Timeline 191 - Star Trek

The following is an episode of the television program, Star Patrol, which originally aired at 9 pm on Friday February 16, 1968, on the National Broadcast System television network.

Introduction scene: The voice of Starfleet Captain Johnathan T. Kirk is heard narrating the following prologue announcement as the image of the USS Essex is seen rapidly transiting through deep space:

Kirk: Space: the final frontline. These are the voyages of the starship Essex. Its five-year mission: to secure the boundaries of the Interstellar Union of Planets against all hostile forces, foreign and domestic. And to boldly defend our way of life, our civilization, and to protect the rights of our citizens, wherever they may choose to live. (A trio of female voices perform a series of increasingly dramatic soprano notes over Kirk’s speech as the Essex repeatedly flies across the screen.)

(The following cast credits are displayed as the USS Essex continually transits across the screen while exciting theme music swells in the background.)



William Shatner as Captain Johnathan T. Kirk

Leonid Nimoy as Lieutenant-Commander Spock

Jack Kelley as Doctor Leonard McCoy

Robert Stack as Chief Engineer Madelhari Siemens

Gracie Nichols as Lieutenant Nya Uhura

Bruce Lee as Chief of Security Lieutenant Andrew Lau

And tonight’s special guest stars-

Don Adams as Data

Orson Wells as Sybok

Roger Carmel as Harcourt Fenton Mudd

And Raquel Tejada as Caithlin Dar

(A close-up shot depicting the upper bulge of the saucer section of the USS Essex is briefly displayed. One of the warp nacelles can be partially seen behind the saucer, and behind that a blue and white planet. The episode title “Parallel Lines of Force” is superimposed over top of the image of the Essex in bold letters. The title image disappears and is replaced with the opening scene.)

(Opening Scene: A bird’s eye view depicting the bridge of the Essex is shown as Kirk is seen purposefully walking from the turbolift onto the bridge. Kirk is in dress uniform while the other members of the bridge crew are wearing their regular service uniforms as they go about their routine tasks. Kirk’s voice narrates off camera as the actual onscreen Kirk briefly pauses to greet one or two crew members at their work stations.)

Kirk: Captain’s Log: Stardate 2534.6, the Essex has arrived at Angel One in the Alpha Gruis system in order to rendezvous with a scientific team comprised of Union physicists. The Essex has been ordered to provide support to our guests as they set up and conduct a top-secret weapons test in deep space. Likewise, we are also to assist them in collecting all relevant scientific data once the test has been carried out. (Kirk sits down in his captain’s chair as his off-camera narration ends.)

(The camera perspective changes to a profile view of Kirk sitting in his chair, as Dr. McCoy walks into view from somewhere just off camera.)

McCoy: (McCoy fixes Kirk with a wry all-knowing smile.) How did your little visit with the Mistresses of Angel One go? Will I have to prescribe a round of broad-spectrum antibiotics in order to keep you on your feet?

Kirk: (Kirk responds in a syrupy tone.) Now, you know I’m not the type who likes to kiss and tell, Doctor. Nevertheless, it appears that I failed to spark the romantic interests of the fabled Mistresses of Angel One, but that…. However…..didn’t stop them from trying to drink me half to death anyway.

McCoy: I’ll call down to sickbay and have someone bring you up a hypo-spray which will restore your energy and alertness, and will also help to mitigate the effects of the oncoming hangover that is about to hit you.

Kirk: Thanks, Bones, you’re a lifesaver.

McCoy: Don’t mention it, that’s what I’m here for. Oh, and next time you decide to challenge a group of overgrown Amazons to a drinking contest, be sure and have me set you up with some Alkysine, beforehand, that way you don’t come back looking like something that the cat dragged in.

Kirk: (Kirk replies somewhat miserably) Whatever you say, Doctor.

(McCoy gently slaps Kirk on the shoulder before walking out of the scene. Lieutenant Uhura swivels in her chair to face towards Kirk.

Uhura: Captain, the shuttle bay reports that the science team and their equipment are now safely aboard.

(The scene changes to an exterior view of the Essex as the shuttle bay doors slide closed around the nose end of a shuttle which is many times larger than a standard Starfleet shuttle. Clouds and oceans of the earth-like planet Angel One can be seen slowly rotating below the Essex. A thin artificial ring can be seen encircling Angel One at the equator. The ring is connected to the surface of the planet via a series of space towers located along the equator. The area around the ring appears to be congested with various types of space ships and other miscellaneous vehicles. The scene returns to the bridge of the Essex after the doors have finished closing.)

Kirk: Excellent! Welcome them aboard, and inform the head of the science team that I’d like to meet with them in the officer’s mess at 1900 hours in order to discuss things over a friendly dinner.

(Kirk swivels his chair slightly to face the navigator and helmsman directly in front of him.)

Kirk: Mr. Tyler, lay in a course for coordinates 007-mark-215. You may leave orbit as soon as Angel One Control clears our departure.

Tyler: Aye, Captain. (As Mr. Tyler leans forward and begins to input data into the control panel in front of him. The control panel responds to Tyler’s inputs by issuing a series of soft chirps and beeps each time one of Tyler’s fingers touches a key.) Coordinates set, estimated travel time to destination is approximately fourteen standard hours at a standard speed of warp factor six.

(Commander Spock moves to a position just to the right of the captain’s chair. Spock assumes a standing position similar to parade rest, as his eyes continually gaze about the bridge in a supervisory fashion.)

Spock: Forgive me, Captain, but have you had the opportunity to review Professor Sybok’s mission plan?

Kirk: (Kirk slumps slightly in his chair before he begins to speak.) Spock, My meeting with the Mistresses of Angel One occupied most of my day, and let me tell you, I’ve never seen anyone who can put away as much Romulan ale as those women can, so no, I really haven’t had the chance to go over Professor Sybok’s mission plan in any great detail.

Spock: I have thoroughly read through all of the materials submitted to Starfleet Command by Professor Sybok, including his team’s official mission plan, and there are several key aspects of his proposed experiment which I find to be somewhat disconcerting.

Kirk: (Kirk takes a deep breath and exhales as though he is beginning to feel somewhat fatigued.) I admit that this assignment was given to us on short notice, and that we haven’t really been given very much to go on. (Kirk momentarily pauses before continuing on.) But on the other hand, Sybok’s an official member the Vulcan Science Academy, so don’t you think that we’re in good enough hands here?

Spock: (Spock speaks slowly and methodically as he continues to gaze about the bridge.) Professor Sybok’s team will be conducting an ultra-high energy test in deep space, as part of an advanced, but as of yet unproven, Starfleet weapons program, known as Operation Nimbus.

