In Ten Forward, Guinan, the proprietress, set down small bowls for both Spot and Porthos as Wesley and Geordi finally had their dinners and the captain and the doctor went to sit at a separate table nearby. “He’s a good guest,” Guinan stated, referring to Porthos. “But he’s got to get back. How do you think he got here in the first place?”
“I would speculate,” Data opined, “that he was not beamed here. His appearance has coincided with a rather large spatial anomaly. It would appear that the anomaly was temporal in nature as well.”
“Then we’ll need another anomaly to get him back,” Wesley declared.
“We can’t exactly aim with it,” Geordi reminded his friend.
“That’s true,” Wes allowed, “but, huh. Ha!” he suddenly snapped his fingers and grinned.
“What did you just figure out?” Geordi inquired excitedly.
“We can’t aim. But we can know if it worked, if we try to send him back,” Crusher explained.
“How do you figure that?” The engineer was intrigued.
“That is correct,” Data replied. “It would prove it.”
“Prove what?” Geordi was insistent.
“We can check history,” Wes explained. “If Porthos here is missing and never comes home, then I guess we know that it doesn’t work, and we should keep him here.”
“Yet that would be a predestination paradox,” stated the android. “If we keep him here, then are we not fulfilling that historical statement?”
“The reverse would be true, too, right?” Geordi asked. “I mean, we’re responsible people. If we had information that said he’d made it, we wouldn’t just keep him. We’d send him through.”
“Either way, though,” Wesley stated, “we should try something.”
Good smell good smell CHICKEN!!! And Spot has tuna.
They say blah blah and then Wesley young one says blah blah Porthos blah blah home and Metal Master says blah blah and then masked one says blah blah.
Yes, Porthos, they want to try to send you home to Alpha.
Good, I miss Alpha. But I like you, Spot . I think I will miss you, too.
I will miss you, too, Porthos. But just like I belong with Metal Master, you belong with your Alpha.
Finished with dinner, they went back to Data’s quarters. Wes began clicking around on Data’s desktop computer. “Damn, this is no good.”
“What’s wrong?” inquired Geordi.
“I can’t really find anything.”
“My understanding,” Data offered, “is that the NX-01’s records were compromised not one hundred years after that vessel was decommissioned.”
“Well, yeah, that much I knew,” Wes confirmed. “I was just hoping there’d be something.”
“Then we don’t know,” Geordi said, “So there really isn’t a predestination paradox after all.”
“I won’t send him to his death,” Wes declared, “but someone is looking for Porthos. Archer, I’m sure; he’s gotta be really worried. What should we do?”
Good smell young one says blah blah Archer so he knows Alpha!
I don’t think he does. I think he knows about Alpha. Alpha must be important.
But they smell sad and confused, Spot. I think they do not know how to get to Alpha. Spot, I want to go home now. I am worried about Alpha.
“All I know is, it had to do with an anomaly,” Archer said to the Bridge crew. “Lili here is the last person who saw Porthos.”
“Perhaps a re-creation of an anomaly could be of assistance,” stated T’Pol. “An energy surge might work.”
Malcolm thought for a few seconds. “We could fire a phase cannon directly at a sphere. That could stimulate it to produce more gravimetric energy, thereby inducing a spatial anomaly, I’ll wager.”
“Work with T’Pol on that,” Captain Archer commanded. The Vulcan eyebrow was raised slightly, so he added, “But not so as to compromise our weapons systems at all. We still have a job to do, Porthos or, uh, no Porthos.” Lili put a hand on his arm and he jumped.
“Sir,” she said, “since it happened in your quarters, maybe he’ll come back to your quarters. I can, uh, if you don’t mind dinner being a little late, I could wait. And you would, uh, you would tell me how long to wait, that sort of thing, okay?”
“All right, Ensign.” She departed, and he looked at Malcolm and T’Pol, who were still working. “I realize we have a mission, and maybe this seems a little frivolous. But, ….”
