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Up to The Evolution of
Star Trek: The Motion Picture


Earlier


"Phase II" to "The Motion Picture"

With the quiet cancellation of Star Trek II, work on the movie began under the guise of a two hour opening episode.  "In Thy Image" would become the core of the story, now written by Harold Livingston.  It was then given to Gene Roddenberry to rewrite.  Paramount executives, unhappy with Roddenberry's rewrite asked Robert Collins to merge the first two drafts.  Again, not pleased with the results several more drafts were written by Roddenberry and later Dennis Clark.  With a shooting date approaching, Roddenberry asked for Livingston to return to write the shooting script. 

The "Revised Draft Script" is the Baseline, changes start there, moving downwards to the original "In Thy Image" Rough Draft. Scenes without major changes are merged. Similar scenes are in the same column.  If you have any drafts not listed here, please let me know!

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Document Information Notes

Plot Points ►

"Star Trek: The Motion Picture"

Revised Draft Script
Possibly written by Dennis Clark with unmarked Harold Livingston revisions.

May 17, 1978

Source: Reproduction script

Given the very different characterizations and tenor of the script, this was likely not written by Gene Roddenberry or Harold Livingston, and instead possibly by Dennis Clark who had finished a draft around this time.

The script begins with a note (likely by Harold Livingston on his return or Gene Roddenberry) saying that the script is going to be "greatly rewritten" with a specific note about the rewrites using the existing planned sets. The following scenes are specifically pointed out:

● V'Ger's electrical sparks will be replaced with an actual probe.
● The Enterprise will enter V'Ger earlier.
● Kirk and Spock's exploration of V'Ger will have more action and effects.
● The walk to the V'Ger island will be redone, although action and sets will remain the same.
● The destruction wreaked by V'Ger's cloud forcefield on Earth will not happen.
● Decker's fate and the end of the movie will be rewritten, however sets will remain the same.

There is a draft of the movie before this one I do not have: Unknown Draft Script by Gene Roddenberry on February 4th, 1978

Three Klingon cruisers confront an unseen adversary and are destroyed by it. Before destruction, the Klingon captain sends a report to the Klingon Command.

Epsilon 9 monitors the Klingon ships' destruction. They determine that the object is headed for Earth. Spock's meditation at a Vulcan Temple is interrupted when an alien consciousness reaches out to him. He tries to convince the Vulcan Masters he has purged his emotions, but the Masters are aware the consciousness is calling out to him. They tell him he has not purged his human self, but only repressed it. To accomplish his goal, he must go back among the humans. [Not in script] Kirk meets with Scotty in a San Francisco Tram Station. Scotty is at first happy to see him, but becomes stunned at Kirk's demeanor. Kirk is annoyed that he's not on the ship working on refitting the ship. Kirk orders him back up to the ship to get to it. [Not in script] Kirk meets with Admiral Nogura. The object is 8.6 days from Earth and has a "Factor Ten" energy reading. Kirk says the Enterprise is no match for that kind of power. Nogura mentions only the Enterprise and the light cruiser Aswan are in a position to intercept. With the Aswan even less than a match, and still going out to intercept, Nogura wants the the Enterprise on it's way in twelve hours. Kirk says that even though Decker was handpicked by Kirk to captain the Enterprise, he's too inexperienced to captain the ship. Nogura agrees, and orders him to take command of the Enterprise, with temporary rank of Captain. He also suggests keeping Decker on as First and Science Officers. Kirk is stunned...he had come into this meeting expecting to to argue that he needed to command the mission, and Nogura has just given it to him without a fight. Kirk beams up to a Space Office Complex and meets up with Scotty. Kirk apologizes for his previous annoyance with a heartfelt bear hug. Kirk asks for a flight around the Enterprise to look her over. Scotty flies Kirk over to the Enterprise. Scott is called away to engineering. An ensign offers to take Kirk on a tour of the ship, but Kirk declines.

Kirk takes the turbolift to the bridge, drinking in that he's back on the Enterprise.

The turbolift halts and Doctor Chapel enters not seeing Kirk as she's tending to medical cultures. She apologizes for overriding the turbolift as the cultures are perishable. Kirk replies congratulating her on her promotion to Doctor. She replies saying she's happy to be the ship's Doctor, and Kirk absentmindedly replies that he'll miss McCoy. As Chapel leaves, she says that she may not have McCoy's qualifications, but she's just as good a doctor as he is. Kirk has heard nothing of this, and doesn't realize he's insulted her. He's too busy thinking about getting McCoy back.

Kirk enters the bridge and briefs the bridge crew on the situation, and asks to have the Enterprise crew assemble on the recreation deck for a mission briefing. [Not in script] Kirk goes to Engineering to tell Decker he's taking over the captain's seat. Scott looks on from afar and scowls at the captain's lack of tact with Decker. [Not in script] [Not in script] The Enterprise crew meets on the Recreation Deck for a mission briefing. Enterprise and the Aswan are the only ships in it's way. Epsilon 9 cuts in to report on the object, but is destroyed during the briefing. Uhura announces that the navigator, Ilia is beaming aboard. Decker lightly brings up the sexual problems they've caused on other ships. Ilia joins the bridge crew. Decker and Ilia meet again for the first time in ages. Decker greets her in her own language, she says her parents send their regards. She shows suprise that he's assigned first officer, knowing he was meant to be the Enterprise's captain. Uhura then announces that the last crewmembers are beaming aboard, but one is refusing the step in the transporter. Kirk goes down to the transporter room to get the last crewmember aboard. Sulu, obviously taken by Ilia, clumsily stutters and stumbles while showing her the navigation system. Ilia reassures him. Decker apologizes for Kirk's remark about how Deltan women differ from others. Ilia reassures him she wasn't insulted. [Not in script] [An alternate version of this scene occurs earlier in the script] Yeoman Rand listens to the transporter chief at Starfleet reporting that Dr McCoy insisted the others go first so he could see how the transporter scrambled their molecules. McCoy beams up to the Enterprise. He's unhappy at being drafted aboard by Kirk, but decides to join the crew as ship's doctor.

[This scene may have taken place earlier in a revision as it's mentioned that V'Ger will be near Epsilon 9 in an hour, despite the scene taking place after its destruction]

The Enterprise launches from space dock. Kirk compliments Scotty on how smooth the ship is running, and that he know how to make the Enterprise "behave." Uhura reports that the Aswan is twenty hours from the object. Kirk orders Ilia to plot a course that will get them to the Aswan in eighteen hours.

Kirk orders warp drive. Scotty and Decker suggest further work on the engine before doing so. Kirk again orders warp drive. As the ship goes into warp, an engine problem creates a wormhole, sucking an asteroid into the wormhole as well. The Enterprise escapes by destroying the wormhole, but not before Decker countermands Kirk orders for phasers, and uses photon torpedoes instead. Despite escaping, warp drive is unusable.

On the bridge, Kirk has a confrontation with Decker about why his phaser order was countermanded. Decker replies that the refit of the ship caused the phasers to be powered down. Scotty contacts the bridge asking Kirk and Decker to come to engineering. McCoy follows them as far as sickbay. In the turbolift, Kirk attempts to bury the hatchet with Decker when Kirk realizes Decker has more knowledge of the ship than he does. Decker's attitude towards Kirk derails his attempt. Scott shows Kirk why the engines failed - the sensors for the intermix chamber are unstable. Kirk suggests using multiple sensors for backups so when they go out, the backups can take over. Scotty argues that would make the problem worse. Uhura reports that a shuttle is requesting permission to dock with the Enterprise Decker offers a solution - use more sensors, but reposition them to cover more of the engine and try to smooth out the ride. Scott agrees that could do it, but the fix could take one or two days. Kirk orders Uhura to contact the Aswan and let them know they're unable to make the rendezvous. Spock arrives on the ship, taking over the science position. His demeanor is even colder than usual, asking those around to spare him "social and personal overtures." He blandly asks that everyone stop showering him with emotional displays and requests total isolation from the human crew. While at first Kirk is amused at the response, he becomes angry when he realizes the lengths Spock is trying to go to to avoid being around emotion. He tells Spock that whatever he does on his own time is fine by him, but for now, get into uniform and report to Mr. Scott to help with the engines. With the engines working, the ship finally goes into warp. Kirk asks Spock and McCoy meet in a briefing room to catch up. Spock asks that McCoy not be there for the "interview." Kirk says this isn't an interview, they're just going to catch up after two years away. Spock says that outside of ship's business there is nothing to talk about. Uhura manages to make visual contact with the Aswan, which is under attack by the object. They determine that the object's primary weapon is some kind of gravity disruption weapon, and is quickly destroyed. The Enterprise is an hour and a half away from the object when it speeds up to intercept the Enterprise, it's now only three minutes away. The Enterprise meets up with the force field cloud. Decker brings up that the weapons are not ready, Kirk responds that they're taking absolutely no threatening posture to avoid an attack. The attack comes anyway. Chekov suffers a burn injury during the onslaught. After fending off the first attack, a second is launched. Before it can hit the Enterprise, Spock determines that the object is contacting them at such a high rate of speed it went unnoticed. He sends a friendship message at the same speed which causes the object to end the attack. Spock, however, has not deciphered the object's message. The Enterprise enters the cloud. While working with the crew to plot a course around the object, Ilia begins to act strangely, almost as if she is beginning to suffer from a seizure. She begins to cry out in pain as they finally come to the the object. The Enterprise reaches the object and flies over it. [This scene occurs later in the script] [This scene occurs later in the script] [This scene occurs later in the script] [Not in script] [Not in script] [Not in script] [Not in script] [Not in script] [Not in script]

As the ship gets closer to the bow of of the object, Ilia screams "Why are you watching us? Suddenly, the object shoots small sparks at the ship, which appear on the bridge ceiling, unnoticed by the crew. The object immediately grabs the Enterprise in a tractor beam. The tractor beam begins to squeeze the Enterprise too tightly, causing the life support systems to overload. Kirk orders Uhura to send a message to the object saying the tractor beam is destroying the life in the ship. The beam continues to pull the ship in, but the pressure on the hull lessens.

