Kirk Captain's log -- star date 5121.5, orbiting the second planet in the Minarian star system. This star has long given evidence of entering a nova phase, and six months ago, a research station was established to make close-up studies of the star as its end approaches. Minara is now entering a critical period, and the Enterprise has been ordered to evacuate the station before the planet becomes uninhabitable. Yet our attempts to contact the station's personnel have been, so far, unsuccessful.
Spock Dust. Apparently these instruments have not been recently used.
Kirk A record tape. Maybe it'll tell us something about the personnel that lived here.
Scott Enterprise to Captain Kirk. Come in, please.
Kirk Kirk here. What is it, Enterprise?
Scott Scott here, sir. Our instruments have picked up a gigantic solar flare with very high levels of cosmic rays accompanying it.
Kirk How bad?
Scott An enormous one. Our sensors indicate the cosmic ray concentration measures 3.51 on the Ritter scale. That'll play the very devil with the crew, as well as the ship.
Spock At that rate, it will take exactly 74.1 solar hours for the storm to pass.
Kirk Get the ship out. Stay at minimum distance for absolute safety.
Scott Aye, aye, sir. We'll beam you up in--
Kirk Negative. We're staying here. The atmosphere will protect us. Get that ship out of here, Mr. Scott.
Scott Very well, sir. Scott out.
Kirk Mr. Spock, what about that tape?
Spock Remember, Captain, what we see on this tape happened approximately three months ago.
Linke I don't think I can stand another week in this godforsaken place.
Ozaba "In his hand are the deep places of the earth--" Psalm 95, verse 4. Looks like he was listening. Who's out there?
McCoy What happened to them?
Kirk Where's does that sound coming from? Spock, can you pinpoint it?
Spock Negative, Captain. It doesn't register.
Kirk Bones! Spock!
Kirk Space-- the final frontier. These are the voyages of the star ship 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.
Kirk Spock... Bones... Where are we?
Spock Exactly 121.32 meters beneath the planet surface, Captain.
Kirk How did we get here?
Spock Residual energy readings indicate we were beamed here by a matter-energy scrambler, similar to our own transporter mechanism.
McCoy That's a nasty cut. Does it hurt?
Kirk No.
Spock Captain, picking up a life-form reading-- bearing 42 mark 7.
Kirk One of the missing scientists?
Spock Negative. Although humanoid, it is definitely not Homo sapiens.
Kirk Identification.
Spock Impossible. I can make no exact identification other than it being humanoid.
Kirk Let's find out. Phasers on stun.
Spock Approaching the life-form, Captain.
Kirk What is it?
Spock Still undistinguishable.
Kirk Be careful.
McCoy Why, she seems harmless enough.
Spock The sand-bats of Manark-4 appear to be inanimate rock crystals, Doctor... until they attack.
Kirk We're not going to hurt you. Is this your home? Do you live here? What about it, Spock? Analysis.
Spock From what we know of the specific gravity and other environmental factors of this planet, a life-form such as hers could not evolve here.
Kirk Are you responsible for bringing us here? Don't be afraid. Bones, what's wrong with her?
McCoy She's a mute, Jim. No vocal cords, not even vestigals. And I don't think it's a pathological condition.
Kirk Explain.
McCoy She appears to be perfectly healthy. As for the other, her lack of vocal cords could be physiologically normal for her species, whatever that is.
Kirk A race of mutes, like the civilization on Gamma-Vertis-4.
McCoy That's my observation, for whatever it's worth.
Kirk Without speech, how's she going to be able to understand us? Unless she's a telepath.
Spock An unlikely possibility, Captain. Since over 98% of the known telepathic species send thoughts as well as receive them. She's made no attempt to contact our minds.
McCoy We can't keep referring to her as "she," as if she weren't here.
Kirk You have any ideas?
McCoy I don't know about you, but I'm going to call her Gem.
Spock Gem, Doctor?
McCoy Well, that's better than, "Hey, you."
Kirk I want to know why we're here. I want to know what's going on. And she knows. I'm Captain--
Lal We are aware of your identity, Captain.
