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A trader fakes Data's death to add him to his collection of rare and unique objects.



The USS Enterprise-D is procuring 108 kilos of hytritium, a rare and volatile element needed to treat a tricyanate-poisoned water supply on the colony planet Beta Agni II. The seller is a trader named Kivas Fajo, his ship, the Jovis. Transport of the hytritium through the transporter is not advisable so Lt. Commander Data is making the trips via the shuttlepod Pike. As Data makes his last transport, a woman named Varria asks him to confirm the last transport with his fingerprint. Suddenly, Data is electrically shocked and disabled the moment he presses his thumb to the device. Varria then scans him to ascertain his components and a technician records the readings. Data's last transmission to the Enterprise is for Shuttlebay 2 to receive him.

Pike destroyed


The Enterprise crew monitor Data as the Pike explodes in transit, and the shocked crew assumes that he was destroyed in the explosion.

Act One[]

Captain Jean-Luc Picard speaks to Kivas Fajo and asks him for any information on what happened. Fajo says things looked as consistent as the other flights had and was "sorry" at the loss of the pilot. Picard asks Fajo for the Jovis's sensor readings, to assist their investigation of the explosion. La Forge points out the 81 kilos of hytritium they obtained are just enough for them to complete their mission but with no margin for error. Fajo tells them the only other source he knows of is the Sigma Erandi system, three weeks away. After the sensor information is transferred to the Enterprise, Picard tells Wesley Crusher to head for the Beta Agni system.

Aboard the Jovis, Data is stuck in the position he was in before, and then wakes up. Fajo then enters and begins to communicate with Data by speaking in a highly exaggerated manner until it becomes clear that Data can be spoken to normally. Data asks Fajo why he has been brought to the Jovis. Fajo explains it is for Data to entertain him, and for Data in turn to be pampered as a treasured possession. Data tells his captor he cannot remain as he is a Starfleet officer. Fajo responds he does not intend to let him go, and he is therefore no longer in Starfleet. Data informs Fajo that he does not wish to stay, and after Fajo refuses to release him attempts to escape by forcing the door. However, he finds he is unable to do so as it is too solid, and is told by Fajo it is keyed to galvanic skin responses and DNA patterns. Data then tries to seize Fajo to use him to open the door, but is hit by a force field created by Fajo's proximity-actuated field, which informs him impedes positron flows.

When Data expresses confusion about Fajo’s belief in his worth, Fajo takes him on a tour of the gallery, viewing a Salvador Dali painting, The Persistence of Memory, a sculpture from the late Mark Off-Zel, feeding the thought-extinct Lapling, sniffing the bubble gum scent of the Roger Maris baseball card. Fajo asks Data to sit in a chair for display. Data refuses and says that he considers being held captive a hostile act by Fajo. Fajo tells him he will get used to it.

Act Two[]

La Forge and Wesley go to Data's quarters to clean out everything. Wesley cannot believe that Data is gone, and La Forge tells him he always thought Data would outlive them by centuries. La Forge goes over to Data's desk and opens the drawer, finding a book of Hamlet by William Shakespeare that Picard had given him, poker chips and playing cards, a collection of Data's Starfleet medals, and a holographic device displaying an image of Natasha Yar. La Forge keeps going over and over the accident in his mind and wonders what the hell happened on the shuttlepod.

On the Jovis, Varria comes back into the room that Data is kept in, and Varria gives him a specific set of clothes that Fajo wants him to wear and to sit in the chair. Varria tells Data to obey Fajo because he is as giving as he is cruel, while touching her face knowingly. Data refuses to change and points out the Enterprise will examine the remains of the shuttlepod and determine he wasn't on board during the explosion. However, Varria counters that enough of his composite materials were planted on the shuttle in exact quantities to ensure that Data is thought lost, and that Fajo has him. Noting her subservience, Data responds that Fajo appear to have them both.

