Star Trek: The Next Generation fans are, of course, familiar with “Inner Light,” which is usually considered one of the very best episodes of the show. It’s the one where Captain Picard gets zapped by some kind of crazy space probe and ends up living an entirely other life on an alien planet, complete with a wife and kids -- but he was only unconscious on the bridge of the Enterprise for around 20 minutes. Amazingly, after that insanely intense experience, apparently, he just went back to work the next week as if nothing happened. 

Picard’s lone souvenir from his other life was an antique flute, which he sorrowfully plays in his quarters. Forget the Turing Test, if anyone’s not crying at the end of this episode; they’re clearly a goddamn robot. 

Jean-Luc only busted out his treasured flute a few times after that, most prominently in the episode “Lessons” in which he hooks up with one of his officers thanks to some clandestine jam sessions. So, yeah, this memento of his dead virtual family basically becomes his wing-man. 

If you’re a collector of Star Trek memorabilia, sure you might want a phaser, or a tricorder, or lock of Riker’s chest hair, but wouldn’t it be nice to own Captain Picard’s sadness flute? Well, now you can because the original prop is up for auction -- although it is expected to go for between $50,000 and $70,000. This is obviously a lot of money, especially for fans of a series about a socialist utopia in which Earth has abolished all forms of currency. Also, it should be noted that the flute is just a prop, it doesn’t actually “produce musical notes.” Still, its primary use, mourning the loss of a fictional character’s fake loved ones, remains fully functional.

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Top Image: CBS Television Distribution 

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