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Descent into Hades

Premiered May 1, 2003

Inanna’s Descent into the Underworld is one of the most significant Sumerian legends in existence.  It is both a metaphor for a spiritual initiation (one which is particularly relevant today), and at the same time, a concise herstory (vice history) of ancient times.  The story has a classic quality which still stirs the soul.  

In one attempt to make the story better known, a television script was written for the very popular television series, Star Trek, The Next Generation, in which the story utilized all of the well known characters from that series.  The script was submitted to the producers of the series, but as far as is known, the script was never read or otherwise considered -- and there is thus no formal connection between the script below and the television series.  

Nevertheless, it may be both entertaining and thought provoking -- which is the essence of all things worth reading.  And so without further ado...



Dan Sewell Ward

Copyright 1992 Dan Sewell Ward  


View of Enterprise gently turning, against a background of stars.  

Captain Jean-Luc Picard:  Captain's log, Star Date 9.36.18.  The Enterprise is in orbit around an M-Class planet in the Hespiridies star system, to investigate reports of a possible violation of the prime directive.

View of Enterprise in orbit around planet, with another orbiting, smaller space craft in view.  

Picard:  The planet, Riwan, hosts a developing, human-like civilization, which has not yet achieved spaceflight and thus has not been invited to become a member of the Federation.  Because of the prime directive against interfering in the planet's current state of development, no direct contacts have been made.

Scene shifts to the Enterprise's Conference room with Picard taking his seat at the head of the table, joining Commander William Riker, Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge, Counselor Deanna Troi, and Lieutenant Commander Data.  (Lieutenant Worf, Dr. Beverly Crusher and Ensign Roe are not present.)

Picard:  Several months ago, Starfleet authorized a covert cultural and anthropological expedition to the planet Riwan in order to monitor and evaluate the current level of the planet's civilization and its technological development.  Since then, however, we've received reports that the operation has exceeded its authority and may be attempting to influence the planet's development, a clear violation of the prime directive.  I have asked the expedition's leader, a Dr. Iris Herman, to beam over to discuss the issue.

Commander Riker:  Even a possible violation of the prime directive would require that we take immediate action to pull the team off the planet.

Picard:  Agreed.

Riker:  What do we know of the precautions that the observing team has taken to avoid discovery?

Lieutenant Commander Data:  The inhabitants of the planet are very similar to humans, such that any human observer could likely pass themselves off as a native.  However, the civilization is in an early technological stage and may be capable of detecting the Enterprise or the expedition team's vessel in orbit.

Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge:  We should be able to adopt an orbit behind the planet's sole moon, and thereby avoid detection.

Riker:  We may not be here that long.

Picard:  Nevertheless, it's a good suggestion.  We'll discuss it with Dr. Herman.  (Picard glances around.)  Where is Dr. Crusher?

Counselor Deanna Troi:  She's delivering the Ley's new baby, a beautiful baby girl.

Riker:  Weren't the parents planning to name the baby, Jean Luc?

Troi:  If it was a boy.  But they had decided not to determine the sex ahead of time.

Picard:  I'm glad to hear it's a girl.  We don't need anymore Jean-Luc's aboard.  (Everyone laughs.)

Lieutenant Worf enters the conference room, accompanying Dr. Iris Herman, a very attractive and confident anthropologist, who has never been above using her beauty to accomplish her goals.

Lieutenant Worf:  Captain.  Dr. Iris Herm...

Dr. Iris Herman:  (interrupting Worf and striding toward Picard)  Captain Picard.  It's a delight to meet you, but I must tell you that you've caught us in an extremely delicate and crucial moment in our observations.

Picard:  I have no doubt about the importance of your work, Dr. Herman.  Starfleet would not have authorized your...

Herman:  Then you must realize that it cannot be interrupted without causing serious consequences.

Riker:  A short review of your situation would hardly constitute a serious interruption.

Herman:  With all due respect Commander, the planet's societal structure is at an absolutely critical point in its development, making this an extraordinary opportunity to observe.  We are witnessing a dominator, patriarchal culture on the verge of total collapse.  Added to this is the widespread belief in a great, mythical goddess returning to renew the civilization, an event which according to legend, could occur at any moment!  Science demands that we take advantage of this opportunity.

Riker:  Observing is one thing, influencing is another.

Picard:  Doctor, our concern has to do with reports of a possible violation of the prime directive.

Herman:  Nonsense!  Nothing's been violated!  Our observations have been in secret, we've taken all necessary precautions to avoid detection.  We have, for example, never beamed down or up except in circumstances where we were certain of being unobserved.

Data:  It would appear, Doctor, that the civilization's technology should be capable of detecting your space craft in orbit.

Herman:  A valid observation, and initially we were very secretive in that regard, despite the fact that concealing our craft in orbit interfered significantly in our collecting data from their communications and other electronic emissions.  However, as we learned about the culture, we uncovered an immense data base on alien sightings by the Riwanians, but to such an extent that the culture at large had discounted the evidence and simply didn't believe in the possibility of extra-planetary visitations.  The civilization is very egotistical in that regard.  They actually think they're the only ones in the universe!

Troi:  Wouldn't the continuing presence of a space craft be considerably more credible than any number of one-time sightings?

Herman:  One must understand the Riwanian culture.  Or cultures.  There are probably in excess of two hundred governments on the planet.  But many of these have simply ceased to exist in recent months and years, leading in some cases to limited tribal warfare.  There is an astounding reshuffling at every cultural, political and economic level, and virtually no government is considered credible by even its most patriotic citizens.  Even if their scientists sighted our craft, identified it positively as alien, documented it extensively, and then informed their citizenry -- no one would believe them.  This is a culture where all the institutions are breaking down, all the traditions are collapsing, all the authorities are losing both power and credibility.  It's a time of potential chaos in all forms.  The only steadying influence for the Riwanians is their growing belief in the return of their mythical goddess.

Picard:  I appreciate your enthusiasm, Doctor, but it will be necessary for us to observe your operations first hand.  I'm sure this can be done with a minimum of interruption.

Riker:  Do you have any members of your team on the planet right now?

When Herman hesitates, Troi smiles.

Troi:  How many?  Two?

Herman:  (looking at Troi carefully and sensing that she cannot get away with much)  Yes.  Doctor Helen Maise and her assistant, Paul Frankle.  Two of the best technicians in the sector.

Picard:  I suggest that they be beamed up immediately, while we continue our discussions.

Herman:  Unfortunately, that's not possible.

Riker:  Why not?

Herman:  But both Helen and Paul are investigating an ancient temple, one which figures very prominently in the planet's goddess tradition.  The temple is composed of a unique material not found, as far as we can tell, anywhere else on the planet.  It is not possible to beam anyone in or out of the temple.

Data:  May we assume that the temple's construction also prevents communication.

Herman:  Yes.  Which is why I can't recall my team right now.

Riker:  Captain, I suggest that I take an away team and bring both observers back.  With Lieutenant Worf and Commander Data I should have no trouble.  (Riker stands.)

Data starts to stand, catching Herman's notice.

Herman:  Captain.  I would suggest that such an away team would be more likely to violate the prime directive than not.  Lieutenant Worf would not exactly pass as human.  No offense intended.

Worf:  None taken.

Herman:  And neither would  Mr. Data.  I would suggest instead that Commander Riker and I beam down together.  I can provide coordinates where the two of us can beam down unobserved.  I can then lead him to my colleagues, and because they will recognize me, they will readily return with us.

Riker:  Sounds reasonable.