Later in Picard's ready room, La Forge tensely informs Picard and Commander Riker that he has investigated the shuttle explosion and can find no explanation. The only reason La Forge can find is "pilot error", which he considers impossible given Data's exceptional abilities. Picard says he will support La Forge's continued investigations as long as the engineer thinks fit, with the caveat that he expects La Forge to be rested in time for the decontamination mission. Riker comments that Data's emotionlessness did not prevent him from stirring strong emotions within others, and after recommending Worf to take Data's place at Ops, he leaves. Picard looks at a book by William Shakespeare, one of the works he gave Data and quietly reads a passage from Hamlet that reminds him of his "lost" officer.

Act Three[]

Fajo comes into the gallery and is angry at why Data has not changed into the robes he chose for him. Data says that he is a Starfleet officer and therefore will not change his clothes. He further explains that he is designed with a fundamental respect for all life and a strong inhibition for causing harm to other living beings. Fajo does not understand why he is even a Starfleet officer in the first place and asks if Data has killed anyone yet. Data tells him he has not but is programmed to use deadly force in defensive situations. Fajo tries to convince Data how much better things would be for him on the Jovis and tells him he is at war with no one. Data tells Fajo he is a fine debater, but considers his verbal skills to be wasted on mere hucksterism and the advancement of his greed. Fajo wonders if Data would judge him so harshly if he knew of his wasted youth on Zibalian streets and sheds a tear down his cheek. Data reminds him that his hard youth does not excuse his criminal behavior. Fajo then says his story wasn't true at all anyway – his father was quite wealthy and also a thief. Fajo tries again to make Data put on the clothes but Data refuses once more. Fajo strolls over to the replicator and orders a flask of a finoplak, a solvent powerful enough to melt clothing, but not harm Data's skin. This makes Data need to change.

Meanwhile, Worf is assigned to Data's Ops duties and Deanna Troi is concerned for him as Worf was close to Data and this is the second time Worf has replaced a crewmate who has died. Worf points out that promotion due to the death of a crewmate is common on a Klingon vessel and adds that he honors the death of those he is replacing by performing the duties as well as his predecessor.

On the Enterprise, La Forge is sleeping in his quarters and he goes over and over again what Data said, waking up with the realization that he did indeed miss something. He reviews the audio logs from the shuttle flight with Wesley in engineering and discovers that Data failed to transmit a status message, several seconds before the explosion. Although trivial, it was a procedural error that Data would have never committed. La Forge suggests that Data saw something amiss, but Wesley points out that it would also have been unlike Data to not report any problem. From this, La Forge concludes that something was wrong with Data himself but can find nothing else to support that.

Later that evening when Fajo tries to "show off" his new "acquisition" to his friend and competitor, Palor Toff, Data stands motionless showing no signs of activity. This angers Fajo as he is made to look a fool in front of his friend.

Act Four[]

As the crew of the Enterprise delivers the hytritium to the water table on Beta Agni II, the substance responds much more quickly than expected, and Picard orders Riker, Worf, and Dr. Crusher to beam down to investigate.

As Data is viewing the "Mona Lisa" on the Jovis, attempting to imitate her smile, Fajo enters quickly and again asks Data to sit in the chair in which Fajo intends to display him, and Data refuses. Fajo then goes to one of his displays to reveal a hidden safe behind it. He opens the safe and takes out a Varon-T disruptor, an illegal weapon banned by the Federation for its lethality. When Data continually refuses to sit in the chair, Fajo threatens to kill his assistant Varria with the weapon, regardless of their 14-year association. Data realizes he can prevent this ruthless act by simply sitting in the chair, and does so.

The away team find several holes in their investigation: tricyanate is not indigenous to the planet and the only counteragent is the rare hytritium compound conveniently provided by Fajo. Worf's tricorder readings reveal that the poisoning was indeed artificial, but Crusher finds this difficult to believe – the poison used to contaminate the water table is very unstable and difficult to transport. The only advantage to using tricyanate poison that she can think of is that it is also difficult to counteract, as hytritium is the only antidote. Hearing this, it dawns on Riker how "lucky" they were to find it, and in exactly the right amount.

