Captain's log, stardate 43173.5.
We are en route to Mintaka III,
where a Federation anthropological team
has been studying the inhabitants.
Our mission is to resupply the outpost
and repair their malfunctioning reactor.
- Mr. La Forge, report. - We replicated the parts.
But why does a three-man station need a 4.2 gigawatt reactor?
Enough to power a small phaser bank, a relay station, or...?
Or a hologram generator.
A duck blind! Right, they're anthropologists.
Who are studying an extended family of Mintakans at close range,
from a camouflaged observation post.
Dr Barron's preliminary reports say the Mintakans
are proto-Vulcan humanoids at the Bronze-Age level.
- Peaceful and highly rational. - Not surprising.
Their evolution parallels Vulcan.
Captain, transmission from Mintaka III.
Thank you, Lieutenant. On screen.
Barron to Enterprise. Our repairs have failed.
The reactor is inoperative.
- Do you have battery back-up? - Three hours at best.
If we increase to warp seven, we can be there in 23 minutes.
Make it so. We're on our way...
We've lost contact, sir.
Increase to warp nine.
Space, the final frontier.
These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise.
Its continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds,...
..to seek out new life and new civilizations,...
..to boldly go where no one has gone before.
The framework's still charged, so watch it.
Why did we have to come so early?
When the sun reaches its zenith, I must take the measurements.
You've read the sundial hundreds of times.
Yes, Father, but never as the appointed record keeper.
You're taking your duties quite seriously.
Your mother would have been very proud.
What is that?
Up there, Father! What is it?
I don't know.
Keep work... Palmer...?
It's alright.
The holographic generator is functioning.
- All we need now is power. - Almost there.
You wait here, Oji.
Enterprise, beam Martinez and his patient directly to sickbay.
- Doctor, be careful. - I've got to get down there.
Crusher to Enterprise.
Medical emergency. Two to beam directly to sickbay.
Aye, Doctor.
That should do it.
You increased the levels of tricordrazine?
Dr Crusher?
Before you quote the Prime Directive, he'd already seen us.
It was either bring him aboard or let him die.
Then why didn't you let him die?
Because we were responsible for his injuries!
I'm not sure that I concur with that reasoning, Doctor.
But now that he's here, you must remove all memory
of his encounter with the away team.
By erasing short-term recall?
It has been accomplished before.
I am familiar with Dr Pulaski's technique.
But will it be effective on Mintakans?
Their lie-zone levels are lower.
Wait! No, no! We must evacuate!
Dr Barron, you're on the Enterprise. You're safe.
And the others?
Dr Warren is here. We're doing all we can.
- And where is Palmer? - Still on Mintaka.
- You have to find him! - We will.
He may be hurt.
Rest assured, we shall not leave until he is located.
Thank you, Picard.
Picard to bridge. Report.
Scans on the planet detect no humans, Captain.
Very well. Put us in a close orbit.
A close orbit will increase sensor efficiency by only four percent.
- I want that four percent. - Aye, sir.
Picard out.
- Picard...? - Damn!
Well, Doctor, your next task is clear.
I thought I'd never see you again.
When you and the woman vanished, I was sure you were dead.
I think I was. But I was brought back to life.
I awoke in an incredible place,
and my wounds were gone.
I had been healed.
How is that possible?
Long ago, our people believed in beings with great powers.
Those beings made the rains come, they told the sun when to rise,
they caused all life to be born, to grow, to die.
But those are just tales. Old superstitions.
But perhaps the beliefs of our ancestors are true.
Nothing else can explain what's happened.
Everything is changed now, Oji. We must tell the others.
Barron is stable, but Warren is critical.
Palmer is missing. A scan shows no human life forms. However...
The area around the duck blind has karst topography.
Sinkholes, underground rivers and caverns.
The rock strata has thallium compound that may obstruct our sensor beams.
If Palmer, delirious, is in a cave, we wouldn't detect his life signs?
Correct, sir.
If he is still alive, we must send an away team to locate him.
But we must not interfere with the development of the Mintakans.
Agreed. Further contamination must be prevented.
I have a suggestion.
First Officer's log, stardate 43174.2.
Troi and I are beaming down to locate Dr Palmer,
and to determine the extent of the cultural contamination.
