Justice
Stardate: 41255.6
Original Airdate: 9 Nov, 1987

Captain's log, stardate 41255.6. After delivering a party of Earth colonists to the Strnad solar system, we have discovered another Class M planet in the adjoining Rubicun star system. We are now in orbit there, having determined it to be inhabited as well as unusually lovely. My first officer has taken an away team down to make contact and they are in the process of returning to the ship.

[Bridge]

(Wesley is sitting next to Troi)
PICARD: Riker says the planet's life forms are almost identical to us.
TROI: He's very enthusiastic.
(Crusher enters)
CRUSHER: Captain? Sorry, Troi.
TROI: The Doctor has something very important to tell you, Captain.
PICARD: You've been talking about it for days. Shore leave for the crew.
CRUSHER: Establishing that colony has been exhausting for the entire crew, Captain. We're not a supply vessel. Settling all those people has been a strain on everyone. I'm tired myself.
(Riker, Data and Yar enter)
PICARD: Is it as good as your report suggests, Number One?
RIKER: As per report, sir. Class M, Earth-like, beautiful. It will startle you.
CRUSHER: It sounds wonderful for the children. The holodecks are marvellous, of course, but there's nothing like open spaces and fresh air.
TASHA: I've listed my report on their customs and laws, sir. Fairly simple, common sense things.
LAFORGE: They're wild in some ways, actually puritanical in others. Neat as pins, ultra-lawful, and make love at the drop of a hat.
TASHA: Any hat.
PICARD: But the happiest report has its negatives. Let's start with them, Number One.
RIKER: There are none, sir. Not that any of us can find.
DATA: But there is a problem here, sir.
WORF: It's the faulty reading I reported, sir.
DATA: I'm reading something off the starboard bow, but there is nothing there.
TASHA: Sensor technicians are working on it, sir. They've identified it as a glitch in the system.
PICARD: I take it you find no glitch at all in this planet, however?
RIKER: No, sir.
TASHA: If you approve shore leave, sir, we could start with a small group.
PICARD: Of course. Wesley? If we go down, I'd like you to join the away team to evaluate this world as a place for young people to relax.
WESLEY: Yes, sir.
PICARD: If our scans and observations confirm the report, of course I'll approve it. Let's hope it is not too good to be true.

Captain's log, supplemental. We are in orbit of a planet designated Rubicun Three, the home of a life form who call themselves the Edo. Our away team, including Wesley Crusher, has beamed down to make arrangements concerning some well-deserved recreation.

[Planet surface]

(It's a lovingly tended garden extending in all directions. The people wear enough for modesty, run instead of walk, and are nauseatingly beautiful. When the team arrive two people run towards them)
WORF: Careful, sir.
RIKER: No, it's all right, Lieutenant. Those are the Edo we met before. They certainly are fit.
TROI: They certainly are.
RIVAN: (a woman) Health and happiness.
LIATOR: (a man) A pleasant day to you.
RIVAN: You did return as promised.
(She greets Riker with a slow, loving hug)
RIKER: Rivan, Liator. Also from our vessel, Troi. 
LIATOR: Slowly, slowly. I must also welcome this lovely one.
(He nuzzles Troi's neck, she just pats his shoulder)
LIATOR: Nice to see you again.
TASHA: My pleasure.
RIKER: Counsellor?
TROI: Healthy sensuality, sir. I feel mainly friendship, and (looking at Tasha) happiness.
RIVAN: And I welcome this huge one. Oh, yes.
WORF: (returning the hug) Nice planet.
RIKER: Yeah.
RIVAN: But you are a young one. I do not know your custom regarding love.
WESLEY: Er. I guess, whatever you usually do.
(It's a very fleeting hug for the teenager)
RIKER: There are others who would like to visit here, if you would give us a limit on the numbers.
LIATOR: Whatever pleases you. We can discuss it at the Council Chambers.
RIVAN: Shall we go there now or remain in play?
RIKER: Play?
RIVAN: At love. Unless you don't enjoy that. (to Worf) Perhaps you do?
LIATOR: And you? (Troi blushes) Yes, I can see that you do.
WESLEY: Maybe I should just go on ahead.
RIVAN: Oh, this is unfair to him. We'll go to the Council Chambers. You'll find young people your age there.
WESLEY: Well, I can't make any promises.
LIATOR: You don't have to. Our rules are simple. No one does anything uncomfortable to them.
RIVAN: Come! Our people will want to know you.
LIATOR: Rivan, perhaps they can't run.
WESLEY: Can't run? Sure we can run. Right, Commander?
RIKER: That's the custom here, running. Lead the way.
(They all set off along a paved path)
RIKER: When in Rome, eh?
WORF: When in where, sir?
EDO: Good health to you!
TASHA: Happiness to you! It's like an Eden here.

