There's a time to call a Romulan's bluff and a time when you don't. No?
One does not always have the luxury.
You've got to choose your time and place with them.
- True or false? - Yes. Wherever possible.
So, this time you were lucky.
I suppose all's well that ends well, but if I'd been in your shoes...
That really does look nice, Mr. Mot. I think that will be sufficient.
There. I must tell you, Captain,
Will Riker was in for a trim and he agrees with me 100 percent.
Bridge to Capt Picard.
- Yes. - Sorry to interrupt.
We're receiving a distress signal from Solarion IV.
That's right along the Cardassian border.
Lay in a new course. I'm on my way.
I said we shouldn't colonize so close to the Cardassians.
- Report. - The signal ended abruptly 0455.
- Unable to raise them on subspace. - Hail them on other frequencies.
I've tried. No response.
- Time to the Solarion system? - 26 minutes, Captain.
So you've been discussing alternative engagement strategy with Mr. Mot.
He was discussing them with me.
He's the fleet's best barber. What can you do?
Receiving another signal of a vessel leaving orbit of Solarion IV.
New frequency, low band. Audio only.
Open a channel.
This is the Bajora. We claim responsibility
for the destruction of the Federation colony on Solarion IV.
As long as we are without our homeland,
no one will be safe in this sector.
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.
Captain's log, star date 45076.3.
We have arrived at Lya Station Alpha with survivors from Solarion IV.
Admiral Kennelly has rendezvoused to discuss the Bajoran terrorist attack.
Ginger tea with honey, 80 degrees Celsius.
My Aunt Adele's cure for the common cold.
Common, hell! I picked this up from the Cardassian liaison this weekend.
It's some damn virus they sicked on me.
Did he have anything to say about this attack?
The same old story for the Cardassians.
They've had terrorist problems
since they annexed the Bajoran Homeworld 40 years ago.
But in 40 years, they've never attacked a Federation target.
A militant splinter group
has broken away from the Bajoran settlement camps.
The leader's name is Orta.
He'll do whatever he has to to get attention.
- And our response? - Listen, Jean-Luc.
I'm the first to say the Bajora deserve attention.
Chased off their own planet by the Cardassians,
forced to wander the galaxy, settling wherever they can. It's tragic.
On many worlds they are isolated, treated as pariahs.
The Federation is sympathetic to their cause,
but they're not helping with this attack.
That's what I want you to communicate to them.
This could be done through diplomatic channels, Admiral.
What do you really want of us?
Find this terrorist leader, Orta.
And get him back where he belongs any way you can.
Any way I can?
The Federation has dozens of settlements in that sector.
We cannot allow the violence to continue.
What do I offer Orta to persuade him to cooperate?
- Amnesty. - Admiral... !
And a promise that we will address this issue with the Cardassians.
Quietly, behind the scenes,
using every legitimate means possible.
But the Bajora must be patient.
They've endured generations of sympathy and promises.
How can I believe Orta will be satisfied with more of the same?
It's your job to see to it that he does, Jean-Luc.
- Riker to Capt Picard. - Go ahead.
Have you approved the transfer of a new officer?
Well, we've got one. Waiting to beam aboard, with orders.
- Ensign Ro Laren. - Ro Laren?
- From the Wellington? - The very same.
Shall I tell her there's been some mistake?
Stand by, Commander.
I wrote the orders. I thought she might be valuable to you.
Admiral, I would appreciate consulting rights
on the assigning of a new officer, especially one with her record.
- She's Bajoran. - There are others in Starfleet.
- Assign one of them! - I've discussed this with her.
I am convinced that she is the right one for this job.
After what happened on Garon II, she shouldn't be on any starship.
- Let alone the flagship, my ship! - You're taking her, Captain.
It's been arranged.
I can't tell you how hard it was to get her out of prison.
- It's that important to you? - It's that important to the mission.
- Picard to Riker. - Go ahead.
