In the future, long after the era of Captain Archer and his crew, Commander Riker watches a holodeck re-creation of a key moment in Federation history. Riker is hoping the events of this time will help him make some important decisions of his own.
It's ten years after the Enterprise NX-01 embarked on its mission and the crew is heading back to Earth for the decommission of Enterprise and the signing of the Federation charter. Archer is hard at work on a speech for this special moment, but he is interrupted by a hail from his old friend Shran. Shran, who is no longer with the Andorian Imperial Guard, tells Archer he needs Enterprise's help — his daughter has been kidnapped by some shady former associates. T'Pol doesn't trust the Andorian and thinks aiding him will make Enterprise late for the signing of the charter. Archer, however, is determined to help Shran.
Enterprise's crew mounts a daring rescue mission, and manages to escape from Shran's alien enemies with his daughter in tow. During the mission, Trip nearly dies, but Archer saves him at the last minute. As they continue on their way to Earth, the crew takes a moment to reflect on the last 10 years. Everyone's a little emotional — even T'Pol, who tells Trip that she will miss him once they go their separate ways.
The peaceful journey is shattered, however, when Shran's former associates track down Enterprise and board the ship. They demand that Archer take them to Shran, but the captain refuses. The aliens are about to kill Archer, so Trip, thinking fast, tells them that he will take them to Shran. When Archer protests, the aliens knock him out. Trip leads the aliens into what appears to be a harmless utility closet — he tells them it's simply a com station and he's going to get Shran to come to them. Trip tells them he just needs to connect a couple of things, but when he brings a pair of conduits together, a massive explosion erupts, taking out both Trip and the aliens. Trip is critically wounded — despite Phlox's best efforts, he dies.
Later, T'Pol and Archer reflect on Trip's death as they pack away his things. Archer notes that when he took command 10 years ago, he saw himself as an explorer, excited about new discoveries and convinced that the risks of space travel were worth it. Now, his friend is dead and he has to write a speech about how worthwhile their mission has been. T'Pol gently points out that Trip would be the first to say it's been worthwhile.
On Earth, Archer prepares to give his speech to an auditorium packed with dignitaries from other worlds. As he gets ready to go out and address the crowd, T'Pol tells him that he looks quite heroic. Overcome with emotion, Archer envelops her in a tight embrace before heading out to make his speech.
With that, Riker ends his holodeck program, feeling that his time spent with the crew of the NX-01 has been more than worthwhile.