Star Trek (1966–1969): Season 2, Episode 13 - Obsession - full transcript

Capt. Kirk obsessively hunts for a mysterious cloud creature he encountered in his youth.

Our scanner survey was correct.
There it is. Pure tritanium.

Fantastic. 20 times as hard as diamond.

- 21.4 times as hard, to be exact.
- Thank you.

Scotty, mark this vein as confirmed.

l recommend that Starfleet
dispatch a survey vessel.

They'll send a vessel for this rich a find.

We won't be able to break it.
l'll phaser off a specimen.


Do you smell that?

A sweet odour, like honey.

lt was years ago, on another planet.

A thing with an odour like that.

We're in the growing season
in this hemisphere.

- There are many pollen aromas.
- Rizzo.

- Yes, sir.
- Make a swing around our perimeter.

Scan for dikironium in the atmosphere.
Set your phasers on disruptor-B.

lf you see any gaseous cloud,
fire immediately.

You're on Red Alert. Let's go.

- Ready to beam back aboard?
- No. We're checking something out.

The USS Yorktown
is expecting us in eight hours.

- That doesn't give us much time.
- Acknowledged. Kirk out.

Captain, dikironium exists
only in laboratory experiments.

lt's gone.

l could have been wrong.

The last time l caught an odour
like that...was eleven years ago.

Seemed to read dikironium for a minute,
then l lost it.

lt's almost like something knows
l'm scanning it.

lt keeps changing itself
into something different.

That isn't possible. Nothing could do that.


- Kirk here.
- Captain...

There's a strange cloud, sir.
lt's...a cloud... A cloud...

- Fire into it immediately!
- Help!


And you'll find every red corpuscle
gone from their body.

Rizzo's alive. Barely.

Kirk to Enterprise. Lock in on us.
Medical emergency.

You think you know what it was?

Something that can't possibly exist.

But it does.

Space - the final frontier.

These are the voyages
of the starship Enterprise.

lts five-year mission,
to explore strange new worlds,

to seek out new life
and new civilisations,

to boldly go
where no man has gone before.

Captain's log, stardate 3619.2.

With the death of two crewmen,

all personnel have been evacuated
back to the ship.

- Autopsy report.
- How's Rizzo?

- Still unconscious, sir.
- Transfusions?

Continuing. His blood count
is still 60% less than normal.

- Kirk to bridge.
- Ready to leave orbit.

- Hold your position.
- lf l may...

The Yorktown is expecting
to rendezvous in seven hours.

lnform them that we might be late.

Their ship surgeon
will want to know how late.

Those vaccines are highly perishable.

Those medical supplies
are badly needed on planet Theta Vll.

They are expecting
to have them on time.

Gentlemen, we are remaining in orbit
until l find out more about those deaths.

l am perfectly aware that it might
cost lives on Theta Vll. Kirk out.

- Autopsy report.
- You saw their colour.

There wasn't a red corpuscle
left in them.

- Marks, cuts or incisions?
- Not one.

What happened is medically impossible.

l suggest you look at the record tapes
of past similar occurrences.

The USS Farragut lists casualties
eleven years ago

from exactly the same
impossible causes.

Thank you.
l'll check those tapes immediately.

First, can you bring Ensign Rizzo
to consciousness for a moment?

- Yes but...
- Will it hurt him?

ln his present condition, l don't think
it would make much difference.

Then do so.

Transfusion completed. His pulse
and respiration are below normal.

Give him 1 cc of cordrazine.

Yes, sir.

Rizzo. This is the captain.
Can you hear me?

Do you remember
what happened to you?

Remember... l'm cold.

l'm so cold.

You were attacked by something.

When that happened...

...did you odour of any kind?

Do you remember a sickly sweet odour?

- Did you smell it?
- Yes.

Yes. Yes. A smell. Strange smell.

lt was like being smothered in honey.

Did you feel a presence?
An intelligence?

lt was trying to draw strength from us.

l felt was... lt was...

