Kirk: Captain’s log, Star date 1312.4. The impossible has happened. From directly ahead, we’re picking up a recorded distress signal, the call letters of a vessel which has been missing for over two centuries. Did another Earth ship once probe out of the galaxy as we intend to do? What happened to it out there? Is this some warning they’ve left behind?
SPOCK: Your move, Captain.
KIRK: We should have intercepted by now. The Bridge said they’d call.
SPOCK: I’ll have you checkmated your next move.
KIRK: Have I ever mentioned you play a very irritating game of chess, Mister Spock?
SPOCK: Irritating? Ah, yes. One of your Earth emotions.
KIRK: Certain you don’t know what irritation is?
SPOCK: The fact one of my ancestors married a human female…
KIRK: Terrible having bad blood like that.
KELSO: Bridge to briefing lounge. Object is now within tractor beam range.
KIRK: No visual contact, Mister Kelso?
KELSO: No, sir. It’s too small to be a vessel. It only reads about one meter in diameter.
SPOCK: Not large enough even for a lifeboat.
KELSO: Small enough to bring it aboard, sir, if you want to risk it.
KIRK: Lock onto it, Mister Kelso.
SCOTT: Materializer ready, sir.
KIRK: Bring it aboard. Old-style ship recorder that could be ejected when something threatened the ship.
SPOCK: More like destroyed the ship in this case. Look at it. Burnt, pitted.
KIRK: Let’s hope its tapes are intact. We’ll feed it through Mister Spock’s computer.
SCOTT: Yes, sir. It’s begun transmitting, sir.
KIRK: Flash the Bridge. Put all decks on the alert.
MITCHELL: Hold it, Jim.
KIRK: Getting into shape?
MITCHELL: Yeah, well, I figured you weren’t on the Bridge. Kelso’s voice sounded a little nervous. Well, uh, you finish the game?
SPOCK: He played most illogically. His next move should have been the rook.
MITCHELL: You’re relieved, Mister Alden.
ALDEN: Acknowledged, Mister Mitchell.
KIRK: Screen on.
KELSO: Screen on, sir. Approaching galaxy edge, sir.
KIRK: Neutralize warp, Mister Mitchell. Hold this position.
MITCHELL: Neutralize warp, sir.
KIRK: Address intercraft.
MITCHELL: Intercraft open.
KIRK: This is the Captain speaking. The object we encountered is a ship’s disaster recorder, apparently ejected from the S.S. Valiant two hundred years ago.
SPOCK: The tapes are burnt out. Trying the memory banks.
KIRK: We hope to learn from the recorder what the Valiant was doing here and what destroyed the vessel. We’ll move out into our probe as soon as we have those answers. All decks, stand by.
MITCHELL: Department heads, sir. You wanted everybody on the Bridge before we left the galaxy. Jones.
SMITH: The name’s Smith, sir.
SULU: Astro sciences standing by, Captain.
SCOTT: Engineering division ready, as always.
PIPER: Life sciences ready, sir. This is Doctor Dehner, who joined the ship at the Aldebaran colony.
DEHNER: Psychiatry, Captain. My assignment is to study crew reaction in emergency conditions.
SPOCK: Getting something from the recorder now.
DEHNER: lf there was an emergency, I’d be interested in how that crew reacted, too.
MITCHELL: Improving the breed, Doctor? Is that your line?
DEHNER: I heard that’s more your specialty, Commander, line included.
MITCHELL: Walking freezer unit.
SPOCK: Decoding memory banks. I’ll try to interpolate. The Valiant had encountered a magnetic space storm and was being swept in this direction.
KIRK: The old impulse engines weren’t strong enough.
SPOCK: Swept past this point, about a half light year out of the galaxy, they were thrown clear, turned, and headed back into the galaxy here. I’m not getting it all… The tapes are pretty badly burned. Sounds like the ship had encountered some unknown force. Now, orders, counter orders, repeated urgent requests for information from the ship’s computer records for anything concerning ESP in human beings.
KIRK: Extrasensory perception. Doctor Dehner, how are you on ESP?
