Friday February 1 |
Title: Second Chances
The Enterprise is sent to the inhospitable planet Nervala IV to retrieve data from a Federation research base that was abandoned about eight years earlier due to the onset of a disruption field that prevented transporter use. Commander Rikeris chosen to lead the team, having been part of the rescue team that helped to evacuate the base while serving on the Potemkin; Riker notes that he was the last person to be beamed out during that mission. Using a break in the disruption field, the away team beams down and discovers a man that appears exactly as Riker; this man, having lived alone on the base for the last eight years, asserts he is Riker, from the Potemkin, and left behind when they were transported back. Returning to the Enterprise, Dr. Crusher determines that this person is truly Riker; La Forge postulates that years before, when Riker was being beamed off the planet, the Potemkin has split the transporter beam to cut through the distortions, with one beam reflected back to the base creating the second Riker, while Riker was safely recovered on the Potekmin. Cmd. Riker suggests that Lt. Riker join them on a second attempt to recover the data. At the base, their personality styles conflict, and the attempt ends in failure when Lt. Riker refuses to follow Cmd. Riker’s orders. Data postulates that the two men are resentful towards each other; Lt. Riker feeling betrayed at losing eight years of his life, and Cmd. Riker upset at being reminded of whom he once was. As they work out a third attempt to recover the data, Lt. Riker tries to learn about what he has missed, and attempts to rekindle his previous relationship with Deanna Troi. Troi is initially hesitant but then considers it a second chance after her former relationship with Cmd. Riker waned. They enjoy their time together, and Lt. Riker suggests leaving the Enterprise together for a new posting. Troi tells him she will have to think about it. For their third attempt, Captain Picard selects Lt. Riker’s plan over Cmd. Riker’s, leaving Cmd. Riker further upset. The plan to get the data is successful, but on the way out, a walkway gives out, threatening Lt. Riker’s life. Though Lt. Riker tells Cmd. Riker to leave him be, Cmd. Riker saves his double, and both safely return to the Enterprise. The two Riker reconcile their differences, and Lt. Riker states that he has been given a re-assignment, and plans to take on his middle name “Thomas” to distinguish himself from William. Cmd. Riker gives his double his treasured trombone as a parting gift. Troi also tells Lt. Riker that she will be staying on the Enterprise but thanks him for the time they had.