Captain's log, stardate 42695.3.
We are the first manned vessel to enter the Selcundi Drema sector.
Probes have recorded unusual levels of geological activity
in all five planetary systems.
I hope the Enterprise will find the answer to this enigma.
Commander, I have been reviewing the unmanned-probe scans.
At some point in the last 150 years,
the fifth planet of Selcundi Drema shattered, forming an asteroid belt.
I'd call that "geological instability".
Was it caused by an unknown intelligence?
This is geology not malevolence. These planets live fast, die hard.
The question is why?
You won't reconsider?
No. I'll just watch you and be impressed.
An optimistic vote of confidence from a non-rider.
I never thought of you as an animal person.
Small animals, no, but horses...
Program the holodeck for a woodland setting
with a bridle path and an appropriate mount.
Type? Andorian zabathu? Klingon sark?
Earth horse.
- Breed? - Arabian.
The Arabs believed Allah gathered the south wind and made the horse.
On the holodeck, we've made that legend come true.
I like that.
Computer, English tack and I will control the animal myself.
Enter when ready.
- You like horses for the romance? - It goes deeper than that.
A fine warhorse would sleep in a Bedouin's tent, carry him in battle,
feed his children with her milk.
There is a bond which is created by mutual need.
- Hello, beautiful. - Now I understand.
You don't want the comfort of a pet, you want a companion.
Thank you.
I don't want to anthropomorphize anything.
It seems that some creatures have the capacity... fill spaces you never knew were empty.
I had a Betazoid kitten once.
My mother and the cat reacted badly to one another.
Sure you don't want to try? It's very relaxing.
We can find you something quiet and gentle.
No, I prefer my mode of transport not to have a mind of its own.
I would expect Betazoids to be outstanding animal trainers.
We become too involved in the shifting passions of the beast.
We lose our way and get swept up in emotion.
I would have thought this beast would be far more terrifying.
Yes, Number One?
We're in the first system. You should be here.
- Something interesting? - Spectacular. A little terrifying.
I'm on my way.
The first long-range reading. Magnification ten to the sixth.
- Impressive. - And deadly.
The last unmanned probe showed a thriving ecosystem.
Now there's nothing.
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.
This is Cmdr Riker's meeting.
I need your advice.
I'm responsible for overseeing Wesley's education.
I would like to put him in charge of the planetary mineral surveys.
It's a big job with a lot of responsibility.
The game should scare you a little.
Wesley's going to need a team. It takes presence to lead. Is he ready?
Leadership grows from self-confidence,
which is also part of a Starfleet officer's education.
All true, but there's an old horse-trainer's adage
about putting too much weight on a young back.
We don't want him to break under pressure.
We're shifting focus here.
Are we discussing a young officer on a fast-track to the Academy?
Or a young man we are guiding through adolescence into adulthood?
You can't guide someone into adulthood.
The experiences are unique to each person.
Whether Wes succeeds or fails, he will learn from the experience.
I agree. I'm just questioning the speed at which we're moving.
- You think we're pushing too hard? - It's a valid concern.
Tempering is taken to extremes.
- He is a boy, not a sword. - Who will one day become a man.
And to extend the metaphor, he'll need a fine edge
that won't dull at the first touch of resistance.
Eventually, he has to feel the burden of command.
Ensign Crusher, report to the observation lounge.
Wesley, you're assigned command of the planetary mineral surveys.
Thank you, sir.
Wait till you see how much work it entails.
Assemble a team. Look at records of the Drema quadrant.
There's a mystery here. We've got to solve it.
Yes, sir. A team, sir?
This is a serious responsibility.
I know, sir.
These officers are here to assist you, not judge.
Help you. Make use of them. They are a valuable resource.
And by the way, I respect an officer
who is prepared to admit ignorance and ask a question
rather than one who out of pride will blunder blindly forward.
I understand, sir.
You're dismissed.
I'll try not to disappoint you.
- Is this part of your duties? - No, a personal project.
I have reset the sensors to scan for frequencies outside the usual range.
Such as?
Dips and peaks of the galaxy's magnetic field,
organic molecules and nebular clouds, cosmic rays.
Interesting. Would these scans detect artificial transmissions
as well as natural signals?
- Of course. - Good.
Those signals are faint and hard to distinguish from background noise.
Hence I am boosting the power.
I will move that to my quarters.
- Hi. Can I walk with you? - Yes.
- I need advice. - It's free.
- Walking or advice? - Both.
It's my team. I'm considering so many factors, I'm confusing myself.
What have you done?