He's beginning to sleep again, Jim.
l can't risk another shot.

He's told me what l wanted to know.

l wouldn't depend
on what he says in that state.

He could be dreaming.

Check the record tapes.
l want your medical analysis.

What's with the captain?
l've never seen him like that before.

l intend to find out.
l'll be in the medical record library.

Subspace message from Starfleet.

Not now. Have the security duty officer
report to me immediately.

Still no readings
of life-forms on the planet's surface.

Let's assume that it's something
so completely different

that our sensors
would not identify it as a life-form.

- You mentioned dikironium.
- Suppose it was composed of that.

A strange, gaseous creature.

There is no trace of dikironium on the
planet's surface or in the atmosphere.

Suppose it camouflaged itself.

Let's assume that it knows
that we're looking for it.

To hide from a sensor scan, it would
have to be able to change its structure.

Like gold changing itself to lead.
Or wood changing itself to ivory.

You've just suggested something...
that never occurred to me.

lt may provide some answers

to a tape record Dr McCoy is looking at
this very moment.

Chekov, take over on scanner.

Ensign Garrovick reporting, sir.

- Are you the new security officer?
- Yes, sir.

- Was your father...
- Yes, but l don't want special treatment.

You'll get none aboard this ship.

Captain, l have a report
on Ensign Rizzo.

He's dead, sir.

You knew Rizzo?

Yes, sir. We were good friends.
Graduated together.

- You'll get a go at his killer. lnterested?
- Yes, l am, sir.

l want four men with phasers
in the transporter room in five minutes.

- You'll accompany me to the planet.
- Yes, sir.

Reading is changing, sir.

Notice the molecular shift?

Dikironium reading now, sir.

Bearing 94, mark 7, angle of elevation
6 degrees. Holding steady.

Over that rise. Take two men.
Circle around to the left.

l'll take the other two
and go the other way.

That creature is dangerous.
lf you see it, fire with full phasers.

Yes, sir.

Swensen, Bardoli...come with me.

A phaser! Come on!

Did you...?

Captain's log, stardate 3619.6.

One of the men in critical condition,
the other is dead.

And l am now even more convinced that
this is not only an intelligent creature,

but the same which decimated the crew
of the Farragut eleven years ago

in another part of the galaxy.

Spock and McCoy are doubtful of this

and they also doubt my decision
to stay and fight the thing.

Why am l keeping the ship here?

We've studied your report. Mr Spock?

What was the size of the thing you saw?

l'd say it measured
from 10 to 60 cubic metres, sir.

lt varied in size, fluctuated as it moved.

- Composition?
- lt was like a... a gaseous cloud.

Parts of it l could see through,
other parts l couldn't.

Did you sense any intelligence
in this gaseous cloud?


Did you get any impressions
that this was a living, thinking thing

rather than just a cloud
of chemical elements?

- No, sir.
- Did you come into contact with it?

No, sir. l was furthest away from it.
lt seemed to come out of nowhere.

lt hovered for a moment
then moved toward my men. lt was fast.

You said it hovered?
You did fire at it, didn't you?

- Yes, sir, l did.
- What distance were you from it?

About 20 yards, sir.

You fired at a large, hovering target
at that distance and missed?

Yes. Well...
l didn't fire while it was hovering, sir.

- You mean you froze?
- No, sir.

l...didn't exactly freeze.

What exactly were you doing?

l was startled for a second.

And then by the time l fired,
the thing was already moving.

- Do you have any further information?
- No, sir.

Do you gentlemen
have any further questions?

l only hesitated for a moment, sir.

l'm sorry.

Ensign, you're relieved of all duties and
confined to quarters until further notice.

Yes, sir.

- You were a little hard on him.
- He froze.

One man was killed, another may die.

Captain, scientifically...

You'll both file reports.
Make your comments then.

l've cleaned the radioactive disposal
vent and number 2 impulse engine.

