Episode Title: "Pen Pals"
Production Number: 141
Original Air Date: Week of 05-03-89
Stardates: 42695.3, 42696.3, 42737.3, 42741.3
The U.S.S. Enterprise is the first manned vessel to enter the Selcundi Drema Sector, where unmanned probes have detected unusual levels geological activity in all five planetary systems. Lieutenant Commander Data determines that some time in the last 150 years, the fifth planet of Selcundi Drema shattered, forming an asteroid belt. Another planet that once had a thriving ecosystem is now lifeless and volcanically active.
As part of Acting Ensign Wesley Crusher's ongoing education aboard the Enterprise, Commander Riker puts him in charge of the planetary mineral surveys. After six weeks in the Selcundi Drema Sector, Ensign Crusher's team continues its mineral surveys of the geologically unstable planets in the second and third Selcundi systems. There are faint readings of traker deposits, which usually indicate nearby dilithium. Ensign Crusher orders an ico-spectrogram.
Data reconfigures the Enterprise sensors to detect a wide range of frequencies, including the Galaxy's magnetic field, organic molecules in nebular clouds, and energetic cosmic rays, as well as artificial transmissions. The sensors pick up a pattern in low-level R.F. waves, and Data establishes radio contact with an alien girl named Sarjenka on Drema Four, which is undergoing geological disturbances. Sarjenka is not aware of life outside her world, so Data does not reveal his location in order to comply with the Prime Directive.
As geological and volcanic activity increase on Drema Four, Ensign Crusher's team determines that the planet has the largest deposit of dilithium ore ever recorded; the crystals are growing into lattices, which concentrate the planet's radiant heat, leading to geological instability on the surface. The Enterprise launches resonator probes into the planet to shatter the dilithium lattices, which will reduce the geological instability threatening the Dreman people.
Factoid: The Holodeck is programmed with riding mounts including an Andorian zabathu, a Klingon sark, and an Arabian horse.
Factoid: Captain Picard is not an animal person, but enjoys riding horses.
Factoid: Lieutenant Commander Troi says she had a Betazoid kitten once; Troi's mother and the cat reacted badly to one another.
Factoid: When crystals of dilithium ore break down, illium-629 is produced.
Factoid: An Elanin singer stone produces a different song for each person who holds it, but it does not produce a sound when held by an android.
Guest Characters: O'Brien, Dr. Pulaski
Alien Races: *Dreman
KEY: [brackets]=illusions *star=first appearance