|This article is as real as your so-called life gets.|
|Original Airdate:||10 February 2007|
|Production Number:||Number One in our hearts!|
|Story by:||Herman Melville|
|Directed by:||John Huston|
The Enterprise discovers a superham capable of chewing scenery to the extent that even William Shatner seemed subdued.
The distress call definitely came from one of the solar systems in this sector. Can you pinpoint it any closer, Lieutenant? Negative. It was so badly garbled all we got was the name Constellation. Sir ... we're now within the limits of System L-370, but I can't locate -- Captain, sensors show this entire solar system has been destroyed. Nothing left but rubble and asteroids. But that's incredible. The star in this system is still intact. Only a nova could destroy like that. Nonetheless, Captain, sensors show nothing but debris where we charted seven planets last year. Continue a search pattern. Aye-aye, sir. Entering limits of System L-374, sir. Scanners show the same evidence of destruction. Every solar system in this sector blasted to rubble. Still no sign of the Constellation. Matt Decker's in command. What could have happened to him? The two inner most planets of this system appear to be intact. Sir, a ship's disaster beacon. Try to raise it, Lieutenant. I have it on the sensors, Captain. By configuration -- a starship. Stopped in space. She appears to be drifting. No answer, Captain. All I get is the automatic beacon. Sensors not recording normal energy output. Approach course, Mr. Sulu. It's the Constellation. Look at that. She may have been wrecked by whatever destroyed these solar systems. She was attacked. Red alert! Red alert! Man your battle stations! Red alert! Red alert! Man your battle stations! 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. Mr. Sulu? All phaser banks manned and ready, sir. Initiate a full sensor scan for any other vessel. Aye, sir. I can't raise the Constellation, sir. I'm still getting the distress beacon, but there's heavy subspace interference. It's almost blocking the signal. Keep trying. Mr. Spock, full evaluation of the damage to the Constellation. All power plants dead, reserve energy banks operative at a very low power level. Life support systems? Also operative at a low power level. The entire bridge is damaged and uninhabitable. The rest of the ship seems able to sustain life. Radiation levels? Normal, but subspace interference makes readings difficult. No other vessels in the area. All scanners show clear. All hands go to yellow alert. Stand by battle stations. Lieutenant, have Dr. McCoy, Mr. Scott, and a damage control party report to me in the transporter room. We're going to board her. Mr. Spock, you're in command. Acknowledged. Radiation level normal. Atmospheric pressure 11 pounds per square inch. The filtration systems are out, sir. The whole communication system looks to be shorted out, too, sir. Scotty, check the phaser banks. See if they've been fired. Bones, come with me. Come along, lads. What a mess. No clutter, no half-empty cups of coffee. Whatever happened didn't happen without a warning. What do you think did it, sir? I don't know, lad. But I want a full structural and control damage check. I'm going to have a look at those engines. The crew wasn't abducted, they just left. Kirk to Enterprise. Enterprise, Spock here. No survivors, no bodies either. Could they have beamed down to one of the two planets? Improbable, Captain. The surface temperature of the inner planet's that of molten lead. The other's atmosphere is poisonous. We'll continue our search. Kirk out. Captain, I've checked the engines. The warp drive is a hopeless pile of junk. The impulse engines aren't too badly off. We ought to be able to do something with them. Phaser banks? Exhausted. They didn't give up without a battle. But where are they? I can't imagine a man like Matt Decker abandoning ship while his life support systems are still operative. Computer system is still intact. We can playback the duplicate Captain's Log. Matt. Matt. It's Jim Kirk. Commodore? Commodore Decker? Matt? Matt. Kirk. It's Jim Kirk. What happened to your ship, Matt? My ship ... Attacked! That -- That thing. What was it? That -- Answer me! What was it? What happened, Matt? Jim, give him a minute. He's in a state of shock. Ready with the duplicate log, sir. Go. [Matt Decker] Captain 's Log -- Stardate 4202.1. Exceptionally heavy