Stardate: 47391.2
Rating: *****

Edited Length: 45:02
U.S. Airdate: December 12, 1993
Nielsen Rating/Rank: [12.8/2]

Special Appearance By
Wil Wheaton: [Lieutenant Wesley Crusher]

Guest Star
Patti Yasutake: [Doctor Alyssa Ogawa]

Co-Producer: Brannon Braga
Producer: Ronald D. Moore
Line Producer: Merri D. Howard
Producer: Peter Lauritson
Supervising Producer: David Livingston
Executive Producer: Jeri Taylor
Executive Producer: Michael Piller
Written By: Brannon Braga
Directed By: Robert Wiemer

[end credit]
Executive Producer: Rick Berman

[closing credits]

Co-Producer: Wendy Neuss
Executive Story Editor: René Echevarria
Story Editor: Naren Shankar

Mark Bramhall: [Gul Nador]
Majel Barrett: Computer Voice


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Extended Synopsis (by Tim Lynch) ------------------------------------

Worf is returning from a bat'leth tournament on Forgus Three, in which he won top prize. He is looking forward to rejoining the Enterprise, but also somewhat jumpy.

This is because it's his birthday, and as Riker briefs Worf it becomes more and more clear that Worf is expecting Riker to have arranged some sort of celebration. "A surprise party?" says Riker, aghast. "I hate surprise parties; I would never do that to you." Worf, relieved, bids Riker farewell. He heads into the second room of his quarters, only to be surprised by a number of his friends. Riker comes back in, grinning. "I love surprise parties."

At the party, everyone is present except for Picard, who sends his regards via Riker. Worf grudgingly puts up with happy songs and having to cut the (chocolate) birthday cake. He receives his gifts, including an expressionist painting from Data that Troi insists on hanging prominently in the front room. Geordi comes in, compliments the painting, and extends his own best wishes to Worf. Worf staggers very briefly, but insists it's only because Data's painting is making him dizzy.

"Cake?" Worf and Data accept the pieces offered, but Worf seems surprised to notice that the cake is yellow. "The cake was chocolate..." "Oh, don't I wish," chimes in Troi helpfully. Worf receives more gifts, then hears Picard ask him how old he is. Worf again seems surprised, this time because he didn't think Picard could attend - but Picard says he wouldn't have missed it for anything.

The Enterprise arrives at the Argus Array, which has malfunctioned recently for the third time in a year. However, they find that it's functioning perfectly normally - it's just that someone else has reprogrammed it to no longer send information back to the Federation! A repair crew goes over to readjust it, and to find the imaging logs in hopes of discovering what happened.

As those repairs continue, Worf talks to Troi in Ten-Forward. He thanks her for caring for Alexander during his absence, and after complimenting her ability to get along with Alexander, asks her to formally assume the role of "so'chim", Alexander's surrogate mother. In human terms, Worf says, the closest analogue would be Worf's stepsister. Troi notes, "That would make my mother your stepmother." Worf's eyes bulge out of his head briefly, but he acknowledges that he is willing to take that risk. Troi accepts.

Later, in Engineering, Worf, Data, Geordi and Picard are viewing the imaging logs. They show that the Array's recent scans have centered on many key Federation sites, including the Utopia Planitia shipyards where many new advances in starship technology are made. The logs dated just as the Array was reprogrammed clearly show a Cardassian vessel approaching, lending even more credence to the idea that the Array is now "in enemy hands." Geordi hands Worf a report, and Worf briefly sags against the console. Worf claims he's fine - but suddenly notices that Data and Geordi appear to have switched places, and that Picard is nowhere to be found. Befuddled, he goes to sickbay.

There, Dr. Crusher says that his situation is normal, and to be expected after that concussion he's had recently. Worf is now really confused; what concussion might that be? Crusher, patient as ever, explains that he came in complaining of ringing in his ears that morning, and that her scans showed he had a concussion from when someone hit him on the head in the bat'leth tournament. "That's why you lost the match." "But ... I won that tournament - and I can prove it to you!" The two quickly go to Worf's quarters, and Worf grabs his memento - only now, it shows he came in ninth place...

