Captain's log, stardate 6770.3. The Enterprise is on course for the
planet Babel, where ambassadors from all Federation planets are waiting
to honour the Enterprise's distinguished passenger, Commodore Robert
April, first captain of the USS Enterprise, and for the past twenty
years, Federation Ambassador at large. Now seventy five years old,
Commodore April has reached mandatory retirement age.
APRIL: No matter where I've travelled in the
galaxy, Jim, this bridge is more like home than anywhere else.
KIRK: Yes, Commodore, I know the feeling.
APRIL: To me she was always like my child. I was there in the San
Francisco Navy Yards when her unit components were built.
(McCoy enters with Mrs. April)
MCCOY: Jim, I didn't realise how many of the tools I use in Sickbay
were designed by Sarah.
SARAH: As the first medical officer aboard a ship equipped with warp
drive, I'm afraid I had to come up with new ideas all the time.
KIRK: Your modesty is unnecessary, Mrs. April. Your achievements as a
pioneer doctor in space are well known.
MCCOY: And it's nice to know the lady is as intelligent as she is
beautiful. Much like the flower she carries.
SARAH: Oh, Doctor, flattery will get you everywhere. But I'm afraid my
flower is dying.
KIRK: It's a native of Capella Four, isn't it?
SARAH: Yes, but it has a life span of only a few hours. This morning it
was a seedling, within a few hours it will be dead.
SPOCK: Excuse me, Captain. You asked to be notified when we made visual
contact with the Beta Niobe nova.
KIRK: Thank you, Mister Spock. Mrs. April, you're about to see another
of the galaxy's most beautiful sights, the Beta Niobe's supernova.
(A glowing ring doughnut is on the viewscreen)
SARAH: It is beautiful, but also very deadly.
SPOCK: We're travelling at a safe distance from the nova, Mrs. April.
APRIL: Beta Niobe. You were present when the star first started its
KIRK: Yes, we were, Commodore.
SPOCK: Captain, sensors are picking up an unidentified object
travelling at an incredible speed, presently on collision course with
KIRK: Put the ship on Red Alert. How fast is it travelling, Mister
SPOCK: At a speed that should be impossible to achieve. Something on
the order of warp thirty six.
APRIL: No natural object has ever been recorded as travelling at that
SPOCK: I believe it is not a natural object, but a ship.
KIRK: But who would have the technology to build a ship that could
travel at such a speed?
SPOCK: No known race, Captain. Nevertheless, it will contact us in one
point four minutes.
KIRK: Hard about, helmsman. Change course for twenty four mark seven.
SPOCK: Correction, Captain. The ship was on a collision course only by
coincidence. It is apparently heading for the heart of the Beta Niobe
KIRK: That's a course of self-destruction. Lieutenant Uhura, open
hailing frequencies. I want to talk to that ship's captain.
UHURA: Captain, that ship is not responding.
KIRK: All right, if they won't talk, we'll slow them down. Mister Sulu,
put a tractor beam on that ship.
SULU: Tractor beam on and operating, Captain.
AREX: We're having a small effect on other ship's speed, Captain. It
has dropped to a speed of warp thirty two.
UHURA: Captain, they are making visual contact.
KIRK: Put it on the screen, Lieutenant.
(A blonde woman appears. She speaks, but the sounds are unintelligible.
Then the picture fades)
KIRK: I've never heard that language before.
APRIL: Nor I.
KIRK: Run that message through the universal translator, Lieutenant
Uhura. Perhaps it can tell us what language she is speaking in.
UHURA: Captain, the universal translator has the answer. The woman is
speaking the same universal language we speak, but she is speaking in
KIRK: Lieutenant, let's hear that tape backward, which should sound
forward to us.
UHURA: Yes, sir, on the screen.
KARLA [on viewscreen]: I am on a priority mission. Your beam is slowing
my progress. Release my ship at once or I am doomed.
KIRK: Open hailing frequencies again, Lieutenant. Tell her she is
endangering her life if she remains on her present course.
UHURA: No use, sir. She's refusing to answer.
SCOTT [OC]: Captain.
KIRK: Yes, Scotty, what is it?
SCOTT [OC]: Captain, the engines are buckling. We cannot keep up at
KIRK: Mister Arex, what is our speed?
AREX: Now at warp eleven, Captain.
KIRK: Mister Spock, how long until the alien vessel makes contact with
the Beta Niobe nova?
SPOCK: Three minutes forty two point seven seconds.
KIRK [OC]: Give me three and a half minutes,
AREX: Still increasing speed, Captain. Warp
fourteen. Warp fifteen.