Kirk: (Kirk responds in a mildly perplexed but polite tone.) We both watched the pre-recorded briefing on Operation Nimbus, so wouldn’t you agree that our role has been pretty well spelled out for us. We are to ferry the science team to the designated coordinates of the test site, use our ship’s warp engines to supply a little power to their test equipment, and voot-voot-voot the entire thing will be over within seventy-two hours, mark my words.

Spock: Captain, I must point out that there may be certain factors regarding Professor Sybok’s weapon’s test, which were not clearly spelled out in the official Starfleet briefing on Project Nimbus.

Kirk: Are you concerned that Sybok’s little endeavor will end up as a dud without any worthwhile results for the Union? Because anything along those lines is clearly beyond our control.

Spock: Quite to the contrary, Captain. Even if Professor Sybok’s test is carried out precisely, as outlined in his plans, his experiment will, undoubtedly, generate extremely powerful quantum forces on a scale which has not been seen since the era when the Iconian civilization ruled our galaxy. And, those intensely powerful forces will be unleashed regardless as to whether his experiment achieves its desired end results or not.

Kirk: (Kirk responds sluggishly, his words are slightly slurred.) The Iconian civilization destroyed itself with its own super weapons over ten thousand years ago.

Spock: Indeed, Captain, and at the time of its fall, the Iconian civilization was far more advanced than we are now. Additionally, at present we have little understanding of how local space time, itself, will behave when bombarded with such an extreme concertation of energy. (Spock then pauses briefly before then continuing.) Professor Sybok and his team may literally be playing with proverbial fire.

Kirk: Tell me, Spock, Starfleet views Professor Sybok as a leading figure in his field, but how is he viewed by the rest of the Vulcan scientific community?

Spock: I do not know Professor Sybok personally, but my understanding is that he is often viewed as someone who is at times a bit eccentric, at least in Vulcan terms, and there have also been controversies regarding some of Professor Sybok’s earlier work.

Kirk: Controversies, what sort of controversies?

Spock: There have been vague rumors alleging plagiarism, accusations of shoddy research methods, and claims that certain members of his team have been reckless in formulating the underlying hypothesis supporting his team’s experiments.

Kirk: Yet in spite of all of this, Professor Sybok has somehow been able to maintain his position within the Vulcan Science Academy?

Spock: Over the years Professor Sybok has accumulated a number of noteworthy scientific breakthroughs, mostly in the areas of high energy physics, and intense gravitational phenomena. So, while many of Sybok’s immediate colleagues may occasionally view him as being unconventional, if not outright unpredictable, an even larger circle within the Vulcan scientific community tends to see him as an extremely gifted and brilliant scientist.

(Just then a young female crewmember dressed in a Starfleet nurse’s uniform approaches Kirk on his left.)

Female Nurse: Dr. McCoy ordered a hypo-spray for you, Captain.

(Kirk barely acknowledges the nurse as he lifts up the left sleeve of his dress tunic to further expose his well-defined triceps. The nurse places the nozzle of the hypo-spray to the back of Kirk’s arm and pulls the trigger. A brief sound like escaping air is heard. The nurse leaves the scene with the hypo-spray in hand. Kirk seems to swoon for several seconds as the cocktail of drugs prescribed by Dr. McCoy takes effect.)

Kirk: I see. (Kirk sits upright, blinking his eyes, suddenly more alert to what Spock is saying to him.) Do you have any reason in particular to believe that the Essex will be placed in danger by what Sybok is about to attempt?

Spock: The Essex itself will be at some distance from the epicenter of Sybok’s experiment, and that should provide us with an adequate safety margin, providing that all hands are on station to deal with any emergencies which may arise. (Spock pauses briefly before continuing.) However, even if Professor Sybok’s experiment is perfectly executed, his test apparatus will still place an enormous strain upon the resources of the Essex. Therefore, I believe that the two of us should spend some time going over the details of Professor Sybok’s planned experiment with senior staff, before we sit down to our friendly dinner with him and his team.

Kirk: Excellent idea, Mr. Spock. Uhura, please inform all department heads to report to the deck fourteen briefing room in fifteen minutes. (Kirk stands up from his command chair) Come on Spock, let’s spend a few minutes looking over Professor Sybok’s plans before everyone else arrives.

(The scene changes to an interior shot of the shuttle bay. The camera perspective is from a location near the shuttle bay doors, facing inwards towards the observation deck overlooking the main hanger deck. Two very massive shuttles are parked nose to tail on the hanger deck, with the nose of the first facing outwards towards the closed shuttle bay doors. The enormous shuttles somewhat resemble standard Starfleet shuttles, except that they are many times larger.)

(The camera follows a young red shirted yeoman as he enters the scene. The crewman who is hardly more than an adolescent can be seen carrying a thin electronic device under his arm which somewhat resembles a clipboard as he approaches the first shuttle. The crewman happily skips up a short flight of stairs and places his palm on a reader next to the shuttle’s entry hatch. The door instantly slides open to reveal a rather large and intimidating Vulcan dressed in white robes standing in the doorway. The crewman is visibly surprised at the sight of the Vulcan blocking his entrance into the shuttle.)

Professor Sybok: Yes, what is it? I’m a very busy man, and I do not abide having my work interrupted by unnecessary petty interruptions! (Sybok glowers downwards at the crewman who is much shorter than him.)

Yeomen Charlie Evans: I apologize for the trouble, Sir, but I’m here to conduct a routine inspection of your shuttles, as per standard Starfleet operating procedures. (Evans speaks in a nervous halting voice as he addresses the Vulcan in front of him.)

Professor Sybok: The scientific equipment aboard these two shuttles have been calibrated down to the most minute quantum level, and that data collection device you’re holding could throw off enough electro-magnetic interference to destroy months of my valuable work. I simply won’t have anyone coming aboard my shuttles until after my deep space experiments have been conducted. Do I make myself clear?

Yeomen Charlie Evans: If you won’t allow me to inspect the interior of your shuttles, then I’m sorry, but you leave me no choice, and I’ll have to report this matter to the captain. (Still stammering, but now with perhaps a bit of courage creeping into his voice.)

Professor Sybok: Fine, you do that. If you’re captain wishes to speak with me, he knows where to find me. Now, run along, I’ve got some very important work to do. (Sybok makes a shooing motion with his hand as though he is trying to drive away an annoying insect.)

(Yeoman Evans backs down the stairs as Sybok watches him leave. A few moments later an attractive Romulan female emerges from somewhere within the shuttle to stand next to Sybok in the doorway.)

Professor Caithlin Dar: Who was that, and what did he want?

Professor Sybok: Nothing to worry about, my Dear, just some mindless bumpkin making a nuisance of himself, that’s all.

Professor Caithlin Dar: Will he come back? Do you think that I should power it down just to be sure?

Professor Sybok: If my calculations are correct, the illustrious Captain Kirk should be in the throes of a mighty hangover right now, and I doubt that he’ll be in the mood to listen to any prattle coming from one of his lowly worker insects. I think that we are safe for now.

