Captain's log, star date 45470.1.
The Enterprise is in the Moab Sector
to track a stellar core fragment of a disintegrated neutron star.
Our science teams have been asked to monitor any planetary disruption.
We've got a problem.
Our core fragment will pass Moab IV in six days.
Isn't that what we anticipated?
We didn't anticipate someone living there.
An artificial environment on the southern continent, sir.
You've established that there's someone inside?
Yes. Sensors are reading human life forms.
- Human? - Are they responding?
Any starships reported missing in this sector, Mr. Data?
No, sir.
How did they find themselves on a deserted planet?
- They must know we're here. - Mr. La Forge?
Our sensors are picking up EM readings.
Wave patterns from an old subspace relay.
Which would suggest they can communicate with us.
Mr. Worf, open frequencies commonly used in the last century.
Channel open.
This is Capt Jean-Luc Picard
of the Federation Starship Enterprise.
It is urgent that you respond.
Sir, the shield around the structure is increasing strength.
Not exactly a welcome mat.
We mean you no harm.
We must warn you that your planet is about to experience
massive seismic disruptions
due to an approaching stellar core fragment.
No structure will be able to withstand them.
- They are responding. - On screen.
Enterprise, I am Aaron Conor.
Mr. Conor, we were unaware of human colonies in this system.
I don't want to be rude,
but we don't wish to interact with outsiders.
I'm only responding to your warning.
The fragment will have effects on your planet in six days.
Yes, I know. We have been tracking it.
Our biosphere can withstand quakes of 8. 7 on the Richter scale.
Mr. Data?
The fragment has a density of 100 billion kg per cubic cm.
As a result, when it passes Moab IV,
it will cause tectonic shifts well beyond 8.7 on the Richter scale.
We have to evacuate you.
Evacuate? That is not possible. There must be an alternative.
We will gladly explore the possibility with you.
Would you like to come aboard?
Our environment is sealed. No one can get in or out.
We are capable of matter-energy transport.
We can take you through the structure.
Really? That's quite remarkable.
May we arrange your transport?
No, I must remain here. But under the circumstances,
I will permit a small delegation inside the biosphere.
If only to see your matter-energy transportation.
Very good. Cmdr Riker and team will be with you shortly.
- This is a mistake. - What would you have me do?
Anything to keep them out.
- We have nothing to hide. - We have much to lose.
- What is that? - It's them. Look at this, Martin.
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.
It's lovely. I can understand why you're reluctant to leave.
Not just reluctant, Miss Troi. It is imperative that we remain.
It would be suicide to evacuate.
It would destroy what we have worked for two centuries.
You see, this is an engineered society.
- Engineered? - Genetically.
Our ancestors from Earth came to create a perfect society.
They believed through controlled procreation,
they could create people without flaws,
and those people would build a paradise.
All of you have been selectively bred?
- Your DNA patterns chosen? - Eight generations of us.
We have immeasurably extended the potential of humanity,
physically, psychologically.
We have evolved beyond...
- Beyond... - Beyond us?
Frankly, yes.
No one in this society would be blind.
- No offence intended. - I can see you, sir.
- Yes. Well, my point... - Thank you, Martin.
Perhaps you've made it clear there are still a few imperfections.
For the most part, we are fully integrated,
not just among ourselves but with our environment.
We don't just live here. We are a part of our environment.
Every plant, microscopic life form is part of the master design.
We cannot separate ourselves from it without altering who we are.
Your presence has already begun to affect the balance of our society.
If we don't survive,
the balance of our society won't mean a great deal, will it?
I apologize.
But he is performing his function as designed to.
What function is that?
He is the interpreter of our founders' intentions.
- A judge? - More or less.
Obviously, he has no diplomatic talents.
And obviously you do.
I've been bred to fill this specific role.
We grow up knowing exactly what our society needs from us.
- That takes the fun out of it. - No.
My psychology tells me that I was born to lead.
I am what I would choose to be. Think of it another way.
Are there still people in your society who have not discovered
what to do in life?
They may be in the wrong job or writing bad poetry.
Or worse, they may be great poets, working as labourers.
That does not happen here.
It is for us an ideal existence.
We will not give it up easily.
We will do whatever we can to help you preserve it.
Hannah, meet our guests.
Yes, from the starship. I've been looking forward to this.
