Earth-style distress signal--SOS.
I've answered it on all frequencies, sir. They don't reply.
Not a vessel, a ground source.
The third planet in this solar system, according to my instruments.
Directly ahead. Definitely an Earth-style signal.
We're hundreds of light years from Earth, Mr. Spock.
No colonies or vessels out this far.
Measuring the planet now, Captain. It's spheroid-shaped.
Circumference-- 24,874 miles.
Mass--6 times 1 0 to the 2 1 st power tons.
Mean density--5.51 7.
oxygen, nitrogen.
Not the Earth, another Earth.
Another Earth?
Space-- the final frontier.
These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise.
Its five-year mission-- to explore strange new worlds...
to seek out new life and new civilizations...
to boldly go where no man has gone before.
Captain's Log, stardate 2713.5.
In the distant reaches of our galaxy, we have made an astonishing discover--
Earth-type radio signals coming from a planet
which apparently is an exact duplicate of the Earth.
It seems impossible, but there it is.
- Hold us in a fixed orbit, Mr. Spock. - Affirmative, Captain.
- Still no response, communications? - None, Captain.
We'll beam down. Alert security.
Prepare to transport landing party to surface.
We'll land in the vicinity
of the distress signals now being received.
Earth...as it was in the early 1 900s.
More the, uh, mid-1 900s.
I would say, Captain, approximately 1 960.
But where is everybody?
Readings indicate that natural deterioration has been taking place
on this planet for at least several centuries.
- You mean there's no one alive? - Not conclusive, yeoman.
The evidence would suggest that the distress signal is automated.
Now, this is marvelous--
the most horrible conglomeration of antique architecture I've ever seen.
Mr. Spock.
[Tricycle Bell Rings]
[Wheel Squeaks]
Mine! Mine!
Mine! Mine!
Mine! Mine! Mine!
[Sobbing] It's broke.
Somebody...broke it.
Somebody...please fix. [Sobbing]
Of course somebody will fix it.
Definitely humanoid, in spite of the distortion.
But with the mind of a child.
- Bones, what is it? - A seizure of some type.
- We want to help you. - Liar!
Never! Never!
Never! Never! Never!
It's dead.
- It's incredible. - What?
Its metabolic rate--
it's impossibly high as if it's burning itself up,
almost as if it aged a century in just the past few minutes.
Come on!
How old is this thing?
About 300 years.
- [Groan] - Come out!
We mean you no harm.
- Don't hurt me, please. - I'm not going to hurt you.
- Please, don't. I didn't do anything. - I won't hurt you.
- No, please, don't. - I only want to talk to you.
- No, don't. Don't hurt. - Come on.
- Don't, please. - I won't hurt you.
It's all right. Come on.
We won't hurt you, sweetheart. We're your friends.
No, shh!
Take the guards. Have a look outside.
Radioactive readings, chemical pollution, any further sign of life.
Right, Captain.
I wonder what happened to her that she should be so terrified of us.
[Tricorder Whines]
But I remember the things you Grups did--
burning, yelling, hurting people.
We didn't do anything like that.
You're not going to hurt?
Well, of course not.
We're here to help.
Grups don't help.
But we will.
What happened here? Where is everybody?
You know.
No, I don't. Won't you tell me?
You got a foolie, is that it?
You want me to play, but I can't.
- I don't know the rules. - Foolie?
A game, you know.
I can't play a game without rules.
Even Grups ought to know that.
- What are Grups? - You are.
They will, when Onlies get old.
You said something about the...Grups doing bad things--
yelling, hurting, burning.
That was when they started to get sick in the before time.
We hid, then they were gone.
Am I doing all right?
You're doing fine.
You said the Grups got sick.
Is that why there aren't any of them around?
Yes. They died,
but that was after the awful things.
A plague, Captain. That could explain a lot of it.
But what about the children, the...Onlies?
Didn't the awful things affect them?
Of course not. We're here, aren't we?
More of you? How many?
All there are.
- What's your name? - Miri.
pretty name...
for a pretty young woman.
Very pretty.
Cover me.
