Captain Picard is ordered to search for the U.S.S. Brattain, which has disappeared near a binary star. When the Enterprise tracks down the ship, an away team discovers that the entire crew has died, apparently by murder and suicide; the sole survivor is a catatonic Betazoid with whom Troi can communicate telepathically, but she can make no sense of his thoughts. LaForge cannot activate the Brattain's engines, and when he tries to have the Enterprise tow the vessel, the Enterprise's engines fail as well. Soon many crewmembers are behaving erratically and Troi is suffering from nightmares. Only Data remains entirely unaffected. He hypothesizes that the Enterprise, like the Brattain before it, is trapped in a spatial rupture called a Tyken's Rift, but though that would explain the energy drain, it does not explain the crew's behavior. Data believes the crew can escape the rift by creating a massive explosion, but it requires work to set up and the crew's behavior becomes more and more unstable during the preparations. Crusher realizes that this is because everyone on the crew save Troi has stopped dreaming, but she is unable to induce REM sleep in any of them. Soon there is a near-riot in Ten Forward and Worf tries to commit suicide, though Troi is able to talk him out of it. She tries again to communicate with the semi-conscious Betazoid, whom she realizes is sharing her nightmares, which she concludes are not dreams at all but a form of communication from telepathic beings trapped on the other side of the rift. Data proposes that Troi try to send a message via a dream to these aliens, then guesses that the "one moon circles" from her dream is a hydrogen atom. The Enterprise releases hydrogen into space, which Troi successfully asks the aliens to ignite. The resulting explosion frees the Enterprise and, presumably, their unseen saviors, allowing the crew to recover.
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