Captain's log, stardate 42686.4.
We are going to Starbase Montgomery for Engineering consultations
prompted by minor read-out anomalies.
- I consider them insignificant. - What if you're wrong?
Sorry. But what if it is more than a mere discrepancy?
Then we have a problem.
Agreed. Montgomery can give us an independent reading.
Even if controls have failed,
we can re-crystallize dilithium without outside help.
Don't worry. My ego isn't at stake here.
We could reprogram the system to correct the variables.
That's an option, but as we're stopping at Montgomery anyway,
they can do the analysis.
I don't recall Montgomery being on the itinerary.
We could all use a 12-hour layover.
I've received some personnel transfer directives, priority matter.
Boarding or disembarking?
We're approaching Starbase Montgomery.
Go to half-impulse power.
Will you come to the observation lounge when you're done?
I've been recollecting the arrival
of a new First Officer on board the Enterprise,
and a manual docking confidently achieved.
Well, I may have been miserly in my congratulations then,
so let me make up for it now.
The Captain of Starship Aries is retiring.
Congratulations. You've been selected as his replacement.
She's in the Vega-Omicron Sector.
They have picked up indications of intelligent life,
though nothing confirmed.
Starfleet wants to know more.
That's why they want you, not for your military proficiency,
but for your skill as an explorer, and as a diplomat.
It'll take months just to get there.
With no guarantee of finding anything when you arrive.
You have 12 hours to consider it.
And if it's not too premature, congratulations, Captain.
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.
- Establish synchronous orbit. - Aye, sir.
Montgomery is sending a civilian adviser to brief you on the mission.
A personal briefing?
An attaché with knowledge in the frontier regions.
You'll find the briefing interesting.
I hope it's complete. My decision will be based on it.
Cmdr Riker to transporter room three.
You're right on time, Commander. He's on his way now.
You're the civilian adviser and attaché?
I wanted it kept quiet. I didn't want to get you excited.
It's been 15 years. Excitement is hardly appropriate.
You've done well. First Officer on the Enterprise.
- Quite a feather in your cap. - I've worked hard.
Of course. I'm proud of you, son.
Excuse me. I have my duties.
When you've settled in, we can complete our briefing.
Have Security arrange an escort.
Aye, sir.
Worf, did you hear about Cmdr Riker's promotion?
He didn't know it was his father. Imagine if it was your father.
- I never knew mine. - Nor me.
It is a waste of time to think of such things.
I wasn't, but everybody needs somebody.
Montgomery didn't have to send all this help.
I've checked for anomalous frequencies,
so don't waste your time on that.
Wes. Are you OK?
I was just talking to Worf. He's really eccentric at times.
That's one word for it.
He was really upset. I must've said something wrong.
Maybe he's just not thrilled at the prospect of losing Cmdr Riker.
I'm not.
Neither am l, but with Worf it was something else.
- Something's really bothering him. - Think so?
- Female? - No.
- Family. - That is trouble.
You choose your enemies and friends, but family, that's in the stars.
So I've heard.
Kyle Riker! Excuse me, ladies.
Great to see you.
Kyle. Been a long time.
This is more than a surprise, it's a total shock.
- You didn't bake me a cake? - You're actually here.
That makes two of us. How about a drink?
How about a kiss?
- They know each other. - No kidding?
I know her, too, but we don't do that.
You look wonderful.
It has nothing to do with Cmdr Riker's assignment?
No. His reaction was the opposite of mine. Completely unaffected.
With all that's going on, maybe you're overreacting.
Really? You try talking to Worf, Geordi.
He is not normal for Worf.
There is a predisposition toward hostility in Klingons,
but Worf has been unusually out of sorts.
He's never been much on charm.
I think we should try to help. He is our friend.
l, for one, want to keep him friendly.
Empirical study. Monitor the subject.
Right. Watch the subject for unusual behaviour.
Won't be difficult.
Within the norm of Klingon patterns. Discretion will be required.
Agreed. When do we start?
We will assist you as needed. You found the problem.
And you must solve it.
Thank you.
After working out the Fuurinkazan battle strategies at the Tokyo Base,
I was asked to come here as an adviser.
I'm surprised how long you stayed out of action.
Will, your father and I were just catching up.
- You never said you knew him. - Well, it wasn't exactly a secret.
- It just never came up. - Sit down, son.
I'm ready for that briefing if you are.
- It was a pleasure. - Good to see you too, Graham.
Are you running for Mayor?
Do pick-up work long enough, and it'll happen to you, too.
- I thought about you a lot. - You don't need to say anything.
We could've been great together.
- Is it true you got married? - Again.
- And again. - That makes you three for three?
I'm not complaining. They're good men and we're all friends.
Like us?
