The U.S.S Enterprise-D has been assigned to investigate a loss of contact with the U.S.S. Tsiolkovsky, which had been assigned to observe the final days of a dying red giant star.
Commander Riker, Data, Geordi La Forge and Natasha Yar, all beam over to the Tsiolkovsky. Once aboard the troubled research vessel, the away team finds a ship littered with food, wine, discarded clothes, several frozen bodies and no survivors.
Doctor Crusher, analyzing the tricorder readings from the away team to ascertain what happened to the Tsiolkovsky’s crew is unable to give any theories as to what happened.
Unknowingly, Geordi energizes back aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise carrying a contagious, deadly contaminant that begins to infect the entire Starfleet crew, making them feel and act as if they were intoxicated and mentally unstable.
Data while searching the historical records of all starships named Enterprise finds the relevant information from the medical database from the old Constitution-class USS Enterprise. The records show that during a planetary breakup, complex water molecules had acquired carbon from the body creating similar effects of alcohol on the brain, essentially intoxication. Picard orders the information to be downloaded and transmitted to medical.
While Dr. Crusher searches for an antidote, chaos erupts when Wesley takes control of the ship. Wesley cuts off everybody from himself in the main work area of engineering with a force field from his tractor beam emitter. Picard orders MacDougal to take control of engineering.
Finally, Lieutenant Commander Data and Chief Engineer MacDougal, fighting the effects of the ailment, manage to get control of the ship. While Dr. Crusher administers the remedy to the mysterious contaminant, the crew, with Wesley’s assistance, diverts the ship from further danger when a piece of the star’s surface breaks off and heads directly toward the U.S.S. Enterprise. Captain Picard commends his crew for a job well done.
First aired: October 5, 1987
Story By: John D.F. Black and J. Michael Bingham
Directed By: Paul Lynch