The Cloud Minders
Stardate: 5818.4
Original Airdate: 28 Feb, 1969

Captain's log, stardate 5818.4. A botanical plague is devastating a planet in the quadrant of the galaxy where the Enterprise is operating at present. It threatens to destroy the vegetation on the entire planet, leaving it uninhabitable.

[Bridge]

KIRK: (dictating) At Federation orders, we're proceeding at top warp speed to the planet Ardana, where the only source of zenite exists. It is the one substance that can halt the plague.
UHURA: Captain, the High Advisor of Ardana is ready to receive you on Stratos, sir.
KIRK: On Stratos? That's their cloud city, isn't it, Mister Spock?
SPOCK: It is, Captain.
KIRK: There must be some mistake. Do you have the co-ordinates to the mine entrance available?
SPOCK: They've already been provided to the transport officer, Captain. Along with those of the council chamber of the High Advisor.
KIRK: Kirk to transporter room.
SCOTT [OC]: Ready to transport, Captain.
KIRK: Mister Scott, are you locked in on the mine entrance or on their cloud city, Stratos?
SCOTT: The mine entrance. That's what you ordered, Captain.
KIRK: Fine. Uhura. Tell the High Advisor that we request to dispense with the welcoming ceremonies due to the emergency, and that we're beaming directly down to the mine entrance in order to ensure the fastest possible delivery of the zenite. The need is urgent.
UHURA: Aye, sir.
KIRK: Mister Spock, come with me. Oh, and tell them that we appreciate the honour and that we look forward to some visit in the future.
UHURA: Aye, sir.

[Mine entrance]

(An area with jagged purple rocks under an orange sky. Kirk and Spock arrive on an artificial platform and gaze up at a city literally in the clouds.)
SPOCK: Stratos, Captain. A city actually floating in the sky.
KIRK: Looks as tranquil as its reputation, doesn't it.
SPOCK: It is one of the most interesting metropolises in the galaxy. Have you ever visited here, Captain?
KIRK: Once. I didn't have time to look around.
SPOCK: I've never had the opportunity. However, I hear its art forms are incomparable.
KIRK: Yes, art is the population's chief occupation.
SPOCK: It is a totally intellectual society. All forms of violence have been eliminated.
KIRK: There's the mine entrance. The zenite consignment should have been there. I don't understand it. Those Troglyte miners were supposed to have made delivery when we beamed down.
SPOCK: Perhaps there is another entrance, Captain.
KIRK: Perhaps.
SPOCK: It would seem the Troglytes have changed their minds about delivery.
(Kirk and Spock are lassoed by three people in boiler suits and hard hats.)
KIRK: Who are you? What's the meaning of this attack?
VANNA: (a woman in blue) Interference breeds attack, Captain. Come on!
KIRK: We're here by permission of your government council on an emergency mission.
VANNA: Move on, Captain!.
(There is a fight, two against four. Then three figures beam down onto the platform.)
PLASUS: Troglytes, halt!
(The attackers make to run off.)
PLASUS: Surrender or we'll fire!
(Three escape, one gets shot)
PLASUS: Are you harmed, gentlemen?
KIRK: No, just a little shaken up.
PLASUS: I'm Plasus, High Advisor of the planet council.
KIRK: Captain Kirk, Enterprise. My first officer, Mister Spock.
SPOCK: Greetings, Mister Advisor.
PLASUS: My regrets for the unpleasantness of your welcome to Ardana.
KIRK: It was rather warm.
PLASUS: Unfortunately, violence is habitual with the Troglytes. But I assure you, this insult will not go unpunished.
KIRK: Well, I'm more concerned with the zenite consignment. Why wasn't it in its specified location?
PLASUS: Apparently the Disrupters have confiscated it, as I knew they would.
SPOCK: The Disrupters? Who are they?
PLASUS: A small group of Troglyte malcontents. All the other Troglytes are completely dominated by them. It's the Disrupters who are responsible for their refusal to continue mining for zenite.
KIRK: They agreed to the delivery. Your council assured us of it.
PLASUS: They agreed obviously as a ruse to get valuable hostages.
KIRK: Hostages? For what purpose?
PLASUS: To force the council to meet their demands. (to guards) Organise a search party immediately and find the zenite consignment.
(Guards leave)
PLASUS: Meanwhile, Captain, I would suggest that you and First Officer Spock be our guests on Stratos.
KIRK: Very well. I do hope the search will be brief, Mister Advisor.
PLASUS: We'll do everything possible to make it so. Come, gentlemen.

