Captain's log, stardate 5121.5, orbiting the second planet in the
Minarian star system. This star has long given evidence of entering a
nova phase, and six months ago, a research station was established to
make close-up studies of the star as its end approaches. Minara is now
entering a critical period, and the Enterprise has been ordered to
evacuate the station before the planet becomes uninhabitable. Yet our
attempts to contact the station's personnel have been, so far,
SPOCK: Dust. Apparently these instruments have not
been recently used.
KIRK: Record tape. Maybe it'll tell us something about the personnel
that lived here.
SCOTT [OC]: Enterprise to Captain Kirk. Come in, please.
KIRK: Kirk here. What is it, Enterprise?
SCOTT [OC]: Scott here, sir.
SCOTT: Our instruments have picked up a gigantic
SCOTT [OC]: With very high levels of cosmic rays
KIRK: How bad?
SCOTT [OC]: An enormous one.
SCOTT: Our sensors indicate the cosmic ray
concentration measures three point five one on the Ritter scale.
That'll play the very devil with the crew, as well as the ship.
SPOCK: At that rate, it will take exactly seventy
four point one solar hours for the storm to pass.
KIRK: Get that ship out of here. Stay at minimum distance for absolute
SCOTT: Aye, aye, sir. We'll beam you up in
KIRK [OC]: Negative. We're staying here. The atmosphere will protect
KIRK: Get that ship out of here, Mister Scott.
SCOTT [OC]: Very well, sir. Scott out.
KIRK: Mister Spock, what about that tape?
SPOCK: Remember, Captain, what we see on this tape happened
approximately three months ago.
LINKE [on monitor]: I don't think I can stand another week in this
OZABA [on monitor]: In his hand are the deep places of the earth. Psalm
ninety five, verse four. Looks like he was listening.
(A piercing noise makes them cover their ears, then Ozaba vanishes.)
LINKE [on monitor]: Who's out there?
(He vanishes too.)
MCCOY: What happened to them?
(The same noise comes again.)
KIRK: Where's does that sound coming from? Spock, can you pinpoint it?
SPOCK: Negative, Captain. It doesn't register.
(Spock disappears, then McCoy.)
KIRK: Bones! Spock!
(He tries to leave, but falls back into the floor. Then he vanishes too
leaving just a body print in the dust.)
(The three awaken lying on the floor of a big, bare
room. Blue floor, red walls.)
KIRK: Spock. Bones. Where are we?
SPOCK: Exactly one two one point three two metres beneath the planet
KIRK: How did we get here?
SPOCK: Residual energy readings indicate we were beamed here by a
matter-energy scrambler, similar to our own transporter mechanism.
MCCOY: That's a nasty cut, Jim. Does it hurt?
SPOCK: Captain, picking up a life-form reading bearing four two mark
KIRK: One of the missing scientists?
SPOCK: Negative. Although humanoid, it is definitely not Homo Sapiens.
SPOCK: Impossible. I can make no exact identification other than it
KIRK: Let's find out. Phasers on stun.
(They start walking.)
SPOCK: Approaching the life-form, Captain.
KIRK: What is it?
SPOCK: Still undistinguishable.
(A light reveals a young woman lying on what might be a bed, which is
itself on a stepped platform. McCoy moves towards her.)
KIRK: Be careful.
MCCOY: She seems harmless enough.
SPOCK: The sand-bats of Manark Four appear to be inanimate rock
crystals, Doctor, until they attack.
(She wakes, using big gestures, and mimes her fear of Kirk's phaser.)
KIRK: We're not going to hurt you. Is this your home? Do you live here?
What about it, Spock? Analysis.
SPOCK: From what we know of the specific gravity and other
environmental factors of this planet, a life-form such as hers could
not evolve here.
(They put their phasers away.)
KIRK: Are you responsible for bringing us here? Don't be afraid. Bones,
what's wrong with her?
MCCOY: She's a mute, Jim. No vocal cords, not even vestigals. And I
don't think it's a pathological condition.
MCCOY: She appears to be perfectly healthy. As for the other, her lack
of vocal cords could be physiologically normal for her species,
whatever that is.
KIRK: A race of mutes, like the civilisation on Gamma Vertis Four.
MCCOY: That's my observation, for whatever it's worth.
