Gambit part 1
Stardate: 47135.2
Original Airdate: 11 Oct, 1993

[Cantina]

(straight out of Star Wars episode 4, and everyone is in casual clothes)
BARTENDER: (very hairy) So, tell me, why is it so important that you find this man?
TROI: We had business dealings. He owes me money.
BARTENDER: If we had business dealings, I can tell you that I wouldn't disappear.
TROI: Maybe we can discuss that possibility. But first, I have to find him, collect the money I'm owed.
BARTENDER: I'll be closing in a few hours. Perhaps we can discuss this more privately.
TROI: If I don't find him, I'm going to have to move on. Are you sure you haven't seen him?
BARTENDER: Human, about two metres tall, smooth-headed. No. I don't remember anyone like that.
TROI: You're lying.
BARTENDER: And you're a Betazoid. I thought so. Listen, people who come in here, they count on a certain amount of anonymity. And if I were to start answering questions about them, even to a very beautiful woman, well, I wouldn't be in business very long. And being a businesswoman, I'm sure you understand.
(and he goes off to serve another customer while at the other end of the bar)
RIKER: Great story. I'll remember it next time I'm in a knife fight.
(walks over to Worf)
RIKER: Any luck?
WORF: I think the one over there knows something.
WORF: He would not admit to having seen the Captain, but he said that anyone who visited the ruins of Nafir would probably come here eventually. I suspect he knows more.
RIKER: Let's go.
WORF: Commander, I told
RIKER: My friend tells me you know about the man we're looking for.
YRANAC: The only reason I'm talking to you is that I have a sister, too.
WORF: I explained to him that we are looking for a man who impregnated your sister.
RIKER: So you can imagine how much this means to me.
YRANAC: Family honour is important. If someone had defiled my sister I would do anything, pay anything, to find the one responsible.
RIKER: And how much might anything be?
YRANAC: As much as five bars of gold-pressed latinum.
BARTENDER: I think you've had a little too much to drink. You'd better leave. On your way, Yranac.
(the bartender gets a phaser jabbed into his cheekbone)
CRUSHER: I'm sorry, but I think he wants to stay. Sit down.
RIKER: This is my sister. She's angry. She's got a vicious temper. I wouldn't cross her.
BARTENDER: You say one word and you're a dead man.
YRANAC: Perhaps there's an element of risk here that I did not fully appreciate.
WORF: And how much more latinum will it take to offset this risk?
YRANAC: This isn't about latinum. As a man with a sister, a sister with a temper, I can sympathise with you, but, how did you come here? Do you have a ship in orbit?
RIKER: Yes.
YRANAC: Then take me with you. You can drop me anywhere.
RIKER: Agreed. Now talk.
YRANAC: The man you're looking for was here several weeks ago. There was a group of aliens sitting at this table. He was asking them questions.
WORF: Who were these aliens?
YRANAC: I don't know, but they looked dangerous. They attacked him. He managed to incapacitate three of them before he was knocked down. He was thrown against that wall and fell there.
(Crusher scans it with her tricorder)
CRUSHER: I'm picking up some Starfleet fibre traces and human cellular debris.
RIKER: Can you establish a DNA reading?
CRUSHER: There's something strange here. The cell structures are badly distorted. It's as if they've been exposed to some kind of high-energy field.
WORF: A weapon discharge?
CRUSHER: It could be. I'm picking up some faint traces of microcrystalline damage in the floor material, but I'm not familiar with the pattern I'm getting.
YRANAC: Who are you people?
RIKER: You didn't say anything about a weapon.
YRANAC: I hadn't finished yet. You'll like this. The man got what was coming to him. When they knocked him down, one of them took out a weapon and fired. He was vaporised.
TROI: He's telling the truth.

Acting Captain's log, stardate 47135.2. Doctor Crusher has positively identified Captain Picard's DNA. There's no doubt now that he's dead.

