05x26 - Time's Arrow

Episode transcripts for the TV show "Star Trek: The Next Generation". Aired: September 28, 1987 – May 23, 1994.
Series is set 78 years after the original series -- in the 24th century.
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05x26 - Time's Arrow

Post by bunniefuu »

Captain's log, stardate 45959.1.

The Enterprise has been recalled to
Sector 001 on a priority mission.

Evidence has been discovered
of extraterrestrials on Earth

five centuries ago.

Work crews installing seismic
regulators found some artefacts.

And they date back
to the late 19th century?


The bifocal visual aid
is typical of the era.

The w*apon is a.45 calibre
double-action cavalry p*stol

invented by Colt Firearms in 1 873.

Here, look inside the watch.

How are extraterrestrials
related to these discoveries?

There was a problem
with the regulators.

Something inside the cavern
was interfering with them.

It turned out to be
the cavern itself.

The rock face has been altered
by exposure to triolic waves.

Which you won't find on Earth
in either the 19th or 24th century.

Triolic waves?

The by-product of an energy source,
used by few species

because it is harmful
to living tissue.

No one has been in or out
of this cavern in centuries.

So we are left with
a 500-year-old mystery.

I'm curious.

There are greater experts on Earth
to investigate your mystery.

Why bring the Enterprise
all the way home?

As we continued our excavation,
we found one other thing.

We've tried to leave everything
as we found it.

Space, the final frontier.

These are the voyages
of the Starship Enterprise.

Its continuing mission,
to explore strange new worlds...

...to seek out new life
and new civilisations...

...to boldly go
where no one has gone before.

Captain's log, stardate 45960.2.

We have transported the materials
from the cavern back to the ship.

I wish I could be as dispassionate
about the implications

as my second officer.


There is a 12-percent decomposition
of bitanium in the neural links.

That suggests the alloys...

Data, how can you look inside that,

analyse the decomposition, without...

- Emotion, sir?
- Yes.

I am simply being objective.

- Is this yours?
- I believe so.

Could it be Lore?

No, sir. My brother's
positronic brain

has a type-L
phase-discriminating amplifier.

- Mine is a type R.
- Type R?

Yes, sir.

Can you tell how long
this has been in the cavern?

Decomposition indicates life ended
approximately 500 years ago.

That is consistent
with the other artefacts.

Your head is not an artefact!

In relative terms, no.

Nevertheless, it seems my life
is to end in the 19th century.

- Not if we can help it.
- It cannot be prevented, sir.

At some future date I will be
sent back to 19th-century Earth,

where I will die.

It has occurred. It will occur.

I can't tell you
exactly who the aliens were,

but I have found out a few things.

The rock face tells us
we're dealing with a species

with microcentrum cell membranes.

Triolic waves wouldn't harm them.

- They might be shape-shifters.
- They may have appeared as humans?

It isn't anybody
we've run into before.

Nothing matches up
with any known life forms.

What does match is a cellular fossil
which might have hitched a ride.

- A cellular fossil?
- A microscopic, ciliated life form.

Not unlike a thousand other
single-cell life forms.

Except this particular one
is LB10445.

And LB10445 is only known
to exist on one place.

Devidia Il, in the Marrab sector.

- Number One, lay in a course.
- On my way.

So, do you want to talk about it?

You refer to
the foreknowledge of my death?


I have no particular desire
to discuss the matter.

- Do you need to talk about it?
- Yeah!


Data, this has got to
bother you a little.

On the contrary.
I find it rather comforting.


I have often wondered about
my own mortality as I see others age.

Until now it was possible I would
live an unlimited period of time.

Although some might
find this attractive,

to me it only reinforces
the fact that I am artificial.

I never knew
how tough this was for you.

Tough? As in difficult?

Knowing that you would outlive
all your friends.

- I expected to make new friends.
- True.

And then to outlive them as well.

Now that you know you might not?

It provides a sense of completion
to my future.

In a way, I am not that different
from anyone else.

- I can now look forward to death.
- I never thought of it that way.

One might also conclude, it brings me
one step closer to being human.

- I am mortal.
- Picard to bridge officers.

Approaching the Devidia System.
Report to your stations.

See you later. Let's get together
for a game of chess or something.

That sounded like
a very intense talk.

Yeah. They found Data's head
a mile beneath San Francisco.

Been down there about five centuries.

That's why the Enterprise
has been sent back to Earth.

- I didn't realise.
- It's something, isn't it?

