Captain's log, stardate 4307.1. Approaching Starbase Six for a much
needed period of rest and recreation.
KIRK: The crew has performed excellently, but is
exhausted. And I, too, am looking forward to a nice period of rest on
some lovely planet.
UHURA: Captain. There was a message from Starbase Six. Heavy
interference. All I get is Intrepid and what sounded like a sector
SPOCK: Interesting. No indications of magnetic storms in this sector.
KIRK: Try another channel, Lieutenant.
UHURA: Aye, sir.
MCCOY: The Intrepid is manned by Vulcans, isn't it?
KIRK: Yes, that's right, Bones.
UHURA: Enterprise calling Starbase Six. Enterprise calling Starbase
Six. Come in. Come in.
(Spock suddenly jerks upright, his face a picture of horror.)
MCCOY: What is it, Spock? Are you in pain?
SPOCK: Captain, the Intrepid. It just died. And the four hundred
Vulcans aboard, all dead.
MCCOY: Come on, Spock, let's go down to Sickbay.
SPOCK: Doctor, I know what I know.
KIRK: Get to the Sickbay.
KIRK: No, no, no. That's an order.
SPOCK: Yes, sir.
(McCoy leads him away.)
UHURA: Captain, I have Starbase Six readable now. Switching to audio,
KIRK: Kirk here. Go ahead.
STARBASE [OC]: You will divert immediately to sector three nine J.
KIRK: Sir, the Enterprise just completed an exhausting mission. We're
on our way in for R and R. There must be another starship in that
STARBASE [OC]: Negative. This is a rescue priority. We've lost all
contact with solar system Gamma Seven-A, which the Intrepid was
investigating. And we've just lost contact with the Intrepid. Report
KIRK: Order acknowledged. Kirk out. Mister Kyle, you heard the order.
Set course for Gamma Seven-A, warp five.
KYLE: Aye, sir.
CHEKOV: Captain I have just completed a full long-range scan of Gamma
Seven-A system. It is dead.
KIRK: Dead? It's a fourth magnitude sun. There are billions of
CHEKOV: It is dead.
(Spock is on a biobed, being scanned.)
SPOCK: I assure you, Doctor, I am quite all right. The pain was
momentary. It passed quickly.
MCCOY: All of my instruments seem to agree with you if I can trust
these crazy Vulcan readings. Spock, how can you be so sure the lntrepid
(Spock gets off the bed.)
SPOCK: I sensed it die.
MCCOY: But I thought you had to be in physical contact with a subject
SPOCK: Doctor, even I, a half-Vulcan, could hear the death scream of
four hundred Vulcan minds crying out over the distance between us.
MCCOY: Not even a Vulcan could feel a starship die.
SPOCK: Call it a deep understanding of the way things happen to
Vulcans, but I know not a person, not even the computers on board the
Intrepid, knew what was killing them or would have understood it had
MCCOY: But four hundred Vulcans?
SPOCK: I've noticed that about your people, Doctor. You find it easier
to understand the death of one than the death of a million. You speak
about the objective hardness of the Vulcan heart, yet how little room
there seems to be in yours.
MCCOY: Suffer the death of thy neighbour, eh, Spock? You wouldn't wish
that on us, would you?
SPOCK: It might have rendered your history a bit less bloody.
KIRK: Spock, you may have been right. We've lost
contact with the Intrepid and we're out of communication with an entire
solar system. Any update from Starfleet?
UHURA: I cannot filter out the distortion, sir. It's getting worse.
KYLE: Captain, deflector shields just snapped on.
KIRK: Slow to warp three.
KYLE: Warp three, sir.
SPOCK: Indications of energy turbulence ahead. Unable to analyse. I've
never encountered readings like this before.
KIRK: Scanners on. Magnification three on the screen.
KYLE: Magnification factor three, sir.
UHURA: Exactly what are we looking for, Mister Spock?
SPOCK: I would assume that.
(In the middle of the viewscreen is a black blob.)
KIRK: What is that?
CHEKOV: Perhaps an interstellar dust cloud.
SPOCK: Not very likely, Ensign.
KIRK: No. You'd be able to see stars through a dust cloud. Looks like a
hole in space. Readings, Mister Spock.
