In another dimension . . . DISEMBODIED VOICE 1: "Now you've gone too far." DISEMBODIED VOICE 2: "It was an effective diversion. Admiral Nelson was too close to discovering the truth. I warned you about that." DISEMBODIED VOICE 1: "Killing Crane was not part of the design! Our switchboards are jammed with distraught fans. Oddly enough, most of them seem to be grown women--demanding to know how we dared kill their 'baby'. I never knew we were doing so well in that demographic --this was supposed to be a kiddies' show. And what's more, you've used up a whole season's allocation of blood!" DISEMBODIED VOICE 2: "You can always borrow a bottle of ketchup from the hot-dog stand. I wonder . . . if killing off a main character is that effective, perhaps I should try it sometime. Spock, maybe . . . or even Kirk." DISEMBODIED VOICE 1: "You wouldn't dare!" DISEMBODIED VOICE 2: "Watch me. But not today, I think. One at a time is enough." DISEMBODIED VOICE 3: "Ahem! Gentlemen, if I may . . ." DISEMBODIED VOICE 1: "What now?" DISEMBODIED VOICE 3: "Can I join in now? Can I? Can I?" DISEMBODIED VOICE 1: "Yes. It is time." DISEMBODIED VOICE 2: "But remember, you must not tell them the truth." DISEMBODIED VOICE 1: "That should not be a problem for you." DISEMBODIED VOICE 3: "Your insinuation wounds me, sir. Yes, it wounds me deeply." DISEMBODIED VOICE 2: "But you can do it?" DISEMBODIED VOICE 3: "Leave it to me, gentlemen. And now, can we get on with this? We're wasting time!" DISEMBODIED VOICE 1: "Go then." Aboard Seaview, a balding, late-middle-aged little man in a green velvet waistcoat and a tweed jacket twangs into existence just as Time lurches forward again. He finds himself standing on the bottom step of the spiral stairs, only yards from where Nelson still bends over Crane's body. When no-one seems to notice him, the little man coughs impatiently. NELSON (slowly looking up, still in shock): "Pem! I thought you might have something to do with this!" MR. PEM (smirking): "Of course, Admiral. I'm only disappointed that it took you so long to guess." NELSON: "The last time I saw you, Mr. Pem, you were very dead indeed. You can hardly blame me for not thinking of you immediately, under the circumstances." MR. PEM: "Oh, come now, Admiral. You really don't think clearly under stress, do you? If I had died then, two hundred years ago, how could I have come to you in your office that morning?" (He steps down onto the Control Room deck and bends over Crane's body.) "Still, I'm not surprised you're upset. Such a shame about the Captain, isn't it?" NELSON: "Well, Mr. Pem? Have you come to help, or are you part of the problem? Or did you just come to gloat?" MR. PEM: "Admiral, I assure you I have no wish to gloat." (He pulls out a silk handkerchief and wipes away a hypocritical tear.) "True, we've had our differences in the past, but I'm prepared to forgive and forget." NELSON (getting to his feet): "You are? And what do you want this time? I'm afraid Seaview's not much good to anyone right now--and anyway, she's not for sale." MR. PEM: "Not even for the Captain's life--your best friend's life?" NELSON: "It's a little late for that, isn't it?" MR. PEM: "So you're tempted, Admiral. You might consider? You'll at least think about it?" SPOCK: "Admiral, I would advise extreme caution. This individual seems to be of a dangerously duplicitous nature." NELSON: "I know that. I also know that we're running out of options." MR. PEM: "How right you are, Admiral! You really haven't much choice at this point, other than to trust me. And I'm not asking much. I don't really need a submarine--especially one as accident-prone as yours seems to be. All I want is access to your reactor now and again--this one, or that test rig you've got back at the Institute. I can't say fairer than that, now can I?" NELSON: "It sounds a modest enough request, I agree. But how do I know you'll stick to your side of the bargain?" MR. PEM: "You don't. But I suggest you decide quickly, Admiral. In another couple of minutes, it will be too late." NELSON: "How can anything be too late for a man with your power over time?" MR. PEM: "I presume you want me to reverse time so that the Captain will not have died?" NELSON: "I want that . . . more than you could possibly imagine. But I'm still not sure that it's worth the risk of co-operating with you again." MR. PEM: "But you see, Admiral, there are limits. Your reactor is drained, useless; I have only the power stored in the timepiece itself. And that isn't enough to reverse more than a few minutes of time, even locally. If you want me to act, I have to act quickly. And then you'll take me to your reactor, and see what you can do to repair it." KIRK: "Sounds fair enough to me, Admiral." NELSON: "Spock?" SPOCK: "Logic would seem to suggest that you comply, Admiral, but the decision is yours to make." NELSON: "All right, Pem. We'll do it your way--for now." MR. PEM: "Thank you, Admiral. I assure you, you won't regret this. The timepiece, if you please." Careful not to touch the button, Nelson hands over the pocket-watch. Smirking, Mr. Pem makes a couple of delicate adjustments to the winding-knob, and then presses the button with a flourish. Quickly at first, then slowing, Time runs backward, as if someone had threaded the film backwards into a projector. The bloodstain on Crane's shirt shrinks to a speck and disappears; he falls to his feet, and the bullet flies from the vanishing wound back into the muzzle of the gun, disappearing with a flash. What happens to Kirk's half- eaten doughnut is too revolting to describe. Spock puts down the gun, which has mysteriously changed back into a phaser; Crane's own gun goes back into the locker. At that point, Time slows to a standstill, then resumes its normal flow. NELSON (following Crane into the corner): "You've had a rough few hours, Lee. We all have, but you seem to have got the worst of it. Perhaps