Someone sure stripped this place.
The reactor's gone.
No wonder they didn't answer our hail for two days.
Nothing here to answer with.
I am detecting life signs from behind that door.
Commander? Take a look at this.
Yes, but not human. I'm gonna have to do some analysis on it.
It's jammed.
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.
The two scientists are suffering from phaser stuns.
I'd guess several hits each.
It'll take a while to revive them, but they will recover.
We found a sample of blood.
It's a rare iron-copper composite,
unique to one humanoid species, the Acamarians.
Then that would suggest the Gatherers.
It is a likely hypothesis.
These nomadic marauders have raided other outposts
in neighbouring sectors.
They've never come out this far before.
Mr. Crusher, set course for the Acamar system.
Aye, sir.
Captain's log, stardate 43421.9.
To try to put an end to the Gatherer raids,
we have come to the Acamar system
to enlist the aid of Marouk, the Sovereign of Acamar III.
Their raids have made this sector unsafe.
- Trade routes have been disrupted. - The Gatherers are elusive.
We've only managed to capture a handful of them.
But with Starfleet's help...
Hunting them down is not what I am proposing.
Reconciliation with the Gatherers is impossible. It's been tried.
Every time we offer amnesty, they reject it.
- When was the last attempt made? - 1 8 years ago.
1 8 years?
For almost a century, they've been parasites,
moving between star systems, living on what they found or stole.
- They're still your people. - No.
Captain, you have to understand our history.
A hundred years ago,
before the Gatherers split off from our culture,
we were a savage, violent race.
Clans battled clans. Vengeful feuds that lasted for generations.
But we overcame those ways, all except for the Gatherers.
After a century of wandering, they may be ready to come home.
Despite your progress, you will remain a divided society
until the Gatherers return to Acamar.
The attempt may be futile.
But there is so much to gain and so little to lose by the effort.
This problem affects us all. It cannot be ignored.
- Sovereign, welcome to the bridge. - Thank you, Captain.
How soon will you be ready to leave?
I'm ready now. I need only bring two more servants.
I'll see to that and to accommodations.
I have reason to believe there is a Gatherer encampment
somewhere in the Hromi Cluster.
Mr. Data?
The Federation has charted several Class-M planets in that area.
Any one of these planets might serve well as a base.
Mr. Crusher, set course for the Hromi Cluster.
Aye, sir.
A fine ship, Commander.
We're all very proud of her.
Yuta, a light meal in 20 minutes.
May I be shown the kitchen, Commander?
You're the chef?
Yes. I'll cook for the Sovereign and her servants.
We can provide a kitchen, but it won't be necessary.
These food dispensers can synthesize anything you need. I'll show you.
- Sovereign, a drink? - Yes, thank you. Cold water.
Computer, a glass of water, five degrees.
You're also the food taster?
That's part of the cook's duty.
I'm sure the Sovereign will wish to sample your ship's cuisines,
but there are Acamarian dishes she will insist upon.
I'll arrange for your recipes to be programmed.
Of course, I'll have to try some. What's your specialty?
- I have none. - Don't be modest.
You must have come up with a few culinary delights.
- There is a spiced parthas dish. - Parthas?
A green vegetable with fleshy roots.
Parthas á la Yuta. I look forward to tasting it.
Sovereign. Chef.
Entering standard orbit of Gamma Hromi ll.
I am detecting life readings from the planet surface
as well as areas of thermal radiation
and carbon dioxide emissions indicative of combustion.
Campfires, Data.
Is that not what I said?
- It's worth a look. - Make it so.
Data? Worf?
Artonian lasers.
Tonkian homing beacons. Quite a collection.
Noranium alloy, sir. Its salvage value is quite low.
The Gatherers weren't too discriminating.
Rigelian phaser rifles. Not particularly powerful.
Powerful enough.
We came to talk!
Your words are wasted. They understand only this.
We're here to establish a dialogue.
Data, noranium vaporises at...?
2,31 4 degrees. Noranium carbide...
Thank you, Data.
Setting seven ought to do it.
Three, two, one. Now!
Enterprise, four to beam up.
Your ambushes would be more successful if you bathed.
- We've brought the Sovereign. - Marouk? Here?
With an offer of amnesty.
Full dispensation to all Gatherers willing to return to Acamar Ill.
You don't trust me, Marouk.
Should l?
