A Taste of Armageddon
Stardate: 3192.1
Original Airdate: 23 Feb, 1967

Captain's log, stardate 3192.1. The Enterprise is en route to star cluster NGC 321. Objective, to open diplomatic relations with the civilisations known to be there. We have sent a message to Eminiar Seven, principal planet of the star cluster, informing them of our friendly intentions. We are awaiting an answer.

[Bridge]

KIRK: Nothing yet, Lieutenant?
UHURA: Nothing, Captain. Hailing frequencies are open.
(Ambassador Fox enters the Bridge from the turbolift.)
FOX: Have you received an answer to your message yet, Captain?
KIRK: Nothing yet, Ambassador. We're awaiting a reply. Today's the first time we've had any evidence they've picked up our signal.
UHURA: Captain, message coming in from Eminiar Seven. Sir, it's code seven-ten.
KIRK: Are you sure?
UHURA: Positive. It repeats over and over.
FOX: Is that supposed to mean something?
KIRK: Code seven-ten means under no circumstances are we to approach that planet. No circumstances what so ever.
FOX: You will disregard that signal, Captain.
KIRK: Mister Fox, it is their planet.
FOX: Captain, in the past twenty years, thousands of lives have been lost in this quadrant. Lives that could have been saved if the Federation had a treaty port here. We mean to have that port and I'm here to get it.
KIRK: By disregarding code seven-ten, you might well involve us in an interplanetary war.
FOX: I'm quite prepared to take that risk.
KIRK: You are. I'm thinking about this ship, my crew.
FOX: I have my orders, Captain, and now you have yours. You will proceed on course. Achieve orbit status and just leave the rest to me. You're well aware that my mission gives me the power of command. I now exercise it. You will proceed on course. That's a direct order.
(He leaves.)
SPOCK: In view of code seven-ten, Captain, may I suggest
KIRK: Yes, Mister Spock. This is the Captain. Condition Yellow Alert. Phaser crews stand by. Deflector shields up. We're going in. Peacefully, I hope. But peacefully or not, we're going in.

Captain's log, stardate 3192.5. Now in standard orbit around planet Eminiar Seven. My orders are clear. We must establish diplomatic relations at all cost. Preparing to beam down to planet surface.

[Bridge]

SPOCK: We know very little about them. Their civilisation is advanced. They've had space flight for several centuries, but they've never ventured beyond their own solar system. When first contacted more than fifty years ago, Eminiar Seven was at war with its nearest neighbour.
KIRK: Anything else?
SPOCK: The Earth expedition making the report failed to return from its mission. The USS Valiant. Listed as missing in space.
FOX: Kirk, what's this about you going down alone?
KIRK: Not alone. I'm taking some security people with me.
FOX: It is my prerogative.
KIRK: I can't risk beaming you down there until I know what kind of reception you're going to receive. Your safety is my responsibility. Those are my orders, sir. Mister Spock.
SPOCK: Transporter room standing by, Captain.
KIRK: What co-ordinates?
SPOCK: We've selected a site which from the traffic seems to be near an official establishment.
KIRK: Final sensor readings?
SPOCK: No hostility directed toward us. No apparent notice taken of us at all, which seems strange. They did scan us when we assumed orbit. Obviously, they know we're here.
KIRK: Ship's defences?
SPOCK: Screens down, but all defensive details on general alert status, Captain.
KIRK: Good. Landing party will pick up phaser number one's from the arsenal. Keep them inconspicuous. Mister Scott.
SCOTT: Yes, sir.
KIRK: The ship is yours. Take care of her until I come back.
SCOTT: Aye, aye, sir. And have a bonny trip.
KIRK: We'll do our best. Let's go.

[Eminiar Seven]

(A young woman in black tights and a skillfully draped scarf is accompanied by two guards. She uses a scanning device.)
MEA: They will materialise there. Remember your instructions; They are to be treated correctly, nothing more.
(Kirk, Spock, a yeoman and two guards materialise next to a sculpture)
KIRK: I'm Captain James T. Kirk of the starship Enterprise, representing the United Federation of Planets.
MEA: I know. I'm Mea 3. I congratulate you on your instrumentation. You've come directly to the Division of Control. If you'll follow me, please.