Herman:  I can also provide proper clothing, in the event we encounter any natives.

Picard:  Agreed.  Commander, let's expedite this.

Riker acknowledges Picard's order and leaves the conference room with Herman.  Picard turns to Troi.

Picard:  Counselor?

Troi:  Doctor Herman appears to be sincere in her plan to bring her team back, but I also sense that she is holding something back -- something very important that she is not divulging.

Picard:  She may bear watching.  Mr. La Forge, you and Mr. Data check out the temple and its building materials.  There may be more there than is apparent as well.

Scene changes to Transporter Room, where Riker and Herman arrive, already dressed in native garb.  Chief O'Brien speaks as Riker and Herman take their position on the transporter pads.

Chief O'Brien:  Commander, I've entered the coordinates provided by the Doctor's vessel, and will be beaming you down to that spot.

Riker:  Energize!

Scene changes to a small, deserted, concrete-like room.  Riker and Herman arrive via transporter beam and Riker quickly looks around. Herman immediately heads for a door.

Herman:  This way.

Herman leads Riker out the door, through surrounding underbrush and a small wooded area, to the temple.  The temple is impressive.  It's design includes a small semi-circular amphitheater facing the temple, with a rounded stage (and semi-circular steps leading up to it) jutting out from a building with pillars and white, stone-like architecture.  Herman and Riker enter from the side (stage right) and move quickly up several steps to the upper part of the amphitheater and temple.  The entire area appears deserted.  As they enter the temple, they can still easily be seen by any observer within the amphitheater.  Just inside the temple, Riker stops to check his communicator.

Riker:  Enterprise, this is Riker.  (There is no response.)

Herman:  Checking my credibility?

Riker:  I just like to know where I am.

Herman smiles knowingly, and begins leading Riker toward an entrance into the inner recesses of the temple.  Their approach is not direct, and they cannot yet see through the entrance and into the temple.  Almost immediately, Paul Frankle comes out of the entrance, rounds the corner, walking rapidly.  The sight of Herman and Riker brings Paul up short.  He is very surprised to see them.

Paul Frankle:  Iris!  I mean, Doctor Herman!

Herman:  It's okay, Paul.  This is Commander Riker from the Starship Enterprise.  Starfleet is checking up on us.

Frankle:  (Paul is somewhat dismayed at the mention of Starfleet, thinking that the presence of the Enterprise is not good news.  His concern, however, he keeps to himself.)  Starfleet? 

Herman:  Where's Helen?  We have to beam up to the Enterprise immediately.

Frankle:  We can't do that!!  We're right on the verge of a major breakthrough!  Doctor Maise thinks she's figured out how to open "The Second Gate".  We can't stop now!

Riker:  It can wait.

Riker starts off in the direction that Frankle has just come from.  Frankle turns to Herman for help.

Frankle:  Doctor Herman...

Herman gestures for Frankle to hold his tongue, and they both start to follow Riker.  As Riker rounds the corner and starts into the entrance, a blinding, spectacular flash and explosion go off, throwing Riker back toward the rounded stage of the amphitheater (but still under the canopy of the temple -- and thus incapable of being beamed up).  Herman and Frankle, not yet at the temple's entrance, receive much less of the explosion's blast, but both go down in reaction to the noise, light, and the explosion partly knocking them off their feet.  The scene ends with Riker unconscious and, presumably, either dead or seriously hurt.


Scene opens with Riker still unconscious, lying on the ground.  Herman recovers enough to see that Frankle is shaky, but okay.  Then she rushes over to Riker, and try and help him.  She's quickly joined by Frankle, who waits for her signal as to what he should do next.

Herman:  Commander!?

Frankle:  Is he hurt badly?

Herman:  I can't tell, but we've got to get him help immediately.

Frankle:  We can't beam him up from here.  Can he be moved?

Herman:  I don't know.  (Thinking quickly, she hands Frankle her communicator.)  Take my communicator and signal the Enterprise for help.  (Her instructions are not specific, as she returns to her efforts to assist Riker.)

Frankle takes the communicator and rushes out of the temple to the rounded stage, where he can communicate in the clear with the Enterprise.

Frankle:  Enterprise!  Medical Emergency!  Your Commander Riker has been hurt!

Scene shifts to bridge or Enterprise, and Captain Picard.  Worf and Data are at their stations, along with Ensign Roe at the helm.

Picard:  Stand by.  We'll beam him directly to sick bay.

Frankle:  (voice only)  I don't think you can do that.  He's still inside the temple, and we're not even sure he can be moved.

Data:  Captain, based on Geordi's and my analysis thus far of the material the temple is made of, I would conclude that if we attempt to beam Commander Riker up, there is a significant probability that we will not be able to beam all of him up.

Picard:  Doctor Crusher, we have a medical emergency on the planet.  We need you to beam down immediately!

Dr. Beverly Crusher:  (voice only)  On my way.

Worf:  Captain.  If Commander Riker is injured, there will be no other Starfleet officers on the site.  Doctor Crusher may need assistance.

Picard:  Agreed.  Ensign Roe, meet Doctor Crusher in the Transporter Room and accompany her down to the planet.

Ensign Roe:  Right away, Captain.

Ensign Roe leaves her place at the helm, and moves quickly to the exit.  Picard then addresses Frankle.

Picard:  This is the Enterprise.  Help is on the way.  Do you need further assistance?

Scene shifts to Frankle on the temple's rounded stage.  Herman is still attending to Riker.

Frankle:  I don't think so.  Just hurry!

Herman:  Paul.  Go to the beam down shack to meet the medical team.  Then guide them back here.

Frankle:  Right!

Frankle rushes down the stairs of the rounded stage.  But then he sees dozens of Riwanians arriving on the scene, coming over the top of the rear walls of the amphitheater and beginning to move down toward Frankle, Herman and Riker.  The natives are able to see all three of the aliens, but seem to have no idea of what is happening (and do not recognize them as aliens).  Instead, they have been attracted to the scene by the flash and explosion that injured Riker.  Frankle is stopped in his tracks by their sudden appearance.

Frankle:  Uh oh.  (whispering)  Doctor Herman, we've got company!

Herman looks up to see the Riwanians (everyone in the scene has a clear view of the others).  She grimaces as she recognizes the potential complications of the new arrivals.  Under her breath, she replies.

Herman:  I see them.  Get to the beam down shack and bring the others.  I'll think of something.

Scene changes to the Enterprise Transporter Room.  Crusher enters, and Chief O'Brien speaks to her.

O'Brien:  Doctor, I'm beaming you down to the away team's last communications.

Crusher:  Good.

Ensign Roe rushes into the Transporter Room, just as Crusher reaches her transporter pad.  She quickly joins Crusher.

Roe:  I'll be accompanying you, Doctor.

Crusher:  Energize.

Both Crusher and Roe are transported.

Scene shifts to the rounded stage of the temple, where Frankle had communicated with the Enterprise.  Both Crusher and Roe are beamed down to this point, in full view of all the Riwanians.  Frankle turns from his position just below them, and Herman sees them appear from her position just inside the temple and next to Riker.  Herman immediately groans at the gross violation of the prime directive, but neither Crusher nor Roe are aware of the situation and do not realize that they've made a mistake in beaming down in full view.  The natives, meanwhile, do a serious "Ohhhhh" -- thoroughly impressed by the innovative entrance and strange costumes of the two new arrivals, Crusher and Roe.  (The Riwanians are also very impressed with Crusher's physical appearance -- although this fact is not readily apparent.)  Roe becomes immediately aware of the Riwanians and takes a defensive stance, as if protecting Crusher.  In the process, Roe slowly backs into the temple, carefully watching the Riwanians, who are now creeping closer to get a better view of the proceedings.  Meanwhile Crusher rushes to where Riker is.  As she approaches, Herman looks at Crusher with shocked recognition.  Incredulously, she speaks to Crusher.

