is tracing an unknown alien space probe that scanned the Federation, going back along its projected route. The probe self-destructed before it could be captured. As they start to lose the trace, they reduce speed and detect a vessel at extreme range, coming in on the same course as the probe. Kirk has the acting helmsman, Ensign Walking Bear, reduce speed. As it approaches, they determine it is twice the Enterprise
's size, made of crystalline ceramic, and surrounded by a unique energy field. The vessel attacks and the Enterprise
loses speed as they are surrounded by a globular force field, flexible enough to absorb any force...Read the full recap
Kirk: If children are made totally dependent on the teachers, they'll never be anything but children.
Spock: Vulcan was visited by alien beings. They left much wiser.