you should go back to your cabin for a while, huh?" CRANE (still facing into the corner, as he opens the arms locker. His voice is eerily calm): "It won't do you any good, Admiral." SPOCK (getting to his feet, and going over to Crane): "Allow me, Captain." He raises one hand, and lays it on Crane's cheek so that the fingers, spread in a mystic Vulcan V-sign, frame one eye. SPOCK: "My mind to your mind . . . My thoughts to your thoughts." His own eyes widen at what he finds, and he staggers slightly. Kirk drops the doughnut and comes over to steady him. Nelson watches, hardly daring to breathe. SPOCK: "Kill . . . No, Nelson must be one of us . . . NO! My friend . . . I can't . . . Must! We need the submarine first . . . No, kill him . . . NO!!" Crane shudders suddenly, and goes limp; Nelson catches him before he can fall, and eases him down into a sitting position against the wall. Spock backs away, dazed, letting Kirk guide him to a seat. MR. PEM (clapping his hands in glee): "Splendid, splendid. Bravo, my Vulcan friend!" KIRK: "What was all that about?" SPOCK (pulling himself together with a visible effort): "Extraordinary! I detected two distinct sets of conditioning and at least three separate alien entities, not counting that mummified thing that used to be human, all vying for control of one very remarkably normal human mind. It is hardly surprising that the Captain was on the brink of insanity." NELSON: "But he's all right now?" SPOCK: "I believe so, Admiral. I was able to banish the influences, at least for a while. However, there are no guarantees. You might consider having him put under heavy sedation, at least until the immediate danger has past." KIRK: "That would keep Bones and the Doc happy, at least." NELSON: "I hope it won't be necessary. Anyway, Lee makes a good lightning rod. I don't know why it is, but ever since our second season, any alien entity in the neighbourhood seems to make a beeline for his mind, and leave the rest of us alone." (He gives Crane's shoulder a gentle shake.) "Come on, Lee. Wake up. We've still got work to do." CRANE (opening his eyes): "What happened? Don't tell me I passed out again!" NELSON: "It's a little more complicated than that. I'll explain later. How do you feel now?" CRANE: "I'm all right, I think. I just . . . can't seem to remember very much of what happened since we got to the Control Room." (He gets to his feet, and catches sight of Mr. Pem.) "Oh no. What's he doing here?" MR. PEM (with a little bow and a smirk): "And I'm delighted to see you too, Captain. I'm afraid I can't say you're looking well, but you are at least in much better condition than you would have been if I had not been here." KIRK: "Wait a minute. If everything that happened in those five minutes just un-happened, how come this guy's still here?" NELSON: "Don't try to think about it too hard, Jim. Just accept it." CRANE: "I haven't a clue what you're all talking about. But it doesn't matter--we've got a ship to save!" MR. PEM: "All in good time, Captain. First, the Admiral and I have some business to conduct in the Reactor Room. Isn't that right, Admiral? Or have you conveniently forgotten your promise again?" NELSON: "Of course not! But we do have more urgent things to worry about right now." MR. PEM (brandishing the timepiece): "You wouldn't want to disappoint me, Admiral, would you?" NELSON: "Oh, very well. Come along, then." CRANE: "I'm coming too! You're going to need some backup down there. Chip, you can hold the fort up here, can't you?" MORTON (completely bewildered by everything that's been going on): "Of course, Skipper." (A moment later, under his breath, he adds): "That's what I'm best at--minding the store while you and the Admiral are off getting into trouble." Nelson, Crane, Kirk and Spock head for the Reactor Room, with Mr. Pem trotting along in their wake. Before they've gone ten feet, Admiral Nelson begins to sneeze. Repeatedly. He takes out his handkerchief and blows his nose. Soon, Crane and Kirk are ah-chooing, too. Both Spock and Pem, for some reason, seem unaffected. The Seaview's Captain glances down at his feet. He lets his watery eyes wander to both ends of the corridor. There is dust EVERYWHERE. Crane stops. CRANE: "Admiral!" The others turn. NELSON: "What is it, Lee?" CRANE: "What the devil goes on around here when I'm unconscious?" NELSON (utterly confused): "What?" CRANE: "This place is a sty! Doesn't any-body on this tub except me give a hoot about Naval discipline?" NELSON (looking extremely annoyed): "Lee, this is not the time to worry about--" CRANE: "Admiral, they taught us at Annapolis that a clean ship is a happy ship. It's my patriotic duty to make sure this deck gets swabbed. You all go on ahead. I'll catch up with you." (Mad as a hornet, he picks up the intercom to his left): "Chief! This is the Captain!" SHARKEY (on intercom): "Sharkey here, sir." CRANE: "Chief, I want men with mops in Corridor A, on the double! As a matter of fact, I want men with mops walking this boat from stem to stern. Before this day is over, Seaview's gonna sparkle! Or my name isn't Lee B. Crane!" NELSON (leaning toward the Vulcan): "See what I mean, Mr. Spock? Grim!" The Admiral and the others hurry down the corridor. KIRK (noticing an unusual amount of dirt, dust and debris down a side corridor, he stops in his tracks): "Admiral. Spock." NELSON (losing all patience): "What is it now!" KIRK: "Something's wrong. Where's all this dust coming from?" NELSON (taking a peek down yonder hall): "Hmmmm. That leads to the Missile Room. You'd better get Lee and check it out. Report as soon as you can." KIRK: "Aye-aye, Admiral." Kirk walks stiffly back to Crane. That sweater is cutting off his circulation. Black never was his color anyway. A few minutes later . . . CRANE (over intercom): "Admiral? Can you get down to the Missile Room ASAP?" NELSON (picking up hand mike outside the Reactor Room): "What's