He seems fine about it.
Better than I am.

Well, I'd better get to Engineering.

Full circle.

- I heard about Data.
- Yeah.

It's having an unusually
traumatic effect on everyone.


If you don't want to talk, it's OK.

I'm fine! Just...

- Angry.
- I'm not angry.

Yeah, I'm angry.

Why should I be angry?

Because it reminds us
of our own mortality.

I just don't want to believe it.

Have you heard Data
define friendship?


How did he put it?

"As I experience
sensory input patterns,

my mental pathways
become used to them."

"The inputs are anticipated
and even missed when absent."

- So what's the point?
- He's used to us, and we to him.

It's like finding out a loved one
has a terminal illness...

- Data!
- Counsellor. Commander.

Would either of you mind
if I made a personal inquiry?

A personal inquiry?
No, go right ahead.

I perceive an apparent change
in the way others behave toward me.

For example, people abruptly
end conversations when I appear,

as you did
when the turbolift doors opened.

Is that an accurate observation?

- Not at all.
- Yes.


You're right, Data.
And it's not a very nice thing to do.

It's just that our mental pathways
have become accustomed

to your sensory input patterns.

I understand.

I am also fond of you, Commander.
And you as well, Counsellor.

- We're in orbit.
- Any sign of life?

- Negative, sir.
- Captain.

Sensors are picking up
an unusual temporal disturbance

on the planet's surface.

42 degrees, seven minutes north
by 88 degrees, declination east.

Temporal disturbance?

Standard orbit at those coordinates.

Spectral analysis shows
a high level of triolic waves.

Any correlation
with the readings from Earth?

Affirmative, sir.
The magnetic signature is identical.

Are the waves
dangerous for humanoids?

Only with long-term exposure, sir.

- Take an away team.
- Worf, Geordi, Troi.

Join me in transporter room three.

- Commander.
- Mr Data.

I need you to monitor the sensor
readings during this investigation.

Captain, may I speak to you alone?

Sir, it is standard for the second
officer to accompany the away team.

Yes, yes, Mr Data.
I am aware of that.

Your decision
is related to the discovery...

I think it is reasonable
to take precautions.

There is no rational justification
for this course.

Then I'll be irrational!

It is possible that my death will not
occur for years. Even centuries.

I hope that's true. However, this
investigation began with your death.

I'm trying to see
it doesn't end that way.

I appreciate your concern.

But, to employ an aphorism,
one cannot cheat fate.

Cheat fate?

Perhaps we can't, Mr Data.
But at least we can give it a try.

The concentration of triolic waves
falls off about here.

It increases the closer in we go.

What's the source?
Something underground?

- Negative.
- What's the explanation?

I don't have one yet.

La Forge to Enterprise.
Run a spectral-field correlation.

Let's see if these readings are
related to the temporal distortions.



There's life here.

A child. An old woman.

Dozens more, hundreds. Terrified.


My God, Will, they're human.

Troi's convinced they're human.

They may be trapped somehow.
We're not sure.

The results of my temporal analysis
may be pertinent.

Go ahead.

It indicates a synchronic distortion
in the areas emanating triolic waves.

That explains a few things.
How much, Data?

A positive displacement
of.004 percent.

Well, whatever or whoever is there,
we're out of phase with it,

by only a fraction of a second.

That would make them invisible?

A millisecond, a year,
it makes no difference.

If what we're reading is true,

we're occupying the same space,
but in a different time.

- How do we compensate?
- We can manipulate the distortion.

Maybe. If we were to create
a contained subspace force field.

But to get a.004 variance, we need
a very sensitive phase discriminator.

- We don't have one that comes close.
- Yes, we do.

It is built into
my positronic decompiler.

It will be necessary for me
to join the away team, sir.

Proceed, Mr Data.

- Mr Data.
- Sir.

Let me give you a hand with that.

Once the force field is adjusted,
I will no longer be visible.

However, you will still
be able to hear me.

If you will help me
test the comm system?

My voice will go out on a delay
correlated to the phase adjustment.

That should allow me
to maintain verbal contact.

- Will we be able to talk to you?
- No, sir. That will not be possible.

The subspace field is established.
You're set to go, Data.

Adjusting the synchronic distortion.





I have made visual contact.
There are life forms here.

They are either unaware of me
or choosing to ignore me.

I am moving 10 metres north
to observe more closely.

They range from two to three metres
in height. Silver-grey in colour.

