Star Trek, The Original Series: “The Corbomite Maneuver”

The appliqué daisy bathing cap looms over Enterprise. Kirk ponders their situation with Spock: "There must be something to do -- something I've overlooked?" "Chess," Spock offers. "When one is outmatched the game is over -- checkmate." "Is that your best recommendation?" Kirk bites. Spock stumbles over his sentence when he says he can find "no logical alternative." Kirk walks away. Bones enters the Bridge and starts railing on Kirk for driving Beetle too hard. He tells Kirk he's going to enter Beetle's condition in his medical log as simple fatigue, but Kirk tells him he will make the decision. They bicker. Bones informs Kirk that he intends to challenge the Captain in his medical records: "I'll state that I warned you about Bailey's condition -- now that's no bluff, Captain!" "Anytime you can bluff me, Doctor!" Kirk explodes. The whole Bridge looks at them with interest. Balock intones that they have three minutes left. Kirk calms down a bit and tells Bones he hopes they have time to debate it later. "Not chess, Mr. Spock," Kirk chews with that telltale panel of Kirk Light across his face, "POKER!" I quote that line specifically for Couch Baron's benefit, whose response was, "'Poker'? But I hardly know her!" Kirk rhetorically asks if Spock knows the game before asking Uhura to plug him into a ship-to-ship. Kirk takes the time to sling his arm across the back of his chair and cross his leg firmly before telling Balock, "Our respect for other life-forms requires that we give you this warning." Kirk tells Balock that "one critical item of information" about their ship that has never been entered into databanks is that if the ship is destroyed, it will fart out "a substance known as...corbomite." Spock looks around. Corbomite is "a material and a device" that prevents attack on them, because "if any destructive energy touches [their] vessel, a reverse reaction of equal strength is created, destroying the attacker." In the middle of all that, Balock tells them they have two minutes, but Kirk manages to chew out his sentence. As Spock listens open-mouthed, Kirk informs Balock, "It may interest you to know that since the initial use of corbomite -- more than two of our centuries ago -- no attacking vessel has survived the attempt. Death has little meaning to us. If it has none to you, then attack us now. We grow annoyed at your foolishness." Oh, brother! The last part of that speech was hysterical. "We grow annoyed at your foolishness" -- only The Shat Man can carry off that particular shade of purple.

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