(The scene changes to the briefing room on deck fourteen. Spock is seen standing beside a large display screen that is integrated into the wall behind him. Kirk, Doctor McCoy, Chief Engineer Madelhari Siemens, Chief of Security Lieutenant Andrew Lau, Lieutenant Nya Uhura, and Helmsman Lieutenant Jose Tyler are all sitting around a conference table and looking on as Spock explains an animation that is unfolding on the screen next to him.)

(Although the briefing room has no windows, a gently curving wall braced by several sculptured beams seems to imply that the briefing room is located somewhere near the outer hull of the saucer section of the ship. The walls are of a light beige color, the sculptured beams along the outside wall are of a bluish white color, while the floor covering is of a dark blue color. The top of the somewhat triangular shaped conference table is of a light salmon cream color.)

Spock: The following is a brief overview of Operation Nimbus, as outlined in Professor Sybok’s mission plan. Temporary energy taps will be placed on our engines here, and here, (as Spock points to two locations on the video screen.) Temporary power conduits will then connect the power taps on our warp engines, to subspace emitters to be positioned here, and here, on the aft-deck outside the shuttle bay main doors.

(Spock momentarily pauses to give others a chance to study the animated images on the screen behind him. The moving sequence of images starts out with a cutaway view of the Essex, but then transitions into a computer-generated animation depicting a simulated walk through of the modifications to be made to the ship. Twin black flexible tubes, approximately thirty centimeters in diameter, are seen running from connection points deep inside the Jefferies tubes of both warp nacelle pylons. From there, the two large diameter tubes snake along the empty corridors of deck three, through several sliding doorways which have been locked open, and out across the main deck of the shuttle bay. The two conduits then pass through the wide-open main doors of the shuttle bay, and terminate at two medium sized parabolic dishes located just outside the ship.)

Spock: From this point, the power collected from our warp engines will be funneled through subspace to a pair of extremely powerful energy transformers which will be located approximately twenty light minutes from one another in deep space. Additionally, each one of Sybok’s energy transformers will require approximately one hundred million gigawatts worth of energy from the engines of the Essex.

Siemens: My God, two hundred million gigawatts is more energy than is used throughout the entire Martian Colonies!

Spock: Indeed, Commander Siemens, it is.

Kirk: What does Sybok intend to do with so much power out here in deep space? Is Operation Nimbus some sort of high energy particle beam? If so, the Klingon Collective could simply circumvent such a weapon by building more powerful shielding. It doesn’t make any sense.

Spock: (Spock presses a button on the hand held remote he is holding in order to pause the animation that is playing on the screen.) Negative Captain. The energy fed into Sybok’s transformers will be used to power a pair of advanced particle accelerators. The particle accelerators will in turn each generate an extremely powerful short burst rotating electromagnetic field, on the order of ten to the power of twelve Gauss. Generating such a powerful field on an inhabited planet would be an extremely unwise endeavor, and would most likely result in an instantaneous planet wide extinction level event.

Lieutenant Jose Tyler: Ten to the power of twelve Gauss! Wow! That is nearly as strong as some of those giant magnetars we’ve observed out in the Magellanic Clouds.

Spock: Not quite, Lieutenant, but still, the electromagnetic field generated by Professor Sybok’s equipment will still be unprecedentedly powerful.

McCoy: Well, what good is an electromagnetic field which is almost as powerful as one of those giant magnetars? If our ship’s shielding collapses, we’ll all be cooked, or at the very least our genetic code will be scrambled beyond all recognition. Just how does Professor Sybok propose to utilize such vast energies without getting us all killed in the process?

Spock: I’ll be getting to that just now, Doctor. (Spock turns towards the monitor, presses the play button on the remote he is holding in his hand, and then he resumes speaking.) Once the particle accelerators have built up a powerful enough charge, they will each fire a proton towards one another at a distance of four hundred million kilometers. When the protons leave their respective accelerators, they will be each traveling at 299,792,458 meters per second. (Spock pauses to let the incredible speed of the protons sink in. The Starfleet officers sitting around the table seem stunned by the information.)

Tyler: 299,792,458 meters per second, that’s “C” that’s the absolute speed of light!

McCoy: Now hold on a minute, I thought that no particle containing mass could travel faster than the speed of light? Now particle physics may be a bit outside my area of expertise, but even I know that a proton is not a massless particle. So, what’s going on here?

Spock: You are correct, Doctor, no object containing mass can travel faster than the speed of light, unless it is traveling through warp space. However, there is nothing which says that an object with mass cannot travel at precisely the speed of light, if it can somehow be accelerated to that velocity.

Siemens: According to everything I’ve ever read, accelerating a particle with mass to the speed of light would require an infinite amount of energy, and we simply don’t have an infinite supply of energy at our disposal, so how is any of this even possible?

Spock: Ordinarily I would agree with you, Commander Siemens, but it appears that Professor Sybok and his team have made a recent breakthrough in this area. What the nature of that breakthrough is I cannot say, due to the fact that much of the information surrounding Project Nimbus is highly classified, but I surmise that it most likely has something to do with the advanced energy transformers which Sybok is using to power his particle accelerators

Kirk: Spock, what is supposed to happen after the two protons are fired towards one another, and how can Sybok and his team expect two subatomic particles traveling hundreds of millions of kilometers across open space to hit one another?

Spock: The targeting mechanisms on Professor Sybok’s particle accelerators are so precisely calibrated, that their programming actually takes into consideration the ongoing expansion of our universe, as well as the minute curvature of space-time itself. However, even traveling at such high velocity, it will still take the two protons roughly ten standard minutes to reach their mutual point of impact, where they will collide with one another with a combined speed of twice the speed of light. Given the detailed preparations made by Sybok’s team, there is little doubt that the impact will, in fact, occur. I am, however, somewhat uncertain as to what may occur immediately following such a collision.

Tyler: But, scientists on Earth have been smashing protons into one another at 99.99 percent the speed of light for centuries, how will that one tenth of one percent make any difference?

Spock: A proton accelerated to 99.99 percent the speed of light will experience an increase in mass three million times greater than its rest mass. However, according to Professor Mudd’s calculations, which I have not yet had the time to verify myself, a proton traveling at one hundred percent the speed of light should experience an increase in mass of at least ten to the one hundredth power. But again, I have not had the chance to verify Professor Mudd’s figures on my own.

Kirk: Spock, ten to the one hundredth power? What are we talking about here? (Kirk rubs his chin absently.)

Spock: At the time of impact, each proton will be carrying mass roughly equivalent to that of the planet Earth itself.

Tyler: A collision involving twenty-six billion trillion tons of mass, and at twice the speed of light!

Spock: Exactly, Lieutenant, and such an event will be unprecedented in the annals of modern science.

