Captain's log, stardate 43152.4.
We are entering the Delta Rana star system, after a distress call
from the Federation colony on its fourth planet.
The transmission reported an attack by an unidentified spacecraft.
Our mission is one of rescue and, if necessary,
confrontation with a hostile force.
- Shields up, maximum strength. - Shields up.
Sensors do not indicate the presence of any armed space vehicles.
They could be cloaked.
Mr. Crusher, keep us clear of the planet's three moons.
- Aye, sir. - Captain,
we have lost Rana IV's call sign.
Open a frequency to Colony Operations.
No response. Rana IV is emissions-quiet.
There are 11,000 inhabitants in this colony.
At this range, I should sense something. I don't.
Mr. Data, put the planet on the main viewer.
My God!
Helm, put us in a high equatorial orbit. Scan for survivors.
Scanning 90 degrees of longitude as we orbit.
No sign of water, vegetation, artificial structures.
Life-form readings are negative.
- Could the colonists have escaped? - Unlikely.
Rana IV had no interstellar spacecraft.
Who would cause such devastation?
Hold it... Captain, I've got something here.
37 degrees north and 62 degrees east. It's a structure.
- Life? - Two life forms, possibly human.
Put it on the main viewer. Magnify.
The structure is located at the centre of the vegetation, sir.
An entire planet obliterated, but for a few acres of trees and a building.
- Must be an illusion. - Negative. It is as you see it.
Number One.
I think you'd better see who's at home.
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.
As survivors of a nuclear holocaust, they can't be in good shape.
I understand. Counsellor?
What I sense of them is human.
- And something else? - It's difficult to explain.
I feel... there is something different about these two people.
Sorry, I can't be clearer than that.
- We're ready. - Good luck, Number One.
Geordi, what can you tell me?
The house is a typical settlement structure with adaptations.
Thermal properties all seem to conform to known materials.
If there are any indicators why this area
has remained intact, I cannot detect them.
Worf, the interior of the house?
There is one individual at the south end, the other toward the north.
There is a weapon.
A low-yield phaser, non-functional, near the front-room individual.
So a frontal assault is unwarranted.
Stay here. I'll try an old-fashioned knock at the door.
Wait! There's something concealed...
What are you doing? This is private property. Who are you?
I'm Cmdr William Riker, of the USS Enterprise.
Crew members. May I come down and approach?
You leave him where he is.
- Should I incapacitate him? - No.
We're a rescue party.
We picked up your distress call and came as fast as we could.
Kevin! Kevin, what are you doing?
Can't you see they're here to help? They're human!
Go back in the house. This could be a trick.
We almost gave up. We were afraid the Federation had been attacked.
What about the colony? Do you know of others?
It's been days since we've seen or heard anybody.
No, don't. Don't tell me we're the only ones.
Their spaceship was so big you could see it in orbit.
They took our world apart.
We don't know. We never saw their faces.
You don't know where they are now?
I guess they've gone away.
I'm sorry. I'm only performing a physical.
Could I have your names for the record?
I'm Rishon Uxbridge. This is my husband Kevin.
Botanists from the aquatic city New Martim Vaz, in Earth's Atlantic.
Residents of Rana IV for five years.
You, madam, are 82 and a composer of Tao classical music.
You, sir, are 85, a specialist in symbiotic plant life.
You have been married 53 years.
I memorized the colony register on the way
in the event that information was needed.
Is something wrong?
With your permission, I'd like to look inside.
Why? What could interest you in there?
Mr. Uxbridge, as far as we know,
you, your wife and this house are all that survived that attack.
That's either a bizarre coincidence or by design.
I don't favour coincidence.
Are you saying that we were kept alive intentionally?
I don't understand. You don't think Rishon and I did something... merit survival? I mean, betrayed the others?
I'm not accusing you of anything, Mr. Uxbridge.
The attacking force spared you. We'd like to know why.
Now, may I go inside?
I'll make everyone a nice cup of tea.
We have lovely tea here on Rana. It grows wild almost every...
May I say your attempt to hold us at bay with a non-functioning weapon
was an act of unmitigated gall.
Didn't fool you, huh?
I admire gall.
Go ahead, pick it up.
It's a music box. It's been in my family for generations.
Nothing unusual about this house.
Except the fact it's here. What about them?
