In order for Wesley Crusher to complete his Starfleet exams, he must travel to Starbase 515 in the Scylla Sector. He is unexpectedly joined on his trip by Captain Picard, who has been ordered by Dr. Pulaski to undergo a cardiac replacement operation.
While Picard and Wesley are away, the crew responds to a distress call from the Pakleds, a race of lethargic humanoids. It seems that their ship, the Mondor, requires extensive repairs. To help expedite the process, Riker beams Geordi aboard the Pakled vessel. Sensing that the Pakleds' intentions are less than friendly, Troi expresses concern for Geordi's safety.
After making the necessary repairs, Geordi prepares to return to the U.S.S. Enterprise, but he is suddenly disarmed by the Pakleds, who refuse to release him until Riker surrenders all of their computer information. Hoping to buy time and outsmart the dim-witted Pakleds, Riker implies that Geordi is a weapons expert. The Pakleds then abandon thoughts of computer information and demand that Geordi upgrade their defensive capabilities.
Unable to reason with the Pakleds, the U.S.S. Enterprise crew considers a show of force to rescue Geordi. Just then, an emergency summons is received from Starbase 515 indicating that complications in Picard's heart surgery have left him near death. The Enterprise quickly fires a harmless blast of light at the Pakleds, which frightens the weak race long enough to secure Geordi's release and allow the crew to race to Picard's side.
On Starbase 515, Picard regains consciousness and learns that his life was saved, thanks to the surgical skills of the Enterprise's own Dr. Pulaski. Wesley soon rejoins Picard on the ship, having passed his Starfleet exams with flying colors.