subspace interference still prevents our contacting Starfleet to inform them of the destroyed solar systems we have encountered. We are now entering system L-374. Science Officer Masada reports the fourth planet is breaking up. We are going to investigate. The fourth planet. Only two left now. Scotty, beam the microtapes to Spock. I want a complete report of what happened when they went in on that planet. We tried to contact Starfleet. Uh, no one heard. No one! We couldn't run. What happened to your crew? I had to beam them down. We -- We were dead. No power, our phasers useless. I stayed behind, the last man. The captain, the last man aboard the ship. That's what you're supposed to do, isn't it? And then it hit again and the, uh, transporter went out. They were down there, and I'm -- I'm up here. What hit? What attacked you? They say there's no devil,Jim, but there is. Right out of hell, I saw it. Matt, where's your crew? On the third planet. There is no third planet. Don't you think I know that? There was, but not anymore. They called me. They begged me for help, 400 of them. I couldn't. I -- I couldn't. Captain, Washburn has our report. Go. We made a complete check on structural and control damage. As far as we can tell, something crashed through the deflectors and knocked out the generators. Somehow the antimatter in the warp drive pods has been deactivated. Deactivated? Scotty, could some kind of general energy dampening field do that, and would the same type of thing account for the heavy subspace interference? Aye, that all adds up. What thing could do all that? If you'd seen it, you'd know. The whole thing must be a weapon. What does it look like? Well, it's -- it's miles long, with a maw that could swallow a dozen starships. It destroys planets, chops them into rubble. What is it, an alien ship? Or is it alive -- Both or neither. I don't know. Matt, your log stated that the fourth planet was breaking up. You went in to investigate. We saw this thing hovering over the planet, slicing out chunks with a force beam. What kind of a beam? Pure antiproton. Absolutely pure. [Beep Beep] Kirk here. Spock here, Captain. Unable to raise Starfleet Command due to heavy subspace interference. Attempting to remedy. What about the Constellation's tapes? She was attacked by what appears to be essentially ... a robot, an automated weapon of immense size and power. Its apparent function is to smash planets to rubble and then digest the debris for fuel. It is, therefore, self-sustaining as long as there are planetary bodies for it to feed on. A robot weapon that purposely destroys entire solar systems. Why? Unknown, Captain. However, Mr. Sulu has computed the path of the machine, using the destroyed solar systems as a base course. Projecting back on our star charts, we find that it came from outside, from another galaxy. What is the projected course of this thing? If it follows its present path, it will go through the most densely populated section of our galaxy. Thank you. Stand by, Mr. Spock. Kirk out. This whole thing is incredible. A robot? A machine like that, who would build it? We don't know. An alien race, apparently from another galaxy. But why? Bones ... did you ever hear of a doomsday machine? No. I'm a doctor, not a mechanic. It's a weapon built primarily as a bluff. It's never meant to be used. So strong, it could destroy both sides in a war. Something like the old H-Bomb was supposed to be. That's what I think this is -- a doomsday machine that somebody used in a war uncounted years ago. They don't exist anymore, but the machine is still destroying. Oh, forget about your theories! That thing's on the way to the heart of our galaxy. What are you going to do? We're getting you back to the Enterprise. I'm not leaving my ship! It's a dead hulk! We'll take her in tow. I'll stay onboard and get her ready. Go back to the Enterprise with the doctor and let him help you. It's just that I -- I never lost a command before. Kirk to Enterprise. Have the transporter room beam Dr. McCoy and Commodore Decker onboard immediately. Red alert! Red alert! Come on. [Alarm Sounds] It came up on us fast, Captain, but we seem able to maintain our distance. We're blind here. What's it look like? It looks very much like Commodore Decker's planet killer. And it is pursuing us. We are more maneuverable, but it's gaining on us. Sensors indicate some kind of total conversion