Kirk Who are you? Why did you bring us here?
Lal We are Vians. Do not interfere.
Kirk What do you intend to do with us?
Thann Delay us no longer.
Kirk We come-- Since you already know who we are, you must also know that we come in peace. Our prime directive specifically prohibits us from any interference-- I...can't... stand up.
McCoy Don't... fight... the force field. There's something about it that upsets the... body metabolism.
Lal Not quite, Doctor. The field draws its energy from your bodies. The more you resist, the stronger the force field becomes. Ah, sufficient.
Kirk Mr. Spock... there must be an exit other than the one we just saw.
Spock Correct, Captain.
McCoy You feel all right, Jim?
Kirk Don't worry about me. They may have hurt her. Did they hurt you? The pain is gone. She touched my head, and the pain is gone.
McCoy The wound is completely healed. It fits, Jim. She must be an empath. Her nervous system is so sensitive, highly responsive that she can actually feel our emotional and physical reactions. They become part of her.
Kirk Thank you.
Spock Captain, in this direction, my tricorder is now picking up a substantial collection of objects.
Kirk Details.
Spock Electronically sophisticated devices. I fail to understand why my tricorder previously gave no indication of them being there.
Kirk They're there now. Let's go check them out. Staying here alone could be dangerous. Come with us.
Spock Fascinating.
McCoy Look at this stuff.
Kirk Bones... Spock, come here.
McCoy Jim, Spock.
Lal You are on schedule. Some further simple tests are necessary.
McCoy We've seen the results of some of your tests.
Kirk I found our missing men... dead. Another one of your experiments?
Lal You're wrong. Their own imperfections killed them. They were not fit subjects. Come. Time is short.
Kirk Yes. Your time is running out. This sun is about to nova. When it does, it'll destroy you, this planet, and this insane torture chamber. Let's get out of here.
Spock Readings indicate the passage to the surface lies in this direction.
Kirk Kirk to Enterprise. Kirk to Enterprise, come in. Out of range. Readings, Mr. Spock.
Spock The research station 6 kilometres in that direction, captain.
Kirk Let's get there as fast as we can. If the Enterprise has a search party, it'll be there. Spock! Much further?
Spock Just ahead.
McCoy Hey, Jim, look. Scotty and a search party.
Kirk Scotty!
McCoy Scotty!
Kirk Stay there! Come on!
McCoy We're coming!
Kirk Keep going.
Lal Their will to survive is great.
Thann They love life greatly to struggle so.
Lal The prime ingredient.
McCoy Where did they go?
Spock I believe they were never actually present, Doctor. It was a mirage.
McCoy Where's Kirk? Jim.
Kirk What are you doing here? Where's Scotty?
Spock Captain, it was a mirage.
Thann Captain Kirk! We have decided that one specimen will be sufficient. You will come with us.
Kirk What about the others?
Lal We've no interest in them. They may go.
Kirk Very well.
McCoy You can't go back there. You'll end up like the other two.
Spock Captain, I request permission--
Kirk Denied!
McCoy But, Captain--
Kirk You have your orders. What happened to my men?
Lal They are safe.
Kirk One specimen. You said one specimen! What happened to my men?
Thann Indeed, the prime ingredient.
Kirk Where are they? Tell me! You said you'd let them go!
Scott Mr. Sulu, will you give us an estimate of how much longer we'll have until those solar flares will subside?
Sulu Aye, sir. Readings now indicate 2.72 on the Ritter scale. At the present rate of decrease, we'll have to wait at least 17 hours more before we can even attempt to enter orbit.
Scott Aye. Well, as long as we're stuck out here, we might as well relax until the storm passes.
Sulu The storm's already lasted four hours longer than we've anticipated. Do you suppose our landing party could be in any danger?
Scott That's not likely. The planet's atmosphere will give them ample protection. And if I know Captain Kirk, he'll be more worried about us than we are about him.
Kirk What is it you want to know?
Lal We seek no information as you mean. Your civilization is yet too immature to have knowledge valuable to us.
Kirk You don't need any knowledge from us, yet you're willing to kill for it. Is that what happened to Linke and Ozaba?