[Corridor]

MEA: Captain, I wish
KIRK: Yes?
MEA: You were warned not to come here.
KIRK: I had orders to come here. Why did your people tell us to stay away?
MEA: It was for your own safety, Captain.
KIRK: I see no danger here.
MEA: The danger exists. Nevertheless, you are here. It would be morally incorrect to do less than extend our hospitality. Anan 7 and members of the High Council await you. If you will come this way, please.

[Council Room]

(Five stern looking men sit along a table facing the door.)
KIRK: I'm Captain Kirk. This is my first officer, Mister Spock, Lieutenants Galloway, Osborne, Yeoman Tamula.
ANAN: Welcome to Eminiar Seven. Well, Captain, what can we do for you?
KIRK: My mission is to establish diplomatic relations between your people and mine.
ANAN: That is impossible.
KIRK: Would you mind telling me why?
ANAN: Because of the war.
KIRK: You're still at war?
ANAN: We have been at war for five hundred years.
KIRK: You conceal it very well. Mister Spock?
SPOCK: Sir, we have completely scanned your planet. We find it highly advanced, prosperous in a material sense, comfortable for your people, and peaceful in the extreme. Yet you say you are at war. There is no evidence of this.
ANAN: Casualties among our civilian population total from one to three million dead each year from direct enemy attack. That is one reason, Captain, why we told you to stay away. As long as your ship is orbiting our planet, it is in severe danger.
SPOCK: With whom are you at war?
ANAN: The third planet in our system, called Vendikar. Originally settled by our people and now a ruthless enemy. Highly advanced technologically.
(An alarm sounds.)
ANAN: Please excuse me. Vendikar is attacking. Mea, care for our guests.
(The Council adjourn into an adjacent room filled with computer equipment.)
SPOCK: Strange.
KIRK: To say the least.
MEA: It will not last long.
KIRK: Don't you take shelter?
MEA: There is no shelter, Captain.
SPOCK: Are these attacks frequent?
MEA: Oh yes, and we will retaliate immediately.
(She sees an area flare on a map)
MEA: Oh!
KIRK: What is it?
MEA: A hit right here in the city.
KIRK: Do you hear any explosions, Mister Spock?
SPOCK: None, Captain. Yeoman Tamula.
TAMULA: Sir?
SPOCK: Tricorder readings. Radiation. Disturbances of any kind.
(She scans the area)
TAMULA: Working, sir. No evidence.
KIRK: Mea, if this is an attack, may I ask what weapons the enemy is using?
MEA: Fusion bombs, materialised by the enemy over their targets.
KIRK: Kirk to Bridge. Scotty?
SCOTT [OC]: Scott here, Captain.
KIRK: Scanners operative on the planet's surface?
SCOTT [OC]: Of course, sir. As per orders.
KIRK: Anything unusual?
SCOTT [OC]: Nothing, sir. All quiet.
KIRK: Thank you. Kirk out.

[War Room]

SAR: Look, Anan. (another flare on another screen)
ANAN: Yes, I see it. They were warned.
SAR: Just as it happened fifty years ago.
ANAN: Alert a security detachment. They may be needed.

[Council Room]

(Anan rejoins the group)
ANAN: It's a vicious attack, extremely destructive. Fortunately, our defences are firming, but our casualties are high. Very high.
KIRK: Sir, I have been in contact with my ship, which has had this entire planet under surveillance. All during this so-called attack of yours, we have been monitoring you. There's been no attack, no explosions, no radiations, no disturbances whatsoever. If this is some sort of game you're playing
ANAN: This is no game, Captain. Half a million people have just been killed. Activate the attack units, Sar.
SAR: Yes, Councilman.
ANAN: Launch immediate counter attack.
SPOCK: Computers, Captain. They fight their war with computers. Totally.
ANAN: Yes, of course.
KIRK: Computer don't kill a half million people.
ANAN: Deaths have been registered. Of course they have twenty four hours to report.
KIRK: To report?
ANAN: To our disintegration machines. You must understand, Captain, we have been at war for five hundred years. Under ordinary conditions, no civilisation could withstand that. But we have reached a solution.
SPOCK: Then the attack by Vendikar was theoretical.
ANAN: Oh, no, quite real. An attack is mathematically launched. I lost my wife in the last attack. Our civilisation lives. The people die, but our culture goes on.
KIRK: You mean to tell me your people just walk into a disintegration machine when they're told to?
ANAN: We have a high consciousness of duty, Captain.
SPOCK: There is a certain scientific logic about it.
ANAN: I'm glad you approve.
SPOCK: I do not approve. I understand.
ANAN: Good. Then you will recall I warned you not to come here. You chose to ignore my warning. I'm sorry, but it's happened.
KIRK: What has happened?
ANAN: Once your ship was in orbit about our planet, it became a legitimate target. It has been classified destroyed by a tricobalt satellite explosion. All persons aboard your ship have twenty four hours to report to our disintegration machines. In order to ensure their co-operation, I have ordered you, Captain, and your party held in custody until they surrender. If possible, we shall spare your ship, Captain, but its passengers and crew are already dead.