the trouble, Lee?" CRANE: "In the first place, the guard won't let me in! In the second place, something horrible's going on in there, we can hear it. We're also up to our knees in dust bunnies now. And it's getting worse!" NELSON: "We're on our way." (Reclicking the mike in his hand): "Mr. Morton, issue tissues and Benadryl for all hands. And crack the Main Hatch! We need air in here!" Down by the Missile Room . . . Despite serious threats of demotion, the handing over of five Andrew Jacksons from Crane's wallet, and quite a bit of begging unbecoming an officer, the armed guard stationed outside the Missile Room still refuses to allow his Skipper entry. With nothing to do but wait for Nelson and Spock, Crane and Kirk sit on the deck and gab. KIRK: "Say, Lee, what's the 'B' in your name stand for?" CRANE: "I don't know. I've checked with all the writers. I've even read the novel, but I still can't get a straight answer." KIRK: "Try the fans. They know everything." CRANE: "Maybe your fans do. Our fans've had to keep the dream alive all by themselves, for 30 years now! They've had no Voyage re-runs ad nauseam to keep them placated. There've been no best-selling paperbacks for them to read in bed. No big-screen movies to numb their minds. Not even a spin-off or two to tide them over! If the Sci-Fi Channel hadn't put us back on the air when it did . . . Well . . . I just don't know how much longer those poor devils could've hung on. At least now they can tape us and get on with their lives." KIRK: "It's always the fans who get hurt the most, isn't it?" CRANE: "Yeah." KIRK: "So how's your spleen?" CRANE (poking his side): "Pretty good. How's your hand? You hit the Lobster Man awfully hard." KIRK (flexing his right hand painfully): "I don't think I'll be writing any checks for a few weeks, if that's what you mean." CRANE: "Speaking of checks, I hate to mention it at a time like this, but, uh . . . where's my check?" KIRK: "What check?" CRANE: "The one you still owe me for guest-starring in your T.J. Hooker pilot." KIRK: "Oh . . . uh . . . it's in the mail, Pal, for sure!" Crane rolls his eyes. Fortunately for Kirk, Spock and the Admiral arrive--with Pem in tow. One look at Nelson's angry countenance sends the young guard fleeing for his life down the corridor. CRANE: "Admiral, how'd you do that!" NELSON (opening the hatch): "Just a little technique I developed playing Hitler back in '62. Love to teach it to you some time." The four officers are unprepared for what awaits them in the Missile Room: In the center of the room, a dust ball, gigantic in size, whirls itself about in a cyclonic fury-- not unlike the Tasmanian devil. NELSON (staring upward): "Great Caesar's Ghost!" KIRK: "You said it, Chief!" CRANE: "Admiral, what are we gonna do?" NELSON: "I don't know, Lee. But if we don't do something soon, every man aboard will suffocate; and Seaview will be destroyed." CRANE: "But how do you fight a thing like that?" SPOCK: "Might I recommend a commercial vacuum cleaner? The kind used in better hotels." NELSON: "You're right, Mr. Spock. That's our only . . . Oh this is ridiculous!" (Looking around the set): "Who came up with this asinine idea? (Shielding his eyes from the klieg lights): "Where's Paul Zastupnevich? Paul? Are you over there? I'm putting my foot down. I positively REFUSE to go on with this any longer. I know the monsters are for the kiddies, but this is going too far. I'm a serious actor! I've done Shakespeare! Ibsen! Shaw! Chekhov!" SHATNER: "Don't forget Columbo." BASEHART (turning to his co-star): "Dave? You back me up on this, don't you? Let's go to our dressing- rooms and sulk." CRANE (concerned): "Admiral, I think maybe you need to go for that ride in the diving-bell after all." BASEHART: "Oh, for cryin' out loud, Dave, cut it out!" CRANE: "Admiral, please--" BASEHART: "Will you stop calling me 'Admiral'!" CRANE: "Okay . . . Sure . . . Harry." BASEHART (really annoyed): 'It's Richard! And you know it!" CRANE: "All right . . . Richard." (Walking toward his friend): "Now let's strap you into the diving- bell. You'll feel a whole lot better after you get some nitrogen bubbles in your blood." BASEHART: "Get your hands off me, Hedison! I'm not going in any diving-bell. You know I have claustrophobia." (Breaking away from Captain Crane): "I think I know who's responsible for all this nonsense. Only one man in the world ever had this much chutzpah and sheer bad taste. Show yourself, Irwin!" Two men in civilian suits suddenly shimmer into existence. SHATNER: "Gene! What are you doing here?" RODDENBERRY: "Hi, fellas. Irwin talked me into it. He's been bragging for the longest time that his ship and crew were better than my ship and crew. I said, No Way! So we made a little wager, set up the parameters for an experiment, and here we are. I told him he was going too far with that Dust Monster, though." ALLEN: "Aw, whada you know, Roddenberry!" RODDENBERRY (turning to Allen): "I also told you Nelson'd figure it out." ALLEN (turning to Basehart): "Yeah! Thanks a lot, Dick. Now you've ruined the rest of the episode. And I had all this great stock footage ready to roll for the finale, too." RODDENBERRY: "Irwin, you're such a cheap-skate!" ALLEN: "Oh yeah? Whataya call 'The Menagerie', huh? Both parts were nothing but stock-footage from 'The Cage'. So quit callin' the kettle black! Anyway, you're just jealous because I always get big names for my projects. Lest we forget, I got Ronald Colman to star in The Story of Mankind!!! And I was still wet behind the ears in those days." RODDENBERRY: "Whadya do, use stock footage from his silent pictures?" ALLEN: "Funny, Roddenberry, funny. Ever hear of Fred Astaire, Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, William Holden, or the great Red Buttons? They were all in my movies. For scale! Who'd you ever get besides Ricardo Montalban?" RODDENBERRY (defensively): "We've had our