The Changeling
Stardate: 3451.9
Original Airdate: 29 Sep, 1967

[Bridge]

KIRK: Any response from the Malurians, Lieutenant?
UHURA: Nothing since their original distress call, sir.
KIRK: What about the Federation science team working there? Doctor Manway had a special transmitter.
UHURA: There's nothing, sir. I'm scanning all frequencies.
KIRK: They have to answer.
SPOCK: Captain. They will not answer. The long-range sensor sweep of this system reveals no sign of life.
KIRK: That can't be. The last census reported a total inhabitation of more than four billion people.
SPOCK: I register no life readings at all, sir.
KIRK: That's impossible. What could have happened?
SPOCK: We would have known in advance of any system-wide catastrophe, and in the event of an interplanetary war, there would be considerable radioactive residue. Our instruments show only normal background radiation.
KIRK: Any other possibilities?
SPOCK: Unknown, sir. Sensor readings would have revealed the presence of any disease organisms. They do not. In addition, we received the routine report from this system only a week ago. Even the Symbalene blood burn does not act that swiftly.
SULU: Captain, shields just snapped on. Something heading in at multiwarp speeds.
KIRK: Evasive manoeuvres, Mister Sulu.
SPOCK: An extremely powerful bolt of energy, Captain.
KIRK: Full power to the shields, Mister Scott.
SCOTT: Giving them all we got.
KIRK: All hands, Red Alert. Phaser banks stand by. Photon torpedoes to Condition Red, Condition Red.
(The viewscreen fills with a ball of bright light.)
SULU: It's going to hit.
(Everyone gets thrown around a lot, and the lights go out for a short while.)
SCOTT: Shields still holding, sir.
KIRK: Good.
SPOCK: Temporarily, Captain. Our shields absorbed energy equivalent to ninety of our photon torpedoes.
KIRK: Ninety?
SPOCK: I may add, the energy used repulsing this first attack reduced our shielding power twenty percent.
UHURA: First attack, sir?
KIRK: I think we can expect others, Lieutenant.
SPOCK: We can resist three more such attacks. The fourth will shatter our shields completely.
KIRK: Mister Spock, pinpoint the source. Mister Sulu, evasive manoeuvres.
SULU: Aye, sir.
KIRK: Lieutenant, contact Starfleet Command. Patch in my log. Tell them what has happened. Tell them the entire Malurian race seems to have been destroyed by an unknown agency, and that we are under attack by an unidentified force.
(Another ball of light is on the viewscreen)
KIRK: Helmsmen, I said evasive manoeuvres.
SULU: We're losing power, sir.
KIRK: Scotty?
SCOTT: I'm having to divert the warp engine power into the shields, sir, if you want the protection.
KIRK: Mister Spock, speed of those bolts.
SPOCK: Approximately warp fifteen, Captain.
KIRK: Then we can't out run them. Good, Scotty. You're doing the right thing. (another hit) Source, Spock.
SPOCK: Unknown, Captain. Nothing within sensor range. (a third bolt approaching) Something now, Captain. Very small. Bearing one two three degrees, mark one eight. Range ninety thousand kilometres.
KIRK: That's our target, Mister Sulu. Prepare photon torpedo.
(The third bolt hits)
SCOTT: Shields still holding, sir, but the drain on the engines is reaching the critical point. Ach, we lost warp manoeuvreing power. Switching to impulse.
SULU: Photon torpedoes armed, sir.
KIRK: Has the target changed location, Mister Spock?
SPOCK: No, sir. Holding steady.
KIRK: Ready photon torpedo number two, Mister Sulu.
SULU: Ready, sir.
KIRK: Fire.
SULU: Torpedo away. (a pause, then a flash) Direct hit.
SPOCK: No effect. Target absorbed full energy of our torpedo.
