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Night of the Living Dread

Enterprise Situation Room. Reed, Quantum, and Mayweather discuss the situation. Reed deduces that the engines only sustained impact damage, not damage incurred by weapons fire, and he's also not buying that they've simply been hiding for three years. "Just because they're a little skittish doesn't mean they're up to something," Quantum says. "And there's also their airponics bay," Reed starts to say. Quantum wants to know what about it, and Mayweather tells Quantum that it's not big enough to feed everyone on the ship. "How are they surviving down there? It doesn't make any sense," Reed says. They're insects. Quantum asks if they still have the downed ship's data module. Mayweather tells him it's in the sh'pod, and Quantum tells him to get Hoshi on downloading duty. Mayweather "aye sirs" him and leaves his captain to furrow away.

Trip gives Bug-Eyed a tour of the ship. Bug-Eyed asks many pointless questions: How many people aboard the ship? Are they all human? Can she meet Dr. Phlox? What's a dog? And Trip answers them: eighty-three; all humans, save the Vulcan, the Denobulan doctor, and Porthos the dog; Dr. Phlox would never forgive Trip if he didn't introduce him to Bug-Eyed; a dog is a pet. Bug-Eyed wants Porthos put on her show-me list as well, and Trip asks if she going to have any time left for him. "I don't know, it sounds like I'm going to be very busy," Bug-Eyed flirts. Trip wants to know about Kentare, her home planet, but she assures him it's boring and asks him what places he's visited. "Our mission's really just getting started," Trip says. "We haven't been to many planets yet." Bug-Eyed asks where their next port of call is, and Trip tells her they have no idea: "That's the fun part." "What's your favorite planet?" Bug-Eyed asks, gamboling next to him. "If I had to choose right now -- I'd say this one," Trip says. Well, that's one for keeping continuity of the episodes. He certainly wouldn't choose Planet of the Psychedelic Rock People. Just as they're getting warmed up for a mating dance, Quantum throws some ice on them and orders Trip to his Ready Room. Trip hands Bug-Eyed over to some red-shirt named "Billy" and asks him to continue "this lady's" tour. "Oh, they gave you a name, now you're gonna die, Billy!" Mathra crows. Trip tells Bug-Eyed that he still owes her lunch and will meet her in the Mess Hall.

Quantum's Ready Room. "I hear you've been spending a lot of time with Liana?" Quantum says. Reed looks at Trip with interest. Not one bum question out of your mouth, buddy. "Did T'Pol say somethang?" Trip whines. "Sir, I swear, I've been nothing but a perfect gentleman." Quantum tells him he's sure he has, but that's not what he's getting at. "Oh," Trip says, looking uncomfortable. Quantum asks if he's noticed any "strange behavior" from her or the other Onesies. You mean besides the fact that they're actually good actors? Trip asks, "'Strange behavior' -- what's going on?" Yeah, you know, strange behavior, Trip. Like wanting to be left alone, not welcoming others meddling about in their daily lives, having -- god forbid -- a way of life different from the one the crew of the Enterprise leads. Reed explains that the Hoshi-translated data module reveals what happened to the ship right before they crashed. "Yeah, they already told us what happened," Trip says. "According to this, they weren't attacked. There was an accident on board," Quantum says. Trip wants to know what the accident was. "There are some gaps in the data, but it looks like some kind of catastrophic malfunction. There was a massive depressurization when the ship went down," Reed tells him. Trip suggests that the data module got damaged during the crash. Anything! Anything other than the fact that the love of the last forty-eight hours of his life is lying to him. Quantum tells him it's not just the data module. Trip looks at Reed. "When their story didn't check out, the captain asked me to run some detailed scans of the ship. According to the oxidation rate of the hull plating, that ship's been sitting down there a lot longer than three years," Reed finishes, showing Trip his data. "It went down nearly twenty-two years ago, Trip," Quantum says. Trip argues that it doesn't make sense, and Reed offers to let him check the scans himself. "Why wouldn't Liana have told me?" Trip wonders. Sure, because on the strength of your TWO-DAY acquaintance, she should trust you implicitly with all her deepests and darkests -- right, Cletus? Reed tells Trip that his data shows that the ship launched a number of escape pods right before the crash. "Malcolm found one," Quantum says. "We're bringing it on board."

Shuttle bay. Phlox joins them, saying, "This is obviously someone's final resting place. What do you hope to accomplish by opening it?" Seriously. Phlox is so my close and personal friend. Malcolm, Quantum, Trip, and the good doctor circle the pod. "I'm not quite sure," Quantum says. Well, then. By all means, let's open it and disturb the dead. The captain nods at Reed, who pushes some buttons on the pod. Hold on! Didn't they learn anything in their Ferengi first contact? Shouldn't they open this thing in DeCon? Air hisses and the front panel clicks. Okay, they just pinpointed their location on the learning curve. Reed forces the panel open to reveal a slightly flattened and thoroughly desiccated body. "I don't believe you'll be needing my services," Phlox comments. Quantum makes a face. Yeah, it's probably pretty stenchy in there. Trip looks in and says, "It's Shilat, Captain. I saw him on their ship an hour ago. Alive!"

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