[Riker's quarters]

RIKER: Come.
TROI: How are you doing?
RIKER: I'm all right.
TROI: The crew's pretty shaken up. I'm arranging a memorial. I think you should be the one to deliver the eulogy.
RIKER: I think you'd be better at something like that. Or Beverly. She knew him the longest.
TROI: I know it's not going to be easy, but I think it's important that we face up to what's happened. You're in command now. The crew's looking to you for guidance.
RIKER: You don't understand. I can't give the eulogy because I won't be at the service.
TROI: A memorial service helps to give everyone a sense of completion. Helps them begin the healing process.
RIKER: That's exactly the point. I don't want to heal.
TROI: Will.
RIKER: I've an open wound, right here. It hurts like hell. I don't want it to get better, and I don't want to pretend that everything's all right.
TROI: I know you're angry.
RIKER: You're damn right! And I intend to stay angry until I find whoever's responsible for the Captain's death.
TROI: That's pretty selfish of you. Do you think you're the only one in pain? Do you think you have the monopoly on loss? Well, let me tell you something. We're all hurting, and we're all angry. And whether you like it or not, you have a responsibility to this crew, and you can't just indulge your personal desire for revenge.
RIKER: That is enough, Counsellor. Deanna. I'm sorry. This is not about revenge. This is about justice. The Captain died in a bar fight for nothing. Somebody has to answer for that. Then I can mourn.

[Bridge]

WORF: Commander, I am receiving a transmission from Admiral Chekote at Starbase two twenty seven.
RIKER: I'll take it in the Ready room.
WORF: Aye, sir.

[Ready room]

RIKER: Sir.
CHEKOTE [on monitor]: (not obviously a Native American) I read your report, Commander. My condolences to you and your crew. Captain Picard's death is a loss to the entire Federation. I see that you've asked to postpone your mission to the Argus sector. For what reason?
RIKER: I have a request, sir. I would like to conduct an investigation into Captain Picard's death.
CHEKOTE [on monitor]: The Dessican authorities have jurisdiction in this case, Commander.
RIKER: I know that, sir. Frankly, I don't have much confidence in the authorities on Dessica Two. There's every reason to believe that they're corrupt.
CHEKOTE [on monitor]: I suspect you're right. The question remains, are you the one to pursue this?
RIKER: The Captain's death hit me pretty hard, and I may not be completely objective, but there is no one who is more determined. I won't rest until I find out who's responsible.
CHEKOTE [on monitor]: All right, Commander. I'm officially placing the Enterprise on detached duty. Your mission is at your discretion. Good luck.
RIKER: Thank you, sir.

[Yranac's quarters]

(the Yridian is eating from a large array of dishes when Riker enters)
YRANAC: Ah, Commander Riker. I've been meaning to speak to you. I was wondering if you could move me to better quarters. I don't care much for the decor here.
RIKER: These are the best quarters we have. I was hoping now that you've had a chance to relax you might have remembered some of the details about the aliens you saw. Something you may have forgotten.
YRANAC: Sorry, my memory isn't what it used to be.
RIKER: They murdered a man in cold blood in full view of everyone in the bar and you can't remember anything about them?
YRANAC: Now that you mention it, I do remember one thing. They said they'd kill anyone who talked about what happened.
RIKER: Do you know where they went? (Yranac smiles) So you know who they are and you know where I can find them.
YRANAC: Perhaps I do.
RIKER: What do you want?
YRANAC: Not a great deal, Commander. Just a shuttlecraft. I believe I'd like to travel for a while, see more of the galaxy. You understand.
RIKER: A shuttlecraft? Well, here's my offer. Instead of the ship, I'll give you some time.
YRANAC: Time?
RIKER: If you're lucky, you'll only spend the next five years in prison instead of the next twenty. (picks him up by the lapels) You've got twelve outstanding arrest warrants for fraud and petty theft in the Klingon Empire. Tell me what you know, and I'll pull some strings. Maybe they'll reduce your sentence after you've been extradited.
YRANAC: If I tell you what I know, you must promise not to give me to the Klingons.
RIKER: I'll think about it.
YRANAC: Perhaps you could send me to a Federation rehabilitation colony instead.
RIKER: Talk.
YRANAC: The aliens were some kind of mercenary group. They've been operating in this sector for the last six months.
RIKER: Where do we find them?
YRANAC: I heard one of them mention the Barradas system. I think they were headed there.
RIKER: You think?
YRANAC: That's all I know.
RIKER: Riker to Data.
DATA [OC]: Data here.
RIKER: Take us out of orbit. Set course for the Barradas system, warp six.
DATA [OC]: Aye, sir.