In reasonable health, but showing signs of stress. Understandable,
- after what they've been through. - Somehow, they're different.
Let's get back to the ship. We'll take them.
Excuse me. We have to return to our ship.
I haven't finished fixing tea.
I'm sorry. I can allow time for you and Kevin to pack.
- What do you mean? - You're not thinking of taking us?
Surely you can't remain here. How can you care for yourselves?
Kevin, I can't leave my home.
- No one's going to make us. - You could be in danger on Rana.
Commander, we appreciate your concern but we're not going.
- We'll manage. We always have. - Alright.
I can't make you come with us.
Are you familiar with one of these?
We'll be in the system for several days. If you reconsider, contact us.
We'll be fine, Commander. We have each other.
Are they collaborators?
Did they provide the colony's assailants with something
that abetted the destruction of Rana IV
in order to protect their own lives?
What did two botanists in their 80s possess that could aid the attackers?
We don't know what their enemy needed.
- Love? Fear? Hope? - Maybe they're being held hostage...
No, nothing in my readings indicated that level of stress.
Counsellor Troi?
I'm sorry... I don't sense them well enough.
Number One, you say the couple is incapable of sustaining themselves?
There's a fusion reactor in the house, good for five years.
But their water-table is tainted. They have nothing except a garden.
- They won't come to the ship? - They were adamant.
We'll do what we can for them. In the meantime...
I'm sorry, I'm not well. I'd like to go to my quarters.
- By all means. - Anything I can do?
Captain, a search of the Ranian System has determined
that the force that attacked this planet is no longer present.
I remember a Starfleet admiral saying the same thing
about renegade Andorians in the Triangular System.
It turns out that they had dismantled their ship and hidden it.
Those Andorians did not have to contend with my thoroughness.
I will stake my reputation.
Don't... listen.
Think of something else.
Stop! Please stop!
I was concerned. I came to see if I could help.
I'm fine, there's nothing wrong. I'm just tired, that's all.
Now, I may not have your gifts at reading emotions
but I can tell when someone is in pain... and hiding it.
It's so silly.
I hear music... my mind, music that won't stop.
Perhaps it's a symptom of fatigue.
We've all been inflicted at one time
with that melody that won't go away.
No, it's deeper than that.
The song doesn't stop for an instant.
It plays in perfect clarity, from beginning to end,
over and over again.
I don't even know the song. I never heard it before.
When did this start?
A few hours ago, while the away team was on the surface.
I was trying to...
- I was thinking of Rishon and Kevin. - Rishon and Kevin? And?
I can't explain it, Captain.
They're... elusive.
I'm sorry.
Well, try and rest.
Take the necessary sleep inducements if you have to.
Data, give us a visual. Magnification factor 50.
Look at the size of that!
- Where did that come from? - A Lagrange point,
behind Rana IV's furthest moon.
Our vehicle-classification index can put no identity to it.
- Its design is foreign. - That's our boy.
Five times our mass, carrying enough armament to pulverize a planet.
I... cannot explain this, Captain.
- It's heading for the planet. - Hailing frequencies.
Mr. Data, ask them to identify themselves
and match our orbit.
They've received the message but are ignoring it.
- Maximum shields, ready weapons. - Aye, sir.
It's assuming an attack posture. Don't be surprised if...
The vessel is firing streams of positrons and antiprotons.
Equivalent firepower, 40 megawatts. Shields are holding.
Again, 40 megawatts. No damage.
If that's their best, this should last five minutes.
Let's raise our voice a little. Fire phasers, a warning shot.
Mr. Data, invite them to stand to.
The vessel has assumed a position outside the Rana system
and it is rapidly increasing velocity.
Helm, initiate pursuit.
Aye, sir.
The vessel has reached warp two and continues an acceleration curve.
- We're not getting any closer. - Give us a superior curve.
Warp three, warp four.
The warship continues to match our acceleration curve point for point.
Warp 4.5.
Warp five.
Warp 5.5.
Riker to La Forge. Give us everything you can.
Yes, sir! I'll get you to 9.37 in 1 5 seconds.
Warp 8.75. Warp nine.
It's matching our acceleration perfectly.
Number One, I have the impression that we're being toyed with.
- Take us back to Rana IV. - Back?
We have unfinished business. I need to talk to those people.
You have the bridge.