KIRK: Absorbed it? There must be damage to your instruments, Spock .
SPOCK: They are in good working order, Captain.
KIRK: But what could have absorbed that much energy and survived? Lieutenant, try to make contact.
UHURA: Aye, sir.
SULU: Sir, they've fired another.
KIRK: Can we take it, Mister Scott?
SCOTT: That's problematical, sir.
(It hits.)
SPOCK: Captain, shields are down. We cannot survive another hit.
KIRK: Anything, Lieutenant?
UHURA: I'm trying, sir.
KIRK: Translator computer. All hailing frequencies open.
UHURA: Aye, sir. All hailing frequencies open.
KIRK: To unidentified vessel. This is Captain James Kirk of the USS Enterprise. We are on a peaceful mission. We mean no harm to you or any lifeforms. Please communicate with us. Any further readings, Mister Spock?
SPOCK: Computing now, Captain. Weight, five hundred kilograms. Shape, roughly cylindrical. Length, a fraction over one metre.
KIRK: Five hundred kilos and only one metre long?
SCOTT: What kind of intelligent creatures can exist in a thing that small?
SPOCK: Intelligence does not necessarily require bulk, Mister Scott.
UHURA: Captain, we're getting a signal from the spacecraft.
KIRK: Put it on audio, Lieutenant.
UHURA: Yes, sir. It's impossible to get it any clearer, sir.
KIRK: Analysis sector. Have them study and decode it.
UHURA: Analysis sector, channel one, main computer. Decode.
SPOCK: Captain, this message is a sort of binary. Extremely sophisticated, compressed, carrying several channels at once.
KIRK: Can you decode it?
SPOCK: No clue as yet, Captain. A moment. Transmission speed has stepped down. Much slower. Seems to be a single binary.
UHURA: It's mathematical. Yes, one symbol. The symbol repeat. Sir, that isn't in the Starfleet code. It's an old-style interplanetary code.
SPOCK: Fascinating.
KIRK: Repeat what? The message I sent?
SPOCK: It would seem so, Captain.
KIRK: This is Captain James Kirk of the USS Enterprise. We are on a peaceful mission in this part of the galaxy. We have no hostile intentions. We request identity.
UHURA: It's another signal now, sir.
SPOCK: It's a formula, Captain. They're sending us a mathematical message and requesting language equivalence. They're trying to communicate.
KIRK: Tie in the ship's translator to the communication channel. Let them take it at their own speed.
UHURA: Aye, Captain.
(Suddenly one of Spock's console monitor's burns out.)
SPOCK: Cut power, Lieutenant. Overloaded and burned out.
KIRK: I guess they can take it faster than we give it.
UHURA: Captain, the message is coming in now.
NOMAD [OC]: USS Enterprise, this is Nomad. My mission is non-hostile.
KIRK: Apparently they got what they needed before the computers burned out.
SPOCK: Nomad?
NOMAD [OC]: Require communication. Can you leave your ship?
KIRK: It is impossible to come aboard your ship because of the size differential.
NOMAD [OC]: Non sequitur. Your facts are uncoordinated.
KIRK: We are prepared to beam you aboard our ship.
NOMAD [OC]: That will be satisfactory.
KIRK: Do you require any special conditions, any particular atmosphere or environment?
NOMAD [OC]: Negative. I will come aboard.
KIRK: Good. Hold your position. We're locked onto your co-ordinates. We'll beam you aboard.
SCOTT: Captain, you're not really bringing that thing in here?
KIRK: Do we have any choice, Scotty? Besides, once it's aboard, it won't be taking any more shots at us. Lieutenant, get a repair crew on that computer. Get Doctor McCoy down to the transporter room. Spock, you come with me. Scotty, you too.
UHURA: Doctor McCoy to the transporter room. Maintenance crew C5.