DEHNER: In tests I’ve taken, my ESP rated rather high.
KIRK: I’m asking what you know about ESP.
DEHNER: It is a fact that some people can sense future happenings, read the backs of playing cards and so on, but the esper capacity is always quite limited.
SPOCK: Severe damage. Seven crewmen dead. No, make that six. One crewman seemed to have recovered. That’s when they became interested in extrasensory perception. More than interested, almost frantic about it. No, this must be garbled. I get something about destruct. I must have read it wrong. It sounded like the captain giving an order to destroy his own ship.
PIPER: The only fact we have for sure is that the S.S. Valiant was destroyed.
KIRK: That’s probably the best argument to continue the probe. Other vessels will be heading out here someday and they’ll have to know what they’ll be facing. We’re leaving the galaxy, Mister Mitchell. Ahead, warp factor one.
SPOCK: Force field of some kind.
MITCHELL: We’re coming up on it fast.
SPOCK: Sensor beam on.
KELSO: Sensor beam on, sir.
SPOCK: Deflectors full intensity.
KELSO: Deflectors full intensity.
SPOCK: Deflectors say there’s something there; sensors say there isn’t. Density negative. Radiation negative. Energy negative.
KELSO: Whatever it is, contact in twelve seconds.
KIRK: Gravitation on automatic. Emergency stations. All decks on fire alert. Neutralize controls. Kelso, put it on manual. Any radiation? Anything?
KIRK: Helmsmen, take us out of here. Helmsmen! Lateral power! Take damage reports.
SPOCK: Damage control reports, all stations!
CREWMAN: Gravity control switching to batteries.
DEHNER: Something hit me, like an electrical charge.
PIPER: He’s alive. Appears to be in shock.
CREWMAN: Engineering Deck Three, can you give damage report?
CREWMAN 2: Sensor beams. Full power on the deflectors.
SPOCK: Main engines are out, sir. We’re on emergency power cells. Casualties: nine dead.
CREWMAN: Gravity is down to point eight.
CREWMAN 2: All decks, this is Bridge Engineering. Due to emergency conditions…
KIRK: Gary. Gary, are you all right?
MITCHELL: I’m a little weak for some reason, Jim, but I feel all right now.
KIRK: Captain’s log, Star date 1312.9. Ship’s condition: heading back on impulse power only. Main engines burned out. The ship’s space warp ability gone. Earth bases which were only days away are now years in the distance. Our overriding question now is, what destroyed the Valiant? They lived through the barrier, just as we have. What happened to them after that?
DEHNER: Autopsy report, sir. Each case showed damage to the body’s neural circuit. An area of the brain was burned out.
KIRK: And you… are you feeling all right?
DEHNER: Yes. Mitchell, too, except for his eyes. We’re trying to find a reason for that now, and why, out of our whole crew, only certain people were affected.
SPOCK: I think we’ve found that answer, Doctor.
KIRK: You mentioned that tests show you have a high degree of extrasensory perception. So do the records of the others. Gary Mitchell has the highest esper rating of all.
DEHNER: lf you’re suggesting there’s anything dangerous…
SPOCK: Before the Valiant was destroyed, its captain was frantically searching for ESP information on his crew.
DEHNER: Espers are simply people with flashes of insight.
SPOCK: Are there not also those who seem to see through solid objects, cause fires to start spontaneously?
DEHNER: There’s nothing about it that could possibly make a person dangerous.
SPOCK: Doctor Dehner is speaking of normal ESP power.
DEHNER: Perhaps you know of another kind?
KIRK: Do we know for sure, Doctor, that there isn’t another kind?
MITCHELL: Hello, Jim. Hey, you look worried.
KIRK: I’ve been worried about you ever since that night on Deneb IV.
MITCHELL: Yeah, she was nova, that one. Not nearly as many after-effects this time, except for the eyes. They kind of stare back at me when I’m shaving.
KIRK: Do you feel any different?
MITCHELL: Well, in a way, I feel better than I’ve ever felt before in my life. Actually seems to have done me some good.
