Captain's log, stardate 43714. 1.
We have finally eradicated the Phyrox Plague
on Cor Caroli V
and will soon be proceeding to our next mission.
A rendezvous with the USS Hood,
to assist in their terraforming efforts on Browder IV.
Commander, sensors detect abnormal energy in the Captain's quarters.
- Type? - Undetermined.
Riker to Capt Picard.
Security team to Captain's quarters.
Picard to Enterprise.
Anyone receiving this transmission, please respond.
Security override. Priority one.
Is something the matter, Lieutenant?
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.
I'm not going to hurt you.
- Captain. - Picard, of the Enterprise.
Captain Picard... We studied your missions at the Academy.
Mitena Haro, cadet, Starfleet Academy.
Perhaps you can explain what this is all about.
- Unfortunately, I can't, Mr...? - Tholl.
Kova Tholl of Mizar II.
Well, Mr. Tholl, all I know is I'm here against my will.
- Wherever "here" is. - It was the same with me, sir.
I was alone, studying and... I fainted.
When I came to...
it was about three days ago.
And you, sir?
I've been here 1 2 days, possibly more.
I was meditating and suddenly lost consciousness.
What do you know about our captors?
Nothing. They've never shown themselves.
Four sleeping areas.
That implies we may be joined by another captive.
But I wouldn't call it food.
- Don't touch that. - Why not?
If it's the door lock,
the combination's too complex to hit at random.
I tried it and was punished.
- How? - Severe pain.
Some sort of energy beam. I won't go near that panel again.
Sir, the Hood has arrived at the rendezvous point.
They are expecting us in 36 hours.
Thank you, Lieutenant.
Mr. Data, the nearest pulsar is in the Lonka Cluster, is it not?
- What do we know about that pulsar? - A great deal.
It is a rotating neutron star of approximately 4.356 solar masses.
Mr. Crusher, how long would it take us to get there?
At warp seven, 34 minutes, sir.
- Mr. Crusher, make it so. - Sir?
Set course for the Lonka Cluster. Warp two.
Sir, at warp two we'll arrive at the pulsar in 31 hours.
- Thank you, Ensign. Engage. - Aye, sir.
- We delay rendezvous with the Hood? - We may have to.
- Lieutenant, inform the Hood. - Aye, Commander.
Belay that order.
There'll be no further communication without my prior authorization.
Commander, may I have a word? Mr. Data, you have the bridge.
You know I like to keep you informed as to the nature of our missions.
If I don't, there's a reason.
Not to keep you in the dark,
but for the next few days, I may not be as communicative as usual.
- It may be difficult for you. - Don't worry. I can handle it.
- And the crew? - You can count on all of us, sir.
I appreciate that, Number One.
Picard, what are you doing?
Showing our captors we possess intelligence.
You don't think they know that? They hear us talking.
They may not realize we are communicating through language.
Capt Picard's letting them know we use mathematics.
by tapping out the first six prime numbers.
I know what he's doing. I'm trying to understand why.
We must communicate with our abductors, find out what they want.
Obviously, they want us.
What makes our captors choose us?
- What makes us special? - I couldn't say, Captain.
I'm certainly not special. I'm just one cadet.
- And your best area? - Impulse propulsion systems.
- I'm very good with field coils. - Good enough to be useful?
I don't know. Maybe.
But if they needed an engineer, sir, why didn't they take a real one?
- Why pick a Starfleet cadet? - That I can't answer.
The Bolians are maintaining an uneasy truce with the Moropa, are they not?
That's right. But this doesn't look like Moropa technology.
Even assuming the Moropa wanted me,
what would they want with you two?
I've never even heard of the Moropa. My race has no enemies.
None? In the last 300 years of Mizarian history,
your planet has been conquered six times!
We've survived by not resisting.
Mizarians value peace above confrontation.
You have no idea who did this?
No. I can't think of anyone who bears malice toward my race.
And against you personally?
You suggest someone with a grudge has gone to all this trouble...
I'm not suggesting anything. I'm merely trying to find an explanation.
I'm sorry, Picard. I can't give you one.
I'm neither important nor radical enough to hold for ransom.
- I'm a simple public servant. - Nevertheless, Mr. Tholl...
Stop! We mean you no harm.
We are prisoners like yourself. We are not the enemy.
- Who has done this? - We don't know.
We were brought here, the same way you were.
Our captors refuse to show themselves.
I don't trust you.
You must... trust us.
We wish only to return to our worlds.
Were you abducted from Chalna?
- You know my planet? - Oh, yes.
I visited there 1 2 years ago while commanding the Stargazer.
- Five and twenty. - Ouch!
- If it's too rich, Geordi, fold. - I'm thinking, I'm thinking.
Forgive this intrusion. I was... just passing by.
You are always welcome.
