Suddenly Human

Stardate: 44143.7
Original Airdate: 15 Oct, 1990

Captain's log, Stardate 44143.7. We have moved into Sector two one nine four seven in response to a distress call from a Talarian observation craft. The alien vessel appears adrift, and our initial scans have detected a life-threatening radiation leak within its propulsion system.

[Bridge]

WORF: I get no further response from the vessel.
PICARD: Maintain an open channel.
RIKER: Doctor Crusher and her assistants are waiting in Transporter room three.
DATA: Sir, may I remind you that during the Galen border conflict, it was a common tactic of the Talarians was to abandon their observation craft, rig them to self destruct
PICARD: And issue a general distress call. Yes, Mister Data, I know.
DATA: That particular guerrilla manoeuvre resulted in two hundred and nineteen fatalities over a three day period.
RIKER: Is there any way to detect their self-destruct device?
DATA: Negative, sir. The Talarians employ a subspace proximity detonator. It is not detectable by our scans.
RIKER: Or the away team's tricorders. Right.
WORF: Captain, the Talarian warship the Q'Maire is responding to the distress call.
PICARD: Position?
WORF: Halfway through the Woden sector.
WESLEY: It'll take them hours to get here, sir, even at maximum warp.
PICARD: Counsellor?
TROI: There is life on board, but it's fading.
PICARD: Number One, assemble the rest of your away team. Prepare for immediate rescue operations.
RIKER: Yes, sir.

[Talarian ship]

WORF: Ancillary power is failing.
CRUSHER: They're nothing more than children.
RIKER: I am Commander Riker of the Federation Starship Enterprise. We will evacuate you and give you medical care. You will not be harmed.
CRUSHER: Enterprise, prepping five Talarian males for transport directly to Sickbay. Trauma team, stand by to receive injured. We have radiation burns and possible respiratory distress.
CHIEF [OC]: Transport locked in and ready, Doctor.
CRUSHER: Stand by for my orders.
RIKER: Captain, this appears to be a basic training ship. Five boys, all teens, all wearing uniforms.
PICARD [OC]: Proceed with the evacuation, Number One.
WORF: No other life signs aboard, sir.
CRUSHER: Commander, quickly.
RIKER: What is it?
CRUSHER: This boy. He's human.

Captain's log, supplemental. We have completed emergency evacuation of four Talarians and one human. How this young man found himself in the company of these aliens remains a mystery.

[Sickbay]

(The boy is sitting up, staring straight ahead, not responding)
CRUSHER: It's Jono, right? Is that what I heard them call you? I'm Doctor Crusher. I'm just examining you for radiation injuries. It won't hurt. I have a son not much older than you. Perhaps you'd like to meet him. Well, Jono, you seem to have escaped radiation damage. Pretty lucky.
NURSE: Doctor Crusher.
(Hands over a PADD with his examination results)
CRUSHER: Now how did this happen?
(All the boys suddenly start making a keening noise and rocking back and forth)
CRUSHER: What is it?
TROI: They're terrified.
(Picard and Riker enter)
CRUSHER: They all just started up.
PICARD: Please may I have your attention. Please may I have your attention! Stop that immediately! (silence) Well, that's better. Now, what's your name, young man?
TROI: He won't talk, Captain. We haven't been able to get through to him.
JONO: Captain> (stands up and bows) I am Jono. Take me home to my Captain. Take me home to Endar!