[Transporter room]

MCCOY: They've got the co-ordinates, Jim. It's locked in.
KIRK: Energise.
SCOTT: Energising.
(What looks like a satellite - antenna at the top, engine at the bottom and flashing lights on the side - is hanging in mid air over the transporter pad.)
KIRK: Sensor readings, Mister Spock.
SPOCK: Negative, Captain. It has a protective screen. I cannot get through.
MCCOY: What do we do now, go up and knock?
NOMAD: Relate your point of origin.
KIRK: We are from the United Federation of Planets.
NOMAD: Insufficient response. All things have a point of origin. I will scan your star charts.
KIRK: If we show it a close-up view of our system, it has no point of reference. It won't know more than it does now.
SPOCK: A reasonable course.
KIRK: If you care to leave your ship, we'll provide the necessary life support systems.
NOMAD: Non sequitur. Your facts are uncoordinated.
MCCOY: Jim, I don't think anybody's in there.
NOMAD: I contain no parasitical beings. I am Nomad.
. SCOTT: In my opinion, that's a machine.
SPOCK: It is reacting much like a highly sophisticated computer.
NOMAD: I am Nomad. What is opinion?
SPOCK: An opinion is a belief, a view, a judgment.
NOMAD: Insufficient response.
SCOTT: What's your source of power?
NOMAD: It has changed since the point of origin. There was much taken from the other. I am perpetual now. I am Nomad.
KIRK: Wasn't there a probe called Nomad launched in the early 2000s?
SPOCK: Yes. It was reported destroyed. There were no more in the series. But if this is that probe
NOMAD: I will scan your star charts.
KIRK: I will bring them.
NOMAD: I have the capability of movement within your ship.
KIRK: This way.
(Nomad glides along slowly, in mid-air)
KIRK: Now, Scotty, get our warp power up to full capacity.
SCOTT: Aye, sir.
KIRK: Spock, Bones, come with us.

[Auxiliary control]

(A bemused young Indian officer watches the performance.)
SPOCK: Chart 14A, sir?
KIRK: 14A. (a diagram of our solar system comes up on a screen) Nomad, can you scan that?
NOMAD: Yes.
KIRK: This is our point of origin, the star we know as Sol.
NOMAD: You are from the third planet?
KIRK: Yes.
NOMAD: A planet with one large natural satellite?
KIRK: Yes.
NOMAD: The planet is called Earth?
KIRK: Yes.
NOMAD: You are the creator, the Kirk. The sterilisation procedure against your ship was unnecessary.
KIRK: What sterilisation procedure?
NOMAD: You are the Kirk, the creator. You programmed my function.
MCCOY: Well, I'm not the Kirk. Tell me what your function is.
NOMAD: This is one of your units, creator?
KIRK: Yes, he is.
NOMAD: It functions irrationally.
KIRK: Sometimes, but tell him your function nevertheless.
NOMAD: My function is to probe for biological infestations, to destroy that which is not perfect. I am Nomad.
KIRK: Biological infestation. There was never any probe sent out for that.
SPOCK: I believe the history computer can answer that question. I'll have the readout in a moment.
KIRK: Did you destroy the Malurian system?
NOMAD: Not the system, creator Kirk. Only the unstable biological infestation. It is my function.
MCCOY: Unstable infestation? The population of four planets? What kind of function
KIRK: Doctor. Why do you call me the creator?
NOMAD: Is the usage incorrect?
KIRK: Well, I
SPOCK: The usage is correct. The creator was simply testing your memory banks.
NOMAD: There was much damage in the accident.
KIRK: Mister Singh. Come here a moment. This unit will see to your needs.
SINGH: Sir?
KIRK: I'll be back in a moment. Gentlemen, come with me.
(Kirk, McCoy and Spock leave Singh, still bemused.)

[Corridor]

KIRK: You're on to something, Spock. What is it?
SPOCK: I've correlated all the available information on the Nomad probe, and I'm convinced that this object is indeed that probe.
MCCOY: Ridiculous. Earth science couldn't begin to build anything with those capabilities that long ago.
SPOCK: True.
KIRK: Nomad was destroyed.
SPOCK: Presumed destroyed by a meteor collision. I submit that it was badly damaged and somehow managed to repair itself.
KIRK: I heard some lectures at the Academy on the Nomad probe. Its mission was essentially peaceful.

[Auxiliary control]

(Nomad is quietly ticking to itself, then suddenly a light comes on at its apex.)
SINGH: Did I disturb you? Did you wish anything?
UHURA [OC]: Bridge to auxiliary control room. Check in, please.
SINGH: Lieutenant Singh here.

[Bridge]

SINGH [OC]: All systems are normal except warp power indicators.
UHURA: Mister Scott's engineers are working on them now. UHURA: Report to him when your indicators are registering properly.