In a briefing in the observation lounge, Riker points out that Fajo was in the right place in the right time to provide them with the hytritium they so desperately needed. It is speculated that Fajo poisoned the water to then sell the Enterprise crew the hytritium to make a profit, but Crusher points out that, due to the expense of producing tricyanate, the venture would not be profitable, leaving them to wonder what his true intentions were. Addressing the computer, Picard requests a bio on Fajo, which includes a list of "rare and valuable objects" artifacts in his collection. The computer only names four of his treasures, including van Gogh's The Starry Night, before being cut off by the captain, who, along with the others, realizes Fajo's likely motive. La Forge asks what if Data was not on the shuttle when it exploded, and Picard taps his combadge and orders Wesley to return to the site of the shuttlecraft explosion at Warp 8. They pursue the Jovis, sending a coded message to all Federation outposts Fajo could have reached since leaving the Enterprise.

Meanwhile, Varria comes to Data's aid. She realizes that Fajo does not value her no matter how loyal she is, so she assists Data in escaping even though it will be dangerous. She takes the Varon-T from the safe and they head for an escape pod in the aft cargo bay.

Act Five[]

The Enterprise receives a message from the outpost on Lya IV that the Jovis has been spotted after spending more than half a day in orbit and departed just over seven hours ago. They now lay in a course for Lya IV.

Varria killed

Varria is painfully killed

Inside the cargo bay, Data wonders if he should attempt to communicate with the Enterprise to inform them that he is alive, but Varria says he can't as Fajo has communications access restricted to the bridge. Data gets into the pod and preps it for launch while Varria starts up the escape sequence, which sounds the alarm and alerts the guards. One guard enters, but Varria uses the Varon-T to keep him at bay. However, a second guard sneaks up from behind and disarms her. Data easily takes out both guards and they restart the escape sequence. Suddenly, Fajo runs in the cargo bay armed with another Varon-T disruptor and stops Varria from grabbing hers off the floor. After hesitating for only a moment, he shoots and kills her. Varria's death is excruciating as she is destroyed from the inside out. On hearing her scream, Data exits the escape pod and witnesses her death. Fajo blames Data for this, stating he and Varria both knew the price for disobedience, but coldly says she can easily be replaced. Data then picks up Varria's discarded disruptor and aims it at Fajo. Fajo taunts Data, saying that if he does not return to his chair, he will start killing others, whose blood will also be on Data's hands. He continues by saying that if only Data's programming allowed him to feel rage over Varria's death, he could kill him and stop it – but he has no feelings; he is only an android.

Data beamed out

"I cannot permit this to continue."

Data tells himself that he has to stop Fajo, and points the disruptor at his suddenly-panicking captor, but is then beamed back to the Enterprise. Chief O'Brien detects the weapon in mid-transport and reading it as having been discharged deactivates it as a precaution. On his return, Data hands it to Riker and tells him to arrest Fajo for murder, kidnapping, and theft, and is told the arrangements have already been made. When asked about the discharge, Data pauses and enigmatically suggests something may have occurred during transport.

Fajo in the brig

"Our roles are reversed. Aren't they, Data? You're the collector now. Me, I'm in a cage."

Data later visits Fajo in the brig, where Fajo tells Data not to expect him to beg for mercy or repent for his actions and comments how their roles are now reversed with him in a cage. Fajo then tells Data not to count him out as he had him in his collection once, and he'll have him in there again. Data finds this unlikely as all the items he stole from others have been confiscated and are in the process of being returned to their rightful owners. Fajo asks Data if it satisfies him to know that he has lost everything. Data simply replies that he has no feelings as he is only an android and then leaves the brig.

Log entries[]

Memorable quotes[]

"It took… great effort, effort… to bring you… here."

- Kivas Fajo, to Data

"Am I to infer that you intend to keep me captive?"
"Captive, captive. Oh, it's such an inappropriate description."

- Data, after being kidnapped by Kivas Fajo

"He was a man, take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again."

