Synopsis: The Enterprise is diverted from a mission by a special transmission for Picard’s eyes only. The message is from Keel, an old friend of Picard’s who asks to meet him on a nearby mining planet. Picard beams down to find the captains of several ships waiting there. Keel and the other captains, after ascertaining Picard is who they think he is, tells him about a suspected conspiracy within Starfleet citing a strange pattern of orders from Command as evidence. They urge him to be careful. After leaving the planet, the Enterprise comes upon the debris of Keel’s ship. Picard asks Data to review the last few months of orders issued by Starfleet. Data reports that there has been an unusual amount of changing of people within the command areas of Starfleet. Picard orders the ship back to Earth where they discover several admirals, including Picard’s friend Quinn have been infected by parasitic creatures.