Captain's log, star date 41235.25.
Our location, Planet Ligon II,
source of a rare vaccine needed on Federation Planet Styris IV.
Starfleet told me to engage in a friendly visit
and open treaty negotiations to acquire this medicinal substance.
- Standard orbit, sir. - Lt Yar calling from cargo bay one.
Standing by to beam the Ligonian party aboard.
On our way.
You have the helm, Mr. Data.
Cargo one.
- This should be interesting. - Agreed.
Not only are they closely humanoid, but their history is similar to ours.
A highly structured society and they're exceedingly proud.
They insist on using their own transporter, sir.
It's their way. Do they have our coordinates?
They have. They're standing by for your signal.
This is Capt Picard aboard the Enterprise.
Please do us the honour of visiting our vessel.
I am Lutan.
Capt Jean-Luc Picard.
Welcome aboard.
My officers. My second-in-command, Cmdr William Riker.
Ship's Counsellor, Deanna Troi.
And my Security Officer, Lt Natasha Yar.
A woman? Your Chief of Security?
Yes, Lutan, that is her expertise.
I am honoured to meet your officers.
This is my secondary, Hagon.
A sample of the vaccine.
My duty, Lutan. I'm required...
Out of my way, woman!
How interesting.
May we prove as surprising to you.
If I may suggest, sir, no apology.
In their view, it would weaken us.
Nothing concealed. Would you care to accept it?
Unless you care to examine it further.
Absolutely not.
This vaccine sample is a gift of life.
We are honoured at receiving it.
Would you do us the additional honour now
of letting us entertain you?
Yes. Please prepare it. We shall join you shortly.
I ask forgiveness.
They are strange, alien beings. You bear no fault.
But the female?
May be exactly what I have needed.
Space, the final frontier.
These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise.
Its continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds,... seek out new life and new civilizations,... boldly go where no one has gone before.
Lutan, we are aware of many of your planet's achievements,
and its unique similarity to an ancient Earth culture we all admire.
On behalf of the Federation,
I would like to present this token of our gratitude and friendship.
From China's Sung Dynasty.
- Fourteenth century. - Thirteenth century, sir.
Ah, yes, indeed.
A most thoughtful gift.
We are pleased.
We of Ligon have been apprehensive about strangers.
We're not technologically advanced as you.
Yet, we possess something you do not.
A vaccine, which has been found to be
an effective antidote against your dreaded Anchilles fever.
If you respect our customs, and we see that respect,
we will be friends.
And we will make the antidote available to all who need it.
If you require respect from us, I am sure that you will see it.
Surrounded by such friendship, I feel no need for my guards.
I will return shortly. Prepare to transport me then.
If there is anything else, any further courtesy?
Would it be possible to see one of your wondrous holodecks?
We have heard how they are used to train your officers.
And for many other things.
Cmdr Riker. Would you and Troi demonstrate?
Would it be possible for Lt Yar to do so, Captain?
Some demonstration of defense training.
You're intrigued with her having security responsibilities.
But these things are not unusual with us.
With us, it is the duty of women only to own the land.
And the duty of men to protect and rule it.
Much the same has happened in human history, too.
I'd like to do it, sir.
- As a sign of respect, perhaps. - Very well.
This way, please.
Aikido one.
It won't move again until my actions activate it.
You can create people? Without a soul?
It's not a real person, Lutan. It has no life.
Everything it does is controlled by computer.
Who am l?
Do you hear me?
But it will feel real when it hits you.
A force like that cannot come from an image, Lutan.
Then you will show me, Hagon.
Thank you, Lieutenant. How very enlightening.
Aikido, vanish.
I could create two, even three.
But, really, one is enough.
As you fight with it, it learns how to defeat you.
Even the extraordinary Lt Yar?
It forces us to keep improving.
Your skill... impresses me. I like you.
Farewell, my new friends of the noble Enterprise.
Understanding has made friends of many different people.
We've had a good beginning.
May I also extend a personal farewell to Lt Yar.
In your Federation terms...
Picard to bridge. Red alert.
Shields up, photon torpedoes activated, sir.
