Captain's log, star date 41309.5.
We are orbiting Persephone V,
where I have been sent to confer with Admiral Mark Jameson
in regard to an extraordinary situation.
Starfleet received this subspace transmission two days ago, Admiral.
- Let's see it, Captain. - On viewer.
I am Karnas, Governor of Mordan IV.
A dissident group of terrorists
have taken Federation Ambassador Hawkins and his staff hostage.
They will not discuss terms with me.
This is a crisis I cannot resolve.
The terrorists are demanding a Federation negotiator.
I feel there is only one negotiator
with the skills to resolve the situation.
The lives of the hostages depends on Starfleet bringing this man here.
Cmdr Mark Jameson. Admiral Jameson.
The terrorists have given you six Earth days to deliver him,
or the hostages will die.
Starfleet cannot understand why this crisis has developed.
Mordan IV has finally gained peace after decades of civil war.
- 40 years of civil war, Captain. - Yes, sir.
Karnas was largely responsible for the planet's unification and peace.
Why should he now be unable to deal with this rebellious faction?
45 years ago I negotiated a hostage situation on Mordan, Captain.
Karnas was a young man then,... but so was l.
He seems to feel that I can handle things again.
I'm to take you to Mordan IV as soon as you're ready, Admiral.
My wife and I will beam aboard at 1500 hours, Captain.
- Acknowledge. - Received and acknowledged, sir.
Picard out.
Nearly 1500 now, sir.
Well, Number One, let's go and welcome the Admiral aboard.
Welcome aboard, Admiral. This is my Executive Officer, Cmdr Riker.
My pleasure, sir. Ma'am.
My wife, Anne.
Captain, there are certain details of this mission you should understand
before we begin.
- Yes, sir. - I am not just an adviser.
On any assignment I accompany,
Starfleet has designated me Senior Mission Officer.
I control the away team and all its actions. Is that understood?
Of course, Captain, you command the ship, but the mission is mine.
I trust you are in full agreement?
Yes, sir. Of course.
Space, the final frontier.
These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise.
Its continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds,... seek out new life and new civilizations,... boldly go where no one has gone before.
Message coming in from Mordan, sir.
Put it on the screen, Mr. Data.
Mordan IV to Enterprise. This is Karnas. I will speak to the Captain.
I am Capt Picard, commanding the Enterprise.
Is Admiral Jameson on board?
He's here, beside my First Officer.
Do you wish to speak to him now?
So, Jameson, I see time has not been kind.
It seldom is, Karnas.
But we could save a good deal of it,
if you'll outline the terrorists' demands.
They insist all discussions will take place here on Mordan.
They refuse to speak to me, only to a Federation mediator.
They say they will brook no excuses.
If there are any offered, the hostages will die... unpleasantly.
I believe them. So should you, Admiral.
Tell them... I accept the conditions of negotiation.
I will do so immediately.
He doesn't seem to know much about the situation.
Wrong, Number One.
He told me that the terrorists are desperate enough to kill if crossed.
They are willing to talk, one on one, but not to him.
From his body language, as well as his words and tone,
I'd judge that what Karnas said was honest.
But I sensed a holding back.
Perhaps he knows more about them than he's prepared to admit.
Possible, but I suspect it's closer to the mark if we said
he doesn't want to admit failure of his own efforts to negotiate.
- He is a proud man. - That could be.
Karnas has established himself as a powerful man on Mordan.
Suddenly, in this situation, his power is useless.
Sickbay to bridge. I'm ready for Admiral Jameson now.
In a few moments, Doctor.
Ready for what, Captain?
It's just a routine medical checkup. Ship's regulations.
I don't understand how Karnas knew that you were still... available.
- Still alive, you mean? - You could've been dead.
Quite right, Commander, but I am not,
and I imagine Ambassador Hawkins has told him that.
I briefed the Ambassador about Mordan before he took up residence.
Karnas has a problem he thinks you can resolve.
What do the terrorists need that Karnas can't, or won't, give them?
Mordan's had peace for five years.
They're finally at a state of productivity
which satisfies their planetary needs, but no more than that.
Perhaps the dissidents feel the Federation could provide more.
I have negotiated many treaties on many planets.
Peace, or the appearance of it, is often a prelude to war.
Admiral, are you suggesting the terrorists want arms and weapons?
They may. I am suggesting that Karnas is the last man to give them weapons.