Thann We did not kill them. Their own fears killed them.
Kirk Well, what did you expect from them? And what do you want from me?
Lal We've already observed the intensity of your passions and gauged your capacity to love others. Now we want you to reveal to us your courage and strength of will.
Kirk Why? What is it you hope to prove? If my death is to have any meaning, at least tell me what I'm dying for.
Thann If you live, you will have your answer.
McCoy Come on, Spock, the passageway was there before. It's got to be there.
Spock Doctor, I'm unable to lock in on the previous readings. I can find no exit out of here. Captain!
McCoy Jim, what is it? What have they done to you? Help him! Don't be afraid to help him.
Kirk Gem?
McCoy You lie still. I'll check her out right away.
Kirk Will she live?
McCoy She seems fine now.
Kirk Can you explain what happened?
McCoy Complete empathy. She must be a totally functional empath. Her nervous system actually connected to yours to counteract the worst of your symptoms. With her strength, she virtually sustained your body's physiological reactions.
Kirk But she weakened. I could feel it. Is her life in danger?
McCoy It's impossible to say yet, but supplying your body with life support did drain her.
Spock Her withdrawal seemed to suggest the fear of death, Doctor. Only your urging her on caused her to continue.
McCoy That's true. Fear would naturally be her first reaction. Perhaps she doesn't know our captain well enough yet to offer up her life.
Kirk Could the strain really have killed her?
McCoy Yes. However, I'd assume that her instinct for self-preservation would take over to prevent it. How do you feel?
Kirk I'm... tired.
Spock Can you recall what happened, Captain?
Kirk I remember the laboratory, and they wanted to know something. But l... I can't remember.
McCoy Take it easy.
Kirk What's the matter with me?
McCoy You have all the symptoms of the bends. Nitrogen bubbles in your blood caused the pain. Now how would one get the bends down here?
Kirk You'll have to ask the Vians. Will I live?
McCoy Well, you could use some time in a decompression chamber. But otherwise, I'd say your recovery is about miraculous. I wish I could take the credit for it, but she did the work.
Spock Captain, I noted that a light preceded you at the moment you were returned here from the Vian's laboratory.
McCoy Spock, why do you have to get so analytical--
Kirk No, he's right. Continue.
Spock I conclude such a light is an energy transfer point linking this device to the power source.
Kirk Can you tap into it?
Spock If I could determine the frequency at which this device operates, I might be able to cause it to function for us.
Kirk And get us out the same way we were brought in.
Spock I would say so.
Kirk Then I'd say proceed.
Lal You are called captain. You are responsible for the lives of your crew. Is this correct?
Kirk It is.
Thann We find it necessary to have the cooperation of one of your men in our efforts.
Kirk We will not cooperate.
Lal When we resume our interrogations, you will decide which of your men we shall use. It is essential. There's an 87% chance that the doctor will die, and while Commander Spock's life is not in danger, the possibility is 93% that he will suffer brain damage, resulting in permanent insanity.
Kirk How's it coming, Spock?
Spock I do not know, Captain. I begin to understand its operating principles, but that's all.
McCoy Spock, It won't be long before the Vians come back. You better find out how that thing works and soon.
Kirk Take it easy, Bones.
McCoy Men weren't intended to live this far underground. It's just not natural.
Kirk And space travel is?
Spock Some men spend the majority of their lives in mines beneath the surface.
McCoy I'm a doctor, not a coal miner.
Spock I've recorded my principles and theories on the tricorder, Doctor. Should the Vians return, there's sufficient data for you and the captain to complete the adjustments.
McCoy I'm not a mechanic. I couldn't get that thing to work no matter how many notes you left.
Spock Possibly not, but you and the captain together will be able to do so.
McCoy In any case, Spock, you're the logical one to leave with the captain.
Kirk The decision's mine. If there are any decisions to be made, I'll make them. If and when it becomes necessary. I don't need any.
McCoy I'm still chief medical officerof the Enterprise. I'll tell you what you need and when you need it. Would you rather have the bends? That's it. Just lie down and relax.
