(written from a Production point of view)
No way out!
Geordi La Forge and the away team successfully evade the trap set up by their counterparts – Deanna Troi's empathic abilities allowing them to anticipate and counteract the disabling of their phasers. However, this leaves them back at square one – until Ensign Haspan reveals he has the solution.
Haspan reveals his answer – the genetic coding of the planet's fauna shows a normal evolutionary environment, not the accelerated growth common to Beta Argotha I in our universe. The cycle appears accelerated at present due to the approaching rogue star. Both teams are in the alternate universe – which means the alternates should get the less-damaged Yutcan.
In the conference room, Picard notes that the Ferengi wouldn't be particularly interested in Tavorok if he was the man the Romulans or Cardassians claim him to be. Therefore, Tavorok was telling the truth about one thing – his development of a dilithium-eating virus. Picard then faces off with the two commanders, resulting in their departure. The Enterprise then heads to rendezvous with La Forge and the away team.
The departure of the other away team leaves La Forge and his team in a race to repair their runabout before the energy anomalies dissipate, leaving them trapped in another universe.
Picard confronts Tavorok in his quarters – he left Romulan territory with a primitive form of the virus, rather than doing so to escape his work. It was the virus that crippled the Cardassian transport after its crew attacked him. His rendezvous with the Ferengi vessel would have resulted in his imprisonment – or death, since the Ferengi would also have seen the virus as a threat to be eliminated. Defeated, Tavorok requests asylum.
The Enterprise approaches the Beta Argotha system, and detects the energy anomalies. The away team cannot be contacted, nor beamed up. As Commander Riker suggests sending a second ship down, the runabout appears on sensors, struggling to get through the energy barrier. With Lieutenant Rodriguez attempting to beam the away team clear, the runabout's engines fail, and it begins to plummet towards the planet's surface. By boosting the annular confinement beam, Rodriguez is able to transport the crew aboard.
After delivering his report to Picard, La Forge contemplates the fate of his counterpart, wondering whether he was successful in diverting the rogue star, and even if he did, whether he managed to survive the attempt.
- As in the previous issue, the Galor-class vessel is depicted upside-down on several occasions.
- Based on Star Trek: The Next Generation created by Gene Roddenberry
- Editors: Margaret Clark
- Canon characters listed below are linked to the main article about them. Non-canon characters are not linked, but those that recurred, appearing or being mentioned in more than one story, are defined further in DC TNG volume 2 characters.
- Jean-Luc Picard
- USS Enterprise-D captain.
- William T. Riker
- Enterprise-D exec.
- Beverly Crusher
- Enterprise-D surgeon.
- Android Enterprise-D operations officer.
- Geordi La Forge
- VISOR-sighted Enterprise-D chief engineer.
- Klingon Enterprise-D security chief.
- Deanna Troi
- Half-Betazoid Enterprise-D counselor.
- Human male, lieutenant commander.
- Benzite male, ensign.
- Human female, Enterprise-D transporter operator.
- Federation Danube-class runabout. Utilized by the crew of a Starfleet vessel from another universe in an attempt to divert a rogue star from Beta Argotha.
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