Faith (a television screenplay for ST:TNG)

Author’s preface: This episode occurs about two years after the episode “Pen Pals” and is a sequel to it. Thus, it fits in about the fourth season. That’s all you need to know to enjoy the story.



by John Comeaux


Picard is looking at his incoming mail on the computer. He selects an item from Wesley Crusher, and the video/voice mail begins.

WESLEY CRUSHER(On Video) Hello, Captain Picard. I received your last letter, and I appreciate the time you took to answer mine. I hope you’re doing well, and I expect you are. This is kind of a more serious request. Would you please send me some of the ship’s logs? I’ve included the Stardates in the list shown. Most of these have to do with the Traveler and his experiences on board the Enterprise. I need these for a paper I’m doing at the Academy. Things are really hectic here. I’m learning a lot, and studying harder than ever. (without conviction) Everything is fine, though. Thanks a lot if you could get me these logs. I can’t tell you how much they mean to me. Well, so long for now. Please give my regards to everyone.

The viewscreen again shows list of incoming mail items. Picard considers the video, and his expression shows concern. Breaking his concentration is the intercom. Worf’s voice is heard.

WORF – Captain, incoming communication from Starfleet Command on priority channel.

PICARD – Thank you, Mr. Worf, I will receive it now.


Riker, Troi, Data, Worf and attending personnel. Picard calls his senior staff on the intercom.

PICARD (V/O) – Commander Riker, Counselor Troi, and Mr. Data, report to the conference room.

Riker glances to Worf, and he, Troi, and Data leave the bridge. Worf takes the command chair.


Riker, Troi, and Data take their seats. Picard is standing, and looks at Data a long time before speaking. Data glances at the others but they are not aware of any trouble.

PICARD – Mr. Data, you have really done it this time.

DATA – Done it, sir?

PICARD (Almost beside himself.) – Had I foreseen this much trouble… If I had known what the complications would be… If it weren’t for that girl…

TROI – Captain!

RIKER – What are you talking about …(stops himself) … Sir?

DATA – I wonder if you are referring to Sarjenka?

PICARD – Yes, that’s her.

TROI – Sarjenka — the little girl you contacted from the planet …

DATA – Drema Four.

RIKER – I remember the mission. The planet was breaking up because of …

DATA – Dilithium de-crystallization, caused by heat and tectonic stresses in the lattice structure within the planet’s core.

RIKER – Ensign Crusher and Lt. Cmdr. LaForge fashioned a probe to emit harmonic vibrations to stop the effect.

PICARD – Yes, yes, all that is true, but we still have the problem.

DATA – Perhaps if you told us of the problem, sir.

PICARD (Takes a long, loud breath.) – Your pen pal apparently remembers you, Mr. Data.

RIKER – Uh Oh.

TROI – I thought Dr. Pulaski was able to isolate her memory cells and erase her visit to the Enterprise.

PICARD – That may have been true, but what I have just learned from Starfleet Command causes me to think otherwise. Klingon intelligence reports that our visit was recorded automatically by a Dreman observatory. The appearance of a ship in orbit over the planet has apparently had a profound effect on the people of Drema Four. The Klingon monitoring has been under cloaking, so further sightings would not cause even more disruption.

DATA – Sir, in Earth’s space age infancy, unidentified flying objects were commonly reported. Would not our visit be just another occurrence, unexplainable and unrepeatable?

PICARD – There’s more. Sarjenka’s planet is close to civil war — a war that we may have unintentionally started.


Picard, Riker, Worf, and attending personnel. The viewscreen shows a Federation vessel.

PICARD (V/O) – Captain’s Log: Stardate 12345. We are meeting the Federation vessel Heritage to pick up Ambassador Kitsman. Starfleet has assigned him to be the liaison for this mission to Drema Four. My feeling is that he is being sent to chaperone our investigations on the planet.

PICARD – Open a channel, Mr. Worf.

WORF – Hailing frequencies open, sir.

PICARD – This is Captain Jean-Luc Picard.

The viewscreen shows Captain Burk.

BURK – Captain Picard, I am Captain Burk, here to transport Ambassador Kitsman, and his luggage, to you.

PICARD (briefly puzzled, regains his composure.) – At your signal, Captain. (To Riker) Number One, will you please greet our visitor … and his luggage.

RIKER – Yes sir!

Riker leaves the bridge.


O’Brien and two uniformed officers are present. Riker enters.

RIKER – Energize.

O’BRIEN – Here it comes.

RIKER – What do you mean, “Here it comes?”

O’Brien does not answer, but nods at the transporter pods. Materializing on the pods are Kitsman and lots and lots of luggage. Boxes and crates of every size and shape. Riker and O’Brien exchange glances, and then Riker approaches Kitsman.

RIKER – Ambassador Kitsman, I am Commander Riker, First Officer. Welcome aboard.

Kitsman comes across as cocky, arrogant, self-righteous, and superior. He is actually worse than that.

KITSMAN – Where’s Captain Picard?

RIKER – He’s on the bridge. I’ll be happy to show you to your quarters so you can get settled before we …

KITSMAN (Impatiently) – Doesn’t Picard know the seriousness of this mission? Wasn’t he briefed by Starfleet on the urgency of my part in this? It’s no wonder his job is on the line.

RIKER – Excuse me, Ambassador?

KITSMAN – Well, it’s obvious that you are totally in the dark. Go ahead and get your people to put my belongings into my quarters. Make sure I’m close to the Captain’s quarters, so they won’t have so far to move next time.

Kitsman exits.


Picard, Kitsman, Riker

KITSMAN – I’ll get right to the point. Our mission is to try and return Drema Four back to its original peaceful state. The same state that existed before a certain Starship Captain started meddling with the planet and its population.

RIKER – Just a minute…

PICARD – Ambassador, if you have a problem with our performance, I suggest you state it plainly.

KITSMAN – Ah, you’re not so slow after all, are you? I suppose the rumors aren’t true. Good. I’m here to watch the end, Picard. You’ve made a mess down on Drema Four. The religious fanatics are claiming that God saved them and their planet from destruction. And the scientists are saying it was beings from outer space. It’s about to break into a full-scale war at the very base of their society. Brother against brother. Nasty. All thanks to Picard lending a helping hand.

PICARD – If you have read the record, Ambassador, then you know…

Picard and Kitsman talk at the same time.

PICARD – … that the actions we took were to ensure that the lives of these people would not be wasted.

KITSMAN – I saw the logs, Picard. I saw yours, Data’s, Pulaski’s, “acting” Ensign Crusher’s, and the ship’s own visual log.

KITSMAN – You broke every rule in the book. You went out of your WAY to find these people and “fix” their planet. You even gave Little Miss Longnails a tour of the good ship Enterprise, complete with home movies from 600,000 kilometers in space! Ooh, it was beautiful. My mission now is to make it right. I’ll make First Contact with these people, and stop this civil war. Then I can make a smooth transition to the Captain’s chair, while they court martial you all the way to Siberius 12.

PICARD – Could we please get off the subject of the Chair and talk about the conditions on Drema Four.

KITSMAN – Ooh, sorry. I suppose you’re a bit touchy about that. Very well. Drema Four, fourth planet in the Selcundi Star system, Class M, typical mix of humanoid, flora, and fauna. Peacefully ignorant of the mad rush of beings zipping about the galaxy trying to help poor savage races that haven’t made First Contact …

RIKER – Ambassador!

KITSMAN – Then comes disaster. Happens to planets all the time. Earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, meteorites. It’s nature’s way of keeping every one humble. “Does not the rain fall on the good and the bad also?”

PICARD – The useless extinction of life is an abhorrence to all beings with feelings.

KITSMAN – The Prime Directive does not have feelings. It is Rule Number One, and you broke it.

PICARD – That is the problem with living by rules. They soon rule your existence.

KITSMAN – All the better, Picard.

PICARD – If you had heard her voice. (At once regrets that he said it.)

KITSMAN – Gotcha, Picard. I did hear her voice. It’s in every one of those logs. I heard it, and I didn’t rush out to soothe her planet’s labor pains. You can’t squirm your way out this time. Kitsman’s here, and I’m not going to let the chair slip by me.

PICARD – You will never sit in that Chair.

KITSMAN – Or else? How about it, Picard? Care to follow up on that threat?

PICARD – Oh, it’s not a threat, Ambassador. It’s a fact.




by John Comeaux


Picard, Riker, Troi, Worf, Crusher, Geordi, Data and Kitsman.

PICARD – Mr. Data has prepared a report for us on Drema Four and the Klingon observations.