Broken down the task and picked the best people.
Prixus in mineralogy and metallurgy,
Alans and Hildebrandt for volcanology and geomechanics. Davies. But...
But they're all older than you.
Right. It makes me feel strange. What about personality conflicts?
They're professionals.
If there's a personality conflict, you settle it.
So you have to understand the job, and be counsellor.
Well, ... thank you.
Captain's log, stardate 42696.3.
We are entering the second Selcundi star system,
where Acting Ensign Crusher will begin his planetary mineral survey.
The results may help unlock the geological puzzle.
- Ensign Davies? - You got him.
Wesley Crusher.
I'm leading the geological surveys. I'd like you on my team.
Sounds great. Who else is on it?
I have Prixus, and Alans and Hildebrandt.
Shame you didn't talk to me first.
It's just personal opinion, but I like to break up married teams.
- I hadn't thought of that. - Don't worry. They'll be fine.
And if you need any help, just give me a signal and I'll take over.
Can't get too beat up on your first command.
Thanks, but I'm pretty sure I'll be alright.
Computer, identify please.
Sensors indicate low-level RF waves.
- Is there a pattern? - Affirmative.
- Naturally occurring? - Negative.
Key universal translator.
Unable to comply. Weak signal.
- Lock on comm link and boost. - Lock-on complete.
Read, please.
Insufficient signal strength.
Enhance, please.
Is anybody out there?
Hi, Dr Pulaski.
- You have trouble behind that door? - My team's in there.
I have to assign planets, set a schedule.
Sounds like it's under control.
I haven't had to deal with them professionally.
The minute you walk through that door, they're your team.
You have nothing to prove. You have the authority.
- Only cos Cmdr Riker says so. - It's up to you to hang on to it.
Now, you'd better get in there, and, Wes?
For what it's worth, I think you're gonna do fine.
Captain's log, stardate 42737.3.
It has been six weeks since our entrance into Selcundi Drema.
Each system has revealed
the same disturbing geological upheavals on every planet.
This is where we can expect the greatest tectonic stresses.
I agree. Nice job.
My scan results on the third Selcundi system.
It's just the same old song.
Didn't you say that UV absorptions indicate traker deposits?
Where there's traker, there's usually dilithium.
- We should run an ico-spectogram. - These readings are really faint.
- I think I'd still run an ico-gram. - It's a major undertaking.
- It'd be five hours minimum. - I don't want a halfway job.
There's being thorough, and there's wasting time.
A good officer will recognize the difference.
Maybe you're right.
Computer, access volcanic and tectonic-plate activity in Drema IV.
Computer, locate Capt Picard.
Capt Picard is on holodeck three.
An excellent steed, sir.
Sorry to disturb you.
It's alright. It must be important.
Yes, sir. It is important. Very.
Eight weeks ago, I received a transmission, a four-word message,
"Is anybody out there?"
I answered it.
There is...
..a loneliness inherent in that whisper from the darkness.
Yes, sir. I am glad you understand, sir.
But it didn't end there.
No, sir. We speak often. It is a young female. Humanoid.
Her society is aware that there is interstellar life?
No, sir.
Where does she think you're calling from?
I have kept that vague.
But Sarjenka, that is her name, has been quite specific,
giving details of her family and friends.
Interspersed among these have been some alarming references.
Go on.
Drema IV endures the same geological stresses
we have found in the other systems.
Then your friend is in trouble. What are you proposing?
If we can determine the cause of these disturbances,
we might be able to reverse the process.
Violate the Prime Directive?
I was hoping you might have another option, sir.
We don't even know if this catastrophe is preventable.
Call a conference in my quarters. All senior staff.
- Yes, sir. - And, Data?
All communication with this life form must cease.
Yes. I understand, sir.
..seeing the look on his face.
I'll get you another drink.
Two more.
Thank you.
Family emergency.
You don't look like you came to relax.
I didn't. I need your advice.
Yesterday, when Ensign Davies turned in the survey,
I asked for an ico-spectogram. He didn't agree.
- D'you think you were right? - Yes.
I guess. I could have just been picking nits.
Or been intimidated. It's tough to tell people what to do.
I suppose I could have made it an order.
But how do you order someone older and more experienced?
The difference in ages between you two is not the issue.
- I guess not. - Might it have to do with ego?
No. It's the opposite of ego.
Every time I give an order, I think,
"What makes my judgement so superior to these people's?"
Wes, responsibility and authority go hand in hand.
I know you're responsible. Now you need to learn authority.
