The Lorelei Signal
Stardate: 5483.7
Original Airdate: 29 Sep, 1973

Captain's log, stardate 5483.7. The Enterprise is en route through an unfamiliar sector of space where a series of Earth Federation ships have disappeared mysteriously during the last a hundred and fifty years. Recent joint discussions with the Klingon and Romulan Empires have revealed that a starship has disappeared in this sector precisely every twenty seven point three four six star years.

[Bridge]

SPOCK: If my calculations are correct, Captain, we have twenty seconds to go.
KIRK: Twenty seconds to what? That's what worries me. Lieutenant Uhura, place the ship on Yellow Alert.
UHURA: Aye, sir. Yellow Alert.
SPOCK: Five seconds. Four, three
UHURA: All stations report Yellow Alert status, sir. Captain, I'm getting some sort of subspace radio signal.
KIRK: Put it on ship's speaker.
UHURA: It's more like music than a message.
SPOCK: Captain, we are being probed.
KIRK: From where? Can you trace it?
SPOCK: The signal is coming from a star system twenty light years away.
KIRK: Can you identify it?
SPOCK: It is the Taurean system. A small star at the extreme edge of this sector.
KIRK: That's a powerful signal to reach here from that great a distance.
SCOTT: It seems to be calling us.
KIRK: Strange. Yes, I get the same feeling myself.
SPOCK: It does resemble a summons.
UHURA: I find no resemblance to a summons, Captain.
KIRK: Opinion noted. Set a course for the Taurean system, Lieutenant Arex. Warp factor seven.
(Later)
CHAPEL: You wanted me, Lieutenant? Are you all right?
UHURA: I am. But I want you to observe the men here. It seemed to start when we picked up that signal, and it's gotten worse.
SPOCK: Fascinating. Like a Vulcan marriage drum. I am experiencing audio-visual suggestion, Captain.
KIRK: So am I.
(They are 'seeing' women with white hair)
KIRK: Dimensional visions. Any idea what's causing them, Spock?
SPOCK: Logically, we must assume they are created by the probe.
UHURA: Sir, what visions? We don't see anything.
KIRK: Miss Chapel, you don't see anything, either?
CHAPEL: No, sir.
KIRK: Take a medical reading, Nurse. Lieutenant Uhura, call Doctor McCoy to the Bridge.
UHURA: Sickbay, Doctor McCoy. Please report to the Bridge. Doctor McCoy? No response.

[McCoy's office]

(He's seeing lovely things too)
MCCOY: Magnolias in blossom. Beautiful.

[Bridge]

UHURA: The signal's getting stronger, sir.
KIRK: Re-scan your sensor readings, Mister Spock.
SPOCK: Readings are still inconclusive. It is odd that only the men are affected, Captain. I suggest
(A planet wobbles into view. and the men go all misty. The Enterprise enters orbit)
SCOTT: Ship's log, stardate 5483.8. Engineering Officer Scott in command. We are in orbit around planet two in the Taurean system. Probes and sensors indicate there was once a vast civilisation here. Lovely. Lovely. However, life readings are sparse and concentrated. Captain Kirk is beaming down with a scouting party to investigate.
UHURA: These figures just don't match up with Spock's. So far I count three sensor readings that are off.

[Planet surface]

(A building that looks like frozen flames)
KIRK: Fantastic architecture. Only an incredibly advanced race could have built it.
CARVER: You want all those routine readings, sir.
KIRK: No, I don't think so, Carver. Spock will do it.
MCCOY: There is something compelling about it.
KIRK: Yes, I feel it too, Bones.
SPOCK: Captain, the urgency of our feeling suggests visual compulsion. I advise remaining at a distance until I can determine the extent of its influence. The life forms are indicated in its centre.
KIRK: There's no apparent danger, Spock. Let's go.

[Temple]

(The inner doors open to reveal a bevy of beautiful white-haired, blue-eyed women.)
THEELA: They are here.
ALL: Oh, such wondrous ones. They honour us.
THEELA: I am Theela, the Head Female. Welcome, James Kirk, Doctor McCoy, Mister Spock. Welcome.
(What, the redshirt is suddenly invisible? How rude.)
SPOCK: The form is humanoid, but there are many internal differences. Their bodies appear to function on an unusual psychokinesis level.
MCCOY: First time I ever admired a body function.
KIRK: How do you know our names?
THEELA: The Opto-aud revealed you to us.
(She hums a note and a door slides back to reveal the Enterprise on a viewscreen, including images of the Bridge)
SPOCK: Tonal control. Fascinating.
THEELA: The Opto-aud will reveal whatever is asked, Mister Spock. We are grateful that you heard the signal, Captain.
KIRK: The signal? A distress call, wasn't it?
THEELA: I will explain its meaning later. We have prepared a feast to celebrate your presence.