MITCHELL: Well, I’m getting a chance to read some of that longhair stuff you like. Hey man, I remember you back at the Academy. A stack of books with legs. The first thing I ever heard from an upperclassman was, “Watch out for Lieutenant Kirk. In his class, you either think or sink.”
KIRK: I wasn’t that bad, was I?
MITCHELL: If I hadn’t aimed that little blonde lab technician at you…
KIRK: You what? You planned that?
MITCHELL: Well, you wanted me to think, didn’t you? I outlined her whole campaign for her.
KIRK: I almost married her!
MITCHELL: Better be good to me. I’m getting even better ideas here.
KIRK: You? Spinoza?
MITCHELL: Once you get into him, he’s rather simple though. Childish, almost. I don’t agree with him at all.
KIRK: Go on.
MITCHELL: Hey, I’m trying to tell you I feel fine. When do I go back on duty?
KIRK: I’m going to ask Doctor Dehner to keep you under observation for a while.
MITCHELL: With almost a hundred women on board, you can do better than that, friend Captain.
KIRK: Consider it a challenge.
MITCHELL: That doesn’t seem very friendly. Didn’t I say you’d better be good to me?
SPOCK: He’s reading even faster now than just a few moments ago. Is that Gary Mitchell, the one you used to know?
KIRK: Put a twenty-four-hour watch on the Sickbay. Fullest possible range of examinations and tests.
PIPER: Perfect, perfect. I’ve never had a patient like you, Gary. Even the healthiest are generally off on some reading.
DEHNER: I know you don’t particularly like me, Mister Mitchell, but since I am assigned here, can we make the best of it?
MITCHELL: I’ve got nothing against you, Doctor.
DEHNER: Nor against the walking freezer unit?
MITCHELL: Well, I… sorry about that.
DEHNER: Women professionals do tend to overcompensate. Now let’s talk about you. How do you feel?
MITCHELL: You know, everybody– everybody seems worried that I don’t have some kind of fever or something. Maybe if we could just change these dials… Now back to normal, I think.
DEHNER: How did you do that?
MITCHELL: I’m not sure… I– I just thought of making it happen, and it does. It’s… hey, er, hey, watch this, Doc.
DEHNER: Stop it. Stop it! You were dead for almost twenty two seconds. There were no readings at all.
MITCHELL: Yeah. Oh, boy. You– you know, Doc, there have been other things, too, like going halfway through the ship’s library in hardly a day. Yeah. Oh, what’s happening to me?
DEHNER: Do you remember everything you read that quickly?
DEHNER: On any tape?
MITCHELL: Sure. Yeah.
DEHNER: Try this one.
DEHNER: Page three eighty seven.
MITCHELL: My love has wings. Slender, feathered things with grace in upswept curve and tapered tip. The Nightingale Woman, written by Phineas Tarbolde on the Canopius planet back in 1996. It’s funny you picked that one, Doctor.
MITCHELL: That’s one of the most passionate love sonnets of the past couple of centuries. How do you feel, Doctor?
MITCHELL: How do you feel?
DEHNER: I just fell. Nothing happened.
MITCHELL No? Are you sure? Are you sure?
KELSO: Er, I was on my coffee break. I thought I’d check up on
MITCHELL Yeah, that’s okay, Lee, come on in. Don’t let the light in my eyes bother you, pal. It’s all for our– our good-looking lady doctor here.
KELSO: Yeah. Sure.
MITCHELL: So, er, so, how go the repairs?
KELSO: Well, the main engines are gone, unless we can find some way to re-energize them.
MITCHELL: You’d better check the starboard impulse packs. Those points have about decayed to lead.
KELSO: Oh, yeah, sure, Mitch.
MITCHELL: I’m not joking, Lee! You activate those packs, and you’ll blow the whole impulse deck.
KELSO: I’ll, er, I’ll get on it right away. I just wanted to stop by and make sure you were okay. See you later.
MITCHELL: He’s a fool. A fool. He’d seen those points and he hadn’t noticed their condition.
DEHNER: How do you know?
MITCHELL: The image of what he’d seen was still in his mind.