[Observation lounge]

DATA: Barradas Three is the only class M planet in this system, and it is listed as unpopulated. However, sensors have detected intermittent energy signals emanating from its surface.
RIKER: What's the source?
LAFORGE: The signals are difficult to localise, but they could be emissions from some kind of power converter.
WORF: Which could indicate a base or a ship.
RIKER: What else do we know about Barradas Three?
DATA: The planet was used as an outpost for the Debrune approximately two thousand years ago. The Federation's Archaeological survey has catalogued numerous ruins on the surface.
RIKER: Mister Worf, I'd like a security detail to accompany the away team to the surface. I'll lead the team. Geordi, you're with me. Mister Data, you have the Bridge.
DATA: Aye, sir. Commander, as Acting First Officer, I must question your decision to accompany the away team. If Captain Picard were here
RIKER: He's not.
DATA: I realise that, sir. But if he were, and he wanted to lead an away team, you would tell him that the Captain's place is
RIKER: On the Bridge. Not this time.

[Ruins]

RIKER: Ensign, you take that area.
ENSIGN: Yes, sir.
RIKER: Geordi?
LAFORGE: It's tough to get accurate sensor readings. There's an awful lot of interference in the area.
RIKER: From what?
LAFORGE: I'm not sure. It's very unlocalised. It could be atmospheric.
RIKER: What do you make of these?
(charred pits in the ground)
LAFORGE: Well, these ruins around here are pretty ancient but I'd say that this indentation was made fairly recently. Could be the site of some battlefield.
RIKER: It doesn't look like any blast point I've ever seen. The shape is too perfect.
LAFORGE: Sir, there's microcrystalline damage all throughout this area. The same kind of pattern that Doctor Crusher picked up in the floor of that bar on Dessica Two.
WORF: Commander! I found something.
(a pottery urn and other things in the sand)
RIKER: Looks as if someone could have just dropped them.
(the spare security guard gets shot, everyone takes cover from the incessant energy weapons)
LAFORGE: La Forge to Enterprise. We are under attack down here.

[Bridge]

LAFORGE [OC]: I repeat, we are under attack.
GIUSTI: (a young woman) Commander, we've lost contact with the away team.
DATA: Is there a malfunction?
GIUSTI: No, sir. The comm. system is being jammed.
DATA: What is the source?
GIUSTI: Somewhere on the surface.
DATA: Bridge to Transporter room two. Can you get a lock on the away team?
CHIEF [OC]: Negative, sir. There's too much interference.

[Ruins]

(what looks like a Romulan woman runs forward and grabs the artefacts)
RIKER: (to security woman) I'm going to head for those trees over there. If I can get there, we might be able to set up a crossfire.
(Riker makes it to some rocks and gets knocked out by a blast. The mercenaries get him and beam away)
DATA [OC]: Data to away team. Please respond.
LAFORGE: Data, we've been attacked.

[Bridge]

LAFORGE [OC]: We've got one casualty and Commander Riker has been taken captive.

[Ruins]

WORF: Sir, the mercenaries have beamed away. They must have a base or a ship nearby. Can the sensors locate anything?

[Bridge]

GIUSTI: Commander, we're picking up a vessel leaving orbit.
DATA: Why was it not detected earlier?
GIUSTI: They could have been using the planet as a shield. Sir, they are powering up their weapon systems.
DATA: Raise shields. Red alert.
(the little ship strafes the Enterprise as it passes)
DATA: Damage report.
GIUSTI: Minor hit on the port deflector. No damage. They're running, sir. Their speed is warp eight point seven and holding. I think they're at their maximum.
DATA: Take us to warp nine and pursue. Lock phasers on target.
GIUSTI: Sir, we should be within phaser range in twenty three seconds. Switching to long-range scanners. Commander, the sensor image of that ship is extremely weak. It's fading. The ship doesn't register on the long-range sensors. I'm sorry, sir. We've lost them.
DATA: Increase the sensor field bandwidth. Patch in the lateral sensor arrays.
GIUSTI: It's no good, the signal's gone. It just disappeared.
DATA: Plot a course and take us back to Barradas Three. Notify the away team to prepare for transport.
GIUSTI: Aye, sir.

