Captain's log, star date 45047.2.
We are en route to the uninhabited El-Adrel system,
near the territory of an enigmatic race, the Children of Tama.
The Tamarians arrived at El-Adrel IV nearly three weeks ago.
They have been sending a signal towards Federation space ever since.
The signal is a mathematical progression with no specific message.
- But they wanted us to notice them. - Apparently.
Starfleet thinks they are attempting communication. Commander?
Our vessels have met Tamarian ships seven times over the past 100 years.
Each meeting went without incident.
But relations were not set up. Communication was not possible.
The Children of Tama were called incomprehensible by Capt Silvestri.
- Others accounts are alike. - A cause for concern.
They may be threatening our border.
Previous accounts suggest a peaceable race.
- We have to start from there. - Agreed.
I appreciate your prudence,
but Starfleet believes the Tamarians have extended a hand.
We must do the same.
The Children of Tama. I've heard rumours about them for years.
Indeed. But are they truly incomprehensible?
In my experience, communication is a matter of patience, imagination.
I would like to believe we have these qualities in sufficient measure.
Rai and Jiri at Lungha.
Rai of Lowani. Lowani under two moons.
Jiri of Ubaya.
Ubaya of crossed roads at Lungha.
Lungha, her sky grey.
Rai and Jiri at Lungha.
I sense nothing but good intentions from them.
Mr. Data?
He seems to be stating the proper names of individuals and locations.
- Yes, but what does it all mean? - I am at a loss, sir.
Captain, would you be prepared to consider
the creation of a non-aggression pact between our two peoples,
possibly leading to a trade agreement and cultural interchange?
Does this sound like a reasonable course of action?
Kadir beneath Mo Moteh!
The river Temarc! In winter.
- They're trying their best. - As are we. For what it's worth.
Shaka. When the walls fell.
- Darmok. - Darmok?
Rai and Jiri at Lungha!
Shaka. When the walls fell.
Zima at Anzo! Zima and Bakor!
- Darmok at Tanagra! - Shaka!
- Mirab, his sails unfurled! - Darmok.
- Mirab. - Temarc!
The river Temarc.
Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra.
Block their transport on the shield.
- Not enough time. - Where is he?
They have transported Picard to the planet with their captain.
- Riker to O'Brien! - Not possible to transport, sir.
Their ship has created a particle scattering field in the ionosphere.
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.
Riker to Capt Picard. Do you read me, Captain?
- Can we compensate? - No, sir.
They are projecting a particle- sustaining beam into the atmosphere.
The result is a hyper-ionization, disrupting EM and subspace carriers.
So they can't communicate with their man either or beam anyone through.
Correct. However, they have left sensor frequencies clear.
Then they can tell what's going on. Analysis, Mr. Worf.
- What the hell is going on? - A contest, perhaps.
Between champions. Our captain against theirs.
Theirs was armed.
Darmok and Jalad.
You want to fight with me?
Is that it? A challenge?
Darmok and Jalad.
I don't know who or what Darmok or Jalad are,
but I didn't come here to start a war.
Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra!
Sorry, Captain.
Shaka. When the walls fell.
Sensors show that the two captains
are in apparent good health, about 20 meters from each other.
- Hail the Tamarian ship. - On screen.
You have our captain. I want him released.
Darmok at Tanagra.
This could be interpreted as an act of war.
Kiteo. His eyes closed.
Chenza at court.
The court of silence.
- Chenza! - Any way to get through to them?
- Not without further study. - Close the channel, Mr. Worf.
Gladly, sir.
Worf, I want you to assemble a team,
take a shuttle down to the planet, bring back the Captain.
Aye, Commander.
The Tamarians are able to stop a shuttle.
I'm aware of that. But disrupting our transporter beam
and firing on a shuttle are different things.
I'm betting they won't push it that far.
When the walls fell.
Shaka indeed.
What now, Captain? Will you attack me in my sleep?
If I don't freeze to death first.
Darmok of Kanza. Jalad of the Kituay.
Picard of the Federation.
Of the Starship Enterprise.
Of the planet Earth!
Kadir beneath Mo Moteh.
What does that mean? Fire? Does Temba mean fire?
Temba. His arms wide.
Temba is a person?
His arms wide. Because he's...
He's holding them apart in...
In generosity. In giving.
In taking?
Temba. His arms wide.
Thank you.