I was wondering, Mr. La Forge. What's our engine-efficiency status?
- Operating at 93 percent, sir. - That's very good.
But I would like to increase that to 95 percent.
- I'll get right on it. - That's not an order.
You can get to it later. I don't want to disrupt your recreation.
No, Captain, it's no problem. Lady Luck left me long ago.
Care to join us? We have an opening.
- I'll observe, if you don't mind. - Not at all. Counsellor, 20.
- Pair of threes. - Flush, queen high.
That beats my fours.
Well played, Counsellor. Can I have a word?
Forgive me, gentlemen. I'll return your player in a moment.
Counsellor, I wanted to ask you about the crew.
How are they reacting to our change in course?
I sense no unusual reactions, Captain.
Such change is hardly out of the ordinary.
They're not curious or concerned as to why?
They're curious, yes. But concerned?
No, they trust you.
- How far does that trust go? - Sir?
I know, Counsellor,
that the crew has always had full confidence in me.
But... what if it were to change?
Well, I'd inform you, sir, of course.
Thank you, Counsellor.
My given name is Esoqq. It means "fighter".
I'll bet half the names in the Chalnoth language mean "fighter".
Mizarians. Your names all mean "surrender".
We are a peaceful race, a race of thinkers.
A race of cowards.
And you? I don't know your people.
I am Mitena Haro of Bolarus IX.
- Who would want to imprison a child? - I am not a child.
I've been trying to determine if we have a common enemy.
Someone with a reason for confining us here.
There are Chalnoth who would kill me.
But kidnap? There is no reason.
- You have many enemies? - None of consequence.
I've slain all the ones who mattered.
- That shocks you, Bolian? - A little.
- And you? - No, I'm not surprised.
I know your race. You're uncivilized.
- You have no laws, no government. - The Chalnoth have no use for them.
We are strong. We obey no one.
You live in anarchy, murdering one another.
- That mentality will get us killed. - And you will be the first!
This is getting us nowhere.
Neither is asking useless questions.
But if you must pursue the topic,
how long have you and the Romulans been adversaries?
For quite a while, Mr. Tholl.
I could certainly entertain the hypothesis
that our captors are Romulans. But what would they want with you?
My brainpower, perhaps.
It's known my species possesses superior intelligence.
I'm among the brightest of my people.
And the least modest.
- What is this? - Food.
- The only food? - It would seem so.
Does this mean there's nothing for you to eat?
- You! - Don't even think that. Picard!
- Don't let him. - Esoqq.
How long can you go without food?
Three days,... perhaps four.
All your tests indicate the same results.
- You are in great shape. - I never felt better.
I see. Then why did you come in?
Your physical isn't for another month.
Usually you remind me, badger me and finally order me to report.
For once I thought I'd save you the trouble.
Jean-Luc, be honest with your doctor.
Are there any warning signs or symptoms you haven't told me about?
As far as I know, I'm perfectly healthy.
Well, then, return to your post.
- Have dinner with me tonight. - In ten-forward?
What about my quarters? More intimate.
Jean-Luc, you are full of surprises today.
I take that to be a yes.
Picard, is it wise to attempt an escape?
- It's imperative. - Why?
- Our captors haven't mistreated us. - We've been kidnapped!
Locked in a room. That's not mistreatment?
They haven't hurt us, have they?
I think we should just wait until we find out what they want.
- Be patient. - We can't afford to be patient.
Unless we act soon, Esoqq will starve.
If we antagonize them, they may decide we're too much trouble,
kill us and go capture another four.
I agree that's a risk, but I see no alternative.
Well, I refuse to help.
As you wish, Mr. Tholl.
We must get inside this panel.
Not very sturdy.
Stand back, Haro.
The design is simple.
Cross-circuiting the door mechanism should be easy.
- Make it so. - Yes, sir.
I think... I've got it.
I warned you.
- Out with it, Jean-Luc. - Out with what?
Whatever has been on your mind all evening long.
Has it been that apparent?
- How well you know me! - After all this time, I ought to.
Well, it's true. I have been preoccupied.
I know that's not very flattering to you, but I've been thinking about us.
And about the choices I've made.
We both have made choices.
And I've been wondering if they were the right ones.
I feel we've allowed our positions to isolate us.
Our positions necessitate a degree of professional detachment.
But there's a danger in becoming too detached,
of never permitting ourselves to get closer.
Is that what you want, Jean-Luc? To get closer?
You're a very attractive woman.
And you're a very attractive man.
But we both know it's not as simple as that.
Would it be simpler if I were not your commanding officer?
But that's not the only issue.
I guess right now I'm comfortable with our relationship
just the way it is.
- Would you care to dance? - I thought you didn't dance.
On special occasions.
I don't think I told you, but I'm glad you're back on the Enterprise.
I missed our friendship.