[Crusher's office]

CRUSHER: He managed to escape radiation trauma but the scan shows something else.
PICARD: What?
CRUSHER: Two previously fractured ribs, a broken arm, and a low grade concussion. There might be neurological impairment. I'd like to examine him further. Jean-Luc, the Talarians have been known to be ruthless to their enemies. I think there's a real possibility they may have brutalised the child.
PICARD: Isn't it possible the injuries were caused prior to his captivity?
CRUSHER: Not likely. He's been with them a long time. Long enough to assimilate their cultural traits, and calcium trace patterns indicate the injuries took place during the past seven years.
PICARD: But if they have abused the boy, why would he so devoutly wish to return to them?
CRUSHER: It's not uncommon. It was identified centuries ago as the Stockholm syndrome.
(There's a commotion)

[Sickbay]

(Jono is writhing on a bed as people try to hold him down. He escapes from them and runs around)
TROI: Jono, what is it? Jono! I just suggested he take off his gloves. Suddenly he lost control.
CRUSHER: Security, we need some assistance down here in Sickbay.
PICARD: Jono!
JONO: She won't leave me alone! She keeps trying to dissect me!
PICARD: She was trying to help you.!
JONO: I don't want her help! I should be back with my brothers! Send us back to Captain Endar!
PICARD: Jono, I want you to stop this immediately!
JONO: Yes, Captain.
PICARD: Good. That's better. Now, if we're to accomplish anything
DATA [OC]: Data to Picard.
PICARD: Go ahead.
DATA [OC]: We have received a subspace communiqué from Starfleet Command regarding the young human, sir.
PICARD: Very well. Doctor, Counsellor.
CRUSHER: Lieutenant Worf, escort this young man to quarters. He is to be confined there until further notice.
WORF: Yes, Doctor.

[Guest quarters]

JONO: Why are you here, Klingon, with them? Did they capture you too?
WORF: They are not my captors. They are my comrades.
JONO: Why do you take orders from a female?
WORF: Doctor Crusher. She is my superior officer.
JONO: Among my people, a female can never outrank a man.
WORF: You are human, and among humans, females can achieve anything the males can.
JONO: I am no more human than you are. I am Talarian.
WORF: You are confused.
(Jono starts keening again)
WORF: Stop that!
JONO: I will make the B'Nar, the mourning, until I am back with my brothers!

[Observation lounge]

DATA: By matching DNA gene types, Starfleet was able to identify the boy as Jeremiah Rossa.
RIKER: Rossa?
PICARD: As in Admiral Rossa?
DATA: She is his grandmother, Captain. He was born fourteen years ago on the Federation colony, Galen Four. His parents, Connor and Moira Rossa, were killed three years, nine months later when their colony was overrun by Talarian forces.
PICARD: I remember. There were no survivors.
DATA: The boy was listed as missing, presumed dead.
RIKER: I heard another Rossa was killed in action at the Krasner outpost.
PICARD: Tragedy seems to follow that family. The Admiral lost both her sons.
CRUSHER: And now she'll have something to celebrate.
TROI: Captain, if Jeremiah is returned to his family in his present condition, it would be a wrenching experience for everyone. Especially for him. He needs to re-discover his identity, make some connection with his roots.
PICARD: I agree. Do what you can to accomplish that, Counsellor.
TROI: I don't think I can do anything, Captain.
PICARD: Why not?
CRUSHER: Troi's right. It's very clear that the boy does not respond well to women.
DATA: The Talarians are a rigidly patriarchical society, sir.
TROI: Jeremiah needs to build a relationship with a man, a father figure with whom he can explore his origins. And I think it should be you, Captain.
PICARD: Oh, no, Counsellor! Oh, no, Counsellor, I don't think so. He needs someone who is trained in these things.
TROI: But you are the only person with whom he has shown any connection. If he is to find his humanity then you are the only one who can help him. It's up to you, Captain.