But you expect me to trust you. Maybe you just poisoned it yourself.
Taste this, Temarek.
Barbarians. This is futile.
Go home, old woman!
You people haven't changed in 1 00 years!
You should know. You were there!
Sit down! Please.
- We're here to talk. - It's a waste of time, Captain.
They don't care how they live.
Am I to believe you care how we live?
- Brull, she's here, isn't she? - Maybe you forced her to come.
Nobody forces me anywhere, Brull.
What is there for us on Acamar Ill?
A life. A home.
You can end your wanderings, your miserable existence.
Do I look miserable to you?
The clan wars are over, Brull.
It is a past we're ashamed of. It is why you had to leave.
Now,... it is time to come home.
I want to speak privately with Sovereign Marouk and Picard.
Everyone else, get out.
- Any insights? - Brull's ready to negotiate.
He wants privacy so he won't appear weak
in front of the other Gatherers.
You are of the clan Lornak.
What of it?
I've seen you before.
But... it's impossible.
No. Look closer.
I am Yuta of the clan Tralesta.
I am the last of my line, but my clan will outlive yours.
Marouk's offer has value.
But still, I don't know.
But it is enough to present to your leader?
Chorgan is a better judge of these matters.
I will take it to him. You'll hear from me in 20 days.
Brull, in 20 days, I hope to be very far from here.
With all due respect, Brull,
I would like to make the offer to Chorgan myself.
We'll take you on the Enterprise.
How many of your men do you want to accompany you?
I'll come alone.
- If this is a trap... - It isn't.
Mallon, you'll be in charge while I'm gone.
- If I'm not back in 1 0 days... - Brull!
Enterprise, medical emergency.
Volnath was old. Nothing can be done.
There's a chance our doctors can do something.
- You found him? - Yes.
There are no other Lornak here, so I claim his possessions.
Have you no respect for the dead?
What's there to respect about a corpse?
Temarek, no.
- He's been dead too long. - How?
Cardiac arrest.
You don't sound convinced.
No, he died of a heart attack, but I can't find the cause.
His cardiac muscle is strong. No sign of arterial occlusion.
Brull, will you show Mr. Crusher the course to set to the Hromi Cluster?
A child?
This doesn't inspire my confidence.
This is our present position.
Set a heading for 343, mark 72.
That'll take us through the centre of an asteroid belt.
What's the matter, kid?
Can't you fly around a couple of rocks?
Sure I can.
But if we take this heading, we can avoid the belt completely
and only lose 1 2.1 minutes at warp seven.
Have it your way, kid.
For centuries, my planet was in chaos.
Loyalty to one's clan was absolute.
The slightest injury to one member
demanded violent retaliation.
And these blood feuds could last for decades?
The obsession with vengeance
would pass from generation to generation.
And with each act of retribution, the violence would escalate.
It's not unlike much of the history of my own planet.
Your pardon. May I be excused briefly?
Cmdr Riker requested I make him an Acamarian dish.
Of course, Yuta.
- What are you doing? - Homework.
- What is this? - Math.
I can see that. What does it mean?
It's the Euclidean metrisation of a K-fold contra variant tensor field.
You any good at it?
- You don't like me. - I didn't say that.
No problem. I have many friends that don't like me.
- What do you know about me? - You're a thief.
I steal to survive, not because I enjoy it!
We Gatherers value our freedom. We answer to no creature!
Then why help Marouk change that?
Maybe because I want something better.
For me... and for my children.
- You have children? - Yeah. Two sons.
One's just about your age.
He's not any good at math.
Parthas á la Yuta.
With the help of one of your food stations.
- It's wonderful. - Truly excellent.
- Thank you. - Care to join us?
I don't want to intrude.
You're not.
I was just leaving anyway. Please, sit down.
It really is delicious.
Glad you like it, Commander.
I'm not your commander.
- Call me William. - If you prefer it.
I do. You say "Commander" like you say "Sovereign" to Marouk.
As a servant.
You're an excellent commander but you'd make a poor sovereign.
Why? Not that I disagree.
- You're uncomfortable with servants. - I prefer to be with equals.
- So, you treat me as an equal? - You're uncomfortable with that?
I'm not used to it.
I've always been a servant, not that I'm complaining.
The Sovereign treats me well. I have all that I could want.
What about freedom?
I can never have that.
- You're owned by the Sovereign? - No.
I'm not her slave. I can leave whenever I wish.
