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- Captain's log – stardate 8264.5: We have achieved standard orbit around the resort planet Hephaestus in the Kyros system... It appears, however, that we are not the only new arrivals here... While my crew takes shore leave at the health spa built among the planet's natural hot springs, I am to begin negotiations with the Hephaestan High Council for Federation mining rights...
A Klingon battle cruiser is also in orbit, its crew also having the right to visit Hephaestus under the Organian Peace Treaty. Hephaestus is an exclusive resort for the wealthy. As Kirk, Spock, McCoy and two security guards head for the underground council chambers, they are noticed by a middle-aged Vulcan man and a young human woman: Joanna McCoy, who realizes that the doctor from the Enterprise is her father, whom she has not seen for "years".
- Captain's log – supplemental: I find the Hephaestans a friendly and intelligent – but naive – people... which makes them ripe for Klingon conquest. I hope to prevent that contingency...
The Hephaestans are intelligent simians. Mukii, the Hephaestan President, is confident that a mining agreement can be reached with the Federation. Kirk contacts Scotty and tells him he can begin beaming down landing parties. He is then approached by Kagg, commander of the Klingon battle cruiser, the Kluggoth. Kirk asks him if he is claiming the planet for the Klingon Empire, but Kagg says he merely hopes to convince the Hephaestans to make the planet a Klingon protectorate.
As Spock prepares to meditate in the hot springs of the resort, Sulu and Chekov hear cries for help from outside, where a Klingon is attacking a Hephaestan and demanding to know "the location of the manufacturing center". Chekov jumps into the fray. Spock orders him to stop fighting, but as the Klingon continues struggling with him, steam from the hot springs hides them from Spock, who hears a scream.
At a nightclub, two security officers report the disturbance at the baths to Kirk and McCoy. As Kirk leaves to check on the situation, McCoy is approached by Joanna and the Vulcan man. McCoy is overjoyed to see his daughter, but she refuses his embrace. She is now engaged to the Vulcan, Ambassador Suvak. Joanna tearfully reminds McCoy how her mother left with her because he was neglecting them in favor of his hospital work. McCoy then joined Starfleet and had no further contact with Joanna except for a few letters and money for her education. Suvak suddenly collapses, which Joanna attributes to the illness that led him to hire her as his nurse.
At the hot springs, the Hephaestan's neck has been broken. Both Chekov and the Klingon have been taken into custody by the Hephaestans. Although his view of the incident was obscured, Spock is confident that Chekov is innocent. Kirk cancels additional shore leaves and offers to have his medical staff perform an autopsy, but Kagg declares that the cause of death is already known. Kirk reminds him that it is not his decision.
- Captain's log – stardate 8264.7: I have obtained the Hephaestan High Council's consent to an autopsy... and Dr. Chapel has beamed down to the surface to assist Dr. McCoy...
McCoy asks Chapel to help him examine Suvak, who believes he is suffering from a virus, after the autopsy. McCoy introduces Suvak and Joanna to Kirk, but says bitterly that "Nurse McCoy tells me she has no father."
- Captain's log – supplemental: Drs. McCoy and Chapel have been at work on the autopsy for over two hours now. In compliance with the High Council's stipulation, I and two members of the native medical staff are present as observers...
McCoy discovers an implant over the base of the skull which he believes to be a "symbiont". Dr. Sikaar admits that the Hephaestans are born as mindless animals but are implanted shortly after birth with intelligence-boosting devices, or symbionts. They were taught how to make the devices eons ago by an alien race. The location of the manufacturing center is a secret known to only a few Hephaestans. Spock points out that the Klingon who attacked the Hephaestan wanted to know the manufacturing center's location. As McCoy leaves to check on Suvak, another murdered Hephaestan is brought in, his symbiont removed. Spock and Kirk realize that the Klingons plan to destroy the manufacturing center and remove the symbionts from all Hephaestans, leaving the planet without intelligent lifeforms to oppose their taking it over. Kagg enters and pulls his gun on Kirk, acknowledging that he is correct. Kirk says he will not let Kagg destroy the Hephaestan civilization, but Kagg retorts, "I have your ship!" Scotty reports that the Enterprise is caught in the Kluggoth's stasis-field weapon, and that the warp engines are heading into red-zone proximity, which will leave them only four hours from blowing up.