DATA – The population of Drema Four is approximately three billion one hundred twenty-two million six hundred eleven thousand two hundred twelve. Their civilization is remarkably uniform, and shows a balanced respect for life, growth, and preservation. There is an excellent food distribution system and communications network.

GEORDI – What about space travel?

DATA – The Dremans apparently have not attempted manned or unmanned space travel, although astronomy is an active scientific pursuit. Klingon observations and our deep space probes have recorded planetary transmissions similar to radio and television from Earth’s history. In fact, the parallels to late-Twentieth Century Earth are remarkable, except for space exploitation.

KITSMAN – And in the coming Dreman civil war.

DATA – The Ambassador is referring to differing viewpoints as to why Drema Four’s tectonic breakup ceased so abruptly, after bringing the planet to the brink of destruction. The religious sector of the population has claimed that a “god” has caused the near-catastrophe as a lesson for the people to repent from their evil ways.

KITSMAN – It’s worse than that. They offer daily prayers and petitions for mercy to their “god”. It’s broadcast planet-wide. The fanaticism is out of control.

TROI – Ambassador, the words “fanaticism” and “out of control” are opinions.

DATA – The anti-theists, on the other hand, point to the recorded orbit of the Enterprise as proof of alien life. Although their orbit scans are fragmentary because of the turmoil on the planet, a record of a vessel in orbit around Drema Four is otherwise unexplainable.

KITSMAN – Come on, Data. Tell them what it’s really like. There is talk on the news broadcasts of censoring the religions. And there’s a possibility of making a hasty entrance into a space program for which they are not prepared.

RIKER – I think you’ve extrapolated the facts a little too far.

TROI – In this case I must agree with the First Officer.

KITSMAN – Okay, point. Your favor. What now?

PICARD – It appears our shields are not sufficient to bring the Enterprise close to Drema Four without being detected.

WORF – A cloaking device would provide an effective means of observation at close range.

PICARD – Yes, Mr. Worf, but the Enterprise does not go sneaking about the galaxy in hiding. However, a little discretion is called for here.

GEORDI – By coming in behind the Dreman moon, we can certainly move close enough for shuttle transport. I don’t think they will detect such a small ship.

PICARD – Good. My plan is to visit the planet in appropriate disguise, and get first-hand observations of the situation. I don’t suppose I can talk the Ambassador into staying on the Enterprise …

KITSMAN – No way.

PICARD – … so I’ll personally take this mission. But let me make this clear: The first visit is for data gathering only. We will refrain from making official First Contact just yet. Dr. Crusher, your artistic skills will be needed to create suitable skin for us, and to join us on the planet in case of a medical need. And Commander Data will accompany us. We will need his experience with the Dremans.

WORF – Sir, I request permission to join the away team.

PICARD – I don’t think there is a danger here, Mr. Worf. I will need you to maintain constant contact with us on the planet. Would you please fashion appropriate communication devices to replace our emblems.

WORF – Yes, Captain.

RIKER – Captain, I don’t think you should take this mission. I recommend that I go instead.

PICARD – Your protest is noted and logged.

RIKER – Does you decision to leave me out of the away team have anything to do with my performance on the Malcorian mission?

PICARD – Oh, no, Number One. That’s not it at all. The fact is, considering our disguises and make-up, we don’t even know if the Dremans have beards.

KITSMAN – Quite frankly, the issue is on Picard’s shoulders. If he screws up a second time, well… (putting his hand across his throat, makes a cutting sound)

RIKER – Ambassador, you’re out of line.

PICARD – As I recall, young Wesley Crusher led the geologic team for the Selcundi Drema System. Mr. La Forge, will you work with any members on his team to provide a status check on our tectonic handiwork of two years ago.

GEORDI – Yes sir. I believe Mr. Davies is on board.

PICARD – That leaves you in charge, Number One. Any questions?

RIKER – Other than direct contact, what are our options, Captain?

PICARD – That depends on our findings.

KITSMAN – What a cop out, Picard… (Stops when Troi gives him a hard look.) Okay, okay. That’s the plan. When in Rome, dress like Romans.


Picard and Kitsman are looking at the table viewscreen. Admiral Hayden is talking.

HAYDEN – Captain Picard, I find it very disturbing that you are only two days from Drema Four, and you don’t have a plan for this mission other than “observations”. The Federation has not seen such a blunder since the Nantokin observation post was discovered.

PICARD – Admiral, I will not jump to conclusions and risk further damage with a hasty plan. After our observations confirm the Klingon reports, we will be prepared to make First Contact in accordance with Starfleet regulations. That IS why Ambassador Kitsman is here, isn’t it?

HAYDEN – I’ve put Kitsman with you to make sure you realize the implications of the success of this mission. I do not want to hear that the Federation’s Flagship is the laughingstock of the galaxy. If civil war does break out, you will carry that burden for the rest of your life, Picard. Hayden out.

KITSMAN – I told you so.

PICARD – Kitsman, let’s get one thing straight here and now. I don’t like you. You are caustic, callous, and crude. But I’m going to work with you anyway. We have a mission, and we’re going to carry out the plan with my officers. And you are not going to play these childish games anymore. One more word about taking my place and I’ll throw you into the Brig and lose the key.

KITSMAN – Captain, really. I’m not a commissioned officer that you can order around.

PICARD – And neither are you the Queen of England. On this ship you are to follow my orders. Those are Starfleet regulations.

KITSMAN – Such a nervous fellow. You should spend an hour or so on Troi’s couch, Captain. The therapy may do you some good. Or, it may not.

Kitsman exits.


Picard is looking out the window. Door chime rings.

PICARD – Come. (Troi enters.) Please sit down. What do you remember from our visit to Drema Four?

TROI – I take it you mean beyond the record. The one thing that stands out in my mind is the conference. You admitted that you could not see every possible outcome of your decision. Commander Riker and Lieutenant Worf were positive that we should not interfere with the planet’s breakup. Dr. Pulaski and Lt. Cmdr. LaForge were positive that we should take every step to help those people. And Mr. Data, of course, agreed.

PICARD – Yes, Mr. Data. The one who reminded us of our humanity. The one who brought us to this fork in the road. He reached out to a young girl, both of them in perfect innocence.

TROI – In our discussion, you had made the decision to break contact with the planet. To leave Sarjenka to the fate of her dying world. Then you reversed that decision.

PICARD – Why? I am asking myself over and over. Was it the pressure to set an example? Was it the sound of the girl’s plea for help? Was it a moment of weakness?

TROI – Or a moment of strength? I know it’s not just Ambassador Kitsman that is causing your doubts…

PICARD – What? No, Kitsman is nothing but an annoyance.

TROI – And it’s not just the young girl, Sarjenka.

PICARD – No… So what is it about that decision that is so troubling?

TROI – I have heard enough lectures about command decisions from you to write a book, so I won’t repeat them now. But I can offer you this. The entire crew trusts you, you know that. But they have complete trust in you for one reason: You have faith in yourself. Authority is not imposed, it is accepted. We’re still here — we haven’t moved. You can continue to be in command, or you can hand it over. Personally I hope you stay.

Troi exits. Picard sits, thinking.

— to be continued




by John Comeaux


Crusher is working at her desk when Picard approaches.

CRUSHER – Captain. Come in.

PICARD – I received a letter from Wesley. It was good to hear from him.

CRUSHER – I’m glad he wrote you. Did he mention the paper he is working on?

PICARD – Yes. He asked for some of the ship’s logs. I sent them right away.

CRUSHER – He told me this is not just a term paper. It’s something really big, some kind of breakthrough. He’s planning to publish it in the scientific journals. He’s very excited about it. It’s all he talks about in the letters to me. Well, almost.

PICARD – Beverly, I want to ask you something. And it may really be none of my business, so please tell me if I’m out of line.

CRUSHER – All right.

PICARD – How is Wesley really doing at the Academy?

CRUSHER – As far as grades, he’s still in the top of his class.

PICARD – And …

CRUSHER – As far as friends, not too well.

PICARD – I remember how hard it was, between studying and classwork and lab work.

CRUSHER – It’s more than that.

PICARD – I sensed something in the letter. That’s why I came in.

CRUSHER – It’s jealousy. Wesley has had a career as an officer on a starship before he became a student. The other students can only dream about the experience he has had already.

PICARD – I see.

CRUSHER – And if that weren’t bad enough, there’s the problem with the professors.

PICARD – What do you mean?

CRUSHER – They are not immune from jealousy. From what I gather in the letters he sends, the professors resent his experience just as much as the students.

PICARD – I can’t believe that the Academy would allow such behavior.

