The Squire of Gothos
Stardate: 2124.5
Original Airdate: Jan 12, 1967

[Bridge]

(A Yeoman is distributing coffees when McCoy enters)
DESALLE: All clear ahead, Captain. The sensors indicate zero register.
KIRK: Forward readings, Mister Spock.
SPOCK: Gravimetric readings, no significant change, zero space density.
KIRK: Ahead warp factor three, Mister Sulu. Colony Beta Six wants their supplies. Let's get across this void in a hurry.
MCCOY: Void, star desert. The word conjures up pictures of dunes, oases, mirages.
KIRK: Sunlight, palm trees. We're nine hundred light years from that kind of desert, Bones.
SPOCK: The precise meaning of the word desert is a waterless, barren wasteland. I fail to understand your romantic nostalgia for such a place.
MCCOY: That doesn't surprise me, Mister Spock. I can't imagine a mirage ever disturbing those mathematically perfect brain waves of yours.
SPOCK: Thank you, Doctor McCoy. Moving on schedule into quadrant nine oh four. Beta Six is eight days distant.
KIRK: Something, Mister Spock?
SPOCK: Unusual, Captain. I'm now getting a sizable space-displacement reading.
KIRK: Can you verify that, Navigator?
DESALLE: No, sir. Forward sweeps are negative. Wait. Verified, sir. We must be in some sort of light warp or we'd have picked it up earlier.
KIRK: Put it on visual.
(A purple globe appears on the viewscreen)
DESALLE: Iron-silica body, planet sized, magnitude one E. We'll be passing close.
SPOCK: Inconceivable this body has gone unnoted on all our records.
KIRK: And yet, here it is. No time to investigate. Science stations, gather data for computer banks. Uhura, notify the discovery on subspace radio.
UHURA: Strong interference on subspace, Captain. The planet must be a natural radio source.
KIRK: Let's get out of its range. Veer forty degrees to starboard, Mister Sulu.
SULU: Forty degrees.
(He reaches for the switch, and sways as if dizzy, then stands up and vanishes)
KIRK: Sulu!
(He dashes to Sulu's station, then suddenly stops and disappears too)
DESALLE: Mister Spock, they're gone!
SPOCK: Emergency! Full reverse power!

Ship's log Stardate 2124.5. First Officer Spock reporting for Captain James Kirk. We are orbiting the lone unrecorded planet in the star desert. For four hours, we have made every possible instrument sweep, but Captain Kirk and Helmsman Sulu remain unaccounted for. I have placed the ship on red alert.

[Bridge]

(Enterprise is now orbiting a red planet with white whispy clouds)
SCOTT: We've searched again from stem to stern. If they're not down on that planet, they're nowhere.
DESALLE: No sign of human life on the surface, sir. Unless the instruments aren't functioning.
SPOCK: Function is normal. Continuous sensor sweeps. Lieutenant Uhura, have you checked all wave bands?
UHURA: All of them, Mister Spock. No response.
DESALLE: With due respect, sir. Request permission to transport to the surface immediately and carry out a search.
MCCOY: I second DeSalle's request. What are we waiting for?
SPOCK: The decision will be mine, Doctor. I have the responsibility for your safety. (to Sulu's replacement) Mister Jaeger, describe your geophysical findings for the surface below.
JAEGER: No detectable soil or vegetation. Extremely hot, toxic atmosphere swept by tornadic storm. Continuous volcanic eruptions. Deadly to any lifeforms such as we know it without oxygen and life-support systems.
SPOCK: Estimate survival time of two unprotected individuals down there.
JAEGER: Not very long.
UHURA: Mister Spock. Look.
(Words are appearing on the monitor above her head, in gothic script. Spock reads them out loud)
SPOCK: Greetings and felicitations. Hmm. Send this, Lieutenant. USS Enterprise to signaler on planet surface. Identify self.
(The reply comes up on the monitor)
SPOCK: Hip hip hoorah? And I believe it's pronounced tally ho.
DESALLE: Some kind of a joke, sir?
SPOCK: I'll entertain any theories, Mister DeSalle. Any at all.
MCCOY: One thing is certain. Obviously there's life on that planet.
SPOCK: You're quite correct, Doctor. Prepare transporter room.
SCOTT: Request assignment to the search party, sir.
SPOCK: No, Mister Scott. Neither you nor I can be spared here. Mister DeSalle, equip the landing party with full communications, armament, and life-support gear. Mister Jaeger, your geophysical knowledge may be crucial down there. Doctor McCoy will accompany. If those peculiar signals are coming from Captain Kirk or Lieutenant Sulu, their rationality is in question. Dismissed.