Spock How long will he be asleep, Doctor?
McCoy Between the emotional strain and that attack of bends, he's in pretty bad shape.
Spock I'm not criticizing your action, Doctor. On the contrary, I'm quite grateful for it. The captain will be spared the strain of making so difficult a decision. You have simplified the situation considerably.
McCoy How?
Spock While the captain is asleep, I am in command. When the Vians return, I shall go with them.
McCoy You mean, if I hadn't given him that shot--
Spock Precisely. The choice would have been the captain's. Now it is mine. Your action is highly unethical. My decision... stands.
McCoy Not this time, Spock. The choice has been made. You stay here with my friends. They'll take care of you. Do you understand?
Thann Come, then.
Lal Doctor, please understand that if there was any other way to accomplish our purpose...
McCoy Get on with it.
Kirk Why did you let him do it?
Spock I was convinced in the same way you were, by the good doctor's hypo.
Kirk Anything?
Spock Hmm. A most unusual device. It is a control unit, but not a control mechanism. It is not a mechanical device.
Kirk What exactly is it?
Spock This control is attuned to one electrical pattern of energy, the pattern produced by the mental impulses of the person who possesses it. It is activated solely by mental commands.
Kirk Can you adapt it, reattune it to fit our brain pattern?
Spock I shall attempt to do so. However, it is not possible to adjust the control to fit more than one pattern at a time. I am, of course, most familiar with my own pattern. Therefore, with your permission--
Kirk Do whatever you have to to make it work, Spock. What disturbs me is why the Vians let us keep it.
Spock Fascinating. They must have known we were capable of comprehending this control and making use of it.
Kirk And that we would use it to escape.
Spock The only logical assumption is that they wish to let us go.
Kirk And they keep McCoy?
Spock That is evidently their intention, Captain.
Kirk Somehow, you're the crux, the focal point of all this. Even before we got here, she was a prisoner. They didn't hurt her or even threaten her.
Spock Indeed, the facts would indicate that she's essential to their purpose.
Kirk Yes, there is a purpose, but what is it? Has all the pain and terror happened or been made to happen... for you?
Spock Completed, Captain. The adjustments are delicate. They may not survive more than even one use. However, there should be sufficient energy to transfer us to the Enterprise.
Kirk Will it take us to McCoy?
Spock If you so desire.
Kirk The best defense is a strong offense, and I intend to start offending right now. Aim for the lab. Bones. Spock. Get him down. His wrists. His pulse is almost gone. How is he?
Spock Severe heart damage. Signs of congestion in both lungs. Evidence of massive circulatory collapse.
Kirk Don't talk. Don't speak. Take it easy until we get you back to the ship. What is it? What's the matter?
Spock He's dying, Jim. We can make him comfortable, but that is all.
Kirk You don't know. You're not a doctor.
Spock Internal injuries. Bleeding in the chest and abdomen. Hemorrhage of the spleen and liver. 70% kidney failure.
McCoy He's right, Jim. Being a doctor has its drawbacks. I... always wondered why l-- Thanks.
Kirk How long?
Spock It could happen anytime.
McCoy The correct medical phrase, eh, Spock? You've got a...a good bedside manner, Spock.
Kirk Can't we do something?
Spock I'm afraid not.
Kirk Gem might be able to help him, the way she helped me, but could his nearness to death also kill her?
Spock Uncertain, Captain. Dr. McCoy's analysis of her reaction assumes that her instinct for self-preservation would prevent it. However, we cannot be positive.
Kirk If she could just strengthen him and keep him from sinking further into death, we might be able to save him.
Lal No interference will be permitted.
Kirk She can save his life. Let us help her to go to him.
Lal She must not be urged or forced to take action.
Thann All must proceed without interference.
Lal The purpose that brought us together--
Kirk What purpose can all this serve, except the fulfilment of some need of yours?
Lal We have but one need left in life-- to see the completion of the final moment of our test.
Thann Be patient.
Kirk Patient? Our friend is dying.
Thann Perhaps.
Spock What purpose can be served by the death of our friend, except to bring you pleasure? Surely beings as advanced as yourselves know that your star system will soon be extinct. Your sun will nova.