CRUSHER – Oh, it’s not overt. You know what I mean. A word here, an assignment, or ignoring his questions.

PICARD – Ignoring him?

CRUSHER – They are taking the attitude that his questions are simply to show off, or to challenge their understanding. Really, he’s feeling like an outcast.

PICARD – I’m going to contact the Director of …

CRUSHER – Don’t even think of it. Jean Luc, you really cannot help him that way. Any influence you try to pull would only worsen the situation. But you can do one thing. Write him. Show him your support. But whatever you do, don’t let him know what I told you. One hint from you, and all your support will seem like sympathy.

PICARD – You know how fond I am of Wesley.

CRUSHER – Yes. I know.

PICARD – I will handle this with the utmost care, Beverly. Thank you for confiding in me.


Dr. Crusher, Data, Picard, Dr. Sennard, and attending medical personnel. Crusher is measuring and scanning Data’s head and face, Sennard is doing the same to Picard.

CRUSHER(To Data) I’ve been trying to find out what the variations in skin coloring and features of the Dremans are, so I can come up with reasonable skin masks for us.

PICARD(To Crusher) As we approach Drema Four, I’m sure we can pick up enough communication signals to piece together a cross section of the population, Doctor.

CRUSHER – I’m counting on that, but I wish we had more information now. I’ve also checked the records from the Klingon observations, but the details are lacking.

SENNARD – There you are, Captain. We’ll be working on the mask shortly.

PICARD – Thank you, Dr. Sennard.

Picard leaves, and passes Kitsman on his way in. Kitsman takes a seat on the table. Sennard begins scanning him.

CRUSHER(To Data) Did you see any photographs of Sarjenka’s family in their home? Anything that would tell us about facial hair, different races, other obvious features?

DATA – I did not see photographs, but there were many objects of artistic design and useful function in the home. This is apparently of some importance to the Dremans. I also did not see objects of religious worship or ceremonial purposes in the room I was in. I would find it contradictory for Sarjenka’s family to have faith in a god when she was sending transmissions into space.

CRUSHER – What do you mean, that science and religion don’t mix?

KITSMAN – Science mixes with anything but religion, Doctor. Data is being quite logical.

SENNARD – I have faith in God.

The statement startles everyone in the room except Crusher

KITSMAN(Laughing to break the nervousness) A true believer, eh Doc?

SENNARD – The great thing about it is, God exists whether there are true believers or not. My belief in a creative, loving, holy God is logical when I look at the commonality of beings across the galaxy. No matter the personalities, races, or chemistry, there is enough common ground for me to see how God could have fashioned each creature. Endowed it with the ability to love and the chance to choose.

KITSMAN – I would venture to say not many of your shipmates agree with you.

SENNARD – You would be wrong, sir.

DATA – The subject of god is fascinating to me, Dr. Sennard. May I ask you a question? Why does God exist? What was there before God? What is the nature of God? Why does God not speak to us? Why does God allow evil and suffering in the universe? Which of the religions that exist …

SENNARD – Whoa, Mr. Data. You have more questions than I have answers. But I’d love to talk to you about it when we have more time.

DATA – Yes, I would appreciate that, Doctor.

KITSMAN – Are you recruiting for your religion, Doctor?

SENNARD – Why, are you interested too, Ambassador?

KITSMAN – Well, no, I just, uh, …

SENNARD – Let me know if you do get curious.


Kitsman is sitting at the bar and Guinan is serving him another drink. Worf is also at the bar, within earshot.

KITSMAN – … So the professor asks the third Klingon “How much is two plus two,” and he thinks, and growls, and howls, and the whole Klingon graduating class leans forward and waits, and finally the Klingon shouts “FOUR”, and with one loud voice, the whole class says “Awwww.”

Guinan keeps a straight face. Worf is angered, but does not get up. Kitsman looks over at Worf, raises his drink, and smiles. Worf growls, but stays put.

GUINAN – Ambassador Kitsman, were you in show business before?

KITSMAN – You can sense that part of me, eh sweet lady? No, I was not, but my family was once. It’s in my blood. Long ago, the traveling circus of Kitsman and Peabody traveled the galaxy performing for kings and princes, beloved by millions.

GUINAN – You’re sure you weren’t one of the performers? A clown, perhaps?

KITSMAN – Ah, dear lady. You flatter me. But if that great circus were still performing, I would easily rise to the position of Ring-Master, out in front and in control.

GUINAN – So what’s a performer like you doing as a Federation Ambassador?

KITSMAN – It’s my love for all species. My fondest desire is to bring them the benefits of belonging to the Federation of Planets.

GUINAN – The benefits.

KITSMAN – Yes. The order, the diversity, the beauty.

GUINAN – Not to mention our superior technology.


GUINAN – And our superior knowledge.

KITSMAN – That’s true…

GUINAN – And our superior attitude.


GUINAN – Look, Captain Picard has been on missions of this type before. He has worked under extremely dangerous conditions. He has made First Contact before. Starfleet has placed its complete trust in him without someone from Headquarters holding his hand. (With contempt) What are YOU doing here?

KITSMAN – Ah, my dear sneaky lady. Haven’t you heard? I am here to bring the legendary Picard to his knees, and show the world what a pompous overblown windbag he really is. All smoke and mirrors. Just like the circus.

GUINAN – I don’t know whom you know at Starfleet. And I don’t know whom you convinced to let you take this mission. But I can see past your little scheme. You think Picard is an easy target. You found a situation that looks like a screwup, and you’re going to be the vulture. Sorry, Ring-Master. Your plan is going to backfire. Captain Picard is capable of turning this around.

KITSMAN – It’s too late. He screwed it up two years ago. And now that the situation is out of control, Picard’s incompetence will be laid out in the open for everyone to see. He’s finished.



by John Comeaux


Picard, Geordi, Worf, and attending personnel are loading equipment into the shuttle.

PICARD – Mr. La Forge, report, please.

GEORDI – The planet is still stable, Captain. That’s not to say that it won’t start breaking up sometime in the future, but for the near term at least, you’re on solid ground.

PICARD – Thank you.

GEORDI – Something else, Captain. The planet’s core of dilithium crystal is incredibly dense, and highly polarized. We’ve never encountered such a large deposit in a single place. I can’t begin to predict what the effect will be to the ship sensors, navigation systems, whatever.

PICARD – Then we should keep in close contact. Mr. Worf, what do you have for us?

WORF(Handing him four wrist bands) These wrist bands function just as the communicator and locator. They will be “on” the whole time. The signal will be relayed by the shuttle to the Enterprise.

PICARD – Excellent, Mr. Worf. Are we all ready, then?

KITSMAN(From inside the shuttle) What are you stalling for, Picard? Get in and let’s go.

Picard starts to get into the shuttle, when Troi enters the Bay.

TROI – Captain!

PICARD – Yes Counselor.

TROI – We’ve been monitoring the planet’s news media. Data’s friend Sarjenka is missing.


Picard, Kitsman, Crusher are passengers. Ensign Ford is piloting, with Data as co-pilot. Crusher is applying make-up for the mask to Picard. She is already wearing hers. They are listening to a news report from the planet.

RADIO VOICE – No one has seen young Sarjenka or her older brother Senkar in the past month. The police, the media, the Combi Assembly and the curious are all looking for her. It is believed she has gone into hiding because of speculation that she, and she alone, is the key to understanding Drema Four’s near self-destruction two years ago. Scientists are still puzzling over the singing stone left in her hands after the planet’s restoration. In other news, the General Secretary has lifted the curfew over the Capital city today, since the protesting has abated.

Data shuts off the speaker.

KITSMAN – What a mess. When we make First Contact, I hope we can straighten some of it out.

PICARD – Kitsman, you are so sure that we are going to make First Contact with the Dremans.

KITSMAN (Sarcastically) That’s right. Let’s give credit where credit is due. You beat us all to it, two years ago. A little unusual, perhaps. A shocking lack of protocol. A lame excuse for beaming down. Blatant disregard for regulations…

PICARD – Ambassador, you are once again beating a dead issue. As for First Contact, I have not made the decision yet to go that far. I am not buying the assumption that our visit was the sole cause of the turmoil on the planet. Protest marches happen to many civilizations for valid reasons, not all of which have to do with extra-terrestrials.

KITSMAN – You have buried your head in the sand. These people have let their religious emotions run rampant. I fully expect to see a Holy War in progress.

PICARD – Now there’s an oxymoron I haven’t heard in a long time. “Holy War” indeed. I don’t think these people are so primitive as to allow it to go that far.

KITSMAN – We’ll see.

DATA – Captain, may I ask you a personal question?