You were given command so you can make some right decisions
which will lead to a pattern of success and build self-confidence.
If you don't trust your own judgement you don't belong in command.
What if I'm wrong?
It's arrogant to think you'll never make a mistake.
But what if it's something really important, not a mineral survey?
What if somebody dies because I made a mistake?
In your position, it's important to ask yourself one question.
What would Picard do?
He'd listen to everyone then make his own decision. But he's Captain.
So? Is his decision ever questioned?
- No way. - And why not?
I'm not sure.
Cmdr Riker, report to the Captain's quarters.
When you figure it out, you'll understand command.
I'm on my way. Did that help? Tell me what you decide.
I've decided. I'm going to have Davies run that ico-gram.
- Thank you, sir. - You're welcome.
- I'll see you later. - OK.
Ensign Davies?
I want that ico-spectogram on Selcundi Drema.
You got it.
It is not a matter of how wrong Data was, or why he did it.
The dilemma exists. We have to discuss the options.
And please talk freely.
There are no options. The Prime Directive is not a matter of degrees.
It is an absolute.
I have a problem with that rigidity.
It seems callous and even cowardly.
I'm sure that is not what the Lieutenant meant,
but in such a situation, we must be cautious.
What we do today may profoundly affect the future.
If we could see every possible outcome...
We'd be gods, which we're not.
If there is a cosmic plan, is it not the height of hubris
to think that we should interfere?
- So the Dremans are fated to die? - We should consider that option.
Considered and rejected.
Are we not a part of any cosmic plan?
Our presence here at this time could be a part of fate.
And we could be meant to interfere.
That eliminates the possibility of fate.
But, Commander, the Dremans are not a subject for philosophical debate.
They are a people.
We make an exception in the deaths of millions.
Is it the same situation if it's an epidemic, not a geological calamity?
- Absolutely. - What about war?
If generations of conflict is killing millions, do we interfere?
Well, we're all a little less secure in our moral certitude.
What if it's not just killings?
If an oppressive government is enslaving millions?
The Prime Directive has many different functions,
not the least of which is to protect us.
To prevent us from allowing emotions to overwhelm our judgement.
My emotions are involved.
Data's friend is going to die. That means something.
To Data.
Does that invalidate the emotion?
What if they asked for help?
Yes. Sarjenka's transmission could be viewed as a call for help.
I'll buy that excuse. We're jigging madly on the head of a pin anyway.
She cannot ask for help from someone she does not know.
She knows me.
What a perfectly vicious little circle.
We are going to allow her to die, are we not?
Data, I want you to sever the contact with Drema IV.
Isolating frequency.
Data, where are you? Why won't you answer?
Are you angry with me? Please, I'm so afraid.
Where are you?
Your whisper from the dark has now become a plea.
We cannot turn our backs.
Captain's log, stardate 427 4 1.3.
We are entering into orbit of Drema IV,
the planet from which Data received the signal.
Sensors indicate that volcanic activity is increasing.
We found the reason for the instability.
We would've missed it if Crusher hadn't requested an ico-gram.
Drema IV has the largest deposit of dilithium ore ever recorded.
It's laid out in an unusual pattern.
The crystals form perfectly aligned lattices.
- The ore forms generator strata. - Creating a piezoelectric effect.
In plain English, the dilithium is causing the geological catastrophe.
The crystals take the planet's heat...
..and turn it into mechanical energy.
- It increases tectonic stresses... - ..that tear the planet apart.
Then the crystals break down, which is why we found traces of illium 629.
That takes care of "why". Now, what can you do?
That is going to take more work.
Can you reverse the process?
We think so.
No. No theories, no half-answers. Yes or no?
We'll get to work on it.
Data's out there now, monitoring the condition on Drema IV.
The situation's desperate for his friend.
He's calculated the safest place on the planet's surface.
You can guess why.
We're just getting deeper and deeper in, aren't we?
She's going to die. They all are.
- Unless... - Yes, unless.
Alright, you can tell Cmdr Data
he has my permission to contact his friend
and conduct her to a safer location.
Number One, you know where we are now.
Sarjenka, this is Data. Please respond.
Unable to complete transmission.
Reason for failure?
Atmospheric activity interfering with RF signal.
We're modifying probes to become resonators.
Torpedo casings will protect them for burrowing beneath the surface.
How will these resonators destroy the crystals?
By emitting harmonic vibrations to shatter the lattices.
We will monitor and adjust the frequency of the resonators.
Sounds like a plan. Let's get started.
- Captain. - Tea, Earl Grey, hot.