Thank you!
First Officer's log, supplemental.
I'm sending a shuttlecraft to find Capt Picard,
gambling that the Tamarians will sit tight and not risk exchange of fire.
The positron density is 0.013.
Electron concentration 7.95.
Particle gradient, four over seven.
We are 250 kilometers from the planet's surface.
The shuttle has reached the E region of the planet's ionosphere.
How long can we maintain communication?
The Tamarian scattering layer is in the upper D region.
The shuttle will reach that area in two minutes.
- The Tamarian ship? - Unchanged, sir.
They appear to be making no attempt to stop us.
Maybe we called their bluff.
Navigational, life support, propulsion normal.
On-board systems do not appear to be disrupted, but I can barely read you.
Maintain communication as long as conditions permit.
I am reading a power surge in the Tamarian plasma reactor.
Lt Worf, evasive manoeuvre sequence delta.
Sequence delta.
- The shuttle has been hit. - Damage?
The starboard nacelle has been rendered inoperable.
That's all?
Riker to Worf. Report.
Starboard thrusters destroyed.
I may be able to land, but I will not be able to take off.
Understood. Return to the Enterprise, Mr. Worf.
Aye, sir.
Enough to turn them back, but not hurt them.
Yes, sir. The phaser pulse was attenuated for just that effect.
Nice shooting.
I can punch up the beam enough to get the Captain through the field,
but it'll take me at least a full day.
- Capt Picard could be dead by then. - I do not believe so.
I have confidence in his ability as a warrior. He will be victorious.
You still assume this is a challenge. We can't be certain of that.
Agreed. We're only making guesses about their motivations, no more.
Then why wait? lf we attack them,
they cannot maintain their scattering field.
Which might start a shooting match and still not save the Captain.
- It would end this stalemate. - It's too much of a risk!
I'll take that course when it's the last one left.
Who the hell are these people? There has to be a way to get through.
With more study it may be possible.
Then do it. Deanna, help him. I want something by 0900 hours.
Now, where have you gone to, my friend?
Forgive the intrusion, Captain, but I need some answers.
- Darmok at Tanagra! - Shaka!
Mirab, his sails unfurled!
- Darmok! - Mirab!
Well, it seems to be a point of contention between them.
Something the Tamarian Captain proposed
that the First Officer didn't like.
The apparent emotional dynamic supports that.
As with the other terms used by the Tamarian,
this appears to be a proper noun.
The name clearly carries a meaning.
Computer, search for the term "Darmok" in all linguistic databases.
Darmok is the name of a seventh-dynasty emperor on Kanda IV.
A mytho-historical hunter on Shantil III.
A colony on Malindi VII.
A frozen dessert on Tazna V. A...
Stop search. How many entries are there for Darmok?
All our technology and experience,
our universal translator, our years in space,
contact with more alien cultures than I remember...
I have encountered 1,754 non-human races
during my tenure in Starfleet.
And we still can't even say hello to these people.
A single word can lead to tragedy.
One word misspoken or misunderstood.
And that could happen here if we fail.
Replay at time index 144.
- Darmok at Tanagra! - Freeze.
Computer, search for the term "Tanagra", all databases.
Tanagra. The ruling family on Gallos II.
A ceremonial drink on Lerishi IV.
An island continent on Shantil Ill.
Stop. Shantil Ill.
Computer, cross-reference that with the previous search index.
Darmok is a mytho-historical hunter on Shantil Ill.
I think we've got something.
Captain's log.
Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra!
- I was curious. I meant no harm. - Shaka!
Temba. His arms like Temba!
Enough! I will not fight you! You will just have...
Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra.
Temba, his arms wide.
I'll go along with that.
Commander, sensors are picking up an electromagnetic disturbance
approaching the Captain.
A variable induction field. Possibly a life form.
How close is it to the Captain?
The field is erratic, appearing and disappearing,
but it appears to be moving toward him.
Riker to La Forge.
- La Forge here. - How much longer on the transporter?
- Two hours, maybe three. - I want the Captain out now!
- That's not very likely, sir. - I don't want to hear that.
Lefler, what's the resonance frequency?
- 0.34 over standard. - I want 0.53 at the very least.
Commander, I need two minutes.
There's a good chance it won't work.
- If it fails... - I know.
We will have tipped our hand to the Tamarians.
But it's a chance we have to take.
