The Gamesters Of Triskelion
Stardate: 3211.7
Original Airdate: 5 Jan, 1968

Captain's log, stardate 3211.7. We are entering standard orbit about Gamma Two, an uninhabited planetoid with an automatic communications and astrogation station.

[Bridge]

KIRK: Ensign Chekov, Lieutenant Uhura, and I will beam down and make a routine check of its facilities.
CHEKOV: Standard orbit, Captain.
KIRK: Good. Mind the store, Mister Spock.
SPOCK: Acknowledged, Captain.
KIRK: Lieutenant Uhura, let's go.
UHURA: Yes, sir.

[Transporter room]

KIRK: Energise, Scotty.
SCOTT: Aye, Captain.
(But before he can touch the controls, the landing party vanish abruptly.)

[Combat area]

(The three appear lying on the ground, on a decorated surface. There are iron railings around a vaguely triangular area, and three benches, one on each side.)
CHEKOV: Captain. what happened?
KIRK: It must be a transporter malfunction.
CHEKOV: That was a rough trip.
KIRK: This isn't Gamma Two. Look at the colour of that sky. (it's green)
UHURA: This is the craziest landing pad I've ever seen.
KIRK: That's a trinary sun.

[Transporter room]

SCOTT: Scott to Bridge.

[Bridge]

SPOCK: Spock here.

[Transporter room]

SCOTT: Mister Spock, the Captain, Lieutenant Uhura, and Chekov. they vanished. They got onto the transporter platform and they just vanished.

[Bridge]

SPOCK: I presume you mean they vanished in a manner not consistent with the usual workings of the transporter, Mister Scott.

[Transporter room]

SCOTT: Aye, of course I mean that. You think I'd call if they just beamed down?

[Bridge]

SPOCK: Have you reversed controls?

[Transporter room]

SCOTT: I've made all the proper checks. There was nothing. There was no flash of light, nothing. They were gone.

[Bridge]

SPOCK: Power surge?

[Transporter room]

SCOTT: Not down here. All the dials were right and the transporter was functioning perfectly.

[Bridge]

SPOCK: Recheck your equipment, Mister Scott. I'll scan for them on the planet's surface. Spock out.

[Combat area]

CHEKOV: But Captain, if we're not on Gamma Two, then where are we?
KIRK: That's what I'd like to know. Kirk to Enterprise. Kirk to Enterprise. Dead.
CHEKOV: Mine, too.
UHURA: Captain. Look.
(People are approaching them. One big guy in a fur, with teeth that hold his mouth open, another male with a knife, a female in pink carrying a lance-like weapon, and another in silver with green hair.) KIRK: Phasers on stun. Fire. (nothing happens) Hand-to-hand.
(The men go one-on-one while Uhura has to deal with both women simultaneously. They are not fairly matched. Chekov cannot handle the giant and Uhura quickly gives up. Only Kirk acquits himself well against the normal male, until green-hair intervenes with her weapon.)

Captain's log, stardate 3211.8. While beaming down from the Enterprise to inspect facilities on Gamma Two, the normal transporter sequence has been interrupted, and we find ourselves on a strange and hostile planet, surrounded by creatures belonging to races scattered all through the galaxy.

[Combat area]

(A thin bald male in a long black cloak pops into the scene.)
GALT: Excellent, Captain Kirk. Although we expected strength and competitive spirit, we are greatly pleased.
KIRK: Either of you hurt?
UHURA: I don't think so, Captain.
CHEKOV: Nobody's hurt, Captain. Yet.
GALT: Admirable, Chekov. Admirable. You also, Uhura. Your spirit is as great as the captain's. I can see you all will prove invaluable here. I am Galt, Master Thrall of the planet Triskelion. I have been sent to welcome you.

[Cell]

(All three are fastened securely to the wall, and have collars around their necks.)
GALT: There, Captain. Now you are prepared for your training.
KIRK: How do you know our names?
GALT: The Providers were expecting you, Captain. They arranged your transportation.
KIRK: These Providers of yours, are they
GALT: Correction, Captain. The Providers are not ours. We are theirs.
KIRK: What do they want from us?
GALT: You are to be trained, of course. What other use is there for thralls?
KIRK: Thralls? You must be mistaken. We're officers of a United spaceship on Federation business.
GALT: There has been no mistake. Your old titles mean nothing here, Captain. You are thralls now. You are to be taken to the training enclosure. (the restraints are released) Come. Places have been prepared for you.
KIRK: We're not going anywhere until we have some information. Who are you? What is this place? What do you think you're going to do with us?
GALT: I am Galt, the Master Thrall. This place is the planet Triskelion. You are to be trained and spend the rest of your lives here.

