Myriad Universes: Ill Wind Part Two
The racers are on their marks at the starting line. Captain Picard has Data call up the course schematics onscreen. It’s a winding, zigzagging course around the star that will take the racers about three days to traverse, a quick pace for a solar sail vessel. But, as Captain Picard says, “These are the best”. When Commander Riker asks him if he’d rather be “out there”, Jean-Luc replies that he already is. The Enterprise crew wishes all the competitors good luck in turn, but when they get to the Cynosure team, Deanna observes that they’re without their sail technician. Will comments that the Kihin navigator must not have found him “to her taste”, to which Deanna replies “On the contrary…She found him very tasty indeed”. Meanwhile the Thubanir captain is still alive, though Deanna quips that it’s still early yet.
After the pre-race formalities, the Alkamin captain informs the Enterprise crew that they’ve seen something unusual on the keel of the Scherdat crew’s yacht. Captain Picard asks the Scherdat if they’ve modified their ship in any way, but the Scherdat captain responds in the negative. Worf scans the ship and finds something that doesn’t fit official speculations, but he can’t get a transporter lock on it, so the Enterprise is forced to movie into the race zone and use a minimal power tractor beam to remove it. They manage to remove the device and get it off the course just in time, as it turns out to be an explosive that promptly detonates, thankfully harmlessly out of range of any of the ships. The Carrighae captain complains about the Enterprise forcing a false start, but Captain Picard cuts him off and he and Deanna cynically note that moving their ship into the race field, thus endangering the lives of the competitors, was precisely what the Carrighae captain had tried to bribe Captain Picard to do in the first place. While the competitors prepare for a restart that will take a hour or two, Captain Picard wants his crew to investigate where this bomb might have come from and how it got on the Scherdat ship. Jean-Luc decides “This sport is definitely not what it used to be”.
Six hours later, the race has successfully restarted. Captain Picard asks Worf and Will how things are going, and they say things are fine except that the Mestral’s tender, which she had previously sent away, has not yet arrived at Capella, where it was meant to undergo servicing. Since that’s only a half-day away, the crew is supicious something might have happened to it, so Captain Picard has Worf inform Starfleet Command while he goes inform the Mestral. The Mestral says she’ll see what she can do, but doesn’t see any reason to withdraw from the race, despite Captain Picard’s growing concern. Following a quick exchange where she accuses him of worrying too much while he accuses her of not worrying enough, Mestral gives an impassioned speech about living a life of choice. She asks the Captain how many “little things” he’s had to give up in service to duty and security, but he responds that we all make sacrifices if it means service to a good cause.…