Reduce speed. Bring us around on a return course.
This one's getting away.
Good afternoon! I'm sorry if I startled you.
Jean-Luc Picard, Captain of the Enterprise.
I have brought you something you will need...
..if you're going to stay on Rana IV.
A matter replicator.
- It has limited capabilities. - We have no use for such a thing.
It will provide you with clothing, food and water.
Lt Worf will demonstrate its operation.
- We don't need it. - Kevin, we do.
Thank you, Captain.
Kevin and I were about to have tea. You must join us.
I'd like that.
Rishon, they only want to spy on us.
Kevin, I've never turned anyone away from here. I won't start now.
- Captain. - Thank you.
No! Stop!
Please, I'll do anything! Please stop!
Please. I'm here to help.
It's so loud! It's getting louder!
Please, I can't stand it! Make it stop!
Move her to the bed.
This will help you relax.
I hear it.
It's still there! It's so loud!
- Take her to sickbay. - No, I want to stay in my quarters.
- I can get you to sleep. - The music will follow me.
I can induce delta sleep, lock out even your deepest dreams.
It's not a dream. It's real.
Kevin and I first met on a ship at sea.
He was a starving student
with this threadbare suit and mismatched shoes.
I was travelling with my parents who did not like him hanging around.
Two hours later, I asked him to marry me. He knew I was serious.
I don't think he's ever recovered from that day.
What do you think, Mr. Worf?
Good tea.
Nice house.
Why did you leave Earth and come here when you did?
You mean at our age.
We thought it might make us fall in love all over again.
It worked.
Must've been terrible when the colony was fighting for its life.
It was.
Fires lit the sky.
There was unbelievable thunder. The ground never stopped shaking.
And yet... survived.
We don't know why we survived and the others didn't.
I've tried to put some purpose to it but I can't.
I've been wondering when your ship would be leaving?
I don't have an answer for that.
A few hours ago, we encountered a warship,
possibly the one that attacked you.
We forced it to leave the system...
..but we were not able to affect it otherwise. It could return.
Kevin, you said it had gone away.
I guess I was wrong.
Don't worry, it didn't hurt us. It won't now.
Do you know that?
No, but I don't enjoy seeing my wife frightened.
We've told you, we don't know why we were spared.
But there had to be some reason.
In some way, you were different from the other colonists.
Your geographical location, your philosophical beliefs.
The colour of your eyes.
In some way, you were set apart.
There was a difference.
I'm a man of special conscience.
While the others did what they could, I chose not to fight.
That is your protected right.
But the attacking ship had no way of realizing this.
I expected to die like the others.
There is no reason for you and your ship to remain.
We can manage without you.
Kevin grieved for the others, Captain, but he did nothing.
He is a very gentle man. You must understand that.
What about you, Rishon? Is that how you feel?
I wanted to fight but I stayed with my husband.
Well, Captain. Thank you again for the replicator.
I'd better clean up now.
Before we leave, I ask you one more time. Come to the ship.
For your safety.
Captain, I am frightened but...
I can't leave Rana, even if it means my life.
I don't understand. I've inhibited almost all activity in the neocortex.
She continues as if she is hearing the music.
We have to shield her from all outside stimuli by inducing coma.
I have a positive identification. It is the vessel that attacked us.
It is re-entering the system at high velocity, approaching Rana IV.
Give us a tight visual, Data.
Is it my imagination or does it look a lot meaner?
Shields up. Weapons ready.
Our friend is back.
I'm not surprised. Mr. Worf, open a hailing frequency.
Warn the vessel to stay clear.
Aye, sir, but they are already within firing range.
Shields are down.
They hit us with 400 gigawatts of particle energy!
- Damage? - Superficial.
But how to reassemble the shields?
Shields down. Thermal damage to the hull.
The warship is capable of far more powerful bursts.
They are manoeuvring between us and Rana IV.
Number One, we have been exemplary in our patience.
Lt Worf, fire phasers with a simultaneous spread of torpedoes.
The vessel appears undamaged.
Its defences are able to absorb incoming matter and energy.
Commence rapid fire. All weapons on full.
Shields down. Internal damage.
Weapons-systems control lost.
Riker to sickbay. Medical assistance.
On our way.
Mr. Crusher, move the Enterprise out of range of the vessel.
Aye, sir.