Hannah Bates, a scientist.
If there's a way, Hannah will find it.
She has a remarkable talent with theoretical physics.
I've worked up a few schematics
based on gravimetric potentials and deflector energy-allocation.
Geordi, Troi and I will return to the Enterprise. Contact us.
If Mr. Conor doesn't mind, I'd like to see more.
No, no. That would be fine. I'd like you to see it.
Riker to Enterprise. One to beam up.
- Acknowledged, Commander. - Energize.
Are you sure my being here is not going to be disruptive?
Disruptive? You mean what Martin was saying?
I certainly wouldn't wish to throw off your entire balance.
Too late. The damage is done.
Strict interpreters like Martin can forget we're still human.
We'll adjust, accommodate.
There must be other unexpected events you have to deal with.
An untimely death, an accident.
Our geneticists screen out congenital risks before conception.
Our population is diverse enough to maintain a genetic balance
in the event of accidental death.
Very little that is unexpected occurs here.
- Am I making this sound dull? - Not at all.
I'll tell you the truth, but don't tell Martin.
I've found today exhilarating.
Meeting you, meeting new people, with new ideas.
I feel the same about being here.
I'm a student of human nature.
- I find this all fascinating. - A student of human nature?
I'm the ship's counsellor.
I'm afraid you wouldn't find much work here.
I'd book a vacation at your hotel if you had one.
In that case, I shall have them build one.
The biosphere won't hold up. The environment would be compromised.
That's how I see it.
Your ship.
What kind of output is it capable of?
We have a powerful matter/antimatter warp reaction system.
Normally, it kicks plasma up into the terawatt range. Why?
Either we're going to have to move or that fragment is.
We can move a small moon
but a stellar core fragment is much too massive for us.
- What's that? - A wild idea, purely theoretical.
A multiphase tractor beam?
When we spotted the fragment, I came up with the idea.
But we can't generate that kind of energy.
You can.
- We'd need Hannah on board. - No.
With their equipment, we might alter the fragment's path.
It's our only chance to avoid evacuation.
No one had ever come here and no one had ever left until today.
This is a date to note in our history books.
This is in violation of the intentions of our founders.
I don't think they intended us to die.
Her absence will create an imbalance.
Temporarily. Circumstances require us to be flexible.
We have no idea how molecular transport will affect her DNA.
It won't affect her DNA at all. There's a century of evidence.
You can go, Hannah.
- May I return later? - I look forward to it.
Enterprise, three to beam up.
Captain's log, supplemental.
La Forge and Bates have spent three days
trying to adjust the path of the fragment.
If they do not succeed in 48 hours, we must evacuate.
I believe some will choose to risk death rather than leave, Captain.
You've spent time there. How do we change their minds?
I'm not sure we can.
It would mean abandoning their fundamental way of life.
They've managed to turn a dubious scientific endeavour into dogma.
You don't approve of genetic engineering?
It was a bad idea whose time is past.
They've made it succeed.
They've given away their humanity with this... genetic manipulation.
Many of the qualities that they breed out,...
..uncertainty, self-discovery, the unknown, are many of the qualities
that make life worth living.
Well, at least, to me.
I wouldn't want to live knowing that my future was written,
my boundaries had been already set, would you?
I've asked myself that a lot during the past few days.
I don't know.
I doubt it. Nevertheless, it's what they believe in
and it won't be easy to talk them into leaving.
This leader of theirs, Conor, seems a reasonable man.
I find him very reasonable.
Open to suggestions, thoughtful, quite disarming.
The perfect administrator.
I'm sure. Will he leave when he sees there's no other choice?
I don't know. I hope so.
- You admire him? - Yes.
Then help him to see the reality
of what may happen to his colony.
If he makes the right decision,
if he's as good as he's designed to be,
perhaps the others will follow.
If we increase warp transfer by 80 percent...
It's going to blow the emitters again.
We won't be able to hold that power level.
- It just doesn't work. - Yeah.
I haven't had any sleep. My eyelids feel like lead weights.
Were you always blind?
I'm sorry. I probably shocked you.
- I'll put it back on. - Don't.
I'm sorry. I didn't mean to embarrass you.
I've never been embarrassed by this, Hannah. Never.
I was born blind. I've always been this way.
May I see your visor?