PICARD – Of Course.

DATA – Do you believe in a god?

PICARD – Whew. For a minute I thought you were going to get serious.

Data cocks his head and then realizes that it was a little joke.

PICARD – Although I’ve not seen God, I’ve seen things in this universe that I just couldn’t explain any other way except that they are “acts of God.”

DATA – Are you referring to miracles?

PICARD – I mean events which were miraculous. They defeat all my attempts to rationalize them. And some of these things were very positive. Others, …(Shakes his head)… Others were quite destructive.

Data ponders this a while, then turns to Crusher.

DATA – Doctor, may I ask you a personal question?

CRUSHER – Somehow I know that I would be next. When Jack died, I went through a long period of self-examination. I was searching for faith in God, in something constant. I found a strength in myself that I didn’t know was there. The need to take care of Wesley certainly helped. Dr. Sennard and I have discussed the issue of God quite a bit… but …

DATA – …Her feelings are not yours?

KITSMAN – Well I’ll tell you what I think. Rubbish. Superstition and bigotry. The main cause of wars and hatred among people. And when you die, Pphhtt. It’s all over.

PICARD – And what about you, Mr. Data? If you can be so direct in asking the questions, what have you decided about faith?

DATA – My research on the subject of God is extensive. The concept of God seems to be almost universal among the intelligent life forms. Beings we have encountered such as the “Q” certainly fill many of the attributes of a god: immortal, invincible. But the lack of compassion in “Q” is noticeable. Still, I have not found an entity that completes the picture of what “God” is supposed to be. I cannot even theorize one.

KITSMAN – Every race makes God in its own image, Data. Perhaps yours is a supercomputer at the center of the galaxy.

DATA – No computing elements have been detected at the galaxy’s center, Ambassador. And if any were, the interference from ….

KITSMAN – Never mind.




by John Comeaux


Keller, a young Dreman boy of about 9 is playing in his play fort in a wooded area with a clearing nearby. The cover and side of his fort is clearly a thin flap of scrap metal which, it will be discovered, shields the boy from detection by the shuttle.

The boy is playing “spaceman” by himself when the shuttle lands in the clearing nearby. He is wind-blown by the landing but not hurt. He watches it wide-eyed, but keeps out of sight, and behind the scrap metal.

Data, Picard, Kitsman and Crusher exit the shuttle, assessing the area and their disguises.

DATA – (Using the tricorder) Captain, we are approximately eight kilometers from the nearest town. Scanners show no Dreman life forms in this area. I conclude that the life form reading we detected earlier was an animal that has now returned to its abode.

PICARD – Very good. Since it is sunrise here, we have time to reach town before we are noticed, and we can begin our investigations. We will go in two teams. Mr. Data, you and Dr. Crusher will be covering the northern end of the town, and rendezvous with us here by sundown.

KITSMAN – Starfleet wants this done right, so listen up.

The others give each other the “Oh Brother” look.

KITSMAN – We are intruders on this planet, not guests. Our job is certainly not to cause trouble. We’ll watch, listen, wait, and everything will be recorded for later assessment. If you are questioned, you know what to say. If you are provoked, ignore it. If you are at risk of being discovered, use phasers only as a last resort …

PICARD – (Cutting him off) Ambassador, there are phaser weapons locked in the shuttle, but I will not issue them here. We are not in danger on this planet.

KITSMAN – The hell we aren’t, Picard. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to get my head blown off in some local war that you provoked.

PICARD – And what makes you think that swinging a phaser on your hip is going to reduce the likelihood of being blown up?

Kitsman looks at Picard angrily, but has no answer.

PICARD – (To officer in shuttle) Ensign Ford, what’s our status?

ENSIGN FORD – Sir, the Enterprise reports your communicators are coming in loud and clear for now. However, the Selcundi solar activity will be increasing sometime in the next 12-24 hours. This could interfere with transmissions.

PICARD – Enough to affect shuttle communications?

ENSIGN FORD – Not likely, sir. The ship’s power supply will be able to relay the signals. Boost them if necessary.

PICARD – Very good, then. Let’s get to work.

The away team of four start walking, and the Ensign watches them a moment, then enters the shuttle and closes the door. The Dreman boy, Keller, observes everything, then sneaks closer to the clearing.

KELLER – (whispers to himself excitedly) Wait till I tell them! Aliens!

Keller begins to follow them.


The tavern is well ordered, and the buildings nearby are also simple and decorative.

Picard and Kitsman stop at a safe distance from the tavern. A few Dremans are leaving or entering the building, but it is not busy.

PICARD – The harmony of design and function is astounding here.

KITSMAN – We won’t learn much looking at the scenery, Picard.

PICARD – Where are the signs of an impending civil war? Where is the turmoil? And the protesters? I wish I’d brought Troi. Her ability to sense these people’s emotions could help us.

KITSMAN – We don’t need Troi if we just get a little closer to them. There’s a tavern if ever I saw one. So, do we enter and get some information or are you just going to “sense” these people?

PICARD – Enter that tavern? And do what? Order a brandy? Charge it to Starfleet?

While they are talking, they have attracted the attention of two of the Dremans, who now approach them.

DREMAN 1 (KRAIG) – May I help you, stranger?

PICARD – (Caught off guard, but recovers) We have come South to visit a friend’s home, and we are not sure how much farther it is. Could you tell us what is the next town?

KRAIG – That is Treeton. Is that your destination?

PICARD – It appears we are headed in the right direction, sir. Thank you very much for your trouble.

KRAIG – Won’t you be my guest for a drink.

KITSMAN – (Cuts in before Picard can answer) We would be most honored, thank you.

KRAIG – My name is Kraig. This is Benote.

KITSMAN – My name is Kitsman.

PICARD – I am Picard.

The four head into the tavern.


The four enter the tavern, followed by Keller, unnoticed.

KRAIG – (To Barkeeper) Jalkie. A round of bella for us. (Turning to Picard, in a jovial manner) So you have come South? Then you have come from Youden. I have friends there, perhaps you know them.

KITSMAN – We have come from farther North.

BENOTE – Farther North than Youden? There are no more towns.

KITSMAN – Our home is in a rural area. We don’t live near the towns.

BENOTE – Where?

KITSMAN – Uh. It is a very distant area. Very … very distant.

The Dremans in the tavern are all curious now, and look at Kitsman and Picard with extreme interest.

KITSMAN – Um. Earth.

BENOTE – Earth? I have never heard of it.

KITSMAN – It’s … north.

KRAIG – A toast, then, to our visitors from Earth.

All raise their glasses and drink.


Four Dreman boys are approaching.

DREMAN BOY KINO – Boy, we come all this way just to see Keller’s fort. It had better be good.

DREMAN BOY YOND – Keller said he used a secret panel for the walls and roof. He said it was so strong, you could stay in it even in a rain, or an earthquake, or a storm, or …

KINO – I know what he said, Yond. He was just bragging. It’s probably just another stupid cardboard fort…

Kino stops suddenly and looks ahead. The other boys look ahead and see the Enterprise Shuttle. They are awestruck for a few seconds, and then jump for joy.

They are petting the shuttle and climbing on it and trying to find a way in.

DREMAN BOYS – (ad lib) Yippee! Hooray! Look at it! It’s really like he said. You could stay in this fort for a week. You could live in this fort forever! How do you get in? Where’s the door?

ENSIGN FORD – (Inside the shuttle, looking at the boys) Oh no! I have to get rid of them. (Opens the door, exits the shuttle) Hey, you kids. Get off of there.

KINO – Who are you? What are you doing in Keller’s fort?

ENSIGN FORD – Ensign Ford, serial number A-1-7-3-2-dash-5-2-7-4-9.

While he is answering, two of the boys climb into the shuttle door behind Ensign Ford. They start to shout “Hey, look in here. It’s full of equipment and gadgets and stuff.”

ENSIGN FORD – Now look, get out of here, you two. This is dangerous. Don’t touch that. Leave that alone.

The remaining boys enter the shuttle and take over, spinning in the chairs and trying all the controls. Ensign Ford is helpless to stop them.



by John Comeaux


Crusher and Data are at a table at an outdoor cafe.

CRUSHER – (Looking at the menu) Well, Data, what will you have?

DATA – I do not believe we will be able to order refreshments since we do not have any Dreman currency. However, the menu does look interesting.

CRUSHER – You can read this writing?

DATA – It is similar to Aurelian, Cornelian, and Vulcan, with traces of another root that I cannot identify.

CRUSHER – I wonder if we can learn anything from the kinds of foods the Dremans prefer?

