Captain's log, stardate 5499.9. We are orbiting the planet Argo. Argo
was once a land planet, but it's surface is now almost completely
covered by water. The change was caused by violent seismic
disturbances. Our mission is to study the effects which the quakes and
other phenomena had on its surface. This knowledge may save millions of
lives on a Federation planet identical to Argo which will soon be
undergoing similar transformation.
(A special shuttlecraft modeled on a catamaran has
been launched from Enterprise and landed on the ocean)
KIRK: This is the largest land mass on the planet, isn't it, Spock?
SPOCK: Yes, Captain. The others are mere outcroppings. They suggest the
peaks of submerged mountains.
MCCOY: I suggest that we get these seawater and algae specimens.
They're the least of the lot.
SPOCK: For once I agree with you, Doctor. The more informative
specimens will come from the sea bottom.
KIRK: Lieutenant Clayton, open the hatch and let our two scientists
here get on with their business.
CLAYTON: Aye, sir.
MCCOY: What's that?
(Something with huge tentacles picks up the shuttlecraft and throws it
KIRK: Phasers on stun, Mister Spock.
SPOCK: Firing, Captain.
(The creature retreats below the surface)
MCCOY: What the devil was that thing?
SPOCK: Apparently a life form which previous surveys have not recorded.
KIRK: Let's get a closer look at it before the phaser stun wears off.
CLAYTON: Aye, sir.
(They descend through the green water to the sea bed)
MCCOY: Dual respiratory system. Lungs and gills.
SPOCK: Its skeleton is similar to that of a Denebian whale, Captain.
(The shuttlecraft gets slapped across the sea bed)
KIRK: It's regaining consciousness. Surface, Mister Clayton.
CLAYTON: Aye, sir.
(The shuttlecraft is chased along the surface)
KIRK: Spock, prepare to fire phasers.
SPOCK: Phasers do not respond, Captain. We must have sustained damage
to the power pack when the creature struck us.
KIRK: Kirk to Enterprise. Emergency.
SCOTT [OC]: Enterprise. What is it, sir.
KIRK: We're under attack. Beam us aboard, Scotty.
(But the sea monster bites the shuttlecraft then throws it against
rocks. McCoy falls into the water, followed by Clayton. Spock and Kirk
are unconscious in the craft)
SCOTT [OC]: We've lost contact, Captain.
SCOTT: Repeat, we've lost contact. Come in,
Captain. Come in.
(The monster grabs the shuttlecraft and takes it underwater)
Ship's log, stardate 5504.2. Lieutenant Commander
Scott in command. Captain Kirk and First Officer Spock have been
missing for almost five days. Search parties can find no trace of them
or the aqua-shuttle. Doctor McCoy and I are continuing the search at a
greater distance from the attack point.
MCCOY: There's nothing. There's just nothing.
CLAYTON: I see some rocks. They're just above sea level, about two
miles away. There's something on them.
(It's the aqua-shuttle, mangled and smashed.
Nearby, Kirk and Spock are lying face down in the water)
MCCOY: Maybe they're still alive.
(They pull them out of the water)
MCCOY: Their bodies are functioning. Metabolism, heart. Everything but
KIRK: Can't breathe. Suffocating. Help. Can't breathe.
(He lifts a webbed hand to his throat)
SCOTT: What happened to them, Doctor? What is it?
MCCOY: Something's changed their whole lung structure. They can't live
in the air anymore.
Medical log, stardate 5506.2. Captain Kirk and
First Office Spock were rescued forty eight hours ago. They have no
recollection of what happened to them after they were attacked, but
medical examinations show and unidentified substance in the bloodstream
has affected their entire metabolism and changed them into
water-breathers. Their internal structure is completely transformed,
and even their eyes are covered with a transparent film like the second
eyelid of a fish. So far all efforts to return them to normal have
(Kirk and Spock are in water, Scott and McCoy the
other side of the glass)
MCCOY: We're stumped, Jim. The hormone seems to be the major factor in
your mutation, but we just can't identify it.
KIRK: Are you sure the mutation wasn't somehow accomplished naturally?
MCCOY: It was infused into your bodies at key structural points. It had
to be done by injection.