- What comm contact have we had? - Their orbital control station.
Make contact there and on hailing frequencies.
This is the Enterprise to Lutan and the Ligonian government.
You have committed an unfriendly act.
Insist you reply immediately.
Photon torpedoes ready.
Set them for a display blast 1,000 meters short of the surface.
- Set. - Fire.
Where is their transporter beam?
We've tried to trace it, sir, but to no effect.
It's similar to early Starfleet efforts,
but uses the Heglenian shift to convert energy and matter in...
Which is actually not important at this time.
This is Capt Picard with a message to Lutan,
whom I have so far acknowledged as a friend.
But you have now committed what our laws regard as an attack upon us.
Since you have visited our vessel, you know the power of it.
We insist that you reply to this message.
Opinion, Counsellor. Will they injure Lt Yar?
I believe not, sir. They seem mainly curious.
In the case of Lutan, however, I did feel other needs.
What kind of needs?
Some sexual attraction from all the males.
Lt Yar is physically very attractive.
But with Lutan, I felt something else.
Something more like avarice or ambition.
- Other comments? - If I may, sir?
One of the things in the briefings was their respect for patience.
Strongly emphasized.
You can see it in the precise, ritualistic way they do things.
I'm worried about Lt Yar, too, sir.
But maybe we should wait them out.
Star date 41235.32. I am concerned.
Over a full day of waiting with no response from Lutan.
We are testing whether they are aware of our sensors probing them.
We believe we have pinpointed Lutan's government compound.
The vaccine, sir.
- Yes, Doctor? - The vaccine.
I'm a physician, I've seen death, but not on the scale this could mean.
You were testing if you could replicate the vaccine.
And we can't. The sample works fine as an injection,
but it becomes unstable when we try to replicate it.
You must get the vaccine from the planet.
- As much as you can. Immediately. - I'm aware of that, Doctor.
You've never had to watch a patient die from this.
That's true.
But I have seen my share of death.
Where are the calluses we doctors are meant to grow over our feelings?
Perhaps the good ones never get them.
May I speak to you about my son, Wesley?
What? Oh, yes. Alright.
He's interested in starship operations.
Speaking as a mother, of course, he seems quite knowledgeable.
Well, yes, speaking as a mother.
He's on the turbo lift.
Remember, you ordered him to stay off of the bridge.
I haven't stepped one foot on your bridge, Captain.
Sir, I'll see that he leaves immediately.
Why don't you sit at ops next to Lt La Forge?
Is the whole ship deaf?
Sit down over there, young man.
Captain, we have more information from the briefing studies on Ligon.
Oh, excuse me. Dr. Crusher, some of this may interest you.
Let's hear the analysis.
It is a highly structured society. People live by strict codes.
What Lutan did is similar to what American Indians once did
called counting coup.
That is from an obscure language known as French.
Mr. Data, the French language,
for centuries on Earth, represented civilization.
Indeed? But surely, sir...
I suggest you drop it, Mr. Data.
Yes, sir. Counting coup could be touching an enemy with a stick,
or taking something from him and escaping.
It was considered extremely heroic.
Lutan considers himself heroic,
risking everything in the face of our superior power.
It fits Lutan's personality profile as well.
He has an abnormally high need for achievement.
Self-image to him is a function of what he thinks he's achieved.
Those who set their standards too high can kill to meet them.
Why Tasha?
As a Starfleet Security Officer, she represented his riskiest prize.
Transmission from planet surface. Main viewer on.
- Well, Lutan, what do you want? - Display your image, please.
What is required is an image of Lt Yar, well and...
Are you making demands, Captain?
According to the Ligon code of honour,
Lutan has done what he set out to do,
achieve recognition for being daring and bold.
We've studied this in some depth now, sir.
The proper thing for you to do now is to ask to get Tasha back.
Ask for her?
Politely, Captain.
And now, Lutan, you have boldly taken Lt Yar from us.
We ask that...
That you now please return her.
Then come visit us, Captain. And we shall return her to you.
- That's quite formal. - So is this request, sir.
We believe it would be preferable if the Captain led this away party.
Agreed, sir. Their customs about guests make it preferable.
