First contact with the Barkonians occurred by accident when a Federation probe containing radioactive material crashed on the planet's surface in the year 2370. Lieutenant Commander Data, an android crew member of the starship USS Enterprise, was sent to retrieve the remains, but suffered damages and memory loss while on the surface. He was found wandering around by the magistrate of a Barkonian village and was taken care of in their society, but neither Data nor the Barkonians were able to explain who he was and where he had come from; neither could them recognize the danger of the radioactive material he carried.
Living among the Barkonians, Data was given the name Jayden and was told that he was probably an "Iceman" from the Vellorian Mountains. The radioactive material caused sickness in many of the village inhabitants, who later blamed the stranger for the disease and formed an angry mob to pursue him. At this point, "Jayden" had figured out a cure, and was able to administer it to the village's water supply, so that it would be consumed by the sick. The mob misunderstood his intentions, however, and attacked the android, leaving him for dead. Although he was later recovered and repaired by the Enterprise crew, Data retained no memory of the time he spent on Barkon IV.