has Spot misbehaved?
So far, she's broken a vase, a teapot,
she's ruined a chair, using it as a scratch post.
And she's coughing up hairballs.
These incidents are common to cat owners.
You borrowed Spot
to experience feline behaviour before getting a cat yourself.
Well, I'm not ready. You can take her back with my blessings.
- Go ahead, call her. - Spot does not respond to commands.
She doesn't come when you call her?
Data, have you ever considered training this cat?
- I never found it necessary. - The cat is out of control.
I didn't know if she was going to lick me or scratch me.
I have never experienced this kind of behaviour in Spot.
Although she does jump on my console when I am working.
She needs training.
Riker to senior staff, report to the observation lounge in ten minutes.
We have to get her out. I'll scare her. You grab her when she comes out.
It would not be wise to startle her.
Training. Definitely.
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 47310.2.
We're investigating the disappearance of the medical transport Fleming,
somewhere in the Hekaras Corridor.
Our search is complicated by the unique properties of this region.
The Fleming was last in contact four days ago.
They reported nothing strange.
- Data. - The sector's dense tetryon field
poses a severe hazard to warp-driven vessels.
The Hekaras Corridor is the only route in this sector
free of tetryon fields.
Ships travelling at warp must use it to ensure safe passage.
How long will a level-one search take?
At least two days. The Corridor is over 12 light years long.
Tetryon interference will limit our sensor range.
Could we use reconnaissance probes?
Ineffective. Interference would disrupt contact with the probes.
But we can increase sensor efficiency.
We've installed multiphase buffers on all the sensor modules.
Hekaras II is inhabited. Maybe they've had contact with the Fleming.
The Hekaran government says only one ship passed through the system.
A Ferengi trader.
The Fleming was carrying rare and valuable biomimetic gel.
Maybe the Ferengi hijacked it.
I think we should prepare for that contingency.
I agree. Mr Worf, initiate your search pattern. Let's head in.
Geordi, there has been a slight drop in sensor efficiency.
We should examine the phase buffers.
I'll be right with you.
Hanson, transfer the EPS conduit 13 to the stabiliser matrix.
Aye, sir.
Is there a problem with the engines?
- No. - Then why stabilise the EPS conduit?
To get higher power conversion.
That would not affect the engines.
- I know. That's not the point. - What is the point?
I'm just trying to get a higher conversion level.
You know the Intrepid? Their chief engineer is Cmdr Donald Kaplan.
We were at the Academy together.
I like to make sure that our levels are a little bit higher than theirs.
I understand. You are in competition with Mr Kaplan.
You might say that. This is the flagship. We should be better.
You are trying to outperform the Intrepid.
Actually, it's more personal pride. These are my engines.
And there's nothing wrong with a little friendly rivalry. OK.
Computer, how much have the conversion levels increased?
Levels are unchanged.
I'll deal with this later. Let me give you a hand with those sensors.
- How's that? - One moment.
The phase buffer is operating within normal parameters.
Sensor efficiency has increased by 6.7 percent.
6.7. One of the stages must still be out of alignment.
Let's try junction A-9.
Geordi, I have taken your suggestion regarding Spot.
Coming down.
- I have begun training her. - Really?
Yes. I am studying several new techniques.
I used conditioned response, then environmental enhancement.
Next, I will explore bioconditioning devices.
Sensor nets for behaviour modification.
Or biofeedback motivators.
Unfortunately, I have been less than successful.
I've got an idea.
How about a phaser?
A low stun setting at the right moment might do it.
Geordi, I cannot stun my cat.
I was kidding.
Let's see what we've got.
No, this isn't it either.
- There is a misalignment somewhere. - That's for sure.
We've got one more possibility.
Junction C-12.
I am concerned that my training efforts will fail.
Maybe you're doing it wrong.
I have consulted numerous animal-training manuals.
Some claim that cats are inherently untrainable.
I don't believe that. My sister knew nothing about animals
and she trained her cat. How complicated could it be?
What did she train her cat to do?
- Jump into her arms on command. - Interesting.
I could use your sister's techniques
to keep Spot from jumping on the console. How did she train her cat?
She walked around for two months with a piece of tuna in her blouse.
I was right. This buffer is out of alignment.
OK. Try that.
Phase alignment is stabilised.
However, sensor efficiency
has increased by only an additional 1.3 percent.
Not much, but every little helps.
- Riker to Data. - Data here.
We're picking up a ship on long-range sensors
If you and Geordi are finished, come to the bridge.
We won't squeeze any more out of these.
Acknowledged, sir. We are on our way.
- We are within visual range. - On screen.
