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While on a dangerous humanitarian mission, the crew of the USS Enterprise stumbles into a harrowing game of leverage with the quadrant's deadliest space pirate.



"Personal log, stardate 1997.9. My last few weeks of service at the Ankeshtan K'til Retreat have been productive. It is difficult to guide those who once walked a destructive path back to civilized society. Helping them purge the emotions that led to thievery, abuse, even murder. Most challenging has been stealing time for Spock and myself. We are making the most of our long-distance endeavor, but I sense in Spock a desire to explore his Human side. So I've been attempting to introduce experimentation into our relationship in an effort to – as Humans are apparently fond of saying – 'spice things up'."

At the Ankeshtan K'til Retreat, a Vulcan criminal rehabilitation center on the third moon of Omicron Lyrae, T'Pring observes the efforts of the people trying to return to logical society, engaging in meditation, art, and making patterns in the sand. Later, while she has some time alone, she contacts her fiancé Spock aboard the USS Enterprise, where she says outright that she has been conducting research on Human sex, which causes Spock to momentarily choke on the wine he is drinking in some surprise. T'Pring explains that she has found some books on the topic, such as Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller, which has a specific idea about sexuality that she finds "very male"; Fear of Flying by Erica Jong, which has a female point of view; and The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson, which she found "more interesting". Spock, who is unfamiliar with these books, cuts her off after a moment, saying that perhaps they should consult these texts together. T'Pring agrees, if that was what he wished, but thought that as a full Vulcan, the onus was on her to understand Spock's Human half, essentially what made him who he was. He is taken aback by this for a moment, and thanks her for the thoughtful gesture, though concedes it was no substitute for seeing her in person.

Walking through the ship, Nurse Chapel explains about their guest, Dr. Aspen, who seems "very sharp"; when it appears Spock is not paying attention, Chapel adds that they have blades for hands, for shaving, which a half-listening Spock finds "most curious". She finally stops to get his attention, and he apologizes, as he is distracted. Chapel adds he is also a master of understatement. Spock admits he is having challenges with T'Pring. Chapel is wary, given that the last time she gave him relationship advice, he "went overboard", but Spock promises not to do so again, admitting that he needed a friend. He mentions T'Pring's research into Human sexuality, and believes she is far more interested in exploring his Human side than he is; reconciling his divergent cultures of origin is complex. Chapel tells him that it was fun to be friends with Vulcans because they were honest, and urges him not to be "smarter than the truth", as that was what got him into trouble last time. As they resume walking, she gives him a "pro tip" to pay better attention while she was talking "because…" ending with a question. "Because you are completely charming and I am missing it?" Spock answers, which Chapel cheerfully calls "progress".

In Captain Pike's quarters, the captain is serving a meal for Dr. Aspen and several other members of the crew – Spock, Chapel, Una, and Dr. M'Benga – as the doctor is explaining their involvement in running aid missions in that particular sector of space. They have encountered a group of colonists stranded on the edge of non-Federation space for several months. The colony ships lost power twenty-six days earlier; the colonists were toughing it out, but malnourishment and dehydration were setting in, and their location left them a long way from any help. Pike is confident that they would have their "new friends" back on their feet in no time. Aspen is grateful, and remarks that they can see why Starfleet called him their "Boy Scout". Pike protests at the idea, but Una tells him it was actually in his Starfleet file. Aspen is also glad that Starfleet was able to send a ship out that far, as they never relished the idea before. Pike is aware that the sector is akin to the Wild West, and asks for a risk assessment. Una brings up reports of an "unaffiliated" vessel, the Serene Squall, which raids along the border. Aspen explains the Squall was a pirate vessel, which has destroyed a number of their aid missions. Spock believes the Enterprise would be superior to any pirate vessel, but Aspen warns that the pirates were outsiders who were fiercely loyal to one another, a bond more powerful than any weapon. Pike asks the doctor about their prior experience as a counselor on Starbase 12, and why they changed to humanitarian efforts. Aspen replies that their experience on the border showed them that not everyone who needed help was lucky enough to be in the Federation, so left to run aid missions themself. Pike considers that a shame, as he felt Starfleet needed more people with their perspective. Just then, La'an calls Pike from the bridge – they had arrived at the location of the colonial ships, and he would want to see what they'd found.