[Observation lounge]

DATA: Starfleet Intelligence confirms that a ship matching this configuration has been linked to raids on several other planets in this sector. For the short time it was within our visual range, we were able to take sensor readings of the mercenary vessel. It appears to be encased in an energy absorbing material. Although we can see the ship, this energy sheath renders it virtually undetectable to our long range sensors.
TROI: There must be some way we can track it.
LAFORGE: Data, I know this is a long shot, but if I remodulate the long range sensor array, I might be able to make it sensitive enough to detect the ship.
DATA: Without a full compositional analysis of the energy sheath, the chances of finding the correct remodulation sequence are remote.
WORF: Sir, they have taken Commander Riker. We must do something. We cannot just sit here.
DATA: On the contrary, Lieutenant. That is precisely what we must do. Since there are no viable alternatives, we will return to the surface and attempt to determine what these mercenaries are doing on this planet. An investigation might reveal some indication of their purpose. Please notify me when you have assembled your search teams. Dismissed.
(Data sits back and steeples his fingers)

[Mercenary Bridge]

BARAN: (vaguely leonine) What's the problem?
NARIK: (more spiky, Harper-esque) I warned you not to push the engines so hard. Two of the power shunts are on the verge of collapse. We'll be lucky if we can maintain warp six.
BARAN: How long will it take to repair?
NARIK: I can try to realign the warp core. It'll take at least eleven hours, but I'll have to shut the engines down completely.
BARAN: We're not stopping. We can't afford to be sitting helpless in space. I want warp eight available in five hours, and I don't want to hear your excuses.
(Narik goes to his console)
BARAN: What were you doing on Barradas Three?
RIKER: William T. Riker, Commander, SC two three one dash four two seven.
BARAN: Oh really? Well, I am Arctus Baran and I don't have a number. Now what were you doing on Barradas Three, Commander?
RIKER: We were studying the ruins. It was a scientific expedition.
BARAN: Don't patronise me. Those ruins have been studied for centuries. There's nothing new to learn from them.
RIKER: Then what were you doing there?
(Baran presses a device on his belt, and a gizmo on Riker's neck sends him to his knees in pain)
BARAN: Don't bother, Commander, you can't remove it. It's a neural servo connected directly to your nervous system. It lets me control precisely how much pain you feel. This setting is usually sufficient. However, if necessary, it can go much higher. These devices were the idea of my predecessor. It's a convenient way of enforcing discipline.
RIKER: What happened to him?
BARAN: He failed to enforce it with me.
VEKOR: (red-head female alien) This is a waste of time, Baran. Get rid of him now.
BARAN: You should be more patient, Vekor. It might be rewarding. We will wait. Let the memory of his pain argue with him for a while. It might change his attitude.
(the Romulan woman takes Riker out of the way)
NARIK: Vekor is right. We should get rid of him. It's dangerous to have someone from Starfleet on board.
BARAN: Dangerous? It might be profitable. A Starfleet Commander is a valuable hostage.
VEKOR: Starfleet won't negotiate with us, but they'll pursue us as long as we have him.
(she gets a zap of pain)
BARAN: This discussion is over. Get back to your post, Vekor.
(a smooth-headed human turns to face the camera)
PICARD: They're right, Baran, and you know it. I say kill him. Now.
(Riker looks round, aghast)
PICARD: If he has nothing to give us, we should kill him now and be done with it. Everyone seems to recognise that fact except you.
BARAN: I don't need a consensus to run this ship, Galen.
(the lights go down)
BARAN: What's going on?
NARIK: I'm bypassing the aft plasma couplings. The power loss should only last for a few seconds.
BARAN: You should learn not to limit your options. Riker could be very useful to us in the future.
PICARD: He may not be as useful as you think, if this is the same Riker that I've heard about.
RIKER: And what Riker might that be?
PICARD: Commander of the Enterprise formerly assigned to the USS Hood.
RIKER: That's right.
PICARD: Then you must be the William T. Riker with a history of insubordination. He was even once relieved of duty, during the Cardassian incident at Minos Korva.
BARAN: How do you know all this?
PICARD: Look, I've been smuggling artefacts from Federation sites for years. You can't help developing a familiarity with certain Starfleet personnel. If we hadn't have captured him, he'd probably have ended up before a court martial.
RIKER: I've gotten out of them before.
PICARD: Look, he's no use to us. Finish him now. Let me do it for you.
(the ship jerks and rushes into warp)
TALLERA: (to another female) Watch him.
VEKOR: We're accelerating.
BARAN: What have you done?
NARIK: It has nothing to do with my repairs. I think there's a malfunction in the engine's intermix chamber.
TALLERA: Plasma pressure is rising.
BARAN: Where's the malfunction?
NARIK: It could be one of any thirty subsystems. It'll take time to locate.
TALLERA: I don't think you're going to have the chance. Plasma pressure has reached critical levels.
BARAN: Seal off the intermix chamber.
VEKOR: I can't. The override sequence won't engage.
PICARD: The antimatter flow regulator is locked open.
TALLERA: Logic subsystems still not responding.
BARAN: (pushing Picard aside) Get out of the way.
TALLERA: Plasma pressure has exceeded maximum levels. Eight percent above critical and rising.
NARIK: We have to jettison the core.
BARAN: No, we'll be stranded here.
PICARD: The flow regulator is frozen.
RIKER: Let me do it. I've had a lot of experience with this sort of system failures. I might be able to do something.
TALLERA: Plasma pressure is eleven percent above critical. The containment fields are beginning to degrade.
BARAN: Go!
NARIK: Flow regulator is not responding to manual override. Containment fields won't hold much longer.
RIKER: Looks like you've got a control logic lockout in your regulator subsystem. I'm going to attempt to run an active bypass through the plasma flow convertor. You, (Narik) start running phase-lock feedback through that regulator. I want about a six second delay.
NARIK: What are you saying? I don't take orders from you.
BARAN: You do as he says.
TALLERA: Plasma pressure is fourteen percent above critical.
BARAN: If you fail
RIKER: We'll all be dead anyway. Just need a few more seconds.
TALLERA: Plasma pressure is dropping. We're back into safe levels.
RIKER: If you want to make sure that doesn't happen again, you'd better re-initiate your regulator sub-compressors. A full diagnostic of your intermix chamber wouldn't hurt either.
BARAN: Do it. Put him in quarters for now.
RIKER: (to Picard) You still wish you'd killed me?