It is a Ferengi transport ship, D'Kora-class.
It's the same one that entered the Corridor a week ago.
No plasma emissions. Their warp drive must be inactive.
Their impulse system is down as well. Power generation is extremely low.
- What about life signs? - Life-support systems are low.
There are approximately 450 Ferengi on board. A standard complement.
Mr Worf, open a hailing frequency.
There is no response on any channel.
No subspace emissions from the ship.
Looks like all their field coils have been overloaded.
That explains why they haven't responded.
- And their warp-drive failure. - Ferengi sensors are still on line.
If I modify a deflector emitter to transmit old-style delta waves,
the Ferengi should be able to pick it up.
- Make it so. - If they did hijack the Fleming,
they didn't get very far with the cargo.
Mr Worf, have tractor beams ready. We may have to tow them.
- Helm, take us within tractor range. - Aye, sir.
Captain, I am picking up power emissions. They are locking weapons!
Shields up!
- Return fire. - Target their weapons only.
- Phasers locked. - Fire!
Direct hit. Their weapons systems are down.
Damage report.
Minimal damage to decks five and seven.
The Ferengi ship's power is stabilised.
They have impulse capability.
They were playing dead. Conserving power until we got close.
But why would they attack us?
I don't think we can beam over and ask them.
- Mr La Forge, how's that commlink? - Almost ready, Captain.
- Let's give it a try. - Open a channel.
This is Capt Jean-Luc Picard of the Enterprise.
Will you please explain why you attacked us?
Our attack? We were defending ourselves.
Do you deny that you were responsible for disabling my vessel?
Your ship was adrift, your communications inoperable.
We were attempting to assess your status.
You were attempting to move in for the kill. Do not toy with me, Picard.
We are obviously at your mercy, but know this.
When the Ferengi Council learns of your actions,
they will consider this an act of war.
There has been some misunderstanding.
It would be in all our interests if you came aboard to discuss it.
I see no reason to trust you, human!
In that case, we'll be on our way.
I'll relay your position to your government if you wish,
in case you are unable to complete your repairs and remain stranded.
Perhaps it would be better to discuss the situation.
We detected what appeared to be a Federation signal buoy.
When we approached it, it emitted a massive verteron pulse.
Our warp drive, sensors and communications were disabled.
We assumed we were the victims of a new Federation weapon.
The Federation established this corridor
to ensure safe access through this sector. Why would we mine it?
Whatever happened may not be an isolated incident.
A Federation medical transport was lost there.
We passed a Federation ship, but it was not in distress.
What was its heading?
It is possible that information was recorded in our sensor logs.
Unfortunately, my entire crew is occupied with repairs.
I don't think there is time to search our records.
DaiMon, if we assigned an Engineering team to assist with your repairs,
would that give you time to retrieve your logs?
I believe it would, Captain.
Spot, down.
Down. This is down. Down is good.
This is up.
Up is no.
One moment. Come in.
Data, I had another idea about power conversion. Can you help?
I would be happy to.
Are you teaching Spot to use the console?
It is part of her training programme.
I am teaching her to jump down on my command.
How's it going?
I have not been entirely successful.
Feline supplement number 221.
Data, that cat definitely has a mind of her own.
- Maybe she's just not trainable. - I must accept that possibility.
Spot may lack the intelligence to learn responses to my commands.
I don't know about Spot, but your training is coming along just fine.
Come on. Let's go.
Keep the EPS constant while I remodulate the power taps.
This will only raise the conversion level by 0.8 percent.
- I know, but it could be enough. - Enough?
I've received this from Cmdr Kaplan, subspace.
"I got the Intrepid's power-conversion levels
up to 97.1 percent."
"Maybe you should try cleaning your plasma grid."
- Can you believe his nerve? - We perform maintenance regularly.
I know. He's just trying to get me angry.
There. That should do it.
Computer, what are the current power-conversion levels?
Power-conversion levels are at 97.2 percent.
Too bad, Mr Kaplan.
Captain's log, supplemental. We have traced the Fleming's course.
She may have come to an unfortunate end.
- What's the origin of this debris? - Unknown, sir.
It does not appear in any chart.
- Could it be the Fleming's remains? - It is a possibility.
The debris consists of duranium and polycomposite fragments,
which suggests a ship.
There is sufficient mass to account for the Fleming.
Let's take a closer look.
Maybe we can get a more positive identification.
Helm, take us through the debris field, ahead slow.
I am picking up a small metallic object, 3.5 metres in diameter.
A ship's-log recorder, or a probe casing.
I do not believe so. It is emitting an unusual signal.
Captain, it is generating a verteron field.
Shields up! Full reverse! Now!
