The USS Pioneer is ordered to Za’da Gol to overlook how the Federation colonization of the planet is going. The away team beams down and discovers most of the colony dead. In one of the abandon buildings they find Governor Richard Ballen and his wife Emilia. They are both thirty years old, but their bodies resemble that of a seventy years. They transport them aboard immediately for treatment. Before Ballen dies, he tells CaptainBenjamin Kelsoe that the planet affects the mind and the body. The mind can be driven mad without the special treatment he and his colleges made. EnsignNadia Otterman stays too long on the planet’s surface and goes mad. Her feelings for Dr. Braga lead her to the point of almost killing him.