The crew of the U.S.S.
Enterprise leaves Data for dead when his shuttlecraft
explodes during a dangerous transport mission.
Finding no apparent signs of foul play, the Starship
proceeds on its mission to transport rare hytritium to
neutralize a sudden water contamination at a Federation
colony. En route, Geordi is tormented by his inability
to account for the shuttle explosion and the subsequent
death of his friend.
Meanwhile, Kivas Fajo,
the trader who supplied the hytritium, holds Data
captive on his ship, adding the android to his
collection of one of a kind items. Unable to escape,
Data uses passive resistance to defy Fajo until his
captor threatens to kill his own assistant, Varria, with
a disrupter gun that slowly tortures its victims.
As the U.S.S.
Enterprise approaches its destination, Geordi realizes
that Data never transmitted a confirmation of departure
from Fajo's ship, a breach of protocol virtually
impossible for him to commit. Suspicions continue to
mount when Worf reports that the contaminant in the
outpost's water is not indigenous to the planet, and
that the only neutralizer is the rare hytritium so
conveniently supplied by Fajo. A report confirming that
Fajo is a collector of rare objects convinces Picard
that Data may have been kidnapped, and the U.S.S.
Enterprise sets out in search of the trader's vessel.
Back aboard Fajo's
ship, Varria attempts to seduce Data, but she is rebuked
by the android who tells her that she is being used by
Fajo to test his sexual abilities. Humiliated and
angered by the truth, Varria helps Data escape,
supplying him with a destructor gun and escorting him to
a shuttlecraft. As they prepare to depart, Data and
Varria are confronted by guards and a fight ensues,
leaving them both unarmed.
Fajo then enters the
shuttle bay and shoots Varria with a disrupter gun,
leaving her to suffer a torturous death. Shocked by his
own actions, Fajo discards the weapon, which Data
quickly snatches up. Fajo then laughingly dares Data to
shoot him, proclaiming that the android has no feelings
which could justify murder to his anti-violent
Moments later, Data is
unwittingly transported back aboard the Enterprise. Much
to his surprise, Riker learns that Data was firing a
weapon at the moment of transport, but Data refuses to
discuss the matter. Fajo is then arrested and the
trader, who defined his value by his possessions, is
stripped of his self-worth when his collection is