KELSO: Well, it didn’t make any sense that he’d know, but naturally, I checked out the circuit anyway. I don’t know how, but he was right. This point is burned out exactly the way he described it.
DEHNER: Sorry I’m late. I became so interested in observing Gary– Mister Mitchell.
SPOCK: Our subject is not Gary Mitchell. Our concern is, rather, what he is mutating into.
DEHNER: I know those from your planet aren’t suppose to have feelings like we do, Mister Spock, but to talk that way about a man you’ve worked next to for years is worse than–
KIRK: That’s enough, Doctor.
DEHNER: I don’t think so. I understand you least of all. Gary told me that you’ve been friends since he joined the service; that you asked for him aboard your first command.
KIRK: It is my duty, whether pleasant or unpleasant, to listen to the reports, observations, even speculations, on any subject that might affect the safety of this vessel, and it’s my science officer’s duty to see I’m provided with that. Go ahead, Mister Spock.
SPOCK: Have you noted evidence of unusual powers?
DEHNER: He can control certain autonomic reflexes. He reads very fast, retains more than most of us might consider usual.
KIRK: Mister Scott, would you repeat what you just told us?
SCOTT: About an hour ago, the Bridge controls started going crazy. Levers shifting by themselves, buttons being pushed, instrument readings changing.
SPOCK: And on my monitor screen I could see Mitchell smiling each time it happened, as if this ship and crew were almost a toy for his amusement.
KIRK: Are they right, Doctor? Has he shown abilities of such magnitude?
DEHNER: I saw some such indications.
KIRK: And you didn’t think it worth mentioning?
DEHNER: No one’s been hurt, have they? Don’t you understand? A mutated superior man could also be a wonderful thing. The forerunner of a new and better kind of human being.
KIRK: Mister Sulu.
SULU: If you want the mathematics of this, Mitchell’s ability is increasing geometrically. That is, like having a penny, doubling it every day. In a month, you’ll be a millionaire.
SPOCK: In less time than that, he will have attained powers we can’t understand and can’t cope with. Soon we’ll be not only useless to him, but actually an annoyance.
KIRK: There’ll be no discussion of this with the crew. Thank you.
SPOCK: We’ll never reach an Earth base with him aboard, Jim. You heard the mathematics of it. In a month he’ll have as much in common with us as we’d have with a ship full of white mice.
KIRK: I need a recommendation, Spock, not vague warnings.
SPOCK: Recommendation one. There’s a planet a few light days away from here. Delta Vega. It has a lithium cracking station. We may be able to adapt some of its power packs to our engines.
KIRK: And if we can’t? We’ll be trapped in orbit there. We haven’t enough power to blast back out.
SPOCK: It is the only possible way to get Mitchell off this ship.
KIRK: If you mean strand Mitchell there, I won’t do it. That station is fully automated. There’s not a soul on the whole planet. Even the ore ships call only once every twenty years.
SPOCK: Then you have one other choice. Kill Mitchell while you still can.
KIRK: Get out of here.
SPOCK: It is your only other choice, assuming you make it while you still have time.
KIRK: Will you try for one moment to feel? At least act like you’ve got a heart. We’re talking about Gary.
SPOCK: The captain of the Valiant probably felt the same way, and he waited too long to make his decision. I think we’ve both guessed that.
KIRK: Set course for Delta Vega.
KIRK: Star date 1313.1. We’re now approaching Delta Vega. Course set for a standard orbit. This planet, completely uninhabited, is slightly smaller than Earth. Desolate, but rich in crystal and minerals. Kelso’s task: transport down with a repair party, try to regenerate the main engines, save the ship. Our task: transport down a man I’ve known for fifteen years, and if we’re successful, maroon him there.
MITCHELL: I’m thirsty. It’s like a man who has been blind all of his life, suddenly being given sight. Sometimes I feel there’s nothing I couldn’t do, in time. Some people think that makes me a monster, don’t they, Jim?
KIRK: Are you reading all our thoughts, Gary?
MITCHELL: I can sense mainly worry in you, Jim. Safety of your ship.
KIRK: What would you do in my place?
MITCHELL: Probably just what Mister Spock is thinking now. Kill me while you can.
