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Picard and Riker try to find out what the pirates want while the Enterprise pursues them.



The USS Enterprise-D is hit on the port nacelle with a barrage of fire from the mercenary vessel where Riker is being held prisoner. To Worf's surprise, the damage was minimal. The same is true when the starboard nacelle is then hit. Troi believes Riker has done something to their weapons, which Data, as acting captain, believes it to be true and sees that they must play along. The Enterprise simulates serious damage and fires back with only minimal phaser power. Picard pretends that phaser hit damaged the vessel's three plasma arrays on their disruptors. This, along with the antimatter containment units buckling forces Baran to order the mercenary ship to withdraw. Data orders the crew to let the ship go, much to Worf's chagrin, assuming that this is what Riker wants them to do.

Act One[]

Data is intent on having the Enterprise hold position and continue investigating, rather than send ships to the other two likely planets – Draken IV and Yadalla Prime – to be attacked. Geordi La Forge and Troi attempt to find out more hidden signals in Riker's transmission, and La Forge does detect a pattern in a sub-harmonic analysis of the transmission. Data joins in the investigation and begins to re-sequence the signal. He asks that La Forge begin a search for a decryption key.

On the mercenary ship, Riker and Picard stage a heated argument. Their acrimonious relationship arouses Tallera's suspicions, and she later interrogates Picard. Her questions stop when Picard's tests reveal that they have found one of the artifacts they are looking for. They immediately notify Baran of their discovery, who is being fooled by Riker's portrayal of a less-than-ideal Starfleet officer. Riker plays on this and tells Baran that he may need to find a new career. Baran says he might like to continue to work with Riker, and tells him that when the time comes, he wants him to be the one to kill Picard.

Act Two[]

On the Enterprise, Data determines that the message is a flight plan, indicating the mercenary ship is headed to the Hyralan sector. Worf believes that it would take them at least fourteen hours to be there since their maximum warp factor is 8.7, while La Forge says the Enterprise could be there in five. Data decides to beat them there, to which Worf responds in an irritated tone, which catches both La Forge and Data off guard.

As Worf orders the helm to lay in the coordinates and engage at warp 9, Data asks Worf to join him in the ready room. Once inside, Data berates him over his performance as first officer, most notably, for questioning his decisions in front of the crew. Worf states that he has always felt free to voice his opinions that would differ from Picard or Riker. Data accepts that but in those instances, he was acting as security chief. Data explains the role of the second-in-command is to carry out the orders of the commanding officer. In this case, the latter is Data. Should Worf object to those orders, he should discuss it with him in private, and further states that he doesn't recall Riker ever showing irritation with Picard's orders as he just did with his. Data states that if Worf is not capable of carrying out this role, he will return him to tactical and assign La Forge as first officer instead. Worf elects to remain as first officer, and Data accepts it on the condition he conforms to the guidelines. He also apologizes if this berating has ended their friendship. Worf takes responsibility for it and asks that this incident be overlooked to continue their friendship. Data accepts it and Worf leaves. Once alone, Data simply straightens his uniform.

Alone with Picard in his quarters, Riker fills him in on Baran's plan, including the fact that he is supposed to kill Picard after the authenticity of the final artifact is confirmed. Riker reveals that they are headed to the Hyralan sector to pick up the artifact, which will be Romulan in origin, from a Klingon transport ship. Picard, however, states that the artifacts are actually all Vulcan in origin after looking at glyphs and pictograms from the artifact taken from Calder II.

Picard discusses mutiny with Narik and is repulsed since he assumes Picard would want to be captain. He is favorable to Tallera, though. Then, Tallera bursts in and pulls a phaser on Picard, demanding to be told his true identity.

Act Three[]

Tallera reveals that she is a Vulcan intelligence officer named T'Paal on a mission of her own. The artifacts being sought are fragments of the mythical Stone of Gol, a powerful weapon she believes is being sought by a Vulcan isolationist group. She explains that the stone is a psionic resonator, a device that focuses and amplifies telepathic energy. If the stone were reassembled and used by a trained telepath, the weapon could eliminate the entire Vulcan council with a single thought.

