explores a planetoid with several discrepancies: it is the size of the Moon but has an atmosphere and mass similar to Earth. Although the planet appears to be only several thousand years old, the vegetation couldn’t have developed within that timeframe. Even Spock is stumped by the anomalies. Kirk orders a landing party of himself, McCoy, Sulu, and Chief Geologist D’Amato. However, as they start to dematerialize a beautiful woman simply appears out of nowhere in the transporter room. She shouts at them not to go then touches her hand to the transporter officer’s shoulder… and he collapses, dead. The landing party rematerializes on the planet and Kirk starts to call up to the ship, only for a massive planet quake to sweep the planet. The Enterprise
is violently shaken and finds itself in empty space with no sign of the planet.
Wait! You must not go!
Kirk and the others confirm the Enterprise’s
disappearance but are unable to determine its fate. Aboard the ship, they quickly determine that rather than the planet vanishing, they have been thrown almost a thousand light years away. As they head back to the planet at maximum warp, Dr. M’Benga reports that the transporter officer, Ensign Wyatt, died when every cell in his body spontaneously ruptured.
Things look grim for the landing party as there’s no water and the plants are poisonous. They split up to search further and Sulu detects a brief massive magnetic pulse, like a door opened and then closed. D’Amato is running a survey when the woman from the ship approaches him. She identifies him by name and says that she “is for him.” She tries to reassure him by approaching him, but insists he shouldn’t call the others. McCoy, running a scan, picks up a sudden massive burst of life sign readings from D’Amato’s area. They’re unable to contact the geologist and go to find him dead, every cell in his body ruptured. They try to burn out a grave in the planet’s surface using phasers but discover that beneath the topsoil the planetary core is a substance that is impervious to a phaser on maximum. They bury D’Amato in a cairn and wonder if intelligent beings are hiding beneath the surface of the planet.
I am only for D'Amato.
has eleven hours to go before it arrives at the planet. Scotty reports there’s nothing that could account for Wyatt’s death but that something “feels” wrong. Spock isn’t impressed with his emotionalism. Scotty has Ensign Watkins check the matter/anti-matter valves. Watkins finds the same mysterious woman there and she asks him to explain the function of the equipment. He lies about the emergency overload bypass valve but she knows the truth and observes that if damaged it would send the engines into overload. She identifies Watkins by name and rank and says she is for him, and approaches the cornered man as he calls out that there’s a woman present. Scotty then hears Watkins’ scream and goes to find his corpse. The woman, hiding in an alcove, simply disappears before Scotty can see her. Spock has Dr. M’Benga perform an autopsy while Scotty confirms there was no open circuit that could have accounted for Watkins’ condition. With no other logical alternative, Spock orders an intruder alert.
As the sun sets, Sulu takes first watch on the planet. The same woman approaches him, identifying him by name and rank and saying that she is for him. Sulu tries to warn her off but ends up shooting her with the phaser but it has no effect. He tries to back away but stumbles and trips, and the woman grasps his arm for a brief second. Kirk and McCoy arrive and Kirk tries to interrogate her. She insists that she is for Sulu and when she touches Kirk, nothing happens. Stymied, she disappears. McCoy confirms that several layers of cells in Sulu’s skin were completely ruptured from less then a second’s contact. They assume that the woman can only kill one of them at a time.
How can you destroy others and not me?
The intruder search on the Enterprise
proves negative, but the crew discovers a new problem: the ship is starting to accelerate beyond their control. Scotty discovers that the emergency bypass control is fused, and it would have taken immense power to accomplish. With less than fifteen minutes remaining, Spock determines that to cut off the fuel flow someone will have to enter an access causeway and sever the flow with a magnetic propose. Scotty volunteers as the most qualified person, while Spock decides to follow up on the engineer’s “feeling” and run a complete check of the ship. With eight minutes left, Scotty enters the access tube and rigs it to be jettisoned in case he messes up the operation.
The mysterious woman appear before the landing party once more and says she is for James T. Kirk. Sulu and McCoy block her and prove immune to her touch. Kirk uses a tricorder to determine that she simply doesn’t exist, as a life form or as a mechanical construct. He tries to interrogate her and she identifies herself as Losira, the outpost commander. She tries to warn them away, insisting she doesn’t want to kill them but has no choice, and she is the only one left. Unable to get to Kirk, she disappears and they pinpoint another power surge. They follow it to a rock wall that opens to reveal a cave inside. Realizing it’s a trap but running out of food and water, they have no choice but to go inside.
Spock completes his systems check and discovers that the Enterprise
was teleported away but reassembled slightly out of phase. With less than a minute left, he advises Scotty to reverse the polarity on his magnetic probe and seal the rift. Scotty’s probe jams and he tells Spock to jettison him. Spock refuses and Scotty manages to reverse the polarity and seal the rift in the nick of time.
I'm so close to the flow now, and it feels like ants crawling all over my body.
The landing party enters what appears to be the main control center of the planet, with a large computer cube. Losira appears but refuses to identify whom she is for, until the men form a circle. She finally admits she is for Kirk and says that once she touches him she will be a complete match down to the DNA… killing him in the process. When Sulu and McCoy block her, the computer counters by creating two more Losiras, one for each of them. The men can no longer defend each other, but Spock and a Security guard beam down and Kirk has them destroy the computer just in time. The projections disappear and a final message from the “real” Losira appears. She identifies herself as a Kalandran sent to man the outpost on a planet that her people created. However, the creation process created a lethal virus that wiped out the expedition and she was the last person to die. She programmed the computer to destroy any intrusive life forms using herself as the basis for the defense program. Kirk admires her nobility and intelligence before the men beam up to the ship to depart.