[Guest quarters]

(Jono is still keening)
PICARD: Jono! Jono, why do you make that noise?
JONO: It is the custom of my people when we are in distress.
PICARD: Is it not also the custom of your people to listen to the wishes of their Captain?
JONO: Yes.
PICARD: Then, as Captain of the starship Enterprise, I ask you not to make that sound.
JONO: Yes, sir.
PICARD: Good. Well, now that's cleared up, let's, er, let's, er, let's get acquainted, shall we? What do you think of your room? I know it's a little sterile. But if there's anything you'd like? Pictures, perhaps, or games.
JONO: This is a cage. I am still your captive.
PICARD: Oh, no, not at all. I thought you'd be comfortable here.
JONO: Are you going to return me to my Captain?
PICARD: We will rendezvous with the warship Q'Maire at oh seven forty hours. We will transfer the Talarians to Captain Endar.
JONO: Including me?
PICARD: We'll discuss your situation with Captain Endar.
JONO: I don't like this place.
PICARD: We could find some other quarters.
JONO: I've always lived with my Captain.
PICARD: Ah. Yes, well, that wouldn't work here.

[Picard's quarters]

PICARD: Well, I'm sure you'll see there's nothing here to appeal to a young person.
(Jono picks up an ornate dagger in a scabbard from the desk)
PICARD: Put that down, please.
JONO: It's Klingon.
PICARD: Yes. Would you put it back where you got it.
(Jono wrenches a sextant from it's display stand, then puts it back)
PICARD: Well. Here we are, eh, Jono?
PICARD: I notice you haven't taken off your gloves.
JONO: Not here.
PICARD: Why not?
JONO: So that I don't have to touch an alien.
PICARD: Jono, your Captain, Endar, has he ever hurt you? Inflicted pain?
JONO: Pain is not a consideration.
PICARD: Then he has?
JONO: I did not say that. Don't you understand? Pain is not what matters. Passing the tests is everything.
PICARD: Is that what they are? Tests of pain?
JONO: You understand nothing.
PICARD: It's true, I don't fully understand Talarians. But you are not Talarian.
JONO: I will not listen to this. I will not listen to your lies.

[Ready room]

PICARD: Come.
TROI: You wanted to see me, Captain?
PICARD: Yes, Counsellor. Please, come in, sit down.
(She sits)
PICARD: You're probably not aware of this, but I have never been particularly comfortable around children.
TROI: Really?
PICARD: For some reason, they just don't seem to respond to me.
TROI: I see.
PICARD: Frankly, I think my time would be best served carrying out the duties and responsibilities of a Starfleet Captain.
TROI: Seldom have I heard an explanation so well-rehearsed.
PICARD: Look, Counsellor, I just feel that I'm not the right person for this job.
TROI: Strange, isn't it? You'll travel light years, dodge asteroid storms, brave hostile aliens, and yet when asked to assume a parental role, you cringe. Why do you suppose that is?
PICARD: I'm not cringing. I'm just acknowledging my limitations.
TROI: When you were a child, did you have any friends? Other children you played with?
PICARD: I don't think that has anything to do with anything. Well, perhaps it was because. This is foolish.
TROI: What were you going to say?
PICARD: it's just that ever since I was a child I've always known exactly what I wanted to do. Be a member of Starfleet. Nothing else mattered to me. Virtually my entire youth was spent in the pursuit of that goal. In fact, I probably skipped my childhood altogether.
TROI: You know, Captain, almost no one is born being a good parent. Most people just have to muddle through and do the best that they can.
PICARD: Are you saying that's what I'm going to have to do?
TROI: Yes. And you might be surprised at just how good you can be.

[Corridor]

(The sound of alien music can be heard all the way down the corridor - teenager in residence)

[Picard's quarters]