Dr Crusher has temporarily altered our features and colour.
She has implanted subcutaneous communicators
so that any transmissions will be inaudible to the Mintakans.
Enterprise, do you hear me?
Perfectly, Commander. I will monitor you continuously.
Mintakan emotions are interesting.
Like Vulcans, they have highly-ordered minds.
A very sensible people.
For example, Mintakan women precede their mates.
- It's a signal to other women. - He's taken, get your own?
Not precisely. More like, "If you want his services,
I'm the one you negotiate with."
- What kind of services? - All kinds.
They are a sensible race.
I understand your scepticism.
If it hadn't happened to me, I would find it hard to accept.
But it did happen.
Fento, do the legends not speak of beings like the kind I've seen?
Who could vanish like smoke?
There are stories of the Overseer,
who could appear and disappear at will.
And couldn't this Overseer heal the dead?
He had supreme power, or so our ancestors believed.
I believe I have seen the Overseer.
- He is called the Picard. - Oh-oh!
- His memory's intact. - The procedure didn't work.
Liko, all this talk of supernatural beings.
No one has believed that for generations.
Just as we no longer believe that the stars control our fates
or the spirits of the dead haunt the living.
Nuria, I'm not saying that all the old beliefs are true.
But I did see the Picard. And I was restored back to life.
We are visitors. We've come to trade our cloth.
- May we speak? - Please do.
We welcome outsiders. I am Nuria.
I am Troi, this is Riker. You had a very interesting dream.
Dream? It was real!
My father and I both witnessed these beings.
If you are father and daughter,
you may well have shared the same dream.
That is not reasonable.
Any less reasonable than being magically transformed by the Picard?
- Nuria! - It has to be Palmer!
- The one the Picard wished to find. - You were speaking the truth!
The Picard will be pleased.
- Riker to Picard. - Go ahead.
We have a problem.
- With the contamination? - It's worse than we thought.
The Mintakans are beginning to believe in a god.
And the one they've chosen is you.
Beam Palmer aboard. Without medical attention...
He is surrounded by Mintakans. If he should dematerialize...
It will slightly increase the contamination which already exists.
A small price for saving Palmer's life.
Number One?
Is there any chance of transporting Palmer unseen?
- We can try. - Try hard.
- Picard out. - I must protest.
You endanger Palmer with this delay.
I am aware of that. But each of us, including Dr Palmer,
took an oath that we would uphold the Prime Directive,
if necessary, with our lives.
We were hunting. We followed a horn buck into a cave.
The stranger was there, asleep.
Is he one of the Overseer's servants?
Yes. The Picard has many servants.
- Isn't that true, Fento? - According to legend.
But if he is the servant of the Overseer, why was he in a cave?
Perhaps he ran away.
Or he failed the Picard and was hiding.
Bind him in case he wakes and tries to escape.
It's senseless to hold this stranger captive.
This talk of the Overseer, it's old superstitions.
I disagree.
All the evidence indicates he exists.
And I heard the Picard say he wanted to find Palmer.
By keeping Palmer safe, we will please the Picard.
He will grant us favours in return.
It is said that the Overseer is all-powerful.
He can provide gentle winters, plentiful hunting,
fertile crops, anything.
He can even... bring back those who have died.
It's agreed. We will save Palmer for the Picard.
Yes, yes.
I've seen another one, like Palmer.
- Another servant of the Picard? - He's headed toward the caves.
Fento, stay and bind Palmer.
- Where? - Over there.
- That knot won't hold. If I may? - Please do.
You need a knot that will tighten under pressure. Let me show you.
The sun's reaching its zenith. If I don't measure it...
Forgive me, friend, but the stranger must be set free.
Prepare to beam us to sickbay, but hang on for my signal.
Acknowledged, Commander.
Riker, stop!
It's Riker! He's taking Palmer!
Hali! Yuri, don't let her escape!
I'm clear. Energize.
Data, has Counsellor Troi beamed up?
Negative. Sensors show she is in the midst of a group of Mintakans.
He is alright.
Hali, find Riker and Palmer.
Why did you and Riker take Palmer?
We did not take Palmer.
We set him free.
Riker and I do not believe in these fables about an Overseer.
You've angered the Picard and we may all suffer for it!
