Fletcher has experience with propulsion systems.
Carstairs is better with people.
Considering this is a supervisory position, I'd go with her.
I guess you're right.
Didn't we just do crew-evaluation reports?
- Three months ago. - It seems like three weeks.
Why don't we just give everybody a promotion
and call it a night, Commander?
- Fine with me, Captain. - Two coffees, please.
What could be so funny? What's funny about crew evaluations?
Don't worry about it, Sam.
Can't we have a good time?
How can I when my career's being decided across the room?
Come on. Think promotion.
You can't believe that will influence the outcome of your evaluation.
It's a time-honoured strategy, Taurik.
The Vedeks of the Janalan order
chant for the benefit of the Bajoran people.
Considering the history of your planet,
that doesn't validate what he's doing.
Promote me, please, so I can make lieutenant,
and have my own room.
If you're unhappy sharing quarters with me,
put in for a new room assignment.
Just in case you're not promoted.
- I've been thinking about ops. - The night-duty officer?
Lavelle is an obvious candidate.
- But I'm also considering Sito. - Thank you.
You're welcome.
- Are you sure about dessert? - Yes. Don't tempt me.
Are they working on crew evaluations?
- Yep. - Who are they talking about?
- It's not my place to say. - Come on, Ben!
Alright, but I'm not sure you two will like it.
Apparently, you two are up for the same job.
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.
- Lock phasers on target. - Phasers locked.
- The enemy is firing. - Hard to starboard. Fire phasers.
- Firing. - Target is destroyed.
End simulation sequence. Secure from drill.
Alpha ship, your response was seven percent slower than the Gamma ship.
All departments, submit drill- evaluation reports by 0900 hours.
- Ensign, you'll write that report. - Yes, sir.
What happened, Ensign?
Sorry, sir. I had to relock phasers before I could fire.
Next time, let the locking relay float
until the actual order to fire is given.
They may not teach that trick at the Academy, but it works.
Thank you, sir.
Lavelle. Resume previous course and speed.
Aye aye, sir.
One aye is sufficient acknowledgement, Ensign.
Helm, change course for the Argaya system.
- What about the Clement? - I've received new orders.
We'll discuss it in the observation lounge. Mr Data, Mr Worf.
- Ensign Sito, take over at ops. - Yes, sir.
The Argaya system's near the Cardassian border.
I wonder why we're going there.
How'd you like to be a spider under that table?
- What? - A spider under the table.
- Is that like a fly on the wall? - I guess so.
You did really well during the drill.
Apparently, Cmdr Riker didn't think so.
- I swear he's got it in for me. - You're imagining things.
How come you're sitting in that chair instead of me?
I guess I need more practice than you.
Excuse me, sir. Do you have a minute?
- Sure, Taurik. - Will you look at something?
- Have you been improvising? - In a manner of speaking.
I'm running a simulation to test a new warp-field configuration.
You've got a problem. Your plasma flow is out of synch.
Actually, sir, that was done deliberately.
As you can see, this configuration
has increased overall warp-field integrity by seven percent.
You're right.
Dr Nils Diaz has been experimenting with this technique.
I'm familiar with his work. But I never heard about this.
His findings have not been released yet.
I reviewed a preliminary report at the Academy.
I look forward to reading it.
When these findings are made public,
they will become a model for warp-field operations.
Sounds interesting.
With your permission, sir, I'd like to begin tests
to see if the technique can be adapted to our warp drive.
There might be variables you didn't account for.
- I was quite thorough. - I'm sure you were.
But I'd need to see your simulation before I authorise any tests.
As you wish.
If you have any other ideas, don't hesitate to run them by me.
As a matter of fact, sir, I do.
- When would be a good time? - I'll get back to you on that.
Excuse me, Doctor.
If you're wondering about the evaluations,
things couldn't be better.
Actually, I wanted to tell you that Ensign Riley is improving.
But thank you.
I'm recommending you for promotion. How does Lt Alyssa Ogawa sound?
It sounds wonderful.
I'll talk to Cmdr Riker. It'll be official after the evaluations.
Alyssa. How are things going between you and Lt Powell?
- I think. - You think?
I'm sure it's nothing, but he seems preoccupied lately.
- Last night, he cancelled our date. - I see.
