The Jihad
Stardate: 5683.1
Original Airdate: 12 Jan, 1974

Captain's log, stardate 5683.1. We're making a rendezvous with the Vedala asteroid on a unique mission. The Vedala are the oldest space faring race we know. They say something incredibly dangerous to the safety of our galaxy is developing and they have sent for selected specialists, including Spock and myself.

[Transporter room]

KIRK: Maintain the Enterprise in this position, Sulu. If Spock and I survive, we'll return here. If not, Mister Scott, you have your orders. Energise.

[Forest glade]

(Five other people are already there. A tall golden bird man, a light green insectoid, a feline, a humanoid female and a Lizard. The forest is purple-barked trees, giant fungi and red shrubs. The ground is blue)
VEDALA: (feline) Welcome, Captain James Kirk and Commander Spock. I will introduce you. First, Tchar. (Gold bird) Hereditary prince of the Skorr, master of the eerie. Sord. (Reptile)
EM3GREEN: (insectoid) I was sentenced to this mad expedition. My people are cautious, what you would call cowards.
VEDALA: As an expert lockpick and thief, you are welcome. Em3green. Lara (the female) is a hunter. She has a flawless directional sense, a necessary skill where you are going. Mister Spock was chosen for his analytical mind and scientific expertise. Captain Kirk for his leadership and adaptability. Tchar will explain your mission.
TCHAR: Two centuries past, my people, the Skorr, were great warriors. We had advanced military technology and we could breed vast armies rapidly. But today we are a civilised people because of Alar. (makes a gesture)
KIRK: A religious leader, was he not?
TCHAR: Our salvation and our teacher. He brought us peace. He made us great. He died, and we made him immortal.
VEDALA: Alar's brain patterns were recorded before his death, in a piece of indurite sculpture.
TCHAR: Our Soul, the Soul of the Skorr, was stolen.
VEDALA: The theft triggered a racial fury in the Skorr. They are preparing for war.
KIRK: Against whom?
TCHAR: The known galaxy.
SPOCK: It is a very real threat. In two standard years, the existing Skorr could breed an army of two hundred billion warriors.
TCHAR: My government fears this, so the theft of the Soul of Alar has been kept secret. But we must recover it before my people discover it gone and go mad, launch a jihad, a holy war on the galaxy.
KIRK: Who took the Soul?
VEDALA: Unknown. The motive, as Tchar has said, to provoke a holy war.
SPOCK: Is there any clue to its location?
VEDALA: A mad planet, Geologically unstable. Constant earthquakes, gravitic shifts, tidal waves. The temperature varies from twenty Kelvin to two hundred and four above. Somewhere on that planet, the Soul of Alar is hidden. Three expeditions have tried to recover it. Three expeditions have been lost. You are the next, if you agree.
KIRK: The Vedala are a powerful race. Why haven't your people retrieved the Soul?
VEDALA: My people could not survive on that planet. You have a chance.
KIRK: We agree.
VEDALA: Then it is done.
(She vanishes)

[Barren planet]

(The adventurers are gathered around an open vehicle. The ground is flat with occasional faceted crystal rocks)
TCHAR: I cannot feel the Soul. We are nowhere near it.
SPOCK: That is to be expected. The surface of this planet shifts constantly. Even the Vedala are not certain where the Soul is.
KIRK: It has directional equipment that keys on indurite.
SORD: I like this place, it's got variety.
EM3GREEN: I can handle the machine.
SPOCK: Our direction is indicated.
EM3GREEN: It's phasing, unfocusing.
(The directional indicator blows up)
KIRK: Why did the Vedala call this the Mad planet?
LARA: Means nothing. I can tell the way. That way.
TCHAR: Are you certain, human?
LARA: For sure, birdman. I can't get lost. I can't be fooled about directions. That's why I'm here.
SPOCK: The Vedala would not have chosen Lara if her abilities were less than perfect.
KIRK: Agreed, but we're forced to travel on the ground. I want an overview.
TCHAR: I will scout overhead.
(Tchar flies off)
SPOCK: The Vedala will have been efficient in equipping us. I will acquaint myself with our supplies.
LARA: Vulcans. Never liked them much myself. Cold-blooded critters, all of them.
KIRK: I wouldn't say that. Mister Spock is a unique personality.
LARA: But not human like you and me. Maybe you got different customs. My world there's a lot of females, not so many men. Come we find a man attractive, we say so. I'm saying so. How do you find me?
KIRK: Fascinating. But we're not here on a pleasure trip, Lara.
LARA: All the more reason to take what pleasure there might be in it.
SPOCK: I have checked the supplies, Captain. As expected, they are adequate and there are weapons.
KIRK: Against what? There's no life on this planet.
SPOCK: But there is, Captain. Ourselves. And there may be other things guarding the Soul of Alar.

