First Contact
Stardate: Unknown
Original Airdate: 18 Feb, 1991

[Medical Facility]

(an emergency is being rushed in on a trolley)
NURSE: Watch the door. Careful, he may have suffered cranial damage.
TAVA: Move him onto the diagnostic pad.
NURSE: Right.
TAVA: Slowly.
NURSE: Right, here we go.
(the patient is lifted onto a bed)
TAVA: Slowly. That's good.
NURSE: All right. Careful.
(the patient is hooked up to monitors)
NILREM: Readings?
NURSE: They're fluctuating, sir. 
NILREM: He took a severe blow. Possible trauma to the telencephalon.
TAVA: Start fifteen octares of quadroline. We'll need a complete del-scan series.
NILREM: I can't find his cardial organ.
TAVA: What do you mean? I'm reading a steady circulation.
NILREM: There it is. Up here.
TAVA: In his digestive tract?
NILREM: Ever seen anything like this?
(Tava, a female doctor, palpates the chest)
TAVA: He's missing three costal struts on one side and four on the other.
NILREM: You think that's something? Look at this
(holds up a foot)
NILREM: He has digits on his terminus.
(Tava removes the mittens to reveal the patient has fingers, unlike his alien doctors)
TAVA: What are you?
(he is Riker, made to look like one of them)

[Riker's hospital room]

(later, Riker is a bed, being seen by the Senior Registrar or equivalent)
RIKER: What happened?
BEREL: You're in the crisis room at the Sikla Medical Facility. You've had a severe injury, but you're going to be all right.
RIKER: I was caught in the riots when the police moved in. It's the last thing I remember.
BEREL: Can you tell us your name?
RIKER: Rivas. Rivas Jakara.
BEREL: Rivas Jakara? Where do you live?
RIKER: In the Marta community on the southern continent.
TAVA: You're a long way from home. Do you have any members of your family we should notify?
RIKER: No, I have no family. I can't stay here. I have to get back.
BEREL: You're in no condition to leave yet. There are several unusual things about your case, Mister Jakara. Your cranial lobes, for instance, they seem to be surgical implants.
RIKER: I had cosmetic surgery to correct a genetic birth defect.
BEREL: And these? (his hands) Another birth defect?
RIKER: Yes, isn't that something? My father's were the same way.
NILREM: You want us to believe that all your abnormalities are inherited genetic traits?
RIKER: I understand your confusion. My personal physician is much more familiar with these genetic irregularities. To be honest, I would much feel better back home under her care.
BEREL: Why don't I talk to her about that. What's her name?
RIKER: Crusher. Actually, I'm not sure you'll be able to reach her.
BEREL: Why not?
RIKER: She's taking a sabbatical.
BEREL: Well, we'll do the best we can for you. Oh, there was one other thing. We found this curious-looking device in your clothes. What is it?
(it's a phaser)
RIKER: It's just a toy. I was taking home as a present.
BEREL: I thought you didn't have any family.
RIKER: It's for a neighbour's child. Was there anything else found? I had one piece of jewelry, a metal pin.
BEREL: No, I'm sorry, this was all we found.

[Medical Facility Corridor]

NILREM: Genetic irregularities? That thing isn't even the same species as we are.
BEREL: Keep your voice down. The last thing we need is a panic in here over some
NILREM: It's all the space flights. They have attracted creatures from outer space.
BEREL: That's exactly the kind of thing I don't want to hear.
TAVA: What are you going to do?
BEREL: Of all the medical facilities available, why did he have to end up here?
NILREM: I think we ought to call Central Security.
BEREL: Well, I'm not calling anybody yet. Not till we've done a lot more. A lot more. I want his story checked out. Run a complete search through the medical library. Be absolutely certain there's never been anything like him.
NILREM: What if there're more of them? They could be everywhere.
BEREL: Cordon off the wing. I want security on his door twenty nine hours a day, and I want this kept quiet.
VOICE [OC]: Code three drill in B wing. All instructors report immediately.