DATA – That is highly unlikely, Doctor. However, we may be able to learn something from the things the Dremans read.

CRUSHER – What do you mean, the menu?

Data gestures to Crusher to look at the woman at the next table, and leans closer to Crusher. The woman is reading from a blue flat rectangular object that, we will learn, is an electronic Dreman newspaper.

DATA – (Lowering his voice) The person at the next table is deeply engrossed with that device in her hand. It would be helpful to see what is so interesting …

Data is interrupted by a Dreman waiter.

WAITER – Good morning. Our breakfast special is a freshly baked Cruman, two greegs, a glass of orolo, and koffel, regular or de-spleegered.

CRUSHER – Thank you, we’ll just have water, please.

WAITER – Wa – ter?

DATA – Two glasses of agua, please.

The waiter turns, disappointed. Meanwhile, the woman has left, and the waiter picks up his tip from the table. The blue tablet remains. Data waits until the waiter leaves, and picks up the tablet.

CRUSHER – Data, what is it?

DATA – I believe it is a communication device. I am not sure if it is capable of both transmitting and receiving. Ah, here is a switch.

Data pushes the switch and the device lights up. It resembles an electronic newspaper.

DATA – This appears to be a receiver. It is showing news from all parts of Drema Four. There are sections on local events, sports, entertainment, comic pages … The list continues for news stories for the past several weeks. The planet quakes still dominate the news.

CRUSHER – What can we learn about the different factions here? …Data?… Data?

DATA – Here is information on the singing stone. It is being examined by scientists in a government building in a town nearby.

Data is absorbed by the news display. He is reading a page a second, and processing the information.

DATA – Doctor, this is more than just a news display. It is literally a guide to the planet. When I have finished storing these maps and descriptions, I will be able to effectively talk to the population as a native. This will enable us to …

Data stops talking as he is absorbed by what he is reading.

CRUSHER – Now what? Data?

Crusher allows Data to continue reading.

DATA – It is an article on Sarjenka.

CRUSHER – Has she been found? Is she hurt? What is it?

DATA – I am attempting to use the information in this news article, cross referenced with the maps that I have just loaded into memory, to determine her hiding place. We must leave.

CRUSHER – Where are we going? …Data?… Data?

The waiter bring the water stops and watches them leave. Shrugs his shoulders, and sips the water.


Tavern where Picard and Kitsman are drinking with Dremans. Some time has passed and the two are more relaxed. The boy Keller is in the background, watching.

KRAIG – …So I asked him where he stood on the question of the miracle of the planet quakes, and he just stood there and looked at me like a two-legged goober.

The Dremans in the tavern erupt in laughter. When it quiets down again, the second Dreman, Benote, leans over and nudges Picard.

BENOTE – So where do you stand, Picard?

There is an awkward silence as Picard looks down at his drink.

BENOTE – And you, Kitsman? Are you a believer in the miracle?

Kitsman looks from Benote to Picard, but he cannot catch Picard’s eye. Then he speaks jovially, trying to lighten the situation.

KITSMAN – Are you going to call me a two-legged goober too?

KRAIG – Well? Are you a religious or a scientist?

PICARD – I am still undecided until I learn more about the situation and…

KRAIG – You lie. You have a stand. Now state it clearly for us, Dreman.

KITSMAN – Picard is right. We are trying to find out more about the miracle …

BENOTE – Find out more? Where were you when it happened, Dreman? On another planet?

KITSMAN – Did you see the hand that stopped the eruptions and the quakes?

BENOTE – My faith does not depend on my sight alone.

PICARD – Benote, Kraig, listen to me. We do not want trouble. We are here to listen and learn, not to argue or judge.

KRAIG – You are spies! (To the crowd in the tavern) They are spies sent from the governor!

The Dreman boy has been getting closer to the action and now sees his chance.


The crowd in the tavern laughs. Picard and Kitsman begin to look sick.

KELLER – No, really. I saw their space ship. It landed in Wanderer’s field. There are five of them!

The people in the crowd begin to raise voices and react angrily, with shouts of “What do you want?” and “We have a right” and “Make them tell”.)


Riker, Troi, Geordie, and Worf are listening to arguments.

RIKER – It’s starting to get pretty nasty. We may have to intervene.

WORF – Commander, I request permission to transport to the planet and “intervene”.

RIKER – Not just yet, Lieutenant. You may get your chance, though. (To the Ensign at Ops) Ensign, prepare to break out of hiding and enter a standard orbit. But wait for my signal. Geordie, prepare for warp speed. Transporter chief, prepare to locate and lock on to the away team. Mr. Worf, hail the shuttle craft.

WORF – Shuttle craft is receiving but not answering.

RIKER – Well, try again.

WORF – Hailing, sir.

ENSIGN FORD – (VOICEOVER, agitated, sounds of boys in the background) Shuttle, Ensign Ford here, sir.

RIKER – Ford, what is going on?

The scene switches to the shuttle and chaos as the Dreman boys are still romping around in the shuttle and Ford has a defeated look.

FORD – I have a problem here, sir. Some Dreman boys have discovered the shuttle and …

The scene shifts to the point of view of each speaker.

RIKER – (Glancing at Troi) Boys? Dreman BOYS?

Troi is amused but does not say anything.

FORD – Yes sir, like I said, some Dreman boys just came up and …

RIKER – How many boys?

FORD – Well, it seems like about ten or so, but … I guess there are four or five.

RIKER – And they are actually inside the shuttle?

FORD – Yes sir.

RIKER – Ensign, how did they get inside the shuttle?

FORD – Well, they slipped in when I opened the shuttle door to make them leave.

RIKER – Well open the door and let them out.

FORD – Yes sir. If you have any suggestions for how to do that, sir, I would sure appreciate it.

RIKER – Ensign Ford, I don’t have time for these games. We may have to transport the away team. I want to have them on board by the time the echo reaches the wall. And I want you off the planet two seconds later.

FORD – Acknowledged, sir. Ford out.

Ford closes the channel and remains standing, looking at the boys, feeling defeated.




by John Comeaux


Data and Crusher are walking down a street in a more dilapidated part of town not seen before, and not fitting in with the rest of the town. There is an air of uneasiness. Not many other Dremans are around. There is graffiti on some of the buildings, and trash on the streets.

CRUSHER – Data, what makes you think that Sarjenka is here?

DATA – After scanning the news reports of the planet, and using the maps from the newspaper, I have eliminated all of the obvious places. And, having had experience with the Sherlock Holmes method of systematic investigation, I resolved the problem. This area was not considered because of its very nature. As you have noticed, Doctor, the population of this part of Treeton consists of tramps, hustlers, the poor, destitute, and homeless. The businesses are simply fronts for illicit activities, and the …

CRUSHER – I get the picture. I would like to spend as little time as possible here. Can we go now?

DATA – But we have not yet discovered Sarjenka’s hiding place.

CRUSHER – Data, it may not be a good idea to contact her. If she doesn’t actually remember you or the Enterprise, this would be a big mistake. If she does remember you, this would simply add fuel to the fire.

DATA – I have considered those possibilities. But she will not remember you, Doctor.

CRUSHER – Oh, no. No. Nope. Absolutely not. I will not under any circumstances be your guinea pig for this wild goose chase.


The scene shifts to Crusher knocking on a door, glancing at Data who is sitting on a bench reading a newspaper, a real paper one, watching surreptitiously. A large Dreman woman answers through a peep hole in the door.


CRUSHER – Um, can you help me?

There is a pause, and Crusher considers running away. Eventually the door opens to reveal a dark interior, but no one beckons. Crusher timidly steps inside, and the door closes behind her. Data sees this and shows concern. The scene follows Crusher into the darkened room, where the woman starts up some stairs with some effort. Crusher follows her.

CRUSHER – Thank you for opening the door for me. I’m looking for …


Crusher follows without further comment. The two finally reach the top of the stairs and enter a small room with two chairs.

DREMAN WOMAN – (Indicating one of the chairs) Sit.

Crusher sits. She starts to say something to the Dreman woman, but the door closes and Crusher is alone. After a few frightening moments, the other door opens and a tall young Dreman man steps in, scrutinizes Crusher for a few moments, then steps out of the way, and Sarjenka walks in and sits in the other chair. The young man leaves. Crusher’s thoughts are heard for the audience.

CRUSHER – (Thinking) Sarjenka!

CRUSHER – How could you know?

SARJENKA – I’ve been waiting for you. I was so scared that the news service wasn’t going to send anyone out here to take my story. I’m so glad you finally got here. Aren’t you going to record this?


SARJENKA – Well, where is your recorder?

CRUSHER – You can relax. Talk as if you were just telling me, as a friend.