share of super- stars." ALLEN: "Name one!" RODDENBERY: "One? I'll name three! There was uh . . . um . . . Oh yeah! Lucie Arnaz's husband. And . . . uh . . . what's-her-name's son, the kid from 'Charlie X'. Oh! And how 'bout Ron Howard's brother? He's no slouch, either." The tornado of dust seems to grow larger and more intense with every cross word uttered by the two executive producers. Even Mr. Clean would run from this mess! SPOCK: "Gentlemen, I suggest you put your differences aside for the moment. We are all in grave danger." Spock's voice can hardly be heard over the howling Dust Monster. And as it swirls about the Missile Room in a counter-clockwise direction, it begins to throw off disgusting debris. Among other things: sand, grit, some gray fuzz, blonde, black, red and brown hair, dryer lint, cobwebs, and what appears to be cat fur. Not only is the offending material clogging nasal passages, it is beginning to effect key instruments as well. The submarine is in danger of slipping below the surface, and heading for the bottom of the Pacific Ocean in a fatal nose dive. Clearly, the experiment is out of the experimenters' control. RODDENBERRY: "Look. There's only one thing we can do now." ALLEN (disappointed): "I know. I know. Pem? Hit your clock, Babe." Mr. Pem follows his orders and makes Time stop once again. But as he checks the instrument, he sees it is nearly drained of power. MR. PEM: "Gentlemen, I'm afraid there's a little problem." RODDENBERRY: "What is it?" MR. PEM: "There's not enough energy contained in my watch to reverse Time more than one-hundred twenty seconds." RODDENBERRY (slapping his hips): "Great! Just great!" ALLEN: "Chill, Gene. I have a plan." RODDENBERRY: "If it involves Jill St. John or Barbara Eden in high heels, count me out." ALLEN: "Don't be ridiculous. All we have to do is get rid of the twister, some of the other monsters, and exit stage-left ourselves. The boys'll be able to handle the rest. You'll see. And they'll never know we were here. They'll probably blame everything on Mr. Pem." RODDENBERRY: "I dunno. Basehart and Shatner weren't exactly 'in character' just now." ALLEN: "Don't worry. Two minutes ago they were playin' their parts just fine." RODDENBERRY (thinking it over): "Okay. I guess we have no choice. Which monsters do we send packing?" ALLEN: "Well . . ." (Consulting the cast-list on his clipboard): "Let's see . . . Krueger's gone. Good thing, too. His accent was wreaking havoc with the spell checker. The Abominable's not doing too much damage, why don't we keep him?" RODDENBERRY: "Get rid of 'im, Irwin. And that dopey Lobster Man/Manfish duo, too. I don't need Shatner pulling any more stunts. He never knows when to quit. You'd think he'd remember his own line from Sole Survivor: 'There's nothing heroic about getting your teeth knocked in.'" ALLEN: "I remember that movie. Saw it on the Late Late Late Show one time. Dick starred in it though, didn't he?" RODDENBERRY: "Yeah. But if I were you, I wouldn't bring it up. Shatner's a little touchy about who gets billed over who. Anyway, where were we?" ALLEN: "Um . . ." (Checking over his list again): "What about the Mummy?" RODDENBERRY: "He can stay. But get rid of that blob in the Lab." ALLEN: "How 'bout the tribbles?" RODDENBERRY: "Ah, leave 'em. They're so cute." ALLEN: "That about does it then." (Shouting into the air): "Attention please! Attention! Can I have the following stunt men front and center . . . Lobster Man . . . Manfish . . . and the Abominable Snowguy . . ." While a maintenance team vacuums up the Dust Monster, the humanoid creatures re-called by Irwin Allen begin grumbling about paychecks and union rules. Eventually, they shuffle out of the Missile Room in single file, pulling off their rubber headpieces as they go, and dragging the deflated Thing from the Lab behind them. ALLEN (checking the Set): "Okay. We're ready to roll again. Mr. Pem, whenever you're ready." Pem makes an adjustment on his ancient pocket watch, then presses the red button on top. One-hundred twenty seconds worth of Time runs backwards at an accelerated speed. Nelson, Crane, Kirk, Spock and Pem are once again outside the Missile Room . . . One look at Nelson's angry countenance sends the young guard fleeing for his life down the corridor. CRANE: "Admiral, how'd you do that!" NELSON (opening the hatch): "Just a little technique I developed playing Hitler back in '62. Love to teach it to you some time." The four officers are unprepared for what awaits them in the Missile Room: Absolutely nothing. Except for some non- essential personnel checking diving equipment, the room is clear. And completely dust free! NELSON (angry): "Lee, you called us down here for this?" CRANE (looking very confused--doubting his sanity): "Admiral, I swear! We heard it! Didn't we, Jim?" KIRK (not wishing to incur Nelson's infamous wrath): "Hey, I'm just along for the ride." CRANE: "Admiral, you've gotta believe me! What about all the dust! You saw it! In the corridor!" NELSON (looking at Pem, and trying to contain his fierce Irish temper): "It's all right, Lee. I'm quite sure our . . . our 'guest' had something to do with it. Isn't that right, Mr. Pem?" MR. PEM: "Well, now, Admiral, it just may be that I did. Then again, it just may be that I did not. In any case, I'm afraid we're wasting time. And there's so little of it to waste. Have you forgotten the Enterprise is running out of oxygen as we speak?" KIRK: "Spock! How much air do they have left?" SPOCK: "No more than twenty-two minutes, Captain. We must have that reactor fuel." MR. PEM: "Now, now, Mr. Spock, I'm afraid I have first dibs on the reactor." KIRK: "But I have a sick ship up there! My crew is dying!" MR. PEM (feigning sadness): "Tsk-tsk-tsk. That is such a shame! Truly, it is." (Covering a chuckle): "Shall we go, Admiral?" Nelson opens his mouth to answer, but hears his voice coming from elsewhere. NELSON 