Star Trek (1966–1969): Season 1, Episode 23 - A Taste of Armageddon - full transcript

On a mission to establish diplomatic relations at Star Cluster NGC321, Kirk and Spock beam down to planet Eminiar 7 to learn that its inhabitants have been at war with a neighboring planet for over 500 years. They can find no damage nor evidence of destruction but soon learn that their war is essentially a war game, where each planet attacks the other in a computer simulation with the tabulated victims voluntarily surrendering themselves for execution after the fact. When the Enterprise becomes a victim in the computer simulation and ordered destroyed, Kirk decides it's time to show them exactly what war means.

Captain's log, stardate 3192.1.

The Enterprise is en route
to star cluster NGC 321.

To open diplomatic relations

with the civilizations
known to be there.

We have sent a message
to Eminiar Vll,

principal planet of the star cluster,

informing them of
our friendly intentions.

We are awaiting an answer.

Nothing yet, lieutenant?

Nothing, captain.
Hailing frequencies are open.

Have you received an answer
to your message yet, captain?

Nothing yet, ambassador.
We're awaiting a reply.

Today is the first time we've had any
evidence they've picked up our signal.

Captain, message coming in
from Eminiar Vll.

- Sir, it's code 710.
- Are you sure?

It repeats over and over again.

Is that supposed
to mean something?

Code 710 means
under no circumstances

are we to approach that planet.
No circumstances whatsoever.

You will disregard that signal, captain.

- Mr. Fox, it is their planet.
- Captain, in the past 20 years

thousands of lives have
been lost on this quadrant,

lives that could have been saved if
the Federation had a treaty port here.

We mean to have that port,
and I'm here to get it.

By disregarding code 710,
you might well involve us

in an interplanetary war.

- I'm quite prepared to take that risk.
- You are?

I'm thinking about this ship,
my crew.

I have my orders, captain,
and now you have yours.

You will proceed on course,

achieve orbit status
and just leave the rest to me.

You're well aware that my mission
gives me the power of command.

I now exercise it.

You will proceed on course.
That's a direct order.

In view of code 710, captain,
may I suggest?

Yes, Mr. Spock.

This is the captain.
Condition, yellow alert.

Phaser crews, stand by.
Deflector shields up.

We're going in, gentlemen.

Peacefully, I hope,
but peacefully or not...

...we're going in.

Space, the final frontier.

These are the voyages
of the starship Enterprise.

Its five-year mission:
To explore strange new worlds,

to seek out new life
and new civilizations,

to boldly go where no man
has gone before.

Captain's log, stardate 3192.5.

Now in standard orbit
around planet Eminiar Vll.

My orders are clear.

We must establish
diplomatic relations at all cost.

Preparing to beam down
to planet's surface.

We know very little about them.
Their civilisation is advanced.

They've had space flight
for several centuries,

but they've never ventured
beyond their own solar system.

When first contacted
more than 50 years ago,

Eminiar Vll was at war
with its nearest neighbour.

Anything else?

The Earth expedition making the report
failed to return from its mission.

The USS Valiant.

Listed as missing in space.

Kirk, what's this about
you going alone?

Not alone, Mr. Ambassador. I'm taking
some security people with me.

- It is my prerogative...
- I can't risk beaming you down there

until I know what kind of reception
you're going to receive.

Your safety is my responsibility.
Those are my orders, sir.

- Mr. Spock.
- Transporter Room standing by.

- What coordinates?
- We have selected a site which,

from the traffic, would seem
to be near an official establishment.

- Final sensor readings?
- No hostility directed toward us.

No apparent notice taken of us at all,
which seems strange.

They did scan us when we assumed
orbit. Obviously, they know we're here.

Ship's defences?

Screens down, but all defensive details
on general alert status, captain.


Landing party will pick up phaser
number ones from the arsenal.

- Keep them inconspicuous. Mr. Scott?
- Yes, sir?

The ship is yours.
Take care of her until I come back.

Aye, aye, sir. And have a bonny trip.

We'll do our best. Let's go.

They will materialise there.

Remember your instructions. They are
to be treated correctly, nothing more.

