traces a distress signal to the planet Scalos where they find a technologically-advanced planet… but no signs of life. Kirk takes down a landing party to the site of the distress signal and keeps hearing a buzzing sound that seems to come from an insect, even though McCoy confirms there is no insect life on the planet. Spock reports on the planet but suddenly one crewman, Compton, disappears before McCoy’s eyes.
Well, apart from the landing party, there's no one here. There are no Scalosians.
Kirk returns to the ship and orders a full sensor sweep, but the crew is beset by minor technical malfunctions. They review the distress signal which shows five Scalosians, the only survivors, pleading for help. They determine it is a pre-recorded message and Kirk goes down to Sickbay for his check up and McCoy finds nothing wrong with him, but Kirk hears the buzzing noise again. Convinced it isn’t a hallucination, Kirk orders a red alert but the malfunctions continue and Spock reports a disturbance in Life Support. He and Kirk arrive there with two security guards but run into a force field that only repeals the redshirts. Kirk and Spock go in and find some alien mechanism attached to the unit. Another force field keeps them from touching it, and when they try to use their phasers the guns are ripped from their hands and they’re shoved back by invisible assailants.
You! What are you doing in my ship? Show yourselves!
They return to the bridge where the computer recommends negotiation against their seemingly unbeatable foe. Kirk refuses and settles down to see their next move. He takes a cup of coffee, unaware that something invisible tampers with it. When he drinks it, everyone on the bridge slows down to a complete standstill and a beautiful woman appears on the bridge. She introduces herself as Deela, the enemy. She is clearly interested in Kirk and proceeds to kiss him. The captain wants answers and when she’s not forthcoming, he tries to stun her with a phaser. The beam moves so slowly that she can easily evade it, then draw her own weapon which works just fine. Deela explains that she and her remaining people are hyper-accelerated and they dosed Kirk’s coffee with Scalosian water that hyper-accelerated him as well. he heads down to Life Support and Deela warns the male leader, Rael, that Kirk is on his way.
You're accelerated far beyond their power to see. So they'll go on without you.
Don't be so stubborn. You cannot go back to them, ever.
Kirk comes down the corridor and runs into Compton, who says he’s accepted the Scalosians’ offer and is now working for them. Kirk shoves past him to where Rael and another Scalosian stun the captain. When Compton tries to stop them, Rael injures him and Compton collapses to the ground, then dies of old age due to cellular damage in his recently accelerated state.
In your struggle with Compton, some of his cells were damaged.
Those newly accelerated to our level are sensitive to cell damage.
They age rapidly and die.
Deela wakes Kirk up and Rael lies and blames him for damaging Compton, hoping it will keep him calm. They explain that they have attached a refrigeration device to the ship’s life support, a device so cold that Kirk can’t touch it effectively. Kirk leaves and the jealous Rael glowers at him.
The device attached to the life support system produces an extreme numbing cold.
It is my belief that they are turning the Enterprise into a gigantic deep-freeze
for purposes only the Scalosians know.
Spock and the others have noticed the captain’s disappearance and go to Sickbay to analyze the Scalosian water. Kirk goes there and records an explanation of everything that’s occurred. Deela arrives and cheerfully boasts that there’s nothing he can do and the hyper-acceleration is permanent. Volcanic eruptions contaminated the water and gave off radiation that hyper-accelerated the natives and rendered the men sterile. Now they lure passing ships in, take a few males for breeding purposes, and freeze the rest of the crew until they can use them in the future. They plan the same thing for the Enterprise
and she notes there is nothing Kirk can do to stop them. Rael calls her to prepare for transport, so Kirk slips the recording disk into McCoy’s computer then heads for the transporter room. Deela finds him there and tries to beam him down, but the transporter doesn’t work. She tells Rael it’s a malfunction has occurred although it’s clear she knows Kirk is responsible despite his innocent denials. He takes her back to her cabin where they kiss and he tries to get her weapon away from her. He fails but she admits she’d have been disappointed if he hadn’t tried.
If I had a suspicious nature, Captain, I would say that you sabotaged the transporter to buy time.
Yes, of course. I'm glad we're both innocent. I despise devious people, don't you?
I believe in honest relationships myself.
Back in real-time, Spock hears the same buzzing noise and deduces what it is. He confirms his hypothesis by accelerating the distress signal until the same buzzing whine is produced. McCoy finds the recording and they play it back at normal speed, getting Kirk’s warning. They realize there is nothing they can do within their own timeframe and so should try to get to the Scalosian’s timeframe.
Mr. Scott, we cannot cope with them on our level.
Can we find some way of coping with them on their's?
That is a very logical suggestion.
Rael is partway through transporter repairs and tries to contact Deela. Getting no response, he goes to Kirk’s captain and finds her there, tidying up. He attacks Kirk in a jealous rage and the captain manages to hold him off without suffering cellular damage, long enough for Deela to stun him. He storms off but Deela finds that Kirk has now decided to accept the situation, the same as Compton. They prepare to beam down but Kirk grabs her weapon and heads back to Life Support.
What I do is necessary, and you have no right to question it.
Allow me the dignity of liking the man I select.
McCoy has discovered an antidote to the Scalosian water and Spock takes it, then drinks the water itself. Hyper-accelerated, he meets up with Kirk and they take out Rael and destroy the refrigeration unit. They then escort Rael and Deela to the transporter room, where Kirk exchanges a sad farewell to her before they beam her down to the planet with the rest of the people. Kirk take the antidote but Spock remains hyper-accelerated long enough to complete ship repairs. As the ship departs, Uhura inadvertently brings up the distress signal and Kirk considers Deela’s image one last time.
Captain Kirk, where the blazes did you come from?
Out of the nowhere, into the here.