- Proceed with the transport. - Sir?
- I'll... fill you in later. - Yes, sir.
I hope you and I don't regret this.
You can handle her, Captain, if anyone can.
Ensign Ro Laren reporting as ordered.
You will follow Starfleet uniform code aboard this ship, Ensign.
Some of the crew will not want to serve with Ensign Laren, sir.
They will have to learn to live with it.
I intend to demand the highest level of performance from her.
I would expect nothing less.
It won't be for long, Will.
- Ensign Laren, please sit down. - Ensign Ro, sir.
Bajora have the family name first, the individual's name second.
I am properly addressed as Ensign Ro.
I'm sorry. I didn't know.
There's no reason you should. It's an old custom.
Most Bajora accept the distortion of their names to assimilate.
I do not.
I wish to be candid, Ensign.
I'm aware of your Starfleet record and your problems on other ships
and the incident at Garon II that led to your court martial.
I'm concerned about your presence on this mission.
I don't want to be here any more than you want me to be here, sir.
Then why take this assignment?
If I may be equally candid?
It's better than prison.
Better than prison? Some officers wait years to serve on this ship.
Being called back into Starfleet was not my idea.
Yet we will all be serving together.
We have expectations of you.
Captain,... I know the routine.
You don't have to worry about me. We're stuck with each other.
So let's just get this over with and go our own separate ways, OK?
Captain's log. We're approaching the Valo system,
on the edge of Cardassian territory, where many Bajorans have resettled.
There are dozens of Bajoran camps on the three Class-M planets.
I suggest we start on Valo III,
where an ad hoc leader named Jaz Holza lives.
The Federation has had dealings with him.
- I met Holza at a symposium. - What can you tell us, Doctor?
I found him a very concerned leader and a good spokesman for his people.
And a terrific dancer!
No, really, I'm serious. At a reception afterwards.
At least this man has genuine experience in diplomacy.
A big advantage on this mission.
Mr. Data, will you contact Holza, arrange a meeting?
Ensign Ro, you know the star system. You'll take the conn.
Is there a problem, Ensign?
You're wasting your time. Holza is nobody.
He's the token Bajoran
that people invite to symposiums and diplomatic soirées.
But he has no real influence among my people.
Whom do you suggest we speak to?
Don't you understand? These people are ready to martyr themselves.
- They don't want to talk. - This ship will fight if necessary.
It will be. Don't fool yourself. This mission will end in bloodshed.
Let's hope that you're mistaken, Ensign.
But can you point us at the right individual, as Mr. Data suggested?
I would go to the camp on the southern continent of Valo II.
Find a man named Keeve Falor.
He has no diplomatic experience. And he won't ask you to dance.
Captain's log, supplemental.
I read about ancient Bajoran civilization in the fifth grade.
They were architects and artists, builders and philosophers
when humans were not yet standing erect.
Now I see how history has rewarded them.
This used to be me.
Ro Laren. It's been a long time.
Keeve Falor, Capt Jean-Luc Picard, Cmdr Data and Lt Worf.
I'm pleased you agreed to meet us, Mr. Keeve.
You honour me by the proper use of my name.
- Ensign Ro has educated me. - Has she?
I'm pleased you still remember. Let me show you our camp.
We are not a violent race, Captain. Just passionate about our cause.
That passion has led some to take up arms.
- Do you know where we can find Orta? - I'm afraid not.
- Can you help us to locate him? - Sorry. I don't wish to help you.
I believe the raid on the Federation outpost was poor judgement.
You are innocent bystanders.
I cannot condone violence against those who are not enemies.
I don't see why you're unwilling.
Because you are innocent bystanders.
You were bystanders for decades as the Cardassians took our homes,
as they violated and tortured our people,
as we were forced to flee.
We were saddened by those events,
but they occurred within the borders of the Cardassian Empire.
And the Federation is pledged
not to interfere in the internal affairs of others.