KIRK: But can't you duplicate it, Bones? Your medical computers have
information on every procedure in the Federation's hospitals.
MCCOY: It's highly sophisticated and completely unknown to us.
SPOCK: That implies there are intelligent life forms on Argo.
MCCOY: The sensors don't indicate any life forms down there, aside from
SPOCK: They did fail to indicate the large marine creature that
attacked us. Perhaps the readings are incomplete, blocked by underwater
pressure forces. Oceans are less turbulent at greater depth. Such
conditions would be more suitable to intelligent forms.
MCCOY: Well, we can't do much underwater exploration without the
aqua-shuttle. Our equipment is too limited.
KIRK: We aren't limited. We can go wherever we want in that ocean.
MCCOY: It's too risky, Jim. Argo's almost totally unexplored. You'd be
out of contact range, unarmed.
KIRK: I have to, Bones. Look at this place. A tank. I can't command a
ship from inside an aquarium. I can't live in here.
MCCOY: I know what you're saying, Jim, but if you go down on that
planet and you die there
KIRK: Right now we have only two choices. Live in an aquarium somewhere
for the rest of our lives or stay on Argo. I won't accept either one of
MCCOY: What about you, Spock? What does your logic tell you?
SPOCK: The Captain states the case emotionally, of course, but
correctly. I would be of little value to this ship if I am confined to
a tank in Sickbay. I must accompany the Captain.
KIRK: An intelligence that can produce this kind of mutation can change
us back. We've got to find it, Bones. It must be there.
KIRK: We'll make contact as soon as possible,
SCOTT: Aye, sir.
(Kirk and Spock remove their aqua-lungs and dive into the ocean)
(A group of Aquans are gathering food when they
see the uniformed and booted humans swimming towards them. Aquans are
green, with gills and dark green fins across their heads, the sides of
their necks and chests)
MALE: Go away, air breathers. You're not wanted here.
KIRK: We won't harm you. We're friends.
FEMALE: Leave us. It is enough our young saved your lives once. If you
go on, nothing will save you again.
KIRK: Wait. Listen.
MALE: Go away.
(The Aquans leave)
KIRK: I don't understand. They said they'd saved us once.
SPOCK: I believe the phrase was, 'our young saved your lives once.'
KIRK: Yes, and they didn't seem to approve. The answer appears to be in
that direction, Spock.
SPOCK: I would say so, Captain. The instinctive reaction of all
frightened creatures is to retreat to a place of safety.
(They descend into the rift in the seabed, and follow a tunnel to)
SPOCK: Fascinating. And beautiful.
KIRK: An undersea civilisation capable of fantastic architecture.
Medical triumphs unheard of in our galaxy. Why should they be afraid of
SPOCK: It is quite possible, Captain, that they find us grotesque and
ugly. And many people fear beings different from themselves.
KIRK: Well, speculation isn't much help. We have to get in there.
SPOCK: Perhaps there is a way open on the far side. There is much less
(On the other side of the city)
KIRK: That building in the centre. It seems to be important.
(Then they are caught in a net)
These are the spies, Tribune. Air-breathers.
DOMAR: You stand before the Ruling Tribunal of the Aquans. I am Domar,
the High Tribune.
KIRK: I'm Captain Kirk of the starship Enterprise. This is my first
officer, Mister Spock.
DOMAR: You are air-breather enemies from the surface. We have expected
spies for a long time.
SPOCK: We came here in peace, Tribune.
CADMAR: The ancient records warn that air-breathers never come in
RILA: They came without weapons.
MALE: Can we do nothing without consulting the ancient records?
CADMAR: Why do the Junior Tribunes wish always to change the records?
DOMAR: Let the mesh be removed, but stand ready.
MALE: The surgo-op was excellent. They have mutated perfectly.
KIRK: Your scientists induced these mutations?
DOMAR: We do not wish to kill, even air-breathers. Your memory was
eradicated so you could not return here.
CADMAR: It would seem their ancient records are as well preserved as
ours. They found us again to come among us as spies.
RILA: You do not give them a chance to defend themselves, Cadmar.
DOMAR: Rila is correct. You may speak.
KIRK: We are visitors to your planet. We come from another world.