[Bridge]

SCOTT: Mister Spock, I've checked that transporter from one end to the other. Every circuit works perfectly. Whatever that power surge was, it had nothing to do with the transporter or any other system aboard this ship.
SPOCK: I'm beginning to believe that, Mister Scott. I've conducted two sweeps of the planet's surface. There is no sign of life.
MCCOY: Then what the devil is happening? Does that mean their atoms are just floating around out there?
SPOCK: No, Doctor. Even that would show up on our sensors.
SCOTT: Where are they then?
SPOCK: The only answers are negative. No magnetic storms, no ionic interference, no breakdown in your equipment.
MCCOY: A negative attitude is no good to us. We can't just leave them out there, wherever they are.
SPOCK: We shall continue sensor scans, Doctor. At the moment, that is all we can do, except hope for a rational explanation.
MCCOY: Hope? I always thought that was a human failing, Mister Spock.
SPOCK: True, Doctor. Constant exposure does result in a certain degree of contamination.

[Accommodation block]

(A curved corridor, with doors off on either side. The doors have iron bars in the upper half.)
GALT: These are your quarters. Open, thralls.
(As the doors slide open, Chekov and Kirk hit their minders and they all run. Galt's eyes glow, the collars glow and the Starfleet escapees collapse, choking.)
GALT: That was foolish, Captain. Escape is quite impossible, as demonstrated by your collars of obedience. Return to your quarters.
(They do, and they are left alone.)

[Bridge]

SPOCK: They are not within the confines of this solar system.
MCCOY: It's been nearly an hour. Can people live that long as disassembled atoms in a transporter beam?
SPOCK: I have never heard of a study being done, but it would be a fascinating project.
MCCOY: Fascinating? Those people are friends of ours out there, if they're still alive.
SPOCK: Precisely.
MCCOY: The odds are not good.
SPOCK: No. I would say approximately four hundred
MCCOY: Don't quote odds and don't give me anymore dispassionate logic, Mister Spock. Just keep looking for them.
SPOCK: I would welcome a suggestion, Doctor, even an emotional one, as to where to look.
MCCOY: First time you've ever asked me for anything, and it has to be an occasion like this.

[Accommodation block]

CHEKOV: Captain, the Enterprise. They will be trying to find us, won't they?
UHURA: They'll try, but where do they look? We're here, and we don't know where it is.
KIRK: This system's star is a trinary. Limits it a bit, but we're a long way from the Enterprise, if we're in the same dimension.
(The male goes to Uhura's cell with a tray.)
LARS: I am your drill thrall. I am called Lars.
KIRK: What do you want from her?
LARS: That is not your concern. Your drill thralls will attend you presently. (he opens Uhura's door and goes in) There is little time.
UHURA [OC]: What are you doing? Get out!
LARS [OC]: I have been selected for you.
(The shadow play tells all we need to know. And the screams.)
KIRK: Lieutenant, are you all right? Uhura! Lieutenant! Lieutenant, are you all right? Lieutenant, answer me! Lieutenant! What's happening to Lieutenant Uhura? Lieutenant, are you all right?
LARS: It is not allowed to refuse selection.
(He leaves. Uhura's clothes are intact.)
SHAHNA: (to Kirk): Step away from the door. (she enters with a tray) Come. It is the nourishment interval.

[Bridge]

SPOCK: Captain's log, stardate 3259.2. First Officer Spock in command. The Captain, Lieutenant Uhura, and Ensign Chekov have been missing for nearly two hours. Computer probability projections are useless due to insufficient data.
HAINES: (a woman in gold uniform at Spock's station) Mister Spock, I'm getting a fluctuating energy reading on this hydrogen cloud. It's faint, sir, but it consistently reads an excess of predictable energy level.
SPOCK: Interesting. It seems to be an ionisation trail.
MCCOY: What would account for that, Spock?
SPOCK: Exactly the question I have just fed to the computers, Doctor. And the answer is, nothing known to us would account for it.
SCOTT: Well, the transporter has neither the power nor the range to account for that.
SPOCK: Plot a follow course, Ensign Haines.
HAINES: (now in Chekov's seat) Aye, sir.
MCCOY: You're going to leave here without them and run off on some wild goose chase halfway across the galaxy just because you found a discrepancy in a hydrogen cloud?
SPOCK: Doctor, I am chasing the Captain, Lieutenant Uhura, and Ensign Chekov, not some wild aquatic fowl. This is the only lead we've had.
HAINES: Course plotted and laid in, Mister Spock. Three ten mark two four one.
SPOCK: Initiate. Warp factor two.

