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On a remote science outpost, stone orbs are bringing fantasies to life. Tendi starts her first day as a Senior Science Officer Trainee.



On Jengus IV, a Federation scientist is in the midst of a survey, when he comes upon a mysterious glowing green orb. As he examines it, a woman appears behind him. She calls to him, and he recognizes her as his seventh grade geology teacher, Gena Marino. As he asks what she's doing here, in a toga, she brushes aside his confusion, and invites him to join her company and tell her about a novel he's been writing where he inserted himself as the main character. She reaches out to him, and he accepts her hands, but upon contact, he starts to turn into stone, much to his horror. After he's fully petrified, a mysterious being looks on in what seems to be satisfaction.

Act One[]

"Captain's log, stardate 58256.2. Jengus IV is a remote planet which was believed to be uninhabited until indigenous silicate creatures, called the Scrubble, started turning Federation scientists into statues. Captain Murakami of the USS Hood answered the distress call and brokered tentative peace. With the conflict resolved, the Cerritos and the Carlsbad are coordinating to relocate the outpost."

In the Cerritos conference room, Commander Jack Ransom is talking with Lieutenant Commander Steve Stevens and Ensign Beckett Mariner, expressing some frustration about the trouble that scientists often find themselves in, and briefing them about the psychic mines that can read one's deepest desires on the planet that they need to remove. As Captain Carol Freeman is hoping to make an impression on the crew of the Carlsbad, Ransom tells Mariner to follow Stevens' orders as if they were his own before dismissing her.

Ensigns Mariner, Brad Boimler, and Sam Rutherford meet with D'Vana Tendi, who is about to start her first day of training for senior science officer. While Tendi wishes she could join them planetside for the removal of the mines, they express excitement for her first day, as she's been preparing extensively for her new opportunity. She excuses herself and enters the lounge, where the ship's counselor, Dr. Migleemo calls out to her and invites her to his table. While she says she doesn't have time to talk due to her training, he reveals that he's actually her mentor. Unsure of this, she sits while he snacks on some Corvarian sludge worms.

On Jengus IV, the away team arrives, and is greeted by Ensigns Kearns, Cor'Dee, and Young of the Carlsbad. Stevens assigns them to dismantle the outpost, while the Cerritos away team starts clearing the psychic mines, warning them that the mines are still capable of reading one's fantasies. Boimler asks what to do if that happens, but Stevens's advice isn't very reassuring. As Stevens walks off. Mariner introduces themselves to the Carlsbad crew, but they in turn do not seem as enthusiastic about working with them. While they try to strike up some small talk, they are repeatedly brushed off, and seemingly only interested in their duty, and strict orders. While Mariner tries to smooth things over, Kearns tells her that they've heard all about them, and aren't there to "screw around". As they excuse themselves, Mariner is baffled by their behavior, leading the others to suspect that the Cerritos has an unfavorable reputation among other ships.

In the Cerritos lounge, Tendi is getting better acquainted with Migleemo, wondering if he's ever trained a science officer before. He reveals he hasn't and skims his PADD to get himself familiar with the training regimen. Tendi tells him how hard she's been studying, though he seems nonchalant about it. While she seems eager to take an exam right off the bat, Migleemo states that being senior science officer is less about taking tests, and more about being the voice of science. He tells her that as captains can have big egos, she needs to be able to cut through that and tells her that she'll be serving with Freeman as a trainee. As she's in the middle of an important negotiation, Migleemo challenges her to get her attention and give her an opposing view, much to her discomfort.

Back on the planet, Mariner, Boimler, and Rutherford are disposing of the mines when Rutherford sees an illusion of Leah Brahms, inviting him to help her design engines for Galaxy-class starships. Boimler notices his struggle and is confused that this would be Rutherford's deep fantasy, while Mariner remains bothered by how the Carlsbad ensigns treated them. As the Cerritos has been involved with some notable "shenanigans," resulting in a seemingly bad reputation, she challenges them to show how efficient they are as a crew in their work, though Boimler notes how in-sync the Carlsbad crew seems to be. However, when Kearns appears smug in their work, they all agree to pick up the pace. They begin to quickly gather up the mines, doing their best to block out their fantasies, though Boimler almost falls for his when an admiral on a hovercycle pulls up and alerts him of a Borg attack that Starfleet needs his help with. After Mariner intervenes, she suddenly sees Jennifer Sh'reyan in a bikini inviting her to go watch her yell at Ransom about how annoying he is. Boimler and Rutherford start to tease her about her fantasy, and she tries to tell them to ignore the "inaccurate" fantasies, though she's visibly blushing.