Captain's log, delayed. The Enterprise, in orbit about Eminiar Seven, has been declared a casualty of an incredible war fought by computers. I and my landing party, though apparently not included as casualties aboard the Enterprise, are confined on the planet's surface, awaiting what?

[Room]

MEA: I have been sent to ask if you require anything.
KIRK: We require a great deal. I wish to speak to Anan Seven.
MEA: He's busy co-ordinating casualty lists.
KIRK: He'll have more casualty lists than he knows what to do with if he doesn't get in here and talk to me.
MEA: Don't you understand? Our duty
KIRK: Your duty doesn't include stepping into a disintegrator and disappearing.
MEA: I'm afraid mine does, Captain. I too have been declared a casualty. I must report to a disintegrator by noon tomorrow.
KIRK: Is that all it means to you? To report and die?
MEA: My life is as dear to me as yours is to you, Captain.
KIRK: Then how can you stand
MEA: Don't you see? If I refuse to report, and others refuse, then Vendikar would have no choice but to launch real weapons. We would have to do the same to defend ourselves. More than people would die then. A whole civilisation would be destroyed. Surely you can see that ours is a better way.
KIRK: No, I don't see that at all.
MEA: It's been our way for almost five hundred years. Is there anything I can bring you?
KIRK: Yes. Anan Seven.

[Bridge]

MCCOY: I tell you, we should have heard something by now.
SCOTT: Aye, Doctor, that we should, but we haven't, and we cannot raise them. You know, if there'd been trouble, they should have at least managed to get word back to us.
MCCOY: We can't just sit here.
SCOTT: What would you suggest?
MCCOY: Me? I'm a doctor. If I were an officer of the line, I'd
SCOTT: Would you have me open fire?
MCCOY: Of course not.
UHURA: Mister Scott, message coming in from the Captain.
SCOTT: Scott here, Captain.
KIRK: Good news, Mister Scott. The Eminians have agreed to the establishment of full normal diplomatic relations.
SCOTT: Mister Fox'll be glad to hear about that.
KIRK: They've also extended an invitation to all personnel to come ashore, for shore leave. They've assured me that our people will have a wonderful time.
SCOTT: Er, Captain?

[War Room]

(It sounds like Kirk but it isn't.) ANAN: Yes, Mister Scott?
SCOTT [OC]: All personnel?
ANAN: All personnel. We'll transport up trained Eminians to assume support positions. Those are my orders, Mister Scott.

[Bridge]

SCOTT: Aye, aye, Captain. We'll start forming shore parties immediately. Scott out. Well now, what do you think of that?
MCCOY: I don't know.
SCOTT: Well, I do. Computer, last message received and recorded from Captain Kirk.
COMPUTER: In place.
SCOTT: Run it through analyser. Question. Is it or is it not the Captain's voice?
COMPUTER: Negative. A close copy.
SCOTT: A voice duplicator?
COMPUTER: Ninety eight percent probability.
SCOTT: Well, they've got them, Doctor, and now they're trying to get us.

[Room]

KIRK: Are you sure you can do it, Mister Spock?
SPOCK: Limited telepathic abilities are inherent in Vulcanians, Captain. It may work. It may not.
KIRK: Do your best.
(Spock goes to the door and begins to slowly work his way across it. Outside, the guard starts to blink and shake his head. Spock reaches the place directly behind the guard and looks as if he is doing a mind meld through the wall. Slowly, the guard opens the door and enters. He is swiftly disarmed and knocked out.)
KIRK: Thank you, Mister Spock.
SPOCK: My pleasure, Captain.
TAMULA: What do we do now, Captain?
KIRK: We get our communicators back and try and contact the ship. Mister Spock, we'll need more weapons.
SPOCK: I understand.
KIRK: We'll try to take it easy, but if we're forced to kill
(As holder of the only gun, Kirk leads the way into the corridors of the city.)