[Transporter room]

UHURA [OC]: No more messages from below, sir, but I've locked onto their original source.
SPOCK: Very good. Transmit coordinates to Mister Scott. Once on the planet's surface, you'll establish contact with us immediately. Use the laser beacon if necessary. Ready, Scott?
SCOTT: Ready, Mister Spock.
SPOCK: Activate.

[Planet surface]

(The landing party arrive on grass, amidst trees and shrubs. Jaeger starts scanning immediately.)
MCCOY: Where are your storms, Jaeger?
JAEGER: Atmosphere exactly the same as ours.
(He takes of his oxygen mask, sniffs, and signals that the other two can do the same.)
DESALLE: DeSalle to Enterprise. DeSalle to Enterprise. It doesn't function. We're cut off.
MCCOY: (trying his own communicator) No response.
DESALLE: (to Jaeger) Keep trying with yours. Something's blocking the beacon. I've got to find open ground.
(He wanders off through the shrubs)
DESALLE: Mister Jaeger! McCoy!
(They join him to see a stone building in the gothic style, with an iron-bound oak door. They approach cautiously, and enter)

[Drawing Room]

(The place is stuffed full of things. A bust of Napoleon on a stand, a suit of armour, a globe, tapestry and swords and shields on the walls, an open fire, a harpsichord and a large mirror)
MCCOY: In the name of heaven, where are we?
(They head down steps into the room, past the Salt Monster in an alcove)
DESALLE: Look.
(Sulu and Kirk are displayed in a mini-minstrel's gallery. McCoy scans them.)
MCCOY: There's no reading. They're like waxworks figures.
(The main door slams shut, and there's a man in an embroidered coat playing the harpsichord)
TRELANE: I must say, they make a perfectly exquisite display pair, but I suppose you want them back now.
(He waves his hand and the two men come back to life)
SULU: Where are we?
TRELANE: Welcome to an island of peace on my stormy little planet of Gothos.
KIRK: What happened? Fill me in.
MCCOY: You disappeared from the bridge after Sulu. We've been looking for you for four hours.
TRELANE: You must excuse my whimsical way of fetching you here, but when I saw you passing by I simply could not resist.
KIRK: I'm Captain James Kirk of the United Starship Enterprise.
TRELANE: Ah, so you're the Captain of these brave lads. My greetings and felicitations, Captain. So good of you and your officers to drop in. Absolutely smashing.
KIRK: Who are you? Where do you come from?
General Trelane, retired. At your service, sirs. My home is your home.
(He goes back to his playing)
DESALLE: We've lost contact with the ship, Captain. We're trapped here.
TRELANE: I can't tell you how delighted I am to have visitors from the very planet that I've made my hobby. Yes, but according to my observations, I didn't think you capable of such voyages.
JAEGER: Notice the period, Captain. Nine hundred light years from Earth. It's what might be seen through a viewing scope if it were powerful enough.
TRELANE: Ah, yes. I've been looking in on the doings on your lively little Earth.
KIRK: Then you've been looking in on the doings nine hundred years past.
TRELANE: Oh, really? Have I made an error in time? How fallible of me. Oh, I did so want to make you feel at home. I'm quite proud of the detail.
KIRK: General Trelane.
TRELANE: Retired, sir. Just Squire Trelane now. And you may call me Squire. Yes, I rather fancy that.
KIRK: For what purpose have you imprisoned us here?