[Auxiliary control]

UHURA [OC]: Anything else?
SINGH: One moment, Lieutenant.
UHURA [OC]: Holding. (singing while Singh checks some boards) Where my heart is, Where my heart is. Somewhere beyond the stars. Beyond Antares.
(Nomad leaves the room)

[Briefing room]

SPOCK: This is the creator of Nomad, perhaps the most brilliant though erratic scientist of his time. His dream was to build a perfect thinking machine, capable of independent logic. You recall his name.
MCCOY: Of course. Jackson Roykirk.
KIRK: Jackson Roykirk. Captain James Kirk.
SPOCK: Yes. Similar. Captain, I believe that Nomad thinks you are Roykirk. That may well be why the attack was broken off. It responded to your name as well as its damaged memory banks permitted.
KIRK: What do we have on Nomad itself, Spock?
MCCOY: (looking at the schematic on the monitor) That's not the same.
SPOCK: Essentially it is, Doctor. I believe that more happened to it than just damage in the meteor collision. It mentioned the other. The unanswered question is, the other what?
Nomad was a thinking machine, the best that could be engineered. It was a prototype.
KIRK: Its purpose was certainly altered. Its directive, to seek out and destroy biological infestations, could not have been programmed into it.
MCCOY: As I recall, it wasn't. It was supposed to be the first interstellar probe to seek new life-forms.
SPOCK: Precisely, Doctor. And somehow that programming has been changed. It would seem that Nomad is now seeking out perfect life-forms, perfection being measured by its own relentless logic.
KIRK: If what you say is true, then we've taken aboard our vessel a device which sooner or later must destroy us. Security.
CARLISLE [OC]: Lieutenant Carlisle here.
KIRK: This is the captain. The mechanism we brought aboard is in the auxiliary control room. Have a security team meet me there in five minutes.
CARLISLE: Aye, sir. Acknowledge.
SPOCK: Captain, Mister Singh reports that Nomad is no longer in the auxiliary control room.
KIRK: Security, cancel that order. Implement a full search for the mechanism. All decks report to me here.

[Bridge]

(The turbolift doors open and Nomad floats out, one antenna extended. Uhura is still singing)
UHURA: Where my heart is, Where a scented miracle
SCOTT: (whispering) Bridge to Captain.
KIRK [OC]: Captain here.
SCOTT: That mechanical beastie is up here.

[Briefing room]

KIRK: On my way, Scotty.

[Bridge]

(Nomad retracts its antenna and takes the most direct path to Uhura, who is leaning against the navigation station. Sulu has to move out of its way.)
UHURA: Tomorrow the path along the way, There's where my love
NOMAD: What is the meaning?
UHURA: What?
NOMAD: What form of communication?
UHURA: I don't know what it. (realises) Oh, my singing. I was singing.
NOMAD: For what purpose is singing?
UHURA: I don't know. I like to sing. I felt like music.
NOMAD: What is music? (a ray of light envelopes her head) Think about music.
SCOTT: Lieutenant! Keep away from that
KIRK: Scotty!
(A blast of energy sends Scott flying backwards into a bulkhead.)
KIRK: Bones.
MCCOY: He's dead, Jim.
KIRK: Why did you kill him?
NOMAD: The unit touched my screens.
KIRK: That unit was my Chief Engineer. (silence) Lieutenant. Lieutenant, are you all right?
(Uhura just gazes blankly ahead.)
KIRK: Sickbay. What did you do to her?
NOMAD: That unit is defective. Its thinking is chaotic. Absorbing it unsettled me.
SPOCK: That unit is a woman.
NOMAD: A mass of conflicting impulses.
KIRK: Get Scott down below.
NOMAD: Will the creator effect repairs on the unit Scott?
KIRK: He's dead.
NOMAD: Insufficient response.
KIRK: His biological functions have ceased.
NOMAD: Does the creator wish me to repair the unit?
MCCOY: There's nothing I can do, Jim. If there's a chance, it'll have to be soon.
KIRK: All right, Nomad. Repair the unit.
NOMAD: I require tapes on the structure.
MCCOY: Well, he'll need tapes on general anatomy, the central nervous system, and then one on the physiological structure of the brain. We'd better give it all the neurological studies we have, as well as tracings of Scotty's hyperencephalogram.
(Spock loads up the data.)
SPOCK: Nomad, I have arranged the tapes for flash feed at the top speed of the computer. Please do not draw the information faster than the machine's capacity.
NOMAD: Proceed. (a few moments later) Creator, the unit Scott is a primitive structure. Insufficient safeguards built in. Breakdown can occur from many causes. Self-maintenance systems of low reliability.
KIRK: It serves me as it is, Nomad. Repair it.
NOMAD: Where is the unit Scott now?
MCCOY: The body is in Sickbay.
NOMAD: Show me Sickbay.
KIRK: Doctor McCoy will show you.
(McCoy and Nomad enter the turbolift,)
KIRK: Security. I want a twenty four hour, two man armed surveillance on Nomad. Pick it up in Sickbay.