The colony ships appear to have been completely destroyed, their debris scattered across space. La'an reports signs of two of the three ships, and Ortegas detects no life signs. Aspen wonders if the survivors escaped to the remaining ship. Spock is finding no sign of it, but is detecting an unidentified warp signature, which Pike suspects might have been the pirates. Aspen doesn't believe the colonists had anything worth stealing, but La'an brings up the possibility that they were after the colonists themselves, as slavery was "upsettingly common" outside of Federation space. Pike sees the problem: if La'an is right (and he hopes she's not), the pirates may have already retreated across the border. Spock points out that entering non-Federation space required approval from Starfleet Command, and a request from their current position would take two days, as they were too far from the Federation subspace relay network to provide rapid communication. "To put it simply, if we head in, we would be on our own," he warns. Pike has him send the request, and orders Ortegas to plot a course, and to drop subspace buoys to maintain communication. The captain is well aware the buoys would be their only connection to civilization, but he is not willing to wait to keep people from the auction block, and promises Aspen he will find the colonists.

Act One[]

Spock approaches Aspen's quarters to find loud, lively music playing inside. With a quirked eyebrow, he presses the door chime, and is greeted by the counselor. He informs them that Pike has requested their presence on the bridge. In the turbolift, Aspen explains they used to "club hop" during their days at Starfleet Academy to work out stress. Spock agrees that the current situation would induce anxiety, and Aspen adds a bit of guilt as well, believing they should have arrived sooner. Spock considers self-blame to be counterproductive, and also induces the anxiety they're trying to avoid. Aspen retorts that not all of them have undergone Kolinahr to purge emotion. Their familiarity with the Vulcan ritual surprises Spock, and Aspen explains they had worked with Vulcans before. Aspen admits to never really understanding the point of Kolinahr; Vulcans naturally had emotions, so why try to erase them? Spock believes Kolinahr offered clarity, the ability to see oneself without bias, and admits to looking forward to his.

As they arrive on the bridge, Pike explains that a distress call had been detected in an asteroid field, asking if the colonists had the ability to send one, even without their ships. Aspen concedes it would be possible, but also warns that pirates have set ambushes by cloning ship signals. Spock had mentioned that very possibility to the captain, who reminded him that Starfleet regulations required them to investigate any distress signal. Pike orders yellow alert and has Ortegas bring them in closer. The navigator cheerfully asks how close, "first date or third date". "Blind date," Pike answers, which Ortegas takes to mean "proceed with caution". As they approach, Spock reports the signal growing stronger, but has yet to detect a ship of any kind. Just as the Enterprise bumps into one of the larger asteroids, an energy net activates around the ship. Pike orders red alert and full stop. Spock reports the net is formed from multiple asteroids equipped with high-energy electromagnetic reflectors, and recommends they do not cross one of the beams. In the best-case scenario, the energy beam would disable the ship; at worst, "kaboom", as Ortegas puts it. La'an asks about weapons, and Spock considers it unwise to attempt to disable the net; if one went down, it could trigger a cascade effect of detonations, which could also destroy the ship. Una suggests trying to push them to make a space, but Spock warns it could trigger the same cascade. The net appears to be shrinking in on them. Looking at the readings, Aspen sees a potential solution – if each asteroid had a reflector, that meant the further they were from the source, the signal would degrade, and whichever of the asteroids is emitting the highest amount of energy was likely the source of the beams. Spock scans the electromagnetic signatures of the asteroids, and appears to find one with the highest… then shortly afterward, a second. Pike asks which one to shoot. Spock replies he cannot determine that with certainty, but Pike urges him to "go with his gut"; if they didn't fire on one, the net's contraction would prevent them from firing on any. Aspen urges him to make a choice, and after a moment, he finally does. It proves to be the right one, disabling the entire net.

