Captain's log, stardate 42477.2.
The Enterprise has been diverted to the Ramatis star system.
Both sides of a bitter planetary conflict have petitioned Starfleet
to transport to their world a mediator they have mutually selected.
Our orders are transportation only. No interference.
Reduce to half impulse.
Reducing velocity to one half impulse.
Number One. Look at this.
Since we left Lima Sierra, I've wondered how the third planet
could maintain an orbit that is theoretically impossible.
But consider this...
- No degeneration. - Exactly.
- Why? - Why? I haven't a clue.
Perhaps this facsimile lacks the proper mass.
Perhaps, but if this is an accurate representation,
it could explain what happened there.
Well, it's not a matter of any great moment, just a knot I had to untie.
- What do you want? - We've arrived at Ramatis III.
Oh, well.
Time to leave.
Standard orbit, Mr Crusher.
Mr Data, you have the bridge.
Transporter room five.
I'm still uncomfortable with you leading this away team.
This is not an away team, Commander. I consider it a ceremonial function.
For me not to go could be construed as lack of interest.
- You will be careful, sir? - Cluck, cluck, Number One.
- Sir? - You're being a mother hen.
I appreciate your concern.
Actually, I look forward to meeting this mediator.
- We came a long way. - They wanted the best.
That, according to all reports, is Riva.
If he can put an end to all the years of blood-letting,
- we must do everything to help him. - Our job isn't to police the galaxy.
Isn't that my speech? But you're right. We must not get involved.
Coordinates input, sir.
Have your sensors indicated any problem down there?
But you're feeling a certain confusion about this mission.
Yes. I've never known you to have such strong emotions,
except when you expect battle.
- I am not expecting battle. - Then what is bothering you?
Riva negotiated many treaties between the Klingons and the Federation.
Before him, there was no Klingon word for "peacemaker".
I see why you feel uneasy.
Now, look, this is a simple ceremonial greeting, nothing more.
Aye, sir.
Space, the final frontier.
These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise.
Its continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds,...
..to seek out new life and new civilizations,...
..to boldly go where no one has gone before.
Captain, this is the Enterprise.
We've arrived safely, Number One, but so far we've been ignored.
- I'll keep you informed. - I would appreciate it.
Please, come closer.
Before I start, is there anything you need? Food, refreshments?
Thank you, no.
Then, proceed.
Greetings from the United Federation of Planets.
I am Capt Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise.
This is Counsellor Troi. Lt Worf.
Welcome to Ramatis.
I have been expecting you.
- You are empathic? - Yes.
Then you know my feelings towards you. Let me put them into words.
I am looking forward to this journey now more than ever
because it gives me a chance to be in your company.
I am flattered. I too am looking forward to learning more about you.
There are aspects to Riva we are ignorant of.
Our way of communicating has developed over the centuries,
and it's one that I find quite harmonious.
Then, Riva the mediator...
Is deaf.
Born and hope to die.
- And you three speak for him? - Yes.
We serve as translators. We convey his thoughts and emotional intent.
I am the scholar.
I represent the intellect, and speak in matters of judgement,
philosophy, logic.
Also, I am the dreamer, the part that longs to see beauty beyond the truth,
which is the first duty of art. I am the poet who...
Artists, they tend to ramble, neglect the moment.
I am passion, the libido,
I am the anarchy of lust, the romantic, and the lover.
I am also the warrior, the perfect line which never wavers.
I am that which binds all the others together.
I am harmony, wisdom, balance.
Remarkable. And so these...
- Speak to me! - What?
Speak directly to me.
Your unique presentation provoked this inadvertent breach in protocol.
- No insult was intended. - Then none is perceived.
I'm curious how this rare form of communication came about.
The hearing gene is not present in my planet's ruling line.
Not that unusual. It is similar to the house of Hanover on your Earth,
who all had haemophilia.
Or to the leaders of Fendaus V, who had no limbs.
Many of our galaxy's greatest contributors have been special.
My chorus is so attuned, they hear my thoughts and translate to you.
It is a relationship that goes back centuries.
Their ancestors provided the same service to my ancestors.
Your method of communication is elegant and quite beautiful.
It takes a fine mind to realise that, Counsellor Troi.
This part of you doesn't speak very often.
Only when the spirit moves me.
Riva, if you're ready, the situation on Solais V is critical.