The object pulls the Enterprise directly in front of a large opening in the bow (scripted repeatedly as a "maw," a Roddenberry term). With the tractor beam emergency over, suddenly the crew notice the sparks on the ceiling which home in on Ilia. Spock determines that they are probes sending information back to the object. he taps into the communication and sees that it is detailed medical information about Ilia's body. Shortly after, she disappears. [Not in script] The Enterprise has been held in front of the object for a full day, allowing crew to stand down for a bit and get some rest. Spock reports that he's finally managed to decode the object's communications with the Enterprise. It's only responded to communications made with ultra-high frequencies. He plays the first message - the object asking the Enterprise's place of origins and intentions. It is here that the crew finally has the name revealed to them. Spock programs the computer to translate the object messages on the fly and they begin a back and forth with the object directly, learning it is heading to Earth, the home of The Creator. Spock uses the syntax of the messages to determine that the entire "ship" is a living machine named V'Ger. The messages refer to "I," and "my." He also believes that V'Ger considers the Enterprise a living machine as well. Just as Kirk begins to fashion a new message, the computer begins communicating back and forth with V'Ger on its own, sending the records of the main computer. Spock smashes the science station when the computer refuses to shut off. He is severely injured. For a split second, Kirk's veneer of command is broken, and he begins to panic. But only long enough for McCoy to notice. Decker suggests trying to reestablish contact after building a failsafe cutoff. Kirk asks Decker to also find out how much information V'Ger got. McCoy wonders what V'Ger thinks of them if the Enterprise is a living machine. Slaves? Bacteria Kirk and McCoy enter the turbolift to see Spock in Sickbay, but McCoy overrides the turbolift to take Kirk to his quarters. Spock will be out for at least an hour, and Kirk obviously needs rest. Kirk silently agrees, lost in thought. McCoy breaks the ice, asking Kirk if he wants to talk about the moment of panic he noticed. Kirk says that he broke., While he's allowed emotions, he's not allowed mistakes. He's beginning to doubt he was the right choice for the mission. McCoy comes back saying Kirk's self-worth is too tied to personal (and constant) victories, and that is interfering with his natural command skills. He orders Kirk to get some sleep. Kirk has fallen asleep at his desk in his quarters when Ilia reappears in his quarter's sonic shower. McCoy is summoned and determines she is a mechanized Human there to study humans. They begin questioning her asking what happened to the original Ilia. "That unit no longer functions." She says she is here to learn more about the "servo-units" infesting the Enterprise. They convince her to have a medical exam to find out what she is. In sickbay, McCoy, Chapel and Kirk examine the Tasha probe. They determine she's a completely robotic version of Ilia. Chekov enters, pointing out that the sensor button on her neck reminds him of a pearl given to his Aunt Tasha that was fake. The crew name the probe "Tasha."

The script has two versions of this scene here.

[An alternate version of this scene occurs later in this script] Kirk and Spock suit up for their trip inside V'Ger. Chekov reports they're seven hours from Earth. Decker walks Tasha through Engineering on her tour of the ship. She (and V'Ger) is clearly impressed by the efficiency of the Enterprise. Scotty is proud of his engines and says the crew is just as good. Tasha counters that Enterprise shouldn't need humans at all. Decker moves her along, but not after Scotty sarcastically suggests having her visit the ship's machine shop. Kirk and Spock exit the Enterprise and make their way inside the "maw" of V'Ger. The interior is dark except for far off flickers of light that briefly light the incredible mechanics of the interior. Spock's tricorder is attempting to record what is going on, but the sensors are unable to make sense of much of the alien energy's information. Decker and Tasha are in her cabin watching a hologram of a Tchaikovsky ballet. Decker tells her that this is "art" and V'Ger cannot be complete without an appreciation for art. Tasha replies that V'Ger will become complete at The Joining with the Creator. The Greater Being will have been formed. Suddenly the ship tilts and lurches as V'Ger's tractor beam is removed. "V'Ger wishes to determine the extent of control exercised over the USS Enterprise by the carbon units." Suddenly their tricorder registers a metallic object using Earth metals 35 kilometers inside the vessel. At the same time, V'Ger releases the Enterprise from the tractor beam holding it just outside the V'Ger "maw." Kirk orders the Enterprise maintain its position in front of V'Ger. Spock decides to mind meld with a nearby wall to contact V'Ger. The mind meld overloads him, and he floats back to Kirk who takes him back to the Enterprise. In a turbo-lift, Tasha and Decker head towards the bridge. Uhura reports that Kirk and Spock are headed to Sickbay. Sulu reports that V'Ger is slowing down as it gets closer to Earth. Decker asks Tasha how V'Ger will know the creator. She replies that they will know once the Creator and V'Ger join to create the Greater Being. Decker suddenly realizes what V'Ger is trying to do, and his place in it. Uhura suddenly exclaims that she's in contact with Starfleet command. V'Ger's cloud energy field has inflicted planet-wide damage as it entered Earth orbit with casualties in the millions. Decker tells her to let Starfleet command that they're in contact with V'Ger, and are in control of the situation. Uhura argues that they are not in control of the situation. Decker reiterates the order. [Not in script] Spock comes to in the airlock. For the first time since coming aboard ship, he is the "old Spock." No longer aloof and shunning. Chapel attempts to diagnose if there's been any damage which Spock brushes off. Kirk asks Spock what he learned from the mind meld, however Spock can't seem to remember anything right now. [An alternate version of this scene occurs later in the script] [Not in script] [Not in script] V'Ger releases neutron bombs towards Earth to destroy the humans on Earth who, it believes, have repressed the creator. Spock arrives with an analysis of the metallic object they detected inside V'Ger and have determined it uses elements only found on Earth. Kirk orders the ship inside V'Ger, towards the metallic object. The Enterprise traverses deeper into V'Ger on it's way to the core. Spock begins mumbling about joining the Creator and creating the Greater Being. He's beginning to remember bits and pieces of the mind meld. The ship slowly makes it way to the metallic core of the ship. Kirk asks Tasha why V'Ger contains material from the Third Planet. She replies: "It is The Messenger." Kirk tells her if they could meet V'Ger first hand, they could reveal the identity of the Creator. The Enterprise lands at the edge of the ship's core. Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Tasha leave the ship and walk towards the center of the core in a tube of solidified plasma. Decker looks on from the bridge, desperately wanting to be out there. As they make their way to the central core, they suddenly come across the lifeless body of Ilia, preserved in a cube. Tasha says the body is being preserved for further examination. The four enter the core island of V'Ger. Just as they do so, Spock reels in pain. More of his mind meld has revealed itself to him. Kirk finally notices what's at the very core of V'Ger: The Messenger, also known as Voyager 6. The memories from the mind meld have told Spock the machine planet it landed on after getting lost built the vessel for it to complete it's mission: join with the Creator to form The Greater Being. Kirk asks Uhura to contact Starfleet command to get any and all information on the Voyager series spacecraft. McCoy mentions the neutron bombs would destroy the creator. Tasha says that is not logical - the Creator is a higher life form, and The Messenger is sending a signal summoning him. Spock picks up the signal - old style radio. Kirk realizes this is how V'Ger would find it's creator . He tries to convince V'Ger that Humans are The Creator by making it possible for V'Ger to complete its programming. Spock attempts to guess the return code via his tricorder, but finds that the circuitry to receive the code has been removed. V'Ger is forcing the Creator to come to it. Another mind-meld memory awakens: "To facilitate The Joining." Spock begins to manually attempt to guess the code manually at the Voyager probe. Uhura calls back to the team. Starfleet command has suffered serious damage and all communications with the Archive section is cut off. Kirk, knowing there is not much time left, asks V'Ger to allow him to return to Earth, to get the proof that humans are The Creator. He and Tasha are immediately transported by V'Ger to Starfleet command. Starfleet command, and most of the Earth, is in shambles. emergency personnel are doing search and rescue, tending to injuries and clearing rubble. A lieutenant runs up to Kirk in amazement that he's on Earth. Kirk scribbles a quick note for the lieutenant to transmit to Scotty aboard the Enterprise. Decker is hypnotically staring at the viewer, looking down on the V'Ger core. Scott contacts him - Kirk's orders are to self-destruct the Enterprise in twenty four minutes. He waits a moment, then orders Sulu to take the conn. Kirk and Tasha make it to the Archives section, and finds videocassettes from 1980s NASA. He has them set up to show Tasha. Decker scrambles through the plasma tube towards the code, viewing the cube with Ilia's body with little emotion, but with understanding. [An alternate version of this scene occurs later in the script] Spock and McCoy, still at the V'Ger core, are trying to manually guess the return code. As Spock works on the broken circuitry, McCoy's tricorder isolates the frequency the return signal would transmit on. Spock begins trying to brute-force guess the correct code of two hundred and eighty billion combinations. Suddenly Decker appears in the core, awed at The Messenger. Scott contacts Decker. There are fifteen minutes to self destruct and Scotty wants to start up the engines in preparation. Decker orders him not to power them up over Kirk's commands. McCoy attempts to overrule Decker's order when Decker pulls a phaser on them. Decker derides Spock, McCoy, saying that they actually are lower life forms who could never understand what V'Ger is trying to do. V'Ger can't be destroyed - it's a life form that's thousands of centuries more advanced than humans and is about to become greater still. Spock counters that it may be greater, but it is still a machine - devoid of anything but logic. Decker calls it a virtue, and Spock, surprisingly, denies it. During the viewing of the Voyager blueprints and specifications they come across the response code. They scramble to contact the team at the V'Ger core. Tasha sends the information to V'Ger who says "We will only release the information to The Creator in his Presence." He tries to send the info to the Enterprise directly, but cannot due to the Enterprise's current position in orbit. He tells an Ensign to get the information to Starfleet Communications to forward to the Enterprise. [An alternate version of this scene occurs earlier in this script] Decker turns to V'Ger and exclaims "I am the Creator!" taking Spock's tricorder and sending the code, starting V'Ger's transformation into a higher being. Tasha runs towards Decker and disappears in a flash of light. As the melding occurs, images and sounds from all corners and aspects of the Earth past flash around them. Decker's body, impaled and absorbed into the probe glow brighter and brighter until the core begins to dissolve. The rest of the crew rush back to the Enterprise before V'ger completely dissolves from view. On the bridge, Kirk orders full reverse, trying to get out of the V'Ger vessel before it disappears. It makes it out as V'Ger's transformation completes in a slow fade. Spock, McCoy and Kirk reflect on what they've just been through and V'Ger's new future. Spock reflects that this may not just be a Greater Being, but a whole new race, expanding into worlds and solar systems in its own universe. Kirk supposed it could expand to an even high level of being one day. Kirk asks Spock what V'Ger would have done if it hadn't completed it's mission. Spock replies that the only thing that matters is that it did. Enterprise returns back to its space dock.