2 (talking rapidly): "Yes! You'd better go, Admiral! You'd better go!" KIRK (glancing up at his right shoulder and screaming): "AHHHHHHHHH! Get this ugly thing off me!!!" A grinning two and a half-foot puppet with the face and uniform of Harriman Nelson (4 stars and all!), has materialized out of the nowhere into the here, and is perched precariously atop Kirk's shoulder. Looking around at the various officers, the doll quips: NELSON PUPPET: "So! It's happened at last! You four are all together in one place at one time! Wait'll I tell the Professor about this! He'll wanna conjure up a few thousand Kirk and Spock puppets to sell at the next STARCON. We'll make a load-a loot on 'em! Yes, a load-a loot!!! You know those crazy Trekkies! They'll buy anything!" KIRK (looking horrified): "Spock! Do something!" SPOCK (making his way to Kirk): "Certainly, Captain." The Vulcan reaches up and applies a nerve pinch to the talkative doll. But it seems to have no effect whatsoever. NELSON PUPPET (throwing its head about in an animated fashion): "Hey! Cut that out! Ya tryin'-a crack my frame or somethin'?" NELSON: "Lee . . ." (Rubbing one eye and sighing): ". . . get the flame-thrower." CRANE (heading for the weapon): "Right!" NELSON PUPPET: "Uh-oh! Guess I'd better skedaddle! But before I go, may I just say . . ." (Trying to put on a serious demeanor over a goofy grin): "'It's a fah, fah bettah thing I dooo, than I have evah dun. It's a fah, fah bettah rest I--' Whoops!" Taking a step toward the doll, Crane lights the flame- thrower. NELSON PUPPET: "It's getting too hot in here for me! Toodle- loo everybody! Toodle-loo!" The puppet pops out of sight. KIRK (with a hand over his heart): "Man! This sub gives me the creeps! I'm gonna have bad dreams for at least a month!" NELSON: "Let's get to the Reactor Room, gentleman. We still have two ships to save." MR. PEM: "Don't forget about me, Admiral." NELSON (hurrying to the Missile Room hatchway, and bringing Pem along by the elbow): "How could I Mr. Pem? How could I?" In the Sick Bay, the Mummy is starting to recover from the effects of the tranquilizing hypospray. It moves a tentative hand, then snatches it back when someone glances in its direction. Both the doctors, and all the available corpsmen, are fully occupied treating minor injuries; after a moment the Mummy tries again, this time sitting up and swinging its legs stiffly to the floor. Then one of the crewmen waiting in line notices, and yells. McCoy looks up from his work and frowns as he sees the undead figure starting to lurch across the floor. Unfortunately, he has put his phaser down on Doc's desk, out of reach. An examination couch tips over, scattering pillows, as the Mummy ploughs into it. Another of the walking wounded grabs a gun and takes a couple of wild shots, shattering the glass front of the drugs cabinet. McCOY: "Hold your fire! Lead slugs aren't going to stop that thing!" The Mummy heads for the door, groaning, but McCoy makes a dive for the phaser and lets off a blast of phaser-fire that ought to have vaporized it. It staggers, but keeps going, flinging men aside, and heads off down the corridor. McCoy follows, firing again. Doc comes running after him with a handful of hyposprays, leaving the corpsmen to clean up the mess. With uncanny precision, the Mummy heads for one of the few undamaged watertight doors in the ship and rips it off its hinges. Then it comes face to face with the Nelson, Crane, Spock, and Kirk, with Mr. Pem close behind them. Crane falters; between the stimulant and the effect of Spock's mind meld, he can keep the Mummy out of his mind, but coming so close to it is a strain. Mr. Pem dodges into a corner and starts picking lint off his sleeve; Kirk brings his phaser up and fires. Caught in the crossfire, the Mummy at last crumples and falls. CRANE (staring at it with horrified fascination): "Is it dead?" McCOY: "He's dead, Jim--I mean, it's dead, Lee. What do you want to do with it, Admiral?" NELSON (looking down at the scorched and battered bundle of bandages slowly unraveling on the deck): "Get rid of it. I can't imagine any museum would want it now." KIRK: "It was human once--we have to give it a decent burial. Put it into a torpedo casing and fire it out into . . . the sea, I guess." NELSON: "It's a bit unorthodox, but . . ." McCOY: "It's the only way to travel. Isn't that right, Spock?" SPOCK: "Not for the first time, Doctor, I fear your meaning escapes me." CRANE: "All right, take it down to the Missile Room. Just get it away from me!" Doc uses the intercom to call up a couple of corpsmen, who pick the Mummy up by its arms and legs and haul it away. MR. PEM: "Ahem! Gentlemen, if you please! We are on our way to the Reactor Room, are we not?" NELSON: "Of course, Mr. Pem. It's right down this way." MR. PEM: "And no nonsense about swapping over labels on doors, I hope?" NELSON (with strained patience): "Mr. Pem, have a good look around. Do you really think we've had time to fiddle around with door-labels today?" MR. PEM: "My dear Admiral, I've had too much experience with your devious little mind to be convinced by that argument. I can only hope that this time you will have the sense to cooperate--for the sake of the future, if not for your own crew." NELSON: "The future? Oh, you mean the problems that might be caused if our visitors don't find their way back to the twenty-third century?" SPOCK: "That is a real difficulty, Admiral." NELSON: "Then what are we waiting for? Come on!" They all hurry down the corridor, around a couple of corners, and finally arrive at the Reactor Room. The Abominable Snowman is gone, but the floor is still a heaving mass of fur, with only a few ragged bits of red petal still showing. Knee-deep in tribbles, Scott and Sharkey are working on the reactor. CRANE: "What are those things?" SCOTT: "Och, laddie. Did ye never see a tribble before?" CRANE: "No, and I don't want to