I'm Captain James T. Kirk
of the starship Enterprise,

representing the
United Federation of Planets.

I know. I am Mea 3.

I congratulate you on
your instrumentation.

You've come directly
to the Division of Control.

If you'll follow me, please.

- Captain, I wish...
- Yes?

- You were warned not to come here.
- I had orders to come here.

Why did your people tell us
to stay away?

- It was for your own safety, captain.
- I see no danger here.

The danger exists.

Nevertheless, you are here.

It would be morally incorrect to do less
than extend our hospitality.

Anan 7 and members
of the High Council await you.

If you will come this way, please.

I'm Captain Kirk.
This is my first officer, Mr. Spock.

Lieutenants Galloway,
Osborne, Yeoman Tamura.

Welcome to Eminiar Vll.

Well, captain,
what can we do for you?

My mission is to establish
diplomatic relations

between your people and mine.

That is impossible.

- Would you mind telling me why?
- Because of the war.

You're still at war?

We have been at war for 500 years.

You conceal it very well. Mr. Spock?

Sir, we have completely
scanned your planet.

We find it highly advanced,
prosperous in a material sense,

comfortable for your people
and peaceful in the extreme.

Yet you say you are at war.
There is no evidence of this.

Casualties among
our civilian population

total from 1 to 3 million dead
each year from direct enemy attack.

That is one reason, captain,
why we told you to stay away.

As long as your ship is orbiting
our planet, it is in severe danger.

With whom are you at war?

The third planet in our system,
called Vendikar.

Originally settled by our people
and now a ruthless enemy.

Highly advanced technologically.

Please excuse me.

Vendikar is attacking.

Mea, care for our guests.

- Strange.
- To say the least.

- It will not last long.
- Don't you take shelter?

- There is no shelter, captain.
- Are these attacks frequent?

Oh, yes.
And we will retaliate immediately.

What is it?

A hit, right here in the city.

Do you hear any explosions,
Mr. Spock?

None, captain.
Yeoman Tamura?

- Sir?
- Tricorder readings.

Radiation disturbances of any kind.

Nothing, sir. No evidence.

Mea, if this is an attack,

may I ask what weapons
the enemy is using?

Fusion bombs, materialised
by the enemy over their targets.

- Kirk to bridge. Scotty?
- Scott here, captain.

Scanners operative
on the planet surface?

Of course, sir. As per orders.

Anything unusual?

Nothing, sir. All quiet.

Thank you. Kirk out.

Look, Anan.

Yes, I see it. They were warned.

Just as it happened 50 years ago.

Alert a security detachment.
They may be needed.

It was a vicious attack,
extremely destructive.

our defences are firming.

But our casualties are high,
very high.

Sir, I have been in contact
with my ship,

which has had this entire planet
under surveillance.

All during this... attack of yours,
we have been monitoring you.

There's been no attack,
no explosions, no radiations,

no disturbances whatsoever.

If this is some sort of game
you're playing...

This is no game, captain.

Half a million people
have just been killed.

- Activate the attack units, Sar.
- Yes, councilman.

Launch immediate counterattack.

Computers, captain.

They fight their war with computers,

Yes, of course.

Computers don't kill
a half a million people.

Deaths have been registered. Of
course, they have 24 hours to report.

- To report?
- To our disintegration machines.

You must understand, captain,

we have been at war for 500 years.

Under ordinary conditions,
no civilisation could withstand that.

But we have reached a solution.

Then the attack by Vendikar
was theoretical?

Oh, no. Quite real.

An attack is mathematically launched.

I lost my wife in the last attack.

Our civilisation lives.

The people die,
but our culture goes on.

You mean to tell me...

...your people just walk
into a disintegration machine

when they're told to?

We have a high consciousness
of duty, captain.

There is a certain
scientific logic about it.

I'm glad you approve.

I do not approve.

- I understand.
- Good.

Then you will recall
I warned you not to come here.

You chose to ignore my warning.

I'm sorry, but it's happened.

- What has happened?
- Once your ship was in orbit

about our planet,
it became a legitimate target.