I'm very much against that idea.
Lutan is clearly a liar, and devious.
Counsellor Troi believes he is capable of killing.
It is my duty to keep the Captain from danger.
But Ligonian custom makes it clear
that a visiting leader is an honoured guest.
Not us, not second-in-command. Him.
And the custom requires
that Lutan should die rather than violate that.
Yes, it seems reasonable, put that way.
But I warn you, if you get hurt, I'll put you on report, Captain.
Welcome to my centre place, Capt Picard.
Consider yourselves my honoured guests.
Every hospitality will be accorded you.
This is my first one, Yareena.
Lutan is a fortunate man. You've met Counsellor Troi.
As on your vessel, you have only to name
whatever courtesy we can provide.
Then, sir, the courtesy of seeing Lt Yar.
Lt Yar will be returned to you tonight
at a banquet I have arranged in your honour.
I'd like to see her now.
Bring Lt Yar.
I find it odd that a man of your experience
has such difficulty in understanding ordinary politeness.
The politeness of saying please before abducting someone?
The expression "please" is used only when requesting the person back.
Yours is a different world.
With clear and simple ways deeply rooted in our culture.
If you are willing to ask for Lt. Yar's return tonight,
in front of all, honour will be satisfied.
One can see the importance of honour here, sir.
Honour is everything.
Have you been treated well, Lieutenant?
Fine, Captain.
But they're showing some signs of wear.
There isn't any need for concern. She's been well cared for.
My ship's company and I are certain of your wisdom in that.
For a moment, I thought I heard a threat implied.
But that would be foolishness.
Something to be avoided, I agree.
The festivities for her return to you are in preparation.
- Shall we retire till then? - Until tonight, Lutan.
You have granted us hospitality and the safety of your centre place.
The gifts you give us are rare and precious. We thank you.
And now, according to the customs of your ancestors,
whom we honour and respect,...
..l am here in peace to ask for the return of Lt Yar.
Well spoken. There are those among my equals here
who were wary of my approaching the Federation.
I am proud to have taken this step toward a treaty.
And proud that we have something of great value to offer you.
A priceless, life-giving vaccine.
The abduction I have done according to our custom for all to see.
Your conduct in this matter has been beyond exemplary, Capt Picard.
But now that the moment has come, I find that I cannot part with her.
You speak of a code of honour.
But what you are saying now, by our customs, is an act of war.
This is not an act of war, but of love.
I want Lt Yar to become my first one.
I challenge your right to supersede.
No woman has challenged for 200 years!
The right is mine and I will have it!
Natasha Yar, I challenge you. A struggle to the death.
No! The challenge is unequivocally refused.
Then you shall have no treaty, no vaccine, and no Lt Yar!
Ship's log, First Officer Riker reporting.
We have been informed of the challenge to Lt Yar
and are maintaining combat readiness.
We are probing Lutan's compound with our sensors, still unnoticed.
Captain. Deanna.
Did you have any idea that Lutan was going to announce
that he wanted you for his first one?
No, sir.
Tell me what you know about this.
Nothing, sir.
But it was a thrill.
Lutan is such... such a basic male image.
And having him say he wants you...
Yes, of course, it made me feel good, when he...
Troi, I'm your friend, and you tricked me!
Only so you'd think about it, completely and clearly.
We're all being manipulated, Lieutenant. Myself most of all.
How simple all this would be without the Prime Directive.
That thought had passed through my mind.
What is this message from Star base 14?
It's showing the infection rates, percentage illness increases.
The plague on Styris IV has flared up out of control.
They're estimating deaths in the millions, sir.
Capt Picard, come in.
I know I can win.
Not that I'd take her life, of course.
But I'd be glad to embarrass her.
The idea of accusing me of taking...
The plague?
If anything, even worse than we've heard.
So they desperately need the vaccine, sir.
And I know I can win this challenge.
You have nothing to prove here.
But the vaccine is important in this case, sir.
You're the last person I'd expect to argue for taking the challenge.
Betazoid blood is also practical, Captain.
The odds are very good. She'd defeat Lutan's wife easily.
You'd win all the bargaining points you need.