They have four limbs.
No eyes or ears are noticeable.

There is a single orifice
where a humanoid forehead would be.

They are reclined against the rock,

surrounding some sort of apparatus
approximately 1.5 metres in height.

It is releasing
what appear to be energy fragments,

which are ingested by the entities.

Perhaps some sort of nourishment.

The upper portion of the apparatus
seems to hold the energy segments.

There are hundreds, perhaps
thousands, of these fragments inside.

I have resumed the northerly course.
There is no evidence yet of humans.

OK, that's enough, Data.
Come on back now.

I have encountered another life form,
an ophidian.

It seems to be restricted
by a force field.

Two of the silver-grey entities
are approaching it.

They have released the force field.

I am reading a temporal distortion
of massive proportions.

The ophidian...
is time/space continuum.

...caught in... I am attempting...


Over here.

Cmdr Riker, report.

We've lost him.

Excuse me.

Pardon me.

I'm searching for two individuals
with an ophidian.

A snake.


Could you help out a forty-niner?

I fell down a shaft.

- I got blown up in a tunnel.
- That is unfortunate.

Most unfortunate. I require large
amounts of whiskey as a liniment.

- I am sorry, but I have no whiskey.
- I'll take a dime.

I am sorry,
but I have no form of legal tender.

Well, we're in the same boat, huh?

Well, this is my street.
You'll have to find one of your own.

I would be happy to do so,
but I am in search of information.

Stockbrokers are cheap as hell.
Don't even bother to ask.

Your best handout is from
a young fella with his lady.

You give him a chance
to show her he's generous.

Steer clear of sailors.

Most likely you'll get a fist
across your jaw for your trouble.

Thank you, but I'm trying to find
two individuals with a snake.

A snake?

You are an odd fella, aren't you?

But just don't be too particular
where you get your funds from.

You need medical attention.
I will get a doctor.

No, no, it's too late for that.

Could you help out a forty-niner?


Put it on Gentleman Jim.
Knockout in the fifth.

Sir. I need temporary lodging.

Looks like the missus booted you out
in the middle of the night.

I understand your misperception.

However, this is not sleepwear
and I do not have a missus.


I am a Frenchman.

Everybody's from somewhere.
That doesn't matter here.

- It's sixpence a day, or $4 a week.
- I have no money.

Now, that matters.

But I can perform significant tasks,
both mental and physical.

Perhaps your hotel
would offer me a job.

Geez, I don't know.
We're happy with the maid we've got.

Cook's decent. Dishwasher's drunk
all day, but he gets here on time.

And there's me.
I do everything else round here.


Lady Luck not with you tonight,
Mr Lane?

Poor fella.
Hasn't filled a straight in weeks.



Me, too.

Go to blazes!

A poker face carved in marble.

- Excuse me, gentlemen.
- What in hell do you want?

- I would like to join the game.
- Pale face.

- I don't like Easterners.
- I am a Frenchman.

Mes parents sont originaires
du Bourgonais.

Je suis ne a la New Orleans.

Alors, nous sommes presque freres.
Je suis heureux de vous connaitre.

Please, sir.

The game is poker. The deal is yours.
The ante is four bits.

- Family heirloom?
- In a manner of speaking.

It is a crystalline composite of
silicon, beryllium, carbon 70 and...

- Gold.
- Gold.

I'll give you $3 for it.

I accept.

Did you see their faces?
I did all I could not to laugh.

To whom are you referring?

Frederick La Rouque
and Joe Falling Hawk.

Those guys are card sharks.

Sure, they play easy at first
not to scare off the marks,

but you give them a little time,
they'll bleed a man dry.

Especially an out-of-towner
like yourself.

What caused your jocular reaction?

- What was it you found humorous?
- Don't you see?

They had you pegged for a sap.

Your clothes, the way you talk.
It's like you were born yesterday.

- You sure fooled them.
- I did not intend to deceive.

Well, have it your way.

This is the place. Breakfast is six
to eight. Check-out's at noon.

Thank you.

It has been a pleasure.

It would be advisable
to monitor that cough.

I have read that there is
currently a cholera epidemic.

Never felt better.

Of course. The gratuity.

- Thank you for your assistance.
- A dollar?!

If there's anything you need...
It can get lonely in San Francisco.

You might want some company.
I can introduce you to Lilian.

I have no need for companionship.
But I do require some supplies.

Anything you need.
I can get it wholesale.