It has been classified destroyed
by a tricobalt satellite explosion.

All persons aboard your ship
have 24 hours

to report
to our disintegration machines.

In order to ensure their cooperation,
I have ordered you, captain,

and your party held in custody
until they surrender.

If possible, we shall spare your ship,

But its passengers and crew
are already dead.

Captain's log, delayed.

The Enterprise, in orbit
about Eminiar Vll,

has been declared a casualty

of an incredible war
fought by computers.

I and my landing party,
though apparently not included

as casualties aboard the Enterprise,

are confined on the planet's surface,

awaiting what?

I have been sent to ask
if you require anything.

We require a great deal.
I wish to speak to Anan 7.

He is busy coordinating
casualty lists.

He'll have more casualty lists
than he knows what to do with

if he doesn't get in here
and talk to me.

Don't you understand?
Our duty now...

Your duty doesn't include stepping into
a disintegrator and disappearing.

I'm afraid mine does, captain.

I, too, have been declared
a casualty.

I must report to a disintegrator
by noon tomorrow.

Is that all it means to you?

To report and die?

My life is as dear to me
as yours is to you, captain.

- But how can you stand?
- Don't you see?

If I refuse to report,
and others refuse,

then Vendikar would have no choice
but to launch real weapons.

We would have to do the same
to defend ourselves.

More than people would die then.

A whole civilisation
would be destroyed.

Surely, you can see that
ours is the better way.

No. I don't see that at all.

It's been our way
for almost 500 years.

Is there anything I can bring you?

Yes. Anan 7.

I tell you, we should've heard
something by now.

Aye, doctor, that we should.
But we haven't.

And we cannot raise them.

Now, if there'd been trouble,
they should've at least managed

- to get word back to us.
- Well, we can't just sit here.

What would you suggest?

Me? I'm a doctor.
If I were an officer of the line, I...

- Would you have me open fire?
- Of course not.

Mr. Scott, message coming in
from the captain.

- Scott here, captain.
- Good news, Mr. Scott.

The Eminians have agreed
to the establishment

of full, normal, diplomatic relations.

Mr. Fox will be glad
to hear about that.

They've also extended an invitation
to all personnel

to come ashore for shore leave.

They've assured me that our people
will have a wonderful time.

- Captain?
- Yes, Mr. Scott.

- All personnel?
- All personnel.

We'll transport up trained Eminians
to assume support positions.

Those are my orders, Mr. Scott.

Aye, aye, captain.

I'll start forming shore parties
immediately. Scott out.

Well, now, what do you
think of that?

I don't know.

Well, I do.

Computer, last message received
and recorded from Captain Kirk.

In place.

Run it through analyser. Question:
Is it or is it not the captain's voice?

Negative. A close copy.

- A voice duplicator?
- Ninety-eight percent probability.

Well, they've got them, doctor.
And now they're trying to get us.

Are you sure you can do it,
Mr. Spock?

Limited telepathic abilities
are inherent in Vulcanians, captain.

It may work, it may not.

Do your best.

- Thank you, Mr. Spock.
- My pleasure.

What do we do now, captain?

We get our communicators back
and try and contact the ship.

Mr. Spock,
we'll need more weapons.

I understand.

We'll try to take it easy,
but if we're forced to kill...

An entrance, captain, but no exit.

They go in,
but they do not come out.

- A disintegration machine.
- So I would assume.


What do you think you're doing?

- I'm... I'm going...
- You're not going in there.

- But I must.
- No, you're not.

Please. It's all right.
Don't worry about me.

Mr. Spock, that guard.

I'll cover you.

Sir, there's a multi-legged creature
crawling on your shoulder.

All right, you people,
clear out of the way.

Oh, what are you doing?

Throwing a monkey wrench
into the machinery.

- You can't do this!
- I've done it.

Come on, let's get out of here.

The Federation prisoners have
attacked their guard and escaped.

They are armed.

Disintegration station number 12
destroyed, councilman.

Apparently by disrupter fire.

All security personnel,
Federation prisoners have escaped.

They are to be found.
They are armed.

If they resist, do what is necessary.