[Corridor]

(At a junction, they watch as first a young woman, then a security guard go into a booth.)
SPOCK: An entrance, Captain, but no exit. They go in, but they do not come out.
KIRK: A disintegration machine.
SPOCK: So I would assume.
(They move forward carefully and meet - )
KIRK: Mea. What do you think you're doing?
MEA: I'm going
KIRK: You're not going in there.
MEA: But I must.
KIRK: No you're not.
MEA: Please. All right, don't worry about me.
KIRK: Mister Spock, that guard. I'll cover you.
(Spock walks nonchalantly up to the guard in charge of disintegrating the waiting queue of people.)
SPOCK: Sir, there's a multi-legged creature crawling on your shoulder.
(He neck-pinches him, as the rest just stare. They now have two weapons. Spock rejoins Kirk.)
KIRK: All right, you people, clear out of the way.
(Kirk fires at the booth.)
MEA: What are you doing?
KIRK: Throwing a monkey wrench into the machinery.
MEA: You can't do this.
KIRK: I've done it. (The booth finally blows up.) Come on, let's get out of here.

[Council Room]

SECURITY [OC]: The Federation prisoners have attacked their guard and escaped. They are armed. Disintegration station number twelve destroyed, Councilman, apparently by disruptor fire.
ANAN: All security personnel, Federation prisoners have escaped. They are to be found. They are armed. If they resist, do what is necessary. Planetary disruptor banks, calculate orbit of star cruiser now circling. Stand by to fire. Full power.
SECURITY [OC]: Councilman, planetary disruptor banks locked onto target. Standing by.
ANAN: In ten seconds, open fire. Destroy the star cruiser. Those are the orders of the Council.

Ship's log, stardate 3193.0. Chief Engineer Scott recording. The Captain and First Officer are overdue and missing on the surface of Eminiar Seven. I have taken standard precautionary measures while we continue our attempts to locate them.

[Bridge]

DEPAUL: All stations reporting. Deflector screens rigged at full power. Phaser crews ready. Sensors reading zero. Correction. Mister Scott.
SCOTT: Yes, Mister DePaul?
DEPAUL: Sensor readings just shot off the scale.
SCOTT: Well, now. They're taking pot shots at us. Holding, Mister DePaul?
DEPAUL: Screens firm, sir. Extremely powerful sonic vibrations. Decibels eighteen to the twelfth power. If those screens weren't up, we'd be totally disrupted by now.
MCCOY: Well, I guess that answers our questions, Mister Scott. They're not very friendly, are they?
SCOTT: Aye, but what about our Captain and the landing party down there somewhere?
MCCOY: We get them out.
SCOTT: If they're alive, and if we can find them. That's a big planet.
MCCOY: Not too big for the Enterprise to handle if it has to.
SCOTT: We can't fire full phasers with our screens up, and We can't lower our screens with their disruptors on us. Of course I could treat them to a few dozen photon torpedoes.
FOX: (entering the Bridge) You'll do no such thing, Mister Scott.
SCOTT: Mister Fox, we're under attack. They're trying to knock us down.
FOX: You have taken defensive measures.
SCOTT: Of course, but
FOX: There are no buts. Obviously it's a misunderstanding, and one of my jobs is to clear up misunderstandings.
MCCOY: They're holding our Captain.
FOX: We have no proof of that.
SCOTT: I'm responsible for the safety of this ship.
FOX: And I'm responsible for the success of this mission, and that's more important than this ship. Is that clear? We came here to establish diplomatic relations with these people.
SCOTT: But they're the ones who're looking for a fight, Mister Fox.
FOX: This is a diplomatic matter. If you check your regulations, you'll find that my orders get priority. I'll try to make contact with the planetary officials. Lieutenant, open up a channel and keep it open. Tell them to expect a priority one message from me. There will be no punitive measures, gentlemen. Those are my orders.
(He leaves the Bridge.)
SCOTT: Diplomats. The best diplomat I know is a fully activated phaser bank.