SPOCK: Still not able to analyse, Captain. Sensors are feeding data to
the computers now. Whatever this dark zone is, it lies directly in line
with the course I calculate for the Intrepid and the Gamma Seven-A
KIRK: Hold present course. Slow to warp one.
KYLE: Warp factor one, sir.
KIRK: Mister Chekov, prepare to launch a telemetry probe into that
zone. Direct computer feed to Mister Spock.
CHEKOV: Aye, sir. Probe ready. Switching data feed to library computer.
KIRK: Launch probe.
CHEKOV: Probe launched, sir.
(A high pitched sound comes over the speakers.)
KIRK: What was that?
UHURA: The telemetry probe, sir. There's no signal from it.
KIRK: Speculation, Spock.
SPOCK: I have none, Captain. Insufficient data.
(Chekov is still groaning and Uhura looses her balance.)
UHURA: I'm just dizzy. I'll be all right. I'm fine, sir.
MCCOY [OC]: Sickbay to Captain Kirk. McCoy here.
KIRK: Kirk here. What is it?
MCCOY [OC]: I'm getting reports from every deck. Half the people on
this ship just fainted.
KIRK: Uhura almost did. She says she's all right. Do you want to see
MCCOY: Not unless she's feeling ill. I've got an emergency here.
KIRK [OC]: What's wrong?
(Crew are queued out of the door, getting shots from Chapel.)
MCCOY: There's nothing organic. They all seem to be nervous, weak, and
irritable. They say it happened suddenly, like a balloon popping.
KIRK [OC]: Can you handle it, Bones?
MCCOY: I'm giving them stimulants to keep them on their feet.
MCCOY [OC]: Yeah, we can handle it, Jim.
KIRK: Good. Kirk out. Hold our position, Mister Kyle.
KYLE: Aye, aye, sir.
KIRK: Spock, give me an update on the dark area ahead.
SPOCK: No analysis due to insufficient information.
KIRK: No speculation, no information, nothing. I've asked you three
times for information on that, and you've been unable to supply it.
Insufficient data is not sufficient, Mister Spock. You're the science
officer. You're supposed to have sufficient data all the time.
SPOCK: I am well aware of that, Captain, but the computers contain
nothing on this phenomenon. It is beyond our experience, and the new
information is not yet significant.
KIRK: I don't know about you but I'm tired. If you can't tell me what
it is, let's use reverse logic. Perhaps it'll help if you tell me what
SPOCK: It is not liquid, gaseous, or solid, despite the fact we cannot
see through it.
KIRK: So far that's not much help.
SPOCK: It is not a galactic nebula such as the Coal Sack, and since our
deflectors were activated by it, it would seem to be some form of
energy, but nothing our sensors can identify.
KIRK: Is it possible that this is what killed that solar system and the
SPOCK: Very possible.
UHURA: Yes, sir.
KIRK: Notify the Starfleet that we're going to attempt to probe the
area of darkness to gain further information.
UHURA: Aye, aye, sir.
(Kirk pauses, exhausted on his way back to his chair.)
KIRK: I'm all right. Distance from zone of darkness, Mister Kyle?
KYLE: One hundred thousand kilometres, sir.
KIRK: Ahead slow. Impulse power only.
KYLE: Aye, aye, sir.
UHURA: Transmission to Starfleet complete, sir.
KIRK: Very good. Time, Mister Chekov?
CHEKOV: Penetration of the zone in one minute, seven seconds, sir.
KIRK: Red Alert. Deflectors full power. Phaser banks ready.
CHEKOV: Phasers standing by. Deflectors at full power, sir.
(That eardrum splitting sound comes again.)
UHURA: It's not coming from communications, sir.
SPOCK: Analysing now, Captain.
(The sound goes.)
CHEKOV: Captain, the stars are gone!
(The viewscreen is completely blank.)
KIRK: Malfunction, Mister Spock?
SPOCK: Negative, Captain. All systems functioning properly.
KIRK: Then kindly tell me what happened to the stars.
SPOCK: Unknown, Captain.
KIRK: Kirk to McCoy.
MCCOY [OC]: McCoy here.
KIRK: Things any better down there?
MCCOY [OC]: Worse. They're backed up into the corridor.
KIRK: Have you got anything that will help up here? I don't want
anybody folding on the bridge at a critical moment.
MCCOY [OC]: On my way. McCoy out.