Captain's log, stardate 5483.9. The beauty of this place is unequalled. It's the answer to all of man's dreams. Exquisite in every way. We're here to investigate, to investigate... The women radiate delight.

[Temple]

(The men are lounging on rugs, being entertained)
MCCOY: These are the most beautiful women in the galaxy. But where are the men?
THEELA: They occupy another compound.
KIRK: That makes sense.
WOMAN: Mister Spock.
(She throws something to him, he fails to catch it. It hits his chest and he falls unconscious. Kirk tries to get up)
KIRK: Spock
(They all fall over)
THEELA: Take them to the slumber chambers. They must rest.
MCCOY: Probably that nectar. It's potent as Saurian brandy.
(Theela sheds a single tear)

[Slumber chambers]

(The men are awake again, and wearing a strange circlet around their heads. McCoy seems older)
MCCOY: Jim, Jim!
(Kirk wakes on a huge four-poster bed, wearing a circlet. His face seems more lined than usual. He tries to remove the circlet and fails)

[Science lab]

CHAPEL: Results of every scan run by the women science teams. If there is an answer, it's here.
COMPUTER: Computer on.
CHAPEL: Summation of medical, biological, astrophysical scans.
COMPUTER: Working. Probe directed at ship from planet surface is severely enervating to humanoid males. Exposure causes increasing weakness. Possibly to point of death.
UHURA: Lieutenant Uhura to Security Officer Davison.
DAVISON [OC]: Davison here.
UHURA: I want an all-woman security team on every transporter immediately. No one is to transport down to the planet unless it is on my order.
DAVISON [OC]: Aye, aye, Lieutenant.
CHAPEL: What are you doing?
UHURA: Taking command of this ship.

[Temple]

(The landing party are in front of Theela, sitting on a raised throne)
SPOCK: We must return to our duties aboard ship.
KIRK: Yes. Duties. That's it. Duties. I have
THEELA: You cannot leave, Mister Spock. You are needed here. Soon, all the men on your ship will feel as you do. They are all needed, and they will join us.
KIRK: We must go.
THEELA: Obstruct them.
(The women easily overpower the men and throw them onto the cushions)

[Bridge]

SCOTT: (singing) I dream of ... the gala lads ... can I trow (really can't make much out)
UHURA: Mister Scott, as senior Lieutenant, I'm taking responsibility for the safety of this ship.
SCOTT: Very thoughtful of you, love.
UHURA: Ship's log, supplemental. Lieutenant Uhura recording. Due to Chief Engineering Officer Scott's euphoric state of mind, I am assuming command of the Enterprise, I accept full responsibility for my action. A detailed account will be recorded later. Nurse Chapel, until further notice, you will act as Chief Medical Officer.
CHAPEL: Yes, Lieutenant.

[Temple]

KIRK: They've gone.
SPOCK: Yes. Your medikit, Doctor. It may contain something which will help us.
MCCOY: I wonder why they let me keep it.
SPOCK: Perhaps they saw no practical use in it.
MCCOY: Cortropine. Could help. It's a strong stimulant.
KIRK: Go ahead.
(At the door)
KIRK: Locked.
SPOCK: (with a medical scanner) If the lock is magnetised, this may disrupt its field.
(The door opens enough for them to get out. Then Theela enters)
THEELA: Assistance! Assistance!

[Planet surface]

KIRK: The urn. It's the only place.
(The men climb into a giant sculptured urn to hide from the women)
THEELA: This way.
(As the women get close, the circlets on their heads glow)
WOMAN: They are not here, Theela.

[Urn]

THEELA [OC]: Come. They might have returned to where they landed.
KIRK: The headbands. Look at them.
SPOCK: I have noticed that their glow diminishes when the women are not present. They could be polarised conductors which transfer our vital energy to the bodies of the women.
KIRK: You mean they're actually draining our life forces?
SPOCK: That would account for our rapid aging, Captain. And our weakness. If you recall, the women seemed listless at first. But as our strength has failed, they have become more energetic and vital.
KIRK: How long do we have, Spock?
SPOCK: We seem to be aging ten years per day, Captain.
MCCOY: Ten years? In four days, we'll be dead!
KIRK: And useless to them. Theela said the other men of the crew would join us here. They'll be lured into the same trap. We've got to contact the ship.
SPOCK: I have retained more strength than any of you. My internal structure is different, Captain, my life span longer. It is wiser if I go to the temple to try and find the communicators and contact the ship.