The odds are...
You have pointed out yourself, we are all at risk,
every day of every mission.
I want some explanation from Lutan.
Lutan, why are you so obsessed with this Lt Yar?
Surely Yareena is more desirable.
Certainly, she can offer you much more.
She owns many things, many lands.
It's a pity you began by abducting my Security Officer, Lutan.
Because I should tell you,
I do admire the hospitality you offer here.
I am in the grip of forces you do not understand.
Some of it I do understand. She is a rather lovely female.
You surprise me, Captain.
What do you know of needs and feelings?
Nothing. Well, almost nothing, in my position as ship's Captain.
I see.
But it puzzles me. If you feel like that for Tasha,
why challenge her to a fight to the death?
Not l. Yareena. I am merely a spectator.
Ah, but you are also a man of great importance and wealth.
Great importance, perhaps, but he does...
Ah, I see.
You, too, understand the proper value of women.
We understand that they are highly pleasant things,
but, after all, unimportant.
Except for the land they own.
You are a truly clever person, Lutan.
You stand to lose nothing, either way the challenge goes.
A code of honour protects one, Captain, like a magic cloak.
I will order Lt Yar to fight.
And may your cloak bring you all you deserve.
Come in.
Why that razor, not the one I adjusted to perfect efficiency?
Shaving is a human art form, Data.
Technological perfection can shave too close.
Puzzling. How can anything be too efficient?
Thousands of things are too efficient for humans.
We always come back to the human equation.
Exactly. Have you continued to work on it?
Constantly, my friend.
Particularly the humour. A man goes to a store to buy kidneys.
He says to the shopkeeper, "I'd like a pound of kiddleys."
The shopkeeper says, "You mean kidneys."
The man says, "I said kiddleys, diddle I?"
It's too old. And you didn't tell it very well.
How do you know when something is funny?
It's not explainable. You just do.
Perhaps it is you, Geordi.
Including the kiddleys, I've told 662 jokes and you've not...
"Including the kiddleys." Now, see, that's funny.
It was not meant as a joke.
The tongue slipped.
Oh, boy.
Riker to Cmdr Data, Lt La Forge.
Report to the transporter room for away-party duty.
First Officer to Captain. Ready with the away personnel.
- Lock in on this location. - Locked in, sir.
You saw the news about the plague?
And how badly the vaccine is needed.
We need to know as much as possible about Ligonian armaments.
Data, analyze their combat capabilities.
Geordi, concentrate on their cutting edges,
durability, weaknesses in material.
- Aye, sir. - From any particular point of view?
From the perspective of Lt Yar using them in combat with Lutan's wife.
Most interesting.
Could this be human joke number 663?
Negative, Data. That's a Captain's order.
Which makes it important to know which weapons are to be used.
That won't be known until combat begins.
You're right, Data.
It does sound like a joke. With the power of the Enterprise,
we could overwhelm this place, just take what we want.
I may not understand humour, sir,
but I am a Starfleet Academy graduate.
- Which means, of course? - Understanding the Prime Directive.
That is, ironically, what this is about.
By our standards, the customs here, their code of honour,
is the same pompous, strutting charades
that endangered our species a few centuries ago.
We evolved out of it because no one tried to impose their own set of...
Sorry. This is becoming a speech.
You're the Captain. You're entitled.
Not entitled to ramble on about something everyone knows. Carry on.
Ship's log, Cmdr William Riker reporting.
Continuing our appraisal of Ligonian technology,
the Captain wants Lt Yar beamed to safety
if her life becomes endangered.
I fervently hope the rules of that contest make it possible.
Riker to Transporter Chief.
Do we have our people on sensors yet?
Their general area, sir. Visual on screen now.
As you see, we're still doing some fine-tuning.
I've agreed to this meeting, but I see no point to it.
You accepted the challenge.
You should know there is no physical training that matches Starfleet,
especially its Security people.
And you should know that even though these contests are rare,
we make ourselves capable of them.
Yareena, my acceptance had nothing to do with Lutan.
It has! Lutan wants you to be his first one.
Impossible, Yareena. I am a career Starfleet officer.
How could you not love him? Every woman loves him.