Planetary disrupter banks,

calculate orbit of star cruiser
now circling.

Stand by to fire, full power.

Councilman, planetary disrupter
banks locked onto target.

Standing by.

In ten seconds, open fire.

Destroy the star cruiser.

Those are the orders
of the Council.

Ship's log, stardate 3193.0.

Chief Engineer Scott recording.

The captain and first officer
are overdue and missing

on the surface of Eminiar Vll.

I have taken standard
precautionary measures

while we continue
our attempts to locate them.

All stations reporting.
Deflector screens rigged at full power.

Phaser crews ready.
Sensors reading zero.

- Correction. Mr. Scott?
- Yes, Mr. DePaul.

Sensor readings just
shot off the scale.

Oh, no.
They're taking potshots at us.

- Holding, Mr. DePaul?
- Screens firm, sir.

Extremely powerful sonic vibrations,
decibels 18 to the 12th power.

If those screens weren't up,
we'd be totally disrupted by now.

Well, I guess that answers
our questions, Mr. Scott.

- They're not very friendly, are they?
- Aye.

But what about our captain and the
landing party down there somewhere?

We get them out.

If they're alive and if we can
find them. That's a big planet.

Not too big for the Enterprise
to handle, if it has to.

We can't fire full phasers
with our screens up.

And we can't lower our screens
with their disrupters on us.

Of course, I could treat them
to a few dozen photon torpedoes.

You'll do no such thing, Mr. Scott.

Mr. Fox, we're under attack.
They're trying to knock us down.

- You have taken defensive measures.
- Of course, but...

"But." There are no "buts."

Obviously, it's a misunderstanding,

and one of my jobs is to clear
up misunderstandings.

- They're holding our captain.
- We have no proof of that.

I'm responsible
for the safety of this ship.

And I'm responsible
for the success of this mission.

And that's more important
than this ship. Is that clear?

We came here to establish
diplomatic relations with these people.

But they're the ones
looking for a fight, Mr. Fox.

This is a diplomatic matter.

If you'll check your regulations,
you'll find that my orders get priority.

I'll try to make contact
with the planetary officials.

Lieutenant, open up a channel
and keep it open.

Tell them to expect
a priority-one message from me.

There will be no punitive measures,
gentlemen. Those are my orders.


The best diplomat I know
is a fully activated phaser bank.

- Why did we come back here?
- The last place they'll look for us

is the place we escaped from.
Cover the door.

Captain, you have got to let me go.
My time is almost up.

- Are you that anxious to die?
- You don't understand.

Mr. Spock,
how did that little raid work out?

We captured four of
their disrupter-type weapons,

two complete outfits of male clothing
and perhaps, most important of all,

one of their communication devices.

- Will it reach the ship?
- Not at this time.

Its range is restricted
in comparison with ours.

I may be able to alter its components,
but it will take time.

Get to work on it.
We've got to contact the ship.

Mea, I want you to give me a complete
layout of this building complex.

- How do I get to the War Room?
- No!

Now, listen to me.

I'm trying to help you, to save your life
and the lives of millions like you.

If you help me, maybe I can do it.

If you don't, you'll die.

We'll die, and the killing will go on.
Or are you that fond of the war?

What are you going to do?

We're going to try
and stop the killing.

We'll try to help. Believe me.

I believe you. But...

Tell me what I want to know.


Time is running out.

We have been unable
to destroy the Earth ship.

One of our disintegration
chambers has been eliminated,

and we have already fallen
far behind in our quota.

This is a grave crisis, and I am
at a loss to know how to proceed.

The central channel, Anan.

The Earth ambassador is calling
with an urgent message.

What is the greater morality,

open honesty or a deception
which may save our lives?

Put me through to
the Earth ambassador.

A channel is open, Mr. Ambassador.

You will be speaking to Anan 7,

head of the High Council
of the Eminian Union.

Mr. Anan, this is Robert Fox,

Special ambassador for
the United Federation of Planets.

A great honour, Mr. Ambassador.

We have approached you openly,

with the intent of establishing
formal and friendly relations

between our peoples. But now,

for some reason, you
have attacked us, and apparently,

you're holding several special
representatives of our Federation.

