Home Prev 5MST: EPISODES Next Home

Five-Minute "Balance of Terror"

by Zeke

Kirk: Marriage! Since the dawn of time, it has sucked, but men have somehow been persuaded to put up with it anyway. Robert Tomlinson, do you take this woman to be your wife, sucker?
Tomlinson: I do.
Kirk: And do you, Angela Martine, take this man, James T. --
Martine: Robert Tomlinson!
Kirk: (Arrgh, so close.) -- to be your husband, and swear to be faithful to him always except for the occasional wink wink, nudge nudge with a dashing superior officer?
Martine: I do.
Kirk: I now sentence you to life imprisonment. What secular humanism has joined together, let anyone who wishes put asunder. You may kiss the --
Spock: (over the comm) Red Alert. All hands to battlestations.
Kirk: Mr. Spock, the part about objecting to this union was five minutes ago. You're just going to have to forever hold your peace.

Spock: Earth Outposts 2 and 3 have already gone silent. Now Outpost 4 is under attack.
Stiles: Uh oh. There's only one race that would destroy outposts along the Neutral Zone.
Spock: Indeed, logic demands that the Romulans are responsible.
Kirk: (sigh) I have to give a speech when there's Romulans. Can't we just call them Remans or something?
Spock: NO.

Kirk: All hands, this is the captain. You have all heard of the Romulan War, which took place in... Spock, what year are we using now?
Spock: 2158 is still safe.
Kirk: Gotcha. Anyway, that war was so low-tech that no human ever saw a Romulan's face, but we're confident that they're jerks. The treaty that ended the war established a Neutral Zone, and since then, neither side has crossed it... until now.
Kirk: My orders in this scenario are to intercept the Romulans and appease the crap out of them. To prevent another war, this ship, the outposts, and if necessary, the entire Federation are considered expendable. That is all.
Stiles: Somehow I don't think that speech will help morale.
Kirk: Nah, the crew know I don't actually do the stuff I'm ordered to.

Spock: Outposts 2 and 3 are in sensor range now. I have put them on screen.
Kirk: Huh? I don't see anything. ...Oh, I get it, you just picked a dramatic way to tell me they've been destroyed.
Spock: No, I pushed the wrong button. Here we go.
Kirk: (wince) Oh, that's gotta hurt. Make a note for the ship's log: sucks to be those outposts.

Tomlinson: You sure are good at energizing my phaser.
Martine: Thanks, dear. (sigh) What awful timing. Now we have to do the whole wedding over again.
Tomlinson: There, there, honey. I'm disappointed too. (Hey Dave, call those Orion slave girls back -- I get another bachelor party!)

Uhura: Captain, we've regained contact with Outpost 4.
Commander Hansen: (over the comm) ...Enterprise! Can you hear me, you slowpokes?
Kirk: Loud and clear, Commander. Are you all right?
Hansen: Of course! Of course I'm all right! That's why my bridge is on fire and collapsing around me! I mean, why wouldn't I be all right on a defenseless outpost being destroyed by invisible aliens because you can't be bothered to go any fa-- (click)
Kirk: What happened? Did we lose contact?
Spock: I closed the comm link for Commander Hansen's own good. Surak taught that the lakht cha'matoy -- the Sarcasm Before Death -- can be harmful to the katra.

Stiles: Whoa! A ship just came out of nowhere!
Kirk: Hey, maybe they can help us save the outpost! Hail th--
Romulan Ship's Disruptors: KRRRRRZAP
Outpost 4: BOOOOOM
Kirk: Rats. Tell them not to bother.

Spock: It's gone again. The Romulans must have found a way to render their ship transparent.
Kirk: Clearly.
Spock: (glare) Fortunately, our motion sensor is still picking up a faint blip, making the whole thing rather pointless. We should be able to pursue them.
Kirk: Perfect! Stiles, set a course that mimics their movements. We're just a blip to them too, so they should think we're just a harmless space bee playing follow the leader.
Spock: That logic is unsound, Captain. An invisible ship may still be able to see other ships, just as a man with his hands over his eyes is still visible.
Kirk: (gasp) You can see me when I do that?

