The planet Kirlos – an artificial world built by a mysterious long-dead race called the Ariantu. Kirlos is now home to many races from both the Federation and the K'vin Hegemony, who have enjoyed years of peaceful co-existence and profitable trade. The planet also hold a wealth of undiscovered archaeological treasures, which the USS Enterprise-D and its crew are dispatched to help uncover.
Sent to the surface to assist an archaeological team, Geordi, Data, and Worf soon find themselves cut off from the Enterprise – and the prime suspects in a series of terrorist attacks. The three Enterprise crewmen are imprisoned, relations between the K'vin and the Federation begin to crumble, and Kirlos' ancient underground machinery awakens from a centuries long dormancy, primed to release the most powerful destructive force ever known.