How convenient that must be for you,
to turn a deaf ear to those who suffer behind a line on a map.
I'm not here to debate Federation policy with you,
but I can offer you assistance.
Simply because of one terrorist attack?
Well! Perhaps I should have known that.
We should have attacked the Federation long ago.
What do you think of that, Ro?
You're a small man who feels a rush of power and enjoys it too much.
Stop talking and listen.
We've had problems with Cardassians.
But now that we have a treaty, we're in a position to help.
Your people have been forced to resettle all over the quadrant.
But now we can make a legitimate case that this is not an isolated problem.
We can work diplomatically on your behalf.
But first, these terrorist attacks must end.
We live in different universes, you and l.
Yours is about diplomacy, politics, strategy.
Mine is about blankets!
If we were to exchange places for one night, you might better understand.
Mr. Data, have the replicators provide a blanket
for every man, woman and child before nightfall.
- Aye, sir. - Mr. Worf.
Determine their emergency needs and provide for them.
Return to your ship.
I will contact you when I have any information that might assist.
- You were helpful. - The blankets were helpful.
Nothing I said mattered.
In an age when their technology
should be able to clothe and feed all of them,
they should live like this.
I couldn't, and I wouldn't.
That's one reason I ran away. They're lost, defeated.
I will never be.
Captain's log, star date 45077. 8.
Keeve Falor has kept his promise
and directed us toward the third moon of Valo I
where we will meet tomorrow with the terrorist leader Orta.
Do you mind if we join you?
If I'm on an away team with Ensign Ro, I won't turn my back on her.
Perhaps the Captain felt she'd help the mission.
That was orders. Had to be.
She doesn't belong here. She doesn't even belong in the uniform.
- Really? - Really.
Sounds like someone I'd like to know. Excuse me.
- Am I disturbing you? - Yes.
Good. You look like someone who wants to be disturbed.
- I'd rather be alone. - No, you wouldn't.
I beg your pardon?
If you want to be alone, stay in your quarters.
The only reason to come here is to be amongst people.
Who are you?
My name is Guinan. I tend bar, and I listen.
- Heard anything interesting? - Everyone's talking about you.
Heard anything interesting?
Well, it's all true.
I believe truth is in the eye of the beholder.
Isn't that supposed to be beauty?
Truth, beauty. It works for a lot of things.
They say you never told the true story of Garon II,
and that you didn't defend yourself at your court martial.
What was to defend? I didn't follow orders.
Eight members of the away team died.
- Your fault? - Yeah, my fault.
So you sit alone in crowded rooms staring at your drink.
- I think you enjoy it. - I enjoy it?
You work so hard at torturing yourself, I think you must enjoy it.
Who are you?
I told you. I'm Guinan. I tend bar, and I listen.
You're not like any bartender I ever met.
And you're not like any Starfleet officer I've ever met.
But that sounds like the beginning of a very interesting friendship.
I don't stay anywhere long enough to make friends.
Too late. You just did.
- Bridge to Ensign Ro. - Go ahead.
Subspace communication coming in for you, Ensign.
Computer, direct subspace transmission to monitor.
Your report, Ensign.
Everything is going exactly as you predicted, Admiral.
Any weapons or vessels beneath the surface?
The moon's surface is blocking the sensors.
Which is why they chose this moon.
We're on a timetable. Where's Ro?
Picard to Ensign Ro.
- Computer, locate Ensign Ro. - Ensign Ro is not aboard.
Check the transport log.
She beamed down six hours ago, sir.
Any activity at the meeting site?
- No, sir. That didn't show up. - What the hell is going on?
Transport us to the same location Ensign Ro beamed to.
Mr. Worf, phasers.
I am picking up molecular-displacement traces,
suggesting movement in the last ten hours.
Try to determine their direction. Standard search pattern.
- Maintain security link. - Mr. Worf, come with me.