But you have no place to go.
Just the opposite.
My path is all too clear.
Yuta, you're an excellent chef, but you speak in riddles.
I've never been very good at conversation.
I believe the Sovereign wants me to return. Enjoy the parthas.
Sickbay to Riker. I've discovered something interesting.
On my way.
You're scowling, Doctor.
- I'm thinking. - And?
The old Gatherer on the planet? I know what caused his heart attack.
The tricorder almost missed it but he had a microvirus in his body
blocking his autonomic nerve impulses.
And that stopped his heart?
But here's the really interesting part.
This microvirus only attaches itself to cells with very specific DNA.
How specific?
Without knowing more about their genetics, I can't be sure.
But my guess is,
this virus would only kill one Acamarian in a million.
- Pretty single-minded bug. - Too single-minded.
I can't believe it's a naturally-occurring virus.
- Meaning it was engineered? - Meaning Volnath was murdered.
Cmdr Riker, Acamar Ill has granted you access to their databases.
They are now being transmitted into our computer.
Good. Notify Dr Crusher when the medical database is on line.
Riker out.
Come in.
I'm disturbing you.
Not at all.
..the Sovereign has no further need for my services tonight,
she suggested I spend some time with you.
What a charming suggestion.
She appreciates the...
..affection you've shown me.
Was I that obvious?
I've already dined. Maybe you know a good Acamarian dessert recipe.
Does that not please you?
Tell me what you want. I will do anything you wish.
Wait a minute.
I don't understand.
Don't you want me to give you pleasure?
Not as a servant.
I told you, I prefer equals.
Even in the matters of love?
Especially in matters of love.
I've offended you.
No, I only want to make you as happy as you want to make me.
You're entitled to that.
No. I'm not.
I do not feel pleasure or passion.
I haven't been able to for a long time.
I don't know who did this to you.
Or why. But it can change.
I wish it could.
Tonight most of all.
I'm sorry.
A warm welcome from your people.
That's Chorgan's ship.
Shields holding.
Mr. Worf, contact Chorgan. Tell him Brull has brought us to talk.
Chorgan is not responding.
Mr. Worf, can we knock out their shields
without seriously damaging their ship?
- I believe we can, sir. - Prepare phasers and open a channel.
Phasers locked. Channel open.
Chorgan, this is Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Enterpri...
Let's focus their attention.
Mr. Worf, fire phasers.
Their forward shields are inoperative.
Well done, Lieutenant.
- We are being hailed, sir. - That's better. On screen.
Brull, you traitor! You have led them here to destroy me!
If I had wanted you destroyed, you would not be talking to me now.
- Obviously, I wanted something else. - And what is that?
I have on board Marouk of Acamar Ill. Listen to her and Brull.
- She's worth listening to. - I don't wish to listen.
You have no choice. We're beaming on board. Picard out.
Cancel red alert. Tell Marouk to meet me in transporter three.
Aye, sir.
- You're going alone? - The danger is minimal.
Chorgan won't do anything rash with our phasers trained on his ship.
There are still risks.
For these negotiations to succeed,
I must be a mediator, not an enforcer.
You have the bridge, Number One.
Chorgan, this is Sovereign Marouk.
You may sit.
You will find Marouk's proposal...
You know, Picard, I could take you prisoner.
Oh, don't worry. I've no intention of doing so.
I know what trouble it's been for you to get here,
and I am curious why.
Then let's proceed.
Quite simply, I'm proposing amnesty for every Gatherer.
You mean slavery.
- If you want to know what I think... - I don't! Say what you came to say.
I doubt I'll believe you.
I didn't believe this persuasive Federation Captain
when he suggested reconciliation.
I'm convinced now it's right, not just for you, but for us, too.
We need you back.
I've brought some Acamarian brandy.
I'm sure it's been a long time.
No! You have spent a century hunting us down.
- She is trying to end all that. - Luring us back, putting us in jail.
No, by accepting you back as free men.
Will you feed us and clothe us, too?
No, of course I won't.
What I will do is give you the means to feed and clothe yourselves.
We've set aside some land and you can use it to...
Do we look like farmers to you?
Then don't farm. Use the land as you wish. It's yours.
The moment you set foot on it, you'll be better off.
You won't be running any longer.
- We will need autonomy. - Autonomy?
We can at least acknowledge
that Chorgan appears willing to discuss your offer.