- Picard, quoting Shakespeare in remembrance of Data

"Kivas finds a way to get what he wants from his people. His rewards for loyalty are lavish. His punishments for disloyalty are lavish. You won't find anyone here on this ship to help you escape. Face it, android. He has you."
"It appears… he has us both."

- Varria and Data, regarding Fajo

"Pilot error?"
"I know it's hard to accept, but even the best pi…"
"Captain, it's not only hard to accept – with Data, it's impossible. I mean, I can't even begin to calculate the odds, it's… well… well, if Data were here, we could ask him."

- La Forge, refusing to believe the explosion could be Data's fault and Picard

"I understand how much we want… even need, to explain an accident like this… sometimes there just aren't any explanations."

- Picard, attempting to console La Forge

"For an android with no feelings, he sure managed to evoke them in others."

- Riker to Picard, after witnessing La Forge's outburst

"What a marvelous contradiction. A military pacifist."

- Kivas Fajo

"You belong in Starfleet about as much as I belong in a verbal contract."

- Kivas Fajo

"I've been concerned about you."
"About me? Why?"
"Because I know how I'd feel if I was asked to replace Data at his station."
"Promotion due to the death of a crewmate is… commonplace on Klingon ships."
"I know – but this isn't a Klingon ship. And Data was your friend. And it's the second time you've replaced a crewmember who's died."
"I honor Data's memory, as I did Lieutenant Yar, by performing their duties as they did."
"In true Klingon fashion."

- Troi and Worf, en route to his first shift as Data's successor

"It's a mannequin of some sort."
"This is not a mannequin. This is Data. This is formerly Lieutenant Commander Data of the Federation Starfleet. The only sentient android in existence."
"It doesn't seem particularly sentient right now."
"That's because it's playing a stupid little game with us."
"Well, someone has certainly played a game on you, Fajo." (Laughs)
"I don't find this amusing."

- Palor Toff and Kivas Fajo, inspecting a non-responsive Data

"He falls well!"
"I apologize for this."
"Do not be upset, my friend. I am having a delightful visit." (to Varria) "Come along, Varria! You're much more fun than Fajo's new toy!"
(to Data) "You'll regret this."

- Palor Toff and Kivas Fajo, after Fajo's failed attempt to rouse Data to respond

"Mr. Crusher, put us into close orbit. Mr. Data, scan… (It suddenly dawns on him – and the rest of the bridge crew – that Data is not there) my apologies, Mr. Worf."

- Picard

"Fajo was in the right place at the right time, just when we needed him most."
"You're suggesting he created the problem just to solve it?"
"What, to make a profit from his sale of hytritium?"

- Riker, Picard, and La Forge, on Kivas Fajo

"Kivas Fajo… a noted collector of rare and valuable objects, including the Rejac Crystal, The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh, the Lawmin Galactopedia, the Moliam Andi tapestries"
"Computer, that is sufficient."
"Rare and valuable object"
"What if…Data wasn't on that shuttle?"

- Picard, Riker, and La Forge (with help from the Enterprise computer), putting the pieces together

"It's your fault. You knew the price for disobedience, and so did she. Well…there's always another Varria."

- Kivas Fajo, to Data, after murdering Varria

"Murder me – go ahead, it's all you have to do. Fire! If only you could… feel… RAGE over Varria's death – if only you could feel the need for revenge, maybe you could fire… But you're... just an android – you can't feel anything, can you? It's just another interesting… intellectual puzzle for you, another of life's… curiosities."

- Kivas Fajo, taunting Data over his "inability" to kill him

"I cannot permit this to continue."

- Data, preparing to kill Fajo

"Mr. O'Brien said that the weapon was in a state of discharge."
"Perhaps something occurred during transport, Commander."

- Riker and Data, after Data fired on Fajo

"Oh, have you come to see me to repent? Your final satisfaction? Want to see me beg for mercy? You're not going to get any of that from me."
"I expected nothing."
"Our roles are reversed. Aren't they, Data? You're the collector now. Me, I'm in a cage."
"So it seems."
"Don't count me out too quickly. I had you in my collection once. I can have you there again."
"Unlikely, sir. Your collection has been confiscated. All of your stolen possessions are being returned to their rightful owners. You have lost everything you value."
"Must give you great pleasure…"
"No, sir – it does not… I do not feel pleasure – I am only an android."