I fight for the vaccine. That's the truth.
The truth is I will kill you if I can.
And believe me, I can.
There's nothing else to say!
In my world, it's a greater honour to refuse.
You are on our world!
I'm your Counsellor. You brought me with you to Ligon to be of help.
Then help me, please.
What is a way out of this?
- With the vaccine? - Mm-hm.
The weapons in that room
are surprisingly flexible, durable and deadly.
And light. As if they were made for women to use.
Some still have traces of blood and poison.
- Poison? - Alkaloid base. Lethal.
What about those lengths of metal in the yard?
Uncertain, sir. However, joined together,
they would make a rectangle or square enclosing 121 square meters.
Vertically, they would make a pole 44 meters high.
- Or two of 22. - Thank you, Data.
You're welcome, sir.
She won't budge. She loves him, without reservation.
And she thinks I love him, too.
Most interesting. Do you?
Of course I don't, Data!
As Troi pointed out, I'm attracted to him, but that's different.
- Riker to Captain. - Go ahead, Riker, we're alone.
We can see your hosts gathering in the open area outside, sir.
Three of them are heading for your location.
Thank you, Number One.
Lieutenant, do you still want to go through with this challenge?
- Do you judge your condition good? - I judge it excellent, sir.
Your weapons, Lt Yar. You may choose your size.
Don't touch the spines. They're poisoned.
If you're not careful, you could kill yourself.
These I understand.
First Officer's log supplemental.
Capt Picard, faced with a critical need for a vaccine,
has permitted Lt Natasha Yar to engage in a fight to the death.
I have yet to understand his reasoning or his plan.
Care to lend a hand? Sit at ops.
Was I seen leaving?
They've got eyes only for the programme.
Capt Picard wanted no risk of our being overheard.
You are to proceed as he indicated.
Captain's orders two!
Did the Captain understand what you and Geordi reported?
The weapons are split-second lethal.
I'm here to brief you on what he plans.
Any last-minute instructions, sir?
Stay alive. We'll hope to do the rest.
I speak for Lutan. The rules are known.
Let combat continue until there is a victor.
It will not be interrupted.
Combatants, hold your positions.
Return the weapon.
Careful, Yareena!
We're too late. She's growing cold.
Sorry, that clashes with my instructions.
Oh, no!
Exactly what do you find unfair, Lutan?
They fought to the death. You saw the final blow.
You know the effects of your poison.
But what of your Lt Yar? She is to become my first one now.
I won't stop her, if she cares to claim that honour.
Remember, you have all Yareena's wealth and lands now.
At least all has not been lost.
- Riker to Captain. - Picard here.
Since you fulfilled your agreement, can we now beam the vaccine aboard?
Yes, of course.
No problem, Number One. Send down a medical team.
And to complete our business here, we are locked on to you.
Five to beam up. Energize.
Welcome back, Captain. You're wanted in the lounge.
This way, gentlemen.
She is not dead! There was no death combat!
You violated our agreement!
There will be no treaty, no vaccine!
The challenge was carried out. She died, Lutan.
There was no challenge. She lives!
I am a physician and saw her die.
If you doubt this poison, why not test it on yourself?
Lutan, we can provide you with records of her death,
and how Dr. Crusher brought her back.
At the instant of death, Lutan, our mating agreement dissolves.
But this is witchcraft, Yareena. To discard a mate in this manner...
Is less painful than the one you selected for me.
Yareena, no.
Even as I battled, Hagon, I heard you calling out for me.
Yareena, be my first one.
All my land and all my goods, all I have is yours to rule.
How sad for you.
You've lost everything.
I have my honour.
It's... such a waste.
Do you want him?
There would... be complications.
Then I will have you as my number two.
Take your place accordingly.
Well, as you see, Captain,
you may excel in technology, but not in civilized behaviour.
Young Wesley has been manning that station for me. I forgot.
Well,... thanks again for manning one of our bridge stations, Wesley.
We'll see that you have another chance.
Yes, sir.
What's the delay? Why aren't we warping out of here?
Set course for Styris IV, warp three.
Course laid in for Styris IV, sir.

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