[Room]

TAMULA: Why did we come back here, Captain?
KIRK: The last place they'll look for us is the place we escaped from. (gives her a gun) Cover the door.
MEA: Captain, you've got to let me go. My time is almost up.
KIRK: Are you that anxious to die?
MEA: You don't understand.
KIRK: Mister Spock, how did that little raid work out?
SPOCK: We captured four of their disrupter-type weapons, two complete outfits of male clothing, and perhaps most important of all, one of their communication devices.
KIRK: Will it reach the ship?
SPOCK: Not at this time. Its range is restricted in comparison with ours. I may be able to alter its components, but it will take time.
KIRK: Work on it. We've got to contact the ship. Mea, I want you to give me a complete layout of this building complex. How do I get to the War Room?
MEA: No!
KIRK: Now listen to me. I'm trying to help you. To save your life and the lives of millions like you. If you help me, maybe I can do it. If you don't, you'll die, we'll die, and the killing will go on. Or are you that fond of the war?
MEA: What are you going to do?
KIRK: We're going to try and stop the killing. We're trying to help. Believe me.
MEA: I believe you, but
KIRK: Tell me what I want to know. Please.

[Council Room]

ANAN: Time is running out. We have been unable to destroy the Earth ship. One of our disintegration chambers has been eliminated and we have already fallen far behind in our quota. This is a grave crisis and I am at a loss to know how to proceed.
SAR: The central channel, Anan. The Earth ambassador's calling with an urgent message.
ANAN: What is the great immorality, open honesty or a deception which may save our lives? Put me through to the Earth Ambassador.

[Bridge]

UHURA: A channel is open, Mister Ambassador. You will be speaking to Anan Seven, head of the High Council of the Eminian Union.
FOX: Mister Anan, this is Robert Fox

[Council Room]

FOX [OC]: Special Ambassador for the United Federation of Planets.
ANAN: A great honour, Mister Ambassador.

[Bridge]

FOX: We have approached you openly

[Council Room]

FOX [OC]: With the intent of establishing formal and friendly relations between our peoples, but now,

[Bridge]

FOX: For some reason, you have attacked us, and apparently you're holding several special representatives of our Federation.

[Council Room]

ANAN: A mistake, Mister Ambassador. We are at war.

[Bridge]

ANAN [OC]: An error in our sensors indicated that your ship was about to attack us.

[Council Room]

ANAN: I'm giving orders that our attack be stopped.

[Bridge]

ANAN [OC]: Now, as to your representatives, you have my sacred word as an Eminian that they are alive and well.
FOX: Thank you. I thought perhaps it was all a mistake.
DEPAUL: Mister Scott, disruptor beams are no longer hitting us.
SCOTT: Maintain status, Mister DePaul.
ANAN [OC]: We are most anxious to establish relations with you, Mister Fox.

[Council Room]

ANAN: We will make arrangements to receive you. (to Sar, closing the channel) The minute their screens are down, open fire.
SAR: Yes, Councilman.
ANAN: (reopening the channel) I apologise deeply for the misunderstanding. These are trying times for us, you understand.

[Bridge]

FOX: I understand. Mister Anan, I presume that you have our ship's Captain on hand when I beam down.

[Council Room]

ANAN: He will be there, sir.

[Bridge]

ANAN [OC]: I give you my word.
FOX: I'm sure that from this day forward, your planet and our Federation will attain the deepest friendship. I look forward to seeing you.
(He gestures to Uhura to end transmission.)
FOX: Diplomacy, gentlemen, should be a job left to diplomats. You will, of course, immediately resume a peaceful status.
SCOTT: No, sir, I will not.
FOX: What did you say?
SCOTT: I'll not lower the screens, not until the Captain tells me to.
FOX: You are taking orders from me. You will lower the screens as a sign of good faith. My authority.
SCOTT: I know about your authority, but the screens stay up.
MCCOY: Mister Fox, they faked a message from the Captain, they've launched an attack against our ship. Now you want us to trust them openly?
FOX: I want you and expect you to obey my lawful orders.
SCOTT: No, sir. I won't lower the screens.
FOX: Your refusal to comply with my orders has endangered the entire success of this mission. I can have you sent to a penal colony for this.
SCOTT: That you can, sir, but I won't lower the screens.
FOX: Your name will figure prominently in my report to the Federation Central.
(Fox leaves the Bridge)
MCCOY: Well, Scotty, now you've done it.
SCOTT: Aye. The haggis is in the fire for sure, but I'll not lower my defences on the word of that mealy-mouthed gentleman down below. Not until I know what happened to the Captain.