I see. You believe that Karnas would not negotiate on that point,
and so the terrorists demanded an outside negotiator.
I know Karnas. He is a warrior. He lives for challenge.
These people have insulted his honour by taking the embassy staff hostage.
I'll negotiate, but I'll have to be very careful in dealing with Karnas.
He'll want revenge for that insult.
Well, it's about time. Couldn't get away from the bridge?
Didn't want to. Feels good to be on one again.
I'm glad, Mark. You want me to help you up?
You're stronger today.
I'm fine. I feel like a kid again.
This ship is magnificent.
It even has family quarters.
Pity we didn't have them 20, 30 years ago.
We could have been together almost all of your career.
- Mark? I'll get sickbay. - No.
There's no need. It's... happened before.
When? You haven't said anything.
It'll pass. Just give me a moment.
See, I'm... better. It's going away.
What is it? Did the doctors know?
Just body changes. Last checkup they said I'd have to expect it.
You're sure? Don't lie to me.
I'm sure.
All the medical information the Admiral provided is satisfactory.
- Excellent, Doctor. - Except for one thing.
The test results he gave aren't two days old, they're two months old.
The medical records coder includes the date within the file number.
He lied to me and I don't know why.
He is 85 years old. For some, memory starts to fail.
He suffers from Iverson's disease. That affects the body, not the mind.
No, I have a gut feeling he's hiding something.
That is an observation I would expect from Troi.
I do respect your opinion,...
..and I'll want you on the bridge for a few days.
The Admiral must remain in the best of health for these negotiations,
and he might require your services.
Admiral, we're approaching the Idini star cluster.
Would you like to take the conn as we make transit?
Thank you, Captain. I would.
Well, Admiral, quite a little surprise you've pulled on us.
Yes, quite.
Neglected to mention...
I began some new therapy before l... left. Seems to be working.
I haven't felt this good since the last time I was in space.
All I needed to get me up was the thought of commanding a ship again.
Admiral, you only have the conn temporarily.
A figure of speech. She's your ship.
I'll just keep an eye on her for a while.
The Admiral displayed a remarkable improvement.
No one recovers from Iverson’s disease.
There's no cure, and it's never gone into remission.
I know of no therapy that would produce such results.
- How do you account for it? - I can't.
The Admiral has been confined to his chair for four years now
because of Iverson’s.
By all the medical facts we know, he should never have walked again.
- Look into it, Doctor, thoroughly. - Yes, sir.
The terrorists have given you six Earth days to deliver him,...
..or the hostages will die.
I don't know how much more you think you can get from that tape.
- My God! What's happened? - It's the new therapy I'm taking.
It's... working, Annie.
I told you I just needed to get back in space again.
- You really are looking much better. - It's the new treatment.
No,... come here.
I hope you're heading for the bedroom.
You stop it.
Darling, you look like you looked 20 years ago.
You flatter me.
Now, you tell me what the hell is going on.
I don't know.
Sickbay, medical emergency in the Admiral's quarters.
I found chemical substances in his blood and tissue samples,
but none of them are in our pharmacopoeia.
I'm still working on alien references to such substances.
But he's certainly ingested something that's strongly affecting his body.
Specifics, Doctor.
I can't give specifics until I do a lot more tests.
- What do you have? - His red cell count's running riot.
The cellular structure of his body is changing,
but we don't know what it's changing to.
His DNA is skewed.
Don't ask me how, but he even looks younger.
And, Captain, there are absolutely no traces of Iverson’s disease.
You said there was no cure.
None that we know of.
Whatever these substances are doing, at least they've done that.
But how or why? It's too early to say.
Get me some answers, Doctor. As soon as possible.
Yes, sir.
Mrs. Jameson, I have to ask the Admiral some questions.
Ask away.
There's nothing to hide now.
Sir, in addition to your rank, you are particularly valuable just now.
Starfleet has a right to some answers.
I've planned this for a long time, ever since I learned I had Iverson’s.
- Since it put me in that chair. - What did you do?
There's a planet in the Cerebus system: Cerebus II.
They have a process that rejuvenates the body,
gives you your youth back.
I've heard that story. It's a myth.
It's true, Picard. I'm living proof.
It's dangerous. The mortality rate is high, and it's very painful.
Aliens are seldom allowed to obtain the process, but I managed it.