[Stratos - Council gallery]

(Plasus, Kirk and Spock beam onto a balcony at the edge of Stratos, with a wonderful view of a brown river and its tributaries.)
SPOCK: Remarkable. The finest example of sustained antigravity elevation I've ever seen.
DROXINE: The sentinel told me of our honoured guests, my father. I came to extend greetings.
PLASUS: A most gracious act. One of our planet's most incomparable works of art. My daughter, Droxine. Captain James Kirk.
KIRK: Pleasure, madam.
DROXINE: Indeed, yes, Captain.
PLASUS: And First Officer Spock.
DROXINE: I have never before met a Vulcan, sir.
SPOCK: Nor I a work of art, madam.
PLASUS: Come, gentlemen. There is much to see in our city. This is our council gallery. It is open to all city dwellers. We have some of the finest of our various art forms assembled here for the viewing and contemplation of every
(There is a dagger in the wall)
PLASUS: Disrupters again.
DROXINE: How dreadful!. They're despoiling the whole city.
SPOCK: Despoil? For what purpose?
PLASUS: By keeping us in constant turmoil, they hope to force the council to accede to their demands.
KIRK: What are their demands?
PLASUS: Completely unreasonable, Captain, but nothing you need be concerned with.
KIRK: I must concern myself with it if it should interfere with the delivery of zenite to Merak Two.
SPOCK: Mister Advisor, the plant life is the source of oxygen on that planet. Obviously, if all plant life is destroyed, the humanoid life will follow.
PLASUS: I assure you, gentlemen, you will get what you came for.
KIRK: I hope so. Ardana is a member of the Federation, and it is your council's responsibility that nothing interferes with its obligation to another member of the Federation.
PLASUS: Of course, and we accept the responsibility.
SPOCK: But why do they destroy art forms? That is a loss to everyone.
PLASUS: Art means nothing to the Disrupters. This (the dagger) is the only form they understand. The disturbances accompanying your arrival have been most wearying. No doubt you would like to rest.
SPOCK: That would be most welcome, Mister Advisor.
PLASUS: Chambers have been prepared for you. A sentinel will guide you to them.
(Kirk and Spock leave)
DROXINE: I'm sorry they were so poorly treated on their first visit to our planet.
PLASUS: It's fortunate that they were not seriously hurt.
DROXINE: Oh, yes, that would have been dreadful.
PLASUS: Further violence could create grave difficulties between Ardana and the Federation.
DROXINE: The Disrupters must be mad to attack two such charming strangers.
PLASUS: They grow more daring and determined every day. Now they seek to find allies in the galaxy.
DROXINE: Do you think that Captain Kirk and his very attractive officer will feel that we're responsible for their injuries?
PLASUS: All this time I thought you were worried about our diplomatic relations.
(Two sentinels drag in a Troglyte)
SENTINEL: Apologies, Mister Advisor, but this Troglyte was apprehended leaving the city. He is without a transport card so we thought you would want to question him.
PLASUS: Remove his shields.
(The sentinel takes off the troglyte's sunglasses)
PLASUS: What is your business in Stratos, Troglyte? Speak! I command you!
TROGLYTE: My business is to repair.
PLASUS: Repair what?
TROGLYTE: There are damaged entrance panels.
PLASUS: Indeed. Then you must have a repair permit. Where is it?
TROGLYTE: It was forgotten.
PLASUS: Did you also forget your transport card?
TROGLYTE: It was lost when your sentinels attacked me.
PLASUS: And where was your cavern implement lost? Could this perhaps be it?
TROGLYTE: I came to make repairs.
PLASUS: And you shall make them by giving us the names of the Disrupters.
TROGLYTE: I know nothing.
PLASUS: I would advise you to increase your knowledge.
TROGLYTE: That is not possible for a Troglyte. The Stratos city dwellers have said it.
PLASUS: Secure him to the rostrum.
(But the troglyte breaks free of the sentinels and jumps over the balcony instead.)
PLASUS: How unfortunate. How unfortunate.