[Children] ' Nyah yah yah-yah yah '
' Nyah yah yah-yah yah Nyah yah yah-yah yah '
' Nyah yah yah-yah yah '
' Nyah yah yah-yah yah '
' Nyah yah yah-yah yah '
' Nyah yah yah-yah yah Nyah yah yah-yah yah '
' Nyah yah yah-yah yah Nyah yah yah-yah yah '
Children, Captain, lots of them.
We couldn't begin to get close to them.
They just seemed to scurry away like animals.
- Only children. - Miri said all the adults died.
That creature which attacked us was certainly no child.
Perhaps it died of the disease the girl's talking about.
There must be records somewhere...
and answers to some of our questions.
do you know any buildings
where the doctors used to work?
Yes, I know that. Them and their pills and things.
- Take me there? - That's a bad place.
It's important.
All right.
Do you have a name, too?
Yes. It'sJim.
I like that name.
Good. I like yours, too.
I like you.
Do you, really?
I wouldn't lie to you.
I wouldn't lie to you, either,Jim.
I remember the Grups, but you're nice.
You're different.
Why, thankyou.
It's already starting. I knew it would.
Just like it did with the Grups.
It'll spread all overyou, and you'll yell.
You'll try to hurt everybody. Then you'll die.
I knew it would! I knew it would!
Captain's Log, stardate 2713.6.
The building Miriledus to
also housed an automatic transmission station,
which sent out the signals that drewus to this planet.
We also discovered something else--
that the blues plotches, characteristic of the unknown disease
had appearedon each of us,
with the exception of Mr. Spock.
There wasa well-equipped laborator in the building.
Dr. McCoy took tissue samples of each of us
in an attempt to isolate the organism responsible.
A veritable zoo of bacteria.
Beam down a biocomputer and a portable electronic microscope.
If I'm dealing with viruses, I'll need better equipment than I have here.
- Yes, Doctor. Captain Kirk? - Yes, Lieutenant?
I've got volunteers ready to help you, sir.
Under no circumstances is anyone to beam down.
We can't take any chances with further contamination.
- But, Captain, if you become too ill-- - My orders stand, Lieutenant.
You can help us best by standing by. Kirk out.
- Bones. - Hmm?
Why do you think the symptoms haven't appeared in Mr. Spock?
I don't know. Probably the little bugs have no appetite
for green blood.
Being a red-blooded human
obviously has its disadvantages.
There you have a museum piece, Doctor.
Lens type-- manually operated, light-activated.
Spare me the analysis, Mr. Spock, please.
It is enough that it works.
It spreads real fast. I know.
When you're old, it covers you like anything.
"lntermediate experimentation report project
on life..."
"Progress report-- genetics section, Life Prolongation Project."
That's what it was.
Life prolongation.
Didn't have much luck, did they?
Captain's Log. Dr. McCoy's biocomputer
and a portable electronic microscope
have been beamed down from the Enterprise.
They will be used in conjunction with computer banks on-boardship.
Tubular with extreme multiplicability.
Appear to have affinity for nucleic acids...
This was 300 years ago, Captain.
All the adults are dead.
Only the children are left alive.
But children become adults.
At least... they have up to now.
There are certain glandular changes
which take place upon entering puberty, are there not?
Of course. It changes the entire body system. You know that.
Of course you know that. Why?
Is it not possible that these children here,
as they enter puberty, contract the disease?
That would explain why there are no adults.
Glandular, postpubescent. It could be.
It's illogical. It does not follow.
All the adults on this planet died
300 years ago,
but there are children in the streets.
Who die when they enter adolescence.
But...how do they keep the line going?
One thing, Captain. If she were a wild animal
ever since she's been a little girl,
how do you explain that she wants to stay with us?
Lone liness. Curiosity.
I think children have an instinctive need for adults.
They want to be told right and wrong.
There may be other emotions at work in this case, Captain.
[McCoy] She likes you,Jim.
She's becoming a woman.
- Mr. Spock. - [Communicator Beeps]
- Spock here. - Here are those figures you askedfor.
12 to the 10th power.
Metabolic rate--72%.
Production of nucleic acids reduced to 33% of normal.
Conventional chronological progression--100x3.6.
Acknowledged, Lieutenant.