I negotiated a treaty for Cerebus Il some years ago,
and they felt obligated to honour my request for the process.
Obviously it works rapidly, but how does it work?
The herb and drug combinations
are self-administered slowly over a period of two years.
Every response is different depending on a being's DNA.
I got enough for both of us, but I had to test it. I couldn't risk you.
If I died, well, I was half a man, so what did it matter?
- It would matter to me. - I was starting to change.
It... was almost undetectable, but the improvement was there.
Then when this hostage crisis came up, I knew I had to be at my peak.
I couldn't wait for the drug to work naturally...
- So you took the whole dose? - Both of them.
And look at me, Annie.
I'm strong. I'm alert. Fit. I'm fitter than you are, Picard.
I'm getting younger.
The only question I have is why you thought it necessary to be young
to negotiate the hostages' release.
Even willing to put your life at risk for it.
I'll be on the bridge, Admiral, if you want to talk further.
Why didn't you tell me, Mark?
We've always been honest with each other until now.
I did it for us.
I'm sure you believed that,
until you had a chance to lead a mission, and to command again.
Then you just upended the bottle, or whatever it was,
and damn everything.
Did you think about me at all?
I obtained enough of the dosage for both of us.
But you never asked if I wanted it.
It's just like you
to assume that what you felt was right was the answer.
It was the right answer for me.
It was killing you, caring for an invalid.
What good was l? We can be together again.
Let me go.
I can get you another supply of the drug.
Cmdr Data, I wish to open a communication frequency to Karnas.
- Aye, sir. - One moment.
Admiral, this is Picard. May I know the reason for this communication?
Karnas must have tried to negotiate before he was forced to call on me.
I want all the information he has access to.
You said Karnas was proud, and probably sensitive to his failure.
Is it wise to press him?
I am the negotiator.
Karnas will have to cooperate with me, and damn his sensitivities.
Then may I suggest a secured channel, Admiral?
A sensible precaution, Picard. Make it so.
- Make it so. - Aye, sir.
Frequency open and secured.
- Karnas. - What is it, Admiral?
We're on a secured channel, Karnas. You can talk freely.
Who's behind this thing? You said dissidents.
Yes, political opponents who feel the Federation will disavow me
if they stir up enough trouble here.
Then who is it? Ardan? Gilnor?
They're dead, Jameson. A long time now.
A long time I thought you were dead, too.
I almost died a few times on missions,
but I always survived somehow.
Yes. Now you're returning to Mordan to negotiate for hostages again.
It's almost as though the 45 years in between never happened.
You've never forgiven me.
Of course I have. It was years ago.
There are no dissidents, are there?
No terrorists. You have the hostages.
And if I have... ? You're coming to Mordan,
and you're going to negotiate for their lives.
And I'm going to ask a very, very high price.
- What if I refuse? - Then the hostages will die.
You've seen how my executioners work.
They are still as efficient as they were, perhaps even more skilled now.
You'll come,... even if you don't have much honour left.
Conn, are we still on schedule to arrive at Mordan in 38 hours?
Aye, sir, we're at warp four.
I want to jump to warp eight, so we arrive ahead of our announced ETA.
It'll throw Karnas off balance, and we can catch him before he's ready.
Ready for what exactly?
I believe Karnas has the hostages and there never were any dissidents.
Why have you come to that conclusion?
I'm not at liberty to say,
but negotiations are no longer the answer.
Isn't the most important thing the hostages' lives?
And you agree, Riker?
- I do. - Good.
Because I plan to lead the away team on an armed mission
to get them out of there.
Cmdr Data, bring up the plans I requested on the view screen, please.
Aye, sir.
Most of Mordan's principal city was devastated during the war.
What was left consisted largely of a network of underground tunnels.
A rats' maze. When they rebuilt the city, they built over the tunnels.
I have it, sir.
Sir, where do these tunnels come into the picture?
It's where Karnas held his hostages before,
and where I believe he has them now.
Wouldn't that be too obvious?
Karnas is a dogged strategist, not a brilliant one.
He sticks to what works.
He will kill the hostages if we do not get them out.
Therefore this armed raid is the only option?
You don't agree?
With respect, I would point out
that no one else has heard Karnas's demands.
The Federation might view them differently if they knew of them.
Starfleet has given me command of the away team, Picard,
and I intend to use them as I see fit.
