Data's shuttle explodes while transporting a volatile element to treat an environmental disaster in a Federation colony. An initial investigation suggests that unstable hytritium destroyed the shuttlecraft - a risk of which Data had been aware before the mission. As the Enterprise hurries away to neutralize the contamination in the colony, Data finds himself imprisoned by Fajo, the trader who provided the hytritium. Fajo collects unique objects and planned all along to add a one-of-a-kind android to his treasure room. Data discovers that Fajo's assistant Varria despises him, but the entire crew is terrified of the trader. At first Data will not sit in a chair on display, but when Fajo threatens to kill Varria with an illegal disruptor, Data obeys. Meanwhile, LaForge can't figure out why Data overlooked a regulation by not transmitting a confirmation when he left Fajo's ship. At the Federation colony, Crusher finds that the colony's water has been corrupted and suspects that Fajo might have contaminated it in order to sell the hytritium to neutralize it. Then Picard learns that Fajo is a collector of rare items and suspects that the entire disaster was manufactured to allow Fajo to abduct Data. The Enterprise rushes back to the trader's ship, but not before Fajo learns that Varria is working with Data to escape. Fajo murders Varria, then loses his weapon to Data. Fajo taunts that the android can't overcome his programming and kill his captor, which will leave Data and the crew once more Fajo's slaves. At the moment the Enterprise beams Data away, the disruptor has been activated. Picard has Fajo arrested and the collector finds himself looking at his prized possession from the inside of a prison.
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