“Porthos is a valued member of this crew,” was the unexpected Vulcan reply. “He is necessary for morale. It is only logical that we attempt to retrieve him, if we can do so without jeopardizing our overall mission.”
“Thank you,” Archer said softly.
“There remain any numbers of minor gravimetric distortions in the Delphic Expanse,” Data stated. “These are the darkened vestiges of the spheres which the NX-01 itself destroyed over two centuries ago. Returning to our original precise coordinates when Porthos came onto the ship, I believe that action could prove to be of value in terms of returning him.”
“Where, exactly, did you say he was when you first spotted him, Data?” asked Geordi.
“He was in the bathroom in my quarters.” The android thought for a moment. “We should do our best to duplicate the initial conditions. I will speak with the captain.” He engaged his communicator. “Data to Captain Picard.”
“Yes, Mister Data?”
“We have a theory as to how to return Porthos. It will involve returning the Enterprise to its exact coordinates and attitude, pitch and yaw as before.”
Picard thought for a moment. “We can afford the slight detour. Send Mister Crusher up so that he can pilot; Picard out.”
“All right,” Geordi said after Wesley had left, “we’ve got a plan. Of course, if this doesn’t work, well, then I suppose we’re back to the drawing board.”
Data paused and then knelt down and spoke to Porthos and Spot directly. “We are attempting to return you to your former location and your correct time period. It is our intention that you be safely returned, however, we have no way of confirming that.”
Good smell good smell good smell metal smell. Metal Master says blah blah Porthos blah blah safe. Pet me pet me . Metal Master is nice, Spot.
Yes, Metal Master is. They are going to try to send you home now.
Spot, do you think it will work?
I do not know.
They do not, either. We must say good-bye, and I do not even know if I will survive. All I want is to smell Alpha again.
Yes, you must go and smell your Alpha.
Spot, before they try to send me back, can you tell me what your real name is? You said that Metal Master did not know it, and no one did, and they did not use it. I want to use it. I want to call you by your correct name.
Yes, I will tell you, Porthos. My real name is Princess Spot. All cats give themselves their own names. It is up to those around them to determine them. But you, you are different, and I know you will be gone soon. And so I have told you mine.
Princess Spot, can you do something for me? It is a small thing, I think.
Yes, of course. I will do something to remember you. What should it be?
I want you to, one time, come to Metal Master when he calls you Spot. He thinks it is your whole name. Let him think that. Even though he is a Metal Master, I think that will make him happy.
I know cats do not always try to make their humans happy, at least, not the way that dogs do. You are more independent than we are. Yet I know you love your humans as much as we do.
All right, but only if you do something for me, Porthos, will I do this. It is only fair.
Tell me what it is, Princess Spot.
Play with some string when you can, like we cats do. You will learn what fun it is. It is good when you are alone. It is my favorite game.
I will do that for you, Princess Spot.
“We’re almost in position, sir,” Wesley reported on the Bridge.
“Understood, Mister Crusher. Take us there slowly,” replied the captain, “maneuvering thrusters only.”
“Captain,” reported Counselor Troi, “I am sensing the anomalies this time. I did not before.”
“Maybe Archer’s Enterprise is trying to do something comparable,” Riker speculated.
“Let’s hope we’re not sending our new friend to his doom, Number One. Count down to the coordinates, Mister Crusher.”
In Data’s quarters, the two pets touched noses briefly.
Good-bye, Princess Spot. I will not forget you.
Good-bye, Porthos. I will remember you, too.
On the NX-01, Jonathan Archer commanded, “Fire the phase cannon, Lieutenant.”
“Aye, sir,” replied Reed, “firing forward cannon.” There was a pause. “The target has been hit.”
T’Pol peered into her scope. “We appear to have successfully created a sufficient amount of gravimetric distortion. An anomaly has formed.”
“Steer us into it, Travis,” Archer told the pilot.
“I am detecting the presence and growth of an anomaly,” Data reported from his quarters.
“I see it,” confirmed Geordi.
Good smell – I feel it again. Good-bye, Princess Spot.
Safe journeys, Porthos.