Three Alphans disappear while investigating the beautiful planet Piri. With Alan Carter, Koenig lands on the planet, where he finds the three men, entranced with ecstatic smiles on their faces. Suddenly, an incredibly beautiful woman appears from within a brilliant light and explains that she is the servant of the Guardian of Piri. She offers the entire population of the Moon the opportunity to give up their human pain and enjoy Pirian life, as the first three Alphans have done. But only Koenig realises that she is offering them all a living death, and a terrible conflict ensues.
Alpha is on a course past the planet Piri and sends an Eagle to investigate. Somehow the computer has erred in the most basic calculations of distance, G-factors and speed. The Eagle is flying dangerously close to the planet at unsafe speeds. The eagle disappears from the sensors and is presumed lost. The computer continues to malfunction causing the oxygen content in Alpha's air supply to drop. Victor collapses when his mechanical heart could not compensate the way a human heart could. When he awakens in Medical Centre, he is strangely optimistic about the planet.
Koenig orders Alan to go down to the planet to see what happened to the other Eagle and it's pilots. He instructs Alan to disregard all input from the main computer. When Alan arrives at the planet, he finds the other Eagle intact and suspended in air. When he docks, he finds the ship abandoned and returns to Alpha. Koenig takes Kano aside to find out why they cannot tell what is wrong with the computers. When David has no ideas, Koenig suggests that he link up with the computer to find out. kano hesitantly agress to go through the dangerous procedure.
Helena supervises the operation as Koenig looks on. As Kano is linked to the computer, he vanishes into thin air. Koenig decides to go to the planet to find out what is happening. When he and Alan arrive at the surface he finds the Eagle pilots and Kano in some sort of trance-like state. As he tries to snap them out of it, he is greeted by the beautiful Servant of the Gurdian, who explains that his people must become "perfect" to live on Piri. And that this perfection comes with the stopping of time for them. Koenig tries to explain to her that Earth people can not survive like that.
The Servant of the Guardian tells him that it is the Guardian's prime directive, and that his people are already becoming "perfect". He heads back to the Eagle and has a fight with Alan who has been taken over by the Guardian. He is badly injured but manages to return safely to Alpha. When he gets there, he finds the crew having a party in Medical Centre to celebrate the impending exodus to the planets surface. He collpases on the floor and wakes up in a medical Centre to find that Operation Exodus is underway.
He tries to break the Guardians hold over the computer but is stopped by his own crew, and confined to his quarters. He is released in time to watch helplessly as the last of his crew head down to the planet. Koenig is reduced to taking pills to help sleep away the hours to numb his mind against the Guardian. The Servant of the Guardian appears and tries to convince him to accept the dominion of the Guardian by healing his wounds and showing how peaceful the rest of the Alphans are, but he does not give in. She leaves him and he heads down to Piri with a plan.
He finds Helena and takes her back to his Eagle, where he has an electro-shock therapy machine set up. He hooks her up to it and soon breaks the Guardians hold over her. The Servant of the Guardian realises what they are up to and tries to use the other Alphans to stop them. But together they make their way to the Servant of the Guardian, and Koenig confronts her witht the fact that the Pirians died when they attained "perfection" and shoots her, only to find that she is an android.
The Guardian begins to self destruct and the Alphans, now free of it's control, rush back to their Eagles to return to the Moon which has begun to leave orbit. As they are passing out of range of the planet, long distance sensors indicate that life has returned to Piri now that time is no longer being suspended by the Guardian. Koenig wonders if perhaps they should have stayed.
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