| The U.S.S.
and her crew are diverted by a signal from the former captain of the
U.S.S. Enterprise on Starbase 11, and proceed to the call. When they
arrive they find Captain Christopher Pike,
who is severely crippled by radiation burns, confined to a moving chair
and his ability to communicate limited to the answers "yes" and "no."
Captain Kirk, Spock abducts Pike on board the ship. Captain Kirk
returns to the U.S.S. Enterprise with Commodore Mendez, and soon
discovers that Spock has locked the ship's controls on a course set for
the planet Talos IV
— a planet to which a visit carries the death penalty. Forced
extreme actions of the Vulcan first officer, the two convene a
court-martial against Spock.
proceedings, from an unknown source, they watch the events that
transpired when Captain Pike was in command of the U.S.S. Enterprise.
They are shown Pike's initial contact with the Talosians,
a race of beings eager to study human beings in their natural state,
and who can provide illusions to make things appear exactly as they
would like. The transmission relays Captain Pike's entire mission
surrounding the Talosians and their bizarre experiments while holding
him in a powerful cage. The Talosians are telepathic beings, able to
dig deep into the memories to find whatever illusion will be most
effective. They attempt to hold Pike captive until his passion and fury
force them to release him.
end, the entire
court-martial is found to be meaningless, a result of Commodore Mendez
being an illusion created by the Talosians for Kirk's benefit. The
events, as well, which depicted Pike on Talos IV were also found to
originate from the Talosians.
Spock has risked his career and freedom to bring his former captain to
a place where he will be able to live an illusion of a pleasant life,
rather than the tragically limited one he lives now. Kirk allows Pike
to beam down to Talos IV and all charges against Spock are dropped.