Uhura: I'm picking up a comm signal from the Romulan ship. It's in some strange code.
Kirk: Spock, you're smarter than her. Can you get anything out of it?
Spock: It seems that only the audio is encoded. I can display the visual portion, saving me the several hours I was planning to spend building a magical Seeing-Their-Bridge device.
Kirk: Sweet! On screen.
(The Romulan bridge appears)
All: GASP!
Stiles: Vulcans! They're Vulcans!
Spock: And all this time I thought I was the only one!

Romulan Centurion: What the --? Did I just hear someone use the comm?
Decius: Yo. Reporting our success to the Praetor.
Centurion: We're trying to be invisible here! What if someone detected it?
Decius: It's cool, I used the code. You know, "ZHQL, ZLGL, ZLFL."
Centurion: You idiot! You're demoted!
Decius: Yes, Commander. (mutters) Gvrngsdfk.
Centurion: I heard that.

Romulan Commander: Don't worry, we'll only be surrounded by these morons a little longer. We're almost home.
Centurion: (sigh) And our success will lead the Praetor to declare war on the Federation.
Commander: What's wrong with that? We just saw how easy they'll be to beat.
Centurion: But after all these years, aren't you tired of death and destruction?
Commander: No, I think you're pretty much alone on that one.

Kirk: This meeting will now come to order. Any suggestions?
Stiles: First, we kill Spock. Then --
Kirk: We've been over this, mister. You may have lost some ancestors in the Romulan War, but we skipped that scene, so keep your Spockotry to yourself.
Stiles: Then I suggest we attack the Romulan ship. By firing Spock at them.
Spock: I agree. -- With the attack part.
McCoy: Are you crazy, Spock? If we avenge the cold-blooded murders of innocents, we're just as bad as the murderers!
Kirk: And can we be sure the Romulans are evil? They do look like you, Mr. Spock.
Spock: Jim, maybe you haven't noticed this, but I'm a real prick.

Kirk: So... how do we find something invisible? Hot pink paint, maybe?
Spock: Unnecessary. According to this almanac, the Romulans' course will shortly take them through the tail of a comet, where they will leave a trail.
McCoy: Must you always rely on cold, unfeeling tec-- wait. An almanac? That's just pathetic.
Spock: If it makes you feel any better, I do have it memorized.

Centurion: This comet tail will hide us from the Earth ship's sensors. We'll leave a trail and all, but who looks for that?
Romulan Officer: Hey, that sensor echo is gone.
Centurion: Oh no -- they've followed us in! Evasive maneuvers!
Commander: There's room for two ships in here? This must be, like, the biggest comet ever.

Spock: Huh. We're through the tail, but there's still no sign of them.
Kirk: You can't detect anything?
Spock: Well, I did find two odd structures on the comet. (puts them on screen)
Stiles: Snowmen... with Vulcan ears?
Kirk: Okay, that does it. I won't sit here and be made fun of. Fire all weapons!

Commander: Centurion!
Centurion: You are... a child... of Valen... GAK!
Commander: That was just confusing. And vengeance-inspiring! Strike them down! Kill them! All of them! No mercy!

Spock: The ship has opened its gun ports and fired the same thing they fired at the colony.
Kirk: Blast it!
Spock: Unfortunately, we cannot fire phasers again until our first three shots leave the screen.
Kirk: I know, I was expressing frustration. Hard about! Full reverse!
Stiles: I think we should only do one of those.
Kirk: Fine, fine. Geez. Put a guy behind the wheel and he thinks he knows everything.