Herman:  Who are you!?

Crusher:  I'm a doctor.

Crusher hardly notices Herman's question, focusing all of her attention on Riker and beginning her diagnosis of his condition.  Herman continues to look at Crusher with absolute amazement.  Then Herman glances toward the natives, before looking at Crusher again.  (Herman has recognized a strong physical resemblance between Crusher and several ancient representations of the native's Great Goddess.)  Crusher is unaware of the mounting excitement around her -- even though Roe is becoming more concerned.  Crusher then gives Riker a hypo in the neck.

Crusher:  Slight concussion, but nothing major.  He should be okay, but I want to beam him directly to sick bay immediately.

Herman:  We can't do that!

Crusher:  Why not?

Herman glances at the natives (who are still thoroughly awed by Crusher and Roe's appearance), then back to Crusher.  Then she seems to realize that there's nothing to lose now.  She shrugs her shoulders.

Herman:  Forget it.  The cat's already out of the bag.  Help me move him into the clear.

Roe moves quickly to help Herman move Riker.  Frankle also returns to grab Riker's legs, and the three carry Riker to the rounded stage.  Riker shows some signs of regaining consciousness, as they reach the beam down site.  Still holding Riker in their arms, Frankle suddenly looks at Herman with shock.

Frankle:  Doctor Herman!  We forgot about Helen!!

Herman:  (equally horrified)  Oh my God!  She's still in the temple!

Crusher:  (surprised)  What are you talking about?

Frankle:  Helen was inside the entrance.  She must have been caught in the explosion as well!

Crusher takes charge, as the three others begin to set Riker down on the beam down site.

Crusher:  Ensign, beam Commander Riker directly to sick bay.  I'm going inside!

Crusher emphasizes her order by putting her hand on Roe.  Roe acknowledges the direct order.  Then Crusher turns and rushes into the temple's entrance.  Herman halfheartedly tries to stop her.

Herman:  Doctor!  Wait!

Crusher does not hear Herman's warning, and rushes in.  As she does, two things happen:  A thin, sparkling sheet of light (barely visible) appears in the entrance of the temple, behind Crusher (effectively separating her from the others), and the Riwanians do another, even more audible, "Ohhhhhh" .  (Crusher's going into the temple and the appearance of the light barrier at the entrance of the temple are obviously very significant to them -- a fact not lost on Herman, who is now more interested in the temple's entrance and the natives' reaction than in what Roe is doing.)  Roe obeys her orders, while Herman begins to understand something important.

Roe:  Enterprise.  Commander Riker to beam up directly to sick bay.

Riker is beamed up, accompanied by yet another "Ohhhhh" from the Riwanians.  Herman is now beginning to smile at her evolving idea.  With Riker gone, Roe turns to follow Crusher, only to be repelled by the sheet of light at the temple's entrance.  The barrier is obviously substantial and prevents Roe from entering.  She is temporarily amazed, but recovers quickly.  She tries to check the sheet of light with her tricorder, and then pulls out her phaser.  Herman tries to prevent her from firing.

Herman:  No!  Trust me!  It won't do any good!

Roe, intent upon her duty to follow Crusher, fires anyway.  The faser's beam is absorbed by the sheet of light with no apparent ill effects.  Roe frowns, momentarily stymied.  Herman shrugs knowingly.

Herman:  I tried to tell you.

Roe:  (using her communicator -- in a normal voice)  Enterprise.  (There is no response.)

Herman:  You have to be out here in order to communicate.

Roe looks at Herman, not fully understanding, but then moves back out into the open area, speaking into her communicator in a clear, strong voice -- making an extra effort to be heard.

Roe:  Enterprise!

Before Roe can continue, the Riwanians do their biggest "Ohhhhhh" to date, and quickly fall to their knees in order to pay homage to Roe.  (The Riwanians think they have recognized Roe as the trusted servant of their Great Goddess.)  Roe is momentarily stunned by their reaction and doesn't complete her sentence.  Herman has again noted the Riwanian's reaction, and appears to now know what to do.  Meanwhile the Enterprise, responds to Roe's incomplete communication.

Picard:  (brief shot of Picard)  This is the Enterprise.  Go ahead.

Roe:  (trying unsuccessfully to ignore her adoring subjects)  Captain, Doctor Crusher has entered the structure, but I've been prevented from following her by some sort of sophisticated forcefield.

Picard:  (Brief shot of Picard's answer)  Forcefield!?

Roe:  Yes sir.  My phaser had no effect and appeared to be absorbed by the field.  No ricochet.  (Roe pauses momentarily as she glances around at the natives.)  Captain, there are also a large number of natives here who have witnessed our beam down, and everything since then.

Brief shot of Picard, showing his obvious frustration and displeasure at the news of Riwanian witnesses.  Scene shifts back to Roe, who is becoming increasingly uncomfortable at the Riwanian's reaction to her.

Roe:  And Captain...  The natives seem to be worshiping me.

A second brief shot of Picard, where he shows piqued amazement.

Picard:  Worshiping!?

Scene shifts back to Herman, who has dropped to one knee, also in homage to Roe (who is suitably amazed at this latest development).  Speaking discreetly, she addresses Picard.

Herman:  Captain.  This is Iris Herman.  I have an idea on how to solve this problem.  And inasmuch as we've already violated the prime directive, I think you're going to want to hear my idea.

Picard:  (voice only)  I hope it's a good one!

Herman:  I think I know what is going on here, but it's rather complicated.  If you will leave your officer right where she is, my associate and I will return to our beam down spot and beam up without any witnesses.  Then I can explain everything, and your officer will only have remained on the scene for a bit longer.  (There is a brief pause.)  Trust me on this one, Captain.

Roe:  I don't think I'm in any immediate danger, Captain.

Brief shot of Picard, who is unhappy with his options, but sees no other alternative.

Picard:  Very well.  Make it so.

Scene shifts back to Herman and Roe.  Herman turns her attention to Roe, continuing to bow in homage to her, and to give instructions under her breath.

Herman:  Think of yourself as the most trusted servant of a Great Goddess, with your own commensurate powers, and act accordingly.  We'll explain in more detail later.  Meanwhile, remain here by the temple's entrance as if on guard.

Roe:  You're kidding!

Picard:  (voice only)  Do as she says Ensign.

Roe:  Aye, sir.

Roe is uncertain of herself, but obeys her orders.  Herman, and Frankle, taking his lead from her, both begin to back away, continuing to pay homage to Roe.  Roe watches them with utter amazement.

Scene shifts to Crusher, who is now within the temple proper, and totally unaware of the proceedings outside the temple.  Coming across the blasted and critically injured body of Helen Maise, Crusher kneels at her side and does her doctor thing.  Maise is vaguely conscious, and quickly becomes aware of Crusher.  As Crusher tries to check her out, Maise grabs in desperation at Crusher, urgently trying to tell the Doctor something important.

Helen Maise:  You can't go back!  You have to descend first... Go through the remaining six gates!

Crusher is puzzled by the outburst, but takes little heed of it -- still trying to help Maise.

Crusher:  Relax.  We'll get you to sick bay.  You're going to be okay.

Maise knows better.  She shakes her head.

Maise:  You don't understand!  You can't go back!  You have to descend... It's the only way!