[Anan's room]

(Kirk enters, quietly, but Anan knows he is there without turning around.)
ANAN: Won't you join me in a drink, Captain? You'll find our trova most interesting.
KIRK: I didn't come to drink.
ANAN: I assume that is what you used to destroy disintegration chamber number twelve.
KIRK: A very efficient weapon. I'm not afraid of using it.
ANAN: My first impression was correct. You are a barbarian.
KIRK: I am?
ANAN: Don't sound so incredulous, Captain. Of course you are. We all are. A killer first, a builder second. A hunter, a warrior, and let's be honest, a murderer. That is our joint heritage, is it not?
KIRK: We're less cold-blooded about it than you are.
ANAN: What do you want, Captain?
KIRK: I want to contact my ship. Where are my communicators?
ANAN: In a safe place.
KIRK: You take a lot of chances, Councilman.
ANAN: You're worried about your ship, Captain. I'm trying to save a world.
KIRK: If I were you, I'd think about saving my life.
ANAN: Won't you have a drink, Captain?
(Kirk pours himself a slug of trova, and as he turns his back, Anan presses concealed buttons.)
ANAN: And then we can discuss our differences.
KIRK: I'm not interested in discussing our differences. You don't seem to realise the risk you're taking. We don't make war with computers and herd the casualties into suicide stations. We make the real thing, Councilman. I could destroy this planet.
ANAN: Why do you think I don't let you talk to your ship ?
KIRK: I don't need the ship for that.
ANAN: You mean, all by yourself with a disruptor, you can destroy this planet?
KIRK: That's exactly what I mean.
ANAN: I had no idea you were so formidable.
KIRK: You seem to think I'm joking. Where are the communicators?
ANAN: If I told you, Captain, would you walk right out and get them?
KIRK: Something like that.
ANAN: Very well, Captain. They're in the War Room. Go left down the corridor, left again. They are unguarded.

[Corridor]

(Kirk gestures Anan to leave in front of him, and pushes him into the first guard outside the door. Then Kirk tackles the second guard, but finally the pair knock him out.)
ANAN: Is he alive? Pity. Man like that would have preferred to die fighting. Take him to the Council Room.
(Kirk is half-dragged away)

[Eminiar Seven]

(Fox and his aide beam down to exactly the same place as the original landing party.)
ANAN: Ambassador Fox?
FOX: I am Robert Fox. Have I the honour of addressing Anan Seven?
ANAN: Welcome to Eminiar, Mister Ambassador.

[Corridor]

ANAN: Mister Ambassador, I am truly sorry for what must happen.
FOX: I beg your pardon?
ANAN: You and your party have been declared war casualties. You will be taken immediately to one of our casualty stations so that your deaths may be recorded.
FOX: You mean we are to be killed?
ANAN: That is correct, Mister Ambassador. I regret it very much, but there is nothing I can do about it.

[Room]

(The two security guards are in Eminian uniform and look like something out of Thunderbirds - the puppet show, that is.)
SPOCK: Spock to Enterprise, come in.

[Bridge]

UHURA: Mister Scott, it's Mister Spock.
SCOTT: Scotty here, Mister Spock. Go ahead.

[Room]

SPOCK: Is the ship all right?
SCOTT [OC]: We've been through a bit, but we're all right now. How about the Captain and you?
SPOCK: The Captain is overdue. We've suffered no casualties among us. This is important. Under no circumstances shall any one beam down from the Enterprise. They'd be killed the moment they arrived.

[Bridge]

SCOTT: That ties it. That popinjay Fox went down a couple minutes ago.

[Room]

SPOCK: The Ambassador?

[Bridge]

SCOTT: I knew it had a rotten ring to it.

[Room]

SPOCK: Orbit out to maximum phaser range and stand by for further orders. Spock out.
TAMULA: What are you going to do, Mister Spock?
SPOCK: Find the Ambassador and the Captain. Yeoman Tamula, you stay here and prevent this young lady from immolating herself. Knock her down if necessary. This is a killing situation. Do what you must to protect yourself. Clear?
TAMULA: Yes, sir.