RILA: You do not live on the surface places?
SPOCK: Not on this world.
CADMAR: Enough! Clearly, this is a lie. The air-breathers have come
again to destroy us.
SPOCK: You are mistaken, sir. Our only purpose here is to find the
means of reversing our mutations.
DOMAR: That is impossible. Only Aquan mutation is designated by the
MCCOY [OC]: Enterprise to Mister Scott.
SCOTT: Scott here. What is it, Doctor?
MCCOY: Sensors just gave us an update reading, Scotty. There's a
seaquake due in that area, a bad one. Complete topography changes.
SCOTT: How soon?
MCCOY: Within four hours. When are Jim and Spock
due to make contact?
SCOTT [OC]: About the same time.
MCCOY: Can you contact them sooner?
SCOTT [OC]: We can try like blue blazes. Scott out.
SCOTT: Their directional marker indicates they
descended toward that fern bed.
(As the hull of the boat passes overhead)
FEMALE: Air-breathers. We must inform the Tribunes.
KIRK: The name of our starship is on the
aqua-shuttle. If you want proof, examine the wreckage.
RILA: Yes. Let us examine the wreckage before we make judgement.
FEMALE: We have news, High Tribune.
DOMAR: Speak it.
FEMALE: Three air-breathers have invaded the sea foliage. We saw them
as we gathered edibles.
DOMAR: Do you still believe these creatures came in peace?
RILA: We do not know what to believe.
DOMAR: Take these spies to the surface boulders and leave them there.
It is justice enough for our enemies.
(Spock and Kirk are pinned under a net, near the
RILA: Conserve your strength. I will free you. The mesh is too strong.
KIRK: Go to the big island. Bring assistance party.
(Scott has been diving)
CLAYTON: Did you see anything?
SCOTT: Not a sign of them. Wait a minute. Who are
RILA: Follow me. Your friends need help.
SCOTT: Quick, lads.
(Spock and Kirk are freed and back in the water)
SCOTT: Stand by in the scouter-gig, Lieutenant.
(Scott is protected by a personal force field)
KIRK: Rila, this is my engineering officer, Mister Scott. Tribune Rila
is an Aquan. Their city is a short distance away.
SCOTT: We're obliged for your help. Captain, we've been trying to
contact you for two hours. There's a sea bottom quake due. It'll
destroy this whole area.
RILA: There are legends of such a happening. It destroyed the ancient
knowledge and caused the great surface places to sink into the sea.
SPOCK: That suggests your race evolved from its ancient enemies.
RILA: We did not evolve, Mister Spock. When the surface places began to
sink, many air-breathers were mutated through surgo-op, just as you
were. As the centuries passed, the mutations became hereditary.
KIRK: Strange that such a highly developed race would be violent.
SPOCK: Apparently they were exposed to a frightening geological
disaster. Such hardship induces savagery and violence.
RILA: They hunted and killed us. We feared they would contaminate us
with their violence. That is also why it is forbidden to mutate back to
KIRK: Then reverse mutation is possible.
RILA: There are legends of sealed places in the sunken ruins where many
knowledge records of it are kept.
(The seabed shakes)
SCOTT: There's not much time, Captain. The quake's due in less than two
KIRK: How far are the ruins, Rila?
RILA: Only a short distance.
KIRK: Those old records may hold the key to reversing our mutations.
We've got to find them before it's too late.
RILA: I cannot take you to the ruins. It is against ordainments.
KIRK: It's important, Rila. Not just for us. The population of another
planet is threatened by surface changes, too. Argo's ancient knowledge
can help save them.
RILA: Yes. I will take you as far as the reef barrier.
RILA: The ruins lie that way. Now, take care. The
tides are strong.
(She leaves. Kirk and Spock are pulled along by the current)
SPOCK: Fascinating. Obviously, an entire portion
of the continental shelf sank within a few minutes. This may be the
sealed place Rila mentioned. I believe this is an entrance panel,
(They swim down a staircase)
KIRK: There's another chamber.
(A room in the Roman style, with canisters and
equipment including a caduceus)
SPOCK: This resembles ancient medical symbols, Captain. The torso
KIRK: That's it, Spock. The key to the survival of the race.