KIRK: Without speech, how's she going to be able to understand us?
Unless she's a telepath.
SPOCK: An unlikely possibility, Captain, since over ninety eight
percent of the known telepathic species send thoughts as well as
receive them. She's made no attempt to contact our minds.
MCCOY: We can't keep referring to her as she, as if she weren't here.
KIRK: Do you have any ideas?
MCCOY: Well, I don't know about you, but I'm going to call her Gem.
SPOCK: Gem, Doctor?
MCCOY: Well, that's better than 'Hey, you.'
KIRK: I want to know why we're here. I want to know what's going on.
And she knows.
(Two big-headed aliens in silver robes appear. First cousins to the
Talos people, by the looks of them.)
KIRK: I'm Captain
THANN: We are aware of your identity, Captain.
KIRK: Who are you? Why did you bring us here?
LAL: We are Vians. Do not interfere.
KIRK: What do you intend to do with us?
THANN: Delay us no longer.
KIRK: We come (moves forward and gets pushed back by a weapon) Since
you already know who we are, you must also know that we come in peace.
Our prime directive specifically prohibits us from any interference.)
(The Vians fire their weapons several times, and the landing party is
caught in some sort of enery field. The Vians go to Gem)
KIRK: I can't seem to stand up.
MCCOY: Don't fight the force field. There's something about it that
upsets the body metabolism.
LAL: Not quite, Doctor. The field draws its energy from your bodies.
The more you resist, the stronger the force field becomes. Sufficient.
(The Vians vanish, then the forcefield.)
KIRK: Mister Spock there must be an exit other than the one we just
SPOCK: Correct, Captain.
(Spock goes off, scanning with his tricorder.)
MCCOY: Do you feel all right, Jim?
KIRK: Don't worry about me. They may have hurt her.
(Kirk takes her hands, she takes a deep breath and turns away.)
KIRK: Did they hurt you?
(Then Gem turns back and touches the cut on Kirk's head. It disappears
from him and appears on her forehead instead, then vanishes.)
KIRK: The pain is gone. She touched my head, and the pain is gone.
MCCOY: The wound is completely healed. It fits, Jim. She must be an
empath. Her nervous system is so sensitive, highly responsive that she
can actually feel our emotional and physical reactions. They become
part of her.
KIRK: Thank you.
SPOCK: Captain, in that direction, my tricorder is now picking up a
substantial collection of objects.
SPOCK: Electronically sophisticated devices. I fail to understand why
my tricorder previously gave no indication of them being out there.
KIRK: Well they're there now. Let's go check them out. (to Gem) Staying
here alone could be dangerous. Come with us.
(The group comes to a collection of computer-like items, girder
structures holding up nothing, glass tubes. Herein called 'the
MCCOY: Look at this stuff.
KIRK: Bones Spock, come here.
(He has found the scientists, preserved in perspex tubes, in the same
positions that they vanished from the research lab.)
MCCOY: Jim, Spock.
(There are three empty tubes, with the away teams names on them..)
LAL: We are on schedule. Some further simple tests are necessary.
MCCOY: We've seen the results of some of your tests.
KIRK: I found our missing men. Dead. Another one of your experiments?
LAL: You're wrong. Their own imperfections killed them. They were not
fit subjects. Come. Time is short.
KIRK: Yes. Your time is running out. This sun is about to nova. When it
does, it'll destroy you, this planet, and this insane torture chamber.
(Spock neck-pinches the alien.)
KIRK: Let's get out of here.
SPOCK: Readings indicate the passage to the surface lies in this
(As they head off, Lal wakes up and watches them go. He is joined by
the other alien.)
(A strong wind is blowing as they emerge from a
KIRK: Kirk to Enterprise. Kirk to Enterprise, come in. Out of range.
Readings, Mister Spock?
SPOCK: Research station six kilometres in that direction, Captain.
KIRK: Let's get there as fast as we can. If the Enterprise has a search
party, it'll be there.
(The group run on. Gem isn't very good at running, and McCoy falls over
a stone once.)
KIRK: Spock! Much further?
SPOCK: Just ahead.
MCCOY: Hey, Jim, look. Scotty and a search party.
KIRK: Stay there! Come on!
MCCOY: We're coming!