As the Enterprise proceeds, a small shuttle anchored on one of the asteroids detaches and begins to follow. Meanwhile, Spock is in his quarters, consulting the computer readings of the asteroid field, when Aspen comes down. When he asks how he could help them, they reply that they had come to ask him that question. Spock invites them to help with his scans of the asteroid field to figure out the Serene Squall's tactics, but Aspen points out that when Pike told him to "go with his gut", they believed Spock had looked like he was about to have a heart attack. From their long service together, Spock knows Pike is comfortable with hunches, but to Spock it felt uncomfortably like guessing. He considers guesses to be derived from incomplete premises, and he (and all Vulcans) consider that illogical. Aspen points out his Human ancestry, but Spock dismisses that as "merely genetics", as he was born and raised on Vulcan, which Aspen similarly dismisses as geography. They explain that all species put things into "boxes" – people were either "this" or "that". Sometimes people acted to other people's expectations, but that was not necessarily who they were as a person. Spock thinks they are suggesting he try to balance his Human and Vulcan natures, but they reply that perhaps he was neither, something Spock considers nonsensical: "If I am not Human or Vulcan, what am I?" Aspen replies that it was not their question to answer, before apologizing for crossing boundaries, saying they had worked with a few Vulcans before. They then tell him not to waste his time with the asteroid field, as the trap had not been set by the Serene Squall; if it had, they would be dead already.

On the bridge, Ortegas continues to navigate through the asteroid field. Pike knows it was not easy without mapping relays, offering to let Ensign Hsu take over if needed, but Ortegas is fine with steering manually, as it felt like she and the ship were in "deep conversation", like a third date, earning a chuckle from the captain. The Enterprise then arrives at the location of another ship, which La'an identifies as the third colonial ship. Spock detects two hundred lifesigns sealed in the cargo hold, and thirty more through the ship; Aspen recalls the three ships each had a compliment of about two hundred. Una speculates the Squall hijacked the ship and left a boarding party aboard to keep their prisoners. Pike asks if the ship had detected them, and La'an reports they have not; the Enterprise was still out of their range. Pike decides to use the element of surprise while they still had it, and has Una and La'an accompany him to the transporter room.

La'an and the landing party are suited up in tactical gear, and a moment later, Pike enters, similarly attired. Una points out how he seemed to be playing "fast and loose" with the rules that day, entering non-Federation space and heading up away missions. "Who, me? The Boy Scout?" Pike jokes, as he steps onto the transporter pad, and tells La'an to watch her six. Una beams them into the cargo bay, where they fan out to search for the colonists. They discover cages, with a device that appeared to be giving off false readings. Pike calls the ship and reports no colonists. Una immediately prepares to bring the landing party back, but the signal is soon lost; Ensign Shankar at communications reports comms were jammed. Below decks, Chapel suddenly hears shouting, followed by weapons fire, and she immediately climbs into a Jefferies tube. Spock reports multiple transport signals detected the moment they beamed the landing party onto the colony ship, and several of them are on their way up to the bridge. Una orders battle stations, and instructs the computer to initiate security protocol Omega-Beta-Nine, locking down the ship's systems. One of the pirates tosses a flashbang grenade from the turbolift. Una and Ortegas immediately draw phasers (concealed under the captain's chair and the helm) and engage the pirates, while Spock protects Aspen by engaging in hand-to-hand with the attackers, disabling some with a Vulcan neck pinch. Both Una and Ortegas take glancing hits, while Aspen takes a shot to the shoulder knocking Spock out of the line of fire and into the turbolift. Spock has the turbolift take them to deck four, shooting one of the pirates with a recovered weapon as the turbolift closes.

Aboard the ship, Pike and the landing party are immediately surrounded by the pirate crew. Their leader, a hulking, wild-haired Orion named Remy, looks highly amused as he approaches Pike, looking over his gear and patting the captain on the cheek. "Welcome to the Serene Squall," he says, chuckling.

Act Two[]

Armed, Spock walks ahead of Aspen, guiding them to sickbay. The pirates have rounded up the bridge crew and are taking them to the transporter room. Una sees Spock and gives a slight shake of her head as she is taken away. Aspen warns they would get caught if they didn't find a place to hide, and Spock guides them up into a Jefferies tube.

Aboard the Squall, Pike is being interrogated by Remy and the crew, who are attempting to gain the access codes to disable the ship's lockdown. He finds Pike's "defiant captain drama" to be "sad", given that the Squall has seized the Enterprise and caged the crew. The female pirate standing behind him says they were wasting their time. "So she's the smart one," Pike says sarcastically. Remy is amused. "Handsome and witty. Aren't you a charmer?" he says, as he tosses a bowl of a concoction Pike finds foul into his face, asking if they actually ate it. Remy explains it was an Orion specialty, and the crew loved it; the three crew around him look somewhat noncommittal to that idea. Pike offers to show them what "real food" tasted like if the pirates saw that his crew got their own food and water, offering to discuss the command codes over dinner. Remy is not buying it, threatening to airlock the crew if he didn't give them what they wanted. The female pirate again speaks up, mentioning that they were far from Federation space, and the Enterprise wasn't going anywhere; besides, she adds, they could use a good meal. Remy asks what was wrong with his cooking, before finally agreeing to "pamper" the Enterprise crew, adding that he hoped Pike could cook, as his crew's lives depended on it. Pike looks up at his captors, and asks to be taken to the ship's kitchen.