Kirk: Spock, what does Sybok anticipate will happen when the two supermassive protons collide in space?

Spock: Unclear, Captain. The remainder of Professor Sybok’s mission plan is protected with the highest level of Starfleet encryption. (The animation on the screen stops playing as soon as the two protons reach each other in space, and the screen is filled with the words WARNING RESTRICTED ACCESS.)

McCoy: Well, I for one don’t like the sound of this one bit. (As McCoy stubbornly folds his arms and frowns towards the camera.)

Spock: I must concur with the Doctor’s opinion regarding this matter, and it appears that much data is being withheld from us for unknown reasons. Furthermore, in light of this latest information, there exists the distinct possibility that Professor Sybok’s experiment may place this ship and its crew in grave danger. (Spock then uses the remote in his hand to turn off the animation which has already stopped playing. The Starfleet logo replaces the warning message on the screen.)

Siemens: I don’t care for the way in which Professor Sybok is proposing to connect his subspace emitters into our warp engines. The man wants to run makeshift connections from the plasma conduits in our nacelles to the exterior of the shuttle bay. Such shoddy work is simply a recipe for a disaster.

Uhura: And what about subspace communications? Will we still be able to send a distress message to Starfleet once Professor Sybok has pumped all of that energy into nearby space?

Kirk: Alright everybody, I think that we are getting just a little bit ahead of ourselves. Let’s see if we can’t get to the bottom of this. (Kirk raises his chin slightly as if he is about to speak to an unseen entity floating somewhere in the air.)

Kirk: Computer!

Ship’s Computer: Computer. (The main computer of the Essex has a woman’s voice with a pronounced mechanical cadence to it. The sound of soft tones and beeps can be heard in the background whenever the computer is speaking.)

Kirk: Test the following scenario and provide analysis. Two protons, both travelling at one hundred percent the speed of light collide with one another in deep space. What will be the outcome?

Ship’s Computer: Insufficient data.

Kirk: Hypothesize and report!

(A sound similar to electronic relays opening and closing is heard as the ship’s computer ponders Kirk’s question. A few seconds later the computer begins speaking again.)

Ship’s Computer: Assuming that neither proton loses velocity during their journeys towards one another, and assuming that the rotations of both protons are synchronized via quantum entanglement, then there is a ninety-eight point seven eight percent chance that the collision between the two protons will result in a short lived rapidly rotating naked singularity with powerful jets of gamma radiation emanating from the north and south poles of the singularity. Additionally, there is a zero-point nine seven percent chance that the collision will result in the creation of a short-lived low mass Plank star. There is a zero-point one four percent chance that the collision will result in the creation of a rapidly expanding pocket univ….

Kirk: Computer! End report.

(The computer immediately falls silent.)

Kirk: Spock, what is your theory based upon this latest piece of information?

Spock: It would appear that Professor Sybok is endeavoring to create his own miniature quasar, and to use the powerful jets of gamma radiation streaming out from its poles as a weapon of mass destruction. (Spock places his hands behind his back as he seems to ponder the possible magnitude of such a weapon.) Such a weapon would put the Interstellar Union back on an even footing with the Klingon Collective, and could potentially force them back to the bargaining table.

Kirk: Yes, ever since we defeated the Romulans and forced them to join us back in 2160, the Union enjoyed an extraordinary period of peaceful expansion throughout this quadrant of the galaxy. But then, just more recently, the Klingons adopted their collectivist system, and began to make unprecedented leaps in weapons technology, forcing us back on our heels. Such a weapon might give us the upper hand again, and put the Klingons in their place, once and for all. (The camera lights reflect off of Kirk’s polished jackboots as he folds his legs.)

Siemens: But the Computer said that the rotating singularity would produce two plumes of radiation traveling in opposite directions from one another. How can both jets be aimed towards the Klingons at the same time?

Spock: We don’t have the answer to that question at this time, but it could be possible that Professor Sybok is working on a way to contain the jet of radiation discharging from the pole opposite the enemy, and to redirect it somehow. We simply don’t know at this time.

Tyler: How can we be certain that the Essex won’t be hit by one of the gamma ray jets created during Sybok’s experiment?

Spock: The Essex will be located several light minutes from the collision point of the two protons, and by placing a ring of sacrificial probes a few hundred thousand kilometers away from the detonation point, we should be able to receive a subspace warning from one of our probes should the gamma ray burst be pointed in our direction. However, the alignment of the jets is most likely dependent upon the specific orientation of the two protons as they depart the accelerators, and doubtless Professor Sybok has gone to great lengths to ensure that the plumes of radiation shoot harmlessly above and below the plain of our galaxy.

Kirk: Siemens, will the Essex be able to outrun the leading edge of a gamma ray jet, even with Sybok’s equipment tapped into our engines?

Siemens: Aye, we should have no trouble out running a pack of stray sub-atomic particles, but with our warp engines also powering Sybok’s particle accelerators, I’m not sure that I’ll be able to give you much more than warp two should a real emergency arise.

(Just then a chime sound announces that someone is requesting to enter the conference room. Kirk looks towards the sliding double door and announces…)

Kirk: Enter!

(The sliding doors rapidly open and in walks Yeomen Charlie Evans. Evans assumes the position of attention approximately three paces inside the room, but appears to hesitate before speaking. Evans is still carrying his clipboard device under his arm as he stands at attention.)

Kirk: What is it Yeomen, can’t you see that we are busy here?

Yeomen Charlie Evans: Sir…I..I was just down in the shuttle bay to conduct a routine inspection of the Science Team’s shuttles, but Professor Sybok refused to grant me access to their interiors.

Captain Johnathan T. Kirk: Oh, he did, did he? (Kirk suddenly sits more upright in his chair.)

Yeomen Charlie Evans: Yes, he did, Captain, I tried to explain to him that Starfleet regulations require that I inspect his shuttles for any hazardous materials, but he said that he had some very sensitive equipment aboard, and that my inspection might throw off his calibrations.

Captain Johnathan T. Kirk: Well, we’ll just see about that. You did the correct thing in bringing this to my attention, now you’re dismissed, Yeomen.

Yeomen Charlie Evans: Thank you, Sir. (As Evans appears to blush slightly with pride.)

(Yeomen Charlie Evans does an about-face and smartly exits the room.)

Kirk: Spock, McCoy, and Siemens, I want you to accompany me down to the shuttle bay to get to the bottom of this. Lieutenant Lau, I want you to round up two of your best men and meet me down there as well. The rest of you may return to your regular duties.

(Chief of Security Andrew Lau abruptly stands up from his chair and bows towards Kirk.)

Andrew Lau: Aye Captain!

(Kirk and Lau exit the conference room at roughly the same time as others quickly follow behind. Chief of Engineering Meinhardt Siemens turns to Dr. McCoy who is still sitting next to him and says….