(They grab a couple of canisters each and swim for it. But they
encounter Mister Tentacles, the sea monster. Fortunately another quake
hits, and it gets buried under a collapsed building)
(McCoy has got the scrolls out of the canisters)
MCCOY: If the universal translator is right, the substance in your
bloodstream is similar to the ambergris of Earth whales. Reverse
mutation is induced by infusion of an antitoxin, concentrated doses of
KIRK: What's the composition of the antitoxin, Bones?
MCCOY: It's made from the venom of the Argo sur-snake.
KIRK: To capture a sur-snake, we need your help.
Our people can't descend to that depth.
NEPHRO: Domar has warned that if we break more ordainments, we will be
exiled to the open seas.
SPOCK: We cannot reverse our mutations without the serum, nor can the
Aquans benefit from the knowledge of their ancestors.
NEPHRO: But the ordainments state clearly that capturing sur-snakes is
MALE: Ordainments are useless in times of turbulence. Only knowledge
will help us.
RILA: Nephro, we must break the ordainments.
(They net the monster that was caught by the
RILA: Quickly, Captain.
(They milk it's venom while another quake strikes)
RILA: Quickly, we must leave.
KIRK: We need more venom.
RILA: No, no, there is no time.
(This time the monster is totally squashed by falling masonry)
(McCoy and Chapel are in the water too)
MCCOY: We have prepared an antitoxin from the venom of the sur-snake,
but a part of the old records is missing, so the exact dosage is
unknown. Experiments on fish show that if the antitoxin is too strong,
it causes over-mutation, which cannot be reversed by any means. We're
running out of venom, so conclusive experiments are impossible. I
decreased the strength by three quarters, Jim, but we can't be sure
KIRK: How many infusions, Bones?
MCCOY: Two small, one large.
KIRK: Well, let's get started.
(McCoy injects Kirk, who turns red then white)
MCCOY: His pulse is fading. (turns pink again) Pulse and heart normal.
Something's happening to his metabolism. It's at least ten times normal
speed. (the webbing between his fingers disappears) Metabolism normal.
Heartbeat normal. The lungs are beginning to revert. This is the last
dose, the largest infusion. (he grows scales) The antitoxin was too
strong. (The scales vanish) He's starting to breathe. Quick, get him
out of the tank!
MCCOY: How do you feel, Jim?
KIRK: A little dizzy. Otherwise normal.
MCCOY: Well, better get into some dry clothes. I wouldn't want you to
catch cold. Your turn, Spock.
(Domar and Rila are wearing aqualungs)
KIRK: We'll bombard the unpopulated pressure areas with phaser beams
and change the epicentre of the quake so it won't endanger your people
or your city.
DOMAR: I did not believe such knowledge was possible.
SCOTT: Major tremors will start in three minutes, Captain.
DOMAR: It is incredible. All of it.
KIRK: Confirm co-ordinates, Mister Spock.
SPOCK: Confirmed, sir.
KIRK: Fire phasers as directed, gentlemen.
AREX: Aye, aye, sir.
SPOCK: Sensors indicate the epicentre of the quake was in the north
polar seas, Captain, a totally uninhabited area.
DOMAR: Then our people are safe.
KIRK: When can we beam down, Spock?
SPOCK: The seabed should stabilize within a few hours.
SPOCK: Argo appears to have a new city, Captain,
or rather, one reborn.
RILA: Our people survived the seaquakes with little damage, thanks to
DOMAR: We owe you and your friends much gratitude, Captain Kirk. We
will try to repay by making the ancient records available for your
SPOCK: Our experience here has shown us the means of diverting quakes.
That will mean much to the endangered Federation planet.
RILA: The light is warm and the air is soft. I shall be glad when the
surface places can be inhabited.
DOMAR: The young Aquans have decided to rebuild the great shelters of
KIRK: Only the young Aquans?
DOMAR: Senior Aquans cannot adjust to the thought of becoming
air-breathers. We will remain at the Aqua City.
KIRK: Don't lose contact with each other like your ancestors.
DOMAR: We will pass ordainments to forbid it.
RILA: And we, this time, will not ignore them.