KIRK: Kirk to Engineering. Scotty, there was a power loss. How come?
SCOTT: We lost five percent of our energy reserve,
sir. Our deflector shields are weakened.
KIRK [OC]: Can you compensate for the loss?
SCOTT: Aye, if we don't lose any more. Don't ask me how it happened.
KIRK: I am asking how, mister. I want answers. Kirk
(McCoy enters with a nurse, and starts injecting the crew.)
KIRK: What's that?
MCCOY: A stimulant.
KIRK: Bones, how bad is it?
MCCOY: Two thirds of the personnel are affected.
KIRK: Why? How? Do you have any answers?
MCCOY: No. You know you'll get everything I can tell you. But when
there is nothing, what should I say?
(The man at the engineering station collapses.)
KIRK: This ship is in trouble. We'd better start solving problems
faster than we pick up new ones. We seem to be in the middle of a
creeping paralysis. Mister Spock, analysis of that last burst of noise
before we started losing power.
SPOCK: That sound was turbulence caused by the penetration of a
boundary layer, Captain.
KIRK: What boundary layer?
KIRK: Boundary layer between what and what?
SPOCK: Between where we were and where we are.
KIRK: Are you trying to be funny, Mister Spock?
SPOCK: It would never occur to me, Captain.
KIRK: Do you have any ideas, Spock?
SPOCK: We still have no specifics, but we seem to have entered a zone
of energy which is incompatible with our living and mechanical
processes. As we draw closer to the source, it grows stronger and we
MCCOY: I have one. I recommend survival. Let's get out of here.
KIRK: This is the Captain. We're on a difficult mission, but it's not
the first time. Our orders do not say stay alive or retreat.
KIRK [OC]: Our mission is to investigate.
KIRK [OC]: We're sick, and we're getting sicker.
KIRK: We have no guarantees, but we have a good
ship and the best crew in Starfleet. So do your jobs. Carry on. Kirk
MCCOY: Sickbay to Captain Kirk.
KIRK [OC]: Kirk here. Go ahead, Bones.
MCCOY: Jim, according to the life indicators, the energy levels
KIRK: Yes, say it, Bones.
MCCOY: According to the life monitors, we're dying.
MCCOY [OC]: We're all dying.
Captain's log, stardate 4308.8. It is now ten
minutes since we entered the zone of darkness. We have stopped engines
while we seek a defence against the energy drain which seems to pervade
(Kirk enters and is promptly thrown sideways by a
massive jolt to the ship.)
KIRK: Are you all right?
KIRK: What was that?
SCOTT: I'm sorry, sir. I'm not sure. I was trying to recalibrate, and
we went into reverse.
KIRK: Reverse? But that was a forward lurch. How could that happen in
SCOTT: I don't know, sir. All I know is that the power levels are down
twelve percent and steadily decreasing. I've never experienced anything
SPOCK [OC]: Bridge to Captain Kirk.
KIRK: Kirk here.
SPOCK: Sir, we are accelerating. We are being
pulled toward the centre of the zone of darkness.
KIRK [OC]: By what, Spock?
SPOCK: Unknown, Captain. I suggest you order Mister Scott to give us
KIRK: He just gave us reverse power. We lurched
SPOCK: In that case, Captain, I would suggest we
apply forward thrust.
CHAPEL: Doctor. Life function indicators. They've
started a sharp drop again.
MCCOY: Stimulants. I don't know how long we can keep this up.
KIRK: What do you think, Scotty? Forward thrust?
SCOTT: I don't know, sir. It goes against the rules of logic.
KIRK: Yes, doesn't it? Well, if it doesn't work, I'll never let Spock
live it down. Notch it into forward.
KIRK: Go ahead.
SCOTT: That's doing it, sir. We're slowing down. But we're not
stopping. We're still being dragged forward.
KIRK: Have one of your engineers monitor the instruments. Keep applying
thrust against the pull.
CHAPEL: Doctor, they seem to be stabilising.
MCCOY: But at a dangerously low level. Well, we're still alive. I
suppose that's something.
MCCOY: All I can contribute is the further we
travel into this zone of darkness, the weaker our life functions
become, and I have no idea why. I'm all right. It's those stimulants.
They catch up with you.
