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On Stardate 51762 Voyager encountered Steth, an alien being who was testing a form of drive system based on a co-axial warp core. Starfleet engineers had dreamed about this system for years, but had never been able to make a working example. The system allows a vessel to 'fold' the very fabric of space, allowing a ship to travel instantaneously across large distances.
The ship Voyager encountered was in some difficulty, with the co-axial warp core threatening to explode - an event which would cause all space within one billion kilometres to collapse. Voyager was able to correct the problem by encasing the ship in a symmetric warp field to contain any instabilities in the core, a technique covered in Advanced subspace geometry.
The ships pilot, Steth, said he had jumped to Voyagers location from the Benthan system some twenty light years away. He asked for help in repairing the drive and Captain Janeway agreed. The problem lay in the co-axial induction drive, a unit which draws in subatomic particles and reconfigures their internal geometry in order to make space folding possible. Particle instabilities would overload the ships engines; after some investigation, Lieutenant Paris decided that they needed to dilute the particle stream as it entered the drive using a polaric modulator from one of Voyagers impulse engines. This would act in a manner similar to a 20th century automobile, providing a quick and easy solution to the problem.
With this modification the co-axial drive performed apparently flawlessly, and although Voyager suffered some problems due to Steth's antisocial actions while on board the ship, eventually the vessel proceeded on its way.1