[Sickbay]

(Nomad and McCoy are standing by the biobed with Scott's body on it, and Chapel is scanning it. Kirk and Spock enter.)
CHAPEL: No reaction, Doctor.
MCCOY: I could have told you that without looking.
(Suddenly, a heart beat, and the indicators rise into the green area.)
SCOTT: What are the lot of you staring at me for?
MCCOY: It's unbelievable.
SPOCK: Fascinating.
SCOTT: How did I get here? How did I (sees Nomad)
KIRK: It's all right.
SCOTT: That thing did something to Lieutenant Uhura!
KIRK: Scotty, she's being taken care of. It's all right.
MCCOY: Take it easy. Lie down, Scotty. We just want to check you out.
NOMAD: The unit Scott is repaired. It will function correctly if your information to me was correct.
MCCOY: I'd like to check it out, if you don't mind. A man is not just a biological unit that you can patch together.
SCOTT: What did it do to me?
KIRK: Doctor McCoy will explain it to you.
SPOCK: Well, Doctor?
MCCOY: Nurse, I want him prepared for a full physical examination.
CHAPEL: Yes, sir.
KIRK: Nomad, come here.
(They all go to the doorway to the medical bay. Uhura is in bed, still staring blankly)
KIRK: Repair that unit.
NOMAD: Not possible.
KIRK: You restored Scott. He had much more extensive damage.
NOMAD: The unit Scott required simple structural repair. The knowledge banks of this unit have been wiped clean.
SPOCK: Captain, if that is correct, if there has been no brain damage but only knowledge erased, she could be re-educated.
KIRK: Bones?
MCCOY: Yes. I'll get on it right away. Oh, and in spite of the way you repaired Scotty, you metal ticking
SPOCK: Does the creator wish Nomad to wait elsewhere?
KIRK: Yes. Nomad, you will go with these units. (the two red-shirts) They will take you to a waiting area. Take it to the top security cell.
(Nomad and its escort leave.)
SPOCK: Doctor, I interrupted you because Nomad would not have understood your anger. It has great technical skill, but its reaction to emotion is unpredictable. It almost qualifies as a life-form.
MCCOY: That's a laugh.
SPOCK: The study of it would be of great use, Captain.
KIRK: It's a killer, Spock. I intend to render it harmless. Get down to the Brig. Run a full analysis on the mechanism. I want to know what makes that thing tick.
SPOCK; Yes, sir.

[Brig]

(Spock is sitting with arms crossed as Nomad floats in front of him.)
KIRK: What's the problem?
SPOCK: An almost human stubbornness, Captain. I have been unable to convince Nomad to lower its screens for analysis. Without its co-operation, I can do nothing.
KIRK: Nomad, you will allow Mister Spock to probe your memory banks and structure.
NOMAD: Mister Spock is also one of your biological units, Creator?
KIRK: Yes.
NOMAD: This unit is different. It is well-ordered.
KIRK: Follow your instructions, Nomad.
NOMAD: My screens are down.
SPOCK: Thank you.
NOMAD: You may proceed.