Maise shudders one last time and apparently dies.  Crusher tries to save her, but quickly admits defeat.

Crusher:  Damn!

Gently, Crusher closes Helen's eyes.  Then a deep female voice (in reality, Crusher's own, but lowered and much more anguished) addresses her.

Voice:  It is time.  Descend!

Crusher is momentarily shocked, but quickly recovers.

Crusher:  Who's there?  (When there is no answer, she continues with forced courage.)  I'm Doctor Beverly Crusher of the Starship, Enterprise; representing the Federation...

Voice:  Quiet!!  The ways are perfect!  They cannot be questioned!

Suddenly, Crusher's communicator moves (apparently by itself) from her chest to a few feet in front of her, where it abruptly disappears in a burst of light.

Voice:  No longer are you of the Enterprise!  You have no status, no position, no authority!  Descend!!

Crusher:  (hesitating and gesturing toward Maise)  But what of her?

Without a word, Maise vanishes in a burst of light similar to the one that took Crusher's communicator.  The scene ends as Crusher realizes her dilemma.  Quietly, shuddering, she repeats Maise's last words.

Crusher:  "You can't go back."


Scene is a continuation of the Second Sequence where Crusher is apparently alone, having gone through the "First Gate".  For a moment, she looks around, trying to gauge her situation, hesitantly taking a first step toward moving deeper into the temple.  Then she stops and turns to look back in the direction that she entered the temple, as if thinking to retrace her steps.  Suddenly there begins a series of anguished cries.

First Voice:  Help me!

Crusher: (forgetting her previous concern for her predicament and responding totally to the plea for help)  Who's there?  Where are you!?

First Voice:  Is there someone there?  I need help!  Please!!

Crusher:  I'm coming!

Oblivious to her own safety, Crusher rushes through a portal (the "Second Gate") and down an alien hall. Quickly, she comes upon a bleeding and wounded body of someone who could easily be a crewmember of the Enterprise, but dressed in casual clothes.  The person appears to have been attacked by a savage beast.  As Crusher reaches the person and kneels to aid the wounded man, she suddenly recognizes him.  Hardly believing whom she is seeing, she struggles to understand.

Crusher:  Murphy?  But you're dead!  You died in my arms!  A long time ago.

Murphy grabs her coat, shudders violently and dies on the spot.  Crusher is torn between anguish over the death and shock at recognizing a man she had failed to save in the past.

Crusher:  Not again!

Before she can sort out her emotions, another voice from deeper within the temple, cries out in a low moan.  Crusher, reverting to standard triage techniques, leaves the dead man and rushes to the next case, a woman apparently fatally wounded by some sort of technological explosion/accident.  Crusher reaches the woman, who reaches up for Crusher, pleading for help.  The woman is clearly in considerable pain.

Woman:  Please help me.  The pain...!

Crusher:  It'll be okay.  I'm a doctor.

Woman:  It hurts so much...!

Crusher quickly administers a pain killer, one which she fully expects to have immediate effects.  The pain killer, however, has no effect at all.  The woman becomes even more desperate.

Woman:  Please!!  Do something for the pain!!  (She emits a low, horrible scream.)

Crusher looks at her with surprise.  Quickly, she checks the hypo to see if it was working properly.  She finds no apparent malfunction, shakes her head in wonder at the lack of effect, and then quickly grabs for another instrument to ease the pain -- an alternate pain killer.  Quickly she administers it, while the woman continues to writhe in pain.  This time, Crusher watches the woman to see if she reacts to the pain killer.  Suddenly, the woman seems to rise up in even greater pain.  She screams.

Woman:  I can't stand it!!  Do something!!

Crusher:  (in obvious anguish herself)  What!?

In terminal distress, the woman shudders violently, and then seems to die an anguished death.  Crusher is shocked and distressed, as she begins to sorrow over the death and her inability to ease the pain. 

Crusher:  Nothing's working!  I don't understand this!  What's wrong?  Why can't I do anything?

Suddenly, without warning, a twelve year old girl, bruised and battered, stumbles into Crusher, pleading for help.  The girl is very pretty, almost angelic, but clearly in very bad shape and very frightened.

Girl:  Help me!  I'm scared!  (Her voice becomes more subdued and pitiful.)  I don't want to die.

Crusher, coming out of shock, turns to help the girl, gently trying to lay her down and attend to her.

Crusher:  It's okay.  You're not going to die.  I'm here.

As she turns to grab at her medical equipment, it disappears in a flash of light -- the same flash that took her communicator and Helen Maise.  Crusher is horrified.  Obliquely realizing that someone or something has stolen her ability to aid the girl, Crusher screams at the unknown.

Crusher:  No!!  I need my supplies in order to save this child!

There is no answer, as the girl grabs at Crusher, crying in pain for her mother.  Crusher is now torn between her sorrow for the girl, her own helplessness at being unable to help the girl, and her anger at whoever or whatever is  preventing her from helping.  Crusher starts to momentarily lose it.

Crusher:  (to the air)  You monster!!  She's just a little girl!  She needs my help!

The same voice which had previously ordered her to descend (Crusher's own voice, but partially disguised by anguish and overwhelming fear), answers her in a gruff, uncaring manner.

Voice:  Quiet!  The ways are perfect!  You cannot question them!

Crusher:  (angered and forceful)  They're in pain!!  These people are dying!

Voice:  Everyone must die.

Crusher:  But the agony!!!

Voice:  Pain is in the mind... A result of resistance. A part of life.  Why should you be rewarded for pushing it away, for disguising it?  Why should your healing, your achievements, be valued?

Crusher:  (confused)  I don't understand.

Voice:  Your "achievements" are worthless.  Delay no longer!  Descend!

Crusher continues to look bewildered, questioning the most basic values of her ego.  She turns to the girl, who now lies quiet, having already died.  Crusher seems to sense her inadequacy, as the scene ends.

Scene shifts to the Enterprise's Conference Room, with Picard, La Forge, Data, Troi, Herman and Frankle in attendance.  They are taking their seats as Herman hurriedly tries to explain her idea.

Herman:  It's important for us to realize that the planet's societies and cultures are breaking down.  The economies are collapsing, institutions are no longer credible, governments are failing, schools, churches and the legal system are no longer functional, the weather has become more erratic and extreme, and if this were not enough, earthquakes and volcanoes have become much more active in recent years.

Data:  Doctor, how would planetary changes be connected to a collapsing social structure?

Herman:  That's the fascinating part.  It's almost as if the mass consciousness were affecting the physical aspects of the planet.

La Forge:  Wouldn't it be the other way around?  Wouldn't catastrophic physical changes on the planet be sufficient to cause social change?

Herman:  I'm sure they would.  But the social changes seem to be leading the way -- the cause rather than the effect.

Troi:  Is it possible that there is some hidden, higher power influencing things?

Herman glances at Troi, concerned that Troi might be guessing the truth.  Herman suspects the planet has some convert control, one which is somehow connected to the goddess myth.  Herman is not eager for the Enterprise to look too closely, because she wants exclusive access to any such power that might exist.

Herman:  I don't think so.  At least...

As Herman hesitates, Riker enters, apparently fully recovered.  Everyone reacts positively at seeing him.

Picard:  Commander, we hadn't expected you so soon.

Riker:  Ready to return to duty, Sir.

Troi:  Will, are you feeling okay?

Riker:  I was just knocked unconscious.  I'm okay now.  What are we doing to retrieve Dr. Crusher?

Picard:  Doctor Herman was just about to offer an idea.