[Ruins]

WORF: The search teams have reported in. They found several archaeological sites. Each one has been looted.
LAFORGE: It's possible that the microcrystalline damage I found in these indentations was the result of some kind of high energy transporter beam but I still don't understand. There's nothing here that's particularly valuable. Why would anyone want to steal any of these things?
DATA: Perhaps these artefacts have a special value to the Romulans.
WORF: The Romulans?
DATA: These structures were built by the Debrune. That race is an ancient offshoot of the Romulans. The ruins on the planet where Captain Picard was killed were also Romulan in origin.
WORF: The leader of the group that attacked us was Romulan. Perhaps they are controlling the mercenaries.
DATA: The question remains, why are they stealing these artefacts?

[Bridge]

DATA: There are several archaeological sites in this sector containing ruins which are Romulan in origin. These are the locations that were attacked by the mercenary vessel.
LAFORGE: Looks like they did a pretty thorough job.
DATA: The only sites not been attacked were on Calder Two, Yadalla Prime, and Draken Four.
LAFORGE: Yadalla and Draken are at the far edge of the sector, but Calder Two? That's less than a day from here at maximum warp.
DATA: That would be their next likely target.
LAFORGE: According to this, there's a Federation outpost at Calder Two.
DATA: But it is only a small science station. It has limited defensive capabilities. I do not believe it could withstand an attack from the mercenary ship. Mister Worf. Send a message to the Federation outpost on Calder Two. Advise them that if a ship matching the mercenary vessel approaches, they should attempt to delay it until our arrival. Ensign, take us out of orbit. Set course for the Calder system. Warp nine.
ENSIGN: (male) Aye, sir.

[Riker's room]