Back on the Enterprise, Chapel makes her way out of the Jefferies tube and accesses a computer terminal, trying to send a distress call, but the communications are offline due to the lockdown. She is then caught by two of the pirates, and she pleads with them not to hurt her, as she was just a nurse. One of them tells her to drop her weapons, but she replies she doesn't have any. However, she does have a hypospray in her sleeve. As one of them approaches, she uses the hypo to incapacitate him, then tackles the other before he can shoot. The other pirate scrambles for his weapon while Chapel goes for the hypo; she is faster, and is able to knock out the second pirate. She scurries back into hiding when she hears a door open, heralding others.

Pike is serving his own concoction to the crew, who seems to enjoy it. Remy judges it "edible", and Pike points out the rest of the crew seemed to like it. He thinks it wouldn't hurt for enemies to give each other compliments, and takes Remy for example – he seems too intelligent to take much lip from his crew. Remy is confident they know who's in charge, and thinks instead of focusing on him, Pike should worry about what will happen to his own crew. Pike beckons him closer, speaking in confidence. He knows the Federation is willing to ignore what goes on outside their space, but hijacking the Federation flagship will lead to Starfleet hunting them down. Remy doesn't seem bothered, as by the time Starfleet caught up to them, they would have sold the Enterprise, and there were plenty in the quadrant who would pay high price for it. Pike concedes that might be true, but would the buyer also want the Federation coming after them? Remy adds that the ship wasn't all they had to sell, wondering what the Klingons would pay for Federation slave labor. The female pirate looks askance at him on hearing that, but says nothing. Pike adds that people like Remy typically knew not to get into deals with the Klingons, because they wouldn't get out alive. Remy replies that he knew what he was doing. As he leaves, Pike smiles to himself.

Spock and Aspen have reached sickbay, where Spock applies a hypospray to treat Aspen's wound. He considers it fortunate the pirates' weapons were set for stun, as the crew were clearly wanted alive. Entering M'Benga's office, Spock sees that Una's security lockdown is still in place, but the pirates have claimed the ship's systems. Aspen asks about the escape pods, but Spock is adamant that the ship must be retaken rather than left in pirate hands. Aspen firmly believes they could not risk being captured by these people, which Spock picks up on, deducing that the counselor has a more personal connection to their adversaries than previously disclosed. Aspen admits their husband, who was Vulcan, had led one of the aid missions to the region when the Squall attacked his transport; he had fought back and lost. They had left Starfleet because of it, lamenting that their husband had been so concerned about being perceived as "too emotional" and that logic had probably told him to fight back, and wishing he had allowed himself to be scared. Spock retrieves a Starfleet supply case with a pair of phasers and communicators, saying that the Jefferies tubes would take them to engineering, and from there he could override the security lockdown and send a distress signal. He hands one of the phasers to Aspen, who protests they were not a fighter. Spock considers that based on what they just told him, that assertion was incorrect.

Back on the Squall, Pike is tossed into the cage with the crew. M'Benga examines him with his medkit, and gives the captain the good news that his head was not "scrambled". Pike offers more "good news", that he's convinced their captors to sell them to the Klingons. Ortegas then asks if M'Benga's equipment was broken, but Pike explains: Remy thinks selling them to the Klingons is a good idea, but the crew is not fond of the idea. Una realizes what Pike is doing, mentioning Alpha Braga IV. When La'an asks what that is, Una explains that Pike is inciting the pirate crew to mutiny.

Spock and Aspen reach engineering, where they find several unconscious pirates and someone attempting to access the computer. They soon discover Chapel, who is relieved to see them. Spock asks about her "handiwork", and Chapel notes his surprise. She has been trying to send a distress signal, but the security lockdown isn't allowing it. Spock uses his command codes to lift the lockdown and transfer control to engineering. He scans for the Squall, while he has Chapel work on communications and Aspen attend to the transporters. But the control is soon rerouted back to the bridge for all systems… and Aspen holds both their and Spock's phasers, pointing at them. They identify themself as Captain Angel, and the Serene Squall was their ship… and now, so was the Enterprise.