(Jono has rigged up a hammock near the ceiling)
PICARD: Computer, turn off that noise! Computer, what was that?
COMPUTER: The Alba Ra, a contemporary Talarian musical form.
PICARD: Jono? Jono, where are you?
JONO: You turned off my music.
PICARD: Yes, I certainly did, and I expect it to stay turned off. Would you come down from there? I see you've made yourself at home.
JONO: I cannot rest on your beds. They hurt my back.
PICARD: Would you come here. There's something I want to show you.
(it's a slide show in a frame)
PICARD: Those are Connor and Moira Rossa. They are your parents. The baby is you. Jeremiah Rossa.
JONO: My name is Jono.
PICARD: Well, you were born Jeremiah on Galen Four. The colony was destroyed later, during a border skirmish.
(changes the picture to a laughing child)
PICARD: You see? You knew how to laugh once. Do you remember any of this, Jono? Your parents, your home?
JONO: I know that Endar rescued me. He told me so.
PICARD: Jono, your parents were killed by Talarians.
JONO: It was war. Death is part of war.
RIKER [OC]: Captain?
PICARD: Yes, what is it, Number One?
RIKER [OC]: We've established visual contact with the warship Q'Maire.
JONO: Endar!
PICARD: Hey, hey! You stay put. I'm on my way, Number One.
(Picard leaves, and Jono takes a look at some more of the pictures. He remembers)
CONNOR [OC]: Get to cover!
MOIRA [OC]: I can't leave you!
CONNOR [OC]: Take Jeremiah. Take him to the forest. I'll hold them off.
MOIRA [OC]: No! No! Come with us! Jeremiah!
JEREMIAH [OC]: Momma!

[Bridge]

PICARD: Status, Mister Data?
DATA: Q'Maire at station, holding steady at bearing zero one three, mark zero one five. Distance five oh six kilometres.
PICARD: Are its weapons systems active?
DATA: Negative, sir.
WORF: Captain Endar requests an open channel, sir.
PICARD: On screen.
ENDAR: I am Captain Endar of the warship Q'Maire. To whom am I speaking?
PICARD: Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Federation Starship Enterprise. We have rescued four crew members from your observation craft. They have received medical attention. The are ready for transport.
ENDAR: Your actions are duly noted. We will forward coordinates for immediate transport.
RIKER: You're welcome, I'm sure.
PICARD: One moment, Captain. We've also discovered a human among your crew.
ENDAR: Jono.
PICARD: Actually, his name is Jeremiah, Jeremiah Rossa.
ENDAR: What is his condition? Is he injured?
PICARD: He was not wounded in the mishap, but as a representative of the Federation, I require an explanation. Why has this child been held in your custody for so many years?
ENDAR: No explanation is warranted, Captain. He is my son.

Captain's log, supplemental. Captain Endar's claim that Jeremiah Rossa is his son is clearly unacceptable. However, to avoid escalating tensions, I have invited the Talarian leader to come aboard the Enterprise so that we may address the issue face to face.

[Ready room]

ENDAR: Yes, I was in charge of the force that repelled the trespassers on Galen Four. I must say your Federation troops fought tenaciously.
PICARD: Among them Connor and Moira Rossa.
ENDAR: I suppose. After the battle, I found this squalling child huddled by the body of a young woman, his mother presumably. There was almost no one left alive on Galen Four. Was I to leave him screaming by his mother's body?
PICARD: You should have notified the Federation authorities. To conceal him was a clear violation of our agreement.
ENDAR: I took him in accordance with my peoples' traditions.
PICARD: What tradition is it that empowered you to capture a helpless child?
ENDAR: I lost my son at the hands of humans during the conflict over Castal One. Talarian custom allows me to claim the son of a slain enemy.
PICARD: Does that custom extend also to brutalising this surrogate son?
ENDAR: What are you talking about?
PICARD: Our medical officer discovered evidence of injuries so severe, they might be considered torture.
ENDAR: Nonsense. I've never harmed Jono.
PICARD: Then explain the fractured ribs, concussion, the broken arm.
ENDAR: Broken arm? Youth. Have you ever been a father, Picard? Have you ever had a son desperately try to win your approval, your respect? Jono broke his ribs riding on a t'stayan. Six hooves. A very powerful beast. The arm, in a contest with other youths. He endured the pain and won the competition. One day, he will be a great warrior.
PICARD: Doesn't he deserve to become more than that? His true heritage is human, Endar.
ENDAR: A heritage long since forgotten.
PICARD: While on board, you are welcome to supervise the return of your crew, but I cannot allow Jeremiah Rossa to be returned to your custody. His true family are waiting for him on Earth.
ENDAR: Then under no circumstances will I allow your ship to leave our territory.
PICARD: I have already reported our position and the nature of this violation to Starfleet.
ENDAR: And I've already called for reserved forces into the sector.
PICARD: Are you saying that you're willing to go to war over this boy?
ENDAR: Would you not for your only son?
PICARD: We have been at peace for many years. Let us not rush headlong into war.
ENDAR: Then help me to avoid it. If you will allow me to see Jono, it will be clear to you I have been a good father. He has grown up happy in my keeping.