[Temple]

(There is no one around, so Spock hums the note and turns on the Opto-aud)
SPOCK: The equipment belonging to the men of the Enterprise, where is it?
(The screen shows it to be in a drawer under the throne)
SPOCK: Spock to Enterprise.
UHURA [OC]: Enterprise.
(He has been discovered)
SPOCK: Request rescue party. All-female. Repeat. All-female. All
(He collapses)

Ship's log, supplemental. Lieutenant Uhura commanding. We have assembled an all-female rescue party in # accordance with Mister Spock's request.

[Temple]

(Uhura and Chapel beam down with four security women)
THEELA: Greetings. I am Theela. Head Female of this compound.
UHURA: Lieutenant Uhura of the Starship Enterprise. We're here to locate Captain Kirk.
THEELA: Return to your ship. You are not wanted here.
UHURA: Until we find Captain Kirk, we will not leave.
(Theela sends her troops in)
UHURA: Phasers on stun. Fire!
(The women drop like stones. Uhura shoots Theela herself)
UHURA: Search the temple. Parties of two.

[Slumber chambers]

UHURA: No sign of them anywhere.
(From his bed, Spock sends a telepathic message)
SPOCK [OC]: Miss Chapel. Miss Chapel.
CHAPEL: Wait.
UHURA: What is it?
CHAPEL: I heard Spock's voice.
SPOCK [OC]: Christine.
CHAPEL: It is Spock. There must be a panel somewhere.
(They find it)
CHAPEL: Mister Spock!
UHURA: Spock, what happened?
(But he is incoherent)

[Urn]

(It has started to rain)
KIRK: We've got to get out of here.

[Sickbay]

(Chapel gets the circlet off the old, wizened Spock.
CHAPEL: Spock, Oh, Spock.
SPOCK: Instruct female engineer to divert ship's energy into deflector shields. Block probe.
CHAPEL: We tried that.
SPOCK: Use all ship's energy. Everything channelled to the shields. Hurry, Christine.

[Temple]

(The stunned women are coming round)
UHURA: Release Captain Kirk and his men or we will destroy your temple.
THEELA: Wait! I will tell you everything.
(She turns on the Opto-aud)
THEELA: The past. Reveal it.
(Images appear - first male and female)
THEELA: This is the race from whom we are descended. They came to this planet when our homeworld began to die. They built this place and all surrounding it. They did not know this planet drains humanoid energy. But the women's bodies developed a glandular secretion, enabling them to survive and to manipulate certain areas of the males' brains, influence their emotional senses. Ultimately, it drained the men, caused them to weaken and die.
(Meanwhile, the urn is filling up with water, and the men can't get out)
THEELA: To survive, we must vitalise each twenty seven years of your time.
WOMAN: Instead, we are eternal prisoners. We neither age nor die. We are unable even to bear children.
UHURA: What about Captain Kirk and the others? Can the Opto-aud locate them?
THEELA: We shall see. The men of the Enterprise, reveal them.
(It does)
UHURA: They're drowning! Where are they?
THEELA: The nearest water accumulation is many cusecs from here.
UHURA: That looks like a pool or a tub.
THEELA: It is the urn in the garden.

[Planet surface]

UHURA: Phasers on setting one. Fire.
(The urn is blown to bits and the men washed out, unconscious)

[Sickbay]

(Chapel presses some buttons, and a golden glow appears around her patients)
CHAPEL: No results, Captain. We've tried everything we know.
SPOCK: Perhaps the transporter is the key.
MCCOY: Key to what?
SPOCK: Our restoration. It holds the molecular pattern of our original bodies when we beamed down to the planet.
KIRK: Spock. Can the transporter be programmed to re-pattern us as we were?
SPOCK: Possibly. But the odds against us are ninety nine point seven to one.

[Planet surface]

(The four old men are beamed down)
SPOCK: We are on the surface, Mister Scott. Reprogram the transporter as previously directed.

[Transporter room]

CHAPEL: But this has never been done before. Suppose it fails?
SCOTT: Their patterns'll break up, scatter in space. Transporter reprogrammed, Mister Spock.
KIRK [OC]: Beam us up, Scotty.
UHURA: Scotty, we're losing them!
(The four figures finally materialise)
KIRK: Did it work?
UHURA: You're more handsome than ever.

[Temple]

(Theela destroys the transmitter)
THEELA: Tell Captain Kirk we have kept the agreement.
UHURA: A crew of women will bring a ship back. You'll be transported to the first suitable planet.
THEELA: How quickly will we become as other women?
UHURA: Doctor McCoy says it should only take a few months.
THEELA: A life of hope. New learning. Perhaps love. Oh, it is a much better future than immortality.

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