(When Gem stumbles again, Kirk sees the aliens watching their progress.
He sends her on ahead of him.)
KIRK: Keep going.
LAL: Their will to survive is great.
THANN: They love life greatly to struggle so.
LAL: The prime ingredient.
[Outside Research station]
(Scott and the rescue team vanish.)
MCCOY: Where'd they go?
SPOCK: I believe they were never actually present, Doctor. It was a
(Gem gestures to them to go back with her.)
MCCOY: Where's Kirk?
(They find Kirk on the ground.)
KIRK: What are you doing here? Where's Scotty?
SPOCK: Captain, it was a mirage.
THANN: Captain Kirk! We have decided that one specimen will be
sufficient. You will come with us.
KIRK: What about the others?
LAL: We've no interest in them. They may go.
KIRK: Very well.
MCCOY: You can't go back there. You'll end up like the other two.
SPOCK: Captain, I request permission to be allowed
MCCOY: But, Captain
KIRK: You have your orders.
(McCoy, Spock and Gem vanish.)
KIRK: What happened to my men?
LAL: They are safe.
KIRK: One specimen, you said. One specimen! What happened to my men?
THANN: Indeed, the prime ingredient.
KIRK: Where are they? Tell me! You said you'd let them go!
SCOTT: Mister Sulu, will you give us an estimate of
how much longer we'll have until those solar flares will subside?
SULU: Aye, sir. Readings now indicate two point seven two one on the
Ritter scale. At the present rate of decrease, we'll have to wait at
least seventeen hours more before we can even attempt to enter orbit.
SCOTT: Aye. Well, as long as we're stuck out here, we might as well
relax until the storm passes.
SULU: The storm's already lasted four hours longer than we've
anticipated. Do you suppose our landing party could be in any danger?
SCOTT: That's not likely. The planet's atmosphere will give them ample
protection. And if I know Captain Kirk, he'll be more worried about us
than we are about him.
(Kirk is currently stripped and dangling from a
couple of chains, crucifixion-style. He is suffering, and Gem is
KIRK: What is it you want to know?
LAL: We seek no information as you mean. Your civilisation is yet too
immature to have knowledge valuable to us.
KIRK: You don't need any knowledge from us, yet you're willing to kill
for it. Is that what happened to Linke and Ozaba?
THANN: We did not kill them. Their own fears killed them.
KIRK: Well, what did you expect from them? And what do you want from
LAL: We've already observed the intensity of your passions and gauged
your capacity to love others. Now we want you to reveal to us your
courage and strength of will.
KIRK: Why? What is it you hope to prove? If my death is to have any
meaning, at least tell me what I'm dying for.
THANN: If you live, you will have your answer.
MCCOY: Come on, Spock, the passageway was there
before. It's got to be there.
SPOCK: Doctor, I'm unable to lock in on the previous readings. I can
find no exit out of here.
(A flash, Gem and a clothed but unconscious Kirk appear, along with the
forcefield to restrain McCoy and Spock.)
MCCOY: Captain! (Kirk wakes) Jim, what is it? What have they done to
(Gem starts to try to heal Kirk, but recoils at the pain.)
MCCOY: Help him. Don't be afraid to help him.
(She does, taking the pain from his shoulders and the wounds from his
wrists. Gem collapses. The forcefield is gone.)
MCCOY: Jim. You lie still. I'll check her out right away.
KIRK: Will she live?
MCCOY: She seems fine now.
KIRK: Can you explain what happened?
MCCOY: Complete empathy. She must be a totally functional empath. Her
nervous system actually connected to yours to counteract the worst of
your symptoms and with her strength, she virtually sustained your
body's physiological reactions.
KIRK: She weakened. I could feel it. Is her life in danger?
MCCOY: It's impossible to say yet, but supplying your body with life
support did drain her.
SPOCK: Her withdrawal seemed to suggest the fear of death, Doctor. Only
your urging her on caused her to continue.
MCCOY: That's true. Fear would naturally be her first reaction. Perhaps
she doesn't know our captain well enough yet to offer up her life for
KIRK: Could the strain really have killed her?
MCCOY: Oh yes. However, I'd assume that her instinct for
self-preservation would take over to prevent it. How do you feel?
KIRK: I'm tired.