- We'll be ready to leave soon.
- We're not leaving orbit.

The Yorktown wants to know when
we expect to rendezvous with them.

The medicine for Theta Vll
is needed desperately and...

l'm aware of the situation,

and l'm getting tired of my
senior officers conspiring against me.

Forgive me.
l shouldn't have said "conspire".

- Agreed, sir.
- Scanner readings.

- Nothing, sir.
- lt can change its molecular structure.

You're scanning for unusual movement?
Any type of gaseous cloud?

- We've run a full scan twice.
- Then run it 20 times!

l hope l'm not disturbing you, Doctor.

lnterrupting another autopsy report
is no disturbance. lt's a relief.

l need your advice.

- Then l need a drink.
- l do not understand your reasoning.

You need my advice? You're kidding.

l do not joke. Perhaps l should
rephrase my statement.

l require an opinion.

There are aspects of human irrationality
l do not comprehend.

Obsession, for one.

A single-minded fixation
on one idea.

- Jim and his creature?
- Precisely.

Have you studied the Farragut incident?

No. With all these deaths l've
only had a chance to scan the tapes.

There are ten hours of record tapes.

l read somewhat faster.

ln brief, nearly half the crew
and the captain were annihilated.

The captain's name was Garrovick.

- The same as our ensign.
- His father.

Among the survivors
was an officer on his first assignment.

James T Kirk.

And there is still more.

l suggest you study this.

Personal log, stardate 3620.7.

Have l the right
to jeopardise my crew, my ship,

for a feeling l can't even put into words?

No man achieves Starfleet command
without relying on intuition,

but have l made a rational decision?

Am l letting the horrors of the past
distort my judgment of the present?

Mind if l come in?

- Bridge. Scanning report.
- Continuing scanning.

No unusual readings.

Maintain search. Kirk out.

lt can't have just vanished.

Sometimes they do, if we're lucky.
Monsters come in many forms.

You know the greatest monster
of them all?

- Guilt.
- Your point?

When a young officer is exposed
to unknown dangers for the first time,

he's under tremendous emotional stress.

Garrovick is a command decision.

- You're straying out of your field.
- Am l?

l was speaking of Lieutenant
James T Kirk of the starship Farragut.

You were the officer at the phaser
station when something attacked.

The young Lieutenant Kirk
insisted upon blaming himself.

- Because l delayed in firing at it.
- You were startled.

You delayed firing for two seconds.

lf l hadn't delayed,
it would have been killed.

The ship's exec didn't seem to think so.
His log entry was quite clear.

"Lieutenant Kirk performed
with uncommon bravery."

Don't you understand?

lt killed 200 crewmen.

Captain Garrovick was
very important to you, wasn't he?

Yes. He was my commanding officer
from the day l left the Academy.

One of the finest men l ever knew.

l could have killed that thing
if l had fired soon enough the first time.

You don't know that any more than
you know that Garrovick could have.

l can't help how l feel.
There' intelligence about it, Bones.

A malevolence. lt's evil.

lt must be destroyed.

To be so obsessed...


That you could destroy yourself,
your career,

a young boy
who reminds you of yourself.

- Don't push our friendship.
- l'm not.

This is professional, Captain.

l am preparing a medical log entry

on my estimation of the physical
and emotional condition of the captain.

Which requires a witness
of command grade.

Do l take it, Doctor, Commander,
that both or either of you

consider me unfit or incapacitated?

Correctly phrased,
as recommended in the manual.

Our reply, also as recommended, is...

Sir, we have noted in your behaviour,

certain items which on the surface
seem unusual.

We ask permission to enquire further...

Blast it, forget the manual!

Ask your questions.

Sir, the USS Yorktown
is waiting at the rendezvous point.

- lt carries perishable drugs...
- l know.

They need those vaccines, Captain.
Why are we delaying?

Because l think this is the
creature that attacked the Farragut.

