Guinan visits Beverly in
her quarters, only to find her packing her belongings.
She has been relieved of her duties, and has been
summoned back to Earth to face a formal inquiry — and
the beginning of the end of her Starfleet career ...
Beverly invited a group of experts aboard the U.S.S.
Enterprise to hear Doctor Reyga, a Ferengi scientist,
explain how he had invented a metaphasic shield designed
to protect a shuttle and its occupants from the
destructive forces of a star's corona. To that end, one
of the Enterprise shuttles was outfitted with the
shield, so that Reyga himself could fly it into the
corona of the star Vaytan. The Klingon expert, Kurak,
preferred that someone more objective fly the shuttle.
The Takaran scientist, Jo'Bril, volunteered, to which
Kurak and the other two experts present, a Vulcan named
Dr. T'Pan and her human husband, Dr. Christopher,
As Dr. Reyga flew the
shuttle into the star's corona, Data detected an
increased level of baryon particles in the shuttle
cabin. In trouble, Jo'Bril managed to alter the
shuttle's course back out of the corona before slumping
unconscious. He was beamed directly to Sickbay, but
Beverly was too late to save his life.
Beverly and Nurse
Ogawa were baffled after examining Jo'Bril's body — they
couldn't determine the cause of death. Later, she talked
with Geordi, Reyga, and Data, who were examining the
shuttle. Geordi determined that minor hull damage
confirmed baryon particles did get through, but that
wasn't necessarily the cause of death. Geordi suggested
that there must have been something in the corona that
Reyga never anticipated. The implication made the
Ferengi angry. Unfortunately, though, Beverly was forced
to ban further tests — even if Reyga himself was the
pilot. He vowed to prove himself.
When Beverly saw Reyga
again, he was dead. The evidence suggested suicide, but
she refused to believe that. Picard, however, told her
that Reyga's family wouldn't allow an autopsy before
they performed Ferengi death rituals. Beverly was
certain it was murder, and the most likely suspects were
the other three scientists — the ones most likely to
gain from his death. The Klingon told Beverly that an
argument stemmed from Reyga's accusation of sabotage —
which Kurak denied. Then, with no other clues, Beverly
went against orders and performed an autopsy. Not
surprisingly, the Ferengi government lodged a formal
complaint with Starfleet, who forced Picard to relieve
her of duty.
Beverly to find the murderer. Beverly and Data discuss
sabotage possibilities, they do an autopsy and find the
traces, but it's still not proof. The bridge crew notes
that the shuttle equipped with the metaphasic shield has
suddenly been launched. Picard is shocked to see it is
Beverly, ready to risk it all for the test of a theory.
The bridge officers
are shocked to see Beverly has set a course for the
star's corona. Despite Picard's protests, she reaches
her destination. The shield functions perfectly — Reyga
was successful. Suddenly, the Enterprise loses contact
with the shuttle. The reason: Jo'Bril is aboard with
Beverly, very much alive, and pointing a phaser at her.
He has disconnected communications, and tells the
shocked doctor that he put himself into a state of
physiostasis, a talent unique to his race, which allowed
him to fake death. He was hoping to just discredit Reyga
and his invention — but now he has more than he
bargained for, because he now has the shuttle, which he
plans to develop into a weapon. Beverly suddenly makes
the shuttle rock violently, and they scramble for the
loose phaser. She gets to it first and vaporizes Jo'Bril,
then sets course back to the Enterprise. The mystery has
been solved, and she has been reinstated.