DEHNER: Stop it, Gary!
MITCHELL: I also know we’re orbiting Delta Vega, Jim. I can’t let you force me down there. I may not want to leave this ship, not yet. I may want another place. I’m not sure yet just what kind of a world I can use.
MITCHELL: I don’t understand it all yet, but if I keep growing, getting stronger, why, the things I could do, like– like maybe a god could do.
KIRK: I want him unconscious for a while.
MITCHELL: You fools! Soon I’ll squash you like insects.
KIRK: Can you do it, Lee?
KELSO: Maybe, if we can bypass the fuel bins without blowing ourselves up.
KIRK: Take him.
DEHNER: There’s not a soul on this planet but us?
KIRK: Nobody but us chickens, Doctor.
ALDEN: I think I’ve got the 203-R set, Lee.
KELSO: Good, Alden. Transport it up with you, will you?
KIRK: The fuel bins, Lee. Could they be detonated from here?
KELSO: A destruct switch? I guess I could wire one up right there.
KIRK: Do it.
SPOCK: He’s regaining consciousness.
KIRK: Doctor Piper. I want only one medical officer here at any one time. The other will monitor him on the dispensary screen.
DEHNER: I’d like to stay now… try to talk to him.
MITCHELL: My friend James Kirk. Remember those rodent things on Dimorus? The poisoned darts they threw? I took one meant for you.
KIRK: And almost died. I remember.
MITCHELL: So why be afraid of me now?
KIRK: You’ve been testing your ability to take over the Enterprise. In the transporter room, you said something about us seeming like insects by comparison, squashing us if we got in your way.
MITCHELL: I was drugged then.
KIRK: Yes. In the Sickbay, you said if you were in my place, you’d kill a mutant like yourself.
MITCHELL: Why don’t you kill me then? Mister Spock is right, and you’re a fool if you can’t see it.
DEHNER: You don’t mean that, Gary.
MITCHELL: Man cannot survive if a race of true espers is born. In time you’ll understand that.
KIRK: Gary. Gary, don’t!
KIRK: His eyes went back to normal.
SPOCK: Fighting the force field drained his strength, for a while at least. He could be handled now.
MITCHELL: I’ll just keep getting stronger. You know that, don’t you.
SCOTT: It fits like a glove, Captain.
SCOTT: Oh, did Mister Spock get the phaser rifle we sent down?
KIRK: I didn’t order an– Affirmative. Landing party out.
SPOCK: He tried to get through the force field again. His eyes changed back faster. He didn’t become as weak.
KIRK: Doctor Dehner feels he isn’t that dangerous. What makes you right and a trained psychiatrist wrong?
SPOCK: Because she feels. I don’t. All I know is logic. In my opinion we’ll be lucky if we can repair this ship and get away in time.
KELSO: Direct to the power bins. From here you could blow up this whole valley.
KIRK: If Mitchell gets out, at your discretion, Lee, if sitting here, you think you’re the last chance, I want you to hit that button.
KIRK: Captain’s log, Star date 1313.3. Note commendations on Lieutenant Kelso and the engineering staff. In orbit above us, the engines of the Enterprise are almost fully regenerated. Balance of the landing party is being transported back up. Mitchell, whatever he’s become, keeps changing, growing stronger by the minute.
DEHNER: He’s been like that for hours now.
KIRK: Have Doctor Piper meet us in the control room with Kelso. We’ll all transport up together.
SPOCK: If he should try to stop us…
KIRK: Kelso will be on the destruct button until the last minute. I think he knows that.
DEHNER: I’m staying behind with him.
KELSO: Fission chamber three checks out. The station seems to be running fine.
SCOTT: You’re a talented thief, Kelso. Everything you sent up seems to be fitting in place.
KELSO: I’m kind of proud of the job we’ve done. We’re going to be ready to transport up–
KIRK: You’re leaving with the ship, Doctor.
DEHNER: He is not evil.
KIRK: I gave you an order, Doctor.
MITCHELL: You should have killed me while you could, James. Command and compassion is a fool’s mixture.