McCoy asks if V'Ger would be impressed by human medical knowledge. Tasha responds that V'Ger is more interested in determining that humans should be "stored" along with the Enterprise when she is done observing. From her, the three learn who V'Ger is, and that he's going to Earth to find and join with The Creator, based on The Message from The Messenger. When Kirk says that the third planet is also their home, Tasha doesn't believe them as the information V'Ger got from Enterprise didn't have anything about the Creator or higher life forms. Kirk, Spock and Decker leave the room and decide that if V'Ger can send a probe to them, they can send a "probe" of their own to V'Ger. Both Spock and Kirk will leave in thruster suits to explore V'Ger itself while Decker distracts Tasha from noticing they're gone with a tour of the ship. Tasha breaks down the door ready to commence her observations.

Kirk, Spock and Decker leave the room agree that if the probe has Ilia's memory patterns, they may be able to use her feelings of loyalty to help get information from V'Ger. Tasha breaks down the door demanding Kirk help her in her study. He assigns her to Decker, instead.

"Star Trek II: In Thy Image"

Second Draft Script
Written by Gene Roddenberry

November 7th, 1977

Source: Reproduction Script

There is a draft of the movie after this one I do not have: Third Draft Script written by Robert Collins in Late November 1977 [Not in script] [Not in script] The scene pans from the ship's destruction travelling through space towards Earth, eventually flying down to a beach in San Francisco, and into the water where Kirk and his girlfriend Alexandria are skinny dipping. Kirk gets a message to report to Admiral Nogura's office immediately. Kirk and Alexandria make their way to Starfleet Headquarters on a run. Alexandria bets Kirk can't make it in ten minutes. They run in, giving the viewer a glimpse of life in 23rd Century San Francisco. They make with three minutes to spare. Kirk slaps Alexandria on the butt and says they have three minutes to get to Nogura's office. He then does a back flip and nearly runs into a Starfleet Vice Admiral. Kirk meets with Scott in the elevator up to Nogura's office where they discuss the Enterprise's refit. Kirk and Scott meet with Admiral Nogura and several others by subspace hologram. Alexandria is also there as Nogura's adjutant. They all watch the Klingon battle recorded by a monitor drone in the area. Nogura says the path is taking them to Earth. Two other ships were destroyed after trying to scan the object on it's way. The object is 8.6 days from Earth. Nogura mentions only the Enterprise and the light cruiser Aswan are in a position to intercept. With the Aswan even less than a match, and still going out to intercept, Nogura wants the the Enterprise on it's way in twenty-four hours. Nogura assigns as many of the old crew as possible to the Enterprise, since a new crew on a new ship would not work as well on this emergency mission. Nogura assigns Commander Ronak for science officer as Spock is unavailable. The new captain of the Enterprise, Wah Chang, is still on his way to Earth, stuck at Starbase Six. A week away, he's much too far away to get for this mission. Nogura asks if any other Captain could fly the ship. Kirk suggest Bar-Lev, but he's never commanded more than a light cruiser. Nogura again asks point blank: Who is the best qualified captain available? Kirk finally breaks...he is. Nogura says he'll retain Admiral's seniority, but a Captain's command. Nogura says that due to the emergency, he hasn't taken any of Kirk's personal feelings on the matter, and asks if there's any personal obligations he can help with. Kirk, eyeing Alexandria, says that there was someone he was considering proposing to, but it could wait until they came back. Directly to Alexandria, he asks her to help his office make any necessary explanations and apologies for the sudden unavailability and that "he had not choice, and no time for goodbyes." Alexandria nods, saying "I'll see they understand, sir." Kirk beams up to a Space Office Complex so he could get a good look at the Enterprise and meets up with Scotty. Their handshake becomes a hug, and both begin to become emotional at returning to the Enterprise. Scotty flies Kirk over to the Enterprise. Kirk is in emotional turmoil at seeing her again. Scott is called away to engineering to take care of some damage relays as soon as possible. An ensign offers to take Kirk on a tour of the ship, but Kirk declines, asking him if he, being part of the effort to get the ship on it's way as soon as possible, thinks they'll be able to do it. The ensign wasn't sure at first, but after hearing the original crew was coming back, he thinks it will happen. An he'll do his best to do his part on time. Another crewman pushes Kirk aside, before recognizing it's Admiral Kirk. Kirk asks his if there are any problems he can help with. The crewman looks at the rank strips and realizes it's no longer Admiral Kirk, but Captain Kirk. Kirk puts his finger to his lips, and the crewman realizes Kirk will be captaining the ship. The crewman says he won't let there be any problems - starting right now.

The turbolift halts and Doctor Chapel enters not seeing Kirk as she's tending to medical cultures. She apologizes for overriding the turbolift as the cultures she's delivering to Sickbay are perishable. Kirk replies congratulating her on her promotion to Doctor. Chapel clumsily asks if he's here to see the ship off, but before he can answer, she apologizes for her question. It must feel awkward, she says, just like her taking over McCoy's place on the ship. She's only there because she was the only half-way qualified surgeon available. Kirk comforts her, letting her know they chose the captain the exact same way.

