In September 2151, while deploying subspace amplifiers to improve their ability to communicate with Starfleet, Enterprise is approached by an alien vessel. Captain Archer hails them, but the vessel returns to warp. He wonders why: Ensign Sato points out that the Universal Translator is far from perfect; and Sub-Commander T'Pol says that some species have motives that cannot be understood in human terms. Soon, however, the mysterious ship returns and scans the Earth ship, sending a high pitched screech through the com systems, and firing on Enterprise before again jumping to warp.
Archer notes that Enterprise is now encountering more aggressive species than anticipated, and sets course for Earth so that Jupiter Station can finish the weapons refit. Commander Tucker and Reed ask to be allowed to complete the work themselves, but Archer disagrees, though he gives them permission to begin the procedure. While doing so, the alien ship returns and disables Enterprise's warp drive and main power. Strange alien bipeds then board the ship, and assault two crew-members. They return to their ship, damaging a warp nacelle before departing again. Mayweather suggests contacting the Vulcan High Command for help, but both subspace amplifiers have been destroyed.
Two days later, Enterprise locates an uninhabited planet for a weapons test, which produces a blast yield 10 times the expected output, due to an unexpected surge. T'Pol traces the anomalous reading to Launch Bay 2, to a device tapped into internal sensors and comm channels. Archer then sends the aliens a message: he does not want a fight but will protect his ship by any means necessary. With that, he destroys the device. T'Pol detects the alien vessel again, which uses a re-edited version of Archer's earlier message to demand surrender. Archer asks if Reed can intentionally repeat the previous overload of the cannons. Reed complies and damages the alien vessel, knocking out their shields. Reed follows up with two torpedoes before the aliens go to warp.
Errors and Explanations
Ex Astris Scientia
- The most blatant problem is with the weapon energy, which seems way too high at 500 gigajoules, compared to figures of the 24th century. Moreover, the 500 gigajoules are called "*power* output". Some basic physics lessons for the writers should be mandatory! Considering this huge amount of energy (which would be released in at most a few seconds, yielding a power in the 100 gigawatt region), the phase cannons are quite small. The later weapons may have been designed to have the same effect while using less power.
- Once again, Enterprise encounters a cool and advanced enemy ship. If the vicinity of Earth is so full of superior (potential) enemies, it is a miracle that Earth hasn't been conquered long ago, much less that Earth may become a major player in space within only ten years. The aliens may stay away due to Earth's connection with Vulcan.
- SMT on Wednesday, January 16, 2002 - 7:11 pm: Sigh. Janeway Syndrome apparently had its roots in the twenty-second century. Twice an alien ship known to be hostile appears close to Enterprise, and both times Archer is very slow to polarize the ship's hull plating. His first tardiness gets his ship shellacked, as the attack comes before the defenses go up. The second time, he never orders the defensive measure at all, and I heard no dialogue saying the polarization was off-line. Josh G. on Wednesday, January 16, 2002 - 7:18 pm: Janeway Syndrome? How about Riker Syndrome, as demonstrated in Generations?
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