KIRK: I have no choice. I have to release the tractor beam. I can't
destroy this ship and four hundred and thirty people to save one
person. Mister Sulu, release our beam.
SULU: Sir, I can't release the tractor beam.
KIRK: What do you mean, Mister Sulu?
SULU: Our controls are inoperative. The ship isn't responding like it
KIRK: Go to manual override.
SULU: NO responding, sir.
KIRK: We've got to release that beam, or we're going to follow that
ship into the nova!
SPOCK: Our speed is now warp twenty, and the other ship will contact
the nova in one minute fifty eight point three seconds.
KIRK: I'm sorry, Commodore, Mrs. April. It looks as though we may not
APRIL: As starship personnel, we were always prepared to give our
SARAH: We are still starship personnel, Captain.
KIRK: There's still one chance. After that ship enters the nova, it
should burn up and break contact with our tractor beam. Mister Spock,
how long will we have to apply full braking power and execute course
SPOCK: We are up to warp twenty two and increasing, Captain. We shall
have forty two point eight five seconds to correct our course after the
alien ship enters the nova.
KIRK: You heard that, Mister Sulu.
SULU: Aye, aye, sir.
KIRK: Mister Scott, we're going to apply full braking power in a
SCOTT: Aye, Captain. Our engines are almost gone.
SCOTT [OC]: They've only lasted this long at this
speed because the alien vessel is pulling us with our own tractor beam.
SPOCK: The alien vessel will contact Beta Niobe in fifty two point
three seconds, Captain.
SPOCK: Contact in thirty nine seconds. Thirty eight, thirty seven
SPOCK: Thirteen, twelve, eleven
KIRK: Get ready to execute course change, Mister Sulu.
SULU: Yes, sir.
(The little ship enters the nova)
KIRK: Now, Mister Sulu!
SULU: Something's wrong, Captain. We're still being pulled by the alien
KIRK: Impossible. It should have been destroyed instantly.
AREX: Apparently it was not, Captain. Our tractor beam is still
connected to her.
SPOCK: And we are still increasing speed. Contact with the nova in
thirty five point one eight seconds.
KIRK: That other ship may have been able to survive the heat of a nova,
but the Enterprise can't. Mister Scott, how about that full braking
SCOTT: We're as badly off as before, Captain. We
have no control of the ship as long as that alien lassie has us in tow.
SPOCK: Contact in twenty seconds.
KIRK: Keep trying those controls, Mister Sulu.
SULU: Still no change, Captain.
KIRK: It's got to work.
(Kirk Fiddles with Sulu's switches)
SPOCK: Fourteen seconds, thirteen, twelve
KIRK: Never mind, Mister Spock, it's no use.
(Sarah's flower shrivels in her hand. The Enterprise enters the nova
and gets surrounded by sparkles)
KIRK: We're still here. Lieutenant Uhura, can you get us a visual?
(The viewscreen is white with black dots)
KIRK: Where are we?
(The Enterprise is sailing serenely through this reverse negative
universe - backwards)
Captain's log, stardate 6770.6. The Enterprise has
passed into the most alien landscape I have ever seen. We are in some
reverse universe where black stars shine in a white void. We are still
in the tow of the alien ship, both of us having survived the extreme
heat of the Beta Niobe nova.
SCOTT [OC]: This is Scott calling the Captain.
KIRK: Yes, Scotty. How are we doing down there?
SCOTT: Well, we just had to learn to run the ship
all over again. Every control is working in reverse.
KIRK: All right. Lieutenant Uhura, we're going to
contact that ship again. We need some answers.
SARAH: Captain Kirk. The Capellan flower!
APRIL: I'm sure Captain Kirk has other problems besides your flower,
SARAH: You don't understand. Before we entered this universe it was
about to die. and now it's in full bloom again.
KIRK: How's that possible?
SARAH: It's as if it were growing younger again. I can almost feel it
while I'm holding it.
SPOCK: Captain, the flower is not the only thing on board that is
KIRK: Explain, Spock.
SPOCK: Ship's chronometers are also running backward. The flow of time
is reversed in this universe. The longer we stay here, the younger we
(Sarah's flower becomes a seed)
UHURA: The alien ship is responding to our call, Captain.
KARLA [on viewscreen]: Your interference almost cost me my life.
KIRK: I can understand her now, without the aid of the universal
SPOCK: Apparently our brains are also working in reverse, Captain, so
we can now understand her language. That is why the ship seems to be
operating in the reverse to us.
KIRK: I'm Captain James T Kirk of the USS Enterprise. We tried to
prevent you from entering the Beta Niobe nova. We assumed your ship
would burn up.
