Studying an ancient comet at close range, the crew of the Enterprise becomes aware of strange objects appearing on board. An unexplained surge of energy affects the ship's computer systems and Data as well. The comet is revealed to be an archaic spaceborne artifact of a bygone alien civilization. The Enterprise's computer is filled with symbols and hieroglyphics whose meanings are known only to Data, though he has never before encountered anything like them. Soon, Data himself is transformed, exhibiting a number of personalities from the alien archive. The ship's computer and even parts of the ship itself transform themselves into objects whose function can only be deduced by studying the alien civilization. But by the time Picard and the others can gain an understanding of what has taken control of their ship, the Enterprise and Data will be transformed into an ancient alien temple - and its resident goddess.