Palmer was seriously injured when the cultural observation post lost power and experienced several systems malfunctions. Delirious, he wandered away from the post and onto the terrain of Mintaka III. The USS Enterprise-D arrived to aid the post, but was unable to locate Palmer.
At the same time, a Mintakan named Liko was transported to the Enterprise-D for medical care by Doctor Beverly Crusher, as he was injured after stumbling upon the observation post. He briefly regained consciousness and saw Captain Jean-Luc Picard speaking to Lieutenant Worf about locating Palmer. A memory wipe was unsuccessful, and Liko returned to his people believing Picard to be a god. He told the Mintakans in his village that Picard was seeking Palmer, thinking Palmer was a servant who had fled "the Picard," angering him.
Commander William T. Riker and Counselor Deanna Troi soon arrived, disguised as Mintakans. They attempted to make Liko and his village believe the experience was merely a fantastic dream and therefore contain the cultural contamination, but were unsuccessful as the unconscious Palmer was soon found by a Mintakan hunting party. Troi was able to create a diversion, allowing Riker to set Palmer free and return him to the Enterprise-D, but Troi was then taken captive and nearly sacrificed to "the Picard." (TNG: "Who Watches The Watchers")