Scrubble totem

The totem offered by the Scrubble emissary

On the Cerritos, Tendi enters the conference room, where Freeman is talking to Ransom about how young Maier, the Carlsbad's captain looks. Ransom notes how word has it that he's fast on track to become captain of a Galaxy-class ship. Tendi tries to tell Freeman about what she's studied of the Scrubble from the logs of Captain Murakami, but Freeman ignores her and greets Maier. While most of the negotiations have concluded, Maier is curious to see how "old-school" Freeman concludes everything. While she questions the remark, Shaxs escorts the Federation scientist, Doctor Holden, and the Scrubble emissary into the conference room, who are in the midst of a heated debate. The Scrubble are angered that the scientists don't seem to respect them as living people, but Freeman and Maier calm them down and offer them refreshments while they show the agreed upon treaty. The Scrubble happily accept the greeting from the captains and offer a sacred Scrubble totem in the form of a small rock pyramid. Freeman accepts the totem, and in turn, offers it to Maier for his personal collection, though he declines, offering it to Freeman instead. Freeman insists for him to take it, but they in turn begin to quarrel over who gets to keep it.

On Jengus IV, Mariner, Boimler, and Rutherford are working efficiently to clean up the mines, blocking out their fantasies, easily outpacing the crew of the Carlsbad, much to Kearns's frustration. However, as Mariner "dunks" another mine into the container they're being kept in, Stevens tells her not to treat them like basketballs, as they're dangerous. Mariner simply tells him that they don't want the crew of the Carlsbad crew to make Ransom look ineffectual as a leader. Angered by such a thought, Stevens rushes to get two mines into the container, but accidentally knocks it over, spilling and breaking a few mines. While Stevens believes nothing bad will happen, an illusion of Kukulkan appears, and dives at Stevens. Stevens is grabbed and turned to stone before Mariner fires her phaser at the creature, causing it to drop Stevens, causing his arms to break off in the process. As the Carlsbad crew witness what's going on, Boimler theorizes that the mines are now reading their worst nightmares rather than their fantasies. As he speaks, a giant Borg snake appears alongside a tentacled-raisin monster and two Klingon clowns with bat'leths for arms. The ensigns all run in terror as the illusions charge forward.

Act Two[]

As the two away teams flee, Mariner leads them into a cave while she tries to fight them off with her phaser. The illusion of Sh'reyan compliments her good aim, before it's suddenly grabbed by a huge werewolf of Sh'reyan, and ripped in half. Boimler grabs her before she can be attacked, and after they enter the cave, Rutherford collapses the entrance with his own phaser to keep the illusions at bay, though they quickly begin to dig through the rubble. Mariner unsuccessfully tries to hail the Cerritos via her combadge, further cementing their problems. Cor'Dee is sure that they'll be penalized, but Mariner admits that she'll be the only one penalized, as she had them rush their task. Young asks why, since they had all day to complete their task, and Mariner tells them that they were trying to keep up with them. Boimler also replies that while the Cerritos may not have a favorable reputation, it is still a great ship to serve on, but this leaves the Carlsbad away team speechless. They reveal that it was actually them who were trying to rush their task and impress them, because of the really favorable reputation the Cerritos has among other California-class starships, much to the disbelief of Mariner, Boimler, and Rutherford.

On the Cerritos, Maier and Freeman are still trying to convince one another to take the Scrubble totem, with Maier saying he doesn't collect fancy trinkets, and Freeman arguing that it's just a normal rock. She has Tendi scan the totem, and she detects some curious readings, much to Freeman's annoyance. Ransom intervenes and tries to move the meeting along, but Freeman and Maier ignore him and continue fighting over who will receive it. Discouraged, Tendi leaves the conference room.

Back on Jengus IV, the Carlsbad crew talk about how famous the Cerritos is, calling her the Enterprise of support ships due to her encounters with the Pakleds, among other notable events. Kearns, Cor'Dee, and Young admit that upon finding out they would be working alongside such a recognizable crew, they felt intimidated, and just wanted to show that they could keep up with them, and Mariner tells them that they did more than just keep up. As she says this, the illusions break through the rubble and attack. The Borg-snake shoots a basketball from its mouth at Rutherford, much to their confusion. As basketball is neither a nightmare or fantasy of Rutherford, and he hadn't even thought of basketball until Stevens mentioned it earlier, Boimler looks outside and sees a bunch of bizarre illusions that make no sense. They realize that the psychic mines are reading far more than just their fears and desires, and they detect whatever is collecting this data towards the end of the cave.

