A team from the Enterprise is helping a team of colonists on Melona IV when the Crystalline Entity attacks. Riker gets most of the colonists to shelter, but one of the leaders is killed while helping an old man reach the caves where the others are hiding. When Worf arrives with a rescue team, the surface of the planet has been stripped of all life. The Enterprise takes the colonists back to a starbase and beams aboard Kila Marr, who has become an expert on the Crystalline Entity. She is eager to discover how the colonists survived, but reluctant to work with Data, suspecting that he might have lured the Crystalline Entity to Melona IV the way Lore lured it to Omicron Theta. Marr begins to trust Data when he discovers the combination of minerals that enabled the colonists to hide in the caves, and confides in him that her own son, Renny, was killed on Omicron Theta. When Picard reveals that his mission is to communicate with the entity rather than to destroy it, she expresses her frustration but continues to work with Data to find a resonance frequency that might allow the crew to send the Entity a message. Riker, too, expresses his frustration that after watching the Entity kill both people on the planet and the crew of a passing freighter, the Enterprise does not intend to put a stop to its killing, though Picard believes the Entity is merely feeding and may not understand that humans are intelligent beings. Meanwhile, Marr persuades Data to share some of the contents of her son's personal logs and to speak to her in Renny's voice. Using Data's research, the crew lures the Entity toward the ship and begins to exchange a pattern of graviton pulses, but Marr changes the frequency, shattering the Entity before Data can override her programming. Marr asks Data to confirm that Renny would have understood her decision to stop the Entity from ever killing again, but Data says he believes Renny would be very sorry she destroyed her career in her quest for vengance.
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