Stiles: Warp 14... Warp 15...
Spock: The enemy shot has reached Warp 40!
Kirk: That's just ridiculous. Ideas? Anyone? Uhura?
Uhura: We could separate the saucer at warp, then turn around and surrender.
Kirk: Ahh, so there is a reason I don't talk to you.

Spock: Jim, the shot is dissipating!
Kirk: Thank heaven! Now I can stop hugging Yeoman Rand to comfort her in this moment of danger.
(long pause)
Rand: Any time now, sir.

Commander: Cloak us again and resume course.
Decius: You sure about that cloak? We're low on fuel.
Commander: Don't worry, I'm running this ship now. I don't do the Centurion's thing of flicking the ceiling fan on and off all the time.

Spock: They're almost in the Neutral Zone. You will have to decide whether to break orders and follow.
Kirk: If there's one thing I avoid, it's radioactive meteors, and if there's another, it's decisions. Fire blindly! Maybe we can hit them before --
Spock: They're in it.
Kirk: (sigh) You could have warned me not to make that witty comment.
Spock: Sorry. When I say "almost," I mean "almost."

Decius: The humans have gone mad! They're firing at random!
Commander: Hmmm... maybe we can trick them. Load up some debris and the centurion's body and fire them into space. And then clear out your desk, you're fired.
Decius: The commander has gone mad! He's firing at random!

Kirk: Uhura, send a message to Starfleet Headquarters. Tell them... we have engaged the Neutral Zone. I mean, we have entered the Borg. I mean --
Uhura: It doesn't matter what you mean, I don't know Headquarters' number.
Spock: Captain, I am detecting debris and a corpse. But there's not enough mass for it to be the enemy ship. It must be a distraction.
Kirk: Rats! Well, I won't let myself be distracted again. Where's the enemy ship?
Spock: We've, um, lost the signal. Now I know you'll be mad, but LOOK OVER THERE!
Kirk: WHERE?

Stiles: If they're not on the motion detector, then they're somewhere out there waiting for us. Like spooks. Like Spo--
Kirk: Be quiet. Which reminds me: All hands, I'm ordering silence aboard ship. We can't let them hear us.
Uhura: (Aren't you going to tell him, Mr. Spock? You're his science officer.)
Spock: (I can't. He ordered silence.)
Uhura: (Damn your Vulcan sense of duty!)

Captain's Log: And now we play... the Waiting Game.

Captain's Log, Supplemental: The Waiting Game sucks. Let's play fizzbin.

Kirk: I'm so worried, Bones. What if I make the wrong choice? This is your cue to give me some sage advice.
McCoy: There are millions of planets out there, Jim, with billions and billions of beings... but only one of each of us. (puts hand on Kirk's shoulder) Don't destroy the one named McCoy.

Spock: Phasers are back online, Captain!
Kirk: Gah! Why did you have to shout across the bridge like that? Now they'll know where we are!
Spock: But --
Kirk: Well, we might as well start firing again. Because someone gave away our location.
Spock: I -- hey, you've been talking this whole time! You even recorded logs!
Kirk: Yeah, but you're a Vulcan. The Romulans can hear you better.

Decius: They're firing again!
Commander: Okay, I have one last brilliant plan. Load up some more debris... and stick a nuclear bomb in it! Mwahaha!
Decius: Gotcha. Hey, did you just hear someone talking? Sounded kinda Vulcan.
Commander: Don't make me slap you.

Kirk: More debris?
Spock: Indeed. They didn't even bother with a corpse this time.
Kirk: Cheap bast--

Commander: Well, that worked out nicely. Let's go home.
Decius: We're not going to finish them off? Lame.
Commander: Yes, I know they're crippled, but --
Decius: That was also lame.

Kirk: Damage report!
Spock: We were fortunate -- their nuclear bomb was based on the weak nuclear force, not the strong one. We have enough power to leave and make repairs.
Kirk: Negative. We're staying here for now.
Sulu: To play dead and lure the Romulans in?
Kirk: No, I just like this spot.