He's been putting together a research proposal.
He's really busy with it.
I know what that's like. Sometimes I get so busy I forget to eat.
I just wonder...
What? Sit down.
I've never met anyone like Andrew.
It's as if we've known each other forever.
You do seem well suited.
But I know that in the beginning of a romance,
it's possible to be blind.
- I'm not sure I know what you mean. - Well...
Cancelling a date like that, the way he's been so distant.
Do you think those could be warning signs that he's losing interest?
Alyssa, I think you're overreacting.
Maybe so.
If I cared about someone as much,
he'd have to do more than cancel a date before I'd get suspicious.
You're right.
I'm sure after this research, things will be the way they were.
Except that he'll have to deal with Lt Ogawa.
I was in ops for a half-hour but I degaussed the deflector dish,
recalibrated the navigation grid
and used internal sensors to find a lost puppy.
Ops is a different challenge from tactical.
I can't figure out why I'm being considered for this assignment.
- I'm a security officer. - I recommended you.
I'll try not to let you down.
What are they talking about?
Have you ever considered learning to lip-read?
- Is Worf chewing her out? - No, he always looks like that.
- Maybe he's giving her pointers. - Hi, Will.
- You call him Will? - Why not?
He's second-in-command of this ship.
I'm not Starfleet, I'm a civilian.
In here, he wants to be treated like a civilian.
Riker? I bet he sleeps in his uniform.
You only think that because he's your CO.
He's convinced Cmdr Riker doesn't like him.
Did you crash the ship?
- He doesn't like me. - He doesn't know you.
That's right. Go talk to him.
About what?
- Something you have in common. - He likes jazz, poker.
- He's Canadian. - My grandfather was from Canada.
- There you go. - Hi.
Excuse me, I gotta go talk to somebody.
- Good evening, sir. - Lavelle.
Something I can do?
No, sir. I just came to get another drink.
- Is something wrong with that one? - No. Actually...
- What are you having? - Trakian ale.
Good choice. I'll have one, too.
- My grandfather was Canadian. - Really?
Aren't you one, too?
- A grandfather? - No, Canadian, sir.
No, I grew up in Alaska.
Well, they both get a lot of snow.
It was good talking to you, sir.
Your ale, Ensign.
We're holding position in the Argaya system.
- Anything? - No, sir. I detect no vessels.
How close to the Cardassian border are we?
- Less than 5,000 kilometres. - Sir.
I'm detecting an object five metres in length.
- It is an escape pod. - He must have abandoned ship.
- How far into Cardassian space? - 50,000 kilometres.
How will we get it out?
- The pod's life-support is failing. - Notify Dr Crusher.
Can we reach transport range without entering Cardassian territory?
We need to boost the confinement beam by seven percent.
- Mr La Forge? - I'm on it, Captain. Try that.
- The pod is too far away. - I'll augment the frequency spread.
There are passengers, humanoid. Attempting identification.
No one told you to do that, Ensign. Let's just get him aboard.
There. That should do it.
Confinement beam is at 109 percent of normal.
Transporter room, you should be able to get a lock.
- Dr Crusher, are you ready? - Stand by.
- Alyssa, you have to leave now. - Alright, Doctor.
- Transporter room, go ahead. - Aye, sir.
What are you doing here?
I'm not supposed to let anyone but senior officers in.
Do you know what's going on?
- No. Do you? - I'd better go.
- Ensign. - Sir.
1200 hours. Alpha shift is relieved.
Excuse me, sir.
I'd like to stay on. I could use the training.
- Now's not the best time. - Yes, sir.
Ensign, you're with me.
You are a certified pilot, Ensign?
Yes, sir.
How long have you served on the Enterprise?
- Seven months, sir. - You've been recommended for ops.
- You think you are up to it? - I do.
I'm not sure. I'm concerned about your record.
The incident you were involved in at the Academy.
With all due respect, that was three years ago.
Doesn't matter how long ago it was. Would you do that again?
I can assure you, sir,
that I would never jeopardise lives by participating in...
A daredevil stunt? I would certainly hope not.
What concerns me is you participated in a cover-up
that impeded an investigation into the death of a cadet.
Sir, I should have told the truth...
Yes, you should, but you didn't.
Instead, you joined with the others to pretend it was simply an accident.
