On Beta 12-A, Kirk takes down a landing party with McCoy, Chekov, and Johnson after getting word that a Federation colony there is under attack. They investigate and find no trace of the colony, and assume the neighboring Klingons destroyed it. They're unaware that an energy ball is hovering just out of sight. In orbit, Spock detects an approaching Klingon ship but as they look on, internal explosions break out aboard it. On the planet, Captain Kang and an assault team silently beam down and then take Kirk and his men hostage, accusing them of attacking their ship unprovoked. Kirk denies any involvement but Kang insists they were attacked and prepares to torture them until they surrender the Enterprise
. Chekov screams in rage, saying the Klingons killed his brother Piotr at another colony, and Kang chooses him as the first torture victim. Kirk finally yields and offers to surrender the ship, insisting that there will be no tricks once aboard. He signals the Enterprise
but sends a secret signal. They beam aboard... but Scotty has divided the beam and held the Klingons in transit. They call in the ship's security, materialize the Klingons, and take them prisoner. They then beam over the rest of the Klingons from the doomed ship and offer them the "hospitality" of the ship's lounge for confinement.
I said no tricks after we reach the ship.
The energy lifeform from the planet has come aboard the Enterprise
although the crew are unaware of it. Kirk suspects the Klingons but Spock notes there is no way they could have reached the planet when they received the distress signal. They destroy the Klingon ship as a derelict and head for the nearest starbase, unable to establish communications with Starfleet. However, the emergency bulkheads suddenly slam down, cutting off most of the crew. The ship accelerates beyond their control, going to Warp 9 and they have no way to stop it redirect it. Kirk figures the Klingons beamed aboard a saboteur in secret and goes to confront Kang. Kang is amused but denies any knowledge of what's going on. Kirk slugs him in return for the torture on the planet, and the items in the lounge suddenly transform into swords. The Enterprise
crew's phasers also transform into swords, and Kirk and his men barely get out ahead of the attacking Klingons.
Kirk gets to the bridge where Spock speculates that the Klingons have neither the technology nor the desire to transform matter and give it equally to their enemies. Chekov starts raging about his brother again, disobeys Kirk's orders, and runs off to fight the Klingons. After he leaves, Sulu notes that Chekov is an only child and never had a brother.
I saw what they left of Piotr, and I swore on his grave I would avenge his murder!
Scotty is unable to cut through the bulkheads, which have been altered on a molecular level to be impenetrable. Spock determines that there is one extra life form on the ship, neither Klingon or human and consisting of energy, and tries to pinpoint it, while the Klingons take Engineering. They conclude the alien can manipulate both matter and minds, the latter which is proven when McCoy storms onto the bridge furious over all the injuries and suggesting they slaughter the Klingons. They manage to calm him down and try to contact Kang, but the Klingon captain shuts down life support to all non-Klingon controlled sections of the ship to wipe them out.
As they try to restore life support, Scotty comes onto the bridge and is furious over the Klingons, insisting he should have left them in the transporter. After shouting a racial epithet at Spock, the Vulcan responds emotionally, preparing to attack the engineer. Kirk manages to snap them out of it although he almost loses his temper as well. The circuits come back up, although Sulu informs them he had nothing to do with it. Kang is equally puzzled, wondering what is giving them victory and then taking it away.
What power is it that supports our battle yet starves our victory?
Spock locates the lifeform aboard the ship and he and Kirk go after it. Meanwhile, Chekov has found Kang's wife Mara and starts to assault her, ripping her dress. Kirk and Spock find him and stop him just in time, knocking him out. They spot the alien briefly but it fades through the wall and they take Chekov to sickbay. There McCoy reveals that all of the injured personnel are healing at an accelerated rate. Kirk, Spock, and Mara go to find the alien and one of the security guards follows, insisting he's ready for duty. He goes into a fury as the alien appears and glows with energy. When Spock renders the man unconscious, the entity's energy dims as well. They conclude that the entity is feeding on their hate and anger and creating the circumstances to flame both sides into a rage.
Going to the bridge, they get word that the dilithium crystals are almost drained and they have only 12 minutes before they're stranded in space. Kirk contacts Kang and threatens to kill Mara if he doesn't listen, but Kang gives her up as a sacrifice. Mara realizes Kirk was bluffing and believes they're truly interested in peace, and agrees to help them. With time running out, they come up with a plan to use the transporter to beam directly into Engineering and meet with Kang. Kirk takes the willing Mara with him and goes unarmed into Engineering, where Kang, furious at seeing Mara's dress ripped, attacks him.
I see why the human beast did not kill you.
crew fight their way into Engineering while Kirk and Mara try to get through to Kang. Finally the alien shows up to feed on the bloodlust and Kirk shows it to Kang. The Klingon agrees to a temporary truce and the alien's energies fade a bit. With only minutes left, Spock suggests they engage in good spirits to "starve" the entity and they end up taunting it, and mocking each other half good-heartedly. The entity departs, leaving the two sides to work out their differences by themselves.
We need no urging to hate humans, but for the present only a fool fights in a burning house!