The Romulans also detected the life form and dispatched two Warbirds to investigate. The first ran its engines at 30% over normal specifications in order to arrive shortly after the Enterprise. It attacked immediately upon decloaking, damaging the starships shields, and proceeded to contact Tin Man first. When the life form declined to contact them, the Romulans attempted to fire upon it. Tam Elbrun warned the creature of the Romulans hostile intent telepathically, and it responded by releasing an energy blast which destroyed the Warbird and further damaged the Enterprise.
Even after some hours of repairs the Enterprise was in poor shape when the second Warbird arrived. The vessels Captain threatened to destroy the ship if it interfered with his destruction of the alien. Captain Picard beamed Data and Tam Elbrun over to Tin Man in order to try and establish contact with it. Elbrun was able to establish telepathic contact with Tin Man, which called itself Gomtuu. He determined that Tin Man was a living spacecraft which was thousands of years old. Millions of these vessels had once existed, but their numbers had apparently declined to the point where Gomtuu though it may be the last one remaining. There had been an accident, an explosion in space, which killed the crew and left the craft entirely alone. Gomtuu had existed in a symbiotic relationship with its crew, and now that they were dead it became increasingly lonely. Finally it decided to end its life, and positioned itself near Beta Stromgren so that the Supernova would destroy it.
Both Tam and Gomtuu suffered from the same problem - a strong feeling of isolation and loneliness. Both found that they could take comfort in the presence of the other; Tam was able to convince Gomtuu to save itself from the supernova, while his own sense of loneliness was solved by Gomtuu. As Beta Stromgren began to collapse Gomtuu threw both the Enterprise and the Romulan vessel clear of the explosion and vanished.
Gomtuu has not been heard from since, and no further creatures of this type have been seen.
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