Worf, sure someone is playing an elaborate trick on him, checks his personal log from the shuttlecraft, only to find that it too says he came in ninth. Worf is no longer sure whether reality is wrong or his memories are wrong, and is more than open to Bev's suggestion that his memories are briefly fading as a result of the concussion. She reassures him that it should only be temporary, and he heads for the bridge.

There, Data asks him for the results of the metallurgical scan on the Array - a scan Worf knows nothing about. A Cardassian ship then appears, and Picard trades diplomatic barbs with Gul Nador, who is curious about the Enterprise's mission in the sector and about the purpose of the Array. Picard reassures him that it is used only for scientific study, not surveillance. Nador, apparently placated, leaves.

Worf, now back on comfortable ground in security, confidently tells Picard that Nador's ship is the same one they saw in the imaging logs. "Imaging logs?" asks Picard, clearly unaware of any such beasts, or of any implication that the Array was sabotaged. Riker claims not to have been informed either, and Data has no memory of the logs. Worf again wonders what's going on.

In his quarters, he complains about the incongruities to Counselor Troi. She points out, rather sensibly, that it makes more sense for him to be misremembering things than for everyone else to be. Geordi then enters with news that the Argus Array had simply suffered a mechanical failure. Worf protests to Geordi, then briefly collapses. Geordi steadies him, but then Worf finds everything changed. Data's painting is now on the opposite wall, and is also a completely different painting. He turns to Troi and finds her hair and clothing have changed as well! Geordi suggests Worf go to sickbay, and reaches over to give him a hand. Worf sags again -

"Now, Mr. Worf!" Worf, shocked at hearing Picard's voice, suddenly finds himself on a very different-looking bridge of the Enterprise, with a Cardassian vessel approaching menacingly...

Picard again orders him to raise shields, but Worf is unfamiliar with the different layout of the tactical panel, and the Enterprise takes several nasty hits. Riker manages to raise the shields and returns fire, but another Cardassian bolt does real damage. The Enterprise flees, and the Cardassians leave them alone, instead destroying the Argus Array utterly. A call to Engineering to check damage reveals that Geordi is in sickbay, gravely injured with plasma burns. Picard, quite miffed, asks Worf what happened, and neither he nor Riker have any idea what Worf means by "another memory lapse." Worf requests to be relieved of duty, a request Picard quickly grants.

Worf broods in his quarters, where his bat'leth trophy is now a vase of flowers and a check of his personal logs reveals that a malfunction on board prevented him from being able to go to the tournament in the first place. The door rings, and when Worf answers it, Troi enters, rather annoyed that he'd lock the door. She seems to make herself quite at home, and expects Worf to be comfortable around her - far more comfortable, in fact, than Worf has ever been around Troi in the past. Accepting that Worf doesn't want to talk about what just happened, she at least manages to get him onto the bed for her to massage away some of his tension. Worf is a bit surprised by this, but is outright shocked when Troi leans over and kisses him. "Counselor, I do not believe this is appropriate behavior!" "Even for your wife?" "WIFE?" If Worf was confused before, he's almost catatonic now; however, he describes enough of his experiences that Troi says she believes him, and they determine to get to the bottom of it.

Data, in engineering, agrees to set up a scan for temporal anomalies. After Troi is called away, Worf asks about his romantic history with her and finds out that they've been married for about two and a half years. When Data suggests Worf think back to find common elements to all the feelings of discontinuity he's felt of late, Worf realizes that Geordi was present and nearby on all three occasions. They head for sickbay to talk to Geordi - but he, Data, and Troi find out from Dr. Ogawa that Geordi is in no condition to talk: he's dead.

A scan of Geordi reveals nothing that might link him to Worf's changing perceptions, so they theorize the VISOR might be responsible. They hook it up to a scanner and power it on, and Worf again sags.

He is steadied, as usual - by Dr. Crusher, who wasn't there a moment ago. He finds himself now in red, with a different combadge, and quickly discovers from Troi that he's first officer of this Enterprise. As Worf deals with this new situation, Data discovers "quantum flux" in his RNA and studies the phenomenon.

In the ready room some time later, Data briefs Captain Riker: based on the quantum resonance signature in Worf's body (something basic to all existence, and unchangeable), Worf is not native to this universe. Although Worf never left the Enterprise for the bat'leth tournament in this universe, Riker orders the ship to backtrack along Worf's shuttle's alleged course to search for anomalies. As they prepare for this, Worf asks Riker how long he's been captain. "Four years," Riker responds, "ever since Captain Picard was killed during the incident with the Borg. You don't remember any of this, do you?" "I do remember it - I just remember it differently."