Siemens: I wouldn’t want to be in Professor Sybok’s shoes right now.

(Dr. McCoy gives a wry expression to indicate that he agrees with Siemens that Professor Sybok is probably about to receive an ear full from Captain Kirk.)

McCoy: Nor would I. Come on, we’d better get to the turbolift before they decide to leave without us. (McCoy gestures his head towards the others who are leaving the room.)

(The scene returns to an interior shot of the shuttle bay, with the camera perspective from a location taken near the shuttle bay main doors looking inward. Captain Kirk and Chief of Security Lieutenant Andrew Lau are sternly walking shoulder to shoulder, followed a few steps behind by two burly red shirted security men, and with the rest of the Essex’s senior officers following a few steps behind the security officers.)

Kirk: Alright, which one is he in? (As Kirk looks back and forth between the two outsized shuttles.)

Andrew Lau: According to the log, he should be in that one (as Lau points towards the shuttle parked closest to the main doors).

(The scene changes to an interior shot within one of the shuttles. The lighting within the shuttle is rather dark with an eerie black and white monochromatic quality to it. Professor Caithlin Dar is sitting in front of a computer screen as Professor Sybok comes behind her to look over her shoulder. An unidentified person dressed in a Vulcan utility suit walks through the scene behind them.)

Professor Caithlin Dar: It looks like we have unexpected company.

(The camera angle shifts to a perspective from over Dar’s shoulder revealing Captain Kirk’s fuming face on the screen in front of Dar. Kirk can be seen as he angrily palms the access reader on the outside of the shuttle over and over. Kirk’s voice emanates from a tinny speaker as he repeatedly palms the access reader.)

Kirk: (From over the speaker on Dar’s desk) What the devil is the meaning of this? Who are you to turn away one of my crewmembers on official Starfleet business? I demand that you open this door immediately!)

Professor Sybok: Oh, what the devil! (As Sybok straightens from his stooped position over Dar’s shoulder and slowly ambles away.)

(The scene changes back to an exterior shot of the shuttle. Kirk is standing just outside the shuttle hatch as the two muscle bound security men stand rigidly shoulder to shoulder at the bottom of the stairs behind him. The rest of the Essex officers can be seen milling about in the nearby area talking to one another. Suddenly Sybok’s voice issues forth from a hidden speaker somewhere near the hatch area.)

Professor Sybok: Captain Kirk, what a pleasant surprise. I thought that our dinner meeting wasn’t for another forty-five minutes or so. (Syrupy voice)

Kirk: Never mind that damned you! You open this door immediately so that my crew can inspect whatever it is that you’re carrying aboard your shuttles.

Professor Sybok: As I tried to explain to your yeoman, I have special orders signed by Admiral Pike himself, guaranteeing me permission to transfer my scientific equipment aboard your vessel, free from any interference or prying on the part of you or your crew. I’m sorry, Captain, but these orders are spelled out clearly, and I will not be opening my shuttles for your inspection.

Captain Johnathan T. Kirk: Right now, I don’t give a damned about any signed orders you may supposedly have from Admiral Pike, my first responsibility is to the safety of this ship and its crew. Furthermore, we both know that this mission is under strict radio silence, and it will be impossible for me to verify any such waiver, therefore in my opinion, it is invalid. Now you open this door this very instant, or I will dump you and your shuttle craft out here in the middle of deep space, and after that, you can spend the next few weeks crawling back to Angel One at warp one. The choice is yours.

Professor Sybok: You wouldn’t dare!

Kirk: Alright, we’ll try it a different way. Either open up, or I’ll have someone from Engineering bring up a phaser torch, which will cut right through the hulls of your two vessels like a tin can. Now what will it be?

(Just then Spock ascends the short stairway and appears on the small platform next to Kirk.)

Spock: (In a hushed tone) Captain, if I may?

(Kirk gives an affirmative nod and steps back slightly)

Spock: Sybok, your behavior regarding this matter is most illogical. Starfleet Regulation 63 Section H stipulates that all none Starfleet shuttles taken aboard a Union Starship must undergo precursory inspection to ensure that they are not carrying materials which may interfere with the starship’s warp drive. Your shuttles here are registered to the Vulcan Science Academy, and therefore they must be inspected. (Pause as Spock waits for a response) If you refuse to comply, I will be forced to report this matter to both the High Council, and the Vulcan Science Academy.

(The scene changes to Sybok standing inside a darkened corridor as he watches Spock and Kirk on a small view screen mounted on the wall.)

Professor Sybok: That damnable half-breed! (Sybok mutters under his breath)

(The scene changes back to Kirk and Spock outside the shuttle.)

Kirk: Come on, we’ve played this game long enough. (Speaking to Spock)

(The two security men waiting at the bottom of the stairs step aside as Kirk and Spock descend the short metal staircase.)

Kirk: Siemens, get a couple of your men up here with a phaser torch to open this thing up.

(Siemens proceeds to an intercom panel and begins speaking to an unseen person. Siemens is too far away for his voice to be heard. Spock assumes his customary position next to Kirk’s shoulder.)

Spock: Captain, do you intend to take Professor Sybok and his people into custody?

Kirk: I will if I have too.

Spock: If that is the case, may I recommend breaking radio silence by sending an encrypted sub-space message to Starfleet? Arresting Sybok and his crew will essentially mean that the experiment has been called off. Therefore, even if the Klingons have somehow managed to break our highest-level encryptions, it will make very little difference, as we will, by then, no longer have a top-secret mission to protect.

(Just as Kirk is about to reply, the shuttle hatch abruptly opens to reveal a humanoid male standing in the doorway. The individual in the doorway somewhat resembles an average Terran male, with the exception that his skin has a decidedly silver metallic pallor to it. The strange being appears to display an expression upon his face which seems both oddly blank and highly intelligent at the same time. Additionally, the strange being is dressed in an unfamiliar yellow and black jumpsuit style uniform sporting a gold badge which is similar to the badges worn by the crew of the Essex, but somehow the visitor’s badge is subtly different. - The officers of the Essex seem to be extremely stunned at the sight of the being who has just emerged from the shuttle.)

Data: Captain Kirk, I can assure you that contacting Starfleet Command will be completely unnecessary, as I am the reason why Professor Sybok attempted to prevent your crew from entering his shuttle craft. (Ominous music plays as the camera zooms in on Data’s face.)

(Commercial break)

(Data is now standing at the bottom of the ladder, as Kirk suspiciously circles Data at a distance. The rest of the crew also maintains a safe distance from Data as well. The two security men have their phases pointed at Data from a distance. Ominous music plays as the scene opens.)

Kirk: Alright, just who and what are you, and what in the devil are you doing aboard my ship?