[Durken's office]

(Everyone say hi to Carolyn Seymour, taking a break from being a Romulan)
MIRASTA: At twelve point four after launch, the warp field generator will be activated.
DURKEN: That's when it would break the light barrier?
MIRASTA: Yes, Chancellor. If we're successful, the craft will leave our star system, and in a matter of minutes will be on its way to the Garth system.
KROLA: And then what?
MIRASTA: And then, Krola, we'll see what's there.
DURKEN: How long, Mirasta?
MIRASTA: We have the prototype design for the warp engine. It would simply be a matter of building the actual production units. If I get your approval today, ten months, maybe less.
KROLA: Chancellor, I'll admit Mirasta's enthusiasm for her work is seductive, but perhaps we're moving too fast. Your opponents will see this as another example of your determination to pull us further from our traditional ways.
DURKEN: My opponents look back as I look forward. I cannot believe that my people would choose to retreat after all we've done.
MIRASTA: I agree.
KROLA: The people were willing to accept your social reforms because they believe in you, Chancellor. But there are many who say we have gone far enough. All these new ideas, new technology, and now space travel? It confuses them, frightens them.
DURKEN: I will not allow them to remain in the dark ages. The warp programme will proceed as you have outlined, Mirasta. And then we will slow down, Krola, to let everyone catch their breath. Including you.

[Mirasta's lab]

(Mirasta is punching buttons when two figures beam in)
PICARD: Mirasta Yale?
MIRASTA: Yes.
TROI: Please, don't be alarmed at our appearance.
PICARD: My name is Jean-Luc Picard. This is my associate Deanna Troi.
MIRASTA: What are you?
TROI: We've come with some important information.
MIRASTA: About what?
PICARD: About space. About the universe you are preparing to enter.
TROI: We come from a federation of planets. Captain Picard is from a planet called Earth, which is over two thousand light years from here. I'm from another planet called Betazed.
PICARD: We've been monitoring your progress toward warp-drive capability. When a society reaches your level of technology and is clearly about to initiate warp travel, we feel the time is right for first contact. We prefer meeting like this, rather than a random confrontation in deep space.
TROI: We've come to you first because you're a leader in the scientific community. Scientists generally accept our arrival more easily than others.
PICARD: We almost always encounter shock and fear on this sort of mission. We hope that you will help us facilitate our introduction.
MIRASTA: Is this a joke? Did Lupo and the others from the lab put you up to this?
PICARD: It's certainly no joke. As you can see, we are physically quite different from Malcorians. And, with your permission, I'm prepared to prove it to you.
MIRASTA: I would like that.
PICARD: Picard to Enterprise. Three to beam up.

[Ten Forward]

(Mirasta is enthralled by the view of her world from above)
MIRASTA: It's everything I've ever dreamed of. When I was a child, my parents would take me to the planetarium and we would sit in the dark and it was as if I was on a spaceship, on my way to another world to meet people on other planets. Part of me keeps waiting for the lights to come up and the programme to end. How did you know about me?
PICARD: We learn as much as possible about a planet before we make first contact.
TROI: One of the things we monitor are your broadcast signals, your journalism, your music, your humour. Try to better understand you as a people.
MIRASTA: I hate to think how you would judge us based on our popular music and entertainment.
PICARD: Indeed, we do get an incomplete picture, which is why we also do surface reconnaissance.
MIRASTA: You've had people on our planet?
TROI: For several years.
PICARD: These are specialists, highly trained observation teams, superficially identical to yourselves and therefore able to blend naturally into your society. You see, we have discovered that the most hazardous aspect of these missions is a lack of sufficient information
MIRASTA: You don't have to explain. I understand, although not everybody on my planet would. They would think you were trying to infiltrate our society.
PICARD: There is a difficulty here, one that has forced us to accelerate this entire process. One of our people is missing. My First Officer, Commander William Riker. He was down on the planet surface, coordinating with the observation team the final details of contact. He disappeared. My people have made enquiries but they've not been able to locate him. If there is anything you can help
MIRASTA: Of course. Where was Riker's last known location?
TROI: The capital city. He was under the name of Rivas Jakara, a tourist from the Marta community.
MIRASTA: We must find him before someone realises what he really is. If this gets out prematurely, it could seriously complicate matters. Our ideology is based on the assumption that the Malcorian is a supreme lifeform, and our world is the centre of the universe. Your arrival will change our entire understanding of life, and some will not want it to change.
PICARD: What about Durken?
MIRASTA: Durken. He will be open-minded, but cautious. I strongly suggest that you do not discuss your surveillance teams with him. At least not right away.
PICARD: But with the disappearance of Commander Riker, wouldn't it be prudent
MIRASTA: Captain Picard, I must ask you to trust me on this. If you tell the Chancellor about Commander Riker, you will undermine everything that you hope to accomplish here. Durken will assign Krola, our Minister of Security, to find him. Krola has his own political agenda. He will perceive you as the greatest threat that our people have ever known. And he will not hesitate to use Riker to prove that he is correct.

