While Kirk and Spock attend mining negotiations on Pentam V, the Enterprise, with Sulu in command, receives a distress call from Thraz Outpost, an Andorian scientific base. Protocol prevents Kirk and Spock from leaving the negotiations, so Kirk orders Scotty to set course for the outpost. Chekov suggests that Sulu should feel slighted by Kirk transferring command to Scotty. The Andorians report that they were attacked by an unidentified alien ship which then left the system. There are seismic disturbances across the planet's main landmass. The purpose of the base is to study the Thraz Streamer, a flume of tachyons ejected by a nearby pulsar and extending outside the galaxy.
As the Enterprise approaches the outpost, Sulu detects what seems to be the alien ship inside the stream. He convinces Scotty that their best course of action is to investigate the ship. Scotty heads to Engineering to modify the Enterprise's systems to allow it to fly closer to the streamer, leaving Sulu the conn. Uhura chastises Sulu for arguing with Scotty. Meanwhile, McCoy reminds Scotty that Kirk left him in command. With the modifications complete, Sulu asks Scotty over the intercom what his orders are, and Scotty returns to the bridge.
The Enterprise lures the unknown out of the streamer by firing a photon torpedo across its bow. Scans of the unknown and the way it responds to hails lead Sulu and Uhura to suggest that it may be an infant lifeform rather than a ship. When Scotty suggests that the creature was born on Thraz and burrowed its way out from underground, McCoy realizes that more than one creature may be being born, causing the tremors. Reaching Thraz, the Enterprise detects fifty more creatures underground. Sulu convinces Shrevan, the base's Director, to evacuate his people from the area where the creature emerged. The Enterprise uses its tractor beam to help the hatchlings emerge from the planet while causing minimal damage.
- Pavel Chekov • David Frank • James T. Kirk • Leonard McCoy • Montgomery Scott • Spock • Hikaru Sulu • Nyota Uhura
Starships and vehicles
Races and cultures
States and organizations
- Scotty: "I've been an engineer for over twenty years, and if I live another hundred years, an engineer is still what I'll be."
- http://www.allyngibson.net/st-const.html - story annotations
Devices and Desires