[Guest accommodation]

(Kirk is sleeping, Spock is meditating.)
SPOCK [OC]: This troubled planet is a place of the most violent contrasts. Those who receive the rewards are totally separated from those who shoulder the burdens. It is not a wise leadership. Here on Stratos, everything is incomparably beautiful and pleasant. The High Advisor's charming daughter Droxine, particularly so. The name Droxine seems appropriate for her. I wonder, can she retain such purity and sweetness of mind and be aware of the life of the people on the surface of the planet? There, the harsh life in the mines is instilling the people with a bitter hatred. The young girl who led the attack against us when we beamed down was filled with the violence of desperation. If the lovely Droxine knew of the young miner's misery, I wonder how the knowledge would affect her.
(Spock hears a sound and goes into the next room. Droxine is preparing refreshments.)
DROXINE: Mister Spock, I thought you had accompanied Captain Kirk to the rest chamber.
SPOCK: Your movements awakened me.
DROXINE: My apologies. I did not realise they would disturb you.
SPOCK: Only Vulcan ears would find the noise discernible.
DROXINE: It seems that Vulcans are fascinatingly different in many ways.
SPOCK: The same may be said of Stratos inhabitants.
DROXINE: Vulcan eyes are very discerning too. I hear that, intellectually, Vulcans are as highly evolved as Stratos city dwellers.
SPOCK: We do pride ourselves on our logic.
(Dressed in Stratos fashion, the female miner enters the rest room, armed with her mining tool. She leans over Kirk, but he grabs her, pulls her down onto the bed and disarms her.)
KIRK: You again!
VANNA: You sleep lightly, Captain.
KIRK: Yes, duty is a good teacher. I see you've changed your dressmaker.
VANNA: Release me.
KIRK: So you can attack me again? That would be foolish.
VANNA: Call the guards if youíre afraid, Captain.
KIRK: I'm not afraid. In fact, I find this rather enjoyable.
VANNA: I do not!
KIRK: All right, I'll make a deal with you. You answer some questions and I'll let you up.
VANNA: What questions?
KIRK: Your word first.
VANNA: I will answer.
(But as soon as he lets go, she grabs for the weapon again and he has to fight her again.)
(Meanwhile, in the next room, the ears that heard Droxine don't hear the fighting)
DROXINE: You only take a mate once every seven years?
SPOCK: The seven-year cycle is biologically inherent in all Vulcanís. At that time, the mating drive outweighs all other motivations.
DROXINE: And is there nothing that can disturb that cycle, Mister Spock?
SPOCK: Extreme feminine beauty is always disturbing, madam.
KIRK [OC]: Spock?
(In the rest area)
VANNA: I did not come here to kill you, Captain.
KIRK: Then why this?
VANNA: To take you hostage.
Spock and Droxine enter)
SPOCK: Am I intruding, Captain?
DROXINE: Vanna!
VANNA: Droxine.
DROXINE: Why have you come here?
VANNA: To welcome our honoured guests as I was taught to do when I served in your father's household.
DROXINE: Has she injured you, Captain?
KIRK: No, not at all. In fact her visit was quite enlightening.
DROXINE: Oh?
KIRK: Yes, it seems the Troglytes are under the impression that the Enterprise is here to intimidate them.
DROXINE: (into intercom) Send a sentinel to the rest chamber immediately.
VANNA: It is not impression, Captain. It is the truth.
KIRK: We're here to get that zenite consignment, and that's it.
VANNA: Starships do not transport cargo.
KIRK: In times of emergency, they do anything. And believe me, this botanical plague is an emergency.
VANNA: Lies will not keep the Troglytes in the caverns, and neither will your starship.
DROXINE: You talk like a Disrupter, Vanna.
VANNA: I speak for my people. They have as much right to the clouds as the Stratos dwellers.
DROXINE: But Stratos is for advisors and studiers. What would Troglytes do here?
VANNA: Live in the sunlight and warmth, as everyone should.
DROXINE: The caverns are warm and your eyes are not accustomed to light, just as your minds are not accustomed to logic.
(A sentinel takes Vanna away)
KIRK: Unaccustomed to light and warmth? That's necessary to all humanoids. Surely, you don't deny it to the Troglytes.
DROXINE: The Troglytes are workers, Captain. Oh surely, you must be aware of that. They mine zenite for shipment, till the soil. Those things cannot be done here.
SPOCK: In other words, they perform all the physical toil necessary to maintain Stratos.
DROXINE: That is their function in our society.
SPOCK: But they are not allowed to share its advantages.
DROXINE: How can they share what they do not understand?
KIRK: They can be taught to understand, especially in a society that prides itself in enlightenment.
DROXINE: The complete separation of toil and leisure has given Ardana this perfectly balanced social system, Captain. Why should we change it?
SPOCK: The surface of the planet is almost unendurable. To restrict a segment of the population to such hardship is unthinkable in an evolved culture.
DROXINE: The surface is marred by violence, like the Troglytes. But here in Stratos, we have completely eliminated violence.