drive. No evidence of life, subspace interference level incredibly high. Whatever it is, we can't let it go beyond us to the next solar system. We have to stop it. If it's a robot, what are the chances of deactivating it? I would say none, Captain. The energy generated by our power cells attracts it. I doubt we could maneuver close enough without drawing a direct attack upon ourselves. I also believe the nature of this machine precludes the possibility of easy access to its control mechanisms. It's closing on us, Mr. Spock. Closing, Captain. Lower your deflector screens Long enough to beam us aboard. Acknowledged. Transporter Room, standby to beam landing party aboard. Ready to beam, sir. [Alarm Sounds] Evasive action, Mr. Sulu. Aye, sir. Damage report -- all stations. Mr. Spock, the transporter's out. Effect repairs. Captain Kirk, come in please. Kirk here. Captain, we've been attacked. Transporter is damaged. We're taking evasive action. Communication's damaged. We're unable to override interference. Damage in communications, Captain. Interference will -- [Static] Spock? Spock? Come in, Spock. Spock? [Static] We're stuck, blind, and deaf. And paralyzed. No power. Well, we just can't stand around while our ship is being attacked. Scotty, you've got to get me some maneuvering power. I can't repair the warp drive. Then get me impulse power -- half-speed, quarter-speed, anything. If we get this hulk moving, maybe we can do something. I might coax the impulse engines. Then get moving. Come on, lad. Washburn, you get in there. Let's see what we can do about this viewing screen. I've got to find out what's happening. No casualties, Mr. Spock. How are we doing? We have outrun it, Doctor. Status report. Impulse and warp engines operative, transporter and communications under repair. Random chance seems to have operated in our favor. In plain non-Vulcan English -- we've been lucky. I believe I said that, Doctor. It's veering off, back on course for the next solar system -- the Rigel colony, sir. Evidently programmed to ignore anything as small as a ship beyond a certain radius. We'll maintain a discreet distance and circle back to pick up the captain. You can't let that reach Rigel. Millions will die. I'm aware of the Rigel system's population, Commodore, but we are only one ship. Our deflector shields are strained, our subspace transmitter is useless. Logically, our primary duty is to survive in order to warn Starfleet Command. Our primary duty is to maintain life and safety of Federation planets. Do you deny that? Mr. Sulu, you will lay in an evasive course back to the Constellation. Aye-aye, sir. Belay that last order, Helmsman. 180-degree turn, hard about. We're going to attack. You will carry out my last order, Mr. Sulu. Mr. Spock, I'm officially notifying you that I'm exercising my option under regulations as a Starfleet commodore and I'm assuming command of the Enterprise. You have the right to do so, but I would advise against it. That thing must be destroyed. You tried to destroy it once before, Commodore. The result was a wrecked ship and a dead crew. I made a mistake then. We were too far away. This time I'm going to hit it with full phasers at pointblank range. Sensors show the object's hull is solid neutronium. A single ship cannot combat it. Mr. Spock, that will be all. You have been relieved of command. Don't force me to relieve you of duty as well. You can't let him do this, Spock. Doctor, you are out of line. So are you ... sir. Well, Spock? Unfortunately, Starfleet Order 104, Section B, leaves me no alternative. Paragraph 1-A clearly states -- To blazes with regulations! You can't let him take command when you know he's wrong! If you can certify Commodore Decker medically or psychologically unfit for command, I can relieve him under Section C. I'll certify that right now. You'll also be asked to produce your medical records to prove it. Now, you know I haven't had time to run an examination on him. Then your statement would not be considered valid. You may leave the bridge, Doctor. We can't leave the captain -- Doctor ... you may leave the bridge. Spock, do something! Mr. Spock knows his duty under regulations, Doctor. Do you? Hard about, Helmsman. Course... 