I can get it for less than wholesale
if you don't ask where it came from.

What do you need all this stuff for?

- I am an inventor.
- No kidding!

Well, this stuff's
gonna take a while.

I'll have to go clear across town.

And it won't be cheap.

- Will this be enough?
- More than enough.

You may retain the surplus
for yourself.

- Keep the change?
- Exactly.


Help out a forty-niner.

Fell down a shaft.


Help me.

Help me out.



Captain's log, supplemental.

Close-range sensor analysis
has yielded no further trace of Data.

Despite repercussions among my crew,
I must move this mission forward.

I can't accept he's dead
and leave it at that.

- We cannot make Data a priority.
- What is more important than Data?

Look at what we have so far.

Evidence that these aliens have been
travelling in time to Earth.

What if they're trying to
undermine our history?

Some kind of guerrilla w*r?

We must assume
that there is a thr*at,

if not to us, then to 19th-century
Earth, and determine what it may be.

Mr La Forge, we need a way
to communicate with the life forms.

It's not going to be easy
to reproduce what Data did.

We can create a subspace field,

but we need a very sensitive phase
discriminator to get.004 variance.

Can you build one?

It won't be as good as Data's.

- Will it be good enough?
- I can try. It'll take some time.

I don't want anyone else
going in alone.

I can create a large enough
subspace field to encompass everyone.

But adjusting the phase inside it,
that'll be the hard part.

Make it so.

We have to assume one thing, sir.

Wherever Data may be, he's also
trying to get to the bottom of this.

He may have a better idea
of what's going on,

so it's in our interest to find him.

Perhaps in the course of this
investigation, we will. I hope so.

If we find Cmdr Data, it may be
our fate to die with him in the past.

If our remains are in that cavern,

they would have turned to dust
long ago.

I'm afraid to interrupt.

Captain, you didn't have
to come all the way down here.

I'd have been happy
to come up to you.

And miss all this?

I haven't seen
such a complex operation

since the Academy lab final
in exochemistry.

It's a Tzartak aperitif.
It's very, very touchy.

You have to change the evaporation
point of the main ingredient.

The temperature
where it goes to vapour

must be half a degree below the body
temperature of the customer.

When the liquid touches the tongue,
it evaporates

and the flavour is carried
entirely by the vapour.

A few molecules off, the vapour point
crashes and puff! It's all gone.

What is it you wanted
to see me about?

I hear you're sending an away team
down to the surface.

Are you going?

It is rather unusual for you
to be curious about an away mission.

Maybe it's an unusual away mission.

If you have something to say,
I'm listening.

Starfleet captains
don't usually accompany away teams.

- It's general policy.
- This time, you have to.


You just do.

Do you remember
the first time we met?

- Of course.
- Don't be so sure.

I just mean,
if you don't go on this mission...

...we'll never meet.

- Sorry it took so long, Mr Data.
- Apology is not necessary.

Are you alright?

- I believe I overexerted myself.
- Yeah, I'll say!

- Did you get it working?
- Yes.

- Whatever it is.
- This is for your trouble.

What are you gonna do
with the anvil?

I require a low-intensity
magnetic-field core.

The iron mass of the anvil
will provide that.

What's it gonna be
when it's finished?

What do you think it is "gonna be"?

If I were to guess, maybe a new kind
of motor for a horseless carriage.

- That is a good guess.
- Hot damn!

- You think there's money in them?
- Perhaps.

Isn't that what makes America great?

To what are you referring?

A man rides into town in pyjamas,
wins a grub stake at a poker table,

turns it into a horseless carriage
and makes a million. That's America!

I have given you
an erroneous impression.

You know, someday
my ship's gonna come in.

- You have a ship?
- Yeah.

It's full of gold. I'm just
biding my time till it gets here.

Raising a stake any way I can.

I've been a newsie,
cut fish at a cannery.

- I've even been an oyster pirate.
- Quite a spectrum of occupations.

You can't stay in one place too long.
I'm always looking for the angle.

Say, maybe we could go into business.
Selling your horseless carriage.

You invent 'em, I sell 'em.
I can sell anybody anything.

What do you say?

Your plan is a bit premature.

Keep it in mind, though.

I'd better get back.

I forgot.

I got you something
at the bakery on Third.

- Thank you, Jack.
- No.

It's on me, partner.

The eminent scientist Alfred Russel
Wallace has revived the theory

that Earth is at the centre
of the stellar universe.

This distinguished natural...