[Council gallery]

(Vanna is shackled to a granite-looking device)
PLASUS: You still refuse to disclose the names of the other Disrupters.
VANNA: There are no Disrupters!
PLASUS: Very well, if you prefer the rays.
(The curved section of the device, facing Vanna, lights up and makes Vanna glow.)

[Guest accomodation]

(The sound of the rays can be heard in the background)
SPOCK: Troglyte is an abbreviation of an ancient Earth term. Its technical translation is cave dweller.
KIRK: Yes, I should have realised.
(A scream rings out. Kirk and Spock go to investigate)

[Council gallery]

KIRK: Mister Advisor!
(The rays are switched off, and Vanna slumps)
KIRK: You said you were going to question Vanna, not torture her.
PLASUS: She's stubborn, and as you yourself pointed out, Captain, the search for your zenite consignment must be short.
KIRK: Surely there are better methods than this.
PLASUS: Physical discomfort is extremely persuasive, Captain.
KIRK: Yes, but I won't stand by while someone is tortured!
PLASUS: Is it preferable to spare Vanna and allow an entire planet to be destroyed?
SPOCK: Violence in reality is quite different from theory, is it not, madam?
DROXINE: But what else can they understand, Mister Spock?
SPOCK: All the little things you and I understand and expect from life, such as equality, kindness, justice.
PLASUS: Troglytes are not like Stratos dwellers, Mister Spock. They're a conglomerate of inferior species. The abstract concepts of an intellectual society are beyond their comprehension.
KIRK: The abstract concepts of loyalty and leadership seem clear to Vanna.
PLASUS: A few Troglytes are brought here as retainers. Vanna was one of them, as are the sentinels. They've received more training than the others.
KIRK: But obviously no more consideration.
PLASUS: I fail to see the purpose of this continued criticism.
KIRK: The only way you'll use that device again is on one of us.
PLASUS: An imposing display of primitive gallantry, gentlemen. You realise, of course, that the sentinels could remove you.
KIRK: Of course, but Starfleet command won't take kindly to having either rays or physical force used against one of its command personnel, Mister Advisor.
PLASUS: Why are you so concerned with this Disrupter's well-being?
KIRK: Beyond plain humanitarianism, my orders are to get that zenite.
PLASUS: Then stop interfering, and I'll get it for you.
KIRK: You won't get it through torture.
PLASUS: We will get it for you, and in our own way. Remove the prisoner to confinement quarters. You will return to your ship at once or I shall contact your Starfleet command myself and report your interference with this planet's government.
KIRK: Kirk to Enterprise.
SCOTT [OC]: Enterprise, Captain.
KIRK: Mister Scott, we're ready to beam up.
SCOTT [OC]: Aye, sir.
(Kirk and Spock are beamed away)
PLASUS: (to sentinel) If Captain Kirk appears again, kill him.

Captain's log, star date 5819.0. More than eight hours have passed since the consignment of zenite disappeared and we have still found no trace of it. We've received word from Merak Two that the plague is spreading rapidly. Delivery of the zenite is imperative within twelve hours or all life on the planet will be annihilated.

[Bridge]

KIRK: Lieutenant Uhura, advise Starfleet command that the zenite has not been delivered. In my opinion, Plasus' method of accomplishing delivery will not succeed. If the zenite is not delivered shortly, I shall have to violate Plasus' order of non-interference and win the confidence of the Troglyte leader with the use of reason.
MCCOY: That may not be easy, Jim. Medical analysis indicates the Troglytes are mentally inferior.
KIRK: That's impossible, Bones. The Troglytes have accepted personal sacrifice, a common cause. Mentally inferior beings aren't capable of that.
MCCOY: Look, I've checked my findings thoroughly. Their intellect ratings are almost twenty percent below average.
SPOCK: But they're all the same species. Those who live on Stratos and those who live below all originated on the planet. Their physical and mental evolution must be similar. That is basic biological law.
MCCOY: That's true, Spock, but obviously the ancestors of those who live on Stratos removed themselves from the environment of the mines. Therefore they avoided the effects of certain natural growths.
KIRK: Natural growths? What kind?
MCCOY: Well. I had this zenite sample sent up from the surface. Now unsealed, it would have had detrimental effects on everybody here.
SPOCK: Incredible. Zenite is shipped all over the galaxy wherever there is danger of plant bacteria. No side effects have ever been reported.
MCCOY: There are none after itís refined. But in its raw state, it emits a odourless, invisible gas that retards the intellectual functioning of the mind and heightens the emotional. Therefore, it releases a violent reaction.
KIRK: And the mines are full of that gas.
MCCOY: That's right. And the Troglytes are constantly exposed to it. 
KIRK: Bones, the Disrupters, Vanna. It seems impossible. They've outwitted a highly organised, scientific culture for months.
SPOCK: As part of the staff of Stratos, Vanna was removed from exposure for a long period. It is likely that without such exposure, the effect slowly wears off.
MCCOY: That's right, Spock. The other Disrupters were probably removed from exposure too.
KIRK: Does the brain return to normal?
MCCOY: According to findings, it should.
KIRK: Can you neutralise the gas?
MCCOY: No, but a filter mask should remove the exposure.
KIRK: Find one. Meet us in the transporter room.

