Fourteen years ago the Romulan Relocation Hub was found on Planet Vashti. Picard frequently visits the refugees and the Qowat Milat, a Romulan religious order of all-female warriors devoted to truth.
He befriends a boy named Elnor who is living with the Qowat Milat until they can find a more suitable home for them.
The visit is cut short by the news of the synth attack on Mars.
In the present-day, Dr. Jurati is getting stir-crazy on the ship and chatters at Rios while he's trying to read. Raffi arrives demanding to know why they aren't on course to Freecloud. Rios informs her that Picard ordered him to make a detour to Vashti.
Picard is being shown a holo-matrix of his study at home by the hospitality hologram when Raffi and Rios (and eventually Dr. Jurati) arrive. Raffi and Rios fill him in on Vashti's current state of chaos and conflict. Picard intends on petitioning the Qowat Milat for a member to join their mission.
On the Artifact, Soji is arranging pixmit cards while watching a replay of an interview with a pre-assimilation Ramdha discussing Ganmadan and The Destroyer.
Arriving at Vashti, finding a way through the planetary shields is a problem. When Picard beams down, he is met with suspicious looks and outright hostility. He finds the Qowat Milat right where he left them but Elnor is bitter at being abandoned.
Ramdha is in stasis on the Artifact. Soji and Narek discuss her condition, standing in sick bay.
In the mess hall, Soji questions Narek about himself and what he knows. She asks him about Ramdha's ship and he says he'll look into it.
He leads her into a ventilation return of the Borg cube and shows her how she can slide in her socks for a long distance. While they are playing, he mentions that he knows that she wasn't on the transport she supposedly took out of Seattle. She starts to storm away but he lures her back with the promise of the Borg data files she's looking for.
On Rios' ship, Raffi sees that the personal com trafiic on Vashti is all about Picard and warns him that they should pull him out. He refuses. Rios detects a Romulan Bird of Prey arriving on scanners.
On Vashti, Zani and Picard catch up. Elnor offers food which Picard declines. Elnor reacts with anger and storms away. Zani lets Picard know that Elnor completed the Qowat Milat training but cannot ever be Qowat Milat because he is not a woman. She encourages Picard to bind Elnor's sword to him and take him away from Vashti so that he may live to his potential.
Picard petitions Elnor for his sword. Elnor rejects his request.
While Picard is waiting to transport off planet, he tries to get service at a Romulans-only eatery and triggers a conflict with angry Romulan refugees.
An ex-Romulan senator, Tenqem Andrev, confronts him about his broken promises and he challenges him to a duel.
When Picard throws down his sword, Elnor arrives and warns Tenqem Andrev and his supporters to desist. They don't and Elnor disarms the supporters and kills Andrev. He announces to all those present that he has bound his sword to Picard.
Before Andrev's supporters can retaliate, Rios beams Picard and Elnor to the ship.
Narissa visits Narek in the night, waking him suddenly. He asks about Ramdha and the Shanor. Narissa asks what he's done for her lately. He tells her he has planted the seed of doubt in Soji, wanting her to solve her own riddle rather than startling her into activation.
Narissa grabs Narek in a choke hold and forces him to state that Soji is The Destroyer. Narissa releases him and says he has one more week to get the information about Soji's origins. If he is unsuccessful, Narissa will torture Soji into remembering.
In the airspace above Vashti, the Romulan Bird of Prey is shooting at Rios' ship. Rios activates another hologram, this one named "Emmet" who takes control of the weapons and only seems to speak Spanish. The Bird of Prey is forcing Rios' ship into the planet's defence drones when another ship intervenes and damages the Bird of Prey just before it gets fatally hit itself.
The other ship's pilot asks to be beamed aboard and Picard, then Rios, permits it and Seven of Nine appears, demanding Picard replace her ship and then passes out.