I have the calculations now.
Try again. See if you can find anything outside.
Hey...clean up that desk for me, will you?
All right,Jim.
According to their life prolongation plan,
what they thought they were accomplishing,
a person would age only one month
for every 1 00 years of real time.
1 00 years? And only one month?
Exactly, yeoman.
Evidently through some miscalculation,
this virus annihilated the entire adult population
in a very short period,
Ieaving only the children.
But that means these children...
could very well be immensely old.
That would certainly answer the question of what happened to their parents.
- Answers it very well. - Children who never age...
eternal childhood, filled with play, no responsibilities.
It's almost like a dream.
I wouldn't examine that dream too closely, yeoman.
It might not turn out to be very pretty.
A few days ago or a week ago
that creature that attacked us
could have been just like Miri.
A child entering puberty on this planet means a death sentence.
Do you suppose she knows?
- I don't think so. - If they're as old as Spock claims,
they must have some idea of what's happening.
There's no adult interpretation. I think we're dealing with children,
immensely old perhaps but nonetheless children.
We've got to do something about the others.
We can't even get a glimpse of them.
You couldn't get close to the other kids?
Impossible. They know the area too well, like mice.
I'm going to try.
Come here.
- You want to go someplace with me? - Sure.
That little girl--
Is at least 300 years older than you are, yeoman.
Think about it.
Miri is with them! Why?
- Why? - What's she going to do,Jahn?
I don't--I don't know.
I know what we've got to do.
There are more of them than we see.
Somewhere, up in the sky,
maybe, somewhere.
They talk to each other all the time.
You know Grups. You know what they do-- the hurting, the killing.
I remember the way it was.
That's right, the way it was in the before time.
They talk to the other Grups with these little boxes.
Now, if they didn't have those little boxes,
they'd be...all alone.
- Huh? - But they don't see us. We hide.
- Olly olly oxen free! - Olly olly oxen free!
- Olly olly oxen free! - Olly olly oxen free!
It's not a game.
It's real.
They're dangerous. They're Grups. Don't you understand?
All right! Let's hide!
[Children Scream]
I don't understand it. My phaser wasn't set to kill.
Her name was Louise.
She was just a little bit older than I am when it happened.
Data has been fed into the computers.
- Standby. - Acknowledged.
- Are these enough,Jim? - We could use more, if you don't mind.
No, I don't mind.
There couldn't be any doubt about what you found here?
This fellow made these notes
in the last weeks after the disaster began.
I disregard these last entries.
He said himself he was too sick, too far gone
to be sure he wasn't already mad, and I agree,
but based on the entries he made before that,
I know how much time we have.
The ship's computers will verify my figures.
Only a matter of time before we all go mad, destroy each other,
till the last of us finally destroys himself.
What about Miri?
Our guess was correct. They contract the disease
as they enter puberty and their metabolism changes.
The notes indicate it doesn't become acute for a month or so.
I estimate she has perhaps five or six weeks left.
- What about us? - The older the victim,
the more rapid the progress of the disease.
And you? The disease doesn't seem to be interested in you.
I am a carrier. Whatever happens, I can't go back to the ship,
and I do want to go back to the ship, Captain.
Of course, Mr. Spock.
We still don't know what we're fighting.
But we know what it is and how fast it works.
It's progressing. We'll begin to feel it inside soon--
intense fever, great pain in the extremities,
fuzziness of vision.
Of course, those are the early symptoms. There'll be more.
You're certain about the time we have left?
I presume my calculations are correct.
- Is there any possibility-- - This is the Enterprise.
Spock here.
Computer indicates 170 hours, Mr. Spock.
Verified, Captain. We have seven days.
Captain's Log, supplement--
This is the second day of the seven left to us. We've found nothing.
Enterprise is standing by with labs and computers ready to assist us.
There's no data,
no stopping point.
I think I've found it.
Janice, take Miri for a walk.
Yes, sir.
Only one half intact.
- Do you know what they were up to? - More or less.
The idea was to create a new series of diseases--
a chain reaction of viruses meant essentially to extend the life
of the human cell immeasurably.
Unfortunately, they weren't successful. We've seen the results.