Tomlinson: (over the comm) I could use some help down here, sir. I'm manning the phasers alone.
Kirk: Alone, eh? As in not with your fiancée? Hmmmmmm... anyway, I'll send you some stylish backup.
Stiles: I take it you're sending me?
Kirk: Your pun-fu is strong. Uhura, take over for Stiles as navigator.
Sulu: Sir, I keep telling you, helmsman and navigator are the same thing. You don't need two of us.
Kirk: Know how many pilots the Hindenburg had? One. I rest my case.

Decius: Come on! We've got to kill them! Consider the alternative!
Commander: Which is?
Decius: We don't kill them. Know what happens then? Your own mother trips and breaks her shoulderbone!
Commander: I'm not sure how that follows logically.
Decius: (gasp) Are you suggesting we employ that tool of the Vulcan swine?
Commander: All right, all right. Take us in for the kill. (sigh) This one's for you, Mom.

Spock: While I'm in the neighbourhood for whatever reason, would you like some help with the phasers?
Stiles: You'd like that, wouldn't you?
Spock: Not really. I'm a bridge officer and I have philosophical issues with violence.
Stiles: Get out, you green-blooded green-blood! We don't need your treachery and ear tapering! (Spock leaves) How was that, master?
McCoy: (over the comm) Don't quit your day job.

Sulu: They're decloaking!
Kirk: Fire! ...I said fire! Phaser team? Oh no, something's happened to them!
Uhura: Or Tomlinson's just mad at you for that stuff about his fiancée.
Kirk: (sigh) I get more mutinies that way.

Spock: Would you like some help with the phasers now, Mr. Stiles?
Stiles: (near-unconscious from a coolant gas leak) Maybe a little.

Phasers: ZAP ZAP
Sulu: Woo! It worked! We've crippled their shippled!
Kirk: Stop that. Uhura, hail them.
Uhura: You put me on navigation, Captain. My replacement is at the comm station.
Kirk: And for simplicity, she will answer to the name Uhura.

Kirk: Lower your shields, Captain. We'll beam your survivors aboard.
Commander: (over the comm) Thank you, but we can't accept... our code of honour prefers death to capture. Or pretty much anything else. Technically, we're supposed to self-destruct even if we win.
Kirk: Harsh.
Commander: Yeah. Farewell, Captain. In another lifetime... I could have called you my son's best friend....
Kirk: Ouch. That's gonna leave a mark, Leonard.
McCoy: (over the comm) What do I have to do with this?

Stiles: I'm sorry, Mr. Spock. You saved my life, and if that doesn't prove that you're either trustworthy or very careful about your cover, I don't know what does.
Spock: Least I could do for a fellow prick.
Kirk: Did we lose anyone, Bones?
McCoy: Just Tomlinson. It's the strangest thing... just before he died, he said he'd been given anonymous orders to man the most dangerous station during the attack.
Kirk: Go figure. Anyway, I'm off to comfort Bathsh-- er, Angela.
Rand: (over the comm) Captain, we've finally received word from Starfleet Command. We are authorized to enter the Neutral Zone.
Kirk: Really? Take us in there, do a few figure eights, and come back out.

Martine: Sob....
Kirk: There, there. It'll be okay.
(long pause)
Martine: Any time now, sir.
(Kirk eventually releases Angela at Lingering Speed)


Previous fiver: The Conscience of the King
Next fiver: Shore Leave


Got a comment on this fiver? Contact the author, Zeke.

Site navigation:
___ Five-Minute Star Trek
___ ___ Season 1
___ ___ ___ Five-Minute "Balance of Terror"

This fiver was originally published on March 1, 2005.

DISCLAIMER: A lot of stuff in here is copyrighted by Paramount Pictures. My intent isn't to infringe on that; I and those like me are just having a little fun in the universe Gene Roddenberry created. I don't think he'd mind.

All material © 2005, Zeke.