Geordi's on a holodate with some random crewmember. I thought Star Fleet officers didn't have social lives. Tsk. She gives him the "let's just be friends" speech, but puts a dampner on the date. Meanwhile, Data and Wesley are playing 3D chess against the backdrop of an asteroid field - all that remains of a couple of civilisations which destroyed each other a thousand years ago. They're called to the bridge because a distress call has been detected, and they find a drifting Promellian battle cruiser.
Picard wants to beam aboard, despite Riker's reservations, and gives a speech about ships in bottles. Shortly after beaming Picard's party over, there's a power failure. O'Brien used to build ships in bottles, BTW.
On the ship, they find dead Promellians. Picard is impressed by their engineering.
Geordi turns to drink, and Guinen says she fancies bald men. Geordi admits he's clueless when it comes to women. Perhaps he should ask Wesley about them? You know you're in trouble when Wesley has a better record with women.
Picard, Data and Worf explore the Promellian ship some more, or at least the bridge, since that's the only set they built, and eventually beam back to the Enterprise. Troi and Riker are both amused at Picard's enthusiasm over the ship.
Suddenly, the ship is bombarded by radiation and something is mysteriously draining their energy. Also, the engines aren't working and Geordi doesn't know why. Somebody set them up the bomb!
The crew work on (a) getting the ship moving, and (b) preparing for possible radiation exposure. On the Promellian ship, Riker and co find A Clue. Geordi brings up a holodeck sim of the Enterprise engines prototype so he can test a theory about reorienting the dilithium crystals and accidentally calls up a holo-sim of Starfleet engineer Leah Brahms. This won't end well.
Data attempts to recover logs recorded by the Promellian captain.
Geordi comes up with a plan to increase engine power, and also gets the computer to stick a personality in sim-Brahms. This leads to an argument over her theories. "I know this ship, inside and out." "Then you must know me, inside and out." FILTH! Seriously, that is quite disturbing.
Meanwhile, one of the logs points them to some devices hidden in the debris field. They use the phasers, but the power is absorbed by the devices. Data said this might happen... so why didn't they use photon torpedoes?! Picard orders all non-essential power shut down to reduce the energy drain.
Geordi and sim-Brahms work on the theory that they can make changes faster then the booby trap devices can adjust. Sim-Brahms thinks that the computer can make the changes fast enough. Picard and Riker debate whether turning the ship over to the computer is a good idea. Sim-Brahms tries a few simulations, but they don't get promising results...
They prepare to turn control over to the computer, but Geordi has a new plan - turn everything off except life support and two thrusters. Picard takes the com and plays Asteroids for ten minutes. Data reports that gravitational forces have slowed the ship, so Picard performs a slingshot manouvre with an asteroid, successfully getting them out of the debris field. Then Worf blows up the Promellian ship (why?!) and the debris.
Geordi farewells sim-Brahms, who gives another disturbing speech about how every time he touches the engine, he's touching her. What kind of kinks does the Enterprise computer have, exactly? Thus endith the episode.