[Outside the Council Chambers]

(A low rise building with formal fountains in front of it)
RIVAN: Good health! I thought you might be out of breath.
RIKER: We may surprise you in a lot of ways.
LIATOR: Children, we've brought you a new friend! 
BOY: Well, hello. Join us.
GIRL: Yes, please.
(Wesley runs off with the two boys and girl)
RIVAN: And now it's time for you to meet some new friends.

[Council Chambers]

(Musicians are playing gentle tunes, some couples are dancing, others strolling with glasses of drink. One man is getting a massage)
RIVAN: Everyone! We've brought the visitors!
LIATOR: Please enjoy what we have!
(And the team are lead away to - whatever)

[Bridge]

DATA: I've traced it through our sensor channel, sir It is not a glitch or any other form of error or malfunction.
LAFORGE: Confirmed by my readings, Captain. It's a shadow something.
DATA: Exactly. As if it were neither in or out of our dimension.
PICARD: What is, Commander?
DATA: Whatever is sitting out there without triggering our alarm relays, sir.
PICARD: Centre main viewer on that area. I see nothing, Commander.
DATA: Enterprise to object off our starboard bow. Request that you identify yourself.
(And something appears)
LAFORGE: Shields and deflectors up full, sir. Main phaser banks ready.
PICARD: Hailing frequencies. Any reply?
DATA: It was something unintelligible, Captain. Now running it through language and logic circuits.
PICARD: Geordi.
LAFORGE: Sir.
PICARD: Have a real look.
LAFORGE: Aye, sir.
OFFICER: (At Tasha's station) Sir, my sensors read it. Well, it's half there. It does look as if it were partly transparent.
PICARD: Data, what the hell is it?

[Lounge]

(Geordi finds a window with a good view of the other thing)
LAFORGE: Lieutenant La Forge to Captain.

[Bridge]

PICARD: Go ahead, LaForge. What can you make out?

[Lounge]

LAFORGE: This is something I've never seen before, sir. After complete spectral analysis, well it's as if it's not really there.

[Bridge]

GEORDI [OC]: I don't understand it.
DATA: I've got some information on its first transmission, sir. It translates as stand by.
OFFICER:: Sir, I see show something coming out of that ship.
DATA: Verified, sir. Something very small.
(A little globe of light passes through the shields, and the hull, and the bulkheads)
OFFICER: Intruder alert, sir. I don't show a location.
DATA: The away team signal's been cut off, Captain. We've lost contact with our people.
OFFICER: Intruder relays do show something.
PICARD: Why has everything become a something, or a whatever?
(The globe has arrived on the Bridge, and is face to face with Picard. When it speaks, everything shakes)
EDO: State the purpose. (it tones down) State the purpose of what you have done.
PICARD: I'm Captain Picard, commanding this Federation starship.
EDO: State the purpose of your visit here.
PICARD: We have sent down what we call an away team to make peaceful contact here.
EDO: Do you plan to leave life forms here?
PICARD: No. We are merely visiting here.
EDO: But you did more at the world you just left. Why have you left your own life forms there?
DATA: The colony we just planted, sir.
PICARD: We found that world uninhabited. The life forms we left there had, had sought the challenge. At least, that is the basic reason. Had sought the challenge of creating a new lifestyle, a new society there. Life on our world is driven to protect itself by seeding itself as widely as possible.
EDO: Do not interfere with my children below.
(The globe goes over to Data)
DATA: Captain, I do not understand how, but it is asking me if I was constructed for information exchange.
PICARD: If there is any way of finding out whatever is out there, Data.
(The globe shrinks and attaches itself to Data's forehead. He falls backwards onto the floor.)