Herman:  (relieved at Riker's interruption of a subject she doesn't want to talk about)  Thank you, Captain.  Our problem is a violation of the prime directive, and the fact that both Doctor Crusher and my colleague, Helen Maise are trapped inside the temple.  We don't know if Helen is alive, or for that matter, Doctor Crusher.  I'm very concerned that Helen may have received the full brunt of the explosion that knocked Commander Riker unconscious.

Frankle:  (very worried)  I really doubt Helen survived if only because of the curse.

Riker:  What curse?

Frankle:  The goddess' temple is considered one of the holiest of holies by the Riwanians.  No one is supposed to approach too closely -- the myths and legends speak of death to those who violate the space.

Riker:  Then, what were you doing there!?

Troi:  (very concerned)  And what about Beverly!?

Herman:  (leaping on Troi's change of subjects)  Doctor Crusher may be a special case.  Something I noticed when she arrived on the planet was an uncanny physical resemblance between her and the planet's mythical Great Goddess, their Queen of Heaven.  The local bystanders apparently recognized her as well, and I suspect whoever or whatever is controlling what is going on in the temple, may have also misidentified her.  Note that there was no explosion when she entered the temple; it was simply sealed off.  And the fact that she appeared to the people by beaming down, quickly saving a life, and then without hesitation, going into the temple -- these facts only served to underline her apparently divine status.

Picard:  They think Doctor Crusher is their goddess!?

Data:  The probability that Doctor Crusher would physically resemble an alien planet's deity is not high, and is on the order of...

Herman:  Why?  Everything in the universe is connected in some way.

La Forge:  What about Ensign Roe?  Why was she left on the planet?

Worf:  (aside)  Where she is apparently being worshiped.

Herman:  According to legend, the Great Goddess always had her trusted servant, a servant who played an important part in all of her myths.  Inasmuch as she was dressed similarly to Doctor Crusher, she has also been misidentified and thus accorded all the honors associated with such a high station.

Picard:  Having one of my officers worshiped as some sort of deity, or semi-deity, does not seem to reduce the impact of violating the prime directive.

Herman:  I realize that.  Allow me to explain.

Riker:  (impatient)  Please do.

Herman:  One of the most important of the planet's myths describes the Great Goddess' descent into the underworld.  According to tradition, she decides to visit her sister, the Queen of the Underworld.  At the same itme, she is acting on an intuitive level, recognizing that there is great wisdom for anyone making such a descent.  She also realizes the dangers, and leaves her faithful servant at the entrance into the underworld with instructions to seek help if she is unable to return on her own.  Meanwhile, her decision to descend regenerates her planet, something the Riwanians would obviously be interested in seeing happen.  In effect, the Goddess's destiny is to heal the planet, something of which Riwan is badly in need.

Picard:  And the Riwanians think Doctor Crusher is their Great Goddess!?

Herman:  Yes!  And that she has in fact begun her descent, leaving her servant to guard the entrance to the underworld.  Your Doctor Crusher has initiated the mythical sequence, and by our carrying out the remaining actions of the myth, we should be able to save Dr. Crusher and, hopefully, Helen Maise.  More importantly, the Riwanians will simply see an enactment of one of their myths, and there will be, in effect, no violation of the prime directive.

Riker:  It sounds like we're sacrificing Doctor Crusher!! 

Herman:  No, no!  The Goddess is rescued by her uncle, a god whose name sounds amazingly like "Enterprise"!  We simply act out his part and fulfill the details of the myth.  A myth, incidentally, not unlike the myths of ancient Earth, where Gods, Goddesses and heroes descended into the underworld, or Hades, for one reason or another.

Picard:  Weren't most of those myths designed to explain the fertility of the earth?

Troi:  Actually, Captain, the more significant interpretations of such myths were as metaphors for those descending into the innermost depths of their psyches, mythically descending into Hades, in order to strip away all the attachments of life, discover their souls, and in the process find pure gold and enlightenment.  Initiates of the Eleusian Mysteries, for example, underwent initiations into the realm of Hades in order to lose their fear of death.  Other cultures referred to the process as the "dark night of the soul", where riches were discovered within the dimness, coldness and darkness of the deepest recesses of the mind.  It was the specter of death that brought one to Hades.  Death of purpose, hope, a way of being, a relationship, even the prospect of physical death -- something often faced involuntarily.

Herman:  Exactly!  But some entered Hades voluntarily:  Psyche to perform the last of her heroic tasks and be reunited with Eros; Orpheus to seek his wife, Eurydice; Dionysus to find his mother, Semele; and in Sumerian mythology, Inanna to seek love and wisdom, and her dark sister, Ereshkigal -- the latter who can be thought of as Inanna's dark side.

Worf:  Such quests are part of Klingon heritage as well.

La Forge:  To be renewed, one has to go to hell?

Troi:  Hades is not hell.  Psychologically, Hades is the personal and collective unconscious, where our repressed memories, thoughts, and feelings reside, where yearnings too painful or shameful or too unacceptable to others often fester, and where everything that has ever been still exists.  But Hades is also where every imaginable and wonderful possibility of what we might become, also exists!

Herman:  It's important to realize that the greatest of these myths involved those where the Goddess or hero descended into Hades voluntarily.  Doctor Crusher ran into the temple voluntarily, and while we may understand her true reasons, from the Riwanian's viewpoint, it was a much more profound act.

Troi:  That may well be, but these myths were metaphors, a psychological construct.  One did not actually descend into the bowels of the earth.

Herman:  That's true on Earth, but the Riwanians have a strong belief in a Goddess who undertakes the descent on their behalf in order to rejuvenate their world.  Right now, their ancient religion may be the only tradition that has any redeeming value in their minds.  To them, Crusher is their Great Goddess who has returned and begun her descent.

Picard:  Doctor, fulfilling the myth of a planet's people would still constitute interference.  If we take action where the planet's history is forever changed, we still have a problem.

Herman:  Trust me, Captain, this sort of thing will never make the history books -- which on this planet only involves his-story.  I can assure you that if some goddess comes along to save the planet in this fashion, 99% or more of the population will never believe it anyway!

Riker:  What's to guarantee that Doctor Crusher will survive the descent?  And return!?

Herman:  Simple.  We rescue her in accordance with the myth.

Picard:  Which involves?

Herman:  When the time is right, your Ensign Roe pleads for the Goddess' uncle, the Enterprise, to save her.  You Captain, then beam down in response, whereupon you send your two guardian creatures to affect the rescue.  I would suggest Mr. Worf and a suitably dressed Data for this, as the natives have some very strange concepts of the guardian creatures.

Worf:  Strange?

Herman:  They then bring Doctor Crusher back to where you and Ensign Roe are waiting, and then everyone beams back to the Enterprise -- in effect, completing the myth.

La Forge:  But how do we rescue her?

Herman:  (smiling)  That's a bit tougher.  We have to find another way into Hades.


Scene opens with Crusher still in confused shock, trying to sort out what is happening. 

Suddenly, from further down the passageway, a seriously wounded man, carrying an unconscious woman (who is also wounded), stumbles into view.  He cries out for help. Crusher turns and sees the two, hesitates for just a second, and then with a hint of understanding speaks directly to the Voice.

Crusher:  Stop this!

