Kirk is strolling down the corridor near Spock’s quarters when McCoy chats with him about the fact that the first officer is restless and not eating. They notice Chapel going to Spock’s quarters with plomeek
soup. She goes in and McCoy notes that Spock threatened to break his neck. Spock yells at Chapel and throws the soup out after her, then makes a request to Kirk of shore leave to Vulcan and demands a yes or no answer.
Kirk meets privately with Spock and demands an explanation, noting they’re heading for Altair 6. Spock insists on going to Vulcan and Kirk gives in. However, en route they receive word that the inauguration ceremonies on Altair 6 have been bumped up a week. Kirk gives orders to bypass Vulcan to arrive on time, but later when he checks back Chekov reveals that Spock ordered them back on course to Vulcan. Kirk confronts his first officer who says he has no memory of ordering a course change but admits it’s possible he did it. Kirk orders him to Sickbay for an examination and Spock reluctantly agrees. McCoy reports to Chekov that if they don’t get Spock to Vulcan in a week, he’ll die.
McCoy can’t explain what’s happening to Spock but notes there’s a growing imbalance and Spock won’t explain. Spock is looking at a picture of a Vulcan girl when Kirk arrives and demands an explanation. Spock finally admits that it is a secret and describes how they are reduced to madness when the time of Pon Farr
, the “time of mating,” if they do not return home and take a wife, they die. Kirk promises to keep his secret and vows to get him to Vulcan. Kirk talks to Admiral Komack at Starfleet but he refuses to grant them permission to go to Vulcan due to the importance of the Altair system. Kirk disregards the command and orders the ship to Vulcan. They arrive in orbit above Vulcan and Spock asks Kirk and McCoy to accompany him to the ceremony as his friends. They are greeted by T’Pring… Spock’s wife.
Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down to the sacred place where the ceremony is to be held. Spock summons the wedding party, which is led by T’Pau, an elderly Vulcan considered a representative of all of Vulcan in one package. T’Pring is also there, accompanied by another man, Stonn, and several others including an executioner. The ceremony begins but T’Pring issues a challenge and Spock goes into a trance, the ploktow
, the blood fever. Kirk and McCoy choose to stay and T’Pau informs them Spock will have to fight for her. T’Pring prepares to choose her challenge, and considers an expectant Stonn… then picks Kirk.
Spock tries to resist the challenge but T’Pau refuses to hear of it, and notes that if Kirk refuses another challenger will be selected. McCoy warns against it due to the thin air and heat, but Kirk figures he can quit if it gets too tough. He accepts and the attendants bring forth the lirpa
, a bladed cudgel. Kirk realizes the battle is to the death.
The two men fight and Kirk barely manages to stay ahead of the incensed Vulcan. They manage to disarm each other and T’Pau calls a temporary halt. McCoy asks permission to administer a tri-ox injection to Kirk to compensate for the heat and thin air. Battle continues with the ahn woon
, a sling-like whip/strap. Spock manages to get the upper hand and strangles Kirk to death.
Coming out of the blood fever, Spock realizes what he’s done as McCoy declares Kirk dead. McCoy has his body beamed up to the ship and Spock tells the doctor to go ahead and he’ll follow in a few minutes where they’ll head for the nearest starbase so he can surrender to the authorities. He then asks T’Pring to explain, and she says she wanted Stonn. She didn’t’ want Spock the Legend but couldn’t get a divorce except through issuing challenge. She chose Kirk so that if he won, he wouldn’t want her. If Spock won, he wouldn’t want her or would keep her but leave, and she’d have Stonn regardless. Spock acknowledges her on her logic then beams up to the ship.
Once aboard, Spock reports to Sickbay where Spock is greeted by… Kirk. Spock has a brief emotional outburst before quickly covering. Kirk explains McCoy gave him a neuro-paralyzer to simulate death. T’Pau has formally requested the ship’s present at Vulcan, clearing them for disobeying orders. McCoy can’t resist teasing Spock about his brief emotional scene. Share this article with your friends