When Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Enterprise gets word that Lt. Commander Data has run amok and taken a cultural survey team hostage, his first concern is to save Data--who will have to be destroyed if he cannot be repaired. But when Picard investigates, he finds something strange about the Ba'ku, the race the survey team was observing. The Enterprise command team also discovers that there is more to the supposed cultural survey than they had been told. Soon, Captain Picard is forced to choose between disobeying a direct order and violating the Prime Directive of the Federation.