Data: My name is Lieutenant Commander Data Soong, of Starfleet, United Federation of Planets, Service Number: SC-001-63A. (Data’s eyes warily move side to side as he watches Kirk circling him.)

Kirk: Starfleet? That’s no Starfleet uniform you’re wearing, and you don’t seem to resemble any of the known intelligent species found within Union space. (Kirk pauses as if contemplating his next words.)

Data: I am not from your Interstellar Union of Planets; I am from an alternate timeline in which the United Federation of Planets occupies roughly the same quadrant of the galaxy as your Union does in this timeline. Additionally, I am from what would be on your calendar, the year 2363.

Kirk: (Kirk Scoffs) United Federation of Planets? At this point I’m leaning more towards the possibility that you maybe an agent from the Klingon Collective sent here to spy upon our mission. so why don’t you make things easy upon yourself by starting with the truth?

Data: Captain Kirk, If I were to provide you with any additional information beyond what I have already provided to you, then I would be in violation of the Prime Directive.

Kirk: The Prime Directive? Is that so?

Data: Yes, Captain Kirk, I’m afraid that it is so.

Kirk: Bones! (Kirk stops pacing and stands in front of Data.) What does your medical tricorder say about what we are dealing with here?

(Dr. McCoy hurriedly takes up a position next to Kirk and begins to pass a handheld device in the air in front of Data’s chest. McCoy then briefly studies a small display screen on his device before responding…)

McCoy: I’m not getting any life signs from him, Johnathan. I have no idea what the devil he is, or where he may have come from. (McCoy looks at Data with a mixture of surprise and grave concern.)

Kirk: Alright.

(Kirk gives McCoy a curt nod. McCoy backs away while keeping a wary eye on Data.)

Kirk: Well then, Lieutenant Commander Data, I’ve tried to give you a fair chance, but now your complete lack of candor and evasiveness has left me with no other alternatives. Computer!

Ship’s Computer: Computer.

Kirk: Analyze the being standing before me using the most aggressive levels of inspection possible, and report!

(A pattern of rotating green laser beams emits from some unseen device near the ceiling, and envelops Data. Data instantly throws his head and arms back as if he has been impaled by an unseen attacker. Data’s feet are lifted several inches off the floor as he slowly rotates during the examination being conducted by the Ship’s Computer. The air is filled with the sound of mechanical relays as the examination proceeds. After several seconds Data’s feet are returned to the floor, as the green laser beams disappear. Data’s sags like a puppet with loose strings before regaining himself. Data appears momentarily stunned, but essentially undamaged from the examination.)

Ship’s Computer: The being who addresses itself as Lieutenant Commander Data Soong is an advanced android of unknown origin, and unknown make, although many of its systems do seem to bear striking similarities to Union technology, only much more refined. Lieutenant Commander Data utilizes a highly advanced positronic brain as its main data-processor, and thus possesses memory and intelligence that is far superior to most known biological life forms. Lieutenant Commander Data is powered by a series of reaction power cell units which provide him with strength and endurance far superior to most known biological lifeforms. Additionally, Lieutenant Commander Data is a fully self-aware machine, and thus his existence maybe in violation of Interstellar Union Regulation Section 807, Paragraphs 13 through 17, which explicitly forbid the manufacturing, ownership, or transportation of self-aware machines anywhere within Union space.

(Just then Spock moves into position at Kirk’s side as the Ship’s Computer is reciting its report. In the background two crewmen from Engineering can be seen entering the shuttle bay with the plasma torch which was earlier ordered by Chief Engineer Siemens.)

Spock: Fascinating! (Spock seems completely enthralled by Data’s presence, while Kirk seems to remain somewhat impassive.)

Ship’s Computer: Would you like to order the immediate termination of the self-aware android known as, Lieutenant Commander Data?

Kirk: Delay that order (to the computer). There is no sense in acting rashly until we know more (to everyone else in ear shot).

Kirk: Computer, are you able to access Lieutenant Commander Data’s programming?

(There is a brief pause as the sound of relays fills the air. Data appears to wear a look of slight discomfort upon his face as the Ship’s Computer attempts to access his consciousness.)

Ship’s Computer: Negative. Lieutenant Commander Data’s positronic brain utilizes a volatile holographic processing and storage system with a format system that is not understood at this time. However, further analysis may yield results.

Kirk: Does the subject known as Lieutenant Commander Data appear to be carrying any type of hidden or concealed weaponry?

Ship’s Computer: Negative. Lieutenant Commander Data is not carrying any type of known weaponry in, or on his person.

Kirk: Alright, end report, and file for later retrieval by ship’s senior officer staff only. (A prolonged chirp sound issue from an unseen location as the Ship’s Computer carries out the order.)

Kirk: And as for you, do you have anything else to add before I decide your fate?

Data: I….

(Data is interrupted by Professor Sybok who has just appeared in the still open hatch of the shuttle. A heavy set Terran male dressed in civilian clothes is standing next to Sybok. Sybok is carrying a handheld data reader in one hand, while his colleague carries a load of papers under his arm. Everyone within the immediate area turns to look at the two men who have just emerged from the shuttle, and are now making their way down the short stairway.)

Professor Sybok: Captain Kirk, there is no need for any of this, I can explain everything!

(Kirk moves a few steps to a location near the bottom of the stairs in order to meet Sybok and his companion.)

Kirk: I take it that you must be the illustrious Professor Sybok?

Professor Sybok: I am, and this is my colleague, Professor Harcourt Fenton Mudd, of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Advanced Weapons Department.

Professor Mudd: My friends just call me Harry.

(Kirk turns his attention to Mudd for just a second, but then immediately returns to Sybok.)

Kirk: Sybok, just what the devil were you thinking bringing that thing along on a top-secret mission?

Professor Sybok: Professor Mudd here has a copy of the signed orders from Admiral Pike, which I told you about earlier, he also has an unredacted copy of our mission profile, as well as a detailed report regarding our most recent experiment conducted just three standard weeks ago.

Professor Mudd: Captain Kirk, I’d be delighted to sit down, and to go over each one of these official Starfleet documents, with you, point by point, if you so wish.

Kirk: I don’t have time for that right now, give all of your paperwork to my First Officer, he’ll be happy to discuss it with you, if he feels it is necessary. (Kirk gestures towards Spock who is now engaged in an unheard conversation with Data a short distance away. Mudd quickly walks away with his armload of papers and joins Spock and Data in their conversation.)

Kirk: You still haven’t answered my question. Why did you deliberately bring an illegal thinking machine aboard my ship, and then try to hide it from me?

Professor Sybok: Captain Kirk, sir, Lieutenant Commander Data isn’t even from our reality, he is here through no fault of his own. In fact, his presence here is the unintended consequences of one of my earlier experiments which went awry and inadvertently opened up a temporary doorway into his universe.

Kirk: At this point you’re not doing a very good job of winning me over.