What do you think that tells me about your character?
Sir, if you had any idea what it was like after that incident...
I didn't have any friends.
I didn't have anyone to talk to.
I took my test with the instructor because no one would be my partner.
It would have been easier to just walk away, but I didn't.
I stuck with it.
Doesn't that say something about my character, too?
I'm very sorry you didn't enjoy your time at the Academy, Ensign.
As far as I am concerned, you should have been expelled.
Quite frankly, I don't know how you made it on board this ship.
You're dismissed.
Another two seconds...
OK, that's enough.
Sir, I'm a little puzzled.
Why are we intentionally damaging the shuttlecraft?
We're evaluating hull resiliency. Starfleet requires periodic testing.
I see. I don't believe I'm familiar with that requirement.
Probably because you're not a senior officer.
If you wish, I could fire bursts that would not harm the hull.
- The test would not be affected. - It's fine the way it is.
Now, give me another burst, about four seconds, right here.
Do you want me to fire from this position?
Actually, do it from over here.
- That would be consistent. - Consistent with what?
With making it appear that this shuttle had fled an attack.
What makes you think that's what we're doing?
The pattern is similar to what might result
if it had fled an attacker while engaging in evasive manoeuvres.
It's an amazing coincidence.
Yes, sir. It is indeed.
- Shall we proceed with the testing? - Yes. Thank you.
Thank you for coming so quickly.
We have to prepare for surgery on a subdural haematoma.
- Do not discuss what you see. - I understand.
We'll need to synthesise a litre of Cardassian blood.
It's your bet, Taurik.
I can't understand why we're sitting close to the Cardassian border.
Must have something to do with that escape pod.
- Don't you think, Sito? - Maybe.
- I wonder who was in it. - You know what I heard?
It was Ambassador Spock.
- That is unlikely. - That's what I was told.
- By whom? - I can't say.
They beamed whoever was in it to sickbay. Did you see anything?
No. Dr Crusher asked me to do the laboratory schedule.
I thought Lt Powell was joining us tonight.
- He had to do a double shift. - Too bad.
He's the worst poker player I've met.
Your bet, Sam.
I saw Powell with another woman. The way they talked made me wonder.
If he's seeing someone else, he should tell Alyssa.
It'll hurt her now, but it's better in the long run.
I've been meaning to talk to you.
I don't think Sito's prepared for the ops position.
I must say, I disagree, sir.
- Counsellor, pair of fours bets. - I'm listening.
The bet is 50.
It would be illogical to deny you a promotion
for something you did as a cadet.
He said I don't have character.
- What did you say? - What could I say?
- Maybe he's right. - You're a damn fine officer.
You deserve that post.
One thing's for sure. I won't get it if it's up to Riker.
It is your decision.
But if you give Sito a chance, she will not disappoint you.
Very well. I'll take her under consideration.
- I'm not convinced about Lavelle. - Why?
He's too eager to please, always trying to ingratiate himself to me.
Why assume it's to get the job?
- 50. - There's your 50, and 100 more.
I don't know. It seems to me you and Lavelle are alike.
- What? We're not at all alike. - You're bluffing.
- You think so? - Yes.
I won't let you get away with it.
Sam, maybe you shouldn't try so hard with Riker.
It doesn't matter if he likes you, as long as he respects you.
He must, or he would not be considering you.
You're probably right. Maybe I tell myself that he hates me
so that if I'm not promoted, I have an excuse.
Are you in or not?
At this juncture, the odds of my winning this hand are less than 39-1.
I fold.
The Commander's flush is still working. No help, Worf.
Tens and deuces for the Doctor.
Jacks and fours for the Counsellor.
- Three sixes. - Fold.
Looks like it's you and me.
- Gonna go another 50? - Give me a second.
Didn't you take up poker to be in the officers' game at the Potemkin?
I happen to like poker.
But your senior officers might have thought
that you were trying to ingratiate yourself.
I guess it's lucky they realised you were young and inexperienced
and decided not to hold it against you.
Maybe I have been hard on Lavelle.
- I do not believe he is bluffing. - I do. There you go.
What have you got?
- Flush. - I cannot believe this!
I am your worst nightmare.
- I knew it. - How could you tell I was bluffing?
You don't expect me to answer that?