SCOTT: As to the power levels are concerned, everything is acting
backwards, but the drain is continuing. On the static test, I could
only get sixty percent power. We're still being dragged forward.
SPOCK: It's logical to assume that something within this zone absorbs
all forms of energy whether mechanically or biologically produced.
Whatever it is, it would seem to be the same thing which drew all the
energy out of an entire solar system
and the Intrepid.
KIRK: The same thing, not the zone itself?
SPOCK: I would say not, Captain. The analysis of the zone indicates it
is a negative energy field, however illogical that may sound, but it is
not the source of the power drain.
KIRK: Maybe it's a shield of some kind. Some form of protection for
SCOTT: But what?
KIRK: We'll find out what it is, but we'd better get out of here
ourselves. Scotty, channel all the impulse and warp power into one
massive thrust forward. That might snap us out of the zone.
SCOTT: Aye, Captain, but I'll reserve some for the shields in case we
don't get out.
SPOCK: I submit, Mister Scott, if we do not get out, the shields would
be extraneous. It would only prolong our wait for death by a short
period of time.
KIRK: Use whatever power is necessary to get us out of here, Scotty.
Report to your stations, continue your research. Dismissed.
(The department heads leave Kirk and Spock alone.)
SPOCK: Captain, the Intrepid would have done all these things too, and
yet they were destroyed.
KIRK: Well, they may not have done all of these things. You just
pointed out how illogical this situation is.
SPOCK: True. It is also true they never knew what was killing them.
Their logic would not have permitted them to believe they were being
SPOCK: Vulcan has not been conquered within its collective memory. The
memory goes back so far that no Vulcan can conceive of a conqueror. I
knew the ship was lost because I sensed it.
KIRK: What was it you sensed?
SPOCK: The touch of death.
KIRK: And what do you think they felt?
(Scott is working on the upper level)
SCOTT: That ought to do it. Engineering to Captain Kirk.
KIRK: Kirk here. What is it, Scotty?
SCOTT: Ready to try it when you are, sir.
KIRK: Do we have the power to pull it off, Scotty?
SCOTT [OC]: I hope so, Captain.
KIRK: Stand by. All hands, this is the captain. We are slowly being
pulled deeper into the zone of darkness by an unknown force. We're
going to apply
KIRK [OC]: All available power
KIRK [OC]: Into one giant forward thrust
KIRK: In the hope that it will yank us out of the
zone. Prepare yourselves. All right, Scotty. Let's get on with it.
(Everybody braces themselves against the g-forces that are created by
the acceleration. What happened to the inertial dampers? Then there's a
sudden jolt and people get thrown around. Chapel is flung into McCoy's
arms for example.)
SCOTT [OC]: It's no good, sir. The best we can do is to maintain thrust
against the pull and hold our position.
KIRK: Are we still losing power?
SCOTT: Aye, sir.
KIRK [OC]: How long will the power hold out?
SCOTT: At this rate, plus the drain on all systems, two hours.
KIRK: Maintain thrust, Scotty. While we're
maintaining our distance, Mister Spock, have you ascertained yet what
we're maintaining our distance from?
SPOCK: I cannot say what it is, Captain, but I would say it has found
(The viewscreen is no longer black. It contains a multicoloured image
rather like an abalone.)
KIRK: Prepare to launch a probe, Mister Chekov.
CHEKOV: Aye, sir. Probe ready for launch, sir.
SPOCK: Getting very confused readings, Captain, but this is definitely
the source of the energy drain.
KIRK: Launch probe.
CHEKOV: Probe launched, sir.
SPOCK: Probe will impact in seven point three seconds.
KYLE: Six, five, four, three, two, one.
(The ship shudders.)
KIRK: Are we still in contact with the probe?
CHEKOV: Yes, sir. Data being relayed to Mister Spock.
SPOCK: Readings coming in now, Captain. Length, approximately eleven
thousand miles. Width varying from two thousand to three thousand
miles. Outer layer studded with space debris and waste. Interior
consists of protoplasm, varying from a firmer gelatinous layer to a
semi-fluid central mass. Condition, living.
KIRK: Magnification four.
CHEKOV: Magnification four, sir.
SPOCK: That is what is drawing us toward it, Captain. The same way it
drew the Intrepid to her death.
(There is an image of a single-celled organism on a
MCCOY: That is an amoeba.