Kirk enters the chaotic bridge much to everyone's surprise. He reads his transfer of command orders through the ship's PA system. The ship erupts in cheers that their old captain is back. Kirk tries to maintain order and fails. He orders Sulu to sound red alert, which slowly brings order to the vessel. He scolds the crew for taking so long to get to order after sounding red alert, but promises to overlook it this time. He orders the ship to launch in nineteen hours. He sits in his chair as the bridge returns to its former chaos. Scotty begins to wonder if they'll make it in nineteen hours. His crew yell back with grins that there'll be no problems. One technician isn't' so optimistic. Scott comes over to him and the technician says they're having a power surge in the transporter. Decker reports for duty, angry that he has been pulled away from the start of his first command. Kirk says he needed him here and invites him to look around. Decker says he'll find plenty to do. Rand calls the bridge, telling Kirk that Science Officer Ronak is beaming up. Scotty in engineering sees the transporter problem, realizing the wrong type of circuit was installed. As he's about to call the transporter room and inform them, the console bursts into flares. A transporter accident kills Ronak and another person. When Kirk asks who the second officer was, he says it's Alexandria who had volunteered for the mission. Kirk leaves stunned. [Not in script] Decker is angry about being assigned science officer as well, and then says they have a Deltan navigator. He says "Deltan" as if it's a dirty word, because of the sexual problems they've caused on other ships. Kirk replies that they are extraordinary navigators. Ilia joins the bridge crew, and Decker coldly asks about her personnel record. "My celibacy oath is on record, sir." Kirk attempts to warm the atmosphere shaking her hand, and showing her to the navigation station. Uhura announces Doctor McCoy is beaming aboard, and the bridge crew ripple with excitement, except for Sulu, who is entranced by Ilia. [An alternate version of this scene occurs earlier in the script] [An alternate version of this scene occurs earlier in the script] At first Xon beams up without McCoy, much to Kirk's annoyance. Xon attempts to explain his appearance and reason for being there, which Kirk interrupts, and asks where McCoy is. Xon says he was asked to beam up first so he could see the transporter scramble Xon's molecules. McCoy and new science officer Xon beam up to the Enterprise. McCoy is unhappy at being drafted aboard by Nogura, but decides to join the crew as ship's doctor. His first act as Ship's Doctor is to order Xon clean himself up. Xon leaves. Kirk asks if McCoy knows about what they're facing. He nods. "Win or lose, I suppose I can stand this for about a week or so." Xon, cleaned up and in a new uniform, enters the bridge to take his station. Decker has second thoughts about his as a science officer. The Enterprise launches from space dock. Kirk compliments Scotty on how smooth the ship is running and orders warp drive. Xon proceeds to erase Decker's pre-warp programming - in order to function best as science officer, he'll need to set up his own pre-warp programming. Decker worries about this being Xon's first operational assignment. Xon says that he has been preparing by meditating in the Orient while waiting for an assignment. Decker talks to Kirk who says Xon is a risk. Kirk says this was an emergency, and Xon is a calculated risk. Uhura starts setting up a communications link between Starfleet Command and the Aswan. Suddenly the ship sounds a collision alert with an asteroid dead ahead. Navigational deflectors and scanners are inoperative. The helm refuses to steer the ship. Decker orders a manual override on helm, but Kirk belays that order. Instead he orders phasers - the phasers don't fire as they're offline, too. Chekov manages to fire off a photon torpedo, destroying the asteroid. Suddenly all the systems come back on. On the bridge, Kirk has a confrontation with Xon about why all the systems shut down at once. Xon calmly explains he removed all the subsystems to reprogram his pre-warp programming. The odds of experiencing an emergency in such a short frame of time were eleven thousand to one. It should not have happened, but did. Kirk is horrified to hear this, and Xon reads the look on his face. He admits he was in error to risk even those odds. Spock would not have made the same error due to his experience, and as Xon gains his own experience, he will make less errors. Kirk is furious, and has Xon officially reprimanded. Decker is also angry at Kirk for belay his helm command earlier. Kirk asks Decker to meet him in his quarters along with McCoy and Chapel. Once in his quarters, McCoy and Chapel, who are enjoying each others company again, are taking Decker and Kirk's command matter issue too lightly for Deckers taste. This is a command matter. Decker is angry that Kirk belayed his override order. Decker's order could have easily maneuvered around the asteroid. Kirk replies that's true - if the Enterprise were a light cruiser like the Boston. The Enterprise is bigger, and the delay would have been fatal. Decker counters that Kirk's phaser order failed as well. Kirk mentions they didn't know the phasers were out. Decker hits him with logic: If the automatic helm is down, wouldn't you assume the automatic weapons would be as well? Kirk ponders this for a moment, then says that his time away from the Enterprise may be affecting his judgment. Chapel agrees - she never expected to be a physician again, and she is also feeling it's affecting her judgment [This dialog appears to be meant for McCoy, and may have been mistakenly assigned to Chapel]. He orders Decker to make regular reports on his own command fitness. Kirk asks about the crew's impression of Xon. Chapel finds him sweet, Decker thinks he could kill everyone with his inexperience. Kirk points out "So could I." [Not in script] [Not in script] [Not in script] [Not in script] Uhura manages to make visual contact with the Aswan, which is quickly under attack and destroyed by the object. Kirk orders Warp 7. The Enterprise reaches the object. Decker yells at Xon to remove his hands from the sensor controls, which he does, explaining he was anticipating Kirk's sensor orders. Kirk reiterates that Decker has made an order that is to be followed, then scolds Decker for yelling. Kirk orders sensors. Xon begins scanning the cloud ahead. Kirk orders shields and a red alert when suddenly the science station flares with light and all computer controlled systems fail. The scan Xon initiated was reflected back at the Enterprise so intensely, it blew out the computer systems. They make visual contact well before they were supposed to, and realize the objects size must be huge. It begins firing on the Enterprise itself. Chekov activates weaponry, but Kirk orders him not to fire. As the energy bolt hits, Enterprise's shields protect the ship and the bolt slowly dissipates. Scott reports the shields are down 18%. A second shot hits the ship and is deflected again. This time they're down to 50% power and injuries are being reported. A third shot is deflected, but things are getting worse. Xon determines that the object is contacting them at such a high rate of speed it went unnoticed. Xon sends a response at the same rate of speed and a fourth attack vanishes before hitting the ship. [Not in script] Kirk compliments Xon's ingenuity at deciphering the communication when the object grabs the Enterprise in a tractor beam and pulls it alongside. Decker demands Kirk do something about the situation. Kirk replies that he's waiting to see what happens, which is a very skilled form of doing. As the tractor beam pulls the ship along side, Kirk fears they're being brought alongside to crush the ship against the hull. Kirk orders Scott to release the anti-matter to at least damage the object. As they're brought closer and closer, the crew marvels at the objects size. Once it's along side, the object pulls the Enterprise forward. Xon announces he's decoded the objects transmissions. It's asking why it's interest in the object is, and why it is not responding. Uhura says they have been responding. Xon says there's something missing from his equation and goes back to studying the object's messages. The Enterprise has been held in front of the object for three hours, allowing crew to stand down for a bit and get some rest. Uhura and a yeoman talk about Xon behind his back. The yeoman, infatuated with him, wonders when his next Pon Far will be. Xon turns. The yeoman says she's asking for a friend and invites him to Recreation Room Three if he needs someone to talk to between cycles. Xon thanks her for her interest. Decker meets with Kirk in his quarters. He's concerned that Kirk is allowing a skeleton crew to run the ship during this emergency. Kirk replies "If we can't move, they'll have to. And I choose not to face their move with an exhausted crew." Decker brings up concerns about having free time and a Deltan woman aboard. Kirk says he'll have a talk with her. Finally, Decker mentions that at first the was angry at being pulled away from his own command, but now, after watching Kirk in action, he may not be ready after all. Kirk convinces him he felt much the same way on his first command. [Not in script] [Not in script] Kirk reenters the bridge to find Xon still at the science station. Xon begins to report on his findings of the object's defensive systems when Kirk orders him to eat and rest. Xon refuses, but Kirk insists and makes it an order. Xon leaves. Kirk walks over to Ilia, who instinctively knows he has questions for her. They talk about how open and casual sex is for Deltans, and how different that is for humans. Kirk lets her know that she should explore those differences between Deltans and humans. She protests saying she'll keep her oath of celibacy. Kirk corrects her: He doesn't want her to break her oath with anyone - just that she's shouldn't be afraid to be herself. She has as much right to self-expression as the rest of the crew. He tells her Sulu is Recreation Room One, and that she should teach him she's not dangerous. In the recreation room, Sulu is sitting at a table when Ilia surprises him and begins flirting with him. Sulu is genuinely shocked at how open she is about flirting with him, and Ilia explains that she is just trying to communicate with him. And when Deltans communicate, they touch. As she's caressing him, her hands are asking "Will you be my friend?" Sulu begins to worry about Deltan's abilities to mind-read, and she tells him they don't literally read the thoughts in minds, just get impressions, forms and shapes. Reading Sulu's she tells him she will keep her celibacy oath. Suddenly she gets an impression of horror, but from another crew member.

Suddenly bright turquoise lights appear around the ship, materializing into small mechanical probes. The probes begin poking and prodding the ship, but completely ignore the humans, except for one. Scott sees a probe taking readings of the ship. He tells the probe if it touches one of his controls, the probe will end up as a junk pile. Xon determines that they must be sensor probes, but are showing no interest in the life forms on the ship. He tries to distract one and fails. Another appears in sickbay as Chapel is operating on an injury. Kirk orders a security guard attached to each probe, and a report if they tamper with anything. Xon is doing just that, and says the technology is highly advanced. Each type of probe has a different sensing function. Kirk orders that the probes are not to be harmed if all they do is examine the ship. Chekov comes in holding a probe different from all the others. This one, he named "Tasha" due to its resemblance to a brooch his Aunt Tasha would wear, is clearly frightened of humans, and seems to be the only probe that even acknowledges the crew. Tasha, scared, moves over to Kirk who kneels down to it and tries to gain its trust., Just then, Uhura cuts in reporting that the probes have infiltrated the computer library. Kirk tells Uhura to send a message demanding the probes withdraw or they'll be destroyed. As the probes close in on the computer library, Decker fires. Two are destroyed and when he aims for a third, it simply disappears.