[Planet surface]

BOY: Watch! I bet you can't do this!
(He walks along in a hand-stand.)
WESLEY: Watch this.
(He does a series of cart wheels)
GIRL: I want to do something too. With you.
WESLEY: Er. What?
GIRL: It's something you can teach me. Will you?
WESLEY: Er. Well, actually, there are some games I don't quite know yet
GIRL: It's playing ball. Will you teach me?
WESLEY: Oh, sure! If you have a bat for the ball, I can show you my favourite. A bat? A stick or branch, about this thick, this long.
GIRL: We can get it in the gardens. Come on.

[Council Chambers]

MAN: This will please you. Join us.
RIKER: Thanks. Another time.
WOMAN: Joy and happiness.
RIKER: It certainly is. The good life, Worf.
WORF: I am not concerned with pleasure, Commander. I am a warrior.
RIKER: Even Klingons need love now and then.
WORF: For what we consider love, sir, I would need a Klingon woman.
RIKER: What about plain old basic sex? You must have some need for that.
WORF: Of course, but with the females available to me, sir, Earth females, I must restrain myself too much. They are quite fragile, sir.
RIKER: Worf, if anyone else had said that, I'd suspect he was bragging.
WORF: Bragging, sir?
RIKER: I think I'll pass on that. I'd better check in. Enterprise, come in. Captain, do you read me? Let's. This may be nothing, but let's move all our people together.
WORF: Including Wesley, the boy? He's outside.
TROI: Is there a problem?
RIKER: We've lost contact with our ship.
TROI: It's nothing these people have done. I'm certain of that. Their minds are so open.
RIKER: Help me locate Wes. He's wandered off.
(Riker and Troi leave. Worf goes over to Tasha, who is with Rivan and Liator)
TASHA: That is extraordinary.
WORF: Can I take a moment of your time, Lieutenant?
TASHA: Yes, Worf, but you've got to hear this. Are you telling me that there's no crime here whatsoever? No one breaks any laws?
LIATOR: Once they did. Long, long ago there was much disorder. But not now.
TASHA: But I seen no sign of police. Those who enforce laws.
RIVAN: Oh, we have very few. They are called Mediators. And they are needed only in one place each day.
LIATOR: The punishment zone. An area that's selected for a period of time.
TASHA: It's a completely random selection?
LIATOR: No one but our Mediators know what place or for how long. We're very proud of the wisdom of our ancestors. No person ever knows where or when a zone will be.
RIVAN: And so no one risks death.
WORF: Death?
RIVAN: by breaking any law.
TASHA: Wait. Explain this.
LIATOR: Only one punishment for any crime.
WORF: Anyone who commits any crime in the punishment zone dies?
LIATOR: The law is the law. Our peace is built on that.
TASHA: Even a small thing? Such as ignoring the rule, keep off the grass?
RIVAN: Then no one breaks that rule. Who wants to risk execution? And there's always a white wall or fence to remind anyone of a forbidden area like that.
TASHA: And just who tells visitors about these rules?
WORF: We'd better find Wesley.

[Planet surface]

