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The Enterprise responds to a distress call from the planet Mulour, only to find the entire civilization has been destroyed. Then a small probe with incredible weaponry and defense capabilities attacks the Enterprise. After Kirk identifies himself, it agrees to be beamed aboard to make contact. The probe, Nomad, was sent out to explore the far ends of the galaxy, but it has altered and is now dedicated to seeking out and sterilizing life forms. Only the fact that it believes Kirk is its creator is keeping it from destroying the Enterprise... and it starts to see through the deception.
is responding to a distress signal in the Malurian system, where a team of Federation scientists is working, but they can’t get a response. Spock reports the population of four billion is… gone. An unidentified source opens fire on them and they survive the hit, which reduces their shields by 20%. Four more hits will shatter their shields. They finally manage to locate the source of the energy bolts and fire a photon torpedo, but it’s unaffected. The barrage continues and the shields go down, and Kirk sends out a message asking for contact and identifying himself by name. Spock finally identifies the source: a metal cylinder a meter long. The attacker responds with mathematical code, asking for access to their databanks. Kirk agrees and the attacker identifies itself in English as Nomad, saying it’s non-hostile. Kirk agrees to beam it aboard and the small metal cylinder appears in the transporter chamber...Read the full recap
Nomad: Your facts are uncoordinated.
McCoy: Jim, I don't think anybody's in there.
Nomad: I contain no parasitical beings. I am Nomad.
Scotty: In my opinion, that's a machine.
Spock: It is reacting much like a highly sophisticated computer.
Nomad: I am Nomad. What is opinion?
Spock: Opinion is a belief, a view, a judgment.
Nomad: Insufficient response.
McCoy: Tell me what your function is.
Nomad: This is one of your units, creator?
Kirk: Yes, he is.
Nomad: It functions irrationally.
Kirk: Sometimes. Tell him your function nevertheless.
McCoy: It was supposed to be the first interstellar probe to seek new life-forms.
Spock: Precisely, Doctor. And somehow that programming has been changed. It would seem that Nomad is now seeking out perfect life-forms, perfection being measured by its own relentless logic.
Nomad: That unit is defective. Its thinking is chaotic. Absorbing it unsettled me.
Spock: That "unit" is a woman.
Nomad: A mass of conflicting impulses.
Nomad: Creator, the unit Scott is a primitive structure. Insufficient safe guards built in. Breakdown can occur from many causes. Self-maintenance systems of low reliability.
Kirk: It serves me as it is, Nomad.
Nomad: Mr. Spock is also one of your biological units, creator?
Nomad: This unit is different. It is well-ordered.
Kirk: I made an error in creating you.
Nomad: The creation of perfection is no error.
Kirk: I did not create perfection. I created ... error.
Nomad: Your data is faulty. I am Nomad. I am perfect.
Spock: Your logic was impeccable, Captain. We are in grave danger.
Spock: My congratulations, Captain. A dazzling display of logic.
Kirk: You didn't think I had it in me?
Spock: No, sir.
Kirk: Besides, what are you feeling so badly about? It's not easy to lose a bright and promising son.
Kirk: Well, it thought I was its mother, didn't it? Do you think I'm completely without feelings? You saw what it did for Scotty. What a doctor it would've made. My son the doctor. Kind of gets you right there, doesn't it?
During the opening attack, Leslie grabs the navigational program as he falls back, and it pulls off the floor and almost falls back with him.
When Nomad emerges from Sickbay, they use stock footage from earlier in the episode of it emerging from a turbolift.