It's late. Maybe we should get some sleep.
- One more hand. - Uh-uh.
Don't quit just because I'm unbeatable.
There's something I need to do in Engineering.
- I'll get you next time. - I'll be there.
- Goodnight, everybody. - Goodnight.
- Bye. - Goodnight.
See you later.
What I find curious
is that when Cmdr La Forge saw that my technique was more efficient,
he seemed annoyed.
- Of course he was. - You knew something he didn't.
Do you think I have irreparably damaged my relationship with him?
- Depends what kind of a guy he is. - Ante up, gentlemen.
Come in.
- Commander. - I just dropped by to see Taurik.
What can I do for you?
I'm headed for Engineering to run those tests.
Since you've worked on it, I thought you might give me a hand.
- I'd be pleased to, sir. - Great. Let's go.
How about blackjack?
I've got to get some sleep. Be sharp tomorrow.
Why? To get promoted, have more responsibility
and have to get to sleep even earlier?
Come in.
Ben. What are you doing here?
I cleaned out some junior officers. I thought I'd do the same here.
You're welcome to try.
- Pull up a chair. - Thanks.
- Ensign Sito. - Yes, sir?
I also teach an advanced class.
I believe you may be ready to participate.
Before you can join the group, you must pass the gik'tal.
- Gik'tal? - Yes, an ancient Klingon ritual.
It tests your knowledge of the Mok'bara.
- I should practise first. - No practise.
That is part of the ritual. The test must be unannounced.
- Can you see? - No.
The gik'tal has begun. Defend yourself.
You must anticipate my attack.
- Yes, sir. - Defend yourself.
- Are you listening, Ensign? - Yes, but...
Defend yourself.
You did not anticipate.
How can I defend myself when I can't see?
Stop making excuses. Replace the blindfold.
No! It's not a fair test.
Very good, Ensign. You have passed the challenge.
What? By taking off the blindfold?
It takes courage to say the test is unfair.
One thing I don't understand.
Doesn't gik'tal mean to the death?
You speak Klingon.
Sir, is there really such a thing as a gik'tal challenge?
No, there is not.
But perhaps next time you are judged unfairly,
it will not take so many bruises for you to protest.
All I've ever wanted is to make a career in Starfleet.
I can't change what happened. No one can.
All I can do is work hard and try to earn the respect of people.
If you're not going to give me that chance, I request a transfer.
If you want a more lenient commander, you won't find one.
Permission to speak freely, sir.
Please do.
If you didn't want me, you should have said when I was assigned here.
It's not your place to punish me for what I did.
I've worked hard here. My record is exemplary.
If you're going to judge me, judge for what I am now.
Very well, Ensign. I will.
It took courage to face me after what I said the other day.
I didn't ask you here to assess your qualifications for the ops position.
I don't understand, sir.
I was harsh because I wanted to assess you
for a very important mission.
A mission that could put you in a situation
that would be far more unnerving than a dressing-down by me.
Can I ask what that is?
Join the senior officers in the observation lounge at 0900 hours.
Yes, sir.
And, Ensign?
I do know why you ended up on the Enterprise. I asked for you.
I wanted to make sure you had a chance to redeem yourself.
Thank you, sir.
- You wanted to see me, Doctor? - Yes, Alyssa.
I think you know how much I've come to depend upon you.
I've recommended your promotion
because your performance has been exemplary.
Thank you, Doctor. I appreciate that.
But more than that,
I've come to think of you as a friend.
Someone I really care about.
It's nice of you to say that. I feel the same way.
- You and Andrew Powell? - Someone told you?
Told me what?
We were keeping it a secret until the promotions.
- He asked me to marry him. - That's wonderful.
I'm so relieved. I mean, happy.
Please take a seat, Ensign.
This is Joret Dal.
He was in the escape pod that we retrieved.
He is a member of the Cardassian military
and a Federation operative.
He has risked his life to bring us invaluable information
about Cardassian strategic intentions.
Information that could very well enhance
the security of Bajor and other planets in this sector.
Now, it is absolutely imperative
that we return him safely to Cardassian space.
It will not be easy. The border is heavily guarded.
His ship was destroyed. He'll use our shuttle.
If stopped, I will claim to have stolen it.