A mistake, Mr. Ambassador.
We are at war.

An error in our sensors indicated
that your ship was about to attack us.

I'm giving orders that
our attack be stopped.

Now, as to your representatives,

you have my sacred word as an
Eminian that they are alive and well.

Thank you.

I thought perhaps it was all
a mistake.

Mr. Scott, disrupter beams
are no longer hitting us.

Maintain status, Mr. DePaul.

We are most anxious to establish
relations with you, Mr. Fox.

We will make arrangements
to receive you.

The minute their screens are down,
open fire.

Yes, councilman.

I apologise deeply
for the misunderstanding.

These are trying times for us,
you understand.

I understand.

Mr. Anan, I presume that

you'll have our ship's captain
on hand when I beam down.

He will be there, sir.
I give you my word.

I'm sure that, from this day forward,

your planet and our Federation
will attain the deepest friendship.

I look forward to seeing you.

Diplomacy, gentlemen,
should be a job left to diplomats.

You will, of course, immediately
resume a peaceful status.

No, sir. I will not.

What did you say?

I'll not lower the screens.
Not until the captain tells me to.

You are taking orders from me.

You will lower the screens
as a sign of good faith.

- My authority...
- I know about your authority,

but the screens stay up.

Mr. Fox, they faked a message
from the captain,

they've launched an attack
against our ship.

Now you want us
to trust them openly?

I want you and expect you
to obey my lawful orders.

No, sir. I won't lower the screens.

Your refusal to comply with my orders

has endangered the entire
success of this mission!

I can have you sent
to a penal colony for this.

That you can, sir,
but I won't lower the screens.

Your name will figure prominently in
my report to the Federation Central.

Well, Scotty, now you've done it.

Aye. The haggis is in the fire for sure,
but I'll not lower my defences

on the word of that mealy-mouthed
gentleman down below.

Not until I know what happened
to the captain.

Won't you join me in a drink,

You'll find our trova most interesting.

I didn't come to drink.

I assume that is what you used

to destroy disintegration chamber
number 12.

A very efficient weapon.
I'm not afraid of using it.

My first impression was correct.

You are a barbarian.

I am?

Don't sound so incredulous, captain.

Of course you are. We all are.

A killer first, a builder second.

A hunter, a warrior and,
let's be honest, a murderer.

That is our joint heritage, is it not?

We're a little less cold-blooded
about it than you are.

What do you want, captain?

I want to contact my ship.

Where are my communicators?

In a safe place.

You take a lot of chances,

You're worried about your ship,
captain. I'm trying to save a world.

If I were you,

I'd think about saving my life.

Won't you have a drink, captain?

And then we can discuss
our differences.

I'm not interested in
discussing our differences.

You don't seem to realise
the risk you're taking.

We don't make war with computers

and herd the casualties
into suicide stations.

We make the real thing,

I could destroy this planet.

Why do you think
I don't let you talk to your ship?

I don't need the ship for that.

You mean, all by yourself with a
disrupter, you can destroy this planet?

That's exactly what I mean.

- I had no idea you were so formidable.
- You seem to think I'm joking.

Where are the communicators?

If I told you, captain, would you
walk right out and get them?

Something like that.

Very well, captain.
They're in the War Room.

Go left, down the corridor, left again.
They are unguarded.

Is he alive?


A man like that would have
preferred to die fighting.

Take him to the Council Room.

Ambassador Fox?

I am Robert Fox. Have I the honour
of addressing Anan 7?

Welcome to Eminiar, Mr. Ambassador.

Mr. Ambassador, I am truly sorry
for what must happen.

I beg your pardon?

You and your party have been declared
war casualties.

You will be taken immediately
to one of our casualty stations

so that your deaths
may be recorded.

You mean we are to be killed?

That is correct, Mr. Ambassador.

I regret it very much,
but there is nothing I can do about it.

Spock to Enterprise. Come in.

Mr. Scott, it's Mr. Spock.

Scotty here, Mr. Spock. Go ahead.