Meanwhile, in the Hyralan sector, the Enterprise is surprised to encounter a Klingon ship, Toron-class. Suspicious, they seek options on how to bring the craft over since the treaty with the Klingons gives its pilot, Koral free movement in Federation space. Worf suggests the treaty does stipulate the right to conduct inspections for health and safety reasons. Data points out that using the treaty in this manner might not be in keeping with its spirit. Worf swallows his protests and concedes before Data notes that if Koral wishes to protest, he can file such a protest with the office of the Judge Advocate General, and gives the order to bring the shuttle aboard.

Koral is greeted by Dr. Crusher and Worf to conduct the "inspection". Koral scoffs at the notion, but Crusher carries out the inspection, nervously trying to conceal their real objective.

When the mercenaries learn what has happened, Baran reluctantly prepares a team to board the Enterprise. Picard balks at the notion and asks how many security officers would serve on such as ship as that. Dismissing him, Baran orders Riker to lead the team to invade the Enterprise and retrieve the artifact. Acting out his role, Picard shows serious doubt in Riker's loyalty, which Baran allays by assigning him to Riker, then secretly pulls the commander aside and tells him that he expects him to kill Picard after the raid.

Act Four[]

Koral spills his bloodwine

"I'm sure the health and safety inspection won't last much longer."

Koral is sitting in the observation lounge with Troi and Data, who are overly-friendly with him, much to Koral's annoyance, who just sits with them in silence. Data offers him some Klingon bloodwine that Worf programmed into the replicator to his liking. Instead, Koral simply looks at the beverage, picks it up, and pours it on the floor.

Worf and Crusher are running out of time and excuses for the inspection, and have found nothing substantial. Before they can continue, the mercenary ship beams Riker and his team in the shuttle bay, with Riker stunning an operations crewman who was just entering. He explains to Crusher that he decided to make a career change.

Picard demands Worf reveal the location of the artifact, but Riker believes Koral has it and demands his location, giving Crusher a look. Picking up on this, Crusher reveals his location, and Worf says security won't let them get there but by using the shuttlecraft Justman, they can simply beam in without encountering them. Riker apologizes and stuns both Worf and Crusher; the latter seems to startle Picard a bit.

While Data and Troi continue to fail at their attempts at conversation with Koral, the mercenary team beams in, which surprises all three of them. Picard walks over to Koral and retrieves the artifact from his clothing and prepares to leave. Data warns Riker that his actions would bring charges of theft, assault, piracy and treason on him. Riker shrugs it off and decides to add one more to the list: murder. He fires at Picard who rolls out of the way, and returns fire, sending Riker falling to the ground. Troi and Data rush to his aid and tells Picard that Riker is dead, which Picard expresses pleasure in. They then return to the mercenary ship and Riker comes to as he was only stunned. Data admits that he feels a similar sensation to Riker's. Dazed, Riker explains it will take time to explain everything.

Back on the mercenary ship, Picard delivers two items to Baran: the artifact, and a vicious punch to the face. Narik explains that Riker turned on the team, which they believe was acting on Baran's orders. This forces Picard to incite a mutiny on the ship, which he succeeds as the crew turns their back on Baran and follows Picard. Baran reaches for his device stating that while he has it, he's still in command and will use it to kill Picard.

Act Five[]

When Baran attempts to activate Picard's patch, he kills himself instead. Picard then explains that he switched the transponder codes. He destroys the control device and takes command. Next, he orders the crew to deliver the artifacts as planned.

On the Enterprise, Riker notifies Vulcan security minister Satok that their operative is on her way, and learns from the minister that the Vulcans have no operative stationed on any mercenary ship. Meanwhile, Picard talks with Tallera about the two pieces, taking note of the symbol of War and Death and notices that the there seems to be an important glyph missing from between them. Tallera then says when they arrive that she will take the pieces and go to collect the payment. She says she must go alone, since she is Vulcan, to avoid suspicion. Picard then reveals that he asked Riker to contact Vulcan security, which unnerves Tallera but she plays along, telling Picard that it was a wise precaution.

When they arrive at Vulcan, Picard stops her as she prepares to go, ordering her to leave one piece behind. Tallera then reveals to the rest of the crew his true identity as a Starfleet officer. They start to turn on him but he then reveals that Tallera is going to use the pieces to make a volatile weapon, there's no money waiting for them at all, and she is going to double cross them to escape. Vekor aims her weapon at both of them and says she is only interested in the money, and she and Narik will go with them to the surface. All they want is their reward and after they are paid, they do not care where Tellara goes.

