Home Soil (Episode)

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Home Soil
"Home Soil" (TNG 117)

"Home Soil" (TNG 117)
Series Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 1
Episode 18
Production Number 117
Release Date 22 Feb 1988

Stardate 41463.9: Data and La Forge discover a "microbrain"

The Enterprise is sent to check on a remote terraforming station on Velara III, which is working to transform the planet into a fertile, habitable Class M world. During the visit, an engineer is mysteriously killed when the laser drill in the hydraulics room malfunctions. Minutes later, Data narrowly avoids the same fate. As he and La Forge examine the drill, they discover what comes to be called a microbrain. This unusual inorganic entity turns out to be a life form native to the planet. As Dr. Crusher and Data investigate the life form, the tiny being declares war on the terraformers. By pumping and desalinating the narrow subsurface water band, the terraformers were killing the microbrain.

The power it draws from the ship's systems is strong enough to deflect a transporter beam. Finally, it is determined that the entity is photoelectric, and shutting down power to the lights weakens it enough so that it can be sent home. In doing so, the Enterprise crew promises to abide by the entity's request for no Federation contact for three hundred years, and the planet is quarantined.

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