[Disintegration chamber]

(A guard is trying to force Fox inside when Spock and the two guards arrive.)
FOX: What are you doing? I'm a representative of the United Federation of Planets! A special representative!
GUARD: Get in line.
(They disarm and disable the Eminian guards)
FOX: Spock!
SPOCK: Please, Mister Fox. Ladies and gentlemen, please move quickly away from the chamber or you may be injured.
FOX: What are you doing, Mister Spock?
SPOCK: Practicing a peculiar variety of diplomacy, sir.
(He uses the disrupter to destroy the disintegration chamber)
SPOCK: I'll take you to a place of comparative safety, then I must find the Captain.
FOX: They have him. The guards told us. They took him to the Council Room under heavy guard.
SPOCK: By now, Mister Ambassador, I'm sure you realise that normal diplomatic procedures are ineffective here.
FOX: I've never been a soldier, Mister Spock, but I learn very quickly.
SPOCK: Very well, sir. We need all the help we can get.

[Council Room]

ANAN: Captain, surely you can see the position we are in. If your people do not report to our disintegration chambers, it is a violation of an agreement that dates back five hundred years.
KIRK: My people are not responsible for your agreements.
ANAN: You will be responsible for an escalation that will destroy everything. Millions of people horribly killed. Complete destruction of our culture here and yes, the culture on Vendikar. Disaster, disease, starvation, horrible, lingering death, pain and anguish!
KIRK: That seems to frighten you.
ANAN: It would frighten any sane man.
KIRK: Yes. You're quite right.
ANAN: Don't you understand, Captain? We have done away with all that. Now you are threatening to bring it down on us again. Are those five hundred people of yours more important than the hundreds of millions of innocent people on Eminiar and Vendikar? What kind of monster are you?
KIRK: I'm a barbarian. You said it yourself.
ANAN: I had hoped I'd spoken only figuratively.
KIRK: Oh, no. You were quite accurate. I plan to prove it to you.
ANAN: Open a channel to the Enterprise. You give me no choice, Captain. We are not bandits, but you force us to act as bandits.
SCOTT [OC]: This is the USS Enterprise.
KIRK: Scotty, General Order Twenty Four. Two hours! In two hours!
ANAN: Enterprise, this is Anan Seven, First Councilman of the High Council of Eminiar.

[Bridge]

ANAN [OC]: We hold your Captain, his party, your Ambassador and his party prisoners.

[Council Room]

ANAN: Unless you immediately start transportation of all personnel aboard your ship to the surface, the hostages will be killed. You have thirty minutes. I mean it, Captain.
KIRK: All that it means is that I won't be around for the destruction. You heard me give General Order Twenty Four. That means in two hours the Enterprise will destroy Eminiar Seven.
ANAN: Planetary defence System, open fire on the Enterprise!
SECURITY [OC]: I'm sorry, Councilman. The target has moved out of range.
ANAN: You wouldn't do this. Hundreds of millions of people.
KIRK: I didn't start it, Councilman, but I'm liable to finish it.
(Meanwhile Spock and his group are moving through the corridors. Fox's aide gets injured in one weapons exchange so they leave him behind.)
SAR: Councilman, I received a message from Vendikar. Our time is nearly up. Our quota is short by several thousand. They accuse us of reneging on the treaty.
ANAN: You see? It's started.
KIRK: You're wrong. It hasn't begun.
SECURITY [OC]: Councilman, Disintegrator station eleven has been destroyed. Guard positions in tunnels eight and ten fail to answer. Earth party reported seen in corridor 4A.
KIRK: You have less than two hours, Councilman.
ANAN: What I want or don't want has nothing to do with it. Escalation is automatic. You can stop it!
KIRK: Stop it? I'm counting on it.

[Bridge]

SCOTT: Open a channel, Lieutenant. This is the commander of the USS Enterprise.

[Council Room]

SCOTT [OC]: All cities and installations on Eminiar Seven have been located, identified, and fed into our fire-control system. In one hour and forty five minutes

[Bridge]

SCOTT: The entire inhabited surface of your planet will be destroyed.

[Council Room]