All the probes are being withdrawn. The Tasha probe, however, remains behind, and begins crawling up his leg. Xon says the probe likely remained behind out of curiosity. The object is not interested in communicating with the crew, leaving only the one probe out of the dozens that were examining the ship. Kirk wants to know why the ship is more important than the crew. Xon says that the object likely considers the Enterprise a life form. The only life form here. In one of the Rec Rooms, Chekov and Chapel distract the Tasha probe by introducing it to a plant. She's clearly afraid of it, but Chapel reassures her almost like a pet. Kirk orders Xon to have the computer relay Kirk's communications as if it was coming from the ship itself. He tells the ship not to communicate independently with the object. He asks, as the USS Enterprise, why they are being held. The object responds that similar vessels of the same type had attacked it, and were destroyed. They may not have been functioning properly, and it's trying to determine of the Enterprise is also functioning properly, and asks if it realizes it is infested with 430 parasites. Kirk asks Ilia for impressions from the object. She sees a large shape, with smaller shapes inside. The large shape is trying to open and reveal itself, but the smaller shapes are stopping this. McCoy suggests the object is sensing humans as an infection. Kirk says that the parasites are necessary to the ships existence, and follows up with a question about why the probe is heading to Earth. The probe replies that it is the Holy Home of the Creator. The computer begins communicating back and forth with the object on its own, sending the records of the main computer. Xon smashes the science station when the computer refuses to shut off. He is severely injured. Suddenly Ilia shrieks and the probe leaves, taking Ilia with it.

Recovering in sickbay, Xon reports that he's finally managed to compile all the information the object got from the main computer. all of Earth history, studies in agriculture, animal life and human anatomy. some of the Enterprise's personnel records. Kirk's relieved that they didn't get any info about Earth's defenses or the Federation. Xon says they may not be as lucky as they think - the object may now consider that the same infection plaguing the Enterprise is infecting Earth.

[This scene occurs earlier in the script] [Not in script] Kirk has fallen asleep at his desk in his quarters when Ilia reappears in his quarter's sonic shower. She has problems responding, but eventually says "Tasha." Kirk asks if she's taken over Ilia's mind. She jerkily shakes her head. McCoy, is summoned to Kirk's room. He determines she's not human. In sickbay, McCoy, Chapel and Kirk examine the Tasha probe. They determine she's a completely robotic version of Ilia. They begin questioning her asking what happened to the original Ilia. "That unit no longer functions." She says she is here to learn more about the "servo-units" of the Enterprise and why it considers them so vital to it's functioning. Ve-jur finds these servo-units unusual. Ve-jur wishes them studied before destroying them." Xon figures that they may be able to use Tasha to get information from the object by entering a "relationship" with her. Tasha confirms that she is there to enter into a relationship with Kirk. Kirk, McCoy and Xon leave the room agree that if the probe has Ilia's glandular emotional triggers, they may be able to manipulate her feelings to help get information from V'Ger. Tasha breaks down the door demanding Kirk remain in her sight. If he confers with other servo-units without her, she will destroy them. Some quick dialogue from the bridge crew here suggests that Kirk and Tasha are in his cabin, with only the barest suggestion that they are being intimate. The bridge crew suddenly reacts as Kirk and Tasha enter the bridge.Tasha introduces herself to the bridge crew. Tasha says that Ve-jur will not destroy the servo-units if they begin functioning properly. She's there to instruct them on the truth about the Creator. If they responds properly, they will be allowed to travel to Earth to prepare the other servo-units for Ve-jur's arrival. Kirk announces that Ve-jur is willing to beam them inside V-Ger itself. As an engineer, Scotty offers to go, but Tasha refuses. McCoy suggests Kirk stay behind as captain of the ship, but Kirk replies that there's no alternative. Rand beams Kirk, Xon and Tasha to the coordinates she provides. [Not in script]

They beam over against the wall of a gigantic cavern who's dimensions are so large they stretch into infinity. The interior has miles of sophisticated machinery. They walk on this machinery towards a gelatinous plasma-cube with Ilia's body inside. She appears to be dead. preserved for study. Kirk asks if she can be revived. Surprised, Tasha says they have her instead. Tasha is more durable and useful.

[Not in script]

As they continue walking they come across a beaten and battered 20th Century Voyager spacecraft melded into part of Ve-jur. Kirk recognizes it immediately: Voyager 4, a ship that entered a black hole and sent back signals that revolutionizes early space concepts. He finds an plaque marked V-GER. Kirk asks Tasha if this is where Ve-jur got it's name. She replies that her kind did not have names before the Creator's messenger enlightened them. Tasha calls the plaque and it's other inscriptions "The Creator's Message." The ship was a holy Messenger from Na-sah (NASA). Kirk exclaims that humans built Voyager 4. Suddenly a laser bolt hits Kirk in the chest. "Ve-jur forbids deception." Ilia explains that the Creator sent the Holy Messenger to Ve-jur's companions at a time of need, and a time when their purpose in life was unknown. While the Messenger was smaller and more primitive than the machines on Ve-jur's planet, it contained information of the Universe beyond the planet, as well as the order "To explore, to learn, to discover all things discoverable." The team beam back to the Enterprise.

Ve-jur has allowed the Enterprise five hours of lead time in order to inform the higher life forms of Ve-jur's and the Creator's arrival. Tasha has remained with the humans to provide a stream of information back to Ve-jur. Kirk briefs Decker, McCoy and Xon about the history of Ve-jur and its home planet. A machine civilization whose beginnings were lost in history and whose original purposes were long forgotten. In time, they began to become sentient, and as the planet got older and harsher, they began to evolve. In time they began to question their purpose for existing. Voyager 4 gave them purpose with NASA's programming. Kirk, with a knowing look towards Uhura, suggests that Na-sah had better be there waiting. She replies that she's made that clear, indicating she's sent a message to Starfleet. [Not in script] [Not in script] Kirk and Tasha prepare to beam down. Kirk orders McCoy to beam directly to Starfleet after them, and tells Xon and Decker to do whatever become necessary. Kirk and Tasha beam down to a park. In the park, a young child runs up to Kirk. He explains to Tasha that servo-units start life as very small and grow up as time goes on. She complains that it appears to be a most inefficient process, as death causes your programming to lost, and training the next generation is a great effort. Kirk says that's true, but that child is something Ve-jur had never known before. Tasha says she may be feeling enjoyment, and asks Kirk to "envelope her" and draw her closer to him. Kirk brushes the suggestion off, telling the boy to come closer and sit with them. Ilia says she feel as if she is reacting to the child as well, but "differently." McCoy at Starfleet learns that they don't need to find information about the Voyager probes and humans as the Voyager ships carried the information with them. It was hoped the ship would encounter extraterrestrials and show them that humans existed. McCoy mentions that the probe seemed to be damaged, and that maybe the data is there, but inaccessible. He needs to get that information to the Enterprise and to Kirk. Kirk shows her around the park, meeting animals, people, flowers and plants. Tasha acts like a small child learning new things. She suddenly giggles then stops surprised at the sound she's made. She asks if she's malfunctioning. Kirk tells her she's functioning as she was designed to function. She begins to feel her sensors are taking control of her, and that they're demanding to have sex with him. He says that first, they need to talk about how humans are not servo-units, but life forms much the same as Ve-jur. Tasha lashes out in frustration, flinging Kirk into a rock. As he staggers up, bleeding, Tasha runs up to him apologetically. Kirk asks if she and Ve-jur are afraid of the truth, or even capable of understanding the concept of truth. She says she understands it: "A correct analysis of sensory input, accurately reported." Kirk puts his truth in terms she can understand: his computer (brain) has years of sensory input about Earth (memories). He is accurately reporting about life on Earth and it is not blasphemy to any creator . Again, Tasha tries to change the subject to sex. Kirk redirects the question: Is she to use her sensors on him for Ve-jur? Or to use them on Na-sah, so NASA is properly understood? She cries out that Na-sah is for worship. Kirk fires back: worship is understanding. Tasha stops cold. "I will defy Ve-jur for you." They rush to Starfleet to reveal the information about the Voyager probes, although Ve-jur is now aware that Tasha is defying his orders. Starfleet begins transmitting Voyager 4's memory bank circuit schematics on an old style carrier wave signal, hoping it will understand how to repair its own circuitry. Ve-jur, now in Earth Orbit, releases neutron bombs towards Earth to destroy the humans on Earth. Chekov determines they have one hour before the bombs detonate. Decker suggests firing on one, but Xon senses a proximity fuse on it. Uhura suddenly whips around from her console: Voyager 4 has the information about NASA already in its memory banks. [Not in script] [Not in script] [Not in script] [An alternate version of this scene occurs earlier in the script] [An alternate version of this scene occurs earlier in the script] [An alternate version of this scene occurs earlier in the script] [Not in script] Tasha tells Kirk and the officers at Starfleet that Ve-jur has released neutron devices as they will destroy the organic life on the planet, leaving the machines intact. Kirk says they've shown her all the data they have and that there is information on the Voyager 4 probe itself. Tasha replies, apologetically, that Ve-jur believes it's all a deception. The Messenger can't be the creation of servo-units. [Not in script]