- Is the ship all right?
- We've been through a bit,

but we're all right now.
How about the captain and you?

The captain is overdue. We've
suffered no casualties among us.

This is important.

Under no circumstances shall anyone
beam down from the Enterprise.

They'd be killed
the moment they arrived.

That ties it. That popinjay Fox
went down a couple of minutes ago.

- The ambassador?
- I knew it had a rotten ring to it.

Orbit out to maximum phaser range
and stand by for further orders.

Spock out.

What are you going to do,
Mr. Spock?

Find the ambassador
and the captain.

Yeoman Tamura, you stay here

and prevent this young lady
from immolating herself.

Knock her down and sit on her,
if necessary. This is a killing situation.

Do what you must to protect yourself.

Yes, sir.

What are you doing?

I'm a representative of
the United Federation of Planets!

A special representative.

Get in line.

- Mr. Spock.
- Please, Mr. Fox.

Ladies and gentlemen,
please move quickly away

from the chamber
or you may be injured.

What are you doing, Mr. Spock?

Practising a peculiar variety
of diplomacy, sir.

I'll take you to a place of comparative
safety, then I must find the captain.

They have him. The guards told us.

They took him to the Council Room
under heavy guard.

By now, Mr. Ambassador,
I'm sure you realise

that normal diplomatic procedures
are ineffective here.

I've never been a soldier, Mr. Spock,
but I learn very quickly.

Very well, sir.
We need all the help we can get.

Captain, surely you can see
the position we are in.

If your people do not report
to our disintegration chambers,

it is a violation of an agreement
that dates back 500 years.

My people are not responsible
for your agreements.

You will be responsible for an
escalation that will destroy everything.

Millions of people horribly killed,

complete destruction
of our culture here.

Yes, and the culture on Vendikar.

Disaster, disease, starvation,

horrible, lingering death,
pain and anguish.

That seems to frighten you.

It would frighten any sane man.

Yes, you're quite right.

Don't you understand, captain?
We have done away with all that.

Now you are threatening
to bring it down on us again.

Are those 500 people of yours
more important

than the hundreds of millions
of innocent people

on Eminiar and Vendikar?
What kind of monster are you?

I'm a barbarian.
You said it yourself.

I had hoped I had spoken
only figuratively.

Oh, no, you were quite accurate.
I plan to prove it to you.

Open a channel to the Enterprise.

You give me no choice, captain.

We are not bandits.
You force us to act as bandits.

This is the USS Enterprise.

Scotty, general order 24 in two hours!
In two hours!

Enterprise, this is Anan 7,

First Councilman of
the High Council of Eminiar.

We hold your captain, his party, your
ambassador and his party prisoners.

Unless you immediately
start transportation

of all personnel aboard your ship to
the surface, the hostages will be killed.

You have 30 minutes.

I mean it, captain.

All that it means is that
I won't be around for the destruction.

You heard me give general order 24.

That means in two hours
the Enterprise will destroy Eminiar Vll.

Planetary defence system.
Open fire on the Enterprise.

I'm sorry, councilman,
the target has moved out of range.

You wouldn't do this.

Hundreds of millions of people...

I didn't start it, councilman...

...but I'm liable to finish it.

I received a message from Vendikar.

Our time is nearly up. Our quota
is short by several thousand.

They accuse us
of reneging on the treaty.

You see? Lt's started.

You're wrong. It hasn't begun.

Councilman, disintegrator station 11
has been destroyed.

Guard positions in tunnels eight
and ten fail to answer.

Earth party reported seen
in corridor 4-A.

You have less than two hours,

What I want or don't want has nothing
to do with it. Escalation is automatic.

- You can stop it!
- Stop it?

I'm counting on it.

Open a channel, lieutenant.

This is the commander
of the USS Enterprise.

All cities and installations
on Eminiar Vll

have been located, identified
and fed into our fire control system.

In one hour and 45 minutes,

the entire inhabited surface
of your planet will be destroyed.

You have that long
to surrender your hostages.

What can I do?
Somebody, please tell me.

Hold it!

Over there. You, over there.
Move, move, move.

Now we'll talk.