Act Three[]

Arriving on the bridge, Spock comments on Angel's thorough deception. Angel mocks him for his feeling of betrayal, adding that they considered him "cute". Spock retorts that feelings were not his concern, only the safety of the Enterprise and her crew, something Angel finds "impressive" even without Kolinahr. Chapel asks about the real Dr. Aspen, and Angel nonchalantly mentions they were still wandering the uninhabited planet the Squall had dumped them on. The colonists were a fake, a deception to lure the Enterprise into the Squall's trap, which they had to take some of the blame for. The pirates test out the ship's phasers, impressed with the firepower. Spock asks why he and the crew were still needed alive if all Angel wanted was the Enterprise, but Angel admits that they had not only come for the Enterprise, but Spock himself as well. Spock makes clear he will not give any information, but Angel shrugs that off, saying they only needed Spock to keep being "him".

At Ankeshtan K'til, T'Pring continues to observe the work of those in her charge when she is approached by Stonn, who informs her that there is a subspace transmission coming from the Enterprise. It is Angel, who confesses that they find T'Pring attractive for a "prison guard". T'Pring corrects them by saying it was a rehabilitation center, not a prison, but Angel shrugs off the semantics and mentions they have Spock prisoner, dramatically saying they believe she knew him. Angel finds it convenient, given that a Vulcan associate of theirs, Xaverius, is being held at Ankeshtan K'til. They propose a trade, Vulcan for Vulcan. T'Pring points out that should she agree to such a trade, the Vulcan High Council would revoke her position, she would face criminal charges, and her family would be disgraced. Angel retorts that she was bound to Spock by ritual engagement, and also had responsibilities to him. She could choose to either endure the stigma of losing a prisoner, or allow her "one true love", and one of Vulcan's favored sons, to die. T'Pring makes clear she will not allow intimidation to influence her decisions, but Angel gives her a set of coordinates anyway, where she will meet with the Enterprise on the edge of Federation space to make the exchange. They add a final threat: if T'Pring involves the Federation, she would not have a fiancé left to rescue. After closing the channel, Angel orders a course set. Chapel protests, as T'Pring had made clear she wouldn't go through with it, but Angel is confident she will. Spock reminds Angel that Vulcans were not influenced by emotions, but Angel mocks him by saying they had influenced him by appealing to emotions most of that day, with the sick colonists and the "tragic love lost in battle"; stories, emotions, had gotten him to do exactly what Angel wanted. They admit they're not sure whether it was because he was part Vulcan, part Human, or both, but asks to let them know when he figures it out. Spock points out the irony of Angel questioning his identity, but Angel corrects him by saying that while they had "fudged a detail or two", they had never lied. They had indeed lost the man they loved, but to a Vulcan prison rather than battle. Chapel incredulously asks whether Angel had hijacked a Federation ship and was attempting to blackmail Vulcans simply for love. Angel replies that love was the only thing that made the cold loneliness of space bearable, and could see in Chapel's "rock-hard eyes" that she knew that, too. That, they firmly believe, is why T'Pring will make the deal.

Back on the Squall, as the pirates serve Remy's gruel to the Enterprise crew, Remy's voice sounds over the intercom, saying they were headed to the Qu'Vat Colony to sell "cargo" to the Klingons. Aloud, Pike asks if Remy had what it really took to negotiate with the Klingons. Una adds that he couldn't make a decent gruel, and M'Benga adds his medical opinion that he saw signs of malnourishment in the crew. Pike thinks that since he was the captain, they had to do what he said. The female pirate corrects him by saying Remy was not the captain. Taking this information in, Una still goes forward, asking that if Remy unilaterally changed plans like this, who else he would turn on, especially if things "went south" with the Klingons (to which Pike makes that a "when", not an "if"). The pirate is confident she can take care of herself, but Pike asks about the rest of the crew; she was the only one thinking about the rest of them, which made her captain material in his book. The pirate points out that Remy has friends, but Ortegas is not so sure, having tasted his cooking. Pike is sure she has friends, too, and if she needed them, he had a few more to offer, gesturing to himself and the crew. The pirate thinks this over for a moment, before telling them to eat their gruel, before walking away. Pike and Una are confident they're getting through, just like Alpha Braga IV.