SARJENKA – I guess first I want to say thanks for the people helping me. I’m sorry if they seem a bit sleazy. They really are the dearest people for watching out for me. You can’t tell anyone where I am.

CRUSHER – No, no. I promise. No one will know.

SARJENKA – What everyone says is I’m the reason for the quakes, or I’m the reason they stopped, or I’m an angel, or a witch, or an alien. All of that is crazy. People give me weird looks at school, or on the street, like I’m some kind of freak. Do I look like a freak to you?

CRUSHER – No. But you look scared.

SARJENKA – I really don’t know what’s going on. That morning, as soon as my folks came back from the shelters, after the quakes stopped, they found me in my bed, with the singing stone. If it hadn’t been for that stupid rock, nothing would have happened. I don’t even know where the thing comes from. I don’t know how I got it in the first place, and I don’t know why everyone makes such a big fuss over the whole thing.

Sarjenka begins to cry and Crusher goes over to comfort her, with words such as “Take your time. It’s all right,” etc. Sarjenka resumes her composure, but Crusher has moved her chair closer.

SARJENKA- I’ve been here for five weeks, and I miss my Mom and Dad so much. If it weren’t for Senker, he’s the one you saw before. I just want everyone to let me go home. The scientists can keep the stupid singing stone. I just want to go home. This world is just so big, why can’t they pick on someone else. Um, I don’t even know your name.

CRUSHER – Beverly. There were reports that you built a transmitter.

SARJENKA – It was a science project. I got an “A”.

CRUSHER – What’s the transmitter for?

SARJENKA – To talk to the little green men on Drema Three.

CRUSHER – I’m not the enemy here.

SARJENKA – Oh, I’m sorry, Beverly. It was just a stupid idea.

CRUSHER – I’m not judging. You’ll still get an “A”.

SARJENKA – The original idea was to find out how far my transmitter would carry messages. At first I aimed them at the moon, and timed their return. Then I got carried away and wanted to know if there were others who could hear my transmissions. I thought for a while I had contacted someone … something, but now I realize that the planet’s crystal core was bending the signal so much, I was probably talking to another station on Drema Four. So much for little green men. Anyway, I was a lot younger then, and now I know how senseless it was. But it was a good exercise. I don’t think you should put that in the news. No, don’t even mention the transmitter. It would just mess everything up. (Jumps up) Oh, I’m sorry. This is terrible. I’ve got to go.

CRUSHER – It’s all right. It’s okay. I won’t mention this. I promise. I won’t tell a soul about the transmitter. Just stay a few more minutes please.


CRUSHER – Sarjenka, why don’t you tell people what you’ve told me.

SARJENKA – Because. You’d be scared too, if they are always talking about religious and scientist and one believes and one does not. And it never stops. Ever since I can remember.

CRUSHER – What? Even before the quakes.

SARJENKA – Didn’t you take history in school?

CRUSHER – It wasn’t my best subject.

SARJENKA – When has Drema Four ever been without the argument?

CRUSHER – So the different factions, religious and scientist, didn’t start with the quakes?

SARJENKA – Who are you? Senkar!

CRUSHER – I’m a friend, Sarjenka.

The door opens and Data steps in with Senkar holding his arm.

SENKAR – I found this one outside, Jen.

DATA – (To Crusher) I am glad to see you are well. I was … concerned.




by John Comeaux


Worf, Geordi, Riker, and Troi, and attending personnel.

RIKER – (voice over) “Captain’s log Star Date 12345. First officer reporting. The Captain and the Ambassador are being held for questioning by members of the religious faction. They do not seem to be in danger for now, but we do not know what course of action their detainers may take. Doctor Crusher and Second Officer Data have been discovered by the Dremans who are hiding the girl Sarjenka. We are not sure whether the Dremans suspect that Data and the Doctor are not from Drema Four. It now appears that I am limited in my response options.”

Static overpowers Riker’s voice, and Worf and Geordi press various buttons trying to stop the noise and determine the cause.

RIKER – Geordi, what’s happening to our communications?

GEORDI – The Selcundi sun has begun a cycle of high intensity radiation. The di-lithium deposits inside Drema Four are picking up the solar waves and intensifying them. I can’t re-establish contact with the away team or the shuttle unless we get out from behind the moon, or the solar flares die down.

RIKER – What about sending another shuttle?

GEORDI – The radiation would affect the navigation systems the same way. Out here behind the Dreman moon we are protected from a lot of it, but a lone shuttle may not even make it to Drema Four.

RIKER – So they’re trapped. Well, let’s un-trap them. Ensign, set a course to put us into standard orbit…

WORF – Commander, Starfleet is hailing us, priority channel.

RIKER – I’ll take it in the ready room. Ensign, hold our position, but be ready to move.

Riker exits to the Ready Room.


Riker enters the Captain’s ready room and switches on the desktop com panel. Admiral Hayden appears on the screen.

ADMIRAL – Where’s Picard?

RIKER – Captain Picard is with the away team on the planet.

ADMIRAL – Well, patch him in, I want to find out what’s going on.

RIKER – I’m afraid that’s not possible, Admiral. Solar activity has just drowned out our communications. I was just getting ready to send a reconnaissance team down to determine their status.

ADMIRAL – Commander, by no authority are you to enter an orbit or otherwise interfere with these people. Besides the violations of the Prime Directive, we have the Ferengi to worry about.

RIKER – Sir?

ADMIRAL – They’ve heard about our contact with the Dremans, and are protesting our quarantine of the sector. They are claiming we have kept the Dremans to ourselves for profiteering.

RIKER – With all due respect, Admiral, I hardly think the Ferengi are a threat here…

ADMIRAL – Riker, this is turning into an intergalactic incident of the highest order. Picard has one chance to get things back on track there, or he’s history. Hayden out.

The admiral’s image is replaced by the Star Fleet emblem on the com panel. Riker shuts off the panel and shows his concern.


Picard and Kitsman are being held in a basement of a house. There is a bunk and a chair, and a single door in the room. Kitsman is trying to open the door.

PICARD – It is still locked.

KITSMAN – I can still try, damn it all.

Kicks the door. Then tries the wrist communicator.

KITSMAN – Kitsman to Enterprise.

PICARD – I hope their law allows us the counsel of an attorney.

KITSMAN – If you had issued phasers, we wouldn’t need an attorney.

PICARD – If you had used a phaser, then our First Contact would have made quite an impression, wouldn’t it?

Their argument is interrupted by the door being unlocked. A Dreman walks in, checks the room and the two prisoners, and leaves. Then Gembel, a Dreman woman “priest”, robed and embellished with religious jewelry, enters.

GEMBEL – My children, Please, follow me upstairs.

Scene: The three exit up a stairway and into a ground floor room.

There are two other “priests” in the room. One is an ancient looking man called Rittin. The priests sit behind a table, and Picard and Kitsman sit in the chairs in front.

GEMBEL – I am Combi Gembel. This is Combi Rittin and Combi Ricoh. We now realize that you are not from our family, and that our laws and customs may not apply to you, or your family. Therefore we will be extraordinarily lenient in our judgment. The trial will now begin. Will you swear to speak the truth?

PICARD – Combi Gembel, among my people, my family, to speak the truth is our way.

GEMBEL – Then you are a true kindred brother. You are accused of many things, Picard and Kitsman. Insubordination. Inciting to riot. Trespassing. Vagrancy. Suspicious activity. Espionage. And one allegation of being an alien. We have confirmed that you are not spies from the governor. At least, not in this district. And, you are obviously not the little green men from Drema Three, unless, of course, this place “Earth” you say you are from is located on Drema Three. The other charges are less serious, and the Assembly can be quite forgiving with a cooperative defendant. Therefore, tell us now, your stand on the miracle of the quakes.

PICARD – My family has another custom: not to judge or condemn a person for his belief, because for us, each person has a right to his belief. The denial of that right is a serious crime. You have asked if we are religious or scientist. My reply is this: a religion that is intolerant is the same as a science that is intolerant. They are both dictatorships, unworthy of answer.

GEMBEL – But there is no third option. You must state your beliefs.

RICOH – For all of time, for all our recorded history, Dremans have taken their stand.


GEMBEL – How can you deny your own past? Does not every Dreman know of this fundamental truth?

PICARD – This fundamental truth — that Dremans have always stated their beliefs when challenged — is unyielding?

GEMBEL – Of course! How can you not know?

RITTIN – It has been more than 100 years.

GEMBEL – Combi Rittin.