As if in response, the people and hallway disappear, replaced by another portal (the "Third Gate").  Just on the other side of the gate appears a partial replica of Crusher's private quarters on the Enterprise -- her exotic and flourishing flowers being the most obvious.  Slowly, more from curiosity than urgency, Crusher rises and moves toward the flowers.  For a moment she smiles at their beauty and the memories of her loving care toward them.  She picks up her small pruning shears, as if she were recapturing a quiet moment on the Enterprise when she was tending to her flowers.  But as she gently touches one of the flowers, it suddenly crumbles into dust.  Her smile becomes an overriding sorrow, as the entire flower display abruptly collapses into dust.  Then a movement to the side and further into the depths of the temple, catches her eye.  A table has appeared, with numerous items of great sentimental value, her most prized possessions.  Now more cautious, she slowly approaches the table.  A small, delicate glass starts to fall from the table, and by reflex, Crusher tries to save it.  Her efforts are in vain, as she suddenly seems extraordinarily clumsy.  Despite her almost saving it, the glass seems to have a mind of its own and falls to the floor, shattering into a million pieces.  Despite her rationality, she cries at the sight.

Crusher:  Oh no!

Abruptly the table shakes, as if in an earthquake, and the various objects on the table begin to shatter as well.  She reaches to save specific items, only to clumsily do more damage than a bull in a china shop.  As all her most prized, sentimental possessions self-destruct, the voice explains. 

Voice:  Objects and possessions are illusions.  They're not important.  Descend!

Crusher recognizes the truth, but is no longer willing to play the game.  Slowly and struggling for control, she straightens and turns slightly, in order to answer the voice.  Her reply is steady and definite.

Crusher:  No.

Voice:  (now originating from a figure further down the hall)  No!?  No!!!?

Crusher turns toward the voice, where she sees an ugly, dark figure, dressed in a dark, black robe with a high, stiff collar flaring upward, and a dark cowl shading her face.  {The figure is Crusher's dark side, but is not immediately recognizable.}  Crusher is momentarily unnerved, as if seeing the dark side of death.  The scene ends with the threatening, terrifying picture of something very, very evil.

Scene shifts to the bridge of the Enterprise (with Picard, Riker, La Forge, Worf, Data, Troi, Herman and Frankle).  La Forge and Data are at the computer consoles with Riker, Picard and Herman immediately behind.  Frankle is further away, acting more as an observer than a participant.  Worf and Troi are at their respective stations, attentive to what is happening, but not participating directly.

La Forge:  If we're talking about a physical Hades, then we might be able to use to phaser to cut a hole through the rock to where Dr. Crusher and Helen Maise are.

Picard:  Which would hardly go unnoticed and would probably constitute much more of a violation of the prime directive than anything we've done so far.

Herman:  But if you're on the scene, as the god Enterprise, and direct things from that perspective, it would appear to the Riwanians as nothing more than an integral part of their myth.

Data:  A very narrow, beam could cut a hole through the rock which is large enough to allow us to beam down through it, but which would otherwise be relatively indiscernible.

La Forge:  We could also modify the frequency into the non-visible region, where it would not be easily observed.  We'd still have to narrow the beam, focus it like it's never been focused before, but it could be done.

Riker:  How long to reconfigure the faser beam?

La Forge:  Six to eight hours.

Picard:  You've got four.

La Forge:  Yes sir.  (La Forge heads for engineering to reconfigure the faser beam.)

Data:  The difficulty will be in determining exactly where to aim the beam.  Do we know the internal structure of the temple?

Herman:  No, but we're pretty sure that such plans exist.  We've already encountered references and allusions to a "Great Book", which is kept within the sacred archives of the adjacent city's university.  If we can gain access there, we should be able to find the holy book which supposedly goes into much greater detail about the inner temple.

Riker:  You're sure the book exists.

Herman:  Oh yes.

Frankle:  We've known about it for some time.  But it's kept inside a very substantial safe, one that is only rarely opened.  It hasn't been opened in the time we've been here.

Herman:  We were unable to beam inside it because it is made of the same material as the temple.  Hopefully, you have some techniques or equipment we don't that would allow us to open it.

Picard:  Safe-cracking equipment?

Data:  Excuse me, Captain?

Picard:  (to Data)  Anything used to crack a safe, to open it without previously knowing how.

Data:  I see.  I would need to look at it, but I suspect there would be a way to open it, and without leaving a record of having done so.

Picard:  I'm not anxious to add burglary to our other crimes.

Data:  If I can get to the book, sir, I can scan the entire document in a matter of seconds, and then return with the information we need.

Herman:  You'll need me to go along and help identify the book.

Riker:  And I should go and look after Doctor Herman.

Herman:  (smiling at Riker)  That's not the way it turned out the first time.

Picard:  If things happen like the first time, we're in much deeper trouble than we can imagine.

Data:  It would appear that if we are to affect a rescue of Doctor Crusher and Helen Maise, we would have no choice but to acquire the necessary information on locating them.

Picard:  I still have serious doubts about continuing to operate in a fashion which might be a direct violation of the prime directive.

Herman:  Wouldn't leaving them on the planet constitute a potentially greater problem?

Picard:  (frowning)  I appreciate your logic, Doctor.

Herman:  I'm sure we can gain access to the holy book without being observed.

Data:  That would seem a reasonable assumption, Captain.

Picard:  Very well.  Commander, take Doctor Herman and Data, and, this time, try not to incur the wrath of whatever is so protective of Riwan's secrets.

The meeting breaks up with everyone going to their assigned tasks.  Troi catches Riker on his way out and takes him aside for a quick word.

Troi:  Will, I need a moment.  (Then, with Herman out the door:)  Doctor Herman is still hiding something.  There's more to this than she's letting on.  You need to be very careful with her!

Riker:  Understood.

Scene ends with Riker exiting and Troi looking concerned.

Scene shifts to Crusher at the portal of the "Fourth Gate", where her dark side stands.  Crusher seems to realize that the figure is much more than she has encountered thus far, and slowly, cautiously, begins to approach the very menacing figure.  The black robed figure is not yet recognizable as Crusher's darker side -- particularly since the figure is so aged and ugly.  Then as Crusher crosses the threshold of the Fourth Gate, she trips slightly, and in the process of righting herself notices her hand, which has suddenly become disfigured and ugly.  Shocked, she then notices a shiny, mirror-like image on the wall.  It is herself, but older, and decidedly uglier.  {Considering Gates McFadden, this may require a very creative and challenging make-up job!}  Mockingly, as Crusher sees the vanishing of her feminine allure (such that no man would ever be attracted to her) the dark robed figure, laughs and begins to taunt Crusher.

Robed Figure:  For something only skin deep, it certainly leaves with a vengeance!

Crusher: (confused and tentatively stepping toward the robed figure)  What's happening?

Without a word, the robed figure turns in disdain and begins to walk off, passing through yet another portal (the "Fifth Gate").  Crusher follows her, but then as she passes through the portal as well, hears a voice off to the right.  She turns to see her husband, smiling at her.  As she recognizes him, emotionally and mentally, the sequence of his death flashes through her mind in full living horror.  She cries in anguish, only to have her son, Wesley, appear.  Wesley screams at her.

Wesley:  Mom!  Help him!  He's dying!

Crusher:  (trying but unable to reach her husband)  I can't!

Wesley:  (accusing and blaming her)  It's your fault!  You could have saved him!

Crusher:  (pleadingly)  No!  I couldn't!

An image of Picard suddenly appears, one totally unsympathetic and dark.  He approaches Crusher with malice in his step, demanding she silent her unruly son.

Picard:  Shut that brat up!

Crusher:  (turning on Picard)  It's your fault!  You killed my husband!

Picard:  (with utter disdain)  He was a weakling!  And now you're mine!  (Picard grabs her.)

