At the Klingon Trial (original script)

70   Tight on Kirk’s eyes. Jump back to reveal – vfx

     The Klingon empire in all its barbaric splendor A cavernous stadium arranged in circlular tiers cut from jagged stone. A place from a bygone age, of savage and awesome beauth. Something between a circus and a cathedral….turned for the occasion into a gigantic courtroom with thousands of spectators, screaming: “Kirk! Kirk! Kirk!” Many in the audience hold spears with lighted heads.

Kirk and McCoy in the dock, stand in the bottom at the very center of the circle, surrounded by a Klingon audience in rising tiers, while hooded Klingon judges sit invisible in a darkened dugout. (One judge is an albino.) Chang wears the prosecutor’s mantle. In the audience is President Azetbur and her advisers. The trial is being broadcast and special cameras abound.

Near Kirk and McCoy sits their young, eager Klingon defense attorney. Kirk keeps his cool thoughout, though McCoy tends to steam. The rules are different. Attorneys are empowered to ask their witnesses a question at any time, and to mix this up with statements and charges.

The proceedings begin in subtitled Klingon. Kirk and McCoy wear headphones. When they speak, a translator converts to Klingon.

As Chang gets going, we zoom into his mouth and he converts to english… the judges gavel is a grotesque nailed glove.

Chang: The State will show that Enterprise fired on Kronos One without provocation, the Chancellor and his advisers having been lulled into a false sense of security with an invitation to a state dinner aboard Captain Kirk’s vessel at 1930 hours that same evening. (Turns to Kirk) Do you deny all this?

The mob howls “Kirk!”, as the Judge gavels.

Judge: The Prisoner will respond. Kirk: I don’t deny we invited them to dinner.

71   Angle on Chancellor Azetbur

Chang: Were you drunk at that dinner, Captain?

72   Int. President’s UFP’s office – Day

72   The President and his advisers, including Sarek, watch

vfx  the proceedings unhappily onscreen. Translator’s voice over.

Kirk: What? Chang: Isn’t it a fact that you served Romulan ale, a beverage illegal in the Federation because of its overwhelming potency? Kirk: The drink was served.

The Commander in Chief and President wince.

72   Continued

Commander in Chief: This is a damned show trial.

73   Int. klingon courtroom – Day

Chang: And you still maintain your ship did not fire on Kronos One? Would you have known if she had? Come now, Captain. the record clearly shows there were no other ships in the sector.

Kirk: There….were no other ships in the sector.

Chang: Did you have occasion to refer to your ship’s data banks during that night? Kirk: I checked the data banks, yes. Chang: And what did they tell you? Kirk  (Reluctant) That we fired two Photon Torpedoes. But…..

The mob howls.

Chang: The witness is excused, for the time being.

Chang whirls off as the Judge gavels.

74   Int. Klingon Courtroom – Day

One of President Gorkons Guards is on the stand, he is missing an arm.

Guard: After the first hit, we lost our gravitational field, I found myself weightless and unable to function. Then 2 Starfleet crewmen came walking towards us.

75   Widen to reveal we are watching aboard Enterprise.

Spock, et al, are receiving the transmission on their main visual display. They watch in silence.

Translator’s voice.

Defense Attorney: Perhaps they merely wore Starfleet uniforms…. Chang: I move that remark be stricken as purely speculative…. Judge: So ordered. Colonel Worf, we are interested in facts, not theories. Defense Attorney: If the gravitatinal field was not functioning, how could these men have been walking? Guard: They appeared to be wearing magnetic boots.

Murmur. The Defense Attorney wishes he hadn’t asked.

Spock: Gravity boots…..

76   Int. Klingon Courtroom – Day

Chang: They fired on you? Guard: With Starfleet issue phasers. They dashed into the Chancellor’s stateroom, we could hear more phaser fire, then they went back the way they’d come.

Chang: Towards the transporter room? Guard: Yes, Sir.

Swish pan to CU Sulu

77   Int. Bridge, U.S.S. Excelsior

77   Continued

Sulu and his crew are watching the trial on their visual display as well.

78   Int. Klingon Courtroom – Day

Chang: Doctor McCoy, what is your current medical status? McCoy: Aside from a touch of arthritis, I’d say pretty good.

Sulu has to smile. Chang is not amused, waits.

McCoy (continuing) For 27 years I have been Ships Surgeon and later Chief Medical Officer aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise. In three months, I’m due to stand down. Chang: Stand…..? McCoy: Retire.

Chang (soft) Ah. I believe you also consumed Romulan ale at the officers mess on the night in question, Doctor? Defense Attorney: Objection! Judge: Sustained. McCoy  (angry) We all did. But that doesn’t mean….. Judge: General Chang, come to the point or abandon this line of inquiry.

Chang: Was Chancellor Gorkon alive when you first examined him? McCoy: Barely.

78   Continued

Chang: Have you saved patients as “barely” alive as he was?

President Azetbur flinches at the memory.

McCoy: I didn’t have the knowledge of Klingon anatomy I needed. Chang: You say you are due for retirement. May I ask: Do your hands shake? Defense Attorney: Objection! Judge: Overruled. McCoy

I was nervous. Chang: You were incompetent! Whether deliberately, or as a result of age, combined with drink, this court will determine. McCoy: I tried to save him! I was desperate to save him! He was the last best hope in the universe for real peace. Chang: The Chacellor herself will testify that the defendant’s hands shook!