[Chekov's cell]

(The robust woman in pink brings him his tray. She smiles at him.)
CHEKOV: You, you have been selected for me?
TAMOON: (with a deep voice) No. I am only your drill thrall. I have brought you nourishment. It is a nice name, Chee-koo.
CHEKOV: Chekov.
TAMOON: Chee-koof! It is a very nice name. I am called Tamoon.
CHEKOV: (nervous of her intentions) Oh, pleased, Pleased to know you, miss.
TAMOON: You are a fine specimen. I like you better than the others. I will instruct you well, so my Provider will take you.
CHEKOV: That's very kind of you, miss, but
TAMOON: If my Provider is pleased, we may even be selected for each other.

[Kirk's cell]

KIRK: I didn't realise I was so hungry. Whatever you call this, it is very good.
SHAHNA: It is nourishment. We call it that.
KIRK: Nourishment. That's very practical. What do you call this collar?
SHAHNA: It is a sign of our Provider. By the colour of the lights it can be known who holds us. When you are vended, you will also have a colour.
KIRK: Vended? You mean bought, sold.
SHAHNA: When you are developed. The Provider who offers the most quatloos puts his colour on us.
KIRK: Our race has another name for it. Slavery. This collar of obedience, is Galt the only one who can operate it?
SHAHNA: It is only to warn and punish.
KIRK: How does he work it?
SHAHNA: It is not permitted to talk of that.
KIRK: Will you provide all my nourishment?
SHAHNA: Of course. I am your drill thrall. I will train you well.
KIRK: Yes, I'm sure you will. I must say, I've never seen a top sergeant who looked like you.
SHAHNA: What does that mean?
KIRK: It means you're a very beautiful woman.
SHAHNA: What is beautiful?
KIRK: You mean nobody's ever told you that before? well, er, beautiful is, Beautiful. (he holds up the tray so she can see her reflection) That's beautiful. Shahna, where were you born?
SHAHNA: Born? I have been here always.
KIRK: Your parents. Where are they? Your mother and father.
SHAHNA: She who bore me was killed in a freestyle match.
KIRK: Freestyle?
SHAHNA: You will learn all these things.
KIRK: Lars and Chekov's drill thrall. They weren't born here. Where do they come from?
SHAHNA: It is not permitted. (a gong sounds and a red light flashes) The exercise interval. This is your training harness. Put it on.

[Bridge]

MCCOY: This is ridiculous. There's nothing out there. Nothing at all.
SCOTT: We certainly seem to be heading into an empty sector.
SPOCK: Projecting back along the path of ionisation, the nearest system is M two four alpha.
SCOTT: That must be two dozen light years away.
SPOCK: Eleven point six three zero.
MCCOY: Are you suggesting that they could have transported over a distance of? You're out of your Vulcan mind, Spock.
SPOCK: I'm suggesting nothing, Doctor. I am merely pursuing the only logical course available to us.

[Training area]

(The three are learning how to fight with the long poles with the curved hook on one end and grapple on the other. Galt enters with another thrall, his hands tied behind him.)
GALT: Hold. This thrall was slow in obeying a command. For his punishment, he will be practice target. As you charge, you will strike the practice target when you pass. You begin, Uhura.
UHURA: No!
GALT: It is not allowed to refuse a training exercise.
UHURA: I don't care whether it's allowed or not. I will not do it.
KIRK: None of us will do it, Galt.
GALT: It is part of your training. The Providers wish it.
KIRK: The devil with the Providers.
CHEKOV: Cossacks.
(Galt gives them a reminder of what their collars do.)
GALT: We have been tolerant because you are newcomers, but I see you must be given a lesson. Lars. (Lars unties the thrall) Kloog. Kloog will administer correction. Uhura, take your place on the triad. (Lars starts to tie Uhura's hands behind her back.) Tie her.
KIRK: No. No! I am responsible for the actions of my people. I demand to see the Providers.
GALT: It is not permitted. But, Captain, since you assume responsibility for your people, you will take the punishment. It is less painful than the collar. Turn around. {Lars ties Kirk's hands.) Captain, you will be practice target. It is a shame to lose you, Captain, but it is worth it as an example to the others.

