The Prime Directive is put to the test in this interplanetary examination of the war on drugs. While studying an irregular star, the Enterprise answers a distress signal from a ship that is being pulled into a planet's gravity. When contacted, the captain of the ship comes across as fatalistic and possibly drunk. When told to put his crew in the transporter, he ships over his cargo instead, forcing the Enterprise to scramble to try and save the crew. The cargo is Felicium, a hyper-refined drug needed by the Ornarans to fight a plague on their planet. Unfortunately, the payment for the drug goes down with the ship. The emissaries from the other planet, the one that produces the drug, don't want to let go of the cargo without payment because production of Felicium is their planet's only industry. When Dr. Crusher discovers that the drug is a narcotic and not a cure, Picard has a moral decision to make that will affect both planets. Meanwhile, Wesley has a lot to learn about the history of drug addiction in various cultures. Though a little preachy, the restrictions of the Prime Directive ultimately make this episode interesting. --Andy SpletzerFrom the Back Cover:
After receiving a distress signal from an Ornaran freighter, the Enterprise beams up the ship's cargo along with two Ornarans and two representatives from Brekka, Ornara's neighboring planet.
The Enterprise's new guests proceed to feud over the cargo which is medicine for a plague that has beset Ornara for centuries. The Brekkians, exclusive manufacturers of the medicine, claim the Ornarans have not provided payment.
Picard (Patrick Stewart) convinces the Brekkians to administer does to the Ornarans on board. But when Dr. Crusher (Gates McFadden) examines the "cure", she discovers it is a narcotic that has turned the Ornarans into drug addicts!
The Prime Directive prohibits Picard from interfering... but how can he ignore the gradual extinction of another race?
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