A Vulcan cruiser arrives at the coordinates for the rendezvous with the Enterprise. Angel orders a channel open, and compliments T'Pring on making a "logical" decision, before telling her to prepare the transporter to "trade lovers"… even if theirs doesn't care about logic. Spock is able to deduce who the prisoner is, and tells T'Pring not to go through with it, or to allow the pirates to keep the Enterprise; he urges her to destroy the ship. Angel shoots him down with their phaser, and warns T'Pring that if Xaverius was not beamed over in ten minutes, the next shot would be set to kill.

Act Four[]

Spock and Chapel kiss

Spock and Chapel kiss

As Spock regains consciousness, Chapel warns him not to sit up too quickly, but he manages to rise to his feet anyway. T'Pring asks if Spock will not be harmed if she arranges Xaverius' safe transport, and Angel gives her their word. Spock tells Chapel in a low tone that he apologizes for any liberties he is about to take, and asks her to follow his lead. Louder, he tells T'Pring that she was right, that he has given in to his Human side far more than he wished to admit. T'Pring thinks Spock is not communicating effectively. As he tries to explain about himself and Chapel, she sees what he is doing, and speaks up to "confess" to having an affair with Spock. Angel is not buying it, believing it a ruse to convince T'Pring not to make the transfer. Spock is lost for words for a moment, before finally kissing Chapel to "prove" his love for her. T'Pring appears convinced, and Angel offers to let her beam aboard to "straighten things out". T'Pring thinks in light of the information, it was only logical to break their mating bond, and both ultimately do so in the ritual fashion.

Angel is exasperated, and orders their crew to destroy T'Pring's ship. But the weapons and shields are suddenly locked down… just as the Serene Squall comes out of warp and opens fire on them. The Squall hails them. Pike is at the helm, with Una and Ortegas at the consoles in front of him. "I'm only gonna tell you this once," he tells Angel. "Get the hell out of my chair." Una was able to activate a backdoor code to disable the ship's defensive systems, and Pike has Ortegas fire to disable the impulse thrusters, but "gently". The weapons fire apparently does a bit more than "gently", but Ortegas sarcastically asks what "firing gently" even meant.

The Enterprise has lost both impulse and warp power, and Spock believes the logical decision would be to surrender. Angel thinks there is more to life than logic… and suspects Spock does as well. They admit that for what it was worth, they did enjoy meeting Spock, as Xaverius talked often about him. They urge him not to need to be either Vulcan or Human, which they consider a "false choice". The question wasn't what he was, but who… before pulling the pendant from under their collar and activating its internal transporter. Their ship, the small craft tailing the Enterprise, jumps to warp. As Ortegas is left wondering what happened, Pike hails the Enterprise and asks for an update. Spock is now in the captain's chair, reporting he is preparing to beam the crew back. Just then, weapons fire narrowly misses Pike's head, and he asks if Spock could get them off the bridge first; Una explains they had taken the bridge "a little prematurely".

"Captain's log, supplemental. Starfleet has taken the Serene Squall and its colorful crew into custody, although the whereabouts of Captain Angel remain unknown."

Back aboard the Enterprise, now restored to full power, Pike puts on an exaggerated pirate's accent, saying if they ever caught up to Angel, they should make them "walk the plank". Una pleads with her captain to "please stop", while Ortegas struggles not to laugh.

In his quarters, Spock is in meditation, when T'Pring enters. He admits he was not sure she would come, and she replies that she was "in the vicinity". He apologizes for the "incident" with Chapel on the bridge. T'Pring admits it was an "impressive gambit" to protect both her reputation and her patients' safety. Spock is surprised she knew it was a ruse, and T'Pring thinks he couldn't actually have feelings for Chapel, thinking it part of a greater plan. She had been right, and was also right about his Human side being a source of strength, believing he could never have sold the kiss with Chapel without it. Spock concedes she knows him well, as she kisses him, suggesting they perform a rebonding ritual, which he agrees is logical.