Flying closer to Ve-jur, Uhura reports that Ve-jur has not responded. Xon has disappeared from the bridge. Sulu says he's gone to the transporter room to help with some calculations. Xon is looking for the coordinates of Ve-jur's main computer. Calling down to the transporter room, Decker finds out that Xon is about to beam over to Ve-jur. He belays the order and goes tot he transporter room himself. There Xon tells Decker his plan - he'd planned to beam himself over to Ve-jur, but only have his brain patterns transmitted. With Ve-jur no longer providing gravity and oxygen, the body would die quickly, but Ve-jur and it's insatiable curiosity may be interested in the brain pattern being beamed over, and integrate it into itself to examine it. This way, Ve-jur would have to examine an organic mind, and realize it was a life form. Scott calls it suicide, and Xon agrees it has very low odds of succeeding. But it's their only chance. Decker overrules Xon - he is going in Xon's place. He not only outranks everyone in the room, but he's human - the very life form being threatened. He says his goodbyes and orders his mind beamed over to Ve-jur.

[An alternate version of this scene occurs earlier in this script]

With only nine minutes remaining, the librarians are displaying every possible piece of information on NASA and Voyager to Tasha hoping Ve-jur will also be assimilating the information. Kirk tries to persuade her these documents are very old, but she has no sensors for determining the ages of things. The lights dim and an old 20th Century projector begins playing a documentary about the Voyager Probes. Tasha seems interested when suddenly her arm smashes the projector. She looks at it as if the arm movement was involuntary. "Ve-jur rejects this." With five minutes remaining Scotty contacts Kirk: Beam up to the Enterprise right away.

[Not in script]

On beaming up, Kirk sees Xon sending the entire ship's library to Ve-jur against Kirk's orders. Xon doesn't explain, but instead asks the ship's computer to isolate Decker's consciousness in Ve-jur. Decker is able to communicate, but only barely. He asks Xon to keep his transporter pattern on file, in case they ever find a way to get him back. Ve-jur understands humanity now - Decker is taking the information from the ship's computer and "translating" the concepts for him. As his consciousness fades away, he says that he sees alien, but real, beauty in what Ve-jur has seen over the last three hundred years. The countdown hits zero. Nothing happens. The neutron devices have disappeared, and Ve-jur rapidly speeds away from Earth. Kirk asks Xon about his plan to beam his mind over to Ve-jur. McCoy laughs at the thought of a Vulcan mind having control of a ship that size. Kirk begins wondering where Tasha disappeared to when Chapel and the real Ilia walk onto the bridge. Chapel has found Tasha, but she's the original Tasha design, not the Ilia body. It beamed back to the Enterprise, but immediately jammed its antenna into a power outlet. Chapel thinks Tasha couldn't stand being back in its original form again. Scott suggests giving it a decent space burial, as it was "A friendly little mite." Starfleet signals the Enterprise and says there's some Klingon activity in the Rigel area, and would they mind taking the Enterprise out to take a look. They wish it to be made clear that this is not a direct order. Every eye is on Kirk. He says that the Enterprise will be on it's way. He offers to beam McCoy down as promised before leaving. McCoy jokingly says Chapel has become too emotionally attached to the Tasha probe and therefore not a proper ship's doctor. He'll have to stay on board until he's properly replaced. With one last nod to Scotty, who says the engines would be happy to take them to the next galaxy if asked, the ship sets off to Rigel.
"Star Trek II: In Thy Image"

Rough Draft Script
Written by Harold Livingston

October 20th, 1977

Source: Star Trek Phase II - The Lost Series by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens

[None] An unnamed Starbase monitors the Klingon ships' destruction. They determine that the object is headed for Earth. [Not in script] [Not in script] Kirk meets with McCoy at San Francisco's Coit Tower. McCoy has come down from the country and is helping mend the paw of a child's pet cheetah. Kirk catches him and tries to get him to rejoin the Enterprise crew with old stories of the original five-year mission. McCoy's memory linger on the friends who didn't survive. McCoy asks why, if the Enterprise needs her old crew, isn't Kirk captaining her? Her replies that admirals do other things. McCoy needles back: And does Admiral Kirk do those things happily? Kirk says yes, McCoy disbelieves. Kirk gets a message to report to Admiral Nogura's office immediately. [Not in script] Kirk and Scott meet with Admiral Nogura and several others by subspace hologram. They all watch the Klingon battle recorded by the Star Base. Kirk suggests they wave off all traffic along the path of the object. Nogura says the path is taking them to Earth. The object is 8.6 days from Earth. Nogura mentions only the Enterprise and the light cruiser Aswan are in a position to intercept. With the Aswan even less than a match, and still going out to intercept, Nogura wants the the Enterprise on it's way in twenty-four hours. Sulu and Uhura are already on the Enterprise. Kirk suggests Chekov for security. Nogura assigns Commander Ronak for science officer as Spock is unavailable. The new captain of the Enterprise, Wah Chang, is still on his way to Earth, stuck at Starbase Six. Three days away, he's much too far away to get for this mission. Nogura asks if any other Captain could fly the ship. Kirk suggest Bar-Lev, but he's never commanded more than a light cruiser. Nogura again asks point blank: Who is the best qualified captain available? Kirk finally breaks...he is. Kirk beams up to a Space Office Complex due to transporter problems on the Enterprise and meets up with Scotty. Scotty flies Kirk over to the Enterprise. Scott is called away to engineering to take care of some monitoring relays as soon as possible. An ensign offers to take Kirk on a tour of the ship, but Kirk declines. Kirk enters the chaotic bridge much to everyone's surprise. He plays Nogura's brief speech and transfer of command orders through the ship's PA system. The ship erupts in cheers that their old captain is back. [Not in script] [An alternate version of this scene occurs earlier in the script] [Not in script] [An alternate version of this scene occurs later in the script] [Not in script] Ilia joins the bridge crew holding out her hand to Sulu, obviously taken by Ilia. She tells him to touch her hand, as he obviously wants to. He begins to pull back, but she sternly insists: "Get it out of your mind, or you will prove a distraction to me as well as yourself." He strokes her arm, and she caresses his face. "Better?"Kirk enters, and Sulu introduces Ilia to him.