Close, but different. They were all a bit more in touch with themselves.
Face facts. You're crusty.
You have a reputation for being hard as nails,
but underneath, you're not so bad.
Some of us even love you.
And then there's Will.
Then there's Will.
Wesley should be doing this on his own.
- But he needs his study time. - I can't believe you fell for that.
He looks perfectly normal to me.
In solitude, there is nothing to trigger unusual behaviour.
Good point. Let's not tamper with the status quo.
But that would defeat our opportunity for research.
In all probability, he is simply lonely.
We can relieve his anxiety through socialization.
Be my guest.
Excuse me, Lieutenant.
You seem to have lost the will to communicate with others.
You have friends here.
We care about you.
Geordi, Wesley and I were saying...
With all due respect, ... be gone!
He seems... quite sincere in his desire for solitude.
Seeing is believing?
Come in.
- Worf? - May I have a moment, sir?
- Of course. What is it? - It is very difficult to say.
Words are not always easy for me.
Is that Earth?
Yes, Alaska. I was nine years old.
- That is a fish you're holding. - And I didn't even catch it.
- But it looks like you... - Hooked it.
My father took the rod away. He was afraid I'd lose it.
You do not have good feelings for him?
No, I...
Well, I'm not sure what I'm feeling. What's on your mind?
- You are leaving the Enterprise? - I've been offered a command.
I would like to join you.
I haven't accepted the assignment.
But it could be dangerous. There may be combat.
- That is not the purpose. - Still, to die a true hero...
Worf, you've made your point.
I know you will do the right thing.
Finally, we're alone. Maybe now we can talk.
I'm here for the briefing.
All you need to know is here.
This could have been transmitted.
- I've heard good things about you. - Then why haven't I heard from you?
I know. Keeping in touch is not my strong suit.
It's a funny thing about being a parent. There are no tech manuals.
No read-outs to get you through. You just wing it from day to day.
Will, when your mother died...
Excuse me. I've got to study this briefing.
Will, I came to the Enterprise because...
Considering where you might be going, I wanted to...
I'm here with my hand out, son.
Poor guy. Picked up a flu virus at Nasreldine.
Nasty. What's the therapy?
Tryptophan-lysine distillate, with a generous dose of PCS.
- PCS? - Pulaski's chicken soup.
- You haven't lost your touch. - When they hurt, I hurt.
Dr Pulaski's greatest medical skill is her empathy.
- You must be Cmdr Riker's father. - Yes. How...?
We've all heard about you, and I felt certain things.
Deanna Troi, ship's Counsellor.
- Kyle Riker. - I thought you should meet.
Deanna keeps us from deluding ourselves.
Let me guess, Betazoid?
At your service.
I have work to do. Please excuse me.
Why do I get the feeling that this is a setup?
Because you're intelligent, wise and quite correct.
Well, I've never been set up better, that's for sure.
You're also very anxious about something.
It's Will, isn't it?
You're not as close as you'd like.
I don't know. We both have good taste in women, wouldn't you say?
I'd like to help you if I can, ... if you'll let me.
Fine. What do you want from me?
I came here to bury the hatchet with my son,
only to find out that the ground was frozen solid.
You don't seem the kind to give up so easily.
I didn't say I was giving up.
It would just be nice to get something from him.
What do you want?
I don't know. Acknowledgement or...
Respect is earned, not bestowed.
Respect? I don't need that from him.
You want him to be proud of you.
You take pride in his accomplishments.
First Officer of the Enterprise, just been offered his first command.
Yet you covet his success.
Please. He'd be lucky to have the career I've had.
True. You're well respected in your field.
I have a reputation for excellence.
And false humility.
My guess is that Will finds you pretty fascinating.
Candour seems to be a trait he admires.
Honesty is the trait he admires most.
You should honestly consider
why you're so competitive with your own son.
Competitive? Maybe in the past.
But I'm here to help Will prepare for his first task as Captain.
Will he accept such a dangerous assignment?
He'll accept it because it is dangerous.
- How can you be so sure? - Because I would.
And we aren't so different, Will and I.
Come in.
You've seen your mission briefing? Any questions?
No, other than one about the Aries's First Officer.
Yes. Flaherty.
Yes. It mentions something about "an uncanny linguistic skill".
An understatement.
The last time I saw Cmdr Flaherty, he spoke 40 languages.
As I recall, among the more exotic were Romulan, Klingon,
Giamon, Stroyerian.
He speaks 40 languages?
He has this ability of instantly interpreting and extrapolating
any verbal communication he hears.
You will find him very useful in Vega-Omicron.
I'm sure I will.
Come in.
Capt Picard, at last.
Thank you for the help you've given my son.
My only regret is that your reunion marks Will's farewell.
- But he's ready for this command. - Yes, I have no doubt.