[Transporter room]

(Kirk, Spock and McCoy are talking to Plasus on a wall monitor)
KIRK: This mask automatically eliminates all substance injurious to humanoid life, chemical as well as bacterial. We have used these filter masks frequently on
PLASUS [on monitor]: Do you really expect me to believe that that mask can achieve intellectual equality for the Troglytes?
MCCOY: There's every indication that the effect of the gas is temporary, even after repeated exposure.
PLASUS [on monitor]: How can a mere filter accomplish what centuries of evolution have failed to do?
KIRK: Doctor McCoy has analysed the zenite thoroughly. We've checked his findings through the computer and they're absolutely valid.
PLASUS [on monitor]: And do your computers explain how my ancestors, who also dwelt in caverns, evolved sufficiently to erect Stratos while the Troglytes did not?
SPOCK: Unequal evolution did not begin until after your ancestors removed themselves from constant exposure to the gas, Mister Advisor.
PLASUS [on monitor]: Preposterous.
KIRK: There's no time to argue about the findings now. I simply propose to tell Vanna all about them.
PLASUS [on monitor]: I doubt whether even Vanna will believe such nonsense!
KIRK: This nonsense might mean a great deal to the Troglytes. I would like to offer them a supply of these filter masks in exchange for the zenite consignment.
PLASUS [on monitor]: I'm sorry, Captain. Such an offer could only cause more unrest among them. I cannot allow it until our scientists have checked the findings.
MCCOY: But that could take days.
KIRK: Are you afraid the filter masks will work? Is that why you don't want the Troglytes to try them?
PLASUS [on monitor]: You are here to complete an emergency mission, not conduct tests, Captain.
KIRK: I am here to get that zenite. If these will help me get them, I'll use them.
PLASUS [on monitor]: And I forbid it. Your Federation orders do not entitle you to defy local governments. This communication has ended.
KIRK: My diplomacy is somewhat inadequate.
MCCOY: It's pretty hard to overcome prejudice.
KIRK: Doesn't give us much choice, does it.
SPOCK: Nor much time. We have ten hours and forty minutes to deliver that consignment to Merak Two.
KIRK: Beam me down to Vanna's confinement quarters.
MCCOY: You mean you're going back to Stratos against government orders?
KIRK: If Vanna doesn't have something definite to gain for her people, she'll die rather than turn over that zenite consignment. This is the only thing that might convince her.
SPOCK: Captain, if you are apprehended deliberately violating the High Advisor's orders, he will be within his rights to have you executed, if he chooses.
KIRK: If youíre about to suggest that you contact Vanna, the answer is negative, Spock. That goes for you too, Bones.
SPOCK: Allow me to point out that a first officer is more expendable than either a doctor or a captain.
KIRK: Officially, yes. But this mission is strictly unofficial. Nobody's to have any part in it, any responsibility for it, but myself. That's an order, Spock. You have the conn. Stand by till I contact you.

[Vanna's cell]

(It's a fair size, with a bed and table, and horizontal bars across the doorway)
KIRK: Vanna, I've brought you a gift. There's a dangerous gas in the mines that affects the development of the Troglytes exposed to it for a period of time. This mask will prevent any further damage.
VANNA: Gas from zenite?
KIRK: Yes.
VANNA: It's hard to believe something which is neither seen nor felt can do so much harm.
KIRK: That's true. But an idea can't be seen or felt. That's what's kept the Troglytes in the mines all these centuries, a mistaken idea.
VANNA: Would all the Troglytes wear these masks?
KIRK: Yes. I'll see to it that the Federation engineers construct them.
VANNA: Suppose Plasus does not agree?
KIRK: Plasus is not the whole government.
VANNA: That is true, but the city council will not listen to Troglytes.
KIRK: As soon as the zenite is delivered to Merak Two, I'll come back. I'll request permission to mediate for the Troglytes. Vanna, you must trust me. I give you my word.
VANNA: Centuries ago, Stratos was built by leaders that gave their word that all inhabitants would live there. The Troglytes are still waiting.
KIRK: The zenite can be delivered in a few hours. You won't have long to wait now.
VANNA: Hours can be centuries, just as words can be lies.
KIRK: Vanna, you must trust me. If you don't, millions of people will die. A whole planet. This zenite is all that can save them. This filter mask is all that can save the Troglytes. Trust me. Please.
VANNA: Very well, Captain. I will trust you. The consignment lies deep in the mines in a place known only to Troglytes. I cannot direct you. I must take you there. You asked for my trust, Captain. Are you unwilling to give yours?
(They hear footsteps)
VANNA: It's the sentinel with my refreshment.
(The sentinel enters, puts down the tray and picks up the mask. Kirk stuns him with his phaser.)
VANNA: Wait. We'll need a transport pass to leave the city.