I know. I've seen him. He is all-powerful.
Weren't there stories about the Overseer
destroying those who offended him?
- Stories, nothing more. - Liko, we'll get Palmer back.
Riker was carrying him. They can't have gone far.
Still, the Picard may blame us for letting Palmer escape.
Perhaps we should punish her, let the Overseer know
that she and Riker acted alone.
- We will keep Troi captive. - That's not enough.
You would have us harm her?
If it will hold off the Picard's anger, yes.
I've seen how powerful he is.
I am unwilling to hurt her needlessly.
We will wait for Hali to return.
And if they don't find Palmer?
Then we may do as Liko suggests.
Doctor, you believe they are capable of harming Troi?
They are not normally violent,
but these are extraordinary circumstances.
They're trying to comprehend a god.
The Mintakans can only guess what the Overseer wants.
They need a sign.
- Are you suggesting...? - You must go down there.
- Masquerading as a god? - Out of the question.
- The Prime Directive... - Has been violated.
The damage is done. All we can do now is minimize it.
- Sanction false beliefs? - Give them guidelines.
Let them know what the Overseer expects.
I cannot, I will not, impose a set of commandments on these people.
To do so violates the essence of the Prime Directive!
We have rekindled their belief in the Overseer.
Are you saying that this belief will become a religion?
It's inevitable. And without guidance,
that religion could degenerate into inquisitions, holy wars, chaos.
Dr Barron.
Your report describes how rational these people are.
Millennia ago, they abandoned their belief in the supernatural.
You are asking me to sabotage that achievement,
to send them back to the Dark Ages
of superstition and ignorance and fear? No!
We will find some way to undo the damage we've caused.
Number One, tell me about this group's leader.
Nuria. Clear-minded, sensible. The Mintakans trust her judgement.
If we can convince her that you are not a god...
She may persuade the others.
And how do you propose to convince her?
She believes the Picard is a magical figure.
I'm going to show her how the magic works.
I'm going to bring her aboard.
Sensors indicate five Mintakans in your immediate vicinity.
Four are motionless, the fifth is proceeding south.
Is Nuria one of these five?
- Was that intended as affirmative? - Yes, Data.
Is Nuria the closest?
Is Nuria the one in motion?
Lock sensors on Nuria.
Locked on. We can beam Nuria aboard at will.
When sensors indicate that she's alone, beam her up.
Aye, sir.
- Ensign Hoy? - Nuria is alone.
I'll handle this.
Don't be afraid. No one is going to harm you.
I am Jean-Luc... Picard.
Please, get up.
Get up. You must not kneel to me.
- You do not wish it? - I do not deserve it.
Look at me.
Feel... the warmth of my hand.
The rhythm of my pulse.
I'm not a supreme being.
I'm flesh and blood, like you.
- Not like me. - Like you. Different in appearance.
But we are both living beings. We are born, we grow, we live.
And we die.
In all the ways that matter, we are alike.
But you are the Picard!
There's something I want you to see.
What a wondrous place!
Even the walls obey your command.
Wondrous, yes, but not miraculous.
The doors merely work differently from the ones you know.
That is my home?
Seen from far, far above.
Yet we do not fall.
I never imagined I would see the clouds from the other side.
Your powers are truly boundless.
Your people live in huts. Was it always so?
We have found remnants of tools in caves.
Our ancestors lived there.
- Why do you now live in huts? - Huts are better.
Caves are dark and wet.
If huts are better, why did you live in caves?
The most reasonable explanation would be that at one time,
we did not know how to make huts.
Just as at one time, you did not know how to weave cloth,
how to make a bow.
That would be reasonable.
Someone invented a hut.
Someone invented a bow, who taught others,
who taught their children,
who built a stronger hut, built a better bow,
who taught their children.
Now, Nuria, suppose one of your cave-dwelling ancestors
were to see you as you are today.
What would she think?
- I don't know. - Put yourself in her place.
You see, she cannot kill a horn buck at a great distance.
You can. You have a power she lacks.
- Only because I have a bow. - She has never seen a bow.
It doesn't exist in her world.
To you, it's a simple tool. To her,... it's magic.
I suppose she might think so.
Now, how would she react to you?
I think she would fear me.
Just as you fear me.