You two will have to recreate their thinking.
If you can isolate that virus,
we'll be able to develop a vaccine.
Is that all, Captain? We have five days, you know.
- I know. - [Children's Voices]
- ' Nyah yah yah-yah yah ' - The children.
' Nyah yah yah-yah yah '
' Nyah yah yah-yah yah '
' Nyah yah yah-yah yah Nyah yah yah-yah yah '
- Anything? - No, nothing.
And you?
[Grate Closes]
Communicators, Captain...
they're gone.
We've got to have those communicators.
Without them, we don't have the computers,
and without the computers, we don't have a chance.
Captain's Log, stardate 2717.3--
Three days, seven hours left to us.
Investigation proves that the supply of food in the area
is running dangerously low.
Unless something is done, the children will starve in a few months.
The disease is working on each of us according to Dr. McCoy's prediction.
Our temper sare growing short.
We're no further along than we were two day sago.
- Haven't you found a thing yet? - Would you like to take a crack at it?
[Glass Breaks]
No! No!
I'm upset, Captain. So upset.
Back on the ship, I used to try to get you to look at my legs.
Captain, look at my legs.
We're all frightened.
[McCoy] Jim, I found something!
The last slide I examined, I failed to make the adjustment.
- The slowing down of my responses-- - What did you find?
The disease-- the one they created 300 years ago.
- There's a chance! - A chance.
At least it's a race now,
and we've just wasted a minute.
That would be some foolie, Miri, but do you think it would work?
I know. I know.
Don't you think I've heard them talk?
They have such little time to do this dumb thing of theirs--
This baninski thing. If we get her away--
that yeoman-- that's one person less to start off with.
But how, Miri, if they're so busy,
if they're going to have the big emergency,
how are you going to get her away?
It's easy. She's always asking me about the youngest Onlies--
"What if they get sick, who takes care of them?
"Do they have enough to eat? Where do they sleep?"
I'll just tell her one of you fell down and got hurt.
- Me. Say it's me. - All right. You.
But Grups-- they know things and all that.
You know, I bet they'll be able to do it with one person less.
Not one-- two.
Because he'll try to find her.
Who? Who will, Miri?
The captain.
He'll try to find her, but he won't...
Mr. Lovey-dovey.
Bunk bunk on the head.
Bunk bunk! Bunk bunk!
Bunk bunk! Bunk bunk!
Bunk bunk! Bunk bunk!
Bunk bunk! Bunk bunk!
Bunk bunk! Bunk bunk!
Bunk bunk! Bunk bunk!
- It looks right. - The nitrogen cycle-- it has to be.
Yeah, but the question is-- what's the dosage?
Hmm. That is a very good question.
Where is she, Miri? Where's Janice?
What's the matter with you? How should I know?
Where is she?
Has something happened to her?
Don't you feel all right?
No, I don't feel all right!
None of us feel all right!
Can't you see what's going on?
Jim, I don't want anything to happen to you.
- I've got to find Janice. - That's not all, Captain.
We've got to find those communicators.
We're trying. We're trying very hard.
That's not enough! This could be it,
but we can't test it without the ship's computers.
- We've got to have those communicators. - This is the vaccine?
That's what the computers will tell us.
Without them, it could be a beaker full of death.
Did you hear them?
We only have a few hours left.
I don't care.
You've got to care.
I'm going to tell you something.
You, your friends,
all the Onlies are going to get the disease
unless we succeed in what we're doing.
- You've seen your friends get it. - Sometimes.
Not sometimes. All the times, Miri!
As soon as you start growing up the way you are--
Don't you know
why you don't like to play games anymore,
why you don't see your friends the way you used to?
It's because you're becoming a young woman...
and the moment you become a young woman,
you get the disease-- all of you.
That's not true. Itjust happens sometimes.
All the time, Miri! It's happening to you right now!
- Look at it! It's in you! - No!
No! No!
Blah, blah, blah!
No, you got the wrong game--
A teacher, I told you!
Now, what does a teacher say, huh?
Study, study, study,
or bunk bunk, bad kid.
- It's not funny. - It's a foolie.
What are you going to do with me?