I did, too.
Jean-Luc, if I didn't know you better,
I would think you were playing games with me.
You're sorry you came tonight?
- I didn't say that. - Good.
Because I'm delighted that you did.
But perhaps we should call it a night.
I warned you not to provoke our captors.
The next beams might be lethal.
Not to you. You moved far from the door.
Of course I did! Being stunned once was enough.
You claimed you were hit by the stun beam
before the rest of us arrived.
You could be lying.
Maybe our enemy is watching us.
Are you accusing me of collaborating?
Collaboration is what your species does best.
You did try to talk us out of attempting to escape.
For all we know, you may be our captor.
Impossible. I'm a Mizarian. My people are not aggressive.
How can we be sure you're a Mizarian?
- You could be an impostor. - This is nonsense.
What if you're an impostor?
Esoqq was the last one to appear.
- He is the only one with a weapon. - Keep talking and I will use it.
Tholl, our captors have transporters, they have stun beams.
It's hardly likely they'd hold us at bay with a knife.
Then, maybe she's the impostor and set off the stun beams deliberately.
I was hit, too!
To forestall suspicion. You were very quick to volunteer.
Tholl, I asked her to open the door.
You ordered her.
You've been giving orders, trying to make everyone do what you want.
Tholl, what I want is for everyone to escape.
Why should we believe you?
Capt Picard's put his life at stake for others many times.
The primitive culture on Mintaka Ill, the Wogneer creatures.
- And Cor Caroli V. - Right.
Helping to cure the Phyrox Plague.
And how do we know this is the heroic Capt Picard?
We have no proof of his identity.
You wasted time with failed attempts to communicate with them or escape.
Is that your task?
To keep us busy so we're off guard?
First Officer's log, supplemental.
Although we're 18 hours from the pulsar,
the Captain has ordered us to slow to one-half impulse.
He has offered no explanation.
I don't know why we're going to this pulsar. And why at half impulse?
The Captain has given unusual orders before.
I know. This is different. He's different.
I can't put my finger on it, but I'm worried.
The Captain does seem... detached from his emotions.
Mr. La Forge.
We are operating at 96 percent engine efficiency.
- Well done. - Thank you, sir.
When we arrive at the pulsar, I require everyone at their best.
- I know I can rely on you two. - Of course.
Excellent. An ale for me and for my officers.
In fact, ales for everyone!
Here's to the finest crew in Starfleet.
You know,... back when I was in the Academy,
we would follow every toast with a song.
I wonder if I can... Oh, yes.
Come cheer up, my lads, 'Tis to glory we steer
To find something new In this wonderful year
To honour we call you As free men
For who are so free As the sons of waves?
Honourable, call our ships Jolly calls are our man
We always are ready Steady boy, steady
We'll fight and we'll conquer Again and again
Come cheer up, my lads 'Tis to glory we steer...
Commander, what's the Captain up to?
That's not the Captain I know.
We are on a mission that has no apparent purpose.
In itself, I can accept that.
All of us can because the Captain says it's important and we trust him.
Then he runs the crew through unprecedented efficiency drills.
But he says we need them, so we need them, because we trust our captain.
But we also have a captain singing drinking songs with his men.
He came to the poker game, too.
And he was very odd with me afterwards.
He wanted me to warn him if the crew was losing confidence in him.
Any signs of mental stress or trauma?
He came in for a physical with no word from me.
Anything unusual, Doctor?
Every test result identical to his last physical,
which is kind of unusual in itself.
As if to establish nothing was wrong.
There was one other thing.
He asked me to dinner in his cabin.
It was a very unusual evening.
Which brings up a very serious possibility.
What if there's an outside influence at work here?
I detect no evidence of telepathic coercion.
Commander, there is one fact we have not considered.
The abnormal energy in the Captain's room wasn't explained.
Not enough evidence to justify mutiny.
Nobody has suggested removing the Captain from command.
Right now all we have are suspicions. Not enough to act on.
The next move is his.
Well, Picard, prove to us you are not the enemy.
You're right, Mr. Tholl. Any one of us may be the enemy.
And there is no way to prove that we aren't.
But until we set aside our mutual fears and trust one another,
we have no hope of escape.
But how can we trust each other?
She's right. There may be an enemy among us.
And what if there is, Mr. Tholl?
Shall we keep accusing one another until hostility leads to violence?
Do we allow our suspicions to destroy us?
Now, let's see if we can override this stun mechanism.
Helm, take us in to 20 million kilometres.
Mr. Worf, divert enough power to the shields
to offset radiation and magnetic fields.
Sir, at 20 million kilometres
our shields are only effective for 1 8 minutes.
Noted, Mr. Data.
..may I have a word with you?
- You have the bridge, Mr. Data. - Aye, sir.
What is our mission?