(They are driving through a rain storm)
LARA: Real weather.
KIRK: And a half.
(Then suddenly the rain stops, the sun comes out and a volcano erupts in the distance)
EM3GREEN: We'll all die here.
SPOCK: A statistical probability.
LARA: You ever quote anything besides statistics, Vulcan?
SPOCK: Yes. But philosophy and poetry are not appropriate here.
TCHAR: I can see something. (lands on a cliff) I can sense it, the Soul of Alar is there.
(There is a golden glow from an obvious construction)
LARA: Something's coming.
SPOCK: A lava flow. Volcanic action is to be expected.
LARA: Never mind that. You got to get us out of here.
KIRK: We might be able to divert the lava flow with a barricade. Tchar, get us a visual estimate!
SPOCK: Such a diversion would be of short duration, Captain. And I must point out, the vehicle lacks sufficient speed to escape.
KIRK: Not if we used all of the power pack's energy for one high speed run.
SPOCK: It is possible, but the rewiring of the power leads is complex and time-consuming.
EM3GREEN: I could do it, if you can diagram the schematics, sir.
SPOCK: Yes, quickly then. Terminal M3 red, lead to diode shunt A37. Cross connect to A14.
TCHAR: Kirk. There is a ravine sixty metres to your left. If it can be blocked, the lava will flow past those rocks to one side.
KIRK: Got it. Sord.
SORD: I heard him.
SPOCK: Carefully, Em. One missed connection could destroy us.
EM3GREEN: I know. I'm trying to be careful.
(Kirk, Sord and Lara push boulders off the cliff and create a rock fall to block the ravine.
LARA: I figure we've bought ourselves a little time. Few minutes.
SPOCK: It's re-rigged. Hurry.
(They rush back to the transport as the lava comes over the top of the barrier)
SORD: Come on, insect, move it.
LARA: Twenty one degrees east. Fifty metres to get out of the flow path.
TCHAR: Hurry.
KIRK: Go.
(They race ahead of the red hot molten rock until they hit an obstruction and Spock is thrown from the vehicle)
SPOCK: Leave, all of you.
(Kirk runs back for him)
KIRK: Not without you.
SPOCK: Captain, you must get the others away.
KIRK: We're all getting away.
(The vehicle stalls on a shale slope, and they get out and up to safety)
LARA: Close.
SPOCK: Far too close, Captain. I appreciate your action on my behalf, but your first duty is to the group and the mission.
KIRK: Quite right, Spock. And that responsibility includes not losing the best science officer in Starfleet.
SORD: You two going to argue honours, or are we going to get on with it?
(A snowstorm starts up)
LARA: Oh! And I was just going to ask, what next?
KIRK: We move on.
EM3GREEN: The power pack is burned out.
KIRK: We'll have to carry the equipment.
(Once again, Tchar flies off to scout ahead)
KIRK: Anything?
TCHAR: Wait. Yes, yes!
(He sees the building. Then the ground opens under Em3Green and he nearly falls into a ravine. Tchar lifts him back on land)
EM3GREEN: I can't go any farther. I'm not even afraid anymore. Just very tired.
LARA: Come on, Em, a bit more.
EM3GREEN: No. I'm finished.
KIRK: Sorry, Em. We'll be needing you. Sord.
EM3GREEN: Let me go.
SORD: Hang on. (Picks him up and carries him)
TCHAR: I'll go ahead.
(Further on)
KIRK: What is it?
SORD: Not sure. Thought I saw something move in the brush.
SPOCK: There is no life on this planet.
SORD: Guess you're right. This planet just gets on your nerves.
TCHAR: I can sense the Soul. I will fly ahead, examine the building, and meet you on the way.
KIRK: Tchar, be careful. We need you, too.
(Tchar flies off)
KIRK: We're tired, sore, hurt and angry, but we're also just about there. I'll scout ahead. Everybody else stay together, keep moving.
LARA: I'll go with you. Remember, scouting's my job. By rights, I should be doing it alone.
(Kirk and Lara run off)
SPOCK: Sord, what did you think you saw back there?
SORD: Don't know, Vulcan. A shape, couldn't really make it out. Probably seeing things, like Kirk figures.
SPOCK: There should be no life on this planet.
EM3GREEN: You keep saying that.
SPOCK: Yes. The Vedala would have informed us if there were any live beings here we should know of.
SORD: Maybe the Vedala didn't know about it.
SPOCK: That is an impossibility.
SORD: Think so? I'm not so sure.

[Near the building]

(There is no snow here)
KIRK: That's it. End of a long, hard journey.
LARA: We still have to go back, James. I tell you true, I find you an attractive man. If we were together, the trip would be easier. And if anything happened, why, we'd have some green memories.
KIRK: I already have a lot of green memories.
LARA: Oh.
KIRK: Maybe some other time, Lara. We still have our work cut out for us here.
(The rest of the group have arrived)
SPOCK: Is this not the shape of your people's primitive temples?
TCHAR: Yes. The entrance should be (he points). Can you open it?
EM3GREEN: There is no lock I can't pick.
(He gets to work with all six arms)
KIRK: What is it?
EM3GREEN: I'm opening the locks.
LARA: Wonderful.
EM3GREEN: No. They're on a timed trigger. If I don't get all the locks open quickly enough, it explodes.
(A group of purple flying dragons attack)
SORD: Keep working. I'll cover you.
(Kirk and Lara shoot the dragons, and they explode)
KIRK: They're mechanical.
SPOCK: The Vedala were right. There are no living creatures here, only the mechanised sentinels.
SORD: Hurry, small one.
(Kirk stops Spock from firing at the dragon attacking Tchar)
KIRK: We'll hit Tchar.
LARA: What happened to Tchar?
KIRK: There's no way to tell from here. The mechanical exploded. We can't reach the roof from the outside. We'll have to try to get to him from the interior.
EM3GREEN: Done.
(The doors open)
KIRK: We could rest awhile. Lara?
LARA: No. We've come this far.
SORD: Let's finish it. Or give this deadfall a chance to finish us.
SPOCK: I too would prefer to press on, Captain. The mechanicals on guard may be what Sord saw tracking us earlier. Or there may be others. In either case, it would be more advantageous to avoid another encounter.