PICARD: We don't have much time. It's good to see you, Will. I didn't expect to meet you here.
RIKER: I was looking to find the people who killed you on the surface. A witness said they saw you vaporised.
PICARD: These mercenaries use weapons that can activate their transporter. It gives them the opportunity to beam things quickly, just by firing at them. That's what they did to me.
RIKER: I don't understand any of this. Who are these people? What are you doing involved with them?
PICARD: The site that I wanted to study had been raided. A lot of the artefacts had been stolen. The site had been practically destroyed. I wanted to find out who was responsible. I tracked them to that bar on Dessica Two. I must have asked too many questions. They captured me. They wanted to find out how much I knew about their operation.
RIKER: And then you became part of their crew?
PICARD: I convinced them I was a smuggler, and that my name was Galen. I offered to help them appraise the artefacts that they had stolen. Will, these aren't common thieves. They are stealing Romulan artefacts from archaeological sites throughout this sector. Baran has me analysing each one if them for a particular particle signature. Will, they are looking for a specific artefact.
RIKER: Why?
PICARD: That's what we have to find out. Baran is the key. I think that he knows more about what we're really looking for than anyone else on this ship. I want you to get close to him. Try and get his confidence.
RIKER: That's why you set up the engine failure, because you knew that I'd be able to fix it.
PICARD: He also believes that you're a less than perfect Starfleet officer. Will, I want you to play into that role. Baran and I, well, he doesn't care very much for me, but he has to tolerate me because he needs my help with these artefacts. But if you and I become enemies, then there's a better chance of you and he becoming friends.
RIKER: All right. I'll do what I can.
(Baran enters, Picard hits Riker)
BARAN: What are you doing here?
PICARD: Getting some answers, because you can't get him to talk.
(Baran punishes Picard)
BARAN: No one conducts an interrogation on this ship without my permission. Is that understood?
(Picard walks to the door, keeping eye contact with Baran all the time, and kicks Riker for good measure)

[Mercenary Bridge]

BARAN: Our next objective should prove an interesting challenge. We're headed for the Sakethan burial mounds on Calder Two.
PICARD: What? Calder Two isn't just another archaeological site, you know. It's a Federation outpost there.
BARAN: I don't see that as a problem.
PICARD: It's defended by Starfleet. You don't think they're just going to stand by while we walk in there and take whatever we want.
BARAN: I'm familiar with the tactical situation.
VEKOR: What are their defences?
BARAN: Nothing to worry about. They have a type four deflector shield protecting the outpost and the ruins.
PICARD: They also have a minimum of two phaser banks and possibly photon torpedoes. Is that enough to worry about?
TALLERA: How do you know so much about this outpost?
PICARD: Because I tried to smuggle a Sakethan glyph stone out of there nearly two years ago. I barely got away in one piece.
BARAN: Our weapons are more than a match for their defences. I anticipate that we'll be able to destroy the outpost within fifteen minutes. Then we'll send in Tallera and the landing party to secure the relics.
PICARD: Why don't we use Riker? He's a Starfleet Commander. He could talk us past the outpost security without raising their suspicions. Then when their shields go down, we can beam the artefacts up here without ever leaving the ship.
VEKOR: Why would Riker help us? Just because he's out of favour with Starfleet doesn't mean that he's ready to betray them.
PICARD: If he doesn't help us, we'll have to destroy the outpost and kill everyone on it. He's still a Starfleet officer. He won't want to take innocent lives if he can possibly prevent it.
TALLERA: The last time we engaged Starfleet, we lost a man. We can't afford any more casualties. If we can avoid a battle, I think we should.
BARAN: All right, we'll try it. We'll be at Calder Two within five hours. You all know your duties. I want this ship prepared for battle, in case your plan doesn't work.

[Mercenary cargo hold]

(Picard is scanning artefacts already in storage)
PICARD: Computer, reset diagnostic for new sample, lot number four seven eight B. Access spectral analysis and begin scan, mode three.
COMPUTER: Scan complete. Terikon particle decay profile does not fall within specified reference range. Probability of match zero point zero four percent.
PICARD: Computer, reset diagnostic for new sample, lot number three six nine B.
(Tallera enters)
PICARD: Access spectral analysis, mode two, begin scan.
TALLERA: Baran wants to see the analysis of the last lot. He thinks you're moving a little slowly.
PICARD: You can tell Baran if he wants the analysis done faster, he can do it himself. If he wants it done correctly, he can wait.
TALLERA: Do you enjoy living dangerously, Galen? Baran can kill you in an instant if he activates his control device.
PICARD: I doubt that he'll do that. I've increased the accuracy of the identification process by a factor of ten. I'm the best person to analyse these artefacts. Baran knows that.
TALLERA: He may need you now, but I know Baran, and I can tell you he's not going to back down forever. You accomplish nothing by provoking him.
PICARD: I don't like operating in the dark. If I knew what the point of this mission were, why I was analysing these relics.
TALLERA: If Baran felt it were wise to let the crew know that, I'm sure he would have.
PICARD: Do you know what all this is about?
TALLERA: What Baran knows, I know.
PICARD: Then what's going on here. Why are we risking our lives taking these artefacts? Who wants them?
TALLERA: I see no reason to tell you anything, but you can rest assured I don't necessarily share everything I know with Baran, either. This conversation, for example, will stay between us.
PICARD: You can tell Baran every word that I've said. He knows that I don't think much of him as a leader.
TALLERA: He's been in charge of this crew for a long time.
PICARD: Baran wouldn't last five minutes as captain if he didn't have that control device. The crew follow him because they have no choice. Baran's power is based on fear and intimidation.
TALLERA: That almost sounds like a prelude to mutiny.
PICARD: If someone were to challenge him, the rest of the crew would follow.
TALLERA: I was right. You do like living dangerously. I like you, Galen. I can tolerate a lot from someone like you, but only to a point. I intend to complete this mission successfully and get what's been promised me. If it looks as though you're getting in the way of that, I'll deal with you myself.