Captain's log, supplemental. Stardate, unknown. Our strange captivity continues. This planet is called Triskelion. We do not know its location. We do not know who controls it. Its dangers are abundantly clear.

[Combat area]

(Kloog (the big, silent one) has a whip and net, which Kirk is trying to dodge. His back is bloody and his shirt is torn, but he manages to land a good kick on Kloog.)
GALT: Hold. Rest interval. Fifteen trisecs.
(The two combatants join their comrades on the benches.)
KIRK: He's pretty fast with that whip.
SHAHNA: This will strengthen you. Drink it. Kloog's left eye is weak. Approach him from that side.
GALT: Resume places.
(Kirk carries on dodging the whip, whilst loosening his bonds. Finally he manages to get his hands in front of him, jump on Kloog's back and try to strangle him. Kloog falls to the ground.)
ONE [OC]: Hold.
GALT: We hold, Provider One.
ONE [OC]: Provider One bids three hundred quatloos for the newcomers.
TWO [OC]: Provider Two, three hundred and fifty quatloos.
THREE [OC]: Provider Three, four hundred.
TWO [OC]: One thousand quatloos.
THREE [OC]: One thousand fifty quatloos.
ONE [OC]: Two thousand.
GALT: (after a pause) Two thousand quatloos are bid. Is there a challenge? The newcomers have been vended to Provider One.
KIRK: We're free people. We belong to no one.
TWO [OC]: Such spirit. I wager fifteen quatloos that he is untrainable.
THREE [OC]: Twenty quatloos that all three are untrainable.
TWO [OC]: Five thousand quatloos that the newcomers will have to be destroyed.
ONE [OC]: Accepted. Mark them, Galt.
(Galt's eyes go bright, and the badges on the collars turn red.)
GALT: You now bear the mark of a fine herd. But I must warn you, any further disobedience now that you are full-fledged thralls will be punishable by death.

[Bridge]

SCOTT: Mister Spock, it just doesn't make sense they could have come this far. If there's any chance at all it is to continue to search in the area they were lost.
SPOCK: We searched the area.
SCOTT: It's always possible to miss something.
SPOCK: Such as a failure in the transporter mechanism?
SCOTT: No, sir. There was no sign of failure.
SPOCK: There was no sign of them in the area of Gamma Two.
MCCOY: If they weren't there it's ridiculous to think they could still be alive. Not after all this time.
SPOCK: In that case, Doctor, we have nothing to lose by pursuing our present course.

[Ruins]