- May I have a word with my son? - Of course. Excuse me, gentlemen.
I won't be pushed into this decision.
Come on. Don't you think you're ready for the Aries?
- Starfleet does. - You're the best candidate.
But I'm here if you need me.
I've been alone since I was 15. I can take care of myself.
Please, spare me the pain of your childhood.
I hung in for 13 years. If that wasn't enough, too bad.
Data, what if I missed something?
The computer would have corrected it.
- Maybe my inputs were incorrect. - Data, Geordi.
- I figured out Worf's problem. - You spoke to him?
No. I accessed the Klingon cultural database. It took time.
OK, Wesley, slow down. What is the problem?
It's the tenth anniversary of Worf's Age of Ascension.
His what?
The Age of Ascension. A ritual of great significance.
A rite of initiation marking a new level of spiritual attainment.
What is the significance of the anniversary?
It's a day of celebration spent with fellow Klingons.
Worf doesn't have any Klingon friends.
- We're his friends. - We don't practise his tradition.
And we're not Klingons.
Worf is culturally and socially isolated.
What do you suggest? We can't invite a bunch of Klingons on board.
The computer could supply simulations on the holodeck.
Holographic Klingons. Sure. Why not?
We need only to program in specific details of the ceremony.
The cultural database said the Klingon's family must attend.
So? We're his family. We'll go.
I just wonder what kind of party the Klingons have.
- Have you got a minute? - Sure.
I wanted to apologize. Your personal life is none of my business.
- Even if it involves your father? - Even if it involves my father.
Did he ever tell you why he never remarried?
What woman would have him with an ego like that?
I would have, in a cold minute.
12 years ago, Kyle Riker was a civilian strategist
advising Starfleet in its conflict with the Tholians.
The starbase he was operating from was attacked.
None of the base crew was expected to live, and they all died,
all except your father.
Your father alone had the will to endure, to face the pain, to live.
I never knew that about him.
I've never seen a man fight so hard in all my life.
- And you fell in love? - Yes.
And so did he.
But marriage was out of the question. He had other priorities.
His career.
If I were you, going out on the Aries,
I'd jettison the emotional baggage you carry around.
The cultural database was specific on the setting.
Let me guess. 20-piece orchestra, magnificent ballroom, formal wear...
No, there's some unusual test of inner strength.
That would entail Klingon painstiks.
Painstiks? Sounds lovely.
Enduring physical suffering is a Klingon spiritual test.
So for Worf to celebrate his anniversary, he has to be hurt?
- And we have to witness this? - We are his family.
Number One?
I'd be a fool to turn promotion down, wouldn't I?
I don't know.
And if you're asking what to do, I don't know that either.
I can spell out, albeit crudely, what you're choosing between.
As First Officer of the Enterprise, you have a position of distinction,
prestige, even glamour of a sort.
You are the second-in-command of Starfleet's flagship,
but still second-in-command.
Your promotion will transfer you to a relatively insignificant ship
in an obscure corner of the galaxy.
But it will be your ship, and being who you are,
it will soon be vibrant with your authority, your style, your vision.
You know, ...
..there is no substitute for holding the reins.
I'll need a little more time to make this decision.
- Find anything yet? - Not yet.
- There is nothing to find. - No harm in checking, I guess.
Really? How would you like them to give the transporter a once-over?
No problem. We're totally shipshape.
The point is that they even suspect a malfunction.
If I were not a consummate professional, and an android,
I would find this entire procedure insulting.
Thanks, Data.
Chief, could you attend a little party for Lt Worf at 1700 hours?
A party for Worf? Sounds intriguing. I'd be delighted.
- It's a surprise. - My lips are sealed.
I couldn't leave without saying goodbye.
I don't like goodbyes. How about "until next time"?
How about "until next time"?
It's been a pleasure working with you, Commander.
The feeling is mutual, Counsellor.
I'm meant to know how everyone feels, but...
I can't read you right now.
Perhaps your own feelings are getting in the way.
I'm here to help others sort out their emotions.
My feelings are beside the point.
Not to me. Our feelings are what make us all human.
Are you feeling sad?
Yes, I am.
So am I.
I leave at 2100 hours. Can I have a minute?
I've practised my best Academy courtesy, now you should go.
We need to talk, so lower your shields.
- I'm asking you to leave or I'll... - You'll what?
It's a shame there's no anbo-jytsu ring nearby.
Really? There is. Deck 12. The gymnasium.
We can clear the air once and for all.
You're on.
Scuttlebutt says you wanted to see me.
That's right.
- I thought I knew you. - You do, as well as anyone.
Then what is this anbo-jytsu match with Will?
You've heard.
Haven't we grown beyond the point of resolving our problems
with physical conflict?