Mr. Worf?
The vessel has terminated its pursuit.
It is assuming an orbit around Rana IV.
Kevin and Rishon?
We can't help them.
But it's my guess they're in no danger.
Can you help her?
I've done everything I can.
I don't understand the nature of this music or where it's from.
- Could it be telepathic? - Yes.
But I'm not the expert in determining that.
They're blocking her sensitivity.
They're stopping her from seeing the truth.
- Who's stopping her? - Kevin and Rishon.
They wanted us to leave.
That's exactly what we're doing.
- Picard to bridge. - Yes, Captain?
Number One, I want you to maintain this course for another hour.
Then turn the Enterprise around back to Rana IV.
We still won't have our shields by then.
Take it back, Number One.
And this time, nothing is going to lure us away.
Sir, sensors indicate no spacecraft near Rana IV, but, Captain...
Forget your error. There was no way to prevent it.
Captain, the house is coming into transporter range.
Mr. Worf, accompany me. You have the bridge, Number One.
Captain, that warship has come after us twice. It could come back.
I disagree. I don't think it knows we're here.
I think that it believes it has run us off.
However, that will all change once I'm back on board.
It's protecting Kevin and Rishon. It responds to their wishes.
Indirectly or directly, I'm not sure. That's what I'm going to test.
What are you doing here? What do you want?
This is your second show of surprise at my appearance.
The first time was understandable but now?
Unless it is because you never expected to see me again.
Why do you keep interfering with our lives?
It is not my intention to interfere.
Only to help you and Rishon.
Then, please, leave us alone.
I promise. When I leave, I will never set foot here again.
The Enterprise will remain in orbit.
- Why? - To protect you.
That's not necessary. I thought you understood.
It is necessary. You're in grave danger.
- A warship has returned. - Kevin!
- He's lying, Rishon. - We fought a battle and lost.
Many crew have been injured.
A woman's mind is being destroyed by telepathic manipulation.
No. Please, no.
This is a form of intimidation.
I have my rights.
Your rights. What about Rishon?
Is she in favour of being left here?
Come to the Enterprise, where you will be safe.
I can't leave Kevin.
I'm staying.
She's safe here with me... in this house.
Why are you safe? Why is this house a sanctuary?
Does it have to do with refusing to fight?
Tell me this.
If Rishon were in danger, would you kill to save her life?
No, not for her. Not for anyone. I will not kill.
Please stop hurting him. Captain, leave our house.
It is my duty to protect you.
The Enterprise will remain in orbit around Rana IV
as long as the two of you are alive.
Number One, an update, please.
Little change. Our shields are still inoperable.
We have partial control of weapons. I doubled repair crews.
The warship is approaching. It is very close. 300,000 km.
How's that possible?
That's no concern, Number One.
It's here and it's precisely on schedule.
The vessel has altered its course to intercept the Enterprise.
Worf, arm phasers and torpedoes. Prepare to fire.
Belay those orders, Mr. Worf.
The vessel is now within 20,000 km of the Enterprise and closing.
Let it come. Let it come.
Activate the main viewer.
- Evasive action, sir? - The Enterprise will hold, Mr. Worf.
- Weapons, sir? - On my orders, not before.
The vessel is entering a low orbit around Rana IV.
It appears to be preparing to fire, Captain.
My calculations indicate
that its target is the house of Kevin and Rishon.
There will be no interference from us.
The house has been obliterated.
Scan for survivors.
There are no survivors.
Mr. Worf.
Prepare a photon torpedo.
Fire at the enemy vessel when ready.
Aye, sir.
Number One.
What reason does the Enterprise have for remaining at Rana?
The unknown vessel has been destroyed.
The Uxbridges have been destroyed.
There is no reason for the Enterprise to remain.
Helm, move us into higher orbit
so we may keep the surface of the planet under surveillance.
Aye, sir. But, Captain, what are we watching for?
I'll be in my ready room if I'm needed. That will be all for now.
May I speak with you, Captain?
My pleasure, Number One.
We have been observing this planet for three hours. Nothing.
I have the feeling you're waiting for something.
Your captain is acting on an assumption, Will.
And I'm not sure what the result will be
or... even that my assumption is correct.
We found two people alive in a house on a devastated planet.
..there was only one survivor of the war on Rana IV.