[Temple]

(An object is hanging in mid-air, glowing)
SORD: Pretty. How do we reach it?
SPOCK: The walls are not climbable.
KIRK: Not without special equipment, which we don't have. Either we find a way to reach it from here, or we fail.
(The door closes behind them)
EM3GREEN: No lock on the inside. We are prisoners.
KIRK: That's right.
LARA: You're not exactly surprised.
KIRK: Three previous expeditions tried and were lost. The planet is a natural trap, but that's not enough.
SPOCK: You suggest sabotage, Captain?
KIRK: Yes, from inside each expedition. Remember Spock, you were the one who said there are no life forms here except ourselves.
EM3GREEN: One of us?
KIRK: It's likely.
SPOCK: Approximately eighty two point five percent in favour of the possibility.
KIRK: But it doesn't matter if we reach the Soul. Apparently the others didn't get this far.
(He spots a ledge around the inside of the building, and jumps up to it. The others join him, except) 
SORD: I'm not built for that sort of thing. I'll wait for you down here.
(As they inch along the foot-deep ledge, there is a quake)
SPOCK: The planet is geologically unstable. This structure is inherently flexible, enabling it to withstand earthquakes.
EM3GREEN: It can, but what about us?
KIRK: Look.
EM3GREEN: We can almost reach it.
LARA: Maybe I can get a line on it.
SPOCK: It is locked in a force field. Your rope would merely bounce off it.
KIRK: Spock, will our combined phasers disrupt the field?
SPOCK: I cannot define the field's energy base, Captain, but
(An energy weapon blasts a hole in the wall near them)
KIRK: The last piece of sabotage. I know who you are. A thousand feet up, no method of reaching the Soul, except by air, by flight. Tchar.
(The golden birdman comes down and hovers)
LARA: Tchar. In the name of the Seven Gods, why?
KIRK: You stole this. You'll start a bloody crusade across the galaxy. Tell us why, Tchar.
TCHAR: The Skorr were a warrior race. Now what are we? Slaves to the illusion of peace. Cowards, soft in our comfort. This sick dream has stolen our souls. I am Tchar, hereditary prince of the Skorr, leader of battles. I will lead my people into glory, to avenge our history.
SPOCK: Most of them will be killed. The warrior races of the Federation will rise up to battle the Skorr.
TCHAR: Yes. A noble death to win a great dream. We will live no longer like worms crawling in the dirt. We will conquer. You will die. But you have my respect. You fought well. You die in grace.
(They all start to float upwards)
EM3GREEN: He's turned on a gravity neutraliser in the building.
TCHAR: Now you can fly and fight as a Skorr.
SORD: No offence, little ones, but let me tackle him.
KIRK: Not in free fall.
EM3GREEN: Use your phaser on him.
KIRK: Too risky. He controls the fortress phaser bank, and they're set on kill. No, it has to be on his terms. Spock, how long since you've worked out in null-gravity combat exercises?
SPOCK: Last week with you, Captain.
KIRK: Let's go.
(They push off from the walls and manage to grab Tchar by his wings. Then Kirk hooks his into the Soul)
KIRK: Call for retrieval, now.
(Lara presses a button)
TCHAR: Let me die.
KIRK: You're going back with us.
(They all vanish in a golden haze)

[Forest glade]

(The Soul is in the middle of the group. Tchar is in a transparent box)
VEDALA: We give you thanks. The Soul of Alar is returned to his people.
KIRK: What about Tchar? How are you going to punish him?
VEDALA: He will be healed of his madness. He is proud, brave. That he will remain, but he will also be sane and whole again. (Tchar vanishes) We cannot reward you. For the good of the Skorr, this must be forever secret. You have only our thanks.
SORD: Got nowhere to keep a medal, anyway. But there'll be questions.
VEDALA: No. You will return and you will see, there will be no questions, no medals, only our thanks. And in time, even the memory will be gone from you.
LARA: Goodbye, James Kirk. Too bad.

[Transporter room]

SULU: Captain. Mister Spock, what happened?
KIRK: What do you mean?
SULU: You transported over and came right back. Did they call it off?
SPOCK: How long were we gone?
SULU: Long? About two minutes, I guess. I don't understand.
KIRK: The Vedala changed their minds. The danger is past. Back to your stations. We have a lot of other places to go.

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