In sickbay, Dr. T'Ana is treating a patient with an alien parasite that is digesting his foot. She says that he'll be fine, while she calls out for a sedative. Tendi gives one to her, much to her confusion. She knows her science officer training was supposed to start with Migleemo today and realizes that it's not going as well as Tendi would have liked. Tendi expresses doubt that she's capable of becoming a science officer when she can't get the captain to listen to her. T'Ana reassures her that she's capable, and Tendi says that despite all her study, she's still failing at it. T'Ana commends her for her studies, but tells her that in reality, there will be times she will need to mess things up before anything can be fixed, like how she'll need to amputate her patient's foot before growing a replacement, which freaks out the patient. T'Ana remains certain that Tendi will be a great bridge officer one day, but that she will need to accept the risk of failure in order to get there. Regaining her confidence, Tendi thanks T'Ana and leaves. T'Ana's patient asks if T'Ana was just kidding about amputating his foot in order to get her point across, before T'Ana pulls out a chainsaw much to his horror.

On Jengus IV, the ensigns come upon a door towards the end of the cave, and open it, locating the receiver, and some storage technology. They realize that the device is storing all of their thoughts from their desires and fears to more confidential data such as passwords, clearance codes, and personal information. They also discover that the technology is all Federation standard and conclude that the outpost scientists must have installed it, but cannot understand why, before realizing that the Scrubble and scientists are actually in league with one another. Mariner tries once again to hail the Cerritos but is unsuccessful. Realizing they have no other way out, Mariner tells the Carlsbad crew they are getting the "full Cerritos experience" and throws them a crystal shard. Armed with makeshift weapons, they charge out of the cave, and begin to fight off the illusions as they try and hail their ships.

Act Three[]

Tendi arrives back in the conference room where Freeman and Maier are still arguing over the totem, to the point where Ransom orders Shaxs to cut it in half with a phaser. The suggestion offends the Scrubble emissary, much to the annoyance of the scientist, who suggests going back to get another totem. Tendi's anxiety grows as everyone continues to argue over one another, and it doesn't help when Mariner and Kearns enter the room, adding to the commotion as they try to reveal their discovery to the room. As the tension and confusion mounts, Tendi snaps, and tells everyone to "shut up", before grabbing the totem and smashing it on the table to pieces. Freeman is shocked by her actions, but Tendi tells everyone to look at the rock, as hidden within it is Federation technology. Tendi confirms that the readings she detected earlier was that of the hidden tech, an internal power source. Mariner then informs the room of the secret allegiance between the Scrubble and the scientists and of the technology they use to read minds and store information. Freeman and Maier realize the totem was actually a spy device the Scrubble and scientists hoped to utilize to obtain top secret information from either of the captains. The scientist and Scrubble emissary deny the accusations nervously and try to leave, only to be stopped by Shaxs who sits them down in front of Freeman and Maier, who are eager to start the meeting.

"Captains log, supplemental. The animosity between the Scrubble and Outpost 76 scientists was a manufactured deception designed to distract from their plan to collect and sell sensitive Starfleet intelligence on the black market. Apparently, the scientists wanted to purchase better equipment and the Scrubble wanted more... rocks? I don't get how that would‐ whatever. Anyway, they'll both be answering to a Federation tribunal. In recognition of their excellent teamwork, Captain Maier and I have authorized a small celebration for our combined crews."

In the Cerritos lounge, Stevens, who has been restored to the flesh, alongside his arms in casts, is trying unsuccessfully to flirt with another officer before she leaves him. Dr. Migleemo orders a couple drinks for Tendi and himself in celebration of her first successful day of training. Tendi acknowledges that she would not have been successful without a great mentor in T'Ana, though Migleemo assumes her to be talking about him. He offers a toast to his mentorship, and to a lesser extent, Tendi's actions. Maier offers an apology to Freeman for his earlier before, hoping Freeman doesn't think less of him for it. Freeman assures him that both he and the crew of the Carlsbad impressed her greatly, and offers him a shard of the fractured totem, assuring him the spyware inside has been neutralized. He accepts it, though asks if she's certain. She assures him in return that she kept the bigger half for herself.