[Doctor's office]

PICARD: So you think it would be unwise to let Endar see Jono?
CRUSHER: I think it's dangerous. Abusers can have subtle but powerful influence over their victims.
PICARD: You see, I'm not convinced the boy has been abused, Doctor. I've talked with the father, and if I am any judge of character, I would say that he deeply cares for the boy's welfare.
TROI: I sense awakening memories in the boy. This is a very fragile time for Jono. If we send away the man he calls father without even letting them see each other, how will we ever gain his trust?
PICARD: Yes. There is something else to keep in mind. We are deep in Talarian territory. A semblance of diplomacy is called for. I'm going to agree to the meeting.
CRUSHER: All I ask is that the visit be supervised. Don't let them be alone together.
PICARD: Agreed.

[Observation lounge]

(Troi is with Endar when Picard and Jono enter)
JONO: Endar.
ENDAR: Jono, my son.
(They touch foreheads, Picard and Troi turn their backs)
ENDAR: Have they treated you well?
JONO: Yes, Captain. Except
ENDAR: Except what?
JONO: I was forbidden to make the B'Nar.
ENDAR: That's all right. I know you've mourned in your heart. Well, Jono what do you think of these humans?
JONO: They look like me.
ENDAR: They want to keep you, you know.
JONO: Yes, I know.
ENDAR: You've reached the age of decision. What is your choice? Do you want to stay?
JONO: No, of course not.
ENDAR: Then you shall not. I'm returning to the Q'Maire. I will give the humans with a choice. If they do not make the one we know is right, it may lead to war. You may die.
JONO: I am ready to die.

[Bridge]

(Picard and Troi enter)
WORF: Captain, sensors indicate two warships approaching from the opposite direction along the border.
PICARD: Mister Data, what's their offensive potential?
DATA: Talarian warships are limited to neutral particle weapons, high energy X-ray lasers and merculite rockets. No match for the Enterprise, Captain.
PICARD: The last thing I want is to be forced into destroying one of their ships.
RIKER: They won't back off. They've been willing to fight to the death in past encounters.
PICARD: The lines are being drawn. All this for a chosen son.
WORF: Captain, is it worth it, to go to war over a child?
CRUSHER: You might not ask that, Lieutenant, if it was your child.
PICARD: There must be a way to avoid this.
TROI: If we can just reach Jono, help him make some connections with his origins, he may choose to come with us.
RIKER: You really think Endar would go along with that?
DATA: If Endar respects Talarian custom, he may have to. According to their tradition, a male child of fourteen has reached the age of decision. He then undergoes a ceremony of initiation, after which he has the freedom to make his own choices.
PICARD: Endar's entire claim on Jono is based on Talarian custom he'd have a hard time backing away from it now.
WORF: Captain, there is a subspace communication from Starfleet Command.
PICARD: On screen.
WORF: Sir, the message is for Jeremiah Rossa.
PICARD: Have the boy brought to my Ready Room.