- Creature, Captain?
- My report is on the tapes.

As it attacked us eleven years ago,

as l lost consciousness,

l could feel its intelligence,
l could sense it thinking, planning.

You say you could sense its intelligence.

Did it communicate with you?

lt happened
as you lost consciousness.

The semiconscious mind is tricky.

A man never knows how much is real
or how much is imagination.

Whatever it is, Doctor,
wouldn't you call it deadly?

There's no doubt about that.

What if it is the same creature
that attacked eleven years ago,

from a planet
over 1,000 light years from here?

Obviously, Captain,
if it is an intelligent creature,

if it is the same one, if it is
therefore capable of space travel,

it could pose a grave threat.

A lot of ifs, l agree.

But in my command judgment,
they outweigh other factors.

lntuition, however illogical, is recognised
as a command prerogative.

We're not trying to gang up on you.

You've expressed the proper concern
and asked the proper questions.

You've both done your duty.

May l ask what medical log entry
you intend to make?

At this point,
my medical log remains open.

- ln that case, gentlemen...
- Bridge to Captain. Come in.

- Kirk here.
- l have a reading on the...the thing.

Leaving planet, heading into space.

All decks, Red Alert.
Prepare to leave orbit.

We can't maintain warp 8 much longer.
The pressures are critical.

- Range, Mr Chekov.
- 0.04 light years ahead.

Our phasers won't reach it, sir.

We could be pursuing it for days.

lf necessary.

lncrease our speed, Scott.

Aye, sir.

- Extreme magnification.
- Magnification 12.

There, sir. Got it.


- How do you read that?
- Conflicting data, Captain.

lt seems to be in a borderline state
between matter and energy.

Elements of both. lt could use
gravitational fields for propulsion.

And you don't find that sophisticated?

Extremely efficient. Whether that
indicates intelligence is another matter.

Open hatch on impulse engine number 2.
Mr Scott was doing a clean-up on it.

We won't be using impulse engines.
Turn the alarm off.

Captain, we can't do it.
lf we keep this speed, we'll blow up.

Go to warp 6.


l brought you some dinner.

- l'm not hungry.
- Doctor's orders.

What's happening?

Are we still chasing that thing
halfway across the galaxy? Yes.

Has the captain lost
his sense of balance? Maybe.

ls the entire crew about ready
to explode? Positively.

- You're lucky you're out of it.
- What do you mean, "out of it"?

l caused it.
You know that too, don't you?

lf l'd fired quickly enough,
this wouldn't have happened.

Self-pity is a terrible first course.
Try the soup instead.

l'm not hungry.

Dr McCoy thought you might say that.

This is his officially logged
prescription for you.

lt has one word on it. "Eat."

lf you don't follow his orders,
Dr McCoy could and possibly would

have you hauled down to sickbay
and fed intravenously.

- What's that?
- This?

"A Survey of
Cygnian Respiratory Diseases".

- What were you doing with this?
- Applying psychology.

The creature is down to warp 2.

Reduce speed.

Approach slowly.

l don't understand. lt was outrunning us.

Maybe it's decided to fight.

- Phasers ready?
- Phasers ready, sir.

All decks to battle stations.
This is not a drill.

All decks to battle stations.

lt's coming to a full halt, sir.

Magnification 1.

Move in closely, Mr Chekov.
Sublight one quarter speed.

Request permission
to return to my post.

- Within phaser range, sir.
- Lock all phasers on target.

- Locked on target.
- Fire phasers, Mr Chekov.

- Phasers ineffectual, sir.
- Photon torpedoes. Minimum spread.

- Minimum pattern ready.
- Fire photon torpedoes.

There. lt's coming, sir.

- Deflectors up.
- The deflectors will not stop it.

- That's impossible.
- l should have surmised this.

To use gravity for propulsion,
the creature must have this capacity.

Five seconds to contact. All hatches
and vents secure. All lights green.