see them in my Reactor Room!" NELSON: "Relax, Lee. They do seem to have taken care of the orchid problem for us. And--" (He picks up the nearest one and looks it over. It wriggles ecstatically in his hand, and purrs): "--you have to admit they're quite appealing." KIRK: "I'm with Lee on this one, Admiral. Those creatures are a pest!" MR. PEM: "Never mind those pathetic little furballs! Can you repair the reactor?" SCOTT: "It disnae look good. The core's completely drained." NELSON: "At least we seem to have lost the Abominable Snowman." SCOTT: "Aye. He just up and wandered off--just when I thought we were getting somewhere. It may be too late for the reactor, though." KIRK: "Come on, Scotty. You must have at least one more trick up your sleeve. Out with it!" CRANE: "Wait a minute! I've just thought of something. Why don't we just hand over one of the rods from the reactor?" NELSON: "Oh, Lee. Pay attention, will you? We're using dampening rods this week, not fuel rods." CRANE: "Sorry, Admiral. So much has happened today, I'm losing track." MR. PEM: "Anyway, refueling the starship is only half the problem. I need that reactor!" SPOCK: "There may be a way. If we could induce a phase transition in the material of the dampening rods-- " SCOTT (eagerly): "Of course! If we could just transform the rods back into fuel, we'd be home free!" NELSON: "And how do you propose to do that?" SPOCK: "Well, studies in your own century showed--or will shortly show--that some phase transitions--the ordering transition in the proton bond of ice, for example--could be dramatically speeded up by doping the material with alkali hydroxides. The improved mobility of the bonds allowed the first- order phase transition to take place in days rather than the millennia that would otherwise have been required." CRANE (looking puzzled): "I'm afraid you've lost me. 'First order phase transition'?" SPOCK: "A phase transition, Captain, is a change from one state of matter to another as a result of a change in the ambient conditions--such as, for example, the boiling of water or the melting of ice. A first order transition is one involving a discontinuous change in the heat capacity at constant pressure." CRANE: "Thanks. I never could remember that theoretical stuff for longer than it took to pass the exam. But I still don't see how that helps." NELSON: "It doesn't. Fascinating as this might be at a more appropriate time, it's all completely beside the point!" SPOCK (stiffly, as though he might be a bit offended--if that was possible for a Vulcan): "Do you have a more pertinent suggestion, Admiral?" NELSON: "Actually, I do. If we take the reactor off-line completely, we can swap the dampening rods for a fresh set of fuel cells. It's irregular, but I can't see any other way to restore power in time!" SHARKEY (shocked): "Admiral, are you sure that's OK? We weren't supposed to make the switch for another two days!" NELSON: "Chief, I built this reactor, remember?" SHARKEY: "Yes, sir. And you wrote the specs, too--you know better than anyone how long it takes to shut it down and start it up again!" NELSON: "Don't worry, Chief. In an emergency like this, there are a few shortcuts I can use." SCOTT: "Admiral, ye're a man after my own heart!" SHARKEY (still not happy): "But . . ." NELSON: "I thought I ordered you not to worry? Anyway, if it doesn't work we'll know soon enough. Lee, I'll need a full set of fuel rods from stores. Get someone else to carry them, but get them down here as fast as you can! Chief, we'll need plenty of rags. Go down to the Missile Room and see what you can find." MR. PEM: "Splendid, Admiral. I knew you'd find a way!" NELSON: "And you, Mr. Pem, can make yourself useful and help clear these creatures out of he way. We're going to need plenty of room to work." CRANE: "I'll send some men down with kit-bags." NELSON: "Good idea. Now get going!" CRANE: "Aye, sir!" Crane and Sharkey hurry out. NELSON (looking after them, and shaking his head): "You'll have to excuse Lee, Mr. Spock. He's got a lot on his mind right now. Anyway, he's really a lot smarter than he lets on." SPOCK: "Yes. I had presumed as much. He is, after all, Admiral, the man who invented the Transporter." NELSON: "But that was years ago, Mr. Spock. A lifetime ago. Lee doesn't like to talk about his days as Doctor Andre--a.k.a., Andy the Fly. Bad memories, you know." SPOCK: "Understandable. Of course, he was right, but at the wrong time. Came to a rather ghastly end, if I remember my history correctly." NELSON: "Yes. He suffered a real crushing blow. Two, as a matter of fact. To this day, he has a fear of hydraulic presses." Scott, Kirk and Spock go to work, moving tribbles away from the reactor and piling them in corners; even Mr. Pem lends a hand. The creatures keep crawling back, but when a couple of silent crewmen turn up with a bundle of kit-bags, the job gets easier, though the tribbles still keep wriggling out of the bags. Nelson picks his way over to the reactor's emergency off-switch, and throws it. The ship lurches a bit, on general principles; the reactor goes quiet and dark. A moment later, the lights go out, then come back up as the emergency generator kicks in. Nelson gets into protective gear, picks up a set of giant tongs, and begins extracting the burnt-out dampening rods. Presently, Sharkey comes back with his arms full of a tangle of grubby-looking strips of cloth. SHARKEY: "Admiral, here's those rags you asked for." KIRK (sniffing): "Are those what I think they are?" SHARKEY: "Well, the Mummy didn't need them any more, and it didn't seem right to waste them." NELSON (managing to keep a straight face, but only just): "Thank you, Chief. Put them down over here, and get into radiation gear." KIRK: "Shouldn't we be in that gear, too?" NELSON: "Relax, Captain. The reactor's harmless unless you get close enough to touch it. Stay a couple of feet away, and you'll be fine. I