Professor Sybok: Data has provided my team with invaluable assistance, and without his help, it is doubtful that we will be able to create the naked singularity weapon, which Starfleet so badly needs right now!

Kirk: Alright, now you have my attention but, what does your pet android hope to gain from all of this?

Professor Sybok: He only requests our assistance in returning him to his own timeline. - Captain, have you considered how critical it is that we do not unwittingly push Data into seeking assistance from a hostile alien species? A hostile alien species who might be willing to promise him whatever he asks for in exchange for his technological assistance?

Kirk: Yes, now that you mention it the thought does occur to me, and right now it seems that the safest way to prevent that from happening is to simply order his immediate termination.

Professor Sybok: Lieutenant Commander Data is a self-aware sentient being, you cannot simply order his termination and continue to call yourself a civilized person. Killing Commander Data, without just cause, would be tantamount to cold blooded murder.

Kirk: Without just cause? Where was the just cause in the year 2156 when a cadre of those things rose up and killed nearly every human colonist on Alpha Eridani II? Even today, more than a century later, it isn’t safe for anyone to land there.

Professor Sybok: Do two wrongs make a right, Captain? Would you punish every Terran alive today for the atrocities which occurred during Earth’s Third Great War of your 21st century?

Kirk: Alright, I’ll allow it for now, but he is off my ship the moment your little experiment is completed. I don’t care how he gets home; he can fall into the nearest Planck Star for all I care. And I’m sending a full report to Starfleet Command once this is over.

Professor Sybok: Thank you, Captain, you won’t regret this.

Kirk: We shall see about that. In the meanwhile, you and your team are confined to the immediate vicinity surrounding your two shuttles until we arrive at the designated test site tomorrow morning. I’ll have someone bring you any needed supplies. Oh, and our little dinner date is canceled. Do you have any questions?

Professor Sybok: No.

Kirk: Good. (Kirk turns his attention towards Siemens who is conferring with the two crewmen from Engineering who are continuing to examine the bulky phaser torch which they delivered to the Shuttle Bay a few moments earlier.) Siemens, I want a level four containment field setup around these two shuttles as soon as possible.

Siemens: Aye, Captain. It will take some doing, but I’ll see to it myself.

Kirk: Lieutenant Lau!

Andrew Lau: Yes, Captain?

Kirk: Get some extra men up here, on the double, and go through both of these ships with a fine-tooth comb. If anyone gets in your way, you may arrest them using whatever force you deem necessary. Also, no one may enter or leave this shuttle bay without your direct approval, until further notice. Is that clear?

Andrew Lau: Yes, Captain. Crystal clear.

Kirk: Now if anyone needs me, I’ll be in my quarters. (As Kirk is approaching the entrance to the turbolift, he pauses to speak to one of the two crewmen still hunched over the complicated looking phaser torch.) And if that thing (as Kirk points in the general direction of Data) so much as looks at anyone sideways, I want you to use that torch to cut him in half.

Generic Red Shirted Crewmen: Aye, Captain (enthusiastically)

(The camera follows Kirk as he passes through the sliding double doors of the turbolift. The doors close behind Kirk, and the camera angle then shifts to a perspective view from inside the turbolift.)

Kirk: Deck ten!

(The turbolift appears to begin to respond, but then a soft alarm sound Is heard as the turbolift holds in place. Suddenly the sliding doors open, and Spock enters carrying the documents he has received from Professor Mudd.)

Spock: Captain, may I have a word with you in private?

Kirk: Spock, I’m not prepared to go through all of that right now. (Kirk places his finger tips to his temples, as though he is suffering from a pounding headache.) Why don’t you just give me a quick rundown of what you’ve got?

Spock: Perhaps it would be best if we were to sit down in order to go over things in greater detail.

Captain Johnathan T. Kirk: We can do that in my quarters over some food. Deck Ten!

(Once again, the turbolift begins to move, but then immediately grinds to a halt as the same soft alarm sound occurs again. The doors open and this time Dr. McCoy enters the turbolift.)

McCoy: Well, if you two are going to hold a secret meeting regarding the safety of everyone on this ship, then I want in on it too.

(Kirk responds in a resigned tone of voice.) Fine. Deck Ten! (This time the turbolift proceeds without interruption.)

(The camera perspective switches back to the interior of the shuttle bay. One of the security officers who escorted Lieutenant Lau into the shuttle bay is now standing directly in front of Data, as he menaces Data with a glowering stare. The security officer is a Terran male who is at least a head taller than Data. Data responds to the security officer’s intimidating looks with a warm smile.

Security Officer: Don’t try anything cute with me, Tiny, or I’ll toss you out the nearest airlock.

Data: (Data replies in a friendly matter of fact tone of voice.) My name isn’t Tiny, and I can withstand the cold vacuum of interstellar space quite comfortably for many thousands of years.

(The security officer appraises Data with an uncertain sideways look and a low growl, but does not say anything further. Data returns the security officer’s wary glare with a tilt of the head, a genial smile, and several seemingly awkward rapid eye blinks.)

(The camera perspective changes to an interior shot of Captain Kirk’s private quarters. Kirk’s quarters is divided into two or three midsized rooms by partition walls. Kirk, McCoy, and Spock are situated around a table located in the largest part of Kirk’s quarters. Kirk has changed into his regular service uniform, and is eating a plate of noodles as he sits at the table across from McCoy. McCoy is intently studying an image displayed on a computer terminal in front of him. The image appears to resemble an outline of a human form filled with an incomprehensible arrangement of electro-mechanical devices. Presumably the schematic is of Lieutenant Commander Data, and was created by the Ship’s Computer during its scan of the android a short while ago. Spock has his arms folded as he sits at a right angle to Kirk and McCoy. The table space in front of Spock is occupied by two medium sized stacks of paper. A Polynesian figurine can be seen on a shelf behind Kirk as he eats his noodles.)

McCoy: Well, I’m just a simple country doctor, and I didn’t get much in the way of android physiology during my time at Starfleet Medical Academy, but it seems pretty obvious to me that this thing could have simply ripped all of our heads off anytime it wanted to, and we would have been hard pressed to stop it. I mean, my God, will you take a look at all of these micro actuators it’s got buried in its insides? This stuff is literally light years ahead of the actuators used in our best medical prosthetics. No one in the Union is making this type of stuff, I can tell you that.

Kirk: (Kirk pauses before inserting a fork into his mouth.) Or maybe it is just waiting for a more opportune moment to strike. If history has taught us anything, it is that these things simply cannot be trusted. They’re intelligent yes, but by all accounts, fully autonomous androids lack any sense of morality, or empathy towards others, and that is why it is so easy for them to suddenly become killers without any warning.