[Mercenary Bridge]

SANDERS [on monitor]: Commander, no one is allowed on the surface without prior authorisation from the Federation Science Council.
RIKER: I'm aware of that, Lieutenant, but your outpost is in imminent danger of attack. I would like to station security personnel on the surface for your protection. Now, I'm ordering you to drop your shields.
SANDERS: I'm sorry, sir, but the regulations are very specific. I can't do it. If you'd like, you can remain in orbit until we contact the Science Council, but we're experiencing some communication difficulties right now, so that
(Baran cuts transmission)
BARAN: This isn't working. They're delaying on purpose. Someone has warned them. Charge main disruptor array. Destroy the outpost.
(Picard leaps across and knocks Vekor from her console)
PICARD: No, there's no time for that! Starfleet will be here any minute.
BARAN: What are you doing?
PICARD: I'm configuring the disruptors to fire a phase resonant pulse. If I can hit their shield generator with precisely the right frequency, I should be able to take it out with one shot. Firing. Their shields are down.
BARAN: The artefacts should be located in several small structures arranged in staggered formations.
TALLERA: I'm scanning. I think I've found them.
BARAN: Lock coordinates and start bringing them up.
(some pieces of broken pottery arrive on the pad)
BARAN: There should be at least two more pieces down there.
TALLERA: I've lost transporter lock.
PICARD: They managed to get their shields back up.
BARAN: I need those artefacts. Lock all disruptors on target. This time I want that outpost destroyed.
(they are hit by weapons fire)

[Bridge]

WORF: Direct hit on their aft deflectors. They are undamaged.
DATA: Ensign, scan for Starfleet combadge signals. Is Commander Riker aboard that ship?
GIUSTI: I can't tell, sir. Sensors are unable to penetrate their hull.
DATA: Open a channel.
WORF: Open.
DATA: This is the Federation Starship Enterprise. You are ordered to stand down.

[Mercenary Bridge]

DATA [OC]: Drop your shields and prepare to be boarded.
BARAN: You sent them a message. You told them where to find us.
RIKER: That's ridiculous. When did I have a chance?
BARAN: This is set to kill. Order your ship to disengage. Activate visual.

[Bridge]

DATA: Commander. Are you all right?

[Mercenary Bridge]

BARAN: Tell him!
RIKER: Mister Data, withdraw the Enterprise. That's an order.

[Bridge]

DATA: That is impossible, sir. The ship you are on has violated a Federation outpost. It is my duty to stop it.
RIKER [on viewscreen]: I'm your commanding officer. I'm giving you a direct order. Understood?
DATA: Commander, if you could explain

[Mercenary Bridge]

RIKER: I've never explained my orders before. I'm not about to start now.
(ends transmission)
RIKER: I won't let him blow this ship into space. If I can set up a low level comm. link between the two ships, I can use my personal command codes. I can deactivate the shields.
BARAN: Do it.

[Bridge]

WORF: Commander, we are receiving some kind of signal from the mercenary ship. These are Commander Riker's access codes. He is attempting to shut down our shields.
TROI: That doesn't make any sense. He knows those codes would have been changed as soon as he was captured.
DATA: That is correct, Counsellor. He does know. Mister Worf, prepare to drop the shields.
WORF: Sir, we would be totally defenceless.
DATA: I am aware of that.
WORF: Sir, as soon as they see
DATA: Mister Worf, that is an order.
WORF: Aye, sir.

[Mercenary Bridge]

RIKER: It worked. The shields are dropping.
BARAN: Fire.
(Picard presses a red button and two red beams repeatedly strike the Enterprise's starboard nacelle)

To Be Continued...

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