Very well.
- With your permission, Captain. - Make it so.
Enterprise, this is the away team. Seven to beam up.
- Cmdr Riker, they're on board. - Acknowledged.
Ensign, set your course for Solais V.
- Course is set. - Velocity, warp eight.
- Warp eight, aye. - Engage, Ensign.
What is this?
Riva is deaf. These three speak for him.
Treat them as interpreters. Address yourselves directly to Riva.
- May I present my First Officer? - First, Captain,
may I say it is an honour to be on board such a fine vessel.
Now, please, continue with the introductions.
My First Officer, Cmdr Riker.
It is an honour to meet you.
It is a pleasure to meet such a... unique individual.
Thank you.
It is my pleasure to meet you, sir.
What is that you're wearing?
A visor. It interprets the electromagnetic spectrum
and carries readings to my brain.
Without it, can you see?
No, I'm as blind as a stump.
Then your visor serves the same function as my chorus,
which interprets my thoughts and translates them into sound?
- Yes. - And you don't resent it?
- The visor or being blind? - Either.
No, they're part of me and I like who I am,
so I have no reason to resent either.
- What is your position on the ship? - I am the Chief Engineer, sir.
It's a blessing to understand that we are special, each in his own way.
Yes, that's the way I feel exactly.
I offer the hospitality of my vessel.
At your convenience, there is a briefing on the Solari wars.
I'll have you conducted to your quarters.
Thank you.
Perhaps, if it is not inconvenient, Counsellor Troi could escort me,
with your permission.
This way.
What about you?
At times like this, we become an encumbrance.
So, if you have rooms for us...?
Lt Worf will escort you.
Riva's not what I expected.
- Much of what we do is similar. - Yes, in a way it is.
We have learnt how to allow people to examine feelings
hidden deep within their psyche.
In fact, being with you here now is provoking an emotional revelation.
You mean some emotion buried deep within your psyche?
Well, not that deep.
Exactly what are you feeling?
- Can't you tell? - Some of it.
Well, I feel that soon, perhaps after your Captain's briefing,
that you will be hungry, and that perhaps we could dine together,
and compare experiences.
- I'd like that. - As will I.
Will he be with us?
Well, until we find our own method of communication.
- I look forward to that time. - As do I.
I'm sorry, Data. Begin the briefing.
The factions on Solais V are historical enemies.
So many have died that both societies are nearly extinct.
Enough. Thank you, Captain, there is no need to continue.
The specific issues of the conflict have no relevance.
So, none of the background
would be helpful in understanding why they continue to fight?
The conflict will be over some land, or wealth,
or some other tangible asset.
But we both know that is not the case.
They've been at war for so long, it has become personal.
The basis for peace must also be personal.
This is an historic confrontation, correct?
The factions have been at war for 15 centuries.
What's changed?
I do not understand.
They have fought for a long time. Now they want peace.
So something about the situation has recently changed.
What's the new piece to the puzzle?
Unknown, sir.
Perhaps they've run out of people to kill.
Whatever the reason, peace is now preferred,
which should make your job easier.
Well, if not easier, at least possible, for now they are motivated.
It doesn't matter, I'll find something. I always have.
To date, I have never failed. Now, unless there is something else...
No. This is entirely for your benefit.
Then thank you for your time and effort.
I have to get ready for a dinner appointment.
If you will excuse me.
Yes, of course...
The meeting is adjourned.
Our mediator is very self-assured. We'll know soon if he can deliver.
- We're now approaching Solais V. - Half impulse.
Slowing to one half impulse.
The sound of this ship is quite remarkable.
Can't you feel it?
It moves through my body like a great pulse.
- I forget it's there. - It's easy to let that happen.
Sometimes we must allow the surroundings to flow over us,
to dwell on each separate part, how it feels, to allow it to fill you.
How do we communicate? You can read lips, but I need your words.
..are... here on top.
What's under them, ...
..their meaning...
..is what's important.
Yes, that's true.
We both know...
..how to express...
..important words, like...
Being here with you...
Yes. Being here with you now is very special to me, too.
Standard orbit.
Captain, I'm reading laser activity on Solais V.
- How concentrated is the activity? - It is localized, but very intense.
So much for the ceasefire.
Hailing frequencies.
I'm receiving one side only.