[Medical Facility Corridor]

(Rumours are spreading)
NURSE: From another planet, hundreds of them.
NILREM: It doesn't make sense that he's the only one. Think about it.
BEREL: I thought I said this was to be kept a secret.
TAVA: You know Nilrem.
BEREL: Well, it's getting out of control. I don't know what else he is, but he is still a patient in this medical facility and we have a responsibility for his care and recovery. Remind them of that, will you?
TAVA: You're not going to be able to contain this much longer.
BEREL: I know.
TAVA: If people get scared enough, anything could happen

[Riker's hospital room]

BEREL: Mister Jakara, we have been unable to confirm anything you told us. No physician named Crusher is on file. Not on this planet. Your address in Marta's an eating establishment. The cook has never heard of Rivas Jakara.
RIKER: Obviously there's been some misunderstanding.
BEREL: There's a growing number of people on the other side of that door who believe you are not one of us, Mister Jakara.
RIKER: Not one of you?
BEREL: That you are from another planet. Are you, Mister Jakara?
RIKER: Do you realise what you're saying?
BEREL: I know how it sounds. I'm not anxious to make a fool of myself. This new era of space flight, it fires the imagination. People see unidentified vessels in the sky that turn out to be weather balloons.
RIKER: Well, it's far more likely that I am a weather balloon than an alien.
BEREL: Our medical journals have documented several cases of genetic mutation in recent history. Some unusual physical disfigurations have occurred.
RIKER: I'm another case for the medical journals, then.
BEREL: Perhaps. But you, Mister Jakara, are hiding something, and unless you tell me the truth about yourself, this rumour will persist and grow and could even become dangerous. Most especially to you.

[Durken's office]

(The Chancellor is stamping documents)
MALE [OC]: Chancellor, Minister Yale of the Space Bureau would like to introduce you to someone.
DURKEN: Call her back. See if the Vice-Chancellor will do.
MALE [OC]: They're out here waiting to see you, sir.
DURKEN: All right. Send them in.
(Mirasta enters, follows by Picard, but Durken hasn't noticed)
DURKEN: Always time to meet your friends, Mirasta.
MIRASTA: Chancellor, I think you might want to clear your afternoon schedule for this.
(Picard walks forward, Durken's jaw drops)

[Bridge]