KIRK: Yes, I remember my basic biology, Doctor. You mean to tell me
that that thing is a giant single-celled animal?
MCCOY: Yes, for lack of a better term. It's a very simple form of life.
In fact it's a much simpler form of life than what you're looking at
now. But that thing can apparently perform all the functions that
qualify it as a living organism. It can reproduce, it can breathe, it
can eat, although I don't know what.
SPOCK: Energy itself, perhaps, drained from us. I would speculate that
this unknown life form is invading our galaxy like a virus.
KIRK: The Intrepid died of that particular virus. How is it we
SPOCK: The Intrepid must have come across the organism while it was
still low in energy, still hungry. We are not safe, Captain. We merely
have a little more time than the Intrepid did.
KIRK: What about this zone of darkness? Does the organism generate it
itself as a form of protection?
MCCOY: It's one of the things we've got to find out. We've got to take
a closer look at it.
KIRK: The closer we get, the faster our energy drains out. We're barely
surviving at this distance.
MCCOY: Perhaps we could risk the shuttlecraft. Perhaps with a
KIRK: I'm not sending anyone anywhere. Unmanned probes can give us the
information we need to destroy this thing, if it can be destroyed.
SPOCK: I must differ with you, Captain. We have sent unmanned probes
into it. They have given us some information but they have not told us
what we need to know, and we cannot afford the power to take blind
shots at it, hoping to kill it.
MCCOY: We could send one man in, pinpoint its vulnerable spots.
KIRK: DO you know what the odds are in coming back? I can't order a man
to do that.
MCCOY: Who said anything about an order, Jim? You've got a volunteer.
I've done the preliminary work.
KIRK: It's a suicide mission.
SPOCK: The thing evidently has reflexes. The unmanned probe we sent in
must have stung it when it entered. The lurch we felt was the
turbulence of its reaction.
MCCOY: All right, so I'd know enough to go slow when we penetrated its
SPOCK: You have a martyr complex, Doctor. I submit that it disqualifies
MCCOY: Do you think I intend to pass up the greatest living laboratory
SPOCK: The Vulcans saw it first and died.
MCCOY: Just because the Vulcans failed
SPOCK: I am more capable.
KIRK: Gentlemen, I am not taking volunteers.
MCCOY: You don't think you're going?
KIRK: I'm better qualified as a command pilot than you are.
SPOCK: Which makes you indispensable, Captain. Further, you are not a
MCCOY: Jim, that organism contains chemical processes we've never seen
before and may never see again. We could learn more in one day
SPOCK: We don't have one day, Doctor. We have precisely one hour and
thirty five minutes of power left.
SPOCK: Captain, I
KIRK: Gentlemen, I'll decide.
KIRK: Captain's personal log, stardate 4309.2. We
have established that the thing which destroyed the USS Intrepid and
the Gamma Seven=A system is an incredibly huge but simple cellular
being whose energies are totally destructive to all known life. Both
Mister Spock and Doctor McCoy have volunteered to go in a specially
equipped shuttlecraft to penetrate the cell, find a way to destroy it,
and free the ship. Doctor McCoy has the medical-biological knowledge.
Mister Spock is better suited physically and emotionally to stand the
stress. Both are right, both are capable, and which of my friends do I
condemn to death? This is the captain. Mister Spock, Doctor McCoy,
report to my quarters immediately. Kirk out.
SCOTT: Engineering to Captain Kirk.
KIRK [OC]: Kirk here.
SCOTT: You asked me to keep you informed on the power drain. All levels
are down fifty percent now
SCOTT [OC]: And still draining. We can maintain
thrust for another hour and fifteen minutes.
(Spock and McCoy enter.)
KIRK: Very well. Prepare the shuttlecraft for launching.
SCOTT [OC]: Sir?
KIRK: Doctor McCoy will tell you what special equipment to put in. Kirk
out. I'm sorry, Mister Spock.
MCCOY: Right. I'll get a few things I need, Jim.
KIRK: Not you, Bones. I'm sorry, Mister Spock. You're best qualified to
SPOCK: Do not suffer so, Doctor. This is not the
first time superior capability has proven more valuable than
MCCOY: Nothing has been proven yet, Spock. The DNA code analyser will
give you the fundamental structure of the thing. You'll need readings
on three light wavelengths from the enzyme recorder.