Sir, the number 2 impulse vent!
We have a red light on it!

Captain. Something's entered
through the number 2 impulse vent.

Negative pressure in all ship's vents.
Alert all decks.

When it entered the vent,
it attacked two crewmen.

lt then got into the ventilating system.


One man has a chance for survival,
the other is dead.

- Add that price tag to your hunt.
- That's enough.

lt's not! You didn't care what happened
as long as you got your trophy.

Let's no longer consider whether
we should have gone after the creature.

The matter
has been rendered academic.

The creature is now after us.

- Creature, Mr Spock?
- lt turned and attacked, Doctor.

lts method was well considered
and intelligent.

Yes. Well, it could have been
many light years away from us.

lnstead it chose to turn and attack here.

l'll have to make a closer survey
of the creature.

Try flushing the radioactive waste
into the ventilation system.


l'm sorry, Jim. l was wrong.

Captain. The creature's ability
to throw itself out of time sync

makes it possible for it to be elsewhere
in the instant the phaser hits.

There is no basis
for your self-recrimination.

lf you had fired on time and on target
eleven years ago,

it would have made no difference.

Captain Garrovick would still be dead.
The fault was not yours, Jim.

- ln fact, there was no fault.
- Don't play analyst with me.

My concern is with the ship
and the crew.

Come in.

Have you been disturbed by what you
consider to be a failure on your part?

l would like you to consider

that the hesitation
for which you are blaming yourself

is a trait of your species.

When suddenly faced by the unknown
or imminent danger,

the human will experience
a split second of indecision.

He hesitates.

- Do l have your attention, Ensign?
- Yes, sir.

l know you would prefer
to wallow in emotion rather than...

lt's very kind of you to come here...

Kindness is another human emotion.
l believe we have enough of that.

l simply would like you to accept the fact
that your reaction has its basis...

Do you smell something?

- lt's coming through the vent!
- Get out of here!

lt's in my cabin. lt's got Mr Spock.

On my way. Security to 341.
Medical alert.

Scotty, reverse cabin pressure. 341.

- Security, hold it. Tricorder.
- Spock may be dying.

lf we let the thing into the ship
he'll have company.

l must have jammed the vent.

See if the reverse pressure
has pulled it back.

He saved my life.
l should be lying dead in there, not him.

Fortunately neither of us is dead,

The reverse pressure worked.
The vent is closed.

Don't misunderstand my next question.
Mr Spock, why aren't you dead?

lt's that green blood of his.

My haemoglobin
is based on copper, not iron.

l'll bet he left a bad taste
in the creature's mouth.

Colloquially expressed,
but essentially correct.

The scent is different.
l think l understand something now.

- Are you in communication with it?
- l don't know.

But you remember
l said the thing was alive.

lt may not be communication
as we understand it,

but l did know it was alive
and... and intelligent.

And l think l know something else now.

Engineering to Captain Kirk.

Engineering to Captain Kirk.

- Kirk here.
- Scott, Captain.

lt's moving back towards the impulse
vent. The radiation may be affecting it.

Open the vent. On my way to the bridge.

- Ensign Garrovick?
- Yes, sir.

You were on the bridge
when we were attacked.

l know l was confined to quarters but...

Very commendable, Ensign.
What was your impression of the battle?

- l don't understand, sir.
- l want your military appraisal.

Of the techniques used
against the creature.

lneffective, Captain.

l realise you did
everything you could do.

But nothing works against a monster
that can do what that thing does.

And what is your appraisal
of your conduct on the planet?

- l delayed firing.
- And if you hadn't delayed firing?

No difference, Ensign.

No weapon known
would have made any difference.

Then...or eleven years ago.

Report for duty, Ensign.

Yes, Captain.

Thank you, sir.

Report, Mr Chekov.

The creature has left the ship
at high warp speed

and is nearly out of scanner range.

The way that thing can move!
l wouldn't believe it.