(Shahna has taken Kirk for a run.)
KIRK: Slow down. Slow down. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. We've covered over two miles. Can we take a breather? A rest?
SHAHNA: (not at all out of breath) Oh. Very well. You are tired.
KIRK: Oh. well, it's good to get away from that development area, even for a while. Shahna, why do the Providers, why do they like to watch others being hurt, killed?
SHAHNA: That is the way.
KIRK: Their voices sound mechanical. Are they computers?
SHAHNA: Computers?
KIRK: You've seen them. Do they have bodies?
SHAHNA: Not such as ours.
KIRK: What is this place?
SHAHNA: It is not used.
KIRK: It's very old. Does it have a name? Shahna, could it have been a city for the Providers?
SHAHNA: I do not think it is well to ask such things.
KIRK: They do have bodies, or did have.
SHAHNA: One does not talk of such things.
KIRK: Very pretty country. Very much like my home planet, Earth.
SHAHNA: Planet?
(Stands close to her back, hands on her shoulders, so he can whisper in her ear.)
KIRK: Where I was born. Shahna, don't you ever look at the night sky? The lights up there?
SHAHNA: I have looked at them.
KIRK: Well, those are stars. And around them are planets. And there are people that live on them, Just like us.
SHAHNA: How can one live on a flicker of light?
KIRK: From Earth, Triskelion's three suns are just a flicker of light. Actually, this is the darkest planet I've ever seen.
SHAHNA: Dark? But all is lighted. Here, the chambers.
KIRK: The thralls have no freedom, Shahna. You don't think or do anything but what the Providers tell you.
SHAHNA: What else would one do?
KIRK: Love, for one thing.
SHAHNA: What is love?
KIRK: Love is the most important thing on Earth. Especially to a man and a woman.
SHAHNA: We, too, have mates. When it is time to increase the herd, my Provider will select one for me.
KIRK: On Earth, we select our own mate. Someone we care for. On Earth, men and women live together, help each other, make each other happy.
SHAHNA: I do not think your words are allowed.
KIRK: All right. All right. Tell me about the Providers. What do they look like? Where do they live?
SHAHNA: I have never seen them, but they are said not to be like us. They stay in
(Her collar lights up, and Kirk holds her tight while she writhes in pain.)
KIRK: Stop it. Stop it! I'm responsible! I made her talk! Stop it! You're killing her! She did nothing wrong! It was my fault. If you want to punish someone, punish me! Please.
ONE [OC]: Is that what you humans call compassion? It is interesting, but it has no value here. You present many interesting aspects, Captain, but you must learn obedience. Then you will be an excellent thrall.
(Shahna's collar stops glowing.)
KIRK: It's all right. It's all right. You can stop crying now, Shahna. It's all right.
SHAHNA: You risked bringing their anger on yourself. Why did you do it?
KIRK: It's the custom of my people to help one another when we're in trouble.
(He kisses her.)
SHAHNA: And this. Is this also helping?
KIRK: You could call it that.
SHAHNA: Please, help me once again. (another kiss) I did not know it could be like this between people. Is it always so in the place you come from?
GALT: (popping out of thin air) Captain, you do indeed present many surprises. Because you have amused the Providers, there will be no punishment. Return to your quarters.

[Bridge]

SPOCK: Mister Scott, can we manage anything faster than warp six?
SCOTT: It's my opinion that we've gone too far as it is, sir.
MCCOY: He's right, Spock. We've lost Jim and the others on Gamma Two. Now you've dragged us a dozen light years on some wild hunch that
SPOCK: Doctor, I do not respond to hunches. No transporter malfunction was responsible for the disappearance. They were not within the Gamma system. A focused beam of extremely high-intensity light was directed into the Gamma system from the trinary system we are now approaching. No known natural phenomena could have caused that beam. Does that clarify the situation?
MCCOY: No, it doesn't. It's still a fancy way of saying that you're playing a hunch. well, my hunch is that they're back on Gamma Two dead or alive and I still want another search.
SCOTT: Doctor McCoy speaks for me, too, sir.
SPOCK: I see. (pause) Gentlemen, I am in command of this vessel, and we shall continue on our present course. (conspiratorial whisper) Unless it is your intention to declare a mutiny.
SCOTT: Mister Spock!
MCCOY: Who said anything about a mutiny, you stubborn, pointed-eared. All right. If we don't find them here, do we still have another search on Gamma Two?
SPOCK: Agreed. Mister Scott, could you manage warp seven?
SCOTT: I would be more than content to do so, sir, and maybe a wee bit more.
SPOCK: Ensign, warp seven.

[Kirk's cell]

(Shahna brings a nourishment tray.)
KIRK: You're disturbed about what happened today.
SHAHNA: Yes. You have made me feel strangely. If it were allowed, I would ask that you have another drill thrall.
KIRK: I wouldn't like that, Shahna. I wouldn't like that at all.
(He kisses her, then punches her to knock her out.)
KIRK: I'm sorry, Shahna. (takes the magnetic key and unlocks his door)

[Accommodation area]

(Kirk opens Chekov's cell. Tamoon is bound and gagged.)
CHEKOV: This is going to kill our romance.
(They let Uhura out.)
KIRK: What about Lars?
UHURA: He's gone to report me. I said I didn't like the food.
KIRK: I think Galt is the only one who controls these collars. If we can find the phaser that I threw at Lars, we can use the circuits to short out these collars.
CHEKOV: (pointing to an exit) Captain.

[Combat area]

(Galt appears, and punishment is administered.)
ONE [OC]: Only a reminder. You Earth people are most unusual, most stimulating.