SPOCK: Can you recall what happened, Captain?
KIRK: I remember the laboratory, and they wanted to know something. But
I, I can't remember.
MCCOY: Take it easy.
KIRK: What's the matter with me?
MCCOY: You have all the symptoms of the bends. Nitrogen bubbles in your
blood caused the pain. Now how would one get the bends down here?
KIRK: You'll have to ask the Vians. Will I live?
MCCOY: Well, you could use some time in a decompression chamber. But
otherwise, I'd say your recovery is about miraculous. I wish I could
take the credit for it, but she did the work.
SPOCK: Captain, I noted that a light preceded you at the moment you
were returned here from the Vian's laboratory.
MCCOY: Spock, why do you have to get so analytical at a time like
KIRK: No, he's right. Continue.
SPOCK: I conclude such a light is an energy transfer point linking this
device to the power source.
(Spock refers to the hand device they took off Lal.)
KIRK: Can you tap into it?
SPOCK: If I can determine the frequency at which this device operates,
I might be able to cause it to function for us.
KIRK: And get us out of here the same way we were brought in.
SPOCK: I would say so.
KIRK: Then I would say proceed.
LAL: You are called Captain. You are responsible for the lives of your
crew. Is this correct?
KIRK: It is.
THANN: We find it necessary to have the co-operation of one of your men
in our efforts.
KIRK: We will not co-operate.
LAL: When we resume our interrogations, you will decide which of your
men we shall use. It is essential. There is an eighty seven percent
chance that the doctor will die. And while Commander Spock's life is
not in danger, the possibility is ninety three percent that he will
suffer brain damage, resulting in permanent insanity.
KIRK: How's it coming, Spock?
SPOCK: I do not know, Captain. I'm beginning to understand its
operating principles, but that is all.
MCCOY: Spock, It won't be long before the Vians come back. You better
find out how that thing works and soon.
KIRK: Take it easy, Bones.
MCCOY: Men weren't intended to live this far underground. It's just not
KIRK: And space travel is?
SPOCK: Some men spend the majority of their lives in mines beneath the
MCCOY: I'm a doctor, not a coal miner.
SPOCK: I've recorded my principles and theories on the tricorder,
Doctor. Should the Vians return, there is sufficient data for you and
the captain to complete the adjustments.
MCCOY: I'm not a mechanic. I couldn't get that thing to work no matter
how many notes you left.
SPOCK: Possibly not, but you and the captain together will be able to
MCCOY: In any case, Spock, you're the logical one to leave with the
KIRK: The decision's mine. If there are any decisions to be made, I'll
make them. If and when it becomes necessary.
(Kirk appears to be in discomfort. McCoy prepares a hypo, and injects
KIRK: I don't need any
MCCOY: I'm still Chief Medical Officer of the Enterprise. I'll tell you
what you need and when you need it. Would you rather have the bends?
That's it. Just lie down and relax.
SPOCK: How long will he be asleep, Doctor?
MCCOY: Between the emotional strain and that attack of bends, he's in
pretty bad shape.
SPOCK: I'm not criticizing your action, Doctor. On the contrary, I'm
quite grateful for it. The captain will be spared the strain of making
so difficult a decision. You have simplified the situation
SPOCK: While the captain is asleep, I am in command. When the Vians
return, I shall go with them.
MCCOY: You mean, if I hadn't given him that shot
SPOCK: Precisely. The choice would have been the captain's. Now it is
(McCoy turns away. Spock sits to carry on working. Gem puts her hand on
Spock's shoulder, and smiles. McCoy comes up behind him and gives him
SPOCK: Your action is highly unethical. My decision stands.
(Spock falls asleep next to Kirk.)
MCCOY: Not this time, Spock.
(The Vians return.)
MCCOY: The choice has been made. (to Gem) You stay here with my
friends. They'll take care of you. Do you understand?
THANN: Come, then.
(McCoy puts down his bag and tricorder, then the three vanish.)
(Now it is McCoy who is being crucified from the
LAL: Doctor, please understand that if there was any other way to
accomplish our purpose
MCCOY: Get on with it.
(So they do.)
KIRK: Why did you let him do it?
SPOCK: I was convinced in the same way you were, Captain. By the good
SPOCK: Hmm. A most unusual device. It is a control unit, but not a
control mechanism. In fact, it is not a mechanical device.
