Later, Picard visits Riker in his quarters. He reveals that he went to study an archaeological site but found that it had been ransacked. Tracing those responsible to a bar, Picard confronted them, but was captured and taken prisoner. He then revealed that the criminals had configured some of their weapons so that if they shot someone or something with one of these modified weapons it would instead activate the transporter and beam away the targetâwhich is why the people in the bar thought he'd been vaporized when shot. Picard managed to convince the crew that he was an archaeologist (named Galen, the name of his mentor who was shown in the episode The Chase). Picard reveals that they are looking for specific ancient artifacts of Romulan origin, and that Baran is having Picard search through the relics they've stolen for these specific artifacts.
Picard asks Riker to help him infiltrate the crew of the mercenary ship. As Picard and Baran had never gotten along very well, Picard asks Riker to befriend Baran to help learn more about his plans. Picard also asks Riker to play into the role of a less than perfect, insubordinate Starfleet officer who is ready to betray the Federation.
Eventually Picard is able to find the two specific artifacts, which are actually ancient Vulcan artifacts. These artifacts are part of an ancient Vulcan telepathic weapon, the Stone of Gol, which a Vulcan isolationist movement hopes to use to force Vulcan to leave the United Federation of Planets. However, once the weapon is assembled, Picard realizes the true nature of it, once a powerful weapon, but utterly useless against peaceful people. He realizes this is why the Vulcans adapted to peace, in order to make sure this weapon cannot be used again. Using this knowledge, Picard manages to defeat the isolationists, and the Vulcan government assures Picard that all three pieces of the weapon would be destroyed.
Back aboard the Enterprise, Lt. Commander Data, although relieved to see Picard and Riker alive, points out that Riker is guilty of defection and that Picard is still, technically, dead, so Picard suggests to Data to throw Riker in the brig while he goes and gets some much needed rest. Data innocently complies, escorting Riker to the brig.