Writer: Alan Dean Foster
Running Time: 11:36
Stardate: 5470
Date of Release: 1975


   The Enterprise is on routine patrol at the edge of Federation territory. Ship's sensors detect nearby powerful and violent energy emanations coming from two centers. Kirk orders a course change to investigate. When they arrive in the area, they see on the screen two huge ships locked in combat with one another using several types of energy weapons. The vessels are of different designs and they are 60 times more massive that the Enterprise, and they put out 100 times the amount of energy as the Enterprise.

   The Enterprise intercepts their communications which are discovered to be insults and threats hurled at each other. They are obviously at war with each other. One of the battling behemoths, the Redworm, which is the 333rd super dreadnought of the Unified Dray Peoples, contacts the Enterprise and assumes that it is neutral in the conflict. Then the other giant combatant, the Renderer of the Nax Empire, contacts the Enterprise and then turns back to fighting the Redworm.

   Spock runs a library computer search for any references to the Dray and Nax in Starfleet databanks, and then announces that they have been extinct for over 150,000 years. All crew aboard the ancient vessels are long dead, and the two ship's computers have continued the war, modified themselves, and adapted for all those years with neither ever gaining the advantage.

   Kirk and crew can't just leave them alone because the ships are headed towards populated sectors of Federation space. The ships can't be reasoned with, so Kirk tries to bluff the two ships into thinking that a fleet of thousands of Federation starships will attack unless they change course and leave the sector. Both ships change course, but they head after the Enterprise at warp 8 while still fighting each other. Before Kirk and his crew can figure a way out of the situation, the two ships accuse each other of fabricating the Enterprise and the Federation as a ploy. The ships leave the Enterprise alone since they no longer trust anything. They head out into open space, still fighting their eternal war.

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This story appeared in the following packages:

Record 2

Record 8

Record 9

Record 10

Record 22


  • This story was very similar to the second season STAR TREK: Voyager episode "Prototype." In that episode the Voyager crew encountered a ship crewed by Pralor robotic units who were fighting a long-term war with ships manned by Cravic robotic units. The organic flesh-and-blood creators of the Pralor and Cravic robotic units had died centuries before.
  • Starbase 14 was mentioned in this story.
  • The red alert klaxon in this story sounded like "Ahooogah" instead of the familiar "Rrrrr - Rrrrrr" from the televised STAR TREK adventures.

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Email: cdanhauser@yahoo.com

   Captain Kirk
   Mr. Spock
   Doctor McCoy
   Engineer Scott
   Helmsman Sulu
   Lieutenant Uhura
   Dray ship's computer
   Nax ship's computer