The crew of the Enterprise-C and Admonitor discover that the future is not as good as its cracked up to be.
As the light dissipates from before the viewscreen, they are met with a view of space. A check of the chronometer shows that they have arrived in the year 2407. A collective sigh is breathed by all as they realize that they just survived an impossibility. Questions swim through their minds: is the Federation still in power? What about the Klingons? Or the Romulans? What has happened in the galaxy since they vanished from it?
Their arrival seems to be, at first, completely unnoticed. The only thing that comes their way is a bio-pod with a single life-sign notes within. Young orders the bio-pod brought to Sick Bay, but suddenly remembers that the USS Admonitor has no CMO. With the help of Dr. Boreas, she is able to stabilize the life-form, which suddenly went critical.
Reginald Barclay, captain of the USS Liberty, stares in disbelief at the view-screen, which shows to him a scene from the past: the bridge of the USS Enterprise-C. He asks if Rachel Garrett is there, but Shield says that she died, along with all the former senior officers. Though his first officer tells him that any being from the past coming to the future will alter the time-line, no chrono-distortions are detected, leading Barclay to believe that they have actually come into the 25th century with no ill effect on the present.
Turning back to Shield, he tells him that, having somehow survived Narendra III, the USS Enterprise-C and its crew are war-heroes. Edward Shield tells Captain Barclay that his comrades of the USS Admonitor should also be awarded for equal bravery, but Barclay says he has never heard of such a ship in the records of registered Starfleet vessels, past or present. Shield says that he would like to meet with the Federation Council and Starfleet Command, in order to make it known that his ship has returned. Barclay doesn't have clearance, and therefore says that he cannot let them enter Sector 001 before a member of Starfleet Command addresses them first. Shield permits this, since he is in no hurry to be going anywhere.
As they wait, the crew of the USS Liberty come aboard to meet the war-heroes from the past. Captain Barclay is fascinated by the USS Admonitor and its potential, stating that he'd love to bring this in to Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards to examine thoroughly. Young, however, is wary about letting people view the alien-augmented systems, though no threat is apparent to her.
While the USS Liberty is being hosted, Rookwood is not intrigued by these future people, only concerned with her personnel-file: made before she joined the Enterprise crew. Suddenly she remembers the corpse she encountered on Ten-Forward. If there was an Alicia Rookwood in the prime universe, then that would mean that she must have had a family and siblings, and they must have had children who lasted into the 25th century: to Rookwood, this is a chance to, perhaps, discover clues about the past she never had.
A few hours later, the USS Viceroy and its escort enter the Jjorek system, at the behest of captain Barclay. As the highest ranking Starfleet officer in the area, Kathryn Janeway tells Shield and Young that they must meet with her for debriefing. They agree to this and meet on the Viceroy.
The meeting begins with Janeway being amazed that a ship from the past could have entered the present (or, in their case, the future) without altering the natural flow of time or the historical records. According to official records, the USS Enterprise was destroyed with all hands at Narendra III in 2344, and no such ship as the USS Admonitor was ever commissioned. That being the case, she asks them to tell her everything that happened from 2344 onward, and how they came to survive an impossible situation.
Young silently cautions Shield from divulging information, so instead, he changes the subject by asking Janeway about the 25th century. Though this merits her concern, she complies to his request. According to her reports, the 25th century is nothing short of paradise. The Klingons are now members of the Federation, the majority of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants have been explored and colonized, new advances in all fields of the sciences and a thousand other accomplishments to boot are just a few of the things mentioned in Janeway's long list of the benefits of the Federation of the 25th century.
The bio-pod is hatching in the Admonitor's sick bay. Dr. Boreas has been called in from the Enterprise-C because the Admonitor has no CMO. Despite this slight delay (and the annoyance of having Admiral Janeway and Captain Barclay looking over their shoulders all the time), the being is hatched...it looks almost humanoid. Everyone is stunned to see a humanoid hatch from a bio-pod, and so Captain Barclay summons the Liberty's EMH to the Admonitor's sick-bay. After a quick analysis, the EMH is stunned: the lifeform is Jem'Hadar, but it is female.
Barclay tells Dr. Boreas to kill the lifeform immediately. Janeway, Shield, Dr. Boreas and Young are stunned at this, asking why Barclay insists. He tells them that none of them have ever encountered the Dominion, and therefore they have no idea what that thing will become. He tells them that, in less than a week, that seemingly harmless infant will become an indestructible killing machine, loyal only to the Dominion. Janeway suggests that it might not be of any harm, since the Federation has heard nothing from the Dominion in 30 years. Shield, who along with Young and Dr. Boreas knows nothing of the Dominion War, asks for an explanation, and Barclay takes them out of sick bay to tell them what he witnessed first hand during the war.
After having explained in brief the history of the Dominion War and the Jem'Hadar, Barclay once again insists that the hatchling be destroyed. Young, however, is intrigued as to how a female of a male-only-hybrid-race came to be. Barclay blames it on a faulty EMH, which does not meet with the hologram's approval (after which Barclay switches it off), or some freak accident or another which should not be bothered with due to the gravity of the current situation.
But Young is adamant. Since the creature was born on her ship, she takes responsibility of it and says that it won't be killed as long as it is on her ship. Shield agrees, followed by Dr. Boreas and then Admiral Janeway; the latter of whom says that it would be interesting to let this being live, since it is something completely new, especially to its race.
Barclay leaves without another word.
An hour later, Admiral Janeway is discussing the birth of the female-Jem'Hadar with Young. She impresses upon her the possibilities of this new discovery: not only is it a biogenic impossibility, but, having a Jem'Hadar raised outside of the Dominion would open more doors than Janeway can describe. Young is concerned that doing so might infringe on its personal rights, but Janeway assures her that the Jem'Hadar are not trained to be individuals, and that this opportunity would be just what they need to bring individuality into their race. Lianna Young admits that her "voyaging spirit" has been dulled by the three years of conflict; and that there is something about Kathryn Janeway and this current situation that has inspired within her once again the spirit of exploration. Janeway says that she's glad to be of service, and then states that it is time for her to leave. She admits that she will need to have Shield debrief her fully regarding the events of the 24th century, but Lianna Young offers to do likewise.
Just as they begin, the USS Admonitor goes to red alert.
It has taken heavy fire from the Liberty. Captain Barclay demands that Lianna Young surrender the Jem'Hadar infant at once or risk destruction. Janeway orders Barclay to stand down, as he is not only firing on a fellow Federation starship, but on one carrying a Starfleet admiral. Barclay says that the USS Admonitor is not a Federation starship since it is not listed in any Starfleet registries, and adds that she doesn't know the danger the infant Jem'Hadar possesses.
With her ship in danger, Young orders Nox to fire on the Liberty, but its shields are already raised. She then orders the Manual Override to be activated, so that she has personal control of the S'srelli Quantum phaser array. With these, she critically damages the weapons on the Liberty. Completely incapable of fighting, Barclay warns them all that they have no idea what a terror they have allowed to let live.
Janeway apologizes to Young and Shield, who witnessed this transpire: she tells them that "Reg" is the "black sheep" of both her and Admiral Picard, that they shouldn't take it that the entire future is full of people like him. They accept her apology and bid her farewell; when she asks them what their course will be, Shield says that they should expect them in Earth soon. Janeway reminds Shield that he still owes her the debriefing. As her ship departs, Shield returns to the Enterprise and Lianna Young takes her seat on the Admonitor.
When she asks him where they should go, he replies by saying that he never told the admiral when to expect them on Earth; this elicits a smile from both of them.