PICARD: And this is the Bridge.
MIRASTA: Chancellor.
(a brief gaze at their planet on the viewscreen)
PICARD: Here we have Environmental and Engineering stations, mission operations, and the two principal science stations.
PICARD: Data, allow me to introduce Chancellor Avel Durken and Space Administrator Mirasta Yale.
DATA: Chancellor. Minister.
PICARD: Commander Data is my Second Officer.
MIRASTA: He's an android, Chancellor. A constructed being.
DURKEN: A machine?
DATA: In a manner of speaking. The term artificial lifeform would be more accurate.
DURKEN: Captain Picard, is there someplace we might speak together without distraction?
PICARD: Certainly.
MIRASTA: Chancellor, with your permission, I would like to beam to the surface. I have several matters to attend to.
DURKEN: Not a word to anyone about this, Mirasta.
MIRASTA: Of course.
PICARD: Mister Data, will you escort the Minister to the transporter room? Chancellor.
(Picard and Durken leave)
MIRASTA: Has there still been no communication from Commander Riker, Data?
DATA: No, Minister. He has not returned to our designated transport coordinates. We have continued to scan the capital city without success.

[Ready room]

(Picard pours some wine)
PICARD: I've been saving this for a special occasion. My brother on Earth produces fruit known as grapes, which he turns into wine. He's really quite good at it. Chancellor, we have a tradition called a toast. It is a drink to salute one's friends and good fortune, and I would like to propose a toast to a new friendship.
DURKEN: We have something very much like this here on Malcor Three.
PICARD: I think we shall find we have much in common.
DURKEN: And much that is not in common.
PICARD: An opportunity to learn from one another.
DURKEN: You speak the language of diplomacy very well, Captain. It is a language I appreciate and understand, but I have learned to not always trust it.
PICARD: Trust requires time and experience.
DURKEN: My world's history has recorded that conquerors often arrived with the words, we are your friends.
PICARD: We are not here as conquerors, Chancellor.
DURKEN: What do you want?
PICARD: A beginning. But how we proceed is entirely up to you.
DURKEN: And if my wishes should conflict with yours?
PICARD: There'll be no conflict.
DURKEN: And if I should tell you to leave and never return to my world?
PICARD: We will leave and never return. Chancellor, we are here only to help guide you into a new era. I can assure you we will not interfere in the natural development of your planet. That is, in fact, our Prime Directive.
DURKEN: I can infer from that directive that you do not intend to share all this exceptional technology with us.
PICARD: That is not the whole meaning, but it is part of it.
DURKEN: Is this your way of maintaining superiority?
PICARD: Chancellor, to instantly transform a society with technology would be harmful and it would be destructive,
DURKEN: You're right, of course. I'm overwhelmed, Captain Picard. I'm quite overwhelmed. I go home each night to a loving wife, two beautiful daughters. We eat the evening meal together as a family, I think that's important. And they always ask me if I've had a good day.
PICARD: And how shall you answer them tonight, Chancellor?
DURKEN: I will have to say this morning, I was the leader of the universe as I knew it. This afternoon, I am only a voice in a chorus. But I think it was a good day.

[Riker's hospital room]

(Riker is out of bed and looking for a way out when a woman enters)
LANEL: There are guards out there. You'll never escape that way. I'm not afraid of you.
RIKER: Good. Because there's nothing to be afraid of.
LANEL: We shouldn't fear the unknown. We should embrace it.
RIKER: Can you help me get out of here?
LANEL: Are you really an alien? It's all right to tell me.
RIKER: No, I'm not an alien.
LANEL: I don't believe you. You are an alien.
RIKER: I really have to leave.
LANEL: I could divert the guard's attention. You might stand a chance if you took the service exit down the hallway to the right.
RIKER: To the right? Fine, let's do it.
LANEL: Why should I?
RIKER: Well, you know why. I don't belong here. I have to get back on my ship, in space.
LANEL: I believe you.
RIKER: Now, will you help me?
LANEL: If you make love to me.
RIKER: What?
LANEL: I've always wanted to make love with an alien.
RIKER: Listen, Miss
LANEL: Lanel.
RIKER: Lanel, I really have to get going. All the other aliens are waiting for me.
LANEL: Oh, it's not so much to ask, and then I'll help you escape.
RIKER: It's not that easy. There are differences in the way that my people make love.
LANEL: I can't wait to learn.
(she takes of her spectacles)
RIKER: But it's
LANEL: It's your only way out of here, my alien.

