The Enterprise picks up a signal from a thousand-year-old Promellian battle cruiser, which thrills Picard, who never imagined that he would find such an ancient ship intact. But at the moment he leads an away team aboard, the Enterprise begins to suffer drops in power. When the crew raises shields to try to deflect the radiation they believe is responsible, the power drain becomes worse. Desperate for a solution before the radiation depletes the ship's power and kills the crew, LaForge brings up the Enterprise's design specs and begins a dialogue with a holographic reconstruction of Dr. Leah Brahms, the principal architect of the ship's propulsion engines. Riker and Data discover that the Promellians were trapped during an ancient battle in a booby trap that converted energy to radiation, which means that any use of power to escape will only hasten lethal exposure. LaForge concludes that the only way to escape will be to use a quick burst of energy followed by a complete system shutdown, enabling the ship to drift out of the trap without providing it with additional energy. Picard takes the helm and navigates the ship through an asteroid field, using a large asteroid's gravity to slingshot the Enterprise out of danger. He then has Riker and Worf destroy the trap so that no future ships can suffer the same fate as the Promellians.
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