Captain, permission to beam down to Drema IV.
I've been unable to contact Sarjenka.
Data, I appreciate your concern.
Transporting to the surface will make a bad situation worse.
Sir, it is important to determine the reason for...
Come on, Data.
Your orders were to deliver the message?
- Yes. - Then what is the difference
between sending the message and delivering it?
- A big one and you know it. - We have come this far.
In for a penny, in for a pound?
Yes, sir.
Oh, hell.
Number One, handle the transporter. Go.
Where are we now?
Take a nap. You didn't see this.
I'll just be standing here, dozing off.
Ten minutes. If you see anyone but Sarjenka...
I will signal for immediate beam-out.
- Cmdr Riker to the bridge. - Damn.
I just woke up, sir. I'll have him out of there smooth as ice.
Wait. I'm Data.
You came.
Where have you been?
There isn't time to explain. You and your family must leave.
We already have. We ran when the tremors began.
Why are you here?
My father wouldn't let us take anything,
but I had to have my transmitter.
I knew you'd come back,
and I didn't want you to find only silence, the way I did.
I am sorry for that. But it is very complicated.
Does your family know where you are?
You cannot survive in this.
What are we going to do?
Enterprise, two to beam up.
- You must come with me. - Where are we going?
To the stars?
There'll be hell to pay.
- Where is Cmdr Riker? - On the bridge.
- Where are you going? - To the bridge.
And you're taking that?
- Please don't leave me here. - Quite impossible.
Sir, three minutes to resonator launch.
- Where is he? - He'll be here.
He has brought a child onto my ship and on my bridge.
I'm sure Mr Data has a good explanation.
I do, sir.
She was frightened and...
Mr Data, kindly assume your station.
Counsellor, will you escort her to sickbay?
No, Data, I'm scared. Don't make me go.
- No one's going to hurt you. - No.
- We'll go and get a treat... - No.
Captain, she will not be in the way.
One minute to launch.
- It'll be alright. - No.
Just leave me alone.
- I want Data. - Counsellor, allow me, please.
Sarjenka, no one will harm you. These are my friends.
Mr Data, take your station and keep her with you.
This does concern her.
Ten seconds.
I will require my hand.
Thank you.
Firing torpedoes.
Sensors locked on probes.
Torpedoes have reached their targets.
Resonators activated. Harmonic sequences have begun.
- What are you doing? - Trying to quiet your planet.
If we succeed, there will be no more quakes, no more volcanoes.
When will the results be known?
They should happen very quickly, sir.
And my parents and brothers?
Captain, sensors indicate a planet-wide reduction
in tectonic-stress levels.
It worked. We did it!
- Your parents will be safe now. - You did this for me?
Look, Sarjenka. There is your home.
Data, escort her to sickbay.
Aye, sir.
Number One, you have the bridge.
- Doctor. - Yes, Captain?
Data and the alien are on their way.
What would be involved in removing all memory
of her communication with Data
and her visit to this ship?
Assuming that her brain structure is similar to ours,
the memories will be stored chemically
on the neurons of the cerebral cortex.
They're also time-dependent.
I would have to scan for the age of the chemical links
and try to find the relevant neurons.
Well, do your best.
You have many kinds of people here.
- When I am bigger, can I be here? - I am certain you could.
- I wish I could come now. - I am afraid that is not possible.
I know, but I can still wish for it.
Dr Pulaski, this is Sarjenka.
- Hello, Sarjenka. - Hello.
What is this?
That's an Elanian singer stone.
It sings a different song for each person.
What does it sing for you?
- It does not sing for me. - Why not?
Because I am a machine.
Sarjenka, we're going to run a few scans to be sure you're alright.
Data will be right here. Don't worry.
You did a good thing.
But are we doing a good thing now?
This is to protect her as much as us.
By robbing her of memories?
To remember you and this ship would complicate her future.
She has to be the person she was born to be.
And you'll remember her.
Enterprise, one to beam up.
- Sit down. - No, thank you, sir.
I'm not qualified enough to sit there.
You did a good job. I'm proud of you.
Thank you, sir. Does it get any easier?
I came to apologize, sir.
No apologies are necessary.
You reminded us that there are obligations that go beyond duty.
I appreciate your seeking other options.
Your decision could have been unilateral.
One of my officers, one of my friends, was troubled. I had to help.
- Is Sarjenka safely home? - Yes, sir.
She will not remember me, sir, but I will remember her.
Remembrance and regrets are also a part of friendship.
Yes, sir.
And understanding that
has brought you a step closer to understanding humanity.

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