[Ready room]

(A mature woman is on the monitor)
CONNAUGHT [on monitor]: Jeremiah? my name is Connaught Rossa. I am your father's mother. I wish we could talk in person, but that will have to wait. When I heard the miracle that you were alive, I wanted to reach out to you as soon as possible. I find myself wondering what you look like. All I can do is imagine your father at your age. You come from a family that would make you proud. Many of them have given their lives to bring peace to the galaxy. You are the last of the Rossas. I was so very thankful when you were given back to us to carry on the line. Your grandfather and I will greet you with all the love in our hearts. Have a safe journey home, Jeremiah.
JONO: She wears a Starfleet uniform.
PICARD: Yes.
JONO: What is her rank?
PICARD: She is an Admiral.
JONO: She outranks you?
PICARD: Yes.
JONO: If I were home now, I would go to the brae, and run along the river run as fast as I could!
PICARD: Jono.
JONO: I can't do any of the things that calm me here. You won't let me have my music, you won't let me make the B'Nar! I feel if I stay still much longer I will die!
PICARD: Jono, let me show you what I do when I get those feelings. Come on.

[Racquetball court]

PICARD: Now, you can serve from within either of these two sections by bouncing the ball and hitting it into that top centre target. You have to return the ball before it bounces twice. Alright? Let's try it.
(Jono's return beats Picard, who didn't even move)
PICARD: Not bad.
JONO: I win at all the games.
PICARD: I can believe it.
(This time it's a longer and more competitive rally, until Jono clutches his head. He's hearing memories again)
PICARD: Jono? You all right?
JONO: I'm fine.
(Another rally, until Jono collapses with the voices)
JEREMIAH [OC]: Momma!
MOIRA [OC]: Jeremiah!
JONO: No! Momma!
PICARD: It's all right. It's all right.
(He holds the weeping boy)
JONO: She was all red. I cried. She didn't answer me.

[Picard's quarters]

JONO: She used to sing to me. I don't remember the melody, just the sound of her voice. Before I remembered these things, I was strong. And now
PICARD: It's part of being human, Jono. But, as deeply as you can feel hurt, you can also feel joy.
JONO: I do not think so. I think I will always feel like this.

[Ten Forward]

(Riker and Wesley are at a table, eating. Data is playing chess)
RIKER: How was the racquetball?
PICARD: Oh, he gave me quite a game for his first time out.
JONO: Yes, Captain. I'm looking forward to next time.
PICARD: I'm sure you are. Sit down. What would you like?
JONO: What is that?
WESLEY: This is called a banana split. It's quite possibly one of the greatest things in the universe. Here, try some.
DATA: That is called a spoon.
(Jono stabs the dessert through the heart with the spoon. Cream goes all over Wesley)
JONO: Forgive me.
(Everyone is laughing, including Jono)
DATA: I fail to understand why this is amusing.
RIKER: Access your data banks under humour, subheading slapstick.
DATA: Comedy stressing farce and horseplay. Ah. This, no doubt, is a variation on pie in the face?
RIKER: Now do you see why it's funny?
DATA: No, sir, but I will take your word for it. It is very amusing.
WESLEY: Let's try this again. I'd like a fresh banana split, and another one for my friend here.
WAITER: Right away.
(Picard and Riker go to the bar)
PICARD: Look at him. He's a different person.
RIKER: Who would have thought we'd see him laugh out loud like that?
PICARD: Just half an hour ago he was crying like a baby.

[Picard's quarters]

(Jono slips out of his hammock and stands in the bedroom doorway, watching Picard sleep. He enters, Picard wakes, and Jono plunges the Klingon dagger into - )

[Sickbay]

CRUSHER: Two bleeders, single plane penetration. I need the autosuture here.
NURSE: Yes, Doctor.
CRUSHER: Looks like the blade hit the sternum and was deflected. It could have been a lot worse.
PICARD: Then it wasn't a dream.
CRUSHER: I'm afraid not. No vital organs pierced, no major arteries.
PICARD: Where is the boy now?
CRUSHER: Worf has him in security. Hold still.
PICARD: I want to see him. Here. Now.
CRUSHER: He'll wait until I'm finished.