RITTIN – I was a boy when my father stood before the Combi Assembly. It was more than 100 years ago. He spoke of the same rights as this visitor. Rights of belief. Rights of speech. Have we forgotten that these are also fundamental?

PICARD – Yes, it makes sense now. You have caused this whole predicament yourselves. I’d call it stubbornness if it weren’t so harmful.

GEMBEL – What harm has come to you?

PICARD – We have learned the consequences of being suspect. The treatment we have had here would be considered among my people an act of aggression, unprovoked and violent.

GEMBEL – Aggression! None was intended. No harm could come to you. Perhaps you are indeed from a distant land. Our culture, our family, has no such primitive thoughts.

KITSMAN – What do you mean? You are keeping us here against our will.

GEMBEL – But this is to protect you.

KITSMAN – Thank you for your protection. We would like to leave now.

GEMBEL – I wish that it could be so simple.

Gembel, Rittin, and Ricoh exchange glances and nod.

GEMBEL – Picard and Kitsman, you are found wanting in your testimony. The Combi Assembly finds you guilty of lying about your origins and concealing information on your intentions. You are to appear in a public trial on the fourteenth day of this month, at which time you will be sentenced.

Gembel removes a stole from her garments and places it on the table. The door opens and four police officers enter. The officers are wearing weapons, but they do not draw them. Picard and Kitsman exchange glances and are led away. Outside, Keller is still watching, observing Picard and Kitsman being taken prisoner.








by John Comeaux


Crusher, Data, Sarjenka, Senkar and the woman are in a room next to the previous one. The woman is almost unnoticed in the background.

SARJENKA – Who are you?

DATA – I am Data.

SENKAR – What do you want? How did you find us?

CRUSHER – We want to make sure you are all right. I’m a doctor, and I’ve followed the news about you and your brother in hiding.

SENKAR – More lies. You are government spies.

SARJENKA – (looking intently at Data) I believe them.

SENKAR – They still haven’t said how they found you.

DATA – The news service gave details on the locations of your residence, your school, your friends, and your relatives. I determined from these an estimated geographical center around which to begin a building-by-building elimination of probability…

CRUSHER – Never mind, Data. Sarjenka, we’ve found you, we’re sure you are well, so now we’re going to leave you in peace.

SENKAR – Do you think we can just let you leave?

CRUSHER – No one will know we’ve been here. I promise.

SARJENKA – Now I’m glad you weren’t from the news service. I don’t think I wanted my story to come out just that way. I feel like an idiot.

CRUSHER – You’re not. You’re a very bright girl. And I hope, when the time is right, you’ll think about what I said. If you come out in the open, I think that people will listen. Talk to them, Sarjenka.

SARJENKA – I want to let them go.

Senkar begins to protest, but backs down and capitulates.


SARJENKA – What is it?

DREMAN WOMAN – This way.

The woman turns and opens a door to a basement stairway. Crusher and Data exchange looks, and Data follows the woman, with Crusher behind. After some pitch black stairs, another door opens, and Data and Crusher exit at dusk. The door closes, and they make a cautious exit.


Crusher and Data are making their way to the better part of town. From the shadows, a figure is watching. Crusher and Data sense that they are being followed, and are moving cautiously. Suddenly, Keller jumps down from a low roof and stands in front of them, poised to flee but also ready to confront them. Crusher and Data are startled, but recover.

CRUSHER – Whoa, you startled us. Now run along, please.

KELLER – I know who you are.

DATA – We also know that information.

KELLER – You’re aliens! I saw you. You came in a space ship. I know everything.

CRUSHER – Yes, we’re aliens. Now go play, young man.

KELLER – I know more. I know where the other two are.

CRUSHER – The other two?

KELLER – Picard and the other one.

CRUSHER – Where are they?

KELLER – They’re in security.

DATA – Doctor, if this boy is being truthful, we must investigate.

KELLER – Come on!


Crusher and Data are following Keller. They come to an alley behind Security.

KELLER – They’re in there.

CRUSHER – We can’t just walk in and get them, can we?

KELLER – No. They’re guarded.

CRUSHER – How many guards are in there?

KELLER – I don’t know.

DATA – Do you have a plan, Doctor?

CRUSHER – It depends. What’s your name?

KELLER – Keller.

CRUSHER – Keller, do you want to help us?

KELLER – Sure!

CRUSHER – Good. Because we need your help. I’m going to trust you to do your part.


Scene switches to interior of Security lobby. Two guards are present, one watching a TV, one filling out forms. Crusher and Keller enter.

KELLER – Mom! Mom! Look! They’re here! We’re saved!

CRUSHER – Can you help us? We have no way of getting home.

KELLER – Our motor broke down, and we’ve been walking forever.

Guards look at each other. The one filling out forms gets another form. He looks bored.

GUARD – Name.

CRUSHER – Beverly Crusher.

GUARD – And yours.

CRUSHER – He’s my son.

GUARD – I still need his name, lady.

CRUSHER – Wesley Crusher.

GUARD – You have the same last name?

CRUSHER – Yes. It was my idea.

GUARD – Address.

CRUSHER – Wesley, tell the officer where we live. I’m so proud of him. He knows his address, his ID number, and his conn number.

GUARD – His conn number?

KELLER – 2424 Selcundi West. That’s in the Marion district.

GUARD – I know where it is. Look, it’s not that far. Why don’t you walk?

CRUSHER – At night? Alone? In this part of town?

GUARD – Minsky, take these two home.

MINSKY – Come on.

Keller and Crusher follow him out to the car. Minsky sits in the driver’s seat while Keller and Crusher stand outside. He looks up at them and frowns.

MINSKY – Well, get in. What are you waiting …

Data pops up from the back seat and puts a grip on his neck.

DATA – Please do not move.

The guard doesn’t move. Crusher comes around to the driver’s seat and takes the weapon and car “key” from the guard. She holds the weapon on him.

Scene: Security Lobby

Minsky enters followed by Crusher holding the weapon. Data comes in next, and then Keller.

GUARD – What’s this?

DATA – Please put your hands behind your head, and do not make any sudden moves. You stand over there with him.

Guards comply, and Data takes Guard’s weapon. Keller starts looking in the drawer at all the keys, and takes a handful. He then exits to the cell area.

DATA – Doctor, I suggest you hold these two while I attempt the jail break.

Exits after Keller. The guards look at each other, then the first Guard speaks to Minsky.

GUARD – Say, you aren’t going to let her get away with this, are you?

Crusher turns the weapon to the chair and fires. The chair is knocked down.

MINSKY – I’m not going to stop her.


Data enters the cell area, and Picard and Kitsman are helping Keller try every “key” on the lock.

PICARD – Mr. Data! Am I glad to see you.

DATA – Yes sir. Dr. Crusher is holding the guards while I bust you out. This lock will need two keys, placed vertically in an exact orientation.

Data examines the keys, and picks up two, places them on the lock, and the door opens. All four return to the Lobby.

PICARD – You’re quite good at busting people out of jail, Mr. Data. Doctor, all clear? Let’s go.

CRUSHER – Okay, you two. In the back. Let’s go. Move it.

MINSKY – Whatever you say, lady. Just be careful with that thing.

Guard, Minsky, and Crusher walk into cell area. Guards enter the cell, Crusher closes the door and kicks the keys away. She re-enters the lobby, leaves the weapon on the desk, and exits.


Scene switches to car. Kitsman is in back. Data is in driver’s seat, and Picard is also in front. There is a partition between front and back, but sound can pass. Keller is starting to get in and Crusher approaches.

DATA – I am sorry, but you cannot come with us.

KELLER – But why? I helped you. I wanna go with you.

PICARD – You can’t.

KELLER – But I wanna go to outer space with you.

CRUSHER – Look, Keller, you’ve helped us get out of this, and I really appreciate it. But we don’t belong here, you do. The best thing would be for you to forget you ever saw us.

PICARD – Doctor, if you would, please.

Crusher gets into the back seat. Keller watches as Data puts the key into the ignition, and the car lights up, but doesn’t move. Data and Picard look for the controls, but without success. Keller walks around to driver’s side and laughs.

KELLER – Don’t need me, huh?

DATA – The forward controls are not apparent.

KELLER – I’ll show you if you take me with you.

Data and Picard exchange glances.


Scene switches to a wild ride in the car as Keller shouts instructions and Data tries to follow. Sounds of near accidents and horns honking.

KELLER – Use your right foot to slow down. Now put the blinker thing on. No, the other one, it’s green. Now turn while you press the other thing. Press the glower thing, the orange one.

The car stabilizes, and Data is in control.

PICARD – Mr. Data, stop here.

KELLER – What’d you stop here for? Wanderer’s Field is another two krelongs.