Why is it we maintain watch on a planet that is dead?
Bridge to Picard. You'd better come see this.
Captain. Commander.
The house is back. Trees, grass, everything.
Happened right in front of us.
Mr. Worf, any survivors?
I detect two life forms inside the house.
It appears Kevin and Rishon were not destroyed.
Helm, take us within transporter range. We'll beam them up here.
But will they not protest?
Let them.
Apologies if I interrupted a waltz.
Why have you brought us here against our will?
I want to end the suffering of my crew member.
- I don't understand. - Kevin does. He's the cause.
At first I couldn't understand why your house survived the holocaust.
Then it occurred to me.
It had been destroyed.
That dwelling, where you served tea, where you danced waltzes,... a reproduction.
Real to the touch,
but capable of being created, destroyed and created.
- All on a whim. - You're joking with us.
- Can't you see this hurts him? - Rishon.
Hear what he has to say.
More than anything, you wanted the Enterprise away from Rana
because the house, the plot of land, your very existence,
were incongruities that you were not prepared to explain.
The warship, another recreation, tried to chase us away twice.
And failed.
But when I came the second time,
I provided you with the only condition
that would make the Enterprise leave. Your deaths.
You did your best to satisfy that condition.
I'm deeply sorry about the woman.
I will help her.
But I must know what you intend to do with me.
You will be taken to a starbase for the attack on the Enterprise
and, possibly, the deaths of 11,000 people.
He never killed anyone.
The destruction happened just as I told you.
But you haven't told us the whole story.
How it ended. The part about... Rishon.
What is he saying?
I can... touch you.
I can hear your voice, smell your perfume.
In every respect, you are a real person with your own mind...
..and beliefs, but... do not exist.
You died along with the others defending the colony.
He recreated you, just as he recreated the house.
You are the only living thing that really exists on Rana.
And though you look human, you're not.
He's in the turbo lift.
- Let him go. - He is dangerous!
So dangerous he could have destroyed us had he wished. Track him.
Alert the crew to keep clear. I want him to understand we mean no harm.
- Will he return to the planet? - He is a creature of conscience.
He has someone to help first.
I've taken the music from her mind.
She's alright now.
She's sleeping.
She was beginning to sense who I really was.
I've lived as a human for 50 years but I couldn't hide from her.
She's suffered because of my pride and selfishness.
It will not happen again.
What happened on Rana IV? The truth. This time, all of it.
Very well.
For what it's worth.
I am a Douwd.
An immortal being of disguises and false surroundings.
I have lived in this galaxy for thousands of years,
although until today, no one has known my true identity.
Once, while travelling in human form,
I chanced to fall in love with an Earth woman.
I put aside my powers and became her husband.
Our life was happy and rich.
Eventually, we came to this planet to live our final years.
Now she is dead.
She never knew what I really was.
Your colony was attacked by a warship.
Belonging to the Husnock, a species of hideous intelligence...
..who knew only aggression and destruction.
I could've destroyed them with a mere thought but I did not do so.
You had the power to stop them but you didn't?
I refused to for the reason
that I refused to stop the Enterprise.
I... will not kill.
So you let the colonists fight a hopeless battle?
I tried to fool the Husnock,... I tried to fool you.
It only made them angrier.
More cruel.
And then what you most feared happened.
Rishon went to fight with the colonists.
And died with them.
How I wish... I could have died with her.
But you couldn't. You were left alone.
I saw her broken body.
I went insane.
My hatred exploded.
And in an instant of grief,...
..l destroyed the Husnock.
Why did you try to hide this from all of us?
Was it guilt for not helping Rishon and the others?
No, no, no. You don't understand the scope of my crime.
I didn't kill just one Husnock, or a hundred or a thousand...
I killed them all.
All Husnock.
Are 11,000 people worth...
..50 billion?
Is the love of a woman worth the destruction of an entire species?
This is the sin I tried to keep you from learning.
Why I wanted to chase you from Rana.
We're not qualified to be your judges.
We have no law to fit your crime.
You're free to return to the planet...
..and to make Rishon live again.
Helm, break orbit.
Full impulse.
Captain's log, stardate 43153. 7.
We are departing the Rana System for Starbase 133.
We leave a being of extraordinary power and conscience.
I'm not certain if he should be praised or condemned.
Only that he should be left alone.

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