KARLA [on viewscreen]: I had to return to my own universe, Captain
KIRK: Who are you? How did you come to be in our universe?
KARLA [on viewscreen]: I am an explorer of space. I was caught unaware
when Amphion, previously a dead star, went nova and came to life. I was
pulled into the star. But instead of burning up, I passed into a
universe where everything operates in reverse to my universe.
KIRK: Our universe.
KARLA [on viewscreen]: Yes. My theory is that two stars going nova in
the same place in both universes created a gateway which I passed
APRIL: In her universe, a nova is a dead star which comes to life! And
when the explosions of a nova in her universe and one in our universe
occur together, it's possible to travel between the two universes.
KIRK: Then we must return the same way, through the two novas.
KARLA [on viewscreen]: That would be impossible, Captain. Amphion is no
longer nova. It has begun it's life as a star. I suggest you set a
course to follow my ship. Perhaps our scientists can help solve your
KIRK: We have little choice.
Captain's log, supplemental. We are proceeding to
Karla Five's planet, Arret.
KIRK: Gentlemen, I'm sure none of us mind growing
younger instead of older for a change.
APRIL: It pleases me, Jim. If we stay here long enough, I'll no longer
be at the mandatory retirement age.
KIRK: Nevertheless, we must return home and I am open to suggestions.
SPOCK: It is logical that we must reproduce the conditions that brought
us here. Two novas must occupy the same space in both universes in
order to create a gateway for us to travel through. One star dying in
our universe, and one being born here would recreate the correct
APRIL: That would take a remarkable coincidence, Mister Spock.
UHURA [on monitor]: Captain, we are approaching Arret. Karla Five is
asking if you are prepared to beam down to the planet.
KIRK: Tell Karla Five that Mister Spock, Commodore April and myself
will be beaming down.
UHURA [on monitor}: Yes, sir.
SCOTT: Karla Five has given us coordinates to beam
down to her son's laboratory, Captain.
KIRK: Her son? We don't have time for children's games right now,
Scotty, but beam us down.
SCOTT: Aye, sir.
(There is a baby in a playpen, and a man at a
KARLA: May I introduce my son, Karl Four.
KARL: (the man, of course) My honour to meet you, gentlemen.
SPOCK: Most logical. If the flow of time is reversed, then one is born
at an old age, and dies in infancy. Your descendants are born before
you, and your ancestors are born after you.
KIRK: Then the young child in the playpen
KARLA: My father, Captain.
KIRK: We could remain forever awed with the differences between our
universes, Karla Five, but we must discover a way to return to our
positive matter universe.
KARL: Exactly the problem I have been working on since Karla informed
me of your troubles, Captain Kirk. This is a map of our galaxy. Our
home solar system is here. You entered our universe through the Amphion
nova, here. (the opposite arm of the galaxy)
KIRK: We need to coordinate this to our own universe. Can we do that,
SPOCK: Yes, Captain. Apparently the two universes occupy the same
space, but in different dimensions.
APRIL: Assuming Beta Niobe and Amphion occupy the same space, we can
determine if there are any other novas occupying the same space in both
SPOCK: Correct, Commodore. Now if you'll watch the star map, you'll see
the Milky Way. Here is Beta Niobe, and here is Earth. It corresponds
exactly with Arret. By superimposing both star maps, we will see where
two stars occupy the same place in both universes. The red spheres
indicate where two stars are in the same space. No pair are novas in
APRIL: If stars begin as dead stars here then we could bring one of
them to life prematurely.
KIRK: Yes, we could act as a midwife giving birth to a star. Then we
would have two novas in the same position and theoretically return
KARLA: But I had to pass through the novas at my ship's top speed to
avoid burning up. Your ship isn't capable of such a speed.
SPOCK: That's true, Captain.
KARLA: You are welcome to use my ship, Captain.
KIRK: I have a crew of four hundred and thirty, Karla Five. Your ship
is suitable for only a few people.
SPOCK: We can't use her ship to transport us, Captain, but we could use
it as an unmanned ship with our tractor beam attached.
APRIL: It could work. That's how we arrived here in the first place.
KIRK: It should work, yes. But any miscalculation anywhere along the
way and we'll be plunging tail first into a supernova.
Captain's log, stardate 6770.1. Time continues to
flow backward for us. We have set course for a dead star in this
anti-matter universe that corresponds with the nova Minara in ours.
We're being pulled by Karla Five's unmanned vessel, which is equipped
with enough positive matter armament to ignite the dead star into life.
KIRK: we just might get you to Babel after all,
APRIL: I'll be glad to get home, but not necessarily to Babel. It only
means the end of my career, Jim.