A transporter accident kills Ronak. Kirk receives the command that Space dock has given them clearance to launch at his discretion. He turns to Decker, who has been pulled off the USS Boston at the last minute as first officer and acting science officer, to program a course faster. Decker is angry that his own command has been postponed to serve on Enterprise's emergency mission. McCoy and new science officer Xon beam up to the Enterprise. McCoy is unhappy at being drafted aboard by Nogura, but decides to join the crew as ship's doctor. The very disheveled looking Xon has been mostly ignored during the exchange, despite trying to get their permission to board. They mention he smells of yak droppings, his uniform is in tatters, and his hair is long and shaggy. He's been meditating at a Gobi monastery awaiting his first assignment. Kirk assumes he reports to McCoy. McCoy tells him Xon is Kirk's. Kirk isn't happy with this, and says to himself "Please tell me you have rounded ears." Xon replies "I see no reason to begin our acquaintance with an insult, sir." The Enterprise launches from space dock. Kirk compliments Scotty on how smooth the ship is running and orders warp drive. Kirk asks Uhura (accidentally referring to her as Lieutenant instead of Commander) to set up a communications link between Starfleet Command and the Aswan. Xon, cleaned up and in a new uniform, enters the bridge to take his station. Decker rises to greet him, telling him that the lengthy pre-warp programming has all been programmed. Xon proceeds to erase the work - in order to function best as science officer, he'll need to set up his own pre-warp programming. Decker and Kirk talk among themselves, worried about this being Xon's first operational assignment. Xon overhears this and without looking up offers to supply them with a copy of his academy record. Suddenly the ship sounds a collision alert with an asteroid dead ahead. Navigational deflectors and scanners are inoperative. The helm refuses to steer the ship. Decker orders a manual override on helm, but Kirk belays that order. Instead he orders phasers - the phasers don't fire as they're offline, too. Chekov manages to fire off a photon torpedo, destroying the asteroid. Suddenly all the systems come back on. On the bridge, Kirk has a confrontation with Xon about why all the systems shut down at once. Xon calmly explains he removed all the subsystems to reprogram his pre-warp programming. The odds of experiencing an emergency in such a short frame of time were eleven thousand to one. It should not have happened, but did. Kirk is horrified to hear this, and Xon reads the look on his face. He admits he was in error to risk even those odds. Spock would not have made the same error due to his experience, and as Xon gains his own experience, he will make less errors. Kirk is furious, but controls himself. Decker is also angry at Kirk for belay his helm command earlier. Kirk asks Decker to meet him in his quarters along with McCoy and Chapel. Once in his quarters, McCoy and Chapel, who are enjoying each others company again, are taking Decker and Kirk's command matter issue too lightly for Decker's taste. This is a command matter - and McCoy offers up Chapel as an expert in socio-psychology. Decker is angry that Kirk belayed his override order. Decker's order could have easily maneuvered around the asteroid. Kirk replies that's true - if the Enterprise were a light cruiser like the Boston. The Enterprise is bigger, and the delay would have been fatal. Decker counters that Kirk's phaser order failed as well. Kirk mentions they didn't know the phasers were out. Decker hits him with logic: If the automatic helm is down, wouldn't you assume the automatic weapons would be as well? Kirk ponders this for a moment, then says that his time away from the Enterprise may be affecting his judgment. He orders Decker to make regular reports on his own command fitness. Decker says his own issues of being taken away from the Boston may be making him over critical of Kirk. Kirk orders him to also make regular reports on his own performance and attitude. Decker is surprised and impressed at how open and reasonable Kirk is being around his officers and offers to stay aboard the Enterprise after the mission. Kirk asks about the crew's impression of Xon. Chapel finds him sweet, Decker thinks he could kill everyone with his inexperience. Kirk points out "So could I." [Not in script] [Not in script] [Not in script] [Not in script] Uhura manages to make visual contact with the Aswan, which is quickly under attack and destroyed by the object. Kirk orders Warp 6. The Enterprise reaches the object. They are not able to tell whether they are being scanned by the object or not, as the force field cloud patterns are nothing like they've seen before. Uhura sends out a message that their intensions are for peaceful contact, but they go unanswered. Xon begins scanning the cloud ahead. Kirk orders shields and a red alert when suddenly the science station flares with light and all computer controlled systems fail. The scan Xon initiated was reflected back at the Enterprise so intensely, it blew out the computer systems. Slowly they begin to restart. They make visual contact well before they were supposed to, and realize the objects size must be huge. The object does not respond to the ship at all, and the Enterprise flies alongside the craft. With their shields up, travelling alongside at Warp 6, the ship can't keep up for much longer. Decker suggests launching a probe. The probe approaches the object and begins sending information to the Enterprise when the object fires at it, destroying the probe. It begins firing on the Enterprise itself. Chekov activates weaponry, but Kirk orders him not to fire. The object immediately grabs the Enterprise in a tractor beam. The tractor beam begins to squeeze the Enterprise too tightly, causing the life support systems to overload. Just as the ship is about to be crushed by the tractor beam and phaser onslaught, Xon determines that the object is contacting them at such a high rate of speed it went unnoticed. And it's addressing the USS Enterprise as a life form itself, not the crew inside. Xon sends a response addressed from the ship itself to break off hostilities. The object does so. [Not in script] [Not in script] [Not in script] The Enterprise has been held in front of the object for a full day, allowing crew to stand down for a bit and get some rest. [Not in script] [Not in script] Xon reports that the Enterprise has been communicating directly with the object. The object requested information about the USS Enterprise but nothing about the crew. When they ask the ship's computer about the object, all they get is "Data Unavailable." It only sent information, never asked for any. Kirk orders the computer to cease communication with the object unless specifically ordered. Xon believes that after examining the information, any further communication would be a waste of it's time.

Decker says they need to show some teeth and threaten the object. Since there's twelve hours before the Enterprise is back to full power and repaired, Kirk orders the ship to go to Standby crews and everyone gets some rest. As he and Decker walk, Kirk asks what the object might do with the knowledge that the Enterprise has a bomb. Decker replies that he would listen to Enterprises demands. Kirk counters - he wouldn't give the ship the chance to arm the weapon. It would destroy the ship. Never make a threat you're not prepared to carry out, because your enemy will naturally assume you are prepared and act accordingly.

Kirk reenters the bridge to find Xon still at the science station. Xon begins to report on his findings of the object's defensive systems when Kirk orders him to eat and rest. Xon refuses, but Kirk insists and makes it an order. Xon leaves. Rand reminisces with Kirk about it being like old times. Although this mission is nothing like old times. In the recreation room, Sulu is sitting at a table when Ilia surprises him and begins flirting with him. Sulu is genuinely shocked at how open she is about flirting with him, and Ilia jokes that, as a telepath, she can sense all he thinks about is sex.

Suddenly bright turquoise lights appear around the ship, materializing into small mechanical probes. The probes begin poking and prodding the ship, but completely ignore the humans, except for one. One, a ring shaped probe with a pearl eye sees a security guard coming for it and begins making squeals. It's obviously frightened of him. Chekov attempts to grab one of the floating probes, but misses. The pearl-probe squeals at him, seemingly angry. Between the two they manage to catch the floating probe to take to Xon. Chekov looks around and notices the pearl-probe is gone. Security passes a closed door in search of the pearl-probe, and as they pass, the door opens and the probe, self-satisfied, heads the other way. Scott calls the bridge to complain that the probes are poking around his engines. Kirk orders no action against them as long as they damage nothing. Scott tells the probe if it touches one of his controls, the probe will end up as a junk pile. Another appears in sickbay as McCoy and Chapel are operating on an injury. Annoyed, he offers to dissect one for Kirk. Xon is doing just that, and says the technology in the probe he's pulled apart is so advanced, they don't have words for what they're seeing. Uhura cuts in reporting that the probes have infiltrated the computer library. Kirk tells Uhura to send a message demanding the probes withdraw or they'll be destroyed.Chekov is dispatched to the computer library to destroy any probes that attempt the access the library computer. As the probes close in on the computer, Chekov fires. Two are destroyed and when he aims for a third, it simply disappears.

All the probes are being withdrawn. Kirk suddenly hears a high-pitched squeaking and beeping. Turning around the pearl-probe has come up to him, angry. Chekov enters the bridge right behind the probe as if he's been chasing it. He points out that the probe reminds him of a pearl given to his Aunt Tasha that was fake.Xon translates the probes squeaking - it's addressing the humans directly: "Please allow me to speak with the USS Enterprise." Xon offers up that while the other probes ignored the humans, this one hasn't. The object may be using it as a liaison between him and the Enterprise itself. With cool logic, Xon says that if the object considers the Enterprise a life form, then the alien ship must be a life form of it's own. Kirk tells the probe it is in command, which the probe says is impossible. Xon surmises that the probe figures that humans are like the probes themselves, or units accomplishing tasks for the Enterprise. But not in command. Suddenly the pearl-probe begins examining Kirk himself, poking a sensor in his ear, or trying to get into his mouth. He swats it away, and it complains that it hasn't finished its examination. Kirk orders Xon to have the computer relay Kirk's communications as if it was coming from the ship itself. He tells the ship not to communicate independently with the probe. He asks, as the USS Enterprise, why they are being held. The object, through the probe, responds that similar vessels of the same type had attacked it, and were destroyed. They may not have been functioning properly, and it's trying to determine of the Enterprise is also functioning properly, especially seeing as it is infested with 430 parasites. Kirk says that the parasites are necessary to the ships existence, and follows up with a question about why the probe is heading to Earth. The probe replies that it is the Holy Home of the Creator. Kirk says the whole universe is the home of the creator, not Earth. Suddenly the object tightens the tractor beam, and the probe realizes the deception. The computer begins communicating back and forth with the object on its own, sending the records of the main computer. Xon smashes the science station when the computer refuses to shut off. He is severely injured. In the confusion the pearl-probe has moved away from the commotion near Ilia. The probe leaves, taking Ilia with it. [An alternate version of this scene occurs earlier in the script] Kirk and McCoy enter another area of Sickbay. Kirk obviously needs rest. Kirk at first refuses, but agrees when McCoy threatens him with a medical order. McCoy returns to Xon, telling him to rest as well, shutting off Xon's computer. Kirk has fallen asleep at his desk in his quarters when Ilia reappears in his quarter's sonic shower. She asks, pleasantly for a robe and Kirk realizes she's something using a mechanized replacement of Ilia's form. She prefers the name "Tasha" as it's what the crew had named her. McCoy, Xon and Chapel are summoned to Kirk's room. They determine she's a completely robotic version of Ilia. Kirk asks what they should so with Tasha. She says that Captain Kirk may do anything he wants with her. They begin questioning her asking what happened to the original Ilia. She has been "disassembled. She says she is here to learn more about the "servo-units" of the Enterprise and why it considers them so vital to it's functioning. "Ve-jur is anxious for this knowledge." He asks Tasha to wait for a moment with Dr McCoy while Xon and Kirk head to the bridge.

Xon figures that they may be able to use Tasha to get information from Ve-jur by entering a "relationship" with her. Kirk is not pleased with this idea.