Wesley:  (rushing at Picard)  Leave her alone!

Crusher:  (tearing herself away from Picard)  Kill him, Wesley, kill him!

Wesley attacks Picard with a vengeance, and Picard responds even more viciously.  Crusher suddenly sees the two most important men in her life killing each other, and screams in pain.  End of scene.


Scene opens with Riker, Herman and Data beaming down into an alien museum.  They quickly look around to find a deserted and darkened area.  Herman immediately begins leading them to the safe.

Herman:  This way.

Herman leads them into a smaller room, where a massive safe is located.  Data goes to it immediately and begins cracking the combination code.  Riker is very much alert to intruders, while Herman seems more intent upon lifting some valuable object -- a small medallion, which she silently slips into her pocket.  Data does his thing by gaining entrance into the safe, and all three enter. Herman identifies the book, which Data then begins flashing though, identifying his needs and memorizing the relevant parts.  A noise disturbs them and Riker goes to investigate, while Data stays with the book.  With Riker out of the room, Herman turns her attention to a portion of the wall, which resembles an alien computer readout.  Herman seems intent upon understanding and mastering the display -- a fact which Data notes.  Data, however, does not stop his review and continues to leaf through the book.  Then Riker enters to warn the others.

Riker:  Someone's coming.  Are you finished?

Data:  Almost, Commander.

Riker:  Hurry.

Riker then moves back to the entrance to the small room, hoping to gain as much time as possible.  Herman returns her attention to the computer-like display, and when she thinks she is unobserved, places her right palm against a portion of the display.  The display reacts as if memorizing her hand, and thus accepting her right to entry.  {Herman is, in fact, attempting to establish herself as an authorized priestess of the temple.}  Then Riker comes back in.

Riker:  We're out of time.

Data:  (replacing the book)  Done.

Quickly, the three move just outside the safe, where Data quickly closes the safe.

Riker:  Enterprise.  Three to beam up.

All three are beamed up, ending the scene.

Scene shifts to Captain Picard's ready room aboard the Enterprise.  He is pondering his decision on whether or not to attempt a rescue, when someone signals a request for entrance.

Picard:  Enter.

Guinan enters.  Picard is only slightly surprised.

Picard:  Why is it that I was anticipating a visit from you about now?

Guinan:  Perhaps, because Beverly is in trouble and you're not sure your allegiance to the prime directive will allow you to save her.

Picard:  (grimaces)  Is my dilemma already common knowledge to everyone on the ship?

Guinan:  Only to those who really know you.

Picard:  What's happening, Guinan?  What's going on down there?

Guinan:  Whatever it is, it's right on schedule.

Picard:  I don't understand.

Guinan:  Jean Luc, I don't believe in coincidences.  Beverly doesn't just happen to bear a striking resemblance to an alien planet's chief goddess for no reason.  It has to be something much more.

Picard:  Like what?

Guinan:  Like we're all connected somehow.  Humans, Klingons, Romulans, Riwanians -- it doesn't seem to make any difference.  We're still part of the same universe.

Picard:  But why Beverly?  What's her part in this?

Guinan:  Sounds like she's taking a journey everyone needs to take, discovering all of her worst fears and nightmares, letting them go, and ultimately beginning to know her true self.

Picard:  All in the guise of being some kind of goddess?

Guinan:  Hey.  There's a bit of the god and goddess in all of us.  That's what she's discovering.  It would be a shame if she weren't able to come back and share her adventure with us.

Picard:  It would be a shame.  But in the process, we seem to be fulfilling the destiny of a planet.

Guinan:   Which may be quite appropriate, under the circumstances.  You never know what wonders following your own path can create.

Picard:  You must know, Guinan, that I can't allow my personal feelings for Doctor Crusher... Beverly...  influence my decision to attempt a rescue.  I can't simply ignore the prime directive.

Guinan:  Even if the planet has invited you to do so?  It certainly seems to have welcomed Beverly into its destiny.  She may have been chosen by the planet for its own very specific design.

Picard:  To heal itself?

Guinan:  Why not?  As long as we proceed in accordance with its plan, its myth.

Picard:  But if that's the case, then we would be obligated to fulfill the other details of the myth.

Guinan:  It does appear that's what you've been invited to do.

Picard:  (grimacing)  And I get to play the part of being the uncle to a goddess?

Guinan:  (smiling broadly)  That's why you're the Captain.  Type casting.

Scene ends with Picard and Guinan smiling and Picard now knowing his decision.

Scene shifts to Crusher, who is witnessing Picard and Wesley still struggling, and in the process falling through the sixth portal (the "Sixth Gate").  Then with Picard dealing a fatal blow to Wesley, the young man falls and Crusher rushes to his side.

Crusher:  Stop!  This is insane!

Just as she steps through the sixth portal, Picard and Wesley disappear in a flash of light.  Suddenly, the dark robed figure reappears and viciously strikes Crusher across the head.  Crusher falls hard against the floor, cutting her hand badly on the rough, rocky surface.  Dazed from the head blow and slowly regaining her feet, Crusher looks at her badly cut hand, now beginning to gush blood.  For a moment, she can only look at her hand, knowing she is hurt, but having no earthly idea as to what to do next.

Crusher:  (totally confused)  Bleeding.  A lot of blood.  (As if she has just received some great insight:)  I must stop the bleeding.  But how?

Crusher drops to her knees, struggling to comprehend what is happening.  Her medical knowledge has totally dissipated.  She knows she needs help, but only that.

Crusher:  I need help.  I need a doctor.  (Then, with a vague recollection:)  I am a doctor.  (Then, beginning to panic:)  But I don't know what to do!

Robed Figure:  You never did!

Crusher:  (pleading)  Help me!

Robed Figure:  (unmoved and totally without compassion)  Heal  thyself!

Abruptly, the robed figure laughs a hideous laugh, and turns away in a mocking dismissal of Crusher's pain and potential death.  The robed figure begins to walk through a seventh portal.  Crusher struggles to her feet behind her, still asking for help.

Crusher:  Don't leave!  I need you!

As she passes through the seventh portal (the "Seventh Gate"), a blast literally throws her to one side and against a wall.  Her garments are torn and ripped from her body.  She rebounds and falls to the ground.  Then, with only her survival instinct, she sees a small flow of water along a rough rocky ledge.  She crawls toward it, only to have it turn into fire just as she reaches it.  She recoils.  Various members of the Enterprise crew appear to accuse and condemn her for her failures, her crimes, her hubris, etcetera.

Tasha Yar Image:  I died because of you!  You could have saved me!

Wesley Image:  You were never there for me!  Always too busy!

Riker:  You deceived and lied to me!  You can't be trusted!

Troi:  Did you think you'd get away with it!?  Did you think you could fool me!?

Data:  You can't help me!  You never will be able to help.

Worf:  You're weak and useless!  You can't even save yourself!

Picard:  You've failed in every respect!  You disgust me!

Robed Figure:  (the hood falling away to reveal the dark side of Crusher in a very hateful and evil mood)  You are guilty of all crimes.  The sentence is death!

Crusher collapses where she stands, naked and corpse-like.  The scene ends with her lying on the ground, her body and face already blue, as if long dead.


Scene begins with Ensign Roe standing guard by the temple's entrance, awaiting her cue.  She is surrounded by a large number of Riwanians, all patiently waiting for what is to happen,.  Some new arrivals pay homage to Ensign Roe, while she does her best to ignore them.  Then Riker's voice comes over her communicator.

Riker:  (voice only)  Ensign Roe, now!