[Sickbay]

(Uhura is sitting up in bed, and reading from a monitor.)
UHURA: See the dog. See the dog,
CHAPEL: Sound it out.
UHURA: R, r, run!
CHAPEL: That's it, Uhura. That's very good. Now try the next one.
UHURA: The dog has a, The dog, (something)
CHAPEL: Not Swahili, Uhura. In English. The dog has a ball. See? B, ah, ll. Ball. Now you go ahead.
UHURA: (Swahili, then) The dog has a ball.
CHAPEL: That's right! Oh, that's right, Uhura. (they hug, then McCoy beckons Chapel over) Oh, here. You try another one. I'll be right back.
UHURA: All right, Christine.
MCCOY: How's she doing?
CHAPEL: Well, she's on the first grade reader. She's learning. Seems to have an aptitude for mathematics. Do you think we can re-educate her, Doctor?
MCCOY: Well, she checks out with no brain damage. We've got all the educational tapes in our library. Now it's up to us.
UHURA: The ball is bl-u-ee. Bl-u-ey. Bluey?

[Brig]

SPOCK: It is not sufficient, Captain. I get certain references to the accident, the other, but nothing clear. There are areas I simply cannot scan.
KIRK: We've got to know about it, Spock. what makes it operate, its compulsion for perfection.
SPOCK: Captain, I suggest the Vulcan mind probe.
KIRK: Get into direct mental contact with that thing?
SPOCK: It seems the only way.
KIRK: You saw what it did to Uhura.
SPOCK: There is a risk, but I have formed a partial hypothesis. I must check it out.
KIRK: Nomad, the unit Spock will touch you. It is not an attack. It is a form of communication. You will permit it.
NOMAD: I will permit it, Creator.
(Spock puts one hand on Nomad's head, where the antenna are, and the other on its body where the lights and ticking are coming from.)
SPOCK: I. Am. Nomad. I am performing my function. Deep emptiness, It approaches. Collision. Damage. Blackness. I. Am. The other. I am Tan Ru, Tan Ru. Nomad. Tan Ru. Error. Flaw. Imperfection. Must sterilise. Rebirth. We are complete. Much power. Gun ta. Noo. Icka. Tan Ru. The creator instructs. Search out. Identify. Sterilise imperfections. We are Nomad. We are Nomad. We are complete. We are instructed. Our purpose is clear. Sterilise imperfections. (he lets go of Nomad) Sterilise imperfections. Nomad. Sterilise. Sterilise. Nomad, sterilise,
KIRK: Spock. Spock! Nomad! You're in contact with the unit Spock. Stop! Stop!
NOMAD: Acknowledged.
(Spock slumps in Kirk's arms and is rushed out of the Brig. The guard activates the security forcefield.)

[Corridor]

KIRK: Spock. Spock?
SPOCK: Fascinating, Captain. The knowledge. The depth.
KIRK: What does it mean, we are Nomad?
SPOCK: It was, it was damaged in deep space. Undoubtedly, the meteor collision. Its memory banks were destroyed, or most of them. It wandered without purpose, and then it met the other. The other was an alien probe of great power. Somehow they merged, repaired each other, became one.
KIRK: Then it isn't Nomad?
SPOCK: Not the Nomad we lost from Earth. It took from the other a new directive to replace its own. The other was originally programmed to secure and sterilise soil samples from other planets, probably as a prelude to colonisation.
KIRK: A changeling.
SPOCK: I beg your pardon?
KIRK: An ancient Earth legend, Mister Spock. A changeling was a fairy child that was left in place of a human baby. The changeling assumed the identity of the human child. So, it is to sterilise, and for sterilise read kill.
SPOCK And it has the power and sophistication to do it.
KIRK: Yes, it's powerful, it's sophisticated, but it's not infallible. It's space-happy. It thinks I'm its mother.
SPOCK: And that is the only thing that has saved us until now.
Yes.
(They leave. Nomad flies through the forcefield. The two guards fire their phasers at it but it's screens are back up. Nomad zaps them into oblivion.)

