The Enterprise enters orbit of the Parogan homeworld, a planet whose atmosphere has flammable elements requiring any visiting craft to descend unpowered. But moments after Malcolm reports shutting off the engines, the planet’s atmosphere turns into a massive fireball – and a colony of 3,600 miners on the surface is instantly wiped out. Starfleet’s response is swift: the Enterprise is recalled to Earth, her mission cancelled, and the crew will be reassigned. Worse yet, the Vulcans recommend that Earth’s interstellar exploration program be postponed…by a decade or more.
As the Enterprise is en route back to Earth, Archer is visited by Crewman Daniels – an operative from the future fighting in the temporal cold war with the Suliban – even though it seemed Daniels was killed by Silik several months earlier. Daniels confirms for Archer that the Enterprise shuttle wasn’t responsible for the colony’s destruction, and that the event never happened, according to future history. He gives Archer instructions that enable him to capture a Suliban vessel, confiscate some vital data, and clear the Enterprise crew of any wrongdoing. Even though someone’s violated the rules of engagement of the temporal cold war in the future, it hasn’t ended Enterprise’s mission.
Just as the crew begins to relax, a swarm of Suliban vessels surrounds Enterprise. Silik hails Archer and tells him to board one of the Suliban pods which will dock with the Enterprise shortly. If the captain doesn’t comply, the Enterprise will be destroyed.
But according to future history, Captain Archer never boarded the pod. He became stranded in the 31st century – a victim, along with the man he knows as Crewman Daniels, of the temporal cold war.
written by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
directed by Allan Kroeker
music by Dennis McCarthy
Guest Cast: John Fleck (Silik), Matt Winston (Daniels), Vaughn Armstrong (Admiral Forrest), James Horan (Humanoid figure), Stephanie Erb (Receptionist), David Lewis Hays (Tactical crewman)
LogBook entry by Earl Green