Data. I'm picking up energy fluctuations over here.
Troi to Picard.
- Captain, acknowledge! - Data to Picard.
Data to Worf.
I am Orta.
Please forgive my appearance.
Unfortunately, some years ago, as a guest of the Cardassians,
my face was mutilated. My vocal cords were cut.
It was not necessary to abduct us.
I am sorry. But after speaking with Ro Laren, I decided that it was.
She has done us both a disservice. I am committed to peace.
I am not at all interested in peace.
I am not convinced that you are either.
I did not come here to undermine this mission.
You've already damaged these negotiations.
I wanted these people to listen to you.
I didn't want it to end in bloodshed.
There will be no bloodshed.
- You don't know the facts, sir. - So share them with me.
All is not what it seems. Perhaps someone is using you to get to me.
Perhaps you are a victim of this deception. I do not know.
Your mission was to find the Bajoran terrorists
who destroyed a Federation settlement.
As I have informed Ro Laren, it was not the Bajora.
He admits dozens of attacks on Cardassian targets.
Why believe him about Solarion IV?
- He has no reason to lie. - He fears reprisal.
I perceive no fear or deception from him.
If they did not attack Solarion IV, who did?
Why falsely implicate the Bajora?
Perhaps someone wanted to draw us into the conflict.
- What would anyone gain from that? - Ensign Ro.
- May I see you in my ready room? - Yes, sir.
Do not leave this ship without authorization.
- I'm sorry, but... - This is not a discussion.
You're restricted to your quarters for this mission. Dismissed.
Hello. It's me, Guinan. I heard you got grounded.
I really don't feel like talking right now.
Come on, sure you do.
Why is it, when I tell you something, you say I mean the opposite?
You're one of those people who's got their poles reversed.
- Do you want to talk about it? - It's nothing you can help me with.
How do you know until you try?
I got myself into this. I'm trying to figure a way out, that's all.
Without anyone getting killed this time.
Everybody's pulling my strings, like I've got no control.
For people like you and me, who've lost their homes,
sometimes that's the way life feels.
I'm in trouble.
There's more going on here than anybody on this ship realizes.
It's more than I know how to deal with.
I really don't know who to trust any more.
- Including yourself? - Especially myself.
You know, a very long time ago, I got into some serious trouble, too.
And I mean serious.
And I'd probably still be there if I hadn't trusted one man.
Ensign Ro has some things to talk to you about.
Ensign Ro has been confined to her quarters.
She can go back to her quarters when she's done.
I don't know why you're involved, but...
She's my friend.
Please sit down.
Guinan is very selective about whom she calls a friend.
When I've finished telling you what I have to tell you,
I'll probably end up back in the stockade.
If that's the way it has to be, then...
I just can't do this any more.
What can you not do any more?
Admiral Kennelly came to me in prison
and said he'd get me out if I'd go on a mission.
- I know that part. - No, sir. Not this mission.
One for him, and only him.
You were being sent to talk, to negotiate.
The Admiral knew that was hopeless.
My job was to give Orta an incentive.
What kind of incentive?
One that you couldn't offer. Nor could Starfleet.
Orta was to end terrorism against the Federation
and return with his people to the camps.
In exchange, he would get weapons, ships,
to really make a difference against the Cardassians.
I find that impossible to believe.
That Admiral Kennelly would supply weapons to the terrorists?
If you ask him, he'll deny it. But it's true.
I didn't leave the ship without authorization.
I got it from the Admiral.
You have been in contact with Admiral Kennelly?
Yes, sir. The subspace log can confirm that part of it at least.
Arming these people is a violation of all the Federation stands for.
Even you cannot be blind to that!
No, sir, I'm not. But this was something I had to do.
You see, Captain,
when I was seven years old, I was given a piece of sugar candy,...
..and I was led by a Cardassian into a room where my father was sitting.
He looked at me with eyes I'd never seen.
The Cardassian began to ask him questions.