wouldn't recommend leaning against it when it's on, though- -isn't that right, Pem?" Mr. Pem looks pained, but says nothing. By the time Crane comes back with three crewmen carrying the shielded fuel rods, most of the tribbles have been bagged and moved out of the way. The ragged remains of the orchids perk up a bit at the sudden increase in the radiation level, but they are too far gone to be much of a threat. Meanwhile, Nelson has stripped down the reactor manifold, and Sharkey is cleaning the oily components with bits of mummy-bandage. NELSON (his voice muffled by the safety visor): "Good. Did you have any trouble?" CRANE: "Nothing worse than a few blocked corridors and some toppled piles of crates in the stores locker." NELSON: "No men-fish? No lobsters running around?" CRANE: "Not a one. It looks like they've all gone. I didn't so much as catch a glimpse of Senator Dennis. Even Moby Dick's gone." SHARKEY: "I don't like this. Suddenly, everything's too easy!" CRANE: "I'd hardly say that, Chief. We've still got to get the reactor up and running again--and then we'll have Mr. Pem to deal with." MR. PEM: "I assure you, Captain, I'll be no trouble. Once I have my device charged up, I'll be on my way-- until I need the next recharge." NELSON: "Now wait a minute! Who said anything about turning you loose?" MR. PEM: "I hope you don't mean to arrange yet another unpleasant death for me, Admiral?" NELSON: "We'll talk about that later. Chief, give me a hand here, will you?" KIRK (aside, to Crane): "Does he have a plan, or is he just bluffing?" CRANE (shrugging): "Sometimes even I can't tell. But he'll come up with something." NELSON (starting to reassemble the innards of the reactor): "I'll have this ready to go in about five minutes. Mr. Scott, you should be able to start collecting the photons now. Start putting the rods in, Chief." Sharkey picks up the tongs and pulls the first pinkly glowing rod out of its shielded container. Scott takes out his makeshift photon-trap and applies it to the side of the reactor casing; Mr. Pem grins; the last ragged shreds of the orchids rustle. At that moment, Crane is assailed by a sudden wave of dizziness. He sways, and Kirk steadies him. NELSON (looking up from his work for a moment): "Lee? Are you OK? If the radiation's getting to you, you'd better get out of here." CRANE (faintly): "It's not the radiation. I think . . . I think it's the Mummy. He's awake again, and this time he's really mad! You shouldn't have unwrapped him, Chief." (He takes a couple of unsteady steps towards the pile of oily rags.) "You'd better let me have those." Mr. Pem surreptitiously bends down, flips open the lid of another fuel rod case, and holds his timepiece in the glow. Seconds later, the hatch of the Reactor Room bursts open and the Mummy staggers in, trailing barely enough ragged remnants of bandage to cover it decently, and howling with rage. It snatches up a wriggling sack of tribbles and flings it at Sharkey, who manages to dodge, dropping the fuel rod. Tribbles scatter in all directions, squeaking protests. The Mummy ignores them, makes a grab for an end of bandage, and starts trying to re-wrap itself. Nelson grabs the tongs, picks up the fuel rod and advances on the Mummy with it. SPOCK (observing all this with a quizzical eyebrow raised): "Gentlemen, may I point out that we have only ten minutes remaining before the Enterprise runs out of air." Mr. Pem pulls his timepiece out of the radiation, studies it, smirks, makes a tiny adjustment, and presses the red button. The Mummy vanishes, and Nelson barely stops himself from overbalancing and falling on the fuel rod. CRANE: "He really is gone." NELSON: "Are you sure about that?" CRANE: "I'm sure, Admiral. I don't--" (he moves his head experimentally, and grins): "--feel dizzy any more!" KIRK: "Where'd he go?" MR. PEM: "Back where he belongs, of course--in a pyramid, three thousand years ago." CRANE: "He won't like that. All he really wanted was to get back to his nice air-conditioned museum in New York." MR. PEM: "There's no pleasing some people, is there?" CRANE: "For once, Mr. Pem, I'm grateful to you. That thing was getting on my nerves." KIRK: "Say, that was a neat trick. Can you do the same with the tribbles?" NELSON: "We'd appreciate it, Mr. Pem, if you've got the power to spare. Appealing as they may be, these creatures don't belong in this time or place." SHARKEY (picking one up): "I'd like to keep one or two. They're kinda cute." NELSON (firmly): "No, Chief." MR. PEM: "This is outside the terms of our agreement, Admiral." NELSON: "You got rid of the Mummy." MR. PEM: "That was a small gesture of goodwill, made possible by the small amount of radiation power I extracted from the fuel rod. Before I do you any more favours of that nature, I'd like something extra in return." NELSON (warily): "Oh. Such as?" SPOCK: "Admiral, we have seven minutes and thirty-three seconds remaining. I respectfully suggest you concentrate on returning the reactor to operation." NELSON: "You're right. In the meantime, Captain Kirk, you'd better round up your crew." KIRK: "Where is everyone, anyway?" SHARKEY: "You'll find that Russkie kid in the Crew's Quarters, sir." KIRK: "Not talking politics again, I hope?" SHARKEY: "Last I saw, he was feeding those tribbles he picked up." KIRK: "I'll make sure they're brought back here with the others. What about Riley? I can hear he's around here somewhere. . ." Nelson, Sharkey, Crane, Spock and Kirk exchange headachy glances as the Riley boys continue to make their presence known through the ship's PA system. RILEY and RILEY (in harmony): "'Do you love me, do you surfer . . . girl, surfer girl, my little surfer gi--'" SHARKEY (furious, he grabs a mike just before the key change takes effect): "RILEY!" Mercifully, the singing finally stops. RILEY S (on intercom): "Man oh man, Chief! Don't holler like that! Ya nearly gave Kev and me a