Tallera tries to kill Picard

"The resonator cannot be stopped by phasers and shields… but it can be defeated by peace."

They find the third resonator piece in a cave in the abandoned T'Karath Sanctuary on the Vulcan homeworld. Vekor finds that that the bounty money is "less than half of what we were promised", and she and Narik demand payment in full. Tallera completes the device and proceeds to kill Narik and Vekor. She turns on Picard just as Riker, Worf, and two security guards materialize in the cave. Picard orders them to drop their weapons and to clear their minds of aggressive thoughts. He tells them that he now recognizes the missing glyph, which is Peace, and can defeat the effects of the weapon. Tallera tries to use it on Riker, but he clears his mind and the weapon fails. Picard says that when the Vulcans realized that peace could defeat war and death, the weapon was dismantled. Tallera, angry, tries the weapon on Worf, but also fails. After a last failed attempt on Picard, who has knelt in front of her, he gently takes it from her. She is taken into custody, and the resonator is given to the Vulcans, and they assure Captain Picard that they will destroy all three fragments.

Data escorts riker to the brig

A stoic Data escorts Riker to the brig after not getting Picard's joke

Once back on board the Enterprise, Picard is ready to move on and orders Riker to leave orbit. Data is dismayed that the Stone of Gol will be destroyed, as it is from a "remarkable period of history". Riker smiles and reminds Picard that he been officially declared 'dead' and therefore cannot give him orders. Data then reminds them that technically Riker has been declared a renegade, facing twelve court martial offenses and cannot give orders either. Picard decides to stay 'dead' a little longer and goes to take a nap in his quarters and jokingly suggests that Data ought to put Riker in the brig for his transgressions. As Picard enters his quarters and the door closes behind him, Riker laughs too, until Data starts dragging him away without getting the joke.

Memorable quotes[]

"What's wrong, Commander? You having second thoughts about betraying your comrades? 'Cause that's what you've done: betrayed them. Betrayed them in order to save yourself. You used to be just a second-rate officer. Now you're a traitor and a coward. How does that feel?"
[Riker decks Picard]
"I don't know. How did that feel?"

- Picard (as Galen) and Riker play their roles

"If we had not let them escape, this would not be necessary."
"That is correct, but I believe Commander Riker wanted us to let them escape."

- Worf and Data, while trying to track the movements of the mercenary ship

"May I inquire as to your destination?"
"May I ask the purpose of your journey?"

- Data, getting nowhere with Koral

"Mr. Worf, I am sorry if I have ended our friendship."
"Sir, it is I who has jeopardized our friendship, not you. If you will overlook this incident, I would like to continue to consider you my friend."
"I would like that as well."
"Thank you, sir."

- Data and Worf, after Data reprimands Worf in the captain's ready room

"Oh, what a tangled web we weave."

- Picard to Riker, after the latter reports that Baran has tasked him with cozying up to "Galen" to gain his trust (quoting Sir Walter Scott's Marmion)

"Will, you always seem to be after my job."

- Picard, to Riker

"He's alright, he's only stunned."
"I must admit, I am experiencing a similar sensation."
"This is going to take a little time to explain."

- Troi, Data, and Riker after the latter was "killed" by Picard

"It would take them at least fourteen hours to reach that position."
"We could be there in five."
"Make it so."

- Worf, La Forge, and Data, with Worf chafing under Data's command

"I am not certain that using this clause as an excuse to conduct a search would be consistent with the spirit of the Treaty."
"Yes, sir."
"However, if Koral wishes to contest our actions, he can file a protest with the Judge Advocate General's Office. Bring the shuttle aboard."

- Data, deciding to use a "health and safety inspection" in the search for the Stone of Gol

"You were right, Tallera. The resonator cannot be stopped by phasers and shields… but it can be defeated by peace."

- Picard

"Number one, will you set a course for Starbase 227? I'll join you on the bridge shortly."
"Wait a minute. You've been declared dead. You can't give orders around here."
"If we are to adhere to the exact letter of Starfleet regulations, then technically sir, you have been declared a renegade. In fact I believe you are facing twelve counts of court martial offenses. You cannot give orders either, sir."
"That's quite right. And as I am supposed to be dead, I'll go and get some sleep, and Mr. Data, I suggest that you escort Commander Riker to the brig."
"Aye, sir…" (Data grabs Riker to lead him towards the brig) "this way, sir."
"Data, he was joking. You know that, right? … Data?"

