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On the planet Alin, a herder discovers an ancient city.

Captain's log: The Enterprise has been dispatched to the Alin system. Research vessel Anasazi has been reporting that wormholes and other spatial anomalies have been occurring there with sudden regularity. Starfleet fears that unwanted visitors like the Borg or the Dominion might be attempting to bore deep into Federation territory.

Dr. Bowman, an old archeology mentor of Captain Picard, invites Picard down to the planet to see the ancient city. Bowman shows Picard and Data a cavern containing three 20th century airplanes from Earth. Data recognizes the name "Lieutenant Charles Taylor" painted on one of the planes as that of the commander of Flight 19, a group of aircraft that disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean in 1945. Picard discovers Taylor's logbook in his plane's cockpit. Bowman shows Picard and Data another chamber in which gauges removed from the planes have been implanted in the wall.

Reading Taylor's log, Picard discovers that the planes were pulled through a wormhole to the vicinity of the city, where Taylor and his crew met Suben, a humanoid artificial intelligence. Suben prevented them from leaving the city, destroying one plane whose crew tried to fly away. Suben told them that people once bought water from the crater basin. He opened a wormhole in the sky which filled the basin with water from an ocean on another planet, also carrying 164 fish people from that planet to their doom. Suben electrocuted three more pilots who tried to walk out of the crater. Realizing that Suben was weakened by the radium dial on his watch, Taylor and the others used their watches to incapacitate him and then trapped him in the cavern, placing their aircraft instruments, also painted with radium, in the wall.

The archeologists have unwittingly freed Suben, who appears and forbids Picard to leave. He begins to pull the Enterprise and the Anasazi out of orbit. Suben nearly electrocutes Picard, but Data incapacitates him with one of the radium instruments.

Captain's log--supplemental: Suben has been disarmed. After Data's success with shutting down Suben with the radium, Bowman found the machine responsible for his power...

Picard recommends Taylor and his crew for the Federation Cross.



BoltonBowmanChurchDataHurleyOrleanJean-Luc PicardWilliam T. RikerSubenCharles TaylorWorf
Referenced only

Starships and vehicles

AnasaziUSS Enterprise-D


AlinAlin systemEarth (ArizonaAtlantic OceanBahamasBermuda TriangleFloridaFlorida KeysFort LauderdaleNew MexicoUnited States) • unnamed planets

Races and cultures

BorgHumanunnamed races and cultures

States and organizations

DominionFederationStarfleetStarfleet AcademyUnited States Navy

Technology and weapons

airplaneandroidautomobilecombadgecomputerphaserphoton torpedoprojectile weaponradioresearch vesselsensorshuttletechnologytransportertricorderviewscreenweapon

Ranks and titles

cadetcaptaincommanderdoctorlieutenantmayorNumber One

Other references

10th century194520th centuryagricultureanimalarcheologyaway teambirdbookcancercaptain's logcitycompassdeathdemonelectricityEnglish languagefairy taleFederation CrossflagshipFlight 19flufoodgazellegrassGreekhumanoidhurricaneMeccamountainmovieorbitPhoenicianplanetradiationradiumrockRomanshovelsoulStarfleet uniform (2366-2373)tigertornadotreevillagevolcanowaterThe Wizard of OzWorld War IIwormhole





  • Other than Charles Taylor himself, the Flight 19 crewmen named in this story are not real historical members of the Flight 19 crew.
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