(The children are running and laughing near cold-frames, nicely marked out with low white fences around them, and throwing the ball back and forth)
GIRL: You're very clever at this.
WESLEY: At home we play a lot of it. Here, toss the ball ahead of me.
(A boy does, and Wesley runs back to catch it, not watching where he is going)
GIRL: No, Wes!
BOY: No! It's forbidden to disturb new plants!
(But Wesley jumps to catch the ball, and clears the fence, smashing into the cold frame)
BOY: Couldn't you see the fence? It's for new plants. Don't ever go past a white marker.
WESLEY: It's okay. I'm fine.
(Two burley men come running)
GIRL: Oh, no! Oh, please, no!
MEDIATOR 2: Speak the truth. We are mediators.
WESLEY: I said I was fine.
GIRL: He doesn't know. He's from another place.
MEDIATOR 2: How very sad. But this zone has been selected.
BOY: But he doesn't understand.
MEDIATOR: It's always sad. Now doubly so.
(Riker and Troi arrive)
WESLEY: I was chasing a ball and I fell into that. I'm really sorry!
MEDIATOR: You admit you did that? Freely?
WESLEY: I'm with Starfleet. We don't lie.
RIKER: It won't happen again. We apologise.
MEDIATOR: We're sorry, too. But that changes nothing.
(Tasha and Worf arrive)
TASHA: Careful, Commander. They've got some strange laws here.
RIKER: I thought you reviewed their laws.
TASHA: But they listed nothing about punishment.
MEDIATOR: One moment, please. Is there a witness to this transgression?
BOY: But it was my fault. I threw the ball past him.
MEDIATOR: We have a visible transgression, ample witnesses, and an admission of guilt. And though it deeply pains us to do it, we must.
(He takes a small hypodermic needle from his belt pouch)
MEDIATOR: Are you prepared for punishment?
WORF: Punishment? If you mean what the others were talking about.
RIKER: What punishment? Name it!
MEDIATOR: Death, of course. Don't make it difficult for the boy.
(The other mediator goes to take Wesley, and Riker knocks him down. Tasha and Worf draw their phasers)
WORF: Drop it. Drop it now!
(He drops the needle and Tasha picks it up)
TASHA: It's a kind of syringe.
RIKER: What is this? You said death. Is this poison?
MEDIATOR: But of course it is. Completely painless. The boy would have felt nothing. But look at him now. You've frightened him.
WESLEY: He was going to kill me?
MEDIATOR 2: And if this Zone were still in effect, you would all deserve death.
MEDIATOR: It was announced you came as friends. Is this how friends act?
RIKER: Enterprise from away team, come in. Are you receiving us, Enterprise?

[Bridge]

(Doctor Crusher is examining Data, who still has the globe attached to him)
PICARD: Condition?
CRUSHER: No sign of consciousness, but the balance of the readings are quite normal for him.
PICARD: I believe this is some form of information exchange with whatever is over there. At least, I hope it is.
CRUSHER: Any communication from the away team?
PICARD: Something is blocking communication both
(The globe leaves Data, then vanishes)
TASHA [OC]: Security. Urgent. Repeating. Enterprise from away team.
LAFORGE: This is the Enterprise, Lieutenant. We're receiving you now.
TASHA [OC]: This is an urgent call for Captain Picard.
RIKER [OC]: We may need your presence here, Captain. We have serious trouble with a member of our away team and an unusual law they have here.
PICARD: Captain to Riker, stand by. Signs of consciousness?
CRUSHER: Not yet. Could be minutes or hours. It's unclear what's happened to him.
PICARD: Take him to Sickbay. Let me know the instant he's awake. Anything new on that that thing out there?
LAFORGE: Negative, sir.
PICARD: Captain to First Officer. I'm beaming down.

[Council Chambers]

PICARD: Would you care to comment privately how you read any of this?
TROI: Unnecessary, sir. These people are honest, almost to a fault. And they have great pride in their ways.
LIATOR: You're the Captain. We're ready. This way, please.
(Benches have been arranged in a circle. Picard has a chair to himself)
LIATOR: Welcome to our world, Captain.
PICARD: Thank you.
LIATOR: We regret that our system of justice is troubling you.
PICARD: The boy, Wesley Crusher, where is he, please?
RIKER: In accord with the Prime Directive, I've allowed them to hold him pending the outcome of this.
RIVAN: He is safe and unharmed. We promise that. Captain Picard, I do not know how you Earth people conduct law and justice, even if you respect such things.
PICARD: We do.
LIATOR: Good, so do we. Our precepts have been handed down from long ago. The tranquillity you see in our lives has been made possible by our laws.
RIVAN: We are a people of law. They do sometimes bring us sadness, but we have learned to adjust to that. Perhaps your laws work as well.
PICARD: They haven't always, but now they do.
LIATOR: Do you execute criminals?
PICARD: No, not any longer.
RIVAN: But you did once?
PICARD: Unfortunately, yes. But since then
RIVAN: But when you did, was it believed necessary to do so?
PICARD: Some people felt that it was necessary. But we have learned to detect the seeds of criminal behaviour Capital punishment, in our world, is no longer considered a justifiable deterrent.
LIATOR: So, we are not yet as advanced as they are. And since you are advanced in other ways too, I suggest you use your superior powers to rescue the Wesley boy. We will record him as a convicted criminal out of our reach, an advanced person who luckily escaped the barbarism of this backward little world.
PICARD: Unfortunately, we have a law known as the Prime Directive.
RIVAN: Riker has explained it to us.
PICARD: Is the boy in any danger from you at this moment?
LIATOR: Until sundown?
RIVAN: Because you are strangers, we are delaying enforcement of the law. But we must act by sundown.
PICARD: Then I have another question. While orbiting, while circling high above your world, as we do, we have encountered a strange object. A vessel perhaps. Have you any idea what it is? It's not entirely real. At least, it's not completely solid.
RIVAN: Do you mean God?
PICARD: God?
LIATOR: God is said to be somewhere up there, protecting us.
PICARD: Exactly, exactly how would you describe God?
RIVAN: As you just did. As existing both here and in another place also.
LIATOR: But when God wants to show its power, it can make itself felt most fully.
CRUSHER [OC]: Captain, come in please.
PICARD: Picard here.
BEVERLY [OC]: CMO Crusher, sir.