- Direction.
- lt was bearing 127, mark 9.

l've lost it now.

Mr Scott, l'll need all the speed
you can deliver. Kirk out.

- l know where it's going.
- lt has changed course before.

- Logic would dictate that...
- No. l'm playing intuition.

Mr Chekov, compute course
for Tycho star system.

- Computed and on the board.
- Ahead full.

- Contact Starfleet and the Yorktown.
- Frequency open and clear.

lnform them that we are pursuing
the creature to planet 4 of that system.

That's the location of its attack
on the USS Farragut.

l do not understand.

l said the scent of the creature
was somehow different.

Something in my mind said, "Home."

- Do you know where home is?
- Yes, l think l do.

l don't know how l know, but home is
where it fought a starship once before.

lnform them that l'm committing this
vessel to the destruction of the creature.

- We will rendezvous... Round trip time?
- 1.7 days, sir.

We will rendezvous
with the USS Yorktown in 48 hours.

You now believe
that we should destroy the creature?

- Precisely.
- You don't?

lt's the time factor.
Those drugs are perishable.

Evidence indicates
the creature is here to spawn.

lf so, it will reproduce by fission
not just into two parts, but thousands.

- Antimatter is our only chance.
- An ounce will be sufficient.

We can drain it and transport it
to the planet in a vacuum field.

l want as much haemoplasm
as medical stores can spare.

You intend to use that
to attract the creature?

We must get it to the antimatter.
What better bait could we have?

- There is still one problem.
- The blast, yes.

Exactly. A matter-antimatter blast
will rip away the planet's atmosphere.

lf our vessel encounters
those shock waves...

- A chance we'll have to take.
- The transporter may not operate.

lf a man is beaming up when that hits,
we may lose him.

That's why l've decided
to set the trap myself.

Captain, there is so little haemoglobin
in my green blood,

the creature
could not harm me extensively.

- lt's logical for me to be the one...
- Negative.

lf this fails, l'll need you aboard
the ship. We'll need another plan.

lt will require two men
to transport the antimatter unit.

- l'd like permission to go with you.
- l had you in mind.

Kirk to Enterprise.
Proceed immediately to maximum orbit.


Just think, Captain. Less than
one ounce of antimatter here

is more powerful
than 10,000 cobalt bombs.

Let's hope it's as powerful
as man will ever get.

- Detonator.
- Aye, sir.

- Kirk to Enterprise.
- Spock here. Holding at 30,000 kms.

Antimatter container armed.
l'll call you back when it's baited.

- Kirk out.
- Captain, look!

- The bait's already taken.
- We'll have to use something else.

Sir, that thing only feeds on blood.

Get back to the ship.

Tell them to prepare to detonate.

- You're not going to be the bait.
- l said get back to the ship.

- Ensign, l gave you an order.
- Yes, sir.

You're on report.
This is no time for heroics.

l'm not sacrificing myself.
At least not yet.

Spock? Spock?

Spock here.

Scan us and lock onto us.

lt's going to be close.

Very, very close. Stand by.

Stand by, Enterprise.

l can smell it, Captain. lt's sickly.

Honey sweet.

Stand by, Enterprise.

Now! Energise and detonate.



All decks, stand by.
Shock waves.

- Do something!
- We are, Doctor.

Cross-circuiting to A.

Got them. A piece of them, anyway.

Cross-circuiting to B.

Crazy way to travel, spreading
a man's molecules everywhere.


- Thank heaven.
- Mr Scott, there was no deity involved.

lt was my cross-circuiting
that recovered them.

Then thank pitchforks and pointed ears.

- As long as it worked, Jim.
- That's a fair statement.

Now the creature's dead,
we'll deliver your medicine.

Bridge, this is Kirk.

Have Mr Chekov lay in a course
for rendezvous with the Yorktown.

Ensign, meet me in my quarters.

l'd like to talk to you about your father.
Several...tall stories you'd like to hear.

Thank you, sir. l would.