TRELANE: Imprisoned? Nonsense. You're my guests. You see, I just finished my studies of your curious and fascinating society. You came by at the most propitious moment. I want to know all about your campaigns, your battles, your missions of conquest.
KIRK: Our missions are peaceful, not for conquest. When we do battle, it is only because we have no choice.
TRELANE: Ah, but that's the official story, eh?
KIRK: I must ask you to let us go back to our ship.
TRELANE: I wouldn't hear of it. You shall join me in a repast. I want to learn all about your feelings on war and killing and conquest. That sort of thing. Do you know that you're one of the few predator species that preys even on itself?
(Kirk returns to the main group, where DeSalle has his hand on his phaser)
KIRK: Not yet. Put it on stun, not to kill, DeSalle.
TRELANE: DeSalle, did you say? Un vrai Francais?
DESALLE: My ancestry is French, yes.
TRELANE: Ah, monsieur. Vive la gloire. Vive Napoleon. You know, I admire your Napoleon very much.
KIRK: This is Mister DeSalle, our navigator. Doctor McCoy, our medical officer. Mister Sulu, our helmsman, and Carl Jaeger, meteorologist.
TRELANE: Welcome, good physicianer and honourable sir. (bows low)
SULU: Is he kidding?
TRELANE: Und Offizier Jaeger, und der deutsche Soldat, nein? (gives a little Prussian salute then marches around) Eins, zwei, drei, vier. Gehen vir mit dem Schiessgewehr.
JAEGER: I'm a scientist, not a military man.
TRELANE: Oh come now. We're all military men under the skin. And how we do love our uniforms.
(Trelane is admiring himself in his mirror when he spots DeSalle raising his weapon, and with a wave of the hand, stops him)
TRELANE: What an interesting weapon you've got there. Do let me see it.
(He takes it out of DeSalle's hand, and he can move again)
TRELANE:: Yes. Now let me see. How does this work? Ah, yes. This won't kill, and this will.
(He fires it at the Salt Monster, who is disintegrated)
TRELANE: Oh, how marvellous! (destroys another exhibit) Devastating! Why, this could kill millions.
(Kirk takes it off him)
KIRK: Who will you start with, my crew? Are we your next targets?
TRELANE: Oh, how absolutely typical of your species. You don't understand something, so you become fearful. Now, do let me anticipate your next question. You want to know how I've managed all of this.
KIRK: That's correct.
TRELANE: We, meaning I and others, have, to state the matter briefly, perfected a system by which matter can be transferred to energy and back to matter again.
KIRK: Like the transporter system aboard the Enterprise.
TRELANE: Oh, a crude example of an infinitely more sophisticated process. You see, we not only transport matter from place to place, but we can alter its shape at will.
KIRK: This drawing room, did you create it by rearranging matter on this planet?
TRELANE: Quite.
KIRK: I see. How did you manage
TRELANE: Dear Captain, your inquiries are becoming tiresome. I want you to be happy. Free yourself of care. Let's enjoy ourselves in the spirit of martial good fellowship.
KIRK: Come on, let's go. We're getting out of here.
TRELANE: Tut, tut, tut. You're being quite rude. You can't go. Apparently, you need another demonstration of my authority. Yes, quite.
(Kirk vanishes from the room and is in the natural atmosphere of the planet, choking on the fumes. Everyone in the room can hear him. Trelane brings him back) Now, that's a sample of the atmosphere of this planet outside my kindly influence. Now, you will behave yourself hereafter, won't you? Or I shall be very, very angry.

