Dr. McCoy notes in his medical log that Captain Kirk is showing increasing signs of tension and stress, and is resisting any attempts to test him. While on routine patrol Kirk orders the ship into the Neutral Zone and beyond, despite the fact he has received no orders from Starfleet to do so. Once they enter Romulan space, they are immediately surrounded by three undetected Romulan ships that emerge from behind their cloaks.
That’s a Klingon ship!
It becomes clear the Romulans have created a new cloaking device that can‘t be penetrated by motion sensors. Subcommander Tal calls them from the command ship and orders them to surrender but Kirk threatens to blow up the ship if the Romulans make any attempt to board it. Once Tal and his unseen superior notice that Spock is on board, Tal receives a message from his commander to give them an hour to consider their options. In the briefing room, McCoy learns that Kirk orders the ship into Romulan space on his own and is angry. Spock accuses Kirk of forcing the situation and leaving them with no viable options. With the hour up, Tal calls and informs them his commander wants to meet with them and offers an exchange of hostages.
No one should decide quickly to die, Captain. We give you one of your hours. If you do not surrender your ship at the end of that time, your destruction is certain.
With no choices remaining, Kirk and Spock beam over and meet with the Romulan Commander: a woman. She first talks with Kirk who claims that instrument failure was the cause of their “accidental” passage into Romulan ship. She doesn’t believe him and asks Spock to tell her the truth. While she believes and he confirms that Vulcans never lie, he refuses to speak about the situation, confirming her suspicions that there is something to hide. She assumes they’re after the new cloaking device and threatens to torture Kirk. Even thought that will kill him rather the get the information, she is unconcerned. To save his captain, Spock testifies that Kirk snapped under the stress and ordered the Enterprise
into the Neutral Zone on his own initiative.
I'll kill you for this, you traitor! I'll kill you!
The Commander orders Scotty to surrender and promises that the crew won’t be held responsible as they were acting under orders. Scotty refuses to surrender the ship and the Command has Kirk taken from the bridge. She talks with Spock and suggests that he should have a ship of his own in the Romulan fleet. Spock considers the matter with interest.
Such opportunities are extremely rare. For someone with your capabilities and accomplishments, opportunities are made and will be. I will see to that.
A demented Kirk throws himself at the brig’s force field and manages to stun himself, and the Commander calls McCoy over to deal with him. She takes Spock to the brig, passing by a high-security area. In the brig, McCoy confirms that Kirk is suffering from extreme mental stress and the Commander uses that to confirm Spock’s testimony. A furious Kirk attacks his first officer and Spock instinctively grabs him and administers the Vulcan Death Grip. Kirk collapses to the floor, dead, and McCoy returns the body to the ship.
I was unprepared for his attack. I instinctively used the Vulcan death grip.
Back on board the Enterprise
, McCoy revives Kirk and reveals to Nurse Chapel that the whole thing was a ploy. Kirk and Spock are both acting under Federation orders and they faked Kirk’s death so he could gain access to the cloaking device and steal it. Kirk has McCoy begin plastic surgery on him. Later, they call Scotty down to Sickbay and reveal they’ve transformed Kirk into a Romulan. He wears the uniform of one of their prisoners and waits for Spock to give him the coordinates of the room with the cloaking device.
Well, you look like the devil himself, but as long as you're alive. What's it all about?
The Commander invites Spock to a specially-prepared Vulcan dinner, and tries to convince him to join the Romulans. Since he is occupied, Kirk has no choice but to beam over to the Romulan flagship in his disguise and try to find the cloaking device. Spock finally agrees to the Commander’s offer and agrees to take a security team over to secure the bridge and bring the ship to a Romulan starbase. However, he suggests they take an hour to be together and she goes into the next room to change out of her uniform. Once she leaves, Spock contacts Kirk and gives him directions to the high-security area with the cloaking device. He’s forced to break off when the Commander returns in more casual lingerie and the two flirt in a Romulan/Vulcan way.
Commander, your attire is not only more appropriate, it should actually stimulate our conversation.
Kirk knocks out a guard and gets to the high-security chamber, while Tal interrupts the Commander to reveal they’ve detected an alien communicator transmission. Spock surrenders his communicator and the Command realizes she’s been tricked. She and Tal go to the cloaking device only to discover that Kirk has escaped with the device. Unaware he’s returned to the Enterprise
, she orders a shipwide search for the intruder. Scotty works to hook up the cloaking device before Spock is executed.
With time running out, Spock demands the Right of Statement and stalls for time. The Enterprise
manages to pinpoint Spock’s Vulcan life sign readings from among the Romulans and beams him aboard. The Commander grabs him as he is transported and arrives on the Enterprise
with him. As soon as he’s aboard, the Enterprise
flees at Warp 9 and Subcommander Tal pursues. Kirk warns Tal that they have his Commander but she orders her officer to destroy the Enterprise
no matter what. As Tal prepares to open fire, Scotty completes the installation and the Enterprise
disappears from the Romulan sensors.
It should take less time than that to find your ally who stole the cloaking device. You will not die alone.
Kirk has Spock take the Commander to confinement and as they ride down in the turbo lift, it’s clear that the Commander was interested romantically in Spock but he notes he had no choice but to fulfill his duty, and she wouldn’t have respected him if he failed to do so. On the bridge, McCoy gives Kirk a hard time about having pointed ears and he heads down to Sickbay to get the plastic surgery reversed.
Captain... please go. Somehow they do not look aesthetically agreeable on humans.