Starfleet sends the Enterprise to investigate the disappearance of the research vessel Vico, which was investigating a black cluster when Starfleet lost contact. The Enterprise finds the ship, but it is severely damaged, with several decks exposed to space. Riker, LaForge and Data beam over to try to retrieve the ship's computer logs and find a young boy trapped under a heavy beam. Data rescues him, though displacing the beam causes the interior of the ship to collapse. The crew learns that the boy's name is Timothy and that both his parents died when the Vico was destroyed. In sickbay, Timothy asks Data to stay with him and claims that aliens attacked the Vico, firing upon the ship and then boarding it. Picard and LaForge find no evidence that the Vico was invaded, but they cannot retrieve the ship's logs from its damaged computer files. Troi asks Data to spend some time with Timothy, which she hopes will both help the boy feel safe and give Data an opportunity to learn what really happened to the Vico. Timothy announces that he, too, is an android, with superior strength and no emotions. As the Enterprise investigates the black cluster, shock waves begin to compromise the ship. Each time the crew increases the shields, the waves increase. Though Timothy maintains that the Vico was attacked by strangers, Data tells him that androids do not lie. Then Timothy confesses that he believes he destroyed the Vico by hitting a panel, but Picard assures him that this is not possible and asks for Timothy's help in saving the Enterprise. Hearing the crew demand stronger shields reminds Timothy that the officers on the Vico did the same thing, which causes Data to realize that each time the Enterprise shields gain power, the waves gain power as well. Suspecting that a harmonic resonance destroyed the Vico, Data asks Picard to drop the shields, which stops the bombardment. Able to cope with having emotions now that he knows he did not cause his parents' deaths, Timothy decides to be a boy again and stop imitating Data.
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