[Bridge]

HAINES: Standard orbit.
SPOCK: Sensors indicate only one concentration of life forms on the planet, on the lower hemisphere. Humanoid readings.
MCCOY: Well, at least that gives our landing force a starting point.
SPOCK: There will be no landing force, Doctor. Assuming the captain and the others are still alive, it would be unwise to endanger them by beaming down a large contingent.
MCCOY: Well we're not going to leave them there while we just sit and wait.
SPOCK: Interesting. No power source. It may be shielded.
MCCOY: And it may be just a wild goose chase like we've been telling you.
SPOCK: I shall beam down, Doctor. If I am unable to communicate, a landing party may be necessary.
MCCOY: Well, Mister Spock, if you're going into the lion's den, you'll need a medical officer.
SPOCK: Daniel, as I recall, had only his faith. But I welcome your company, Doctor. Mister Scott, you'll be in command.
SCOTT: Aye, sir.
(But the turbolift doors shut before Spock and McCoy can leave the bridge, and the lights start flashing.)
ONE [OC]: No, Mister Spock, you will not leave the ship.

[Combat area]

ONE [OC]: None of your control systems will operate.
MCCOY [OC]: What the devil's going on?
KIRK: Spock? Spock!

[Bridge]

KIRK [OC]: Spock?

[Combat area]

KIRK: Welcome to Triskelion, gentlemen.

[Bridge]

KIRK [OC]: By now it must be obvious to you that you have been expected.
SCOTT: What the voice said was true, sir. Nothing is functioning.
ONE [OC]: Commendations, gentlemen. Your ingenuity in discovering the whereabouts of your companions is noteworthy.
KIRK [OC]: What you're hearing, gentlemen, is a Provider.
ONE [OC]: We are known to the thralls as Providers because we provide for all their needs. The term is easier for their limited mental abilities to comprehend.

[Combat area]

KIRK: Providing for all their needs means using thralls, people stolen from other parts of the galaxy

[Bridge]

KIRK [OC]: To fight each other, and the Providers gamble on the winner.
SPOCK: Fascinating.
KIRK [OC]: But these Providers haven't the courage to show themselves.
ONE [OC]: Your species has great curiosity.

[Combat area]

ONE [OC]: We knew that. You are interesting in many ways.
KIRK: But you are afraid.

[Bridge]

ONE [OC]: You present no danger while you wear the collar

[Combat area]

ONE [OC]: And you wear it as long as you live.
KIRK: Then show yourselves.
ONE [OC]: There is no objection.

[Cavern]

(It is vast, obviously constructed with ceiling lights and a power plant in the background. In the foreground is a transparent dome with three yellow brains in it.)
KIRK: The power source. Shielded by solid rock.
ONE [OC]: (a brain pulsates red) We are one thousand of your metres beneath the surface.
KIRK: Primary mental evolution. Incredible.
TWO [OC]: (pulsing green) That is not true, Captain. Once we had humanoid form, but we evolved beyond it.
THREE [OC]: (yellow) Through eons of devoting ourselves exclusively to intellectual pursuits, we became the physically simple, mentally superior creatures you see before you.
KIRK: A species that enslaves other beings is hardly superior, mentally or otherwise.
ONE [OC]: The thralls are necessary to the games. We have found athletic competitions our only challenge, the only thing which furnishes us with purpose.
KIRK: It's an unproductive purpose, unworthy of your intellect.
ONE [OC]: We use only inferior beings.
KIRK: We have found that all life forms in the galaxy are capable of superior development. Perhaps you're not as evolved as you believe.
THREE [OC]: An interesting speculation, Captain. You and your people are most challenging.
TWO [OC]: Yes, most challenging. It was hoped that such new blood would stimulate our stock of thralls. How unfortunate that you must be destroyed.
KIRK: Our destruction will result only in your own. You may control the Enterprise, but you cannot match the force of the entire Federation.
ONE [OC]: Your ship will be destroyed by a magnetic storm. No communications with your base will be possible. Your fate will remain a mystery to your people.
KIRK: And you call yourselves superior! You're murderers without the spirit to really wager for the lives you take.
ONE [OC]: Wager? Explain yourself, Captain.
KIRK: My people pride themselves on being the greatest, most successful gamblers in the universe. We compete for everything. Power, fame, women, everything we desire, and it is our nature to win. And for proof, I offer you our exploration of this galaxy.
THREE [OC]: We are aware of your competitive abilities, Captain.
KIRK: Well, then, I wager that with weapons of your own choice, right here and now, my people can overcome an equal number of thralls set against us.
THREE [OC]: A hundred quatloos on the newcomers.
ONE [OC]: Four hundred quatloos against the newcomers.
TWO [OC]: Two hundred quatloos against!
THREE [OC]: Five hundred for the newcomers. Contest by multiple elimination.
KIRK: Wait! Wait! Hear me! We can't wager for trifles like quatloos. The stakes must be higher.
ONE [OC]: Name your stakes, Captain.
KIRK: If we win, the Enterprise and its crew leaves here in safety. Further more, all the thralls on the planet must be freed.
TWO [OC]: Anarchy. They would starve.
KIRK: You will educate and train them to establish a normal self-governing culture.
THREE [OC]: Thralls govern themselves? Ridiculous!
KIRK: We have done the same with cultures throughout the galaxy. Are you willing to admit that we can do something you can't?
TWO [OC]: There is nothing we cannot do!
ONE [OC]: And if you lose, Captain?
KIRK: If we lose? We will remain here, the entire crew of the Enterprise. The most stubborn, determined competitors in the universe. We'll become thralls, enter your games, obey your orders without rebellion. You'll be assured of generations of the most exciting wagering you've ever had.
ONE [OC]: Your stakes are indeed high, Captain.
KIRK: Not for true gamesters.
THREE [OC]: We will accept your stakes on one condition.
KIRK: Name it.
ONE [OC]: As leader of your people, your spirit seems most indomitable. We suggest you alone, pitted against three contestants of our choosing.
KIRK: Three against one? Those are pretty high odds.
TWO [OC]: Not for true gamesters, Captain.
KIRK: Your, your terms are unfair.
ONE [OC]: On the contrary, they're extremely fair, since your alternative is death.
KIRK: Well, in that case, I'll accept your terms.
ONE [OC]: Galt will prepare you.