At another table, Kearns tells Mariner, Boimler, Tendi, and Rutherford that they all lived up to their reputations, noting that while they may not be recognized across the fleet, the Cerritos is among the most famous of her class. She notes that the only reputation that is questionable is that of Boimler who is often seen as a tiny comedic robot who always gets into trouble. They all laugh at this reputation while Boimler pleads for them to tell everyone he's not a robot.

Memorable quotes[]

"Once again, we're cleaning up a mess for a bunch of outpost scientists. You know why these guys are always getting eaten, disappearing, or getting eggs laid in their chests?"
"'Cause they're working on the frontier?"
"Because they're weirdos! You wanna explore space? Join Starfleet. Go to the Academy. But no! That's too much effort! They just got to get their degrees in studying spores or whatever, then head off into the quadrant and get devoured by a plant!"

- Ransom and Mariner

"Is this a mission briefing or a stand-up routine?"
"Oh, no, no. His stand-up's more a raw, unfiltered take on dating and mating."

- Mariner and Stevens

"I've been prepping so much, I'm afraid my brain's gonna explode with science!"
"Ah, that's how I wanna go."

- Tendi and Rutherford

"Just so you know, I've been studying super hard. Microbiology, xenobiology, astrobiology..."
"There really are a lot of sciences, aren't there? Too many if you ask me."
"Ah, it seems like proper amount..."

- Tendi and Migleemo

"Garçon, one more round of millet, and cut me off after that!"

- Migleemo

"What the‐ Did you see that?! She's rubbing it in! No! I'm the one who rubs! I rub!"

- Mariner

"Also, a sidecar? Even in your fantasy you're not driving?"
"Driving's scary. I'm a natural passenger."

- Mariner and Boimler about his fantasy

"Ooh, somebody's blushing!"
"Ooh-hoo, I think she is! I'm detecting an elevated heart rate!"
"Stop looking at my heart rate!"

- Boimler, Rutherford, and Mariner about her fantasy

"I think I pulled my dominant groin!"

- Young

"I want to be exclusive! I want us to grow old and boring and grow orchids together, babe! Settle down with me!"
"Whew, Mariner, you might want to go back to therapy."

- Werewolf Sh'reyan and Boimler to Mariner, regarding her nightmares

"Cerritos, come in. Of course, it's not a real day in Starfleet 'til comms get blocked."

- Mariner

"What the *bleep* are you doing here? Weren't you supposed to start science officer stuff with Migleemo?"
"Yup! First day. It's going great..."
"*bleep*ing the bed, huh?"
"Yes, I think that's accurate."

- T'Ana and Tendi

"I just don't know if I'm cut out to be a science officer! I can't get the captain to listen to me!"
"Okay. Guess we're doing this. Tendi, of course you're cut out for it; that's why I recommended you."
"Then why am I blowing it? All my studying hasn't helped at all."
"No, no. Studying is good, but in real life, there's gonna be times when you need to make a mess of things before you can fix them. Like how I'm gonna have to cut this guy's foot off, so we can grow him a new one."
"Wait, what was that?!"
"You'll be a great officer on the bridge one day, but you're gonna have to risk screwing things up to get there. You understand?"
"I do. Thanks, Doc! (To the patient) Good luck growing it back!"

- Tendi, T'Ana and Patient

"I know you think collecting trinkets is old-school but‐"
"I would be honored. Are you sure you don't want it?"
"Please! That's the little half! I kept the big one for myself."

- Freeman and Maier

Background information[]



  • This episode was the third this season (and fourth in a row overall) to feature the return of a "legacy" character from Star Trek, namely the illusions of Leah Brahms, who previously appeared as a hologram and in-person in the The Next Generation episodes "Booby Trap" and "Galaxy's Child", and Kukulkan, who previously appeared in The Animated Series episode "How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth".
  • This episode included the use of a hand phaser to heat rocks, much like was accomplished by Sulu and was first seen in TOS: "The Enemy Within".
  • Stevens mentioned that when he was turned to stone, he was declared brain-dead but saw a koala sitting on a black mountain. This is in reference to the episodes "Moist Vessel" where its mention that the universe is balanced on the back of a giant, smiling koala and "We'll Always Have Tom Paris" where Shaxs mentioned it during his explanation to Rutherford about how he came back to life.

Links and references[]


Special guest star[]

Guest cast[]

Characters voiced by unidentified performers

Background characters[]

USS Carlsbad
USS Cerritos
USS Hood
USS Inglewood
Outpost 76


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