Captain's Log Stardate 2125.7. Science Officer Spock reporting for Captain Kirk. We have completed fourteenth orbit of this planet without establishing contact with our missing officers or the parties sent to find them. Subspace communications remain blocked. However, by diverting impulse power to our sensors, we have made them operable, and we have detected one small area on the surface which seems relatively stable.

[Bridge]

SCOTT: Aye, it's there, Mister Spock. Peaceful as Earth, but how do you explain it?
SPOCK: I don't, Mister Scott. It simply exists. Artificial perhaps, or a freak of nature. The fact remains that life can exist in that area.
SCOTT: Aye, it could, but it couldn't move around much.
SPOCK: Apply a fine tuning on our sensors. Locate any life forms in that stable area.
SCOTT: If we find any, it doesn't follow that it would be our people.
SPOCK: Affirmative. But if the Captain is down there and alive, that's where he'll have to be. We'll attempt to transport up any living beings our sensors detect.
SCOTT: Shooting in the dark, Mister Spock?
SPOCK: Or stand by and do nothing, Mister Scott.

[Drawing Room]

(Trelane is showing off his decor)
And this, of course, is an array of your battle flags and pennants dating back to the Crusades, to Hannibal's invaders, the Grecian war galleys, and the hordes of Persia. Can't you imagine it, Captain? The thousands of men marching off to their deaths, singing beneath these banners. Doesn't it make your blood run swiftly?
(Then he goes back to his music)
SULU: Captain, where could he possibly come from? Who is this maniac?
MCCOY: Better say, what is he? I monitored him, and what I found was unbelievable.
KIRK: Not alive?
MCCOY: Not in the way we define life. No trace. Zero.
SULU: You mean, it shows he's dead?
MCCOY: It doesn't even show that he exists at all, alive or dead.
JAEGER: Notice the wood fire, Captain? Burning steadily, ember bed glowing, and it doesn't give off any heat at all.
KIRK: Fire without heat, mistaking all this for present day Earth without taking into account the time differential. Whatever we're dealing with, he certainly isn't all knowledgeable. He makes mistakes.
TRELANE: Discussing deep laid plans, I'll wager. I cannot wait to see them evolve.
KIRK: Trelane, we haven't planned
TRELANE: Tut tut. Do not think that I deplore your martial virtue of deception and stratagem. Quite the contrary. I have nothing but admiration for your whole species.
KIRK: If your admiration is genuine, you must have respect for our sense of duty too. Our ship has need of us. We have tasks to perform.
TRELANE: Oh, I can't let you go now. I was getting a bit bored until you came. You must stay. I insist.
KIRK: For how long?
TRELANE: Until this is over, of course.
KIRK: Until what is over?
TRELANE: Dear Captain, so many questions. Make the most of an uncertain future. Enjoy yourself today. Tomorrow may never come at all.
KIRK: Trelane, even if we wanted to stay, our companions are missing us.
TRELANE: Yes, I must experience your sense of concern, your grief at the separation.
KIRK: There are four hundred men and women aboard that ship.
TRELANE: Women? Do you mean that you actually have members of the fairer sex among your crew? Oh, how charming. And they must be all very beautiful. And I shall be so very gallant to them. Here, let me fetch them down at once.
KIRK: (grabbing his arm) No.
TRELANE: No?
KIRK: This game has gone on long enough. Those are crucial operating personnel. You can't
TRELANE: I can do anything I want. I should think you would have realised that by now.
MCCOY: Captain, receiving a transporter signal.
TRELANE: Transporter signal? What does he mean? You must tell me!
KIRK: It means, Trelane, the party's over, thanks to Mister Spock.
TRELANE: (as the group is beamed away) Wait! I won't have this! I haven't dismissed you yet. Stop! I won't have this!

[Transporter room]

KIRK: Everyone to stations. Report, Mister Spock. How were our scanners able to penetrate that radiation field?
SPOCK: They didn't, Captain. Not clearly. We merely beamed up all life forms in a given area.
MCCOY: Which means Trelane is not a life form as we know it, or he'd be beaming through now.
KIRK: Prepare to warp out of here at once. Maximum speed.

[Bridge]

ROSS: (a blonde yeoman) Oh, Captain, I was so worried.
KIRK: Scotty, we're going to need every ounce of your engines. We're going to put a hundred million miles between us and that madman.
SCOTT [OC]: Aye aye, sir.
MCCOY: I'm quaking, but I don't know if it's from laughter or terror.
UHURA: Doctor, what was it? What was down there?
MCCOY: Well, it was a. Oh, forget it.
ROSS: Look.
(Trelane has appeared on the Bridge)
TRELANE: Where are all your weapons, Captain? Don't you display your weapons?
KIRK: Trelane.
TRELANE: Don't fret, Captain. I'm only a bit upset with you, but this Mister Spock you mentioned, the one responsible for that unseemly, impudent act of taking you from me, which is he?
SPOCK: I am Spock.
TRELANE: Surely not an officer. He isn't quite human, is he?
SPOCK: My father is from the planet Vulcan.
TRELANE: And are its natives predatory?
SPOCK: Not generally. But there have been exceptions.
TRELANE: Really? You will see to his punishment?
KIRK: On the contrary. I commend his action.
TRELANE: But I don't like him.
KIRK: Get off my ship.
TRELANE: Oh, rot! You're all going back with me.
KIRK: We're not going anywhere.
TRELANE: Nonsense. I have an absolutely enchanting sojourn on Gothos planned for all of you, and you shan't spoil it for me. Anyway, the decor of my drawing room is much more appropriate

[Drawing Room]