32 degrees, mark 10. Deflectors at full power. Ready on main phaser banks. Aye-aye, sir. [Beep Beep] Kirk here. Captain, the impulse engines' control circuits are fused solid. What about the warp drive control circuits? We can cross-connect the controls, but it'll make the ship impossible for one man to handle. You worry about your miracles, I'll worry about mine. Aye, sir. Washburn, try the 2-G-6 circuit. Closing fast. Deflector shields at full power. They can't take much more of this. Helmsman, hold your course. Stand by all phaser banks. Aye-aye, sir. Deflectors holding, but weakening. We must retreat, Commodore. The energy drain -- I'm in command here, Mr. Spock. Maintain your course, Helmsman. Get us in closer. Ready to give it a try? Uh, just one minute, sir. Scotty, how you doing? Controls are all hooked up, sir. We should have some power for you soon. Try it now, Captain. Yes, I think -- What the hell is going on? Fire! Direct hit. Just ... bounced off. Commodore, I urgently recommend immediate withdrawal. Recommendation noted. Maintain course! Fire! Kirk to Enterprise. Come in. Enterprise, come in. Mr. Spock, come in. Kirk to Enterprise. Scotty, where's that power? Coming, sir. If I push these impulse engines too hard in their condition, they'll blow apart. Washburn, go down to Engineering. Assist Mr. Scott. Aye, sir. Scotty ... push it right to the edge. This ship has got to maneuver. Aye, sir. Sir, deflector shields are gone. Sir, Deck 7 reports power failure in main energizers. Implementing emergency procedures. [Explosion] Severe casualties reported on decks 3 and 4. Damage control party sealing off inner-hull rupture. [Explosion] [P.A. System] AG Section acknowledging. AG Section is stabilized. All decks, this is Bridge Engineering. We're in emergency condition three. Midship Control acknowledging. It has ceased fire. We're being held in a tractor beam. We're being pulled inside, Commodore. You must veer off. Maintain phaser fire, Helmsman. We've lost warp power. We must break the tractor beam within 60 seconds or else. But don't you understand? We've got to destroy it! That, sir, is illogical. It is suicide. Attempted suicide would be proof that you are psychologically unfit for command. Veer off, or I shall relieve you on that basis. Veer off! Emergency impulse power. We can't break loose! We need more power! We haven't got it! We're being pulled inside! Scotty. Give me that power. You've gotjust enough to move us. I can't do better. That'll do. Full ahead, Mr. Scott! [Engines Whine] [Engines Gain Power] That's it, Mr. Scott. Keep that power coming. Full power astern. Aye, sir. We still can't move. Keep pouring it on, Scotty. I still don't know what we're doing. We're moving. The Enterprise isn't. Maybe that thing will see us and let the Enterprise go. If I only had some phasers. Phasers. You've got 'em. I have one bank recharged. Scotty. You've just earned your pay for the week. Stand by. Fire phasers. We're loose, Commodore. Good boy,Jim. Between us, we'll kill that thing. Mr. Scott, it worked. Great. I think it's great. Scotty, get us out of here. It's closing fast on the Constellation. Standing by, sir. Commodore, I suggest -- Kirk pulled us out of there by distracting it. Now it's our turn. Fire phasers. We did it! Hard about. Give me some distance. We're moving away, Commodore. This machine seems to have a program-defensive sphere. Any energy source entering that field is subject to attack. Mr. Spock, status report. Warp drive and deflectors will be out for a solar day. Repairs proceeding on transporter and communications. It's closing with us again, sir. Maintain speed and distance. It's sucking in space rubble from those destroyed planets ... refueling it self. We can maintain this speed for only seven hours before we exhaust our fuel. But it can refuel itself indefinitely. We'll have to fight it now before it gains strength. Illogical. We cannot destroy it. Therefore, we cannot save Rigel. We must transport the captain and the others from the Constellation and escape this thing's subspace interference in order to warn Starfleet Command. Mr. Spock ... we've pierced the interference locally. Can you raise Starfleet? No, sir, but I've got ship-to-ship communications back. Picking up Captain Kirk. On audio, Lieutenant. Enterprise. Enterprise, come in. Mr. Spock, I am still in command. I will speak for this ship. Enterprise to Kirk. Commodore Decker speaking. Matt. What's going on? Give me Mr. Spock. I'm in command here, Jim. What happened to Spock? Nothing. I assumed command according to regulations, since