PICARD – We promised to take you with us, so here you are. This is the tavern where we first saw you. I think you can get home from here.

KELLER – But you promised. I wanna go. I’m gonna tell!


Crusher, Picard, Data and Kitsman are walking up to the shuttle. They stand at the entrance to the shuttle but nothing happens.

PICARD – Ensign Ford seems to be occupied. Mr. Data …

Data presses a panel and opens the shuttle door. The team enters and sees Ford immobile with a stunned look sitting upright in the co-pilot seat. Crusher begins to examine him, passing a medical scanner over him.

PICARD – Well …

CRUSHER – He’s in shock, otherwise, he’s not hurt.

PICARD – Then we’ll attend to him on the Enterprise. Kitsman, if you will lend a hand, I will pilot.

Picard immediately sits, powers up and readies the shuttle for take off. Meanwhile, Data is in the back at the escape transporter pad, pressing several buttons. He takes a stone and places it on the pad, presses a panel, and the stone is transported off the pad. After a second, the stone seems to re-appear. Now Crusher approaches Data. She seems about to ask him about the stone, when Picard interrupts.

PICARD – Mr. Data, co-pilot please.

Data puts the stone into Crusher’s hand, and takes his seat. The stone begins singing to Crusher’s wonderment. She lowers herself in to her seat, eyes fixed on the singing stone.

CRUSHER – The singing stone.


Scene switches to the tavern porch, looking out over Wanderer’s Field. The shuttle rises in a glow from behind the trees and takes off. Camera moves to the Security car, where Keller is locked inside. He is watching the shuttle take off, and is hitting the window with his fist. The car “key” is clearly visible on the car hood.

KELLER – But I wanted to go. I want to go with you.


Inside the shuttle. Music and shaking suggest trouble.

KITSMAN – Picard, do you know what you’re doing? You’re worse than Data.

PICARD – What is causing this, Mr. Data?

DATA – There are high level fluctuations in the entire EMR band. Our navigation systems are not functioning.

PICARD – Picard to Enterprise. Enterprise come in. (To Data) Boost the signal. Picard to Enterprise. Enterprise, do you read?

VOICE OF RIKER – Riker here. Captain are you all right?

PICARD – Yes, Number One. However, your help would be appreciated. We’re trying to make orbit, but our nav systems are out.

Scene switches to the Bridge of the Enterprise.

RIKER – That’s the solar activity. We’ll bring you in sir. Riker out. Ensign, take us in. Geordi, lock on a tractor beam. Sick bay, prepare to receive the away team. Mr. Worf, you have the conn.

Riker turns and walks toward the turbo lift.



by John Comeaux


Troi, Picard, Data, Worf Crusher, Kitsman, Sennard and attending personnel. Sennard is scanning Kitsman. All of the away team is back in uniform.

PICARD – Apparently, the instability of the planet is related to the instability of the people there. But the difference is, the people are just incredibly partisaned. No one can straddle the fence. They demanded to know whether we believed in the miraculous intervention by God or rescue of some higher intelligence. Their beliefs and drives are all focused on conflict.

CRUSHER – But conflict that leads to civil war? Those people don’t even have contact sports, as far as we can tell.

DATA – Doctor Crusher is correct. Even the security weapons are stun force at maximum. Although they certainly have the ability to develop and use more powerful weapons, to do so and thereby harm another person is unthinkable. Our culture would seem impossibly violent to them.

KITSMAN – These people argue for a living, for Pete’s sake. The Klingons naturally interpreted these impassioned fools to be at the brink of war. They’re going to forget all about us when the next catastrophe comes along.

TROI – I would hardly call them fools, Ambassador. What is foolish about an entire people without war, without violence, without hatred…

KITSMAN – Oh, yes, just lovely. It would be heaven. (Looking at Sennard) Oops, sorry about that, Doc.

SENNARD – No apology needed. How about having lunch with me in Ten Forward? We never finished our discussion of science and religion.

KITSMAN – Uh, um … Er …

He is interrupted by a communicator beep. Riker’s voice is heard

RIKER – (V/O) Captain, the USS Magnificat is approaching to transport the Ambassador.

PICARD – Acknowledged. (to Kitsman) Saved by the bell?

KITSMAN – Sorry, Doc. I don’t want to be late for my choir practice.

CRUSHER – Ooh, wait.

She leaves then returns with the singing stone, and puts it in Kitsman’s hand. The sound it makes changes

KITSMAN – The singing stone! You’ve recovered it. Well, it’s a good thing you recovered it. Leaving this stone with those people would have continued to plague them for decades to come, and Starfleet Headquarters would have had to send another vessel and put the lives of another crew at risk down on that dreadful planet…

PICARD – Well, yes, thank you Doctor, and thank you, Ambassador, and Mr. Worf if you will escort the Ambassador to transporter room Three, and make sure he is safely aboard the Magnificat. And please, Ambassador, consider the singing stone a farewell gift from all of us to you and good-bye.

As soon as Picard mentions Worf, Worf begins moving closer to Kitsman, who begins backing off toward the door while Picard finishes his speech. The door closes just as Picard says “Good-bye.”

PICARD – Nice work, everyone. (Exits)


Scene follows Picard to the Bridge. As he steps out of the turbolift, Geordi and Riker notice him.

RIKER – Welcome back, Captain.

GEORDI – Captain, our geologic survey team has done a lot of looking on this visit to Drema Four. This planet is more of a mystery than ever.

PICARD – Explain.

GEORDI – The planet’s dilithium core is stable for now, like I said earlier. But how could it last this long? How could the planet form with this high concentration of crystal, and an atmosphere form and stabilize, and life evolve over millions of years, when I can’t tell you if tomorrow the core is going to start self-destructing all over again? This planet should be an asteroid belt like Drema Five.

RIKER – These people are living on borrowed time.

PICARD – This complicates matters for the future. If we saved them once, do we save them again?

GEORDI – Do we plan for First Contact after all?

RIKER – If they join the Federation of Planets, are we then bound to hold their planet together forever?

PICARD – These are matters for Starfleet to decide.

Turbolift doors open and Worf steps onto the bridge.

PICARD – Speaking of which, I trust the Ambassador is safely in transport.

WORF – The Ambassador has boarded, and the Magnificat is on her way. With the luggage.

PICARD – Never have I seen such an insecure person.

RIKER – How is Ensign Ford down in sick bay?

PICARD – He’s out of shock, and resting. I neglected to ask what caused him to go into shock.

Riker reacts with a smile that catches Picard’s eye.

PICARD – Number One, you were monitoring Ford. Do you know what caused this reaction? Well?

RIKER – It’s a long story, Captain.


Crusher plops down in a chair in her room, dressed in nightgown, just about ready for bed. She toys absently with the table viewscreen a moment, and decides to read the mail. She calls up her mail, and notices a letter from Wesley. She perks up and calls up the letter. Wesley’s image appears on the screen.

WESLEY – (On Video) Mom, it’s finished. I wanted you to be the first. You and Captain Picard.

The viewscreen shows the Starfleet Academy emblem, and then Wesley’s formal paper begins.


Picard is seen also reading his mail. The same screen is showing on his viewscreen.

WESLEY – (On Video) This paper is entitled “Time, Space, and Thought”, Stardate 12360. I will attempt to demonstrate that these three apparently unrelated abstracts are not the separate things we think of, but are linked by mathematical relationships.

Prior to the Twentieth Century on Earth, nothing was known of quantum physics or the space/time relationship called Relativity. Albert Einstein at that time proposed the equation “Energy equals mass times the square of the speed of light” to quantify the relationship between energy and matter. Time was also included in the equation, and time dilation was proven as early as the mid-Twentieth century. But the concept that thoughts, human or otherwise, could affect such uncontrollable abstracts as time or space was left to the realm of metaphysics, quacks, and astrologers.

Based on my experiences with a life form known as “The Traveler”, and on working with warp field generation on the Starship Enterprise, I have concluded that the element of thought can and does affect the time and space around us, and this effect is felt most strongly in conjunction with warp fields…




About the author: John Comeaux, a member of the Fearless, is an amateur writer. He wrote this Star Trek: The Next Generation episode in 1991 in hopes of being part of the Star Trek “canon.” His agent liked the episode and sent it to Paramount Studios, where it was read by Eric Stilwell, script coordinator. Although the script was not accepted, John was encouraged, and continues to write, most recently a family movie called “The Troll Movie” which is being reviewed by Disney and others. John is an engineer at Chevron in Lafayette, and is married and has three grown children. His other interests are music, computers, and stamp collecting.


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