Our anniversary is next week. Our 50th.
In his heart, he's still the same man you married.
That's true.
He still cares for you, despite the physical changes he's undergoing.
But he's getting younger, and I'm... Well, look at me.
Why did he do this?
Because there are lives at stake, Mrs. Jameson.
Well, what about our lives, his and mine?
I was looking forward to time together, finally. Our retirement.
Now he's young again, and has his life to live over.
- Doctor, she has to know. - Know what?
- Your husband... - What is it?
He's not stabilizing.
He may not have that life to live over.
We'll be at Mordan in three hours.
I couldn't sleep, either.
I never could before a mission.
I always wound up in the observation lounge, staring out, thinking.
Perhaps in this case,... rethinking.
Why is this so important? Why did you risk your life to lead it?
I want to save lives, Captain.
Noble sentiments, but that's too easy an answer.
You've been here before.
You negotiated a release of the hostages with Karnas before.
Why is it now your answer is an armed raid?
It's my away team you're sending in there.
There's something you're not saying. I have a right to know.
Do you know the background?
The Mordanites had some sophistication,
but were still ruled by family tribal units.
Karnas's father was the ruling chief of one of the families.
Another tribe had him assassinated.
Karnas seized the passengers of a star liner and held them hostage,
demanding that Starfleet provide him with weapons
that would enable him to defeat his rivals.
That's the official record.
the story is that after two other mediators were murdered,
I went in and negotiated with Karnas to bring out the hostages.
Are you saying that's not the truth?
It wasn't my... golden oratory that saved them, Captain.
I gave Karnas the weapons he wanted.
You did what?
I gave the same weapons to his rivals.
My interpretation of the Prime Directive.
Let them solve their problems with those arms on an equal basis.
And that decision plunged them into 40 years of civil war.
I didn't know that would happen. I thought it'd be over in a year.
How would I know it would take four decades?
But l... falsified the records to Starfleet.
I lived with that on my soul.
63 people came away safe,
but millions died on Mordan because I delivered those weapons.
Karnas could have worked for peace instead of fighting.
- It's not all on your head. - But I started it. I lit the match.
Now finally I can vindicate myself, if only in a small way.
I came to negotiate, but that isn't what Karnas wants.
Revenge. That's why he demanded you when he knew you were still alive.
I'm not going to give it to him.
I will do what I should have done last time.
We're taking the hostages out by force, if necessary. No deals.
- Prepare to energize, Chief. - Belay that.
Admiral, your proper place is on the bridge.
I will remind you one more time, Picard.
I am the Senior Mission Commander and I am leading this team.
The Admiral is correct, Number One. He has that right.
But I am the Captain of this ship, and I have a right to accompany him.
Riker, you're in command of the Enterprise. Energize.
Yes. Perfect.
We are in the M-4 tunnel, directly under the Governor's residence.
M-4 is a subsidiary tunnel, but it links with several main ones.
Sorry, sir. That does not correspond with the information in my tricoder.
It is incorrect. I know the tunnels like the back of my hand.
Keep scanning for signs of human life forms.
Karnas held the hostages in these tunnels before. He'll do it again.
Captain, the Admiral is definitely incorrect.
Our tunnel schematics show this was sealed off two years ago.
No doubt you're right.
But 45 years ago, I'm sure it joined the tunnels the Admiral remembers.
This is steel plast, sir. Fairly recent installation.
This is the most direct route. Set phasers to cut through it.
If you have the coordinates where the hostages are, we could beam there.
Karnas may not have them together.
There's no substitute, Lieutenant, for a personal reconnoiter.
Admiral, there's an infrared light signal ahead.
Steady beam, across the tunnel, chest-high. Another at waist level.
- An alarm trigger or... - Reset phasers to stun.
Take cover!
Look out!
Their phasers are set on kill.
Thank you, Mr. Data. I have heard the sound before.
- Is he hit? - No sign of a wound.
Enterprise, this is Picard. Six to beam up, now!
The Admiral?
Sickbay. "Not good" is a galactic understatement.
Sir? Karnas again. On screen.
There has been an armed intrusion in the tunnels beneath the city.
That smells of Jameson. Where is he?
This is Picard. I'm sorry to inform you, the Admiral is critically ill.
That is not my concern.
Sick or well, you have ten minutes to beam him down.
- Sickbay to bridge. - Picard.
