(written from a Production point of view)
- "Captain's log, stardate 6134.6. The mysterious... time slow-down we're experiencing has affected... not only every crew member on board... but all the Enterprise's instruments and computer banks... it's as if... time itself were winding down... and us with it..."
Spock reports that the time slowing phenomena began when the Enterprise came within three light years of the high-density energy field ahead. Captain Kirk orders Sulu to stop the engines and bring impulse power online. As they stop, Spock notes that the time slowing effect has ceased – "at least... things are getting no slower."
Kirk orders the ship turned about to put at least ten light years between them and the strange distortion. Sulu notes that an alien vessel is approaching them from the starboard. Uhura tries to raise communications with them as the viewscreen shows the ship. It has an unfamiliar shape, but appears to be a warship. A hail arrives, and the voice introduces himself as Konrac and demands their surrender. The warship then fires on the Enterprise, causing some minimal damage.
After a quick scan of the other ship, Spock notes that despite its size, there are only two lifeforms aboard. Kirk contacts Scotty and has them beam over the two beings to the Enterprise. When Spock and Kirk arrive at the transport dock, they discover Scotty slumped in a corner and Konrac on the attack. The only reason that Konrac cannot overcome Kirk is due to Kirk's advanced combat techniques, but they are fighting to a standstill. Spock sneaks up behind the other being, a man dressed in what appear to be wizard's robes, and uses the Vulcan nerve pinch to quickly subdue him. With that action, Konrac's strength vanishes, and Kirk is able to easily defeat him.
In sickbay, Dr. McCoy explains that the wizard, Klee, actually is a wizard, and was using magic. As they discuss this, Sulu reports from the bridge that the time-slowdown area has moved. Konrac explains that the distortion is called a Gola and has its own orbit. He further explains that its orbit brings it in range of his planet one a regular basis, causing great problems. His civilization is as old as the Humans, but their development is still at the barbarian stages due to the time slowdown effects.
- "Captain's log, supplemental. Konrac and Klee were sincere. Their entire race was counting on them to wipe out the menace that had held their culture locked in a standstill for centuries. And now they had the help of a starship!"
Kirk orders Chekov to fire phasers at the Gola, and even after three direct hits, no effect can be seen, just as with the photon torpedoes fired moments before. McCoy suggests that it is because the Gola is twisting time and avoiding the weapons of the Enterprise. At the same time, Spock notes that the Gola is now an enemy with intelligence, and it is approaching them directly. Klee and Spock huddle and discuss the situation. Between the two of them, they come up with a plan to attack its mind rather than its physical form.
Klee began conjuring up mental images of his ancestors and storing them in the Enterprise computer banks. While he was doing so, Konrac tells Kirk about the origins of his culture, and that their oldest ancestors came from a planet called Earth. Before Kirk can inquire further, the Gola approaches even closer. Fortunately, Klee is prepared and launches his attack, but it is not enough. Klee and Konrac's culture is not old enough. Spock approaches the terminal and begins to glow with the same aura as Klee and added the history of the Vulcan people, millions of years all at once. The Gola is paralyzed with the shock. Spock tells Kirk that during the attack, he could feel the mind of the Gola. They put the sounds onto the speakers and it sounds like a crying baby. Spock notes that it is searching for its parent, the sun that spawned it.
- "Captain's log... stardate 6453.2. After using a long-range tractor beam to pull the Gola behind us for several days, we finally released it moments ago... as we orbited the star sun Spock's calculations had pinpointed as the parent. All of us watched the screen in eager anticipation..."
The Gola is no longer a threat, and Konrac and Klee's world safe, and the two returned. Kirk tells Spock that something about the two still bothers him, and that they came from Earth originally, but that he knows of no records describing a culture vanishing from Earth at that time. Spock retorts, noting that he saw mental images of a sinking continent, and evacuations taking place aboard spaceships. He mentions the legend of Atlantis to which Kirk notes that he may have just solved one of the mysteries of Earth.
"Enough! Enough! You have done the impossible! You have beaten me Captain Kirk!"
"Not so impossible actually. I simply applied a Vulcan nerve-pinch to your consort and caused him to pass out."
"Spock, I suppose I should say thank you, but I don't understand."
- - Konrac, Spock, and Kirk
"I may just be an old country doctor myself... but I'd say the Gola was warping time all around him... makin' our phasers and photons detonate either in the past or future, instead of the here and now."
"I'm impressed doctor. For a mind of your caliber, that is an amazingly accurate assessment."
"Spock, you can take your Vulcan mind and–"
- - McCoy and Spock, on why the ship's weapons have no effect
"Tell me, Captain, isn't there an old Earth legend about a civilization that sank beneath the sea... called Atlantis?"
"Atlantis! Mr. Spock, would you be surprised if you just solved one of the greatest mysteries on Earth of all time?"
"Surprised? Hardly, captain. Somewhat pleased, perhaps–"
"Spock, never mind..."
- - Spock and Kirk, on discovering Klee and Konrac's origin
- This is the only one of the stories set prior to Star Trek: The Motion Picture to feature Chekov.
- This story was sometimes accompanied by a comic book telling of the story. The comic book did make some errors in character depiction however:
- This is one of the few stories to use narration, and the only one that Kirk narrates.
- This story was released a total of seven times, the most of any story, during the Peter Pan Records run. It could be found on Records #2, #4, #8, #9 (re-release of #8), #10 (re-release #2), #16, and #23 (the final release in the series).
- Canon characters listed below are linked to the main article about them. Non-canon characters are not linked, but those that recurred, appearing or being mentioned in more than one story, are defined further in Peter Pan Records characters.
Regular and recurring
- James T. Kirk
- USS Enterprise's commanding officer, a Starfleet captain.
- Half-Vulcan Enterprise XO and science officer, a Starfleet commander.
- Leonard McCoy
- Enterprise CMO, a Starfleet doctor with the rank of lieutenant commander.
- Montgomery "Scotty" Scott
- Starfleet lieutenant commander serving as Enterprise chief engineer. Scotty was pictured (in his 2270s commander's uniform, despite the fact that the story probably wasn't set during that era) on the photo cover of the second single release (#1514) of this story.
- Starfleet lieutenant serving as Enterprise communications officer. This story's comic edition is one of many times Uhura is incorrectly portrayed with light skin and blond hair, seemingly because of a mistake by the color artists.
- Hikaru Sulu
- Enterprise helmsman, a Starfleet lieutenant. This story's comic edition is one of many times Sulu is incorrectly portrayed with dark skin, curly hair and blue sciences division uniform, possibly because of a mistaken association (by the colorist or ink artists) of his name with the African warrior name "Zulu".
- Pavel Chekov
- Enterprise navigator, tactical officer and assistant science officer, a Starfleet ensign. Chekov appeared wearing a blue sciences division uniform in this story's comic, despite never having done so in canon.
- Christine Chapel
- Starfleet nurse assigned to the Enterprise. She had no mention in this story, but was pictured (in her 2270s doctor's uniform, despite the fact that the story probably wasn't set during that era) on the photo cover of the second single release (#1514) of this story.
- Janice Rand
- Starfleet yeoman assigned to the Enterprise. She had no mention in this story, but was pictured (in her 2270s CPO's uniform, despite the fact that the story probably wasn't set during that era) on the photo cover of the second single release (#1514) of this story.
- A barbarian warrior from a nearby planet.
- A wizard descended from the original inhabitants of Atlantis, and consort to Konrac.
- The strange distortion that causes the time slowdown.
- A mythical city on Earth, lost beneath the waves thousands of years ago.
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