UHURA: Message coming in from Arret, Captain.
KARLA [on viewscreen]: I want to wish you luck, Captain. Whether you
succeed or fail, the outcome will remain unknown to me.
KIRK: Yes, Karla Five. We'll burn to a crisp or escape into our own
universe. Either way, you'll never hear from us again. Thank you for
the sacrifice of your vessel.
KARLA [on viewscreen]: It is a small sacrifice, Captain Kirk. Success.
SULU: Tractor beam working properly, Captain.
AREX: We're meeting the speed of Karla Five's unmanned vessel, Captain.
KIRK: How much time before the youngest crew member returns to the time
SPOCK: Eighteen minutes thirty seven seconds in real time. But long
before that we shall all be children. And, Captain, that also means we
are losing our knowledge at an alarming rate. It is possible we will
soon be unable to operate the Enterprise.
KIRK: How is our course, Mister Sulu?
SULU: I don't know. What am I doing here? What is all this equipment?
SPOCK: He's too young, Captain.
KIRK: Mister Arex, take over for him. Lieutenant Uhura, report to
UHURA: I'm sorry, sir, I don't understand all this equipment. What do I
do with these controls?
KIRK: Never mind. Spock, can you fill in for Sulu and Uhura?
SPOCK: Yes, Captain, but who will fill in for you?
KIRK: What do you mean?
SPOCK: At what age did you become a starship captain? And when did you
enter Starfleet Academy?
KIRK: I see what you mean.
SPOCK: As a Vulcan, I age the slowest. I will be capable of assuming
command longer than anyone else. But even I will become too young to
know what to do.
Captain's log, supplemental. We have eleven
minutes of real time left to reach the dead star, but all around my
crew are turning into children, unable to operate the ship.
(Kirk looks like he's not old enough to shave,
April is middle-aged and Uhura's feet don't reach the floor any more)
SPOCK: Ten minutes fourteen point twenty one seconds, Captain. We shall
arrive with only moments to spare. We will need to disconnect the
tractor beam at the appropriate time.
KIRK: Tractor beam? How do we do that, Spock?
SPOCK: Captain, I must assume command. You are no longer able to
command the Enterprise.
KIRK: Whatever you say. What shall I do?
APRIL: Mister Spock, as long as I am aboard, I am senior officer. I
hate to pull rank, but you will be capable of command only for a few
minutes, not long enough to complete the manoeuvres necessary to take
SPOCK: You are correct, of course. Commodore April, command is yours.
APRIL: Commodore? I'm Captain April, Mister Spock.
SARAH: (now a vibrant red head) Robert, we're the only adults on the
bridge. They're all teenagers and children.
APRIL: Make sure no harm comes to them, Sarah. We have to ignite that
dead star if we're going home. Mister Spock, you are still capable of
SPOCK: Yes, Captain.
APRIL: Very good. Assume your post at the navigation console.
SPOCK: The dead star is directly ahead, Captain, twelve degrees south
of galactic plane.
APRIL: Arm Karla Five's vessel, Spock.
SPOCK: Vessel armed, Captain. Nine seconds to impact. Eight, seven,
(The two ships rush towards the star)
SPOCK: Three, two
APRIL: Hang on, we're going right into the heart of the nova.
(Kaboom, sparkles, and Enterprise flies out of an expanding gas cloud,
the right way around)
APRIL: We did it! We're home again! We're all right. We're home. The
reverse aging process has stopped.
SARAH: But the Enterprise crew, they're all children.
APRIL: They can enter the transporter. It retains a memory of their
original molecular structure.
SARAH: But what about us? We don't have to use the transporter. We can
remain young, live our lives over again. You could command a starship
APRIL: What a blessing to be able to live one's life over again, if the
life you've led has left you unfulfilled. No Sarah, I don't want to
live it all over again. I couldn't improve one bit on what we've had
SARAH: Oh, Robert.
(They embrace and kiss)
(Later, everyone is back to how they were at the start of the show)
KIRK: We've received a message from the Federation that might bring you
some cheer. Lieutenant Uhura, would you relay it to Commodore April and
UHURA: In view of Commodore April's heroic actions aboard the USS
Enterprise this stardate, we are reviewing his mandatory retirement,
and will consider his appeal to remain Federation Ambassador at large.
APRIL: Well, good. Just because someone is seventy five years old
doesn't mean they're ready to stop giving service to the galaxy!
SULU: Arriving at Babel in one hour fifteen minutes, Captain.
KIRK: I see your flower has blossomed again.
SARAH: Yes, our trip into the negative universe gave it a second life.
It gave all of us a second life.