- Kivas Fajo and Data, in the Enterprise brig

Background information[]

The Most Toys remastering

Re-editing the remastered episode in 2012

Production history[]

Story and production[]

David Rappaport

David Rappaport, the first Kivas Fajo

  • David Rappaport continued to suffer from acute depression and committed suicide two months later, dying from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a Los Angeles park on 2 May 1990. [2] His death occurred just five days before the episode premiered. Rick Berman related, "Of course it left us very sad." (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, 2nd ed., pp. 125-126)
  • On recasting the role on such short notice, Director Timothy Bond recalled, "The guy who ultimately played the part, Saul Rubinek, is somebody I went to school with. It just happened that he was passing through town as he was just about to start Bonfires of the Vanities, the ill-fated film, and he's a Trekkie. He called me and asked if I could get him in to see the sets. I said I would try and would call him on Monday. So I called him and said, 'How much do you want to see these sets?' He never does guest spots on television, but I persuaded him to do it." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 197) Bond also commented, "Recasting changed the character, because David Rappaport was quite small. The requirement, dramatically, is that people had to be afraid of him. That was very trick[y] for someone of David's size to pull off, and we had to do it through a different approach in the photography and the sense that he could always get a weapon and blow people away. David underplayed it, but I always had guys in the background who were pretty beefy. As a matter of fact, when I first started working on the episode, I had this idea – which I still think is brilliant, but they wouldn't let me do it – to build his spaceship to his scale, so the ceiling would be about four feet from the floor. When anybody got in, they would have to bend over. It would have made it a nightmare shoot, but I thought it would have been a powerful visual. When we lost David, thank God we didn't have the small sets." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 197)
Persoff and Spiner

Brent Spiner with guest Nehemiah Persoff

  • In a scene present in the script but not the final episode, Fajo sends Varria to test Data's sexual abilities (in which Data references his only sexual encounter from TNG: "The Naked Now"). However, Data learns of Fajo's intent, leaving Varria utterly humiliated, which would later fuel her desire to betray Fajo in the climax. [3]
  • Writer Shari Goodhartz related, "I asked Brent Spiner whether he thought Data purposefully pulled the trigger or not, and he was adamant that Data did fire the weapon, which was my intent as well, but the powers-that-be wanted that kept ambiguous, so it was. If I had a chance to do it over, with all the experience I have behind me now, I would argue passionately for Data's actions and their consequences to have been clearer, and hopefully more provocative." [4]
  • On the floor of the cargo bay room on board the Jovis, there is a repeating pattern of what appears to be Zibalian language writing. However, on closer inspection, two of the sets of characters are the Japanese words ケイ and ユリ (Kei and Yuri), who are the two protagonists of the anime The Dirty Pair. This is one of many references to this anime, of which the writers and staff of the show were huge fans. [5]


  • This episode features a shuttlepod Pike, named after Christopher Pike, second captain of the USS Enterprise. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, 2nd ed., p. 126)
  • Lt. Tasha Yar is mentioned in this episode when Troi expresses concern to Worf that he has now replaced two deceased officers.
  • Worf also mentions that he has manned the Ops position before in a direct reference to the first season when he acted as relief Conn and Ops officer should Geordi or Data be unavailable.
  • Fajo suggests that Data has no sense of modesty. In fact, he does have a modesty subroutine as established in "Inheritance".
  • Although Fajo is Zibalian, actor Saul Rubinek mistakenly says "Zimbalia" when Fajo is describing to Data how his youth was "wasted on the streets on Zimbalia."



Zenuvians, star patrol

The golden head band in Star Patrol!


Other information[]

Video and DVD releases[]

Links and references[]


Also starring[]

Guest stars[]

Special appearance by[]

Uncredited co-stars[]

Stunt double[]



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Other references[]

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External links[]

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