your first officer was reluctant to take aggressive action -- You're the lunatic responsible for almost destroying my ship? You are speaking to a senior officer, Kirk. Give me Spock. I told you, I am in command here, according to every rule in the book, Captain. Anything you have to say, say to me. I just have this to say -- Get my ship out of there. Mr. Spock, ship status. Commodore. Down here. Warp drive out. Deflector shields down. Transporter under repair. We are on emergency impulse power. How long to repair warp drive? One solar day. At our present rate of consumption, we'll exhaust impulse power much earlier. It's gaining on us. Take evasive action, Mr. Sulu. I told you, I am in command here, and I will give the orders, Captain. We're going to turn and attack. Not with myship, you don't. Mr. Spock, relieve Commodore Decker immediately. That's a direct order. You know you can't relieve me according to regulations. Blast regulations! Mr. Spock, I order you to assume command on my personal authority as captain of the Enterprise. Commodore Decker, you are relieved of command. I don't recognize your authority to relieve me! You may file a formal protest with Starfleet Command, assuming we survive to reach a starbase. But you are relieved. Commodore. I do not wish to place you under arrest. You wouldn't dare. You're bluffing. Vulcans never bluff. No. No, I don't suppose they do. Very well, Mr. Spock. The bridge is yours. Captain, I've assumed command. Good. Now, Mr. Spock -- One moment, sir. Commodore. I believe you're scheduled for medical examination. Mr. Montgomery. Sir. You will accompany the commodore to Sick Bay. Aye, sir. Commodore? Mr. Sulu, change course. 7-0 mark 2-1. Mark 21, sir. Captain, we are taking an evasive course back to you. We'll try to stay ahead of the object until we can transport you aboard. Just make sure you stay ahead of it. [Cough] Captain Kirk. Yes, Scotty. I've hooked in ship's communication. The best I can give you on impulse is 1/3 power. The shields are up but won't last long. Keep it going, Scotty, keep it going. Mr. Spock. Yes, sir. I'm plotting an intercept course. Will rendezvous with you at 14:13.7 hours. [Beep Beep] Mr. Spock, someone's opening the shuttlecraft bay doors. Shut them, Mr. Sulu. Too late, sir. Kirk to Enterprise. Why are you launching a shuttlecraft? Whoever it is, Captain, has no authorization. Lieutenant, raise the shuttlecraft. Enterprise to Shuttlecraft. Come in, Shuttlecraft. Enterprise to Shuttlecraft. Come in, Shuttlecraft. Come in, Shuttlecraft. Shuttlecraft to Enterprise. Decker here. Commodore. I must insist that you return to the ship. You said it yourself, Spock -- there is no way to blast through the hull of that machine, so I'm going to take this thing right down its throat. This is Kirk. Matt, you'll be killed. I've been prepared for death ever since I -- ever since I killed my crew. Don't die for an error in judgment. The commander is responsible for the lives of his crew ... and for their deaths. Well ... I should have died with mine. You cannot succeed, Commodore. Your only logical alternative is to return to the ship. Matt. Matt, listen to me. You can't throw your life away like this. Matt, you're a starship commander. That makes you a valuable commodity. We needyou ... your experience, your judgment. Matt! We're stronger with you than without you! He's gone. Constellation, come in, please. Captain Kirk, come in, please. Kirk here. Sir. May I offer my condolences on the death of your friend. It is most regrettable. It's regrettable that he died for nothing. Mr. Spock, sensors indicate a minute drop in the machine's power emanations. Do you think the shuttlecraft explosion might have done some damage? [Kirk] What about that, Spock? Is it possible? Drop in power is definite, Captain ... but negligible. The object is still pursing us, thereby causing us to drain our power reserve at a much greater rate. Mr. Spock, the transporter is now operational. Transporter operational, Captain. Shall we beam you aboard? Negative. Mr. Scott and I will stay here, but beam the damage control party aboard. There's little to be gained by staying aboard the Constellation. Except possibly ... the destruction of that thing out there. Carry out your orders. Acknowledged. Transporter Room. Beam damage control party aboard. Aye-aye, sir. Spock, listen. Maybe Matt Decker didn't die for nothing. He had the right idea but not enough power to do it. Am I correct in assuming that a fusion explosion of 97 megatons will result if a starship impulse engine is overloaded? No, sir. 97.835 megatons. 