(A lot of the clutter in the middle of the room has been replaced by a fully furnished dining table and six high-backed chairs. Sulu and DeSalle are already seated)
TRELANE: And tasteful. Don't you agree?
SULU: No.
TRELANE: But so much more fitting, honourable sir.
DESALLE: (getting up) You
KIRK: DeSalle.
(Trelane 'stops' him)
TRELANE: Oh, what primitive fury. Why, he's the very soul of sublime savagery.
KIRK: Trelane, let him go.
(he does, and Sulu grabs DeSalle)
SULU: We haven't even got our phasers.
TRELANE: Yes, of course. I forget that I shouldn't frighten you too much. But I warn you, you can't provoke me again. Come, everyone. Let's forget your bad manners. Let's be full of merry talk and sallies of wit. We have victuals to delight the palate and brave company to delight the mind. Come, Doctor, do partake. Ah, you've been quite derelict in your social duties, Captain. You haven't introduced me to the charming contingent of your crew.
KIRK: This is General Trelane.
TRELANE: Retired. But if you prefer, you may address me as the lonely Squire of Gothos, dear ladies.
KIRK: Lieutenant Uhura of communications.
TRELANE: Ah a Nubian prize. (he kisses her hand) Taken on one of your raids of conquest, no doubt, Captain.
KIRK: No doubt.
TRELANE: She has the melting eyes of the queen of Sheba. The same lovely colouring. And this. Is this the face that launched a thousand ships and burnt the topless towers of Ilium? Fair Helen, make me immortal with a kiss.
KIRK: (holding Trelane back) Yeoman Teresa Ross. I believe you have met our science officer Mister Spock.
TRELANE: You do realise, don't you, that it's in deference to the Captain that I brought you here?
SPOCK: Affirmative.
TRELANE: I don't know if I like your tone. It's most challenging. That's what you're doing, challenging me?
SPOCK: I object to you. I object to intellect without discipline. I object to power without constructive purpose.
TRELANE: Oh, Mister Spock, you do have one saving grace after all. You're ill-mannered. The human half of you, no doubt. (to Ross) Ah, come, my little wood nymph. Won't you dance with your swain? (to Uhura) Give us some sprightly music, my dear girl.
UHURA: I don't know how to play this.
TRELANE: Of course you do.
(And she does, as Trelane dances with Ross)
SULU: Captain, how far do we go along with this charade?
KIRK: Until we can think our way out. Meanwhile, we accept his hospitality.
MCCOY: You should taste his food. Straw would taste better than his meat, and water a hundred times better than his brandy. Nothing has any taste at all.
SPOCK: It may be unappetizing, Doctor, but it is very logical.
MCCOY: There's that magic word again. Does your logic find this fascinating, Mister Spock?
SPOCK: Fascinating is a word I use for the unexpected. In this case, I should think interesting would suffice.
KIRK: You don't find this unexpected, Mister Spock?
SPOCK: That his food has no taste, his wine no flavour? No. It simply means that Trelane knows all of the Earth forms, but none of the substance.
KIRK: And if he's fallible, he can't be all powerful. Which means he has something helping him.
SPOCK: Evidently.
KIRK: A machine? A device? Something which does these things for him.
TRELANE: Ah, my dear, don't we make a graceful pair? Except for one small detail. That dress hardly matches this charming scene.
(Suddenly she's wearing an empire line dress with feathers in her hair. Idealised Jane Austen)
TRELANE: Ah, yes, that's more what we want. The dashing warrior and his elegant lady.
KIRK: That mirror. It's part of his audience, his ego. He never wanders from it.
SPOCK: Is it ego, or something else?
KIRK: Explain.
SPOCK: The mirror.
KIRK: What about it?
SPOCK: You noted yourself he never gets very far from it. I suppose it could be vanity.
KIRK: No, no, Mister Spock, that's not the reason. What kind of a machine could do these things?
SPOCK: A machine with the ability to turn energy into matter guided by thought waves. It would have a very complex memory bank, and would be extremely sophisticated.
KIRK; Like a computer, only much more. Could the machine that maintains the environment in this immediate area be kept in this house?
SPOCK: I think not. A device capable of keeping out this planet's natural atmosphere would be immense.
KIRK: Good. I agree. That leaves me free
. SPOCK: Free, Captain?
KIRK: If I'm not mistaken, Mister Spock, I think I can turn his lights off at the source. (raises his voice) Don't be too upset by what you see, gentlemen. After all, his actions are those of an immature, unbalanced mind.
TRELANE: I overheard that remark, Captain. I'm afraid I'll have to dispense with you.
KIRK: You only heard part of it. I just started.
TRELANE: Oh?
KIRK: Yes. I want you to leave my crewmen alone. I want you to leave my crewwomen alone too. (to Ross) You're not to dance with him. I don't like it.
TRELANE: Does it actually make you angry, Captain?
KIRK: (removing one of her long gloves) I don't want you accepting his gifts, either.
ROSS: Captain, please don't do this.
TRELANE: Well, I do believe the dear Captain is jealous of me.
KIRK: I don't care what you believe, just keep your hands off her!
TRELANE: Oh, how curiously human. How wonderfully barbaric.
KIRK: I've had enough of your insulting attentions to her.
TRELANE: Of course you have. After all, that's the root of the matter, isn't it? You fight for the attention, the admiration, the possession of women.
KIRK: If it's fighting that you want, (slaps Trelane) you may have it.
TRELANE: Are you challenging me to a duel?
KIRK: If you have the courage.
TRELANE: Oh, this is better than I'd planned. I shall not shirk an affair of honour.
(He gets a box from the mantle-shelf. It contains a pair of duelling pistols)
TRELANE: A matched set. Just like the pair that slew your heroic Alexander Hamilton. And Captain, I never miss.

