Phlox VOs that he never thought he'd be exploring other worlds as a doctor, and now he finds himself in the "enviable" position of being able to study two types of humanoids from the same planet. Phlox visits the Menk community to run some tests, in an attempt to discover why they are immune to the genetic disease that is killing off their feudal lords. Since she seems to have calibrated her portable UT enough to speak and understand the Menk language, Hoshi is brought along as translator. However, for some reason, Menkenese is never translated for us as the Valakian language was. Just another UT anomaly that the writers ultimately decided to leave as an unresolved inconsistency. Through Larr, her Orderly Menk friend, Hoshi manages to relay to the other Menks that Phlox will need blood samples from them, but the process will be completely painless. There's some jibber-jabber, and Hoshi tells Phlox that all the Menks would be "happy to help." Phlox VOs that he's more fascinated by the coexistence between the Menks and the Valakians than by their biological differences. "The Valakians are highly evolved, technologically advanced, while the Menk are relatively primitive by comparison," Phlox VOs, "but to my surprise the two seem to be living side-by-side, peacefully." The Menks line up to be scanned and tested. As Phlox runs a blue-light special over his chest, a Menk asks him what he's doing. "Have you learned enough Menk to explain a molecular bio-scan?" Phlox asks, after Hoshi translates for the Menk. Hoshi says something in Menk which seems to satisfy the curious one. Ensign Scrunch asks Hoshi what she said. "I told him the doctor was looking inside him," Hoshi tells her. "Thank you," Scrunch says to the Menk when they are done. "Tik-tik," Hoshi translates. The Menk says something probably along the lines of "you're welcome," and leaves.
Larr arrives with a tray and says something in Menkenese which ends with "food." Hoshi is surprised to hear him use English. Apparently, Hoshi has not been teaching him English, which means he must've picked it up just by listening to them. "Perhaps we have found an assistant com officer," Phlox says. The Menk looks at them and says, "No food?" Hoshi says, "Tik-tik," as she, Phlox, and Scrunch partake of the Menk offering. Phlox comments, "I haven't seen any crops or livestock, I wonder where they get this." Hoshi asks Larr where the food comes from. Apparently, the Menk community's soil isn't good for planting because the Valakians don't let them live where the ground is fertile. However, the Valakians supply them with whatever they need: food, clothing, medicine. Larr says one more thing, which Hoshi translates: "He says the Valakians are good to them. They protect them." So, the Valakians are seeing to it that the Menk never evolve, by handicapping their way of life in order to ensure that they remain serfs, wholly dependent on the Valakian fiefdom. Phlox, Scrunch, and Hoshi continue with their bio-scans of the Menk, and Phlox VOs, "Despite the Menk's insistence that they're treated well, my human crewmates seem to see things differently. They think the Menk are being exploited by the Valakians, so their first instinct is to rise to their defense despite the fact that the Menk don't appear to need or want a defender." One of the Menks marks some tubes containing blood samples with colored chalk, and rearranges the tray. Phlox tries to stop him before realizing that he organized the samples together by family. Phlox is impressed, saying, "Cross-referenced by bloodlines and marriage, if I'm interpreting the color codes correctly." Phlox thanks the Menk in Menkenese, and VOs his surprise at how advanced he finds the Menk to be, considering what the Valakians led them to believe. After they've finished gathering the Menk data, Scrunch comments, "It feels like a vacation, if I didn't keep remembering why we were here." Hoshi says she's going to help Larr finish packing their stuff. "He's back on duty at the hospital in an hour," she says, and leaves Scrunch and Phlox alone.