Spock: Captain, I find myself both agreeing and disagreeing with your statement. At present most cyberneticists are in agreement that the androids who took part in the massacre on Alpha Eridani II most likely suffered from a psychological impairment, similar to what human psychologists would term as, an acute psychopathic disorder. (Spock briefly pauses to give Kirk and McCoy time to think about what he has just said.)

McCoy: It’s true, there have been numerous papers written on the subject over the years.

Spock: However, it must also be pointed out that there is currently no evidence to indicate that Lieutenant Commander Data, himself, suffers from any such disorder, nor is there any evidence to suggest that he bears any sort of kinship to earlier models of androids manufactured in the Interstellar Union. As the Good Doctor has already pointed out, the advanced components found within Lieutenant Commander Data could not have been created using existing technology.

Kirk: Alright, maybe you’re right, but I still want that thing held under close confinement until further notice.

Spock: Captain, if Lieutenant Commander Data wished to stage an attack, then the most logical time for him to do so would have been during the immediate hours after Professor Sybok and his team first encountered him, following their previous scientific experiment near the Deneb star system. Commander Data could have easily killed or incapacitated everyone on Sybok’s team, stole one of their shuttles, and then warped to another part of the galaxy at his own leisure. Yet, he did not do so. (Spock pauses once again in order to let his words sink in.)

(The camera moves into a close up shot of Kirk’s face as Kirk slowly chews in food in contemplation of what Spock is saying. Kirk’s eyes move left and right as if he is visualizing what Spock is saying.)

Spock: Commander Data is a highly intelligent being, and by now he must surely realize that our ship’s computer will never allow him to take control of the Essex.

Kirk: Spock, what else have you learned from studying Mudd’s records?

(Just then a chime sounds indicating that there is an incoming message for Kirk on the ship’s intercom system. Kirk stands up and removes the paper napkin which he has been using as a bib to protect his fresh shirt. Kirk quickly moves around to the other side of the table near McCoy, and while haunching over McCoy’s shoulder Kirk presses a tab located near the base of the console.). The image of Lieutenant Andrew Lau appears on the screen.)

Kirk: Kirk here!

Andrew Lau: (On the tabletop console.) Captain, we’ve finished searching both of Sybok’s shuttles, and apart from the android, both vessels are clean.

Kirk: Excellent. Keep me advised of any changes. Kirk out.

(Kirk releases the tab on the console, and the image of Lieutenant Lung is instantly replaced with the previous image of Data’s innards. Kirk stands upright from his hunched position over McCoy’s shoulder and begins to slowly pace the room.)

Kirk: (Kirk asks) Spock, what have you got there? (As he points a finger at the paperwork in front of Spock.)

Spock: Not much that will shed light on the nature of Lieutenant Commander Data, I’m afraid. However, it should be noted that Admiral Pike did in fact sign an order blocking any inspection of Sybok’s shuttles.

(Kirk takes the single page document from Spock’s hand and briefly examines it before placing it back on the table in a somewhat disgruntled manner.)

Spock: Sybok is a Vulcan, so I find it highly unlikely that he would attempt to deceive us by fabricating an official Starfleet order.

McCoy: So, the point is that if we hadn’t searched Sybok’s shuttles, then most likely we would have never known about the existence of the android?

Spock: Precisely, Doctor. Next, however, we then must contemplate whether Admiral Pike was aware of Commander Data’s existence when he issued the order.

Kirk: And we won’t know the answer to that little question until we are able to break radio silence. Spock, what about Professor Mudd’s report on their last experiment outside the Deneb star system? Surely there must be some useful information in that?

Spock: Professor Mudd’s report states that an unanticipated temporal anomaly in the space time continuum occurred as a result of several miscalculations made in preparing for their experiment. The anomaly lasted only for several seconds, but before it dissipated, a disabled alien space craft of unknown origin emerged through the rift, with a seemingly lifeless being aboard. According to Mudd’s account, the alien being soon regenerated itself once it was brought aboard one of their shuttles, and was able to communicate with members of the science team using standard English. Additionally, several days later the derelict alien craft appeared to self-destruct shortly before the USS Colombia was scheduled to rendezvous with the science team, therefore it could not be taken under tractor-beam to the nearest star base for examination.

McCoy: (McCoy comments absently as he intently studies something on the screen in front of him.) So, the alien creature encountered by Sybok’s team must have been Commander Data?

Spock: Undoubtedly so, Doctor.

Kirk: So, this time around Sybok would like to have a Constitution class heavy cruiser hanging around, just in case something a bit more menacing than a derelict alien space craft might emerge from one of his anomalies.

Spock: You may be right, Captain. However, at the same time we must also be alert to the possibility that the Klingons may attempt to stage cloaked surveillance ships near the test area in the hopes of gathering intelligence. We cannot allow the presence of Commander Data to occupy so much of our attention, that we become blinded to other threats we may encounter.

Kirk: Agreed, but I’d still feel much better about all of this, if I knew for certain that Starfleet Command were aware that Sybok is currently hauling a potentially dangerous self-aware thinking machine around with him.

Spock: Since all scientific experiments conducted in deep space are reviewed by the Chief of Starfleet Operations, I think that it is suffice to say that, if Admiral Pike is not aware of the existence of Commander Data, then most likely his superiors are.

McCoy: Well, if the two of you won’t be needing me anymore, I’d like to head back to sickbay in order to finish running a few reports before I turn in.

Kirk: Alright, Bones, good night.

Spock: Good night, Doctor.

McCoy: Good night. (McCoy departs the room as if he has just remembered something important.)

Captain Johnathan T. Kirk: Spock, I’d like to know more about this so-called United Federation of Planets the android mentioned, and in particular I’d like to know if they are a threat to us.

Lieutenant-Commander Spock: What are you suggesting?

Captain Johnathan T. Kirk: Our ship’s computer wasn’t able to access Data’s thoughts, but perhaps you can by using a Vulcan mind-meld?

Lieutenant-Commander Spock: It may theoretically be possible, but to the best of my knowledge a mind meld with a machine has never before been attempted.

Captain Johnathan T. Kirk: But Sybok said that Data is a sentient being, with thoughts and ideas of his own, and if that is the case, then a mind meld with Data should be no different than a meld with any other being. Am I right?

Lieutenant-Commander Spock: I will attempt to establish a mind meld with Lieutenant Commander Data, if that is what you so wish.

Captain Johnathan T. Kirk: It is exactly what I wish. None of us are safe until we know exactly what that thing is thinking. I want you to go down to the shuttle bay, this very instant, and to use whatever force or coercion you feel is necessary to gain access to Lieutenant Commander Data’s thoughts. Do I make my self clear?

Lieutenant-Commander Spock: Unquestionably clear, Captain.

Captain Johnathan T. Kirk: Good, report back to me here, as soon as you are finished.

(Spock gets up from his chair at the table and leaves the room without saying a word.)