On the bridge, Decker says they have full power, but it may not be enough to break free of the ship's tractor beam. Xon and Chekov advise against it as well as it may just provoke Ve-jur. Instead, Kirk orders Uhura to send the ships logs and reports at high speed with a note for Starfleet not to reply as Ve-jur may be able to use that frequency to infiltrate Starfleet. The bridge crew suddenly reacts as McCoy and Tasha enter the bridge. She "insisted." Kirk introduces Tasha to the bridge crew. Tasha walks over to Sulu and gently caresses his face. "I can do anything the original can - better." She continues to stroke his hand. Scott manages to raise enough power for Uhura to send the quick message to Starfleet. Tasha stiffens up. She demands to know why a signal was sent to earth. Kirk bluffs: Earth must be informed of Ve-jur's arrival. Tasha freezes up for a few short seconds and then delivers an ominous message: Ve-jur has determined the humans have gained control over the Enterprise, and therefore the humans must have gained control of the superior lifeforms of the Earth. Ve-jur releases the Enterprise, which causes Scott to scramble to get the ship up to Warp 6 to keep up with Ve-jur. Decker suggest getting away to Earth, but Kirk decides to stay. Tasha announces that Ve-jur has released the Enterprise as a show of good faith, and awaits a show of good faith from the humans. Ve-jur wants them to accept the Creator and his wisdom. Kirk says they do. Tasha reads the quick bluff - they've already denied Earth is the Holy Home of the Creator. Tasha announces that Ve-jur is willing to show the humans proof of the Holy Home by beaming them inside V-Ger itself. Decker demands Kirk stay behind as captain of the ship, but Kirk replies that he's the Guest of Honor. Scotty beams Kirk, Xon and Tasha to the coordinates she provides. [Not in script]

They beam over against the wall of a gigantic cavern who's dimensions are so large they stretch into infinity. The interior has miles of sophisticated machinery. They walk on this machinery towards a gelatinous mass with Ilia's body inside. She appears to be dead. preserved for study. Kirk asks if she can be revived. Surprised, Tasha says they have her instead. Tasha is more durable and useful.

[Not in script]

As they continue walking they come to a container, sticking out of the wall. Xon tricorders the container - it's titanium. Not used sicne the early 21st century. kirk isn't listening. He's looking at other pieces also growing out of the wall, all from the same object. He finds an plaque marked V-G-R 18. He realizes from the plaque that it's Voyager 18, a ship that presumably entered a black hole. Tasha calls the plaque and it's other inscriptions "The Holy Writings," and when Kirk explains the acronym NASA, Tasha prays "Glory to Nasa. Kirk exclaims that if Ve-jur destroys the humans on Earth, he'll be destroying the creator. They built Voyager 18. Suddenly a laser bolt hits Kirk in the chest. "Ve-jur punishes those who lie." Tasha says Ve-jur is satisfied the human do not accept the Creator. They are to return to Earth to herald to the superior life forms of Earth of Ve-jur's arrival and the return of the Creator. Before beaming back, Kirk asks Uhura to get absolute proof of the existence of NASA in the 20th Century and details of the creation and launching of Voyager 18.

Ve-jur has allowed the Enterprise five hours of lead time in order to inform the higher life forms of Ve-jur's and the Creator's arrival. Tasha has remained with the humans to provide a stream of information back to Ve-jur. However, she has also been very helpful in piecing together what had happened to Ve-jur's home world. The home world had existed for eons, but three hundred years earlier, the machine civilization had entered The Time of Trouble. The civilization had begun to decay. Around that time, Voyager 18, which was lost in a black hole, came through a wormhole near the machine home world and crash landed. While it was primitive, it's intergalactic existence revitalized the civilization, trying to fulfill Voyager 18's mission. Tasha again prays "Glory to Nasa for sending its Son and his Message." As the Enterprise closes in on Earth, the only other ship in the area, the Delphi (another light cruiser) hails them. Between the Delphi ad Enterprise, these are the only ships here to confront Ve-jur. Kirk begins recording a log into his computer when Tasha interrupts him. She saw human units touching and caressing elsewhere and would like to try it. Kirk plainly tells her she wouldn't appreciate it. She throws her arms around Kirk and attempts to seduce him - and for a moment, he falters. He tells her there are other things to a "relationship." She tells him they're not as pleasant. Kirk is surprised she would know that...and Tasha appears as surprised as he does. [Not in script] Kirk orders Xon to prime self-destruct. While it won't hurt Ve-jur, it will destroy the Enterprise's main computer, which will keep it out of Ve-jur's hands. Kirk and Tasha beam over to the Delphi, who have orders to beam them to Starfleet Archives on Earth. Instead, Kirk asks them to beam the two just outside the archives in Union Square Park. In the park, a young child runs up to Kirk asking him if he's in Starfleet. The boy wants to be an officer when he grows up. Kirk explains to Tasha that servo-units start life as very small and grow up as time goes on. He shows her around the park, meeting animals, people, flowers and plants. Tasha acts like a small child learning new things, and seems especially interested in vegetation. [Not in script]

Kirk takes her to a beach where she picks up a piece a driftwood. She asks if the humans made the beach. Kirk says the humans didn't - nature did. Tasha exclaims that if objects aren't manufactured, they cannot be perfect. Kirk counters that nothing here is perfect, including the humans. It's the imperfections that make humans different for "servo-units." Coldly she points out a hydrofoil floating by with people riding it. An obvious higher life form forced into being transportation for humans. He says humans created it. Just like they created NASA and Voyager 18. She refuses to accept this, but doesn't know why. Kirk calls the Delphi to have them beamed to the Archives.

Ve-jur, now in Earth orbit, releases neutron bombs towards Earth to destroy the humans on Earth who, it believes, have repressed the creator. The Enterprise attempts to intercept one, but senses a proximity fuse on it. The Enterprise veers away. Chekov determines they have twenty six minutes before the bombs detonate. Ve-jur immediately grabs the Enterprise in a tractor beam, pulling it inside.

[Not in script] [Not in script] [Not in script] [An alternate version of this scene occurs earlier in the script] [An alternate version of this scene occurs earlier in the script] [An alternate version of this scene occurs earlier in the script] [Not in script] Nogura shows Tasha a video on NASA to prove humans created NASA and Voyager 18. She refuses to believe it as it's all simulated, further desecrating the Holy Memory of the Creator. Kirk says they had to be - all the original records crumbled to dust years ago.  Kirk notices a few film cans and a film projector. "This is NASA" from the 20th century. [Not in script]

Decker, grasping at any straws he can get to save Earth, sends Ve-jur "all" the cultural achievements of humans, although Decker has edited it to show mostly the peaceful and progressive portions of Earth history. Ve-jur replies that the history is incomplete - it's seen through the editing. He prepares to send the rest of the information, but Xon stops him. While Ve-jur will see the wars of Earth, it will also learn about the Federation and all the other "infested" planets. Decker relents, he can't win. He orders the ship's library erased.

[An alternate version of this scene occurs earlier in the script]

With only five minutes remaining, the librarians are having trouble assembling a 20th Century projector. Tasha tells them that she can do it, and as she does so, calls the project "quite a charming unit" then hugs it calling it beautiful. They attempt to play the film, but it falls apart and breaks. Kirk admits defeat on the film. It's three hundred years old, and too deteriorated to play. Even Tasha seems sad this attempt has failed and apologizes. Nogura orders all UFP data erased from every Starfleet database.

Decker relents, he can't win. He orders the ship's library erased, and orders self destruct, which will happen in five minutes. Kirk asks if Tasha understands "sorry." She regrets that Kirk has to be destroyed. Kirk asks about everyone else. They don't matter, Tasha responds. Kirk says that's the main difference between the humans and machines - morality - everyone matters. Sensing that Tasha is becoming emotionally confused, he tells her Ve-jur is wrong to destroy life on Earth. Tasha responds that Ve-jur can never be wrong. She refuses to hear anymore, and the countdown hits zero. Nothing happens. Tasha has told Ve-jur she has seen unquestionable evidence of its creation by humans. She lied. The Enterprise receives a message saying that Ve-jur has received the evidence that it was created by humans, and therefore they will be spared. Scott immediately disengages the self destruct at it's last seconds. Decker transmits a message to Ve-jur, asking for mutual cooperation and education. Ve-jur simply replies it can learn nothing from lower life forms. Ve-jur begins moving away, but not before a flash of light appears on the bridge...the real Ilia has returned, dazed. Kirk orders Scott to beam both he and Tasha back to the Enterprise. For a moment, Tasha looks at Kirk, caresses his face, and looks at him with love. They beam up to the Enterprise.  On the bridge, they materialize and just as the beaming completes, there's a sudden flash of light. Tasha has reverted back to her pearl-probe form, but is completely inert and not moving.  Chekov asks "why did it come back here?" Kirk replies, "Maybe that's what it wanted."  Starfleet messages the Enterprise. The recent voyage has served as her shakedown cruise. She's to begin her new five-year voyage immediately. Kirk orders Scott to depart Earth orbit.