I'm under no obligation to tell you that.
If you don't, you force me to take command of this vessel.
On what grounds?
Endangering this ship for no reason.
- No reason you're aware of. - Not good enough.
Your behaviour has been erratic.
Erratic enough to justify mutiny?
Do you really believe you have evidence
to convince a board of inquiry?
No, I don't.
But I can't let you risk the lives of this crew.
Number One, has it occurred to you
that you might be the one with the problem?
I'm aware you're under stress and I will let the matter drop
if you report to sickbay for a full examination.
Otherwise, I will have to relieve you from duty.
Think about it.
I may have overloaded it, sir.
- Mr. Tholl! - I still think this is a mistake.
Now what? We're no better off than when we started.
Captain, number four shield has failed.
Increasing power to number three.
Helm, move us closer. 1 0 million kilometres.
Sir, the ship will not withstand the magnetic fields and radiation.
- We will not survive. - Take us in, Mr. Crusher.
Belay that order.
You're relieved of duty, Commander.
Mr. Worf, confine Mr. Riker to his quarters.
- Worf, that was an order. - Maintain your position, Lieutenant.
You're destroying yourself and anyone foolish enough to listen to you.
You've shown none of the concern Capt Picard would
for the safety of his ship, the welfare of his crew.
Mr. Worf, escort Cmdr Riker from the bridge.
Crusher, take us away from this pulsar. Heading 1 85, mark 32.
- Full impulse. Aye, Commander. - Engage.
I hope you're satisfied, Picard. You've accomplished nothing!
The sound of your voice is beginning to anger me.
I think this charade has gone far enough.
- Don't you? - I don't understand.
Oh, yes, you do.
This isn't a holding cell.
It's a laboratory maze,
a carefully structured test.
It's an experiment to see how we react under pressure.
- How do you know? - It's the only explanation.
Look at the four of us.
We do have something in common. We all react differently to authority.
You, the collaborator, defer to whoever has control.
You, the anarchist, reject authority in any form.
I, a Starfleet captain, trained to command.
..a Starfleet cadet, sworn to obey a superior officer's authority.
Our captors have placed us here and devised obstacles for us to overcome.
They give us food, which Esoqq can't eat, to make him a threat.
They give us a door we can't open
until the four of us co-operate.
And each time we succeed, they deal us reverses,
to set us against each other again while you...
..observe our reactions.
Sir, I've been trying to help.
I found it unlikely that a cadet
would know of the Enterprise's visit to Mintaka Ill, so I tested you.
Starfleet has classified the Cor Caroli V plague as secret.
No cadet would have knowledge of that incident.
- Captain... - So you can drop this pretence.
I'm quitting this game.
As far as I am concerned, this experiment is over!
You are correct, Capt Picard.
To learn about alien interaction, we borrowed you, Tholl and Esoqq.
- We replaced you with replicas. - Replicas?
Our transporter replicates living matter,
including where the brain stores memory.
You mean there's a copy of me on Mizar II?
- An impostor running my ship? - No longer.
Cmdr Riker is now in charge. Our species is telepathically linked.
We are all in continual contact.
Much more efficient than your vocal communications.
We would like to pursue this study
but your awareness of it taints the results.
We will therefore return you to your places of origin.
Hold your positions. Take no action.
Why did you choose to study authority and leadership?
Because our species has no such concepts. We are all identical.
There are no distinctions. We have no leaders, no followers.
We wanted to investigate command.
Our replicas of Tholl and Esoqq explored this on Mizar Il and Chalna
just as our Picard replica did on the Enterprise.
Your responses were intriguing.
You have no right to put us through this
just to satisfy your curiosity.
- Why not? - Kidnapping is an immoral assault.
The rights of other races must be respected.
This concept of morality is an interesting human characteristic.
- We shall have to study it sometime. - Now, Mr. Worf.
What is it? Why do you hold us?
Because there is something else you can learn.
With an alert crew, even our primitive vocal communications
With a single look, I informed my crew I wanted to hold you here.
- But why? - I'm conducting my own experiment.
I want to see how you react to being imprisoned.
Our species can't bear captivity.
We were curious. We meant no harm.
We did not injure you.
Imprisonment is an injury, no matter how you justify it.
Now that you've tasted captivity,
perhaps you will reconsider inflicting it on others.
In any event, we now know of your race.
And we know how to imprison you. Bear that in mind.
Now get off my ship.
Mr. Crusher, set course to rendezvous with the Hood.
It's good to have you back, sir.
Status, Number One.
Ship and crew functioning normally.
Then my doppelgänger caused no serious damage?
The replica was convincing?
Very convincing, but not perfect.
- Not perfect in what way? - Well, sir...
I find it hard to believe you're that good a singer.
I look forward to reading your report, Commander.
At least, I think I do.
Course laid in, sir.