Captain's Log, stardate 2126.1. Delayed report. The whole bridge crew are the unwilling guests of the creature who calls himself Trelane. We are weaponless, powerless, and our only hope of escape with the Enterprise lies in playing his games. I've decided to make my move with the field of honour game, and everything depends on my one chance with the ancient duelling pistol.

[Drawing room]

TRELANE: Oh, how fascinating. I'm party to an actual human duel.
KIRK: Are you ready?
TRELANE: Quite ready, sir. We shall test each other's courage and then, and then we shall see.
KIRK: Enough talk. Let's get on with it.
TRELANE: As you will, sir. Honour will be served, eh? Oh, wait! As the one challenged, I claim the first shot.
KIRK: We shoot together.
TRELANE: It's my game and my rules, but if you need to be persuaded. (aims at Spock)
KIRK: All right.
SPOCK: Captain.
(Trelane takes aim, then fires his pistol at the ceiling instead)
TRELANE: And now, Captain, how do you have the expression? My fate is in your hands.
(So Kirk shoots the mirror and everything goes hay-wire in the room)
TRELANE: You've ruined everything!
SPOCK: The machine.
DESALLE: Captain, subspace interference is clearing.
KIRK: Try to contact the ship.
TRELANE: Oh, the remarkable treachery of the species.
KIRK: Go on, Trelane. Look at it. It's over. Your power is blanked out. You're finished.
TRELANE: You've earned my wrath. Go back. Go back to your ship, all of you, and prepare. You're all dead men. You especially, Captain.
(He goes to his mirror, and vanishes)
KIRK: Trelane! Everyone, we're getting out of here. Now. This is the Captain. Commence beaming up. Maximum speed.

[Bridge]

(The men are already at their posts when the women arrive, and Yeoman Ross hasn't even got changed yet)
KIRK: Set course for Colony Beta Six.
SULU: Laid in, sir.
KIRK: Full power acceleration from orbit, Mister Scott.
SCOTT [OC]: Full power, sir.
KIRK: Emergency warp at the earliest possible moment, Mister Sulu.
SULU: Standing by to warp, sir.
UHURA: Shall I make a full report to Spacefleet Command, sir?
KIRK: Not yet. They may trace our beam. Wait until we're well out of range.
SPOCK: Can we know his range is, Captain?
KIRK: We can take an educated guess. At the point we entered their solar system.
UHURA: Still no sign of pursuit. Instruments clear, sir.
KIRK: Good.
ROSS: May I take a moment to change?
KIRK: Yes, I think you might. Turn in your glass slippers. The ball is over.
ROSS: Gladly, Captain.
KIRK: Hard to believe it ever happened.
SULU: Captain, we're about to warp.
DESALLE: Large body ahead.
(The planet swims back onto the viewscreen)
SPOCK: Collision course.
KIRK: Hard to port, Mister Sulu.
SPOCK: That was the planet Gothos, Captain.
KIRK: Gothos? Mister Sulu, have we been going in circles?
SULU: No, sir. All instruments show on course.
SPOCK: Gothos again, Captain.
KIRK: Hard over, Mister Sulu.
SPOCK: Cat and mouse game.
KIRK: With us as the mouse.
DESALLE: There it is again. Dead ahead.
KIRK: Ninety degrees to starboard, Mister Sulu.
SULU: Turning, Captain. Nut not veering off from it.
KIRK: Ninety degrees sub-port, Mister Sulu. Adjust.
SULU: Turn completed, and still accelerating toward the planet.
SPOCK: Or it toward us.
KIRK: Decelerate into orbit. Prepare transporter room.
MCCOY: Captain, you're not beaming down.
KIRK: Yes, I am, Doctor McCoy. I am going to see our playful Mister Trelane and whatever it takes to make him give up our ship. Stand by communications. Mister Spock. If you don't receive a message from me within the hour, leave the vicinity at once. No turning back.

