When the Enterprise arrives at Rutia IV to bring medical supplies to the government, an explosion injures several Rutians. Dr. Crusher rushes to help the wounded and is taken hostage by the leader of the Ansata separatists, who was responsible for the terrorist attack. Finn treats Crusher well and persuades her to tend to the wounded on his side, many of whom are dying of a mysterious ailment. While the Enterprise tries to track Crusher's whereabouts - a task made difficult by the untraceable rebel transporter - Crusher realizes that the reason so many Ansata are ill is that their interdimensional transporter has damaged their DNA. Picard and Riker ask for help from Alexana Davos, the head of the government's security division, who explains that the Ansata have sought independence for 70 years. Unwilling to become involved in the planet's politics, Riker refuses to let Davos torture one of Finn's men and instead sends a message that Starfleet will negotiate for Crusher's release. Believing that Riker is only try to trap him, Finn launches an attack on the Enterprise, planting a bomb that LaForge detonates and abducting Picard from the bridge. Data and Wesley Crusher have learned to track the Ansata transporter and provide Riker with the coordinates of their underground base, enabling him to take a team including Davos below the surface to try to rescue the Enterprise crewmembers. Finn decides to execute Picard to send a message to the Federation, but Davos shoots and kills him, telling Riker that his death will cause less bloodshed than trying to fight off would-be rescuers if Finn were imprisoned. When one of the Ansata children pulls a weapon on Davos, Crusher is able to convince him to put it down, and Riker tries to persuade Davos to try to make peace now that no weapons are drawn.
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