[Medical Facility Corridor]

(an undetermined length of time later)
LANEL: Something's happened to him. I think he's dead. Go on, get some help.
(the guard runs off, and she beckons Riker out of the room)
LANEL: Okay. No, that way.
RIKER: Thanks.
LANEL: Will I ever see you again?
RIKER: I'll call you the next time I pass through your star system.
(Riker heads off down the corridor, but gets spotted)
NILREM: Stop him! Somebody stop him!
NURSE: Hold it.
VOICE [OC]: He's escaping! The alien's escaping!
(Riker knocks out a guard who swings at him with a club, then a second, but he is finally brought down and kicked while he is on the floor)
BEREL: Stop it! All of you! Stop it now! Have you all lost your minds?
TAVA: They've aggravated the injury to his renal organ. He's bleeding internally.
BEREL: Get him into a surgical cubicle. And call Central Security. This has gone too far.

[Durken's office]

DURKEN: Their leader, Picard, has made it clear that how we proceed is entirely our own decision.
KROLA: You cannot possibly be suggesting surrender, Chancellor.
MIRASTA: They are not hostile.
KROLA: Mirasta, you are incredibly naive. Can you be so enraptured with the notion of space travellers that you are blind to the threat they represent?
DURKEN: I have seen their vessel, Krola. If they chose to be hostile, I do not think we would be standing here now.
KROLA: Why should they use force when we are ready to lay down in fear.
DURKEN: I do not lay down in fear, to them or to you, Krola.
KROLA: Chancellor, I mean no disrespect, but I have repeatedly warned you about your policies, taking us so quickly where we had no business going in the first place. New philosophies, new economics, new technologies. There are many people who still value our traditional way of life and I for one am willing to die to defend it.
MIRASTA: Open your eyes, Krola. We are part of a greater community. We cannot ignore it.
KROLA: You would ignore them as they infiltrate and spy on us.
DURKEN: What are you saying, Krola?
KROLA: We have captured one of their spies.
MIRASTA: Chancellor, he is Captain Picard's first officer, Commander Riker.
DURKEN: You knew about this, Mirasta?
MIRASTA: He has been missing for two days. I told Captain Picard not to discuss this because I was afraid this is exactly what would happen.
DURKEN: What else do you know, Mirasta? Everything!
MIRASTA: They have been on our planet, observing, for several years.
KROLA: Years! Imagine what they have done. Influenced our young, stirred up dissent.
MIRASTA: They were collecting information.
DURKEN: Where is this Commander Riker now?
KROLA: He's in the Sikla Medical facility. He's recovering from surgery. He suffered head injuries in an escape attempt. He will recover consciousness in a few hours.

[Riker's hospital room]

KROLA: Will he survive?
BEREL: I didn't think he would have survived the injuries.
KROLA: I have to interrogate him before he dies.
BEREL: At least give him time to regain some strength. Come back tomorrow.
KROLA: It cannot wait until tomorrow.
(Mirasta enters)
MIRASTA: Krola, we can get help from his ship. With their medical technology, he might recover.
KROLA: We're not giving him back. He's the one advantage we have now. Use your drugs to revive him.
BEREL: Those drugs increase cardial rate and vascular pressure. That's the last thing we need to do to him right now.
MIRASTA: It will probably be enough to kill him. You can't do it!
KROLA: Revive him.
BEREL: I'm just a physician, Minister. I don't know much about affairs of state, but he is a living, intelligent being. I don't care if the Chancellor himself calls down here. I have sworn an oath to do no harm, and I will not.
KROLA: Then I'll find someone to replace you.