Damage report.
Warp engines are off line. Shields are down.
All subspace systems are inoperative.
Just like the Ferengi vessel.
Unidentified ship heading toward us. Two life forms aboard.
On screen.
They are initiating their transporters.
Can we get more power to the shields?
- No, sir. - All decks, security alert.
Captain, we are being boarded.
La Forge to bridge.
We have intruders in Engineering. We need a Security team.
It's on its way.
- What do you want? - We're trying to make you listen.
You're killing us.
It's a serious accusation. I want you to explain it.
Our research shows that warp fields
cause a dangerous reaction in this region.
Our planet is being affected.
There are large gravitational shifts in our system.
If something isn't done, our planet will become uninhabitable.
Their research was evaluated by the Federation Science Council.
It didn't hold up.
That research was preliminary and the analysis was incomplete.
You should have made a request through the Science Council.
With their resources it would have taken over a year
before they come out here to evaluate our work.
We couldn't wait any longer.
We knew that if we disabled enough ships, Starfleet would come.
- Then we could present our case. - You're rationalising these attacks?
Neither you or the Ferengi suffered any casualties.
Damage to vessels was negligible.
We disperse verteron probes merely to disable warp-driven ships.
Call it what you like. You disguised your probes.
You hid them as signal markers in the debris field.
You mined the Corridor!
Mr La Forge, how long will it take to restore the engines?
They overloaded our field coils. It'll take at least 36 hours.
I know how our pulse affected your field coils.
With my help, you could be operational in ten hours,
provided you agree to review our research.
Because of the seriousness of your claim, I will listen to your case.
But our priority is the recovery of the Fleming.
I expect you to help us restore our engines
and deactivate the remaining probes.
If you do not, you will both be taken
to the nearest starbase, where you will answer charges.
My sister and I do not wish to impede the rescue...
- Rabal, the probes are our leverage! - Serova.
We will do as you ask, Captain. But please, re-examine our data.
We will. It is our job to retain an open mind,
even under these circumstances.
Take them to Engineering. Get the core on line.
- Yes, sir. - Mr Data, review their research.
I want your report as soon as possible.
There. Shields have been restored.
You can re-engage engines in approximately eight hours.
Even when we get the engines on line,
it will take a week to recalibrate them properly.
I'm sorry you've been inconvenienced. But it's only an inconvenience.
Our concerns are more important than your engines.
If the Fleming had been on an emergency mission
your plan might have cost lives.
That didn't happen. And saving lives is what we're trying to do.
In an interesting way.
There's no point talking to you. You've already decided not to listen.
I know my sister can be somewhat aggravating.
- I'd have to agree. - Try to understand.
She believes profoundly in this cause.
She is dedicated to exposing the dangers of warp drive.
Warp drive has been around for three centuries. It's a proven technology.
You sound like I did, four years ago.
- You didn't believe her? - No.
I didn't realise how brilliant my sister is.
It took two years for me to even grasp the principles of her theories.
- They're that sophisticated. - Our Cmdr Data's no slouch.
If there's anything there, he'll find it.
I hope so. Once Starfleet stops warp travel through the Corridor,
our own people will have to give up warp drive.
Hekaras II is the only inhabited world in this region.
Without warp drive you'd be completely isolated.
Are you really willing to take that step?
Yes. And if you were in my position,
I hope you'd be willing to do the same thing.
Serova and Rabal believe there are regions of subspace instability
in the Corridor. If these regions continue to be exposed
to warp-field energy, they will rupture.
Subspace will extrude into normal space, forming a rift.
Like walking on the same piece of carpet, wearing it out.
- That analogy is correct. - Can this theory be proven?
Not at this time. There is insufficient evidence.
To determine whether a rift will form,
a region must be exposed to energy one million times greater
than that of a starship.
We believe the effect is cumulative.
Each starship that passes through at warp brings us closer to a rift.
That is a possibility. I suggest we ask the Federation Science Council
to send a research vessel.
A more detailed investigation will resolve this.
That's your response? More research. More delays.
I shouldn't have expected any different.
- Bridge to Capt Picard. - Go ahead.
We've located the Fleming approximately 0.3 light years away.
- What's her condition? - The vessel seems intact.
They have shields. But their subspace systems are out.
We'll be under way when our engines are on line.
I would like you to put together a research proposal.
I will give it my full recommendation.
I appreciate the opportunity. It's a beginning we...
Not "we". You can do whatever you want. I'll have no part of this.
It's just another delay.
Captain, the engines are back on line.
Good. Helm, lay in a course for the Fleming.
They're in pretty good condition. Shields are back.