[Combat area]

(Lars has a net, Kloog has his whip, and an Andorian has the pole weapon, same as Kirk.)
ONE [OC]: Because you wager your skill for all your people, they will be permitted to watch the outcome of the game on the ship's viewscreen.

[Bridge]

SCOTT: Mister Spock, look!
ONE [OC]: Captain, you will defend. Thralls must stay in the blue area. You will take the yellow. Touching an opposing colour deprives a contestant of one weapon. An opponent must be killed to be removed from the game. If only wounded, he is replaced by a fresh thrall. Is that clear, Captain?

[Combat area]

KIRK: Yes, that's clear.

[Bridge]

MCCOY: What in the name of heaven is this?
SCOTT: Heaven's got very little to do with this.

[Combat area]

(So the fight begins, and everyone puts their feet outside their allotted colours from time to time. Kirk manages to trip up or push over each of his three opponents several times. Eventually he throws his pole into Kloog's belly then picks up a dagger to defend himself with. Lars traps his hand in the net, but Kirk ducks as the Andorian throws his pole. Now the two fight with just the daggers, until Kirk throws the Andorian. Galt sees that he is only injured, and orders in his replacement.)
GALT: Shahna.
(She enters the area with a pole.)
SHAHNA: You lied. Everything you said.
(She trips him, but he grabs the pole and pulls her down to the point of his dagger. They both hesitate, break free, and she gets him at her mercy. Again there is hesitation, so Kirk uses his legs to grab her and this time puts the blade firmly to her throat.)
SHAHNA: The thralls surrender!
(Kirk lets her go.)
ONE [OC]: You have won, Captain Kirk, unfortunately. However, the terms of the wager will be honoured. You are free. Remove your collars.
(They come off easily.)
KIRK: The thralls will be trained?
ONE [OC]: They will be trained. We have said it.
KIRK: I think you'll find it a much more exciting game than the one you've been playing. I'm sorry, Shahna. I didn't lie. I did what was necessary. Someday, I hope you'll understand.
SHAHNA: I understand, a little. You will leave us now?
KIRK: Yes.
SHAHNA: To go back to the lights in the sky?
KIRK: Yes.
SHAHNA: I would like to go to those lights with you. Take me?
KIRK: I can't.
SHAHNA: Then teach me how, and I will follow you.
KIRK: There's so much you must learn here first. The Providers will teach you. Learn it, Shahna. all your people must learn before you can reach for the stars. Shahna. (he gives her a farewell kiss) Scotty!
SCOTT [OC]: Aye, sir.
KIRK: Beam us up.
(They disappear in a twinkle.)
SHAHNA: Goodbye, Jim Kirk. I will learn, and watch the lights in the sky, and remember.

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