The Immunity Syndrome
Stardate: 4307.1
Original Airdate: 19 Jan, 1968

Captain's log, stardate 4307.1. Approaching Starbase Six for a much needed period of rest and recreation.

[Bridge]

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 co-ordinate.
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.)
KIRK: Spock?
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.
SPOCK: Captain.
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, sir.
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 sector.
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 progress.
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 inhabitants there.
CHEKOV: It is dead.

[Sickbay]

(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 was destroyed?
(Spock gets off the bed.)
SPOCK: I sensed it die.
MCCOY: But I thought you had to be in physical contact with a subject before
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 they known.
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.

[Bridge]

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 system.
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.)
SPOCK: Lieutenant.
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 her?
MCCOY: Not unless she's feeling ill. I've got an emergency here.

[Sickbay]

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.

[Bridge]

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 it isn't.
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 Intrepid?
SPOCK: Very possible.
KIRK: Lieutenant.
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.)
SPOCK: Captain?
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.
KIRK: Spock!
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?

[Engineering]

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.

[Bridge]

KIRK: I am asking how, mister. I want answers. Kirk out.
(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.)
MCCOY: Nurse.
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?
SPOCK: Unknown.
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 grow weaker.
KIRK: Recommendations.
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.

[Engineering]

KIRK [OC]: Our mission is to investigate.

[Sickbay]

KIRK [OC]: We're sick, and we're getting sicker.

[Bridge]

KIRK: We have no guarantees, but we have a good ship and the best crew in Starfleet. So do your jobs. Carry on. Kirk out.

[McCoy's office]

MCCOY: Sickbay to Captain Kirk.
KIRK [OC]: Kirk here. Go ahead, Bones.
MCCOY: Jim, according to the life indicators, the energy levels

[Bridge]

KIRK: Yes, say it, Bones.

[McCoy's office]

MCCOY: According to the life monitors, we're dying.

[Bridge]

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 the zone.

[Engineering]

(Kirk enters and is promptly thrown sideways by a massive jolt to the ship.)
KIRK: Are you all right?
SCOTT: Yes.
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 reverse thrust?
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 like it.
SPOCK [OC]: Bridge to Captain Kirk.
KIRK: Kirk here.

[Bridge]

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 reverse power.

[Engineering]

KIRK: He just gave us reverse power. We lurched forward.

[Bridge]

SPOCK: In that case, Captain, I would suggest we apply forward thrust.

[Sickbay]

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.

[Engineering]

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.
SCOTT: But
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.

[Sickbay]

CHAPEL: Doctor, they seem to be stabilising.
MCCOY: But at a dangerously low level. Well, we're still alive. I suppose that's something.

[Briefing room]

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.
KIRK: Engineering.
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.
KIRK: Spock.
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 something else.
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 killed.
KIRK: Explain.
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?
SPOCK: Astonishment.

[Engineering]

(Scott is working on the upper level)
SCOTT: That ought to do it. Engineering to Captain Kirk.

[Bridge]

KIRK: Kirk here. What is it, Scotty?

[Engineering]

SCOTT: Ready to try it when you are, sir.

[Bridge]

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

[Sickbay]

KIRK [OC]: All available power

[Engineering]

KIRK [OC]: Into one giant forward thrust

[Bridge]

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.)
KIRK: Scotty!
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?

[Engineering]

SCOTT: Aye, sir.
KIRK [OC]: How long will the power hold out?
SCOTT: At this rate, plus the drain on all systems, two hours.

[Bridge]

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 us.
(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.

[Laboratory]

(There is an image of a single-celled organism on a screen.)
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 survived?
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 protective shield
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 vulnerable spots.
SPOCK: You have a martyr complex, Doctor. I submit that it disqualifies you.
MCCOY: Do you think I intend to pass up the greatest living laboratory since
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 science specialist.
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.
MCCOY: Jim
SPOCK: Captain, I
KIRK: Gentlemen, I'll decide.

[Kirk's quarters]

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.