[Courtroom]

(The bright drawing-room is now an austere courtroom, with Trelane as the gowned and be-wigged judge)
TRELANE: The prisoner may approach the bench.
KIRK: Trelane.
TRELANE: Any attempt at demonstrations will weigh against you with the court, and this time my instrumentality is unbreakable.
(A silhouette of a noose appears on the wall behind Kirk)
KIRK: I've had enough of your games.
TRELANE: Oh, the absurdity of these inferior beings. (reading from the charge sheet) And now, Captain James Kirk, you stand accused of the high crime of treason against a superior authority, conspiracy, and the attempt to foment insurrection. How do you plead?
KIRK: I haven't come to plead in your court, Trelane.
TRELANE: I warn you. Anything you might say has already been taken down in evidence against you.
KIRK: I've come for one purpose. To get back my ship.
TRELANE: Irrelevant.
KIRK: We've made you angry with our will to survive, haven't we?
TRELANE: Uncalled for.
KIRK: Then vent your anger on me alone. I was the one who led the others. I was the one who shot out your mirror machine.
TRELANE: And did you really think that was the only medium of instrumentality at my command?
KIRK: I took that chance. I'm willing to pay the price for chancing wrong.
TRELANE: Oh, then you do admit to the charge?
KIRK: Yes, anything! Just allow the Enterprise to continue its journey. You pompous
TRELANE: Immaterial!
(Kirk leaves the dock and goes nose to nose with Trelane)
KIRK: Those people have done you no harm.
TRELANE: Inadmissible!
KIRK: We're living beings, not playthings for your amusement.
TRELANE: Silence! This trial is over. You are guilty. On all counts, you are guilty. And according to your own laws, this court has no choice in fixing punishment. You will hang by the neck, Captain, until you are dead, dead, dead!

Captain's Log, Stardate 2126.3. First Officer Spock reporting. Still no word from Captain Kirk on the surface below us. Waiting time is almost up. I will soon be forced to attempt departure as per instructions.

[Courtroom]

TRELANE: Until a moment ago, I didn't think it possible, but it was. (takes off his robes and wig) I did it. I was angry. I actually experienced genuine rage. This experiment has been successful.
KIRK: I'm glad you weren't disappointed.
TRELANE: Why, Captain, you're still angry. Would that I could have sustained that moment. Ah, no matter. Do you have a last request?
KIRK: Trelane, if you think I'm going to cheerfully and obediently stick my head in that noose
TRELANE: You still haven't learned. You have no choice. Oh, this is becoming quite tiresome. It's all so very easy.
KIRK: That's your problem, Trelane. Everything is easy. It's given you a bad habit. You're not aware of it, but you have it. You don't think, Trelane. That's your problem. You miss opportunities, like your anger before and mine right now. Oh, you enjoy it, but you couldn't have accomplished it without me, and you know why? Because you're a bumbling, inept fool.
TRELANE: Take care, now.
KIRK: Here you have an opportunity to experience something really unique, and you're wasting it. You want to commit murder? Go ahead, but where's the sport in a simple hanging?
TRELANE: The sport?
KIRK: Yes. The terror of murder. The suspense. The fun.
TRELANE: Oh, I'm intrigued. Go ahead, Captain. What do you suggest?
KIRK: A personal conflict between us. Not like the duel before, but the real thing. The stakes, a human life. Mine.
TRELANE: (waving a sword around) Yes! Yes!
KIRK: That's the idea.
TRELANE: Oh, then you approve?
KIRK: Yes, but you can do better than that. There's still not enough sport in just killing me with a sword.
TRELANE: I know. That will be dull. We'll have to have something more fanciful. Let me see. A hunt. A royal hunt. Predator against predator. Now, you may go hide in the forest anywhere you like and I shall seek. How does that strike you, Captain?
KIRK: It strikes me very well. But you'll have to make it worth my while, Trelane. Why not up the stakes?
TRELANE: The stakes?
KIRK: Yes. While we're playing our game, free my ship. Let it continue on its way. In return, I'll give you a contest you'll remember.
TRELANE: Always back to your ship. Oh well. If it will add spice to the pursuit, I accept your terms, Captain.

[Planet surface]

(Kirk is outside the building)
TRELANE [OC]: Remember, you must try not to let me find you too quickly.
KIRK: Let me notify the Enterprise that it can go.
TRELANE [OC]: At your convenience.
KIRK; Enterprise. Enterprise, this is Kirk. Can you hear me? (static) Get the ship away as fast as you can. I'll try and give you the time you need. Can you hear me?
(Trelane appears out of thin air)
TRELANE: Ah-ha!
(Kirk dodges him and runs into the shrubs)
KIRK; Enterprise.
TRELANE: Ah ha! Captain Kirk. You must try harder, Captain. This is too easy.
(They keep dodging amongst the shrubs)
KIRK: Enterprise. Enterprise, can you hear me?
(Kirk takes an opportunity to get Trelane's sword off him, but when he takes a swing at his foe he just disappears and reappears again)
TRELANE: Touche, Captain. Touche. I must confess you scored first. But after all, I never played this game before.
(A sword appears in his hand)
TRELANE: And now let's have at it again!
(Kirk fences Trelane with a branch, but it breaks and he has to run off, leaving Trelane laughing)