PIPER: It hit me, too, whatever it was. Kelso is dead, strangled. At least Spock’s alive.
KIRK: Doctor Dehner?
PIPER: She went with Mitchell.
KIRK: Don’t give him a pill until after I’m gone. It’s my fault Mitchell got as far as he did. Did you see their direction?
PIPER: Yes, there was some morning light. They were headed across the valley, to the left of the pointed peaks. There’s flatlands beyond.
KIRK: When Mister Spock recovers, you’ll both transport up immediately to the Enterprise.
PIPER: But Captain–
KIRK: If you have not received a signal from me within twelve hours, you’ll proceed at maximum warp to the nearest Earth base with my recommendation that this entire planet be subjected to a lethal concentration of neutron radiation. No protest on this, Mark. That’s an order.
DEHNER: It would take almost a miracle to survive here.
MITCHELL: Then I shall make one. Behold. You’ll soon share this feeling, Elizabeth. To be like God, to have the power to make the world anything you want it to be.
DEHNER: What’s wrong?
MITCHELL: A visitor. A very foolish man. You’ll enjoy being a god, Elizabeth. Blasphemy? No. Let there be food. Kaferian apples. Whenever we visited that planet, I always favored these. Can you hear me, James? You cannot see me. I’m not there. You follow the right path, James. You’ll come to me soon.
DEHNER: I can see him in my mind, too.
MITCHELL: Go to him, Elizabeth, talk to him. Now that you’re changing, I want you to see just how unimportant they are.
DEHNER: Yes, it just took a little longer for it to happen to me.
KIRK: You must help me… Before it goes too far.
DEHNER: What he’s doing is right for him and me.
KIRK: And for humanity? You’re still human…
DEHNER: No, I–
KIRK: At least partly, you are, or you wouldn’t be here talking to me.
DEHNER: Earth is really unimportant. Before long, we’ll be where it would have taken mankind millions of years of learning to reach.
KIRK: What will Mitchell learn in getting there? Will he know what to do with his power? Will he acquire the wisdom?
DEHNER: Please go back while you still can.
KIRK: Did you hear him joke about compassion? Above all else, a god needs compassion. Mitchell! Elizabeth.
DEHNER: What do you know about gods?
KIRK: Then let’s talk about humans, about our frailties. As powerful as he gets, he’ll have all that inside him.
DEHNER: Go back.
KIRK: You were a psychiatrist once. You know the ugly, savage things we all keep buried, that none of us dare expose. But he’ll dare. Who’s to stop him? He doesn’t need to care. Be a psychiatrist for one minute longer. What do you see happening to him? What’s your prognosis, Doctor?
DEHNER: He’s coming.
KIRK: Then watch him. Hang on to being a human for one minute longer.
MITCHELL: I’m disappointed in you, Elizabeth. I’ve been contemplating the death of an old friend. He deserves a decent burial, at least.
DEHNER: Stop it, Gary.
MITCHELL: Morals are for men, not gods.
KIRK: A god, but still driven by human frailty. Do you like what you see?
MITCHELL: Time to pray, Captain. Pray to me.
KIRK: To you? Not to both of you?
MITCHELL: Pray that you die easily.
KIRK: There’ll only be one of you in the end. One jealous god. If all this makes a god, or is it making you something else?
MITCHELL: Your last chance, Kirk.
KIRK: Do you like what you see? Absolute power corrupting absolutely.
DEHNER: Hurry. You haven’t much time.
KIRK: Gary, forgive me.
MITCHELL: For a moment, James, but your moment is fading.
DEHNER: I’m sorry. You can’t know what it’s like to be almost a god.
KIRK: Enterprise from Captain Kirk, come in.
KIRK: Captain’s log, Star date 1313.8. Add to official losses, Doctor Elizabeth Dehner. Be it noted she gave her life in performance of her duty. Lieutenant Commander Gary Mitchell, same notation. I want his service record to end that way. He didn’t ask for what happened to him.
SPOCK: I felt for him, too.
KIRK: I believe there’s some hope for you after all, Mister Spock.
Transcripts taken from Chrissie’s Transcripts Site and modified.