And during the next two hours, as I was forced to watch,...
..my father was tortured until he died.
And I remember feeling so ashamed of him as he begged for mercy.
I was ashamed of him for being weak.
I was ashamed of being Bajoran.
Later, I began to understand how misguided those feelings were.
And yet somehow, they have remained a part of me.
I don't want to be ashamed of my heritage any longer, Captain.
I serve the Federation.
But I am Bajoran.
A Starfleet admiral gave me an opportunity
to help my people in their fight against the Cardassians.
I had to accept.
Have you made this offer to Orta?
No. After he told me the Bajora hadn't attacked Solarion IV,
nothing made sense. I decided to wait until I knew what was going on.
A wise choice. It probably saved you from another court martial.
Have you briefed Admiral Kennelly since our return?
No, sir. Captain, I don't know who to trust any more.
But that strange bartender has a way of getting to you.
She said that you were her friend.
Then we have one thing in common.
Do you think that Orta would cooperate to determine the truth?
I think I can persuade him to.
Good. Our orders were to find him,
to bring him back to the camps any way we could.
That's exactly what we should do.
- And then what? - And then watch what happens.
Captain's log, supplemental.
I am convinced we are somehow involved in a conspiracy.
I am hopeful the purpose behind it will be revealed in a few hours.
Well done, Captain.
It was a team effort, Admiral. Ensign Ro was invaluable.
Good. What's the next step?
The Enterprise will escort a Bajoran Antares-class cruiser to Valo III.
Orta and his people will be aboard.
Good. Keep us advised of your progress.
Acknowledged. How's that Cardassian virus, Admiral?
- A lot better, thank you. - I'm pleased.
We'll report when our mission is accomplished.
Ensign Ro, take us to the designated coordinates.
Mr. Data, keep an eye on the Cardassian border.
The Bajoran vessel is moving up from the surface.
Hail them, Mr. Worf.
Audio channel open. The ship does not have visual capabilities.
This is Capt Picard. We're prepared to escort you to Valo III.
Acknowledged. Our ship is limited to half-impulse.
Ensign Ro, set a course for Valo III, half impulse.
There is increased activity in Cardassian space.
Two ships moving along the border, heading 142, mark 051.
Can you identify the class of those ships, Mr. Worf?
Cardassian warships. Galor-class, type III.
Top of the line.
Their course is parallel to our own.
Yellow alert. Continue to monitor them.
Ensign Ro, what's the closest we come to the Cardassian border?
13,400 kilometres, sir.
- ETA? - Eight minutes.
That's where it'll be.
The Cardassians are changing course. They are crossing the border.
- They have powered up their weapons. - Red alert.
Set a course to intercept the Cardassians.
Open a channel to the Bajoran vessel.
This is the Enterprise. We will intercept two Cardassian warships.
- Maintain your present course. - Acknowledged.
The Cardassians are in visual range.
- They are hailing us, sir. - Open a channel, Mr. Worf.
This is Capt Picard of the Federation Starship Enterprise.
How can we help you?
Gul Dolak, Cardassian militia 41. We have no argument with you, Captain.
I'm pleased to hear that.
The Federation values peace with our Cardassian neighbours.
No more than we value relations with the Federation.
Now we have established our mutual goodwill, what's on your mind?
The Bajoran ship you are escorting is a terrorist carrier.
Terrorist carrier? Are you certain?
Most certain. It has committed crimes against us.
We know its markings well.
Rest assured, there will be no terrorist attacks today.
We are escorting the Bajoran settlers to Valo III.
You can monitor their course.
We request that you withdraw and leave the matter to us.
This is neutral space, Gul Dolak. You have no jurisdiction.
Nor do you.
If we withdraw, what do you intend to do with the Bajoran vessel?
We intend to destroy it.
I see. That puts me in a difficult position.
I promised to escort these people.
You are protecting the enemies of the Cardassians.