[Outside the building]

(The door will not open)
KIRK: Enterprise. Enterprise.
TRELANE: Ah-ha! Tallyho! (iron grids pen Kirk in) You made a noble fight of it, Captain.
KIRK: Remember, Trelane. You promised to let my ship go.
TRELANE: Yes, but this is such sport. I must fetch all the others back to play. So this is victory. It has a sweet taste. Down, Captain. On your knees!
KIRK: You haven't won, Trelane.
TRELANE: I have. I could run you through!
KIRK: But you haven't won anything.
TRELANE: On your knees, Captain!
KIRK: No! Does it still taste as sweet?
TRELANE: I order you. You've been beaten.
KIRK: But I'm not defeated.
TRELANE: I order you! I order you! (Kirk disarms him and snaps the sword across his knee) You broke it! You broke my sword!
KIRK: You've got a lot to learn about winning, Trelane.
TRELANE: You dare to defy me!
KIRK: In fact, you've got a lot to learn about everything, haven't you?
(Kirk slaps his face)
TRELANE: I'll fix you for that! You cheated! You haven't played the game right. I'll show you!
MOTHER: Trelane.
(Two green flashing lights appear, and Trelane steps into their spotlight)
TRELANE: No! No. You said I could have this planet.
FATHER: This has gone far enough.
TRELANE: You always stop me when I'm having fun.
FATHER: You're disobedient and cruel. We've told you before.
MOTHER: Time to come in now, Trelane.
TRELANE: But I don't want to come in, and I won't. I'm a general, and I won't listen to you.
FATHER: Enough, Trelane. Come along.
TRELANE: But why? I didn't do anything wrong. I was just playing.
FATHER: We said, come along.
TRELANE: But I haven't finished studying my predators yet.
FATHER: This is not studying them.
MOTHER: If you cannot take proper care of your pets, you cannot have them at all.
TRELANE: Oh, but I was winning. I was winning.
FATHER: They're beings, Trelane. They have spirit. They're superior.
TRELANE: No, no. You saw.
MOTHER: You'll grow up, Trelane. You'll understand. Now come along.
TRELANE: Oh, but you said I could. You promised. I never have any fun.
FATHER: Stop that nonsense at once, or you'll not be permitted to make any more planets.
TRELANE: Oh, but you saw. I was winning. I would have won. Honest.
FATHER: No, Trelane.
MOTHER: No, Trelane.
(The spotlight contracts, and Trelane gradually vanishes)
TRELANE: I would have. I would have. I would have. I would. I would. I would. I would.
FATHER: Captain, we regret that the life paths of yourself and your companions have been disturbed.
KIRK: Who are you? Who is Trelane?
MOTHER: You must forgive our child. The fault is ours for indulging him too much. He will be punished.
FATHER: We would not have let him intercept you had we realised your vulnerability.
MOTHER: Forgive us, Captain. We will maintain your life-support conditions while you return to your ship. Please accept our apologies.
(The lights disappear)
KIRK: Captain to Enterprise. Captain to Enterprise.
SPOCK [OC]: Captain, we're receiving you.
KIRK: Beam me up, Mister Spock. We're free to go.

[Bridge]

SULU: Warping down, Captain. Our warp factor four.
DESALLE: Approach channels clear, Captain.
UHURA: Colony Beta Six clears us for normal approach, sir.
KIRK: Normal orbit approach procedures, Mister Sulu.
SPOCK: Captain.
KIRK: Mister Spock. Still thinking about Trelane, is that it?
SPOCK: For the record, how do we describe him? Pure mentality? Force of intellect? Embodied energy? Superbeing? He must be classified, sir.
KIRK: God of war, Mister Spock.
SPOCK: I hardly find that fitting.
KIRK: Then a small boy, and a very naughty one at that.
SPOCK: It will make a strange entry in the library banks.
KIRK: Then he was a very strange small boy. One the other hand, he was probably doing things comparable to the same mischievous pranks you played when you were a boy.
SPOCK: Mischievous pranks, Captain?
KIRK: Yes. Dipping little girls' curls in inkwells. Stealing apples from the neighbours' trees. Tying cans on
(He's stopped by the look of horrified incredulity on Spock's face.)
KIRK: Forgive me, Mister Spock. I should have known better.
SPOCK: I shall be delighted, Captain.

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