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Here we come to what I hope was the low point of Walter Koenig's career.

We see an alien explorer suffer a mishap and crash into the Ark.

Sometime later, Devon, Rachel and Garth discover part of the Ark is open to space, thanks to some sort of collision a year or so earlier. They don space suits and go exploring. Once in a section with air, Garth spots Ydana, a beautiful woman, working on something at one of those standard badly done chemistry lab bench tops so often used to denote a scientist type person. Garth is smitten because Ydana is vaguely woman shaped and living.

The trio learns that although Ydana is native to the Ark, the man she works with is an alien named Oro (Played by Koenig) from the planet Xar. Oro is the person we saw crash into the Ark in an earlier scene and he has spent his time on the Ark exploring it and salvaging items that he can use to repair his ship. Along the way he came across Ydana, who was apparently in some danger, rescued her and recruited her to help him in exchange for a trip to his homeworld.

Devon is not thrilled to discover that Oro is using Ark parts in his ship. He asks for help in repairing the Ark but Oro dismisses this, telling Devon that it cannot be done. Later we learn that what he really means is that it cannot be done in the time before the Ark passes too far from Xar for Oro's repaired ship to reach it.

Garth woos Ydana as only he can, by hanging around her looking vaguely grumpy. He clues in that she is very work oriented and points out that as a black smith whose home culture is stuck in the 1800s, he is qualified to help repair microcircuitry. He demonstrates his skill by hammering on - I am not making this up - an L-shaped tube of metal with a knob on the end. Although at first Ydana is happy to leave Garth sadly pounding his knob, eventually she accepts his offer of help.

Rachel learns something of Ydana's history. Her dome has tainted air and the men live at most 18 years. Women are expected to have lots of kids to maintain the population but Ydana is sterile and a social outcast. It was for this reason she left her home dome.

Eventually, Oro reveals to Devon his other reason for urgency: Ydana is dying. While the women of her dome live longer than the men, the environment has costs for everyone, Ydana included. Oro can save her life but only he gets her to the high technology of Xar quickly enough. Despite the considerable inconvenience saving Ydana means for Oro (whose ship is rather small), his stiff and formal behavior leads the humans to accuse him of being cold and uncaring over and over.

Ydana falls for Garth. Garth manages to get pinned under Oro's ship and Ydana is forced to damage the craft to save Garth's life. Despite this, Oro's ship is still functional when the window to Xar opens. Ydana announces that she will stay behind with Garth. Oro is unhappy in his deeply repressed way. Ydana collapses and Garth concedes that the only way to save her is to make her leave with Oro. Ydana is placed on Oro's ship and the pair leave for Xar.

Comments: I should probably have mentioned that the trio's Amishoid wardrobe has been added to and they now wear futuristic jump suits from time to time.

I had underestimated the utility of blacksmithing in the electronics field.

Garth still runs the flame of his forge at a temperature too low to melt most metals. It's a metaphor for his entire life, I think.

All of the humans treat Oro like crap, even when he is trying to help one of them. Devon's xenophibic impulses appear well developed.


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