You think I'd tell you?
[Door Opens]
- You're not supposed to be here. - I know.
- Something go wrong? - No.
Okay, then. Don'tjust stand there in the doorway.
Come on in.
- Listen to him. - You listen, Miri.
Why do you think I brought him here? Tell them,Jim.
"Tell them,Jim." "Tell them,Jim."
Tell them,Jim! Tell them,Jim!
Tell them,Jim! Tell them,Jim!
- Tell them,Jim! - Tell them,Jim!
Tell them,Jim! Tell them,Jim!
Tell them,Jim! Tell them,Jim!
Tell them,Jim! Tell them,Jim!
Tell them,Jim! Tell them,Jim!
Listen to me. Listen to me!
No yelling in the classroom!
Look at him-- a very bad citizen.
This isn't a game. It never was a game.
- Call the police! - I'm the police.
- Bunk bunk unless you're good. - You're the teacher.
I got twojobs. Bunk bunk!
[Children] Blah blah blah! Blah blah blah!
Blah blah blah! Blah blah blah!
Listen to me!
You've got our communicators--
the boxes we talk into.
- We need them to talk to the ship. - Blah blah blah!
No blah blah blah!
Because if we don't talk to the ship,
if you don't help us...
there won't be any games anymore.
There won't be anything...
no Grups, no Onlies,
nobody left...
forever and ever.
Now, listen to me. You've got to help us before it's too late.
Let Janice go.
Give me those communicators before it's too late.
' Nyah yah yah-yah yah '
' Nyah yah yah-yah yah '
' Nyah yah yah-yah yah '
' Nyah yah yah-yah yah "
You've seen your friends
change one by one as they grew up.
Did you ever see one of them not change?
One by one, they got the disease,
and they became like--
Iike those creatures you're afraid of-- Iike Louise.
They changed and got the disease.
The disease I've got, like Miri has.
Do you understand what I'm saying? You're not babies.
We can help you!
Bunk bunk! Bunk bunk!
No, please. No!
It's waiting foryou. It may only be a matter of months.
Listen to him. He's telling the truth.
He's funny. He thinks he's funny.
- Bunk bunk! Get him! - Look at my arms!
That's what's going to happen to you...
unless you let me help you.
- Bunk bunk! - Bunk bunk!
And the little ones...
what's going to happen to them after you've gone,
after you've turned into creatures like Louise?
They'll still be here, but not for long, because the food's all gone.
You've eaten it.
Maybe six months left, that's all,
and then nothing left to eat,
nobody left to take care of them.
They'll die, too.
Look at my arm. It's happening to me.
- He's telling the truth. - They're Grups!
Bunk bunk! Bunk bunk!
Bunk bunk! Bunk bunk!
You want a foolie? All right.
I dare you.
I double-dare you.
Look at the blood on my face.
Blood on your hands.
Now who's doing the hurting?
Not the Grups.
It's you hurting, yelling, maybe killing,
just like the Grups and creatures you're afraid of.
You're acting like them, and you're going to bejust like them
unless you let me help you.
I'm a Grup...
and I want to help you.
I'm begging you. Let me help you,
or there won't be anything left at all.
We can't wait for those communicators any longer.
- We must. The vaccine could be fatal. - The disease certainly is.
How long do we have left-- hours, minutes?
How much longer do you want to wait?
Bickering is pointless. I'll check on the captain's progress.
Is he dead, Mr. Spock?
Not yet.
- 3 hours, 11 minutes left. - Thank you, Lieutenant.
Keep this channel open. Clear your computers.
- What happened to McCoy? - He injected himself with the vaccine.
He was unconscious when I found him.
Look at his face.
The blemishes are fading.
[Spock] They're fading.
Who will understand the medical mind?
Is this supposed to be a good thing, Miri?
Of course it is.
They were just children. To leave them there with a medical team--
just children-- 300 years old and more.
I've already contacted space central.
- They'll send teachers, advisers. - And truant officers, I presume.
They'll be all right.
she really loved you, you know.
I never get involved with older women, yeoman.
- Mr. Spock? - Captain?
Full ahead. Warp factor 1 .
Warp factor 1 , Captain.
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