When the U.S.S. Enterprise hosts an archaeology symposium, Picard rekindles a romance with Vash, an archaeologist he met while on vacation. The obvious passion between the two is strained, however, when Vash learns that Picard has never mentioned her to his friends, and he discovers that she plans to make a secret excursion to a planet that is closed to outsiders.

The nearly omnipotent and mischievous Q secretly witnesses a heated argument between the two. After Vash leaves, he appears to a shocked Picard and tries to elicit a confession of love from the stoic Captain. Picard refuses, and Q responds by transforming the Captain into Robin Hood and sending him to Sherwood Forest, where he is joined by his senior staff, who are now merry men. Q dons the disguise of the Sheriff of Nottingham, and tells Picard that Vash, who is now Maid Marian, will be beheaded the following day — challenging Picard to risk the lives of his crew to rescue a woman he claims he does not care about. Picard claims he would do the same for anyone in danger and sets out to rescue Vash, but orders the others to stay behind.

Meanwhile, the resourceful Vash averts her execution by promising to marry her captor Sir Guy. Fearing that this turn of events will dissuade Picard from attempting a rescue, Q has Sir guy promise to keep the wedding a secret. Picard finally arrives to rescue Vash, but she decides his one-man mission is too dangerous and announces she can take care of herself. Moments later, she seizes Picard's sword and turns him over to Sir Guy. Q delights in the notion that she turned against Picard, until he sees a note she is writing the crew asking for their help. Q turns her over to Sir Guy to be executed beside Picard the following day.

Just as Picard stands ready to be beheaded, the crew finally arrives, disguised as monks. Data creates a diversion by pulling off his hand, and Picard and Vash run for their lives. Picard and Sir Guy engage in a sword fight that leaves Sir Guy dead.

The game finally over, Picard and the crew are returned to the starship without Vash. To Picard's relief, she appears soon afterward, announcing her plans to travel the universe with Q. Although the idea makes him uneasy, Picard must admit that the mischievous Vash has much in common with Q. Picard and Vash then express their affection for one another, promising to meet again and exchange a farewell kiss.