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In a room on Vulcan designed to provide distracting stimuli, Spock engages in a contest of logic with another young Vulcan, Salak, who defeats him with a series of taunting arguments about his half-human ancestry. McCoy appears in the room, which is actually inside Spock's mind. The Enterprise is battling two Klingon battle cruisers, which are driven off but are expected to return. Spock and McCoy find themselves in a hedge maze which is Spock's mental garden of logic. Spock was captured by the Klingons and subjected to their mind-ripper; he has been rescued but remains unconscious. The mind-ripper was also taken from the Klingons, and McCoy is hooked up to it in Sickbay, using it to enter Spock's mind. The hedges turn brown and attack Spock and McCoy. Kirk also enters Spock's mind and blasts the hedge with his phaser. Spock retreats into himself.
Dr. M'Benga disconnects Kirk and McCoy, whose vital signs were fluctuating. Kirk needs Spock on the bridge to sort through the chaos of the situation and give him the information he needs. McCoy insists on reentering Spock's mind with Kirk. They find themselves on the bridge of Christopher Pike's Enterprise in a memory of Spock's first day on the ship. The engineering console explodes due to a phaser control overload that causes a radiation leak on deck five. Spock freezes with fear. In the present, the Klingon ships return and fire on the Enterprise. With Kirk and McCoy's encouragement, Spock uses his Chaotic Response Suppression techniques, enabling him to deal with the situation on Pike's bridge. Spock returns to the garden, but still senses Kirk and McCoy's presence and realizes that they are real. The three of them regain consciousness. Spock is too weak to leave Sickbay, but Kirk has absorbed his Chaotic Response Suppression techniques through the mind-meld and leaves for the bridge, now able to handle the crisis himself.
- Christine Chapel • Pavel Chekov • James T. Kirk • Jabilo M'Benga • Leonard McCoy • Number Five • Elizabeth Palmer • Christopher Pike • Salak • Sanchez • Montgomery Scott • Spock • Hikaru Sulu • the Teacher • Nyota Uhura • Yu
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- Chaotic Response Suppression • Denevan parasite • Klingon mind-ripper • Kolinahr • Organian Peace Treaty • plasma torch • Psi 2000 virus • rad treatment pack
- In the flashback to Pike's Enterprise Spock is described as "younger than Kirk has ever seen him". This implies that Kirk never met Spock before the latter first served on the Enterprise, contradicting TOS novel: Academy: Collision Course.
- The woman later known as Number One is called "Number Five" in the Pike-era flashback; she explains that this is because she is sixth in command, fifth after Pike. This contradicts various other accounts of the origin of the name "Number One" (e.g. TOS novel: Vulcan's Glory). As a memory being relived by Spock under the influence of severe mental trauma, the historical accuracy of the flashback is open to question.
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