KIRK: What exactly is it?
SPOCK: This control is attuned to one electrical pattern of energy, the
pattern produced by the mental impulses of the person who possesses it.
It is activated solely by mental commands.
KIRK: Can you adapt it, re-attune it to fit our brain pattern?
SPOCK: I shall attempt to do so. However, it is not possible to adjust
the control to fit more than one pattern at a time. I am, of course,
most familiar with my own pattern. Therefore, with your permission, I
KIRK: Do whatever you have to to make it work, Spock. What disturbs me
is why the Vians let us keep it.
SPOCK: Fascinating. They must have known we were capable of
comprehending this control and making use of it.
KIRK: And that we would use it to escape.
SPOCK: The only logical assumption is that they wish to let us go.
KIRK: And they keep McCoy.
SPOCK: That is evidently their intention, Captain.
KIRK: (to Gem) Somehow, you're the crux, the focal point of all this.
Even before we got here, she was a prisoner. They didn't hurt her, they
didn't even threaten her.
SPOCK: Indeed, the facts would indicate that she's essential to their
KIRK: Yes, there is a purpose, but what is it? Has all the pain and
terror happened, or been made to happen for you?
SPOCK: Completed, Captain. The adjustments are delicate. They may not
survive more than even one use. However, there should be sufficient
energy to transfer us to the Enterprise.
KIRK: Will it take us to McCoy?
SPOCK: If you so desire.
KIRK: The best defence is a strong offense, and I intend to start
offending right now. Aim for the lab.
(Spock, Kirk and Gem arrive at to find McCoy alone,
still suspended from the chains. Gem is horrified.)
KIRK: Bones. Spock. Get him down. His wrists. (they lie him on a couch)
His pulse is almost gone. How is he?
SPOCK: Severe heart damage. Signs of congestion in both lungs. Evidence
of massive circulatory collapse.
KIRK: Don't talk. Don't speak. Take it easy until we get you back to
the ship. What is it? What's the matter?
SPOCK: He's dying, Jim. We can make him comfortable, but that is all.
KIRK: You don't know. You're not a doctor.
SPOCK: Internal injuries. Bleeding in the chest and abdomen.
Haemorrhage of the spleen and liver. Seventy percent kidney failure.
MCCOY: He's right, Jim. Being a doctor has its drawbacks. I always
wondered why I (coughs, so they turn him on his side) Thanks.
KIRK: How long?
SPOCK: It could happen anytime.
MCCOY: The correct medical phrase, ay, Spock? You've got a a good
bedside manner, Spock.
KIRK: Can't we do something?
SPOCK: I'm afraid not.
KIRK: Gem might be able to help him, the way she helped me, but could
his nearness to death also kill her?
SPOCK: Uncertain, Captain. Dr. McCoy's analysis of her reaction assumes
that her instinct for self-preservation would prevent it. However, we
cannot be positive.
KIRK: If she could just strengthen him and keep him from sinking
further into death, we might be able to save him.
(A forcefield stops them from getting to where Gem is crouching in
LAL: No interference will be permitted.
KIRK: She can save his life. Let us help her to go to him.
LAL: She must not be urged or forced to take action.
THANN: All must proceed without interference.
LAL: The purpose that brought us together
KIRK: What purpose can all this serve, except the fulfilment of some
need of yours?
LAL: We have but one need left in life, and that is to see the
completion of the final moment of our test.
THANN: Be patient.
KIRK: Patient? Our friend is dying.
SPOCK: What purpose can be served by the death of our friend, except to
bring you pleasure? Surely beings as advanced as yourselves know that
your star system will soon be extinct. Your sun will nova.
THANN: We know.
SPOCK: Then you also know that the millions of inhabitants on its
planets are doomed.
LAL: That is why we are here.
KIRK: This arena of death that you have devised for your pleasure. Will
it prevent this catastrophe?
LAL: No, it will not, but it may save Gem's planet. Of all the planets
of Minara, we have the power to transport the inhabitants of only one
THANN: If Gem's planet is the one that will be saved, we must make
certain beyond any doubt whatsoever they are worthy of survival.
KIRK: How will the death of our friend serve this purpose?
