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Stardate: not given
Edited Length: 45:25
U.S. Airdate: May 1, 1988
Nielsen Rating/Rank: [10.8/4]
Judson Scott: [Sobi]
Merritt Butrick: [T'Jon]
Richard Lineback: [Romas]
Co-Producer: Robert Lewin
Consulting Producer: Robert H. Justman
Co-Executive Producer: Maurice Hurley
Co-Executive Producer: Rick Berman
Teleplay By: Robert Lewin and
Richard Manning &:
Story By: Robert Lewin
Directed By: Win Phelps
Executive Producer: Gene Roddenberry
Associate Producer: Peter Lauritson
Line Producer: David Livingston
Executive Story Editor: Hannah Louise Shearer
Executive Story Editor: Tracy Tormé
Story Editors: Hans Beimler & Richard Manning
Kimberly Farr: Langor
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The Enterprise is in the Delos system, examining a sun with very strong magnetic-field fluctuations, when they intercept a distress call from a freighter, the Sanction. The freighter, captained by T'Jon, is in some kind of trouble, but T'Jon is a bit vague about what the actual problem is, except that they're about to burn up in the atmosphere of the nearby planet, Brekka.
The intense solar flares prevent a tractor beam, or any positive transporter lock. Using the power of both transporters, Yar manages to beam over the ship's cargo, which they put in the chamber first. She then manages to save four of the ship's six inhabitants. Strangely, the four do not exhibit any sadness over their comrades, but insist on seeing their cargo.
When they see it, it becomes clear that there are two factions here, each insisting the cargo belongs to them. They fight, using their own natural electric charge ("a difficult weapon to confiscate", as Yar observes) until broken up by Security. Picard meets with all four, where the two Ornarans, T'Jon and Romas, say that the cargo, a shipment of Felissium, is a medicine for a plague on Ornara. The two Brekkians, Sobi and Langor, acknowledge this, but claim they can't simply give it away without being paid for it.
Beverly examines all four, and discovers that although T'Jon and Romas show many symptoms of a disease, she can't find any cause. When Picard manages to convince Sobi and Langor to at least give T'Jon and Romas enough Felissium for their own personal needs, she finds the answer she was looking for: it used to be a medicine, but it cured the plague two hundred years ago, shortly after it was first used. Now, it is merely a very addictive narcotic.
Upon further investigation, Picard discovers that the Brekkians know that Felissium is no more than a drug, but the Ornarans do not. Furthermore, this relationship, with Felissium being Brekka's only industry, is long-standing, and Picard cannot change it without breaking the Prime Directive. He allows the Brekkians their "change of heart" when they decide simply to give the Ornarans this shipment, but invokes the Prime Directive again and refuses to repair the Ornarans' two remaining ships, thus condemning the two planets to temporary isolation from each other. The four leave, all angry at Picard (though for different reasons), and the Enterprise heads for the Opraline system.
Technical design, graphic design, interactive features, HTML & CGI programming by Andrew Tong. || All materials Copyright © 1987-1995 by their respective authors. || Document created: January 28, 1995 || Last Modified: July 12, 1999