- La Forge, proceed. - We're on it. La Forge out.
- Riker to transporter room one. - O'Brien here, Commander.
Stand by, Mr. O'Brien.
- Mirab, his sails unfurled? - Come!
Shaka, when the walls fell.
Shaka, when the walls fell.
Shaka. You said that before, when I was trying to build a fire.
Is that a failure? An inability to do something?
- Darmok and Jalad... - ..at Tanagra.
I remember the words, but I don't understand!
- Matrix levels? - Annular convergence, 439.205.
Confinement resolution, 0.527.
That won't do it. Increase thermal input coefficient to 150 percent.
- Increasing. - Status, La Forge?
We're almost there, Commander.
Lefler, shunt the overload to the sequencers in transporter one.
- Yes, sir. - La Forge to O'Brien.
- Go ahead. Commander. - Confirm phase-sequencer linkage.
Link confirmed. Ready whenever you are, sir.
Uzani. His army at Lashmir!
At Lashmir?
Was it like this at Lashmir? A similar situation to the one here?
Uzani. His army with fist open.
A strategy, with fist open?
- With fist open. - His army with fist closed.
With fist closed.
An army with fist open. To lure the enemy.
With fist closed to attack?
That's how you communicate, isn't it?
By citing example! By metaphor!
Uzani's army
with fist open!
Sokath! His eyes uncovered!
I've got a piece of him, that's all.
- Boost the confinement beam. - 157 over standard.
It's as solid as it'll go.
The Tamarian and the entity are in close proximity.
The Tamarian's life signs are fluctuating.
The scattering field is still on. What the hell is wrong with them?
They can see what's going on. Riker to O'Brien, report.
The field's still deflecting the signal.
- There just isn't enough of him. - Open a channel to the Tamarians.
Aye, sir.
Your captain is under attack! Drop your particle field.
Kailash! When it rises.
- They have closed the channel. - O'Brien to bridge.
I can't hold him.
When the walls fell.
First Officer's log, star date 45048. 8.
Our attempt to transport Capt Picard back has failed.
My options are narrowing, my patience all but gone.
The situation is that the entity has moved off several hundred meters.
Capt Picard's bio-scan readings are stable. The Tamarian's are not.
He may be injured.
If the entity attacks again, the Captain may face it alone.
The transporter isn't usable.
The Tamarians have deepened the scattering field to the D region.
- We can't get through. - Unless we attack the ship.
Can you find the source of their beam?
They have a polarity-coil generator. It's pretty heavily shielded.
Could we get through with our phasers?
Not with the first spread. It'd take a few hits.
That's not good enough.
We need to knock out their field with one shot,
get the Captain back before they know it.
We could target the amplification pathways around the generator.
- We can do it in one burst. - How long would it take?
Worf and I would have to adjust the pre-fire chamber for focus.
A few hours?
Make it so.
I would prefer a peaceful solution.
If we could talk our way out, that much the better.
- Sadly, it may not be that simple. - What did you find out?
The Tamarian ego structure does not allow what we call self-identity.
Their ability to abstract is highly unusual.
They communicate through narrative imagery,
a reference to people and places from their mytho-historical accounts.
It's as if I were to say to you, "Juliet on her balcony".
- An image of romance. - Exactly.
Imagery is everything to them.
It embodies their emotional states, their very thought processes.
It's how they communicate and how they think.
If we know how they think, can't we get across to them?
No. It is like understanding the grammar of a language,
but none of the vocabulary.
If I didn't know who Juliet was or why she was on that balcony,
the image alone wouldn't have any meaning.
For instance, we know that Darmok was a great hero, a hunter,
and that Tanagra was an island, but that's it.
Without the details, there's no understanding.
We have to learn the narrative from which Tamarians draw their imagery.
Given our current relations, that does not appear likely.
Darmok and Jalad...
..at Tanagra.
Our situation is similar to theirs. I understand that.
But I need to know more.
You must tell me more about Darmok and Jalad.
Tell me...
You used the words, "Temba, his arms wide"
when you gave me the knife and the fire.
Could that mean "give"?
Temba, his arms wide.
Give me more about Darmok.
Darmok on the ocean.
The ocean.
Darmok on the ocean.
A metaphor? For being alone?
Darmok on the ocean.
Are you alright?
Kiazi's children, their faces wet.
Temba, his arms open.