Captain, the Hekaran ship is moving off.
There is one person on board. It is Serova.
- Doctor, what is going on? - I don't know.
- Captain, may I speak to her? - Mr Worf, open a channel.
Serova, what are you doing?
They wanted proof. I'm going to give it to them.
I'm sorry.
Captain, the Hekaran ship's engines are overloading.
I believe Serova is trying to create a warp-core breach.
- No! - Prepare for impact.
Shields at maximum. Full reverse.
- Report. - We have cleared the shockwave.
However, tetryon flux is increasing rapidly.
- It's incredible! - Mr Data, your analysis?
The event is approximately 0.1 light years in diameter.
It is emitting extremely high levels of tetryon radiation.
It appears to be what was predicted. A subspace rift.
- She was right. - Can you get a fix on the Fleming?
- Is she in one piece? - Scanning.
It is near its previous coordinates. It appears intact.
But it is now within the rift.
Doctor, could a ship survive in there?
I'm sorry about your loss, but we need your help now.
Of course, Captain.
Does the rift pose any danger to the Fleming?
I don't know.
What was that?
A high-energy distortion wave from within the rift.
If we maintain our position, our shields should protect us.
What about the Fleming?
The waves are more intense in the rift.
I estimate her shields will fail in approximately 12 hours.
- Can we risk going in? - Not at warp.
The rift is in a state of instability,
which would make it sensitive to warp fields. We might expand it.
I don't think we have a choice. It would take weeks at impulse.
I want better options. Data, Geordi, take Dr Rabal to analyse the rift.
We need to find a way to get the Fleming out.
Second Officer's log, stardate 47312. 1.
New sensor readings have improved our understanding of the rift.
However, we have been unable to find any way to counteract it.
Everything supports Serova's theories.
I can't find any way to close the rift or reduce it.
Doctor, is it possible there are stable areas inside the rift,
where we can safely use warp engines?
Perhaps. Computer, scan the rift for regions of low instability.
There's no area stable enough to withstand a warp pulse.
Wait a minute. This is strange.
Computer, display grid Delta 17.
Enhance and magnify.
What do you make of that?
It's a subspace instability outside the rift.
That should not be possible.
I'm going to begin a scan of this sector.
I'd like to get a closer look at this.
We should tell the Captain we don't know how to get to the Fleming.
I am not certain that is true. I believe I have an idea.
- I suggest we coast into the rift. - Coast?
We can initiate a brief warp pulse from our current position.
We should be able to attain the velocity
to enter the rift, beam over the crew and exit, without using warp engines.
If we initiate a full-power pulse, how long before we drop out of warp?
If we field-saturate the nacelles,
we should be able to stay in warp speed for two minutes.
That doesn't give us long. It could get rough in there.
- Timing will be critical. - Begin your calculations.
- We'll go as soon as you're ready. - Aye, sir.
I believe the maximum saturation level should be 18.3 percent.
Alright. We should be able to maintain warp speed
for two minutes, eight seconds. No more than that.
I agree. But based on the size of the rift,
that should give us sufficient time to complete the rescue.
Computer, initiate nacelle field saturation.
- How did we miss it, Data? - I beg your pardon?
How did we miss the connection between warp drive
and the formation of the rift?
We've logged thousands of hours on these engines.
We're supposed to be warp-field experts.
We were wrong this time.
Technically, we were not wrong.
Serova's theories rested on unprovable assumptions.
Seems to me she managed to prove them.
By using methods any reputable scientist would never employ.
Yeah. She was willing to die in order to make her point.
We should have listened to her.
We reviewed Serova's research to the best of our abilities.
We were prepared to continue studying.
But that was unsatisfactory.
I can remember trying to get people to believe me without proof.
You would not have resorted to such extremes.
But she had to, just to get us to listen.
Why was I so resistant?
Her aggressive methods created an adversarial situation.
Yeah. Maybe I was taking the whole thing personally.
I do not understand.
Maybe I was a little threatened.
The thought that warp engines might be doing some kind of damage.
It's going to take half an hour for the nacelles to saturate.
Will you call me when they're done?
- Commander. - May I join you?
I'm sorry about your sister.
Thank you.
I'm trying to tell myself she died for what she believed in.
But, somehow, that isn't much comfort.
I wish it could have happened differently.
I should have checked the research more closely.
It's possible I missed something.
No. You didn't miss anything. The problem was time.
We needed more time to do the proper research.
Serova wasn't willing to wait.
Yeah. I guess the question is now, where do we go from here?
We can't look at space travel the same way. We have to change.
I've been in Starfleet a long time. We depend on warp drive.
I don't know how easy it will be to change.