[Bridge]

CRUSHER: Commander Data has just regained consciousness.
PICARD [OC]: What condition? Can he talk?
BEVERLY: He's insisting on it, sir. Urgently.

[Council Chamber]

TROI: (whispers) Wesley.
PICARD: Stand by. Picard out. I want to speak to her personally about her son. So you promise that Wesley Crusher is safe until sundown?
LIATOR: You have our word.
PICARD: Then, will one of you return with me to our vessel?
RIVAN: Of course. I'll go as a hostage for the boy's safety.
PICARD: No, no, no. That's not it. I want you to identify something for me, if you can. Captain to Transporter Room. Three to beam up.
(Picard, Troi and Rivan move away from the group)
RIVAN: I'm frightened.
TROI: There's no reason to be.
PICARD: Transporter Room, energise.

[Corridor]

RIVAN: But this is a city. A great city.
CRUSHER: Captain, I've just seen the away team report about Wesley.
PICARD: In a moment, Doctor.
CRUSHER: In a moment?
PICARD: Exactly. In a moment. You were about to say?
RIVAN: Since you have all this power, why be concerned about our laws? You could take the boy from us.
PICARD: It's not that simple. From the starboard lounge, you can see whatever is outside this vessel.
RIVAN: Do you mean my world? You said we'd be high above it.
PICARD: And something else that's circling your world. It's very important to us, and perhaps to you, to know what it is.

[Lounge]

(As soon as Rivan sees the other vessel, she drops to her knees, head bowed)
PICARD: I'm sorry, Rivan, but this was necessary. Do you know what that is?
TROI: Can you tell us what it is?
PICARD: Is it God? (she nods) Now, it's very important you answer something. How do you recognise what it is?
TROI: Nothing will harm you, I promise. Just tell us how you recognise it.
RIVAN: It has appeared before.
PICARD: Can you speak to it? Does it speak to you?
TROI: Captain!
(The vessel becomes even more visible)
EDO [OC]: Return my child.
CRUSHER: Return?
TROI: It's coming toward us.
PICARD: Picard to Transporter Room, come in.
(He puts his comm. badge on Rivan)
TROI: Yes, do that. But hurry!
CRUSHER: It's still coming toward us.
CHIEF [OC]: Transporter Chief to Captain.
PICARD: One to beam down to away team location. Hurry! Engage! Transporter Room. Urgent! Engage!
(And Rivan is beamed away. The Edo vessel backs off)
CRUSHER: It seems the Edo's god is very protective of its children.
PICARD: I had no choice but to learn about that thing from her. I'm sorry I had to. She was so frightened.
TROI: It's understandable, sir. Sharing an orbit with God is no small experience.
PICARD: Let's go see your patient, Doctor.