...philosopher has
reaffirmed our planet

as the only habitable globe
in the heavens.

A world, furthermore, constructed
for the sole benefit of man.

He's got a lot of folks
excited about the notion.

My dear Mr Clemens, why do I think
you are not one of them?

Your suspicions, Madam Guinan,

are undoubtedly based upon
your keen observational skills.

Now, if you'll permit me,

I'll continue my character
assassination unimpeded.

My dear Mr Clemens, please do.

According to our best
geologic estimate,

the Earth is approximately
100 million years of age,

perhaps a bit less, perhaps more.

Perhaps a great deal more.

Indeed. But regardless,
it is ancient in the extreme.

Now, geology also tells us
that man himself has existed

but for a microscopic fraction
of those years.

Yes. Curious, isn't it,

that the world got by
for such a great long while

with no humans around
to fill up space?

I suppose Mr Wallace
and his supporters would say

that the Earth needed all that time

to prepare itself
for our illustrious arrival.


the oyster alone
probably required 15 million years

to get it to come out just right.

But if the Earth is not alone

and there are millions of inhabited
planets in the heavens...

Quite my point. Man becomes
a trivial creation, does he not?

Lost in the vastness
of the cosmic prairie,

adrift on the deep ocean of time.

A single one
amongst countless others.

Some may argue
that a diamond is still a diamond

even if it is one amongst millions.

It still shines as brightly.

Someone might say that, dear lady,

if someone thought that the human
race was akin to a precious jewel.

But this increasingly
hypothetical someone...

...would not be me.

- Good afternoon, sir.
- Good afternoon.

- I would like to speak to Guinan.
- And you are...?

- Data.
- Mr Data.

- Could it be under another name?
- No.

I can't find your name
on the guest list.

I am a personal friend.

Madam Guinan has found many friends
since the newspaper announcement,

but if your name is not on the list,
there's nothing I can do.

- It is urgent that I see her.
- Sir...

Unless you leave immediately,
I will send for the police.

That is an excellent idea.
I will wait for them in there.

Sir, please, you can't go in there!


Excuse me.

- I must speak to you.
- Forgive me. He barged in.

I am sorry for the disruption.
He would not believe we were friends.

Do I know you, Mr...?

Yes. We were on a ship together.

Well, I do so much travelling.
What ship would that be?

- The Enterprise.
- Is that a clipper ship?

- It is a starship.
- Starship? What registry is that?

Of course! Mr Data.

Excuse us. We have so much
to catch up on. How are you?

- What exactly are you?
- Android. Artificial life form.

Did my father send you?

- If he did, go back and tell him...
- I was not sent by your father.

Circumstances demand
I take you into my confidence.

- I require your assistance.
- Sorry.

I am from the 24th century,
where you and I serve on a starship.


We encountered a species
thr*at 19th-century Earth.

I was inadvertently pulled into
their temporal vortex.

When I saw your photograph
in the newspaper,

I assumed you had joined me
from the future. From the Enterprise.

I knew you were long-lived,

but I did not realise
you had visited Earth so long ago.

Eavesdropping is by no means
a proper activity for a gentleman.

Nonetheless, the deed is done.

Captain's log, stardate 45965.3.

An away team has beamed down

with a device that may enable them
to phase-shift into the alien world.

OK, Counsellor, right over there.

The triolic waves end right here.

Mr Worf?

- Sir!
- How soon will you be ready?

We're ready now, Captain.

Subspace field established.

I'd prefer you to monitor us
from the bridge, Captain.

I have reason to believe
my presence is imperative.

- Imperative?
- Yes.

Mr Worf, report back to the bridge.

Sir, as chief of security,
my place is at your side.

The security of the Enterprise
is of paramount importance.

Yes, sir.

- Worf to Enterprise.
- Go ahead, sir.

Beam me up.

Proceed, Mr La Forge.

This tricorder can interface
with the subspace generator.

It should allow me to control
the phase discrimination,

if this is going to work at all.

I need everyone inside the field.

Adjusting synchronic distortion.





If we can see them,
why can't they see us?

We might not be far enough into
their perceptual range.

These strands
appear to be biomagnetic.

Variable flux.
Possibly organic in origin.

A life form.

No. There's no life here.

What I have sensed
is more like an imprint.

An echo of the last moment of life.

Human life.

They all died in terror.

Oh, my God!

They're delivering more of them
for the others to ingest.

Look at what he's carrying.
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