[Durken's office]

(Picard beams straight in)
PICARD: Chancellor.
DURKEN: You are punctual, Captain.
PICARD: I know how busy you are.
DURKEN: Do you? I think you know a great deal more about me than I know about you.
PICARD: In what respect?
DURKEN: You speak of trust and peace and working together to enter a new era, and at the same time you conduct secret surveillance posing as Malcorians.
PICARD: Commander Riker?
DURKEN: Commander Riker.
PICARD: Mirasta said it would be a mistake to discuss this with you.
DURKEN: Yes, she's tried to accept the responsibility.
PICARD: It was my error, not hers. Chancellor, there is no starship mission more dangerous than that of first contact. We never know what we will face when we open the door on a new world, how we will be greeted, what exactly the dangers will be. Centuries ago, a disastrous contact with the Klingon Empire led to decades of war. It was decided then we would do surveillance before making contact. It was a controversial decision. I believe it prevented more problems than it created.
DURKEN: I can appreciate the logic of your position, Captain. But it would seem a full disclosure after contact would have been in order.
PICARD: In time there would have been full disclosure. I can only ask you to believe that. On other worlds it would not be an issue. But here, everything our observers reported indicated that the people of this world would almost certainly react negatively to our arrival. We could see that even surveillance might even be interpreted as an act of aggression. I hoped that we would have found Commander Riker before you did so the matter would not complicate our introduction. It was a mistake.
DURKEN: Yes. A mistake I might have made in your place. I rather like it actually.
PICARD: Like it?
DURKEN: That you make mistakes like any man.
PICARD: Chancellor, I have made some fine ones in my time. Now, I must ask you, will you release my officer?
DURKEN: We'll talk again later, Captain.
PICARD: Enterprise, one to beam up.

[Riker's hospital room]

BEREL: Yes I understand.
(he puts the telephone down)
BEREL: I have been relieved of my duties, as I'm sure you already know. You are Acting Director of the facility, Nilrem.
(Berel leaves)
KROLA: Revive him.
(Nilrem prepares the injection, and Mirasta leaves too. Nilrem checks the various monitors)
KROLA: Leave us.
(Nilrem leaves)
KROLA: I am Minister Krola of Internal Security. You are Riker, an alien. Yes, we know.
RIKER: Please bring my people here.
KROLA: In time. In time. But first I need to ask you some questions.

[Durken's office]

MIRASTA: Thank you for seeing me.
DURKEN: If I did not depend so much on your expertise in space matters, I would have asked for your resignation.
MIRASTA: I felt I was acting in the best interests of our people, Chancellor.
DURKEN: When you are selected to occupy this office, then you will have the privilege of deciding the best interests of our people. Picard I can excuse, but you, Mirasta, you should have trusted me.
MIRASTA: Chancellor, we must release Riker to Picard Any hope for a relationship with these people depends on it.
DURKEN: I can't afford to be the idealist you are, Mirasta.
MIRASTA: Riker
DURKEN: I am prepared to release Riker after we have interrogated him.
MIRASTA: Are you prepared for him to die, Chancellor? His injuries are extremely serious. A mob at the medical facility almost killed him. Krola has ordered drugs to be used to revive him for questioning, drugs that in his condition would be dangerous for him. Without medical aid from his ship, I believe that Riker will not survive the day. You must tell Picard where he is.

[Riker's hospital room]

KROLA: You have lied since the moment of your capture and I believe you are lying now, Commander.
RIKER: No. We're here on a mission of peace.
KROLA: Such noble creatures. Why do peaceful people develop such lethal weapons? Or do you still insist it's just a toy?
(Krola fires the phaser at an instrument stand)
KROLA: An interesting toy, to be sure.
RIKER: It's only used for defence.
KROLA: Perhaps, like many conquerors, you believe your goals to be benevolent. I cannot. For however you would describe your intentions, you still represent the end to my way of life. I cannot permit that to occur. Eventually, Durken would choose to welcome your people with arms open and eyes closed. I must force him down another path.
(he puts the phaser in Riker's hand)
KROLA: When they find us, I will be dead, killed by your weapon. The lines will be drawn. A peaceful accord will no longer be an option.
RIKER: No.
KROLA: For my people.
(and the weapon goes off)
(Tava and Nilrem enter)
TAVA: What happened?
NILREM: He shot him. The alien shot Krola.
(Tava gets on the emergency phone)
TAVA: Get me three octares of adrulmine, high frequency EM charge unit now!
NILREM: I have a circulation pattern. It's very weak. We have to get him on vital buffers right now
(Crusher, Worf and a medic beam in) 
CRUSHER: I'm a physician, don't be frightened. I need to know what happened. Are you doctors?
TAVA: Yes. He shot him.
NILREM: With that thing.
CRUSHER: Crusher to Picard.
PICARD [OC]: Go ahead, Doctor.
CRUSHER: Commander Riker is near death.

