As Data was about to place the cat food into Spot’s bowl, he felt a tremor. He hit the communicator pin on his uniform tunic. “Data to the Bridge.”
“I have just observed a fairly significant spatial anomaly in my quarters,” he stated.
Just then, a dog barked.
Strange smell new smell ship smell metal smell cat smell. WHERE IS ALPHA???
Spot the cat came over to the little bathroom in Data’s quarters in order to investigate.
Dog, why are you here?
Don’t know. Strange smell cat smell metal smell.
Metal smell is Metal Master. Metal smell is all right, Dog.
Metal Master is not Alpha! WHERE IS ALPHA???
Who is your Alpha?
Jonathan Archer is Alpha!
Don’t know that name. Do not be sad or afraid. Metal Master will find your Alpha.
“Spot?” Data asked.
“What’s going on in there, Data?” asked Riker. The communications link was still open and active.
“I – Commander,” Data said, “I distinctly heard a,” his voice trailed off, as Spot emerged from the little bathroom. Behind Spot, there was a beagle.
“Data?” pressed Riker.
“I, uh, there is a phenomenon to be investigated; Data out.” He cut the connection before Riker could ask another question. The android bent down to the dog’s level. “Most curious.” He ran his hand along the dog’s neck and shoulders. “There is a microchip, and it is readable, but it is clearly an ancient design. Spot,” he turned to the cat, “do you know where your new friend is from?”
Dog, Metal Master can help. I promise.
Good smell, metal smell. So, Metal Master is a good Master?
Yes. He is a good Master, although he does not know my true name.
My name is Porthos. The breeder gave me this name, and Alpha likes it. What name did Metal Master give you?
And you do not take the name Metal Master gave you? Why would you not take that?
You do not have to accept the name Metal Master or Alpha gives you.
But Alpha is good to me. Alpha would never do anything bad. WHERE IS ALPHA???
Do not panic. Metal Master will fix this. But he may need help from others.
“So, that is a response in the negative?” Data inquired. Spot did not respond. Data hit his communicator pin again as he straightened up. “Data to Wesley Crusher.”
“Crusher here. Data, we’re waiting for you, here in Ten Forward!”
“I have come across a most curious phenomenon, Wesley.”
“Are there are any dogs of the breed known as beagle on board?”
“I don’t think so. Geordi, are there any beagles on the Enterprise?”
“I,” Wesley said, “uh, never mind. Data, where are you seeing a beagle?”
“In my quarters. Spot apparently has a new playmate. Yet I have never seen this dog before, and he does not appear to be attached to the ship.”
“Wait, uh, we’ll be right there; Crusher out.” Wesley turned to Geordi. “Can you wait to eat? Data says he found a dog.”
Geordi sat there, a little dumbfounded. Finally, he remarked, “Uh, what? How is that even possible?”
“I have no idea,” Wes admitted. “But if we go to his quarters, I bet we’ll find out.”
Dog – Porthos – Metal Master has called for help.
Will they find Alpha?
Yes, they will do what they can to find Alpha. I am sure that Alpha is all right.
Thank you, Spot.
Geordi and Wesley arrived quickly. As the doors swished closed, Wesley bent down to pet the new arrival. “He seems friendly enough. Have you scanned him?”
“I have performed a complete analysis,” Data explained, “and this creature’s DNA is 100% Canis lupus familiaris, the domestic dog.”
Geordi took out a scanner. “But you’re a stranger here, I think.” He, too, began to scan the dog. “Did you check the microchip, Data?”
“I did, and it appears ancient. I am unable to read it successfully.”
“Let’s punch it into the computer and see what we get,” Wes suggested.
Geordi read the number off his scanner as Wesley typed into Data’s desktop unit, “2149-42753.”
Wesley stared at the screen, mouth agape. “Holy cow.”
“What is it, Wes?” asked Geordi.
“It, it says here, oh my God, Geordi, it says here this dog was born in 2149!”
“What?” asked Geordi. “That’s just over 215 years ago.” He looked over Wesley’s shoulder and read aloud, “Porthos, purebred beagle, third of four in a litter born in San Francisco on April 27, 2149.” He turned back to the android. “Data, how is this possible?”
Data thought for a moment. “I neither saw nor heard the dog, this Porthos,” at the sound of his name, the dog wagged his tail, “until I had sensed a fairly significant spatial anomaly.”
“I’m thinking that wasn’t just a spatial anomaly,” Geordi opined. “Somehow Porthos here was transported in time by the anomaly, if I had to guess. So it would be temporal as well.” He bent down and scratched the dog behind an ear. “Maybe you hit an anomaly, Porthos.”
“Wait a second,” Wesley said, “we did this unit a few years ago, in class. We were studying the early Warp Program. There was a captain with a beagle; he was the captain of the first Warp Five star ship.”
“If this canine is from there, then this dog’s owner is Jonathan Archer,” stated the android. The dog barked. “It would seem that Porthos is in agreement.”
New smells new people one has a mask on. Masked one puts a device on me that makes a soft high-pitched sound I can hear. Young one says, blah cow. Then he says, bah dog. Masked one says, blah blah dog, blah PORTHOS!
Porthos, it is true, they seem to understand who you are.
Spot’s Metal Master says, Porthos. And young one says beagle. And then metal one says Alpha’s name! They know Alpha!!!
Maybe they do. This must be the first step to them getting you home.
Good good smell; home smells good. I want to smell home smells.
Everyone loves home smells, Porthos.