There are many levels of autonomy.
Your region would have certain rights.
Yes. And those rights will be spelled out
before I agree to anything.
Commander, I am afraid the only entry we have on Volnath
in the Acamarian database is a birth record.
Probably one of the last Gatherers to be born on their planet.
I've been searching the medical database from Acamar Ill.
I found another victim of the microvirus that killed Volnath.
But only one.
53 years ago, a Gatherer named Penthor-Mul.
Data? Anything in your file on Penthor-Mul?
Yes. He was a member of the Lornak clan.
He was captured while leading a raid on an Acamarian outpost.
He died of a heart attack before his trial ended.
Display Volnath's birth record again.
Lornak. The same clan.
The only two deaths by this microvirus are from the same clan.
What does that tell us?
If the microbes are engineered to kill,
I'd say somebody is going after a whole family.
Commander, Chorgan, the present leader of the Gatherers,
is also from the Lornak clan.
I want to know how this clan was involved with the blood feuds
and who their enemies were.
- How is this virus transmitted? - More ways than I can count.
It's safe to the carrier as long as he has different DNA.
Tailor-made for enemies.
Commander, 80 years ago,
the Lornaks massacred a rival clan, the Tralestas.
It ended a feud that had lasted 200 years.
Ended it?
Records show there were no survivors. The Tralestas were annihilated.
Something tells me they weren't all wiped out.
There must be a missing link.
Computer, any members of the delegation from the Tralesta clan?
Clan affiliation is not within records.
Sir, I have found a correlation between the two deaths.
Your missing link.
That is Penthor-Mul being led from his trial.
- I don't see the connection. - Behind him and to the left, sir.
Computer, scan left and magnify.
The computer can extrapolate the rest of the face, sir.
Do it.
But that photograph was taken over 50 years ago.
53 years ago, and she hasn't aged a day.
Three seats on the ruling council?
If we are subject to your law, we want a part in making it.
I agree you're entitled to representation
but not on the ruling council!
Unacceptable! The real power is in the council.
- You're shutting us off already. - You're trying to take too much.
- No group has three seats! - I don't care what others have!
You only care about what you can take!
Sovereign, if the situation were reversed,
I'm sure you would demand equal levels of representation.
You're right, Captain.
I apologise for my temper.
Perhaps a brief pause would be helpful.
I agree.
Maybe a little touch of that brandy.
You know... Thank you.
It is remarkable how very much alike the two of you actually are.
- Ridiculous! - Captain!
No, I'm serious.
You are both able negotiators, strong leaders.
- We don't obey weak leaders! - We haven't agreed to anything.
You're wrong, Chorgan. We've agreed to have brandy.
- Don't move! - A trap!
I assure you my First Officer has a very good reason for his actions.
You do, Number One?
Yuta, move away from Chorgan.
- Do it. - Why?
Because of a man you once knew named Penthor-Mul.
Penthor-Mul? How do you know Penthor-Mul?
Tell him, Yuta.
I don't understand.
You were with Penthor-Mul when he died.
It was 50 years ago. How...?
I know, Yuta.
Chorgan, keep perfectly still. Your life is in danger.
Step back, Yuta.
- This is not your concern. - It is now.
- You're about to commit a murder. - It isn't murder!
- It's justice! - Who are you?
Yuta of the clan Tralesta.
There are no more Tralestas.
Five survived the last Lornak raid.
But on that day, a century ago,
my life ended and my search began.
I was the one chosen, transformed.
My cells were altered
and my ageing slowed, enough to finish my task.
You used me in order to get to the last few you couldn't reach.
Yes, Sovereign.
You will never leave this ship alive.
You're the last.
Once you're dead, what happens to me doesn't matter.
The wars are over, Yuta.
- You cannot understand. - You're right, I can't.
Because I've seen the part of you that regrets what you've become.
You don't have to do this any more.
- I have no choice. - You do.
William, l...
I'm sorry.
Don't do this.
Commander, I am in your debt.
Yes. Thank you.
New orders from Starfleet.
The rendezvous with the Goddard has been postponed.
- In the meantime? - Starbase 343.
We're taking medical supplies for the Alpha Leonis system.
Sounds pretty routine.
With the Gatherer truce in effect, it should be.
We won't require a full ship's complement.
I'm going to extend shore leave to anyone who wants it.
I'll pass that along to the crew, Captain.

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