This is Capt Jean-Luc Picard,
Commander of the Federation Starship USS Enterprise.
If you continue to violate the ceasefire, I will abort this mission.
You have no jurisdiction here, Picard. Where is Riva?
Riva is in charge of the summit. I command the ship that brings him.
I will not endanger this ship under any circumstances.
The other faction is breaking through, sir.
Riva gave his word we would speak to no one else.
Now who breaks the rules? Where is Riva?
I shall summon him.
Get Riva here.
Counsellor Troi, have Riva report to the bridge.
They need you on the bridge, now.
The ceasefire has been broken.
I'm sure I can resolve that. Put them on the view screen.
Viewer on.
The quality of transmission is very poor.
It is sufficient.
Brothers, your bravery as fighters is known.
Now you must demonstrate courage in a new way.
Cease hostilities. Allow us to meet.
The laser fire has ceased.
For how long? These Solari don't seem likely candidates for peace.
I need to see a topographical overlay of the battle area
to pick a site for the meetings.
Then I will need your help in creating the proper setting.
- Worf, prepare your security team. - Yes, sir.
- That's not necessary. - But it is prudent.
I prefer to arrive with the smallest possible complement.
We must not add to an already tense situation.
If that is your judgement, so be it. We will provide whatever you require.
Thank you, Captain.
There. Beam us down to that hilltop and inform the factions to join us.
The time for killing has come to an end.
- Phasers on stun. - You won't need those.
I'm sure we won't. Energize.
Yes, this will do.
We must set this up properly.
Commander, if it is possible,
I would like torches here, ... and here.
Engineering, this is the away team.
- Yes, Commander? - We need your help.
I thought you might.
We would like two torches. Head high?
- And what else? - A table, here.
Describe it.
Three-sided and, if possible, made to resemble indigenous rock.
- Did you read that? - Yes. That's no problem.
- When will the emissaries arrive? - It shouldn't be too long.
- How long will negotiations take? - They won't go quickly.
They're coming, Commander.
The first few minutes will be tense. Stay calm.
Do not respond, even if you are provoked.
We'll do our best.
Who is Riva?
I am Riva.
Be at ease. I commend you both.
To come here proves not only your courage, but your wisdom.
Please, give this conference a chance.
I have no magic.
You have fought all your lives. You have known only...
No! Never! Death first!
Don't! Traitor!
No, wait.
Away team to Enterprise, beam us up now!
His words are not mine.
Please, Riva...
We need you.
- How did this happen? - A surprise.
A member of one faction didn't like the idea of peace.
I don't understand what you're saying. Counsellor?
Riva, ... go slowly.
Can you write it out?
I am so sorry that your friends were killed.
I'm sorry, I don't know what you are trying to tell me.
We have to find some way to communicate.
Data, he knows a gestural language. Find out which one and learn it.
Counsellor, try sickbay. Maybe Pulaski can help.
Listen to me. You are not alone! Do you understand?
We are all in this together now.
Captain's log, supplemental.
We are monitoring increased military activity on Solais V.
I fear that without Riva, we cannot keep the Solari
from destroying themselves.
How's it going?
I have eliminated all but five distinct forms of signing.
I will learn them all.
Computer, show me gestural language designation M-9.
Very interesting.
A technique of communication that is both silent and covert.
It could be very useful.
Gestures and hand signals predate the spoken word in most cultures.
Only the Leyrons of Malkus IX developed a written language first.
Computer, continue presentation.
How's our mediator?
The same. He's withdrawn. He's very frightened.
All his life he's been in control, but now he doesn't have any answers.
The doctor gave him a complete medical examination.
His condition is hereditary.
His brain can't receive auditory information.
So all the prosthetics and surgical techniques I can use wouldn't work.
- I don't know how we can help him. - I can't do anything.
It's up to him and he's stopped cooperating.
Counsellor, couldn't you...?
Confidence is faith in oneself. It can't easily be given by another.
You're right, of course.
Captain, I have reviewed and stored five distinct signing languages.
Here is an example.
This is blue. This is the blue ocean.
This is the blue ocean at sunset.
This is two people walking on the beach by the blue ocean at sunset.
This is two people in love on the beach by the blue ocean at sunset.
- This is... - Enough.
Let's talk to Riva.
Riva, Cmdr Data has learned your sign language. Talk to us.