It won't be easy at all.
Warp-pulse calculations are complete.
We will be firing the engines for 6.3 seconds before disengaging.
- Damage-control teams standing by. - Course to the Fleming is plotted.
Mr La Forge, whenever you're ready.
Aye, sir.
Initiating warp pulse now.
Engines disengaged. We are now entering the rift.
Hull stresses increasing. 83 percent of maximum tolerance and rising.
- When will we reach the Fleming? - One minute, 22 seconds.
Transporter rooms standing by.
I'm picking up power emissions from the Fleming.
They may be attempting to initiate their warp drive.
They could have repaired their engines.
- Captain, if they activate... - I know.
- Can we establish communication? - There is too much interference.
How long until we reach transporter range?
- 53 seconds. - We're not going to make it.
Captain, they have initiated warp drive.
- Report. - Damage on decks six and 14.
- Our integrity field is holding. - And the Fleming?
Their life-support systems are failing.
Transporter rooms, prepare evacuation procedures.
Captain, when the Fleming activated their warp drive,
the rift increased by 2.3 percent.
We no longer have sufficient momentum to escape.
Distortion-wave intensity has increased by a factor of ten.
We are within transporter range of the Fleming.
Commencing evacuation procedures.
Distortion waves occurring every 59 seconds.
Hull stress is nearing maximum tolerance.
Can we force an EPS discharge through the impulse reactor?
I do not believe so.
The explosion would destroy the saucer section.
Captain, we may not have to use warp engines.
How, Geordi?
When did you last go surfing?
- A distortion wave. - Exactly.
If we phase-match our shield to the EM variance of the distortion wave,
the next one will pull us along with it.
We could ride it through the rift then break away.
- If we survive the ride. - Is everyone off the Fleming?
The last of the crew has beamed aboard.
Alright, Mr La Forge. Get us out of here.
Yes, sir. Phase-matching the deflector shields now.
The next wave will impact in 14 seconds.
Matching phases.
Prepare to engage the deflector shield on my mark.
Ten seconds.
And mark.
Engage deflector shield, full power.
We lost it.
We were unable to maintain phase match.
- What went wrong? - Speed differential was too high.
Another distortion wave approaching. Impact in 26 seconds.
We can't handle many more jolts like that.
Captain, I suggest we take the ship to full impulse.
It will lessen the impact of the wave.
Helm, full impulse.
Mr Worf, all power to structural-integrity fields.
- Aye, sir. - Stand by deflector shield.
- We're ready. - Impact in five seconds.
Engage deflector shield now.
We are within the distortion wave.
Hull stresses have exceeded maximum.
Structural-integrity fields failing, decks ten to 16.
Switching to backups.
We're separating from the distortion wave. I'm compensating.
- How long till we clear the rift? - 12 seconds.
Hull stresses 120 percent above tolerance.
A structural breach is imminent.
We have cleared the rift, sir. Hull stress has returned to normal.
Cancel red alert.
Captain's log, stardate 47314.5.
We have been continuing research
while the Federation studies our preliminary reports on the rift.
It appears certain that what we've seen here
will have repercussions for many years.
Our scans show a lot of subspace instability.
If exposed to warp energies, they could create other rifts.
- Dr Rabal? - Based on current patterns,
we've projected where subspace rifts are likely to form
over the next 40 years. This is how things are now.
This is how they'll look in ten years.
20 years.
30 years.
40 years.
Thank you, Doctor.
Mr La Forge.
We've received new directives from the Federation on this matter.
"Until we can counteract the warp-field effect,
our best course is to slow the damage."
"Areas susceptible to warp fields are restricted to essential travel."
"All Federation vessels as of now are limited to a speed of warp five."
"Except in case of extreme emergency."
The Klingons will observe that. The Romulans will not.
And what about the Ferengi? And the Cardassians?
The Federation's sharing our data with warp-capable species.
We can only hope they realise it's in their own interests.
Limiting warp speed will only prevent new rifts. What about this one?
Right now there's not much we can do.
The gravitational shifts are affecting my planet.
Our climate is changing.
The Federation will put a weather-control matrix on Hekaras II
as a temporary solution.
We're lucky the rift took place as far from the planet as it did.
It gave us time.
If there are no questions, you're dismissed.
The thermal stabilisers for the Hekarans will be ready in a day.
Very well. Geordi, I've spent the better part of my life
exploring space. I've charted new worlds.
I've met dozens of new species.
I believe these were all valuable ends in themselves.
Now, it seems that all this while,
I was helping to damage the thing that I hold most dear.
It won't turn out that way, Captain. We still have time to make it better.

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