Give me more about Darmok on the ocean.
Tanagra on the ocean. Darmok at Tanagra.
At Tanagra. A country?
Tanagra on the ocean. An island!
- Temba, his arms wide. - Jalad on the ocean.
Jalad at Tanagra.
Jalad at Tanagra.
He went to the same island as Darmok.
Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra.
The beast at Tanagra.
The beast?
There was a creature at Tanagra?
Darmok and Jalad, the beast of Tanagra.
They arrive separately.
They struggle together against a common foe,
the beast at Tanagra.
Darmok and Jalad. At Tanagra.
Darmok and Jalad on the ocean.
They left together.
Darmok and Jalad on the ocean.
The ocean.
His face black, his eyes red...
Callimas. At Bahar.
You hoped that something like this would happen, didn't you?
You knew there was a dangerous creature here
and you knew from the tale of Darmok
that a danger shared might sometimes bring two people together.
Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra.
You and me, here.
At El-Adrel.
Kira at Bakshi.
Temba, his arms wide.
My turn?
I'm not much of a storyteller.
Besides, you wouldn't understand.
Shaka, when the walls fell.
Perhaps that doesn't matter. You want to hear it anyway.
There's a story, a very ancient one, from Earth.
I'll try and remember it.
Gilgamesh, a king.
Gilgamesh, a king.
At Uruk.
He tormented his subjects.
He made them angry.
They cried out aloud,
"Send us a companion for our king!"
"Spare us from his madness!"
Enkidu, a wild man from the forest,
entered the city.
They fought in the temple.
They fought in the streets.
Gilgamesh defeated Enkidu.
They became great friends.
Gilgamesh and Enkidu at Uruk.
At Uruk.
The new friends went out into the desert together,
where the great bull of heaven was killing men by the hundreds.
Enkidu caught the bull by the tail.
Gilgamesh struck him with his sword.
They were victorious.
But Enkidu fell to the ground,
struck down by the gods.
And Gilgamesh wept bitter tears, saying,...
..."He who was my companion...
..through adventure and hardship...
..is gone for ever."
First Officer's log, supplemental.
Despite the risk of war, I have no choice but to break the stalemate.
- Phasers nearly ready, sir. - Stand by to fire.
Commander, the Tamarian's bio-scan is becoming unreadable.
He may be dead, sir.
If we know that, so do the Tamarians.
- Riker to La Forge. - La Forge here.
- I need those phasers. - Sir.
Sensors show the entity is approaching Capt Picard's position.
I understand your sacrifice, Captain.
Unfortunately, if our friend out there has its way,...
..no one will ever know what you tried to do.
Nine meters and closing.
The energy output of the entity has doubled.
Six meters.
La Forge to bridge. You have phasers.
Their particle-beam emitters are inoperative.
- Scattering field is down, sir. - O'Brien, energize.
We got him, Commander.
- Maximum shields. - Aye, sir.
- Red alert! - Starboard shields at 52 percent.
- Forward shields are gone. - Let's get out of here.
That may not be possible.
The starboard nacelle sustained a direct hit.
- Warp engines are off line. - Go to impulse. Back us off.
They are matching our manoeuvres. And firing.
Return fire, Mr. Worf. Full phasers.
Their shields are holding. They are firing again.
- Our shields have failed. - We cannot survive another hit.
- Hail the Tamarian vessel. - Aye, Captain.
Zinda! His face black, his eyes red.
Temarc. The river Temarc!
In winter.
And Jalad. At Tanagra.
Darmok and Jalad...
..on the ocean.
Sokath, his eyes open!
The beast of Tanagra.
Uzani, his army.
Shaka, when the walls fell.
Picard and Dathon at El-Adrel.
Mirab, with sails unfurled.
Temba, his arms open.
Temba at rest.
Thank you.
Power has been restored, sir.
New friends, Captain?
I can't say, Number One.
But at least they're not new enemies.
- I hope I'm not intruding. - Of course not, Number One.
The damage report's ready for your review.
Thank you.
Greek, sir?
The Homeric Hymns, one of the root metaphors of our own culture.
For the next time we encounter the Tamarians?
More familiarity with our own mythology
might help us to relate to theirs.
The Tamarian was willing to risk all of us
just for the hope of communication, connection.
Now the door is open between our peoples.
That commitment meant more to him than his own life.
Thank you, Number One.

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