Roe:  (taking a step forward and raising both arms in supplication)  Enterprise!  Save my mistress!  I plead for your appearance, your mercy, and your power.  Enterprise!

Picard beams down behind Roe, who then turns to face her Captain.  Picard is decidedly uncomfortable, particularly at Roe's quick kneeling to him.  He gestures for Roe to rise.

Picard:  Where is your mistress?

Roe indicates by hand gesture, the temple.  Picard then raises his arms in a commanding fashion.

Picard:  Enterprise!

Scene shifts quickly to La Forge, who energizes the phaser.

La Forge:  Energizing.

Scenes shifts to show the effects of the phaser, from the Enterprise to the temple rock and deep into it.

Scene shifts to show La Forge, reporting.

La Forge:  It is done, Enterprise.

Scene shifts back to Picard, still standing before the temple.

Picard:  Kurgarra!  Galatur!  Attend me!

Worf and Data beam down before him, Worf in his Klingon garb and Data dressed in a heavy fur and leather outfit.  Both should be impressive from the viewpoint of appearing as very strange and very beast like.  As they arrive, they immediately bow to Picard, awaiting his orders.  Picard is still uncomfortable.

Picard:  Descend into the depths, find my niece, and return her to me.

Worf and Data each bow lower to acknowledge the order, straighten and take one step back.  They are immediately beamed to the Enterprise's Transporter Room.

Scene shifts to the Transporter Room as Worf and Data arrive.  There Riker and Herman join them.

Riker:  Let's go!

Herman:  Remember what I told you:  how to handle the dark sister.

Riker:  (silently acknowledging Herman's charge)   Energize!

Chief O'Brien beams them though the faser hole to the depths of the temple.

The scene changes as the four arrive in a dismal, dark area of rock.  Initially, there is no resemblance to the place Crusher was last seen, but as they move carefully and begin to scout around, it becomes more recognizable.  Then Data, searching for life signs with his tricorder, indicates a particular direction.

Data:  This way, Commander.

Then, as they move in the direction given by Data, the river of fire lights up, temporarily blocking them.  The fire makes it easier to see, but Crusher is still nowhere to be found.  Suddenly, the dark side of Crusher in her dark robe appears.

Robed Figure:  Why are you here!?

Herman:  To understand your pain.  To attend to you.

Robed Figure:  No one can understand.

Worf:  Then we will help you bear it.

Data:  We will help you share it.

Riker:  We will accept it.

The robed figure seems to suddenly lose all of its menacing and threatening power.  It slinks back in profound sorrow.  Then it fades away.  Indirect lighting comes up to yield a large room, with multiple computer like displays, similar in design to those that Herman encountered in the museum's safe.  They are at first impressed by the room, until Worf sees Crusher, dressed in a magnificent robe, and laying on a slab in the same spot that the robed figure at disappeared.

Worf:  Doctor Crusher!

Worf and Data rush to her side, with Data acting as the physician, diagnosing and attempting to revive Crusher.  Riker also joins them, but is also very much aware of Herman, who has only briefly glanced at Crusher.  With the others distracted, Herman, approaches the computer display, and with brazen confidence, combined with a solemn approach, announces her presence.

Herman:  (bluffing)  I have come!  I am the one!

A flash of light throws Herman back from the computer in a completely no-nonsense manner.  A voice, a masculine aspect of Crusher, says simply and without malice.

Voice:  No, you're not.

Riker and Worf turn back to assist Herman, while Data continues with the Doctor.  As Riker reaches Herman, she is dazed, bewildered, and slightly embarrassed.

Herman:  I guess that didn't work.

Riker:  Apparently not.

Worf:  It's not always wise to play with fire.

As the  two help Herman up, Crusher revives, and Data helps her up.

Data:  Doctor?

Crusher:  (still groggy)  Data!  What are you doing here?  (Then she quickly glances around.)  What am I doing here?  (Abruptly, the memories of her descent flood into her mind.)  Never mind.  I've just remembered.  (She shakes her head in bewilderment at all that has happened to her.)  Suddenly, it's all amazingly clear to me.

Riker:  (approaching Crusher)  Are you ready to travel, Doctor?

Crusher:  I think so.  (A sudden realization hits her.)  No.  Not quite yet.  (Crusher turns and approaches the computer display -- confidently, recognizing it for what it is.  She addresses it directly.)  I understand now.  Thank you.  (When there is no response, she smiles slightly, and turns back to the others.)  I'm ready now.

Herman:  (not wanting to miss the opportunity to investigate)  Wait a minute! We can't leave now.

Voice:  (gently interrupting Riker, who is about to speak)  Yes, you can.

All vanish in a flash of light.  Scene shifts to the Enterprise Transporter Room, where all appear in the same flash of light, startling Chief O'Brien.  At the same time, Helen Maise also appears -- with the same appearance as before, but now apparently recovered.  All are amazed to see her, particularly Herman.

Herman:  Helen!?  Is it you? 

Maise:  What in the world?  Where am I?

Riker:  Aboard the Enterprise.  Where you will be staying for a while.  (Riker effectively takes Herman and Maise into custody, and then turns to Crusher.)  We need you to make one more appearance, Doctor.  The Captain is awaiting you on the planet.

Crusher:  (still on the transporter pad, along with Data and Worf)  I know.  (Then, with complete assurance, as if she had intuited every detail of the plan, she turns to O'Brien.)  Energize.

Crusher, Worf, and Data beam down to the planet.

Scene shifts to Picard and Roe, along with their adoring fans, as Crusher, Worf and Data join them.  Crusher immediately goes to a relieved and smiling Picard to embrace him as a grateful niece to a loving uncle.  Then Crusher turns to the Riwanians to acknowledge them as well.  With total self-assurance, she does a series of gestures, which the Riwanians seem to recognize and mimic.  When she has finished her acknowledgment of them, the Riwanians remain in complete awe as she stands briefly before them.  Then she turns to her comrades, and with total assurance, takes command.

Crusher:  Enterprise!  Five to beam up.

Picard, Crusher, Roe, Worf and Data all beam up.

Scene shifts to the Enterprise bridge as all five enter, joining Riker, La Forge, and Troi.  Worf, Data, and Crusher are still dressed as before.  Troi approaches Crusher to greet her affectionately.

Troi:  Welcome home, Beverly.

Crusher:  Thanks, Deanna.  Everyone.  Thank you.

La Forge:  How was your trip?

Crusher:  (with considerable thought)  Enlightening.

Riker:  Captain, we may have solved the prime directive dilemma.

Picard:  How so, Number One?

Riker:  The planet seems to be under the control of a very powerful computer who would not have allowed us to interfere in the planet's development except to the extent it wanted us to.

Data:  As a benevolent computer, it does appear to have everything well in hand.

Picard:  Well, that's comforting to know.

La Forge:  (noting Worf's dress)  Nice outfit, Worf.

Worf:  Thank you.  Unfortunately, it's not regulation.

Picard:  There's no hurry to change, Mr. Worf.

Data:  (pleased about his own dress)  If your have no objection, Captain, I'd like to keep my costume on for a bit longer myself.

Crusher:  (looking absolutely radiant in her magnificent robe)  I'm certainly in no hurry to change!

Riker:  (to Picard)  It could be challenging, living with a goddess on board.

Picard:  It always has been, Number One.  It always has been.  (Picard turns to Data.)  Mr. Data, take us out of here.

Scene ends.  End of Script.


Interpretation of Inanna’s Descent Myth         Descent into the Underworld

Forward to:

Dance of the Seven Veils


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