LAL: His death will not serve it, but her willingness to give her life
for him will. You were her teachers.
KIRK: We were? What could she learn from us?
LAL: Your will to survive. Your love of life. Your passion to know.
They are recorded in her being.
THANN: Her planet will be fortunate.
LAL: Each of you is willing to give his life for the others. We must
now find out whether that instinct has been transmitted to Gem.
(A small earthquake shakes the room.)
THANN: Time grows short.
SPOCK: You were correct, Captain. Everything that has occurred here has
been caused to happen by them. This has all been a great laboratory,
and we have been the subjects of the test.
THANN: No. We only created the circumstances. That was necessary.
LAL: Your actions were spontaneous. Everything that is truest and best
in all species of beings has been revealed by you. Those are the
qualities that make a civilisation worthy to survive.
(Gem goes and sits by McCoy.)
THANN: Behold. That is most significant. An instinct new to the essence
of her being is generating.
LAL: Compassion for another is becoming part of her functioning life
(Gem moves her hands over McCoy, not quite touching him. His bruises
and cuts heal, transferring to her before disappearing. She slumps,
crying silently. Then she tries for the internal injuries, but falls
away in agony.)
THANN: She is afraid.
LAL: She's saving herself. She does not yet have the instinct to save
THANN: We have failed?
LAL: No. No, not yet.
SPOCK: Captain, Dr. McCoy's life is not solely dependent on Gem. The
Vians too must be capable of saving his life.
KIRK: Then you cannot let him die.
LAL: His death is not important. We must wait to see whether her
instinct for self-sacrifice has become stronger than her instinct for
(McCoy starts to wake. Gem returns to him.)
MCCOY: Don't touch me. Stay away. Jim. Spock. Are you here?
KIRK: Yes, Bones.
MCCOY: Don't let her touch me. She'll die. Jim, I can't destroy life,
even if it's to save my own. I can't. You know that. I can't let you do
(McCoy pushes Gem away.)
KIRK: What is it?
SPOCK: The intensity of emotion is draining us and building up the
KIRK: Yes, I know.
SPOCK: It draws its energy from us, Captain. In spite of what we see,
all emotion must be suppressed. That might weaken the field.
KIRK: I'll try.
(Spock leaves the forcefield, but Kirk remains trapped.)
(Spock takes the device from Thann, and Kirk is free too.) KIRK: Spock.
LAL: You cannot use our powers to change what is happening.
KIRK: You must save the life of our friend.
LAL: No. We will not. Her instinct must be developed to the fullest.
The test must be complete.
SPOCK: It is complete. Gem has earned the right of survival for her
planet. She offered her life.
LAL: To offer is not proof enough.
KIRK: If death is all you understand, here are four lives for you.
(Kirk returns the two devices.)
KIRK: We will not leave our friend. You've lost the capacity to feel
the emotions you brought Gem here to experience. You don't understand
what it is to live. Love and compassion are dead in you. You're nothing
(Lal goes over to McCoy and heals him, then picks up the unconscious
(They recede into the darkness.)
SPOCK: What is puzzling you, Captain?
KIRK: I'm not puzzled, Mister Spock. I am awed.
MCCOY: I'm with you, Captain. She awed me.
KIRK: No, no. I wasn't thinking of Gem. I was thinking of that
fantastic element of chance that out in limitless space we should come
together with Gem.
SPOCK: Captain, the element of chance can virtually be eliminated by a
civilisation as advanced as the Vians.
SCOTT: Not to dispute your computer, Mister Spock, but from little what
you've told me, I would say she was a pearl of great price.
KIRK: What, Scott?
SCOTT: Do you not know the story of the merchant? The merchant, who
when he found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had
and bought it.
KIRK: Yes, she was all that. And whether the Vians bought her or found
her makes little difference. She was of great value.
MCCOY: Well, personally, I find it fascinating that with all their
scientific knowledge and advances, that it was good old-fashioned human
emotion that they valued the most.
SCOTT: Perhaps the Vulcans should hear about this.
KIRK: Mister Spock, can you be prevailed upon to bring them the news?
SPOCK: Possibly, Captain. I shall certainly give the thought all the
consideration it is due.
KIRK: Mister Sulu, ahead warp factor two.
SULU: Aye, aye, sir. Warp factor two.