So, I guess if I had been conceived on your world, I wouldn't be here.
I'd have been terminated as a fertilized cell.
It was the wish of our founders that no one suffer disability.
Who gave them the right to decide if I should be here,
if I might have something to contribute?
I don't know what to say.
Here you go.
How does it work?
The visor scans the spectrum from one hertz to 100,000 terahertz,
converts it to usable frequencies and transmits that to my brain.
What about the data conversion rates?
How do you avoid a sensory overload?
A bank of pre-processors compresses the data into pulses.
That way, my visual cortex never...
Wait a minute.
Wait just a minute.
We could send a high-energy pulse through the tractor system.
Short enough not to overload the emitters.
The technology is right here.
If we could adapt those pulse-compression routines
and apply them to the conduits...
We have to avoid tractor-force rebounding.
- That shouldn't be hard. - With a few modifications...
That's perfect.
If the answer is in a visor, created for a blind man,
who never would've existed in your society.
No offence intended.
Please, Matthew, continue.
It's hard to believe.
So much loveliness here, just metres away from such desolation.
It's hard to believe we're about to lose it.
This may sound incredibly simplistic,
but can't you re-engineer all this on another planet?
A nursery rhyme has been in my mind since all this began.
A nursery rhyme?
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the King's horses and all the King's men
couldn't put Humpty together again.
Why do we tell children such ghastly stories?
Perhaps to prepare them for times like these.
We are every bit as fragile as an egg.
And as impossible to reconstruct.
We are integrated and refined to such a degree
any fundamental change would lead to chaos.
I'm so sorry, Aaron. I wish I could do something to help.
You have helped.
You've been wonderful these past few days.
You've been my counsellor.
No. A counsellor has to maintain a discreet distance.
I'd rather think of us as friends.
That won't do, either.
- Will it? - Aaron...
I must confess,
part of me knows that if I transport through these walls,
you'll be on the other side.
This is wrong.
Terribly wrong.
In order to move the fragment,
we needed our tractor beam to handle pulses.
We needed a more efficient emitter.
Four times more.
We couldn't get that without overloading the arrays.
So, we added a little visor technology
and we could boost the force
and lower the power-conduit stress levels.
- The increase in efficiency? - Up to almost 300 percent.
- That's not enough. - True.
We won't move the fragment far.
But if we also fortify the biosphere...
With shields like yours it could work.
Of course, we have to lend them support crews.
Advise Mr. Conor and brief the appropriate officers.
Prepare for transport as soon as Mr. Conor approves.
You're up early.
I'm still on Enterprise time.
I'm going back to the ship.
- I'm not going to see you again. - Why?
Because it's the right thing to do.
I'm not convinced of that.
You know it, as well.
- You're angry. - Yes, I'm angry.
I'm angry I allowed this to happen.
I could fall in love with you so easily.
But we both know the end of that story, don't we?
How would Martin feel about introducing
half-Betazoid DNA into the genetic balance?
If we evacuate, anything's possible.
Listen to yourself.
A few days ago you wouldn't talk to us.
This is my fault.
I'm so sorry.
I need you here.
This doesn't have to happen again.
I have to go.
Good news, Aaron.
We can change the course of the fragment.
But we need to fortify the structure.
And we need help.
Engineering crews from the Enterprise will work with your people.
Engineering crews?
They have to install shield generators and power supplies.
50 officers are waiting for your approval to transport down.
We don't have much time.
- Is there any other choice? - None.
Enterprise, you may begin transport when ready.
Captain's log, supplemental.
The Enterprise is on a parallel course with the fragment.
We must adjust its trajectory by 1.2 degrees
to ensure the colonists' safety.
Bring us within range of the fragment, Ensign.
You may proceed, Mr. La Forge.
- Yes, sir. Good luck. - You, too.
Engage tractor beam.
OK. Let's give it a try.
Shutting down non-critical systems.
Emitter circuits 170 percent over standard.
Increasing impulse power to tractor emitters.
EPS power-levels rising.
Transferring warp power to tractor beam.
Graviton generators operating normally.
Surge pulse now synchronized.
Emitters radiating at 320 percent over standard.
Bridge, we need more power.
- Reduce life support to minimum. - Aye, sir.
390 percent over standard.
Come on, come on.
