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TNG Magazine
Captain Picard has been arrested for the murder of the Raimonian ruler, together with Lord Tardol, a native of the planet and an anti-Federation loyalist. Both were at the scene of the crime, and to prove who is innocent the Captain may have to fight the physically stronger Tardol — to the death! Commander Riker, while attempting to convince Captain Picard to let him be the Captain's stand-in for the imminent duel, has help from an unexpected direction, in the form of Lt. Data. However, the Captain is a stubborn man...


Both Lord Tardol and Captain Picard have been arrested on charges of murdering the Primarch of Raimon. Commander Riker suspects that Tardol was the killer and orders Counselor Troi to go over the recordings of the Primarch's death celebration in order to find clues in Tardol's behavior that might help to implicate him in the crime.

On Raimon, the prosecutor reveals that an anonymous note warned of the exact time and place of the Primarch's murder. Both Picard and Tardol claim that they were lured to the scene but arrived after the Primarch was already dead. Tardol claims that Picard's motive for the crime was the Primarch had revealed that he was ending the mining treaty which would cut off the Federation from Raimon. Picard denies ever being informed of such an intention. Picard is offered a chance to declare diplomatic immunity, but he turns it down knowing that it will damage the Federation's relationship with Raimon. Tardol responds by invoking the ancient right to trial by combat. This places justice in the hands of the gods. The victor will have thereby been proved innocent.

Meanwhile, Assistant Chief Engineer James McRobb expresses his unhappiness to his wife Ingrid. He will never be a starship captain and great adventurer like his ancestors were. But Ingrid cheers him back up by telling him that he is courageous in his own way.

Data informs the Captain that he need not fight Tardol directly - he may choose a surrogate to fight in his place. Commander Riker immediately volunteers, but Picard insists on fighting his own battles saying that either one of them would lose and he couldn't face sending Riker to his death. Lutina Gaspadral interrupts them and says that she will help Picard escape the planet, but Picard says that he won't escape the fight or let Riker fight in his place.

Counselor Troi has been studying the recordings of the death celebration, but she cannot find any indications in Tardol's behavior that he is guilty of anything. On the other hand, she does notice that Lutina appears to be very nervous and soon becomes convinced that Lutina is the killer. After being informed of the situation, Picard finally asks Riker to fight for him while he goes to confront Lutina.

Captain's personal log, Stardate 42307.2. The trial by combat, in which Commander Riker has agreed to take my place, is about to begin...

As Riker battles Tardol, Picard gets Lutina to confess her crime - Tardol was telling the truth, the Primarch was about to sever Raimon's ties with the Federation and Lutina believed that was a mistake. She sent the note to Tardol hoping to blame him for the murder - Picard's summons was just an unfortunate coincidence. Having been summoned by Picard, the Prosecutor was hiding behind the curtains and heard the confession himself. As Picard shows how Lutina turned his gift of a toy model of the Stargazer into a deadly weapon, they rush over to the arena to end the battle just in time to prevent Tardol from killing Riker.



Wesley CrusherDataLutina GaspadralGeordi La ForgeIngrid McRobbJames McRobbJean-Luc PicardWilliam T. RikerTardolDeanna TroiWorf

Starships and vehicles

USS Enterprise-D



Races and cultures


States and organizations

StarfleetUnited Federation of Planets

Other references

captaincommanderpersonal logPrimarch of Raimonstardate


Related media





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Return to Raimon
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