Suvak has lost consciousness again. His oxygen-deprivation symptoms lead McCoy and Chapel to suspect what his illness really is. Chapel has beamed blood samples up to the Enterprise. A Hephaestan attempts to shoot the Klingons, who fire back. Realizing that a Klingon committed the murder at the baths, Dr. Sikaar stabs a Klingon in the back with a scalpel. Joanna is weeping over the likelihood of Suvak's death. McCoy says Suvak could not have been "a real husband" to her except "once every seven years!" Joanna retorts that, unlike her mother, "when my husband doesn't touch me, I'll know why!" McCoy slaps her.
Kagg tells Sikaar he has planted a bomb in the manufacturing center that will go off in two hours, destroying the symbionts and the computers containing the implantation procedure. Kagg kills Sikaar and fires at Spock and Dr. Simaya, who duck, causing him to blast a hole in the wall through to the room where McCoy and Joanna are. When Joanna goes out to investigate, Kagg takes her hostage and escapes. Simaya is trapped under rubble. As Spock frees him, he tries to tell them the location of the underground manufacturing center, but loses consciousness.
- Captain's log – stardate 8264.8: Unfortunately, not even Dr. McCoy's best efforts have been enough to save the Hephaestan physician, Simaya. But our regret is overshadowed by more immediate concerns...
McCoy is furious that Kirk let Kagg take Joanna hostage, but subsides when Kirk asks if he should have risked her life. President Mukii reveals that only Sikaar and Simaya knew the manufacturing center's location. Spock is able to trace the characteristically hostile thought-patterns of the Klingons stationed at the center. Kirk, Spock, Chekov and another man make their way there. Spock nerve-pinches one guard but is about to be killed by another when Kirk shoots him. McCoy and Chapel receive confirmation that Suvak has choriocytosis; he has less than 24 hours to live. Kirk's party transfers the data on symbiont manufacture and implantation into the Enterprise computers. Suvak awakens and insists on using his mental bond with Joanna to find her, even though the strain may kill him. Spock is unable to find the bomb, which will go off in four minutes and 37 seconds. Kirk orders his party to gather up the symbionts and leave, but Kagg enters with Joanna and holds them at gunpoint, forcing them to stay. Suvak appears and lunges at Kagg, pushing him away from Joanna. As he fights Kagg, Scotty and Uhura inform Kirk that the stasis-field has been dropped because it was draining the Kluggoth's power. Kirk's party and Joanna are beamed up, but Suvak is not close enough for Scotty to get a fix on him, and dies as the cavern explodes.
- Captain's log – stardate 8267.3: Freed from their loyalty to an evidently-insane commander, the Klingons have retreated. They have withdrawn their claim to Hephaestus, and negotiations are underway for reparations... Nurse McCoy has returned to Hephaestus. Our technicians have supervised the construction of new computers in the rebuilt manufacturing center, and we are in the process of transferring the symbiont-data back to the Hephaestans –
McCoy feels guilty that he is relieved by Suvak's death, thinking that Joanna will be better off. Spock reassures him that this makes him human, and that Suvak, as a Vulcan, delighted in the differences between their species. McCoy decides to beam down to speak with Joanna.
States and organizationsEdit
Ranks and titlesEdit
- ambassador • captain • commander • doctor • guard • lieutenant • nurse • peace-officer • president • second-in-command • technician
Technology and weaponsEdit
- battle cruiser • communicator • computer • dampening field • explosive capsule • impulse engine • matter/antimatter generator • symbiont • stasis field • transporter • transporter room • tricorder • warp engine • weapon
- alien • animal • autopsy • blood • captain's log • choriocytosis • communications • credit • death • dilithium • evolution • explosive • heart • heaven • hospital • humanoid • IDIC • landing party • lifeform • medical journal • medi-kit • meditation • mineral • mining • nightclub • orbit • Organian Peace Treaty • oxygen • pergium • planet • pon farr • protectorate • red-zone proximity • shore leave • simian • species • stardate • Starfleet uniform • Starfleet uniform (early 2270s) • strobolin • telepathy • Terran • tri-ox compound • virus • Vulcan nerve pinch
- Dr. McCoy implies he last saw Joanna in 2268 (TAS episode: "The Survivor"), but he saw her in 2269 (TOS novel: Crisis on Centaurus). Joanna feels "uncomfortable" in her father's presence. Dr. McCoy addresses his daughter by the nickname "Jo".
- Spock's remark that "The climatic conditions on Hephaestus are quite similar to those of Vulcan" is interesting given that "Hephaestus" was the Greek name for the god known to the Romans as "Vulcan".
- Suvak: "The Vulcan heart is mute, Doctor. It defers to the eloquence of the Vulcan mind."
#12: Eclipse of Reason
| Star Trek: The Original Series|
#14: We Are Dying, Egypt, Dying!