[Mine]

(Vanna leads Kirk though tunnels, then uses a tool to hit the rock three times. Other Troglytes appear.)
VANNA: Midro.
MIDRO: Vanna.
VANNA: Anka.
ANKA: You have returned.
VANNA: And I've brought with me a hostage. Seize him!
KIRK: (wearing the mask) We had a bargain. Why did you break it?
VANNA: Did you really think I would trust you, Captain? I'm not such a fool.
KIRK: I trusted you.
VANNA: You thought you would trick me with your talk of your filter and your unseen gas. I don't believe you any more than Plasus does.
KIRK: Then you are a fool. These masks will free you, just as I said.
VANNA: Our weapons are our freedom. And youíve just furnished me with two very valuable ones. Yourself and this. (phaser)
KIRK: Holding me won't help you. My men'll still come for that zenite consignment.
VANNA: Without your communicator, you will be hard to locate.
KIRK: They'll still come.
VANNA: Perhaps. In the meantime, a taste of our existence, Captain. Dig as the Troglytes do. As the Troglytes do.
KIRK: Without that mask, I haven't
VANNA: With your bare hands, Captain.

Captain's log, supplemental, stardate 5819.3. First Officer Spock reporting. Captain Kirk beamed down to Stratos to attempt to win the confidence of the rebel Troglytes. Unless he has made his escape from Stratos to the mines, his life is in danger from the High Advisor. The captain has not informed us of his progress. For our part, we must maintain silence. We can be of no help to him without jeopardising his life.

[Mine]

VANNA: You dig well, Captain. The unseen gas doesn't seem to be harming you.
KIRK: It takes a while for its effects to be noticed.
VANNA: Nevertheless, you won't be needing this. Anka, deposit this on the transport platform so Plasus will know we have something more valuable to bargain with than our mortaes and thongs.
ANKA: You are clever, Vanna. Very clever.
(Anka leaves)
VANNA: Searchers will be coming soon, Midro. Go to the other mines and tell the Troglytes to post watchers.
MIDRO: What of him?
VANNA: I will see that he doesn't escape.
MIDRO: If we kill him, there will be no need to see.
VANNA: A dead hostage is of no value, Midro.
MIDRO: Only the Troglytes will know.
VANNA: I brought him here and I will say what is to be done.
MIDRO: You are not the only Disrupter. I, too, can say.
VANNA: Can you do nothing but argue? The searchers will be here soon.
MIDRO: When Anka returns, we will all say.
(Midro leaves)
KIRK: Is that what Disrupters are bargaining for, the right to kill everyone?
VANNA: Midro is a child.
KIRK: The masks can change that.
VANNA: Return to the digging, Captain.
KIRK: How long do you plan on keeping me here, providing Midro doesn't kill me, of course?
VANNA: Until we have help in the mines and our homes are in the clouds.
KIRK: That's quite a while. Longer than I expected.
(Kirk jumps Vanna, gets the phaser and uses it to cause a rockfall in the tunnel)
VANNA: We're sealed in!
KIRK: Completely.
VANNA: But soon the atmosphere will go. We'll die.
KIRK: Die from something that can't be seen? You astound me, Vanna. Kirk to Enterprise. Enterprise, come in. Kirk to Enterprise. Enterprise, come in. Kirk to Enterprise.
SPOCK [OC]: Spock here. We've been trying to make contact, Captain. Is anything wrong?
KIRK: Nothing. Are you locked in on me?

[Bridge]

SPOCK: Locked in and ready to beam up consignment.

[Mine]

KIRK: Circumstances dictate a slight variation, Spock.

[Bridge]

SPOCK: Standing by for instructions.

[Mine]

KIRK: Hold on these co-ordinates. Locate the High Advisor and beam him to these co-ordinates immediately. Without advance communication. Repeat, without advance communication. Have you got that, Spock?