[Corridor]

CRUSHER: What do you intend to do about my son?
PICARD: He's being held safely until sundown.
CRUSHER: When he faces execution! Although he's committed no crime, certainly none that any sane and reasonable person would
PICARD: You saw what that thing was about to do.
CRUSHER: I apologise, sir, but this is very difficult for me. If he were your son, you'd be as frightened
PICARD: But I am.
CRUSHER: Data is in Sickbay here. You'll find him able to talk to you.

[Sickbay]

MEDIC: He's checking out fine, Doctor.
CRUSHER: Thank you. Finish it later, please.
DATA: I was an excellent choice for them, Captain. They were able to communicate with me quite. I was about to say quite easily, but there was nothing easy about it. Fortunately, they stopped short of overloading my circuitry.
PICARD: You're saying they. It is a vessel of some sort.
DATA: Definitely not a single entity if that's what you mean, sir, although they know the Edo worship them as a god thing.
PICARD: They know?
DATA: They recognise that this is quite expected and harmless at the present Edo stage of evolution.
PICARD: What sort of vessel?
DATA: It is perhaps not what we would understand as a vessel, sir. The dimensions this one occupies allows them to be, well, to be in several places at once. But they consider this entire star cluster to be theirs. It was probably unwise of us to attempt to place a human colony in this area. Of course, there are three thousand four other planets in this star cluster in which we could have colonised. The largest and closest
PICARD: Data, don't babble.
DATA: Babble, sir? I'm not aware that I ever babble, sir. It may be that from time to time I have considerable information to communicate, and you may question the way I organise it.
PICARD: Please, organise it into brief answers to my questions. We have very little time. Do they accept our presence at this planet?
DATA: Undecided, sir.
PICARD: Data, please, feel free to volunteer any important information.
DATA: I volunteer that they are now observing us, sir.
PICARD: To judge what kind of life forms we are?
DATA: No, it is more curiosity, sir. I doubt that they expect us to abide by their value systems.
PICARD: Do they know of our Prime Directive?
DATA: They know everything I know, sir.
PICARD: And, if we were to violate the Prime Directive, how
CRUSHER: That's not a fair question.
PICARD: How would they react?
DATA: It would be a case of judging us by our own rules, sir. If we violate our own Prime Directive, they might consider us to be deceitful and untrustworthy. You do recall they cautioned us not to interfere with their children below. What has happened?
CRUSHER: The Edo want to execute my son. I will not allow that to happen, Jean-Luc.
DATA: Most interesting, sir. The emotion of motherhood, compared to all others felt by
CRUSHER: Shut up!
(Beverly storms out)
DATA: You were right, sir. I do tend to babble.

Captain's log, stardate 41255.9. Whatever the object or vessel in orbit with us, it hangs there like a nemesis. It is one thing to communicate with something mysterious, but it is quite another to be silently observed by it. I am concerned whether it understands the same concept of reason that we do?

[Lounge]

DATA: You sent for me, sir?
PICARD: Let's have more talk, Data.
DATA: Yes, sir.
PICARD: Sit down.
DATA: What level of communication, sir?
PICARD: Any. My apologies for saying that you babbled.
DATA: But I do, sir.
PICARD: You also see things in a way we do not, but as they truly are. I need help, my friend. I cannot permit that boy or any member of this vessel be sacrificed. The Prime Directive never intended that.
DATA: The problem, sir, is there. (the Edo vessel) Although they've learned of the Prime Directive from my mind, how will they evaluate it? How do they reason? What are their values? Remember their warning to us, sir.
PICARD: Exactly. How do I explain my refusing to obey their laws down there. Not permitting the Crusher boy to be executed. And by so doing do I endanger this vessel and more than a thousand other lives?
DATA: Would you choose one life over one thousand, sir?
PICARD: I refuse to let arithmetic decide questions like that. Did you learn anything about the relationship between that and the Edo? Why are they so certain it's a god?
DATA: Any sufficiently advanced life form would appear to others to be that, sir. But when they were probing my thoughts, Captain, I could feel that whatever they are now, they once existed in this dimension, just as we do. Perhaps in the same kind of flesh and blood form. Since then, however, they have evolved considerably. Their present existence in multi-dimensions no doubt has advantages we do not understand.
PICARD: Then in some earlier flesh and blood form they might have shared our kind of values.
DATA: We know the Edo share them, sir.
PICARD: Why would such an advanced thing feel obliged to protect the Edo?
DATA: Perhaps the Edo are a child race by comparison. Possibly a race which those life forms have planted here. Much as we plant human colonies on Class-M planets.
(Crusher enters)
CRUSHER: Having fulfilled my professional obligations regarding Commander Data
PICARD: You now request permission to beam down to the planet. Permission granted. You can accompany me while I try and resolve this. And you should know that whatever the cost, I will not allow them to execute your son.
CRUSHER: Thank you, sir.
PICARD: Data, take command.
DATA: Aye, sir.