Sybok, 2259

Sybok at Ankeshtan K'til

Later, in sickbay, Spock comes down to thank Chapel for her help, and applaud the "performance" on the bridge. Chapel brusquely answers that lying was not his strong suit, so she did what she could, and doesn't feel the need to talk about it. Spock thought that as a Human, she might want to discuss her feelings. Chapel appears to be conflicted, but says that she likes Vulcans and knows where she stands with Spock, knowing he would not chase another woman while he had a girlfriend, so she knows for certain there were no feelings between them. Spock quietly replies he is glad to hear that, and that she also knew him well, both considering the other a good friend. Before he leaves, Chapel asks about what he had said on the bridge, about knowing the identity of the prisoner Angel wanted released. Spock remembers some of the things Angel had said reminded him of a certain other Vulcan, a child of Sarek born out of wedlock who, though full Vulcan, had rejected the teachings of logic, becoming a V'tosh ka'tur. Chapel remembers that Sarek was also Spock's father, and Spock confirms this, believing that "Xaverius" was an assumed name, and that the prisoner in question was someone he was told to avoid at all costs: his own half-brother, Sybok.

Back at Ankeshtan K'til, T'Pring and Stonn enter Sybok's cell. He is looking out the window at the landscape beyond, and turns his head slightly on hearing their approach.

Memorable quotes[]

"Argh, me mateys. If we ever catch Angel, we should make them walk the plank. Argh."
"Please stop."

- Pike, imitating an old-fashioned sea pirate captain, and Una

Log entries[]

Background information[]



  • During the episode, Spock informs Pike that a message to Starfleet would take 2 days; however, later in the episode, they are able to have a real-time conversation with T'Pring, who is in Federation space at the time.
  • While "Dr." Angel's preferred pronouns can safely be assumed to have been communicated to the Enterprise's crew before the episode began, "Captain" Angel's never are; despite this, the Enterprise's crew uses the pronouns of the "doctor" even after the Captain's true identity is revealed.
  • Stonn appears as T'Pring's assistant or colleague at the rehabilitation center. They later became lovers, and T'Pring ultimately spurned Spock for Stonn in 2267. (TOS: "Amok Time")
  • The existence of Spock's half-brother Sybok, and his rejection of logic, was first revealed in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. The events of that film take place twenty-eight years after this episode, in the year 2287. This episode also confirms Sybok to be one of the V'tosh ka'tur, a term introduced in ENT: "Fusion".
  • The trap that surrounds the Enterprise in a web of lasers resembles the web-like trap employed by the Tholians. (TOS: "The Tholian Web"; ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly")
  • Angel's plan to capture the Enterprise – pretending to represent a starship in distress – is similar to the plan to use Kalara to lure the USS Enterprise to Altamid in the alternate reality. (Star Trek Beyond)

Cast and characters[]

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Guest starring[]


Uncredited co-stars[]

Stunt doubles[]


20th century; aid mission; air lock; albedo; Alpha Braga IV; Angel's shuttle; Ankeshtan K'til (Ankeshtan K'til Retreat); Argonauts, The; Aspen; asteroid field; auction block; blackmail; boarding party; Boy Scout; blind date; Carlos, SS; colonial ship (aka colonial vessel); colonist; command authorization code; cooking; counselor; criminal rehabilitation center; date; dehydration; density; electromagnetic energy; electromagnetic reflector; escape pod; Fear of Flying; Federation; Federation space; fiancé; flagship; genetics; geography; gram per cubic centimeter; gruel; half-brother; heart attack; hijack; Hsu; Human; humanitarian work; intruder alert; Jefferies tube; Jong, Erica; kilometer; Klingon; Kolinahr; laser; laser net; long-distance relationship; malnourishment; mapping relay; meal; medical professional; meter; Miller, Henry; mutiny; Nelson, Maggie; non-Federation space; nurse; Omicron Lyrae; Orion; personnel file; pirate; pirate vessel; plank; potato; prison; prison guard; Qu'Vat Colony; Raccoona, SS; ranking officer; razor blade; rehabilitation center; Sarek; security protocol; Serene Squall; sex; sexuality; shave; slavery; Starbase 12; Starfleet; Starfleet Academy; subspace buoy; subspace relay; Tiptree, SS; T'Plana-type; T'Pring's cruiser; transporter system; Tropic of Cancer; Type C asteroid; unnamed moons; V'tosh ka'tur; Vulcan (planet); Vulcan (species); Vulcan High Council; wedlock; Wild, Wild West; Xaverius

Meta references[]


External links[]

Previous episode:
"Lift Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach"
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
Season 1
Next episode:
"The Elysian Kingdom"