Later, on the bridge, tactical Lieutenant Wes Crusher picks up traces of a quantum fissure along Worf's old course, and there is an ion trail coming from it suggesting a Federation shuttlecraft. Data immediately comes up with a theory. The fissure, it seems, is a "keyhole" between many different quantum universes: universes where events took a different path. The shuttle's warp engines punched a small hole through the fissure, propelling Worf into an uncertain state from reality to reality. Geordi's VISOR, by merit of its subspace properties, triggered shifts whenever it operated near Worf. Wes suggests scanning the fissure in search of the reality with Worf's own quantum signature in an attempt to get Worf back where he belongs.

As this search gets underway, Troi admits to Worf that she's a bit depressed by the concept of realities where they never fell in love. Although Worf says he had never considered romance with her, he does go so far as to say he "would not be opposed" to the idea. Even the revelation that here, he has two children by Troi and no Alexander, is just one more revelation of many.

As the Enterprise continues to scan the fissure, a hostile ship approaches. It's a Bajoran ship - in this reality, the Bajorans overthrew the Cardassians and have become a dangerous force. They shoot at the Enterprise, screwing up the scanning pulse. The pulse creates a rip in the fissure, letting other realities come in. One by one, Enterprises upon Enterprises begin popping into existence...

The Bajoran ship, not surprisingly, disengages, and Wes reports a huge number of hails. Data suggests that if Worf's original shuttle can be found and sent back through the fissure with an inverse warpfield at the right moment, the fissure should seal and restore everything back the way it was. Riker sends out a general hail to all the Enterprises, relaying this information and transmitting the quantum signature to them. Worf's Enterprise responds, and agrees to send the shuttle over. Captain Riker cannot resist, however, telling Picard how good it is to see him again after such a long time.

The shuttle is made ready, and Data tells Worf that owing to the uncertainty principle, he should show up near the Enterprise in place, but may be several days early or several days later than he would normally have arrived. After Worf bids Troi a fond farewell, the shuttle leaves.

Before it reaches the fissure, however, it comes under attack. Riker finds that it's not the Bajorans attacking, however, but one of the Enterprises! A hail reveals a desolate bridge, with only Worf and a disheveled, frantic Riker on the scene. "We won't GO back," insists that Riker. "You don't know what it's like in our universe. The Federation's gone; the Borg is everywhere! We're one of the last ships left - please. You've got to help us!" Although their presence sends a pang through everyone on board, Riker insists that the shuttle be protected, and a shot in self-defense accidentally destroys that desperate Enterprise. Worf enters the fissure, triggers the warpfield, and is surrounded by multiple images of himself -

- and wakes to find himself on the floor of his shuttlecraft, alone and back in his usual uniform. He hails the Enterprise and hears Picard's voice welcoming him home. When Picard asks how the bat'leth tournament was, Worf's eye falls on his trophy. "It was fine, sir. I won champion standing..."

Later, Worf tells Riker that he knows a surprise party is in the works, but is really surprised to find no such party materializing. Instead, there is only Troi, who had promised to feed a pet of Alexander's. She tells him that she knows he wants to be alone on his birthday, and prepares to leave - but Worf stops her, inviting her to share his dinner. Deanna happily agrees, and Worf orders champagne, as the Enterprise sails on.

Highlight Listing:
"Parallels" - Returning to the Enterprise from a competition, Worf finds reality changing, and is troubled when no one else seems to notice.
Advertising Headline:
WORF'S NIGHTMARE! When life on the Enterprise stops making sense, why is Worf the only one who notices?
TV log listing:
Is Worf losing his grip on reality? STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION.
Operation SNAFU
In several scenes, Data is seen with having blue eyes instead of the yellowish-grey eyes. Brent forgot his contacts! (UV)

[ Mr. Video Productions ]

Andrew Tong

Technical design, graphic design, interactive features, HTML & CGI programming by Andrew Tong. || All materials Copyright © 1987-1995 by their respective authors. || Document created: January 28, 1995 || Last Modified: November 09, 2010