With the creepy wailing sound still carrying on the breeze, Ramsey and Thorus continue their study of the empty encampment. Besides the silent structures, wilting gardens, and tracks left by scavenging birds and rodents, Thorus notices empty spaces in outdoor tool racks, as if a number of implements are missing. In the administrator’s hut they find a computer that, while not physically damaged, isn’t working. Hoping to uncover information left by community leaders, Ramsey begins a repair-diagnostic on the computer though it will be hours before they know if it works.
In one of the neighboring huts they find a personal communications device with audio recordings (letters to family) left by a young mother. The playback details her alarm as neighbors, friends, and finally her husband went missing. Without explanation, the recordings – which had been made daily – cease. Les contacts them to say that a Klingon Bird of Prey is approaching, and that it’s sensor data identifies it as the Ice Fang captained by a man named D’Kar, known for harassing Federation outposts and convoys to such extent that even the Klingon Empire is calling for his arrest. Thorus advises Les to keep the Tarsus cloaked, and he keeps close watch as Ramsey continues to search for clues.
Before long a Klingon landing party, consisting of six led by a Lt. Klaag, discovers Thorus and Ramsey. Klaag meets Thorus’ challenges for a fight with grudging acceptance, only to be interrupted by the abrupt disappearance of a member of his party. After accusing the human and Andorian of trickery, Klaag and his men start searching the encampment for their missing comrade. Ramsey and Thorus, having detected both a subspace fracture in the vicinity where the missing Klingon as well as a harmonic interference that originates from the south, leave the encampment. Not far from the edge of the community they discover a tractor-cat which, apparently, ran driveless until it struck a rocky hummock. Its power cells are drained and deep furrows have been dug beneath its treads. They link into the now-functioning computer at the Administrator’s hut and learn that geologist Bryn Stewart had been investigating a site some 5 kilometers south of the encampment.
As the sun sets, the eerie moaning sound stops and Les contacts them to report that the sensor interference has also vanished. They have Les locate Stewart’s geological study site and ask him to beam them directly there. They discover a series of dirt mounds roughly 2 meters in height. A scan reveals egg-shaped, crystalline rocks within that stand a meter and half high although the tricorder cannot identify what the rocks are actually comprised of. After setting up the pattern enhancers, they order Les to beam one of the crystals up for study. As the beam engages, however, a wave of energy erupts from the crystal, throwing Ramsey and Thorus off their feet and kicking up a wall of wind and dust that rages out in every direction. Moments later they hear Les’ panicked report about the ship being thrown about and damaged (along with the Klingon ship). The crystal, now exposed, is nestled in the collapsed mound of dirt (which, tricorders confirm, is a man-made feature some 150,000 years old).
At a loss, they beam up to help repair the Tarsus and return the next day just before sunrise to find four Klingons camped out near the mounds. Lt. Klaag is missing and one of his men explain how Klaag touched the crystal and disappeared.