The Enterprise and her crew travel to the planet, Ligon II to negotiate a treaty for the use of a rare vaccine needed on Stryis IV to combat an outbreak of Anchilles fever.
The Ligonians are a culture of the native tribes of Africa, but the Federation knows little else about them, except that they follow strict customs of status and honor. They board the ship and they appear friendly. Lutan becomes very interested in Lt. Yar and wishes to see some of her fighting abilities on the holodeck. Yar shows them a defense training program "Akido 1" where she spars with a holographic opponent. Lutan is most impressed with her performance.
Lutan approaches Yar and fakes a friendly embrace, grabbing her arm and activating a transport beam. He disappears along with his men, and Tasha. Captain Picard rushes to the Bridge and announces red alert. He quickly calls Lutan announcing the kidnapping of a Starfleet officer is an act of war. Lutan wants to replace his first wife with Tasha, who will called "first one". To get Tasha back, Picard must adhere to a strict Ligonian code of honor. This results in Tasha Yar fighting to the death against her kidnapper's jealous wife, Yareena.
Lutan denies the outcome, when his first wife is defeated and nearly killed. However, Yareena rips Lutan's status medallion from him, indicating that only through his marriage to her, he is able to keep his rule. Stripped of his status, Lutan is put into position of "second one" and Yareena fulfills the agreement to offer the vaccine supplies to Picard to help the Federation planet of Stryis IV.