SPOCK: I am familiar with the equipment, Doctor. We're wasting time.
The shuttlecraft is ready.
MCCOY: You're determined not to let me share in this, aren't you?
SPOCK: This is not a competition, Doctor. Whether you understand it or
not, grant me my own kind of dignity.
MCCOY: Vulcan dignity? How can I grant you what I don't understand?
SPOCK: Then employ one of your own superstitions. Wish me luck.
(Silence and stares, then McCoy opens the hangar deck door. Spock walks
across and into the Galileo. The doors shut.)
MCCOY: Good luck, Spock.
SCOTT: All systems clear for shuttlecraft launch.
KIRK: Launch shuttlecraft.
KYLE: Shuttlecraft away, sir.
KIRK: Lieutenant Uhura, channel automatic telemetry directly to the
UHURA: Aye, aye, sir.
SPOCK [OC]: Shuttlecraft to Enterprise.
KIRK: Come in, Spock.
SPOCK: Power drain is enormous and growing worse.
(Chekov goes to the science station.)
SPOCK [OC]: Diverting all secondary power to the shields. (McCoy
enters) I'll continue communications as long as there is power to
SCOTT: Captain, h e won't have enough power to get back out if he
diverts it to his shields.
SPOCK [OC]: I heard, Captain.
SPOCK: We discussed that possibility earlier. But
you will need this information.
KIRK [OC]: When do you estimate penetration?
SPOCK: Slowing now. Contact in eighteen point three seconds. Brace
yourselves. The area of penetration will no doubt be sensitive. Contact
SPOCK [OC]: In six seconds.
(Spock is thrown around in the shuttlecraft, everyone on the ship just
feels a jolt.)
KIRK: Report, Mister Spock. Spock, report.
SPOCK [OC]: I am undamaged, Captain. Relay to Mister Scott I had three
percent power reserve before the shields stabilised.
SPOCK: There was nothing to spare. I shall continue
my tests. Oh, and Doctor McCoy. You would have not survived it.
MCCOY: You want to bet?
SPOCK: I am moving slowly now, establishing course
toward what appears to be the nucleus.
CHEKOV: Sir, Mister Spock has reduced life-support
systems to bare minimum.
KIRK: Spock, save your power for the shields.
SPOCK: Calculations indicate the shields will last only forty seven
SPOCK [OC]: However, I am able to identify the
SPOCK: Changes indicate the organism has stored
sufficient energy for reproductive process to commence.
KIRK: You mean there'll be two of those things?
SPOCK [OC]: I'm having difficulty maintaining ship control.
KIRK: Spock, do you read me? Spock, do you read me?
SPOCK [OC]: I'm losing voice contact I will transmit internal
co-ordinates of chromosome bodies.
KIRK: Spock, come in. Come in.
UHURA: Contact lost, sir.
(The ship shakes.)
KIRK: He's alive! He's kicked it in the side to let us know.
UHURA: Captain, I'm getting telemetry.
KIRK: Mister Chekov, telemetry analysis as it comes in.
CHEKOV: According to Spock's telemetry information, there are over
forty chromosomes in the nucleus that are ready to come together, ready
KIRK: If the energy of that organism only doubles, we're dead, and
everything within a light year will be defenceless.
MCCOY: Well, all I know is, that soon there'll be two, four, eight, and
more. The entire anti-life matter that that thing puts out
could someday encompass the entire galaxy.
KIRK: Spock understood when he transmitted the co-ordinates of the
chromosomes. We must destroy that organism.
SCOTT: Captain, the pull from that organism is increasing, and the
power drain from our shields is getting critical.
KIRK: How much time do we have?
SCOTT: No more than an hour now, sir.
KIRK: Put all secondary systems on standby. Shield power has
SCOTT: Aye, sir.
UHURA: Captain, I'm receiving a message from Mister Spock on a
low-energy channel. It's faint, but it is readable.
KIRK: Put it on, Lieutenant.
UHURA: On audio, sir.
SPOCK [OC]: This is Spock.
SPOCK: I am slowly losing life support and minimal
shield energies. According to my calculations
SPOCK [OC]: (Barely audible over static) The
nervous energy of the organism is maximal just within its outer
protective membrane. Relatively insensitive to interior irritation. I
believe sufficient charge of (inaudible) could destroy the organism.
