Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

Following her first experience with the transporter, an eerie series of events makes Hoshi think she is becoming invisible to the rest of the crew.


Hoshi Sato and Trip Tucker are on an unnamed planet, devoid of lifeforms, taking pictures and gathering data from a set of ruins. They wonder what happened to the people that built the ruins and are forced to leave their work when they learn that a diamagnetic storm is approaching. Before they can reach the shuttlepod, another storm pushes the first one in much faster than expected, so they are forced to use the transporter to return to Enterprise. They must transport one at a time due to the storm's interference. Sato is hesitant to use the transporter and relates her fears of having scrambled molecules to Tucker while they await transport. However, after being reassured over the communicator that Tucker is fine, Sato beams up to the ship, and the transport sequence goes smoothly and without incident.

As it is the first time she has used the transporter, Sato starts to feel that things are not quite right. When she goes to relax and change her uniform in her quarters, she sees her reflection in the mirror fade away and water drops pass through her hands as she is taking a shower, among other things. Later, in the mess hall, some of her fellow crewmembers jokingly tease her, relating the story of Cyrus Ramsey, a man who was lost in an early transporter test and subsequently became the subject of various ghost stories. Despite the obvious familiarity her friends show with the legend (even Dr. Phlox has heard the stories, after being stationed on Earth for a mere nine months), Sato has never heard of Cyrus Ramsey before.

Sato retires to her quarters for the night, hoping to feel better in the morning. She is awakened by an emergency call from T'Pol and realizes that she has uncharacteristically overslept by three hours and missed the beginning of her shift. When she arrives on the bridge, Captain Archer informs her that Tucker and Travis Mayweather have been taken hostage on the planet by aliens that, somehow, hadn't been detected the day before. Sato is not able to be of any help, failing to translate a simple bi-modal syntax. Her relations with the crew increasingly deteriorate, with crewmembers apparently ignoring her more frequently. Because of her failure with the alien language and her missing shifts, Sato begins to question her own competence, and her duties are eventually assumed by another crewman.

After a couple of visits to sickbay, Phlox still can't find anything wrong with her, attributing Sato's strange experiences to emotional trauma caused by her experience with the transporter. A short time later, while in the gym, Sato vanishes completely. Although she is still conscious, she cannot see herself in the mirror and is unable to interact with her environment.

When they can find no trace of Sato, the crew begins to search the ship for her. While sitting, undetected, in sickbay, she hears Phlox tell Archer and T'Pol that he had missed some subtle changes between two bioscans, taken only twenty-four hours apart, indicating that her sub-cellular membranes were degrading. Later, while in the transporter room, again undetected, she hears Tucker tell Archer, T'Pol, and Phlox that the secondary phase coils are out of alignment, and that was the source of the problem with the transporter when Sato went through it. She is unable to tell the crew that she is still alive and can not help but watch as Archer calls her father to inform him of her death.

In her wanderings through the decks of Enterprise, Sato encounters two aliens who are planting bombs throughout the ship. Because of her condition, she is not able to warn anyone and, in the end, she takes it upon herself to save the ship and crew from destruction. That eventually leads her to use an alien transporting device, which mysteriously brings her back to Enterprise's transporter room. There, Malcolm explains that she had been trapped for 8.3 seconds in the pattern buffer because of the storms on the planet's surface. This leads her to the realization that all of her experiences since beaming back to the ship had been hallucinations, including the alien saboteurs and the story of Cyrus Ramsey.

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Memorable quotesEdit

"You sure you can't read any of this?"
"Nope. How about you?"
"Well, I think this says "Tall guys are popular.""
"Hmm. You're a budding linguist."

- Tucker and Sato, while in the ruins

"You have to do this, Hoshi. There's no choice. I'll need you clear of the structure, one at a time."

- Archer, ordering a reluctant Sato and Tucker to be beamed up to Enterprise

"Your molecules get pulled apart."
"Then they get put back together again."
"Do you know how many molecules you're made up of?"
"All right, how many?"
"Uh, a few trillion."
"That's a pretty big jigsaw puzzle!"

- Sato, fretting to Tucker about using the transporter shortly before the two are beamed up to Enterprise

"Starfleet said it's safe. That's good enough for me!"

- Tucker, on the transporter

"Welcome to the club."

- Reed, to Sato on joining him, Archer, Novakovich, two unnamed security officers, and, most recently, Tucker, as the only Humans who have gone through the transporter on Enterprise

"It was very unsettling. Didn't you find it unsettling?"
"For a minute or two, but once I counted my fingers and toes..."
"I don't know, I just don't feel right."

- Sato and Tucker, discussing their recent experience with the transporter

"It's not a joke, doctor. If that machine could move a birthmark, who knows what else it could do?"

- Sato, to Phlox

"Ever since I used that transporter, nothing has been the way that it's supposed to be. I couldn't translate a simple bimodal syntax but Crewman Baird could. Crewman Baird doesn't know the first thing about our linguistic database! And Captain Archer told me to stay in my quarters, but my mirror doesn't want to give me a solid reflection and my shower can't decide whether to bounce off me or go through me! And nobody wants to talk to me."

- Sato, lamenting about her situation to Phlox

"Transporter technology is very new. I'm sure Humans were equally frightened when the automobile was introduced, or the airplane. New forms of transport take a while to get used to. I'm not at all surprised at your reaction – you wouldn't catch me using that apparatus."

- Phlox, sharing his opinion of the transporter with Sato

"You're upside down, ensign."

- Tucker, to Sato while in the gym's gyroscope

Background informationEdit

Shooting Vanishing Point

A moment from production on this episode


  • This episode establishes that Hoshi initiated the convention of using the word "beam" as a verb (as in, "Beam Me Up, Scotty.")
  • While on the gyroscope, Tucker says, "You're upside down, Ensign." This is the same phrase he spoke to Ensign Mayweather upon encountering him in Enterprise's "sweet spot", in "Broken Bow"
  • The illusory story of Cyrus Ramsey is not unlike the actual fate of Quinn Erickson in the fourth season episode "Daedalus". Hoshi's imagined experience is not unlike that of Ensign Ro Laren and Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge during their encounter with a Romulan interphasic cloaking device in "The Next Phase", as well as Kathryn Janeway's experience with an alien parasite in "Coda".

Links and references Edit

Starring Edit

Guest star Edit

Co-stars Edit

Uncredited co-stars Edit

References Edit

aeroplane; automobile; biomolecular scan; bioscan; birthmark; camera; centimeter; Death Valley; Denobulan; dinosaur drawing; Earth; Easter bunny; explosives; flash unit; ghost story; gyrosphere; hallucination; humanoids; Humpty Dumpty; kilometer; King's men; linguistic database; Madison; matter stream; meter; mirror; Morse code; motion sickness; multiaxis exercise trainer; pattern buffer; plasma circuit; polaric discharge; polaric energy; polarized hull plating; Ramsey, Cyrus; Sato's mother; shuttlepod; sink; S.O.S.; sub-cellular membrane; translator; transporter; transporter phobia; turbolift; universal translator; Vulcan; warp reactor

External link Edit

Previous episode:
Star Trek: Enterprise
Season 2
Next episode:
"Precious Cargo"

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