If you do not withdraw, we will take great offence.
I'm sorry to offend you, but we cannot withdraw.
We will take any steps necessary.
Is that intended as a threat?
It is a complaint from your Cardassian neighbours.
You have one hour to withdraw.
Advise Starfleet of our status, Data.
I'll speak to Admiral Kennelly in my ready room.
It seemed, Admiral,
that they knew our course, our destination, our plan.
I'm sure they monitor the border for terrorist activity.
Their sensors must have picked up Orta's ship.
I'm not convinced of that.
The important thing is, what do we do now?
Do you have any suggestions?
Your top priority is to protect the Cardassian treaty.
We can't protect the Cardassian peace without sacrificing the Bajoran.
If that's your call, I'll support it.
No. I'm not willing to give them up.
You're not looking at the big picture, Jean-Luc.
We can't afford to lose the Cardassian treaty.
I see a different big picture. It looks something like this.
I see the Cardassian liaison, with his Cardassian virus,
coming to meet with you after the attack on Solarion IV.
"Now we have a common enemy," he says. "The Bajoran terrorists."
"The Cardassians can't find them, but maybe the Federation can."
I'm beginning to see that our mission has, in fact, been to expose Orta,
so that the Cardassians can move in and destroy him.
I think you've lost your perspective, Captain.
We'll discuss this further when you return.
For now, I'm giving you a direct order to withdraw.
Ensign Ro, set a course, bearing 187, mark 102, one quarter impulse.
He's ordered us to withdraw?
The Cardassians are moving toward the Bajoran vessel.
Hold present course.
The Bajoran ship has been destroyed.
Subspace signal coming in from Starfleet. Admiral Kennelly.
It is on a secure channel. In your ready room?
No. Here. On screen.
The Cardassians have destroyed the Bajoran ship.
- All hands lost? - No, sir.
No, sir. No one was on board.
What are you saying?
The ship was controlled from the ground.
Communication was through a subspace relay.
- This was your idea, Picard? - Actually, no.
It was Ensign Ro's idea, but I endorsed it.
I suspected this might occur.
They're terrorists! Why protect them?
I am more concerned
with protecting the honour and integrity of Starfleet.
You know how many of our people they killed on Solarion IV?
The Bajorans did not attack Solarion IV.
- Who told you that? Orta? - Yes.
And you believed him?!
Admiral, Orta's ships are old and obsolete.
They don't have warp capabilities.
They couldn't reach another star system, let alone attack one.
Then who's responsible?
I suggest you ask your friend, the Cardassian liaison.
The only explanation I can think of is that the Cardassians staged it.
The Cardassians? Why?
Perhaps they hoped to find someone in Starfleet, like you, Admiral,
naive enough to solve their Bajoran problem for them.
- What will happen to him? - I'm not sure.
A hearing, certainly. Probably a court martial.
If he gets sent to the stockade on Jaros II,
tell him to request a room in the east wing.
The west wing gets awfully hot in the afternoons.
How soon do you intend to return to Lya Station Alpha, sir?
In a few weeks. We have surveying to do in Sector 21305.
Perhaps I should arrange for some other transportation back.
Ensign, you were recruited for one mission.
If you wish to be relieved of duty, I could arrange it.
But I'd like you to consider remaining in Starfleet.
You're not serious?
It would be a shame for Starfleet to lose someone of your potential.
Well, thank you, Captain.
But this uniform just doesn't fit, and you know it.
- That can change. - I don't think so.
I've noticed qualities in you that could be harnessed, moulded.
Don't count on it.
You've got a great deal to learn from Starfleet.
I always thought Starfleet had a lot to learn from me.
That's an attitude that I've found common
among the best officers I've ever served with.
You're not one of them yet, but you could be, if you work at it.
That's an interesting challenge.
I rarely refuse an interesting challenge.
There would have to be one condition.
Picard to Enterprise. Two to beam up.