Tell Doctor McCoy he should have wished me luck.
Captain's log stardate 4309.4. We have determined
we can destroy the creature, provided we can do it from inside the
Spock clearly knew how to destroy it but was unable to transmit that
MCCOY: How do you feel?
KIRK: What's on your mind?
MCCOY: Spock. Is it me, Jim? Am I so sentimental that I just have to
keep believing that he's still alive in that mass of protoplasm?
KIRK: He knew the odds when he went out there, just as you did when you
volunteered to go. What is that thing out there, Bones? It's not
intelligent. Not yet.
MCCOY: It's a disease, like a virus invading the body of our galaxy.
KIRK: Yes, it is, isn't it? How many cells does the human body have?
KIRK: This thing, this cell, this virus. It's eleven thousand miles
long, and it's one cell. When it grows into millions, we'll be the
virus invading its body.
MCCOY: Now, isn't that a thought? Here we are, antibodies of our own
galaxy, attacking an invading germ. It would be ironic indeed if that
were our sole destiny, wouldn't it?
KIRK: Antibodies. Antibodies. (goes to desk monitor) Bridge.
SCOTT [OC]: Scott here, sir.
KIRK: Scotty, how much power do we have left?
SCOTT: We're down to forty three percent, sir.
We're slipping a bit against the pull that beastie's putting on us.
SCOTT [OC]: We can't last more than forty five
minutes at this rate of decline. Less, if I have to apply more thrust.
KIRK: What would happen if you diverted all remaining power to the
shields, except for impulse power, keep that in reserve?
SCOTT: Cut the engine thrust? We'd be sucked into
that thing like being caught in a wind tunnel, sir.
KIRK: Exactly. Prepare to divert power on my
signal. Kirk out.
(Kirk leans against the monitor, tired. McCoy scans him.)
KIRK: Have you got something to say?
MCCOY: Technically, no. Medically, yes. Between the stimulants and the
pressure, I would suggest you try to stay off your feet for a few
KIRK: I don't have a few minutes, Bones. Maybe none of us do. Let's go.
KIRK: All hands, this is the captain. We're going
to enter the body of the organism rather abruptly, I would think.
Damage control parties stand by. All decks secure for collision. Kirk
KIRK: Ready, Scotty.
SCOTT: Switching power to shields. Impulse in reserve. Cutting thrust
to zero, now!
KYLE: Impact five seconds.
(There's a big bump and people are thrown all over the place. Then
there is calm.)
CHEKOV: We're through, sir.
KIRK: I believe everybody is aware of that, Mister Chekov.
UHURA: Damage control parties report minimal damage, sir. Repairs are
KIRK: Very good, Lieutenant.
SCOTT: Captain, we've only twenty six percent power reserves after
KIRK: Do we have impulse power, Scotty?
SCOTT: I saved all I could, sir, but I don't know whether we have
enough to get back out again. Or time either.
KIRK: We are committed.
SCOTT: Aye, we are, but we're committed to what? We have no power for
MCCOY: We couldn't use it. We'd cook ourselves along with that mess of
protoplasm out there
KIRK: That thing would probably like phasers. It eats power.
SCOTT: Then what the devil, begging your pardon sir, are we doing?
KIRK: Mister Spock was trying to tell us what to do when we lost voice
SCOTT: We can't use the power to destroy it.
KIRK: This thing has a negative energy charge. Everything seems to work
in reverse. We'll use anti-matter.
SCOTT: Aye, it couldn't swallow that.
KIRK: Mister Chekov, prepare a probe. Scotty, we'll need a magnetic
bottle for the charge. How soon?
SCOTT: It's on its way, sir.
KIRK: Mister Chekov, we'll use a timing detonator for the probe. Work
out a setting.
CHEKOV: Aye, sir.
KIRK: Helmsman, when do you estimate arrival at nucleus?
KYLE: Seven minutes, sir.
MCCOY: How close are you going to it?
KIRK: Point blank range. We'll implant it then back away.
MCCOY: Why? The probe has a range of
KIRK: With the eddies and currents in that protoplasm, the probe could
drift thousands of kilometres. We must be exactly on target, because we
won't have a second chance. Bones, time for another stimulant.