heart- attack! So, uh . . . what's cookin', Daddio?" SHARKEY (blood pressure rising fast): "'What's cookin'?' Ya wanna know what's cookin'? Your hide, Mister, if you don't knock off the noise!" RILEY S: "But Chief--" SHARKEY: "Don't 'but Chief' me! Now you go get yourself a mop, surfer boy, and you start swabbin' decks! And Mister, they better shine like they never shined before! And tell your . . . your grampa to get himself down here to the Reactor Room on the double! Him and his shipmates are goin' bye-bye. Sharkey, out!" SPOCK: "And I must return to the Control Room and make another attempt to contact the Enterprise." MR. PEM (as Kirk and Spock turn to leave): "One moment, gentlemen. I have a proposition for you!" KIRK: "Forget it. You're not coming anywhere near the Enterprise." SPOCK: "Jim." MR. PEM: "Not so fast, Captain. You do wish to leave this planet and this time, do you not? As quickly as possible? Why should we not travel together? New worlds? New civilisations? A whole Galaxy of possibilities!" KIRK: "No thanks. Our timelines are tangled enough as it is, without any help from you!" MR. PEM: "Then perhaps you would appreciate some help in untangling them?" SPOCK (laying a hand on Kirk's arm): "That would indeed be welcome. Would it not, Captain?" KIRK: "Huh? Oh--yes, of course. On second thought, Mr.Pem, we'd be glad to give you a ride. Just wait here a few minutes, and we'll be back to pick you up." He climbs over the broken door and out into the corridor. Before he and Spock are quite out of earshot, he turns to his First Officer and demands what he is playing at. Meanwhile, Nelson and a shaken Chief Sharkey finish reassembling the reactor. As soon as the last fuel rod is in place, Nelson sets some dials on the control board, then throws the master switch. The reactor stutters, then comes to life. SCOTT: "Congratulations, Admiral. This baby's running fine. Could you give her just a leetle more power?" NELSON: "I certainly hope so! Lee, turn her up to maximum." CRANE (adjusting the controls): "Aye, sir." SCOTT (after a little while, satisfied with the readings from his device): "That should do it! There's enough energy here to get the Enterprise back to normal. Admiral, I cannae thank you enough." NELSON: "You're welcome. Mr. Pem? Do you have what you need?" MR. PEM: "Yes, Admiral. Once again, you've given me exactly what I wanted. Once again, I have complete, nearly unlimited, power over time-- enough to whisk you all back a million years, or unravel half the world's history. " CRANE: "I hope you're not planning anything like that right now. I think we've all had about enough for one day." MR. PEM: "Don't worry, Captain. Why should I bother with this one little world? In a few minutes, I'll have a whole galaxy to play with!" CRANE: "I wonder why that doesn't make me feel any better?" NELSON: "Well, if you're leaving this world, Mr. Pem, you won't mind handling this one last little problem for us, will you?" MR. PEM: "Problem? What problem would that be, my dear Admiral?" NELSON: "The tribbles?" MR. PEM: "Oh, that little matter. A mere bagatelle!" (He presses his button with a flourish, and all the tribbles vanish.) "Is there anything else I can do for you, Admiral? Just to express my gratitude for allowing me to live?" NELSON: "Don't push your luck, Pem." Running feet are heard in the corridor, and presently Captain Kirk jogs in, a little out of breath, with the rest of his crewmembers behind him. Chekov is wondering aloud about the disappearance of his tribbles; Riley is humming "Sloop John B"; and McCoy is grumbling about being called away in the middle of treating a patient. KIRK: "Ready, Scotty?" SCOTT: "I'm ready, Captain. Did ye manage to raise the Enterprise?" KIRK: "Of course. Everything this end seems to be working now, and they've got just enough power left up there to beam up five people. That's you, Scotty, of course, Bones, Chekov, Riley--and you, Mr. Pem, if you still want to join us. Spock and I can follow in a few minutes, once the Enterprise is back on full power. All right, get into position." MR. PEM: "Into position? Position for what?" SPOCK: "For beam-up, Mr. Pem. Allow me." He reaches out to steer Mr. Pem into the correct spot--and nerve-pinches him. Pem crumples without a sound, and Spock removes the timepiece carefully from his hand. NELSON: "Thank you, Mr. Spock. I'll take that." SPOCK: "Please do, Admiral. I would not be comfortable allowing Mr. Pem aboard the Enterprise if he had the device in his possession." NELSON: "He'll try to build another one, you know." KIRK: "I'm sure he will. But I know a nice, uninhabited planet where he won't be able to do much harm if he builds a hundred time devices. It's right on our way--we won't have him aboard more than a couple of hours." SPOCK: "I trust that solution is satisfactory to all parties?" NELSON (chuckling): "It's certainly satisfactory for us. Mr.Pem will have to make the most of it." SCOTT: "Captain, we have'na much time." KIRK: "Of course." He flips open his communicator. "Kirk to Enterprise. Mr. Sulu, energize!" Scotty, Bones, Chekov, Riley and the unconscious Pem dissolve into sparkling glitter and disappear. CRANE (shaking his head): "Well, I guess that's about over. Now all we have to do is clean up the ship!" SHARKEY: "And that's going to be a job and a half, Skipper!" NELSON: "Never mind that now. Come on, Lee--you still look like you could use some fresh air. Why don't we go up on deck and see our remaining guests off from there?" KIRK: "Fresh air? That sounds like the best offer I've had all day. Come on, Spock!" SPOCK: "I will join you presently, Captain. There are some pieces of equipment I need to collect. Admiral, would you care to join me?" NELSON: "By all means. You two go on ahead--we'll be with you in a minute or two."
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Copyright 1997 Rachel Howe and Alison Passarelli