[Engineering]

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

[Kirk's quarters]

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 go.

[Corridor]

SPOCK: Do not suffer so, Doctor. This is not the first time superior capability has proven more valuable than professional credentials.
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.

[Bridge]

SCOTT: All systems clear for shuttlecraft launch. sir.
KIRK: Launch shuttlecraft.
KYLE: Shuttlecraft away, sir.
KIRK: Lieutenant Uhura, channel automatic telemetry directly to the computers.
UHURA: Aye, aye, sir.
SPOCK [OC]: Shuttlecraft to Enterprise.
KIRK: Come in, Spock.

[Shuttlecraft]

SPOCK: Power drain is enormous and growing worse.

[Bridge]

KIRK: Chekov.
(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 transmit.
SCOTT: Captain, h e won't have enough power to get back out if he diverts it to his shields.
KIRK: Spock.
SPOCK [OC]: I heard, Captain.

[Shuttlecraft]

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

[Bridge]

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.

[Shuttlecraft]

SPOCK: There was nothing to spare. I shall continue my tests. Oh, and Doctor McCoy. You would have not survived it.

[Bridge]

MCCOY: You want to bet?

[Shuttlecraft]

SPOCK: I am moving slowly now, establishing course toward what appears to be the nucleus.

[Bridge]

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 minutes.

[Bridge]

SPOCK [OC]: However, I am able to identify the chromosome structure.

[Shuttlecraft]

SPOCK: Changes indicate the organism has stored sufficient energy for reproductive process to commence.

[Bridge]

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 to reproduce.
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 unconditional priority.
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.

[Shuttlecraft]

SPOCK: I am slowly losing life support and minimal shield energies. According to my calculations

[Bridge]

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 organism. Spock clearly knew how to destroy it but was unable to transmit that information.

[Kirk's quarters]

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?
MCCOY: Millions.
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?

[Bridge]

SCOTT: We're down to forty three percent, sir. We're slipping a bit against the pull that beastie's putting on us.

[Kirk's quarters]

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?

[Bridge]

SCOTT: Cut the engine thrust? We'd be sucked into that thing like being caught in a wind tunnel, sir.

[Kirk's quarters]

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 minutes.
KIRK: I don't have a few minutes, Bones. Maybe none of us do. Let's go.

[Bridge]

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 out.
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 being initiated.
KIRK: Very good, Lieutenant.
SCOTT: Captain, we've only twenty six percent power reserves after entry.
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 the phasers.
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 contact.
SCOTT: We can't use the power to destroy it.
KIRK: Anti-power.
MCCOY: What?
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 you apart.
KIRK: Keep me together for another seven minutes. That's all I need.

[Shuttlecraft]

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.

[Bridge]

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 chromosome bodies.
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.
MCCOY: Spock?
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 that shuttlecraft.
SCOTT: Aye, sir. Tractor beams on.
SPOCK [OC]: Captain, I recommend you abandon the attempt.

[Shuttlecraft]

SPOCK: Do not risk the ship further on my behalf.

[Bridge]

MCCOY: Shut up, Spock! We're rescuing you.

[Shuttlecraft]

SPOCK: Why, thank you, Captain McCoy.

[Bridge]

KYLE: Almost out. We're approaching the membrane, sir.
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 dead, sir.
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, report.
CHEKOV: The organism is destroyed, sir. The explosion must have ruptured the membrane and thrown us clear.
SCOTT: Power's coming back, sir.
KIRK: Shuttlecraft?
SCOTT: I don't know how, sir, but it's still with us.

[Shuttlecraft]

SPOCK: Shuttlecraft to Enterprise. Shuttlecraft to Enterprise. Request permission to come aboard.

[Bridge]

KIRK: Spock, you're alive!

[Shuttlecraft]

SPOCK: Obviously, Captain. And I have some fascinating data on the organism.

[Bridge]

MCCOY: Don't be so smart, Spock. You botched the acetylcholine test.
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.

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