MCCOY: How long do you think you can keep taking that stuff? It'll blow
KIRK: Keep me together for another seven minutes. That's all I need.
SPOCK: Personal log, Commander Spock, USS
Enterprise. I have noted the passage of the Enterprise on its way to
whatever awaits it.
If this record should survive me, I wish it known that I bequeath my
highest commendation and testimonial to the captain,
officers, and crew of the Enterprise. The finest starship in the fleet.
KIRK: (also making a log entry) We have arrived at
the chromosome body in the nucleus of the organism. If we should fail
in our attempt to destroy it, or be unable to free ourselves, I wish to
record my recommendations for the following personnel, that they
receive special citation. Lieutenant Commander Leonard McCoy,
Lieutenant Commander Montgomery Scott, officers Chekov, Kyle, Uhura,
and my highest commendation for Commander Spock, Science Officer, who
gave his life in the performance of his duty.
CHEKOV: Target co-ordinates programmed, sir. Probe ready for launch.
KIRK: Mister Scott, how much time do we have left at one hundred
percent impulse power?
SCOTT: Six, maybe seven minutes, sir.
KIRK: Mister Kyle, programme fuse for seven minute delay. All
non-essential systems on standby. Communications, scanning, conserve
every bit of power. We must make it through the membrane before that
thing explodes. Make it work, Scotty.
SCOTT: Aye, sir.
CHEKOV: Programming complete. Ready for launch.
KIRK: Launch probe at zero acceleration. Forward thrust off, one tenth
of a second.
KYLE: Forward thrust off, sir.
CHEKOV: Probe launched, sir.
(There's a little jolt.)
MCCOY: Despite what Spock said, it's still plenty sensitive.
CHEKOV: Probe confirmed. It is lodged in the nucleus, near the
KIRK: Mister Kyle, back us out the way we came in. Mister Chekov, a
nice, straight line. Don't waste any time.
KYLE: Backing out, sir.
CHEKOV: Estimate we'll be out in six point thirty seven minutes.
KIRK: Very good.
CHEKOV: Captain, metallic substance outside the ship.
KIRK: Lieutenant, get me Spock's voice channel. Highest possible gain.
UHURA: Go ahead, sir.
KIRK: Spock, do you read me? Do you read me, Spock, do you read me?
Come in, Spock. Spock! Scotty, get a tractor beam.
SCOTT: Captain, we don't have enough time to do it. We only have a
fifty three second escape margin.
KIRK: I'm well aware of that, Mister Scott. Get two tractor beams on
SCOTT: Aye, sir. Tractor beams on.
SPOCK [OC]: Captain, I recommend you abandon the attempt.
SPOCK: Do not risk the ship further on my behalf.
MCCOY: Shut up, Spock! We're rescuing you.
SPOCK: Why, thank you, Captain McCoy.
KYLE: Almost out. We're approaching the membrane,
KIRK: Time until explosion?
CHEKOV: Fifty seven seconds, sir.
KIRK: Maintaining tractor beams on shuttlecraft, Mister Scott?
SCOTT: Aye, sir. I can't guarantee it'll hold when the warhead
explodes. The power levels are (looks at readout) The power levels are
KIRK: You may have just written our epitaph, Mister Scott.
(The warhead must have exploded, because everyone goes flying around
the bridge again.)
KIRK: Activate main viewing screen. (they see stars.) Mister Chekov,
CHEKOV: The organism is destroyed, sir. The explosion must have
ruptured the membrane and thrown us clear.
SCOTT: Power's coming back, sir.
SCOTT: I don't know how, sir, but it's still with us.
SPOCK: Shuttlecraft to Enterprise. Shuttlecraft to
Enterprise. Request permission to come aboard.
KIRK: Spock, you're alive!
SPOCK: Obviously, Captain. And I have some
fascinating data on the organism.
MCCOY: Don't be so smart, Spock. You botched the
KIRK: Later, later, later. Bring the shuttlecraft aboard, Mister Scott.
SCOTT: Aye, sir.
KYLE: Prepare to receive shuttlecraft. Received shuttlecraft. Hangar
doors closed. Hangar deck pressurising.
KIRK: Mister Chekov, lay in a course for Starbase Six. Ahead warp
factor five. I'm still looking forward to a nice period of rest and
relaxation on some lovely (gazes at yeoman) planet.