I had assumed you needed help.
I see I'm in error.

Oh, I need the help.
In there, Mr. Spock.

Kirk to Enterprise. Come in, Scotty.

Aye, captain. Are you all right?

Everything's secure here.
Maintain position.

If everything goes according to plan,
you can beam us up in ten minutes.

If you don't hear from us, carry out
general order 24 on schedule.

Aye, aye, captain.
Is there anything else we can do?

Cross your fingers. Kirk out.

Death, destruction, disease, horror,

that's what war is all about, Anan.

That's what makes it a thing
to be avoided.

You've made it neat and painless.

So neat and painless,
you've had no reason to stop it.

And you've had it for 500 years.

Since it seems to be the only way
I can save my crew and my ship,

I'm going to end it for you.
One way or another.

- Mr. Ambassador?
- Yes, captain?

Would you mind taking these people

out into the corridor
and holding them there?

Gentlemen, if you please.


Come with me. Mr. Osborne.

Our communicators, weapons.

All right, Mr. Spock.

These are the attack computers,

That one's defence,
that one computes the casualties.

They're all tied in
with a subspace transmission unit

which keeps them in constant contact
with their Vendikan counterparts.

- Yes, go on.
- The moment contact is broken,

it abrogates the agreement between
the two warring parties.

What are you gonna do?

This one's the key.

The circuit is now locked.
Destroy this one, and they'll all go.

- Good. Get him out of here.
- No, wait a minute, please. Please!

Let's go.

Against the wall!

- Do you realise what you have done?
- Yes, I do.

I've given you back
the horrors of war.

The Vendikans will now assume
you've broken your agreement

and that you're preparing to wage
real war with real weapons.

They'll want to do the same.
Only the next attack they launch

will do a lot more than just
count up numbers on a computer.

They'll destroy your cities,
devastate your planet.

You, of course, will want to retaliate.
If I were you, I'd start making bombs.

Yes, councilman,
you have a real war on your hands.

You can either wage it
with real weapons,

or you might consider an alternative.

Put an end to it. Make peace.

There can be no peace.

Don't you see?
We've admitted it to ourselves.

We're a killer species. It's instinctive.
It's the same with you.

Your general order 24.

All right. It's instinctive.

But the instinct can be fought.

We're human beings

with the blood of a million
savage years on our hands.

But we can stop it.

We can admit that we're killers,
but we're not going to kill today.

That's all it takes. Knowing
that we're not going to kill today.

Contact Vendikar.

I think you'll find that they're just as
terrified, appalled, horrified as you are.

That they'll do anything to avoid
the alternative I've given you.

Peace or utter destruction.

It's up to you.

As a third party interested
only in peace

and the establishment
of normal relations,

I shall be glad to offer my services as
negotiator between you and Vendikar.

I've had some small experiences
in such matters.

There may be a chance.

We have a direct channel
with Vendikar's High Council.

- It hasn't been used in centuries.
- Then it's long overdue.

Shall we go?

There's a chance it may work,

- Kirk to Enterprise. Scotty?
- Scott here, captain.

Cancel implementation
of general order 24.

Alert Transporter Room.
We're ready to beam up.

Lay in a course for Argana II,
navigator. Mr. Scott.

Space detail set, captain.

Message from Eminiar Vll, captain.

Ambassador Fox reports negotiations
are under way with Vendikar.

- Outlook hopeful.
- Good.

Captain, you took a big chance.

Did I, Mr. Spock?

They had been killing
3 million people a year.

It had been going on for 500 years.
An actual attack wouldn't have killed

any more people than one
of their computer attacks,

but it would've ended
their ability to make war.

The fighting would've been over.

But you didn't know that
it would work.

No. It was a calculated risk.

Still, the Eminians keep
a very orderly society,

and actual war is
a very messy business.

A very, very messy business.

I had a feeling that they would do
anything to avoid it. Even talk peace.

A feeling is not much to go on.

Sometimes a feeling, Mr. Spock,
is all we humans have to go on.

Captain, you almost make me
believe in luck.

Why, Mr. Spock, you almost make me
believe in miracles.