79   Int. UFP President’s office.

79   The President, et al, watch unhappily


80   Int. Klingon Courtroom – Day

Chang: And now, we come to the architect of this tragic affair, Captain James Tiberius Kirk. I put it to you, Captain, that you were seeking revenge for the death of your son!

80   Continued

Kirk: That isn’t true…..! Chang: That, either as an instrument of Federation policy, or acting on your

own drunken initiative, you and your fellow conspirators, crippled Kronos One, and cold-bloodedly

assassinated the Chancellor of the High Council. Then, you and Doctor McCoy went aboard to make certain the job was complete. Defense Attorney: Objection: Captain Kirk has not been identified as the assassin. Judge: Sustained. Chang: I offer into the record the following excerpt from Captain Kirk’s personal log. He signals. Kirk’s voice stills the room.

Kirk’s voice: I have never trusted Klingons, and never will. I have never been able to forgive them for the murder of my boy…..

An explosive babble fills the court. The Judge pounds his glove for order….quick reaction shots:

81   The Enterprise

82   The President’s Office

83   The Excelsior – then back to the courtroom

84   Int. Courtroom – Day

Chang: Are those your words? Kirk: Yes.

84   Continued

Chang: Spoken by you? Kirk: Yes. Chang: Louder, please. We cannot hear you. Kirk  (firmer) Those words WERE spoken by me.

85   Int. Bridge, U.S.S. Excelsior

85   Sulu is speaking confidentially to his communications

vfx  officer. On screen behind them, the trial continues.

Sulu: Send to commander Enterprise: “We stand ready to assist you. Captian Sulu, U.S.S. Excelsior.” Attach our co-ordinates. Communications officer: Is that wise, sir? I mean, given their situation- (off Sulu’s look) Aye, Sir!

He leaves. Sulu looks up at the screen, unhappily.

85A  Courtroom

Defense Attorney: Objection, your honors. My clients’ political views are not on trial here.

86   Int. Enterprise Bridge

86   The trial is on several monitor BG. Spock, next to

vfx  Uhura.

Uhura: Sulu’s giving us his position and telling us he’s standing by….. Spock (unhappy) He’s placing himself in a most awkward situation……

86   Continued

Chang (V.O.) On the contrary, Captain Kirk’s views and motives are at the heart of this matter. This officers record shows the accused to be an insubordinate, unprincipled career opportunist, with a history of violating the chain of command when it suited him.

87   Int. Klingon Courtroom – Day

Chang  (continuing) Indeed the record will show that Captain Kirk was once “Admiral” Kirk and that Admiral Kirk was broken for taking matters into his own hands in defiance of regulations and the law. Do you deny you were demoted on these charges, Captain? DO NOT WAIT FOR THE TRANSLATION, ANSWER ME NOW!!! Defense Attorney: Don’t answer – objection! Judge: Objection overruled. The Prisoner will answer the question. KirkI cannot deny it.  Chang: You were demoted….. Kirk: Yes. Chang: For insubordination. Kirk: I have on occasion disobeyed orders. Chang: And were you obeying or disobeying orders the night you arranged the assassination of Chancellor Gorkon?

87   Continued

Defense Attorney  (overlapping) I Object! Kirk  (overlapping) I was unaware of the assassination until I boarded his ship! Chang  (overlapping) You deny Enterprise fired on Kronos One? Kirk: Well, I…..

Chang  (overlapping) You deny that your men beamed aboard Kronos One, and shot the Chancellor?

Kirk: I cannot confirm or deny actions which I did not witness. Chang: Captain Kirk, are you aware that under Federation law, the Captain of a Starship is considered responsible for the actions of his men? Kirk: I am. Chang: So, if it should prove members of your crew did in fact carry out such an assassination? McCoy: Jim! They’re setting us up! Your honors, I protest! Judge: The defendant will be silent! Captain Kirk, you will answer the question. Kirk (heavily) As Captain, I am responsible for the conduct of the crew under my command.

87   Continued

Chang: Your honors, the State rests.

An excited babble. Kirk and McCoy turn to their attorney.

McCoy: Is it our turn, now? Defense Attorney  (grim) According to Klingon law, both sides present their cases at the same time, we have had our turn!

On McCoys and Kirks reaction. The Judges nailed fist crashes down with a flurry of sparks.

Judge: It is the judgement of this court that the defendants are guilty as charged.

Sensation in court. A booming chant “Koom, Koom!!” as all the light spears are pointed at Kirk and McCoy. Chang is stone-faced, again, the horrible gauntlet.

Judge: Captian James T. Kirk, Doctor Leonard McCoy…..

They face the Judges’ box. Intercut this moment with

88   Int. Enterprise Bridge – Day

 Spocks face – What has he done?

89   Int. Klingon Courtroom

Judge: Have either of you anything to say before this court passes sentence?

Kirk and McCoy look at each other.

McCoy (simply) We were framed. Defense Attorney: (Rises passionately) I wish to note for the record that the evidence against my clients is entirely circumstantial. I beg the court to consider this when framing its sentence. Judge   (beat) So noted. In the interests of amity for the forthcoming peace talks, the sentence of death is commuted. (the crowd roars) It is the judgement of this courtthat without possibility of reprieve or parole, you be taken from this place to the Dilithium mines on the Penthe asteroid, there to spend the rest of your natural lives.

Off Kirks and McCoys reactions.


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