[Council chambers]

RIKER: It's almost time. I want the boy brought here now.
(Liator get up)
TASHA: I'll go along with you.
LIATOR: Of course.
(Picard and Crusher beam in. Rivan goes over and kneels, handing back his communicator)
RIVAN: Captain Picard. I saw you share the sky with God. You must be Gods.
PICARD: No, no, we're not gods.
(Wesley enters, escorted by the two mediators, Liator and Tasha)
WESLEY: Mother. I guess you know a lot has happened here.
CRUSHER: I know.
WESLEY: Captain Picard, are you going to let them kill me?
PICARD: No. But I must find some way to prevent it that you understand.
MEDIATOR: How can we let this happen, Liator? They threaten everything we respect. Our law, our peace, our tranquillity and order.
MEDIATOR 2: You are powerful, but do not do this to us, we beg you. At least study what we were without law. Hurtful to each other, savage, thieving.
PICARD: I understand. Perhaps your system of law and punishment is better than any system we once had. But we do now have a law I must obey. And part of it says I must protect my people from harm.
LIATOR: We did not ask you to come here.
RIKER: Which has to do with another law that we must obey.
PICARD: We are all sworn not to interfere with other lives in the galaxy. If I save this boy, I break that law.
MEDIATOR: And you should be executed if you do so!
PICARD: I may suffer almost as much. Starfleet takes the Prime Directive very seriously.
MEDIATOR 2: No, it is God who will punish you.
PICARD: That thought has crossed our minds. Your god up there may insist that we obey our non-interference directive.
WESLEY: Sir, does this mean if you save me the entire crew could die?
PICARD: You're not involved in this decision, boy.
WESLEY: I'm sorry, sir, but it seems like I am.
PICARD: Picard to Transporter room. Lock into this signal. Stand by for six to beam up. Wesley, Lieutenant.
(The Starfleet people gather together)
LIATOR: Our laws have been violated. What of justice?
TASHA: What of justice to Wesley? Does he deserve to die?
PICARD: I'm truly sorry, Liator, but I must have justice for my people too. Transporter room, energise.
(Nothing happens)
PICARD: Transporter room, come in.
CHIEF [OC]: We can't energise the beam, sir. Everything checks out but we're getting no results.
MEDIATOR: God has prevented your escape.
CRUSHER: Then your god is unfair. My son had no warning that his act was criminal.
MEDIATOR 2: We cannot allow ignorance of the law to become a defence.
PICARD: I don't know how to communicate this, or even if it is possible, but the question of justice has concerned me greatly of lately. And I say to any creature who may be listening, there can be no justice so long as laws are absolute. Even life itself is an exercise in exceptions.
RIKER: When has justice ever been as simple as a rulebook?
(The party are beamed up)
PICARD: It seems the Edo Lord agrees with you, Number One.

[Bridge]

RIKER: Main viewer on.
PICARD: Hailing frequencies.
TASHA: Open, sir.
PICARD: To the object in orbit with us. We will remove the human colonists from the adjoining solar system if you signal us to do so. Please tell us.
DATA: Captain.
(The Edo ship vanishes)
LAFORGE: Is that a signal?
PICARD: I suppose, I suppose it must be. I was hoping for more.
LAFORGE: More of what, sir? I'm glad it's gone.
RIKER: Agreed, sir. Short and sweet. God-like efficiency.
PICARD: I was hoping we'd learn more about it. But since we can't, take us out of here, Number One.
RIKER: Gladly, sir.

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