I think you're overreacting.
Me? You're the one who's fighting his own son.
It's not a fight so much as a contest.
- And if one of you is injured? - I know a good doctor.
- Kate... - Kyle...
We've played anbo-jytsu since Will was eight.
He knows how to take care of himself. So do I.
Don't take this personally, but Will is in his prime.
And I'm no spring chicken. I know.
Don't worry. He's never been able to beat me.
Computer, is this it?
Correct. Klingon rite-of-Ascension chamber.
Is this really necessary?
If we want to help Worf, it is.
Computer, give us Klingon personnel appropriate to this event.
These images have been specifically programmed for Ascension rites.
Cute bunch.
And they use those?
Those are Klingon painstiks.
I once saw one of them used against a two-ton Rectyne monopod.
Poor creature jumped five meters at the slightest touch.
It finally died from excessive cephalic pressures.
You mean...?
Right. The animal's head exploded like...
I think that's enough, Chief O'Brien.
- I do not enjoy riddles. - You will enjoy this one.
I'm in no mood for trifling or games, not today.
I know how important today is for you,
the anniversary of your rite of Ascension.
- You know about that? - All your friends on board do.
That is impossible. It is a secret known only to Klingons.
And certain resourceful young ensigns.
Wesley Crusher. What does he know about it?
Just bear with me.
- Where are we going? - The holodeck.
- This is truly trying my patience. - I think you will approve.
- You're not coming in? - No.
- An Ascension ceremony. - Happy anniversary.
Shall we begin?
I am ready.
Today, I am a warrior.
I must show you my heart.
I travel the river of blood!
The true test of Klingon strength
is to admit one's most profound feelings while under extreme duress.
The battle is mine! I crave only the blood of the enemy.
The bile of the vanquished flows over my hands.
Thank you.
- Is Lt Worf alright? - He's never been happier.
- So it was a good ceremony? - I didn't stay for refreshments.
You don't enjoy Klingon culture?
I'm glad that humans have progressed
beyond the need for barbaric display.
Have they?
Cmdr Riker and his father are in the gymnasium,
about to engage in barbarism.
Don't remind me. I do not approve.
In spite of human evolution,
there are still some traits endemic to gender.
They'll knock each other's brains out because they're men?
Human males are unique.
Fathers regard their sons as children, even into adulthood.
Sons chafe against their fathers' perceived expectations.
It's as if they never grow up at all.
Perhaps that's part of their charm, and why we find them so attractive.
Particularly men like Cmdr Riker.
And his father.
I hope they don't injure each other.
Anbo-jytsu, the ultimate evolution in the martial arts.
I remember my early lessons.
You could never get used to the sightless factor, or to losing.
True, but I've had 15 years to practise.
Well, let's see if you've learned anything.
- You've been practising. - And remembering.
You should have been the one to die, not her.
Good. Get it all out.
I had you.
Listen, Will.
You were too young to understand and I was too hurt to explain.
You were never too hurt for anything.
She was your mother, but she was my wife.
When she died, all that kept me going was you.
You had a strange way of showing it.
I thought we could talk this out, but maybe you're right.
Maybe I am no father, and you're no son.
And this fight is all we have left.
What now?
- You can't do that. - What?
Hachidan kiritsu. It's illegal.
You're kidding?
All these years... That's why I never won. You were cheating.
It worked, didn't it? Kept you coming back for more.
Incredible. You cheated me. How'd you get away with it?
You were a kid.
I knew I couldn't take you, but I had to keep you interested.
- I always hated you for that. - Damn it.
You were barely out of diapers when she died! You hardly knew her.
I'd loved her.
You carried pain. So did I.
I should have explained this long ago, but it hurt too much.
Then the wall grew up between us. And, living together, it got bigger.
You know, ... it's funny.
I can talk to a roomful of admirals about anything in the galaxy, ...
..but I can't talk to you about how I feel.
How do you feel?
How do you think?
I love you, son.
- I'd better go back to the starbase. - I know.
I'm glad you came.
Be careful now, OK?
Montgomery's specialist and analytical team have beamed down.
What were the analytical team's findings?
They suggested reprogramming the system to correct read-out variables.
Precisely what Cmdr Data recommended, as I recall.
At least it gave Cmdr Riker the chance to consider his promotion.
Now that he's accepted, we can leave him at Starbase Montgomery.
- Number One. - Captain.
With your permission, I've decided to stay on the Enterprise.
- Granted. - Thank you, sir.
- Take us out of orbit, Ensign. - Breaking synchronous orbit, sir.
Set course for Beta Kupsic. That is still our destination?
Velocity, warp factor five.
Course and speed set, sir.
Any particular reason for this change of heart?
Self-interest. Right now, the best place for me to be is here.

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