Thann We know.
Spock Then you also know that the millions of inhabitants on its planets are doomed.
Lal That is why we are here.
Kirk This arena of death that you have devised for your pleasure-- Will it prevent this catastrophe?
Lal No, it will not, but it may save Gem's planet. Of all the planets of Minara, we have the power to transport the inhabitants of only one to safety.
Thann If Gem's planet is the one that will be saved, we must make certain beyond any doubt whatsoever they are worthy of survival.
Kirk How will the death of our friend serve this purpose?
Lal His death will not serve it, but her willingness to give her life for him will. You were her teachers.
Kirk We were? What could she learn from us?
Lal Your will to survive. Your love of life. Your passion to know. They are recorded in her being.
Thann Her planet will be fortunate.
Lal Each of you was willing to give his life for the others. We must now find out whether that instinct has been transmitted to Gem.
Thann Time grows short.
Spock You were correct, Captain. Everything that has occurred here has been caused to happen by them. This has all been a great laboratory. We have been the subjects of the test.
Thann No. We only created the circumstances. That was necessary.
Lal Your actions were spontaneous. Everything that is truest and best in all species of beings has been revealed by you. Those are the qualities that make a civilization worthy to survive.
Thann Behold. That is most significant. An instinct new to the essence of her being is generating.
Lal Compassion for another is becoming part of her functioning life system.
Thann She is afraid.
Lal She's saving herself. She does not yet have the instinct to save her people.
Thann We have failed.
Lal No. No, not yet.
Spock Captain, Dr. McCoy's life is not solely dependent on Gem. The Vians, too, must be capable of saving his life.
Thann True.
Kirk Then you cannot let him die.
Lal His death is not important. We must wait to see whether her instinct for self-sacrifice has become stronger than her instinct for self-preservation.
McCoy Don't touch me. Stay away. Jim. Spock. Are you here?
Kirk Yes, Bones.
McCoy Don't let her touch me. She'll die. Jim... I can't destroy life, even if it's to save my own. I can't. You know that. I can't let you do it.
Spock Captain.
Kirk What is it?
Spock The intensity of emotion is draining us and building up the force field.
Kirk Yes, I know.
Spock It draws its energy from us, Captain. In spite of what we see, all emotion must be suppressed. That might weaken the field.
Kirk I'll try. Yes. Spock.
Lal We cannot use our powers to change what is happening.
Kirk You must save the life of our friend.
Lal No. We will not. Her instinct must be developed to the fullest. The test must be complete.
Spock It is complete. Gem has earned the right of survival for her planet. She offered her life.
Lal To offer is not proof enough.
Kirk If death is all you understand... here are four lives for you. We will not leave our friend. You've lost the capacity to feel the emotions you brought Gem here to experience. You don't understand what it is to live. Love and compassion are dead in you. You're nothing but intellect.
Lal Farewell.
Kirk Strange.
Spock What is puzzling you, Captain?
Kirk I'm not puzzled, Mr. Spock. I am... awed.
McCoy I'm with you, Captain. She awed me.
Kirk No, no. I wasn't thinking of Gem. I was thinking of that fantastic element of chance that out in limitless space we should come together with Gem.
Spock Captain, the element of chance can virtually be eliminated by a civilization as advanced as the Vians.
Scott Not to dispute your computer, Mr. Spock, but from little what you've told me, I'd say she was a pearl of great price.
Kirk What, Scott?
Scott You don't know the story of the merchant? The merchant... who, when he found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
Kirk Yes, she was all that. And whether the Vians bought her or found her makes little difference-- she was of great value.
McCoy Well, personally, I find it fascinating that with all their scientific knowledge and advances, that it was good old-fashioned human emotion that they valued the most.
Scott Perhaps the Vulcans should hear about this.
Kirk Mr. Spock, can you be prevailed upon to bring them the news?
Spock Possibly, Captain. I shall certainly give the thought all the consideration it is due.
Kirk Mr. Sulu, ahead warp factor 2.
Sulu Aye, aye, sir. Warp factor 2.

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