[Bridge]

SPOCK: Instructions clear. I shall carry them out immediately. Spock out.

[Mine]

VANNA: You would seal Plasus here also? For what purpose?
KIRK: I am preparing a demonstration on the effects of unbelieved gas.

[Bridge]

SCOTT: Beam the High Advisor down without warning, did he say?
SPOCK: That's not an exact quote, Mister Scott. However, it does express the thought.
SCOTT: I'd like to see the Advisor's face.
SPOCK: You will have that opportunity.
SCOTT: The captain did say immediately, did he not?
SPOCK: Now that is an exact quote, Mister Scott, and I suggest you handle the transporter yourself. This could be very delicate as a problem in transporting for us and in diplomacy for the captain.
SCOTT: Aye.

[Council gallery]

(Droxine is gazing out from the balcony)
PLASUS: Something's upsetting you, Droxine.
DROXINE: No, Father.
PLASUS: What is it? Tell me.
DROXINE: No, really. I'm not upset. I was just standing here looking into space and wondering whether or not he would return.
PLASUS: He will never return. I've seen to that.
DROXINE: But the zenite is so important to him. He must have it.
PLASUS: It will be delivered. If we have to kill every Troglyte, it will be delivered.
DROXINE: By that time, it may be too late. Perhaps he does have a method
PLASUS: He knows nothing except how to destroy our power and our society. I forbid you ever to speak of Captain Kirk, or even to think of him.

[Bridge]

SCOTT [OC]: Transporter room to Mister Spock.
SPOCK: Spock here.
SCOTT [OC]: I've locked into the co-ordinates of the Cloud City Council Gallery. Ready to transport the High Advisor.
SPOCK: You'll have to delay.
SCOTT [OC]: What's wrong?
SPOCK: Picking up two life-forms in the gallery.

[Transporter room]

SPOCK [OC]: They are inseparably close to one another. We cannot transport one

[Bridge]

SPOCK: Without the other.
SCOTT [OC]: Did you say the word immediately was an exact quote of the captain's order?
SPOCK: Precisely, Mister Scott.
SCOTT [OC]: Well, are we going to do anything about it?
SPOCK: Until the High Advisor is alone or can be isolated, the captain will have to wait. Unless you have an alternative?
SCOTT [OC]: Iíll give it further thought.

[Council gallery]

DROXINE: No, I wasn't thinking of Captain Kirk. It's the one with those exquisitely shaped ears. His name is Spock. He's the one I was thinking about. Did you know that he has the most incredibly sensitive hearing? Why, I almost believe that if I stood here and called out to him, he would hear my invitation to come and visit with us for a little while longer.
PLASUS: Oh, he's no better than his friend.
DROXINE: Shall we try?
(a sentinel enters)
PLASUS: What is it?
SENTINEL: The Disrupter Vanna has disappeared. Her guard was found half unconscious. He'd been attacked by Captain Kirk.
PLASUS: Where is Captain Kirk?
SENTINEL: He did not know, sir. He did not regain his senses until I came to his aid.
PLASUS: This is the kind of reason they use to persuade us.
DROXINE: They are desperate.
PLASUS: I will hear no more defence of them.
DROXINE: I'm sure Mister Spock would not behave so.
PLASUS: Leave here at once. Go to your music.
DROXINE: Father, are we so sure of our methods that we never question what we do?

[Bridge]

SPOCK: Spock to transporter room.
SCOTT [OC]: Scott here.
SPOCK: Lock in on Council Gallery co-ordinates.
SCOTT [OC]: Locked in, sir.
SPOCK: Energise.
SCOTT [OC]: Aye, sir.

[Transporter room]

SCOTT: Energising.

[Bridge]

SPOCK: How are you doing, Mister Scott?

[Transporter room]

SCOTT: Fine, Mister Spock. The High Advisor's materialising on the platform.

[Bridge]

SPOCK: Beam him down to Captain Kirk immediately.
SCOTT [OC]: Energising, sir. He's on his way to the captain.
SPOCK: Good work, Mister Scott.
SCOTT [OC]: The Advisor looked mighty angry. I hope he doesn't give the captain too much trouble.
SPOCK: The captain will employ his usual diplomatic balm.

[Mine]

PLASUS: Abduction of a planet official is a serious crime. You will pay for this, I promise you.
KIRK: Not until you're convinced of the effects of the zenite gas, Mister Advisor.
PLASUS: What effects? I've been here nearly an hour of your Earth time. You and Vanna even longer. I see no changes in any of us!
KIRK: Perhaps you need closer exposure. Fill that container.
PLASUS: Are you suggesting that I dig zenite?
KIRK: I insist.
PLASUS: You will indeed pay for this.
KIRK: You too, Vanna. You too! Dig! Kirk here. What is it?