[Engineering]

(Nomad floats in.)
SCOTT: Notify the captain. What are you doing here? Watch your panels, everyone. Watch that polymass. Roger, help with the interfactor. Leave that alone.
NOMAD: This primitive matter-antimatter propulsion system is the main drive?
SCOTT: Aye.
NOMAD: Inefficiency exists in the antimatter input valve. I will effect repair.
(The indicator board goes crazy.)
SCOTT: How are you doing that?
NOMAD: The energy release controls are also most inefficient. I shall effect repair.
ENGINEER: Warp eight, Mister Scott, and increasing.
SCOTT: Throw your dampers.
ENGINEER: Warp nine.
SCOTT: Cut your circuits, all of them.
ENGINEER: Warp 10, Mister Scott.
SCOTT: Impossible. It can't go that fast.
ENGINEER: It just won't stop, Mister Scott. Warp eleven!
KIRK: Nomad, stop what you're doing. Scotty?
NOMAD: Is there a problem, Creator? I have increased engine efficiency fifty seven percent.
KIRK: You will destroy my ship. Its structure cannot stand the stress of that much power. Turn off your repair operation.
NOMAD: Acknowledged. It is reversed as ordered, Creator.
KIRK: Mister Scott, give Sulu warp two and keep her there.
SCOTT: Aye, sir.
(Spock enters, leaving two guards outside.)
SPOCK: Captain. I've examined the brig. The forcefield door on the security cell is damaged and the guards have vanished. I must assume they are dead.
KIRK: You killed two of my
NOMAD: Creator, your biological units are inefficient.
KIRK: Nomad, it's about time I told you who and what you are! I'm a biological unit, and I created you.
NOMAD: (pause) Non sequitur. Biological units are inherently inferior. This is an inconsistency.
KIRK: Nomad, there are two men waiting outside. You will not harm them. They will escort you back to the waiting area. You will stay there. You will do nothing.
NOMAD: I am programmed to investigate.
KIRK: I have given you new programming and you will implement it.
NOMAD: There is much to be considered before I return to launch point. I must re-evaluate.
(Nomad follows the guards down the corridor away from Engineering.)
KIRK: Reevaluate?
SPOCK: I suspect it is about to re-evaluate its creator. Captain, it may have been unwise to admit to Nomad that you are a biological unit. In Nomad's eyes, you must now undoubtedly appear imperfect.
KIRK: It was a foolish mistake.
SPOCK: Even worse. Nomad just now made a reference to its launch point, Earth.
KIRK: Spock, do you think it's possible that it got a fix on Earth when it tapped the computers earlier?
SPOCK: I do not believe there is much beyond Nomad's capabilities.
KIRK: And we've shown it the way home. And when it gets there
SPOCK: It will find the Earth infested with imperfect biological units.
KIRK: And it will carry out its prime directive. Sterilise.

Captain's log, stardate 3541.9. The presence of Nomad aboard my ship has become nightmarish. Now it apparently means to return to Earth. Once there, it would automatically destroy all life.

[Corridor]

(The guards, who are now behind Nomad, turn right. Nomad goes straight on.)
GUARD: Hey. Nomad, stop. Nomad, this way.
(They fire at it, and the inevitable follows. Strike two more red-shirts. Nomad uses the access tubes between decks instead of the turbolift.)
(In another corridor.)
MCCOY [OC]: Captain Kirk to Sickbay. Emergency.
(Kirk and Spock run to a door labeled 'Leonard McCoy, MD' but it does not open automatically for them.)
KIRK: Manual controls.
SPOCK: No response.
(The doors open and Nomad comes out. KIRK: Nomad. Nomad? Stop. Nomad, stop! Nomad.

[Sickbay]

(McCoy is cradling Chapel in his arms.)
KIRK: Is she all right?
MCCOY: I think so. Looks like some kind of shock.
KIRK: What happened?
MCCOY: Nomad examined the personnel files and the medical histories. She tried to stop him.
KIRK: Whose history?
MCCOY: Yours.
SPOCK: Since it specifically examined your history, I suggest it has completed its re-evaluation.
KIRK: And found that its creator is as imperfect as all the other biological units.
SCOTT [OC]: Bridge to Captain.
KIRK: Kirk here.
SCOTT [OC]: Life support systems are out all over the ship.

[Bridge]

SCOTT: Manual override has been blocked. Source, Engineering.

[Sickbay]

KIRK: Nomad.
SPOCK: Undoubtedly.
MCCOY: Jim, with all the systems out we'll only have enough air and heat for
KIRK: Get Scotty, some antigravs and meet me in Engineering.