- No change in course. - Increase pulse frequency.
- The circuits won't hold. - We don't need them for long.
- 400 percent over standard. - OK.
Now we're getting there.
Fragment's moved 0.4 degrees off its previous heading.
0.65. It's working.
We have lost an emitter circuit.
Life-support failure. Decks nine, 12 and 13.
Evacuate those decks. Geordi, we're going to need power back soon.
Fragment's new heading adjustment is at 1.01 degrees.
- Is it enough? - Not yet.
We've lost a second circuit.
Losing life support on decks five through nine.
Evacuation initiated.
- Mr. La Forge. - Hold on, Captain.
Ship-wide life-support failure in 15 seconds, sir.
Almost there. Core shift is at 1.16 degrees.
Termination of all life support in five seconds.
Now, Mr. La Forge.
Yes, sir. Shutting down all tractor emissions.
Transferring power to life support.
1.2. We've got it!
Life support normal on all decks.
Mr. Data?
The fragment's course has been altered by 1.21 degrees, sir.
Hail the colony.
- Yes, Captain. - Success, Mr. Conor.
With the upgrades, the fragment should no longer be a danger.
I cannot adequately express my appreciation.
Can Hannah hear me?
- Yes. Go ahead, Aaron. - An historic achievement.
You've done a wonderful thing.
Thank you.
We look forward to honouring you when you return.
Thank you again, Captain. Conor out.
Captain's log, supplemental.
The fragment has passed out of the Moab System.
The colony was shaken but fortunately there were no injuries.
Only minor damage was reported.
That should do it. All crew are accounted for.
They've been invaluable. Thank you.
If there's nothing else, we'll go.
Would you tell Deanna Troi that I'm sorry
I didn't get the opportunity to say goodbye?
I'm sure she is, too.
A breach in the biosphere. Get Hannah Bates.
The refortification wasn't adequate. There's definite structural damage.
The tectonic shifts created a breach.
Can it be repaired?
I don't know. I'll run a diagnostic.
Unless we seal it, we may have to evacuate.
- How long do we have? - With the toxicity outside, hours.
- Mind if I give her a hand? - By all means.
Isn't it amazing after all we went through?
Yeah. Amazing.
Looks bad. It's cracked well beneath the surface.
- Why are you doing this? - What do you mean?
There's no breach.
What are you talking about? Look at it, it's right here.
I measured the toxic leak. You saw me.
My visor's positronic scan would have detected the leak.
Its molecular-pattern enhancer would pick up even the smallest crack.
The damn thing doesn't miss much, does it?
Fine. I'll tell them the truth.
Will that make you happy?
Why are you doing this?
I was born to be one of the best scientific minds of my generation.
In five days, I have encountered technology I had barely imagined.
I've got to ask myself,
if we're so brilliant, how come we didn't invent these things?
Maybe necessity really is the mother of invention.
You never look for something until you need it.
But all my needs have been planned for before I was even born.
All of us have been living in the Dark Ages.
It's like we're victims of a 200-year-old joke.
Till you came, all we saw was the wall of our biosphere.
Suddenly, our eyes are open to infinite possibilities.
- Asylum? - She wants to leave the colony.
She may not be the only one.
The science teams fielded a lot of questions from colonists
who were curious about what's outside their world.
- Why shouldn't we grant asylum? - We can't.
- We have to. - Do you understand that colony?
I understand that these are human beings with free will.
She has the right to leave.
What happens to the colony if others join her?
The society is genetically integrated. There would be gaps.
It would destroy them.
There must be something we can do.
We may have done too much already.
- We saved them from destruction. - Did we?
Counsellor, I think it's time you took me to meet Mr. Conor.
Transporter room three.
Computer, halt.
Captain, I have to tell you something.
It isn't easy because I've used very poor judgement.
- I've acted unprofessionally. - Counsellor.
What is it you say? "Take a deep breath."
Conor and I have had a relationship.
- I see. - It should never have happened.
I knew there was concern about outside influences and...
I should have been more careful.
- What is your status with him now? - I did not intend to see him again.
Would you prefer not to return?
No, I think I should come with you.
I wanted you to know before we went.
I appreciate that.
Computer, resume.
I wanted to help him.
To be there for him, but the more I was...
We all went into this with the best intentions.
I should have walked away.
