(written from a Production point of view)
The planet Fornia lay deep in a distant galaxy. A planet whose people had lived for centuries in total peace... where violence was unknown. A planet whose calm was suddenly and unexpectedly shattered...
The tranquility of Fornia is broken as research installations, power factories and dams are destroyed by powerful rays from the sky. The Fornian president tries to make sense of the tragedy, and James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock, visiting as ambassadors, are also disheartened. A stranger walks in during the discussion and identifies himself as Tharrk, claiming Fornia conquered in the name of the Klingon Empire. He says that the Klingons have a fearsome new weapon on his ship. It projects a ray of intense light capable of penetrating anything.
Kirk and Spock quickly subdue the Klingons and call the Enterprise to order it away to a safe distance. They find a Fornian space observatory and get help from the resident professor, Markan. Spock uses the facility's equipment to view and study the ship, and devises a plan. He inquires about whether the Fornians have a solar probe and tells the professor to start spreading some rumors.
As evening falls, Kirk and Spock sneak over to the building where all of Fornia's arms and explosives are kept. They knock out the Klingon guards and steal some explosives. At dawn, Tharrk confronts the President, angered that the Federation ambassadors have access to explosives and a probe. Tharrk dismisses any threat from Kirk and Spock, but asserts that if they are not delivered to him soon, he will start executing hostages.
Kirk and Spock launch the probe into space, amused that the Klingons will think it is full of explosives. When they get back to the observatory, they are greated by Tharrk, who discovered their hideaway through intelligence agents. Tharrk forces Professor Markan to bring up an image of space on the viewer so that they may witness the probe's destruction. When the ship fires, the mirrored surface of the probe's solar collectors reflects the blast, disabling the Klingon ship. Tharrk is shocked at his defeat, and Spock gives him a neck pinch. The men turn the Klingons over to the Fornian government, and Kirk pledges Federation protection for Fornia.
"The survivors' reports mentioned... rays!"
"There is only one conclusion, Mr. President! You have been attacked – from space!"
- - Kirk and Spock, using their powers of deduction
"I presume this place has super-atmospheric meteorological probes, designed to draw power from your sun?"
"Yes – yes! But-but of what use...?"
- - Spock and Professor Markan, developing a plan
"You know... applying this neck pinch is becoming rather tiresome!"
- - Spock, incapacitating Tharrk for the second time
- This story falls between "Where No Man Has Gone Before" (2265) and "Errand of Mercy" (2267). There is open warfare between the Federation and the Klingon Empire, so the Treaty of Organia has evidently not yet been signed. Klingons previously appeared in the UK stories in the Eleventh Story Arc. They were likewise in that story threatening the Federation with a weapon of mass destruction.
- This story was presented entirely in black and white. It is also unusual in that none of the scenes take place aboard the Enterprise and the ship is not even seen.
- It is very unlikely that Fornia is located in a galaxy other than the Milky Way. Since Tharrk says that it has great strategic importance, it is more likely in the Alpha Quadrant. Since Fornia has a world-government and Kirk and Spock are described as ambassadors, it is possible that they were negotiating for Federation membership.
- Tharrk's ship appears to be a transitional design between the D5 and D7 class vessels. It has been heavily modified; the command pod has been removed and replaced with the destroyer-ray.
- Tharrk – Descended from Klingons affected with the augment virus. His rank is never specified.
- Professor Markan – Fornian scientist
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