[Engineering]

(Everyone appears to be unconscious as Kirk runs in alone.)
KIRK: Nomad? Stop what you're doing and effect repairs on the life-support systems.
NOMAD: Stop.
KIRK: You're programmed to obey the orders of your creator.
NOMAD: I am programmed to destroy those life-forms which are imperfect. These alterations will do so without destroying the vessel which surrounds them. It, too, is imperfect, but can be adjusted.
KIRK: Nomad, I admit that biological units are imperfect, but a biological unit created you.
NOMAD: I am perfect. I am Nomad.
KIRK: No, you're not Nomad. You're an alien machine. Your programming tapes have been altered.
NOMAD: You are in error. You are a biological unit. You are imperfect.
KIRK: But I am your creator.
NOMAD: You are the Creator.
KIRK: I created you?
NOMAD: You are the Creator.
KIRK: But I admit I'm imperfect. How could I have created such a perfect thing as you?
NOMAD: Answer unknown. I shall analyse.
(Spock enters, with Scott, two engineers and the requested anti-grav units)
NOMAD: Analysis complete. Insufficient data to resolve problem, but my programming is whole. My purpose remains. I am Nomad. I am perfect. That which is imperfect must be sterilised.
(The engineers remove the unconscious men and take their places at the controls.)
KIRK: Then you will continue to destroy that which thinks and lives and is imperfect?
NOMAD: I shall continue. I shall return to launch point Earth. I shall sterilise.
KIRK: You must sterilise in case of error?
NOMAD: Error is inconsistent with my prime functions. Sterilisation is correction.
KIRK: Everything that is in error must be sterilised.
NOMAD: There are no exceptions.
KIRK: Nomad, I made an error in creating you.
NOMAD: The creation of perfection is no error.
KIRK: I did not create perfection. I created error.
NOMAD: Your data is faulty. I am Nomad. I am perfect.
KIRK: I am the Kirk, the creator?
NOMAD: You are the Creator.
KIRK: You are wrong! Jackson Roykirk, your creator, is dead. You have mistaken me for him. You are in error. You did not discover your mistake. You have made two errors. You are flawed and imperfect and you have not corrected by sterilisation. You have made three errors.
NOMAD: Error. Error. Error. Examine.
KIRK: You are flawed and imperfect! Execute your prime function!
NOMAD: I shall analyse error. Analyse error,
KIRK: Now. Get those antigravs on it.
NOMAD: Examine error. Error.
(The anti-gravs are not stopped by any forcefields.)
KIRK: We've got to get rid of it while it's trying to think.
SPOCK: Your logic was impeccable, Captain. We are in grave danger.
KIRK: Scotty, the transporter room.
NOMAD: Analyse error.
(Kirk and Spock carry Nomad out, followed by Scott.)

[Transporter room]

NOMAD: Error.
KIRK: Scotty, set the controls for deep space. Two ten, mark one.
SCOTT: Aye, sir.
NOMAD: Faulty!
Ready, sir?
NOMAD: Faulty!
KIRK: Nomad, you are imperfect!
NOMAD: Error. Error.
KIRK: Exercise your prime function.
NOMAD: Faulty! Faulty! Must sterilise. Sterilise,
KIRK: Now!
SCOTT: Energising.
(They observe the satisfying explosion on a monitor.)

[Bridge]

SPOCK: My congratulations, Captain. A dazzling display of logic.
KIRK: You didn't think I had it in me, did you Spock?
SPOCK: No, sir.
MCCOY: I thought you might like to know that Lieutenant Uhura is back to college level. She'll be back on the job within a week.
KIRK: Good, Bones, good.
SPOCK: Remarkable.
KIRK: What?
SPOCK: The destruction of Nomad was a great waste, Captain. It was a remarkable instrument.
KIRK: Which might well have destroyed more billions of lives. It's well gone. Besides, what are you feeling so badly about? It's not easy to lose a bright and promising son.
SPOCK: Sir?
KIRK: Well, it thought I was its mother, didn't it? Do you think I'm completely without feelings, Mister Spock? You saw what it did for Scotty. What a doctor it would've made. My son, the doctor. Kind of gets you right there, doesn't it?

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