SCOTT: You have that long to surrender your hostages.
ANAN: What can I do? Somebody, please tell me.
(Kirk lures a guard to him, knocks him down, gets his weapon and holds off the others.)
KIRK: Hold it! Over there. You, over there. Move, move, move.
(Everyone goes over against a wall, while Kirk gets a second weapon and stands by the council table.)
KIRK: Now we'll talk.
(Spock and Fox enter.)
SPOCK: I had assumed you needed help. I see I'm in error.
KIRK: No. I need the help. In there, Mister Spock.
(Spock enters the War Room)
KIRK: Kirk to Enterprise. Come in, Scotty.
SCOTT [OC]: Aye, Captain, are you all right?
KIRK: Everything's secure here. Maintain position. If everything goes according to plan, you can beam us up in ten minutes. If you don't hear from us, carry out General Order Twenty Four on schedule.
SCOTT [OC]: Aye, aye, Captain. Is there anything else we can do?
KIRK: Cross your fingers. Kirk out. Death, destruction, disease, horror. That's what war is all about, Anan. That's what makes it a thing to be avoided. You've made it neat and painless. So neat and painless, you've had no reason to stop it. And you've had it for five hundred years. Since it seems to be the only way I can save my crew and my ship, I'm going to end it for you, one way or another. Mister Ambassador.
FOX: Yes, Captain.
KIRK: Would you mind taking these people out into the corridor and holding them there.
FOX: Gentlemen, if you please.
KIRK: (to Sar) You. Come with me. Mister Osborne.

[War Room]

KIRK: Our communicators, weapons.
(Sar opens a cupboard and Osborne gets them.)
KIRK: All right, Mister Spock.
SPOCK: These are the attack computers, Captain. That one's defence, that one computes the casualties. They're all tied in with a subspace transmission unit, which keeps them in constant contact with their Vendikan counterparts.
KIRK: Yes, go on.
SPOCK: At the moment contact is broken, it abrogates the agreement between the two warring parties.
SAR: What are you going to do?
SPOCK: This one's the key. The circuit is now locked. Destroy this one, and they'll all go.
KIRK: Good. Get him out of here.
SAR: Now wait a minute. Please, please!
(Kirk uses his phaser to destroy the computer.)
KIRK: Let's go.

[Corridor]

KIRK: Against the wall!
(There is a very satisfying series of explosions.)
ANAN: You realise what you have done?
KIRK: Yes, I do. I've given you back the horrors of war. The Vendikans now assume that you've broken your agreement and that you're preparing to wage real war with real weapons. They'll want do the same. Only the next attack they launch will do a lot more than count up numbers in a computer. They'll destroy cities, devastate your planet. You of course will want to retaliate. If I were you, I'd start making bombs. Yes, Councilman, you have a real war on your hands. You can either wage it with real weapons, or you might consider an alternative. Put an end to it. Make peace. 
ANAN: There can be no peace. Don't you see? We've admitted it to ourselves. We're a killer species. It's instinctive. It's the same with you. Your General Order Twenty Four.
KIRK: All right. It's instinctive. But the instinct can be fought. We're human beings with the blood of a million savage years on our hands, but we can stop it. We can admit that we're killers, but we're not going to kill today. That's all it takes. Knowing that we won't kill today. Contact Vendikar. I think you'll find that they're just as terrified, appalled, horrified as you are, that they'll do anything to avoid the alternative I've given you. Peace or utter destruction. It's up to you.
FOX: As a third party interested only in peace and the establishment of normal relations, I should be glad to offer my services as negotiator between you and Vendikar. I've had some small experiences in such matters.
ANAN: There may be a chance. We have a direct channel with Vendikar's High Council. It hasn't been used in centuries.
FOX: Then it's long overdue. Shall we go?
(Anan and Fox leave.)
SPOCK: There's a chance it may work, Captain.
KIRK: Kirk to Enterprise. Scotty?
SCOTT [OC]: Scott here, Captain.
KIRK: Cancel implementation of General Order Twenty Four. Alert transporter room. We're ready to beam up.

[Bridge]

KIRK: Lay in a course for Argona Two, Navigator. Mister Scott.
SCOTT: Space details set, Captain.
UHURA: Message from Eminiar Seven, Captain. Ambassador Fox reports negotiations underway with Vendikar. Outlook hopeful.
KIRK: Good.
SPOCK: Captain, you took a big chance.
KIRK: Did I, Mister Spock? They've been killing three million people a year. It had been going on for five hundred years. An actual attack wouldn't have killed any more people than one of their computer attacks, but it would have ended their ability to make war. The fighting would have been over permanently.
MCCOY: But you didn't know that it would work.
KIRK: No. It was a calculated risk. Still, the Eminians keep a very orderly society, and actual war is a very messy business. A very, very messy business. I had a feeling that they would do anything to avoid it, even talk peace.
SPOCK: A feeling is not much to go on.
KIRK: Sometimes a feeling, Mister Spock, is all we humans have to go on.
SPOCK: Captain, you almost make me believe in luck.
KIRK: Why, Mister Spock, you almost make me believe in miracles.

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