It was my fault. I am responsible for their deaths.
In my arrogance I thought no one could harm the great Riva.
- I am such a fool. - You are not to blame.
What happened appears to be the work of one desperate man.
It may not reflect the feelings of others.
They were more than my interpreters.
They were also my friends.
They were a part of me.
I did not realise how much a part... until now.
We have been contacted by the factions on Solais.
They want to renew negotiations.
I cannot. I will not.
Don't turn away. You have a chance to make some good come out of this.
This could be the catalyst which binds them together.
Someone else must speak with them, not me,
not after what I allowed to happen.
How could I?
But Data understands you. Use him. Let him explain your words.
When Data speaks for me, can you hear my anguish, my despair?
Data is a fine machine, but he cannot replace my chorus.
It took years to develop a communication.
That cannot be easily replaced.
The Solari need you.
I cannot help them.
Captain, please take me back to Ramatis.
That is regrettable. A lot more people are going to die.
It's possible to install optical devices which look like normal eyes.
They'd still give you about the same visual range as the visor.
You say almost.
- How much reduction? - 20 percent.
There is another option.
I can attempt to regenerate your optic nerve
and, with the aid of the replicator, fashion normal eyes.
- You would see. - I thought that was impossible.
I've done it twice, in situations somewhat similar to yours.
Geordi, it would eliminate the constant pain you are under.
Why are you hesitating?
When I came here, it was to talk about modifying this.
And now you're saying I could have normal vision?
I don't know. I'd be giving up a lot.
There's something else you must know. This is a one-shot.
You can't change your mind, or go back.
And there are risks.
I can offer choices, not guarantees.
This is a lot to think about.
I'll get back to you, Doctor.
The Captain will take you home.
But first, he's given me permission to attempt to settle the conflict.
Yes. We've come so far, and paid such a terrible price, I must try.
Help me.
You would be better off without my help.
I have never attempted anything like this before.
When dealing with two factions so diametrically opposed,
so entrenched in their positions, where do you start?
You want to know if I had some special technique?
I want to know anything that could help.
There is no trick. I had no magic.
What about your chorus?
Yes, my chorus was special.
They allowed me to combine different perceptions.
- So there was a trick? - Not really.
My technique was to look for something, no matter how small,
that was common to both groups,
and then to begin a process where one person or group
expresses themselves to each other.
- That's very hard to accomplish. - Yes.
But what is even more difficult is to get each side to listen,
really listen, to each other.
And to understand.
This isn't going to be easy for me.
You are very good with people.
But what I do is different.
The real secret is turning disadvantage into advantage.
Why can't you do that?
Why can't you turn your disadvantage into an advantage?
That is interesting.
That would give them something in common.
I do not understand, Counsellor. To what is he referring?
Thank you... Thank me? Ah.
I will have the Captain contact them on the planet
and tell them to prepare for your return.
No life signs in the immediate area.
Alright, but stay sharp.
Set phasers on stun.
The area is clear, Commander.
Put the table over there.
- Engineering, this is Riker. - Sir?
You can beam everything down now.
Light the torches, to let them know that I am back.
It may be a while before they arrive.
They'll be more cautious after the last incident.
You may leave whenever you choose. I will send a message when I am ready.
I don't understand. How can he mediate without his interpreters?
- He can't even talk to them. - He's going to teach them to sign.
Yes. It is turning a disadvantage into an advantage.
Learning sign will be a part of their process
of learning how to live in peace.
While they are learning how to communicate with Riva,
they'll learn to communicate with each other.
And that is the most important aspect of any relationship.
Counsellor, it took me only moments to learn sign language.
It will take them months.
Time well spent.
These people have been fighting all their lives.
They know only hatred, suspicion and fear.
Even with my chorus, I couldn't have changed their attitudes in a day.
We have a chance.
They want these talks to be successful.
I'm still not comfortable leaving you here alone.
Thank you for your concern. I will be fine.
And thank you... for everything.
Enterprise, four to beam up. Good luck.
First Officer's log, stardate 42479.3. We leave the Solais system,
confident that Riva will help the Solari achieve a lasting peace.
- Coordinates set. - Take us out of orbit.
- You wanted to see me? - Yes.
You read me well enough
to sense how I feel about you... and what you do on this ship.
But I wanted to say the words.
Thank you. Well done.

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