- I do not fear you any longer. - Good.
That's good.
You see,...
..my people once lived in caves.
And we then learned to build huts and, in time,
to build ships, like this one.
Perhaps one day, my people will travel above the skies.
Of that, I have absolutely no doubt.
It's not the season for lightning. It must be a warning.
We've had storms like this before.
- Not like this one. - It must mean something.
The Picard is angry. He blames us for letting Palmer escape.
We don't know that the Overseer is responsible for this storm.
Will he send floods?
My wife died in last year's floods. Will we all die now?
We must find Nuria.
Picard, you have shown me wonders I could never have imagined.
I am grateful to you beyond words.
Might I request something for my people?
You are indeed a leader.
You've shown me such generosity.
I wish my people could share in it.
Six Mintakans died in a flood last winter,
four of them children.
Would you bring them back to life?
That is not in my power.
Why? You restored Liko's life.
Did the six who were killed offend you in some way?
Did I offend you?
Should I have ordered the death of Troi?
You must tell me if there's anything I can do to change your mind.
I've failed to get through to you, despite all my efforts.
Nuria can't be found. No one knows where she is.
Hali, any sign of Palmer or Riker?
They have escaped us. We searched everywhere.
What do we do now, Father?
We must do as the Picard wishes.
Punish those responsible.
- Nuria would not allow us. - Nuria isn't here!
We can't wait.
Crusher to Picard. I think we're going to lose Warren.
On my way.
I'm here, Mary.
Prepare 2cc of norep.
I'm sorry.
Picard, you could not save her?
You do have limits.
You are not masters of life and death.
No, we're not.
We can cure many diseases,
we can repair injuries, we can even extend life.
But for all our knowledge, all our advances,...
..we're just as mortal as you are.
We're just as powerless to prevent the inevitable.
You are a remarkable people.
But you are not superior beings.
My people must be made to understand that.
Liko, you don't want to kill me.
I have no choice. I must do as the Picard wishes.
Are you sure you know what he wants?
That's the problem with believing in a supernatural being.
Trying to determine what he wants.
We must do something.
But what if it's the wrong thing, Father?
Picard, we need your guidance.
Is it your wish that this woman should die?
Answer us. Speak.
The Picard.
The Overseer has come.
No. Liko.
Liko, I am a man. I am not the Overseer.
I am a traveller from a faraway land.
- Nothing more. - But you restored my life.
I am your servant.
You are nobody's servant.
I neither desire your obedience nor your worship.
Picard speaks the truth.
I have visited his people. I have seen how they live and die.
When death takes their loved ones, they are as helpless as we are.
Then how was I brought back to life?
Liko, you were not dead.
Picard's people have a knowledge that we lack.
They can heal wounds that we cannot.
No! He can bring back the dead. Show them, Picard.
You can bring back my wife to me.
- I cannot. - Why?
Why won't you do this for me? Have I failed you in some way?
- Are you angry with me? - No, I'm not.
Then I beg you, bring her back to me!
I will give you my life in exchange. Please!
Take back what you gave me.
- Give it to her. Let her live. - It is beyond my power.
Nothing is beyond your power!
You are the Overseer. I will prove it!
If you believe I am all-powerful, then you cannot hurt me.
If, however, I am telling the truth...
..and I am mortal, you will kill me.
But if the only proof you will believe is my death,...
..then shoot.
- Liko, don't do it! - Father, no!
Captain's log, supplemental.
Dr Crusher has repaired my injury with her usual skill.
Mr. La Forge will supervise the dismantling of the observation post,
after I make one last visit to Mintaka Ill.
- Now, Mr. La Forge. - Aye, sir.
What is that?
It is a place where we can watch your people.
But why?
To study you. To understand your ways.
Continue, Mr. La Forge.
Why would a people so advanced want to learn about us?
We were once as you are now.
To study you is to understand ourselves.
But why did you have to hide from us?
Because their presence would affect us,
just as it affected me.
It is our highest law not to interfere with other cultures.
Revealing yourself was an accident?
Yes. And now we must leave you.
Why? There's so much you can teach us.
That, too, would be interference.
You must progress in your own way.
So we will. You have taught us there is nothing beyond our reach.
Not even the stars.
I wish you good journeys, Picard.
Remember my people.

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