The Enterprise receives a distress call from a remote colony on Rana IV, where it appears that the entire planet has been devastated except for a small patch with two inhabitants - the sole survivors out of more than 10,000. The elderly couple, Kevin and Rishon Uxbridge, are shocked to learn that they are the only people remaining on the planet but they insist that they want to stay in their home. Meanwhile, on the ship, Troi begins to hear the music from Rishon's music box, which begins to drive her mad. The ship that attacked the colony returns and Picard orders the Enterprise to take a defensive posture, but as soon as the Uxbridges believe that the Enterprise has departed, the aliens vanish. Picard begins to suspect that Kevin is controlling the attacks. When the warship returns and destroys the Uxbridges' house, the captain insists on surveying the planet until the house - and the couple - reappear. Troi is under heavy sedation yet still in agony, unable to read Kevin's emotions. Under questioning, Kevin admits that his home and his wife were in fact destroyed in the first attack, but he is a powerful, immortal being called a Douwd who survived the battle, although he would not defend the planet because of his pacifist beliefs. In his grief over the death of Rishon after the attack by the invading Husnocks, Kevin destroyed all the Husnocks in the galaxy...billions of individuals. Picard tells Kevin that he is in no position to judge a crime of such magnitude, and returns him to his private hell on the devastated Rana IV.
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