[Durken's office]

CRUSHER [OC]: But there's still some brain activity. I need to get him back to the ship.
PICARD: Acknowledged.
CRUSHER [OC]: And there's a Malconian male with a phaser wound in his upper chest. I need to get him back as well.
PICARD: We'll meet you on the Enterprise. Picard out.

[Sickbay]

(Picard, Durken and Mirasta enter)
CRUSHER: They're both going to be okay. We were able to stabilise Will. If we had been any later
DURKEN: Krola?
CRUSHER: He was never in any real danger. The phaser was on stun.
MIRASTA: Stun?
PICARD: It's a defensive weapon. Have you been able to ascertain what happened?
CRUSHER: Based on the angle of impact, it suggests that Krola's left hand was on the phaser when it went off,
DURKEN: They were struggling for the weapon?
CRUSHER: Commander Riker was in no position to offer any kind of struggle, Chancellor.
MIRASTA: Krola was trying to be a martyr?
KROLA: Where is this?
DURKEN: You're aboard the starship, my foolish old friend.
KROLA: No. Chancellor, you must not. You must not pursue relations with them. You must not.
DURKEN: I know. I know.

[Ready room]

MIRASTA: But Chancellor
DURKEN: Mirasta, it goes against every instinct in my being. My people are not ready to accept what you represent. Everything that happened in the hospital proves it. And Krola is the best evidence of all. We must slow down and allow all those like him to join us in the present before we can move into the future.
MIRASTA: But when we encounter other beings in space, our people must be ready.
DURKEN: The warp programme will have to be delayed. We will divert more resources to education and social development to prepare for the day when we are ready.
MIRASTA: Chancellor, I strongly disagree.
DURKEN: I know. Captain, you once said if I ask you to leave, you would without hesitation. I'm afraid I must ask you to do just that.
PICARD: Well, it's your decision, Chancellor. But I must say, I regret that I won't have the opportunity of knowing your people better.
DURKEN: We're a good people, Captain. A society with much potential. Once we cross the threshold of space, we will have to give up this self-importance, this conceit that we are the centre of the universe. But this is not the time for that. For now, we will have to enjoy that sweet innocence.
PICARD: How will you keep us a secret when so many have seen and heard so much?
DURKEN: The stories will be told for many years, I have no doubt. Of the ship that made contact, of an alien who was held prisoner in the medical facility. There'll be charges of a government conspiracy. Some of the witnesses will tell their tales and most people will laugh at them, and go back and watch more interesting fiction of the daily broadcasts. It will pass.
MIRASTA: I'm sorry to say he's probably right. Captain Picard, I have one last request. Take me with you.
DURKEN: She will be unhappy with the restrictions I must place on her at home, Captain.
PICARD: We may not be back here in your lifetime. And I have to believe that you cannot be fully prepared for the realities of space travel.
MIRASTA: I have been prepared for the realities of space since I was nine years old, and sitting in a planetarium.
PICARD: Mister Worf to my Ready room.
(Worf enters)
PICARD: Escort Chancellor Durken to the transporter room, Lieutenant. And assign quarters to Minister Yale. She will be remaining on board.
WORF: Aye, sir.
PICARD: Until we return, then.
DURKEN: With luck, we'll both be around to renew our friendship, Captain.

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