[Bridge]

WORF: Talarian warships converging. Range, five hundred kilometres.
RIKER: On screen. Any communication, Lieutenant Worf?
WORF: No, sir. We have an open channel.
WESLEY: Commander, the warships' closing velocities are slowing. Staggered approach vectors bearing zero, one hundred twenty, and two hundred forty degrees.
RIKER: Riker to La Forge.
LAFORGE [OC]: La Forge here, sir.
RIKER: The Talarians are moving

[Engineering]

RIKER [OC]: Into attack posture. Classic triangular envelopment.
LAFORGE: I've tapped the impulse engines for additional power to shields.

[Bridge]

LAFORGE [OC]: We're ready, Commander.
WORF: Commander, the Captain of the Q'Maire requests communication.
RIKER: Here we go. On screen.
ENDAR [on viewscreen]: Captain Picard, have you made your decision?
RIKER: This is Commander Riker. What are your intentions, Captain Endar?
ENDAR [on viewscreen]: Where is Captain Picard?
RIKER: He has been injured. I am in command now.
ENDAR [on viewscreen]: Very well. Please prepare my son for immediate transport.
RIKER: I'm afraid that won't be possible. Last night, Jono attacked Captain Picard and tried to murder him. We're holding him in custody.
ENDAR [on viewscreen]: If he had been returned to me with the others, this would never have happened. I hold you responsible for this incident.
RIKER: He will have to come with us now, Endar. It is up to Starfleet to decide the consequences.
ENDAR: I do not accept that decision. I repeat, you will prepare my son for immediate transport. If he is not aboard the Q'Maire in five minutes, you will suffer the consequences.
(Transmission ends)
RIKER: Red alert.
WORF: Talarian vessels routing power to forward rockets.
RIKER: Ready all weapons, Mister Worf.

[Sickbay]

(Jono is escorted by two security officers)
PICARD: Jono, why did you do it?
JONO: That does not matter.
PICARD: Yes, I think it does. It matters to me.
JONO: What matters is that I have attacked a Captain. I am ready to be put to death.
PICARD: You think you're going to be killed?
JONO: To attack a superior is the worst offence. I will die at your hands.
PICARD: Jono, you're not going to die at my hands or anyone else's.
JONO: But I have committed a terrible crime.
PICARD: What I want to know is why? You seemed so happy just a few hours ago.
JONO: I was. Then I thought about my father. I felt I had betrayed him. I'd be throwing away all that he's given me, all that I'd learned from him. My home, running along the river, playing in the games, sharing victory with my brothers. All the things that are part of my life. As I grew closer and closer to you, I knew that meant leaving more and more of that life behind. Forgive me, Captain, but I could not allow myself to do that.

[Bridge]

WORF: The Q'Maire is requesting communication on a secure channel, Commander.
RIKER: On screen.
ENDAR [on viewscreen]: Commander Riker, you have failed to transport my son aboard the Q'Maire.
RIKER: Our intentions have not changed, Endar. We're returning him to Starfleet.
ENDAR [on viewscreen]: I regret your stubbornness. Much will be lost.
PICARD: One moment, Captain. Captain Endar, last night Jono attacked me with a dagger.
ENDAR [on viewscreen]: Which he could not have done had he been returned to me with the others!
PICARD: There was a crime committed on board this ship, but it was not Jono's. It was mine. When we found Jono, it seemed so clear what had to be done. We knew that if only we could persuade him to make the decision to stay, then you would most likely let him. So with the best of intentions, we tried to convince him, and in so doing, we thoroughly failed to listen to his feelings, to his needs. That was the crime, and it has taken a huge toll on a strong and very noble young man. And it must be rectified. He will return home. To the only home he's ever known. And to the father that he loves. To you, Endar.
ENDAR [on viewscreen]: Thank you, Captain.
PICARD: Please transmit coordinates for immediate transport.

[Transporter room]

PICARD: Goodbye, Jono.
JONO: Goodbye, Captain. Thank you.
(Jono steps down from the pad, takes off his gloves, takes hold of Picard's head and touches foreheads with him)

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