Caption: Trip, Archer and T'Pol
Caption: Trip and Reed explore
Season: 2 Ep. 4
Air Date: 10/09/2002
After the incident in the Romulan minefield, Enterprise is in need of repairs. Archer sends out a general distress call, and receives a jumbled response from a Tellarite freighter, containing the coordinates of a repair station. When the crew arrives at the station, it appears to be abandoned ... until one of the docking ports lights up and reconfigures itself to fit Enterprise. Still, there don't seem to be any lifeforms onboard. Once inside the station, Archer, T'Pol and Trip locate a sort of diagnostic center that contains holographic schematics of the ships, with the damaged sections clearly highlighted. Somehow, the station has managed to scan the ship and anticipate the crew's needs — the schematic even highlights Reed's recent leg injury. A computer voice addresses the trio, asking them to select a method of compensation for the repairs. Archer offers some warp plasma, and the station accepts, saying the repairs can be completed in less than 35 hours. Though he is wary of the automated nature of the station, Archer accepts the terms, and the station begins the repairs. In the station's recreation room, the trio is impressed by the amazing technology on display — a food replicator delivers both cold water and Trip's favorite fried catfish.
Back on the ship, the station's technology has managed to fix Reed's leg injury, and is repairing Enterprise in record time. Archer, however, can't help but be suspicious — it all seems too good to be true.
Meanwhile, Trip and Reed are enjoying replicated meals in the station's recreation room. Like Archer, Trip can't help but be a bit suspicious of the station — especially since he has calculated that the station's computer must be impossibly small. He convinces Reed to go with him and attempt to explore the station further and track down the computer. Unfortunately, they are detected by the station's computer and transported back to Enterprise. The duo is reprimanded by Archer, but the captain can't help but be curious as to what they found onboard.
The captain's concerns are put aside for the moment when tragedy strikes — Ensign Mayweather is found dead. While the crew attempts to cope with his death, Archer heads to the station's computer to determine a cause of death. The computer doesn't recognize his queries, and Archer grows even more frustrated. Meanwhile, Phlox performs the autopsy and discovers that the body is not Mayweather, but a nearly perfect replica.
Archer devises a plan: Archer, T'Pol and Reed make their way through the station's intricate passageways while Trip attempts to distract the station's computer with the crew's payment of plasma. When Archer and T'Pol reach the station's computer core, they discover a horrifying sight: 40 humanoid bodies, pale and desiccated, suspended from harnesses, with electrode-like devices attached to their skulls. T'Pol notes that the vital organs of the bodies appear to be functioning, but they've suffered severe neurological damage. Their synaptic pathways have been integrated into the computer core, giving the station the knowledge of many different species. As they begin to free Mayweather, the alien station begins overriding commands onboard Enterprise, effectively holding the ship hostage. Archer and T'Pol bring Mayweather back to the ship, but Enterprise is close to shutting down completely. With time running out, Archer instructs Reed to deliver their final payment. Reed pulls out a small detonator and activates micro-charges that were attached to the plasma canisters Trip left behind. The ensuing explosion and a final torpedo launched by Reed destroys the station, and Enterprise's command functions return to normal.
Phlox determines that the station was essentially tapping into Mayweather's brain, using his knowledge to enhance its processing power. This explains the station's incredible capabilities. The crew heads out, believing the station permanently destroyed. But in the distance, it ominously begins to repair itself ...