97.835. Will it be powerful enough to destroy that thing out there? Negative, Captain. Its hull is pure neutronium. There is no known way of blasting through it. Not through it, Spock. From inside it. Will it be enough? Insufficient data. I shall try to take further sensor readings. Do your best. Make it fast. Kirk to Scott. Here, sir. The damage control party Just beamed back to the Enterprise. Good. Scotty ... can you set the ship's impulse engines to overload? Aye. In her shape, it's hard to keep her from blowing. Rig a 30-second delay detonation device. Rig it so that it can be blown from up here. Aye, sir. Set it and get up here fast. Right away. Captain? The object's neutronium hull makes sensor readings of the inner mechanism impossible. Spock, you don't know? Correct. Captain, you're getting dangerously close to the planet killer. I intend to get a lot closer. I'll ram her right down that thing's throat. Jim ... you'll be killed ... Just like Decker. No. No, I don't intend to die, Mr. Spock. We've rigged a delay detonation device. You'll have 30 seconds to beam me aboard the Enterprise before the Constellation's impulse engines blow. Your chances of survival are not promising. We don't even know if the explosion will be powerful enough. A calculated risk, Mr. Spock. There's another factor, Captain. The transporteris not working at 100% efficiency. 30 seconds is very slim timing. A chance I'll have to take. Kirk out. A cranky transporter's a mighty finicky piece of machinery to be gambling your life on, sir. What about the detonator? I've linked it in with the impulse control system. It's armed now. Press this one -- 30 seconds later ... poof! Once it's activated, there's no way to stop it. Understood. Mr. Spock. Prepare to beam Scotty onboard. Transporter, standby. Good luck, Captain. Thank you. What's the matter with that thing? It's a power drain somewhere, sir. I almost lost you. It'll never work like this. It's the main junction circuitry. I'll get it. Bridge. Transporter malfunction. Transporter is out, Captain. You'll have to stand by. I can't. Power level's dropping too fast. Hurry. Acknowledged. Mr. Scott. Speed is of the essence. [Electrical Crackling] He's 2,000 miles from the planet killer and closing fast. [Crackling] Bridge, transporter operational, but this jury-rigging won't last for long. Get him off now. I'll stand by here. 1,500 miles and closing. Captain, transporter operational, but just barely. Prepare to beam me aboard on my signal. 1,000 miles and closing. Transporter, stand by. Standing by, sir. 500 miles and closing. Beam me aboard. Energize. Energizing. Bridge, it's shorted out again. Bonkers. What's wrong with it? Gentlemen ... beam me aboard. We can't, Captain. Transporteris out again. Mr. Scott. 20 seconds to detonation. Mr. Scott? Mr. Scott. Try inverse phasing. 60 ... 50 ... 40 ... 30 ... I suggest you beam me aboard. 10 ... 9 ... 8 ... - 7 ... - Mr. Scott? 6 ... Try her now, Mr. Kyle. 5 ... 4 ... Bridge! We got him through! Energy output ... zero. Radiation level ... normal. Welcome aboard, Captain. Sensors show all energy sources deactivated. It's quite dead. Mr. Sulu ... ease us back to minimum headway. Conserve power as much as possible. Lieutenant Palmer, tell Mr. Scott to expedite repairs on the warp drive. Poor Matt. He gave his life in an attempt to save others. Not the worst way to go. Indeed, Captain. I presume your log will show Commodore Decker died in the line of duty. Indeed it shall, Mr. Spock. Ironic, isn't it? Way back in the 20th century, the H-Bomb was the ultimate weapon -- their doomsday machine. We used something like it to destroy another doomsday machine. Probably the first time such a weapon has ever been used for constructive purposes. Appropriate, Captain. However, I can't help wondering if there are any more of those "weapons" wandering around the universe. Well, I certainly hope not. I found one quite sufficient.
Everyone agrees that this was the single-most important piece of Trek ever filmed. Everyone. Don't even ask for a source citation. It's that self-evident, dork.
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Fox in the Henhouse
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