Dr. Crusher requests your presence immediately, sir.
I'm on my way.
What is it, Doctor?
I think you'd better see for yourself.
- I have to get to Karnas. - I can't allow it.
It's my last option. The raid failed. All I have to bargain with is myself.
- Bridge to Picard. - Picard here.
A new message from Karnas, sir.
We deliver Jameson in five minutes, or a hostage dies.
15 minutes after that, another.
He promises the method of execution will be most painful.
Let me go. If I give myself over to him, he'll let the hostages go.
It's me he wants.
It means almost certain death for you.
My life for how many hostages? 20?
Let me go.
Inform Karnas we'll be beaming down in under five minutes.
- Did you say "we", sir? - You have your orders.
Aye, sir.
Who are you? I want Jameson.
Karnas,... this is Admiral Mark Jameson.
This... charade will accomplish nothing, Picard.
Beam down Jameson and the hostages will be freed.
Continue this and they will die. And you with them.
Peretor Karnas, you always were stubborn. I thought you wanted me.
I'm here. Release the hostages now.
Peretor was my old title. Why do you call me that?
I warn you, Picard. This trick is going on too far.
He has been coached for some devious reason.
If this farce does not stop immediately,
you and the hostages will be put to death.
I am waiting for an explanation, Captain.
He is the Admiral!
He took an overdose of an alien de-ageing drug.
He... wanted to face you with strength again, on even terms.
- This is what the drug has done. - This story is unbelievable!
Jameson is a man of more than 80 years, not this!
I want that old man, Picard.
I want to show him this world he helped to make.
The scars on old soldiers' bodies. The graveyards of our young dead.
The wasted cities that we are still rebuilding.
And all of it caused by him.
It was you who demanded the weapons to avenge your father's death.
But Jameson didn't give weapons to only us.
If he had, we would have quickly beaten our enemies
and there would have been peace long ago.
I want him to pay for that, Picard.
I think Mrs. Jameson should beam down now.
Enterprise, this is Picard. Have Mrs. Jameson prepare to beam down.
We have brought visual records we made of the Admiral's deterioration.
- Look at them. - Don't waste my time.
Just a few moments.
- You saw the Admiral en route here? - Yes.
- And recognized him? - Yes.
Is this who you saw?
- This is the man I want! - He's here, Karnas. Look.
Once he took the compound, there was no way to stop it.
You'll have to deal with me, Karnas.
Whatever you wanted from Jameson isn't possible now.
And you wanted revenge. You blamed your war on him.
No doubt he had a lot to do with it, but you used the weapons.
You could've tried for negotiations for peace on your planet long ago.
Instead, you chose to fight.
How many of those 40 years of war are on your head?
Jameson must pay. I've sworn it to my people.
45 years ago he made the wrong decision. He wanted to right it,
to atone for what he did.
Now all he can do is give himself up to you.
He brought this retribution on himself.
No. I don't believe you.
You're shielding Jameson on the ship. This tale is to save his life.
Peretor Karnas,... there were only two of us in the meeting.
You didn't even trust your lieutenants there.
You told me that old Peretor Sain had ordered your father's assassination.
You told me that you wanted arms to destroy him.
Peace... wasn't on your mind. All you wanted was revenge.
And I gave you the weapons to do it.
Jameson told you this.
If it is you, show me the scar.
There! The blood cut you gave me to seal our bargain.
It is you.
Somehow... it is you.
Then die by your own weapon!
No. No, my revenge will be in seeing you live like this.
Such pain.
His cells are being forced to go younger. They can't take the stress.
It's like they're imploding. I can't give him anything to stop it.
Can you ease the pain?
Mark, can you hear me?
I will always love you.
Annie with the golden hair.
Flatterer. It's grey now.
I see only the gold.
Rest, Jameson.
Your long night,... and mine,... are over.
The hostages will be freed immediately, Captain.
I'm... prepared to be... cooperative.
The hostages have been freed by Karnas, unharmed.
The body of Admiral Mark Jameson has been buried on Mordan,
at the request of his widow, and by the permission of Karnas.
The quest for youth, Number One... So futile.
Age and wisdom have their graces too.
I wonder if one doesn't have to have age and wisdom to appreciate that.
I hope not, Number One.
Mr. La Forge, prepare to take us out of orbit.
- Set course for Isis III. - Aye, sir. Leaving orbit.

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