But you didn't. And that's human. We make mistakes.
Genetic manipulation or not, nobody's perfect.
You would ignore the welfare of the colony
for your own selfish interests!
The welfare of this colony lies in rejoining the human race.
She has been contaminated by those people.
Mr. Conor, you and I should talk.
This is your doing. We never should have answered.
If we followed that advice, we'd all be dead.
- So much for welfare. - You will not take her.
I'm leaving! A dozen others are ready to go with me.
Let's allow Aaron and Capt Picard to discuss this.
Why don't we go for a walk?
There's nothing else for them to talk about.
I think...
I want to talk to him alone.
- But... - Thank you, Martin.
The irony is, he saw this coming from the moment you arrived.
I didn't want to hear, so I chose not to listen.
You made decisions you felt would save your colony.
No. I wish it were that simple.
I'm afraid I can't forgive myself so easily.
You see, Captain, I know what Hannah Bates is feeling.
I've been feeling it as well.
I've found your people as intriguing and stimulating as she has.
I've been as curious about you as the next man.
But I am not the next man. I am the leader of these people.
Every fibre in my being demands that I protect them.
Instead, I have betrayed them.
- I allowed this to happen. - We both allowed this to happen.
Then let us both find a way to stop it going further.
I wish I could see a way.
Picard, I was born to govern this colony, not to dismantle it.
If you force them to stay, you suppress their human rights.
If even a handful leave, the damage will be devastating.
What about the rights of those who stay and inherit social chaos,
that will follow for generations?
Your arrival created this problem.
- Your departure solves it. - That is simplistic.
Refuse them passage.
I cannot ignore the requests of people, humans,
who ask for transport away from here.
But thousands will suffer if you agree to take them.
As suffering grows, more will demand to leave.
We are witnessing the end of this existence.
I implore you, Captain, do not let this happen.
You would have me make the decision for you, but I can't.
I am willing to talk to these people with you.
I will urge them not to be impulsive
but if finally they choose to leave,...
..the Enterprise will not turn them away.
Capt Picard will grant transport to any individuals who wish to leave.
I am asking you to stay.
Aaron, don't you see we can't be happy here any longer?
We were innocent. It will never be that way again.
The experience will become part of our heritage.
We will adjust. In a few generations...
We're not willing to stay a few generations.
Give me six months.
- Just wait six months. - What will that accomplish?
It's true that our presence has had an unintended influence
on your society.
But it's done. There is no way to undo it.
But feelings are running very high.
Perhaps it's not such a bad idea that you should take time
to weigh carefully the consequences of what you're about to do.
We are prepared to return in six months.
In other words, we are being asked to stay here
while they pressure us to change our minds.
In five days, you've seen the most superficial evidence
of what life is like outside this biosphere.
Would you choose this ship in a bottle?
You are in command of a starship.
You live for the unknown. We ask the same privilege.
This is your home.
We are all, in a sense, your family.
Don't we deserve to open a dialogue on this issue?
- I am only asking for six months. - It won't make any difference.
You'll only put the colony through unnecessary pain.
You are the ones causing pain in this colony. You.
Don't you see? It's over. It's time to lead us into a new era.
You could come with us.
When you're ready to come home, you will be welcome.
What will you do now?
Attempt to assess the damage.
Spend the rest of my life on the near-impossible task
of rebuilding this society without the proper pieces.
You acted in the interests of your people.
There was no way to avoid what happened.
I replay each step, looking for the wrong turn, a mistake in judgement.
I can find only one.
And as hard as I try, I cannot regret even that one.
In fact, I'm quite certain that, given the opportunity,...
..l would choose to make it again.
I wonder why, with all these genetically compatible women,
- I fell in love with you. - Don't say that.
Perhaps it's your imperfections which make you so unique.
But I am in love with you, Deanna Troi.
And I will always be.
The colonists are on board.
- How many finally? - 23.
If ever we needed reminding of the Prime Directive, it is now.
The Prime Directive doesn't apply. They're human.
Doesn't it?
Our very presence may have damaged,
even destroyed, their way of life.
Whether or not we agree with that way of life,
or whether they're human, is irrelevant. We are responsible.
We had to respond to the threat of the core fragment.
Of course we did.
But in the end, we may have proved just as dangerous
as any core fragment could ever have been.

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