[Transporter room]

SPOCK: Contact check, Captain. It has been over an hour since your last communication.

[Mine]

KIRK: Your orders are to stand by. Now, carry them out! Kirk out.

[Transporter room]

SPOCK: Standing by, Captain.

[Mine]

SPOCK [OC]: However, let me remind you, we have only five hours left to
(Kirk closes his communicator)

[Transporter room]

SPOCK: That is very unlike the captain.
MCCOY: Can the zenite be affecting him?

[Mine]

VANNA: I grow faint. The oxygen is going.
PLASUS: She's right. Kirk, transport us out of here.
KIRK: We'll leave when the gas has effect.
PLASUS: It will never take effect. Transport us out of here!
KIRK: Dig!
PLASUS: Imbecile! We'll die!
KIRK: I said dig!
PLASUS: I am High Advisor of all the planet. I will take no more orders!
KIRK: One more step and I'll kill you.
VANNA: The gas! Captain, you were right. It's taking effect! Captain, you were right!
PLASUS: Are you as brave with mortae as you are with a phaser?
KIRK: Both will kill.
(Kirk throws his phaser away, and Plasus attacks him with two mortae. Kirk quickly disarms him, and they wrestle instead. Vanna notices the communicator has fallen off Kirk's belt, and picks it up)
VANNA: Enterprise! Enterprise, help! Enterprise!

[Transporter room]

SPOCK: Enterprise, Spock here.
VANNA [OC]: They'll kill each other. Help us.

[Mine]

VANNA: Help us! Enterprise!

[Transporter room]

VANNA [OC]: Enterprise!
(Spock activates the transporter. Kirk and Plasus have their hands around each others throats when they materialise. Spock hauls Kirk away from Plasus)
SPOCK: Captain, the zenite gas has affected you. Captain! The zenite gas!
KIRK: The zenite gas.
MCCOY: Look out, Jim!
(Plasus attacks, and Kirk knocks him out)
KIRK: Well, it seems my little demonstration was quite a success.

[Council gallery]

DROXINE: I don't like filters, or even masks. I like the word protector much better, don't you?
SPOCK: It is less technical, therefore less accurate, but perhaps more generally descriptive of the function.
PLASUS: It appears you have what you came for after all.
VANNA: The captain will have his zenite, just as I agreed.
PLASUS: Agreed? There's no such word in the Troglyte vocabulary.
VANNA: The captain will have his zenite.
PLASUS: No thanks to any agreement by you. It had to be obtained by force.
VANNA: Because it is the only way we can obtain what is due us.
PLASUS: How about your education? Was that by force?
VANNA: It served your purpose at the time.
PLASUS: You could have had those filters for all the good it will do you.
KIRK: They will be very effective. sir. They've been severely tested, and the Troglytes will no longer suffer from retardation and emotional difficulties.
PLASUS: They will all be like her. ungrateful, vindictive.
VANNA: Yes. Our demands have just begun. Here is the zenite, Captain, just as I promised.
(Sentinels pile the containers on the balcony)
KIRK: Thank you, Vanna.
DROXINE: Stratos is so pleasant and so beautiful. I think I'm afraid to leave it.
SPOCK: There is great beauty in the knowledge that lies below, and only one way to really experience it.
DROXINE: I shall go to the mines. I no longer wish to be limited to the clouds. Is your planet like this one?
SPOCK: No. No, Vulcan is quite different.
DROXINE: Someday I should like to visit it.
KIRK: Perhaps some form of mediation can be helpful in your difficulties. The Federation Bureau of Industrialisation may be of aid to you.
PLASUS: I will tolerate absolutely no interference! You will not set foot here as long as I rule!
KIRK: Believe me, sir, I have neither the time nor the desire to return here. Only answering your charges against me will force me back.
PLASUS: And I shall press them. You are guilty of abduction, Captain!
KIRK: You're guilty of attacking a starship commander and plotting against his life.
VANNA: Captain, perhaps both incidents are best forgotten.
KIRK: Yes, Vanna. They never happened. Mister Advisor? (Plasus nods) Mister Spock, let's get that zenite delivered. I believe we only have three hours left.
SPOCK: Two hours, fifty-nine minutes to be exact, Captain.
KIRK: Kirk to Enterprise. Kirk to Enterprise. Mister Scott beam us up.

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