While exploring an unknown region of space, the USS Enterprise encounters a strange nebular dust. Upon further investigation, they discover a planet called Krantin on which the plant and animal life, as well as the civilization are dying.
A series of explosions and a ship that simply disappears into thin air lead the crew to believe another group is causing the devastation of the planet. The leader of the planet's society, however, is wary of trusting the Starship Enterprise crewmembers, and has the away team arrested. With time running out, Data must find a way to save his crewmates or watch as two worlds are destroyed.