We distressed the shuttle as if it had been fired upon.
Joret will talk his way past the patrol.
If I were alone, my chances of succeeding would be slim.
But if I had a prisoner with me, a Bajoran terrorist,
I would appear to be a bounty hunter.
Border crossings of that nature are not uncommon.
For a price, the patrol will look the other way.
Once the shuttle is past the patrol,
Joret will put you into an escape pod and return you.
Since the pod is small, it's difficult to detect.
- We'll be waiting here. - I understand, sir.
Ensign, this is a dangerous mission.
- I'm not ordering you to take part. - Then I volunteer, sir.
Be certain you understand the risk you are taking.
- If you are captured... - I'm Bajoran.
No one knows better than I do what Cardassians do to their prisoners.
I've made my decision.
Very well. Report to sickbay. Dr Crusher will explain.
Ensign Sito.
I must ask you not to discuss this with anyone.
Yes, sir.
I didn't realise she would be so young.
The Captain asked Dr Crusher to make it look like Joret mistreated me.
We're all set here.
I want you to know that I appreciate the fact
that you had confidence in me.
- Good luck. - I'll see you soon.
We're approaching the border.
It won't be long before we're detected.
When they stop us, should I say anything?
No. It should seem that I've broken your will.
If you're asked questions, look at me as though you're afraid to answer.
Can I ask you something?
Why are you doing this, risking your life for Starfleet?
I don't consider myself a traitor.
All my life I've served in the military.
Once, it was an institution dedicated to the security of Cardassia.
Now it's just a platform
for ambitious guls hoping to make their reputations in battle.
If I help Starfleet deter even one pointless skirmish,
I've served my purpose.
I'm sick of war.
My people need peace.
I never thought I'd hear a Cardassian say something like that.
I never thought a Bajoran would risk her life for a Cardassian.
- Patrol ships are moving in. - We don't have much time.
She must have left on that shuttle.
- Do you know where it went? - Toward Cardassian space.
The shuttle was damaged.
Sam, can we talk about something else?
- Don't you care? - Of course.
But we have to accept the fact
that we're not always told about everything aboard ship.
We can tell each other what we know.
- Do you two know something? - Sam, please.
I can't believe this. We're friends.
We're also Starfleet officers.
I'm not allowed to talk about it.
OK. I understand.
I'd better get going. I got duty in half an hour.
Captain's log, stardate 47566. 7.
We have reached the coordinates in Federation space
where Ensign Sito's escape pod was to have rendezvoused with us.
However, we have been waiting for over 30 hours
and there is no sign of her.
We completed a long-range scan.
The pod isn't out there.
It is possible that we are unable to distinguish the pod
from the inorganic matter in space.
Try narrowing the scan. See if you pick up bio signs.
Sir, it would help if I knew what life signs to look for.
You're scanning for Bajoran life signs.
Yes, sir.
Nothing yet. The pod is 32 hours overdue.
Sir, I recommend we launch a probe to increase the range of our sweeps.
Launching a probe into Cardassian space would be a treaty violation.
Mr Worf, prepare a probe and launch when ready.
Aye, sir.
Probe launched.
Sir, I am detecting debris 200,000 kilometres inside Cardassian space.
Its mass and composition indicate
it could be the remains of a Federation escape pod.
Captain's log, supplemental.
We have intercepted a Cardassian report
stating that a Bajoran prisoner escaped her captor
and was killed in an evacuation pod
as she tried to leave Cardassian space.
To all Starfleet personnel, this is the Captain.
It is my sad duty to inform you
that a member of the crew, Ensign Sito Jaxa,
has been lost in the line of duty.
She was the finest example of a Starfleet officer
and a young woman of remarkable courage
and strength of character.
Her loss will be deeply felt by all who knew her.
Picard out.
Are you OK?
- I just got promoted. - Congratulations.
It just doesn't feel right.
For all I know, she was going to get the promotion instead of me.
- You shouldn't feel that way. - She'd be happy for you.
The best way to remember her would be to excel in your new position.
We're proud of you.
Excuse me, sir. I need to move this table.
- What? - There's an empty seat over there.
I appreciate what you're trying to do,
but it is not appropriate.
You were her friends. I was only her commanding officer.
Sir, I happen to know that she considered you a friend.

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