Chancellor Durken: I go home each night to a loving wife, two beautiful daughters. We eat the evening meal together as a family. I think that's important. And they always ask me if I've had a good day.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: And how will you answer them tonight, Chancellor?
Chancellor Durken: I will have to say: This morning, I was the leader of the universe as I know it. This afternoon, I'm only a voice in a chorus. But I think it was a good day.
Chancellor Durken: My world's history has recorded that conquerors often arrived with the words, "We are your friends".
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: We are not here as conquerors, Chancellor.
Chancellor Durken: What *do* you want?
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: A beginning. But how we proceed is entirely up to you.
Chancellor Durken: And if my wishes should conflict with yours?
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: There'll be no conflict.
Chancellor Durken: And if I should tell you to leave, and never return to my world?
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: We will leave, and never return.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: I hoped that we would have found Commander Riker before you did, so that this matter would not complicate our introduction. It was a mistake.
Chancellor Durken: [nods slowly] Yes... A mistake I might have made in your place. I rather like it, actually.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Like it?
Chancellor Durken: That you make mistakes, like any man.
Lanel: Will I ever see you again?
Commander William T. Riker: [posing as a Malcorian pretending to be an alien] I'll call you the next time I pass through your star system.
Mirasta Yale: Our ideology is based on the assumption that the Malcorian is a supreme life form, and our world is the center of the universe. Your arrival will change our entire understanding of life. And some will not want it to change.
Minister Krola: Perhaps, like many conquerors, you believe your goals to be benevolent. I cannot. For however you would describe your intentions, you still represent the end to my way of life. I cannot permit that to occur.
Chancellor Durken: [about his people] I will not allow them to remain in the dark ages. The warp program will proceed as you have outlined, Mirasta. And then we will slow down, Krola, to let everyone catch their breath - including you.
Dr. Berel: [about Riker] Of all the medical facilities available... why did he have to end up here?
Commander William T. Riker: It's far more likely that I am a weather balloon than an alien.
Mirasta Yale: [visiting the Enterprise] When I was a child, my parents would take me to the planetarium. And we would sit in the dark. And it was as if I was on a spaceship, on my way to another world, to meet people on other planets. Part of me keeps waiting for the lights to come up, and the program to end.
Mirasta Yale: If you tell the Chancellor about Commander Riker, you will undermine everything that you hope to accomplish here. Durken will assign Krola, our Minister of Security, to find him. And Krola has his own political agenda. He will perceive you as the greatest threat that our people have ever known. And he will not hesitate to use Riker, to prove that he is correct.
Chancellor Durken: If I did not depend so much on your expertise in space matters, I would have asked for your resignation.
Mirasta Yale: I felt I was acting in the best interests of our people, Chancellor.
Chancellor Durken: When you are selected to occupy this office, then you will have the privilege of deciding the best interests of our people!
Chancellor Durken: You speak the language of diplomacy very well, Captain. It's a language I appreciate and understand. But I have learned to not always trust it.
Chancellor Durken: My people are not ready to accept what you represent. Everything that happened in the hospital proves that. And Krola is the best evidence of all. We must slow down, and allow those who are like him to join us in the present, before we can move into the future.
[Mirasta Yale has asked to stay on the Enterprise and leave her planet]
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: I have to believe that you cannot be fully prepared for the realities of space travel.
Mirasta Yale: I have been prepared for the realities of space travel since I was nine years old and sitting in a planetarium!
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: How will you keep us secret, when so many have seen and heard so much?
Chancellor Durken: The stories will be told for many years, I have no doubt. Of the ship that made contact; of the alien who was held prisoner in a medical facility... There'll be charges of a government conspiracy. Some of the witnesses will tell their tales, and most of the people will laugh at them. And go back and watch the more interesting fiction of the daily broadcasts. It - will - pass.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: I regret that I won't have the opportunity of knowing your people better.
Chancellor Durken: We're a good people, Captain, society with much potential. Once we cross the threshold of space, we shall have to give up this self-importance, this conceit that we are the center of the universe. But this is not the time for that. For now, we will have to enjoy that sweet innocence.