While investigating a
signal emitting from an ancient Promellian battle
cruiser, Picard and an Away Team discover a ship that
has been floating in space for over 1000 years. There
are no survivors on the vessel, which has remained
intact for centuries.
As the crew tries to determine what happened to the
ill-fated cruiser, the Enterprise is plagued by a
rapidly increasing energy drain which traps the ship in
a holding pattern. Worse yet, the crew is simultaneously
being bombarded by radiation and raising the protective
shields only depletes more power.
Geordi, unable to
determine the cause of the rapid energy loss, informs
the Bridge that all of the ship's power will be depleted
in three hours. And without energy for its shields, the
entire crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise will be killed by
In search of clues to
help free the U.S.S. Enterprise, Riker and Data return
to the ancient battle cruiser and begin reading over the
ship's logs. Meanwhile, Geordi enlists the aid of Dr.
Leah Brahms, a beautiful young engineering expert, to
help him save the Enterprise from disaster.
The Promellian logs
reveal that the ship was trapped by Aceton assimilators,
devices which attract energy, modify it and convert it
to radiation. During a centuries old battle between the
Menthars and Promellians, the Menthars had used the
assimilators to ensnare their enemy in the booby trap.
The Promellians, in trying to escape, unknowingly
supplied the power for their own destruction.
tells Picard that their only hope for survival requires
turning command of the starship over to the computer.
But while running simulations of the maneuver, Geordi
discovers that the radiation force striking the ship has
reached fatal levels.
With time running out,
Geordi abandons the idea of overpowering the booby trap.
Instead, he gives the U.S.S. Enterprise all of the power
it can muster in one quick blast and then immediately
shuts down all non-essential power, allowing the ship to
break the inertia and free itself from the trap.
Picard, taking control
of the U.S.S. Enterprise, maneuvers it out of further
danger by using the gravitational pull of an asteroid to
slingshot his vessel out of the battle zone. To prevent
other ships from suffering a similar fate, the U.S.S.
Enterprise destroys the entire asteroid field and
resumes its original course.