- Picard, Riker, and Data

Background information[]

Production history[]

Story and script[]

  • Ronald D. Moore commented, "I felt we ran out of story in 'Part II'. There were places where I was treading water. We had to find the lost ark and I didn't know what the lost ark was. Instead, we had a device from ancient Vulcan myth that had mythic properties that you explain are telepathic focusing properties. I was trying really hard to make this thing work and in the end, I just said, 'All right, maybe we should just go for it and make this a classic Gene [Roddenberry] kind of message and go for "think happy thoughts" and make it something which tied into the backstory of Vulcan and of Surak and peace.' I thought it would fit in nicely. I'm not sure if it did. It might have just fallen in on its own gooeyness." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 292)
  • In early drafts of the script the psionic resonator was much more powerful, capable of killing millions of people at a time. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, 2nd ed., p. 267)
  • Naren Shankar based the Vulcan subplot here on Spock's admission in TOS: "Journey to Babel" that a Vulcan could kill for a logical reason. He decided to take a different tone for the Vulcans: "We went for people who very logically felt that Vulcan's problems were linked to contamination by illogical people, so in a logical sense you say 'Get rid of them'…a very logical way to arrive at racism." (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, 2nd ed., pp. 266-267)
  • Initially the Vulcan god of death was bald, until Rick Berman ordered hair to be etched on to avoid resemblance to Patrick Stewart in close-ups. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, 2nd ed., p. 267)

Cast and characters[]

Filming Gambit II

Filming with James Worthy



Video and DVD releases[]

Links and references[]


Also starring[]

Guest stars[]


Uncredited co-stars[]

Stunt doubles[]



4th century; 2355; 2369; ability; alphabet; archaeological expert; assassin; Baran's hide-out; Baran's mercenary ship; bearing; Beta Quadrant; bloodwine; brig; Calder II; Cardassian; career; carrier wave; clause; commercial orbital lane; contamination; coordinates; court martial offense; Draken IV; emotional need; energy weapon; extremist; Federation; Federation space; Ferengi; flight plan; friend; Galaxy class decks; glyph; God of War; head of security; health hazard; health and safety inspection; Hyralan sector; inertial damper; inflection; irritation; Judge Advocate General; Justman; Klingon; labor camp; leader; Milky Way Galaxy; magic; masquerade; mythology; number one; periapsis; pictogram; psionic resonator; radiation leak; renegade; reprimand; Romulan; Romulan language; security officer; Seven other planets; ShiKahr District; Starbase 227; Starfleet; Starfleet Command; Stone of Gol; supernatural; symbology; T'Karath Sanctuary; Taugan system; telepathic ability; thought; Toron-class; traitor; treason; Treaty of Alliance; V'Shar; Vulcan; Vulcan (planet); Vulcan cities; Vulcan Isolationist Movement; Vulcan language; Vulcan security forces; weapon; weapons control; weave; Yadalla Prime

Library computer references[]

Starship mission status: Ajax, USS; Alderaan; Alpha Laputa IV; Ambassador-class; Apollo-class; Aries, USS; Beta Cygni system; Bradbury, USS; Bradbury-class; Charleston, USS; Constellation-class; Excelsior-class; Fearless, USS; Goddard, USS; Hood, USS; Korolev-class; Merced-class; Merrimac, USS; Monitor, USS; Nebula-class; New Orleans-class pulsar; Renaissance-class; Repulse, USS; Romulan Neutral Zone; sector; Sector 21396; Sector 21538; Sector 22358; Sector 22846; Sector 22853; Sector 23079; Starbase 134; Starbase 434; Thomas Paine, USS; Trieste, USS; Victory, USS; Vulcan Science Academy; warp drive; Zhukov, USS

Spacecraft Systems Status: Bussard collector; captain's yacht; class M; gross vehicle mass; impulse engine; main shuttlebay Mars; navigational deflector; observation lounge; phaser bank; service docking port; shuttlebay 2; shuttlebay 3; torpedo launcher; umbilical connect port; Utopia Planitia; warp nacelle

External links[]

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