Just after discovering a temporal rift, the bridge crew spots a ship within it. In that instant, the USS Enterprise enters an alternative timeline where Tasha Yar is alive, the ship has been refitted for battle, and Starfleet has been at war with the Klingons for two decades. The ship from the rift is a previous USS Enterprise - the NCC-1701-C, which was reported destroyed 22 years ago. Picard learns from Captain Rachel Garrett that the ship had responded to a Klingon distress call when it was ambushed by Romulan warbirds, then slipped through the rift. When Guinan tells Picard that the entire universe is wrong - the war shouldn't be happening - Picard concludes that although the temporal phenomenon saved the Enterprise-C from destruction, that change set in motion an alternate timeline in which billions have died. Riker wants to repair the older Enterprise to fight for Starfleet, but Picard and Garrett agree that it must return to its own timeline - even if that means certain destruction - because honorable deaths might have been sufficient reason for the Klingons to avoid war with the Federation. Meanwhile, Yar, who is falling in love with one of the Enterprise-C's officers, learns from Guinan that her death in the peaceful timeline had no purpose. She asks Picard for a transfer to the Enterprise-C so that she can help them complete their mission. Three Klingon Birds of Prey attack the Enterprise-D as the Enterprise-C heads into the rift. Just as the warp core is about to breach, the rift closes and the Enterprise-D resumes its initial timeline, where Picard's crew is on the way to a peaceful meeting with the Klingons. None of them has any memory of the alternate reality except Guinan, who asks LaForge to tell her about Tasha Yar.
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